Thursday, December 29, 2011

{There will be bad days}

by Betty

I get that I left my comfort zone for 2 weeks to focus on me and my food addiction and unhealthy lifestyle which has given me the knowledge I need to make this happen. I get that I'm doing well all on my own, and have so much to be proud of. But it's not all fuckin rainbows and flowers. I'm having a really hard day today. Not with food but about food. About how I allowed myself to get so out of control. I recognize this is a journey, a long term journey, but it feels daunting. It feels out of reach and I'm just so ashamed. Being mindful is exhausting and sometimes I wish I didn't have 150lbs to lose. One hundred and fifty mutha effin pounds. Obviously, it's not going to change over night. It took me 10 years to put this weight on and I know putting it on was way easier than it is coming off, but it really gonna happen? Am I really gonna lose 150lbs? The size of an entire person. I don't just have a few pounds to lose. This is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done and I'm already tired.

Why am I feeling this way? Why now am I feeling like it's overwhelming? Was working out every second of the day 2 weeks at the Biggest Loser Resort not enough to compare my overwhelming feeling now to that and get over it?

I decided to clean out my entire house this week. Purge all my crap and start 2012 the way my colon is feeling...clean and with less shit everywhere. My desk area filled 3 garbage bags. I have so much stuff that clutters my life and mind that I felt cleaning it out would help me start fresh, but now I'm sitting among a mess wondering why I started it in the first place. It's so much easier being messy and fat.

I miss the Resort and having everything scheduled. I miss Kelly Potate and Heather and Meg and Haley. I miss seeing Cara everyday. I need Essara to help me make everything better. I miss Tonia and Cameron and Tina and John. They all were such a huge part of what I did at the Resort. Being home without them isn't the same.

In how many other blog posts do I remind myself that life will continue on and it's how I deal with it that will be key? I'm not turning to food to make today 'better', but I am feeling sad and overwhelmed and tired. May be that's just today.
Thank god tomorrow is a new day. Shake it off.

Shout out:
To me...shake it the F off. You did this to yourself and now you have to deal with it. Do want to die early? Not enjoy your life? Push people away? Do you want to be that sad, miserable, pathetic fat girl that hides behind food? NO! Of course you don't. Why would you? You have this great life filled with people that are supporting you. What the F is wrong with you? All this shit in the world...poverty, disease...and you sit here on your couch in your home crying over 'it's so hard' bullshit. STOP. Get yourself together and do this. Go. Now.

Throw something out everyday. Clutter can cause a complete breakdown.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

3:01 am

by Betty

I have never really realized how hard it is to stay on track at the holidays because I have never stayed on track ever before. I made it through Ryan Christmas, but Nicole's birthday, Christmas eve and Christmas day were much harder. I allowed myself my 10% at Nicole's birthday and I am well aware that not eating anything all day to save all your calories for a nacho bar is completely unacceptable, but I slept in and woke up at 2pm the day of her party. Nacho bar started at 6 and it's my frickin' journey, I will do what I want. I had 1 plate of nacho's with turkey meat, about a cup of real nacho (fake) cheese, 1 tbsp sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and olives. I also had a cupcake. Yes, I had a cupcake. I made sure I was mindful of every move I made and I ate the cupcake away from the group where I could enjoy it slowly (as opposed to my usual inhalation). With all of that I still managed to come in 100 calories under my daily goal. But it was hard. I wanted more.

Saturday (Christmas eve), we celebrated with my dad's side...Canepa Christmas. Out of all holiday food events, I usually look most forward to this dinner. Italians pair everything with this case, creamy pesto tortellini. Again, I stayed present and made choices that were fairly easy...only 4 little tortellini on my plate, took the skin off the chicken, small portions, etc. I did decide to have my first diet soda since I returned (the reason why I live) and I also indulged in a small piece of dessert with my first cup of decaf coffee since I returned. (This side of the family takes their coffee seriously). I kept within calories this day as well. However, I didn't want the dessert, but gave in against plan and I feel slightly guilty. It's hard.

I reviewed everything I ate and drank and this is what I have to say...IT WASN'T EVEN WORTH IT. The nacho's didn't feel good in my tummy, the diet soda wasn't great, the coffee was ok, and....get ready for this ish...the cupcake was a complete disappointment. (If you know me, your mouth is probably wide open right now). Jessica, the nutritionist at the  Biggest Loser Resort said our taste buds would change as we detoxed. I had an AHA! moment last night thinking about all of this. Food is fuel. I eat to live. I don't live to eat anymore. I thought I was treating myself with the nachos, soda, dessert and coffee, but all I left with was a greasy feeling and diarrhea. Merry effin' Christmas.

At 3am on Christmas eve, (my normal up all night before Christmas wrapping gifts marathon), I said 'AHA!' out loud, thought of Tara Costa (BL #7) and her AHA! moments, and vowed to myself that I will never be THAT girl ever again. THAT girl that lost herself and hid from anything that wasn't on a plate. I took a picture of the actual time on my stove during my AHA! moment (3:01am) and made it my cell wallpaper to remind myself of how I felt and what I promised myself. You know things have changed when your a cupcake worshiper and the cupcake is no longer worthy of worship.

This is it. Moments like these are essential for my momentum. Times get tough. Holidays happen. Never bet that anything in this world will change. You must be the change.

This year, 2011 into 2012, I am making the change. I'm going to win the day everyday.

AHA! One choice at a time...Merry Christmas.

I haven't weighed in yet. Still no alcohol. Tailbone and right foot are still really sore. Life is good.

Shout outs: are one of the strongest, most independent woman I know. I'm sorry you are alone this Christmas. Come to San Francisco next year!

Ranelle, Jerry, Gretchen and Chris, thank you so much for your support and unconditional love. Thank you for reading our blog and rooting for us. Christmas dinner was perfect and my 10% was spent on the best pecan pie I've ever had!


Use whole wheat bread for stuffing. It was really good! Thank you, Ranelle.

Canned jelled cranberry is my most favorite, but has a ridiculous amount of sugar in it. Everything in moderation.

This holiday season I used a give and take method to make good mindful choices. I didn't have champagne with dinner, so I had cranberry sauce. Small portions at dinner allowed me a small piece of dessert. I had some tortellini because I avoided the appetizers. A slightly bigger portion of stuffing because of the whole wheat bread. I survived the holidays with replacements and mindful choices.

Thank God it's over.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Coming Soon~Food for Thought

by Cara

As soon as I can breath from the Holiday mayhem I will be posting some of our favorite recipes.I love cooking and in my house with the hubby, 2 kids, my parents and usually our younger sister and her boyfriend, I am cooking for 8 people. I have learned the difference in feeding 8 verses feeding the AMRY I used to (pre-BL Resort). I am now following recipes or changing up some old favorites and only cooking for 8. On the plus side our mom states that in the two weeks we have been home and she is eating my cooking she has lost 3 pounds!!! Way to go Momma!

Betty has been cooking things up in the kitchen too. She is not as detailed and experimental as I am, but from what I have heard from Monica she has been cooking every night and it is very YUMMY!

So for all types of cooks look out in the next week we will be sharing recipes and nutrician tips we have learned not only at the Biggest Loser Resort Malibu, but also at home.

Enjoy your holidays. Remember it is ONE CHOICE at a time and be MINDFUL.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


December 22, 2011

Many people at the Biggest Loser Resort shared favorite healthy food choices they have discovered along the way and their suggestions have been key for me at home. I'm not a disciplined eater yet. I'm just starting out on this weight loss journey and am looking to lose the weight equivalent to a large dog or a small pony off my body. It's not going to be easy. It will take me a little over a year (hoping to reach goal weight in Jan 2013) and in order to be successful, I need to learn everything there is to know about living a healthy lifestyle. Knowledge is power. It takes power to succeed.

I'm still living very consciously mindful. I think about every move I make.
Did I drink enough water? Did I track all my food? Am I being mindful about my choices?
I don't want to screw this up the way I have hundreds of weight loss attempts before. Though I agree with our dear friend Meg, overweight people are some of the most knowledgeable healthy food and fitness people on the planet, I needed and need help to start over and re-learn everything. This started at the Biggest Loser Resort. There are 2 aspects I am re-learning that I believe without a doubt will be a huge part of my success: labels and portions sizes. There were so many things I thought I Nutella for example...for an eater like me (addicted, but in recovery) Nutella is Nut-hell-no. It's got way too many calories in it for how little you get. Like I've said before, don't ask me to count out 15 crackers. I need food in my house that has more bang for my buck. I like volume. Popcorn is great for volume. I know this early in my journey, I need to surround myself with food that, even if I ate too much of it, is not unhealthy in excess. Now please know I'm working on this issue. I want to be able to only have 2 pieces of pizza, count out crackers and not worry about Nutella forcing itself down my throat. I'm not depriving myself, but I am trying to set myself up for success.
Don't let things you think you know stop you from re-learning healthy living.

I thought Nutella had bang for my buck. So I bought some today without reading the label. I got home and all I could think about was smearing some healthy-for-you-almost-like-
chocolate-fudge-Nutella on my Lundberg Rice cake until I pulled off the seal and got some on my finger. I licked it off and I guess it has been a while since I had Nutella because I knew immediately something that good could not have any bang for my buck. Sure enough I read the label and will need to plan those calories into my day next time. I had an entire conversation in my head about knowing that I need to be mindful about what I learned at the Biggest Loser Resort and not assumptions I have made. Damn creamy chocolately hazelnut goodness.

Lastly, my update: still haven't weighed in yet. I plan on weighing in on Christmas morning as a 2 week weigh in after leaving the Resort.
My tailbone is still killin me. So sore. I have to sit on the side of my ass. How much longer? Geez! My right foot started aching my first day home from the Resort and has gotten worse. I didn't injure myself, however I feel pain in the lateral top and bottom of my foot. A little swelling and slightly tender to the touch, but feels pain free when I'm not standing on it. I'm avoiding the Dr. because I know he will just say to stay off it, but I just feel like time off my feet means I'm not moving. "Eat less. Move more", right? Ugh! Tough. I think Tonia would say I should just suck it up. No pain, no gain.

Shout outs:

Nicole...sister...thank you for slowly walking with Cara and I today. You have no idea what an inspiration you are to me. You are a collegiate athlete that knows what intense training and fitness are all about. How lucky am I that I have you to teach me. So excited.

Essara...I'm not even a paying guest/patient of yours anymore and you answer my texts and cheer me on. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for me.

Twitter...what an awesome world of connections. I have read so many blogs and met so many people. The access to all the info out there is awesome. Plus I get to see how my girls (Kelly, Heather, and Meg) are going all day long.

Tips: da bomb, and now part of my 10% options.

If you are a food police officer, please remove your badge and gun. No phat person struggling to love themselves needs you reminding them. They know they have a long road ahead of them. Just be supportive without enforcing rules. Luckily, I do not have anyone in my life like this, but I know people that do and I'm on the verge of lighting a bag of shit on their door step for Christmas morning. Lay off people. Just love us unconditionally. Stop judging. Or I will junk punch you like in the movie 'What Happens in Vegas'. YOU KNOW WHY!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Found It

...the best backyard workout EVER!

I live in the heart of San Francisco, California. I have taken these hills prior to my 2 week stay at Biggest Loser Ranch at Fitness Ridge Malibu, but never before did I realize just how awesome this work out is. Today I ventured out looking to get in a HIKE as best I could. I live near Twin Peaks and deceided that was my best rocky rough terrain.

I have a hilly climb to get to it, hills = INTERVALS, the best kind of cardio you can do. And once I got to the top I had the amazing views of this fine city. Totally worth the burn. I will be taking this hike for a while especially in the first light of morning, so thankful for this life and now I feel more prepared to tackle it .

Monday, December 19, 2011

{Mindful Holiday}

December 19, 2011

I'm not shitting you...I went Christmas shopping with 40 Million other people today and my feet feel like I just finished a Cardio Circuit class with Tonia (the most badass trainer at the BL Resort in Malibu). So sore. But I love spending money more than I love to eat. And that's a lot.

Usually, I associate Christmas shopping with eating a huge meal, Starbucks x2, and some kind of a sweet treat like a pound of See's  while out and about, but not today. And not yesterday either. Or the day before that. Things have changed.

Thursday night I attended my work's holiday party. Two words: OPEN BAR. Normally, I would have gone with full intention of intoxication, dance like a hot mess all night, and wake up the next morning wishing I owned a gun. Parties like Thursday would have normally involved several (at least 5, closer to 10 drinks...easily 2 days worth of calories) double Grey Goose on the rocks with a lime and as much 'drunk' food (Jack n the Box tacos) I could consume. Let me make sure you understand a night just described has been far and few between since I turned 30 as it feels like I am near death the next morning, but nonetheless, I can party. The holiday fest was my first 'test', if you will, of my mindfulness. I drank club soda with lime all night and ate before I went so I avoided the food altogether. I mingled, danced and stayed until it was over. It wasn't hard. In fact, I was so grateful that I avoided my usual day-after-vodka-shits that I decided to keep alcohol out a little longer.

Saturday was the ever-epic Ryan Family Christmas. This event is one the entire family looks forward to. Cara and I are blessed with many aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids and our grandparents. Each year this momentous occasion has an enormous spread of food and alcohol to enjoy with the company. I can recall many excessively fantastic Ryan Fam Christmas' which makes me feel all warm...and sloshed inside. (Love my Ryan's) Cara and I did plan ahead. We talked about the food options before and knew what we could choose from. My ever-so-supportive Uncle Matt made Cara and I our very own pasta sauce over spaghetti squash and it was de-effin-licious. His response when I told him he shouldn't have was that the only way we would find success was if our family was on board. And that could not be more true. I was prepared to eat my weekly 10% if I had to, but because of my family, I left there well under my planned calorie intake for the night.

And then today. I love eating and I love eating and shopping. I was even thinking about making today my 10% since I was so successful last night. Food while shopping is a gift sent from heaven. The reason that I have made it through last minute Christmas shopping nightmares every year...EXCEPT THIS YEAR.

I have felt completely mindful since I got home. Not perfect (I ate a couple more Pop Chips than I should have tonight), but pretty damn good. I remind myself everyday that only I can change my life and I believe in the process. I believe that being mindful about what I eat, how I move and the way I think about things will change my life. This isn't a diet. There's no points, shakes, food restrictions or deprivation. This is simply a healthy lifestyle. "Eat less. Move more" -Jillian Michaels. So do it. Be mindful of every choice. Even if you make the wrong choice, be mindful of it. You are worth it.
Brief update: I tried to weigh in today and the battery in my scale died. I took it as a sign and didn't stress out about it. I will get a scale this week and update my weight loss. I am still not drinking coffee, Diet Coke, alcohol or butter.

Life is good.

Shout outs:

Meghan Ryan Philips...thank you for reminding us that people are reading our words in these blog posts. I am inspired at the idea that I might possibly help someone else like me.

Kelly Ryan McCrary...I effin LOVE YOU.

To Heather A....your strength, class, and determination inspires me. You deserve the greatest of everything in life.

To our blog followers, THANK YOU so much for reading our blog and sharing your own thoughts and stories. I'm just an overweight girl on a really long journey to save my life and I want to tell my story to keep myself accountable and motivated. I would really love to hear any and all tips you may have and I will share mine.

Tips of the day:

I am completely obsessed with Lundberg Brown Rice Cakes with Skippy Natural No Stir Peanut Butter. Ob. Sessed.

Pop Chips, oh how I love thee...

I made spinach tonight. Like fresh-from-a-bag spinach. First time ever. It was great.

I've been taking Melatonin for sleep and it seems to be really helping.

Let the Holiday's Begin

We survived our first week home. And in one week we survived a work party with an open bar and a family party with lil' smokies in a bath of barbecue sauce. We feel AWESOME!

I am sure it is because we are still on a super high from being at The Biggest Loser Ranch at Fitness Ridge Malibu. This week has been filled with reliving what we have learned, talking about our favorite trainers, our hardest work outs, and our successes. There is part of me that believes that we will feel this way for a long time simply because there are so many people who want to learn from us.

We had some hurdles this week that we knew were coming and we prepared for. Here are some of our tips and tricks to getting through the holiday parties, because let's be honest Christmas Day is not December 15 it is the 25th. And yet it seems that we are celebrating ALL month long. It comes down to self discipline and your TEAM of support, the people who are making different food for you, checking in on your work outs, and making sure you are keeping it together emotionally. Betty (reminder is my sister Brianne) and I have an amazing TEAM and we want to share with you just how awesome they are. 

{Our TEAM}
Big Vic Cruz: our workout partner who lives in San Diego, but texts us and sends us pictures when he is headed out to the gym. He also asks us what we are doing for our workout each day.

Uncle Matt & Auntie Debbie: made spaghetti squash and a veggie packed marinara for our Italian themed family dinner. Yes there still was cheesy lasagna and buttery garlic bread but our veggie option was AMAZING.

Our beautiful cousins: Meghan, Kelly, and Kasey you three are inspirations to us. You are all very active and look amazing. Your kind words inspire us and we thank you. 

Our GIRLS from BLR: Kelly Mc, Meg, Heather, Courtney, Amanda, and Sandi thank you so much for your Tweets, FB check-ins and easy access to pick your brain even mid-morning or late evening. Friends on this journey are so important.

Our Village (our parents, my hubby Ryan, Betty's partner Monica, our sister Nicole, and Steven): thank you for loving our Biggest Loser Recipes and making such big changes in your lives. We are forever grateful that you all are on board with us.

{Tips & Tricks}
The Work Party: started at 6pm and was open bar and finger foods. We ate dinner prior to arriving and had gum on hand, we also were able to stay away from the food table as it was in an enclosed room away from the bar and music.  We had already agreed that we were not going to drink alcohol because there were a lot of work people we had not seen and wanted to catch up with. We drank seltzer with a squeeze of lime. And we had a GREAT time.

The Ryan Family Christmas Party: started at 2pm was Italian Themed and  was potluck style and BYOB. There were about 35 people. We also had prepared ahead of time knowing we would have our Uncle Shane's Minestrone soup and a green salad and then Uncle Matt informed us that he had made an entire separate veggie option for us! Betty made a HUGE veggie tray with greek yogurt ranch dip and Trader Joe's white bean hummus. There was also an antipasto tray with some peppers, roasted garlic and olives (we stayed away from the cheeses and the various meats). Betty brought sparkling water and I had a half of a vodka tonic. Oh and our Aunt Lori made Sugar Free brownies (150 cals each) and plated them with raspberries and cool whip, we really do have a great family!

I think it was our trainer John and maybe even Tonia that reminded us that we don't celebrate holidays everyday of the year, maybe 4 or 5 days each year. ENJOY them. Knowing that you need to get a workout in that day or work hard the next, either way it is not a bad thing to ENJOY the holidays!

Dec. 12-18: I met my goal of 3 work outs. I tracked and ate approximately 1600 cals a day everyday including our party days. IT PAID OFF: I lost another 5.5 pounds. TOTAL loss: 15.5 pounds/3 weeks!

This week: I will do the same. 3 work outs, 1600 cals a day. But on Sunday I will be enjoying Christmas dinner with a glass of wine and although I will watch my portions I am not worried about calculating the calories. 

Betty did not weigh in yesterday, her scale is not working...but she looks FANTASTIC! She is happier and making huge changes including COOKING, which Monica informed me was the best part. And as we have been learning it is not the number on the scale that measures success it is how we feel before during and after our workouts or in how we carry ourselves. Betty, I am so proud of you and so glad we are on this journey together!
Merry Christmas EVERYONE!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Hi Everyone. Well we survived, not just our 2 weeks, but our 6 hour ride home and eating on the road. 

I wanted to check in and let you all know where we are and how we are doing with 3 days under our belts. As you will read from Betty's Blog post she was amazingly successful at Fitness Ridge with a 21 pound weight loss!! I am very happy with what I accomplished. I have learned that it is not about the number on the scale but how you feel mentally and physically. I am happy with my 10 pound loss, my 8 inch loss (4.5 of those off my waist) and more importantly with my ability. Yesterday, I got out and did my natural intervals (the SF hills) and was able to do far more than I was doing prior to leaving for Fitness Ridge.

We returned and immediately headed to Trader Joe's, it really is a smart place to shop. There are so many options and after meeting with Jessica, the nutritionist, it really has a lot of healthy snack and food options. I have also made 3 dinners for my family (when Nicole is here it is 8 people) Monday: Chicken, Tofu, Veggie Stir-Fry with Brown Rice. Tuesday: Penne Bake with eggplant, zucchini and ground turkey (from the Resort cookbook!) and Tonight, Wednesday: Chicken enchiladas w/ Trader Joe's Enchilada Sauce and light sour cream. I love to cook so cooking really has not been a problem. I have been within my calorie range and have gotten out moving each day. I sure do wish I had a built in John, Tonia or Cameron and a treadmill to go with it. 

For now and to get through the holidays, my goal is to focus on my food, the 90/10 rule and to get moving 30-45 minutes a day. I feel like although I was able to do it all at the Ridge, I have too much going on with the holidays here. So I have decided to focus primarily on food. Once the holidays are over, I hope to increase my workouts. This definitely could change because I can already feel my body wanting to Tread (did I really just say that...YES, I really liked treading at the Ridge and I do miss it!).

I really am not sure if everyone will continue following us, but coming home and living this at home is just as important. When you return all of the responsibilities you left behind are waiting for you. Children, family, laundry, cooking, shopping, etc. I am so grateful for the experience I had at Fitness Ridge, Malibu. It is an experience that I will carry on my journey forever. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

{On Returning}

December 11, 2011
Saturday night Cara and I were up late packing, blogging and writing a couple notes to our favorite people. I am so thankful for the trainers, guides, front desk, spa peeps and other guests for making my 2 weeks so progressive. I feel like they all helped me save my life and I will never forget.

Sunday morning we weighed in. In my 2 weeks at the Resort, I lost 21.8 lbs and 9 inches. (May I remind you, this is not a normal weight loss. I lost a significant amount especially for a female) I must say I felt each and every pound disappear. These two weeks were the hardest 2 weeks of my life.

Friday...THE LAST HIKE! I felt extremely sore Friday morning and had to push my feet for every step. I was dreading the hike. It didn't even matter that it was the LAST effin' hike...I was exhausted. Kelly and I began the hike together. I walk behind her because I track her feet to help get me through. We were descending into a canyon at Malibu Creek and I took a turn and fell. We were about 90 minutes into the hike and I busted my tailbone. At first, I was hoping to just shake it off and go on, but it began to throb. Not sure if I fractured it or not, the hike back out was painful. Randy, one of the hiking guides and Kelly walked me back out, stopping several times. I got back to the van and laid face down on a picnic table icing my tailbone until the rest of our van got back. It was like the hiking gods said 'oh yea B, u don't like to's a kick in your ass. I didn't get to 'enjoy' my last hike and now I can barely sit. Thank you, Kelly for taking care of me.

Saturday we went to the location where the Biggest Loser show is filmed. It was amazing! I walked the grounds and saw the gym, pool and housing. It was exactly what I needed. For so long, I thought I'd never succeed on my own. That I needed to get on the show in order to really change my life. After spending 2 weeks at the Resort and then seeing the Ranch, I realized a healthy style is up to me and my choices, show or no show. Getting on the show is like winning the lottery. Would you bet your life on winning the California Lottery? Hell-to-the-F-no you would not. So do it. Now. Go.

This is my life to live. My choices to make. I returned home Sunday evening to a great dinner with the family. We gave them Biggest Loser shirts and shared our graduation videos. I went home and filled my house with Trader Joe's, a food scale, measuring cups, Tupperware and Monica surprised me with a Penguin from SodaStream! It carbonates regular water with the click of a button. If you know me, you know I pray to the carbonation gods. I'm mixing it with Crystal Light Pure. Yum yum kind-like-soda goodness.

Having been 'detoxed' over the last 2 weeks, I am choosing to refrain from Diet Coke and coffee. Two of the things I love most. I'm not saying it's forever, but its' definitely right for me now.

I woke up today and put my workout clothes on and drove to the water front by the Bay  Bridge. It was cold and very calming. I jogged the water front for 45 minutes and stretched for 30. It felt good...not great,  but good. I'm not trying to fool anyone here...working out sucks big time. I hate it. I hate how my legs feel, how much a sweat, how I can barely breathe, but I HATE being unhealthy way more. I'm keeping a food journal and will be meeting with personal trainers and looking into some classes soon. So far, my head is clear. I feel calm, mindful and happy to be home. The show eventually ends, you can't live at the Resort forever and you might not get to the Resort at all or ever again, but what you and I do have is that fire inside that never goes out. It's one choice at a time. The choice to eat well, move your body and love yourself. I'm just starting, but there's no going back.

The Resort fueled my fire. It pushed me to my limits and demanded more. I ate well, learned a lot, detoxed, and made a connection with a group of people that have my back unconditionally for the rest of my life. I feel so lucky that I had this opportunity.

Other than hiking, the only bad thing I have to say about the Resort, is saying good-bye to everyone.

Shout out's:

I have no words to fully express my sincere gratitude to everyone I have met these last 2 weeks. You have looked past my insecurities and helped me mend the broken person inside. I am forever grateful.


Trader Mutha Effin' Joe's has the best food and will be a huge part of my healthy eating success.

Get a Penguin SodaStream if you like soda and/or carbonation. It is the best gift ever...thank you, Nan.

You never know how much you sit until you break yo' rear on a hike. Stand up. You burn more calories.

Salsa, Wholly Guacamole and Crystal Light Pure...I love you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Journey Continues

As we finish up our Saturday morning and do laundry and prepare for graduation, we are feeling the emotions of leaving here. The emotions of going home and doing this all on our own.

We didn't have a post yesterday (Friday, December 9) we had an amazing evening filled with inspiration. We were very lucky to be here at the Ridge these last 2 weeks with several former Biggest Loser contestants. Last week we had the opportunity to learn from Jerry & Estella, the at home winners from season 7. And this week, we like to call it "Biggest Loser Fitness Ridge Celebrity Week", we met, spoke to and worked hard with Sione Fa (7), Tara Costa (7), Twins Don & Dan Evans (11), Sarah Nitta (11), Courtney Crozier (11), Arthur Wornum (11) and Bernie Salazar (5). We have had the chance to hear from all of them. We have talked one-on-one with them and we have been challenged by them in our workouts. And when they tell us that if they could do it we could do it...we are really starting to believe in them and in ourselves! Last night we had a long dinner because we heard Sarah, Sione, and Arthur's stories. We saw their rawest moments in photos and heard their story. If you think they are amazing because you have seen them on the show, their lives continue to amaze and their journey never is really over. At the end of the session all the BL Stars stood in front of the dinning hall and allowed the floor to be open for questions. But they also shared some of their most important mantras and beliefs. Here are a few of them:

Eat less. Move more. -Jillian Micheals (as told by Don and Dan)

It only takes a split second to change your mind. - Courtney Crozier

Positive Mental Attitude. - Tara Costa

It's not impossible...I'm possible. - Tara Costa

Get your mind in the right place and your body will follow. - Arthur Wornum

Believe in yourself. Trust the process. Change forever.  - Jerry Hayes

Tough times don't last. Tough people do. - Unknown

We are packing up tonight. Preparing for our return home. Today, Ryan, our mom Charlene, my father-in-law Larry and my two children surprised us to help celebrate our graduation. Sylas was very tired and it was clear he was not happy, Brock was his social self, hugging everyone and even kissing Tara Costa (wish I got a picture of that one). Having them here was such a blessing. A reminder how lucky I am as a mother and wife and for both of us a reminder that our family is 100% supportive. We will keep this blog going as a tool to share our on going journey and to keep in touch with all of the trainers, staff and friends we have made in the last two weeks. Relationships we will cherish forever.

Here are a few collages of the last two weeks. Thank you all for following our journey.

Our Friends.

Our Trainers and Guides.

Hiking Trips.

Friday, December 9, 2011

{It's Go Time}

There are few words that can really describe the experience I have had these last two weeks.


Before leaving for the Resort, I really didn't actually think I could come close to eating 1200 calories a day, working out 6 hours a day, lessons, lectures, and survive at the end to say this was the greatest thing I have ever done or thought I could ever accomplish. I feel like a completely different person than I did 2 weeks ago.

Cara and I didn't plan these 2 weeks for any specific reason, but it was meant to be that we were here at this time, with these people. Thank you does not begin to express how grateful I am for this time. It has changed my life and I will be forever changed.

I came here completely broken. So sad inside. I felt like a failure and that my life would never be right again. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel and honestly felt like my fate was to be an overweight, unhealthy, unhappy, sad image of the person I wanted to be. I thought maybe it would just be easier if something happened to me to end my miserable state. I had no desire to change and even if I did, I didn't know where to start. I got to a point where I was in a constant depression. I hated what I looked like, how I felt and that my life was clearly defined by my weight. How did I ever allow myself to get to that point? How sad. What a complete waste. I was born into a family that supports me and loves me unconditionally. With a roof over my head, (a little) money in my bank, an amazing education, friends that I call family and a true sense of what it was that I wanted in life. But for the last several years, I pushed all of that aside and ate. How ridiculous does this sound? I have this amazing relationship with someone I feel I was meant to find and love. She makes me want to be the best me when I am with her, yet I kindly decline everything she has to offer because I would rather eat than love. I would rather eat than live. I would rather eat and die. What a selfish, sad, disgusting, little bitch I have been. 

I came here a broken, unhealthy girl and I am leaving a strong, aware, committed woman. These two weeks have saved my life. 

As my first post said...this is way more than just oatmeal and ellipticals. These 2 weeks are about life. My life. The life I was slowly losing by gaining weight everyday. Don't get me wrong, my journey has just begun and I have a long way to go, but what I know is that I am worth every second it takes to get me there. Everyone is worth it. 

Arthur says there is good news and bad news...bad news...only you can change your life. Good news...only YOU can change your life. I made the choice to change my life. 

Shout outs:

To the people that have helped me save my life...Essara, Kelly 'Potate', Heather, Meg, Haley, Keith, Shelene, Arthur, Sarah, Tonia, John, Bernie, Tara, Courtney, Sione, Nancy, Susan, Z, Chris, Estella, Gerry, Katina, Careen, Jake....THANK YOU for your compassion, unconditional friendship, commitment and support. I am forever grateful to have you in my life and can't wait for every moment of this journey. 

To the family that I am so blessed to have...Mom, Dad, Ryan, Nooch, LamLam, my baby boys, Ranelle, Charlie, Gretchen, Chris, Chloe, Oliver, cousins Kelly, Kasey and Meghan, Auntie Debbie, GG, (just to name a few) have loved me unconditionally during my darkest moments. I have no words to express my thanks, so know that I am nothing without you and am profoundly grateful for your support. my rib, ma. Don't ever forget how much I love you.
"Made a wrong turn
Once or twice
Dug my way out
Blood and fire
Bad decisions
That's alright
Welcome to my silly life

Mistreated this place
Miss knowing it's all good
It didn't slow me down.

Always second guessing
Look I'm still around

Pretty, pretty please
Don't you ever, ever feel
Like you're less than
Fucking perfect

Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like you're nothing
You're fucking perfect to me"-Pink!

To my dearest friends...Taylor (PFS), Khalil, Jonna, and see past my insecurities and make me feel so loved. My life is so much better with you in it and I am honored to share my life with you.

Cara...Murr...I could not have done this without you. Two weeks ago I was dying slowly and now I am living fully. We each have our own journey, but together we can do this. I believe in you. Thank you for always believing in me. You are the greatest part of my life. Together, side by side, we will leave tomorrow completely changed from the day we came here. Who the F are we? 

"You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow"-Cyndi Lauper

Monica...I live for you. I live for us. The greatest gift I have ever received is your unconditional love. I promise you the best life ever. I love you, Nani.

"Beauty queen of only eighteen
She had some trouble with herself
He was always there to help her
She always belonged to someone else

I drove for miles and miles
And wound up at your door
I've had you so many times but somehow
I want more

I don't mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved
She will be loved

Tap on my window knock on my door
I want to make you feel beautiful
I know I tend to get so insecure
It doesn't matter anymore

It's not always rainbows and butterflies
It's compromise that moves us along, 
My heart is full and my door's always open
You can come anytime you want

I don't mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved

I know where you hide
Alone in your car
Know all of the things that make you who you are
I know that goodbye means nothing at all
Comes back and begs me to catch her every time she falls

Tap on my window knock on my door
I want to make you feel beautiful

I don't mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved"-Maroon 5   

And to me...Wow. Thank God you didn't die. There is nothing standing in your way, but yourself. Don't forget how hard it was to carry all that weight on the hikes, during Treading, Mountain, Core, Stretch, and Last Chance. Your feet, knees, back and arms supported you every step of the way (even though they were bitchin' me out). Take care of yourself. Remember you took the first step by coming to the Resort...the first step to the rest of your life. You want nothing more than to be the person you were meant to be for this world. Live every moment of your life mindfully, thankfully and healthfully. Smile. Laugh. Cry. Live. You are so worth it. It's go time. Never ever look back. I love you more than bread and butter. 

Believe in yourself. Trust the process. Change forever. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 11: December 8

I honestly think that Thursday is one of the tougher days. There is no end in sight. The hike seems a little harder and the afternoon classes seem to push you beyond what you think you can do. Thursday is all about the mental game you play with your fitness level.

0600 NO Stretch...we were just too tired
0700 Breakfast: Eggs and Turkey bacon w/ soy cheese sandwich on whole wheat english muffin w/ fruit
0745 Hike Descriptions & Departure
0800 Hike: Cara (Van 3) Point Dume Betty (Van 2) Malibu Springs
1115 Gym w/ Cameron (AWESOME!!!)
1215 Lunch: Sloppy Joe, cauliflower curry soup, mixed greens
1315 There was a lecture, but we had a discussion group w/ Tara (Season 7), Sione (Season 7) Bernie (Season5)
1430 Treading w/ Sione
1530 Ball Works w/ Katina
1630 Total Body H2O w/ Sione
1730 Stuffed chicken w/ wild rice and mixed veggies, dessert Tiramisu
1815 Menu Planning w/ Jessica

We are getting closer to the end of our stay here. It was emotional coming here, emotional being here and emotional to leave here. Tonight we have already had to say some good-byes to some of the trainers that won't be here the rest of the weekend. They are people who have pushed us and motivated us to places we really honestly didn't know existed. We are beyond grateful for the kick in the ass they had given us. And we will remember these last 2 weeks forever. Someday, we will return here, as new people ready for the next step of maintenance or maybe if we fall off and need the reminder of how we feel right now. 

The hiking really is amazing, the scenery and the fresh crisp air is a great start to the day. I am amazed at the energy that can be exerted on a hike and I know that it is something I will do for a long time to come. We also had Treading again today. This is not treading water...treading is a cardio class that takes you fast then allows a recovery. It really is the best kind of cardio out there. Both Betty and I chose to do this class on the treadmill. For 5 mins we went as fast as we could, then recovered for 5 do this at 4 mins, 3 mins, 2 mins and 1 minute. The recovery period is awesome and I found that we both are recovering much faster than last week. We were not finished at 1 minute, Sione was teaching this class and had us do four 30-second sprints right when we thought we were done. Talk about a kick in the butt. But Sione is an awesome trainer, if you ever have the chance to work with him do it. He works out of the Utah Resort, and is here visiting for the week! Lucky us.
I haven't really been commenting on the food, but I need to tell you all about how awesome the last 2 dinners have been. Last night we had salmon fillet with orzo pasta and asparagus. It was so flavorful and seriously delicious. Tonight we had a stuffed chicken breast (stuffed with tomato, onion, pine nuts, a little Parmesan and basil) topped with a little marinara with wild rice and herb steamed veggies, another masterpiece by Chef Rodolfo! I know I haven't talked a lot about food, but that is probably because it is not necessarily why we are here. We are here for the education and the health. And we eat 3 times a day, this blog would be filled with food, and well we need it filled with FITNESS!!!

Tomorrow is FRIDAY. Fun. Fantastic. Friday!!! Amazing how quickly this has all gone. We will of course be attending John's Cardio Disco Jam again and finishing our day with water volleyball with Cameron. Looking forward to getting home too. I miss my boy's and my hubby. And we both miss our family very much. Looking forward to what will come with all of this amazing knowledge we now have.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 10: December 7

10 days... there is a workout that has been named 10 minutes of hell...10 days of amazing strength and energy. Today was rough. Both Betty and I were exhausted, it usually happens on Wednesday, but this was complete exhaustion. I hiked with a different group today (Van 3, Betty was in Van 2). Van 3 went harder and faster, but again I loved it. Too funny, it has to be the hardest part of the day, but I enjoy the scenery, the fresh air and the conversations. Something you don't really get in the 3-hour long classes in the afternoons. Don't get me wrong the afternoon classes kick ass, but you are also staring at ass if you choose the elliptical. 

But again today was awesome. It is hard to believe that in just 3 days we will be leaving here. I can't wait to see my boys and Ryan, and they are really pulling me through. Betty is also kicking butt, she is so strong and just need this to prove that the strength has been there all along.

Tonight I am meeting with the Resort Life Coach, Essara, I need some pointers about my overeating habits as well as my feelings of guilt and burden when I leave the kids to go workout, or do anything for that matter. I am meeting with her at 7:15pm, then off to bed. Sorry this is a little short tonight.

I want to thank the people that help me get through every day: Betty, Kelly, Heather, Hayley, Meg, Courtney, Amanda, Keith, John, Tonia, Amanda, Sarah, Tara, Sione, Arthur...and so many more. This experience is personal but the friendships have made this trip so much more worth it than I ever expected. I wish all of you the very best success ever. And I really hope we can have a reunion week!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 9: December 6

Each and every day you've got three choices...give up, give in, or 

We are in such a different place then we were a week ago. And today we are at PB (personal best, not peanut butter). My goal this week was to run on the treadmill...well today I was sprinting 6.5 mph for 1 whole minute. And Betty ... ran at 4.8 for 1 whole minute. WHO ARE WE? I personally have to thank Courtney Crozier (Season 11) she got on the treadmill next to me and as we were getting instructions for our sprints, she looks at me and says you can do 6.0, I said no way, she said yes you can, it is one minute and you can do it. So I did. She is an awesome motivator. There is a huge aspect here at the Resort that plays such an important role and that is working as a group. In the same class that we did two 1 minute sprints we had half the group behind us cheering us on. The "atta girls" and "you can do this" and "you got this" was so what we needed to really get ourselves through the sprint. This, by the way was after our 2 hour hike!
0600 Stretch w/ Cameron
0700 Breakfast: Peach muffins, I opted for the granola cereal w/ almond milk, Betty had eggs & toast
0745 Hike Descriptions & Departure
0800 Hike: Bark Park about 5 miles
1115 Stretch w/ Tina
1225 Lunch: Quinoa Wraps and Tortilla Soup
1345 Open Gym
1430 Cardio Intervals w/ John
1530 Total Toning w/ Carine and Tonia
1630 H2O Intervals w/ John
1730 Dinner: Shepard's Pie w/ spinach and dessert was a chocolate parfait made w/ greek yogurt

This is hard. Be Strong. There are so many emotions that have started to come through and I think about what I have done in my past that was considered hard and I am taping into those experiences. I think about working for City Year, that was challenging and super rewarding. I think about carrying two children for 9 months, 27 hours of labor with one and an emergency C-section with the other. I think about being a mom and a wife and a daughter and a friend and a sister. All of those things have their challenges, but I got through them. Some were short term, some had pain killers involved, and some will be part of my entire life. But what I am learning here is that the pain of training and the pain of getting stronger really is only temporary. (Thanks, Tonia) I repeat this to myself when I think I just cannot go another step, the tightness in my muscles the pain in all of it is temporary. And you know 1200 calories a day is plenty, if it tastes good, and here it all tastes SO GOOD.

I am using this week to plan my return to reality. I will miss this place. I will miss the trainers, my new friends and the food and the house keeping services (there is nothing better than coming in to a made bed). But most of all I think I will miss the investment in myself. I need to have a plan for my return. I need to have a shopping list complete and I will need my workouts planned for Monday. I think this is my new challenge this week. I know what I need to do with my body this week, I don't know what I will be doing next week.

I look forward to this journey and I am ready to do this for life. And I am so thankful for Betty and all of the people that are supporting us. This will not be easy, we will need all the help and support we can get.


Before today, I was always told there is a much stronger person inside all of us. After today, I know there is. Our hikes are getting harder, longer and steeper. Classes are more intense. Lectures make more sense. And physically, I can feel myself changing. 

However, I struggled more on the hike today than any other day. I was so tired, winded, and sore before we even arrived. Sarah Nitta (Season 11) was on our hike again today and I think she knew something must have been bothering me because she asked me how I was feeling and what was wrong. I replied with 'I'm angry'. I'm angry for allowing myself to get to this point in my life. I know why and how I got to this point and I am angry. Ashamed. Embarrassed. I think these emotions surface on the hikes because I can feel how hard it is on my body to get to the top. My feet and knees are screaming and my back is pissed off. Emotionally, it breaks me down. Sarah and I have much in common and she said that Cara and I are in very different places. Cara is more physical and I am more mental. Neither are easy, but very different. We both have long, difficult paths ahead of us. Working on the mental side of things, I had my final meeting with Essara, the life coach today. 

Essara is the key to my success. The mental side. Our meeting today focused on preparation for home. Essara knows things about me that I am not sure I have articulated to anyone else and it is clear that my success at home will take a lot of work. But without a doubt, I am ready. The anxiety, anger, frustrations and fear I feel will not just go away. To maintain some confidentiality, I have decided not to discuss what and who are my biggest triggers, because those triggers may not change. It's how I deal with these triggers. Prior to the Biggest Loser Resort, I ate to cope with the emotional responses I have to these triggers. Now I must be aware of the triggers, the emotions I feel because of them and then use one of the coping mechanisms to get through it. Removing myself, breathing, journaling, crying, screaming, talking to someone, meditating, exercise. Food can not be a coping mechanism. 

The return home will not be easy. I will have some really hard days, but I am way further ahead now than I was back on November 27th when we first arrived here. My journey has just begun and I am excited to take everything I have learned home. 

I have my first session of acupuncture today with Taylor. I told her all about me and focused the treatment on my sleeping issues, anxiety, and weight loss. I felt a serene sense of peace during the treatment and want to find an acupuncturist in the Bay.

Shout outs:

Meg....I know you are hurting today, but what a trooper. You inspired me so much during Cardio Intervals today as I look over at you destroying that treadmill. You are such a strong woman. Finale in May for sure.

John...that Cardio class had that energy and intensity because of you. I ran on the treadmill for both rotations. Thank you for all that you do and the investment you have in all of us. 

Tips of the day:

Try acupuncture. 

You can do way more than you think. Just try it.

Yogurt does not replace whipped cream, but it's pretty close. 

Listen to 'Don't You Know You're Beautiful' by Seabird

{It's not the final result. It's the journey.}

I am so tired. I don't think I have ever been this physically fatigued before and every step is felt in my feet, legs and back. With that said, everyday I can tell my strength and endurance have increased. 

I am not craving any of my comfort foods this week. Not sure if I mentioned it last week, but as I have detoxed, I have craved certain food that make me feel good, but those cravings have ceased and I feel clean inside. 

I ran on the treadmill for 5 minutes during Mountain today. Five minutes is really not that long even for me, but that was after 9 other speed increases at 3 minutes each before I started running. At the time, I felt like my entire body was going to fail me, but now I feel motivated that all this hard work the last 10 days is really showing. 

Since my last meeting with Essara, I am really trying to focus these last couple days left on preparation when I return home. We had a grocery shopping lecture today that really helped me. I have never been a good cook and don't really enjoy cooking that much so working on these areas is very important for me. I am not very creative and fall into making the same things over and over again until I just can't stand them anymore. I don't intend on becoming a chef, but I do need a few more meal choices to keep me going. The grocery lecture identified brand, types, and locations of some great options like Orowheat Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins, Lara bars, Wasa Crispy and Light Crackers, Pop Chips, Crystal Light Pure Fitness, Turkey Jerky and countless others. Many I had already heard of and tried, but I see it all in a completely different light now. Before I would pass many of these healthy choices up and now I view all the food options as variety in my food choices. Ak-mak crackers are my absolute fav, but now I will pair them with Laughing Cow Cheese or a low-fat string cheese. Cara and I talk frequently about how food has always been the focus of our lives and though, we still want to enjoy what we eat, we look at it more as fuel for our bodies. Meals don't always have to be the focus. Food doesn't need to hold the same importance it once did, but rather simple preparation, with fresh ingredients will satisfy us. I have always loved the convenience of a frozen meal. Just microwave and eat. There are many frozen meals with low calories and little to no fat, but the sodium usually exceeds our daily intake by the hundreds if not thousands. Daily, our sodium intake should be between 1500-2400 mg. One frozen meal can come pretty close. Most 'already prepared' food tends to be much higher in sodium. When I asked Jessica, the nutritionist, about frozen meals, she reminded me that it takes about the same time to prep fresh food as it does to microwave something. The most important part of the entire lesson is to always be prepared. I am one of those people that can't just eat one, so I made a list of food items that allow me to have a little more bang for my buck. Don't ask me to count out 15 crackers. My shopping trips are going to take awhile at first as I will be reading labels for serving sizes, calories, protein, fat, sodium and fiber. Shopping trips must be weekly for fresh food and meal prep, but I am ready. 

I plan on sitting with each Biggest Loser Celeb that's here to pick their well fed brains on their favorite, quick, easy foods and meals before we leave. They have so much knowledge and I need to gain as much as possible from them.

I got to spend some time with Arthur Wornum (Season 11) today on the hike, between classes and in the pool. Arthur has lost a ton of weight and is here to continue his weight loss journey. That boy can move. Not only did he lead our hike, but he is always in the best mood. He always makes me laugh even during the hardest of moments. He is very real and very honest about the return home. It isn't easy. I am so honored to work hard beside him. He motivates me to keep pushing. I wish him the greatest life ever. 

Sione Fa taught our Mountain class today. (May I just remind you, that I see these Biggest Losers as celebrities. If you have any insecurities, think of someone on TV that you are motivated by and hope to learn from...for me it's the Biggest Losers) So when I say Sione taught our Mountain class, I just can't really believe it. Anyway...during Mountain, Sione said something that I repeated about 3000 times..."It's not about the final result, it's about the journey". I believe anyone who struggles with weight, thinks about all the diets, quick fixes, options and changes they can make. Meg says overweight people are some of the smartest foodies on the planet. I have read and tried every diet from the Cabbage Soup to the Lemonade Diet. And I have thought countless times about gastric bypass surgery. I believe everyone lives their own lives and makes choices based on what is best for them. Success can be found. People do lose their weight and live healthy lives. The difference for me is the mental side. I don't believe gastric bypass would be the best option for me because "it is not about the final result, it's about journey". In order for me to lose my weight and keep it off, I need to feel every bead of sweat, every ache and pain, every hard day, every clothing size change, every process that takes me to my goal. The journey will be the key to my long lasting success. I have lost and gain many pounds, but I have never kept it off. I am worth all the time it takes to do this 'right' for me. 

Shout outs:

Sione...Thank you for your words during the Mountain class and for your sincere sense of humor and compassion. Love those calves.

Monica...just a few more days and I will be home to start our new life together and I can't wait. 

Jessica...thank you for the invaluable lessons with food. Food is how I got myself to this sad point in my life and it is how I will never return to it. 

Tara are a badass and will always be my greatest inspiration.

Courtney had that marathon. You are such a beautiful, healthy woman and I will always be your fan.

Tips of the day:

No matter how many times I 'just try' fish, I don't like it. And that's ok. Find what you like. 

Garbanzo beans, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, carrots, and mushrooms make the best salads ever.

Sriracha sauce makes everything better except your butthole.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 8: Decemeber 5

I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you are not, I hope you have the strength to start all over.

Welcome back, Monday. Today was about remembering where we were a week ago. Struggling to wake up, tightening on hikes, blistering, and tired. Ok maybe I am tired again today but I have to say we are both stronger and recovering faster. Week two "stay over" guests and anyone staying beyond that are expected to fit in an additional 45 minute workout somewhere in their day. Here is our schedule:

0600 Stretch w/ Jake
0700 Breakfast: Turkey sausage, egg and soy cheese sandwich on a whole wheat english muffin w/ mixed fruit
0745 Hike descriptions & departure
0800 Hike: M.A.S.H. Site (Upper Bulldog: Upper meaning ALL uphill)
1115 Stretch w/ Tina
1215 Lunch: Turkey sandwich w/mixed greens (mini dill pickles were added to the salad bar today, AMEN)
1315 Lecture: Eating Out
1345 Open Gym
1430 Core Training w/ Katina
1530 Circuit Training w/ Tonia
1630 H2O Intervals w/ Katina (FREEZING)
1730 Dinner: Teriyaki Chicken breast, brown rice steamed veggie bowl and 2 dark chocolate dipped strawberries 
1820 Open Gym (went for about 40 minutes)
So every Monday we are reevaluated on our hiking group, they want to make sure that we are pushing ourselves and that we are pushed by the group we are in. We were with a large group today, 10 hikers, 4 guides. We went to the M.A.S.H set, yes you can walk through the location they filmed at but that was after we walked up hill for 1 hour. Tina, the hiking guide that pushed me 6 miles last week, had me trotting (jogging) up hill at 3 parts. I LOVE IT!!! LOVE IT!I also am finding that I am recovering so much faster than ever before. 

We are also working out and learning from former Biggest Loser contestants. Tara Costa (7) Arthur Wornum (11) Sarah Nittah (11) Courtney Crozier (11) Sione Fa (7)...they have so much to share with us and are working out right beside us. Sione has also been working as a trainer and instructing our classes. It is a reminder that this works. Know your calorie in take and MOVE YOUR BODY!!!

Looking forward to getting everything we can out of this week. Blogging is important to us, but might be a little bit shorter. Tonight we attempted the challenege of Jacob's Ladder. It is a ladder that moves with your weight and as you climb it moves and can get going faster and faster. The goal is to jump on during cardio intervals, Treading, or during any cardio class and stay on it for 2 minutes or longer. 

One last thing I wanted to make sure I commented on was how lucky Betty and I are with the support network we have at home. When we left home we were handed a wrapped package from our family with clear instructions to open on our first night here. So last week we opened the package to find large envlopes filled with letters, cards, and gifts from our family and closest friends. I must say that this was beyond what we expected. It is clear from those letters and from the amazing support on Facebook and on our blog, that we have people rooting for us, but most importantly we have also motivated and inspired others to get up and get moving. And that is the best response we could get. 

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

{Week 2. Day 1}

Mondays are rough. Though I do feel myself getting stronger, I feel exhausted. My whole body aches and I want to sleep for a couple days. With this said, I did work harder today than any day I have been here. Our hike was ridiculous. Harder than any other hike and was all uphill. I try to take in the scenery, but all I can see are my two feet struggling to move just one more step. I made it a lot further than I thought and now my body is pissed the F off. But stretch class hurts so good.

Today Tonia taught our Circuit Training class which was after the hike and core training. I woke up this morning with a vow to push myself way harder this week in hopes of another double digit weight loss. I have never worked my body as hard as I did during Circuit. I know it had to do with Sione working right next to me, Tara working right behind me, Courtney working just a couple machines down and Tonia watching me, but I do feel stronger and I know I can push myself way more than last week. And I did. I ran on the treadmill. Ran. On. The. Treadmill.

One of the secrets to the Biggest Loser show is the Body Bugg. Simply, it's an arm band that tracks your calories burned and steps. I also have the watch band that allows me to see my progress immediately and can then push even further. My Body Bugg is now part of my life. It is always with me. I decided to name it since it is now such a huge part of my life and success. The Body Bugg is also a symbol of my journey and motivates me during those really hard moments. I named my Body Bugg Tonia after my favorite trainer here at the Resort. I have talked about her before and will continue to throughout this week. She keeps me focused during the workouts and has so much to offer. Whenever I see her, I want to try harder, push farther and either shit or get off the pot. She is no bullshit and neither is the Body Bugg. If you work hard, you will see results.

After dinner tonight, we hit the gym for an evening workout with Kelly, Shelene and Haley. I dedicate this blog post to them and want to highlight my adoration for Haley. She is an internal medicine physician from South Carolina. She is young, fit, and by far, works harder than everyone here. I have watched her many times during our workouts and not only does she never give up, but she pushes herself has far as she can. I know when I am on the verge of giving up, I can find her in the room sprinting on her elliptical or treadmill. I went to the gym after dinner tonight because of her. And why I even allowed myself to attempt Jacob's ladder. She is genuine, hilarious, brilliant, tenacious, and a frickin doctor. I feel so blessed to know her and want to continue my friendship with her long after we leave. Thank you Haley for your unconditional support and hard work. You are exactly what I need this week.

We had a great 'Eating Out' lecture today with Jessica. It's important for me to remind myself that when I return home, life will be moving as fast as it was before I left and eating out is part of that. Tricks for eating out include:
*Not arriving at a restaurant starving. Eat a piece of fruit or some almonds before leaving.
*Watch the sodium. There are many good choices with calorie counts available, but the sodium usually exceeds an entire daily intake.
*Look up nutrition and calorie information before arriving at the restaurant. Be prepared.
*Drink water. Jessica, the nutritionist, said that with refills, people tend to drink up to 40 ounces of soda by the time they are done with dinner, equally about 500 calories. That exceeds the calorie amount for the entire meal.
*Read through the menu and make good choices.
*Get dressings, dips, creams, and sauces on the side. Salads are some of the worst offenders because of the dressing.
*Order lean protein 'dry-fried' without butter and oil.
*Socialize. Dining out is a social event. Take your time and enjoy your food.
*Substitute fries, rice, and other carbs for salads, veggies, and fruit.

I love to eat out. I love the social aspect of it and the food. I know it has been one of my biggest downfalls. Though, I will not completely give up eating out, I am now more prepared to not fail.

Shout outs:

Haley...Thank you for everything you do for me. Your "atta girls", high fives and dedication have inspired me since the moment I met you.

Tonia, the trainer not my Body Bugg, Thank you for keeping me accountable and pushing me so hard. I am so inspired by you and know I will think of you often when I return home. arms are killing me from holding the weight ball over my head, but you got me through that workout today and I feel so honored to have sweated beside you. I can't wait for the Tongan tribal dance.

Sarah Nitta...Thank you for sharing so much with me during the hike. You are a sweet, beautiful woman and I wish you only good things. I can't wait to visit the Resort in Utah.

Courtney Rainville (Season 12), I love that you love your sister, Kelly as much as I love my sister, Cara.

Tips of the day:

When you think you have nothing left, you can run on a treadmill for 2 minutes.

If you eat enough pickles to cause heartburn, you have had too many.

Do not eat movie popcorn. There are 700+ calories in movie popcorn. Pop your own at home and bring it with you.