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It’s August 7th and I am trying to get #backontrack with my diet/exercise/weight loss program. I didn’t do very well in July and while I worked out really hard that first week and lost some pounds through that and my detox, I ended up getting overwhelmed and stressed out with the end of summer classes and slipped off the bandwagon. But I decided that in August I MUST stick to a program and get past this 1 week hump. I feel like if I could just make it to two or three weeks of working out regularly, I would be successful at getting back on track and eventually lose some weight.

I was watching Extreme Weight Loss last night and talking to my finacé about how the girl was feeling. Even towards the end, when she was close to her goal, but did not qualify for skin-removal surgery, she mentioned that while she has lost a lot of weight, it didn’t matter what anyone else thought, she didn’t feel like SHE wouldn’t be happy with the results. I could completely relate to how she felt in that after losing 50ish pounds and I’m a LOT slimmer than I used to be, while I’m on this weight loss journey, people keep telling me I’m going to be a gorgeous bride, even if I don’t lose a pound, but if I don’t lose a pound, I won’t be happy and my biggest fear is waking up on my wedding day disgusted with how I look… because knowing me, if I don’t feel good that day, I might not want to walk down the aisle…and that would be a HORRIBLE feeling. So, I don’t want to go through that.

Since the start of the month, the one thing I’ve been focused on has been my calorie intake. I did okay the first and second, but the third and fourth we’re kind of a bust since I was at my parents’ house. While I didn’t eat the greatest those two days, I did run on the third, fiancé and I did a 5K Run or Dye race with a couple of friends, and then we painted for about 3 hours after the run, and then painted for another 2ish hours on the fourth. Then on the 5th, I REALLY got my calories under control and have been aiming to eat within my calorie goal. I have done very well since Monday. Today I weighed in, just to get an idea of where I was at, and I’m down 2 pounds, so to make that a permanent weight loss, I need to continue watching my calorie intake and start exercising regularly.

My goal is to start and finish TapOut XT. I would REALLY love to complete one of these challenging 90 Day programs like TapOut or Insanity or something. I feel like it’s such a short sacrifice and I could take my body into AMAZING physical shape. I might even look better than I did last year! I feel like I need to just stick with it. And by the time I am done with this 90 Day program, it’ll be time to go wedding dress shopping. And then I can learn to maintain it afterwards, maybe even purchase TapOut XT 2? Who knows!

I did the first video today, and I was actually pretty impressed that I got through it. I attempted almost every move, maybe not with the proper form, but I tried to modify and get through it and I did. I even pushed myself to get through the Killer Move at the end of the video, even though the video was over, I wasn’t until I finished it, and I’m proud of myself for pushing it out. There are TONS of push ups and upper body moves, and my prediction is that if I get through the 90 Days…my arms will be in AMAZING shape & I might actually get rid of my 2nd wave for the first time in my life!

While I love running and miss the running shape I was in, I’m putting my running on hold. My plan is to run 3 days a week and follow a 10K training program that I found on Pinterest, but I won’t be starting that until Nursing School starts August 19th. My plan is to do a TapOut workout before class and then hit the gym for my run after class or run outside if it’s not too cold. I just want to get into the habit of working out regularly again and then once I get back in gear, I’ll incorporate a second workout into my day, three times a week. I have to make the small changes first.

So in three days of calorie restriction (from what I have been doing) and working out one of these days, I’m actually starting to feel better and even a little slimmer–my stomach doesn’t feel so distended today. I have to take it day by day. AS my sorority sister/best friend/bridesmaid told me this morning “Keep my eye on the prize!”.

I’m going to get there…just gotta get off my behind and do it! Until next time….


I started #OperationWeddingDress, but I slightly fell off the bandwagon after working practically five days in a row. I was fairly tired and did not workout on my two days off, but I did, however, run the Peachtree Road Race on the Fourth of July, which was basically my only workout for the week. I took Friday-Sunday off to recover from my crazy days prior. I slept a lot those three days! But I refused to give up, so after a lot of research last week and talking to friends, I decided that the best idea to try to kickstart my weight-loss program was to go on a fresh-pressed juice cleanse or detox. My sorority sister ranted on how she was having great results with her program, and so I wanted to give it a try, but since I don’t have a blender/juicer nor did I want to spend the money getting one (especially because I know I wouldn’t make the time to make my own juices), I decided to shop around for already made juices. The cheapest I found was Arden’s Garden, a local company. My fiancé’s friend went on an Arden’s Garden detox and cleanse and had great results from it as well, so I decided to give it a try.

Arden's Garden 2 Day Detox

Arden’s Garden 2 Day Detox

On Sunday, my fiancé and I headed to the store and picked up my two detox gallons, plus 7 juices for the days to follow the detox. The detox was $30 for the 2 gallons, and I got 7 juices for <$20. My fiancé kept giving me a look of concern, but at this point, I was determined to try anything to aid in my weight-loss. I figured even if it didn’t work, the $30 dollars wasn’t a HUGE, HUGE loss. I started the detox on Monday. I stuck with it hard-core, until about 5pm when the hunger headache hit full-swing. After my class, the lady in the store’s voice went through my head, “If you really can’t stand the hunger pangs, eat raw fruit and vegetables”. I decided to go grab some fresh fruit and veggies, ordering a spring mix salad with tomato and cucumber from Panera Bread. I ended up giving into the bread, but only eating 1/4 a piece of the bread (about a half-inch piece) (it was warm, freshly baked, and smelled SO heavenly), my salad, and a peach for dinner…And shortly thereafter, passed out for the rest of the evening.

On Tuesday, I was determined to be a little better. I had to work, so I packed three large bottles of juice, drank 16oz before leaving the house, and headed to work. I became “hangry” (hunger + angry) by noon and became frustrated with life, my job, school, everything. I felt out of sorts, depressed, grumpy, moody, to name a few of the emotions that were running through me. I had another salad, the same as Monday, for lunch, along with a peach. Since I was at work and more active than Monday, I decided to eat at least a lunch and snacked on baby carrots that day just to get me through the shift. After work, I came home, finished my jug of juice and waited up until 1201… where I grubbed down on a bowl of oatmeal! I was SO hungry! But I had survived the two days!

On Wednesday morning, I stepped on the scale and was down almost 5lbs. I went from 220 to 215.4. I was very proud of myself and suddenly felt a burst of motivation and confidence! Now that I saw the scale moving in a positive direction, I didn’t want to undo everything I just did. Yesterday, I went for a 45 minute run/walk and made sure to eat as cleanly as I could, then later that evening, joined my fiancé for a 37 minute TapOut XT core workout. I felt like I was on top of the world yesterday and was in a MUCH better mood than I had been the day before, but then again, I was eating! I did really well overall with my diet and even skipped the carbs after noon. For dinner, I had an arugula salad with a lettuce “bun” black bean burger. Which was SOOO delicious! My downfall was the dang free dessert the restaurant offered us because the kitchen accidentally put onions on my burger, which I didn’t find a big deal, but the waitress did, but the fiancé and I took it to-go, and we only took a few nibbles out of it–not NEARLY enough to undo our workouts from the day.

With the changes I’ve made in the past 3 days and seeing the scale move, I’m feeling confident I can do this! I restarted my RunKeeper Running4FatLoss program and now that the fiancé has downloaded TapOut XT, I am going to try to incorporate that into my workout regimen. I’m also going to try the TapOut 10 Day Slim Down recipes. The meals actually look REALLY good and are different recipes that I would like to try. My diet plan is to do the glycemic index diet as best I can. I am going to drink the Arden’s Garden juices with my snacks and cut carb intake after lunch, like I did yesterday. I am down another 1.6lbs today, and hopefully can keep the weight loss going. I plan on doing the detox again in another 6 weeks-2 months, because I feel like it’s a really good reset for the body. So we shall see how this goes, but I am getting closer to the weight I was when we moved into our apartment in November! I’m excited about the journey and hope that together, the fiancé and I can be successful and look FANTASTIC for our wedding day! 288 Days left to go! (So we have a MORE than enough time!)

CONGRATULATIONS! I got engaged on Saturday, June 15! I am very happy to be at this point in my life! I am so excited that I get to marry my best friend and love of my life and I am so confident that we will stick together through thick and thin! I love him and couldn’t ask for a better partner in life!

BUUUUTTTT….. with getting engaged comes wedding day preparation. I have started the planning process and am slowly getting some things organized. I am currently in school, so I haven’t been able to devote a LOT of time towards it, but I at least have ideas down and really just need to reserve my DJ, photographer, and caterer. I start nursing school in August, so if I could have those three confirmed or reserved at least by the time I start nursing school, then the hard part is over. I DO need to cut my invite list, but I plan on working on that towards the end of July when my summer classes end.

But the caterer, DJ, and photographer, or even the guest list is NOT where most of my focus is. My focus is on the wedding dress! As I’m sure it is for EVERY bride! I have let myself go and have gained about 15lbs since moving into my apartment. I have allowed my tiredness and busy work and school schedules to take me off track and have been eating what I want, not watching my calories, and not working out as much as I used to. The day my boyfriend, now fiancé, proposed, I put on one of my “successful weight-loss” dresses that I bought last year, and the dress would not zip up and I managed to rip it trying to get it to zip. Then on Monday, I put on my “fat” jeans and they were too tight…So I’m REALLY “pissed off” at myself and I’m SO determined to get my weight down again. Since I am not currently comfortable with my weight, I am putting my weight dress shopping on hold for now. My biggest fears are that if I went shopping now, the store won’t have my size, or if they do it’s ugly dresses or not the style I’m looking for, or I wont be able to zip up any of these dress. So, I’m prolonging this process to give myself some time to lose some weight and tone up before I have to do this and try to prevent a traumatic incident from happening. To give myself enough time for any alterations that might be needed, I have to get a wedding dress by October/November, which gives me 4 months to get my behind in order and in shape.

I started on Sunday with my new program, as you can see by the title, I have named #OperationWeddingDress or #OWD for short. I am four days in, and so far have ran Sunday and Tuesday, and strength trained on Monday. My main goals for this program are to (1) get organized and develop a routine, (2) stop allowing school and work to get in my way, (3) manage my weight by a solid exercise and healthy diet program. I know if I can stick to these three goals, my wedding dress shopping will be successful.

My focus is not only on resetting my diet and getting back to eating like I used to,  and eating healthier, but also getting back into working out 5-6 days a week like I used to: I want to begin and stick to a strength training program and get back to running. Because of my lack of focus, my running endurance has suffered and I am no longer able to run 6 miles like I used too. Currently, I am struggling to get through 3 miles, but my ultimate goal is to get back to running 6 miles in one run, and averaging about 10-13 miles a week. I have started a running program with RunKeeper, Running4FatLoss. I’m running about 4 times a week. It’s been tough, starting off, but I know with time, the runs will get easier as long as I stick to it. I have started and stopped this program multiple times, but I’m determined this time after seeing how my clothes are “shrinking”.

On top of getting back to running, I have started a strength training program. I have split my strength days to three days a week-Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Mondays are upper body, Wednesdays are lower body, and Fridays are a kettle bell workout. I will probably stick with the same routines for 4-6 weeks, and then switch them up. I’m not quite sure yet if I should do it for just a month, or go a little longer, because I know it takes 6 weeks to form a habit, but we will see how my strength changes and if the workouts are no longer challenging me, then I’ll switch them up.

Outside of my running program and strength training, my other cardio will consist of jump roping workouts, yoga, and kickboxing. Those are not anything scheduled, but will be thrown in as I see fit. I have a 10 minute jump rope routine that I will use when I’m tired or pressed for time and then I have kickboxing for when I need something a little longer or more intense. And of course, yoga for those sore days when I need to stretch or de-stress!

I hope after four months of this, that it will all pay off and that I will lose some pounds and will be able to get into a wedding dress and find one fairly easily. I’m SO determined to make THIS process of the wedding planning the most fun and easiest, but I AM really nervous as of right now! I am also finding accountability buddies and am going to try to update my blog more often to help keep myself more accountable. Just wanted to update my blog with my change of status… Off I am to go get this workout in: 5 minute jump rope warm up, 15 min lower body + 15 min abs, 10 min jump rope and/or 30 min run if the weather permits (it’s been raining on and off today!)

Good Bye!

Well, time for the newest addition to my blog, since it’s been a LONG while since I last updated this thing! And it shows! Because as a result of lack of focus, I’ve gained a few pound-age (about 7), but I’m DEFINITELY not as toned/shapely as I was. I have “fluffed” out, even if I haven’t gained a considerable amount of weight. I’ve gained weight because I went back to school for a semester and started quick/stress eating and stopped paying attention (which is how I got to my heaviest weight to BEGIN with!) So…

It’s 2013 people! Can you believe it? Gone are my days of being a kid…like seriously! I have entered this new year saturated with work. I ended last year working and I entered it working. I’m on day 5 in row. I know 5 days in a row seems normal, but these have been 4- 12 hour shifts, plus one 10 hour shift. I am working tomorrow and Friday as well, tomorrow a 10, Friday a 12. THANKFULLY, someone took my scheduled Saturday off my hands!

Anywho! So! What are my goals for the new year? Well, I’m still kind of trying to figure that out!…Okay, I’m not really. OF COURSE I know what my goal for this year is! It’s the same as everyone else, right: lose weight and get in shape!

But this year, I want to be more specific with my goals, such as:

  • Workout 6 Days a week: 3 Strength Days, 3 Cardio Days-one to two days a week being yoga
  • Get back to a lowered calorie/cleaner eating diet
  • Break my “addiction” to sweet stuff! and Renew my lack of desire for soda
  • Learn to LOVE waking up at 5am and getting my workout in before work.
  • Walk 10K steps a day

I’m not setting any running goals this year. I am starting to get a little burnt out from the running, and my hectic work schedule doesn’t give me a lot of hours to train. I’m going to focus my workouts on quick, but efficient workouts that I can do within an hour. If my work schedule changes (and becomes what I WANT it to look like, or close to it), then I will reconsider adding another Half-Marathon to my list since it’ll give me more days to train and days to get some longer runs in. So far this year, I am already registered for the Hot Chocolate 15K on January 13th and the Publix Half-Marathon on March 17th, and would like to do the Peachtree Road Race again this year.

I started back with calorie counting today–like counting EVERYTHING! I may not be eating the best, but it’s a start to managing and getting back on track. I have logged every calorie that I have consumed today (and anticipate consuming) into MyFitnessPal tracker. Along with calorie counting my consumed calories, I am also tracking my BMR calories and burned calories. How? My sister bought me a FitBit Zip for Christmas, and I’ve been using it ever since. It tracks my calories burned, BMR and the amountof steps I walk each day. The little device has given me that placebo effect of wanting to move more so I can reach my daily 10K step goal. Most days, I’ve gotten pretty close (because I’ve been at work and most days I rarely stop moving). But on days that I’m not moving as much (like today, where I’m working as Unit Secretary), I have already started thinking of ways to get more steps in. I take the stairs more regularly than I used to and I already told myself to start parking my car farther away from the building, and even contemplating walking back to the parking deck after work (about a half-mile away) to get some extra steps in.

I need to start getting back on track for myself and start paying attention again. I’ve spent the past couple of months eating to comfort myself from a busy/long/arduous day and picked up some bad habits from my boyfriend (a heavy soda drinker/fast food eater). I HAVE to break this cycle, or I’m going to end up right back where I started! I have worked VERY hard to get to where I am and accomplished these Half-Marathons. Last year I told myself that even if I wasn’t RUNNING half-marathons, I want to be in Half-Marathon shape. So, I want to stay fit and keep my cardio up, but if I REALLY want to lose these last 15lbs…well, more like 20 now, I REALLY need to get serious about strength training and I believe, even if I just do these Jillian Michael’s videos (since I don’t like strength training that much) 3 days a week and rotate the programs out, that I’ll find myself getting results. I want to get a set of Kettle Bells so I can increase my weights as I go, too.

Along with trying to focus on myself, I want to focus on those close to me and inspire those around me to eat better and exercise more. GONE must be our days of laziness…okay, we can have at least one lazy day a week! But I guess I should say, gone should be our days of excuses! I’m going to schedule myself to workout the SAME days every week, regardless of my work schedule. For me, it just works better that way, so I don’t do the whole “Oh, I’ll workout tomorrow since I’m off” and then get to that day and say “oh, I’ll workout tonight” and wind-up not working out at all that week. So, consitency! Workout Monday through Saturday: M/W/F Cardio; T/Th/Sat strength. Every other Saturday (when I’m off), I’ll add in extra cardio. I want to wake up early and get my workouts in before the day starts, and I want to learn to LOVE waking up at 5am and workout before work-that way I can get off work and relax, even on my off days–wake up (I’ll give myself an hour or two to sleep in) at 6/7 and complete my workouts. I know I have a harder time doing them in the evening, so I might as well make the small sacrifice to get up early and workout. I’m sure I’ll feel better in the long run and it will be one less thing to have to think about during the day–trying to find that motivation and sustain my motivation until I get home at 8pm.

So, it’s 2013, meaning a New Year, New Me! Because I need to change MY attitude and behaivors! Whether I lose a pound or not (granted, I hope I can lose some pounds-at least the last 7 I’ve gained!), at least I LOSE the excuses and begin a new lifestyle of exercising more! Here’s to a new me! #Happy2013

As many of you know, I use MyFitnessPal, and if you DIDN’T know, there are message forums on there where people can post topics for everyone to comment on. There was one post today that hit home for me. The poster said that they felt discouraged and that they “have a very supportive friend, but we live far apart and it is not as easy to stay on track as it would be if she lived near me.”

I was personally a little “bothered”, I guess, by this statement, in that I feel like it’s just another excuse as to why some people don’t get up and workout or do the things they need to do for themselves. I have noticed a trend in the younger generation a lot: they are not likely to go out and do something for themselves if the “cool person” isn’t doing it. Where does this mentality of “requiring others” in life come from? Why do we feel this NEED to have other people around us, to validate us or push us along the way?

I know when I was younger, I was HUGE on trying to have a lot of friends. I was the youngest child and felt far removed from my sisters who were a year apart academically and did EVERYTHING together: sports, school, friends. And I often felt like an outcast. I ended up caring more about having my own set of friends and to feel “wanted”, but as I grew up and became academically advanced and more athletic than my peers, my social circle decreased immensely and I found myself graduating HS with about 5 REAL friends… and then as I continued through college, my relationships with my HS friends disappeared, either because of us going to different schools or my graduating before them. On graduation day I had ONE friend come in my honor… ONE. It was kind of disheartening, but I have since learned that in all honesty, you really DO go though life alone. There may be people who support you and cheer you on along the way, or some people who discourage you and try to take you off course, but the reality is: your life is just that, YOUR life. (In a human sense, not religious, that is for another blog! :D) It’s really up to YOU to make the decisions at the end of the day as far as which road you are going to travel. How will YOU travel down your Yellow Brick Road?

I responded to the poster, not getting into the whole “you’re just REALLY making an excuse” mess, but I responded to try to be encouraging and let them know that they CAN overcome this long and arduous journey. It REALLY is not easy to get started…and it’s honestly not even easy to STICK with it. TRUST me! I KNOW! There are times I wish I was the kind of girl who never had to workout and could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound, but that’s just NOT me. So, when I’m feeling down, I try to remember: A) WHY I wanted to travel this road (reasons you will see listed in my response) and B) “That it took me more than 1 day to put it on, it will take more than 1 day to take it off” and C) Remember all the things that I’ve pushed myself to do and accomplished in all this time (outside of weight-loss)! In case you didn’t know, NOTHING about this journey has been easy for me: starting was hard, staying motivated to workout-hard, saying no to hanging out with friends so I could workout-hard, changing my diet-HARD, STARTING to run-HARD, yoga-HARD, training for my races-VERY HARD, and keep on keeping on when I get frustrated and feel miserable about myself-EXTREMELY HARD. But as time goes on: running-easier, training-easier, yoga-easier, watching my diet-easier, and keep on keeping on when the going gets tough-a little bit easier.

So, to any of you out there, who may be struggling and are discouraged, maybe this will help encourage you or help you to find a little faith:

You are MORE than able to go at it alone. You don’t necessarily need someone to be there beside you, cheering you on or working out with you to push you–push yourself and they will cheer you on from afar when they comment on your posted workouts! You might just need to set some personal goals.

I have a personal experience with this: I have been on a weight loss journey for 4 years and I started ALL by myself. I realized it was up to ME to go to the gym and get the workouts in–my friends weren’t going to workout FOR me and I’d lose the weight from them… I had to do it myself. I set a personal goal that I not only wanted to lose weight, but I wanted to be HEALTHIER–when I started my journey, I was having digestive problems (indigestion and heartburn) and REALLY bad anxiety attacks and depression. When I talked to my dr, I was handed a prescription. I didn’t want to be someone on prescription medications for the rest of my life, so I turned to exercise and now, ALL of my listed health problems have gone away. Also, I am pursing a career in the medical field-I didn’t want to be that nurse telling patients they need to lose weight, and I, myself, am overweight–where’s the credibility in that? Doing this by myself has taught me A LOT about myself–I am not only more confident because I’ve lost 50lbs and kept it off, but I’m confident in knowing WHO I am and what I’m capable of doing–I HATED, HATED, HATED running as a kid (I was a chunky kid as well) and if you would have told me when I was 253lbs that in 4 years I was going to run a half-marathon–I would have looked at you crazy, but I completed my first one in March of this year and am registered for a 2nd and 3rd and am proud to say that I can keep up with my SUPER athletic sister now! And have inspired people around me (people who would complain when I’d skip hanging out with them to hit the gym) to begin their own healthy journey.

So maybe you just need to look inside yourself and figure out WHY you want to begin this journey and make a/some goal(s) and just take it 1-ONE-1 day at a time…don’t think about tomorrow or the next day, just think about TODAY and doing what’s right for you and your health TODAY! And just start small– “Doing SOMETHING is better than doing NOTHING”, start with goals like: “today I’m going to eat a healthier dinner” or “this week, I’m only going to eat out once”, or “this week, I’m going to walk a mile a day”…whatever you think you can do, but just DO IT!

You CAN do it alone- without your friend being next to you! Hope this helps!

I wish you all the very best on travelling your own journey. LIFE, in general, is hard-it doesn’t matter what it is that we are trying to do, we will continue to face trials and tribulations, but it’s WHAT we do during that time, that changes us. And as I close this entry I see that not only am I writing this message for others, but I think I’m also writing this for myself–to tell myself to have a little faith in other areas of my life that I’m struggling with.  :0)

So, as you know, I’ve been doing the 28 Day Carb Detox, but I kind of fell off the wagon and am not even sure what day I’m on. I did finish the 2nd week with good results and ended the week weighing in at 198.8, which is a good loss. I know I was on the move to starting week 3, which was adding in fruit to my diet. Last Friday, I was under a lot of stress and ended up sabotaging my evening–I went to dinner and out of emotion ordered a chocolate molten oreo cake with ice cream. Eating it made me feel really sick though, and I told myself I was going to swear off the sweets until my free day a week, but I ended up having another sweet dessert on Saturday and again on Sunday. Sunday I had planned on getting back on track, but because of the stress, my boyfriend had surprised me with movie and dessert and I enjoyed a hefty portion of movie theater popcorn and a brownie with ice cream on top.

This week hasn’t really been the BEST week for me for my eating and exercise regime that I had developed for myself. And having a holiday mid-week didn’t really help either. I worked on Monday and was pretty tired by the time I got home at 7pm. I ended up eating dinner almost immediately and therefore, didn’t end up getting my workout in. Tuesday I spent too much time lounging around and trying to recuperate from my weekend and ended up running out of time. I had to go pick up my race packet and by the time I got back home, it was time for dinner, and again, I ended up not getting my workout in–I was enjoying spending time with my family and boyfriend watching a movie and relaxing.

Wednesday was the first time I got a workout in and that’s because: I RAN THE AJC PEACHTREE ROAD RACE!!!!! The race was A LOT of fun and I really did enjoy the atmosphere. I went in hoping I’d run the whole thing, but 3 miles into it and I started feeling a little sick. I don’t know if it was the cardiac hill, the heat, or lack of proper fueling the day before- but I just didn’t feel like I was able to get my TRUE kick back. I ran as much of the race as I could. Probably about 4-5 out of the 6 miles. It was a lot tougher than I anticipated, but the GREAT thing is: I FINISHED! I crossed the finish line and got my t-shirt! I completed the race in 1:16:29 on my watch (I accidently added an extra second when I was taking the picture), but according to AJC Peachtree Road Race OFFICIAL time results, I finished in 1:16:22, which I pretty good! I was aiming to run the race in 1:15, so one more minute isn’t so bad. That’s a minute I KNOW I can shave off in the future. I feel like if I had been able to run the whole thing, I would have finished by 1:05ish-so that will be my goal for next year! I felt pretty proud of my accomplishment, even though it didn’t go as well as I wanted. I am DEFINITELY planning on competing again next year and since I know the course now, will train better for it. I don’t do a lot of hill training, so I think I need to get more hill training in over the next year.

My finishing time, plus 1 second I added accidently when I was taking the picture.

The Congrats sign I came home to my parents made me and my Finisher’s shirt!

AND I have PROOF that I crossed the finish line! I found the footage of me crossing the finish line on In about 1:55 ALL the way on the left side of the screen, you see a tall black guy in a yellow shirt. I come in to the left of him in a blue top, black leggings, carrying a green frisbee & red, white, blue lei. I cross in front of him and you can see my clearly in the bottom left corner. I clear the video at 2:26. (I don’t know how long 11Alive will keep their videos available, but at least I have the link!)

Coming in for the finish! 0.6 miles left!

I am registered for 2 more half-marathons for this fall and want to be able to run the majority of those races. I will be getting back on my Hal Higdon Half-Marathon training probably next week so that I’m prepared for my first fall half-marathon in October.

I am REALLY enjoying running races and I am happy that I have this passion in my life. I might hate the training aspect of it, but the sense of accomplishment after the race is SOOO unbelievable! I don’t even know how to describe it! I’m enjoying starting my collection of medals!

But I definitely need to get my workout for today in…or attempt to. I am feeling rather sluggish this week, FOR SURE. My head keeps telling me “rest, rest, just REST”… and maybe it has a point? IDK, but I’m definitely going to make next week a better one and just learn to fight through the tiredness. I am working Monday and Tuesday until 5:30, so Monday will be easier to get a workout in than Tuesday since I’ll have an hour long commute home on Tuesday. So, we shall see how it goes! Monday I start my half-marathon training! Then I’ll be taking a week off from formalized exercise when I go on vacation. Will still be finding calorie burning activities–like hiking and swimming, but I don’t think I’ll be running and lifting. But, I have to make these next 2 weeks a strong one! I DO have vacation soon! But most of all–I need to get back to monitoring my diet!

And as far as the Carb Detox: I think I’m going to re-start week 3 on Sunday and get back on track with everything. I like starting things on Sunday–I like that “beginning of the week” refreshing feeling. I need to check with the G.I. Diet book and see which fruits are best and how to incorporate them into my diet properly so I’m eating them at the right time of the day and preventing glucose storage, but I will most definitely get back on track starting Sunday and try my best to stick to it until I leave for vacation and then get back on track when I come back. But I’m not going to worry! It will all workout in the end! And for now, I’m just enjoying life and my new accomplishments!! :0)

But Signing Off for now! Hope all my readers are doing well with their exercise and healthy eating! And remember: “Life does not come with a remote, YOU have to get off the couch to change it!” (Not sure who said it, but it’s a great quote!)

Just wanted to post a quick update about how my Carb Detox has been going.

As you can see, I am on day 6 of the detox. It has definitely had it’s share of ups and downs.

The GOOD news: I weighed in this morning at 199.8! Which is AWESOME from a starting weight of 206. I’m VERY happy with the weight loss since it’s been such a LONG time since I last saw that number on the scale. I am starting to like what I see in the mirror. My stomach has flattened out (not completely, but it’s flatter) and you know what’s REALLY great, my pooch has even decreased in size and looks flatter now! I have done a FANTASTIC job with sticking to this for these past 6 days even with some of the temptation moments I’ve encountered. **pats self on shoulder** On Tuesday night, I went to a coworker’s party. She THANKFULLY had chicken salad there, or else I would have starved! It was a Pampered Chef party, so the Pampered Chef host made a chicken and tomato white wine pasta and a chocolate lava cake. I copied the recipes down so that I could make these dishes later. Once served, I only ate the chicken and tomatoes out of the pasta dish and totally declined a piece of the chocolate lava cake. It helped that someone else there brought up how they were on a low carb diet to lose weight and couldn’t eat it. I felt comfortable to chime in and say “HEY! ME TOO!” and thankfully we were understood and not seen as rude for declining the food. This week has taught me some self-control, something that I felt I had lost (and was a part of the reason as to why I’ve been struggling to lose weight). Today at work, I was given a piece of cake from a family member. The piece of cake is currently sitting on the desk, wrapped up in a napkin. While it SMELLS good, I honestly have no desire to eat it. I took it out of politeness, but once I eat lunch and get one of my tupperware containers cleaned out, will be bringing the piece home to my mom. I don’t want to ruin the weight loss I’ve had this week because of one piece of cake. And if I want this Carb Detox to work and to reteach my taste buds to prefer healthier carbs, then I have to stay strong and resist.

 After getting my body compisition test on Tuesday, I have adjusted my calorie goal on Myfitnesspal to the amount of calories needed in order to maintain my weight. I strive to create my deficit by calories burned through exercise. This week, because of the new change in diet, I have eaten under that 1750 calorie goal. I feel satiated, so I don’t feel much of a need to eat anymore and have honestly had a decrease in appetite. Yesterday I only consumed 900 calories, granted I woke up later than usual–not having my first meal until 1pm–and then had to be in bed early because of having to be at work today. It didn’t leave me much time to eat, but I had a full breakfast, a snack before my workout, and then ate dinner after my workout-2 hrs later, I was in bed. This new diet is not only helping my to kick my carb habit, but it’s helping me build a habit of eating lower calorie foods for snacks. My morning snack today was a non-fat greek yogurt and baby-cut carrots. I ate a serving size of carrots (6) but stopped because I was literally just tired of chewing them, although I have a 2-3 servings allowance (in attempt to up my calories more). With a decreased appetite, my portions sizes have also become smaller–I feel like I’m on the right track to retraining my body to function the way it was when I lost the first 50lbs. I think with the frustration I became so mixed up in trying various different things that I got lost along the way-but now I’m getting back to the basics that I had when I lost the first 50lbs, which was eat the allotted calories given, burn calories through exercise, do no eat exercise calories back, and manage portion sizes.

But on to the Bad: the downfall about starting a new extreme diet is the hunger pains and hunger headaches. For the first 3 days, I had a headache ALL day. It felt like no matter what I ate, it still wouldn’t go away. It was tough to get adjusted to the low carb lifestyle. Yesterday I went headache free, but today I have one, and I honestly think it has something to do with my coffee. I prepared a cup of decaf with regular half & half and truvia, but about 30 mins after sipping on it, the headache came on. My coffee mug is still sitting on the desk mostly full. I’ve been chugging water to try to flush whatever it is that caused this out of my system (not working thus far). Another downfall is the lack of carbs has made working out EXTREMELY difficult and this has been a very low-energy week for me. I am short of breath more often than usual and on Wednesday, got sick and had to stop. I’ve been trying to keep up with my usual long and/or high intense workouts, but it’s been a struggle. Monday I didn’t workout due to work and post work plans, but Tuesday I worked out and while I got short of breath, was fine for the most part. Wednesday I hopped on the treadmill trying to get in a 5-6miler and ended at 3.5 because of sudden nausea, and yesterday I had to pause the dvd to catch my breath and then get back to the workout in order to finish the 20 minute session. It’s been a minor frustration for me because I have the Peachtree Road Race coming up and I haven’t had a 5-6 mile run in quite some time and I’ve never paused a dvd workout to get through it before, so I feel out of shape… but I have to keep telling myself that it’s a lack of carbs causing the low energy and not neccessairly me being out of shape. I’m optimistic that once I am able to eat carbs again, getting through my workouts will be MUCH easier. My body has had some minor negative effects because of the sudden drop in calories and change of diet, but I honestly believe I was consuming TOO many calories, resulting in why I was stuck in a plateau for so long. I wasn’t gaining MUCH weight either–I would gain a lot over the weekend, but throughout the week would nestle back into my average weight.

**Headache starting to subside–started eating my 2nd serving of carrots**

But I am almost out of this whole low carb first week. I can start incorporating brown carbs back into my diet Sunday: brown rice & 100% stoneground wheat bread, along with a small sweet potato. I’m excited about this because it’ll help bring back a little variety to my meals. Still no fruit though–gotta wait until week 3. I’m a little nervous about upcoming week 2 because I don’t want to overeat in the carbs now that I CAN eat them. I know to stick to a small portions, but I’m just unsure of WHEN to eat them. I don’t know if I should continue with the “eat all carbs by lunch” idea or eat my carbs throughout the day? I just don’t want to undo the weight loss I’ve just had. I’m hoping that this is a step in the right direction and not just a temporary success moment. I’m going to try to read some more in my GI Diet book by Sunday and see if maybe it has the answer to the carb solution. Dr. Oz doesn’t say anything about exercise or appropriate times to eat the carbs on his Carb Detox article.

But all in all–while there have been some minor set backs, I tell myself that this is a short-term sacrifice to help solve what could be a long-term problem if I continued in the direction I have been going in. It’s only a month of my life–and if it works, it works, if it doesn’t, then HEY! At least I tried.

But anyway–time for me to head to lunch. I’ve prepared a steak spring mix salad topped with cheese, cucumber, tomato, and avocado, greek dressing on the side. YUM! (I’m happy to get something different than turkey and chicken for once!)

**Happy Eating!**

Day 3 Carb Detox

So, I just finished up day 3 of this carb detox. I’ve been sticking to the plan well. It’s been a definite struggle though. My body is so not used to not eating so few calories or eating so little carbs. Today I had my doctors appointment, which I had to fast for, so I could get blood work done. I DEFINITELY under-ate today, but I didn’t really have a lot of time to eat either. I had to fast for literally half the day–doctors appointment was at 11, but I wasn’t seen until 12:15 & by the time I got out of there and was able to get SOMETHING in my stomach (around 1:30), it was a tall cup of coffee from Starbucks. I bought a jerk chicken salad, which I wasn’t able to eat until about 2.

As I ate, I watched a movie, then half-way through the movie, I became caught up in assembling another piece of workout equipment that arrived, and then went back to finishing the movie. I finally hit the gym around 5:30, eating a serving of almonds prior to the workout, and then at 6:30, rushed to get dressed and ready for a party at my boss’ house. I drank a protein shake on the way, and did great with resisting the carbs at the house: there were crackers and cheese, cookies, homemade chicken salad dip, a tomato, basil and chicken pasta, and a chocolate lava cake. I ate the chicken salad, which was OOO so yummy, a couple of pieces of cheese, and to get a taste for what the pasta was like, I ate the chicken and tomatoes. I got home around 11pm, and I haven’t had anything to eat since getting home. To me it feels too late to eat, so I don’t feel hungry right now, but I still have a headache.

The downfall of this diet is that I have resulted in under-eating compared to my usual calorie intake (around 1800-1900 calories), so today I managed to eat only around 1200 calories, which is pretty low for my usual daily caloric intake, so I’ve had a headache for about 2 days. It was kind of hard to intake more calories when I couldn’t eat for the whole first half of the day. I’m hoping tomorrow is a better day. I am also low on groceries and meant to go grocery shopping on Monday, but never got around to it–so lack of groceries has made this diet harder as well. I only have a few more days, and by Sunday I can start eating bread at least and that should help me to intake more calories…or maybe I won’t even want the bread? Who knows… But what I DO know, is I’m ready to be over this headache! I remember the headaches when I first did Atkin’s diet & I understand the science for why the headaches are happening, even if I do take in more calories than I did today, so I’m just trying to grit my teeth and bare it.

I finally got in a real workout today–20 minute strength training & Turbo Fire HIIT 15 video. It was hard to get through the workout considering I was low on caloric intake for today, but I somewhat got through it–or let’s just say I pushed as hard as I could. I was pretty physically lethargic today, but at least this week I haven’t been sleeping all day and lounging around in bed all day and been unproductive, but I’ve been getting up and going somewhere and doing something. I didn’t workout on Monday, but I did get up and stick to my diet and meet up with my friend, at the very least.

But as far as the doctors appointment today, most of it was good news. My blood pressure was perfect–it literally came in at 120/80. I got a blood test done to check my thyroid and cholesterol levels. I talked to my doctor about my weight loss problems and was prescribed an appetite suppressant and recommended a book to read, which I’ll try to start reading over the next few days. I also got a body composition test done. My doctor looked at my results and told me to not worry about it AS much and to just find a comfortable size/weight for me because genetically my body doesn’t fit into the BMI chart (he knows my whole family-been my doctor since I was a kid). So, it was good to hear from a doctor that as long as I do what I’m doing and try what he’s recommended, I should be okay. All in all, he said I’m a healthy girl and will be on this Earth for a good while. So, I guess this is good news, at least, to know that internally, I’m healthy for the most part. Waiting for my blood test results to come back, and then I’ll know for sure. I also found out how many calories I should eat to maintain my weight–so I’m going to eat that (around 1750), and burn my deficit in calories though exercise, since I usually burn around 500+ calories per workout anyway. So I’m going to make my goal to exercise off 3500 calories per week (equal to one pound) and hope that I can see some change from that, but this too will be a calorie cut by almost 200 calories, which should be helpful.

I’ll get my measurements done tomorrow (I know I’m a couple of days late, but I haven’t been around long enough to have a family member help me) and then check my weight at the end of the week to see if anything is happening. And then I’ll read the recommended book and change up my eating habits based off the guide. But my computer is dying, so I’m going to end here and will try to update at a later date!

Have a good night all!

I am sitting here watching Supersize vs SuperSkinny on the OWN network and it reminded my to update my blog with my newest page of information in my life. As many of you know, I’m frustrated with my inability to lose the pounds off my body. I know weight is JUST a number, but I’m frustrated with weighing in the 200s still. I have spent 4 years of my life trying to get OUT of that number category, and I’d really like to be out of it. I am being realistic, in that I don’t desire to be super skinny-my goal weight is to weigh in between 185-low 190s. As I’ve said before, genetically, I know my body is going to weigh heavy. I have based my goal weight off family members and not magazines or the BMI chart even. I feel like I can get my BMI into a healthy weight category, even if my actual WEIGHT is not there, by being consistent and building up muscle mass. I have been weight training and will be starting week 3 of this program that I’ve been doing–and I will do that for 2 weeks as well, as I have been doing. I’m not sure what will happen after I finish week 4 for the 2nd time. I feel like I’ll probably go back to week 1 again–since each week is a different set of exercises, I feel like my body won’t necessarily get USED to it-or maybe I’ll incorporate Turbo Fire Sculpt/Tone video and have a 3rd day of strength training? I’m not sure, just have to see what my schedule will be like.

But to aid in blasting body fat, one thing I AM doing, is going on a 28 Day Carbohydrate Detox as recommended by Doctor Oz to aid in kicking my carb addiction. The plans calls for week 1 of no carbs, week 2 is whole wheat carbs, week 3 you add in fruit-but up to a healthy serving size, and week 4 is having all those things, including one cheat day. I WOULD say I’m addicted to carbs because I LOVE sweets and have a MAJOR sweet tooth and not only do I have a hard time resisting that, but I also struggle to resist potatoes and bread. I started it yesterday, which I KNEW was going to be a challenge because it was a work day at the hospital (12 hour shifts), where I feel hungry ALL day because I’m running around a lot, and where I am more likely to break my diet because of the sometimes bagels or donuts that might arrive thanks to the attending on service for that week or break it because of tiredness & wanting quick pick-me-up foods. Oddly enough, when I start something new, I prefer to start on Sunday (which I consider the beginning of the week). I feel like I can start the week of RIGHT and help myself to get on track. I felt if I can be successful on a longer work day, Monday thru Friday would be easy! So, Saturday night, I packed my (almost carb free) lunchbox up: boiled eggs, tuna packet, celery, almonds, baby carrots, protein shake, and my one carb: greek yogurt. I know eating the yogurt MAY slow down the carb kicking process, but I bought it before deciding to go on this diet, and I don’t want to waste the money; it definitely will expire before the 4 weeks if up. So, that is my one carb allowance for the day. To try to ensure that I’m not counteracting the whole detox, I ensure that I eat the yogurt before lunch, so that it has the time to burn off throughout the day. My day yesterday consisted of: breakfast: Jimmy Delight turkey sausage sandwich muffin (without the muffin); AM snack: 2 boiled eggs (whites only) and chobani; lunch: tuna salad (spring mix, celery, 1 boiled egg, 2 roma tomatoes), 1 serving of baby carrots, and 1 serving of almonds; PM snack ended up being a small piece of my boyfriend’s cheesecake left over from Friday night’s dinner (I wanted to taste it)–yes, I know I cheated, but I owned up to it AND logged it in my food journal on MFP; dinner: turkey burger (no bun), with tomato, pickles, cheese, and guacamole, small house salad, and teriyaki broccoli (which I didn’t end up eating because I was TOO full)… I actually almost didn’t finish my burger, but knew it wouldn’t taste the same the next day because guacamole doesn’t really do well overnight, so I finished the burger. My calories for the day came up to be around 1780, which was a cut from what I HAVE been eating for the past couple of months even–but I felt COMPLETELY satiated for the day. I DID get hunger pangs (i.e. my stomach was growling prior to breakfast and I got a hunger headache), but after lunch, which I ate around 1:30/1:45, I was satiated until closer to 7pm, and by the time I got hungry, I figured it was too late to eat anything because I knew that I would soon be eating dinner & would get full from my dinner.

I am proud of myself for being able to fight & get through my 12 hour shift without cheating. I still need to work on my PM cravings for sweets, but I feel like as long as I continue to fight this battle and resist wanting to eat the sweets at night, that I’ll be successful. I think when I get a sugar craving, I’m going to have a protein shake-which is low carb, but still has that vanilla Or chocolate kick. Today is day 2 and I’ve been doing well thus far. Trying to mimic what I did yesterday & anticipating lunch with a friend, which should also be low carb as well.

I plan on continuing to update as the days go on & keeping you all posted on my progress. I wasn’t able to take a weight and measurements in Friday or Saturday, but I know what they were prior to starting this because I logged them on MFP last week. I will take measurements probably next Monday to see what my weekly progress.

But time for me to start getting ready to meet my friend for lunch! I will update later!

*Off to Kick Carbs*

Side note: while watching this show, based in England, the narrator mentioned how the super skinny female on the show was a healthy size 12-14 prior to the birth of her child. It’s crazy to me how in other countries a size 12-14 IS healthy, but in the US it’s still a “fat” number because we have such a warped societal mindset on what a HEALTHY body is SUPPOSED to look like. Where are the days of women who looked like Marilyn Monroe–when these women we’re seen as beautiful and the “norm” and everyone aspired to look like them vs these super skinny super models? **sigh** Maybe just like fashion styles come back around, so will body image mindset?? A girl can dream!

The Stubborn Me

Last night I was having a conversation with my significant other about my die-hardedness when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle and my concerns for wanting him to have a healthy lifestyle. I discussed with my boyfriend the health fears I have, as my family history isn’t necessarily the “cleanest”–consisting of cancer, MS, diabetes, and cardiac issues. And even with the 50lbs of weight loss, my genes have left me with two things I can’t fight no matter how hard I try: I’m big-boned/stocky-framed and my BMI will probably ALWAYS remain in the overweight category for as long as I live (if calculated from height and weight), which will result in a lifelong fight against incurring any serious medical issues.

Another thing that has caused me to be on high alert is my place of employment. I work at a hospital in a Kidney and Liver transplant unit. Weekly, I interact with people who are there because of diabetes/overweight related issues. Now, I know you’re supposed to have some level of placidness when you work in the medical field, but I can’t help but have some level of empathy for some patients and sometimes I take my work home with me (meaning, I think about them and pray for their healing) and I do a lot of thinking.

If you know me personally, you know that I watch a lot of shows on obesity issues: The Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, Weight of the Nation, and shows like my 600 lb Life. I, also, have become an avid researcher on weight-related issues and am always looking for tips to improve my diet and exercise routines. I am not ashamed to admit that I have become obsessed (for good reason-in my opinion)… and have even considered working in nurition once I become a registered nurse or working in a weight-management facility.

But digressing from my main point: During this discussion with my boyfriend last night, I told him that one of the things that I regret doing was not listening to the advice that people (specifically my sister and father) suggested, which was to weight train. I am a little frustrated wtih myself in that I stubbornly brushed the advice off, and after 50lbs of weight loss, am unhappy with my body merely because of the fact that I’m not as TONED as I would like to be and probably am not at the weight I want to be because of that.

While in my weight-loss journey, I LOVED cardio and even developed a love for running, something I HATED growing up-I was a thrower on the track team in high school for that reason. The cardio aided in my weight-loss success, and for a good two years, I felt I was doing great without ever lifting a dumbbell. My strength-training consisted of a yoga class I took regularly at Gold’s Gym (around once or twice a week) and fooling around on the weight machines every now and then, but never developing a routine or a habit of it.

When I look in the mirror, I am proud of my slimmer figure, no doubt. I’m proud of the fact that I’m no longer 253lbs, but I am disappointed in the fact that I’m rather flabby for having lost so much weight, and that I don’t feel like I LOOK like the person who is able to accomplish all the things that I’m able to do… and I get a lot of side-eyes when I tell people I like to kick-box, or I can run 5 miles like it’s 1, or that I completed a half-marathon and ran 12 out of the 13 miles of it. There’s a sense of doubt in most people’s eyes… But rarely are people impressed. I KNOW I don’t have a runner’s body. I also am not bikini ready like I want to be… granted I AM wearing a bikini and decided last year I was going to AND be confident in it (realizing when I got to the beach that a lot of people weren’t really that toned either and that I actually fit in), but I always wished that I had nice toned legs and abs to show off in my swimsuit.

So after failing on my mission to be “swimsuit ready” in the way that I was defining swimsuit ready (and after months and months-leading to about a year and a half of not losing a pound), I decided that it was time for me to get on the strength-training bandwagon. I started 2012 off with doing Jillian’s 30 Day Shred, after one round of it, I felt like I was becoming slightly more toned, and attempted a second round of it with heavier weights-but became bored with doing the same routine every day. So, I moved on to something else, Turbo Fire, which is a kickboxing workout program, and while I did it for a month, there was still no weight-loss or physical changes to my body.

I became frustrated, even more so because my sister’s wedding was coming up and I wanted to look AMAZING in photos and for family and friends to see a major difference in my physique. So then I started posting my frustrations on Myfitnesspal, wishing that someone could relate. I quickly found out that I was not alone in the matter, which was comforting. Together, we researched for solutions for our lack of ability to drop even half-a-pound. My other sister came home for the wedding, so I discussed with her what I should do and I was suggested an extreme change of diet–which I tired, and couldn’t find myself sticking to with the type of busy lifestyle I had–working two jobs and after coming home from work & working out, was NOT in the mood to cook anything that required more than 10 minutes to make, let alone trying to cook meals for the whole week. I tried to keep up with it to the best of my ability. But I still didn’t feel like that was working for me. I felt a diet low in carb, high in protein and veggies was restricting and resulted in feeling guilty if I slipped off that in any shape or form. The change in diet was also frustrating because I didn’t feel like I ate that bad on a regular basis. I was eating a LOT cleaner than I have in the past and about 90% cleaner then when I started this weight loss journey. I wanted to ENJOY food, not eat the same thing OVER and OVER again. So, I spent long hours reasearching and contemplating seeing a nutritionist to discuss my diet and how to manage it with my busy lifestyle… but then the week after the wedding, my sister and her boyfriend were working out and invited me along. The workout consisted of sprints and then 40sec of an ab move (interval training). I found myself completely out of breath. I almost was on the verge of quitting-but pushed through it and finished it. I was surprised, because for someone who could run 9 miles-I felt COMPELTELY out of shape. The next day, I woke up, completely sore (something I hadn’t felt in a while) and SUDDENLY-IT CLICKED! My whole frustration and lack of ability to lose weight and tone was not so much because of my diet or work ethic, but because I wasn’t doing any strength training. The reason why I wasn’t toning was because I wasn’t pushing my body to levels of muscle fatigue…yes, I’d hurt sometimes the next day after a long run, but not in the kind of way that this workout had made me feel. So, from then on, I decided that it was time for me to make a habit out of this whole weight training thing–my body was NEVER going to tone, if I didn’t build up the muscle.

At the same time of my revelation, I was recommended Turn Up Your Fat Burn by an MFP friend. I looked at the book and noticed that in 4 weeks, I could change my body into a fat-burning machine! As I flipped through the book, I noticed that not only did it make suggestions for turning your cardio into a better fat-burning cardio, done through interval training, IT TOO suggested that I strength train twice a week, and inclucded a strength training routine for each week of the program. Adjusting my cardio to interval cardio was easy–I changed my Monday and Friday 30 minute runs to interval runs, and sometimes I will complete 30 minutes of a Turbo Fire video (I usually just pick a random DVD to change up the routine), and Wednesdays are still my long-run days (have to stay in training mode somewhat so I can continue to compete in 10K and Half-marathon races).

As far as strength training: It suggested 2 days of strength training per week, which I chose as my Tuesday/Thursday workouts-something I was attracted to and felt I could manage with my busy lifestyle. I started doing the routine for the first week, incorporating the ab workout that I did with my sister. BOY was I sore the next day! But IT FELT AMAZING! I was feeling something I hadn’t felt in a LONG time! I wanted to become comfortable with dumbbell training, so I repeated week 1 routine for two weeks, and started week 2 routine (and have successfully completed my 2 days this week). I am proud to say that I have stuck with it for 3 weeks now! :0) Week 2 also recommended adding in a high intense interval training workout to one of the strength training days. EASY for me, because I purchased Turbo Fire, so the interval training routines are already choreographed FOR me–I complete one of the HIIT videos and then proceed into my strength training routine. I will probably do the same as I did for week 1 and repeat week 2 over again and I change up the ab routine slightly with each new week as well.

This new found workout in my life has REALLY shown me A) how OUT OF SHAPE I actually really am and b) that I HONESTLY haven’t been pushing as hard as I really thought I was. I end a workout in complete exhaustion, dripping in sweat, and anxious to lay down. And while I’m DYING to quit during the workout, I keep reminding myself of the benefits that this will produce in the long run. In the 3 weeks, I have become MUCH more happier with my physique. I still have a long ways to go, but I’m noticing my biceps developing, my stomach has gotten flatter, and my back has toned up again (which prior to, was developing that back-boob again).

So, now I sit here thinking: Why was I so stubborn and resistent to this advice before?? It REALLY is one of those cases of “never learning until you experience it yourself” situations. My whole mentality has changed–and now when people ask me for weight-loss advice, I’m always suggesting it. I honestly feel a sense of regret (in myself) for not taking this advice before hand. Why didn’t I just listen? Then I’d BE bikini ready like I wanted to be by now I can see what 3 short weeks of weight training has done to my physique… I sit and imagine what kind of progress I would have made by this point had I started this sooner. And ANOTHER thing! Week 1 I started off doing most exercises using 10lbs dumbbells, but in 3 weeks, I’m now using 15s! IF I went to a gym, I wouldn’t look like a little wimpy girl using 5lbs (which is what I was using when I was doing Jillian’s 30 Day Shred).

So, my advice to anyone starting a weight loss journey of their own: don’t be stubborn like me: compliment the cardio with strength training. You’ll be better off in the long run vs what happened with me: yes, I lost the weight & got to the size that I wanted to be, but I’m not at the physique that I want to be! But I know now that with each arduous workout, I am more muscle toned then the day before & closer to my goal!

**Happy Lifting**