Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Tomorrow morning I get to run the Turkey Trot in Medford Oregon, with my entire family. That is, my mother, my husband, my brothers and their wives, my sister, my sister-in-law's parents and a friend of my sister-in-law's. Whew! That's quite a group! I am so excited about this new tradition we are starting as a family. I think it sets quite an example for our children. They get to watch us come together, have a great time and be active on a day that is usually all about food. This year I am thankful for so many things, but I am especially thankful for my health. I am so thankful that the Lord has given me the strength of body and of mind to see this weight loss program to the end. I am thankful for all of your encouraging words and your support. Tonight at work I had two different couples come up to me and comment on how they are following this blog and how great I look. They both told me to keep up the good work. You don't know how much that inspires me.

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving Day and remember; it's okay to eat a piece of the pie, just not the whole pie. ;)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weigh Day!

Hello everyone! I know I've been missing in action this past week. I started a new job in Costco's food court. Yeah!! (I’ll have to take a picture of me in my hair net with the hat on and post it for you.) It's been a long week and I'm tired. One more day of work and then I have a day off. I'm excited to spend some good quality time with Jason and my girls.

Some good news is it's not going to be as hard as I thought to have self control around the food. I am way too busy to think about eating. When I work a 5 hour shift I only get a 15 minute break. That's just enough time to grab the lunch I bring from home and suck it down. :)

I weighed in this week at 240. I lost 5.5 lbs. I'm almost into the 230's. I can't believe it. The last time I weighed 240 was back when I was dealing with extreme anxiety and panic attacks, which was 5 years ago, but that's another blog in itself. :)

I can’t wait to see if having such an active job will help me break through this good week, bad week pattern I’ve been stuck in.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Crazy Life

So here I am, struggling, again, with my food choices.  Today is the first day of a crazy 2 month schedule.  I was hired at Costco to work in the food court.  Getting a job, AWESOME, working around food, NOT AWESOME!  With my concern about what this next two months is going to do to my diet, my family, my exercise, etc, I didn't notice my eating went haywire.  Seriously?  4 months of this and I didn't notice?  I'm really wondering if I'm ever going to get a handle on this.  Will it really be a life long battle and will it ever get easier? 

So, it's time to reign it back in.  One thing I have learned through this journey is never quit.  If you mess up, get back on the wagon and keep moving.  I'm back on it today and ready to face work tonight. 

I was expressing concern to a friend about working around all the food in the food court at Costco and she gave me a suggestion.  I'm going to take her advice because I know it's wisdom.  She knows me to be a numbers person and an analyzer and because of that she suggested that I learn the calorie content for every item in the food court.  She said I need to go in prepared so that when I'm tired, stressed, missing my family and just want to turn to the pizza or ice cream, I will have to face the calorie count. 

Calorie Counts for Costco Food Court:

1 Hot Dog w/ Bun                                           530 cal
1 Slice Cheese Pizza                                       700 cal
1 Turkey Wrap                                               810 cal
1 Chicken Bake                                              810 cal
1 container Non Fat Vanilla Frozen Yogurt      270 cal
1 Slice Comination Pizza                                 775 cal
1 Slice Pepperoni Pizza                                   717 cal
1 bowl Caesar Salad                                       786 cal

All of this information is from  I'm told Costco has the nutrition information available so I'll get that tonight & post the real calories tomorrow.  I just needed to see this before I went to work tonight.  I can't believe this.  These calories are so high.  I'm going to do my best to stay away from the food there. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weigh Day

I'm really struggling with posting this weigh in this week.  I was so excited to go weigh this week.  I feel 5 lbs smaller.  The pants I always weigh in would hardly stay on my body this morning.  I fully expected to see at least a 3 lb loss, but I'm sad to say that I only lost .5 lbs this week.  I'm going to have to re-assess to see what I did.  The other thing is last weekend was the first weekend in 4 weekends that I actually did very well.  Hmmmm. . . .  I'm stumped; onto next week.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What do I eat?

I had a friend ask me if I could post some of the foods that I eat. I thought I would start out by telling you how I break my calories up throughout the day.

Breakfast - 300 calories

Lunch - 300 calories

Snack - 200 calories

Dinner - 400 - 600 calories depending on the meal I'm making or the treat I want to have a little later.

Most of the time, for breakfast, I will have 2 scrambled farm fresh eggs, cooked without oil or butter, 1 piece of organic whole wheat toast with 1 tbsp of organic strawberry jelly on it. This is right at 300 calories and very satisfying. If I don't have the toast I will have 2 pieces of nitrate free bacon. One of my favorite breakfasts is a multi-grain toaster waffle from Trader Joes with 1/2 cup of organic vanilla bean yogurt, 1 tbsp slivered almonds and 1 cup sliced organic strawberries. Sometimes I will have a bowl of fiber rich cereal free of refined sugars and two pieces of nitrate free bacon. Jason will make me a fruit smoothy or protein shake for breakfast sometimes.  All of these things are filling and right at 300 calories. Just recently I read about a breakfast I’m going to try next week. It’s a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter and bananas on it. What are some of the healthy things you eat for breakfast?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

This is what we're having for dinner tonight. 
It's low in calories, the carb to protein ratio
is balanced and it is delicious!  I'm also
making some spicy smashed beans to go
with this.  Pair it with a salad and it's a
perfect dinner. 

Try this tasty turkey enchilada recipe for a quick and easy Mexican-style dinner.
Notes: If desired, serve with reduced-fat sour cream.
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salad oil
1 can (29 oz.) red enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
2 cups shredded reduced-fat jack cheese (8 oz.)
Chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, stir turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce. Add salt to taste.

2. Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey mixture and a fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture, and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and sauce, then cheese.

3. Bake in a 425° regular or convection oven until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

CALORIES 249 (20% from fat); FAT 5.7g (sat 3.1g); CHOLESTEROL 58mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23g; SODIUM 1048mg; PROTEIN 27g; FIBER 1.7g

Sunset, SEPTEMBER 2002

This recipe is subject to copyright protection and may not be reproduced without Sunset's consent
Copyright ©2010 Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Battle Plan

Yeah!  I did it.  I had a successful weekend with my eating because I went in with a battle plan.  So far, I'm having a successful week because I entered it with a battle plan.  I have our weekly menu printed and grocery shopping done.  As I said in one of my earlier posts, I need to start getting up at 6 AM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in order to get my circuit training in.  Well, I did it.  I was up at 6 AM this morning.  For those of you who know me well. . .  I bet you're impressed.  :)

The Three P's

Pessimism. . . Perfectionism. . . Procrastination. . .

These are the 3 P's that have haunted me my entire life. If you've ever taken the DISC personality test you'll know what I'm talking about when I say I am as high C as you can get. I am a perfectionist to a fault and this perfectionism inevitably leads to procrastination. If I can't do it perfectly then I’ll put it off until I can. I think I used to live by the saying, why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? If someone were to say, "How’s that workin' for ya?" I'd have to say, "It's not!"

Procrastination is something I hate so I've worked on it for a LONG time. I feel I have a good handle on it now. I keep a schedule and a daily task list; sometimes I just can't get to something and that's okay. Rigidity can lead to negative self talk because once again I didn't accomplish all I set out to do. I've learned to have some flexibility. Flexibility can be like a double edge sword; too much can lead to procrastination, so healthy boundaries are good.

Perfectionism has always been required. If I couldn't do it perfectly then I shouldn't do it. My family & I have been learning a lot about grace this year. In fact, I would say this has been the year of grace for us. In learning about God's unmerited favor in our lives, it has allowed me to give myself some freedom. When I started this weight loss journey I didn't know what I was in for. It has tested my perfectionism time and time again. In the past if I failed at a weight loss program, even once, it was all over. The negative self talk would begin and the diet was out the window. Learning to give myself grace has been freeing. It is allowing me to keep going even after I mess up. It's not an excuse or a crutch but a freedom that has allowed me to come as far as I have.

The negative self talk or pessimism is another beast in itself. I have been doing this for 35 years. It's not something that is so easily changed. As I was contemplating this, God brought to my mind the picture He has given us of Heaven and what it will be like. It's a beautiful picture of grace, love and freedom. As life throws all kinds of things at me I can remember the hope I have in God and the life that I will have with Him after this one's over. The same thing can apply to many areas of life. If you can see the end and the hope at the end, then you can persevere through the tough stuff.

I have a vision of what it will be like to be at the finish line. It’s a picture of what a thin, healthy & happy Sandy looks like. When I think I just can't do this anymore I can pull that picture from my memory bank and keep pressing on. Getting Jason through school is another huge hurdle for us. We are trudging through because we have a vision of what life will be like when Jason has a job in his chosen career. Having a vision of what will come can help you persevere and keep your thoughts positive. It gives you HOPE.

I'm slowly replacing the 3 P's with 3 D's. . .

Determination, Discipline and Desire!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Housework burns calories???

My weekly workout routine:

Sunday - Circuits

Monday - Rest Day

Tuesday - Circuits & Maintenance Run

Wednesday - Circuits

Thursday - Clean house for 3 hrs & Interval Training

Friday - Rest Day

Saturday - Circuits & Long Distance Run

Did you see anything strange? That's right; I include my major house cleaning in my calorie burn. My heart rate isn't up, but I am moving and sweating the entire time. I have been trying to figure out what else I can do on Thursdays for cardio. I'm supposed to burn between 1200 & 1400 calories doing cardio on Thursdays. Running doesn't burn that many calories, we don't own any work out DVD’s, we don't own any cardio equipment and we don't have a gym membership. I was looking at the activity calculator and saw that they have cleaning as a way to burn calories. They have it broken down into many categories so I was able to get pretty close to what I'm actually burning. I figure if I clean for 3 hours I'm burning a little over 800 calories. So guess what. . . my house gets cleaned now. Don’t get me wrong, there are still Thursdays that I don’t want to clean, but I remember how many calories it burns. So it has to be done! Now, I don't count my everyday comings and goings but I decided that something as large as 3 hours has to be counted.

Here's to a clean house and to burning calories!

Sustain Sport

This is what I've been drinking on the days that I have to run and do circuits.  It's a way to re-hydrate quickly and it tastes great.  Sustain® Sport doesn't have any high fructose corn syrup or aspartame in it.  It also has 4 electrolytes, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, unlike Gatorade®.  Electrolytes are crucial minerals that are lost when you sweat, and water alone can’t put them back. Electrolytes perform three key functions, they help maintain proper muscle function, they help ensure proper communication between the muscles and brain and they support energy and water absorption into the body.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weigh Day

I lost 4.5 lbs. Yes! That’s a good start to the Christmas challenge. I had to lose 25 lbs by Christmas, now it's 20.5 with 7 weeks to go. As I mentioned before, my battle plan for this weekend is to cheat on Saturday night. I usually have my cheat day on Friday but it's just not working for me because I end up cheating the entire weekend. I also do my circuits and my long run on Saturday so it makes more sense; I burn off a lot of what I eat. So, if I see anything I really want to have tonight at church, I'll save it for tomorrow night.

If you have committed to this challenge, send me an email with your new weight. Remember to comment to this blog post about your week; the good and the bad. If you want to be a part of this challenge send an email to with your current weight. The challenge is to have 10% of your weight off by Christmas.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Interval Training

Jason and I getting ready to run intervals.
Tonight was the dreaded night.  Interval training.  I have to tell you, I REALLY don't like them.  We ran 90 second intervals for 3.1 miles.  They are literally the best and worst 90 seconds of my life.  :)  My legs are killing me!  I think it's an ibuprofen night! 

With the time change coming this weekend we will be running in the dark two nights a week.  We (my husband Jason and I) were given gift cards for our birthdays so we purchased head lamps.  Aren't we cute?  I'm afraid they're going to short circuit from all the sweat.  :) 

Can A Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?

As you all know I watch The Biggest Loser every week. Last week the contestants were whisked away to Camp Pendleton. They were going to be in boot camp for the entire week. They didn't get much sleep, their bodies were pushed to the point of break down and the military didn't offer food beneficial to weight loss. The majority of the contestants did not have good weight loss. In fact, three of them gained weight. There were several reasons given by the trainers. The one that caught my attention was the lack of sleep the contestants had that week. In fact, the trainers mentioned it multiple times. Jillian Michaels has also mentioned it several times on her website. So I thought I'd do a little research myself.

Here's what I found:

Harvard Women's Health Watch said the following:

Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite. said:


Losing weight while you sleep might sound like a dream come true for dieters who work out and count calories but still struggle with stubborn pounds. Research studies published in the "Annals of Internal Medicine" and the "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism" indicate that the amount of sleep you get affects your appetite--and, consequently, your body mass index, or BMI. However, for many people, getting enough good sleep poses as much of a challenge as finding the time to exercise.

The Chemicals

When you get a good night's sleep--at least 8 hours--your body produces the hormone leptin, which regulates your appetite. With enough leptin, you will feel full and satisfied after a meal. Adequate rest also regulates the hormone ghrelin, which increases appetite. Skimping on sleep reverses these positive effects, with a double whammy of less leptin and more ghrelin, so you feel less satisfied after eating and eat more food more often.

ScienceDaily reported on Dec. 7, 2004:

Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that partial sleep deprivation alters the circulating levels of the hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and a preference for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods. The study, published in the 7 Dec. 2004 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, provides a mechanism linking sleep loss to the epidemic of obesity.

Research subjects who slept only four hours a night for two nights had an 18 percent decrease in leptin, a hormone that tells the brain there is no need for more food, and a 28 percent increase in ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger.

The study volunteers, all healthy young men, reported a 24 percent increase in appetite, with a surge in desire for sweets, such as candy and cookies, salty foods such as chips and nuts, and starchy foods such as bread and pasta.

"This is the first study to show that sleep is a major regulator of these two hormones and to correlate the extent of the hormonal changes with the magnitude of the hunger change," said Eve Van Cauter, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "It provides biochemical evidence connecting the trend toward chronic sleep curtailment to obesity and its consequences, including metabolic syndrome and diabetes."

This was good for me to read because sleep has never been on the top of my priority list. I am a night owl. So, it's off to bed earlier than usual from now on. I need all the help I can get with my weight loss.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Russian Twists. . . About 55 minutes into my work out.

I like jumping rope a whole lot more than jumping jacks!!

I did it! I didn't want to. . . but I did it any way! As I said in my last post I couldn't find the time to fit my circuits in today. At 8:30 tonight I decided they had to be done. So I changed into my workout clothes and reluctantly began the circuits. I don’t know why I always dread them. I always feel so good once they’re done.

I thought I'd give you a little glimpse into what my circuits look like. This work out is from tonight. (This particular work out took me 65 minutes to finish.) Within each circuit there are 2 or 3 exercises. You begin with Circuit 1 and do 1 set of each exercise. Then you go back to the first exercise and quickly do the 2nd set of each exercise. When you have completed Circuit 1 you move to Circuit 2 to and so on and so forth.

Warm Up/Prep
5 minutes

Circuit 1

Wide Grip Pull down
3 sets of 15

Backward Lunge
3 sets of 15

Jumping Jacks
3 sets of 1
1 minute

Circuit 2

Seated Row
3 sets of 15

Side Lunge
3 sets of 15

Squat Thrust (These are KILLERS!!)
3 sets of 1
1 minute

Circuit 3

3 sets of 15

One-Leg Pelvic Thrust
3 sets of 15

Circuit 4

Reverse-Grip Curls
3 sets of 15

Weighted Crunch
3 sets of 15

Jumping Jacks
3 sets of 1
1 minute

Circuit 5

Concentration Curls
3 sets of 15

Russian Twists
3 sets of 15

Jumping Rope
3 sets of 1
1 minute

Cool Down (I stretch the entire time)
5 minutes

Doesn't that sound like FUN?!?!?


Homeschooling. :)

Today I’m frustrated. Between homeschooling my oldest daughter and running an in home childcare I’m having a hard time finding time to get my circuits in. The evenings are now filled with volleyball and various other commitments along with running two nights a week. I have to figure this out! I’ve been thinking about it all day. I think I’m going to have to do my circuits in the morning before anyone’s up on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I do circuits on Saturdays and Sundays too. Those two days aren’t so difficult to figure out.

I’m feeling anxious about the weigh in on Friday. I struggled last weekend. A LOT!! This week has been tough because of all the interruptions to my work out schedule. I can and will bring it back around. I just have to re-focus. This weekend my game plan is to have a cheat night Saturday night. I will not allow myself to cheat any other time this weekend.

Yesterday I decided I need to focus more on my water intake. I haven’t really focused on that through this journey. I’ve felt really hungry this week so I thought I’d see if drinking water takes the hunger away like so many people say. Today is day two and I have to say, right now, I feel full. It’s 2:00 in the afternoon and I last ate at 11:30 AM. The only reason why I’d feel full right now is the water. Yeah!! Maybe this does work.

Here’s to drinking more water!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Support System Trinity

On, Jillian talks about having a strong support system during your weight loss journey. She suggests you find a mentor, a partner and a fan. I am blessed with a lot of people that care for me and want what's best for me, so the fan part came quickly and easily. The partner piece fell into place right away too. My husband came right along side me to help me through the circuit training work outs. He hasn't preached at me; just encouraged me and helped me find the will to keep going. In fact he has lost quite a bit of weight along the way as a side effect to helping me. The other person that has partnered up with me is my good friend Kelli. She has been there through every run. Even when she could run ahead of me she hasn't. During the 5K she stayed right by my side even though I know for a fact she could have run that thing faster. When we do our intervals she runs ahead a few feet and then comes right back to me. When I have a goal she encourages me when I start doubting myself. She agrees to run when it works for me and my schedule. When Jason can't do the circuits with me she comes over and does them. She has been an incredible support through this. Then there are my fans. Of course I couldn't do it without them. From the beginning it's been my family. There for me every week to celebrate my weight loss. Each one of these people has played such an important role in my weight loss journey. If you haven't filled these three roles in your weight loss journey yet, you need to. It's been crucial for me.

I didn't talk about my mentor because I want to give her an entire post. She has lost an incredible amount of weight and has her own story to tell. . . look for that post soon.