Keeping Myself Accountable and Setting New Goals

Hi everyone! I’m back!

I can’t believe it’s been over 4 months since I last blogged! I didn’t expect to take such a long hiatus, but one day led to another, and another — but I’m back and ready to be better than ever.

I’m back, because I need this blog. I need a community — however intangible — to surround me and to keep me accountable on my health journey. I need this concrete record of where I’ve been and where I’m going.

I’ve still been weighing myself faithfully on Wednesday mornings, but I’ve put a few pounds back on since my lowest recorded (recent) weight of 155.2 pounds on September 3. I think even more than the number on the scale, I feel the extra weight that I’ve put back on. I haven’t been exercising consistently, and I’ve been much more lax in my eating since the late summer. It’s time to get focused again.

I need this accountability, especially as we head into the holidays. Thanksgiving, my 29th birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s all fall within a period of about 5 weeks, and I need some accountability to help me finish the year strong.


As you may remember, I set some goals over the summer. Unfortunately, I didn’t stick to them very well. (I never even posted the update that I intended!) In order to spur me forward, I want to re-evaluate those goals and modify them if necessary or update them if they have been achieved. I will report on my progress on these on or around January 1.

Original goal: Achieve a total loss of 30 pounds by Labor Day.

New goal: Weigh 153 pounds (for a total loss of 24 pounds) on January 1.

I planned to achieve a total loss of 30 pounds by Labor Day, which unfortunately did not happen. Although losing about 1 pound per week is what I set out to do from the beginning, I want to give myself some grace during the holiday season. However, I do want to exceed my previous lowest recorded weight and weigh in at 153 pounds on January 1. My long-term goal: to be in a bikini next June in Virginia Beach!

New goal: Log every meal on MyFitnessPal.

I did not have this as one of my original goals, but it’s so important to keeping myself accountable that I need to formalize it here. I was so diligent about logging all of my meals on MyFitnessPal until about mid-September, when I really fell off. I traveled extensively for work through October, and I just about gave up on tracking entirely during that time. I plan on tracking every meal, every day, from here on out, with the exception of Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Christmas.

Original goal: Blog 4 times per week — including weekly “Weigh-In Wednesday” posts.

New goal: Blog 3 times per week — including weekly “Weigh-In Wednesday” posts.

I love blogging here, but it does take quite a bit of time. That said, as I mentioned above, it is necessary to keep me accountable. Three times per week is definitely do-able, especially if I plan ahead. I also plan to re-start my “Weigh-In Wednesday” posts, because I’ve been weighing myself consistently anyway.

"Weigh-in Wednesday" - 11/5/14

“Weigh-In Wednesday” – 11/5/14

Original goal and new goal: Exercise 4 times per week.

As I mentioned back in June, I need to re-find the motivation to get up early and work out. When I was exercising consistently, I was losing weight consistently. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

I also want to return to doing exercise classes at my gym, especially BodyPump. This will not be possible every week, but I want to get back into the habit.

Original goal: Return to restricting my consumption of sweets to Sundays.

New goal: Restrict my consumption of sweets to the weekend, except during holiday weeks (Veterans Day week, Thanksgiving week, birthday week, and Christmas week).

Portland Creme donut from Voodoo Donut in Portland, Oregon

Portland Creme doughnut from Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon

I very successfully gave up sweets for Lent this year, and I know that it made a huge difference in my weight loss efforts. I need to go back to doing this, but it is very hard for me to do!

I’m going to take this week by week during the holiday season. It may seem like I’m giving myself alittle too much grace here by not cutting myself off entirely, but I also want to be honest and to enjoy the season. I am starting out seriously this week, though: I’ve followed through thus far on a commitment that I made to myself to not eat any sweets this Monday through Friday (November 3-7)!

Original goal: Finish reading 4 books by Labor Day.

New goal: Finish reading 2 books by January 1.

Heaven, also known as Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon

Heaven, also known as Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon

I love to read, but I have such a difficult time finishing books lately! I just started participating in a book club in August with my co-workers, which is helping me to focus and actually complete the ones that I start, and I’d like to take some of that motivation and finish 2 additional books before the end of the year. (One of them will likely be American Sniper by Chris Kyle, which I promised my hubby I would read before we see the movie at Christmas.)

Original goal and new goal: Re-energize my Scentsy business.

“Fragrance” is one of the three major focus areas that I established for my blog, but unfortunately, I haven’t really posted about my journey with Scentsy. I’m still figuring out where I want to — and feasibly can — take it, quite frankly.

Accomplished goal: Determine the direction of my career.

That said, I don’t intend for Scentsy to become a full-time gig, because I do have a full-time career as a nonprofit fundraiser in Washington, D.C. Since writing my original goals, I feel considerably more confident in the direction of my career. I attended a conference a few weeks ago in Portland, Oregon — as evidenced by the photos I’ve included in this post — which was hosted by the Grant Professionals Association, and it really solidified that I am in the right field and have the potential to accomplish a great deal — and make a considerable difference in people’s lives — if I continue on this path. My next step is to earn my Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification.


Even though I do want to re-focus, I don’t want to lose sight of what I have accomplished so far — I am still down 19.8 pounds (as of Wednesday) since I re-started my health journey in late February! I’ve really come to love running and have completed three races this year — including the Marine Corps Marathon 10K — and there’s a Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot still to come!

MCM 10K Medal

I finished!

That said, these are also huge reasons why I need to get serious again: I’ve made so much progress that I don’t want to throw away or lose, just because I don’t have enough self-discipline or control.

I’m so happy to be back!

Are you working toward any goals before the end of the year?

WIAW #11, Weigh-In Wednesday Update, and Some Race News

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Stay tuned for my What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) update, and keep reading for a few other newsworthy items!


Here is a look at what I ate yesterday — Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

Breakfast: Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt with Peach and 1/3 cup maple and cinnamon granola


The usual. (I raved about this combo at length on WIAW #1.)

Morning Snack: Sargento Colby Jack Cheese Stick


I got pretty hungry yesterday around 11 a.m., so I reached for a colby jack cheese stick (only 80 calories) to hold me over until lunch.

Lunch: Mexican feast — officially known as the Tijuana — at Lauriol Plaza

So, remember in WIAW #7, when I had leftovers from Lauriol Plaza? Well, I ordered the same meal yesterday, and I didn’t bring anything back. I went to lunch with my team at work to welcome a new staff member, and I went completely overboard!


This picture doesn’t even capture all of the chips, salsa, and guacamole that I ate, or the tortillas for my fajitas. Fortunately, I probably only had a quarter cup of that rice. Everything else (with the exception of some of the veggies) was gone!

Sometimes, I think it is easier to keep my portions in check when I am by myself, as I was the last time I went to Lauriol Plaza. Everyone was still eating yesterday when I should have stopped after one fajita, and I didn’t really want to take leftovers back because we have so much food in the fridge at home to use, so I just kept going. And I ended up being way overfull. When that happens — and it still does occasionally, even though I am exponentially more conscious of my eating habits — I think back to how I used to eat and can’t believe that I consumed that much in one sitting on the regular.

For what it’s worth, every bite was seriously fantastic. And those refried black beans…drinkable. And the 3 jumbo grilled shrimp that come with this meal (which sets the Tijuana apart from their standard chicken fajitas) are some of the meatiest and best I’ve had.

Head to WIAW #7 for another recap of how much I love this meal.

Dinner: Wild caught sockeye salmon fillet with 1/4 cup Wegmans Citrus Soy Sauce and 1 cup broccoli

Since I way overdid it at lunch, dinner was small. I thought about not eating anything at all for dinner, but I wasn’t sure that I could make it all the way to this morning without having anything.

Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take a picture of my plated meal, but I was able to get a photo of the components.


Wegmans Citrus Soy Sauce is amazing on salmon — likely on any kind of fish. My hubby brushes a little bit of my 1/4 cup allotment on the fillet while he is grilling, and I dump the remainder on the salmon when it is finished.

(Have I ever mentioned how much I love sauce of any kind? Gravy, tomato sauce, marinades — if it’s a sauce, I love lots of it.)


Even after putting some butter on my broccoli, this meal only came to 375 calories.

As always, it was a great day of eats. (How could it not be, when I went to Lauriol Plaza?)

Thank you for hosting the WIAW link-up, Jenn!


And now for a brief “Weigh-in Wednesday” update…

Even after eating so much yesterday, this morning I was down 0.2 pounds! That means I sustained my fantastic 2.6 pound loss from last week, and I even added to it!

IMG_20140625_061312643_HDR (1)

I would really like to see a 1 pound loss next week to put me even more on track to losing a total of 30 pounds by Labor Day, but for now, I’m thrilled with this.


One more thing to share…

I signed up to run two more races in the coming months!

I am doing another 5k, the Run! Geek! Run! 5k, in Fairfax, Virginia, on August 24, 2014. As I mentioned in my recap of last weekend’s race, I am aiming to finish this one in 33:30.

On October 26, 2014, I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon 10k in Washington, D.C.! There are 9 weeks between the Run! Geek! Run! race and this 10k — exactly enough time for me to complete’s 5k to 10k training.

I’m going to keep track of all of my race times and my upcoming runs on the new “Race Schedule” page that I created.


I really couldn’t be happier with how things are going.

Do you have a type of food that you can’t get enough of? Man, I love Mexican food. And Indian food. And Italian food. I basically just love food.

Have you caught the racing bug? I think that I officially have!

Fit Foodie 5k Race Recap and Weigh-In Wednesday Update

Happy Saturday, everyone!

My weekend got off to a great start with the Fit Foodie 5k this morning!

I started training for a 5k back in late March (I decided that it would be helpful for my weight loss efforts to have a fitness goal), and I signed up for the Fit Foodie 5k, which was organized by Cooking Light and Health magazines, in late April. It seemed like such a long way off when I signed up, and I can’t believe that it has already come and gone!

My hubby decided to participate in the Fit Foodie 5k, too! I signed up to run the race independently — I didn’t ask any other friends or family to do it with me — and when he realized that, he said that he would sign up, so I wouldn’t have to do it alone. I was so grateful for his support!


Goofing off before the race

We arrived at the Mosaic District, the town center in Fairfax, Virginia, where the race was held, just before 8 a.m. We went to pick up our race bibs after we parked, and then it was time to wait for the group warm-up stretch at 8:30.


Scoping out the starting line

Pre-race selfie

Pre-race selfie

It started raining while we were waiting for the stretch to start, but thankfully it stopped about 15 minutes before the race began. (Although it would have been great to run in the sunshine, today’s cool temperatures were so welcome after having several 90+ degree days this week!)

The pre-race stretch, which incorporated some yoga poses, was led by Kristin McGee, celebrity trainer and Health magazine contributing yoga and wellness editor.


Kristin McGee leading our group stretch

After stretching for 10-15 minutes, the race emcee led the crowd in a warm-up dance to Pharrell’s “Happy.” It was so fun and energizing! Then it was time to head to the starting line!

The race started and ended at the same place. There were so many more people participating in the race than I expected — over 1,000! My hubby and I were in wave 5, and I don’t think we were even the last group to go.

The course began within the town center and extended through the surrounding neighborhoods and office buildings.

I am happy to report that I sustained my run for about the first 12 minutes — over the 1st mile! I honestly wish that I hadn’t stopped to walk when I did, because it was definitely difficult to start running again. This is definitely a lesson for my next race: when I think I need to stop, don’t — push through and keep going!

I walked for about 3 minutes and then started running again, and I think I ran for about another 4 minutes or so before stopping to walk again. I kind of lost track of my interval lengths after that. I think I ended up running about half of the race and walking about half of it.

It started raining again about 3/4 of the way through, but it didn’t pour, thankfully. Around that time, I saw Ashley of Coffee Cake and Cardio, another D.C. health and fitness blogger, on the course!

As I neared the end of the race, I made sure to run through the downhill stretches and the last portion before the finish line.

Although I wish I hadn’t walked as much as I did, I am thrilled with the outcome of the race! My goal was to finish in 35 minutes, and I did!


I finished the only other 5k in which I’ve participated, the 2011 D.C. Undy 5000, in something like 40 or 42 minutes. I didn’t train for that race at all, and I walked a majority of it. I’m thrilled that I’ve improved so much!

After we finished the run, it was time to eat! Local chefs and eateries set up tents in the Finishers Village and were offering small tasting plates. Cooking Light and Health also had a tasting tent and offered some workout and cooking demonstrations.


Before we ate, my hubby and I decided to each buy a race tee-shirt. (I wanted to commemorate my success! I decided to get a tank top to wear to work out this summer.)



This is my new motto.

Unfortunately, by the time we went to the car to get a credit card and then stood in line to make the tee-shirt purchase, many of the vendors had already run out of food. That was definitely disappointing, but we were still able to try some things.

I really liked the samples in the Cooking Light/Health tent: pulled pork tacos and a salad with beef tenderloin.


Both meats that were used are part of Cooking Light‘s new refrigerated, pre-made entrees and sides sold at Super Target and BJ’s. I had no idea that either of the meats were not freshly prepared until one of the tent volunteers handed us a coupon for them. Both were delicious!

Since we didn’t get to try too many of the food samples, and my hubby was hungry, we decided to go for an early lunch at Cava Mezze Grill, which was located directly across the street from the Cooking Light/Health tent.


I’m a huge fan of Cava’s sit down restaurants — I featured one of my meals there in one of my first WIAW posts — and I really liked the fast-casual Cava Grill when I tried it once before. My hubby had never been to either of Cava’s offerings, and since he really liked the pita chips and dip from Cava that we sampled minutes before in the Finishers Village, we decided to go.

Cava Grill’s concept closely resembles Chipotle, only with Mediterranean food — you select whether you want a bowl, pita sandwich, or salad; select a protein; and add as many toppings as you would like. I went with a bowl filled with basmati rice, chicken, hummus, harissa, a small scoop of tomatoes and onions, some pita chip strips, and feta cheese.


We got a fresh pita and extra hummus on the side, and my hubby also bought a side of pita chips midway through the meal, because he liked the strips in his bowl so much.

Cooking Light/Health‘s workout and cooking demonstrations lasted until about 12:30 p.m., but we decided to head home after we finished lunch.

I promptly showered upon arriving home around 12:20 p.m., and spent the next several hours dozing in bed with the TV on — some well-deserved relaxation!

Overall, it was an absolutely fantastic morning, despite the rainy weather. I couldn’t be happier with my race time, and the race organizers made the experience a lot of fun.

I never thought that I would turn into a runner, but I think that this is the start of something beautiful! I’m actually already thinking about signing up for another race! I want to compete with myself and gradually improve my completion time. (I’ve already decided that my goal for my next race is 33:30!)


And now for a brief Weigh-In Wednesday update, since I neglected to do so earlier this week:


I’m down 2.6 pounds since last weighing myself before our Virginia Beach vacation! My total loss is now 19.6 pounds. I’m so thrilled! I’m so close to hitting a total loss of 20 pounds and well on my way to losing a total of 30 pounds by Labor Day.

Instead of setting new goals, as I had been with each previous Weigh-In Wednesday update, I’m just going to keep working toward the goals that I set for the summer.


I couldn’t be happier with my weight loss and ever-improving fitness! Physically, I feel the best that I have in years, and achieving my goals is a huge boost of confidence.

Do you enjoy participating in races?

Setting Summer Goals

Hi friends, and happy Monday!

Today is my first day back to work and to my daily routine since vacationing in Virginia Beach last week. And we are already halfway through June! I can’t believe how quickly this month — and the summer — is flying by.

Now that my lengthy summer trip is behind me, and before the summer gets away from me, I wanted to take the time to set some goals to accomplish by Labor Day — 11 weeks from today. My small group is not meeting regularly in the summer, and the 3rd grade Sunday school class that I teach is also on summer hiatus, so this is a great time to double down and focus on some things that I want to accomplish:

1. Achieve a total loss of 30 pounds.

I did not weigh myself last week, because we were on vacation, but I’ve been holding steady at about 17 pounds lost.

I’m absolutely thrilled that I’ve lost this much weight since late February and have done a good job of keeping it off, but I want to re-focus and get back to losing. (I’ve basically stalled since May.)

By September 1, I plan to achieve a total loss of 30 pounds, which is losing about 1 pound per week — what I set out to do from the beginning. My long-term goal: be at my goal weight and in a bikini next June in Virginia Beach!

2. Blog 4 times per week — including weekly “Weigh-In Wednesday” posts.

I love blogging here, and I want to return to doing it regularly. I also plan to re-start my “Weigh-In Wednesday” posts, because they keep me accountable. (I haven’t written one since May 1st!)

3. Exercise 4 times per week.

I need to re-find the motivation to get up early and work out. When I was exercising consistently, I was losing weight consistently. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

I also want to return to doing exercise classes at my gym, especially BodyPump. This might not be possible every week, but I want to get back into the habit.

4. Return to restricting my consumption of sweets to Sundays.

I very successfully gave up sweets for Lent this year — unfortunately, it was the only Lenten practice that I set for myself that I was able to consistently follow — and I know that it made a huge difference in my weight loss efforts. I need to be honest with myself and acknowledge that I need to go back to doing this.

I will officially re-start abstaining from sweets during the week next Monday, June 23rd. (I’ll be honest — I have some sweets in the house right now that I don’t want to throw out!) My two exceptions will be when I go home to Pennsylvania for the July 4th holiday, and the weekend trip that I am taking to Ocean City, Maryland, with family in early August.

5. Finish reading 4 books (not including the one that I just finished on vacation).

I love to read, but I have such a difficult time finishing books! My attention span is so short lately, and I tend to pick up a new book before finishing the previous one.

My goal is to actually finish 4 books this summer, in addition to the one that I just completed in Virginia Beach!


My current book selection

6. Re-energize my Scentsy business.

“Fragrance” is one of the three major focus areas that I established for my blog, but unfortunately, I haven’t really posted about my journey with Scentsy. I think this is really due to the fact that I’ve put it on the back burner.

My husband and I are diligently trying to eliminate some debt, and some extra income would be great for us right now. As such, I definitely want to put some effort this summer into re-energizing my Scentsy business. I do think it is possible to be successful at direct selling with some hard work!

7. Determine the direction of my career.

That said, I don’t intend for Scentsy to become a full-time gig, because I do have a full-time career as a nonprofit fundraiser in Washington, D.C. I want to take some time this summer to seriously think about where my career is heading and what exactly I would like to accomplish in the next 5 to 10 years.


I plan on providing an update on these goals around July 24th — about 5 1/2 weeks from now — and again just after Labor Day!

Do you have any summer goals?

What are your summer plans? I’m happy to be heading back to the beach at least one more time!

Friday Favorites #9: Virginia Beach Edition

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to my 9th Friday Favorites link-up — a special Virginia Beach edition — courtesy of Heather at Housewife Glamour!

Sadly, our vacation has come to an end, but here are some of the things that I’ve loved while at the beach this past week!

1. Awesome view from the hotel gym

I’m so happy that I made time to work out during the trip! The Fit Foodie 5k is only a week away, and I definitely need to keep training!

I went running on the boardwalk once, which was great, but nothing beats the view from the treadmill in the hotel gym.


Oceanaire, where we stay every June, and Ocean Beach Club are technically two separate hotels, but they are owned by the same company and share pools and fitness facilities. The fitness center is on the 17th floor of Ocean Beach Club’s tower, and the view alone makes working out worth it (as if there aren’t any other benefits!).

2. Free beach chairs

Since my in-laws are timeshare owners, we have access to free chairs on the beach, instead of having to rent them.


The guy at the rental station has a list of all of the week’s occupants, and he just verifies who you are before bringing you chairs. The full service is great!

I love sitting in these to read, but if I want to make sure that I also tan my back, it’s best to switch to the old-fashioned method of laying on a towel.

3. Edge of Tomorrow

My husband, his cousin, and I ventured off the oceanfront to the movies on Monday night to see Tom Cruise’s newest film, Edge of Tomorrow. Emily Blunt co-stars.

I wasn’t so sure about this movie when I saw the previews, but the positive reviews from critics swayed me. I’m glad I went to see it, because it’s definitely awesome!

I want to be as bada** and fit as Emily Blunt is in this movie.

4. Adults-only pool and hot tub

I like kids — I’m a 3rd grade Sunday school teacher, after all — but I really do appreciate an adults-only vacation. (Our trip to Sandals in Antigua last summer was our best vacation yet, and the adults-only atmosphere definitely played a part!)

We are big fans of Aqua 21, the adults-only pool and hot tub at Oceanaire.


While our resort definitely caters to families, they don’t forget those who are child-free (or want a little child-free time), as well.

5. Building a Framework: Everything I Learned My First Year of Blogging by Abby Lawson

DIY blogger Abby Lawson of Just a Girl and Her Blog — who also happens to be a college friend of mine — released her first ebook on Tuesday, titled Building a Framework: Everything I Learned My First Year of Blogging.

I bought it on the first day and have been pouring over it ever since!

In her ebook, Abby shares all of her tips and tricks on how she started and grew her blog to 200,000 page views per month in less than a year and a half! I can’t wait to follow some of Abby’s advice to improve and enhance this blog. If you are looking for some awesome blogging how-to’s, go check her out!

What are you loving this week?

Weigh-In Wednesday and Weekly Goals: April 30, 2014

Hi friends! I’m a bit off of my normal posting schedule this week, and I unfortunately ran out of time to write my weekly “Weigh-In Wednesday” update last night. So, here it is one day late. Better late than never, right?

I was shocked and thrilled when I stepped on the scale yesterday morning! I’m down another 2.2 pounds, for a total loss of 14.8 pounds since I started in February!


Even if I don’t always make the best food choices, I think my body is happy with the portion sizes that I’m eating. (I’m still totally hooked on tracking everything in MyFitnessPal!) I think that building some muscle has something to do with these successes, too, since muscle burns more calories than fat when at rest!


Progress toward last week’s goals:

  • Goal: Lose 1 pound. Status: Totally achieved!  Hooray!
  • Goal: Try 1 new recipe. Status: Unfortunately, I did not achieve this goal this week. I really wanted to make these Italian Meatball Sliders from Cooking Light — I put them on my weekly “menu” and bought all of the ingredients on Saturday — but we went to a family party on Sunday and — you guessed it — had meatball sandwiches. (They totally hit the spot, though!) For that reason, I decided to hold off on these until late next week. I’m happy that I already have everything I need to make them!
  • Goal: Work out 4 times and continue with the C25k plan. Status: Sadly, I only worked out once last week. I’m still stuck in a rut. I’m think that what I did for my goal below will help…
  • Goal: Finalize a weekly exercise schedule and stick to it. Status: I finally sat down to finalize a revised version of the weekly schedule that I made in the fall. (I apologize for not posting about it this past weekend like I promised.) I feel like this weekly schedule incorporates our existing routines more realistically than the one that I made before.

MASTER 24 Hour Schedule

I’m so schedule-oriented most of the time that I’m really hoping this will motivate me to stick to a routine. (I have heard that a routine is what is going to keep you going when motivation inevitably fades, as it seems to be happening with working out for me.) I think it will be best for me if I update this on Sunday nights and tailor it for each coming week — which I will do for the first time this weekend.

Probably the day that I am most apprehensive about is Thursday… I really want to get in two BodyPump classes per week, but going on Wednesday night is just not feasible with our existing dinner routine. The next best solution is going to Sport&Health for the 5 a.m. class on Thursday morning, in addition to Saturday at 9:30 a.m. I may find that I actually like going to classes that early… I guess I won’t know until I try! There is something about the thought of getting up at 4:45 that makes me want to cry, though.


Goals for the next week:

  • Goal: Lose 1 pound.
  • Goal: Stick with my new daily routine, including exercise! I need to get back to training for the Fit Foodie 5k in June!

I’m not going to make a recipe goal for this week because most of our dinners until next weigh-in are already accounted for.


Overall, I’m thrilled with my progress and the lasting changes that I have made in regard to my eating habits. Now I just have to get back on the exercise wagon!

Do you find that you are schedule-oriented? My family all makes fun of me, because I’m the keeper of the calendar. I’m basically the master scheduler for my husband and me.

Friday Favorites #5: Week of April 25, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to my 5th Friday Favorites link-up, courtesy of Heather at Housewife Glamour! (Happy birthday, Heather!)

Housewife Glamour

Here are some of the things that I am loving this week!

1. Outdoor C25k training

I was definitely hitting the gym a lot when it was colder, but now that it is getting nicer and warmer, I love walking and running outside. I only worked a 1/2 day on Monday, and before I went in to the office, I completed one of my C25k training sessions in the glorious weather. I definitely need to take a cue from how much my mood improves when I sneak in some time outside during the day, like I did on Monday, and make sure to get outdoors a bit during the normal workday.

2. A fresh haircut

I got a haircut over my lunch break on Tuesday afternoon, and it was glorious. Even before it is styled, there is just something great about the feeling of a fresh haircut. And as for styling  — I wish I could have a glam squad to do it for me everyday! My stylist showed me exactly what to do to rock a curly/wavy style this time, and I left the salon with the products he recommended, so we’ll see how it goes.

3. Pants that are getting too loose

I put on a pair of pants this morning that I bought around Christmas, and they are getting a little baggy in the waist! I can tell that I am losing weight, but nothing compares to the confirmation that some of my clothes are getting too big.

4. “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore

There is something about this song that just makes me want to get up and dance!

5. Easter candy

I’m trying to moderate my consumption of sweets now that Lent is over, but I’m definitely loving the Easter candy that I filled these cute containers with last weekend! Current favorite: Reese’s mini peanut butter eggs, which are only 90 calories each.

What are you loving this week?

Weigh-In Wednesday and Weekly Goals: April 23, 2014

Happy Weigh-In Wednesday, everyone!

I achieved a huge goal from last week — I didn’t gain any weight over the Easter holiday!


I now weigh 164.4 pounds — 12.6 pounds down from my starting weight of 177, and 0.2 pounds down from my official weight from last week. I’m thrilled!

I ate quite a bit in the past week — definitely more indulgently than I normally would, with lots of Indian food, macaroni and cheese, and cupcakes — but at no point was I sickeningly full. I didn’t even measure or record anything that I ate on Easter Sunday. Maybe I’m just finally getting the hang of knowing and sticking to reasonable portion sizes.


Progress toward last week’s goals:

  • Goal: Maintain my current weight. Progress: Achieved! Hooray!
  • Goal: Work out 4 times and continue with the C25k plan. Progress: Did not achieve, unfortunately. I only worked out two times (Saturday and Monday). I really need to make this a priority again. The bright spot here: I registered for a 5k to be held June 21st! Now it’s time to get back to training in earnest.
  • Goal: Develop a set weekly exercise schedule. Progress: The past week was so busy that I haven’t focused on and completed this yet. My plan is to do this on Saturday — I actually don’t have any definite plans for the day — and I’ll post about it over the weekend.


Goals for the next week:

  • Goal: Lose 1 pound. It’s time to get back to losing! And I’m on my way — I stayed within my calorie goal set by MyFitnessPal for today!
  • Goal: Try 1 new recipe. Now that Easter is over and things have calmed down a bit, I want to get back to trying more new recipes. I have my eye on these Italian Meatball Sliders from Cooking Light.
  • Goal: Work out 4 times and continue with the C25k plan. Tentative work out days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
  • Goal: Finalize a weekly exercise schedule and stick to it.


Overall, I’m thrilled that I thoroughly enjoyed a major holiday without gaining any weight. My progress and success so far is so motivating! I would love to hit a total of 20 pounds lost by the time we go to Virginia Beach on June 6th. (Come to think of it, I never did decide how I want to reward myself once I achieve my 20 pounds lost milestone…)

Do you measure and weigh your food to ensure proper portion sizes, or are you pretty good at estimating? I still weigh and/or measure a lot of things, but I’m definitely getting better at knowing sizes or weights just by looking.

Easter Weekend Wrap-Up and an Exciting Fitness Announcement

Happy Easter Monday, everyone! I hope you had a blessed Good Friday and Easter. My weekend was super busy but fantastic.

I took off from work on Friday to prepare for the weekend’s feasting and to spend some time at church. The Good Friday service that I attended was more liturgical than the ones I normally go to on Sunday, but I loved it. One of the recitations from the Book of Common Prayer, the guide for Anglican services, really stood out to me:

We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and praise and glorify your holy resurrection;
for by virtue of your cross
joy has come to the whole world.

May God be merciful to us and bless us,
show us the light of his countenance, and come to us.

Let your ways be known upon earth,
your saving health among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and praise and glorify your holy resurrection;
for by virtue of your cross
joy has come to the whole world.

It reminded me again how much God wants to bring us into fullness in our health and humanity through Christ!

On Saturday morning, my husband and I ventured to Culpepper, Virginia, which is about 70 miles from D.C., where my accountability partner lives. She was teaching for the launches of the new cycles of BodyPump and BodyCombat at her gym, and I was so glad to finally get to see her in action! The classes were fantastic — especially the music for the new BodyPump release. After our workout, we met up with our husbands for brunch at a local diner and walked around the extremely charming downtown, which is full of specialty food shops and boutiques. (I love when the character of historic towns are preserved, and when they thrive!) I definitely want to go back!

My parents and brother and sister-in-law came into town on Saturday afternoon, and we all went into D.C. for dinner at Rasika, one of my favorite restaurants, to belatedly celebrate my mom and sister-in-law’s birthdays. (It was the first time my parents had ever been to an Indian restaurant, and it was a success!) After the delicious meal, my husband gave everyone an impromptu tour of the city by car, and we ended up at the Pentagon Memorial. I had never been there before, and it was very beautiful and moving, especially as the sun was setting.

Sunday morning was a glorious celebration of the Resurrection! My whole family went to my church for the 8:30 a.m. Celebration Service, which was a huge blessing. The sermon was fantastic and focused heavily on God’s grace. (I really want to listen to the sermon again when they post it online, hopefully today.)

The rest of the morning was spent preparing for a delicious feast! I love holidays and especially the fantastic meals that accompany them. I hosted last Christmas and again yesterday for Easter, and both times I’ve gotten ham and turkey from Honeybaked Ham. Nothing else comes close!

One of my favorite things about our Easter celebration was the candy boxes that I prepared for everyone. It’s not Easter without Easter baskets, and I thought that these came pretty close.

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No one was allowed to open them until we sat down for the meal, and everyone was surprised and excited about the stash of goodies inside!

Following the meal and some fantastic desserts — Georgetown Cupcakes (another holiday splurge) and my mom’s homemade mini cheesecakes made to look like birds’ nests — we dyed Easter eggs. I love still participating in holiday traditions that we enjoyed as kids!

My family ventured back to Pennsylvania soon after we finished our egg coloring, and I spent the rest of the evening relaxing from all of the celebrations. I fell asleep watching a movie with my husband on the couch and wasted no time falling asleep in my bed soon after. I decided to take the morning off from work today, to allow a little time for extra sleep, and I’m so glad that I did. I feel energized now and ready to take on the week!


And now for my exciting fitness announcement!

I’ve officially signed up for a 5k race on June 21st!


Last week, an email arrived in my inbox advertising the Fit Foodie 5k. I looked into it a bit more, and decided that it would be perfect for my first race of this journey, because it embodies everything that I am trying to achieve — a balance between healthy living and loving food!

The concept of the Fit Foodie was born out of the idea that a healthy lifestyle and delicious culinary experiences don’t have to be separate. Calories burned, calories earned, right?? Life is about balance and working hard so that you can indulge in those things that you are passionate about. When delicious food, working out, and good friends are all combined, it is a beautiful culmination of all that life has to offer.

Sponsored by Cooking Light and Health magazines, the event is only being held in three cities, and Fairfax, Virginia, is one of them! The race location is 20 to 25 minutes from our house.

Following the race, I get to indulge in delicious tastings and fitness demos!

Cruise across the finish line and get ready to celebrate your success in style. At the Finisher’s Village, you’ll enjoy a post-event celebration where runners can enjoy refuel stations, celebrity chef demos and tastings, fitness demos at the Power Systems stage, beer and wine tastings, giveaways, and delicious bites from participating restaurants, sponsors, and more! 

I think this race is going to be perfect for me, and I can’t wait! I think it will also be great motivation to continue with my training plan! (Thanks to my friend Kelly for the suggestion, and to Carli for the Lululemon gift card! I’m going to get a new outfit with it, just for this race.)

What was your favorite part of your Easter celebrations?

Besides the C25k plan, how else should I prepare for my Fit Foodie race?

Weigh-In Wednesday and Weekly Goals: April 16, 2014

Welcome to this week’s installment of Weigh-In Wednesday!  Let’s get right down to it.

By some miracle, I’m down 1.8 pounds!


The scale is actually playing tricks on me again — I got a few readings of 164.4 — but just to be safe, I went with the higher number as my official weight.

I’m not really sure how this loss happened, because (as planned) I wasn’t overly vigilant about my eating habits this past week, and I barely worked out (which wasn’t planned). I will definitely take it, though! (I do think that one of the things that really helped was travelling over 25,000 steps on Saturday, mostly due to my time at the Cherry Blossom Festival!)


Progress toward last week’s goals:

  • Goal: Maintain my current weight. Status: Exceeded! I’m elated!
  • Goal: Work out 4 times and continue with the C25k plan. Status: I actually fell very short here — I’ve only exercised once in the past week. I’m finding it very difficult again to get out of bed in the mornings to work out, and my weekends have been very busy. I just need to stop making excuses and get back to it.


Goals for the next week:

  • Goal: Maintain my current weight. Just like I mentioned last week, I know my eating in the coming week is going to be a bit more indulgent than usual, because my family is coming into town, and it’s Easter. I want to enjoy myself this weekend without worrying too much about my intake, so I’m going to moderate expectations and just aim to not gain anything.
  • Goal: Work out 4 times and continue with the C25k plan. I think this is actually very achievable this week. I already plan on working out on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Monday morning. I think getting back into an exercise routine will help me keep my weight steady after eating a lot this coming weekend.
  • Goal: Develop a set weekly exercise schedule. A trusted adviser of mine recommended that I do this, and I know she’s right, because it will get me in a rhythm. I developed a weekly schedule last fall, but I didn’t stick to it. I think it’s time to take a second look and develop a realistic plan that I can really implement.


I couldn’t be happier with the results of this past week, however undeserved.

Do you give yourself the freedom to indulge on holidays, or do you still try to eat healthfully? Maybe it’s the wrong approach, but I’m all about letting loose! Each holiday only comes once per year.

Do you have a set workout schedule that you follow each week?