Slowly Fading

Gosh, it’s really getting hard to write for this blog anymore. In the past few weeks I have started countless posts but I just can’t get past the first few sentences. I don’t know why this is happening but I certainly know that I feel completely uninspired to write and I don’t feel guilty about that in the least.

A few weeks ago I wrote about trying to challenge myself to have two weekly losses in a row and when the second week came around and I lost I couldn’t muster the energy to write about it. I was excited about it, too. Breaking the yo-yo cycling was great. So I tried for a third week in a row and despite suffering through my time of the month I came out with another loss. I am working my butt off hoping to pull another loss next week which would make June the month of losses for me. The thought of that makes me very happy.

Happy because I am losing? Yes. Happier because I am doing it on my terms? Hells yeah!

I have spent the past few weeks getting in the activities that I love and spending my time in ways that make me happy. I’ve been to parties, movies, bars, and out to dinner at least once a week but I’ve also been running, cycling, and Nia-ing whenever I felt like it. My exercise has become my passion and I just can’t get enough of what I’m doing.

So much so that starting tomorrow I am going to try commuting to work on my bike.

And just last week I rode down to our favorite bar/hangout on my bike to find the best/easiest route from our house.

If I could, I would ride my bike everywhere. And I am working on making that a very real possibility.

And the running. I have no idea what happened. I wrote in a post after I ran my first 5K that I was done with running. I told you that I had signed up for a second 5K but after that I was going to focus more on cycling. Then the second 5K came and it was brutal (finished with .5 mile uphill climb) but for whatever reason I still wanted to keep running. So I started running after my bike rides, and through my neighborhood, and out on the trails and now I just love it. So much so that I signed up for four races in July; three 5Ks and one 4-miler.

I’m actually going to meet a running group tonight for a run along the river walk (one of my favorite places to run in San Antonio) and of course I am trying to figure out the logistics of how I can ride my bike to and from the run meetup.

I just don’t know anymore. My life is interesting but I think it’s just interesting to me. I don’t have any great stories, deep thoughts, of words of wisdom to share with you – and maybe I never did- which is making it that much harder to post.

I’m still around posting on Facebook, tweeting when I can, and of course via email if you want to reach out to me. I’m still the same person working towards a healthy life and I will try to drop in and give you updates once in awhile but for now I think this blog is becoming less of a priority for me. And I’m ok with that.

So, thank you for being the best support team a girl could ask for. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you. I appreciate your friendship and guidance more than words can express.

Until next time- thanks for reading! I love you guys!

June 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Life. 1 comment.

Truth Tuesday: What Am I Doing?

I weighed in at my Weight Watchers meeting today and the scale said I lost 2.4 pounds. I was happy that I lost but I am not happy about this:

On May 8th I weighed in at my meeting at 167.8

The following week I weighed in at 169.8

The week after that, 169.8 again

Last week no weigh in, I was home sick

Today my meeting weight was 167.4

So, in a month of meetings I have lost 0.4 pounds

Am I happy that it is a negative and not a positive? Of course

Am I happy that my weight keeps bouncing back and forth? Absolutely not

Some days I feel my WLJ is like being on a treadmill- I’m running and running but I’m not going anywhere.

I know this lack of progression falls solely on my shoulders. I have a good week and then I follow it up with a not so good week. Why is it so easy to gain and so freaking hard to lose?

Why can’t I have a good week and then follow it up with another good week? Why does that seem to be so hard lately?

I don’t have any answers to share with you. This is something I have to look into a little deeper and see what is going on.

What I do have is a goal. Well two goals actually.

The first is a little challenge between me and my friend Roni 😉 to see if we can both lose two weeks in a row. If you are also having the same problems I am please feel free to join us in our two week challenge. I set it as my goal so now I just need a plan that will help me achieve it. I’ll check back in with you next Tuesday to let you know how it went.

My other goal came from my Weight Watchers meeting. Today we talked about our goal for the summer and how we are going to achieve it. If you read this blog frequently then you’ll know that I already set a goal to reach my goal weight by Labor Day. So, when we were asked in the meeting what our goal was for the summer I already knew.

Our leader talked about how if we followed the six principles of Weight Watchers for the next 14 weeks we could lose between 7 and 28 pounds. My goal is smack in the middle of those numbers at 17.4 pounds by Labor Day. This is a totally reasonable amount, just a little more than a pound a week.

Our weekly handout had a summer calendar in it and we were told to mark on it any events that may disrupt our routine. She asked us to take some time today and fill it out but to also bring it with us to every meeting so we can discuss them with our group.

We also set goals for three different areas; weight, activity, and lifestyle.
These are mine:

My weight today: 167.4

What I hope to weigh by Labor Day: 150

Activities I’ll be doing: running, cycling, yoga

Something new I’ll try: crossfit (I can hear you laughing, Monica)

How often and how long I’ll plan to be active: 5-6 days a week, minimum 45 minutes a day

Something I’ve long wanted to do/learn/try: ziplining

How I’ll make it happen: call and make the dang reservation already, dummy! (Ok, I didn’t write dummy in my weekly handout but maybe I should have)

So that’s my plan for the summer. I know it won’t be easy; there will be numerous disruptions popping up here and there but if I just plan for them and around them I know I can be successful.

How about you? What is your summer time goal? Where do you want to be by Labor Day and do you have a plan on how to get there?

Thanks for reading!

June 5, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Weight Loss, Weight Watchers. 1 comment.

It’s Time to Vlog

I’m home sick from work. I woke up with a killer headache and choose to wait it out hiding under the sheets in the comfort of my bed. I’m still not feeling 100% but with lots of water and rest I am getting there.

While I’ve been relaxing I decided that I wanted to do another vlog. It has been months since the last one and it was so much fun I thought it would be great to do it again.

But I need your help.

What do you want to see? Do you have any questions you’d like me to answer? I’m open to almost anything; weight loss, veganism, marriage, etc. Or would you like to see another cooking vlog? I’m leaving this one up to you. Leave me a comment, shoot me an email (thirtythreeandcounting@gmail.com), Facebook message or tweet (@dacialee33) at me your responses. I’m hoping to vlog this weekend so please get your questions/requests in by Saturday 🙂

That’s all I’ve got for now. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

May 29, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Vlog. Leave a comment.

An All-Time Low

Today I hit an all-time low.

Not the ‘I just ate a chocolate éclair out of the trash can like George Costanza’ kind of low.

Nope I mean a new low on the scale.
Today I weighed in at 164.2, a new low weight for me and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s nice to be on the lower half of the 160’s because just like how I felt after months in the 170’s I am sick of being in the 160’s. I FINALLY feel like I am progressing out of this decade. Hopefully in the next month I will reach the 150’s and celebrate a new decade.

I am sure you figured out that my new routine has helped boost my weight loss this week and you are correct. This week has been pretty awesome and although I got off to a rough start on Monday I quickly fell into a rhythm and have been able to adapt nicely to the changes.

My workouts so far this week:

Sunday: short 12.5 mile ride through the city

Monday: CXWorx at the YMCA and a 4.27 mile walk with the doggies. We were supposed to stay for boot camp on Monday but Paul hurt his knee in the first class so we headed home and instead of calling it a night a went for a nice long walk.

Tuesday: Nia followed by a slow run along the river

Wednesday: 30 minute walk on my lunch break and then an evening spin class which was awesome. I cannot wait to go to another one!

Thursday: yoga and then 45 minutes on the treadmill doing 400m intervals (6.7+/4.0)

Workouts for the rest of the week:

Friday: I am hoping to get in a walk on my lunch break and also hoping to get out of work early to catch a 330p yoga class. If I do not get out of work early I will just head to the YMCA after work and do a custom routine there.

Saturday: 3 mile run in the morning on a paved trail through one of our parks and an 11am TRX class

I have another 5K on June 2nd and I am hoping I haven’t slacked off too much in the running department and am still able to run the whole thing. We’ll see.

I also hit new lows this morning for BMI and body fat percentage. This morning my BMI registered at 27.3 and my body fat was 29.7%. I first started measuring my BMI/body fat back on April 2, 2011. In fourteen months my body fat has gone from 41.8% down to 29.7% and my BMI has dropped from 45.2 to 27.3. Holy crapballs! I hadn’t realized how much it had gone down until I pulled up the numbers just now. Wow! That’s so crazy. Just seeing my BMI at 27.3, getting so close to normal at 25, makes me so happy about my progress and so hopeful for my future.

Working out is great and I love it but it is only part of the weight loss puzzle. This week I also focused on my eating. On Monday night I kind of went snack crazy at night (this seems to happen frequently on the nights before weigh in) and so I have spent the past few evenings planning healthy snacks and then cutting myself off after I have eaten what I planned. It’s ok to go to bed a little hungry. I need to remember that.

Goals

I haven’t really talked about weight loss goals recently so I thought I should share them with you now.

My first goal is to reach 150 pounds which will give me a normal BMI and is considered a healthy weight for my height. That’s less than 15 pounds away. Ridiculous!

My ultimate goal is to reach 143 pounds. That is my personal ideal weight. It is well within the healthy weight range for my height (120-150) and it gives me some buffer between normal weight and overweight. I’m less than 22 pounds from that goal. Again, ridiculous!

My target to reach goal is by the end of the summer. I want to be at 143 by Labor Day weekend. I want this to be the last summer I ever spend overweight.

Goals for this week:

-don’t drink too much

-eat only when I’m hungry

-portion my food, try not to over eat

-stick to workout plan

-have fun

I am looking forward to enjoying my three day weekend. It is the perfect balance of fun and focus.

How are you spending your weekend? Any goals or plans to help you stay on track over the holiday?

Happy Memorial Day! Thanks for reading!

May 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Fitness, Weight Loss. 3 comments.

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday: Running the River

Last night I took a nice slow run along the San Antonio river after my Nia class. It was amazing.

The path is slightly hilly and curvy which keeps things interesting. Even better is the landscaping; it’s phenomenal. So many fresh flowers and herbs I was enchanted by aromas as I ran. It was just what I needed.

I wish I could have taken more photos, maybe next time. These are from my starting/ending point. They hardly do the location justice. This is one of my favorite spots in San Antonio and I cannot wait to come back for another run real soon.

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Do you happen to know what kind of flowers these are? They are so beautiful. And huge. They are almost the size of my head!

Thanks for reading!

May 23, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Life. 3 comments.

The YMCA of My Dreams

I haven’t been to a YMCA in a very, very long time.

My best guess, 15 years.

So, yesterday when I walked into one of the local San Antonio branches I was beyond shocked. It was so nice. The branch I was at wasn’t huge but what they lack in size they make up for in high quality equipment and wide variety of classes.

They have Expresso stationary bikes which have these crazy interactive displays. It made me feel like I was playing a video game but really it was kicking my butt riding through the Alpine Pass.

They have Woodway slat treadmills which are designed to have less impact on your joints and are better for longer runs. Something I will keep in mind if I decide to ever go beyond a 5K.

They have a huge spin studio with the nicest spin bikes I’ve ever seen.

They have two additional group exercise classrooms with classes offered all day and evening long. The classes range from yoga and pilates to boot camp and TRX with about a half dozen Les Mills classes thrown into the mix. Tonight I am going to try out Les Mills’ CXWORX and then boot camp. I’m ready to get my butt kicked J

They have a rock wall.

They have two rope climbing machines. Tried those- awesome!

They have an Ab Coaster. Tried it- also awesome!

They have a computer that creates customized workouts for you. Log on and tell it what you are looking to do and poof! Out comes your workout on a sheet you can use to track performance. There is also a free app you can download.

They offer half marathon and marathon training programs for people looking to run the Rock n’ Roll Marathon in November.

But the coolest thing they had was definitely the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill. It’s basically a treadmill with a giant plastic bubble you climb into and from the waist down your body is in zero gravity conditions. This machine is designed so you can run with no impact on your joints. It’s great for someone rehabbing an injury or just coming off surgery trying to build strength without doing physical harm. We were also told the high school and college track runners use it to help increase their speed. I thought it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Designed by NASA, of course.

This machine does require you to pay an additional fee to use it. For one 25-minute session it will cost you $15. Of course if you buy multiple-use packages the fee per use is less.

I am thinking I may try it out one day. I’m curious what it would feel like to have half of my body in zero gravity conditions. It would be super cool if it was like walking (running) on the moon but I am doubtful that is what it feels like.

Although we still have 13 days left on our free two week trial I am pretty sure we will be joining up as soon as it is over. This place is so cool. It was so much nicer than I imagined it would be. Heck, it’s nicer than most of the nice, ‘upscale’ gyms I have been in. Our updated/improved fitness center on post is just sad in comparison. This YMCA is so nice and they offer so many classes that I can totally justify the cost. It’s hard to turn my back on a free gym with $3 classes but what we have on post just isn’t cutting it anymore.

I think my health and wellness are totally worth the cost of a monthly Y membership. Wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks for reading!

May 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Weight Loss. 1 comment.

Well, hello there…

I have been in a funk for months now. Although life has been great and I have had some wonderful adventures and created many fabulous memories when it comes to my weight loss journey I have been in a rut.

And until a few days ago I didn’t know why.

Or maybe I did but just didn’t want to admit it.

But the cat is out of the bag now. I have realized where I went wrong and the changes I need to make to get back on track and I am more than ready to make them.

Here’s the short version of what I’m talking about; well maybe not short but it’s the shortest version I can give you.

I went into 2012 seeking balance in my life. I had spent the previous 10 months dedicating 100% of my time to my weight loss journey. I spent my evenings at fitness classes, weekend activities were planned around workouts, I was constantly tweaking my diet to find out what worked best for my body and I experienced great results because of it. By Christmas I had lost 100 pounds in just 10 months and I was beyond the moon excited.

Although I couldn’t have been happier about my weight loss I was definitely feeling the toll those months had put on me. I had no social life. I barely saw my husband. I was borderline obsessive with my weight. I needed a break. I needed balance.

And so, 2012 started with my search for balance. I decided to ease up a bit and focus more of my attention on the aspects of my life I had neglected, namely my husband, as well as set some different goals/aspirations for myself. I was ready to start running. Something Paul does and enjoys doing and something I had always hoped to do with him. My focus was now on the only goal I had set for myself – run an entire 5K. I steadily progressed through the 8 week Couch to 5K program and at the end was able to run my first 5K, which I did in 34 minutes and 4 seconds! Paul and I also bought road bikes and took up cycling. I was enjoying my new hobbies.

I was also enjoying all of the fun activities Paul and I were partaking in; hockey games, beer tastings, parties, and lots of relaxing at home watching TV.

I was definitely bringing my focus back towards the areas of my life I had been neglecting but somewhere along the way I went from one end of the spectrum to the other. I hadn’t found balance, I found social Dacia. And I welcomed her back with open arms.

My life had gone from a constant focus on my weight loss to a constant focus on fun. I found myself becoming less active, some days even skipping workouts, but I was completely oblivious to this change in mindset since I was pretty much maintaining my weight. I had some fun new hobbies that were keeping me (somewhat) active, I was still following a vegan diet, and I still felt I was putting my health first but was I really?

I think what had happened was this- I was doing was enough to get by and that kept me feeling like I was still committed to my journey. However, it kept me from really making much progress this year and that has really started to wear on me. Bouncing between the same few pounds week in and week out, who needs it? Definitely not me.

Then the other night I was talking with Paul and he made a comment in regards to my fitness. He said;

“You write in your blog and tell others about how they need to find what makes them happy and yet you stopped doing everything you love. You stopped boxing, you stopped Nia, and you took up running which you don’t even enjoy.”

Yep. His comment was spot on.

Yes, I had my reasons for stopping my group exercise classes and at the time I thought swapping them for running and other standard gym activities would be no big deal.

And maybe it would have been no big deal if I had the same passion for running, the stationary bike and swimming that I had for the group exercise classes. But I don’t.

To say I enjoy running would be a half truth. I enjoyed setting a goal and achieving it but the training, the boring days on the treadmill, the solitude- eh, blah. That’s kind of how I feel. I plan on continuing to run but for fun. For me. When I feel like it. Out on the trails. Not on a treadmill. Not following a set training schedule. I’m just not that person. No matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise. Maybe one day. But not now.

So after a few conversations with Paul about what I want to start doing again (Nia, yoga, Journey Dance, spin class) and what new things I want to try (crossfit, body pump, boot camp, TRX) we have come up with a plan on how I will get back into my happy place in regards to my workouts and still continue to have a life as well. A plan to find balance.

This Sunday I will be returning to the Synergy Studio and I will start back with some Nia, yoga, and Journey Dance classes. I won’t be going every day because there are other things I want to do but going 1-2 times a week will help bring focus on the self-love/self-worth aspect of this journey. Those classes, in that studio, bring me calmness and inner peace and help me grow and heal both my physical and mental state.

Paul and I will also be taking advantage of a two week trial pass we have for the YMCA. The closest Y to where we live (which is literally down the street from Synergy) offers a crap ton of evening classes that would work into both of our schedules. They have multiple spin classes daily. They offer yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi as well as the more challenging classes I crave like boot camp, boxing and TRX. Plus they even have a rock climbing wall. How cool?
I think we are both optimistic that we will like the classes and trainers there and will be joining the YMCA after our trial period is up.

I am also excited because they offer early classes so I can hit up a class after work, shower, and still have time to hit up our favorite watering hole for a beer every now and again.

We can still enjoy our long bike rides together and then spend time with friends.

I can dance a Nia routine with some of the most amazing women I have ever met and then curl up with a book afterwards.

To me, that is balance.

And that’s what I need right now.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how the next few weeks play out. I am glad to be back. I’ve missed you guys. But I needed this break. I hope you understand. Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better and I think the worst is over now. I’m ready to recommit myself to this journey, and to this blog, and start being accountable again. Are you with me?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

P.S. for those of you that have been reading this blog for awhile may remember that I had set a reward for myself that when I hit the halfway mark to my weight loss goal I would go ziplining. Well the timing didn’t really work out and that reward kept getting pushed to the backburner. Well, you’ll be happy to know that I finally bought a ziplining package (through Groupon, yay!) and I hope to use it in the next few weeks. Post and pics to come 🙂

May 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Fitness, Life, Weight Loss. 2 comments.

Monica’s Birthday Challenge- We Have a Winner!!!

Before I announce the winner I would like to take a minute and say a few things.

To everyone who participated in the challenge; thank you! This has been so much fun for me; creating new challenges weekly and pushing myself. You have been great support during a time when I needed you the most.

I am even more thankful because this challenge reminded me of the importance of having a good support team and camaraderie through this journey. Although I am the only one accountable for my progress I know that I am not in this alone and that is the best feeling. You guys are all so amazing, I hope you recognize that and feel proud of everything you have accomplished and excited for everything you will.

Also, I need to mention that there is another weight loss challenge, similar to this one, that is about to start in just a few weeks on May 12. It is going to be hosted by follow MBC participant Sarah (@SarahLou1976, http://uktocalifornia.blogspot.com) and it sounds awesome. Read about the details here. I am going to do it. I am hoping this helps keep me pushing myself through the summer, working my way toward goal. Are you up for it? I hope so! Because I am totally going to kick your butt. Just kidding. Well, kind of 😉

By now you are probably ready for me to get to the good part- announcing the winner so I will get right to it.

Drumroll please….da da da da da da da da…

Congratulations Alexis! Miss @divaonadiet, you are the official winner of Monica’s Birthday Challenge with an astounding 9.18% loss! Great job! That is beyond amazing! Please email me so we can discuss the details of your winnings! 🙂

Again, thank you to everyone who participated. You all made this such a fun competition. Love you guys!

Thanks for reading!

 

April 22, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Monica's Birthday Challenge, Weight Loss. 4 comments.

Monica’s Birthday Challenge: Week 7 Results and Week 8 Challenge

Another week has come to an end for Monica’s Birthday Challenge. We now have just one week remaining in the challenge. Crazy!

Are you happy with your progress so far? If not, know that you have the power to make this week different. You can change your path starting now so do it. No excuses!

The results are in and our current leader is still Alexis A. (@divaonadiet) with a total loss of 8.29% so far. I am not even kidding, that is really her number. Woo hoo! Congrats Alexis! That’s pretty amazing! Would you care to share your secrets? 😉

I am so proud of Alexis and the progress she has made but if there is one thing I have learned by watching her weight drop every week is that this challenge, this competition, is personal and unique for each of us. I cannot compare myself to Alexis and wonder what I am doing wrong, why I am not getting the same results as her. All I can do is to be honest with myself, make the best choices I can and try my hardest and whatever the results are is how my body reacts to those choices. I cannot change that. We can only do our best and have to be satisfied with the outcome regardless of whether that number is 8%, 4% or .50%- if we gave it our best we have to be happy with the results. Each day we chose to put our health and wellness first is a victory. I am so proud of all of you for making the choice to do so!

Are you ready for week 8 and our last challenges?

Challenge 1: Minutes…Make them count!

Can you dedicate this week to exercise? I hope so. I hope each of you can carve out some time every day for yourself. It’s important. We need it.

This challenge has two levels; you pick which one you would like to attempt.

Level 1: 200 minutes of fitness. That is roughly 30 minutes a day. For those of us that are super busy, work, kids, travel, etc, 30 minutes a day is still doable. Take a walk on your lunch break. Pop in a DVD after the kids are asleep. Anybody can take 200 minutes out 10,080 minutes in a week for themself, right?

Level 2: 300 minutes of fitness. This is roughly 45 minutes a day. This is a little more intense of a challenge geared to those who have a more flexible schedule and like to spend a bit longer at the gym/working out. Still totally doable for a busy person. It’s only 300 minutes out of 10,080- that’s not even 3% of your week. Yeah, you can do this!

Challenge 2: H20 Baby!

It is only right that if I tell you to bust your butt this week on the fitness side that I also challenge you to make sure you are drinking enough water. This because even more important when you are working out because you need to replenish what you sweat out. Also, this is just something I do and I am not 100% sure if I am correct in doing so but I do not count the water I drink at the gym/immediately after as part of my intake since it is replenishing what was already in my body. For me I do a minimum of 2 liters a day in addition to what I drink working out.  A good rule of thumb for water intake is drinking half of your weight in ounces of water or 64 oz, whichever is higher. Can you drink that every day? I think we should try to reach our recommended water intake every day this week.

Challenge 3: No Crap!

There are certain things that I think are just crap for our body. Meaning they either do more harm than good or no good at all. The reality is, if we eat calorie dense food with no nutrients (think fast food) that our body won’t feel satisfied. It is why we can eat an insane amount of calories at a meal and still feel hungry a few hours later. It is why obesity is out of control in this country. We are over fed and nutrient deprived. It’s SAD- the Standard American Diet.

Choosing to eat foods that are full of nutrients satisfy our bodies, leave us feeling full and decrease our chances of overeating while also giving us the nutrients we NEED to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Foods with vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids in addition to fat, carbs, protein and fiber. All of these things are imperative for our health.

Without me going into foods I think are crap that may be more difficult for people to eliminate from their diet I will just pick some of the key players and let you decide which one you would like to eliminate this week.

Soda– I haven’t drank soda in I don’t know how long. Maybe 10 months. I used to be a junky (I only drank diet soda all day long, like easily a 2L a day) but now soda disgusts me. Filled with high fructose corn syrup (or other nasty chemicals if you drink diet) and caffeine and whole slew of bizarre shit we probably shouldn’t be putting in our body. It provides us with zero nutrients, it dehydrates us, and it adds in bad chemicals that we work so hard to flush from our system by drinking water. It does nothing good for our body at all.  And if you care to know, I feel the same way about pretty much any flavored beverages like Crystal Light or any artificial sweetened drinks. I drink herbal tea and water only but I wasn’t always that way. I am just saying it is possible to break the addiction, if you want to.

Chips/French Fries– the result of following the Standard American Diet shows that half of our fruit and vegetable intake (which is only 12% of what we are eating, very sad)comes from one vegetable in particular. POTATOES. My guess is that the 6% potato intake comes from crappy fries and chips not healthy baked potatoes. Potatoes are not the enemy. Well not until you strip away all the nutrients they provide (like fiber from the skin) and then deep fry them adding in fat, usually the bad kind. Or maybe just as bad, take a healthy baked potato and load it up with bacon, cheese, butter, sour cream. Yes you get some protein from bacon but really you just added in fat, fat, fat, and fat. Yes, we do need fat to survive. Fat intake is important but in the land of good fats and bad I lump butter, cheese and milk in the bad fat category but I understand if you don’t feel the same. Everything in moderation, right? I eat baked potatoes and sweet potatoes pretty regularly and when I add in my fat it comes from avocado or beans (both of which provide more than just fat) and am completely satisfied after I eat and never feel deprived. So, this week I challenge you to give up potato chips and french fries and try swapping them out for healthy baked potatoes with yummy and nutritious toppings.

Candy/Cake/Cookies-sugar, especially white seems to be the number one enemy of the Standard American Diet. There is sugar in everything. EVERYTHING. That’s how I felt when we did the sugar challenge a few weeks ago and realized it was added into almost every packaged food I bought. Crazy. Another junk food item I feel we could all do better without is sweets. Again, when you look at what it is you are eating and how much sugar is in it maybe a week without sweets is a good thing. Not all sweets are bad, I know dark chocolate has antioxidants which are important but it doesn’t mean to eat a whole cake just because it has dark chocolate frosting. I think a piece of dark chocolate now and again isn’t a bad thing. It’s the bags of candy, cookies and cakes that we eat too many of too frequently is a bad thing. Too much sugar is no bueno so take a week and try to live without it. If you want sweets eat a piece of fruit. I particularly like to keep frozen white grapes on hand in the summer for a cool, sweet treat.

So there are three food items I consider crap. Pick one and eliminate it from your diet this week. There are healthy swaps for all three so you don’t need to feel deprived. Deprivation is never a good thing but finding healthy items to replace the junk is.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

April 15, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Monica's Birthday Challenge, Weight Loss. 2 comments.

MB Challeneg: Week Six Results and Week Seven Challenge

Another week has come to an end for Monica’s Birthday Challenge. We are now 3/4 of the way through the challenge. Crazy how fast those six weeks flew by!

Are you happy with your progress so far? If not, know that you have the power to make this week different. You can change your path starting now so do it. No excuses!

The results are in and our current leader is still Alexis A. (@divaonadiet) with a total loss of 6.51% so far. Woo hoo! Congrats Alexis! That’s pretty amazing! Would you care to share your secrets? 😉

I am so proud of Alexis and the progress she has made but if there is one thing I have learned by watching her weight drop every week is that this challenge, this competition, is personal and unique for each of us. I cannot compare myself to Alexis and wonder what I am doing wrong, why I am not getting the same results as her. All I can do is to be honest with myself, make the best choices I can and try my hardest and whatever the results are is how my body reacts to those choices. I cannot change that. We can only do our best and have to be satisfied with the outcome regardless of whether that number is 6.51% or 0.51%- if we gave it our best we have to be happy with the results. Each day we chose to put our health and wellness first is a victory. I am so proud of all of you for making the choice to do so!

Are you ready for week 7 and the new challenges?

Challenge 1: Miles or Reps- You Choose

Last week we racked up the miles and although I loved this challenge I know there is a large number of people doing this challenge who focus on weight/strength training. Since I don’t want to exclude them this week I am going to change the challenge to miles or reps.

Walk/Run: 16 miles

Bike: 60 miles

Reps: 500 My logic behind the 500 was this; I know I usually do 30 reps of an exercise or on a machine. I figured 5 machines/exercises would be 150 reps. Three times a week equals 450 reps. Rounded up to make a nice even 500. Seems realistic, right?

Challenge 2: 100% Perfection

This week I want you to pick one thing you are struggling with and do it every day, no skippsies! So if you are struggling with your water intake try for 100 oz a day for all seven days. If you hate tracking but know it works (cough, cough wink, wink) then track for all seven days. Even Easter/Passover. No free passes this week.

Challenge 3: NO CANDY

I really wanted to say this challenge will include today and that you can’t have any candy whatsoever but then you might think of me more like a dictator, not a friend. So for this challenge I say go ahead and have a couple pieces (2-3) today. Don’t go crazy. WW peeps those fun size bars are like 2 PP and if you have just 5 of them that’s ten points. That’s the equivalent of a meals worth of points. And guess what? You’ll still be hungry because they provide no nutrients to your body. So have a piece or two, paired with some fruit for a filling snack and then step away from the candy. You’ll be very happy you did.

Then tomorrow when you are in a house/office filled with leftover candies be strong. Fight the temptation. Arm yourself with good, filling, healthy alternatives and walk away. We are all strong enough to beat the candy monster.

Ok, so that’s about it for this week. Are you ready for the challenges?  I hope so.

Happy Holidays!

Good luck and thanks for reading!

April 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Monica's Birthday Challenge, Weight Loss. 4 comments.

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