Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review and Outlining the Road to Continued Success

Its that time of the year where we reflect on the past year and prepare for the next.  I have to say that 2011 was good to me.  Other than maybe eating too many Christmas cookies I have no regrets!
  • To start with I lost over 33 pounds (it would have been more but Christmas cookies are my weakness).  I have lost over 15% of fat in 2011 alone, and over 32% since I started.
  • I am down over 2 sizes this year, depending on the brand 3 sizes
December 2010
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  • I participated in running events (something I had never done before).  On News years Day 2011 I ran 2 miles and it took me 30 minutes, by the boilermaker 5K I ran it in 30:17!  In August I did my first 10K in 68minutes but improved on that time by the October run in Oneonta finishing in 62 minutes.
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  • I improved my confidence in myself, enough to go on a real vacation that requires wearing lot less then jeans and sweatshirts.  Three Night cruise in the Bahamas, bathing suit on the beach, sleeveless dress – prior years this would have been my worse nightmare
You have to love the ocean385103_293240874031957_252579404764771_987872_942523786_n[1]
  • I did big girl push ups just last week.  This is huge.  My push ups were so sad when I started. Honestly I don’t think you could even call them push ups.  Here my MVBW profile.
It really shows the difference in not only my appearance but my abilities.  I am now swinging the big green KB, and going overhead with way heavier then what is in that video.
Someone I went to college with told that “Dreams are for sleeping” and 10 years later that has stuck with me.  I am not dreaming about 2012, I am outlining what I plan to achieve. 
  • Hit the 100 pounds lost mark
  • Hit my target weigh that I have been aiming for
  • Be a size 6 (a lot different then a size 22)
  • Run the boilermaker 15K and maybe a half marathon
  • Master Big girl pushups!
  • Work my ass off
  • Overcome my fear of heights at Adirondack Extreme
  • Climb Mt. Marcy
  • Be in control of food (in other words not let Christmas cookies have more power then me)
  • Start 2013 off without talking about losing weight. 
So are you ready for 2012?  I hope you all feel that 2011 was a great year, and that 2012 will be better. But just because the year becomes 2012 doesn’t mean your items to achieve will happen.  You have to go out there and work for them, so take advantages of the sales and buy some new sneakers.  Its lacing up to be a great year.  The year of achievement!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monthly Measurement–The Secret to Success

First before we start answer these questions:

  • If you gained 1.6 pounds from 4 weeks ago what would you say about the last 4 weeks?
  • How would it make you feel?

Today at next level was measurement day.  So there I stood with Lu-Lu both of nervous as hell.  It took me back to the MVBW days of weigh in night!

Someone walked up and was shocked at how nervous we were.  Yep, we are nervous just like everyone else.  Here is the deal after we walked away from the scale and the measuring tape someone said “so how much are you down now?”  People assume we are going to lose, lose, lose.  We don’t always lose weight, in fact I gained 1.6 pounds.

I am not an expert of losing weight, I am an expert at sticking with it.  I am battling thru the bumps in the road because in the end I will reach my destination.

Like everyone I have my vices….Chocolate (no matter what time of the month kills me), today I ate a cider donut before I even realized I did it.

Like everyone else I have my bad weeks.   I don’t throw in the towel, I take a deep breath, email my support team and get back on the wagon right then and there. I don’t wait a day or two.  I salvage what I can.

Like everyone else I have expectations, but I also have special glasses that let me see reality.  Its not realistic for me to expect amazing numbers when I was not really a good girl this month.  I know that, I accept that and so when Bri was done with my measurements I moved onto my workout.

So how do I feel about my gain, it sucks but not the end of the world.  I also know I have done a lot in these 4 weeks, my 10K run, my KB weight, My burpees.  I have certainly improved in those areas – areas that a scale can not measure.   I also lost 2.75 inches mostly from my waist and thankfully .25 from my fat ass arms (yes I hate them I always have, always will – unless I win the lotto and can get plastic surgery). 

Sorry about that arm vent, the fact is I can not say the last 4 weeks were a failure because I saw changes that I really liked.  I am going to continue to push forward.  Because the secret  to success has always been moving forward and staying with it!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mind over Matter

How do you describe success?  Do you go by the scale, by your clothing fit, by your mood, by your ability?

The fact was 2 weeks ago I realized I was struggling. I was working out, and very happy with my efforts and abilities.  I was not so good with my food. I was eating snacks, chocolate, and just not being as good as I wanted.  So I decided to challenge myself, here is what I wrote:

“its always possible just takes motivation, determination and discipline. If all else fails challenge yourself. I have been feeling out of it for about 2 weeks. not focused like i wanted, not doing what i should but getting by. Today i signed up for the most challenging 10K in CNY. Its 13 days away and its been 21 days since i last ran. I have no choice but to eat right, i have no choice but to be Next level disciplined”

It made sense, I hate to fail.  Running in public would motivate me to get on it and get focused.  The only problem was I knew I could do it.  I knew I could run 10K I had done it before.  And that hill was not going to be as bad as the 1-20 burpee ladder we did a few weeks ago.  So late last week I set my mind to bettering my 68 minute time. 

Yesterday was the run.  It was so hilly.  My legs were so tight by mile 3, before the steep part of the hill to SUNY Oneonta.  Finally I made it to the top, having to walking only twice on that freaking hill.  I ran the rest of the way to the finish.  I wanted to stop many times but I wanted to beat my time.  Finally the finish line, those last 30 seconds I sprinted my ass off and came in at 62minutes!!  I was happy, and very tired!

The facts are:

  • I weigh the same as I did 8 weeks ago.
  • I wear the same size jeans as 8 weeks ago but they feel better
  • I am swinging a heavier KB
  • I have more energy
  • I rocked my 10k time

Does the scale matter? only if your mind lets it.  Last  year I set my mind to a goal and I did it.  That goal is not to lose weight, but to get healthy.  I have been getting healthier each day.  There are side effects to this: I have lost weight and I have gotten fit.

So has your mind set itself to a goal that matters?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

317 Mac N Cheese~

Over the last 15 months my food has changed a lot.  And yes I made the decision to “give up” certain foods.   The reality of the phrase “give up” is that I just found alternatives or saved the forbidden food for spec events/times/achievements.  It has been 15 months since I have had true pizza shop chicken wing pizza – that use to be a staple of my diet, A must have!  Now, if I wanted it I take grilled chicken on a whole wheat pizza shell, hot sauce and some crumbled blue cheese. It satisfies the craving for the most part, of course its not a perfect match to the real thing.  I feel that I have not earn real pizza shop buffalo wing pizza ( I know, I know, I have lost 90 pounds but I just don’t feel it’s the time – its my personal decision and motivation).

The fact is…I gained weight from the moment I graduated high school to 15 months ago.  If you are trying to do the math that is 13 years.  During those 13 years I ate my fair share of shit.  If I had been more disciplined and ate in moderation I would not be fighting to lose 100+ pounds.  Its almost as if I ate a lifetime of shit in 13 years.  I met my quota so now I have to be good, I have to be disciplined.

What helps me with the decisions to “give up” foods are the food swaps I have made.
  • Turkey burgers instead of regular
  • Turkey bacon instead pig fat bacon
  • Soy milk in my coffee instead of cream
  • Frozen Greek yogurt instead of ice cream
I have been making these swaps with traditional dinners.  Tonight was Mac N Cheese:
  • One Cauliflower head cut into bite size pieces
  • 8oz of whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 of a large shallot
  • 1 tablespoon of EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour
  • salt, pepper, thyme to taste
  • 1 Can of chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 4 oz of Gouda Cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup of Whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1) Add cauliflower to boiling large pan of water along with the pasta, boil until the pasta is cooked and cauliflower is tender.  Drain and rinse. Dump into your baking dish.

2) While the cauliflower and pasta are cooking…in a medium sauce pan added EVOO and shallots over medium heat.  Cook shallots till they are translucent. 

3) Stir in cornstarch or flour (if the pan has no liquid in the bottom you may need to had a bit more of the EVOO).  Stir the flour into the shallots and liquids to cook the raw taste off the flour. 

4) Whisk in the milk and chicken broth.  Stir regularly till the sauce begins to bubble and thicken.  Add the gouda cheese and remove from heat.

5) In baking dish, mix together the pasta/cauliflower, sauce and half the parmesan cheese.  Top with remaining parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.

6) Bake for 20 minutes at 350 – enjoy!

This made 6 servings that came to the following for nutritional value:

Cal: 317; Carb: 40; Fat: 10; Protein: 19

My plans for this dish continue..if I am going to make it again as the main dish I am adding chicken or shrimp – some type of protein. I am also thinking of cutting the can of chicken broth in half and replacing it with greek yogurt (plain) to increase the richness flavor of the sauce.  If you were to cut this entire recipe in half, this would be an amazing side dish for like 150 calories.  Plus you could add so many more veggies to this. Roasted red peppers or tomatoes would go so well with the Gouda Cheese.

David and the kids all ate it.  The kids didn’t complain and David said he liked it! SCORE!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Food Recap


For most people its nutrition that puts road blocks in their way of success.  They can motivate themselves to get up and get moving, get to the gym (Next Level!), and get in that workout (rock out burpees).  All that hard work is undone by bad food choices, temptations, and more.

“No fitness plan can out run bad nutrition”

When people start talking to me about the last 15months I always get asked “what do you eat?”  So here are some examples for everyone:

Breakfast (typically eat around 6am):

  • Egg white omelet or fresh egg omelet with veggies and Mozz cheese stick
  • Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Fresh fruit
  • Whole Wheat Waffles (I like Van’s brands not to much crap in them and good taste) along with fresh fruit and 2 slices of turkey bacon
  • Egg sandwich with Arnolds flat bread and turkey bacon or sausage and Mozz cheese stick.
  • Protein drink/smoothie and almonds

Snack (typically about 10am):

  • Almonds – 100 calorie pack
  • Greek yogurt
  • Carrots and cheese stick
  • Pretzels

Lunch (around Noon):

  • Salad with veggies, grilled chicken – maybe hardboiled egg, and homemade dressing
  • Light Tuna with 1tbsp of mayo served on sliced cucumbers with cottage cheese
  • Grilled chicken 3oz, cottage cheese and piece of fruit – in season
  • Grilled chicken wrap – with mustard, roasted red pepper, and spinach.  with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.
  • Grilled portabella sandwich

Snack (around 2-3pm)

  • Protein drink or protein smoothie with cut zucchini or cukes
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheese stick, turkey Pepperoni (my vice shh don’t tell steve)
  • Pretzels
  • Almonds

Dinner (some times I eat at 5pm before bootcamp other nights I eat at 730 after bootcamp)

  • Grilled chicken with brown rice
  • Whole wheat pasta, with cooked ground turkey, diced tomatoes, and broccoli
  • Grilled haddock with Summer squash – sprinkled with dill and grilled in a foil pocket
  • Stuffed Zucchini with ground turkey and brown rice
  • Pork Tenderloin with an apple salad and Zucchini fries
  • Grilled steak or chicken with grilled Red potatoes
  • Steak or chicken kabobs

Snack (8-9pm)

  • Almonds
  • Cheese stick
  • Frozen Greek yogurt
  • Sliced banana with Teddies Peanut butter
  • Blueberries and soy milk

Helpful Hints:

  • I like using string cheese because it’s a premeasured amount.  I don’t have to waist time measuring my cheese or risk taking to much!  its fast and easy – one WW cheese stick is 50 calories
  • When I get home from shopping I put 2-3 slices of turkey bacon in individual ziploc freezer bags and pull them out as needed.  if I had to get out an entire pound of bacon and cook it – I would eat it. ALL
  • I have 100 calorie packs of almonds stashed everywhere so that if I get hungry I can eat
  • I freeze Hershey kiss and take one out at a time as I need it.

I plan my meals out for the week.  It allows me to unfreeze meats, and not stand in front of the fridge each night wasting time saying “what are we going to eat?”  If I know what I am going to eat I know if I have room for more food during the day. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Which wagon are you on?

Some times when we camp at private campgrounds they have hayrides!  You check in and they give you the schedule of events and you see that the hayrides are at 430.  You think oh that’s easy to remember.  The next thing you know you hear a tractor and music and its 4:35.  There goes the first wagon ride.  You grab the kids and go searching for that darn wagon.
I have been looking for the wagon this past week.   Eating badly – only 2 workouts and a hike. 
Yesterday I got back on the wagon – detoxed myself of PB (yes it’s in the garbage…) and carbs.  I ate pretty well –within my calories, but I was bad on water – I really didn’t drink any L (bad me).  I also got in 3 walks and a 4 mile run.

I have been in a funk this last week.  I was bored and annoyed that I had to lose weight. I was bored of trying, it has been 15 months of constantly watching what I eat, what I do, and then measure my success (to some degree) based on a medal object on my basement floor.  I was annoyed that I had allowed myself to go so far down the unhealthy path.  Had I not gained anymore weight after college I would be at my target weight right now.  But nope I have to keep going. Welcome to my funk mindset.

I really had to sit back and think about it.  Which statement did I want to be?

·         I work out because I have been eating so badly
·         I eat healthy because I work out.

I would love to be at my target weight and to be maintaining (all though I am sure that will be a lot of work too).  But I am not happy with where I am at so the journey continues.  There is no point to me kicking my butt at boot camp doing burpees and mountain climbers only to eat crap.  I need my eating and workouts to be on the same wagon ride.  They need to go hand in hand. 

Burpees suck, but it’s a great feeling when I am done with them.  I remember at Christmas Steve said 5 minutes of burpees burns one Christmas cookie so that’s like 150-180 calories.  Is a frosted sugar cookie with sprinkles really worth 5 minutes of burpees?

Some days the wagon ride is smooth, other days it’s bumpy as hell and I feel like I am always chasing it down.  But what matters is that I get back on.  When I fall off I will not go back to the starting line and start over.  I pick myself up where I am at and chase that darn wagon down.

Now which of the statements do you want to be?

·         I work out because I have been eating so badly
·         I eat healthy because I work out.

I hope you picked the second one!  See what you can do this week to make that statement represent you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Comfort food

Its sad but summer is almost over.  The weather is starting to feel like my favorite time of year, Fall!  I love fall, the colors, the weather, the food!  In a perfect fantasy  world I would be sitting by 8th lake with a cup of coffee and maple donut in size 6 jeans without worrying about my ass growing!  That’s just not reality.  I have to think about everything that I put in my mouth (get your mind out of the gutter..pigs).

This weekend my family and I will be going north to the high peaks region.   The weather forecast for up there is so fall like…Cold nights/morning and warm during the day.  Camping and fall weather – yeah I already want the homemade mac n cheese!  I hit the 530am bootcamp to sneak in another workout before leaving.  530 is mad early so afterward I went to DD to get some java – they have all the pumpkin stuff out already.  Grrr.  I really wanted that pumpkin muffin and I probably burn that many calories at BC,  But I walked away. 

So does this mean I will never ever eat Homemade mac n cheese again or pumpkin muffins, nope.  I have made both before that were low calorie and low is an amazing thing! tons of websites full of healthy food ideas.  If you know my husband you know that he doesn’t need to lose a pound so he doesn’t want to eat the healthy stuff…seriously I have watched this man eat a pound of bacon – turkey bacon is not an option to him.  Because of this some days I have to eat “regular food” but it doesn’t derail me.  Its all in planning.  If I know that I have a potential high calorie dinner I make really good choices earlier in the day.  This works for parties too. 

When we go camping I set rules for myself (because I could really just sit all day by the campfire and eat my weight in peanuts).

My camping/vacation rules:

  • Eat as I would if I was at work. I will decide what to eat before filling my plate and stick with it NO SECONDS
  • Drink lots of water
  • Go for walks and bike rides whenever possible
  • Allow myself one treat each night while at the campfire.
  • Eat no white carbs
  • I will not eat any salted peanuts and / or pistachios (unless they are my “treat” for the night)

I try not to reward myself with food, like yeah I lost 5 pounds lets get ice cream.  yeah I did good this weekend I earned a muffin.  I am bound to slip up I am bound to have a stressful day and maybe buy a muffin or candy bar.  It happens, we are human and we have triggers.  I just move forward and try to make better choices and stick with my plan. 

For me this weekend I PLAN to be lakeside with my coffee and whole wheat toast in size 10 jeans..and I am okay with that!  I plan to hike a mountain and/or run around the lake.  I plan to go kayaking and eat smores.  I plan to do my best.

hear how quite it was

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


We all have stress in our lives.  Some days more than others. Some days we can handle the stress that we run into. Other days the stress takes over, this my friends, typically leads to trouble.

I have been very stressed the last week.  Trying to get Tyler ready for kindergarten, fighting with Emma to potty train, all the stuff that needs to be done around the house, finding a new sitter, running a 10k, get ready for an upcoming trip.  AHHHH!!

I just wanted to snack all week.  The first day I ate pretzels.  The second day I wanted chocolate.  Today I wanted pizza.  I just wanted to eat like a mad women.  I did my best on Monday, I fought off the urges and really didn’t over eat past my calories.  Yesterday, I went over my calories, I wanted chocolate but I kept eating pretzels.  Some where along the way I found a jar of peanut butter.

I don’t know how it happened.  I don’t remember the first bite. I don’t remember the day or the time.  But I know it happened. there is a lot of PB missing out of the jar.  And as my husband asked “why are there so many Peanut butter covered spoons in the sink?”  You know it is. You take a spoon from the jar and get a big scoop.  You savor it as you empty the spoon.  You put the spoon in the sink because you were only going to have one scoop.  oh But it was so good, what's one more bite?  You get another spoon out and when you are done it too goes in the sink.  Well Peanut butter is a protein, so third spoon in the sink.  Sound familiar?

So I am back to step one, admitting that I have problem with peanut butter, admitting that the stress is taking over.  Step two, remove the trigger item.  Well I can not go get a new job, but I did find a new sitter, and packing is started.  I will not be taking peanut butter on our trip.  So I will be going cold turkey again.

Quitting cold turkey will probably add more stress to my day.  So I need to find ways to distract myself.  A recent blog entry by Rachel Cosgrove has 25 ideas on distracting yourself (can be found here).  These are great to keep posted on the fridge. 

Tracking my food and seeing the calories add up and up and up..that stopped me from eating even worse this week.  I am mad that I did this, mad that I didn’t make the decision to walk away from the peanut butter.  But the good news is that the one thing I am not stressing over is the binges this week.  So what, I am eating like shit and going over my calories.  I am not losing weight, but I am being active. I am walking and attending bootcamp.  I try not to focus on the meals I already ate, I can not change the past only improve the future.

what is your plan to keep from eating whiles stressed?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Challenging yourself

Its so much easier to say “I can’t do it” then to put in the effort to try.  My accounting degree tells me:

doing nothing (effort)  + thinking about doing something (intentions) = Start tomorrow (lack of results)


The problem with “can’t” is it feels like shit.  The great thing about “doing” is how satisfying it feels.  When you do something you didn’t know you could do, its very rewarding.  You are proud of yourself and it increases your confidence to do more. 

Challenging by definition: requiring full use of your abilities or resources; "performed the most challenging task”

Challenging myself along the way has been a key to my success.  Moving up on KB weight, or trying a heavier one are great ways to challenge yourself.  Worse case you are unable to do it, so did you fail? NOPE!  Failing is defined as “unsuccessful in achieving one's goal.”  Because you couldn't press the red KB over your head today doesn’t mean you will not be able to do it tomorrow or next week or a month from today.

I have also challenged myself with food, to eat less, to eat better, to get over my Peanut butter addiction.  There are days (like today) where by noon I was at 80% of my daily calorie intake but did I fail today?  No, while my calories suck for the day, I didn’t eat peanut butter (score!).  I making a great dinner and I will do good for the rest of today.  Tomorrow I start fresh and will stay in my calories!


One little saving grace I have today is that I ran a 10K at the casino.  It was my challenge to myself on June 1.  June 1st was my 1 year anniversary of the start of MVBW at Next level and being fully committed.  On that day I signed up for the 10K to push myself, to prove how far I had come.  I was running about 4.5 miles at that point and figured 2.5 months would allow me the time to get up to 6.2 miles for the race. 

Prior to today, the longest I had run was 5.9 miles.  I didn’t know how today would go.  I just didn’t have the time to get more runs in – I would rather go to bootcamp then run!  In the middle of the week I had major stress going on and considered not running.  But I remembered my challenge to myself, and off I went to the starting line at 8am.


The first mile took me 10:10; 3 miles took me 31:13; 5 Miles took 52minutes.  It wasn’t easy, running up hill from mile marker 2 – 4 on route 31.  By the down hill portion of Stoney Brook my legs were so sore – like they feel after 4 rounds of 20:10 squat jumps and burpee finisher – you know what I am talking about!  Around the 5th mile you could see the casino and it motivated me to keep moving, don’t give up.  I had to walk a few times over the 6.2 miles but I kept the breaks short. .. “you get out what you put in”


Finally the finish line!  One hour and eight minutes later (and two blisters!).  I did it! Not only did I finish, I blasted my time expectation.  Right in front of me was a 18 year old kid that sprinted past me at the 6 mile mark.  As he crossed the finish line – he puked! I was in better condition than he was!  I walked past him to receive my water, my power-aid and MY METAL!

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The first metal I have ever received!  I am so excited and proud!  So what are you going to do this week to challenge yourself.  Think about it, write it down and post it some where as a visual reminder thru the week.  Good luck!!