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Friday, October 30, 2009

Why this time?

I haven't talked a lot about the GAG Challenge however I'm still participating and hanging in there. For our most recent challenge, we were given some questions to answer - if we wanted to - and I thought this would be the best question to start on:

What makes this weight-loss effort different than any previous attempt?

Sheesh... where to start? Where to start?
  • It's all about me this time. Previous weight-loss attempts were always started (and failed!) because someone else wanted me to lose weight - doctors, family members, friends, society, jobs - but this time, I was the one who wanted to do it. ME! Something just clicked one day and I was on a mission to get back to my previously healthy self. And so I did it for me and I've kept it up and off for over a year. Previous attempts only lasted a couple of months and those couple of months would be so stressful, I'd give up even if I lost some weight. If I wasn't doing it for myself, there wouldn't be anyway I could have kept the weight off.
  • This is a lifestyle change. Not a quick fix. And I finally get it this time. From the start, I viewed each habit change as a tiny step to my ultimate
    destination a nd I took each step one-step-at-a-time. This allowed me to change each bad habit and turn it into a good one. It can take days, weeks, even months to change some habits (hell, I'm still working on some now that I started over a year ago)! In other words, I didn't expect to lose weight and keep it off if I only temporarily changed my bad habits, I had to change them for good.

  • Shifted my focus from "lose weight" to "get healthy". The scale still mattered and I used it daily as a form of measurment, but it wasn't the only form of measurement I used to gauge my progress. I realized that I didn't want to just lose weight but I wanted to be fit, healthy, and I wanted to put on some serious muscle! I educated myself with books, magazines, even the internet, and learned what a healthy diet consists off - no restricting carbs or counting points or having prepacked food mailed to me - just fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. Something we learned back in elementary school, right?
  • My heart is actually in it to win it. I've said it time and time again. The weight-loss journey needs to be something someone does for themselves (kinda ties into my first point about it always being about you) and not anyone else. During all my previous attempts I felt "programed" to follow a certain diet, eat certain foods, eat at certain times, stay away from carbs, count your points, etc. I was following the diet just to follow it... I didn't want to do it but I was still looking for that magical diet that would make me lose 10 lbs. in the first hour! This time around, I didn't even start with your typical "diet". Instead I educated myself on proper nutrition.
These are the main reasons why I know this time is different, but I really, truly know this time it's sticking with me. I know that's a little premature to say only one-year into this journey, but it just 'feels different'. I have the support of family and friends and a wonderful boyfriend, Anthony, who goes on all fitness and culinary adventures with me! Pair that with my new-found self-confidence and I have a winning combination to keep me on track.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tasty Thursdays: Spicy Halibut Squash Stew

Another new recipe! And it was yummy! Speaking of yummy... the other day I had a coworker (hi Patrick) ask me, "Does Anthony mind eating all that healthy stuff?"
WTH does that mean?!
I told Patrick I can't stand it when people think healthy food = crappy tasting food. HELLO! I wouldn't eat it if it didn't taste good... if that was the case I wouldn't have gotten fat in the first place, right?!

Anyway, this recipe was super tasty and really quick to make but the only mistake I made was cutting the seeds out of the jalapeno because there wasn't any spice to the dish! This is the first time I've ever cooked with jalapeno (and halibut!) so I didn't realize all the heat was in the seeds. We just threw on some red pepper flakes to make up for it.

(makes about 5 servings)
  • 1 lbs. halibut, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 med. tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 zucchinis, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8oz low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. After cutting the halibut and veggies, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions and zucchinis. Cook till soft, about 6 minutes.

2. Add garlic, jalapeno, tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and cook till fragrant.
About 3 minutes.

3. Add halibut chunks and cook until flesh flakes with a fork. About 10 minutes.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

POM review and Weigh-in Wednesdays

Last Wed. weight: 135.0
Today's weight: 134.0

Lost: -1.0

TOTAL Lost: -42.4

I'm totally happy with that loss! I am just coming off of being sick so I realize that may have made me 'lighter' this week, but for not exercising and not tracking my food last week... that's pretty good. This Friday I see my PT for full measurements - tape measure and body fat % - so that'll be the true test. Crossing my fingers!

As promised here is my POM Wonderful review:

The other week I was contacted by POM Wonderful to see if I was interested in giving their products a try. They didn't ask me to do a review, but I offered to do it... I figured it's the least I could do! In Hawaii, POM drinks run about $5 so although I've heard so much good stuff about them, I've never tried them.

First, a little about the company (more can be read here). According to their site:
POM Wonderful is a global brand committed to innovation and wellness. We grow and market pomegranates and pomegranate-based products that are healthy, honest and essential to the well-being of humankind.

Ours is the only company that grows, harvests, processes and ships our own pomegranates. Plus, we’re the only pomegranate company whose products are backed by over $32 million in scientific research. POM Wonderful’s commitment to wellness also means caring about the well-being of our planet. Our sustainable business practices include:

* Using the latest drip-irrigation technologies in our orchards to minimize use of one of California’s scarcest resources – water.
* Making productive use of every single part of the pomegranate. What’s left over is used as cattle feed – no landfills for us!
* Manufacturing our bottles right next to our filling plant, which means no wasteful transportation of air-filled bottles.
* Employing an intelligent routing system to ensure our products travel the fewest miles possible to reach store shelves.
* LEED Silver certified corporate offices in Los Angeles, CA.
Well I received 4 coupons in the mail so I picked out four different flavors at the store. Man, I wish the store I went to carried POM's coffee flavors! I would have totally tried those but I had to settle for these yummy looking flavors: Pomegranate Blueberry, Pomegranate Tea, Pomegranate Blackberry Tea, and Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea.

First up is the Pomegranate Blueberry drink. Unlike the other three, this one isn't a tea, but comes out of POM's 'Juice' line. It actually tasted really concentrated, not in a bad way, but in a mix-it-with-a-little-seltzer-water way. Now THAT would have been good! I really liked this flavor overall and actually wanna go back and buy the regular 100% Pomegranate one.

I love the bottle shape of the Pomegranate Blueberry!

This is another one of my faves! The Pomegranate Tea (sorry no link to their site)! The flavor was pretty light but it was so good. It does have a slight tea taste (as it should) but it's not over powering and the pomegranate flavor is still there. To me, this was the 'lightest' tasting flavor of the four, but don't mistake 'light tasting' for lack of flavor - I mean light as in not-too-concentrated... it's still yummy! This is one I would definitely buy again.

My least favorite was the Pomegranate Blackberry Tea. Unlike the first Blueberry drink, this one actually tasted a lot like it should have been called Pomegranate Cherry Tea and I don't like cherries. My boyfriend really liked it though so I'm sure I'm in the minority of the people who don't like it.

Last but not least... my other favorite... Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea. This was so yummy, I will totally buy this again... at the full $5+ price! The lychee flavor was pretty prominent which is why I liked it, and like the Pomegranate Tea, the flavor is pretty light... no need for dilution.

Overall I was really impressed with the POM Wonderful drinks... no wonder they're so popular even though they're a little expensive (in my area)... well not expensive if you consider the health benefits! With all four flavors, the pomegranate flavor was definitely front and center, and for me, one bottle could last several servings if mixed with other liquids. I actually had a friend tell me POM drinks are good to mix into smoothies... and since I drink a blended concoction every morning, what a great way to get in a healthier breakfast! I will definitely be getting more!

Thanks POM Wonderful!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weekend Recap: New color, new attitude

Not much to say about this weekend except...

I'm baaaaaack!!!

Thank you for all the "get well soon" wishes. I'm still a little congested, but nothing that will keep me from my exercise.

I had a great weekend keeping busy with house work, nothing exciting, but at least it kept me off the couch. And with the non-active week and a half I've had... staying off the couch was good! On Saturday, the boyfriend and I got up early - super excited, I might add - and we went shopping... at the hardware store. We picked up some paint and this is what we spent 2+ hours doing:

I love the color so much, the bathroom is now my favorite place to be (did I just write that?) and if I had a laptop, I'd set up a nice comfy place on the bathroom floor - not the toilet - and blog from there. The color has made the bathroom feel so "sophisticated" (quoted from the boyfriend). What do you think?

It's funny how such a small change in color can have such an impact on my mood. I seriously walked into the bathroom this morning - I hate mornings - and instantly felt so much better!
Can you see where I'm going with this?
It's also funny how a small change in attitude can have such an impact on your life. I didn't only repaint my bathroom this weekend, I repainted myself (corny, but go with it). I was in such a rut since I got sick - no exercise and eating was horrible - but instead of dwelling on all the things I did wrong in the past week, I just stopped myself in the middle of being "off track" and got back on track a.k.a. repainted myself. Simple. Saturday and Sunday were both good eating days and I even got in some exercise! And my 'new color' has given me a new attitude that's still carrying on to today: got in a good cardio session yesterday, eating is on-point, and I can't wait to hit the gym today... HELLO sore muscles!

I'm remotivated more than ever and seeing my PT later, for the first time in over a month, will really help me stay on track.

New color.
New attitude.
New me.

How are you going to repaint yourself today?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Motivational Mondays: Yes, I Can!

"Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't,
I give myself reasons why I can."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New blog... what do you think?

Just spent some time and redid a lot of my blog...
  • added a menu bar
  • new pages like Before and After picts, My Story, Goals etc.
  • linked my other blogs to my main blog
  • got me a fancy blog title name tag
  • added a new theme for Halloween
I'm not done yet - one of my new pages is actually blank - but didn't wanna wait till Monday to post about it.

Let me know what you think... all criticism, good or bad, is welcomed. (I know the template I used makes some of my stuff on the edges hard to read, so will work that out tomorrow.) And please let me know if any new links (menu bar) don't work or takes you some place weird. :o) I checked them all but you know how it goes...

Friday, October 23, 2009

I know, I know... I'm late

Just a short note that I realize today is the end of the 30-day Surprise PT Challenge however I have been sick the last week so the bad news is I won't see my PT today and I did horrible with exercise/calories. The good news of being sick: PLENTY OF WATER with lemon and ginger!

I've updated the calendar for the challenge but the last week is not good... no exercise and no food tracking! The last time I got any exercise in was last week! Planning on going for a walk this afternoon if I'm up for it. At least it's something!


On another note, the lovely people at POM Wonderful contacted me the other week to send me some of their products to try. Look for that review coming up this weekend/early next week! Here's a hint: it was delicious!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tasty Thursdays: Curried Rice w/ Shrimp and Scallops

This recipe was adapted from Real Simple, and although the original recipe sounded great, I added/subtracted ingredients to what Anthony and I would like. The original recipe used white rice which made the cooking time MUCH faster but we're brown rice eaters so I used what we had. Overall this dish was so YUMMY!!! We threw in some red pepper flakes for an added kick and more spiciness.

The next time I make this recipe, I will leave out one carrot because it made the curry too sweet, and throw in some other veggies instead: mushrooms, peppers, celery... basically anything that would normally go in curry. Also, next time I would add the carrots, onions, water and rice all at the same time if I'm using brown rice because the onions pretty much disintegrated and the carrots were really mushy. If you're making this with white rice (cooking time is only about 15 minutes for the rice) then sauteing the carrots and onions first would be perfect.

(makes 4 servings)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1c uncooked brown rice
  • 3/4 lb. uncooked shrimp
  • 3/4 lb. uncooked scallops
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Chop carrots and onions and cook until soft (about 5 minutes).
2. Mince garlic while carrots and onions are cooking and add to skillet, along with curry powder. Cook garlic and powder until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
3. Add uncooked rice, 2.5c of water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, stir once, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

4. While rice is cooking sear scallops.(Yes, I bought the tiny ones!)

5. Add uncooked shrimp and seared scallops to curried rice, nestling shrimp close to the bottom of the skillet. Cook until shrimp are cooked through (about 5 minutes).


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesday: 135.0

Last Wed. weight: 136.4
Today's weight: 135.0
Lost: -1.4

Had a tough week last week... no PT and busy, busy days! Got to the gym only once in the last week so actually expected worse. Keep on keeping on!

Also, you may haven noticed that I haven't been giving updates on the 30-day Surprise PT Challenge... that's because it's been BAD!!! My personal trainer comes back this Friday so I'll be sure to give an update for the entire challenge by then.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What is a "cheat day" anyway?

I subscribe to a few 'tips and tricks' newsletters that relate to health and fitness and I found this article interesting and so TRUE! It was emailed to me last week but I only got around to writing about it today. It's an article from a daily newsletter called Diet and Nutrition by Everyday Health and it totally put a "cheat day" into perspective.

The diet mentality says we are either on a diet or off a diet, or that if we eat something fun it is "cheating." This state of mind has proven time and time again to result in failure; just ask anyone who has struggled with weight. But year after year, some new, self-proclaimed diet expert writes a book that promotes this type of thinking because the idea of "cheating" or eating "forbidden" foods is alluring — and marketable.

The truth, however, is that for more than 40 years, medical centers across the country have promoted a lifestyle-change approach to weight loss that says there are no foods that are off-limits. So there's no need to beat yourself up for "cheating" and certainly no need to plan "cheat days."

According to this lifestyle-change philosophy, you eat according to a plan that does not eliminate foods from your diet. You simply choose nutritionally balanced, whole foods that help you control hunger, include some of your favorite (and perhaps less balanced) foods on occasion so you don't feel deprived, and always practice appropriate portion control. If you love chocolate cake, for example, then occasionally put it in your plan and enjoy it. Just balance that out with other healthy choices and, of course, stay active.

This approach gets rid of the guilt created by negative words like "cheating" or "going off your diet" and gives you the power to include your favorite foods within a sensible plan. This way of eating can last a lifetime; diets do not.

Last Updated: 07/21/2008
Weight-loss expert Dr. Martin Binks answers your questions on emotional eating, behavioral health, and weight issues. Dr. Binks is a clinical director and CEO of Binks Behavioral Health PLLC and assistant professor in the Division of Medical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center.

And it just so happens that one of my favorite bloggers, Jen @ Prior Fat Girl (who's having a giveaway right now!), wrote about a very similar topic last week. Click here to read her take on "falling off the wagon".

Monday, October 19, 2009

Motivational Mondays: What is motivation?

According to Wikipedia, "motivation is the activation or energization of goal-oriented behavior. Motivation may be internal or external." Internal motivation is the emotional stuff: satisfaction, the joy of achievement, the feeling of success, happiness, etc. And external motivation is the physical stuff: money, buying yourself a reward, other fit people, etc. Both internal and external motivation pushes you to get to your goal, whether it's weight-loss or another goal in life but according to Wikipedia, internal motivation is what keeps you at your goal. In one case study, children who were lavishly rewarded with external motivation (prizes or toys) for drawing pictures with felt-tip pens (vs. pencils, crayons, etc.) later showed no interest in playing with the pens again. In other words they only did it to get the physical reward... there was no internal motivation to keep their interests any longer than that.

I thought this was really interesting and so true for weight-loss. I believe that the number one reason people lose weight is to look good... coming in at reason number two is to feel better/get healthier (this should be number one in my opinion). I only say this because from my past experiences with trying to lose weight I did it for the 'physical stuff': to look good, to fit into a certain size, to weigh a certain number, for other people than myself. And all those other times I tried to lose weight I failed and gained it all back. But this time around something clicked and I did it for the 'emotional stuff': for the joy of feeling healthy and being able to run again, for the feeling of doing something good, but most importantly, for myself. Losing weight for me, and no one else, has been the biggest difference and my key to success so far.

Here area few (as there are MANY) of my internal vs. external motivations:

Feeling of success - Have you ever had a friend or family member mention something about how good you're looking because of the weight you've lost so far? How'd it make you feel? Pretty fricken good right?! The high you get when someone notices your hard-work is pretty hard to duplicate but easy to achieve again if you stay motivated and moving in the direction of your goal.

Self-confidence - Losing 40+ lbs. has made such a difference in my self-confidence... hell, losing the first 5 lbs. made a big difference! It has nothing to do with how I look because I still look 'big' to other people, but it has everything to do with knowing that I set out to do something and I did it! Makes me believe that I can do a lot of things I never thought I could.

Happiness - I don't know anyone who isn't happy after they lose some weight. Not so much because the weight is gone, but because they were able to do it.

Satisfaction - The endless process of creating goals, achieving them, and crossing them off my list motivates me a TON. When I decided to lose weight in September of last year, I set a goal of tracking my food and exercise until the end of the year... at least to the end. When the year was up, I had lost about 20 lbs. and was so motivated, I just kept on going.

Myself - Like I said before, doing it for myself is my biggest internal motivation mostly because I encompass all the 'emotional stuff'. Because I'm doing it for me, my biggest competitor and the only person that holds me back... is myself. I'm able to push myself just a little harder every day because I want this!

My tattoo - When I hit my goal weight of 120 lbs., I have this gorgeous tattoo planned out. This is my physical motivator because I really wanna get the tattoo! But I'm not losing weight to get it - in fact I think I would have gotten it even if I was still fat - but since getting healthier is really important to me, allowing myself to only get the tat when I reach my goal totally pushes me.

Fitness models - They motivate me because they've done it and have kept it up! To have a muscled-body like them is amazing and something I totally look forward to.

My family and friends - From the super fit to the one's who don't know where to start, they all motivate me in different ways. Family and friends with health problems motivate me to get healthier everyday and the family and friends who are athletes motivate me to get moving even more.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I can't stand it when...

... people didn't think I could lose the weight when I first started.
... people don't think I can keep it off now that I lost it.
... someone finds out I go to the gym and they think that is all I've done to lose weight.
... someone makes a comment about my food looking 'healthy' (ie. bland and junk).
... the same person who made the comment about my 'healthy' food makes a comment when I eat non-healthy food. (Wth? Make up your mind!)
... people think I've stepped over to the 'dark side' because I switched from white rice to brown rice.
... people ask me how I'm losing weight and once I say 'ex...' they lose interest because they know I'm gonna say exercise.
... people remind me to not go too far and become anorexic... if I even had the ability to take it that far, do you think I would be overweight to begin with?

But, I absolutely love it when...
... I step on the scale and know all my hard work is paying off.
... I have to throw out clothes because they're getting too big rather than getting too small.
... I can do things I couldn't before or in a really long time: running a 13k, playing basketball, going up stairs w/o getting winded
... people ask me for help and really WANT it.
... out of the blue someone tells me they started working out because I inspired them... lil' ol' me!
... I walk out the door every morning, more confident in myself than the day before.
... I accomplish something I never thought I could.
... I look at my arms or legs and can see muscles... it pushes me even harder the next time.
... people notice how much happier I am.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tasty Thursdays: Balsamic Feta Salmon Bake

This was an experimental recipe I tried with ingredients I already had at home. Fats a little high (come on, it's salmon!) but it's all good fats with lots of Omega 3's! This came out really good and I'll totally make it again. Especially because it was EASY (once again)!

(makes about 8 servings; 1 serving = 3.5oz)
  • 2 lbs. wild salmon
  • 1/2c crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3c 0% Fage Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbs. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • couple cloves of garlic, miced
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and toast bread (keep an eye out so it doesn't burn).

2. While bread is toasting, mix all ingredients (except salmon) together in a bowl until everything is evenly combined.

3. When bread is really toasty, take out of the oven and cool off. Smash cooled toast in a ziploc bag until you have breadcrumbs and set aside.

4. Cover a baking sheet w/ foil and lay salmon in the middle of sheet. Cover salmon with most of the mixture but leave about two spoonfuls leftover in the bowl. Mix the remaining mixture with the breadcrumbs and top off the salmon.5. Bake uncovered for about 30 - 40 minutes or until flesh of salmon flakes. ENJOY with a serving of complex carbs and veggies and you have a well rounded meal.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 21/30: Bloated is no excuse!

Yesterday I was not in the mood to workout at all!

I was still feeling really bloated from this weekend of eating and this is the worse I've felt from food alone. It's been a while since I ate out so often and this is seriously the worse bloating ever... well of course besides the once-a-month bloating!

Anyway I wrote off any exercise from early yesterday morning and I thought about all the relaxing things I could do when I got home... take a nap... walk the dog... catch up on blogs... cook an early dinner... watch some tv... basically do nothing! And I was happy all day because there was no workout planned. But about an hour before work ended, someone (presumably ME!) kicked my own ass and asked WHY?!

Why was I going to skip my work out? Working out always makes me feel better whether I'm feeling a little sick, or have cramps, or FEELING BLOATED! So right away I called Anthony to see if he wanted to hit the gym after work and he did. So we did! Yay! I usually hate going to the gym after work because it's so crowded but I knew if I didn't go then, I wasn't going at all. So yesterday I was completely on track with everything: diet, water, and miles!

Weigh-in Wednesday: 136.4

Last Wed. weight: 134.8
Today's weight: 136.4
Lost: +1.6

Damn the sodium! My weekend of a high-sodium diet killed my weigh-in this week which was expected. Will be back for a much better weigh-in next week... I promise! BTW, the PT comes back next week so really gotta focus on pushing my 'athlete' self past my normal limits! It's really time to bring it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 16-20/30: Need your opinon

Again... nothing that exciting this weekend with regards to the 30-day Surprise PT Challenge, but here's a recap of what I did and how it went. Plus, I need your opinion about clothes sizing at the end of this post!! WARNING: Lots 'o eating ahead!!:

Thursday, Day 16/30
Diet-wise pretty on track for Thursday.

I decided to hit the gym to do my cardio only because my workout buddy wanted to go. And what happened when I got there? Did my cardio for almost an hour and a half and my workout buddy still wasn't at the gym. Come to find out he was running really late so he didn't even get there till I was back home. Good thing I didn't wait around for him to show!

Friday, Day 17/30
And let the feasting begin! Friday started a horrible weekend of eating, which didn't end till Monday! Today I was pretty on track until dinner time... had a 600-calorie Costco chicken back! So good but so bad!

After dinner I hit the gym with my workout buddy again (who showed up this time!) and we did a full body workout with some cardio for a total of an hour and half at the gym. I absolutely love Friday nights at the gym because it's so empty! I easily got on (and wasn't intimidated by) the assisted pull-up machine! I just love it!

Saturday, Day 18/20
Day 2 of the horrible eating: went out for lunch and had ramen with Anthony... so good but SO full of sodium. Tonight for dinner I had a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwhich which I sprinkled with my chocolate protein shake... SO YUMMY!!! If I had stopped eating there I would have been golden but NOOOOOOO... after Anthony got off of work we decided to grab food. So my second dinner of the day was spaghetti w/ meat sauce and garlic bread. Talk about bad choices.

Earlier that day I spent about 2-hours shopping by myself. I don't consider this exercising but wish I did because I only got in about 30 minutes on the elliptical at home. Anyway, shopping was awesome and I found some stuff that I'm really excited about!

I haven't talked about it, ever, but I have a slight obsession with fitness magazines, namely Oxygen. I love their straight-forward advice and awesome fitness/nutrition programs! Well they come out with yearly specials and normally I don't get them (Abs special, glutes special, etc.) but just the other day they came out with their first ever 'Off the Couch' special and I really wanted to get it. This special edition of Oxygen is like their motivation special. Tons of stories and advice from real women who lost the weight, got super fit, and have kept the weight off! I've only started reading through it but so far, like any other Oxygen mag, I L.O.V.E. it! Also picked up my other fave mag, Clean Eating. Also bought me a pair of size 2 motivational jeans. I usually don't support buying clothes in smaller sizes in hopes of fitting into it, but see end of post for more details.

Sunday, Day 19/30
Day 3 of horrible eating: more ramen for dinner and a sweet potato tapioca sundae! That's all I need to say about that!

Monday, Day 20/30
Day 4 of horrible eating: ramen (again!) for lunch and a Cinnabon minibon for dessert. I'm sorry, was I trying to lose weight again? I think I forgot!

Today I spent the day at my parents' house going through old clothes and things in preparation of a garage sale this weekend. It was like going shopping since I could actually fit into some of the clothes again! I only kept a handful of tops but it felt so good to try them on and fit them. I also found my high school prom dresses (which I didn't even think to try on) but when I looked at the waist size on one of the dresses, it really put things into perspective as far as the size 2's I just bought the other day (see below for details).


And here's where I need your opinion: How big of a size difference do you guys notice between today's sizes and sizes from five years ago? In other words does a size 6 today feel like what a size 8, or even 10, was five years ago?

I'm sure many of you have heard that companies now-days are 'resizing' their clothing sizes (read here for one story of this trend) to make customers feel more comfortable and because 'obese' is becoming the norm, but I think it's ridiculous! The other month I bought a size 6 pair of jeans. Well the size 6 was getting a little loose (I think from wear rather than me getting smaller) so I decided to stop in my favorite jeans store, GAP, to try on some different sizes. I picked out several different size 4's, some in different styles and some in the exact same style since I know GAP's sizes can run all over the place. Well some fit perfectly, and everything else was too big! Not too small, TOO BIG!!! WTH?! I KNOW I'm not a size 4, let alone a size 2! And the only reason why I bought a size 2 was because they almost fit... and for me, it's not a matter of if I'll fit them, but when I fit them!

And like I was saying, yesterday I went through a lot of old clothes that I had at my parents' house. Looking at the waist of one of my prom dresses I couldn't believe how tiny it was... and I wasn't tiny in high school... I wasn't fat but I wasn't one of the thin girls. And in high school, I was wearing a size 6 - 7.

If that's the case, how am I wearing a size 4 - 6 now, eight years later and 20 lbs. heavier?

So for me, the size-changing by these companies are crazy! I understand it's a marketing move, but is making Americans believe they're a size 4 or 6, when in actuallity they're more like a size 8 - 10, healthy and good for us? Isn't this just another way to make it 'okay' for us to keep getting bigger, a.k.a another contributor to the obesity epidemic, rather than a solution? What are your thoughts and experiences?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gorgeous Blogger Blogging!

Aww... I always get so thrilled when I get a message that someone has awarded my blog an award (and yes I know these could easily be made up by anyone, but it's still such an honor). MackAttack over at Fat Buster gave me the Gorgeous Blogger Award. Not sure if it means I'm gorgeous or my blog is but I'd like to think both! :o)

So to make it official, I need to 1.) recognize and link back to the person who sent it - MackAttack, 2.) share six interesting things about myself, 3.) award seven other bloggers with the Gorgeous Blogger Award and 4.) let them know about it. I know I didn't send out the last award I got, but stopping the honor when it gets to me is so wrong, so here goes:

6 Not-too-sure-if-these-are-interesting-things About Me
  1. I can speak Hawaiian - Not just 'Aloha' and 'Mahalo', but actually speak it and hold a conversation. It's a beautiful language.
  2. I have five tattoos and I WANT MORE!! - They myth that when you get your first one you become addicted is SO true! Right now the ones I have are small but when I reach my goal weight I have a nice big (tasteful) one planned out - gonna start at my right hip, work it's way up the middle of my back, and end over my left shoulder! Mom - if you're reading this, don't tell dad!
  3. My great-uncle helped create Strawberry Shortcake - He helped design her look for Mattel; from her red hair to her strawberry hat. It's one of our family's favorite history facts.
  4. I was born and have lived in Hawaii my entire life, but I have never gotten on a surfboard - I've boogie-boarded and body-surfed a ton but never caught a wave on a surfboard. It's so weird that I haven't... I need to seriously add this to my 'to-do list' for 2010 or something.
  5. I used to run my own website that sold little clay guinea pig sculptures - I called them Piggie Pies. I used to have four guinea pigs and one day I decided to make little one-inch replicas of them. They turned out to be a big hit (especially with people in England!) and I couldn't keep up with orders. I eventually got bored with it though and closed it down.
  6. I have a slight obsession with hair products! - I buy a ton of them... use a ton of them... love a ton of them... hate a ton of them... and review a ton of them on Amazon (I'm dorky like that). My favorite to date: Fekkai and LUSH products!

7 Awarded Bloggers
**This is among MANY that I like... it's just hard to pick only seven**

Friday, October 9, 2009

The scale ain't nothing but a number

The other week I received a rather "amusing" email, which I have been debating to blog about. Apparently the author of the email knows me better than I know myself because they made it a point to tell me everything I'm not doing and everything I should be doing. And I quote:
"I found your blog today and I'm so sick of reading weight lost blogs that only talk about what the scale says. Why do you people obsess over it? Yah its good you lost weight but losing weight isn't only about what the scale says and there is no perfect size anyone has to be so stop wishing you would weight a certain number or fit into a certain size. It's about getting healthy and living a longer life. I noticed you're a calorie counter too. Don't even get me started on that! Instead of eating your normal 800 calories a day of junk food why don't you start eating healthy food like lettuce. Stop complaining about what the scale says!!!"

First of all, how the hell does this person think they know anything about me? Second, it's my blog and I'll complain if I want to! Yes I have a blog - a weight-loss blog - so obviously it's going to be about weight-loss. Losing weight is only part of my life; it isn't my life. I didn't waste my time writing back to this person (who I don't know) but this email struck a nerve with me. So for any other "haters" out there here is what I have to say - save your time and read this before you waste my time writing to me:

"Why do you people obsess over [what the scale says]?"
Who said anything about obsessing? I understand that many people who try to lose weight do get caught up with the numbers on the scale at first but I assure you that's not me today. I used to be that person when I started out a year ago. The number on the scale is just one way I measure my progress. You don't like it, then don't read my posts about my weigh-in's. It's that simple.

"Losing weight isn't only about what the scale says and there is no perfect size anyone has to be..."
AMEN, brother! I totally agree and couldn't emphasize this more! For me personally, the number on the scale matters because even if I was down to 20% body fat with a ton of lean muscle mass, I should still only weigh around 115 lbs. because I'm so short: 5'0" tall! My body fat % is way more important to me than any number the scale could give me but weighing myself and taking monthly measurements are the things that work for me. Because measuring body fat is a two-person job (how the hell do I measure my back and arm by myself), my PT measures my body fat monthly.

And to put it into more perspective, someone with my height and build should easily be a size 2 or smaller... what can I say... I'm suppose to be petite. So setting my goal at a size 4/6 or my weight at 125 lbs. is still way above what I should be and still totally realistic. I'm not wishing to be a certain unattainable size or weight, just healthy. Which leads me to my next point...

"It's about getting healthy and living a longer life."
Pardon my French, but no shit! I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not losing weight to look good in a bikini, I'm losing the weight to get healthy! **Looking good in a bikini is just a side-effect!** I do both cardio and weights. Cardio is made up of runs, HIIT sessions, elliptical sessions, and the step-mill. Weights vary depending on what I feel like working but it will always consists of a full body workout. And I'm not talking 'lil pink "girlie" dumbbells either. I'm talking muscle failure at 8 - 10 reps, 15 lbs. curls, 70+ lbs. squats, 20 lbs. rows, plyometrics, weighted ab workouts, and perfect form REGULAR push-ups! None of this "on the knee" crap. Of course I started out using the 'girlie' dumbbells and doing push-ups on my knees - nothing wrong with that! - but it pisses me off when people think that's how I work out now. I'm just saying...

"... you're a calorie counter too. Don't even get me started on that!"
WTF is that even suppose to mean? The best of the best count calories and I have come to believe that tracking what you eat is just as important as exercising. Nutrition counts for 80% of the work if I want the results I want! I don't just want to lose weight, I want to be lean and toned out!

"Instead of eating your normal 800 calories a day of junk food why don't you start eating healthy food like lettuce."
SERIOUSLY?! What makes this person even think I eat junk food?!?!?! Besides my occasional ice cream indulgence, I think I eat pretty fricken good. Here is a typical week's worth of food:

Now I realize I didn't have to justify myself to the author of the email, or to anyone, but it was something I wanted to put out there for anyone else who was wondering about my intentions to lose weight.

I have spent countless hours reading up on fitness and nutrition not because I'm obsessed with it but because I'm interested in it and I literally have a thirst to learn as much as I can. I've come a hell of a long way from my beginnings and I am no longer what your typical "dieter" is. I don't just cut out sugar from my diet or do low carb or no fat or the lemonade cleanse or whatever. Instead, I've learned what a well-balanced diet of lean proteins, essential fats, and complex carbs can do for your body. Watch the sugar, salt, oil, and saturated fat in your diet; up the fiber, protein, and water intake and you've got yourself a winning combination. Of course there are things I don't know yet and I don't consider myself an expert in any sense but I feel good with what I'm doing and where I'm at right now. This isn't just a life-style change but a learning experience.

And even though I only have 'Weigh-in Wednesdays' and not 'Body Fat Tuesdays' or 'Waist-measurment Fridays', I am all about the health and fitness, not just about the weight. So before you get on your soap-box and judge me take the time to get to know me first. OR to make it easier on everyone, just stop being STUPID!**

**Ranting for the week is over! It's Friday... YAY!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Halfway point and a new LOVE

Yesterday was day 15 of my 30-day Challenge... already! I can't believe it's halfway done and I'm not sure if I'm happy with how I've done.

Here are my original goals and here is how I'm doing:
  • cardio miles: at least 3 miles/day, 6 days/week = 78 miles/53.5 miles
  • weight train: 3 days/week = 15 days/7 days
  • calories: stay between 1300 - 1600
  • water: at least 72 oz/day = 2160 oz./1218 oz.
  • weight: lose 6+ lbs. = -1.5 lbs. week/-0.8 lbs. week

(click on calendar for a bigger picture)

So still on track except for the weight-loss but losing almost a pound a week consistently is something to celebrate for me! YAY!! But looking at the calendar, it's obvious why the weight-loss isn't greater... my calorie intake! I really like seeing everything laid out in a calendar-format because it really shows me which areas I need watch! Think I'll continue using this format even after the Challenge.

Last night at the gym... I found a new love! No, I'm not cheating on Anthony, but I fell in love with this:

The assisted pull-up/dip machine!!

It's basically a pull-up/dip machine that lets you choose how much weight to minus off from your body weight so you can build up your strength until you're able to do unassisted pull-ups/dips.

I've always eyed out the machines at the gym because I am obsessed with being able to do one perfect-form pull-up! It's been years since I've been able to and it would be a huge accomplishment (and an awesome workout!) if I can start incorporating these into my weight training routines. Anyway, I've always been too scared to try them at the gym because all the machines are located in the area of the gym which I call "the big boy" area... you know, the part of the gym were only guys tend to workout. Well last night it was pretty empty so Anthony and I tried them and I'm in love!

I didn't have the chance to spend a lot of time on the machines because we were actually on our way out of the gym but I can't wait to get back on the assisted machine tomorrow!

Gorgeous back muscles and tapered lats, HERE I COME!!