An awakening alarm..

I’ve been lucky all of my life. For my size, I’ve never had health problems outside of one broken ankle, which still causes my ankle to pop at random times.

I know people my size can tend to be overwhelmed with a pandora’s box full of problems, and last week, I got hit with a slight one.

I have borderline high cholesterol.

Last week, I went in for my first full check-up with a physician in years. I should have expected something to come of this after the bloodwork was done.

In the bloodwork results, the doctor asked me to exercise 150-200 minutes/week. With that, he wants me to lose 27 lbs. by next year. It’s completely doable, and I actually hope to have lost more than that by this time next year.

So, I now sit here researching low cholesterol foods and recipes, so I can properly educate myself on this. I know it’s just borderline, but I don’t like the idea of that at all. It’s actually pretty scary to me, because I don’t like it when something is wrong with me.

I’m in two weight loss challenges right now, and I’m hoping that you all can hold me accountable here too. This isn’t just for me to fit in cute, regular size clothes anymore; this is now for me to lead a healthier life than the one I’m leading right now.

Good Health Guidelines

I’m currently on Weight Watchers, and besides counting points, there are the Good Health Guidelines that help you to stay healthy and get your body in optimum shape for weight loss.

  • Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Choose whole-grain foods, such as brown rice and oats, whenever possible.
  • Include two servings of milk products – low fat (1%) or fat-free – each day.
  • Have 2 teaspoons of healthy oils (olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower or flaxseed) each day.
  • Ensure that you are getting enough protein by choosing at least a serving or two of lean meats, skinless poultry, fish, beans, soy products, and lentils.
  • Limit added sugar and alcohol.
  • Drink at least 6 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day. The best choice is water.
  • Take a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement each day.
  • Get in at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.

For me, it’s really becoming hard to remember these guidelines. I do follow a few of them, like avoiding alcohol, getting my water in, and incorporating whole grains when I can. However, I want to follow all of them, so I’ll be incorporating the ones I have trouble with, one per week. (My Weight Watcher weeks are Thursday – Wednesday, since I attend Wednesday meetings.)

First, I’m going to aim to eat my fruits and veggies, since I usually have 2-3 servings a day, and it would probably be easiest for me to incorporate into my diet. Here’s what Weight Watchers considers a fruit/veggie serving.

Fruits, vegetables and leafy greens
Serving sizes are 1 cup for leafy greens and 1/2 cup for all other vegetables and fruits. The lettuce alone in a large salad may well count for 2 or more vegetable servings. The default portion for most fruits and vegetables is 1 cup.

Sound too hard? Well, here are some great ways and ideas to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet.

  • Add fruit to your cereal, oatmeal, waffles or pancakes at breakfast.
  • Create your own yogurt flavors with plain yogurt and different combinations of fruit.
  • Snack on raw vegetables or fruits instead of chips or pretzels. Keep sugar snap peas, raisins or carrot sticks in your car, your office or your backpack.
  • Use chunky salsa instead of thick, creamy snack dips.
  • Drink 100% juice instead of addictive coffee, tea, or soda.
  • Going out to lunch? Take a trip to the grocery salad bar. Use lots of dark green leaves and other vegetables instead of piling on all of the extras like eggs, bacon, or croutons.
  • Add frozen veggies to any pasta dish.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables in line of sight. Grapes, oranges, bananas, and apples make a colorful bowl arrangement on the table. If you see them, you will eat them.
  • Dried fruit is just as portable as potato chips — and less messy. Plus, it’s an easy way to increase your iron consumption.
  • When cooking vegetables, makes 2-3 times more than you need and immediately store the extra away for tomorrow. It will save you time later on when you might not feel up to the task of cooking.
  • Dried fruit tastes especially good when added to a basic trail mix.
  • Add your own beans and vegetables (tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cabbage) to canned and quick-serve soups. The beans will add protein while the veggies will pack in some extra vitamins.
  • If you must have pizza, load on extra veggies and pineapple.
  • Try berries, melons or dates for a naturally sweet dessert rather than the usual candy bar, cookie, or ice cream sandwich.
  • Frozen fruit and veggies are nearly as healthy as the fresh stuff, and only take minutes to prepare.
  • Combine fruit with your main meal courses. Raisins, apples and tangerine slices add sweet, crunchy variety to a salad. Apples complement pork and orange slices are perfect with chicken.

Source: SparkPeople

Anyone want to jump on the fruit/veggie bandwagon with me? I can’t wait to take a trip to the produce stand and have some fun!


You might remember when I made a vow to myself. A very important vow…to get healthier and lose weight.

You might even wonder how I’m doing, well, it’s fairly going well, but could be better. I’ve lost about 5 lbs. in total so far. This is my fifth week on Weight Watchers, and I’ve averaged about 1 lb./week. It’s good, but at my weight, I feel like I could pull bigger numbers.

For this week, I’m re-introducing exercise. I will be doing Couch to 5K 3 days/week for now until my body is ready for more (aka The Shred for the other two days in a work week).

So, to reinvigorate the lifestyle change, I’ve joined this holiday challenge! I’m still doing the Healthy Train challenge, but since that’s a longer term goal where I could probably convince myself to not care as much during the holidays and try extra hard afterwards, I feel that this extra challenge will help me!

On the scale this morning, I was 258.4…is it possible to lose 18.5 lbs in 3 weeks to reach my Thanksgiving goal? Chances are slim to none, but I’m aiming for 10 lbs. and hoping for more!

For this challenge, I need to make two of these bullets my goals daily. I chose the bolded.

  • 80oz of water a day, every day – ONLY water counts!
  • 320 minutes of exercise per week – works out to be just over an hour a day, five days per week – you can DO this!
  • Journaling EVERY morsel that crosses your lips – including the chocolate chips you sneak when you make cookies (Please tell me this is NOT only me…?)
  • Trying something new every week – food or exercise counts but you must tell us what it is!!
  • Weighing in only once per week
  • Volunteer an hour a week at a local organization or to doing something good for someone else.
  • On December 1st, I will have to change one of the two goals to a new goal to meet. I’ll surprise you with that one later.

    I feel that this will really help me beat the holiday weight gain. I love a good challenge, especially one for prizes!!

    How are you avoiding the impending weight gain of the holiday season?



    The Real Bride

    This post on Weddingbee reminded me of the early stages of planning.

    The post is for brides to share the pictures of their dress on the model vs. on them. Seriously, real brides look WAY better in the dresses than the models do. I didn’t always feel that way though.

    I remember when I decided on my dress. I went in with a really open mind, but with a budget. I never saw the dress before in a catalog or magazine, but I was so drawn to it that it was a natural choice for THE DRESS. I remember asking the sales lady for the dress name, so I could stalk it endlessly on the Internet for the next few months before receiving mine.

    When I went on the Internet, I found the dress. Wow, did it ever look GOOD on her! I wanted to look like that…I told myself that I HAD to look like that on our big day.

    Original Dress Link

    Well, you know the rest of the story. I didn’t become a size 0. However, on my wedding day, I felt so beautiful and amazing, even at a size 22.

    Image taken by Amanda Meyer

    Moral of the story? If you are about to be a bride, don’t push yourself to look like the model. Just be REAL!

    Eat that pint of Ben & Jerry’s when the invitations don’t go quite right and don’t beat yourself up if your florist appointment ran into your work-out time. You will still look and feel great in your dress on the big day! I promise!

    Another vow…this time to me!

    When my husband and I were planning our wedding, I got really gung-ho about losing weight and being healthy. I even told myself that I was going to keep this up, because I was on a roll. I lost about 20 lbs. since my college graduation! It was great!

    After the wedding, however, we started adjusting to our new lives together and things took a bad turn. I found myself feeling less and less guilty. I would eat WHOLE pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, crave Nawlins style snowballs everyday, and never have remorse for fast food! I also quit the YMCA to save money and swore I would get back into shredding. What was I thinking? :(

    I had to do SOMETHING. I had no motivation. So, I rejoined Weight Watchers. They are having a deal until October 17th that you can buy one monthly plan and get one free. So, two months of meetings and weigh-ins for $40. That should be enough for a jump start, right?

    Since September 30th, I’ve lost 5.2 pounds! To see the 250’s again on my scale feels very good. I haven’t gotten back into exercising quite yet, but that will be happening this week. With the beautiful Fall weather on my side, I’m restarting the Couch to 5K work-out plan! Maybe I can get a friend to do a 5K with me next Spring. Who knows.

    As for rewards, I remember writing this post about rewarding myself. I know, I should be in the 230s right now, but oh well, at least I’m back on the horse! No need to beat myself over it!

    Here’s my new reward ideas:

    By Thanksgiving, I WILL be in the 230s.
    By New Years, I WILL be in the 210s. 
    By my 26th birthday, I WILL be in ONEDERLAND! (that’s weight with a 1 in front of the two other numbers, not a 2)
    By summer 2010, I WILL be in the 180s.
    By Labor Day 2010, I WILL reach my GOAL! (170s)

    I will be giving myself some great rewards for reaching these goals too…

    Reaching Thanksgiving goal — Buying a dSLR after Christmas!
    Reaching 26th bday goal — A little ol’ shopping spree at VS. I’ve always wanted to shop there!
    Reaching Summer goal – A brand new swimsuit!
    Reaching GOAL — Big time shopping spree and a pat on the back!

    Is anyone else trying to lose weight since they gained some newlywed poundage?

    New plan: I’m quitting…

    I hate that word: quitting. It sounds like I’m giving up when essentially I’m doing the opposite (just saving a little $$).

    I am quitting my membership with the YMCA. I haven’t been there in over a month, and it’s always crazy crowded that I feel worried about getting in my full work-outs. I also only went twice/week. I wasn’t at all getting my $40/month worth, so I’ll be working out using other means.

    1. Couch to 5K -I haven’t done this in about a year but I had great weight loss and training results from it!
    2. 30 Day Shred – Of course, who could exclude the ever-so-fabulous SHRED!
    3. Weight Loss Yoga – A new DVD for me, but I really need to work on flexibility and balance. I figure Bob could help me!

    Since I could really use some dieting motivation (stupid ice cream/snowball season), I’m going to (temporarily) go back to Weight Watchers meetings. There is a buy one, get one month free promotion going on that I can’t pass up! :)

    I’ll continue to use my Lose It! app for food logging as well, which I LOVE! It’s a free app for iPhones…seriously get this app folks! Food logging couldn’t be easier!

    I might have made it to Alabama..

    Now that July is over, I can say that I didn’t make it to Panama City for my local YMCA’s July Journey. I went a total of 210 “miles”, which equates to 630 minutes of workouts. It wasn’t quite what I wanted, since I had 115 miles to go, but I feel good knowing that I went pretty far in my journey.

    As far as weight loss has gone, I’ve hit a bit of a hump you could say. I haven’t lost in a good while, but I have maintained. I’ll honestly say that I wasn’t really attempting in the past two weeks, so this comes at no surprise. I can’t make excuses, because excuses are for weenies. I just need to move on and get back on track!!

    I need to admit, however, back on track is not easy. I’m sure it seems that way…eat less, move more, but it’s much more complicated than that. My obesity stems from years of eating out of boredom, eating from stress, etc. I turn to food very easily. My brain is pretty much on autopilot to crave a chocolate bar in the late morning and a cup of ice cream in the afternoon. It’s hard to override those cravings.

    I also have to force myself to the gym. It takes a lot to walk in that circuits class and say that I will do this workout. I start to think, well, I can clean the house…I have dinner to make…Work was hard today. There are better things I should be doing, right?

    To help you think that I’m not so crazy, check this out.  ABC News just published a story about a personal trainer who took the plunge to eat poorly and not exercise for a few months. Of course, he gained weight and a lot of it. Now that he’s subbed the apple for the chocolate for months and months, he’s able to truly sympathize with his clients and see what they mentally go through when it’s time to make that change for the healthy. While I don’t think this was such a good idea,  it’s good to read that someone who was perfectly healthy and fit can now understand what people like me battle every single day.

    It takes a lot to kill habits. I used to bite my nails in middle school and high school…somehow I got over the habit and now I grow beautiful, long nails. So, just like that habit, I have to break these habits. The habit of snacking…the habit of having better things to do. It’s my life and it’s time to finally take over and live it the way I need to — the healthy way. :)

    Have you broken a habit? How did you approach it?

    Writing it all down


    Since starting my diet up again a couple weeks ago, I’ve found that my best weight loss comes from a week when I remember to log EVERYTHING I eat. I started using a notepad that I found at the Dollar Store to fit in my purse,  but when I went to Border’s this weekend, I decided to upgrade!


    This is a log that holds 6 months worth of food/work-out logging with room for goals and things like that. I really like this book so far, and highly recommend it. Had I been smarter, I would have checked Amazon because they are only $6 on here, whereas regular price at Border’s was $15. :

    Food logging definitely works for me in helping me lose the weight. What works for you in your diet/fitness plan?

    To see what works for other bloggers, check out We are that Family!

    July Journey (to Panama City, Florida!)

    As you might know, I’m a member of my local YMCA. I go there for my workouts and LOVE the facility. Plus, I get a discount from work.

    Lately, since the wedding, I’ve had a little bit of a gain. I used to go to the Y religiously for 4-5 days/week and it has been reduced to 1-2 days/week. Pitiful.

    The Y is now roping me back in. I love a good competition and this month, they are doing a July Journey to Panama City, FL.

    It’s a 325 mile journey to get there, and it’s calculated by 3 minutes workout = 1 mile journey. So, an hour workout = 20 miles.

    The first 3 people to “reach” Panama City gets a prize. I could care less about the prize, but to know that I accomplished this would be QUITE a feat!

    I’m planning on workout out 5 days/week for an hour each day. At that rate, I should reach Panama City by July 28th at the latest. (The contest ends August 7th) If I workout more, I will reach it sooner! :) The competition started yesterday and so far, I was the only person to sign up! I’m very excited!

    Wish me luck!

    My health goals!

    I’ve been lightly treading the waters of embracing my diet/fitness fully since the wedding. I’m back to watching what I eat, but sometimes I splurge all too much! I used to be so much more determined. I need my willpower back, and I’m hoping the accountability of this blog entry plus whoever reads this (yoohoo! anyone? bueller?) will keep me going.

    Right now, I *grumble* am flirting with 250 lbs.

    By the end of the summer (end of August), I WILL be in the 230s.
    By Thanksgiving, I WILL be in the 210s.
    By New Years, I WILL be in ONEDERLAND (that’s weight with a 1 in front of the two other numbers, not a 2)
    By my 26th birthday, I WILL be in the 180s.
    By summer 2010, I WILL be at GOAL! (170 lbs.)

    Those are my health goals and PLEDGE to myself and to you guys! I will get healthier and blog about my triumphs, falls, whatever happens. I know it won’t be easy, but my health is worth it!

    I will be giving myself some great rewards for reaching these goals too…

    Reaching end of summer goal  — Lowlights/Highlights to darken hair up
    Reaching Thanksgiving goal — new dSLR camera!
    Reaching New Year’s goal — a (tiny) shopping spree for new clothes
    Reaching 26th bday goal — an iPhone…oh I want one SO bad!
    Reaching GOAL — Lifetime of health and who knows!

    Oh and to help someone else out with their health goals, go to 344 Pounds blog. He is asking for readers to give him a killer workout!