Workin' It Out

Melting Away & Finding Myself

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Week 1/52: Goals Check-in

At the end of each week, for my accountability I am going to check on the progress of my goals.  Let’s see how this week went:

  • Log my food & exercise. CHECK! Using My Fitness Pal, I have logged every morsel this week!  I have had one day over my calorie goal of 1410 calories/day, but all other days have been at or just below the goal.  This Fitness Pal is so motivating – it should be “My Fitness Best Friend.”  My “Pal” has been reminding me everyday when I am done logging my meals, snacks & exercise that if I made everyday like today, that I would weigh X number of pounds in 5 weeks.  What a way to pump me up! Of course I want to make everyday like today, because I want to see that number on the scale.  Thanks, Pal!
  • Follow my E-mealz Portion Controlled plan. CHECK! We have followed E-mealz each night.  Most of the meals have been a hit with the whole family.  I’ve logged all the recipes into My Fitness Pal and most dinners are 350 calories or less. It is then such an easy way to make sure I have a calorie & portion controlled lunch for the next day.  When we’re cleaning up from dinner, I just put a portion in my to-go lunch container, stick it in the fridge with a piece of fruit and it’s all ready to go!
  • Eliminate my addiction to sugar.  Nope, I’m starting this in February.  But I do need to do some thinking about a good way to go about this.  I’m thinking of just eliminating added/unnecessary sugars – such as pop, sprinkled on sugar, etc.
  • Exercise 5 days a week.  Fail… with good reason.  If you didn’t read my post from earlier in the week, I have been having some knee pain since I attempted running on Monday.  I kept thinking it would go away or that if I did some light exercise it would be okay, but it really is not okay.  My knee cannot bend or straighten completely, it’s difficult to go up and down stairs and just generally uncomfortable if I am moving around much.  I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday.  I am crossing my fingers that she will tell me it’s a knee strain or sprain and give me a wrap or brace.  I will at least go to the gym next week and do weighted arm exercises. I will ask the doctor Monday what exercises she might recommend I start with so I don’t re-injure my knee.
  • Participate in a 5K. Nope – I’ll have to wait until May/June to accomplish this one!
  • Get a smartphone or iPod touch.  I used to think of these as luxuries, but there are so many apps out there that I can use to track food, exercise, heartrate.  Plus there’s the bonus of using the music player to keep me moving quick during exercise that I no longer feel like it’s a luxury, but a necessity.  Besides, there is always a good sale to find, so this ought to be an easy goal to accomplish! CHECK!!! My husband and I are loving our new phones. I have yet to pay for an app and there are so many great ways to use the phone.  One example, my mom and I went out to celebrate her birthday today.  We went to Chili’s where the menu had a “lighter meals” section.  There was a QR code you could scan to get the nutrition information.  I downloaded a free QR reader, scanned the code and decided to order the Margarita Lime Chicken based on the nutrition facts.  Then I quickly logged into My Fitness Pal app, searched for the food I ordered and added it to my foods for the day.  Fantastic technology!
  • Get more sleep.  Fail – My goal is in bed by 10:00 pm.  I think I managed that once this week! Next week will be better.  This week I got wrapped up in blogs or playing on my new phone, etc. There just isn’t much time left to get things done once my son goes to bed.
  • Blog on my progress of my goals and post my weight.  CHECK!!  I have blogged several times this week.  Hope you have been following!
  • Lose 52 Pounds in 52 Weeks.  I haven’t had my weekly weigh in yet, but I will update my Stats section and this post once I do.  I think even with my reduced exercise, I will have lost something.

Now time for my friends to check in! How has your week been? Have you accomplished any goals?



A few days ago, I had a follower ask some questions about my goals.  I hadn’t answered until now because they were good questions that made me think and I wanted to give them the attention and reflection they deserved.  She wrote:

What a project ! All the things you have to DO…
I just want to ask you:
1) What do you really want? (not the 52 pounds but what feeling are you after?)
2) What is your purpose? (Why do you really want it?)

I had a really hard time answering the first question, because what I really want right now is to lose the weight… 52 lbs., 102 lbs…. I want a major change! But even in the last few days as I have had people comment on posts on the blog and Facebook and talk to me at work, I have begun to realize I am already making a difference in people’s lives. More people are exercising, counting calories, watching portions, making healthy choices, and signing up for 5ks! Which in turn is inspirational to me, too! So if I have made a difference for one friend or stranger, this adventure is all worth it.  I don’t promise any amazing insights that nobody has ever made before on the subject of weight loss, just to help and inspire others.  We can all support each other on our goals!  So maybe that is not what I set out to do, but the feeling I am after now is that of inspiring and motivating others.

Another feeling I am after is an improvement in self confidence. Those of you that work with me probably do not realize that I can have some pretty low times. I am really good at keeping a smile on my face. I will go into more details later, but as the title of my blog suggests, I will be finding out more about myself as I lose weight and work out my issues.

And to answer question number 2, let me give you a little background about my dad (hope you don’t mind, dad!). In May 2009, when I was pregnant with my son, my dad’s fiance called to say that my dad had had a stroke.  Fortunately it was not a severe stroke and he was out of the hospital in a pretty short amount of time.  Today you would never know it, but… he had a stroke before age 70. Not that there is ever a “good” age for a stroke, but to me, he was too young. Fortunately, this minor stroke led to a series of visits with specialists including a cardiologist.  He had some tests and while I don’t remember the specific order of events, the end result was a quadruple bypass in July 2009.  It was so scary to see my dad through the recovery and set backs (an additional surgery and a staph infection). My dad has now made a big lifestyle change and lost a lot of weight (which he must have been hiding somewhere because he never looked that overweight to me). He is much healthier.

After all he went through, I knew I needed to take better care of myself or I would be having the same surgery when I was older. But like I said, I was pregnant, not exactly the time to start a huge lifestyle change.  So I told myself I would make changes once the baby was here.  Well as they say, “having a baby changes everything” and my son has turned my world upside down – good & bad!  My time was not the same and I was struggling finding time to shower let alone exercise that first year. I lost a few pounds just from not having time to eat, but when I did eat it wasn’t necessarily healthy. Things are easier now and I am able to make more time for me.  So why I really want it is easy: I need to be healthy to live a long life for my family. I want to be a good role model for my son.  I want to be able to run and play chase with him in the backyard, to go on hunts for bugs, to play soccer with him, go to the park and show him how to do monkey bars, fit in rides at the amusement park (by the way, I hate roller coasters, so that part will be his daddy’s job!), and a thousand other things boys love to do!!  If I can continue to achieve my goals and find strength through the support of others, I know I will be around for a long time to see my children and grandchildren grow. Thanks to all of you who are joining and supporting me in this change!!!

A Challenging Day – The first of many I bet.

Yesterday my right knee started hurting on and off in the afternoon. I took some Advil, put my feet up after dinner and was convinced everything would be great today.  Not so much… I got up this morning to work out and could barely bend my knee.  I was basically pulling my leg behind me as I limped down the hallway to the bathroom. I could not imagine making it safely down the stairs to the garage.  I was either going to fall down the stairs or end up stuck when I couldn’t bend my leg.  So I took some more Advil and headed back to bed.  As the day went on, my knee has limbered up and all of my other muscles have started to hurt!  I will be able to go to the gym tomorrow, but we’ll see about the jogging.  I still came out okay in the end, because according to My Fitness Pal, I still have 200 calories to “spend” today, which is about what I would have burned at the gym!

No other fabulous insights from today, but I would love some advice.  On Wednesdays, my work schedule does not allow a lunch break until 1:30.  Since I usually have my breakfast around 7:30, that’s a loooooong time to go before lunch.   I have students non-stop from 9:00-1:30, so I need some healthy options that take virtually no time to eat (instead of my crackers, candy, etc. that I’m usually turning to).  Any suggestions?


My dad and his wife have been following a pretty healthy lifestyle since my dad experienced some cardiovascular health issues a couple of years ago.  They have been making protein shakes most days of the week for awhile and I finally got the recipe.  My husband and I tried one this morning and it was delish!  Here’s the super easy steps – into your blender add:

One cup of skim milk

Two scoops of protein powder (we bought the chocolate flavor)

One 6 oz. container fat free yogurt (we did Very Cherry this morning)

And add a handful of frozen fruit. We used cherries.  I forgot to take a picture of it in the blender, but I am sure you can imagine frozen fruit in a blender!

Then blend her up and voila! Protein Shake!

 These ingredients made two 8 oz shakes.  According to My Fitness Pal, they were approximately 275 calories each.  We both thought it was pretty good and more filling than my regular bowl of Cheerios.   To make things easier for the morning, last night I put everything in the blender but the frozen fruit.  That worked alright, but the protein powder sort of cemented itself to the sides of the blender.  Tonight I just have the milk & yogurt in the blender in the fridge.   Tomorrow’s flavor is White Chocolate Strawberry yogurt with frozen strawberries, plus the chocolate protein powder…mmmm.  I’m looking forward to trying a lot of flavor combinations!

Hope you try some too!  Post your favorites in the comments below!

I hate running!

I did my first workout today in nearly three weeks and it was not pretty!  I decided I would start my Couch to 5K (C25K) training program today and that may not have been a smart way to restart my workouts.  Five minutes of brisk walking and then commenced the dying… have I mentioned  I hate running?  It was like that first workout the contestants on the Biggest Loser go through, minus Bob Harper.  I am pretty sure Bob would have been in my face encouraging (yelling at) me to keep going.  I started thinking I probably should locate the nearest trash can in case I threw up.  Then I started wondering if I had a heart attack and fell off the treadmill would any of the other gym goers actually go get the AED and try to resuscitate me.  Like I said, not pretty.  And did say I ended up throwing my (new!) phone across the gym (accidentally of course), but that was almost enough to trigger another cardiovascular event. No worries, the goal achieving smart phone is a-ok, but my husband has promised to order me one of those armband phone holder thingies.

I did make it through my workout, however instead of completing 8 intervals, I completed 4.  I walked/ran a total of 45 minutes and in the end felt really good that I did any amount of running.  I’m going to try again on Wednesday with a few modifications.  If you’re unfamiliar with C25K, the first week you run 60 seconds, then walk 90 seconds and alternate for a total of 8 intervals.  I think there should be an even “dumber” version of it, which I am going to attempt Wednesday.  I am going to try running 30 seconds and walking 2 minutes.  I may have to stay on week 1 for 3 weeks, but I would rather do that than dread every workout.  Some of my friends who are a little bit more “run savvy” than I, gently suggested that maybe I am running too fast.  They could be right.  The only time I run is when I have to – like away from burning buildings, so I’ve never measured how fast I run.  I had the treadmill on 5 mph today – too high for a beginner?  Any other tips for a beginning runner?

Week 1/52! I love me a good deal!

I am starting my first week of my 52 Pounds in 52 Weeks Challenge tomorrow.  Yesterday I blogged about my goals and I am proud to announce I have already accomplished one goal!  Now how often can anybody say that they achieved their first goal on their road to weight loss before they even actually started their first week?  Not very often!  My husband and I just got our first smart phones! As I said in my Goals post, I always thought of smart phones as luxuries until recently.  It’s becoming more apparent every day that these are going to be a permanent part of our lives.  There’s an app for everything!  But anyway, back to my story.  The last few days we’ve been looking at new phones (we’re due for an upgrade, which is a very helpful bonus) and had a few in mind, but needed a good – no… great – sale.  Target to the rescue!  I opened up the Target ad today to see that the phone my husband had his eye on wasn’t just on sale, it was FREE! when you renewed your contract.  Hot diggity dog!  A FREE smart phone?  It wasn’t too good to be true.  We walked out of Target with matching phones (awww… isn’t that sweet) and all we paid for was a cover for mine so we could tell them apart.  Our plan had to change a little (a little more money), but all in all it was an awesome deal!!!!  I love me a good deal!

Now excuse me while I download some apps!  Please post your recommendations in the comments.

52 Pounds in 52 Weeks: My Journey to a Healthy New Me – Goals

It’s good to have a road map and directions when you’re traveling a new road – or at least a GPS.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a GPS for your diet?  It would keep you on track, tell you when to make a u-turn, when you’re going the wrong way, healthy restaurants nearby, where to find your gym.  That would be great!  I don’t have a GPS for my diet, but I have goals!  I have lots of goals.  Here they are:

  • Log my food & exercise. I will use My Fitness Pal to log my activity and food daily. Right now I’m not sure how many calories I am consuming or should be consuming, so I don’t have a specific calorie goal, but the important thing is that I record it.
  • Follow my E-mealz Portion Controlled plan.  Every week, E-mealz posts great menus with the shopping list!  It really is EASY.  I just print the menu, buy the groceries and follow the easy recipes.  Our family subscribes to the Portion Controlled plan for Walmart.  I don’t follow Weight Watchers, but the Portion Controlled menu gives the Points for each part of the meal, a real plus for those that do follow WW.  And did I mention it’s only $5 a month?
  • Eliminate my addiction to sugar.  I love sugar.  It’s one of my nicknames.  My hubby says I’m made from it.  Maybe that’s a sign I eat too much of it.  I add sugar to my cereal in the morning.  I’ve tried Sweet N’ Low and Splenda, but it’s just not the same.  But NO more, I’m cutting out the sugar from my cereal.  It’s just not an option for me any longer. (I actually have an idea for a whole new breakfast routine, but I’m posting that later.)  For one month I am going to eliminate added sugar from my diet.  Natural sugars in fruits or foods are fine – but no candy, cookies, cakes, jelly, syrup, etc. I will start this in February – it will be like observing Lent early.
  • Exercise 5 days a week.  I need to exercise to make my weight loss goals happen, so this is a no-brainer.  For the next two months I am going to follow the Couch to 5K plan. It’s a three day a week plan, so the other two days I’m going to focus on weights with a brisk walk or bike ride.
  • Participate in a 5K.  I actually have two of them in mind.  One is the first weekend in May during my town’s local spring festival.  The other is The Color Run in June.   Right now, my goal is to finish.  A loftier goal is to run more than walk.
  • Get a smartphone or iPod touch.  I used to think of these as luxuries, but there are so many apps out there that I can use to track food, exercise, heartrate.  Plus there’s the bonus of using the music player to keep me moving quick during exercise that I no longer feel like it’s a luxury, but a necessity.  Besides, there is always a good sale to find, so this ought to be an easy goal to accomplish!
  • Get more sleep.  I am so tired in the afternoons at work and some days I feel like I could take a nap on the way home.  Then I get some weird burst of energy around 9:00 p.m. and end up watching the news and the re-runs of sitcoms afterwards and before I know it, it’s midnight!  When I need to get up by 5:00 a.m. to exercise, that’s not nearly enough sleep.  So my new bedtime is 10:00 p.m. sharp.
  • Blog on my progress of my goals and post my weight.  I will do this weekly. Once a month I will take my measurements.  I plan to create another area of my blog where I can record my stats.  So if my friends don’t care to know my bust size, they aren’t forced to read it! 🙂  It’s more for my benefit to see it summarized in one spot and maybe with progressive pictures as well.  Tomorrow I will post my stats for the first time – no more hiding, I’m gonna let it all out (hope this leads to more accountability and motivation)!
  • Lose 52 Pounds in 52 Weeks.  This of course is my ultimate goal!!!  One pound a week sounds completely doable!  And if I accomplish my other goals, this one seems sure to follow.

Hoping all these goals add up to a great road map on my journey!  What are your goals for the year?

The Journey Begins

For part of my New Year’s Resolution of getting fit, losing weight, blah, blah, blah… I decided to start a blog.  But when I decided to actually sit down & start my blog, I could NOT think of a title that wasn’t over done or super cheesy.  Naturally, I turned it over to my Facebook friends and posted a contest.  My friends were given the challenge of helping me with the title with the promise that the winner would get to come work out with me at my gym.  I was blown away at how many potential titles were posted.  My friends are good!  In the end, I couldn’t settle on just one, so I took my favorites and morphed it into a blog title and Workin’ It Out: Melting Away & Finding Myself was born.  Even though that title is great, I just can’t let 52 Pounds in 52 Weeks: My Journey to a Healthy New Me go so it will be a year-long series on my blog! Thank you friends for all your help & support already!!

When I started this naming contest, the weight loss & fitness tips started coming in.  I’ve started browsing My Fitness Pal, which I am excited to use as a diet & fitness tracker.  I want to learn more about Fitbit, which sounds really awesome.  Then a friend suggested I try the Couch to 5K plan and another friend said we should go ahead and sign up for one so that we are committed.  Then at work today, co-workers suggested we get a team together for the Color Run coming to our area this summer.  I have NEVER been excited at the thought of running, but the Color Run sounds like fun (oh goodness, I just used “running” and “fun” in the same sentence)!  I feel like the journey is finally rolling!

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