On a Journey to Wellness

Come with me on my journey to losing weight, getting healthy and going out to meet the world head-on!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Consequences of Being a Lazy Ass

So I'm back in the desert after spending 10 days at home. Ten days of eating cake, pie, beef, bread, cheese, and endless chocolate cookies thanks to not only Turkey day but a continuous celebration of my sister, mother and cousins birthdays who all landed in that 10 day stretch.

Add to it hours and hours of movie watching, catching up on my favorite cable shows and just plain laziness (that was definitely helped by colder weather and comfortable beds and blankets).. and you have me back, trying to get past my laziness and worst of all

Pounds and Pounds heavier.

I wanted to lie on this post. I wanted to lie and say that I was so busy getting back to work that I didn't have time to weigh myself this Monday, that I had bad internet access (that part is true), that I lost my scale, that Batman came to my window and told me to glide away with him for a week and I couldn't refuse.

How could I say no, right?

But no. That's not what happened. I wasn't busy and I DID get to check my weight in the scale this Monday. The number I saw on it put me to shame. I couldn't be shocked I just hoped it hadn't been so bad. But it was. It was bad.

I'm not going to post my weight today. I'm going to wait until tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the first day of December and the day I have to update my Monthly weigh in on the side panel--------->

I'll let you know the damage then.

Sigh. This only proves to me how low I can get and how much I have to stay on the ball or else I can gain weight back in an instant.

Damage report tomorrow. You have been warned.

*lowers head in shame*


Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Review

So, I ate big.
I was eating like crazy all day not just during dinner. I was eating like crazy all week actually. I just ate breakfast and I still feel super stuffed.

So, I knew every time I put something in my mouth that I was doing wrong. I kept telling myself that I'll work on it later. That I'd work out later.

But my guilt was eating me up more than I was eating up chocolate.

Once we put the pre-cooked Turkey and Ham in the oven it looked like we had an hour and 45 minutes to kill.

I was already feeling full and dinner wasn't even ready. *shakes head*

I told myself NO, I had to do something now.. anything to make me feel better.

So I told my mom, I was going out for a little while. She understood what I meant.

I was going to the gym.

I drove to the gym. 24 Hr Fitness right? They should be open at 6pm right?


I got there and the place was a Ghost Town. I couldn't even get upset. The roads were almost completely empty anyway. Everyone was at home, warm and toasty.

I wanted to be warm and toasty too.

But no. I told myself I had to work out at least a little.

So I drove up to a jogging park in a nice-ish neighborhood literally up-hill from my own neighborhood.

The place was dimly lit with streetlights and abandoned.

It was COLD. I was only wearing my hoodie. I admit I understood the stupidity of what I was doing. Cold, abandoned street, dim lights and a girl jogging it with earphones.

A recipe for disaster right?

I did it anyway.

I put on my favorite tunes and started jogging/power walking. The street led to a park up a hill. I jogged to the hill, turned around and jogged back.

I took it easy and let the music lead my speed. It took me a little over 40 minutes. The trip was about ~2 miles round trip.

After my initial concern it actually turned out to be very calming and nice. The park/path was surrounded by houses. I could smell the cooking in all the houses. It smelled A-mazing. It made me happy knowing all these people were with loved ones cooking amazing food and enjoying it together.

Once I finished my jog I felt better. I had gone out of my way to get a work out in. I felt refreshed and dare I say it, hungry. Not only for food but hungry to get home and be with MY family and smell MY houses cooking.

I drove home. I took a shower. I helped set the table. We ate and everything was good.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weigh In: Pass

I'm going to pass this weeks Weigh In. I'm home and I haven't been eating well already. I know I have to watch myself or else I'll blow up like a balloon but at the same time I don't want to stress out over every little thing I eat this week.

This is my vacation and I know that I'll probably gain weight this week. I don't want to ruin my good mood by looking at the scale.

I still need to go to the gym this week and continue swimming. I haven't swum since last Thursday and I'm feeling angsty.

I'll report my progress this weekend.

Have a Great Thanksgiving Everyone!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

If My 13 year old Self Could See Me Now

As promised I bring you pictures of what Elina looks like at 218 lbs.
*Bear in mind that I had limited resources so these are pics of my reflection, in my cramped little room. LOL*

It might not look like a big difference compared to the last pictures I took at 230 lbs but I can definitely see the difference.

-My arms are more toned and less flab.

-My legs have also gotten slimmer.

-My overall torso has turned from two huge tires to one big gut aka less rolls, over all with a smaller circumference.

-I've lost 4 inches from my middle since I started.

It's a work-in-process definitely. :)

I've been contemplating the changes I've made since I started this journey. One thing that really caught my eye was when I was preparing dinner the other night:

Rice with a lil soy sauce and herbs and a baked tilapia fish with onion, tomato, and green bell pepper, marinated with lemon.

My mouth was watering when I opened the foil and then it hit me. I HATE fish.. or more like I used to Hate fish.

I laughed at this and commented outloud,
"*LOL* If my 13 yr old self could see me now"

My co-worker (who was preparing his own dinner.. also fish btw) turned absently and said "Huh? What was that?"
"Oh nothing."

I suddenly walked out of the kitchen came back with my camera, took the beautiful picture of my food, and put the camera away without comment.

My co-worker said nothing. I smiled and ate my dinner happily.

~Oh these days I live in~


Monday, November 15, 2010

Weigh In: "I Did It!!"

Let's get right to the meat of this post;

Current Weight: 218 lbs (YES! I have now re-lost 30 lbs! And three extra pounds for good measure! YAY!!)

Work Out Achievement(s): So, first of all, yes I was finally able to lose those last few pounds and I have now officially (re)lost 30 lbs. Not only that but I jumped ahead and now I'm in the 2-teens. I haven't been in those numbers since middle school. It's a bit surreal.

I look at myself in the mirror and say, "Well yes, I can see the difference. That's good. But you're still fat Elina. Don't get too cushy yet. Keep going."

Maybe you can hear the not-so-excited tone in my voice here? Maybe it's because I've already lost 30 lbs once and this is the second time getting to the Same weight. Maybe it's because my goals are now further ahead (I want a figure DAMMIT!). I'm not sure what it is but right now this feels more like simply 'advancing to the next level before getting to the castle' than an actual victory. I'm still happy though!

I continued my swimming streak for most of last week. After my fall (read my last post ) I decided to take a break from swimming to let my wounds heal (having your wounds wet really doesn't help) but not before going in to the pool Friday (the day after the fall) and finishing 50 laps.

50 laps! Yes! I did it!

I was so proud of myself you'd get sick of hearing about it soon enough.

However one of my cuts looked worse after the swim so I decided to take the weekend off.

It wasn't easy. The weather was Fantastic on Sunday and I had to stare at my leg hard and continuously to convince myself NOT to go in the pool. But I'll be going in tonight, no worries. LOL

I have to do some research and order a few things online in order to start mixing it up and doing different things in the pool.

As for food I am paying close attention to what I'm eating and portion control. It's an on-going battle for me. I have to remind myself that I'm NOT hungry. I Don't need that granola bar. I Don't have to eat that extra bagel when I already had one. I Don't want a banana split with extra whip cream and sprinkles.

Oh man... mmmm...
It doesn't always work. But atleast I'm so secluded from the nearest fast food restaurants I simply have to settle with the food I have with me. Thank goodness what I have is fruit and water... and dark chocolate.. mmmmm...


For now I think what I'm going to do, as recommended by midlifeswimmer, is work on my lap speed. Swim out at a decent pace and come back strong, repeat. That sort of thing.

I have to go into spark people and use their calorie counter to help me calculate what my calorie intake range should be. I'm assuming this new weight will also mean cutting down on calories as well.

For now I'm just happy I made it this far. It's a nice comfortable feeling knowing that I'm going in the right direction. (It's kind of like the 'aaah' feeling of slipping into clean sheets after a shower knowing that, at THAT moment, all is right with the world..mmm.. yeah that feeling)

I hope that by the winter holidays I'll be even closer to the 200 mark. (That was my original goal to reach the 200's by the end of the year).

So we'll see.

Pictures of a 30 lbs lighter me coming up soon!

Have a great day everyone! Yay!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Bumps (& scrapes) on the Journey to Wellness

*this post was inspired by a post from the blog that introduced me to the "blogging world" and brought me this far *


A couple of nights ago I was swimming.

This was the night I decided I would really go for it and make a new record... and I did.

I swam 49 laps in 49 minutes. I was ECSTATIC!

I walked out of the pool feeling preeety cool:

But then tragedy struck. SLIP! Woop! BAM!!

I slipped and fell:

The men in the pool with me were worried. I waved it off and said it was just a scrape... but that didn't stop me from complaining like a baby by the time I reached the showers:

"hisss~ Aaaah.. dam***, sh**, you freaken klutz!"

My earlier high quickly diminished and sadness swept in:

But after a shower and a few minutes of complaining I told myself to stop acting like a baby.

Be strong!:

So I put some ointment that I found in my first aid kit:

I brushed my hair and my teeth:

I put on my lucky socks:

"Oh Yeah!"

Laughed it off and told myself this is just one small price to pay for getting healthy and well.

I put a smile on my face (and popped an advil LOL) and went to "town" for some soup and some company!:

I can do it!! You can too!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What does She Eat Anyway?/Pictures!

So as promised here is my Food post. (Get ready for some amazing looking food! lol)

So this is a typical day for me out here.. at least for the last couple of weeks

6:15 a.m.

This is every morning. Cold cereal with (vanilla) Soy Milk and a banana. Usually I would slice the banana in to the cereal but I was in a hurry this morning. (Ignore that "nutritional shake" in the corner. That belongs to my co-worker. I don't touch that stuff.)

around 10 a.m. I would usually have grapes and water OR a granola bar but yesterday was special and I had Chai tea and the rest of my pomegranite. Mmmm.

Lunch 12:00 p.m.

This is delicious. We have a toasted "Bagel Thins" bagel with a WW cheese spread. Greens, onion, tomato, avocado and an already cooked chicken patty from Costco.

It makes a delicious sandwich!

around 2 or 3 p.m. I would usually have either another granola bar or fruit but today I was a little bad and had

yummy bread pudding from the local diner AND one tablespoon of peanut butter (crunchy) to add it with. I drank it with a glass of (vanilla) soy milk.. so this all means I didn't eat any granola bars.

Dinner 7:00pm
I'm usually really hungry after my swim so this is my favorite meal of the day.

Last night I had curry (Indian Fare from Trader Joes) with ONE slice of Naan and a TON of grapes. All accompanied by my forever with me water bottle.

I am back to not drinking juices or sodas (I already don't drink coffee) so again my drinks are usually water, (soy)milk, tea and the occasional gatorade though the last one is so rare nowadays.

So, how many calories is this? According to sparkpeople.com's calorie counter this is around 1,975 calories.

The bread pudding really added a few calories there but overall this is ok. I'm trying to keep my calories between 1,700-2,000 and as long as I don't go over 2,000 calories I think I'll be ok. (Of course the more I keep it near the 1,700's the better right?) lol

Well that's some insight on my diet.

What do you think? LOL


Monday, November 8, 2010

Weigh In

I woke up this morning, groggy and not necessarily in a great mood knowing that today was my weigh in day. All week I kept crossing my fingers and bouncing up and down like a little girl hoping that the scale would give me good news,

"Please 226! Please let me be near 226 or 227. That's all I ask!"

I finally got out the scale (and my glasses and my headlamp because the freaken scale I bought ended up being incredibly hard to read!) and got a pleasant surprise:

Current Weight: 223 lbs (Holy Sh**! Was that right? I had to weigh myself 4 times to believe it but yes that's what it said!)

I couldn't believe the scale this morning but I'm Soo Pleased that this new work out regime is working for me. Which brings me to

Work Out Achievement(s): Last night was the most successful swim I've had since I started. I swam 45 laps without taking ONE break. I came up with a new way of chanting/keeping track of what number I was on (before I kept getting distracted by my own thoughts and would doubt what number I was on, making me do double laps sometimes..maybe. LOL) and it worked so well it became some sort of meditation.

My mind was so clear, my movements felt so smooth, and I knew EXACTLY what number I was on and how many I had left. My breathing was controlled. If someone walked in to the pool area I never noticed, I was so in-tuned with what I was doing.

This is my own picture of the pool I visit every night. This is through the fence that separates it from the "general public."

This weekend this little village had a celebration called "Old West Days" complete with a Craft Show, Line Dancing, old Cowboys and Country Music.

This is the stage where most of the celebrations were held. This was the day after the main events ended.

The place was packed and I happened to have company in the pool on Friday and Saturday nights.

When I finished my laps Friday night I got out of the pool and chit chatted with the couple that were in there with me (I didn't notice they were in there until my second to last lap) and felt a surge of pride when the girl told me,
"Oh yeah this town is cute but we were both mainly amazed at you swimming laps! My husband here told me, 'That girl has been swimming since before we got here and she STILL hasn't stopped once.'"

I laughed at this and told them my plan that once I moved there I needed to find a way to work out and how I made the decision to start swimming and add a lap every day. They seemed impressed. It made me happy that they didn't think I was crazy and that I wasn't the only one who thought I was making good progress.

I smiled and thanked them.

The next night I went swimming a little early. It started raining and even I noticed the lightning. This didn't stop me from continuing but it definitely left me the pool to myself. So when I finished I was surprised to see that the same husband from the night before was in the pool by himself and enthusiastically asked me what lap I was on,

"44. I'm done."
"Yeah. I kind of went for it tonight. *pause* Well goodnight!"
"Oh. Goodnight."
He seemed a little disappointed that he missed the show I think. Aw well. LOL.

Goals: So with this happy note I'm really hoping to continue my regime of swimming (I want to reach 50 laps and then I'm finally going to switch it up I think).

I was looking at some of my fellow Bloggers and decided that I should make a post about the food I'm eating, pictures and all. :)

I've been really bad about counting calories for a while now and instead I've simply been trying to be conscious of calories in the food I buy and portion control. I thought it would be a nice project to take pictures of the food I eat and take account that way.. at least once. lol

Other than that I'm hoping that by keeping this course I could lose 3-4 lbs by next week. By doing so I'll finally go back to the 30 lbs lost mark. I'd be so THRILLED if that happened.

What am I saying? It WILL happen! Maybe not by next week but definitely (hopefully) by the end of the month!

Wish me luck and I hope your Monday is as full as self satisfaction as mine is becoming!


Saturday, November 6, 2010


I have a pain on the right side of my neck from turning so much when swimming.

I have a crave for carbs every morning around 10 a.m.

I also want chocolate ALL the TIME.

I'm reading Jillian Michaels book on hormones and metabolism

(which is actually really interesting and it's giving me a lot more insight on the stuff I knew already about how hormones and etc control your body.. and since I have a lot of the problems she mentions it's like someone is finally throwing me a light in the tunnel..)
and I'm getting mad at my old doctors who knew this stuff about me for YEARS and never bothered to tell me until ONE YEAR AGO (when I switched doctors).

It was a good day but all these things that are happening recently just make me want to scream
"Gahh! What is going on body?! Don't you WANT to get better? Stop sabotaging yourself!!"

Tell me I'm not the only one who feels this way sometimes..


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Remembering the Little Things

Today I was (still am) in "town" re-stocking food & etc for the week and I started having fun remembering all the little things the classes and articles I've read recommend to keep you active.

Things like:

-Park farther away from the store and walk

-Use a basket instead of a cart to do your grocery shopping (when you don't have much to buy) <--- this is something I personally do because not only does it work my arms but it also keeps me conscious of the amount of food and etc I buy. It gets heavy fast!

-Make sure you read the labels and don't just focus on fat but calories as well

-The healthiest things are usually found on the outer walls and the more processed foods are usually in the aisles, so shop the outside first

-Don't go to the store hungry. (LOL <--- I downed a bag of trail mix right before going in to the grocery store)

The rest are just things I personally try to remind myself:

-Smile at the grocer and they'll help you choose a melon or similar

-Be sweet with the cashier (especially when the cashier is the manager) and they can use their "prefered card" for you when you don't have one and save you $5

-Lift at the knees not at the waist

-Run away from cheese!

-Don't ask for help to your car and instead show how awesome you are at carrying 5 bags of groceries and 2 gallons of water on your own to the back of the parking lot WITHOUT a cart (Oh Yeah~)

Ok that's all. Just having a fun day at the grocery store.

What fun and healthy thing did you do today?


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weigh In

I'm back in the desert and back to work. I got home late last night (Monday my Weigh In day) so I decided to weigh in this morning.

Current Weight: 228 lbs (great! We're back in the 220's, back in Business!)

Work Out Achievement(s): So this weekend as I mentioned in my last post I was at a convention this weekend and didn't really have a lot of time for visiting the gym or swimming. Honestly the closest thing I had to a work out was carrying boxes of food up stair cases a few times (I was a volunteer for the convention so yes I was wearing knee high boots and carrying a couple of Costco cases of Orange juice as my weekend get-a-way.. and I LOVED it! lol)

Other than that I also didn't get much of a chance to eat proper meals. Actually, I don't think I had one real meal the whole weekend. I survived on little complimentary cups of water and Trail Mix oh and the occassional buffalo wing I took from my friends who were smart enough to order food from the hotels restaurant.

Besides that earlier in the week I had continued my swimming streak, and after the weeekend was over and I returned to the desert I made sure to go back to the pool and pick up my laps where I left off.

Last night I easily swam 39 laps. Tonight will be 40 laps. 40 laps! I still can't believe it.

Goal(s):The entire time I was swimming last night (besides reminiscing about the weekend) I kept thinking that I should sign up for Swim-a-Mile which is a fundraising event for Women with Cancer as a part of The Womens Cancer Resource Center in Oakland, CA. I have volunteered (yes Elina loves to volunteer) for it before and even got the president of my College to donate $200 once (hehehe).

It was held in the beginning of October this year and I think I have to wait another year for it to happen again. When I volunteered before ( I would sit at the edge of the pool and tally off the number of laps a person would do as they swam, as well as general help for the event, answer questions etc) I loved the happy vibe. The cheering, the people. I was so proud of my fellow volunteers and classmates who swam but I never swam myself. A part of me is a little hesitant because you have to raise around $350 dollars for your swim and I have NEVER been good at asking for money, even if for a cause.

However, I think training for this and also forcing myself to fundraise will be two different steps toward improving myself. One, to get in shape so that I can do this and Two, to get involved in my community and work toward a cause instead of just sit on my ass and say "Oh, well that's too bad huh."

Be pro-active!

Now I have to remember that I currently Do Not live in Oakland CA and maybe I should find a different swimming event that is closer to me. This is a good point, however, I also think it would be a good idea to do this there. It'll be supporting the people I worked with before and it'll give me more of an accomplished feeling because it's the event that I was too scared of being a part of before.

I'm tired of living with regrets and this will be making up for one I've had for a few years.

I leave you with a pic of me this weekend; happy and with goals in the making!

Have a great week everyone!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Starting November with a new state of mind

I don't feel fat tonight.

Looking back on it I can count having that feeling throughout my entire life in one hand I think. I'm enjoying it tremendously at the moment.

So much so that I had to blog about it.
Yes it's midnight right now. Yes I'm in a motel room next to the freeway. Yes I'm exhausted after four hours of endless driving. But I'm calm and pleased.. and I want to share.

I just finished having an awesome weekend; on what is quickly becoming a late October tradition, of attending a convention with old college buddies each year. This year, although the newness of the events had worn off, the feeling of familiarity and fun was still present and during my drive tonight I realized something:

This was the first year I didn't worry about my weight or appearance(as much). I got to wear the outfits I wanted to wear without worrying about being uncomfortable or looking like a "fat girl trying to be skinny."

Because of that I naturally felt more comfortable with myself and less self-conscious. It changed my mood a bit and, dare I say it, brought out some slight confidence in my step as I strode through the hoardes of familiar and unfamiliar faces.

I actually got complimented more than once. I was even called "beautiful" and "hot" and not just by gay men this time. LOL. I might even recall getting looks that lasted longer than a general glance... but maybe I was just being hopeful on that last part.

Either way I'm admiting right now that I actually allowed myself to feel "pretty". Something I had almost NEVER allowed myself to feel before.

Now, most people out there might think I'm exaggerating.

"It's not like you've never felt pretty before Elina. Get over yourself." you might say.

But what you have to remember is that a person who has been living with incredibly low self-esteem and had actually almost completely convinced herself of how hideous she was and how that would never change, could actually have a hard time getting to a point where she could feel comfortable enough with herself to feel good and, well pretty...

Not only that but acknowledge it.
Not just acknowledge it but embrace it.
Not just embrace it but decide to make it public (aka this blog)

It's a big step.

I think I'm making progress.

I looked at myself in the mirror tonight.. with almost the same setting as the last time I did it.

There I was in a big motel mirror, ready for major criticism. I couldn't muster up enough energy or need to think of anything horrible about myself.

I actually commented, "Hmm. It looks like I'm losing weight." and left it at that.


Welcome November.