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!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Hello Everyone!

I can't believe it's already the belly button of the week and I STILL haven't gotten a chance to properly update this blog!

I have a few minutes before afternoon classes start so let's do this!

So last week, like I mentioned, I did great in work outs but pretty much mediocre in everything else. I need to really get cracking on counting my calories and reading my book and that is the goal for this week.

On Monday I spent the day packing and getting ready to start my new adventure at the Pathfinder Ranch Outdoor Education School.. where I'm learning to work as a Teacher Naturalist and teach outdoor classes to visiting 5th and 6th graders from different school districts in the Southern California area. I'm pretty much a year round camp teacher!

This is pretty awesome and it's very new to me so I'm hoping I can live up to the hype. Keeping up with 5th graders is hard work! My first full day yesterday left me completely exhausted and since I have to attend EVERYTHING (so I can learn it and then teach it) it was pretty hectic.

But this place is beautiful. The staff here is so far absolutely awesome and the routine is understandable. I'm having a hard time finding enough time to exercise but I'm sure once I get a routine going I'll be fine.

This week I'm just going to try and NOT eat everything at the dining hall. LOL.. which is going to be a challenge since this afternoon I already had 3 chimichangas for lunch! THREE! This pretty much means dinner is going to be carrots. LOL

Wish me luck and I hope your weeks are going well. I'm going to do my best to check out everyones blog and jot down my support. You guys are amazing and I thank you for all your kind words!

Hopefully later this week I'll have a chance to take pictures and then I can update with some cool images!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Weigh In... tomorrow

I said I would do a proper complete recount of last week but honestly I'm SUPER tired right now. I spent the whole morning packing, then driving, then getting oriented but I  made it to my new job and this place is beautiful. I admit I'm a little lost right now but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon.

Tomorrow is the first day. They have a pool here but I think I read that they have it closed for the fall/winter session. I guess it's time to find a new jogging route. A nice 3 mile loop would be awesome. Looking at the schedule it looks like early evenings are going to be the best time.

The people I'm living with so far seem pretty nice, energetic and roudy.. just the way I like them! LOL.

I'm glad I have ok wifi here. Which means I'll be able to keep up with the blogging world better.

I promise I'll spend time with a proper post tomorrow.. and hopefully once I get going I'll have some great pictures too!

Have a great week!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

CDCC Check In

Checking in quickly since I have to be out the door in 30 minutes!

I just woke up, excited and hoping to see a nice new lower number on the scale after my intense work outs all this week. I go to the bathroom and find out it's 'that time of the month'. Soon any hope for a loss on the scale left. I hate period gain. Nonetheless here is my number for the week.

Current Weight: 211.8 lbs (-0.2 lbs from last week)

Fluids: I drank well most of the week but I need to keep a better system on my water in take since I drink out of two different water bottles and never know for sure how much water I'm drinking.

Calories: I admit I didn't count at all last week. Something tells me that wasn't such a good idea so I'll start again this week.

Book: I also admit I haven't gotten far with my book. I think I need to start a new book right now. I'm having a hard time getting past the first chapter.

Work outs: This is where I went above and beyond. In the beginning of the week (when I felt bleh) I hadn't done much of anything but by Wednesday I started swimming again. Since I now had a deadline (I found out on Wednesday) since I start work on Monday I told myself I had until then to try making it back to 50 out-and-back laps.

On Wednesday I did 30 laps.
On Thursday I did 40 laps.
On Friday I did 45 laps.
and last night I finished 50 laps... in 65 minutes. Not my best time but seeing as I haven't swam in over 4 months and this pool is longer than the one I was used to I think this number is ok.

I still feel great (if not a little tired) and I already noticed that one of my pants fits just a little better than it did last week so I'm hopeful. I was really hoping for a bigger loss this weigh in but I can't complain.

I'll do a more thorough recount of last week tomorrow at my regular Weigh In. Have a great Sunday!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

How Yesterday Got Better.

So yesterday I wrote a post early in the day explaining how horrible I've been feeling the last few days and how hard it's been to get moving.

After I wrote that post I decided I needed to do something, Anything to feel some sort of accomplishment. After picking up the house, sweeping and washing dishes I decided I needed to do something more so I decided to make a list.

The first thing on the list was to finally mail my friend her charger which I kept forgetting to do, and then I was going to go to the grocery store to buy what I needed to make broccoli beef. While doing all this I wasn't feeling any better but I was doing Something and that was fine.

While I was looking up a broccoli beef recipe online (and cauliflower 'mac & cheese' yumm!) I got a call. I picked it up and it was the job I had interviewed for the day before. They had finally gotten a hold of my references and the second they finished doing that they called me to offer me the job.

What? A job? Me? And it starts next week? And it's in the field I've been hoping for? And it's two hours from my house so I can stay close to family? And it comes with housing? And I get actual weekends off this time??

I told the guy yes and thank you and I'll call him later so we can start talking about paperwork and details. I hang up and jump up and down with a little screech (I'm not a screamer so that's as far as I got. LOL). I updated my facebook status (yes, I know... lol) and went out to finish my errands.

I went to the post office and finally mailed my friend her package (I could hear the little box yelling "Alaska here I come!") I went to the grocery store and bought a ton of broccoli and cauliflower. Went home. Made the best broccoli beef I've ever tasted and had a cheese explosion with the faux mac & cheese.

I called the employer again and got all the details. Signed up for a CPR class, called up other places I needed before I head out next week and got it all done before 3p.m.

To top it off I had missed going walking with my mom in the morning so I told her if she wanted we could go walking after she finished work. I met up with her and we power walked the high school track while the football team practiced and the cheerleaders practiced cheering.

I talked to my mom about motivation for weight loss and we talked about how hard it is to change our habits. How much I've been struggling to lose weight the last month and she countered with having trouble losing weight the last 20 years. Touche' Mami. Touche'.

In the end as we walked we were pep talking each other and when we got back home I decided to try making banana nut muffins.. and then banana nut and zucchini muffins. Both batches needed sugar but turned out moist and fluffy. :)

At the end of the night I was tired, happy, and with a nearly complete crossed off 'To Do' list. But as 9pm rolled around I noticed that there was one thing I hadn't done yet... and that was swimming.

I promised myself I'd go swimming. I promised YOU, the blog reader I would go swimming. I didn't have an excuse (it's called 24 Hour Fitness for a reason) and after a little bit of inner whinning I got my swimsuit, my goggles and a towel and walked out the door.

I was surprised the gym was packed and the pool wasn't empty (why is 9:45 pm the perfect time to go to the gym on a Wednesday??) but I had a whole lane to myself.

I finished 30 back-and-forth laps and took a few minutes in the hot tub. When I got home I was exhausted but happy.

And the icing on the cake?

When I woke up this morning I felt good. I didn't feel bloated or lethargic. I woke up a little groggy but with energy. I woke up feeling skinny. I woke up feeling good.

Isn't it amazing how taking initiative and getting off your ass can help how you feel and what you do?

Have a great Thursday everyone and thank you for the kind words!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Not Doing So Well

Isn't if funny that Wednesday seems to be the day some people (at least me) like to check in? It's the belly button of the week, and I suppose that means it's time to take some time and reflect on progress.

For me there doesn't feel to be any. Sigh.

I've been waking up these last three mornings feeling horrible. I feel tired, bloated and sick. I feel heavy and just bleh. I know what it is. It's the food I've been eating and the lack of exercise from the last few weeks. But instead of reaching for something healthier I end up eating just as badly and have no energy to exercise. It's a horrible cycle!

The week is still early but I hate waking up like this. I hate having my old routine messed up and I don't like how I forget little things when I'm home. I forget to take my multi-vitamin. I forget to drink water. I forget to go outside sometimes! What gives!

I promised myself I'd go swimming tonight so I will. I don't understand how I become so lazy and sluggish when I'm home and I'm still struggling in changing that.

This morning I woke up at seven. Didn't end up taking my sister-in-law to work so what do I do? Instead of grabbing my walking shoes and enjoying the crisp morning weather.. I move to a now empty bedroom put on a movie and fall asleep for another 2 hours.

Bleh. Bleh. Bleh.

I hope it gets bettter.

rant over


Sunday, September 18, 2011

CDCC Check In

So the first week of the Christmas Dress Countdown Challenge is over and here are the results.

Current Weight: 212.0 lbs (-1.4 lbs from last week)

Seeing as my food in take this week has been terrible. (Over ate most of the week and Really over ate all weekend) I'm ok with the loss this week.

My fluid in take has been ok. Drank enough water at least 4 days out of the week and my return to the gym so far has been a success.

I started reading my book yesterday. I've been having trouble sitting down and taking the time to read when I feel restless that I'm not working to find a job. I can't seem to get comfortable and I start feeling guilty that I'm sitting down "doing nothing" when I should be working my ass off trying to get applications in. I should really organize my time better this week so I can get both things in.

This weekend I was able to go to the county fair with my sister. I don't like carnival rides (and yet I love theme parks) so I wasn't interested in the rides or games. Instead my sister and I walked the entire Fair (our home town fairgrounds are one of the biggest in the state so that's a lot of walking) checking out the attractions, and to me, checking out some eateries. I ended up eating a little bit of:

ice cream
strawberry milk
chocolate and yogurt covered raisins
sample dip
beef jerky
and the actual "meal" we had was none other than a HUGE turkey leg from a roasting pit

Having fun picking at this monster. Yumm.

Although it was fun I honestly feel ashamed at my inability to restrain myself from any food that catches my eye. It's harder than ever right now when there are so many temptations so close at hand. This is the time where I miss living in the middle of nowhere and even if I wanted a donut, driving 30 miles to get one seems ridiculous.

After Wednesday I also slowed down on my exercises so that when I came back late from the fair, tired and  bloated the only thing I could muster to do was to turn on the On Demand cable and do a 10 minute Belly dancing Basics session. 10 minutes of activity, I guessed, was better than nothing at all. It at least helped the icky feeling of bloating subside.

To make up for my food slip ups and lack of exercise this weekend I decided to attempt doing a 5k again last night. I've been going to the gym and trying to beat my time from the previous attempt.

At the beginning of the week I did a 5k in 39 minutes.
Two days later I felt great and I did a 5k in 37 minutes.
Last night I upped the speed and did a 5k in 36minutes 30 seconds.

I almost died. The treadmill I was on had a broken fan and I ended up heating up really quickly. I had already started my jog and once I start I don't stop. I ended up having to wipe the sweat off my face and attempt to drink my water bottle without breaking stride and send myself flying off the treadmill at 5.1 mph. LOL. It probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, but I am very stubborn and by the end of the run I was so in to it that I had already done 3.12 miles before I realized the treadmill was trying to get me to start cooling down. Oops!

So this week, I need to make a schedule. I need to organize my time so that I can get as much time to apply to jobs, babysit, give people rides, go to the gym and read my book-- all while trying to stay away from the fridge and keep my calorie in take in check.

This week wasn't a bad start. It's time to get better, get stricter.

I can do this! You can too!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

My crazy week so far.

What an interesting (to say the least) week I'm having so far!

The biggest thing is my return to the gym. I managed to go three times so far. Two times I went specifically to time my progress while I attempted to finish a 5k on the treadmill. My best time was yesterday where I finished a 5k in 37 minutes and hardly felt it. I was amazed to see that I can now keep a steady 5mph pace when before I used to dream of the day when I could make it to 5mph~ LOL. Now I think it's a little slow. LOL

Apart from that I was able to go to a Zumba class. Let me just say that things have changed at my gym since I was there last. I got there early to make sure I had a good spot but when it finally came time to go inside the room I was stopped because I didn't have a stamp on my hand.
 me:"What stamp?"
girl at door: "You need to reserve your spot and get a stamp. Most people come an hour early to reserve their spot. Why don't you go to the front desk and ask. Someone might have cancelled and you might get lucky."
me: "Well isn't that a bit of terrific, since when did these classes get so full?"
girl: "Please step aside ma'am I need to let others in. Go check the front."

I, disgruntled and a little embarrassed, moved away and was pretty pissed that I was going to miss my Zumba class. I went up to the front, not to ask for a stamp but to ask what gives. Though I hardly phrased my question when the girl at the front went, "Oh you're interested in the Zumba class? You're in luck I have a space today! But you do have to sign for a stamp to reserve your place. The best thing to do is to come an hour early."

An HOUR early? Are you kidding me? I couldn't believe it. I later learned that they had cut back on Zumba classes and now only had them a couple of times a week in the late evening and because of that most classes were now full and in demand. I never had to worry about that before because there used to be multiple Zumba classes a day. Not anymore.

So long story short I got to go to Zumba afterall. I was now late so I got a crappy spot in the back and they had already started. It took me a second to find and then follow the instructor but soon enough I was following along. By the end of the night I was closer to the middle of the group (how did I maneuver myself up there, I don't know but there you have it) and got my groove on. Man, I've missed Zumba.

The following day I was so busy baby sitting my little nephew and working like mad on re-writing my resume I didn't make it to the gym. When I realized I wasn't going to make it I asked my mom if she knew where her Zumba DVD's were. She said she couldn't remember but then suddenly ordered my little sister to set up the Wii. I was confused. (disclamer: I am NOT a gamer. I have no interest in video games and have trouble keeping up with what's what and who is who) I then realized my family had the Just Dance 2 game on Wii and that I could use the Wii control to dance and compete to get a high score. I laughed at the idea but went for it.

My mom and I competed and in a second I ended up winning the competition in almost every category. Before I knew it I had been playing 'Just Dance 2' for over an hour and a half (mom had long ago stopped playing) and I had a nice sweat going. LOL. Talk about an interesting work out!

It's safe to say that my work out routines are coming back to life. I'm happy about that. What I'm not so happy about is my calorie intake. I've been calorie counting all week and I've been ending up around a 1900-2000 calorie range. I now know what my body is currently comfortable with but I have to start bringing that number down. I want to make a smooth transition because I know I'm prone to binge-ing the second my body feels (or *I* subconsciously feel) deprived. It's an interesting dynamic really and I'm trying to take the time to really listen to my body and try and figure out WHY I do this.

On that note I was actually pretty happy to get the opportunity to attend an OA (Overeaters anonymous) meeting last night. An old friend of mine invited me to join her and I was happy to take her up on the opportunity and learn something new. I actually didn't know that OA really existed. I'd heard of it but I didn't think it was real. I wasn't sure what to expect, although I was happy to see that people actually do go up to each other and introduce themselves before they talk;
me:"Hi I'm Elina and I'm a compulsive overeater."
group: "Hi Elina!"

That sort of thing,

Being my first time to a meeting I received a token similar to this one:

 I spent most of the meeting trying to figure out what was going on and how things worked but in the end I was happily surprised at the open-ness of the group and very interested in listening to the stories people shared. I don't know yet if this would be a group I might follow but I wouldn't mind going to a meeting again. 

A part from all that aweomeness there have been some set backs. Last night I received a disturbing email pretty much saying the project I was hoping to join fell through and so I was now left job-less and have to start over in my job search. Talk about frustrations! I'm trying not to go to food to deal with my disappointment and trying to be pro-active and not get myself too stressed out over this. The life of a roving biologist has it's set backs. Especially when I got a little too comfortable believing things would just work themselves out and I became lazy in my search earlier this summer. 


Things are over all going well! I swear! 

Until we meet again.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Weigh In: First Day of CDCC

I weighed myself again this morning and found a slightly happy change:

Current Weight: 212.6 lbs (+4lbs from last week and surprisingly -0.8 lbs from yesterday)

Work Out Achievement(s): So yesterday was my initial post for the Christmas Dress Countdown Challenge (CDCC). Yesterday was the first day of me tracking my calories again and although my goal was 1400 I ended up eating around 1900. Yikes!

However I was happy that last night was my first time back in the gym with a mission. I wanted to finish a 5k in under 40 minutes. I rocked that treadmill and ended up doing a 5k in 39 minutes. Boy let me tell you going back to a treadmill after doing trails was hard. Honestly it was a bit boring. LOL. I have the tendency of fixing my sight on a post or tree or something to run toward and then switch to something else when I got close as a motivator. With a treadmill, you're not going anywhere so it's hard to keep going when my legs were tight or I look down at the monitor and realize I've only done one mile. Either way by the end of it my legs were so in to it I felt like they were still moving after the session was over.

The best part about it was being able to use some machines to work my arms. I admit I missed it. I got a sheet with the class schedules and I'm planning on going to Zumba tonight. I'm very excited!

Goal(s): So far up to a reasonably good start to the CDCC. I have to watch my calorie in take since I was pretty surprised at the amount I ate last night. I also plan on reading my book before going to bed every night so I'll be able to start that soon too. For now I'm keeping my water bottle near me and getting those ounces in. I'm very energetic and I think things are going well so I just hope my mood keeps up!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Christmas Dress Countdown Challenge!

Today is the day!

As I've mentioned before I joined the Christmas Dress Countdown Challenge where I join other fabulous bloggers in a 14 week challenge to lose enough weight to fit in to a dress of our choice by December 18th, in time for the holidays. Today is Day 1.

Current Weight: 213.4 lbs (yes I was shocked that I gained 5 lbs in one week. I feel bloated which might have something to do with it, but there it is.)

Here are the rules.

Select a caloric daily limit on which you (and I) can lose weight weekly.

Seeing as I want to get near the 180's by the end of the challenge, and seeing as I've gained more weight than I expected (and consulting with sparkpeople.com) I am setting a caloric limit of 1400 calories. I know myself and know that if I try to set a caloric limit lower than that I won't be satisfied and end up binge eating. No thank you. 1400 is definitely do-able. I'll be calorie counting again in sparkpeople.com

Exercise a minimum of 3x a week.

I'm starting up my jogging routine again and I'm planning on registering for a 5k this winter. In order to keep up a routine I need to strive for a goal. Signing up and putting money on a race is definitely something I'd keep motivated for. LOL. Other than that I re-activated my gym membership for a little while. Seeing as I'm home for longer than I expected I'm going to take advantage of the gym for as long as I possible can. I'll jog 4-5 times a week. From there I'll try to work on strength training 3 times a week.

Hydrate sufficiently.

I usually drink at least 8 glasses of water. I'm trying to go back to drinking over 16 glasses of water. This was pretty normal for me earlier this year and I've been lacking so I'll strive for that right now.

Choose 1 (or more) books and work on your main obstacle-to-losing issue(s)

I am a 100% emotional eater. I've been gradually gaining since before my birthday. The reason for that has to do with a lot of emotions I've been going through and working on getting my life together. So funny enough one of the birthday presents I got was a book that will work perfectly for me and for this challenge:

This is exactly the kind of book I need to read right now. From there I've also been looking at books that deal with emotional eating and the reason behind it rather than a diet book. 

And of course the main reason for this challenge:

Get a smaller sized dress.

Here is the dress I've chosen:

This is the red (holiday festive isn't it?) dress I picked out. I had another dress but this one seemed perfect since it's that polyester spandex material that doesn't hide ANYTHING so my unflattering curves are there for everyone to see.
My goal is to get this dress to fit better and more loosely by holiday season. Another thing is that this dress is sleeveless. I'm self conscious of my flabby arms so I'm going to try my best to work on that as well.  

So there you have it! My start to the Xmas Dress Challenge. I'll be linking up my posts related to this challenge every Sunday on theChristmas Dress Countdown Challenge page.

I'll still continue my regular weigh ins on Monday and keep updating. Good luck to all challengers!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Jogging: A love/hate relationship

So it's been a heat wave this entire week and I'm still using it as an excuse to not go jogging. I've been feeling guilty and noticed that today wasn't as hot as the rest of the week. Seeing as the only exercise I did all week was a couple of dance work out videos and a walk with my mom, I figured I NEEDED to go outside.

Like last time the beginning of the jog was tough. I felt bloated and my calves felt tight. I struggled going uphill and to top it off my mp3 player (set on all songs P!NK woo!) decided to give me every slow song Pink has. Epic Fail.

But then I turned around at the top of the hill. Stretched, took a breather and kept going. The slow songs finally ended and the tempo picked up. My legs finally warmed up and the road back got easier. My pace sped up and I finally felt good.

Why is it that it takes me freaken' FOREVER to get off my ass. And yet I feel great once I finish? Despite the rough starts, and besides the occasional knee or hip pain. (Gotta work on that.)

I don't know what's up, but I'm glad I got out today.


Challenge Weigh In and dress pics on Sunday!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bought a New Dress for the Challenge!

Today I ended up trying out the work out videos found in my family's On Demand cable. I tried out a couple of dance work out vids and kind of fell for belly dancing. It's a fun core work out.

There's been a major heat wave these last couple of days and I admit I've been lazy going outside to get some cardio in. However I'm hoping my work out video sessions will help a little bit.

On the upside I found a new, better dress for the Xmas Dress Challenge. I'll post pics on Sunday when I start my official challenge Weigh In.

I'm getting super excited!

I wish every challenger good luck!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Quick Weigh In

Happy Labor Day! I didn't realize it was Monday and almost forgot to weigh myself. But luckily I remembered and did. Not so great was the number on the scale.

Current Weight: 208.4 lbs (+0.4 lbs from last week)

Work Out Achievement(s): Despite my best intentions I only worked out twice last week (not counting the 4 times I walked the school track with my mom in the early mornings or the Tango lessons last night). My eating habits have been stabilizing and I'm not going crazy every time I set foot in the kitchen. I guess I'm still slowly getting in to it and I'm just glad I'm kind of maintaining (for the most part).
Thanks to a friends random text message I managed to get off my ass and go jogging at least once last week. I'm thankful for her. I don't know if I would have done it at all if I hadn't gotten that simple push. It felt good. A bit slow but that's ok.
 2.5 miles in 34 minutes.

Time to get moving.

Goal(s): I'm still trying to go for the basics. Drink over 8 glasses of water a day for a week. Work out 30 minutes a day for the rest of the week. I'm going to start counting calories again this week and try to keep it at 1500 calories. I need to start preparing for the Xmas Dress Challenge so my next Weigh In will be on Sunday and will have a picture of the dress I'm going to try and fit in to by the holidays.

Wish me luck!


My First Tango Lesson

I've been home for almost a week and my mom asks me:
"There's an Introductory Tango class for visitors on Sunday. Wanna go with me?"

My instant answer was "Hell yes I do!"

Back track a bit: I love dancing. No let me rephrase, I. LOVE.DANCING. But I've never taken any classes and until late high school/college I pretended I didn't like it for whatever dumb reason I had at the time. One of my life goals is to take dance lessons in ballroom or in anything really. Moving around a lot (and lack of funds) has pretty much prevented that. So being able to get a taste of a Tango class seemed like an amazing opportunity.

We called the studio to get more information and it was pretty much a sample class for visitors to get a taste of the course and current students to help and show their stuff. It seemed perfect.

So Sunday arrives and after getting lost a little we find the studio. We walk in and sure enough it's a nice sized room full of mirrors and bars and very few people. I get nervous. It was smaller and less busy than I expected(I guess the entire world isn't a tango enthusiast like I was). I could tell my mom was a little nervous too so we walked around and went to the second room where there was a table with dancing shoes and another table with tango cds. Tango music filled the studio.

I striked up a conversation with a woman who worked there and after her description of the teacher and general chit chat I felt better and my mom and I sat down to wait for more people to trickle in.

Completely un-related comment: It's raining right now as I type this and I'm getting super giddy. I love rain!

Finally the dance teacher came. Older man all in black with a bit of a belly, perfect posture and although the top of his head was bald the rest of his flowing gray hair reached his shoulders. Fair skin and skinty light eyes, this man WAS an Argentinian Tango master.

He was intense from the get go and explained that this class wasn't about learning steps and that Tango wasn't about a routine choreography. You work for the music and the music doesn't work for you. So, the first step to seeing if Tango was for you was to "listen to the music" and if you didn't feel something for it then the music wasn't for you.

He kept saying things like "stop thinking" and "Stop worrying about the steps and just listen!"
"I'm not going to teach you how to count. You already know how to count. There is no counting!"

In other words, this guy was awesome.

We all stood in a straight line. He taught us how to stand. Then how to walk. Then how to groove. He then separated the men from the women and thought us the basic steps. Turned around and taught the women the coordinating steps. Then paired us up!

I'm not used to having a partner when I dance. I'm usually the lead. I couldn't be the lead this time because I didn't learn the male steps! So I was relieved that I was actually going to dance with a guy for once. LOL

The guy I ended up with was pretty suave-ly dressed and apparently a current student because he helped me and corrected me (nicely) as we went. He complimented my fast learning skills and I thanked him. More current students had come at this time and were helping all the newbies as we switched partners.

I got to dance with almost the entire male audience and I admit more than a couple of times I would look over to the mirrors and see (and feel) myself in perfect sync with my partner.

"Holy shit. I can dance!"

Now, I know I can 'dance'. Most people who meet me, then see me dance end up commenting on it with awe and each time I laugh and thank them. But this was a class. I was dancing with current students. It was TANGO! And I could do it. I did it. It was awesome.

By the end of the night most of the new people had left (where did they go? Where was I? Oh right dancing suckers! HA!) and my mom and I sat down for a breather. (Btw. I got my dance craziness from my mom and although I hadn't been paying much attention to my moms progress I was no where near surprised when people were going up to her saying things like "You're really good!" or "I was watching you and you can really dance." LOL) The only dancers left were the current students and I was watching their fancy moves.

My mom decided it was time to go and so we said our goodbyes. Thanked everyone and shook the teachers hand. As we were walking to the door one of the guys came up to us and told us that it could be intimidating and that its just like coffee. It could be an acquired taste. I laughed and patted his arm and told him not to worry we were hooked before we walked through the door.

As we drove away we excitedly recalled the night and talked about which dancers were easier to dance with and how comfortable we felt with the moves etc. We were both at our element then and I was so happy to see my mom so excited.

To top it off it was raining! This place is so dry in the summer I welcomed the weather.

Over all an amazing night. It just proves to me that I WILL make it a priority to take dance classes. When? I don't know but either way it WILL happen.


Friday, September 2, 2011

September Weigh In: A Xmas Challenge!

I checked the scale this morning now that it's officially September and here's August's damage:

Current Weight: 208.0 lbs

I gained at least 8 pounds in a month. Looking at my weight progress this entire year (2011) it's obvious I've been trying to keep my weight at bay in the early 200's and trying desperately to keep within the ONEderland mark the entire summer. It feels like I've been trying to hold a wave (of weight) back with my bare hands and that I finally slipped last month and allowed some weight to pass my arm-wall of steel!

That's how I picture it anyway. It's time to rebuild the wall (maybe get some solid support if you catch my meaning) and mop up and throw out this uninvited weight again. How long will that take? I'm not sure. But there is no time like the present to start.

But honestly, can we say "Yo-Yo dieter"? I mean this year is almost over and I haven't been able to get much progress at all compared to last year. I know I shouldn't compare but it's hard when I did so well last year and I've spent all of this year in this crazy plateau. It's brought a lot of things in perspective and it's opened my eyes to the type of habits I have, things I know I should change and how hard it's been to change them.

To help me with the rest of the year I have signed up (and been picked for WOO!) a Xmas Challenge!

The lovely Princess Dieter has created a new challenge for the winter called the Christmas Dress Countdown Challenge 2011 where with certain rules and determination us challengers will do our hardest to lose enough weight to fit in to a smaller sized 'Xmas dress' by Holiday season.

In order to do that we have to have a set caloric range, commit to an activity 30 minutes a day, have a book(s) to study that help us on our journey, pick a dress, take a picture with it before and after, and most of all NOT GIVE UP. All in a 14 week time period.

Sounds exactly what I need and very close to my own goals already. Having other people to work with and compete with sounds awesome! As I've mentioned before I usually go at things alone but I think it's time to change that and see if a group dynamic might help me better this time.

I'm very excited! I have already started my research for books (hence the reason I was looking at magazines that inspired my last post ) and have already bought the dress I wanted!

The challenge officially starts Sept. 11 and I'm on my way to getting ready for it. One thing I need to try again is a paleo diet. I KNOW it would be a fantastic fit for what I need, but it's also VERY challenging for me because dairy and grains are/were such a huge part of my life/diet. But because of that it's also the reason why I really need to try this out. I tried earlier this summer and failed miserably. I restricted myself too quickly and all hell broke loose. I ended up binge eating worse than I have in a long time; which is evident in my weight gain. I need to try again. I need to try it slower and read up on this lifestyle a little more before I take a blind plunge again.

I have people expecting me to take this seriously. I won't let them or myself down. I've never been one to break my promises (or feel ok with letting people down if I do fail). I can do this.

I'll make a separate post with all the required information for the challenge and post it soon.

Good luck on your journey. May your map be smoother than mine has been. If it isn't may your support system help you in those pesky obstacles.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

I miss the gym.

It's true. I've been having trouble coming up with new strength training work outs and have been lazy doing cardio once the weather turned warmer. In other words I've been slacking. I promised myself I was going to get better and I went out yesterday to look for books to read.

I wanted to focus on books that dealt with WHY we over eat and HOW we can work on our mental state rather than just worry about calories in vs. calories out. One thing I ended up looking at were magazines. I picked up a copy of Men's Health.

This copy to be exact. I admit a big part of me picked it up because it had a picture of Stephen Moyer, but that's beside the point.

I read an article while standing by the rack and it made me miss the gym.

I was never a huge fan of the gym but now that I don't really have the option of going to a gym (I move every few months, and usually to places that don't have a 24 Hour Fitness so my membership is kind of pointless) I kind of realize how convenient they can be and how much more challenging it can be without one. The 24 Hour Fitness has classes that would usually cost a ton of money each on their own. There are trainers and machines that help you with different body parts etc. It's pretty useful to have everything in one place. You can move from station to station and get a full body work out in an hour or so. It's nice.

I'm not saying I can't do it without a gym. I've lost 50 lbs, most of those pounds without a gym. But when I'm struggling with coming up with new work out routines, especially in strength training (my weakness) it would be nice to have a membership and someone to help me define a work out just for me.

That's what I got when reading Men's Health... and other books and magazines with similar-yet-slightly-different advice. Though I steer clear of anything that promises losing weight fast with minimal effort, or any magazine that focuses more on looking beautiful with make up and fashion rather than hard work and sweat. I don't want to delude myself in to thinking there's a magic pill.

There is no magic pill.

I'll figure this out.