Video: Confessions of an Ex-Fat Girl (Taking FAT 4 granted)!

Learning to Kick My Own Butt - July Challenge!

Hi all! I've been on the lazy train for a couple of weeks months. I've been true to my word and have not taken on extra work projects until the fall. I am 82% Type A so having a lot of down time drives me crazy. Instead of taking the day by storm, I tend to sit with my thoughts for too long, which sends me down a road I don't want to travel. I'm not even a TV junkie, but the web on the other hand... I don't know where all of my motivation went. I'm thoroughly sick of reverting back to old habits. We are half way through the year and I don't have much to show for it.

All of that said, I've decided to start a personal challenge for July. I'll exercise every scheduled days (noted in calendar) and/or at least 3xs a week, and take my vitamins (multi & D) and drink at least 8 cups of water everyday. I'm not even touching my diet until I feel I can tackle these things. I'm getting ready to go to the gym in what seems like years. Later!

Manhattan Bridge Recap

I swear this is not a photo blog! I'll be back soon with a "real" post but until then, here are some shots of our walk over the Manhattan Bridge (from 5.30.09):

The views are absolutely amazing. Not many people at all. It just might be better than the Brooklyn Bridge, but we will see. I wasn't really looking forward to this walk, but I'm so glad we did it. We had lunch at a great place right off of the bridge in Chinatown and made out way back to our car on the Brooklyn side. I recommend parking in Brooklyn as it's almost impossible in Chinatown.

One big down side is definitely the noise. The train passes very frequently and right next to the walk path. On the plus side, the walk path and bike paths are separated. There were only a few stray bikers to watch out for. Next up, the Brooklyn Bridge!

Williamsburg Bridge Walk - recap

Here are a few photos from last weekend's bridge walk.

There were many of bikers and joggers taking advantage of the beautiful weather.

Looking over South Brooklyn. I'm a fan of tasteful/artful grafitti so I really appreciated some of the work seen over the bridge.

It was a lovely day. The bridge span is 1.4 miles each way. We speed walked (spedwalked?) at times but the view was just too beautiful to ignore. We walked around the neighborhood under the bridge and rested at a park before making our way over.

As you probably can tell, I'm completely distracted when it comes to talking about fitness. I need to regain focus. I've been very busy with work but (happily) things are slowing down for me. I've been extremely focused on work but have decided to not take on any new clients until autumn. I'll only ramp up on work if absolutely necessary. I want to enjoy the spring and summer and make some time to get into the gym again.

We'll walk the Manhattan Bridge next weekend. We're going to a baseball game at the new Citi Field tomorrow. Have a lovely weekend!

Commencing Bridge Walk 2009

Last week's 5K event has sparked a goal-setting craze in me. There was something about starting and completing the event that has given me a feeling of accomplishment. Something I miss since finishing school. I've decided to keep the good vibes going for as long as I can.

The weather here in New York City couldn't get any better. Now is the time for us New Yorkers to get out and enjoy the city for all of its glory. One thing I've always wanted to do is walk/jog over all of lower East River bridges which include the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. I plan on making this a reality over the next couple of weeks.

I'm starting with the Williamsburg Bridge because it's always intrigued me. My family lives nearby in Manhattan and I feel it's the lesser known/respected of the three bridges. I plan on jogging in both directions with a stop over in Williamsburg for lunch with the hubby.

I encourage everyone to walk/jog your local bridges. I've walked the Brooklyn and George Washington bridges before and loved it! It's a great way to enjoy beautiful scenery and burn a few calories. I might expand this to other crossings. Stay tuned for pictures!

Run For The Wild - My First 5K

As I type this right now, my calves and shins are punishing me for the beating I laid on them yesterday. We arrived at The Bronx Zoo at 7:30am to check-in and received our tees. The first mistake I made was not eating breakfast before we left. I was hoping there would be food for sale. There was only free coffee, which I was very grateful for after 5 hours of sleep. The weather was absolutely perfect. Mid-fifties at the start of the race. A sponsor held a yoga session to stretch us out, which totaled at about 3,000 people!

We stayed at the back of the pack with the children and strollers. I had no intention of running. We speed-walked 95% of the way with a short jog in the middle. My second mistake was wearing leggings that kept creeping down! I had to constantly pull them up which definitely slowed me down. It's unfortunate because my legs actually felt better while jogging. The scenery along the walk was wonderful. We had glimpses of animals and bird songs to keep us going. The walk was hilly and curvy at times which definitely worked out my thigh muscles.

Everyone was in a wonderful mood. The last mile felt like an eternity. My shins and calves were on fire for the first 2 miles. My legs felt better during the last mile but my lungs began to burn. We made a turn and finally saw the '3 mile' sign. We finished! A radio station was at the finish line to greet us with cheers, and jokes. I forgot to check our time, but I'd say we ended in around 1 hour. Tables were set up with goodies and food! I was totally surprised when I saw fruit, yogurt, breads and water. Everyone received a goodie bag with a free toy (an eco-friendly themed Diego toy), organic body wash and smaller freebies. My face was a nice shade of red but I was very surprised at how well I felt. I was back to 100% after the snacks.

Tiki Barber ran and later signed autographs. There were also free massages. The lines for both were way too long so I snapped a few shots of Tiki and we moved on.

We made our way to the Congo exhibit since we received free tickets. We went to see what we huffed and puffed for. The biggest gorilla sat right in the middle of the display window for us. He seemed very relaxed and just gazed at us as his family strolled and played in the background. He was probably more worried about 'mastering his domain', but he just might have been thanking us. Ok, maybe not.

I'd say it was a complete success being it was their first annual 5K and they managed to raise a decent amount of money. I will definitely do this event again and will sign up for other 5K events. I've taken away a couple of lessons such as:

Get enough sleep!
Wear comfortable (and fitting) clothing.
Eat a nutrient-rich meal beforehand.
Stretch before and afterward thoroughly.
Take a painkiller before bed.

On top of the 5K, my family and I took an impromptu road trip up to Bear Mountain State Park. We picnicked and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and scenery. My husband and I were tired and are paying the piper today but it was a great day!

Link Love - April 24, 2009

5K Run for the Wild - Bronx Zoo - April 25, 2009

Run to help save Gorillas in 2009. We need your help in protecting a species that is at great risk of extinction. Sign up now for Run for the Wild and start the race to save Gorillas. Or if you can’t participate in the event, you can still take action by making a pledge!

My husband and I will be participating in the 5K walk/run this Saturday, April 25th. My first 5K ever!! Come join us!

Breakfast of (Busy) Champions

Pardon my absence. I've been (luckily) bogged down with work. Per usual, it's thrown my routine into a little spin, but I've been eating healthy.

I just cooked a small batch of pancakes (yes, at 8pm) for my husband. He's gotten into the habit of cooking breakfast the night before. He always assumed pancakes during the week were out of the question because they take too much work and time to make. On a recent trip to the supermarket, I picked up a box of Fiber One Complete pancake mix. The look of hope on his face said it all. "But, it will take too long to cook in the morning." I showed him the 3 steps and two ingredients (mix and water) and he fell in love. Since no dairy is added, he can probably mix a batch, cook in the morning and leave in the fridge for a couple of days. I was surprised at how well he makes them. They come out nicely browned and fluffy. I'm lacking in the pancake making skills department to say the least.

I'm not a pancake lover. I'm not even an egg lover unless they're over easy with home fries and turkey bacon. My breakfast of choice is a parfait aka strained yogurt, pecan praline granola, and sliced strawberries. I love fage but the price is too high. I buy a couple of tubs of low fat plain yogurt and strain it in my fridge over night. I sweeten it with a little pure cane sugar. This is also my dessert of choice. Granola is a bit high in calories so I might try muesli soon. My standbys are farina and my favorite cereal of all time, Raisin Nut Bran with 2% milk. I've been eating this since I was in my tweens. My choices are not the healthiest but are better than most options out there...and delicious.

What's your breakfast of choice?

Video: Easy Diet Tips For Cutting Calories

Getting (Wii) Fit

It sure has been a bumpy ride getting back in the wagon. I'm getting back into my exercise routine albeit very slowly. There's really no excuse for my laziness. On a good note, my shin splints have eased up considerably. I think the new sneakers and gel insoles have made a huge difference.

I had a $40 certificate for Best Buy and had no idea what to buy...until I remembered the Wii Fit! I called ahead and had one put aside. I intend on using it in conjunction with my regular workouts at the gym. I'm going to try for 30 days straight and then I'll alternate days or do a double workout if I'm feeling energetic.

The games are fun and gave me a nice burn in my legs. The short distance run left me out of breath. I exercised this morning so that might be why it was difficult for me. I really like the balance games and have yet to try the yoga poses. I might do the yoga in the morning to start my day.

Here are a few more exercise games for your Wii:
Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009
Golds Gym Cardio Workout - 3/31/09
EA Sports Active - 5/19/09

Hi, Remember Me?

It's been a tough couple of weeks trying to fall back into my routine after vacay. I've had a lot on my mind lately. I've been a little preoccupied with planning and researching for a possible change in my life. My health has sort of slipped from the forefront but I've made a few strides to keep things on the right path. Some of my bad habits have come back to haunt, especially not drinking enough water. I haven't tracked my food intake since before vacation. I've been stress eating a bit although no where near as bad as in the past. I've slipped in a couple of workouts since returning but I need to really get into the gym on a regular basis again. First step's admitting I have a problem...right?

The good news is I'm down a pound from my pre-vacation weigh-in. I was actually up 4 pounds when I got back which I'm sure was due to sodium and dessert overload. Spring is around the corner so it's time to kick back into high gear. I'll start tracking and planning meals tomorrow.

Side note: I just re-discovered Fage yogurt. I tried it once without a sweetner and was overwhelmed by the tart taste. I decided to try it again with Splenda (yea, I'm weening myself off) and my usual granola. It is DELICIOUS! It's expensive but if it makes me look forward to breakfast than I'm all for it.

Link Love - February 26, 2009

Video: The Truth about Splenda/Sucralose!

Eek! This guy is making a lot of sense. But oh how I love Splenda. The idea that it is made from sugar always made me feel safe. Come to find out it is a highly altered chemical. I've tried agave nectar (not sweet enough) and cane sugar. I really like cane sugar but it's just empty calories. I'm very interested in Stevia and may pick some up soon.

On Vacation!

I'll be back next week fully refreshed and ready to rekindle my fitness fire!

Video: Weight Loss Tips: Muscle!!!

I've begun to (very slowly) incorporate weight training into my routine. Muscle is extremely important for revving up our metabolisms and (eventually) maintaining weight loss. Beginning in March, I will add a weight training routine two days a week at home in addition to my usual cardio workouts.

How NOT to Sabatoge Your Weight Loss on Vacation

"Genius (or success in my case) is one percent inspiration and 99 perspiration." -Thomas Alva Edison

My husband and I will be vacationing and visiting fam in the Carribean next week. It's nerve-racking thinking about all the ways I can sabotage myself. I've always threw caution to the wind on vacations and returned with at least a couple of pounds gained. Our last vacation was all-inclusive which is a dieter's worst nightmare. To avoid the debauchery, I'll actually have a plan of attack this time.

It turns out there are no all-inclusive hotels in the area of the island we're visiting. We booked a room with a kitchen and dining area. What's even nicer is there's a deck at which we can eat our meals facing the water. The first thing we'll do after checking in is hitting the supermarket. We'll cook ALL of our breakfasts, some lunches and stock up on bottled water, fruit and snacks to bring with us on outings.

Because we'll be in the Caribbean, I'll try to have as much (steamed/baked) seafood and fruit (mmm mango!) as I can stomach. It will be difficult to stay strong as most dishes are fried on the island but I'll try to keep my meals, especially dinner, as healthy as possible. I'll allow myself 3 dinners that I won't obsess over. Drinks alone can easily put me over my calories for the day. One Piña Colada can easily top 700 calories! I'll stick to light beers and wine (and maybe one Piña Colada.) I'm bringing my laptop in hopes that I'll have a connection and can track my calories.

We'll be on the coast for 5 days and the mountains for 4. I'll be packing my sneakers to have long (1 hour minimum) walks on the beach and then in the mountains every other day. I think it'll be a great way to explore our surroundings, snap pictures and keep active. My aunt is vegetarian and a very healthy (and excellent) cook so I'm pretty excited to see (and taste) what she cooks up. I missed her famous shrimp soup the last time I visited because I was sick. I'll be the first one at the table if she makes it again.

Valen-birthday Weekend and New Workout Gear

I declared this weekend to be my birthday weekend since 1. I don't usually celebrate my weekend in such an obnoxious way and 2. I turned the big 3-0. I received a beautiful bouquet of white roses on Valentine's morning. I plan on keeping them alive for as long as possible. We then went to the movies and dinner Saturday and Sunday. We're also going out tonight since today is my actual birthday. We already discussed what we're going to eat since we've overindulged a bit this weekend. We've had Vietnamese and Indian. We'll stick to (steamed) seafood today.

I've had terrible shin splints the last couple of weeks. I think I overdid it when I exercised 4 days in a row and jogged one extra minute. Yes, one measly minute may have sent me into a world of pain. I now realize shin splints are a big part of the reason I've stopped working out in the past. In the past, one session with this pain would have me give up. At the suggestion of a group member, we went to pick up a new pair of sneakers for me. I'm very picky when it comes to sneakers. They all look like abominations to me. I grab the least tacky pair and went to look around the store. As I passed by the sales rack, I saw the beautiful pair you see to the right. As you can see, I have a very "clean" aesthetic. They happened to have one pair in my size! I then saw another pair out of the corner of my eye, exactly in my size, and snatched those up as well. They were half off so I figure I can have a back up or a pair to wear out and about. I also bought a pair of gel insoles. I tried them out today and they helped a lot with my heel pain. These sneakers are extremely comfortable. Oh and the sneakers have my birth year on them. It was meant to be!

I planned on buying cloth bandages to wrap my shins/calves to help reduce the shin pain during workouts. I found these shin splint support wraps. They're more than I wanted to pay but they seem like they'll last a long time and they're a breeze to put on. They're a little too tight but I hope they'll stretch out. I wore them today and the pain wasn't as extreme as usual. I feel pretty bad because I can't jog right now. I'm trying to keep up with my usual MPH (3.5) but the pain is pretty bad. Rest is just about the only way to heal but I just can't. I'm going to continue to exercise but may split my cardio between the treadmill and the elliptical (ugh.) My husband asked to pay for it all which really made my day. Not only because he paid, but because I received gifts that reinforce my goal of getting fit!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you all have a lovely and romantic day! My mantra today will simply be Moderation. I'll skip the bread basket today and have a glass (or two) of Rosé instead of a fruity cocktail. I'll have one slice of whatever yummy dessert I choose. I'm not a chocoholic but cheesecake on the other hand can easily be my demise. If your other half asks what you'd like, shoot for flowers, jewelry...basically anything without calories. Of course if you cave, there are always other ways to work off those calories...

Here are some healthy and decadent desserts to enjoy!
Strawberries with Cream Cheese
Raspberry Swirl Frozen Dessert
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cheesecake

Beginning to Love the Treadmill

Never thought I'd say this...but...I love the treadmill. I really do. It's so challenging some days but there are days, like today, that I feel like I've really accompished something. Right now I'm fluctuating between a 30 and 40 minute speed walk. I always run in the middle for a few minutes. Today I tacked on another minute. A personal best! I've also noticed my breathing and heat rate is steadier than a month ago. My goal is to be able to jog a 5K without stopping. Hoping to accomplish this by autumn. Here are some things that cross my mind while exercising:

"I only have ONE body and one life." wait, is that from a commercial?
"They're just legs, they can take the beating!"
"I will look so much better in my 30's than my 20's."
"I will be a MILF one day!"
"I want to be the old lady that still exercises."
"I am stronger than I think I am."

My weight loss has slowed down a bit but I'm happy that I had a loss this week. I exceeded my calorie limit by a little bit a couple of days and I skipped a couple of workouts. I had a stressful week but I'm back on track and looking forward to a great weigh-in next week.

EDIT: I knew that first quote was from a commercial! Check it out here. Boy, talk about TV affecting the subliminal mind. LOL

Peek into My Fridge and Goals

Click to enlarge photos. Here's a peek into my fridge after 1. a new, and clean fridge was delivered and 2. after a weekly grocery trip. As you can see we really love dairy. Well, I actually love dairy. I might even be addicted to cheese. Yogurt with granola and strawberries is a breakfast I can't have just about everyday. I don't eggs though. That's for the hubby. We refill the water jug from the tap with our Brita filter. Diet soda isn't great, but we love it. There are potatoes and cassava in the crisper drawers. There are also tons of condiments, dressings and spices on the fridge door.

Lots of fish and chicken towards the back of the freezer. The garlic naan is a bit high in calories (190 each) but they make a good lunch when topped with marinara sauce and part-skim mozzarella. We usually keep a bag of broccoli and other veggies around for quick dinners. The frozen mango and passion fruit (middle) are great for shakes. Haven't made one in a while, might have one for lunch tomorrow.

I managed to lose 7 pounds in January. My goal was 8 pounds but I'd call it pretty much a success. Here are my accomplishments for January:
  • Exercised 10 days

  • Increased my treadmill time by 5 minutes, increased speed by .5 mph

  • Tracked my food intake everyday

Here are my goals for February:
  • Exercise 4xs a week (16 days)

  • Drink more water

  • No eating after 8:30pm

  • Increase treadmill time by 5 minutes

  • Exercise and track calories while on vacation

Video: Despair is Useless!

I was swallowed up by despair during many half-assed attempts at getting fit. A small gain or no loss would break me. Not anymore. The only way to work at weight loss is rationally. She has lost 59.8 pounds in a healthy way. Congrats!

I'll be back with a proper post/progress report soon. Come and join the 'Getting Fit in 2009' group at!

Video: Keeping the Confidence-Lose the W.E.I.G.H.T

This may not be for everyone but I love this woman's confidence! Her weight loss story is very inspirational. Check out her YouTube channel here.

Video: Tips Eat Less Food w/out Hunger & Loss Weight, Nutrition

I eat out of boredom. My biggest meal is usually dinner (bad, I know). This is my only meal with my husband. It's our time to de-stress and talk about the day. I guess I associate dinner with comfort.

I usually have outrageous portion sizes for dinner. I need to start taking a doggie bag instead of finish my plate when eating out. At home, I need to practice portion control.

My biggest problem is skipping meals, usually breakfast and/or lunch. I am ravenous by dinner which is why I have the huge potion sizes.

Making Conscious Food Choices: Red Meat

I've taken an in-depth look at my food log. I notice I've only eaten red meat once in the last week. Thinking about it, our meat consumption has decreased tremendously in the last 5 years. I was raised on a very heavy, red meat diet. The first change I noticed after moving out on my own was I was buying pork very rarely. I now buy pork chops maybe 4 times a year. I consider pork a red meat even though it technically isn't. I don't like the taste as much as I used to and it upsets my stomach. The smell of pork roast makes me sick. I still eat it during holidays, but in very small amounts.

One reason I've cut down on buying meat is health reasons. I try to buy mainly organic products...with the exception of meat. The amount of hormones and other harmful chemicals in our meat (as well as other everyday products) is astonishing. I already feel bombarded by toxins from other means everyday of my life. I don't feel the need to eat toxins as well. There are many more benefits for eating organic meat besides the few I list here.

Another reason why we've lowered our consumption of red meat is the cost. It is still pretty expensive to buy organic, farm-raised meat...when I can find it. FYI: Just because the meat is organic doesn't necessarily mean it was treated humanely. The price of non-organic meat has been on the rise for years. I noticed small price increases until one day the price was over $2 more than I paid the previous year. I decided to start cooking less meat-based meals to save a few bucks. I used to think fish was more expensive until I compared prices. I now buy fish/seafood/poultry in family-sized packages. The price is usually less than or equal to a its equivalent of red meat.

Last but probably the most important reason to me is purely ethical. I've watched many videos showing the way animals are tortured. Don't even get me started on veal. I've eaten it once in my life. Never again. There is absolutely no reason to torture an animal that is already being sacrificed to feed us. We as Americans don't think about where our meat came from. We see a nicely butchered piece of meat but don't think of the animal it once was a part of. I'm far from being a vegetarian. I love poultry and don't think I can ever give up eating chicken or turkey. I can however make informed choices and develop healthy eating habits. I plan on being (almost) 100% organic when I have children.

EDIT-1/17/09: Today is my cheat day so I'm recording this morning's weigh-in (instead of tomorrow.) 1.2 pound loss!

Video: Healthy Fast Food Menu Item?

My healthy fast food of choice is a Subway sandwich on wheat bread with a vinaigrette dressing. Sometimes I go with a chicken salad or chili and baked potato from Wendy's.

Update and Reflection

I have to say, I'm really proud of myself. I haven't been so diligent about logging my food in...years...ever? You can check out my food log by clicking The Daily Plate button to the right. I had a few days of going over my calorie limit. In the past this would have thrown me into a spin but now it's a way to see my mistakes.

I think I might have finally taken the blindfold off. I hate looking in the mirror. HATE it. But I took a long look and see that I've really neglected my body. It's as if I didn't really know I was fat, I just ignored the situation. Well, it's time to like what I see in the mirror again.

  • Lost weight two weeks in a row!
  • Logged my food for two weeks in a row.
  • Taking vitamins (just about) every day.
  • Only exercised once in the last two weeks. I've been sick with bronchitis. I'm finally on the mend and will workout at home for now.
  • Still not drinking enough water. I want to buy a reusable 1/2 gallon container to fill nightly.
Lessons Learned
  • Logging food right before or soon after allows me to see how many calories I'm allowed for the rest day. The days I've gone over are partly because I logged my whole day at once. If I would have known I was close to my limit, I probably would've cooked a lighter dinner or skipped dessert.
  • Planning a daily menu is far easier than trying to plan for a week or longer at a time. I list my meals for the following day on my dry erase board in the evening.

Video: Hungry? Hunger Control, Cravings, Weight Loss, Nutrition

This is a long video but worth the time. I am very guilty of confusing thirst with hunger. I didn't think I was on a sugar cycle. I was hyperglycemic as a teenager and still suffer from horrible fatigue. I know this was directly related to my eating habits. I still have the habit of not eating until the afternoon but I'm trying to break this habit.

How I Fight Cravings

I've scoured the internet and read many magazine articles and books on how to fight cravings. Usually once a craving hits, it's all I can think of. I'm still at the beginning of this food journey. Here are a few tips that are keeping me sane.

I do not keep non-healthy treats at home. I don't even walk down the junk food isle. Ok, I speed walk past to grab the popcorn but you get the point. I just don't buy it! I also make sure I eat before I shop so I don't pick up that barrel-sized ice cream. On the flip side, I try to have healthy snacks on hand.

I have one cheat day a week. I actually skipped my first 'cheat day' to try and get my cravings in check. I'm not sure if I'll make it a cheat day or meal. I'm leaning more toward a cheat meal for the first month to get into the habit of eating healthy.

I've also come up with alternatives to my favorite junk foods. Here are my favorites:

Dairy/Ice cream: Edy's Slow Churned Light Ice Cream or Rice Pudding
Ice cream is my all-time favorite dessert (even though I'd eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could.) I'm very picky about ice cream and have tried quite a few low fat varieties. This brand is very close to the real thing with no yucky after taste. My favs are Vanilla Bean and Butter Pecan. I also love rice pudding and have found a 1/2 cup with cinnamon and light whipped cream to be just as satisfying as a full serving of ice cream.

Salty/Chips: Smart Foods White Cheddar Popcorn
This is what I reach for when I'm in the mood for a salty, crunchy snack.

Soda: Sparkling Water
I love flavored sparkling water. No calories, fat, or sugar. The perfect drink.

Candy: Gum or Hard Candy
I keep trident in my bag at all times. Hard candies are long lasting (don't chew, let it melt!) and pack lots of flavor. I also like Werther's or Nips caramel candies. One goes a long way.

Savory/Crunchy: Hummus with Veggies
I love Trader Joe's kalamata hummus with celery slices or baby carrots.

If you feel that you absolutely need that one. Savor it. Pretend it's the last cookie on the planet. Usually a few bites is all your brain needs to be satisfied. Don't beat yourself up for it. Enjoy it and move on.

Video: Nutrition and Your Mental Health

I have been a bit more conscious of how I feel in relation to what I eat lately. My allergies are usually worse after I eat dairy products. I feel sluggish and my nose is stuffed when I wake up after eating a high sodium meal. I am tired after a huge meal or not drinking enough water during the day.

Oprah's Best Life Week: 5 Questions to Consider

Oprah had a great show today on her experience with weight gain in 2008. This is the start of her Best Life series. I highly suggest that you watch this week. Here are a 5 questions her trainer, Bob Greene, have asked us to answer.

Why am I overweight?
The easy answer in overeating. But my reality is that I have major food issues. I realized recently that I began to overeat when my parents divorced. You'd think it would have been obvious, but it took me almost two decades to see the connection. I used food as a way to escape my reality. I also picked up bad eating habits as a child. I lost about 50 pounds during my teenage years due to stress, excessive cigarette and marijuana use and depression.

Since all of the weight was lost very fast, I gained the weight back once my life became a little more balanced. I soon surpassed a healthy weight because I had not learned to eat healthy or exercised. On top of this, my weight and appearance in general was far down on priority list. I told myself once I am "where I want to be" in life, I'll focus on my health. This is really unrealistic since there will always be a "reason" to spin out of control. Well, I'm done with school (for the time being), my finances are in control, my marriage is stable...there are no other excuses!

What am I really hungry for?
I was hungry for success. It sounds positive but I now see it as a negative. I am very afraid of failure, so afraid that it hinders me. I have to keep telling myself: perfection is not a realistic option. Success in my eyes was really all about preconceptions. I have the horrible trait of being a people pleaser. It's now time to learn to be happy with myself.

Why have I been unable to maintain weight loss in the past?
I haven't learned to love myself regardless of my weight, affluence, or any other superficial trait. I also haven't learned to take the time to focus on my health. My health has been on the back burner for far too long. For a long time, I felt I wasn't worth the time, or it was selfish to do so. I've put everything from school to my job before me.

What in your life is not working?
My level of stress. I stress out just to stress out. It's like it's embedded in my DNA. I have some family issues I need to work out. The truth is, in comparison to so many people in this world, my life is fabulous. I need to remind myself of this every day.

Why do I want to lose weight?
I want to feel healthy again! Some of the health problems I've experienced in the past year are: asthma, frequent allergy attacks, fertility issues, depression and knee, foot and back pain. I also want to have a child and be able to play with him or her without getting winded. I want to live a long and healthy life and be more active.

Video: Eat Healthy Food on a Budget Tips

I began transitioning to a more organic diet in '08. Most of my reasons are ethical, others are nutritional. We know organic doesn't necessarily mean healthy but there are still tons of benefits. The price of organic food has been dropping in the last couple of years. Even so, it can still be a drain on the wallet.

In my case, I take a monthly trip to Trader Joe's to stock up on organic foods and healthy staples. I haven't tried Whole Foods only because I know the prices on most items are a little higher and I don't have a store near my home.

Other ways I stock up on healthy foods on a budget is shopping at "ethnic" supermarkets. There is a large Asian supermarket near my home that sells fresh fish and tons of fruit and vegetables year-round. I can't find most of these items at any other conventional food mart.

A Cold is No Excuse for Failure

I've been able to ignore the fact that I'm sick...until today. I woke up with a stuffy nose, sneezing, dry throat, and a congested/phlegmy chest. I don't think it's anything worse than a cold but I know I'll have to skip the gym today. A few sites I read advise against working out while sick. It really sucks because I actually want to go. I worked out for the first time in a very long time on new years day. I forgot how much I enjoy the treadmill. I had a serious self-pep talk and pumped up the house music. I hope my symptoms will subside by Monday. I don't like to take medicine unless absolutely necessary. I'll be plugging in my humidifier and drinking lots of lemony green tea (I still have loads of lemons from my master cleanse debacle.) I'll also do some floor exercises and deep stretching in loo of the gym.

I've been following a 1700 calorie limit since jan. 1. You can see my daily plate by clicking the link in the side bar. So far, so good. The hardest part is eating in regular increments and planning meals. Eating under 1700 cals is not so bad. I feel like I'm eating more food than ever before. I'll definitely fall off of the wagon if I don't eat every 3-4 hours. We just stocked up o groceries to avoid last-minute take-out orders. I've also placed my vitamins in plain sight in my bathroom. I'm currently taking a daily vitamin, complete EFA and folic acid.

In short, I refuse to let a microscopic pest throw me off course.

And if you're wondering, I've changed the blog title to Getting Fit in 2009. No excuses this year.

Video: Top 10 Motivational Tips

I will post videos every couple of days for the month of January to help start us out right for the new year. I'll share how they relate to me.

This video is purely to get our motivational juices flowing. Her tips are excellent and can be applied to many different situations and goals in our lives. Setting up reminders and reinforcing my health goals throughout all aspects of my life is something I am working hard at.

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