Tag Archives: happiness

A Work in Progress

Yes, I’m still on my road to losing this pesky fat!  I’ve been extremely busy since about mid-February.  I went back to work after being off for nearly two years.  (I took a “mental break” after my last miscarriage)  I was on a roll losing my weight with being down nearly 15 pounds from Jan 2nd to Feb 13th.  I figured it was time to move on.  Boy was I wrong!  This damn scale of mine was resisting to budge for nearly three months.  It hit me this week that I just haven’t been making the time for ME as much as I should have.  However, I have jumped back on the bandwagon and I am hoping to get below the 220’s next week (I started at 248 in January)!  I created a six month goal for myself to be down 50 pounds by my 35th Birthday.  That’s drawing near — June 14th — Eeeek!!  Since I took my first photo of myself on January 19th, I figured I’d be a little lenient and go to June 19th to reach my goal.  Of course, I won’t be saddened if I reach it before then.  🙂

On May 7th, I will be giving up my reigns once again as Nanny.  I’m going to be concentrating on myself this summer and preparing my body to go through another round of infertility treatments.  (I haven’t shared it with most of my family and friends — so I apologize if you are reading this and are just now finding out)  I am going to tell you all this… I’m scared as hell nervous and anxious to begin the process.  Most of all, in my current state — I’m not ready!  My goal was to be below 200 pounds before even going to see the specialist.  Our appointment is May 20th.  I just told my husband (literally like 20 minutes ago) that I am rescheduling that appointment… once again!  This time, not because I am too frightened to begin treatment, but because I have a bigger goal in mind.  I want to be below that 200 lb mark!  I want to be a healthy pregnant momma!!  There’s nothing I have ever wanted more!  (Small Note:  I will NOT be posting on this blog, Twitter, or Facebook when/if I do treatments.  You will find out I’m pregnant when I feel I’m ready.  Not trying to be rude, but just protecting myself, my husband and so many other couples who go through the struggle of infertility every day of every year.  I will not be that person who keeps throwing it up in conversation just for conversation.  I have been there and I won’t be doing it!  So, you are still safe to hang around.  Long after the “fun” begins!  🙂 )

I have my Best Friends wedding on May 18th and when I return I will be kicking it in high gear till at least my birthday.  Then, I will see where I am.  (Hopefully below the 200 line!)  At that point, I will contact my specialist (Reproductive Endocrinologist) and go from there.  And hey, who knows!  Maybe I’ll just have a miracle pregnancy!  Psh!  Ha!  Ya, I’ve been saying that for 7 years folks.  (Read MY STORY to find out more)

Tomorrow morning I am joining my new friend and journey buddy (Geri) for Boot Camp.  Yes, I’m going back!  Well, this one is with a different trainer, but I need to have my ass pushed a little harder.  I have NO CHOICE!  Staying fat is not an option for me!  I’m also continuing with my weight-loss challenge group and have recently started a local “Women’s Fat Club”.  I am expecting a call on Tuesday afternoon from a Therapist who specializes in Food Addiction and Binge Eating.  We are hoping to have her come and speak with us ladies.  We also have a cooking class (at our local Diabetes Center), a field trip to see Ruby Gettinger and a Splash ‘N Dash Fun Run scheduled over the summer.  Strength in numbers folks!  I encourage you to grab a few friends and get yourselves moving this summer too!  Get out and enjoy your life!

Ok, now for the good stuff (blech!).  Here’s my progress photo’s….

Apr2813 update

Not a whole lotta change yet (slightly here and slight there yes), but there will be soon!  You just wait and see!

**Do you have a progress photo, journey story, etc that you would like to share with my readers?  Let me know (by commenting below or contacting me via PM on Facebook) and I’ll post it on my blog for you!  I love to share others stories!  Be an inspiration to others and you will keep inspiring yourself.

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Checking In :: Or, Maybe I’m just venting….?

I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve updated.  So, I thought I should get on here and do so.  Let’s see… where to begin?!  (Warning:  This is going to be all over the place…)

I’m still teetering around the 228 lb mark.  I’ve lost 20.8 pounds since January 2nd.  Not too bad, but I would REALLY like to get myself into ONEDERLAND sooner than later.  For some reason, the taste of onederland is causing me some extreme weight-loss anxiety.  I’m having battles from “What to Eat?”, “What workout to do?”, “I don’t feel like logging”, “Why won’t my friends come work out with me”…etc etc.  I know it’s nothing more than just in my head, but it’s really starting to piss me off!  I know some of you are like “Quit Complaining” & “You’ve lost, what more could you want”!?!  Blech!  That’s all, just Blech!

I really need to find some new workout sessions/classes.  I think maybe I have hit boredom?  I also need to either find a personal trainer or a group of friends who will work out with me.  Perhaps loneliness?  The main problem, I live about 45-minutes to an hour away from everyone.  😦  Not good!  But, something needs to change.  Maybe I’m just scared that I will “Give Up”?!  I think that’s the ultimate right now.  I know I won’t entirely, but unless something snaps…. I’m heading for a full blown sabotage.  Yikes!

Oh, did I mention that I have started working again?!  I have.  I love it!  The job is flexible and the family is ultra sweet.  However, I’m noticing that since starting I have slowly become “lax” with my journey.  I need to maybe find some better time management skills in the process too…

I don’t know what’s ultimately going on… but, I think I’m overwhelmed.  Therefore, I’m starting over.  I’m going back to week one.  NO CARBS, NO SUGAR.  EAT VEGGIES & FRUIT often and LEAN MEATS.  Also, NO DAIRY or EGGS.  I’m planning to do this for at least two weeks.  I’ll report back afterwards and let you know if this is just the kick in the ass that I’ve been needing.

Here’s what I have on the plan for the week too….

Monday:  Workout @ Planet Fitness (Hoping to meetup with Friends), OFF today

Tuesday: AM Walk @ Home & Weights,  Work 4-11/12

Wednesday:  Work 12-6, Dance Class 7pm

Thursday:  Work 9:30-3:30, Evening Walk @ Home & Weights

Friday:  8am Yoga, 10am Gym,  OFF today

Saturday:  OFF  — Gym/Walk @ Home

Sunday:  OFF — REST DAY

MEAL PLAN…..

Breakfast Daily:  Green Monster Smoothie
Snacks: Fruit, Veggies, Nuts
Lunch & Dinner: Lean Meats (Tuna, Turkey Breast, Chicken Breast…) & Veggies

If you missed it.  Here’s my Bridesmaid Dress that I picked out yesterday.  This is a little reminder that my hard work is actually working.  Somewhat.  Maybe.  😉

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So, What do you think?!

On a positive note, I have added some small items of encouragement.  I am signed up for a 4% Biggest Loser Weight-Loss Challenge.  I have 22 Days to lose another 6 pounds.  I know I can do it!  I also signed up to walk the Susan G. Komen 5K with my Mom on Mother’s Day in Chicago.  I’m really excited about this one.  A 5K through my favorite city?  Yes please! It should prove to be a good & healthy time.

Alright, I must go prep for the week.  In the meantime, check out this cool website I found today.  http://www.FitnessBlender.com.  It’s absolutely FREE to sign up on it and they have TONS of FREE Fitness Videos.  You can even do a search based on what type of workout you want.  Say you wanna tone your arms (like me!)…. you just search “Toning” “Tri-Ceps/Bi-Ceps”.  It’s as easy as that!

Wishing you all a fabulous week!  Enjoy!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

st. patrick's day

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Festive St. Patrick’s Day!  I will be partaking in the Corned Beef & Cabbage today!  Heading over to the crock pot in a bit to get it all set-up.  Here’s the recipe I intend to use….

 Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ingredients
10 Baby red potatoes, quartered
1 onion, peeled cut into pieces
4 cups of water
4 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
6 ounces of beer
1/2 head of cabbage, coarsely chopped

Directions
1. Place onions and potatoes in the bottom of the Crock-Pot
2. Pour in water and place brisket on top
3. Pour beer over brisket, It is about a half a can so enjoy the 2nd half as you cook
4. Sprinkle brisket with spices set Crock Pot on high
5. Cook 8 hours on high, 1 hour before serving stir in cabbage pieces and recover crock pot

By the way, I’m down 2.5 pounds this week!  Woot Woot!

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Don’t Give Up!

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Hey Y’all!  I hope you are having a GREAT week so far.  I’m getting myself back on track and NOT GIVING UP!  I spent the last few weeks surrounded by bad food, bad choices and bad people.  Now it’s time for ME!  I’ve got my week going pretty good so far.  Here’s what I have in store…

Today:  Dance Class

Tomorrow:  Do 3.1 miles at the gym and weights

Friday:  Yoga in AM.  At least 2mi walk at home in the PM.

Saturday:  At home/gym 5k and weights

Sunday:  Do “something” active with the hubby & pupster.  (Weather permitting, I’d like to go for a walk on the beach or do a local trail.)

What do you have planned for your workouts this week?  What roadblocks have you had along the way?

**My personal goal for this week is to be able to run at least a 1/2 mile non-stop.  I’ll keep you posted!

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Don’t DERAIL on Valentine’s Day

valentine chocolate

Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to sabotage your Diet.  But, it doesn’t have to be!  By making a few adjustments and sticking to them, you can make sure you don’t derail on your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight.

1.)  Plan to Workout in the morning on Valentine’s Day.

2.)  Eat your normal meals throughout the day to ward off emotional eating, overeating or making a bad choice due to starvation mode.

3.)  Plan to cook a meal at home and lower the calorie count -OR- split a dinner with your mate at a restaurant.  Either way, you will be able to lower the amount of calories.

4.)  Get active!  Plan to go for a walk after dinner -OR-  Get Sexy! 😉

5.)  Ward off all Chocolate Candies!  It’s not worth it and they have WAYYY too many calories.  Instead, grab a piece of fruit or a hot chocolate.

Most of all, enjoy the day!  Because really, that’s all it is.  A DAY!  You can celebrate your love each and every day without chocolates and high fat meals.  Plan ahead and you will do just fine!

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NO EXCUSES! — Working out, with children in tow.

For those of you who missed my morning post on Facebook…  I was a Nanny for over 10 years.  Ms. F was my last charge while working as a Professional Nanny.  I’ve watched her from the time she was 10 months old.  She is going to be 6 yo in April.  (So hard to believe!)  She is the sweetest, cutest, and most outgoing child I have ever worked with.  She makes my days so enjoyable when I am with her.  It’s just sooo hard to be upset when you are around her.  The things she says and does gives me an instant “perma grin”.  =)  I love her with all my heart; as if she is one of my own.  I am no longer with her full-time (filling in today), but I still get the pleasure of being with her from time-to-time.  I always make sure the time we spend together is valuable.  Life is way to short not to and I value the time I have with her each and every time.
(Nanny M loves YOU Ms. F!)

My workout partner today was amazing! She did the whole thing without complaining. I think she was showing off a little. 😉

I guess I never realized how much can be done in a park with a kid in tow.  Of course, maybe my “healthy brain” was covered under a lot of fat two years ago?! Perhaps.  Either way, we managed to “get ‘er done” while having fun today.  As Ms. F told me, “Thank Goodwess the Wain stayed away”.  

Here’s what we did while at the park….

20130207-145830.jpgWe started out with a little run in the grass outside the baseball field.
AKA: I’m going to get you! And,You can’t get me!

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Next, “we” did ten push-ups (three reps).

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This was her favorite part. Running the stairs. She kinda made me nervous, BUT she did an amazing job. We went up and down five times. (Giggling the entire time…)

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Every girl should learn how to do  squats at an early age.
(Ha! She actually sat down all the way though.)

I did three reps of 10.

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Then, Ms. F made a beat on the conga drums while I….

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Drummed out a stepping beat of my own on this here step. (Got 20 on each leg)

Five minutes later. Ms. F crashed her shin into this stair and our day at the park was over. Well, until I cheered her up with a friendly run from the playground to the car. I let her win! 😉

Afterwards, we joined my hubby for lunch.  We were both starving.  Ms. F was asking for Lunch with Tom and Spaghetti.  I managed to talk her out of the Italian Restaurant.  We ended up at Outback instead.  I had Chicken on the Barbie (no seasoning and no BBQ sauce) and Steamed Broccoli (no seasoning or butter).  Ms. F, she had a “Burger & Fries”. Her favorite! (As did Tom too!  She was pretty excited about that.)

We both ended up happy in the end.  Except for maybe the few times I traded her a French Fry for a piece of Broccoli.  If only I had recorded her disgust each time I handed her a green tree.  Ha!  I only managed to walk away with four french fries in my belly.  Thankfully!

After lunch, we hit the car wash.  Her new favorite thing to do.  I got a clean car and a workout (while vacuuming the inside) and she got free entertainment.  DEAL!  I should take her every time I go.  🙂

Now, she’s passed out cold on the couch.  I have to wake her up in 15 minutes to get ready for Dance Class.  I’m pretty sure she will sleep very well for her Momma tonight.

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13.8 GONE! — 85 More To Go!

As promised, I’m posting my before and after for month one below.  I’m not completely confident in my own skin yet and this is taking a huge amount of strength to post this to the world!  I can definitely see a difference, but it scares me.  Will I be happy with my “look” once I finally meet my goal weight?  I surely hope so!  So please, be kind to the “skinny girl in the making” below.  She’s on the right path and hopes this picture helps others in her shoes.  ((HUGS)) to all you trying to melt along with me!  We are well on our way!  Month ONE — DOWN!

Since January 2nd, I have lost 13.8 pounds.  It wasn’t easy, but I definitely have learned a LOT and gained a whole NEW lifestyle in just a short month’s time.  I’m so proud of myself for the strides I have made in “Making Marcia Melt”.

To prepare for February, I’ve already prepared my workout plan and have started on my meal plan.  I’ll post it in another posting later today.  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, enjoy my new bod!  Ha!!  =)  Can’t wait to see what this is going to look like in May when I reach my 1/2 way goal!!  Oh ya!!

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FYI, No Breakdown posting this week.  Instead, I’m going to go enjoy the Super Bowl with my hubby and pupster!  =)  I’ll post my calendar and my Healthy Super Bowl Spread later today though via Twitter & Facebook.

Who do you want to win the Super Bowl?  I’m in it for the commercials?  Let me know which was your favorite!

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10 Things Happy People Do Differently

Are you really a HAPPY person?  Can you relate to these?  If not, it’s time to make some changes!  Check out this article written by Paula Davis-Laack on the Huffington Post Blog.

 

“Happiness is having a large, caring, close-knit family in another city.” — George Burns

How happy are you and why? This is a question I spend a fair amount of time thinking about, not only as it applies to my own levels of happiness, but also as it applies to my family, friends, and the people who I work with. Since graduating with my master’s degree in positive psychology, I’ve worked with and observed thousands of people in a wide variety of settings, and happy people just flow with the groove of life in a unique way. Here is what they do differently:

They build a strong social fabric. Happy people stay connected to their families, neighbors, places of worship, and communities. These strong connections act as a buffer to depression and create strong, meaningful connections. The rate of depression has increased dramatically in the last 50 to 75 years. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of mortality in the world, impacting nearly one-third of all adults. While several forces are likely behind this increase, one of the most important factors may be the disconnection from people and their families and communities.

They engage in activities that fit their strengths, values and lifestyle. One size does not fit all when it comes to happiness strategies. You tailor your workout to your specific fitness goals — happy people do the same thing with their emotional goals. Some strategies that are known to promote happiness are just too corny for me, but the ones that work best allow me to practice acts of kindness, express gratitude, and become fully engaged. Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky offers a wonderful “Person-Activity Fit Diagnostic” in her book The How of Happiness.

They practice gratitude. Gratitude does the body good. It helps you cope with trauma and stress, increases self-worth and self-esteem when you realize how much you’ve accomplished, and often helps dissolve negative emotions. Research also suggests that the character strength of gratitude is a fairly strong correlate with life satisfaction.[1]

They have an optimistic thinking style. Happy people reign in their pessimistic thinking in three ways. First, they focus their time and energy on where they have control. They know when to move on if certain strategies aren’t working or if they don’t have control in a specific area. Second, they know that “this too shall pass.” Happy people “embrace the suck” and understand that while the ride might be bumpy at times, it won’t last forever. Finally, happy people are good at compartmentalizing. They don’t let an adversity in one area of their life seep over into other areas of their life.

They know it’s good to do good. Happy people help others by volunteering their time. Research shows a strong association between helping behavior and well-being, health, and longevity. Acts of kindness help you feel good about yourself and others, and the resulting positive emotions enhance your psychological and physical resilience. One study followed five women who had multiple sclerosis over a three-year period of time.[2] These women volunteered as peer supporters for 67 other MS patients. The results showed that the five peer support volunteers experienced positive changes that were larger than the benefits shown by the patients they supported.

They know that material wealth is only a very small part of the equation. Happy people have a healthy perspective about how much joy material possessions will bring. In The How of Happiness, Lyubomirsky explains that in 1940, Americans reported being “very happy” with an average score of 7.5 out of 10.[3] Fast forward to today, and with all of our iPods, color TVs, computers, fast cars, and an income that has more than doubled, what do you think our average happiness score is today? It’s 7.2. Not only does materialism not bring happiness, it’s a strong predictor of unhappiness. One study examined the attitudes of 12,000 freshman when they were eighteen, then measured their life satisfaction at age 37. Those who had expressed materialistic aspirations as freshmen were less satisfied with their lives two decades later.[4]

They develop healthy coping strategies.. Happy people encounter stressful life adversities, but they have developed successful coping strategies. Post-traumatic growth is the positive personal changes that result from an individual’s struggle to deal with highly challenging life events, and it occurs in a wide range of people facing a wide variety of challenging circumstances. According to researchers Tedeschi and Calhoun, there are five factors or areas of growth after a challenging event: renewed appreciation for life, recognizing new paths for your life, enhanced personal strength, improved relationships with others, and spiritual growth. Happy people become skilled at seeing the good that might come from challenging times.

They focus on health. Happy people take care of their mind and body and manage their stress. Focusing on your health, though, doesn’t just mean exercising. Happy people actually act like happy people. They smile, are engaged, and bring an optimal level of energy and enthusiasm to what they do.

They cultivate spiritual emotions. According to Lyubomirsky, there is a growing body of science suggesting that religious people are happier, healthier, and recover more quickly from trauma than nonreligious people.[5] In addition, authors Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener explain in their book Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth that spiritual emotions are essential to psychological wealth and happiness because they help us connect to something larger than ourselves.

They have direction. Working toward meaningful life goals is one of the most important strategies happy people utilize. I downplayed the importance of meaning during my law practice, but it became evident how much meaning mattered in my life when I burned out. Happy people have values that they care about and outcomes that are worth working for, according to Diener and Biswas-Diener.

The late, great Dr. Chris Peterson talked about his own journey with happiness as follows: “I spent my young adult years postponing many of the small things that I knew would make me happy … I was fortunate enough to realize that I would never have the time unless I made the time. And then the rest of my life began.”

Happy people have developed a specific set of strategies over time that causes them to see life differently — a balanced portfolio of skills and emotions. What would you add to this list?
Paula Davis-Laack, JD, MAPP, is an internationally-known writer and stress and resilience expert who helps high-achievers manage stress and increase well-being by mastering a set of skills proven to enhance resilience, build mental toughness, and promote strong relationships. Connect with Paula via:
Her website: www.marieelizbethcompany.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marieelizabethcompany
Twitter: www.twitter.com/pauladavislaack

References

[1] Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M.E.P. (2004). “Strengths of character and well-being.” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23(5), 603-619.

[2] Schwarz, C.E., & Sendor, M. (1999). “Helping others help oneself: Response shift effects in peer support.” Social Science and Medicine, 48, 1563-75.

[3] Lane, R.E. (2000). The loss of happiness in market democracies. New Haven: Yale University Press. See Figure 1.1, p.5.

[4] Nickerson, C., Schwartz, N., Diener, E., & Kahneman, D. (2003). “Zeroing in on the dark side of the American dream: A closer look at the negative consequences of the goal for financial success.” Psychological Science, 14, 531-36.

[5] Ellison, C.G., & Levin, J.S. (1998). “The religion-health connection: Evidence, theory, and future directions.” Health Education and Behavior, 25, 700-20.
For more by Paula Davis-Laack, click here.

For more on happiness, click here.

 

Follow Paula Davis-Laack on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pauladavislaack

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Weight Loss Motivation: Avoid the Scale!

This is a great video!  I’ve subscribed to his channel on YouTube and plan to watch more of him.  I wish he was local, because I would so sign up for a nutrition/fitness class with him.  There’s a lot to take from this video.  I’ll have a REAL before photo posted soon.  I’ve just gotta work up the courage and see some true progress on my end first.  Maybe at the end of my first challenge.  Well, that’s the end of March.  Ok, I’ll post a REAL progress shot by the end of February.  Deal?!  Now, it’s your turn.  Go take a photo and hold on to it!  Pictures say a 1000 words.  In this case they say an immense amount!  😉  Stay accountable!

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