Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It is so funny to me how everyone's weight loss jouney is different, yet the same feelings and frustrations are true with all of us. I, like Allie have been feeling a bit frustrated lately, but for a different reason. I knew last week after my weigh in post exactly what I wanted to write about today. While I feel I have been doing a good job with the food aspect, for the past month I have been back on my workout plan, and really focusing to get the last 18 pounds that I need to loose off. Despite my hard work, all I have seen is my weight fluctuate around the same place as usual.

I am a bit of a hypochondriac sometimes, and of course I think there is something wrong with me. Do I have thyroid issues? Oh my gosh.... am i PREGNANT??!!

The answer is NO. The answer is, I have to be patient with myself. I know that the first 12 pounds that I have lost have been a result of me eating better. I feel like my body has adjusted to this now, and I have to burn more calories so that I can loose more weight. I have really started to focus on workouts, and of course I think that it means that I am going to drop pounds instantly...but the truth is, the body doesn't always work like that. Here is a little bit of an article I read about this subject.

Just because you start exercising doesn't always mean your body will respond to that immediately. As Cathy Leman puts it, "...in some instances the body needs to sort of "recalibrate"' itself. Increased activity and new eating habits (taking in more or less calories) require the body to make adjustments." Cathy recommends that you give yourself several weeks or months for your body to respond to what you're doing.

So I have decided to re-focus, and be grateful for the things that my increased exercising HAS made a difference with:

More energy - I am WIRED all the time. I pop right out of bed, and have not slept in, or felt like I needed to sleep in for weeks. I have been MUCH more productive, am really happy with all the additional things I accomplish every day.

Better sleep - I am out like a light. I have had trouble falling asleep for the past year...I blamed it on stress. As soon as I started working out harder, my head can't hit the pillow fast enough.

More confidence - I feel stronger, leaner, and more flexible everyday. I like that I can make it through a run or an hour long cardio class, and feel good after...not nauseous and dehydrated.

Sometimes the scale is not the only measure of success on a weight loss journey. I am choosing to not get frustrated, but to stay consistent. I am positive that the minute that I stop STRESSING about the scale, and start enjoying the gift that I give my body by taking care of it, I will see these pounds drop and drop...

Monday, June 29, 2009


Hey girls, I feel like our readers have invested enough in this journey, (we are 6 1/2 months deep) that I can be really real. So today I'm not going to be pretty or motivating or encouraging. I'm keeping it real! And I'm SO over it right now. I'm over the food and the points and struggling with working out. It's not fair that I can't eat fried chicken tenders dipped in buffalo sauce and a big ole side of ranch for my french fries. It's really not fair is it? Absolutely NOT!

OK, there I did it, I vented and I whined and I got it out. Thank you supporters for listening and for putting up with us week after week. Honestly if it weren't for our readers I'd have FOR SURE gained my 22+ lbs back and be fat and miserable on the couch.

So here I am reminding myself that I WANT and I CRAVE to be a size 10 worse than I WANT and CRAVE fried chicken strips, french fries and ranch on the side!

Keep the Faith and Win the Race this week!!

Love, love

Friday, June 26, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

Happy Friday Fat Chicks! It's been a month since we last met here & it's been a rocky month! I feel like my weight has been up & down and back & forth, and the scale told me that it was too! I varied between a few pounds each week and I did this week too. Bleh!

On to the good news... marathon training is going great! I did several things last week that I've never done. 1. I ran 10 miles (at once). 2. I ran those 10 miles while on vacation! Justin and I made a weekend trip to see Christina & Kenneth and me and Christina were up at 6 am on Saturday morning to hit the trail and then spent the rest of the day shopping! Hey, it's our cardio!

I can say this, my long runs were my permission to splurge in areas that I hadn't been splurging in, so that explains the extra pounds. This week I've really focused on being more disciplined in my diet and not just giving in to every whim and every dessert in front of me!

Lesli: week: +2, total: -13


Ryan +1 pound! YIKES!

Total: -10 pounds



Total: -21


Christina: +2 Yikes for me too! What's worse is, I worked out 5 times this week!

Total: -12 pounds

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vitamin D Improves Dieting and Weight Loss

A little bit of sun this summer can be good! I found this interesting article for you guys to read below.

by Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese

Do you get enough vitamin D? Better still, do you even know where to get vitamin D from? I'll give you a hint - look up! No, it's not in the ceiling fan. It comes from the sun. Our skin makes vitamin D after being exposed to ultraviolet light. And new research claims getting more vitamin D, while following a calorie-restricted diet, improves weight loss, The study, presented at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting, involved 38 overweight men and women placed on a calorie-restricted diet (750 calories or less per day) for 11 weeks, with participants' vitamin D levels checked before and after.

Scientists found most people were vitamin D deficient, but those with higher levels had increased loss of belly fat. Researchers suggest vitamin D supplementation may be an option for people trying to lose weight.

Now, in addition to the sun, some healthy food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, such as sardines and wild Alaskan salmon. Both are low-contamination fish, and salmon sushi is pretty much the best thing ever!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spice of Your Life

One of the hardest changes when trying to get into the habit of eating healthy is kissing all the delicious cooking companions goodbye. You know... your good friends like butter, cheese, heavy cream. My mouth is watering & I don't want to ruin my keyboard, so I'll stop at those. I am the kind of person that is cool with the low fat/fat free version. Sure, it doesn't taste as good, and it doesn't ALWAYS cook the same, but it's usually pretty close.

I've found that the easiest way to enhance flavor without enhancing your thighs is to add some spice to your life! Allie is the Spice Queen. If you look around my spice cabinet, there are several spices that she has introduced me to & they've been used up!

My favorite spice that Allie ever shared with me was Chili & Lime spice. Chili & Lime spice is apart of The Gourmet Collection brand that can be found at none other than TJ Maxx! I love it so much that if I ever discover a new TGC spice I add it to my collection!

Currently, my shelf is housing the following TGC spices ~ Roast Vegetable & Fries, Basil & Tomato, Garlic Bread and Chili & Lime. As you can see, I haven't opened the Roast Vegetable & Fries seasoning, but I can't wait! I add the Chili & Lime seasoning to EVERYTHING! Just ate it last night in my Weight Watchers 1 pt Soup! The Garlic Bread spice adds a nice flavor to the Sausage & Cream cheese purses that I shared a few weeks ago!

~So tell me, what is the Spice of Your Life? ~

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Workout Buddy.....

I owe my recent increase in exercise to one person.... My dear friend Amy, who has unofficially taken responsibility for my workouts, and marathon training.... isn't she darling?

I had the pleasure of meeting Amy when I lived in Atlanta 3 years ago. She worked with me, and we were instant friends right from the start. She is completely in shape, a marathon runner, and exactly the type of friend you want during a weight loss journey.

Since I have been back, Amy and I have teamed up for workouts. She suggested I get a week long pass to her gym, and that week, she and I worked out 4 days. Even though I pass about 15 gyms on the way to hers, it was important that join because having her to work out with REALLY encouraged me. I finally realized that I am one of those people who THRIVES when I have someone to work out with. Don't get me wrong, I can work out by myself, but if I know I get to spend time with a friend while at the gym, it just makes getting there so much easier.

We aim to work out 5-6 days a week. Here is the first part of the plan that she gave me to follow....(I'm not kidding...it is in an excel document and everything....I have a training schedule for 25 weeks until I run the marathon)

Day 1: Lower Body, Abs, Interval Walk
Day 2: Short run
Day 3: Rest or 45-60 minutes of cardio
Day 4: Upper Body, Interval Run
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Long Run
Day 7: 45-60 minutes of cardio

This plan will of course change and get harder the closer I get to the marathon, but it has been very effective so far.

What kind of workouts do you prefer? Do you need a buddy like me, or do you prefer working out solo?

Monday, June 22, 2009

How to Stay Healthy on vacation

How to ward off tummy troubles, bug bites, the post-trip blahs, and other travel pitfalls so you can kick back and really relax. Summer getaways should be all about rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, decadent meals, late nights out, and fun in the wild outdoors can leave you feeling worse than you did before you left. But with a little planning, you can return home healthy and happy and even hold on to that feeling.

Stay-well strategies to add to your itinerary
Before You Leave...Shore up your immune system. Digestive problems, from gas and indigestion to diarrhea, are all too common when you're on the road. "Eating out means you have less control over food preparation, exposing you to bacteria like E. coli and salmonella," says Patricia Raymond, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. Prevent tummy troubles by popping probiotics — supplements that help keep your GI tract healthy — for three days before a trip. "Aim to take 1 billion
CFUs [colony-forming units] a day," Raymond suggests. (Look for pills containing S. boulardi to ward off Montezuma's revenge.) Meanwhile, more than one in five plane passengers will catch a cold within a week of their flight, research shows, so "bolster your immunity by getting seven to eight hours of sleep for several nights before you leave," says Michael P. Zimring, M.D. And because stress really does make you sick, pack a couple of days in advance, using a checklist. Be prepared. Put together a health kit that includes an antacid, an antidiarrheal medication, bandages, pain relievers such as aspirin or Tylenol, an antihistamine, sanitizing wipes, and your prescription medications (including liquids of more than three ounces, which can be carried on a plane if they're for medical use).

While You're Away...Stay active Lounge on a hammock all you want, but get in some activity too, or you'll have extra pounds as a vacation souvenir. It's easier — and more fun — than you think: Swim (205 calories burned in 30 minutes), play tennis (239 calories), hike (204 calories), or bike (272 calories). In a city? Sightsee (112 calories) or go dancing (153 calories). Indulge — to a point. "Pick one meal a day as your splurge," Zimring suggests. Otherwise, stick to lower-calorie foods high in filling protein and fiber, such as fruit, egg-white omelets, salads and wraps filled with veggies and lean meats, and fish. You'll have more energy for fun and avoid weight gain.

Protect yourself from the elements. Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 (or higher) any time you're outdoors. If you're visiting a heavily wooded area, use an insect repellent with at least 30 percent DEET, and wear long pants and thick socks to avoid catching West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or Lyme disease from tick and mosquito bites.When You Get Back... Ease into your routine. Don't dismiss the blues, a.k.a. post-vacation syndrome (yes, that feeling has a name!). Taking an extra day off from work after your return, hanging vacation photos at home or at the office, and slowly resuming your usual activities and eating habits will keep the stress-free spirit of your trip alive

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

Hello Everyone!!

I feel like a zombie right now...I just got back from an entire week on the road for work, and arrived in Atlanta at about 10:30pm last night. Typically when I go on these trips I treat them as mini vacations. I splurge, eat and drink delicious things and say that I will work out when I get back. I made a conscious decision this time to NOT do that. I had grilled fish and veggies at dinner instead of steak and lobster. I passed the breakfast buffet filled with Belgian waffles, , muffins, pastries, bacon and hash browns, and opted for an egg white omelet with fruit. I ran while I was there, and worked out 3 times before I left. I wasn't perfect, I did indulge in a bit of wine, but by far this is the best I have EVER done while traveling for work. I have a trip like this every month for the next 6 months, so I figured if I didn't get a handle on it right from the start, it would only take me that much longer to reach my weight loss goals. Since my last weigh in post I have really kicked up my workouts, and though I haven't seen a ton on change on the scale, I notice a big difference in my clothes and how things fit. I am letting that encourage me as much as smaller numbers on the scale does. I hope all of you are staying focused and encouraged as well!

Christina: -1 pound

Total: -14 pounds

Ryan: -1 Pound

Total: -11 Pounds

Allie: Week 0

Total: -22 lbs

Lesli: -2 pounds

Total: -15 pounds

Layered Mexican Chicken


1 serving cooking spray

2 cups cooked chicken or turkey breast cubed
1 can black beans -- rinsed and drained
2 cups fat-free sour cream
2 cups shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
4 ounce chopped green chilies
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 large spinach tortillas -- cut into 2-inch strips
1/2 cup salsa -- mild, medium or hot

All of the measurements were approximately!! Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a lasagna pan with cooking spray. Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. Transfer chicken to a large bowl and add beans, sour cream, 1 cup of shredded cheese, chilies, cumin, salsa and pepper; mix well and set aside.Arrange half of tortillas in bottom of prepared lasagna pan, overlapping pieces to cover bottom of pan. Top tortillas with half of chicken mixture, layer with remaining tortillas and then top with remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.Bake until filling is bubbly and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing into 12 pieces. Serves 12

6 POINTS per serving

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

~Parfait Pleasures~

I have the WORST sweet tooth & lately I've been obsessed with Fat Free Cool Whip! I put a dollop on my coffee, a dollop over fruit, a spoonful in my mouth... I LOVE it! I think parfaits are pretty to look at, so the other night I threw together a parfait to get my cool whip fix!

I took a pint glass and lined the bottom with Trader Joe's High Fiber Cereal, then I added a few Mixed Berries. {I ALWAYS use frozen fruit... so much easier to me & I always use it before it spoils.} Then of course added my favorite ~ Fat Free Cool Whip.

I made this the other night to eat while I enjoyed my dance show {SoYouThinkYouCanDance} & can report that I had it eaten before Mary could yell about the hot tamale train. It was delicious & the best part is that it quenched my sweet tooth & I could hardly tell it was so healthy!

What are your favorite Parfait Pairings?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Big Fat diet lies.....

Big Fat Diet Lies
Ask 10 people for weight-loss advice, and you'll get 10 different answers: Work out constantly. Set a large goal. Resign yourself to winter weight gain. "Most of us have been following certain rules for how to shed pounds our entire lives," says Nancy Snyderman, M.D., chief medical

THE MYTH: The more you work out, the better.
You already know that exercise is one of the best things you can do to maintain your weight and boost your overall health, but overdoing it can actually have the opposite effect. "Working out seven days a week can weaken our immune system, strain our joints, and tire us out," Snyderman says. "Your muscles need time to repair so they can be more efficient during your next session." And if you're exercising with improper form due to fatigue, you'll actually burn fewer calories than if you were exercising correctly, she says. To prevent workout burnout, schedule at least one day off a week, and change things up a bit each session — by doing arm weights one day, say, and leg moves the next — to avoid overusing one set of muscles. Be sure to keep your back straight and not to lean on the handles of cardio equipment, to prevent injury and maximize calorie burn.

THE MYTH: Muscle weighs more than fat. (this is my personal favorite, I've said this for YEARS!)
If you've been working out and the scale reading is higher than you'd like, it's tempting to tell yourself, "Well, that's just muscle weight." After all, muscle's heavier than fat, right? Not so much: There's no such thing as "muscle weight," Snyderman says. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat both weigh...a pound! But because muscle is more dense than fat, having more muscle on your frame than fat makes you look leaner. And there's another benefit: One pound of muscle burns an estimated 50 calories a day, while a pound of fat burns about two calories a day — so the leaner you get, the higher your metabolic rate. "Aerobic exercise, like biking and running, sheds fat, while weight-lifting helps build muscle mass," Snyderman says. "Doing both is a surefire way to rev up your metabolism."

THE MYTH: Fresh fruits and veggies are more nutritious than frozen or canned.
Frozen and canned produce can be equally as healthful as — and even more economical than — the fresh stuff, Snyderman says. Frozen fruits and vegetables are often flash-frozen straight off the vine, which helps them retain nutrients. And some canned produce is actually more nutritious than the fresh, raw kind, since we absorb antioxidants like the lycopene found in tomatoes and the beta-carotene contained in carrots more easily when they come from veggies that have been cooked. Bottom line: "It doesn't matter how you get your fruits and vegetables, as long as you're eating them," Snyderman says.

THE MYTH: You gain more weight in winter.
When the temperature drops, it makes sense that our bodies would inevitably pack on fat for insulation. Except that's not what happens. In fact, our metabolism revs up to keep us warm in colder temperatures, which means we actually burn more calories every day, Snyderman says. So if you're gaining in winter, a change in habits — like exercising less frequently and indulging in comfort foods — is likely to blame. To maintain your weight, try to stick to a balanced diet (even if carbs are all you crave) and your usual exercise routine. Swap indoor activities for your usual outdoor ones — or do some of your workouts out in the cold to boost calorie burn.

THE MYTH: You need to lose a significant amount of weight to see any health benefits.
Meeting your weight-loss goal can be daunting, especially when you have a double-digit amount to lose. But shedding even just a few pounds can have a huge impact on your health. For every two pounds of excess weight you lose, your cholesterol drops an average of 3 points. And in a study from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, men and women were able to bring their blood pressure down after losing as few as nine pounds. "Our bodies can tell when we lose weight, even when it's a minimal amount, and they adjust very quickly," Snyderman says. "So even if you have a significant amount of weight to lose, taking it a few pounds at a time will boost your overall health — and make your ultimate goal more manageable."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

Allie: Hey guys, how was the week? Mine was a bummer. I was SICK. No voice at all. Dr. said a virus attacked my vocal chords, weird huh? I'm hyped up on steroids and getting better by the day. I'm up a pound and totally know why....my FOOD. I ate whatever I wanted on vacation and since I've been home have felt too bad to cook & grill veggies and pack healthy lunches. As yall know I'm the NON working out fat chick; Les & Christina are kicking butt and taking names training for their marathons and Ryan is naturally very active. Well I'm NOT, so I have to really watch what I eat and can totally tell when I'm going to have a good week, because of it. For example I was very conscious the week before I left for my trip, I was down 3 lbs. Because I ate lean grilled chicken and veggies for dinner and leftovers for lunch and kept my carbs to a minimum. I know there are 2 schools when it comes to the low carb discussion. People that are working out hard, NEED carbs...but lazy ole me doesn't need nearly as many since I don't burn lots of extra calories. I DO eat plenty of complex carbs in veggies & beans but the weeks that I really am conscious about lowering the breads, pasta & potatoes I always see a difference in the scale. Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Week: +1
Total: -22
Ryan: -3 pounds (I'm sick so next week I'm sure my vacation eating will catch up with me)
Total: -10 pounds
Lesli: +1
Total: -13
Christina: 0 pounds
Total: -13 pounds

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I was in Mississippi all last week and boy was it heaven to my taste buds. If you guys don’t know me very well, my most favorite thing in the whole wide world is seafood, I crave scallops, shrimp, and crab on a daily basis. The Gulf coast of Mississippi has it all! Lump crab, Ruby red shrimp, crawfish! And the list goes on and on. We ate at a place called Mary Mahoney’s, an old French/Cajun restaurant that has WORLD FAMOUS GUMBO; I’m craving it right now! I searched for the top secret recipe for you guys and I FOUND IT, it’s below! Thank goodness seafood is weight watcher friendly! I made myself step on the scale this morning, I just knew all that buttery crab I had eaten HAD TO ATLEAST put 2 pounds on my thighs and to my surprise I was down a pound! I had to step off and then step on again just to make sure, because I did stuff myself full of seafood all week long! I was so happy and this makes me love seafood even more!
I know this is a horrible shot of me, I have no clue why my eyes are doing that...but this just goes to show how happy I was with that gumbo in front of me!

Allie and I at Mary's :)

Mary’s Famous Seafood Gumbo Recipe (4 points per serving)

Don't Tell Anyone........


6 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons bacon drippings
2 onions, chopped fine
1 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 small head garlic, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
6 cups water
1/2 tablespoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
2 pounds shrimp (fresh or frozen), peeled
2 pounds crab meat (fresh or frozen), picked over to remove shell or cartilage
1 (16-ounce) package frozen cut okra
1 pint oysters (optional)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


In an 8-quart stockpot, brown flour in bacon drippings over medium heat to make caramel-colored roux, stirring often for about 6 to 8 minutes. Be careful it doesn't scorch. Carefully add onions, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, salt and pepper. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour.

(Note: At this point you may divide the gumbo base, which will total about 12 cups. Continue cooking some with a proportional amount of the remaining ingredients, and refrigerate or freeze the rest of the base for another meal.)

To finish: Add fresh or frozen shrimp, fresh or frozen crab meat and frozen okra. Raise heat to bring back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer an additional 20 minutes. (If using oysters, add them during last 5 minutes of cooking.) Add Worcestershire sauce, remove from heat and stir well. Serve over hot rice. --- Adapted from: "A Passion for People: The Story of Mary Mahoney and Her Old French House Restaurant"


Like many restaurant recipes, this one feeds a crowd. Its 24 cups make 16 generous main-dish servings over hot rice or 24 or more first-course servings. While it can be halved easily, why not stretch your effort by making the base up to the point of adding seafood, then dividing it. Use part to continue with the recipe today and freeze the rest. All you'll have left to do is add the seafood and okra simmer 20 minutes, stir in Worcestershire and the gumbo's on. Be sure to offer Tabasco on the side for those who like it spicy.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bacon Bundled BBQ Shrimp

Bacon Bundled BBQ Shrimp

I found this recipe in the Hungry Girl 200 under 200 book & after trying knew I HAD to share with all my fat chicks!

You will need... {for 6 pieces of shrimp}
-Your favorite BBQ Sauce {CookBook has a recipe to make your own, but I was hungry!}
-3 pieces of Turkey Bacon {cut in half}
-6 pieces of Shrimp {raw, deveined, peeled, tails removed}

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat the bacon in BBQ sauce & wrap around the shrimp.

Arrange on a sprayed cookie sheet & cook until bacon is crispy ~ 10-15 minutes.

Each of these shrimps are less than 30 calories, only 2pts for 4 shrimp & absolutely delicious! I ate them by themselves for dinner, but think they would be a delicious & impressive appetizer at any party.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cause my MOTHER did it!!

Last week, Lesli made her AWESOME announcement about running a marathon. I truly admire anyone that takes on this goal, but especially Lesli...because the only place we ran to when we lived in Chicago was a bar. In fact I distinctly remember coming over to Lesli's apartment one day with my running clothes on to take a run with her, and when I walked in she handed me a beer.

My friend Amy who I have been working out with consistently, told me that she was also running a marathon in Charleston this December. This would be Amy's fifth marathon and she encouraged me to run with her. I looked at her like she was crazy and told her that although i really wished i wanted to, but i have ZERO desire to run 26 miles. She then mentioned that there was also a half marathon too, and I should consider it.

Later that week, i was on the phone with my mother and told her about Lesli and Amy's journey. Very calmly and plainly she says to me.

"Christina, I ran a half marathon. Actually I ran 15 miles. I was working full time, I had 3 children, I was 36 years old, and I ran 15 miles."

Now, I would like to add that my mother is a retired Colonel in the Army. She stayed very physically fit her whole life... but STILL! She was 10 years older than me.

Thems fightin words my friends. I had no problem whatsoever with Lesli and Amy being able to run and admitting that I couldn't. Lesli can do LOTS of things that i can't and i am perfectly okay with admitting it. But my mother knows that the best way to get me motivated to do something is to say that she did it...so of course i could too. (although i am pretty sure that i don't have it in me to deliver 3 babies naturally) She dangled the bait and i fell for it. So, its official....and i am writing this on the blog so i will hold myself accountable....barring any unfortunate injuries or circumstances...


I really want to just do this because i want to really physically push myself. I haven't pushed myself to be really physically fit since college. Yes, I can do hours of kickboxing, dance, yoga and elliptical, but training for a marathon I feel is going to REALLY whip my body into shape. More than that, it is the mental aspect that is intriguing to me as well. Since I started telling people about running this marathon, all i have heard is that it is all mental. It is your mind telling your body that it can keep going, even when your body thinks it can't. If I can do that, really do that...how much could that change my perspective on anything in life that i think i can't do?

So, Kiawah Island here I come. I have also convinced my friend Kori to run the half marathon with me, and I am super excited about that. I have a whole crew of people who are going to come down to cheer me on, and I think we might rent one of those super cute beach houses for the weekend too.

I started training last week and my first few runs have gone really well. Amy wrote me out a 25 week training schedule. I have PLENTY of time to get ready for this, so that has really put me at ease. Lesli and I have started chatting on the phone to one another during our runs to help the time go by faster. She can carry on an entire conversation on a 5 mile run. I'm not quite at that point yet...all my responses are "nope","yup"and breathless grunts.

See ya'll at the finish line!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blah, blah, blah....

Hey friends. I'm home from vacation & in the "let down" phase of vacation-hood. You know, when you've got nothing to look forward to but laundry? Well that's me!
I'm sorry to say that I didn't follow ANY of the "stay on your diet while vacationing" rules that I know in my head; sad! We did walk a lot and how many calories does it burn to sweat at the pool? What about pushing that MAX BET button on the slot machine?

But I'm back on track and brought my healthy breakfast, lunch & snacks with me to work today! Check my personal blog later in the week for more vacation pictures! Here is a sneak preview.

Shrimp festival!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

Happy FRIDAY! I have been out of town for the past 3 weekends; only 2 more weeks to go and I can be back in my house relaxing like a normal person. This weekend I’m in Biloxi, Mississippi… matter of fact right about now I will be making my way to the pool in a Tankini! Not my 2 piece I had wished for. I left Orlando on Tuesday morning and I did weigh in and it wasn’t pretty, I was up a pound! It’s my fault; I do so well on the week days and then when the weekend hits it goes down hill from there. I feel like the weeks are flying by and I continue to loose 0 pounds! I’m sorry I’m not an inspiration to anyone. I will try harder; I just need to get back on track. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend! Please vision the boat “Reel Addiction” catching a 1000 pound marlin, at this weekends fishing tournament! Ry :)

Ryan: Total: 7 pounds
Week: -2lb
Total: -23 lbs

Week: +.5
Total: -14
Week: -1
Total: -13

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What You Wear Can Change Your Life

I have been debating on buying this book and last week I found out that my good friend has it and she SWEARS by it.  It's cheap on Amazon.com and I wanted to share it with you guys.  I think it's something that every woman should have.  Here is a little description below. 

Here is the "bible" from the authors of the 
New York Times bestseller What Not to WearWhat You Wear Can Change Your Life shows you how to redefine your look and style from head to toe. 

Trinny and Susannah go over the basics of choosing colors that suit you best, what underwear to buy, which accessories to look for, how to store clothing, how to revamp your wardrobe at no cost, and how to make the sartorial most of being pregnant. 

This is a gorgeous, lavishly illustrated package--a resource to consult again and again. Trinny and Susannah anticipate the needs and questions of every woman and address them with the surefire style, self-deprecating wit, and friendly but firm empathy that have made them the last word in looking better. 

Topics covered include: 

- Defining the Shape
- Underwear
- How to Wear Color
- What to Keep, What to Toss
- Accessories
- Storage
- Make-up
- Travel 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Trample the weak, Hurdle the dead...

I announced on my ~personal~ blog last Friday that I have been training for a marathon. Did you hear me? Oh.My.Gosh. I'm following a training program & in 16 weeks {14 now} I will hopefully be ready for the Tupelo marathon.

These are the last 3 logos for the Tupelo Marathon. While the skull & crossbones are quite fitting for my Chi Omega background, they are slightly terrifying when representing a marathon. Needless to say... I am scared to death!
Why am I doing this? Because I have something to prove to myself. I believe in myself & I believe whole heartedly that I can do this & I will do this. In all my runs I've questioned if I could really do this, and on Saturday I ran 6 miles & when I finished I knew that I could do this indeed!

Have I ever thought about doing this before? Yes! I even half heartedly started running more, but I never stuck with it, because I had no discipline & I had no solid base built up. Now I've been running since January, and my life has changed and my mind has changed. I'm in the right place mentally & physically.

Here's where you come in... Have any of you ever done this before? If so, what is your biggest piece of advice you can give to me?

I am all ears, so please oh please enlighten me! Oh, and thanks to you ALL. Honestly, I probably would NOT have gotten this far if it hadn't been for all of your sweet comments and words of encouragement.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Goal Dress.....

Lesli came to visit me for a few days last month, and we decided to do some bargain shopping. I say bargain shopping as if we ever shop any other way....but you get my point. Shopping is our cardio as you all know....

We ran across this super cute dress....at a FABULOUS price. At first glance it looks a lot bigger than it is. It was only when i was trying to shove my big hips into this dress that i realized....either i think i look a lot smaller than i do, or i still size up outfits based on how my body used to look. Either way, in about 30 seconds, I realized that the cute little dress was NOT going to get past my neck....

I walked out of the dressing room and told Lesli about what had just happened and she came up with an awesome idea of making it my "Goal Dress." Oprah does this too...she puts a dress on her vision board that she wants to be able to fit into, and it motivates her to loose or keep off weight.
I am estimating I need to shed about 18 more pounds before I can fit into this dress. I have set my birthday, August 1st as the day to do it. When that is done, I will be at my goal weight, 30 pounds lighter than I was when I started this journey. I think that is PLENTY of time, and hopefully I can get that amount of weight off before then, but I feel like it is a pretty healthy goal.

So now it's hanging in the front of my closet and everyday I go to get dressed I sneak a glance at it. It's such a "Christina" dress. I can't wait till I can fit it... At least for now, I can be happy that I have a cute pair of shoes for it, and they already fit.....

Monday, June 1, 2009

Speed up Your Metabolism

Speed up Your Metabolism
Don't bemoan the fact that you were born with a sluggish calorie-burning system. Turbocharge it with these tips—some even work in your sleep!

Jen Ator Here's a secret: slaving away inside your body—right this minute—is your very own personal trainer working tirelessly to help you burn calories and shed fat. It's called your metabolism, and it's the sum of everything your body does. Each time you eat, enzymes in your body's cells break down the food and turn it into energy that keeps your heart beating, your mind thinking, and your legs churning during a grueling workout. The faster your metabolism runs, the more calories you burn. The more you burn, the easier it is to drop pounds. And get this—you can make your metabolism work harder, a lot harder, 24 hours a day.

To some degree, our bodies hum along at a preset speed determined by gender and genetics, but there's still plenty of wiggle room. "You have a huge amount of control over your metabolic rate," says John Berardi, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., author of The Metabolism Advantage. "You can't affect how many calories it takes to keep your heart beating, but you can burn an extra 500 to 600 calories a day by exercising properly and eating right." And by making a few changes to your routine.

To make those changes simpler, we enlisted the help of leading experts and came up with a round-the-clock, turn-up-the-burn plan complete with new moves that will throw your metabolism into overdrive.

1. When you roll out of bed Eat (a good) breakfast Every. Single. Day. If you don't, your body goes into starvation mode (it's paranoid like that), so your metabolism slows to a crawl to conserve energy, Berardi says. And the heartier your first meal is, the better. In one study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, volunteers who got 22 to 55 percent of their total calories at breakfast gained only 1.7 pounds on average over four years. Those who ate zero to 11 percent of their calories in the morning gained nearly three pounds. In another study published in the same journal, volunteers who reported regularly skipping breakfast had 4.5 times the risk of obesity as those who took the time to eat. What should you be having? Morning munchies that are slow to digest and leave you feeling fuller longer. Try a mix of lean protein with complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, like this power breakfast, recommended by Berardi: an omelet made from one egg and two egg whites and a half cup of mixed peppers and onions, plus a half cup of cooked steel-cut oats mixed with a quarter cup of frozen berries and a teaspoon of omega-3-loaded fish oil. Sip java Sisterhood of the traveling spill-proof mugs, rejoice! A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee increased 16 percent over that of those who drank decaf. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system by increasing your heart rate and breathing, says Robert Kenefick, Ph.D., a research physiologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. Honestly, could there be a more perfect beverage? Guzzle your water cold Chase your morning joe with an ice-cold glass of H2O. Researchers at the University of Utah found that volunteers who drank eight to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water per day had higher metabolic rates than those who quaffed only four glasses. Your body may burn a few calories heating the cold water to your core temperature, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center. Though the extra calories you burn drinking a single glass doesn't amount to much, making it a habit can add up to pounds lost with essentially zero additional effort.

2. When you're at work Pick protein for lunch Cramming protein into every meal helps build and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, even at rest, says Donald Layman, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois. Aim for about 30 grams of protein—the equivalent of about one cup of low-fat cottage cheese or a four-ounce boneless chicken breast—at each meal. Brew up some green tea "It's the closest thing to a metabolism potion," says Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., author of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever. The brew contains a plant compound called ECGC, which promotes fat burning. In one study, people who consumed the equivalent of three to five cups a day for 12 weeks decreased their body weight by 4.6 percent. According to other studies, consuming two to four cups of green tea per day may torch an extra 50 calories. That translates into about five pounds per year. Not bad for a few bags of leaves, eh? For maximum effect, let your tea steep for three minutes and drink it while it's still hot. Undo damage with dairy Hey, it happens. There are days when no salad on earth can possibly overcome the seductive power of French fries. But you can make up for it with a calcium-rich afternoon snack, like eight ounces of milk or six ounces of low-fat yogurt. Calcium helps your body metabolize fat more efficiently by increasing the rate at which it gets rid of fat as waste (yes, that kind), reports a study from the University of Copenhagen. Sorry, supplements don't have the same effect.

3. When you go food shopping Choose organic produce You wouldn't fill your car engine with pesticides, right? Hell, no. Researchers in Canada found that dieters with the most organochlorides (chemicals found in pesticides) stored in their fat cells were the most susceptible to disruptions in mitochondrial activity and thyroid function. Translation: Their metabolism stalled. Can't afford a full organic swap? Go to foodnews.org/fulllist for the most (and the least) contaminated foods, then adjust your shopping list accordingly. Seek heat It turns out capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their mouth-searing quality, can also fire up your metabolism. Eating about one tablespoon of chopped red or green chilies boosts your body's production of heat and the activity of your sympathetic nervous system (responsible for our fight-or-flight response), according to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. The result: a temporary metabolism spike of about 23 percent. Stock up on chilies to add to salsas, and keep a jar of red pepper flakes on hand for topping pizzas, pastas, and stir-fries. Grab some metal Women lose iron during their period every month. That can throw a wrench into your metabolic machine, because iron helps carry oxygen to your muscles. If your levels run low, muscles don't get enough O2, your energy tanks, and your metabolism sputters, Shames says. Stock up on iron-­fortified cereals, beans, and dark leafy greens like spinach, bok choy, and broccoli.

4. When you work out Mix things up with intervals You're always looking for a way to shorten your workout, right? Well, step up your intensity and you'll burn the same number of calories or more in less time. In one Aus­tralian study, female volunteers either rode a stationary bike for 40 minutes at a steady pace or for 20 minutes of intervals, alternating eight seconds of sprints and 12 seconds of easy pedaling. After 15 weeks, those who incorporated the sprints into their cardio workouts had lost three times as much body fat—including thigh and core flab—compared with those who exercised at a steady pace. Bursts of speed may stimulate a fat-burning response within the muscles, says lead researcher Ethlyn Gail Trapp, Ph.D. Whether you ride, run, or row, try ramping things up to rev your burn: Start by doing three eight-second all-out, can't-talk sprints with 12 seconds at an easy pace between each effort. Work your way up until you can do 10 sprints over 20 minutes. Take it slow This isn't easy, but when you strength train, count to 3 as you lower the weight back to the start position. Slowing things down increases the breakdown of muscle tissue—yeah, it sounds bad, but all that damage you're incurring is actually a good thing. The repair process pumps up your metabolism for as long as 72 hours after your session, according to researchers at Wayne State University. But pass on those featherweight dumbbells—you need to use weights that are heavy enough that you struggle to complete the final few reps. Pop pills Combining regular exercise with fish-oil supplements increases the activity of your fat-burning enzymes, reports a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Volunteers took six grams of fish oil daily and worked out three times a week. After 12 weeks, they'd lost an average of 3.4 pounds, while those who exercised exclusively saw minimal shrinkage. Look for brands containing at least 300 milligrams of the fatty acid EPA and 200 milligrams of the fatty acid DHA per capsule. Pop two of these two hours before your workout.

5. When you get home Eat Nemo's pals Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines are loaded with hunger-quashing omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help trigger the rapid transfer of "I'm full" signals to your brain, according to the National Institutes of Health. Bonus: A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon nets you 90 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin D, which will help preserve your precious calorie-craving, metabolism-stoking muscle tissue. Skip the second mojito Another reason not to overimbibe: Knocking back the equivalent of just two mixed drinks (or two glasses of wine or two bottles of beer) puts the brakes on fat burning by a whopping 73 percent. That's because your liver converts the alcohol into acetate and starts using that as fuel instead of your fat stores, report researchers from the University of California, Berkeley. Hit the sack—early When you sleep less than you should, you throw off the amounts of leptin and ghrelin—hormones that help regulate energy use and appetite—that your body produces. Researchers at Stanford University found that people who snoozed fewer than 7.5 hours per night experienced an increase in their body mass index. So make sure you get at least eight hours of rest.
Info from article on Women's Health.com