Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. I had less than 15 miles to go to actually meet my June goal for our current mission. I went to happy hour and dinner with a bunch of friends last night, and was still on a high from seeing all of them. I was determined to not let my stress continue to ruin my life - everything is fine, and it's going to work out.

Then I got out of bed.

As soon as I looked in the mirror, I realized that the horn (see also: blemish or zit) I had developed and tried to treat by ignoring until Tuesday night - on the left side of my jaw had grown. And not just grown - it now had my entire jawline puffy, and it was now painful to touch it or smile. I am not claiming that my jawline isn't normally puffy - I have an anti-chiseled jawline - but it makes me feel like I look like I got punched. Mainly - I think my horn has taken on a life of it's own.

Trying to ignore the pulsating lower quadrant of my face, I got dressed and headed to the gym. The timing was just about perfect - the Twins game was about to start, so I'd have something to listen to. Walking in, I was somewhat more distracted than usual. There were a lot of large trucks working on the outside of the building, and a lot of taped off sections to avoid near the entrance. I clearly wasn't paying enough attention because I quickly realized once I was on the Octane machine that I had stepped in gum. Now I not only had gum on my shoe, but it was all over the foot area on the machine. Thank you, and shout out to, the jackwad that spit their gum out in the gym parking lot. You had to have passed a minimum of five garbage cans on your way out of the building. Hats off to you for waiting until you were in a high-traffic area to spit it on the ground. You're awesome.

In spite of my morning having a somewhat rocky start, I still put on 8.22 miles between the Octane machine (I wasn't feeling it today, and finally just surrendered to those feelings after 5 miles) and the bike. I have less than seven to do tomorrow to reach my goal for June.

I have been feeling somewhat sluggish the last couple of weeks - probably another sweet symptom of the stress I've been feeling. But Friday starts a new month. A month in which I have to do more distance. So I better turn this frown upside down, or get this butt out of it's rut, or go with the notion to get in motion. (sorry - I just made a couple of those up, and they're awful!)

So tomorrow I'm going to wake up in the optimistic mood of today, and trust it will go a little better!

Monday, June 27, 2011

the stress is great within me

make that tacos, and that's been me
This week I've learned that a good positive attitude, and being really optimistic, only takes you so far - and only lasts for so long. Being fully immersed in the job-hunt is stressing me out! And as I have learned - I have some opportunities for improvement where my dealings with stress are concerned! When I'm feeling stressed out, I hoover anything filled with fat and salt. A deep-fat-fryer becomes my best friend. I guess something about the sound of my arteries clogging relaxes me? I also learned earlier this year, as an added bonus, my hair falls out! Awesome! Nothing hotter than a greasy, bloated, bald lady - am I right fellas?!?!

So the good news is that I was able to identify last week that I was in my stress-spiral, and tried to yank myself out of it. I stocked the pantry with healthy-ish vittles, and tried my best to be strong! I have learned (see also: been reminded of) a couple of things:
  1. I LOVE grapefruit. Cut it in half, with a packet of faux-sweetener, and go to town. Delicious.
  2. Plums are yummy. That is all.
  3. Crystal Light might actually be saving me from having complete organ shut-down
  4. When you stop eating a lot of salt, and simultaneously go back to the gym - your pancakes come back at full-force!
  5. Job hunting is like dating. You wait by the phone (or computer) wondering if they'll call (or email). You wonder if you said the right thing. You wonder if they'll like you. 
And although I can totally identify what is going on - I still can't stop myself from wanting to eat crap. Just last night I had to have a REALLY stern talk with myself. It was almost 9pm. I wasn't hungry. But I still wanted to go get tacos. Why? I have no damn idea. But I totally got the win.

I guess I was just feeling stress about the job hunt. But maybe I need to get some perspective. I have been hard at it for like two weeks. A number of the jobs I applied for didn't even close until last Friday. I have moments of extreme positivity, where I'm sure there is someone out there that is going to realize what a fantastic employee I will be, and how much value I will bring to their company. Then I have the lows - which is also tied to my need for immediate gratification - when I don't understand why I haven't heard from them within 24 hours of sending in my resume. I just need to take a chill pill, and trust that something fantastic is coming my way.

Add caption
I am not a person who is typically content to "drink" their calories. I want to actually eat. I need the satisfaction of chewing. But in the summer, post-workout, I am OK with a protein shake to hold me over for dinner. Here is the recipe for the protein shake I'm in love with! It uses powdered peanut butter!! The whole thing is only 260 calories - and it really does fill you up!
  • 1 heaping scoop of (VegaMixx??) protein powder (I am using vanilla, because they didn't have chocolate - and it is still delicious) = 100 calories
  • 2 Tbls powdered peanut butter = 45 calories (SERIOUSLY!)
  • 1/2 sliced banana = 55 calories
  • 1 cup almond milk = 60 calories
  • ice cubes/water = 0 calories
I use my Magic Bullet, and it is ready in less than 1 minute. Instant gratification is my friend.

UPDATE!! BOOK NEWS!! I guess they are going to reprint in paperback later this year - so it will be available in stores like Barnes & Noble around January 1st! That's pretty damn exciting!!

Do you notice you eat more based on certain emotions? How do you control it?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

But I "earned" it!

I cannot seem to shut my "validation" switch off. I'm not sure if anyone else out there has this particular issue. It is that internal voice that tells you that if you do something good - no matter how small it may be - you are somehow entitled to a reward. I have it in many aspects of my life. It is a major part of what dug me into the financial hole I wrote about recently. But for this post I am talking about my workout vs. food issue.

I have heard it a thousand times - it is more about what you're putting into your body, than how much you exercise. As much as I keep trying to prove that isn't true, unfortunately it is. But how do I stop my brain from telling me it's OK to reward myself with fat/sugar/salt for a job well done? The "I worked out really hard today, so it's OK to have cheese curds" or the "I'm having a salad instead of a burger, so I can pile anything I want on top of's still a better choice". I can rationalize just about anything in this brain of mine. Now that I am actually working out more than I had been recently, this validation/reward issue is really back with a fury! Every day I heard: I did "x" miles today, so it is OK to get tacos and potato oles. I'm an idiot. Or actually - Remus is an idiot. I blame him. I need to get some duct tape to shut him up.

It went on for about a week, and then it dawned on me (again)...why the hell am I busting my ass at the gym, to immediately eliminate any benefit with what I shove in my mouth? Wouldn't it be nice to see a reflection of the work I'm doing at the gym on the scale? So yesterday I went out and got my fridge and pantry stocked with healthy vittle options.

Apparently, I need to put myself on a shopping schedule as well, I guess. One day a week I need to stock up. I abhor the grocery store (and I'm a poet and didn't know it) - so I tend to put it off. It's just easier to stop and grab something on the way home from the gym. But when I have healthy food on hand, I tend to eat it.

I remember them preaching at FC that it comes down to planning - and I have not been. It is time start. I've never been a person who planned out their week of meals, and then shopped for them. I've been a "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-plus-sized-pants-and-hope-when-push-comes-to-shove-I'll-make-a-good-decision" type of girl. Why I still believe that is possible in spite of the 1239834 times I've proven it doesn't work for me, is beyond me.

My biggest issue is: I wait to long to eat, and then want something immediately. When I don't have anything healthy on hand to whip up quick, I make bad decisions. So I'm also going to try and put myself on more of an eating schedule too - so it doesn't get to the point where I'd like to eat my arm, and go for the first thing I can find.

Yesterday was my first run. I did pretty well - except I forgot the noodles for one of my dishes. Otherwise I have three "entrees" planned - that have leftovers I'll actually eat. I have eggs, english muffins, laughing cow, peppers, yogurt and fruit for breakfast (that is usually my largest meal at this point). I bought some 160 calorie chocolate oatmeal (it was really good once I let it cool down a little bit. It doesn't taste as good when you're worried about burning all of the skin off the inside of your mouth - which I think is weird! =)) to have as a snack, or a rush breakfast. I loaded up on string cheese. I have all of the fixins for protein shakes. I got a big bag of pistachios to snack on. I got lettuce to make myself salads (without 600 calories worth of stuff on top =)). I am prepared - which for me is way more than half the battle!

I have already had one small victory. I'm watching my nephew today (he has a fever and is banned from daycare) and I was on the verge of ordering a pizza - but I talked myself out of it.

Now that I appear to have gotten myself in the mode of getting my miles in - no matter if it takes two back-to-back days of hell like last week,or not - it is time to get just as serious and dedicated about what I'm throwing at my face.

How do you guys make sure you eat healthy? Do you plan? Do you have a routine? Do you prep? Do you just know you'll make good decisions? Do you just hope for the best?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Well...I'll be damned!

I woke up Monday morning to a troubling realization. Because I had chosen to use my time rather foolishly over the last week, I was now going to have to basically move into my gym for the next two days in order to meet my mileage requirement for our Move It 2 Lose It mission! I had, as is fairly typical of me and my procrastination tendencies, dug myself into a bit of a hole. In order to reach my goal of 32 miles for this week, I needed to put in at least 14.35 miles both Monday and Tuesday. HOLY CRAP!! I know I am using machines that make it easier than actually walking - but that is a lot of distance to put on this big body!

So I had myself some vittles - 1 egg + 3 egg whites, laughing cow cheese, whole wheat english muffin and yogurt - and headed out. I was trying not to panic. I mean seriously - when is the last time I tried to do anywhere near this much work? Ummm...never? All I could picture was me getting woozy, and falling off my piece of equipment. Then having to call every person that works there, plus a few of the beefy-er weight lifters, over to try and move me. Everyone else just looking at me with pity in their eyes - feeling bad for the fat girl who overdid it. Seriously - I had this whole morbid scene worked out in my head. I really need to get back to work! =)

So I got to LTF - armed with my 2 iPods and Bonnie - and went to work. I was feeling better...more determined...less certain I was going to be laying on the floor, next to my machine, in a puddle of my own sweat. In short - I was feeling optimistic about actually getting this done. I hopped on the Octane machine. I think I've narrowed down at least part of why it makes me feel like my heart might explode - - it has "running stride" leg movements. And I think we all know that a runner I am not! The bonus is, it gets me further than the Precor does in the same amount of time - so suffer I must. I put in 8 miles. It tracks your laps on the screen, and all I could think about was when we had to run 10 half miles around the track in tenth grade gym. NIGHTMARE!! But I did it! And I didn't even feel like I was going to pass out! I think maybe my brain just took over and knew I had a long way to go before I could leave. Thank you brain! I appreciate you.

recumbent bike
Next I decided it would be OK to do some of my miles on the recumbent bike. I hadn't been on one in years. Hell! I haven't been on a real bike in years! My visions where a bike is concerned involved blown tires (caused entirely by the dimensions of my posterior) and me flipping numerous times into a ditch while kids point and laugh. It's just better to hold off on that for a while. But I'm OK giving this bike a chance. It is nice because you kind of get to sit back and relax while you use it. It is not kind of nice because you are sitting on top of the wall of mirrors when you use it. Let's face it - I just don't need all of this sweaty babe staring back at me from such a close distance. It ain't purty. At least for tomorrow I spied some up on the 2nd floor NOT up against a mirror wall - so I'll be using those tomorrow. I had some technical difficulties getting it all set up to run, but eventually got my 5 miles in in a fairly incident-free manner.

I was going for 15 total miles today, so I only had 2 to go. I decided the Precor was my best bet, so I hopped on. I have a shameful secret to share with you. Please don't judge me too harshly. I watched "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" while I was on the Precor machine, and I have to admit - I find him adorable. I now see what my 4 & 5 year old nieces see in him. I just might have Bieber Fever! The best part? It made my time on the Precor fly by....well, sort of. I have still never been as happy as when I saw it flash that I was 90% done. I finished with 2.03 miles on the Precor.

15.03 total miles. And I wasn't even completely exhausted! How did this happen?!? Probably because I was well-rested. Tomorrow should be interesting. Wish me luck, folks! I am kind of looking forward to checking out what Bonnie has to say about today. I feel like she got as much of a workout as I did!

What's your go-to machine at the gym? Or what's your favorite exercise?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I've discovered...

The last few days have been tough for me. I have been working to get some things done around the house - and allowed that (plus this stupid lower-back ache that has just finally gone away) to become a really convenient excuse to put off my workouts. Today I was ready to get back at it! I headed for the gym, prepared to put on at least eight miles. My had other ideas. I blame Remus. I was just over 2 miles in when I got a serious pain in my right side. I've had this before, and it typically goes away fairly quickly - but not today. At 3.34 miles I threw in the towel. Not to worry kids - I am not deterred! I'll still be at 32 miles by the end of the day on Tuesday - - it's just going to make the new few days even more fun! (and by fun, I mean a cardiovascular nightmare) I am determined to meet my Mission: Move It 2 Lose It goals! I want that damn glitter headband!!

Now that I feel like I'm finally getting my over-sized posterior back on the straight and narrow, I've discovered (or probably rediscovered, but it's just been too damn long) a few things about this life of mine. They might not be as scientific or enlightened as the Discovery channel - but they are just as true and factual (where I'm concerned, anyway)

I've discovered... that I require visual stimulation while working out. When I'm at the gym, I like to use the same few machines every day and watch SportsCenter. This was tested a couple of weeks ago when I had back-to-back workouts with unacceptable programming on ESPN. One day it was soccer. I know a lot of people probably thing that is great - but I can't immediately think of another sport that bores me quite as much. The next time I went in...the Spelling Bee. Seriously. What is the Spelling Bee doing on ESPN??!!??!?! And I'm not talking one of the later ESPN 3 - - but the first one. The real ESPN. I tried to make my own fun by trying to find one kid who looked like they weren't home-schooled, and maybe had a friend other than their parents - but I couldn't find one. I got bored...quickly.

I've discovered... that when you sweat as much as I do, and you put in considerably longer cardio sessions than you're used to - it causes some issues. I have left the gym on more than a few occasions over the last few weeks with my face on fire. It would appear that the repeated and constant wiping (especially using the abrasive gym towels, that are about one notch up from a brillo pad) will cause some irritation.

I've discovered... that actually going to the gym creates a boat-load of laundry! I go through a minimum of two outfits a day. (trust me when I tell you that my gym clothes are not acceptable attire after I put in anything over ten minutes) The good news is that I get a good workout doing laundry at my current location. I have four flights (yes - they're shorter flights - but still....) to get to the washer and dryer.

mutant apple
I've discovered... that although I may look like I would eat anything put in front of me, I am a bit of a food snob. I can't bring myself to go anywhere near anything that is expired. If my fruits or veggies appear to be even the least bit old, I have to throw them out. I don't do well with leftovers - except pasta and pizza. Now I can add that things need to look "normal" to my list. I couldn't bring myself to eat this mutant apple. How weird is that?

I've discovered... that when I am in need of a hair color, and I wear my silver hoop earrings, it really brings out my natural gray highlights. It's nice to have your accessories match so perfectly, and it is a huge bonus to have them accentuate one of your sweetest physical attributes.

On a different note - I saw this on someone's Facebook wall today, and I liked it: 

"it is not how many times we fall but how many time we fall and get up again" ~LBJ

Do you have a quote that inspires you? Please share it!

** If you're having problems getting your comments to post, please email them to me, and I'll post them for you! Don't let Blogger win! =) My email address is: **

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

what a pain in the ... back?

For the last two days my lower back had been bugging me. I am assuming I am blaming the fact that I've been sleeping on my stomach - since lately I've been waking up laying on my face in a pile of my own drool. (It is dawning on me that I may never get another date if I keep sharing these types of details with you guys, but oh well). Or maybe it's the fact that I've spent hours at my computer lately, bent over trying to read fairly small print? Whatever is causing it, I am not a fan.

back pain blows
Monday I found it to be mildly annoying. I also allowed it to become one of the many circumstances that weren't beyond my control - but I let become the control - that kept me out of the gym. And with the end of week 2 for Mission: Move It 2 Lose It in sight, it is not what I needed to be doing. So I woke up Tuesday, knowing I had a lot of miles to do in order to remain even close to my weekly goal, with a major pain in my back. Getting out of bed, standing straight up, bending over to wash my face - all of these became major challenges. This is not the first time I have had back pain like this. It tends to happen fairly frequently. I'm just not used to it when I'm actually working out. I typically get this when my laziness reaches an all-time high. So I just had to tell myself that the gym would make it feel better. That by working out, I would break the pain's will to survive. That I had to beat the pain into submission. And it worked...sort of. While I was on the machine, I felt pretty good. When I got done, and was driving home, the pain returned. I did finally break down and take an Aleve - we'll see if that helps. If not, we'll do it all over again tomorrow.

Trying to help me eat better has become a world-wide proposition. My sister and I ordered salads from a restaurant Monday night - don't worry, they were grilled chicken, and I ordered the dressing on the side. I guess just doing the dressing on the side wasn't sufficient, however. When we opened up our salads, they left the dressing out all together. Luckily the salad came with pico de gallo and a side of guacamole, so there was enough going on to eat it without. I salute you, local food chain restaurant. Your efforts in helping me cut calories is appreciated. Now if someone could have kept my car from the McDonald's drive-thru this afternoon after the gym, that would have been great. Oh well. It is no longer a frequent lunch destination, and I was having a major craving. Now back to better eating for this girl. I promise.

Today I also received my new arm band for Bonnie in the mail! The velcro is coming off the one I have, and I thought I could get myself a new one. I decided I needed to try a different color, because black is a little boring. I got myself a pink one...surprise, surprise! I can't wait to try it out tomorrow! I can tell Bonnie is super-excited about it, too.

How do you eat out, and still be calorie-conscious?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime?

**Note: I just found out this weekend that some people are having an issue posting comments to my blog. I have NO idea what is causing that - and I am so sorry!! If you have a comment that won't post, please email it to me ( )and I will post it for you! I LOVE the comments people leave, and am totally bummed that it isn't working!! I guess that is what you get for a free program? Please don't stop trying to post them! **

Now - on to the post:

A couple of year ago, while working a collection event, I realized a shocking thing about myself. I would prefer for it to be hot...and I'm talking 90's and humid....than have it be cold. I know. I couldn't believe it myself. And when you factor in that the slightest amount of humidity in the air makes my hair turn into a lion's mane, and makes me start sweating like I'm on fire - it is even more unbelievable.

When it appeared that summer had finally arrived last weekend, I got a bit beside myself. My usual sound "pro-sunscreen" stance was temporarily shaken by jubilation over actually seeing the sun. I lathered up my face, but figured the rest of me would be fine - I was only going to be out there for a "little while". How stupid am I? My pasty winterized flesh didn't stand a chance! I was also not thinking clearly when I left Bonnie on for a while - providing me with not only a fantastic red hue - but giving me a sweet band around my ample arm. I took Bonnie off after a while, so I could burn my strap mark, also - but not before a glistening white stripe had been left. I hate being sunburned! I hate the feeling of heat radiating from my skin! I know, I know - I should be used to it! Someone as hot as I am should be used to radiating heat, right? haha But seriously. No more of this. The sunscreen Nazi is back on duty! Just in time for a nice cold snap. (it was like 50 degrees and raining at my cousin's graduation party Friday night) No worries about over-exposure to sun this weekend!! Only in Minnesota.

Speaking of that graduation party - it was kind of brutal. There were a ton of people there that I haven't seen in years. And what do people you haven't seen in a while always ask: "where are you, now?" and "what are you doing these days?". Not questions I love to answer. Let's see - "I am currently living in my friend Linda's basement until the end of the summer, when I will hopefully (segway into answer 2) have found a job I love so I can get out of there, and find a place of my own to live in". These are not answers that make me seem like a settled adult - which you definitely should be at 36. Right?!?! I was reminded by a friend that I could have told them about the book - but that just isn't how I roll. I talked about it with the few who knew about it, and asked - but I didn't bring it up. I get an F- for self-promotion. I suck at it. So I tried to muster up all of the positivity I've been feeling the last couple of weeks, and forge on - with the help of a little sarcasm. My standard answer: "I'm living with a friend in Shakopee until the end of the summer. Hopefully I figure out what I want to do when I grow up by then." Good answer? I thought so.

On a more positive note, I also saw the high-five lady at the gym again on Saturday. She remembered me, and we bonded again over how tough it is to get to the gym and work. I think I may have made a new friend. =)

I have one more thing I wanted to share. Let's call it a: Slimming Down to Sexy Food Review. If you are like me, and think string cheese is awesome - I have a note I wanted to share. I have found that I l.o.v.e. Frigo Cheese Head variety. The regular is only 80 calories. When I was at the store the other day, I saw that they also had a "light" version. It was only 60 calories per piece. I figured it was worth a shot. Mistake. In my humble opinion it is not worth saving the extra 20 calories. The regular one is so much more flavorful! I felt like the light variety was kind of dry, and pretty bland. And when you're treating string cheese as a total treat, because it tastes pretty salty - you want all of that flavor. Am I right?!? So there you go! Regular = delicious, Light = dry and flavorless.

Do you have a question you fear? Or a snack idea to share? I'd love to hear about it - and hopefully this program lets you post it here! =)

Friday, June 10, 2011

I'm On The Radar

This week has been crazy! First it started out with crazy hot temps (103 degrees on Tuesday), now it is like 60 degrees on Thursday evening. But, this is Minnesota - what else would we have to do if we couldn't bitch about the weather? I was reminded of the largest perk of really hot temps - by the time I left the gym on Monday & Tuesday I was so hot that the last thing I wanted to do was eat. I needed water and some fruit, and I was set! (for a few hours, anyway) Do any of you guys experience that?

I am also being reminded that more time spent at the gym does create a culture of kindness. I experienced it at the WAC in Milwaukee, and it appears to be happening again here. Maggie - the delightful girl at the front desk has known me for a while, and has always been very friendly. But now, even the silent boy who is sometimes up there with her, will initiate contact! It's a miracle! Maybe he sees me enough that he feels safe, now? I also had two ladies (members, not workers) approach me this week. One said she'd seen me on the same machine the week before. She introduced herself, and I'm sure we will now become the gym, anyway. Then on Thursday I had an older lady come over and give me a high-five while I was on the treadmill - - she told me "you keep workin!". I feel like I may now be the LTF-Savage charity case. Everyone is combining their efforts to make me feel like I fit in, and I'm loved - so I keep showing up. I haven't decided if it is a good, or bad, thing that I appear to be losing my "under-the-radar" status.

I do have to admit, however, that I am still slacking in a couple of areas. I am not lifting weights like I should be. That is definitely something I need to focus on improving over the next couple of weeks. The other is....I can't seem to make myself track my food! I am eating much better than I have been - so that isn't the huge issue. The problem is taking the time to enter it into my computer! I am horrible about it! I just need to make myself do it, and eventually it will become second-nature. I wish Bonnie also tracked calories coming in. That would be magnificent! In the meantime - I just need to keep telling myself: I can do it. I can do it.

Basically - I am a never-ending project! I'm improving...again...slowly, but surely. I'm putting in the miles. In the immortal words of Bill Murray in "What about Bob?" - "I'm doin' the work, I'm not a slacker!". Now I just need to carry that over to weights and food-logging.

Do you have something that you just can't seem to make yourself do?

I have also determined that this song is my new fave. On Thursday it helped me get through the last couple of laps on the Octane machine, when all I wanted to do was quit. It's "Give Me Everything" by Pitbull and like a million other people. It just makes me want to move! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Book News: The Summer I Lost It

I received a couple of really exciting notes yesterday. Not only did I get to see what the book is going to look like, I also got to read a couple of reviews. It finally all seems real! And I don't know if I could love the cover of the book any more than I do! It is totally Natalie-esque! I think it is printed, and now I'm just waiting to get my copies. I am so damn excited!! great is this?!?! that's my name on there!!

As you can see, on the back cover it references "Kat". I named the main character Kat (her full name is Kathleen - after my granny) so it could rhyme with my name. I was planning to use "Nat Fat" (the name affectionately given to me by the kid on the bus) as "Kat Fat" in the book - but honestly can't remember if we did or not. Things were gone over so many times I honestly can't remember who/what is in it!! =) We were originally going to have her going to FC, but then decided to write it with her at home and doing it on her own. I feel like that worked a lot better, and will make it easier to relate to. I hope the young ladies out there enjoy it!

This has been a fantastic and interesting experience - and I am so grateful for it! I want to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to Shannon Zigmund who turned EB onto my blog, and ultimately made this opportunity possible for me. I am eternally indebted to you.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

getting it together

The last 15 months have been a festival of challenges - all self-created - but challenges none-the-less. I had some things to sort out in this life of mine. I found myself unemployed, in debt and unmotivated. I fluctuated between feelings of frustration, helplessness, panic and annoyance about 95% of the time. I felt like there was no way to fix it, and the pressure I was putting on myself to come up with a solution was crippling.

About two months ago it came to a head. With the help of my family and friends - I finally figured out how to dig myself out. I am almost completely debt free, and that is an amazing feeling. I didn't really realize how negatively my debt was affecting me until it was gone. Now I am so optimistic! I feel like I'm on the verge of being responsible. I feel like, for the first time in years, I am finally moving in the right direction in all aspects of my life. I am just certain that everything is going to work out the way it is supposed to.

I finally have my resume put together, and will be looking for jobs. (I am open to suggestions =)) I know it is a really crappy time to be searching for a job - but I'm not sweating it. Something fantastic is going to present itself.

There is absolutely no replacement for the feeling of getting your crap together!! I feel motivated - to go to the gym, to write this blog, and to start being a productive member of society. I can see success in my future, again - and that is something I've been missing for a long, long time. I see myself actually sticking to the mission we just started ( Move It 2 Lose It ) and finally getting that scale to start moving down. I see myself working toward being able to do things - physically - that I haven't been able to do in....well, as long as I can remember. I see myself finding a job that makes me content, and allows me to live the life I want to live - and be the type of person I want to be. I see myself working on finishing this book - because I'm finally starting to believe I might have something worth sharing. 

In short - I am feeling a little bit kick-ass lately, and I'm loving it! I want to thank all of you for sticking with me over the last 15 months - and inspiring me enough to not completely quit while I went through my life crisis! I attribute not gaining all of the weight back to you guys - because had I not had you guys supporting me, I'm sure I would have. I appreciate all of you. You're phenomenal. Now let's get moving, and make this summer everything we deserve for it to be!

What makes you feel like you could take on the world, and win?

Monday, June 6, 2011

gym gear overhaul

I feel like I've had more going on in the last week than I have in a really, really long time! I've been getting that born-to-run feeling a little bit, and I must say - I kind of like it! I had forgotten how much better I do when I'm busy. I feel like I have purpose. And I actually get so much more done because I know I have to get crap done to get onto the next things. I am finally feeling a little bit like I'm getting my crap back together, and I love it.

Last week marked the beginning of our "Move It 2 Lose It" mission - and it looks like everyone is a little more determined this time around. I know that I am. No more putting the gym last on the list, or just blowing it off for no reason. It is a necessity. Hello! I have a sparkle head band on the line!! This is no time to mess around!! Keep your tips and totals coming in on our Facebook wall! I love seeing it, and it helps remind me to get my own rear in gear!

I also tried out some new workout pants last week! My first round of Danskin pants have finally bit the dust. I do have to say - they are the best workout pants I've tried in a long time. Let's face it - I'm a big girl, and my thighs match the rest of me - they're BIG. So they rub together. It creates a lot of friction. (to the guys out there - I know I'm really turning you on right now - but please...for me...push through!) Most pants deteriorate quickly under that kind of constant pressure. These lasted almost a year! That is like 10 years in non-fat-girl pant years.

So anyway...I had ordered myself some Danskin Dri-More Capri Leggings for the summer. They come in plus-sizes, which I love - and is very necessary for me. Something shorter, that won't be so hot when I'm working all of this bod of mine. I found a cheaper place to purchase them then the Danskin website. I went through - they have all sorts of Danskin stuff on there. And the shipping is pretty reasonable. Now...these new pants aren't really cute - but let's face it. Anything fitted on this current body of mine isn't going to be cute. They do what I need them to: they are fitted, so things don't rub together.....ouch... and they are comfy. I don't go to the gym to be a fashion-plate. If me not looking cute in my pants doesn't scare you away, the amount of sweating that I do certainly will. It is just how I roll.

As an added bonus - I used the rest of my gift card, and a pretty sweet Memorial day sale to completely restock my overly-large gym underwear (I wear huge ones to the gym - there is nothing worse than having your underwear roll down your FUPA when you get movin'!) stash as well. I feel like a whole new woman! How could I not want to go work it?

What's your favorite workout gear?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Intimate Portrait: Bonnie

I had a few of you ask me about "Bonnie" - so I figured I'd do you a solid, and type up some information - as I see it - about her.

A Body Bugg works great for me, for what I was looking for. It tracks calories burned (after you enter information about you), steps taken and activity minutes (it is the amount of time your heart rate is 3x your resting rate). It doesn't tell you your heart rate - so if that is something you're looking for, Bonnie isn't for you. When I was deciding what to order, I looked at the "Polar" straps (they sell them at my gym, and appear to be somewhat required for the group T.E.A.M. classes because it monitors your heart rate), but you had to keep the strap damp in order to track your daily calorie burn. Great for during a workout, but not so great for all day. Plus, the strap goes around your body right under your boobs. It just wasn't ideal for me. I thought the BB arm band seemed much more manageable for me.

Now....Bonnie was a bit spendy...there is just no other way to put it. But - she does come with a computer program (some months free with purchase, then it is $80 for the annual fee) manages everything for you (if you use it - which has been the hardest for me). There is a cord that you connect to your BB and computer, and it loads all of your burn/walk/activity info into the program. Then you manually load your food intake in (you can build recipes, and add additional food items). It charts everything for you.

my BIG arm
When you first start using it, it walks you through entering your weight, resting heart rate, and some other info that will help your BB track your personalized burn info. Obviously I burn more calories than most because I am beefy. You can also track your body measurements in their program (which I haven't done yet - but will be doing Tuesday). You can update your info (weight, etc) weekly, so Bonnie will continue to track your output accurately. It comes with a large strap (for extra beefy arms like mine) and a medium strap. You can also order replacements as frequently as you want/need to. After wearing it for so long, I honestly don't even notice I have it on.

You can also buy a display unit. It can be worn as a watch or clipped on your clothes. It tracks your daily burn/steps/activity. It also stores your info for the day before, and your goals - so you have them available at any time. There is a "trip" feature on it - so you can zero it out before your workout, and then see how many cals you burned during your workout. The only issue is that the display can sometimes get "out of sync" in wi-fi areas (at least that's what they told me caused it) - so then your "trip" numbers won't be accurate. That is the only annoyance I have found so far.

The program also helps you set goals. You enter how much you'd like to lose, and it what time-frame, and it tells you what you should burn and how many calories to eat. There are probably additional sweet things about this program - but I haven't found them, yet. I haven't really been using Bonnie to her full potential - but I am working on turning that around.

So here is the breakdown of the 2 place I found to buy them. I got mine from QVC with a 12-month subscription to the program, but they no longer sell them. Click on the links, and it should take you right to the pages on these sites.
  • - it lists the BB and a 12-month subscription at $275.99 - but makes no mention of the display. I don't even see where it is available on this site? But I left Amazon on here because they also have some different options for this type of tracker. I can't vouch for them - but they are cheaper. Maybe worth checking it out?
  • - I think this might actually be the brain-child of 24 hour fitness, so they've probably sold the most! They have a couple of different options. 
    • If you want to use it with your iPhone (or a limited type of Android) - please go here: Body Bugg SP . With this one, you wouldn't need/want the display, because your phone will be the display. The BB is $189, and I don't see where that comes with any of the online program subscription - so you're looking at $189 + $49.95 = $238.95 +s/h for your first year. (**NOTE: this BB will not work with the regular display, so if you decide to switch phones it won't work with a display)
    • For the regular BB with the display, you'd want to look at the body bugg v3 . They have the band available for $159.00. It also comes in different colors and designs (right up my alley!!). You have to buy the display separately (the display is not required), and that is $69.00. This band comes with a 6-month subscription to the website, so you're looking at $159 + $69 + $49.95 = $277.95 + s/h for your first year.
    • They also have a bundle that has the band, display and 12-month subscription as one package. I wouldn't go for this, however, because they are charging $348.00 for it. As you can see above - you can get the same, purchased separately, for much less. Silly 24-hour fitness.
I hope this least a little bit? If you have any other questions, please comment here or send me a note on FB or email. I am pretty sure BodyBugg should make me a spokesperson! =)

Happy burning, everyone! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

out with the pyramid, in with the plate

I'm sure all of you have seen the food pyramid at one time or another. I learned at FC that it had been updated since I was in school - - something that had completely escaped me. But even though I just saw it a little over a year ago, I couldn't tell you what it said. Apparently, I am not alone in that.

On Thursday the USDA tried to simplify it a little bit. They now have "My Plate". Although it is missing one of my favorite sections - fats - it does seem a little easier to understand...a much easier thing to visualize than trying to remember where things fit on the pyramid, and how many of each you should have. I also love that it hits on everything! As a person who doesn't have any interest in limiting my diet to a few categories, this is ideal.

A small issue I see - from the girl who can rationalize herself into just about any destructive food decision - is: what size is the plate supposed to be? they may cover this somewhere, and I just didn't see it. But a slightly less than 1/4 of a plate serving of meat could be 3oz on the size they want us to use, or 10oz on some of the serving platters some people now use as dinner plates.

Basically, I could use better parameters. Now I am guessing they were just trying to dumb-down the chart in order to hopefully reach the masses. Not everyone is going to be a jackhole like me and try to find a way to make it difficult. The website I linked to above will also help you learn what fits into what category. I am sort of looking forward to trying this out, now that I'm actually trying to eat better again.

Bonnie's doppleganger
On a completely unrelated topic - you guys might know how I like to name my car is JaLisa. My fat is Remus. You get the idea. Well now that I am going to be working out more, I have decided that my Body Bugg needs a name. I've thought about it - and determined her name is Bonnie. Yes - she's a girl. She shoots me straight. She tells me exactly how hard I've worked...or haven't worked. I can't fool her. She's a tough bitch.

How do you feel about the plate? Do you like to name your objects? Please share!!