Friday, December 31, 2010

2011...make it your year!

New Year's Eve...2010. 17 months after starting to lose weight. Seems fitting to share some thing about this past year...

I came across this quote a month or so ago and I like it.

Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advance experience that shall explain and overlook the old. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Since I've lost my weight, many things have changed. 2010 has brought me brought me the most overwhelming and dramatic changes I've probably ever experienced in my life. There have been many, many long days and too many sleepless nights of thinking, analyzing, wondering and praying for answers and clarity. I've learned many things about myself and one of those things is the fact that I am bound and determined to NEVER, EVER go back to living with being overweight again. I was recently asked to share a photo of me at my heaviest weight with someone. I shared it with her. She looked at it. She said "I would have never known it was you". I was then asked to hold the photo and look at it. I took it and held it in my hand. I looked at the girl in the photo. It was extremely difficult. I couldn't do it for more than a second or two. I looked away. Turned the photo over, put it down and started to cry. She then asked me..."what do you think when look at the photo?". Instantly...I said, "I hate her. She makes me sick. She wasted all of her 20's. Down the drain. She can never get them back. I detest her!". I felt such anger and disappointment looking at her. I remember everything about her. How she felt. How much pain she was in. The feelings of everyday defeat. Such emptiness. Overwhelming disgust.

Being obese to me was an outrageous feeling of hopelessness. Itt was extreme loneliness and a feeling of emptiness that could never be filled. Such a void and yet as an over-eater, you continuously stuff and cram and fill...only to never ever fully feel satisfied. Moments later...the void creeps back. I've said it before...it's a temporary high. Then you crash. It's nothing but a vicious cycle. It happens over and over and over again. Fulfillment doesn't exist. It IS an addiction. Until...YOU gain control.

One of the most common questions I get asked since losing my weight is, "isn't it hard to eat so healthy?" Or, "what do you do when you want something sweet?" Several weeks ago at work, there was a big plate of cookies that someone had brought in. A co-worker of mine asked me if I wanted one and I said "no, thank you". After I said that, another co-worker said, "I wanna be like Nicole and not eat the cookie but it's so hard!" She asked me how I say no. And this was my answer...and it's the absolute truth. I said to her, "when I eat something now, I think about
why I want to eat it. I know how good it's going to taste. I know how it's going to feel as I'm chewing it. I know it'll be just as good as it looks. I know it'll make me happy...for 3 seconds. Then it's over. The feeling is gone. The taste is gone...and what was it all for? I've now put junk into my body. I just ate something that is doing me absolutely no good." That was my response. Is that the response of an emotional eater or what? I couldn't really explain it any better than that. I mean really...99% of the time sweets have no nutritional value.

This is the deal...I ate
without thinking for years and years. If I wanted something to eat, I ate it. It didn't matter what it was. It didn't matter why I was eating it. I simply ate it...without thinking. I ate it because eating was on my mind. I ate it because I was sad, depressed, angry, miserable, happy, confused, bored...whatever. I ate it because I wanted to...not because I was hungry. Not because I needed nutrition. I ate because I COULD. That's it. When you really think about that, it's such an empty reason to eat. Null and void, really.

Now, having said that...I
do eat for enjoyment, occasionally. I'm not saying I never eat a cookie or brownie. I do. I still love to bake and I still bake. I buy candy sometimes and guess what...I eat it, lol. I go out to eat and sometimes I don't make the best choice, but I try to keep the reason I'm eating in check. I know in my heart that I don't ever want to get back into my food addiction. The thought alone terrifies me. I don't want to be that miserable or out of control EVER again. It is a torturous, lonely prison and I don't care what anyone says...I'll say it again...it IS an addiction. It dictates every thought and I refuse to ever let it have control of me again.

2011 is moments away. What will it bring you? Or better yet, what will YOU bring to IT? I challenge you to change your life. I challenge you to love yourself enough to get healthy. I challenge you to gain control. I challenge you to be genuinely happy and feel free from the constant battle. I have faith in YOU!

I know...change is inevitable. Sometimes scary. Frustrating. Sometimes confusing. Depressing. And sometimes change is amazingly good. 2010 has given me all of those things for me. But I KNOW...life is happening the way it is for a reason. It'll take me where I belong. I have friends and family through this process who mean more to me than I can ever say. I have those who have come to me with support and encouragement, who love me no matter who I used to be and no matter who I am now. They have been with me each step and continue to be. They are non-judgmental. They see me for me. They are accepting and true. I truly treasure them. They are who I constantly want in my life. They make me better.

May 2011 bring you peace, joy, health and a NEW YOU!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A few random thoughts...

I know, it's been a long time. Life has a way of getting away from us sometimes, but give me credit...I'm here now, right? ;) I've wanted to share a few random thoughts with you and have finally finished up typing and editing this post. I hope it's helpful to someone.

Before I lost my weight, I hated myself. Absolutely, truly hated myself. There was NOTHING about myself that I loved. There was nothing about myself that I even liked anymore. At some point, I remember thinking that the only thing I sort of still liked was my hair, but eventually even that slipped away. I had reached the point to where I hated every body part, every image in the mirror, every photo, even the sound of my voice. I HATED me. I felt completely worthless. Didn't know what my purpose in life was. All I knew was that I was depressed, in chronic pain, miserable and completely unhappy with who my physical self was. I was very uncomfortable in my own skin. I hated being around most people, especially groups of people. But then the weight started coming off and I seemed to quickly learn to not hate myself so much. I learned to like myself. I learned that I COULD BE happy in my own skin. I learned to accept myself. I discovered that I was not worthless. That I deserved to be happy. I saw that life was in front of me and that I didn't want it to pass me by. I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to grab a hold of it and hang on. I wanted to truly live life...and I have started to. But not so fast... something happened. Something else slowly crept in. It was subtle. But it happened. Now, all of the sudden, I take what everyone says to heart. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what I eat, what my body looks like, how much or how little exercise I do or don't do, whether or not I should lose more weight etc. It seems to catapult me back to those feelings of my old self-criticism and self-hatred...except this time, it's what others are saying to me and not what I tell myself. You know, as a girl/woman/female...we already struggle with body image. We pick ourselves apart shred by shred, inch by inch. We're never happy with who we are or what our body looks like. At least most of us aren't. We play the compare game. We size ourselves up against others women and what their body looks like. Since I've lost my weight, I feel like I've entered a whole different realm of criticism. Whether negative or positive, every single comment a person says to me seems to linger with me and make such an impact. It may seem small to them, it may even seem like general conversation but I don't forget. I inventory every comment. If someone says something negative about something I'm wearing...I might not ever wear it again. If it's something negative about what I'm eating, I'll likely not buy it ever again because I feel like I shouldn't be eating it. Or I might fix it differently. If it's something about my exercise, it either deters me from continuing or causes me to obsess about it and do it in private. Every comment seems to make me to doubt myself and yet at the same time I know it's all up to ME (and only me) and not anyone else as far as how I take care of my body. I also know it's just a body...a temporary shell on this earth. Yet, a temple at the same time.

And sometimes...not all the time, but sometimes, I remind myself that I LOST 115 LBS the good old-fashioned way and that I should be PROUD of myself and that it DOES NOT MATTER what anyone else says. I have to learn to be happy with myself. To l♥ve myself. To accept myself. To get to know the real me. To know that I KNOW HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT THE HEALTHY WAY. To not doubt myself. To eat what I want to eat because I KNOW HOW to eat. To exercise when and how I want to. To remember that I KNOW MY BODY better than anyone else does. Ultimately it comes down to not caring about what everyone else thinks, says or makes me feel. That's hard because I've always cared what others think about me. I don't want anyone to think bad of me or to think anything negative about me but I know that you can't make everyone happy. It just doesn't happen that way. Someone is always going to be disappointed. PERIOD. I suppose it's just a constant battle. A constant struggle. I know it's the same with eating as it is with drinking or any other kind of addiction. You may overcome it but it's always something that needs constant awareness and diligence. Something to always keep in check.

So I guess what I have to realize is how far I've come and to remember that I am probably the healthiest I've ever been in my life. I should be grateful for that and simply learn to embrace my body and it's many imperfections.

I've also really wanted to say this for a long time but just don't seem to have the time to sit and type it out, but I want every person that's struggling to lose weight to know that you CAN do it! No matter who you are, no matter how much weight you have to lose, no matter how overwhelming it might seem...you CAN do it. Truly. I know you can! The one and more important thing I can tell you is that it has to be a LIFE CHANGE. I also want you to know that I know how it feels. I know that being overweight is painful...physically and mentally. I know that being overweight is embarrassing. I know that starting the weight loss process is the hardest part. I know what it feels like to try and lose weight...100 times over. I know that constant feeling of just wanting nothing but to be a "normal" size. I know how it feels to have ALL of these feelings and emotions and to cover them up by eating...only to have them come back after a binge...over and over and over again. I know the vicious cycle. I know the fear of being unhealthy. I know the fear of having chest pains and wondering if I'll die young. I know the dread of going to the doctor because he/she's just gonna say "you need to lose weight". I know the feeling of wanting to hide every time a camera makes it's appearance. I know how exhausting it is. I know the feeling of always wanting to hide from everyone. I know the tears. I know the depression. I know the loneliness. I know the feeling of defeat and worthlessness. And I KNOW that there are others out there that feel JUST LIKE THIS. Maybe you're reading this right now. Maybe you had every intention to start your weight loss journey this week or maybe when fall arrived. Maybe you're planning to start after the holidays or next Monday or whenever. Whatever the case...JUST START. JUST START!! For me the first month is the hardest, but really...what's 30 days in your life? Do yourself a favor. Change your life for the better. Get yourself out of your pain, your rut, your depression, your frustration and loneliness...whatever it is. FREE YOURSELF!! It truly is an amazing feeling!

You know...this journey I've been on has CHANGED.MY.LIFE. My blog has been an outlet for me and I hope that it's also enlightened you in the process and even more, I hope it's inspired you. As always, if I can help anyone, please use the contact form in the right column and I will try to help you in any way that I can!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A REAL update...for REAL!

Okay, first of all...you guys are hilarious. Thanks for the harassment about my wretched timeliness, lol. But really, doesn't it seem like time evaporates into thin air? Goodness.

Because it's been so long, I had to go look up my numbers and compare since my last post and since I'm so very close to my goal weight (will talk about that more below...) I don't weigh myself as often as I used to. For that matter, the same goes for my measurements, food-tracking etc. But mind you, I still keep a fairly close eye on what I eat, how I exercise and all of that, although now that I know my body and what happens when I eat something I shouldn't or when I don't exercise as I should, it makes it easier to not be as strict as I was before. I know about how many calories I consume without tracking just like I know what a serving looks like now without measuring everything. After 10-11 months, you just get the hang of it. ;)


So, the numbers...since my last post on March 29th. They may seem a little jumbled but my weight tends to fluctuate these days so these numbers are close enough to where I am.

-I've lost an additional 10-12lbs bringing me to a total of 112 -114lbs lost...
-I currently weigh anywhere between 170 -172lbs. But really, it can fluctuate a few more pounds than that too, lol. (I weighed 180.8 at the end of March)
-My BMI has went from 26.9 to 25.8 (only 8/10th's of a lb shy of being "normal" on the BMI scale!)
-I've lost an additional 6.5 inches. That's a total of 48 inches lost!
-I've went from wearing a 9/10 in my waist to a 6 or 8! (Started out a size 26!)-
-My shirt size can be anywhere between a small and a large. It depends on the store but I used to wear a 3x.
-I am also down another bra size and the girls seem to be happy there, lol.

I really feel like I'm getting to the point where I won't lose much more, although honestly, I would still like to lose another 10lbs but if I don't, I'm happy where I'm at. When I first started this journey, I had a goal weight of 150lbs but looking at everything now, I think that would be too thin for my build. I'd like to be somewhere around 160-165lbs. I feel like at that weight, I'd have 5lbs to play with up or down and I think I'd still be comfortable w/my weight. Having said that, I'm always having to remind myself of how far I've come and that I am NOT looking for perfection. I know that I have done my body a great deal of good. I am SO much healthier than I was and that alone is the more important thing. It makes it all worth it. I have rid myself of Insulin Resistance (a pre-diabetic condition), knee pain, chronic foot pain, lower back pain, exhaustion, chest pains, depression etc.

As always, I have more to say but I just wanted to get this posted. I'm also going to try and get an updated photo and will share when I have it.


Thanks for stopping by! :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sooo...

Anyone up for an update, lol? Coming soon! ;)

Monday, March 29, 2010

This, that and the other...

Every once in a while I think of something I want to share with all of you. I keep all my thoughts/links/websites in a folder on my laptop so when I'm ready to post, they're all there in one place. So...here's a little of what I've been wanting to share. :)

1. I've been wanting to say that my dentist ROCKS! For real...who can say that, lol?! I went for my regular cleaning back in February and when my hygienist called me back, we chatted like we normally do and she had taken notice that I had lost a lot of weight..considering I hadn't seen her in 6 months, I had lost 90-something lbs. She started asking me how I lost it while she started cleaning my teeth. (Don't you love it when they ask you questions when your mouth is being poked and scraped, lol?!) About 4 or 5 minutes into my cleaning she asked if I had ever considered getting my teeth whitened. I told her that I had but that that it was expensive and that it wasn't really a priority. She agreed and understand and went about my cleaning. A few minutes later, she excused herself and said she had to go check on something. She came back and told me that before she did any more cleaning she was taking impressions of my teeth that day and they were going to whiten my teeth FOR FREE!!! She said that losing 100lbs deserved a reward! I was sooooooo touched! Such kindness! I really couldn't believe it but in all fairness, my dentist has been my dentist since I was a little girl and he really is an AWESOME person. And now...I have white teeth!! Thanks Dr. Bentley and Dr. Stevens!

2. I'm still marinading my chicken breasts on Saturday night and grilling them on Sundays, but I was looking for some more oil-free marinades. I found a few online and wanted to share. I've only tried the Honey-Mustard one and it is really good. Looking forward to trying a couple of the other ones as well. Here are the recipes and the links will also be posted under my recipes on the right side.

Basic Honey Barbecue


* 3/4 cup tomato ketchup

* 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

* 2 Tbsp honey

* 1 Tbsp lemon juice

* 1/4 tsp hot sauce (or more, to taste)


Combine all ingredients (except hot sauce) with wire whisk. Taste before adding hot sauce, and add gradually to ensure spiciness fits your personal taste. Marinate chicken.

---------------------------
Orange Ginger Marinade

* 1/4 cup unsweetened orange juice

* 2 Tbsp orange marmalade

* 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

* 1/2 tsp grated ginger

* 1/2 tsp grated orange zest

* ½ tsp fresh black pepper

* 1/4 tsp salt


Combine all ingredients. Marinate chicken.


--------------------------

Honey Mustard Marinade
* ½ cup Dijon mustard

* ½ cup white wine vinegar

* 1/4 cup soy sauce

* 2 Tbsp honey

* 1 clove garlic


Mince garlic and combine all ingredients. Marinate chicken.


--------------------------
Lemon Rosemary Marinade
* 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

* 1 Tbsp water

* 1 Tbsp honey

* 2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper

* 1 Tbsp dried rosemary

* 1 tsp dried sage

* 1 tsp dried thyme

* 1 tsp onion powder


Combine all ingredients and marinate chicken.

------------------------


3. I came across
this site when I was Googling for something and I think it's very cool. You type in your zip code and select your price range and it'll search for restaurants in your area with healthy dining options. It even gives you all the nutritional information. Love that they do all the legwork for us. Neat, huh?

4. Anyone jump rope? I don't know what got into me but I just had an urge to go buy a jump rope...so I did, lol! I've done it a couple times since I bought it and it is a WORKOUT when u get going! *Whew!* I haven't jumped rope since I was young but my sister, cousin and a neighborhood girl or two and I used to fire up some mean double-dutch, lol! Fun times! Love that I can do it as an adult now.

5. I've also taken roller-blading (aka inline-skating) back up the last few weeks. Man, it is REALLY FUN! Roller-blading is another GREAT workout. I found this site that gives some great information. And just for fun, I have a little video of me roller-blading, lol! Can't see me 'cause I'm the one holding my cell phone, lol. :)

video

6. I've also continued walking and jogging a bit. This particular day I ran/walked in the cemetery. It was quiet and peaceful there. I really enjoyed it. In one of these videos, you can hear the chimes that sit on the hill of the cemetery. I like when they go off when I'm near the river. It's a change of pace from walking in the neighborhood.

First I jogged up the hill:

video

Then I did a fast walk along the river (can u hear the chimes?):

video

7. Came across this article (What's really in your fast food?) one day and found it interesting...not shocking at all, but interesting. ICK.

So there you have it. I have a couple of things sitting in that folder but they'll take a little more effort to write up, so I'll save it for another post.


Also wanted to say thanks for all your comments on my previous post!

And by the way...if you're the one who posted the comment (
All I can say is WOW!!!! I mean I knew you were losing a lot of weight BUT WOW Nicole!! I ALWAYS thought you to be a VERY funny, beautiful girl anyway but you have out done yourself here. You look like a model and I am EXTREMELY proud of you my dear. Keep plugging away and this is the very first time I have seen a pic so it REALLY blew me away. Very happy for you.") under anonymous on this post, would love to know who you are. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Progress photos!!

Yes. You read it right! It's about time, huh?! ;) So...for making you wait so long, I've got a plethora of photos for you! (Isn't the word plethora fun to say, lol?!)

This photo is pretty self-explanatory...well, unless you're used to me with my hair curled (just felt like having a straight hair day, lol) among other things. My life has had some changes.



These are a bunch of head shots I gathered to see how my face changed. Not sure why I have no photos from early on in my journey. I must have been busy eating right and working out and not using my camera, lol.



On these, I had a little fun with my Picasa 3 program (you can get it here for free!). I threw a bunch of the photos into a couple of collages. It was such a pretty day. I think there were 90 photos taken and 1 outfit change. A real amateur Olan Mills operation we got workin' here. ;)





So, there ya go. Progress photos galore. I've got a lot of info to post but today is not the day. Stay tuned... :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

100 ways losing 100lbs (YES, ONE HUNDRED!!) has changed my life!

I can't believe it's happened but...I've officially lost *100*lbs!!!!! As of February 21st, I weighed 182lbs...100lbs less than when I started this journey on July 13th, '09...only 7 months ago! (And for the record, even since then I'm down 102 lbs, lol.) What a fantastic thing to be able to say! Amazingly proud of myself and hope I don't sound boastful saying that, but I AM PROUD OF ME.

You know, I can remember watching many an Oprah show where her guests had lost 100lbs and sometimes more. They'd break through the poster of their old overweight self and come out onstage. You know how they do that. The audience would stand up and clap and an ecstatic, beaming smile would be what seemed like forever etched across the guest's face. It never failed...I'd be be sitting on my couch...crying and feeling lots of emotions. I was sooo happy for them. I couldn't imagine how happy they must be. I wondered what it must feel like. What was their new life like? Was it what they thought it'd be? I always wanted it for myself but it seemed so impossible and out of reach. I never believed it'd ever happen to me and here it has!

So, to commemorate my 100lbs gone (FOREVER!), I've added onto my list that I had previously posted when I lost my first 50. No need for all of you to read my first 50 if you've already read them, so just skip down to 50-100 if you'd like...unless you have nothing better to do, lol.

  1. I’m down 5 sizes in my waist
  2. Chronic pain has left my life
  3. I have energy like never before
  4. I wake up by 6:00 or 6:30am
  5. I am no longer a night owl
  6. I can walk up several flights of stairs without being out of breath
  7. I can cross my legs under a table, booth etc
  8. My seat belt stays between my breasts instead of on the side
  9. I can easily walk 2 miles
  10. I am able to buckle the airline seat belt with plenty of excess
  11. I smile more than I ever have
  12. Migraines have left my life
  13. I have learned there is nothing I could eat that would make me happier than I am now
  14. I feel like I have a fresh start in my life
  15. I feel amazingly happy and free
  16. I can fold my arms securely and keep them on my chest
  17. I can put on my socks and shoes by simple pulling my legs up to my chest
  18. I love and enjoy working out
  19. I’ve lost 21.5”
  20. I can do 100 crunches
  21. My joints no longer ache
  22. I have confidence in myself
  23. I have become truly aware of what “living life” means
  24. My bath towel easily wraps around me and tucks in nicely
  25. I like photos of me now
  26. I no longer get leg or foot cramps in the middle of the night
  27. I can sit in a booth without the table touching my mid-section
  28. I try new things and don’t beat myself up if I fail
  29. I look forward to standing on the scale
  30. I genuinely care about my body and me
  31. I own my feelings with less shame
  32. I’ve had to remove a link from both my watches
  33. I no longer have chest pains
  34. I can see my feet in the shower
  35. I can go shopping for hours at a time
  36. I can complete 20 minutes on the elliptical machine
  37. I know how much a portion is and only eat one serving
  38. I can tuck in my shirt and wear a belt
  39. I wonder what it will be like to lose a total of 130 pounds
  40. I work out everyday between 60-90 minutes
  41. I am responsible and accountable for everything I eat
  42. My BMI has went from 42.9 to 35.3
  43. I have a sense of self-worth that I’ve never had
  44. I can look at myself in the mirror and not feel miserable
  45. My tears in the dressing room are now tears of joy and not defeat
  46. My wedding rings no longer fit
  47. I’d rather be out doing something than sitting at home
  48. I’ve seen muscles I never knew I had
  49. I can eat anything without feeling like I’m being judged and snickered at
  50. I AM IN CONTROL!
  51. I can see my collar bones
  52. I’ve discovered my hip bones (I literally thought I had a tumor at first, lol)
  53. I can put anything in the dryer and who cares if it shrinks…it still fits!
  54. I can sit with both of my legs up against my chest and it’s comfortable
  55. I can wear cute shoes other than my New Balance sneakers that I’ve lived in for 10 yrs.
  56. I can jog!
  57. I am no longer considered obese on the BMI scale…just overweight.
  58. I am not afraid to go first or to walk ahead of anyone
  59. I am much less anxious about walking into a group of people
  60. I have rid myself of my pre-diabetic condition, Insulin Resistance! That is huge!
  61. I can complete 45 minutes on the elliptical compared to my 20 minutes at 50lbs lost
  62. I am nowhere near plus size clothes anymore…just regular misses for me!
  63. I am down about 8 sizes in my waist (size 26 to 9/10 now)
  64. I have lost an additional 20” since my first 50lbs I lost. That’s 41.5” lost so far!
  65. I can wear a white shirt or jacket and not feel like a ginormous marshmallow.
  66. I like and need to wear belts! I even poked a hole in one of my old belts…12 inches down from the nearest old hole!
  67. My fingers are a lot skinnier!
  68. I’ve went from a size 3x top to a regular misses medium or large!
  69. I am genuinely proud of myself.
  70. I can cross my legs while riding in the car
  71. I am down 4 bra sizes
  72. I get cold more easily and now I feel bad for giving my mom such a hard time for years, lol. Sorry mom.
  73. I have made new friends!
  74. I don’t feel “FAT” anymore. I still have work to do but to not constantly feel fat is a good feeling!
  75. I drink a lot of green tea…as opposed to drinking sugary hot chocolate.
  76. I look forward to meal planning and grocery shopping.
  77. I want to help as many people as I can in their own weight loss journey!
  78. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel
  79. I look forward to getting up and getting my day going.
  80. I can almost figure out my calories for the day without logging them but I still do it to keep me on track and accountable.
  81. Eating has become for survival…not for feeding my emotions.
  82. I love to buy and eat healthy foods. I feel so good when I do!
  83. I’ve started volunteering…something I would have NEVER considered doing being an obese person.
  84. I go to the gym and work out no matter who is there. Busy or not, I’m working out!
  85. I can count the number of headaches I’ve had on one hand over the last 7 months. I used to get migraine-like headaches almost weekly.
  86. I feel sooooooo much healthier!
  87. I drink skim milk…something I never thought I’d do, lol.
  88. I am a much more positive person.
  89. Hey look…I have a breastbone!!
  90. I almost feel like I’m a “normal” size.
  91. My body doesn’t bump into everything anymore.
  92. Cravings for junk food and empty calories have nearly diminished.
  93. My feet and ankles no longer swell.
  94. Binge eating does not exist in my life anymore although I still crave carbs sometimes, lol.
  95. I can wear knee socks…couldn’t get them over my calf when I was obese.
  96. Putting on lotion doesn’t take near as long…a lot less body to cover!
  97. I am more aware of myself and others around me.
  98. Almost all my self-consciousness has gone away. AMAZING!
  99. I am so close to my ULTIMATE goal!
  100. I am STILL in control…well, we know Who is ultimately in control but as far as my eating and healthy decisions I make, food does NOT control me.

I also want to give a shout-out to a special friend of mine. A couple weeks ago she asked me if I had made it to my 100lbs lost mark yet and I told her that I had. She surprised me with a beautiful gift bag (with the cutest tissue paper, mind you!) full of fun things in sets of 100 and lots of funsies...almonds, post-its, chap-stick, tissues, moisturizer etc. I thought it was sooooo kind and thoughtful and I've really enjoyed getting to know her and I thoroughly enjoy our chats, so THANKS my friend! You know who you are. :)

And for a really quick end-of-the-month wrapup for February...

3 additional inches lost
Lost 7 pounds
Went from a size 11/12 to a 9/10
Went down another bra size

I will admit that February was not a month that I put my forth my BEST effort. I slacked on my cardio big time, lol. BUT...this month is already different. I'm back on track, have started the Body for Life 12 week Weight-Training Program and feel great!

I have so much to say since I haven't posted in a month, but I'll save it for another post. Just wanted to share this milestone with all of you! Thanks for keeping with me.
Still have roughly 20lbs or so to go and am working on toning up my body now. I can't believe I'm this close to the end! So exciting! I hope you'll continue to stick with me!

I'm off to call The Dr. Oz Show to tell him what I've accomplished and to see if I can wiggle myself onto his show! LOL! Just kidding of course. ;)

And I know...I am making a liar out of myself but for real...I WILL post a pic soon. It's just been so stinkin' cold out and life has just been super busy these days but I will do my best!

Until the next time...



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

End of month wrap-up...

Writing this as I watch The Biggest Loser. Tell me you watch too!? If you don't, you really should! Such an inspirational show! I can relate to so many different aspects and it never ceases to amaze me how determined and successful a person can be if they want to.

So, can you believe it's February? It's already staying longer lighter; have you noticed? Oh, how it makes me so happy! I am itching for spring! So ready for warmer walks, birds chirping when the sun comes up, the smell of a warm rain, green grass and green trees. Sounds perfect huh?!

Okay, so many of you have been asking for a recent photo and I promise I've been meaning to get one up but I just haven't yet, BUT... it will be soon. Promise!

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And, it's that time again...my end of the month update and January was very good to me!

This month, I lost 12.2 lbs which brings me down to 187.8 lbs. That means I've lost a total of 95.2 lbs in 6.5 months! My average weekly loss is at 3.28 lbs/week! Only 5 more lbs and I will have lost 100 lbs!!!!! I should reach that goal over the next 2 weeks and then....I will post a photo of myself!

I also lost another 7" combined this month (same as December!). That's a total of 41.5" gone! Here's my specifics for the month:

Waist -2" (starting 48", current 38")
Thigh -.5" (starting 29", current 21.5")
Calf -.5" (starting 18.5", current 16.5")
Bust -2" (starting 49", current 41.5")
Upper Arm -2" (starting 17", current 12")

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Didn't lose any in my hips or neck in January but here's my measurements anyway...

Hips - starting 51", current 41"
Neck - starting 15.5", current 14"

My BMI also continues to get smaller which is awesome. It was 30.3 at the beginning of the month and is now at 28.6. I am officially out of the obese category and am now just considered "overweight". Love that! Need to lose another 24 lbs and I'll be in the "normal" category, lol.

I am also down another size or two in my waist. I went from 14 to an 11/12 and can even get into a couple of 10's. That really blows my mind. I haven't worn those sizes for a LONG time...probably 14 or 15 yrs old and for me that's 20-21 years ago. Geez. It is an amazing feeling to walk into a regular store and pick out whatever I want and have it fit. Almost priceless!

My goal is still to get somewhere between 150-165lbs so that leaves me with about 20-35 more lbs until I'm done and start the maintain process. I can't believe how far I've come so quickly.

FYI: All my stats in my sidebar are updated if you want to take a peek...


Will be posting a few new recipes soon so keep an eye out if that interests you. Thanks for sticking with me! :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A bit of food randomness...

Hi everyone! Over the past several weeks, I've been jotting down different food thoughts that I've wanted to share so I thought I'd throw them all into one random post, so here they are! Enjoy!

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► I'm trying a new recipe this week : *Crispy Fish Fingers. This is another Ellie Krieger recipe.
I will be using halibut instead of flounder since I'm not a flounder lover. I tell ya, I can't get away from her or her recipes. I love how sensible they are and more than that, they're delicious and healthy! You can find her on The Food Network. I really love how the recipes have all the nutritional information included as well as reviews from everyday cooks that have tried her recipes. She also has a website and several cookbooks.
*Recipe is now posted in my sidebar with the other recipes.

► Every Saturday, I make a double batch of marinade from the Teriyaki Chicken Thighs recipe (recipe in sidebar -
FYI: I leave out the sherry since I never have it on hand and since I don't like a lot of heat, I also omit the red pepper flakes) and throw in 10-12 chicken breasts (thawed, trimmed of fat) and let it sit overnight in the fridge (I just use a 1 gallon Ziploc bag). On Sunday, I grill all of them and then keep them in the fridge for the week. I might grab one for lunch, make a sandwich, dice and put on a salad, slice and eat w/whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese or dip in Spicy Peanut Sauce etc. For me, I need to have food ready and accessible when I'm hungry, otherwise I start grazing, lol . Thanks to my nutritionist friend for this tip!

► I just realized a month or so ago that I have not eaten or bought cream cheese since July! This is a big deal to me because I always...and I mean always had cream cheese on hand. I'd have it to make cheese balls, dips, homemade veggie cream cheese for sandwiches etc. I love cream cheese but when I was cleaning out my refrigerator last week, I had a brick of it and realized it expired in September, lol. Goodbye saturated fat! I haven't even missed it!

► I also realized that I haven't bought a single pound of butter since July. I grew up on real butter so it was another staple that I had in my freezer. I'd always have 4 or 5 lbs at all times for baking. It's weird because I really can't stand butter in it's plain form. I've never liked it on bread, bagels, baked potatoes or anything like that. I don't like the greasy texture or taste. If I do use any kind of butter now, I use whipped, unsalted butter and it's very rare.

► When I find myself having a busy day, running errands or sometimes just too lazy to make lunch, I grab a Protein Plus PowerBar. They're packed with protein and are great on the run. I truly haven't come across one that I haven't liked. They all taste really good and none of them have that chalky taste that other brands do. You can find them at Sam's Club in a box of 16 (8 Vanilla Yogurt & 8 Chocolate Peanut Butter) for around $16.00 which is a really good price (and they're both really good). If you buy them individually at Wal-Mart, Kroger, Meijer, Target etc, they run anywhere from $2 - $3+ per bar which is really pricey if you ask me. But...to try new flavors, I've been guilty of paying that, lol. I've tried and liked Dark Chocolate Toffee Nut, Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Brownie & Dulce de Leche.

► I love turkey sausage! Have you tried it? When I bring it home, I cut it into 2 oz portions (I use a little 1 lb food scale for weighing) and keep the portions stored in a Ziploc bag. That way it's all ready to go when I want it. I thought I'd share a few brands that I've tried and liked.

- My favorite just happens to also be the lowest in sodium which is Hillshire Farm's Smoked Turkey Sausage.
- I also really like Butterball Smoked Turkey Dinner Sausage.
- Oscar Mayer's Smoked Turkey Sausage is also good.

I will also warn you that Kroger's own brand of turkey sausage is not good. The casing on it is so tough and chewy that I couldn't even cut it. Really icky.

►I love making protein smoothies for breakfast. My nutritionist friend told me to throw in a scoop of whey protein powder and recommended Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein. Not sure if it's available at every typical grocery store, but I have seen it at Kroger although it's less expensive at Wal-Mart ($14.68 for a 2lb container). My favorite flavor is strawberry! Chocolate is a close second. Vanilla is also good but I'm not a huge vanilla fan, so I stick with strawberry now. There's several other flavors that I haven't tried yet.

► My protein smoothie (serves 2 generously!) recipe: (I throw it all in my blender)

2 scoops protein powder
2 c. skim milk
2 c. frozen, unsweetened blueberries or unsweetened strawberries (or 1 c. of each)
1/2 c. non-fat, plain yogurt
1 large handful fresh baby spinach (optional, but I really like it and really can't tell it's there)
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed (also optional and a great source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium etc., and can't tell it's there. Just make sure to use ground and not whole. The nutrients in freshly ground seeds is better absorbed by your body than whole seeds. I use a little spice grinder to grind mine.)

I've made these probably 4 times/week for the last several months!

Until next time, thanks for stickin' with me! :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

End of month wrap-up...

*WHEW*! Where in the world did December go? Gosh, I really had every intention to keep up on my posts this month, but it just didn't happen. The good news is that I have AWESOME news to share and that's why I'm here now!

First of all, I had posted back in November that I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome w/Insulin Resistance and was getting blood work done to see if my change of eating and exercise would affect my numbers. Well...it has payed off in a BIG way!! No more Insulin Resistance for me!! My numbers were well within normal range which is soooo GREAT! I am really proud of myself because I changed that! Me!

Second, I survived the holidays and all the sweets, cookies, goodies and treats that come with it, although I didn't doubt that I wouldn't. ;) I didn't end up baking sugar cookies for Christmas Eve like I normally do. I was going to since my sister and sister-n-law love my cookies but turns out when I went to the grocery store, they were out of sugar cookie dough, so it all worked out fine. I didn't miss them at all.

So, the holiday came and went and I received a couple of the best Christmas prezzies I could have asked for. These were so big they weren't wrapped. ;)

1. I reached my first major goal in this journey I'm on! As I've said before, my nutritionist friend told me several months ago that I should be able to lose 80lbs by the end of December and he was right. And... I did it 11 days early! I reached that goal last Sunday, the 20th. As of my weigh-in yesterday I am officially at 83lbs lost since July 13th!! 5 months. Wow. If someone would have told me in July where I'd be today, I would have never believed them. Never.

2. And there's always icing on the cake...yesterday I officially dropped out of the 200 Club!!! I'm under 200lbs and for me, that is ridiculously exciting! I can't remember weighing myself and seeing the number 1 in front for a long, long time. What an outrageous feeling. When I stepped on the scale and saw that lovely number, I actually clapped at myself...you know, like the weird way Barney claps, lol. Didn't care though. I was sooooooo happy!! I don't ever want to go back to the 200 Club. I hope they never let me in again. ;)

So, this is how December played out for me...

I lost 10.8 lbs this month bringing me from 282 in July to 199 now! 83 total lbs thus far (24 weeks). I'm averaging a 3.46lb/week loss.

I also lost an additional 7 inches combined this month. That's a total of 34.5" gone from the start!

Hips -2"
Thigh -3"
Calf -.5"
Bust -1.5"

I could definitely feel/see the loss in my bust, thighs and hips this month which is a weird but great feeling! It's so odd to see your body changing before your very eyes.

My BMI was 31.7 at the beginning of the month and is now at 30.3. Losing just 3 more pounds will get me out of the obese category and into the overweight category! Very cool.

I am also down another size in my waist. I went from a 16 to a 14 and can even fit into a larger 12, but I'm keeping myself at a 14 right now until I can comfortably fit into a 12.

So with my first major goal accomplished, I am really looking forward to my next set of goals. I'm anxious to see what's next! With the help of my nutritionist friend and my family doctor, I am aiming to lose another 35-50 lbs before it's all said and done and I start the maintain process. I'll get it narrowed down as I continue to go on and see how my body adjusts. At this point, my goal is to get somewhere between 150-165lbs.

The emotional changes and adjustments are still difficult but I'm trying to work through them one day at a time. Would love to know if anyone reading this might know of any help books or resources dealing with emotional adjustments after losing a large amount of weight. I'd love to know about them. You can leave any information in the comment section or by using the "contact me" button in my right sidebar. Thank you.

Will also have new full-body photo up soon!

Hope everyone reading this had a beautiful holiday! Thanks to each and every one of you for being here supporting me and stopping by my little corner of the world. I couldn't do this without support and encouragement!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

End of the month wrap-up...

It’s the end of the month which means, time to say goodbye to November, goodbye to additional pounds, goodbye to more fat and update my stats!


This month in my life proved to be a lot to handle, frankly. For the first time since I began this journey, there was a week where I didn’t lose any/didn’t gain any and I’ll be honest…it freaked me out. I didn’t like the scale much that morning. But that was also a very emotional week (see my last post). It was eye-opening and now I'm dealing with sorting it all out which has not and will not be easy. It’s always on my mind now. I guess time is what I need. I don't know. I will say that the next week was much better when I lost 4lbs. *Whew*.


So…here’s how November broke down for me:

I lost 16.2 lbs this month bringing me from 282 in July to 209.8 now! That’s a total of 72.2 lbs lost since I’ve started (20 weeks!). I’m averaging a 3.6 lb loss/week.


This month, I lost an additional 6 combined inches: (bringing me to a total of 27.5 inches lost since July)

1.5 inches – bust

4 inches – hips

.5 inch – neck (this measurement makes me laugh but I can tell the difference!)


My BMI on November 1st was 34.4 and since losing these 16.2lbs, it’s now at 31.9. Note: You can calculate your own BMI by going here.


Next week (and month!), I’m working my butt off. I took this last week completely off from working out at the YW. My body needed the break and as it turned out, I ended up being sick for 4-5 days so it probably needed the rest anyway. I did walk a few evenings but as for cardio and strength training…NONE this week. The center was also closed 2 out of 3 of my pool days, so I missed that for sure (I have no clue how I’m doing to deal with the center being closed for 2 weeks for the December holidays!). I’m okay with it but I’m kicking it up next week. I have to. I still want to reach my next goal of a total of 80lbs lost by the end of December which means I have just less than 10 lbs to lose in the next month. That seems very attainable. :)


Speaking of December, so many people have asked me how I’m going to do it with the holidays. People…I’ve changed and when I say that, I mean it. I don’t know how else to say it. The holidays don’t scare me one bit. I know they ask me because they know I use to love to bake. I’d bake loads of cookies. I’d stand on my feet in the kitchen ALL DAY and bake. I’d try new recipes. I’d share with the neighbors. I’d take a boatload to my mom’s for Christmas Eve. I’d take them to my In-Laws. I’d also eat a lot myself. I tell ya…the best way I can explain it is that food was a temporary high for me. You eat it, you feel good while you’re eating it and then for me…I’d come off the high and crash. Hard. Then came the guilt and regret of eating it. Beating myself up. Man, talk about an addiction. It is an addiction. It’s just NOT worth it to me anymore though. I’d much rather pass it by or simply choose to not have it in my house. I’ve changed. My life has changed. My outlook on food has changed. Food no longer controls me. It’s not a priority…or should I say, food is a priority but it’s a different priority. It’s about making healthy, sensible choices. It’s about fueling my body with nutrition and not empty calories. There are other things about the holidays that I will enjoy just as much and I’ll feel so much better about indulging in friends or family as opposed to holiday food. Other things in my life make me happy now and I know I’ve said it before and I truly mean it…there is no food that I could eat that would make me happier than I feel about myself right now. The cookies, the candy, the sweets, the parties, the festivities, the holidays, whatever… BRING IT ON. :)

Look for another post from me soon...I've already got it started.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Caught up in a whirlwind...

Gosh, I’ve wanted to post for a few weeks but time just seems to slip away…


First and foremost…as I mentioned in my last post, my first goal was to lose 60lbs by Nov. 10thth and as of Nov. 8th I've lost 61.6lbs! I knew I could do it and now I’m looking forward to my next goal… 80lbs lost by the end of December. I can do it. I will do it! Thanks again to my nutritionist friend for giving me goals! It helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel for sure...


I’m typing this blog post as a sit waiting for blood work to be done. It’s a 2 hour deal (glucose test) so I figured this was as good a time as any. I’m looking forward to my blood results as I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) w/Insulin Resistance (a pre-diabetic condition but can be reversed with proper diet and exercise) and am hoping that my life changes over the past 4 months will have changed how my body deals with this. I would love to come back and post that I no longer have it, but we’ll see. *Fingers crossed*


Life is moving along in this journey of mine and I’ve learned a great deal over the last month especially. I’ve been given something that I didn’t bargain for or was ever prepared for and that’s the overwhelming emotional journey and changes of losing 60+ lbs thus far. I’m not sure how comfortable I feel getting personal out here in cyberspace but I’ll say what I feel I can and I hope it’ll be of some help to someone. If anything, it’ll be therapeutic for me to get it out, so thanks in advance for sticking with me.


I have learned without a shadow of a doubt that society absolutely judges a person that is morbidly obese (or obese or overweight or whatever you want to call it. That just happened to be me 4 months ago). It happens. It’s sad. It’s wrong. It’s unfair. It’s judgmental. It’s just not right. It’s happened to me and although before my weight loss, I’m not sure I realized it was happening to me. Over the past month, I’ve had numerous run-ins with people from my life that treated me different when I was obese than how they treated me when I saw them recently.


I was shopping a month or so ago and I saw a lady who I’ve known for many years. There was this part of me that wanted to approach her and say hi (thanks to my new-found confidence!) and the other part of me wanted to hide within the clothes on the rack because I had always felt like she looked down on me. She always had a way of making me feel beneath her. She made me feel like I was less than her. I had seen her out and about many times before only to have her look away and continue on as if she didn’t see me. She made me feel like nothing and I hated that feeling. It’s a feeling of despair. I would instantly feel so stupid when she was around. This time was different and I didn’t know how to handle it. She saw me and I was instantly enveloped with a tight hug from her. She told me she had heard that I was losing weight and was working hard at it. She told me how happy she was for me. She told me she thought it was wonderful. She told me I looked fantastic. She started to cry. Tears. Real tears. For me. I didn’t know what to do with it. She told me that I must feel amazing. I told her I did feel amazing. She told me how proud of me she was. I thanked her for her kind words and thanked her for her happiness for me and she hugged me again. When I walked away, I felt numb. I felt confused. I found myself thinking, “She likes me now”. “She likes me now because I’m thinner”. “She likes me because I look more normal”. “She didn’t like me before because I was obese”. “I’m good enough for her now”. “She stopped and talked to me because it wasn’t embarrassing for her this time”. This experience turned out to be very overwhelming for me. I’ve thought about it a lot since then. I've dissected it and analyzed it. Probably too much.


I also had another experience at a local business that I go to once every month or two. There are a few girls that work there and it’s always been uncomfortable. I dreaded going in there. I dreaded the looks I would get when I walked in. I dreaded the fact that sometimes I had to draw attention to myself (or at least it felt like that) when I had to ring the bell to get service. I dreaded that I had to go back to pick up what I had dropped off a few days later. This time was different. I walked in and saw their eyes grazing my body from top to bottom. I saw smiles. One of them called back to the other one “to come and see” me. They were so happy to see me. They made me feel welcome. They told me that I looked great. They said they hardly recognized me. They treated me like a fairly normal-sized person (or at least what I feel like fairly normal-sized is). Again, overwhelming and confusing. I wasn’t ever fully accepted before this.


On the other hand, I’ve had the opposite happen and again, I didn’t expect it. This time, someone close to me. Someone that’s been in my life for many years. This person does not feel comfortable being around me nor will this person acknowledge my weight loss. It is a strange thing. It hurts and yet, I understand it. Let’s just clear the air and point out that this person is not my hubby, lol!


These are just a few that I feel I can share here. I think I’ll keep the rest to myself for now.


It just seems like someone should tell you when you start a life-changing journey like this that you should be prepared for the emotional toll, both positive and negative? Over the past month or so, the emotional changes in my life have been extremely difficult to sort out and make sense of. I’ve literally lost sleep about it. I wake up thinking about it. I fall asleep thinking about it. When I’m driving, I think about it. It’s funny…when I was thinking of a title for my blog, I thought about it for weeks. I had a list of ten or so titles and finally settled on “Getting to Know the Real Nicole” without knowing then that I’d truly be doing just that through this journey. I could feel that I was changing and something was going on with me at that time, but not to the capacity that I’m feeling now. Sometimes, I truly do not know who I am. Really, I don’t.


I'm finding that is seems like I’m quickly scooping out the past 15 years and tossing it all aside in a big heap. But with all that grunge that’s being tossed, there’s also bits of goodness that need to be sorted out and figured out. There’s 12 years of marriage with someone who’s been nothing but perfect, there’s family who has loved me no matter my size, there’s life lessons I’ve learned, there’s memories that can’t ever be replaced etc. But it’s hard when I was the old Nicole for so long. I knew her but the old Nicole had settled. She existed. She got by day by day, barely. She covered up her emotions. She hid it all away so no one could see…so she wouldn’t be vulnerable. She ran from uncomfortable situations. She had zero confidence. Zero self-esteem. She pretended. She put up a good front. She thrived on no one seeing her. Her thoughts were kept down deep. She felt worthless. She began to wonder what her purpose truly was.


And then...all of the sudden this new person emerges with a brand new outlook on life and living. She has fresh thoughts, new feelings, different wants, different desires, changes and emotions and it’s all packed tight within this new Nicole who I’m trying to get to know. All of those fresh thoughts, feelings etc, are bursting at the seams to be free. They want out. They want to experience life and newness. She wants to always be doing something. She wants to be with people. She wants to be active and healthy. She wants to make clean, healthy choices. She wants to get to know new people. She wants to share her life with others as well as learn about theirs. She is always thinking. She is constantly observing. She wants to feel life and all it has to offer. She is confident. She feels good about herself. She is almost always soaking up happiness and joy. She wants to be involved in life. She is full of energy. She feels young and alive. She is now thriving on what it feels like to truly live. This is the new Nicole and I like her. For once, I like me.


It feels like I have a new world in front of me that is filled with opportunity and second chances. I’ve been given a fresh start. I just have to seek out what I want to take with me and what to leave behind. I need to learn what I expect of myself and others. I need to take time to introduce my new self to me as well as others and to understand that not only is this a major life adjustment for me but for those close to me as well. It’s proving to be a difficult path to walk. Sometimes scary. It’s the unknown and the unseen that makes me edgy. I just need to take it one day at a time and lean on those that I'm close to and that I can trust and depend on. I need that in my life.


It's a very complicated experience to express in words. As I type this, my words are seeming so simple but I hope this is making sense to someone who is reading this...