Before & After

 Before: 289 pounds

After: 201 Pounds 

So much has changed in the past year. 
Physically, emotionally & spiritually.
I think I finally found Gina.
Some new words that describe me now:

I have never felt like this before. Ever.

Physical Changes
No more chub rub!
When I smile, you can see my eyes now! 
I have bones & veins! Not just fluff anymore!
I don't sweat as much as I used to.
My feet don't hurt when standing on them for long periods of time.
I can't help but walk fast now!
The buttons on my pants don't dig in and brand me anymore!
I went from a size 24 to size 16 pants!
Went from 3X to XL(some L)

Emotional Changes
I like who I see in the mirror now.
I'm not as self conscious!
I see myself as how God sees me. (beautiful regardless of what size I am!)
I enjoy shopping rather than dreading it!
My confidence level has increased and is effecting my people skills in a very positive way!

All in all, life has completely changed. For the better. 
If 2012 was this good, I can't wait to see what God has in store for 2013! 

86 the 86

One year ago this month, my journey of improving myself began.
In that amount of time, I reached an overall loss of 86 pounds.
My starting weight was 289 pounds. 
I now weigh 203 pounds. 

Even though this isn't my lowest weight ever, comparing it to where I came from makes me so grateful for how I feel now. Before I gained weight, I didn't realize how slim I was and took it for granted. Instead of loving myself for who I was (healthy & attractive), I undid it and found solace in food. Daily sorrow followed my actions. Trying on clothes brought me to tears as the sizes went higher. Getting ready for work resulted in clothes all over the room that had become too tight.

It's a whole new experience, this life thing. I don't cringe when I look in the mirror. Shopping is enjoyable, as is getting ready for work.  My legs don't hurt after being on my feet too long. I am more confident than I have ever been...because I can appreciate the difference between where I was and where I am.

This isn't the end of my journey. My goal weight is 155, which is 48 pounds away...I should be able to knock those out within 5 months. However, if it takes longer, I'm ok with that. As long as I am headed in the right direction, I am satisfied with that.

Can't wait for the next level...I think I will flip out when I see 199 on my scale. It will have been forever since I saw less than 200. *squee!*

Pics tomorrow!

Take It Easy

Not only is this the title of one of my favorite songs I listened to growing up...but it's been my motto since my last post in April.

Yes, I said April...and it's August. A whopping 3.5 months since my last post.

On my last post, I had hit the 70 pound mark for my loss. I'm currently at 84.

Would I like to be further along? Sure. Could I be further along? Absolutely.

My daily caloric intake is 1200...sort of difficult to stay within, but doable. I'm just not doing it consistently. I've let me hair down and am not in hurry to reach my goal weight...if it's going to be a lifestyle change, what's the rush?

Granted, if I didn't cheat much on the weekends, I would be seeing more results...but can I be honest here? Is this a safe place?

I'm happy with how I look. For the first time in over a decade, I am proud of my appearance. I am tickled that I get called "skinny" when people see me, or when they do a double take because they don't recognize me. No longer do I cringe when I look in the mirror, or try on new clothes.

Do I want to achieve my goal weight? You betcha. Will I? That's a big fat yes. (no pun intended)
I don't have a deadline set though. As long as I'm moving in the right direction, I'm going to enjoy the ride.

Stay Focused

This past weekend, I reached the big 7-0! I'm so thrilled to have reached this point! I give full credit to Jesus for giving me the strength & willpower to push forward!

Over the past 7 months, I have learned what behaviors help me, and which ones hurt me. Ultimately, it comes down to changing my mentality. Regardless of what method of weight loss you choose, it's going to require changing the way you view food. You will find countless stories of people who lose large amounts of weight, but ended up gaining it back, if not more. This applies whether it was done naturally or with assistance (pills, plans, surgery). To maintain weightloss, the mentality has to remain focused on what brought you there. Two common things that can lead to undoing your weightloss can be:
  • Overeating - Even though you feel satisfied, you continue eating to feel that wonderful FULL feeling. This could also consist of eating when you're bored or upset. If you're not hungry, you are overeating.
  • Becoming Comfortable - Maintaining weight is a whole new challenge. People will start making compromises when they sit down to meals. What they had stopped doing before will make its way back in their routines...(soda, appetizers, desserts, bad choices) Also, this could entail someone not feeling the need to exercise anymore since they reached their goal.
*Disclaimer: Rewarding yourself in moderation does not apply to the above! There is a big difference between rewarding yourself and binging/giving up.
One way that I plan on remaining focused after I reach my destination is to not stray too far from my current style of eating. There's nothing unpleasant with the method that I have chosen, and I can still apply it moving forward. That's what I love about counting calories and's free, enjoyable and easy to do!
Also, trying new recipes and meals is vital to make sure my tastebuds don't get bored. That will also apply for my exercise plans. There are so many options for keeping active these days that none of us have an excuse to sit at home!

Here's to a successful spring!

6 months...

It's been 6 months since we started our journey to this new destination. I can't believe the changes that have taken place in both my mentality & my body. Never before have I felt more capable of achieving a goal. Are there days or weeks that are more challenging than others? Absolutely. Is it worth the effort and sacrifice. No doubt. I welcome it.
As of this past weekend, I have dropped 58 pounds. I'm only 9 pounds away from my halfway mark! Who knew 6 months ago, a handshake with my husband in the living room would lead to this? Speaking of which, he has reached the 65 pound mark! I cannot tell you how proud I am of him! He is very inspiring to me. 
My daily calorie intake currently is 1230. Most people's reactions to that are "OMG, aren't you starving?!" Nope. Food is no longer my focus. My focus is everything else going on in life. Do I still love going out to eat? lol If only you could see my grin when I sit down at a restaurant. But there's portion control & better choices involved. 
Along with that, activity!! It is a must if you want to see results. Daily movement. Walking, jogging, spinning, aerobics, dancing...anything to get your metabolism burning. We only take 1 day a week to rest. Other than that, I can't afford to make excuses. I want this too bad to give up or sacrifice the work I've done. 

Never think that you can't reach this goal. I don't care if your goal is 10 pounds or 150. Give it a shot. What's the worst that could just may surprise yourself. :)

Onward, ho!

For the first time in 5 months, I didn't see a loss. I did, however, maintain my weight exactly. I'll take it! I'm determined to not let this deter me. Negativity and dwelling on it won't help me. :)

A couple of things I want to focus on:

- Not getting too comfortable...even though I have learned that I can lose by eating yummy foods (Raising Cane's, pizza), I need to limit those kinds of meals, and incorporate more veggies & protein.
- Drinking more water...this is a struggle for me sometimes, but can do it if I want to.

In March, there's going to be a new endeavor...learning to ride a bike.
No, I don't know how to ride one. But determination is my middle name! I want to learn! It looks so fun!
After going today to look at them, I think I found the one I want:

Townie 21D

My brother in law Chris took these shots while we were walking on Friday. That long path ahead of me symbolizes the journey that I have ahead of me...long, but definitely not to steep to climb.

Oh Cupid...

Is it just me, or are most holidays centered around food?
The 2 most obvious ones are Thanksgiving & Christmas, with pies, cookies, and big meals.
Halloween makes our teeth hurt with bags of candy...even after we grow up.
Easter is celebrated with chocolate bunnies and marshmallow birds...or the glorious egg gum that I love. (adorable lil egg crates!)
And then there is Valentine's Day.
Ah, yes. The day that chocolate is consumed in terrifying amounts & diets are nowhere to be found. I indulged a little and split a cupcake with my hubby. It was very, very tasty! :)

I wanted to share some smart sweet treats that you can enjoy on regular days that you can't afford to waste precious calories on a piece of candy.

These are a great replacement for you coconut lovers out there! It's only 160 calories for 3 pieces! (one satisfies my sweet tooth!)   Don't let the "suger free" part scare you off. They are delish!

Caramel is addictive, isn't it? For 28 calories a piece, you can savor the rich flavor of gooey goodness. No guilt, I promise. 

Happy Valentine's Day friends! Make small steps for big results! xo 


We've been on this journey for 5 months now, and I can now say I've lost 50 pounds! I cannot express how ecstatic I was this morning when I saw my new weight! My sweet husband was so excited for me too! About an hour afterwards, it hit me how far I've come. Being the girly-girl I am, I let the tears flow. All the focus, determination, and work has amounted to a huge accomplishment, and it didn't really take that long to do it either. I thought back to every treat I have turned down, every walk I've taken, and every smarter choice I have made. It has truly been worth it. There may be days where it's not as easy, but overall, I can honestly say it has become our new life.
Someone asked me the other day if I missed good food. It made me wonder, do people think that people who are losing weight eat only tofu & grass? My reply was that I don't miss good food...because I still eat it! Before we started this, I knew that it was a portion problem. My mantra is that you can eat what you want, but in moderation. I still enjoy pizza, wings, enchiladas, and even dessert! Instead of gorging myself, I pace myself and enjoy the flavors and make sure I don't over indulge. In the past, I could easily put down half of a pizza. Could I still do it if I wanted to? Absolutely. But my mental state wouldn't allow me to now. I've come too far. (and my stomach has shrunk!)
During the week, I try to not indulge too much. There are days where we'll go out to eat if we're too tired to cook dinner. We make smarter choices, and they have to be within our daily calorie goal. Even on the weekend, we try not to have cheat days. Instead, we have cheat meals. That way you don't undo all the effort you've made!
Happy February! What steps and goals are you making for yourself this month?


What importance does food play in your daily routine? How much attention do you give to what you're going to eat? Most people will answer quite a bit. Depending on your diet, this could easily take up to about 60% of your planning throughout your day, especially for those who eat 6 small meals a day. Usually, not an hour goes by without our mind wandering to food, whether it be a snack or a meal. For some, it may become an obsession. It becomes the high point of our day, what we look forward to the most. Sometimes, we may not even be aware of how much importance we have given food. Unintentionally, we may have put food up on a pedestal. It has power over us.
My belief is that this is what leads to obesity. We chase the feeling of satisfaction that we get from food, often to the point of feeling stuffed. Until we feel that "full" feeling, we won't stop. This is especially true if we have a craving. We won't truly be satisfied unless we get that specific taste we are looking for. 
It's time to kick food off the pedestal on which we have placed it. That doesn't mean that you don't look forward to a tasty meal, or enjoy good food. We were given these tastebuds for a reason! Here are some tips to help you dethrone food.

1. Train Your Mind
When you catch yourself daydreaming about your next meal, shift your attention to something more beneficial.  In these moments, I stop myself from focusing on how good it will taste and instead, I start thinking about what benefits that meal will bring me. What veggies are included? What proteins? How will this affect my day and fitness plan?

2. Choose Wisely
I don't know about you, but when I plant myself on the couch, I suddenly am starving! Thoughts of popcorn, ice cream, and junk food start flying at me! I now keep smarter food choices on hand. Air-popped popcorn is quite filling and tastes wonderful, especially lightly salted. Also, there are plenty of low calorie chips if you're looking for a salty snack. My favorite is Light Pringles, or Light Ruffles. As far as dessert goes, frozen yogurt and light ice cream are great alternatives to the real things. Flavorwise, you cannot tell the difference with most of them.

3. Keep it Movin'!
One of our worst enemies is boredom. This can lead to mindless eating and binging. When you find yourself in this common situation, get up and MOVE! Go for a walk, read a book, start a project...whatever will keep you busy and not munching!

Let's make this week a GREAT one. :)

2012 has arrived

The first day of this year went quite well.
When I first woke up, I didn't necessarily feel like working out today. One excuse I had was how sore I was from the night of playing my friends Kinect and throwing the football with my hubby. After I got up and moved around a bit, I felt a bit better. What pushed me to go? The gorgeous day that was awaiting outside. It was a clear, cloudless day that begged to be enjoyed.
During the walk, we took some pictures of our beautiful scenery:

It's not always that pleasant, though. Over the past few months, my husband and I have diligently ventured out regardless of how we felt...after a 2 hour commute to an 8 hour work day. Through cold weather, rainy days, and even the onset of a headcold. 

The flip has switched in my head. 

Regardless of what it takes, I will make myself do it. I will not create barriers or obstacles. If I want to see results, I must put forth the effort. The only thing stopping me from reaching my goal is myself. And I'll be damned if I will let that happen.
Forgive me if I sound firm. I now realize what it takes to see results. It's not a cakewalk. It takes work. To expect change without effort is unrealistic.

I've lost 39 pounds so far. That brings me to the point of being 100 pounds away from my goal. I feel like a different person. Well, let me rephrase that. I feel like the person I was prior to letting myself go. I recognize the person in the mirror again. I'm more confident, and not as self conscious. 


Cheers to a new year, one filled with the possibility of redesigning yourself, and changing your own mind. 

"Behold, I make all things new." - Revelation 21