I am Jen, Jen I am

my journey towards happy and healthy healing…inside and out!

Archive for the category “weighty matters”

#junetuneup check-in 1

  A few days ago I posted about my newest challenge. I joined the Shrinking Jeans for their June challenge.

For this challenge I decided to go #wheatfree.  I chose to go #wheatfree after doing some research and realizing wheat may be an issue for me and for my husband. I have random belly issues and my husband has some IBS gastro issues. The doctor really has never given my husband guidance on what he should and should not eat. We have been slowly trying to make healthier food choices but we haven’t been making a lot of progress.

June seemed like the perfect month for a #wheatfree experiment. Luckily for me, the husband jumped on board.  We make one hell of  a team so having him on board with me is AWESOMESAUCE to the 1000th degree.

So, I weighed in at home (for those who know, I usually just weigh at my Weight Watchers meetings on Saturdays) on Friday, June 1st for my “starting weight” and was 228.4lbs. OUCH. I really haven’t lost any weight since January. But its been a learning journey and I am determined to make some progress. So, I won’t and haven’t dwelled on that number.

Today is Wednesday and for the Shrinking Jeans Shrinkers that means Weigh in Wednesdays.  Today I weighed in at 223.6 for a 4.8lb loss.


This #wheatfree things must be working.


It’s not simply the #wheatfree thing. But choosing to be #wheatfree has made it so I am more conscious about my food choices.  I really am thinking about everything I am eating – I am not just grabbing the convenient stuff and I am not eating out of boredom. I know it has only been a 6 days but I feel change happening.

I have been SICK for days.

But I have not used that as an excuse. I have made good food choices and stayed #wheatfree even though I really, really, REALLY, wanted to order pizza.


Not a bad start!

And now we are on to tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that.

One day at a time.

How did you do this week?



#WW, week 14: keep moving forward


I know the scale is not a true measure of my success but seriously, WTF?!?! Can that stupid thing ever cooperate. I would be totally content in any downward movement of the scale. Even a little ittybitty -0.2 would be better than a gain.

gain, loss, gain, loss, loss, gain, gain, gain, loss

14 weeks and I am only down about 5 pounds.  I know, I know, a loss is a loss and at least I am down something. I am making progress in some areas and just because the scale is not very cooperative does not mean I have not been very successful.

In the past 14 weeks, I changed in many positive ways. I have worked on and have been improving my health, physically and mentally.  I joined a freaking gym and I have started a new workout plan and I am loving it.  Lifting weights has helped me not miss running. Hell, let’s be honest, moving my body without running has made me realize, I don’t really miss running at all.  While not perfect, I am learning how to fuel my body. I am eating better, I am not perfect at this but I am making progress. I am eating less sweets and junky foods. And, I am sleeping so much better.

I have lost a few inches across my belly button and boobs.

But the scale has been stubbornly uncooperative.

I am moving on.

I will keep plugging along.

The scale is bound to catch up.

I am going to continue logging my calories on MFP but I will be better about logging my points on WW.  I will continue to make better food choices and hopefully, less of the bad choices. I will continue to workout.

I will focus more on my May goals. I have been slacking with the stretching – sort of half-assing it but I know I need to be better at it. My body will thank me and I am sure those few minutes can be meditative if I let it be.


#WW week 12 & 13

I totally did not post my weight in last week. Ok, I actually sorta did…on my “pounds & inches” page. It all got me thinking, I am really on a different path these days. The scale is only one teeny, tiny part of my week.  Thanks to my mom, I am attending WW meetings and I love my meetings. I love the social aspect and the learning aspect. I really, really like that I step on a scale that I cannot manipulate by jumping on and off until I achieve the “best” number.  I also do not actually see the number.

For me, that just works. I don’t stress the scale anymore. I step on, the receptionist prints out a the little sticker for my book, she tells me my results, we share pleasantries and the stress of the scale is over. This scale procedure has helped me rethink the whole weight loss experience. This is my second attempt with WW and this time the scale does not dictate my success. Last time, I was totally focused on the scale and this time, I am working the program and learning the healthy guidelines. I needed the refresher/reminder about better food choices.

So all this rambling comes down to a new weigh (pun intended, ’cause yeah, I am that much of a dork) for weekly weigh-in posts. I am dropping the weigh-in parts of this post…I will still do a weekly recap and the weekly lesson I learn in my WW meetings but I will only update my weight info on my pounds & inches page. I don’t want to obsess about  the scale, I just want to weigh in at my meeting and be done with it.  Ok?!? ok.


Sorry I missed last week’s meeting and lesson for you.

This week’s meeting was awesome and the message was beyond amazing.  Stephanie (WW leader) started by reading a letter supposedly written by a member who has been struggling and just about ready to give up. The letter writer said, “I hate myself.” Stephanie asked up what we would tell this letter writer.

So many wonderful thoughts went around the room.  Such wonderful advice…like: call a friend, come to a meeting, don’t give up, the scale is not only tool for success, think about positives, don’t focus on negatives.

It all came down to …

Being NICE to ourselves!

Best thing I heard at this meeting: Andrea shared, “if we talked to anyone else the way we talk to ourselves, we should expect someone to punch us…or turn it around, if anyone else spoke to us the way we talk to ourselves, we would punch or slap that person.”


Especially when you consider we are Jersey Girls!

It is time to be nice to ourselves.

Hell yeah!

I love me some me!

most of the times.

And then there are the times when I am so hard on myself. I know that part of that is ingrained in me from childhood; my mom had a habit of pointing out the negatives and ignoring the positives. I won’t go into details because really that would need its very own post.

I have been working on being as positive with myself as I am with everyone else. To know me if to know I am super cheerleader to everyone I meet. I mean everyone. But I am not so good t cheerleading for myself.  I will work harder on it! I will done my cheerleader costume of pig tails, bobby socks & saddle shoes and learn to acknowledge and cheer on the awesome stuff I do and give myself a break when I mess up or am less-than-“perfect” aka human.

At my meeting, I mentioned how as a teacher I have learned to use the power of 3. For every negative, have 3 positives. We have to tell kids when they do something wrong, but we can also mention a few positives. So how about we use this same concept?!?

I am going to take this a step further, and every day, I am going to list 3 positives to happen or 3 gratitudes. Every day there is good…I just need to remember! Every negative (missed workout, sugary meal, binge, excuse, bad food choice, etc) is a chance to learn. Learning is a big positive!  Every day, even the “bad” days, I will think of 3 positives of the day or 3 things I am grateful are in my life!

Can you be nice to you? Can you think of  3 positives for every negative thing you say about yourself? C



weighing in, #WW week 11

The scale: 

This week: 225.2

Last week: 226.4

Change:  -1.2

Total Loss: -6.8

The Reaction and the Reflection: 



oh, how I hate both words.

I hate them because they WORK!!

I am certainly not perfect but I am working on being better!!

The Lesson: COMMIT TO FIT! 

We talked about having a back up plan and we all have them….if our car tire has a flat, we still manage to get to work. Just an example, but it is true. We will do everything to get to work. We do everything to make sure our kids and significant other need things. We do what needs to be done to run the house.

and on and on…

But when it comes to taking care of ourselves, making working out (or plainly being active), we tend to not find the time. We don’t make back-up plans for this.

Why don’t we make back-up plans?

Why don’t we make our workouts or activity or eating for that matter a priority?!?

I have been working on making working out a consistent thing. I have been plowing through Stage 1 of NROLFW – but I can be better, I can be more consistent.  I enjoy the gym. I really have come to love my workouts. Lifting heavy weights is fun.

Now, I need to remember that…all of that!

I am going to COMMIT TO my FIT.

This week I am going to commit to:

1. weekday morning walks with Lucy (even 15 minutes will be good for her, and me!)

2. Monday, Wednesday – special workouts to complete stage 1

3. Thursday – meet with trainer at gym, she is going to walk me thru all of the exercises in stage 2

4. 300 minutes of exercise – thanks Dacia for the challenge !!


How will you commit to be fit this week?!?

weighing in, #WW week 10

The scale: 

This week: 226.4

Last week: 229.4

Change:  -3

Total Loss: -5.6

The Reaction and the Reflection: 

oh yeah baby!!

that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!!

This week I focused on tracking.  I tracked more than just my WW points. I also tracked my calories using myfitnesspal (MFP) – not for calorie counting purposes but to know what my protein, carbs, fats, and fiber count/percentage is each day. I know I need to eat more protein while I am on the NROLFW plan but I was not sure how much protein I was actually eating every day. I have also been thinking about the amount of carbs I have in my diet…and fiber.  I am starting to think, when it comes to tracking, I need more than simple WW points.  I NEED my WW meetings; they have come to mean so much…plus, the scale may be an issue if I had to deal with it on my own. I like that I step on the scale but I don’t have to see the scale…it isn’t the important part of this journey!

The Lesson: 

This week’s meeting was all about ANCHORS.

Why did we start Weight Watchers? one lady told her roller coaster story…the day she sat on the bench, telling her son she was tired and didn’t want to ride the roller coaster, when in fact she feared not fitting on the roller coaster.

Why do we attend the Saturday, 10:30am meeting? Friendship, this meeting is like a family…so many of the member are longstanding members, in many different places on their journeys.

Do we have an anchor? On a boat, an anchor is used to keep the boat from drifting away. The anchor keeps the boat in its place, only letting the boat stray so far before stopping it.

My sportID bracelet is engraved with the words, “make each say better than the day before” and this helps me remember to take it all one day at a time. One lady talked about a picture she took just this morning…she took a picture of an old pair of underwear from 100+pounds ago with her current underwear on top of the old pair…this was her anchor…a strong visual reminder why she is on this journey.  Some of the ladies mentioned their WW 10% keychains or 25-pound disc as an anchor.

I think I will look for the perfect anchor….maybe a charm for my pandora-style bracelet since I wear that nearly every day.

What is your anchor?

weighing in, #WW week 9

The scale: 

This week: 229.4

Last week: 227.4

Change:  +2

Total Loss: -2.6

The Reaction and the Reflection: 



damn, I didn’t track and look at what happened!!

I need a Gibbs-style slap.

I know I made a lot of good food choices but I know there are days I ate  too much. And the wrong foods. And there are other days where I am not sure I ate enough. Add in that I am lifting some serious weight at the gym, I should know what I am eating so I can see what is working and what is not.

Moving on, I have committed to tracking this week! I am going to write it all down in my WW tracker paper and online. I am very curious about my protein/carb/fiber numbers each day.  I need to find the right combination for weight lifting and weight loss AND feeling good (mentally and physically) – this is most important to me because it will be the key for my long term success.

All of this is about creating the life I want to live. A happy and healthy and long life!

The Lesson: 

Today’s meeting was all about FIBER.

Do you know how much fiber your are getting in ever day?

Do you know how much you should be getting?

I have no idea how much fiber I am getting in every day, but I think it is a fair amount. I eat vegetables all the time, but I don’t know exact numbers. I think I heard 25 grams of fiber is what a woman should aim for every day.

Fiber helps you stay full and satisfied longer. Also, fiber is usually low calories for high volume of food. so fiber is good.

Time for me to do a few things about fiber: 1. how much am I actually eating; and 2. find fiber-ific options for snacks. To do this I have decided to start using MyFitnessPal.com again for tracking. I will still use Weight Watchers and count my points but once a day, I will log all my food into MFP just to get a number for the protein, carbs, and fiber grams I am eating every day.  I think this is good information for me to have – it can only help my journey.

So, for the next week, I am going to track on WW and MFP. WW is for my weight loss journey – MFP is to learn how my body is processing what I am currently eating. MFP will help me get a perspective on the nutritional ratio of what I am eating.

I WILL NOT freak out if my calories seem high or if I go over what numbers MFP says I “should” have each day. I am in this to gain knowledge, not guilt.

[photo source]

I have to believe knowledge is more powerful than guilt!

weighing in, #WW week 8

The scale: 

This week: 227.4

Last week: 228.8

Change: -1.4

Total Loss: -4.6

The Reaction and the Reflection: 

I knew the scale had to eventually move in the right direction. It has been a long slow process to lose weight this time. This is week 8 and I have lost 4.6 pounds. I thought I would be further along then I am…the last time I was following the Weight Watchers plan I lost pretty consistently.

This time is so different.

I am so different.

Yes, I want to lose weight.  But my reasons are different now then they were 8 weeks ago.  8 weeks ago, I was feeling fat and mushy. I was just starting to walk without crutches and I was feeling sorry for myself. None of my clothes fit and I felt weak. I was in a bad place.

Now, I feel like my weight loss journey is only partially about weight loss.

I want to be STRONG! I don’t want to be out of breath when I walk up the steps and school. I want to feel comfortable in my skin. Since starting #NROLFW, I remember how I feel when I am working out consistently. Ok, it is still hard right now. My body requires more attention. I am still remembering the last time I felt really good about my body…last summer when I was running consistently…I felt confident and comfortable in my skin. I have no idea what I weighed but I know I felt good.

These days, I am not feeling all that comfortable in my skin, but I am learning what my body is capable of doing. I am learning I have so much healing to do. I know it has only been 4 months since surgery.  I am pushing myself by lifting weights; I even added heavier weights this week. Weights heavier than I thought possible. I have come to the startling conclusion that even though I was running consistently and training for half marathons, I was lazy when it came to anything other than the running. I am paying for that laziness now – I have not pushed myself in the past and now that I am, it feels awkward. I am stuck in between wanting to baby myself and wanting to push myself, fear of failure and fear of success, pain and healing.

This past week, I did a weights workout twice. It should have been three weights workouts but I had a mid-week unintended two day rest. I had some female issues coupled with an insanely intense headache for two days. I chose to listen to my body and on day two of said misery, I came home from school and took a nap and still went to bed early.  Clearly my body needed the rest.

It was a week where I stepped out of my comfort zone. Not only did I step out of  the private women’s room, but I seriously upped my weights. Not to some ridiculous weight that was too heavy but to an appropriately heavy number. I felt strong and powerful and I wasn’t in agony the day after. I tried pushups on my toes…they were ugly pushups but I did it! I even tried out a yoga class…and even though it wasn’t easy and I felt uncoordinated, it felt so good to test my body.

I will do more of the same this week.

The Lesson: 

At this week’s WW meeting we talked about what was working in our journeys.  By talking to the group and listening to other member’s stories, I realized I do best in my journey when I track and when I exercise.  I feel best. I eat better and I workout more consistently. It is definitely like a balance beam…I have to line everything up so it stays evenly balanced. I can’t and won’t be a workout maniac or the perfect eater. I can, however, find the right balance for me. Right now it appears that if I workout a little bit each day I feel best. If I workout just a little bit each day I pay more attention to what I am eating. I also sleep do good on nights I have worked out.

Have you found your balance?

weighing in, #WW week 7

The scale: 

This week: 228.8

Last week: 228.6

Change: +0.2

Total Loss: -3.2

The Reaction:

Can’t say I am surprised. I tracked great in the beginning of the week but then I slacked off. I have been plagued with cramps and bloatyness all week. Every now and again, my body goes wonky and decides to give me hell. This week was such a time. I had PMS symptoms for 10 days. Usually I get 1, maybe 2 days, of pre-period miserableness. My last weigh-in I stayed the same and I had assumed it was period related.

The Lesson: 

I am so glad I came back for my meeting (I woke up to go to the gym around 8 so I went and weighed in at #WW before the gym. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go back for meeting)

Today’s Topic was Nixing the Negative!

This is MY topic! Seriously, I am great at cheerleading everyone else around me! I see positive all around me.  And I insist on encouraging everyone I meet! Hey, we are all rockstars!!

However, I am no good at cheering myself on. We talked a lot about this at yesterday’s meeting. Listening to all the women in that room was mind-boggling. We are all so hard on ourselves. I realized something sitting in that room. I have an almost-teenage daughter and I work with troubled teenagers and I HAVE to break this negative self-talk cycle that most women seem to have. I don’t usually talk bad about myself out loud – I just say the bad stuff in my head.

I am horrible at taking a compliment! So many women (and young girls) are terrible at taking a compliment. It’s like we have to justify that compliment.

random person: “You look great, have you lost weight?”

my normal response: “Thanks, but I have still have so far to go.”

so negative!

I am way too positive a person, to think or talk so negatively about myself!

I am vowing to make a change! I am vowing to stop the negative self-talk!

And I will start now with 5 positives from the last week:

1. I continued with my #NROLFW with  my #ironsisters – I have 2 solid weeks under my belt!

2. I moved out of the women’s only room and ventured into the “big boy” part of the gym for many exercises.  This has allowed me to UP my weights!

3. I LISTENED to my body – my calf has been bugging me so I sent my PT an email (and I also talked to a friend) for advice.

4. I followed said advice. I am stretching WAY more every day. I have given cardio a break – no stationary bike, no cross ramp (dang I love that machine).  I am noticing that my calf has been feeling a lot better!

5. I have made some really great changes this week!! I am so proud of me!


Magic Tracker! 

At my WW meeting we have a Magic Tracker. This Tracker is said to have magical powers that guarantees great weight loss.  I know tracking works and I definitely have my better weeks when I track! Anywoo, this tracker has been passed around our meeting. Donna had it last week and she wanted me to have it. I am not sure how she or the tracker knew, but somehow they knew I needed this this week.

I have been half-assedly tracking. I know that is why I have not had the greatest results! This is week 7 and I am only down 3.2 pounds. While I am happy I have lost something, I know I have not been giving weight loss the effort I deserve! I need to put more effort into the journey. Weight loss is not the only thing (or even the most important thing) in this journey.  All the healthy habit I will gain while working to lose the weight, that is what is important here!!

Tracking is where it all begins!!

Tune in next week to see what I learn!!


weighing in, #WW week 6

The scale: 

This week: 228.4

Last week: 228.4

Change: 0.0

Total Loss: -3.4

The Reaction:

meh. I had a rough start. Weekends are hard for me. I wind up eating too much junkie foods. Last weekend, I used all my weekly WW points. All 49 of them in two days.  I tracked it all – the good, the bad, the ugly. Not a good start but the rest of the week, I did good! I tracked, I made good food choices, and I made it to the gym!!

The Lesson:

I did stay for the actual meeting yesterday. We had a very busy day planned and I wasn’t sure if I could squeeze it all in. I got up early and was at WW around 7:45 to weigh in and then I went to the gym. I heard enough of the 7:30 meeting to hear the topic: PORTIONS!

Goals for last week, reviewed/rated:

1. Plan ahead & be prepared for each day!  a B+ for the week!!I planned and packed a bag almost every night! 

2. Track EVERYTHING.  B+ – there is always room for improvement, but I did pretty great with tracking! 

3. workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday at the gym. [#NROLFW with my #ironsisters] B+ – I talked myself out of Friday’s workout but made it up on Saturday! I hit the gym 5 days!! 

4. Walk outside 3 days this week. Fail. I didn’t squeeze any outside walks in! 

5. Daily stretches (PT ordered) and yoga dvd once C. I did stretch every day. I did not squeeze in a yoga dvd. AND I think I could have stretched more and better! 

Goals for week ahead:

I may have been a bit ambitious with my weekly goals last week. I am, however, setting the same goals this week! I think they work for me.

1. Plan ahead & be prepared for each day!


3. workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday at the gym. [#NROLFW with my #ironsisters]

4. Walk outside 3 days this week.

5. Daily stretches (PT ordered) and yoga dvd once

Final Thoughts:

I may not have learned from this week’s meeting but I learned from this week. I kicked ass in the gym. I had a bit of a snafu with weekend eating. I stayed the same on the scale but this week was a HUGE SUCCESS!! I tracked it all, I made it to the gym, I drank my water and ate my fruits and veggies.

After a rocky start, the week was great! I will not let the scale tell me differently.

And then I realized the date. I usually deal with female issues between the 8th and 12th each month. Staying  the same and not having a gain this week is acceptable.  I looked back and I had same no gain/no loss on period week. I will continue to plug away and know that the scale will eventually catch up!

I will post again very soon…I have lots to write about:

1. this week’s menu & fitness plan

2. my week in lifting (I will probably post that on #ironsisters blog but I will link it here)

3. recent yummy foods I have made….well, the successful ones!

4. new hair pictures


just to name a few…

But for now, I am going to adjust to daylight savings and go outside in the sunshine before I have to start prepping and planning week ahead. Unfortunately, those lessons won’t plan themselves.

weighing in, #WW week 5

The scale: 

Last week: 228.4

Change: +0.2

Total Loss: -3.4

The Reaction: Not Surprised. I did not track this past week. I started out my WW week by eating way too many cake-pops and even though I reigned it all in by Tuesday, I did a bangup job those first few days of the week. Even though, I reigned it in, I did not track.

The Lesson: Today’s meeting focused on exercise and excuses. Stephanie* asked us, “Do you Excusercise?!” OMG, do I ever!! I easily make excuses and put everything and everyone ahead of ME getting MY workout in. All the ladies (and the handful of men in the room) concluded we all put everything and everyone ahead of our needs. I don’t quite buy into that…not for me. My schedule is pretty much the same every day. I can be at home most days by 3pm, my daughter is almost a teenager and helps around the house, and my husband and I take turns cooking. I simply make too many excuses!!

Do you make excuses?

Goals for week ahead:

1. Plan ahead & be prepared for each day!


3. workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday at the gym. [#NROLFW with my #ironsisters]

4. Walk outside 3 days this week.

5. Daily stretches (PT ordered) and yoga dvd once


I never set weekly goal. I usually suck at them! I am hoping this time I use my goals to my benefit!! If I set goals, my accountability partners [my #ironsisters and MB co-challengers (I joined Monica’s Challenge not to win a weight loss challenge but for the support)] need to know about them. If I don’t tell people what my goals are how will they know what support I need?!?


I have goals. Now, I have a menu and workouts to plan. But that is for another post!

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