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Weigh-In… 219!!! Total Weight loss: 61 Pounds down, 39 to go! (1)

I had weigh-ins at the gym on Saturday and much to my surprise I lost 13 pounds in 5 weeks! I’m at 219…down from 280! That’s a 61 pound weight loss now! I have another 39lbs to go to make the 100lb mark.

I probably could have made the 15lb challenge but I did have a few down days over the past 2 weeks. Somehow Wheat Thins made it into my mouth more than once and oh I can’t forget an awesome church activity that had some delicious goodies I somehow couldn’t pass up. What is wrong with me??? Food addiction! Sugar addict! I can’t beat myself up over it now. But I am proud of the 13lbs lost in such a short period of time. About 99% of the time over this past 5 weeks, I stayed on target and ate my protein, veggies & good carbs for every meal and included a protein drink in between too. I also committed to participating in bootcamp 5 days a week. Making sure I got in those 5 days was a struggle sometimes. Just the fact of getting out of the house, making it on time, getting my little girl off to school, or having to bring her on occasions (darn snow days when school is closed!) while mommy worked out was a challenge, but I made it through and am happy I did.

My jeans are fitting better. I’m in a size 16 (down from a 24/26 now)!. I feel more energetic and have had some ahh-ha moments that surprised the heck out of me such as:
Being able to do a dozen real pushups!
Being able to do a plank for 1-1/2 minutes!
(And this comes from not having ANY core strength after having 2 back surgeries and taking it TOO easy on myself)

Signing up for this challenge gave me the accountability and commitment that I needed to accomplish this goal. I still have a long ways to go, but progress every day shows improvement in the way my clothes fit and the way I feel.

Next challenge…I think I am going to sign up for a 5K to get my stomach/hips/thighs to slim down a bit more. :o)

9 Pounds down! *Sweet Potato Snack Recipe*

I feel like I have found my MoJo again! After 3 weeks of consistently going to bootcamp every day for 5 or 6 days each week and following a strict meal plan of eating every 3 hours, drinking about a gallon of water a day, I weighed in and was 9 pounds down! YES!

I started this challenge Jan 11th at 233 (yes I gained a few over the holidays – who didn’t?). Yesterday I weighed in at 224…Yes! Considering I started this journey at 280…it’s a lot to be said. I felt like I’m back on track and for this particular challenge I am participating in I am on track to lose 15 lbs within 5 weeks. I feel positive this is possible. It gives me the accountability that I need to push myself! :o)

After picking up my daughter from school today I was walking home and received a great compliment from my neighbor today as she noticed the weight loss I’ve dropped this past few weeks. It made me feel so great and put a smile on my face. I’m sure you have had that moment in your life when someone notices something you’ve poured your heart and soul into something every day and finally there’s that one day that someone notices! It touches you deep down – quite rewarding to know that hard work does pay off.

Star’s Sweet Potato Snacks

I wanted to share a few tips and recipes that I’ve been experimenting with as some of you reading this may want a few pointers to kickstart your weight loss journey too. Today I had cravings for some cookies as I was baking with my daughter. What kid doesn’t like cookies? I have finally figured out a way to do a great oatmeal cookie for the family that is diabetic friendly (for my husband), low in sugar and full of good, healthy stuff. I’ll post that recipe at a later time. But the one I want to focus on right now is the Sweet Potato snack (cookie?) that hit the spot for me today. It was super easy too!

Ingredients: 1/2 baked Sweet Potato, 1 egg white, 2 shakes of Cinnamon, 1/2 pkg of Splenda


Mix together like a puree and drop onto a baking sheet like cookies. I used Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil to avoid using oil, butter & flour (they still stuck a little bit, but not too bad). Bake at 350 for 18-20 min depending on your oven.

This made 4 cookies for me. I paired it with 2 egg whites & celery for a quick grab-n-go meal. They satisfied my sweet tooth today! Give it a try and let me know what you think. :o)

My 5 year old joins in on home exercises with mom

Letting your kids watch YouTube can backfire on you (as it has done for me at about :45 seconds through this video).
This Blizzard of 2016 has kept us home-bound for the past few days so I am constantly looking for ideas to keep the little one busy. Though it is nice to spend time with the family, I’m ready for normalcy again. When will school open back up? So for my homework (Home-Work-Out) today it involved squats, push-ups, jumping jacks and more. This in addition to the shoveling yesterday and today…I’m sore!

Exercising with kids and getting the family involved is so important. If we don’t set a good example for them, who will? I could have easily left her to watching You Tube on the iPad upstairs which means more and more Barbie videos, Play Dough videos and more that she would have watched, but luckily I called her down to help me ‘count’ my exercises out. Something as simple as that – a math game really, actually got her to do some exercises with me! Shocked! She lasted about 10 min with me doing pushups, jumping jacks, and even some floor stretches and more. I even googled some exercise videos and she enjoyed a few following along with some all by herself. It was pretty cute to say

Kids love it when families exercise together. Fancy equipment is not needed, just a creative mind (or a list of body weight & floor exercises) to get moving and off the iPad for a while.
On a side note – it’s Jan 26 and I still have my Christmas Tree up! Maybe I’ll take it down this week when we can shovel our way to the shed!

Blizzard Exercises & Plank Challenge

It’s so easy to snuggle up on the couch watching TV stuffing your face during a blizzard, but when my FB timeline is filled with plank challenges from my fitness family, I had to join in. I had to get my mind right. The Blizzard that hit us in the Northeastern United states has paralyzed the DC/Baltimore area. So We were even given an at-home blizzard workout to keep this weight loss journey going. What’s better than an exercise routine with your family at home

When I started this journey, I couldn’t hold a plank for 3 seconds, my core strength was zero. I had had 2 back surgeries in 2009 & 2011 for herniated disc’s that left me unable (or unwilling) to bend down, pick up anything, carry anything heavy, etc. And I really took it TOO easy on myself and let myself go. I lost ALL of my core strength and gained a ton of weight from not being active.

So building it back up has been challenging to say the least, so watching this video makes me want to pat myself on the back.

I fell off the bandwagon…

I fell off the bandwagon and felt like I was in maintenance mode for a few months, but in reality my weight started increasing slowly. First 2 or 3 lbs, then 3 more, then 5 more, and then my jeans started feeling tight! Ugh….You probably know how it goes!

I’ve worked so hard going from a 24/26 size jean to a 16/18 and I know I still have more to go, I can’t let this happen! I can’t let all this hard work go to waist (yes, I meant to spell it that way!) Literally more is being added to my waist…not good!

I was starting to eat cheese & crackers again, but then finding myself some evenings bored and devouring 1/2 box of Wheat Thins! Or I’d grab 1 or 2 Oreos when my daughter had one, and well- you can’t have Oreo’s without milk. Next thing I know I’d see a whole row of Oreo’s missing! What the what???!!!???!!! How can I eat and not realize what I was putting in my mouth! I think I have a serious problem here!

I read some motivational quote that said something to the effect of “Being defeted is temporary. Giving up is permanent.” That meant to me that I needed a challenge. I need to get out of my comfort zone. I need to get back into motion.

My husband was just diagnosed with Diabetes in November and that was another wake up call for both of us. He is not overweight, but being Latino he likes his rice & plantains with Chicha (juice) on the side. But when he was sick the first week of November he started to develop some symptoms similar to what my dad has had in the past (My dad also has diabetes) such as frequent urination, blurry vision, just not feeling good at all period. I decided to go pick up a blood sugar test at CVS and sure enough his blood sugar was 536! The next morning we called the doctor and got him in immediately, his blood sugar was 475 that morning, he immediately was given insulin and a prescription for pills and insulin shots. What an adjustment both of us had to make.

This past week I have made a commitment to get this ‘holiday weight’ off and keep on going. More to come because I surely don’t want to end up with Diabetes. Can’t stop…won’t stop!

Commited to losing 100 pounds!

I found my wake-up call at the doctors visit I mentioned in an earlier post. My limited mobility due to my back surgeries felt like it was holding me back from everything. After having 2 back surgeries for herniated discs, I really let myself go. I was too careful with everything. This made me extremely lazy. I made excuses up for everything, I couldn’t pick up hardly anything on the floor, laundry was difficult to do, and even putting on my own shoes was a chore (thank goodness for slip on shoes)!

When I reached 280lbs, I decided that I had to make a change. I have 2 kids and a husband. If I want to keep up with any of them, I had to do something!

I was about 175lbs in high school, how can I get back to that? I was never small or skinny growing up. I always had weight issues – food addiction was something I suffered with all my life. I still have some of those moments, but surely not like before.

I looked into Bariatric surgery and after finding out my insurance wouldn’t pay for it, I had to take matters into my own hands or pay for this surgery out of pocket.

I saw an ad on Facebook about Fitness Optimist Transformation center and it sounded exactly like what I needed to kickstart myself to losing some weight. During orientation the owner there, Joe asked how much weight do I want to lose? Hesitantly I answered about 100 lbs. Right then I committed myself to getting the weight off.

My first day there I suffered – I couldn’t even do a jumping jack! Or was I scared I’d hurt my back again? I surely didn’t want to have a 3rd back surgery so I better give it my all.

I’ve been with this transformation center for quite a few months now and love the trainers there! Trudi and Joe have whipped me into shape now being able to do situps, pushups, jumping jacks and even running! Well – it’s more like a jog to most, but for me…it’s running! :o) I am still slow to get off the floor, and my mobility is not what it was in high school by any means.

Personal Progress is my goal – to make every day just a little bit better, do a few more push-ups, situps, plate push for an extra few seconds (yeah- I couldn’t get about 5 feet with a plate down the green when I started). Trudi will have to tell that story one day! :o)

Overweight? This Doctor’s visit woke me up!!

After visiting an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) Doctor for what I thought was strep throat, he told me that he hadn’t seen me in 7 years – and 70 lbs ago… wow!  That hit me in the face like a ton of bricks! Ouch!  I had reached an all time low.  What had I done to myself?  I’ve let myself balloon (literally!) to nearly 300 pounds.  For a 5’2″ frame, this was just unacceptable.  I have to investigate the gastric bypass or sleeve surgery… like now!

So I asked the Dr. about these surgeries, what he thinks, and how do I get started?  He suggested to see a specialist about them, however he does know that I would need to go through a sleep study to ensure that I don’t have sleep apnea.  Sleep Apnea?  You mean where you stop breathing in the middle of the night?  Surely I couldn’t have that!  Or do I?  My dad has it and sleeps with a CPAP machine to help with his breathing at night.  He’s also overweight, diabetic and… wait a minute!  No offense dad, but I don’t want to turn into my father and have these kind of issues!  I need to get out of my own way! I need to make some serious changes!  Now!

Doctors Visit

I walked out of the doctor’s office that day depressed about my weight, but also a bit motivated to make a change.  Not sure what change that was going to be.  I was so hungry just thinking about this!  And I took my lunch break to see the doctor.  So what was next?  McDonald’s!  Something fast, I have to get back to work!

The next chance I had to investigate the surgeries I did. I read all I could about the surgeries, watched videos and even an information session that evening. I downloaded the paperwork to start this process and called the next day for an appointment – but it wouldn’t be for another week or so.  Meanwhile I checked with my insurance to see if it would cover this.  Nope!  Flat out on my summary page it did not cover weight loss surgeries.  Ugh!  What am I supposed to do now?  Pay for it out of pocket?  How much would this cost?  Is this something I can put on my credit card? Or do I have to finance it like a car?  Doing it the old fashioned way with diet & exercise could work, but I’ve tried that before – like 100 times!  It works, then I go off of it, and put back on the weight.  I’ve bounced up and down my whole life like a yo-yo! More often than not bouncing back up and gaining more!

I was never really thin – always a bit on the hefty side.  In high school more on the athletic side – kind of!  I was a lifeguard in High School, one of the heavier ones, but still managed to keep in shape enough to pass swimming tests and keep up with my peers.  These days I don’t even wear a swimsuit!  Oh wait – I did wear one on a cruise that my family & I took about a year ago.  I had to go out and buy a new swimsuit!  How embarrassing since none of my old ones fit!?!?.  Thank goodness nobody knew me on the boat, except my family!

The next day I noticed on my Facebook an add for a 20 pound weight loss challenge in 6 weeks- free!  Hmmm… I had to check this out.  I had a few emails back and forth with this company and signed up to come to one of their information sessions the following Saturday. Could this be the change that I need?  Could this be the tipping point to turn my life around?  It very well could be!  Could this be the kick start that will get me on the path to loosing 100 pounds?



Almost 300 pounds? I have hit Rock Bottom!

Reaching 280 pounds was my low point.  I was nearly 300 pounds! I went to a specialty doctor (ENT) for Strep Throat who I hadn’t seen in years.  He told me “The last time I saw you was 7 years… and 70 pounds ago”.  Ouch!  That hit me in the face like a ton of bricks.  

Star 280

My journey has started and stopped with yo-yo dieting a thousand times.  I was successful most of the time, but then gained back every pound and then some.  It was just a vicious cycle.  I had to get a grip of myself after having 2 back surgeries (herniated discs) and reaching 280 pounds.  Yes, 2 kids, 2 back surgeries and 280 pounds later I had to do something.

I couldn’t bend over to put on my own shoes & socks!  I could barely keep up with my kids.  I lost my breath walking up a flight of stairs – heck a 1/2 flight of stairs.  I had troubles bending down to pick up something off the ground, even shaving my legs! Yes, pretty pathetic.  

I used every excuse in the book to get out of going to the gym.  I never had time, didn’t have a babysitter, etc., etc.  Fast food and bad food is cheap and it was just so much easier to pick up something and go than to try to cook a decent meal.

I scared myself thinking I was so close to hitting 300, I had to get my head on straight.  I was at my all-time low, rock bottom and contemplated Gastric Bypass or Sleeve surgery.  My insurance would not cover it though.  How depressing!  How am I going to get this weight off?  The old fashioned way?  That will take forever!  What is a girl to do??