true + kind = awesome

This will be the last I speak about things. It is time to put the superman underoos to bed. I believe they are the only underoos to ever be retired.

I was overwhelmed by the amount of kind words I received last week. So with that, I want to share with you a few lessons and letters this week has given me.

The messages of support I received were unbelievable. Seriously touched my heart. I learned that no matter what you level of self confidence, good friends are amazing,  words of encouragement will always be appreciated, and none of us are bulletproof. My favorite words in particular were these:

You are Amaze Balls! From the first time I ever had a chance to workout with you, I knew we would be great friends. You bring a vigorous attitude to the gym and the wods. You lighten up the room with your smile and your cheer. You may express dislike or disgust with certain workouts but you never back down-that inspires me! You are brilliant. You art is beautiful, your words are meaningful and worthy. You ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!
I know people are cruel. I know it hurt you. I couldn’t help but cry a bit too after hearing about the silly comments made at your expense. Sorry, I’m just super sappy and sensitive. But, one thing I am sure of is that you will not let this bring you down. This minor obstacle will be an opportunity and you will use it to your advantage, not only for yourself but for all those that you help and inspire. Although you are not geographically close to us anymore, I think you are right where you need to be. Ask yourself this, how many clients in your gym have experienced some form of criticism in their life? They may have buried it deep or they may be using it as fuel. You now have the opportunity to be one step closer to making their lives a lot better.
I want you to know, in my eyes, you wear the gorilla suit. The way you attack your shortcomings-whether they be in the gym or in life. You were always trying to have better times than Forrest but I was shooting for having better times than you. You are AWESOME!!!!!!!!”
Do with this what you want. Take from it what you want. I am pretty confident that I am not the only one that feels this way about you.
I share this, because it applies to all of us in one way or another. We all have the opportunity to inspire someone. My mom is a teacher. She always says if she can inspire one person she has done her job. Anyone that knows her knows it is far more than one. This is the thing, don’t let your opportunity pass to inspire someone. Be constructive and kind with your words, only good things will happen then.
When words are both true and kind they can change the world.  -Buddha
Secondly, I found this. I think it is the most important thing in the world to remember!
self esteem
The most important in my eyes is to know yourself and take care of that person. With that, YOU can change the world.
In the words of my favorite movie character, Bobby Long, “Be kind to one another, your youth is fleeting.”
Happy Quarter Bouncing … W

I saw me and laughed

It’s taken me a couple of days to write this. It seemed trivial. It seemed as if I was over reacting. Maybe I was/am, but I saw a picture and laughed at how much fun I had that day. In a matter of 30 minutes the same picture makes me cringe, because of others comments.

This is the picture that made me laugh:

superman

This is one of the comments that made me cry:

wwAmong other comments where, “Who is that dude in the background?”  I am not a dude, so that hurt. “Who is that large woman with superman underpants on?” Large woman? Thanks peeps. There were a handful more, some posting pictures of my husband, which was pretty bad as well. (disclaimer: I am not married, it was cartoon drawings of men in super hero outfits, 10 sizes too small.)

Now, I realize this could have been worse. I do. I also realize that I can’t let the words of people hiding behind anonymity and a computer screen get to me, but this is the thing.

I am 31 years old. I have known I needed to lose weight for about a decade now. For two reasons I needed to:
1. To look better.
2. Most importantly, because my health is held in the hands of how much extra weight I carry around.

I don’t now, and didn’t then need anyone to tell me this. I saw it. I saw myself in the mirror. I saw the number on the scale. I knew the panting that happened when I walked up stairs. I was carrying extra pounds. I was not an idiot.

Does one for one second think that I felt good about it? If you think I did, let me enlighten you. I hated it, HATED it.

One might think that deciding to lose weight is the easiest part. It wasn’t. It was difficult and emotional. I was deciding that me losing weight was not admitting that everyone who told me to “hold my stomach in” or told me I was getting fat was right. I had to decide that I wasn’t somehow giving them some sort of sweet satisfaction to be able to say, “I told you so,” later on. I had to get to a point that the challenges of getting healthy and SUBSEQUENTLY, skinnier were far easier than the risks of getting larger. It took me a decade, probably more to get there. So to finally get there and suddenly have comments made that stab at your juggernaut. Well, it sucks.

Now, I realize, these comments may seem funny, I suppose if they are not about you, they are. If they are not about a person that has been struggling to get healthier and smaller for herself for more than a decade… They could be. In a nutshell, if they are about a robot with no emotions, then yes they are.

My first thought in all this: No wonder our kids are killing themselves over comments on social media. This was mild and made me, a 31 year old woman, who despite her distorted view of her own physical appearance, has a pretty decent confidence level. No wonder kids and adults don’t come and talk to us about depression, bi-polar, or any other issue below the surface. Look at we do to those who’s “issues” are on the surface. We are mean and highly critical.

We have to start empowering each other to see each other as our best self, not point out “faults” to a point that those are the things that define us.

Happy Quarter Bouncing…W

better than Spanx

Today is my day dedicated all to my abs, so… Let’s talk about Spanx. Look, I am not going to kid myself. It is much easier to honor your body for what it does, rather than how it looks when it looks amazing. Spanx help out in this. It is hard to get past that emotional idea that our bellies should be flat and our butts should be tight. Thus the multi-million dollar companies of fat displacement clothing was invented. Does that really honor what your body can do? Not to mention, when that little dress comes off, Spanx are not the sexiest things.

Here are my top reasons and solutions for aiming for the flat belly and strong core (aiming for cause it is not quite there yet):

  • Bloating is not cool and most of the time caused by the pesky little guy called gas. If Spanx are unsexy when the dress drops, toots are right up their with it. Drink water! Drink at least half your body weight in water. I promise, it will help with the bloat.
  • Strong core is the best simplest and usually the only solution needed for back pain. Seriously, that spine of yours has to support a lot, you need the muscles to support it. Your core muscles are the first place to start.
  • Better athletic performance. Let me tell you, I got infinitely better with my kickball when my belly started shrinking and I started working my core. Who doesn’t want to perform better. Seriously, even non-athletes want to be able to get up the stairs quicker without the, “OMG I will never catch my breath face.”
  • Balance. Raise your hand if you are a klutz. (I am raising both mine.) It is amazing to me that I haven’t broken many a bones. I trip and fall over my own two feet. Most of the time it is just because I tipped over for no apparent reason. Strong core creates better balance. This may be the only reason I need to work that belly.

So how can you build core strength? Yoga and Pilates are great for this. There are countless activities: Kickboxing, cycling, or swimming to name a few. There are many gyms that offer strength training programs. All of this makes for a tight belly and strong core. Do not be afraid of weights. Cardio may change your size, but strength training will improve your shape and your core strength. Plus it will get you ready to bounce a quarter off that belly in no time!

Happy Quarter Bouncing!

Today’s Work-Out:
20 minutes eliptical
20 minutes bike
50 supermans

100 – 2 count mountain climbers

30 second planks (both sides and traditional)

100 – 2 count bicycle

Losing It : Jenni “Jennikins” Gomila

I don’t even know how to introduce this girl. She is the best friend I have ever had. She judges me constantly (in a good way), and never walks when I am a crazy loon, which is pretty regularly. She and I only recently learned that we have something in common, a love of Harvey Spector/Lawson Pines. I have fallen in friend love with her to the moon and back. This is us:

263043_716292587248_1459954_n

It’s a long time ago, but it is still one of my favorite pictures of us. Needless to say, this is before a before picture. This is too:

before 2

This is her and her husband, Billy Gomila (one of my favorite husbands and LSU fans)  a month ago:

946548_10100229355741548_987951187_n

This is Jenni’s Story:

What is your goal?

My goal was to lose 102 lbs to go from 252 lbs (heaviest I’ve ever been) to 150 lbs.  I would like to maintain between 150-160 lbs for the rest of my life.

Why is it important to you?

I started this journey because my husband and I were trying to conceive and I was told that I was so unhealthy, in addition to other health problems that I more than likely wouldn’t conceive naturally and if I were able to actually get pregnant, I was at a high risk of miscarriage.  Obviously not something you want to hear when people all around you are getting pregnant, either easily or unexpectedly and it was very frustrating for us as a young couple to be doing everything seemingly right, so I looked into this weight loss plan.

Is this the first time you set this goal?

Yes.  I’ve always joked that I would like to be a size 10 and weigh 150, like my drivers license says, but I don’t know that I’ve actually had the heart to do what it takes to get it done.

What have your struggles been in the past?

I love food.  I love to socialize. I love to drink.  We live in an area where the culture is to have food around all the time.  Our society is not supportive of a healthy lifestyle so it’s very hard to maintain a dream when you don’t set yourself up for success.

What changed for you to overcome those struggles?

Well, like I said, it all started because I want to have children, healthy pregnancies, and be healthy for the longevity of their lives, so when I decided to do this, I did.

What kind of support system have you set yourself up with?

All junk is out of my house.  My husband is supportive.  My family is supportive (or they are very much trying to be and getting better every day), and my friends totally have my back.  I do have one friend in particular who goes above and beyond to make sure that if I cheat, it’s not going to be because of her, so she’s literally changed menus and cooking styles just to keep me going.

How do you celebrate the victories, big and small? 

The only way I can…I send texts to family and friends.  I may buy a new article of clothing or do a little something to reward myself.  What I really want to do is grab a glass of wine or a piece of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, but you can’t do that, or the victories will be lost.

Let’s talk details, How are you losing it?

Counting calories and working out.  I know exactly what goes in and I know exactly how hard I have to work to get it off.  Simple math.  In fact, said friend from earlier and I call it our bank.  We have cheap meals and expensive meals.  The more “expensive” the meal, the harder you have to work to get a calorie deficite.

What’s been your favorite discovery in this journey?

Finally feeling good about myself.  I still have a long way to go and although I’ve changed in appearance and I know I look different, I’m still my own worst critic.  I’m still the one that sees the naked girl in the mirror, but I don’t let that discourage me because although it’s not pretty, it is changing everyday and I’m looking forward to the end result that I know is in there.

What keeps you going when you have a bad week?

I think the worst I’ve been was at a celebratory dinner with family and friends.  I allowed myself to have a few drinks and dessert.  I don’t kill myself b/c I know these times are coming so I prepare earlier in the week with a bunch of “below maintenance calorie days” so that I can indulge.  I can’t say I’ve had a “bad” week since Feb. 12, 2013 because I’ve consistently lost weight every week except 1 (where I gained ½ a lb and that was also the week of my 30th bday).  There are weeks that I lose less than I thought I should but I go back to my food entry.  I ask “have I been honest with myself on how much/what I’ve eaten?”  Overall I just try to keep momentum.  I might get bummed but to me, this is a lifestyle change so it’s something I just accept and keep going.

If you could give a piece of advice to someone else trying to lose it what would it be?

You can do it!  And Don’t give up!  The most asked question is how I’ve done it.  My answer is simple…I decided I was going to change and I’ve let NOTHING falter that decision.  People will try to pump you up by tearing themselves down.  First of all, this is the MOST ANNOYING thing that they can do.  They’ll say “Oh…you didn’t eat even a single bite of cake.  I’m so proud of you.  I gave in and had a small piece and some ice cream and now I feel terrible.”  My response is ALWAYS…when you decide you’re not going to do it, you won’t.  It’s that simple.  I’ve done fad diets here and there and realized that when I was doing them, it was always for someone else and not because I wanted to do it.  This makes it so much harder than it already is.  But, I decided to do it for me, and that’s what I hang my hat on all the time.

What three words would you use to describe this journey?

Difficult / Challenging / Rewarding

What is your favorite healthy meal/treat/substitute/etc?

Favorite thing to date is Stuffed bell peppers.  I altered a recipe to work with low calorie foods I can eat and when I make them, I get to eat a bunch!!!  I still love to eat…I just eat better, low calorie foods.

What question do you think I should have asked? 

What are some of the small things you want to do that you couldn’t do before you lost the weight?

What would the answer be?

One of my first goals was to be able to walk into a standard, generic clothing store..one where they don’t sell plus sizes, pick up something off the rack and go into a dressing room and have it fit.  This one was incredibly scary for me because I couldn’t do this for over 15 years.  I shopped mainly at old navy or target in the plus section.  Recently macy’s, where you can get plus sizes.  I’ve now been able to wear stuff form JCPenney’s from the Jr. Section and Macy’s from the regular sizes and Jr. Section.

I also would like to be able to buy tall boots and have them zip up around my calves without having to have stretch in them.

I would like to be able to wear/feel comfortable in a bikini.  I’ve never been able to do this.  I’m a long way from this goal, but it will happen.

Only YOU can decide to change your life.  Every day will be a struggle.  You will have to re-learn how to do everything you’ve always known how to do.  Once you make that change for yourself, your whole life will change.  I still hate to work out.  There are days I’d rather do ANYTHING else…more often than not.  It’s hard learning how to cook again.  It’s hard to learn how to shop again.  I’ve had to do more prep work in the last 6 months than I’ve ever had to do, BUT it’s worth it.  I don’t have that bite of cake.  I don’t choose to eat the bad over the good.  I’ve learned to really enjoy the things I can have.  I prep my food.  I surround myself with support and I allow myself the occasional cheat.  Not cheat day or cheat meal or cheat week.  I allow an occasional cheat like a glass or wine, or a beer or even chicken wings.  But in the midst of these cheats, I’m still juggling how I can have what I crave/love while staying on track.  Instead of eating 10-12 chicken wings with fries and ranch, or worse, macaroni and cheese, I eat 6 wings, little ranch and I have a side salad and steamed veggies.  I get full on the good stuff instead of leaving room for all the bad.

I’m officially down 66.5 lbs in my journey.  I’m not gonna lie, I know this last 37 are going to be the hardest but I’ll stick with it or die trying

Happy Quarter Bouncing!

Eat your Veggies

This whole site is pretty much dedicated to my mom in some way, as is my other one over at Paper Rainbows. She’s pretty amazeballs. I see a trend of my all around idolizing mi madre.  A trend I hope my daughter will continue. So in a nut shell, I get a lot from my mom:

  • my unmistakable charm
  • my undeniable wit
  • my dance moves – except the dolphin, that is my creation
  • my love for coke (a cola)
  • love for the color black
  • creative masterminds
  • my all around awesome-ness

There is one thing inparticular I did not get from her. My new found lover for Veggies. Justin and Jenni (you’ll meet her tomorrow) are to thank for that. So for the love of veggies, I am not going to sing their praises, I am simply going to share with you this cheat sheet I found over at Back on Pointe, and let the veggies speak for themselves!

veggie cheat sheet

Eating your veggies will get you one step closer to bouncing a quarter off your ass. Get to cooking or not, heck I don’t care how you eat them, just eat them!

Losing It : Justin Pilcher

This is a guest post from the trainer, Justin Pilcher of CrossFit South Acadiana. I asked him why he wants to get healthy. I should have known I would not get a great big long post. I got simple. Heck I already told you the man keeps it simple in his nutrition and in his work-outs.

When I was first introduced to Justin this is the picture I was shown:

168192_495906091316_1773756_nI know…it is kinda scary. However, this is the Justin I became besties for life with:

156202_10151181199821317_1656093706_nMuch better. These are his words, not mine…and what can I say, the man got to the point.

Why I want to lose it? I’ll tell you why. II want to do anything and everything without hesitation or worry that I can’t or that it will be too hard. I like having my same jeans from high school. If I lose it I can have my favorite foods without guilt. I get extra smiles and compliments on how I look when I lose it. I get paid to lose it. Losing it is an addiction you can be proud of. I lose it to look better naked than clothed. I lose it so my sexual partner can enjoy me therefore creating the best win win ever! Move it and lose it!

brain overload

There came a point about a week ago when I realized I had not lost a pound in a week. I also had not gained a pound. My motivation was lost. I work in a gym. How could my motivation be lost. I talk to ladies day in and day out reaching their goals. I am overwhelmed with tips, tricks, and overall knowledge on fitness and nutrition, yet here I am 47 pounds of fat to lose. What the heck is happening?

My best friend, Justin, is a trainer. A seriously good one too. He is my favorite person to talk to when I hit these plateaus. I could never pin point why. It hit me as I am talking to the head trainer at the gym I work for. She and I were discussing how we both hit a plateau and the one thing that had changed was our mindset when we ate. We were over thinking it.

Justin never over thinks it. He doesn’t overwhelm me with the biology and every last thing to think about as I make a plate of food. He would probably tell me, eat healthy or don’t. Use common sense. Eat real food. Write down what you eat.  It is a simple, “when you write this down are you going to be disgusted by what you actually just ingested?” Usually that is followed by, “Well, you ate like shit. What are you going to do about it.” Sometimes it is, “Was that coke worth it?” (as I hang my head in shame trying to rationalize my way into why cokes are totally worth it)

My point is: We are humans. We are meant to eat food. Reaching your weight loss goals is not a matter of starvation, it’s a matter of eating the food your body needs. Plain and simple. Our body doesn’t need an extra pound of butter and salt on our potato. It needs fuel. Don’t ruin your meals and food experience by over thinking exactly what each bite you take is really doing to you. Don’t try to apply every biology lesson you learned about what you liver does to every meal. People will get tired of eating with you really soon, then you will end up in a closet eating a bag of goldfish and drinking a coke….oh wait that is me.

Happy Quarter Bouncing!

Why I want to Lose It : Ben Blanchard

This is not my story. This is Ben’s. I had the pleasure of working out with Ben when I was in Lafayette. Not only is he a beast in the gym, the man is the salt of the earth. He is the kind of man you hope your son grows up to be. This is story. These are his words.

The challenge to loose weight began about 1 year ago. Being recently divorced, there had to be several things in my life that needed to change. I was single again and had the chance to enjoy my life again. There was no way that I could enjoy or experience some of the things on my “Singles Bucket List” in the physical condition I was in. I concluded that there were three main aspects of my life that I constantly needed to improve on- mind, body and spirit. It just made sense to me that one would support the other but at the same time, one could not be sustained without the other. The spirit part came fairly easy as I am a very devout Catholic and try and put God in all things. The next two seemed to work hand in hand with each other. Sometimes for each other, sometimes against.

For as long as I can remember, I was in the gym. I put on the proverbial “Freshman 15” in college and it just escalated from there. Quickly i got back into “shape” and dropped a lot of weight. That was back in my early twenties. Now that I am in my mid thirties, I’m tired of being the big bulky/stocky guy. I want to be lean and in real shape. Having this new mind-set allowed me to develop a new philosophy when it came to exercise and dieting. My desire to be fit was not from a need to find another wife or impress some girl, it was from a desire to be healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There are many times when I fail on a diet or just don’t go to the gym. There are many times when I am mentally spent and feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But such is life. This is just yet another obstacle that I will turn into an opportunity. An opportunity to educate myself. An opportunity to experience different workouts and push my body to limits that I didn’t even believe possible. But most of all, It’s an opportunity to meet some courageous and awesome folks, whether they be trainers or average Joe’s like me. My journey is a slow one. Sometimes I refer to it like a profit curve you may see from a certain company you’ve invested in. There are ups and then downs but if you look at the big picture over the years, those ups and downs we’ve experienced accumulate and there are usually more ups than downs. In the long run, the trend line is constantly increasing.
Its been 4 months since I’ve been hard at it. Really watching what I eat. Getting to the gym at least 3 times a week, even though I don’t feel like going. It has become a lifestyle. It is a part of my life. I still struggle. I still feel like giving up sometimes but then I reflect on the progress that I have made. In 4 months, i have lost a total of 20 lbs. I am pretty confident that a lot of that was fat because I have put on a lot of muscle at the same. I have cut out all blood pressure and high cholesterol medications. The results aren’t staring me in the face. I rely on my trifecta of mind, body and spirit to help me realize that I am awesome an I am making progress.

jeans or genes

Disclaimer: Look I am not scientist or expert. I have no clue whether obesity/overweight is passed through our genes. There is science either way. I personally believe that the habits we form as children are most definitely things we take away from our family. With that said, this is not a post about my genes and that being the reason for my obesity, and yes, I am medically morbidly obese, or I was, I am in the obese range now).  I just wanted a witty title. This post is about my jeans, last months blue jeans to be exact. jeansThese are last months jeans. The scale hasn’t moved as much as it used to, but this…this was so much more satisfying than the scale. I hadn’t seen the difference in my clothes. Probably because I had always been purchasing them too small. Then one day this happened.  This was so beyond a little victory, this was a great big victory! So let’s talk about this month. July was a rough month on the diet sense. There were many obstacles. My birthday for one, July 4th was another, not to mention I made one too many trips east bound I-10 that accounted for extra calories in the form of Alcohol and no working out for the most part.

I obviously did somethings right. My mom had great success with Plexus. I took this regularly for the as instructed. I ran out mid month. I love the drink. It really helped me kick the sugar habit. I don’t mind the accelerator, but I wasn’t really ever hungry. My mom tells me now I probably should have cut back to one pill. Meh, you live you learn. I ate lots of veggies and lean meats. Up until July 12th I recorded every last thing I put in my mouth and exercise I did. I learned a lot from this. I learned what is effective and the things that are not. On days that I felt blah, I could look back and see why. Furthermore, on the days that I had a great energy, I could see why. I only stopped recording because I no longer had my smart phone with myfitnesspal.com, however this is really no excuse. Last, and maybe most importantly, I drank water. Lots and lots of water! Drink it. Plain. Just water. Just how it comes.

For August: I am switching my shakes. I have found a new found love for shakes. I have moved to the Isagenix Chocoalte and Vanilla Shakes. I will talk more about later. The change has come because this is the brand the gym I work for sells. No added sugars, packed with fiber, and protein. I will give you reviews next time. Till then…keep working on bouncing quarters and celebrating small victories. Whit…