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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Running for Good Health – yurbuds #Inspireforwomen Sport Earphones

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-Tzu

I mentioned in my recent post about my weight loss journey that I’ve been using the Couch to 5K running app in order to prepare for the Firefly 5K Night Run that takes place in Houston this weekend. My friend Patti is turning 40 (whoot, whoot!) and she wanted to spend her birthday doing a 5K with her friends. Of course, there will be a celebration party afterwards…how awesome is that idea?

Because the party has really been going on for the last two months as we’ve hit the track to prepare for our run. When work schedules and other commitments don’t get in the way, we’ve been meeting up at the YMCA track three mornings a week to get ready for tomorrow night’s event. It’s been such a great way to connect with good friends, work towards a goal and support each other in incorporating exercise into our daily routine.

 

As a pre-5K event celebration yurbuds Sport Earphones, which were developed especially for women, treated each lady in our group to a running package which included an awesome yurbuds logo “Inspire” sports towel, yurbuds Sweaty Band, a Luna Bar snack and a pair of yurbuds Inspire for Women Sports Earphones.

 

As we looked over our goodies, we talked about where our motivation comes from and words that inspire us to keep moving. Family. Health. Heart. Brave. Cancer-Free. Persistence….

My friends are awesome.

Then before we started our run we did some stretching, lead by the marathon runner in the group, Tanya.

As we dipped, lunged twisted and turned, our yurbuds stayed firmly in place.

They are actually guaranteed to never fall out because of their twist lock technology. yurbuds, which come in a variety of cool colors (mine are blue!) and can be purchased at Target for $29.99 are also sweat and germ resistant and the two different sizes of the soft silicone earphone pieces, designed for smaller ears, are included in each package so you’re sure to get a comfortable and natural fit.

You can find yurbuds on facebook at www.facebook.com/yurbuds

  • What motivates you to keep moving?
  • Do you have a favorite tune that you love to listen to while working out?

I was given the opportunity to host a yurbuds running party for my friends through MomSelect. While we each received a pair of yurbuds and a goody package with items mentioned above, no other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

 

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I Will Be Brave….My Journey to Good Health.

Recently I posted this picture on Facebook along with this caption.

35 pounds. Gone.

And I got an outpouring of support from people who congratulated me, complimented me and asked me how I did it.

It’s been a journey I’ve been taking since July. It’s a journey I’m still on. I have more weight to lose and then I need to work on keeping it off. But as of today, I’ve lost 35 pounds. On my short frame of 4’10”, it’s pretty significant. And so I’m celebrating that success.

Part of my success has been through making healthier food choices and limiting my calorie/fat intake. I do this through Weight Watchers and I’ll talk more about that later. The other element has been exercise. For me, what has worked has been hitting the track to run/walk and doing Jazzercise.

I’ve been getting ready for a 5K run with my friends…using the Couch to 5K program. It’s been a great way to ease my body back into exercise and running. Before July I wasn’t moving much at all and could barely walk around the track at the YMCA. Today I’m able to run around it four times.

You start off by running just a minute or so at a time, alternating between running and walking. Slowly the amount of time you run increases. Yesterday I ran two 8 minute runs with 5 minute walks in between. Tomorrow I’ll be running 20 minutes at once.

An app on your smartphone tells you when to start running and start walking.

It started with a step and I continue my journey one step at a time. The most important thing is that I make my health and exercise a priority. Which often means doing it first thing in the morning before work and other responsibilities can take over. And sometimes…I just have to push other things aside and trust that it will all be there 30 minutes to an hour when I get back because my health is too important.

But it’s hard. And sometimes I struggle. And when my friends can’t join me on a run – sometimes I listen to music that inspires me and sometimes I let the moment and feelings take over and cry. I’ve come a long way but I have a long way to go and many steps to take. And sometimes it’s really overwhelming.

But I will be brave.

I was by just posting that picture of myself above in a workout tank and pants. My curves are still there…I’m not at my goal weight. But I’m making progress.

In upcoming posts I’ll be talking about more of what I’m doing including programs I’m involved with, recipes I’ve enjoyed, how I eat well while eating out, traveling and making good food choices, etc. Unless otherwise indicated, I don’t have any official affiliation with companies and programs mentioned in my posts. I’d love to hear about what you’d like to know, so give me a shout below with questions.

Will you share the journey with me?

 

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My Journey to Good Health

Do you love how I just kind of quickly mentioned that I’ve been on Weight Watchers and then moved on in yesterday’s post? Well, Life List #45: Get Healthy has actually been one of the most important goals in my life recently (and certainly more worthy of just one sentence on this blog) but I’ve been scared to say anything.

Isn’t that silly?

Deep breath….here goes.

Me at Bloggy Boot Camp – September 15, 2012

Since July I’ve been on Weight Watchers and have lost 27.8 pounds so far. I’m about halfway to my goal weight but just now feel like I can really talk about it because, honestly – I’ve made several false attempts before this time.

Have you been there, too?

I’ve been working hard. Motivated by my mother’s heart attack earlier this year and my own weight and health issues, I decided I needed to get serious.

Seriously. I’m 4’10”. My body wasn’t happy about carrying 50 plus pounds of extra weight and it was screaming at me daily. My back hurt, my legs hurt, my knees hurt. And my blood work showed I was headed for some real problems down the not so distant road.

So by sticking to the Weight Watchers program, making good food choices and exercising three times a week (Jazzercise and a running program called Couch to 5K) I’ve managed to turn things around…but I still have a ways to go.

I’m really excited to share with you things that have worked for me so far. And I will…I promise! In my next several posts I plan to give you “the skinny” about resources that have helped me.

One of which is a fabulous friend I met at Bloggy Boot Camp last weekend in Dallas. She’s on a similar journey and we have so much in common, it’s scary. Wait ’til you meet her!

But first – did I tell you? I’ve lost 27.8 pounds, ya’ll!!!

 

Disclaimer – I have no official affiliation with any company or service mentioned in this post. 

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