Balance...It's Tough.

09/16/2012 19:28

Balance...that is the single hardest thing I'm attempting to accomplish.  Unfortunately, I don't think it is something to be accomplished once; I think it's something that must be accomplished every day.  Finding balance in your new lifestyle is something that you'll find can be rather difficult.  When I finally reached a place in my life where I didn't need to lose 100 pounds, I couldn't wrap my brain around the concept of healthy eating minus the word "dieting".  Still on some days, it hasn't sunken in that I no longer have triple digits to lose to become healthy.  If I only work out 4 days/week, it will be okay.  If I eat one cookie/week, it will be okay.  The kicker with finding balance is to keeping the discipline to follow through with the balance you've found.  Why do you think gymnasts have to work for years and years to learn how to move on a balance beam?  It's because the slightest movement one way or another causes him or her to fall.  It's the same in our new lifestyle, once you begin to sway from the balance you've learned, you will fall off the beam.  Before you know it, you'll be spending more time on the mat than on the beam.  Unfortunately, balance is not something you can set and forget.  It's something you must keep on the forefront of your mind every minute of every day.  Instead of sitting down with soup and a whole sleeve of crackers, get your soup and put five crackers on your plate.  Instead of sitting down with the package of Oreos, get one from the package and put the package out of sight.  Instead of buying double chocolate ice cream, buy frozen yogurt and measure out your servings.  There are easy ways to keep balance in your life, but sometimes it isn't as easy as the Olympic gymnasts make it look.  Hang in there, and when you fall off of the beam, get your tail back up and get on again!'s not a diet; it's a lifestyle!

Here are some ways I balance out my lifestyle:

1.  Eat breakfast at home before work.  Why?  Sometimes people pop in with donuts or other "not so great" things, and if I've already eaten, then my brain does not think "oh, I can have one because I haven't had breakfast."  It helps.

2.  Try your very best not to eat after 7:00 p.m.!  I've read in more than one place that most of your food intake turns to fat after this time because you are sedentary.

3.  Replace your Diet Coke with Diet sodium!  I do have to have one Diet Coke/day...sometimes I cheat.  This is my weakness!

4.  Exercise...and on those days when you can't exercise, try to stay active.  Clean your bathroom, maybe :)

5.  Most importantly, don't give up!

My Weight Journey Is OVER...said no one ever.

09/03/2012 20:24

If you've ever been on a diet and "finished" it, you know that it's nearly impossible to keep your weight off.  As you try to become a regular member of society by actually eating a real meal, you become frustrated because you gain weight.  For years, I would diet and slowly quit eating cereal for supper or quit taking the diet pill or eat more than 1000 calories per day.  Before I turned around, I had gained all of the weight back plus some.  I would balloon back up then start dieting again...that's when I would lose weight, only to begin eating again and pretty soon I'd be back where I started.  It was a vicious cycle that I couldn't break so eventually I just quit trying.  That's when my weight spiraled out of control.  At 266 pounds, I had one big pun intended.  I finally came to the realization that, if I was going to conquer this once and for all, I was going to have to commit the rest of my life to changing the way I viewed food and exercise.  I had to change my mentality from a "live to eat" mentality to that of "eat to live."  Now...don't get me wrong...there are days when I live to eat, but it is imperative that it is not an everyday or even a once-a-week mentality.  Those of us with weight problems should be able to identify with drug users, alcohol abusers, and anyone else who struggles with any addiction because that's exactly what we battle...ADDICTION.  We differ from other addicts in that we have to eat to survive.  We can't beat our addiction by not indulging at all, so we have to figure out a way in which to overcome our addiction in a different way.  However, we do have the same battle as other addicts in that we have to make a lifelong commitment to beating the addiction everyday...sometimes numerous times each day.  The only way to beat a food addiction is to commit everyday to overcome the recognize the problem and beat it.  When you slip, you get up and keep going.  When you have a good day, be proud of yourself.  BUT...never, ever, ever say that your journey is over because it isn't.  A weight journey is one that will last until the end of your life...the question is, will you battle or not?  

I Already Have Self Confidence...Losing Weight Won't Change Me...THAT'S A LIE.

08/26/2012 20:13

I've had many conversations that go something like this..."Erin, losing weight is going to completely change who you are."  My response always was..."No way.  I'm secure with myself, and losing part of my body won't change who I am."  Well...I couldn't have been more wrong.  As my body started changing, so did my view of myself.  Let me explain...I'm no model, nor do I look in the mirror with a pompous, arrogant attitude; but, I do realize now that I allowed my weight to keep from living life to its fullest potential.  Of course, I was unconscious to this fact until I realized that the self confidence I had was miniscule in comparison to what I have now.  Before, I always used my sense of humor to get attention in social settings and to attempt to deter others from noticing that I was fat.  I always had to do something loud to get attention in a group, and while this is rather sad to admit, it's the truth...and this blog is all about the ugly truth no matter how embarrassing it may be.  An interesting realization to come to is that in some situations I don't have to speak to be's something that other people take for granted, and I realize that it sounds petty.  Hearing compliments like "I really like your outfit!" or "I can't believe how great you look!" or "I'm super jealous of you!" are comments that are flattering yet difficult to wrap my brain around.  Many times when someone compliments me, I think thoughts like..."Oh they are just saying that to make me feel good," or sometimes I'll even turn my head to see who they are talking about.  It's in those situations that I became extremely uncomfortable because I didn't know how to take compliments from people other than my family and friends.  I knew they complimented me because they loved me, but these random people at the grocery store have no clue who I am.  I would've never admitted it out loud, but I always felt uncomfortable in social settings with "pretty people."  I allowed my view of myself to taint what I thought everyone else thought of me even though their thoughts weren't what I thought they were.  I know what you're thinking...this is all fine, Erin, but how does this apply to me?  After you go through this major life change, you're going to realize how much you've changed not only physically, but also mentally and socially.  You'll become the person who can walk in any room with your head held high ready to conquer whatever the people in that room have to dish out, whether positive or negative.  You carry yourself differently.  You love yourself differently.  When your view of yourself changes, others' views of you change as well because you present yourself as someone who loves herself.  I'm not saying that only small people are cute...that's a bold faced lie.  BUT for me...I wasn't comfortable in my skin when I was big, and therefore, I held myself back from reaching my full potential.  Now that I'm alot more comfortable with myself, I am able to present myself with more confidence in any situation.  Stick with this...become someone you are proud to present in any situation!  You can do this!  Changing your life is about so much more than being "skinny."  It's about learning to love the person you are when you are working to be your best. 

Thanks for the curve ball, life. No really...they're my favorite kind to knock out of the park!

08/20/2012 21:49

You're lying to yourself and everyone around you if you say that you've never had life throw you a curve ball.  When applying it to the world of "lifestyle changing", curve balls become the pitches that can send a ball soaring or cause you to strike out at the plate.  If you have a food problem like I do, you're never "cured" of it.  When life decides to throw a jab to your gut, that's when you either throw a harder punch or fall to the mat in surrender.  If you're like me, you are an emotional eater.  I eat when I'm happy, sad, excited, angry, name it.  Sometimes, I even justify my bad food decisions on life circumstances.  Let me give you an example...oh, I had to grade three sets of tests, write another test, write a kid up, and call two parents...I deserve a brownie.  Yeah...admit've done it.  On the flip side, it may go something like this...I had the best celebrate, I'm going to have the large pasta dish and eat the WHOLE thing.  I know...I don't want to admit it, but you've done it.  These slips are not exactly what I'm talking about.  What I'm talking about is a major life changing situation that can determine your success or failure depending on your mentality.  When I began teaching almost 5 years ago, my life was rocked.  Mom and Dad had separated, and I had begun my life as a "real adult."  Two life altering scenarios for me personally, and my response to those curve balls was a massive STRIKE OUT!  Instead of understanding that I could hit a curve ball, I accepted the fact that I had already swung and missed so I'd never be able to hit one.  I immediately indulged in the one addiction that I was a victim  Oh I was watching what I was eating...I was just watching it go into my mouth in larger, unhealthy portions.  When you swing and miss once, sometimes we don't see the other two strikes we have left as opportunity to change the outcome.  We see the strike as defeat and succomb to what we believe is the inevitable...A STRIKE OUT. do we hit a home run instead of striking out?  Great question...let me tell you the few things I've learned that work for me.  Number 1:  There is no curve ball in life that can not be overcome...plain and simple.  Number 2:  Put the fork down! looks good, and you know it tastes good...but is it really worth it in the end?  Number 3:  YOU HAVE TWO STRIKES LEFT!! See the glass as half full instead of half empty.  Number 4:  Make a daily...hourly...however often you need to...commitment to good food choices.  I have to renew my commitment sometimes minute by minute...and that's okay! Number 5:  Get off your butt and exercise away some of that stress!  Number 6:  Do not let anyone tell you that it's okay to give up this time and pick it back up when your "life situation" is over.  Number 7:  Find someone who will hold you accountable for good food/exercise choices even during those difficult times.  We all need a kick in the tail sometimes!

 Life's curve balls never quit just have to learn how to hit them!

Even if you strike out once, you're allowed three outs before the inning is over.  Never...EVER....give up!

BUT WHY?? I don't want to get off the couch!

08/12/2012 19:45

Before having skin removal surgery this summer, I was somewhat addicted to my exercise routine.  I slept better.  I felt better.  I ate better.  I didn't run 15 miles a day or spend hours at the gym, but I did attempt to get at least 30 minutes of intense exercise at a minimum of 5 days per week.  After surgery I was forbidden and completely unable to do anything that even resembled exercise.  After almost 8 weeks of recovery, today was the day I had to get back on the wagon.  After so many weeks of doing absolutely NOTHING strenuous, my body had no desire to do anything that could make it sore or tired.  However, my brain was in dire need!  Before I started this journey, I always laughed when people would say that exercise was essential for them because it made them feel so much better physically and mentally.  I couldn't believe that there was any way that sweating profusely, feeling like you were hit by a truck, or being unable to breathe without gasping for air would make you feel BETTER, but I was oh so wrong.  Today, my brain wanted to get off the couch, but my body just didn't.  I had all of those feelings that I had on the morning of my very first 5k and 10k...butterflies.  With a 360 degree scar around my abdomen and thighs that had had fat sucked out of them with a rod, I thought there was no way I could get back on the horse.  I've always heard that it takes 30 days to develop a habit and 7 days to break it, and it so most definitely true.  My body was accustomed to being on the couch, being in pain, and being tired from very little activity.  I had fallen a long way from the exerciser that I was in May.  I know what you're thinking...why am I telling you all of this?  Here's why...everybody has anxieities when they set their first exercise/weight loss goal.  Everyone has the feeling at some point or another that sitting on the couch would just be so much easier than getting up and getting out there.  Instead of sweating, it'd be easier to sit in the air conditioner.  "I don't have time," you say, but then you watch 2 hours of TV.  It takes discipline to get a routine going, but trust me, once you get it going, you will NOT want to quit.  Your body begins to crave it, as crazy as that sounds.  Change your schedule so that you can change your life.  It doesn't take hours upon hours, and you don't even have to leave your house.  You got this...SO GET UP AND DO IT!  Don't let your inactive brain and body defeat the active mindset and body that is dying to be let loose!

How do I live in the fast lane without becoming a victim of fast food?

08/09/2012 19:51

If you're anything like me, most of your life is spent in your car getting from point A to point B to point C and finally ending at point Z before heading home to finish more tasks before you literally fall into the bed, only to get up and do it all over again.  Living fast can mean eating food that is.  Is it possible to live life in the fast lane without losing the fast food battle?  I believe that it is absolutely possible.  I had a lot to learn when I started attempting to change my life.  I finally figured out a few tricks and solutions to the fast food problem.  Let me make a list of some of these for you!  Let me warn you...some of them are rather odd but are great helpers.

1.  I kept spray butter in my purse for outings in which I thought a baked sweet potato or something of that nature would be something I may order.

2.  If I was going somewhere in which I had a pancake or waffle craving, I would take sugar free syrup.

3.  Download a restaurant app!  It'll show you nutritional information for many popular restaurants.

4.  If you have a sweet tooth like I do, you're in luck!  Tons of yogurt places have fat free/sugar free yogut.  Add some fresh fruit to your controlled amount of yogurt, and your sweet tooth is satisfied.  Also, a McDonald's ice cream cone is 150 calories.

5.  Most fast food places have dollar menus with enticing unhealthy food...avoid the dollar menu!

6.  Most fast food places offer grapes, oranges, or apples in their value meals.  If you order a grilled chicken sandwich or other healthier sandwich, avoid the fries and go for the fruit.

7.  When ordering a sandwich from a fast food joint, avoid sauces especially mayo!  I've been known to carry packets of light mayo in my purse.

8.  If your friends say, "Hey, let's go eat Mexican!"  AVOID THE CHIPS!  It's hard, but possible.  And definitely no cheese dip!  I know...brutal!

9.  Be careful when ordering salads...some aren't any better than a Big Mac.

10.  Dip your salad into your dressing...don't pour.  Dressings are full of fat and can make your salad extremely unhealthy.

11.  Have a healthy snack stash in your purse for difficult cravings!

It is possible to live in the fast lane without being a fast food victim.  Be conscious of what you are ordering and maintain portion control!


Some days you just wanna...EAT A WHOLE CAKE!

08/06/2012 20:42

A huge piece of cake...a dozen cookies...2 donuts...a quart of Ben & Jerry's...oh goodness there are days when all of these things sound so tempting.  There are days when staying away from the pantry, fridge, or freezer would be so much easier if I could lock it and throw away the key.  There are also days when I have given in and "cheated", but after, I would make myself feel so guilty.  I don't condone frequent cheating, but I also don't recommend putting yourself through the guilt that I put myself through.  I was so focused on reaching my goal that when I slipped, I punished myself.  Now don't go all crazy on me...I'm not talking eating disorder crazy or anything.  I just allowed guilt to consume me which in some cases did make me feel sick.  If I can give you one piece of advice, it is this.  DO NOT CONSUME YOURSELF WITH GUILT WHEN YOU SLIP, OR YOU WILL BE UNSUCCESSFUL.  Once I was able to wrap my brain around the fact that one slip wouldn't bring back all of the pounds I had lost, I was much more able to accomplish what I had set out to do...change my life.  And once I realized that there were rewards that were better for me that didn't constitute cheating, making those better choices became so much easier.  Now, understand this, if you cheat with unhealthy, calorie and fat filled foods, tell yourself it's okay, then cheat again the  next day, tell yourself it's okay, cheat again...and so forth and so will fall right back into the lifestyle you worked so hard to come out of.  Finding balance in this journey is the single hardest thing you'll do.  Being able to reward yourself once in a while is going to keep you from leaping off of a tall building...and really...who wants to take a flying leap off a building?  Balance...find yours...stay strong...reward yourself...BUT ONLY ONCE IN A WHILE!  

Here's my suggestions for how to reward yourself without losing control or packing on the pounds:
1.  sugar free angel food cake with fat free cool whip
2.  low fat yogurt mixed with Special K cereal
3.  100 calorie snacks
4.  Skinny Cow products
5.  Weight Watchers ice cream products
6.  Yoplait fruit smoothie mix with fat free milk
7.  any type of fresh fruit
8.  sugar free popsicles
As you can see, my weakness is my sweet tooth.  

D-I-E-t...there's a reason the first 3 letters are d-i-e.

08/02/2012 18:35

Diet...I count that in the list of four letter words that are "bad words."  Think about many diets have successfully caused you keep your weght off for a substantial amount of time and changed the way you look at food?  Diet pills?  Quit taking them and gain your weight back plus some.  Food delivery services such as NutriSystem?  I'm so sure I would order from them for the rest of my life.  Begin eating an insanely small amount of calories?  Eat your body's healthy calorie amount while on vacation and come home five pounds heavier.  You can think of any diet fad out there, and really, none of them are successful for the long-term unless they encourage life long changes.  For example, Weight Watchers shows you how to eat healthy within a healthy amount of calorie intake.  Slowly the weight comes off, and your body becomes accustomed to this lifestyle.  It is a lifestyle that is logical!  Eating 900 calories/day for the rest of your life...not happening.  Take diet pills the rest of your life...nope.  NutriSystem from now until I croak...absolutely not!  I had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that it took me 25 years to put the weight on, and it's not going to come off in 25 days.  I wanted it to, and for some reason, fellt as though I was owed a quick fix. Quick fixes can still become broken later.  Think about it like this...your plumber comes to fix your pipes, 9 times out of 10 he leaves you with this statement, "Well, I fixed it.  Call me if it breaks again."  However, in the world of weight loss, you can't call someone to fix your problem.  Whenever you become discouraged with the small amount of weight coming off, just remember that the slower you take it, the better off you'll be.  Do it right. Do it healthy.  Keep it off.  And's not a diet; it's a lifestyle!

How do you start your day?

08/01/2012 09:48

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  So why is it the one we have the most trouble with?  I hear all the time, "I mean I don't eat breakfast, and I'm still gaining weight."  In college, I didn't eat breakfast, because let's be honest, what college student gets up, gets dressed, and wants to tromp across campus to the caf to eat breakfast?  None!  By lunch time, I was starving after tackling a class or two, and I would overeat.  Dinner would come a few hours later, and my body would be overloaded with too many calories too fast.  I didn't have time to burn any of the tons that I had eaten at lunch before I put more in my body at dinner.  When I began to really learn about eating healthy and changing my lifestyle instead of dieting, I finally figured out why the whole breakfast thing was important.  Follow me here...breakfast is the first meal of the day, which means it sets the stage for the rest of your day.  When you eat only carbs for breakfast, you bottom out your system and feeling full doesn't even last for the commute to work.  So what do you do when you get to work?  You find the vending machine and get a snack, which is more than likely NOT healthy at all!  When you eat nothing for breakfast, you are starving by lunch time and overindulge.  What did I finally figure out worked for breakfast?  PROTEIN, PROTEIN, PROTEIN.  Protein is a filler and will allow you to fill full longer.  Protein filled oatmeal, egg whites with one whole egg with turkey sausage, a protein meal bar...find something that you like that has a good amount of protein.  You have the entire day to burn breakfast calories, but it is usually the meal that is the smallest for us.  Then we eat large amounts at supper time and sit down after a long day to watch our favorite tv shows.  A few hours later, we go to bed.  Your body is unable to burn all of the calories that you ate at supper.  That's why the weight piles on.  EAT A GOOD BALANCED BREAKFAST...EVERYDAY!  Allow your body to enjoy a fuel charged meal before you start your day, and I promise your other meals will flow alot better!  

Covered with Encouragers

07/30/2012 21:31

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."  1 Thes. 5:11

As you begin this journey, one thing is certain.  You WILL need encouragement.  Whether they are silent encouragers that just give you a pat on the back or vocal encouragers who yell you on as you complete your first 5k, they are necessary for success.  When my journey began, I was blessed to be surrounded by encouragers.  My family and friends cheered me on as I completed goals and began to change my life.  Because of  the fact that I constantly critiqued what I and everyone around me was eating, we would joke about how obnoxious it was that I was a walking calorie counter.  So many of my friends and family sent me encouraging text messages and notes that helped to keep me motivated to stay on track.  My family would always allow me to pick the restaurant we went to, and they would ask me what I could eat if they were cooking at home when i was in town.  They sacrificed and continue to sacrifice so much for me so that I am able to maintain this lifestyle.  Without the constant encouragement of so many people, I was and still am able to maintain this healthy lifestyle.  Surround yourself with people who genuinely want you to succeed.  If you do that, your chances of success increase! 

1 | 2 >>