September Goal + Weekend Recap

Howdy! Long time no see. 🙂 How was your weekend?

August Goal – Recap

My one only goal was “NO SUGAR.” Unfortunately, I decided to test the theory about me being addicted to sugar … And failed badly! It’s okay though, because it was just another experience for me to realize the truth about my ability to handle sugar. So I blew the goal, but gained some insight.

September Goal

My one goal for this month will be to do strength training at least once a week. I really need to get in the business of getting stronger! With my busy schedule and amount of additional stress I’ve undertaken with this house selling business, this one goal shouldn’t be too much to ask.

Weekend Recap

I took the entire long weekend off of blogging, activities and dieting to focus on resting. On each of the three days, I took naps  lasting at least an hour and went to sleep at a decent hour for more zzz’s (amazingly, it was never difficult at all to fall asleep at night – that’s how tired I was!). I ate when I felt hungry and what I craved, though I tried to keep it at least somewhat healthy – i.e. eating a turkey burger with a whole wheat bun instead of a regular burger. I shied from socializing and attending festivals in favor of ducking into my cool, air-conditioned house with the television on and falling asleep at my leisure. If I were to describe each day, it would be: eat breakfast, nap, eat lunch, nap, eat dinner, sleep – though I did manage to squeeze in two hikes. But really, no regrets, no guilt – just feeling absolutely refreshed on a Tuesday. Hooray!

Scenes from this past weekend:

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In an attempt to somewhat health-ify burger craving, I ordered a turkey burger with veggies and an egg on a whole wheat bun:

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Playing with some settings on my new camera:

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Morning Mentions

I woke up nice and early, but quickly found out that my man had been up all night caring for our sick dog and a cat. I didn’t want to disturb him while doing my morning business, so I decided to join him for an extra snooze. Sleeping in until six = awesome way to start my short week! 🙂

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Sleeping in didn’t detract me from enjoying my morning cup of coffee though. I think I enjoy more of the ritual of coffee than the drink itself, being that I never seem to drink past 1/2 or 3/4 of it. Spot the cat!

Breakfast

Although I was dressed for a workout, I ended up having to skip because of all the work that had piled on my desk over the weekend. I just couldn’t finish it in time to get that workout in! Plus, Bruno still wasn’t feeling too great and seemed to rather stay inside and snooze, so that was another factor. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. 🙂

Today’s breakfast was a new-to-me recipe: Two Ingredient Cookies!

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The real two ingredients are 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and 1/2 oatmeal, but I added pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, 1 tsp of sweetener, a splash of vanilla extract and raisins. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and you got cookies at 275 calories for the entire batch!

If you plan on making this, know that they are not and will not produce the texture of the cookies that you know and we all love. Instead, it’s more of a “healthy cookie” kind of texture. Also, make sure you chop the oatmeal some – I used a vegetable chopper, but a knife to oatmeal on a cutting board should suffice. Lastly, at least for me, 1 tsp of sweetener wasn’t enough, you may need two.

Easy to make and a sugar lover’s fantasy breakfast. This will be a repeat breakfast for sure!

Lunch

As the day continued to get hectic, so did my lunch plans.

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Sliced chicken breast on whole wheat sandwich (with mustard of course!) that I grabbed from the local am/pm and one of my boxed salads topped with ground pepper and balsamic vinegar. Filling and delicious!

Dinner

After a hectic day, i was pretty hungry and admittedly not in any mood to eat some low-calorie dinner. I wasn’t about to eat just anything though, and tried to keep it as close to healthy as possible:

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Chicken breast burrito with sauteed veggies rolled in a spinach tortilla with a side of black beans. Delicious and so filling that I didn’t even need to follow up with my customary frozen grapes. 🙂

After an indulgent yet restful weekend – and Tuesday too! – I am ready to get back on track, starting first with a run/walk workout with the doggy in the morning (provided he is feeling better).

I hope you had a great weekend, see ya tomorrow!

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Goal for August 2013

August 2013 Goal

Hello, have you seen July? Because it was here a moment ago and I now it’s gone!

Ha.

First of the month means I get to do one of my favorite Type A things to do: Set goals!

Except for me, it’s goal – as in, singular. As I mentioned in a previous post, I tend to get too excited and start making a gazillion goals only to have me burn out from achieving them. I’ve never purposely paced myself like this before, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

So for August 2013, my one lone singular goal will be:

NO SUGAR.

As in, no cakes, muffins, cookies, pies, candy, etc. etc.

The reason I’m making something I’m already doing a new goal:

While I am finally free of the physical symptoms of the addiction, I have not shaken my emotional cravings for it. Thoughts of “just one Reese’s couldn’t hurt!” runs through my head quite a bit, so I think that the more distance I put between today and the day I quit sugar, the better and easier life might be. With that in mind, I will be using the next 30 days to create new habits and thought patterns when I “feel” like having a little sug.

Wish me luck!

Last Night’s Dinner

After Tuesday’s fiasco of fattening eats, I was mentally armed to tackle a baseball game without gorging on all the calorie bombs at the stadium.

Before I go into food, can I show you something cute really quick?

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Dodger socks! (And my cat Zack, heh) I keep forgetting that I have them, so I was happy that I remembered last night for the occasion.

Back to eats: before I left the house, I knew that we were going to eat at Philippe’s before the game. In case you don’t know, Philippe’s is famous for allegedly inventing the Beef French Dip Sandwich (I say allegedly because there’s another joint in town called Cole’s that makes the same claim). It’s also quite the tradition for fans to eat at Philippe’s before a Dodger game, so when you go, it’s just swarming of people dressed in Dodger Blue.

For the entire morning, I thought and plotted on how I was going to maintain my calorie count but still attend Philippe’s at the stadium? Finally, I had this brilliant idea:

In the pic, you can see that I packed a salad, an empty plastic container, an apple and plastic utensils.

My plan was to order a beef dip at Philippe’s, eat only my salad and half of the sandwich, store the other half of the sandwich in the plastic container, then eat the apple at the stadium when I got hungry later.

It worked better than I could have imagined!

At Philippe’s, here’s the sandwich I ordered:

And my plan in action:

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SUCCESS.

But.

The next part of the evening was almost a disaster…

Let me just say that it was so very hard to sit huddled amongst a sell-out crowd of 54,000 when everyone is ordering burgers, hot dogs, nachos, and garlic fries that smell so incredibly intoxicating. Oh my.

Luckily we were sitting smack in the middle of our row so that it wasn’t easy to get in and out. I planted my butt on my seat, watched the game, and took on my apple (and maybe even cried a little inside).

By the end of 9th inning, I was breathing sighs of relief. Whew – that was a close one

Bonus points: We accidentally parked really, really, really far away from our entrance, so we had to go up and down quite a few flight of stairs. After the game, we decided to get all silly and go on a little workout by walking incredibly fast and racing as fast and as we could up staircases. Dorks!

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P.S. We lost. 😦

Breakfast

First of all, can I just say that this gal is no longer made for any events that put me in bed after midnight? I went to bed around 12:30 am and woke up this morning feeling super duper hungover even though I didn’t drink a sip of alcohol.

(Sidenote: Aside from waking up hungover-ish, I did not wake up feeling bloated from the gorge I really wanted to do at the stadium last night. Biiig sighs of relief here. Winwinwin.)

I wasn’t the only groggy one this morning, though. My fiance was feeling it too and so was this guy:

Bruno also had a little action last night. We knew we’d be away from the house for many, many hours (he is an “indoor” dog), so we dropped him off at his favorite day care late afternoon yesterday and picked him up late on the way home. Who knows what he did there, but whatever party animal business he conducted with the other dogs, he was feeling just as “hungover” as we were this morning. He even snored!

I would have LOVED to sleep in this morning, but it’s only Thursday, so I got up and started my morning with a cup of coffee.

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Yesterday I mentioned that I wasn’t a big fan of our new coffee flavor Caramel Drizzle, but strangely, this morning it tasted fantastic. I think the problem was that I didn’t make the coffee strong enough yesterday, because I could totally taste the caramel today. Perfect wake-me-up medicine.

After working a bit, it was time to eat:

A creamy bowl of Cinnamon Apple Overnight Oats. I had an inkling that last night was going to be a late one, so yesterday I made a point to whip this up and throw it in the fridge for today’s brekkie. I’m so glad I did, because I was too tired/groggy to make anything, and to just take this bowl out and eat was perfect. Hooray!

Fitness

After feeling physical fatigue and observing Bruno’s sluggishness yesterday, I planned for a rest day today – well, as much as a rest day can be for a dog parent, I guess.

My plan was to go on a casual 20 minute walk around our neighborhood, but then three things happened:

  1. After being dead asleep all morning, Bruno perked up and it seemed like he was really enjoying himself
  2. The weather and temperature was absolutely perfect!
  3. My muscles were crying tears of joy for the movement that helped to unstiffen them

So instead of walking a little over a mile, we ended up doing this:

Whoop!

By the way, remember when I mentioned yesterday that my stretching program wasn’t working for me? I realized while stretching today that I think my problem was laziness; I just wasn’t challenging my muscles by pushing them in and slightly through the uncomfortable point. No sooner I started pushing, I could feel my muscles unwind, and post-stretch, I felt loose once again.

Lunch

And before I knew it, it was time for lunch. Where did the morning go?

Today’s lunch was easy, but time consuming (as in 15 minutes total), as I seem to be used to five minute lunches or less.

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That’s steamed broccoli (added onion powder, garlic powder, ground pepper and a few drizzles of soy sauce) and – one of my favorites – Vitapizza! Vitapizza’s expensive (as in almost $5 per pizza), but good and astoundingly cheap in calories – as in 190. The one in the picture is meatless pepperoni. I usually nuke it for a quick meal, but with the broccoli already in the microwave, I cooked it in the toaster oven for 10 min at 400 degrees. Splashed some Tabasco on it and down the hatchet it went. Filling!

I have the best plans for the rest of the evening: NO PLANS! Haha. I’ve been so tired and overly stressed lately that I’m looking forward to some couch time with my animals and maybe some Candy Crush.

Oh and speaking of Candy Crush, would you believe that I’ve been too busy/tired to play it in like 2 or 3 days? Sounds like major improvements are happening in my life, folks. Ha!

Have a good day, see ya tomorrow!

Waffles n More

Last Night’s Dinner

Earlier in the week, I went a little crazy at Costco and bought four gigantic bags of broccoli. I’ve used one so far for the dog’s meals for the week, but that leaves me with three bags. Three! In a slight panic, I steamed up a bunch in the microwave (shake on seasonings, add 2 tbsp water, cover and nuke for 3 minutes 30 seconds and bam!) and paired it up with some rotisserie chicken. Simple, paleo-friendly, delish and best of all – filling.

Zzzz

Unfortunately, I haven’t been sleeping well as of late. It isn’t anything related health-wise, it’s just something that happens when you are in your 30’s I think. Those adult responsibilities stack into worries too quickly and easily!

Last night, I decided to pull out the big guns. In great ambition, I pulled this out:

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Made for babies, but strong enough to put down an adult. 30 minutes later, I was begging for bed and stayed passed out for seven hours straight. Awesome.

Fitness

This morning we awoke to this surprise:

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It actually rained earlier this morning! Being that I live in Southern California, it almost never rains past February or March – though we’ve had more than a few days of rain since this year. It’s a good thing though; it keeps brush from getting too dry and creating fires, which is prevalent at this time of year. Another good thing is that the humidity is so awesome for my skin. My hair though? No so much.

Being that we did a little running every day this week, I was this close to calling today a rest day, but it seems that this guy was ready for action:

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How could I say no? So off we went into the thickly humid morning.

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Today’s workout was a little more intense than yesterday’s C25k Week One routine. We completed eight intervals of 1:30 minutes running and 1:00 walking. Yeow! By the time we were done, I was a sweaty mess and the dog was busy panting. I call that a success. Here are the stats:

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Again, if you biggefy, you will see that my furry champ really enjoys running uphill. The crazy part of it though is that he prefers to walk downhill. Hilarious mutt. 🙂

What was great about this particular interval workout is that it used to put my dog to sleep for the rest of the day, but now not only has he mastered it, he also takes like five less naps a day. In fact, no more than an hour after we were done with the workout, he was running crazily in the backyard. I take this as a sign to take it up a notch starting Monday!

After the cardio session, I pulled out my yoga mat for some good stretching time. Remember when my dog decided to sleep on me right as I was doing the butterfly? Today, both my cats decided to use that time to visit.

It started like this:

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(That’s Zack on the left and Mya on the right)

Zack left and so I thought I was on my own again to stretch:

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But then this happened:

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And then this:

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Apparently I didn’t get the memo that stretching time should be spent with furry friends. 🙂

Breakfast

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Toasted hazelnut flavored coffee with two delicious tablespoons of Silk soy creamer. Perfect for this rainy morning.

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I’ve been on a bit of a waffle kick lately, so I took part of yesterday’s recipe for Cinnamon Apple Overnight Oats and made an apple-Greek-yogurt blend to top my Kashi whole grain waffles. Here’s a quick recipe:

Cinnamon Apple Greek Yogurt Waffle Topping

  • Half an apple, diced
  • 4 oz Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (more or less according to your taste)
  • 1 tsp honey (more or less according to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Combine diced apple, cinnamon, honey and vanilla extract in a microwave-safe bowl and stir well. Microwave covered for one minute. <– this will give the apple a more “baked” taste/texture
  2. Add Greek yogurt and stir until well combined.
  3. Top waffles and enjoy! (Hint: add chia seeds for extra staying power)

Lunch

Mmm, how about a BIG salad filled with spinach, bell peppers, shredded carrots, tomatoes and topped with raisins! Add rotisserie chicken for protein and salsa for pizzazz.

TGIF

That’s right, it’s FRIIIIDAY – the day I’ve looked forward to since Monday. 😉

Here are my goals for the weekend:

  • Hikes with the dog on Saturday and Sunday
  • Healthy egg white veggie omelettes for breakfast, fruit for snacks and meals consisting of protein + veggies.
  • No splurges – I need to at least get through this weekend of eating whole foods to detox all the crap I ate before Day One
  • Stay hydrated! 8+ cups of water per day
  • Remember to stretch after weekend workouts

A few things I’m planning for next week:

  1. Wake up earlier. Egh.
  2. Weigh in on Wednesday morning. 😀
  3. New cardio routine for the dog and I MWF. Right now, my tentative plan is to do a slightly modified Couch to 5k Week 3 plan. Instead of two intervals of running/walking 1:30 and running/walking 3:00 minutes, I’m considering doing three. Currently we run for a total of 12 minutes a day; using the 10% rule, we should be increasing to a maximum of 13.2 minutes max. When you calculate the run times for my modified version of Week 3, it comes up to 13.5 minutes.
  4. Create a new strength routine. My current (very sad!) routine includes only one 1-min plank and one 1-min superman a day. Current considerations include using my Nike Training Club app again (awesome!)
  5. A strategy to eat healthy at Wednesday night’s baseball game
  6. A hair appointment next Friday! Nothing like a new ‘do to encourage me along this road.

And in the near future:

  1. I’d like to brush the dust off my recumbent bike and get my quads in order TTh
  2. Start the 100 Push Up program again. The last time I did this program, I reached 75 push ups or so and decided that I was bored and quit. I still agree that it’s boring, but I can’t argue its effectiveness – and the mad guns I end up with!
  3. Eventually I might want to start running alone without the dog, then when I return, run with the dog. Sounds ambitious, but my dog tends to run really slow; I feel this is the only way I can get myself tuned up for races. 🙂

That’s it for now, see ya tomorrow!

My Journey Begins! (Again)

Fitness

Since both my dog and I both need to lose weight, a few weeks ago, we started the Couch to 5k program. Problem? My dog hates to run! Unfortunately for him, I won’t let up, so we’ve been doing Week 1 for three weeks. We’ve actually mastered it, but instead of moving on to Week 2, I’ve modified it so that three days a week, we run 1:30 with 1:00 rests at eight intervals, and on Tuesdays/Thursdays, we do the actual C25k Week 1.

Here’s today’s session (click to biggefy)

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If you look closely at Lap 8 and 10, my dog decided at those very moments to race uphill. This is coming from a dog that used to hide from me on the days I used to take him running! And of course, I look so fabulous and graceful basically running chasing after my dog. Ha! I followed up the workout routine with an 8-minute stretching session plus a one-minute plank and one-minute superman, but something happened along the way:

Um, that is my dog on my yoga mat fast asleep while I did the butterfly stretch. Silly dog!

Breakfast

Cinnamon Apple Overnight Oats Breakfast this morning was easy and delicious: toasted hazelnut flavored coffee with soy creamer and apple cinnamon overnight oats. Perfect breakfast for busy mornings and after a very hot and sweaty workout. 🙂

Lunch

07/25/2013 lunch

I know how this looks: lunch from 7-eleven?! This used to be my attitude until one day while perusing for Gardettos, I discovered the incredibly yummy and fresh goodness in their refrigerated section. My favorite is actually this chicken salad with cranberries on wheat bread, but since I’m trimming calories here, I chose this today instead. The bread was soft and melt-in-your-mouth goodness, the lettuce was crisp and the tomato juicy. I squeezed some mustard into the sammich and down the hatchet it went. Delicious and filling.

Day One Stuff

A lot of people hate taking pictures while they are at their high weight. Me? I LOVE IT! In my experience, there is nothing more empowering and motivating in a weight-loss journey than seeing your before and after pictures. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known to wistfully regret not taking more pictures before they started their health journey.

First, the scale:

Start Weight

A whopping 119.4. Okay, so you may be thinking: “That is a goal weight, not a start weight!”

But here’s the thing: I stack up at only five feet and zero inches tall. According to NIH’s BMI calculator, my BMI currently comes in as a “normal” 23.3, but it’s closer to the Overweight category than I prefer. Many years ago, my start weight was once 130 pounds, which calculates to 25.4 BMI, so whenever my weight creeps past 115 lbs or 22.5 BMI, I start to get nervous and start making moves to gain control over my situation again, and so … here I am with this blog.

And finally, the cringe-worthy before pictures:

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I would like to note that there is no tummy-sucking in these pictures, and in the second picture, there is no clothing to keep my stomach in. It is alllll hanging out.

Goals

Weight: I feel my absolute best when I weigh anywhere from 105-109 lbs. My knees, shins and bottoms of my feet are less sore and I feel much more energetic. And speaking of running, I can shave at last two minutes off my 5k time – which means burning saving time in my workout. All wins here!

Strength: It’s important to me that I build my strength back, not only for health reasons (i.e. stronger bones and body pain), but it’s just so much easier to be independent around the house and at Costco when I can lift an impressive weight. I am also looking to build ab strength because I am constantly tripping! And lastly, strong muscles just enable you to live your life more, like walk miles upon miles – particularly useful when one of your annual travels include traipsing around Manhattan.

Mental Acuity: Being at a healthy weight means I can move more efficiently while exercising. Exercising means my mind will be too tired to wander in the evening and I will crave sleep. Sleep means I wake up refreshed, clear-minded and ready to take on the day. Once I get into a cycle of healthy living, I feel like I can tackle every challenge thrown at me. It helps me gain control in one part of my life and creates momentum towards success. When I’m off the cycle, parts of my life suffers and I start to feel like my life is spinning out of control. Getting on the healthy track again to me is always the first step towards taking ahold of my destiny again.

As for when I hope to accomplish this, my ultimate goal is to be healthy again, not to fit into a dress, so I won’t be putting a time limit on this. There will be weeks I will gain and there will be weeks I will lose. I know I WILL fall off the wagon and guess what – it’s all okay! The most important part of the journey is that I get back on track. Actually that’s one thing I find I’m good at: I fall off the track quite often, but I can always count on myself to get back on, and to me, that is more important than attaining any goal. 🙂

See ya tomorrow!

Fri. Oct. 10 Weigh-In

My FIRST goal weight – attained!  (About 4 lbs-ish left to go)

If this weight holds true, then that would mean that I’ve lost a total of 16 pounds in 3.5 months. Crazy.

Before I state 109 lbs as my official weight, I’m going to wait a bit and make sure it wasn’t one of those weird fluctuations. Also, I won’t be surprised if my weight stays here, since I’m building muscle everyday and we all know muscle weighs more than fat.

What makes me MORE excited about this is getting my body fat % calculated, but that isn’t until a couple of weeks…

Body Update: October 3, 2008

Physically

Not sure if there’s that’s much of a difference than the last time I took pics of my body on Sept. 18, but I am so impressed with how much muscle I’m building on my arms. I used to think that my family cursed me with flabby arms, but a year from now I could beat my very own genes!

It’s easier now to eat healthily. I’ve noticed how more and more I’m looking at food more as a fuel sources rather than pleasure – which might be a huge progress towards my tendency to conduct emotional eating and emotional starving. Before I take a bite I make sure it’s something my body needs; if I’m lacking in a certain nutrient, I’ll choose some other thing that contains what I need instead of what I feel like eating. I never thought eating healthy could truly become a part of me!

Mentally
It’s easier for me now to resist food and activities that could potentially take me a step back. I can now take myself into “zone” more easily when I really need to be (i.e. running up a large, steep hill). Another interesting thing I find myself developing is the ability to separate my mind’s noise from what my body is truly saying (mind: “I’m so tired! Let’s quit” vs body: “I’m somewhat tired, but I can easily be pushed to do a lot more”).

I also still think I’m chubby. When I shop for clothes I grab the larger sizes I’m used to and don’t trust the smaller sizes to fit me. The upside to that though is I get to do a dance in the dressing room when I can fit in the smaller sizes!

Emotionally
I love looking at my body in the mirror now! Every time I catch my eyes start to gravitate towards areas that “need work,” I snap them back into the parts that are really working great so far. It’s helping my self-image immensely.

What’s been working
Working out and eating well. It took a LONG time to get to this place, but I’m doing it! Fitness is one thing and so is eating healthy, but put the two together and BAM! Watch your body grow into something spectacular.

I’ve also been varying my workout and increasing the intensity of it. I believe this is the reason why I’m sleep well. Finally!

What’s not been working
The stupid scale and the control it has over me. I hate how the numbers pretty much dictated how I felt about myself and the day, even though it’s normal to go up and down every day. I am swearing off daily weigh ins! I’m going to try doing it ONCE a week and on Fridays only. If that still doesn’t work, then I will weigh myself once a month if I have to.

Overall
I am still in awe the changes my body’s making upon the eves of working out for 90 days straight. It’s unbelievable. I learned so much about fitness and health with everything I read every day. Yes fitness is important and so is eating well, but put the two together and you get such an amazing powerful combination.

I will never look at a woman and admire her body jealously. Instead, I will appreciate the hard work she’s put into it, because it really is hard work to get an unbelievable body! I feel pretty good about the way I look now, but I can’t wait to see what I look like next year! WOTWOT

Current Weight: 111-112 lbs.
Body Fat: 18%
BMI: 21.9


Right arm


Left arm


Left arm


Right arm


Left arm flexed


Right arm flexed


Bringing sexy back!


Still working on my 6-pack