Friday, April 30, 2010
Since my birthday was on Monday, I decided to make a list of the things I want to accomplish before next April 26th. Some of them will be no surprise to you...but others might.
My List To Accomplish During My 44th Year
1. Know God even better
2. Become a published author
3. Run first 5K (scheduled to run Race For The Cure)
4. Learn Ballroom Dancing
5. Sing with a band
6. Record and publish my songs
7. Get more freelance work, especially magazines
8. Tennis lessons
9. Learn to swim
10. Start skiing again
11. Finish losing weight and reach my goal!
As you know, some of these goals are already in progress...like weight loss, freelance writing, and my novel, which is just about ready to shop around. The others are the things I've wanted to do for a long time, but now it's time to make them happen. Now I need to not just dream...but make plans and do!
What would be on your list of things you would like to accomplish? Let's all move from thinking to doing...write it down and make it happen!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Last night's episode of Biggest Loser was especially emotional for me. Now, you all know that I cry every week at some point during the show, but this time I cried for almost the entire two hours. So many people are all in the same boat...unhealthy, overweight or obese, and in need of a boost to change their lifestyles for the better. A report from Men's Health magazine stated that 5 of the fattest cities in America are in Texas, so the seven remaining contestants flew there to motivate and inspire as many people as they could.
Each player led a team, filled with out of shape Texans, on a 5K through Dallas, ending at the Cotton Bowl stadium. Michelle Aguilar and Tracey Yukich were also on hand to fire up the race participants, and show them that they are proof that it can be done. Everyone involved was so moved by the experience, glad for the chance to pay forward what they learned on the ranch to help others get healthy and reach their goals.
Let's face it...there is an overwhelming amount of obesity in this country, not just in Texas. Not everyone who needs to lose a significant amount of weight will get a chance to be on Biggest Loser. We all need to be educated about weight and health so we can make changes, and not just wait around for a spot on the show. The longer you wait to start getting healthy, the more likely you will develop more problems and lower your quality of life. Don't wait around...start now!!!
It was awesome to see Sunshine go back and walk with O'Neal's group after her group had finished the race. Michael went back to help CJ finish the race...her daughter Maresa stayed alongside her as well, and she was determined to finish. Everyone cheered as she crossed that finish line, and of course I cried my eyes out. Bob went to a 24 Hour Fitness to work out others, and get them started on a healthy path. Jillian went to a high school with Abby Rike, and spoke to the students. One girl stood up to ask a question, and my heart broke for her. I was her back in the day...not quite as heavy as she was, but still significantly overweight in high school. I remember well the ridicule, and going home so upset that I just ate more. She told Jillian that her family did not support her...in fact they told her she would never be thin or live any of her dreams. What an awful way to go through your teenage years, with your family putting you down and dismissing your dreams all the time! Jillian spoke with this girl after the assembly, and I was so impressed. I pray for this girl, that she can raise herself above her bad environment and live the life she wants. We all need someone to speak that encouragement into our lives, and in turn we can do that for others...there is nothing better in life than to raise another person up.
When O'Neal was sent home, more tears came. Not only did he lose a lot of weight, but he had a positive impact on each and every one of the contestants at the ranch. That is the kind of person I want to be...the one who not only improves my own life, but causes others to become better people as well. Well done, O'Neal...I aspire to be like you!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Hmm...that cupcake crowded with candles looks just about right, except that I need a full-size cake to fit all of my candles on it! ;o) Today I am officially 44 years young.
I said last week that I was going to work extra hard during the week leading up to my birthday, and I did. Harder workouts, eating better, more water...I can say I definitely put in the work. On the scale this morning, all of that work added up to a .4 pound loss. I can't complain (well, I could, but I won't) because it's still a loss. It all adds up.
This past year, I started my weight loss plan about a month after my birthday...and after making it through having surgery and other life emergencies, I am 34.6 pounds lighter than my last birthday. This is the accomplishment I will focus on, because for too many years I would make a vow on my birthday to lose weight before the next one, but I never made good on it. This year, I succeeded. I can feel proud today that I made significant progress on my goals this year, and that I am a better person than I was a year ago, in more ways than just weight loss.
Today I make a new vow...to continue this journey, keep losing weight and getting healthier, and continue to strive and become the person God intends me to be. I'm already on my way, and with His gifts of grace, courage, and strength I will get there. So I celebrate my birthday by seeing how far I've come in the past year..and looking forward to even greater success in this year that starts now!
Friday, April 23, 2010
Well, I may not quite be ready to face Maria Sharapova yet, but I'm ready to play tennis! I'm so happy that the weather is getting nicer and I can actually do things outside. Pretty soon I'll be planting a garden, so I can have fresh veggies right in my own backyard that are free of chemicals and pesticides. I haven't planted one in years, but now is the time. I have more energy and will be able to keep up with the gardening now. It always tastes better when you grow it yourself!
My absolute favorite spring and summer activity, though, is tennis. I've loved the sport ever since I was a young girl, and enjoyed hitting the ball around with my friends. When no one else was available to play, I would bounce the tennis ball up against the brick wall and just practice by myself on our cement patio. I could literally do this for hours...or until all 3 balls from the Wilson can had been hit up onto our roof and gotten stuck. Then I would have to fetch my dad so he could get up on the ladder and retrieve them for me. He would always give me "that look" when I came to get him, but I knew that he really didn't mind, because I was getting some good exercise.
I've played sporadically over the years, and never had actual tennis lessons. Last summer I started hitting the ball around with my son, and we both have a lot of fun. I would like to get better, and take lessons when I have the funds to do so. One thing I have noticed, however, is how much better I've gotten since we had to put the racquets away for the winter. I can run better, hit better, and have more stamina now. I attribute this to having 34 less pounds to lug around while I play. I can really tell the difference...and there will only be more improvement as I continue to shed weight.
So if you ask me if I'm up for a few sets, I will gladly tell you yes. But be aware that this woman does not go down easily...in tennis or in life. Bring it on!!! ;o)
Thursday, April 22, 2010
A report came out yesterday from the American Medical Association, stating that people who eat more added sugar are at higher risk for heart disease. Of course this makes sense, since diabetics are more likely to develop heart problems. Seeing this article, though, makes it clear that even if you never develop diabetes, if you have too much sugar in your diet you can still be at risk.
Diabetes runs in my family. Both of my grandparents (my dad's parents) had it, and my dad and all of his brothers wound up with it as well. Out of 8 boys, 7 of them were diabetic...and the one who wasn't died in the Korean War at a young age, so he didn't live long enough to see if he would have had it too, although it's most likely he would have.
My dad is the last one standing in his family. All of his brothers are gone, and my dad has outlived them all. I truly believe this is because he is the youngest brother, and we've learned more about how to handle diabetes in more recent times. My dad just turned 78 last month...and God willing he will have many more birthdays as he takes care of himself. He did have to have triple bypass a few years ago. His blood pressure and cholesterol were excellent...but the diabetes caused the heart problems. This is a good example of how sugar can affect your heart.
I do not have diabetes, and hopefully I will never develop it. I constantly remind myself that I really have to watch my gigantic sweet tooth so I can prevent those problems. The new article is the reminder I needed that it's about my heart as well as my pancreas. I eat a lot less sugar than I used to, but I still have the urge at times to down half a bag of M & M's or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I don't keep them in the house, because if I did they would be calling my name. If I have a taste for a little sugar, I walk up to the corner store and buy a single serving pack of the candy. That way I'm not tempted to eat beyond what I should. I also limit those little treats to once a week or less, because I do not need to be putting that much sugar in my body everyday. Even if I do not become diabetic, that much sugar is still not good for me.
If you would like to read the article, it's at www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63J66220100420. Remind yourself why you are losing weight, and why you need to eat healthy foods. It will help you keep your perspective on the days the sugar monster calls out to you!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This week's Biggest Loser was extremely emotional. O'Neal fell during the challenge and had to be taken to the hospital. He re-injured his knee, and it made working out that much harder for him. He had it wrapped to keep it immobilized, and continued exercising to the best of his ability. Then...he got a phone call telling him that his older brother had passed away. He felt really awful that he wasn't able to say goodbye to his brother, and Bob talked to him so he could continue on. Jillian took him to work out, and he wound up kicking the machines in anger and frustration over his brother. Jillian took him out for a walk, supporting him because of his knee. He finally broke down and said all of the things he wished he could have said to his brother. Bob and Jillian were both very proud of O'Neal, because in the past he would have eaten his way through the pain, and now he was working through it in the gym.
Other players had breakthroughs as well. Daris realized that he used to always be the quiet person who just sat back and watched life go by...now he's stepped up to be a leader. Ashley had some rough moments early in the week because Andrea had gone home. She now felt like she was all alone on campus, and it really got to her. Bob talked her through it, and told her to acknowledge how far she had come, and realize how strong she was now. Victoria wound up going home, but she sure showed everyone what she's made of. She and her mom Cherita look fabulous!
Bob said something to Ashley that resonates with me...he told her that when you are tested in your life, it means you have the potential for greatness. I wrote that down the minute he said it, but it's permanently etched in my mind. I've felt alone at times like Ashley, and I've eaten my way through grief, especially when my mom passed away years ago. I was also like Daris...the quiet one who never wanted to make waves and sat by watching things happen for other people. I have been tested in more ways than I can count, but I know that the potential for greatness lies within me. God put it there, and he's using my trials to make me stronger and more courageous in my life. I can feel this at work in everyday, and it keeps me going during those rough times we all have to go through.
We are like diamonds...God is doing the cutting and polishing, so we can shine brightly!
Monday, April 19, 2010
It's weigh in day once again. Every Monday I feel like I'm stepping on that giant Biggest Loser scale, wondering where the number will settle and what kind of progress I can report. Even though I'm weighing in by myself, it still feels like all eyes are upon me. At least I know one thing...I can't be sent home. I'm already at home! :o)
Today I can report that I've lost 1 pound for the week. I love seeing progress on the scale, but I also can tell you about progress in a different way as well. I put on a pair of pants that I haven't even thought about trying on in ages, and they are loose enough that they are starting to fall off. If I really wanted to, I could wear them out in public and be "in style" like the teenagers who wear their pants that way on purpose...but that's not me, so that pair of pants gets packed away to give to charity and I will keep trying on more things that may actually fit now!
In one week I will turn 44 years old. I'm going to be pushing extra hard, because I'd really like to see the scale dip below 180 on my birthday. The best present of all right now is that I really feel like I'm hitting my stride, more than ever before. I have more confidence and energy, and that's a gift that I will never return!
Speaking of strides, several former Biggest Loser contestants are in the middle of running the Boston Marathon right now. If you want big time motivation, go to www.bostonmarathon.org and check out how everyone is doing. Whether you've been running for a long time or are newer to it like me, you will be inspired like never before!
Friday, April 16, 2010
I drink a lot of water. Usually it's just plain water, either bottled or from the tap. Occasionally I add some lemon or lime to it, but I still drink it the way nature made it most of the time. I know it's best for my body to drink it that way...but every so often I feel the need to shake things up and add a little variety to my beverage of choice.
That is how I discovered SoBe Lifewater. It was on sale at the grocery store, so I picked up a few bottles. My favorites are the Lean Machine flavors, which are not only enhanced with vitamins, but with citrimax and ginseng as well. And these flavors are zero calories! My current favorite is the Strawberry Dragonfruit...it's naturally sweetened and curbs my sugar cravings. I plan on using these every so often, along with my regular water intake. It's a nice little added boost for me, which we all need every now and then.
I just discovered by going to their website today that SoBe is currently offering a buy one get one free coupon, which really makes me happy! You can get the coupon too, just go to www.sobe.com and there is a link to print the coupon. For those of you who don't like drinking plain water, or are like me and just want to add a little variety, this is a great way to try the products and taste them for yourselves. Enjoy your SoBe, and always be the best that you can be!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
It was really great to see Danny Cahill back on The Biggest Loser last night! He was there to help money expert Suze Orman talk to the remaining players about financial health. Both of them agree that fiscal wellness and fitness go hand in hand. It was a big wake up call to some of the contestants. It was also something that I really paid attention to, since my husband is still job hunting...we have to really concentrate on both our health and finances and make the right moves.
Danny was also there to motivate everyone in the gym. He still looks awesome, and he talked to everyone about believing in themselves and really going for the title of Biggest Loser. Andrea really got a lot out of her conversation with Danny, realizing that she really is worthy of the top spot...in this game and in life. An epiphany also happened for Victoria, when Jillian kept questioning her about why she got to 380 pounds in the first place and why she was there. It took a while for Victoria to open her mind and really think about it, but finally she told Jillian that she always felt that she wasn't good enough and didn't deserve great things to happen to her. She also felt that she was so far behind everyone else at the ranch, because she had only been there for a short time so far. Jillian helped her realize that she is as beautiful and worthy of greatness as everyone else is...and she needs to go for it!
I can definitely say that these moments really hit me, because I've had those kinds of feelings myself. I've thought I wasn't good enough, or beautiful enough, or worth the extra time and effort to take better care of myself. I still struggle with those feelings from time to time, but I've come a long way in knowing that God made me a good person, who is beautiful and worthy. I do deserve to take care of myself, and achieve great things...just like we all do. Knowing this helps me persevere, even when there are tough days. I will get there...and I am worth it!!!
Monday, April 12, 2010
This past week has really been crazy. As you may know, I spent the first half of the week sick and unable to exercise. I also didn't feel like eating much, but staying in bed and laying on the couch feeling miserable meant I probably wasn't even burning off the little bit of food I did eat.
By Wednesday evening, I felt well enough to start walking again...I took it easy those first couple of days back, so I wouldn't wear myself out too much. Then I stepped it up. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I really went all out. I really pushed myself on the treadmill, and started swinging around that kettlebell. I feel so much stronger from stepping up my game.
The other plus is that all of my hard work paid off on the scale this week. This morning I discovered that I lost 2.4 pounds, putting me at 183.8 now. The 170's are not that far away...and I can't wait to see them!
This week I urge you to check out www.weightwatchers.com. I don't follow their program exactly, but I do use many of their recipes and tips in my own journey. And you can't help but be inspired by Jennifer Hudson. Have you seen her yet? She is the new Weight Watchers spokeperson...and she looks amazing! She is at the thinnest she's ever been in her adult life, and now she can keep up with her son, who will turn 1 in August. Soon he will be walking and running around, and she'll have plenty of energy to play with him.
I'm keeping a current picture of Jennifer up on my refrigerator for extra motivation. Coupled with my great week on the scale...look out world, here I come!!!
Friday, April 9, 2010
No...not THAT kind of swinging. Once I picked the title, all I could think of was the episode of Just Shoot Me where Maya and Elliott wanted to learn swing dancing, and when they met up with another couple who were "swingers", they totally misunderstood and had to flee quickly. DEFINITELY NOT that kind of swinging...no thank you!!!
Today I'm swinging the kettlebell around. I've been wanting the Kettlenetics set for quite a while, and I finally was able to pick it up at Target with a gift card I was given. The kettlebell that comes with this set is 4 pounds, which will be a good start for me. Once I master that, I can work my way up to heavier weights. I practiced a little bit with it last night...at first it felt like I was swinging around nothing (my PURSE used to weigh more than that!) but after a while I could really feel it. I may graduate to a heavier kettlebell sooner than I thought, but I will use this one for a while to keep variety in my workouts.
Today is a good indoor workout day, since I saw snowflakes outside and there is also a light drizzle. (Spring weather, please come back!) Tonight I will have my special grilled chicken, marinated with Frank's Chile-n-Lime sauce, hit the treadmill, and swing my little kettlebell around. Swing dancing is coming soon...and maybe the swings at the park, but none of the other kind! :o)
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
This week's Biggest Loser had an unusual twist...everyone was given the chance to be the first one to lose 2% of his or her body weight to win immunity for the week. Whenever someone felt ready to weigh in early and claim that prize, they had to press a red button to sound the alarm and give them access to the scale. Some of the players were determined to be the one, and worked extra hard to get there. Sam, Koli, and Melissa all got up in the middle of the night to work out in the gym in order to reach their goals.
Victoria was the first person to press the button, but she did not reach her 2% goal. Sam was the next one to go for it, and not only did he reach his goal...he surpassed it! He needed to lose 6 pounds for the immunity, but found that he had lost 10 pounds, and it was only part way through the week. He got immunity, which was extra sweet after being below the yellow line the week before.
When the rest of the players got to the regular weigh in, there were a few surprises as some of the contestants registered small losses for the week. They all knew they worked just as hard as they always do, and in some cases even harder than before. Andrea was especially despondent, wondering aloud why she was even bothering to try when she only saw a 2 pound loss. Jillian and Bob told her that they would not allow her to get into that frame of mind...she should be thinking about how far she has already come, and that some weeks are just like that. You never, ever give up!
Melissa also had trouble with the scale, even after all of her extra gym sessions. She wound up being sent home, but took away all of the positive things she learned on the ranch. Her marriage and family were stronger now, and she lost a lot of weight...and is continuing to lose more at home. She ran a half marathon for her 40th birthday, and she looks fabulous. One bad week does not define a person; it's what you do after a bad week that makes you who you are.
I know we can all learn a lot from this. I myself have had some weeks that have been a struggle, but I have to look at how far I've come on my journey so far. I'm down over 30 pounds, which is a great accomplishment. I'm becoming healthier through all of the struggles, and will continue to get stronger as I go. I'm starting to feel a little better after being sick earlier in the week, and I'm determined to do everything I can the rest of this week to make up for it. No giving up for me...I will reach my goals and there is no stopping me!
Monday, April 5, 2010
I hope all of you had a wonderful and blessed Easter. I enjoyed mine very much, spending time with family and thinking about the real meaning of Easter.
Today, I am getting over being sick since the middle of the night. I was supposed to go to a memorial service for a good friend's mom today, but I stayed home while the rest of my family went, since I was in no shape to attend. I am praying for her mom as we speak, and feel awful that I couldn't be there. I did not even weigh myself today, because when I finally slept I woke up at 1:30 in the afternoon and decided against it. I will resume my weigh in next Monday, and just work on feeling better and eating properly...I'm drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated, and I'm hoping by at least Wednesday to feel up to exercising.
I did a good job at our holiday festivites, eating small portions and not overindulging. I had already been feeling like I was coming down with something a couple of days before, and I'm thankful that it at least held off until after Easter Sunday. I know God will help me bounce back quickly from this, especially since my body in in better shape than it used to be. Even though I still have a long way to go, I've still come a long way!
My motivational and inspirational message for us this week is: God says to treat our bodies like a temple. Let's continue to celebrate the message of Easter, by honoring God with how we treat ourselves. God created us, now we need to take care if His creation by taking good care of ourselves...body, mind, heart, and soul.
Friday, April 2, 2010
As some of you know, every now and then I post a list of positive things that have happened on my weight loss journey, that have nothing to do with the number on the scale. These are the things that keep me going when that number doesn't move down as quickly as I would like it to. Here is my latest list of victories:
1. My doctor has TAKEN ME OFF BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION!
2. I have lost 30 pounds since I started this journey.
3. My sugar cravings have gone way down.
4. I have more energy throughout the day.
5. I've gone down a size in pantyhose!
6. Even the sight or smell of greasy food disgusts me.
7. My son says he can tell that I'm getting stronger!
8. I am able to zip up a pair of denim shorts that wouldn't even go over my stomach before!
As Easter approaches and I thank God for His many blessings, I also thank Him for all of these victories...be they large or small, they are all still victories, and I know there are more to come!