SEMPERADMELIORA's SparkPeople Blog SEMPERADMELIORA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Video Blog Update Yikes, I had no idea my Chicago accent was still that thick. Pistaaaachio. Mon, 16 Jan 2012 13:16:12 EST I'm here! Plus weekly goals. Hey everyone. It's been forever since I've written a blog. Over the past month, I've barely had enough time to log in at all let alone to post my reflections. <BR> <BR> My first week back at school was absolutely crazy. I had so much stuff to catch up on for Law Review, it kept me busy during the week when I wasn't studying and also all day on Saturday. In addition to that, I had/have to pick out a paper topic to finish my writing requirement for graduation. It's no big deal. It just... Mon, 16 Jan 2012 10:31:25 EST New Name I've been debating for a while about getting a new name on here. My old one (lawgirl86) was just really "blah" and didn't really say much about me or mean much to me. This new one (SemperAdMeliora) means "always towards better things." It's such a great motto for this journey I think. And it's Latin, and I'm a nerd, and I like things like that. <BR> <BR> I'll probably change it again eventually, but for now, I like it. :) Sun, 11 Dec 2011 21:52:38 EST Silly Cat Video I got this new toy for my cats last night, and they FREAKED out over it. They were covered in catnip in no time. I don't usually give them catnip, so it was a rare treat. Ignore my floor that desperately needed vacuuming. (See previous entry.) <BR> <BR> The way the toy is SUPPOSED to work is that they roll the ball around, and the catnip gets stuck to it. My cats went straight in through the top. At one point, Sasha was just lying there with her paws around the light blue circle and ... Sun, 11 Dec 2011 21:05:08 EST Here's what happens when I give my cats catnip <img src=""> <BR> <BR> You can't really tell the scale from the picture, but that's like four feet of catnip all over my living room floor. Stupid me. I should have put the stuff in a cabinet. At least my carpet got a much needed vacuum. Sun, 11 Dec 2011 20:59:10 EST BLC12 Results & Reflection Today marks the end of BLC12. I can't believe it's already been eight weeks. I have met so many amazing women, and I know for a fact that participating in the BLC kept me motivated to stay on track and working out a lot! <BR> <BR> A huge thanks to Holly for organizing the whole thing and to Jamie and Brenda for being the BEST team leaders imaginable! I think I would have given up seven weeks ago without you guys! <BR> <BR> Here are my results: <BR> <BR> Weight: 305.0 - 296.8 = 8.2 ... Sun, 11 Dec 2011 19:28:27 EST Sunday's Food Blog Breakfast: Berry Smoothie <BR> <img src=""> <BR> 8 ounces fat free vanilla yogurt <BR> 1/2 cup blueberries <BR> 1/2 cup raspberries <BR> 1 banana <BR> 1/2 tbsp protein powder <BR> <BR> I just realized I didn't finish this. For dinner I had five pieces of Papa John's Thin Crust Spinach Alfredo with Chicken and Tomato pizza. Yikes! My friend is such a bad influence on me. <BR> <BR> I was still in my calories for the day, even with th... Sun, 4 Dec 2011 13:50:58 EST Saturday Food Blog Brunch (which is almost identical to last night's dinner): <BR> <img src=""> <BR> 3 eggs <BR> 1 tsp olive oil <BR> 2.5 ounces multigrain bread <BR> 8 ounces orange juice <BR> 1 banana <BR> <BR> Dinner <BR> <img src=""> <BR> 8 ounces turkey breast <BR> 2 ounces turkey gravy <BR> 2 ounces bread <BR> 1.5 cups mixed steamed veggies <BR> <BR> I didn't eat anything else. Very light day ... Sat, 3 Dec 2011 12:21:11 EST Friday's Food Blog (w/pics) Part of my BLC challenge this weekend is to take a picture of everything I put in my mouth. I have had a rough week so far, so I'm compensating this weekend by eating a bit lighter than I normally would. I don't think you're really "supposed" to do this, but I'm working on a calorie surplus, so I think I'm fine. <BR> <BR> My unbalanced breakfast because I was running late: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> A single banana. I just love them wh... Fri, 2 Dec 2011 11:14:23 EST Weigh-In: Week 9; Online Workout Videos Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a week since my last blog. This past week has just flown by, but I'm happy to announce that I lost 2.6 pounds...DURING THANKSGIVING. Of course I was coming off of a pseudo 3 pound gain, but I'm still claiming a victory. <BR> <BR> Also, over the course of the weekend, I walked 13.1 miles, which felt amazing. It was relatively nice outside on Thursday and Friday, so I was outside and walking. How come walking 3 mph outside is so much easier than 3 mp... Mon, 28 Nov 2011 11:56:19 EST Motivation A lot of people have been posting motivational images on their blogs, so I thought I'd join in the fun. Plus I really need it to get back on track this week. Hope you enjoy! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR... Tue, 22 Nov 2011 14:27:28 EST Weigh-In: Week 8--First Gain I had my first gain this week. It was 3.2 pounds on the scale. I think a lot of that is bloating and actual food, but by my calculations one pound was probably a real gain. And that's not okay. <BR> <BR> I don't know what happened this week. Well, I do, but I don't know why. I ate out more times than I can remember, and that's death to weight loss. It seems like every time I hit a major goal, I get this "I can take a break this week" mentality. It's really frustrating. I know I'm d... Mon, 21 Nov 2011 10:42:17 EST Strength Training My arms are sore. I did upper body Monday, and my arms are still sore. Okay, well really it's just my triceps. My lower triceps...if that makes sense. <BR> <BR> I'm not complaining though. I love it. It means I'm getting stronger. <em>85</em> <BR> <BR> I did lower body last night. It felt tough when I did it, but no pain today. Hmm. I just used the exercises SP listed for me. No lunges, which I thought was weird, but I wasn't complaining. <BR> <BR> It's been really nice to ge... Wed, 16 Nov 2011 13:17:25 EST The Climb Reflection So, our mini challenge for BLC today asked us to listen to "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus and reflect on what it means to us. This was such a great challenge. I love this song, and I listen to it a lot when I need motivation to keep pushing. It's amazing how music can give you that little extra push. Anyway, my workout playlist is all songs like this one with a positive message. Okay, I have a few ones about having a bad attitude or something. But still really motivating. <BR> <BR> So, c... Mon, 14 Nov 2011 22:22:47 EST Rest day, schmest day I woke up yesterday fully planning on not really working out. But around 9pm, which is usually when I start working out--I just CANNOT bring myself to workout in the morning--I just felt the urge to get up and move. Yay! I didn't do a full 45-60 minute day, so it was lighter day than I typically have, but I'm just amazed every time I start to crave exercise. <BR> <BR> Part of this week's BLC Challenge is to double our strength training. I have to say, while I've been rocking the fitnes... Mon, 14 Nov 2011 11:46:03 EST Weigh-In: Week 7; BLC Halfway Reflection Weigh-In: <BR> Today I weighed in at 299.0 for a loss of 2.8 pounds. This was a huge weigh-in for me for two reasons: (1) I'm out of the 300s, which I should have never seen, but that's not the issue here, and (2) I've lost 5% of my body weight. I'm really, really happy about my progress so far. I've lost 16 pounds in seven weeks. I'm averaging 2.3 pounds per week. Although I'd like to be averaging 2.5 pounds per week for the first 50 pounds, I'm really happy with anything over 2 pound... Sun, 13 Nov 2011 13:14:22 EST Expanding My Palate So last night I went to Olive Garden with my friend. It's pretty much her favorite restaurant. Whatever. Anyway, before I went I did some research into the nutrition of their dishes, and I found out that "Seafood Brodetto" has the lowest number of calories at 470. Of course I could have opted for something with more calories and not eaten as many breadsticks or as much salad, but I know myself well enough to know that if there's food in front of me, I will eat it. <BR> <BR> So I resign... Sat, 12 Nov 2011 14:40:45 EST Tears of Joy I decided to cheat and weigh in today to see if going out last night was going to mess up my weight loss. Well, it didn't. In fact, I've noticed that in the weeks I go over my points, I've lost more. (It could also have something to do with my monthly cycle, so I'm not changing anything just yet.) Anyway, according to my scale, I weigh 299.8. That's right: as of today, I'm under 300 pounds. I was so excited. I almost started crying. It just feels so good to know that all of your hard ... Sat, 12 Nov 2011 14:14:59 EST Lack of Sleep and Crappy Abs Yesterday was a pretty good day for me, all things considered. I got only three hours of sleep (ugh), but I did manage to squeeze in a four mile walk (on dvd) and some ab exercises. My core is so weak right now, now that's something I really want to focus on for the next couple of months. But on the cardio, I was basically just going through the motions. Do you ever do that? I dunno. I still burned a lot of calories, so I guess it counts. <BR> <BR> After my breakdown on Tuesday, though... Thu, 10 Nov 2011 13:45:41 EST Vlog Update 2 Just me rambling about things I've mostly already written about Mon, 7 Nov 2011 16:52:59 EST Weigh-In: Week 6 So I weighed in 2 pounds less today. That means I'm 1.8 pounds from a HUGE milestone: the 200s! I'm also 2.6 pounds away from my 5% goal. I'm really hoping I can up my game this week and hopefully pull at least a 2.6. I won't be too disappointed if it doesn't happen, but I can certainly try for it! <BR> <BR> In addition to my weight loss, I've lost an inch from my hips and a half inch from my waist! (It's probably closer to a full inch on my waist too. I didn't want to accept that I ... Sun, 6 Nov 2011 23:39:34 EST Quick Check-In Nothing much to say about today except that I did my last chance workout. Yay. It felt great. I'm a bit nervous about my weigh-in tomorrow. I've worked out more this week than any week so far: 431 minutes. Double yay. But my TOM FINALLY arrived, only a week late, and I also had popcorn (air popped, but with melted butter) tonight while I watched Captain America. AMAZING movie! So who knows. I guess time will tell... Sun, 6 Nov 2011 00:43:47 EST Cravings So about an hour ago, I was sitting at my desk at the law school, and I just got this overwhelming urge to exercise. Yay! I'm glad I'm back to this point--actually wanting to exercise. <BR> <BR> I've been getting shin splints lately. I can't tell if it's because my shoes are old or if it's because I'm pushing myself too fast. So yesterday instead of walking for my cardio, I did the first three miles of the Biggest Loser: Power Walk DVD. It was pretty intense, at least Bob's miles. Sio... Fri, 4 Nov 2011 21:46:09 EST Stress I try to live a low-stress life, but sometimes people just don't let that happen. They turn what should be an easy task into something wildly complicated and controversial. Today I had an encounter with one of those types of people, and it just takes so much out of me. I can't really say much about the particulars, but my life would be so much easier if I didn't have to deal with certain individuals. (I'm sure we all have a few people we can say this about.) <BR> <BR> In other news, I'v... Thu, 3 Nov 2011 20:15:47 EST ALIENS! Ok, this is not going to be a blog about food or weight or exercise. It's going to be about my dream last night, which was totally freaky. And yes, it involved aliens. <BR> <BR> It started off with some woodworking competition (WTF?), and the people in the competition were people I haven't seen in FOREVER and who would never, ever be able to do any sort of woodworking. Anyway, the competitors needed to drive to the store to get materials, and for some reason, my parents were magically the... Wed, 2 Nov 2011 10:04:00 EST November 1 I’ve decided I need to blog more. So I’m going to try to post a blog every day, which I probably won’t do, but that’s okay. I’m going to use my blog as a tool to keep myself accountable, whether that means airing my dirty laundry or celebrating my triumph or something in between. <BR> <BR> So, where to start… I got 1000 fitness minutes last month. I’m really proud of that. Hopefully it’s the first of many months to come! For this week, I set a goal of 300 fitness minutes this week, whic... Tue, 1 Nov 2011 11:14:57 EST Weigh-In: Week 5; October Totals So I lost one pound this week, which is a little disappointing but not totally unexpected. I ate pretty bad this week overall, and I'm still bloated. (I don't think I've ever wanted my TOM so much. Haha.) I was also really, really busy this week, so I didn't have much time to work out. Luckily, I'll have more free time for the rest of the year, so that means more working out! <BR> <BR> So here's a recap of my week: Sunday was great; I was on track and ready to start my week. On Monda... Sun, 30 Oct 2011 16:42:19 EST Weigh-In: Week 4 (Week 4 Already!?!) So I only lost 0.8 pounds this week. I'm a bit disappointed. I stayed in my points range this week (unlike previous weeks where I went a little over), and I increased my fitness minutes. <BR> <BR> So, here's out WW works. You get daily points that you HAVE to eat. Then you get a weekly allowance that you can eat or not eat, and you can eat them all on one day or spread them evenly, etc. It's totally up to you. You can also earn activity points (APs), which you can eat or not eat also... Sun, 23 Oct 2011 14:12:30 EST NSV: Jogging So for the past two or so weeks, I've been walking on my treadmill almost daily. I started walking 2 mph and doing bumps to 2. I was/am so out of shape...obviously. I've been gradually working up to 3 and even 3.5 mph. But tonight 2.0 felt like a snail's pace--okay, because it is--and 2.5 wasn't getting the results I wanted, nor was 3.0. So I decided to do some jogging. That's right, ladies (and gents). At over 300 pounds, in a matter of two and a half weeks or so, I feel up to doing s... Tue, 18 Oct 2011 22:35:50 EST To Me, Eight Weeks From Now Dear future me: <BR> <BR> Wow! Those eight weeks just flew by, huh? I’m so proud of you for sticking it out, for not giving up when you got depressed, for making dinner when you wanted to order in, for working out when you just wanted to sit on the couch. It paid off, didn’t it? <BR> <BR> I bet you have some pretty amazing results to show for it too. Hopefully you've lost some weight and shed some inches. Are you in the 280s yet!?! I hope too that you took advantage of all of the team... Mon, 17 Oct 2011 15:38:32 EST Weigh-In: Week 3; BLC Goal So I got on the scale this morning, and I was SOOOOO happy. Down another 1.8 pounds. It isn't quite the 2 pounds per week I'd like to get, but after the week I've had, I don't care. I am 0.6 pounds away from losing 10 pounds. Yay! <BR> <BR> But that's not all. I updated my weight in my BLC, and if I lose 2 pounds per week over the course of the challenge, I'll blaze through the 300s, 290s, and land (barely) in the 280s. I am really excited about that, and it gives me even more motiva... Sun, 16 Oct 2011 11:44:18 EST Silly Scales: Skinny Fat or Fat & Fit? I posted this as a comment to Holly's blog entry here: <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4520877 </link> , but I also wanted it on my blog to look back at when I have time for reflection. Holly's post is far better than mine, so if you haven't read it yet, definitely you should! <BR> <BR> I thought of Holly's post this morning when I weighed in. I was, of course, back down to my weight from last week despite my interim 3.4 pound gain. It's so sill... Fri, 14 Oct 2011 10:17:34 EST Mid-Week Update So, my crappy eating has finally caught up with me. I weighed in this morning, and I was up 3.4 pounds—my entire weight loss last week erased just like that! I’m hoping part of it is because I’ve already gone through my weekly bonus points on WW, so hopefully staying within my points/calories for the rest of the week will get me back down. It could also be weird things going on with my cycle. Ugh. I really, really want a loss on Sunday, so I’m going to be hitting the treadmill and stayi... Wed, 12 Oct 2011 12:27:27 EST Weigh-In: Week 2--Down 3.4 Pounds This week I decided to change my weigh-in day to Sundays. This puts me in line with the BLC, and gives me some relief on weekends, when I really seem to have a hard time sticking to my guns. Now I don't have to feel as bad when I eat a bit more while watching football. :) <BR> <BR> So after a week of horrible, horrible eating, I still managed to lose 3.4 pounds. I'm a little surprised. I've eaten out A LOT this week--every day since Thursday in fact--and yesterday I had a really bad da... Sun, 9 Oct 2011 13:34:50 EST First "vlog" in a while I cut my hair. I hate it. I miss my longer locks. :( Tue, 4 Oct 2011 23:14:39 EST Weigh-In: Week 1; BLC #12 So I went back on Weight Watchers exactly one week ago. Today, I’m down 4.2 pounds. I know a lot of it is water weight, but it’s always nice seeing a big number the first week. (Is it bad that I’ve started diets so many times that this weigh-in was totally anticlimactic? I wasn’t even excited to see the loss.) Anyway, I didn’t really even stay “OP” the whole week, so I was glad that didn’t derail me, but this was the first weekend in…months?...that I didn’t order pizza or some other kind... Mon, 3 Oct 2011 12:51:02 EST Life Without Spark I’m back. Again. After seven months away from Spark, during which time I gained 25 pounds, here are some things I’ve learned: <BR> <BR> 1. I can’t do it alone. <BR> <BR> I’m a very independent person, and I derive a lot of joy from the fact that I don’t often ask people for help. So this is very hard to say: I need help. To stay on track, to stay dedicated, to stay accountable. <BR> <BR> 2. This has to be the number one priority in my life. <BR> <BR> A lot of people can make losi... Wed, 28 Sep 2011 11:34:18 EST I'm back. Ok, so I could make a ton of excuses, but I'm not going to. I dropped the ball. I didn't stay on track, and now I have to face reality. At some point, I need to reflect on WHY I convince myself that being busy is an excuse for not eating good and not working out. Any thoughts, fellow Sparkers? <BR> <BR> I also want to apologize to everyone on here who has become my good friend, and to my BLC teammates. I basically just disappeared over the last couple of weeks, and that is not fair to... Thu, 17 Feb 2011 18:12:47 EST Weekly Video Blog Update (with guest stars!) Another video blog. Thu, 3 Feb 2011 14:24:06 EST February Goals Last night I sat down and really thought about what I would like to accomplish during February. I rarely do this--actually sit down and think of goals to achieve. Usually my goals are very vague and sound something like "do better at X." But I think having concrete, measurable goals could be very helpful in my life, and not just in terms of losing weight and getting healthier either. So without much further ado (a treat for anyone who catches the movie reference), here are my February goa... Tue, 1 Feb 2011 20:29:30 EST Day 3 Power 90 and NO CHIPS! Day 3 was back to lifting (or "sculpting" in P90 vernacular--since when did weightlifting become a dirty word? why is it "sculpting" now?). I was really sore yesterday, but the one day off was perfect for recovery and I was ready to go another round of lifting today. The first day I had to take a break after one of the pushup sequences, but today I went straight through. I'm also starting to notice some increased flexibility I think...or maybe I just feel more comfortable pushing myself, w... Mon, 31 Jan 2011 23:19:46 EST Power 90 Day 2 Day 2 of Power 90 is called "Sweat" and "Ab Ripper." Those names are accurate...VERY accurate! I was soaked by the end of the cardio, although I didn't really burn that many calories for how much effort I *thought* I was putting in. There is a lot of jumping, which is really hard when you weigh literally twice as much as you should. Just in case I happen to have a skinny person reading my blog, remember in grade school gym when you had to give people piggy back rides across the gym? (Was... Sun, 30 Jan 2011 19:05:14 EST Power 90 Day 1 One of the perks of being a law student is that the two main legal publication companies, Lexis and Westlaw, try to get you hooked on using their online databases for research. To do this, they give you points for doing different tasks online (looking up a case, etc.). These points can then be turned in for all sorts of free stuff. Anyway, I recently turned in my points for a $75 Amazon gift card. I used this gift card to purchase the Power 90 program (because as much as I want to be supe... Sat, 29 Jan 2011 16:11:42 EST Weekly Update It's pretty long, but if you suffer through, you get a bonus: my recipe for pumpkin oatmeal! Thu, 27 Jan 2011 15:31:44 EST Bad Weekend and Sodium I destroyed my weekend. First of all, I didn't lose any weight; I stayed exactly the same, which means over the last three weeks, I've lost 3 pounds total. I guess I shouldn't complain since it's a loss, but I was expecting more since (1) I weigh a lot, (2) I am just starting to lose weight, and (3) I'd like to drop close to 100 pounds this year, and pound a week ain't gonna cut it. Anyway, I tracked all my food, which I didn't want to do because it got embarrassingly bad, but I did. <B... Mon, 24 Jan 2011 18:42:51 EST Frustration Mostly this is me venting, but this is more for me and my journey than for all of you out there (although I do hope you enjoy it), so I'm being completely honest on these things. Thu, 20 Jan 2011 17:51:46 EST NSV: Running...OK Jogging So tonight I was on my treadmill for a full hour just listening to music and reading blogs on SP. Forty-five minutes in, I decided to jog for a minute at 4mph (not that fast...I think some people could probably walk that fast, but I can't). After watching Arthur running on BL last night, I thought, hey, if some guy who weighs 500 pounds can do it, I can too. Anyway, I got lost in my music, and when I looked down, and it had been three minutes, so I figure, hey, I'll go for five. The last... Wed, 19 Jan 2011 23:35:08 EST Turning a corner Today was my fourth day in a row to work out...for at least 45 minutes, and for a whole hour yesterday! I can really feel myself getting back into exercising again, which feels really, really good. Tonight I figured I would take a break, but I actually wanted to get up and work out. I had actually burned a lot of calories throughout the day (walking to and from my car at the law school, which is a bit of a hike, going up and down the stairs because every other class is on a different floor... Tue, 18 Jan 2011 23:15:33 EST Ugh. No weight loss. I haven't posted all weekend, but I weigh-in on Saturdays, and I lost nothing. Boo. I'm hoping it's because this is the first week I really started working out, because I know I had a calorie deficit every day, even days I went over my calorie goal. (It may also be because I wasn't eating enough...I thought I was in the 6-7 times my body weight range, but turns out, when you gain 50 pounds, you get to eat more calories. Who knew?) <BR> <BR> Even worse, I STILL haven't lost anything. A... Mon, 17 Jan 2011 16:55:52 EST Going Out So, I tend to be kind of a recluse, and one of the things I really want to start doing is being more outgoing and not letting my weight get in the way of me going and having fun and stuff. In that spirit, tonight I am going out with a few friends. We're going to dinner and then to another place for some drinks. Luckily, the restaurant had its menu online, so I was able to scope out what I am going to get (roasted chicken, potatoes and green beans...not too bad!), but I haven't had a DROP o... Fri, 14 Jan 2011 20:08:23 EST