My Weight Loss Progress

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blog Award

This month's Blog award goes to my girl Deanna Hall. Just 6 months ago we were complete strangers but now we are good buddies. She has been a great inspiration and motivator in the past month.

Tammye, Cheryl, Deanna

She works out with me at least one night a week with Tammye and I definitely would not push myself as much if it was not for her. She has ran many 5K & half marathon races and has had some good times. Last month I ran into her before the Spring Sprint. I was really nervous about coming in last as it was not a big community race but a race mostly for avid runners. Luckily I didn't! However I might have if it wasn't for her. She stayed back with me and kept me company always reiterating that I could do it. It was like that day she didn't care about her time; all she cared about was my success. She would say "lets run to that stop sign and then we can walk for a minute", she cheered me on and talked to me about all sorts of stuff keeping my mind engaged and off the fact that I was running. Today at the triple challenge training she did it again. I am the weakest runner, it is not my forte. I hate it but I try! She stayed back with me and kept me motivated and it is nice not being last.

I am amazed by people and their willingness to help others; to put someone else in front of themselves. I feel bad sometimes because I know that I am holding her back, however she swears that she wants to be there. I have had a lot of fun with Deanna. We've been to Wii dance parties togethers, evening workouts, weekend warrior, the spring sprint and hopfully this week we are going out to lunch.

Thank you Deanna for caring about me and believing in me. I love working out with you and appreciate you more than words can say.

Triple Challenge

5K run, 1200 stairs, and a strength circuit. This is the triple challenge. I think my trainer gets bored easily. She is always changing things up and always up for a challenge. Her newest idea is this "triple challenge". She is having training sessions on the weekends and the challenge will be the first Saturday in June. The idea is just to complete the challenge; there really is no winner. The sad part is that I will be in Orlando, FL the weekend that she is hosting this challenge. It was hard to still have the perseverance to go to training sessions when you wont even be able to participate but I figure that since I am going to FL I need any additional help I can get to lose another 8 pounds before I go.

This morning was my first session. We ran about 2.7 miles, I did the stairs five times which equates to about 600, and then we ended with our strength session. This included things like wall sits, resistance bands, tricep dips, push ups, plank, sit ups, and more. The hardest part is definitely the stairs and the running for me. The running I struggle to keep up and feel like I need to take breaks. The first 3/4 of a mile kills me; my legs feel like they are made of lead; then as they warm up I can go a little better. I think the hardest part for me though with running is the cardiovascular part and the breathing. My legs can go but I don't feel like my lungs are in shape. I think my mind hold me back too. I don't believe I can do it sometimes. The stairs are the most physically hard because your legs literally start to feel like jello after a few rounds. My legs were so sore already because of my workout Wednesday night I am not sure how they will feel tomorrow. I am going to try and go do the stairs some more with a friend on Monday if I am able to walk. I only did 50% of the stairs today (in the challenge we are supposed to do them 10x) and I am not sure how I could of done them 5 more times! I guess that is why we train.

I can't say enough how much I love my girls. All the girls that I workout with are so motivating. This morning when I walked in the gym they all shouted "Cheryl" . It was kind of like the greeting that Norm got when he walked into the Cheers bar. Am I showing my age? Did any of you watch Cheers? I seriously felt famous as I gave them a curtsy and said good morning. They are excited to see me when I show up and I am excited to be in their company. We all started out as complete strangers and now I can say that they are all my friends. I really do think having friends or a workout partner is crucial to your success. I got lucky. I just found this group and we have all bonded and became buddies. All of us are at different levels but it doesn't seem to matter.

More training coming soon. I'll keep you posted. I'll be doing the triple challenge on a different day since we will be out of town but my goal is to complete it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Power of Breakfast

If you asked people what the most important meal of the day is, hands down most people would answer with breakfast. The funny thing though is that if you then asked them how many of them ate breakfast, only about half of them would say yes. And then if you asked the half that answered yes what they eat for breakfast I believe that the majority of them would name some sort of carbohydrate. While carbohydrates are a good at breakfast because they give you energy and eating them early gives you plenty of time throughout the day to burn them off, a protein rich breakfast might have some real benefits to those of us trying to lose weight. New studies have shown that adults that eat eggs for breakfast lose more weight than those that ate the same amount of calories of carbohydrate rich foods, those that eat high protein breakfasts maintain a sense of fullness longer, and improved mood. Eating a high protein breakfast has also been shown to help you maintain lean body mass (muscle) while still losing weight.

Eggs are a breakfast superfood which contain large amount of protein (6 grams), vitamins and amino acids. There are several benefits to eggs. First of all, they are real cheap. They also are great for your eyes and a good source of lutein. They also have choline which helps to regulate the brain, nervous and cardiovascular systems. While they do have some fat, they only have 1.5 grams of saturated fat. Eggs are also one of the only foods which naturally occurring vitamin D and have also been shown to lower the risks of breast cancer.

However, even though eggs have all these benefits...I have never been a fan. Boiled eggs make such a great snack for people on high protein diets but to me they stink and smell rotten. I can not eat eggs that are runny. When I see someone in a restaurant dipping their toast in a runny egg yolk it makes me gag. There are all these ways to cook eggs, boil, poach, fry, scramble, etc. but the only way that I have been able to eat eggs is scrambled or fried where the yolk has been cracked and cooked till hard. To be honest I don't even really like eggs this way but I choke them down by covering them in salsa. I have really embraced eggs lately. While I have been trying to eat more protein and less carbs they do make a good breakfast food. I am not the kind of person that can have a chicken breast and broccoli for breakfast; something about that just seem unnatural.

Almost all breakfast foods are carbs though: bagels, muffins, toast, cereals, granola, grain bars, etc. I love all of these foods but I have noticed that since I eliminated them from my breakfast I feel much more full and satisfied for a longer period of time. I have been eating a breakfast burrito almost every day. Here is the recipe.

Breakfast Burrito
1 Carb balance tortilla
1 egg white, 1 egg
1/8 C shredded cheese
2 TBSP salsa
1 jimmy dean turkey sausage patty (optional)
Tomato, onion & bell pepper (optional)

Spray a skillet with cooking spray and cook your eggs, add cheese till melted. If adding meat you may want to cook it ahead of time. Add salsa, vegetables and stuff into a low carb tortilla. So yummy and a great way to start off your morning with a protein rich meal.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

80 Down

So I made it! 80 down...30 to go. It is a long process and sometimes I feel like I went from the hare in the race to the tortoise but I keep reminding myself that "slow and steady wins the race". I am hoping to speed up the process in the next few weeks as I get ready for Florida and I am feeling motivated. I can't get mad as long as I am continuing to lose even if it is a half pound a week. I am shooting for 2 pounds a week for the next 4 weeks though. I'll be posting my weight every Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Out with the Old

This is what the floor in my bathroom looked like yesterday. Yep...I cleaned out my closet! None of these clothes fit. I was tempted to keep them just in case I was ever to need them but then I decided that was a crutch and just a way to allow me to go back. They are all gone! Out of the house. I am going to donate them very soon but if any of you are in need of size XL shirts and size 16-18 pants, I'd be happy to give them to you.

I have slowly been adding some new staple pieces to my wardrobe but I am keeping it to a pretty bare minimum since I still am not at my goals. I need enough clothes to have stuff to wear but if you are wondering why it seems like I am wearing the same 10 outfits, it is probably because I am! The funny thing though, is that most people have a closet full of clothes and they get stuck in a rut and they wear the same 10 outfits anyway. I challenge you to try and get out of this rut. I actually know a guy that puts a clothes pin on his shirts after he wears them and then he makes sure to wear all of his shirts before he repeats. His philosophy is that if you don't wear it than you shouldn't take up the room in your closet. He also believes in throwing something away when you buy something new. Most of us have way too many clothes!

I can't tell you how good it feels to be able to just go into a store and pick up a shirt or pair of pants that you like and know they will fit and that they come in your size. Even more opportunities are coming as some stores only go up to size 10 so that is going to have to be the next goal. Our Florida trip is in exactly a month. My friend is meeting us there and we are both trying to lose 10 pounds before we get there. It will be motivating to have another person doing it with me.

So, I am looking forward to getting some new clothes but I am going to try and hard and wait till I hit my goals. Once I get there I am feeling a shopping trip to Nashville or Atlanta. :)


Another great veggie that is in season right now is asparagus. It has got to be one of my very favorites alson with artichokes. Asparagus is low in calories and very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium and a good source of fiber.

There are several ways to cook it but I mostly steam it or bake it. You can also broil it or grill it. I keep it pretty plain because I like the flavor and don't need the additional calories of adding things like parmesan cheese or other flavor enhancers. I usually just put a little olive oil on it with a little salt and pepper.

It is super easy. All you have to do is rinse it off, trim the bottoms, and pat dry.
Steam for 8-10 minutes or bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Asparagus can also be good with a balsamic vinaigrette. Some serve it with butter or mayonaise. However, if you are going to serve it with a higher calorie sauce than I recommend steaming it and not using any olive oil.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cooking Club

Today I invited my trainer over for Sunday dinner and it was a beautiful day so I thought it would be fun to have her over to let our kids play outside. While she is my trainer, she is also my friend and I have really enjoyed her company. The kids had a blas being outside; they are so cute. I made salsa pork chops and a green garden salad. It is a super easy recipe and very low calorie. We started talking about how a "cooking club" would be fun. I was once involved in a group where we got together once a month at the host's house and had dinner. Tammye suggested that we have to make something yummy and healthy and then share the recipes. I thought this sounded like a really fun idea. There used to be a group at my church in Boise that did this and they called in "supper for six". Six is a good number because it makes it feasible to cook for that many people. To get this started locally we need 4 more people that would be interested in doing it? Any interest? I think that the host could make a main dish and a dessert that is within certain calorie restrictions and then share the recipes with everyone in the club while we "eat what we cook". I have also seen it done where the host makes the main dish and picks all the recipes but then the members bring the different parts (i.e., side dishes, salad, dessert, drink, etc). Which way do you think would work best? It would even be good to just have a cooking buddy. Haven't you ever tried a new recipe; don't you think it would be fun just to have someone do the experiment with you. Bring some ingredients over and just have fun cooking together, sounds good to me.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love to throw a party. I love having people over and my philosophy is almost always "the more the merrier". Several people tell me that my gift is hospitality and I am not sure if it is a gift or even if I am good at it...but I do like it. I love having guests, having parties, being in clubs, networking, etc. So, this sounds right up my alley. I would love to start this, so please contact me if you are in Knoxville/Maryville and want to.

Do any of you have a cooking club or get together with friends to share recipes? I think that we all should try to do this. Not only would it be fun, it will help to build friendships, accountability and it will teach us new recipes. Share your ideas in the comment section or if you start a group be sure and let me know.

It would also be fun to have someone that is a really great cook to give a cooking class to a group of people. Any suggestions? I am going to try and start incorporating more videos on my blog. Maybe I will have to do a "Chef Cheryl" section. :) Hope you all enjoyed your is to happy, healthy, cooking.