BLC – Week One Recap (and other awesome things!)

I actually finished Week One about 4 days ago but I keep forgetting to blog about it! Here’s the lowdown on Week One:

I started with a weight of 205.0. That in itself is a minor miracle. I haven’t been under 220 in about a year. So I was pumped to start off with that weight, making me even more determined to end up with a even lesser weight in 3 months! My goal weight in the long run is 135-140, so I’m getting closer. If you read my last post, you know that I made a “Biggest Loser Challenge 27 Weight Loss Tracker and Journal”. I am doing my best to write in that each day so I can keep up with my progress. Here’s the breakdown: I’m tracking how many “freggies” (fruits and vegetables) I eat each day; how many ounces of water I drink each day; how many minutes I work out each day and how many points I earn a day for the challenge. Totals for Week One are as follows:

WEEK ONE STATS

Starting Weight: 205.0                                       Week One Weight: 206.2

Freggies planned to consume: 14                      Freggies consumed: 2

Water planned to consume: 448 ounces            Water consumed: 256 ounces

Fitness minutes planned: 120                            Fitness Minutes accomplished: 194

Days planned to stay within calorie range: 5      Days actually stayed within calorie range: 3

Total challenge points available: 273                 Total challenge points earned: 169

I’m going to examine this and see what I can do better next week (which has already started, but hey). My main point that I want to address is the fact that I DID NOT get in as many “freggies” as I would have liked. Granted, we don’t have many in the house. Before my dad goes shopping tomorrow, I am going to make a “freggie-rich” menu for the week. I’m going to aim for at least 3 a day. Two of the squares on the “Bingo” card for the BLC Weekend Challenge this weekend are: Plan your menu for a week and try a new food or meal. So, if I plan my menu and try a new meal; two squares down!

As for my water consumption, that was derailed by my Dr. Pepper consumption. You know how some people become addicted to illegal drugs? My addiction is worse and it’s legal. I find it hard to go a day without drinking Dr. Pepper, but I’m working on it. I know I need to drink more water! Flavoring it seems to help a lot, but that’s a lot of sugar and I still get the craving for Dr. Pepper. I’m going to try something I found called “spa water”. It’s basically flavoring your water with actual fruits or vegetables. I found a water bottle online that will allow me to do this, so I’m going to get it when I get my Amazon gift card. Staying away from the Dr. Pepper is a whole other matter. Once, I asked my dad not to buy me any so I wouldn’t even have the temptation in the house. I ended up scrounging for change in my purse and getting a 20-oz from the convenience store. My only consolation for that slip is: I met a cute guy on the way home. 🙂 I didn’t get his number though. Doh! So, that part is still a daily struggle, but I will prevail!

Another goal for next week (this week) is to stay within my calorie range for 5 out of 7 days. So far, I have done that for 2 day. If I can stay within range for the next three days, I will have that goal met. *fingers crossed* Planning my menu will be a big help in this regard. If I know how many calories I will consume before I even eat, I (hopefully) can’t go overboard. I will keep at least 300 calories as “free” calories, in case of midnight munchies! I know I can do this if I actually try. All I need to think about is how amazing I feel (physically and mentally) when I see a loss on the scale. One step closer to my goal!

One other good thing that happened today is: I saw “The Boy Next Door” starring Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman. Jennifer Lopez is one of my favorite actresses anyway, but this movie is one of her best! The storyline is: Claire (Jennifer Lopez) is going through a divorce and is feeling very out of sorts and vulnerable. Noah (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door to help take care of his uncle. Noah makes friends with her son and starts coming around more and more. One weekend, both Claire’s son and Noah’s uncle are out of town. One thing leads to another, and they end up in a “compromising position”. From there……..let’s just say, it’s an edge-of-your-seat thriller that you will have to see for yourself to find out! It’s a phenomenal performance by Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman. I had never heard of Ryan Guzman until this movie, but you can bet I will be looking him up after seeing it. I urge anyone who is up for a movie experience that will (literally) have you on the edge of your seat to GO SEE “THE BOY NEXT DOOR” ASAP!

Well, that’s all I have for right now. I will see you next Wednesday for weigh-in and Week 2 Recap! Even though I gained 1.2 pounds this week, I’m hoping for at least a small loss next week. Hope you’ll tune in to see how it goes!

Day 2!

Today was another good day. It was Day 2 of the Biggest Loser 27 Challenge so that means TNT (Tighten and Tone). There are many different options for strength training that you can choose from. I chose to work out to a video on Jessica Smith’s website. She has over 150 free fitness videos! (www.jessicasmithtv.com) I haven’t done strength training in a while. It was a 24-minute video and I was sweating about 10 minutes into it. When I pushed through and got done with the entire video, I felt awesome! I’m so excited to work out right now. I want to start changing my body for the better and have a healthy BMI. There are so many benefits to being healthy. Living longer for one!

I stayed within my calorie range, finished my weight loss journal, drank 64 ounces of water and exercised. Pretty good day physically. A couple other good things happened today as well. First off, I tried a new recipe I found on Pintrest. It’s a “Smoked Sausage Pasta Bake. Here’s the recipe:

Smoked Sausage Pasta Bake
3 cups dry penne pasta
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp dry basil
1/4 tsp dry oregano
1/4 tsp dry thyme
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz tomato sauce
1/2 pound smoked sausage, cubed (I used Hillshire Farms)
1/3 cup diced green pepper (more or less depending on how you like it)
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

– Cook pasta in salted water until barely done. Don’t overcook. Set aside.
– Melt butter in a saucepan.
– Whisk in the flour, then the milk. Whisk and boil for at least 1 minute.
– Add the spices and garlic. Stir in the tomato sauce. Add to the noodles. Add the smoked sausage and green peppers and stir well.
– Pour into a greased 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.
– Sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
– Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

It makes about 6 servings.

It was really tasty and my parents asked me to make it again next week. The other good thing is that I discovered a fitness app called “Nexercise”. It gives you points for completing and reporting your fitness activity. You can then redeem those points for gift cards or products – such as a FitBit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker. That’s the one I am saving up for right now. This app is really motivating me to work out every day. Maybe not an all-out 30-60 minutes a day, but at least 10 minutes. I did have Dr. Pepper today (DOH!) but I still got all my water in, so that’s a plus. I’m happy and ready for bed now. Night all!

Today was……um…….

Today was good and bad in a couple of ways.

Good things that happened:

– The Biggest Loser challenge started today. YAY!

– I lost 1.2 pounds since last week.

Bad things that happened:

– Somehow, while trying to change my password for my Facebook account, I ended up creating another account for Facebook. This wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t accidentally already done this once before! I now have (count ’em) THREE Facebook accounts. All with different email address; all of which I can’t get into because I don’t remember the password. *screams silently in my head*

Okay I feel a little better. And now…….to make it worse. I’ve told you that I love Pintrest. I have 19 boards and over 800 pins collected on my account right now. The problem is: I created my Pintrest account through my Facebook account. (See where this is going?) When I “switched” Facebook accounts, I lost all my current pins. *screams out loud this time* I’m so frustrated. There is no way to connect with “Facebook (or Pintrest) customer service”, (if there is such a thing), by phone so I’m stuck with sending them a “stern, pissed-off sounding” email. Do you know how hard it is to sound pissed off in an email without using SHOUTY CAPITALS? I hate doing that anyway. So, all in all, a good and bad day.

In the interest of ending on a good note, I did get a 40-minute walk in last night. I felt amazing afterward and I can’t wait to go again tonight. Even though it was really cold and will be again tonight. I took my little puppy with me and he really helped me keep up the pace! I’m sure the music helped as well. I created a “workout playlist” on my IPod and filled it with only upbeat songs to keep me going through my workouts. My goal is walk at least 30-40 minutes a day, along with strength training at least 2 days a week. So far, I am following the plan very well and I’m very proud of myself. Dr. Pepper is still an issue, but I’m working on that.

Tomorrow will be a great day!

Tomorrow is the big day!

The Biggest Loser Challenge 27 starts tomorrow and I am so excited! As you know, I have made a BLC 27 Tracker and Journal notebook for the challenge. On the first page, I’m going to keep track of my weight each week. For each page after, I’m going to keep track of my weekly points. I am going to aim for full points on everything. Also, on my team, we have individual “Gecko points” we can earn. These can be earned by posting to the chat thread and participating in the challenges. Again, I’m going to being working on getting all the points possible.

As a part of my idea to keep myself motivated throughout the challenge, I have collected over 100 motivational quotes on Pintrest. I am going to read one of those a day to get me pumped for the day’s activities. I emailed the captain of my team and asked if she would like me to share these with the team. She agreed! I am the “daily motivation” for my team. Basically, I am just going to post a motivational quote on the chat thread by 10AM every day. I’m hoping this will help keep everybody’s energy up!

Today is the LCW (Last Chance Workout) for the first week. I plan to walk for at least 30 minutes after dinner. Luckily, it’s really nice outside today. I will actually get it done! I made a “workout playlist” on my IPod yesterday. I went through all my music and chose as many upbeat songs as I could find. If I didn’t have music, I would never get anything done, much less working out! Music always puts me in a pumped-up kind of mood so I am ready to get my workout done and feel awesome afterwards. There is about 12 hours of music on the playlist. Sure, I’ll have to repeat a lot of them, but that’s a pretty good setup for the next 12 weeks huh?

I am really happy that I have decided to do this. I am excited about the positive impact my life will encounter if I can stay on a regular workout routine. I will think about this quote when I don’t want to work out that day:

“A 1-Hour Workout is 4% of your day. No Excuses.”

Wow, 1 hour doesn’t really seem like very much when you think about it like that. I have a ton more of these. I think that will help me get through this challenge. I just added everything up and here are some numbers that I should achieve over the next 12 weeks of this challenge:

Assuming I work out at least 5 days week for 20 minutes, I should have achieved 1200 minutes of fitness.

If I drink 64 ounces of water a day, I will have consumed 5,376 ounces of water total.

If I eat at least 2 “freggies” (fruits and vegetables) a day, I will have consumed 168 freggies total.

Last, but not least, if I lose 2 pounds a week during the challenge, I will be 24 pounds lighter at the end of two weeks! Iwould be happy with 10-20, but 24 is what I am aiming towards. Anywhere in between 20-24 will make me happy. Losing 20 pounds will put my BMI at 34.99. That is still in the “obese” category for my height, but I will go from “Obese Class 2” to “Obese Class 1” and that is a great step forward. My goal is to be at 130 pounds by September or October of 2015. That gives me a little wiggle room if I have a bad day (or week). That will put me in the “normal” BMI range and I will feel much better about myself. Well, I have to get dinner out of the oven. See you next time readers!

It seems like a lot when you write it down like that, but looking at the bigger picture will help me put eve

BLC 27: Here I Come!

Hello everyone. The Biggest Loser Challenge for SparkPeople.com starts in 3 DAYS! I am so excited. I’m doing everything I can get prepared. I haven’t weighed in since last Wednesday, so I don’t know if I have gained or lost any weight. As well as keeping track of my weight loss here on the blog, I have also started a weight loss journal. I’m keeping it manually in an actual notebook. I think that will give me more motivation to stick to it. Here is the basic setup (WARNING: This is a little repetitive!)

WEEK ONE

Wednesday 1/14/15 (Weigh in) SW (starting weight): ##         FM (Fitness minutes) planned:          FM accomplished:

Water consumed: # glasses    Calories Y/N:               Freggies (fruits and vegetables) consumed:

Thursday 1/15/15 TNT (Tighten and Tone)         FM planned:                      FM accomplished:       Points possible:

Points earned:       Water consumed: # glasses:      Calories Y/N:           Freggies consumed:

Friday 1/16/15 STRONGend Challenge        FM planned:          FM accomplished:            Points possible:

Points earned:       Water consumed: # glasses     Calories Y/N:          Freggies consumed:

Saturday 1/17/15 STRONGend Challenge      FM planned:            FM accomplished:        Points possible:

Points earned:       Water consumed: # glasses       Calories Y/N:        Freggies consumed:

Sunday 1/18/15 STRONGend Challenge       FM planned:           FM accomplished:          Points possible:

Points earned:        Water consumed: # glasses       Calories Y/N:        Freggies consumed:

Monday 1/19/15 STRONGend Challenge       FM planned:          FM accomplished:          Points possible:

Points earned:        Water consumed: # glasses       Calories Y/N:        Freggies consumed:

Tuesday 1/20/15 Last Chance Workout (LCW)      FM planned:      FM accomplished:          Points possible:

Points earned:        Water consumed: # glasses       Calories Y/N:         Freggies consumed:

(If you actually read through all of that, I applaud you!)

WHEW! Okay here’s a little explanation:

Obviously, Wednesday is the day I weigh in every week. I’ll be posting that number every week. That’s a lot of pressure, but I’ve found that I work harder when people are watching my results. 🙂 My goal is to lose at LEAST 10 pounds, but I’m aiming for 20 pounds. Thursday is TNT, which means strength training. I have already checked out Jessica Smith’s (my favorite trainer) website and chosen which videos I want to do each Tuesday and Thursday. She always makes fitness fun. I don’t even feel like I’m working out! I can post what videos I am doing if anyone is interested. Leave your response in the comments below. Friday through Monday is the STRONGend Challenge (formerly known as the Weekend Challenge.) It usually consists of something fitness or nutrition related and we have the four days to complete it. My favorite one was a bingo card! I will post how many points were available for the ENTIRE challenge and how many points I earned for the entire challenge. I’m aiming for perfection, but as long as I try, I AM perfect! Tuesday is our LCW (Last Chance Workout). This is the day before we weigh in, so the goal is to get as many FM’s (fitness minutes) in as possible in preparation for WIW (Weigh In Wednesday).

I will also post how many FM’s I aim for and how many FM’s I complete weekly. I have joined the fitness and nutrition streaks to keep myself on track. I might have already posted this, but the fitness streak is exercising at least 20 minutes, 5 days a week. The nutrition streak is to track every BLT (bite, lick and taste). Okay, I just realized I have already mentioned this in a previous blog. You like repetition right right right right? I’m also aiming for at least 8 glasses of water a day, 3-5 freggies a day and 8 hours of sleep a night. Anyway, I’m really excited to start this journey and I’m glad you will be there to share it with me! By the way, my BLC team is the “Groovy Geckos”, so if I mention something about that, you now know what I am talking about. Good night and I will see you tomorrow for the first assignment of Blogging 101 – Week 2!

Thanks for reading!

Day By Day

Well, today was a so-so day. I slept in, so I didn’t have breakfast. It’s the weekend, and we usually eat takeout for lunch and dinner. Even with the takeout, I did pretty well with calorie count. My downfall that put me over by 200 calories? One guess. C’mon people, you KNOW this! Dr. Pepper. My archenemy it seems. I drank two large glasses. While I felt really good when I was drinking them, I felt awful after I typed in how many calories I had just consumed. It is empty calories I DON’T NEED. It is SABOTAGING my weight loss efforts. I need to realize this and it just isn’t working. I found a fruit-infuser water bottle online. It looks like it would be an awesome way to get me to drink more water. It a regular water bottle, but there is a tube in the middle where you can add your favorite fruits, therefore creating a customized fruit flavor! It’s only $15.00 and I’m thinking about getting one. Now, if I just had some money to actually buy it with…….

The Biggest Loser Challenge starts in 4 days and I am very excited! They have a nutrition and fitness streak thread and I joined both of them in hopes that it would keep me on track for the next 3 months. The fitness streak is to exercise at least 20 minutes, 5 days a week, for the entire challenge. The nutrition challenge is to track every BLT (bite, lick and taste) for the entire challenge. If I can incorporate both of these streaks into my daily routine, I will be well on my way to a better me! I’m already meeting some great people in my team and I can’t wait for the actual challenge to start. I will be posting my weigh ins and challenge points on this blog, so you all can keep up with my progress. I also would not mind anybody cheering me on, giving me advice, or sending me a quick (verbal) kick in the pants when I’m whining! Let’s get this party started!

The only other thing going on in my life right now is my GREAT need for a new computer. I have had this computer for about 5 years. If I have it turned on for more than an hour, it heats up to a temperature that hurts my fingers to touch the keyboard. It also gives off a burning smell and other than shutting itself off from time to time, but it works just fine. It seems to only get burning hot on the left side as well. Since I can’t afford a new computer, (and I can’t live without one!), I’m going to get a laptop cooling pad. I have a $10 Amazon gift card coming and I found a cheap one that will hopefully work until I get a new computer. It’s really annoying me that I can’t just get a new one, but money is not a plentiful resource right now.

Well, I’m going to sign off for the night. See you soon readers!

Oh the themes are a’changing…..

This week’s assignment was to look at the different themes this website offers and pick one that fits your personal style. Well, I looked through all the themes and only found one I liked. It was a pink, night sky with stars. I applied the theme and realized…..that is NOT ME at all! I dislike pink immensely and, while they are nice, the stars don’t really define me either. I started randomly clicking things around the dashboard to see if I could figure out how to put my own picture in the background. (Why read the instructions when you can just mess around and hope it turns out right?) First, I looked up “pink stars” on Google images, seeing if I could find a more “me”, pink, starry-looking picture. Picture after picture had me saying, “Nope; no; no way; don’t think so”, so I stopped and actually thought about what I wanted my blog to represent. The title is “Books and Chocolate”. What’s the logical take away here? Lightbulb! I looked up “books on bookshelves” on Google and found a plethora of images that could work for my blog. I tried a couple different ones, finally deciding the colorful ones I currently have. I played around with the font coloring of the header as well. I tried white (washed out the bottom part of header), yellow (same problem), finally settling on good, old black. It can be seen and the colors of the background make it interesting. The strange thing is: I don’t really mention much about books on my site. I’m a voracious reader but I’m not really focusing on that subject right now. But, from what I understand, your background is supposed to represent YOU yourself, not necessarily the content of your blog. So, bearing that in mind, this is what I have decided. That’s the “backstory behind my theme hunt”. What do you think?

Hello Dream Reader!

Hello readers! I’m sorry I haven’t been around for a few days. I have been working on other things. Now I”m back and ready to go! I’ve missed a few assignments in class, so I’m going to publish 4 posts now to get caught up. The assignment I stopped on was “Say Hello to the Neighbors!” so I am starting on “Write to Your Dream Reader” . Honestly, when I started this blog, I was going through a really bad breakup and it was hitting me hard. I usually write to get my feelings out and I wanted someone to read what I had written for this particular instance. I wrote a poem about my former fiance and I felt a lot better afterwards. Putting my feelings on paper (or in WordPress!) always makes me look at the “whole picture”, so to speak. The poem wasn’t as hard-hitting as my older writings, but it got the point across. When I was in high school, I went through a pretty bad bout of depression. I started writing because there was so many feelings in my head and heart, I had to get them out and organized somehow. Writing is an amazing outlet for me. I started out writing a journal, just what had happened during the day. I eventually started writing poetry and short stories. I even got accepted to a Writing Camp in my teens! I know if I hadn’t started writing, my life would have taken a very different turn. Writing and reading books really saved me and I don’t know how I can ever repay that debt.

As you all know, I am trying to lose weight. I love Pintrest, so I made a “Fitness Inspiration” board. It has a lot of different quotes that make me feel like I can conquer the world! I’m going to read it through when I’m feeling defeated. Here’s the link:

 

Monday, Monday – Is it 2015 already?

Well, today was a good day with a small hitch. I started out well. I had breakfast and filled up my water bottle to sip on during the day. Lunch wasn’t too healthy (Ramen noodles) but it was convenient and wasn’t TOO many calories. In between lunch and dinner, I decided I needed a snack. Well, snacks are pretty sparse around the house, especially healthy ones. I settled on chips and dip. I filled a PLATE with chips and got about 2 tablespoons of dip. Then, I “needed” a drink so I decided to get Dr. Pepper. I think I rationalized this by telling myself I had already had one this morning, so one more wouldn’t hurt. I decided to check out the nutritional information after I had eaten about 3 oz of chips. Well, 1 oz is 160 calories. I had just consumed 480 calories, PLUS 60 calories for the dip PLUS 150 calories for the soda, totaling 690 calories – from a SNACK! Now that is just wrong.

When I was drinking Dr. Pepper all day long, I could finish a 2-liter in a DAY. I never really thought about the calories I was consuming. I realize soda is empty calories and not essential to my nutrition at all. But, it tastes so GOOD! Just now, I added up how many calories are in a 2-liter of my beloved Dr. Pepper. Here we go * takes a deep breath * There are roughly 900 calories in one 2-liter! * silently screams inside my head * I am allowed a minimum of 1,290 calories and a maximum of 1,640 calories. That leaves me 740 calories for the rest of the day. In other words, basically one meal should be eaten for all my calories that day. When I actually write this down in black and white, I’m seeing that I really am sabatoging myself. This is something I can stop – now. The problem is: I have two more 2-liters under the cupboard in the kitchen. No one else in the house drinks Dr. Pepper. On the one hand, I think I should drink it because my dad bought it for me. On the other hand, I know that it is sabotaging my weight loss. It seems I have reached an impasse.

Thinking about all this has made me really look at what I need to work on to make myself a better person, physically and mentally. I’ve got some new small goals for the physical part. I’ll list the old ones as well, just to refresh my memory and yours:

1. Drink 64-100 ounces of water daily and drink more water when I feel hungry.
2. Work out at least 20 minutes, 5 days a week. If not that, at least 10 minutes a day. (Still working on getting that one started!)
3. Eat least 3-5 fruits and vegetables (hereby known as “freggies”) a day.
4. Stay within my calorie range 25 out of 30 days a month.
5. Limiting sugar and caffeine intake.
6. Try at least 1 new recipe a week.
7. Blog about my progress at least once a week.
8. Track food and exercise every day on Spark People.
9. Post at least once a day on the message boards on Spark People.
10. Look for new healthy snacks to try.

I’m also doing three different challenges on Spark People right now. Two fairly small ones and one big one. They do monthly challenges for any member who would like to join. The first one is the META #SmallChanges challenge. It lasts for a month. They send you emails each day to complete a daily challenge. You get Spark Points for each challenges and you learn all kinds of new things. The second one is the #RealisticResolutions. It follows the same format. I like these challenges. They are short and sweet and fun. Now, the big challenge is my favorite one of all. I belong to a group called “The Biggest Loser”. It is kind of like the show, but you can interact with it. There are weigh ins; TNT (Tighten and Tone) days; and WEC (weekend challenges). It is SO much fun and I meet a lot of great people. I usually lose at least 10 pounds over the 12 weeks it runs!

My life is so amazing. I cannot believe I was so depressed only two months ago. I was ready to end my life over a breakup with a man who wasn’t even worth my time in the first place. I am in a much better place now. I have let him go and I am living my life for me. I’m loving my family and friends. I am loving myself. I am enough and I’m glad I finally know that.

Get ready; get set; BLOG! (Blogging 101 assignment #1)

I’m starting my Blogging 101 class tomorrow but they gave us a start-up assignment today. The assignment is to basically write a “mission statement” for your blog; i.e. what your blog is about or what you hope to achieve with it. Here goes:

My blog is a sounding board for me to get my feelings out there. I love to write and I have found that writing my feelings down helps a lot in the process of dealing with them. Plus, sometimes I just write something so good, I have to share it with the world! I am currently in the process of losing the last 76 pounds I would like to lose. I will then be in the healthy BMI range. I’m going to chronicle my weight loss journey on the blog as well. Come along with me and prepare yourself for a great time!