Sunday, September 30, 2012

Schedules, Goals, and Diet

I must say I've had a pretty good week overall. Sunday I had a very long and productive phone conversation with my BFF and accountability partner, Jessica. She and I are both at the point where we needed to sit down and set some actual goals for ourselves. We haven't done this in a while, so it was well overdue! I have missed our Sunday evening chats about the week and out goals for the week to come. We talked about alot and set some of our goals in motion. Right now we're concentrating on short-term goals (things to accomplish before Christmas).

My first goal is for my 5k in November. I want to be around the 60 minute mark at the finish line. I finished my last 5k in 69:40. It's going to take some work, but I know I can do it. I have been using my Core 24 membership to work on that. I've gone a couple of times this week and just done a treadmill workout. For a 15 minute mile, I have to average a 4.0 mph pace. The past 2 times I went to the gym, I hit 3.0 and 3.5 mph. I didn't stay there long, but it let me know what that pace felt like. I think I am going to have to start running intervals again. I have't done that in a while, but I know it will get me to where I need to be. I just don't think I can power walk 4.0 mph the whole time, but I know I can do some intervals. So that's next on my list at the gym.

Some other goals involve a weight that I want to be at before October 16th. I'm still not ready to share those numbers here yet, but I'll let you know when I accomplish that goal! :) I have another goal to workout 6 times per week. This week I only hit 5 days, but one of those days I did 2 workouts. So I technically hit my 6 times. I am working on getting a schedule down for my workouts....figuring out days I'll be at the Inspire 4 Life vs Core 24. I'm also working on getting my eating habits in check. I am starting to incorporate more whole grains back into my diet. It's been a struggle making sure I'm not getting too many and keeping my meals planned out. I never thought I would say this, but I want to try to stick to the main points of the Paleo lifestyle. It was actually so much easier than trying to figure out if I'm eating too much of something.

I continue to be amazed at what my body is capable of and the things it's letting me do. I never in a million years imagined that I would have a goal to work out 6 times a week -- let alone actually DOING IT! ...and it  feels GREAT! I am so blessed to have been given a second lease on life and to be able to change my health outcome. It was very scary for the doctor to blatantly tell me that I would die if something didn't change. But it was at that point that I knew I had to do it. I couldn't let heart problems take me away from life. I couldn't let obesity rule my life and rob me of my happiness. I was not going to let more opportunities be taken away from me because of my health. This is MY life and I'm taking it back!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Update - Post Transformation

Okay, so I know you're all dying to know how I'm doing post-transformation. Things are going well. I'm still working out full force. I am still implementing some of the Paleo lifestyle into my eating.

At my party last week, Bobby surprised me with a 6 month membership to Core 24. He had mentioned it to me at one of my first workouts with him, but he never said anything else about it so I didn't really put any more thought into it. PLUS, my 2 best friends from college (Jessica and Erica) surprised me with a 6 month unlimited membership to the studio (Inspire 4 Life Fitness)! I am unbelievably blessed to have these people in my life that want to invest in my health and fitness! I picked up a couple more classes at the studio this week and did a workout at the gym today. I'm working on getting a real workout schedule done so I know what I'm doing when.

I have 2 5ks coming up within the next 6 months. One is the Color Run in Charlotte on November 17th. Then there is another 5k I want to do in January in Atlanta called the Hot Chocolate 5k! The only thing about the one in Atlanta is that there is a 15 minute mile pace requirement. Right now I am at about a 22 minute mile pace. That is one of my goals -- to get to the 15 minutes. I actually started working on that today at the gym. I hit the treadmill with some hills and started increasing my speed. I know it's going to take ALOT and even some running/jogging, but I'll make it! I'm hoping to be under 20 minutes/mile by the 5k in November -- 8 weeks! We'll see how that goes!

In the meantime, I'm just working as hard as I can to get further in my journey. My next goal date is March 22nd. I'll be having dinner with Erica and Jessica for E's birthday. It's part of their "gift" to me. They want to know numbers and progress that day. I'm ready to knock their socks off! :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Sorry that I have been kinda MIA this past week. It has been a crazy week with the end of my transformation and getting things ready for my BIG reveal party that I had today.

I just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone that showed up to celebrate with me. Those that weren't able to come, I understand, but you missed the FUN! :) If you aren't connected to my Facebook, then here are my results for you. Over the past 6 weeks during the transformation, I have lost a total of 13.25 inches and 39lbs!! That brings my one year total to 52.75 inches! I am so thrilled with the results, but can't wait to see what the next stage in my journey will bring!

No excuses!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One Year

Today marks one year that I have been on my weight-loss journey. It has been one heck of a year. If you don't know my back story, you can read it here. It's just hard to believe that it has actually been a whole year, 12 months, since I started changing my life for the better. It has taken a true mental dedication to stick to this. I know in my head and my heart that if I hadn't started this journey, I might not be alive. That's just the honest truth. My doctor blatantly told me that if things didn't change, I would die early. I didn't want to die, so I changed! My eating habits are completely different than they were 12 months ago. My activity level is MUCH higher than it was last year. I have new friends and stronger friendships. I am blessed to have had the opportunities for healthy living that I have experienced over the past year. I have now have two 5ks under my belt....something I NEVER would have done or imagined I would do this time last year. AND I have a third 5k scheduled for November in Charlotte with a new friend and 2 friends from college. My life is so much better.

I want to thank a few people specifically. First of all - Jessica. I thank God that we met in Spanish class 10 years ago! God knew I would need you in my life for this very reason. You have always been honest with me, even when it hurts -- and I know it has sometimes. You have kept me grounded and focused on my goals. Thank you for always standing by me and continuing to be a TRUE friend.  Leah - thank you for being my walking buddy. You have helped keep me on track as well. Had it not been for you, I would have never hit the pavement. You have pushed me to do extra things that I never thought I would do (Zumba, the 5k). Thank you for your friendship. Laurie - thank you for accepting me in your Zumba class. You have never judged me and I can't even begin to tell you how much that means. You have been so supportive and encouraging. You keep me excited to exercise. Your dedication and commitment to health and fitness is contagious. I only hope I can pass the excitement along! To Bobby and Carlos - thank you for working with me during this transformation over the past 6 weeks. Both of you have really pushed me beyond my limits. I never thought I would run or lift weights like you have made me do. You have a dedication to fitness as well. Thank you for making me realize that I'll never know what I'm capable of until I push beyond the pain.

I have so many other people to thank for all of their encouragement and support. There are so many that have made such an impact on my journey. I would never be able to thank or recognize them all. If you read this blog, THANK YOU! Knowing that my story is reaching others is so encouraging. My whole reason for blogging has become so that people who may be feeling the same way I do or facing the same struggles I am know that they are not alone. It helps so much to know that! Life is about sharing experiences with others and I am thankful I can share mine with each of you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hard Work and Support

Okay, so Tuesday I could hardly walk after that race! I barely walked at work and didn’t do any workouts. It was brutal, but my feet have finally healed and I’m back at my workouts full force! Wednesday I had Zumba class. I couldn’t do some of the moves because my feet were still pretty tender, but I did all I could. Thursday they felt a lot better, so I tried to work extra hard at College Street Zumba! Friday I had a workout with Carlos and he made me run again. We did 7 sets of running the length of the studio outside then came inside and ran suicides. It was HOT! But I did it and it didn’t kill me. Carlos mentioned that my stamina is building and I did well with the running. I think I did pretty darn good too considering I’m totally not a runner!

At our Inspired! meeting Thursday, we talked about why people workout and what keeps them coming or motivated. Besides my health scare, what got me started and has kept me going is having a support system; someone that has been by my side to encourage me and literally walk with me. I think that’s crucial for anyone wanting to get healthy and workout. If you don’t have someone there to stand by you, you can make all the excuses you want and you’ll eventually give in. Having someone there to remind you of your goals is so helpful. It keeps me motivated knowing someone out there cares about my end result as much as I do. I encourage you to find that person that will help motivate you. It could be someone that is working toward the same goals or someone that you know will just be there for you. If you can’t find that person, I’d be glad to help with your accountability! Just comment or send me an e-mail and I will do all I can to help you achieve your goals.

Speaking of goals, Laurie gave me one to achieve yesterday. She told me to do 20 minutes of walk/run intervals, 50 crunches, 50 push-ups, and 100 squats! When she told me that I couldn’t believe it, my jaw dropped. HOLY COW! How in the world was I going to do it? Well, I did! I actually did about 25 minutes of walking and running. I downloaded an interval app for my iPod touch and did 7 sets of 3 min walking 30 sec running. It definitely got harder toward the end, but I finished with a strong run. Next time I’ll try 2 min walking and 30 sec running. Then I’ll increase my running interval. I never thought I’d be running on my own! You do what your trainer tells you when you’re working out with them, but to go out and run by myself….NEVER thought it would happen. I could have very easily walked the whole time, but I was given a goal to strive for and I accomplished it. It felt really good!

Today starts the last week of my transformation. I am really sad to see this process end, but am completely excited to see my results! I really wish I could keep up with the training sessions with Laurie, Bobby, and Carlos but it just isn’t in the budget. I am definitely going to keep up with my Zumba though! Plus, each of them has given my great tips and exercises that I can continue at home. I have been blessed with their expertise, encouragement, and commitment. It has been an absolute joy to endure the pain they put me through. Pain is weakness leaving the body and they’ve helped me get rid of A LOT of weakness! LOL! I do my final measurement and weigh-in on Friday then Sunday we’re having a BIG REVEAL PARTY at the studio (Inspire 4 Life Fitness)! It is gonna be hard keeping my results a secret for 2 days! I cannot wait though! If you have been following my blog and are in the area, you are MORE than welcome to come to the party and help me celebrate! (if you need directions, just let me know!) I know the trainers are probably going to “torture” me this week, but I’m ready. Let’s finish strong!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Funk Run

 Well I did it - I completed another 5k. Let me just tell you, this one was tough. I went into the race yesterday not fully prepared but I knew I could do it. I started the race, no problem. It was hilly, but I was pushing through. About halfway through, my feet were really hurting, specifically the balls of my feet. I felt like they were on fire and every step got worse. I kept singing the Praise & Worship songs on my playlist and praying for God to ease the pain. I had two goals for this race: not to stop and to finish with a better time than in January and I was very close to not accomplishing either one. I was about two thirds of the way through the race and who do I see ahead but my trainer Bobby coming back to get me. I was literally in tears at this point. I just about felt like I couldn’t go any farther and God sent him to help me push through. I would have finished regardless, but I definitely wouldn’t have finished in better time had Bobby not come back. He talked to me and kept my mind off how bad my feet were hurting. So I accomplished BOTH goals today – I never stopped and I finished 2 solid minutes ahead of my January time!

the reason my feet were hurting - yep, a HUGE blister full of blood!
 Yesterday’s race meant a lot to me. It wasn’t just achieving my goals; it was more than that. It was a boost in confidence. There were so many people that kept encouraging me along the way. The church (UAG) that sponsored the race had cheerleaders along the route, which was great, but it was the other participants. Every time I turned around there was someone giving me an extra boost. “You’re doing great.” “Keep going.” “You got this.” I can’t tell you how much that meant and what it added to my determination. It helped me when my feet first started hurting. I knew I just had to keep pushing.

I did this race “by myself.” My brother was going to walk with me, but he decided to run and I was going to walk with his mother-in-law. When the race started, she had a faster pace than me so she went on. Deep down, I knew I had to do this on my own anyway. I had to prove to myself that I could do it without anyone by my side, without relying on someone to be there for me to lean on when I got tired. I had to make up my own mind that this was MY race. Yes, my trainer came back to push me to the end, but he wasn’t my crutch. I knew I would finish had he come back or not. He just came to kick me to finish strong, and finish strong I did!

People tell me all the time, “I wish I had your determination.” All it takes is a little work. You have to realize that you have a purpose in this life. Right now, my purpose is to live and in order to live this is what I have to do. I have to work hard to lose weight. I have to lose weight to literally stay alive. When the way you’ve been living isn’t working anymore, you know something has to change. If you don’t change, you’ll die. Plain and simple. Not wanting to die drives my determination. Find your drive. Find your purpose.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Catching You Back Up

As you might have noticed, I didn’t get much of a chance to blog last week. So let me try to catch you up! I left you having made my 8,000 step goal for Tuesday; well I met that goal again Wednesday! I hit 8, 312 steps Wednesday and 7,517 Thursday. I’m definitely making strides toward that 10,000 mark! I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll hit 10k tomorrow because I am walking a 5k in the morning! I haven’t said much about it because, honestly, I’m not really prepared for it. It still hasn’t sunk in that I’m really doing one again. My sister-in-law asked me if I wanted to do it with her (she’s actually doing the 10k) and my nephew, and possibly my brother. Obviously I said yes but my mind just isn’t completely there this time. I’m actually kinda nervous about it right now. I know I can do it, that’s not the issue. I just haven’t prepared for it by walking like I should, plus my legs are KILLING me from my workout with Bobby yesterday. He did actually prepare me for it a little bit without even knowing it. We went to the gym (Core 24) to workout yesterday and he had me “warm-up” and “cool down” on the treadmill. He had my speed at like 2.6-2.7 with an incline of 2.5-3.0! My body is not used to that…my LEGS are not used to that! And on top of that, he had me doing leg extensions with 30lbs. My thighs are screaming at me today!! I just hope they feel better tomorrow for this race. Carlos actually said he wanted to see me run the next one! Yeah, we’ll see about that! LOL

Speaking of Carlos, I worked out with him Thursday before our Inspired! meeting and Zumba. And of course he made me run again. We didn’t have a whole lot of time to work out. I went straight there after work, changed clothes and we got going around 4:15pm; our meeting started at 4:45pm. We did about 4 rounds of running, kettlebell squats/raises, and modified burpees. The running actually aggravated my hip from where I “hurt” it Tuesday, but I did it and it didn’t kill me! I did feel like I was falling apart by the end of the night though. I have developed a bone spur on the top of my foot and that started hurting, plus my hip was already bothering me, then I started getting calf cramps during Zumba! Again, I still made it. There’s a quote image that I found a while back that rings true in situations just like this…

Friday I didn’t have a workout because I had a surprise birthday party for my 2nd mama (my best friend’s mom). I did well at her party though as far as Paleo goes. I had some chicken salad (no sandwich), some veggies, and fruit. I stayed away from the cake, even though I had to cut it. I didn’t even lick my fingers! We had a great time.

Today was homecoming at our church. I wasn’t really looking forward to it because of all the food I couldn’t eat. I wanted to dig in so bad, but I didn’t. I actually brought my own stuff to make a salad for my lunch. I did enjoy a little bit of the apple and cherry crisp that my mom made, but mainly ate the fruit filling and not so much of the topping. I couldn’t even eat much of it because it started becoming too much.

I’m proud of myself and the obstacles I overcame this weekend. That was actually the main topic of our Inspired! meeting this week, obstacles. We talked about different things that stand in our way of staying on target for our goals. This weekend it was special occasions for me. The biggest thing is being prepared. Carlos mentioned planning out your meals on Sundays. Honestly, if you don’t prepare, you set yourself up for failure. That doesn’t mean you can’t overcome, but the odds are stacked against you to make bad decisions. I knew there would be fruits and veggies at the party Friday, so I wasn’t worried. Today, I knew there wouldn’t be anything I could eat, so I took my own. "By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail." (Ben Franklin)

Today is the day you can take control of your life. Take the necessary steps to get where you want to be. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
I AM A CHRISTIAN. I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, & mind. God has really blessed me more than I could ever imagine, but the truth is that Satan HATES me!! I face struggles & temptation every single day of my life; but no matter what happens, I still strive to do the will of God. Because I put my faith & trust in God, He has provided relief for me & my family time & time again! God never fails to comfort & remind me of His promise that “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). There have been countless times that I did not deserve God’s grace & should not have been granted mercy. But He has granted me mercy & forgiveness, as well as goodness & grace -- all for the purpose of sharing it with those I meet along the path of life. Some days are better than others, but you always have to remember to keep pressing on! Keep praising HIM & He’ll never fail to bring you through the storm.