Chelle's online journal of weight loss and fitness.

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  2009 - Archive
My Fitness and Weight Loss Journal
my rants and ramblings...  

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2/19/09:  My issue of Women's Health Magazine (March '09) has hit the stands!! The You Lose, You Win column features my weight loss journey & success.  My story is on Page 52 of the magazine and can also be found on the Women's Health website starting here and going on to the full version here.

The PDF (with the correct spelling of my name, lol) is here. 




3/02/09:  Looking for recipes? Try some of mine! I'll be adding to the recipes page on a regular basis, and welcome any recipes you'd like to send in, too! 

Tuesday 3/04/09:  I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Arlene Pellicane of Losing Weight After Baby for her podcast .   Not only did I have a great time catching up with Arlene (we're friends from waaaaaay back in high school!), but I also enjoyed the interview itself. Arlene had a wonderful way of making me feel relaxed and the experience was terrific!  You can listen to the interview on Arlene's website, or on iTunes. Type in Losing Weight After Baby in the iTunes Store search bar. The title of the interview podcast is "How One Mom Lost 50 Pounds".

3/04/09:  New Before & After page for Chelle... check it out!

Tuesday 3/17/09:  As usual, my favorite show has inspired me... and made me very mad! In this episode, the folks at the ranch were sent home for a week. Right away they were given a challenge... to run a half marathon. The runner with the quickest time would win $10,000.

OK, grievance one...  These people were NOT training for a marathon! A marathon, even a half marathon, is not something you just jump into. There's conditioning, training, mental preparation... Running is a major deal. While it turned out well for these contestants, it could easily have gone the other way... major injuries! People train for months, hard training, to prepare for a marathon. I can't believe TBL (The Biggest Loser) did this!

Onward to my second grievance: the contestants were also given a tin of 13 huge sugar cookies... here's the deal... for each cookie he/she ate, a 5 minute penalty would be placed on the marathon time belonging to the person of his/her choice. So if Tara ate a cookie, she could add 5 minutes to Sione's marathon time.

I have two major problems with this.

One: Food is NOT A WEAPON! What the heck is TBL thinking?? It is so hard to come to the understanding that food should not be a reward, and that realization is a major part of breaking the cycle of emotional eating. And now, here on the show, the contestants are encouraged to use their eating to punish someone else! What the heck??

Two: Tara's husband... ok, I have to start by saying I get it. He's trying to be supportive and encouraging. But.

Here's the scenario... Tara is holding the tin of cookies, trying to decide if she will use them to sabotage a competitor. Her husband encourages her to do so, to play the game, then says, "You'll burn it off" (meaning the calories in the cookies).  Argh!!!

That misunderstanding is an oversimplification and can sabotage Tara's (or anyone's) weight loss success. Here's why... Sugar. Each cookie had 350-something calories and was loaded in sugar.

Yes, Tara could "burn off" the 350 calories, but processed sugar does a lot of damage. When you ingest sugar, the body will use it as it's energy source... sounds good, right? Wrong. What you want your body to burn as energy is fat. When you eat sugar, the body stops using fat, and uses the sugar instead and what it doesn't burn, the body stores as fat. So sugar stops the body from burning fat, then becomes fat - more of the very fat you're trying to get rid of!

For instance, let's say you eat one of those cookies. 350 calories. Then you go running. Your body will save the fat you have (you know, that stuff you're trying to lose?) and instead use those 350 calories from the sugar cookie to fuel your run. BUT, suppose that it doesn't use up ALL 350 calories. Whatever is left over, your body will convert to fat, and store it. Now, even though you've had a great run, you have more fat than when you started!

So sure, Tara could run about 3.5 miles to burn off 350 calories (per cookie eaten, remember they were each given 13 cookies!)... but she won't be burning off her unwanted fat.

Thankfully, Tara chose to take the high road and didn't use food as a weapon. Good for her!  BAD TBL!! How could you??

Now, in closing, I have to be honest... I am not a cookie-hater. One of my favorite cheat-treats is a Tammie Coe sugar cookie. And no, I have no idea what the nutritional information is on those wonderful bits of sugary indulgence.  But I do know that when I choose to eat one (and I mean ONE - sigh) there will be consequences of the sugar-fat variety.  

Thursday 3/26/09:  As I continue my quest to find good, solid info on the internet to assist my fitness and health journey, I come across a few newsworthy newsletters & fun features. My current picks are below. If you have a recommendation, please feel free to email it to me! I'd love to read what you're reading!

The Fat Burning Zone - Myth debunked

Don't Skip Breakfast to Cut Calories

Supine Reverse Crunches (These are actually fun!)

Yummy Grilled Chicken Recipe from ACE (American Council on Exercise)

MSN Health



4/1/09:     Today's Jillian Michael's newsletter struck a chord with me. Having someone to share the journey, encourage and support you is so important! Without Tabitha Citro, I would have given up long ago. I strongly encourage you to find that someone to help you achieve your goals.  Read the article. 

Wednesday 4/8/09:  Yesterday was arm day... can I just say that me and the assisted pull up machine do NOT get along?  Yeah, we'll leave it at that.

Also... I picked up Jillian Michael's new book "Mastering Your Metabolism". I'm only a couple chapters in, but I gotta say, I'm really enjoying it. Having had a hysterectomy at 26, then several years of crazy in and out of menopause stages, I thought I was pretty well educated on  hormones. NOT! Wow! There's so much more research available now.  I'll keep reading, and I encourage you to pick it up too! Read about the book & cards. 

Also, Jillian's "Hot Bod in a Box" appeared on bookstore shelves yesterday. I grabbed one and discovered it's a great tool! It allows you to pull out exercise-specific flashcards and create your own custom workout. Pretty neat!

Monday 4/13/09:  Survived Easter! Had my treats and cheats, but still managed to stay mostly on track. Holiday's are always the hardest to eat clean, but since I do eat clean regularly, I can handle having food I wouldn't normally touch. (That's a great Perk to the maintenance phase!)

Still reading "Mastering Your Metabolism". I'm not big on the doom and gloom perspective of our environmental responsibility and the necessity to eat organic (frankly, I can't afford organic) [that said, I do believe we're responsible and should take steps to prevent further damage, but I don't think I should be beat over the head with the message]. So if I put that part aside, the information is really very good. It's given me a lot to think about. I'm a little more than halfway through the book - I'm trying to take it slow, plus I'm also reading another book (novel), and studying for the Personal Trainer certification (and that's a LOT of reading!).

Wednesday, 4/15/09:  If you watched Biggest Loser last night, you saw one of the contestants take a horrific blow... Laura was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her hip, resulting in drastically minimized activity for at least 3 months. Wow, I felt her pain.

It seems to me that just as we get really moving in the right direction, something always comes along to sideline us and destroy what we've worked so hard to build. For me, it was my knee. I tore my patellar tendon and cartilage, plus  discovered that the underside of my kneecap was being worn away. And yes, it happened just as I had begun to really, really take my training seriously. I was focused, I was driven, then BAM! I was injured!  

Thankfully, I had the World's GREATEST Trainer, Tabitha Citro, and she was able to keep me going. I made greater strides towards weight loss and fitness AFTER my injury than before!

Here's a great quote from Jillian Michaels (yeah, I know I sound like a Jillian-ite, I'm really not, but she's got some good things to say). 

Don't Let an Injury Derail You.  If you have the misfortune to suffer an injury, don't just throw in the towel. You're worth so much more than that. Think of all the reasons you are trying to become healthy and use them as motivation to work around your injury (in ways that you clear with your doctor, of course) and try as hard as you can until you heal. Plus, watching your diet helps tremendously to prevent the pounds from coming back while you're not able to go full force in the gym. Whatever you do, don't use your injury as an excuse — and never give up!

Also, another arm day complete... OY! I'm doing arms/chest/back on Tuesdays, then legs on Thursdays. Last Thursday I could barely walk out of the gym! Whew! I was so glad when it was done, but I really felt GREAT!

Here are my current Arm / Leg routines. In addition, I do cardio and usually one more workout on the weekends.

Arm Day:  (visit Exercise page to view photos and instructions)

First part:

Chest press: Machine, or use dumbbells. 

Flies: dumbbells.   Alternate weeks with straight flyes or with bringing ends together. 

Overheads:  Use dumbbell.

Abs: Ball crunch with twist -  medicine ball.

Second part:

Assisted Pull-ups

Low Rows

Lat Pull-Downs  

Abs: GI Janes  or Wall crunches with weight (sit on floor, place feet on wall, with knees bent. Hold medicine ball or weight plate, tighten up your abs (pull bellybutton to spine) and recline as far as you can without putting shoulders on ground... raise back up until the resistance in your core is almost gone, and do it again.


Leg Day:  (visit Exercise page to view photos and instructions)

Leg press:  Check what the weight of the sled is first and then start adding weight from there.  Probably start with something like a 45 on each side then go from there.  Feet together and high on the platform. 

Plie Squats: 35 lb dumbbell.   Pause at the bottom of the squat.

Leg extensions:  Weight somewhere in the 50 lb range.  Hold and squeeze at the top.  Should have a solid burn at 10 and hopefully they will go numb by 15 ;)

Abs: reverse crunches.

Second part:

Walking lunges with weight bar and kick back. Hold and Squeeze at the top.

Standing dead lift with 15# or 20# dumbbells.

Swiss curl - Using a fitness ball/ Stability ball, place heels on ball, back flat on floor with arms along sides. Raise your butt so that your body is in a straight line, then pull the ball towards your butt with your heels & roll out again. 20 reps.

Abs: ball crunch twists


4/27/09:     Finally on the mend. Pneumonia sucks! I hated the inactivity, hate more how weak I feel! Did grocery shopping yesterday and had to come home and lay down afterwards! Oy! I'm back at work today, and hopefully will be hitting the gym. Nothing major planned, just going to walk on the treadmill and start building up my strength. 


Monday, 5/11/09:  Life is full of excitement and chaos right now! From Joey's upcoming graduation and trying to get the announcements completed and mailed, to prepping for a photo shoot, I'm stressed! Thankfully, the pneumonia is truly behind me, and I'm back on track with my exercise. In just 18 days I have to put on a swimsuit (the graduation party is a pool party), and no matter how far I've come, or what I've accomplished, that one little outfit throws me for a loop. The only thing worse than wearing it, is shopping for it! Oy! My goal this summer is to gracefully enter swimsuit season without having a meltdown. We'll see how it goes. Cardio Up!

On another note, I am so excited to be featured in the June issue of Scottsdale Health Magazine! I'll be their Fit & Fabulous profile! Wow! A year ago, I would never have believed it possible! It's wonderful to have my hard work and accomplishments validated like this! Woooo!!

Tuesday, 5/19/09:  Turned my upper body workout around today... Did the 2nd half first, and the first half second. I've been doing the same upper body workout for a few months now, we'll see if the changeup does anything. Normally, I start with chest press (two  22.5# dumbbells - 20 reps), then do flyes (two 15# dumbbells - 15 or 20 reps), followed by reclining overhead tricep extensions (one 35# dumbbell - 20 reps), then a set of abs. 3 rounds. Then rest, and then head over to do my second half: 6-8 Assisted pull-ups (set at 85#'s of assisted weight), then 20 low rows (55#), then 20 narrow grip lat pull-downs (55#). 

I always feel so weak when I can only do 6-8 pull-ups, and when I was working out with Tabitha, she'd always tell me "What are you whining about? We've pre-exhausted your triceps, you're doing great!"  Still... maybe she was just being nice and I really am a wussy. Lol.

So I switch it up, and Wow! I did 10 pull-ups! (yeah, yeah, they're assisted, but it's more than I've been doing!). And by the time I got to my chest press/flyes/extensions I knew I'd better lower my usual weight... good thing! I went to 20# dumbbells on the chest press and could only do 15, then 12# dumbbells on the flyes and did between 12 and 15. The biggest difference was on my overhead extensions, I dropped from 35# to 20#... still did 20 reps, but wow! I could feel every bit of it!   We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Wednesday, 5/20/09: It's Wednesday, and with me taking the summer off the bowling league, I get another cardio day in each week! Yeah! Tonight is treadmill intervals and the dreaded stair-monster! I will conquer!

update:  Ok, so switching it up made a big difference! I'm so sore! Woohoo! Sculpt, baby, sculpt! 

Monday 5/25/09: THANKS TABITHA CITRO AND PT 101!  Due to my Women's Health Magazine feature, I was given 2 free training sessions with THE WORLD'S GREATEST TRAINER: Tabitha Citro! :-)   Today we did upper body and Tab gave me a whole new workout... seriously kicked my butt! Woohoo! I love it! And I have very much missed my workouts with Tab at the studio. I've been working out on my own since March, and while I'm getting it done, it's just not the same.  I really, really miss my trainer!



Wednesday, 6/10/09: Sticking with the new upper body routine Tab gave me... really liking the results. Had a few issues getting it done though... I do not like crowded fitness centers. Oy! Seems like whenever I want a machine, someone else just beats me to it, then proceeds to hog it for all their sets instead of being polite and doing a set, then allowing someone else to do a set. Grr. Sorry, pet peeve of mine.  Anyway, thanks to a brutal case of shin-splints, I had to lay off on my running-cardio, sticking to stairmaster & elliptical. I've started running (treadmill) again and Wow! It felt great! Shins still hurt a bit, so I have to be careful not to push too hard.

Thursday, 6/25/09: That new upper body routine is a killer! Woohoo! I'm so sore, and loving it! Today is lower body, and light abs, then tomorrow is cardio intervals and abs.  Still having issues with shin-splints. It's a major pain in my, ha ha, shins.  My food has been good, though I'm still having issues getting enough calories. It's been a rough couple weeks, and I haven't been able to do my Sunday food prep. I'm making mad dashes to the grocery store for staple foods to get me through each day. I'm so grateful for the brown rice california rolls at Fry's, and my all-time favorite, Steamed chicken, veggies & brown rice from Red House! Come hell or high-water, this weekend I WILL get my food prep done! Uh oh, maybe I shouldn't say that... the way things have been going, I'll get both! Lol!



Wednesday, 7/1/09: Visible Progress! Yeah! My biceps are coming in nicely, my triceps are returning to their former definition, and my core feels STRONG! All great motivation to keep moving forward! Today is a cardio day, so I'll be hitting the elliptical, the treadmill and the stairmaster... not sure yet how much time I'll do. Probably 15-20 minutes on each machine, with intervals. I'm still fighting those shin-splints (seriously, if anyone knows a cure or relief, let me know!), so while I very much want to run my intervals on the treadmill, I may have to keep it to a fast-walk.

My food's been good. I didn't get all my food prep done on Sunday, but enough to keep me going. I found a 1% milk fat, no salt added cottage cheese at the store and gave it a try... I'm always looking for ways to cut sodium.... EWWWWW! BLAHHHH! Won't buy that again! That's some nasty stuff. There's a lot of food I'll eat simply because it's fuel for my body, but even I have to draw the line somewhere! Blah!

On another note, I picked up the new Eat Clean Diet for Men at the library. Bill started reading it last night. I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with a man who doesn't want to "diet".

Thursday, 7/2/09: Are you stressed out? I have a challenge for you. Do Something Fun! Preferably, outside your comfort zone!

Ok, here's the deal. I am stressed out. 4 teenagers, a down economy, and general life has bent me so far I feel I'm about to break. My usual stress relievers aren't cutting it... I can blow through 2 new books in a day, I can workout till I drop, I can window shop till I drop, I just can't seem to truly relax. I feel stymied. So... I'm challenging myself to do something totally outside my comfort zone. 

I found what I'm doing for my challenge and it will give me something to look forward to, work hard at, a goal to achieve. And I'm tellin' you, if I pull this off.... it'll be a whole new me! No, I'm not going to tell you what it is, at least not yet (and no, it's not pole-dancing). But, I will tell you, that I'm going to have to be in the shape of my life! That means total dedication to my exercise regime, clean eating, and classes. And if someone had suggested I try this a year ago, even 2 months ago, I'd have laughed my ass of!

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 7/8/09: Yesterday was arm day... sore today :-)  After work, I'll be heading to the gym for my cardio. Haven't decided yet what I'm going to do... either 50 min of cardio, or 30 min of cardio plus 20 min of ab work... dunno yet. I guess we'll see! :-)

Thursday, 7/9/09: Cardio completed for wednesday. I ended up doing 15 min intervals on the elliptical, then did a round of ab exercises, 15 min intervals on the treadmill (shin splints are still an issue), another round of abs, finished with 15 min on the stairmaster with intervals, then my stretching.  Arms are still sore today from tuesday... this is a good thing! Today after work I'll be doing legs and abs. Gotta switch up my leg routine. Last week, I switched out the first half of my regular workout for some new stuff and WOW was I sore! Awesome! I'll be doing that again, then this time I'll also switch up the 2nd half. Trade squats for deadlifts, multi-directional lunges for my walking lunges. I'll keep the swiss ball rolls because they're so effective, but may add a move to them to freshen.

Also, I put up my new workout music and added samples, plus a link to my iTunes playlist. I'm ALWAYS looking for new music, so if you have some to recommend, shoot me an email! Chelle @

Wednesday, 7/15/09: Upper body and cardio right on track so far. More cardio today, plus light abs.  I'm continuing to monitor my food intake, gotta get consistent with eating enough to fuel my body (I typically run LOW on calorie intake and high on OUTPUT.  I'm trying to increase intake so that I can build more muscle, which in turn burns more fat). So far my food is good, though I still feel like I'm eating too much... that perpetually stuffed feeling... no fun. My body rebels anytime I go past 1200 calories. I haven't stepped on the scale in a week, think I'm going to keep it that way, lol. So far today I've had a banana, cup of coffee, 2 egg-beaters cups, 2 pieces of whole grain toast w/almond butter, then my first snack was a greek yogurt, apple and 2 flax crackers. Lunch was 6oz lean grilled pork, 1.5 cup steamed veggies, and 1/4 cup brown rice. Still ahead is my next snack: 2 hard boiled eggs and a tomato, then dinner... chicken tostadas (recipe here).  I'm on track to hit 1400 cal today.  By the way, my target is between 1400 and 1600 calories per day.

On another note, remember that challenge? It's freakin' kickin' my ass! Oy! I'm trying to practice before my next class, but my brain and my body are not connecting. I am constantly asking myself, "What the hell was I thinking?!"  And, sigh, the answer is that I knew I needed to to push myself to grow and stretch past my comfort zone, and the only way I do things seems to be "Go big or go home."  The good news is that I survived the first class. I didn't break anything, and I only cried for about 3 hours afterwards (did I mention I am PAINFULLY shy?).  So, I will continue to practice, and I will be back in class this saturday.

Tuesday, 7/21/09: Saturday's class was MUCH better than the previous. My fear level is still super-high, but nothing like the trauma of that first week! It sure is hard, though. I don't like being outside my comfort zone. Not one little bit! It's truly painful but I am determined to conquer this. I will make it through. And I will grow.  In the meantime, if I could just stretch out this hamstring! Oy! Lol! 

Wednesday, 7/22/09: Yesterday I was able to do my cardio with Tab! Woohoo! 15min elliptical, 15 treadmill, and 15 on the stairmaster.... followed by much needed stretching. 

Thursday, 7/23/09: I did legs with Tabitha yesterday... OMG. I was wobbly when I left the gym. By the time I drank a protein shake and crawled up the stairs at home, I thought I'd better get my practice for my class done before I sank.... well, that didn't turn out the way I planned. Lol. One leg lift and I was curled up in the fetal position on my bed. No practice possible. Today I am severely sore, which is a GREAT thing because it means I hit muscles in a fresh new way... more muscle equals better fat burning! Tomorrow is rest day, whew! :-)

Sunday, 7/26/09: My challenge class is VERY challenging. I found myself lying awake last night going over the steps & moves in my head... stressing over it. I have to figure out how to just roll with this. If I keep stressing & obsessing, then the whole thing is an exercise in futility, and that's not what I wanted from this. Growth, yes... something new to add to my worries, no.

Monday, 7/27/09: Today is my day to come clean. Someone recently pointed out that my online journal here doesn't address any of the emotions or struggles I go, or have gone, through... That's true, and it was done intentionally. However, the result is that if one were to read my ramblings here, he/she could potentially walk away believing that I simply started at point A and arrived later at point B. This is NOT the case. My journey has been difficult, at times it felt impossible, it's also been tremendously rewarding  and joyful.  I believe that true living is achieved through mind, body and spirit.... and my journal previously offered none of my spirit. So, I'm going to start including some of my more personal and emotional struggles. And as usual, if you don't want to read about them, don't.

2 Pounds.  I had no idea how much of a difference 2 pounds could make to me. I have an "optimum" weight that I try to maintain, then allow 5 lb's + that weight to consider myself within my good range. Weight naturally fluctuates, sometimes pretty drastically, so that 5lb range is there to keep me sane and not obsessing about my weight. Too bad it doesn't work that way.

Here's the deal. 125 is pretty basic for me, weight-wise. You add in that 5lb "grace" and I should be able to top out comfortably at 130 and still be ok, obviously I would then check my food & exercise to get myself back under 130 and back around 125. So where's the problem?  Deep inside, I'm still fat. And I'm still terrified of being fat.

There are times I look in the mirror and see the old me and I cry... now you add in a slight (2 lb's is very slight) weight fluctuation and I verge on a panic attack. My clothes fit differently, my body looks different to me in the mirror, my confidence plummets and my stability is shaken. All over a silly 2 pounds! Now, while I recognize that I'm being ridiculous, I can't overcome the fear of gaining back the weight. Nor can I seem to see clearly what's really in the mirror. 

There are days when I do laundry and pull out a pair of jeans from the dryer and admire how cute my daughter's jeans are... only to realize they're MINE. I look at them and can't figure out how the hell I fit into them! And I can't figure it out because I'm not seeing myself clearly.

No matter how many times I tell myself it's not about the number on the scale, or the size on the tag, that it's about how I look & feel... well, to be honest, it is still about the pounds and the size to me. And I hate that. I hate knowing that I border (and often tip over) into obsession in maintaining my weight. That is a struggle I have nearly daily.

I went shopping this weekend looking for a corset-top (for an event) and ended up in Bebe (where the sizing is the bane of most women). I found one I wanted to try, but couldn't tell if I needed a small, medium or large ... well, they didn't have a large, so I grabbed the small & medium and headed into the dressing room. Enter the panic attack.

I stood there for 10 minutes (not an exaggeration) trying to decide which one to try on first. I normally wear a small, so if I try the small, and it's too small... that would really suck, but if I try the medium and it's too small I will be devastated... so I stood there and debated, afraid to try either one on! Thankfully, Tabitha came to the rescue! Driving back from ASU, she stopped at the mall, texted me and discovered I was in the dressing room. She headed straight to me. Her philosophy is that a dressing room should never be faced alone. :-) She's right. She gave me fresh perspective and an honest opinion. I ended up trying on 5 or 6 different tops, and was able to walk out of the store un-traumatized and sane; the shopping trip had become fun. The value of a friend is beyond words.

Mean People:  I was in Ann Taylor a few months back... again, in the dressing rooms (those rooms should simply be banned, they're just no good! lol) and I was out in the common area examining my reflection in the 3-way mirror. I was trying on, and preparing to purchase, my first size-0 pants. And another woman in the dressing room, made a snarky comment to her friend about my size and how someone like me doesn't know what it's like to struggle to find clothes that fit. I was so incredibly hurt. And yes, I did say something, and no, I wasn't thrown out of the store. Lol. But it really, really hurt me. Finding well-fitting clothing is hard no matter what size you are. And dressing rooms are traumatic to most women, not just over-weight women.

The worst part about that experience was realizing that I had said & thought similar things about thin women previously, when I wasn't thin. Like those women in the dressing room I used to have the misconception that just because a woman was thin she had a perfect body, a perfect life, no worries... and she was probably shallow and stupid, too.   I'm not too proud of those thoughts.  Turns out I was, like those women in the dressing room were, way off track.

Mean Family/Friends:  I'm still the same person I was before I lost the weight, but I've been astonished at how some people's perception (and therefore treatment) of me has changed. I've been hurt and horrified by nasty comments people make just because they can. Shortly after I bought those size-0's, someone close to me told me my thighs were fat... just out of the blue said it. I have no idea why that popped out of her mouth, but Wowzer, it really sliced at me. Even though, in my logical part, I know my thighs are NOT fat, now I look at my thighs and hear her voice in my head and the emotional part of me believes her. 

Jealousy: To my shock, some of my female friends now see me as a threat, where I wasn't before... I guess I was "safe" for their menfolk when I was fat, but now that I'm not, suddenly I'm a homewrecker? Really? How does this make sense? People who used to be comfortable hanging out with me now avoid me, and some people have become so blatantly jealous and bitter that I avoid them.

I'm still me, I still have the same insecurities, the same fears, even the same trouble spots on my body... my boobs are still too small (microscopic now that I've lost so much weight... I am a natural AA now... ha, you didn't know they made bras that small, did ya?), my belly is still too flabby (whereas before it was fat, now I am cursed with a flop of loose skin and a mangled belly button that only surgery can resolve). 

So what's my point? Losing weight is hard... but learning to live with the change is hard too.  It's a struggle every day to find and maintain balance. It's never been easy for me, but I am determined to be healthy... in mind, body AND spirit.

That is part of the reason I chose an exotic dance/fitness class for my challenge. I picked  something I never would have done before, something I once harshly judged other women for doing. I am painfully shy, and doing this on my own (without a friend to do it with me) is really scary. The other women in the class are great, I think each of us has her own struggles and fears, but we're there, strangers attempting to find a common rhythm. And we have an incredible instructor who is patient and fun, as well as incredibly talented, beautiful and oh-so graceful!

It's really, really hard. I am graceless by nature, and significantly uncoordinated, so burlesque dance is truly a challenge. And then there's the finale of the challenge... the very public performance as the opening act for an awesomely talented and creative burlesque troupe. And it's happening in just 4 weeks! So how am I doing in the class?

The first class, I ran into a wall, and I bounced into the women on either side of me... all while simply attempting to "walk" across the room. I cried all the way home after class, and for several hours after.

The second class, I didn't run into any walls or people... but I did manage to get tangled up in my boa... twice... nearly choking myself once. Don't ask. It was pretty traumatic. But I only cried a little after that class.

The third class... was fun! I'm still scared spitless, especially about the performance, but I'm finding the fun in it now. We'll see how it goes next week! I'm excited about the class, I enjoy the music, and once I figure out how to move my shoulders and hips independently of one another, I'll be doing great! Lol. I have a whole music list I've put together that I listen to when I'm practicing the moves (while I'm locked in the bathroom where no one can see me).

[Want more info about the class? Want to see my music list? Click here]

One of the major keys to success throughout my journey is Tabitha.  
A good friend will make all the difference in your journey. Tab has encouraged, pushed, supported, pushed, cheered, pushed, comforted, pushed...   :-)  She saw where I could go long before I did, and helped me learn to believe in myself. Tab has given me her strength to borrow when my own was not enough. I cannot count the number of dressing rooms she's rescued me from, ledges she's talked me down from, or how many tears she's mopped up (sometimes during workouts!). She gives me honest opinions, wise advice, and a friendship that both humbles and inspires me.

As my personal trainer, Tabitha taught me nutrition and exercise and helped me to form goals for myself.  As my friend, she helped me celebrate those goals and live life more fully. I wish everyone had a Tabitha, and I encourage you to reach out and build a friendship that will enrich your life.  :-)


Wednesday, 7/29/09: With the burlesque show coming up quicker than I'm comfortable with, I've been stepping up my cardio and cleaning up my diet (it's already clean, I've just eliminated carbs (ie rice/pasta/bread) from my last meal). I had a plan... famous last words, right? Yep. Yesterday morning I reached for my car door and my back seized up. Then it started to spasm. Joy. I started popping ibuprofen, but by 3pm I was toast. Had to go home, lay down with a heating pad and <Gasp!> skip the gym. Now, you're probably thinking, "so what?"... I'm gonna let you in on a little secret... I'm obsessive. "Ha!", you say, you already knew that about me, right? Well, in regards to fitness/diet/weight... I'm uber-obsessive. I'm so terrified of getting out-of-shape, of gaining the weight back, that I get really whacked if my schedule/plan gets changed.

There's a part of me that truly does believe that if I miss this workout, I will wake up tomorrow and be 180 pounds again. And of course, since I missed yesterday's workout, then in four weeks when it's time for the show, I won't be able to fit into my costume and I'll be too fat to do the routine. Crazy, isn't it? I'm a grown woman, I am capable of reason, and yet... well, there it is: Fear. Geeze. This is where balance has to come in. I know in my head that this is all a crock, that I will not wake up tomorrow and be right back where I started just because I missed one workout. I know that I have four weeks to get ready for the show. I know, in my head, that as long as I maintain my clean-eating and my exercise, I will not go from a size 0/2 to a size 18 before I have to squeeze into a corset & hotpants. That's logical. I know this. Unfortunately, I don't feel it.

And I wonder... when will I reach that point? You know, the one where I look in the mirror and see what's actually there. When I can walk into a store and feel confident entering the dressing room. When I can miss a workout and say "ok, I can make it up later." I really thought the hardest part of the journey would be losing the weight. And it was hard. Really, really hard.  But, it's turning out to be even more difficult for me to change my perspective.

I'm hoping the burlesque class will help with that... I think it is, I feel like it is, but it's also given me more to go crazy over. :-)  And I know when I complete that challenge, I'm going to have to find another one, so I can continue to work toward my goal of being healthy in more than just body. At Christmas, Tabitha gave me a necklace with a circular pendant that reads "Live Life, Be Brave, Love Life, Be Brave".  I'm trying to do that. No more standing still for me. No more letting life pass me by. I'm reaching out and grabbing hold.  I just wish it wasn't so damn scary.

Thursday, 7/30/09: How do you change your perspective of a setback from Mountain to Molehill? All my fitness plans for this week are shot. My back continues to spasm, and I haven't been in the gym since Monday. A very large part of me is panicking, and I'm struggling to focus on what's important.

What's important? Not injuring myself; taking a bit of rest time to heal and recover; remembering that there is life outside the gym.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is minor, even though it really does feel like a mountain to me.

I think it's the unexpectedness of the situation that's got me grasping for control... if I had planned a vacation, and knew I would be missing gym time, I would be fine... but this injury coming out of nowhere is really messing with me.

So I'm keeping a firm hold on my thoughts, planning for my return to the gym, and keeping my food uber-clean, because I can control that. The rest, well, it is what it is. I can accept it or go nuts. Since I'm already a little nuts, I think I'll work on accepting the situation and try to appreciate the down time.



Sunday, 8/9/09:  So, about the MYLF class... Oy! What a crazy ride this has been! My emotional roller coaster has been going non-stop. I get to where I think, "Ok, I can do this," then BAM, all my insecurities and fears knock me flat. I've done more crying in the last several weeks, than in the last several years! I just don't understand why I'm not able to simply reach out and grab my "sexy".

I kept telling myself that once I lost the weight, I'd feel sexy, I'd look sexy. I'd BE sexy. Not so. I'm just a slimmer version of who I've always been. And since I've never been comfortable in my own skin, well... I'm still not. And let me tell you, it's a real sucky realization.

Here I am, shy... painfully so; conservative (no inner-vamp here!); and uncoordinated. I'm attempting to roll with it, to just go with the flow. Which I was kinda doing, though largely freaked out, when the final bomb was dropped on me. The final half of the song is a "freestyle" strip tease.

And yep, I lost it. Melted down. Cried the whole way home from class. Cried for hours afterwards. What the hell was I thinking? I can't do this! It's too hard! Strip??? Ok, yeah, it's not really goin' down to nekkid... but close enough! I'm a wreck! My skin is breaking out, my eczema is popping back up on my hands, my back and neck are a constant state of tense, my emotional stability... ha! None. I've allowed this to completely control me, and that's not OK.

So that was Wednesday. I showed up for Saturday's class having convinced myself that I could indeed survive this. First thing the instructor did was turn on the music, put us in a circle and have each of us go into the center and dance sexy. I couldn't do it. Simply couldn't do it. And of course, the hated tears began pouring out. I really, really hate to cry in front of people. But the nerves, the terror, the insecurity... found their own way out... through my tear ducts. The girls were encouraging, the instructor was patient and supportive, but I just couldn't do it.

We began our choreography, and when we got to the strip-tease, I just stood there holding my robe. That's all I'm taking off! Just a robe! And I couldn't move. The other girls are stripping off cutesy layers and wiggling butts, and I'm frozen.  Now let me explain the outfits... mine is a little babydoll, with a bra and body shaper (cuz the babydoll is sheer) and the shaper comes down like boy-shorts, then I'm wearing fishnets and heels. On top of that I have gloves and a robe. The gloves and robe are all I remove. I stay fully covered.

Even so. I have no concept of myself as "sexy". And this tease is all about the sexy. I can't even pretend sexy! They're stripping and dancing and all I want to do is run around behind them, grab up their discarded clothes and put them on! I don't feel good about myself in this arena. Dressed up, I can feel pretty comfortable. I've worked hard for my body, and I can wear clothes that complement that. But this strip tease stuff? Not so much. And I'm just breaking to pieces. The pressure I'm putting on myself is so much that I'm sure I'll just shatter any moment. I'm crying all the time! That's not me. And something has got to give.

I spoke with the instructor after class, I apologized, but explained that I just can't do this. She was very sweet about it but asked me to wait to make a final decision, and she'd work on some simple choreography for my "tease"; but that if I still wasn't comfortable, that it would be ok to bow out. Ok. What can it hurt to wait another week or so?

I pulled an Ostrich and just stuck my head in the sand. If I don't think about it, I can't stress about it. So I didn't. Mostly. I will finish the class. I will finish what I started. I may or may not get up on stage. I may or may not fall off the stage. Whatever. If I finish, I win. If I don't finish, the whole thing was a waste of time, an exercise in futility. And to be quite honest, I've gone through (and put myself through) too much hell to just quit.


Wednesday , 8/12/09: I've taken advantage of an open schedule and have been hitting the gym twice a day... morning for cardio, afternoon for lifting. Food's been really good. My back has been killing me, though and I finally decided to try a massage... my gym has a masseuse, and I had my first ever. WOW! I was missin' out!! When I left her office, I had more mobility in my neck than I've had in years! And my back... just WOW! Amazing! Kara Jones of Performance Massage is just incredible! Again, WOW!

Class rehearsal tonight. Still not thinking about it.


Thursday , 8/13/09: As promised, Julianna (the MYLF instructor) had prepared some simple choreography for me. Before we started rehearsal, she pulled me aside and walked me through it. It's great, no doubt about it, and maybe I can pull it off. Some of our group choreography changed slightly due to the stage at the club, and that gave me an excuse to feel shaky and unprepared.

I'm the last one in, and the first one off the stage. And I'm a freakin' wreck. My "just don't think about it" isn't cutting it for the long haul. I'm so damn scared. The show is next thursday.


Monday , 8/17/09: I woke up Saturday morning and had an epiphany :-)  I've been ripping myself up over this show, asking myself what I was thinking, why was I doing this. Well, I figured it out. Finally.

Back in October when I hit my lowest weight, what I really wanted to do was compete in a figure competition. It seemed like the next logical step for me in my weight loss / fitness journey. My mentor and fitness idol, Tabitha, had competed and placed and it was something I wanted to be able to do, to gain confidence, to be challenged. However, with the amount of loose skin I was left with, competing wasn't an option. And while I don't know that I would have done it, to have the option taken away was a crushing disappointment. Tab and I talked at the time about finding something else that could be my "competition", but didn't come up with anything and let it drop.

All this time later, the MYLF workshop is that substitution. It pushes me, it's outside my comfort zone, it requires training & excellent nutrition to look good in the costume, and completing it would boost my confidence. I wish I had realized it before! What a difference it makes to my perspective, my attitude... and my tear ducts! It's my challenge, not my cross! It's my competition, not my punishment.

I am now determined to not only survive this experience, but to thrive in the process... I fully plan to ROCK it! :-)  Cross your fingers that I don't break anything or anyone! LOL!

Wednesday , 8/19/09: Food's been totally on the fly this week, but still super-clean. Probably am not getting enough calories, but better clean than not. My cardio and strength training are on track, good thing, as I have to get into a little negligee tomorrow night on stage. Am I still stressed? U betcha! I'm terrified. Trying to just focus on the details and not think about the actual performance aspect. Practicing all the moves, going over it again and again, getting the music "into" my head, preparing the costume... anything but think about the stage and the people out there watching. It seriously tweaks my brain to think about it. I think I'd be better if I didn't know anyone in the audience, ya know? If it's just strangers, then hey - whatever. But with people I know out there...  if I screw up, I'll never live it down. And I'm sure I'll screw something up, maybe many something's, after all, I'm not a professional so it's sure to happen. I just want to do the choreography, not fall off the stage, not knock anyone else off, not injure myself, and really... not make a fool of myself. Doesn't seem too much to ask, does it? lol. Still trying to figure out how to not worry about making a fool of myself. That's really my big fear. And I want to enjoy this, not just survive it. Final rehearsal is this evening, then we have a quick on-stage run-through tomorrow at 8pm. Show begins at 10. Scandalesque will do their opening number, then it'll be us MYLF's, then the rest of Scandalesque's show. Damn, there's that panic tickle again... on to thinking about something else to distract me....

Thursday , 8/20/09: Today is the day. Deeeeeeep breaths! Rehearsal last night was horrible! Lol! Really bad! But I figure, in Theater, when dress rehearsal goes badly, the opening night show is a smash. Crossing all my fingers! :-)  Last night I sat on my boa again... not good when you reach to throw it and it's stuck! Then, as if that wasn't a "me" enough move... well, having completely lost my boobs... I had gone out and bought the industrial size (lol) inserts for my bra... and during my dreaded strip tease... yep! You guessed it! One of those suckers plopped right out and onto the floor! OMG! It was hilarious! I figure if nothing else, I'll be the comic relief. :-)

Today I'm focusing on relaxing, getting loose, and staying sane. I'll practice-practice-practice, then hit the gym and do some cardio just to burn off some nervous energy.

Wish me luck!

Scandalesque Event
The Cherry Lounge & Pit

On another note... when I was driving to my class on Saturday, I heard this song... it's been out for a while, but I'd never bothered to listen to it. As I drove toward my fear,  the words really hit me...

I can almost see it - That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying - "You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking - Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction - My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying - Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing - The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down - But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it  - But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah - Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong - Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

Miley Cyrus : The Climb
Songwriters: Alexander, J; Mabe, J;


Friday , 8/21/09: It's Done!!! I did it!!! Wooohooo! And I feel good about it! During our on-stage rehearsal... I was a wreck! I was missing easy moves, and I fell down! But I thought, "Whatever!" and just moved forward. During the show, I missed steps and a bunch of little choreography faux pas... but I just laughed and kept going. It was fun! Super stressful, but fun! I feel like the weight of the world is OFF my shoulders! Wooohoo! I'll post more later....  Here's the pics and video!!


Monday , 8/24/09: Wow! I was flying high all weekend long! The emotion & adrenaline surge started to wane last night and I got tired! I still feel like I could sleep  a few more days, lol. 

I am so glad I didn't quit! While I was hoping to gain some confidence, I think deep down I didn't believe it would really work... it did. I truly feel different... definitely more confident, more powerful, more feminine... and the biggy... I feel skinny! For the first time, I looked in the mirror this weekend and DIDN'T see fat-me! It's the most amazing thing!

I had a follow up class on Saturday, and we did our conditioning (I'm still sore!), then more dancing & fun choreography (yeah, did you ever think I'd link the words 'fun' and 'choreography' together in a sentence?)... then she did the circle again.  [For those of you who didn't read my previous post, the circle is when one by one, each of us enters the center then dances sexy to the music playing while the other girls cheer you on. The first time I simply couldn't do it and cried throughout.]  Well.... I did it! I didn't do much more than wiggle my hips, but I got in there, I moved, I laughed, and I DIDN'T CRY!  Then I had to take a turn at "follow the leader" dancing 'sexy' through the studio while the other girls had to copy my moves. Woohoo! Growth!!

I seriously am stunned by the huge difference in how I feel. NOT that I want to do it again, mind you, but... WOW! I feel so good! :-)

So... what did I learn throughout this class?
That I'm stronger than my fear.
That I'm more than I thought I was.
That the only hold the past has on me is what I allow.
That it doesn't take rhythm or coordination to have fun or be sexy.
That no matter what someone looks like, or dances like... we all have problems.
That I'm not fat.
That growth is painful, but can also offer fun.
That getting on a stage in a negligee is scary.
That getting on a stage in a negligee is freeing.
That seeing stunned pride on my husband's face is an amazing thing that makes me feel beautiful and causes all the pain of the process to fade to the background.
That I like who I am today, more than yesterday.
That I'm excited to discover who I'll be tomorrow.
That I don't want to stop growing, no matter how painful the journey.


Thursday , 8/27/09: I've taken the whole week off from the gym... and I don't feel guilty! There's a major step of growth! I've just been relaxing, still eating smart, but not obsessing over exercise. It's been nice, but I'm definitely ready to get back in.

On a family-related note, one of my kids just had a growth removed and biopsied.. we're waiting for the lab results. Very stressful, and scary. I'm sure it's nothing, but my feverish brain keeps going places I don't want to visit. Another good reason to get back in the gym... I can't obsess and workout at the same time :-) Lol.

I'm debating over my next "challenge". Have some options, but not sure yet which direction I'll go... keep ya posted! :-)



Wednesday, 9/2/09: Family update: biopsy results are back and the growth was benign. Yay!!!

We took Joey to Eloy to the indoor skydiving facility on Sunday. Wow! That was really, really neat! Photos and video are up. It looked so darn fun!

My food is clean, my exercise is nil. Next week I can really get back into the routine and I know my energy level will go back up. Now if I can just make it to next week... lol. I am doing some basic yoga at home, but I'm really missing my cardio and lifting. Life can be so chaotic that sometimes I feel like I'm just losing control, it's just slipping through  my fingers. Usually when I feel this way, I head to the gym, but an unusual set of circumstances has made that impossible this week, and I'm feeling the loss of my usual outlet. I'm trying to just focus on what's really important, keep my diet clean (extra clean, actually, to help counterbalance the lack of gym time), and flow with the current. This week will soon be over, and next week will have challenges of its own. It will be my task to manipulate the situations and schedule to ensure that my needs are met, too.

Thursday, 9/3/09: I've just come across an iTunes podcast about the value of Exotic Dance classes. I've only watched about half of the first episode (they're video podcasts) but I am amazed to discover (ha, there's that ego!) that so many other women have taken the journey and found growth and freedom in it, too. If you want to check it out, visit the iTunes store and search for The Art of Exotic Dance, or just click on the link. They also have a website, and you can check to see if they offer classes in your area.

I just realized how close I am to my one-year goal anniversary! Wow! On my birthday next month, it will be one year since I hit my current weight. I've maintained it within 5 pounds for nearly an entire year! Woohoo!  That'll keep me motivated! Lol!

Food is still on the fly. Didn't have an opportunity to grocery shop & food prep last sunday, so I've been making do. I'm discovering it's actually easier than I thought. Although the person at the seafood counter might look at you funny, it is ok to ask for just 8 shrimp, lol. I just toss them on a salad, add my sprouted wheat & sunflower seeds, low-fat feta, squeeze a little lemon over it all and... Lunch! Breakfast has been egg beaters nuked with Kashi fiesta rice and topped with taco sauce. Snacks have been fresh fruit that I pick up from the grocery store on my lunch break.

I'm still probably way too low on calorie intake, but since my activity level is also low, I'm going to just keep making sure I'm getting balanced, clean meals. Sunday I can shop & prepare for a new week.

On another note, I've updated the Burlesque page, to give more information and better links.

Tuesday, 9/8/09: Wooooohooooo! My body fat percentage dropped! I have no idea why (or when, since I haven't gotten on the scale in 3 weeks). I've been fighting that darned body fat percentage for over a year. At 5'2" and 125 pounds there's just no way I should have 28% body fat. It's been so frustrating! But two days in a row (I checked it a second day to be sure it wasn't a fluke) it's down to 25.8%.   Keep dropping!!!!

Wednesday, 9/9/09: No cardio/workout today :-(  It's bowling day, so I'll be rushing home from the office to change & grab my bag and run back out the door. I've already got dinner in my cooler, so I'm good to go. I have one of my buffalo wraps in there... red chili tortilla with spicy mustard, baby spinach, shredded cabbage, sprouted sunflower seeds & wheat, reduced fat feta cheese, cucumber, red pepper, green onion, hmmm... what else is on there? Oh! Grilled Buffalo. Lol.

Lunch was salad made up of: baby spinach, shredded cabbage, a handful of "mixed salad in a bag", chopped carrots, yellow peppers, golden beets, radishes, and grilled pork, then sprinkled with lemon juice.  My afternoon snack was a siggi's Icelandic yogurt. If you haven't tried Siggi's, give it a whirl! They're really good (similar in texture to greek yogurt), and the balance of carbs and  protein is fantastic, plus they're really, really low in sugar, are no-fat, and have no artificial anythings!! They're available at Whole Foods.

Breakfast was a red chili tortilla with a hard boiled egg, salsa, baby spinach, sprouted sunflower seeds & wheat, shredded cabbage, and feta.  Then my midmorning snack was a cup of fresh fruit, two Ry Krisp crackers, a hard boiled egg and string cheese.

Can ya tell I'm kinda on a wrap roll? lol! I'm just finding it easier this week to do up wraps for breakfast and lunch than worry about bowls, plates, steamer bags, etc. And I can make them several at a time, toss them in baggies and use them as I need them. Wraps - Good.  Stress - Bad.

I made a spaghetti squash and big batch of spaghetti sauce w/meat & veggies, so I've been eating that the last few nights. I don't know if it has something to do with the season, but the spaghetti squash tastes much sweeter than usual. Odd, but still tastes good, so whatever.

I've also got a big container of shredded chicken from the crockpot so when I run out of buffalo and pork, I'm ready to switch over to chicken :-) Feels good to have finally gotten all my food prep done and have stuff ready to go in the fridge. Makes my mornings (and evenings) so much smoother.

Friday, 9/11/09: I'm sore! Woohoo! Lifted for the first time in a few weeks! Felt good, but I could definitely tell I'd lost some strength :-(  But, the important thing is that I'm back in and on track.  Did 20 minutes of  intervals on the stair-master, then I did upper body & light abs. Today will be another 20 minutes of cardio and then lower body.

Glad I charged my iPod shuffle! Gonna need those tunes to keep me moving today!

Food's been right on the money this week. I had allowed myself to drop back down to waaaay-too-low calorie intake, so this week I've been focused on getting between 1200-1400 cal/day. I'm doing it, and (ha ha) the scale shows it. I'm up a couple pounds. But that'll melt off probably next week as I maintain my diet & exercise. It's just a transitional thing, so I'm not worried. Or at least not right now. :-)

Monday, 9/14/09: This weekend was mostly horrible with a moment of shining cool-ness. For those of you who know what's happening in our lives right now, you understand that weekends are incredibly hard on me. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, suffice it to say that September needs to go away. I'm ready for October when schedules return to normal.  All this on top of financial issues, skipped paychecks and APS shut-off notices... it's not been fun. (And APS is now paid. For now.) I know there are so many of us struggling with this economy right now. It's hard. Really hard. I feel you. 

I am, however, getting some small projects done around the house. Nothing major, just little things that build up... spot cleaning carpet (and ha, now I have clean spots instead of dirty spots - LOL), clearing out junk, cleaning off counters that have become catch-alls. That kinda thing.

My one shining moment this weekend happened Sunday when I finally drug my lazy, depressed and completely unmotivated butt into the gym. I took Shiloh, Bethany and Bethy's friend Amber. We did cardio then lower body, then abs along with stretching. While we were working, a woman shyly came over to me and asked if I train people there at the gym all the time. (WHAT???!!! Me??) When I explained that I  wasn't a trainer, was just working with my kids, her face just fell, and she said "Oh, I was going to ask you to train me." Then she turned and ran away. I felt like I'd kicked her puppy, she was so disappointed. And wow, what a shock! Someone thought I looked good enough/taught good enough to be a personal trainer? Holy Cow! That was a moment! Even my kids were excited!  It was a major compliment and a really high point for me. I just wish she hadn't run away! I wanted to invite her to join us, and give her Tabitha's business card. I tell you, it really took me by surprise.

Further, I got a really good workout in.  Managed to burn 764 calories in 90 minutes, even with many pauses to set up the kids and keep their form correct. I'm sore today, woohoo! But I'm also still really struggling against the depression. Just wanna curl up in a ball and let the world go on by. I hate, hate, hate feeling this way. Somehow I've gotta kick my own ass back into gear. This is not me, and I have to take control. Life sucks sometimes, but I'm in charge of my reactions to it. It's not enough to take the steps and do what needs to be done. I need to get out of this funk.

anger and sorrow
spiraling down to despair.
drain of energy,
become lack of motion.
pain, loneliness
nothing left to shatter.
treading, drowning
as the waters ebb
and flow.
circle and cycle,
standing, bowing, broken

Chelle.Stafford 2009


Tuesday, 9/15/09: Did my cardio yesterday, too sore to do abs, lol. But I did 20 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill, 5 min cool-down, then another 10 of intervals on the stairmaster.  I was so sore that the stretching portion of my gym time was heaven. :-)  Food choices are excellent this week so far, but too low in calories (again). I've gotta get that area consistent. Today will be cardio, upper body and abs (though my abs are still sore, so I may go light abs, we'll see).

Stress is a bitch, and especially for women, adds belly fat via Cortisol. I'm trying to keep myself on an even keel, but haven't been successful.

The last thing I need when my whole life is in this horrid limbo is to be adding belly fat... kinda adding insult to injury, right? So I'm doing what I can to combat it. I'm doing my cardio, my lifting, eating clean, and I'm also taking vitamin C after my workouts. Vitamin C helps reduce Cortisol levels in the blood. (Cortisol levels increase during exercise).  I'm not seeing an increase in belly fat, so hopefully my efforts are working there. I've also started taking CLA... been on that about 2 weeks now. Fighting fat with fat :-) And drinking lots of water... flushing water weight with water... seems contradictory and self defeating, but both (fat & water) methods are proven. I'm also drinking a lot of Green Tea. I brew up a big batch and keep it in the fridge. The caffeine is much lower (30mg vs 90mg in a cup of coffee) so I've cut back on my coffee.  Trying to just focus on making the right choices at the right time, and trusting things to work out.

Thursday, 9/17/09: Yesterday was rest day. No cardio, no lifting. Today I'll be doing 20min of cardio and then abs and stretching. I've incorporated some yoga & pilates into my stretching, thanks to Julianna's teaching during the Burlesque class. I'm really enjoying it and getting good deep stretches. I'm also working toward lengthening my hamstrings so I can be more flexible.

Food-wise, I'm a bit weak today... grabbing food on the run, but the choices are good. Probably too low in calories again, though. Can't wait to get paid so I can go grocery shopping and get my food prep back on track!

So far today... 2 cups coffee, green tea, water. 1 pork tenderloin wrap (red chili tortilla, brown mustard, baby spinach, pork, sprouted sunflower seeds & reduced-fat feta); 1 apple. I've got a siggi's yogurt in the fridge here at work, then I'm going to have to run out for lunch and find something. I do NOT like being unprepared! Grr.

Monday, 9/21/09: Start of the new week, but since I didn't get paid till this afternoon, I wasn't able to grocery shop or do any food prep. Oy!  Soon as I got my check I ran to the bank to deposit it then straight to the grocery store. The apple for breakfast didn't go far. Grabbed a salad and some grilled chicken, and a grapefruit cup. Plus some cooked shrimp & a couple hard boiled eggs and another apple for later. Hitting the gym after work, then I can run to the store and grab some staples for the kids... bread, eggs, etc. I will be soooo very glad when this financial situation stabilizes.

Did legs and light cardio with Shiloh over the weekend, today I think will be cardio & abs. Tomorrow will be upper body.

Tuesday, 9/22/09: Hmm. Ok. So, no gym yesterday, however I did go grocery shopping. Yay! Food's good today. And I WILL be hitting the gym. Must do cardio! Looking forward to lunch out...joining Bill as soon as we can decide what sounds good. I'm itching to try True Food, at Biltmore but I think my chances of talking Bill into that are less than slim to none. Lol.

Wednesday, 9/23/09: Yep, no chance of talking Bill into True Food. Lol. Oh Well. Ended up at Rock Bottom... I had the Ahi and salad. Completed my cardio, abs & so on last night, so I'm on track. Today's a rest day. Gonna hit it hard tomorrow.

Thursday, 9/24/09: Schedule today is going to be nuts. Gotta grab hold early today to make sure I get everything done. Also this weekend, we're trying to knock out the Homecoming shopping. Now I feel really old, LOL. Ah, high school. I remember. And yeah, it's all about the dress. 

Monday, 9/28/09: Another nasty weekend. What's that they say about the best laid plans? Yeah. 

On another note, shopping & food prep are done so I'm good to go for the week, and so far today, I'm right on track.

An an entirely other note... I am now in an all out war with one of my greatest vices. Smoking. Yep. Today is day one of the Patch. And it's a bitch. Ironically, I'm not "needing" a cigarette, but the habit is all up in my face. It's hard. What's really difficult right now is that my skin is itching like crazy! The skin under the patch periodically warms up then starts to burn & sting, but the rest of my skin is just ITCHY! Argh! This is not fun. But, and it may just be psychological, I feel like I'm breathing easier.

I'm not doing "replacement therapy" or anything like that.  Just the patch. Since my food lifestyle is already under control, I'm hoping that I won't be gaining weight as I quit smoking. That's really my big fear in this. BIG FEAR.  And to be totally honest, I'm completely wigged out right now.

Tuesday, 9/29/09: Ok, I know it's pathetic. But I am laid low by a broken nail. Yes, I said broken nail. I'm thinking it was not a straw, but a broken nail that broke the camel's back... there, now I feel slightly less pathetic. Too much going on, too much stress and worry... not enough outlet. No "me-time".   And this damn nicotine patch is making me itch! Still!!

My food is good. But now I'm not drinking enough water. When does the day arrive when all the components are balanced and working properly. When will I have it all together?? It seems like it should be brainless for me to do this all correctly, but I'm constantly stumbling over one thing or another. I'm frustrated.

Wednesday, 9/30/09: New fun site to check out... someone referred me to this and it looks like a great resource, haven't gotten in there and played with it yet, but basically you tell it what you have in your fridge/pantry and it will give you a "healthy" recipe to make.  If anyone tries it, drop me a line and let me know what you think!

Day 3 of the Patch. "Remember, smoking doesn't kill people. People who are trying to quit smoking kill people."

Hit the gym last night. No cardio, just lifting. It was upper body day, and wowzer, I'm sore today! That's a good thing. Helps keep my mind of my itching skin.



Thursday, 10/1/09: Is it really October already? Wow! 4 more days till my life returns to some semblance of normality! Woohoo!

Today is day 4 of the Patch. I think the itchiness is getting worse! I can barely sit still today because  I just want to scratch the skin right off my body! My arms, back, legs, neck... even my face is itching! I am not supposed to be punished for quitting smoking! Argghhhhh! I'm putting on lotion like crazy, but it's not helping.

On another note, here we are in October and I'm just 23 days away from hitting One Year of weight maintenance! A good time to look back and remember. And guess what? I can do the hard things. I can succeed. I can reach goals, even goals I am afraid to set. And weight isn't the bottom line. I weigh the same as I did last October, but I'm in better shape, my muscle is more developed, my body "tighter". It's a real motivation to keep it up!

What have I learned over the last year?

Success doesn't equal happiness or satisfaction. Ha, didn't see that coming, did you?  Seriously though. I achieved a weight I didn't think I could, and didn't believe I could maintain. But I've done both. Still, my body issues didn't magically go away when I hit a size 0. My size, my weight, had little to do with the deep-rooted unhappiness I had with myself. Losing weight, getting in shape didn't solve it. My journey toward self-acceptance, even self-love has continued and will continue.

Maintenance is just as hard as losing the weight.  I thought that once I'd lost the weight, I would easily maintain my new body. The truth is that adjusting to maintenance, and getting out of the "I have to lose 2lbs this week" mindset was frustratingly difficult. It wasn't that long ago that I was out enjoying lunch with Tabitha when I mentioned I wanted to get a Body Bugg.  Tab leaned across the table, smacked me in the head and said, "What the *&%$# are you thinking? You don't need to lose any more weight! You're THERE!" Lol! It was a moment! Thank the gods for true friends that aren't afraid to smack a reality check into you! And truly, it's only been since the burlesque show that I'm fighting that mindset less often.

I will not wake up tomorrow and be back at my starting weight. I know this is true. I still fight it. I still have a paralyzing fear that if I have a cheat/treat today, I will wake up fat tomorrow. While I know this is unhealthy (duh), in the meantime, I am using it to keep me motivated and moving forward. I also know that I won't always feel this way (if that is not true, please no one disabuse me of the notion, it gives me hope).

I can do things I never thought I could. Never, ever, have I felt slim & sexy. Not even when I was slim before. I never thought I would... or could.  But this year, I learned an important lesson about "sexy"... it's all in my head. The burlesque class and show really helped me break out of my shell and discover that I could feel sexy, I could do choreography (without injury!), and I could do these things while having fun.  And in a strange and twisted way, it lead to my belief that I CAN quit smoking... and now I am.

Skinny people don't have perfect lives. I don't feel skinny, but I've had enough people tell me I am that I feel confident in using the word to describe myself here. I used to think that "skinny" or "in-shape" people had it all figured out. They don't. I don't. I'm the same person now that I was when I was fat. The key for me, is that I can no longer blame my weight or my shape for my problems. Now I have to identify the root(s) of my issue(s) and deal with them. Let me tell you, it was easier to say, "it wouldn't be like this if I wasn't fat". And by the way, growth hurts. One of my favorite sayings is "What doesn't kill you, doesn't kill you."  I saw another the other day that I liked... "What doesn't kill you will leave a scar."  Skinny or fat, we all have scars, and growth is a choice. It's a choice I'm trying to make every day.


Friday, 10/2/09: Happy, Happy Birthday to my sister, Stacey!!!  Love you, Sis!!!!

Tuesday, 10/6/09: Day 9 of the Patch!! Still itching, but not smoking. Bill started the patch yesterday, too! Woohoo! He laughs at my manic knitting, but I think he's starting to "get it"... gotta have something to do with the hands. Too easy to reach for the cigs.

Food is good. Was able to do my shopping and prep on Sunday so I'm good to go. I LOVE being able to just reach into the fridge and grab what I need then toss it in my cooler. Really makes life easier. And the kids like having all their wrap or pizza toppings already chopped and ready to go. Lol. We made mini pizzas the other night (see recipe page - Easy Pizzas) and Bethany wanted to make hers like mine, "the healthy ones, Mom."  LOL! Works for me! We put so many veggies on them that they're kinda (ok, really) messy, but they're sooo good! :-)  And I love that they're so full of protein and healthy carbs! (I know, I sound like a dork, but it really helps to know that the "good" food I'm eating tastes so good, too.

I'm getting my workouts in. Little soft on legs, but I've compensated by doing more Yoga & Pilates stuff. The girls (Shi & Bethy) are discovering a new respect for things that look easy, but aren't. Ha! And I'm seeing a big difference in my balance and flexibility.  Yay! Even Bill mentioned it last night when he saw me doing my stretches.

Anyone else gearing up for Halloween? It's my favorite holiday! I'm doing Marilyn Monroe this year. I'm excited! We're really busy as a family this month... Joey turns 18 on the 15th, then my birthday (39!!) is on the 24th, then Shiloh turns Sweet 16 on the 28th... then Halloween!

If anyone is looking for some fun recipes & drinks for Halloween, Fine Living has a GREAT collection here. The Bloody Brain Shooter looks fun, but I just don't think I could choke that one down! Lol!

Thursday, 10/8/09: Day 11 of the Patch!! Itching has finally stopped. I'm doing great on the patch, no cravings. It's when I'm bored that I think about smoking, but my knitting is keeping that at bay. Trying to keep my mind focused and my hands under control. It would be nice if I wasn't doing this alone (quitting smoking) but I'm re-discovering an inner strength I had forgotten I had. So maybe it's not such a bad thing.

I was ready to quit, ready to make the change. It's my choice, and doesn't mean others are ready to make that choice so I have to learn to accept that. I can do this, and I AM doing this.  To date, I have NOT smoked 16.5 packs of cigarettes.  :-)   A box of 14 patches is 22 dollars at Wal-Mart... a pack of smokes is $5.50. When I hit day 14, I will have spent $22 as opposed to $115.50 based on my previous pack and a half per day habit. Holy cow!

I'm light on gym time this week, which I'm not happy about. I've got a lot going on, things that are stressing me out and I want to be in the gym... it's my escape, my release valve, but that's just not happening. Sure I could get up even earlier and go, but since I'm working on little sleep, I don't think that's a healthy choice for me.  So I'm focusing on keeping my food clean and just getting through the days. Ironically, I had really looked forward to this week. My life was supposed to get back on track, on a personal /home level, but that's only becoming more crazed. It's not under my control, so I'm struggling to deal with it. Fighting to hold onto my inner-focus and peace. I cannot control the people around me, only my responses to them. I cannot change the actions of people in my life, only strive to rise above. It's hard to even try when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry. It really sucks to be hurt. It's hard to be confused. It's much easier to be angry, but I don't want that to take over. I don't want to be angry. <sigh> Sometimes I detest personal growth. lol.

Monday, 10/12/09: Day 15 of the Patch!! I'm down to Level 2. Woohoo! That's 22.5 packs of cigarettes I have NOT smoked! Sure adds up quick! I've noticed a big difference in my cardio. Haven't had to use my inhaler!

I found the coolest cake for Joey's 18th birthday! I went to Whole Foods for part of my grocery shopping and in the bakery window (NO, I was not drooling over the baked goods, I was getting pitas & tortillas, lol) they had this wonderfully detailed werewolf! It's so cool! Great big fangs! I'll take a pic tonight and post it, because it really is the coolest cake!  Shiloh and Bethy are in CA for this week (fall break), so with just Joey & Ariel at home, it's really quiet. Bethany constantly has something social going on, and Shiloh is deeply entrenched in Tech Theater right now getting ready for the next production, so it's weird to not have to schedule around the various pick-ups.

Got all my shopping, food prep & cooking done yesterday. I'm good to go for the week. Even made up a batch of spaghetti sauce so all I have to do is boil pasta for whoever is home (I've got spaghetti squash for me).  I did a beef stew in the crock pot last night that bombed... BIG. Yuck. Chalk that one up to a failed experiment... it's now dog food.

I'm 2 weeks from my birthday goal (to be same weight as last year) and while I'd have to hit the bakery counter pretty hard to not reach my goal, I'm still going to be in the gym a lot this week. Cardio & weights. Of course, because I can't do anything easy, I went running this weekend and really messed up my shins. Stupid! Really Stupid. Ever do something so stupid you just can't believe it was you? Well, running like I did was the LEAST of my stupid moves this weekend. Nothing like kicking your own ass, is there? Now all I can do is wait for the debris to clear and move forward. Personal relationships are a freaking minefield. Maybe I'll invest in some kevlar. Remember what I said last week about not being able to control those around you, just having control over yourself? Yeah, well, I forgot that last part. Dumb. I hate making stupid mistakes. No matter how much someone hurts me, it's never a good idea to strike back. Never. I need to duct tape my mouth shut. Maybe someday I'll grow up and be  a bigger person. Damn.

Tuesday, 10/13/09: Day 16 of the Patch!! The level 2 is smaller than the other patch, but for some reason it makes my skin even redder! Weird. But no itching!

I snapped a shot of Joey's birthday cake. Just click on the photo and you can see it enlarged. Great detail!

Hit the gym yesterday and got 30min in on the stair master, followed by 30min of upper body, then stretching. Food is great, right in line with where I should be. Water intake, not so much. Still working on that. 

Wednesday, 10/14/09: Day 17 of the Patch!!

Food and exercise are on track. However, since I did weights two days in a row (upper body on monday and lower body tuesday) I'm sore today! Glad it's a rest day! Oh, and note to all gym-goers... If you walk close behind someone who is obviously doing plyometrics (and has been doing them for 15 minutes), you WILL be kicked, probably in the face. And no, I won't feel a bit bad about it.

Still fighting this damn body fat percentage. It's back up to 27% and that's just not right. Shouldn't be that high. I'm still taking CLA, and was told yesterday that it takes 6-8 weeks to see results from that... lovely. My weight is good, and I feel strong, just don't know why that body fat won't go down. I know I shouldn't obsess, but I guess I wouldn't be me if I didn't.

Thursday, 10/15/09: Joey's 18th Birthday!! Yay! Happy, Happy Birthday, Joey! Let's eat cake!

And day 18 of the patch. :-) Doing well there. Today I've been fighting the urge for a cigarette, but I don't think it's for any reason other than I'm just really stressed. And since I don't have any cigs, I can't break down and smoke one.

I had planned to hit the gym today after work, like my normal thursday routine, but since I have to work around Joey's social life (LOL), I'm going to miss today's workout. I think that's ok, though, my lower body is so sore, I have no idea how I'd manage my cardio.

Note to self... do not follow up a Tuesday killer leg day with a Wednesday bowling night. The result is a greatly inhibited ability to move freely on Thursday. LOL.  Ouch.

Monday, 10/19/09: Day 22 of The Patch! Still goin' strong! Bill is off the patch and is using a product called Vapor. It's actually pretty darn cool. They're electronic cigarettes with nicotine cartridges in high, medium, low and no-nicotine levels. They "smoke" just like a cig, but it's a fog... no chemicals. He says it feels just like smoking a cigarette, so it meets the need without inhaling all those nasty chemicals and junk. I haven't tried it because I've been working so hard to break the "habit" that I'm afraid if I do try one, I'll go right back to needing to "smoke" (even though it's w/out bad chemicals & tar & stuff). I think I'll just keep knitting my ugly blanket. I've got 3 different colors and types of yarn in it now, getting ready to start the 4th... and let me tell you... it's REALLY ugly! Lol! 

Tuesday, 10/20/09: Day 23 of The Patch! And gearing up for that one-year anniversary of weight maintenance! Just a few days away now! Then once that's past, I'll have a week to get ready for Halloween! Yeah, I know, I'm obsessive. It's not like I'll really gain 70 pounds in a week, but still, I don't want to just let go and splurge for a week then find that my Marilyn dress is too tight or whatever. I do NOT want to have to wear spanx for Halloween! While they are a wonderful, incredible, must-have invention (and yes, I own some), I currently don't need them, and as long as I stay eating clean and working out, I won't have to wear 'em in order for my costume to look right. That's the goal.

Notice that I'm skipping straight on over the whole birthday thing? Yeah, that's this weekend, too... it's actually the 1-yr anniversary. Think I'll focus on weight maintenance success instead of getting older. Lol.

Wednesday, 10/21/09: Day 24 of The Patch! That's 36 un-smoked packs of cigarettes!

Feeling good about hitting my goal on Saturday. Not gonna stress out over it anymore. I'm really, really excited about what I've accomplished over the last year. I've maintained my weight, my clean-eating, my workouts... and while I've had amazing support and encouragement from Tab, I have NOT had a trainer since March. So I've actually managed to really learn the lessons she taught me and make them part of my life. :-) This is a good thing. I've been thinking a lot about where I want to go next... as far as my fitness level. Still not quite sure, but I do know that I'm NEVER going back!

Trying to find something to do for my birthday. Blah. Already hit the state fair and that was a mega-bust (even though it was dollar day, admission was overpriced, lol). Not a whole lot going on in Arizona this weekend. Found a couple Farmer's Markets I would like to visit, but that's not going to go over well with the hubby. Maybe go up to Camp Verde to Cliff Castle. My fav geriatric Rockers are playing this weekend... Ratt, Dokken and Great White. Lol. Other than that, there is a serious lack of events this weekend. Bummer. 

I did a power workout yesterday for upper body... my current upper body workout, minus rest periods. I blew through a 50 minute workout in 35 minutes and have never been so grateful for stretch time! LOL! My biceps, triceps and back are already making themselves known... I'm guessing I'll be uber-sore tomorrow. Lol.

Saturday, 10/24/09: It's HERE!! One year of successful weight maintenance!! Yes!!!! Ok, it's also my birthday. Lol. Had a great day; last night Bill and I had dinner at Carlsbad Tavern (AWESOME restaurant!), then just chilled and watched the Transformer movies. Today, we hit the Farmer's Market, then Fashion Square. Bill hates the mall, but once a year he'll suffer in silence :-)   I celebrated with a few pieces of Godiva and a cookie from Tammie Coe, and of course that sinful dinner last night. Tonight was stuffed squash (acorn & pumpkin) and salad. Had to do something healthy after my treat-meal last night, and that cookie! Lol! 

I've also posted some new "after" photos... taken on my birthday - One year of weight maintenance!

Monday, 10/26/09: I'm so excited!!! Rodale Publishers just contacted me and want to include my story in their brochure for Women's Health Magazine!!!  Here's what they said:

Rodale is designing a new promotional brochure for Women's Health magazine and the editors have selected your profile and photos to be included. The brochure will not be available to the general public but will instead be sent to a select number of people at no charge to promote the sale of the magazine .

Please print and sign the attached release..... 

How cool is that???  I've just celebrated a year of weight maintenance, and then I get that email! Wooooohooooo!  They offered to send me a copy of the brochure, so I'll post it here when I get it. :-)

Tuesday, 10/27/09: Last day of the Patch!  Wooohoo!  Tomorrow is Shiloh's Sweet 16! And the opening night of the play that she is stage-manager for.

I did another power-workout yesterday... no rest. Wow, it's a doozy! My arms felt like noodles all night! Lol. Today will be legs and abs.

Food... Little low on intake today, but high on protein so I think it'll balance out. So far I've had egg-beaters with fiesta rice and a string cheese, then lunch is my buffalo salad (click on photo to view).

It's funny, people always comment on a) how much food I eat, and b) how good it looks! Can't accuse me of "being on a diet", LOL! The recipe is on my Recipes page, if you're interested.

Wednesday, 10/28/09: Shiloh's Sweet 16! Happy Birthday!!!! It's also opening night of her play at school, Rumors, in which she is stage manager :-)

Thursday, 10/29/09:  I can't decide if this week is flying by or dragging along. We've hit a really cold (for us) spell here and are loving it! 47 first thing in the morning! Nice! Perfect for cuddling :-) 

Can't wait for Saturday! I love, love, love Halloween! Just have to figure out how to do the Marilyn eyes. I'm not real talented with makeup, so I may be asking Shiloh for help, lol.

My food & workouts & cardio have all been right in line this week. I am doing another strength training today, though I haven't decided if I'll do legs or arms... Probly legs today, then arms tomorrow.



Tuesday, 11/3/09:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!

Wednesday, 11/4/09:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dorothy (my MIL)!     :-)

Thursday, 11/05/09:  Wow! It's been so crazy-busy, I haven't been able to update here! I'll have to work backwards to get it all current. Lol.

So... Halloween. Costume worked great! Bill was Elvis and I was Marilyn. It was a lot of fun (photos here).  I'm not a girly-girl, so makeup is a challenge for me. It took me forever just to do the silly beauty mark! Lol!  But it was a lot of fun to try to physically emulate someone else. Especially someone as iconic as Marilyn Monroe! And Bill was a perfect Elvis! We had so much fun with that! :-)   And I made it through my first major party/event as a non-smoker! Woohoo!

However.... I realized something on Monday. I have no new goals. I have been so focused on hitting my one-year mark, then on the Marilyn costume that I hadn't planned for afterwards... and yep, I crashed. Monday I did NOT want to go to the gym. So I didn't. My food was still good, so I didn't fall down there but there was simply no motivation to workout. I even found myself thinking, "So what if I let myself go a little soft... I can always tighten up later." WHAT??? That's dangerous thinking!!! So Tuesday, while I still had no motivation, I hit the gym, did 25min on the stairmaster with full intervals, and while I can't say my motivation came back, I at least took the right steps. I'll be in the gym again after work today, and I'll do upper body plus cardio. I WILL get back on track... whether I want to or not! Lol. But, I have to come up with some new goals. And fast!

Monday, 11/9/09:  I love how much smoother things go when I get my Sunday food prep done! Rushing from one thing to the other, trying to juggle one car between two drivers and schedules... but it's so easy to put dinner together when all the components are already done! Whew! Tonight was Schezwan Orange Spice pasta (flavored pasta from the Farmer's Market) with chicken and broccoli. The chicken was cooked on Sunday, the broccoli was chopped, popped in a steamer bag & seasoned on Sunday, too! All I had to do was boil the pasta, and nuke the broccoli. Faster than fast food! :-)  Then I was able to relax with a glass of wine, enjoy the fire, and knit away at my ugly blanket while Bill watched the game. Lol.  Speaking of... today is day 43 of no smoking. And wow, is that blanket ugly!

My food is good, all the prep done and I'm eating on schedule, but I'm seriously unmotivated to hit the gym. I'm really surprised by this. And frustrated, discouraged. I've just hit a wall and I never saw it coming. After struggling all last week with it, I've decided to just roll with it this week. I'll go to the gym, or I wont. I will, however, maintain my clean-eating. And I may cut down some carbs. I will work this week on laying out my goals, and the plan required to reach them. Then next week, I will implement said plan and I will move this mountain. I will not be defeated by myself.

Tuesday, 11/10/09:  So here's what I learned when I fell flat on my face... always have a goal. No matter what you've  accomplished, don't rest on it.

Even with all I've learned, I set myself up to fail because I didn't have a plan. I focused so tightly on two goals that were time-wise only a week apart, that I didn't plan for after reaching them. I fit into a great costume and my shoulders looked the way I wanted them to, AND I hit my one-year anniversary of weight maintenance. Then I hit the wall.  I woke up November 1st and had zero motivation to exercise. ZERO. Same deal the next day, and the next. 10 days later, it's still the same. The first week I made myself go to the gym, then punished myself with grueling stairmaster cardio. Gee, that'll teach me.

This week, I'm just taking off. I'm not going to worry about it, and next week I will be back on track. I don't like feeling soft and squishy, so while my weight hasn't changed, I clearly need the regular exercise to maintain my physique.  And also clearly, I need goals. I have to stay challenged and moving forward or I stall. I need goals, and I need challenges... separate things. Goals are things like losing the weight, or maintaining the loss, or fitting into something, or wanting my shoulders to pop in an outfit, etc. Challenges are like the Burlesque class & show... stretching & growing, trying something new.

So, first... Goals

1. Drink more water. I've really fallen down with this one. I know how much I'm supposed to drink, and I'm just not doing it. Time to take control.

2. Holiday weight. I don't want any. I didn't gain any last year and I don't want to this year, either. This requires: excellent nutrition, limited treats (choose well, Chelle), and regular exercise. I will not be distracted by holiday goodies that are no good for me.

3. New Year's Eve outfit. I want a HOT outfit, and I want to look HOT in it. This requires: excellent nutrition, 2-4x/week strength training, and 3x/week cardio. I also have to find the outfit. Aw shucks, guess I'll have to go shopping... lol!

4. Reduce body fat percentage. My Tanita scale tells me I'm at 28%. By measurements, I'm 24%.  I want to be between 16 and 19%. I am uncertain exactly how to attain this goal, as I've been fighting body fat percentage for 2 years. I'll pick Tab's brain to help come up with a plan :-)   Hell or high water, in 2010 I will reach that goal.

Next, Challenges...

1. I'm running away and joining the circus.  Yes, I'm serious. Circus School of Arizona offers classes in Aerial skills... the silks, trapeze, etc. I mean seriously, folks... how friggin' cool is that?? I've already contacted the instructor and am hoping to begin in December, January at the latest. I would consider doing another MYLF/Burlesque class, especially if Julianna is teaching it, and they'll be offering the next one in January, so I'll wait and see on that.  In the meantime, Look out Circus, here comes the klutz!



Thursday, 11/12/09:  Can't believe November is almost half over! Holy cow! I need a break. Can we just go on strike and stop time?

Tuesday, 11/24/09:  November is just flying by. Thanksgiving is in 2 days! Oy! I'm struggling getting back on track with my gym-time. It's frustrating. I really enjoy my workouts, so why can't I drag my butt in there? On top of that frustration, is watching the rest of this year zip by... I feel like I can't keep up. I have a rule... I do not allow myself to listen to christmas music until AFTER Turkey day. But I'm breaking it. I realized that with all the stress of the holiday season (and a LOUSY economy) I need to hold tight to the things that I enjoy about this time of year... one of those is holiday music. So I'm crankin' out the seasonal tunes :-)  Screw the rule. I have 48 complete holiday albums, plus all the singles/compilations, but my current favorites are:

My Kind of Christmas - Christina Aguilera
JOY - Avalon
All the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums
Christmas Chillout - Crystal Theory
A New Thought For Christmas - Melissa Etheridge
Harry for the Holidays - Harry Connick, Jr.

Monday, 11/30/09:  Crazy times! Not only is the Time-Bitch putting wrinkles on my face, but she's slippin' days past me! This is the last day of November?? Holy cow! Gotta figure out how to catch her, tie her up and toss her in the basement! Wait, I don't have a basement.... hmmm, well I'll come up with something.

So my food is good... exercise not so much. But I am determined. Did upper body and cardio on saturday... super-sore today. This is good. Today will be cardio and legs. Tomorrow cardio & abs. Wednesday off. Thursday upper body & cardio. Friday cardio & abs. Saturday upper body & cardio, Sunday off.   At least that's the goal.   I got all my food prep done yesterday, even pre-made a few wraps. So far so good.  

Today I've had: banana & coffee; breakfast wrap (buffalo, cabbage, spinach, chopped red pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, green onion, feta & spicy brown mustard on a whole wheat tortilla); snack: apple & 2 hard boiled eggs; lunch: salad w/grilled pork tenderloin, baby spinach, cabbage, chopped mushroom/red pepper/zucchini/green onion, feta, avocado, tomato, sprouted sunflower seeds & lemon juice. Next snack: Siggi's icelandic yogurt & string cheese. Then it'll be gym-time, and I have a coconut water for after my workout. And dinner tonight is pizza (clean).



Thursday, 12/3/09:  Well, it's December. At least I don't get goofy looks for playing all my holiday music now. :-)  **Today is day 67 of being a non-smoker. ** My food is good. Right on track. Exercise, still not so much. I've joked to my husband that really, to get in all the cardio & strength training I want, to look the way I want, I need to just quit my job and move into the gym. No big deal, right? lol. Yeah, didn't go over so well with him, either. But between all the kids' stuff, Bill's stuff, trying to juggle everyone & everything, I keep feeling like I'm getting the short straw. By the end of my day, I'm so tired, but I know I need to hit the gym... I start heading there, then find I have to pick up kids here, or drop off this, or pick up that. Next thing I know, I don't have time for the gym.

Take yesterday. I got off work early, woohoo! 3pm. Had to go to the library to return some books. 3:30. Planned to head straight up to the gym and get in some cardio & light lifting before bowling (league), which we leave the house for at 5pm. Start driving toward the gym, when I look at the time and realize I don't HAVE time... I can't get there, change (by then it would be 4pm), workout, shower & dress and be home in time to pick up Bill (5pm) and go to the bowling alley.  I wanted to scream!! Yes, I know there are things I can do at home (and I do) but I NEED that gym time.  Other days, I get off work late, have to run by the house to pick up whichever kids are going to the gym with me, then get there only to have to rush my workouts because someone has to be somewhere by a certain time after the gym. Grr! Again, short straw. Am I grateful my girls go to the gym? YES! Do I enjoy working out with them? YES! Do I still need ME time, unhurried & alone at the gym? YES!!!! Does this make me a bad mom? NO.

Ironically, while I've been struggling to get in my gym time, I have been told that I spend too much time in the gym, that my fitness is an extreme for me, that my family is suffering because of it. Frankly, my response is, and will continue to be, BULLSHIT. My kids and my husband do not suffer because I choose to be fit and eat right. It is not a parenting-crime to not stock twinkies & soda for the children. It is also not a parenting-crime to show my kids, by the time and energy I dedicate to it, that being fit is a choice and is something that must be worked at. It's really frustrating, when I'm struggling to get my fitness back on track, to have people misjudge and criticize.

And along with that (sorry, I guess it's a rant-day), I am off track exercise wise. I've been very honest about that. I'm up a few pounds (though within my "comfort zone"), and my jeans are a bit snug. I'm frustrated and angry about it. BUT... that doesn't make me a hypocrite or a "shallow-Barbie" and it certainly doesn't give anyone the right to give me the stink-eye.  Fine, I'm a size 0 - I also busted my ass to get to that size. Yes, I weigh in the 120's - Again, ass-busting.  People who look at me and say things like, "you have nothing to complain about, I'd kill for your body," those people don't get it. It's just as hard for me to lose 4 pounds as it is for anyone else. In fact, for thin people, it's actually HARDER! And just because I'm not carrying around an extra 60 pounds doesn't mean I have to enjoy the muffin-top, and it doesn't prohibit me from complaining about it or working to get rid of it.  And hey, here's a news-flash, just because someone is smaller, doesn't mean they don't struggle! Body issues don't go away when you lose weight!!!

Whew, I guess I needed to get that out. Yikes! Okay, onward and upward. I am, of this moment, shaking off the critics, and unashamedly refocusing on myself and my journey.  I will prevail. I will lose this 4lb muffin-top. And I will not apologize for it.

Monday, 12/7/09:  I love having a good weekend! I start the week already on track and feel like I've accomplished something!

Here's my recap: Thursday... hit the gym and did a KILLER leg day. Friday...oh-so-sore, but did 45min cardio (15 treadmill, 15 elliptical, 15 stairmaster) and then some fun stuff with the bosu (see below). Saturday... too sore to move! Oy! Sunday... Cardio & abs. Then I got all my grocery shopping & food prep done, though I did all the meat prep on saturday which was fine as long as I didn't have to walk far or fast, lol. I'm really enjoying my food prep days now that it's "winter"... we light a fire in the living room, Bill watches the game and I have my iPod boombox pumping out chill holiday tunes. From my kitchen counter, I can see the fire, the game, Bill, and listen to my music all while getting food prepped for the week :-)

Here it is Monday and I'm STILL sore from thursday! That was a GREAT workout! I'll have to get a video of one of the moves (funky lungy burpee) because the explanation confuses me, too! But here's the routine:

10 minute warmup on treadmill (was still REALLY sore, so I took it really easy then stretched a bit before I began the workout)

Funky Lungy Burpee - 10 reps (place the bosu upside down -bubble down- and get into pushup position. Do one pushup then lunge your left leg up beside the bosu and back, then the right leg. Now pop into a crouch and burst up with the bosu, extending it straight over your head. You should be standing straight up holding the bosu overhead with both hands. Now set the bosu back down (don't let go) and jump back into pushup position. That was one rep.  And yes, I think Tab came up with that one to punish me for something :-) Lol. 
Walking Lunges with body bar - 30 steps
Squat Press with 30lb bar - 15 reps
Ab crunch w/twist - 18lb medicine ball - (5 crunches, then 10 twists, then 5 crunches, then 10 twists, then 5 crunches - no rest, all done as one "rep")

Rest, then repeat 2 more times

Bosu lunges - all as one move, lunge forward onto the bosu, then bring leg back into a reverse lunge without allowing that foot to touch the floor. 10 on one leg, then 10 on the other, no rest.
Bosu side lunges - 10 sideways lunges, each side.
Plie Squat with 30lb dumbell - 20 reps
Ab crunch w/twist - 18lb medicine ball - (5 crunches, then 10 twists, then 5 crunches, then 10 twists, then 5 crunches - no rest, all done as one "rep")

Rest, then repeat 2 more times


Then friday, I had fun with the bosu... I did my cardio and still had some juice so I wanted to try something I'd seen in Shape magazine.

bosu bridge press - Shape magazine workout

It was so fun to try that one, that I went on to do flyes, triceps extensions and skull-crushers (and I only hit myself in the head 2x! well, 4x, but only 2x were hard), then I took the 18lb medicine ball and extended it up straight over my head then lowered my arms (straight) back so that the ball was at the back of my head and held for 60 seconds - this was tough on my triceps! And the whole thing is a GREAT core workout, too! Awesome! Definitely doing this again!

Huh, now that I've reread all that, I guess it's pretty clear that I like the bosu :-)  Lol!  And after all my complaining on Thursday, I really managed to get in some good gym-time, I guess I just really needed to vent it out and then get it done.

Monday, 12/8/09:  Had majorly low calorie burn during yesterday's workout, but that's to be expected when I'm working with one of the kids. Bethany has decided she hates the Bosu after I put her through the bosu workout I did on saturday, lol! She told me this morning her abs are sore :-)  Which is what she wanted.  She did really well and actually, better than she thought she would on the bosu's.  I think she was kinda proud of herself that she got it done :-)

Crazy schedule this morning so I ended up short a meal right at the start of my day :-( but I think I'm back on track. So far, I've had a banana, a pear, 2 eggbeater cups with 1/2 cup of low sodium black beans & 2tblsp tomatillo salsa.  Right now I'm having steamed veggies, grilled pork tenderloin, and a kale salad with whole wheat israeli couscous (1/4cup), tomato, sprouted sunflower seeds, reduced fat feta, and olive oil for dressing.


Later today, I'll have an icelandic yogurt, some tuna/white bean spread with whole grain crackers, hard boiled eggs and raw veggies... obviously not all at once, lol.

Wednesday, 12/9/09:  So, I thought I'd show you a few more photos today. Below is my cooler (minus my breakfast which is on my desk). Also shown is said breakfast, and my desk. I ran out of eggbeaters so I threw a wrap together with some grilled chicken, spinach, shredded cabbage & carrots, sprouted sunflower seeds, reduced fat feta, and tomatillo salsa on a whole wheat tortilla; plus an apple.


In my cooler, I have 2 hard-boiled eggs, a 4 oz piece of grilled pork, Israeli couscous, chopped kale, tomato, lemon, sprouted sunflower seeds & reduced fat feta in a baggie, and cauliflower-red pepper-cucumber in another baggie, a banana, and an Icelandic yogurt.  How does that boil down? My next meal (snack) is icelandic yogurt & flax crackers ( - they're cheaper at Whole Foods than online) . Lunch is grilled pork with a kale salad (I'll add in the tomato, Israeli couscous, seeds & feta then add olive oil & lemon juice).  Next snack is 2 hard boiled eggs & a banana. Then I head home.

I know that what to put in the cooler is a frequent question. For me, the simpler the better. This morning, I was running behind, and Shiloh missed the bus, which meant my morning food prep time became dash-to-the-school time. I was out of eggbeaters (how'd I let that happen??), so I made a quick wrap with chicken I had grilled and sliced on Sunday, pre-chopped veggies (again from Sunday) and tomatillo salsa from Monday's buffalo chili dinner. When I get my food prep done on Sunday, I don't have food emergencies during the week, even when I have schedule emergencies. And keeping it simple, I don't stress over what to put in the cooler, it almost puts itself there.

And ya know what? People tease me about my cooler which goes with me everywhere, but when I set out my food, everyone comes around to see what I've got and comments that it looks/smells so good! Simple doesn't mean bland! So do your food prep & pack that cooler! You can eat healthy anywhere! Even at your desk!

On to next topic... Biggest Loser finale! Wow! I have to say, those folks humbled me. I truly thought that NBC had bitten off more than they could chew by choosing the contestants they did... I thought they had too much weight to lose in too short a time to have a "biggest loser" transformation at the finale. (And ha, so did NBC... did you catch next season's contestants? They're smaller!).  But, those folks did it! Shame on me for doubting! The largest people yet on the show, and did you see what they accomplished?? In what, 9 months?? Wow!! I'm stunned and awed! Way to go! Rebecca... looks like a goddess (can I be her when I grow up?)! Danny & Rudy... hotties! Even Tracie, who I did NOT like, looks freakin' amazing! And my favorite... Abby! Wow! You go girl! As Bill said last night, she's just a walking tear-jerker! What an inspiration! Even Allison Sweeney, the host, looked amazing! So my hat is off to those folks, and here's the lesson I learned... Where there's a will, there's a way. Yep. You knew that right? But really, think about it. 9 months. Less than a year. Total transformation. It's not only possible, it's doable. Again, hats off.  View the photos here.

Thursday, 12/10/09:  I have a lot of balls in the air today. Between work, personal business, and my kids, I probably won't make it to the gym to night... still trying to squeeze out some extra time, though. Tomorrow is Bethy's 14th birthday :-)  I deliberately didn't get all the "food" for the party when I grocery shopped because knowing the other 3 teenagers in the house, it wouldn't be there when I needed it, lol.  So looks like I'll be doing that tonight and tomorrow.  I at least have to get the cake tonight. 

Yesterday was great, I was able to get off work early since the boss was in Canada :-) (and yes, I had permission!) so I hit the gym and got in a 30 minute treadmill session, plus 45 minutes of upper body. Then had to run home and shower & change for bowling... and WOOHOOO!!! The heater got fixed! Now, that may sound silly, but we've had a non-functioning heater for 2 weeks! They FINALLY got a tech out and it was simply a disconnected wire! Frustrating! But it's Sooooooo nice to have heat again! Nakki, our boxer, even slept at the end of the bed last night rather than scrunched up between Bill and I, LOL! I'm telling you, it's been COLD in our house! We go outside to defrost!

Anyway, then on to the bowling alley. And after being teased by my hubby, I took a picture to prove that it is indeed possible to eat healthy, even on bowling league night :-)  In my trusty cooler, I packed chopped veggies, a persian cucumber, apple, tzsaziki sauce (it's basically fat free greek yogurt, cucumber & lemon juice), and a 4 oz piece of pork, plus my coconut water and a hot unsweetened green tea. There was no "carb" because I'm currently not doing a grain carb after 6pm (still working on that muffin top).   Normally, I make a wrap for bowling night, but I was kind of rushed so I just tossed a bunch of stuff in the cooler.



Monday, 12/14/09:  Had jury duty this morning but got booted. Lol. Back in the office, now and am back on track. Had my oatmeal for breakfast, a fruit/nut bar (Kind brand) at the courthouse, then a Buffalo wrap, Kale salad and red pear for lunch. I'll have Icelandic yogurt & string cheese in a little bit, then on to dinner. 

A lot of catching up to do from the weekend. So, Bethany's birthday cake... How great is my local Whole Foods Bakery?? Check this out (click on pic to view larger):

  Totally adorable, right? And while we were swamped with kids, Bethy had a great time (as did her 20 friends).  

I finally made it into the gym on saturday, following a nasty stomach bug thurs/fri. Ugh. Then Sunday after my food prep, I got in 15 min cardio on the punching bag in the garage.  That felt GREAT! :-) 
It is my humble opinion that everyone should have a punching bag to attack on a regular basis, lol! 

And this week, I took pics of my organized chaos (Sunday food prep). My camera battery went kaput, so a few are taken with my cell phone (not the greatest). Click on photos to view larger.


I prepped dinner along with the week's food, I stuck a beef roast in the crock pot with a bottle of low sugar (and low sodium) barbecue sauce. Cooked it for several hours, drained, added another half bottle, and shredded it. Also cooked the sweet potato oven fries from The Eat Clean Cookbook for Family & Kids (Tosca Reno) and they were super yummy! And, product alert! I'm totally hooked on a new tea... Bigelow's Pumpkin Spice. Yum!  Unfortunately, it has caffeine, so I'm not helping myself by drinking 4 cups of tea before bed, lol.

Tuesday, 12/15/09:  Today is Day 80 of being a non-smoker!

Breakfast: Oatmeal w/protein powder, flax, pollen, cinnamon & banana.
Snack 1: Chopped raw veggies, Tzaziki, 2.5 oz tuna & whole grain crackers. 

Lunch: Buffalo wrap (whole grain wrap, grilled buffalo, spinach, cucumber, red pepper, green onion, reduced fat feta, spicy brown mustard), and a red pear.

Didn't make it to the gym last night, but food was good. Pulled out the shredded chicken I made on Sunday (I had already added the green chili salsa) and heated it up, baked a couple white corn tortillas and heated taco shells for the kids, and we had a chicken tostada/taco night (recipe here). Dinner was on the table in 10 minutes. Can't beat that. (click photos to view larger).


Bill's tostada and taco were: tortilla/taco, black beans, chicken, bbq beef (from Sunday's dinner), lettuce, cheddar, and taco sauce.

My tostadas were: baked corn tortilla, black beans, shredded cabbage (lots), onion, reduced fat feta, chicken, and taco sauce.

WARNING: Pity Party ahead.
Life is definitely getting more complicated in my family-world. I'm struggling to deal with some situations that are ripping me apart. Add in the holiday season, a total lack of funds, mandatory (court ordered) travel [driving my 2 girls to CA for visitation], and you get a completely frazzled and totally frustrated, hurting woman.

I love winter, I love preparing for the holidays, I love having my family together in the evenings and simply enjoying the season. But this year, it's just not like that. I'm trying, really hard, to simply enjoy, but it keeps slipping out of my hands, and I'm fighting the urge to find a cave and crawl inside.

I don't know how to get through to the ones who are acting out. I resent being backed to the wall, and my heart breaks at having to implement "tough love."  I guess, my heart is just breaking, and I'm not seeing my way clear. I remember, years ago, reading a book by a famous and respected mother who said that the pain of motherhood ended with childbirth, that the rest was sheer joy. I'd really like to track her down today and beat her to death with her book, because she lied. She lied, and I hurt.

What's any of that got to do with health & fitness? Stress. Emotional pain and turmoil. Depression. These are cozy partners in destruction, not just of mental health, but physical, too.  I haven't fought against emotional eating in.... I don't know how long, but suddenly I am. I am struggling to keep my physical exercise, if not where I want it to be, then at least somewhat consistent. I want to pull the covers over my head and sleep until I can wake up and have a happy, healthy, well-adjusted family who love each other and treat each other and themselves with respect.  The only thing easy right now (not that I expect life to be easy, I don't) is my food because my system is so low maintenance. If that weren't the case, I know wouldn't fighting emotional eating, I'd have already given in to it; embraced it, taken it home, and named it George. 

Pity party over. I'm going to make some tea, listen to some holiday music and get some work done. Hopefully I'll find some peace, somewhere, today. Ha, at least I still have hope.

UPDATE, Tuesday evening: Hit the gym, got in some treadmill time and feel so very much better. Came home and put together spaghetti (wheat) for the family, while I had a Buffalo wrap and Kale & Beet salad, followed by 1/2 a grapefruit.  3 cups of tea later, I also had 2 Godiva dark chocolate gems, and am slowly moving toward feeling more balanced.

Food tip: For every pound of ground turkey, I finely chop a 8oz container of mushrooms and add them in with my seasoning (for spaghetti, I use Mrs Dash Tomato & Basil). The moisture in the mushrooms keeps the turkey from drying out. I do the same (add mushrooms) to all my ground meat to increase the amount of meat, reduce animal fat, and add vitamins & minerals. It's an easy way to add veggies without anyone ever knowing :-)

Wednesday, 12/16/09:  Normally, today would be bowling day, but it's my off-rotation, so I'll hit the gym after work, then head over to watch the guys bowl. We're currently in 1st place (no thanks to me, lol) and could possibly take the win (this is the last night, then 2nd half of season starts after the new year).  

Food's good. Protein/oatmeal for breakfast w/ banana. Skipped snack :-(  but lunch was solid: 4oz grilled lean pork, 1 1/2 cup steamed zucchini/yellow squash and 1/2 cup red beets, and 1/2 cup steamed sprouted brown rice. Next snack is Icelandic yogurt, apple and string cheese. Then I'll work out (upper body), then shower and head over to the bowling alley to cheer on my guys.

My boss is my hero :-) I just found out I am working from home for the next two weeks (starting monday). I will have a week just me and Bill and Joey, then once the other 3 kids all return, we'll have our family christmas, then celebrate new year. It would have been the first time in 9 years that Bill and I would have that much time alone, with no children.

It'll be great to have the relaxed time even though Bill and I are not going anywhere (though we had planned to, <sigh>, "first alone-time in 9 years..."). "Vacation" will start friday night when we do our annual "Christmas Eve Poker Party". Bill and the kids will stay up late playing poker, while I read by the fire and listen to holiday music. Then saturday, we're off to deliver Beth & Shi to Coachella CA to meet their dad, and Ariel is off to the airport to fly to Sacramento to see Bill's mom and aunts, uncles and cousins.

Current favorite holiday music:  All Brian Setzer Orchestra tunes; Celtic Carols (various artists); Twisted Sister Christmas; and Chris Botti... Yep! I'm ecclectic!

Thursday, 12/17/09:  I did my bosu workout (see pdf) last night. My triceps & biceps, butt and hamstrings are sore today :-)  Followed that with a shower and a protein shake then hit the bowling alley to watch my team win first place! Woohoo! Did great with my food all day & night until the hubby got out the red pepper hummus & pita chips. Yeah, I know it's a healthy snack. Problem was it was 10pm. Damn that hummus! Actually, I only had 3 small bites, but it's the principle. I hate eating that late. Makes me feel like I've fallen off the wagon.

So far today: Protein/oatmeal for breakfast w/ banana. String cheese, raw veggies (radish, celery, cauliflower) with tzaziki for snack. Lunch: Grilled pork, steamed sprouted brown rice, steamed veggies and beets. Next snack: apple, grilled pork, whole grain crackers... then on to the gym, then home for dinner (spaghetti squash).  Somewhere in there, I've also got to hit the UPS store, and the library.  And I have some tweaking to do with my diet... looking over what I've been eating, I see that I'm not hitting my fat quota. I've got to add more fat, so I'll hit the grocery and see how their avocados look, and whatever else seems appealing. Maybe I'll make an avocado/tomato salad to go with my dinner. Hmmm...

Monday, 12/21/09:  I have not accomplished much this weekend. Friday night was our "Christmas Eve" poker night, I've got pics HERE, then Saturday we put Ariel on a plane to Grammy's, and drove Shiloh & Bethany to California to see their dad, then drove alllllll the way home. Oy. Our family christmas is set for Dec. 30, and Joey is officially moving out on January 1st. There's a lot going on. No gym time over the weekend, but I'll be hitting it today, and doing my normal sunday food prep later today, too. I'm telling myself it's ok to be off track, that I'm fine, and will bounce back once the holidays are over. I'm telling myself this over and over, and over...  It has to be ok, because it's simply the way it is. Can't wait to get my food done! Craving clean eats!

UPDATE: 10pm. Hit the gym... did the double bosu workout again, I've been really happy with the results from that one. I followed up with some stairmaster time.  Then hit the grocery stores, and did food prep. For dinner, we had cilantro halibut w/steamed veggies & a grilled portabello w/tomatoes, spinach & feta. even Bill ate the halibut! He hates fish. Lol. I got the fish from whole foods, already marinated... which I'm usually really leery of... if I don't prepare it myself I just don't know how much sodium/sugar/etc are in it, so if it's not a cheat meal (and even then to some extent) I just don't go for it. But the ingredients on this looked safe, and my fingers didn't swell after eating, so it was low sodium. And tasty :-)

Sunday, 12/27/09:  So it's Sunday, and time for some catchup...  The kids were gone all last week, we picked up Bethy & Shiloh yesterday. Ariel won't be home until the 29th, then we'll have a chili night on Tuesday, then the total gluttony of christmas on wednesday. Though, I plan to carefully pick and choose my treats.

Hit the gym last week, and was able to do a studio workout with Tab, WOOHOO! We went through my double bosu routine, and  revised it, so once I get it all typed up, I'll post the new one. I've now gone 3 days without a workout and am READY to get back in. I plan to do cardio and abs tomorrow. I'll be taking a few kids with me, too.  I've got to start working on increasing the time I can run on the treadmill. I can do 20 consecutive minutes now, but only once a week or my knees & shins hurt bad. I've got to move that to at least 3 miles consecutively, then I need to move it outside, so that I can run 3 miles on the street.  The 5K is in mid-march, so I have time. I think. My goal is to run it. And I really, really want it.

Family news... Joey moves out on the first... he got a dog, so for the next few days, we've got two dogs in the house. Nakki is going nuts. She's obsessed with Sacchi (an australian cattledog) and has reverted to her  puppy stage... but she's so exhausted at night because she just can't keep up! Lol. It's funny to watch, but we're reminded why we only have ONE dog.

One thing I'm really struggling with, working from home/being on vacation... eating enough. I'm finding that my lazy mornings turn into late afternoons having my first meal of the day. Not good. My food is good, I've got good clean eats in the house, I'm just not eating enough of them, and my structure has gone out the window. Oy.   On another note, I'm hooked on another new tea.. Cinnamon Apple Spice. Yum!!

Monday, 12/28/09:  Yesterday we (me, Shiloh, Bethany and her friend Amber) hit the mall, at various times, then all together, then... well you get the idea. They're teenagers. Oy.

Had lunch at Sarku (soba noodles, steamed chicken & veggies with no sauce), then hours of shopping (christmas and food), then dinner at the Nordstrom cafe with Shiloh. Had the grilled salmon & veggies.

Today was more vacation time. Had my hair appt... got it chopped, though not as short as I thought I'd have. Hmmm. Anyway, then met up with Tab and had lunch at Paradise Bakery. Can I just say their tomato soup is totally worth the swollen fingers??? YUM!!! I love tomato soup! Tomorrow is food prep for wednesday (our family christmas), so I'm working extra hard to make sure it's as clean as possible, while still being traditionally appealing to the family. I embrace the challenge! Lol.

I'm frustrated with not having gym time today, and probably not tomorrow. While everyone else is getting back on track, I feel like I'm veering off. Grrr. BUT. I have total control over my food. That's mine and I will continue to control it. A treat here and there will not undo my work, however, I must continue to be sure that it's ONLY a treat here and there. Actually, I'm kind of excited about quietly making our christmas dinner "clean" without anyone knowing. he he he.


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Fun with the Bosu!

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Why I  should ALWAYS have a goal...

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More Women's Health Mag. News!!!

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Birthday & New photos

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What I've learned this year.

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Day one as a non-smoker

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What I learned from my burlesque show 

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Show Time 

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Failure and Compromise 

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Facing my fears 

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Coming Clean Emotionally.

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Get out of your comfort zone.

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New Book for Men.

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Switching up the routine.

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Don't let injury derail you.
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Easter Treats and holiday survival

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New books & tools

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Newsworthy Newsletters

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The Biggest Loser - Food as a game.

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Podcast Interview

I had the opportunity to be part of Arlene Pellicane's podcast for her website Losing Weight After Baby!  View journal entry



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