Friday, July 31, 2009

Stay Full Tips

I want to share some of the ways I keep myself from getting overly hungry, so I don't grab the wrong foods just because I'm starving or have a craving. This has always been a challenge for me, so I'm happy to find these things to keep me feeling full and satisfied.
My number one tip is drinking water. It's amazing just how much water does for the body. Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily not only suppresses the appetite, but it helps metabolize the fat that is stored in your body. It keeps your kidneys functioning properly...otherwise the liver has to help do the job of the kidneys. If that happens, the liver can't do its own job, which is to turn the fat stored in your body into energy. Since I've been diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, this is even more important. My doctor said to drink plenty of water, eliminate some of the fat from my diet, and stay away from acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) and use ibuprofen if I need something for a headache or other pain. I did have a couple of days where I drank too much diet soda earlier in the week, and my body sure felt the difference! I haven't had a soda since!
My next assistant in the fight against fat is eating plenty of produce. We need the vitamins and fiber that are in fruits and veggies, to keep us full and keep our bodies working properly. Green grapes really help when I'm craving something sweet...and now that I've tried them frozen, they are a great summer treat! It's also a good thing to eat a colorful variety of produce, because then you ingest more of the various vitamins your body needs.
Finally, I've already mentioned how much I love Greek yogurt, especially with fruit and plain ground cinnamon. I've also discovered something else...adding high fiber cereal to the yogurt is delicious and quite filling. Plus, it's a great way to use up the cereal "crumbs" at the bottom of the box!
I hope these tips help you as well, and feel free to share anything else that helps you. We are all in this together, and I want all of us to succeed!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day in the Sun...and Exercise!

Yesterday it was finally such a beautiful summer day here in Ohio, and the natives were getting restless. By this I mean my 10 year old son...and me! We were starting to get cabin fever from so many rainy days in the last couple of weeks. We both agreed that a day at the beach was in order here!

We ate a healthy lunch at home before we drove to Huntington Beach, walked down those steps and spread out our towels. (For those who don't know...the steps at our beach are a killer workout!) We put on our sunscreen and got to having fun...playing football and frisbee in Lake Erie and running in the sand. My son swam while I went in up to my knees, walking around in the water and toning my legs. We were both exhausted after a few hours, but in such a good way!

There is an ice cream stand at the beach, and we got a small cup of mint chocolate chip and shared it. That was the extent of my sugar for the day. We went home and showered off all of the sand and sunscreen, then made a healthy version of pizza for dinner.

I did watch More to Love on Fox last night, because I was curious to see how they would portray the plus size women and the man they are all vying for. I knew with Emme as host, it wouldn't be too awful, because she would not involve herself in this type of project if it was going to ridicule people. I really did like the is similar to The Bachelor so there will be the usual catfighting and antics, just like the size 2 girls pull on each other on the other shows. I liked the way mostly everything was handled. The only thing I didn't like was having each girl's height and weight posted on the screen. If the premise is that size doesn't matter, then why do the numbers have to be up there?

Anyway, we had such a well-needed break yesterday...and proved that you can have a day out and still get plenty of exercise and plan so you don't overdo it on the food either. Here's to healthy good times!

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's Motivational Monday!!!

Today is the first weigh-in since I joined Operation Fat Blaster. I was still a little nervous getting on the scale, even though I know I've made major improvements over the week. I was hoping for some huge, monumental loss for my first week with my OFB troop. When I looked down into that tiny little window, I did see a loss. I now weight 210.6, which means I lost 1.4 pounds this week. Not the giant change I'd been hoping for, but still a move in the right direction...and .4 more than I lost last week!

I know there are still many things I need to do, like step up my exercise even harder. I worked out much more than I used to, but I can still up my game, and I know it. I have several DVD's to go through, some of which I bought and then never opened. It was as if my motivation left me the minute I got the disc home from the store. It just goes to could actually live at a gym, but if you don't get your mind in the game it doesn't mean a thing. At least I know I will have a wide variety of DVD's to work out with, so I won't be bored!

Every Monday I'm also going to put up a link to a motivational person, to help us on our journey. Today I'm starting with Mandisa, who was on American Idol Season 5. Not only does she inspire with her brand of Gospel/Contemporary Christian music...have you seen her lately? Ms. Mandisa has lost over 60 pounds! Check her out at and see what she's been up to...and be motivated!

This week will be even better than the last one...let's blast that fat!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Special Ops Mission: The Enemy!

My mission, which I chose to accept, was to find pictures of what stands in my way of losing weight. First one is: Malley's Chocolate! It's a local favorite here in Cleveland...and my hips sure show that I've indulged a few too many times!
The second is: Ben and Jerry's Vanilla Caramel Fudge! Lately, I haven't been able to find this flavor in any of my local Giant Eagle I think God is trying to tell me something! (Especially because I needed two pints at a time to satisfy my craving.) I've also been known to succumb to any brand of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup ice cream, so I have to stay away!
Obviously this is part of my problem with sugar and chocolate. Since that McCafe Iced Mocha on Sunday, I haven't had any more sugary foods. It was nice to be able to pick up where I had left off, since I had gone 4 days without sugar before the Iced Mocha, and it's now been almost 5 days since drinking all of that sugar. I plan on filling up on healthy foods, and having fruit when I need something sweet. Green grapes are really good for conquering a sugar craving. I may even try freezing them...I've heard they're really good that way.
Mindset is so important...with God I can conquer this, and I will! You can too - I believe in you!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Operation FAT BLASTER: under 200!

Hello my friends! One of my fellow FitRoll buddies has started Operation Fat Blaster, in order to light a fire under all of us and really get those pounds off. I love the idea and I am joining's time to really get this party started!

The idea is to set a goal for yourself, post it on your blog, and also post your progress at least weekly. This is just awesome...we can all motivate and encourage each other on our weight loss journeys. There really is strength in numbers!

This is my goal: I will be under 200 pounds by Labor Day. Since this past Monday I weighed 212, I feel this is very doable for me. I just have to really buckle down. Even though I've made positive changes so far, I really need to kick it up a notch. (And I don't mean the way Emeril does it!) I think about what Jillian tells the Biggest Loser can do even more than what you think you're capable of!

I can do this...WE can do this!!! Please join me in blasting the fat for good!!! xoxoxo

Monday, July 20, 2009

Motivational Monday

Since I decided to change my weigh-in day back to Monday for good, today's the big day. I'm going to call these weekly dates with the scale Motivational Mondays...because I am determined that no matter what number shows up in that little window, I am going to use it to my advantage.

If the number goes up or stays the same, I will go over what I did during the past week and see where I need to improve...then I'm going to MAKE IT HAPPEN! The same goes for a very small loss. That means I did something right, but still need to kick up the exercise and watch what foods I'm putting into my body more closely.

If I've had a successful week with the scale and my body, I still have to take note of what worked that week so I can keep it up. Of course we've all heard that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is so very true, especially when it comes to weight loss. So many things can throw a wrench in your plans if you let have to be prepared for just about anything. Determination to find a way through it is the key to success.

Now I know you want to hear what happened when I stepped on my scale this morning. I lost one pound, which is a great thing. I know I didn't really truly get myself back on track until the middle of the week. I was able to stay away from sugar for 4 days. Yesterday morning my husband and son let me sleep in and went to McDonald's for breakfast. They brought me back an Egg McMuffin and a McCafe Iced Mocha. It was so sweet of them...sweet being the operative word here. They know I love Iced Mocha and I was so happy that they treated me to breakfast, but halfway through drinking it I realized how much sugar I was drinking. I didn't want to waste it so I finished it, and I did let them know later in the day that next time I'd rather have a plain black coffee so I don't ingest all of that sugar. One victory here though...not only did I stay away from sweet stuff for 4 days, but after I drank the Iced Mocha I didn't crave sugar the rest of the day like I normally would. I haven't had any sugar since then, and I plan to keep it that way.

It's so easy to stay motivated when we like the number that pops up on the scale, but the true test is when it hasn't been a good week. I'm at 212.0, only down 1.2 from what I started at when I began this blog. Still, it's a loss...and I am not giving up: not now, not ever. With God's help I will succeed!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In The Right Direction

I have decided one more time to change my weigh-in day, back to Monday. This is where it will stay...after I thought about it long and hard, I realized that getting on the scale on Mondays will keep me more accountable over the weekend. Even though I did a good job this past weekend away from home with my food and exercise, typically weekends are the hardest time for me, and really for most of us. We are more likely to cast our weekday routines aside and do whatever we want. While that maybe be good in some areas of our lives, it can be devastating to our healthy eating plans.

While I am all for an occasional treat, it's difficult for some of us to go back on plan afterward. That is something that must be learned, just like any other good habit we are adopting into our lives. If I have to step on that scale on Monday, I'm much more likely to have that single treat and then get back with the program, since I know I want to see progress when I weigh myself.

Now, I know I still have to follow those same rules during the week...a binge will be harmful no matter what day of the week it is. I'm happy to report that I have gone 3 and 1/2 days without sugary foods. Right now I know it's too dangerous for me to eat them, because I find it hard to stop at the proper serving size once I have that sugar in me. My body feels so much better this way, and like I've said before - I have to remind myself of that anytime the sweet stuff starts calling my name. It's like the saying "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels". The momentary pleasure of the sugar rush will not feel good at all once it wears off and you crash, and too much sugar over time makes your body more sluggish. I'd rather have the energy to do all I need or want to do in my life than have those instant rushes.

Now, it is hard the first few days that you avoid sugar, but it is worth it in the long we all have to hang in there and we will get through it. Remember also to pray about it: God will help you get stronger if you just ask Him. And don't forget to thank Him for the help!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who Is It For You?

We all have at them...some of us have several. I've had some since childhood, and I'm sure many of you have too. I know I've picked up some more along the way, through my teen years all the way until now, and I gain more of them every single day of my life. In my mind, you can never have too many of them.

No, I'm not talking about shoes...although that's a pretty nice dream! My thoughts today are about something that does not come in pairs; each one is unique. These are in fact not inanimate objects...they are people! I'm reflecting on the role models in life who inspire and motivate you to be better in life in some way. Most of us grow up admiring someone, whether they be famous or people we actually know. I must say that God is obviously at the top of my list, and always will be. I also believe He wants us all to be inspirations for each other on this planet, so today I'm focusing us the earthly heroes who make us want to improve ourselves and the quality of our lives.

My role models all inspire me in different ways. I started out at 5 years old not only crushing on David Cassidy, but looking up to him. Because of him, I learned the joy and power of music, and discovered that I loved to write songs. He still inspires me now, because of all of the things he has been through in his life and what a wonderful human being he has become through all of the madness he's experienced. Other singers and musicians have motivated me as well...notably Barbara Mandrell and the members of Alabama, for their songwriting, love of music and words, and their deep faith in God. There are so many who inspire me through music even now...especially Keith Urban, who also fights through his addictions and helps us all with ours because of it.

I have athletes that I admire as well, like Greg Louganis, for his hard work and perseverance no matter what life throws at him. Former Cleveland Indian Jim Thome motivates me with the person he is on and off the field. (I still admire him even though he plays for the White Sox now!) I am so inspired by Brian Boitano, who not only works his butt off every day of his life, but shows the world how he lives out his faith and is a wonderful person to everyone he comes in contact "star trips" here! He is the real deal, and represents the way all celebrities (and non-celebrities) should treat people.

In weight loss and life, I am learning so much from the Biggest Loser trainers and contestants...and now also everyone involved with the show Dance Your A** Off. They show me how to take control of my health, and to not let life pass me by while I'm getting there. So many of the professionals on Dancing With the Stars are inspiring, as many of them have gone through more than you could ever imagine to get where they are today. Just check out Maksim Chmerkovskiy...and see how many injuries and other barriers he has overcome since he was a kid. All of the dancers on DWTS, SYTYCD, and DYAO make me want to dance and improve my life in other ways too.

Finally, I want to mention that so many of my friends and members of my family inspire and motivate me on a daily basis. I would not be where I am without any of you, and I am so thankful for anyone who is or has been in my life, whether I know you "in person" or not. I hope to continue this and inspire as many people as I can. God wants us to learn from others, then show what we've learned to those who need it, so the cycle of inspiration continues.

So now I'm curious, so please share with me...who inspires and motivates you?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Swimming My You Know What Off!

This past weekend we went to Castaway Bay, which is an indoor waterpark in Sandusky, Ohio right at the entrance to Cedar Point. We had promised our son that if he made Honor Roll at school all year we would go, and we also had paid in advance for the room, before my husband got laid off, so we didn't have to worry about coming up with the money for it and could just go enjoy ourselves. My son also brought a friend, since four passes to the waterpark are included with the room.

We've been there before, so I always look forward to going when we get the chance. Now mind you, I don't actually know how to swim...but I love the water! I know I should learn, and I still plan on doing that. There is a really shocking tidbit I must share with dad was able to get into the Coast Guard when he was younger without knowing how to swim! He was stationed in Key West, and even went out on rescue missions in a small boat with one other guy, or by himself! Neither of my parents knew how to swim, so I wound up never learning. (And my dad still doesn't swim!) My son does know how to swim, which I am very happy about...we started him off when he was very small, and he is such a fish in the water.

I love being in the water, and I can do enough things to get decent exercise out of it and have fun. When I was younger, a friend of the family taught me a couple of things...standing up in the pool and moving my arms around, and holding onto the side of the pool and kicking out from there. Both give my the feeling of being lighter than air. (thank Mrs. L...shout out to you in heaven!) I've also added some water aerobics to my time in the water, so I can get even more of a workout from my pool sessions.

In addition to that, I love the wave pool at Castaway Bay. I stand so the waves hit me about waist high, and it really gives me a rush. I can only imagine the rush I'd get if I could actually swim the waves! Then I stroll on over to the hot tub, which starts inside the park but has a walk-through to outside, where there are also lounge chairs for sunning. (Please use your sunscreen of course!) The doctor OK'd me for the hot tub, as long as I didn't sit in it for longer than 15 minutes at a time, which was fine. That's what the park recommends for eveyone anyway.

I did really well eating this weekend, not only because I didn't want to negate all of the exercise I was getting, but also because I didn't want to feel too stuffed to get back into the pool. I stuck with salads and lighter foods, and I'm happy to report that in addition to the regular fare of hot dogs and pizza in the snack area by the pool, they also serve salads and fruit. It's awesome to have to have the chance to get something healthy if you get hungry while in the waterpark.

I was feeling so good that I also took the stairs everywhere I went. I only used the elevator twice...both times were when I was carrying all of the luggage. I went for a walk through the resort, and discovered a lot of things that I didn't even know were there. Hopefully next time we go I will be able to use their spa services too.

It was so nice to spend a healthy weekend away. At least I know that I won't spend the rest of this week trying to undo everything I did over the weekend...I can just continue the exercise and healthy eating habits that I kept up while on my mini-vacation. Back to dancing my you know what off!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Weighing In On Sugar

I've gotten so many responses to my post on, by e-mail, on Facebook, and on Twitter. I'm glad to know that I am not alone in my addiction, but also sorry that we are all going through this. At least now we can support each other through it.

I did weigh myself this morning, and I am up one pound. As much as I hated seeing the number go up on the scale, I was relieved that it wasn't more than a pound. I'm sure that exercise helped my cause. That's one thing I can't stress enough: even if you slip up with the food, make sure you still do your workouts. Don't let one bad decision lead to another, because that can lead to a downward spiral that will make you want to give up. Get back to the positive and get back on track as soon as possible.

Hearing your stories about dealing with the sugar monster reminded me of something else I used to do. When I was in my twenties and at my first full time job, I used to cross the street to the convenience store and buy all sorts of sweets. It was common for me to purchase various snack cakes, candy, donuts, and other sweets daily for lunch. I'm sure the girls who worked there saw the irony in my buying a couple of fitness magazines along with the goodies. I would get back to the office and eat everything I just bought while reading about how to get in shape.

Thankfully, I realized at one point that my clothes were getting tighter and I was having major energy crashes daily after experiencing the sugar high. I started bringing in healthy food to heat up in the microwave or stopped for salads or Subway if I didn't bring something from home. I allowed myself to go across the street twice a week for ONE sweet...not a bagful. The extra pounds came off and I felt better.

Several times along my life's journey I've gotten back into that sugar habit. I'm more determined than ever to kick those bad habits to the curb, and hopefully down the sewer where they belong. It's just like being addicted to anything else in have to stay vigilant every single day to avoid relapse, and if you fall off the healthy eating wagon you just have to get back on and ask God for the strength to overcome your problem. Remind yourself how awful your body feels after eating the wrong foods in order to stop yourself from giving in to them.

Also think about how good you feel after you eat nutritious foods and get regular exercise. Drinking several glasses of water every day helps as well. Success is all about picking yourself up whenever you fall and moving forward. We all fail at times, what matters is how we deal with that failure and learn from it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sugar Situation

I am an addict. Not in the way you usually hear about...alcohol, drugs, medications, gambling, etc. Still, I am an addict. I keep fighting it, and sometimes I do really well; other days it just pulls me back in and plays with my mind.

I am addicted to sugar. I realize I always have been, even when I was a little girl. Candy, cookies, and ice cream always soothed me when I was feeling sad. Happy occasions were always celebrated with dessert. My parents were really good about making sure I didn't overdo it, but what they didn't know was that when they weren't looking, I would sneak extra cookies or more ice cream.

It got to the point where I had to have something sweet, no matter what form this sugar took. I've been known to squeeze tubes of cake decorating icing onto my tongue when there were no conventionally sweet foods in the house. I ate containers of sprinkles or packets of sugar. I've even eaten Nestle Quik powder mix or Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix right out of the container when I needed that chocolate/sugar combination. I felt I needed the sweetness that badly.

As an adult, I still fight this sugar addiction. I haven't consumed icing out of the tube or cocoa powder in a very long time, but I still cannot get enough sweets. I know this is not good for me, and I also have to be careful because diabetes runs in my family. I feel so much better when I stay away from sugary foods or stick with just a tiny piece of something sweet, but I still have those days that get me. Yesterday I polished off half of a carton of ice cream, and my body felt awful afterward. I found myself today pulling out the jar of peanut butter and a spoon, but I forced myself to stop eating it after a few spoonfuls. This is a small victory, because normally I'd get halfway through the jar before I decided I'd had enough.

I've been doing so well, and it's really disappointing to me that I fell back into the sugar trap for a couple of days. I also know I'm not alone in this. So many of us are addicted to sugar, or food in general. In watching So You Think You Can Dance last night, I was really moved by the routine choreographed by Mia Michaels about addiction. One dancer was the addict, trying to escape her addiction. The other dancer was the addiction that kept pulling her back in for more. It really did represent any type of addiction and the feelings that you go through in dealing with it. This dance also came at the perfect time for me...right after I'd eaten myself sick with the ice cream.

I know with prayer and positive attitude I will conquer this. I will always have to watch out so I don't fall back into old habits, but I will defeat this addiction. I forgot to mention in my last post that I have changed my weigh-in day to Friday. That always worked best for me in the past, so I want to go back to it. We will see if my sugar relapse shows up on the scale in the morning. Whether it does or not, I have to get away from the sugar. I know many of you can relate, so please feel free to share your stories with me. Together we can work through it!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Don't Wait!!!

Today I want to discuss something I have struggled with in the past, and still do from time to time. I'm sure many of you deal with this issue as well, and I think it really needs to be addressed. This matter requires our attention.

The issue I am speaking of is body image. We need to love ourselves as we are right now in order to move forward with anything else we want to accomplish in life. I know there are those who don't understand how that can help you motivate yourself to lose weight. After all, if you love yourself as you are, what reason do you have to change your life?

It sounds like a paradox, I know. I've discovered that it actually gets me in a better frame of mind to want to treat my body better. If I love myself and realize that God created me the way I am for a reason, I also start thinking about how eating junk does not honor God's creation. Would you disrespect any of His other creatures? No...but we all are guilty at some point of disrespecting our own bodies by eating unhealthy foods and not getting regular exercise. God has a plan for each of us, and we will be better able to do His will if we are doing all we can to be healthy.

We are all works in progress, and that is just the way He planned it. God loves us no matter where we are in life or what size we wear. I took a plus-size modeling class a few years ago, and it made a positive impact on my life. It made me see that the more I showed myself the love, the more other people were drawn to me. It did not matter if I was made up to do a photo shoot or if I was at the grocery store in sweats with no makeup. The way I carried myself made the difference. Confidence is the world's best cosmetic!

I also want to mention something very important in all of this: do NOT wait to do the things you want to do until you get to what you think is "the perfect weight". I know I've wasted a lot of time thinking that way when I could have been enjoying life and getting things done. No matter your size, if you want to dance, play tennis, sing, join a book club, or do anything you may be passionate it, and DO IT NOW! Life is meant to be lived every single day, never take that for granted.

So please come to terms with where you are now and you will discover that you are beautiful just as you are. At the same time pick up on healthy habits so you can honor yourself and respect God's creativity in you. He can accomplish so much more in us and with us if we take care of ourselves so we have the energy to do what He has planned for us on earth!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day

I'm declaring my independence from fat. This has still been a crazy week, but I'm doing so much better with my eating and exercise. Walking, dancing, and tennis are my calorie burners of choice right now, but I'm sure I'll mix it up a lot more to keep it interesting. Dancing was the perfect activity on Tuesday when I had a migraine...the music helped me to not think about the pain, and once I got moving it helped to loosen up those tight muscles.

This migraine also proved two things to me: first of all, I really can work through the pain. Now, I know sometimes you still need a day of rest when the pain level is excruciating. But...I always used these headaches as an excuse as to why I couldn't work out, even on the days that they weren't that bad. Then I would feel sorry for myself and fill up on chocolate or fast food. I'm sure that's part of the reason I got so out of shape. By now you know how I feel about more!!!

My second discovery concerns magnesium. A friend of mine who also suffers from migraines told me a deficiency in this is linked to migraines, along with other joint and muscle problems. A few weeks ago I started taking 250 mg of magnesium oxide daily in addition to my regular vitamin, which does not have enough this element in it. I have not had a migraine since starting the supplement...but I ran out and missed taking it for 5 days. Lo and behold, I got the first migraine that I've had in almost 2 months. As soon as I started taking it again, the headache went away and hasn't been back. I've learned my lesson - I will make sure I never run out again.

On this Fourth of July weekend, remind yourself that you also are declaring your independence from fat. Celebrate the freedom to dream, dance, and be who you want to be. With God, there is nothing that is impossible. Also make sure you say a prayer for all of our soldiers, past and present, who fought and still fight to keep our wonderful country safe and free. Happy Independence Day to all of you!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back on Track

What a crazy week last week! From all of the celebrities we grew up with that died too soon, to my High School Reunion, it was a whirlwind. I will say this...I am so thankful to God that he got me through this past week without gaining any weight! I got on the scale Monday morning, fully expecting to see a number I didn't want to see. I weighed exactly the same as the Monday before! Even with all of the celebrating over the weekend, I must have done something right.

Of course, this does not mean that if I keep partying like that I will continue to maintain my weight. Besides, I need to lose, not maintain. I appreciate the fact that I'm not starting back up again further in the hole...but now it's time to really take charge!

I'm always inspired by the Biggest Loser contestants, but now I am also motivated by a new group of wonderful people as well. Oxygen has a new show called Dance Your A** Off, which combines all of my favorite elements. It's Biggest Loser meets So You Think You Can Dance, so it is must see TV for me! They even have Dr. H from BL to guide them on their journey. I write about the show for Ballroom Dance Channel, but I would be watching no matter's that great! While I watched it the first time I was writing, but the second time through I just danced right along with the contestants in front of my TV.

As for my eating, Monday I started back to the healthy stuff. When I went this morning to pick up a prescription, I stocked up on my favorite Fage Greek Yogurt and Organic Starbucks Coffee. (Bonus: the coffee was on sale and I saved $1.50 on it!!!) I'm drinking a lot more water again and making sure I get more produce into my diet. I plan to finally make a trip to the Trader Joe's that is 15 minutes from my house, so I'll fill you in on that when I go there. I hear so many great things about that store from several reliable sources.

It feels awesome to be back on track, and I really do feel better when I eat the right foods. Never ever give up...and whatever you do, KEEP ON DANCING!!!