Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Well hello!

Hi friends! If you've been following my blog, you'll notice I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. "Why?" you ask. Well, I'll tell you... Being a person that has been single most of my life, I've never understood why engaged people were so flaky. "Just because you're getting married doesn't mean that the rest of your life disappears," I would say to myself. Well now I understand... You still have to work, you have to plan a wedding, you have to get your home ready for another person to join you (in my case), you want to spend every "free" moment with your other half, and meanwhile you want to do things with your friends before you get married. Amidst all of this I'm finding it incredibly difficult to stay motivated in the health field.

You would think that knowing I have to fit into my wedding dress or wanting to look/feel good on my wedding day would be motivation enough... but no, I'm letting my social/stress induced eating get out of hand! Not to mention, the recent addition of orthotics into my life has completely messed with my back, and therefore my exercise routine. You know it's bad when your trainer makes you text and confirm not once, but twice that you'll actually show up and not cancel your appointment... This is extremely disheartening and embarrassing to me, especially since I've always considered myself to be responsible and dependable. Therefore, I feel extremely guilty posting an entry to help motivate others, even though I know it's mainly to motivate myself.

Sorry to go off on that little venting rampage, but in case you can't tell, I'm struggling a bit right now. I'm very much a people pleaser and feel like I'm letting people down left and right!!! AGH!!!

With all that off my chest, my challenge this week is about acceptance of what you can't control and the desire to change what you can control... acceptance of our circumstances, acceptance of our weaknesses, and acceptance of what goes on around us. (Some would argue that there is nothing out of our control, which may have truth, but how many of us are actually mentally to the point that we feel we are in control of everything?) But this is not only about acceptance of things out of our control, this is even more about acceptance of ourselves (knowing where we come from and realizing our self-worth).  Let me explain... So I've gained about 7 lbs these last few weeks and rather than accepting that it has happened and desiring to move past it, I've chosen to get bogged down in the fact that I'm now way behind in my journey, which sets me further and further back.  Rather than accepting the fact that my back has disabled me from keeping an exercise routine, NOT from eating healthy, I allowed my frustration to set in and gave up on both. And most of all, with the combination of these circumstances and "weaknesses", I've lost view of the person that I've worked so hard to become and love. I would wager to say that no person can achieve and maintain weight-loss if they don't think they're worth it.

I'm going to work hard to change my attitude this week, to realize and accept that there are some things beyond our control, but many more things within our control. I'm going to look at each situation with the attitude that every decision I make is MINE and will positively or negatively effect ME. Rather than the phrase "you are what you eat," I like to live by the phrase, "you feel what you eat." If I eat junk, I feel like junk... If I eat healthy, I feel healthy. Simple as that :)

Hopefully, this week will make us aware that we really are more in control of our circumstances than we think we are and we really are worth treating ourselves to good health!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Vitamins and sleep

Hi friends! I have to admit that I failed miserably last week... I did plan out a menu, but whilst at the parent's house realized that nothing on my menu was in the house :s  Instead of going shopping, I just tried to stay within my calories, which I did until I blew it on Monday. I got really frustrated because when I got home I was up 14 lbs!!! I knew most of it was water weight, but who gains 14 lbs in a weekend?!?! Apparently, I do. Good news is that I've lost all but .5lbs of it, so it was mostly water weight... ridiculous!

However, this experience helped me to come to this week's challenge. Two things that are vital to your health are vitamins and sleep... both of which I did not have on my trip. In our day to day diets, there is no possible way to get all of the nutrients our bodies need, without eating way too much. Taking a multi-vitamin will help assure you're getting your nutrients (or at least more of them) and in some cases can help level out water weight issues... hmm, maybe I should've taken my vitamins.

Sleep is one of the most over-looked aspects of our health. We are so busy all the time that we cut out more and more sleep to get everything done. We need sleep so our bodies can rest and recover and also de-stress. Stress and lack of sleep are two of the biggest obstacles in weight-loss. So try to get around 8 hrs of sleep a night (this number will be different for everyone, but you should feel well rested the next day).

Therefore, this weeks challenge is to find and take a multi-vitamin, if you don't already do so and make sure you're sleeping. Not too hard, right?! Do your best to have a consistent schedule so that it's attainable. Happy sleeping this week :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Well friends, I did pretty darn good at last week's challenge! While trying to think up my meals so I didn't miss any, I remembered to the days when I actually set a weekly menu so I didn't have to think about it. Seeing as I'm going to my parent's house this weekend and really, really, really don't want to gain weight I'm going to make this week's challenge about planning.

Most diet/exercise programs are more successful if you think ahead to what you're going to eat and when you're going to exercise... If we leave it to the last minute, more than likely our decision will not be as healthy. So, right this very minute, get out a paper and pen and start planning. Plan when your meals will be, when you'll exercise and then fill in the blanks with what you'll eat and what kind of exercise you'll do.

When I started menu planning, I was a bit overwhelmed until I read a suggestion by Dr. Oz. He said to keep most of your meals the same and have one meal a day that you change (so you don't get bored). Instead of eating the same breakfast, lunch, and snacks everyday and changing dinner, I will alternate which meal I'm switching up each day. This suggestion also makes preparing easier... when you prepare a meal(s), just make enough for what you need that week. Obviously, this plan is a little more difficult for those of you with families, but just having a menu of any sort will help save you money at the grocery store, stress at dinner time, and will help to keep you from ordering pizza because you couldn't think of what to have.

After you have 4 weeks worth of menus, you'll have an entire month that you can recycle... How great is that?!!! Have fun with your planning :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Well my friends, it's time for me to stop being a slacker!!! I'm getting married 8 weeks from Friday and I've not been sticking to my plan(s)!!! My main issue? I'm skipping meals and waiting 'til night time to eat and then it all goes to pot from there. So this weeks challenge is to not skip any meals... I'm going to set a rigid schedule, meaning I'll have exact times I have to eat each meal (of coarse this may have to vary depending on the day) and I can't skip any meals. If a meal is a little late I'll just adjust my schedule likewise. Wish me luck!

We all have to remember that skipping meals only does our bodies harm. So try to set a schedule this week and stick to it. If you have any future ideas about challenges, please feel free to give me suggestions... I know that my struggles are not necessarily everyone else's and vice versa.

Any and all support is welcome :)

Have a great week!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You've got a friend!

So I've been a little busy lately and forgot that I had a blog, until I received an awesome message from a friend telling me they were following it... Yay!!!

This week I'm going to talk about support systems. We all need them, whether we think we do or not. This is part of the reason I created this blog.

How many of us are much better about doing things if we're accountable to someone, or have the support of a good friend(s)? I know I am! Whether your goal is about losing, maintaining, or gaining weight, it's a good idea to have people to support you on your health journey. Hopefully those you live with support you... if not, it makes the journey much harder (but still possible). Find a friend to email your successes and/or struggles with, it makes a huge difference!

I'm going to send out a selfish little plea (esp. to those in the Boise/Meridian/Kuna area). I belong to a little chapter of TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) and I absolutely love my chapter. I'm actually the assistant leader of this chapter, which is one of the reasons I'm sending out this plea. We need you!!! We only have 12 members and about 8 come on a semi-regular basis. I happen to know that if we get some "new blood", everyone will get excited and therefore more motivated. We meet Tuesday nights... weigh-in is from 6-6:30 and the meeting generally lasts until about 7 or 7:30 at the latest. It's a non-profit group, so basically we have monthly dues of $3.00 to help cover rent and there's a yearly membership fee of $28. There's no set diet plan... our focus is on better health and we often do little contests for motivation. Anyone can teach the lessons, so if teaching motivates you, you'd love it! Please give this some consideration... TOPS has been around for a really long time and a lot of success stories have come from it. I feel that TOPS needs more younger generation members to help keep it alive. There are other chapters available if mine doesn't work for you. We meet at Silver Sage Baptist church located at 5858 S. Maple Grove (almost to Lake Hazel). If you live in the Boise area and want to carpool with me, I'm totally open to that as well. If you're not interested, please pass the word along to others that may be. I can be contacted on here, or on facebook, or at jerushka@hotmail.com with any further questions.

Remember, we all need support in our journey. I know I need all the support I can get. Thanks for letting me have my selfish plea. Whatever support system you want, make sure to find it this week... be accountable to someone :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


So, I did well at last weeks challenge despite the fact that I was extremely dizzy and busy all week! I'm quite sick of being dizzy and I'm trying to evaluate why this might be the case (other than stress:)  In my evaluation, I realized that I've not had even close to enough water since Thursday!!! I've been horribly bloated and have not been in the mood to drink water, not to mention the main source of my diet is fruits and veggies... water just doesn't seem appealing when I'm getting a lot of water in the foods I eat. It's quite humorous to me that I'm even having to think about this because I've always been somewhat of a camel and have never had an issue with getting enough water in.

With that being said, this challenge may be very easy or very difficult for you, but nevertheless very important! Everybody's body needs different amounts of water and your body may even vary from day to day. The very best tell-tale sign that you're getting enough water is making sure your urine is clear. If it's not (other than colors that may occur from vitamins), you're not getting enough water. If you're not sure where to start, some studies say to take your weight (in lbs), divide it by 2 and that's the minimum amount of ounces of water you should be drinking a day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, you should be drinking a minimum of 75 oz of water a day. I personally feel that nobody needs more than 100 oz of water, even if you weigh more than 200 lbs, but I'm not a scientist, just a person who has an opinion ;)  While non-caffienated beverages will help you achieve this, I would encourage you to drink water only this week and see how it makes you feel.  Let's get hydrated!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let's get a move on!

Ironically, right after my last post, my back went out... the one sign that I'm working too hard! I should have done last week's challenge a week earlier ;)  But I must say that I tried not to stress about my back and it healed in just a day! I loved last week and am definitely going to try to keep that challenge alive!

Even though it's really hard to tell somedays, spring has sprung! Which, in my book, means "time to quit making weather an excuse, and get off your duff!"  I've been okay about exercising lately, but considering I did a full marathon in October of last year and a half marathon in February (just 2 months ago) and feel exhausted after walking 4 miles now, I should be embarassed for myself!

I find, for me, that I'm either really good at weight training or I'm really good at cardio, but I'm never really good and weight training and cardio in the same week... hmmm. Both are extremely important in a weight-loss journey. One of my favorite quotes is by Chalene Johnson in Chalean Extreme... she says (paraphrased) Come on people, you're not getting fat because you're getting old, you're getting fat because you're losing muscle!  The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn not only in your cardio, but while you're resting as well!

This week I'm challenging myself to do 3 days with cardio, 3 days with weight training (offset from cardio) and one day of yoga (the hardest exercise of all for me).  I'm challenging all y'all to give a little extra this week to exercise, whatever your level may be... unless you're one of those people who is already a little overkill. That can be extremely unhealthy as well, so be careful!

Happy moving this week!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stress much?

Hey friends! How did your whole foods go? I did pretty darn well... I did manage to eat Kashi on a couple of occasions and I slipped and had ice cream once, but with all said and done I think I did pretty darn well. I definitely had more energy this week and lost a couple of the pounds I gained last week :s

So, I don't know about the rest of you, but stress has seemed to creep up in a bad way these last few weeks... and my body holds on to EVERYTHING when I'm stressed. I realized today that last week I took absolutely NO time out for myself. Every free moment I had was spent practicing for upcoming recitals, preparing taxes, or "supervising" home projects. Well guess what?! My body is starting to shut down... I can feel it. My back is starting to cramp up (my first tell-tale sign that I'm way too stressed), my body is holding on to some serious water weight, I'm not sleeping well, and I'm constantly "hungry".

Therefore, this week's challenge is dedicated to stress management: an extremely important aspect of health. This week we are taking some time out for ourselves! My challenge to you is to find something that you love to do, or something that really helps you unwind and give yourself 30-60 minutes a day to do it. It can be the same activity everyday or you can switch it up. This may be going for a stroll, watching tv, playing a game, chatting with a friend, crocheting, meditating, stretching, baking, yoga, dancing, singing... and the list goes on and on. I would doubly challenge you to find something that will contribute even more to your health and that will get your body rejuvenated, but if you really feel like tv is your best de-stressor then go for it.

What's amazing to me is the fact that I work and work and work to make things "perfect", but then come to the realization that too much work actually hinders my progress. There needs to be a balance in all things! If you don't take time out for yourself, you will have nothing left to give to others.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Whole foods

Well, I have good and bad news! The bad news is that I blew last weeks challenge! I started out great and did pretty well until Friday night and then over the weekend it was as if I had absolutely no will power whatsoever! AND the scale definitely showed it :p  The good news is that I got ENGAGED on Friday and am now super motivated to work hard so that I can feel good about myself come wedding time:)

I've decided to make this week's challenge about going back to basics. Whole foods are our friend! There's something invigorating about getting rid of all the processed junk we put into our body and eating the foods that God intended us to eat. Not only will I be eating only whole foods, I'll be giving up most condiments and salt and will be eating foods as naturally as possible. The reason I do this is because I learn to love foods for their natural flavor and realize that food is great without a bunch of unhealthy additives.

I realize that everybody is in a different place in their journey for health. Please feel free to adapt these challenges to fit your needs. For instance, this week you could try to replace one of your favorite processed snacks with a fruit or vegetable. Or if condiments are your favorite thing about a baked potato, you could try to cut down on condiments. I'm more die-hard about my challenges than most people only because my body is extremely sensitive to the foods it receives.

Good luck getting back to basics this week!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Road Trip!

So I must say how proud I am of myself! I gave up everything with sugar and/or sweeteners this week and I must say I feel great! Half way through the week, however, I realized that I did not give up my addiction to gum, which has sweetener in it. I felt really guilty at first, but then realized that I gave up Crystal Light, Diet soda, sugar-free jello, sugar-free pudding, sugar-free popsicles, and mainly stuck to whole foods... so I figured I could justify my little 5 calorie stick of gum :) Sorry to you die-hards out there who may think that I have compromised my efforts. After a long plateau, I was able to lose 3 lbs... Let's hope I can keep that up! What am I saying?! I will keep that up!!!

So this week I'm going on a little road trip... I always struggle on a million different levels on a road trip. I get the munchies in a bad way... and not the kind of munchies that baby carrots and celery can satisfy (sorry folks, just don't like them that much).  Not only is the ride hard, but I'm going to see a bunch of my family, and for some unknown reason whenever I'm around my family I have a ridiculous bottomless pit! (I'm definitely a social eater... If I just stayed at home by myself all the time I'd be very healthy!) I must also mention that when travelling I have a strange desire to eat out at any given opportunity (which is not normally a struggle for me), and we all know that even the healthy options in restaurants are usually high in calories or have "hidden" fat and calories. I like to know exactly what's in my food and how it's prepared and there's very few places to eat that you can actually know those things... call me a control freak, if you must.

What do all these things have in common, you ask? Out-of-control portions... that's what! So in my day-to-day life, I try to eat 5-6 smaller meals, each containing 200-300 calories and each containing some form of protein and carb. Here's the deal... since I know I probably won't have my usual protein/carb meals, my goal this week is all about portion and calorie control. I budget 1200-1500 calories a day, so I will still eat 5 times a day (another hard thing for me to do when I travel) and each meal will still be from 200-300 calories. Here's the catch... I can't have more than one portion (suggested serving size) of any food in a meal. Meaning, if I want to go get frozen yogurt I can't get 300 calories worth, I can only have 4 oz., which is about 120 calories worth. Then I need to fulfill the rest of that meal's calories with something else (preferrably a healthier choice).

Since everybody has their own eating plan, hopefully one that works well for them, my challenge to everyone this week is to pay attention to the suggested serving size and stick to it. This goes for you skinny-minnies too! We miss out on a lot of nutrients from a large variety of foods because we tend to get full on, or waste our calories on one type of food. The more variety we have in our diets, the more likely we are to be healthy and energetic because we'll be getting the nutrients we need... that is, if we are choosing a healthier variety :) "Moderation in all things"! Good luck to you all! Hope you're keeping up :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Ultimate Challenge!

So? How did the challenge go for you last week? I'm not going to lie... I messed up one night!!! Grrr! And guess what I messed it up for?! That's right... SUGAR!!! I have a serious addiction to sugar, but only after I take my first bite. If I don't eat sugar, I don't crave it. Funny how that works!

With that being said, I bet you're never going to be able to guess what this week's challenge is! Before I tell you for sure, I want to make it clear that I'm trying to set up these challenges so they can be continued... so I will still be trying to not eat after 8:00 in addition to this challenge.

Here goes... This week is a no-sugar week (we can do anything for 7 days). Meaning no processed sugars. Fruit is fine, honey is fine, but foods with high fructose corn syrup are difinitely out, along with artificial sweeteners! I think even harder than giving up sugar, will be giving up the artificial sweeteners (for me). If you know me at all, you know that I love Diet Cherry Limeades, Crystal Light, and really anything sweet that I can save calories on because it's sugar-free! Yumm!!! (Don't get me wrong, I'm not an absolute junkee, but those things usually save me at one point throughout the week.)  But artificial sweeteners can actually do more harm to our bodies than sugar. There are actually some fascinating articles if you want to google them. I don't believe everything I read, but I do know that I have less energy and sometimes even feel sick when I have excess artificial sweeteners.

This will probably be the hardest challenge for me... at least for the first week (after that it becomes more habitual), but I know that if I do it 100% I will feel soooooo much better and more energetic! I'm totally banking on all of you doing this with me, because when I'm dying for some frozen yogurt, I'll be telling myself that I can't let any of you down :)  Best of luck to you all!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weekly Challenge - Late night eating... in or out?


So there's been an ongoing debate about whether or not eating late at night is good or bad for you.  Since this is my blog, I'll give you my opinions/logic and you can decide for yourself whether or not you want to accept this challenge.

What I do know is that food is fuel. With that being said, I feel it's most important to have food throughout the day to keep yourself energized and fueled up for the things you need to accomplish. What is the meal most often skipped? I'll give you a hint... it's not lunch or dinner. Why do we skip a meal (breakfast - in case you didn't figure it out) that will help get us fueled for the day?! Not only that, but generally speaking if breakfast is skipped and we wait until we are hungry to eat, we will more than likely eat too much or eat foods that are immediately satisfying... either one is not so healthy.

So why am I talking so much about breakfast when this is supposed to be about late night eating? What I've found in my own experiences is if I eat right before I go to bed, I don't wake up wanting food. In fact, the very thought of food disgusts me. Thus I get into a horrible cycle of not eating until later in the day and then eating too much because I'm so hungry.  Not to mention, that come night time I'm tired and am looking for something easy and something that will give me a sudden boost of energy (usually sugar or simple carbs... boo!)

Therefore, my challenge for the week is to not eat within 3 hrs of bedtime. I usually go to bed around 11 so I'm not going to eat after 8. Along with that, I'm going to make every effort to wake up in time to eat a good, healthy breakfast. If you want, you can do both challenges with me :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hello Friends!

Hey there! I'm so glad that you decided to join me on my journey towards my goal! I've been stuck for about 1 1/2 years now at my current weight and need your help. If I know that I'm possibly helping others on their quest for health, I will be motivated to continue on. I've learned throughout my life that it doesn't matter if you're 300 lbs overweight or 50 lbs underweight, you need to live a healthy life in order to be happy, healthy, and energetic. I will be issuing challenges for better health through time and would love it if we could do these challenges together. I'm totally excited and ready to do this! Bring on the health :D