Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pink Ribbon Recipe

*photo courtesy of Vitamix.

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this is the last day of the month, I want to feature a recipe I discovered on Tuesday night. My friend Debbie and I went to the Guitars For Girls concert at Lorain County Community College, and all of the proceeds went to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This event was sponsored by WGAR radio, and the 3 wonderful gentlemen who performed did not receive a penny for the show. James Otto, Richie McDonald, and Chuck Wicks donated their time and talent to the cause.
There were many tables featuring information about breast cancer, and Vitamix had their own booth where they mixed up these Pink Ribbon Smoothies for us to sample. Not only is it delicious, but the fruits in the smoothie have awesome disease-fighting properties. Here is their recipe...The directions are for the Vitamix but you can also whip this up in a regular blender if that's what you have.
Pink Ribbon Smoothie
1 cup red grapes
1 cup strawberries, fresh
1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup ice cubes
Place all ingredients in the Vitamix container in the order listed. Secure 2-part lid. Select VARIABLE, speed #1. Turn on machine and quickly increase speed to #10, then to HIGH. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth. Yields 2 1/2 cups.
Recipe is low-fat, low-carb, low-sodium, low-cholesterol, heart healthy, gluten-free, and vegetarian. Please go to for more information on the disease-fighting properties of red grapes and strawberries.
Just because this is the last day of October doesn't mean we should forget about breast cancer awareness. Continue to support the cause all year long...wouldn't it be great if we found a cure for this awful disease that affects so many people?
Also...Happy Halloween to all of you. Don't let the ghosts and goblins get you...and don't let the Halloween candy get you either!!! ;o)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Signs of Progress!!!

It's been a pretty good week so far...I'm dealing better with the stress and not turning to sweets to make me feel better. I'm also not letting my allergies stop me from exercising. Sure, my sinuses are not happy with me while I'm on the treadmill or working out to one of my dance DVD's, but that's OK. It will make for a healthier me in the long run, instead of being twice as miserable!
I am starting to notice some real signs of progress now. The one I really love is the definition I'm starting to see in my calves. No, they don't look like the picture above yet...but I am on my way to that! After seeing the improvement in my legs, I decided to try on my favorite pair of dark brown boots from last fall. I had such a hard time getting them zipped all the way last year. I got them to work, I'm sure just out of sheer will on my part. However, I was always afraid that the zippers were going to bust from forcing myself into them. When I put them on today, I had no problem zipping them up! I love these kinds of little victories!
I'm also enjoying the fact that some of my pants are fitting better, and that a couple of shirts that couldn't quite button last year now fit nicely. I know I still have a long way to go, but I like to see how far I've come. These are the things that keep me going, even when the number on the scale isn't exactly what I was hoping for. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I will keep going in the right direction, celebrate every mile marker that I pass, and continue on until I win the race!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Motivational Monday...Figuring It Out!

This week was a rough week for me...those of you who read my last post know why. I'm doing a lot of soul searching to figure out what keeps holding me back at times. I seriously wasn't expecting a loss on the scale this week, but somehow I did manage to lose that .4 pounds that I had gained the week before while my son was home sick. So I am back at 198.4.
I have to admit I ate half a bag of Halloween candy while working through a lot of emotions. (This is the reason we ususally don't buy our candy until the day before Halloween...we would eat it all!) I also went for a special fast food trip on Long John Silver's. I know now exactly why I did that. I was missing my mom, and this was her favorite place to eat. I recall many a Sunday when my dad would go to early Mass because he sold real estate part time and had to hold Sunday open houses. My mom and I would go to a later Mass and then head to LJS for lunch...laughing, talking, and enjoying each other's company. We would have all kinds of conversations, about anything and everything. I only go maybe twice a year to eat there now, and usually sometime during October I wind up there because this is the month that I lost her and also her birth month.
So, I know some of my problem has to do with losing my mom and all of the complex emotions I still deal with. I'm still in the process of figuring the rest of it out: I know's there's more going on than just that. Since Friday, however, I've decided that I will journal my feelings and find something else constructive to do so I don't run for food to make me feel better. And now Long John Silver's has plenty of healthy options on the menu, so next time I can go in honor of my mom, but just not order my usual...I can still eat there without eating grease. I also know the reason I lost any weight this week is that I kept up my exercise, so it's crucial that I use exercise to work out my emotions.
I just discovered this week's motivational person. Shay from this season's Biggest Loser posted a link to her friend Jennifer's blog, GOING CLEAN With The Eat Clean Diet. I've already been exploring Tosca Reno's Eat Clean program, so this was perfect timing. Check out Jennifer at She shares many great tips and ideas!
This week WILL be better! I'm starting to have my breakthrough...and the world just better watch out! :o)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Lessons Learned From The Biggest Loser

Every week on The Biggest Loser brings out all kinds of emotions in me, but this past Tuesday really hit home with me in a couple of ways. It was the light bulb going off in my head, not once but twice.
When the black team wound up going home for the week, Danny had a moment when he realized that he became so different from the person he was 15 years ago...someone he didn't even recognize. He is determined to get back to that person he was: ambitious and full of life. I recognized myself in that. It has also been 15 years for me, and it started when my mom had cancer and then passed away. I had lost all the weight a few years before that, but it all started coming back on during that time. I miss the woman I was before...and slowly but surely I'm finding her again!
My other epiphany moment came when Jillian was working with Daniel, and she knew something was bothering him deep down...something that was holding him back from his fullest potential. He had a breakthrough moment when he realized that in the back of his mind he was still hanging on to childhood feelings about his mom. When she would get on his case to lose weight, he would get mad and eat even more. He now realizes that she was doing it out of love and trying to get him healthy, and he wants to make it up to her now.
Even though I am doing well on my weight loss journey, I know that there is still something inside of me holding me back from going all out. I'm proud of how far I've come, but I really want to tap into my full potential and be my best. I'm doing a lot of soul searching now, trying to figure out just what is holding me back. It may go back further than 15 years, or it could be something more recent. I don't know yet...but I will figure it out.
I am so thankful for The Biggest Loser. Not only do they working on eating and weight loss, but on what's eating at the contestants. This in turn helps me on my journey, in weight loss, health, and life!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Motivational Monday

This past week was extremely rough for me in terms of exercise. My son was home all week from school sick, and I did fit in some exercise...but no where near the amount I would normally do. I still ate pretty healthy, but I know I did not drink enough water each day. Kind of ironic, since the doctor told me to make sure my son stayed well hydrated. I made sure he got all of the water and fluids he needed...but in worrying about and taking care of him, I neglected to do that for myself!

It was really no surprise when I got on the scale this morning that I did not lose any weight. In fact, I gained .4 pounds. Now, I can't complain...with the way the week went I'm actually happy that I gained less than half a pound. I'm still under 200, and I will just move on from here.

The good news is that my son is feeling better and back at school. We found out that hundreds of kids throughout the district have been out sick, and his case was actually mild compared to most, so I'm thankful for that.

My motivational people this week are the folks at Oxygen Magazine. I am so inspired by the stories, and look forward to trying some of the exercises featured in the magazine. There are so many healthy clean eating tips and so much great advice from everyone involved. You can check them out at

Here's to a better week this week for all of us. This week I am picking up the pace and going full force. Let's blast that fat!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Motivational Monday...One-derland!!!

I am SO HAPPY today!!! Even with the rough week, I stuck with my healthy eating habits...thanks to God and my wonderful friends. I did miss a workout on Thursday...and last night did limited exercise because of a bad stomachache. I can report today, however, that I lost 1.6 pounds. This puts me at I'm out of the 200's and back in the 100's!!!
This just goes to show what you can do when you believe in yourself, persevere, and lean on your friends for support when you need it. I haven't been under 200 in about 4 years, so I'm really excited today. The number on the scale will only go down from here!!!
My motivational person today is Stacey Capers, who was on The Biggest Loser along with her husband Adam and is keeping the weight off. They are committed to helping others achieve their fitness goals as well. You can check out their website at . And today is also Stacey's stop by and wish her a very Happy Birthday!
There is no stopping me now...and no stopping you either. We are all here for each other, and together we can make it happen!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

There are some days that no matter how positive of a person you are, no matter how hard you try not to venture into the darkness, you still wind up feeling really down. Yesterday was one of those days for me.

15 years ago yesterday, my mom passed away from cancer. Every year when it gets near this anniversary, I tell myself that I'm not going to get into that deep despair. I try to reason that it's been such a long time since she died, and that I can handle it this year. Every year the day comes and I am a mess. I remember holding her hand and talking to her as she slipped away and went to heaven. I think about how upset my dad was that he wasn't in the room when she died...the doctors had expected her to last until the evening, so he ran home to get his insulin that he had forgotten. He got back about 10 minutes after she was gone, and was beside himself. I was the only one with her when she died. One of her nurses, a very sweet nun, told us that there was a reason that it happened that way, but I know my dad still thinks about how he should have been there.

Yesterday was no exception: I was a royal mess. When I posted on my Facebook page about my mom, so many friends were there to help me through the day. Some called me on the phone, and some who live out of state or even in another country messaged me throughout the day and helped me out of my funk. By evening, I was ready to celebrate my mom's life, so I started posting clips of her favorite singer, Tom Jones. The music helped me, and I sang along and thought about my mom. Even more friends helped my celebrate her life, and I am so grateful for all of them.

I also usually wind up pigging out every October 8th. This time, I still wanted to go for a fast food run or gorge on sweets, but I didn't. God's gift of friendship and music helped me get through the day without resorting to a food coma. I am so blessed to have all of my friends, I don't know what I would have done without you yesterday, or any other day for that matter. I love all of you!!! xoxoxo

Monday, October 5, 2009

First October Motivational Monday!

Well, I stepped it up this week just like I promised in my new goals for the month of October. I didn't let my allergies stop me, like I would have in the past. On Wednesday when I had a crazy busy day I missed my workout...but on Thursday I made up for it by doing both my dance workout and the treadmill. I don't want to lose my momentum!
I got on the scale this morning to find that I lost 1.4 pounds. You would think I'd be a little disappointed with that after all of the extra effort this week, but I'm not. It is also that famous "time of the month"...during which I usually do not lose weight and sometimes gain. It is a great victory to get past that monthly hurdle and lose almost a pound and a half! I now weigh 200 on the next week I will definitely be seeing the 100's!!!
This week I am again picking several motivational people for the week. The current cast of The Biggest Loser has so many hurdles to overcome...physically, mentally, and emotionally. I identify with all of them for different reasons, and I bet you will too. It's only become more intense since the season premiere. Check them out at to be inspired...I dare you to sit on the couch eating cookies after this!
Here's to a great week ahead for all of us: filled with healthy eating, calorie burning, fat blasting, and strength from God!

Friday, October 2, 2009

October Goals

It's time to set some new goals for October. I've had a few rough days during September, but overall I still did well. I do know, however, that I can definitely improve upon the month that just passed, and make this new month even better.
I am setting a goal weight of 190 by Halloween. This will mean losing approximately 11 pounds for the month, but if I step it up in all areas I'm sure I will get there. Water is one thing I've stayed pretty consistent with, so I need to keep that up. I need to eat even more produce...I've been really good about vegetables, but need to get on board with the fruit. I've been sporadic with that lately, so that is something I need to work on for sure.
As for exercise...I've done well except for those few days around my son's birthday, but that's not enough. I'm back to a regular workout schedule, but will incorporate strength training into my routine now. I also fell away from the elliptical trainer for a couple of weeks, so I'm going to be including that in my workouts too. I know I can do more than I have been, and if I commit to that, it will pay off!
It's a brand new month - time for a brand new start. Excuses? NO WAY! October is my breakthrough month...there will be no stopping me now!!!