Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Power of Zzzzzz's & Post Meltdown Recap

I'm still recovering from my shopping meltdown the other day. In the process of researching articles and information (this is how I cope!) to offer encouragement, I came across this little excerpt from one of my very most favorite people on the planet, Michael Scholtz:

10 Ways To Get Quality Sleep 
Research is finding that those who get 7-9 hours of sleep are thinner than those who get less than 7. There are many theories why this may be true. One theory is that less sleep impairs glucose and insulin metabolism making weight more difficult to lose. Another is that inadequate sleep may slow the metabolism by lowering levels of thyroid- stimulating hormone. Another is that not getting enough sleep increases cortisol levels, a stress hormone that can affect appetite and metabolism. Yet another theory is that inadequate sleep has been shown to lower levels of the hormone leptin (this hormone signals fullness) and increase levels of ghrelin (this hormone signals hunger).

In addition to getting 7-9 hours of sleep, I recommend that you focus on QUALITY sleep. Here are ten ways to get a better quality sleep:

1. Go to bed well hydrated (drink plenty of water during the afternoon and early evening)

2. Avoiding bright lights in the evening (bright light interferes with melatonin production which is a hormone we produce that helps us sleep).

3. Avoid eating 2 hours before going to sleep if possible

4. Use white noise, like a fan, to mute out background noises to keep you at a deeper sleep level.

5. Make your bedroom as dark as possible

6. Have exercised that day but not in the evening

7. Avoid stressful things like paying bills or watching scary movies right before bed

8. Try chamomile tea or other non-caffeinated hot beverage in the evening.

9. Take a bath or shower. Light candles if taking a bath is relaxing for you.

10. Stretch or do yoga an hour before bed.

--Michael Scholtz, MA, Biggest Loser Club fitness expert

This, of course, got me thinking. Getting enough sleep has been a big focus of mine during this year of fitness thus far... but I haven't really considered the quality of sleep I've been getting. Sometimes I leave the music on. Often I'm surfing the internet or watching some sort of movie before bed. So even though I may go to bed, as in lying down in my bed, around 9 or 10 pm, I'm not usually falling asleep until closer to midnight. Sometimes I drink tea or take a shower before bed which helps. But then again, sometimes I workout before bed... supposedly good for the body but after reading this article, now I understand why it makes it harder for me to fall asleep after that. And then waking up around 6 am means I'm not actually getting the sleep I need. I am definitely going to be more aware of that now.

How about you? Do you get enough sleep? Do you get quality sleep? What are your bedtime/sleep routines and habits? Feel free to share... I might learn something from you!

On the topic of my shopping day meltdown, thank you all for your comments. (Ben and Shannon, I can't seem to open your blogs. I'd like to be able to follow you... can you post or email me the link to your blog, please?) The shopping trip was completely overwhelming for me and as you all know, I left totally discouraged. But today I understand that's just something I have to get over. I got myself to this point and the only way it's going to get better is if I stay focused and get this friggin' weight off. It's going to be a long journey... not a couple month gig like The Biggest Loser contestants... but I'm worth it! I know that!

I looked alright at my sisters party. There were a couple cute dudes there so I was a bit embarrassed at times, but I just tried to keep focusing on her which totally distracted me. I'm giving myself this year to focus completely on me. I'm not going to worry about dating or fashion or those kinds of things. This year, I may spend the entire year in workout clothes, but not just because of my size... because it will keep me motivated to keep active. If I can stick with it this entire year, I know the rest of the things I want in life will fall into place! So, one month down, eleven more to go! :-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Too Fat 4 The FAT GIRL Stores

Today I discovered I'm too fat for the "fat girl" stores. Well, at least Fashion Bug. I have shopped there for my entire adult/fat girl life. I was blessed with an opportunity to do some shopping today and after an hour of trying on clothes (and I change fast, so that's a lot of clothes) the only things that fit me and/or looked "ok" on me were workout clothes. I'm feeling totally discouraged right now...

Like I said, I know the only thing between me and my dreams is ME. I know that. Normally I would turn to food for comfort but I know that doesn't do anything but add more weight to this already SUPER FAT body of mine so I'm staying far away from food. I have to go to a girls night tonight but when I get home, I'll be exercising. And after my 6 hour field-trip at the zoo tomorrow (lots of walking for me!!), I'll come home and exercise some more. And after the completely humiliating party tomorrow night where everyone else will be dressed up and I'll be in my stretchy FAT GIRL workout clothes, I'll come home and workout some more. I have to get out of this fat girl body... I seriously can't stand it anymore!

Please, God, take all the fat away.... make me healthy again!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tonight's Weigh In

I was at my parents' house tonight and decided to weigh in. I wasn't expecting much since I'm bloated and fighting with my monthly visitor. *Sigh* So anyway, I got on the scale and it really upset me because the numbers kept changing. Here's what they said: 319, 315, 316.8, 318.2, 315.6, 318.6, 316.2... what the heck?!?!? So, just to be safe, I'm going with the highest number which means... 

I lost 5 lbs this week!!!!  

I am so excited. I really watched what I was eating this week and made sure I got plenty of exercise, water and SLEEP! And, well, I guess I did good! YAY ME! :-)

Not only did I lose 5 lbs, but now I get my first "reward" for hitting that 10 lb (overall) mark. I get to go buy myself a lip gloss as a reward!!!! Hmm... which color? A neutral or a pretty color? Sparkly or matte? Regular or long-lasting? So many choices... but I love it! Here's to another great week of hard work and success on the scale!

Dream It. Create It. Become It.

I found this article on Katie J's blog and had to share. What a great idea this is! And you can bet Shorty and I will be working on our dream boards this week! I'll post pix when they're done.

Have you heard of a Dream Board?  Also known as a “Vision Board” or “Treasure Map,” it’s a fun and creative step in your life or professional planning process.  It is your unique visual blueprint of things you want in your life, or dreams that you want to come true. 
Sample from Katie J's blog.
The idea behind this inventive project is that whatever we think about or focus on, we can bring into our lives.  If we put good things in front of us, high goals we’ve aspired to meeting, or even objects we have always wanted, we will attract them.  Having a Dream Board helps you to clarify and focus on your dreams, then make them your reality! 
Give yourself a moment to think of whatever it is you want in your personal or business life.  Write your goals down, visualize, and affirm them.  When dreams are to put in front of you, they flourish, and serve as a constant reminder of what you want to achieve.
Supplies You’ll Need:
  • Poster board/oak tag
  • Thumbtacks
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Glitter
  • A photo or photos of yourself
  • Magazines
  • Ribbons
  • Pens, markers
  • Shells, leaves, or something from nature
  • Scissors: straight edge and/or your favorite border design
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Few pieces of thick 8 1/2 x 11 paper
  • Favorite rubber stamps.
  • Anything else that calls to you!

 7 Steps to Bringing your Dream Board to Life:
1. Start with your blank poster board, oak tag, or cork board.
2. In the center of your board put a picture of yourself that you really enjoy. If you are spiritual or religious, also place items that represent this above your picture. 
3. Cut out pictures and words that symbolize your dreams; or draw pictures.  Can’t draw perfectly? Try it anyway! (If I can, you can.)  Put words, quotes, or captions under the pictures.
4. Bring all your dreams to your board.  Here are the areas to consider as you create your board. Remember to be very specific and descriptive!
A.   Life Vision Board: Personal Growth, Religious/Spiritual Growth, Relationships Family, Romance, Friends, Career & Business, Finance & Money, Play & Recreation, Health & Fitness, Physical Environment, etc.
B.   Business Vision Board: Your Office, Staff, Bank Account, Client Results, Products, Retirement, Accolades, Philanthropy Efforts, etc
5. Go for it!! Enjoy it!! Have fun with it!!
6. Tack it on the wall. As your dreams continue to grow (or change), keep adding to it.
7. Spend a few moments in front of it before you start your day, and make it the last thing you look at before you go to sleep!
  • Getting the whole family creating dream boards or create a family board!  Learn more here
  • Creating a business or career dream board. 

Keep in mind that as you bring your dreams to action, doors will open in many directions, not all of which suit your ultimate goal.  You may find some things you should say “no” to, or come across unexpected terrific alternatives that you hadn’t imagined.  It’s important to watch out for what the world brings us, signs of its plans, and the possibility of better things.  So start dreaming!
Special thanks to my first coach Edie Peirera-Hulbert, author Susan Ban Breathnach, and the 4T Prosperity Program at Unity Church for teaching about these concepts and helping me put them into good use. 
This article was first published in 2000. Since then Mark Victor Hansen has done a PBS special that included information on Vision Boards — same thing as a dream board.  Also this software was created for Business Owners/Professionals or for MLM’s   and helps you create a miniature version of a dream board, small enough to carry around.
© 2010 Elevating Your Business. Maria Marsala helps remarkable women CEOs get a life and future from their business by providing accountability, support and a (gentle) kick in the a$$ when needed. Quickly learn which areas of your business scream for your immediate attention and which areas deserve a hurrah! Take our Business Checkup today at

Sunday, January 23, 2011

So we're in between shopping trips right now and without a car, I'm having to get creative with what we have at home. While today's food isn't exactly what I wanted, I made the best of the situation and... yah. That's it.

My parents are picking us up tonight (that it, unless we decide to walk over there... 2.5 miles) for our regularly scheduled "family night" where we'll be making our own "mini-pizzas" on whole grain flat-bread. So obviously, I haven't had dinner yet but I'm including that in my totals for the day since I already know what I'll be eating!

Breakfast - 1 oz. tortilla chips, 1/4 c. 2% cheese, 2 T. salsa, 1 T. light sour cream = 256 calories

Lunch - 2/3 c. soy meat, 1/2 c. 2% cheese, 3 T. salsa, 2 T. light sour cream, 4 white corn tortillas = 576 calories

Snack - Special K protein bar = 180 calories

Dinner - Whole grain flat-bread, 1/8 c. pizza sauce, 1/4 2% cheese, 1/2 c. broccoli, 2 c. salad, 2 tbsp. low sodium balsamic vinaigrette dressing, 12 croutons = 355 calories

Total Calories Consumed: 1,367

Having said that, I see I need a few more calories... mostly protein. I may have an apple with peanut butter (roughly 250 calories) at some point if I am hungry. Otherwise, I'll take the low-calorie day! I didn't have an intense workout today so that should balance me out just fine!

20 minutes crazy dancing with Shorty (man that was fun! Lots of sweat, but FUN!)
3-mile walk

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Our Hit-And-Run "Accident"

Oh-my-gosh! I cannot believe this actually happened. It doesn't matter how safe of a driver you may be, there's always gonna be those idiots on the road who only care about themselves. Grrr! I will say, tho, that I am praising God right now for our safety. Sure, our car might look like crap now and sure, we can't go anywhere for the next few days but whatever... we're alive and safe so in my mind, it's all good! :-)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This morning I finished a step aerobics workout that I found online and let me tell you... it was INTENSE!!! I did the first half on my stepper but then my legs felt like they were gonna burn off so I figured I could quit or finish the workout on the floor... I finished it on the floor. It was just as intense! I was all hot and sweaty and definitely needed to change my clothes. WOO-HOO!

So if you need a good workout to try from home, I HIGHLY recommend you try this. You can easily do it on the floor or on a stepper and get a very good workout! Let me know if you try it... I'd be curious to hear how YOU like it!

Click HERE to see the FREE video.

Then after putting Shorty to bed, I did 2 1/2 miles of the "3-Mile Walk Your Belly Flat" dvd by Leslie Sansone.

First of all, my legs have been killing me all day. Yesterday, when I did my weights circuit, I was pushing 120 lbs on the leg press. So yah, my legs are sore. Doing the stepper workout this morning really burned... then walking with the kicks, knee raises, etc. burned even more. After the first 1/2 mile I was ready to be done. My legs burned so bad! But I kept pushing myself another 1/2 mile and another... and I almost finished the whole 3 miles except I landed on my heel wrong and it hurt so bad, I ended in tears. These heel spurs and plantar faciitis are really starting to bug me.

So, in the end, my exercise totals are below. (I think I'm gonna start recapping exercise at the bottom of my posts.) I feel darn good about myself and my choices today. As I said on my vlog, I'm just taking one day at a time. Looking too far ahead is stressful. I only have control over TODAY and that's all I'm focusing on!

Breakfast: two slices whole wheat toast w/ 2 tbsp. organic peanut butter and 1 tbsp. low sugar jelly | one green apple with 2 tbsp. organic dark chocolate almond spread
Calories: 500

Post-Workout Snack:  1/2 protein bar
Calories: 80

Lunch:      two slices of personal size veggie gluten free pizza with side salad & lo-cal ranch | diet coke (my first one in forever and it honestly wasn't all that good. I don't miss it!)
Calories: 400

Dinner:     leftover two slices of personal size veggie gluten free pizza | one green apple with 1 tbsp. organic dark chocolate almond spread
Calories: 500

Post-Workout Snack:  1 ounce 2% low-fat cheese | 100 calories single serving bag of popped corn
Calories: 180

Total Calories Consumed: 1660

Now pizza isn't a part of my regular eating. Normally lunch would be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or lean cuisine or veggie burger and broccoli, but today just happened to be "one of those days". Still, I have been known to eat an entire 16" thin crust pizza and today I stopped at 2 slices of a personal size pizza (8") so I am extremely proud of that. I know some people go with the NO JUNK ALLOWED policy but for me, having occasional "comfort" food in moderation is the only way I don't go all yo-yo.

I still have a lot of psychological things to work through relating to food (mostly thanks to S.D.) but again, I'm just taking one day at a time and for today, I feel good!

Happy Thursday!!!


Today's Exercise:
40 Minutes - Step Aerobic Workout
40 Minutes - 2 1/2 Miles Walk DVD

Vlog Entry - January 20, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Daniel Cleanse | Made To Crave | Food Update

The Daniel Fast
My mom was talking to me yesterday about something she stumbled across... The Daniel Cleanse (aka The Daniel Fast). I immediately began to research it and it's a scripture-based fast to cleanse the body of toxins while focusing on God.

Here's a few links on the topic:

Daniel Fast Food List

The Daniel Fast

After I read a few articles about it, I read the Bible. I couldn't recall ever hearing about Daniel fasting in the Bible so I needed to see for myself what it actually said. Basically here's how it goes. Daniel (and 3 others) were invited by the King to partake in his royal feast in which, after eating that way and training for three years, he'd be given a position in the King's Court. Daniel, however, politely refused. He didn't want to lower himself to eat from the King's table. He knew better.

Daniel requested an exemption. He asked for the 4 men to be on a diet of vegetables and water for 10 days. At the end of 10 days, the King could compare the 4 of them with all the other men and judge who is better. Sure enough, after the 10 days, Daniel and his friends were much healthier and much stronger. God honored them. The King favored them. Everything was better after this 10-day vegetable & water diet.

If you'd like to read the entire passage, you can here.

I've spent a lot of time praying about this and I believe a 10-day vegetable & water cleanse could be very good for my body. However, with PCOS and the medication I'm on, I don't think my body could function 10 days with just vegetable and water. I'm going to consult my Doctor about it and if I get the "OK", then I will do it!

Made To Crave.
Now, onto the next part of my blog... MADE TO CRAVE! I heard Lysa TerKeurst talking on the radio the other day. What she had to say totally made sense so I went on to her website. Come to find out she's actually the founder of another ministry I'm already involved in... the Proverbs 31 Ministry. (More on that later!)

So before I go on with my review, check out this little clip. It's short... you can handle it!

I absolutely love the idea of this book. I have been writing my own book for the last couple years. I've been writing about my weight loss struggles and my walk with Christ... and how the two completely overlap. So to see this book, almost the exact same idea, I was stoked! I am gonna go pick this up sometime this week (hopefully)... I can't wait to read it! Lysa is such a strong, committed woman and I completely value every word she speaks.

When you allow God to be in control, nothing but GOOD happens. It when you try to be in control that chaos happens. And that's been my life... I have tried so hard to stay in control and make things work on my own. But what I need to do is give it to God... ALLLLLL of it.... and let Him do what He does. I'm really just along for the ride. This applies to every area of my life... including weight-loss. I diet. I go through phases of different exercises. I starve. I gorge. I eat out a lot. I eat at home a lot. I eat fresh food. I eat frozen food. I go back and forth and up and down... and NOTHING WORKS! But why???? Because I'm trying to be in control when I'm the absolutely worst person to be in control. This is a journey, a day-by-day experience... but today I make the commitment to give it to God. God is in control. And today, I surrender my own sugary and carb-loaded desires and open my heart and mind for much healthier alternatives.

Food Update.
Oh, quick food update. Last night Shorty and I had a veggie burger, steamed broccoli and vegetarian baked beans. He hated the beans but loved the veggie burger and broccoli. I, of course, loved it all!

Yesterdays lunch looked like this:

Corn tortillas with soy meat, 2% reduced fat cheese, light sour cream and salsa. We put this on the table and made our own "tacos". Oh, there was a huge bowl of lettuce, too. Yah... it was YUMMY!!!

For breakfast, all week we've been having 100% whole wheat whole grain toast (1 piece for Shorty, 2 pieces [150 calories] for me) and a smoothie [140 calories]. It's become my absolute favorite breakfast... it's healthy, quick, and the best part.... we can eat it in the car!!!! I need a new blender, tho. I have that "magic bullet" system and I've used it so much, it's done! I've worn it into the ground!!

I hope you've had a fantastic week! Here's to an even better one ahead! :-)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Where Ya Been, Black Kat?

Sorry I haven't written for a few days. Shorty has been really sick with pneumonia. He's doing better today and, Lord willing, will be going back to school tomorrow so that means I get to start catching up on all my stuff.

First of all, how are you doing? Have you been eating well? Exercising? Tell me all about your last couple weeks!!!

Ok, so I've been doing good. Despite the fact that I've been home all day for the past several days, fingertips away from food.... I've kept within my calorie target and water goal. I have not been doing much exercising. Shame on me! I have pretty much kept to my 30 minutes a day goal but I really need to be doing more. Tonight I added some kickboxing and resistance training to my 30 minutes bringing my total to 60 minutes of exercise. One day at a time... right?!?!

So now that Shorty is back on schedule, I can be too! Tomorrow I am a "helper" in Shorty's class so that takes up my morning. After school we have a tentative lunch date with friends, then I have to go pick up my textbooks for school and once we get home, depending on how Shorty is feeling, we'll either walk to the park (1 mile each way) and play for a while or I'll do some exercise at home.