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One Month In

October 13th, 2012

I started this process on September 14th 2012, so Friday October 12th 2012 was 4 weeks on this plan. So far I have lost 11 pounds. I started taking pictures of myself and taking a whole range of body measurements, maybe as this year progresses I’ll feel confident enough to post the pictures and measurements. I decided to set aside one shirt and one pair of shorts that are too small/tight for me now but will e a great little cure outfit when I am slender. I was talking to my friend at work the other day and he was talking about the woman he is dating and he called her “slender” I thought that is such a great word, I really want someone to call me slender. Hopefully a year from now I will hear that pretty regularly.

I think about how things will change over the next year. People will start treating me differently, I think I’ve started to see a little bit of that. Like people looking a little longer at me than they used too, or people being nicer or more helpful. I have been told I have always been beautiful despite my weight, and with the weight gone I will be radiant. I wonder how that will change my relationships. There are people at my work who are incredibly superficial and won’t even make eye contact with me, will they begin speaking to me?  When I work out in the park I see the same group of people again and again, there is one guy who I think works for my company and when I walk past him he won’t make eye contact, but one time I ran past him and he smiled at me. I think it is important to acknowledge the innate divine spark in each person, and that means just seeing them no matter what their reaction is to me. So when I am in the park going around the 1.2 mile loop I will see the same people again and again, I always smile, or nod in their direction even if they have never looked at me.

Well, 11 pounds makes me feel slightly different, I am down to a size 18 jeans (not 18w!) and I can see a difference in my face. Some people have noticed my daily workouts and commented and others that I don’t see regularly have said that I look like I am thinner. We’ll see what they say in another 15 lbs which will be a 10% loss. They say people really notice weight loss starting at 10% of your body weight lost.

Weight Loss – Exercise

October 13th, 2012

Just eating a low calorie diet will not take the weight off that quickly so I am also working out regularly. I have told myself I will work out 6 days a week anywhere from 45 min to 2.5 hours. I normally will walk a 5k at lunch during the work day, or ride my bike for 1.5 hours after work on Thursdays. On the weekend I try to do a longer bike ride (around 30 miles) and normally spend one weekend day as my rest day. Now, this level of activity is easy for me because I have spent years doing all sorts of physical activity without consistency on the diet side. I completed 7 sprint distance triathlons, a half marathon and many little 5K runs and 30 mile bike rides all while staying aroun250 lbs. I am now committed to my 1,200 to 1,400 calories a day and my workouts. When I start to hit a plateau and this workout routine doesn’t work for me I’ll switch it up.

Weight loss – Food

October 5th, 2012

Even though my one year didn’t start until October 2nd, I started my new lifestyle back in September. Here is what I have decided to do:

1) Eat between 1,200 and 1,400 calories a day.
a) Stay away from cow dairy as much as possible
b) try to eat food that is as fresh as possible
c) choose protein and fiber over carbohydrates
2) Try to do some moderate cardio for 1 to 1.5 hours a day (almost every day)

These are pretty general goals, here is how I have accomplished them to fit easily into my daily life:

Daily meal plan

Breakfast (200 cal) My favorite choices for this meal:

  • Home made quesadilla: 60 calorie low carb tortilla, fatfree refried black beans, goat cheese, salsa, onions, avocado, olive oil spray (sometimes I add chicken instead of beans)
  • Egg scramble. Basically throw anything in that would taste good and still stay within 200 calories (ham, goat cheese, bacon, green peppers, onion etc)
  • Smart Ones frozen breakfasts

Mid Moroning (150 cal)

  • I normally eat half of a protein bar or switch with my afternoon snack

Lunch (350 cal)

  • My current favorite lunch is a salad (romaine lettuce, broccoli slaw, bacon, goat cheese, avocado, peanuts, chicken, onions, honey mustard dressing)
  • But if I don’t have enough time in the morning to make my salad fresh I will pick up a lean cuisine, smart Ones, Healthy Choice, etc.

Mid afternoon (100 cal)

  • My go-to snack is 100 cal individual bag of popcorn
  • I will also eat a large apple
  • or choose 100 calories worth of peanuts

Dinner (350 cal)

  • My current favorite dinner is the Zuppa Toscana soup from Olive Garden (2 servings for 340 calories) it is warm, filling and yummy.
  • Qudoba bowl: 1/2 the normal amount of rice, no beans, pepper and onions, chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, verde salsa, lettuce, and if I did a hard workout I will alow myself some sour cream even though it is dairy)
  • Bob Evans: Beef Vegetable soup, slow roasted chicken and vegetables, side of green beans

Evening Snack (150 cal – optional) I do tend to skip this on days I don’t work out too hard, and other days I feel the need to fulfill cravings. I allow myself to do this as long as I stay close to the 150 calorie count.

  • I have some already popped popcorn called “Skinny Pop” from Costco and it is 155 calories for 4 cups
  • I also try the Smart Ones deserts
  • or basically a little bit of something I have been craving


Being paid to lose weight

October 5th, 2012

Any past weight loss program I tried seemed to fail because I couldn’t see the physical benefit in the short term and the yummy-ness of the food was here now. So even when I started a diet I couldn’t stick to it for more than a week or so.  All of that changed for me the beginning of September 2012. On September 11, 2012 I learned about a website that pays you to lose weight. Here are the basics of the program

1) You must have a BMI over 30 to start  (I started at a BMI of 36)
2) You must have a BMI under 25 in one year (you can have your final weight verification done within 30 days of the year ending)
3) You must have your height and weight verified at the beginning and the end of the year (the process doesn’t start until you are verified)
4) You must update your weight (self-report) at least once a week, if you don’t there is a strike against you. Three strikes and you’re out.

Now, if you don’t want to put any money down and you reach the goal of a BMI under 25 in one year then you receive $100, but there is research to support the fact that if you “have some skin in the game” you have a better chance of sticking with it and reaching your goal. So there are 2 other options, one where you put up $100 and you receive $400 and the option I took you put up $300 and receive $1,000 at the end of the year. My husband seemed supportive of the idea and said he’d be willing to give me $3,000 if I could do this. So my goal is to lose at least 80 pounds and be 168 pounds or less in one year.

I thought September 11th would be a really easy date to remember for my one year goal and I was ready and excited to start the challenge. I paid $300 and tried to go get my weight verified at the local Urban Active fitness center (one of the participating gyms listed on the website). They had no idea what I was talking about. I then contacted and they were very apologetic and told me to write everything out in an email and they would contact Urban Active corporate for me. It took 2 weeks due to massive interest in the site due to an online story (I think that is how I found out about it). So when I finally received an email back form HealthyWage with the name of the person at my local Urban Active I called multiple times to try and set up an appointment. Once I got an appointment and did my weigh in he guy never went to the website to verify my information. So after multiple follow-up calls and emails I decided to try another franchise of Urban Active. They knew exactly what I was talking about and I was in and out in a few minutes. They then verified my information on the website within the hour. So instead of my start date being September 11th, it is October 2nd.


October 5th, 2012

First of all, I love food. I love cooking food, eating food, talking about food, etc. I guess I would call myself a food addict. I have a background in psychology so when I say “addict” I mean I recognize the addictive tendencies within myself. I saw food as comfort, as joy, as a connection with my father (we cooked together as I was growing up), it filled many conversations with friends, it was the center of every social occasion and if I wanted to “do something fun” it was basically go out to a restaurant. When I was 13, I got down to 135 pounds on a 5’9″ frame and was told for the first time in my life “oh, you need to eat, you are too skinny.” Wow, did I take that to heart. I went to an all girls boarding school for high school and the food was plentiful. I would drink milk with every meal, had appetizer, entree and desert. I never counted calories and I didn’t really think about my body or my weight. When I met my husband, in 1996, my Junior year of high school (he was the “older man” away at college and we met on the new technology of the internet) I think I weighed around 160. When I went to college I started on the Depo Provera birth control shot and I gained 100 lbs. I finished college, graduate school and worked in a grant funded program for a year. In my second job there was a “Biggest Loser” weight loss contest and I weighed in at 288. I think that was around 2005 and that is the heaviest I have ever been. I soon became interested in endurance sports, Triathlons, biking, running, etc. And I was able to compete in 7 sprint distance Triathlons, finish a number of bike events and even a half marathon.  I tried all sort of fad diets, cutting out major food groups, going on expensive detox regimens, weight watchers etc.  Through all of this working out I lost about 30 pounds but I never really changed my eating habits, I still loved food, it was comfort and joy.

Beginning in about 1999 I began on the spiritual path I am on today. I grew up in an episcopal family, I then studied Psychology, philosophy and religion in college. At thsi time I stumbled upon the teachings of Sylvia Browne and my eyes were opened. I then sought spiritual knowledge in many ways. Things that were influential to me were the book “The Children of the Law of One,” Buddhism, Eckhart Tolle, Alan Watts, Tom Kenyon, an Indian Guru and Cindy Riggs – a woman who can channel The Oneness. For many of you anything outside of traditional Christianity is scary or labeled negatively. But the basis for my belief is:  we create our own suffering through our thoughts and conditioned responses. And we can choose different thoughts and different responses, we just have to awaken and understand we are not our minds.  I have walked pretty far down this path, going from hating my job, wanting to divorce my husband, hiding my fear in food and keeping my fat as a shield from the world to loving my job and the people I work with (same job as before), supporting my husband to begin to fulfill his beautiful potential, and finally tackling the last major issue in my life, my weight.

I know what I should be doing, I know what I should be eating, I know how to take care of my body, I just didn’t do it. My actions were not coinciding with my goals, I was sabotaging myself. So, I decided to stop all of that and begin the path of getting healthy.



October 5th, 2012

Hello All,

My name is Amanda and I have had this website for a few years. I started it as a spiritual blog, discussing the things I learned, basically trying to pave the way to become a spiritual teacher. I have since found that my underlying impetus for this was to be “the one with all of the answers.” I have since recognized that the need that I felt within myself to “help others” was really an underlying belief that I was better than other people and in a position to help them. Me? No, I never needed help. (which as you will see was probably one of my biggest problems)

So, two years after starting this blog I have decided to delete all of my old posts and start again. Instead of talking about spirituality I will talk about my weight loss. I found the weight loss blogs of other people, read them and thought they were helpful. I also can’t seem to talk to friends and family about this kind of thing. They don’t care what I ate or they think I’m not going about it the right way. So I thought, “hey, I’ll start up my old blog again.” In doing so I will have an outlet for my thoughts, and as time progresses, maybe someone will find value in it in the future. I also thought it would be nice to have some sort of record of my journey. If no one ever reads this, I think I’m ok with that. If I post multiple times a day or never again, I am also ok with that.  So, if this all goes well, hopefully you will be able to come on this weight loss journey with me.


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