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WRITINGBLUEHAWK's Recent Blog Entries

Investing in a personal trainer

Monday, July 30, 2012

In August, I'm finally going to take the plunge and invest in a few sessions with a personal trainer. I've been exercising consistently since January and although I try to mix it up on my own, I am not sure if my workouts are as efficient as they could be. I put together my current exercise regimen using an assortment of books and magazine articles. Although it's been okay so far, I know that I will need to kick it up a notch to avoid another plateau. Since I work for a non-profit organization, investing in a personal trainer is a huge commitment because I am on a tight budget. Although I can't afford a trainer 3x a week, I can afford twice a month for about 90 days, so I'm going with that.

I have a total of 28 pounds to lose before I hit my goal weight. I believe that investing in a personal trainer will help me stay motivated to see this through. Today, I met with them to fill out forms, discuss my medical history and my training/weight loss goals. I've never worked with a trainer before so I'm looking forward to the experience.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLE1908 7/31/2012 9:13PM

    If you have the right trainer and the right attitude, you will reach your goals!!! Good luck Soror!

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FLEURGARDEN 7/31/2012 8:49PM

    I met with a personal trainer once just to set up a strength training plan and to review the cardio I was doing. I really liked having an objective opinion and having a strength training program tailored to where I am currently at in my journey. One day I'll have another session with her just to review where I'm at and to probably kick things up a notch again. Good luck!

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MOBYCARP 7/31/2012 7:07PM

    I've never gone with a personal trainer because of a) cost, and b) time commitment. When I felt I had the money, it was tough to commit to a regular schedule; and when I had the time, it always sounded like too much money.

It should be interesting to read about what benefits you find from hiring a trainer on a limited budget.

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BLKLILY 7/31/2012 10:53AM

    Please share your experience. Personal trainers make me uncomfortable.

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TACONES 7/31/2012 7:24AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Random reflections on staying motivated

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I have written ad nauseum about how hard it is for me to stay motivated for the long haul. I am constantly tweaking my routine to keep it fresh. Still, for me, it's a daily struggle. Some days I just don't "feel" like doing much of anything. One day, it occurred to me that it makes no sense to wait until I "feel" like eating healthier foods or exercising. Do I skip brushing my teeth because I don't "feel" like it? Once I realized that dropping weight is about routine habits and not some magical mystery tour, I just settled into doing what I'm supposed to do.

Today, I just want to stay on the couch, watch the Olympics and not do anything. Rather than beat myself up about it, I asked myself, 'what CAN you do today to get closer to your goal?' I decided to try a new recipe and prepare the food I need to eat for next week. When it's 105 degrees outside, you don't want to do much cooking, so I settled on a recipe that didn't require turning on the oven.

One recipe I tried was a black bean, corn and quinoa salad, which was really delicious. I also bought fresh fruit, cut it up and stored in the freezer for my morning smoothies. In the midst of preparing my foods, I found my motivation picking up a bit. True, I didn't get a workout in today, but I did go to a one-hour zumba class yesterday and worked out most days last week.

One other thing I did to stay motivated was to take more pictures. I compared my new photos to a few I took in May, and there's a clear difference. I'm just smaller all over. The most noticeable change is that my face is thinner and the ring of fat around my neck is almost gone. I've even got collar bones again.

The important lesson I've learned? There is always, something--SOMETHING out there that I can focus on to stay on track. It might not get me back to the rah-rah motivation I felt when I started out in January, but it helps me feel good about what I'm doing.

Onward and Downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WYO_CASEY 7/30/2012 3:53PM

    I love picture comparisons!

Good for you on getting yourself going!

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BLKLILY 7/30/2012 10:21AM

    Your blog alone is motivating... emoticon emoticon

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KRISZTA11 7/30/2012 3:08AM

    Congrats to your progress!
Seeing my collar bones again was a great moment for me too : )

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MPLANE37 7/29/2012 8:41PM

    It is great that you found your motivation. My motivation is that I can't really think of an alternative to being fit at a healthy weight. Every other option leads to darkness. The only light is in getting fit and reaching a healthy weight.

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TACONES 7/29/2012 5:23PM

    You are doing a great job and YES, you can see the difference of all your hard work in your pictures. emoticon

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WQUEST 7/29/2012 4:17PM

    That's why my little exercise cycle is under my desk, I can not help but put my feet on it and pedal! 90% of my day is at this desk.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 7/29/2012 3:41PM

    one day at a time do something just 4 you that is different! you can do it!

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Another pound gone

Friday, July 27, 2012

I had a so-so week and am grateful that I still lost weight. I have now lost a total of 39 pounds. I am also 3 pounds away from my goal #2, which is to lose a total of 42 pounds by August.

Goal #3 is to lose a total of 57 pounds by the end of the year. That's 15 pounds between August and December. The holidays will be a tough time to lose weight, so I am planning to supplement SP with Weight Watchers meetings starting around October. Once I meet goal #3, I will only be 10 pounds from my final goal weight, which I don't plan to reach until March 2013. That's pretty exciting.

Staying on track with healthier habits can be tough on some days, but I know the alternative is to quit, gain weight and become diabetic. I can't allow that to happen so I carry on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLE1908 7/28/2012 8:58PM

    You are rocking this journey...congratulations on all of your success!!!

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ANNEMAC5 7/28/2012 12:31AM

    emoticon emoticongreat planning

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DIBANANA 7/27/2012 6:13PM

  You are on track. Congrats.

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BARBAELLEN 7/27/2012 4:58PM

    You forgot!!!! Onward and downward! :)

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LILSHINE 7/27/2012 2:16PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BLKLILY 7/27/2012 1:32PM

    emoticon emoticon what an emoticon job!

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MISSB8604 7/27/2012 12:31PM


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SONYALATRECE 7/27/2012 10:12AM

    Carry on!
That is exciting news!

~Soror Sonya

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JUDYAMK 7/27/2012 8:11AM

    I like how you broke down everything in increments. I started tracking my food again,that is a big plus for me. I must add I have got to get into a routine of working out . I am going to do Nicole's work outs in the videos shown on the fitness section. That is emoticon about your weight loss emoticon emoticon emoticon
Take care

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SRBSRB26 7/27/2012 8:07AM


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RIDLEYRIDER 7/27/2012 8:06AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Frustrating Experience with a Relative

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Yesterday, a relative of mine established a goal to lose weight. Naturally there were several family members who were full of advice, including me. I told her about SP and also recommended WW. I explained to her that she's young and her metabolism is still fast so it's a good idea to learn healthier eating habits that she can use for the long haul. I asked her to tell me what she typically orders from a fast food restaurant. She named a large burger, large order of fries and a soda. I entered it into a calorie counter and told her the meal totaled about 1,700 calories. She didn't really respond, but I'm sure she was surprised.

I asked her about exercise. She had been totally inactive. When I suggested a few ideas, she nixed them saying she didn't want to spend any money and had no child care. When I suggested other ideas, she shot them down with more excuses.

I don't think she's serious about wanting to lose weight. She didn't seem like she was listening to me or anyone else. I am bracing myself for the day when she starts complaining about lack of results. It won't be because I didn't try to help her.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NYKIMMIE 7/26/2012 7:18AM

    You will be there when she needs help,thats a good thing one she will see.

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MOBYCARP 7/25/2012 8:06PM

    She will learn when she's ready to learn, and not before.

I decided to lose weight in late 2004. I didn't admit that I needed to track what I ate until July 2011. It can take a while.

Now, my daughter talks about needing to lose weight. She does some things right, some things wrong. The best I can do for her is to be a good example; she's an adult, and she'll learn in her own time or not at all.

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BARBAELLEN 7/25/2012 3:04PM

    I've got a relative whom I see often (my mother!) who stuffs her face and precedes every bite with "I really shouldn't." It's all I can do to keep from screaming, "well, why are you?!" I'm fed up with hearing her talk about how she doesn't eat very much and how she "really should go" to the fitness center but doesn't. She appreciates the encouragement and wants to talk about all these things she is going to start doing. And then she does nothing! Can't make people take responsibility for themselves. Frustrating, for sure.

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LILSHINE 7/25/2012 2:34PM

    What is the saying you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink?! When she's ready --- she'll move but whatever you do don't pressure her or overload with opinion/advice. Just offer your assistance if she has any quesitons, need encouragement. Invite her for a walk at her pace and just keep her interested. We all had to get to a point when we were "ready". I'm sure a lot of us got offended when someone even mentioned we needed to lose weight, exercise, eat right, etc. Even when a doctor says it --- I'm like really

So hang in there with her

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BZJOHNSON 7/25/2012 12:44PM

    If it were easy, everyone would do it, right?

The good news is that - like children - she may have heard and even listened and may follow through, despite the apparent lack of interest. It WOULD be nice for you to have her support and partnership on your path, but don't be surprised if she doesn't join you.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 7/25/2012 10:58AM

    Unfortunately we all get into habits we don't feel like breaking. Many times a person has to say something several times before they even try to do it. Hopefully your advice will help her, even if she doesn't want to use it right now.

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EGALITAIRE 7/25/2012 9:45AM

    All we can do is put it out there - it is up to everyone to decide in their own time and own way. You never know when the information you gave may sink in with her. Maybe after she has tried to lose weight and gets frustrated.

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WYO_CASEY 7/25/2012 9:40AM

    People ask me for advice on losing weight all the time. I think it's like smoking...you can't make anyone do it until they are ready to. They may try, fail, try again, but until they are truely ready to make the committment, you can't do anything about it.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

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ERICADAWN1986 7/25/2012 9:16AM

    When somebody says they want to lose weight, they aren't necessarily looking for input and advice from anybody. It's one of those things that EVERYBODY wants to give you their two cents. Even though I'm sure your advice was coming from a place of love and it was good advice, she's just probably closed off to hearing anybody. If somebody is still in the "excuses making mode" no practical advice is going to help them anyway. They need to find their own motivation.

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ANDREWMOM 7/25/2012 9:06AM

    Some people (like me) have to see things for themselves and come to things slowly in theor own way. I have been on this rollercoaster for over 20 years. I have had success then failed and returned to my larger self with a vengence. Through that time I have leanrned, adjusted and started to see that success slowly return (thought i still have the occasional slip up). She sound like she is not that committed right now but might seek your advise and take it better in the future. Good luck and don't stress.

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FLEURGARDEN 7/25/2012 8:58AM

    Sadly, too many people expect a "quick fix" to their weight issues and don't really want to learn or change their behaviors. It's just easier to make excuses than to do the work necessary. Our office admin is constantly telling me why she can't lose weight and throwing up one excuse after another as to why what I'm doing to lose weight wouldn't work with her. Sigh.

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Why this time is different

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sometimes I ask myself why I am succeeding on losing weight when I've failed so many times before. That's a tough question, but I decided to just list some of the contributing factors.

1. I'm in a period of stability. Stable job, stable family members, structured routines, etc.

2. I've failed in the past but learned key lessons. For example, in 2001 I lost weight using weight watchers. Even though I gained all the weight back, I learned some important lessons about food preparation, journaling, exercise and staying accountable.

3. I understand it's going to take time. So many times I wake up and want the weight gone already, but I've been fat for years. If I don't use this time to learn healthier habits, once I lose the weight, I won't keep it off.

4. I'm an empty nester and (for the most part) live alone. I don't have to cook for anyone and I have total control over the food that enters my house. When I dropped weight 10 years ago, I joined a gym with a child care facility and had my then-10 year old daughter help me prepare WW recipes. I would also buy snacks she loved but stuff I could resist.

5. My commute to work is shorter. For seven years I drove 45 minutes one way. That was 90 minutes out of my day. Now, my commute is 20 minutes. I use the balance to exercise.

6. My job is not too demanding and I work a regular schedule.

7. I was "ready". Just tired of being fat. Scared of becoming diabetic. Tired of looking old. As I've mentioned before, black women don't get wrinkled when we age, we get fat. As an aside, I feel sorry for teen girls who are 30 or more pounds overweight. It's tough to date and fit in. What will they weigh by the time they're 30 or 40? I was only 15 pounds overweight as a teen. I might as well have been fifty.

8. I ditched the all or nothing mentality. On this journey, I've eaten cake, bbq, pizza, fried chicken, ice cream. You name it. And I still lost weight. It doesn't work for me to quit eating less healthier stuff. The difference is, those are treats not staples.

9. I eat the same stuff over and over again. I really LIKE my unfried chicken, pistachios, smoothies, sandwiches with guacamole, carrots and hummus. These are things I would eat anyway.

10. I'm serious about exercise. Ten years ago when I lost weight, I got up at 5:50 a.m. every weekday morning and walked 2 miles. Now, I go to the gym 3-5 days a week. Sometimes I walk around the neighborhood or go hiking, but mostly I spend time in the gym on the machines or lifting weights.

11. I'm consistent. I blow a weekend? So what? I get back on track. Eat too much pizza? So what? I get back on track. Every week you have 21 meals. If you screw up two of them, that's only 10% of your meals. Eat clean 90% of the time and you'll lose weight.

12. I stay accountable and focused with SP. I blog, read other blogs, look at my inspiration pics and the pic of me near my goal weight 10 years ago. I read health and fitness magazines and information from other websites. Anything to keep me in the mental zone I need to stay in.

Whatever you do, find an eating and exercise plan that's uniquely yours. Keep it healthy, stay patient, be accountable and consistent. I'm still going strong after seven months. I probably won't reach goal until after 2013, but I'm still here, planning my work and working my plan.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLKLILY 7/24/2012 9:15PM

    I needed this... emoticon

I do believe emoticon and will lose the weight! emoticon

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SONYALATRECE 7/24/2012 5:15PM

    That's right. Get back on track when derailed.
That's the right attitude! emoticon

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MRSBLAK27 7/24/2012 1:30PM


It is true, consistency is key, loving yourself & making it a journey that never ends but always a beautiful scenic route.

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    What the masses view as failure is often successfully identifying something that doesn't work.

Success comes to those who try and keep trying with PMA, a Positive Mental Attitude ~ W. Clement Stone

Make it a great day!

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NJJ-EXERCISE30 7/24/2012 9:11AM


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