Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How did I Get Here?

Losing weight is one of the most difficult tasks you will ever take on. To successfully lose weight you have to first know and come to terms with how you got to this point. Is it depression, anxiety, tragedy, or is it genetics?

For three years of my life I accumulated the pounds because I was severely depressed. I had thoughts of suicide and was on various antidepressants and nothing seemed to work. My depression was because of postpartum depression I never dealt with and marital problems. I would find myself eating anything and everything; an entire bag of cookies, a piece of pie for breakfast, ice cream, and drinking a gallon jug of sweet tea every two days. I had no motivation to do anything but take care of my kids. My doctor recommended time and again, exercise to release the anger, anxiety, and depression. He also encouraged writing in a journal and for three years I never listened to him and I continued taking medication. My children were on Christmas vacation this December, we were enjoying our Nintendo Wii, and I realized how seriously out of shape I was when I could hardly move my arms the next day. I was out of breath from playing the boxing game with my son. I went shopping for new clothes for my husband’s birthday party at my favorite store, I was trying on clothes and I realized I was in the largest size they carried and they didn't fit! I stood there looking in the mirror and just crying and thinking what has happened to me? How did I become this person that was starring back at me? Why did I let this happen? Especially with a family history of diabetes and four children to take care of and I was growing every year. I had gained over forty-three pounds in three years and average of 14 pounds a year.

Christmas 2008 at my highest weight of 178 and wearing a size 16. I looked like I was six months pregnant and weighed more here then I did when I had all four of my children.

From the day of my shopping trip I decided I was going to take control of my life and I was no longer going to let other people's actions control my life any longer. I realized that I am a good person, I wasn't worthless like I felt and I deserved to have a happy life. I purchased the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred from and I started working out 6 days a week using this DVD. I tell people this was the best $8.00 I ever spent in my life. I listened to Jillian's encouraging yet strong words as I was working out and I remember her saying, "I know you want to quit but don't give up." It was like she was really talking to me. I did want to quit but I also wanted a better life. I did the 30 Day Shred and started adding 45 minutes of the stationary bike afterwards. I started reading everything I could get my hands on concerning foods and I started counting calories. I visited webmd's website and realized that my BMI was considered obese. WOW! I took pictures of myself twice a month so I could see the progress. When people would notice that I was starting to lose weight it was like adding more fuel to my fire and really encouraged me to keep pushing myself. I love the person I am now and I love helping other moms feel great too.

I am asking you to ask yourself the same question, "How did I get here"? Write it down, sit down and really think about what events in your life have brought you to where you are today? Is it simply you just need to take control of your life or was it a tragedy that you never dealt with? You have to really dig deep and like I have said before hit the bottom of the barrel to start your weight loss journey. It is a journey of healing and it will take time and effort but you can do it. I know you can do it. Find support, use our group as your support, ask your family to jump on board with you, and do it now. It's your life and make the best most of it! Truly live it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weigh-In Monday

Skinny Mom Challengers today is weigh-in Monday.

Good luck ladies!

"Winning is not everything, but the effor to win is." Zig Ziglar

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Finding the Motivation to Keep Going

To be successful at losing weight you must incorporate exercise into your life. You can burn approximately 2500 calories a week through exercise. That is the weekly equivalent to 60 minutes of intense circuit training.

You must be consistent and determined to make exercise a habit. Many people don't follow through with exercise because they make excuses. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated and keep pushing yourself to exercise daily.

Get rid of excuses. How many of you make excuses for not exercising? Here are a few examples I have heard: "I'm too tired.", "My knees hurt.", "I don't have time.", and "I can't afford it." are a few. Does this sound like you?

Find something you love to do that will motivate you to continue exercising. I love going to Muay Thai Kickboxing, it is a difficult workout that works not only my mind but my heart and my entire body. Boxing is another great workout it is fun, and it works your total body and your heart. Run a marathon for a great cause. I participated in the Race for the Cure this year and I loved every minute of it. Not only was it a great workout for me but I was helping a great cause. I would love to have a Skinny Mom team this year. Strength train, find a partner and hit the weights. I just started strength training and I absolutely LOVE it! Strength training burns fat and builds muscle by boosting your metabolism and increasing the amount of caorie burning muscle. I'm not saying become a massive beast, I'm saying build, tone up, and burn fat.
Finding a partner to workout with will motivate you to make it to the gym or exercise in your home. This way you have someone to push you and you're less likely to back out when you know someone is waiting on you.
Exercise boosts your energy, builds your immune system, lifts depression, helps protect you from heart attacks, and it will extend your life. Most people who make exercise a part of their daily life can often eliminate prescription drugs for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and and minimize the symptoms of POCS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).

Burning calories makes you lose fat. Combine healthy eating with consistent exercise and you are setting yourself up for success. Exercise helps maintain muscles to keep your metabolism moving. When you diet and remain inactive you will use up your muscles and your metabolism will slow down. You don't need to workout 1,2,3 hours a day. You can workout for 30 minutes but you must put 100% into a 30 minute workout for it to be effective.

Make time for exercise. Again stop the excuse, "I don't have time." There are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. You can squeeze in 3 hours a week to workout. One way to do this is by taking your family calendar and write down all the activities for the week, once you have done this then you know what days and times you can workout. Write your days you plan to workout on the calendar in pen and consider this as important as an appointment with the doctor. It's time to start taking care of you! Sneak in quick exercises at your children's practices. I used to run around the soccer fields while my son practiced. You might even encourage other moms when they see your motivation to get fit. Do family activities on the weekend like a game of kickball or softball. Better yet while you're watching your favorite TV show get on the treadmill or stationary bike and you'll be amazed at how quick a half hour goes by.

Mix things up a bit. If you get bored easily mix it up. Changing your routine is good for your body. Your body will eventually get used to your workouts and you will stop seeing results. You have to change it up and keep your body guessing.

How do you get started? Simple, start out doing 10 minutes on the treadmill the next time add another 10 minutes until you are up to 40-60 minutes. Set a goal to work yourself up to more time. Take little steps each day but be faithful in working out.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tips and Tricks for Successful Weight Loss

Here are some helpful tips and tricks to help you reach your goals.

Step 1: You need to reach way down into your heart and soul and truly admit you have a weight problem. Don't deny it any longer and make the decision to lose weight. This will help you set your mind to your goals and really focus on the road ahead.

Step 2: Stop making excuses! Don't say I will workout tomorrow and I will eat better tomorrow. It's time to start eating healthy and living healthy today regardless of if it's convenient for you or not!

Step 3: Build a team. If you are part of my Skinny Mom Challenge you have reached this goal. Use your team as a way to support you and push you. This team is here to help you learn and everyone is struggling with the same issues you are. Also your family, friends, coworkers, trainers, exercise partner, and husbands can all be a part of your team. Having support will keep you on track and help you reach your goal.

Step 4: Clean out your pantry, office, car and wherever you stash food. If it's bad for you and you know it get rid of it! Don't leave foods that will tempt you and sabotage you from reaching your goals. These items will cause you to overeat. Replace bad foods with healthy choices like, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy foods.

Step 5: Set goals and realistic ones at that. Break your goals down into smaller goals. Here is what I did and this is what I encourage all of my Skinny Moms to do. My weight loss goal was to lose 43 pounds so I took 43 pounds and divided it by 2. The 2 is for 2 pounds of weight loss each week. This is a healthy and realistic goal to achieve. This told me it would take me 21.5 weeks to achieve my goal as long as I was 100% committed to reaching my goal. Then I divided my BIG goal into 4 little goals. I broke the numbers down and decided my fist 8 weeks I wanted to lose about 15 pounds. This way I wasn't focusing on the big number. If you focus on the total weight loss you will be more likely to give up because it seems so hard to reach.

Step 6: Make daily changes to reach your long term goals. You can do this by making little steps for example eat extra fruits and vegetables a day, try a different exercise routine, work out an extra 30 minutes a day, play a game with your kids that is active like kickball or ride bikes. Focus on the day to day tasks not the big picture!

Step 7: Set up you calories. The best way to learn what calories you should be consuming based on what you are trying to achieve is visit On this sight there is a BMI calculator and you can enter in your age, height, weight, gender, pant size, goal weight loss and what type of activity level you are working at currently. This site will tell you what your BMI is, your calories you should be eating and what it will take for you to lose up to 2 pounds per week. Once you have your calories stick to them! Don't eat less than what you are supposed to eat. Why? Because when you eat less your body believes you are starving yourself and it will go into an emergency mode and store all of your fat just so it can survive. Think of your calories as a checking account balance. Do you want to spend your money on foods that will not fill you up and that are unhealthy or would you rather feel satisfied. Don't waste your calories on drinks! Yes, there are calories in drinks and if you didn't know this then I suggest you start reading labels.

Step 8: Plan to be active at least 35-60 minutes a day. If you are going to only work out for 30-35 minutes then make sure it is a very intense workout so that you are effectively burning calories. You cannot lose weight just by eating healthy sorry, it's time to get off of the couch and start taking control of your life.

Step 9: Don't worry about setbacks! When I first began my weight loss journey my first couple of weeks I didn't see the scale move at all. I was discouraged at first because I didn't understand how I could be working out 6 days a week and the scale wasn't moving. Well what I wasn't paying attention to was my clothes were getting loser and I was losing inches! Just remember it's not always going to be an easy journey. You will cry and want to stop but you need to make sure you remember YOU CAN do this and YOU WILL! Never give up and remember you have friends and other challengers here to push you.

Step 10: JOURNAL! This is a big one and if you're like me I tend to hold a lot in. Don't! Let everything out in a journal because this will help eliminate stress and stress causes weight gain. Trust me I know three years of stress and depression and I packed on 43 pounds to show for it. I want to write in your journal as much as you can and I encourage you at least once a month to go back and read some of your past journal entries and see how far you have come. You won't believe it when you do. You will become so much stronger mentally just by releasing all that you have in your head and you'll notice things won't be seem so difficult.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Food Labels

How many of you struggle with food labels? Many people think if they are eating a small bag of Rold Gold Pretzels Classic Style Thins 4 oz. bag and it says Calories 110, a lot of people look at that as the entire bag. But if you read the label you will notice at the top of the bag it says;Serving Size 1 oz. about 9 pretzels and
Serving per container equals 4 servings. WOW! So if you eat the entire bag you have just ate 440 calories.

When you look at a label like the one I have attached you will find the calories in a serving size. Which on this bag of pretzels was 110 calories per serving approximately 9 pretzels. You will also find the numbers for fat below the calories. You need to limit the amount of unhealthy fats you have per day. Another very important part to read is the sodium levels. It is recommend not exceed the range of 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams (mg) a day for healthy adults. Look at the Total Carbohydrates next and remember in this total you will also find Sugar. You should not exceed 35 grams of sugar a day. Sugars can be added sugars or naturally occurring sugars too. You night also fined on a label the vitamin content. This helps you understand how much of the nutrients you are consuming. Fiber content is also under Total Carbohydrates and fiber is important aid to keeping your body healthy. Following Total Carbohydrates you will find Protein. Protein is important for helping in weight loss and feeding your muscles.

Usually printed along the right side of the label you will find the daily percentage values for each nutritional fact. Typically, 5 % or less is considered low and 20% or more is high.

Also on a label you will see posted the ingredients; on this label you see the first ingredient is Enriched Flour. First ingredients tells me it's enriched which means they sucked all the ingredients out of that flour. Don't be fooled because it says wheat flour or whole wheat. Once it says enriched you know they have stolen all of the good, healthy stuff from you. If you cannot understand or pronounce the ingredients put it back on the shelf and walk away, scratch that run as fast as you can to another isle.

Here is a challenge for you the next time you go to the grocery store make a point of trying to purchase foods containing only one ingredient. You will have to read the label in order to do this. One is best, but you may find foods with two or three ingredients. Make a list of foods with the fewest amount of ingredients as you can and email it to me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Last Nights Biggest Loser Opened Eyes

How many of you watched The Biggest Loser? I thought it was one of the best episodes because it really focused on teaching the importance of changing your diet. My favorite example given last night was the pops compared to eating a bowl of sugar. What a fantastic way to truly show everyone what they are consuming by drinking pops or even sweet teas. Many people don't even realize if they would just eliminate sodas and sweet teas from their daily diet they would start to see changes in their weight. I never understood this before beginning my weight loss journey that every glass of tea I was consuming a day from a very well known fast food chain was adding on more weight to my body. I was drinking a large sweet tea at 270 calories a cup and 57 grams of sugar. On average I drank about 1350 calories of sweet tea and consumed 285 grams of sugar a day! WOW! The normal person should only consume 35 grams of sugar in a day! I was on fast track to diabetes. My family has a history of diabetes and one of my grandparents passed away due to complications from diabetes.

Our children are suffering from our poor eating habits and because Americans have become lazy and want the quick fix to everything and here they are; fast food, convenience foods in a box, surgeries for weight loss, diet pills and so much more. Our children are being affected by our poor choices. One third of our children are suffering from some sort of disease like Type 1, Type 2, pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome X. More children are overweight now in this country and why? One of the main reasons why is because they are thrown fast food in the back seat of the car. Another is because their parents purchase foods like sugar filled cereals, donuts, boxed macaroni and cheese, pop tarts, Vitamin D milk, pops, and potato chips. Your children can't go to the grocery store and shop you have to make the right choices for them and teach them healthy eating. Children struggle enough in school don't make matters worse for them by helping them become overweight.

Take action and take it now. Get involved with the challenge and start making changes for yourself and your family! If you don't do it who will?


This is from my journals during my weight loss journey.

I began my weight loss journey on January 12, 2009. I had reached a point where a size 16 was getting too small for me and I looked like I was six months pregnant. My heaviest weight was 178 and I began in January at 174. I didn’t even weigh that much when I was pregnant with any of my children. It was horrible to look in the mirror and see what I had become. When I shopped for clothes I just wanted to cry because nothing fit and I looked horrible.

I think what really motivated me was our Wii. Ed and I played the Wii games with our kids and I was so sore from playing. I hadn’t done anything as far as exercise since the summer. After getting the Wii a friend of mine Holly said she had bought the Wii Fit and loved it. Then I purchased the Wii Fit, I played some of the games and I bought the Jillian Michaels Boot Camp game. Ed and I would compete against each other playing the boot camp game and we decided to start working out together. I committed on January 12, 2009 I would get down to my goal weight of 135 before summer. I purchased the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and began working out 6 days a week. Wow! This was so hard for me to do since I hadn’t worked out in so long. The video has three levels and I started with number one, just 20 minutes a day and I was exhausted. I also cut my calorie intake to 1500 calories a day. I purchased only healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and I really stay clear of the middle isles of the grocery store since it’s the foods with more calories and the longest shelf dates.

By February, 12, 2009 I was down to 162 pounds and I had lost 12 pounds in four weeks. It’s an awesome feeling to know I could lose that weight. I think one of the most motivating things for me is stepping on my Wii Fit and weighing in and seeing the graph showing where I started and where I am. This has made me push myself even more. The Wii Fit asks where I have been if I haven’t checked in for a couple of days. I have begun to get my self-confidence back and I decided I wanted to try kickboxing. I have always wanted to do kickboxing but just haven’t had the opportunity. I started kickboxing on February 28th and I love it. Its fun and it’s a great work out. I leave the place soaking wet and feeling really good. Kickboxing has also helped me come out of my shell along with exercising. I couldn’t stand to walk in front of people at work, at the mall, at a restaurant or anyplace because I felt like people were staring at me. Now I don’t even find myself thinking about it anymore. I don’t mind going out of the house with my hair pulled up and workout clothes on. I feel good because I know I have accomplished something that day.

My favorite thing about working out is when Ed and I work out together. I enjoy doing activities with Ed and it makes me proud to see him accomplish his goals too. We have cut back on our calories and stopped eating out at unhealthy places. We’ve focused more on eating meals as a family and teaching our kids what foods are good for them and what foods are bad. Our kids eat a lot more fruits and vegetables and we eat meals together. It’s a great feeling when my kids join in to exercise. Dylan walked on the treadmill while I rode a bike and Jordan runs with me too. I feel good that my kids want to work out. I think it’s funny when Avi and Kaden try to do a work out with me and try to use the hand weights. They love working out with me and Kaden just loves to show off. I think people don’t understand what the mental ramifications are on children when they are told they’re fat or lazy. I think they are now being lead by example and are more open to exercise since they are seeing their parent’s example.

Our office started a Biggest Loser Challenge on February 16, 2009 for 8 weeks. Three weeks into the challenge and three weeks from our goal date of April 13, 2009 I had lost another 11.4 pounds.

I am happy and feel like Ed is proud of me for what I have accomplished so far. He’s given me encouraging words and told me how good I look and he pushes me every now and then when he sees me giving up on my workout.

I was asked not to long ago, “How do you stay motivated to eat right and work out 6-days a week?” For me I have made a commitment to write down my goals, break them down into sections and stick with them. Having my goals in writing and checking in once a week to see where I am motivates me more to keep working towards my goals. I don’t cheat on my food and I don’t like to go out anymore because restaurants do not cater to healthy eaters they want you to eat more than the normal portion size and they want you to eat bad foods. Another big reason I am motivated to do this is for my health and for my kids. Both of my grandfathers were diabetic and I know that this is something I might have to deal with in the future. I want to make my exercise and eating habits part of our daily lives so that I can teach my kids the right foods to eat and what foods are not good for them because they will be at risk for diabetes and heart disease when they get older. If they are taught now hopefully they will use what they’ve learned throughout their lives and teach it to their children.

I guess you have to make a decision in your life to keep getting fat or to stop and do something about it. I decided to stop and do something about it and I don’t want to go back to the person I was. I love being slimmer and really like the way I feel about myself. All I can hope for his my family keeps working out with me and enjoys being healthy and active throughout their lives.

May 13, 2009

I am now exactly four months into my weight loss journey and I am down to 140 pounds. This is 34 pounds less then my starting weight of 174! I am five pounds from my weight loss goal. These last ten pounds have been very difficult to lose but I am sticking to my guns and keeping up with my 6 days of workouts. I have changed my workouts now to Jillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism workout along with my Muay Thai kickboxing class.

I can’t even begin to tell you how good I feel not only about my new appearance on the outside but the way I feel on the inside. I’m no longer self-conscious when I leave my house. I don’t feel like people are staring at me because I am fat. I feel stronger mentally and I’m no longer depressed about my life.

I run into people at the store or out and they don’t even recognize me anymore because of my weight loss. It makes me happy and sad and I wonder what was I thinking and why did it take me so long to do something. It also saddens me to see people who are overweight and knowing they too probably wish they could lose the weight but for some reason their brain has just given up and their self-esteem is so bad they can’t even find the motivation to change their habits. I want to help any of my friends and family by motivating them to make the change and give them words of encouragement when I see changes or see their effort to make a change in their life. It’s all about educating yourself about portion sizes and stop drinking sugary and fat drinks. Use all the willpower you are currently using in unhealthy ways and focus on using it in healthy ways.

Also I won our Biggest Loser 2nd Round Challenge. My beginning weight at the 2nd challenge start was 146 and my final weigh in I was down to 139. I lost 7 pounds on the second challenge but a total of 24 throughout both challenges. Having support at work has helped a lot and with everyone here working on their weight loss goals it’s made things much easier.

June 25, 2009

I’ve reached my goal!!! Actually I made it to 133 pounds and a total weight loss of 45 pounds! I’m still working out 4 days a week, kickboxing 2 days and watching my calorie intake. No pop, no caffeine, no junk foods. I do cheat every now and then and my weakness is Mexican food. I am currently reading Jillian Michaels book Master Your Metabolism. This book is fantastic and I have learned so much about harmful additives in foods, sodium, hormones, and much more. I also purchased the Eat This Not That newest book. I love, love, love this book! Even Jordan my oldest daughter likes to read this book and she’s learned a lot. My family rocks! I have had a lot of great support and encouragement throughout the last 6 months. There was a little doubt in the beginning but as they saw my persistence they jumped on the wagon and began believing this can be done. There is no magic cure, not DIET in the world that can help you lose weight its all mind over matter and discipline. If you are fed up with how you feel or the way you look, get off the couch and start busting butt. It’s fun once you get started and start seeing a difference.