Saturday, October 26, 2013

It's Always Work.

First, let's just get this out of the way.

Still weighing in great at Weight Watchers.

Still a within my range.  :-)

Still holding off a hundred pound weight loss, plus a little more.

This morning, when I walked into my meeting, my sweet leader Elyse, introduced me to some of her new members in the following way:

"This is my star that I was telling you about earlier!"

How sweet, right?  And here's where today's post comes into play.  I've actually been thinking about this for a few days.

It feels great being recognized and applauded for your accomplishments.  It sure does.  There've been a few instances recently where I find myself resting on my laurels, so to speak.  And when that happens, the scale starts creeping up a few pounds.  Which is what happened last week and is the reason why I didn't weigh in.

And that's when I find myself reigning it in.  Because I have worked too hard, fought too long to allow myself to do that.

It's always going to be work, keeping this weight off.  Some days will be - and have been - easier than others.

The weeks that have gone smoothly for me have been the weeks that I have tracked, gotten my activity in, and prepared meals in advance.

The weeks that haven't been so smooth for me, I've done maybe 1 out of 3 of the above.  No bueno for me.

It will always be work for me, which means putting in the effort.  And the effort is so freaking worth it. Because this girl is worth it.  I deserve to be my healthiest, my fittest, and my strongest.

Those jeans are falling off my hips.  There was a time when I wouldn't have been able to get them past my thighs.

(Sorry for the bad lighting.)

The girl above believes she's worth the fight and worth the work it took for her to get here.

I think that's one of the most important things I could say to someone just starting out.  Believe you're worth the effort and the work, and you'll get there.

And to anyone maintaining a big weight loss, don't throw away all that hard work.  Ask yourselves if you really want to do it all over again.  I know I don't.

Work and effort.  So worth doing both.

Happy Saturday.  :-)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Some Cool Things Happened This Weekend.

Yesterday at my WW meeting, I walked in to discover that my center had completely sold out of the magazine!  How cool, right?

Yes, I realize that has nothing to do with me.  The holiday issue is their biggest selling issue, to my knowledge.  It' just sheer dumb & awesome luck that I happen to be featured in that particular issue.  :-)

Two people asked me to "autograph" their magazines.  Joseph was one of them, who was super sweet. He's the member who came up to me after I told my meeting I'd be appearing in the magazine and told me that my story gives him hope because of how inspiring he thinks it is.   So I wrote what I told him that day:

"Write your own success story."

After bootcamp & a quick breakfast, I headed up to Westchester to hang with my brother and his family.  We showed my niece & nephew the article.  The baby wasn't too interested.  He wanted to play with his trains and other toys, so he scurried away to do just that.

Sonia, on the other hand, wanted to know about the magazine and why I had brought it.

Bro:  "Look Sonia!  Your Tia is in a magazine!  She's a model!  Doesn't she look pretty?"

Sonia (points to my photo:)  "Tilly Kelly, is that you?"

Me:  "Si."

Sona:  turns to look at me.

Turns back to the magazine.

Turns again to look at me.

Once more to the magazine.

One last time to me: scrutinizes my face then asks if I'd like to color with her.

Honestly.  I love that freaking kid.

My brother & SIL gave me a beautiful candle as a congratulatory gift on the article.  They bought it from a cute little shop called Wondrous Things.  If you're in the Westchester, NY area, I suggest you take it out.  I've already started burning it & it smells delightful.  Sonia picked it out.  :-)

If my story or my journey can help one person to keep going, then I'm happy.  I'm being 100% honest here.  I know for myself, there were many times when I felt like wanting to throw in the towel, especially in the last year because those final 5-10 pounds were just brutal to get off.  But I kept going in large part because I knew - I BELIEVED - I could do it.

And if it hadn't been for your support, for all the support I've been blessed with, I don't think I'd be here right now, sitting at goal and as a Lifetime WW member.  Encouragement and support have been so crucial to me, and I have very much appreciated it along the way, and still do!  So please remember that when and if you should come across someone who is struggling in their own weight loss transformation.

A kind word of encouragement, a small sign of support will go a long way to that person, believe me.  It takes very little effort to be supportive and encouraging, and who knows whom you may be able to help.

Cooking, cleaning and laundry done.  I was able to cross off all the things on my to do list today.  (I love lists!)

A Jets victory over the Patsies, followed by a brand new episode of The Walking Dead tops off all the cool things that happened this weekend.

Yes, that late flag in OT was manna from heaven, but a Jets win against the Pats is still a Jets win, so I'll take it!

Tell me about some cool things you did this weekend.  :-)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Day of the Photo Shoot.

Weight Watchers Magazine contacted me back in March, inquiring if I would be interested in appearing in a photo spread/article, detailing my weight loss success story.  At the time, I hadn't reached goal yet, but I had already lost a majority of my weight.

Of course I said yes.  Actually, I may have yelled jumped called some people excitedly agreed with great enthusiasm.

My photo shoot was set for Thursday, August 15 in the city (NYC) and I was super excited.  I wasn't nervous at all.  I think the whole thing felt surreal to me even then, even getting on the train to get into Penn Station, and walking the city blocks to get to MILK Studios.

Even as I was on my way there, I still couldn't believe it was happening.  To me.  A once in the lifetime experience, and I wanted to just be as present in that moment as possible.

I was scheduled to be on set at 2:30, but I got there around 1 to take everything in.  I had never been on a set/photo shoot before, and I wanted to see what it was all about.

There was another lady there getting photographed before me, and I just sat and observed.  The photographer had a lot of great energy, which she was trying to emit to the rest of the crew and us models.  (I was a model for 5 minutes!)  So after a quick lunch, I went into hair and makeup, oozing nervous energy.  I instantly bonded with George, the hair stylist.

Fellow goof ball & Hispanic.  :-)

Me in my bathrobe & hair rollers.

The shoes they put me in were 5 inch stiletto booties.  I thought I would trip over my own two feet and break something really important.  (I'm very clumsy & accident-prone, in case you didn't know.)  I absolutely loved the burgundy jacquard dress they dressed me in, but there was a Rachel Roy sleeveless, colorblock dress that made hearts light up when I saw it.  At $300 retail, it better be gorgeous, but the stylist opted for this:

I wish I had had more time to snap some pics, but I was the last "model" to be photographed, so everyone was in a rush to get the dress/accessories packed up and ready to go.

Sad face.

But lack of pictures aside, no one can ever take this experience away from me.  I'll never be able to properly put into words the excitement I felt, my nervousness, and the anticipation of this fantastic opportunity.

It was an experience.  An awesome one at that, and I'll always be grateful to Weight Watchers not just for appearing in the magazine, but for giving me my life back.

And that is something I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

There are more fantastic opportunities ahead for me, I can feel it.  I may not know what they are, but that will not stop me from believing.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy Saturday.

On Thursday, Dani texted me a pic of her holding up my photo spread in the magazine from her Weight Watchers center.

So of course, after work, I raced to my own center, and picked up a few copies.  When I told the receptionist that I wasn't going to WI, that I was only buying the magazine because I was in it, everyone there literally stopped and just looked over at me.

Yeah.  It was kinda cool/strange.

That's me pointing to my picture.  I had the nice receptionist lady snap this pic of me.

At my WW meeting this morning, my leader Elyse, greeted me with: "Kelly, I saw it & I love it!  The magazine is flying off our shelves!"

The fact that it's the holiday issue might have a tiny little something to do with that. Just saying.  :-)

One of the members had me sign her copy of the magazine.  I was a little nervous as I had no idea what to write, so my hand shook.  Hey Wendy - sorry for the sloppiness!

She made a point of pointing me out to the people sitting around her.  I like to sit in a seat against the wall so I don't disturb anyone when I leave the meeting early to get to my 10AM Bootcamp class.

Bootcamp was insane, as usual.  I showed my trainer the magazine spread.  His reaction was thus:  "Sick!"  :-)

Dani was in town this weekend to run the Brooklyn Rock 'n Roll 10K.  She was staying with Sheryl last night then with Melanie tonight.  We met up at an Irish pub in Queens.

This was my first time meeting Melanie, who was a total sweetheart.  Sarah & Kit were there too, and not only are they super nice, but everyone there was a WW member!

Not pictured here is Sarah, self-appointed picture taker.

This group of ladies has lost over 330 pounds collectively on Weight Watchers.

What a great day.  It was so much fun meeting these lovelies.

P.S.  I'm still a Lifetime member, as per WI this morning.

Still WI'ing great, still enjoying life, still loving this new body of mine, and still loving being SKINNY.

This time is meant to be enjoyed and lived.  So that's what I'm doing.  :-)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sneak Peek!

A Twitter follower was kind enough to send me this snapshot of the Weight Watchers magazine article.

I have not been able to get my hands on an actual copy of the magazine just yet, as my Twitter follower subscribes to the magazine and subscribers receive their copies early.

It won't hit newsstands until October 15.

I want to do a proper post on my experience, what the day of the photo shoot was like, how excited I was to be there, etc.

I can't do that post justice until I have it in my hands, so I'll hold off on that for the time being.

For now - holy smokes, I'm featured in a national magazine!

I can't believe it!

I'm an "after", I really am.  And I was a model - for 2 minutes.  :-)

I'm a bunch of emotions right now.  It's so cool!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

In the Kitchen with Me.

I cooked up a batch of healthy lunches for this week.  Healthy living starts with eating healthy food.  And prepping healthy food.  So here goes.

Ever get sick of chicken cutlets/breasts?  I do.  So instead I decided to make chicken drumsticks.  I've been looking around online for different, interesting recipes, and I found this one.  Linking here to it.  It's Greek marinaded chicken.  I modified the recipe just a tiny bit.  I don't have a zester, so instead of lemon zest, I added a bit of lemon pepper seasoning.  And fresh dill.  I feel that any Greek marinade should incorporate fresh dill in it.  And my marinade had a ton more fresh Italian parsley.  Here's how chicken came out.  It was yummy!

Yesterday at Trader Joe's (love that place.  If I ever move, I hope there's a Trader Joe's near by, but that's another story) I picked up veggies, lemons, and a package of grass feed 85% ground beef.  I thought about making burgers and freezing them, but decided to make them into meatballs instead.  From a package of 16 oz, I managed to make 9 little meatballs of it.  I seasoned them with a bit of the leftover Greek marinade from the chicken.  Sorry no pic.  This is why I would suck as a food blogger.  I forget to take pictures of, you know, food.

At the farmer's market, I had picked up this huge zucchini to make zucchini tots, but then I realized it would come out to nearly double the recipe.  Mom makes a similar dish that she calls zucchini casserole.  Instead of a muffin tin, she puts the ingredients in an 8x8 baking dish and cuts it all into  squares.  The ingredients are nearly identical with the exception of the bread crumbs.  Mom uses Bisquick flour in lieu of the bread crumbs.  I didn't have any in the house, so I just followed Gina's recipe and doubled it so it would fit into the dish.  I also substituted parmesan cheese for reduced fat cheddar.

I had already started cutting up the zucchini casserole before I realized I hadn't taken a picture of it!  Yup, I suck already at this.

But this was so good!

Healthy options for this week.  It all starts with food intake.

I've been thinking lately about the entire Paleo/Primal label.  Know what I've decided?  I don't like food labels!  I'm actually not a big fan of labels in general, but that's just me.

Here's what I've learned about me and my body so far when it comes to food.  I find that I feel better when I cut out gluten and wheat products.  So I don't eat those products.  No bread, no pasta, nothing white.

Low fat real dairy I have slowly incorporated back into what I eat.  I still drink almond milk, not real milk, and the low fat dairy I do have is Fage 2% yogurt.  Plain, strawberry, blueberry, etc.  Not every day, but the containers are in my fridge as we speak.  And I did use plain Fage yogurt for the chicken marinade.

Everyone's body is different, and everyone has different caloric needs.  This is what works for me.  Again, I reserve the right to change my mind and switch it up as I see fit, and I never say never.

This last year has most definitely taught me a lot, and you know what I realized?  I've been "maintaining" within a 10 pound range for the last year, year and a half.  I'd like to think it's indicative of my success - and future success- on this weight loss journey.

And now I am off to enjoy some RHONJ reunion & Sunday Night Football!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Back To Basics. Again.

I've been feeling all out of sorts since I had my wisdom teeth out.  It's been hard for me to get back into the swing of things.  So I've been a little too lackadaisical about tracking, about food intake, and about working out.

Funny how I'm always on the ball with water.  I drink easily a gallon of water a day.  I never miss that, but everything else hasn't been so great.

I've skipped Bootcamp almost every day this week.  No bueno.  Today, after my Weight Watchers meeting - where I didn't WI (big mistake, I know) I decided I'd had enough.

It is SO time to get back to basics.  Yet again.  There's no shame in admitting that I need to do that.  The shame would be pretending everything's been peachy.  I have bad days like everyone else.  But I'm choosing not to allow those bad days to turn into bad weeks. Or bad months, etc.

Of course I choose to go back to boot on Saturday morning when it's the most intense cardio workout of the week.  Sheesh.

I can never make things easy, can I?

Lots of boxing drills, jump squats, plyo lunges, plank jacks, pushups, sprints, etc.  You get the picture.  It was crazy.  It was tough.  I almost couldn't keep up.  In fact, there were a lot of times when I was so out of breath, I literally just had to stop to catch my breath.

It was also exactly what I needed.  I was wiped, but I felt great.

Half hearted attempt at a smile.  I look like I've been hit by a freight truck.

Day 1 of back to basics in the books.

I'm almost done with Imperial Woman.  Don't love it, don't hate it.  It's just ok.  As a former history major, I take great exception to omission of some of the most important facts happening in China at this time.  When the Emperor died, another of his concubines was pregnant with a boy.  And the Empress had her and the baby murdered, allegedly.  In college, I took 2 Chinese history classes with a professor who was born in China to Protestant missionaries.  He spoke, read, & wrote fluent Chinese, which came as a great surprise to all of us because his face was pretty much like the map of Ireland.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Garcia Marquez is next.  It's a short novel, so I'll probably finish it this week.

Is it hard for you to get back to basics when you go off plan?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Cat's Out of the Bag.

A few months ago, I got a call from Weight Watchers magazine, asking me if I'd be amenable to the idea of being featured in an upcoming issue as an inspirational story.

My response:  Heck yes!

I wish I had some postable pictures from the day of the photo shoot, but I didn't have time really to snap any!  Everyone was on a tight schedule.

Anyway, I'm letting the cat out of the bag.  The issue I'm featured in is the November/December issue, and it hits newsstands on October 15!

I can't wait to see it!  I'm so excited!

Here's to all of you being your own inspirational story!