Monday, August 31, 2009

Motivational Monday

Well, I certainly thought I did everything right this week! I got on the scale this morning, really expecting to see a loss. I can tell how much looser my clothes are, and I now fit into a few things that were too tight to wear before. I know that is a sign that I am doing something right.
My scale did not show the number I was hoping for...I am back up to 206, which means I gained .8 pounds. I know that's less than a full pound, but I still didn't think that's what I would see this morning. I know I followed my plan, except for one single chocolate chip cookie on Saturday. Once again it's the time of the month for Aunt Flo to make her visit, so I'm thinking that may be the reason.
I have gotten past my initial disappointment, and I'm focusing on the clothing fitting better and the other positives that I'm noticing. (In being disappointed with the scale, I forgot to take my measurements...and I've already had breakfast so I can't do it now.) It's nice to hear my husband say that he can see me starting to get slimmer, and what a feeling having my son say that when he hugs me, his arms fit around me better now!!!
My motivational person for this week is the most recent winner of Nashville Star, Melissa Lawson. Not only did she go for her dreams of a singing career and win the competition, she lost 45 pounds while doing the show and continues to lose weight as she lives her dreams. If you want to find out more about Melissa, you can check out .
You know what else inspires me...the vision board I made for the challenge! I recommend this project to anyone on a weight loss journey. Looking at it will definitely keep you going on tough days, and motivate you even more on good days. It's the last week before Labor Day, so lets make it a great one!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wow! I Have a Lovely Blog!!!

I just received my second blog award a few days ago. Thank you to Annie at for bestowing the One Lovely Blog Award upon me. She is definitely shrinking and really amazing! She also inspires me on my journey, and I'm sending a big hug out to her right now!
Now that I've received this wonderful award, I am to thank the person who gave it to me, which is taken care of above. The other part of this honor is that I am to choose 15 blogs that I think are lovely, and give the award out to them. I love them all, but here are my 15:
Please check out these blogs, they are inspiring and incredible...and thank you again Annie!!! xoxoxo

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stop Calling In Fat To Life! (the wrong way)

***The above photo courtesy of the Junonia Plus-Size catalog.

I read an awesome blog yesterday from Marissa Jaret Winokur. She is keeping a weight loss blog for People Magazine:,,20300257,00.html . In the latest installment she talks about calling in fat, like you would call in sick to work. She mainly focuses on the fact that she took a little vacation, where she didn't count calories, went to the beach and just enjoyed the time with her husband and son. She also skipped writing her blog for a week. This version of calling in fat is something that makes sense to me...Marissa's been working hard, and needed a vacation to just relax and enjoy. We all do that from time to time, whether we are size 2 or higher!

She did also touch on the other way we all call in fat. We skip parties and events because we feel too fat to make an appearance. I can say I have done this, more often than I would even like to admit. Marissa got me thinking about the times I have decided not to go somewhere because I felt like people would be staring at my size or make comments. Sometimes I even skipped an event because I thought I would overindulge on all of the good food that was going to be served there. The problem was, I would always feel depressed that I was missing out on the fun, and then eat junk anyway to make myself feel better. Then I'd have to call in fat to another event, and the cycle continued.

I have decided that I will not call in fat to my life anymore! I will attend those parties and just enjoy myself. I'm learning how to control myself around the food, so that is not a problem now. Life doesn't start once you become a certain are living it NOW!!!

I play tennis, dance, go to the pool or the beach, and do whatever I wish, at the size I am now. As I continue losing weight, the size of my clothes is becoming smaller, but I am going to enjoy and live life no matter what.

So calling in fat to take a little vacation is OK, as long as you get back to business once you come back. But don't skip having fun in life because of your size...go out there and just live!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Operation Fat Blaster: Recipe Makeover Mission!

This week, our mission was to take a favorite comfort food recipe, and give it a healthy that when we do indulge, it's not as bad for you!

I made over my favorite New York Cheesecake recipe. Here are the ingredients for the original recipe:

3 Tbsp. Butter
5 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. flour

When these ingredients are processed and baked, one serving (1/16th) of cheesecake is 449 calories and 32 grams of fat. Now, here is the made-over version:

3 Tbsp. reduced calorie butter spread
5 packages (8 oz.) reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
4 eggs
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. flour

Heat over to 325 degrees. Line 13 by 9 inch pan with foil. Mix crushed graham crackers, 3 Tbsp. of the sugar, and butter spread; press onto bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, rest of sugar, flour, and vanilla extract until blended. Add sour cream and blend. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed until blended.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Use foil to lift cheesecake from pan. Top with fresh strawberries. Makes 16 servings.

In adjusting to reduced fat and lower calorie ingredients, one serving of cheesecake becomes 340 calories and 19 grams of fat. Still not exactly "diet" food...but it definitely won't do as much damage if you indulge, and you shouldn't have this kind of food all the time anyway. I prefer strawberries over cherries to begin with, so I changed the fruit, but any kind of fresh fruit would be great on this cheesecake.

I do also want to add a tip: When I make pumpkin pies for the holidays, I always use the fat free condensed milk instead of the regular kind. I tweak the spices a little, and otherwise follow the normal directions. Everyone always wants me to make my pies...because they like the flavor better. And the pie is a little bit better for all of us!

I'm so glad we had this challenge. I plan to makeover more recipes very soon!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Motivational Monday!

It's my ultimate day of truth each week...Monday! Time to reveal the number on the scale from this morning and my measurements, and also what I think I did right or need to improve.

The scale was my first stop this morning (well, after the bathroom!) and I was feeling good about my week. I hoped to see a big number, but also know that any loss is good. I now weigh 205.2, so I lost 1.6 pounds for the week. It's a little better than last Monday, so that's a step in the right direction. Then, I took my measurements, and I lost another 1/4 inch from my waist and slightly more than 1/4 inch from my hips. I love seeing these numbers get smaller!!!

I did really well with my workouts this past week, still hitting the treadmill and the elliptical. I stumbled upon a great deal at Giant Eagle while I was buying groceries...a couple of Jilliam Michaels DVD's for $9.99 each! You'd better believe I snatched those up...they are making room for new releases in their video department, so a lot of workout DVD's and TV series box sets were marked way down. This week I will be trying out those Jillian workouts!

I still did pretty well with my eating plan, but I did have some fast food on Saturday. My son and I were at the pool, and afterward we went to McDonald's. I was starving and got a Big Mac time I have to think smarter and get one of their salads, and not let the hunger cause me to make bad choices. Otherwise, I ate healthy food, and I did get right back on plan after my Saturday night splurge, so I am happy about that.

My motivational person this week is Julie Hadden, who was on Biggest Loser Season 4. She lost 97 pounds, and I love that she gives God the credit for giving her the strength to change her life. He is the reason any of us find our strength, and she is very open about that. She has a book coming out very soon, which is titled "Fat Chance". If you want to learn more about this amazing woman, she has a web .

Here's to an even better week ahead, full of success and learning...I know we can all do this!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

OFB: Mission Completed!!!

Well, I got the Inspiration Board you can see I'm still having trouble with my camera. I can't get it to center the board to get the whole thing in, and some pictures are a little fuzzy. But you get the idea. I will explain more about this board, since there are some things you can't see too well.
Let me start by re-posting the poem:
Multi-talented, love to create
Able to accomplish anything I set my mind to
Radiant and full of passion
Incredibly compasssionate
Empowered and loving it
For the first line, I have pictures of pen and paper, a singer (Jewel), a guitar, the words "I Create Music", and a handmade bracelet. I am a writer and make jewelry...and also sing, play guitar, and write songs.
For the second line, my pictures are of people hiking, skiing, dancing, and playing tennis. I've already started on some of these, and I will accomplish them!
The pictures for the third line are of confident and passionate people...some are generic, while some are celebrities: Marissa Jaret Winokur, Star Jones, Christina Applegate, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. These are women who don't let anything stop them from living their lives and going for their dreams. The large dancing picture is Julianne Hough, for two reasons. First of all, I write about dance. Secondly...that girl radiates confidence and can do anything!
The fourth line's pictures are a pair of hands holding a heart, and a shirt with Jesus on it...since He is the one who made me the way I am and helps me become more compassionate every day.
The pictures for the fifth and final line are a monarch butterfly, Jillian Michaels and Kim Lyons, salad, veggies and a woman in the warrior pose. I also pasted words: "Eat Smart", "I learned to push myself", and "I broke down my 'fat' walls". Reading these definitely makes me feel empowered!
Just looking at this board makes me feel stronger than ever. Thank you Michelle for this wonderful idea!!! xoxoxo

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Operation Fat Blaster - This Week's Challenge Part 1

Our challenge this week from Operation Fat Blaster is twofold: First, we are to come up with an acrostic name poem, using qualities we love about ourselves. The second part is to get a poster board and write the poem on it, then find pictures from magazines that depict those qualities. I have the poem done, so here it is:

Multi-talented, love to create
Able to accomplish anything I set my mind to
Radiant and full of passion
Incredibly compassionate
Empowered and loving it

Now I have to get the poster board and find the pictures...I'm a magazine freak so I have plenty of them to look through! The idea is to keep the board somewhere we can constantly look at it, so we remind ourselves of our positives. I can't wait to get the board done so I can show it to you!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Motivational Monday!!!

Happy Monday everyone! Let me start off this post by saying that I'm so thankful that I can use my computer again. Yesterday a virus shut me even disabled my antivirus software so I couldn't use it. I had to reload Windows, and thank God it works now, because I really needed to post this, plus I have 2 assignments for Ballroom Dance Channel today!
This morning when I went into my bathroom to step on the scale, I was a little nervous because I missed my workout last night due to the computer fiasco. The only thing I did was get up and walk around while I was waiting for various things to load or be scanned, because I got sick of sitting for such a long time. I did very well the rest of the week with exercise though, and also stayed healthy in the eating department. No diet soda again this week - just plenty of water!
Well, the number did go down on the scale...I am now at 206.8. I lost 1.4 pounds, and although I was hoping for more, this brings me to 5.2 pounds lost since starting Operation Fat Blaster. Using my friend Melissa's advice, I've been taking measurements as well. Today my waist is 41 3/4", and my hips are 48 1/2". In the last 2 weeks, I've lost 1 1/4" from my waist...and the same amount from my hips! It so nice to see the progress in more than one way, especially when the scale doesn't move as much as I think it should. Thank you Melissa!!!
My motivational person for this week is Kristin Steede from The Biggest Loser. She was an inspiration while on the show, and she looks gorgeous and happy! Not only that, she has her own blog where she keeps challenging the rest of us to do our best and live our lives to the fullest. Check out Kristin's blog at and I know she will keep you motivated!
Here's to another awesome August week...just remember, you can do more than you even realize you can. Believe and achieve!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm A Lover...AND A Fighter!!!

This post is dedicated to the people I've had in my life who've done rotten things to me, especially in regards to my weight. I used to let you make me feel depressed and think badly of myself...and that usually led to binges (especially on sweets), giving up on exercise, and laying in bed for much longer than I should have. It made me feel self-conscious around not only you, but other people...because I thought they might be thinking the same things about me that you did. I didn't always enjoy myself to the fullest because of this.

Some of you didn't want to be seen with me, and a couple of you even went so far as to tell my husband that you would like him to join you at parties and events, but that he should leave me at home because it was embarrassing to be seen with me. I am so thankful that I have such a wonderful husband, who stopped even having contact with you because of the way you were treating me. At times others of you would just stare at me like I was a freak or make snide comments about me. I would try to ignore it when your kids made fun of me, thinking that they were still so young and learning about how to act toward people. The thing was - you would do it too, so you were teaching them that ridiculing another person is OK. That was what REALLY bothered me!
Just recently, a couple more of you have decided that it's permissible to make fun of my weight, or the weights of friends of mine who are not even overweight. If you think this is still junior high school and it makes you better than us, you are very sadly mistaken. It just shows that you never grew up.
Over the last few years, I have done a lot of praying and soul searching. God has brought so many awesome people into my life. He gave me the gift of those who show me that I am beautiful - inside and out - no matter what size jeans I wear, and I should live life to the fullest every moment and not let a number on the scale stop me. He also brought those of you helping me on my weight loss journey (whether you are from Operation Fat Blaster, Biggest Loser, Dance Your A** Off, or somewhere else) into my life to help me get healthy.
Of course I am eternally grateful for all of you who are such positive forces in my life...but I also want to thank those of you who did negative things. You thought you were going to bring me down for good, but I take what you've said or done and turn it into motivation. I feel like Christina Aguilera's song "Fighter" is my theme song, because you have made me work harder, be smarter and get stronger in all areas of my life. I take the negative and turn it into positive...I wish everyone would learn to do that. Thank you for the life lessons!!! xoxoxo

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Operation Fat Blaster...Mission #3!

I am sort of completing my mission camera and I have been fighting, and so far it's winning. I'm not able to take pictures with it and have to figure out what's wrong. Our mission this week is to post pictures of our kitchen: refrigerator, pantry, anything that shows what we are eating right now.
I Googled refrigerator pictures so I could at least put something up. This is the one that is closest to what my refrigerator looks like right now. Lots of healthy food, but kind of messy, and in need of organization. Let me tell you what I have in my peppers, red peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, baby carrots, boneless chicken breasts, Fage Greek yogurt, peaches, 1% milk, jelly, water, red grapes, cantaloupe, and a bottle of white wine that's been there for a while. I'm sure we will use up the wine at out big Labor Day weekend party.
My pantry has some canned soup and veggies, several boxes of cereal, peanut butter, wheat bread, and some chocolate chip cookies that are for my husband and son...I'm not touching those! I have Zone bars in another cabinet in case I really need something sweet. (Not telling which cabinet...because I'm hiding them from my family!!!)
I am still going to try to get my camera to work, because I really would like to post a picture of my actual refrigerator! I just didn't want to wait too long to at least post this challenge in some way. So...what's in YOUR fridge??? ;o)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Magnificent Motivational Monday!!!

It's Monday everyone! That means weigh-in day for me, along with naming a motivational person of the week. If you are new to my blog, I have decided that no matter what number comes up at weigh-in, I will use it to motivate myself to keep going and do better. I also believe that Monday is a great day to name somebody to inspire us all for the week ahead.

I walked into my bathroom this morning, anxious and hopeful to find out what my good buddy the scale had to tell me. I stepped on, watching those digital numbers jump around until they finally landed at my weight. I'm happy to report that I lost 2.2 pounds! I now weigh 208.2, and it feels great to be under that 210 mark and into the 2-0's! I'm sure the elliptical challenge helped, along with the fact that we now have a son saved up his birthday money and allowance and bought it himself. So far we only have the Wii Sports that came with the system, but I tried the boxing and it's a great little workout. I KO'd my first 3 opponents, and my arms felt like jello. I am still sore from it!

I also feel like I've had several little victories over the past week. Along with completing the challenge, I did not drink any diet soda at all. I stuck to water and drank plenty of it. I'm also proud of the fact that we went to a graduation party on Saturday and I did not stuff myself. I ate grilled chicken and veggies, passing up the fried chicken and greasy sausage. I allowed myself one brownie for a treat. It was so friend's sister-in-law made them and I swear she could give Mrs. Fields a run for her money! I certainly would have eaten more brownies in the past, especially when they were as awesome as these. I enjoyed my one brownie and stayed away from them the rest of the night. It was wonderful to be able to control myself around sweets!

This week my motivational person is my friend Gayle Jordan. Gayle started her weight loss journey a little over a year ago, and so far she has lost over 65 pounds! She has been going for her dreams ever since, and had a great shot at becoming the Face of Fox at her local TV station in Virginia. She did not get that job, but she does not let that stop her. She is now a CrossFit trainer, helping others lose the weight and get in shape too. She is an amazing lady, and you can check out her website at I promise you will be inspired!

Here's to a great week for all of us...and always reach for your dreams!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mission Accomplished!!!

Remember my mission from earlier this week? I was challenged to do something new at least 3 times this week, and I chose the elliptical machine. The goal was 10 minutes on this piece of equipment that kicks my butt everytime I try to do it. Because of that, I've always stopped after only a minute or so on it. It always felt like that machine had my was as if every time I looked over at it from the treadmill, it was taunting me and laughing, because I kept giving up on it. I tried not to look at it when I wasn't working out on the other equipment, so I wouldn't constantly think about how I spent good money on that thing but was afraid to use it.

This week I was determined that even if it did kick my butt, I was going to put up a good fight. The first day was Monday, and I went for 5 minutes, took a minute break, and then got back on to do the other 5 minutes. On Wednesday I went the entire 10 minutes without stopping. I was so sore all over, but it felt great...and it was SO worth it! I began to feel stronger, not just in my body, but stronger in mind and spirit as well.

Last night was the third time on the machine, and I definitely felt more confident when I approached it. As I got closer to the 10 minute mark, I started thinking that I needed to better my time, even if only by a small amount. I kept going and made it to a little over 12 minutes. That may not seem like a lot...but it is absolutely a victory for me!

I'm so thankful that I had this made me face that old "I can't" mentality that has kept me overweight for years. What an awesome feeling to conquer that elliptical! I don't imagine it teasing me anymore, because I know now that I can do it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Honest Scrap Award!!!

I am very touched and proud to receive my very first blog award! The amazing Melissa @ bestowed this honor upon me yesterday...the Honest Scrap Award. This award is given for these reasons:

"Bestowed upon a fellow blogger whose blog content or design, in the givers opinion, is brilliant. This award is about bloggers who post from their heart, who often times put their heart on display as they write from the depths of their soul."

There are three rules to follow upon receiving this award:

1. Brag about it!
2. Find 7 blogs you find brilliant and link them to this post
3. List 10 honest things about yourself

I know I've already taken care of the first on to #2. These 7 blogs inspire me in weight loss, writing , and other aspects of life:

Melissa C. @
Michelle @
Kristine @
Lori @
Mesha @
Melissa B. @
Pam @

So now for the third part:

1. I have a recurring dream where Jillian Michaels is standing next to me while I'm on the treadmill...and she's yelling at me to go faster and push harder!

2. I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas for songs or other writing endeavors. I have to keep pen and paper on the nightstand so I'm ready when the muse wakes me!

3. I, like many of my fellow bloggers, am addicted to the Food Network. Like my friend Marissa says...that does not help when you are trying to lose weight! LOL

4. Not only was I crazy about David Cassidy as a kid...I still am. Thank God he's back on TV, and I still want to sing with him!

5. I used to be fluent in Spanish, and was the top student in my high school, winning several awards (including one for Spanish poetry). I'm trying to find the time to re-learn what I haven't used in a long time.

6. I really miss my mom, and her Polish cooking...stuffed cabbage, kielbasa and sauerkraut...the list could go on forever!

7. I was very sensitive as a kid, which I'm sure contributed to my weight problem. It's better now, but I still have my moments.

8. I used to play pedal steel guitar, inspired by Barbara Mandrell. I still have my instrument, and would like to start that back up again too.

9. I have neighbors that make me self-concious when I'm outside or walking through the neighborhood, because they look me up and down with disgust because of my size. No wonder their kids make fun of people too. I'm finally getting to the point where I don't give a hoot and just get out there and enjoy myself, whether they are outside looking at me or not!

10. I want to be on the Hot Tamale Train!!! (Hope you see this Ms. Murphy!)

Thank you Melissa for the award, it really means a lot to me and helps me stay focused on my journey! xoxoxo Marie :o)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Operation Fat Blaster - Mission #2!

This week, those of us at Operation Fat Blaster have a new mission. We are doing something new that we have not done before, like a new workout, healthy food, or exercise class. Whatever we try, we have to do it at least three times this week.

I have an elliptical machine at home, which is basically like brand new. I've had it for a couple of years, but never did more than a minute on it every now and then because I wimped out and felt like it was too hard for me. I kept saying that I would start using it more once I lost some of the weight and my body could handle it better.

Well, I decided that the elliptical would be my challenge for this week. I'm going to do at least ten minutes on it, three days this week. No chickening out allowed! I did the first day yesterday, and my legs were killing me. I did five minutes, stopped for a minute, and then did the other I completed the entire ten minutes. Tomorrow is the next elliptical day for me, and the goal is to go the whole ten minutes without any break.

Now, I am also still doing the treadmill or exercise DVD that I would normally do, just adding this new challenge to it. I've been doing really well with my water intake, and eating more fruits and veggies. I am determined that this is going to be a great week!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy Motivational Monday!

I want to start this post off by saying that I did really well this week with exercise and food. The only indulgence I had was splitting that scoop of ice cream at the beach with my son. I've been drinking a lot of water, and thought I'd see a big loss on the scale.

I stepped up to the plate this morning, and instead of a home run I hit it right into the pitcher's glove. (I was hoping for at least a double!) I now weigh 210.4...which means I lost .2 pounds this week. I have to admit that I am disappointed with this. I've thought of two reasons for the minimal loss: First of all it is "that time of the month", which almost always messes with my weight, so hopefully I'll show a bigger loss next Monday to make up for it. Secondly, this past Tuesday I drank a lot of diet soda, when I haven't been drinking it for a while. I didn't just have one can either. I've got to completely stay away from that stuff and see what happens. I haven't had any since then, but the amount I drank that day could very well have messed with my weight loss.

One of my Operation Fat Blaster friends, Melissa, recommended that I start measuring as well, because if the scale doesn't show much of a loss I may still have lost inches. Today I took my waist measurement, which is 43", and my hip measurement, which is 49 3/4". Now I'll have a reference point and check that weekly as well, so I can check my progress in more than one way.

My motivational person for this week is Ruby Gettinger, from the show Ruby on Style Network. For those of you who don't watch the show, Ruby was once over 700 pounds. She is now down to she's lost over half of her body weight, and most of the time with a beautiful smile on her face! If you want to check out some information on Ruby you can go to and see why she is such an inspiration!

I am certainly still going to work hard this week, and keep away from that diet soda! Time to move on from here and keep it moving!!!