Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm actually doing this? Holy smokes! I'm ACTUALLY doing this!

So here we are, nearly four month into my journey and I realize today, very suddenly, that I'm doing this! I personally have worked hard by eating right and exercising regularly and have lost just over 40 lbs! No surgeries, no gimic diets, just me and my calories...calories in, calories's that simple. It's not easy, but the math...the math is simple.

I also hit my first stall or plateau a while back that lasted two weeks. I was perfectly on plan (exericising, eating the right calories, and drinking my water) but the scale wouldn't budge! I just kept losing and gaining the same 2-3 lbs. I was so frustrated and definitely had an emotional reaction - I was actually feeling a little depressed like maybe 35 lbs was the best I could do on my own. But physically, I kept going strong. I dug in and kept working my plan. Hitting that gym and being super careful about what I was eating. And...the scale still wouldn't move.

So, at the encouragement of my 3FC besties (Three Fat Chicks), I decided to take a progress picture and measure myself. They all believed that I wasn't really as stalled as I thought I was. The scale was stalled but that didn't mean I was staying the same. I was hesitant, because I had just measured three weeks before...just before my stall...and did not expect much difference if any at all. BUT, low and behold, I was down another 5"!  And in just three weeks! Holy crow!

As of today, I am 40.2 lbs and 16" inches smaller than when I started. My progress pictures are on my photo page. Check them out...if you dare!  ;)

I also decided it was time to step up my workouts and learn a bit more about exercise and nutrition so I joined California Family Fitness' Body Fit Challenge. This is a biggest loser type 8-week challenge to see who can lose the highest percentage of body weight.

Please keep me in your thoughts as I embark on this newest challenge to test my limits, increase my understanding of health and fitness, and work hard to get healthier!

Monday, July 18, 2011


I haven't posted in a while. Yeesh! I've been busy with out of town work and some wonderful family vacations. The good news for me is that I'm back home and most importantly...back on plan.

So, I hit my 10% in June but then lost a little footing over my trips. But since being back on plan - which means staying within my calories, exercising daily, and drinking all my water - I have not only gotten back down to my 10% but have also surpassed it!

In doing so, I've finally broken the 30lb mark! This is a goal I've NEVER reached before and I'm quite proud of myself! I've also lost another 3.5", brining me down to 11" lost total! Woo hoo!

It's not easy but I'm staying focused, being more consistent than I've ever been before, and I'm definitely seeing the results - the results are a steady downward trend. A downward trend that is here to stay!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Did you say 10%?!?!

Yes, yes I did! As of today, I have lost 10% of my body weight. I DID IT!!

Here are some of the benefits of losing 10% and yes, I am feeling them!

Health Benefits

Risk factors associated with obesity can be significantly decreased by a moderate weight loss such as 10 percent of initial body weight, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The Department of Health and Human Services adds that achieving this initial weight loss goal helps lower the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and osteoporosis. The CDC indicates that a 10 percent weight loss also improves blood cholesterol.

Lifestyle Benefits

The CDC reports that participants in the National Weight Control Registry found improvements in energy levels, self-confidence, general mood and physical mobility related to weight loss. Related outcomes might include ability to play with children, climb stairs, or perform activities of daily living without becoming out of breath.

Read more:"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Drumroll please...

So, I have BIG news! As of today, I am no longer Morbidly Obese! My BMI is officially under 40 at 39.96! Woo hoo!!!

This is a huge milestone for me and I'm so happy AND proud of myself to have made it this far. I am very nearly in tears realizing that I've already accomplished this amazing thing. I did this. All on my own but with the support and encouragement of my friends.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Ummm yea, things are actually good!

So, Weekend #1 of my June On-Plan Weekend Challenge was a success! I lost 1.8 lbs over the weekend - with just a teeny tiny gain Monday morning which was likely just due to some extra sodium on Sunday. I was super active ALL weekend and stayed OP with food and water intake as well. In fact, I did a 5k with my Mom on Sunday. We did the same 5k last year and we knocked five minutes off our time! Yahoo! weekend down, three more to go...

Today is the eve of Weekend #2, which is going to have some fun challenges. I'm going camping. Yikes! Camping has always been my free pass to be lazy and snack...a lot! My schedule always gets a little screwy in that I sleep in and stay up a bit later...and staying up later usually correlates to late night snacks as well.

However, I am an experienced camper so I know what the challenges are and have formulated some strategies to avoid my usual pitfalls. No, this isn't war per se, but I must strategize as though it is!

As such, my battle plans are as follows:
1) Drink ALL my water EVERY day!
2) DO NOT drink my calories!
3) Get at least some activity in.
4) Eat healthy snacks.

One and two are pretty straightforward. For one, I'm bringing my special water cup that I have with me at ALL times these days and my precious MiO water enhancer...since that's the only way I can ever manage to choke down all my water. For two, it's just going to be shear will power. Nothing tastes better than an "ice chest" Pepsi while camping. To be honest, my parents are taking all the food so I'm not sure what they took. If there's no Pepsi, will power will not be needed. If they did, all bets are off!

For three, I'm taking my bike and so did my son. 11 year olds are obviously naturally active so it shouldn't be to hard to get a bike ride or two in each day. The campground is fairly small though so riding around might not be very much fun so we'll just have to see about that one. It's been unseasonably cold this summer so it's definitely not going to be warm enough to swim. The campground is surrounded by a nice forest so maybe we can take a hike.

For the final goal, I'm taking my trusty low calorie popcorn. It's super filling and I don't have to feel bad for eating a whole bag if I need to. I KNOW my parents took a bunch of crap to so I'm also bringing my Kindle - loaded with new books and the afghan I'm crocheting to keep my mind and hands busy. You know...idle hands and all that.

So anyway, as far as the numbers go, I'm down 6.7 lb so far this month, 26.5 lbs total. My next mini goal is to hit 263.2, which is just 2.7 lbs away. Once I hit that, I will have lost 10% of my weight! Wow! I've never lost that much before in my life. I also haven't been below 268 since I got pregnant with my youngest who's now almost three. Good things are happening and I have only myself to thank. I AM doing this! Who knew I could...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May Wrap-up

So, May ended well...even with the holiday. I'm seeing a trend though...a trend I don't like and will definitely be focusing on in the coming month. I see that most of my up ticks in weight are directly connected my inability to stay on-plan during the weekends and during that special time of month. So, that is something I will focus on in June.

Here's a recap of May's progress -
Starting weight: 282.6
Ending weight: 272.6 (10 lb loss!)

In addition to the scale, I also re-measured and have lost a total of 7.5 inches since January.

I also decided to get my blood work checked again and received another pleasant surprise. My total cholesterol is now 140, 36 points lower than what it was in January and my triglycerides are now 150, 12 points lower than in January!

Woo hoo! I am definitely a healthier person today than I was at the beginning of the year. That was my ultimate goal and I find myself feeling proud of my success so far.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


So, I've been at this for just over 1 1/2 months. While most days things plug along according to plan and routine, there are ALWAYS "occasions." Occasions are those lovely appointments, dates, gatherings, etc...that usually involve yummy, delicicous, no where near "on plan" foods. While the occasions themselves are usually great fun and hopefully are times we look forward to, they can definitely bring some stress along with them.

I've had a few occasions this past week, some planned and some not, that have thrown me for a bit of a curve but I'm actually pretty happy with how they all went - even if the scale shifted a bit in the wrong direction because of them.

Occasion #1 - Unexpected dinner with out of state family...
Now, one might first wonder how something unexpected could pop up with "out of state" family. You'd think if they were travelling out of state that I might have known they would be here. In this case, my aunt has been here for a few weeks and is actually leaving today. What I didn't realize is that she was leaving from Sacramento (where I live) and that her sister was coming up to see her off. This lead to an unexpected (but free) dinner out to Chinese. Now, eating out in general is usually tough. Even if you pick "healthy" choices, they are usually loaded with sodium and other additives that make your body react differently than if cooked and ate the same food at home. Well, my choices were middle of the road - not bad but not good - but I drank only water and did well with my portions. Overall, I had a FANTASTIC time with my family and was happy with my food performance. There was a teenie upward bump on the scale - nothing I'm worried about though.

Occasion #2 - Planned dinner out for my son's 11th birthday...
I knew this one was coming, got extra exercise in, very conservative with my calories early in the day, stayed on top of my water consumption. I reviewed the menu ahead of time so I would know what the "healthiest" options were and stuck to it. I brought my MiO and drank only water and DID NOT turn down the free scoop of vanilla ice cream at the end of the night!  Again - I had a really great time with my family and I was more than satisfied with my food performance. While I ended up over my calorie goal, I still had a deficit for the day so...I'm happy with it. This morning, there was a bigger gain (still less than a pound). BOO!

I hadn't prepared for Occasion #1 - hadn't exercised, drank all my water, or tracked my foods for four days prior and didn't plan ahead but nevertheless, the scale showed positive results. On the flip side, I did everything right for Occasion #2 but the scale showed negative results. My main take away from all this is:
1. The scale should not be our only or even the primary indicator of success. This is because not only does weight fluctuate daily but sometimes it takes time for the good or bad results to "show" in the numbers.
2. Fun occassions cannot be overshadowed by stress and worry about food performance and scale results. It just isn't worth it.

You've got to make your choices and be HAPPY with them regardless of what the scale says the next day. So long as you can do that, one off-plan meal will not turn into several off-plan'll stick to your program and the scale will start showing the numbers you want to be seeing before you know it!

*Update on the numbers: I'm down 10lbs so far this month - even with my "occasion" results!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mood: Content

You know...we've all had days, weeks, months, years even, when things just weren't quite going well. I've been there myself. And if it weren't for those times, I wonder if we could appreciate how....satisfying it is when everything is just clicking together.

Life is good in the Villarreal household right now. I'm a more fun and engaged mother...just ask my kids. I'm a more fun and engaged'll just have to take my word on this one. ;) I'm a more fun and engaged me! I feel good, inside and out and that's fantastic feeling.

I'm really settling into a good routine for me. I'm on plan with my food, water, and exercise more days than I'm not. And when I'm not, it's not the crazed out of control binging like in the past. It's just simple little indulgences that are usually planned and well worth it! I'm so focused on me that I can hear my body more clearly...and then really listen to what's is saying. I'm learning more about how my body reacts to foods, when they're eaten, what type of exercise and when. I've been able to make adjustments so I continue to feel good about what I'm doing. The crazy part is that I'm realizing I just overall know myself better than I have in.....well, in forever!

So, quick update on the numbers. I'm down 8.6 lbs so far this month! Yahoo! I haven't weighed less than 268 in almost five years! 260's here I come!


Saturday, April 30, 2011

I did it!

Yes folks, I did. I walked 13.2 miles today!  Woo hoo!!! I finished a The Parkway Half Marathon this morning!

My alarm went off at 4:45 this morning and I DID NOT want to get up! I had a million and a half excuses to get my butt back in bed. BUT, I got up, got dressed, ate breakfast, brushed my teeth and hit the road. It was FREEZING on the bike trail but the whistle blew and off we went.

That's my medal!
I was chugging right along until the 8-mile marker when I felt a blister coming. Two miles later, I. WAS. DONE. My feet were killing me, my hips and knees were aching...long story short, I was tired. Seriously, I wanted to quit. Had there been a sign on the road, saying "Quitters exit here" I would have gone. Somehow though, I managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other for the next 3.2 miles.

So, here's to persevering even when you wanna quit. Here's to starting an adventure even when you're scared...especially when you're scared.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ummm....What did you say?

That's exactly what I told the scale this morning when it said I GAINED 6.6lbs! WHAT?! Excuse me?!? You must be mistaken! But alas, after clearing my sleepy eyes, and checking two more times...still a HUGE gain. Lucky for me, I didn't weigh-in at home because after seeing that number, I surely would have crawled right back in bed and said FORGET IT!

I couldn't weigh-in on my usual scale this morning and when I tried to weigh-in on the Wii...the dang batteries were dead and I couldn't find more. So...I headed to the gym like a good little girl and figured I'd use the digital scale they have there. In addition to not weighing in first thing in the morning, not weighing in on my usual scale, a lingering visit from Aunt Flow, and it's associated water retention....I'm really hoping that gain is some CRAZY fluke. (Seems pretty unlikely though.)

Though I wanted to through a tantrum right there in the gym lobby, I calmly collected my things and proceeded to the Interval Madness class I had planned to attend with my friend. I got a good workout in, showered, and headed to work. Leaving the gym I was really feeling like I should go ahead and "earn" that gain by grabbing some tasty breakfast that would be really bad for me!

BUT...I didn't.  (YAY!)

If I'm being honest, I am quite sad. I've been working hard and it's super discouraging to see the opposite of my efforts appear on the scale. But, instead of using that sadness to justify quitting...I'm going to dig in. I'm not giving up. I'm going to hunker down and keep at this. I've been on plan with my exercising, calories, and water but I know there's an explanation for the gain so I'm just going to dig deep into the details until I figure it out.

"Don't trade what you want most, for what you want right now."

Well, this is put up or shut time time, right? It's easy to walk the walk when you're getting the results you want. The big test is sticking to it even when you're not. Well, I'm going to pass this'll se.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ahh, holidays...

Well, I survived another holiday weekend...barely. I ate WAY too much food and surprised myself by drinking a lot of soda...and not even diet soda. Bleh. BUT, I had a ton of fun visiting and playing cards with my family. Laughing, joking, sharing old memories, and making new ones. It was a complete joy coloring and hunting eggs with the munchkins. This long holiday weekend is now past me, with great memories and I'm back on plan starting yesterday!

So, my official weigh-in day is Friday. As you know, Friday before last I had an amazing whoosh. This past week...not so much. However, I did have a huge NSV so I'll talk about that first. I worked out 7 days last week! Once Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Twice Thursday and Friday! I even tried a new class Friday morning called H20 was a great water aerobics class that was fun and a nice change from the usual routine. I'm proud to have gotten those 7 workouts in. I planned ahead knowing that I would be out of town - and not working out. Yay me!

And now...back to the weight. When I weighed in last Friday, there was no change. Usually, this would have been a huge disappointment but not this time. It didn't bother me this time for several reasons.
1. I made it to the gym so often - one of my initial goals when starting this journey a month ago. How could I be disappointed when I know I made my health a priority??
2. Aunt Flow was due for her monthly visit, literally ANY second! Usually, I have all kinds of water weight gain just before so not having a gain was super exciting!

I jumped right back on plan Monday morning and plan to stay that way all week. I'm not confident I'll see a loss this coming Friday, since I ate so darn much over the holiday but I can live with that. I had a fabulous time and didn't go completely crazy so it's okay with me that I wasn't perfect. Life is all about balance and being perfect is boring!  ;)

After all...
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO! What a ride!'"  ~Author Unknown

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Friends are a funny thing.

So a group of women, that I would technically consider my mom's friends, have all become "gym rats." Though new to the gym rat species myself, this group of women have welcomed me into their circle. I attend different classes with them at least three times a week and then sporadically with some spontaneous class ideas other times. Last night, Nicoll, one of the group, decided to join me for my early morning class. This was great news!

The funny thing about "timing" and "everything happens for a reason" with all this is...

I could not sleep last night! I was up until about 11:30 which is late for me considering I usually go to be at 9pm when I know I have to get up early for the gym. So...I was exhausted when the alarm went off this morning and REALLY wanted to ignore it.

However, since my friend Nicoll was planning to meet me at the gym, I crawled, unwillingly, out of bed, got dressed, and got my behind to the gym.

So thanks Nicoll! If it weren't for you, I'm certain I could have convinced myself to stay home this morning!  ;)

"Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things." ~Author Unknown

Monday, April 18, 2011

Funny thing...

So, I found myself sitting at the kitchen table in peaceful silence (both boys were staying with family). During this silence, I had some time to reflect on a surprising turn of events I noticed.

As it happens, my boys are with family just about every other weekend. We have lots of close by family so they're often staying with this cousin or those grandparents. Typically, on these weekends, I "reward" myself with much needed quiet time watching movies or reading books or even spending some quality time with my hubby. Basically, I spent the weekend doing nothing. Lazing around, relaxing...which isn't all bad except that I wasn't really accomplishing much either. I wasn't getting any activity or really taking care of myself. I was giving my mind a much needed break but I was hurting myself too. I figured, there's no way I can feel refreshed if I'm "busy" all weekend. I have to do nothing if I want to be refreshed for another week of work, right?

Funny thing is...

I had this past Friday off work, and I started the morning off going to the gym and then came home and cleaned the inside and outside of my car (first time since I was 18 I think!). I went inside and took care of some laundry and the next thing I knew it was time for a dinner date with my girlfriends. Saturday I had Zumba at 9:30, had breakfast with my mom, and went home to clean house and finish laundry. Next thing I knew it was time to go to my parents for dinner. Sunday I ran a bunch of errands for a charity project I volunteered for at work.

What I realized is that my weekend was filled with activity and simply accentuated with some quality downtime with friends and family. This realization combined with how I was feeling that Sunday morning...was nothing short of amazing! That morning I felt centered, energized, and refreshed. I didn't feel as though I'd been "running" around all weekend with no time to relax. I felt simply...wonderful!

It's encouraging to realize that by committing to workout regularly and spend less time in front of the T.V. that I wouldn't be giving up my sanity (which is sincerely what I thought would happen) but that I'm actually gaining it. Ironic - to find out that by focusing on my health, I would actually start to feel better! LOL. You'd that would have been obvious enough but wasn't! 

So anyway, I now know that I don't have to miss my old life...there's nothing in the old life that I can't get in my new life and more!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Whoosh is a term I learned on the website titled 3 fat chicks on a diet! or 3FC ( It's a word they use to celebrate a big loss. Well, I had a big whoosh this week. Before I talk about the numbers though, I want to share how exciting this week has been with my non-scale victories.

First, I committed to work out 6 times this week. As of Thursday evening, I had already worked out five times. One time Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and two times Thursday. That in itself, is a huge non-scale victory, regardless of what the scale said this morning. I also snuck in a quick and dirty 30 minute workout this morning and will be attending Zumba Saturday. That a total of seven times!

I committed to stay within my calories each day this week...and did! Another huge non-scale victory!

A member of 3FC shared an excerpt from a book she was reading, which said that the behaviors associated with successful weight loss had already been observed and documented in a study by The National Weight Control Registry. In this study, the participants who had lost 30 lbs or more and kept it off for 5 years or more, had the following behaviors in common:
  • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
  • 75% weigh themselves at least once per week.
  • 78% eat breakfast every day.
  • 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.
  • 94% increased their physical activity, with the most frequently reported form of activity being walking.
  • 98% modified their food intake in some way to lose weight.
I have kinda sorta but not really tried to lose weight before and probably managed to apply two of these six behaviors. However, I was pleasantly surprised to read this and realize that, during the last three weeks, I've managed to incorporate all six! In fact, as I think I mentioned in an early post, my husband and I made the decision to cancel our cable so that we could afford the gym membership - TV for three weeks! (Although I do watch about an hour of a Disney movie each week night with my 2 year old as he settles down for bed.)

So anyway, back to the numbers. I weighed in last week at 281.6 lbs and this morning...

276 even!  That's a loss of 5.6 lbs!

I definitely don't expect this type of loss each week but it's a real kick start for my motivation to help me KNOW, that without a doubt, I am making the right changes this time....the last time. I am already a healthier person than I was three weeks ago.

I sleep better at night.
I wake up feeling...refreshed, each morning.
I have naturally been able to cut out fast food and soda completely!
I can feel my body talking to me in good ways with the gentle ache in my muscles.
I have more energy during the day and certainly more energy when I get home in the evenings.

I know I'll have ups and downs, days when I don't want to work out, days when I really want that not good for me snack. I may succumb to those and that's okay. I'll bounce right back and keep the end goal in mind.

And everyday, I'll work to make good choices. Each little decision is an opportunity for a success.

And I'll remember...

"Don't trade what you want most, for what you want now."  (author unknown)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gym rat? Eh....

Urban Dictionary: One who spends entirely too much time partaking in muscle building, strength training, cardiovascular, or aerobic activity. Specifically, one who does so at a health club or gym. Often used derrogatorily by people who do not partake in or understand this lifestyle; some self-proclaimed gym rats use the term as a status symbol or for positive reinforcement.

Having recently become a member and exercised in one torturous form or another at my local gym, I was curious what the "urban" definition of gym rat was. I do not claim to be a gym rat nor would I wish to slam those who do but I am extremely interested in the lifestyle.

I have been a member for two weeks now and have managed to get my workout in five days each week and am feeling pretty good. I'm trying to new things, getting out of my comfort zone, and meeting new people - which are, in my book, always good things to do. I signed up at what's turning out to be a popular gym among folks that I work with and friends/acquaintances and it's actually been fun meeting friends to try out new classes, or talking with co-workers about the classes we've tried/instructors we like but my favorite subject is discussing the soreness of newly discovered muscles with friends.

Who knew that knew this new adventure would lead to joys other than weight loss. I like it!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Camping huh? This should be....interesting.

Well, I'm headed out for a family camping trip. I've got plenty of healthy snacking options packed away but I KNOW my parents are bringing loaded of goodies that I would just love to sink my teeth into.

BUT, in addition to my yummy snacks, my husband and I are also taking our bikes. The weather in sunny California is absolutely beautiful today and I know we'll get plenty of activity as well as R&R in this weekend. 

Oh yea, did I mention that we're going with no kids? REALLY looking forward to that!

I'm actually not too worried about the food. My parents did bring lot of yummy stuff but they're going the gym and eating right thing too so I think they bought more out of habit than anything. We're bring cards and I have my kindle and I know a good time will be had by all.

By the way, I will be having a Peppermint Patty and a few roasted marshmallows and YES! I'm going to enjoy every taste!  

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Change of Scenery? Change in perspective.

Okay, so it’s been over six months since my last post. I have a knew found respect for those that blog consistently and still manage to keep things interesting. There are things in my life that I know work for me, like blogging and sharing difficulties and successes with my friends, and for some reason, I just stop doing them. What the heck is up with that already?!?!

So I started a journey in January of 2010, (no surprise that this began right around that pesky New Year’s resolution time) and didn’t really commit myself to my goals like I felt I would. This was a bit of a disappointment to me since I really felt like I was ready to make permanent lifestyle changes. However, as is my usual habit, I faltered and made excuses for myself – as if my life is really that much more complicated than those who manage to eat right and exercise regularly. Okay, I have kids. Okay, I have a job. Okay….what? That’s not much different than most folks and even if it was….SO WHAT?!? So what, Jami? That just means you have to try harder. I do it all the time to make my kids life safe, fun, exciting, and educational. I do it all the time at work when I take on new projects, prove myself to a new manager, or simply need to rock some big project out. So why should it be any different with my OWN life? The answer is pretty simple. It shouldn’t. You gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Well…I gotta. I gotta be healthier! I gotta live MY life to the fullest!

So, while I did end up slightly lighter on my feet at the end of 2010 than at the beginning, it was such a minor improvement I decided it’s worth acknowledging though not really worth celebrating. BUT, it was definitely worth learning from. As part of my learning, I tried to examine some of the external issues that dampened my motivation and found that most of them were just excuses but a few were valid and needed to be addressed.

1. Being still doesn’t really promote a healthy lifestyle. Even though I made these well intended health goals last year, I still wasn’t exercising. I go to work so early and get home so late (still needing to have dinner w/ my family and help with homework) that getting in even a three-mile walk was next to impossible. It’s usually too dark when I leave, too dark when I get home OR entirely too hot for both. Now, most people might say the heat shouldn’t be a factor but it is. I HATE being hot and am prone to headaches when I’m overheated. That’s just me and something I need to work around. REMEDY: I got a gym membership! I haven’t done this for a VERY long time because I found that it usually just ended up being a donation. Meaning I never used it but continued to pay that lovely monthly fee each month. So nice of me, right? Anyway, my husband and I started out with a 7-day free pass just to check things out and followed that up with a full on membership! Wow! I’ve gone every day since Monday and am feeling great! Good news: my hubby, mom, and dad are also going! The family that works out together, stays together!

2. To count points, or not count points? The Weight Watchers program, which I love by the way, just wasn’t working for me. I was (sometimes) managing to stay within my points but I was still eating crappy food. Definitely not a balanced diet and there are so many things wrong with that whether I’m losing weight or not. I began to realize that many of the issues I’d experienced (fatigue, insomnia, moodiness, etc.) are due in part (combined with lack of exercise) to the fact that my diet is lacking a significant amount of the necessary daily nutrients. I really needed to be able to keep track not only the “point” value of what I’m eating but also to be more aware of what I’m giving (or not giving) my body with that food. REMEDY: I started using I’m still a big fan of Weight Watchers and would happily recommend the program to anyone of my friends or family but I’m really in LOVE with Calorie Count right now. Not only does it let me track my food (using calories instead of points) but I can also track the nutrients in that food giving me a greater picture of how my food is measuring up in providing protein, carbs, fats, iron, sodium, potassium, calcium, vitamins, etc. I LOVE this feature! Another VERY cool thing is that it helps you track your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is basically the calories you burn each day just by being alive (adjusted for activity level at work, weight, age, etc.). With that, you’re able to track your total calories burned each day (BMR + exercise) against your caloric intake day by day. I LOVE this! (Did I say that already?)

Anyway, we’re still early into my new plan but I’m feeling more motivated than ever and really feel as though my efforts have me focusing on better overall health and not just weight loss. The best thing again is that the entire family is involved, which makes things so much easier. We have frequent family dinners and others get togethers (like camping this weekend) that will be so much easier with everyone focused on having fun without slinking back to our old unhealthy habits.

So, here’s to a fresh perspective and renewed commitment to important goals. I’d ask you to wish me luck, but I’ve decided I don’t need it. ; )