It’s been a long time.

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Hello to my loyal readers!  I realize that I haven’t posted a blog in about 3 months.  Now is as good a time as any to update you on my post Advocare challenge progress.  If you remember (or if you read the previous entries again), I started my journey on May 1, 2016 with a 24 day Advocare challenge.  I did really well and lost 24 lbs in those first 24 days and in fact since then have gone on to lose a total of 74 lbs.  However, I have been stuck for the last few months.  That is the real reason why I haven’t blogged.  It’s tough when you are doing all the same things you did that caused you to lose 74 lbs and your body just says “no.”  I still go to Water Aerobics and  Aqua Zumba every week.  I still try to eat between 1000-1200 calories a day.  I have not had Coca Cola (my favorite drink) since April. trip_hurdles_800_5680

One thing that has been constant in in my life is the obstacles that seem to jump in my way.  Sometimes I feel I can’t win for trying!  The first major obstacle that I have had is people.  Sounds weird right? Sometimes I get people telling me how good I look or noticing that I look different.  In fact yesterday, one of our older security guards at work asked me if I am “diminishing?”  As I blushed and looked at him confusedly, he explained that he meant I was getting smaller.  These compliments are great and don’t get me wrong, I love to hear them.  But they just keep me thinking of weight loss and then reminding myself that nothing is happening right now with it.  The flip side of that problem is also occurring.  Certain people in my life have taken it upon themselves to ask me daily and sometimes more than daily if I have lost any more weight.  When the answer is no, they get disappointed.  Of course this makes me disappointed and very disheartened about my weight loss when in actually I should be celebrating all that I have accomplished so far!

Another big obstacle that I have had is my medication. Recently I had to start taking medication that could possibly make me gain weight.  I asked the doctor if it makes weight gain or if it just makes you hungrier.  She said hungrier.  I said I am hungry all the time, I can deal with that. ūüôā

Another obstacle that I have had is injuries.  In July, I had shots in my back that have taken away about 90% of my pain and made me able to walk and exercise more easily.  It has been wonderful.  Then on October 28, I decided to use my ‘under the desk’ bike peddler to get more exercise and ended up straining my hip flexor.  I was hoping it would heal on his own and when I it didn’t in 2 weeks, I finally went to the doctor.  She sent me to physical therapy.  So now when I walk, sit, exercise, sleep, whatever, I have pain in my hip/leg.

I haven’t slowed down though.  I can’t.  I don’t want to become complacent with the 74 lbs I have lost, great though that is.  I still have a goal of 100 lbs by the end of the year.  I am not sure I am going to make it but I remain highly optimistic.

I’ve had some good things happen as well.  I have been able to go out and enjoy concerts again.  At parties, people notice that I am moving around more.  I went to my 25th high school reunion and had so much fun reconnecting with former classmates and friends.  I was walking around and heck, even sitting on a high stool-things I could not have done 6 months ago. I also have gone down 2 sizes in clothes.  Everything I wore a year ago is too big.  I am ok with that!

I wanted to mention the different Advocare flavors I have tried.  In earlier posts, I mentioned that I have tried the Chocolate, Vanilla and Peanut Butter Chocolate Advocare Shakes.  They are all good.  The Peanut Butter Chocolate is probably my least favorite.  Since then I have tried the Berry and the Snickerdoodle shakes.  Both are amazing!  I know the Snickerdoodle is a temporary flavor so I need to stock up because it is so good. In the Advocare Spark, I have actually gone on Ebay and purchased multiple flavors so I could try them before buying the bigger cannister through Advocare.  The good flavors I have tried so far are:  Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Grape, Green Apple, Pink Lemonade, and Blue Raspberry.  I have also tried Mango Strawberry and Mandarin Orange and they are really gross.

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I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving next week and try not to eat too much!

I will leave you with a final positive picture. The pic on the left was a year ago and the one on the right was a few days ago.  I should definitely be happy about my progress.  I am not giving up!

1-year-ago

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My ongoing journey

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Guess what everyone! I have now lost 60.6 lbs since May 1! ¬†I would like to tell you that it gets easier the longer you do it, but trying to be healthy is hard! There are so many choices to make and if you make the wrong one, it can throw off your whole day! ¬†For example, today at work, they provided us with a free “make your own salad” bar. ¬†I decided since I only brought a chicken salad wrap for lunch, and I am going to Aqua Zumba after work, to go get some. ¬†I got lettuce, carrots, a couple of croutons, some nuts and Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing. ¬†The only other dressing they had was Ranch, so the one I chose was the better of the two. ¬†I got back to my desk and looked up the calories of the dressing and it was 100 calories for 1 oz. ¬†The ones I usually eat range from 35-60 for 1 oz!

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Another decision I had to make occurred yesterday. ¬†A friend is in town that I haven’t seen in a while so I was going to get together with her and some other friends and go to dinner. ¬†They decided on Olive Garden. ¬†Now on my birthday, I splurged and let myself have regular pasta without any bad consequences but I was trying to stay away from Italian restaurants in general. ¬†So I looked up the menu and decided to get the Rosemary Garlic chicken and a side of pasta. ¬†The salad was good and the side of pasta was good.. in fact it probably had too many calories for me! ¬†But I will tell you now: ¬†NEVER get the Rosemary Garlic chicken. ¬†It is so gross!! Not only does it taste nothing like Rosemary or Garlic (it had more of a Balsamic flavor), but the texture was rubbery and had a bunch of chewy gristle pieces in it. ¬†Nothing nauseates me more than biting into a chewy gristle-y piece of chicken. ¬†That was the only thing on the menu that wasn’t 700+ calories (except for fish, which I do not eat).

I made a good decision last Friday.  My mom had to take my dad to the doctor and since they were out already decided to meet me for dinner at Los Jalapenos.  I brought my own low carb wraps that are only 50 calories each and only ate 2.  It was so good!

I have found that if I buy snacks for my house such as potato chips or even flavored almonds, I eat them until they are gone. ¬†But if I don’t have them at home and just eat them at parties, etc, I only eat few. ¬†I am going to have to make sure I do not buy anything that will tempt me. It feels like it took a lot longer to lose the last 10 lbs then it did the first 50. ¬†Doctors, friends and relatives all tell me that I will slow down and not lose the weight as fast as I did at first. ¬†But I WANT to!! ¬†So I am going to keep pushing for it!

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Another bad habit I need to break is weighing myself. ¬†I have started weighing myself every day several times a day and obsessing over it. ¬†I need to just weigh myself once a week! ¬†that way I will give the water aerobics and Aqua Zumba time to work ūüôā

Luckily the shots in my back seem to have worked. ¬†I still have pain but it is nowhere near what it used to be and I am able to move around a little more. ¬†I actually went to the grocery store the other day and walked around pushing a cart. ¬†I haven’t done that in about a year! I was using the Giant Eagle delivery service where they bring it to your car. ¬†I will still do that because it is convenient but it is nice knowing I CAN walk around if I need to.

I am still drinking the Advocare shakes for breakfast and Spark in the morning. ¬†It is so expensive. ¬†The shakes come in a box of 14 for $44.95. ¬†I usually do not eat them on the weekends so that comes out to be ¬†$180 a month (roughly) for breakfast. ¬†So if anyone wants to donate to my cause, I won’t say no ūüôā

Ok it’s time to keep on keepin’ on!

 

The day after the Advocare 24 day Challenge

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Ok everyone… High-five me! ūüôā I am done with my challenge and I have the results…..

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In 24 days, I lost 24 lbs! Overall, I lost 14.5 inches (that’s combined bust, waist, hips and upper leg.)

So the question you may ask  yourself is:  Does the Advocare 24 day challenge work?   I would say yes.  I am living proof.  Now granted, I do not know if the supplements I took are what really helped or if cutting down what I ate is all I needed to do.  Either way, the challenge kick-started me to do both and the results are successful.

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I would like to talk a little about the 24 day challenge. ¬†I know that when I started it, I spent a lot of time googling things I can eat and reviews, etc. ¬†Every blog I read mentioned that when you are the cleanse phase that the Fiber drink was horrible and they were glad it was only for a few days of the cleanse. ¬†That always confused me because mine was to be taken every day during the cleanse and mine had no taste. ¬†So I realized, they have changed the Fiber drink. I got the one with no flavor and just mixed it with ¬†my fruit punch spark in the morning. ¬†I had no problems with it. ¬† Another thing I read was that a lot of people were worried that by doing a cleanse they would be running to the bathroom every five minutes to go “number 2.” ¬†That was not the case. ¬†Even with all the extra fiber, that part of my life was pretty normal. ¬† However, upping my water intake plus the extra caffeine in the spark did make me have to go “number 1” pretty much all the time! ¬†I got used to it after a while and do not go as often now. ¬†Another thing I read was that some people did not like the taste of the shakes. ¬†I don’t know if they changed those as well, but the chocolate shake tasted just like a regular chocolate shake. ¬†It was so good. ¬†Since my coach wants me to stay on the shakes, I actually just bought vanilla and chocolate peanut butter. ¬†The last thing I want to mention is that I had no side effects from all the supplements.. I read that some people developed rashes and others got sick from all the vitamins. ¬†I don’t know if those people have allergies to some of the ingredients or what but I had no problem.

I will continue this blog because even though my challenge is over my “weight loss journey” (as they would say on a reality show) is not. ¬†I may not post every single day anymore, but I will hopefully entertain you with my trials and tribulations!

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Day 24 of the Advocare 24 day challenge!

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It is day 24… the last day of my challenge! ¬†wooo hooo!!! ¬†I will weigh and measure myself tonight and report back tomorrow. ¬†Today I met with my “coach” ¬†about what to do after the challenge. ¬†He pretty much said what I was already planning on doing. ¬†Just keep eating like I am eating. ¬†Get some cardio in each night and he wants me to continue with the shakes and spark. ¬†I am going to check on the price but I don’d mind the shakes. ¬†It is a lot easier than figuring out what to eat for breakfast every day!

One thing that was nice was when I walked in, he told me I looked a lot smaller.  That is always nice to hear!

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I forgot to mention my dinner from Monday. ¬†I was headed to my friend’s house, so I stopped at Panera bread and got their strawberry poppyseed salad. ¬†It had chicken, strawberries, pineapple, blueberries and walnuts in it. ¬†With the strawberries removed and a poppyseed dressing on top, it was really good!!

panera bread salad

Last night I had shredded chicken, salsa and jalapenos in a 9 grain wrap with chia.. and a pickle. ¬†I also tried almond butter for the first time. ¬†The kind I had was a in a packet and was called Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter.

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I only squeezed out half, if that, and ate it on an apple. ¬†From what I could tell it wasn’t much different than peanut butter. ¬†I am going to try it again tonight but if its not life changing, I probably won’t buy it again ¬†because it is really expensive. ¬†It was $1.50 for the tiny packet I had.

For the recipe today, I thought this looked good. I would use a low carb multigrain wrap though:  http://damndelicious.net/2013/03/19/hawaiian-bbq-chicken-taquitos/#_a5y_p=1198392

This is the end… my only friend…the end

 

Day 23 of the Advocare 24 day Challenge

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Day 23! I am almost at the end! ¬†Tomorrow is the last day of my challenge! ¬†I haven’t posted on here since last Thursday because this weekend was my music festival Rock on the Range!

It was a lot of fun, and a lot of being wet and cold from the rain. ¬†One thing I did was make sure to make good choices when it came to eating. ¬†I had made chicken salad with chicken and light miracle whip and I ate that on a 9 grain wrap with Chia on Friday morning and Saturday morning for breakfast. For lunch, I snuck in a granola bar and then I waited until I got home each night around 11pm and had pulled chicken and a salad for dinner. ¬†The only thing I messed up was¬†mount of water I have to drink. ¬†I didn’t drink as much water because I did not want to keep running to the bathroom during the concert. ¬† Plus water was $5 a bottle. ¬†Sunday was my relaxation day. ¬†Normally I would go to the concert that day too but my friend and I didn’t like any of the bands playing that day so we sold our tickets for that day. ¬†I just relaxed all day.

Monday I was also off work and I decided to try water aerobics with some friends.  This was fun but not what I expected.  I have never taken an aerobics class but when I was younger, I did take Jazzercise.  I was expected a little less dancing than Jazzercise, but something like that in water.  Instead, when we first got there, they had us walking round and round this small area of the pool designated as a lazy river.  We would walk one way several times and then switch and walk against the pool of the water.  Then we out in the regular area of the pool and were given a foam barbell.

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My friends and I joked that the barbells looked like a smaller version of what the American Gladiators used to knock each other off pedestals

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During the aerobics, the instructor had us using the barbell for strength exercises in our arms, backs and sides.  Then we got a pool noodle and did some more exercises using that.  It was a full workout and today I am feeling the muscles I used! It was fun though and I think I am going to go back tomorrow and do it again.

Speaking of tomorrow, since it is  my last day of the challenge, I will be meeting with my coach to find out what the next step in my process will be.  I am scared and excited to see what he has to say.

Today’s recipe: ¬†http://www.momontimeout.com/2015/06/sriracha-almond-crusted-chicken-strips/

The finish line is in sight!

Day 18 of the Advocare 24 day challenge

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It is day 18 of my challenge.  Tomorrow starts my weekend!  Woo hoo!  I am off work tomorrow through Monday. The reason why is for Rock on the Range. Rock-on-the-Range-X-2016

Rock on the Range is a 3 day concert event in Columbus Ohio at Crew Stadium. ¬†There are 3 stages and just tons and tons of bands playing. ¬†With my mobility issues, I usually just stay at the main stage in my seat. ¬†But even then I am seeing over 20 bands all weekend. ¬†I have gone every year. ¬†It is so much fun! ¬†When I started the challenge, I let my coach know that I was doing this and it will affect how I eat those days. ¬†This year I am not going on Sunday, so it will only affect 2 days of my challenge. What I would do in previous years is wake up early and leave around 9:30am. I would take 2 deli turkey sandwiches on Brownberry sandwich thins (instead of bread) (sandwiches made with turkey, jalapenos, ¬†and light miracle whip) and usually a coke and some cookies. ¬†Then I would try to not eat anything all day but water (sometimes I would have a soft pretzel) then around ¬†6 or 7pm I would have a granola bar and then on the way home at midnight I would stop at Mcdonald’s or someplace like that. ¬†My coach told me he doesn’t care about the sandwiches (although this year I am using carb smart wraps and chicken hunks) or the granola bars. ¬†He just doesn’t want me having the coke, cookies and Mcdonald’s. ¬†So I will make my dinner for the next 2 days tonight and just heat it up when I get home from the concerts each night. ¬†I am not sure how I am going to work in all the pills, but I will try my best.

So last night I did something sort of bad.  When I was getting ready to make dinner, I did not want to heat up my chicken.  I was craving noodles so bad.  So i opened my freezer and at the bottom was a bag of Garlic Chicken Voila.  If you have never seen this, it is basically noodles with hunks of chicken and vegetables.

voila

I told myself I was just going to look at it. ¬†So I pulled it out and read the nutrition on it. ¬†I couldn’t believe it. ¬†It was only 240 calories for 1 cup(cooked) and ¬†had 6 grams of sugar. ¬†So I thought to myself,you know what, this will really satisfy my craving for the noodles, so I cooked it. ¬†I picked out all the carrots because I cannot stand cooked carrots and neither can my dogs. ¬†I forced myself to eat the broccoli (which I also hate) as a punishment for the noodles. ¬†I measured out 1 1/2 cups and had a salad with it. ¬†Can I just say it was wonderful! Afterwards, I did feel guilty but my craving has been sated. There is another another cup and half left. ¬†I am not sure when I will eat that.

Tonight for dinner, I am making chicken salad with light miracle whip instead of mayonnaise.  I have onions and walnuts to put in it as well.  I had to buy a nine grain wrap with chia because they were out of the multi grain wraps.  I hope it tastes as good.

Today’s recipe: ¬†(I am not sure about this because I don’t know how Shirataki noodles taste, but they have 0 calories and fat and look good!)¬†http://www.andiemitchell.com/easy-healthy-chicken-lo-mein-under-250-calories/

 

Keep it up!

 

Day 17 of the Advocare 24 day challenge

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Day 17.  Boy am I tired!  One thing I have noticed by keeping track of everything is that on Wednesdays I am really tired.  Luckily tomorrow is my Friday.  I am off work Friday and Monday to go to a festival concert called Rock on the Range.  More info on that and how it will affect my diet later.

I have had a crick in my back (not my usual pain, this is extra) on the left side now for about 3¬†weeks. ¬†Normally I can ignore it, but when I ride my recumbent bike, it comes me to stretch that out and now it is really bothering me. ¬†That’s ok though. ¬†I am not going to let this derail me from the task at hand.

Speaking of, i decided to weigh myself this morning. ¬†I know I shouldn’t and I should wait until the end, but I wanted to know if a week into the Max phase, I had lost any more weight. ¬†The answer is no and I was surprised at that. ¬†Luckily, I haven’t gained any back. ¬†So that weight should be gone for good! I did some research and I found that a lot of people seem to plateau their first week on the Max phase. ¬†But then ¬†usually they start losing again. ¬†I hope that happens for me in the next 8 days!

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So the biggest question I get is what will I do in the future after the 24 day challenge is over?  When I started this, I just kept telling myself that I can do without Coke and snacks for 24 days.  In my head, I was going to go back to all the foods I love at the end.  But after reading more and seeing the results, I realize I cannot do that.  I am not going to limit myself AS much as I have during this challenge.  For example, I know right now that on Memorial Day I am going to have corn on the cob with some spray margarine on it.  I am going to eat my 99.4% fat free Orville Redenbacher  kettle corn popcorn as a snack sometimes.  I am going to have a Coke every now and then and most of all, in some way shape or form, I am going to have a small serving of noodles.  But I will continue to eat a salad for lunch.  I will have a small breakfast every day.  I will not eat empty calories just because I feel hungry(or bored.) I also will continue exercising.  I would like to lose 100 lbs in a year!!

Ok recipe of the day(i would make this without the extra cheese): http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2010/09/easy-recipe-for-baked-pesto-chicken.html

Just do it!