Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Finding My Power

Someone shared the following quote on Facebook today and I have made it my new motto:

"You've always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself."
Glinda in The Wizard of Oz

When I read the above quote today something clicked inside my head.  I have always had the power inside of me to change my health for the better.  I just had to believe it.  And nothing is more empowering than progress.  As of today, I can report that I have lost two more pounds bringing my total loss to six pounds since returning home from vacation.  

This new journey is not easy; but what is that old saying?  "Nothing worth having ever came easy."

Getting a handle on my eating habits has been easier than increasing my activity levels.  My biggest problem is lack of energy.  At the moment I am really battling my insomnia.  No sleep equals one very sluggish woman.  However, I am aware that regular exercise will produce more energy and boost positive emotions; so I'm going to start putting one foot in front of the other and pushing through.  Hopefully my sleeping will improve as well.

Speaking of exercise, I promised that I would keep you all apprised of my Zumba experience.  I was very optimistic and excited about trying it.  But I really should have considered how terribly uncoordinated I am before I ordered the DVD.  I suffered a temporary lapse in judgement; I forgot that I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time.  That being said, I'm not giving up.  I'm just going to move and try to have fun at the same time.  Like I've said before, if I don't like it, I won't do it.

Before I go, I want to share a few tips/tricks that I am finding helpful.  Maybe they will work for you too.

  • Munch on Crushed Ice:  This keeps me from looking for something to eat between meals.  Added benefit; I'm upping my water intake.
  • Brush Your Teeth or Chew Minty Sugar Free Gum:  Brushing my teeth or chewing minty sugar free gum will temporarily cause foods/treats to taste bad.  
  • My Fitness Pal:  As I mentioned in my earlier post, at you can sign-up for a free account and journal your meals, exercise, and progress.  I can't recommend this tool enough.  It is essential for me to keep track of my calories so that I don't get off course.
It is my hope that sharing my journey will encourage others who are struggling.  I am by no means a professional. There are going to be ups and downs and I am going to make mistakes along the way.  But I feel like I have finally found my power.  I encourage you to search within yourself and find yours too.  It's there, you just have to believe it!

Until next time, God bless!!!  :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

This Is Me

This is me.  This picture was taken in late June while I was on vacation with my family.  I was miserable.  I couldn't walk and breathe at the same time.

This vacation was a wake up call for me.  I had to do something to change my health.  I did not want to go on being this way.  There were a couple of moments during this vacation that I cried because of how uncomfortable I was in my own body.

I haven't always been this heavy but  I have always struggled with my weight.  When I was about 14 - 15 years old I had reached 200 pounds. That's way too much weight for someone who is only a hair over five foot tall. I decided then to make a change.  I started counting calories and exercising and I managed to lose 70 pounds over the next year.

I kept the weight off for the most part (it was a constant struggle) until I was married.

When I was pregnant with my son I gained 40 pounds.  When he was born he weighed ten pounds and before I left the hospital I had lost 27 pounds.  I lost the rest of the baby weight before returning to work, but I was still a little heavier than I wanted to be.

My son was about two years old when I started Weight Watchers online.  I started losing at a pretty steady pace and was feeling a lot better about myself.  Then something went wrong.

I was dead on my feet.  I was so tired and sleepy (me the insomniac) all the time; all I wanted to do was sleep.  My hair started falling out, my skin broke out, my fingernails were splitting and chipping, and I started gaining weight quickly.  I gained 30 pounds in a month!  I thought I was dying.

I made an appointment and went to see my doctor.  After running some tests, he discovered  that my thyroid had basically quit working.  I have been taking medication for hypothyroidism since that day.

Losing the weight was much harder after that.  It seemed I had to work much harder and it came off very slowly.  I battled with the scales, up and down, up and down.  I eventually just gave up.  I was tired of fighting.

You know what happened then?  I gained more weight.

That brings me to the present.  Here I am, not the heaviest I've ever been, but way too heavy for my small stature and miserable in my own skin.  I'm being gut-wrenchingly honest here.  I don't normally talk about something this personal to me in this open a manner.  My weight is a very personal and embarrassing issue to me.

I have lost four pounds since I returned from vacation.  I'm eating less and moving more.  I'm trying to make positive healthy changes in my life.  I have a long way to go before I reach my goal but I'm more determined than ever to get there.

I have decided to write about this journey because I know I'm not the only person fighting this battle.  I hope that writing about it will help me stay on track.  Maybe it will help you too.  I welcome your encouragement, tips, or even questions (no haters please).

God Bless...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Keeping Track Keeps Me On Track

I always do my best when I keep track of what I eat.  In the past I have used a notebook to keep up with my daily calorie intake but not anymore.  I have found a free, easy to use, website/phone app that makes this task a lot easier.

At you can sign up for a free account.  It allows you to enter your stats, such as weight, height, measurements, etc.  This information is used to calculate how many calories you can consume each day and still lose weight. You can also plug in your exercise and find out how many calories you burn.

One of the features I absolutely love is the iPhone app, which is also free.  It has a scan option that allows you to scan the bar code on a food label and add it to your diary right from your phone. This makes it so easy to keep up on the go.

MyFitnessPal isn't just a place to track your calories and exercise though.  You can also blog, keep track of weight lose, make friends, interact with other members through the community and so much more.  You have to check it out for yourself.

Check it out at:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Little Victories

I lost four pounds this week - whoop, whoop!!!  Everybody do the happy dance.  I know I did when I saw the numbers on the scale.

I have finally found my groove again.  I started swimming laps this week.  I have only been able to do ten and that has been a great challenge.  This old girl isn't used to that much exertion yet.  I had to take more than a few breathing breaks during those ten laps.  It feels good though to be making an effort and a change.

Today, when I did those laps I was able to take fewer breathing breaks.  I took that as a sign that I'm building my endurance and soon I will have to add some laps.

I also made some adjustments to my eating.  I am trying to eat less.  I haven't put myself on a real restrictive diet.  I don't do well with eliminating foods.  My main goal at this point in time is to eat less and move more.

I think the fact that the scale showed a four pound loss this week indicates that this plan is working for me.  I am really encouraged by this small victory, which to me seems bigger than it probably does to those of you reading this.  I have been struggling for so long to get my mind back in this place.  The place where I feel I am in control.

I also ordered a Zumba DVD.  I just received it in the mail yesterday and I am looking forward to checking it out.  My hope is that it will be a fun form of exercise that I can switch up with my swimming workouts.  It's important for me to find exercise that I will enjoy.  If I don't like it, I won't do it.  It's just that simple.

I'm really excited and I want to encourage anyone out there who is struggling to just hang in there.  Try something new and don't beat yourself up.

I'll let ya'll know how the Zumba goes!

God bless...