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Archive for October, 2009

All Drained!

My LOW feeling is gone, however now I am ALL DRAINED on this Thursday, 10/29/09!

Luckily, the weekend is almost here and I can hopefully get some much-needed rest & relaxation……..plus a bit of fun too!  =)

The day started way to early for me as my “brain” switched on about an hour earlier then it needed to so I pretty much laid in bed with it buzzing for a long time until finally I just got out of bed about 15 minutes early, hey it did help me from being late today!

Once at work I quickly grabbed breakfast and a cup of coffee.  I had a small piece of Publix breakfast bread that I toasted and added some butter too and a banana.

Thursday 10.29.09 - Breakfast

Breakfast

The morning flew by as I had a ton of work to do and just after noon my boss said she was treating us (me and the auditor) to lunch so I got a huge chicken salad full of protein & veggies, which was such a nice change from the “sandwich” I have been having for so long now!

Thursday 10.29.09 - Lunch

Lunch

I took a little break and read the news online while I ate the above and then got back to work after I finished.  Just before quitting time I grabbed a late afternoon snack of Activia Low-Fat Vanilla yogurt with a few diced pieces of apple and Kashi’s Apple Orchard granola mixed in.

Thursday 10.29.09 - Late Snack

Late Afternoon Snack

After work I picked up my daughter and headed straight home as I really needed some DOWN TIME tonight!  I swear I “yawned” a million times during the final hour of work.

I was scheduled to do a 50 minute, 4+ mile run tonight, however after the Not So Great week I decided to skip it and get some rest instead!  I usually hate to do this….as I always get “guilty feeling” if I miss a run or trip to the gym, but I just had to tonight!

Dinner ended up being taco’s for my daughter, a burrito for the hubby and a quesadilla for me.  I cut up red & green peppers, then onions and sauted them in some olive oil, set them aside and took a fat-free tortilla and placed it in a hot pan that I wiped down with olive oil prior to heating.  Then I put some cheese on top of it and added the veggies next and put another tortilla on top and flipped it back and forth a few times until done.  It was yummy, just what I was craving……

Thursday 10.29.09 - Dinner

Dinner

The rest of the night was spent watching t.v. and relaxing!

SORRY MY POSTS ARE SO BEHIND!!! 

This week has not been the best as I am sure you have figured and the end of the week was VERY BUSY as well.  I promise next week will be better and my posts will be more regular going forward as well because this crazy month will finally be OVER!  =)

…yet another LOW day!

I wish I could say today was a “high” or “better” day, however my Wednesday, 10/28/09 was not!  =(

BUT, I will not dwell on the NEGATIVE in my post and will advise you of some positives in my day to start!

1st – Today is my step-son Tori’s 15th Birthday, check him out below, isn’t he a “cutie”!?!?  He lives in Montreal, Canada with his mom….so my hubby really missed him today!  =(

Tori

My Step-Son, Tori!

2nd – My weight is starting to get back on track again, I weighed in at 143 pounds this morning!  =)

3rd – My AUDIT at work is going well, so far…………

Ok, onto my EATS for the day!

BreakfastInstant cinnamon brown sugar oatmeal with 1/2 a diced apple and ground flax seed.  I only ate a few bites of the below as I did not have much of an appetite, still feeling low in the a.m. =(

Wednesday 10.28.09 - Breakfast

Breakfast

LunchBoar’s Head oven-gold turkey and white american cheese on two slices of oat bread with lettuce & tomato and veggies on the side. 

Wednesday 10.28.09 - Lunch

Lunch

Afternoon Snack – Home made sugar cookies by a girl in my other office.  Aren’t they so cute?  I ate one.

Wednesday 10.28.09 -Cookie

Afternoon Snack

I had to rush home right after work to help my hubby with some stuff and then I headed back out to the gym to do my scheduled routine that did get cut short however due to my delay in going home. 

I end up doing about 10 minutes of abs and then 35 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine.

Then I picked up my daughter at my mom’s, had one slice of Papa John’s pepperoni pizza (not shown as my camera was in the car and I wolfed it down), got some gas (yellow light was flashing) and picked my husband up a chicken sandwich on the way home.

Of course a shower, some t.v. with my daughter & hubby and bed soon followed…………..

TIPS OF THE DAY!!!

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While reading my latest issue of Shape magazine at the gym last night I saw the following article that had a few quick tips that I thought were great, take a look:

4 Smart Eating Strategies

By Alla Byrne

A former champion bodybuilder, Rich Barretta has helped sculpt the bodies of celebs like Naomi Watts, Pierce Brosnan and Naomi Campbell. At Rich Barretta Private Training New York City, he offers personalized programs, including target-training methods and nutritional guidance. Barretta shares the four healthy-eating rules his clients swear by, which you can easily adopt.

1. Cut back on booze
If drinking is a big part of your social life, your waistline may suffer. Not only is alcohol loaded with carbs and empty calories, but people tend to make bad food choices when they’re buzzed. A couple sugary cocktails can easily add up to a thousand calories (half of the average person’s daily need), so Barretta advises avoiding alcohol altogether. If you are going to indulge, opt for a glass of wine or slim down your drink with smart swaps like trading tonic for club soda.

2. Just say “no” to fried food
“Grill it, bake it, broil it, steam it, just don’t fry it,” says Barretta. Frying something perfectly healthy, such as chicken, takes away nutrients, while adding fat and calories. Plus, by eating fried foods at restaurants that still use trans fats, you run the risk of raising artery-clogging bad cholesterol and lowering fat-clearing good cholesterol.

3. Avoid carbs at night
There’s no need to deprive yourself of carbs, but you should be conscious of when you eat them. By consuming high-carb foods (potatoes, rice, pastas and breads) early in the day, you have more time to burn them off. At night, carbs are more likely to go unused and be stored as fat. Barretta’s rule of thumb: Stick to lean protein and veggies after 6pm.

4. Pass up processed foods
We all know that fresh foods are better for us, but often reach for processed products out of convenience. While it’s challenging to cut out processed foods entirely, there are certain ingredients Barretta suggests you steer clear of, including high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, white flour and processed sugar . Your best bet is to shop around the perimeter of the grocery store, where you’ll find fresh meats and produce.

Feeling pretty low….=(

I really do not like to start a post on a LOW note……..however my Tuesday, 10/27/09 was pretty much that way so I unfortunately cannot hide it!  =(

Now, my day did not start with me feeling very low, but as the day progressed the feeling developed and hit me right after work!

Here is how my day went…………

  • Woke up. 
  • Got ready for work. 
  • Woke up my daughter and made sure she got herself ready for school. 
  • Made breakfast for my daughter. 
  • Packed her snack and made my husbands lunch. 
  • Cleaned up. 
  • Then we left for the bus stop and soon after I was on the road to work. 
  • I actually got to work early too. 
  • Made my breakfast, which consisted of a slice of toasted Publix breakfast bread and 1/2 a banana with a cup of coffee that I added my “yummy” Pumpkin Spice cream (not shown) too.
Tuesday 10.27.09 - Breakfast

Breakfast

  • Attended a staff meeting for almost an hour.
  • Snuck in a little blogging & a post.
  • Tackled some last-minute things that had to be done before our “audit” on Thursday.
  • Had two slices of high fiber whole wheat bread with tuna, lettuce, tomato with 1/2 a pear, baby carrots & a pickle on the side for lunch just after 2pm.
Tuesday 10.27.09 - Lunch

Lunch

  • Worked, worked & worked some more
  • Was able to grab a late snack of Activia Low-Fat Vanilla yogurt with Kashi Apple Orchard Granola & some ground up flax seed all mixed together right before it was time to go home.
Tuesday 10.27.09 - Late Snack

Late Snack

  • Left work and this is where my LOW moment came!  =(  See this has been a very tough month for me both personally and professionally and I think it just all came to head today……as I begun to cry and couldn’t stop!  Luckily I was able to get it under control by the time I picked my daughter, however she of course noticed and was so sweet…….kept telling me she loved me and was being extra nice (usually she is a bit crappy and tired when I pick her up as she has a pretty long school days) so that helped a lot!
  • Arrived home.
  • Put things away.
  • Started to change into my running attire (though I will admit I did not want to go in the least bit) and wouldn’t you know it started to POUR outside (just my luck)!
  • So I went down stairs and started dinner that needed to cook for an hour+ instead, but then the rain stopped and I made the decision to go for a “short” run as it was starting to get a bit dark outside.
  • Ran a semi-fast 2 miles in about 20+ minutes outside on the wet sidewalks in the very humid & grey sky weather.  Despite not wanting to go I felt much better after I ran as I expected I would….running always de-stresses me or makes me feel better in general!!!
  • Took a quick shower after my run.
  • Finished making dinner.
  • We dinned on marinated pork loin, baked potatoes and broccoli.  I only ate about 1/2 of the below, as I just was not that hungry.
Tuesday 10.27.09 - Dinner

Dinner

  • Cleaned up.
  • My daughter then asked if she could have a “snack” after dinner.  I am ok with that as long as she finishes all her dinner, which she did, so I said OK and you will never guess what she picked out of all the options (ice cream, to chocolate, to candy, etc.)!!?!?!  She picked a chocolate chip granola bar with 1/2 a banana, commenting as she picked them that they were “healthy choices”, can you believe that???  Right out of a 9 years olds mouth!  WOW!  I was so surprised, happily surprised of course.  My LOW mood quickly changed after that as you might have expected!  =)
Tuesday 10.27.09 - Daughters Snack

My Daughter's "Healthy" Snack!

  • A little computer time and then lots of t.v. time followed dinner.  I watched Chopped and then some Halloween specials.
  • Bed called around midnight when I was finally able to get my mind to stop “going” and finally rest!
Categories: Breakfast Bread, Running, Work

A bit behind, Monday!

Well, if you follow my blog you can tell I am a bit behind on this Monday, 10/26/09 that should have been posted “yesterday” so I am SORRY!  =( 

Luckily, this hectic month is finally coming to an end, which is good & bad as I love the month of October, however it has been a very busy and crazy one both personal and work wise this year so I am looking forward to some down time in November!

I am going to move quickly through today so I can get back on track, so here are my eats for the day:

Breakfast was a bowl of Whole-Grain Cheerios with 1/2 a sliced banana and 2% milk.

Monday 10.26.09 - Breakfast

Breakfast

Lunch was two slices of high-fiber whole wheat bread that I added a little mayo to and then topped with Boar’s Head oven-gold turkey, white american cheese with two slices of tomato that I warmed in the toaster over and then added some pickles and 1/2 a pear on the side.

Monday 10.26.09 - Lunch

Lunch

Dinner was left overs from the night before that I put together into a Taco Salad.

Monday 10.26.09 - Dinner

Dinner

Prior to dinner and after leaving work I hit the gym and did the following:

  • 10 minutes of Abs (leg lifts, sides & crunches)
  • 10 minutes of Arm Free Weights (shoulders, biceps & triceps)
  • 45 minutes of Cross-Training Cardio (stair machine)

My night ended with some blog surfing and posting, before I started to feel my eyes close around 11pm and I decided to head up stairs!

TIP OF THE DAY!!!

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Time management refers to a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals. This set encompass a wide scope of activities, and these include planning, allocating, setting goals, delegation, analysis of time spent, monitoring, organizing, scheduling, and prioritizing. Initially time management referred to just business or work activities, but eventually the term broadened to include personal activities also. A time management system is a designed combination of processes, tools and techniques.

Time Management Tips For Working Moms

*I live by the below tips!!!

Make Friends With Dawn

Dawn- as in the early morning hours, that is! Getting up early for most people is a challenge, but getting up before the kids wake up can be the difference between a stressed out, psychotic mother and a sane one!

If the household tends to wake up between 6 and 7am, set your own alarm for one to two hours earlier. Use this time to have a quiet cup of coffee or tea, check your email, exercise, read the paper or if you have a big day ahead of you, prepare for your workday.

What you don’t want to use this extra quiet time for is housework! It can be tempting to throw in a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher, but that would defeat the purpose of having some time each morning for yourself.

Prepare for the Morning Rush the Night Before

Almost every time management and organizational article will recommend that you select your clothing and set them all out the night before you plan to wear them. Have you ever placed professional clothing on the back of a chair? No matter how careful you are, you’ll wake up to wrinkled clothing most mornings and have to pick out something else, anyway!

What may work better for you is to look through your clothing and decide what you are going to wear mentally- but leave it all hanging in your closet or folded neatly in your drawers.

Group Similar Activities Together

When making dinner, also prepare the next day’s lunches for your children, and prepare baby bottles for the sitter’s if need be. If possible, gather everything for the next morning’s breakfast, as well. It seems like such small, trivial tasks but if you make it habit to do all of this while you’re already in the kitchen preparing dinner, you’ll save precious minutes in the morning.

Another tip is to cook or prepare several meals at once. Some people spend a couple hours on Sunday afternoon preparing meals that can be reheated or taken out of the freezer during the week and other people simply cook two meals each time they cook so they can skip a day or two of cooking in between (don’t forget to eat leftovers!)

For example, if you’re having chicken parmesan and pasta on Monday night, bake or fry additional boneless chicken to be used in a Chinese-style stir fry for later in the week. You can freeze the pre-cooked chicken and simply add it to your vegetables in the frying pan when you’re ready to eat it.

Don’t Clean so Much

If you do a few things each day, you’ll never have to spend an entire day cleaning the house from top to bottom. Get your children to help you- children as young as 2 can be taught to do simple chores. (Yes, it can be a struggle in the beginning for children of any age, but if you are persistent that they do their share, it will just become part of their routine.)

A good tip for a family with children is to do a load of laundry every day, from start to finish. Don’t take it out of the dryer and let it sit in the laundry basket, either! Wash, dry, fold and put away- one load each day. This will avoid the dreaded laundry day- when you spend hours and have to fold 7 baskets of clothes on a Saturday.

Use baby wipes or Clorox wipes to keep your bathrooms clean. It’s amazing how quick you can wipe out the sink, or little boy toilet “misses” with these wipes! Keep a sponge in the shower and give it a quick once over every few days while you’re taking your shower and it will stay clean.

Multi-tasking Super Moms

Working mothers are notorious for their ability to do several things at once. If you get a lunch break at work, you might want to use it once or twice a week to do some household tasks. For example, you can eat a sandwich at your desk and pay your bills, fill out school forms or schedule personal appointments. On the days you don’t need to do household activities, take a walk on your lunch hour to rejuvenate for the afternoon.

You can also effectively fit in exercise while working, in most situations. If you’re on a phone call, who would know if you’re doing standing leg lifts or tightening your abdominal muscles? Every little bit of exercise counts.

You can also fit in exercise when playing with the kids after work or on weekends. Run around the playground with them, or dance around the house like a crazy person!

Keep Your Sense of Humor

If you take a moment to take pleasure in each of your daily activities, and remind yourself you’re doing exactly what you want to do with your life (raising your beautiful children and working in a career), it’s hard to be overwhelmed or grumpy with the occasional difficult day. Laugh. Laugh often, and laugh loud- you’d be amazed at the benefits!


 

 

Loving the weather…….

………..on Sunday, 10/25/09, yes it is still a bit warmer then it should be for this time of year here in Florida, however I am not complaining in the slightest and I am loving what we do have right now!  =)Today I slept until almost 9am as my husband got up early and walked the dog so I could sleep in, once I awoke, I felt very rested so I popped up and started my chores for the day, which were laundry & mopping the floors

Then I started in on the usual BIG breakfast Sunday, which consisted of the following today:

  • Omelet full of lots of veggies (green peppers, mushrooms & onions) with a few pieces of crumbled up bacon & some cheese.
Omelet (Prep 1)

Omelet (Prep 1)

Sunday 10.25.09 - Omelet2

Omelet (Prep 2)

Sunday 10.25.09 - Omelet3

Omelet (Prep 3)

Sunday 10.25.09 - Omelet4

Omelet (Prep 4)

Sunday 10.25.09 - Omelet5

Omelet (Prep 5)

  • A piece of Publix breakfast bread, that I toasted and added some butter too.

Sunday 10.25.09 - Breakfast Bread1 

Sunday 10.25.09 - Breakfast Bread2
  •  A slice of melon (that I later cut up) and a glass of orange juice.

Thursday - Early Breakfast

  Here it all is together:

    Sunday 10.25.09 - Breakfast

    BIG "Sunday" Breakfast

The above was not finished and eaten until almost 11am as it took me forever to make and I kept getting interrupted with other things……..however I finally got to eat it and was very satisfied, I love omelets and they always keep you full for a long time.  After cleaning everything up I decided to take on the HUGE task of cleaning my car that had not been cleaned since September…..=O….and was very dirty with tons of tree dust, little leaves and pollen all over it (inside & out).  When I told my husband of my plans he “graciously” offered to help, which I of course accepted.  

We decided to tackle the care in steps: 

  • Vacuum all the interior & rugs
  • Wipe down everything inside
  • Armorall all leather interior
  • Windex all inside glass
  • Wash & rinse exterior
  • Clean rims & tires
  • Towel dry exterior

The weather was amazing during the 2+ hours it took to do all the above, as a there was a nice cool breeze and clear sunny sky, that I kept stopping to sock in……=)

I cannot express how amazing my car looked when we were finished and how much “detail” work my husband put into it as well!  If I haven’t mentioned it before I will now, my husband is very detailed oriented and never does a job 1/2 way or slacks in any way at any task he tackles or attempts.   

Lunch immediatelly followed as my husband was STARVING.  I made him a huge sandwich with some chips and I munched on some whole-grain pita chips with red pepper humus and an apple while I made his lunch.

Sunday 10.25.09 - Lunch

Lunch

A shower followed the above and I then decided to take some ME TIME and curled up on the couch next to the open back patio door that let in a nice cool breeze with the below.

Sunday 10.25.09 - Coffee & Magazine

I added one of my “seasonal” favorites, shown below, to my cup of coffee. 

Sunday 10.25.09 - Pumpkin Spice  

Sunday 10.25.09 - Pumpkin Spice2

 I love coffee, however I only drink it in the a.m. and I have been successful at curbing my former habit of purchasing coffee at Barnie’s, Starbuck’s, Einstein Bagel, etc……..over the years!  BUT, I am a sucker for “seasonal” coffee creamers and have vowed to try a different one every week or so through the end of the year in moderation of course.  

Dinner came before I knew it, why does time have to fly so quickly when I am relaxing!?!?!  =(   I decided to do a quick and easy one tonight and we had taco’s with rice on the side.  Which is a family favorite in my house! 

Sunday 10.25.09 - Dinner

Dinner

Than later in the evening I indulged in some a small bowl of my favorite Publix Premium Peppermint Stick ice-cream for desert, YUMMY! 

Sunday 10.25.09 - Small Bowl Icecream

Desert

I have decided to ONLY have ice-cream on Friday & Saturday, in moderation on those days of course, as I could eat it everyday and finish off the carton completely in a week+ but my goal is to not finish the carton before the end of November.  I then will try another “seasonal” favorite in December.  Let’s see how well I do, my husband is going to help me! 

TIP OF THE DAY 

While reading my Health magazine today I found a little note titled “Give Yourself A Break” and thought it was very fitting with my Sunday! 

Here is what it said

How many times a day do you kick yourself for “messing up” at work or forgetting to do something at home?  Try this one change from Debbie Mandel, a stree-management specialist and author of Addicted To Stress: A Women’s 7-Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life, to stop blaming yourself for just being human:  

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Become a healthy narcissist.  Duck out of work early to see a chick flick.  Say no to volunteering at school on Saturday so you can curl up with a good book.  When you put yourself first for a change and do something you really enjoy (like how I read my magazine & had a cup of my favorite coffee this afternoon), you get a relaxation response in the brain that halts feelings of guilt and stress!                                 

5 Miles Achieved!!!

My Saturday, 10/24/09 started just before 8am and with some sniffing at the door from Peanut who was waiting to be walked.

Peanut1 - Tuesday, 9.29.09

After a nice stroll around the block I came home and prepared my breakfast, which was a slice of honey wheat bread that I toasted and added some peanut butter and 1/2 a sliced banana too.  I also had a glass of water with it so I would be hydrated for my up coming run.

Breakfast

Breakfast

I then waited for my daughter to get home from grandma’s, made her some breakfast, put on my running attire and headed out for my scheduled 60 Min. “Endurance” Run…..a bit later than I hoped, around 9:15a.m. 

An hour and 15 minutes later, at 10:30a.m., I finally got home after finishing 5 miles in all.  The run was “ok”!  I felt I could have been a bit stronger but I was glad to have finished and I only stopped twice for a minute or so each time so that was pretty good considering I have NEVER ran 5 miles outside before.  I also made myself take the long way home in order to get in some extra mileage in light of my two “walking” stops.  Plus, I sprinted at the end of my run too, which is not something I usually do as I am always so exhausted by then but I know I need to get used to doing it for my up coming race as I do not want to look so tired at the finish line.  So overall, I was pleased and hope to do better next Saturday………….and hey, I finally achieved a 5 mile run outside!!!

Oh and I can’t forget I am 1/2 way through my 10K Training Program now, as I have officially completed WEEK 3 and have 3 weeks to go!!!  =)

A shower immediately followed my run as you might have expected and then of course my weekly chore of “grocery shopping” came next, which I quickly tackled as the husband had an appointment to get to in the afternoon and I needed to finish my shopping, get home, put everything away and make lunch before he was scheduled to leave…..giving me just over 2 hours to complete it all and lucky for me I succeeded, this time as I am usually always late

Speaking of lunch I had one of my favorites and go to salads, a Southwest Chicken Salad, YUMMY!

Lunch

Lunch

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing a little shopping, picking up a few necessities and then stopping by Party City to look at Halloween Costumes with my daughter.  After looking over their huge board of selections she decided that she would like to be a Charm School Witch.  Isn’t it the cutest!?!  Plus, it is right up her alley as she loves school and I loved the fact that it came with everything pictured, unlike many of the other costumes that they were selling, more value for my buck.  She even wants to get the matching green notebook the girl in the picture is holding.  I can’t wait to see her all dressed up next Saturday……

Charm School Witch

At 5pm we had a Princess Royal Masquerade & Not-So-Scary Halloween Birthday Party to attend for the daughter of one of my good friends.  We arrived about 30 minutes late as I completely forgot to pick up a gift for her earlier in the afternoon so we had to get one last-minute and then drive 30 minutes to her house, luckily my friend is used to me being late for her parties…….

I am sorry to say that in my RUSH out the door I completely forgot my camera so I was unable to take any pictures of the party & party fare!  =( 

However, I will give you a list of what I sampled:

  • Ham & Cheese Croissants (2)
  • Mummy Sugar Cookies (2)
  • Scooby Snack Graham Crackers w/Pumpkin Dip (6)
  • A few glasses of Punch
  • Small plate of Cake & Ice-cream

As you can see it was a pretty high carb/sugar event for me and I was quite full and had a huge sugar high during the party so I did not have anything for dinner.

Just a bit after 7pm we departed the party and drove home, yawning the entire way home as are sugar low’s finally hit us both, plus the long drive home in the dark did not help either.

I did manage to stop pick the husband up something for dinner as he was stock to the xBox the entire time we were gone and completely forgot to eat, however once at home I hit the couch and proceeded to fall asleep while watching t.v………….

Joy Fit Club on NBC’s TODAY Show (Submittal)

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So I have finally completed and officially submitted my Joy Fit Club on NBC’s TODAY Show submittal on Friday, 10/23/09!!!  =)

Check out my answers to their questions & some of the before/after pictures I submitted as well: 

Section1: Meet the members

My name is Laura and I am 32 years old.  I live in Orlando, Florida with my husband, Steven, of 3 years and my daughter, Jai Lei, who is 9 years old.  My current weight is 142, though some days I am a bit more or less depending on my eating habits and/or if I have missed a run or the gym that week.  My starting (before) weight was 246 pounds, I believe I may have weighed more than that at one point but I did not weigh myself often back than so I do not know for sure.  To date I have lost just over 100 pounds!  I officially hit the 100 pound weight loss mark in August 2009.  I currently work as an Assistant Real Estate Manager for a large commercial real estate company and have been in the Property Management field for almost 10 years now.  

I was very lucky to have been blessed with an amazing childhood full of tons of fun adventures and travel that my parents introduced me to, despite the fact that they divorced when I was 2 years old.  Lucky for me they both happened to remarry when I was 5 years old to amazing people who I became close to quickly and am still very close to today.  Throughout my childhood I ate quite healthy, as my mom feed me a very well balanced diet that did not include a lot of junk or fast food and also maintained an active lifestyle that included several outdoor sports and activities. 

In my pre-teen years I discovered my love for food, which came from all the amazing foods I got to taste in my travels with my family.  Now, I did not gain any weight at that time as I was still quite active, however that is when my love for food officially started and slowly but surely as the years followed I gained weight and a few months shy of my 13th Birthday I discovered that I was approximately 20 pounds overweight.  Now at the time I really did not think anything “negative” about my weight!  In fact, it was not until my Dad said to me, word for word, “that if I wanted a boyfriend in the future I would need to lose some weight“, that the “negative” thinking began!  Now, my Dad did not mean anything bad by saying that.  He did not mean to hurt me or mess me up in side (though he did and it of course affected me for years to come).  It was just his way of trying to help me lose some weight as I was a bit heavier than I should have been for my age and he did not know how else to bring it to my attention, though of course he should have.  So as you can imagine my weight issues officially started from that day forth and continued through my early adult years. 

I met my daughter’s father & ex when I was 23 years old, we moved into together quickly and soon after I became pregnant with my daughter.  At that time I was at a healthy weight for my height, in the upper 130’s and luckily I only gained about 30+ pounds while pregnant.  However, just before my daughters Second Birthday things started to go downhill fast in my relationship and I left my ex and moved back to Florida to be near my family!  That is when the BIG weight gain started, as my ex severally damaged me, as I will call it, and I also had to go through a horrible custody battle that ended with me being 80+ pounds heavier!  Over the next few years I stayed OBESE weighing upwards of 240+ pounds and despite my “internal” feelings on my weight and its effect on me and my daughter I struggled to overcome them.  That was an EXTREMELY difficult time in my life in which I was very depressed and was literally hiding inside, under all the fat.  I had never been that heavy in my life and I was in denial, though of course from time to time others would remind me of just how big I was…….like one of my former bosses who treated me horribly because as she said it (not around me of course but other co-workers) she hated Fat People! 

Before pictures

May 2003 (Me @ 245+ Pounds & My Daughter)

May 2003 (Me @ 245+ Pounds & My Daughter)

June 2003 (Me @ 245+ Pounds & My Daughter)

June 2003 (Me @ 245+ Pounds & My Daughter)

December 2004 (Me @ 245+ Pounds)

December 2004 (Me @ 245+ Pounds)

April 2006 (Me @ 200+ Pounds)

April 2006 (Me @ 200+ Pounds)

June 2006 (Me @ 200+ Pounds)

June 2006 (Me @ 200+ Pounds)

 Section 2: Food Philosophy 

Throughout my childhood I was exposed to all different kinds of amazing foods that tempted my taste buds and awaked my mind to this wonderful new sensation.  Then during my pre-teen & teen years I began to use “food” as a solution for boredom as I was the only child and even though my weekends were quite full with activities with my parents I was alone a lot on the week days.  This boredom eating continued into my early adult years; however it was not until after my split from my daughters’ father that I used food as like a drug, to numb the pain that I had inside, though of course it was always a short-lived solution so the vicious cycle of eating continued and resulted in an extreme weight gain.  At the time I viewed food as both the savor and the enemy. 

My parents had completely different views on my “eating habits”, as previously described my Dad looked upon my eating habits very negatively and in turn reacted negatively to them, however my Mom was much more understanding and supportive, though I know after my extreme weight gain she was not quite sure what to say or do as the rest of my extended family and friends were as well!  

Section 3: Eating habits

When I was gaining the majority of my weight I ate an extremely un-healthy diet full of fast food/restaurant meals and very little healthy options.  I can say with 100% accuracy that eating out every day will QUICKLY pack on the pounds, especially eating Fast Food daily, as I gained the majority of the weight from doing just that and in a matter of months, between 6-8 months to be exact!  While I was at my heaviest I ate twice as much as I should on a daily basis and could polish off an extra-large whole pie on my own in a matter of days.  I always finished my plate back then, no matter the size, and would still want more after finishing it.  Often times I never felt full, like the HOLE could not be filled, which I am sure was because it was not appetite I was feeding but something deeper that could not be fixed with food!  

My favorite places to eat at the time were Taco Bell, Wendy’s and any restaurant we went too.  I would often order several taco’s and a large burrito from Taco Bell and a cheeseburger, large fries, coke and sometimes chicken nuggets from Wendy’s.  I also loved to eat out at restaurants during that time and my choices were never salads or healthy meal options.  Back then I completely ignored my extremely un-healthy habits and avoided coming face to face with it.  A lot of times it was like I was looking at myself through rose-colored glasses that hid what I truly looked like on the outside as deep down I knew what I was doing was not healthy and that I was extremely overweight, but I was just too depressed to face it and my addiction took over.  

My weight affected my career quite a bit during that time of my life, as I felt others did not see the real me inside through all the fat or that I was an asset or worth much during that time.  I will also admit that I did not do the best job I could have done due in my career as I lacked the self-confidence to do so.  I was also single and did no dating what so ever during that time in my life.  In fact until I met my husband and started to change my life I wanted to be alone as my breakup with my ex (daughter’s father) was a very bad and volatile one that I honestly feel to this day I gained the weight on purpose to keep men, away from me……..in order to avoid myself from getting so hurt again!  On the other side of things my wonderful family treated me the same as they always had, not one change.  However, I know they were concerned and just did not know how to approach me about it and I am sure it was quite difficult for them at the time.  It is funny how your mind thinks or more likely doesn’t think when you are in a position such as mine……….as all my life goals just melted away and I honestly had none at the time as my thinking was nowhere near that area back then, I did not think I could achieve anything or that I deserved it either!  My focus was my daughter, paying bills and FOOD! 

Before daily intake

Mock rundown of what you ate for: 

  • Breakfast
    • Several servings (bowls) of cereal high in sugar
    • Fatty bacon, egg & cheese breakfast sandwiches several times a week
    • Large muffins or pastries
    • Hardly ever ate any “fruits”
  • Lunch & Dinner
    • Cheeseburger, fries & coke
    • 3 tacos & a large burrito
    • Large portion sizes of pasta (lasagna, spaghetti, etc.)
    • Frozen Pizza’s or Pizza Bites (unhealthy versions, not Kashi)
    • Large salads with lots of cheese, croutons & fatty dressing  
    • Basically “large” portions of whatever I ate!!! 
  • Snacks
    • Baked goods (donuts, cookies, cake & pie)
    • Chips 
    • Ice cream
    • Soda (large glasses) 

 

Section 4: The turning point


For me the most painful part of being overweight was the way I felt inside and how I treated others on the outside.  I felt so bad on the inside that it unfortunately came out on the outside quite often and of course the two most important people (Mom & Daughter) in my life were directly affected by that quite often!  To this day I am still saddened and ashamed of how I was with them at times.  I also hated being such a POOR role model for my daughter who was under 5 years old at the time.  In addition, the extreme weight was a toll on my physically as it kept me from doing so many of the things I loved to do in the past and more importantly from being more actively involved in my daughter’s life.  I spent far too many hours on the couch eating back then or in bed napping!  And, of course there were all the physical ailments of being so overweight……backaches, headaches and always feeling uncomfortable!  

In the beginning of 2005 I decided “enough was enough” and set out to try and lose the weight I had gained over the past 3 years!!!  With the love and support of my family and friends I started making the changes in my life that set me in the right direction to lose weight.  Then in March 2005 I met my future husband, Steven, who quickly became a great friend at 1st and helped me find the courage to stop hiding from life and actually start living it again!  He helped me return to the gym, which led to the rekindling of my love for running (a sport that I feel in love with in my early teens) and his healthy lifestyle inspired me to start living the same way and fostered the love I have for healthy foods and cooking today.  I also must add that he unlike so many other people I met during that time in my life saw the “real me inside”, under all the FAT and truly looked at me as the person I was, not what my exterior showed.  To this day I feel blessed to have been lucky enough to meet him and still have him in my life today! 

Section 5: Losing the weight

Once I decided to take control of my extremely un-healthy eating habits and my life for that matter, I overhauled my diet and lifestyle completely!  Now, this was not easy, there were many ups and downs along the way and the weight did not come off overnight either.  In fact, I would do good for a long time than I would take a month or two off (due to stress at home) and even a year at one point (when things were really busy at work) and return to my old habits during those times.  It was during those breaks as I call them that I learned a very valuable lesson that, DIETING DOES NOT WORK!!!  See I would lose a lot of weight, 30-50 pounds, and then I would take a “break” and gain it all back and sometimes more.  Anytime things got tough in life (at home or work), I would take a break and return to my old means of making myself feel better, which of course was EATING!!!  Then would become fed up with myself, would get back on the wagon and start the whole cycle over again.  This up and down cycle pretty much continued over the next 3 years for me, until I FINALLY I said ”enough was enough” and I decided to get serious, stop the dieting (up & down cycle), start working out regularly and make some PERMANENT changes in my life!  I finally made all those PERMANENT CHANGES in my life back in June 2008, at that time I weighed around 215 pounds, only 31 pounds below where I had started 3 years earlier!  I decided then and there to start doing the following on a weekly (regular) basis:

  • Eat a “healthy & balanced” diet, limiting my “bad” choices
    • NO DIETING ALLOWED!!!
  • Work out on a regular (weekly) basis!
    • Run or do other forms of cardio 3-5 times a week for at least 30+ minutes
    • Weight lift (abs, upper & lower body) 2 times a week for at least 60+ minutes

I followed the above over the next year and three months, then finally in August 2009 I hit my GOAL WEIGHT of 146 pounds, marking a 100 pounds lost in all!!!

After daily intake 

  • Breakfast
    • Instant high-fiber oatmeal (single serving size) with fruit, nuts & flax seed mixed in or a piece of fruit on the side
    • Whole-wheat frozen waffles (2) toasted with a tablespoon of peanut butter, ½ a sliced banana and a drizzling of syrup on top with orange juice
    • One serving size bowl of high-fiber cereal (Multi-Grain Cheerios, FiberOne Raisin Bran, etc.) with 2% milk and a glass of juice or a piece of fruit
    • Homemade frozen mixed berry smoothie made with milk & ice
    • Toasted whole-wheat bread with peanut butter and fruit on the side
    • A two egg omelet with tons of veggies (mushrooms, onions, peppers & tomatoes) and light cheese
  • Lunch
    • Tuna/Peanut Butter on one or two pieces of high-fiber whole wheat bread with carrots, pickles & fruit on the side or frozen veggies
    • A medium size chef or chicken salad with tons of veggies (romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes and peppers), beans (red, black or garbanzo beans), egg, sunflower seeds, a few croutons, a pinch of cheese and a little ranch or Italian dressing on the side
    • A bowl full of homemade vegetable soup with low-fat beef or hamburger & beans added and whole-wheat crackers on the side
    • A small plate of humus and whole-wheat pita crackers with a small side salad or raw veggies on the side and a piece of fruit
    • Small cheeseburger, small fries & water or unsweetened ice tea
  • Dinner
    • Whole-grain taco shells with lean taco meat, lots of shredded romaine lettuce, diced cherry tomatoes and a little cheese with yellow rice mixed with black beans and salsa on the side
    • Small bowl of whole-wheat pasta with lean hamburger meat & marina mixed together on top and a side salad
    • Marinated lean pork loin with ½ a baked potatoes and vegetables (asparagus, corn, broccoli or cabbage) on the side
    • Homemade whole-wheat pizza with tons of veggies (mushrooms, green & red peppers, onions and tomatoes) and thinly sliced pepperoni and a small amount of cheese sprinkled on top
    • One serving size of pot roast with baby carrots & potatoes and a small salad
    • Small cheeseburger, small fries & water or unsweetened ice tea
  • Snacks
    • One small serving size container of high-fiber and active culture yogurt with a tablespoon of granola and a handful of fresh berries
    • A small piece of homemade chocolate chip, walnut, raisin & flax seed granola and a fruit
    • A handful of whole-wheat pita chips and a scoop of humus and raw veggies
    • Occasionally a small cookie, piece of cake/pie or a small bowl of ice-cream

After pictures

March 2009 (Me @ 152 Pounds)

March 2009 (Me @ 152 Pounds)

April 2009 (Me @ 155 Pounds)

April 2009 (Me @ 155 Pounds)

August 2009 (Me @ 146 Pounds) - 100 POUNDS LOST!!!

August 2009 (Me @ 146 Pounds) - 100 POUNDS LOST!!!

October 2009 (Me @ 142 Pounds) - 105 POUNDS LOST!!!

October 2009 (Me @ 142 Pounds) - 105 POUNDS LOST!!!

Section 6: New food outlook

Over the past year it finally dawned on me that I had to change my eating habits and lifestyle completely in order to be healthy and stay healthy!  Otherwise the weight would just creep back on eventually, which I had learned several times over the past 4+ years!  In my eyes, the only true way to lose weight, maintain your weight and be ”healthy” is to CHANGE YOUR EATING HABITS AND LIFE STYLE COMPLETELY!!!  However, this does NOT mean you can’t ever eat anything “unhealthy” or “bad” for you again or that you can’t miss the gym either, quite the opposite!  You can enjoy those things and take time off…….you just have to do it all in moderation, it is all about BALANCE!!!  This is the 1st and best advice I would give to someone who is in the same situation I was in back then.  

I now view food and exercises as a means of taking care of myself, food is no longer an addiction for me and exercise is now a great source of pleasure in my life.  I love running; it is an excellent form of exercise and is a wonderful stress reliever.  Since losing the weight my life has changed A LOT!  I have been married to an amazing and wonderfully supportive husband for 3 years now and finally have the “family” I always wanted!  My career skyrocketed after I finally found the confidence in myself to go after what I wanted and show just how much of an asset I can be.  I feel so much better about myself as I finally have my confidence back and honestly I have much more than I did before I gained all the weight.  My view on life is completely different as well; I am a much happier and positive person now and try to be that way no matter what life throws at me.  I finally feel good inside my own skin and the best part is that I am finally “healed” on the inside and the outside luckily benefited from that healing.  I find that the people in my past pretty much treat me the same today as they did back then, however I do get lots of compliments on my weight lose, new lease on life and several advice inquires from them now that I of course did not get back then.  I did notice a big difference in the way “strangers” treat me though as now they actually look at me instead of trying to not and I get a lot more eye contact, smiles and conversations from them.  

I would like to end with the following statements:

I have finally let go of my past (late childhood, teen, early adult & adult) issues that led me down several wrong roads in life! 

I no longer let those things control my thoughts, image of myself or my self-esteem!

I can finally say that my 20 year (starting at age 13 and ending at age 33) “weight loss” journey has officially ended and I now can start a new chapter in my life…………..FINDING A HEALTHY BALANCE!