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.

My Nia White Belt Intensive; Part One

I wanted to share with you this video taken after the graduation ceremony from my Nia White Belt Intensive. It is the perfect illustration of what Nia means to me; happiness, community, acceptance, love, laughter, peacefulness, and friendship. The song is from a Nia routine and at some points you will see us dancing to some of the moves, jazz square – cha, cha, cha and jumping jacks, but most of it is us free dancing, having fun and celebrating this accomplishment. Not only was it a celebration for the graduates but for the trainers as well. It was an amazing day and I hope that plays through in the video.

P.S. Sorry for the fact that most of the video all you see of me is my backside 😉

Here are a couple photos I took on graduation day.


Adelle Brewer and Joanie Brooks both Nia Black Belts and my trainers for the White Belt. Although I have only known them for six months they have played such a vital role in my journey. They inspire me every day and I am so lucky to have them in my life!


I just had to sneak in a picture of me in my white belt. How cool???

Thanks for reading!

December 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Nia, San Antonio, Uncategorized. 6 comments.

My Life These Days…and a Winner is Announced

First and foremost I need to address the business of the giveaway and announce the winner. At about 530am I went to my blog and using excel notated the names of everyone who entered. There were 17 entries in total so I used random.org to generate a random number for me using 1-17 as my range and the lucky number was….drum roll…..da da da da da da….eleven! Number eleven is my friend Racheal and I contacted her this morning to let her know the good news. She had chose prize number 3 which was the Michael Pollan books. I am hoping she will let me know her thoughts of the books and whether or not they changed her eating/purchasing habits at all. Maybe I can even get her to guest post about the books, who knows. It’s totally up to her but Racheal, if you are reading, let me know if you would be interested in doing something for the blog.



Thank you all who entered and thank you to those who tweeted the link! You guys are awesome and if I could afford everyone who entered would have won! I am looking forward to the next giveaway, whatever it might be, and am open to any suggestions 🙂

In other news, life has been pretty hectic- especially this past weekend. The first half of my Nia White Belt Intensive is behind me and I can’t wait to write a post dedicated to the whole experience that includes a schedule and details as to what it entailed. For now I am just going to give you a few thoughts running through my head. I love Nia, which you already know, but do you know why I love Nia? Nia is a great workout; it is a cardiovascular activity yet it’s not too intense. The dancing, the music, and the community make it such an amazing way to spend an hour of my life. But I love other activities too like yoga and tai chi but I don’t have the same emotional connection to them as I have with Nia. This weekend I realized why that is, why I love Nia so much.

I was talking with DG, another Synergy member and Nia participant yesterday about her weight loss- she looks fabulous by the way. I had asked her about her story and she told me that she was at her heaviest about ten years ago, while still in high school. Then she started running and going to the gym and she lost a lot of weight which she subsequently gained most of it back. Then about two years ago she found Nia and it has brought her to where she is today- about 80 pounds lighter and in great shape. I asked her if she changed other areas of her life or was it just Nia and she told me how she needed something that was spiritual as well as physical and that Nia gave that to her. It made her whole as a person.

I knew exactly what she meant. Nia is good for your body, mind and soul. It has changed my life because it is the first time that I actually love myself. Nia has taught me acceptance and self love and that is why I am where I am today. I have dieted/exercised before and lost weight and it never stuck because I never fixed the cause instead I just tried to fix the effect. Once I found Nia and the self-hate, self-doubt, embarrassment, disgust, all of the negative feelings I had about myself, started to go away I started making better decisions for myself, putting my health first, and really wanting to change and become a better person. I truly understood what I wanted out of my life and set out to try to make it happen. Do you know why? Because I freaking deserve it. I am good enough. I know now that as long as I keep my mind, and my body, and my spirit whole then I will be successful at anything I set my mind towards.

Another great thing about Nia is as I learn more about the principles and ideas it was built on, the mystery of why it has been so life changing is uncovered. As we are taught to ‘dance through life’, view ‘life as art’, and live in ‘the joy of movement’ (in universal joy which is a sensation, opposed to joyfulness/enjoyment which is an emotion) it becomes more and more clear why this practice has transformed my life. I couldn’t be more thankful for where I am today and having the fortune to be learning more about something I hold so dearly. I hope one day to dance with you, my readers, my friends and have you experience this with me.

One last thing before I go I wanted to share this with you.

The Club KO

Pretty cool, huh? One of the owner/trainers asked me if I would write up a testimonial for the gym’s website. The version on the site has been edited since I tend to go a little overboard when I write (I know that’s a shock to you, right?) and if you want to see the full piece, I think it’s three paragraphs, let me know and I will post it. I was just so thrilled that they had asked me to be on their website even though I am still 1/3 of the way from my goal but they said they want to inspire others, people that were/are in my shoes, to not be scared to try boxing. Isn’t that great?

Thanks for reading!

December 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Giveaway, Life, San Antonio, Weight Loss. 5 comments.

Five Things Friday


Well, last night’s Shrinkvivor results were not quite what I was hoping for. Of course you know I was hoping that Tribe Hodari Gray would have had immunity again but unfortunately that did not happen. Sadly we lost one of our tribe mates but thankfully it wasn’t me. Unfortunately the person who was eliminated from our tribe was not sent to exile but instead has been eliminated from the game completely since she failed to check in; failure to check in automatically disqualifies you from the game. Not sure how we faired exercise minutes wise but having a tribe mate not record any (since she didn’t check in) probably significantly hurt our tribe’s odds at winning immunity. Oh well, there is always next week.

The Health Snob

I saw this post yesterday (go read it, it’s only a few sentences) and initially it made me laugh. Then it made me a little bit nervous. Am I a health snob? I truly hope not. I know I do talk a lot about my changing diet and what new foods I am (or am not) eating and things I have tried but I hope that none of you feel that I am trying to force upon you my lifestyle especially when it comes to food. I understand that all of us, regardless of whether or not we are trying to lose weight, eat differently. That’s why I try to speak in generalities when I give advice or talk about things that work for me. Just because giving up dairy has helped my digestion does not mean that it will do the same for you. I don’t care what you eat nor will I ever judge you because of it and hopefully you feel that way about me as well 🙂 If I am ever acting like a health snob please call me out on it. I won’t hold it against you. Oh, and that banana really is the worst possible fruit you can eat 😉 JK

Video Blog

I only received one comment in regards to whether or not my next vlog should be a cooking one or a Q&A one and since the comment said Q&A that is what I am going to go with. So, please submit any questions you might have for me, no topic is off-limits, and send them in via comments, tweets, email, etc. and if I get some in quickly enough I might be able to film it this weekend. Also, if there is anything you want to see in the vlog, not sure what you would want to see, let me know and I will try to include that too.


I love Halloween. I love costumes and dressing up and of course all of the CANDY! Paul, however, is not a big fan of the holiday, or at least not a fan of dressing up. There have been a few times he dressed up for costume parties but now, forget it. He just isn’t interested. However, this year we will be dressing up on October 28th because we volunteered to help run the haunted house they are having on post for the military families. Don’t ask me any details; that’s all I know. I don’t care though- I get to dress up! Yay! Now the stressful part begins- what to wear. Being that I am still plus size finding a costume that fits is going to be difficult. I may end up getting a men’s costume and I am ok with that. If I was creative I probably could come up with something on my own but I am not so I am off to the costume store tomorrow in hopes I can find something that fits and is appropriate to wear around kids. If you have any costume ideas or suggestions please let me know. It would be great if I could shop tomorrow with an idea of what to look for.

My Sunday Morning

Most Sunday’s mornings I can be found at The Synergy Studio for a Journey Dance class. JD is basically guided free dance and as we dance through our own personal journey we are given ideas or pearls of wisdom to help us along the way. For example, as we are dancing our heart song, focusing on our heart and the emotions we feel, Adelle or Angie will say to us’ “what would your life be like if you followed your heart?” That question always gets me thinking. Another thing we do in class is go through a healing dance bringing out our inner Shaman. Sometimes the movements are different but the ritual is always the same; letting go of what we don’t need, bringing into our heart what we do. Every Sunday I let go of the self-hate, doubt, anger, pity and any other negative emotion I am feeling at the time and then allow into my heart self-love, joy, happiness, respect, and strength to help heal myself and become a better person. This dance is a great way to cleanse your spirit. This Sunday there is no Journey Dance class which breaks my heart. I have grown accustomed to spending 75 minutes every week in a self-reflective dance. Although I will not be at the studio dancing I will still go through the routine on my own and I ask you to join me by taking a few minutes this Sunday morning and bring out your inner Shaman. In whatever manner you feel is fitting, cleanse yourself of negative emotions and in their place allow your body to fill with positive emotions. You can dance, you can create a wiping motion over your body pushing away the negativity, or you can meditate on these thoughts- whatever works for you. Just take a few minutes to yourself and think about what negativity you need to rid yourself of and what positivity you need in your life. I hope you can join me- it is a great way to start the week.

Have a great weekend! Thanks for reading!

October 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Life. 3 comments.

Five Things Friday


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.


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.





Happy Friday! Thanks for reading!

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