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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MOTIVATION

I know I am not nearly as diligent as I was in the beginning about keeping up with my blog posts.  Perhaps this is because it is summer time, I have been too tired after work, lack of motivation, etc.  All of that is an excuse though.  I have gotten back on the exercise wagon.  I still don't work out as often as I should, but I have been doing water aerobics two times a week for a couple of weeks now.  I go with 3 other girls from work.  There are only 7 of us in the office, and 4 of us go.  It is fun to be able to do something together outside of work.  Although Jen teases the heck out of me, I enjoy the time to do something for myself with my buddies.  I have still managed to lose weight.  I am trying to stick to the gluten free and sugar free diet like I have been since October, but find it to be much more tempting to cheat now that I have shed so much weight.  It is like the little "diet devil" sitting on one shoulder saying, "One little bite won't kill you...neither will ten." 

A lot of my time has been spent on another new found hobby.  I have started couponing.  It is nothing extreme.  I just buy two papers a week and try to shop according to the sales.  It also helps that my co-workers are doing this too.  We all look out for each other.  We have managed to save so much money it isn't even funny.  That is great with Charles' job situation being so hit or miss.  On that front, he did get hired on at a new company.  Hopefully he will still be called back to the other commercial company soon, but we are not complaining.  A union job is a union job, which means we will hopefully be able to get benefits again. 

Life has been treating us good.  I try not to think about my PCOS as much as I did.  I feel healthy, am more active now, so I try to focus on the good that God has brought to my life.  Jacob is so full of energy.  He is still my little snuggle bug.  I do have to admit that I still feel a huge tug at my heart strings when I see a baby.  I hope to one day be able to give Jacob a sibling.  I thought I would never consider fertility again, but have found out that I will no longer have to take the Metformin with the fertility.  This was the main reason I was so sick last time.  The doc said that with my weight and health where it should be, there is no reason for the Met.  So............I am going to try the Clomid again starting in August for three rounds.  Hopefully it doesn't take three.  If I have no luck then, we will just have to see where this journey takes us.

Signing off,

Jess

Monday, May 16, 2011

LONG TIME NO BLOG!!

WOW!!  It has been a while since I have done this!  Excuse me if I am a little rusty at putting my thoughts down on paper (or puter).  Things have been crazy the past couple of weeks (about 4 to be exact).  I left off on the last blog touching on the tick bite and Charles' layoff.  Since then, the tick bite has gotten much better!  The infection is gone, but the wound is still very itchy.  Charles is still laid off, but we have been fortunate with blessings.  Jacob has gone into this allergy season with a LOT of issues.  He is very allergic to almost everything.  His eyes were the first sign.  He had such bad allergies that they almost swelled shut.  Then came the infection.  He was put on Singulair, Clariton, nose spray and eye drops.  After the eyes started to get better, the breathing got worse.  He ended up in the ER, and had to do three rounds of steroid treatments.  He then was put on more medication.  Things got a little better, then on Mother's Day during a day trip, he came down with a fever.  He was diagnosed with bronchitis on Monday.  He is on yet another medication.  The good news is that he gets in with an allergist on June 1st. 

A long first paragraph brings me to the point of the whole blog.  I have definitely neglected the exercise portion of my lifestyle.  I did manage to surpass my goal weight of 170 last month.  I was very excited about this.  Despite the fact that I had not been exercising, I was still eating right.  I had a very good excuse for not exercising for a couple of weeks, but the next couple of weeks after that was just lack of motivation.  I really didn't want to go Zumba tonight.  My back was hurting, and I would rather have stayed home to coupon instead.  Couponing has been another lifestyle change I am trying to embrace.  With the economy the way it is, Charles being out of work, and the price of gas, I felt this was a must. Back to the point... I did go to Zumba tonight.  I was surprised at how out of shape your body can get in one month.  I hung in there though.  I also felt better after I worked out.  I realized that my back was no longer hurting.  I needed to stretch the muscles that had not been used for so long. 

This whole journey has definitely had its trying moments.  I have an easier time with the diet than the exercise.  I do, however, have a great support system that keeps me going.  I have so much to be thankful for.

Good luck to each of you reading on your own personal journeys.  We all hit bumps in the road, but can get back on track!

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Monday, April 11, 2011

B.U.T.T., cellulitis, and layoffs

OK, so it has been a while since my last posting, so what you are about to read is a list of ramblings that have been going through my mind for the past week. 

1. B.U.T.T.- My life is full of acronyms, so I created one that makes sense for women going through the same things as me.  Every woman has insecurities.  Most of them can be narrowed down into this four letter acronym.  (Butt, udders, tummy and thighs).  I was looking in the mirror last week and was thinking about the changes my body has gone through with the recent weight loss.  Obviously, I am liking my appearance a lot more than I used to.  However, I have come to realize that there will always be parts of a woman that they are never quite satisfied with.  I read on a friend's blog a couple of weeks ago about her battle with "chub rub", you know, when the tops of your thighs rub together creating holes in all of your favorite pants, or giving you the chafing that burns like something from the pit of hades.  The first thing that I did was laugh out loud.  I totally have chub rub!  I have bird legs as my sister would call them, but after I had Jacob, the very tops of my thighs started rubbing.  No amount of exercise or dieting seems to get rid of this nuisance.  I have also come to realize that gravity plays mean tricks on women who lose weight.  Everything seems to go south!  I guess my whole point to this is that it is really not that big of a deal in the whole scheme of things.  So what if you have a flat butt, big butt, saggy udders, a pooch, or chub-rub.  Put on a pair of spanx and enjoy the day.  I have come to realize in my journey that it is much more about being healthy than what the outside shows.  I do enjoy the way I am looking now, but does it make anyone around me love me more?  NO!  They love me for who I am, not what I look like.  They do want me around longer, which is why I have chosen the healthy approach.  No one is perfect!  Love yourself for who you are!

2. Cellulitis.  Not cellulite!  Cellulitis!  Cellulitis stinks!  It is a mean bacterial skin infection that causes inflammation in the muscles and can be dangerous if let go.  Just ask my mom.  She was all over my case this past week.  I got a tick bite last Sunday (a week ago).  By Wednesday, the infection was bad.  My whole body has been aching since then.  One trip to the ER and one to the Urgent Care were necessary.  I had vacation planned for Thursday, Friday and into the weekend.  We had already decided to cancel the trip due to Charles being temporarily laid off, but I had much better plans than recovering from a serious tick bite.  That being said, it was nice catching up on some Netflix movies! 

3. Layoff.  Charles has been laid off for a week.  It is OK though.  It is only temporary.  He is not one to sit still.  He has been helping his mom with house and yard work, as well as a few others.  He is a busy bee, so I am not too worried.

With all of this stuff going on, I have so much to be thankful for:

     *A job with benefits and vacation time.
     *A wonderful husband who supports us through everything
     *Antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease
     *Faith that everything is going to be OK.

Hope you all have a great week!  Keep smiling!

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'M BACK!!

I realize how I have been neglecting my blogly duties.  There has been a LOT of personal things that my family has been dealing with the past month.  I wanted to say thank you for all of my friends and families prayers.  I feel that God has once again shown us that HE is in charge, and that we need nothing more than to lean on HIM in times of trouble and turmoil.

That being said, I am happy to say that I did not rely on food as my crutch through the past several weeks.  In the past, I would have plumped up a good 10 pounds just from shoving every comfort food within reach directly into my pie hole.  Amazingly enough, I even lost 2 pounds.  No, mama, I did not starve myself either.  I did fall away from exercise regularity for a while.  I still exercised, but not as often, and didn't go to Zumba at all last week.  I felt it necessary to spend as much time as possible with my guys. 

Speaking of Zumba, I really did not want to go last night!  I was in a mood, and just wanted to be lazy.  I, with some encouragement from my hubby, reluctantly joined the "Crusade against Fat".  Annie kicked my butt again last night.  I was never so happy for a hot shower afterwards.  Not only did I work out, but I was able to work some of my aggressions out as well.  That was the best part.  It was the release I needed to end the day.  Ironically, yesterday was a great day.  I just came home and got crabby.  I can't explain it, it just happened.  Charles told me he would go somewhere if I didn't.  We weren't even arguing.  I guess I was just a total bear to be around.

I hope you all have a very good week ahead of you.  Spring is just around the corner!  Forget about the yucky snow in the forecast today.  Dress for the weather you want; just make sure to wear a coat over the outfit!

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shake that thang girl!

If it were possible to shake off all your fat in one night, tonight would've been the night!  Ms. Annie kicked my booty hard core tonight.  It probably didn't help that I had Mexican directly before Zumba!  I have to say that I did allow myself a cheat this evening, but have been very good all week.  I know it is only Monday, but I am talking about 7 days, not the work week.

I got to watch my sissy shake her groove thang too!  It is hard not to giggle at one another.  We feed off of each other.  I am curious to see what I weigh in at tomorrow.  A lot has been going on lately.  While I haven't had anything bad to eat, there has been a lot of eating on the run.  My routine has been off.

Here's to hoping the rest of this week gets back to the normal routine of things. 

~Signing off for now,

Jess

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Then and Now...PROGRESS PICS!

JULY 2010 (208 LBS)

 

DEC 2010 (191 LBS)
MARCH 2011 (175 LBS)



5 MORE POUNDS UNTIL I REACH MY INITIAL GOAL!!

1 MORE POUND UNTIL I REACH A "HEALTHY" BMI!!



Monday, March 7, 2011

Love one another

I watched a show tonight about how kids bully one another.  There were several different scenarios thrown about.  There was the "overweight girl" who was taunted by the so called "pretty girls".  There was the "tom boy" who didn't quite fit in.  Then there were the boys;  one boy who was not so athletic thrown into the mix with some very athletic peers.  Although the individuals bullying and being bullied were just actors, the bystanders didn't know, and the scenarios were very realistic.

I was bullied as a child.  It wasn't so much in grade school, but by the time I hit 7th grade, it was in full force.  I was not overweight then.  I was actually very thin.  I was not athletic at all.  I excelled in academics.  I was not wealthy.  I didn't wear the "coolest" clothes.  The list goes on.  If someone could pick on me for something, they did.  I went to a different school district during high school.  The experience there was quite different.  I was accepted for who I was.  I had more friends than I new what to do with.  I truly came out of my shell.  In fact, I probably had a little too much fun at times.  That is another story.

The point to my story is that everyone struggles with something in their lives.  You never know what a person's story is.  You can make assumptions about who they are without even getting to know them.  I know I have done this.  The one thing I hope I have never done is to make someone feel that they are unworthy of respect.  I don't care if you have the same religious beliefs, sexuality, race, or any other difference.  Everyone is deserving of respect and compassion.  I don't necessarily have to agree with some one's lifestyle or religion, but I do owe them the love that was shown to us by Jesus.

I hope that I continue to learn and grow on this journey God has laid before me.  I hope Jacob learns what it means to respect and love others.  I do have to go off subject for one moment.  When I asked Jacob what he would do if he saw someone being mean to one of his friends, his response was, "I would call the cops."  I thought that was hilarious.  Anyways, that is my food for thought tonight.

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Friday, March 4, 2011

Results are in!

I spoke with my doctor's office.  The news from my recent blood panels was great.  I have lowered my cholesterol about 100 points, my glucose levels were normal, and my triglycerides were also normal.  I lowered my triglycerides by almost 200 points.  The doc was very pleased.  He said I didn't need to have anymore blood work ran for a year.  I do need to raise my good cholesterol, but couldn't have really been happier with the results.  I finally feel like my hard work is paying off.  The outside appearance was an obvious change, but you never really know what is taking place in your body.  To see those numbers on paper really put things into perspective.  I feel like I have no choice but to maintain this lifestyle now.  The proof is definitely in the numbers.  That was a true blessing from God.  I have been praying about this for 5 months along with family and church family.  I feel like God has laid a new path before me.  It is my choice to stay on that path.

There are never successes without trials, though.  Without getting too into detail, this week has been a trying one for more than one reason.  I have struggled in a few areas personally, and there are a few individuals close to me who are in need of prayer for various health reasons.  I worry about those I love.  I forget to lean on God sometimes.  Please pray that I have the will power to hand over my burdens, and lean on Jesus for comfort.

Thank you so much for those of you who have supported me with words of encouragement on this journey.  Words cannot express my gratitude.

~Jess

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stick em'

I went to the doctor's office first thing this morning to have my follow-up blood work done. This is the follow up that was scheduled 4 months ago at the beginning of my journey. This was a very nerve racking morning for me. I tried to put on a brave face, but the unknown is getting to me. I hate surprises! Several things raced through my mind as I waited to get stuck. I reflected on the last 4.5 months. I am very proud of the lifestyle changes I have made. I have lost 30 pounds, eat healthy, and even exercise regularly now. One would think my numbers would have no choice but to improve. Then there is the memory of the doctor saying that my cholesterol could still be high even with diet and regular exercise. I knew this going into my journey, but have the hope that I will not have to be medicated. The side effects of cholesterol meds really concern me.

The results should be in within the next two days. I am really anxious to see how things pan out. I feel like I am back in school preparing for the exam of my life. I am so happy with the progress I have made. I was actually able to run a couple of laps around the house with Jacob tonight. That was after we raced back and forth to the mailbox twice. As embarrassed as I am to say this, I used to try and race him to the neighbor's house and had to stop half way there because I was so out of breath. I guess what I am taking out of this is the fact that even if my numbers are not where I would like them to be, I am leading Jacob by example. He will know what it means to eat healthy and be active.


Until next time,

~Jess

Monday, February 21, 2011

Can I get a 30?

30 lbs down as of Saturday!!!!!!  I couldn't have been more excited!  Every time I feel like goofing off or swaying in the tiniest way, I remember how far I have come.  I also know I don't want to go back to the place I was.  I wasn't myself for over a year.  I had no drive to get out and do things.  Everything seemed like a chore.  I wasn't even the mom or wife I know God intended me to be.  Don't get me wrong.  I was and still am a devoted wife and mother.  However, I am much more active with my family now.  I want Jacob to see me making healthy choices so it is not something he has to learn.  It will just be something that comes natural to him.

Speaking of the little man...we celebrated his 4th Birthday with a party yesterday.  There were 35 people in my house.  It was great to have all of my family and friends in one place.  I think everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.  I was beat after all was said and done.  All I wanted to do this morning was sleep in.  That is impossible with Jacob for a son.  He is such the morning person.  He was up before 5.  Charles got rained out at work today, so we were able to spend the afternoon together as a family.  We went to see "Gnomeo and Juliet 3-D".  It was cute, but not the best animated film I have seen.  I don't really get the hype about 3-D.  It is not that great.  The price is outrageous.  A trip to the movies cost us $48.  I couldn't imagine taking more than one kid!

Below are some of the photos from yesterday's festivities.  Hope you enjoy viewing...



Signing off for now,

~Jess

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No room for excuses!

So...my back was hurting last week, so I didn't do my miles.  I did the two Zumba sessions, but that is it.  I skipped Monday for Jacob's birthday.  I really did not want to go tonight.  It would have been much easier to sit down and watch the Biggest Loser people sweat instead of sweating myself.  So....I....went to Zumba!  There is no room for excuses at this point in the game.  As soon as I let the old ways creep back in, there is no telling what kind of down-ward spiral will ensue. 

I was happy to find that I have lost a total of 28 pounds now.  I just have one pound to go until I am out of the 180's.  I am almost back to the weight I was when I said my vows!!  Yay for me.  It wouldn't be as much of a journey without the friends who are on this journey with me.  I am literally watching people I have known for years melt away before my very eyes.  There isn't even magic involved.  It's just good old fashioned nasty sweat and pain.  I guess the saying, "No pain, no gain" is true.  However, I could do without the "gain" part at this point in time...

I have less than two weeks before I have to go back to the doc for my blood panels to be redone.  It will have been 4 months by then.  I really hope that my cholesterol and triglycerides have dropped significantly.  At least I know I have given it my all.

To all who are reading:  thanks so much for the support and encouragement.  I couldn't have gotten this far without all the moral support!

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday to my miracle Valentine baby!

I cannot believe it was four years ago today that my little man was welcomed into my arms.  He was worth every minute of doubt, pain, and all of the tears shed.  I thank God every day for the blessing that it is to be his mommy!  We spent the day having lunch with Papa, went to see my friend Leslie's new Valentine baby (also a miracle baby), and then daddy made us lobster tail and shrimp for dinner.  Does it get any better?  Obviously, I skipped Zumba tonight...

I even managed to file our taxes which was the worst part of my day.  All in all, it was a great day to spend with my little angel. 

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

OUCH!!

Ok....step 1. NEVER DO ZUMBA IN SHAPE UPS!!!<-----Unless you are very coordinated.  I did this last Thursday, and paid dearly for it.  I was sore until Monday.  I had the day off and did a ton of laundry.  I decided that every time I would go upstairs to get a new load, I would do lunges.  I then followed up with Zumba in the evening.  There was one new routine, but it substituted another song, so I thought I would be just fine.

I woke up Tuesday morning feeling awful.  I had really hurt my back with the shoes, and didn't rest like I should have over the weekend.  I went to see the chiropractor yesterday.  I felt so good this morning when I woke up that I wore my heeled boots to work today.  I know...what was I thinking?  I followed that up with Zumba again this evening. 

I am not sure if I am putting more effort into it, or not drinking enough water, or pushing myself too hard at home, or what, BUT I am sore tonight.  My calves are on fire!  I know that was one very long run-on sentence.  Forgive me.  Also forgive my grammar in my last post.  I wrote it from my Iphone and it didn't pick up all the errors.

I can't say that I am sorry that I am feeling the burn.  I know this means that I am really working out and burning calories.  I did, however, learn a few lessons.  Shape-ups are only made for walking in my opinion.  I will not do lunges before Zumba.  I am really out of shape....still!

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Skinny to fat to me...

It is funny to me how the society views "skinny" or "thin". Everyone wants to look perfect in a bathing suit, but are never satisfied when they put it on. I went to Florida with one of my best friends when we were 19. I weighed 160 pounds. I thought I was huge! I got plenty of stares, but I managed to convince myself that they were looking at my fat butt and pale skin instead of the fact that they may have been admiring the scenery.

I got married a month before my 23rd birthday. I weighed 172 pounds. I was so bummed that I couldn't lose he weight before the big day. I did love my dress though!

When I got pregnant with Jacob, I weighed 180 pounds. I had reached an all time high at that point. I thought I was lucky to have lost 12 lbs in the beginning of my pregnancy. How stupid is that? I was losing weight because I was sick and on bedrest, but felt good about the drop in pounds.

Why is it that we are never happy with who we are? Why is I that at any given point in time we can tell you how much we weighed and what size we wore based on th songs playing on the radio?

This time around, I am losing weight to be healthy. My goal is to be able to appreciate myself and my body for what they are instead of who society thinks it should be.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow won't get me down!

I could have used the fact that I didn't have to work yesterday, and only had a half day on Tuesday as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted and not exercise.  It would have been really easy considering Zumba was canceled.  I am proud to say that I didn't do that.  I walked 2 miles Monday, 2 miles Tuesday, played on my Auntie's Wii Fit Wednesday (after bowling), and did some Zumba tonight.  Hopefully all of this hard work is paying off.  I was excited to find out this morning that I am down another half a pound.  I believe that makes a pound and a half in the last three weeks.  That is ok.  I realize I have hit somewhat of a plateau.  In the past, this would have been about the time that I would say, "Well, obviously it is not worth it.  I give up!"  I keep reminding myself of why I started this journey.  It isn't just to better my health.  It is to be a better wife and mother to the family I have been blessed with. 

I remind myself that I have been doing this for 4 months now.  That is the longest I have ever stuck with any type of weight loss mission.  Those months have flown by.  I don't look at this as a curse or diet any longer.  I truly do look at is as a lifestyle change.  I feel that the benefits far outweigh the cravings.  Don't get me wrong...I still crave nachos every now and then.  I just know to eat them in moderation and get my butt back to working out to burn the extra calories.

Another thing I have come to grips with is the fact that I am a woman now.  I have had a child.  I have stretch marks.  I will never again have the body I had when I was a teenager.  I can learn to appreciate the body I have now though.  I can work with what I have got.  I am curvy, and there is nothing wrong with that!  I think most men would agree. I can tone and build muscle.  Stretch marks fade.  The stretch marks used to bother me more than anything.  I don't mind them so much now.  I am not saying that I like the way they look, but I have learned to accept who I am.  Those stretch marks are a constant reminder of the little boy who has brought immense joy to my life.  They remind me of where I have been, and where I am going. 

I wound up taking this post somewhere different than I had originally planned, but just wrote what was on my heart.  I did want to say a special thank you to everyone who has encouraged me through emails or comments.  It is so much nicer to do something like this when you know you are not alone.  I also want to thank all my Zumba team-mates.  There are some very strong women who work out beside me on a weekly basis.  I am learning so much about what makes a real woman.  I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead.

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Remembering you...

I was on the last sentence of a very long blog entry when I somehow hit delete.  Without typing everything over again, I will sum it up. 

Today marks the 6 month anniversary of my Papa's death.  It is also what would have been his 77th Birthday.  I miss him very much each day.  I want nothing more than to make him proud. 

I will continue this journey each day remembering what you taught me growing up; that I can do anything I put my mind to.  I will not give up.

I love you very much.  Until we meet again...

~Jess

Monday, January 31, 2011

2 miles it is!

Bummed there was no Zumba tonight, but came home and did 2 miles of my walking video. I had some Imos lunch buffet today, so felt it necessary to still work out this evening. I was very excited this morning to see that I did actually shed a pound. That makes the first pound lost in three weeks! 26 lbs down and counting. I am going to kick this PCOS in the butt!

My initial goal is to lose 38 pounds. That will put me just under what I was when I got married. The next part of my goal is to get into a slinky black dress I have yet to buy. The plan for that dress is to wear it to my 10 year high school reunion. I don't necessarily want to look the way I did in high school. That is unrealistic. I would, however, like to hear someone say, "Wow. You look great!".

Don't let this weather be an excuse to not exercise! Get up and move!

Signing of for now,

~Jess

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oh no...snow!

I honestly cannot figure out if people are just freaking out for no reason, or if we are actually likely to get over a foot of snow with an inch of ice.  We don't have a generator, and the thought of no electricity is not at all appealing.  I just hope that we can get to where we need to be safely, and home safely. 

Is it sad that I am concerned that Zumba will be cancelled?  I guess it shows how much I actually enjoy it!  I didn't do the mile I promised myself today, but it is because I was not feeling the best.  I got a ton of rest and finished the night with our small group.  It was a very insightful evening.

I hope all of you who are traveling in the next few days take it slowly.  Please be careful.  I am praying that we all remain safe and warm.

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Drop it like it's hot

As I posted on facebook, I was a little disappointed that I have not lost any weight in the last three weeks.  I did, however, do my measurements for the second time on Thursday.  The last measurements were taken two weeks ago Thursday.  Even though I have not lost anymore weight, I was down 4.5 inches.  I was very excited about this.  I needed to see some progress, and felt like that was quite an accomplishment.  It kinda made me wish I had taken my measurements back in October when this journey began.  I have done pretty well with the diet this week.  I did have 2 slices of pizza on Thursday, but limited my caloric intake to under 1500.  I picked Jacob up from a Birthday party at preschool, and the mother of the Birthday girl was not going to take no for an answer to her offering me pizza.  I knew I wouldn't have time to stop anywhere once I dropped him off at the babysitters, so I went ahead and had a free lunch.  I have not been able to work out since Wednesday at Zumba.  I am going to do a mile or two tomorrow.  Last week I was able to work out Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  That is a huge accomplishment for me.  I literally went from no physical activity at all a month ago.

I went to the movies with my mom and sister today.  I had a small popcorn that I split with my sister while I was there.  She was concerned that I was blowing my diet with the popcorn.  I did feel a little guilty, but I had only had Cheerios and fresh fruit in the morning.  I made sure I didn't order a soda to go with it.  Instead, I had a bottled water.  That was my splurge for the day.  I am not so sure I love popcorn the way I used to.  Don't get me wrong, it was good, but not the way I remembered.  I am excited to get back on target with things on Monday.  I enjoy Zumba, and feel that it is important to have some "me" time.   Wish me luck with shedding the rest of my 13 pounds to reach my initial goal.  Hopefully I will keep losing inches as well. 

I wanted to give a special shout out to one of my best friends, Angela!!  She just had her second baby in September, and is down all the baby weight, and still losing.  She is so much fun to Zumba with.  Talk about having someone hold you accountable! 

Hope you all have a restful Sunday.

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New do

          New hair.  I got a coupon in the mail, and decided to go crazy!  Going for a complete make-over...lol.

It fits!


I have a waist
Although I don't think this is the most flattering picture I have ever taken, I felt it necessary to share it, because there is a story behind it.  I got this shirt for Christmas from my dad and bonus mom 2 years ago.  I loved it when I pulled it out of the box, but knew right away it would not fit.  It was very tight looking.  Although it stated that it was an XL, which is the size I have worn in shirts since I was 19, it looked more like a medium.  I thought about giving it to one of my sisters or friends, but it was a gift, so I held onto it.  It stayed in my closet with the tags on until October 2010 when I got sick of looking at things I couldn't wear.  I took everything that didn't fit to friends or donation bins.  This shirt went to my boss.  She brought it in on Monday, along with another shirt I gave her.  She told me it would fit now, and that she wanted me to have it back.  I disagreed.  I knew it would not fit.  I tried it on so she would stop bugging me.  To my surprise, it did fit.  It fit really well.  It even showed that I have somewhat of a waist now.  It hugged all the right areas instead of all the wrong.  The pants are pants that my Grandma Bette bought me right after I had Jacob.  I was actually at a smaller weight then than I am now by about 5 pounds.  I hadn't been able to wear these pants comfortably for over 2 years.  Now, they are falling off of me.  The shirt actually seemed to hold them up.  You can see how bunched they are if you look closely.  I almost think the pants make me look bigger than I actually am because they give me the "poopy pants" appearance.  Guess it is time to hit up the resale shops for some clothes that may fit.  I am not going to spend a fortune at this point in time, because I still plan on losing another 13 pounds to hit my first goal.  From there, I will talk to the doc to see what else he suggests.  I hope the inches start melting away with Zumba!! 

Signing off for now,

~Jess
                                                          

Monday, January 24, 2011

Anonymous blessings

I got a call from the Zumba instructor today.  She was calling to let me know that I had someone donate some classes for me.  I really tried to figure out who did it.  I called 2 people in particular.  I still am not certain who donated the classes.  I guess it really doesn't matter.  It was a blessing, so I will accept it.  I am very thankful to the person who did this for me.  I feel like I have a great jump start on the fitness path, and now I have no excuse to give up.  I have to stick with it.  I hope I make whoever it was proud.

I had a good day today.  I feel better than I have felt in years.  I realized that I ran through the snow with Jacob, and wasn't out of breath.  It wasn't that far of a run, but I would normally be gasping for air with very little effort. 

I will keep this posting short and sweet.  My thought for today is to pay it forward.  If someone has blessed you in some way, be a blessing to someone else.

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back in the saddle again

It's been a few days since I posted.  Life has been very busy, but good.  I got to spend a lot of time with the family this weekend.  I also got to catch up with a friend I had not seen in a while.  Spending a day with my in-laws always has a way of reminding me how quickly time flies.  Every time we see them, they comment on how fast Jacob is growing.  He will be four next month.  I cannot believe how grown up he is getting.  Not a day goes by that I let pass without telling him what a treasure he is.  I know what a blessing he is.  It was so hard to get him here, but completely worth the wait.  Anytime I feel sad about not getting a positive pregnancy test result, I just take a look at my little boy.  He will always be my baby.

He reminds me of why I am on this journey towards a healthy life.  I have so much to live for.  There are definitely challenges that present themselves.  I was told that once someone loses a significant amount of weight, they naturally ease up on the amount of effort put into keeping the weight off.  I hope that is not the case with me.  I did cheat yesterday.  I had two slices of pizza, which is definitely not gluten free.  I also had a beer.  I beat myself up all day today over the choices I made yesterday.  I decided to count the calories I ingested yesterday to see how badly I actually messed up.  I only consumed 1234 total.  I was shocked.  I thought that I had definitely consumed more than that.  I only saw the bad and ignored all the good choices I made throughout the rest of the day.  I learned a lesson from this; it is ok to have what Sid the Science Kid would call a "sometimes food".  It is just that--sometimes.  As long as I do not make a habit of making bad choices, it is ok to make exceptions from time to time.  I am only human. 

I do not know if I have lost any weight this week or not.  The last I checked, I had only lost 1 pound in the last two weeks.  I looked at this as a disappointment for a few days, but realized that my body is getting used to the healthy habits I have introduced to it.  I just have to keep up with the exercise now.  I hope to continue the 1 hour of Zumba twice a week.  I have not been since Wednesday, but did walk a mile in 15 minutes tonight.  Jacob did the video with me.  It was so cute.

I guess my lesson for today, or even this whole week is to take each day for what it teaches me on this journey.  I will hit speed bumps along the way.  It is my responsibility to remain on the path.

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Super Supplement

For those of you reading with PCOS, I encourage you to visit the website chiralbalance.com.  I do not get paid to tell you this.  I don't even get a discount.  The reason I am about to tell you this is because I believe in their products.  When I started my weight loss journey in October, I began taking a supplement called D-chiro-inositol (DCI).  It is a natural supplement which has helped me dramatically.  I, for the first time ever without the help of BC, have had regular cycles since November.  I also believe that my insulin levels have regulated.  I no longer have hypoglacemic episodes if I go without food for longer than two hours at a time.  DCI is known to help with all aspects of PCOS.  I could explain what it is, or how it works, but I know I would mess it up.  That is why I suggest you check out the site for yourself.  I do have to say that it is rather pricey ($60 for a month supply), but worth the price in my opinion.  If you have concerns, I suggest speaking with your doctor.  There is a doctor's pamphlet that can be printed from the website to take with you to your visit.  The most basic thing to know about DCI is that it is a B vitamin.

If you have never had a biometric screening done, I would suggest you speak to your doctor about this.  I suffered from very high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and was also prediabetic.  It helped me to actually see those numbers on paper.  It was at that point I realized that I may never be cured of this disease, but I do have the power to stabalize it.

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Get up!

I had a bummer day yesterday.  It just seemed like everything I attempted to do went wrong.  I got sick after lunch.  It may have had something to do with eating those chips at the Mexican restaurant.  I couldn't figure out how to apply a blog template that I paid for (incompatible).  I burned Charles' steak.  I also used the teaspoon side of the seasoning instead of the shaker side.  I can't believe he ate it.  I just wanted to cry and really had no idea why.  What can I say, I am hormonal...

Then I got a call from my friend asking if I still planned on going to Zumba.  To be honest, I was hoping that she would forget about it.  She didn't.  I showed up.  I am glad that I did.  It was just the time I needed to dance out some of the aggravations of the day.  I enjoyed myself.

I have had my ups and downs so far on the journey to a healthy lifestyle, but I have a great support system.  If  it wasn't for those around me encouraging me to press on, I probably would've given up after week one!  So, my tidbit of advice for today is "GET UP!"  You will feel better, I promise!

Signing off for now,

~Jess

P.S. I FINALLY HIT 25 LBS LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"PURPOSE"

FAMILY (my purpose)

The definition of purpose as according to Wikipedia is a result, end, mean, aim, or goal of an action intentionally undertaken, or of an object being brought into use or existence...

We had an amazing day today.  This morning, we watched our best friend's newest addition get baptized.  There is nothing sweeter than watching two loving parents with the company of friends and family dedicating their child to God.  After the baptism, their pastor gave a lesson to the children in the audience.  He started out the sermon with the word "purpose".  He asked all of the children if they knew what that word meant.  He held up a flashlight and explained the purpose of a flashlight was to bring light to dark areas.  The next part cracked me up, because only my son would raise his hand to say, "Um, I have a flashlight, but the batteries went dead."  Needless to say, the congregation let out an audible chuckle.  It was pretty darn cute.  The pastor went on to explain our purpose as Christians is to share the light of the Word with the rest of the world.

I went home later in the day.  We did our normal Sunday routine of taking a nap, and then getting ready for our church small group at our house.  Throughout the day, I thought of the word purpose several times.  The word even came up in discussion during small group.  Our leader handed us a schedule for the week and asked us to document our daily routines.  The purpose of this exercise is to show us where our priorities lie so that we know what necessary changes to make in our walks of faith.  I was excited about this, because I believe in having goals, and once they are on paper, it is harder to ignore them.


Sitting here thinking tonight, I realize what much of my purpose is:

1. To strengthen my relationship with God and Jesus
2. To be the best wife and mother I know how to be.
3. To continue my journey on the road to a healthy lifestyle, including educating others on what PCOS is and stands for.
4. To simplify certain aspects of life, and focus on what is most important.

Lastly, not to let my batteries die!  I want my light to shine for others to see. 

Signing off for now,
~Jess

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Zumbarrific!!

So I was totally disappointed Monday night.  I was supposed to start my long awaited exercise journey, but the snow put a damper on that.  I said to myself that I would wake up early to do yoga the next two mornings, but everyone knows how hard it is to resist hitting the snooze button.  Needless to say, I didn't do the yoga yesterday or today.  However, I did go to ZUMBA tonight.  It was an hour long and totally kicked my booty!  Seriously, I have not worked out that hard ever!  I learned a lot about myself tonight; for one, I can really move my hips.  I am not sure if they moved the way that they were supposed to, but I can really move them!  I will have to remember to use my inhaler before I begin next time instead of afterwards.  That was the only downside.  Wait...how could working out have a downside? 

On a serious note, I received my vitamins this evening.  I am super excited to start taking them.  I hope it doesn't matter that they sat in the freezing weather until I arrived home at 7:30 p.m.  The progesterone cream is completely frozen, but I assume that will thaw out just fine. 

By the way...did I mention that in an hour of Zumba you burn between 500-1000 calories?  In all reality, it does kick some major behind, but I am not sore as of yet.  It was a lot of fun!

Signing off for now,

~Jess

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Newest Chapter

Ok...I think I have the diet under control.  However, I have not yet begun exercising!  I decided when I started this transformation that I was going to take it one step at a time.  I feel that this was necessary for me, because if I feel overwhelmed with too many changes, I am more likely to give up before I even begin.  So...tonight I am going to our local gym to try out Zumba!  I know the instructor, and the first class is free.  I also have a customer who told me about a great walking in place video that works your whole body.  I am excited, but also nervous.  I realize how out of shape I really am, and know that I am going to be sore tomorrow.  However, this is a change that I am ready to make.  I am anxious to see what results will come when combining work-outs with diet.  I know how much more energy I have now than I did several months ago, but am looking forward to even more energy!

I hope you all find 2011 to be one of your healthiest years to date!

Signing off for now,

~Jess

P.S.  24 pounds down and counting.  That is an average of 8 lbs per month!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The battle of the bulge

As much as I hate to do this, I think it is time to show some pictures of my progress.  I don't like to look at where I began, but feel it's necessary to remind myself of why I am doing what I am doing.  So...here goes:
Before




Now



I did want to say that even though I am eating healthier meals, I still eat several snacks throughout the day to keep my metabolism going.  I snack on lots of peanuts, carrots, and fruits.  It is important to keep blood sugars regulated.


Signing off for now,

~Jess

Thursday, January 6, 2011

To cheat or not to cheat...

So... yesterday was my day off.  Charles and I went to get our oil changed on both vehicles in the morning.  We stopped at Waffle House for breakfast.  I ordered 2 egg whites, a tomato (sliced), and 2 slices of bacon.  For lunch, I had a plain can of tuna.  I ate light because I knew we were having our annual work party in the evening.  Of course pizza was the dinner we were provided.  I was very proud of 2 of the girls that I work with.  They ordered salad and grilled chicken with veggies.  I have only eaten pizza one other time since I started my transformation in October.  I decided to make an exception.  I have to say that I did enjoy it, but the cupcake I had later pushed things over the top.  I had an upset stomach for much of the evening.  I was happy to find out I did lose another 2.5 pounds making my total weight loss 22.5 pounds.  I do believe that a healthy lifestyle is the only lifestyle that I should be living.  However, I do think the occasional "cheat" is necessary to maintain one's sanity.  I just have to remind myself to get back on the horse the following day, no matter how uncomfortable the saddle may feel.

On another note, I did have a sense of accomplishment yesterday.  I visited a website for PCOS which lists what type of supplements are best to take.  I then visited swansonvitamins.com to stock up on natural vitamins.  By no means do I think people should only take what they find on the Internet, but I have done extensive research and also discussed these vitamins with my doc.  I am very excited to see what differences they will make.  The site I found my info on is:

http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com/supplements.html

I am currently taking d-chiro-inositol which I do believe has made some significant changes.  Along with diet, I feel that my insulin levels have regulated, I sleep better, and seem to have more energy and less cravings.  I am no longer shaky after 2 hours without food.  The doctor recommended I take a multi-vitamin as well as vitamin D (women with PCOS suffer from D deficiencies and bone loss).  I had bought some vitamins at Wal-Mart, but was concerned by the fact that most of the vitamin is made of binders so that much of it does not get digested.

Tomorrow brings another day and another chance to reach out to someone.  I challenge everyone reading to make a difference in someone's day.  Lend a helping hand or simply smile.  Your sincerity could be the only thing that brightens their day. 

Signing off for now

~Jess

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Let Go and Let God"

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about where my life has been and where it is going. I have thought so much lately about the changes I have been making in my own life. I have really enjoyed getting the compliments about my recent weight loss, the questions about how I finally found something that works, and the positive feedback I have gotten from those I know who are going through similar circumstances. As I was thinking about all of this, I remembered back to my pregnancy with Jacob (Jacob will be 4 on Valentine's day). Everything was so difficult during my pregnancy. The doctors really didn't think I would be able to sustain the pregnancy because my progesterone levels were so low. I had two very bad visits to the ER, and was on a lot of bedrest through the first trimester. Taking hormones, visiting the doc often, and just worrying about the little guy growing inside of me was very emotionally draining. My mom told me one day to "Let go, and let God". It sounded good, but my initial thought was "Thanks, mom. Easier said than done." It wasn't until my second trip to the ER that I actually knew what she meant. I felt like I had cried all the tears I could cry. I was poked repeatedly by needles (13 times before they could get the IV in), waited 11 hours to find out if I was still pregnant, and then told I was pregnant but that it may end badly. Doctors always have to prepare you for the worst. I was sent home to rest (again). My regular OB was out, so her partner called me. This man wasn't always the nicest man. Infact, I really did not care for him at all. However, this day, he had something worth while to say. It was almost as if the words were placed on his heart by God, because he said exactly what I needed to hear at that point. He told me that I may not be able to carry my child to term. He also told me that it was in God's hands. That hit home. My tiny baby was in God's hands. Afterall, he was the one who gifted him to me in the first place. At that moment, I knew that everything would be fine. I had a peace come over me that I had never known before. Whether I would carry my baby to term, or one day meet him in heaven, I knew it was ok. He was God's child, and therefore, he would be protected.

Often times I forget that I am not the one in control. I need to take time to admit that I could not do this alone. God is how I am making the differences in my life. He is who gave me everything I have to live for. I want to be healthy for my husband and child. I want to be a good example to my son. I guess I just needed to take some time out of my day to recognize all that I do have, and all that I am working for. Thank you God for the many blessings in my life!

To all of you who are trying to conceive, or trying to sustain a pregnancy, remember to Let Go and Let God. He is there for you to lean on when you cannot stand on your own.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

So much to say, so little time...

After writing my first post, I felt like a weight had been lifted. I used to write all the time, but have not done so for years. The thought of keeping a personal journal never appealed to me. The thought of people reading my personal journal was terrifying. However, I feel like I am on a new path now. I am taking back my life, and if I can help one person along the way, it is all worth while. I only have a few minutes to post this morning, so I will keep it short. I promise to explain how and when I was diagnosed, what supplements I have been taking, my personal experiences, etc. I have been given the gift of gab! I just wanted to leave everyone with one quote this morning to start your day with. I know this one has really helped me.

"YOU ONLY FAIL IF YOU NEVER TRY!"

Signing off for now,

Jess

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new beginning doesn't always have to start with the New Year

In October of 2010, my weight reached an all-time high. After being "officially" diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) in May of 2009, I spent a year of taking Metformin every single day, and hated every single day of it. For some of you who may not know what PCOS is, to sum it up, it is a hormonal imbalance which about 10% of women suffer from. The symptoms range anywhere from missed/abnormal menstrual cycles to obesity, diabetis, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and the most common- infertility. Along with these, you are also at a higher risk for heart disease and certain cancers. Back to the metformin; metformin is prescribed to help regulate insulin levels in people with diabetes. Because women with PCOS are often insulin resistant, doctors often prescribe Metformin to them hoping to regulate cycles and promote pregnancies. The bad thing is that Metformin has some really mean side effects. These mean side effects occur in some, but not all patients. I fell in the some category (not cool). It made me very tired and sick to my stomach all the time. There is no need to go into depth. After trying a year on Metformin, I decided to go for a round of Clomid in June of 2010. We had been trying to conceive for almost two years by that time. I would really love to give Jacob a younger brother or sister. Needless to say, being on Clomid, Progesterone, and Metformin made me feel absolutely awful. After one round, we decided it was time to quit everything. I had no quality of life anymore, and I needed to take back my life for my family and me. Of course after going off Metformin, I immediately gained 6 pounds. I waited several months until I had a routine visit with my general practitioner. He stated that he wanted to run some blood panels. Needless to say, I did not get good news. My cholesterol was out of control (twice the limit it should be). My blood sugar was also out of whack. I decided to take control at that moment. The doc agreed to the diet plan I researched, and has given me until the end of February to see results. Since October, I have been on a gluten-free, sugar-free, low carb meal plan. I also take a few supplements. I have lost 20 pounds to date. I will go more into the details later. I just wanted to start this blog off with how I got where I am now...