Saturday, February 13, 2016


I have high expectations.  Of myself.  Of other people.  Did I mention of myself?  

I started many different methods last week and the results were disappointing at best.  I believed that I would lose a significant amount of weight in that week and I didn't.  2.2 pounds, while something, is not what I would call stellar.  

Did the plan fail?  Did I not follow it properly?  Was there some other reason?

Regardless of the reason, my expectations were not met.  At that point, I had two choices.  I could let it defeat me or I could go around.  I considered throwing out the whole program and just having a pizza.  Then the reality set in that one week does not make or break a successful program.

I did follow the plan.  I ate well and according to the Meal Plan.  I went to Zumba 4 times.  I followed the February Challenge and did those work outs as well.  I took Lean Mode pills as directed.  If anything, I didn't eat enough and my body is reacting to all the extra exercise.  There are a number of possibilities but the answer is definitely not eating like a crazy person.  So, I didn't.  I followed the plan today.  I took a day to allow my body and my mind to rest.  I reset my attitude.

Lesson of the day:  Expectations need to be managed so they don't limit your success.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

I'm Baaaaaaack

It has been far too long since I have been on here and that is unfortunate because it has been a wild ride.  As I continue on my journey, I recognize that I am not quite done yet and probably never will be.  That being said.  I have maintained for the last year or so and I would like to just get over that last few pounds.  It's time for a kick start!  So, I will be starting a 31 day challenge using a couple of different tools and I am excited to see the results.

Tools of the Trade:

1) Superhero Fitness/MOVE Meal Plan by Keaira LaShae and Brina K

2) MOVE February Challenge/Part of March

3) Evlution Nutrition Lean Mode (Fat Burner)

4) I am in the middle of a DietBet

5) My Fitness Pal - just for reference and continued tracking

Let's do this!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Do what it takes to get the results you want

Lately, I have been overly concerned with the amount of excess skin and flab that I have and will probably continue to have for a while.  I read an article that suggested weight lifting as a viable option to combat some of the adverse effects of weight loss.  My first thought was: I am not a bodybuilder nor do I want to be.  It doesn't have to be that extreme though.  I would love to have the beautiful muscles that I had as a teenager.  I was buff and I will be again even if that takes having surgery.  If I can do that by lifting some heavy weights - Let's do it!  So when I get back from my mini-vacation, I am going to start the Strong Lift 5x5 program.  It's simple, straightforward and doesn't require any special skill.  Anything I can do to reduce my need for surgery I am willing to do.  I even ordered a body fat tester today so I can know what impact this is having.  I'm sure I will see it in my clothes too.

Speaking of clothes - I remember saying there is no way I will ever be under a size 10 or 12 because of my bone structure.  I was wrong.  I am in a very loose 14 right now and could go to a size 12 depending on the brand.  I still have 60 pounds to go.  Imagine what size I'll be in then!  Not complaining mind you!  It's just interesting how you can live with an idea in your head for so long that you think it's fact.  I suppose when I was a size 28 the dream of even a 10/12 seemed unattainable.  Nothing is impossible!  You just have to do make it happen.  Whatever that takes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Easy vs Effective

So I am on Facebook and this gal says:  Trying to lose 65 pounds - what's the best product to make that happen?  Or best exercise product.  She went on to say how she needs someone to tell her what to eat so it would make it easier.


My answer:  There is no product that is going to do that long term.  Nothing can replace the simplicity of reducing/eliminating processed food and moving your body.  How you do that is up to you.  Everyone enjoys different things in terms of exercise.  Find something that you like to do and do that.

Here's the problem:  If someone tells you what to eat, you don't learn to make healthy decisions on your own.  You don't change your relationship with food by having someone else tell you what to do.  Don't get me wrong.  That can be helpful initially if you are learning new methods but long term you need to figure it out or you will just put it all right back on.  

The thing is that there are so many variables involved with weight loss that no one thing will work for everyone.  We are all different.  We are motivated by different things.  Different programs work better for different people.  We have our own preferences.  I can tell someone what worked for me.  Is that a guarantee that it will work for them?  Absolutely not!  

Here's what it boils down to.  Easy vs. Effective

The easy way is to just eat lettuce.  Every day for the rest of your life.  You don't have to think about what to eat you just eat it.  Obviously that's a bit of a stretch and certainly not enough to sustain you or give your body the nutrients that it needs.  But it's easy!  

Easy doesn't always work.

Simple works.  Don't eat processed food.  Get some type of exercise.  Can't get much more simple than that.  It took me a long time to get to that point but I can tell you 100 pounds later that it works.  I don't believe in dieting anymore.  I love food and I love to cook.  There is nothing wrong with that.  The type of food and the ingredients I use have certainly changed.  But I have learned that I can be just as creative with vegetables as I can with sauces.  The best part is:  I feel better.

Effective weight loss is something that you can sustain over a long period of time.  If it's too restrictive you'll just rebel and be in the same place you were when you started.  That's why so many "diets" fail.  We get gung ho for a while but then our motivation fades and we have to start all over.  How is starting over all the time easy?  It's not.  It's hard and more than that - It's frustrating.

So before going the "easy" route, think about what you want your long term goals to be.  Think about what you want your lifestyle to look like.  Do you want to be limited to eating salads everyday?  Or would you rather enjoy the benefits that all food have to offer.  I say all foods and I mean all foods.  It's not that pizza's fault that I got fat.  It's the fact that I ate that entire large pizza by myself repeatedly that made me fat.  It's all a matter of perspective.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I would have said the same thing

I came across this today and I have to say I would tell them to take a flying leap.  Be proud of your accomplishments.  Don't let anyone diminish your success!  Here is the link :)

Shape Magazine Refused To Let This Woman Wear A Bikini On Its Site

Brooke Birmingham says the fitness mag is hiding what weight loss really looks like by asking her to cover up. Update: Shape responds and blames freelancer for “misunderstanding.”posted on 

Meet Brooke Birmingham.

Meet Brooke Birmingham.
She’s the 28-year-old, Quad Cities, Ill., blogger behind the site Brooke: Not on a Diet, where she chronicles her incredible weight-loss progress.

Over the past four years, she’s managed to lose more than 170 pounds.

Over the past four years, she's managed to lose more than 170 pounds.
And she’s kept it off for the past year too.
That’s pretty impressive and inspiring!

Shape magazine thought so too, which is why it contacted her to be a part of its “Success Stories” series.

“Success Stories” chronicles inspiring stories of real people who have lost weight and changed their lives.

But when Brooke submitted this “after” photo of herself in a bikini, Shape insisted she send in another of herself in a tee.

But when Brooke submitted this "after" photo of herself in a bikini, Shape insisted she send in another of herself in a tee.

When Brooke asked why they wanted a different photo, she was told it was “policy” to show “Success Stories” in tees.

When Brooke asked why they wanted a different photo, she was told it was "policy" to show "Success Stories" in tees.
“lt’s just their editorial to be fully clothed, simple as that,” the writer explained.
But a quick glance at Shape’s site and other “Success Stories” quickly proves that’s not true. There are several women, including the woman above, who are shown in bikinis on the site.
Not surprisingly, Brooke felt singled out. “I felt like my body wasn’t good enough to be featured on their website,” she told BuzzFeed. “When you log onto their website, the first thing that pops up is a woman in workout pants and a sports bra. There have been other success stories with women in bikinis.”

After going back and forth with Shape, Brooke eventually decided not to allow them to use her story.

After going back and forth with Shape , Brooke eventually decided not to allow them to use her story.
“If I couldn’t have the picture of me in my bikini to go along with my story, then it wasn’t MY story,” she wrote on her blog. “The story I wanted to tell and shout out to the world, not their ideal story. So, if I couldn’t tell it my way, then they weren’t going to be able to tell it at all.”
“It all boils down to, I want people to know they shouldn’t feel ashamed of how they look,” she told BuzzFeed. “They should love their body no matter what. I wear a bikini because it makes me feel good. Just because you don’t have what the media portrays as the ideal body, you’re still beautiful.”
As for what she hopes others will take from her experience, Brooke says that she wants to open up a dialogue about what bodies really look like after extreme weight loss. “I get that they’re a business. I get that America is judging on appearance, but at the same time, some of us need to see the real thing.”

A spokesperson from Shape said this has all been a terrible misunderstanding:

A spokesperson from Shape said this has all been a terrible misunderstanding:
“This is a result of a misunderstanding with a freelance writer. This does not represent Shape’s editorial values and the comments made about Shape’s ‘editorial policy’ are absolutely untrue. Shape prides itself on empowering and celebrating women like Brooke, and any indication that we would not run the piece with the photo provided was wrong, as we would have been proud to share her inspirational story.​”
When BuzzFeed reached out to the freelancer handling the story, Jessica Girdwain, all she would say was, “I totally support what [Shape] says.” Girdwain is not currently under contract with Shape.

Misunderstanding or not, since Brooke posted about her Shape experience on her blog last week, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Misunderstanding or not, since Brooke posted about her Shape experience on her blog last week, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The response has been, ‘I needed to see a picture of this. I needed to know that my body is OK like this,’” she told BuzzFeed. “Yes, there’s been negative people, but I didn’t do this for those people. I did this for people to know that they are not alone in these issues.”

Getting healthy is a process

So, in my last real post I talked about feeling like EVERYTHING I did revolved around my weight loss.  I have found that I have regained some semblance of sanity now that I don't log everything I do in 5 different places.  I still religiously log my food and exercise in MFP.  I do not blog as often.  I still check in on my DietBet that is in progress.  Other than that, I have chilled.

I think that people forget that this is a lifetime journey.  Once you hit that goal you're done.  I don't think it works that way.  I have known many people that get with 10 pounds of their goal or even reach it and then turn around and put all 100+ pounds right back on.  How frustrating is that?  More importantly, wouldn't it be easier to just check in to ensure that you stay on the right track?

That being said, there is no reason to eat a salad for lunch every day for the rest of your life.  I believe the key is moderation.  Many people talk about the 80/20 rule.  Eat healthy 80% of the time and give yourself a break the other 20%.  I am leaning more toward the 90/10 side of things only because there is NO WAY I am gaining all of this back!  Granted, I am not to the maintenance phase yet but I will be soon.

People focus so much on what they CAN'T eat or CAN'T do.  Why?  I can eat whatever I want.  Can I eat it all day every day?  Sure.  If I want to ruin what I have accomplished.  But that doesn't mean that I have to say no to every slice of birthday cake or worry about what I am going to eat at a dinner party.  Moderation.  I have to be able to live life without constantly worrying about it.

On that note, I also see a lot of people beat themselves up over the scale.  1 pound and their life is going to end.  Obviously, weight fluctuates.  They talk about "falling off the wagon" or "cheating".  I don't believe in those things.  I believe in building certain things into your program so that you can be successful.  Are there days that I want to eat everything in sight?  Of course.  I wouldn't be human if I didn't have those days.  Give yourself some room to breathe.  If you find that you are 200 mg over in sodium after you make dinner, then what?  Oh well.  1 day, 1 meal will not change your life.

Variety is good for the body.  It keeps it guessing.  I believe that's why I am having good success with carb cycling.  My food is constantly switching and then I have a day where I can eat whatever I want.  I am aware that it could be damaging but it's not.  Moderation.  I give myself an extra 1,000 calories to have my way with and I'm happy.

Bottom line:  Getting healthy is a process.  It's not always easy but it's definitely worth it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Perspective on Perfect

A reblog from Heidi Powell that really hit home for me :)

I am (still) Perfect…

heidi separator
In speaking to a group of new friends, I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on “perfection”. It made me think of this post, one of the earliest posts I ever wrote for my blog, that really hit home with so many people when I shared it. Enjoy!
Thank goodness for makeup artists! - http://heidipowell.net/227
Thank goodness for makeup artists!
I am Perfect.
Perfectly imperfect, that is.
I use the word “ perfect ” a lot, and oftentimes had people remind me that nothing is perfect. I totally disagree. I believe that everyone and every thing is perfect and beautiful in its imperfect state of being. Think about that for one second – imagine that just maybe your imperfections actually make you perfect. Don’t you just love the freedom that thought gives you? Well, time to realize the reality of the thought and let go of our self-judgments and negative self-talk. It’s time to embrace our imperfections.
Now I’m not saying to throw caution to the wind and go indulge in a gallon of super chunky triple chocolate fudgy goo. I’m saying that it’s okay to mess up, and it’s okay to have faults. For those of you that don’t, I’m sorry. These faults, trials, imperfections and stumbles are our some of our greatest blessings – they’re our ‘springboards’ to becoming the strongest person we can possibly be!
#HeidiPowell #ClipExtensions #IAmPerfect #PerfectlyImperfect - http://heidipowell.net/227
Hair piece! A necessary evil for me!
So why do we so often find ourselves ‘masking up’ for the day before we go out in public? Why do we all feel the need to pretend to be something we are not? Why are we so scared of who we really are? Every time we put on that mask we feel beautiful and invincible. We put on a show of perfection for our friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances…everyone. We’re not true to them, but most importantly we are not true to ourselves. We are a fraud.
Ever feel that way? I sure have, and I still find myself there at times. I have to remind myself of a lesson I learned from my late father: true beauty comes from being honest and authentic.
You’re scared. I hear you. It’s not easy to peek out from behind that mask and share our difficulties and challenges with the world. But trust me, it’s worth it! The freedom that comes with being vulnerable, open, and real is unlike anything else. It’s the most liberating thing I’ve ever experienced, and without a doubt it has become one of the most powerful tools in my arsenal.
“Heidi, this is easy for you to say. You don’t have imperfections like I do.” FALSE! The camera is deceiving and shallow.
My perfectly imperfect feet - bunions and all! - http://heidipowell.net/227
My perfectly imperfect feet – bunions and all!
Behold, a Top 10 list of only some of my many imperfections:
  1. I have bunions.
  2. My nostrils flare to the size of a nickel when I laugh (those of you who know me know EXACTLY what I’m talking about!)
  3. My hair might be beautiful…but only because I clip in extensions (and that’s not the only enhanced part of me).
  4. I am a control freak (I’m working on it – so darn hard though, and not sure I’m making much improvement).
  5. I have food issues too.
  6. One of my eyes is lazy when I smile and I am SO self-conscious about it.
  7. Chris is my soul mate and best friend, and so often we post pictures of when things are fun and rosy, but we, like every other couple, have challenges and differences that we’re always working on.
  8. I am tempted 99.9% of the time to cheat during my workouts.
  9. No matter how hard I work on my abs, I will always have a belly button that could be mistaken for a nose.
  10. I don’t wake up looking camera-ready.  Thank goodness for hair and makeup artists!
Waking Up Au Natural! - http://heidipowell.net/227
Waking Up Au Natural!
So many more, but there’s not enough room in this blog.
So, how do you find this place of peace with yourself as you are?
Rule 62 – DON’T TAKE YOURSELF SO DAMN SERIOUSLY (thanks again, Dad).
Don’t be scared or embarrassed. You’re in a safe place and it’s time for a heart to heart conversation with the most important person in your life – YOU! Dig deep and allow yourself to see those imperfections. Try seeing the beauty in your flaws (yes, that bump on your nose makes you YOU!). Realize the lessons and strength that your imperfections have given you. And most importantly, don’t worry about what other people think. One of my favorite sayings is, “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
Now go be your perfectly imperfect self  :-).