Monday, August 18, 2014

The big 100!

I've often wondered what I would feel like or say or do when I could say that I've lost 100 pounds..well I now know! It feels amazing! I lost 2.2 pounds this week putting me right at 220 for a grand total of 100 pounds lost! Thankfully my birthday week did not backfire on me. I was worried yesterday however when I had two servings of my favorite birthday entree: spinach soufflé. It's a family tradition to eat your birthday meal off of the red plate that says, "you're special today" and have spinach soufflé, carrots, and applesauce. An odd combination when you think about it...but simply delicious to the human palate! 

Spinach Souffle 
I have more exciting news as well. When I was in Florida one of the Bible studies that my sister goes to had a clothing exchange while I was out there. I was able to take some of my clothes that were too large and find some keepsakes too! I found a pair of size 14 gap pants that looked like they'd never been worn. However, when I tried them on they didn't fit. I decided to keep them anyways thinking that I'd be able to fit in them by October when everyone comes out. Well I was curious and wanted to know how much farther I had to go before they could even button and was extremely surprised to have this happen:

They buttoned! I think I may wait a few more pounds before I wear them...but I was totally shocked that they Florida they were at least an inch from being able to be buttoned so my mind was blown! Hooray for tangible results!

I have been doing more BMI research and I am 6 pounds away from officially being simply "overweight" and no longer "obese"! Who would've thought I'd be so excited to be categorized as overweight?! 

Alright, so recently I've had several people ask me what I eat on a regular basis. I get this question quite a bit and I normally respond with, "everything"! That's the truth. I really haven't cut out certain foods...I've simply scaled back or started to eat only 1 serving (with the exception of my birthday spinach soufflé where I had 2 helpings of both the entree and dessert)! First, I will say how much less I eat out. I used to stop at McDonalds a lot on the way to or from work. I also used to stop at Taco Cabana a lot...and I just don't have the calorie allotment to do that I just don't! I also don't really have regular meals that I eat on a consistent basis, other than my greek yogurt for breakfast every morning. I normally eat a whole lot of random meals that consist of whatever may be in my refrigerator and/or freezer. I do, however have common food I will share them!

Breakfast: Greek yogurt (4-6 oz), with 100g total of berries (blueberry, raspberry, strawberry are my favorite), 0.6-1 TBSP of honey. That is my typical breakfast. Other breakfast favorites: poached egg on an english muffin (homemade by either of my brothers: Drew/David) with a slice of cheddar cheese. I also like Better Oats Oat Revolution instant oatmeal packs (I know it makes more sense, economically, to just buy oatmeal in bulk and make your own oatmeal but for the sake of time and portions I like the pre-packaged stuff). Those are my main breakfast staples. If I drink coffee I normally drink it black...and I occasionally like to make my own latte when I have the time. (I invested in my own Nespresso machine and milk frother so I don't frequent Starbucks like I used to back in the day).

Lunch: Well as you all know I try to make my lunch for work. My lunches always vary but one main thing I consistently try to do is have a large serving of veggies. I like salads so it's not uncommon for me to have a large salad with every veggie known to man kind thrown on top and then I add eggs or chicken for protein and try to have a lighter dressing to save on calories. I also like to get Costco rotisserie chicken and shred that up when I get home and then portion out 4 oz servings to take and have for lunch. I also like to make a simple turkey sandwich (normally with Sara Lee light bread, turkey breast (2-3 oz), lots of lettuce, small amount of mayo and mustard. 

Dinner: This is another meal where I really try to get in veggies! One of my favorite ways to eat my vegetables is by roasting them! I will take an entire head of broccoli or cauliflower, or carrots and take 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil toss the veggies in that, then add salt and pepper and throw that into an oven at 400 degrees and roast them for 20-25 minutes. I will do this with any and every veggie known to mankind! I've roasted cabbage, asparagus, beets, squash, green beans...the list goes on and's truly one of the best ways to have your veggies! I am also a fan of spaghetti another favorite meal is to take Prego's extra chunky baby portabello mushroom sauce, add cooked chicken, add more veggies like bell pepper and then throw that on top of a heaping pile of spaghetti squash (which has only 40 calories per cup)!! As you may have noticed chicken is another staple for me...a favorite way for me to cook it is in 1 TBSP coconut oil, medium to medium-high heat and then I use McCormick's roasted garlic and herb seasoning to season the chicken...and it makes the most delicious chicken you've ever tasted (in my humble opinion).

Snacks: At work I sometimes go until 4 or 5 pm before I eat my "lunch" and that means I have a snack to hold me over. Right now some of my favorite snacks are: Kashi chocolate almond & sea salt bar (140 calories and 6 grams protein), pretzel crisps with string cheese, laughing cow corner, or hummus, fruit (any and every kind), mixed nuts (28 g ~ 170 calories), I also love having an apple with 2 TBSP of almond butter (yummy)!

So now you have an idea of what I eat on a regular basis. As I said I don't eat the same meal every week...I really just focus on my calorie allotment and go from there! One thing that I do know makes a huge difference is weighing out your food! Yes, it is tedious and obnoxious, however, I've learned that my mind/stomach/eyes imagine a serving size much larger than the true serving size! It's humbling (and heartbreaking) to see what a serving of ice cream really looks like! 

I've said it before and I continue to remind myself that the changes I have made are not a temporary fix. These are permanent changes that will stick with me forever...this means that I'm not okay with going the rest of my life without ice cream...but it does mean I can't have it as frequently and I most certainly cannot have it sitting in my freezer where it will tempt me until every last drop is eaten! I'm not okay with not being able to go out and eat at a restaurant with my friends...but that also means I will have to choose something from their "lighter" menu or I will have to go run a couple extra miles if I want that steak drenched in butter! It's a learning process...and it's confusing, overwhelming, exhausting...but so worth the fight to see the number on the scale go down. 

I will try to continue to think of frequent foods that I enjoy and share them with you all as I think of them or discover them! I love being able to share if you have any ideas that have worked for you feel free to share them with me too so I can try them out or let other people know what you have found to work. I should've taken a picture...but I am all set again for the week with my the grocery shopping one today, portioned out my snacks/lunches and I'm ready to on that note I've got to hit the sack and catch some Zzzzz's before my work week starts! Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

One year older...

I am so fortunate to be able to celebrate another birthday! When I look back on this past year so much has happened that I never could've even imagined for myself and it's clear to me that the hand of God is guiding me daily and I couldn't be more grateful for the work He is doing in my life! One year ago I was at 308 pounds, heavy burdened, embarrassed, hiding, afraid, ashamed, and unsure of where I was going. I never would've imagined that I would have started, committed, and stuck to this weight loss journey! I tried to find a picture of me on my birthday but I was unable to find here is a picture of me about a month after my birthday last year!

September 2013
I look at that picture and it breaks my heart. I held so much in for so long. I hid my hurt, my fears, my joys, my sorrow, my doubts...everything was hidden inside...along with a tub of ice cream, a couple burritos, some peanut m&m's...and whatever else I could get my hands on. 

A year ago I was a nurse working the night shift and today I'm a charge nurse on the day shift...that in and of itself is evidence of God working in my life. I never knew to even pray for that position or hope to be in that position but God orchestrated everything for me to be in this position. 

A year ago a couldn't run a mile without walking and today I ran 9 miles!!! If you were to have told me that on my 24th birthday that I'd be running 9 miles I would have laughed in your face! Yet here I am...9 miles later:

Me and Abbie!
As a side note some of you may or may not know that I love the store Anthropologies! I think they have the most adorable clothes, house ware, cookware, etc. It has been a dream of mine to one day be able to shop at anthropologies for more than mugs and house ware items! Well today not only did I buy an adorable sweater from there but I got to try on one of their amazing dresses...and guess what?! It fit! Now I didn't feel the need to spend $150 on a dress...but I had just as much satisfaction putting it on and having no problem pulling up the zipper! Of course I had to take a here's a picture of me and Abbie in our Anthropology dresses (hehe...don't be jealous of my socks!):

I used to eat ice cream to try to silence my emotions and feelings. Tonight I had ice cream as a treat and enjoyed and savored every last bite:

note the empty gelato container!
I'm learning that I'm so much stronger than I ever imagined, that there's more to me than meets the eye! I'm a freaking fighter! I want to help people see the fighter in them too! I'm so blessed to have a family full of believers. My parents both believe in me, my sibling support me (including 6 of them signing up to run the half marathon with me), my friends stand by me...I mean I'm truly blessed!

Me and my momma!
I was doing some research yesterday and I am 44 pounds away from being considered a "normal weight" which is 178 pounds for me. This weight will put me at a BMI of 24.9 (25 is considered overweight). It blows my mind because I remember when I had lost 40 pounds and couldn't believe how much farther I had to go. It's not an easy's slow and it's a daily battle! But the transformation that occurs not only on the outside but on the inside is so worth the battle that is fought to get here. So while I'm not at my goal yet I'm realizing how amazing it is to have even made it this far. 

Now then, what is my wish for this next year? Well if I told you then it wouldn't come true ;) But it goes a little something like this: complete my first half marathon, get to 178 pounds, complete my BSN, help others on their weight loss journey, continue to learn and grow as a nurse, and continue to allow God to shape and mold me into the woman he wants me to be! So with that said...thank you all for the birthday wishes and tune in for my weigh-in on Monday...let's hope the ice cream doesn't stick to my thighs or any other unwelcome part of my body! ;)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another day, another pound

Now that I've got my grocery shopping down I feel that it's okay for me to sit down and write this blog...I do, however, still have to go run today...that'll be immediately following this post! Today I weighed in at 222.2 which puts me down a pound from last week! Yay! I was looking at some older pictures and came across this picture from January 13, 2014 where I was at 282 pounds:

One of my most favorite shirts..EVER!
I just so happen to be wearing the same shirt today so I thought I'd share a comparison picture of me 60 pounds lighter:

Shirt says: I run...I'm slower than internet explorer on a 90's
dial up connection BUT I RUN!
Amazing what a difference 8 months can make! If that doesn't motivate me to get my run on today...I don't know what will! :) 

I'm happy with my one pound down but I know that I can do better so I'm happy to have gotten my grocery shopping done for the week. I know I've shared that I'm not a great meal planner, I did, however manage to portion out a lot of snacks and salads for my lunches this week! One thing I love that my sister Erika does in Florida is she portions out food and places them in a Ziplock bag or container so that way when you want a snack instead of grabbing out of the bag and guessing how much you're actually eating you grab out a portioned snack. Then you know exactly how much you're consuming! BRILLIANT! I also stocked up on more greek yogurt and you all know that's currently my favorite breakfast! Yummy! :D

I'm really loving my workout routine right now. I run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and then cross-train Tuesdays and Thursdays. It works really well with my work schedule. Somehow managing runs on days that I work is really hard, I think it's just because I'm normally exhausted, however cross-training is a little easier so it works out to do those on the day that I work and only one run (normally my shortest of the week) during my work week. One of the hardest parts of going to the day shift was re-figuring out my routine and how I was going to fit everything into my schedule...and it's nice to finally have a bit of a routine going on. I am a creature of habit and so the faster I can get down a routine...the better! 

Well, I've got to get running (hahaha...literally)! I have a birthday this weekend and I want to be able to have ice cream!! ;-)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Run, Run, fast as you can!

This is has been a great running week for me. I am learning to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. When running I'm learning that after the second mile eventually my legs get warmed up and then I'm good to keep going. I ran (unofficially) my fastest 5k this week at 34:40! I'm trying to push myself and continually improve and get better. I could've done better this week at work with my lunches...basically I just need to go grocery shopping so that I can make my lunches for work and not be lazy and purchase my lunch at work! I didn't make bad choices, but I could've made better choices and had more filling options. Oh  well, the week is over with and I'm going to go do some grocery shopping before Tuesday! :)

On one of my cross-training days this week I decided to just workout at my gym at my apartment where I could use the clunkiest elliptical that somehow kicks my booty every time I use it! So I didn't get to get there until 9:20 and my gym closes at 10pm so I knew I'd only have 40 minutes but that it'd be just enough time to get in and burn close to 500 calories! So 25 minutes into my workout the darn security guard walks in and says, "Sorry, but you've got to go!" to which I replied, "WHAT?! I thought I had 15 minutes left!" to which he said, "sorry!" Lame, I never thought I'd be disappointed to have a workout end I had to go home and do a crap-load of sit-ups, push ups, and squats! ;) But I was smiling afterwards so that's what matters right:

Yesterday I got to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday with family and friends! I'm excited to watch as my dad continues on his journey towards health. He's going to be walking (he's one of those freaky fast speed walkers) the Duke City 10k in October! I'm super proud and excited of the progress he's made! One thing we know for sure is that weight, fitness, etc is all a life long doesn't get just become more disciplined! Here are a couple of pictures from his party:

Ben, Olivia, Me, Dad, Abbie and Ezra in the front!

I think I can see a resemblance! 
Alright, so last but not least, I've had several people ask me to send them "full body pictures". I thought I had been doing a pretty good job on here but apparently I took a couple full length (with the help of my sister) pictures tonight. I'm super excited because I bought some reebok pants in the size of XL and I even bought a couple running shirts (yes, that's just about all that I ever wear these days) in a size L!! It blows my mind being able to fit into smaller clothes. I know I've mentioned it before but a part about losing weight is that you still feel like you're the same size, even though you know you're not...there is still something in the back of my mind that feels like my size hasn't changed. However, today I felt pretty awesome when I put on these pants and not only did they fit but they look good too! :D So here are some full length pics that y'all have been asking for...and remember that you asked for them...sorry I had to throw a sassy pant pic in there ;)

Front and Center!

Feeling good!

Bahahaha!!! Don't hate!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Weigh In

Alright this will be a quick post because I've got to get to sleep! Today I weighed in at 223.2 which means I'm down 3 pounds from last week! Yay! Hoping to keep this momentum up! I ran 5 miles today (no charts because I haven't uploaded it yet from my watch)'s a good thing I did because it was also my mom's birthday and I had cake and ice cream! My stomach actually hurt from the sweetness of everything, no that's an experience I can't say I've ever had before. Or maybe I did always experience it but I never listened to my body afterwards and therefore kept throwing down ice cream and cake...but not today! :) Here are a few pictures of me and my family tonight:

Me, Abbie, Mom, and Amanda

Me, Mom, Ben, Amanda, Billy, Abbie, and Sam
About to play a few rounds of Blurt! 
So now it's time to get back into the work week and keep up the workouts because it's working! Yay! So until I have something more exciting to write about I will leave you with these pictures of me and Abbie after our run today!!

Happy to be done with our runs!!

Being silly because that's how we do it!

Sometimes there just aren't words! 
I hope everyone has a great weeks, makes decisions that will be beneficial for your bodies, and keep your eyes on the prize and push on with perseverance the race set before you!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Keeping Up!

What a week it has been. I realized how important it is to keep up my workout routine regardless of how crazy the week can become. I know the minute I start to compromise a workout is the minute I start going backwards with that being said I didn't miss a single workout this week. For the month of July I had a goal to run more than 80 miles (the most miles I have logged in a month so far)...well I crushed it with a total of 91.8 miles! So I guess this month it'd be awesome if I could get to 100 miles! :D We shall see! I'm also really excited because I only had to do one treadmill run this week on the day that I worked! I really enjoy being outside more because you get to actually go somewhere, see things, smell things etc. Plus, the one run I did on the treadmill this week was at my apartment's gym and the thing that sucks is that the gym is right next to a sauna so if someone has recently been in it, well then it makes the gym super hot and steamy...and as fate always has it someone is in it or has recently been in it when I go for my runs. So I try to pretend that I'm in Florida or Texas running with my sister/brother! I was impressed with my back sweat after my treadmill run:

Mad back sweat!!
I think it's about time for me to go scrub shopping. I have been holding off buying new scrubs because I have plenty now and even though they're huge they still do the job...but this week they drove me crazy because I felt like I was just swimming in my tops. I think the pants I may continue to just singe the drawstring super tight...but I need to break down and buy some new tops...the frugal side of me truly despises this part of my weight loss journey! Okay so a side note while on the topic of work...I don't normally get gifts from patients, but every day this week I got a gift from a patient and it just touched my heart! I was given a book/devotional from one patient, a box of chocolates from another (affectionately given to all the other nurses), and one patient is a calligrapher and made this for me:

Best present I could ever receive! 
Little gifts like these mean more to me than I think the patients could imagine. They're such a blessing to my heart! 

Alright...that's enough about work! This week I had my longest run to date..9 miles! I was a little sad that I had to do this run all by myself, but in a way I'm glad that I did. It forced me to push myself and keep going. I only stopped once at 4.5 miles to eat a Gu energy gel and my legs were yelling at me for the rest of the way I ran. I didn't run as fast as I wanted to the entire way...but I finished and that's all that matters! So here are a couple victory pictures!

Relieved to be done!

Oh yeah, 1,733 calories burned...
I'm having ice cream today!

Home...and alive!
My sister, Erika texted me earlier in the day and said how she had ran 9 miles and at mile 5.7 it was really rough..especially in the heat of Florida and the ridiculous humidity...but she finished!! I kept reminding myself of her along the way. I even used hers and David's trick of picking out something ahead as a "mini-goal" to reach when you feel you can't go any farther...and it worked! I made it out alive!

Here's my splits chart (The 14 minute mile is where I walked and ate my I said it's not as fast as I would've liked...but I didn't stop!)

Avg Pace

And of course my favorite chart to look at is my heart rate chart:

Heart Rate
16:4033:2050:001:06:401:23:201:40:001:56:40117126135144153162171Heart Rate (bpm)

The % of my maximum heart rate average was 89% at 164 BPM and my maximum HR was 177 which is 96% of my maximum HR! Oh and I ran in 50% humidity...hehehe I can feel the glares from my sister and brother who run in 85%+ humidity!! 

Feels like 73°
14 mph ESE wind
Humidity 50%
Source: KAEG

Well that's it for now! I could keep adding running diagrams but I don't know that everyone gets as excited as I do with all my I will leave it all as is! :) Until next time: