Fitness Should Be Fun

"As a kid, you could easily average seven hours a week playing tag or riding bikes- sans fitness trackers or weight loss apps. You didn't roll your eyes when teachers called for recess. And you certainly weren't motivated by flatter abs or a firmer butt when you played in the backyard until dark with your friends. What you were motivated by: the sheer fun of it all."

- Women's Health, March 2014

Growing up, everyday was an adventure. I grew up in a neighborhood that was perfect for kickball games, capture the flag and daily walks. The neighborhood gang were partners in crime.

I didn't have an athletic bone in my body. I was not on school teams and played recreational softball and to give you a hint to my skill level, the only award I received was "most spirited." But on the streets of Orion Path, I was active. I would walk to school which was about 3/4 of a mile. But on top of that, the neighborhood crew was inseparable and active until the sun went down! 

Rollerblading, riding bikes or just running from one house to the other did not feel like exercise or a chore. It was what I lived for. If I just lived one day in the life of the childhood me, I would be exhausted. So I have decided that fitness should be fun, it does not need to be a chore. There are so many different fitness classes or just activities to get my sweat on. Right now I am striving for a good calorie burn and fun! This is the only way to be able to maintain this as a lifestyle. I look forward to trying new things and achieving my goals.

On My Way

Lately I have been feeling a bit down on myself. I has been 4 years since I started my weight loss journey and I think I forget to realize that part of the struggle for me is being able to maintain. So I decided to give myself a little reality check today.

At my heaviest weight, I was 220 pounds. I was incredibly unhealthy and binge ate for every emotion; happy, sad, stressed, etc. I also spent a lot of time on the couch and had no idea what activity was other than getting out of breath walking up the 3 flights of stairs to my apartment. After my wedding, I decided to turn my life around. I discovered a love of fitness and began eating well. One of the biggest changes for me was realizing what portion control was. Unfortunately, I lost the wait pretty rapidly and was so strict that it was just not maintainable as a lifestyle. I was at 139 before I started to lose control. Once I allowed myself to have my first cheat in 8 months, I slowly fell back into my binge eating ways.

In about a year I got my weight to skyrocket to 195. I am not happy to be at that weight but have decided to stop putting myself down and still acknowledge where I came from (see photo below). Being a woman with PCOS, it is so hard to not only lose weight but maintain. In six months I had struggle to really recommit, but I have been able to keep my weight the same. I have been conscious of my food choices and I have a LOVE for exercise. April 24, 2014 I decided it is time to get serious and really do it this time! So I am on my way to getting where I want to be but I am proud to say, I am not where I started!

Choosing My Dreams

This quote is absolutely fitting to the journey I am on right now. I am working towards running a half-marathon and finally reaching my goal weight. I have to make the choice to go to the 5:45 am spin class. I have to make the choice to not eat the chocolate that sits in my office. I have to make the choice to follow my training plan even on days when I am tired or busy.

Most of all though, I need to make the choice to not give up. I have been back on track for just over a month now. The weight has not been coming off anywhere near the rate that it was coming off before. I have been eating well, tracking all calories and have been exercising 6 days a week.

Other than the number moving slowly, the past month has been a good one. I have stopped craving the 3:00pm sweets I used to splurge on. I am enjoying the healthy eating and starting to cook to try out new recipes! I have found a Spin instructor Leora, who I absolutely love. She is so empowering and when I am in her class, I feel like I have unlimited potential. I signed up for a half-marathon with my sister Sara. The half-marathon is October 20. I signed up with three months to train. Already just three weeks into it, I have run more than I even deemed possible. I know the longer the runs get, the more I will want to give up but I have to push through it.

Just this week I have also started carb cycling! I am obsessed with the show Extreme Weight Loss and have found Chris Powell and the success stories so inspiring. He has a book, Chose to Lose and it outlines carb cycling. With my PCOS and insulin resistance that goes along with it, this seems like a good plan to jump start my metabolism.

Here are the basics of carb cycling:

- Eat 5 small meals a day
- Eat within 30 minutes of waking
- Eat every three hours
- Alternate one low carb day, one high carb day

The more I learn the more I will share. My first weigh-in will be Saturday so lets see if this gets my weight loss rolling!

Out of Shape and Out of Sorts

Ever since I got off track last August, I have been completely unable to recommit. I will go back to Weight Watchers, start over and lose weight and then I gain it back and then some. Same scenario with exercise. I will commit to spinning/running/personal training and have a good run and something sets it off.

I know I only have myself to blame and I wish that it was easier to create the habits that I had before. Back during my successful period of weight loss, I had a workout/Weight Watchers buddy Melanie. We became good friends outside of the gym as well. I went to class knowing she would hold me accountable, we would go out to healthy dinners and would share our stories at the weigh-ins. Money was tight and I decided to switch to a cheaper more local gym. After three months of not working out, I realized that I needed to go back to Healthy Fit where I was comfortable and happy. I went back and Melanie was at a different gym. I think not having that partner-in-crime did make it harder to get into my routine.

Last Thursday, Melanie and I met up for a hike and recommitted to each other and our weight loss mission. We are back at the same gym and have went back to weigh-ins at the same time. Since then we have met up for a second hike, a cardio dance class and most recently, boot camp.

This boot camp class was absolutely a wake up call! First of all, there was only 2 other people in the class with us so we couldn't even blend in. The first five minutes of the class I was concerned that I may be going into cardiac arrest, I kid you not. I couldn't keep up. I was exhausted, couldn't do half of what the trainer asked. When we had to do side planks, forget about it. That was humiliating as I planked for like 2 seconds and rested on my side the other 43. Last summer I was in tough classes and standing in the front keeping up. How could I have let myself go so far?

Melanie and I both felt miserable after the class. I got in my car, called my husband Arniel and just started crying. I just felt so low. I am not a person with confidence issues but right now I am completely rattled. I have to stop looking back and focus on new beginnings.

This picture is of Melanie and I last Memorial Day. I cannot wait to get back in that shape!!

Motivational Monday: What I'm Going to Be

Motivation Monday: Far From What I Once Was but Not Yet What I'm Going to Be

I definitely have a long way to go before I reach my end goal. In the beginning of the summer when I weighed in at my lowest weight, I was 7 pounds away from the healthy BMI. I reached the weight by working really hard and being ridiculously structured in my diet. The level of diligence I had would have been difficult to maintain as a lifestyle.
Due to this, I think it was why I had my first cheat day it turned into many cheat weeks. Then it took me months to get back on track. I hope as of now, the track I am on now can be achieved as a lifestyle.

On this journey of becoming who I want to be I need to reflection every accomplishment that I have. Now I am going to toot my own horn a little bit! In the summer I was feeling great, I bought a new swimsuit for a family weekend in Lake George. When I put on this bathing suit I really felt like a totally different person. I am not near this weight but but look at this as my daily reminder of what I can do. It wasn't easy to get there but I did it once and I can and will do it!

Now, a little more motivation going forward. To do this, I am going to reflect on the past month.

I have done four weeks back on Weight Watchers. I have lost 11.6 pounds since I started. I lost 1 inch in the chest, 2 inches in my hips, .5 inch in arm circumference, and an inch in a half in leg circumference.

I will get there, slow and steady wins the race.

Foodie Friday: Italian Sloppy Joe

I work 3 jobs and do not have a lot of time to cook. Using my Crock Pot has made life much easier and on these super chilly days it is the best way to warm up!

I saw this recipe on one of my favorite websites, Skinny Taste ( and had to try it. This was ridiculously easy to make. It had very few ingredients and barely any preparation. The aroma coming out of this crockpot was to die for and all day was looking forward to getting home to try this meal. It was worth all of the anticipation.

On Skinny Taste, they tried this on a whole wheat bun with cheese and spinich for 8 points. I will eventually try it but when I read the recipe I imagined it on whole wheat pasta. So I had 1 cup of whole wheat pasta with a serving size of the sloppy joe on top! The pasta was 4 points and the sausage mixture was 4 points.

Italian Sloppy Joe on Whole Wheat Pasta
8 Points Plus

  • 1 lb Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/3 cups crushed tomatoes (Tutorosso)
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

In a medium non-stick skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up as it cooks into small bits until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Add onions and garlic, and cook another 2 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker and add the bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, rosemary and fresh cracked pepper.

Cover and cook on low 4 hours. Makes 3 1/2 cups.

Note: The nutritional info is if you made the sandwich I referenced on a whole wheat bun with spinach and provole cheese.

Servings: 6 • Size: 1 sandwich • Old Points: 6 pts • Weight Watchers Points+: 8 pts*
Calories: 316 • Fat: 11.4 g • Protein: 27 g • Carb: 27.4 g • Fiber: 14 g • Sugar: 7.6 g
Sodium: 461.5 mg (without the salt)

*without cheese: 6 pts plus • filling only: 4 pts plus

Weight Watchers Wednesday: Break From Your Routine

A lot of previous Weight Watchers subscribers have asked me what is the big difference in Weight Watchers 360. The PointsPlus system is the same. The main addition is two things; routines and spaces.

I wanted to touch on routines because this is a simple concept that can make a huge difference. For example, I have been only taking the stairs at work and I earned 3 activity points just in walking between 9-5. My desk is primarily a desk job but I am often getting up once an hour and walking at least 5 minutes. I had to go up to the attic today, which is 5 floors and in 9 months I never walked those steps but today I did!

With the Weight Watchers 360 plan, they have you choose 3 routines to add to your tracker. You check off each day if you achieved your routine for the day. The three I selected were: 1) wear an activity monitor, 2) know what I'm having for lunch and 3) walk at least 5 minutes each hour. All of these choices have made me proactive. With the activity monitor I walk more knowing I am going to gain activity points. Knowing what I have for lunch allows me to pre-track and avoid the free cafeteria meals. Walking at least 5 minutes an hour keeps me from being sedentary at my desk job.

Below are some Small Changes That Can Help You Lose Weight that I saw on Pinterest. Commit to trying 2 of these this week!