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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bodybugg review!!

I love it! I love it! I love it!

Some background on the BB
According to the My Apex website, the company who puts out the BB, the BB is "the world's most intelligent and accurate calorie management system... outside of a clinical setting."

The BB is essentially an arm band with a sensor that monitors and collects data based on five areas of measurement:
  • steps - basically a pedometer but way more accurate (see "movement" below)
  • movement - motion sensor to more accurately count steps, not arm movement, car riding, or fidgeting
  • galvanic skin response - how much you're sweating
  • skin temp - increases/decreases in skin temp
  • heat flux - skin temp vs. environment temp
With these five ares of measurement, the BB is the most accurate calorie counter available to the general public. Each day I log my food into the BB website and upload my BB to view how many calories I burned/ate. It's flippin great!! And they sell a digital display that you can buy so you can see your calorie burn without uploading to a computer. Great stuff!

More in-depth info on the BB can be read here, here, and here.

Some background on me
First, I love my gadgets but when it comes to weight-loss gadgets, I'm way too skeptical and I will pass on most "next-best-thing" kind of items. What's up with that weird swivelly (is that a word?) ab rotating chair thing anyway? SERIOUSLY people?!?! Anyway, in my entire weight-loss journey, the only gadgets I ever bought were a pedometer, a heart rate monitor and a BB, all of which were essential in getting me to where I am today. And I only bought each of those items after I felt like I 'graduated' from the previous one. The pedometer started me out by making sure I got in a decent number of steps a day. Once I got a hold of that and improved my fitness level, I got my heart rate monitor... and we're talking months down the road. Eight months after my heart rate monitor, I got my BB. By this time I was almost a year into counting calories and getting a good base on macro-nutrients so I really wanted to up my weight-loss game by getting a really good hold on the calories in/out. And this is exactly what the Bugg has done for me!

Pre-bugg I was in a L-O-N-G plateau of super slow weight-loss - six months to be exact!
February 13, 2009 - 149.8 lbs.
August 12, 2009 - 139.8 lbs.

It took me six months to lose ten pounds. Six months!!! That comes out to about 0.4 lb./week, whereas I was easily doing 1 - 1.25 lbs/week before that. Well I've been on the Bugg for one month now and without changing anything else (diet or fitness wise) I'm back to my 1 lb./week status and already down 4 lbs. in the last month!

September 29, 2009 - 135.6 lbs.

Sure it could be sheer coincidence, that the exact day I start using the Bugg my body decides it's done with the plateau, but I really doubt it. And I know there is no way to prove that my recent weight-loss is because of the Bugg, but I would like to think so. I'll be doing another review at the end of October to see if I'm still consistent and on track!

And here are some things I learned from my new love:
  • sitting in a cold place vs. a warm place doesn't burn more calories, but...
  • exercising in a colder place does
  • every step throughout the day counts... E.V.E.R.Y. single one!
  • I burn a lot less calories than I thought... WAY less.
  • It's a great motivator - I always tell Anthony my BB is 'watching' me so I have to eat right and get in my exercise
  • Fidgeting at your desk burns 0.4 more calories per minute than just sitting there; that's 192 more calories per 8-hour work shift
0.4 more cals/minute = 192 more cals/8-hour shift =
960 more cals/week = 49,920 more cals/yr = 14+ lbs. lost/year
(that's a lot of calories! And lots of fidgeting!)
  • weight-training keeps your calorie burn up hours after working out - so it is true!
  • shopping counts as physical activity/steps if it's not something you do regularly

Weigh-in Wednesdays: 135.6

Last Wed. weight: 136.4
Today's weight: 135.6
Lost: -0.8

Down again but not as much as I hoped for, but... I can't be disappointed with that! A loss is a loss, right?! Btw, Bodybugg review coming up later today!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 7/30: One week already?!

One week into the Challenge already?!

Today is my rest day but since I have an early dinner planed with a friend, Anthony and I are going to leave our car at a local park and walk around for a bit, then walk over to the restaurant for dinner. Only have about 30 minutes or so but thought it would be a good way to get in a little bit of exercise.

If I'm feeling up for it, I'll jump on the elliptical later tonight when I watch TBL.

Calorie-wise today, I just wasn't hungry. Had my breakfast of oatmeal, peanut butter, honey and protein, but skipped out on my AM snack because I was still full... this is unheard of for me! Usually by 10:00 AM I'm looking forward to my snack. But just like an off exercise day, I guess it happens. I'm pretty sure calories will be low today... does that mean it's more reason to NOT jump on the elliptical? Hmm...

Day 6/30: Sore foot

Well check out my calendar above... besides going a little over on the calories on Sunday (blame it on the boyfriend because it was his birthday and we had to go out to eat at a really nice steak restaurant... just jokin) I stayed on track during the weekend. Isn't it suppose to be easier to do it on the weekdays?

Anyway, yesterday was day 6/30 for my 30-day challenge. Made it to the gym with Anthony and we both got in a good hour's worth of weight-lifting. It felt good to kind of 'do things on my own without the PT' but the level of motivation is definitely lacking. I still pushed myself pretty good because my muscles are sore today! Love it!

What I'm not loving is my sore foot! I had this once before from running too much too fast so I think my overly-long run during the weekend brought it back. Gonna rest it for a bit but will still get in my 3+ cardio miles a day from my elliptical or walking outside. No running for me for a week or so.

Right when I was getting back in the groove of running... damn it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Motivational Mondays: YOU!

That's right, YOU!

This post is coming a week late, but better late than never right?

Last weekend I held an amazing challenge for myself and for anyone else who wanted to participate. It was the 365-mile Challenge in celebration of my one-year anniversary of starting a healthy lifestyle and YOU all made it happen! Everyone who participated in the challenge, and even those that didn't but wanted to, are huge sources of motivation for me. Whether it's one of you guys challenging me one-on-one to see who reaches our goal weight first or a group of you that throw out weekly challenges to keep everyone moving along in this journey, you guys are all awesome!

For me, motivation comes in many different forms but the people who understand what I'm going through seem to dish it out more. Don't get me wrong, the odd person who doesn't know how hard this journey is and says something stupid like, "You want to lose 50 lbs?! Isn't that kind of ambitious?", motivates me in a huge way, but it's YOU guys that really push me. I see how great you guys are doing with your own journeys and it just motivates me to keep pushing along with mine.

If anything else, don't ever forget that what you are doing, even though you're doing it for yourself, inspires and motivates many people around you... even "strangers" in blogland!

Keep the motivation coming, you guys, we all could use some!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 5/30: Happy Birthday Baby!

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today is my boyfriend, Anthony's, birthday! He's working right now (boo!! Having to work on your birthday sucks!) but I'm really excited about tonight. We're going to a really nice steakhouse and we are going to have the works - drinks, appetizers, steaks, and dessert! In fact I'm so excited, it feels like it's my birthday!

But I know what you're thinking... how the hell am I going to stay on track for the 30-day Challenge?! Well so far today (it's only 5:30 in the afternoon) I've hit everything: 6+ miles of cardio miles, Jillian's Biggest Winner dvd, P90X Ab Ripper X, and I've hit my water goal already with 80 oz. And for the calories... well I ate super light but super filling. Mostly fruits and veggies so as of right now, I'm only at 623 calories so I have lots to spare for the birthday celebration! I already know what I'm eating and as long as I don't stray from my choices, I will fall right at about 1550 calories for the day. My plan is to have one drink, warm-spinach salad that's made and served table-side, 7oz filet mignon cooked medium rare w/ fresh steamed veggies, and dessert.

The dessert is the hard part because I'm leaning towards bananas foster, which the restuarant is know for, but we'll see. If I only eat half of that, I'll meet my calorie goal for the day.

Gotta go get ready for my hot date now but will be back later to update how dinner (and dessert!) went!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 4/30: Selling myself short

As promised... I'm back on track today!

Water goal... CHECK!
Calorie range... CHECK!
Miles... (read below)... but CHECK!
Strength training... CHECK

It was my plan to go to the gym tonight and do my cardio there but decided I wanted to get outside and run. So I dropped the boyfriend off at work and went running. The route that I chose took me around Diamond Head and along the beach so the views and sunset were amazing!
This is part of the route: Around that big brown crater on the right and around the green fields to the left.

Please remind me that I live in Hawaii and we have gorgeous sunsets daily outside... I tend to take it for granted!

Anyway, the route is a little hilly and at one particular area, it's a good incline for about a mile. I've never run the entire way before, BUT I DID IT today! Even as I was doing it, I didn't think I'd make it. Talk about selling myself short! What kept me running the entire way...

"I'll just run to that mail box"
Then when I got there, "I'll just run to that street light."
Then when I got there, "I'll just run to that fire hydrant."
Then when I got there, "I'll just run to that parked car."

And before I knew it I reached the top of the incline and I felt good! So good that I just kept on running instead of giving myself the break that I kept promising myself I would get if "I just run to that... whatever."


I'm not a runner... never really enjoyed it... and over the past year or so I've really avoided it because I used to get shin splints - come to think of it, I'm pretty sure the shin splints are the only reason why I don't like running - but since I started to consistently lift weights, I've noticed (knock on wood) that I don't get them any more. Could be a mix of mostly running of the treadmill at the gym instead of on the pavement so these next several weeks I'll be getting in more runs outside to see if the pain comes back.

By the way, the most awesome thing about today's run? I thought the route I ran was about 5 miles... turned out to be 7.2 miles!!! Yay me!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 3/30: "Resting" again

Not sure what's wrong with me but I'm taking a "rest" day again!!!

I was so motivated last weekend with the 365-mile Challenge, the motivation kinda rolled with me into this week but I can't get moving.

Today I was suppose to get in my 3 miles of cardio and do weights on my own (damn it I miss my personal trainer already!) but instead I came home and did nothing productive! Think my body just needs a rest since I've been "going at it" for the last 4 months straight.

I'll get back on track tomorrow... PROMISE!

Day 2/30: To rest or not to rest

Yesterday wasn't so good for the Challenge. Thursdays are normally my rest days so I was debating if I should workout or not. I decided not to because of the crazy 365-mile Challenge this past weekend and since I hadn't taken a break day since then, it was about time. I'm still counting my miles/strength goals as 'not reached' because technically I should have worked out for the 30-day Challenge.

Nutrition wise I went over in calories but keep in mind that normally my calorie range is 1600 - 1700 cals a day... I lowered it to 1400 - 1500 cals for the challenge. But if I'm hungry late in the evening I'll still up my cals to my normal... still need to fuel my body properly.

Day 1/30: DWTS = time fast-forwarding?

Wednesday started my 30-day PT Challenge. On that day, the boyfriend and I went to the gym after an early (and light!) dinner. I spent my entire hour on the treadmill, which is totally unheard of for me, but Dancing with The Stars was on tv so I just kept pushing along, not even realizing the time - btw, Kelly Osbourne looks AMAZING! Anyway in no time I was finished and had pushed out a little over 5 miles. Coulda/Shoulda stayed longer to get in a quick 15 minute HIIT session but I was beat.

Nutrition-wise I stayed between my calorie range of 1400 - 1600 and the water intake was spot on.

Hope to have plenty of these days!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another challenge!! Am I CRAZY?!

No... not crazy... but damned determined!!

This past Tuesday was my last personal trainer session until October 23 - my PT is getting married and going on vacation for 3 weeks! And since I only see him on Tuesdays and Fridays, to me he's actually going to be gone for a month... 30 days EXACTLY!

So I'm proposing a challenge to myself:

30-day "Surprise-the-PT-when-he-gets-back" Challenge!
or the 30-day Surprise PT Challenge for short.

What is the Challenge: Technically, this 30-day challenge started on Wednesday, the 23rd (I'm only writing about it now), but for the next 30 days I will be personal-trainer-free so I wanted to take this opportunity to change up my workout and try new healthy recipes. And of course lose some weight while I'm at it!

Why am I doing it: For the last 4 months I've done most of my exercise at the gym and it's been the same thing every week...
Cardio on Monday.
Personal trainer on Tuesday.
Cardio on Wednesday.
Off on Thursday.
Personal trainer on Friday.
Cardio on Saturday.
Cardio and weights on Sunday.

It's about time for a change, don't you think?

Plus, with the accountability of a personal trainer and having scheduled sessions, I feel like I've lost a little of my own accountability and motivation so I wanna get that back! Eating right and exercising are ways of life for me, but recently I feel like I've been in a rut... just putting in the hours at the gym because I'm suppose to, eating oatmeal and fruit because I'm suppose to, drinking a ton of water because I'm suppose to. I want to enjoy eating healthy and working out again.

When does it happen: This challenge started Wednesday, Sept. 23 and will run exactly 30 days until Thursday, Oct. 22.

How will I do it: Do workouts that I haven't done in a R.E.A.L.L.Y. long time and try new recipes every week. As far as exercise, here are some of my weapons of choice:

For strength training I'm gonna rotate through a 5-day split and switch between P90X workouts and Jillian Michaels' "The Biggest Winner" series.

For cardio, I'm gonna get in more runs outside (not on the treadmill) and I'm gonna start running stairs again. If/when I go to the gym I'll rotate between machines I don't normally use, like the bike and rowing machine.

Goals for the challenge:
  • cardio miles: at least 3 miles/day, 6 days/week = 78 miles
  • weight train: 3 days/week = 15 days
  • calories: stay between 1300 - 1600
  • water: at least 72 oz/day = 2160 oz.
  • weight: lose 6+ lbs. = -1.5 lbs./week

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesdays: 136.4

Last Wed. weight: 137.6
Today's weight: 136.4

Lost: -1.2

Down from last week but the same as the week before.

Not complaining since I had a great weekend! Exercise-wise I did WAY more than normal thanks to the 365-mile Challenge (which you guys ROCKED by the way! Read about the results here). Eating-wise is what got me. Because I was putting in a lot more exercise, I thought:

"Hmm... more exercise means I can eat more right?"

That is right, but I totally spaced out on choosing to eat more of the good foods. Instead I had pizza, ice cream, and a Costco chicken bake over the weekend. I didn't go overboard and still had at least a 500+ calorie deficit every day, but still...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The 365-mile Challenge and Anniversary recap

First and foremost, a huge thank you to each and everyone one of you who participated in the 365-mile Challenge:

My family and friends - Aimee and all of her cousins, An, Akoni, Aunty Eileen, Chad Y., Chris H., Mom, Dad, Mark C., Patrick, Grandpa Oshiro, Lance M., Lawrence, Lindi, Tim, Tina and her cousins, and Uncle Bruce.

My MFD family - Becky, Bobbi, Christina, Diane, Jennifer, Katie, Mark, Robyn, Terri, Helj, and pawpaw

My blogger friends - Alan, Amy, Annalisa, Betty, C, Christine, Continuous Changes, Croughwell, Dana, Dani, EM, Erin, Hadley, Jeff, Josh, Kate, Keeven, Laurie, Lisa J., Lisa, Lori-Ann and her husband, MackAttack, Mandie, Maxine, Megan, Melissa, Missresa, Mommy2Joe, Mrs. Sheila, Nancy, Raj, Shelly, Tammy, and Will.

You guys KILLED this challenge and here's the proof:

My Personal Miles
(last updated: Tuesday, 8:15a)
28.95 miles (umm... so you guys spanked me!)

Top 5 Mile Holders
(last updated: Tuesday, 8:15a)
  1. Mark (longrun) - 80.40
  2. Jeff (http://danglethecarrot.blogspot.com) - 62.00
  3. Amy (http://amykins514.blogspot.com) - 54.00
  4. Maxine (http://tminus37.blogspot.com) - 51.74
  5. Dani (http://dani31608.blogspot.com) - 51.00

The 365-mile Challenge Miles
(last updated: Tuesday, 8:15a)
YES!!! That is not a mistake: 1100+ miles so far and I'm still waiting on several late posters!

I can't believe how successful this challenge was! Don't get me wrong, I had total faith in all of us, but you guys blew my expectations away! THANK YOU so much for making my One Year Annie-versary such a success and so much fun!

Mark (aka longrun) from my MFD family won the prize which was a gift card of his choice.
Enjoy, Mark!

So you all did awesome, but how did I do? Here is a recap of my weekend, starting from Thursday, the actual day of my one year anniversary.

This was my plan for Thursday:

"Instead of a normal celebratory anniversary (eating out, taking it easy, relaxing), I'm having a Non-celebration Celebration and I've decided to be spot-on with diet and exercise today! And I want you to join me!! Diet-wise, I'm gonna eat clean, clean, clean, loading up on fruits/veggies/lean proteins/whole grains. Exercise-wise I'm gonna get my butt moving. Normally Thursdays are my days off from exercise but there's no way I'm not going to do anything today."

Diet was the cleanest I've eaten EVER (I had broccoli with my breakfast!) and I got in 45 minutes of cardio plus a 2.5 mile walk.

Breakfast: steel-cut oats, honey, flaxseeds, natural peanut butter, broccoli, natural protein powder
Snack 1: sweet potato and cinnamon
Lunch: mixed greens, dried cranberries, chicken breast, balsamic vinegar, crumbled feta
Snack 3: apple and natural almond butter
Dinner: one slice whole grain bread, one egg, 3 egg whites, greek yogurt, chicken breast

60 min PT session = 4 miles
treadmill run = 5.25 miles
TOTAL: 9.25 miles

3.25 mile hike = 3.25 miles
treadmill run = 5.75 miles
TOTAL: 9.00 miles

3.00 mile hike = 3.00 miles
walk home = 4.70 miles
45 mins on elliptical = 3 miles
TOTAL: 10.70 miles

Last but not least, I have to give a big shout out to my mom. Not only did she contribute miles, but she wanted to help me with the diet part and provided me with a bunch of fruits and veggies (sweet potato, soy beans, and carrots). Look how cute she made everything!

She even put cute little messages! Moms - gotta love them!

This is her handy work - melon balls and star and heart watermelon cut-outs.

My bag of sweet potato, flower-cut carrots and soy beans.


Monday, September 21, 2009

What a weekend!

What can I say?!

I am tired and worn out from the past three days!

This was SOME weekend and I had so much fun celebrating my One-year Annie-versary with all of you! First thing tomorrow morning I will have a weekend recap along with the final results for the 365-mile Challenge.

If you haven't done so but want to, please send me your mile totals for the weekend by tonight.

All I can say is WE ROCKED IT!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary and the 365-mile Challenge

One year ago today, Sept. 17, 2008, I was so disgusted to see a recent picture of myself (first picture below) that I decided right then and there that I was going to change my life... and I did. I'm still a work in progress by all means but the things I've learned, the people I met, the challenges I've faced and the goals I've accomplished over the last year are irreplaceable.

Instead of a normal celebratory anniversary (eating out, taking it easy, relaxing), I'm having a Non-celebration Celebration and I've decided to be spot-on with diet and exercise today! And I want you to join me!! Diet-wise, I'm gonna eat clean, clean, clean, loading up on fruits/veggies/lean proteins/whole grains. No processed foods at all!! Exercise-wise I'm gonna get my butt moving. Normally Thursdays are my days off from exercise but there's no way I'm not going to do anything today, however I am gonna keep the exercise light in anticipation of this weekend and the...

365-mile Challenge
Remember I called all of YOU out last week (read here)?!?!?! Well the challenge is here and getting started tomorrow, so BRING IT!! We need to do a total of at least 365 miles (or minutes, see below for the 'rules') worth of exercise over the weekend (Friday to Sunday) as part of the Non-celebration Celebration. Remember, this is a celebration of everyone in my life who has been an encouragement and support system for me and anyone else who struggles with their weight/fitness. It's not about me, it's about YOU, so get moving! And did I mention there's a small prize for the person who contributes the most miles?!?!?! It wouldn't be a Celebration without presents, right?

Like anything else, there needs to be rules:
  1. Exercise like I know you do already (add in some extra if you can).
  2. Come back to this post daily/end of the weekend and log how many miles you did for each day.
  3. If you're doing an exercise that doesn't log miles (workout dvd's, exercise classes, playing a sport, etc.) log your minutes instead of miles on this post. Every 15 minutes of exercise will count as 1 mile.
  4. Enjoy you're slimming body!
Even if you're just starting out and only walk half a mile, LOG IT, because 365 miles is a lot! So every little bit counts!

I will be tracking who participates and how many miles they log and it's my personal goal to out-mile the leader among all of you! So push me to my limits and get in those miles!!! I'll be updating this post throughout the weekend with the 'Top 5 Mile Holders', 'My Personal Miles', and 'The 365-mile Challenge Miles'.

My Personal Miles
(last updated: Sunday, 8:45p)
22.95 miles (umm... so you guys spanked me!)

Top 5 Mile Holders
(last updated: Sunday, 8:45p)
  1. Mark (longrun) - 80.40
  2. Jeff (http://danglethecarrot.blogspot.com) - 62.00
  3. Amy (http://amykins514.blogspot.com) - 54.00
  4. Maxine (http://tminus37.blogspot.com) - 51.74
  5. Dani (http://dani31608.blogspot.com) - 51.00

The 365-mile Challenge Miles
(last updated: Sunday, 8:45p)
YES!!! That is not a mistake: 946.9 miles so far and I'm still waiting on several late posters!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesdays: 137.6 and 365-mile Challenge update

Last Wed. weight: 136.4
Today's weight: 137.6
Lost: +1.2

So still holding steady in the 130's (can't be mad at that!) but I totally realized something:

eating out = lots of sodium = major water retention = scale UP

I'm talking water retention that's higher than normal. I spoke to my PT/dietitian about it and after looking over my weekly weigh-ins with him, I have one of the hugest weight fluctuations he's ever seen. But not to worry since it is water weight... my weigh-ins are consistently moving down so that's all I can ask for.

Body measurments and body fat % will be taken this Friday. Cross your fingers!

365-mile Challenge Update

There has been a really good response to my Non-celebration Celebration and the 365-mile Challenge (click here to read more) and I just want to say 'thank you' to everyone who will be participating.

Again, this is a celebration for my one year anniversary (Annie-versary as some people are calling it!) of changing my life and getting healthy. Although this is only the one year mark, I know that none of this could have happened without the support and encouragement from other people in my life... people like YOU! So even though this is my celebration, I'm not celebrating myself, but all of the people who are going through what I'm going through and have been there for me during this challenging journey!

The 365-mile Challenge will start this Friday so bring your exercise faces and GET MOVING!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The 365-mile Challenge

Just a short-and-dirty reminder that the 365-mile Challenge is up for this weekend, the 18th - 20th, in celebration of my Non-celebration Celebration!! Please join me and be on-spot with your nutrition and exercise. Check here for more details.

Motivational Mondays: Regrets

"A person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams."

ENOUGH said!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

GAG 2009: Week 2 Point Challenge

Week two point-challenge for the GAG Challenge:

For the next week, we're able to earn points based on several different things: tracking food, water intake, minutes of exercise, and hours of sleep. For every:
  • 8oz of water = 10 pts.
  • 15 mins of exercise = 10 pts.
  • day of tracking food = 20 pts.
  • night of 8 hrs. of sleep = 20 pts.
Fortunately, I already do 3/4 of the things listed above... the 8 hrs. of sleep will be hard to get, even though I know it's as essential as everything else. I'll be tracking my progress here and updating it daily.
(last updated 09/14/09)

8oz water: 10 = 100 pts.15 mins of exercise: 75 mins = 50 pts.tracking food: yes = 20 pts.8 hrs. of sleep: nope = 0 pts.TOTAL POINTS: 170 pts.

8oz water: 8 = 80 pts.15 mins of exercise: 45 mins = 30 pts.tracking food: yes = 20 pts.8 hrs. of sleep: yes! = 20 pts.TOTAL POINTS: 150 pts.

8oz water: 10 = 100 pts.15 mins of exercise: nonetracking food: yes = 20 pts.8 hrs. of sleep: yes! = 20 pts.TOTAL POINTS: 140 pts.
8oz water: 11 = 110 pts.15 mins of exercise: 90 min = 60 pts.tracking food: yes = 20 pts.8 hrs. of sleep: noTOTAL POINTS: 190 pts.
8oz water: 11 = 110 pts.15 mins of exercise: 60 min = 40 ptstracking food: yes = 20 pts.8 hrs. of sleep: yes! = 20 pts.TOTAL POINTS: 190 pts.

8oz water: 12 = 120 pts.15 mins of exercise: 120 = 80 pts.tracking food: yes = 20 pts.8 hrs. of sleep: yes! = 20 pts.TOTAL POINTS: 240 pts.
8oz water: 10 = 100 pts.15 mins of exercise: 60 = 40 pts.tracking food: yes = 20 pts.8 hrs. of sleep: noTOTAL POINTS: 130 pts.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm Challenging YOU!

Yes, YOU reading this right now! In exactly a week, on September 17th, I will be making my one-year anniversary with this healthy lifestyle and in anticipation of it, I will be having a Non-celebration Celebration!
I will be celebrating, not myself, but all of you guys, who have been an encouragement and support system for me and anyone else who struggles with their weight or fitness. You guys make it happen and you're the inspiration to me!

On that day, instead of a usual celebration day that consists of eating out and taking it easy, I am planning to be spot-on with my diet and exercise and I want YOU to join me. For the weekend following the 17th (Sept. 18 - 20) I want all of us to be able to log a combined total of at least 365 miles of exercise! Yup, you read that right...

365 miles of exercise!

I know we can do this!

I'm throwing this challenge out to all my blog followers, Facebook friends, OFB members, GAG members, MFD members, and anyone else who you think would want to take on this challenge. If a friend works out with you, count their miles too!

So how is this going to work?

Just workout like you normally do (maybe even a bit more) and come back and log your miles for the weekend on my September 17th post. That's it! Even if you're just starting out and only walk half a mile, log it and let me know because 365 miles is a lot so every little bit counts! Doing an exercise that doesn't give you mileage? Let me know how many minutes you work out and I'll log it as 15 minutes = 1 mile.

As the time gets closer to the 17th I will be putting out reminders in my daily posts but be sure to check back on Thursday for the official start of the Non-celebration Celebration!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesdays: 136.4

Last Wed. weight: 139.8
Today's weight: 136.4
Lost: -3.4

It looks like a lot of weight lost, but last week's weigh-in was after a weekend of bad food choices = high sodium intake = water retention. The week before last week I weighed in at 137ish so hopefully I'm back on track!


I just realized I hit my -40lbs. mark!!! I didn't even realize it this morning when I stepped on the scale! I have been waiting F-O-R-E-V-E-R for this day!!! 10 more lbs. to go... 10 more lbs. to go... 10 more lbs. to go!!! :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Positive Thinking: Friend or Foe

After a nice long weekend I think I've discovered why I've been in such a nutrition/fitness rut...

I did some soul searching - okay, wait a minute - this isn't some kind of "leave civilization and do nothing but meditate in a cave" type of soul searching... just your good old, "take a break from EVERYTHING for an hour or two and watch traffic go by" type of searching. Anyway, I think the reason why I'm stuck is because I don't believe I'll ever get to my goal weight... my goal body... my goal level of fitness... basically any of my goals.

WHY? I don't know!!!!

I have this doubt in my mind that blocks off any possibility of me seeing myself as I really want to. A lot of people talk about the power of positive thinking - I think I just saw a story on CNN the other week that some couple lost over 300+ lbs. by praying! - and I'm wondering if this is holding me back. And if it is, how do I overcome this doubt?

I feel like because I don't believe I can hit my goal, I've loosened up on my nutrition and possibly my fitness too, keeping me at maintenance rather than losing. It's difficult to get motivated when it's so hard to see the finish line.

So getting back to this thing called positive thinking... one of the first 'diet' books I read was The Beck Diet Solution by Judith S. Beck. It talked about how thinking like a thin person can have more of an affect on your weight-loss than actual diet and nutrition (just on a side note, I didn't care for the book). I'm just using this as an example because a lot of people seem to like the book because it's worked for them. I do believe that positive thinking and believing in yourself will get you farther but like everything else, it's always easier said than done.

On the flipside, positive-thinking might be the thing that's stalling me! On one of my post a while back, my friend Jay made a comment:

1) Are you regularly thinking that you are looking pretty good?
2) Are you really proud of how far you've come?
3) Have you ever thought (even for a second) that if you stayed at this weight you'd still look pretty good.
4) Have the compliments been enough to make you think you can relax a little bit?
5) Any other things that may be stalling you in your progress?
6) Are you scared of the girl you will become when you shed the next 20 pounds?
7) Do you have the time to inspire others, help others, time for the adoration?
8) Because those next 20 pounds are going to put you at Rock Star status and may bring more recognition than you are ready to deal with?
9) Each layer of fat carries emotions that we are all either ready to get rid of or not.

In her comment, Jay was addressing the fact that sometimes we might get too comfortable with where we're at and therefore slack off a little because we're happy with the results so far. Don't get me wrong, I know I still have a lot of work to do, but I think this hits home for me.

Why strive for the 100-mile mark when the 50-mile mark is still an amazing accomplishment?

As a species, we humans are extremely optimistic and ambitious, but even more than that, we are extremely lazy. We're always looking for the shortest way to gratification and sometimes that leads us to stopping short of our goals. I'll be the first to admit that I'm guilty of at two or three of the questions above and this is probably what's holding me back. Yes, I'm proud of myself. Yes, I'm thinking I'm looking better (not looking good, just better). Yes, I've thought that I'd be happy if I stayed at my current weight considering where I started from. And maybe all these things have put a halt in my progress.

I need to keep in mind that I haven't reached my goals yet and I need to work just as hard, if not harder, to keep moving in the right direction. Hopeful... that's what I'll do from now.

Monday, September 7, 2009

GAG 2009: Week 1 Point Challenge

The first week of the GAG Challenge is off and here is the first point-challenge:

Part One
"Map out a game plan for yourself for [Labor Day]. On this game plan ~ you should include healthy dishes you "could" take, and things you will do to avoid eating the stuff that is really not worth it."

My game plan for special occasion events is to take a picture of everything I eat, like here. That way even if I don't know how many calories are in the food I'm eating, I always make sure to watch my portions. By taking pictures and posting them on my blog, it keeps me accountable.

As far as healthy dishes, I'll usually be the one who brings the veggie/fruit platter to the event and although some people complain, it seems to be the item that always runs out.

Part Two
"The second part of this challenge is to post a healthy alternative type recipe that you can take to a BBQ, Potluck or Family Gathering."

Burgers are one of my favorite things to eat but they have been cut out of my diet to a minimum. My healthy recipe remakes a classic: The BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger!

  • 8oz. lean ground beef (the leanest you can find)
  • 8oz. ground chicken or turkey
  • 4 slices turkey bacon, cut into halves
  • 4 slices low-fat Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 4 tbs. barbecue sauce
  • 4 reduced-calorie whole wheat hamburger buns
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat grill on high.
  2. Mix together the ground beef and chicken with the salt and pepper. Separate mixture into four equal parts and form into patties.
  3. Cook turkey bacon on the grill, stove top, or in the microwave until crispy and lay aside on paper towels.
  4. Start cooking patties on the grill, about two-minutes per side until well done. Place a slice of Swiss cheese on each burger. At the same time, toast the buns on the grill.
  5. Place cooked patty on bun, add a tablespoon of barbecue sauce to patty and lay two bacon halves on patty. Top with onion slices and top of bun
  6. ENJOY!

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's Christmas in August, part deux

I realize it's no longer August, however I wanted to continue my 'shopping-spree-post' from the other week (you can read it here). And I actually got this item last week Wednesday, which was still in August, but I was holding off on saying anything about it until I got to try it out.

Anyway, I got a Bodybugg (BB)!!

(I didn't take pictures of my own because it's scratched up already! I'm not used to it yet so I'm constantly hitting it on things.)

Since I started my weight-loss journey I've always thought of getting one but kept holding off on buying it because I wanted to do the work - count the calories, watch the carb/protein/fat ratio, find the right amount of exercise, etc.- on my own. Eating right and working out are more than just going to the gym everyday and eating "diet food", it's also about learning how exercise and the right foods fuel my body. For me this is a lifestyle change, not something I'm doing temporarily so the more I can do on my own, I figure the better off I'll be later on down the road.

Now don't get wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with getting a Bodybugg from the start, in fact I think it can be great learning tool, but for me, personally, I wanted to wait.

That's me wearing it after a visit to the gym.

The reasons why I finally decided to get one:
  • This weight-loss is FOR LIFE so the investment is worth it: The price of the BB was a number one reason why I didn't get it from the start: $200. But because I know fitness/eating right is a permanent change for me, investing in the "most accurate calorie management system available to the general public today" would be a great tool.
  • All the rave reviews from people I know and some I don't: I have several friends (ranging from obese to fit) who bought them months ago and can't stop talking about them. They've all gotten great results with managing their calories with the BB system but I think the one person who sold me on it was Chalene Johnson from Beachbody (read her review here). She is the creator of Turbo Jam and it's her job to be fit. The BB helped her lose the last 5 - 10 lbs, which she thought she had to live with. If it can work for the fittest of the fittest, it can work for normal people too, right?
  • Just another form of accountability: I swear if there was some type of "magic pill" for losing weight, the accountability the BB gives me is it! Wearing it totally keeps me on track with what I eat and what I do all day. I feel like the 'lil BB is watching me so I HAVE to make sure I get in my exercise for the day and I HAVE to watch what I eat and I HAVE to try and get in as many steps as possible. It's not an obsession thing, but it's a really good reminder to have around my arm.
  • My weight-loss has come to a stand still: Just take a look at my weight graph at the top of my blog... I have come to stand still and have starting losing V.E.R.Y slowly if any at all. Hoping the BB can get me back on track to losing 1 lbs./week.
  • I love gadgets - especially fitness gadgets: First I got a pedometer. Then I got a heart rate monitor. Now, I have the Bodybugg!
  • It was on sale and I had a coupon: I'm not going to lie... seeing the BB on sale at my gym for $50 off plus finding a coupon online for another $10 off was a good deal to me! Plus there's a 30-day money-back guarantee... what's there to lose?
I'm going to save my review for another post, probably one a couple of weeks from now, so I can really get a good feel for the BB and see if it's working. Plus, this past week of eating definitely threw me off track... not an excuse, just a reason. :)

**One thing I have to say about the BB system: you need to track everything you eat. I wanted to put this out there because I think some people think you can just slap the BB on your arm and see how many calories you burn, which you can do, but it's kinda pointless to know what you're burning when you don't know what you're consuming. I have been counting calories and tracking what I eat for the past year now, so I knew the counting calories part of the system was going to be okay with me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

OFB: Special Ops Mission #5 - Bring on the Burn

Operation Fat Blaster, or OFB for short. The group is very supportive and basically they are your cheerleaders for a healthier YOU. Every week OFB creater, Michelle, issues 'missions' for the members to complete with the potential to win some cool prizes.

Check it out below!


Operation Fat Blaster

Special Ops Missions #5: Bring on the Burn

"Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it ...
This week, you are to avoid using elevators and escalators and to take the stairs. All. Week. Long."

MISSION COMPLETED: And I felt the burn! At work I always take the stairs (work on the 4th floor so not too bad) so this was the easy part for me. But taking the stairs at my apartment... now that was a little harder. I live on the 7th floor of my building and although that's not many more flights of stairs than at work, it makes a difference when you have to carry bags of groceries, gym bags, or even going up and down them several times a day to walk the dog (who am I kidding - I made the BF do it)!

There were some days that I did take the elevator at home, but I was sure to make up for it by adding in an extra 30 minutes of exercise on top of my daily session. Working it out!!

Overall I loved this challenge and hope some of the stair-taking behavior will stick with me!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesdays: 139.8

Last Wed. weight: 137.4
Today's weight: 139.8
Lost: +2.4

Well that's a gain if I ever saw one! But I'm not surprised or disappointed... well sorta. This past weekend I had a wedding shower (Hi Darren and Diana!) for cousins I haven't seen in a really long time. Several of my cousins have moved to the mainland in past several years, however this weekend we were ALL together again. This is the first time in a R-E-A-L-L-Y long time that we were all together so it was really good company.

At the shower there was huge amounts of good food - steak, chicken, pasta w/ pesto, tomato or cream sauce, fish, salads of all sorts, shaved ice, chocolate fountain, wedding cake, grilled veggies, chocolate candies, breads and dips - all day long so nothing to do but catch up with my cousins and eat!

And of course after the shower we all wanted to and HAD to go out so we spent a couple of hours at a local bar... bar food - fried rice, fried calamari, onion rings, garlic chicken - and beer should be off limits to someone trying to lose weight. But anyway, it really was an awesome time!

I'm back on track!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

GAG 2009: Week 1 weigh-in

The other week I joined a fitness/nutrition group called GAG - Give A Gift to yourself. It's a 16-week challenge that started today (Sept. 1) and runs until December 22... perfect since it goes right through the holidays! Anyway, details of the challenge can be found here.


The first challenge was to post a picture of our scale with our starting weight and a current body shot.

As you can see, the scale is up from last week but I had a wonderful weekend with old friends and family so I'm not even complaining. Anyway, weigh-in days for GAG is Tuesdays, however for my blog purposes, I'm still going to officially weigh-in on Wednesdays.