Category Archives: Weight Loss

Like A Bowl Full of Jelly

I’ve gained three pounds since December 1.

This may not seem like a big deal to you. I mean, three pounds isn’t a whole heapin’ lot. And could easily be shed with a couple of diligent weeks worth of work.

Here’s the thing, though. I made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to gain the typical five (twelve) pounds that often comes with the holidays. I was going to keep indulgences to a minimum, continue my three-times-a-week trips to the gym, and avoid the merriment of gorging on cookies until the actual holiday.

I wasn’t looking to continue losing during the holidays. That’s too much pressure to put on anyone, especially a fat girl who really loves Christmas cookies.

weight loss 1

But I was going to maintain. That was my key word. MAINTENANCE.

See, I’ve managed to lose (and up until two weeks ago, maintain) a 35-pound weight loss this year. That’s three dress sizes, people. I started Werq in late February, and have been dancing my way to a slimmer, sexier me. I know what you’re thinking–thirty-five pounds isn’t a whole lot. Especially when you think of how long it took me to lose that weight. (9 1/2 months. But who’s counting?) But for me? It’s the most successful I’ve been with weight loss since I figured out I needed to lose weight about ten years ago. I’ve never lost this much, never kept up an exercise routine for this long, never been this successful before. And so, as the holidays approached, I promised myself that I would stay on the wagon. Or at least, hitched to it, so that when January 1 rolls around, I’ll already be ahead of the curve.

But. Cookies.

I have to be honest with myself. It’s not just the holiday cookies. It’s the “it’ll be easier to pickup a pizza” phenomenon. The “it’s just one bottle of wine” scenario. The cheerful Christmas cheeseburger (with extra bacon.) That’s been happening, too.

So I’m reigning it in. Move over Santa. You can have the big jiggly bowl full of jelly. And you can have my share of Christmas cookies, too.

Weight loss 2

After I eat this oatmeal cookie sandwich with a side of chocolate peanut butter globs.

Enthusiastically Eating My Veggies Today

I had a dream about a salad last night.

My subconscious led me to a place where Brian and I were dining out. This particular restaurant had a salad bar, and I sat down at my booth with a plate filled with fresh mesclun greens, shards of carrot, wedges of ripe red tomato, circles of cucumber, gorgeous broccoli spears, all topped with a tangy but sweet vinaigrette.

Sounds super sexy, doesn’t it?

Eager to dive into my healthy dinner, I didn’t wait for Brian to return from his trip to the salad bar. I speared a bit of broccoli with my fork, closed my eyes, and savored.

When I opened them back up, a certain famous singer/song writer/actor/comedian was sitting in the booth across from me, eyeballing my salad. And this is what he said to me:

Sexy back 2

At that moment, the familiar bass line from “Sexy Back” started playing through the restaurant’s loud speakers, and a bevy of backup dancers arrived tableside. JT jumped up and starting dancing, too, leaving me dumbfounded with a broccoli spear hanging out of my mouth.

Before I could swallow, half of the patrons joined in, and the restaurant filled with the refrain of the famous pop song, with the lyrics slightly changed.

She’s bringin’ sexy back.
She’s eatin’ broccoli and that’s a fact.
Cuz Abby’s special with that healthy snack.
With smart food choices, man, she doesn’t slack.”

As the chorus of “Come here, girl” started up, a group of male dancers dressed like broccoli came dancing out of the kitchen.

Sexy back

At this point it suddenly became apparent to me that it’s all a dream. Not because Justin Timberlake climbed onto the table next to mine and belted out a particularly racy lyric about my hips. Not because the line cooks started throwing up jazz hands. Not even because the back up dancers started doing splits.

But because my husband finally arrived, a giant salad of his own in hand, and started line-dancing with the giant broccolis.

Anyone else thinking of having a salad for lunch now?

To Me, From My Fiercer Self

Dear Self:

So, you hurt your knee while working out yesterday, huh? I see your ice packs, and your ibuprofen, and your frowny face.

Bum knee

I’m guessing you’re pretty down about the whole thing, and worried that this injury could impact your progress with weight loss. And those tears you cried yesterday? Those were less about the pain you were in and more about the possibility that you might have to miss WERQ© classes for the rest of the week.

Well buck up, little camper. I’m here to remind you of some amazing things you’ve learned about yourself since you shed those 30 pounds while dancing your tush off. And between you and me—it’s a pretty substantial list of AWESOMENESS. Enjoy.

You Can Do 300 Squats In One Day…
…and you’ve done it more than once. That’s right, sister—those legs that you are currently cursing for landing you on the injured list are the very same legs that can squat till the cows come home. All you needed was a distraction from the DIY Network, the ceiling fan set on high, and your hubby behind you reminding you of how dope your bootie is looking. Oh, and those super-awesome, super-shrinking, super-strong legs.

You Are One Funky Cold Medina, Honey.
Oh yes. Yes you are. Turn on some current top 40, put a round fan in front of yourself on high, and watch yourself Werq, girl. You’ve got some moves hidden inside of you that you had no idea you were capable of. Don’t believe me? Turn on Beyonce’s “Countdown” and watch your face in the mirror. See that? Your hip hop stank face is rivaling Bey’s.

Stank Face With BeyonceYou Are a Sweat-er.
And I don’t mean the kind you wear to a Christmas party. When that music starts playing, and you start grooving, you start sweating like a line backer in the third quarter, girlfriend. And believe me, that’s a GOOD THING.

Your Self-Confidence is Showing.
You’re not the chubby girl hiding in the back corner any more. Oh no. Why would you be? You are fierce and sexy and strong. You stroll onto that dance floor like you own it. Take your spot front and center. Wave hello to all the folks watching you embrace your inner goddess and smile. THAT is the power of transformation. THAT is the power of WERQ©.

You LOVE What You See In The Mirror.
For the first time in what feels like forever, you don’t shy away from your reflection. Sure, there’s still lumps and rolls and dimples that you dislike. But no longer do you look at them and see permanence. They may be there now, but they won’t be forever. This, your adult body—the one you’ve hated for 11 years–is becoming leaner. Stronger. And you are loving it…and yourself. Victory.

Click for source

Click for source

 

So, Sister Warrior, Lover of Pop and Dance, Sex Pot in Sneakers—-I’m just going to leave this list here for you. Now you can come back and revisit it while you’ve got your knee propped up on a pillow. When you’re feeling defeated and like you’ll be fat forever, when you just couldn’t resist that chocolate ice cream and you’re beating yourself up over it, or when you need a friendly reminder that you are SUCCEEDING at LIFE, you just come back here and read it.

Signed,
Your Thinner, Healthier, Sexier, Fiercer, HAPPIER Self

I’m a Bonafide Werqaholic

So I’ve not been blogging as much lately as I normally would–I’m sure that, after last week’s post, you’ll probably understand why. While I’ve been filling out paperwork, making appointments with our doctor, and fundraising my little tush off, I’ve also been quietly trying to lose weight.

I’m sure you remember the obligatory first of the year post? The one that is inevitably filled with all the wonderful things I planned to accomplish in 2014? As is always the case in posts like that one, weight loss was one of those goals. I snuck it in there, just between getting published and having a baby. (Yes, I’m an over-achiever.) When I published that post, I wasn’t really sure I’d be able to accomplish any of those things. But so far, 2014 has been good to me. And, well, I’ve been good to me too.

I’m proud to announce that, since January 7 (my official start date), I’ve dropped TWENTY POUNDS!

Hi-YAH!

Hi-YAH!

Go Me!!! Woo!!!

Here’s the thing: this time has been different. This time, there’s no pressure on me to lose weight so I can successfully procreate. I’ve found a weight loss buddy that keeps me honest and supports me 100%, all while being compassionate and wonderful (rather than like the drill sergeants in my past.) And miraculously, I’ve found a form of exercise that doesn’t just work for me, it’s SO MUCH FUN. I actually look forward to going to the gym 3 times a week to shake my bootie with the girls. Werq is like a sweat-inducing, ab-shaping, bootie-bumping dance party, disguised as a high-impact cardio workout. And. I. Freakin’. LOVE IT.

I feel stronger, sexier, healthier, and best of all, smaller, than ever before. I’m not gonna lie, I’m feeling a bit like She-Ra. (Any excuse to bust out my favorite photoshop job, EVER🙂

She-ra

When it comes to weight loss, I won’t make any bold statements or predictions about my future. Why? Because my past journeys have been so bumpy and have all ended, ultimately, with failure. But with the support of Brian and my weight loss buddy, my new found addiction to a hip hop fitness class, and the fact that I’m doing this now because I WANT to, not because I HAVE to, I’m feeling pretty confidant this go ’round.

Who knows? Maybe this time next year I’ll be applying to become a Werq instructor. Because it’s THAT MUCH FUN, y’all. See?

 

Now, who wants to come visit so I can take them to my gym for a Werq-out with my favorite instructor? C’mon. You KNOW you wanna…

What I’m Lovin’ Lately

You know it’s been a really long time since you posted a blog when you’re faced with the log-in page as soon as you click over to Word Press.

Oops.

The thing is, life has been…well, lively, lately. And after all, the whole point of life is to be an active participant. Am I right? So that’s what I’ve been doing. Participatin’.

When I’m not working out, working, or out, there are a few things that have been tying up my extra attention the past week or two. And since those things have kept me so busy, I thought the least I could do would be share them with you. Then we can participate together, and I’ll stop feeling so guilty about my lack of blogging, because you’ll be enjoying life, too.

Here’s a list of things I’m lovin’ lately.

National Grammar Day
You may or may not have known this, but yesterday (March 4, 2014) was National Grammar Day. Now, as a writer, every day is Grammar Day for me. But…it’s nice to have a day set aside in the year to highlight something as important as proper grammar. And no one does it with the same grace and panache as my friends, Fafa and Mario. If you haven’t heard of Glove and Boots, then please, let me introduce you to the funniest video blog on the internet with my FAVORITE one, ever: “Fix Your Grammar.”

NKOTB reference, FTW.

New (To Me) Music
I know, I know. I’m a little late to the Bruno Mars party. Truthfully, I was actually familiar with a few of his songs before his amazing performance on this year’s Super Bowl–I just wasn’t really aware that it was Bruno singing. Ya dig?

Anyway, after witnessing my entire family (ages 26-65, respectively) bobbing their heads along to the music during Super Bowl halftime, Brian and I decided it was high time we downloaded some new tunes. And so, Bruno Mars has taken over our iPods, and we listen to him with an almost religious fervor.

My favorite song changes from day-to-day, but the one that always sends me into a dance frenzy is “The Lazy Song.” And so, I’m here to share it with you today, so you can dance, too.

Also, the monkeys kill me.

Exercise That I Actually ENJOY
I never thought it would happen. I’ve been trying to find a fun method of burning calories since I was in college. Step aerobics–not fun. Bike riding–not fun after the age of 10. Running drills on the elliptical–fun like a root canal is fun.

But a couple of weeks ago, my shiny new Weight Loss Buddy (WLB) and I discovered Werq classes at our local gym. Now we’d tried Zumba, and while it was sort of fun, it was a little more challenging than either of us were quite expecting. But Werq? It’s like Zumba’s favorite hip-hop cousin. And ZOMG, it is SO much fun. I’ve been doing 2-3 classes a week, and have managed to lose 14 pounds and 8.5 inches since Jan 7.

Just watch—it even LOOKS like fun!


The best part is the energy in the class. Everyone who shows up is really ready for a fun hour of dance. So. Much. FUN. And clearly, it’s working!

The Most Epic Song-Bomb, EVER.
You guys remember the video blog I did awhile ago about being song-bombed, right? No? Well click HERE and go watch it….I’ll wait.

Now, if you think THAT song is the most epic bomb, ever, then you haven’t seen the new Lego Movie yet. We saw it two weeks ago, and we’re still walking around singing “Everything is Awesome.” (It doesn’t help that it also runs rampant through the video game, which Brian and I are currently playing together.)

I am warning you now…if you don’t want this ridiculously catchy tune stuck in your head from now until the end of days, you won’t click the play button. But you really do want to hear it, don’t you?


Now, readers, I release you back into the wild, where you’ll inadvertently share your new favorite song with the world. Believe me, you will. You’ll be singing it at the grocery store, in the shower, at the post office, in line at Target….

Heeeee’s BAAAAACCK…
I told myself I wasn’t going to watch it…that it would be too painful after our very public breakup last year. I made a promise to myself to avoid the torture, especially when I learned that SHE would make guest appearances on the show centered around the Wahlberg’s new chain restaurant.

But when Wahlburgers started up a couple of weeks ago, I broke that promise to myself and DVR’d it.

And I hate to admit it, but the truth is…I’m utterly charmed.

It’s funny, it’s heart-warming, and Alma Wahlberg (Mother to Donnie and Mark) is just about the cutest thing in the world.

But I don’t watch it for Alma. Or Mark. Or Paul. Or the burgers.

Nay, I watch it for Donnie.

A bad habit is hard to break, ladies. Especially one that’s been practiced since childhood.

So…what’s been keeping you busy, readers? Got anything fun you’d like to share? I’m always looking for new forms of entertainment. Tell me all about it in the comments below. And remember…

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME….EVERYTHING IS COOL WHEN YOU’RE PART OF A TEAM…EVERYTHING IS AWESOME…WHEN YOU’RE LIVING YOUR DREAM!♪

Starting Over.

Today, I weigh 250.6 pounds.

There, I said it. The number—that dreaded, awful, huge number—that plagues my thoughts on a daily basis. It has been written out in bold print for the world to see. I am ashamed, I am mortified, I am disgusted.

But why? Why am I ashamed to share that number? Why does it make my palms sweat, and my knees weak, to think that people…not just my husband, but people I know…will see that number and think “Crap. She IS fat.”

It will not change how much my best friend loves me. It will not change the wonderful relationship I have with my parents. It will not cause people to un-friend me on Facebook, or unsubscribe from my blog (I hope.) 

That number—250.6—is just that. A number. It is not who I am. I will not be defined by that number. I will not allow myself to be defined by my weight, just like I won’t let myself be defined by my infertility, or my Southern heritage, or my liberal politics. I won’t allow myself to be typecast, pigeonholed, or labeled. Because I am more than the sum of my parts. I am more than a fat girl, a childless mother, a tree-hugging hippie. I am more that the definitions society wants to place on me as part of its stereotypes. 

There have been obstacles in my path so far–ones that I should have scaled over or navigated around–that stopped me in my tracks. So now it’s time to pick myself up, and dust myself off, and figure out just why I keep falling down to begin with. 

I may need a band aid over to cover my scraped ego. I may even need a kiss and a hug and a pat on the head.

But I will continue my journey, even if I have to tread through the brambles in order to find my path.

Who cares if I have to start over? Who cares if I’ve done it a million times before, only to fail?  This time might just be the time that it all makes a difference. So I’ll get up in the mornings and go to the gym that we haven’t visited in two weeks. I’ll count my calories and eat more vegetables and avoid my trigger foods. It’s back to the grind, back to the full time job that is trying to lose weight. I will tell myself that this 2 week layover was a setback, not failure. And I will move on. To a healthier, happier, thinner me.


source


Abby’s Weight Loss Journey, Day One, is today.

Our Battle With The Bulge Begins With My Personal Battle With The Alarm Clock

Do you know how many muscle groups it takes to lift a hair dryer, and then blow dry one’s hair?

Almost as many as it takes to successfully remove clothing, step into the shower, and bathe.

Of course, I was never really aware of this until recently. You see, Brian and I joined a gym.

It’s a small little place, with tons of equipment packed into it. Each elliptical and treadmill has its own television, which works out well for those that want to watch ESPN (Brian) or Jerry Springer (the chick next to me the other day) while they sweat away the pounds.

Me? I’m an iPod girl. All the way. Put some tunes in my ears and I’m ready to go. (Especially if it’s the New Kids on the Block.)

We’ve been at it for a little over a week now. For the first few days, we were going in the evenings after work, just to get the feel of the place and the people who worked there. But as we pulled into a packed parking lot last Wednesday afternoon, we decided that it might be better to try the early mornings before work, in hopes that the line for the water fountain wouldn’t be three people deep at any given time.

And it works. Arriving at the gym before 7:00 a.m. ensures us side-by-side training equipment for the duration of our stay.

However, when the alarm clock rings in the wee hours of the morning, we inevitably have a conversation that goes something like this:

Brian wakes gracefully, for the most part. It takes him a few minutes to get the brain engines revved, but once they are, he’s up and pleasant and ready to face the day.

Me?

I SUCK at getting up early. Always have, and probably always will. I’m usually cranky in the mornings, I rarely say more than five words at a time, and if you were the one who woke me, then you should rue the day you were born. I’m not a nice morning person. Which is why, when Brian first suggested getting up early for morning workouts, I may or may not have growled at him.

But, believe it or not, it seems to be working. I’m awake and chipper (and sore) by the time we leave the gym. I have more energy throughout the day. And I’m hoping to start racking up some serious pounds lost soon.

Just promise me you’ll pray for Brian, y’all. Because he’s in charge of waking me each morning. Poor guy.

Wait For Us, Band Wagon!!

Guess who’s jumping on the “Let’s Lose Weight Because It’s The New Year And We’re Really Fat” band wagon!



If you guessed Team Abby Gabs, then you’d be 100% right!!

Of course, we’re not doing it just because it’s January. Yes, everybody else is bustling to their local 24-hour gymnasiums, buying stock in fad diet books, and venturing out in the wee hours to buy bigger stretchy pants for their afternoon jogs. But that’s not the reason we’re doing it.

Between the two of us, Brian and I definitely need to lose some weight. It seems there’s some sort of mathematical equation that involves increasing ages, decreasing activity levels, and expanding waist lines. 



Who knew?

(Other than Oprah, that guy on the Biggest Loser, and Richard Simmons?)

At any rate, we’ve got our work cut out for us. The bad news? We’ve got at least 125 pounds to lose between the two of us. And that’s a low-ball number.

The good news? (Fortunately, there’s more good news than bad.) Brian is home 4 days a week now, so we actually have time to dedicate to fitness. And, better than that, he’s totally on board with the whole thing. In fact, he’s the one really driving us to start ASAP. (Had it not been for the monkey flu of death, we would have started at the ‘official’ beginning of the year. Whatever that means.)

Brian is so keen, he even posted the following on Facebook over the weekend:



(It’s ok. You can gag over my response. We tend to be way mushier than most couples, both in real life and on social media websites. We can’t help it—we strive to annoy people with our ooey-gooey-ness.)

I’m not going to lie, when I threw in the towel in 2012, there were several different reasons for it, none of them very good ones. The main reason, I’m ashamed to admit, was my own lack of conviction. Pair that with several extenuating circumstances (being dumped unceremoniously by someone I considered a dear friend, stress over Brian’s last semester of nursing school, my overall knack for excellent laziness, and the temptation of food-oh-so-glorious-food) and what little bit of success I had early last year has been all but erased.

So, we’re starting 2013 with a new slate. The fridge has been emptied of all junk food and refilled with fruit, lean meats, and plenty of vegetables. Our schedules are being created around planned exercise excursions. We plan on joining a local gym in the next several weeks so that we have somewhere to go for our workouts. (Because no matter what they tell you, as convenient as working out at home can be, it’s way too easy for us Lazy Pants People to come up with an excuse not to do it.)

Our only rules going into this new phase of our lives? 

1) To concentrate on how we feel physically, and how our clothes fit, and how much energy we have–NOT a number on a scale.
2) To help each other through daily cravings, and allow ourselves to cave every now and then, for the sake of our own sanity.
3)To support each other completely, no matter what.

That’s our plan for now. I’m sure you’ll hear about it on the blog from time to time. And maybe, just maybe, if I’m a perfect wife, I can convince Brian to do a video blog with me to talk about our journey.

But I’m not making any promises, people. He’s not shy, but he’s not necessarily ready for his close-up yet either, Mr. Demille. 

My Sad, Chubby, Crumb-y Truth

Remember when I was all like “Watch me, readers, I’m losing weight at LIGHTNING SPEED!!!” Remember when I was posting blogs about jogging and eating healthy and finding my inner athlete? Well, I realized yesterday, as I polished off an entire bag of Chex Mix, that there’s a good chance I hadn’t mentioned how far off track I’ve gotten in the past few months.

See, first there was summer. Then there was kidney stones and injuries and vacations and road trips and general time-wasting. And now there’s just…boredom and laziness, compiled with an ever-expanding waistline and too-tight jeans.

Go me.

And so, my sad, crumby truth is that I’ve spent the last 4 months regaining more than half of the weight I managed to lose at the beginning of the year.




It started off with little things: a teaspoon of sugar on my multi-grain Cheerios, a diet soda with lunch, a homemade pizza with extra cheese. But you know what they say….trigger foods create a dieter’s worst nightmare. I went from occasional treats to constant cravings. From eating out twice a month to eating out twice a week. From a random diet soda on a random afternoon to having a 12-pack of Pepsi in my fridge.

It’s a slippery slope, people.

I’m not the only one who’s suffered from my lack-of-will-power, either. If I put a green leafy salad with simple grilled chicken in front of my husband, he will eat it with gusto. If I put a huge grilled steak with a twice-baked potato slathered in sour cream and cheese in front of my husband, he will eat it with an equal amount of gusto. And when I say, “Babe, I’m craving chocolate,” he doesn’t just come home with a candy bar. He comes home with OPTIONS: ice cream, miniature Reese cups and a Paula Deen double-chocolate pound cake.

It’s true. He loves me.

But we rarely acknowledge the growing tummies that separate us when we hug.

I think about starting over at least 100 times a day. Each time I look in the mirror, each time I struggle to button my jeans, each time my knee cracks when I heft myself off of the couch. And then I’m faced with taking the actual steps—tossing out the junk food, making that first grocery list, digging out my calorie counting apps and notebooks—and I totally stall out. I just don’t have the energy.

Instead I’m all like:



“But Abby, you’d have the energy if you’d start working out again!”

Yeah, yeah. I already know that. In fact, I know a LOT about weight loss.

I know what it takes to lose weight. I know the math. I know the foods I should avoid. I know how many calories I have to burn each day. I know the proper form for a push-up. I know running is harder on the joints, but better for the burn, than time spent on an elliptical. I know that “low-fat” options aren’t always better than regular fat options in moderation. I know the first step is just doing something about it instead of complaining with no action.



I know, I know, I know, I know, I KNOW!!!

What I don’t know is why I keep failing. Why I’d rather put on my pajamas and lay on the couch than run a lap around my neighborhood. I don’t know why I lose 30 or 35 pounds, only to give up just when I’m starting to really get a good head of steam going. I don’t know why I give up. I just do.

So now begins the tedious task of psyching myself up to do it all over again. I have to convince myself that it’s worth it. That I’m worth it. I have to try and forget the achy muscles, sore calves, and blistered feet, and instead try and focus on better sleep, thinner thighs, more energy. I need to jump-start my life.

Got any jumper cables I can borrow?

Abby Gabs News: A Video Blog

While watching the news with my husband the other day, a question popped into my head. I turned to him, and the following conversation ensued.


Abby: Do you think they teach the newscasters how to talk like that in school?
Brian: I dunno. Maybe.
A: Like…is there a text book? 
B: Guest speakers, maybe?
A: *In bad newscaster voice* “Today in class we will teach you how to use the inflection of your voice to make your point.”
B: You should blog about it.


So I did. In video blog form. Enjoy.

 

Can’t see the video? Point your browser here: http://youtu.be/eGafzYC4dTw