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Yesterday I asked for feedback on my blog from a few honest friends. It was pretty unanimous – I am writing too much about health & fitness, and not enough about me. I would have to agree with them… the only problem is that I am living and breathing it 24/7! It is hard not to think about anything else sometimes. On any given normal day, I have 4 important things to accomplish: write in my blog, eat well, get my exercise in and do my job. There isn’t much time for anything else. Then they asked me a question that I’ve been getting a lot lately – why am I blogging everyday? Because I want to. Blogging everyday makes me happy, and I don’t want to stop! But I don’t want to be boring… that’s the last thing I want to happen.
I think my blog will go through phases of peaks & valleys, just like life. After all I am writing Every. Single. Freakin’. Day. When I was blogging about weight-loss, that appealed to a lot of people because it was inspiring. It was something tangible that happened before our eyes. It’s hard to beat a good before & after photo! Now that my goals have shifted to maintenance and sports, it might be a little harder for every person to relate to.
I asked for some ideas from the friends who gave me the feedback to see what they’d like to read more about. They said that they find themselves interested in a lot of the people I hang around with, and they miss reading about the “Jen West” philosophy on life. I’m going to think on those suggestions and see what sort of creative ideas I can come up with! If you have any thoughts, please feel free to leave them as a comment or message me privately on Facebook. Honestly… it could be as easy as answering a silly question each day or doing a video on a specific topic, just something to get me out of my blog box!! Seriously – I am taking requests so put it OUT THERE and I might just do it. But just FYI – I will always blog about exercise b/c it is such an important part of my life. Especially since I want to finish my first full Ironman in 2011!
GOOD NEWS – I found out my Rachael Ray segment is going to air on January 20th!!! AAwewEWOwewooo!!! <— (That was excitement.) It airs on FOX 6 at 10 a.m. for those of you here in Birmingham. Annnnnnd, since the newest Health magazine issue is out, it’s finally OK to post my full “I Did It” article! (Click to enlarge)
Mike and I are so lucky to have each other, and also very lucky to have such good friends. Yesterday couldn’t have been any better. The weather was perfect! I started the day off with my friends Misty & Courtney by meeting them for brunch at Silvertron (after my 6 mile run with Vero, of course). A few mimosas later, we strolled around Forest Park and I purchased the last few pieces of my Halloween costume. We then headed off to Birmingham Southern’s homecoming football game, where Misty’s boyfriend was one of the coaches for the home team. I finished off my time with them at Rojo (where we had a random turtle sighting) before heading home for our anniversary celebration.
Mike and I had the most AMAZING dinner at Hot and Hot Fish Club last night! My friend Forest was working and ended up being our server, which was double awesome. I let myself have the evening off and ordered whatever I pleased. For an appetizer, Mike and I both had this amazing pasta with truffles (my first time to ever eat them!). It was to DIE for. For our main course I had a shrimp dish served with some sort of beans & seasonal vegetables, and Mike had a really delicious flounder with a tangerine sauce. For dessert we ordered two things – a donut plate & a chocolate plate. OhhhMGee. So good. Forest paired all of our courses with specific wines & champagnes. It couldn’t have been a better way to celebrate our 1 year anniversary!
After dinner, we headed off to David & Vero’s for a pumpkin carving party. Mike and I brought our wedding cake topper to share with everyone, and it tasted almost exactly like it did at our reception… buttercream yumminess!!! This morning I was very relieved to go on a 7 mile run with Vero to help me mentally shake off those extra calories last night. I feel like a million bucks today!
Last October (2009) was a big month in my life. Not only did I get married to the love of my life… I also got laid off from my job. I felt extreme happiness and sadness all at the same time. A lot of you can relate, because being laid off has not been an uncommon thing in the past few years. Even though you know it was something the company/business had to do, you still feel rejected and unwanted deep in your soul. It is hard to repair that. But being laid off turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. Within 2 months I found an even better job with people who I ADORE. It was a big step up in my career. If I hadn’t been laid off, I would have never gotten that opportunity. I also wouldn’t have made the dear friends that I am so lucky to have now. It’s funny how things work out for the best in the end. I’m happy to report that a year later, life has rewarded me for overcoming that obstacle with a positive spirit.
Before I go… I forgot to write about something fun that happened on Friday! I finally went in for my Birmingham Bombshells consultation, and I officially have an appointment for a photo shoot in mid-November. I get to choose three “scenes”… so my thoughts are to do one with a vintage typewriter (for my blog), the second scene will be more sports themed where I will use a vintage bike as a prop, and Mike is going to help me pick out the third scene. He is the one who won me the gift certificate earlier this year before I decided to lose weight. I’ve held on to it all this time as a reward for all of my hard work!
Mike came home with two of my favorite things last night: Tangerine Fruit Bars (only 80 calories each!), and a new package of toilet paper. As bizarre as it sounds, I go through toilet paper like nobody’s business. I’m known as the “holy roller”.
Happy Weigh-In Wednesday everyone!!!
Sorry for the delayed post today. I got up super early to take some photos for a work event and just got home. Speaking of events, most of you attend a handful each week – from birthdays, to sports & work functions. It is really hard to stick with any diet when someone is shoving a hamburger & french fries in your face. Especially when it seems like you have no other option.
This is where being prepared kicks in. You have no one to blame but yourself if you aren’t. It’s easy to pack high fiber snacks full of resistant starches that will keep you fuller longer (thanks CarbLovers!). Anything from fruit (especially an apple or banana) to a Fiber One bar will do the trick. You can eat smaller “meals” more frequently until you get back in your eating routine. Here is what will happen if you don’t: you will eat that hamburger & mound of french fries and then feel like crap immediately afterwards (emotionally & physically). Is it worth it? No. Sure, everyone deserves a snack or a “free” meal every now and then, but the name of the game is to PLAN. You have to be in control at all times.
Say you get stuck in a situation where you didn’t expect to be without your normal food options. This is not an excuse to give up and eat a whole plate of garbage. Practice portion control. Know what is in the food you are eating. Start using a calorie counter so you can make educated choices. There are tons of free ones out there and most have apps for your smartphone.
Off the topic of food, I am completely worn out. I hope to catch up on my work & rest this week while still finding the time to develop the outline for my book. My goal for tomorrow is to post some deadlines for myself. It is so easy to get caught up in life and delay projects that aren’t bringing you immediate gratification. I have to keep reminding myself that being creative is what keeps me alive & moving!!!
It’s Weigh-In Wednesday #27, and I have officially reached my goal weight of 145! As a matter of a fact, I reached 145 before we left to go on the cruise, so I took my scale photo on Monday morning. It’s been hard to keep it a secret!!
Total pounds lost: 47
Starting BMI: 27.7
Current BMI: 20.8
Starting Pants Size: 14/16
Current Pants Size: 8
I don’t have the words to express the joy I feel. It has literally been 14 years since I have been at this healthy weight. Now, on to the maintenance program!
I plan to keep tracking my calories daily on MyPlate (LiveStrong.com) and to keep following the CarbLovers Diet… because it is a lifestyle that I can commit to forever.
Tomorrow’s post is going to be all about my book and the progress I’ve made while being on our trip. In the meantime, we are about to go zip-lining in Cozumel!!!
No, seriously… I ate a tongue. And it tasted good. (Irony?)
Last night I spent the evening with some of my friends at Rojo & then Chez Fonfon, a french bistro in 5 Points South. (Chez Fonfon just so happens to be my FAVORITE restaurant of all time.) I got a wild hair and decided to order the Beef Tongue Lyonnaise as an appetizer… mostly as a joke and to see who on our table would actually try it. When they brought it out, it literally looked like a sliced tongue (I know, what was I expecting?). The reaction at the table was pretty priceless, and out of 6 people only 3 of us gave it a try. It was really good! The tongue had a roast beef flavor, and the texture was really soft and creamy. Not words I would ever think to use when describing something made of meat. For the main course I ordered the swordfish special with potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Eating there is always a treat!
This morning I woke up pretty early to meet my friend Vero for a 5.8 mile run downtown. We have a new route that takes us by Sloss & Railroad Park. LOVE. I am going to meet her again tomorrow & Monday morning to get in my last good workouts before the cruise. The boat will have a gym, but I can never seem to do much more than 30 minutes on a treadmill before becoming bored to tears.
I am really excited to have the quiet time on the cruise to be creative and focus on my book. I came up with some really solid ideas earlier this week that I can’t wait to flesh out more. It is amazing how fluid and natural this project is coming to me. For the past few years, every creative project that I tried to start felt forced and unnatural. Like the timing wasn’t right or the energy wasn’t there. This time, it feels different!
I’m back in the ‘ham! And pretty wiped out if I must say. My flight got in from NYC around 11 last night, and I hit the sack around midnight. This morning I felt like a train had hit me… the train of opportunity & experience!!
I know this is terribly frustrating for everyone, so I wish I didn’t mention anything to begin with. Unfortunately it could be tomorrow or it could be next month before I can write about what’s been happening to me behind-the-scenes. The funny thing is that there are now two things for me to announce. Both of which have to wait until I get permission to discuss. But, it is going to be worth the wait!!!! I promise.
While in New York I successfully ate on my diet except on one occasion where it wasn’t an option (once again, will say why later). I was able to lose 2.2 pounds this week… which means I am only 3.2 pounds away from my goal of 145. Someone pinch me!!
I was hoping to get up a little earlier this morning so I could post New York photos… but alas, I did not. So I will post all of my pics tomorrow morning.
These are very important words for me to remember today. In certain situations, I can become preoccupied and forget the real reason why I am doing something. I can completely forget who I am. Today, it is very important for me NOT to that. Thanks to Mike for reminding me that who I am is good enough for anything or anybody.
As you read yesterday, I bought my first pair of size 8 pants at The Gap!!!! In New York City, nonetheless. It was a proud moment indeed. Is it weird that the first thing I wanted to do after I tried them on was post the good news on my blog?
Yesterday I took no pictures (boo). I promise to take at least a few today if there is the time. See you again on Weigh-In Wednesday!
By the next weigh-in, I will be in the 140′s! And more importantly, I am only 5 effing pounds away from my goal weight. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it???? I am absolutely thrilled to bits.
I have been building myself up for the looming maintenance phase. I used to be really afraid of my ability to keep a steady weight, but my confidence is pretty strong about it these days. As I have said before, I am going to break it up into short-term & long-term goals. I also think the races that I have planned for next year will help me keep health as my #1 priority. I can’t wait to know what it feels like to be an efficient athlete. The bar is set high!