Thursday, June 28, 2012

Surviving My Beach Weekend

Hello Beautiful People,

Well I would love to be able to tell you how my Fitness Assessment went today, but it was postponed :-(  Too many people were unable to make it today so it will be rescheduled until after the Holiday.  So the bad news is that I am Tired!  Am I going to make it?  The good news is that I will be stretched before and should be refreshed.  It also gives me time to work on my push ups. 

So this means I can finally tell you about my beach weekend.

Friday started off great.  I had taken the whole day off so that I would hit the gym before Carol arrived and we could depart.  I was able to switch my oil change to that morning too so as soon as it was over I was at the gym.  I figured I would be hitting the treadmill the next day so I went all out on the weights.  I started with my cardio and then moved to Back, Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, and then abs.  Since I didn't know when I would be working them again I wanted to get them all in.

Carol hit some traffic and arrived later than we had hoped.  Needless to say, I was STARVING when she got there.  The plan was to hit q'doba for our favorite salad before hitting the road.  I ate a second protein bar to hold me over.  When we got there they could not make the salad fast enough: Lettuce, Cilantro-Lime dressing, chicken, and mango salsa!  YUM.  And again I had it naked.  It's so filling that I don't even mind the naked part :-)  Carol did not get hers naked and it was hard to not stare at the shell the whole time.  I did take one bite of it and that was good enough.  ahhh.

So on the ride down we stopped at walmart to pick up some protein bars for the weekend and then some goldfish pretzels to take to the pool.  While we were there we got caught in a monsoon and had to wait out some of the rain.  It gave us time to really sit and talk.  She hadn't really gotten to look at my body because we had been in a rush to get on the road when she got there.  "I have thigh envy!  Look at you!  Not an ounce of fat."  Awww...I heart her! 

I would love to say that I could take a compliment.  Sadly, when she said that all I thought of and said was "You haven't seen my belly yet!"  Bah!  What is wrong with me?  Why do I do that?

We finally arrived at my dad's and soon after we were heading over to neighbor Cheryl's for dinner.  Dinner was salad, pasta salad, and sausage and peppers.  I took a large bowl of salad, a small portion of pasta salad, and one small roll with the sausage. It's all about the portions sometimes.

So now you need to know that on the kitchen counter was a plate full of goodness.  There was a stack of these little bite size chocolate caramel cookies.  I would be in the middle of a conversation and my eyes would drift over and I would find myself staring like Tony Stewart had just walked in the door.  I made it out of there having eaten only one.  Go me! PS. Tony Stewart Call Me!

Saturday monring we headed straight to the fitness center.  I put in some time on the bike and then the treadmill.  I wanted to do more time, but it sucks to be on the treadmill while looking through the window at the pool.  There were kids running around and splashing in the pool.  It's very hard to stay focused.

I had asked Carol what bathing suits she brought.  The answer: a tankini and a bikini. She was hesitant to get out the bikini. She had a baby a year ago and she's self concious.  She put it on though and I believe what came out of my mouth was "I hate you!  I can't even talk to you!"  Seriously, she looked so cute.  I wish I was that tiny. 

Even though we were at the beach, we went to the pool.  Carol needs an umbrella so we had to pool it up.  We packed a couple of sandwiches and about a hundred bottles of water and headed over.   So once we got there we ate and it was time to bare it all.  If you were on the East Coast and experienced a blinding flash of light, fear not.  It was just the sun reflecting off of my white belly.

It was a Hot HOT day.  And I forgot my spray water bottle.  So that meant that I had to get in the pool a lot.  I forgot to mention that the table with the umbrella that we got was by the back fence.  Thus, I needed to walk all of the way around the pool to get in.  That requires some major sucking in.  I finally let out my breath when I got in the water.  So um when you don't love your big white belly, the pool is the last place to go.  Do NOT look down!  Your body is all distorted through the clear moving water.  Ick!

Even with that though, I was pretty confident that I wasn't scaring small children as I was laying on my back soaking up some sun.  I did make sure to re-apply suntan lotion (I had gone done in SPF since last week in an attempt to get some belly color).  By the time I flipped over I was slick with sweat.  And that was with drinking bottle after bottle of water and leaping in to the pool every chance possible.  I didn't last that long on my belly, but I needed to make sure the tan was even. 

When the water ran out it was time to go home.  I'll spare you the suspense: the belly is still white!  WHAT THE?????  My SPF was not THAT high.  My legs, chest, arms, and face all tanned.  My belly appears to be repelling the sun.  I look silly.  I might as well wear the tankini at this point.  Bah!

Saturday night we had the neighbors over for Burgers.  I've given a shoutout to my dad in the past, but he really does make the best ones!  It was a late dinner for me though and I could not control myself around the appetizers while we waited.  Between the morning workout and the day in the sun, I was starving.  Once again though, I mad at what I ate, but the portions compared to what the Former Fat Girl ate are completely different. 

The first plate I saw had special soft pretzels.  There was a cheesesteak filled soft pretzel and a pepperoni pizza soft pretzel.  They were cut up into bite sized pieces.  I had 4 pieces.  Alert the authorities!  I hated that I ate them, but I was starving.  And the Former Fat Girl would have kept picking at that plate when no one was looking.

Soon after Miss Dana arrived with a fantastic Anti-pasta platter: Provolone, ham, pepperoni, tuna, spinach, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, sweet peppers, and roasted red peppers.  I picked at that for a bit until it was time for dinner.  And I had one burger.  The former fat girl would have had two or one and a couple hot dogs.

OMG I almost forgot!  The Skinny Girl Peach Margarita!  Oh heck yeah that was awesome!  I want more!  At 37 calories per serving I am a happy happy camper!

After dinner we kidnapped young Devan and took her to play miniature golf.  Apparantly I have a reputation.  Carol and my cousin Randy decided that they would gang up on me because I take my game too seriously. haha.  Luckily Little Devan is a ringer and she was on my side!  We had a lot of fun, but you can't play without ice cream. 

In the past I would buy a half gallon of ice cream every week.  And it would be gone by the following week. If I can keep my ice cream to special occasions then I'm happy.  And what's more special than a Miniature Golf Victory!  Well, technically Devan beat me by one stroke, but I beat Carol and Randy and that's what really matters!  haha.

Sunday I had hoped to go to the gym before church, but alas I was afraid to sweat.  I didn't have sunburn really, but I had this funky sunburn rash thing on my chest.  It burned and hurt so I didn't really want to aggrivate it (It was much better and almost gone the next day).  After church we had plans to go to favorite bar in the whole wide world!

Seacrets is a Jamaican bar on the Bay in Ocean City, MD.  I can't afford a real trip to Jamiaca, but I can indulge in a little Jamaican fantasy world.  Palm trees.  Reggae music.  Jamaican food. Jamaican drinks.  My treat for the day was going to be my drinks.  My favorite drink is the Dirty Banana.  Now, in the past I could pound these puppies like water.  But, my limit now is 2.  Not because I can't handle it, but because it is choc full of calories.

So knowing this is my treat I needed to be wise about my lunch.  The place was packed so we knew that we would have a little wait before our food came.  So we ordered the Veggie munchie platter. It came on one plate with a few cucumbers, celery, carrots, 3 kinds of cheeses, broccoli, and crackers. Normally I would freak about the price considering the small portions, but I had to weigh the healthy choice factor.  I was much happier with that food than I would have been if we had ordered something fried or heavy. However, in the future, I might just pack a ziplock bag with the same food for a much lower price :-O  Now for my main meal,  I would normally have the Caribbean Quesadilla...mmm..but, quesadillas are rarely healthy options.  So instead I ordered the Baja Chicken Salad: lettuce, corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, tortilla strips, grilled chicken, and a cilantro chili dressing.  Now the dressing was a creamy dressing, but it was used sparingly.  It was such a good meal.  I loved the avocado. It was like it was hidden and I would take a bite and get all excited. lol.

Now Seacrets is a place that you can go and hang out in your bathing suit on the rafts in the bay.  It's always a fun time, but that was not the plan for the day, and I was okay with that.  That is way public for the bikini.  I don't know that I would have done that just yet...but I can't wait until I am ready!  I have done that plenty of times in a one piece and that was stressful enough...maybe next year.

We were tired when we got home and quickly made the decision to spend another night.  We would just get up early and get on the road (I had the morning off from work anyway).  Time for a little rest and then we needed to figure out dinner.  Miss Dana (Devan's mom) usually hosts Sunday night dinner, but I hadn't really spent any personal time with my dad on the trip so we decided to go out to dinner as a Carol :-)  When he picked Matteos I just about died.  That was where I went with Heather on Cinco De Mayo.  Incredibly delicious and equally packed with temptations.  Crap!  I had already had my Dirty Bananas so a margarita was out.  I looked at their fit and skinny menu and there were a couple of things that I could get, but I knew I would still be hungry. So I decided on the chicken fajitas. 

Chicken fajitas are South Beach friendly and as long as you don't indulge in the extras you are fine.  So when it came to building my fajitas I did not add the rice or the sour cream.  My 3 mini fajitas consisted of: black beans, salsa, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and chicken. I was stuffed, but I still had a platter full of peppers, onions, and tomatoes.  So I got a to go container and had them the following night with a Jennie-O turkey burger.  YUM!

I was full after dinner and my belly was letting me know it.  I had gotten a new shirt at Seacrets that looked great on me when I put it on, but after dinner I looked bloated/pregnant.   Instead of lounging around and moaning about feeling stuffed, Carol and I grabbed some water bottles and went for a 45 minute walk around the neighborhood.  By the time we came back and I peed, my belly was back to normal.  I was very glad we did that.

Monday morning came very quickly and I needed caffeine if I was going to drive home.  I like Starbucks, but Carol is a Dunkin Donuts girl.  So we passed by the Bucks and headed towards DD.  And then we kept driving because the drive thru line came out the side entrance.  I couldn't even get in to park.  So we had to wait 45 minutes until the next one.  By then I was dying for something to wake me up.  I ordered a small coffee coolatta...with skim milk.  It is still full of sugar, but not cream.  I'll take burnging sugar over cream any day. And the good news is that it woke me up....Finally!

I had just a wonderful weekend.  Vacations are tough though.  It's very hard to make the whole trip healthy.   The key to survival is the planning ahead and the portions.  You can't let every single meal be a cheat meal, but you can indulge if you plan around it. You can't let your vacation be an excuse to be lazy.  Were my choices perfect?  No.  But, I thought about every little move I was making and I chose way better than I had in the past.  I exercised and I ate well most of the time.  And when I didn't I limited my portions.  I'm happy with it.  I knew that I would be hitting the gym all week and back to my usual eating schedule.  I like to think that this is my practice run for a real trip to Jamaica....Someone take me!

****Please note****
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Fitness Competition Ends Tomorrow- I WANT TO WIN!

Happy Hump Day,

Once again I was going to write about the beach weekend tonight, but I have other things on my mind right now.  Tomorrow is my final assessment for the Fitness Competition. Tonight was originally planned as a day of rest, but I went to the gym for some light cardio.

It was planned as a day of rest for my muscles to relax and give me 150% tomorrow.  However, my legs have been a little sore and tight lately (really need to be stretched, but it's not scheduled until next weekend).  So I decided to go for a little treadmill time.  And I threw in some abs for good measure.

Well okay, part of it was that I wanted to walk to stretch out my legs and part of it is because Gym Crush 2 has been coming to the gym every night now. :-)  And well if I have to choose between coming home and goofing off or going to the gym and watching him...well I think we know what I choose. haha.

The plan for the week was to run Monday night, then hit the weights last night, and take today off.  Well two out of three ain't bad.  I did run Monday.  I didn't run as long as I would have liked.  My foot is really bothering me.  I still put in my hour though. Last night I hit the Elliptical for a 15 minute warm up and then I hit the weights for an hour.  I worked my back, my chest and my shoulders.  And then it was over to abs for some more time.  I ended the night in the massage chair.  Tonight I hit the treadmill for 45 minutes and the abs for 15.  I finished the night in the massage chair again.  Ahhh....

I had a lot of fun this weekend, but always in the back of my head was: The Final Assessment is coming up...Don't Blow It!  I knew that any extra effort I made of this last week was not going to really increase my numbers, but I was at risk of messing up.  I could completely binge and make myself sick.  I could overdue it and injure myself.  That was my big worry.  My foot hurts.  My shins haven't bothered me in over a week, but I keep expecting them to hurt.  The knot in my back feels like it's getting bigger even though I am doing the stretches daily that Hottie Instructor told me to do.

I knew that I didn't need to go crazy working out this weekend.  I have worked very hard these past months.  The change is obvious in my body.  Cramming the night before the exam is never the way to go.  Studying all along is the right way.

I felt like I was in the right frame of mind and it paid off.  Last night I was able to beat the shoulder weights! FINALLY!  It was only for one set, but I felt like Superwoman for that set.  I got past my mental block.  HOLLA!

So I knew that working out was going to be fine.  My focus then turned to my food and water.  I have been eating various MorningStar patties for months.  But, I discovered Jennie-O turkey patties. YUM!  Plus some veggies galore.  Today for lunch I went to Subway.  Turkey on wheat with avocado, spinach, tomato, and cucumber.  Oh heck yeah!  So delicious. 

I'm mad about my dinner, but it still was a healthy choice.  I just wish I had switched it up.  Since I went to the gym it threw off my meal plans. I stopped at Wawa for another turkey on whole wheat with spinach, cucumber and tomato.  Bah! But, I was hungry.  I also grabbed a container of cheese, grapes, and apples for the car ride.

I've done everything I can.  If I don't win, then I can't be angry with myself.   I know the points that I already have and I know what I am capable of.  I don't know how the pinching of the waist will go and I am still not anxious for that.

I am on a team.  It's not just me that counts.  I know that I have gotten my teammates to some of the boot camp classes and the seminars.  They were pretty fit to begin with so I'm pretty confident that they can improve their numbers.  

So it all ends tomorrow.  I don't know when we will have the results, but it doesn't really matter.  I've already won.  I've won the new and improved me :-)

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nutrition Seminar - Part 1

Hello my Lovelies and Gents
You may remember that I attended a Nutrition Seminar during the Fitness Competition.  I had promised to tell you about it.  Well today is your lucky day!  I’m about to share the wisdom that was imparted on me. It's a lot of information so I'm going to break it up in to two posts.  Part 2 will come later in the week. 

 Adjusting to exercise is easier than adjusting to proper nutrition.  Hopefully this will help.  I will share what he presented and add a little commentary of my own.
First, what is your attitude when it comes to nutrition? 
How do you feel about different types of foods? Seriously, if I had a nickel for every time I heard the phrase “I don’t like vegetables” I would be rich. And it's not just the kids saying it.  I didn’t like vegetables either…except for green beans and potatoes. And by potatoes I meant mashed with pounds of butter or the French variety.  However, once I purged my body of the bad stuff and reintroduced vegetables with seasoning I fell in love.  My taste buds came alive.
What is your attitude about the Regularity of Eating?  Are you one of those people that does not eat breakfast?  Shame on you!  It really truly is the most important meal of the day.  It fuels your body for what is to come and jump starts your metabolism.
Are you a stress eater?  Been there. Done that. Do not go grocery shopping when you are stressed.  Your cart will be filled with chips, ice cream, and frozen pizzas.  Turn to exercise instead.
Are you a Starver?  OH so dangerous.  Eating too little is just as bad as eating too much.  Again you are losing the fuel your body needs and the nutrition it needs to survive.
So the big question is: How motivated are you?  Are you motivated by an upcoming event?  A health scare?  Or do you really just want to change your lifestyle?
Second, education and habits need to start with during Youth. 
There was a cartoon provided with two little girls standing next to the scale.  One little girl says to the other: “Don’t step on it…it makes you cry.”  Funny and sad at the same time.
Starting young is soooooo important.  My lifestyle change was so difficult because I was battling 30 years of poor choices and bad habits.  It was so much harder to give up the junk and choose healthy when that was all I was used to for so long.
Think about your activity level during different phases of your life.  Were you active as a kid?  Involved in sports in high school?  Partying in college?  Did your weight alter with the different activity levels.
Third, Understanding your Metabolism. 
Do you know what your BMR is?  Do you even know what BMR is? Basal Metabolic Rate.  It is the sum of all the chemical reactions in your body at any given time.  It is your body’s daily caloric needs.  It decreases as you age.  A baby’s BMR is much higher than an elderly person’s since they are still growing.
Do you know how to determine your caloric needs?  Think of your desired weight.  If you are female then times your desired weight by 9.  If you are a male then times it by 10.  Now add in your lifestyle/profession calorie values: Active – 700 calories (roofer), Normal – 500 calories (teacher), and Inactive – 300 calories (cubicle world).  Plus add the calories you burn during exercise.
Fourth, and this was my favorite part because it’s stuff that I have already told you over the past year, are Simple Rules to Live By.
*Eat out as little as possible – And don’t forget: if you can get it through a drive-thru then don’t get it!
*Do not eat foods that are creamy or fried- EVER
*Severely limit sweets – my Kryptonite
*Do not eat like you are on a Maintenance plan if you are trying to lose weight. – This is where I am.  I am eating at maintenance and not losing.  I know I need to change it up to lose quickly, but I am going slow so that I have a better chance of keeping it off.
*Once you meet your goal then your Maintenance plan is a healthy lifestyle, not a diet.
*Be consistent!
*Planning ahead!
                *Plan for the Grocery story.  Make a list.  Plan out your meals for the week and only get what is on your list.    NO EXCEPTIONS.  If it is not in your house to eat you can’t eat it!  Sound familiar?  I’ve been saying that since my first Blog Post.
                *Be consistent in the types of food you eat.  It helps with digestion.
                *Take your food to work.- I keep low calorie snacks in my drawer all of the time.  It keeps me from raiding the vending machines.  I also pack my lunch every day.  It keeps me from the temptations that face me when going out to lunch.
*Keep a food journal for a week.  Be as specific as possible.  You’ll be able to determine what your weaknesses are.
*Purge your house of the temptations and bad food.  Just get rid of it!
*Set realistic goals.
Fifth, the importance of Nutrition before Exercising.
                *Why should you eat first?  To prevent low blood sugar and to fuel your body. – When I start to feel shaky during my workout then I know I didn’t eat enough first.  And I have to stop.  The other option is passing out.  And that it not an option of choice.
                *When should you eat? 0-4 hours before your workout (100-1200 kcals) – I hit the gym around 6pm so I make sure that I have an afternoon snack at 3pm.
                *What should you eat? Easily digested foods: toast, bananas, crackers.  Choose something with a little protein and fat for sustained energy for a longer workout. – I generally have yogurt or animal crackers.
Sixth, the importance of Nutrition during and after the workout.
                *Take advantage of your “glycogen” window which is up to 45 minutes after your workout.  It’s for optimal nutritional absorption.
                *Eating during and after greatly increases your stamina.
                *Drink your water immediately after to replenish your fluids.
                *If your exercise will last more than an hour, then eat something every 30 minutes.
                *After your workout eat as close to the finish time as possible.  – I eat a protein bar as I leave the gym then run home immediately and start dinner…no matter how sweaty I am.
                How much water should you drink?  It depends on how active you are.  If you are highly active then you want to drink your weight in ounces.  If you are in active then you want to drink half of your weight in ounces. 
Coming up in Part 2:
Reading Labels, General Food Information, Supplements, and more!

****Please note****
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Locks of Love

Hello Beautiful People!

I have missed you.  I really have!  I did enjoy my weekend though :-)  And I promise to tell you all about it...later this week.  I have so much to tell, but I still have stuff to do tonight.

Besides, it was a big day today.  I did it!  I cut my hair for Locks of Love this morning.  Wow, what a difference.  I absolutely love it.  I was really trying to grow my hair long enough to have a shoulder length cut, but I think we all know I would never make it that long.

I have a LOT of hair.  It's very thick.  And in the humidity it's just not cool.  It gets heavy and flatter (if that's possible).  When I knew that I wanted a short cut I felt compelled to donate to Locks of Love.  What a fantastic cause.  I tried it once before and caved at 8 inches (10 inches is required).  I have not forgiven myself for that.

I like my hair shoulder length and it would have been nice to go that long.  As much as I wanted to cut it though I knew that it would be chin length.  Can I do that?  Is my face skinny enough for that?  I could picture myself with a cute chin-length bob.  But in that picture I had a tiny cute little body to go with it.  Am I small enough to pull off a cute little bob?

There's only one way to find out.

I had the morning off  because Bestie was leaving this morning (we opted for an additional night at Dad's and came back at the crack of dawn this I'm also pretty tired right now).  Anyway, once she got on the road I had a choice: go to the gym or go get my hair cut.  I wanted the, I hadn't seen any gym crushes since Thursday so...(yep, saw them tonight :-)

So I pulled up to Great Clips and ventured in.  She measured my hair and it was cutting it close.  It was going to be chin length with not a lot of length to play with.  I must have looked nervous because she kept asking me if I was sure that I was ready for it.  I closed my eyes and told her that I was ready.

Snip!  Snip!  Snip!

She cut three pony tails and it was over in a matter of seconds.  No going back now.

Oh My Gosh!  I love it!  It's so light and freeing.  It totally fits my face and guess what!  I'm small enough for it to be cute too!  What was I worried about?  I know I can come off all confidant and self-assured sometimes, but very often it's all talk and it's me trying to talk myself into believing it.  It's about time that I start seeing myself through other people's eyes.

So the big question is: How would it do in the gym?   I started the night with it down (there isn't a lot to pull up).  It was doing okay during my run, but I did get a little hot.  I stopped to get water and ran my fingers through it.  SOAKED...and I'm so not surprised.  So I pulled a little back.  I looked a little silly, but it worked.  It looks nicer when I brush it. haha.  I think I can do this!

The shower was fun.  I am going to save a ton on shampoo!  haha.  It's like I lost a limb. I kept running my hands down expecting more hair. Then after the shower I flipped my head down to wring it out in the towel but nothing came.'s short!

It's going to take some getting used to, but I absolutely love it!  I am so mad that it took so long for me to do this.  I wish I had not been so hung up on that vision that I wasn't small enough to pull this off.  Bah...Oh well, no looking back now.  I believe now!

Oh and on a side note - Since my cut was for Locks of Love, it was free.  So if you are thinking of doing it, check out Great Clips.  It's cute and free.  Can't beat that!

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Thursday, June 21, 2012

7 days to go! All In, Balls Out!

Happy Thursday Bleeps!

Well we have 7 days to go.  My assessment is next Thursday at 12pm. So this week is "All In, Balls Out!" week.  I am tired!  This may turn into gibberish...please bear with me. haha.

Last night Gym Buddy Lisa and I hit the upper body weights.  We went hard!  And then after I was on the bike like a bat out of hell.  I stopped after 15 minutes to go get more water and my quads were so tight I could barely instead of finishing another 15 I just hit a cool down for 5. If I didn't stop for the water I could have done it, but once I slow down I can't get back to the original pace.

Anyway, it was a pretty good night.  Both New Gym Crush 1 and Gym Crush 2 seemed to be right by me all night...ahhh...Gym Buddy Lisa laughed and said I reacted like GC1 was one of the Beatles! (for my young followers think Bieber).   He has definitely earned the #1 spot!

Tonight I sat in a buttload of traffic on my way to the gym and my brain started to argue that I had a lot to do tonight. You need to pack.  You can just do some weights when you get home.  You are going to the gym in the morning, it's okay to skip tonight. Oh heck no!  Seven days left and I have my rest day as next Wednesday.  I may or may not have another one this Sunday depending on sunburn. 

For the record, I really really hate that I still have to talk myself into the gym most nights. I want to go.  So why do I try to make excuses not to?

The good news is that I argued back with myself.  I have tomorrow off from work.  There is no way I am taking tonight off from the gym.  So I got there and jumped on the treadmill.  I risked it and ran.  It was my best run to date!  I was grinning like a fool when I was done.  I was also a big giant sweat monkey.  But, I was not done.  I hit the thigh machines and torso rotation before I was done.  Are you ready for it?  I hit 200lbs on the thighs for both inner and outer.  Say what?  I am up 110lbs in six months.  HOLLA!  I am a Beast!

My shins did not bother me at all today.  I was not planning on running tonight.  I was just going to walk, but my playlist got me moving.  By the time Nickelback's "Burn It To The Ground" came on I was moving.  When the line "All In, Balls Out" started I was smiling and giving it my all. I was in the zone!

Oh and PS, here's your muscle order for legs: Quads, Hams, Glutes, Calves.

While I was on the treadmill the news came on about that school bus monitor in New York.  Did you see this?  I heard about it this morning while I was getting ready for work and it had me so upset that I was crying.

A 68 yr old woman who is a school bus monitor was being bullied by 3 13-yr-olds.  They called her fat and poked her.  Then they uploaded the video they took of it and put it on youtube.  I was livid!  Stupid little punks! I was mortified for this woman.  It's horrible that it happened, but even more horrible that it is playing on the national news.

The good news is that money has been raised to send her on a dream vacation. I am so proud of every person that has donated to that.  This woman deserves so much more.  NO ONE deserves to be taunted like that. NO ONE!  Negativity is such a poison. And every fat person out there knows what I am talking about.

The fear of the "F" word is what kept me from the bikini.  And it's what held me back from making the move to be a personal trainer.  Well no more. I am no longer living in fear. I have decided to pursue becoming a personal trainer.  It may take me a while to get certified, but that's okay.  My goal is to do it by Christmas.  It all depends on whether or not I make the December Marathon a Full...and that depends on an injury free September Half.

It doesn't matter how long it takes.  I'm going to do it!  When you find a passion you have to run with it.  If I'm broke now then I might as well be broke doing something I love. haha.

Tomorrow is a busy day.  I have my first oil change in the new car...awwww. Then I am hitting the gym (most likely gym crush-free :-(  ) Then my Bestie Carol and I are heading down to the beach.  I haven't seen her in a year so forgive me if you don't hear from me this weekend.  I miss her!

Before I go, I shall give you the hair update.  I want to chop it sooooo bad.  I'm fairly certain I have the length to donate right now.  The goal was to get to July and that's around the corner.  To make things worse, two girls at work got adorable cuts that I love.  I had considered going tomorrow, but the water is different at the beach and I didn't want to worry about it all weekend.  So I am seriously considering cutting it Monday morning before I head to work...

Stay Tuned....

****Please note****
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hump Day Randomness

Happy Hump day Bleeps!

I hope you are prepared for the heat wave.  Don't forget to drink your water!  It's great for you and cools your body temperature....ahhh.

So I took yesterday off from the blog because I had an errand to run at lunch and then I wanted to finish a project at home.  I needed to run out and get the Father's Day gift for my dad since I am going to see him this weekend. As I was leaving the store I saw some really nice workout shirts on I may need to go back soon :-)  And then I ran to the liquor store for a bottle for this weekend. I am all over the Skinny Girl Margarita, but ever since I heard about the Skinny Girl Peach Margarita I have been salivating.  I only got one bottle since we don't know if we will like it and we can always go out for more.  The good news is that this one does require refrigeration after opening so that is keeping me from testing it out now. lol.  But, I am counting down the hours until it's time to bust it open. Stay tuned....t-minus 53 hours...

Last night I got to the gym a little late because of traffic.  It's not so bad in the summer if I get there late because there are generally more machines available and I am not in such a rush to get home for Biggest Loser or Big Bang Theory.  I had been trying to decide on what to do during my car ride and finally settled on a full night of the treadmill.  My shins had not bothered me for a week so perhaps it was time to test the water. 

I hopped on and gave myself extra walk time before my run.  Usually I walk for 5 then start the running.  Last night the plan was 15 - 30 - 15.  I felt pretty good during the run.  I was having fun.  My legs felt fine.  And I'm glad because I went heavy on the leg weights the night before.  I thought they might be too tight.  I did well though.  I felt like I could have gone 15 more, but I wanted to be smart about it.  I probably shouldn't have run just yet, but I can't take the biking every day. My butt hurts. haha.  And I am not getting stretched again for a couple of weeks.

I went over to the stretching area to hit up some plank and pike after, but it was crowded and I couldn't find a comfortable spot.  I did not do so well :-(  In all fairness though, my brain was preoccuppied with how my legs were doing.  It's okay though, I did well the night before.

*And so you are probably wondering how the shins are doing today...sore, but not as bad as previously *

Knowing that my legs would probably bother me I planned ahead for tonight's workout.  I swapped out my sneakers.  I packed the sneakers from the last 5k.  I shouldn't run in them and I think that's where all of my feet and shin problems are coming from.  So knowing that I will be wearing them will put me back on the bike and then upper body weights.  It's all about planning ahead people!

So let's go back to Monday night.  I still had sunburn on my chest so I didn't want to do upper body weights and I didn't want to sweat.  So Gym Buddy Lisa and I hit the bike for 15 minutes then it was legs time.  We went over to the thighs and I was pretty excited when I was able to up my weights to 180.  BAM!  Then when it was time for the butt machine it was occupied.  I felt like a lost child.  We could have waited, but Lisa wanted to do the leg presses.  So off we went.  I love this machine, but it's not the best thing for my knees.  So I put my weight down to 95 so that I didn't kill myself.  Ms. Lisa was on 125 and I stayed with that for the last two sets.  I felt the pull in the knee and we were done.  Next up was a Quads machine.  I don't usually do it because of the knee so I didn't have any weights written down in my notebook.

*Side note - Shout out to Gym Buddy Lisa for starting a notebook.  It's a great way to track your progress*

So in keeping with the high weights I put it at 95.  Now this is the machine that you sit on an incline and put the weight up with your feet and straighten you legs.  Hence I don't know it because of my knee.  I felt like I ripped through them.  I almost bust out screaming.  It hurt like hell.  We went down to 35 and just did light reps.  I was pissed at myself. PISSED.  I risked serious injury for no reason.  BAH!  And it was my idea to do it in the first place.

Later that night I got to thinking.  If you are supposed to work the muscles Biggest to Smallest I know we messed up.  I don't know the size of the muscles in the legs.  I'm working on that for ya.  I also started wondering if there is a correlation between the muscles and the size weights you should be able to do.  Why are my thighs so strong?  And what the heck is going on with my quads?  The leg press engaged the quads and hams so yeah I should be able to do more than just the quads.  But, was that problem all knee related? 

I still find it funny that I think about these things now.  So proud!

So after the gym the past two nights I have been finishing up my Scrapbook of the Half Marathon and Polar Plunge weekend.  It has been on my to do list for so long and I really wanted to have it done before the next Half. haha.  I loved reliving each event. They both made me so proud of how far I have come.  They were not that long ago and yet I was struck by how different my body is now.  Wow.  I am even further mentally and physically.

 So I started thinking about the next challenges.  I have put out there my desire to become a personal trainer and to finish a full marathon.  What else can I challenge myself with?  Next week I am having lunch with a friend who finished his first Tough Mudder last month.  We talked all through his training and I haven't gotten a chance to hear about his experience.  My first thought when he showed me the video of what he would be doing was "I can't do that." But, I've been thinking about that statement.  Why can't I?  Now I'm not saying that I will.  Because there is a difference between "can't" and "don't want to".  I don't know it it's something that really interests me.  I think it's the Former Fat Girl planting the "I Can't" seed in my head.  I never thought I would jump in the ocean in February either, but I did.  I'll let you know how the lunch goes :-)

Time for some Ms. Barb moments.  Yesterday she went on the errand run with me.  We discussed the Fitness Competition Final Assessment that is coming up.  She said she didn't think that she would even go.  I got so sad!  I haven't quite gotten her to the level that we had both hoped for, but she is making great strides.  "I haven't done anything so what's the point?" But, she has started walking more and thinking about her food.  It's not all for nothing.  Today I asked her what I could do to get her to take the assessment.  "wave your magic wand and make me get better #'s than the initial ones".  So my response was: Think about how good you will feel if you can even do just 1 more push up or one more squat.  That's a point each!  She didn't realize that.  She thought you had to do 5 for a point and that seemed like too much.  So she's going to do it.  :-)  GO Barb!

And then we went over to the kitchen for her to heat up her lunch.  She forgot to pack one because she is leaving for the beach tonight.  So she stopped for a Smart Ones before work. She got a turkey and mashed potatoes one.  I asked "Where are your vegetables?" And with a straight face she held her drink and said "I'm drinking tea."  What?  "If it grows out of the ground then it's a vegetable!"  I never laughed so hard.  Oh dear Barb we were doing so well. haha.

Alright, time for some Gym Crush updates. I have not seen Gym Crush 1 in so long that I think it's time to move things around. You would think that Gym Crush 2 would jump to first, but that is not the case.  Gym Crush 4 has now made the leap to 1.  haha.  Are you following?  New Gym Crush 1 is my runner.  I love to watch him run. He pushes me on to go longer and faster.  I also like to watch him lift...NICE arms and legs.  So he moves to 1.  2 will stay where he is.  I have not seen 3 in a while either.  So I am moving the former 1 to 3 and the former 3 to 4.  Got that?  haha

Alright kids, it's time to sign off.  Go drink some water!

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Monday, June 18, 2012

Planning your Cheat Days

Happy Monday Bleeps!

Well my cousin is on the bus and headed home.  Mama Jennie is off duty now. 

She is heading off to college in two months and we did a lot of talking about preparing for what lies ahead.  College can be so exciting, but it can also be so dangerous.  I loved my years at Syracuse, but they weren't exactly the healthiest for me.  Dining hall food is not always the best option and when the food court with Burger King opened up...well forget it.  I was eating Whoppers almost every day. 

And I was wearing sweatshirts that were 2 sizes too big so it was hard to see the weight gain at first.  I love how my brain thought I would look smaller if I was swimming in the big clothes.  Sadly there came a day when I was no longer swimming. Of course this did not make me stop. I just bought even bigger clothes.

So back to my cousin, before she left this morning we discussed the bikinis.  She said that I inspired her to get one for the first time. She finally feels comfortable with her body to do that.  That's what it's all about.

I did not have to wear a bikini.  No one was forcing me to do it.  But, it's something I always ALWAYS wanted to do.  I was never in shape enough to feel comfortable doing it.  Hello, do you really think that the girl that wore XXL sweatshirts to cover up wanted to show off her body?  NOPE.

I am constantly hearing how great I am doing and how good I look, but until I could make that leap I couldn't really believe people.  Seriously, before we left for the beach I asked Keeley to be honest with me "How do I look?  Is this bad?"  Her response "Whoa where did you get that scar?"  What?  OMG I was so focused on her commenting on the stretchmarks and belly that I totally forgot about the scar.  When I was 14 I had gall stones and had my gall bladder removed.  Now way back then it was major surgery and I have the 4 inch scar to prove it.

So if all she can see is the scar, I can totally live with that.

This was a big weekend for me.  Any girl or woman (not knocking you guys really) with body image issues could feel my pain. This was not a "LOOK AT ME" moment.  This was not an in your face moment.  This was a "I am finally proud of myself moment".  It was a  "I believe in myself" moment.  The former fat girl did not have these moments.  EVER. 

For as long as I have been on this journey I should be done by now, but that's not always how it works.  I have been taking things slowly to make sure that it sticks this time. No more yo-yo'ing.  I have changed who I am and I like it. I am no longer the girl who stops for fast food every night or eats giant bowls of Easy Mac'n'Cheese for lunch. I am no longer the girl who drinks diet coke all day and night. I am no longer the girl who runs home to watch hours and hours of tv.  And I could not be prouder.

I still slip.  I am human.  But, that's why I write this blog.  I hold myself accountable.  I don't have to tell you what I eat.  I could sit here and lie to you.  But, what's the point of doing that?  I cheat every now and then.  It's to be expected.  But, I know it's cheating now and not my every day life any more.  I never claimed to be perfect.  If I was then I wouldn't still have this damn belly would I? 

This is my message from me to you: It's not going to be easy!  There will be temptations and challenges in front of you.  It's okay if you slip.  Just get back up and keep going.  If there is something you really want, then by all means plan for it and enjoy.  Cheat days are allowed. 

I knew I was going to the beach this past weekend for a month.  So I planned accordingly.  This upcoming weekend I am going down to a different beach, but this time it's for the full weekend.  This weekend has been planned for two months.  It's not a surprise.  I know we are going out and I will have some cheating, but that's why I will be good this week.  No eating out and no cake (today is cake day at work).  I pick and choose my cheats.  And I am choosing my Dirty Banana at Seacrets this weekend :-)

The difference between me and the former fat girl is that every meal was a cheat meal.  Now, it's once a week or a full weekend when the occasion arises.  I have cleansed my body of the crap though.  While my tastebuds enjoy the cheating, my body hates it.  It doesn't like the grease.  I feel sick afterwards.  So there's my motivation to limit it.

The night before the beach we were at Target.  I saw the big giant pineapple coconut ice cream that I love love LOVE.  I wanted to get it so bad.  But, I did not.  I knew I would be eating ice cream at the beach.  Then yesterday we went back to Target to get birthday cards for Grandma (Happy Birthday Grandmom Joyce!) and I saw the ice cream again.  But, I did not get it.  What I did get was the Extra Dessert gum Root Beer Float flavored.  OH HOLY HECK that is good.  No, it is not as good as a real one, but when I crave something sweet it's a good compromise.

Before I sign off, I want to thank all of you who have been sharing with me the new adventures you are embarking on.  I love hearing about it.  So here are a few shout outs:

WOO WOO to Terri and her Husband.  I want to hear all about your Kickboxing classes!

Heck yeah Heather!  She's my Partner in Crime and has signed up for a walking program at work!

Rock On Ms. Mary Ann who has joined a gym and meets with her personal trainer this week.

Holla Lisa!  For her new smaller clothes!

****Please note****
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

So the question is: Did she or didn't she?  Well we will get to that in a little bit.

Let's go back to Friday night first.  I picked up my cousin from the bus station and gave her a choice: A pool party for my 11 yr old Godson with pizza and cake or the gym.  I was very proud that she chose the gym. YEAH!

When we got there I had opted for 30 minutes hardcore on bike.  I pushed it hard.  I increased my 30 minute time by half a mile and that was on hills :-)  As I was getting off I noticed Gym Crush 2 on the Elliptical.  Oh heck yeah!  I have never seen him on a Friday.  That made my night.

I texted my excitement to some people and here's how one conversation went:

Me: Gym Crush 2 is here!
Kristin: Are you going to talk to him tonight?
Me: No, my butt is sweaty
Kristin: You can't talk because your butt is sweaty?
Me: I am drippy down there no need to scare him away

I moved over to the Triceps press and he came over to work his chest.  ahhh...I have been working my triceps and my weight was my highest to date.  So proud!  Then I moved to biceps.  Where I had a clear picture of him...ahhh.  I knocked out three sets and then I HAD to hit my abs.  I hit the torso machine and then went over for some plank.

I nailed plank!  My goal was 60 seconds over my base time.  I did it!  That would be 12 pts.  So now I think I can hit that 75 seconds no problem and get my full 15 pts.  As if that wasn't good enough, Gym Crush 2 had come over to do abs too and I got to watch him through my legs while in plank.  It really does not take much to make me happy.  haha.

After the gym we went to Q'Doba for dinner.  Now, it's not always the best choice.   But, I had coupons and they have my Mango Chicken Salad.  Don't panic!  I ate it naked.  No tortilla shell for me!

When we got home of course we had to watch the guy on the tight rope over Niagra Falls.  I love stuff like that!  He kept stressing to follow your dreams.  Everyone told him that there was no way he was going to do it.  Either he wouldn't get permission or he wouldn't make it across.  Boy proved them wrong.  I want that full Marathon!

So I tried to go to bed early. We needed to leave at 7:30.  But, I did not fall asleep until after midnight.  And in a fit of excitement, I woke up at 5:17am and never fell back asleep.  Oh this can't be good.

Eventually I got up and got moving.  Immediately after my shower I put the bikini on.  I decided to get ready and do everything without a cover up for a little while.  I needed to see my body.  Soon I was ready to go.  Cover up on and out the door we went.  No turning back!

The Bikini: The bottom is black with a little ruffle on the bottom and makes my butt look awesome!  The top is black with white and yellow polka dots.  It's so stinkin cute!

We picked up my friend Jen and her daughter Madi.  I hadn't seen them in about 8 years. So we had a lot to catch up on.  We talked about the treadmill in her living room and the exercise machines down in the basement.  Good intentions.  We talked about organizing her schedule so that she can work out.  Good intentions.  We talked about eating out.  My favorite moment was when she said that she needs to stop eating out so much.  She will save money and save calories!  She said it, not me.  I was so excited though :-)

We got down to the beach a little late thanks to our talking and me missing an exit (I get thrown off if it's not my usual route).  So I dropped them off on the boardwalk and went to park.  I was only gone for 5 minutes and when I got back to them they had already eaten the lunches we packed.  DANG people!  I am still not relaxing the "no eating in the car" rule though :-) 

We had stopped on the way and I got a turkey hoagie with honey mustard, spinach, and cucumbers.  I also grabbed a bag of apple slices....and then I saw Madi walking around with a mini can of Pringles.  Crap!  I want!  So I got one too. I ate my lunch and then it was time to get serious. 

We wanted to put our suntan lotion on before we got in the sand so that it would be less messy.  I let everyone go first, but eventually I was going to need to take off the cover up.  Here is goes!  I did it! I was standing there in my bikini on the boardwalk and the ground did not open and swallow me whole. I think I got this!  Of course as soon as the lotion was on I threw the cover up back on for the walk to find our spot on the beach.

After we set up our area I took off the cover up and laid down faster that you can say "Go!"  Deep breath Jennifer you are doing just fine.  And a big thank you to pal Jen who said how hot I looked and how I have worked so hard for it.  Starting to feel a little better.

I was scared enough about the bikini that I needed to follow some rules.  To make sure there is as little bloating as possible I avoided soda (I have done that in general anyway) and brought bottles full of crystal light).  I did eat the pringles, but I waited until the cover up was back on and I was in the chair at the end of the day reading.  NO chips!  Salt makes you retain water.  And I need all of the help that I can get!

The day flew by and before I knew it we were using the outdoor shower to wash up and getting ready to change for the evening.  Can I scream now?  There has been a food cart parked by the bathroom all day.  And now I am hungry and smelling hot dogs.  Um NO!  If I am going to cheat, I am going to get my pork roll sandwich!

After we changed we drove over and parked by the shops. No one else was starving like me so we did a little shopping first.  Good in theory, but every time I walked out the door of a shop I smelled garlic!  It was overpowering and it smelled GOOD!  GET ME FOOD!

So we walked back to the boardwalk and hit the Arcade for my Pork roll and fries.  I was good all day and this is my treat.  My favorite part is taking the food out to the back deck and just sitting and watching the ocean.  The beach is usually pretty empty by the time I eat dinner so it's always my favorite part of the day.  In addition to my food, my cousin got onion rings. Damn it!  I had 4-5.  And they were soooo freakin good.  But, alas I was burping them up for the rest of the night.  It's my punishment.  I wanted to get ice cream then too, but I knew we would be getting some after Mini-golf later.  I can wait.

After dinner we went back out to the beach to collect shells/rocks and take pictures.  I was not wearing the outfit I had planned because that was a skirt and it was pretty windy.  So I wore my "I'm only Half Crazy" shirt with some sweatpants. I didn't think it was that flattering of and outfit, but when I saw the pictures later I was struck by how flat my belly looked.  Seriously?  WOW!  I was pretty happy.

Eventually they dragged me off of the beach (I DON'T WANT TO GO!) and we headed back for a few more shops before Mini Golf.  GAME ON MADI!  It was really crowded and we had to wait a lot between holes.  Around hole 7 my heart stopped.  There was a giant frog on the turf.  Madi picked it up and turned around to show us.  I screamed and ran to the next hole and jumped up on the bench.  This of course made them laugh hysterically.  After much coaxing, Madi put the frog in the water hazzard and we moved on.  Except that my heart was still pounding and it was getting dark and any quick movement made me sick. Who needs cardio when your heart is racing like that?  I had this horrible fear of reaching in the hole for my ball and grabbing a frog.  Argh!  I let it get to me for a few holes, but then I got it together and whipped their butts!

After of course we got our ice cream.  My lips were burnt and I NEEDED it!  It was a medical emergency!  Well okay, I didn't really buy that either, but I got it anyway.  A single.  No need to go crazy.

We got on the road later than planned and a few things hit me.  First, I had been up since 5 with no nap. Second, I had no caffeine all day until dinner.  Third, my chest and face were sunburned and I was hurting.  Yes, I had put lotion on and the fact that I didn't get burned anywhere else is testimony to that, but my bra straps made me cry. *yep, all of that worry over the belly burning for nothing...well only to be postponed until next week I guess*

We stopped for gas about 30 minutes into the trip home and I had to get a soda.  Or it was going to get dangerous.  I had to walk a fine line though.  I needed to drink enough to stay awake, but I didn't want to have a hard time falling asleep when I got home either.   Well we made it home alive and I was able to fall asleep around 2am.  So you can imagine between the lack of sleep and the sun burn that I have been a ray of sunshine today. 

I am bathing in refrigerated aloe (because I am a sado masochist).  I am doing better today, but I was able to wear a strapless bra too.  I cannot workout without a sports bra and right now the thought makes me want to vomit.  I am planning on a couple more applications before bed and hopefully I can workout tomorrow.

I did not take any pictures in the bikini (below the neck).  One thing at a time.  But, I promise that once I can get an even tan I will do it.  I'm good for it now.  It was like ripping off a band aid today.  Once I did it, it wasn't so bad :-)

Have a Blessed Night.

Oh and ps - Happy Father's Day Daddy!

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bikini Trial Run

Happy Friday Bleeps!

Wow, I haven't done a Friday post in forever...but alas I have a full day at the shore tomorrow so I don't think I'll get one in.  Besides, I have things to talk about. :-)

So last night I made it back to the gym. I got out of my funk and I had moderate traffic so there was no question.  I had to plan out what I wanted to do.  I had to avoid the treadmill and I've been a little bike heavy lately (my butt can only take so much).  So I opted for 30 minutes on the elliptical.  While I was on I needed to figure out which weights to do. 

Would it be an all inclusive day?  A legs day?  A back/chest/Shoulder day?  A shoulder/bicep/tricep day?  Let's roll the dice.  Well I ruled out the leg day.  I need to rest it some more.  And so I picked back/chest/shoulder day.  Bring it!

I started with the Row/deltoid.  I like the rowing motion more than the pull down.  My weights were about the same as last time.  I will try to up them in a week or so.

Then I moved to the chest press.  My last time I had upped it on my final set.  I did all three sets on that high.  YEAH!

And then on to the shoulder press.  BAH!  One day I am going to conquer this machine! It kills me.  I work my shoulders like crazy.  I can lift way more weight than this.  So why the heck am I so stuck?  You may remember that I went up by 5lbs last week and I was all excited.  Well not last night.  I went back down 5lbs.  DANG IT!  I was pissed.  PISSED.

I decided to finish the night over in the ab/stretching area.  It was time for some planks and pike.  The fitness competition final assessment is around the corner and I need more plank time...and tomorrow is bikini day potentially so you can see why I needed all of the core work that I could get.

I was angry at my shoulders so I started with Pike.  I held it forever.  So then I was happy.  Now let's hit plank.  For every 5 seconds over our base time we get 5pts.  Maximum of 15 points.  My goal is 60 seconds and 12 points. Last night I got 40 seconds.  8points ain't bad.  And that was 40 seconds over my last plank so yeah we'll take it.  On my next round I happened to peak through my legs (now remember I am looking upside down) and I see this dude doing handstand push ups. I hate him! 

After a few more rounds it was time to go and I texted this recent site to some people. My pal Amie, who has postponed our lunches twice this week (calling you out lady!), is a beast. She is a trainer and competes in body competitions.  She loves them and said she will show me.  Cool. I want this!

Hottie Instructor says "They are fun!" In fact he did them in his shoulders workout earlier in the day.  Of course he did.  So then we were talking about his workout. He also did some standing shoulder presses with barbells.  When I found out how much the weight was my immediate thought was "He could lift me!"  And then it happened.

A memory that terrifies me haunted me.  Many moons ago when my brother was home on leave we were standing in the kitchen.  He had been a scrawny kid, but the Army made him nice and strong.  So strong that he decided that he could lift me over his head.  He lifted me before I knew what was happening.  I was not quite at my heaviest, but I wasn't far off. I was flipping out and screaming.  He's going to drop me!  I'm going to hit my head on the stove! His back is going to go out and I am going to flatten him like a pancake when we drop!  I'm going to throw up on him! PUT ME DOWN!  PUT ME DOWN!

Seriously, just thinking about it right now my heart is still racing.  I was probably in the air for all of 3 seconds, but to a fat girl it was an eternity.  It was a slow motion nightmare.  I need to change the subject because my heart can't relive that anymore.

So tomorrow is B day!  Will she or won't she?  Well I did a trial run this morning.  I put my bikini on and prepared for the day in it. The good news is that I didn't fully want to bang my head against a wall.  The bad news is that for a long period of time all I could see was the stretchmarks.  Since January they have cut in half.  It's something to be proud of.  But, I still see them and that's still what I focus on...they are right in the front, how can I not? 

By the time my hair was dry and my make up was on I was feeling better about it.  Maybe I really can do this.  I was half tempted to wear it under my clothes today lol, but I did not.

So now all day I have been starving.  I'm trying to figure out if it's because of the workout last night or did I not eat enough dinner.  My big worry is that my brain has fooled myself into thinking it's hungry.  What if my brain is so traumatized by the bikini that it is reverting to it's old ways of comfort?  Food.  Argh. 

And speaking of food....Ms. Kerri went out to lunch today and when she came back she was so happy at how full she was.  Me: What did you have?  Her: A bacon cheeseburger...and fries  Me: I hate you!  Her: Want to smell me? (I'm just kidding about that part...but she did offer for me to sniff her breath after I joked about it....ahh good times at work on a Friday).

Have a wonderful weekend.  I'll talk to you when I get back from the shore....

****Please note****
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Playlist Time!

Happy Thursday Bleeps!

It's that time again!  Time to update your playlist.  We don't want it to get stale :-)  I actually was messing around with playlists a couple of times this past month.  Once was when I all fidgety during a Sixers playoff game and once when I got the new ipod.

Sad thing is that I haven't really been able to enjoy them as much as I would like since I am off running for a bit. They still work on the bike and for walking, but since I need to read on the treadmill to keep myself from running the music isn't as helpful.

I bought a bunch of new songs and made smaller playlists.  I have mine broken out into: Country, Rock, Alt Rock, Dance.  I also have an all inclusive and the Biggest Loser playlists.  It all depends on my mood.

Today I will highlight my Alt Rock since that's the one I have been listening to most often :-)

Wrong Way - Sublime
I Wanna Be Sedated - Ramones
Never There - Cake
Everything Sucks - Reel Big Fish
Walla Walla - Offspring
The Distance - Cake
She Has a Girlfriend Now - Reel Big Fish
Animals - Nickelback
Pretty Fly for A White Guy - Offspring
Americana - Offspring
The Impression That I Get - Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Somebody Told Me - the Killers
Keep Your Hands To Yourself - Georgia Satellites
Burn It To the Ground - Nickelback
No Rain - Blind Melon
Something In Your Mouth - Nickelback
Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz
Sell Out - Reel Big Fish
Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
Rockefeller Skank - Fatboy Slim
Lose Yourself - Eminem

And as always here is the email list of the Top 10 Workout Songs that I receive every month:

Avicii - Levels (Skrillex Remix) - 142 BPM
Pitbull - Back in Time - 126 BPM
Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa - Payphone - 110 BPM
Demi Lovato - Give Your Heart a Break - 123 BPM
Usher - Scream - 129 BPM
Linkin Park - Burn It Down - 111 BPM
Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (Hotline's Miami Vice Club Remix) - 118 BPM
Slaughterhouse & Cee Lo Green - My Life - 137 BPM
B.o.B. & Taylor Swift - Both of Us - 127 BPM
Katy Perry - Part of Me (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Remix) - 130 BPM
To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

I hope you find something you like.  If you have a playlist that you want to share I would love to hear about it!  I think we all know how much I like to change mine up.

Have a Blessed Thursday!

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spending some time in my brain with my fears and anxieties

Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

I'm just going to dive right in.  I've mentioned lately that I've had a lot on my mind and hopefully if I write it all out I will realize how stupid I am and I will feel better.

I am worried and I am scared.  You hear so many times people who lose the weight say "I will never be like that again!".   And at the time they mean it, but so often they do slip back.  That is forever in the back of my mind.  And when I start to make little mistakes that's when I worry that the former fat girl is really trying to come back out.  So if you think I am crazy or overly focused, that's pretty much why.  I still haven't gotten to my ultimate goal and I am terrified of slipping back into old habits.  I don't know that I will every be without this fear.

This weekend I am going to Cape May (at the Jersey Shore) for a day trip.  Just a fun saturday with my cousin and a good friend who I haven't seen in ages.  It'll be a good fun girl day. Great!  Cape May is my instant relaxation place.  All of my problems melt away.  And yet I am having severe anxiety.  Why?  Because of my stupid bikini.  Now you are probably saying to yourself: What the freak Jennifer?  You don't HAVE to wear it. You can wear something else.  And you are correct.  If I have this much anxiety over it why not just wear the tankini?  DUH.  I know this.  I KNOW this.  But, I feel like I have to do this for myself.  I have to make that leap.  And, if I wear the tankini I still have the problem of the white belly when and if I ever wear the bikini.

Do I think I have the body for a bikini yet?  No.  Do I think I look horrible in the bikini?  No.  Can I do this? Yes.  Will I?  No freakin idea.  If I am not up throwing up all night the night before then the chances are good that I might just do it.  Seriously, I can put my story out there with "before" photos on the Huffington Post for the whole world so see and I freak out about people at the beach seeing my belly.  Freakin belly! 

So here's my thing.  If I am standing up, then I am okay.  What I panic about is the sitting down with the belly roll.  You know what I'm talking about.  And try as i might, I cannot go from standing to laying down without  bending over or sitting down.  It's just not possible.  I love to sit in the chair and read at the beach.  Um...can't do that this weekend.  It's laying down only. 

Now I really am serious about the white belly.  I have good tough skin.  Shoot I still have tan lines from years and years of sunbathing.  But, my pattern is that I burn the first time out then I tan the rest of the summer.  It does not matter how much lotion I put on, that's how it goes. The sunburn sets me back. I can hardly move with the burn let alone workout.  And then it really has to be all gone before I workout because your skin can't breathe with a burn.  If I sweat I will blister.  I can't even fathom what my body would look like after that.  So when I burn this saturday, how long before I can workout again?

Insert my next fear.  How long will I be out of commission?  This fitness competition still has two weeks.  I do not want to go backwards.  I WANT TO WIN! (Hoping for a gift card for new sneakers for the next marathon...unless the sneaker fairy wants to visit me Reebok Realflex size 7 don't care what color :-). 

So the sunburn will knock me out...and so will these damn shins.  I cried yesterday. I need to rest them.  That's it. That's what I need to do.  But, if I do that then I will get off schedule.  I can only bike so much.  My butt is still cramping from the stretching.  Dang it.  And seriously, Hottie Instructor is going to suddenly find himself too busy to work with me if it's all about my butt.  But, I can't stop the walking.  I really thought it was the running, but after Monday I know better.

Walking is what pulled me out of the abyss.  It's what got me on the right path.  How can I just stop it for a while?  But, training is no good if I can't walk at all.  So I need to listen to my body and refocus my schedule.  I need to take out the long walks/runs and insert more bike and elliptical to keep my cardio up.  I can do this...but I'm too sad thinking about it.  What if I can't get this healed?  What if I keep aggrivating it because I'm stupid?  I don't like pain.  I would be very happy for it to go away.

I skipped the gym last night because I really didn't trust myself not to run.  I also only had a white t-shirt packed and it was raining so I did not feel like giving a show on my way out.  Now, the plan was to do some weights when I got home.  But, my brain got all fuzzy and I had a little breakdown over my fears and so I did not stick to my plan.  I started with biceps.  Um...If you do weights you should work the biggest muscles to smallest muscles.  Biceps are the smallest.  So I was stuck.  I did small weights for long reps for 30 minutes.  It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't the plan.  See!  Already I'm off schedule.  Stupid shins!

Here's the scary part. Tonight took me 2 hours to get home.  There was an overturned tractor trailer blocking my exit.  So everyone took the back roads.  That was torture.  I kept trying to come up with an alternate plan.  Plan A-okay, I will just hit the gym from Monday night.  It'll be closer.  Plan B-If I get to the park by 6:30 I will walk for 30 minutes. Umm..NO WALKING!  Plan C- when I get home I will just do some more weights or a yoga dvd. They were all feasible plans.  However, 2 hours of my shins pushing on the brake pedal and I am in pain.  No workout tonight.  And now I'm stressed about that. 

Now the smart thing would be to coordinate the shin resting with the sunburn.  Get all my resting in at once.  But that competition is in the back of my head.  Okay, are you sick of hearing about it?  Do you think I'm too focused on it? I know, I'm getting sick of it too. BUT, right now that is my motivation.  That is what is keeping me off of the couch with a pint of chunkey monkey.

Insert next fear.  What the hell am I going to do after this competition?  If I can't run for a while then training for the marathon is not my huge motivator.  I've already resigned myself to letting it be a walk again.  I can do that tomorrow if that was the case.  I would be in a lot of pain after, but that's okay. But, I really really wanted to run some of it.  I'm not willing to risk injury though.  And clearly the fear of sunburn means that my bikini is not my motivator.  In fact, let's talk more about that.

My summers are generally fun.  I go away a lot and spend weekends at the pool and beach.  I love my summers.  Right now it is stressing me out.  I am pretty good with getting some workouts in when I go away, but I rarely get my full workouts in when I am away.  Besides, the fitness centers I go to are limited.  So now my brain is going: You can't go away!  You will get fat again!  I have little panic attacks when I think about varying from my schedule (that's part of my ocd too).  But, if I don't go away then I don't see my friends and family and then I am even sadder.  BAH!

So in the past my favorite thing about the summer has been my sunbathing pool time.  I look bloody fantastic when I have a tan. I love my relaxing time reading and listening to music.  I recharge myself.  And right now the idea of that scares me.  It might take away from my focus.  Now I know this is insane.  I can do both!  I don't have a husband or kids to take care of.  It's just me.   What is my problem?  Why is this stressing me out?

And when I say stressing me out, I will just say that I just made it through a period with minimal cramps and not one pimple!  I was so excited...and then my brain takes over and 5 stress pimples!  Son of a Nutcracker!

*You might want to get up and stretch...go get something to drink.  We're not done yet.*

Let's go back to Cape May.  I love the feeling of it.  But, I also love the food.  When I think of Cape May I think of pork roll sandwiches, french fries, soft ice cream, and fudge.  I can generally start good with a turkey sandwich and carrots.  And then when I am walking around the boardwalk and shops all hell breaks loose and I can barely control myself.  I am a creature of habit.  And this has been my habit for many many years.  So let it be my cheat day!  And that's a great plan.  Assuming I don't cheat before or after.

So let's assume I make it through this Saturday with minimum trauma.  I am then going away next weekend too.  I am heading to my dad's at the beach with my bestie Carol. I have not seen her in a year and I miss her soooooo freakin much!  Every time I talk to her she says "I can't wait to see you!  You must be so tiny!".  That makes me flinch. What if she sees me and says "um...I thought you would be smaller?"  I KNOW she would never ever EVER say that.  But, I feel like I may not live up to her expectations.  And that's freakin CRAZY!    But, that's the crazy brain of a former fat girl.  That's what goes through your head.

I have a good plan for next weekend.  I was originally going to take a half day on Friday and then we would drive down to my dad's.  But, I looked at my PTO schedule and I have the days to take.  So I took a full day on Friday.  I will hit the gym before she gets here and that way I don't have to worry about getting in my Friday workout.  YEAH!  Let's hope the sunburn is gone. 

So now if you haven't had enough of my brain, here's some more.  What the heck am I doing with my life?  I am pretty unhappy.  I am not where I want to be.  Physically.  Mentally. Location.  Vocation.   I moved into a different department at work and that's good.  It's less stressful.  I don't actually want to bang my head against the wall when I walk in the door any more.  It's a good thing.  But, yesterday my new manager asked me if I was interested in moving up in the area I am in.  My immediiate thought: NO!  This is not what I want to do!  But, if I can't do what I want then yeah sure.  Oh yeah, I'm sure that was the answer he was looking for.  I don't know if he saw the moment's hesitation or the complete terror in my eyes before I said that I would, but that's what happened.

Is it what I want to do with my life?  NO.  Do I know what I want to do?  Well sort of.  I really really really want to do something with health and fitness. I love those of you who say I would be a great Personal Trainer.  I would LOVE that.  I love when I have a positive influence in someone's life.  But, would that be enough for me?  I kind of want to be a motivational speaker too. How the heck do I do that? I see people every day that I just want to help. I would move in with them if I could just to change their lives.  The blog is a good start, but it's not enough for me.

So if this is what I want to do, then why am I not taking steps to get there?  Because I freak out!  When will I have time to study?  I am exhausted between work, the gym, and the blog.  My to do list gets sooooo big because this is all I do. Lord help me if I find a guy to date.  He's going to need to fit in to a 1 hour window a week.  Unless he is going to the gym with me...hello gym crush 1 where are you????  So I don't have the time right now.  Something would suffer.  I can't let that be the gym.  And the blog is so good for me mentally.  And quite frankly I have to work...I need a sugar daddy who will let me quit and do this (Tony Stewart Call me!).  So I feel stuck.  I'm going to be in this horrible pattern where I am not moving.  Sure, eventually I will have the body I have always dreamed of, but I'm still going to have to work my ass off every day to keep it.  It's a horrible cycle.  My life is just like the movie Ground Hog Day.

I miss my Charlotte peeps something awful.  I am lonely a lot.  My friends here are busy and I don't see them as much as I would like.  I practically pounce on poor gym buddy Lisa at the gym, but she's moving soon :-(  And dear Kerri at work, who only reads the blog to see if I mention her pop tarts, is my sounding board all day.  I'm going to drive her insane soon.  haha.  Thank goodness for Barb, but she leaves at 4 and I'm on my own until the next day :-(

Moving back to Charlotte is not in the cards at the moment.  The job market is not there.  So then I thought, hey, if I was a personal trainer maybe that is the time to make the move.  But, again when am I going to study for this?  Are you seeing my problem?  This is so depressing for me.  Sometimes it makes me physically ache.  And that's why I throw myself at the mercy of the gym.  The sooner I get to my goal the easier life will least that's what I tell myself.  I figure I can allow myself 2 days of rest a week then. 

Deep Breaths...we're almost there.

I am exhausted physically and emotionally.  But, I am seeing such a dramatic change in my body.  I still have a hard time believing it's me.  I spend hours just looking at my legs and my arms.  That does make me smile.  Please don't get me wrong, I do have lots of happy moments.  I really do.  I just need to get a hold of myelf and relax.  I need to make my plan. Maybe a week off from working out would be good for me.  Maybe I need to send back my "I'm only half crazy 13.1" shirt and just order "Loony girl".  haha.  

Oh and then that brings me to the December marathon.  I WANT to make that a full marathon so bad it hurts.  But, that training is not in the cards until the shins get better.  ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So that's one dream that I see slipping away.  And that's just stupid because if I give myself the rest that I need then I can totally do it.  But, can I rest without slipping?  That's the problem.  Can I rest without losing any of the progress I have made.  I have worked so damn hard to get here.  I can't let anything take that away.

Okay, please come back tomorrow.  I promise to be back to normal. :-)  But, I thank you for listening to me.  It really helped me.

****Please note****
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition - Jacqui

Honk if you heart Chris Powell!

So this week's episode touched me in soooo many ways.

Jacqui was 13 when she was sexually assaulted.  Her response was to gain weight.  By 15 she was obese.  It was a coping mechanism that stayed with her.  And at age 29 she was 355 lbs and unable to get pregnant.  She was extremely embarrassed by her weight and even gave up singing because "no one wanted to see her on stage".  My heart broke.

Early on in the show she has a breakdown in the changing room.  She can't even look at herself in the mirror.  How is she going to do this on TV?  Oh I felt her pain.  The Former Fat Girl avoided full length mirrors like the plague.  She talked about how you can fool yourself if you don't see it.  AMEN SISTER!  I know exactly what you mean!

For these initial weigh-ins they have to use industrial scales because the regular scales are not accurate over 350lbs.  My heart just breaks. I cannot applaud her courage enough.  I NEVER EVER would have done that.  You may remember that only one person knew how much I weighed for the longest time.  And it was not me.  I cannot stress how much I could not handle that number.  And once I found out what it was it was sooooo much higher than my brain led me to believe.

I was particularly struck by a moment early on when she talked about how when you are fat you try to be "Happy, jolly, and funny" that way people will look past your appearance and hopefully like you.   Wow.  I feel like she is my kindred spirit. It's like we have the same thoughts.  One of my friends constantly tells me that one of the things she loves about me is my constant smile and laugh.  It's been my "public front" for so long it's hard to turn off.  But, often it is just a front. :0(

So Chris took her to her 1 week boot camp before bringing her home.  She is totally me!  She has such a fear of letting people down.  She doesn't want to disappoint.  Seriously, I was practically looking in a mirror this whole episode. 

Her goal for the first 3 months was 90lbs.  It's going to be tough.  But, we watched her progress and it was so obvious she was going to make it.  Her transformation was immediate.  If she made her goal then she and her husband would get the Honeymoon in Ireland they always wanted.

They got married six years before and never took their honeymoon.  A trip to Ireland is an active trip and she did not think she could enjoy it.  *Sad face*.

Did she meet her goal?  Oh holy heck she did!   They are going to Ireland!  My favorite part is that Chris was going too!  He can come on my Honeymoon!!!!  He would meet them there for her challenge: 100K bike ride.  It's going to be hilly and windy.  She lives in South's flat.  Felt her pain for the training.

Before her 3 month weigh in she went to her office to see about working part time.  Her journey requires so much focus.  They could not offer that.  So she spoke with her extremely supportive husband who told her to quit.  This is too important.  I heart him!  Support is sooooooo important!

So when they arrived in Ireland you could barely recognize her.  WOW!  Chris as amazed.  They got started on the bike ride and it was tough.  She struggled, but eventually got to the point where he couldn't even keep up.  YEAH!

There was a minor set back when they got back home.  She had gained 7lbs and was very mad at herself.  I wanted to give her a hug.  Travelling is tough.  You are out of your comfort zone and schedule.  Flying and eating different things can bloat you.  As much as I wanted to scream and tell her that, I knew the mental setbacks she was going through.  It does not matter what the cause is.  Seeing a big number like that takes and emotional toll.  It could set you back weeks or months if you let it.

She got back into the game and soon it was time for her 9 month weigh in.  I don't remember what the goal was, but that's not important.  What is important is that the doctor said that her chances for conceiving were very very good!  YEAH!  Oh and yeah, she met her goal.  That meant the skin removal surgery.  I didn't think she would need it, but they showed her arms, legs and belly.  It would help her.  She did not need as much as many other candidates so her recovery time is better.

Fast forward to the finale and Miss Thang comes out in a smokin blue dress!  STUNNING.  I cried.  I was so happy for her. Before her final weigh in Chris admitted that her was very aggressive and he did not know if she could do it.  But she did!  She lost 207lbs.  Her final weight was 148lbs.  She lost over 50%. YEAH!

She is now a weight loss coach (MY DREAM!) and will be back with Chris next season helping others.  I am so jealous.  That's what I want to do!

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile