Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pleasure & Pain

It is another glorious morning...not so hot or humid or hazy. Just a great start to the day. I'm always inspired on days like this. Even though I opted out of the dog walk this AM with my hubs (my knee is still a little iffy), I know I will get a workout in at the gym at some point, plus I have a bunch of cleaning I need to do that will hopefully burn a few calories, in addition to making my house sparkle. :-)

My training session was a little brutal yesterday - it was an upper arm/chest work out which left my arms feeling a wee bit like lead. You know it's never a good thing when your trainer casually throws in the conversation something like, "Oh,  you probably won't be able to lift your arms above your head tomorrow. I hope you don't have to put away dishes or anything..." I was like - What??? And then I remembered how much pain I was in after my last workout with my male trainer, Scott, right before the weekend. My legs felt like Muhammad Ali had made them his own personal punching bag. Going up stairs was difficult at best. Coming down them was pure torture. So imagine my horror when I realized that this new trainer, Linda, intended to make  mush meat out of my arms, too. I wanted to run, but my bum knee wouldn't let me. So I stayed, and endured.

Despite the intensity level of these training sessions, my inner sadist is rather enjoying the challenge. I would NEVER push my body to the limits these trainers have. The second I would feel a little discomfort at the gym, that was my signal to stop. I never pushed myself to see how far I could go - until now. I'm giving it my all, and it is interesting to see what I am actually capable of doing. Of course, I have miles to go, but this feels like a really great beginning to me. I'm willing to work hard - and am happy that some results are already forthcoming. Today I weighed in at the scale is at least cooperating! All of this pain is not for naught!

Until next time, happy sweating and healthy eating!
A chuckle a day keeps the fat cells away...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Good Morning!
It's going to be another blazing one today - my least favorite weather,  HHH - Hazy, Hot & Humid. Blech. Give me 70 derees and sunny with a breeze and I am good to go but this kind of weather so early in the season makes me wanna submerge myself in a pool and not come out until September.
I'd probably lose a lot of weight that way, so maybe it's not such a bad idea. Hmmm....Note to self: Will have to look into when the pool opens in town....

Anyhoo - yesterday I posted some of the details about the Summer Sizzle Slim Down Challenge. I apologize for the looooooooong post.You have until June 3 to read it all so no worries, take your time. Print it out if you need some good bathroom reading material...whatever it takes.

I'm actually pretty jazzed about the challenge because this is really the first summer I have been able to dedicate to ME in 3 years. We're talking full on jazz hands, in effect, y'all! No school to worry about - just time to focus on getting myself in shape (other than ROUND) and living a healthier life style. I'm already doing the gym thing which will be a huge help, provided my knee cooperates. As I type this, I am sitting with an ice pack on it because it is not a happy joint at the moment. Last night towards the end of my elliptical workout (30 mins, 361 cals burned - WOOT), I got a panging pain. I finished the last of the workout because I only had about 2 1/2 mins to go, but it's been a nagging bitch since then. My knees suck to begin with, ever since I danced at my wedding like a freak. I swear, it's sad, but I was never the same after that night. I've been diagnosed with the onset of arthritis in my knee (an MRI has confirmed this), but not sure if there's something else going on there or what. I should probably visit a doctor, huh?

And, as if I need further incentive to lose weight, I have recently been watching my TiVo'd episodes of the Weight of the Nation that aired on HBO last week. It's very eye opening - but it truly makes me embarrassed knowing I am lumped in the group of morbidly obese people. I am a statistic of sorts, and I hate it. At 5' 0" and 232 (I lost 2 lbs, probably in pee alone, since yesterday), I know I have some very serious health concerns that I could face (and probably am facing but don't know it) if I don't take action now.  So, now it is. I am on it!

Part of my training that I signed up for includes nutrition counseling so I am curious to see what type of "diet" they will prescribe. I already have their list of foods, and it is a small one. I have to track what I eat as part of the plan, so week one of the Summer Sizzle Slim Down Challenge is an absolute MUST for me anyway. This is the most invested I have ever been in my weight loss (and a bonus is that my husband is on board and looking to lose weight too, so he is OK with the big eating changes that are about to take place) - so I am really excited to experience a transformation this summer!

By this time next year, you'll be looking at a new woman!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DETAILS - Summer Sizzle Slim Down Challenge

Happy Tuesday!
I KNOW, I KNOW -  I am late on the Summer Sizzle Slim Downbut I have decided that since there are a few people doing another challenge that ends June 3, I'll start the new challenge then. Hope that works for everyone...

I just returned from vacation anyway and it was difficult for me to blog the details from the beach, so I figured this mini-delay would be for the best. However, with that said, I thought I would set up the guidelines of the challenge for your to peruse this week so you can decide if you want to hop on board.

So,  the official guidelines for the 2012 Summer Sizzle Slim Down are listed below. Keep in mind, I'm not a Diet & Exercise Dictator so if you are uncomfortable with any of the components of the challenge, I'm obviously not going to DRIVE to your house and MAKE you participate. These guidelines are to challenge you, maybe make you step out of your comfort zone a bit and focus on getting fit and healthy by incorporating or trying different things each week. I know personally, I need a good swift kick in the fat pants and am excited to be setting some goals and challenging myself as I have never done before. The reasoning for many of the weekly challenges that I have chosen are both personally driven (things I really struggle with) but also address common themes and issues/hurdles I have been reading about throughout the weight loss blog community as of late.

One of the reasons I am so gung-ho about the challenge is that my training sessions at the gym the past few weeks have made me realize that my body is capable of doing far more than I thought it could. Yes, some of the exercise really hurts (it's called being severely out of shape) and the last session I had with my trainer left me feeling like the most unfit person on the face of the Earth and my legs were in pain for days. But, I made it through the work out - and I signed up for a weekly personal training session for the next three months (it was all I can afford, but I am committed). I NEED someone to kick my ass....I realize I have never worked harder than when someone is standing over me expecting me to give it my all. Call it not wanting to look like a whiny idiot or whatever - I just know I work harder when a trainer is asking me to do the work.
This challenge will hopefully act as a "trainer" for you - pushing you to do things that may be uncomfortable at first, but in the end, leave you feeling like a superstar!

Anyhoo - back to the Summer Sizzle Slim-Down Challenge. Here's the deets:

Posts regarding the challenge should be published each Sunday. I will also provide details about the upcoming week's challenge that day as well as report on the challenge from last week. If you are in the challenge be sure to leave a comment on my blog with your url link so that we can all go visit yor blog to see your challenge update. These are the other guidelines:

1. PICTURES ARE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS - Before the challenge begins, take a current full body-length picture (front, back and side view) and a close up picture of your face. You may post them if you'd like ( I will be - and I have plenty of other full body shots on this blog). I find that once you get it out there, the motivation MAY increase (ignore the fact that it obviously didn't do it for me the last time I took those awful pictures - but I still have hope for this summer). Even if you are not comfortable posting your pics on the blog, please take the pictures anyway, and keep them for your own benefit, even if it's only your eyes that see them. Hopefully in September we can all look back and see just how far we've come. :-)

2. MEASUREMENTS - Taking measurements may keep you focused when the scale doesn't seem to budge.  I encourage you to take your measurements at the start of the challenge - even if it's just the basics - upper arms, calf, thigh, waist, hips and bust. I may throw "neck" in there just because I know some of my necklaces are tight and I am curious how much I can lose in that area.
I will do measurement updates once a month on the following days: (June 3, July 1, August 5, Sept 2).
If you choose to post measurements, those would be the posting dates for all of us.

3. WEIGHT - I will be weighing in weekly. I'll weigh in on Fridays but will post my progress and weight each Sunday. If you are posting weekly, you can pick whatever day you wish to weigh in, but all updates should be posted on Sunday. Just let us know what day is your actual weigh-in day.

WEEKLY CHALLENGES - I have set up a list of weekly challenges that are meant to encourage forming good habits. The goal is to firmly stick with the weekly challenge posted - it is up to you whether or not you feel you can commit to keeping up with that challenge going forward (hopefully we all will!). Not EVERY weekly challenge will require "continuation" - but the goal is to get into the mindset of doing these things and proving to yourself that you CAN do them. And if you can do them for one week - why not two weeks? Why not three? And so get the picture.
I'm listing the goals up front so that you can mentally prepare and also see what I mean when I say not all weekly challenges need continuation. You can also see the ones that can be continued, if you should so desire.


Week 1 - (begin June 3) - "WRITE IT ALL DOWN" (and post pics/measurements if doing so)
Week one is all about honesty and being accountable to yourself about what goes in the old gullet. The goal is to keep a daily record for 7 days straight of EVERY morsel (bevvies included) you put in your mouth so that you may look at the calories consumed for one week. I know I am QUEEN of denial - I have a bad case of the Handful Here, Bite of That There Syndrome where I apparently think my mini-indulgences are calorie-free. My ample ass tells me otherwise.
Trust me - I know that tracking is a real pain in the rear-end to many people, myself included - but I also know that when people DO track, they are more inclined to not eat crap because who wants to write 5 Snickers on their log? At least this is what the literature tells me!
If you do blog, try keeping accountable through there (that's what I'll be doing) - and if you are not a blogger but doing this at home for fun, keep a food journal. has a good FREE phone app and helps track calories, and is another good online site to help with tracking - so perhaps those tools will make it easier to keep track.

Week 2 - (begin June 10) - "SIX HOURS OF EXERCISE"
I don't care if you are dancing around your house or lifting weights or walking or ice skating. The goal for this week is to simply get moving for at least 6 hours throughout the week. You can break it into smaller increments throughout the day if needed, but try to track your exercise so you can reach that weekly goal. Those of you that have long hours at work, this may be tough but the operative word for this challenge is TRY! Making time when you think there is NO time in the day will be an added challenge, but I have faith we can all do this one!
If you are so inclined, share your stat goals - like that you intend to walk 24 miles or whatever goal you have that will coincide with your 6 hours of exercise. I'll be here to cheer you on!

I don't know about you but there are plenty of pieces of equipment at the gym that I eye up plenty enough but never give them a try (hello Jacob's Ladder, I'm looking specifically at you).  For example, I have always wanted to try aqua aerobics but never have....I have also wanted to try working out with kettlebells but never have. (WHY???) This challenge is meant to get us out of any fitness ruts we may be experiencing, and to embrace the beauty of change starting on a small scale. Change is hard, and scary sometimes, but I do think that in order to succeed in losing weight, we can't get bored - so let's try new things and find a few new faves. This is one of those challenges you could easily do week to week. You never know - you just may become addicted to something you least expected - like lifting barbells or using the tricep machine! Go for it this week and give us your review on how you did!!!

Week 4 - (begin June 24) - 100 oz OF WATER AND SHARE A FAVORITE HEALTHY RECIPE
This week presents a big challenge for me - I don't know why, but I really struggle with drinking enough water. I aim to correct that since weight loss and water consumption go hand in hand. If you already drink copious amounts of water - kudos to you - this will be an easy week for you. For people like me, it will be interesting. Increased trips to the bathroom will at least burn extra calories!
Since I'm also always at a loss for flavorful low-cal recipes (and really am at a loss when it comes to good breakfast food that is filling), I thought we could all swap a few recipes of our go-to dishes we love while losing weight. I'm always curious to see what types of food people turn to while adjusting their lifestyle. I love stretching my culinary muscle and think it will be fun to share what our healthy eats are now that we understand that donuts are, in fact, not diet food. 

Week 5 - (begin July 1) - LOSE 2 lbs THIS WEEK (and post pics/measurements if doing so)
Yep, holiday and all - this is the goal.
Don't question it - just do it. The reason this is the goal this week is to help us remember that the 4th of July doesn't give us free license to abandon all our diet and fitness goals. Yes, it's a holiday - but it's not a holiday meant to celebrate how many hot dogs and hamburgers our bodies can consume. This week will hopefully redirect us a bit - knowing the goal is a 2 pound loss, maybe we can steer clear of old habits of overindulgence during the holiday and make good on our promise to ourselves for better health ALL 365 days of the year!

Week 6 - (begin July 8) - VEGETARIAN WEEK
I've added this challenge simply because I'd like to see if I can do it. Maybe you too have always wondered what a vegetarian diet might be like? I know I love meat way too much to give it up for good, but I am willing to try for a week and see how I do and if I feel any different.
No meat of any kind. Seafood optional.
Who's with me?

Week 7 - (begin July 15) - COMMIT TO AND SIGN UP FOR A 5K
Make it official - let's commit ourselves to a 5K and go in not caring if we have to walk it, jog it or crawl it - just so long as we complete it. For those that are truly inspired to run, this week can begin the C25K running program or another 5K training system of your choice. I already know I can walk a 5K, so jogging will be my goal for this. The 5K can be anytime up through to the fall, but preferably we can complete one by the end of the summer. Just let us know you have committed and registered for it. Hopefully we can all come back after we have completed them and give a recap!

Week 8 - (begin July 22) - EMBRACE A FITNESS FEAR
Is there something you have always wanted to do that you are too afraid to try? Some irrational fear holds you back? For me, it's trying Zumba and Spinning....I long to do them but I am scared. Scared of only being able to do the activity for 2 minutes. Afraid to look like a jackass in front of people who do these activities all of the time and know the drill - and have STAMINA.
My thought is that by this time, hopefully we have been working on the stamina thing. We are ready to take on something new and maybe a little scary. Maybe it's running, or maybe it's kickboxing. Whatever your fear, this week the goal is to stare it in the eye, and then make it your bitch.

Week 9 - (begin July 29) - NO SUGAR (unless it's all natural) AND NO SNACKING AFTER DINNER
I figured I may as well put these two challenges together since sometimes snacks can be less than healthy. I am so guilty of feeling like I need to have "dessert" all of the time. Guess what? I DON'T! If I was the type of person that reached for fruit as a snack, maybe I wouldn't be so inclined to add this challenge, but since cake, pies and ice cream are my go-to desserts, I need to get a grip on this.
If we can eliminate those nasty calories we consume after dinner, my money is on weight loss for the next week.

Week 10 - (begin August 5) - SET A FITNESS/WEIGHT LOSS GOAL FOR YOURSELF (and post pics/measurements if doing so)
Let's surprise ourselves....we can do more than we think. This week is about telling each other what fitness goals we have for ourselves, because in a week or two I'll be asking everyone (myself included) to aim to surpass those goals. Same goes for weight loss. What do you want to lose this week (think outside the box - maybe it's not just weight)? And tell us why!

This week focuses on how each of us are doing and what we have learned about ourselves so far during this challenge. Hopefully we will all have new insight on what our bodies are capable of and how we have held ourselves accountable these past months. Also - as a fun side bar, let's show our weight loss in food. The idea is to take a picture of how much weight you've lost on the challenge so far - but in food pounds. So if you've lost 10 lbs, show us a picture of 2 (5lb) bags of sugar or a 10lb sack of potatoes. Get the picture?

Simple enough. Remind us what your goals were for week 10. Now go and beat them into submission!!!!

Week 13 - (begin August 26) - LOW CARB WEEK & NO EATING OUT
Skip the bread, pasta, cereal and rice this week. Stick to fruits and veggies and lean protein. While we're at it, let's ditch the restaurants, too. Make it a double challenge and hope that it pays off big next week!

Sept 2 - Final Weigh-in, Measurements, Pictures and Thoughts....

Ok - so that's about it for the weekly goals. I still would like to maybe incorporate some monthly goals. Maybe a total monthly weight loss goal or fitness goal. I will leave that up to each person on what they want to do.

I'm planning on a little incentive package too for the person who has really committed to the challenge and did us all proud. Details on that to follow.

But I think that's enough for one day. My ass needs to get to the gym!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer Sizzle Slim Down stuff and a story about a nipple

Finally! A sunny day! It's amazing what sunshine does for the human spirit! I feel really alive today and more motivated and dedicated to my weight loss than I have in a while. So as I sit here chomping on an apple and sucking down my strawberry Crystal Light (post-workout), I thought I'd share with you what's been going on with me the last week or so.

First off, I graduated on Saturday!!!! I am now the proud owner of a Masters of Education degree. It took three long years to get there but I did it and now I can begin the grueling task of hunting for a teaching position. I know that I will need to put my time in subbing but I've already had an interview - and if nothing else comes of it, it was at the very least good practice because it has been a looooong time since I have interviewed.

Second, I have been working on the Summer Sizzle Slim Down Challenge and have come up with some goals/strategies for each week. The challenge will begin May 25 and the ending date will be Sept 2 - it's a 14 week challenge which is long, but I will try to make it interesting.  I'm thinking about making some "incentive packages" for along the way, and offer some monthly challenges as well as each weekly challenge or goal to try to meet. Some ideas I have so far are to do a vegetarian week and also a week where you have to embrace a fitness fear - meaning either do an activity you have never tried before (but maybe secretly always wanted to) or try a new piece of equipment at the gym. I have a few other ideas up my sleeve, too. Right now I'm trying to get a feel for who might join me in this challenge???? I will post all of the nitty gritty details for the challenge this weekend. But tell me, if you were interested in doing the challenge, would you be willing to post weekly and/or monthly pics to show progress??? It might prove to be a great motivator...

In other news, I had my third training session at the gym today. I am finally getting over my embarrassment at being a lard-ass in front of the trainer. I figure I'm not the worst he's seen and so far, with the exception of the sit up test, I have been able to do everything he has asked of me, including planks with my feet up on a rolling bolster! I try not to focus too much on the image staring back at me in the mirror and try to think more about what that woman might look like if she keeps sticking to the program and working out. It's hard because I REALLY am very unhappy with the reflection I see right now, but I am working on trying to have a positive self-image while I continue to work on changing myself (both inside and out). It doesn't help that when I was staring in the mirror doing my arm curls, I realized I had one hard nipple! LOL - I practically busted out laughing because it looked so stupid, but then thought better of it because I'd have a hard time explaining my immaturity to the trainer who has probably had hundreds of hard nipple sightings during training. I don't know why on Earth that happens - or frankly, why only ONE popped out on me today and not the other. All I have to say is, I need a frigging sports bra! (Please tell me I am not the only one who has ever experienced this or am I a total freak of nature???).

Despite Nipplepocalyspe, I have to say that the training sessions are a huge motivator. I have always wanted to work with a personal trainer but was always too broke or too self-conscious to do it. I am happy the gym membership came with the 4 free sessions because it has allowed me to try things at the gym that I would have never done on my own because of my own chicken-shitness.  Today, for example, I was doing these pull ups from these strappy type things hanging from the ceiling. My body was leaning way back and I held onto the handles and had to pull my body up (kind of in a rowing motion). It was hard but I did it.

After my training session I did 20 mins on the elliptical and 25 mins on the treadmill. I left that gym looking like a sweaty pig, but I was a happy sweaty pig nonetheless!

Of course, life isn't all rainbows and butterflies. I will say that I need to still get a handle on the eating. It's the same old, same old there. I know I can't be working out just so I can have ice cream. It's so counter productive! I need to completely eliminate the bad stuff and cut those damn calories. It does me no good to burn 300 - 500 calories exercising so just to stuff my face with dessert. Hello? Self-sabotager in the house!!!!

So, yes, I have some work to do. I know this....but I'm feeling better than I have in a while and  of course I always have the words of Michelle egging me in in my brain: If not now, when?

Anyway - I have to start getting veggies prepped for dinner. Tonight I'm making grilled salmon and roasted veggies with broccoli, tomatoes, onions, cauliflower and asparagus. Should be good - and most importantly, healthy.

Until next time....sweat on, my friends!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Time on my hands...

It figures that now that I am out of school and student teaching is over, the weather has turned to complete crap. I have been longing for a day when I can park my derriere outside on a lounge chair and actually read FOR PLEASURE but apparently Mother Nature has other plans for me.
With all of this lousy weather, in theory, I should be getting lots done around the house - but even that isn't going as quickly as it should be. I've just been feeling kind of "blah" the past few days. It's sort of like now that my structured life has once again come to a halt, I'm left standing around saying, "Hmmmm....Now what?"

Before you knock me upside my head, please know that I'm not complaining about the free time - I am smart enough to realize there are many people out there that would give their eye teeth to have this kind of time to do whatever they wanted. I'm just much better with structure. I have a hard time making the most of my day when it is wide open like this (seriously - it's a curse). While there are a million and one things I could/should be doing (and blogging probably isn't one of them), I tend to put them off. Not the best practice, I know - it's something I really need to work on.

I started a to-do list today, however, thinking it might motivate me to bust a move around here. I know there are people that love making these lists because when they cross stuff off,  they feel like they are getting things accomplished (rocket science, it is not). For me, I look at those lists as long and daunting and often difficult, or at the very least, unpleasant to complete - but I also realize that by NOT writing down all the things I need to do, it's nothing short of AVOIDANCE and that often leads to trouble. When I get right down to it, it's pretty much what I have done with my weight loss efforts too - put them off each day and then panic like a spaz when I look in the mirror. There is no lack of understanding what I NEED and SHOULD be doing - it's just the actual "doing" part that seems to never get, well, done.

BUT I am trying not to let this happen this time around - at least where my weight loss efforts are concerned. I do think the gym is helping me find my groove in that respect. My second session with the trainer on Monday was better than the first. Although not really less humiliating (because don't you just love when you are doing arm presses with hand weights and your shirt gets all bunched and stuck under your boobs when you bring your hands down??), it did give me insight as to what my body is able to do and what things I really need to work on (which is a-friggin-lot). I surprised myself by being able to do a normal plank (they are hard!) and one of these side plank things:
I never dreamed in a million years I might actually be able to achieve this position. I envisioned myself just collapsing onto (and perhaps breaking) my arm - but I didn't! Granted, I didn't hold this position for 10 mins or anything remotely close to that time, but the point is, I was able to do it. I think the best part about this training thing is that I am learning what good form is (ie: don't squeeze your neck muscles as you lift arm weights - Genius!) and some valuable exercises that will help me strengthen my core - which, let's face it, is about as strong as a marshmallow right now.

My next session is Monday, so I will be curious to see what he has me doing then. My obliques are still sore from Monday - another indicator that I have MUCH work to do in the months ahead. I know many of you are doing the Ready for Summer Challenge but since I was eyeball deep in student teaching, I wasn't able to hop on that challenge and now it's 6 weeks in - so forget that one. But I do think I may start a Challenge that begins Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day. How does the Summer Sizzle Slim Down grab you?

Stay tuned for details!!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Reset, Ready, Go!

I'm siting here with a steaming cup of coffee, contemplating all of the work I have to get done at home today. I have my second appointment with the trainer at the gym at 12:00 this afternoon, and I STILL have yet to go to the grocery store which is absolutely, positively, 100% imperative to get done today considering the food choices in this house for the past 5 months have been less than stellar. Give me something green! Give me something leafy! Kiss those crunchy, chippy, snacky, Stacey's Naked Pita chips goodbye! They really are the devil.

While I'm still working on getting back into making those automatic, healthy food choices, I have had consistent exercise since last Wed. I've walked every morning, except today, because I need to make sure my knees are in fighting shape for my training session today. I have found that I am still getting sore/stiff in my joints when I walk and I am not sure if it's because I am doing 2.5 - 3.1 miles out of the gate or what? My husband is a firm believer in the "jump right back into it -  hard core," while I feel I should ease back in - I don't want to overdo it and then feel lousy like my knees did yesterday after our 3.2 miles. He walks at least a 5K a day and thinks I should be able to do the same, even though I am just getting back into a walking routine. I'm Ok while I'm doing it, but that long of a walk pretty much wipes out any other cardio gym activities I'd be doing later. I can't seem to "elliptical it up" after walking a 5K in the morning. I just get so tight in the joints - it's uncomfortable. Not painful - just uncomfortable. And frankly, I'd rather do the elliptical because I know it's a better calorie burn, but I hate telling my husband I can't walk with him - it's a nice morning thing we can do together. Maybe I just need to divide up my week - some days walk, others get my cardio in at the gym. Ah, compromise.

They do offer Zumba at the gym but I feel VERY nervous about joining that right away. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't last 10 mins. Same goes for spinning. I feel like I have to build up some major stamina first. I will say that the fitness test I had on Friday was a real eye opener as far as my "lack of fitness level" was concerned. Not that I really expected otherwise, but the news that the trainer gave me was depressing to say the least -  and, as if staring the need to lose 100 pounds in the face isn't daunting enough, knowing JUST how out of shape you are and how MUCH is wrong with you is like throwing another pie in the face. My road seems SO long and SO challenging, I often wonder when I will ever get to the place I need to be. This fitness test really threw me for a loop, if I am being perfectly honest. I had never had my body fat percentage or endurance or balance tested before. While the process itself is rather humiliating, it does inspire me to change those initial readings/results. It gives me a "restarting" point, so to speak. I just wish I could get results quickly, which I know isn't realistic. The challenges I face are not things that can be resolved overnight. They can't even be resolved in a month...or two. Sure, I can increase my endurance in that time and lose weight - but the overall me won't be radically changed in that time. This all takes time and patience - I need to keep reminding myself of that. Rome wasn't built in a day and changes to my body and fitness levels won't happen in that time frame either. I guess what I am trying to say in a very whiny and annoying way is that it just sucks starting over, that's all.

Ok, I'll stop bitching about it now.

I continue to be inspired by those that ARE making the changes I need and want to make.  Your words keep me going in the right direction and make me realize that everyone starts (or restarts) somewhere - everyone has their beginning point. Technically this is mine (again). I do feel like I am starting this process anew, even though I have been through it what seems like a million times already.

Here's to a million and one.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A New Beginning

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!
True to my word, here I am (even if it is a day late). It's May 4th and I am finally coming up for air after a very intense, all-consuming, ass-busting 5 months of student teaching. I survived (big exhale)....I feel like I should make a t-shirt that says something to that effect. Kind of like the shirts from the 70's from Hershey Park that used to read: "I survived the Sooper Dooper Looper". After all, this entire experience was a bit of a roller coaster ride at times.

I have to say that despite the endless amount of work and late nights and frazzled nerves, I did enjoy my experience tremendously and I do feel that I have absolutely, with a doubt, made the right second career choice for me. I just need to pray that the job market turns around and they start HIRING teachers again, versus canning them by the boatloads - which seems to be the unfortunate trend these days.

Anyway - it's good to be back in the blogosphere. I have missed catching up with everyone's progress and I feel like I am so far behind the eight ball in my weight loss efforts. While I THOUGHT maybe the stress of students teaching would launch me into weight loss heaven, I found out just what a stress eater I really am. Compile that with the lack of time to cook healthy meals, and you might guess that the weight loss really didn't take off quite the way I had hoped. Overall, I think I lost close to 4 pounds or so. Nothing Earth-shattering - but hey, it's a loss. On another positive note however, I didn't GAIN a boatload which could have easily happened, too - so, bully for me. As of this morning, I'm holding at 229.75. The past 5 months have neither promoted or sabotaged my weight loss - I'm just a little stagnant if anything. The good thing that came out of all of this is my increased stamina. I was on my feet constantly, walking all over the classroom and school so just that alone has made my knees and feet feel a million times better! I thought it would have the adverse affect but apparently, the more you "use it" the better you feel. Duh!

After some coaxing to get out of bed, I completed a 3.1 mile walk with my husband and the dogs this morning and feel great! I do need to be careful of my back though - I was lugging around two gigantic bags everyday and pulled my back out of whack the last week of school. It's on the mend but I still feel stress in my lower back (where I herniated my disc in college) so I know I need to watch it.

It does feel good to be recommitted, though. I think I mentioned in my last post that I was giving myself a gym membership for a graduation present, didn't I? Well, I have decided to stop talking to talk and start doing the walk - I went there yesterday and signed up and I have my first meeting with a trainer today at 1:00. I get 4 free personal training sessions and some nutritional counseling, too.  I'm kind of nervous, yet excited!!!! I'll let you know how it goes.

Anyway - I have to get my house cleaned (5 months of inattentiveness does not a pretty house make) but I just wanted to say hello and let you know I am back on the radar! I will be popping by your blogs to say hello very soon!