Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weigh-In (Week 10) & New Finds!

Well, I lost 0.6 lbs this week giving me a 10 week total of exactly 10 lbs.  I'm pleased that I am continuing to average at least 1 lb per week BUT week has to be better!!!  My short term goal is to have lost 25 lbs total by June 21st (the first day of summer) and to achieve this I only have to continue to average 1 lb per week.  I can't wait until I change decades and get into the 150's!

I did relatively well last week, although I did have that one bad day on Sunday.  My workouts were much more intense than I had been doing and even a little longer - but I didn't do as many days as I normally do.  I finally fulfilled my water intake goal!!!!  Thank you LORD!  So I wasn't perfect last week, but I doubt that perfection exists as far as me and this weight loss journey is concerned.  I am proud that I've made so many positive changes in my lifestyle and just need to work on consistency.

I know I've mentioned this before but my skin is sooooo much clearer!  I've suffered with teenage cystic acne since I was 10 years old and as I've aged it never "went away" like other teenagers, but morphed into adult acne.  There was a time that I hated to be outside without some coverage on my face - at least powder, but usually full liquid foundation.  Now, most days I only wear tinted moisturizer and powder.  While my skin still has many flaws and imperfections, I still love it - because it is such an improvement from last year this time!  Can't wait til my momma sees it!  My dad is coming for a visit this weekend (spring break) and its his first visit to me without my entire family - so we will spend some awesome quality time together, and I already have a guest pass for him to the gym!

I tried 2 new items this week - Hood Calorie Countdown Fat Free Dairy Beverage and Flat Out Light Italian Bread/Wraps.   I use the dairy beverage in my smoothies.  I've taken to having a smoothie EVERYDAY, sometimes twice per day.  While I don't use a lot of extra additives I did want to make sure each drink was around 150 calories and this helped me to do so.  Also, my aunt bought me a Magic Bullet (which I am in love with thus far - despite the many mixed reviews on this product) and mixing a smoothie and cleanup has become a breeze!  Smoothies have become my indulgent treat and with just fruit, ice and the dairy beverage they are around 70 calories.  Sometimes I add fat free yogurt, sometimes not.  And the wraps - oh em gee! - I've had tuna wraps, breakfast wraps, grilled chicken wraps and egg salad wraps.  I love those things!!!  Even more than my beloved pita pockets!

Has anyone else tried the Hood dairy beverage?  What do you think of it?  I was curious what you ladies, especially those that are more ingredient conscious thinks of the product.  While in the grocery store and examining the nutrition info, I actually wished I could call each one of you and ask - HEY, DO YOU THINK THIS IS A GOOD BUY?!  lol.  So if you are familiar with it, let me know your thoughts - thanks! :-)

Sorry such a long post...but I am full of things to say today!  Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Today was GORGEOUS!

I hadn't planned on blogging today, but I had an awesome day - so I thought I'd share.  It was sunny all day and in the mid to upper 60's.  I came in & changed into my workout clothes and just stood out on my balcony and felt the sunshine.  No way could I take myself into the gym.  Absolutely no way!  Last week (I was wearing workout clothes and had just come from the gym) I sauntered into a clothing boutique to browse and got into friendly conversation with one of the sales women.  She ended up telling me about a beautiful, well kept and safe park only about 1-2 miles from the store (which would be about 2-3 miles from my apartment).  I was really excited because today was the perfect day to go take a look!  It is GORGEOUS!  Well populated but not crowded and has an awesome walking trail.  Part of it is by a stream!  When I got to the part by the stream - I actually slowed and stared!  I wished I had my camera so I could show you how pretty this place is!  I walked for about 35 minutes, then did step ups (using the bleachers), tricep dips, squats and lunges.  Altogether I worked out for about 45-50 minutes and I was so UN bored!  I will definitely be revisiting that park - SOON if weather permits. Another reason to look forward to warm weather!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Church Sabbotage!!!

That's right....the place you'd not expect to have any trouble with food!!!  CHURCH!  This weekend my church had their 147th Anniversary celebration.  With every service and program, food was served.  Originally from NJ, I now live in the south - and it was good ole down home cooking!  Fried chicken, hot water cornbread, sweet potatoes (with tons of sugar), macaroni & cheese, tons of cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, sweet tea, lemonade - AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! 

I did well the first day...even the second day....but SUNDAY got me!  I was hit & miss - one good decision followed by a not-so-smart decision.  I opted for the baked (not fried) chicken (with a ton of salt) but instead of taking the skin off as I should've, I ate it....and SAVORED IT!  I had a drop of mac n' cheese (not much about 1/4 c), but passed on the cornbread, had green beans (with a ton of salt), but had some sweet potatoes (OMG, they were good!), chose water, but had a piece of chocolate chocolate cake. 

The only thing I wish I hadn't done was had the cake.  The other choices, I can live with - after all I am human and they weren't terrible choices.  I didn't have huge portions either.  But that was calling me.  I originally did not take a piece, but then, as I was sitting at my table, person after person sat next to me with desert!  And I was feeling good because my belt was 2 slots further than it was before Christmas!  So, I figured, okay, I will indulge.  I'm not devastated or anything by my choices, but definitely reflecting on them.  Dang that chocolate cake!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Working out. & Epiphany

I've been following Julie (visit "The Accidental Fat Chick" here - awesome blog!) as she competes in her gym's "Around the World" challenge.  I am not sure of all the competition details but I am assuming you travel enough to go around the world.  Anywho, I have been reading all about her amazing workouts and it made me think about my own workouts.  I still am struggling to go beyond 30 minutes per day.  Not because I am incapable, but because for as long as I can remember I've only done gym workouts in 30 minute sessions, unless I was taking a class or was participating in sports.  I remember the days of the 80s and 90s when exercising 20 minutes 3x per week was standard!  Friday was the first day I went beyond 30 minutes.  And I felt great!  I began to think about my life beyond reaching my goal weight.  I know I will reach it, I've proven that before and my personality is an OCD one (lol), but what is going to ensure that this is forever?  I thought it was forever LAST time!  So I really am more concerned about maintaining my weight as opposed to reaching it.  I'm still young, marriages and pregnancies are going to happen, Lord willing - and those are obstacles that cause many women to gain weight.  I realized as I followed Julie's workouts that the thing I enjoy most about exercising isn't exercising!  It's competition.  I wondered, what would motivate me to workout that hard?  I'm sorry to say but it isn't losing weight alone that will do it for me.  Anything where I have to play someone or beat someone will motivate me to continue.  So that is my plan!  I will still workout at the gym, but I will join a tennis league, eventually run marathons, play raquetball....anything of that sort feels FUN to me.  With this in mind I googled for tennis leagues in my city & I found an upcoming adult tennis league that actually fits into my schedule!!!!!  And registration is only $10!  I couldn't believe it!  The deadline is next lucky am I?!  I really enjoy playing tennis, but in the black community there are not a whole lot of people who play, and that is something that I know I will push very hard to do.  I hate to lose...although I am not a sore loser, and I hate to not be good competition for the other person.  So I know that I will get a much better cardio workout in than I would do in a gym relying on my own mind to push me.

Anyone else have these worries?  I read some of your blogs and you say "I felt awful because I didn't go to the gym" or "I used to hate exercising, but now it is my therapy, stress reliever, etc."  I doubt that I will feel that way (I hope so, but am just being realistic) but I know how much I enjoy sports!  What motivates you to continue to workout, especially after you've reached your goal weight?  Is it enough to know you are doing it so that you won't gain it back?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weigh-In (Week 9)

164.0 ~ down 0.6 lbs.  9 weeks & total weight lost = 9.4.

For once I am not questioning what happened, what I am not doing, or what I could be doing more or better...because after the weekend I had...I expected to GAIN!  So I will take my 0.6 lbs and RUN!  lol.

Since I fell off quite a bit over the weekend, my mini goals from last week will still apply.  Today was a training session and my PT had an awesome workout planned - circuit style as usual, but with a tire!  I was jumping on and off, doing push-ups, and even was flipping the thing!!!  I really have pushed myself the last couple of days so I am already looking forward to next week's weigh in!  Thanks for your awesome comments on my last post, I will be proving next Wednesday that one bad week won't break me!!!  You guys really helped me feel better and motivated me at the same time.  It was like okay, they understand how I'm feeling and are waiting for me to just brush it off and believe me, I'm going full force ahead!!!  Week 10 is gonna be a BEAST!  *does the Rocky dance*

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fell off Track!!!

This is the first time that I can honestly say...I've fallen off!!!  I have had several meals out, not really eaten on schedule, haven't been sticking to my "allowed" list, and haven't tracked!  ARGHHH!  And on top of that, I've not worked out for 3 days in a row!

I am going to be accountable for my actions.  I have simply been lazy.  It all started Thursday, which is "Match Day" for 4th year medical students...meaning they find out where they will begin their residency.  It is a huge celebration and with it comes lots of partying.  While this isn't my 4th celebrate with your friends!!!  Now, I don't drink - at all, ever - so that doesn't enter into my "partying" equation....THANK GOD!  But, going out to eat with friends, and I went on another date...and I had hella studying to do.  But the thing that disappoints me about this is that - all of that will always be there, you know?  I will ALWAYS have to study, I will be going on more dates (soon, hopefully, lol), I will always have a reason to celebrate something with friends, so why didn't I get it together?  And for the first time, my actions had a domino effect!  One bad decision led to another.  This morning I had hot chocolate AND an Egg McMuffin!  WHY?!?!?!  I'm not sure why I allowed myself to get SO off track, but I know one ass isn't staying there!

This blog is my journal.  If I don't lose the weight this week, I have no one to blame but myself, but the journey doesn't end with this week.  I am not going to continue my downwards spiral, but get it back together and work double time to get back on track.  WHEW....its amazing how much better writing it out made me feel.  There really is something to this blogging thing, huh???  Maybe I should do the same with other areas of my life!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Comparison Blues!

I was on YouTube and came across a woman who was on a weight loss journey.  She started at about 178 (I think) and is currently 163...right about where I am.  The thing is - she loses 3 or more pounds PER WEEK!  I haven't read her regimen in its entirety yet, and the reason I couldn't stay on her channel and find out more information is because after seeing that video I was immediately discouraged!!!  So I clicked the "x" in the top corner with more force than necessary as if the woman in question was responsible for my frustration.  And I sat and stared at me (my picture is the background on my desktop) and thought to myself "WHY CAN'T I LOSE MORE THAN 1 POUND PER WEEK?!?!?!"  I am happy with the changes I am making BUT I constantly have to talk positivity into my results because I want to lose a little more per week.  Not every week...but I'd like to have SOME knock out weeks!  As we all have said at some point on our blogs - a loss is a loss...but we only say that when the loss isn't as much as we wanted, right?  So...I sat and thought a little longer...and really started to get myself worked up!
 Then I went to the bathroom - as I washed my hands I stared at my reflection and immediately felt better.  My skin is so much clearer I thought to myself.  As I rinsed the soap from my hands I thought my nails are so much stronger, and I already need to clip them again!  Then as I dried my hands I said wow, your hair is really starting to grow and it looks so gorgeous!  It really helped calm me down that I have tangible, visible non-scale related results.  So I've just learned that although at times it is difficult not to compare yourself to others, it really does no good to think your own progress isn't enough because someone else is losing faster or more. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mini Goals for the Week (3/18 - 3/24)

It seems like I say this every post - but THANK YOU LADIES!  I got such wonderful encouragement on my weigh in and your feedback was AWESOME!  Melissa (visit her blog here) said something that triggered my new mini goal...that she gets the best results when she (among other things) limits her sugar/carb intake. So to try to increase my weight loss, or at the very least continue to lose at least 1 lb per week I shall heed that advice.  I realize that out of my 5-6 fruits/veggies per day 4-5 are fruits.  This week I plan to have only 2 fruits per day maximum and fill the rest with vegetables.  I think I may be consuming too much sugar.  And I plan to WILL drink 6 glasses of water per day. summary here are the goals:
  • Increase workouts from 30 minutes to 45 minutes (minimum)
  • DRINK 6 GLASSES OF WATER PER DAY!  (okay - seriously - this has been on the list every friggin week...I better just do it this week)
  • Limit sugar & carb intake/have at most 2 fruits per day.
I have to thank Trina @ MeSoHongry for getting me started with mini-goals; Her "Cute as a Bunny" challenge initiated it.  Otherwise I don't know that I would sit down and evaluate each week to see where I can make improvement.  I'd probably just float along and adjust things daily.  I see there are other bloggers that set mini-goals as well.  What are some of yours?  We can all borrow from each other!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weigh In (Week 8)

I don't know if I have ever been more excited to step on the scale than I was this morning!  After (nearly) two weeks and a ton of adjustments, I was hoping & praying that Sunday's number wasn't a fluke. And since I was already praying, God...let me have lost more weight since Sunday...if it's not too much to ask!  Well, with great trepidation....I closed my eyes, eased onto the scale....and......

BOO YOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!  2.2 LBS GONE IN 2 WEEKS!

"Baby, I got 'dis"....those who remember B.A.P.S. (movie) remember this scene...

Well...borrowing from one of my sistah-friends in weight loss Trina @ MeSoHongry who does "glows and grows" here are my lessons learned and lessons aced:

Lessons Learned & New Focuses:
  • Eat within my calorie range (1150-1400).  As I stated, I realized I wasn't eating enough.  I am still working hard to get my calories "up."  I have not been successful at eating enough yet - I eat 3 meals and 3-4 snacks per day, but they are all so low in calories that it leaves me full, so I stop eating. But I know I will get there.  I should just thank my lucky stars I'm not going over everyday I suppose.
  • Exercise longer.  So far I've been focusing on frequency of workouts, not length.  I really want to up my gym time to an hour - I currently only do 30 minutes.  Now that I consistently workout 4-5 times per week, I can focus on upping the length or at least the calorie burn.  
  • DRINK MORE WATER!  I was such a pro at this when I did Weight Watchers...I don't know why I can't seem to be consistent with 6 glasses per day.  *Sigh*
Lessons Aced:
  • I ate 5 servings of fruits/veggies per day - EVERY DAY!
  • Increased protein intake for pre & post workouts.  I usually have smoothies enhanced with protein powder by designer whey.  This also helps me to increase my caloric intake and has eased the post workout soreness and cramping.
  • I worked out a minimum of 4 days per week for the past 4 weeks.  I didn't hit my goal of 5 every week, but that is still pretty freakin' awesome in my opinion!
  • Tracked regularly via - MyDailyPlate section.
I am thoroughly pleased with my progress, but any advice you can provide to keep up the weight loss, possibly increase it to 1.5-2 lbs per week, and how to get and stay within my calorie range I would love to hear it!  I read all of your blogs and most of you lose more than 1 lbs a week.  I haven't hit that in a while and I can't figure out why!!!  I'm not getting impatient or upset, just curious.  Thinking back to my WW days I almost always lost 1.5 - 2 lbs per week...and I wasn't even working out!  Perhaps its the water thing...I know I need to drink more.  Anywhoooo, I can't wait til I change that second digit!  150's here I come!

Off to the gym, gonna get there right as it opens...yep I posted this BEFORE I left this morning...pure excitement I tell you, because I am so NOT a morning person!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Support & Friends

As you all know by now, Wednesdays are my weigh in days.  My mother and I talk every single day and without fail every Wednesday she asks "So how'd you do this morning?"  And I LOVE THAT!  It is so great to have someone to support me, who is genuinely interested in my weight loss journey, and who I can talk to about it as much and as long as I want!

I surely am enjoying your comments and reading all of your blogs.  I check for new posts intermittently throughout the day and love reading about your successes, advice and even struggles.  Thank God for the blogging community.  I realized today, when I speak to my "real life" friends - I find myself babbling on and on about weight loss, nutrition, working out, etc. After my friend asks about how school is going, they ask if anything else is new and then I mention my diet.  It seems like once I get started I can't stop!  As I go further into details, I realize my friends who are obese have checked out of the conversation and I have to stop myself.  They are probably on the other end like

I realized today that unintentionally I go into WAY more detail than necessary when someone is seeking a chatty, catch-up on things type of conversation.  However, my friends who may only have a few pounds to lose or none at all seem to respond much more positively than those who are larger.  They seem to be more interested in exactly what I am doing and their congratulations are more enthusiastic.  I realize that with my more overweight friends, I need to back off and stop spewing my newly found love for fitness and weight loss.  It is just like the happy newlywed who constantly goes on and on about how great married life is to their unhappy single friend who has been a bridesmaid 10 times!  Sooooo, I've decided to limit my weight loss convo to those folk, as I do with school (who is really interested in the details of the pathology of the esophagus?) to avoid alienating them.  I will still share because they after all are happy for me, but I won't go through the stories from each blog I read, every success story I come across and my weekly grocery and meal plan as I had been doing!  LOL.  Hey, what can I say - I'm HOOKED!

Thank God for my mother and all of you......I can go on and on as much as I want!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Snuck on the scale...

Wednesday is my official weigh in day...but I just had to sneak onto the scale yesterday.  LOL.  I tried to hold out but curiosity got the best of me.  Well, it read 164.2 which would be a 2.6 lb weight loss in 12 days...AWESOME for me!!!  I am going to hope and pray that a little bit more comes off by Wednesday my "official" weigh in day!  I think the key change for me was realizing I needed to eat MORE!!!  After I started tracking I realized I wasn't hitting even 1000 calories!  No good!  So now, I track like a fiend along with eating the allowed foods for the appropriate phase of the Fat Smash Diet.  I will officially enter Phase III today.  Technically, I have been here already but never really added the foods and then went back to Phase I to break through my plateau.  Who knew...eating more = weight loss!  :-)

Thank you to those who complimented my nails and wished me luck on my date.  Yes, I did do them myself...I've always had a "flair" for doing hair and nails but stopped once I went to college and got into wearing acrylic nails.  Eventually, I got tired of the money and upkeep as well as how weak it made my real nails and removed them.  Also, as medical students, we cannot wear fake nails - but polish?!  We can do that!  lol.

My date went well.  Nothing that is making me gush, but I did enjoy myself.  I'm attracted to him physically and he has some great personality traits, but we shall see...I will definitely be seeing him again to see where it leads.  All I am asking for at this point is to have someone I enjoy spending time with, no other expectations.

Still trying to find that "auto-pilot" with is definitely work for me to get my meals right so that I hit my calorie range consistently, but as with anything else, it will come with time.  Looking forward to working out this week!

Friday, March 12, 2010

1st Date Tomorrow - NOT going to Dinner!

My last relationship ended about a year ago and since then I haven't taken any time to really date, there have been a couple, but nothing I pursued.  I've been focusing on myself, my studies, and now my weight loss.  I met someone (at the gym...almost as cliche as the club right???) and we have our first date tomorrow afternoon!  I suggested a movie date, which is NOT first date friendly because you really cannot talk and get to know each other, but I have my reasons.  I am tired of relationships revolving around food!!!  Dates, celebrations, accomplishments, even sad occasions - all are usually accompanied by eating!!!  I am a very creative date person and I like doing different things, and I refuse to re-enter the dating world with regular meals out.  It's not even about me being on a diet right now, its about me not wanting to even start the same ol' "lets go out to dinner" rut.  That being said we are going to see Our Family Wedding.  I'm looking very forward to it.  This is the first time in a long time I've really wanted to go on a date.

So I've painted my nails, the old chipped polish had to go and I plan to wear a neutral eye look and straighten and curl my hair.  I am relaxed but I am trying to re-grow my hair from a horrible disaster last year plus with all the working out I never flat iron or use heat.  I plan to just blow dry my hair straight after I air dry (currently drying now) and then use the Caruso Steam Roller system.  I LOVE those things.  Here are my neon nails:

I love them!  I typically wear neutral makeup from day to day so I express my personality via my nail colors and designs.  I could've done a regular french tip, but I'm ushering in the warm weather!  LOL.  Wish me luck!

Seeing small changes!

I am starting to see some small changes in my body from my workout routines.  I work with a trainer 2 on Mondays and Wednesdays and he usually combines cardio with strength training (i.e. shoulder presses as I step on and off a platform).  On the days I am on my own I usually do interval cardio for 30 minutes and some ab work.  I try to work out at least 5 days per week...that is my lifelong goal.  Lately I've been hitting it, but if I fall short at 4 days I'm not too upset.

I have noticed my upper body is much more defined, I feel slightly less flabby in my arms (my primary target problem area other than my stomach), my back has less emerging rolls and my thighs definitely feel stronger and firmer.  My stomach still has a ton of fat on it, but it hasn't been very long and I am VERY pleased with the progress I am making, my workouts are becoming easier and more intense at the same time!  Investing in the PT is the best decision I've made so far.

I cannot wait until this summer when the pool at my complex opens...I definitely plan to utilize it for some of my workouts and already have a new bathing suit picked out!  Wednesday's weigh in better be kind to me this week!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How do you feel about "plus-sized?"

I was chatting with one of my closest girlfriends who has struggled with her weight her entire life.  And I don't remember what I was saying exactly though I do know it was in reference to certain clothing stores, but she said "I personally hate the term plus-sized."  And I was at a loss for words because I use that term regularly, thinking I am being respectful by not saying fat...

Me:  Well, what do you prefer to be called?  When you are talking about those stores (Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart) what do you say?

Her:  Well, it depends.  Sometimes I say big-girl stores but mostly I just think of myself as thick.  Not plus-sized, I'm not some cartoonish enlargement of a woman.  I'm just bigger than some.

Now I was thinking..."big-girl" is better than plus-sized????  And I personally have resented the term "thick" because I feel it has began to disguise being overweight.  Oh, she's not fat, she's thick!!!  I get that men like the curviness, hell I like it on me too!  In no way shape or form do I plan to lose my thick thighs or apple bottom.  But hell I would like my thighs to stop rubbing together so I can wear a skirt this summer comfortably without chafing!!!  So in my head - my friend saying thick instead of owning the reality that she is fat, overweight, obese, or whatever is just a way of telling herself it is okay to be her weight.  She is 5'4" and about 240 lbs.  She carries it well meaning she is proportioned and her stomach is smaller than her boobs and booty but obviously it is not a healthy weight.  As I contemplate what she is telling me, I began to wonder why all these new terms exist for "big girls/plus-sized women"?  We only have a couple of age old terms for thin women:  skinny, thin, fit, athletic.  There is no "BBW" equivalent for being at a healthy weight....those women don't have a "SBW" (small beautiful woman) movement!  Is it our way of dealing with self-esteem issues, to invent new terms that we feel more comfortable with?

The largest I have ever been is a size 14 - and I've only been there twice in my life, both times I was only there for a very small amount of time, having to only purchase a couple of staple items in that size (some black pants, a pair of jeans or two, maybe a dress) so many times I understand that I cannot fully relate to issues that some women deal with.  However, weight has and will be a struggle for the rest of my life.  I know that I have to actively concentrate on eating healthily and exercising regularly FOREVER.  So on many levels, I can relate.  Speaking purely from my own experiences, whenever I "disguise" my weight gain or try to make myself feel better about it is when it gets worse.  Both times I got serious about losing the weight, I accepted the reality that I was at an unhealthy weight and OBESE.  I actually owe this all to my doctor, a family physician, who spoke to me gently but candidly about my weight in January of 2005.  He pulled out his BMI calculator and said to me, given your family history, we do want to do something about your weight.  I know it is a sensitive subject, but right now, where you are (I was 173-174...same as this time when I started) your BMI is 32 and you are obese.  That word had NEVER EVER entered my head to describe myself.  I was shocked into a reality check and once I realized the seriousness of the situation, I immediately signed up for Weight Watchers and lost the weight.

This time around, I said to myself, this is it, you are never doing this again.  I am over beating myself up about being back here but I know in the deepest parts of my soul, that this is and will be the final diet for me.  I will never ever ever return to this weight again.  Not never, not ever.  But calling myself thick, big, heavy, even fluffy....that was not going to work for me, it was just a way for me to accept being fat.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't make me too skinny!

Some of you may not have read my About Me post and if you haven't had the chance, you would not know I am in medical school.  I won't dwell too much about that, but if you are interest in more on that, check out that post.  This is a sensitive topic for some, so I hope I don't offend anyone...

One thing I always wonder is why people are so resistant to the standards medicine uses to determine a healthy body weight.  If a person is losing weight truly for "health" reasons (whether that be the only reason or like most people there are additional ones) then why not accept the years of research that health professionals have done and reach for the "health" standards? 

Let's talk BMI for example - that is my main tool for determining where I should be.  Not how I look, not how many times other people say "you don't need to lose any (more) weight!", not a man saying "I like my woman with some meat on her, here's another cookie", etc.  But the BMI - body mass index.  The tool that has been developed to determine at what weight we are at risk for less diseases!!!  I hear SO many people say....where they (medical professionals) say I should be is WAYYY to skinny for me!  I contribute this to the African American mindset of beauty which hip-hop has made the American standard.  Curvy, bootylicious, Beyonce-esque bodies plus the BBW (big beautiful woman) movement for plus-sized women to be accepted has pushed us to far the other way in my opinion.  I applaud fashion for hiring plus-sized models, was SO EXCITED when Toccora was the first plus sized model to appear on the cover of Italian Vogue, thought it was revolutionary of Beyonce to hire plus-sized models to be dancers in her videos, and so much more that has changed for plus-sized women.  However - let us mention that Toccora is IN her healthy weight range by BMI standards, so is Beyonce and other classically curvy women.  It is possible to be curvy and healthy!

So let's say you are an anti-BMI'er...okay, I don't understand why, but for whatever reason you have developed a deep hatred for the thing...fine.  What about measurements of body fat? 

Body Fat Categories for Women
  • 10-12% - Essential Fat
  • 14-20% - Athletic Fat Levels
  • 21-24% - Fitness Fat Levels
  • 25-31% - Acceptable Fat Levels
  • >32% - Obese
Body Fat Categories for Men
  • 2-4% - Essential Fat
  • 6-13% - Athletic Fat Levels
  • 14-17% - Fitness Fat Levels
  • 18-25% - Acceptable Fat levels
  • >26% - Obese 
Most times using either measurement will get you to the same place for the regular fitness seeker, but perhaps you prefer using one over the other.  Body fat is another great tool to use to determine your health risks.  I can understand a person feeling overwhelmed by needing to lose a large amount of weight - which is why people tend to set small mini goals, and if you make a true lifestyle change you will be addicted to your new way of living.  And before you know it you will be beyond where you thought you would be.  There are times when doctors will access a patient and tell them to try to get to at least ______ lbs, which may be well above your recommended BMI, but why sell yourself short?  Usually, from my experience, doctors say that because they don't want to overwhelm a patient with a seemingly daunting unachievable weight loss goal and doing something is much better than nothing.  Is it fear of failure that causes a woman to say - I'm only trying to get down to around _____, anything beyond that is too skinny for me?  Is it because they have never been smaller than a certain size in their adult life so they cannot imagine themselves at less than that?  Or do people truly not think they look attractive at a recommended weight?  I myself never having been "plus" sized (although clearly I am overweight at a starting obese BMI) cannot really relate fully to this mindset, but I am wondering what is behind this *DON'T MAKE ME TOO THIN!!!*  mindset?  I always have too work hard to bite my tongue when having this conversation with women because it always seems as if they are just selling themselves short by refusing to believe they can achieve a certain weight or body fat percentage.  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I pledged the Biggest Loser Pound for Pound Challenge!

I am a huge fan of the show...always get great tips from each episode.  And I love that it truly seems committed to improving the health of America rather than creating a whole lot of drama for the sake of good reality television.   I've been meaning to sign up for a while - for every pound you pledge to lose, The Biggest Loser will donate $1 to your local food bank.  If we're losing anyway, why not help your community in the process?  You can visit the Pound for Pound Challenge site here to pledge also!

How do you meet your caloric requirement?!?!?!

I recently was inspired my Trina @ Ah Me So Hongry to begin tracking what I eat.  As I've said in previous posts The Fat Smash Diet does not require any type of calorie counting but I know that writing helps keep me on track.  Plus if I am doing something wrong...I can figure out what I am doing or not doing.  I've began utilizing the online tool called My Plate @  I realize that on the days I feel I am "eating well"  I am usually consuming less than 1,000 calories!  I know this is on the LOW side and could be a culprit in me not dropping the pounds as quickly as I would like.  However, these are days where had I not been tracking I'd otherwise feel like OMG I AM ON IT!  Let's examine today for example.

Today I ate:
  • Breakfast:  4 clementines (these were so sweet!) & 1 Dannon Lit & Fit Yogurt
  • Lunch:  Caesar Salad with Ken's Light Dressing (no meat, back to Phase I remember)
  • Dinner:  Black beans and brown rice (approx 1.5 cups), Cantaloupe
  • Snacks:  Jell-O Sugar Free Pudding, Apple Bites package, Quaker Lowfat Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bar, Extra Fruit Sensations gum
  • Water...
So - I've only consumed about 950 calories today total.  And that was with me concentrating on eating more!  Ordinarily I would think "Wow, I did awesome today!!!"  I mean I had plenty of water, ate 5 servings of fruits/veggies, plus I worked out today!  But I simply don't think I am eating enough!!!  I  will be adding protein smoothies to my daily diet as a post-workout rebuilder.  So that will give me an extra 160 calories.  I feel like I have to really concentrate to make sure that I don't undereat.  Like I could easily just have fruit alone as snacks but if you remove the pudding and granola bar then I'm right back at being under my daily target; I want to always eat at least 1000-1200 calories.  From my education and research, consuming less calories than that is just not healthy!!!

I guess I just have to find my balance and have more growing to do to learn HOW to eat healthy.  ***NEW THOUGHT:  perhaps it is harder since I've gone back to phase I...I'm sure once I have meat again, those numbers will jump up!!!***  Even the days I am eating meat, I will need to practice to find my balance, but realizing that I am not eating an entire food group right now makes me feel better about my "numbers." :-)

Jess & Trina - I love your responses on my March Goals post!  Can't wait to see how we all do!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Heading back to Phase I

So...I did my weekly grocery shopping today.  And as I perused the produce aisle, which is always my first stop, I thought about which meals I wanted to cook this week.  I picked up some clementines, apple slices and cantaloupe and thought "Hmmm, this is a lot of fruit for just me." I live alone and fruit is just too expensive to OVERbuy & allow to go bad, but try as I might, I didn't want to put any of it back.  Then I picked up some bagged salad, broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini...thinking again, wow this is a lot for just me!  But again, I was truly WANTING these foods!  The entire reason I shop frequently for food is because I want to make sure I always have foods that I want on hand instead of scrounging around whatever I happen to have on hand.  So my thought is by having foods that I truly desire, I will be less tempted to eat "bad" foods.  So as I thought about which meals I could make with these items, I decided this would be the perfect week for me to go back to Phase I - no meats.  I also did not purchase any fruit juice, I need to drink way more water than I have been doing.  I stocked up on frozen veggies also because there was an awesome sale on the generic brand and got some yogurt as well.  I highly doubt that I will be bored and since I will not be weighing myself this week, I really am excited to be restarting Phase I.  Half the battle is being stocked with the proper weapons (as we all know) so I am feeling great about all the great eats and meals I will be having this week.  Some of the things I plan to cook are black bean soup, salad, steamed veggies with teriyaki sauce, vegetable soup, and mexican bean casserole.  I don't know if I will make all if it this week, but I am definitely just as excited about my menu as any that I would order from at a restaurants.

And I worked out 5 days last week!  WHOOO-HOOOO!!!!!

Looking forward to next Wednesday...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March Goals

This time around, my weight loss journey is about more than just losing weight.  I want to try to improve myself all the way around, spiritually, scholastically, personally, financially, and much much more.  So to do this I will be evaluating different areas of my life and setting monthly goals.  I want to be a better PERSON when I reach my healthy BMI.  So without further ado, my March goals are as follows:
  1. Workout at least 5 times per week.  No ifs, ands, or buts...
  2. Have personal bible study time at least 1X per week.  Sunday church services and Wednesday night bible study with church does not count.  I mean personal time I spend reading my Word and talking to God.
That is all for now.  I want to set small achievable concrete goals.  For example, I will not just say "do more bible study"  or "work out consistently."  These are actual things I can measure and do.  This journey is going to be a holistic experience for me.  Do you have any goals for this month?  If so, please share, I'd love to hear yours!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gym Playlist: Gospel Edition

I used to have a "gym" playlist on my Ipod which consisted mainly of hip-hop and reggaeton.  Really upbeat music to get me moving quickly.  I realized I've played that out.  After all the list was like 5 years old!!!  LOL.  So I've come up with some new playlists and the one that has REALLY been helping to keep me motivated is my gospel playlist.  Once I hit play I start bopping along on whichever cardio machine I am on, waving my hands, praising God and I don't even notice the time as it goes by!!!  I have pre-workout stretch, post workout stretch and cool down songs included. The "meat" of the playlist is just about 1 hour - so its a great tool even if I am walking outside.  So I thought I would share my list with you ladies just in case you were looking for inspiration or more music to workout to:

Pre-Workout Stretch:  Job's Song (Blessed) - Hezekiah Walker
  1. I Will Bless the Lord - Byron Cage
  2. Back to Eden - Donald Lawrence
  3. I'm Walking In Authority - Donnie McClurkin
  4. Souled Out - Hezekiah Walker
  5. Giants - Donald Lawrence
  6. Bounce Back - Kevin Davidson
  7. Search me Lord - Ricky G
  8. Never Seen the Righteous - Donald Lawrence
  9. The Blessing of Abraham - Donald Lawrence
  10. Celebrate - Ted & Sheri
  11. Livin' - The Clark Sisters
  12. Incredible God, Incredible Praise - James Hairston (Cool down)
Post Workout Stretch:  I Almost Let Go - Kurt Carr 

Even if my music doesn't suit your tastes I've learned that assembling music on your Ipod or MP3 player in a specific order (warm up, hard workout, cooldown) really helps keep you on track and moving at a steady pace throughout your workout.  Making a playlist that is the length of the time you want to workout helps also.  Hope this helps someone!

At the advice of Ro - I will not be weighing myself for 2 weeks!!!  Thank you, girl for your encouragement and advice!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weigh-In (Week 6) - Trying to stay positive

This is my 6th official week on the Fat Smash Diet.  I weighed in this morning and the scale read 166.8, which means that lost 0.2 lbs this week.  I know I should keep a positive attitude because a loss is a loss...but quite frankly I'M PISSED!  I worked out more, drank more water, & tracked what I was eating yet I still haven't hit 1 lb per week for the past 2 weeks.  What gives?!?!   Yesterday I worked out harder than I have since I've started!  I understand that muscle weighs more and all of the physiology, but I am still capable of losing at least 1 freakin' pound in 7 days!!!  It is re-evaluation time...

I had to check my calendar for the official start of my journey - January 18th was Day One.  That means that in 6 weeks I have lost a total of 6.6 lbs, which gives me an average of 1 lb per I can't help but be happy with that progress.  That made me a little less manic...I have to remember to stop focusing on where I want to be and congratulate myself on the successes I've had so far.  It is too early for me to be plateauing so I just can't figure it out.  Yes, I am feeling upset and disappointed, but not enough to quit!  Not at all, not by a long shot.  On the contrary, I feel my scale has challenged me and landed the first punch.  And I am definitely going to fight back!  I will up the intensity of my workouts (adding resistance to the elliptical and walking on a higher incline on the treadmill) and sticking to my diet plan to the letter "T."  I really do not want to go back to Phase I but if I have just one more bad week, back to ONE it is...literally! 

As my weight loss ticker says Weight Loss is a Journey, Not a Destination!  Yes, I'm feeling a little down and disappointed now but the good thing is that I am motivated to work hard as hell tonight at the gym!  I'm in a battle with my scale and trust I will come out on top!!! *Doing the Rocky Dance*

Monday, March 1, 2010


You may or may not have read my post about me joining a gym specifically to hire a personal trainer.  Well, my trainer - Ira - certainly unleashed on me tonight.  I have 2 sessions with him per week and last week I struggled but I wasn't feeling like "I can't."  Today, I mean I seriously wanted to give him the finger at one point!!!  LOL.  Which is actually a good thing.  I know for a fact that I would never push myself that hard and so I definitely feel it is worth it to get me to work beyond what I would do on my own.  But compared to last week's workouts (which weren't easy either BTW) it was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with him today.  One minute we were chatting it up and I was stretching, the next he was like "DON'T STOP OR I WILL JUST ADD MORE TIME!!!!"  I can't wait til I get to the point where I'm telling him, "is that all you got?!?!"  Now....that will probably take like 6 months, but hey when it happens, don't think I am not gonna talk that ISH!

Now...I cannot wait to weigh in on Wednesday!  As Bob Harper on the NBC's The Biggest Loser says, "That scale owes me this week!"

Exciting new week ahead!

I am so excited about this week.  I am finally finding my stride with working out, which was the missing puzzle piece for me.  Thank you ladies for following my blog back.  I actually never really expected to gain any followers.  A friend of mine who has a successful hip-hop music blog said he was going to start one about his weight loss journey and I thought OMG that is a great idea.  And I really do enjoy it.  I have never been one to write in a journal but I really enjoy documenting my feelings about this weight loss thing.  It is therapeutic and reading the chronicles of other ladies who are on the same journey is really supportive, inspiring, and motivational.

Over the weekend, I decided to make myself a special breakfast.  Normally I have oatmeal.  Which I am not even tired of yet, but just because I had the extra time, I decided to which it up and fix myself something "special."  I used 1/4 cup of egg substitute, Low-fat Mexican cheese and some left over Pico de Gallo.  I have never before made an omelette without meat, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!  The tomatoes really set it off and I had a cup of grapes with it.  I also cooked for the first couple of days for the week, both lunch and dinner.  Black bean soup for lunch and Mesquite turkey meatballs with fiesta corn for dinner!  YUMMY!

I am getting impatient because I want to see results NOW!  My short term goal is to make it into the 150's and I really want that to happen sometime in March.  But I am trying to tell myself the results will come, I just have to stay consistent and stick to my plan.