Sunday, January 12, 2014

Weight Loss

Thinking about losing some weight? Who isn't? Whether it is baby weight or just pounds packed on over the years, the best time to make that change is now not tomorrow. Almost a year ago I decided to make a life change, not a New Years Resolution. My change was that I wanted to be healthy, feel comfortable in my body, be around for a long time for my kids, and have the energy to be the outgoing mom my kids deserve.
When I was 22 my father died from a heart attack. He has missed so much of my life in the past 6... 7 years. I do NOT want my kids to not have me around for major times in their lives. During both my pregnancies I was borderline gestational diabetic, if you have gestational diabetes you are very likely do develop diabetes within 5 years. I would have had diabetes by the time I was 31, that is scary. Having to prick my finger 3-4 times a day plus miss out on food I enjoyed, not what I wanted.
So a year ago I made the decision to order Nutrisystem, this would be the very first time in my life that I would choose to diet and lose weight. In high school my mother forced me to do several fad diets/ diet pills. It never worked, mostly because I didn't stick with it and they were fad diets. Because of that I resisted doing anything relating to my weight, which also consisted of going to the doctor for annual checkups because I didn't want to hear it from the doctor that I was unhealthy.
January 16th 2013 was my very first day doing the Nutrisystem program. I weighed in at 258.2 pounds, I was wearing size 24/26 pants. In February I started working out with a group of women I met through the Nutrisystem online community. We started with Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. After we finished that we did Jillian Michaels 90 day Body Revolution. Midway through April I was down 25 pounds, by middle of July I was down 40 pounds. I struggled at times but I have never regained the weight. Each time you lose 10 pounds Nutrisystem sends you this cute little bear, that become very special to you, by October I received my 50 pound Nutribear. At the end of October I joined a gym and go 5 times a week. Then in November I started working out with a trainer 1-2 times a week. Right now I am working on getting my 70 pound Nutribear. As of this morning I weighed in at 194.8 and am wearing a size 14 jean (not comfy pants). This year I plan on reaching my goal weight and body fat percentage, 135/20-25%. It is taking some time but this isn't a resolution it is a life change. I have learned so much from this life change and so much about me has changed. I am doing more with my children, not tired nearly as much, happier, I find ways to show off my body not hide it.
Why am I sharing this? So that you know anyone can do it. Whatever program you are thinking of doing, stop thinking and start doing. I knew nothing about nutrition and working out, I still have a lot to learn but now I am able to give my kids a better start. I don't want them to EVER have to worry about their weight and health. I want health and exercise to just be a part of their lives. Eat well rounded meals, save treats for special occasions, and to be active daily. It is cute because when I do workout DVDs at home they will try to do things with me (ages 1 and 3).
Ok so a program like Nutrisystem may sound expensive... It can be, however I some secrets to share with you...
1. If you sign up for the automatic delivery, each month you have an order process the cost goes down by about $10. This is for the first 5 months. So my very first order was about $250, I chose the cheapest plan. Then after the 5 months it was down to $203.
2. Some health insurance companies offer discounts on diet programs. No need to call up your insurance provider and sit on hold for an hour either. Call the customer service for the diet program and ask them. I get a 12% discount with Nutrisystem and all I had to do was tell the customer service agent what insurance company I had, 5 minute phone call. This brought my plan down to $190
3. Nutrisystem has a click program. Everyday an article, with very useful information, is posted on their website. You go read it and then click on a box/picture on the side of the page. 50 clicks (days) gets a $10 off coupon. Check with whatever plan you decide to use for little perks like this one.
4. Costco gift cards, this might be one for Nutrisystem only but it's worth a shot if you are trying something else. Costco sells Nutrisystem $100 gift cards for $80 normally, then every once in a while has a sale on them for either $60 or $50. If you buy a bunch of cards when they are $50 you are then only paying for half the cost of an entire month of food! I am paying $95 a month for food, 3 meals and 1 snack a day! Even if you don't have a costco membership you can still get these wonderful gift cards, they just add a couple dollars to each card you buy.
5. Lastly My programs will have refer a friend deals. If you get a friend to sign up you will get a one time coupon. Nutrisystem will give the referrer and the referee $30 off. If anyone reading this is interested in signing up feel free to send me your email address and I will send you a $30 off coupon.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sick, Insane, Amazing, Incredible!

On July 3rd I completed Body Revolution, a 90 day intense Jillian Michaels workout program. When I was in high school and college I worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor and would have to swim and sometimes I would get into kicks where I would actually try to swim on a regular basis. Other then that I have never worked out on a regular basis. In January of this year I started on Nutrisystem, the first month I was doing great and was super motivated and by February I decided to step it up. I stumbled across a group of woman that had just begun The 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels. I searched it online and started doing the workout off of youtube, I was checking in everyday with the women and we were sharing our experiences. As we neared the end we decided the next move would be to do the Body Revolution. The family and I went away to Florida in the middle of April, a couple weeks after starting BR, so I didn't get to workout everyday as I had wanted but as soon as I got back I busted my butt to get caught back up with the ladies. I struggled with getting back on Nutrisystem 100% when I returned but I stuck with the workouts. I still haven't been the greatest with Nutrisystem but with the support and the accountability those ladies give me I get my workouts done. When I started Nutrisystem in January I weighed 252 pounds, as I am approaching my 6 month anniversary with Nutrisystem I have lost 39 pounds, I wish it was more but I am the only one to blame for that. Next weekend we are having a big family party (I'll explain in another post) and I plan that as soon as that is over I will go back on plan with the same motivation as I had in January. My plan is that next year this time I will be at my goal weight of 135.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


College was a struggle for me. Between the lack of time management, lack of study skills and my life always being a little stressful, it wasn't easy to get through. My first year I tried to enjoy myself, I was finally able to let loose and act my age for once in my life and I did. I didn't focus much time on studying and reading. My second year I started dating Mr. Money and I was struggling to work, have time with friends, have my relationship, take care of Mr. Money, and be in school full time. My third year working a lot more to pay for living on my own, taking care of Mr. Money, Mr. Money developing the pain killer addiction, and again being in school full time. My fourth year giving up on Mr. Money, breaking up with him, and working plus school full time. By the time the second semester began I decided that I wouldn't take a full class load and I would stay an extra semester. I felt like I had missed out on so much those years I was with Mr. Money and my school and grades were suffering. I decided taking my time and getting my grades up would be best. 
For some reason in my mother's head she had planned that I would go away to college, graduate, move home and she would give me the house after I got married and had kids of my own. The phase "keep the house in the family name" had been thrown around a lot. I never had a desire to move back home let alone stay in the house forever and raise a family in it. The house was filled with bad memories, it wasn't a place I would look forward to coming home to or want my children to come running home to after school. The house has no yard and it isn't anything like I picture my dream house. In the past women wore their mother's wedding gowns as a tradition, a mother passed the dress onto their daughter. Now women want their own dress, want their own style, want what is in fashion. To me I wouldn't want the memories. Both my mother's marriages failed miserably why would I walk down an aisle in that same dress. Same goes for the house. 
When I went to orientation for college my intention was to be a double major, criminal justice and psychology. My advisor told me I had no chance in being able to double major let alone major in criminal justice. Instead of doing my usual trying to prove people wrong, I backed down and listened to her. I changed to just a psychology major and criminal justice minor. The psychology classes were all very large and the exams were multiple choice. The criminal justice classes were small and usually wanted short or long answers or essays for exams, and required more papers. My grades in psychology were always poor, I struggled with multiple choice, not being able to explain my answer and I had a hard time with the theories. I constantly battled to keep my grades good enough to stay in the major. My criminal justice grades were always great. I didn't struggle in those classes. 
Two weeks before I finished up my last semester in college my father passed away. I didn't do great on my one final and wound up failing the class, which I did not find out until a couple weeks after I walked for graduation. The professor was a jerk and didn't care, so I was 3 credits short of getting my degree. I was able to take an online class to make up the credits I missed with failing that class and getting my diploma. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. It is such a tricky day for me. I don't have warm and fuzzy feelings for my mother. I try to avoid hugging her. I feel forced to say I love you when she says it to me, so it usually comes out luv ya.
I can't not get something for my mother but I don't agree with all the mother's day gifts. Picking out a card is so hard. I don't want to get something all mushy and lovey dovey because I don't and haven't felt that way about her. So I have to find a card that just basically says Happy Mother's Day, no hearts or anything saying you are a wonderful mother. Then the gift can't be mushy either. This year I found a card that was for Grandma, from my kids and just signed mine and my husbands names. The gift we got her a panoramic picture of her favorite baseball team's stadium. We also took her out to dinner, but my husband had that planned for me anyway. Nothing saying you are a great mom. 
Part of me feels bad I don't have those warm fuzzy feelings but all of me knows that I can't and won't ever have them. She made really shitty decisions throughout my childhood, she was not very kind to me growing up, and she continued to make shitty decisions as I got older.
I am going to sound horrible and as a parent myself I hope my children never feel this way about me. I would be perfectly happy if I never had to speak/see her again. I have heard so many people say don't worry your relationship will get better as I get older and have kids of my own. That I should cherish my relationship because not everyone has a mother. I can't. It will never happen.

As a side note I had a wonderful day with my kids yesterday. We spent the day out and enjoying funny time.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

High School - Senior Year

Most high school seniors are concerned most about filling out college applications, writing college essays, getting accepted, deciding where to go, deciding what to study once in college, getting time with their friends before leaving, graduating, packing, and starting college. Not me.
My junior year I had toured Ivy League schools in the New England area. I had decided I wanted to go to school for law, wanted to be a criminal defense attorney. I really wanted to go to California to go to school but I knew my mother would never let that happen. By the end of my junior year things changed so drastically between 9/11 and things with my father that my dreams changed. I developed a passion for criminal justice and psychology. By senior year I had decided I wanted to go to school, get my 60 credits and then go into the NYC police academy, finish up college and work towards becoming a profiler with the FBI. I knew that the Ivy League schools were out of the question, not that my father had much money but now my mother would have to put me through school all on her own. I decided very quickly which two schools I was interested in, of course I applied to a couple in case I didn't get in. The one school was in upstate NY, it was a big campus with large classes and a lot of cement but far away from my dream of going into theNYPD. The other school was in NYC, had the exact program I wanted and worked with the NYPD in furthering education, HOWEVER there was no dorms. I would be forced to live at home until I could afford to have an apartment, which would take a long time. Both schools were high ranking in the fields of study that I was interested in.
By this time my friends and I had grown apart. They were more concerned with partying, which is something that I wanted to distance myself from. They would leave me out and not invite me to things so they could be a little more free in what they did. I started to become close with an old friend and a new friend of hers. These two new close friends had an understanding and appreciation for screwed up parents. We always wanted to be out of our houses but we weren't typical teenagers looking for a party or trying to get wasted. The three of us came across a park and ride which apparently turned into a gay meet up place. They left us alone, we were two girls a and a guy (who happened to be gay but had no interest in finding love that way). We were able to hang out, not run into people we didn't really want to see, laugh and observe some interesting situations. One day I will write a post all about the park and ride. We wound up spending a majority of our hang out time at this parking lot and even made some friends. We would blast the music from our cars and dance our butts off.
When it came to school, I had started off the school year with a normal course load plus one AP class. After about two weeks in the AP class I decided to drop it, it was the last period of my day. The prior period was a study hall/gym (I had been excused from because of a knee injury) rotation and I had lunch right before that. I was able to work it so that I was able to leave school at my lunch period. My usual routine would be stop at Burger King get a number one, go home and eat then head to work until my pool closed. This was one of the reasons my weight started to creep up. I was able to hide my eating from my mother because she wasn't home and I was eating crap.
I was able to graduate in the national honor society and in the top 25% of my class, despite my grades slipping at the end of my junior year. I was accepted into all the colleges I applied to and chose to go to the one upstate. I knew I needed to get away and be on my own. I spent the summer packing for college and working all the time.
My relationship with my mother just got worse and worse. She never had any restrictions before but started to implement some even though I wasn't in anyway out of control. The rule was I needed to go home when my friends went home. I held a job and didn't miss school but yet she thought I needed to come home earlier. I think she just knew she was going to be losing the control she had over me.
My love life, non existent. Hanging around a gay meet up place doesn't really help that. I was fine with it, I knew I was going away to school and didn't want to start anything back home. I didn't want to have a reason to have to go back home more than I needed to.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

High School- Junior Year

Junior year was completely different from the previous school year. Two weeks into the year, I was in my third period criminal justice class. We had a guest speaker, a NYC police officer. He was telling us stories from working in the police department and telling us about it as a career. He resembled Robert from Everyone Loves Raymond, except he was a lot more outgoing and vibrant. The principle came on the loud speaker, immediately the officer (who is very familiar with our school and how much our principle loves to talk on the loud speaker) rolls his eyes spins a chair around in front of him and sits down with a sigh. The principle then informs us that two planes had flown into the twin towers in NYC only 30 miles from where we were. He asked that anyone with family working in the towers report to the guidance office to attempt to contact those family members. He also said that we would remain in the class that we were in until future notice. The officer stands with tears flowing from his eyes, knowing this wasn't good but trying to not panic us, he asks one of the boys in the class to walk with him to the main office so he could call his station to find out where he needed to go. My teacher was in and out of the classroom trying to find out what was going on. The difference between now and then was the speed at which we get information, back then we relied on TV news, radio, and internet, now we would have been all on our smart phones getting second by second updates. The next announcement was that both towers had collapsed and that anyone with family working in the city should report to guidance. Shortly after my teacher walked in the room to report that the pentagon was hit. That was the point I decided to leave. My uncle (Mr. Perfect*) was NYFD and an uncle on my father's side worked in the pentagon, I knew I needed to get in contact with my mother to find out what was going on. My cousin, Mr. Perfect's son and I went to school together. I walked out of my classroom and out of the school, it took me a half hour of trying to call my mother from my cell phone to get a hold of her. Once I finally got a hold of my mother she informed me that Mr. Perfect was at home when it all happened. He had actually switched to have that day off, my aunt was in Florida starting her vacation a few days before his and he was supposed to fly out that afternoon with both of my cousins to meet her. Had he not been off that day he would have been in the tower when it collapsed as was all of his station that was working that day. My mother didn't have any information on my other uncle since he was my father's brother. I began searching the school for my friends and cousin. We all gathered up and walked off campus. My happened to live not far from the school, so we spent the rest of the day at her house watching the news. Over and over agin watching the footage of the planes going into the towers and then the towers collapsing. It was all so overwhelming and there was a huge fear of more things happening. We each sat there and waited, some of us getting calls from family members checking on each other, some of us hoping our phones would ring. I felt so helpless, I wanted to do something but there was nothing I could do. Over the next couple weeks my uncle worked crazy hours going into the city trying to put out fires and searching for any remains. It is something he never talks about anymore and I know it changed him in many ways. You would hear stories of the near misses, my uncle having the day off. My friend's father was in one of the towers earlier that morning but was there too early and was asked to come back later that day. Then there were the stories of the missing, the fireman with two young children who lived down the street from me. A teacher in my school getting a call from her husband who was trapped above where the planes hit before the towers collapsed just to tell her he loved her. Seeing all this loss and senseless trauma I took a conservative stand, which was very different from many of my close friends and actually started our growing apart. In school we would sit and talk, our teachers were very supportive and even as adults lost with their emotions. I think we really all helped each other get on with life.
Life got back to "normal" slowly, it would never be the same, it truly took away a sense of security I always had being an American and stole the innocence of so many children. I started working at an indoor pool, would work almost 7 days a week just to be out of my house. When I wasn't working or at school I was out with friends or in my room at home. I kept good grades in school and my bosses loved me at work.
Sometime after Christmas my mother decided to try and set me up with the son (Heart Breaker, HB) of a guy she worked with. The guy she worked with was someone she knew for many years and he had even worked with my father who had worked there before moving away. HB and I started talking on the phone and then went out on a date. He was gorgeous; average height, dark hair (crewcut), blue eyes, tan, manly, and respectful. I was so confused as to why he would be interested in me. I was overweight, ugly and clearly unlikeable. He was very shy, a year older than me and I was his first girlfriend. We started spending time together every weekend, he lived about an hour away and didn't have a car yet (was saving for college) so I always had to drive to him after work or school. He had a very close family, two older brothers and his parents were still together. They always had big family dinners and there were always people in his house. I loved it, completely opposite of what I grew up with and I loved it. I think I fell in love with his family more than anything, I ignored all the things I didn't like about him. He truly wasn't that smart, he had very different priorities then me, he really didn't have an interest in a long term committed relationship, he had very different goals for his life, and he pictured his future very different from mine. I looked past all that and was blinded by my physical attraction to him and my desire for normalcy in my family life. Once everything happened with my dad (check out early posts) he started to back away from me. We went to my prom together and after that he made a lot of excuses to not see me. A couple weeks later was a family get together for my little brother's birthday, he had agreed to come over for it, I would go get him and bring him home after. The morning of I called him to make sure we were still on and he backed out. He told me that he was going away to school at the end of the summer and didn't want to go away with a girlfriend back home. He said that he wouldn't be able to spend as much time with me that summer because he wanted the time with his friends and to relax and get things ready for school. I was crushed, in anger I said well then I would rather it be over then to know we were wasting a summer together. I got off the phone with him cried my eyes out, put myself back together and went to my brother's birthday party like nothing was wrong. At that point I was so used to being told to hide things and not let anyone know that I was completely broken/destroyed on the inside that it was second nature to me. The next day I had some finals at school and then I called him and told him that I was wrong and that I wanted to spend any time together that we could. I never talked to him again, I would call and he would always be busy and never call me back. I waited to hear from him everyday. I lost my stepmom, my dad and a boyfriend all within a couple months. A couple years later my mother told me that she heard around work that his father pushed him to end things with me because of what was going on with my father.
People around me, of course that knew about what was going on, were on egg shells, on suicide watch. But I kept going. That summer I worked a lot and stayed away from my house even more than I had in the past. I gained 60 pounds in a year, and that was really the beginning of my major weight gain. I was never skinny but I was a steady weight. Between not eating normal healthy meals at home (my mother never really cooked normal meals), hiding my eating since my mother was pushing fad diets on me, and a horrible case of depression my weight started to spiral out of control.

*I call my uncle Mr. Perfect not in a sarcastic way but in the sense that that is always how I viewed him. I looked up to him, he was a hero, started out as a cop and became a fireman. He treated his wife like a queen and would never hurt anyone. In fifth grade I started liking the football team I like because it was his favorite. I wanted to become a police officer to be like him. He was truly a good guy and I was not surrounded by many growing up.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Summer Before Junior Year

The summer before my junior year was the first year I started working for the town. I worked as a swim instructor at a beach during the day and then at the town pool in the evening. It was tons of fun working there, I was one of the younger ones most of the rest were in college. We would hang out in the parking lot and talk for hours after the pool closed, we would toss each other in the pool if we noticed someone looking a little dry, we would go out to dinner and take up half the restaurant, and we would have our kids race against each other or make the older kids sing funny songs. I was also able to drive to and from work, that is how I got into my very first accident. Nothing major, no injuries but a bunch of damage to my car. And the driver in the other car was the father of a girl I had been on and off friends with throughout school. We both had stop signs but he didn't stop at his, luckily we were in a residential neighborhood so neither of us were going that fast, but fast enough to deploy my airbags. The guy got out of his car screaming at me, saying I did everything wrong, what the hell was I thinking blah blah blah. I told him I was going from one job to the next, which was true but he convinced me that I was still the one going to get in trouble. I wasn't even thinking of the police, wasn't as afraid of them as I was of my mother, I knew she was gonna scream at me. So we didn't call the police and I was so nervous that every time I beeped my mother I put in the wrong number. I wound up driving home, which wasn't very far, and went right past a cop who didn't do anything. My windshield was completely cracked and both airbags deployed and my front end was damaged. I got home and told my mother, she screamed at me and of course it somehow turned into me not appreciating her. Since the police weren't called and the way the cars hit corner to corner they said it was 50% both of our faults. During all the paperwork my mother found out the guy had been fired from the school district, he was a bus driver, because he was caught drinking on the job. The light bulb went off, he wreaked of beer when he was yelling at me and that would explain why he was so adamant on not calling the police. I was so intimidated by him and terrified of my mother's reaction I wasn't putting it together. My mother took her usual stance to everyone else I did nothing wrong, he was this trashy drunk that caused the accident. But when she was yelling at me for about anything else for the next year, I was the one that did wrong he probably wasn't drunk and I definitely must have been doing something wrong and I don't appreciate her. By the way, I wasn't texting, it wasn't a big thing and I don't even think I could do that on the phone I had at that time, all I could play was snake.
A couple weeks after the accident I went as a student ambassador to Australia, I spent two and a half weeks traveling around with a group of students. We were recommended for the program by a teacher and then we had to interview and get picked to go, after we were picked we spent almost a year meeting up once a month to learn about what we would be doing, how we needed to act, about the culture there, and getting to know each other. I also spent a good part of the year raising the money to go, it wasn't cheap. It was an absolutely wonderful experience. We started in Sydney, then went to the outback, walked around Ayers Rock, sleep in the outback in a swag, rode camels and horses, went in a hot air balloon, went to the rainforest, went to brisbane, stayed with a family for two nights in Townsville, went to Cairns, went to Long Island, swam in the Great Barrier Reef, learned about Aboriginals, and then back to Sydney. I took 35 rolls of film (digital wasn't as big back then) and would still love to go back.
After getting back from my trip I returned to working at the pool but as a lifeguard for the remainder of the summer.