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SERENAMICHELLE's Recent Blog Entries

-100 Pounds!

Monday, December 24, 2012

I've officially lost 100 POUNDS! I can't tell you how happy and proud I am right now... As all of my friends and family know - I've put in a LOT of hard work, dedication, and resolve!

I didn't take a magic pill or expensive supplements.../shakes. I didn't have surgery. I made healthy changes and sacrifices I knew needed to be made. I didn't stop eating my favorite foods - but I made them healthier and/or limited my portions. I also made a commitment to myself to exercise 5 days a week!

I'm still on this journey; I have roughly 40 pounds to go to reach my ideal goal (135 pounds - but I weigh heavy due to a muscular build so I'm not focusing on the scale as much as I'm allowing my body to be my guide). Yes, losing 100 pounds is an amazing accomplishment/milestone - but I'm just as proud of all the small victories - like the moment when I cried pure tears of joy after running 2 miles non-stop (now I can run 9+ miles), or every time I changed sizes (from 2X to MEDIUM)!

I didn't start January 1st... I didn't wait for a Monday... If you want/need to lose weight - don't wait, MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MENEFF 6/18/2013 9:12AM

    amazing!! what an accomplishment- and inspiration to us all :)

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CKSCARBERRY1 2/1/2013 11:50AM

  That is an awesome accomplishment

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MPRILL 12/24/2012 10:15PM


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TRYINGTOLOSE64 12/24/2012 8:15PM

    Congrats!! Keep up the good work!!

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LILLEAN 12/24/2012 5:56PM

    emoticon emoticon let me do a happy dance for you emoticon

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199, NOT 200!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The concept of prices ending in .99 is a marketing strategy. For years, .99 at the end of a price was a sign of a sale or good deal. There is also a psychological effect involved - it's a little magical phenomenon when a person associates $19.99 as $19 as opposed to $20.00.

Don't believe me? Is there any chance you recall how much you paid, per gallon, the last time you filled up your gas tank? Of course, it depends on where you're living (what grade of gas you buy and where you buy it), but let's keep it simple and say the regular unleaded gas, at your local gas station, was $3.97.

Ahhhhh... not so fast! You (likely) forgot the 9/10ths of a cent next to the price. Yes, my friends - you didn't really pay $3.97. You paid $3.97 and 9/10ths of a cent, which is practically $3.98. However, all we see is the $3.97.

But I'm not here to talk about prices or gas. I'm here to share with you all that I've finally reached that wonderful moment when the scale went from the 200's to the 100's. I'm not happy I weigh 199(.4) - I'm ECSTATIC!

I've worked my way from 276 pounds on February 4, 2012 to 199.4 pounds as of September 8, 2012. That is 76.6 pounds I'm saying goodbye to forever, God willing! Those pounds aren't technically "lost" because I truly have no intention on finding them, EVER again!

How did I do it? I know everyone secretly wants to hear, "I took this magical little pill, ate like an animal, never exercised a minute and just lost weight." Sorry folks - there is no easy way out when it comes to weight loss. My answer will continue to be - HARD WORK and RESOLVE (in the form of a balanced, portion controlled diet and exercise).

I'm not done with my weight loss journey... however, I'm relishing this moment and am truly proud of how far I have come. When I started I couldn't recognize my own self and now I've rediscovered some of my lost happiness. I couldn't even run to the end of the block without feeling like I would keel over and die and now I can run 9+ miles!

The last two days I've seen a few friends I haven't seen in months to as much as a year... they were all so amazed and proud of me. It brings me to tears as I think about it right now - because what all my friends saw was more than just the physical weight loss - they saw the pure joy in my face and my spirit. I am not the same person physically or mentally!

Losing weight is more than the numbers on the scale - it really does have an impact on your health and wellness! However, with that said - I am going to celebrate my numerical accomplishment. The number 9 is my new best friend! When you're over 200 pounds - hitting 199 is a breath of fresh air (just as 299 is to someone over 300 pounds). Even if you don't have a significant amount of weight to lose, the number 9 is still magical! Going from 160 to 159 or 130 to 129 -- it's a wonderful feeling and sense of accomplishment to be in a whole new weight bracket.

CHEERS to 199!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUE42DOWN 9/14/2012 2:46AM


Welcome to ONEderland!!

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KPETSCHE 9/12/2012 2:56AM

    You're doing emoticon

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    Thanks everyone for the love and support!

Dolphinnut - Just keep at it and you'll be just as ecstatic when you celebrate your 199 pound victory! I know the "bigger picture" can be overwhelming when it comes to weight loss - so be sure to celebrate the smaller "9" victories every time they come along!!!

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DOLPHINNUT 9/9/2012 3:06PM

    What a maotiating blog, awesome! Congrats to you, I started at 300 and still have a long way to go to this number but can't wait! Wishing you continued success! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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J0ETTE 9/9/2012 2:20PM

    WooHoo! What a wonderful number to be celebrating! Way to go!

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SHRINK_U 9/9/2012 2:08PM

    So super happy for you.. you have done so amazing :)

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MISSB8604 9/9/2012 1:15PM


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    Sparkler - Yes, reaching 199 does feel like it will take such a long time - but rest assured - you will see it, one day, if you keep at it!!! I'm really glad I'm 199 today instead of 276 (or even higher) still day dreaming about being under 200 pounds...

But, in the meantime - focus on smaller goals such as getting below 270... then when you reach 269 you can focus on getting to 259. Ounce by ounce and pound by pound - it all counts in the end!!!

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SPARKLER82 9/9/2012 11:55AM

    AMAZING!!! You are such an inspiration!

I am just starting - at 274 this week and 199 feels so far away. It is great to see others that have stuck to it and achieved it!

What a great moment for you in your journey! Congrats! Way to go!!!

Wishing you continued success!


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Saturday Weigh In - 07/07

Monday, July 09, 2012

Ok, yes, it is technically Sunday - but better late than never!

I struggled this week... I didn't eat nearly enough most days and it wasn't without consequences. Thankfully making good food choices isn't a problem - however I have difficulty finding the right balance of how much to eat while I increase my exercise. My weight loss inevitably stalls when I don't eat enough - yet I've become accustomed and comfortable with how much I've been eating. It is hard for me to eat more when I truly don't feel hungry. I tried increasing my portions a little (for instance 1/2 cup of cottage cheese instead of 1/4 cup, 1 oz. of "veggie" chips instead of 1/2 oz., or 1 1/2 cups fresh fruit instead of 1 cup) - but it still isn't enough. It's definitely something I need to work on this week.

Exercise was great this week although I had switch my workout on Thursday to Friday (my usual day off) because the kids were really sick and hubby was fasting so my entire schedule was off that day. Here's the wrap-up for my exercise week:

Saturday - DAY OFF
Sunday - Zumba (75 minutes)
Monday - 8 mile run (personal best both distance and time!)
Tuesday - 2.5 mile run / 2.5 mile walk
Wednesday - 12.23 mile bike ride (which turned out to be a bad idea)
Thursday - DAY OFF
Friday - 3 mile run / 2.25 mile walk

I waited a couple weeks before I resumed bike riding to allow my knees to heal. I figured since my dad and I evaluated and addressed the problems that caused the knee problems I would be all set to hit the road for a long ride on Wednesday. I was wrong.

I mistakenly thought since biking is much less impact on the body that riding for an hour and a half was no big deal. The combination of riding for too long and taking on a handful of fairly steep inclines took their toll on my knees and now they hurt even worse than they did before. So much so that it hurts a lot to bend/squat or kneel on the floor - and to some degree they hurt a little when I walk, but oddly they don't hurt at all when I run - so that's a good thing!

Just as I had to build up my endurance to run - I have to build up my endurance to cycle. Hindsight is always better, huh? In the meantime I'm giving up biking until I can get the knee pain resolved. I called and scheduled an appointment with sports medicine (the soonest available day was July 17th) - I'm hoping they can determine exactly what is wrong with my knees and give me the appropriate exercises to recover.

Here's my weekly progress...

Current weight: 220.8
Last week's weight: 222.8

Difference: -2 lbs
Total lost: -55.2 lbs

I had doubts I would see the numbers budge because all week I was weighing even heavier than last week's weigh in. I figured I was heading into a plateau since I was having a rough time finding the right balance with eating more since I was exercising more... I wasn't worried about it, but I am glad to see a loss this week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHRINK_U 7/9/2012 4:38PM

    You are still doing great-- so happy for you!

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SHINYZALATA 7/9/2012 4:47AM

    yay 4 the weight loss it is amazing .
soo sorry 4 the knee hope it get better really soon
ur such an inspiration :) emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Saturday Weigh In - 06/30

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The days may be at their longest right now - but it certainly doesn't feel that way on the weekend! It's 7pm and I'm finally getting the opportunity to write my weekly weigh in post...

Another great week - plenty of exercise and delicious food! I didn't get any strength training in this week - I truly just wasn't feelin' it.

Here's what my exercise week looked like:

Saturday - DAY OFF!
Sunday - Zumba Blast (2 hours)
Monday - 7 mile run
Tuesday - 3 mile run/2 mile walk
Wednesday - 3 mile run/2.22 mile walk
Thursday - Zumba
Friday - DAY OFF!

Total of 6 hours, 7 minutes and 6,518 calories burned!

I didn't get any bike riding done this week - I decided to take a break and PRAY my knees recover. Unfortunately, my knees started bothering me from the bicycling. Sounds strange eh? - especially considering cycling is supposed to be easier on the joints versus running! Well, this is when I discovered that cycling for fun when you're a kid and cycling for exercise when you're an adult aren't the same things. Yes, I know how to ride a bike, leisurely anyhow. I did not, however, know how to ride a bike, for exercise purposes and as a result it affected my knees. Thankfully my dad is a cycling guru so I asked for his help and we resolved:

1. My seat was too high so my legs weren't in the proper position/angle they should be when pedaling.

For a short person my legs are surprisingly long - I had raised my bike seat until my legs were comfortable, but I raised it a tad too far.

2. I was pedaling using too high a gear

I mistakenly thought the more effort required to pedal the better... I was wrong. The goal is actually to "spin" and reach an ideal cadence of 90-100 RPM - revolutions per minute... as a beginner, I should be using a lower gear and working on my cadence as opposed to what my legs feel like as I'm pedaling.

3. My tires were next to flat.

{Insert major laughing at myself here} Uhm... well... here's the thing. I'm 220+ pounds so I figured when I sat on the bike that's why my tires looked a bit low. The tires felt firm - but honestly, I know better. You cannot gauge a tire's pressure with how it feels - or even by looks for that matter, unless it's really low. My dad recommended a tire PSI of 55 for my tires based on my weight and how I'm using the bike. When he went to put air in the tires with his compressor - my back tire had a PSI of 15. DOH!

These three things combined ultimately affected my knees! I'm grateful I don't feel any pain when I walk or run - however, when I bend at the knees it's very uncomfortable. I had to do some modified Zumba moves a few times in class this week because my knees were hurting. I'm really hoping they'll recover - STAT!

Here's my weekly progress...

Current weight: 222.8
Last week's weight: 224

Difference: -1.2 lbs
Total lost: -53.2 lbs

Here's why I call the scale a "liar." I weighed in this morning just a little earlier than I usually do and I was actually up 0.4 pounds. I looked at the scale and thought to myself, "SERIOUSLY?" I did NOT get disappointed or discouraged! I'm VERY proud of myself for that - because there was a time when I would have felt both, in addition to being irate; ultimately leading me to drown my sorrow and anger in a bag of Kettle Honey Dijon chips, a couple cans of Coke and probably a trip to get Sushi!

Instead, I said to myself, "You did everything right and the scale is clearly just having a bad day." I was seconds away from grabbing the camera to document the weigh in - but figured I would wait a little and weigh in again in an hour. I got a little carried away with some chores so an hour and a half later I was at a 1.2 pound loss. HA! Of course I expected a bit more since I've diligent with my exercise and eating - but hey, I'll gladly take a LOSS of 1.2 pounds versus a GAIN of 0.4 pounds!

I hope this lesson reaches everyone who obsesses with the number on the scale - the scale isn't always an accurate indicator of your weight loss and certainly not a measure of your hard work and resolve! So...

Until the referee rings the bell
Until both your eyes start to swell
Until the crowd goes home
What we gonna do ya'll?

Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life 'til we're dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they'll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter
Here comes the fighter
That's what they'll say to me, say to me, say to me,
This one's a fighter

(Lyrics from Gym Class Heroes - The Fighter)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KNITTINGNAN 7/3/2012 2:45PM

  You really are doing great. Thank goodness that your Dad has the talent to keep your bike in good condition for you. I'm so amazed by your discipline, as I have very little. emoticon

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HAPPY-ME 7/1/2012 6:00AM

    Great job! :)

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JSR325 6/30/2012 11:53PM

    Great job! Keep up the great work!

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SHRINK_U 6/30/2012 11:35PM

    So sorry to hear about your knee. Congrats on your weight loss! Keep up the great work :)

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Saturday Weigh In - 06/23

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I've been looking forward to writing this post all week because I knew I was going to reach a BIG milestone today!

I usually write a weekly recap before getting to my results - but I'm just too excited to wait!

Here's my weekly progress...

Current weight: 224
Last week's weight: 227.2

Difference: -3.2 lbs
Total lost: -52 lbs

52 POUNDS! There's a party going on in my head right now!

A couple weeks ago my mom suggested I take a picture wearing the same clothes I wore in my before picture... I never even thought about it, but I really liked the idea - so I decided I would do that when I reached a 50 pound loss. Prepare yourselves to be amazed...

I'm no where near close to my ideal/goal weight (I'm aiming for 135-140 lbs) but there is a tremendous difference between where I started and where I'm at now! I couldn't even pull that sweater over the front of my chest. Not only can I pull the sweater over my front - I can BUTTON IT ALL THE WAY! (Note: the two bottom shell buttons were broken so the sweater wouldn't stay buttoned at the bottom - and it was pulling at the chest because of the position of my arms... and well, my "girls" continue to make their presence known!)

While I concede to always having a slightly chubby face - my smile is no longer lost in all of the facial fluffiness I had going on in my before picture. Honestly, my smile looks quite painful in the before picture - whereas now I can see true happiness in my smile and a spark in my eyes! Yes, I'm still sporting a double chin- but here's to hoping not for much longer!

As for this week - I was an exercise queen, again. Here I am in my biking "outfit." Anything people can do half naked - I can do, covered modestly! Yes, ladies can ride a bike or going running in a full length skirt! In fact, 12 years ago I went bungie jumping in Vegas, twice, wearing a skirt (don't panic - I had pants underneath). I may be Muslim and I believe wholeheartedly in modesty - but I'm no wallflower and I like getting sweaty! :D hehe!

Following is my workouts for this week:

Saturday - DAY OFF!
Sunday - Zumba
Monday - 7 mile run
Tuesday - 2.22 mile run/2 mile walk, Zumba (at home) & strength training
Wednesday - 10.16 mile bike ride
Thursday - 5.18 mile bike ride & Zumba
Friday - 3.36 mile bike ride (with the kids)

I worked out a total of 9 hours and 5 minutes - burning a total of 7,676 calories! I remained steadfast in my eating habits; continuing with my calorie "cycling" (eating more on a couple days and less on a couple others). I even "splurged" last weekend and had potato salad - something I ordinarily cannot eat without going overboard. Technically, however, it wasn't a true splurge since I made a special batch for myself measuring out the potatoes, using very little mayo (about 2 teaspoons), Greek yogurt and a combination of 1 whole {hard-boiled} egg and 2 egg whites while loading up on the celery and onion. It was tasty - not quite as tasty as the loaded-fat version - but delicious and hearty (I also enjoyed being able to have a pretty big serving due to the "alterations").

I've learned so much about myself in the last several months! I look forward to discovering more about me as I continue this journey!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHINYZALATA 7/1/2012 6:22AM

    OHH u look goeregoeus, i really shows , ur face look even prettier :D

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STARWARSFAN2 6/30/2012 11:57AM

    Wow! You are motivated. What great progress you've made and what lofty goals you have.

I need to check back every once and awhile to see what is going on with you. emoticon

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SHRINK_U 6/24/2012 3:58AM

    You have come so far!! Way to go!

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JSR325 6/23/2012 11:11PM

    Great job, you look great! Keep up the good work.

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BLUE42DOWN 6/23/2012 9:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

That comparison photo really does show how much progress you have made so far!

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KSCARLE71 6/23/2012 8:21PM

    Great job on the weight loss and the modesty. I like Zumba, hiking, and so much more. I usually use zipper when making my dresses but yesterday I wore a dress I had to take out the zipper and take in so it wouldn't fall off my shoulder and one of them I made my granddaughter and me both a skirt out of. Two buttons is alot and since I sew, I can understand that it takes alot of work to get there.

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