Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Weigh In Womp Womp

Ugh. I wish I had better news. 

Last Week's Weight: 170.4
Current Weight: 170.8
Change: +0.4
Total Loss: -57.2

The scale is tormenting me. Problem is, I'm pretty sure I know exactly how to beat it: the answer lies in not eating cookies just because they're there. I got stuck between 170 and 169 for months last year, so this is not new territory for me. This specific weight is just a sticking point for me/my body, but I've busted through this plateau before, and I'm going to do it again. I know what I need to fix, eating-wise, I'm just struggling to do the damn thing. This week, I will do better. 

I am giving myself credit where credit is due, though. I've worked a lotttttt in the last 2 weeks, and I've still managed to make it to the gym 4+ times per week. On the heels of a 12 hour workday, getting to the gym before work the next morning is no small feat. ONWARD. 

My plan was to share a fun new workout circuit I came up with yesterday, I'm hoping to share it Friday! Until then, keep the cookies away from me. 

How was your weigh in Wednesday?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Using a Reward System for Success

Reward System for Success

As my friend Kate so eloquently described me last week, "you and your constant self-bribery." She was kindof joking, but mostly not. I probably "bribe" myself to do something at least a few times a week. And you're thinking: "Carolyn, you are not a child or a dog. Why do you always bribe yourself?" OH, BECAUSE IT WORKS.

Quick psychology lesson (because I am obsessed with psychology and if I ever quit my day job it would be to go back to school so I can get certified to analyze psychopaths like Clarisse in Silence of the Lambs). So, quick lesson: There is a principle in psychology called the Premack Principle. According to the Premack Principle, if doing an enjoyable behavior (say, reading a book), is contingent upon completing a less-enjoyable behavior (say, going for a run), than you are more likely to go for a run than you would be if it wasn't required in order to read. In layman's terms, self-bribery works because SCIENCE.

Here's the practical application, using an example from this weekend. I had work to do on Sunday night, when really all I wanted to do was watch 90 Day Fiance and polish my nails. Priorities, amiright? So, I told myself I had to get the work done or else I couldn't watch 90 Day Fiance or polish my nails. Of course I didn't want to get my work done, but I wanted to watch the 90 Day Fiance trainwreck enough that I got my work done so I could watch.

When it comes to eating and exercise, I think having a reward system in place is a critical element of success (for me, at least). When I'm eating poorly or blowing off workouts left and right, it's usually because I make a snap decision to eat crappy food or skip the gym, and then I feel like I become so committed to the idea of eating pizza or watching 18 more episodes of Law & Order that I can't convince myself otherwise. Here's where the bribery comes in:

When there's a "bribe" in place (if it's a good reward), it becomes a lot harder to commit to the snap decision, because the activity I don't want to do is tied to one I do. So it becomes easier to drag myself out of bed to go to the gym on a Thursday morning, because I'll be damned if I'm behind on Serial, and I don't let myself listen to the new episode on Thursday unless I'm in the gym. And it's easier to keep myself under my points for the week, if doing so means I'm allowed to go to brunch with friends on Sunday. Sticking to the reward/punishment still requires discipline, but it makes sticking to the harder stuff a bit easier. And no, unfortunately the reverse Premack Principle doesn't work (as in, giving yourself the reward first doesn't make it easier to do the hard part).

So there you have it. Me and my constant self-bribery? There's a method to my madness (sometimes).

How do you keep yourself disciplined? What are your favorite rewards?

More importantly for the fellow 90 Day Fiance fans, Danielle and Mohammad WUT IS HAPPENING?!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Better Late than Never

Fitnasty for Life

Sorry for the very much delayed #fit4fifteen weekly check-in! I wish I had a better reason for the delay, but this week has been absolutely insane both work-wise and life-wise, and the cherry on top was that I left my phone in a cab last night, so I've spent half the day trying to track it down (I did not succeed).

Anyway, I'm pledging to be a more frequent blogger next week, and to actually post this linkup in a timely fashion! Until then, I'll be using the weekend to unpack the suitcase still sitting next to my kitchen table and catch up on laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning my apartment. Isn't adulthood great?

Hope everyone has a great weekend and is still kicking ass and taking names for #fit4fifteen. I know I'm on a quest to see the 160's next week. Check in for the linkup below!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

On Not Playing the Victim

Weigh in Wednesday! Let's get right to it, shall we?

Last Week's Weight: 170.0
Current Weight: 170.4
Change: +0.4
Total Loss: -57.6

You know what? I'm totally okay with this slight gain. Mostly because I saw a much higher number when I was still de-bloating from NYC on Monday, and also because trips are right up there with parties in terms of the hardest places to control my eating. I'm calling this week not horrific, and my quest for the 160s continues (did I mention I have two holiday parties in the next week?). 

Earlier this week, I stumbled upon the quote below. I came across this quote on Instagram on Monday morning, as I was dragging my tired carcass to the gym because I knew I wouldn't be able to make myself go after work. I really connected with how perfectly this quote encompasses the mindset needed to succeed.  And it really struck me because this quote explains the fundamental mind shift that I think I had to go through in order to make weight loss work for me this time around. 

I've dieted on and off since I was a child. As in, like 10 years old. But every diet was unsuccessful because as soon as things got tough, or I didn't want to work out, or I was sore, or life got busy, or someone put a piece of pizza in front of me, I quit. I threw in the towel and said, "Welp, I am powerless in this situation! Looks like it's not gonna happen for me this time!"

But I wasn't powerless. I was--just like in every situation where it's easy to make the right decision--still completely empowered to make the right choice. I just decided not to make the right choice.  

I'm not saying it's easy (spoiler alert: it's not), but the years I spent playing the victim in the dieting game got me nowhere. Literally nowhere. 

Weight loss is certainly a bigger mental battle than it is a physical one. It requires constantly quieting the voice in your head that wants to stop at Starbucks, or grab a cookie from the kitchen, or order takeout because cooking feels like too much effort. It requires working out when you're tired, or sore, or lazy, or would rather be doing almost anything else. But wanting to succeed, even if you REALLY REALLY REALLY want it, is worthless. 

You have to decide

How was your weight-in Wednesday?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fit4Fifteen Checkin

Fitnasty for Life

Happy Fit4Fifteen Friday!

I'm spending a long weekend in NYC attempting to not eat ALL of the cronuts (are those even still a thing? I don't know). I apologize for the abridged post, but still wanted to keep the linkup going for the other #fit4fifteen warriors. 

Hope everyone has had a successful week after Thanksgiving! We're halfway through the #fit4fifteen battle, with still plenty of holiday parties and cookie swaps and mulled wine temptation before the end of the year. Check in and share how the challenge has been going so far. If you need support in a certain area (getting in your water, getting to the gym, hitting your daily nutrition goals, finding healthy recipes that don't suck) leave a comment because there's still almost a whole month left until 2015. We have to support each other and keep the motivation alive. Let's finish the year strong!

Have a great weekend and link up below! :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Post-Thanksgiving Weigh In

Last week I said, "I would love love love to see a weight in the 160's next week." Damnit, I was so close. SO CLOSE! Here's the damage:

Last Week's Weight: 171.2
Current Weight: 170.0
Change: -1.2
Total Loss: -58.0

On the plus side, I lost over a pound during Thanksgiving week, which is no easy feat. I realized I didn't talk about it, but I managed to stick pretty closely to the plan I set out last week, including skipping over the foods I'm not a huge fan of, and eating mindfully the rest of the day. I ate plenty of food and felt full, but definitely not sick. For someone who was the kid who ate Halloween candy until she practically puked, year after year, this is major progress. 

For perspective on what "real life" is like on Weight Watchers, here's my reality: last week my daily points dropped to 28/day. And still, I ate cookies and a giant chicken burrito and mashed potatoes and gravy and a delicious cheesey egg panini last week. I ate within my weekly 49 extra points, and only dipped 1PP into my activity points (I earned 25). I love that I can still eat these things, I just need to prepare for them and eat reasonably the rest of the time. Yes, it definitely takes thinking ahead and getting used to, but it really does work if you stick to the system.

Speaking of sticking to the system... this weekend will actually pose a bigger challenge for me that Thanksgiving. I'm headed to NYC to visit a friend, and I'm so excited! I haven't spent much time in NYC as an adult because my work trips this year have been so short, so I can't wait to spend time with my friend, see the city lit up for Christmas, and to eat ALL THE FOOD (...kidding, mostly). 

Trips are extra hard to stay on plan because all I want to do is indulge in the foods I can't get back home. So my goal is to stick to my usual vacation strategy: to eat as healthily as I can for two meals a day, and then let loose a bit for the third. I need to mentally remind myself that just because I am in a fun place, does not mean I need to eat my face off the entire time. I can still make healthy choices (egg whites instead of regular eggs, side salad instead of fries) without feeling deprived. I did pretty decently when I was in DC earlier this year, and when my best friend came to visit me in Chicago (and I was acting like a tourist with her). Here's hoping I can stick with the plan. Whether I do or don't, it's up to me!

How was your weigh-in Wednesday?

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Fit Girl's Gift Guide

First off, can you tell I have favorite color scheme? I was doing laundry a few weeks ago when I realized almost all of my favorite workout tops are variations of blue/green. What can I say? I know what I like. And I know that I like tomato. (name that movie)

Secondly, I've come across so many holiday gift guides this year... but almost all of them are filled with such expensive products! I'm honestly kind of shocked at the price points I've seen, so I built my fit girl gift guide around products at very reasonable prices. With the exception of 2 products on this list, everything is under $50!

Lastly, all of these are products I either own, own something very similar, or plan on buying myself. I wouldn't endorse a product if I didn't 100% believe in it (or believe in it enough to spend my own money on it). Happy Shopping!

Shop this post:
1. Yurbuds Ear Buds are great if you have trouble with traditional ear buds slipping out of your ears once you get sweaty. I love these!
2. These North Face Warm Pants are pricey ($85) but so so so worth it. I've run in these in sub-zero Chicago temps and my legs still managed to stay toasty. (If you're between sizes, I recommend sizing down. I wear a M).
3. I own and love this Aladdin To-Go Tumbler from Target. A cute cup is a good way to get water in throughout the day.
4. I can personally attest that Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 is a hell of a workout! Bonus: the only equipment required is a set of dumbbells. 
5. Old Navy's Patterned Compression Capris are my absolute favorite. They don't fall down, they aren't see-through, and the sweat-wicking material is perfect and doesn't pill. The bright and fun colors are just the cherry on top.
6. It's no secret that I'm a Fitbit fanatic. I got mine last winter and have worn it non-stop since. (Psst, if you want a band color that Fitbit doesn't carry, there are lots of Amazon sellers with some fun options).
7. I LOVE this Old Navy Racer Back tank. The color is vibrant and the material is so soft. If you're between sizes, I recommend sizing up (I wear a L). Also, it's only $9!!
8. I actually don't wear these hair ties to work out because they don't hold tight enough, but I love them for active rest days or post-gym. They come in so many fun colors and don't yank your hair or leave a kink.
9. While this is billed as a Yoga Headband, it looks like it could hold hair back for plenty of other activities as well. I love all of the prints and also the price point (just $7!).
10. A race entry! Of course, it'd probably be best to consult the person you're gifting the entry to, but a race entry is a great option for your runner friends/family members.
11. Confession: I don't own a real gym bag. I've been using an old LL Bean bag I got in college but it's high time for an upgrade. I am in love with the color, compartments, shape and functionality of this Balance Gym Bag by REI, and it's only $41.

Your turn! What are your fitness must-haves?

The post above contains Amazon affiliate links.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Back on Track

Fitnasty for Life

I hope everyone (all of my American readers, at least!) had a very Happy Thanksgiving! I spent the day in the suburbs with my college roommate's family and had a great time. I have to admit, it's a tiny bit bittersweet to be away from my own family for Thanksgiving (it's only the second time I've been away from them for the holiday), but spending time with my friend's family was about as close to my own as could be. And, of course, the food was amazing :)

The hardest part about the holidays, diet-wise, is getting back on track once they're over. Especially with Thanksgiving on a Thursday, it can be so easy to wake up and eat leftovers on Friday, order a pizza on Friday night, and then chuck healthy habits out the window for the rest of the weekend because, damnit, there's pumpkin pie to eat. Not this year!

When I food prepped early this week, even though I only had 2.5 work days, I prepped for an entire week to take away my excuses to eat like crap post-Thanksgiving. I have 2 prepped turkey sausage, rice and veggie meals in my fridge, and supplies for another serving or two of my my sweet potato egg hash. I know I'm the queen of excuses, so I counteract that by having healthy (and delicious!) meals on hand and ready to go. 

Another thing I'm working on is filling my fridge with snackable fruits and veggies like apples and carrot sticks. Snacking has always been a downfall of mine, so I'm working on re-wiring my brain to want healthier snacks. If I'm hungry but don't want carrot sticks and hummus or an apple, well, that doesn't mean I get chips (and I can't have them anyway because j don't keep them in my apartment!). That's not to say I've stopped craving chips/starchy snacks, but it's a step in the right direction. I realize I'm not a shining beacon of health, but if I could give just one game-changing good tip, it would be this: if you don't want to eat it, DON'T keep it around. If you say no in the store, you only have to say no once. If you bring it home, you have to say no every time you see the food in your pantry. 

Hopefully all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family! If you're joining me in the quest to get #fit4fifteen, hopefully you're also returning to healthy habits after a food-filled Thabksgiving. 

How do you get back on track after a holiday?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Celebrating Thanksgiving Without Ditching Your Diet

Last Week's Weight: 173.6
Current Weight: 171.2
Change: -2.4
Total Loss: -56.8

Yeehaw! I'm back on track, just in time for the most gluttonous holiday of the year. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a weight in the 160's next week, so that it's my challenge to myself.

This year, I'll be spending Thanksgiving with my college roommate and her family in the suburbs. I'll also be (GASP) sticking to Weight Watchers throughout the day. I'll be honest, I struggle with food in party/social situations, especially if I give myself permission to eat without parameters. I suck at intuitive eating because I love the taste of food and portion control is still a very real struggle for me. So, I need rules and structure in order to not go off the rails. Here's my plan and some tips I use to keep myself (mostly) locked up:
  • Track everything. WW has built-in flexibility so I can indulge a bit without throwing an entire week out the window. Tomorrow, I will be tracking my food to the best of my abilities. The more I indulge tomorrow, the less wiggle room I have for free points the rest of the week. 
  • Eat selectively and in small portions. Call me unamerican, but I don't like pumpkin pie, stuffing, or sweet potato casserole (SIDEBAR: I just re-read last year's Thanksgiving post and multiple people commented about squash as a side dish. I must look into this.) Anyway, I won't be "wasting" points on those foods, or any foods I don't LOVE. Instead, I'll plan to limit/avoid foods I don't love, so I can really enjoy my favorites (mashed potatoes! green bean casserole! dark meat turkey!)
  • Drink lots of water. I'm prone to sausage fingers when I overload on sodium, and staying hydrated helps. Also, dehydration is also sometimes mistaken for hunger, so this is my effort to counteract that.
  • Mindful eating the rest of the day. When I know I have a big meal coming up, I try not to use that as permission to throw the whole day away. I'll have a small and low-points breakfast, like I normally do, to save my points for the main event. It helps that I won't be at home where my mom makes her famous sticky buns!  
  • Just say no (to leftovers). Because I'm not celebrating at home, there won't be leftovers around to tempt me. If you are hosting, try to send guests away with most of the leftovers. Or, if the host asks you to take some, you can always politely decline. Out of sight, out of mind.
Having celebrated holidays both on plan (like the above) or with looser rules, having concrete limits in place is really important and helpful for me to stay in check, both on holidays and in the days after. 

Also, I learned this morning that my office gym is open as usual tomorrow! I was originally going to aim for an at-home workout, but now I know I'll be hitting the gym before I head out to the suburbs to see my friend's family. 

Lastly, I'll still be hosting Friday's #fit4fifteen linkup this week! Thanksgiving is just ONE DAY out of 365, so if you'll be back on track on Friday, join the linkup for some added accountability :)

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekly Workouts

It's Thanksgiving week. HOLY HECK how did that happen. I seriously feel like we rang in 2014 a month ago. Probably because we skipped summer in Chicago and barreled directly back into Winter mode. Woof.

ANYWAY with Thanksgiving on the horizon, I'll be focusing on nailing my workouts so I can indulge as guilt-free as possible on Thursday. I love the quote above because it helps me keep my excuses in perspective. As I've discussed before, I am the QUEEN of excuses, and if I let myself, I would blow off every workout. Everybody is busy, it's about making time and being committed. For example, if I don't go to the gym before work, there's a 50/50 chance I'll make it after work because I'm tired/hangry/worked late/want to watch 19 Kids and Counting. So, I wake up early and just get 'er done. I don't like waking up at 6am, but that's what I need to do.

Here's my game plan for the week:

45 minutes dreadmill hills (3.7-4.0 speed, 10.0-15.0 incline)
<This would normally be arms day but my bus was running late so I had to modify>

15 minutes dreadmill sprints  (:20 on, :40 straddle belt, start at 8.1 and bump .1 every minute to end at 9.5)
40 minutes Arms/Chest (

Sprints are :20 on, :40 straddle belt, starting at 8.1 and bump .1 every minute to end at 9.5. For the strength portion, I mix it up based on how I feel but it usually includes the reverse fly machine, the pec press machine (no idea what it's actually called), free weight bicep curls, overhead triceps extensions, shoulder presses, triceps dips, upright row, plank, and godawful push-ups. 

15 minutes dreadmill sprints 
45 minutes Legs

Sprints are the same as above. For the strength portion, I don't modify this and almost always do the exact same workout: 4x15 each of hip abductor, hip adductor, leg press regular stance, leg press machine calf raises, leg press narrow stance, quad curl machine, and the following all with 10-15lb dumbbells on my shoulders: squats (4x15), alternating curtsy lunges (8x15 which ends up 4x15 each leg), pliĆ© squats (my actual favorite, also 4x15).

45 minutes Sworkit at home (it's an app that generates no-equipment-needed circuits)

REST or 45 minutes Sworkit at home

REST or 45 minutes Sworkit at home


Writing it all out makes it feel like my workouts are more involved that I previously thought. They're not really, I just wanted to give a holistic picture of what I'm doing on a weekly basis. Basically I always aim for at LEAST 30 minutes of exercise every weekday, with alternating strength workouts. Also, this week is modified because I won't have access to my office's gym on Thursday/Friday. 

Alright friends, how are you staying #fit4fifteen this week?!

Also, I'm always interested in what other people's workouts look like: share yours!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Not a Motivational Speech

Fitnasty for Life

It #fit4fifteen week two! I was supposed to be off today, sitting on the couch and binge watching intervention. Alas, i am en route to the gym and then office as I write this. So it goes. 

Can't even contain my gym excitement this morning.
This week I want to talk about motivation. In chronicling the struggles of the perpetually lazy (that's me!), I've learned a thing or two about getting motivated to work out. Namely that motivation is not some magical fairy dust that helps you arise at half past five every morning to go to the gym.  Motivation gets you to work out when you want to work out. Discipline is what gets you there when you don't. You can't buy discipline at the health food store, or on a DVD, or with a FitBit or a fancy heart rate monitor or on a website. Those are all tools (helpful tools!), but ALL of those still require discipline.

To be completely honest, I don't LOVE working out. Blah blah blah, endorphins blah. In reality I almost never want to go to the gym. Yet, I wake up and go to the gym 4-5 mornings a week. And even on my way to the gym, I still tell myself that I can have a slacker workout if I want to (spoiler alert: almost always once I'm actually there, I get in the mood to bust my butt). If I only went when I was motivated, I wouldn't go. The only thing I'm motivated to do in the mornings is curl deeper into my blanket burrito and hit snooze. 

Sprints are a good way to die on a treadmill in 15 min or less.
15 minutes of :20 on, :40 off (straddle the belt).
Start at 8.0 and bump it .1 after each sprint.
Sensing a trend here? So here's my weight loss epiphany of the day: I don't lose weight because I'm motivated to lose weight, because the instant that motivation evaporates, it's game over: I'm making unhealthy choices again. I lose weight because I am disciplined to go to the gym in the morning when I really (really REALLY) don't want to. I'm obviously not perfect-- being disciplined is a very constant struggle that I face every single day. Two years after making a change in my life, and it really still is a daily battle.

Two years ago versus yesterday (it's a known fact that I do not dress this nicely for work on Fridays)
Ultimately, the mind shift (and what helps me stay disciplined) comes from knowing that I don't get to talk myself out of healthy choices and still get the results I want. I cannot validate my laziness/desire to eat crap, and still expect to change. Maybe that seems like a DUH statement, or maybe it doesn't, I don't know. I spent so many years honestly believing that WANTING to be thinner and fitter would get me there. It never did. 

So, if you're feeling motivated, that's great! Use that motivation! But remember that motivation is only a small part of the battle, and discipline is a much more powerful force. 

Happy #fit4fifteen Friday Fitnasty friends!

What do you think: are you successful because you're motivated or disciplined?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just the Facts

Fact: not every weigh in is going to be a good weigh-in. Sadly. 

Other sad facts:
- pinning workouts doesn't count as actually working out
- really really REALLY REALLY wanting to lose weight doesn't help you lose weight
- pizza has calories (lots of them)
- so do cupcakes
- I gained a pound this week

Last Week's Weight: 172.6
Current Weight: 173.6
Change: +1.0
Total Loss: -54.4

So one of thing I've noticed during this weight loss journey (and in life, really) is that there are a lot of people who take personal credit for a loss, no matter how small, and minimize a gain by blaming it on external factors ("it's my period," "I'm probably just bloated," "it's only up .4 which is basically staying the same."). I try really really hard not to do this, because I staunchly avoid playing the victim of things that are actually in my control. There's your daily dose of psychology (did I mention I love psychology?)

The fact is, there are internal AND external factors at play for every loss and gain. For me this is week, I actually saw a much lower number on the scale on Sunday. So did I gain 3lbs since Sunday? Technically, yes. But did I do some things right this week? Yeah. Did I also do some things wrong this week? Definitely yes. I did the ultimate sin of grocery shopping while hungry and then stood in my kitchen eating jerky while trying to decide what to make for dinner last night. It happens. Also I really love jerky. 

What I have learned is that being pissed about an unexpected weigh in doesn't change the facts. Being pissed and then eating bad food to console yourself because "it doesn't matter anyway" definitely doesn't change the facts. (Tried that one. Many times.)

Here's what I'm doing about it: I'm not going to grocery shop while hungry again (rookie mistake). I'm going to make smarter food choices. Then I'm going to keep making smarter food choices. No magic, no desperate methods, no fasts, no cleanses-- just consistency and discipline. And hopefully next week the payoff will be on the scale.

How was your weigh in Wednesday?

Friday, November 14, 2014

#Fit4Fifteen Friday

It's #fit4fifteen Friday!

Fitnasty for Life

I was so glad to hear that other people were interested in committing to #fit4fifteen right along with me. If this is the first you're hearing of #fit4fifteen, it's an outlet/support group and weekly linkup for other people who are looking to commit (or re-commit!) to their health and fitness goals before the end of the year. In the face of pecan pie, mulled wine, pumpkin spice coffee, christmas cookies, holiday ham, egg nog and all the other gluttony that comes with the holiday season, we're making a pact to conquer the holiday season, and to enter 2015 even healthier/stronger/fitter than we are right now.

If there's anything I've learned from two years of trial and error in my own weight loss journey, it's that there's never a good time to get healthy. Or, more optimistically, any time is a good time to get started if you are really and truly committed.

It was two years ago today that I was tired of saying "my diet starts Monday" and then throwing in the towel by Wednesday. I was sick of seeing higher and higher numbers on the scale. I didn't want to size up because "my pants shrunk in the dryer." And so, two weeks before Thanksgiving, I fully committed to Weight Watchers. I tracked every bite I ate throughout Thanksgiving and Christmas, and lost 12lbs between November 14th and January 1st. It wasn't easy, but it was 100% worth it. 

L: Dec. 2012, already 10lbs down and shopping for a NYE dress.
R: Yesterday, 172lbs.
And now here we are, on the exact same day, two years later. Last week I recognized that I was heading in the wrong direction, and that if I didn't correct it now, I would end 2014 heavier than I started it. I refuse to surrender myself to gaining weight over the holidays. It's my choice whether I gain weight in before 2015, or whether I lose it.  

There are 47 days until 2015 that are going to pass by, regardless of what I do. Whether I use those 47 days to get closer to my goals or to get farther away from them, the decision is mine.

Share your motivation and your plan to get #fit4fifteen, and then help support others who are committing too! Use the #fit4fifteen hashtag on Instagram and see how other people are staying committed to their goals through the holidays!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

One Week

Weigh In Wednesday

First of all, HOLY SMOKES, thanks so much for all the comments and support after Monday's guest-blogging and Instagram takeover for Operation Skinny Jeans. Gaining weight is a hard topic to write about, but it becomes a lot easier when other can sympathize. I truly appreciate every comment, and I'm still working on replying to everyone. I'll get there, promise!

Secondly, due to popular demand, I'll be making #fit4fifteen into a linkup on Fridays through the end of the year. #Fit4fifteen is a pledge that you are getting healthy before the New Year, and not waiting for an arbitrary date to make a resolution (can you tell I think resolutions are BS?). 

Want to participate in #fit4fifteen? Use the hashtag on Instagram to tag the pics of the healthy choices you're making: picking water instead of pop (yes, I say pop, Midwest represent!), going for a walk during lunch, making something healthy for dinner, walking past the candy bowl, do not pass go, do not collect 3 fun size snickers. Stuff like that. Also, I'd love to hear about your successes and struggles! With a bunch of people expressing interest, we can hold each other accountable. I'll be updating this post with the proper #fit4fifteen button tonight or tomorrow, and then posting the linkup on Friday morning, so share the link to your post then. 

Fitnasty for Life

THIRDLY, today marks one week (plus one day) of being back on Weight Watchers and HECK YEAH I am excited about the results. I'll post a disclaimer which is that yes, I am eating healthily, no, I'm not starving myself (I don't have the willpower even if I wanted to), and yes I realize this is a high weight loss. In the past week I still had pizza (in moderation), buffalo wings, beer, a cupcake, and loaded baked potato soup. You DON'T have to eat meager portions or rabbit food to lose weight, I promise. You DO have to be honest with yourself and track and plan for your indulgences. I didn't take a magic weight loss pill, I planned and tracked my food every day. And yes, I ate every single one of my 49 extra weekly points (you're supposed to!)

And now, the results:

Last Week's Weight: 176.4
Current Weight: 172.6
Change: -3.8
Total Loss: -55.4

If I'm being brutally honest, I weighed in at 179.8 last Sunday, which means I've lost over 7lbs since then. Sooooo I guess giving up bottomless servings of trail mix has been helpful. 

As I mentioned last week, my goal is to hit 165 before the New Year. My aggressive goal is to match my lowest adult weight, 162.2, before then. That would mean I have 10lbs to lose in exactly 7 weeks. It's doable (and healthily and naturally doable-- no juice cleanses for this girl). But that one will totally depend on how much I can lock it up over the holidays. 

I've blabbered on far too long. Your turn! How was your weigh in this week?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Guest Blogging for OSJ

Hello friends! I have a little bit of an announcement today-- I'm guest-blogging for the fabulous Jess from Operation Skinny Jeans. I'm also doing an Instagram takeover of her account, @operationskinnyjeans. Check it out!

Operation Skinny Jeans

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Struggle Is Real

When you hear stories of someone who lost a large amount of weight and then gained a lot of it back, there are a few natural reactions: the horror of how could they possibly not realize what was happening? The smugness of "that will never happen to me." I'll admit I've had both of those thoughts... and then it did happen to me.

I ate a big freaking slice of humble pie when I weighed in at nearly 180lbs last week. Seven months earlier I had been my strongest, fastest, slimmest adult self, and here I was having gained back nearly 20lbs. It's embarrassing. It's defeating. It sucks.

How had this happened? The exact same way I got to 228lbs in the first place. By letting myself order hash browns, when I really should've gotten fruit. By treating myself with takeout because I was too tired to cook. By buying a frozen pizza on the weekend, and then eating the whole thing in one setting. By eating a bagel on bagel Fridays at work, and then grabbing a munchkin or two on my way out of the kitchen. 

It's not that I don't know better, because I do. It's not that I'm not working out, because I am. But I stopped caring about my eating habits like I should, and I stopped forcing myself to make the right choice when it wasn't easy. I gave in too many times. I lost the discipline that got me down to the low 160's, and it's really hard to acknowledge that. But I have to if I want to dig myself out of this hole.

Grace at From Fatty To is one of my favorite bloggers, because she's a fellow Weight Watcher, and because she's always honest about her successes and her struggles. She also posted the other day about the exact same reality I'm facing: gaining it back.  I totally appreciate and completely sympathize with her thoughts, because this is the way I had to teach myself to think when I started this process in the first place: 
"I have to learn to balance. I can’t won’t give up my social outings, but I also       [r e f u s e] to let my social life take pertinence over my physical and mental health."
Yes, we're about to enter the holiday season and it's the hardest time of year to be healthy. But this is also the same week I started my journey two years ago. If I don't start now, I will enter 2015 even heavier than I am now. Instead, I'm joining Grace on her pledge to get fit, right now, for 2015. As I said, my goal is to get to 165 before NYE. I won't end this year heavier than I started it, and the choice is mine.

If you were feeling alone, or ashamed, or defeated, or unaccountable, you don't have to be any of those things. If other people are interested (leave a comment!), I will host a Friday linkup to help everyone stay on track through the end of the year. If you want to talk about the pledge, use #fit4fifteen on Instagram/Twitter.

I will get fit for '15. Will you?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day Late and a Dollar Short

In an effort to take bake the reins of accountability, I'm bringing back the weekly weigh-ins. I'll be weighing in on Wednesdays again because a) I am a creature of habit, b) that's my start of my "week" on WW, and c) Weigh-In Monday just doesn't have the same ring to it. And obviously d) there's a linkup that I totally dropped the ball on yesterday.

I can't present to you last week's weight because I was really busy not caring about anything I ate and devouring a 24-serving bag of trail mix in less than two weeks (it was obviously really good trail mix). 

Without further ado (yes, ado is correct, not adieu, and you can take that to the BANK):

Current Weight: 176.4

I'll be honest and say that this is NOT the highest number I've seen on the scale lately. In fact, there was a 3-digit number that ended in a 9 the other day and I was far from a happy camper about it, even though I have no one to blame but myself.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that it's hard to reform 25 years of poor eating habits in a way that is maintainable for the foreseeable future. It's hard to re-teach yourself portion control and hunger cues and saying no thank you every time you walk past 14 bowls of candy in your office (truth). I have more to say about this, coming soon. But for now, all I can do is return to the basics that helped me lost 65lbs in the first place... some of which I now need to re-lose. 

My mission? 165 by NYE or bust. Time to get fit for '15!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Facing the Music

It's time for a fresh start after this whirlwind October.

I buckled down on my eating habits a few months ago to fit into a snug bridesmaid dress for my best friend's wedding. I was being fairly regimented with both my eating and my workouts, and thankfully was able to drop a few pounds and feel comfortable in the dress. The wedding was absolutely stunning, and I couldn't be happier to have stood next to my best friend as she said "I do" to her husband. 

Not too shabby for doing my own hair and makeup!
I am slightly addicted to fake lashes.
Bachelorette Party shenanigans. 
Cool kids bring their little brother as their wedding date.

The busy busy wedding week was followed by a last minute one-day trip to NYC for work, and the week that followed was a mess of trying to catch up on work and sleep. I did manage to sneak in much-needed and long overdue hair chop. FAREWELL 7" of hair that often looked like a lion's mane. 

The moral of the story is that it's been a pretty chaotic month. Also, that I totally fell off the wagon after the wedding and it's involved more than one frozen pizza. And a candy binge at work on Friday (right AFTER I went to the gym. WHY SELF?). I've been tracking, but I haven't been fully tracking honestly. I'll track all day and then gorge on an unhealthy dinner and not write it down (the shame! the accountability!). 

Starting Tuesday, I'm re-starting Weight Watchers. I don't think I'll stay on it forever, but I do know that I need a firm kick in the right direction, because right now I'm going in the WRONG direction. I'm about 16lbs higher than my lowest weight... and it sucks. Plain and simple I've gotten too lax on my eating, and I still haven't been regularly running. I've bought groceries that I know I shouldn't keep in the apartment because I'm bad at portion control. But I know I'm doing these things wrong, and I know I need to make a change. 

It's time to face the music and get back to the plan that I know works for me. Cheers to starting fresh for November, and finishing out 2014 strong!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Hi! Remember me?

I'm that girl who used to write here but then fell off the face of the earth for the last five months.

I'll spare you the "I'm busy" BS because let's be real, everyone is busy. Here's an abridged list of what I did in the last five months:

  • Moved into my own place
  • Stopped running because of my busted achilles
  • Started running again, barely
  • Went to work lots of times
  • Beat that damned game 2024
  • Played in a kickball league
  • Saw Girl Talk in concert
  • Waited three hours in line for some Hot Dougs hot dogs. Twice.
  • Hosted my cousin for a weekend in Chicago and crossed going to the top of the Sears/Willis Tower off my bucket list
  • Bought a Divvy Bike membership
  • Spent July 4th at my friend's lake house in Wisconsin
  • Mentally made plans to buy a lake house in Wisconsin someday
  • Ate some salads
  • Ate some pizza
  • Watched a lot of Law and Order SVU
  • Went to Cleveland for my best friend's bridal shower
  • Ran the Chicago Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon
  • Didn't run the Chicago Half Marathon
  • Didn't blog
  • Grew a baby basil plant that I bought in the dollar section at Target
  • Forgot to bring pants for work after the gym one time and had to wear sweatpants until H&M opened
  • Went to Atlanta to see my mock trial frands get married
  • Saw Gone Girl
  • Took this picture on the right, two years after taking the picture on the left.

    Yep, that about sums it up. You know what? It was a great summer.

    I have missed blogging though. Blogging is hard work (#realtalk). BUT I really really really miss the camaraderie of the friends I've made from blogging, and the community of people who talk about and care about and live the same issues that I do when it comes to health and weight loss.

    I miss the accountability of talking about my struggles. I miss the accomplishment of talking about my successes. I've missed it all a lot!

    So, I don't want to call this an epic comeback just yet, but know that I want to try to revive this ol' blog and all that it brought me. This might be the cheesiest thing I ever say in my life, but this feels a little like a homecoming and it's good to be home.

    (You're free to make fun of me for the cheesiness)

    (And the awkward selfies).