Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Random Tuesday

Hello Beautiful People,

I hope you had a wonderful day.  I'm just glad it's over.  Only one more day until Ms. Kerri comes back! YEAH!!!  I was so busy today and had tunnel vision that I looked up and it was lunch time...and I had barely had anything to drink all day.  BAH!

I made myself leave the building and go to the mall for lunch.  I just needed to take a break and distance myself for a bit. I went to Starbucks for a tall vanilla chai latte.  I just needed something to calm me.  And then I thought, hey why not go to DSW and take a look at the sneakers.  I need to get my new pair soon in order to break it in for the Half Marathon...and I can't rely on actually winning the fitness competition.  Heck, I don't even really know what the prize is.  I'm just going on what FCANR said it was the past couple of years...and well he tends to mess with me so who knows what it could be.  So if I find my reebok realflex (I really should be a paid endorsement) on sale then I am getting them....I got them!  Oh and they are PRETTY!  They are hot pink with white soles and bright yellow trim.  I heart them!

I did not break them in at the gym tonight.  I did go, but I wanted them to make their debut with a good outfit (maroon and black was not the right one).  Besides, I wasn't sure how much running I would do tonight. I tried a little running tonight and my knees started to hurt so I cut back to walking. I will have to go back to at least a day in between.

Okay, so I know that my focus has changed.  I am cutting back on the weights and upping the cardio. The Fitness Competition is over and I am back in Half-Marathon training.  I know that I was sick for a week and out of the gym.  I know this.  But, I can see a difference in my body and I don't like it.  So now I have to figure out what to do.  Should I go back to weight training and just train to walk the Half?  It's kind of what I'm leaning towards.  It's been two weeks since my last big weights day and my arms are not as tight.  My belly is not as tight.  My legs are not as tight. I miss that. All I can think of is when a professional athlete retires and they gain a little weight.  People are so shocked.  I have never understood this.  Maybe it's because people don't want to think about how much time these athletes are training every day.  When they cut back of course their body is going to change shape.  Now I am in no way putting myself in that category.  I am just saying that I was going all out for so long that just a little time off after makes a difference.

This is why I get so focused and push myself. It's such hard work. It takes lots of time. I get so frustrated when I see people putting in 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there.  That's not enough. It needs to be consistent.  30 minutes is fine, if you do it every day. When I reach my goal then I can afford to cut back and keep a maintenance schedule.  But, that time is not now.

I've been really thinking about the type of Personal Trainer that I want to be.  I'm going to need to be involved in my clients lives.  I can't just be the type of person that trains you for a couple of hours a week and takes your money.  I need to know my clients' schedules. What are they eating?  What are they doing to make progress in their own time. I need to impress the importance of making this a priority.  The importance of making the time and getting out there even when you don't feel like it.  It's not going to happen with positive thoughts and good intentions.  It requires work.  Hard work.  But, it's sooooooooo worth it.

I have given myself goals and this blog to hold myself accountable.  But, it took me a while to get here too.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I didn't get to 200lbs overnight and it's not going to come off overnight. Now I could have gone to extremes to drop the weight fast, but if I don't do it at my slow healthy pace then it was going to come right back.

How many times did I drop 10lbs in a couple of weeks on some fad diet?  Too many times to count.  But then I would stop and the 10lbs would come back and they would bring friends.

And speaking of friends, they have been so important.  Finding the right support system has been key.  In the beginning it was hard.  Some friendships didn't make it. If I felt that a friendship was toxic for me then I had to distance myself.  Some friends have been terribly supportive and I light up when I get a text or a phone call "You would be so proud of me...guess what I ate/did today".  It took a while to help motivate some people, but it was worth it.  I cannot wait to get certified and find my clients.

The only problem is that I am finding it hard to study during the Olympics.  BAH!  I am an Olympics junky.  Right now I am screaming at the tv in exitement for the Women's Gymnastics team. Good lord I wish I was that talented.  My heart broke last night watching the Men's team.  They are so strong and talented, but had a bad night. But, I see them coming back in the individuals rounds.

Okay kids, Michael Phelps is coming up soon so I gots to get ready to cheer.

Have a blessed night.

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, July 30, 2012

Pain is Weakness Leaving Your Body

Happy Monday Bleeps!

Well I survived!  It got a little hectic in the afternoon, but I made it through.

Ms. Kerri, I will buy you all of the pop tarts you want when you come back!  Ha, just kidding you know I won't do that, but I will buy you Starbucks if you promise never to leave me again.

Okay, so the belly is pink and that meant that I am jeans free for a little while. Basically I am in dresses and comfy skirts for the week.  So I put on that pretty empire waist dress that I could sleep in.  It was a good plan.  And then Ms. Tracey asked if I wanted to walk at lunch.

Seriously, it was gorgeous out there today.  We figured we would get in fifteen minutes.  We were wrong.  We walked for the full hour.  But, the dress is awkward so I had it yanked up above my knees the whole time. But oh how good it felt.  Thank you Ms. Tracey!

In addition to my belly being pink my face is a little swollen from the burn.  And thanks to Ms. Barb I got updates on it all day.  My eyes are sensitive.  I can't put suntan lotion anywhere near them.  My eyes burn when I sweat.  I would go blind if the lotion dripped in there.  So my eyes were very puffy today and Ms. Barb let me know it.  "You look awful! I'm just saying. I don't think you should go to the gym tonight.  You might scare someone." Thank you for the support.

And then the internal debate started again on the way home.

1. You heard Barb. You look like crap. Go home.

2. You took yesterday off.  Get your ass there!

1.  Come on, you already walked for an hour today.  You're good.

2.  It's been weeks since you saw a Gym Crush.

1. Do you really want any Gym Crush to see you like this?

2.  You were out for a week.  Get your ass to the gym!

1. Think of the burn.  Do you really want to do anything with that?

2. It's not that bad.  

1. You need to study.

2. You can read your book on the treadmill. 

1. I'm pretty sure the belly is pinker than it was this morning. 

2. That's what aloe is for.

1. If you hit traffic then you should just go home.

No traffic...On to the gym I go. On my way there I was behind a guy on a motorcycle with the best shirt: Pain is weakness leaving your body.  Luvs it!

I have had a pair of yoga pants packed in my gym bag for a little while.  I opted for them because there's a slight burn on my thighs and walking at lunch was irritating them a little.  So I put on my big girl pants and I got out there.  Gym Crush 1 was already running...yeah!  And after my first 15 minute run I saw Gym Crush 2...ahhh...all is well.

I put in another hour and I felt good. Sweaty, but good.   I really truly hate that I still have to talk myself into the gym.  I know I want to go.  I know that I'm going to go.  It just feels like the more successful I am, the more desperate the Former Fat girl is to take back control.  I'm tired of this constant battle and am a little afraid that she might start winning.

****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, July 29, 2012

Beach + Sunburn = Ice Cream

Happy Sunday Bleeps!

So I wasn't planning on taking yesterday off, but I was just enjoying and relaxing too much.  And you know I was watching me some Olympics.

Did you watch the Opening Ceremony?  If you did, you know that the parade of nations was pretty fast.  It still takes a long time, but they were moving.  Lots of commentators talking about it.  Did you hear the music?  That's why I stress the importance of a good playlist.  That music had a beat.  Of course it's going to make them walk faster.  Plus there were all of those drums.  Which I loved and OMG can we talk about those poor people's arms?  That was a long time to be drumming.  Great workout!

Anyway, Saturday morning I got up and headed over to the fitness center. You know the one that overlooks the pool.  This time I got there long before the pool opened so I just got to watch the guy cleaning the pool while I was on the treadmill.  My sister and brother-in-law beat me there and we had the place to ourselves for a while.  I jumped on the treadmill and did a quick warm up.  I wanted to run, but I hadn't run since I had been sick and I don't really like these treadmills to run on.  They are fine, but when I am on a hill I feel wobbly so I don't feel too confident.  I ran for 15 minutes and then I got off.  I had wanted to be on for an hour, but my mind was all over the place.  I wanted to do some upper body weights and I wanted to try my plank there.  Could I beat 3 minutes? 

I got down on the floor and started...I didn't make it past 1 minute. Dang it. But there was a reason.  That carpet HURT.  I actually had rug burn on my arms for a day and I wasn't really moving around.  Alas, I was beat by the carpet so I moved over to weights.  I did some back and then some arms/shoulders.  By then they had left and I was on my own.  I put the Olympics.  It was Men's Road Race Cycling. My first thought was "Oh great....boring".  OH how wrong I was.  By the time I started watching these men had been riding for four hours and forty-five minutes.  And they still had 40 miles to go.  WHAT?  This event is 155 miles. Well that's one way to start off with a bang.

I could not look away.  I was glued to the tv.  So I jumped on the treadmill and decided to stay on until they finished.  I saw one group leader wipe out, but I missed the "Big One", to steal from Nascar.  It looked like it took out about 30 cyclists.   I just looked up the results and 133 started the race and only a hand full did not finish.  That's because these guys get back up on the bike and the medics drive next to them hanging out of the car windows working on them.  Now THAT is dedication.  Now I have no desire to compete in anything like that (the crowds of cyclists running together makes me nauseous), but I have a new found respect for them.

So I stayed on and got my hour on the treadmill and then it was time to get ready for the pool.  That meant the bikini.  This is now the third time I have worn it and I still had a white belly.  This is such an odd summer for me.  By now I would be a lovely golden brown, but this year is just a bit busy for me. 

There was a little stress involved this time.  I don't like to wear it after working out.  I am a little swollen with the water I inhale when I workout.  The last time I wore it after a workout it was a light workout.  This one was rough.  The humidity found it's way into the fitness center and I was sweating after 30 seconds.  I filled my water bottle 4 times.  And I barely peed after.  It was HOT.  So I have the swollen belly from the workout, plus I was bloated for that time of the month...bah! 

And then there was the stress of laying out next to my sister.  I love her, but she's always been the skinny one. It's hard to really enjoy the pool experience your whole life when you are hiding your one-piece under a big baggy shirt and your sister is looking perfect in a bikini.  But, I did it.  I took off my cover-up and basked in the sun.  I even got up and went in the pool for a little bit to cool off.  Now, I am still not brave enough to sit up in the bikini.  So when I was sitting in the chair under the umbrella I was wrapped in my big towel.

Once again my face, chest and arms got all red (but I think that was really from hanging at the edge of the pool reading). The belly got slightly pink, but I was optimistic.  I wore a different bikini top so I could go strapless. This meant that my strap marks from the other top got pink.  So I opted to skip the gym today.  I did not want a bra rubbing up and down on it and getting sweaty.  I had horrible visions of what could happen.  So I went to church and decided to see how it was outside. If it wasn't horribly muggy I would go back to the pool for a little while before heading home.  It was nice.  So off I went.

It was nice, but DANG it was hot again. I could not lay there comfortably.  I was spraying myself with my water bottle like crazy.  I got my hour laying on my back in.  The plan was for an hour on my belly and then I would go get ready to leave.  I got 30 minutes in and then my brother-in-law brought us lunch.  As we were eating the thunder started. So we quickly packed up and headed home. The good news: My belly is even pinker!  It may be tan by 2014!  I'm so optimistic!

Alright, so let's discuss the food.  Generally we go to Ms. Cheryl's on Fridays, but she had family in town so we were on our own.  BBQ chicken and ribs. Yum!  I had a nice medium size piece of chicken and 2 ribs.  There was also a salad.

Now as you may remember from my last post, I was craving ice cream during the Opening Ceremony.  I went out to the freezer in the garage and found Klondike pops...hello.  I got one out and started to eat it when I realized that the freezer had not been fully closed and it was partially melted. Dang it.

Well you know what my favorite sandwiches are....so yes, I had a bologna and cheese sandwich for lunch on Saturday.  I had it with some mustard on whole wheat. We had the neighbors over for dinner.  We had grilled chicken, steak, stuffed cabbage, big giant Dana salad and left over BBQ.  I had some of Dana's wonderful salad (remember she made the awesome anti-pasta platter last time).  Then I had a small piece of chicken, two slices of the steak, and a stuffed cabbage.  For dessert I had a dark chocolate magnum ice cream pop....oh yeah.

Today I had another bologna sandwich before the pool and then Brother-in-Law Mark brought over burgers.  But, not just your regular burger...these puppies had jalapeno peppers in them. Sinuses cleared!  I had one burger and then a bowl of ice cream before I left.  Dang it.  I cannot control myself around ice cream!  Seriously, it is my biggest weakness.  Especially at the beach and when I have a little sunburn.  It's an association I have always had.  It's almost like Pavlov's dog.  Beach+sunburn=ice cream.  I won't get too angry though because the pops were small.  While I didn't eat as well as I would have liked, I kept it to portions and didn't snack on the chips and doritos. Small victory.

Okay kids, I have a rough week ahead of me.  Miss Kerri is out of the office until Thursday taking her comps for her Masters Degree (Sending her a big hug and shout out because she has been studying hard for this!) and that means I have to cover both of us for three days. So I'm going to sign off and enjoy some more Olympic moments before going to sleep.

OH and in case you were wondering, I did get to study a little.  Not quite as much as I would have liked.  My goal was to finish the Anatomy chapter, but I made a lot of headway.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time on joints.  I spent a lot of time moving my elbows, shoulders, knees, and ankles just fascinated beyond belief.  haha.

Have a lovely night and I will catch you tomorrow.

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, July 27, 2012

Olympic Fever!

Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

I have a fever...OLYMPIC FEVER!  Do you have it?  I sure as heck do! 

I had been thinking about how different the Olympics are today than when I was younger.  These days you can watch it on a bunch of different channels and online.  That's not quite how it was when I was growing up.

I always preferred the Summer Olympics to the Winter games.  I think it's because that's how I spent my summer. We didn't go to summer camp.  We went to Mom-mom and Pop-pop's for the summer.  We would spend our mornings in the pool and then park ourselves in front of the TV after lunch until it was time to go to bed.

I loved watching every single event and learning the stories behind the athletes.  And every now and then I would dream of winning a medal.  Oh, but not in anything super athletic.  Don't be silly.  I didn't want to have to move or anything.  So I figured my best shot was a Skills medal.  Of course I didn't think that no matter what, you still have to be fit and in shape.  I didn't think that far ahead.

Without ever lifting a bow, I dreamed of a medal in Archery.  I even went so far as to picture myself winning a rowing medal.  That's very physical I know, but you're sitting.   Basically, if it didn't involve running around or moving your lower body strainuously then I would picture me doing it.  Even table tennis was out of the question because there was too much movement.  I figured I could excel in badminton because I was really good at it at family parties, and then I saw it being played and it was way out of my league. I was all over synchronized swimming, but you don't touch the bottom of the pool so that was out.

By far the best Summer Games ever was 1984...You may remember it as the year of the Soviet Boycott or the year that Los Angeles hosted the game or the year that Carl Lewis won 4 gold medals or the year the Mary Lou Retton won the all-around gymnist title.  But, I remember it as the year of McDonalds!  That was the year that you got little playing pieces with your meals.  On those playing pieces was an Olympic event. If the US won a medal you won!  You got a Big Mac for the Gold, French Fries for the Silver, and a soda for the bronze.   It was pure heaven for me....it pretty much fed for for two weeks.  With the Soviet boycott the Americans dominated.  Big Macs for everyone!

It makes me sad now to think about how the little fat girl would stuff her face with Big Macs and French fries while watching these world class athletes and not dreaming the big dreams.  That even then I didn't believe in myself fully.  I didn't feel like I could ever be that athletic

By far my most favorite Olympic athlete ever was Greg Louganis.  Watching him dive was one of the most amazing moments.  He was amazing.  Almost made me want to dive. Almost.  And who didn't love Mary Lou Retton?  Name one little girl that watched her and didn't want to be just like her.  Heck, I'm short enough for it.  I would let myself fantasize about it for a moment and then I would remember that I can't even do a cartwheel.  Somersaults I'm good with, but that will only get you so far.

Do you remember the Dan vs. Dave campaign?  I'll refresh your memory.  Back in 1992 Reebok had started a campaign for the Greatest Athlete in the World.  Dave Johnson and Dan O'Brien were both favorites.  The campaign started  during the superbowl. It was a massive campaign.  And then the worst possible thing happened.  Dan O'Brien failed to qualify because of the pole vault.  DOH!

Fear not, he came back and won the Gold in 1996...thank goodness.   Okay, so fast forward two years and he writes a book: Dan O'Brien's Ultimate Workout.  I happened to be working at the local Borders Bookstore during his tour.  When they mentioned that he was coming to the store I just about died. DIED!

They let me be the table runner.  I would be with him the entire time.  It was a dream.  Afterwards he signed my book and we got some pictures.  Now, I'm short.  He's tall.  Wouldn't it be cute if I stood on a chair for the picture?  Awwww...I loved this picture.  I hadn't seen it in a while and searched for it tonight.  I found it.  And I cried.  I look like a giant next to him.   Why did I think was cute?  I know part of it is the angle of the camera, but not the whole thing.  UGH.

So I bought this book.  This Ultimate Workout book.  Wanna know a secret?  I never really opened it until tonight.  It's actually pretty cool.  I will take it to the pool tomorrow to read.  So how does meeting this incredible athlete never make me face myself?  Why did I not stop and change everything immediately?

Better late than never I guess.

Here I sit watching the opening ceremonies and just so excited for the world.  And all I want is a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream with magic shell...it's how we celebrated at Mom-mom and Pop-pop's.

ps-Just so you know, this is the first year that the women of Saudi Arabia are allowed to compete in the Olympics.  Let's give a shout out to these ladies!  HOLLA!

pps-I know I have a lot of readers from all over the world.  I hope you enjoy the games :-)

****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, July 26, 2012

Final Assessment Numbers: Good day/Bad day

Happy Thursday Bleeps!

Before I start, let me just say that I need to pack for the beach tonight so this may be a bit rushed.  I also feel a little pressure because another book I requested just came in at the library and I haven't even opened the one that I picked up a few weeks ago.  I have not read anything in a week (and that includes my textbook). That ought to tell you that I was not in my right mind this week (but I am breathing now!)

So it was a good and a bad day.

Good because I got to hang with Gym Buddy Lisa at the gym tonight.  Bad because once again I could not breathe at work.  Good because I had an unexpected lunch outing with a coworker.  Bad because I was blowing out neon green snot all day.  Good because I got my butt to the gym tonight.  Bad because I didn't see any gym crushes.  Good because we got our final assessment numbers.  Bad because we got our final assessment numbers.

Relax...we still don't know who won.  I know of one person who went for her assessment today.  And one of my teammates still needs to take hers.  She promised to let me know when hers is scheduled.

So when I looked at my numbers I was pretty impressed.  The problem, I have no idea how anyone else did.  Ms. Barb is on vacation so you know I had to immediately call on FCANR (Fitness Competition Arch Nemesis Ryan).  Here's how the conversation went:

FCANR: What was your number?

Me: 107

FCANR: That's good.  Not quite as good as my 110, but good.

*Is this what a brain aneurysm feels like?  WHAT?  I busted my ass.  How did he beat me?  What could I have done differently?  Bah! I'm seeing spots...I need to sit...oh wait I am sitting?*

Me: That's not cool.  I even gave you those 5 bonus points.  Dang it!

FCANR: It's okay, I don't think I even submitted that answer.

Me: (Silent)

FCANR: I'm just kidding.  That's not my number.  

*I'm going to go all spider monkey on his butt when I see him*

FCANR: I didn't even submit my workout schedule and events.  I asked Alex if it was even worth it at this point.

*Deep breaths*

About an hour later...when my blood pressure was back to normal I told him to submit his schedule.  I told him that I want to beat him fair and square.  I don't want any *.  Gotta respect that. :-)

So then this afternoon I got too curious and asked for his numbers.  He's been my target for this whole competition.  I kinda wanted to know how my numbers matched up next to his.

FCANR: 50  Me: 48

FCANR: 75  Me: 62 (but remember I had maxed out and stopped because I was hitting the gym that night)

FCANR: 2:00  Me: 3:01

HOLLA!  I was pretty Psyched.  And then he mentioned that his Body Fat % went from Athletic to Lean.  What?  I didn't have anything like that on mine.  So I looked and looked and then I figured something out.  Mine was AVG + for Initial and final. I thought that was decent...until I went back and reread the initial email.  The order is: Lean, Athletic, Good, Average, Average +, Poor.  I'm double checking with him to see if Average and Average + should be reversed.  If that is the case there is no need to talk me off my ledge.  I have been obessessing on that all afternoon and have this close to hitting the vending machine for a Three Musketeers.

***Checked with Hottie Instructor and that's correct...means "Average plus size"...I'll refrain from the language I just used***

Lots of good numbers, but just seeing that I am just above Poor in Body Fat % makes me ill.  Are you kidding me?  Do you know how much muscle I have?  Freakin belly!!!!

So that's the scoop.  I am going to try and forget about that last Average  + and focus on the fact that I held my own with Mr. Arch Nemesis....and that's good enough for me...at least for now...Next time I aim to beat him!

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, July 25, 2012

Me, Myself, and the Former Fat Girl

Happy Thursday Bleeps!

So the good news is that I woke up breathing! YEAH!  Can I get a Woo Woo for Breathing?  Well of course I always wake up breathing, but this morning my nose was not stuffed up.  YEAH!  It's going to be a good day.  I was so excited I wanted to straighten up before I left for work...but no time.  Now I am no anal Annie when it comes to cleaning, but clutter drives me crazy...messiness drives me crazy.  So you know I am not feeling well when the place looks crappy.  I always know when I'm on my way back to life when I want to clean. 

Okay, back to the breathing thing.  Fast forward to the commute to work and BAM I am stuffed up again. Dang it!  I am telling you, I am allergic to my work.

I was stuffed up all morning. Dang it!  I was optimistic and had packed my gym bag for after work.  I knew it was going to be 50/50 going in to the day, but my rule is: if there is coughing or stuffiness during the day then no gym.  As much as my body is craving a good run, I am not taking a chance on any setbacks.

So for lunch I headed to the mall to return something and the moment I left the office my nose completely cleared up.  I was able to breathe the whole time. Ahhh....hmmm maybe I can amend the no gym rule...the bag is packed after all....

And then the minute I walked back in to the office BAM I am stuffed up again.  Seriously???  After an hour I went and used my icky nasal spray.  I was clear for the rest of the afternoon.  YEAH!

So in the car ride home the usual debate began:

1: You are still sick you cannot go!

2: You are fine...take a deep breath see...you're all good!

1: Alright Miss OCD, if you're going to play that way, think of the mess at home!

2: It's been a while since you've seen a gym crush...

1: Laundry.  Vacuum. Take out the trash. Clean the kitchen. Make dinner.  Make lunch.

2: Your ass is getting flabby!

1: You are going away this weekend.  When are you going to have time to get everything done?

2: I swear our arms do not look as defined as they were last week.

1: Think of the bags of just laying around your room that need to be unpacked.

2: Gym Crush!

1: Do you really want any Gym Crush to see you this way?

2: You have a half day on Friday, you can get it all done then.

1: Is that a sniffle?

2: You have not been to the gym since Friday!

1: But you walked all over NYC on Saturday!

2: How long before the marathon?

1: What if your lungs collapse?

2: Okay, just go for 30 it's a start.

1: Hmm...I think I can do 30.

**News report: Traffic is backed up while they fix a pot hole right at Jennie's exit to get home expect major delays **

What?  Decision made.  I did not get to my exit (which is still 15 minutes before the gym exit) until 6pm.  I would not get to the gym and get changed until at least 6:30.  Okay, go home and clean.  Tomorrow your ass is at that gym! Well assuming I can breathe at work.

****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, July 24, 2012

Jennie and the Big Apple

Hello My Lovelies and Gents,

So sorry it's been a while.  I wasn't planning on being away so long, but some stuff came up.  I didn't bring my laptop to NYC because I didn't think we could check-in before we went in to the city and I didn't want to leave it in the car all day.  Well of course we got to check-in early. Doh.  That's okay though because I was not feeling well that night.

Let's start at the beginning.  Friday I had taken a half day. I was starting to get congested and my body was tired.  The plan was to go to the gym then come home and pack.  As I was driving I got that lazy little angel sitting on my shoulder "You don't really want to go do you?  You have so much to do.  Besides, you'll be walking all day tomorrow."  I almost listened to her, but I went to the gym anyway.  I didn't care if it was a light hour on the treadmill, that's better than nothing.

So I put in my hour and ran home to get ready before my mom and aunt were to arrive.  The plan was to start packing, but I didn't get too far.  I was tired.  So I relaxed for a little bit and then before I knew it I was running out the door to meet them at the mall for an early dinner.  I hadn't eaten as much as I should have for lunch and I was starving.

We opted for Carraba's Italian Grill.  It's always a delicious option, but I wanted to be smart.  I didn't want anything heavy in my belly.  Besides, Saturday was my planned cheat day.  I found a grilled chicken basted with olive oil and herbs.  It was served with fresh veggies.  Sold!  And it was good.  Of course it's easy to talk me into a dessert when they are the size of shot glasses.  Chocolate mousse with toasted coconut..yum.

After dinner we stopped to pick up some items for our trip.  Some of us were a little congested (not bad, but it was beginning) so some allergy medicine and cough drops were needed (I was NOT going to be responsible for disrupting the show with coughing).  We also needed to get some snacks for the car ride.  We settled on Kashi oatmeal cookies and Blue diamond rice crackers. Sounds good.  Oh and we also needed to pick up something for breakfast.  So we grabbed some Smart Ones English muffin sandwiches.

I almost forgot, I also had my eye on this pretty blue pocketbook.  It's one that would go across my body and would help distribute things evenly.  I got it.  Can always take it back if I changed my mind.

So saturday morning rolls around really early and it's time to get on the road.  Little me got picked as the driver.  We took my aunt's Tahoe and I felt like I was driving a tank.  I had driven it once before, but it had been a while.  And when I did it then I did not need to go through toll booths. Dang it, I could not reach the tickets and had to open the door and unbuckle my belt.

We stopped at the rest stop and you know if there's a Starbucks that I'm going to get something.  I had been drinking a general foods international coffee (not real coffee I know, but I just don't like the coffee flavor) so I didn't want something to compete with that. I had the beginnings of a scratchy throat so I got the Strawberries and Creme frappacino.  I got a tall (small) and I got it with soy.  I seriously can't tell the difference.

So we got to Secaucus NJ in good time...but, mapquest and gps failed us.  We could see the hotel, we just could not get there.  Thankfully we didn't end up in the Lincoln Tunnel (I used to live in Weehawken, NJ so I would have had us get off before that anyway ;-).  After what seemed like forever we were able to find the hotel and check in. We had lost a lot of time though.  The plan was to be in NYC by noon.  Now it was going to be closer to 1.  That meant that our lunch options were limited if the show was at 2.  I found a Cosi on Broadway a couple of blocks from the theater and we were sold. YEAH!  All hail Cosi!

As soon as we were done it was time to head to the theater.  We were 20 minutes early and the line was down the block. It didn't matter. As soon as I saw the "Harvey" marquee with the picture of Jim Parsons I was beyond happy.  And yet I could not breathe until I was handed that playbill.  Would there be a disappointment insert "For this performance only the part of Elwood Dowd will not be played by Jim Parsons and it really doesn't matter who it is because it will break Jennie's heart so why bother even giving him a name".

Before we headed up to our seats we saw the merchandise...they will be signing autographs at the stage door sooooooo I got a poster.  When we went upstairs to our seats I grabbed a bottle of water for my terribly dry throat.  Dear God, please don't make me have to pee during this show!  Thank you.  I also had packed a protein bar so that I wouldn't buy snacks at the refreshment stand.

When we sat down I immediately looked and there was no insert for Elwood...*giggle*..I also noticed how much room I had in the seat.  You could stick fists between my legs and the side of the seats. YEAH!  It had been a long time since that happened...basically not since high school.

I thought I was going to pass out when the curtains opened. The show was fantastic.  I would have enjoyed it even with a different actor, but I was in heaven with Jim/Sheldon.  I will say that the character he played was portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in the movie.  So imagine Jimmy Stewart and Sheldon had a baby...okay, maybe not that dramatic of a performance.  Anyway, his character was so heartwarming that I was crying at the very end...shocking I know from miss tear buckets. 

As soon as it was over we ran down the back steps and out to the stage door.  There was already a line and I could not get closer than 3 people deep.  Dang it.  Luckily my Aunt bullied her way up to the second row and took my poster.  When he came out it was crazy.  He came around and signed the posters and a few playbills.  He was so nice.  I just held my camera over people's heads and clicked.  I got a few good shots, but my cousin, who is taller, used the mega zoom and got even better ones....and yes, my poster is signed!  You could not wipe the smile off of my face for hours.

After the show we parted with my cousin, who was off to meet a friend and go to another show that night...lucky!  Mom, Auntie, and I walked up to Central Park and along it until we got to FAO Schwartz.  You can't go to NYC and not go there...especially when you have a nephew on the way :-)  Plus they have clean bathrooms.

The middle floor has a giant "sweets" section and I really really wanted to buy a cupcake, but I knew that we would be having dinner in a little while so I passed.  But, I did get a cute little Toy Soldier Teddy Bear for the nephew :-)

After FAO we walked down to Rockefellar Center.  It was a long day of walking so we sat for a little while.  I always like to go into the NBC store there and see what The Office merchandise they have.  And then I had my brainstorm!  Biggest Loser shirts!  Let's go!  I found a Team Bob shirt and got it.  I wasn't sure about it at first.  The medium looked huge, but the small looked tiny.  I went with the medium.  YEAH!  Can't wait to wear it.

And speaking of wearing...picking out an outfit for the day was hilarious.  I changed my mind so many times. One outfit was going to be a pretty skirt, but then that got nixed because I needed comfy sneakers for the walking.  I finally settled on this pretty top that the clothes fairy dropped off all of those months before. It's a little big, but I love the colors.  The only thing is that you need a strapless bra. For a short period of time no big deal.  For carting around puppies like mine it's a huge task.  I felt like at every corner one of them was going to pop out.  And the pocketbook strapped across the chest wasn't making me feel any better.  Rest assured, there were no wardrobe malfunctions on this trip :-)

So anyway, we still needed to walk back to Broadway.  I had asked my aunt what she wanted to do for dinner and she said "something new yorky". Alright then.  Ellen's Stardust Diner it is!  This is my favorite place to eat in NY...the waiters and waitresses sing for you. It doesn't get more New Yorky than that.  The line was long though.  Although we really only waited 15 minutes.  It is a tight place.  There is not a lot of walking room between tables and I was suddenly aware how much easier it was for me to walk...well except for the big bags knocking in to people's heads as they eat.  sorry

Once we were seated it was go time.  What to choose? What to choose?  They have good burgers.  They have good mac'n'cheese.  They have good meatloaf...but I have regretted not getting that reuben the last time I was in NYC...so Reuben it is!

Our waiter was cute and was a good sport when there were technical difficulties with the cameras.  I got a really cute picture with him. Although I don't believe he sang while we were there...boo.  I did enjoy the Grease songs and some Tina Turner classics...and yes, I sing and dance along with them.  That's just who I am :-)

We were outside for about 30 seconds after dinner when it hit me.  My belly hurt.  UGH.  We still needed to walk down through Time Square to Port Authority for our bus ride back to Jersey.  You can ignore an upset belly when there's so much going on around you.  We did pass buy a gelato place and I did get a coconut gelato to sooth my belly...at least that's what I told myself.  I was still on cheat day.

Since FAO my aunt had said that if we found a place that she could get a new pair of sneakers she would like to stop.  Her shoes were feeling tight.  Well we found a big ass Foot Locker in Time Square.  Gotta love how crowded it was at 10pm.  It was mobbed.  But, we found a good pair of sneakers for her and then walked the 6 blocks to port authority for the bus. haha.

Not gonna lie, the bus ride back was HORRIBLE for me.  It was standing room and I was standing.  My belly was so upset I did not think I was going to make it.  I wanted to say "get me a bag!" but all I could think of was "which one of these nice strangers am I going to throw up on?"  I made it back without losing it, but I had to sit down immediately when we got to the room. I had this pressure in my belly.  I am not going to go into detail, but it's not what you think.  It was like it wasn't digesting and was just sitting there.  And it HURT.   The next morning the plan was to go to the gym, but that was beyond out.  I wasn't feeling any better.  And no relief was in site.  For breakfast I just had a tiny muffin, an apple, and a yogurt.  And a few glasses of water. Still not better. 

I was in no condition to drive home and was in a panic at the thought of "relief" coming while we were on the New Jersey turnpike.  Rest assured, nothing happened.  I did fall asleep though.  And then I slept a lot when we got home.  Then I woke up delerious on Monday morning and had to call out of work. My head was so congested it was not funny. So I slept some more.  The belly pain went away and I eventually digested the food (It was like watching a snake eat a mouse...you could practically watch it move).  I was so out of it yesterday that going to the store for ginger ale and soup was an adventure...should not have gone, but I had no choice.  I was weak and needed something light.  Oh and I did finally stop for my Dunkin donuts Oreo coolatta. First impression: Holy Crap it really does taste like an oreo.  Yum...Second impression: even a small was too much for me.  So even though sweets are my weakness, I guess I don't have as high of a tolerance that I once had...well that's something.

So here I am today, I am better, but not 100%.  I did go back to work, but am still skipping the gym tonight.  I had planned on some time off after the Final Assessment, but my body seems to have beaten me to it.  Although, my planned time off included enjoying some reading or some studying.

And for the record, I will never have a reuben again.  Ugh...this makes me sad.  I do enjoy them, but my body cannot handle them anymore.  This really had me thinking.  If my body is reacting to this one meal like this after purging it of all of the bad, can you imagine what I had done to my body for all of those years?  I can't even think about it.

And for those of you who are asking, thank you, but we don't have the results of the fitness competition just yet.  There are still a hand full of people that need to get assessed. Bah!  I will let you know as soon as I hear something :-)

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, July 19, 2012

Fitness Competition Final Assessment

*Breaking News*


We still need to wait for everyone to have theirs so we may not have results for a while, but it is done for me and that's all that matters right now.

Ms. Barb and I were signed up for the first group, along with my teammate Michel.  I'm so glad he was there because I was thinking later that a good team would try to do it together and encourage each other.  Also in our group was FCANR (Fitness Competition Arch Nemesis Ryan)....grrrr.  Coming after you my friend!

We started with the resting heart rate.  Honestly, when I first took it it was higher than last time.  But, I was also a bit excited to get started so I took some deep breaths and it got back down to normal. YEAH!

Time to get started.  Ms Barb and I went to the scale first...booooo.  This is what I've been dreading.  I know that I have gotten smaller, but I also know that my muscles have increased and muscles weigh more than fat.  I was up a pound.  That's not too bad.  And in all honesty, I will pee that out by bed time.  Ms Barb lost a pound so maybe she gave me hers.  Also, this scale was different than the one we initially weighed in on. And if you'll remember that day I had weighed in an hour before for the biometrics test and there was a 3lb difference.  I can let this one go.

Next up: Sit and Reach.  I kind of knew I wouldn't be as flexible as last time.  Last time I had a 19 and that was a 99%.  I had yoga for 10 weeks before that and I have been all about the weights for the past 4 months.  Technically I had 19 again, but Ms. Barb yelled and said that I bent my knees and that didn't count.  So I went down to a 17.  Although I probably bent my knees for the first assessment.  I probably stayed the same, but it's counting against me this time...hmm...my first 2 stations are worse than the first assessment...CRAP.

But, that's where it ended.  Next up was Push-ups.  For the first assessment I tapped out at 30.  We get a point for every rep over with a max of 15.  I pushed it for 48.  I could have done more, but I didn't want to tire out for the other reps.  I was pretty proud.  I did push-ups in boot camp and I had been using my push-up bars, but it's been a while.  I figured I would be okay because of all of the chest presses I have done.  I will say that my boobs HURT after.  I had to give myself an extra minute before the next station.

Next up was my plank.  I held it for 91 seconds the first time...now you know my struggles at the gym with this.  But, for those of you who are new to the blog...I tried this at the gym the day after the initial assessment and was stuck at 30 seconds and it was killing me.  I couldn't figure it out.  Was is the floor?  Was it the mat? Was is the time of day?  What the heck!  And then one magical day weeks later I hit the same time and gradually increased it.  Well today I plugged in my ipod to "I'm Sexy and I Know It" and held it for 3:01.  YEAH!  Could have gone longer, but I still had my squats.  You get a point for every 5 seconds over....I maxed out.  GO ME!  For the record, I will be doing this on my own next week and timing it to see just how far I can go.  The max is 4 minutes.  I want that!

And then I was on to squats....it was a little different this time. Last time we had collar weights.  The girls used 20lb weights around their neck and the boys used 30lbs.  Beasts like FCANR were to double up and do 50lbs.  I was in awe.  Well they broke so we had weight balls.  But, these were 10 and 20lbs.  If you used the 10 you should be doing jumps squats.  I grabbed the 20lb and went to town.  I had busted up my knees before the initial assessment and they hurt at 40 so I stopped.  So I made sure I rested last night and I was going to kill it.  My favorite part was when Alex, the instructor, came over and said "Oh we're going to be here all day with this one." That's right..I could have gone all day....but I stopped at 62.  I maxed out and I still had a workout scheduled for tonight and a long run scheduled for tomorrow.  No need to damage the knees.

So the room was full of girls with a few boys (FCANR, teammate Michel, and Alex).  While I was working my squats FCANR was almost done his assessment and asked Alex very loudly "Alex can you come pinch me." Yeah, the room errupted in giggles...haha.

After squats Ms. Barb and I headed over to get pinched ourselves.  First up: The arms.  I was eager, but the pinch was the same as before. Dang it.  Next up was waist: it went down 3.  Three what I have no idea, but it went down!  And then it was the legs: down 3.  YEAH!  I think I may have been the first woman in history to eagerly ask "Are you going to measure our waists now?????"   I had a right to be excited.  I lost 2.75 inches in the waist and an inch on the hips. YEAH!

I am happy to report that Ms. Barb increased in each area.  She was impressed with herself.  I told her that she at least earned 26points and she was so excited.  See!  She was going to skip.  We were talking about it and she said "I really pushed myself!".  I had tears in my eyes.  I was so proud.

When we were changing back into our work clothes I had to bust out the baby wipes.  Man I sweated in just that 15 minutes.

So tonight I met gym buddy Lisa at the other gym for upper body and abs.  We really like this gym and it has some really good machines that the usual one doesn't have.  I love working out with her.  In preparation of my certification she lets me explain the machines and which muscles you work.  She asked me what I am learning from my study guide and even let me lead her in stretching. YEAH!  She asked if I wanted to go out for a drink to celebrate, but we decided to go to Saladworks for dinner instead (I am hitting NYC on Saturday so it's a safe bet that is my cheat day).

I have no idea how the body metrics are factored in to our numbers for the assessment.  I don't know how the rest of my team did (Michel says he improved on everything but the squats).  I don't know how the other teams did.  I wanted to win this so bad.  Sure I would love to be able to get new sneakers for the race with my winnings, but the truth is I already won :-)

****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, July 18, 2012

Words Hurt...and my Top 20 Tips

Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

Tonight is my day of rest and man is my body excited.  I am trying to decide if it realizes that it's the day of rest and starts to shut down or if it's just good timing on my part.  I studied at lunch and was planning on studying tonight, but I am going to just kick back and relax tonight.  After all, that is what rest is all about. So it's movie night.  Batman!

I was going to do a post on my top tips, but I forgot to mention something the other day so I am going to go back to it first.  Remember when I said that I went to Chick-Fil-A with my friends?  Well it was dress as a cow night.  If you dressed as a cow you got free chicken.  All of the kids were so cute and even a bunch of the parents got dressed up.  I was not dressed up.

Now my little girlfriend Addie, who will be 5 in a couple of months, was having a lot of fun.  She got in a particularly giddy mood and kept pointing to people that were dressed up and saying "Cow!"  She thought that was funny.  And then she pointed at me and yelled "COW!"  I know it was all in fun and she meant nothing by it, but it made me cringe.  That is pretty much the last word anyone who was or is fat wants to hear.  I closed my eyes and smiled. I was hoping the moment would pass, but it continued all of the way through the parking lot. "Cow!  Cow!  Cow!  Cow!  Cow!  Cow!"  How can an innocent comment by a sweet little girl hurt so much?

This week I was talking to Miss Lety about becoming a Personal Trainer.  She was saying ho much of a change she has seen in me.  She was looking at pictures from a few years ago.  She was complimenting me and that made me smile.  It was short lived though because I kept hearing "Cow!" in the back of my head.

Words hurt....no matter how unintentional.


And now for Jennie's Top 20 Tips

20. Keep low calorie snacks at your desk and avoid the vending machines.

19. Don't skip meals. Especially breakfast.

18. Chew sugar free gum when you are hungry or are preparing meals.

17. Eat before you go to an event.  Helps to cut down on the munchies.

16. If you are going to eat out, look at the menu ahead of time and plan out your meal.

15. Avoid fad diets/medications.

14. Get a good playlist.  It will make you move!

13. Challenge yourself.  Give yourself a goal or incentive (race/dress)

12. Keep a journal of your meals (read your labels) and workouts

11. Give yourself a reward system. Reward yourself with a cd or a movie.

10. No fast food! If you can buy it through a drive-thru keep moving. (and yes I am aware that I mentioned above that I go to chick-fil-a....grilled chicken)

9. Be prepared: Keep a bag in your car with sneakers, a water bottle, and baby wipes for your sweat

8. Ask around. I guarantee someone you know wants to start exercising, they are just waiting for a push.

7. Start with walking at lunch or after work.

6. Don't wear clothes that are too big.  You don't see your weight gain.

5. Face the scale.  It's scary, but necessary.

4. Mix your cardio and weights. You shouldn't focus on one.

3. If you buy it, you will eat it.  Make your grocery list and stick to the list.

2. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

1. Plan ahead: Plan out your week's meals, cheat day, and workouts

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, July 17, 2012

Random Tuesday

Happy Tuesday Bleeps!

Let's see where should I begin tonight? Ha I really don't know...I just spent another 5 minutes playing around on people.com...my guilty pleasure. haha.  I have a lot jumbled up in the ol' noggin so let's make it a random Tuesday!  WOO WOO  Happy Random Tuesday!

When my mom was here on Sunday she was in a pretty dress for church.  I decided to wear a dress too. So I put on one of my favorite dresses.  Do you remember the plaid shorts that I talked about before?  The comfy ones that I wore for many years.  Well I got this dress about 3 or 4 summers ago.  It pretty much became my summer dress.  It's beautiful and flattering.  It's a blue-green almost tied-dye pattern.  It's empire waist with cap sleeves.  The spandexy material makes it just do comfy.  It was nice enough to wear for special occasions and comfortable enough to almost sleep in.

 I would lose track of how often I would wear it.  Well this year I believe I have worn it 2 or 3 times.  I almost forget about it.  I have so many more options now.  The funny thing is that even though I don't plan on getting married, I had thought that if I ever were to do so (Tony Stewart Call Me!) I would wear a dress similiar to this style.  Not anymore.  I like dresses to hug my waist :-)

And speaking of clothes, in the summer I like to sleep in old t-shirts.  Well Tonight I am wearing one that I got right after I graduated college.  It was not purchased as a night shirt. I would wear it tucked in to shorts.  It's a XXL.  I am practically swimming in it.  Seriously, give me a belt and I have a mini dress on.  I should get rid of it, but it's a constant reminder of how far I have come.

So Thursday is once again scheduled for the Fitness Competition Final Assessment.  Tomorrow is my day of rest so tonight was my last workout before.  Although since I technically took Sunday off I had considered going to the gym tomorrow night for a quick hour on the treadmill.  But, I'm sticking to my Wednesday Rest Day schedule.  Besides, I need to study.  I will however take some time to stretch.  I am a little worried about that.  My initial assessment was shortly after all of the yoga and this final one will be after my months of weights.

Tonight I hit the treadmill for 30 minutes.  I walked it, but on an incline.  The half marathon course is not flat like my first one so I need to incorporate this in the training.  And then I headed over for the weights.  It was really crowded tonight so I had to wait around a little.  I had decided that I would lower my weights by 10 so that I wouldn't strain myself.  I hit the back and the chest.  But, the shoulders were busy so I jumped over to the Torso rotation.  When I hit the shoulders it was amazing how easy they were (I went back to my plateau weights).  The triceps were busy so I moved over to the Ab crunches. Then it was on to triceps and biceps.  Before I left I spent 10 minutes in the stretching area.  Man my hammies are still tight. Dang it.

Sorry, I'm getting distracted.  I'm watching my favorite episode of Big Bang Theory.  Interesting fact about me: I have been the biggest Sheldon fan since season 1.  Seriously.  Not a new fan.  I've been hysterical since the first episode...a Sheldon stalker if you will.  Well this Saturday may just be the best day EVER!  My wonderful aunt got us tickets to see him on Broadway.  I have been waiting months and months for this show.  My big fear is that it will be his rest time so I've been trying not to think about it.

Anyway, trying to plan ahead I took Friday afternoon off.  I can hit the gym before my aunt and mom arrive for dinner. We are leaving early on Saturday and I'm fairly certain I will be walking a lot that day.  But what to do for Sunday?  I looked up the hotel online and saw that they have a fabulous fitness room.  So I will be hitting that before we leave.  I had considered going when I get home, but who knows what the day will bring. It's best to plan ahead.

I am happy to report that I am now getting into a study schedule during my lunch hour.  YEAH!  Even if I only do that 2 days a week that's a little extra.  The goal is to dedicate Wednesday nights, 2-3 lunches, and at least 3-4 hours on the weekend.  I want this certification something fierce.   I got stuck on the heart for a little while. It reminded me of something.  I was born with a hole in my heart. I don't have any memories of it at all, but I know it still upsets my mom to talk about it.  I did some searching about it. How do they detect that?  What can be done?  What does it mean?  Well I asked my mom while she was here this weekend.

It was discovered during my very first visit to the pediatrician. He heard an extra little pff during my heartbeat.  I was sent to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  It was diagnosed and monitored.  The hole was the size of a pin so whenever I thought about it I didn't think it was that big of a deal.  But it was.  Basically the hole allowed my dirty blood to mix with my clean oxygenated blood.  So I did not have normal oxygen levels.  When I was 7 my mom fully expected them to say I would require heart surgery, but luckily it has closed up since the last visit. Thank goodness.  I'm especially glad because by the age of 7 I had started to gain the weight.  That's just a little more stress on my damaged heart. 

Before I go for the night, I just wanted to say Hello to all of you who are reading this from outside of the United States.  I am amazed at how many different countries I am reaching.  I would love to know how you found me.  Please feel free to leave a comment or email me privately (jhendersonfit@gmail.com).   Bon Jour France!  Zdravstvuj Russia! Guten Tag Germany! G'Day Australia :-)

Have a blessed evening my friends.

****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, July 16, 2012

Extreme Makeover Weightloss Edition: Nyla

Welcome to this week's Extreme Makeover Weightloss Edition.  The week we met Nyla and I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the previews.  You know they want to make it dramatic and suspenseful.  Well these previews were about her being angry and walking out.

I will say that this was one of my favorite episodes.  There are so many great quotes from Nyla.

Nyla is 27 and from Houston.  She's also over 300lbs overweight.  My heart broke when she measured her waist: 54 inches. And then her thigh: 37.5 inches.  That's the size of many of her friends' waists. She also keeps the air on 60 because she sweats so much.  I sweat at the gym, but man I cannot fathom living in 60 degrees at all times.

I loved her spunk. Girlfriend loves to dance. Loves it.  She even bought a dance workout dvd several years ago. But alas, it's still in it's wrapping. When she gets home she is just so tired that she doesn't want to do anything.

Nylas story is so familiar and common.  She uses food as a coping mechanism.  Her Father left before she was born and she never knew him. (Second episode in a row with father issues).  She hates to shop, doesn't drink, and doesn't do drugs. She eats.

When she's about to learn that Chris has picked her, Nyla is out to each for 10lbs of Crawfish and potatoes.  She cleared the plate and was given a t-shirt: I ate 10lbs of Crawfish and all I got was 1 year with Chris Powell.  Te he.  He wanted to see just how much of the 10lbs she ate so they weighed the shells.  It was 4.1lbs.  She ate 6lbs in one sitting.

He always asks what you want from this transformation.  Her response: I want to be the person that I portray.  I want to be confident and happy.

For the first weigh in we learn that she is 435lbs. "I can't put this on anybody but me."  It was hard for her to face that scale and then she said something that I loved. "If I'm driving and I miss my turn, I make a U-turn and come back, but I don't do that in my life." WOW.

The first Trainer Tip: Don't over commit.  Start with 10 minutes a day.  Then work to 15 and then 20.

While at boot camp they talked to her about nutrition.  Her problem is quantity eating.  She would skip meals and try to make up for it in one meal.  Instead of the 10lbs of crawfish, a good portion
meal is: 1 piece of corn, 1 small potato, and 3lbs of crawfish.

So when she came home and found out that Chris had moved in she was a little upset.  He put a lockbox over her Air Conditioning box.  He wants her to become comfortable being uncomfortable.

Her Phase 1 goal: lose 100lbs. If she reaches 335 he will get her dance lessons with a Pro from Dancing with the Stars.

So to keep her workouts fresh he had her workout with the Houston Rockets Dance team.  They even went out and bought her a goal dress.  But, she was struggling with nutrition. "I don't know if she doesn't get it or doesn't want to get it."

Pushing her out of her comfort zone Chris addresses her fear of stairs.  He wants her to walk up a moving down escalator. She is not happy "Chris is 175lbs.  He doesn't have any idea how my body feels."

The second Trainer Tip: Intervals.  Jog for two minutes then run for 30 seconds. Repeat.

Chris was getting really frustrated with Nyla. "She eats because she feels bad her weigh-ins, but she does bad at the weigh-ins because she eats."  He confronts her about a pizza box he finds in her trash.

At her 3 month weigh-in she lost 74lbs.  She weighed 361lbs.  "It's not where I want to be, but it's better than where I've been." YEAH!

He gives her the key to the air conditioning box.  He asks her what she wants to lose for her 6 month goal.  She says 70lbs.  He's impressed and said he would have given her 60.

Nutrition Tip: Don't eat carbs alone.  Add protein.  It keeps you more satisfied for a longer period of time.

For Thanksgiving they baked their turkey instead of deep frying it.  And they had salmon and spinach.

It starts to get really rough for her.  Bills are piling up and she can't pay them. 

At her six month mark, Chris has her see a doctor about her stress.  It's a very dramatic time.  They argue about what she's eating.  He will reimburse her up to $100 a week if she buys food that he approves of.  But, she doesn't do that.  He says she's full of excuses.  He said she needs to ask for help and when she asks from who he replies "From Me!"

So the goal was to get to 291.  She got to 341. She only lost 20lbs.  Chris says that he has never had anyone who is following the program not lose 100lbs in 6 months.  She swears that she is eating 1800-2400 calories a day, but he says that doesn't add up.  She walks away. "You don't have to be hard on me.  I'm hard enough on myself."

Chris shares with her that he found her father.  He hands her an envelope.  She hands it back to him.  But, later in a solo interview they ask her if she wants to see it.  She says yes.  Sadly, her father passed away in 2010.  There is a letter from her aunt saying that they have always loved her and that her father always talked about her.  He was an addict who spent a lot of time in prison and eventually killed himself.  It was very hard for her to hear.  Soon she meets with the family she never knew and that changed her.  She was back on track.

The 9 month goal was to break into the 200's. For the first time, Chris feels confident that she will hit it.  Sadly, she gets so close, but only hits 303.  The good news is that she has lost 132 lbs in 6 months.  She has lost 30.3%.  She is now "Embracing her struggle."

She didn't lose enough for qualify for the skin removal surgery, but Chris want to reward her for a great phase 3.  He brings her to see Tony Dovaloni from Dancing with the Stars.  They do a cha cha and is surprisingly light on her feet and really dang good.  Chris gives her a 9 and says that she was glowing.

We don't usually see people during the last phase because they are recovering from their surgery. But, we see Nyla.  She is walking around a walking trail at her apartment complex.  She's lived there for 1 and a half years and never used it.  Now she loves it.  It's peaceful and quiet and gives her "Nyla time".

Sadly she hurts her back during the last three months.  Chris meets with the doctor and finds out it is her siatica.  It's not to be messed with.

For her final weigh in she hits 278.  Chris was blown away.  He expected 290.

They have some unfinished business and he takes her to an escalator.  Her family is at the top cheering her on and she makes it to the top. YEAH!

In the update several months later we learn that she is teaching dance classes at the gym...and that there is a particular dreamy guy there...hahah...Gym Crushes are awesome.

She says that she is "In Phase 5. AKA Life. And there is no Phase 6".

I loved her tip. When she drives home from the gym she passes lots of fastfood places. To avoid stopping, she leaves her money at home.  She can't stop. VERY SMART.

How did she feel about her experience? "It was completely overwhelming, but totally worth it."  I agree.  I loved this episode.  It's a struggle.  Not everyone is going to be on track, but you can still be successful if you truly make the effort.

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Busy weekend: Gym, Stretching, Ballgame, and Shopping

Hello Beautiful People!

Well it's been a long weekend so let's get started.  I was very happy Friday to meet up with my pal Amie. She Rocks!  She's the one who left work to become a personal trainer.  It's been about a year since I had seen her.  So we made a mall date for lunch and got to catch up.  I am thinking of taking a day off soon and going in to her studio to just hang out and learn from her awesomeness soon.  We checked out the Starbucks new Refreshers.  Kind of digging them.  A nice alternative to black coffee to get me moving on a hot summer morning.

Friday night I had not heard back from my friends about dinner and had just pulled up to the gym when I got the text.  They were at Chick-fil-a for dinner.  It was 5 minutes away, but I was already parked.  What should I do?

I hadn't seen the kids in a bit and figured that I could go and then come back to the gym.  It was friday night and I didn't have any other plans.  So I got back in the car and headed over.  It was very crowded because it was "dress as a cow and get free chicken night".  I loved seeing the kids and their parents too cute.  It wasn't my planned cheat day so I needed to think about what to eat.  I did not want to feel sick at the gym after.  So I got the kids meal with grilled chicken.  I should have asked for a waffle fry substitute, but it's a small portion of chicken and I needed something else in my belly.  I just chose not to eat all of the fries.  And I got a milk.

I went over to the gym after and put in an hour on the treadmill.  I didn't want to go too overboard because I would be back first thing in the morning.  And 7am on saturday rolled around mighty fast.  I got up and headed back over.  I was supposed to meet with Weights Buddy Mike (who better be reading this!), but alas he could not come...next time mister! 

I had to be home and showered by 11am so I had to be smart about the workout.  I put in 20 minutes on the treadmill and then it was weights time. I started with the back and upped my weights by 5.  HOLLA!  Then I moved to chest. I hit my high and I was struggling.  But that's okay.  I was moving up fast on that weight and it was bound to catch up to me.  And then it was shoulders time...

As I was walking over to the machine "Eye of the Tiger" started playing on the ipod.  I just got a huge grin and mentally yelled BRING IT!  I sat down and upped my weights. I only added 5lbs, but I have now doubled what I started with back in February...SWEEEEEEEEEEET!  Wonder woman in the house!  Bring on the Triceps!  I upped them by 5lbs too.  And then the Biceps by another 5lbs.

So quickly lets talk about the weights.  Sure I would love to say I upped my weights by 10 or 15lbs at a time, but that's not the path I am taking.  I am pushing hard at my levels so every 5lbs is a struggle. I will take them and be happy.

I also want to say that my chest, shoulder, and back became easier when I focused on my triceps.  They are the secret muscle that you work and you really don't realize it.  So focus on them when your arms feel weak.

Alright, so after my abs I had to rush home.  It was stretching day! YEAH!!!  Hottie Instructor was coming over to stretch gal pals Heather, Kristin, and myself.  The plan was for me to watch and ask questions and take notes so that I can to this for my own clients one day. Big shout out to Hottie Instructor for really talking each stretch through for me.  He's awesome!  I almost feel ready to try it on my own...almost.

When it came time for my stretch it was not as easy as my last one.  I have gone super heavy on the weights lately and not so heavy on the running because of my foot and shin issues.  I was TIGHT!  I did not have the range that I had last time :-(  But, that's why the stretching was important.  I had been working on stretching my legs myself, but I just overworked them.

Oh well, the fitness competition is over on Thursday...hopefully...and then it's time to run!

Saturday night was my cheat night.  My mom came up and we went to a minor league baseball game with church.  Along with our tickets we got our meal of hot dog, chips, and soda.  It's not that filling, but I was supposed to have a protein bar in my bag...I forgot to pack it. Dang it. I was hungry!  But, the options weren't there.

I did make an observation.  One of the mascots is Mr. Celery. He comes out to celebrate when the home team scores...but there is no celery served.  Just sayin...When we got home I had a protein bar and some hummus with multigrain pita.

This morning the plan was: Church, lunch, quick shopping, gym, home.  We got the Church part right (where Gym Buddy Lisa just plain looked fabulous!  I'm so proud of her.)  After church was coffee hour so we stayed for a little while.  But, then we needed to get a little shopping done.

We have a wedding coming up so we headed out to pick up some gifts. While we were out we came across these Frogg Toggs. Sounds weird, but I was intrigued.  It's a cloth that turns cold when you wet it.  But, it stays dry.  You can cut it so we got one to cut and half and share.  This should help with the Half Training out in the heat...I'll let you know how it goes.

Then we needed lunch so we went to subway.  Wheat, turkey, avocado, spinach, and tomato...made it a foot long so I have lunch for tomorrow.  Just hope the avocado isn't gross tomorrow.

Then we hit up Target...it wasn't a planned stop, but it was the first time we were shopping together since we learned that my brother and his wife will be having a boy around Halloween and Auntie Jennie needs to spoil.  I found him a little camo onesy that says "Muscle Man" te he.

The day got away from us and we opted to skip the gym. We were on our feet all day.  I'm sad because it was a good plan, but this was a fun day and that's allowed. I've busted my ass so an extra rest day (although walking and lifting all day isn't quite rest) isn't a big deal.  I just hope it doesn't come back to bite me on Thursday.

This just means I have to step it up tomorrow at the gym.

****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.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Let's Get Naked Friday!

Happy Friday Bleeps!

Let's Get Naked!  I've talked about this before, but I want to talk about it some more.  Do you look at yourself naked?  I mean really look...and I'm not talking salaciously.  Spend some time facing your body every day.

I mentioned before how the Former Fat Girl would avoid looking at myself at all costs.  If I was without clothes I would most likely have my eyes closed too.  I knew it was bad and I didn't want to see it.  I didn't want to face it.  I could go on in my happy place if I didn't have to think about it.  But, I wouldn't need to go to my happy place if I made changes and got healthy.

The brain is a wonderful thing.  Sometimes you deal with memory loss when your brain is trying to protect you from a particularly traumatic event.  Well my brain provided it's own magic mirror.  At a size 18 I could somehow convince myself that I didn't look that bad and that people would think I was an 8.  Seriously, that's how it works.  But, if I couldn't face myself how could I expect others to face me?

These days I spend a lot of time looking at myself. You all know I still have the belly issues.  I have some other trouble spots that I would like to get rid of.  As beastly as my legs are, I still have two areas that I need to tighten and they are both thighs related.

What? you say!  I know!  I am pressing 200lbs, running, and cycling...what the heck!  I used to have the chub rub something fierce.  You should have bought stock in baby powder because I would go through a bottle a month.  They don't so much rub now...thank goodness, but there's still a little droop in the inner thigh...bah! 

Do you have one leg that is stronger than the other?  I do. We know that I favor my right leg because of my bad left knee.  Well that shows in the leg too.  At the very top of the leg on the side I have had this pocket of fat.  Fat will find the oddest of places to deposit itself.  And seriously, when my whole body was covered in fat, why was I really surprised about this odd little pocket?  Did I really think that I would have this svelt area when everything else was in such bad shape?

So this pocket used to be on both sides, but it was extremely pronounced on the left side. There's still a little on the right, but you can hardly tell.  The left is much smaller than it used to be.  I am getting there, but I still see it and it still makes me sad....hence the 200lb thigh weights. 

I think a lot of you can identify with one of my other trouble spots.  Hold your arms out straight to the side.  Is there anything hanging and flapping in the wind?  It used to be so icky for me.  Not only did it hang, but there were ugly stretch marks.  It's not gone entirely, but I would say it's down to 20%. That's progress. But, I still hate those damn stretch marks.  Stupid fat marks!

A lot of people ask me about that area for themselves.  What exercises can they do to help?  It's not really a muscle, so no one exercise is going to fix it.  And if I find out you bought one of those stupid shaker exercise things I will freak out.  You can help reduce it with cardio.  Try working your chest.  Do push-ups if you don't have access to chest machines that the gym.  This area is not just directly associated with your arm muscles.  It doesn't hurt to work them either.  I would simply say work your biceps and triceps to help tone it.  It will build muscle in the area around it which helps burn the fat.  Don't do one without the other though.  Work them both. 

And now for the stupid belly.  BAH!  GO AWAY BELLY!  I feel like I have a split personality when it comes to it.  From some angles I think "oh it's really not so bad" and other angles I want to crawl into the fetal position and cry.  When I am getting ready in the morning I am facing my big giant mirror.  When I put the light on my dresser on for my make-up I want to cry.  It's like a spotlight on the fat and stretch marks.  Then as soon as the light turns off I think "seriously it doesn't look that horrible".  So as long as I keep my naked belly out of fluorescent lighting I should be okay and I'm pretty sure that's NOT a problem...except for stupid fitting rooms.  Looking at myself sideways I am much happier looking at the right side.  It's a little tighter.  The left side needs work, but I am working on strengthening it. 

I don't know how to say this, but it's a flatter fat belly than it used to be.  Does that make sense?  When I am wearing the right things it is nice and flat.  At the bottom of the flat is the fat shelf.  If the Former Fat Girl wore a tight shirt it was UGLY! Fat and round.  Now it's flat...just needs to get thinner....and lose that damn shelf.  Again, I have seen a huge difference in it in the past few months and it is on it's way to going away...but, I still don't like it.  I still want it gone.

So yeah, the area that I look at the most is my naked tush...although I do prefer it in some underwear.  It is no longer droopy and flat.  I do enjoy the progress I have made on it.  I can handle looking at the ugly areas because I know that eventually I will find my tush and I will be happy.

So there you have it.  There are the flaws that I see when I look at myself naked.  But, there are plenty of fabulous things too.  I love my clavicle and shoulders...ahh....I love my thinning thighs.  They no longer look like tree trunks. They are slimming down and yet still very muscular.  I love that my back fat is going away.  I love that you can see a waist! How sweet is that!  I actually curve in at the waist now...and I love my curves!  Curves are beautiful!  My grandmom is worried that I will become anorexic, but fear not.  I love my curves and would never want to get rid of them. 

I have gotten a lot more comfortable with my body once I was forced to look at it.  I can appreciate the positive changes that much more.  Now don't get me wrong, it's not like I have instituted Naked Tuesdays or anything, but I am no longer horrified by what I see.  I'm still a work in progress.

So go on and get naked!

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, July 12, 2012

Gym Crushes 1, 2, and 3 in the house!

 Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

Did you have a nice day?  I felt soooo refreshed today.  Yesterday I was so exhausted.  I had worked out 8 days in a row without a day of Rest.  I am reinstating Wednesday as my Rest day.  I can move things around if something comes up, but that it my scheduled day off now. 

The plan for the night was to run and print up some pictures at Target, grab dinner at Subway, and then start studying. WOO WOO. The pictures that I printed up were from Cousin Randy's Half Marathon in March.  I was amazed at the change in my body in that short of a time. HOLLA!

For dinner I grabbed a turkey hoagie on wheat with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and avocado...YUM!  I finished my sweet little novel while I ate so that I wouldn't be tempted when it came to study time.  So when I got home I finished my blog post and got down to business.  We are starting with the human heart.  It's a fascinating and complex muscle.

I was super tired so I didn't make it too far.  Eventually I just had to close up and get in bed. And today I felt so good. YEAH!  Rest is so wonderful!  Don't forget your rest day.

Happily we got the email today that the Final Assessments have been scheduled.  I have one week to kill it...again.  So immediately I put together my workout plan:

Tonight: Legs
Friday: Cardio
Saturday: Upper body and Stretching Session (YAY)
Sunday: Cardio
Monday: Legs
Tuesday: Upper body
Wednesday: Rest

I had lunch plans with Fitness Competition Arch Nemesis Ryan (FCANR) today. We invited Ms. Barb along and when he suggested Wegmans I warned him what it is like to go with her. lol...but she was set on getting her pre-made salad so it was okay.  She even still had the salad dressing in the fridge that she could bring and use.

Lunch was hilarious and enlightening.  I wanted to hear all about FCAMR's Tough Mudder.  And I gotta say, going into it I just wanted to hear about it...now I kind of want to do one. Holy Crap did I just say that???
During the afternoon he and I talked about his helping me prepare for my certification.  When I learn how to stretch others properly I get to practice on him and I get to test train him. Of course he's eager to show me a thing or two too.  I can handle it.  We joked that maybe next year I could be the one leading the Boot Camp class. My goal would be to make him throw up :-)  And the reason why he is my arch nemesis is because his response was "I would welcome that. Bring it!"  He's so fun to have around to push me.

 So all day I was feeling good from all of my sleep last night that the new plan is to stop whatever I am doing at 10pm and get in bed. No matter what.  I don't have to go to sleep, but I need to prepare myself for bed.  We are 6 minutes away so I have to type really fast right now.

I also started the day with my weekly coffee. So that helped keep me awake too.  I also got back on the exercise ball today.  I had been off of it for a couple of weeks because of my foot.  Of course I was having a little too much fun bouncing around to my reggae playlist that my knees locked in the afternoon and I had to go back to my chair. Oh well, I worked my core for 5 hours.

I did not drink my full water intake during work today so I got a little nervous for the gym.  I knew that I would drink plenty while I was there, but I wasn't sure how it would affect my cardio warm up.  And then I saw an empty treadmill next to Gym Crush 1 and forgot all about it.  I'm on it!  Have I mentioned how much I love to watch him run?  Our babies will be fast pretty babies! It was my fastest mile to date. HOLLA!  Cute boys make me run!

I did get off and head over to the butt and thigh machines.  That's when I spied Gym Crush 2 over on the back machine. Oh how nice....and then when I was on the ab machine I looked over and saw former Gym Crush 1 but now Gym Crush 3 on the treadmill in the back...YEAH!  If he keeps coming I may bump him to 2 and move 2 to 3.  Well you know I needed to cool down my legs from the weights...oh look there's an empty treadmill next to him.  It's mine!  I was only on for a few minutes before it was time to head home, but they were lovely...

What a great day!

****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, July 11, 2012

Nutrition Seminar - Part 2

Nutrition Seminar Part 2

When we last left off I was about to talk about reading labels.  Have you been on the edge of your seat?  I am a lot better at looking at labels now, but I still have a hard time figuring out just what exactly am looking at.  Sometimes I focus on the protein.  Sometimes it’s the calories.  Lately I have been watching the sodium.
It’s hard to do this without the sample from the power point to show you, but I will do the best that I can.
When you look at your labels there are some things to consider.
*Fat – 9Kcal for 1 gram of fat
*Carbohydrate – 4 kcal for 1 gram of Carbs
*Protein – 4 kcal for 1 gram of protein

You daily numbers to keep in mind:
*Sugars 30-45 per day
*Sodium 1500mg per day (I have seen salads that are over that…what the heck are they putting in it?)
*Fiber 25g per day

I have mentioned this before, but check the serving size first.  Lots of drinks are 2.5 servings.  If you aren’t looking, what you thought was a 200 calorie drink is suddenly 500 calories.
Look at the calories from fat.  The closer the numbers are to Calories, the higher the fat content.
Get in the habit of reading your labels.
So now we will break down your general food information:
What are good sources of Protein:
                *Chicken, fish, poultry, lean red meat, egg whites, legumes, dairy (skim milk, cottage cheese)
What are good carbohydrates:
                *whole wheat/grain, pasta, bread, cereals, dairy (yogurt, low fat milk), Fruits and Veggies
Okay, so often the excuse for not eating healthy is because there’s not enough time or it’s too expensive.  Poppycock!  There are ways to be smart about it.
Let’s make things easy for you.  If you are busy or your life is hectic, then try the following:
                *Lunch ideas for the work week
                                -Leftovers (chili with lean turkey…I put it in the crockpot on Sunday night and then I have several meals all week already prepared….toss in some greek yogurt instead of sour cream if it’s too spicy).
                                -Soup and sandwich
                                -Tuna or chick salad with light dressing and rice

                *Mid morning and late afternoon snacks
                                -Whole grain pretzels
                                -Baked chips and salsa
                                -Cottage cheese
                                -Rice cakes & peanut butter
                                -crackers & peanut butter
                                -unbuttered/unsalted popcorn

Do you have a sweet tooth like me?  Here are some healthy dessert options:
                                -Low fat ice cream
                                -low fat/fat free/low sugar puddings (add some like or fat free cool whip…I like to keep mine in the freezer)
                                -low fat cookies

Now let’s tackle the expensive part. 
                                -Buy things in bulk (Costco, BJs, etc)
                                -Use reusable plastic containers instead of baggies
                                -Prepare food ahead of time and freeze it in smaller portions. No  leftovers to throw out.
                                -Frozen veggies are cheaper than fresh so alternate
                                -Pack your lunches for work. Going out for lunch every day is expensive.

Vitamins and Supplements
I love this fact: If you have a well balanced diet, most likely you don’t need supplements.  It’s so true!  And so expensive (it’s a $61 billion a year industry)!  People are constantly asking me what vitamins I am taking.  None.  I get it from my food.
The Essentials that you need are: D, C, E, Beta Caratene, B, K, and Iron
D- Dairy, Fatty Fish (Tuna & Salmon), and Sunlight
C- Fruit
E- Nuts, leafy veggies
K- Broccoli
Beta Caratene – Carrots, Sweet potatoes, Pumpkin
Iron- Meat, Chicken Fish

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