Sunday, August 26, 2012

My 90 Challenge with Body by Vi (Visalus) 30 pounds in 90 days!

Hello all,
It's been a few months since my last post. I wish I could say that I've kept up with My Positive Life Change and that I've been working out faithfully and melting away the pounds...but no. The wonderful news is, a couple of weeks ago I determined in myself that this would be the last year that I was overweight, and that I would enter the 33rd year of my life (my b-day is in September) healthier that I entered my 32nd. I started to tie up all my loose ends - disorganization, old assignments, anything that I could potentially use as an excuse to working out 6 days a week. Last week I made two steps to the new and improved me - I ordered a Body by Vi Kit and I set up an appointment at my gym to have someone walk me thru the machines again and to have myself weighed and measured. I am super excited to announce that just 3 days into my new plan that I've already lost 1 pound!

I've held off on announcing my weight loss challenge on my facebook for one reason - I want to wait a week to see how much I lose. I didn't want to promote Body by Vi to anyone without knowing for myself if it actually works. In the past It has been incredibly hard for me to lose weight, even with working out. I normally put on muscle first, then it takes at least 6 weeks before I see or feel any other change than in my strength. Usually the whole process is discouraging for me unless I'm very strict with my eating habits. Very, very strict. So, I'm excited that just 3 days into my Challenge, and some light working out, that I've dropped 1 pound. This is with the Balance Kit, 1 shake a day. Visalus (body by Vi company) has a kit with which you drink two shake a day and experience a faster weight loss, but I don't believe in replacing multiple meals with shakes. I'll do one in the morning because I have such a hard time getting myself to eat a healthy breakfast, and so far, it's been easy. I figured that since I'm going to be exercising that one shake a day would do it for me. The other thing I like about Visalus is that when you order your kit, you have access to a free online community full of health and exercise tips, and encouraging testimonies of other people that are going through their challenges. I was especially excited to read one testimony yesterday of a women who lost 28 pounds in her 90 day challenge. My Goal is to lose 30.  I'm not an official promoter (meaning that I am not getting paid for selling the product), but an incentive to spreading the word is that if 3 people sign up thru my page, I will get my next two kits free. I'd be happy to lose the weight regardless, but a free kit for the next 2 months would be neat! Check out my page and watch the video here: feel free to ask any questions you may have!

I made it to the gym 3 days this week and so far this has been the easiest pound I've ever lost. Have I mentioned that I'm excited?!  I'll be posting my progress regularly, so I'll be on here a whole lot more. Thank you for reading, God bless you on your health journey! - Jen

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Elisa Riebeling Ministries: The Blog: God's Special People - The Poor (Part 1)

"A suffering and newly born again 45-year-old man relocated his wife & 4 year old son from up north to our beautiful city in hopes of finding a better life....With no money for food, gas, or laundry, he became suicidal. His wife, barely hanging on and stricken with fear contemplated the unspeakable..."
 Click Link to continue. (This is an excerpt from the blog of the nonprofit ministry I serve). 
Elisa Riebeling Ministries: The Blog: God's Special People - The Poor (Part 1)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

One of my favorite Worship songs: How Great is Our God, by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, and Ed Cash.

"Turn Up Your Fat Burn"

I stepped into Starbucks with Hubby just now and came across this great article featured in Starbucks digital network. Enjoy
Content © 2012 by the respective content owners. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
The Facts About Fat

The Facts About Fat

The following is excerpted from Turn Up Your Fat Burn!™, new from Rodale
By Alyssa Shaffer and the editors of Prevention
Among American women, an average of 31 percent of total body weight is fat; for men, the number is about 24 percent. Most adipose (fat) tissue is located under the skin (subcutaneous fat) and around the internal organs (visceral fat), as well as in bone marrow and breasts. Visceral fat, the kind you often can’t see, is a deep fat that’s particularly dangerous, especially in the abdominal area. It increases the risk of high cholesterol and impaired liver function, as well as of heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, and other health problems.
Subcutaneous fat is the kind that gives us curves, but for plenty of people, it’s hanging around in excess, especially in the trunk, the backs of the arms, the top of the back, and around the butt and thighs. While it’s not as dangerous as visceral fat, too much subcutaneous fat can be unhealthy, especially when it raises your body mass index (BMI) above 25. (BMI is a measurement of body fat based on weight and height. A “normal” weight falls within 18.5 to 24.9, while 25 to 29.9 is considered “overweight,” and 30 or more is considered obese.)
More online from Rodale Books:
Why exercise when I can diet?
There’s no arguing with the basic weight-loss equation: In order to drop excess pounds, you need to burn more calories than you consume. You can do this by drastically cutting calories, but for many of us, dieting alone is simply too hard. To lose just a pound a week, you’d need to cut 3,500 calories from your diet, or 500 fewer calories a day than you are used to eating. While you can keep this up for a few days or even a few weeks, eventually it becomes just too difficult to keep slashing calories.
That’s where exercise comes in. Scientific journals are filled with evidence that regular physical activity not only will help you lose weight (and live longer) but is crucial to staying leaner. The American College of Sports Medicine even created an official recommendation that anyone who wants to lose weight should try to create a deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories a day through a combination of diet and physical activity. Among participants in the renowned National Weight Control Registry (the largest ongoing study of successful long-term weight loss, consisting of more than 5,000 individuals who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept that weight off for at least 1 year), consistent exercise is the single best predictor of long-term weight maintenance.
Think of it this way: If you add 60 minutes of activity a day, even just a brisk walk, you’ll burn another 2,300 calories a week. Over a year, that’s about 35 pounds you’ve either kept off or lost.
Bottom line: If you’re in this for the long haul, dieting alone can be tough. To get the best results, you also need to exercise.
And yet...
Sometimes no matter how many miles you walk on the treadmill or pedal away on the bike or elliptical, you can still feel very frustrated when you step on the scale or look in the mirror. While exercise is undeniably good for your heart, lungs, and brain, it can be bad for your psyche if you’re not getting the positive results you want.
Let’s start with what you’re doing right. You don’t need a PhD in exercise physiology to know that any form of physical activity will improve your health. Every time you raise your heart rate with aerobic exercise, you’re helping your heart and lungs get stronger and more efficient. You’re bathing your brain in feel-good hormones; you’re pushing oxygenated blood throughout your body to deliver important nutrients to your tissues; you’re helping your body get a better night’s sleep. When you add strength and flexibility training to the mix, you’re also building stronger bones; revving your metabolism; and keeping your joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles limber throughout the decades of your life.
Yet many of us don’t see the weight-loss results we expect because of how much, how often, and how hard we’re exercising. Take a look at these common workout mistakes—some may sound pretty familiar.
Mistake#1: You’re caught in an exercise rut.
When you do the same activity day after day, week after week, your mind isn’t the only thing that gets bored—your muscles do, too. Whether you take the same daily 30-minute walk around the neighborhood loop or do a few sets of the same old strength moves, after a while your body stops being challenged and your results plateau.
Mend it: Change things up. Go for a hike on the weekend instead of doing your usual power walk. Find new strength moves that work the same muscles. (There are some great ones in the following chapters.) Try a new type of exercise by slipping in a workout DVD. Any little way to mix things up and challenge yourself with something new is a step in the right direction.
Mistake #2: You’re loyal to cardio.
I have friends who run, bike, or swim religiously but can’t get rid of stubborn fat around their tummies, hips, and thighs. It’s because they haven’t picked up a pair of weights in years. While aerobic exercise is good for your body and soul, if you don’t balance those workouts with some strength exercises, you’re not only compromising your results but missing a key component of health and fitness. Resistance training— lifting weights or strength training—is the only way to increase lean muscle mass. That’s important on many levels, especially as we start to get older.
Beginning in their thirties, women begin to lose about 1/2 pound of muscle per year. (Men usually hold on to muscle longer, but the rate of muscle loss speeds up dramatically after age 60.) Since muscle burns through calories even at rest, losing it will noticeably slow metabolism. This is one big reason many of us see that “middle-age spread” beginning in our forties.
A study from Skidmore College found that exercisers who combined cardio with a high-intensity, total-body resistance routine lost more than twice as much body fat—including twice as much belly fat—over 12 weeks than those who followed a moderate-intensity cardio plan.8 (You’ll find out more about the many benefits of strength training later in this book.)
Mend it: Substitute a couple of strength sessions for cardio days. On our plan, you’ll be lifting weights twice a week, hitting all of your body’s major muscle groups.
Mistake #3: You’re stuck in a “fat-burning” zone.
If you hop aboard a treadmill, elliptical trainer, stairclimber, or other cardio machine at the gym, you may see a programming option that allows you to stay in a “fat-burning” zone. It’s based on the fact that at lower intensities, the body uses a greater percentage of its fat stores for fuel. Sounds great! You don’t have to work as hard and you’re sucking some of that fat out of your belly, butt, and thighs.
But do the math and you’ll see the problem. At a lower intensity level, your body will indeed burn a higher percentage of fat than carbs but still burn fewer calories overall.
Here’s an example. A 150-pound woman who walks on a treadmill at 3 mph (a 20-minute mile) burns about 112 calories in 30 minutes. At this moderate intensity, she burns about half of those calories from fat, or about 56 fat calories. If she were to take that workout into a brisk walk for 30 minutes at 4 mph (a 15-minute mile), only about 40 percent of her calorie burn might be from fat. But she’d be burning more calories over-all—about 170 in those 30 minutes, or about 68 calories from fat.
Mend it: In the next chapter, you’ll learn how to burn more calories and make more of those calories come from fat. You will increase your overall effort by doing intervals—periods of higher intensity followed by a slower recovery pace.
If you’re already exercising regularly, the Turn Up Your Fat Burn program is designed to help you get past some of these common mistakes and achieve the fitness and fat-loss results you want. And if you’re not involved in an exercise program right now, there’s no better time to start.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Calorie Counters for Weight Loss Help

I just started using this online calorie counter for help in weight loss that Lori @ shared with me -
Here's another one I might try - .

Why was so excited to try this? It's not as restrictive as a diet where you have to completely eliminate certain foods (or food groups). You only need to keep your calories under or at your limit. It's so easy to just select what you eat each day! When you have completed the day's entry, you get a message that tells you something like, "If you continue eating this way, in 5 weeks you will lose...X number of pounds"! That's what I like to see!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Body, Mind and Spirit: Losing Weight For the Right Reasons

A post from a friend @

Body, Mind and Spirit: Losing Weight For the Right Reasons: As someone who has recently lost weight, I highly recommend it.  It is important to make sure you are losing weight for the right reasons. Y...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Love this! Though Proverbs is misspelled!

More Than That Donut...

So, here I am, about a month into my Positive Life Change. I had my 5th workout today, and I felt great afterward, though I did wonder if maybe I should have felt "more worked out". I did the prescribed leg work (reps and weight), and I broke a sweat, even did my ab work, then stretched. I hope I did everything correctly.

I've been watching what I eat more carefully and have been intentional on eating more fruits and veggies. I added green beans to a Sunday night pasta and beef sausage dish and ate some salad; I've eaten fruit every day this week; I was quite proud of myself today as my plate from Luby's looked like the plate on this blog (half veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 grain! And two days ago, something came out of my mouth that shocked both my husband and myself. He had brought home a couple of donuts - one glazed and one chocolate frosted. There I stood looking them in their frosty eyes (donut holes). And then, as I mustered up the strength to resist, out came, "I want to have a baby more than I want that donut!" But before I turned away from them, I watched as my husband's mouth dropped. Not that this has been kept a secret from him, but I think he was attempting to keep my rejection of the donuts separate from himself. I reassured him and while pinching some of my stomach flab, reiterated that I desperately want to get rid of it.

Of course, after he left for work it was a little harder to stick to my guns. I ate a quarter of each one. Afterward, I felt satisfied with my half donut, and resolved to eat anything unhealthy only in moderation if the temptation was too great. I've been down that road many times where deprivation leads to binging.

Which brings me to a question - what is worse? Half of a donut or half of a buenuelo?

Anyway, I'm motivated to keep up my workouts! Though I'm not looking forward to my next weigh and measure in 8 days, after being in bed for 5 days with the flu and basically just eating, eating, eating. I will be happy if I didn't gain anything, but ecstatic if I lost just a little something. Time for sleep, goodnight!

Friday, January 20, 2012

What my plate should look like...and yours, too!

I had pinned this to my Pinterest back in December and tonight someone re-pinned, reminding me that I had it! Oh Lord, help me to remember to eat this way!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Taking pleasure in my productivity - stuffy nose, pounding head, and all

At the end of every year, for the past few years, I've scrambled to "get my room in order". Mostly this NewYear's Eve ritual has consisted of dusting, organizing, vacuming my room from top to bottom. This year, I neglected to enter the New Year with a clean room. I hated that I had so much going on that I missed it.
Well, two weeks into the New Year, I finally began to get my room in order. I appears that I made the work harder on myself by taking up a hobby - scrapbooking. For whatever reason, this has made more of a mess of my workstation that my jewelry making. It has been my goal to document every crafting project by a post onto youtube, but I sometimes do not have the patience to make a video and wait for it to upload. I have taken pictures of various projects, but I haven't had the time to post them to my craft blog .

I've been sick the past few days (and detoxing about a week before that), so I feel pretty terrible, but being in my room all day to rest and quarentine myself pushed me to point of frustration with the disorganization of my room enough to make me get out of bed and clean stuff up - head pounding and all. Even in the pre-organization phase (piling like-stuff together in mounds) I made time to craft a bit and cleared some stuff out of the way in the process.

My organization wisdom from God today: "productivity is getting stuff done and enjoying it".
And the "blessing" of my cooking after some chinese food: Nothing in the world can compare to perseverance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Positive Life Change: A Target Weight for Future Pregnancy

At the start of every year, I seem to have a routine: start a resolution & begin a blog. Usually 3 months later, I have another routine: drop the resolution and stop the blog.

Well, this year I have dropped the term"resolution" and have adopted the phrase, "Positive Life Change". The good part, I've put money on it, so I'm more apt to keeping up with this life change, and I technically began before Christmas, so I was psyching myself up for it for a good 10 days.

What is it you ask? I joined a gym, yeah, a lot of people do that around the start of the year with a resolution to "lose more weight and look great". I do confess, those were my goals in years past. In 2012, this takes on a deeper meaning and a purpose for more than vanity's sake. For my first appointment at my gym I was scheduled for a weigh and measure, where I found out that in the past 2 years I had put on 26 pounds, and that my current weight of 176 (the heaviest I've ever been in my life!) included 66 pounds of body fat! I was so distracted by those numbers that I could not process my measurements that followed as a personal trainer took the tape to my apple shape. I must have had a look of shock on my face - the trainer asked me if I was alright. I was honest and shared that my current weight was my Mt. Everest peak. She tried to console me, but I was in a daze. She had a tone of empathy as she asked what my goal weight was. I drew a blank. I truthfully stated I didn't have one. For the first time since I've been on a weight loss journey (since puberty), I did not have a number in mind, only the thoughts of  "I want to be healthy. I want to be fit. I want to have a baby."

Two years ago, about 3 weeks after I married my husband, we had thoughts of starting a family once we were more settled in our marriage and I was more healthy. Back then, I was 150 pounds and I thought myself too heavy for a healthy pregnancy. Naturally, I planned to work on this. I threw myself full-fledged into my nonprofit work, which means I started spending 14 hour days sitting at a computer, sometimes eating 2 or 3 meals there. And thus began my weight gain. Terrible. Unhealthy. Never Again. It is now so painfully relevant why I've been so void of energy. Ugh. Add to this energy drain the stress of being an executive director of a new nonprofit, and I see the recipe for my disaster.

So, now I have a new recipe: eat right (more veggies, more fruit, more water, less junk food, less caffeine, and more often because I tend to eat only twice a day) better sleeping hours, less stress, a de-stress activity or two, and a whole lot more exercise. Consistency. It seems simple, especially since I actually enjoy breaking a sweat and feeling a rush of endorphins.

I have yet to mention, that the kind personal trainer gave me a goal weight - 130 pounds. I'm not quite sure I want to go that low...the thought of it is kind of scary. I haven't weighed that little since I was 15, so I kind of don't remember what it is to be that size. Or shape. I do not have a concept in my mind what I would look like. But that really isn't the point - the point is to get to a body that is healthy to bear children. And I am going to partly use this blog to keep myself motivated and on track.

So far, I am 4 workouts into the plan and consciously making healthier food choices. Here's to a healthier me!
- Jen