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!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Second Blog-aversary: My Achievements

If you've been following my blog for a while you might remember that I claimed 2011 to be 'The Year of Risk Taking'. Last year was the 'Just Do It' year with great success. So how did I do this year? Let's find out.

Taking risks can be more than just about weight loss. I took this thing seriously when it came to my life. In January I had an "epiphany" as I like to call it. I decided that I wanted to move away from field biology and try my hand at Environmental Education. By the end of June this year I had taken a serious risk, quit my current field job, moved to an island and started working in Environmental Interpretation and I now work at a science camp for 5th and 6th graders.

This year I also decided to take a plunge in to something I usually ran away from: intimacy. Low self-esteem and self-worth can really screw a persons perspective on themselves. It's kind of like the whole saying, "How  can you love others if you don't even love yourself?" Since I gained some confidence my relationships have taken a whole new level.

This year I've also tried to focus on my diet and tried different things. I attempted calorie counting, eating small portions/meals throughout the day, eating only when I'm hungry. I tried eating less carbs, eating less meat, juice fasting, and not doing anything on my diet and simply focus on exercise. All "diet" experiments came with mixed results and different levels of success in each.

With exercise my main risk and challenge was taking up jogging. I went from jog/walking to further jog stretches. I continued to the point of investing in running shoes (getting my gait measured and everything) and finally running in my first 5k race this November.

I hiked more than I have before. I've traveled a good deal within my state as well as having a couple of escapades whether or not I could afford it. LOL.

This year I was able to cross things off my Bucket List more than I have any year prior. Some of the items on the list were...

Drive a golf cart.
Learn how to use a bow and arrow.
Ride a horse.
Run a 5k.

...just to name a few.

So how do I feel?

I feel accomplished.
I feel stronger.
I feel more confident.
I feel.... good.

For the most part.

But there are a lot more things I want to accomplish. This is just the start. There are a lot more goals I need to work on.

For 2012 I've decided to call it the year of  "Going for the Goal". What does this mean?

It means that I will focus on working on specific goals to better myself. Now isn't this what I've been doing already? Yes, but this year I'm planning on taking it to the next level. I will not stop until I make that goal. And then I'll keep going to stay at that goal.

This year I will try my hardest to do the things I've been planning to do for YEARS. I will try my hardest to take those dancing classes I've been talking about for almost a decade. I will try to finally learn how to ride a motorcycle. I will try to move to the areas I've been dying to see and of course:

It's time to finally lose the weight and work on getting to my goal weight (175 lbs) by the end of 2012.

No more excuses. No more worrying what people think. No more stopping because of worrying about expenses. I'll make it work. I'll figure it out. I'll save. I'll sacrifice. I'll do what it takes.

 This is the time to do it. I'm not getting any younger. (LOL). There is no one else to stop me but myself. Sure there is some unconscious sabotaging going on here and there but in the end it is my responsibility to resist, to ignore, to walk away from those temptations and those people.

My next post will be about the plans I have to start working toward that goal weight. I'm making a specific plan for the next couple of months to get me in to a good start for the rest of the year.

Have a good New Year everyone! Good luck on your goals, your challenges, your journey. I'll be checking in to see how everyone else is doing. LOL


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How Serious Am I?

Hello Everyone,

Yes, I've noticed I've been gone since before Christmas. No, I'm not dead. Yes, I have been indulging in way too many sweets. No, I haven't given up. I never will.

I admit I've been a bit disappointed in myself due to the number on the scale and how much I've been gaining this fall. The plateau this year really hit my me hard and my frustrations have been showing itself by the gut that's pushing to come back and the rising number I can't stand to look at but can't deny is there.

It makes a person think. This is the time of year where you start looking back at 2011 and see what you accomplished, what you hoped for, what goals didn't quite make it.

For me the thing that I've been looming over is of course my lack of weight loss this entire year. I had hoped to reach my goal weight this year and instead I got stuck in the 200's all year. I had a taste of ONEderland for a few blissful-yet-excruciatingly struggling months this summer. Yet I noticed that after my birthday in August (and my failure of losing the amount of weight I wanted by then) I felt myself slacking. With that light slack the weight started roaring back as if a tidal wave that I had been holding back with all my strength had finally won and plummeted me.
Try holding back this monster

You can say I'm currently soaked and struggling to get back on my feet. While I stumble I start to think;
"Do I want to get up?"
"Why do I want to get up?"
 "Am I willing to fight the next round of waves?"  
"How badly do I want this?"
"How serious am I?"

Negative thoughts have been coming back these last couple of weeks. How I'm a failure. I'm not disciplined. How I haven't accomplished anything this year. How I've ruined all the progress I made last year. How I'm lazy and a glutenous slob wasting my time.

But then I started looking at old family pictures of myself. I noticed that girl and her sad eyes. Her big cheeks and her bad posture. That miserable little girl with the non existent self-esteem who longed for a different life and a different body. The girl who lived in her head while she left her body to rot.

Then I see pictures of me now. The independent woman who has explored her own state more than she could have imagined. The woman who loves to hike, lives to dance, and smiles like she means it. LOL.

I look at the medication I have to take and how much better things have gotten since I "got serious" two years ago and decided to do something about my weight and my life.

I look at my current job and how much fun I'm having and how much more confident I am when it comes to work and my skills.

So did I ruin everything by gaining weight this year? HELL NO. My accomplishments out weigh the down falls 10 fold!

I am no longer that sad little fat girl anymore.

I am no longer her:
Fall 2007

but rather I am her:

Fall 2011

Still learning but with much more respect, confidence and overall liveliness in her.

There is no way I can allow a pity party when I have worked and gotten so far.

The journey must continue!

So I'm here.

I'll post another post a late 'Blog-aversary' post soon talking about my achievements of 2011 and my plans for 2012.

I'm already working on them and will reveal all soon!

Why? Because I'm serious about this journey. No matter how many times I fall, drenched with trembling knees from one of those 'tidal waves' I will get up and keep going.

Have a great end of 2011. May your year have been awesome and may 2012 bring more accomplishment.


Sunday, December 18, 2011


I JUST got back from my trip to the Bay Area and I jumped on the scale this morning. The number wasn't too surprising but I was hoping for better.

Current Weight: 214.8 (+2.4 lbs from last week)

So this is the last weigh in of the Challenge was 213.4 lbs which means that at the end of the challenge I actually gained 1.4 lbs. So sad but true.

Now let's look back at the rules to see what happened:

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

I did NOT follow this AT ALL. I stopped calorie counting early in the game and never truly re-started. I attempted different food diets never finding one that really stuck with me.

Exercise a minimum of 3x a week.

This I had no problems with. I have been able (for the most part) to have some sort of activity at least 3x a week. The consistency of my work outs were varied and my commitments to a specific work out was non existent but to say I've been a couch potato would be lying. Since my weight loss journey started exercise has hardly been the problem.

Hydrate sufficiently.

This I admit was yo-yo. I would hydrate well one week. Hydrate horribly the next. You would think I could keep up with something as simple as drinking water. But looking back.. not so much.

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

I was all over the place with this one. I would start a book here, finish a book there and never actually started reading a book and finish it in one go. I did pick up a lot of random information that will help me but never dedicated enough time to one book alone.

And of course the last rule:

Get a smaller sized dress.

Here again is the dress I picked at the beginning of the challenge:

And here it is now

Now a part from looking much more tan (how does that happen in winter months?? Oh yeah I work outside. LOL) and although I still have the bulges showing I actually look a bit more toned. And I'll happily take that. LOL

I AM planning on wearing this dress for the holidays. Once I'll accessorize it with one of my favorite belts it doesn't look that bad. What do you think?

*Ready for the Holidays!*
I don't think it looks that bad. *nods* It will do.

So all in all I want to thank everyone that supported me. It was a great challenge and although I fell short I don't regret joining and keeping up with everyone. I will lose the weight. I just have to keep fighting against this yo-yo battle I'm in.

This is also my 2nd year Blog-a-versity. Two years in to w0rld's FAT blog and I'm still going strong. 

I'll make a new entry talking about my blogging anniversary later this week.

Thank you everyone!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quick Check in from the Bay Area

It's Wednesday and I've been here since last Saturday. I'm having a blast and I'm living up to my promise to "go primal" and walk everywhere. For the most part I spent all of Monday, yesterday and now today walking around. One of them was an official hike.

I have a small blister on my pinkie toe (who gets a blister on a pinkie toe??) and I feel like stretching my legs every five seconds. It's awesome.

Here's a sneak peek of my hike yesterday. I'll do a thorough report when I get back home this weekend.

~on the way up the mountain~

Until we meet again


Sunday, December 11, 2011

CDCC Check In/I'm in the Bay!

Hi Everyone!

So this week I'm going to be bumming it in the Bay Area! I got here last night and had a great time. Woke up this morning and looked at the scale..

Current Weight: 212.4 lbs (+0.8 lbs)

..and wasn't too daunted by the slight gain. Chances are the couple of "treats" I gave myself last week caught up with me. I'm pretty sure this week is going to help get rid of that.

Quick Update:

Exercise: I went on quite a few hikes last week. Four hikes with the kids, one of which was the major hike that took us to the local peak. It took me three days to get over my soreness from my new strength training routine and by the end of the week I ended up doing a less strenuous version of it so as not to pull anything.

Water: 4 out of 7 days. I definitely was not able to drink enough water most of the week but tried to make up for it by drinking tea.

Food: I didn't calorie count this week and it showed on the scale. I finished my last week for this season at work and we had to clear out the fridge for the winter. (The camp starts back up in January so I'm on "winter break") I definitely indulged in some extra food and called it my "duty" to finish my left overs. Was this smart? Absolutely not.

Support: Yes! I was finally able to go to some peoples pages and express my love and support to their blogs! I'm so glad I took the time! People are doing amazing progress.

This week is going to be interesting since I'm going to be couch surfing through out the bay area and (hopefully) walking around a lot. My lack of funds, my encouragement to use the primal form of transportation (that's called walking) and hopefully a trip or two to the trails this week will help get that number on the scale back down.

I arrived in the Bay Area last night and already had a fantastic dinner with friends (mmm Pho), a movie night, a quick flirting session at a starbucks, a twinkling gelato date in downtown Berkeley, and a late night attending a Holiday themed Rocky Horror Picture Show! This is going to be awesome!

One more week challengers! Let's make it count!


Monday, December 5, 2011

So. Incredibly. Sore

As I mentioned in my last post I've started a new strength training routine following exercises from a book. Things seem to be going well but yesterday's "easy" exercises left me incredibly sore. To top that I decided to go on a hike with my co-worker. We ended up going up and down a canyon for 9 miles. Guess what that did to my legs. Yup! Sore!

My shoulders are sore from carrying a backpack.
My triceps are slightly sore from Seated Dips and Let Me Ups/Pull ups.
My upper abs are slightly sore from Pilates.
My glutes are sore from squats.
My inner thighs are incredibly sore from Romanian Dead Lifts.
My knees are sore from hiking up hill.
My feet are sore from hiking downhill.
My quads are sore from all of the above.
My calves are not sore but might as well be from the pain I get when I stretch my legs.

What does this mean?

Elina had a great weekend!

I just have to keep it up this week and not go on an eating binge or something crazy like that.

I'm going to take a break today and let my muscles relax. I'll continue my strength training routine tomorrow morning.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

CDCC Check In

Today I woke up and reluctantly stepped on the scale. The number I got was better than I expected.

Current Weight: 211.6 lbs (-3.2 lbs from the Thanksgiving fiasco)

So not bad! I'm sure restraining myself slightly this week, losing some water weight and etc helped with this loss. I'll keep it!

Of course this number is still horrendous since the Christmas Dress Countdown Challenge ends soon and I haven't moved very far from my 213 lbs start. I still have a couple more check ins and I'm going to hit the ground running to see how much I can improve in the little time I have left. I admit I've been slacking for the last few weeks.

I finally, while gritting teeth fearing what I would see, started calorie counting. I was shocked at the number and yet it made perfect sense. The first night I calorie counted I had consumed over 3,200 calories!! It was amazing what I thought was just " a handful of this" here and "an extra granola bar won't hurt" there came up to!

You would think I would know better by now but alas there was the proof. I continued to count calories for the rest of the week minus yesterday when the internet was down again. Whether I like it or not it just proves that calorie counting really works. Sigh*

I started playing with the numbers this week and seeing how long it will take me now to return to ONEderland with a healthy weight loss. I figured that if I'm able to lose 2 lbs/wk I could be back in the 190's by January 15th.
I finally picked up my strength training book AND finished reading it. I bought the book this summer and started reading it. However due to whatever excuse I had at the time I didn't finish it and never got to learn the different exercises for my level and therefore, I never started my strength training routine. The book is You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren

It's exactly what I had been looking for at the time; a guide to having my own strength training work outs without the need of a gym since I'm never near enough to civilization to attend a gym regularly. Also most of my exercises (at least the ones that have contributed to my current weight loss) are those that I've done OUTSIDE of a gym.

I finished reading it this week and started the recommended routine for beginners yesterday. The book has an entire section with explanations of different work outs. The pictures help and it also has suggestions on how to "kick it up a notch" when that exercise gets too easy. It's very well explained and is very realistic in it's approach on how targeting a specific area in your body doesn't work, how diet is incredibly important as well and how over training and injuries are dangerous. So far I love it.

One thing though, looking at the picture for One-legged Romanian Dead Lifts you would think they're pretty easy to do. WRONG! Those kicked my a$$ this morning! LOL

My water intake has been ok. Last night I spent the whole day driving back and forth so I didn't get much of a chance to drink water, seeing as I forgot my water bottle. By the end of the night I felt it and had to wake up in the middle of the night to down glass after glass of water.

Aside from my new strength training routine I was able to go on a couple of short but steep hikes this week as part of class. I mentioned this hike before in last weeks weigh in. The hike is short and steep but it gives me a great work out. Mainly because I have to beat the kids to the top so I can meet them up there, I have to RUN up the steep trail. So something that would usually take me 20 minutes with a steady-slow climb I have to do in 7 minutes before the kids start climbing. Of course by the time they get up there I've had time to cool down and look calm and collected. LOL "Yeah, no big deal you guys!" LOL.

I've been absolutely horrible at being a good support system to my fellow challengers! I'm so sorry. Everyone has been so supportive and I haven't had the chance to reply to many peoples wonderful updates but please know that I AM reading them!

So two more check ins left. Let's do this! I'll take a picture of my dress at the end of the Challenge with a before and after. We'll see!