Shrinkvivor: Final Check-In

Today was the final check-in for Shrinkvivor and for those of you who haven’t been following along online or through Twitter I was voted off to Exile Island last week and therefore am out of the competition for Ultimate Shrinkvivor. Instead I am battling over at Exile Island with like 50 other people to win the Exile Shrinkvivor prize. Was I sad to not be in the top 7? Yes, of course but mostly I was sad that someone or multiple people voted me off. Oh, well. I can’t take it personally.

Last week when I was in Houston, running around the city trying to find a scale, I had to make a choice. Not weigh-in which would eliminate me from the competition or go buy a scale and be able to remain in the contest as either a finalist or an Exile Island member. I choose to go and buy a scale (which I had to leave in Houston since I had no room in my bag to bring it back) and I am glad that I did. Although I am not a finalist I at least gave it my all and stuck it out to the end and for that I am happy. I was also happy last Wednesday when I jumped on that scale and weighed 199.5 which was the first time I was below 200 pounds. Buying that scale was totally worth it!

So here it is folks; my final weigh-in for this seven week competition.

When Shrinkvivor started I weighed in at 217.2 pounds.

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This morning I weighed in at 196.6 pounds for a total weight loss of 20.6 pounds and 9.5% loss from my starting weight. I never thought I would have been able to lose so much, especially so far into my WLJ, when I started this contest. I am beyond thrilled at my results and regardless of tomorrow’s outcome I already know I am a winner. I put my health and my life first and have been making the best choice possible, for me, these past 7 weeks (really, these past 8.5 months) and for that I am a winner!

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Congratulations to all Shrinkvivor contestants! You are amazing and you should be very proud of everything you achieved. We are all winners!

Oh, and if you wouldn’t mind please go to the Shrinkvivor polls and vote for my friend Whitney G. She has been an inspiration to me long before this contest and I know she will continue being one long after. She totally rocks and she reached her WW goal while competing. She’s amazing!

Thanks for reading!

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November 16, 2011. Tags: , , , . Shrinkvivor, Weight Loss. 6 comments.

Updates, Updates, Updates

Shrinkvivor

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to check in for Shrinkvivor. I woke up this morning and hopped on the scale and was very excited to see this number when I looked down:

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Damn I am getting close to leaving the 200’s! I can’t wait!

Last week I weighed in at 206.8 pounds so today’s weight of 204.0 pounds gave me a nice weekly loss of 2.8 pounds. Over the past five weeks of Shrinkvivor I have lost 13.2 pounds which is 6% percent of my starting weight of 217.2 pounds. Yay!

I know that every week I talk about our Shrinkvivor challenge- exercise minutes- but I haven’t mentioned the mini-challenges they set up for us as well. This is because the past mini-challenges were things I already do. One week the mini-challenge was to eat something green with every meal. Since I already eat a metric shit-ton of veggies I didn’t see any point in mentioning it here. We also had a mini-challenge to drink 64-oz of water per day which is also something I do regularly. Actually I try to drink at least 128 oz of water a day. Aside from my morning tea (or coffee on the weekends) I only drink water. It’s a great habit I picked up on this WLJ. I am happy to report that this past week’s mini-challenge was one that I did participate in; the Halloween candy challenge. We were asked to avoid overindulging on Halloween candy and limit ourselves to two fun-sized pieces. I opted to challenge myself to avoid Halloween candy altogether and am pleased to say I made it through without eating any candy whatsoever. I think this challenge was easier for me because I am more of a salty food eater not so much a sweets eater and because I have been following a vegan diet for a few weeks now and most Halloween candy is not vegan.

Since I gave up eating dairy (October 8th was the last time I had any) I have pretty much been following a vegan diet. For whatever reason once I decided to stop eating dairy I also stopped eating meat. Not sure if I will stay with a vegan diet or if I will slowly incorporate meat back in but so far I am loving how I feel, I have tons of energy, and I don’t feel limited by food choices. There are so many great cookbooks and vegan bloggers out there it is never hard to find new recipes to try out. Heck, even this week’s ‘Menu Plan Your Butt Off’ on the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans was all vegan recipes. I am not too concerned about sticking with it through the holidays since I will be the one cooking. I foresee a Thanksgiving dinner that includes Pumpkin Mac n’ Cheeze and Holiday Soup for the Soul and Vegan Lasagna for Christmas. Of course, we will still have turkey for Thanksgiving and steaks for Christmas; I just won’t be eating that.

All in all this was a great week for me for Shrinkvivor; I lost 2.8 pounds, racked up 878 exercise minutes, and avoided Halloween candy. I definitely consider it a success. Let’s hope it’s enough to keep me in the game for another week. Go Tribe Hodari Gray!

Weight Watchers Update

As you know, if today is my Shrinkvivor weigh in then yesterday was my Weight Watchers weigh in. I woke up feeling great and weighing in at home at 205.0 pounds. That was a 2.2 pound difference from what I weighed at home last Tuesday so of course I expected to see a 2.2 pound loss on the scale. Unfortunately, that’s not what I saw. I weighed in at 207.0 for a weekly loss of 1.2 pounds. Still a loss, I am still super happy about it, but not really sure why it wasn’t 2.2 pounds. Oh, well. It happens. Even though I wear the same clothes and eat the same foods every Tuesday I still can’t control how my body is retaining the food/water. By the time 12p rolls around it’s pretty much a crap shoot as to what number is going to appear on that scale. Still, a 1.2 pound loss is nothing to complain about and I am super excited to be only two pounds away from earning my Weight Watchers 75 pounds lost star. Does anyone know if there is charm for my WW key ring that goes with 75 pounds lost?

Next Tuesday I will be in Houston and so I will miss my Weight Watchers meeting. I am not going to be able to make up the meeting until Saturday November 12th so it’s going to be a long stretch between WW weigh-ins followed by two very close together (the 12th and the 15th) followed by another long stretch because we have no at work meeting on November 22nd. No worries. I am still going to attend my meetings weekly, although the days may be all screwy, and continue to track, portion, hydrate, and exercise and I know I will make it through November successfully.

Monthly Update

Since yesterday was the first of the month it was also time for me to weigh in to see how I did against my monthly weight loss goal. Back in September I set up a monthly goal of losing 7 pounds a month for each of the remaining months of 2011. These monthly goals, if reached, would help me achieve another goal; to be below 200 by the end of the year. I weighed in on October 1st at 217.2, yesterday morning I weighed in at 205.0 for a loss of 12.2 pounds this month and a two month total loss of 23 pounds. Yay!

Yesterday was also the day for measurements and BMI and body fat percentage results. I have been slacking pretty hard on the weekly BMI and body fat%; the last time I took it was the week of October 18th. I keep forgetting to do the measurements on WI day but I will try to get back in the habit of tracking them weekly. I haven’t updated the monthly measurements or the weekly weigh in pages yet so here are some results I wanted to share with you.

Inches lost in October: 7” (most of which came from my chest, goodbye boobies – LOL)

Total inches lost since initial measurement (07/02) is 31.5”

BMI as of 11/01: 33.6, body fat % as of 11/01: 35.2%

BMI on 04/02 (first recording): 45.2, body fat% on 04/02: 41.8%

BMI difference: 11.6 points, body fat % difference: 6.6%

*Goal is a BMI below 25 and a body fat % below 32%

Wow! What a huge difference. More than any number on a scale I really just want to get that BMI and body fat percentage to a healthy range.

Echotone DVD Giveaway

One last update; yesterday I posted a giveaway on my blog, which I am very excited about, for the Echotone DVD. I forgot to include blogging as an entry method so I have gone back to the post and made that update. If you read the post via email subscription or if you read it yesterday please go back and check out the update. There are now five ways to enter giving you five chances to win this amazing movie. The contest runs through November 14th and I am hoping for a big response. You should enter even if music documentaries aren’t your thing; you can always re-gift it 😉

Thanks for reading!

November 2, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Shrinkvivor, Weight Loss, Weight Watchers. 4 comments.

Weight Watchers and Shrinkvivor Update

Ok, so I owe you two weigh in results and you are going to get them both in one post. Hopefully this post isn’t confusing for anyone, myself included J

Yesterday was my Weight Watchers meeting. I weighed in at 208.2 pounds for a loss of 2.8 pounds since last week. This brought my total weight loss on WW up to 71.8 pounds. Getting close to earning a 75 pound (lost) star, it’s green, and I can’t wait to show it off to you once I do!

Today was my Shrinkvivor check in and I weighed in at 206.8 pounds for a loss of 2.4 pounds from last week. No, in case you are wondering, I didn’t lose 1.4 pounds in one day. The weight difference between yesterday and today is due to weighing in at work, fully clothed, mid-day versus weighing myself at home, nekked, first thing in the morning. My total Shrinkvivor weight loss so far is 10.4 pounds in the four weeks since the contest started. I am pretty pleased with my results so far 🙂

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Ugh, I hate my little sausage toes 😦

Also, I wanted to point out that I am now just 0.8 pounds away from having lost 80 pounds. Since February 22nd. That’s pretty crazy. Hmmmm….thinking I should start researching things that weigh 80 pounds so I can share them in a post with you . Does anyone have any 80 pound kids? Or maybe two younger children that together weigh 80 pounds?

This week’s Shrinkvivor challenge was exercise minutes and I logged 720 of them. This was below normal for me because I missed an hour long yoga class because of a work conflict and then my 75 minute Journey Dance class was cancelled. Boo! However, I am confident that my tribe will have a pretty high average for exercise minutes because one of my tribe mates had a two day long dance-a-thon and logged over 2600+ exercise minutes. That is just craziness! I am impressed and very thankful she is on my tribe 😉 This week I hope to get my minutes back up above 800 if possible. Friday I will be missing out on a Nia class because Paul and I volunteered to work at a haunted house on post for military families of soldiers at the Warrior Transition Unit and the Institute for Surgical Research. Actually we have a lot of fun things going on this weekend and I can’t wait to tell you all about them. Another time. In a different post. Hopefully tomorrow.

Until then, thanks for reading!

October 26, 2011. Tags: , , , . Shrinkvivor, Weight Loss, Weight Watchers. 4 comments.

Shrinkvivor Weekly Check-In: Tribe Hodari Gray

This week has been crazy and I haven’t had the free time needed to write up my usual blog posts. This morning, however, I was up at 4am (ok, I hit snooze until 420a) in order to weigh in for Shrinkvivor. Since I was up an hour earlier than usual I had some extra time to write up a short post about my check in. No worries though, life should be back to normal tomorrow and my lengthy mind-numbing posts will be back 😉

My favorite visitor was in town this week, yes I am referring to my period, and I never know whether or not I will lose during my TOM. I was pretty excited to step on the scale this morning and see 209.2 pounds. Not only am I down 1.6 pounds from last Wednesday (woo hoo!) I am now less than ten pounds away from leaving the 200’s. Let me say that again- LESS…THAN…TEN…POUNDS!!! You have no idea how happy this makes me. Yes, I know that I still have a long road ahead of me until I am at a healthy weight/BMI/body fat% but crossing over that huge hurdle from 200’s to 100’s will be a big accomplishment for me. It’s been a very long time since my weight started with a ‘1’. I am not sure how long but if I had to guess it’s probably been the better part of a decade.

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I would like to note also that I am very happy with a 1.6 pound loss. I would be lying if I said that seeing a four or five pound loss wouldn’t have made me happy but the truth of it is that 1.6 pounds makes me even happier. Why? Because that is what I should be losing weekly. Yes, I love those big numbers and it is exciting to see them propelling me closer to my goal but in reality I do want to lose at a slower, constant rate. It’s not only healthier for me but it’s better for my body (meaning loose skin/toning) to lose that way. Unfortunately I have no control over how my body loses weight meaning I pretty much do the same things; exercise, food, sleep, each week and yet one week I lose 4 pounds and the next I lose 1 pound. I think that ovulation and menstruation are playing into this as well. Whenever my hormones are fluctuating so is my weight loss. I guess that is just part of life though, right? I will just keep making the best decisions I can in regards to my health and accept the way my body loses/gains in the process.

Our Shrinkvivor challenge was logging exercise minutes. This week I set my personal goal for this challenge to reach/exceed 900 minutes. My end result – 1,060 minutes logged. That’s 17 hours and 40 minutes which in my opinion is pretty crazy. However, while it is happening during the week it doesn’t seem excessive so I guess that’s a good thing, right?

How did I do it? How did I log a couple hundred more minutes this week versus the week prior? What happened was a few activities popped up this week that I wanted to participate in and in turn I also wanted to take part in my regular classes so I just added them in. There was a free yoga class that was held at McAllister Park on Saturday and it was such a beautiful day I had no other choice but to get out there and participate. Then on Sunday we had our monthly Ecstatic Dance meetup and I couldn’t miss that either. I also added in a lunchtime walk on Friday which wasn’t an activity I previously had done but going forward might be something I keep on the schedule. I say it all the time, and I don’t mean to be a broken record, but this is why it is important to find activities you love doing. I logged over seven hours of activity between Saturday and Sunday events; Tai Chi, yoga, dancing, and I couldn’t have been happier. I felt fabulous inside and out and I was still able to spend the rest of those days enjoying quality time with Paul. So, yes, I am happy that once again our weekly challenge is logging activity minutes but even if it wasn’t I would still keep doing what I do. It’s what I love. It makes me stronger. It makes me healthier. It makes me happier. Regardless of the outcome of Shrinkvivor I am already a winner. I won my life back. That’s the ultimate prize.

Best of luck to all Shrinkvivor participants this week!

Go Tribe Hodari Gray!

Thanks for reading!

October 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Shrinkvivor, Weight Loss. 3 comments.

Five Things Friday

Shrinkvivor

We did it! We successfully made it through week two’s Tribal Council for Shrinkvivor. Team Hodari Gray is still intact. How? We won immunity! Again! J It’s great having a team that works so hard every week ensuring that we are all safe for another week. I think they said at Tribal Council that we averaged 687 exercise minutes per person. That’s 4809 minutes, or 80 hours and 9 minutes, total for the tribe. Wow! I am so impressed with this tribe. I definitely lucked out. My minutes dropped by almost two hundred between week 1 and 2 and the tribe still upped our average by 100 minutes. These ladies are powerhouses!

This week our challenge is exercise minutes again and I mentioned on Wednesday’s post that my personal goal was to exceed 900 minutes this week. I didn’t lay out my workout plan but just figured I would add a couple activities to my normal routine and voila; 900 minutes. However, by not writing it out I failed to realize I would be adding in four additional activities this week and my minutes should more realistically be over 1,000. Yay! I am hoping we can keep pushing ourselves this week and get immunity for the third week in a row.

Fifty Pounds

Yesterday I was at the Synergy Studio, my home away from home, for Nia and Qigong. Thursday Nia is usually taught by Joanie but Adelle was there instead filling in for her. Adelle is not only a black belt trainer, she has been doing Nia for 13 years (I think), she is also the studio owner and one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I could, and probably should, write a whole post just about her but today I just want to tell you about a conversation we had. The Nia classes at Synergy are taught around a focus, set by and varying by the instructor, which usually changes weekly. If you happen to go to multiple classes within the same week taught by the same instructor you will probably end up dancing the same routine. This helps to develop a better understanding of the routine but also it helps you to remember if by chance you do the routine again months later. That is what happened yesterday. I realized early in the routine that I had danced it before and that it was early on in my Nia journey. It might have even been the third or fourth class I had ever been to it was that early on. Afterwards I went up to Adelle and told her that I remembered that routine and that I remembered it was one of the first ones I had done. She said it was her routine, meaning she chose the music and choreographed it, and that it was the one they filmed in the studio. I was in it. That was back in June and I am not sure if I ever mentioned it on the blog or not but for part of her black belt training she had to record a class participating in an original routine. She told me she was just watching the video the other day while preparing for this week’s classes and that she saw me in it and could not believe how much my body has changed in the past four months. I told her that when I started at Synergy I weighed 260 pounds and I now weigh 210. She said I need to watch the video because it is amazing how different I look and how quickly it has happened. She also asked me if at some point, now or later on in my WLJ, if I wouldn’t mind writing about my story. She thinks it is something Debbie Rosas (co-founder of Nia) would be interested in hearing. I think I am ready to write my Nia story stay tuned for that post.

Talking with Adelle yesterday I had so many thoughts running through my mind; how much Nia has changed my life, how important it is to do things you love, how appreciative I am to have supportive friends and peers cheering me on, but the one thing I could not get over was how proud I was of myself. Not because I lost fifty pounds since joining Synergy or how since that time I have committed myself to bettering my life. Nope, I was proud that Dacia fifty pounds ago didn’t let her weight stop her from being filmed for a Nia video. I know I probably had some apprehension about how I would look on camera but I think even early on I felt acceptance and love from Nia and that was enough to allow me to dance while being filmed and not care about how I looked. So please, if you can take anything from this post here is the one piece of advice I hope you take to heart: don’t wait until you are ‘skinny’ to try things. That was the hardest thing for me to do, to try new things, because I was afraid people would judge me or be disgusted by me because I was fat and that stopped me so many times. I always thought to myself ‘I’ll try that, once I am skinny’ or ‘I’m too fat to do that’. If you want to try yoga or swimming or joining a local walking group do it. Do it now! You are worth it and you have every right to do the things you want to do regardless of your size, shape, age. I’ll be right here, cheering you on, because I know you can do anything you set your mind to!

Nia beats Hockey

Tonight is the first Friday night hockey game of the season. Friday night hockey is Paul’s favorite because Friday nights are dollar beer night. The game starts at 7p and now that we live on post we are less than ten minutes from the stadium which is awesome. However, Friday evenings I usually go to Nia from 5:30p to 6:30p which will more than like cause us to be late to the game. The other day I posed this scenario to Paul and gave him three options to choose from:

A. I go to Nia and we get to the game late, hopefully sometime mid-first period.
B. I go to Nia and we drive separately to the game. He gets to see the whole game and I still get to go to class
C. I skip Nia and we go to the game on time, together

Do you know which one he chose? A. of course because he is awesome and knows how important my classes are to both my physical and emotional well being. Although people may think I am crazy but if I had to prioritize I would put Nia ahead of hockey every time. That’s just the person I am now. It’s weird. I still think that I get to have it all though. I mean I do get to go to the game and the Nia class. Win-win. Oh, and Paul still gets his $1 beer. Win-win-win.

100 Day Chip

On Wednesday I received my first 30 Day Chip. You should go check it out here if you haven’t already. Now I am on day 33 working towards that elusive 100 day chip. I think only one person has ever achieved it. I hope to make that list someday. Maybe in 67 days from now, maybe in 267 days from now; we shall see how long it takes. Regardless of whether or not I get that chip the best part of this process is every day I complete I am further engraining into my memory good habits I will always want to follow. I started out on the 7 Day Chip and the 30 Day Chip counting successful days by whether or not I tracked and portioned my food and drank at least my minimum daily recommended servings of water. Now as I move on towards that 100 Day Chip I am adding a daily goal of activity. My goal is to get my body moving every day for the next 67 days straight. It doesn’t have to be a class though it can be anything active; a walk in the park, a yoga DVD, really just anything to get me moving. Each day I do so I step further away from the sedentary lifestyle I was confined to for far too long. Each day I am active I get further from the path I was headed straight towards; diabetes, heart disease, and numerous other obesity related conditions. For me, this is the best goal I could ever set for myself. It’s the goal that’s helping me get my life back.

Photos

Since I didn’t have a blog post yesterday you all missed out on work outfit #4. Here it is. Now aside from one black and white cardigan you have seen all my non-casual Friday work clothes. Also, I need to mention that the shirt from yesterday is much nicer in person. The green color that looks like baby poo in the pics is really chartreuse.

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Happy Friday! Thanks for reading!

October 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Nia, Shrinkvivor, Weight Loss. 6 comments.

Shrinkvivor Check-In: Tribe Hodari Gray

If there was any doubt in my mind before there isn’t now. I am a weight loss blogger. Period. End of story. Yes, I do write about other things but those posts are getting few and far between and what has taken over is a blog almost entirely dedicated to my weight loss journey. I am okay with that though. It’s a big part of who I am now and I love being able to share it with you. I hope you don’t mind. Actually, I hope you enjoy it and learn from it and hopefully together we can help each other through whatever struggles and difficult conditions we face. You are my support system and hopefully I am part of yours as well. So thank you for being part of my journey. I am so lucky to have so many incredible people walking beside me.

With that being said; here is today’s weight loss blog post 😉

Shrinkvivor Week 2 Check-In

This morning at the even earlier than the butt crack of dawn I was up with Paul so we could take a photo of the scale. Paul got up at 4am, even earlier than usual, because he had an 8 mile run on the agenda for PT. So I too was up at four. Was able to weigh myself and get a picture and be awake just long enough to know I wasn’t going to be able to go back to sleep. So, I made my smoothie and settled in on the couch to watch the rest of last night’s Biggest Loser episode. Man, that episode was a tear-jerker. I cried almost the whole time. But I digress, back to the weigh in. Drum roll please…. And the scale says:

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210.8 pounds!

That means I lost five pounds this week. Yay! It also means I’ve lost over 75 pounds since 2/22/11. Double yay!

For the challenge results, number of exercise minutes logged, I posted 820 minutes this week. Yes, it is down from the week prior but I knew it would be since the yoga seminar and Nia workshop were over. I planned my results to be at 805 and ended at 820. I am pleased. 820 minutes is still a huge number; that’s 13 hours and 40 minutes. It’s practically a part time job. I don’t know how much more I could increase it and not get burned out. I like working out a lot, don’t get me wrong, but I still need to balance it with work and my home life. I love being in this contest but I love my family more. 820 minutes is the perfect amount for me to have the best of both worlds. I hope it’s enough to keep me in the contest but if not I will head gracefully over to Exile Island and continue to work my hardest there.

This week’s challenge, if I make it through tribal council, is going to be a bit difficult. It is to track our exercise MILES. Never mind, they switched it back to exercise minutes. I am happy for the switch because it was going to be tough for me adding more activities to my routine in order to be able to track miles. With that being said; this is a challenge so I should try to step it up a little this week and try to literally challenge myself. So my goal is to increase my exercise minutes by almost 10% this week hoping to hit 900 minutes logged. I am going to add in a lunchtime walk on Friday and hopefully attend yoga in the park (which is free- it’s at McAllister Park at 12p) on Saturday and that extra 90 minutes should help me achieve my goal.

Wish me luck!

Tune in to the Sisterhood tomorrow night to see who get eliminated. Hoping Tribe Hodari Gray can get immunity again this week- I definitely don’t want to see anyone go off to exile.

Thanks for reading!

October 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Shrinkvivor, Weight Loss. 15 comments.

Five Things Friday

Shrinkvivor

Yesterday was nerve-racking to say the least. On Wednesday, for our Shrinkvivor check-in, we had to submit our weight, exercise minutes logged and the name of a tribe mate we were choosing to vote to exile. Then we had to wait until Thursday 8pm CST for the results. I was pretty sure my low percentage weight loss made me a very likely candidate to be exiled so it was difficult to make it through the day without obsessing on the results. Of course, I did make it through the day and as soon as I was out of my qigong class I rushed home and watched the video of tribal council revealing the results. The first announcement made was the top three tribes, in regards to weight loss percentage, and sadly Tribe Gray was not one of them. Actually our name came up next as the team with the lowest percentage of weight loss for the week meaning the entire tribe would be sent to exile. Yikes! Fortunately for our tribe we managed to win immunity and the whole tribe was saved- no one was sent to Exile Island. Phew, that was a close call. We went from the whole tribe being exiled to the whole tribe being safe in the same sentence; it was very traumatic dramatic. Hearing from my tribe last night and this morning one thing is very clear to all of us- we got lucky. I think we all know now we have to step up our game for next week knowing the other tribes will be doing the same trying to win that immunity. I am not knocking our effort last week; we totally kicked ass on the exercise minutes. Our 7 person tribe averaged 558 exercise minutes logged per person. Amazing! That means in total we racked up 3,906 minutes (65.1 hours) of exercise over seven days. That’s really impressive. Go Tribe Hodari Gray!

Nia

By now you all know about my ever growing obsession with Nia. If you happened to have read the little student of the month blurb in the Nia San Antonio newsletter you might have saw I mentioned hoping to take the Nia White Belt Intensive in 2012. Nia has become one of my passions and I want to take the WBI to learn more about it and develop myself as a student. I also want to take it because it allows me to become a Nia teacher once completed. While in San Antonio I will probably never teach a Nia class however when Paul and I move (whenever and wherever that might be) we may end up somewhere that doesn’t offer Nia classes. Being a Nia instructor might be the only way to continue on with my passion. I had been hoping to do the WBI offered in San Antonio by Joanie and Adelle, two of my favorite Nia instructors, in March 2012. Then last Saturday Adelle told me that she and Joanie were going to add a WBI this December. She then asked me what I thought about the idea of having it over two weekends instead of having it as a weeklong class. I told her for me that would be much better. Having to take a week of vacation for the course would mean no other vacations until late summer and that was the big drawback of the class in March. I kind of pushed for the split weekend setup. Then on Sunday when I saw Adelle she told me she and Joanie discussed it and decided to make the December session over two weekends but that the others on the schedule for 2012 would be the full week. This was great news for me EXCEPT for the fact that I have no vacation time (haven’t hit my 6 months yet) and that I needed to come up with the money, it’s not cheap, right away since it would be in less than 8 weeks. Thankfully my boss agreed to let me work 4-10 hour days for two weeks in a row to give me December 2 and 9 off and I was able to come up with the money, I’d prefer not to say how ;), and so in just two months time I will be a Nia White Belt. How crazy is that?

What makes this even better is that my super awesome friend Simply Sidney is doing the White Belt Intensive this November. I am so excited for her because I know she will be a fantastic Nia teacher. I think about my instructor Joanie and how 17 years age her and her best friend took the WBI and have both been dancing ever since. This year Joanie spent her Nia anniversary in Montana with that same best friend to celebrate and co-teach classes together. I think about me and Sidney and whether our future will have us celebrating our anniversary together. Will we be doing other trainings together? Will we be co-teaching classes and traveling around introducing Nia to others? I like to think we will. I know that this training will change our futures in ways we can’t even imagine. It’s a pretty amazing journey we are about to embark on.

Yoga

This past Saturday was the last session in the five week yoga seminar I had been taking. I really enjoyed the class; I learned a lot and am already noticing the improvement in my practice. I am hoping they offer a ‘Yoga 2’ seminar; I would totally be on board for that. Last week I wrote about the yoga instructor who singled me out for ‘health reasons’ and I received a lot of feedback on that post telling me I should say something to her. I agreed with your comments and planned on pulling her aside and telling her that how she addressed me publicly was embarrassing and that I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. Secretly, I was hoping for an apology too for prejudging me but I wasn’t going to hold my breath on that one. Unfortunately that instructor was not there so I was never able to air my grievances. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see my favorite yogi, Tricia, in her place. Talk about a 180 from the week before; I went from having someone doubt my ability to perform based off of my weight to someone who knows my abilities and praises me for them. Yep, when I saw Tricia I pretty much freaked out and ran over and hugged screaming ‘I’m so happy you are here’. Yeah, I can be a little over the top sometimes. On a side note; Tricia, who I also go to for Thai Yoga, has been noticing my weight loss and complimenting me on it. That always makes me feel good. Compliments aside, this is why it is important to make sure the people you keep around you in your life are positive, supportive people. Friends, family, yoga instructors it doesn’t matter. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and you will find it easier to believe in yourself as well!

Phillies

I am not going to lie; I am pretty nervous for game 5 of the NLDS tonight. Not because I don’t think the Phillies can win, they totally can, but because in a game 5 scenario (in a five game series) there is no room for errors. They need to come out on that field mentally and physically ready to lay it all down for those 9 innings. I really want the Phillies to win tonight. Heck I really want the Phillies to win the World Series but tonight, this game feels as important as the World Series. See, Paul’s bestie TJ is a HUGE Cardinals fan. He talks about them ALL.THE.TIME. Of course, he probably thinks I talk about the Phillies all the time but oh, well. Needless to say we have been talking smack all week about this series and I am not sure I could tolerate if the Phillies lost and I had to listen to him rub it in. I may just lose control and roundhouse kick him in the face- I can do that, you know- and nobody wants that to happen. So, today I urge you all to cheer on my Philadelphia Phillies. They need the win, I need the win. If they lose I will blame you for it. I’m from Philly, that’s how I roll 😉

Steve Jobs

It’s been a few days now and I know I am just one of the millions of people devastated by the loss of Steve Jobs. I found out of his death when I heard the announcement on the radio while driving home from class and was immediately saddened. Once I got home I went onto Twitter I found that I wasn’t alone in my grief. Most people were having the same reaction. How touching that the death of a man most of us never knew could have such a profound impact. Was it because this man revolutionized modern life or was it because we realized the impact his loss will have on our lives. My guess is it is probably a bit of both. Since the news broke I have seen countless numbers of quotes and tributes floating around, I have learned more about Steve Jobs than I had known, and truly started to realize the magnitude of his existence. If nothing else, Steve Jobs has shown us all that nothing is out of our reach. For that, I am truly thankful. May you rest in peace.

Thanks for reading!

October 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Baseball, Nia, Shrinkvivor, Yoga. 2 comments.

Shrinkvivor Check-In: Tribe Hodari Gray

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Today was our first weigh in for Shrinkvivor and based off of my Weight Watchers weigh in yesterday I knew better than to expect a big loss. This morning I weighed in at 215.8 pounds (side note: on my check in form I accidentally put 115.8. Luckily I caught it before I hit submit) for a weekly loss of 1.4 pounds. In terms of the competition it’s not a great number but for me personally it is fabulous. I would just like to point out that 215.8 represents a new lowest weight AND it means I have lost over 70 pounds! I couldn’t be more excited. I can just feel those 190’s getting closer – they are almost in my reach. I wholeheartedly feel I can get there by the end of the year and reach my goal.

OK, back to Shrinkvivor. As I said earlier, a 1.4 pound loss probably isn’t great in terms of the competition especially since our primary goal is to lose weight in order to stay in it. However, we also had a fitness challenge that would offer the winning tribe immunity for the week. I knew I needed to work as hard as I could to help my team get immunity or else I might be off to Exile Island. Our challenge was to get up and get moving and to log our exercise minutes. I have posted my log from the week and you can see my results below. As I am still trying to figure out all the ins and outs of this contest I am unsure if immunity will be granted to the tribe with the highest total of exercise minutes or to the tribe with the member who logged the highest individual number of minutes. I re-read the post from last week and still can’t determine how it will work. I am guessing I will find out tomorrow when the results are revealed. Until then I will patiently wait, hoping I did enough for my tribe to keep us all here another week.

Oh, and by the way, we are now Tribe Hodari Gray. We changed our name up, as most tribes have done, to better reflect our team. Hodari is the Swahili word for courageous. I think it is quite fitting.

Week 1 Exercise Log

Wednesday:

Yoga 12p-1p – 60 minutes

Combo Class (1/2 boxing, ½ boot camp) 5p-555p – 55 minutes

Kickboxing Class 6p-655p, technically 55 minutes but when we do back to back we don’t have to do the first ten minutes of jump rope – 45 minutes

160 minutes

Thursday:

Nia 530-630p – 60 minutes

Qigong 645-8p – 75 minutes My triceps were so sore from doing 4 boxing classes this week that I knew I wouldn’t be able to survive qigong class- we hold poses with arms up or extended for like 5 minutes at a time.

135 minutes 60 minutes

Friday:

Nia 530-630p – 60 minutes

60 minutes

Saturday:

Nia 930-1030a – 60 minutes

Yoga Seminar 11a-1p – 120 minutes

180 minutes

Sunday:

Journey Dance 10-1115a – 75 minutes

Nia Workshop 3-4p – 60 minutes

Nia 4-5p – 60 minutes

Kundalini Yoga 7-815p – 75 minutes

270 minutes

Monday:

Yoga 12p-1p – 60 minutes

Combo Class (1/2 boxing, ½ boot camp) 5p-555p – 55 minutes

Kickboxing Class 6p-655p– 45 minutes

160 minutes

Tuesday:

Pilates 430-530p – 60 minutes

Nia 530-630p – 60 minutes

120 minutes

Total Estimated Minutes: 1085 minutes

Actual Minutes Logged Week 1 Shrinkvivor: 1,010 minutes

You might think that is a very high number, and it is, but I know it isn’t the highest as one of my tribe mates logged in 1,111 minutes. That’s just crazy. For me, 1,010 minutes in a week probably won’t happen again anytime soon. This week I had some extra help from the yoga seminar, 4 boxing classes instead of my usual two, and a Nia workshop. Our fitness challenge for week 2 is going to be the same as last week’s- logging exercise minutes. You can see my weekly plan below. This also reflects what a typical week looks like for me and I expect that if we continue these types of challenges this will be a pretty standard result.

Week 2 Planned Exercise Log

Wednesday:

Yoga at work 12-1p – 60 minutes

Thai yoga for 90 minutes (445-615p) but will not log this as exercise as it is more like a massage/assisted yoga so not going to count as exercise

60 Minutes

Thursday:

Nia 530-630p – 60 minutes

Qigong 645-8p – 75 minutes

135 minutes

Friday:

Nia 530-630p – 60 minutes

60 minutes

Saturday:

Tai Chi 8-915a- 75 minutes

Nia 930-1030a – 60 minutes

135 minutes

Sunday:

Journey Dance 10-1115a – 75 minutes

Nia 4-5p – 60 minutes

135 minutes

Monday:

Yoga 12-1p – 60 minutes

Combo Class (1/2 boxing, ½ boot camp) 5p-555p – 55 minutes

Kickboxing Class 610-655p– 45 minutes

160 minutes

Tuesday:

Pilates 430-530p – 60 minutes

Nia 530-630p – 60 minutes

120 minutes

Total Estimated Minutes: 805 minutes

Tune in tomorrow to see what happens to Tribe Hodari Gray! Thanks for reading!

October 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Shrinkvivor, Weight Loss. 10 comments.

Shrinkvivor – Week One

Today begins Week One of the Shrinkvivor competition. This morning as I sat at the table drinking my smoothie I saw a blog post pop up from Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans (host of the contest) telling me it was time to submit my starting weight for the challenge. I had already hopped on the scale, and had Paul photograph it, bright (or I should say dark since it was 5am) and early so I quickly ran off to the computer and logged in my info. Yes! Step one finished! This morning I weighed in at 217.2 pounds, same as yesterday, and I couldn’t be happier! Please note that you can see my frog tattoo on my foot- that is a great way for me to prove that it is me on the scale and not someone else. Yay for verifiability!

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Next we were asked to blog about our results and then link our posts. Unfortunately, wordpress does not allow the javascript code for the blog hop so I am going to do my best to link up but I am not sure it will work. Ugh, the downfalls of the tech unsavy. We’ll see what happens. Here are two links to try. Let me know if this works 🙂

Link 1

Link 2

In the post they also told us what our weekly physical challenge would be and for this week it is tracking our exercise minutes. Since this is week one and I don’t have much to talk about that you haven’t already heard in previous posts I thought I would share with you my planned activities for the week so I can see an estimate of my exercise minutes. I am not sure if the week starts today and ends next Tuesday but that is my assumption.

Wednesday:

Yoga 12p-1p – 60 minutes

Combo Class (1/2 boxing, ½ boot camp) 5p-555p – 55 minutes

Kickboxing Class 6p-655p, technically 55 minutes but when we do back to back we don’t have to do the first ten minutes of jump rope – 45 minutes

160 minutes

Thursday:

Nia 530-630p – 60 minutes

Qigong 645-8p – 75 minutes

135 minutes

Friday:

Nia 530-630p – 60 minutes

60 minutes

*I wanted to note here that this weekend we are learning a new Nia routine, Cadence, so in Friday and Saturday’s class we will dance the routine. Then on Sunday there is a 1 hour workshop where we will have a more in depth learning and review of the routine followed by another class where we will dance it again. I just wanted to point this out because four hours of Nia in one weekend is not typical.

Saturday:

Nia 930-1030a – 60 minutes

Yoga Seminar 11a-1p – 120 minutes

180 miuntes

Sunday:

Journey Dance 10-1115a – 75 minutes

Nia Workshop 3-4p – 60 minutes

Nia 4-5p – 60 minutes

Kundalini Yoga 7-815p – 75 minutes

270 minutes

Monday:

Yoga 12p-1p – 60 minutes

Combo Class (1/2 boxing, ½ boot camp) 5p-555p – 55 minutes

Kickboxing Class 6p-655p, technically 55 minutes but when we do back to back we don’t have to do the first ten minutes of jump rope – 45 minutes

160 minutes

Tuesday:

Pilates 430-530p – 60 minutes

Nia 530-630p – 60 minutes

120 minutes

Total Estimated Minutes: 1085 minutes

Now let’s see if I can stick to the plan and survive it! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

September 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Shrinkvivor, Weight Loss. 2 comments.

I’m a Shrinkvivor!

Yesterday, by chance, I registered to participate in the Shrinkvivor contest hosted by Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. I had been noticing on Twitter the hashtag Shrinkvivor popping up in tweets but kept forgetting to ask about what it was. Then yesterday I saw a tweet announcing the registration deadline had been extended from Wednesday to Thursday at 12p. It was like an hour from the deadline so I clicked on the link, read a brief description of what the contest entailed and quickly registered. If I would have learned about it earlier I would have shared the info with you in case you wanted to participate. From reading the contest FAQ’s it appears that from now until November 12th there will be two main things factoring into our standings; weight loss and fitness challenges. There are actually a lot of details to this contest so if you want to learn more about it you can go HERE or HERE . Or you can just wait for me to post about it on my blog as each week passes 😉 The fun thing about this contest is that there is an ‘Exile Island’ like on the show Survivor and if you get voted off from your tribe that is where you go. The ending member of Exile Island with the largest percentage of weight loss wins a prize. So, even if I get booted from my tribe I am still participating in the challenge, just in a different manner. If, and I mean a big IF, I am lucky enough to make it through to the final seven without ending up on Exile Island then it will come down to a vote with the winner to be announced on November 17th, which just happens to be Paul’s birthday. Maybe it’s a sign.

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This whole competition thing is pretty exciting. I have never done anything like this before. It seems like it will be a whole lot of fun. There are 144 people participating and they have us broken down into 20 teams. I am on the gray team. There are three other people I know who are also participating and I am thankful not to have been put on a team with them. We are required to vote people off of our team and I would prefer to never have to vote for someone I am friends with; it just wouldn’t feel right. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about that. For now I am just going to stay focused on my weight loss and exercise and hopefully I will do well enough to stay in the game for awhile. I am excited for my first weigh in next Wednesday. I hope you will follow along with my progress; it’s bound to be as exciting and entertaining as watching Survivor! Go Team Gray!

Thanks for reading!

September 23, 2011. Tags: , , , . Shrinkvivor. 4 comments.