Holy Instagram!

As of 11:20 pm tonight, I have gained a total of 645 followers on Instagram and 318 likes on the transformation picture below. HOLY COW. I never thought that when I made my Instagram account, it would end up like this! Thanks to the page titled “wesweat” they shared my transformation picture this morning and my page has blown up! So many people were commenting and asking me how I stay motivated/workout routine type questions. People were actually telling me that I MOTIVATED THEM!

1209009_10153212180595297_1713522336_n

I must share a little blurb I wrote on a previous Instagram picture when I was proud about a current run I completed…..”I went from zero to my own hero.” Hearing my fastest paces today meant so much more than a number. This run took me on an emotional journey. I was reminded how I literally came from nothing at a disgusting 214 pounds. I was beyond miserable, had no motivation, and the thought of running any distance made me nauseous. I consumed my feelings with food. Since turning my life around in February, I’ve lost 35 pounds (more to go of course!) I find every fitness endeavor an accomplishment, the ability to completely change to healthier eating habits is a true test of my willpower. I have more energy and a brand new confidence. There are always going to be struggles but as much as you want to quit, never ever give up. Persistence is keyI am definitely not the same person I was 9 months ago but I couldn’t be happier. Thanks to friends, family, and my amazing boyfriend who keep me going when the going gets tough. ❤Now that’s a transformation and something to be proud of if I do say so myself!”

As far as how I stay motivated, I just think about how far I have come on this journey. It’s been SEVEN MONTHS. I have NOT stopped, sure I may have taken a day off here and there from the gym but I never let myself give up. When you believe you have the power to make a change within yourself and you want it that bad you will see results. I definitely did not start my gym routine the way it is now. (I belong to Planet Fitness) Currently I do between 10-15 minutes on the ARC trainer with a resistance of 25 and incline of 15. Then I complete the 30 minute circuit. I have to give credit to my trainer from North Carolina because he helped me perfect my circuit routine. THANKS ELAND =D You have to do what works for you. I can’t tell you what exercise routine you should complete, that’s for you to decide. All I know is the high-intensity of my one minute cardio exercises within the circuit and the weight training is successful.

Now for those of you that asked how I stay motivated, I thought of some things that keep me going….

The simple fact that I never ever want to weigh what I weighed EVER AGAIN. I was so disgusted with myself and how I felt, something had to be done.

When you’re no longer out of breath from walking up the stairs, you’ll want to keep going.

When you can clean out your closet with those clothes that are “too big.”

Fitting into medium shirts and size 14 jeans!

I want to look absolutely bombshell gorgeous in a wedding dress someday. It’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life so why not feel and look your best!?

Basically, I know what I looked like in high school and I know that each workout and healthier decision is making a difference in order to get me where I want to be. You also have to trust the process. The weight did not appear overnight so it’s definitely not going away in a hurry. Just don’t get too focused on the number. Someone today posted on my Instagram that they lost 25 pounds and had about 109 pounds to go. If I focused on a number or how many more pounds I wanted to lose, I would lose my mind. I take it one week at a time. I put in all the effort I can and don’t get obsessive over the scale. Our bodies go through so many changes and you can’t beat yourself up over a bad weigh-in or dwell on mistakes. Just do better next time and own it. What happens, happens and it is what it is, just get back on that grind! I’ve become more proud of how much I’ve accomplished instead of worrying about a future number. Once you are in the correct mental state, you can push yourself to do anything. I mean that in the most positive of ways. There are countless days where I wake up and I’d rather lie in bed for a few hours but then I remind myself how freakin’ good I feel after I just kicked some major ass at the gym. Once you find those accomplishments that make you happy, you can set your mind to anything. “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.”

Persistence pays off

I realized I haven’t written in almost TWO MONTHS and I finally found the motivation to do so. I was in a bit of a rut for the past two weeks but I finally snapped out of that! I was beating myself up about debating my meeting this morning and I’m glad I decided to go. I realize that not every week is going to be perfect but I somehow managed to lose!

I have come to the conclusion that people ask me most about what I eat and how I do it. It sounds simple now because I’ve been doing this since February and I attempted this once in college. I will give an example of what I eat within a day and the cardio/weights I do.

Breakfast: Yoplait 100 calorie Greek Yogurt (2 points) or a Jimmy Dean’s Delight Breakfast sandwich. (5 points) (These are a lighter version of their regular breakfast sandwich.)

Snack: Special K Pastry Crisps or fruit

Lunch: Smart One (they vary in calories and points)

Snack: Fiber One Brownie/ Weight Watchers Snack Bar, my favorite are the confetti cake! Either choice is 2 points

During Recess or on the drive home: Special K Protein Bar (6 points)

Dinner: This is the hardest meal for me because it varies every night on choices and what I feel like. My “go to” choices are: Special K Chocolatey Delight Cereal, Pasta (I’ll split my serving in two and have left-overs for another night) or sometimes I’ll stop at Subway by the gym. I also always have Smart Ones on hand.

Snack: Smart Ones Sundae Cups (4 points)

At the gym, I usually do at least 1 hour of cardio. Lately I have done 45 minutes on the arc trainer and then 15 on the elliptical. Today, I did 10 minutes on the arc trainer and then ran 2 miles so that probably did not equal an hour of cardio but I figured the two miles was good enough! Then afterwards, I have a weight circuit that I complete and you’d have to see the machines and the reps in person. For the most part, I do a little bit of each body part. Then I do stretching and abs. I know it’s not super specific but just a snapshot for those inquiring minds : )

I’ve also learned to take it one day at a time. You can’t look at the number you want to lose as a whole, that’s how people get discouraged. Also, if you want your favorite snack, or ice cream, have it. You can have anything you want in moderation. My problem was I’d eat the same band things 3 times a week. If I want sonic, I will get a small size and have it once every few weeks. It’s not going to kill you. As long as they are “mindful” decisions and not “mindless.” Each little bit adds up and as long as you’re making some small change, you’re going to get there. Many people comment that I’m an inspiration, but you are fully capable as well. As soon as you get into that routine, the minute you get off track your body begins to miss it and you just feel “off.” So keep on’ keepin’ on because losing allows you to gain so much more! : ) I’m down 24 since Feb. 6th and I still have a ways to go in this marathon!

Image

466030_10152801223295297_202368071_o

I’m really doing this!

I’M SO EXCITED I’M DOWN 3.6 THIS WEEK : )

TOTAL SINCE FEB. 6th: 14.4 =))))

Image

(Just take a look at what 15 pounds of fat looks like, that was fun!)

Image

It’s so crazy to me to think that the last time I did this in 2011, it took me FOUR MONTHS to lose 13.8 and now I’ve already crushed that in ONE MONTH. Okay, okay, so I’m sure going to the gym for 2 hours everyday might help ; ) I’m just shocked because I took a day off from the gym on Tuesday. I don’t think anyone understands what a mind game I play with myself in wagering whether or not I can take a day off. My drive from school is about 40 minutes and I changed my mind about every 2 minutes. I’m not doing the math, but you know what I mean. I’m really hard on myself as far as skipping the gym and maybe that’s because I know how good it feels afterwards. 

I’ve gotten many compliments this week at school as far as people being able to tell my progress. I can tell from the simple things, such as my clothes are getting baggier and I should really buy a new pair of pants. But in my mind, it’s like “Well, why don’t you wait just a little bit longer so then it will be really worth it.” I think I need to start setting mini-goals. Have you ever set mini-goals for yourself? I mean I guess they’re not “mini” but they will be rewards along the way. After my first weigh-in I bought a new sports bra and exercise pants. It feels good to reward myself with clothes purchases instead of food!

Now I must say last Saturday night I went to Barnes and Noble and did treat myself to some Starbucks (it was an iced coffee and a cookie) but that’s because everyone deserves a cheat/treat here and there. If I cut myself off completely then this is just not going to work. I know that I’m making better choices than I used to. I figure that as much as I do work out, like 2 hours everyday, I pretty much burn it off. Plus, when you have something you haven’t had in a really long time, it tastes so much better and you savor it!

At the meeting this morning, (I went at 7:30 because the 9:30 time is actually getting too late. By the time I go to the meeting, the gym, come home it’s almost 2pm and my entire day is gone! Where as right now it’s only 9:30 and I’m going to go for a run outside soon!) they talked about planning ahead your meals and routines and well I guess that is perfect timing because I will be flying back to Buffalo Thursday night! I already have it in my head that Thursday will have to be my day off from the gym. Friday night I plan on weighing in at my old center with my very first leader. I can also go to Planet Fitness at home because I got the black card. SCORE! It’s super encouraging that all of my “Weight-loss services” are also available in Buffalo. I didn’t realize it when I was signing up for all of these things but I can easily mold my habits I have here into the time when I’m in Buffalo.  : )

I guess I’ve always been hard on myself but it feels so good to finally be in control and changing myself. I set my phone background to this picture because it motivates me to find who I really am regardless of how long it takes. One week at a time I will get there and losing really is winning! I’ve heard so many people say, “Oh, I wish I could do that!” Well, you can. Making those small changes lead to something big. I mean I think about how much I’ve changed my diet and eating better. Not to mention, I RAN THREE MILES THIS WEEK! I’m about to go find a 3 mile route outside with MapMyRun! Leave your comments and inspiration below. They mean so much to me =)

417583_10152618622855297_1369584778_n734547_620866587939704_1191674947_n

 

That “spark” fueling my flame.

I know I’ve talked about writing a blog for my weight loss journey and a week later here it is….

Some may be wondering where my jumpstart came from, others may be happy for me no matter what sparked the change. I think it’s important to get a feel for where I’m coming from in my journey before I take you along for the ride.

I don’t remember how many weeks ago this was but I was teaching my second graders about comparative adjectives. More specifically, how to utilize the “er” ending, such as, I’m taller than you. Well when it came to the “est” ending, I explained to students that you use “est” when comparing more than two things. If I was to say, I am the oldest one in the room because there are 20 students. Okay you get it, well one of my lovely (sarcasm?) students decided to compare me to a close teacher friend. This child so politely stated that I was the biggest. Now, I know that I should not let one of my students make me cry but I definitely cried all the way home that day.

I’ve gone through a lot of changes since I started this journey in North Carolina in June. I was dating someone who I thought I loved. Put the relationship on hold to pursue my teaching dream, only to hear him say the day before my interview that “He doesn’t see himself moving down here.” That was clearly super inspirational but I kept keeping on and landed that job. He then decided well we should break up before the first day of school when I clearly needed support the most. Then me being as smart as I am, I thought throwing up in front of my class THREE TIMES was THE best way to start my first day of school.

As I missed home (New York), family, and friends, there were days I didn’t even want to get up in the morning. My class seemed out of control, I was stressed and no matter what I tried, I wanted to throw my hands up and quit. Subconsciously I turned to food. I felt better if I could stop and eat at Sonic after school, grab chinese, get a frappe at McDonald’s before school (made getting out of bed a little bit easier.) I would reward myself in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and watch my favorite TV show. You hear some people “wind-down” after the work day with alcohol. Nope, Ben and Jerry were by my side. Due to my awful eating habits, I had no energy. I would come home and get changed into comfortable clothes, sleep until 8pm. Eat dinner super late. Stay up watching more shows until after midnight. This awful cycle went on from August-Feb. 6th. I was mad at myself for not being able to adjust. I wanted to be happy, I wanted to find comfort in something, something that I could always count on. So, all of these bad habits accumulated to that charming student calling me the biggest.

I can’t solely blame just that student, I’ve struggled with weight before but this time, the change was my choice. I did Weight Watchers from March 2011-July 2011 and I lost 13.4lbs in 4 months. I started this journey Feb. 6th and I’m already down 10.8lbs. That’s only three weeks! I’m so happy I’m ahead of the game this time. I also realized I am supposed to be a role-model to these students and if they see Miss Miller drinking two cans of coke everyday, what does that show them? School life finally seems more calm and I can focus on me.

On February 6th, I decided enough was enough. I joined Planet Fitness and Weight Watchers in the same day. Stepping foot inside that gym was the best thing I could do for myself and then Weight Watchers was just that extra boost. Sure, people ask how I can afford these things but the way I look at it, the amount of money I used to spend on fast food and being miserable all the time, I will definitely pay the extra cost to get myself feeling better.

My life instantly took a 360 degree turn. Okay, Weight Watchers, I know your slogan for this plan is 360, I’m such a genius. Instead of napping for 4 hours everyday after school, I have gone to the gym for almost TWO hours every day. I couldn’t walk up my stairs without feeling out of breath. I can now run two miles at 11:45 pace. Within the first 10 days I lost 6.6lbs. People have babies that are 7 pounds. So yes, I feel as if I lost a baby. I figured I changed my lifestyle so drastically that is probably the biggest loss I will see throughout this whole journey at one time. My students now ask if I need them to fill up my water bottle and they think I go to the school gym for two hours after school, it’s really cute. Instead of Sonic garbage and McDonald’s cups rolling around in my car I have empty water bottles rolling around and Fiber One wrappers tangled in my headphones. I now walk around Walmart calculating Points Plus values on EVERYTHING. Hey, if teaching doesn’t work out, I might just do that for a living. Coming up on March 6th, it will be one month with no soda and no fast food! It’s amazing how different you feel with a little exercise and better eating habits. I don’t have a specific goal in mind yet but I do know when I started college I was probably 135 pounds.

I guess this is the part when I say how proud I am of myself, does that make any sense? Well, I truly am. School seems to be under control and I’m finally adjusting. I’ve swallowed my pride and realized I needed to make some changes in order to feel myself again. I find myself becoming more confident and I can’t wait to see what the future holds! It’s amazing what losing 10.8 pounds can make you feel like, it only motivates me to see what maybe 20 will do, then my little steps will lead to something big : ) Dream big and don’t lose sight of who you truly are. I thank everyone for their support thus far and any words of encouragement are certainly appreciated!

These photos are from August 2008:

ImageImage

This is now:

ImageI

I’m making steady improvements though:Image

 

Thanks for reading : ) Leave any and all inspirational comments below!

20130303-132213.jpg