MARTHAFOCUSED2's SparkPeople Blog MARTHAFOCUSED2's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Change is a part of the process.. I knew last Spring that my fat loss, health, fitness and physique goals would take time. Possibly 1 - 1.5 years.. and I was prepared for that. It wasn't going to happen in 12 weeks like on tv.. but I knew with all my heart that with determination, planning and focus I would get there. <BR> <BR> So far I'm down 84.5 and had you told me last year that I could do this after one failed attempt after another.. I would have dismissed it quickly. Who me? Lose over 100 pounds without a trainer.. per... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 09:50:36 EST Greek yogurt, pumpkin and banana parfait Sugar free banana pudding in between a bottom layer of 100% pure organic pumpkin puree, and topped with plain greek yogurt with 1/2 serving of grape nuts cereal for added flavor, texture and fiber! <img src=""> Sat, 3 May 2014 15:09:44 EST Edging my way to those 100's.. So I haven't blogged in a little while.. but certainly stayed on track. Weight has been up and down like crazy! <BR> <BR> Today I'm at 210 pounds.. so far 82 pound lost AND I'm a few pounds away from officially dropping 100 pounds in a year.. and from there I'll be less than 50 lbs away from my overall goal! <BR> <BR> <BR> A huge difference from what I looked like last Spring.. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> To my most recent shots from... Sat, 3 May 2014 14:19:33 EST Finally getting closer to 190's..... Starting off this blog with a question. <BR> <BR> How are you doing? <BR> <BR> Great I hope! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> February was a weird month for me.. from work to working out. March however has started out on a better note with a 2 pound fat loss so far.. and with my new meal/workout plans I'm sure this month I'll get very close to getting in the 190's. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 8 Mar 2014 16:23:59 EST 226 ... so far down 66 pounds.. 81 more to go! :) .. nearly passed out from yesterdays workout.. but managed to push through. Feel like I'm holding in a lot of water... hoping that resolves itself with my new diet. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> .. the results are coming in nicely... <BR> <BR> Down to 226 ... so far lost 66 pounds. <BR> <BR> I'm not done yet! ;) Tue, 4 Feb 2014 09:36:40 EST There will be days you think nothing is working.. stay focused. I cannot tell you how many times that voice in my head wanted me to just quit.. its a test. Its always a test.. of your strength as well as your desire to reach your goals. Ignore the negative. <BR> <BR> While I have lost a good amount of poundage I just kept seeing this fat woman in the mirror .. but once I stopped LOOKING for the negative and starting OPENING my eyes to what was right in front of me.. a healthier woman on her way to getting into the best shape of her life, I suddenly saw M... Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:01:20 EST Challenging myself.. and getting results. Recently I started with a new routine that consisted of 4 exercises (weighted movements), 8-10 reps and 3 sets. Wasn't easy at first.. but I pushed through it. Felt great after …. <BR> <BR> I wanted to do more though, and I knew I had it in me.. so I reviewed my workout and added more of everything. <BR> <BR> Today I did a dumbbell routine that consisted of more movements (exercises), reps and sets. Last workout was about 45 minutes, and that challenged me.. today however I pushed it and ju... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 21:34:28 EST Finally in the 220's, and Started to See Something :) Yup. I guess even though I tried to be careful over the holidays.. something along the line kept me at 231.. but at last.. I've been able to push through that and get into the 220's.. finally! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Starting to see something that looks more like a stomach.. and not a mountain.. lol. <BR> <BR> I say give me another month or so before I start seeing something that resembles abs.. but it sure does feel good to see 22... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:20:39 EST Still @ 231….. progress photos So I haven't lost any more pounds (adjusting my meals/workouts) since my last weigh in which was 231.. but thats ok… I feel really lean.. for some reason. Maybe my body is telling me to switch things up.. maybe drop some calories because honestly there are days I have 1,600.. when really 1,200 - 1,300 is ideal for my height, fat loss goals, etc. <BR> <BR> comparing a photo I took before I started this new journey, and a photo from today. <BR> <BR> BEFORE …………………………………………………………….. CURRENT... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 16:32:50 EST A picture is worth…well.. a LOT! I haven't been checking my weight as much due to the holidays… last weigh in had me at 231.. which put me at 61 pounds of fat loss. :) <BR> <BR> I did just take a photo recently while out and about… noticeable difference from 6-7 months ago to just a couple of days ago. My face is really showing my fat loss… still working on the rest of my body though (my abs are still beneath layers of fat..... lol) <BR> <BR> … more and more people are noticing.. and it feels great to finally get the smile... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 18:03:38 EST Ready for my close up… So I decided to go beyond dropping fatty pounds and going for my close up… I'm jumping into competing and looking to shed more fat as well as getting shredded!!! <BR> <BR> There's always fitness competitions going on.. locally and nationally. I figured why not… lets see how great in shape I can get… and who knows.. I may just win a prize or two. Going to pick one and enter… <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> #TeamFit #CompetitionGoGetter Fri, 20 Dec 2013 15:38:09 EST Don't have expectations.. just work hard! I had a bad habit of putting too much pressure on my fat loss goals.. and if i failed to meet expectations I would allow that to mess with my head. <BR> <BR> Not anymore.. I just keep plugging away and even if I lose just one pound over the course of a week or two.. its better than nothing. Its still something to be proud of! <BR> <BR> I'm just a thread away from getting in the 220's… <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Recent weigh in… <BR> <B... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 17:11:18 EST Weigh-in … its getting easier. November 28th I believe was my last actual weigh in. Was hoping to drop 3-5 pounds with the extra walking, but only seemed to drop 1.5 more pounds. Its ok.. at least I didn't gain anything over thanksgiving! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sooo need to see my doctor again .. need to check my sugar, thyroid and get an overall checkup. I feel much better today then i did 6 months ago. <BR> <BR> Cant wait to see the scale read in the 220... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 13:16:10 EST current progress more before/after shot comparison Happy friday!!! <BR> <BR> <BR> I've been true to my promise. Getting regular exercise, and meals that nourishes my body. <BR> <BR> I'm becoming the strongest version of myself. Both physically, and mentally. <BR> <BR> Been doing great since I embarked on this journey nearly 6 months ago. Not alone though, I have you guys. <BR> <BR> Right now relaxing on my day off (off tomorrow too!) and reviewing a short grocery list of things to buy tomorrow until I can make a real trip to the groc... Fri, 6 Dec 2013 23:18:49 EST I'm grateful for many things… This thanksgiving was extra special for me.. I have dropped nearly 60 pounds BEFORE the holidays, and I didn't splurge like I usually do on Thanksgiving.. in the past I could easily put away not one.. put TWO pies myself.. a huge plate of sides, and another huge plate of turkey, chicken, italian sausage and more. <BR> <BR> Nope.. I was prepared. I made some of these ahead of time to curb my cravings and fill my belly up with good protein, fiber and a touch of sweetness (fruit) that really s... Sun, 1 Dec 2013 19:31:12 EST Happy Thanksgiving.. current weight There once was a time that celebrating Thanksgiving was all about the food, and how much of it I could consume, as well as take home for the next day. <BR> <BR> Today I think differently about this holiday. I simply see it as a day to be thankful now. For my family and friends. For the roof over my head. For my job. For my health. <BR> <BR> Yes, I'll be eating and enjoying a meal that will surely consist of turkey, stuffing.. green bean salad and a small piece of pie. <BR> <BR> It is after... Thu, 28 Nov 2013 19:20:08 EST Food, photos and fun! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> A huge part of staying on track is cooking/preparing your own meals.. that way you know what you are putting in your body, but for many of us healthy eating can get boring at times. <BR> <BR> I love taking photos of my meals (above) to share with friends and family.. inspire others to try these healthy recipes as well as share theirs. <BR> <BR> .. its Winter now so getting ready to put a crockpot to the test wi... Sat, 16 Nov 2013 19:40:08 EST Before.. current .. progress photo. I can't believe how FAT I let myself get.. but with determination, support of you and making sure that healthy meals is my priority.. 55 lbs are gone. <BR> <BR> <BR> Just look at me .. lol <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> chugging beers before …. and how consuming water is so much better! <BR> <BR> … and I'm not done yet! <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> definitely seeing it from the waist up… lol.. now to tackle everything else! <BR> <BR> bef... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 22:33:31 EST Is it realistic to lose a LOT of weight and keep it off? YES. <BR> <BR> IF you lose it in a healthy way and along your journey you have built strong habits and a support system. <BR> <BR> Can you be successful losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time.. well.. depends on the circumstances. I have friends who dropped pounds from replacing two meals with shakes.. 6 months later the weight was back. YES I drink protein shakes but I get low calorie/carb ones like MARKED (yes thats the name of the brand) and drink those to add more protein to ... Wed, 30 Oct 2013 15:22:29 EST Feeling a little blah, but still reaching my goals! This is the second weekend that I was scheduled off and couldn't wait to enjoy it.. but due to circumstances its the second weekend in a row filled with running around and not being able to kick back and enjoy it. is it too much to ask to enjoy your days off? *sigh* <BR> <BR> I just do my best to not let it ruin my entire weekend. The good thing is.. I have stayed on my calories and not once binged.. even though every fiber of me wants to. I push that away. Its not worth it.. I've worked to... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 11:01:57 EST Haters are Motivators! ;) While I don't waste energy consuming myself with thoughts about "haters", I am certainly aware of their presence and gossip. <BR> <BR> I have been told that I am too "big boned" to lose the weight or even get "any smaller" than I was when I was at my highest (292 lbs) earlier this year, or that I am "too old to try and look like you're in your 20's" because I'm 41 and apparently thats a death sentence, or that I should "stop losing weight before you look too skinny".. .. *raised brow* <BR... Sat, 19 Oct 2013 18:15:24 EST Weigh in .. still pushing and preparing for all that holiday food! Weighed in about 5 days ago, and this morning.. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sun wasn't even up yet... so I had to turn the light on... getting an early start to my day! <BR> <BR> Started: 292 pounds Spring 2013 <BR> Current: 244.5 pounds Fall 2013 <BR> <BR> Example changes of diet: <BR> <BR> BREAKFAST <BR> Before: Dunkin Donuts (2-3 donuts and breakfast sandwich with juice) <BR> <BR> After: Protein shake with a serving of nuts OR s... Tue, 15 Oct 2013 12:29:33 EST New Weigh-In ... finally broke through! Whenever I cross a certain number, like going from 290 to 289 or 269 from 270 I always feel like I've broken some new record. I've lost more weight in these past 5 months than I have in the last 5 years. Always gaining a lot and losing a little.. and repeating that pattern over and over again. <BR> <BR> My most recent weigh in ... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Broke the 250's.... nowhere near done. I am still 103 pounds OVERweight. <BR> <BR... Thu, 10 Oct 2013 14:12:50 EST Challenging myself .. even if it hurts. When I was younger .. I would walk just about everywhere... school... store... grandmas house. Friends, work,etc. As I got older and made a little more money I started taking trains, busses, and even cabs .. a lot of cabs. I ordered or at out more than I needed to... but that was me. That was my life. <BR> <BR> Fast forward to the present.. and this 41 year old doesn't walk like she used to. Where did she go? I use to love walking and exploring the city. Even if I took the same routes, path... Fri, 4 Oct 2013 17:50:50 EST I'm going to make my cake and eat it too! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I tend to take photos of the meals I prepare... I'm a professional photographer and foodie! <BR> <BR> This is one of my favorites.. a chocolate cake with frosting.... healthy style! <BR> <BR> I stopped buying the premade cake mixes (not hating on them though!) and make my own. <BR> <BR> There are a multitude of healthy recipes online and when you do it yourself its so much better. Some egg whites, coconut flou... Tue, 1 Oct 2013 12:42:01 EST Down 40.5 pounds .. the funny thing about weight loss... When you're obese, such as I am, yes.. still in that bracket... the bigger you are the more pounds you can drop when you start. Makes sense... you're shocking your big body to MOVE and eat HEALTHY all at once and it responds by dropping the poundage. <BR> <BR> However, going into my 5th month of this new found love for getting into the BEST shape of MY life... I'm finding it a tad harder to see the numbers I'm use to... but there's a reason.. my body is telling me its time to turn it up a ... Tue, 1 Oct 2013 11:58:51 EST 4 days ago 255.5 and now 254. I feel like I'm on a roll... true there will be a week or two of the scale not budging.. in fact I've already experienced that. I switched up my diet and was back on track again. <BR> <BR> Four days ago at 255.5 I was so sure I'd break the 250 by today.. BUT its all good. I'm well on my way to that.. give me a few more days. <BR> <BR> Yesterday.. scale read 254. Took 4 days to drop 1.5 pounds and while at first glance one might think thats not a lot.. it is to me! lol <BR> <BR> <img sr... Sat, 21 Sep 2013 17:24:02 EST 255.5 ... 249 is just around the corner! Have had some ups and downs .. falling off track and even moments of depression. Still.. I refuse to give up. <BR> <BR> From 292 pounds to currently ... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 20:00:58 EST Body Fortress Protein Powder... requires an ID and more! So I was shocked to go into a local Walgreens and grabbed what I thought was a basic chocolate protein powder on sale for just $14.99 .. no biggie right? Well.. I was taken back... way back.. when I was told that you needed to be 40 years of age or older to buy this??? Apparently kids use it like "drugs" according to the cashier who was ringing me up ... who also looked like she was 16.. I was like "what?" ... crazy... when did this start? And what the heck is in this that kids want it so bad... Sat, 14 Sep 2013 20:05:34 EST Hitting a Brick Wall? Get out the sledge hammer! For over a week or so I have been watching my food intake, walking more, drinking a lot more water and while the scale was moving I expected to see bigger weight loss numbers. Its ok... everyone hits a wall... so far 34 pound weight loss. <BR> <BR> This morning I finally broke the 260 and coming in at .... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> .. even my feet look slimmer... LOL <BR> <BR> Will say that I had a few days that I was not feeling well. My... Wed, 11 Sep 2013 17:11:12 EST Scale is My Friend Again... lol So ya'll know about a week or so ago I fell off the wagon (celebrating a dear friends birthday.. LOVE YOU TINA!) and landed in a seat at a local Chili's restaurant where a LARGE grilled chicken sandwich with an equally LARGE white flour( aka sugar!) bun with fries and an appetizer of breaded and fried boneless chicken wings found their way to a table I had a front seat in. Yes.. you remember... so does my tummy and the scale. <BR> <BR> Its taken THAT much time to finally get back to where I... Tue, 3 Sep 2013 15:51:26 EST Don't Stop Before You Even Reach the TOP! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> A lot of you can probably relate to this or know someone that went this route. You know what I'm talking about. <BR> <BR> I've done it, family members and friends have all done it. I've actually had someone remind me of my past falls. SMH <BR> <BR> <BR> Who's been there? STOPPING all efforts of losing weight because you're tried or "punishing" yourself or feel its just not worth it anymore. You just... thr... Sat, 31 Aug 2013 09:21:40 EST OUCH! That hurt... Cheat Meals Can Get YA! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yes, above is a meal I would normally have.. a combination of a healthy serving of a carb, protein and fat. Sure, I can make a healthy meal as well as a healthy dessert. But when it comes to eating out... its still a struggle for me. But this past weekend... I learned my lesson. <BR> <BR> Celebrating a friends birthday doesn't mean EAT LIKE A PIG. I should have repeated that several times before entering the Chili... Thu, 29 Aug 2013 12:40:21 EST Down 1.5 Lbs in the last two days.. here's how I think I did it. Every day I'm looking into recipes that can help me get the weight off and get healthy! <BR> <BR> I like variety so thats important because getting bored with your meals can put your goals on pause. I lost another 1.5 pounds in two days and I believe its due to me eating my last meal at 6pm or so, and doing a little cardio an hour before I go to bed. I feel it jump starts my metabolism. <BR> <BR> From the 290's down to 264 and not stopping until I see 145-150 pounds on the scale and I'm in ... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 11:23:34 EST With every pound lost.. I'm a pound closer to my GOAL! Lost another pound and I think its due to lowering my carbs, and eating more healthy fats/protein and making sure my body is getting enough water as well as fiber and other nutrients. <BR> <BR> 265.5! Yes! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> weighed myself about 3am before getting ready for an early shift. Was happy to see another pound gone! <BR> <BR> Sun, 18 Aug 2013 18:45:35 EST Back in April I was 292ish, Todays weigh in.. :) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Earlier this year I was in the 290's and when I went back on a weight loss plan in June of this year I promised myself that I wouldn't stop until I got down to 145 or even 150. <BR> <BR> This morning I weighed myself, it was just after sunrise, I'm coming in at 266.5 ... I'm going to do this. I will NO loner be some obese fatty who falls into depression every time I look in the mirror, or when someone makes a com... Sat, 17 Aug 2013 09:18:21 EST Lunch was so good I took a photo.... I went out and purchased some new plates and bowls because I'm one of those people who loves to snap pictures of her food... and I like it to look cool! lol <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Rather than have my typical lunch, I opted for breakfast. Everything was properly portioned .. 3/4 cup cereal, 1/2 cup almond milk unsweetened vanilla, egg substitute with broccoli a little cheddar and Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Salt-Free spice. I pla... Sat, 10 Aug 2013 15:51:53 EST Oh the stress... how I despise you.. So the past week or so my weight has stayed the same.. no gains, which is good, but it hasn't decreased either which has surprised me because I have lowered my cal/carbs a tad - not too much, but enough to think I would have lost another pound or two but nothing. <BR> <BR> They say stress can be a factor when it comes to the scale, and I honestly believe this was the case this past week. Stressed like crazy, but still keeping my head up and not once did I crack and head to the vending machin... Fri, 9 Aug 2013 17:12:16 EST Finally under 270.. geez you'd think it would be easier. lol <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Finally the scale read below 270, I'll take that 269.5 and keep lowering that number until I reach my goal weight. Now, I really don't know what that number really is. I may love my body at 160, or 150. But 145 sounded like a good number and apparently its where I should be for my height and build. But we'll see! <BR> <BR> Taking my time in this first Phase of my weight loss journey because in the past I was in suc... Sat, 3 Aug 2013 11:50:58 EST Deprivation is not the answer, homemade is. #Gelato My homemade "gelato" .. 1 cup greek plain yogurt, 1 scoop low carb protein powder and 1tbs nuts. Boom! <BR> <BR> Of course you can add whatever you want as long as it doesn't jump your Macros up. This of course is not your traditional "gelato" - no cream, eggs,etc., but because the texture was closer to a gelato than a typical ice cream I posted homemade "gelato". This is just to give myself a healthier treat that satisfies my gelato cravings. I'm part italian and grew up with chefs and coo... Wed, 31 Jul 2013 15:56:49 EST Disappointment is a Given, Learn to Deal with It and Use It I allowed myself 2.5 seconds of disappointment when the scale didn't read 269 this morning like I had hoped. I've been watching my Macros, eating the right foods, drinking H2O like crazy AND doing some light dumbbell workouts. The weight has been coming off, slowly, and in the right direction. So, I was sure I would be seeing 269 this morning. <BR> <BR> Its ok I told myself. Because I will hit that number this week. I am currently 270.5 pounds and just over a half pound away from that 269. ... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 09:14:21 EST Preparation is key, and not just meals. While I'm making sure to prep some meals, and be diligent on portion control there are moments when simple boredom can trigger old habits for me. Once that would happen it was.. local corner store and a full container of Pringles, a container of ice cream and a candy bar or two. Just because I was bored. Nearly 300 pounds because of it. So not worth it. <BR> <BR> So if I intend to win this, to get into the BEST shape of my LIFE I have to prepare for these moments.. go for a walk (make sure m... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 12:30:28 EST 273 and going strong... Yesterday I checked the scale and it read 273. Its been 6 weeks since really working at losing this weight. So that's close to 20 pounds give or take a pound for that "water weight" as they say. <BR> <BR> I'm sticking to a healthy diet so I keep the muscle, continue to get stronger and lose the fat. Consuming enough protein (mostly from food but I do get extra help from a protein powder) the right fat and healthy carbs like from vegetables. <BR> <BR> Now, I know.. people like on those wei... Fri, 26 Jul 2013 18:45:25 EST Oh bring on the condiments.... I would not eat half the foods or meals I do if they did not have something like a a splash of fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs, perhaps my favorite cilantro infused Olive Oil OR my Cholula Hot Sauce to add a little flavor boost. <BR> <BR> Eating a potato without anything... to me... is like eating cereal without milk. And I hate eating dry cereal. Some people can do it.. not this chica. <BR> <BR> While I don't drown my cereal in milk.. its a must to have. 3/4 cup cereal is the proper servi... Fri, 26 Jul 2013 18:28:10 EST Wanting it bad enough.. so nothing throws you off track. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Its about sticking to your new eating habits and making the right choices even if others try to tell you... it won't matter. It will! <BR> <BR> When you want something bad enough you are focused like a hawk... nothing or no one, can push you off track. When it comes to meal time and someone crinkles their nose at my food or says "that wont last... you might as well eat what you want .. you only live once." That ... Wed, 17 Jul 2013 13:35:57 EST Eating Healthier is Actually Cool.. When I was younger, I use to see the elders in my family and friends parents chowing down on vegetables and drinking healthy stuff... I would crinkle my nose and ALWAYS say "no thank you" when they would try to feed me healthy crap... thats what I would call it. HEALTHY CRAP... kind of contradictive when you think about it. <BR> <BR> Today, I'm having fun eating healthier and you CAN make healthy meals taste really damn good! <BR> <BR> Instead of your typical dressings I take macadamia or ... Tue, 16 Jul 2013 14:30:06 EST Vitamins and Supplements Finding the right supplements and vitamins for you is going to take a little homework, as well as trial and error. But once you find the right ones.. its only going to help you. I know for a fact I need extra help such as from Fish Oils, it helps with imflamation of my joints and stregthens my heart. Without them my knees don't feel lubricated and supported. Makes sense? <BR> <BR> Extra protein to get through workouts and build lean muscle - I need this too, Vitamin D for strong bones, and V... Tue, 16 Jul 2013 14:18:29 EST I am noticing some <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am noticing some "slight slenderness" here and there and while some may be water weight, I'd like to think other pounds lost on the scale is actual fat poundage lost. <BR> <BR> This is me above... sooooo much room for improvement. I'm a string chica, and I know there's a great healthy lean body underneath all this fat!!! <BR> <BR> I can't wait to see what I will look like at 145 pounds (give or take a pound).... Tue, 16 Jul 2013 13:12:16 EST My Version of a Just for the record, I don't always eat potatoes. LOL... I do incorporate whole grain brown rice, and whole wheat pasta. You can also have just a protein and lots of vegetables. <BR> <BR> I just happened to snap a picture of this particular meal. Its my version of a "potato salad"... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> You can definitely add more to it.. I ran out of spinach othewise that too would have gone on top. The great thing about vegetable... Tue, 16 Jul 2013 13:02:31 EST Healthy Weight Loss Starts with Your Meals <img src=""> <BR> <BR> You can actually afford healthy foods IF you are determined to find them. I went to 3 places (you can probably limit that but one store ran out of something I really like) just to save some dough and get what I wanted. Next time going to order online some items so it saves a trip. <BR> <BR> I have to admit I enjoy prepping meals and making sure my portions are on the money. Take for instance my Fiber One Chocolat... Sat, 13 Jul 2013 19:24:12 EST