Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing. ~ Marsha Doble

This quote is so true!  Today I was able to get up and workout before I went to work, and it completely invigorated me.  It’s nice to start the day knowing that my workout is already done.  One of the reasons that I asked for a 1st period prep was so that I could workout in the mornings, but I haven’t taken advantage of the later mornings as often as I should have.  That’s going to change, beginning today.

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This is one of the most inspirational videos I have seen.  I first saw it last year, and I couldn’t wait for the new edition to come out this year.  In fact, I was planning on submitting my own contribution to this, but unfortunately, I missed the deadline. Take the time to watch the whole video, because it will be 10 minutes that will inspire you to do your best, and I can’t think of a better way to spend 10 minutes.

Here are mine:

I CAN do better than I’ve done in the past. I CAN achieve my goals and become the person I know I am inside.
I WILL stay strong in mind and attitude. I WILL finally realize the dream I’ve had for most of my life.
I WANT to run a 5K before the end of 2010. I WANT to become an inspiration to others through action and not just words.
I WON’T quit, no matter what.  That word just isn’t in my vocabulary. I WON’T stop persevering.

What are yours?

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It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~J.K. Rowling

As the picture shows, life is all about choices. Two paths in a wood, two roads diverging, two ways to go…the easiest choice is not always the best.  And the best is definitely not the easiest.  In my weight loss journey, I’ve made plenty of poor choices, but it is how I have chosen to persevere that shows what I am all about and what I am made of.  I will always choose to keep going.  I don’t know how to quit.

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I wake up everyday with the realization that this is it.  That there’s only one shot at this life, and I can either enjoy the ride and live it to its fullest and to my highest potential, or I can stay the way I am.  ~Author Unknown

Staying the way I am is not an option that I want to entertain, so I am choosing to continue to enjoy this ride. Now it is time to live up to my fullest potential, because I know I haven’t reached that yet – not by a long shot! Watch out world, because Bella is gathering strength, building determination, and about ready to unleash it in all its glory.

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This week I’ve decided to post a bunch of inspirational weight loss quotes. It’s my way of “cheating” because I know I’m not going to have a lot of time for long posts, but I definitely want to check in here regularly, and I need to keep my motivation up.

After each quote I post, I’ll make sure to add a few thoughts that the quote evokes.  I really find the words of others inspiring (I’d better! Since I’m an English teacher, and I LOVE the written word!), so I think I’m going to start doing this on a weekly basis going into the new year.  Probably on Monday, because I think we can all use a bit of a pick-me-up (or a kick in the ass, as the case may be) after the weekend.

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I love this show!

When I first watched DietTribe last season, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it.  Something about the contestants’ lack of drive made me feel like the show wasn’t going to be for me.  Still, I watched it, and kept it in my DVR’d shows list.

Am I ever glad I did!  This season the show is really, really good.  Not only are the ladies really motivated (most of the time), but they’re seeing success.  One of the things I like about the premise of this show is that the women who participate still live their normal lives – work, family, etc., all while working out with hottie trainer Jessie 5 times a week.  It’s so much more realistic.  The show also works on the psychology/therapy that’s needed for the contestants to get the most out of their weight loss journey; they meet for weekly therapy sessions with psychologist Stacy Kaiser.

The ladies also have a weight loss goal each time they weigh in, which is every two weeks.  If they make their team goal, they get a fabulous prize, like a day at the spa.  I love that the show is promoting weight loss rewards, because I really do feel that it’s important for us to reward ourselves for our efforts.

This season, in addition to their weight loss goal of losing 50 pounds in 120 days, the ladies have also been challenged to compete in a sprint Triathlon*.  How cool is that?  I’ve actually thought that I would love to train for a sprint Tri at some point in the near future.  It has been really inspirational for me to see these ladies (one of whom is bigger than me and two of whom started out around my weight), show huge progress with each week that passes.  They’re training with the TriDivas, and seeing the cool gear and the fun they have at practices really makes me want to join; unfortunately, they don’t have any groups in my area.  Still, I am very seriously considering OK, I am going to participate in a sprint Tri before my 40th birthday (1 1/2 years left).

*”A sprint tri” refers to the shorter distance: 750m swim, 20km bike,  and 5km run.

If you get a chance, check out the website for the show – there are some interesting meal plans and recipes, the training schedule used on the show, as well as some other great tips and information.  The season finale is this Friday, but I think you can catch up on past episodes online.  I highly recommend this show for inspiration.

What t.v. shows do you like watching for inspiration and motivation?

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I’m finally feeling better, after last week’s nebulous sickness.  Something between a flu and a cold.  Whatever it was, it sapped me of my energy and made working out improbable if not impossible.

So I was really looking forward meeting Jimmy for our 6pm training session today, because all day I felt great – light, energetic, and so happy about life in general.  When I got home I got a text from him telling me that now HE was sick and he thought it was the flu.  So… back to the drawing board.

I *could’ve* gone to the gym, but I also needed to go to the grocery store, grade some essays, and get dinner going.

Instead of skipping a workout, as I might have done in the past, I decided to dust off my Wii Fit and EA Sports Active and give those a whirl.  I think I got out of the daily habit of jumping on my Wii for a little Fit/EA Sports Active right about the time that I started with the personal training sessions.  Not sure how they’re correlated, exactly, except to say that I have been expending so much energy at the gym that I don’t have the time/wherewithal left most of the time.

It felt good to get back on the Wii.  I really enjoyed my morning routine in the early part of the summer when I’d start making the coffee and then play the Wii Fit for 20 minutes or so before I started reading the paper/having breakfast/drinking coffee.  It wasn’t that I burned a lot of calories, but it was a good way to get active first thing and it helped me feel like I was doing something to get my blood pumping right off the bat.

Now that I have a 1st period prep every other day, I am going to start that habit back up.  This way, I can keep waking up at the same time each day, but I can fit in this type of workout 2-3 times a week.  In fact, since I wake up at the ungodly hour of 5:20am, I should be able to fit in both the Wii Fit and the EA Sports Active before I get ready on those late mornings.


shoppingcart_FullAfter the workout, I headed to the grocery store to pick up a bunch of produce and a few other items.  Things like bok choy, edamame, whole wheat pasta, granny smith apples, nectarines, strawberries, Oikos honey-flavored Greek yogurt, Yoplait yogurt (I’m a sucker for the breast cancer pink lids), and a HUMONGOUS container of organic spinach.

As I was in the checkout line, I noticed the woman ahead of me looking at the items as I placed them onto the belt.  She said, “wow, you’re buying so much healthy stuff!  It all looks so good and so fresh.  That’s wonderful!”  I told her I was on WW and really enjoyed eating this way.  She said that she had been thinking of joining, but wasn’t sure about it, but after seeing my groceries and being impressed, she was going to look into finding a meeting.

I can’t tell you how good this made me feel!  First of all that someone noticed my healthy choices, but also the fact that my simple shopping trip at Safeway inspired someone to possibly join WW.  So cool!


When I got home, I made one of the best dinners I’ve had in a long, long time, which you can find below this post.  It was so hearty, satisfying, and delicious.  I hope you try it out.

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The other night I went to dinner with a friend whom I met my very first year of college, which means that I’ve known her for 20 years.  She and I lost touch for quite some time (11 years) when she moved out of the area and my life started to get really complicated, but we reconnected through Facebook.

The thing that I took away from the evening, besides catching up on 11 years worth of our lives, was how lucky I am.  How grateful I should be that I am (mostly) healthy, strong, and able-bodied.

You see, my friend was in a terrible car accident about 5 years ago that completely shattered her hip and leg bones.  While she was in the process of healing, she got a terrible infection which left her even more debilitated.  She was on crutches for months and months.  Then, to top it all off, just when she thought she had the hang of navigating the stairs with her crutches, she took a nasty fall and shattered bones in her ankle.  Long story short, she has been on crutches since then, and because her bones are too weak, she will most likely remain on crutches for the rest of her life.

Imagine that for a moment.

This image struck a chord deep inside of me.  So much so that I spent a good portion of yesterday evening really thinking about how grateful I should be for the body I have.  Yes, it’s much bigger than I’d like it to be.  Yes, I have major flab and cellulite.  But you know what?  I can walk unaided.  I can move through the world on my own power.  I  can push my body to its physical limits and feel proud of myself.

Which really gave me the kick in the ass that I needed to say to myself, “there is absolutely nothing holding you back from succeeding in this weight loss effort, except yourself.”

And it’s so true.  I have all of the tools at my disposal.  I am able to pay for the WW montly pass, I am able to find a ton of meetings that fit into my schedule. I have a DVD player and a Wii console and lots of exercise DVDs and “games” to keep me from getting bored.  I am able to pay for not only a membership to 24 Hour Fitness, but for personal training sessions, as well.  I have access to a beautiful swimming pool.  I have a bike that I can take out for a ride anytime I want.  I have fitness shoes that I can put on and go take a walk at any point, without too much thought.   I am able to spend money on high quality, good for me food.  I now have a BodyBugg that will help me better monitor my caloric intake/output.  And I have tremendous support from my friends and family and all of you bloggers who are always at the ready to cheer my successes and help me through my “failures.”

I am so motivated and excited right now that I really feel like I can do ANYTHING and that I will SUCCEED.

Yes, it’s been a tough summer on the scale facing minor gains when in all reality I should be losing.  Yes, I experience numbness in my feet and legs when I walk long distances.  Yes, I get out of breath a lot easier than “I should.”  Yes, I wish I looked better in my bathing suit.  Yes, my choice of clothing is more limited than someone who is 100 lbs thinner than I am.

But so what?  I am also in complete control of what I eat and the lifestyle I want to live.  I don’t have children or a husband whose needs I need to take into consideration.  I can eat anything that suits me without worrying about whether or not someone else will like it.  I truly have set myself up for complete and utter success.

And now, more than any time in the recent past, I KNOW in my heart that I will accomplish all of my weight loss goals.  Because I can.  Because it would be an absolute shame to spend any more time than necessary in this body when I am physically and mentally able to do more for myself. To become the woman I’m meant to be.

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At 5pm today, I would’ve sworn I was on The Biggest Loser.  I was working my muscles beyond the point of “the burn.” I was sweating like a pig (I don’t really sweat that much, so continuously feeling drops down my neck and on my brow and lower back are strong indicators that I’m working out HARD).  Totally out of breath, struggling for air.  And at one point, I got a bit light-headed.

It was a last-chance workout if I’ve ever heard of one.  I wasn’t on BL, I was experiencing my first personal training session with Jimmy, my new trainer!

The last time I had a personal trainer was 2006, so I thought I knew what to expect, but man, was I wrong!  Jimmy took my workout to a whole new level today…but let me back up.

As soon as we met, Jimmy asked me what my goals were for the training, and I told him to lose weight.  I explained that I had been doing WW but felt that now it was time to really kick my workouts into gear in the hopes of raising my metabolism and amping up the weight loss.  He told me that he was confident that we could do it, although it would take dedication and accountability on my part.  Done and done.

Then he mentioned that 8 years ago, he weighed 305 lbs!  I was in shock.  Here was this tall, dark Adonis in front of me – muscles rippling, not an ounce of body fat visible.  A total athlete.  He said that through a solid fitness routine, coupled with a sensible diet, he went down to 220 (of pure muscle!) and has continued to keep it off.  Talk about inspiration!!

I knew we were off to a good start when we started the actual workout.  He pushed me saying, “c’mon, baby, you can do it!” (not in a lascivious way, more like the way athletes would encourage each other).  “You can do it, Bella, that’s it, MOVE it.  Keep it going.”  Then when he saw that I got frustrated at certain points, he said, “you know, you’re going to work up to some of this.  You can’t expect perfection; it’s a process, and we’ll get you there.  You’re doing awesome!”  I told him about the perfectionist traits I had, and he said that he could tell, but we’d work on that.

So, what did we do?

  1. We started by taking measurements – my weight (gotta love stepping on the scale with half a day’s food in you while wearing heavy sneakers, right?!), body fat measurements with those dreaded calipers and inch measurements of my neck, upper arms, forearms, bust, waist, hips, thighs, and calves.  I really can’t wait to see what the results look like in a month.
  2. Lunges – he just wanted to see what my form was like.  This is where I explained how bad my knees are.
  3. I’m not sure what the name of the next move would be.  He had me hold a weight (at least 7 pounds, but it could’ve been 10) that had handles on each side.  It sort of looked like a big kettleball.  Then I lifted the weight ball above my head while alternating lifting one knee to a 90 degree angle.  Does that make sense?  Hard to describe, but hopefully you can picture it.
  4. Then we got on the step – he had me do 2 sets of 15 up and over the step.  Up left foot, touch right foot (at the top of the step), down left foot, down right foot and reverse.  It was a great workout, but I was so out of breath.  I thought I had decent cardio strength!
  5. The next move incorporated the weight ball and the step.  So I stepped up, lifted my knee and twisted my arms (holding the weight) to my alternate side.  Side knee twists? These really killed me, but I did 2 sets of 20, huffing and puffing the whole way through.
  6. Next we did floor ab work.  He had me on the mat, legs up, and crunching by both bringing my chest up and my legs toward my chest.  These were killers!  I did 2 sets of 20.
  7. Next we used a resistance band with handles, similar to this one images.  Jimmy wrapped it around a poll in the wall (plumbing poll or something) and had me do bicep and tricep work.  2 sets of 10 each.  It was in between the bicep and tricep that I started to get a bit light headed.  Jimmy was really cool about it, had me take some really deep breaths, and told me to get some water.  He also told me to make sure to eat something with some carbs and protein before I come to workout next time.

Next came the discussion about food.  Jimmy said that he thinks I should stick to a low carb diet, but I don’t think I’m going to do that.  I tried that with the South Beach Diet, and I knew it wasn’t something I was going to be able to sustain.  I told him that I like WW, and that it works for me, so I was going to continue that. I’m sure he’s going to recommend low carb again, but I know I can remain strong in my convictions about what type of food plan I want to stick to.  Although, eating more lean protein wouldn’t hurt.  He definitely cringed when I said that for breakfast this morning I had a light English muffin (1 pt) with Better ‘n Peanut Butter (2 points for 2 TBSP), a banana (2 pts) and a yogurt (2 pts).  I think it was the peanut butter that got him.  But whatever.  I may incorporate some of his food suggestions, but I love WW, I’m committed to it, and I’m going to stick with it.  Plus, I can do a more low-carb plan with it, if I really want to, but I don’t think I do.

Jimmy also mentioned that he’d like for me to get a BodyBugg, so I think it’s official, I’m going to buy one in September.  (Buying the car in August has taken most of my “extra cash”).  I may have some money that I can spend in August, but it will just depend on how much I spend on the car/down payment.  He really recommended it because of the calorie deficit idea.  And it makes sense.  Every one of you that have mentioned the BodyBugg or GoWearFit have all said that it really helps you to push yourselves a bit farther to make sure you get the proper calorie deficit to lose the pounds.  Plus, it’ll really make me feel like a Biggest Loser contestant then.  😉

Lastly, Jimmy said that he wants to workout with me twice a week.  I had hoped we could do once a week sessions, but he said that for me to see any kind of meaningful results, he’d really like to work with me two times a week.  So be it.  He knows more than I do, and it will definitely be the kick in the pants that I need.  I do realize that it may be his job to get me to use the sessions faster so that I can spend more money on the personal training, but since I do have 20 sessions right now, we might as well use them and see what the results are, right?  That gives me 10 weeks, which will take me through the middle of September.

All in all, the personal training session was awesome!  I really like Jimmy’s personality, and I think he’s really going to push me but he also realizes my limitations.  He asked me several times throughout the workout if I was doing ok, and I appreciated that.  I told him that I would definitely let him know if I felt sick, but otherwise, to keep pushing me to complete the reps.  I was dog tired when I was done, and not just a little bit nauseous, but I did earn 5 APs, which is great!!!

At a few different points during our session Jimmy asked me if I was excited about changing my body and losing weight.  And I could honestly answer him that I was.  I am! I cannot wait to see the results that we are able to achieve together!

Now, I’m going to drink a bit more water to try to avoid too much soreness tomorrow (I’m already feeling quite sore tonight).  I hope this personal training session with Jimmy did act like a “last chance” workout for my WW weigh-in tomorrow.  We’ll see!!!


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I love being organized.  I love everything that has to do it with – the pens, the paper, the lists, the online trackers, the iPhone apps – well, you get the idea.  That’s why I was so excited when I discovered The WWChick’s blog. (Heather and I were both WW Walk-It Blog-It participants).

Heather is a WW leader in Ohio who lost 80 pounds and has KEPT IT OFF! since 2002.  She has created her blog as a resource for her WW members (and for anyone else who wants to read it).  Each day she posts several new ideas about how to take better care of yourself as you journey to lose weight.  Everything from low-point recipes (cheesy eggs look good!) to inspiring YouTube vidoes of running a 10K to the calendars.

Oh the CALENDARS!  These make me so happy, I can’t even tell you.  First of all, Heather spends all of this time and effort making them and they are so adorable.  All different versions, to fit all different types of people.  Want one?  Go here to select your own July Activity Calendar.  Here’s the one I chose:

activity_july2009_tanningoilHow cute is this one?!  I love that she has dark hair!  I printed it out and posted it on my fridge, because even though I track everything in eTools online, it’s nice to have a visual reminder of all that I’ve done (or need to do), as the case may be.  In the “My Activity Goals” section I wrote: “To get at least 25 APs each week through a variety of fun workouts.”  And each day I write in what I’ve done.  So far, I have at least one thing on each and every day.  🙂

She also has calendars for this month’s WW Challenge about eating at least 5-servings of fruits & veggies a day:

fruitandveggiechallenge_july2009-1Here’s the link to download it.

I think the calendar I appreciate the most is the one that has a different inspirational message for each day:

calendar_July_ 2009Today’s message is: “Persistance is far more important than perfection, don’t give up!”  Boy, is this a reminder I need all the time.  Love it!  You can click here to download the July motivational calendar for yourself.

So, if you don’t already know about WWChick, what are you waiting for?  Go check out her blog today!!  You’ll be glad you did.

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