Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Month One - Day 22 to 26

The last four days have seemed like an eternity. Tying up loose ends, sending postponement announcements to everyone we’ve booked with and trying to handle the floods of emotion has exhausted me. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I did not cheat. I was tempted to but I resisted. Adam and I are doing better than I thought we would. A lot of talk has risen from this sad event which has been helpful in moving forward. We sat down together and worked out an exercise plan which we will begin implementing this week. We tried to make it a part of our time together so it becomes enjoyable instead of simply another chore in the day. We did a lot of home cooking, a lot of walking and a lot of compromising and I am feeling good about life again.

Some of you are questioning my motives for losing weight. I just want to clarify that I want to lose weight to be healthier and feel better about myself. Fitting into a bikini is just the motivation I’m using to make me do it. I don’t always make the best food choices and I never want to exercise, but I know myself and I know what I can accomplish.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Month One - Day 18 to 21

Here I am with one less goal to work toward. No, I haven’t lost 5 lbs already; but my fiancée and I have postponed our wedding. Therefore, now I don’t have to fit into my wedding dress. How does this make me feel? Devastated. However, the world goes on and I have to be grateful for what I do have to look forward to. Like our upcoming cruise and our PEI vacation (in lieu of a honeymoon) in the summer.

Does it change the way I feel about me fiancée? No, of course not. I’m upset, yes, but not with him. I’m upset with the situation; it’s stressful for both of us. Eventually, I will become used to the idea and it will no longer hurt me to think about it. Life carries on.

I still want to continue with my weight loss journey; this has not deterred my determination. Now, more than ever, I need the support of all of you. Thank you so much for reading.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Month One - Day 14 to 17

This week hasn’t been the greatest. I’ve spent the last two weeks searching for the elusive balance that exists between school or work life and social life. I think I’m finally on the right path after a disastrous week. I am becoming less stressed about the giant pile of work that is constantly looming in the near future.

Stress is a real problem in my life as it depresses me. In turn, this removes any motivation I might have had to achieve. I always struggle against a figurative downward pressure and my negative internal dialogue in order to succeed at anything. This is definitely evident in my weigh in this week; I gained back what I lost last week plus 0.2 of a pound.

I am happy to report though, that I have abstained from sugary soda drinks this week even in the face of a party. This makes me very proud of myself. In addition to this small but important victory I made vegetable sticks instead of buying potato chips for a snack. It’s these little things that keep me going and I will persevere and will move forward to my goal. I appreciate all your support and would love to hear your struggles and or victories on your journey.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Month One - Day Seven to Fourteen

It's only the second week of the winter semester and already I feel inundated with papers, books and organizing. The work seems to be piling up regardless of how hard I work to get it all done. Trying to fit exercise in can often be a compromise. My school work always takes first priority so what's left to negotiate with is quality time with my fiancee, eating, sleeping and exercise. Even then it seems that the only things I have to work with are quality time with my fiancee and exercise because I have to eat to work and sleep will happen whether I want it to or not (now that I think about it, sleep seems to get shortchanged too often as well).

On that note, at my last weigh in I had lost 1.8 lbs. I'm more than happy with those results. I'm not sure how much that has to do with healthy eating and exercise as much as stres. I have been walking more often and, on the whole, making healthier choices at meal time. I have cut soda out of my diet completely and am working on finding yummy and healthy alternatives to late night Burger King cravings.

Regardles of how stressful things feel right now, as far as my weightloss journey is concerned, I still feel optimistic. I have a goal I'm working towards and I am determined to reach it. The thing that I have to work on is increasing my desire to exercise and finding a balance between school life and home life.

Wish me luck,


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Wordy Knowledge

My knowledge about writing arrived through my curiosity and interest in words. As a young child I was enthralled by the things that could be contained within a few pages and could not wait until I could decode what those little black symbols meant. I can remember sitting for hours as my mother, my father or anyone else who was literate, read me story after story. I formed a relationship with language as soon as I encountered the magic of a good story because I understood that the key to a fascinating story was how it was told; in other words, words are the foundation of our perceptions. My first instinct was to answer the question of how I gathered knowledge about writing was to say that I learned what I know in school but now that I re-examine things it is clear that everything I know about what writing is came from my experiences with it and not from learning about grammar, literary devices and citations (although, these things definitely helped when I wanted to perform the act of writing).

After years of only being able to listen to the words on the page I learned how to write them. Although by this time I had come up with my own version of writing that did not incorporate words at all. I had learned that writing was not always done with words and that sometimes one could write using only pictures. I think my mother still has a few of the stories I “wrote” only by drawing pictures to express what I wanted to say. Thus the term ‘writing’ came to mean expressing a thought or feeling.
Now that I was armed with the decoder key, I could peruse books as I pleased and understand what gems they held. I could even start writing a few of my own. I wrote cards, letters, lists, stories and even poems. It seemed that I was never without something to mark with. This is when I began keeping a journal.

My journal became the place where I would go to sort out any conflicts I had been having. I whined and complained to my journal, I divulged my deepest secrets and made countless lists of things I had done or things I would like to do. Keeping a journal helped me understand that writing was not only an expression of a thought or feeling but it was also a means to an end. I found I could not think things through clearly until I had written down what was on my mind.

I truly believe that experience is the best teacher. Learning something in the classroom has its place of course but without anywhere to apply your new-found knowledge one loses touch of the true essence of the thing we learned. Language is a good example of this; if a person learns French and then never speaks it, he or she might retain some of the technical truths about the language but will lose the fluidity of it. Thus I can confidently say that my knowledge about what writing means comes from my experiences of doing it. My life has taught me that writing is an essential tool needed to learn who you are and how you feel. Experience has also taught me that writing does not necessarily happen with words, it is not necessarily found in storybooks and it does not have to be full developed thoughts. What my life experiences have taught me about writing has lead me to believe that writing is an expression of a thought or feeling (fully or not) and it is a map to our minds whether we are writing a grocery list, a journal entry or an article in the New York Times.

Jessica Sloan

Month One - Day Five & Six

School has started and I could not be more happier. Though I miss staying up till two a.m. and not waking until eleven I do enjoy being back in a routine, well, almost back in a routine. Today was only my second day back and it looks like I will have to fit lunch in between classes this semester as I have no significant breaks in my day, at least not on Mondays or Wednesdays. I packed a lunch today but did not feel well between my morning class and my afternoon class (a break between ten a.m. and eleven a.m.) and so I did not eat anything until close to four p.m. (not good I know). By that time I was so hungry I could not think straight. That'll be the last time I let THAT happen.

The fact that I ate so late in the day and the mountain of homework I had to plow through this evening meant that I did not eat supper until nine-thirty, almost ten at night. I should have gone to the kitchen and had a bowl of cereal or a sandwich but I was stressed and gave in to a junk food craving. Oh me, oh my what a silly girl I am. I knew it would make me feel sluggish, it would give me indigestion and that I would not be able to sleep well tonight because of it but I did it anyway. Old habits die hard I guess ..

At least I got in my thirty minutes of exercise today and yesterday too. That is something I can be proud of myself for! Today I even added a hill into my walking routine, just to make it that much more challenging. Let's celebrate the success instead of feeling bad about the failures ok?

A good friend of mine, Mary Beth Piper (@mbpiper on twitter) suggested this website for low calorie snack ideas: http://tinyurl.com/9bre3x. I visited and was very pleased with what I saw. I am excited to try some of these recipes out, like the Apple Pie-lets, those look delicious! I would definitely recommend this site to anyone who likes to snack but wants to do it on the low-cal.

Keep sending your support, I really appreciate it!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Month One - Day Three & Four

I love the holidays. As a student I get a nice long vacation (most of which is spent travelling back and forth between my fiancee's family and mine), I get to spend time with the people who mean the most to me and there are mountains of delicious food. The vacation ends and the visiting stops long before the food runs out. Thus, here I am surrounded by my favorite candies, chocolates and junk food and I am not supposed to eat any of it. Given the situation, one can not be blamed for slipping up a little - can they? Either way you choose to look at it I have chosen to forgive myself for my dietary transgression yesterday. Besides, I did not go that far over my calorie limit.

Here is how it all went down: we started the day beautifullly (all be it late) with a wholesome breakfast of whole wheat toast and strawberries and a strip of low fat, low sodium bacon (bacon is not a habit - just a treat). I wanted to give myself a nice boost of energy to start my metabolism and the day off right. When it came time for lunch my fiancee made a vegetarian pizza (low in cheese and high in veggies). It was delicious but I made up my mind to only eat two pieces. At 215 calories per slice, two slices was all that would fit in my diet. The pizza was so good that I ate two more before I knew what had happened. To top it all off, at the end of the day while watching a movie Adam ate a peanut butter ball (one of my top favorite christmas treats) and so I had one too - it is only fair right?

Either way you look at it, fair or not, I was almost 300 calories over my desired budget. And I only put in about fifteen minutes of cycling and some stretching. Not exactly how I pictured the day going in my head but there is always today right? I thought so too so when I woke up this morning I made sure to get up earlier than I have been (eight-thirty instead of ten-thirty), drank a big glass of water and had a banana and some tea for breakfast. I am feeling really motivated to make today a success - I really want to step into a healthy lifestyle routine so that I can make it a part of my life instead of feeling like I am trying to fit it in somehow. In other words, I want this to be natural instead of a chore.

Thanks for reading my blog; your support keeps me strong,


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Month One - Day Two

I am completely tuckered out today. I stayed up way too late last night and it seems that it has become a habit. I love holidays but they sure do mess with your schedule. I do not think I have been up before nine a.m. in at least a week. This really makes me feel exhausted and I cannot wait to get back to my school schedule!

Today has been all about increasing my vegetable intake. I managed to eat breakfast (although we ate it at eleven-thirty a.m.) this morning. I made grilled tomato and cheese sandwiches and ate mine with a steaming cup of Eccenechia tea. I really enjoyed it. After a couple long hours of grocery shopping and driving in the trecherous snow we stopped at Subway (instead of Burger King as per usual) and I ate a veggie sub with a small glass of orange juice. I am really pumped that we made that decision because now I do not feel gross. I have a feeling this decision to lead a healthier lifestyle will really give me lots of energy and might even lessen the amount of migraines I get. In keeping with our focus on vegetables today I am going to make a tuna and fusilli salad; can not wait to find out how it will taste!

I even found a few minutes to put in a short workout. I did ten minutes of cycling and then a short stretch routine. I plan to do some ab work and another ten minutes on the bike before hitting the sack early tonight. I think that thing that makes me the most excited is that my motivation has only increased since starting this mission; I am feeling so optimistic about the future!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Month One - Day One

Today was the first day of my weightloss and fitness challenge with myself. As things stand now, I am pumped to get started with this journey and cannot wait to feel the changes within myself start happening.

Today I stayed within my caloric intake goal of 1600 calories per day, however I only ate once which is extremely hard on one's system. Some changes need to take place in our lives however if I am going to accomplish my goals. For example, I must start eating breakfast. Cutting out unhelpful foods like soda, fast food and chips is also on my short list of hurdles I must leap to reach the big finish I have planned. I must also remember to stop eating when I am satiated, not when I feel full, so that I can stop over-eating and eventually raise my metabolism and decrease my appetite.

I did not get as much exercise in today as I wanted to. My goal is thirty minutes per day and I only managed ten but I have taken the attitude that some is better than none. I refuse to let the little things get me down. I am using this journey as a way to transform myself physical and also mentally. I am learning how to believe in myself; something I should have done a long time ago. Tomorrow is a new day!
Your support keeps me going,

2010 - A Year of Accomplishments and New Experiences

As a carbohydrate addict I am very familiar with the inner turmoil one faces when presented with a delectable dish of pasta covered with a creamy sauce and smothered in cheese. Of course this familiarity comes with a price; a few extra pounds. Love handles, thunder thighs and a poochy belly, are among the sacrifices one must make to the cheesy, salty, crunchy and satiating god of the almighty carbohydrate in return for the oh, so mouth watering satisfaction of a bag of chips, a plate of spaghetti or a plate of fried potatoes (anyone for all three?).

Coupled with this carbohydrate shaped soft spot, I also have a propensity to dislike all forms of physical exertion and lack the self confidence to exercise in front of people. Given the choice between extra housework and exercise, I would probably pick housework. Add that all up and what do you get; a couch potato. How does that saying go again, you are what you eat?

This new year is chock full of new and exciting experiences. I have set some lofty goals and am determined to accomplish some big things. In a little less than four months my fiance and I are going on a cruise to the East Caribbean and then, in three more months we will be getting married. Both of these events require me to fit into specific outfits which at the moment a slightly too tight. Thus, I have set an overall weightloss goal of losing thirty pounds in time for the wedding (July 2010) and plan to lose twenty of those pounds by April, in time for the cruise. This means I must lose five pounds per month. I know I can do it!

To accomplish this goal I must not only be extremely strict with my portioning (I am aiming for around 1600 calories and four meals per day) but add in some exercise. How am I to overcome my fear of being vulnerable in front of other people? By making good use of the stationary bike I received for christmas. My goal is to increase the amount of exercise I get (from zero minutes to thirty) per day. At the end of the seven months between now and my wedding I want to be able to cycle non-stop for thirty minutes (Right now I have a hard time completing five constant minutes).

I know these are lofty goals but I believe I can do it so long as I continue to believe in myself and have people around me who love and support me. I believe that 2010 will by a growing year for me; I want to take full advantage of opportunities that come my way! Bear with me as I journey through this self discovery, I would really love your support!