Friday, December 18, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Finished with my Christmas shopping and Christmas cards. I must say that it's a nice feeling. I still have the wrapping and the traveling to do and the 5 more days of work (afternoon shifts, my favorite!) to get through, but I think I'm almost ready.

The one thing I do need to work on is my game plan to avoid the stress and anxiety that comes with the holiday season. I intend to bring my sneakers and workout clothes so that I can hit the road for some exercise which should help some. But I need to figure out how to handle the rest of the stress that comes with the holidays. After all, I'm a nervous person by nature...

Anyway, I welcome your thoughts...

Happy Friday!

p.s. - I know that the song title is "It's beginning to LOOK a lot like Christmas", however I'm hoping that by changing it in my blog post I can ward off the snow that is supposed to fall this weekend... I am NOT ready for another snowstorm :(

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Interactive Blog Post

Hi guys -

It's a very chilly December morning and I am getting ready to go for a walk/run. Naturally, I am procrastinating like a champ! I know that once I get started, I should be good to go. That, and if it is too bearable, I'm always less than a half mile from my house (I run up and down the neighborhood streets).

Now that I have my ipod, I love to run with the rocker girls of the 80s-90s -- you know... Pat Benatar, Patty Smyth and Scandal, Heart, Lita Ford... There's nothing like hearing "Hit me with your best shot" or "The Warrior" to make one feel empowered.

But what about you... what music keeps you going through your workouts? I imagine that eventually I'm going to want a "plan B playlist" and maybe you'll inspire me.

Anyway, have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

With a little help from my friends...

Good morning! The sun managed to come out today (after the deluge last night) and I got to hit the road! I'm back to walk/running... (maybe it will help me to lose the 20lbs I said I wanted to lose before I tried running again). Anyway, it felt good! I did 5 miles in about 75 min... not too bad!

So the friend I managed to inspire while slacking on my own journey (see previous post) is helping me get back on track... We've been checking in on each other daily about going to the gym and our food choices. I am so grateful to have wonderful friends like you all - who give me encouragement when I need it most. Thank you so much for being a part of my journey.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nothing like a little guilt...

So, yesterday I received this text from a good friend of mine:
"Hey, guess what? I worked out this am at 5!!! I've never done that before. Thank you for inspiring me, Laura"

While I was proud of my friend for making healthy changes, I couldn't help but feel a little bit bad for myself. It must be that Catholic guilt... it's hard to hear that I am inspiring others when I am barely doing what I need to do myself.

I guess there is only one way to fix that, now is there???

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Catching up...

Hey guys!

Can you believe December is here? Sometimes I just don't know where the time goes...
I haven't been the best about blogging lately so I figured I should check in.

I had a lovely Thanksgiving with my family. My parents, sister and niece Jasmine came up to Richmond to celebrate the holiday with me. It was such a delight! Jasmine is getting so big and she is quite the character... but be careful what you say, because this one hasn't developed a filter yet (she told my neighbor's daughter that her room was a mess and that she needed to clean it up... yikes).

Holidays are great, but for me the indulgences of the celebrations tend to linger too long. It's probably a product of not being in the habit of being good right now. Luckily for me, it takes 2-3 weeks to make a behavior a habit, so there is hope I won't repeat this pattern for Christmas. I think I will be well-prepared because I'm starting today!

Training with Sean is back to running smoothly... since I can't get ready there for the time being and I don't do very well working out at night, it was a little rocky for a while there. Thankfully, Sean is working with me on this -- which means on the days that I have to be at work at 7am, we work out at 5am. This gives me enough time to go back home and get ready. I really appreciate his flexibility with this, because I am so not ready to go it alone yet...

So, the 1st of December was the first day to sign up for the Monument Ave 10K. I decided that this is going to be my next race. It will be on March 27, so that gives me PLENTY of time to start training... I want to be able to run most if not all of this one!

Anyway, I think that's all I have to report... have a wonderful day!

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Coming clean

I think it is a well-known fact that doctors make the worst patients... We know too much and sometimes we think we know what's best. In addition to this, there is an anxiety or fear of bad outcomes that can manifest itself as denial.

I had a doctor's appointment today. It has been about a year and a half since I had been and because my weight has been going in the wrong direction, I didn't want to have to tell my doctor what a bad job I've been doing with consistently taking my meds or following my diet. In fact, my PCP tricked me into coming in... she asked what I was doing on the 24th and when I said that I had nothing going on, she made me an appointment.

I must say that it is a relief to actually have gone... My blood pressure (off my medication) was a little bit high (142/72) which means that it is not time to come off the losartan. I still need to do labs (since it was an afternoon appointment I wasn't fasting). Actually, the labs kind of scare me a little - I'm really afraid of getting diabetes. She offered to check my A1c, which I declined. Maybe if I had been good about my diet over the past 3 months, but since I haven't I'm afraid of what the results may be. For now, a fasting glucose will be sufficient. I'll let you know how things turn out once I get them done.

But I feel great... I'm motivated to keep going.

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Coulda, woulda, shoulda...

***Warning, this post is kind of negative... I'm hoping I'll turn it around by the end.***

A year ago yesterday, I had my last good assessment. I was down 97# and oh so hopeful. I couldn't wait to reach the "hundred pounds gone" mark and knew that it was in reach. I also had daydreams about when I would finally be a healthy weight, and I was confident I would get there by my goal of my 35th year... I felt invincible.

A year later and 35 lbs (in the wrong direction) later, I have to ask myself -- WTF??? What happened? How could I do this to myself again??? If only I had a chronicle of my journey... Oh yeah, I do... I decided to read my own blog to see if I can figure out what went wrong.

I was a rockstar for the first 9 months. I journaled almost everyday, stuck to the rules without straying (except cheat days), and was faithful to my cardio. I vaguely remember the sense of pride I felt when I got in an extra workout in or when I would refuse dessert at work or food brought in by a drug rep because it didn't follow the rules.

And then I got a little arrogant... I made that goal of reaching 100# by Thanksgiving (something that was too aggressive to safely do). I became obsessive and super-strict in a way that was not only not maintainable, but I think caused me to rebel a little.

Once I stopped working towards that assessment, I started to give myself slack and started to gain. Well, that was a slippery slope. I made attempts many times to get "back on track" (yeah, I lost count of how many times I have used that expression here). I would give myself a pep talk and be all optimistic only to fail and get discouraged only a few days later. I have still to this day not been able to get back to even writing things down consistently (which is the first step).

I've tried a ton of other things to help me -- different journals, seeing a nutritionist, strategizing with Sean, making goals for races, I even had a life coach -- but none of this stuff has been able to fix whatever broke in me last year. I'm so frustrated because I know I can do this (I was doing it and it worked), so what is stopping me now??? Most of all, I am so angry at myself for throwing away all of that hard work!!! I'm really afraid that if I can't fix the problem, I am going to be back where I was before I started this journey or even heavier. This would be unforgivable!

So, where to go from here???

I'm not giving up. I can't do that to myself. If it means starting over everyday, then that is what I have to do. If you have any ideas of something I can do to regain that drive I once had, I'm open to suggestions...

Sorry to be a downer...

Happy Saturday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Back to work...

So, my new found enthusiasm continues (yes, I realize it has only been 2 days). Yesterday I was super sore. My shins really hurt and it was difficult to walk around the hospital. But after a good stretching session this morning, I'm back! I did an upper body workout with Sean and then took a walk around the Fan - when I drove it, it measured 2.5 miles.

Tackling my nutrition is going to be more of a challenge... I've been pretty far gone for a while so I guess the good news is that even small changes will be a step in the right direction. I'm starting first with journaling and eating 5-10 servings of vegetables and fruits a day. After I master those, I'll add a new rule back in. I'm just not ready to give up the coffee and the diet cokes that I added back to my life at some point over the past year... I know that they need to go (or at least be drastically cut back), but there are other things that I can work on first.

Who knows? Maybe I'll be back to losing in no time...

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Race Day

So as I alluded to in the past couple of posts (and then hinted at by my long silence), things have been rough the last few weeks. My training fizzled -- and I was seriously considering backing out of the 8K. After much encouragement from my friends, I decided to go for it. That is, after Megha made me promise that we would walk the whole thing.

It was a lot of fun... Another friend, Aimee, from work joined us too. We talked the whole way and it was over before we knew it. We were soaked and freezing, but proud of what we accomplished. We even got medals of participation! Here we are at the finish line...

The evening after the race, I went to my neighbors' house for a "Runner's Victory and Remorse" party. You see, my neighbor Jack rocked the marathon this year! This is even more amazing considering that 13 months ago, while training for the 2008 marathon, he had a heart attack! What an inspiration, right???

There was an surprising side effect of doing the race yesterday (the soreness this morning was expected... I think it was the push I needed to get back on track. I woke up this morning and started my food journal again. I looked up the date of the Monument Ave 10K and am seriously considering doing that one, too. I'd like to lose 20 lbs before I start running again, but I learned that there is value and a sense of accomplishment that goes along with walking the race as well... who knew???

It's a wonderfully sunny day here in Richmond, VA... something that is a welcomed change after our very rainy week... it's enough to lift anyone's spirits!

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gratitude challenge...

Still trying to get out of my funk, but I'm getting a little better each day. One of my friends from college and now Facebook gave me a great idea. Until Thanksgiving, she is posting a status reflecting something for which she is grateful. I've decided to steal her idea and challenge myself to do it, too!

I'm going to will myself to be happy, if it's the last thing I do!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nothing positive to say...

I've been struggling... Maybe it's the change of the weather and maybe I'm hosting my very own pity party, but I've been pretty down lately. Wards left me exhausted, both physically and emotionally. I'm so tired and I'm tired of my crappy, boring life. I really need a change!

I haven't been running and I've barely doing the other things I need to do. Needless to say, I won't be running any races... I may walk it. We'll see...

Hoping this funk will lift soon!

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

False start...

So much for getting back on schedule with the running... I think the big problem is I've been thinking that I would do it in the evenings. (I should know better). I really need to add it to my morning routine (and then if I do it again in the evening, then even better!).

But, since after today I am off for the next 11 days, I really have no excuse not to get it done... I don't want to let down those who have agreed to do this race with me (and I don't want them to back out either!!)

Happy Humpday!

Monday, October 5, 2009

More updates...

It's been a little rough of a week with the hip hurting and trying to find a time to run...

9/30 - running day: I only managed to do 15 minutes of run/walking before the hip acted up. I finished off the workout with half an hour of walking. 45 minutes in total covering 3.1 miles.
10/1 - non-running day: 20 minutes on the elliptical machine and a lower body workout with Sean
10/2 - just a full-body workout with Sean
10/5 - upper body workout with Sean

... I decided to rest the hip for a little while and not run over the weekend. Thankfully, today I am pain-free! The running starts again tomorrow. Of course, I need to learn how to stretch properly so that I don't hurt myself again...

So I found out my friend who was planning to run the race with me has to work... boo!!!
BUT, I have 2 friends who have agreed to run it with me... yay!!!

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wow, that stinks...

So, apparently in April I was able to jog for 5 minutes straight... I even blogged about it. Wow, what a huge setback that I'm having difficulty running 2 minutes...

Oh well, I guess I have to build back up to it again!


Training update...

Plugging along...

9/27 - rest day. no cardio
9/28 - running day: run/walking around the neighborhood... mainly 90 sec jogging with 60 sec walking. I started out attempting 2 minutes of jogging, but I lasted 2 cycles. I only lasted 18 minutes (see the obstacle below...) Finished up the 40 minutes with walking. Lower body workout with Sean.
9/29 - non-running day: walked 1.2 miles (3 times around the block) and then an upper body workout with Sean.

Another obstacle:
I've been having right hip pain after running. Feels like it's muscular since I have full ROM of my hip... I'm hoping that it's just my body adjusting to new exercise. I did have to stop running short yesterday, and today I took it easy with the cardio today. If it doesn't get better soon, I'll have to make an appointment with a doctor.

Added benefits of the running?
- I'm getting back on track with nutrition. I haven't noticed any changes in the scale, but I'm not focused on it.
- my time running is great time to reflect on whatever is bothering me... I've found it to be a great stress reliever.

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Running" update

Until I start a spreadsheet of my own, I'm going to put down my training here:

9/25 - non-running day: 30 min HIT training on the elliptical - level 5
9/26 - "running" day: 20 minutes alternating between 90 seconds of "running" and 60 seconds of walking. Finished off with another 20 minutes of walking. (did 1.6 miles in the initial 20 minutes and 2.7 miles overall).
- I think today's workout needs to be repeated before going on to the next level... I was doing fairly well until about 15 minutes in and then I couldn't maintain the "running" for 90 seconds. Definitely don't think I'm ready to conquer 2 minutes of running in a row.

Obstacles: this darn viral URI... I could swear I heard myself wheezing at about 18 minutes in. :( Hopefully, this cold will leave me soon.

You may have noticed my quotations whenever I use the word run... I assume they'll fall off when my confidence is higher, or when I believe what my efforts actually fit the definition of running...

Have a good one!

The balancing act...

Achieving balance is something that is always a challenge for me. I often have an "all-or-nothing mentality" about things and so I'm either super-strict or super-slack with no middle ground. Add it to the list of the million things I am working on improving...

HOWEVER, I think I did a good job avoiding that wrong thinking over the past few days. While I have cheated each day of my birthday celebration (which this year happened to last 2 days), I have done a good job of getting right back on track. And even on those days, I made really healthy choices with the exception of my cheat dinners (eggplant parm and birthday cake on the 24th and a restaurant spinach salad w/chicken and some of my friend's creme brulee cheesecake on the 25th). Most importantly, today I got up and instead of beating myself up for cheating twice, I had my healthy breakfast and am going for my "run" now...

Who knows... maybe I'm growing up ;-)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 3 -- things are a little better :)

Today I hit the road... I walk/ran around the neighborhood - running 60 seconds (no handrails to hold onto this time) alternating with walking for 90 seconds for 20 minutes and then afterward I walked for another 20 minutes. I covered 2.7 miles in 40 minutes... it's a starting point, right?

Two obstacles I've discovered while running on the streets:
(1) DOGS -- Not the biggest pet person, but dogs barking at me (and potentially chasing after me) scares me quite a bit. I encountered 1 barking dog today (he didn't chase), but it put me on heightened alert for the rest of my workout.
(2) I got a BLISTER :( -- I went to get fitted for running shoes, but when I got home, I noticed that my new ones were remarkably similar to my current sneaks (which quite frankly aren't that old). I decided to bring them back and talk to the salesperson, but in the meantime I would use my old sneakers. They have never given me any problems before, but today I got a blister... OUCH! Guess I'll have to go out and buy some band-aids, because a little blister isn't going to stop me now.

I'm pretty excited about my training for this race (even if I do walk most of it). It's nice to have a new goal to focus on rather than numbers on a scale... who knows, maybe this is just the thing to get me back to making healthy choices all around.

Starting my 35th year on the right track...


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 1 -- how many calories are in humble pie???

... because I just had a big piece of it!

I started training for the 8K. My neighbors are runners and they are helping me devise a plan to prepare -- I am to start with 20 minutes of alternating between walking for 90 seconds and running for 60. I'm supposed to "run" 3 times a week and only one of these can be on the treadmill... doesn't sound so bad, right?

Wrong! Even though I have been doing cardio consistently for 18 months, I could barely get through this workout. I started out with my treadmill workout - walking at 4.0 and running at 5.0. I found that I can only run for 45 seconds before I have to hold on to the handrails. My initial plan was to continue to walk for another 10 minutes after, but luckily Sean was ready for me so I had to go train.

I know that I am still sick and that may have made it a little harder, but I really thought I would be better able to handle the workout... and this is just day 1!

But I'm going to stick with it and I look forward to updating you on my progress...

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Time for my annual freak-out...

So, it's that time of year again... soon to be another year older. And while there are plenty of things that I have accomplished, I find myself thinking about all of the things that have just not happened for me. My life at 33 is nothing like I imagined it would be, and I can't help but be a little sad...

So if you see me this week and I'm a little bit off, you now know why...

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Just what the doctor ordered...

I had originally asked for last week off for our Girl's Weekend Extravaganza Part Deux (a bunch of high school friends got together in CT last September) that was supposed to be a reunion in San Diego. Unfortunately, since most of the girls are back in school our trip was postponed... bummer! I decided that I needed a break and I was determined to make the most of the time off. I called my friend Andrea and invited myself to Tampa...

What a welcomed break -- it was great not to think about work or weight loss or my imbalanced life for a while. I finally met Andrea's S.O. and her crazy (but cute) doggies. And while our beach trip was rained out (well, we managed to go to the bar on the beach and have a drink), I had a lot of fun relaxing, shopping, and hanging out with Andrea and some of her Tampa friends.

I think the trip renewed my spirit... I feel ready to take it all on again. And while I'm cautious about being overly optimistic (only to let myself down again), I'm ready to get back to business. I stocked my fridge with healthy food and have packed my bags for my early am workout.

I can do this...I know I can. It's just going to take time & patience.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Crazy? I was crazy once...

My friends are beginning to wear me down. They want me to do a race -- an 8K to be exact. This idea seems absolutely CrAzY to me as I am NOT a runner! I don't even think I have the stamina to walk the entire thing... it's just under 5 miles!!!

I think I may try to get ready for the race and when it comes closer to the day I will make a decision... But the fact that I'm even considering this makes me question my sanity.

More to come on this topic later...

Happpy Wednesday!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Yes, I'm avoiding you...

So, I've been doing a crappy job staying on track... I was on service last week and so blatantly ignored any sort of plan. I even had a bagel when I brought them for my team! The Laura from last year would NEVER EVER had done that (well, unless it was a cheat day)...

I really wish I knew what it's going to take to get back on track. I feel all of the hard work I started 18 months ago just slipping away... what is wrong with me?

So, yes... if I don't have anything nice to say it's better not to say anything at all...

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 28, 2009

My visit with the nutritionist (take 2)...

Sorry for the delay. I had computer issues.

So I met with the nutritionist Monday. I think it went pretty well...

First she complimented me on my current eating habits and my progress thus far. She said that she doesn't usually have someone come to her eating the way I do, so it wasn't as easy to make changes. But she came up with some good suggestions regardless.

1) Eat fewer calories. I don't count calories, but I did bring her my food logs. She calculated my current calorie intake in a day is around 1800-1900 calories. She said while this is probably good for maintenance, I should really be consuming about 1500-1600. I'm not really sure how to reach this without counting calories (which she said was something that she didn't want me to do and that counting calories -- that was her job). So I guess I will plug my journals into every now and again to make sure I'm on track.
2) Eat less protein. She said that I should be eating about 1-2 grams/kg adjusted body weight a day. That comes out to 70-140 grams of protein. Adjusted body weight is a nutritionist's calculation based on current weight and ideal body weight. This is close to my personal goal weight, about 140-145 lbs. Incidentally, my ideal body weight is calculated to be 118 lbs! I don't think that there is any way that I could get to that weight (or that I would even want to...). Sean totally disagrees on this point.
3) Choose healthy snacks. Yogurt, South Beach bars, nuts... I think I do a pretty good job on this one already. But she doesn't like dried fruits like craisins... says they're just sugar! She wants me to choose whole fruits instead.
4) Choose the right carbs. Again, I'm doing a good job here. She applauded me on choosing whole grain carbohydrates.
5) Look into a meal replacement shake with whey protein isolate. She liked the fact that I use a meal replacement shake, but she thinks I should look for a different one. She doesn't like that the advocare shakes are made with whey protein concentrate. She wants me to look into Unjury shakes... anyone heard of them??? Anyway, I have a lot of advocare products to use first before I can buy some new ones.
6) Make an appointment to see my doctor and have some labs checked. I'm due for a checkup. Hopefully my schedule and my PCP's schedule will come together soon.
7) Drink my water and take a vitamin. I think she has to say that, right???
8) Find ways to manage my stress (yeah, right). I admitted to her that I have a tendency to eat when I am stressed or bored. She told me to find different activities to manage these feelings. I know she's right, but I think this falls in the "easier-said-than-done" category... I'll give it a try!

So, there you go. I've done pretty well with this week, and I think I may have lost a pound or two. My next assessment is going to be in October so that I have some time to make these changes. I'm going to work hard, evaluate and make adjustments if need be. Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Never say never...

I think everyone knows that I don't cook. When I started working with Sean, it was enough of a struggle to get me to grill chicken on the George Foreman and microwave veggies...

One of my good friends, Stef, has a healthy living blog -- in it she features many healthy and yummy-looking recipes. In fact, cooking is one of her hobbies... something I admire and envy but never so much that I felt inspired to whip out my own pots and pans... until now!

Are you sitting for this? I cooked! A few days ago, Stef showcased this chicken recipe with artichokes and mushrooms... It looked delicious and the recipe seemed easy enough (apart from the emergency "how much minced garlic is equivalent to a clove?" call). It was quite tasty and it's good for me. I served mine with brown rice, but it could easily be served over pasta or stand alone (I think that's how I'll have it tomorrow for lunch!).

I even took pictures!
I dedicate this post to Stef, who inspired me to branch out and enjoy a healthy new recipe, and to Nikki, my friend from work who always encourages my food and fitness adventures. I'd share with her tomorrow, except that I know she doesn't like vegetables, and I'm pretty sure that includes mushrooms and artichokes...

Happy Sunday!
ps -- here's the recipe!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nutrition woes...

So, I've decided it's time to go and see an nutritionist. I have Sean's food rules and while they served me well initially, I think it may be time for something a little different. In all honesty, I think that when the rules became stricter (and anti-carb) it became harder and harder for me to follow them and so I rebelled. I'm back to the basic rules right now, but I figured it can't hurt to get an expert opinion.

However, based on the difficulties I had making an appointment, you would think I just said that I've decided to take on an experimental drug treatment or radical surgery. I called the nutrition clinic (bc all of the RD's at MCV recommended this one woman) and I was told that there were available appointments either Monday or the end of October. Being that I'm flirting with the number I promised myself I'd never reach again, I chose the former. Then I was told that I would need a referral from my doctor. I thought this is odd as I have a PPO and don't need referrals for my insurance. Well, I called the doctor's office and of course my PCP is on vacation. Her nurse called me and confirmed my insurance doesn't need referrals and so she was unclear on how she can assist me. When I called the nutrition clinic for clarification, they told me that they needed an MD referral so that they could have my height and weight and a diagnosis. I told her I would gladly provide that information, that being morbidly obese I clearly qualify to see a nutritionist, and that I plan on seeing one even if my insurance won't cover it. She then told me it would be against the law (?!?) for them to see me without being under the care of a doctor... who knew you needed an MD's order to learn more about healthy eating???

When I called my PCP's office back and explained the ricidulous-ness of it all, the nurse said she would try to get another doc to sign it (although just about everyone is on vacay in that office right now... Note to self: don't get sick!). I told her I would see if one of my friends from work would be willing to refer me. Lucky for me, one of the docs in the office overheard this conversation and said she would gladly do the paperwork...

So I guess all's well that ends well, but seriously...

Happy Friday!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

This post is for the girls...

Anyone have a suggestion for a good and supportive sportsbra? While most of the time mine does the trick, I'm finding I need a little more help when I do spinning class.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

30 second rant...

I should be working, but I need to a moment to complain (warning, it's a little gross)...

Let me paint the picture. I went to the gym at 4:45 this am to get my cardio in... Naturally, as one might expect, the gym is pretty empty at that time -- there are a plethora of cardio machines of all types available. So, I got on an elliptical machine and got to work...

Twenty minutes in (gym still empty) this guy decides to use the elliptical machine right near mine. No big deal, until he was snorting his snot! It seriously made me gag! I had to move because I couldn't take it...

... but seriously, WTF?

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting back on track (again)...

And I'm back! I've decided that optimism is the only way out of this rut...

As painful as it was, I made it to the gym this am to do my extra cardio. I started a new journal. I figure a fresh, new journal is a fresh, new start. I'm equipped with my older, simpler rules and motivated by the threat of having to get back some of my old clothes (Lord knows I certainly don't want to waste any money on clothes that are bigger!)

I received a very pleasant surprise today that has boosted my happy thoughts and encouraged attitude. I recently read The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl by Shauna Reid. I loved this book! In it Shauna so eloquently describes her (and my) challenges and struggles in a way that I never could. It left me inspired and motivated all over again! Well, a little while ago I sent her an email to tell her how amazing I think she is and to thank her for sharing her story. I told her a little about my journey thus far and gave her the address to my blog. I never expected that I would hear from her but today I received an email from Dietgirl herself! Not only that, but I could tell from her reply that she in fact took a peek at my little blog... it made my Monday morning and I proudly showed it one of my friends at work (who loyally reads my ramblings and offers words of encouragement)...

Just the boost I need to get back on track!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My own worst enemy...

Aarrgghh... I'm up to some old (self-destructive) tricks.

It appears that I have been sabotaging myself. And I am getting dangerously close to a number that I promised myself I would never reach again. I don't know what is going on or why I am doing this to myself... Don't I want to be healthy and happy?

So, I'm getting back to basics. I'm going back to the rules that I was given when I first started with Sean. No more worrying about protein to carb ratios... at least not for a while. Maybe if I stop trying to be perfect I won't get discouraged and stop trying altogether.

For now I'm gonna keep on plugging away...

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Road trip!

Hello friends!

So, I'm off on an adventure... Going to a family function tomorrow near Charleston, WV (which is like 5.25 hrs away) and I decided, what the heck, let's travel the extra 2.5 hrs to visit friends in Lexington, KY. While it's a good idea in theory and I've definitely driven that long up the I-95 corridor, I forgot how exhausting such a trip is. Some may even say it's a little crazy (I don't have that long off from work), but nevertheless I am here. And it was a treat to see Megha and Sameer last night, even if it was through very tired eyes.

I didn't do the best job planning for the weekend as far as my fitness and nutrition go. I think I am going with the "it's vacation" mentality. To me this means, lighten up about my rules and just make wise decisions. Don't go overboard, but don't deprive myself either... And DRINK WATER!!!

The goal of the weekend is to have fun and not do too much damage in the process...

Happy Friday!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Proper Planning Prevents P*ss-poor Performance

I was just reading my last post... I may have spoken too soon! While I was doing really well the first half of Sean's vacation, the stress of work got to me. Too many late nights prevented me from planning out my meals for the day. And I convinced myself that it was okay to forgo the gym in the name of getting some sleep.

Well, Sean came back Monday and I got back into the swing of things. I did a really good job with working out. I managed to get to the gym before FT to do some extra cardio each day. However, the food tracking is quite another story... I start off each day strong with writing down my nutrition but then I fizzle out. I think I really need to plan out the entire day. Maybe if I write down everything the night before it will go better.

It is so important for me to get on top of this jounaling... when I don't do it correctly I fall victim to stress eating, which I'm beginning to think had more to do with me getting to be the size I was than I originally thought...

And according to GI Joe, "Knowing is half the battle", right???

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Quick update...

What a week it has been! Work has been crazy this week (it's only day 3 and it feels like day 6) and I am exhausted... 2 more days to this stretch and then a couple of days off. :)

I wanted to check in and let you all know how things have been going on my own. I must say, I miss Sean and can't wait to start my workouts back up again. But I have been doing a fairly good job with those goals I've set:

- Journal everything I eat everyday: Done. I have been not only writing what I've eaten but the nutrition info as well. If I ever make it to that nutritionist (that I really need to find), I'll have some good starting info...
- Allow myself to have 1 cheat day: Sunday I had a cheat dessert. I was actually really good most of the day, but then allowed myself to indulge in some pistachio ice cream. And the nice part of it was it was guilt-free...
- Exercise 5-6 times: Well, I was a slug this weekend, but I've been getting up at 4:30 so that I can get to the gym and come home to get ready for work. I'm contemplating not getting up tomorrow (I finished work at 9pm tonight), but if I sleep in, I will try to do something that evening...
- Drink my water everyday: Well, if crystal light counts, then I have been doing this too. I have cut the diet cokes out all together and I've seriously cut back on the coffee, too.

Tonight was not the best of nights... I think it was a combination of not eating enough of an afternoon snack and being super-stressed out, but I was ridiculously hungry and ate too much. Luckily, nothing in the house is considered a "cheat" food but I don't think I needed as much "dinner" as I had... oh well, live and learn!

Happy HumpDay!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lazy weekend...

I did absolutely nothing this weekend... I feel like a slug!
I guess it was needed, since I worked 17 of the 19 days before it.
I watched movies and barely kept up with my chores... I still have a ton of laundry to do.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day... I'm working all week and so hopefully I will be productive.
Gonna go plan my meals for tomorrow so I'll stay on track!

Have a great night!

Friday, July 3, 2009

When the cat's away... the mice will work harder???

So Sean is on vacation this week, which means I am on my own with the fitness and nutrition. It's going to be challenging for me since I am just getting myself back on track. And it probably isn't a good sign that it's the first day and I decided not to go do cardio this am...

Here are my goals for the "week" (7/3 - 7/12):
- Journal everything I eat everyday
- Allow myself to have 1 cheat day
- Exercise 5-6 times. I'm going to take the week off from weight training, so this will mostly be cardio.
- Drink my water everyday.

I think if I do all of these things, I should be in good shape when Sean comes back...

Happy 4th everybody!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A promise to myself...

A few Christmases back I received this very pretty sapphire necklace, ring and earring set. I really liked it, but of course I couldn't wear the ring because I needed to get it re-sized (something I never got around to doing). I came across the ring the other day and tried it on... and wouldn't you know, it fits!

I've decided that I'm going to use this ring to help me on my journey (no, not in a dorky, "this ring has magical powers" kind of way). I'm using the ring to symbolize my goals -- both in terms of how far I've come as well as how I've promised myself to keep going and never give up... This way, I can look down and remind myself of what I'm doing when facing temptation and remember that whatever indulgence is calling my name is just not worth what I am working so hard to accomplish.

I haven't quite decided what to do about work since they discourage ring wearing in their "bare below the elbows" campaign to prevent the spread of infection -- maybe I can use the necklace in the same manner??

So far, doing a good job of getting back on track. I bought a real diet journal, so for now I'm tracking nutritional values as well as what I'm eating. I'm trying to see if I can identify patterns so I can fix them. Sleep (or rather difficulty sleeping) continues to be an issue -- I keep waking up in the middle of the night (mainly by aches and pains) or by not being able to breathe because of congestion. Grr...

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 29, 2009


What can I say? Once again I have fallen way off track. I haven't blogged in ages! I hope everyone hasn't given up on checking in with me... And what's worse than being the absentee blogger, I have been (pardon my language) half-assing my efforts as far as weight loss and fitness go. I have been doing the minimum for too long, and it is definitely showing...

A year ago, I felt unstoppable. I was perfect when it came to my fitness and nutrition. If it wasn't a cheat day and it didn't follow the rules -- I DIDN'T EAT IT! I made sure I got my extra cardio in and never made an excuse to miss it. Those days are long gone (about 6 months long to be exact) and I really need to figure out how to get back to that time and mindset...

Problem is, I am really struggling about how to do this. If anyone is still reading and has any great ideas, I'd love to hear them.

For now, I am going to continue to take it one day at a time... I'll start over every day if I have to! I've got such a long way to go -- I'm not ready to stop now...

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


So, I've fallen behind on my blogging again. Not too much going on as far as the fitness endeavors go. I had a busy few days at work last week and come Monday, I start another marathon stretch of 14 days in a row. So, I've been spending my days off relaxing and enjoying the downtime...

I finally bought patio furniture so that I can spend time on my deck. I can't wait to have friends over or to spend some quiet evenings relaxing while reading a good book. I even planned a dinner with my neighbors, who ALWAYS think to invite me over but I always have to decline because of work. Should be a lot of fun!

Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying these sunny bright days... stay cool, though!


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Turning the corner...

Well, I think I did it! I'm hoping that I've broken the plateau. Didn't lose as much as I had hoped, but at least I had a loss -- 6 lbs, which makes the my current total 85 lbs... I'll take it!!

It was nice to see the number go down again... can't wait for it to happen again in 6 weeks.

Have a good night!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Soliciting advice from the peanut gallery...

So here's the deal... Saturday is supposed to be my next fitness assessment. I've been working really hard on staying on track with the fitness and nutrition. And even though I feel great and am really proud of how hard I'm working, I'm fairly certain that I am not yet going to reach my weight loss goal that I had set for myself...

My question is... should I postpone my assessment until I've lost some more or should I go through with it and just take it as a piece of data on the journey? I'm afraid that getting bad results is going to be very discouraging, but isn't just delaying the assessment another excuse? And if I do postpone it, what happens if I'm no further along in a couple of weeks???

So what do you think?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I've got a new attitude...

A lot of people have been noticing some changes in me. People say that I sound different -- more relaxed, happier, ?younger (I still don't really get that one). As I mentioned earlier I've been working on having a positive attitude. And while I haven't quite mastered it, maybe it's working more than I realize...

I still have some slip-ups. This weekend was challenging and pretty stressful... at times the stress definitely got to the best of me. But at least I'm beginning to recognize when I'm getting overwhelmed and I can take steps to come back to normal. And every now and again, when it comes to my attitude, I'm finding that if I "fake it 'til I make it", I eventually actually become less stressed. Who knew?

Unfortunately this is very short break from work (only 2 days)... but I'm making the most of it so I can go back and tackle whatever it brings my way.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My new favorite TV show...

Anyone who knows me (or has been reading this blog for a while) is going to find this completely ridiculous, but my new fave TV show is "Cook Yourself Thin"(5pm and 5:30pm on Lifetime). I know what you are thinking... but Laura, you don't cook! I know, I know. But this show may be just the thing to actually get me use more than the George Foreman and microwave in the kitchen!

Each show features a woman who wants to lose weight but is eating yummy and high-calorie foods. The 3 stars of the show (Allison, Candace and Harry) show them tasty versions of their favorites that have half the calories! And then they leave the women to their own devices armed with a "Cook Yourself Thin" cookbook and some healthy ingredients. They come back to visit 6 weeks later to check in and celebrate that the woman has dropped a dress size (or two) and are eating and cooking healthier foods.

I'll let you know when I actually make something and how it turns out...

Have a great night!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Call me a glutton for punishment, but I took another spinning class. I didn't actually get a bruise this time which was good. It didn't hurt quite as much as the first time but it still hurts a little to sit...

Maybe third time's a charm?

Have a good night!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A few of my favorite quotes...

In the spirit of positive thinking, I figured I'd share some of my favorite inspirational quotes. I have a dry erase board up in my room that has some of these on it, but I've run out of room and so now I've added post-it notes to its perimeter. I'm always looking for new ones, so feel free to share! I've given credit if I know who said it first and apologize to those whom I don't know...

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. - John Maxwell.

Don't sacrifice your future for a momentary pleasure.

Rather than aiming for being perfect, just aim to be little bit better today than you were yesterday.

Be the change you want to see... -Gandhi

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. - Anatole France

I have more but I think this is a pretty good start...

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Power of Positive Thinking...

Hey all! I hope everyone is having a wonderfully relaxing weekend...

I wanted to tell you about something that I'm working on. I believe that it will be the key to reaching my goals. I'm getting rid of the negative thinking. No more excuses... No more letting myself off easy when things get difficult. I'm stronger and better than that. I owe myself more.

Henry Ford put it best when he said, "Think you can or think you can't. Either way, you will be right!" Today I'm deleting the word "can't" from my vocabulary.

Let's just see how much positive thinking can do!

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Next Best Thing...

This morning was a struggle. I couldn't get myself out of bed to save my life! (probably because I stayed up late to watch The Biggest Loser Finale). I have to work this afternoon/evening, and I knew as much as I didn't want to do it, I had to get some exercise in...

So, I did the Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga (which was available on OnDemand). This was my first yoga experience. It was challenging, but definitely do-able. I got a good workout in and never had to leave my house (although I did eventually have to get out of the bed).

I guess the moral of the story is (once again) the importance of getting rid of the all-or-nothing mentality. If all I did was beat myself up for not making it to the gym, I would have missed out on an opportunity to try something new (and burn some calories in the process!).

Striving for excellence, not perfection...

Happy Humpday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not your momma's exercise video...

I'm getting bored with the cardio again. The elliptical machine and the treadmill provide me with good workouts, but I'm finding the need to expand my horizons...

Sean recently brought in a DVD player and Wii into the gym. Usually he has on Rocky videos as a source of inspiration, but tucked in the corner was his collection of P90X workout DVDs. I decided to give them a try...

... and I'm glad I did! It's been a welcome diversion. So far I've tried the KempoX (which is a kickboxing/martial arts workout) and the CardioX DVDs. They're a lot of fun and super challenging! I've never been one to enjoy exercise tapes but these are different... no girls in leotards or sports bras here! And I'm apologizing in advance at the stereotype, but I think because they were designed for men, there is no complicated choreography to master.

I'm pleased to say that I have a new option... and keeping things fresh is what I need to succeed!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Eat what you want day...

Apparently May 11th is Eat What You Want Day... It is one single, solitary day in the year to go off your diet and eat something you really enjoy. A day where you can set aside your dietary "No-No" list and splurge. I googled it and it's a real holiday...

Let me just say I'm kind of glad I just learned about this holiday now, right before I'm going to bed...

Anyway if you celebrated today, I hope it was good! Back to the routine tomorrow!!!

Good night!

A family affair...

I went to Charlotte this weekend to surpise my mom for Mother's Day and to see my sister and niece. It was a great trip. Jasmine is turning into quite the little girl -- her verbal skills are really improving and she is so funny!

As far as my nutrition goes, I did okay. I didn't get through the weekend without having a cheat, but most of the time I made healthy choices. My sister and mother have jumped on board with getting healthy too which is really really great... I'm so proud of them. They look great!

But now I'm back at home and back on track...

Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Accepting the challenge...

One of the things I love about blogging is following my friends who are on similar journeys and have like-minded blogs...

Stef, a good friend of mine from college, had a really great idea. Yesterday she blogged (on her "It's a Lifestyle" blog located over there with the other cool blogs) about the President's Challenge program, which encourages all Americans to adopt more active lifestyles and become healthier through exercise. So, she decided to take the challenge and encouraged her readers to do the same... what a cool idea! I signed up today :)

So, here's to being more active... come join us!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's a start...

I took a walk in the neighborhood today. It was a just over 2.7 miles and took 40 minutes to complete... which is just under 15 minutes per mile. Not terrible, but not super-duper fantastic either. I'll take it as a starting point from which I can improve. The goal is to someday be able to jog/run the entire path...

But I did reach another milestone/non-scale victory (NSV) today... I have always hated exercising in public. In my head, everyone is judging me and my size. I was dragged to a cycling class which was kind of fun (I went with a friend who provided extra support and encouragement), but I would shy away from exercising in the neighborhood for fear of what people are thinking... I know it's pretty dumb, right? So I was pretty proud of myself for just getting out there... :)

Unfortunately, the rain started up again midway through my walk. I was drenched before I was done...

Happy Wednesday! Stay dry!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Art of Improvisation...

I like to think that I'm learning a thing or two about myself along this fitness and weight-loss journey. I have learned that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit that I am able to push through challenges and do things that I never thought possible... I'm also learning that I don't like change and that I can get pretty rattled if things don't go how as expected. This is one of my struggles...

I'm working on becoming more flexible and able to "go with the flow". Today tested my improvisation skills. After working with Sean I decided to go to the track at UR... but lo and behold -- track is closed because they are building an on-campus stadium. And while there is the path along the lake, it began to rain even heavier... harumph! So, instead of letting the day go to waste, I popped in a DVD and got in a workout. So, I'm giving myself kudos on improvising! And now I can watch The Biggest Loser tonight guilt-free!

But, seriously... when is the rain going to stop???

Have a great day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A day of preparation...

So, my next assessment is at the end of the month. And even though I'm NOT going to stress or become obsessive (as is my usual M.O.) but I am going to work hard and be more on the strict side. Which means I'm going to do my best to have NO CHEAT DAYS!! I have a friend who is going to be doing it with me and we'll be able to be support each other.

Today was a great day! I bought new sneakers and boxing gloves (Sean has plans to use them in future workouts...) and then I went to the grocery store and stocked up on fruits and healthy snacks. Isn't the summer great? So many yummy healthy options...

But now I need your help... I'm getting tired of my food routine. I need some new ideas (and please keep in mind that I don't really cook). I'm looking for some healthy, high protein snacks and some new meal ideas. The only big restriction is that I don't eat white flour or other processed carbs...

Thanks guys! Happy Monday!

A new look...

I decided to change things up... hope you like it!

Oh, I forgot... Sean my trainer is starting a fitness blog. He plans on giving advice and motivation. It's called "Champions Drive On" and you can find a link over there in the "other cool blogs" list.

Have a good one!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


So it's finally over, but not without a little last-day drama... My workout with Sean yesterday caught up with me and I had AWFUL back pain all day long :( I must have looked pretty pathetic because my resident offered to roll me around the hospital more than once (twice he suggested a chair and the third time he offered to use a dolly!).

I called Paula to schedule a massage and she told me to come right over... It was wonderful! I am no longer in agony. She managed to not only massage away the pain but also the stresses of the last 2 weeks. Of course, I still have to stretch and ice but I can handle that... and perhaps the best part -- Paula said no "bodybuilders" for the next few days :)

Looking forward to a wonderful week...

Happy Sunday!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Come Monday, it'll be alright...

I'm exhausted. I'm cranky. I'm not sleeping well. And it doesn't help matters that the attending on my sister team on wards brings tons of tempting snacks...

Trying to be good, but will definitely be better on Monday.

Here's hoping my weekend goes quickly while the rest of you can savor every moment!!!

2 more days... 2 more days...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Absentee blogger...

wDay 7 of 14 of another stint on wards at work... halfway there! Things are busy (as usual) but manageable. And I haven't strangled anyone yet, so that's a good sign...

I haven't been so good with my nutrition and fitness lately... I skipped my cardio on Friday and then cancelled on Sean on Saturday (I had only 4 hours of sleep and really felt miserable). And well, it's kind of been a cheat weekend (which is not technically allowed).

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day...

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back in the swing of things...

So, I almost don't want to blog today because I'm a little afraid that I may jinx myself...

BUT SO FAR, things have been going well this week. Monday I didn't really want to go set up and workout, but I was proud of myself when I did. And today I had a wonderful workout with Sean. I've been doing well with my nutrition and have even incorporated some new foods into my diet. I've gotten myself to bed at a decent hour so that I have enough sleep. And I think it has made a difference. I've been less stressed at work (although I am fortunate to have a rock-star resident).

Here's hoping things keep going my way...

Have a good night!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Checking in...

So, my week off is coming to an end... I actually am pretty proud of myself for not letting my days off from work and the gym go to waste. And even though I still have the weekend, I will say that I didn't wreak havoc on my overall fitness goals. To recap...

- Sunday and Monday. I worked the afternoon (1-11p) shift. And even though work had it's ordinary frustrations, I managed to be efficient and get out of there almost on time. Truth be told, I actually stayed later at work just chatting with my friend who was just coming on. So, fairly good nights at work relatively speaking.

- Tuesday. I had to teach FCM (my small group class for junior med-students), which meant sitting through them practice doing histories and physical exams on patients who agreed to spend an hour with a med student. These are usually painful to sit through, but I found myself thinking about how special our volunteer patients are -- they answer a billion of personal questions and then sit through what is usually not the smoothest of physical exams, with the only goal of giving med students practice. I decided to write one of them a thank-you note.
After FCM, I took a spinning class with a friend from work. It was a lot of fun, but OUCH! I actually had a bruise in a rather unfortunate location. But I was so proud that I made it through the class. And I even got props from the instructor!

- Wednesday. Wednesday was a rainy, yucky day. The kind of day that you just want to stay in bed. My car was in the shop (my "check engine light" kept coming on intermittently"). I greatly underestimated how hard it was raining and I decided to walk to the Honda dealership to pick up my car. Well, that was a bad call because when I finally got there (it's a little more than a mile away) I was DRENCHED! Oh well, at least I got a little activity in.
I spent the rest of the day pampering myself... I went to the bookstore to get some new reading material, and then to the nail salon for a pedicure. Later, I had an appointment for a massage. I must say, I never thought I would be someone who enjoyed massages... I'm pretty self-conscious about my size. But I've learned to let that go and relax. I was so relaxed that I was even able to take my "check engine light" coming back on in stride.

- Thursday. Back to the Honda dealership in the morning (actually twice because the first time the light had gone back off) and I'm happy to report the problem is fixed. Next on the agenda was a trip to Fredericksburg for lunch with a HS friend who travelled to DC for work. It was so nice to catch up and the weather was absolutely lovely. Enough to put anyone in a fantastic mood!

- Friday. I weighed in at WW to make sure that I hadn't gained 10 lbs while not paying close attention to my diet (I hadn't... I stayed exactly the same). Then I dropped by the gym to visit with Sean. I wanted to schedule my assessment for tomorrow so that I can start fresh on Monday. We had a nice talk.
Later today I go for a facial. Should be another relaxing experience... never had one before.

So, that's all I have to report. Here's hoping all of this relaxation and self-nurturing helps me keep the stresses of the next 2 weeks in control (ah, yes... I start another 14 day stint at work). I'm going to try and find a little time for myself each of those days (kind of like a maintenance program)... I'll let you know how it turns out!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Taking time off, part 2...

I know that originally the plan was to wait until I had a vacation planned for the week I take off. But, the need to take a break more urgently became readily apparent in the last couple of days. Plus, after looking at May's schedule I realized that I really don't have a good chunk of time to schedule a vacation.... so today was my last training session for a week.

Truth be told, I'm a little afraid of what this week will bring. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself. And since I'm supposed to be more lenient (without going overboard) with my diet, I am concerned that I may not be ready to be let to my own devices... what if I don't have the self-control and fall back to all of my old habits?

Even though I don't have a vacation planned, I intend to spend some time doing things for me. Things to pamper myself like getting a massage, taking some long walks... maybe I can even plan a day trip or two.

I'm hopeful that after this week I will be re-energized and ready to tackle my fitness goals head-on with a positive attitude. I really hope that this is just what I need to start seeing some concrete results once again.

Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Taking some time off...

So yesterday I told Sean that I needed to take a week off from training. I need some time to decompress. My body needs some time to repair itself. I was really afraid of what Sean might say (especially since I had a mini-breakdown recently and told him that I was thinking of quitting), but he was actually open to the idea. But he doesn't want me to just take next week off. He wants me to actually plan something so that I can enjoy that time off.

Today I have a pretty bad migraine. I've tried to sleep the worst parts of it off and now it's a dull-roar of a headache. So I'm taking today off, too.

Hope your Thursday is better than mine!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Self-reflection and the importance of letting go...

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm wound a little too tight... Things upset me easily, and I can get myself worked up over what are sometimes small things. When I get that way at work, one of my good friends is usually there to remind me to "let it go". Sometimes that is easier said than done...

I've been thinking about things and I desperately need a change. I've been failing with my New Year's resolution to maintain a better work/life balance. Work is stressful, and that isn't likely to change any time soon, but it's up to me how I handle that stress. Being stressed out all of the time is not healthy. I'm certain it is in part sabotaging my fitness efforts, but more importantly it's making me really unhappy. I need to have some positive outlets for my stress. Working out used to do the trick, but now I'm finding that I need more. Finding a balance is what I need to do in order to stay sane...

So, I'm recommitting to working on these things today. Whether that be a new hobby, quality time with friends and family or just some time for self-nurturing, I am going to do something to help me let go of the stress and frustration that I've been keeping inside.

I'll let you know how it goes...

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another NSV...

Today while rounding on my patients, I took the stairs!!! And, my patients are scattered throughout the hospital so it was no small feat! But even though I am working out 6 days a week, I was still winded walking up the steps :( I guess that shouldn't surprise me since my colleague who runs half-marathons is winded every morning when he gets to our office (which is located on the 9th floor). I still haven't braved that trek... I took the elevator to our office this am. Who knows -- maybe after a while I too will do the 9 floor hike (but for now I'm taking it one step at a time...)

OK, that was a little corny (and unintended)... but you know what I mean!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Patience is a virtue...

... one that I have yet to master. Still working on getting back on track. I know it takes time, but I am desperate for the numbers to change in the right direction... NSV's are nice and all, but I want to see weight loss! Soon!!

So for now, still plugging away, hoping that the tides will change one of these days. It was so much easier to be good when I was seeing the results at the same time... it's much more of a challenge these days. Maybe I'm supposed to be learning some important life lesson with this struggle (like the importance of patience?... self-acceptance at any size?... follow-though on a difficult task?)... I'll have to think about these things a little harder.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Looking for silver linings...

Today is kind of a yucky day. It's grey outside and looks like it wants to rain really badly but hasn't. The kind of day where you want to stay in your pj's and nap all day long. And instead of doing something fun, I'm stuck waiting for my car at the Honda dealership (and Dr. Phil is on once again, but this time he has nothing inspirational to say to me)...

But I'm trying hard to stay hopeful and optimistic so I guess that it's better not to dwell on the negative. So even on this very blah day I am happy about --
1) I ran again today -- this time for 2 stretches of 10 minutes. Not on the treadmill but "suicide run" style up and down the hallway at the gym.
2) I reconnected with a friend with whom I have been playing phone-tag for a while... He's a friend from junior high, high school and college. Our lives couldn't be any more different and it is such a treat to hear all about what is going on in his life even if I have nothing new to report...
3) My home is still neat and organized... this one surprises me (and probably anyone who knows me very well).

Not too bad from this Pessimistic Patty. Now, with any luck my car will be done soon and I can go take a nap. :)

Have a good one!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Today's NSV...

I went and did my cardio this morning. 35 min of HIIT (high intensity interval training) on the elliptical machine. It went well and I felt good. Afterwards I did my shoulder rehab exercises and some ab work. But I then decided to push a little further...

... I got on the treadmill and ran (well, my version of running anyway -- more like jogging at a 5.0 speed) for 5 minutes without stopping. That is huge for me! I haven't been able to run for any more than 90 seconds at a time before this.

My plan is to keep building on this. With any luck, I'll be running in no time :)

Happy HumpDay!

p.s. - no, this is not an April Fool's post -- I ACTUALLY RAN!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oh, he means business...

As I mentioned before, Sean has been helping me stay on track with my nutrition by checking my journal at each training session. The ground rules that he set were 1) it had to be completely filled out and 2) I brought it each time we worked out together. And the punishment was extra exercises (mountain climbers to be specific).

So, I have been doing exactly that. However, apparently there was a 3rd rule -- one that I learned yesterday. There is also a penalty of extra exercise if he doesn't like what I wrote down! Not cool! And really, my indiscretion was really not that bad at all -- a "skinny cow" ice cream sandwich... (Sean asked when I have ever seen a skinny cow).

I learned that one the hard way...

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring has SPRUNG!!!

Spring is FINALLY here... I thought it would never come. The weather is lovely and brings with it some cheerful optimism. And why not? My house is uncluttered (okay, it's only been two days), I spent some lovely time catching up with old friends this weekend, and I'm happy that I'm being good with my nutrition and exercise. Oh, and the fact that I have the next week off doesn't hurt either. Hopefully, I can bottle these hopeful and positive thoughts for the next rainy day...

Anyway, I'm still stalled when it comes to results. Sean assures me that the results will come again in time as I continue to do what's right. While I want to believe him, I'm going to have to wait and see. For now, I'm taking comfort in the fact that I'm living a healthy life and I'm taking inventory of all of the non-scale victories...

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cluttered house... cluttered life.

Hello all... I hope you all are enjoying your weekend.

Recently, my life has been a mess. My home is a mess. Work is super-duper stressful. And well you know how my fitness endeavors are going. I think that it all goes hand in hand. I mean, how can you do anything when you don't have a nice, welcoming home where you can relax and regroup?

So today I have been trying to remedy this. I've been cleaning house. No longer do I get palpitations at the thought of someone dropping by unexpectedly. The mountain of mail that covered my dining room table is gone! I've caught up with my bills, and now I can tackle my taxes (I've been dreading doing them). Still have to clean my room, but the house is a gazillion times better than it was...

Ahh... now things are manageable once again.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Facing the music... (or not)


So, I think it's time to come clean. I have fallen off the wagon - big time. For the last 2 weeks, I have indulged in anything that I wanted to eat -- every day has been a cheat day! I looked back at my journal, and I haven't journaled for about a month! Which goes along with the bad eating habits... I don't want to see my digressions written down because then I can't lie to myself about it not really being "that bad". The scale has reflected my poor choices and so has my appearance (why is it that I have such a hard time seeing my positive progress but when I'm backsliding it's clear as the nose on my face?!?). ENOUGH IS ENOUGH...

I told Sean yesterday that I have been out of control and that I need help being monitored more closely. I'm back to writing it down (at WW, they have a saying -- "if you bite it, write it") and I'm expected to bring the journal to every training session. He's going to check, and I believe the penalty for not complying is 2 minutes mountain-climbers (an exercise that I particularly dislike). Today was the first day of this new routine.

But I don't think that I'm going to make a WW meeting today. I think I may be still at work at that time but I also can't bring myself to step on the scale today. I know what it's going to say...
If I do skip out, I will have to weigh later this week but I think that right now that is the better option.

OK, so the skeleton is freed from the closet. Now it's back to work...

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Here we go again...

So, I've been trying to put off writing until I had something positive to say -- and hence I haven't written in forever. So I figured that I had better write something...

I'm hanging in there. It is just so much easier to do this when you are seeing the result of your hard work. I'm still trying to find a program that will allow me to achieve all of my goals -- a program that is sustainable for life.

I've decided to go to WW for a while. I need to have some accountability and right now that means weekly weigh-ins. I think my nutrition is on track (my previous diet is a lot like the "simply filling" - or the old "core"), but I will be tracking what I eat again. And I am going to try and endure meetings again -- that is, until they drive me crazy again! You see, I've tried this program before with minimal success. But perhaps coupled with the training I will start seeing results.

One week in and I lost 1.4 lbs... A good friend of mine has said on her blog, "a loss is a loss is a loss". I'll take it. One step at a time!

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Checking in / progress ...

So, I've been a bit of a slacker with the blogging... I guess I have been uninspired!

Still working hard to get back on track. So far, I'm doing a pretty good job, but I just can't seem to get back to the gung-ho, 100% perfect with the nutrition, working out twice a day plan that I once was doing. I'm okay with not trying to be perfect because I know that it's not maintainable, but I am trying to balance giving myself a little slack and finding a do-able lifestyle and still working hard enough to get the results I need (I still have SUCH a long way to go!). I need to get rid of this "all-or-nothing" mentality that's working against me...

Oh, I took progress pictures this week!

On the left is a picture I took sometime this summer. I'm not exactly sure when and so I don't know what I weighed at the time. I kind of wish that I had taken pictures a year ago when I started because it would have been neat to see the entire transformation. On the right is the picture I took this week. I do know what I weighed then, but that's between me and my trainer ;o)... I guess the reason that it is so important is that I am not at my lowest weight right now. I would have been helpful to know what the difference in pounds was, because even though I may weigh the same, there are other differences...

............................................................................................................................... and YES, I can see differences in the pictures, but I'm pretty sure they are more subtle in my mind (or credited to the differences in how the pictures were taken). Being my harshest critic makes it difficult to see what others see. I'm still getting positive and encouraging comments from people at work, which actually makes me feel kind of guilty because I know that I've gained. But, I just smile and say thank you...

Anyway, have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

1 year down... a lifetime to go!

Hello friends,

Well, I had another disappointing assessment yesterday -- I gained another 3#, but I'm still 87# down and still plugging away. I'm going to start working with Sean 4x a week and we're going to try some tweaking to my diet... with any luck and some hard work I'll be back on track in no time.

Thank you so much for all of your kind words and support.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Hey all. Figured I'd check in...

Really glad that the week is over (well, almost over). Not exactly a bad week, just busy. I still can't seem to get on track. I feel like I'm (for the most part) doing the right things, but I am still not seeing results. I know that some of my angst is pre-assessment nerves, but I am just losing optimism and hope. I know that this can't be it... right???

I can't believe that it's going to be a year next Saturday.

Anyway, I'm still plugging along...

Happy Friday!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

If you don't have anything nice to say...

Hello, guys...

So, my friend Brianna told me I've been slacking on my blogging and urged me to give everyone an update. The truth is, I really wanted to have positive things to say. I was trying this new upbeat, optimistic thing and going with the old adage, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." She told me that maybe people need to hear about my struggles because everyone goes through it... So here I am.

It seems that I've been struggling a little. And by a little, I mean some of my old (quite horrible) habits have popped up. Another high-stress week at work (seems like a theme, doesn't it?) and I resorted to late night snacking -- and on some pretty unhealthy foods. I allowed myself to sleep in one morning instead of going to do my cardio. Seems like I'm at an important fork in the road... I need to choose the right path even if it's more difficult.

Problem is, ever since I gave myself some leeway (which I never deserved in the first place), I'm finding it difficult to get back on track. But it's so important for me to not let the slip-ups in the past to hinder my progress... If I give myself the out, I will end up back where I was last year (and that's the last thing I want!) So it's starting over every day until I get it right... it is impossible to be perfect all of the time, but that is no excuse to give in. I'm picking myself back up!

Happy Sunday! Have a great week!

p.s. -- how's that, Bri?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Looks like it's going to be a great day!

Every now and again I get this fantastic burst of energy and optimism... and today is one of those days! There is really no explanation for it, but I woke up well-rested and happy. I've been putting off some projects around the house for a little while now and so maybe I can put this energy to good use... Let's see how productive I can be :o)

If only there was a way to bottle this feeling so that I can have it on those days that I have a less-than-stellar attitude!

Have a wonderful and blessed day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

This is only a test...

Plateaus suck... It's so much easier to be positive and upbeat when you're seeing results from all of your hard work. But it is the time when your progress stalls that separates the women from the girls... sigh...

But I'm persevering. I know I have no other choice. I'm hopeful that this plateau will soon end and that I will begin to get some positive feedback again. So please send me some weight loss mojo or juju or maybe just say a prayer that I am given the strength to get over this hurdle...

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Changing it up...

It's time to make some changes... I think my body has become used to the elliptical machine and so I'm not getting as much out of it anymore. I've been a little off track with my nutrition and I think part of that has to do with boredom from eating the same things day in and out. And as much as I love working out hard with Sean, I have some inflammation in my shoulder that has made it dificult to push myself.

So, we're going to to shake things up! I'm trading in my elliptical workouts for the treadmill and trying to incorporate new foods into my diet. Even Sean has changed my training sessions -- we're adding more cardio and increased reps with lighter weights.

I've always had a "slow to warm" temperament and I tend to shy away from change. I'm a little bit frightened that this may make my progress stall further (it's difficult for me to reach the same intensity on the treadmill especially since I can't really run just yet), but I'm ready to give it the old college try!

I'll check in a little bit with how things are going...

Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Checking in...

I'm making good on my commitment to blog at least once a week (just under the wire)...

Rough week at work... Actually found myself stress-eating cookies that someone brought in to get out of their house. And worse, I verbalized that I was eating them to make me feel better!!! I know better than that... Thank goodness that people finished off the cookies so there is no more temptation! I don't buy that stuff, so it's much easier to be good at home.

Tomorrow is the last day of this work stretch... I'm looking forward to getting my life back and getting back on track!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Assessment Day

So, it could have been a lot worse. I did work hard this week and I mentally prepared myself for the gain. "Crazy Laura" did not show up today despite my 7# gain from last assessment. So, it's official and now I can start fresh from here. I'm kind of surprised that I'm hopeful and motivated rather than defeated and pessimistic.

My grand totals to date: 90# and 56.5" down... nothing to sneeze at. And I'll say it again so that I can remind myself -- it's a marathon, not a sprint!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Happy Saturday!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

I wanted to wish you all much health and happiness in 2009!

Even though I worked, I managed to get out to enjoy a little time with friends... They had been hanging out in the freezing cold in a quaint area downtown called Carytown waiting for a ball to rise (in NY, the ball drops... here it rises). Luckily, because I worked until 11, I only had to freeze for a little while...

They say that whomever you're with and whatever you're doing at midnight on NYE is what you will do the rest of the year... if that means that I'll be having a good time with good friends, then bring it on! (afterall, Richmond just isn't that cold all year long...)

This year, I made a different New Year's Resolution... to improve my work/life balance. I figured I didn't need to resolve to lose weight or get healthy in 2009 because I'm working toward that goal every day!

Anyway, however you are spending your New Year, I hope you have a wonderful day!!!