Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CHALLENGE: April Showers bring MAY FLOWERS!

April Showers bring May Flowers!

Are you ready for a CHALLENGE?  I am!
Join me the month of April and SHOWER your body with good health & nutrition. 
The Reward? In May you will be healthier, happier and hotter!
I dare you to take the next 4 weeks and focus on YOU...
make yourself a priority because you are worth it!

Here's the Challenge
Cardio:  Set a minute goal each week.  PUSH yourself beyond your comfort zone.  Beginners start with 3-4 days a week.  Those of you with an established exercise routine shoot for 5-6 days a week.  Always allow your body one day of rest.
My goal is 300 minutes per week- that is 5 days of 60 minutes, or 6 days of 50 minutes.
Water:  Drink at least 80 oz. per day- or 10 glasses.  Drink an extra glass of water for every 30 minutes of exercise.  Drink an extra glass of water for every caffeinated beverage you consume.  Example:  If I work out for one hour and have a glass of Diet Coke I need to drink a total of 13 glasses of water.
Fruits & Veggies:  Eat 5 servings of fruits & veggies per day.  Also, try 1 new fruit or veggie each week.  Please share with us what you discover!
Nutrition:  Take a multi-vitamin (what does your multi-vitamin need?) and Omega 3's.  You need at least 1000 mg. of Omega 3's each day.  Click here for the vitamins I take. 
Share:  Ask a friend to join you in this challenge!  If you have someone else keeping you accountable you will be more successful.  Share my blog with people who need motivation & support...we all need each other and it's much more fun to do with a buddy!


I will have daily posts to keep you motivated & focused- and keep ME on track!  I will also be posting my daily cardio, water & fruits/veggie counts!  I'd love for you all to do the same. 


Keep in mind that we are not perfect.  Achieving a healthy lifesty is a daily process that will never be perfected.  Everyday we are given a clean slate, a chance to start fresh.  Don't beat yourself up if you aren't perfect... because no one is!

If you don't get my email updates please sign up for them so you can stay informed on the April Showers Challenge!

Walking on Sunshine

I can't believe the weather today!  It's sunny & WARM!  It hasn't been this warm since last September!  I love Spring!  I can hardly wait until the tulips start popping up all over town:)

Not only am I enjoying the weather today, I am also enjoying a new well, new again pair of jeans...that I haven't been able to squeeze into in 2 years!  The last time I remember wearing these jeans (size 16) is June of 2008.  When I put them on this morning & they zipped, and my husband told me they didn't look too tight I couldn't wait to leave the house!  It is so wonderful to go down a size, it's reassurance that hard work is paying off...more importantly, that it's worth all the effort! 
Since I was already having a great day I decided to go swimsuit shopping (don't think I wasn't scared about my awesome day going downhill, cause I was, I mean who loves swimsuit shopping?) because my other suit was way too big & I can't keep wearing it to swim class.  So, over my lunch I ventured out and found one...in a Size 14!  Seriously?!?  I had to double check the size, and then try on a different swimsuit just to be sure that I was actually fitting into a 14...sure enough, I did!  I walked out of there feeling so good!  I can hardly wait to get to the gym tonight & celebrate with a kick butt workout!  I hope you are all seeing success where you want to, and if not, what can you change in your life so you CAN see a change? 

First say to yourself what you would be;
and then do what you have to do.
-Epictetus

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

April Challenge...Stay Tuned!

I am going to have an April Challenge for all of my special blog followers!  I'm hoping it will keep us motivated to eat less & move more!  I'll be telling you all about it tomorrow...so come back & check it out!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

www.OperationBeautiful.com

I just found this site & it brought tears to my eyes. Please watch this video. I hope it touches you the way it did me.


Finding My Truth

Yesterday someone said to me "I wish I was as good as you were, I mean you eat perfect & you exercise all the time...you are so successful at this.  I wish I was as determined as you".  Thank you to that person who said that to me because it really forced me to look at myself in the mirror and say to myself "Honesty is the first step in Healing ya know".  SO- I'm here to tell all of you that I'm far from perfect.  I DO NOT eat perfect everday, and to be honest I don't want to.  There are days I don't want to exercise...so I don't.  Then there are mornings like today. When I wake up and I get "donuts" on the brain. (I'm talking Little Debbie donuts, you know, the ones that come in the 6 pack at the gas station?)  Before I made the commitment to change my lifestyle I ate those stupid donuts 2-3 days a WEEK probably.  I got one package of the chocolate frosted and one package of the powdered.  SO, I got myself on one hell of a sugar high with no protein, nothing good in there whatsoever...pure sugar really.  I've stopped this horrible habit, but I'd say once a month I get that "urge" to eat them. 
This morning the "urge" came on strong.  I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that I'm PMS'ing I'm not using that as an excuse, just an explanation :), and that always sends my cravings over the edge.  So, I caved in & had donuts for breakfast.  I knew I should have eaten something different because whenever I eat donuts I feel crappy and lethargic and I'm hungry in an hour.  They have no nutrients to keep me satisfied but, I guess this morning none of that mattered.  So I go into the gas station, get "the goods" and go to check out.  Well, the guy at the cash register looks at me and says "Healthy Breakfast?"  and I just said "Yeah right.".  So, thank you Mr. Cash Register Man!  I'm not mad or embarrassed that he said this, I'm thankful actually.
Now the difference in the "old" Amy and the "NEW & IMPROVED" is this; if he would have made that comment before he would have gotten me so upset I would have cried all the way to work, I would have had a terrible day and I would have most likely binged.  The NEW Amy thinks its kinda funny.  It's not funny that I still ate the damn donuts of course though:)  It's funny to me that he actually had the nerve to say it!  The days of beating myself up over things like this are long gone!  There was some emotion that I was needing to fill this morning with the Little Debbie donuts, so I did it, it's done, I can't change it so I'm movin' on.  Period. 
Telling you this makes me VERY vulnerable.  It has taken me a LONG time to overcome these situations.  Some of you know that I am recovering from Binge Eating Disorder, the rest of you just learned something about me today:)  I have spent over 2 years in therapy.  I've seen doctors, psychiatrists, nutrition specialists in eating disorders, etc.  I think I've read a bagillion books on eating disorders.  I have devoted the last 2 years to recovery & educating myself so I never get out of control again.  And I'm finally better.  (BIG SMILEY FACE HERE!)  I gained 100 lbs. in my recovery.  My "Recovery Team" (therapist & nutritionist) stressed to me over and over that I had totally lost all hunger cues.  I didn't know when I was hungry, when I was full, what I was hungry for, etc.  I was told to eat what my body wanted, and if it wanted a cookie then it was okay to eat a cookie.  WHOA... Old Amy was screaming YOU CAN'T EAT THAT COOKIE, ESPECIALLY IF SOMEONE IS AROUND YOU.  I've been a "dieter" since 4th grade.  I cannot remember a time where my weight wasn't a stress in my life, or a time when I was happy with the way I looked.  I have used food as my primary coping mechanism for years and years, and when I wasn't bingeing I was restrictive with food.  I "couldn't eat" Little Debbie donuts, or ice cream, or a candy bar...you get the point.  There was no "slip-up"... I was either perfect or bingeing.  A binge could last for a meal, day, week, etc.  Now I know how to turn it off.  I used to get SO mad at myself, and I learned that Amy wasn't the one in control...my eating disorder had taken over me 100%.  Well, I have a hold of the reigns again and I'm doing just fine.
I'm telling you this because the reason I have this blog is to be honest with myself and those around me about my recovery.  NO ONE is perfect everyday... I used to think that.  We are all human, we make choices (notice I didn't call it a mistake, cause it wasn't) and our life is the product of our choices. 
Binge Eating has almost taken my life, marriage, family, friendships & happiness away from me.  My amazing therapist once told me "Amy you are doing the hard work that no one else does, you are trusting the process and you are going to be so far ahead of this when we get you better".  I am finally better, I will always be a Binge Eater...it's something I have to work on each day and I plan to for the rest of my life.  If you think you may be a Binge Eater, please feel free to send me a message.  Talking to others and helping people is part of the healing process for me.  I used to be so ashamed of this, but I realized that without this journey I wouldn't have become my true self...I'd still be trying to figure that out.  I own my life, I own my decisions and I know that with a positive attitude and an attitude of gratitude I will beat Binge Eating and help others along the way.  Sharing my story will hopefully help someone along the way to have their moment of truth & take control of their life... living in a world of hurt and fear is no way to live.  Take control of the reigns in your life...make that commitment today.  When you look back a year from now you will be so thankful you did.

This was me around 150 lbs.  That's where my body "likes" to be:)  I'd just lost 35lbs. on LA Weight Loss- a diet that restricted carbohydrates & was very low calorie.  I remember circling the "bad foods" in my journal.  I weighed in 3 days a week.  It made me really obsessive about my weight.  I now know there aren't "bad" or "good" foods...food is food.  It's purpose is to nourish the body- not to numb it.  The month I quit this diet (the company went bankrupt) I gained 15 lbs. cause my body hadn't had carbs in so long.
August 2009, I was so miserable here.  I'd been in therapy for quite some time, I finally understood why I made the choices I did but I was so afraid of "losing weight" in fear that I would get sucked back into my eating disorder.  I've never weighed this much in my life, I topped the scales at 255...I felt I had finally HIT rock bottom.  I started my weight loss 2 weeks after this picture was taken.  I will never get here again- I was so unhappy, scared, frustrated, sad, broken.

This picture was taken last weekend.  I've lost almost 45 lbs...I have a long road ahead of me but I'm not giving up and I'm working towards my goals everyday.  Even though I am still heavier now than I had ever been before I feel that I've gained strength with every pound.  Every pound has had a lesson to teach me about myself, about forgiveness, about life.  While I wish there would have been another way to figure it out without gaining 100 lbs, I have to thank God that I finally know my truth..


This quote is so meaningful to me and my journey~
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the one thing you think you cannot do. "

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, March 22, 2010

C25k...COMPLETE

I almost forgot to share that tonight was my LAST day of training!  I did the 9 week training C25k (I repeated Week 5 though so it took me 10 weeks).  I am SO glad I stuck with this program!  After 10 weeks I'm running 30 minutes non-stop, and that was something I didn't even think my body could do.  I have one month until the race...now I really need to work on pace.  I'm not as fast as I need to be on race day, but now that I have the endurance part down I know the rest will come with time.
Thanks for all your support in my training...and to those of you doing the program DON'T GIVE UP!  It's worth every run to finish!

Vegas Baby!

I had such a great time in Vegas.  I learned a lot, heard a lot of motivational speakers and witnessed the 30 year Celebration of Arbonne, including the biggest Product Launch in our company history!  If you haven't tried Arbonne before PLEASE contact me, seriously...this is the best product on the market and best of all.......you'll see results! 
On Friday night we had our team celebration and my upline shared with the team (approx. 50-60 people were in attendance) that I'd lost 45 lbs...they all clapped and were so nice!  Talk about motivation!  That makes a girl feel pretty good to know that I have all those amazing people rooting for me:)
Ok---now onto why you are really reading my blog.  I walked A TON.  I even journaled via my Fitness Pal on my iPhone.  I drank a lot of water, probably not enough, but still, I drank it.  So, when I got on the scale this morning I was part nervous, part excited...to my pleasant surprise I lost .6 since I left for Vegas?!  Now, that's something to celebrate!  The OLD Amy would have come home 5+ lbs heavier.  I even passed up ice cream on Saturday night, I could of had it but it was $4.95 for one scoop and that is crazy to me so I went back to the room, satisfied and proud of myself that I didn't induldge in something that probably wouldn't have even been worth the money!
How are YOU doing?  Did you do anything you'd like to celebrate over Spring Break?  Share w/ us!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Fitness Pal, Vegas, Daylight Savings

Tomorrow morning I leave for Vegas! I am going for Arbonne, they are launching 150 NEW products!  I am so excited to see & use them!  We have our National Training Celebration once a year and it is always so inspiring. The company really focuses on self development, which I never knew was important before Arbonne came into my life!  We will get to listen to several motivational speakers and that's my favorite part.  It's not really about how to sell, it's more about believing in yourself!  I apply it to all aspects of my life- my business, my health, my marriage, my faith, etc.  I leave NTC feeling on top of the world usually and feeling like I can conquer anything...I'm looking forward to feeling that way on Sunday when I get back home!
Speaking of, if I would have paid attention I would realized that this week is Daylight Savings Time....and I wouldn't have gotten super early flights!  We leave tomorrow at 6 am....and Sunday we leave Vegas at 1 am!  I really like to have a day to recoup at home, so I know I'll be happy that I'll be home early on Sunday but it may really kick my booty come Monday:)  I am not sure why Daylight Savings has been so hard for me to adjust to this year, but I've been exhausted since Monday.  That is why I'm skipping the gym (again) tonight.  (I didn't go last night either cause I had a Spray Tan party at my house...so I'm nice and tan for Vegas!) 
Self Portrait- everybody has one!  How else could I show you my tan? :)
I know how important sleep is for me to get, and if I don't get to bed super early tonight it'll affect my entire weekend.  When I'm tired I don't eat as well, I don't want to exercise and I will make poorer choices.  So, I'm going home and gonna pack and then REST.  That is VERY UNLIKE me!  I'm already feeling lazy to be honest, it's not very often that I just go home after work with nothing planned but I know my body needs the rest and it'll help me in the coming days when I'll be going nonstop in the City of Lights!
I've started journaling using My Fitness Pal....I LOVE IT!!!  I downloaded the application on my iPhone and it is so user friendly and it's nice to not have to carry around my big journal. They have most of the food I eat already programmed into the site  and so I just have to click on it to add it.  If they don't have your food you can just add it and then it'll be on the site from then on!  It's been so helpful and I think it will be such a helpful tool to use while traveling.  If you don't have an iPhone you can still go to the My Fitness Pal website and use it from your computer.  If you start to use it let me know how you like it!  You also enter your exercise and it'll add up the calories you burned while exercising.  They do add this onto your daily caloric intake- but I just stay in my normal range which has been set for me at 1500-1800 based on my activity level.
Happy St. Patrick's Day...I'm not a St. Patricks Day fan but I know most people are so enjoy it!!  Enjoy a LITTLE green beer if you wish!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

ChiRunning

This is the book I'm reading to help me with my running performance & form.

J-E-L-L-O Knees & W9D1 Complete!!

My knees were screaming at me yesterday, but I listened to them.  I iced my knees, took Advil & used BioFreeze.  Thankfully, I woke up this morning to better knees than yesterday.  They don't feel perfect, but better, and I'm happy about that!  I knew I needed to run today but was afraid to with how my knees felt yesterday so I stretched for 10 minutes before running and I think it helped quite a bit...I really need to do that more often!
I leave for Vegas early on Thursday morning and this happens to be Week 9 in my 5k training which is the LAST WEEK!  I can't believe I'm gonna finish this!  I think there was a part of me who thought when I started that I wouldn't finish...I mean, isn't that what my history shows?  I always start out strong, really motivated, but after a while the excitement fades and I revert back to the "old Amy".  Well, not this time!  Today was a 30 minute run...yes, 30 minutes!  I cannot believe this!  Now, I will say that I ran really slow today.  I didn't even know how slow until I went back and mapped out my route and figured out that I only ran 2.1 miles.  Even though I am proud of myself for running 30 minutes continuously I think my next focus needs to be on pace.  I have two days left of training, and I'm going to finish those the way I've done the entire program...my focus is on endurance.  But, starting next week I need to change my focus to pace.  The 5k I'm running in will not track your time if you are slower than a 15 minute mile...I am NOT letting this happen. 
I plan to run again on Tuesday, and if I can't get in a run in Vegas (which I hope to, but am thinking it's not going to be possible cause I'm going to be in a conference day/night) then I want to run on Sunday.  Finishing the C25k training this week puts me a month away from the race.  Now that I know I can run for longer periods of time I am more confident that pace will follow.  I started reading  in hopes that it will help me with form- which in turn will help me run faster & farther!
Just so you know, I started running again in December.  I used to run before my 100 lb gain...but, carrying all that extra weight around made it really hard so I stopped.  When I got on the treadmill for the first time in December and decided to try running again it was quite a challenge.  My first run was 2 minutes...and after 15 seconds I wanted to stop.  I was at the gym though and I was saying to myself  "Okay fatty!  You said you wanted to run!!!  You are not stopping until 2 minutes then...but you aren't giving up now!"  I thought I could have died...and I really am not exaggerating either:)  Well, my self talk has gotten better since then cause I try not to refer to myself as "fatty" anymore, cause that just isn't nice!!  When you have positive self talk it gives you a much better outlook on life and whatever journey you are on.  When I run now I picture myself crossing the finish line at my race, or I imagine what I'm going to feel like when I get done.  It's empowering to envision yourself being successful...Try it sometime, you may surprise yourself with what you could achieve.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Love Food? It's Ok!

JOB for Losing Weight:

J – Journal the food you eat- this will keep you accountable
OObstacles will Occur Every Day- Don't give in- look for solutions
BBe Patient and Kind to Yourself- It took time to put this weight on and takes time to get it off. (this is such good advice:)
*I saw this on another blog I follow, Get Up & Get Moving, you can see her blog here. 

When I look at the basics of weight loss it's really simple!  Burn more calories than I eat!  I've realized that weight loss can't be seen in black & white.  What I mean by that is if you have a not so healthy breakfast it doesn't have to mean that your whole day is shot.  Each meal I have the opportunity to make a food choice that will bring me closer to my goals.  Shay from the Biggest Loser wrote once that when she goes to eat something she asks herself the question "If I eat this will it bring me closer to my goal, or take me farther away from it".  It doesn't get much simpler than that!
Now, I'm not saying that I never eat something gooey, sweet, salty, crunchy, etc.  I do not live on apples & celery...not even close!  But I do plan my day so I can enjoy the foods I love.  I have a low fat ice cream bar every night as a treat...and I never feel a bit guilty about it either.  Nor should you!  Being a healthy person also means not being too restrictive.  I've seen too many people yep, that means me too go on strict diets where there are "forbidden foods" and "RED light foods", etc.  If you tell yourself while you are losing weight that you can't have the foods you love you WILL NEVER MAINTAIN YOUR WEIGHT LOSS.  Trust me on this!  I was that girl for so many years, trying every diet out there...I'd lose the weight and then return right back to my old weighs ways.  Include the foods you love in your meal plan, just use portion control and be sensible.  And if you happen to overinduldge don't beat yourself up about it!  Commit to another day on the treadmill, or pump up the intensity a bit, drink an extra glass of water. 
We are all human...we can't be perfect all the time.  And life is about LIVING...don't spend it obsessing over calories and depriving yourself.  We should enjoy the food (aka Fuel) we give our bodies!  There are so many yummy healthy choices out there for us to choose from, we shouldn't ever feel like we are "missing out" because we've decided to become healthy!  Plus when we eat right and exercise we feel better- so we can enjoy life more!

Hope everyone has an awesome Friday!  I'll be cheering on the KANSAS JAYHAWKS tonight!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Took the Day Off

I didn't workout tonight, I really had no reason NOT to go besides being tired and wanting to come home and do nothing but I just felt like my body needed a little break...so why do I feel guilty and lazy for not going to the gym tonight?!  Does anyone else feel guilty when they skip a day?  I shouldn't feel one bit guilty.  I've worked out 5 days in a row, at least 45 minutes of cardio each day...it's not like I'm slacking!  It felt weird to come home after work and not really have anything to do.  But, I'd be lying if I told you it wasn't nice to come straight home, play with the dogs, pick up around the house and then spend the evening with my husband.  We seem to come and go in the evenings, always at different times so we aren't home at the same time every night.  I get to missing him:(  Thankfully he's supportive of my goals and what I want to achieve so he never complains about me going to the gym after work and not getting home until after 7 most nights.  He's wonderful (and skinny so he doesn't get the weight loss thing either) and he's really been supportive of what I'm trying to accomplish.  I had to prove to him that I really was serious this time about losing weight, I couldn't keep talking about it though...I had to SHOW him I was serious.
Well, I'm getting back to the gym tomorrow night.  I'll probably be doing Week 8 Day 3 of my 5k training...I can't believe I'll be done next week!  I think I might celebrate with a new pair of running shoes so I'll have time to break them in before the race in April.  It's true what I hear others say...Running is Addictive!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Do you want to see what I do?

I've found some pretty awesome websites to help track exercise.  Not only can I view it but you can share it with others too- which means you all can hold me accountable, and I can do the same for you!  Whether you are running, walking, swiming, biking, etc. you can find a website that you can log your exercise on.  It's nice to look back over the month and see the progress you've made. 
Two of the ones that I really like are Daily Mile & Run Keeper.  I like Daily Mile's website appearance, I also like how you can interact with others.  You can also have a widget added (if you look to your right you'll see mine!) to show your progress to others. 
Run Keeper is an app on my iPhone that uses GPS and can tell you how far you've ran by the signal on your phone!  Everything you do while using your iPhone automatically downloads to the Run Keeper website.  You can get the Free app on iTunes.  If you don't have an iPhone you can still use the Run Keeper website.
Do any of you have programs you use?  Or know someone who loves what they use?  If so, please share!  It's helpful to be accountable to someone and motivating when they see how well you are doing!  Hope everyone has a Healthy Day!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Perserverance is the Key

In September 2009 I began seeing a Doctor at Stormont Vail who helps people make the lifestyle changes to lose weight, get healthy and STAY THAT WAY.  When I started her program I was at rock bottom, and I really felt I had no where left to turn.  I had gained 100 lbs in a little over a year, being 68 lbs higher than I had EVER been before.  I felt my life was falling apart and I was the only one who could stop it.  I can remember walking into her office saying over and over to myself "If she says the word DIET...get the hell outta there".  You see, I've learned that the word DIET=Failure....at least in my life it has.  I've been on a bagillion diets since 4th grade....all of them offer the same empty promises of getting thin.  But, what I came to realize is I'm really good at losing weight, but I'm not so good at keeping it off.  I needed to dig deep within myself to find out why I couldn't maintain my weight loss and why I have been a yo-yo dieter since elementary school.  I learned a lot about myself and my past that contributes to why I use food as a coping mechanism for any emotion I may feel.  Even though it was very hard and at times I felt so alone & helpless, I learned lots about myself FIRST...before tackling weight loss, because gaining weight has very LITTLE to do with food and more about the emotion we feel behind the food. 
I wanted my whole being to be ready for weight loss.  I wasn't looking for a quick fix this time...I wanted lasting results that I could be proud of.  Well, last Friday was my 6 month appointment where they do blood work, measurements, body fat, etc.  I was pretty nervous but left there feeling awesome!

Before Picture
This WAS me, September 2009. Looking back at this picture I see the sadness in my eyes, I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. Seeing how far I'd "let myself go". This day was a turning point though.

After Picture (well... SO FAR, I'm still losing!)
My total weight loss so far is 40.6!  I've lost 5 inches off my waist & 4.7% body fat.  My BMI was 43 and it is now at 36.  The one improvement I am most proud of is reducing my Cholesterol!  In September my total Cholesterol was 234 (yikes!) and after 6 months of healthy lifestyle changes and 3000 mg daily of Omega 3's, my Cholesterol is 159!  I decreased it 75 points by eating right, exercise & omega 3's...no prescription meds at all and in only 6 months! 

I feel so much better, but I'm not stopping here!  I have another 64 lbs. to go but I'm celebrating any success I see!  The best part is that I really am not dieting!  I eat healthy 90% of the time, I LOVE to exercise and am also training for a 5k, I take vitamins and drink water.  I don't deprive myself anymore like I did before.  If I want a cookie I let myself enjoy it!  I just don't eat 5 of them!  So, you can lose weight without dieting...but you can't lose it the right way without being HEALTHY!  And isn't that what we are all after anyways?  Feeling good & looking great!  Stay tuned to hear more about my weight loss journey!!!
To all of you out there losing weight...BELIEVE in yourself!  Never Give Up!

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. ~Newt Gingrich

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sock Giveaway!

I follow the blog Endurance Isnt Only Physical & she is doing a giveaway for Bridgedale Socks!  I haven't tried these socks but if you'd like a chance to earn a free pair check out her site!  Just click the link below!
Bridgedale Sock Giveaway!