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Ok, I have more than one pair, but I’m talking about a specific pair.

They’re cargo pants from Old Navy that I bought about 3-4 years ago. At the time, they were a little too big – as in, I could pull them on/off without unbuttoning them.

Then life happened and I seemed to balloon …. At my heaviest (158ish), I tossed the pants in the back corner of the closet, knowing I’d never get back into them.

Then, I changed my attitude, my eating habits, my activity level and kept thinking about those pants. I knew that if I ever got to the point where I could pull them on/off without unbuttoning them again, I’d be successful in this fitness endeavor.

Well, the day has come, and I’m happy to say those kahki cargos I love so much are falling off! Sweet success!!

Bonus: The scale this morning (and yesterday morning) said 135.6 … Officially 20+ pounds lighter than I was 10 months ago when I decided enough was enough.

Was it hard, yeah. Was it worth it, hell yeah! Not only do I feel great & think I look pretty darn good, I’m learning to love my body and nourish it in all the right ways – good food, exercise, & positive thoughts.

Can you do it too? HELL YES! And I’ll be here cheering you on as you do it. 🙂

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I’ve slacked off for too long … specifically, since the race. It’s time to get back on track. Here’s my plan:

Workouts this week:

Tuesday – run (at least a mile)
Wednesday – off
Thursday – yoga/wii fit/video (pick one)
Friday  – run (at least a mile)
Saturday –  yoga/wii fit/video (pick one)

As for food, I’ve been doing VERY badly lately. Mostly in the aspect of not eating enough throughout the day and then being famished around 9 p.m. NOT cool. Here are a few things I’m gonna focus on:

– eating breakfast as soon as I get up (this morning, I didn’t eat anything ‘real’ until almost 1 p.m. – and I was up at 10.)
– green smoothie in the afternoon.
– salad with dinner
– pay attention to my protein intake – my uncle (a retired doctor) told me I might not be getting enough.
– lay off the sweet carbs. I’ve been craving breads/muffins/cookies/cakes lately.

On a separate, but related note, I’ve got good news!! I enrolled with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for their distance learning program. I’m so excited to be focusing on something positive and learning more about nutrition and how to live a healthier life. Plus, I can’t wait to share all my knowledge and help others become healthier. I finally feel like I’m doing something good for myself and my future!

You know your food is fresh when a week after you get it, you find this:

IMG_4746

Yes, my friends, that is a slug. And it’s been hanging out in the lettuce container in the fridge for a week. I really do LOVE my CSA. I love that they don’t use pesticides and that they usually pick their produce the morning it’s delivered.

Wow. 20 weeks. Can you believe it? Some days I really can’t! Here are a few things I’ve learned over the last 20 weeks:

  • No matter what happens, you have to stay positive! Some days will be harder than others, and you’ll fall off the wagon, but the important thing is to realize you’re doing it, forgive yourself for making a mistake and recommit to being healthy. As Jenna, a fellow blogger, said in a recent article: You will not gain weight from one indulgent night on the town. It’s OK.
  • You can’t expect to get healthy if you’re not doing it for yourself. In addition, you can’t force anyone else to become healthy. When you want it for YOU is when it will happen.
  • Start with small changes. No one says the only way to get in the pool is to jump into the deep end with both feet. It’s TOTALLY OK to wade in from zero-depth entrance. If cutting out all soda is too much, try cutting out one a day. If trying a new fruit/vegetable a week is too much, try one a month. Go at your own pace. And don’t let anyone else tell you how you should be doing things – only YOU know what is best for YOU.
  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! It’s the only one you’ve got – so be nice. Everything you feel is your body’s way of telling you what’s going on. It may take a while to decipher what it’s telling you, but it will happen.
  • Numbers on the scale are just that – numbers. They don’t mean anything. Base your weight-loss on how you FEEL.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments – no matter how small. Set up a reward system and stick to it. Find inexpensive things (nail polish, new magazine, new book, CD, etc.) to reward yourself for accomplishments. It will make you feel good and keep you motivated.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things – you never know what you may find you like. Try yoga, or a spinning class, or running (the C25K program is awesome for beginners). Try new, healthy foods like lentils, millet, almond butter, a green monster/smoothie, chia seeds, quinoa, etc.

Here are a few photos I had Scott take of me today. I couldn’t decide which I liked better – I see flaws in each – but at the same time, I have to compare that to the photos I took 20 weeks ago (bottom). Even though I didn’t reach the 20 lb. loss mark, I’m still extremely proud of the 15.6 lbs I have lost.

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge - 15.6 lbs. lighter

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess at end of 20/20 challenge

Jess before 20/20 challenge at 156 lbs.

Jess before 20/20 challenge at 156 lbs.

Jess before 20/20 challenge at 156 lbs.

Jess before 20/20 challenge at 156 lbs.

It’s been one of those days.

You know, the ones where you wake up and immediately know you should pull the covers over your head and hide out until tomorrow. Here’s the breakdown on the day:

The cats

Scott woke me up this morning to tell me one (or both) of the boys had thrown up in the middle of the night. He had cleaned it up (what a sweetie), so I rolled over and went back to sleep for an hour.

Then he comes in and this conversation ensues:

Scott: “I have no idea what the boys got into. I checked to make sure I didn’t leave out any beer cans …”
Me: “mmm hmmm.” (I’m still asleep, fyi.)
A few seconds later ….

Scott: “Did you put away the pork last night?” (Side note, I had pulled out a one pound package of ground pork for dinner – see entry below for that disaster.)
Me: “No.”
Scott: “Hmm, I didn’t see it.”
Me: “No. I left it in the sink.” (Yes, I know this isn’t the proper way to defrost meat, sue me.) “I bet they got into that and that’s why they got sick.”
I get up, go downstairs to search for a package of pork. (Insert witty comment here.)

Wanna know where I found it? Not in the sink, not on the counter, but on the floor near the door.

Those sneaky little black cats had pulled the package of pork out of a pot in the sink, out of the sink, across the counter and onto the floor in front of the door. Thankfully it didn’t look like they ate any of it …

And that was just the beginning …

The Food Front

After that little incident, I had to take out another package of pork and thaw it in the microwave. (Yes, I know, still not the proper way to defrost. But, who really has the forethought to take something out days in advance to let it thaw in the refrigerator, hm?)

I decided to get creative in the kitchen and adapt a recipe from epicurious.com for lebanese stuffed zucchini.

Yeah, we all know this is going to end well, right? There’s a reason I don’t usually deviate from recipes.

Essentially, instead of stuffing the zucchini, I just chopped it up and mixed it into the meat mix. Nothing too drastic, right?  Well, it looked fine (even though the allspice was a bit heavy for my taste), and my test taste was OK. So, I packed it up to take it to work.

I left a few minutes early in order to stop by the grocery store and pick up some pitas to go with it. While I was there, I fixed a quick salad at the salad bar.

I didn’t have time to take a break at work, so I heated up my pork/zucchini/bulgar mix and headed back to my desk to eat. Three bites in and I already feeling icky from the amount of grease. NOT good for a girl who has been eating a 70%-80%-raw diet for the last month. I ditched it for some sliced cucumbers and a cup of tea. (Not that either has really helped my tummy.)

So, because I feel yucky, I’m not up to eating my salad. Which means, todays food intake was this:

2 cups watermelon
2 peaches
1 banana w/ almond butter
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 strawberry banana vivianno smoothie from Starbucks
3 Godiva dark chocolate pearls
3 cups green tea
3/4 pita
~ 5 bites of pork mix crap

See my problem? No significant amount of veggies. Not even in my smoothie! AND … I didn’t even get to work out today!!! *pout*

On the up side

I’m off work tomorrow (side note: ever realize just how little time it takes to get fed up with work after a vacation? UGH!) Plus, I am meeting up with my bff and my two favorite nieces for lunch and shopping. (I’m so uber-cool for using ‘bff’, right?)

AND … (insert dramatic score here)

I signed up for my first official race!! My bff Laura (same as above) is running it with me – good thing too cause it’s 4 MILES!! And it’s NEXT WEEKEND!!! eep!

Amy really kicked my ass yesterday. 

Her Workout Wednesday post was amazing. Thankfully I read it after I got home from my C25K run (1.73 miles – or something) and before I showered. 

Let me tell you, my abs are SCREAMING today! I double-dog dare you to try it. 

Course I didn’t help much by doing the first 3 workout items for Oh She Glow’s Boot Camp today either. OUCH! Those mountain-climbers are going to be the death of me! But I’m LOVING the new workouts! 

I think I’m reaching the point where I”m having a calorie deficit and need to eat more. (Damn working out 5 days a week! – whoever thought I’d be the one to say that!?!?!) My scale isn’t budging lower than 142 and even going up a few times this week. So, this morning, I had a healthy banana strawberry muffin, a HUGE bowl of oatmeal, and some yogurt and fruit I had leftover from last night. Course, now the problem is that I’m not hungry and it’s way past lunch time!

I have to give a shout out to my hubby – he’s been doing awesome! He’s making some small changes – like eating a salad for dinner and even snacking on fruit during the day. I’m so proud of him. 🙂

I’m so happy with my progress so far on the 20/20 challenge. I can’t even begin to explain. I won’t lie … I’m kind of a quitter. (shh, it’s our secret, k?) Especially when it comes to diets. I’ve tried a bunch of them – but I’m not your typical yo-yo dieter. See, I never even got to the point where they started to work. I’d get so frustrated with what I could and couldn’t eat, that I’d give up and just go back to eating whatever I normally eat.

But, this time … something is different.

Maybe it’s because I know a lot more about the food industry and can make more informed decisions. (See hubby’s blog for a few rants on that topic.)

Maybe it’s because I’ve started to enjoy cooking and I’m viewing the task of finding healthy recipes I like as a challenge, not a chore.

Maybe it’s because I’m finding a lot more healthy foods that I actually like. (Not all healthy foods need to taste like feet – really.)

And maybe … I’ve just finally got it. I finally get that the foods you eat directly relates to how you feel and look. I get that there are horrible, horrible things in our foods – and that our government doesn’t seem to care. I get that the only way we’re going to be healthy is to eat as clean and organic as possible. I get that when we eat processed foods, it really harms your body.

Know how I know I get it? I’ve been eating fairly clean for almost 2 weeks now. I won’t say completely clean and organic, because we really can’t afford to buy everything organic – plus, we have food in our house I need to use up before I can completely change everything over. But I’m doing pretty darn good. Every single meal I’ve eaten, I can tell you what its made of. Nothing came from a box (except the frozen veggies we had last night – but they’re OK in my mind because the ingredients only listed vegetables, no additives). Nothing came in a package. Everything I could possibly make from scratch, was made from scratch. All my meals were very simple. Simple ingredients. Simple techniques. High flavor.

Now, I won’t say there were a few things in there that I shouldn’t have eaten … like the pound cake I made to take to a friends house. But, I made it from scrach, so I knew what was in it. I had a small piece, and loaded up on fresh strawberries on the side. AND, I balanced it out with a big salad at dinner and some more fruit later for a snack.

I’ve got two sites to share with you that I’ve found to be extremely helpful in the last few weeks. First, Nutritiondata.com. I love that I can put in a recipe here and it immediately gives me the nutritional information. Second, Jillian Michael’s radio show. You can download her Sunday radio show to your iPod and listen to it anytime. I’ve listened to 3 so far, and I won’t lie – I have a girl crush. I love that she’s completely no-nonsense and just gives it to you straight. No excuses. Here’s how to download her radio show in iTunes:

— Go to the iTunes Store, and the podcast section of the store.
— Search in the upper right corner for “KFI”
— When you get to the KFI page, click on “Sunday”
— There you’ll find her radio show, plus a bunch of other Sunday shows
— Click the “subscribe” button. You’ll be subscribed to the entire Sunday podcast collection but you can click the “get” button just for Jillian’s shows.

So far, these are the things working for me. I know I’ve got to work on the fitness part – I’m not a big fan of working out. But, at least I know that the changes I’m making in my diet will help me immensely in the future.

I know, I know … yes, I’ve slipped back into that horrible habit of drinking soda. And today, after battling a headache for the third day in a row, I realized just how much caffeine addiction is like an abusive relationship. 

Think about it … Everything is going great and then you stop hanging out  for a few days and WHAM! You’re getting beat up and feeling like if you just go crawling back, you’ll feel better and the pain will go away. So, you go back and you feel better for a few days until it happens all over again. 

And even though you know you’ll be better without it, you keep going back. 

*sigh*