Training for a Sprint Triathlon – This is not a Drill!

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My sprint Tri is just 17 days away. On Labor Day morning, while others are packing up the mini van for a trip to the beach or the lake, I’ll be starting the first leg of my swim, bike, run event…and I’m nervous.

Setting the goal to participate in this event was a strategic one on my part in order to keep up with my weight loss and along the road to better health. I’m extremely goal-oriented and in order to continue incorporating exercise into my daily routine, making it a life-time behavior, I’ve been signing up for 5 and 10Ks. To shake things up a little during the summer, my friend Tanya and I decided to try a Tri.

I’ve never had swimming lessons and with no real road bike experience other than riding around on my mountain bike in the neighborhood with the kids, I knew training might be challenging. While the distance for each leg in a sprint Tri isn’t particularly long (the swim is 500 meters, the bike portion is 12 miles and the run is 3.1 miles) together  - it’s a significant endeavor.

Last night I rode 12 miles and struggled. It had been a bit since I had been on my bike. I’m still getting used to her, a beautiful, pre-owned Cervelo Tri bike that was a gift from an ultra-ironman triathlete who doesn’t even know me. There is a beautiful story here about the kindness and generosity of people, especially in this community, that I will share soon. I’m still too overwhelmed to put it into words.

My real weakness will be the swim. I’m basically teaching myself how to freestyle and figuring out the whole timing to breathing and stroking. All of my work has been in the pool but this race takes place in open water. This Sunday I’ll be trying it out for the first time and I know the experience will be different and difficult.

I worry about the unknowns like the open water swim and the two transitions the most. But when I doubt my ability, I repeat the mantra I’ve used since I started my weight loss journey a year ago…Be Brave, Be Fierce, Believe.

And I remind myself that I will not win this race, but I will finish. And that in itself is a victory.

Are you doing something outside your comfort zone? Do you set challenging goals to help keep you physically fit? Tell me about your exciting plans and if you have a mantra that gets you through the tough work-outs. 

 

 

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New Salads at Chick-fil-A (Nutritional Facts and Review)

My family loves Chick-fil-A. There’s really something on the menu for everyone. Even when I first started my weight loss journey last summer I was able to enjoy eating there guilt-free (I loved getting the grilled nuggets with a fruit cup and diet lemonade!)

StillLivingTheDream Chickfila

Now I’m a lifetime Weight Watchers member, but I still pay close attention to the choices I make when I go out to eat. I was very excited to hear that last month, Chick-fil-A came out with three new salads and a wrap. I’ve learned through my journey that sometimes restaurants offer salads that aren’t really healthy (at some places, you’re almost better off choosing something fried from the menu!) or if they are low in calories and fat, they don’t taste good. So I was really happy when Chick-fil-A invited me and my friends to come to the restaurant to learn more about the new items and their restaurant so we could see how they measured up.

The three new Chick-Fil-A salads include the Cobb Salad, Asian Salad and Grilled Market Salad. We learned that produce is delivered each morning to Chick-fil-A and that they make their salads several times a day from scratch in their kitchen. Chick-fil-A did away with the iceberg lettuce bed they once used to build their salads and now use an organic romaine sweet mix lettuce for all the salads. (YUM!)

Since they were introduced, the Cobb Salad has been the leader in sales so far with the Market Salad closely following in second place. Here is the break down of what is in each salad, nutritional information and what we thought!

StillLivingTheDream ChickfilaCobb

1. Cobb Salad: 430 calories, 22 grams fat, 21 grams carbs, 5 grams fiber, 39 grams protein (Weight Watchers 11 PP)

Contains fried chicken nuggets, romaine lettuce mix, shredded red cabbage and carrots, roasted corn kernels, shredded blend of Monterrey jack and cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, diced egg and grape tomatoes.

You can top the salad with a packet of charred tomato crispy red bell peppers (add 80 calories, 6 grams of fat, 6 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber and 1 gram protein which is 2 Weight Watcher PP).

They suggest using the Avocado Lime Ranch dressing which packs on a whopping 310 calories, 32 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbs, 0 grams fiber and 1 gram of protein for just a 2 ounce packet (9 Weight Watcher PP)! The Buttermilk Ranch dressing (another popular Cobb salad dressing) isn’t much better with 280 calories, 30 grams fat, 2 grams carb, 0 gram fiber, 1 gram protein (8 Weight Watcher PP). Neither is the Spicy Dressing containing 270 calories, 27 grams fat, 4 grams carb, 0 gram fiber and 1 gram protein (7 Weight Watcher PP).

The verdict: Moms who selected this salad loved the taste. We suggest using the Fat Free Honey Mustard dressing which is a better option with only 100 calories, 0 grams fat, 23 grams carb, 1 gram fiber and 0 gram protein (2 Weight Watcher PP). Karen did this and said it was delicious!

Note: We really like that Chick-Fil-A uses 100 percent refined peanut oil and a pressure cooker instead of an open fryer for their fried food. They also clean out the oil after every three batches and hand bread each nugget.

StillLivingTheDream ChickfilaAsian

2. Asian Salad: 330 calories, 13 grams fat, 24 gram carb, 5 grams fiber, 29 gram protein (8 Weight Watcher PP)

Contains fried chicken nuggets, shredded red and green cabbage, carrots and mandarin orange segments.

You can top the salad with Chinese garlic and ginger wontons (70 calories, 4 grams fat, 8 grams carb, 0 grams fiber, 2 grams protein which is 2 Weight Watchers PP) and honey Thai almonds (40 calories, 3 grams fat, 3 grams carb, 1 gram fiber and 1 gram protein (1 Weight Watchers PP). They also suggest the Honey Sesame dressing 170 calories, 12 grams fat, 16 grams carb, 0 gram fiber, 1 gram protein (5 Weight Watcher PP).

The verdict: This salad is delicious! The dressing really makes the salad great so we don’t recommend using an alternative…if you want to cut down calories/fat try using only half the Sesame dressing packet…a little goes a long way! The wontons and almonds are great, too (Patti said she loved eating the almonds right out of the bag…they have a great little kick to them!)

StillLivingTheDream ChickfilaMarket

3. Market Salad: 180 calories, 4 grams fat, 24 grams carbs, 5 grams fiber, 29 grams protein (6 Weight Watchers PP)

Contains grilled chicken strips, shredded red cabbage and carrots, crumbled blue cheese, red and green apple bits, strawberries and blueberries.

You can add harvest nut granola (60 calories, 3 grams fat, 8 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber and 1 gram protein which is 2 Weight Watchers PP) and roasted nut blend (80 calories, 8 grams fat, 3 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein which is 2 Weight Watcher PP). They suggest the Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette dressing (230 calories, 19 fat grams, 16 grams carbs, 0 grams fiber and 0 grams protein which is 7 Weight Watchers PP).

The verdict: This is the healthiest option of the three and also very delicious. They use the normal chicken filets (not the chargrilled chicken) without breading. We especially loved the organic blueberries and strawberries. Angie liked the salad without the toppings. I wanted a little more flavor and crunch but not as much calories/fat, so I  added  half a packet of the nut blend and granola. You could also just pick one of the two and add the whole packet.

The Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette was a little high in fat and calories/carbs so I used the Reduced Fat Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette instead (110 calories, 3.5 grams fat, 20 grams carbs, o grams fiber and o grams fiber which – only 3 Weight Watchers points) and it complimented the fruity taste of the salad perfectly. In fact, I only used half the packet of dressing!

Susan loved it with the Fat Free Honey Mustard dressing but said she was excited to try it again with one of their lower fat dipping sauces.

Another dressing option for any of the salads is the light Italian dressing with only 25 calories, 1.5 fat grams, 3 grams carbs, 0 gram fiber and 0 gram protein, only 1 Weight Watchers PP….BUT – in our opinion, what it lacks in fat/calories it also lacks in taste!

Wrap It Up….

We were impressed with the new line-up and love all the choices we can make to tailor it to our own taste and nutritional needs. Chick-fil-A is very accommodating and often make changes to menu items at their customers request. Angie said she would love the market salad chicken served hot instead of cold…which they said they would absolutely do. Love this about Chick-fil-A!

While we didn’t get to sample the new wrap…we did learn some interesting information. They once had three wraps but now just offer one. They use flaxseed oil in their tortillas instead of seeds offering health benefits but also giving the wrap more flexibility so it will roll without breaking. Nice touch! They also got rid of the tomatoes which made the wrap soggy (but I bet if you wanted them added, they would!)

What do you think about the new salads at Chick-fil-A? Have you tried the new wrap? Are you happy about the changes they are making? Let me know!

I was invited to attend a lunch to try out the new salads at Chick-fil-A. I did not receive any compensation and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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Tears of Joy at Walt Disney World

family in front of castle

For the last week my family and I have been in Florida. I was invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Conference and then we extended our stay after the conference so we could play at all the Disney parks.

I have a lot to share with you including news about fun things on the horizon from Disney, tips for bloggers and social media professionals, advice about how to make the most of a fabulous Disney family vacation, restaurant and resort reviews and much more.

We got back last night…so bittersweet. There’s no place like home but the magic of Disney is so incredible you just don’t want it all to end.

But we are back to reality today and I have thousands of pictures to sort through and so many notes to organize from our trip plus work to catch up on while I was away. The kids went back to school this morning and there will be missed school work to catch up with for them as well, swim practice to attend and a meet tomorrow morning plus many other end of year activities and events.

Life is going to get crazy busy.

But before I dive in head first…I want to share this with you. The biggest take-away from our trip.

Tears of joy.

Admittedly, I’m an emotional gal. I laugh and cry openly as I experience emotions and events that touch me in my life. I laughed a lot on our trip to Disney. As a family, we shared so many special moments of pure silliness and abandoned the illusion of “cool” (matching family t-shirts rock!) and just soaked in the moments of joy and happiness as they came. Truly living life in the moment is really living the dream and it doesn’t happen a lot for me.

And I cried.

chris and ali

First during the conference when I heard Chris Powell, trainer and transformation specialist on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, speak about making the choice to make your health a priority. He is helping transform so many people’s lives and is so inspirational.

Then I cried again when I met Ali Vincent, winner of the show The Biggest Loser whose mantra “Believe it. Be it.” helped her lose 112 pounds and she is now inspiring people all over the world that they can achieve their weight loss goals as well on the Live Well Network.

To attend the conference at this time of my life when health has become a focus for me and then to have Disney focus so much of the conference on good health was incredibly special and very emotional. My life has changed drastically since last July. Losing almost 60 pounds and making exercise a daily habit has allowed me to change my perspective and live my life in such a different, more positive way.

Much more about these two incredible people and my experiences with RunDisney later. I promise.

But first….

When the conference ended and my family played at Magic Kingdom, I cried again. Twice.

 jack with belle

The first time was when we experienced Enchanted Tales of Belle, the attraction at the new Fantasyland. During this experience kids are selected from the group to act out certain parts of the story with Belle herself. Annie was Maurice and she shivered with “cold” while holding on to a prop that looked like she was in the Beast’s dungeon. Jackson was the Beast himself. With a red cape he growled (a bit reluctantly) at different parts of the show and then at the end he danced with Belle.

Jackson is 11 and while he enjoyed it he is also at that age when he is starting to get self-conscience and a bit shy. But watching my little boy dance with Belle brought back memories of when he was a toddler and would dance around the room with me while we watched Sleeping Beauty. He was my prince then and he is today. I’m so proud of the young man he growing up to be. I cried with happiness at the memory but also the knowledge that I am so blessed to be his mom. I love this boy with all my heart and soul.

And Annie.

annie with cindy collage

My 7-year-old daughter who loves Cinderella more than anything in the world. When we met Cindy at the Magic Kingdom and got her autograph it was so magical.

step sisters

Then she met the evil step-sisters and step-mom as well – which was SO fun (Disney characters REALLY get into character at the parks…they do it so well!) But the Celebrate A Dream Come True parade at 3:00 p.m. when all the characters, dancers and floats go down Main Street was incredible.

Maybe it was because it was the last day of our trip and we left the park right after the parade, but I was overcome with emotion. Annie and Jackson sat on the curb, ice cream from their Mickey bars dribbling down their chins…laughing and joking around while waiting for the parade to start. All the characters were fun to see; Stitch, Mary Poppins, Ariel – we love them all.

cropped cindy parade

But half-way through I saw Annie starting to waving wildly as Cinderella’s float came in to view. The evil step-sisters and mom danced around…interacting with the crowd and then the fairy godmother, perched at the top of the float looked right at Annie and blew her a kiss. Annie “caught” it and sent it right back and then she gasped as Cindy and her Prince floated by. Annie looked up with wide eyes and smiled and then looked back at me. For just a moment, we didn’t say a word among the thousands of other park visitors screaming and jumping and waving. But a conversation was taking place in the silence between us. I could literally hear her thoughts – that she was in total disbelief at all that was taking place…and then she hugged me.

Tears are running down my face right now as I write this….as much as they were when it all happened.

It is the magic of Disney that just cannot be duplicated and really can’t be explained. But I’m so thankful that I have this feeling in my heart I know I will never forget.

walking away

My kids asked me if I was ok as we left the park hand-in-hand after the parade ended for the last time (tears were still streaming down my face and I’m not a pretty crier!) I told them I was more than ok. I was happier than I could imagine or remember being in a long time.

Thank you Belle for dancing with my son.

Thank you Cinderella, Fairy Godmother, Lady Tremaine, Drizella and Anastasia; for making us believe we stepped right into your story.

And Thank you Walt Disney, for having a dream and sharing your world with us.

I was invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. I paid a fee to attend which included the opportunity to participate in conference activities, stay at a hotel and experience Disney World; however, my family and I stayed later at our own expense. I was not asked nor expected to write a post about  my experiences. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

 

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Moving Forward Past The Goal

I’m a little nervous.

This weekend I’m signed up to run a 10K. I haven’t been running as much as I should and I haven’t been watching my diet as closely as I should. It’s so easy to become misguided when there’s a great Mexican food restaurant on every block and a new gourmet cupcake bakery pops up daily!

So Monday morning I laced up my running shoes and forced myself to hit the track. My music on my phone wasn’t working and I was mad. I was mad that I hadn’t been working harder and now I was going to have to run in silence.

With all that silence comes reflection and the conversation with myself wasn’t all that positive.

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“Why don’t you have more will power? Why do you still struggle with making good choices with food? Is it always going to be so challenging? Will I ever get ‘good’ at this? Will I ruin everything I’ve worked so hard for?”

There comes a time after you get to your “goal” when people stop telling you that you are doing a good job and that you look good. I knew it was coming and I knew it was going to be hard. Because comments like those gave me strength to do well….to continue working hard.

And I wonder, no I actually worry… do I have what it takes to keep this up – by myself?

I know I have to. I know it’s up to me whether I sink or swim. But there’s that girl that’s still 55 pounds heavier inside me and she says, “you CAN’T do it Jenn, so just stop trying…just GIVE UP.”

And when I hear her I know two things for sure:

1. I don’t want to be that girl again

2. This will be an on-going journey for me. I will struggle, sometimes more than other times, but I will have to work hard at this. For. Ever.

So running on the track Monday I worried that I wasn’t going to be ready for the 10K on Saturday. I thought maybe I would just run the 5K with my family and that would be ok.

But then when I finished one lap, I told myself that surely I could run two. And when I hit two, I told myself that I was almost at three. And then three laps turned into 4 1/2 miles. It wasn’t pretty….but I did it. And If I ran 4 1/2 miles on a track without music or people around to motivate me, that it’s possible that on Saturday I could run two more miles. It’s possible and that’s progress.

And while I was stretching afterwards…I realized that I needed to tell the heavier me who thinks I can’t do it to shut the hell up. That today I did it and maybe I will tomorrow, too. And I’m going to have to take it day by day like that for awhile. Because while I haven’t gained any weight on the scale, I don’t feel as strong as I did – so I need to rededicate myself to this journey.

And I’ve got today, this moment, to make a good decision. And then I go on from there.

I said my mantra several times on the track. I’ve got to remember to say it at other times too.

Be Brave. Be fierce. Believe.

Believe. Because I have to continue on this journey for me and my health and my future.

I can’t go back. I just. can’t.

Do you struggle with weight issues? Have you met a goal and regressed? What do you do when the positive comments stop coming from others and your forced with just the thoughts you’ve got running a muck in your own head and they aren’t particularly positive? 

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How to Stay on The Road to Wellness While Traveling

I just got back from Blissdom, an annual conference for bloggers. This year it was held in Dallas, not too far from Houston so I was able to drive up with a couple of friends for the three-day event.

One thing that is always a challenge for me when I travel is to eat well and stay on my fitness regimen. While I feel like it’s ok to take a break from time-to-time, I try to make the best food choices I can when away from home. I also feel better if I can get in some kind of physical activity when I’m away…especially when it’s for more than two days.

While I certainly didn’t lose any weight while I was gone, I’m happy to say that I also didn’t gain any. Here are some of the things I did to help keep me on the straight and narrow while I was away from home.

Vicki (Houston On The Cheap), Lisa (Milehimama), me, Renee (QPon Junkie) and Bobbie (Clumsy Crafter)

  1. Find someone who is watching what they eat to hang with. The fabulous crew of bloggers from Houston know that I’m trying to be good and were very supportive. They didn’t judge me when I decided to eat Lobster Ravioli, a decadent splurge but oh so worth it, for one meal and they helped me make good choices for other meals. One friend in particular is trying to shed a couple pounds so we helped each other (we even got oranges at Buc ee’s on the way home, yup!).
  2. Bring healthy snacks with you. I packed some breakfast bars, low calorie snacks and fruit in my day bag so when there wasn’t anything good to grab, I had an alternative handy.
  3. Make the best of meals served to you. At conferences many times meals are pre-selected and served to you or there is a buffet with a limited amount of choices. Whenever possible, I try to select lean protein and fruit. For breakfast one morning I ditched the pastries and muffins on the buffet line and selected a hard-boiled egg and fruit. For lunch they had boxed sandwiches. I selected the turkey but only ate a small bit of bread and skipped the condiments chips and cookie. 
  4. Limit sweets. For the love of sugar there were so many dessert opportunities at this conference my head was spinning. One booth had several jars of candy that you could scoop into a baggie and take with you. Another company offered an ice-cream sundae bar (a personal weakness of mine). During one break they even had homemade cookies as big as dinner plates. I just passed them up and busied myself with networking and other free booth opportunities like a 10-minute shoulder massage and having my make-up and fake eyelashes done at the One2One Network booth! Thankfully many companies offered other snacks like the yummy raisin and nut mix at the California Raisin booth. It was hard to say no to all the goodness and I did have a treat or two (hello, salted chocolate, I love you!) but I felt good that I didn’t over do it the entire time.  
  5. Dining out. I try to make the best choice I can with the menu I’ve got. I always look for grilled or steamed seafood as a good option. One evening I went out to eat with some of my fellow SeaWorld Ambassadors at Joe’s Crabshack where I got a crab steam pot. The next evening at a Mexican food restaurant in the hotel I ordered a shrimp taco off the menu (grilled shrimp on a corn tortilla with some salsa and lettuce) which is better choice than some of the other things on the menu (and cheaper, too!)
  6. Bring your work out gear.  I really enjoy working out  in the fitness room at hotels. If the facility I’m in doesn’t have one, I’ll walk the hotel stairs or run around the property. At this conference they offered a fitness class each morning hosted by Soybu workout clothes. It was hard to get up early and the workout was challenging but I felt good starting my day off right. Bonus – I made some connections with some fitness bloggers like Aliah – The Get Fit Diva and Stephanie – Food and Fitness 4 Real AND won a couple of cool workout clothing items from Soybu! Score!
  7. Burn calories during a fun activity. One evening we were treated to a private concert by Chris Mann (from The Voice) and Amber Riley (from Glee). After they left and the club opened up to the public, an 80′s cover band took the stage (Spazmatics). My friends and I got goofy and literally danced for hours.
  8. Get a good night’s sleep. The National Sleep Foundation was at the event and I learned that when you don’t get enough sleep it can actually negatively impact your ability to lose weight. I haven’t been sleeping well but I have a couple tips and products to try out thanks to this organization. I’ll be posting about my experience soon!
  9. Smile. It’s good for you! (Me and Debra -A Frugal Friend.)
What do you do to stay healthy when you travel? 
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Meeting A Goal and Moving Forward

I Did It!

That’s me jumping for joy. I’m a happy girl because after 7 months, I reached my goal weight!

54.4 pounds.

Gone.

Which is a pretty big deal for a short gal like me.

And I feel so much better. I have more energy. My joints and back don’t hurt. I can breathe better at night.

(Although I will never own up to snoring. Ever. Even though Ed said he has proof. Which kinda freaks me out.)

I know that my hard work and lifestyle changes which have included making better food choice and daily exercise have gotten me to where I am now but that really, this is just the beginning. Even though I’ve reached my goal, I want this to mark the beginning of a life that is active, healthful and fun. While I still have a sweet tooth and I struggle with stress eating…I will continue to strive to eat well and enjoy treats in moderation.

But exercise is something I actually love to do now! I’m excited about making plans to do things that push me physically and keep me active. In April I want to do a 5K with my entire family and in May I plan to do a 10K mud run with my friends. I’m also thinking about a local tri-atholon and I am definitely going to run the Princess half-marathon at Disney in February 2014!

(Jennifer, you lost 55 pounds….where are you going now? DISNEY WORLD!)

Since I dropped 6 dress sizes (yikes!!) I’ve needed to add some new things to my wardrobe. While this is extremely exciting (new clothes… YAY!) and shopping for clothes now that I’m healthier is more fun, it’s also expensive. So I’ve been spacing out my spending and doing a lot of online shopping to catch great looking clothes at a good price.

Here are some things I have my eye on right now:

I love this red tankini from Spiegel. It’s been a long time since I got excited about swim suit weather and (at least in Houston), it’s just around the corner. This is such a fun and flattering suit at a great price! I’m loving the gold accents.

This copper metallic dress is so cool. I love the 50s/60s vibe and the clean look. This would be fun for a summer party and a great way to show off my arms that I’ve been working hard toning up!

This pant suit is all kinds of awesome. I always wanted to wear something like this and I’m thinking now’s the time. I love the built-in Power Mesh bodysuit that keeps everything “put” because while I may have lost weight, I still have some serious toning to do in the middle. I love that this piece is both bold but forgiving! I’m guessing I’ll have to hem the pants about 6 inches, though!!

Check out Spiegel for some good deals on swim suits, dresses and other fun pieces to build your spring wardrobe. And if you are in between sizes because you are losing weight or just need to keep things “together!” like me….check out their Shape FX line with power mesh in all the right places (like the disco-era pant suit above) so you’ll look awesome!

What clothes are on your radar right now for Spring?

How do you find good deals on line and in stores?

Disclosure: Thank you to Spiegel for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Mamavation Monday – A Pledge

 

In my last post I talked about celebrating my weight loss successes in 2012. I’ve lost about 47 pounds since starting to eat healthfully and exercise regularly. It’s been quite a commitment and I’m proud of how far I’ve come, but I have more to loose and goals to meet in 2013.

I’ve found that if I set goals that are realistic and clearly defined, I’m more likely to meet them. But I can’t do it alone. I need tools and resources and a supportive community in order to be successful. This is especially true at this point in my journey. In the beginning, it was enough to just limit my calorie intake and eliminate things like soft drinks and fried foods from my diet. Then I started to exercise. I started walking, then running a little and adding Jazzercise classes to my weekly routine.

I’ve kind of hit a plateau recently and am struggling to continue losing weight. I’ve exhausted my expertise and need some additional help going forward. When I heard about the online Mamavation Sistahood community, I was immediately interested in joining.

The Sistahood is a community weight loss support group for moms in social media. Moms like me can learn and support one another in weight loss and fitness goals while learning to share healthy habits with their families. They have an online forum where moms can network and help each other and they sponsor challenges (I applied for the #iheartOmron Challenge and am crossing my fingers that I’m selected next month!).

I love that they accept women at all stages of the journey and encourage them to stay active by participating in weekly blog updates and a Monday night online TV chat show. It’s just the accountability I need mixed with the support I know is necessary in order to make healthy living a commitment for a lifetime.

I’ve started a list of goals for the first quarter 2013 and I hope that as a member of the Sistahood, I’ll reach them all and be motivated to continue adding to my list for the rest of the year:

  1. Participate in a 5K with my family by February 2013
  2. Take body measurements by January 7, 2013
  3. Sign up for and begin training for a 10K by March 2013
  4. Lose 10 pounds by February 15, 2013
  5. Run at least 2 times a week
  6. Take a Jazzercise class at least 3 times a week
  7. Blog weekly about my weight loss journey, my goals and tools that have helped me achieve success including healthy recipes

So I’m pledging to join the Sistahood. For me and my family. What about you? Do you have goals for 2013? Is getting healthy on your list? Join me!

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Celebrating Success in 2012 – Setting Goals for 2013

It’s New Year’s Eve and after a week of eating foods I shouldn’t (oh sugar cookies with frosting, how can you be so sweet and so evil at the same time?!) and less frequent workouts, I hit the gym early this morning. I have been feeling so bad about neglecting my healthy eating habits and not working out as much as I should lately. It felt good to get back to it with an hour of Jazzercise before the first of the year.

My New Year’s Resolution, for sure, is to continue on the road to good health that I started last July. I need to lose more weight and get in better physical shape but also work on my state of mind. When I stumble, I need to get back up…not beat myself up. And I want to set realistic goals and involve my family in more healthy adventures like participating in a 5K together.

And I need to celebrate my successes along the way.

That’s hard for me because I’m afraid of getting too comfortable and not being able to continue losing weight or maintain my weight loss when I finally reach my ultimate goal. I’ve lost weight before and gained in back. I don’t want it to be temporary this time.

A good start for me has been to surround myself with people who are supportive. Friends with similar good health/weight loss goals to eat and exercise with and online groups with folks who can answer a question, give advice or just lend support have been so helpful. I continue to seek out tools and resources that can help me along the way. And I want to share things I find with you so that if you are on a similar journey, you can find inspiration and be successful as well.

I’m looking forward to what 2013 will bring and what I can accomplish. But before that, I’m going to reflect on how far I’ve come. I carry this photo of me in my wallet. It was taken about a month or two before I started my journey last summer and when I was at my heaviest.

And this is me now.

Not there yet, but stronger then before and I’m progressing…which is a big thing. Will you join me? I hope so!

Happy New Year, friends.

Be safe and be happy and set goals for 2013.

But be sure to also celebrate a success from 2012 and feel good about yourself.

 

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I’m Addicted to Work-out Clothes! – pvBody Review and Discount

I’ve lost 47 pounds so far since I started my weight loss and healthy living journey last July!

As I slowly but surely get closer to that “magic” number on the scale, I’ve made exercise a part of my DAILY routine.

And I like it.

After accomplishing my goal to run a 5K, I’ve now set a goal to complete a 10K. I love going to Jazzersize each morning and I’m also looking into Yoga classes right now. I feel so good after I work-out and it’s helped me so much along my weight loss journey.

It struck me yesterday that while I’ve lost almost 50 pounds since I decided to make a change…I’ve gained some things to.

  • A better outlook on life.
  • More energy to get through my day and play with my kids.
  • Muscles!
  • Compliments from friends.
  • And a very real addiction to work-out clothing.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened. But sometime between mid-October and now I became a little crazy about all things tanks and leggings. I can’t even walk through Target to get Tide without altering my route to check out the sports bras.

I think it’s because if I feel good about how I look and feel comfortable while I’m working out, it makes me want to work out more.

But I gotta tell you, I’ve got expensive taste and I love the nicer brands. Designer brand work-out clothing isn’t something I can spurge on often, but aside from the cuter designs and prints they often offer, the quality really is better and that makes a difference when I’m working out.

About two months ago I nearly ran around the YMCA track naked from the waist down because I had on pants that didn’t fit right and didn’t hold up well. The folks taking water aerobics in the pool by the track must have had a good laugh that morning as I kept hiking up my drawers while trying to juggle my iphone and getting tangled in the cords of my earphones. I didn’t want to stop running because I didn’t want to quit, but half the time my pants were either hanging too low or I had them pulled up so high that my underwear wasn’t quite where it was supposed to be. I also might have said a bad word or two out loud. Not my finest moment. Needless to say, those pants are in the trash.

So basically I want it all….great looking and fitting designer brand work-out gear at a low price. I was beyond excited when I heard about a company, pvBody, that will allow me to have my cake and eat it too! (Figuritively of course!!)

pvBody provides fashionable fitness apparel for women at a fraction of the retail cost. With a monthly subscription of $49.95 you get a new top and bottom sent to your home.

When I was asked if I would give it a try, I jumped at the chance! The process to get started was easy. After I signed up with pvBody and took a short quiz to give them an idea about my size and style, I received a cool top and bottom delivered straight to my mailbox!

Seriously. How cool is that? It’s like Christmas!

Well, it is actually Christmas right now. But NEXT month and the month after it will be like Christmas, too!

I love fun mail, a good deal and great work-out clothes. On Friday, I got all three.

Look at the goodness I found in my mailbox? Who wouldn’t like to get this pretty pink package?

Inside I found a top and bottom, both from Nux. The grey leggings fit me perfectly and the top, a beautiful shade of blue, was comfortable and had enough support that I didn’t need to wear a sports bra.

Cute, right?!!

I checked out this brand on-line and their leggings and tanks retail for at least $50.00 a piece. That’s double what a monthly subscription fee to pvBody costs. And after running several miles in this outfit Monday morning, I now know about a new brand of work-out apparel I love. Without pvBody, I wouldn’t have even had Nux on my work-out clothing radar!

Reader Discount and Gift

So here’s the best part. As a Still Living The Dream reader you can get 25 percent off your first month subscription to pvBody plus a $15 Lululemon gift card. (Lululemon, I love you!)

To get your discount and gift certificate, visit them here online . If something you receive doesn’t fit or isn’t your style, just send it back and they’ll send you something else. How cool is that?

And if for some reason you get tired of getting great, stylish, fun work-out clothing surprises in the mail at a great price, you can cancel at any time. pvBody rocks like that.

Easy peasy – lemon squeezy!

pvBody is easy. Take the quiz, sign up and boom, an awesome package arrives at your door each month with a hand picked outfit for you! Every outfit is styled just for you by a pvBody expert. Each month you receive an outfit worth $150, but you pay just $49.95. You’re getting great, quality pieces for a fraction of the retail cost thanks to the relationships pvBody has built. pvBody is not just another clothing company, but a lifestyle brand. Their blog is a great place to check out tips and tricks for healthy, delicious meals and at home workouts.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of pvBody. The opinions and text are all mine. While I was given my first outfit by pvBody to review, I quickly signed up to get more each month. Now I can feed my work-out addiction without feeling guilty!

 

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Firefly 5K – We Did It!

My Couch to 5K running buddies and I got suited up and went to Reliant Stadium Saturday night for the Firefly Night 5K that we have been training for over the last eight weeks. I had a great time with my friends and accomplished my goal by running the entire race! It was a bit emotional to realize how far I’ve come along my road to good health since July.

Does this tutu make me look fast?!!

Now I’m ready for the next one!

 

What about you?

Have you accomplished a goal today? This week? This month?

No matter how big or how small, be sure to celebrate your success!

 

 

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