Tag Archives: diet

Weigh Day (week thirty-one)

I am pretty sure I have good news here, folks.  If I was experiencing a plateau over the course of the last couple weeks, I am pretty sure that is no longer the case!

With the help and wisdom of my trainer, Denise, encouraging me to cut back on weight lifting, eating more veggies, and spending more time with the Neil Armstrong machine…this is what I read on the scale:


That is *two* pounds (exactly) down from last week!  I will certainly take that with a happy smile upon my face!  As I mentioned last week, I have come to realize my birthday goal of 225 on 2/25 will not happen.  To be honest, I am slightly bummed about that, but really I cannot be upset when I will be *considerably* healthier when my 30th rolls around in a couple weeks.  This will be the healthiest/thinnest I have been for a birthday since…maybe 21…maybe.  The last birthday I know *for sure* I was lighter/thinner than this would have been 18.  Insanity.

I do find myself getting increasingly excited to get below the 200 mark, which is crazy just to be thinking I am even close enough to get excited about it…  This is *definitely* going to be the year, though.  Definitely.  I *will* be under 200 pounds in 2012.  So, I think I am going to set up a new goal tracker counting down to both summer (swimsuit time) and “one”derland.  I want to be *under* 200 pounds by June 1, 2012.

15 weeks; 5 days
36.4 pounds

I chose 36.4 pounds as the goal amount because that would put me right at 199.8.  That averages out to be 2.3 pounds each week…which is possible to do.  I have high hopes for this goal, folks…*really* high hopes!

So, later today I will be meeting with Denise.  I do believe she has some HIIT (high intensity interval training) planned out for me, which should be interesting.  I am also going to attempt to do a Zumba class after I finish with Denise.  That, of course, depends on just how badly she kicks my booty, though.  We shall see…

I have some posts in the works for you all, so hopefully I will get to those within the next day or so.  I will be busy rehearsing/re-working lines for my commercial (my own lines…not scripted…just still working on cramming all the wonderful things I have to say in 15 seconds or less), dying my hair, and all kinds of other fun stuff.  Oh – by the way – I picked up two workout shirts yesterday…real ones, not just plain T-shirts (which is what I have been wearing this whole time).  I think *technically* they are too big for me because they are supposed to really “hug” your body, but I am just not ready for all that clingy clothing with all my squishy underneath.  🙂  Maybe sometime soon, though.


Exciting Things…

So, although I have a list (literally) of things I intend to blog about within the upcoming week…this post is completely random.  Hope you do not mind.

First, let me tell you all how very excited I am about the Neil Armstrong machine at my gym.  (Okay, it really is not called the Neil Armstrong machine, but I have *no* idea what it is actually called.  And, I feel like I am walking/running on the moon when I am on it…hence the Neil Armstrong title I have given it)  Anyway, I have been hopping up on this machine all week and have progressively stayed on longer.  Monday I did 15 minutes with my girlfriend.  Tuesday I did 20 minutes (again with the girlfriend).  Wednesday I managed 40 minutes (alone), which was 3.26 miles!  Tonight I did 45 minutes, which was 3.61 miles!  This is such a big deal to me because I tried to do that machine about 50 or 60 pounds ago and simply could *not* pull it off.  I just did not have the strength and stamina to do it even for five minutes.  Excellent progress that is!

Second I went to a boutique today in search of a new hoister…er…sorry, bra.  Anyway, I walked in wearing a 38J and thinking I would probably need somewhere in the ballpark of a 36J, maybe even a K.  Guess what?!  The girl took one look at what I was wearing and said, “I’ll be back with a 34J for you to try.”  I looked at that girl like her head just flew off.  A 34?!  Are you kidding me?  So, she did…and you know what…it fit…on the tightest row of hooks!  Then the girl looks and says, “Oh, I guess you actually need a 32.  I’ll be back.”  Again – total shock and disbelief.  That one fit, too…on the loosest row of hooks, but none-the-less.  My body actually fit in a 32J.  Craziness, that is, folks.  Absolute madness!

On an even better note (in that same vein), they carry sports bras for those with “tiny” band sizes (her words, not mine) and great, big…well, you know.  Unfortunately, they were out of my band size, but they should have a shipment in later this week or early next week.  So, I am going to have an actual sports bra…and that is very exciting.  I might even be able to do an actual jumping jack (without having to hold on to my “friends” while jumping).  Awesome!

My testimonial taping is happening within the next week or so…and I am nervous!  So very nervous!  I have already ironed out what I am doing with my hair…vibrant blue in the back with streaks of yellow and lime green in the front.  I know I am going to wear all black (which I have yet to shop for a shirt that actually fits me like a shirt should, and not so much like a night shirt).  Now, I just have to iron out what in the world I am going to say!  They told me I should strive for about 15 seconds.  Well, how in the world can I say *all* I need to say about my fabulous gym and phenomenal trainer in *only* 15 seconds?!  I was rehearsing in my kitchen yesterday morning and whittled it down to about a minute and a half.  Not kidding.  I just do not feel like I can really quantify my experience in 15 seconds.  Any suggestions on that one?!

Last I want to mention that the scale was kind to me this morning.  I was down 0.8 from yesterday…so far 1 pound down for the week.  Hopefully that means with less weight lifting (per instructions from Denise – best trainer in the world) and more cardio (thank you Neil Armstrong machine)…combined with an increase in raw foods…my “plateau” is no longer.  We shall see in the morning.  I will likely keep my fingers crossed…even while sleeping.  🙂

Do you have any exciting news to share?


Keeping An EYE On Things

Portion control is out of control in our society.  This photo shows what portion sizes *used* to look like, and what they look like today.  There is clearly a very large difference.  This explains many things about our growing obesity epidemic.  People simply do not understand what a *real* portion looks like because they are used to being served two or three times a normal serving.  So, when a doctor asks, “Do you eat a lot?”  Their answer, of course, is no.

I used to fall into that category.  I did not think I ate all that much.  The problem was that my portion sizes were seriously inflated.  I was consuming far too many calories in each sitting.  Despite the fact I was not eating fast food, I was still morbidly obese.  I was always a little confused because I ate  healthy foods.  I cooked my meals at home using very little convenience or pre-packaged foods.  Fruits and vegetables were always a big part of my daily diet.  Yet, the fat was still there (and often times increasing).

Once I realized that it was not so much *what* I was eating as much as the *quantity* things started to improve.  I started purchasing smaller things…fruits especially…to help curb the portion sizes.  I started preparing meals as if I were feeding three people instead of five.  This reduced everyone’s portion sizes and also reduced the amount of leftovers lurking in my fridge.  The interesting thing?  Even though I began cooking less food at each meal, we were all still satisfied and nourished.  Go figure.

I am much more conscious of how much I am eating these days.  Part of that is due to practice, and the other part is due to journaling.  Keeping a food journal helps to keep me accountable.  It prevents me from “letting things slide” and getting carried away with eating.  As an addict, this is very important for me.  In that same vein, as an addict, this was one of the harder things I had to implement.  I was resistant to logging every little thing that entered my mouth.  It is an invaluable tool to my success, though.  I highly recommend everyone keep a food journal.  If you have never kept one, you might be (unpleasantly) surprised at the amount of food you actually consume in a day.

Here is a chart I found while roaming the blogging world.  It is a good visual reference for those looking to control portion sizes without stopping to measure every single thing before eating it (which I find frustrating, by the way).

Looking over this chart, you can probably see portion distortion with many products.  Bagels are a big one.  I cannot remember the last time I saw a bagel in a bakery that was smaller than my palm…can you?  Of course, I have bagels in the house that are about that size, but they are considered “mini” bagels.  The full size bagels are easily double that size.

Do you control your portion sizes using this visual method or some other method?  Are there any foods you still have difficulty with when creating a portion (cheese is my portion weakness)?


Weigh Day (week thirty)

Thirty weeks.  Seven months (only 5 days shy).  What a journey this has been so far.  I have come so far already…and, yet, I feel like I have so much further to go.  Although, as fast as these 30 weeks have gone, I have no doubt the next 30 will fly by in seemingly no time at all.  I am very excited to see what milestones and accomplishments I will have to speak of by that point.

I would like to say I am bubbling over with happiness and excitement today, but I am not.  Actually, I am feeling a blue this evening.  I had a great workout with Denise today, and I did some new things with her (which challenged me in new ways).  I did my first “real” pushup today (not the girlie ones on my knees)…it was *not* pretty, but I did it…and then many more after it.  I did burpees, actually, which require pushups as part of the move.  I also jumped rope…okay, more like skipped rope, but I did it.  Again, it was not pretty, and I still need *so* much more practice to be “successful.”

Despite that, my weigh in this morning has me a little bent out of shape.  The scale was all over the place this morning.  Okay, so something strange…I weigh myself (a minimum of) three times every time I do it.  Why?  Well, because depending on where you stand on the scale, you get different readings…or at least I usually do.  So, what I do is step on the scale and then again, and then again.  If the number matches all three times, that is my weight.  If the number does not match, I weigh myself until I get three identical readings.  Usually, the numbers are so close (like within 0.4 pounds)…not this morning.  I had weights from as little 235.X all the way up to 239.0.  I was so frustrated and wanted desperately to curse the stupid thing out.  Instead, I took a deep breath and keep stepping on.  Eventually, I got my three identical readings…


That is *one* pound down from last week.  O-N-E.  That is two weeks in a row that I have only dropped *one* pound.  I am beginning to feel frustrated with that.  I know I probably should not get that caught up in the numbers, but I do.  The numbers, after all, is what is primarily driving me these days because I still have that ridiculous *disconnect* clouding my perception of progress when I look at myself.  If I could *see* the changes as clearly as everyone else, maybe I would not be so hung up on the numbers.  Maybe.  It is still a loss, though, so I guess I cannot dwell on it too terribly long.  Sigh.

Denise measured me today at the gym.  Here is how it went:

Neck = 14″ / 14″
Shoulders = 54″ / 45.2″
Arms = 19″ (L) and 19″ (R) / 16.5″ (L) and 16.5″ (R)
Bust = 54.5″ / 48.2″
Waist = 48″ (N) and 52″ (B) /  35.5″ (N) and 40″ (B)
Hips = 58.75″ / 51″
Thighs = 37″ (L) and 37.5″ (R) / 27.7″ (L) and 28″ (R)
Calves = 20.5 (L) and 21″ (R) / 17.2″ (L) and 18.2″ (R)
original measurement / current measurement

That is a total of 77.25 inches and 76.8 pounds lost in 30 weeks.  That is not too shabby, right?  So, what is up with me not feeling happy about that?!  Maybe I am in some sort of emotional funk today…who knows.

Here is another thing…
My BMI when I began (at 315 lbs.) was 49.33.
Today my BMI was 37.3.

I am thinking that I need to switch up something on the food front.  I have no idea what I am going to do exactly because I do not have a “quick fix” in that arena.  (Meaning, I do not drink soda – even diet. I do not eat sweets – ever. I do not drink alcohol. I do not eat chips or anything “snacky” like that.)  So, I apparently have some research ahead of me to try and figure out how I can shake things up in my diet to see if I can get the scale moving again.  Any thoughts or ideas on that?

20 days
13.2 pounds
(I think it’s safe to call this one unattainable at this point.)


Random Observations

Here is a collection (in no specific order) containing random observations I have made recently:

1. I cannot jump rope to save my life.  Something so simple.  Something every child can do with ease.  It is hilariously wrong to see me even attempt it.  You may (or may not) have noticed I added “Jump Rope (successfully)” to my list of goals.  I will practice.  I will jump rope (successfully).  I will.  Can you jump rope (successfully)?  If so, do you jump with both feet together or do you “skip” with one foot at a time (like a little girl skipping down the street while jumping rope…to help with the visual)?

2. I must see my doctor about my left shoulder.  I have mentioned it here a couple times.  The stupid thing is still bothering me (it has been about five or six weeks, I believe).  Yeah me.  Not.

3. My ankle seems to be improving rapidly.  I have actually taken my brace off, which is major.  Physical therapy is twice a week, so that is a bonus.  Additionally, I do think my new athletic shoes have helped tremendously.

4. I can feel hip bones, folks!  This was an incredible (and quite comical) day for me.  I cannot recall ever being able to feel hip bones in my life (I am sure I could as a child, but who remembers that?!).  In fact, I was so surprised when I felt “something hard” in my side I did not even realize that is what it was.  (That is the comical part)  I had to have my ex- feel “that mysterious hard thing” in my side to find out…it was my pelvic bone!  You should have seen the look on his face *that* day.

5. More injury…my left knee.  The grinding, popping, and clicking seems to be getting worse (not better as I hoped it would).  So, apparently, when I go see my doctor about my shoulder, we will be having a conversation about my knee, too.  Boo!

6. I have poor posture.  I have been overweight/obese/morbidly obese my entire adult life.  In that time frame I have learned/adapted to sitting with my back curled and shoulders slumped forward.  This did a couple things for me (at the time).  A) Hid my *huge* breasts and helped me feel like they were “less big.” B) Released pressure from my lower spine.  I have a herniated and slipped disc in my lumbosacral area.  So, curling my spine forward prevented those discs from being compressed from all the weight I was carrying.  The problem is now I have trouble keeping my back straight and shoulders back (especially when I am doing certain moves in the gym…like stiff leg barbell lifts…or rows…or many other things).  I must work on my posture, and on my upper back strength.

7. I find I am still pretty consumed by the thought of summer…and bathing suits.  Just thinking about it now I felt my heart kick it up a notch.  Anxiety, folks.  Really.  I would love to just “get it over with” and buy something now.  However, I know that would not be in my best interest because I *will* be losing more weight/inches before summer.  How in the world am I going to get through the rest of winter and spring without going crazy?!  Do you have bathing suit anxiety?

8. Emotional eating is something I still battle with…but I am winning.  To me this is a sure sign of food addiction.  Eating when you are not hungry.  Eating instead when you are _____ (fill in some sort of emotion).  I still find that when I get upset my mind instantly wanders to food.  The really exciting part (for me) is that I do *not* get the food.  Sure, my mind still goes there, but my body and mouth do not.  I find something else to do instead…some high knees (plyo), a hot bath with a book, play a game with my chicklets, etc.  Pretty much anything else to keep my hands (and my mind) busy without food.  It is a daily struggle.  Really.  Are you an emotional eater?  If so, what kinds of food do/did you find yourself reaching for?

9. I need more cardio in my life…and soon.  I have been really kicking it up on the weight-lifting front, but my cardio has waned.  The scale numbers have also slowed to a crawl, which tells me I need to change it up…more cardio!  I am still losing, but ever so slowly these days.  I truly believe that is related to the decline in amount of time I spend doing strictly cardio exercises.  What is your favorite way to get cardio in?

10. An update on my disconnect… I think this is improving.  Not as much as I would like, but I cannot complain about improvement of any kind.  When I look at myself in the full-length mirrors at the gym (obviously fully clothed), I am starting to notice changes in my body.  Thanks, Denise (she made me start working out in front of the mirrors in the first place)!  The only time I really still feel that “disconnect” is when I am naked.  I still have a hard time seeing those changes when nothing is between my eyes and my body (IE. clothes, mirror, etc.).  That will take some more time, I suppose.

11. A goal has been marked off…”Take a group class at the gym.”  Last night was, in fact, the second class I have taken at Fitworks.  They are offering free self defense classes every other Wednesday.  I know these are not “traditional” fitness classes, but at least I am there doing things with other people.  Hopefully this will build my confidence and encourage me to attend other classes (like Zumba or a power class).  Small steps.  Really small.  Do you take classes at your gym?  If so, what is your favorite class…and why?


Consider This…

Food is expensive.  Really expensive.  Most people have a preconceived notion that healthy food is even more expensive than “regular” food.  I watched a video/documentary for school sometime last year that entailed interviewing people from “the projects” of Detroit, Michigan.  The people (regular, every day citizens of this community) regularly stated they do not buy produce of any kind…simply because of price.  Further into the documentary, the narrator reveals (along with several of the citizens) no local grocery store even sold produce.  The narrator went into a grocery store and asked the manager why there was no produce.  His response?  “There simply is not a demand for it.  People will not spend their budgeted dollars on expensive produce when they can purchase bulk processed foods cheaper.”  (That may not be *exactly* what he said, but you get the idea)

Is that true?  Is eating healthy food exponentially more expensive than eating processed food?  Take a look:

The first “meal” is intended to feed four people.  How many  people do you think you could feed with the second amount of food, though?  (Note: the second group of food is actually cheaper than the four “meals” from Burger King).

Here’s another:

Again, the second food grouping is cheaper than the pizza with breadsticks.  I am willing to bet it would feed more people than the single pizza as well.  What do you think?


Second grouping of food is steadily cheaper (so far) than the first grouping.  Can you imagine if they calculated calories and fat grams to go along with these comparisons?  How many more calories and fat grams do you think are in that bucket of chicken than in all the food below it?


I am not a drinker, but I do know people who would pass up eating a meal for a few drinks.  Alcohol provides no nutrition, but often an abundance of empty calories.  I would much rather have those tilapia filets and some greek yogurt personally.


Here we find the first healthy grouping more expensive than “that other stuff.”  However, how many people will those two bags of “appetizers” feed?  How many people will the second grouping of food feed?  I am willing to bet the second grouping will feed *at least* double the amount of people…maybe even triple.


Again we find the second grouping to be more expensive than the first…only by 10 cents.  I, personally, have never purchased Steak-Ummm sliced steaks, but I am willing to wager that meat is probably not the first ingredient on the list.  I am also willing to wager the sodium content in that package is through the roof.


I am willing to admit that taquitos used to be a favorite of mine…the southwestern chicken taquitos.  Dip those suckers into a whole mound of full-fat sour cream and I was good to go.  Good to go all the way to 315 pounds, that is.  I do not miss them (in case you were wondering now) even a little bit.  So, now my trips to the grocery would certainly include the food grouping on the bottom of that picture…no taquitos for me, please and thank you.


Ice cream used to be another regular staple in my life.  At one point I remember having so much ice cream in my freezer I actually had to send some to my mother’s house.  That is madness, folks.  Madness.  I love yogurt (though, I have never tried Activia…any comments on that stuff?) and I love Silk.  I usually pick up the vanilla flavored Silk, though, because my chicklets prefer it.


This comparison really gets me.  Purchase *one* bag of french fries or mixed veggies, bananas, potatoes, and pasta…and still save 14 cents!  Craziness.  With those fresh potatoes in tow, you could make probably four or five times the amount of fries in that Ore-Ida bag anyway (if you simply must have fries, that is).


Again we get to choose from empty calories or nutrition.  Many people, of course, choose those empty calories.  I am not one of them, though.  I have never been a pop (soda) drinker…ever.  I do not even drink tea or coffee or even flavored water.  My drink of choice is plain old tap water.  Boring (to some), I know.  Think of all the money I save, though.  🙂

Last one:

This is an even trade (monetarily, anyway).  What do you think the nutrient difference is, though?  I am not even sure what (exactly) those Twizzler things are made of…  If I had to guess, though, I would say high fructose corn syrup is somewhere really high on the list…if not first…followed by several artificial “somethings” to boot.

I do realize that convenience food is just that…convenient.  However, the above comparisons help to break down that preconceived notion that eating healthier means spending more money.  It does not necessarily have to be more expensive to eat healthy.  It will; however, require more of your time (planning, preparing, etc.), but I think my health and the health of my family is certainly worth that time.

How many of your weekly meals are comprised of convenience foods?  How much money do you think you would/could save if you switched to preparing all your meals?  What would you do with that extra money?


Weigh Day (week twenty-nine)

I must admit I was expecting this week’s loss considering my *huge* loss last week.  I am not necessarily disappointed, though, since I did mentally prepare myself to lose next to nothing.

This week’s weigh in showed: 239.2, which is exactly one pound down this week.  One pound.  This; however, does bump me over the 75-pound mark.  My total is 75.8 pounds lost in 29 weeks.

I am getting a little anxious to be measured again, though.  It has been four weeks since I was last measured at the gym, which means it will be coming up soon.  My guess is that during the weeks I lose very little weight, I am losing inches instead.  I am lifting weights at the gym, so I know I am gaining muscle and losing inches in the process.  Of course, I am fine with that.  I know some have decided not to do much with weights until after they lose the weight (because lifting weights does slow weight loss progression with the gaining of muscle), but I would rather just get it all done together.  Besides, I actually enjoy lifting weights.  Strange, I know.

On the walking/step-counting front, I have had some really good days…and some really stinky days.  I just cannot seem to stay consistent, which is going to have to change…soon.

Tuesday – 10,258
Wednesday – 9,530
Thursday – 13,274
Friday – 8,125
Saturday – 3,792 (*super* stinky)

27 days
14.2 pounds

How did your week turn out?  Are you happy with your current plan/path?


Healthy VS Real…Wait, What?

I must admit this is a post I have been thinking about for quite a while.  During my journey (of only six and a half months) I have heard countless people refer to eating healthy compared to eating “real” food.  What does that even mean?

What sent me over the edge was watching Ruby last night.  I watch it on Netflix, so I am behind on the seasons, I know.  The episode I watched last night was Ruby having Thanksgiving dinner at her house (with lots of family, friends…and food).  They actually prepared two feasts instead of one…one healthy feast and one “real” feast.  During the episode Ruby said something to this effect, “I don’t want everyone to have to eat healthy when they want real food.”  I ask again, what does that mean?

How is healthy food different from “real” food?  In my opinion (which is worth only as much as I think it is…inside my own head, of course) healthy food *is* real food.  All that deep-fried, heavily processed, over-sugared, mass-produced junk is *not* real food…not to me.  Half of it is not even recognizable as what the food industry is trying to pass it off as anyway.  Insanity.  I mean look at this picture:

If you have not already seen this picture floating around the Web, just guess what it might be. What it actually is…well, they *say* that it is chicken. McDonald’s chicken McNuggets, to be exact. That, folks, is mechanically separated chicken paste. It is absolutely repulsive and looks competely inedible to me. I showed it to my daughters (ages four and seven) and neither said they will ever ask me to swing into McDonald’s ever again.  (To be clear I do not take them to any fast food joints, but my mother does.  Then they hound me to take them on other days.  No more.)

So, I ask…Why would people *choose* to eat that chicken paste over a recognizable chicken breast?  More importantly…Why would people refer to *that* as “real” food and healthy food as something else?  It boggles the mind, really.

I think, on average, people have a serious misconception about healthy food.  I think people assume that healthy food equals bland or boring food.  Which, of course, is certainly not the case.  Some of the best food I have ever eaten was also some of the healthiest food I have ever eaten.  It all depends on how it is prepared/seasoned, I think.

Personally, I love healthy food.  I love fresh food (veggies and fruits are absolutely delicious fresh instead of frozen or canned).  I do not even consider myself to be “on a diet” right now.  The word “diet” (to me) signifies temporary change and that is not what I am after.  I am after a new lifestyle…these changes are forever.  So, it is important that I eat food I love.  Food I do not have to “make” myself “live through” until “better” food is “allowed.”  Maybe that is the difference?  Does the average American think healthy food is strictly designated to those on restricted weight loss diets?  Is that what the negative association is all about?

As a side note about delicious, flavorful, healthy food…I found this gal through one of my other blogger friends (sorry, I cannot remember which…).  She has *all* kinds of great recipes that are also healthy.  Guess what, though, it is all *real* food, too!  How great, right?

So, now I must know…have you encountered this healthy versus “real” food issue in your own life?  How do you feel about healthy food?  Do you hate to eat healthy food?  Would you prefer to eat what majority of Americans obviously consider “real” food?


Weigh Day (week twenty-seven)

Let me just start by saying this week’s weigh in made me *much* happier than last week’s.  I am inching closer to my birthday goal, which I may still not make (by the way).  I do not think I have mentioned this (although I may have and forgot), but my birthday goal weight of 225 is actually the lowest I have ever weighed as an adult.  So, going below that number should be quite exhilarating…and I cannot wait.

On to this morning…I weighed in at 244.4, which is a 2.6 pound loss from last week.  That brings my grand total to 70.6 pounds in 27 weeks.  Insanity, really.  I am actually speechless to think that more than *seventy* pounds used to be attached to my body.  I just simply cannot wrap my head around it.  Cannot.

I have started to wonder about excess skin this week, though.  For those of you out there who have lost a significant amount of weight…was this a problem for you?  Did you take any preventative measures to help reduce your risk of excess skin (such as creams or special exercises to tone/tighten)?  Anyone have any idea how in the world I will be able to tell if I have “excess” skin?  I mean, I am “squishy” right now…in my abdomen…but that does not constitute “excess” skin, does it?

41 days
19.4 pounds


{random} Thoughts and Happenings – Part Two

Here is the second edition of random things running around in this crazy mind of mine…

1. Graduation: I cannot possibly express how happy I am to say I will be graduating this month!  Two longs years of projects, assignments, classmates, and irritable professors are almost over.  I will have a degree in business by the end of this month.  How awesome that will be…  College is not quite finished for me, though.  I intend to take a break (probably into May or even the beginning of June) and then go right back in for a degree in graphic design.  The two degrees together should allow me great opportunities, and I am excited about that.

2. Dreams and Ambitions: As a child I wanted to be a teacher, baker, artist, singer/dancer, veterinarian, and many other things.  As a teenager I wanted to be an interpreter for the deaf, a baker, or a teacher.  Luckily, I had a sign language teacher in high school that was willing to be blunt with me.  Despite my keen ability to sign really well, she knew I would never find work in the industry.  Simply put: I was just not plain enough to “blend in” while interpreting.  I already had tattoos (starting getting tattooed at age 15) and my hair was already wild and beautiful.  She knew I had the talent, but that I would never work in a real life setting.  So, I laid that dream to rest.  As an adult I know I will never find work as a teacher (given my appearance).  That leaves only life long dream: to become a baker…

I love my kitchen.  She and I are the very best of friends.  I love cooking and baking.  Being in my kitchen whipping up delightful dishes helps me relax…it relieves stress I have built up over the course of the day/week/month.  In addition to loving it, I apparently have some sort of amazing knack for it.  People scramble and sometimes fight over my creations.  People beg for me to make certain things…or to share recipes.  Actually, for a while I was doing it from home as a {very} small business to supplement my income.  I have dreamed of (and actually planned…literally, with a business plan) opening my own deli/bakery here in my neighborhood.  The problem?  Would that be counterproductive to my overall health goals now?  Would that be like a recovering alcoholic opening and running a bar?  Yes, it would.  So, do abandon my life’s dream of opening this business or do I modify my original dream?  I am thinking healthy desserts, better portion sizes, and more fitness-driven environment.  What do you think?

3. Injuries: I hate that I even have this to write about.  Two injuries are plaguing me right at this moment.  My ankle, which is a constant, has been acting up…so much, in fact, that I will be back in physical therapy next week.  Yeah me.  Not.  The second is new: my left shoulder.  It started about three weeks ago (I think) and was just a slight twinge.  Now; however, it actually is quite uncomfortable…to the point where it prevents from doing certain things (such as lift anything over my head…including just my arm).  I wonder how much longer I will have to deal with this.  Does my shoulder not realize that I have goals to meet?  I need it to be functioning to do all sorts of great exercises (like curls, tricep extentions, pushups, pullups, planks, and even the ab dipper…among many other things).  Frustration.  Should I ice it? Heat it? Buy Icy Hot for it?  What do you recommend?

4. Investments in Health: Shoes and a sports bra, folks.  Athletic shoes to be more precise.  These are two things I have never purchased.  Ever.  The sports bra turned out to be much much challenging than I originally thought.  See, my build is strange uncommon.  I am somewhere between a 34 K and a 36 J.  Most sports bras are not designed for such a “small” band size combined with a such a large cup size.  They just are not.  So, I had to settle for a 36 G and hope to everything holy it holds up under pressure bouncing.  The shoes are already on their way (I am an Internet shopper, folks) and I cannot wait to try them on.  I measured my foot (per their instructions), so I am hoping for a dream fit upon arrival.  Denise is going to be so excited when I show up in real althletic shoes on Sunday.

What are your life long dreams and ambitions?  Do they conflict with any other goals and ambitions you may have?  How do you choose between two goals when they conflict?

How do you handle injuries?  Do you have any special tips or tricks to help heal a muscle faster?

What is your favorite “accessory” for fitness (such as your shoes, sports bra, special gear, etc.)?  Why is it your favorite?