Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One Of My Favorite Healthy Reflections From SparkPeople (12/30/08)


Should you find yourself at a loss, wondering what life is all about and what your purpose is, be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity to wonder.
- Unknown

You'll probably spend some time this weekend thinking about the good things in your life and your loved ones. Before you do that, take a moment to just consider how lucky you are to be here in the first place. In the 21st century, we can experience more in a month than most people throughout history did in a lifetime. Instead of appreciating that fact, we usually just end up wanting to do and have more. We look at what's wrong rather than what's right. This is a perfect time to take a look at your life and priorities again. Can you make some extra time every day to just enjoy the moment and your loved ones? You've been given the gift of a lifetime of moments. Accept the gift and prove yourself worthy.

Week 7 - Weigh-In

Greeting everyone! I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas holiday. I can’t believe I missed last week’s weigh-in update (Week 6)! I guess with the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday, I missed weighing myself and updating you last week. Here I am…updating you with my Week 7 weigh-in. Well…I hopped on the scale this morning, upon waking, and I’m up about 0.8 lbs. I’m not disappointed. I’m actually pleased because it could have been worse with all of the holiday festivities/dinners. I’ve been thrown a little off track with my water intake and workouts, but I’m back on track this week. Hurray…this is Week 8!!!

About 2 weeks ago, I purchased the fitness DVD, Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds. This DVD is awesome!!! I do the 2-mile High Calorie Burn workout. It really gets my heart rate going and I work up a pretty good sweat. I never knew walking could be this convenient in the comforts of your home...and made to be fun. There is a section of the workout which utilizes Walk Away weights that I do not have. So, instead, I use my 2 pound dumbbells. I plan on purchasing the Walk Away weights soon. I also plan on purchasing additional Leslie Sansone DVD's.

Well, there it is...all in a nutshell...Week 7 weigh-in update!!! On to Week 8 and a New Year 2009!!!! Happy New Year everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One Of My Favorite Healthy Reflections From SparkPeople (12/16/08)


There are two kinds of man: the ones who make history and the ones who endure it.

- Camilo Jose Cela, Spanish novelist

History is written all around you every day. It may not be history that makes the college textbooks, but it's your history just the same. Do you make your own history? Or do you endure the life that others make for you? When you choose a direction and dedicate yourself to it, you make history. When you listen to naysayers who convince you that it can't be done, you endure history. When you set your priorities and stick to them, you make history. When you get distracted by things that you find useless, you endure it. When you decide to have a good day, you create a life you want. When you allow outside forces to dictate your mood, you get the life that's given to you. There are an infinite number of possible histories out there, waiting to be lived. Whatever your life has been up to this point doesn't matter. What counts is the history that awaits you in the future. Which do you choose?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Week 5 - Weigh-In

I am so ecstatic today!!! Week 5 was the best week so far in this health and fitness journey. I hopped on the scale this morning and drum roll please....I've lost 3.4 pounds this past week!!! I've reach my first weight loss goal...a 6 pound weight loss ('s a 6.4 pound loss)!!! I am so proud of myself!!! The only thing I did differently this week was to cut down a little on my carbohydrate intake. I also ate more fruits, vegetables, and salmon. This is awesome!!! My reward for reaching a 6 pound weight loss is dumbbells...which I've already purchased! I'm now on to Week 6...trying to reach that 11 pound weight loss goal!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

One Of My Favorite Healthy Reflections From SparkPeople (12/12/08)


Shut out all of your past except that which will help you weather your tomorrows.

- William Osler, Canadian physician

Memory can be used for good or for evil. If you use your past as a source of learning, it's worth remembering. If, however, all you do is mull over your mistakes and punish yourself for your failures, it's a waste of time. Rehashing failure can paralyze you in mortal fear of making another mistake, which, of course, just makes the feeling worse and practically guarantees future letdowns. The key to making meaningful changes is to pay more attention to the future than to the past. Have you ever noticed that the best athletes also have the shortest and most selective memories? Instead of dwelling on a missed shot or a flawed dive, they concentrate on making corrections and getting the next one right. It's as if the failed attempt never happened. It's forgotten and they don't fear trying again. If you mess up, even in an epic, life-altering way, work hard to leave it behind and concentrate on the possibilities yet to come. Tomorrow is much brighter when it's not smeared with a fixation on yesterday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Of My Favorite Healthy Reflections From SparkPeople (12/10/08)


People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing--that's why we recommend it daily.

- Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker

Makes sense doesn't it? The secret to staying consistent with your goals is to stay motivated. That means finding ways to fire yourself up on a daily basis. Being inspired at a seminar, by reading a book, or while talking to a dynamic speaker is easy. But what happens when you're on your own? To follow through on that burst of motivation and reach the finish line, you need regular booster shots. Give yourself those little positive reminders that you have an important job to do and a good reason for doing it. What's pushing you? Surround yourself with visual, verbal, and physical "pep talks" that trigger that motive. It doesn't take long for dust to gather on your momentum, making your goals turn stale. A daily dose of motivation kicks off the dust before it can settle and gives you a fresh, clean start.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Week 4 - Weigh-In

Hi everyone! I can't believe it's been about a month since I started this health and fitness journey! I woke up this morning and weighed in. I'm happy to say that I've lost the pounds I gained over the Thanksgiving holiday and a wee bit more...LOL. I lost 1.6 lbs for the week!!! I've lost a total of 3 pounds, since starting this journey. It's not much for 1 month, but it shows that I'm making progress. I'm proud of myself...I truly am! I never knew trying to lose weight would be so difficult. I can think back to the times when I could just change one thing with my eating habits and lose weight...without even exercising. Now that I'm older, I see that I have to put some effort into it in order to achieve results. On to Week 5...and a new month!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One Of My Favorite Healthy Reflections From SparkPeople (12/3/08)


To be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

- EE Cummings, poet

Take a look at your priorities and your goals. Where did they come from? Are they the products of soul-searching, self-analysis, and careful planning? Or are they a reaction to pressures from other people? Did you find them within yourself or within the pages of a magazine? The answers to these questions are important because they tell you if the person you're becoming is someone you want to be. Here's another way to look at a goal: do you want it, or do you just think you should want it? It's not easy to follow your own direction in life. But it's more possible than you may think. Question everything. Every priority in your life needs to justify why it's there. If you can't come up with a good reason that actually comes from YOU, maybe it doesn't belong.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

One Of My Favorite Healthy Reflections From SparkPeople (12/2/08)


A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse.

- Stephen Dolley Jr

It's been said that some of the smartest people around would make lousy entrepreneurs. How can that be? The fact is, some people are so smart they can easily see all of the problems, roadblocks, and snafus that they'll need to overcome to succeed. They can think of all kinds of reasons why their idea won't work. This knowledge can overwhelm any thoughts of possibilities or dreams. When you think of your goals, do you focus on the positives of making it happen, or the negatives of potential barriers? To reach your goals, you gotta really want them. More importantly, you gotta really believe that you can do it. Think more about why you CAN make it happen instead of why you can't. No more excuses.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Week 3 - Weigh-In

Hi everyone! Well, I weighed myself this morning and I wasn't too happy. I guess the Thanksgiving holiday wasn't too good to me because I've gained instead of loss. I went up 0.8 lbs...just under a 1 pound gain. I know it's not much of a gain, but I was hoping I had loss a little more, especially with doing the 60 minutes on the stationary bike each day. I'm guessing the high calorie Thanksgiving feast is to blame, but I made sure to stick to 1/2 cup portion sizes for everything. Oh well...I can't get stuck in a rut now....I've got to continue to press on because it's a new week. Wish me luck for a better weigh-in next week!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

One Of My Favorite Healthy Reflections From SparkPeople (11/28/08)


All problems become smaller if you don't dodge them, but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly and its spines crumble.

- William S. Halsey, WWII U.S. Admiral

Your worst fears are usually the ones that never happen. Unfortunately, they're also the ones that keep you from trusting yourself and your abilities. Doesn't it seem silly to give up in the face of an anxiety that may be no more real than the fairy tale troll that lives under the bridge? If you approach a possible roadblock with hesitation, it might resist and break your resolve. But if you step forward with confidence, you can climb that wall, even one inch at a time, and pull yourself over the top. It's all about confidence, which you build by facing problems. Then you know that you can take on anything that comes along. The unknown monster under the bed is always scarier than the dust bunny reality.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Well, Thanksgiving was spent at home this year. Initially, we had made plans to drive to Huntsville, Alabama to spend Thanksgiving with my husband's side of the family. However, my husband had to work late and didn't get home until 4 o'clock this morning. So, I ended up cooking Thanksgiving dinner at home. Dinner was delicious!!! I stuck with my Thanksgiving portion size (1/2 cup servings), but get a little of everything. It worked out great...and guess what I did afterwards? I burned off some of the holiday calories!!! Check out the picture on the stationary bike getting ready to burn some of those calories. I used the stationary bike for one full hour...which equates to 672 calories burned and 25.3 miles in distance. I'm so proud of myself today!!! I reached a goal on the stationary bike...yippee!!! I've never used my stationary bike for one hour the most 20 minutes at a time. I actually enjoyed the workout on the bike and worked up a sweat. I will be using the stationary bike more often.

Also, I just ordered a portable treadmill and Reebok stationary ball fitness kit. I can't wait until they arrive in the mail! I'm looking forward to using them in my fitness regimen.

Well, I'm going to go for now. I think I will got relax with a bottled water and watch television. Be back later!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

One Of My Favorite Healthy Reflections From SparkPeople (11/24/08)


The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.

- James Oppenheim, short-story writer, novelist, poet

The secret to happiness is not to get what you want, but to want what you already have. If you think about it, most discontent grows from want. We want more stuff, more excitement, more pleasure. When we don't get those things, we're resentful and unsatisfied. Take away the want, and you take away the unhappiness. When your quality of life is tied to your desires, fulfillment is a shadow that escapes your view. Like trying to imagine a new color, the harder you look, the harder it is to see. Does this mean you stop setting goals and striving for a healthy lifestyle and better life? No. It means you can appreciate life regardless of the outcome. It means you can relish the pursuit while accepting the possibility of failure. It means you can still enjoy the ride. Happiness is not a destination--it's a way of life.

Week 2 - Weigh-In

Hi guys!!! I woke up this morning and immediately weighed myself to see how much I had progressed during Week 2. Well, I didn't see much of a weight loss. I only loss 0.2 lbs. during this last week. Although, it is not much, I am not discouraged and will continue to press on. Hello to Week 3!!!

This week, Week 3, will be a challenging week with the Thanksgiving holiday. Will I survive the Thanksgiving holiday when it comes to staying on track? Of course!!! On Thanksgiving, I plan to pay very close attention to my portion size. I know there will be many good things to eat, but I won't let that tempt me. I will not restrict myself from eating anything. My plan...get a little taste of everything...and continue my workout routine throughout the rest of the week.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday!!! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is during this time that people can gather with family and truly look over what they can be thankful for and the blessings God has bestowed upon them!!! See ya next Monday for Week 3 weigh-in!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Gift To Myself To Help Me Stay On Track During This Journey!!!

Yesterday, I decided to purchase a new scale to keep me on track during my health and fitness journey. I never thought I would be excited about buying a scale...LOL...but I'm impressed with the scale. Here's a picture:

It is a Health-0-Meter Professional Body Fat Monitoring Scale. It is mainly made of tempered glass and has silver accents. The scale measures body fat, hydration, body mass index (BMI), and bone mass. Up to 4 people can use the scale and store data. The scale is programmed by inputting the age, gender, and height of each person. All I can say is...."The scale is awesome!" It also looks great in my bathroom!!!

I also made another trip to my local Vitamin Shoppe store to pick up some more Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and 100% Organic Wheatgrass Powder. On this visit, I decided to go ahead and join the Healthy Awards Club at the store, since it looks like I will be visiting the store a lot to buy different things for my health and fitness regimen. Here's my Healthy Awards Club card:

Guess what? I've been enjoying the cardio portion of my workouts so much I've decided to increase my cardio workouts from 4 days a week to 6 days a week. I've really enjoyed the walk aerobics and low-impact aerobic exercises I do for the cardio portion of my workouts.

I never knew I would be this excited about health and fitness, but I am!!! I'm not complaining...that's for sure!!! Having an attitude like this will only motivate me more to reach my goal!!!!

Facing My Fears

I've been dealing with a fear of mine for some time now. I won't elaborate about it here but, for those who know me, I may have discussed it with you. I can say...I've been searching and trying to find ways to overcome this fear because, if I don't, it will cause me to not finish an important goal that will have a significant, positive impact on my life.

I'm a member of the online website, Beliefnet. I receive emails from them on a daily basis. Yesterday, I received an email suggesting ways to face your fears. Hmmm...Lord is this your way of helping me get past this obstacle? I've been praying about this, off and on, for awhile now. Here are the 9 ways to face your fears that were suggested...with some of my interpretation added:

1. Yell At Them - tell them to go away...they have no place in your life

2. Laugh At Them - this is a good technique...letting them know they are not negatively affecting you

3. Talk About Them - this helps with getting them off your mind and opens a conversation up for suggestions on ways to defeat your fears

4. Scare Them Away - Most of the time, Satan, throws a monkey wrench in, using fears, to divert you from a postive goal or task. Scare him and them away...rebuke him/them

5. Dress Them Up - this can be done by simply dressing those fears up by replacing them with positive things...positive accomplishments

6. Harness Them - if they are under your control, you don't have to worry about them

7. Interrogate Them - ask them the hard questions, including where, what, why, when, and how? Examine your fears!

8. Bully Them - boss them tell them what to do and where to go. You're bigger than they are!

9. Free Them - let them go...tell them to have fun, but not to come back!!!

I'm so glad this showed up in my email. I plan to use these 9 ways of facing your fears to help me overcome the fear that I'm currently experiencing.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Is Pork Red Meat?

Yesterday, while at work, my co-workers and I were discussing my health and fitness journey and how I would cope during the holidays. During the discussion, I mentioned the fact that I was reducing and/or cutting out red meat from my diet. Well, each year, my job gives out Honey Baked Ham vouchers for turkeys and hams. Well, at the beginning of this month, I opted for the ham...this is before I decided to start my health and fitness regimen. Then, the question was asked by one of my co-workers, "Is pork red meat?" I've always considered pork red meat. In it's original state, pork is red in color. After it has been cooked, it turns white in color, especially pork chops and pork tenderloin. I guess bacon is an exception because it doesn't really change in color significantly...maybe to a brownish color.

My decision to start reducing and cutting out red meat deals with the fact that I'm an African American woman who suffers from uterine fibroid tumors. Fibroids are benign(non-cancerous), muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. Fibroids can grow as a single tumor, or there can be many of them in the uterus. They can be as small as an apple seed or as big as a grapefruit. There are many factors that can affect a woman's risk of developing fibroids. I've listed a few of them below:

-Age - Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during the 30s and 40s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink.

-Family history - Having a family member with fibroids increases your risk. If a woman's mother had fibroids, her risk of having them is about three times higher than average.

-Ethnic origin - African-American women are more likely to develop fibroids than white women.

-Obesity - Women who are overweight are at higher risk for fibroids. For very heavy women, the risk is two to three times greater than average.

-Eating habits - Eating a lot of red meat (e.g., beef) and ham is linked with a higher risk of fibroids. Eating plenty of green vegetables seems to protect women from developing fibroids.

As you can see, of the factors listed, I have all of them. I'm 34 years of age, women on my mother's side of the family suffer from fibroids, I'm African American, I'm not obese but about 30 to 40 pounds overweight, and I love to eat red meat. These factors contributed to my fibroids which were discovered last year during fertility treatment. In February, and again in March of this year, I had surgery to remove the fibroids and repair my fallopian tubes. It was recommended by my doctor that I cut down or cut out the red meat from my diet. took me almost 9 months to come to the realization that I really should take heed to what my doctor recommended.

Ok..back to that question, "Is pork red meat?" I did a little research via the internet and here's what I came up with:

The only real reason it was ever considered white meat is because the pork council decided back in the 80s that the term "red meat" had a bad stigma attached to it, and it was affecting sales. So they tried to cash in on the health food craze and it worked, sales went up.

In pork's defense, it is much healthier today than it was 25 years ago. Pigs are raised and bred differently and the most popular cut of pork (the tenderloin) is now 42% less fat. Pork has changed, and is more healthy but it is still red meat. Also, the FDA classifies pork as a red meat. Pork has become a competitive, nutritive rival to lean poultry.

One Of My Favorite Healthy Reflections From SparkPeople (11/21/08)


The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.

- George Bernard Shaw, playwright

Take a moment to look at the circumstances of your world. Is it what you want to see? What could you do differently to take one step closer to your ideal vision? We're all dealt different hands in life. That's how things are. To change things, you have to first accept that fact, then figure out where to go from here. We should all be able to count on each other for help, but in the end, we can't expect anyone to change our lives except ourselves. Nor should we want it that way. It's natural to feel powerless and give up in the face of hardships, but complaining and blaming do nothing except prevent action. Without positive action, you're giving up your power and asking for more of the same--a world you did not create. Where you start may not be your fault, but the course you run is still your choosing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Love SparkPeople!!!

It has only been a little over a week since joining SparkPeople, but I am so glad I found and joined the website. I didn't know that such a site existed that can assist you in so many areas of your life. I underestimated SparkPeople at first...thinking it was just a site for information, tools, and support on health and fitness. Boy...was I wrong!!!! SparkPeople, not only aids in health and fitness, but it aids a person mentally, spiritually, and emotionally also. Plus...after reviewing the site, I've found that SparkPeople is also a family-oriented site. And, not to leave out, the SparkPeople members I've met so far have been the greatest, most supportive people I've ever had a pleasure of meeting in any health and fitness arena. Kudos to the founder of SparkPeople!!! I am so glad you thought of such a site and I truly appreciate what SparkPeople offers me on a daily basis. Thank you!!!

The Great American Smokeout Is Here. Quit Smoking!

I was surfing the internet this morning and came across a great article promoting the benefits of not smoking and kicking the smoking habits. I used to went on for a couple of years until I got fed up with it. I got tired of the smell, the cough, the complaining from my husband, son, and mother to quit, and the constant thoughts of the consequences of smoking cigarettes. So, I decided in May of 2007 to quit smoking. It's been 1 1/2 years and I feel great!!! I welcome all to read the article below:

By Anna Boyd
14:38, November 20th 2008

For many people trying to kick the noxious habit of smoking, the Great American Smokeout is a great chance to do it. Every year, the American Cancer Society dedicates the third Thursday of November to those ready to give up cigarettes for just a day in their lives in the hope that this might help them stop permanently. The organization wants smokers to ask themselves what it would take them to quit, and to try it out for a day to see how kicking the habit feels like.

Medically, there are great benefits a smoker would have even from the very first day of quitting. More exactly, doctors believe that a smoker’s blood pressure and pulse rate drop to normal within 20 minutes of his last cigarette. Breathing becomes easier within 3 days. Circulation improves, walking becomes easier, and lung function increases up to 30 percent within 2-3 months. Also, risk of coronary disease will be cut in half within a year.

Ninety percent of all cases of lung cancer in the United States are caused by smoking, according to the National Cancer Institute. Lung cancer killed about 160,000 people last year, an average of 439 people a day. It is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing more people annually than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney and melanoma cancers combined.

Apart from lung cancer, smokers are also susceptible of developing cancers of the stomach, mouth and pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, bladder and kidney and also early cardiovascular disease. About half of all long-term smokers, particularly those who began smoking as teens, die prematurely, many in middle age. According to the latest statistics of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 to 90 percent of tobacco users started using tobacco products before the age of 18. The CDC’s Youth and Tobacco Use estimates that each day about 1,140 people younger than 18 years of age become regular smokers and approximately 4,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 initiate cigarette smoking.

Another of the Great American Smokeout’s goals is to protect smokers’ loved ones from second hand smoke exposure by not allowing smoking in the home. Among the 438,000 people tobacco kills a year, 38,000 are non-smokers who just inhale tobacco smoke from the others. If the governments fail to adopt more aggressive measures to combat the smoking addiction, in the next century tobacco will kill one billion people worldwide.

The figures are worrisome and should encourage many smokers to quit and many friends of smokers to be there and help them quit the habit for good. Besides facing serious health problems, a smoker spends $1,500 a year on cigarettes.

Given the serious consequences of smoking, I guess each smoker has thought at least once in his life to quit. But quitting is not an easy thing and the risk of relapse is even higher. You need good reasons for quitting and you need to think about all of the benefits to your health, finances and family. These reasons should be a start in your battle with cigarettes.

Then, here are some tips that can help you win this battle. Ride out the desire to smoke, as there is no such thing as just one cigarettes or even one puff. Then you should avoid alcohol as the two often go hand and hand and drinking increases your odds of smoking again. Stay away from smokers and places where smoking is allowed, at least just for a while. Keep you hands busy. It is said that a smoker has this urge to play with his cigarette while smoking. If you keep your hands busy, it will be easy for you to forget about the habit. Also if you feel you are about to light up, then tell yourself to wait at least 10 minutes. Often the wait will soften the urge to smoke.

Of course, this effort should be correlated with joining a stop-smoking program and anti-smoking drugs, which can significantly reduce the urge for smoking. Finally yet importantly, you should reward yourself. Put the money you would spend on cigarettes in a jar and buy yourself a weekly treat or save up for a major purchase.

Now I guess you have all the reasons in the world to quit smoking. The Great American Smokeout is your chance to start living a healthy life. Try it! You have nothing to lose. With a little faith and will you can put an end to smoking. It is not easy, but life saving!

© 2007 - 2008 - eFluxMedia

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Water is a Secret Ingredient: Water: The Wild Card of Weight Loss - Provided by

Is water important? Well let’s see, other than making up 50%-60% of our bodies, regulating body temperature, helping our breathing, transporting nutrients, carrying away waste and helping our muscles function, water is pretty much useless. Oh, and you need water or, after three days without it, you’ll die.

So in other words, water is pretty darn essential. It can even be an extremely important (and often unappreciated) weight loss factor.

Somehow, though, water is one of the most neglected parts of our diet. Some of us possibly go an entire day at times without one glass! Every part of your body is dependent on and comprised of water, and the most important parts need even more. Your brain is made up of 75% water, your blood 82% and your lungs nearly 90%.

Besides being a vital component of your body, water also helps to reduce weight. The more hydrated you are, the quicker your metabolism works. When you are dehydrated – even before you start becoming thirsty – your liver has to help the kidneys function and can’t metabolize fat as quickly. Your metabolism slows down, causing some unwanted fat to remain.

If your body is used to not getting water, it actually stores more in ankles, hips and thighs. In other words, it doesn’t trust you to keep bringing water, so it keeps what it can get, like a thirsty cactus. Once it realizes the water will keep coming, your body will get rid of the stores and you’ll lose weight!

Plus, if you’re suffering from cravings or having trouble controlling hunger, drinking water is a quick, healthy way to feel full. Drink a glass when you normally snack, and have one before your meal and right before going out.

Staying hydrated is not restricted to drinking water; milk, juice and other liquids –even some fruits and vegetables – are good sources of water. But avoid caffeinated beverages (coffee, soda), as they actually cause you to lose fluids and become dehydrated.

The recommended daily amount of water is eight cups a day, but don’t feel bad if you have neglected your water intake. Even if you constantly drink coffee or soda, you can make some simple changes to increase the water in your diet. Here are just a few ways to get more water every day:

-Find the water bottles with pop tops. They’re easier to carry around and use than twist off caps.

-Keep a water bottle in the car.

-Take a water break instead of a smoke break at work.

-Set a rule with your water glass: once it’s empty, it gets filled back up right away.

-Drink orange juice or eat fruit in the morning.

-Get two water bottles, one for work and one for home. Fill up one every day when you leave to go home, and fill up the other before you go to bed each night.

-Order water at restaurants instead of soda. Even if you have something else to drink, have water too.

-Weekends are the toughest, so be aware of your water and fluid intake throughout Saturday and Sunday. Keep more than one water bottle in the fridge so you always have a cold one.

-Follow the example of a SparkPeople member: this woman put a water glass on her windowsill with 8 pennies on one side. Each time she filled up her glass and drank it, she moved a penny to the other side, until all the pennies were moved. Great reminder system!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Week 1 - Weigh-In


Hi guys!!! Well, it's been a week since I started this health and fitness journey. Time for my weigh-in!!! I woke up at 5:15am this morning and immediately weighed myself. DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!! I LOST 2 POUNDS!!! I'm so excited!!! It may not seem like a lot to some of you, but if you know anything about losing weight 1-2 pounds a week is very good. It's not good to lose too much weight fast. The right amount of weight that the average person should hope and try to lose a week when eating and working out correctly is 1 or 2 pounds a week. That is a good, healthy, safe, smart, effective amount to lose. If I can maintain a 2 pound weight loss a week, then that would be awesome!!! I'm just glad I saw some sort of weight loss when I stepped on the scale this morning. Way to go...on to week 2!!! This evening, for my workout, I will be doing strength training and low-impact aerobics for my cardio.

Oh, by the way...just in case you were wondering about the picture's a picture of a wonderful treat I prepared for my husband, son, and I yesterday. They are mini cheesecakes and they are absolutely delicious!!! I got the recipe from that wonderful SparkPeople website. One of the SparkPeople members posted it and I decided to make it. I glad I did!!! These little babies are YUMMY..and only 120 calories in one mini cheesecake!!! This recipe is, by far, the best recipe from a SparkPeople member thus far! I never was one who liked to cook. I prefer doing laundry and cleaning. But, since I started this health and fitness regimen and found the SparkPeople website, I can truly say that I've started to enjoy cooking!!! Well...that's it for now...time to go workout and work up a good sweat! Be back later!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Check In - Day 6 Of My Health & Fitness Journey

Hi everyone!!! I just wanted to stop in and let everyone know how my health and fitness journey has been coming along. Well, today, is the 6th day of my journey and things have been going great!!! I found an awesome online health and fitness website, SparkPeople, on Tuesday. I've been solely using it ever since to track both my nutrition and fitness. I still use the demandFitness website for workout videos. I have not logged into the Weight Watchers website since finding the SparkPeople website. I'm strongly considering canceling my subscription with Weight Watchers. The SparkPeople website is awesome (did I already say that...LOL) and it's FREE!!! The site is packed with a wealth of information, tools, and people to keep you on track with your health and fitness regimen. I love it...and the members I've met on there are awesome!!! If anyone is interested, check it out at!

Here's briefly what my health and fitness regimen consists of:

-Goal: To lose 41 pounds by 8-25-09

-Cardio: 4 times a week

-Strength Training: 3 times a week

-Yoga or Pilates once a week

-Multi-vitamin a day

-Biotin pill a day

-1390 to 1740 calories a day

-184 to 266 grams of carbohydrates a day

-36 to 64 grams of fat a day

-60 to 144 grams of protein a day

-Try to get more sleep at night

-Drink at least 8 glasses (64 ounces) of water a day

Today, I found a recipe on SparkPeople, from one of the members, and I cooked it for dinner. The recipe was for Creamy Mushroom Chicken. I added asparagus as a side dish. Not only did I enjoy dinner, but so did my husband and son. Here's a picture of dinner tonight:

Dinner was mmmmm...mmmmmm good!!!

Well, that's it for now!!! I will be back on Monday to give you an update on my weigh-in. I will be measuring my weight every week on Monday. Wish me luck...I sure hope I've lost some pounds...even if it's just 1 pound...LOL!!!!

Add More Fruits & Vegetables To Your Family's Diet - Provided by

Our bodies crave fruits (and vegetables) more than just about any other food because we tend to get far fewer of them than we need. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the USDA recommend at least 5 servings of produce per day! What you're missing could be the difference between just surviving and all out thriving.

With just a little thought and a tiny bit of effort in snack preparation, you can make these nutritious foods more convenient and accessible for the whole family:

* Add fruit to cereals, oatmeal, waffles or pancakes at breakfast.

* Create your own yogurt flavors by mixing plain yogurt and fresh fruit.

* Offer your family 100% juices instead of addictive coffee, teas, and sodas.

* Keep fruits and vegetables in the line of sight. A bowl of grapes, oranges, bananas, and apples make a colorful arrangement on the table. If you see them, you will eat them.

* Dried fruit is just as portable as potato chips--and less messy. It tastes especially good when added to basic trail mix.

* Try berries, melons, or dates for a naturally sweet dessert rather than the usual candy bar, cookie, or ice cream sandwich.

* Frozen fruits are nearly as healthy as the fresh stuff, and only take minutes to prepare.

* Combine fruit with your main meal courses. Raisins, apples and tangerine slices add a sweet crunch to a salad. Apples complement pork, pineapple is great with fish, and orange slices are perfect with chicken.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Health Tip: Keep Stress At Bay

Health Tip: Keep Stress at Bay
Don't let it get to you

(HealthDay News) -- Some stress is unavoidable, but there are things you can do to prevent stress from taking over your life and making health problems worse.

The Cleveland Clinic offers these suggestions:

* Stick to a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, avoid smoking and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
* Don't allow others to make demands or set expectations for you. Say no, and don't be afraid to stand up for yourself.
* Take time every day just to relax.
* Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself, but understand that you can't control everything.
* Figure out what causes you stress in your life. Eliminate what you can, and learn how to manage other sources of stress.
* Remind yourself of what you do well and successes that you've had.

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Day Of My Fitness Journey!!!

Today was Day 1 of my fitness journey and I survived...yes!!! Upon waking up at 5:45AM, I drank 8 ounces of Bragg Vinegar Health Drink. The drink does not taste that great, but hey, it helps with weight loss and it's healthy. On the way to work, I drank my wheatgrass smoothie. I really enjoyed that! While at work, I made sure to continue to drink my water. I did have a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. I'm going to have to work on my coffee consumption. I love coffee!!! I had planned on no coffee at all, but I had to have one cup. Around 9AM, I had a High Fiber Chewy Granola Bar which was pretty good. More water....more water...LOL. Around 10AM, I had another Bragg Vinegar Health Drink. Water...water...water!!! 12PM..lunchtime!!! For lunch, I had a Fit & Active Spaghetti meal (approx. 370 calories) and a cup of peach yogurt...and more water. On the way home from work, I drank my last Bragg Vinegar Health Drink for the day, along with 1/4 cup of natural trail mix (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, and pecans). More water!!! For dinner, I had a serving of shrimp stir fry (approx. 260 calories). I waited about 2 hours before working out. My workout for the day consisted of a Gentle Warm Up exercise, Walk Aerobics, and Cardio Cool Down exercise. Boy...was I sweating afterwards!!! To start, I will be working out 4 times a week. So, tomorrow will be a rest day...then it's back to sweating on Wednesday. All in all, I am very pleased and proud of myself for getting through my first day.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Types Of Exercise

Article By: The Weight Watchers Research Dept.

A comprehensive exercise plan includes aerobic, flexibility and resistance components.

DECEMBER, 2006 - Physical activity is defined as any movement using the body's large skeletal muscles that burns calories. When combined with a reduced-calorie and healthy eating plan, exercise provides health benefits, promotes weight loss and is a key factor for sustaining weight loss. A comprehensive exercise plan includes aerobic, flexibility and resistance components.

Aerobic Activity

Aerobic exercise uses large muscle groups in a continuous and rhythmic way. Examples include walking, bicycling, dancing and stair climbing. Aerobic activities can be done at differing levels of intensity. While all aerobic activity burns calories and contributes to health benefits, improvements in cardiovascular fitness are proportionally linked to increasing intensity levels.

Recommendations for the amount of aerobic exercise vary depending on the desired outcome. For body weight, it has been determined that most adults within the recommended weight range include 1 hour or more of moderate intensity aerobic activity each day.

In addition to burning calories and enhancing cardiovascular fitness, aerobic exercise reduces the risk for metabolic syndrome, improves feelings of happiness and enhances cognitive function.

Flexibility Exercise

This type of exercise includes range-of-motion activities that use the muscle/tendon groups. Examples include yoga and stretching. Current recommendations state that flexibility exercises should be done at least twice per week. Stretching before engaging in a high-intensity activity that requires jumping or bouncing can reduce the likelihood of an exercise-related injury. And flexibility exercises can help reduce stiffness from resistance training and improve performance.

Resistance Exercise

This type of exercise includes muscle-strengthening activities that build muscle and bone mass, such as lifting weights. Current recommendations include resistance training on two to three days a week with a focus on major muscle groups.

Resistance training is the most effective way to preserve lean body mass, improve muscular strength, and increase endurance. And there is increasing evidence that it may significantly reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. For example, even a short bout of resistance training has been shown to have a positive effect on bone health.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Made A Visit To My Local Health Food Store!!!

Today, I went out to my local health food store and purchased 100% organic wheatgrass and organic apple cider vinegar (ACV)...that will be used not only for hair growth and maintenance but also my health & fitness regimen. I will drink the Wheatgrass Smoothie in the mornings for breakfast. I will use the organic apple cider vinegar as a rinse for my hair, but I will also use it in my health drink that I will drink 3 times a day.

Wheatgrass Smoothie:

- 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 full teaspoon wheatgrass powder
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 shake - cinnamon
- 1/4 banana
Blend everything together and drink!
(Add more or less soy milk to get the consistency you like. If your banana is not quite ripened, the shake will come out very thick.)

Bragg Vinegar Health Drink:

- 1-2 teaspoons Bragg Organic Vinegar
- 8 ounces purified water
- 1-2 teaspoons organic honey, 100% maple syrup, Blackstrap Molasses, or 4 drops herb Stevia
Mix together, drink, and enjoy!!! Drink 3 times daily - upon rising, mid-morning, and mid-afternoon.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mood And Weight

Article By: The Weight Watchers Research Dept.

The relationship between mood and weight is affected by a variety of components that include food choices, hormones and coping skills.

APRIL, 2005—"Calories in, calories out" summarizes the law of thermodynamics in weight gain and loss. But other factors also determine the outcome of a weight-loss plan, including mood.

The relationship between mood and weight is complicated – affected by a variety of components that include food choices, hormones and individual coping skills.

Food Choices Affect Mood

Individual foods and eating patterns can affect mood and weight in both positive and negative ways. Several studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee improves mood.1 On the other hand, a study done in Finland found that people who responded to stress by eating had the highest body weights. More specifically, the study's "stress eaters" consumed more sausages, hamburgers, pizza, chocolate and alcohol than those who did not respond to stress by eating.2

Hormones Affect Mood

There are several hormones and other biological factors that affect mood and, potentially, weight. Examples include cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, and estrogen, a primary female sex hormone.

While there has been a great deal written in the media about the role of mood-altering hormones and weight management, the science is far from conclusive. For example, in a study that evaluated 35-47-year-old women over four years, there was no connection between hormone levels and weight gain. However, the same study found depression and anxiety to be linked to weight gain.3 This topic is likely to be an area of intense research in the coming years.

Mental Skills Affect Mood

The coping skills needed to handle the ups and downs of daily life have been identified as an area with a significant impact on body weight. Studies show that unsuccessful dieting often follows a pattern of experiencing stress, eating in response, and then gaining (or regaining) weight4' 5

A study of 55-65-year-old women showed that those with high levels of disinhibition (lack of eating control) are more likely to gain weight as adults and to be overweight.6 On the other hand, the development of strong coping skills is a predictor of lasting weight loss.7

Active participation in a weight management program can quickly reduce the negative mood contributors to excess weight. In a study done in Canada, both men and women showed significant improvements in episodes of overeating, response to physical stress, feelings of depression and perfectionist behaviors after five weeks.

"D" Day - Decision Day...My Mind Is Made Up!!!

This is it!!! Today is THE day!!! I've decided to change my life for the better and live a healthier, more fit life. I've gained over 30 pounds in the course of a year due to stress and eating. My trying-to-conceive another child journey, along with stress at work, has gotten the best of me. Enough is enough!!! It's time to reclaim myself from this nonsense...and I've made that decision today.

I've tried different things to lose weight and live healthy but they would only end up as temporary fixes. I've made excuse after excuse, from "I don't have time to go to the gym" to "I don't have money to keep up a fitness regimen". There really isn't an excuse to living healthy and it actually doesn't have to break your pockets to do so.

For me, I've realized that what I really need to get me motivated and on to a healthier way of living is:

1. Exercise - the only way I can do this is in the comforts of my own home. I've tried the gym scene and it just doesn't work for me. I like feeling comfortable and less distracted...and I do so best at home. So, today, I signed up for an at-home workout fitness program with tons of exercise videos to get me going. Thanks to demandFITNESS I can workout any time of the day, in my home, while traveling...all I have to do is have my laptop handy. Ha excuse!!!

2. Educate Myself - My main problem with starting a fitness program is jumping into one at the spur of the moment without educating myself as to why it is important and what I need to do to be successful. And, what do you know...demandFITNESS helps with that also!!!

3. Eating Right - I need to work on portion size and the types of foods to eat. So, I've incorporated Weight Watchers Online to help me with recipes and choices of foods to eat for meals.

4. Fitness Journal/Log - If I write down everything in a journal, it helps to keep me on track. mind is made up and I'm already feeling good about it. Why? Because I planned things out and educated myself before starting this fitness journey. Wish me journey begins on Monday, November 10, 2008!!!

demandFITNESS website

Weight Watchers Online

My Fitness Journal/Log