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*Weigh-In Wednesdays* ~ Sept 14, 2011

9/14/2011 *Sara-Marie* 2 Comments

WOW, it's been 2 months since my last blog post. I'm sorry. I'm apologizing more to myself because blogging helps to keep me accountable and motivated with all of my goals.

On July 13, I hit one of my big weight loss goals: I LOST 25 LBS! It was later than I had wanted, but felt great nonetheless. The next three weeks, I stayed exactly at that weight. I didn't gain or lose any more. I still felt pretty good. Then AUGUST happened. (Get ready for a list of excuses -- hey, at least I warned you!)

August Confessions:
  • I went on vacation with my family and didn't really track my food. I also ate a couple of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Only activity included swimming at the pool (read: laying out in the sun) and walking around the Disney Parks.
  • Two trips to Boston. I grabbed fast food a few more times than I should have.  Only ran one time while I was up there.
  • My birthday and Mark's birthday happened. We ate out, we ate cake...
So I finally weighed in on August 31st and I was up 5.8 lbs! FIVE POINT EIGHT POUNDS. I really couldn't believe it.  I felt defeated, and gross, and really unhappy. It was such a slap in the face. The next two weeks, I really snapped myself back into gear. I started tracking my food intake again and increased my activity.

Today, I'm actually sore from the two run/walks + 1 gym session over the last three days. I haven't been this sore in a WHILE...and it feels so good.

GOOD NEWS! As of today, I am down 3.2 lbs of the 5.8 lbs I had gained. I just need to lose another 2.6 to get back to what I weighed on July 13. THEN, hopefully I can continue with some net loss. Losing weight really isn't that hard, as long as you are motivated and keep it simple. Eat reasonably and be active.

I need to remind myself that everyday...KEEP IT SIMPLE! EAT WELL & DO SOMETHING!

Until next time,

SMP <3


Just a few things...

7/14/2011 *Sara-Marie* 4 Comments

1. I REALLY miss my honey bunches of oats!

2. I'm down .6 lbs which brings me to 25 lbs total loss!


3. Happy 2oth Birthday to My Sweet Melissa!


*Weigh-In Wednesdays: Breaking Through the Plateau!*

7/06/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments


I broke through my 6 week long plateau!!!

The last month and a half have been so frustrating. Here is a quick synopsis:
(Click on the image to view full size)

I am finally very close (.6lbs away) to my 25 lb mark. My goal was to reach this by June 1st, so I'm a bit late. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, RIGHT?

In referring to my list of goals, the next one is to be at 34 lbs lost by Wednesday, August 3rd. Now that means that I have to lose 9.6 lbs in the next 4 weeks to get my self back on track. It seems very daunting considering the initial plan was to give myself 8 weeks to lose the 9 lbs, but I'm going to have to give it my best shot! Do we think I can pull off 2.4 lbs each week for the next 4 weeks?!

Now, I know this is going to have to take a whole lot of motivation, dedication and diligence in order to even get close to that goal. There is no room for slip ups, sneaking in a few french fries, or missing my workouts. Based on a recommendation from Momma Pops (Mark's mom for those who don't know), I started a "7 Day Detox" meal plan yesterday. I usually turn away from crazy diets because I wholeheartedly believe in the Weight Watchers approach. BUT, this meal plan didn't look crazy at all. It's basically an all natural, high protein, high fiber diet. Weight Watchers believes in that too! Basically tons of nuts, seeds, high fiber cereal, chicken, eggs, fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, and WATER. Oh, and a small baked potato for dinner! However, no dressings, sugar, artificial sweetener, salt, caffeine, butter, etc. Just the natural food items + olive oil + spices (when needed).

When I add up the WW Points for the recommended diet, it comes out to about 27-29 points. My recommended daily point target is 29 anyway, so I don't feel like this Detox would interfere with my commitment to the WW plan. IT SHOULD ONLY HELP!

So I'm giving this diet a whirl...we shall see where it leaves me by next Wednesday! I'm really praying that it will at least kick start some major weight loss so I can forever leave this plateau behind me!

Until next time...


The Past Couple of Weeks...

6/12/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

...haven't been so successful! I didn't post the last couple of Wednesdays for various reasons, but mostly because I didn't have any good news!!

My current weight loss goal was to lose a total of 25 lbs by Wed June 1st. Did that happen? Unfortunately not. I actually gained 1.2! Boo.

Then this past Wednesday, I stayed the same. Didn't lose or gain. I'm pretty disappointed in myself for having a few set backs but I'm trying my best to get my butt back in gear.

I started running again this past week. That's a positive. Unfortunately, I'm really struggling again. I feel like I lost all of the progress that I was making with the Couch to 5K program. I started Week 4 (AGAIN!) and I still don't feel ready to move onto Week 5. I don't know if it's the heat, the allergies, my asthma or just lack of energy. But I'm going to keep trying!

When I gained the weight last week, the Weight Watchers app actually had some good advice...despite the TYPO! haha

Hope to have better news this Wednesday!


What's better than just losing weight? LOSING INCHES!

5/26/2011 *Sara-Marie* 2 Comments

Looking through some old files this morning and I found a sheet with my body measurements from May 11, 2010. It was taken by my personal trainer at the time. I haven't been tracking body measurements since then so I thought now would be a good time to see how much my body has changed.

After 30 minutes of rummaging through my father's things, I finally found some measuring tape. Much to my surprise, there were some major differences in just over a year.

CHEST: Lost 5.5 in
WAIST: Lost 4.5 in
HIPS: Lost 5 in
THIGHS: Lost 2.5 in
BICEPS: Lost 3 in

Isn't that insane??

My motivation just shot up a few notches.


*Weigh-In Wednesdays - May 25, 2011*

5/25/2011 *Sara-Marie* 3 Comments

I am so thrilled that the WW App has a new feature that lets you set reminders to track your meals! I just added it yesterday and it really helps! I was having such a hard time the last week or so with tracking my meals, so this should really help me stay focused.

The last week was another week were I wasn't as focused on my weight loss goals as I should have been. I barely tracked, Mark and I ate out a lot over the weekend, I didn't get a lot of exercise in because of the rain, and I got sick on Sunday night. I'm still battling a bad cold and asthma, but I'm hoping tomorrow will be a better day and I will be able to at least go out for a walk.

Despite all of those things, I didn't over do it. I was still carefully selecting my meals and trying to make smart choices. Some how, it paid off because I ended up having a HUGE loss this week. The body is crazy I tell ya!

Gain/Loss Since Last Wednesday = -2.0
Total Loss = -22.8

I know that this won't always happen, so I have to get back on the tracking and exercise regimen in order to reach my goals. Tracking I can do NOW, exercise will have to wait until I stop hacking up a lung.

My current weight loss goal is to lose 25 lbs by June 1st which is NEXT WEDNESDAY! I'm pretty close, but I'm having some doubts that I could pull off a 2.2 loss in the next 7 days. Especially after losing 2 lbs this week. I hardly ever have two big weeks like that back to back. I will give it my best shot and see how close I can get.

Until next time...



*Weigh-In "Wednesdays" - May 18, 2011*

5/20/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

This will be short and sweet.

I was out of town Tuesday through Thursday so I didn't weigh in on Wednesday morning like I usually do. But I did weigh myself on Tuesday morning and this morning (Friday). I weighed the same amount on both days so I'm just going to use that as my Wednesday weight.

Gain/Loss Since Last Wednesday = -0.2
Total Loss = -20.8

Not a huge loss like last week, but I try to remind myself A LOSS IS A LOSS!

Until next time...


*Weigh-In Wednesdays - May 11, 2011*

5/11/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Due to my gain last week of 1.4, my one to-do this week was to just LOSE WEIGHT. Of course this is my to-do every week, but I had to have a good week to recover from the last two weeks.

This week wasn't easy either. I'm still averaging a higher intake of Points values per day than I used to on a good week when I was living in MA. But I was much better. I tracked my food everyday except Sunday. That was the day I dropped Mark off at the Academy and if you know me well, you know that I'm an emotional eater. Knowing that Mark is going to lose so much weight at the Academy got me focused again on Monday morning. I have to keep up!!

Gain/Loss Since Last Wednesday = -2
Total Loss = -20.6

What I did well this week:
- I earned 12 Activity Points. This is no where near the 30-35 points I was averaging last month, but my runs have been shorter as I get used to knew terrain. Each time I go out for about 20-25 minutes, I'm only earning 2 points. Plus I used to also walk for an hour or do P90X with my workout buddies (Laurie, Kristin, Jill, Leah -- Miss you!) I've been taking Jubilee on my runs -- she rides her bike alongside me -- but sometimes that slows me down because I have to be more careful and aware of what she is doing. I love spending the time with her though and glad she's getting more activity in now that I'm around!
- I bought some healthy foods so I have no excuse in making a good food choice.
I started Week 4 in the Couch to 5K program. I was nervous, but pleasantly surprised to find myself able to run at a steady pace for 5 minutes at a time! That's the longest interval I've ever been able to do. Feels great knowing that I'm getting stronger!
- Started a new "20 Minute Full Body Workout Circuit" with Melissa yesterday. Never knew I could sweat so much in such a small amount of time! My legs are super sore today -- it must have worked. We are going to do this routine 3x a week -- this should help increase my activity points and weekly progress!

What I could have done better this week:
Still working on the food intake. I've been pretty good with breakfast and lunch, but dinner is always the challenge. I'm trying to leave a good amount of points left for dinner, serve myself on a small plate, etc -- but my family is the type to sit at the dinner table for an hour just talking even after everyone is finished eating. With the food still displayed in front of me, I find myself nibbling on extra food. I need to exercise some more will power or start clearing that table once I know we've all had enough!

Monthly Progress Reports April 13 - May 11

As you can see this week was much better. I was able to lose the 1.4 I gained last week + an additional .6 lb. I have to feel good about that! I'm still 4.4 lbs away from my next weight loss goal of losing 25 lbs by June 1st. Seems like a lot of weight in just 3 weeks, but I'm going to give it my best shot!

Until next time...


*Weigh-In Wednesdays - May 4, 2011*

5/04/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Surprising? No. Frustrating? Of course. Disappointing? Absolutely.

As you know, Mark and I moved to PA on Sunday so that Mark can take advantage of an amazing career opportunity. We had to pack up our lives in a week and needless to say it was challenging. Physically and mentally. Between all of the chaos, it was almost impossible to eat well. It isn't exactly easy to cook dinner at home when your pots and pans are in a box!

Then you come home to your well-intended Puerto Rican mother who cooks a feast to welcome your return. Her excuse: "I didn't know what you guys were craving, so I made a little bit of everything!" Gotta love the woman, but it was the cherry on top of my over indulging week.

Gain/Loss Since Last Wednesday = + 1.4 (Grrrr)
Total Loss = -18.6

What I did well this week:
-Despite the challenges, I went out for 3 short runs this week
-I packed my life up in a week -- that's an accomplishment, right?
-I donated almost 3 bags full of clothes that are now too big for me :)

What I could have done better this week:
Not eat out more than 5 times in a week!!
-Exercised more....I only earned 7 activity points! That's pathetic.

Monthly WW Progress Report: April 6 - May 3
These last two weeks have been ROUGH! I definitely need to get back to tracking my food intake every day and accumulating at least 30 activity points per week. I'm not going to let this set back ruin everything I've been working for!

Couch to 5K
Since last week was so chaotic, I decided to redo Week 3 of the Couch to 5K program this week. My only challenge now? The loop around my parent's house is full of hills!!! I felt like I was back on Week 1 when I couldn't run for 30 seconds without feeling like I was dying. I thought about taking the easy way out and running the program on a treadmill at the gym. But Mark's mom reminded me this morning that "HILLS MAKE ME STRONGER!" So I'm going to keep trying, even if that means I have to redo Week 3 for a third time next week. By the end of this summer, I'm going to be running up and down these hills like a CHAMP!

I think that's all I have for today. My only TO DO for this week: LOSE WEIGHT!



*Weigh-In Wednesdays - April 27, 2011*

4/27/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments


Gotta keep this short and sweet because I'm running late to work! It has been a CRAZY week since we just found out on Friday afternoon that we are officially moving to PA for a new career opportunity for Mark. We've been waiting for this for A LONG TIME, so we are very grateful that it is finally coming to pass. Although, it is really tough packing up our lives in just 7 days!!!

So with that being said, I haven't been tracking my food intake over the last couple days and I can tell the difference it has made in my food decisions. I've made some poor choices over the last few days so I'm hoping to turn the corner today. I also tend to eat more when I'm stressed, so I have to work on controlling that. I did start Week 3 on the Couch to 5K running program yesterday. It felt really good!!! Considering just a few weeks ago I could barely run for 60 seconds, yesterday I successfully completing intervals of 3 minutes at a time.

Time for the Stats:

Gain/Loss Since Last Wednesday = -0.4
Total Loss = -20

Wow, it feels good to hit the 20 pound mark!

WW also started these new progress reports this week...pretty cool. Here is the one I received for the last 4 weeks:(Click on Image to View Full Size)

With this move to PA, I will actually be living at home with my parents for 6 months. I'm really hoping that during that time I can keep good progress and keep my workout routine!

Until next Wednesday,



*Weigh-In Wednesdays - April 20, 2011*

4/20/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

That is how I felt this morning when I got on the scale.

Honestly, I thought I was going to have a gain this week OR at the very best stay the same. I was good all week until the weekend hit. Saturday was pretty good, although I had my planned "treat meal." We went out for Thai food and it was DELICIOUS! I ate in moderation and REALLY enjoyed it. Sunday and Monday, I also ate more than I should have. These "treat meals" were NOT planned and that's why I was really worried. I ate more food this week than I had in any of the last three weeks. Despite the increased food consumption, I still stayed on plan. I did end up burning through all of my Activity Points and most of my Weekly Allowance -- but I DID NOT go "over budget." However, the last few weeks where I have seen the pounds really come off are when I was just sticking to my Daily Point Allowance of 29. I wasn't dipping into any of the extra Points banks. So I stepped on the scale this morning with much trepidation.   

YIPPPPEEEEEEEE, are you serious?!

I was so surprised that I weighed myself an additional 3 times while I was getting ready for work just to make sure the scale was right.

Gain/Loss Since Last Wednesday = -1.8
Total Loss = -19.6

What I did well this week:
Despite all of the eating out over the weekend, I tracked everyday and made the best guesses possible of how many points I was consuming
-I earned 35 Activity Points (14.39 Miles of walking/hiking/running + kickboxing + 1 P90X Video)
-I completed Week 1 of the Couch to 5K program and started Week 2 on Monday

What I could have done better this week:
-I could have practiced a little bit more self control. On Monday night, I decided to order a cheeseburger and fries when we went out to dinner with Mark's family after the Marathon. I started to feel full after eating about half of the burger. I should have just STOPPED eating. Instead, I took off the buns and kept eating the burger with my fork and knife. And then I finished all of my fries just because they were there. I felt SO GROSS after that meal because I knew I had eaten past my point of satisfaction. Never again!!

What I learned this week:

-ACTIVITY is so important!!! I know for sure if I hadn't been active this week, I would have definitely had a gain. I have to remind myself to JUST KEEP MOVING!

Other Highlights:
-The black dress I planned to wear to work today was TOO BIG! I looked like a tent, so I happily took it off and threw it in the donation pile.
-According to my fancy scale, I lost 1% of Body Fat in this week alone! That's a total of 5% Body Fat lost since last June. My Muscle Mass also went up by .2% this week.

I was really feeling down last night because I was dreading my weigh in this morning -- now I'm full of energy and motivation again! I can do this! Almost 20 lbs lost...this feels awesome.


Running with a PURPOSE

4/18/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

As you know, I'm trying to learn how to run. Last week I did successfully complete Week 1 of the Couch to 5K Running Plan. Feels great. I will be beginning Week 2 today.

But today, I want to dedicate my post to a special woman who redefines willpower and determination. Today she will be running her 9th Boston Marathon and has been recognized for raising more than $50,000 for Dana Farber Cancer Institute in the process. She's Elizabeth Puopolo, mi suegra, and she's running with a purpose. Here's a letter from her:

Boston Marathon 2011 will mark the 9th time I have run as part of the DFMC team. I have been privileged to connect with so many wonderful people throughout this journey.

When I began 10 years ago to train for my very first DFMC/Boston Marathon 2001, I dedicated my run to my sister Theresa and my sister-in-law Nancy, both of whom were faced with the diagnosis of breast cancer in the fall of 2000. Many of you have shared their journeys and mine, as well as those of many other special people of whom I have written over these last 10 years.

Nancy is an inspiring breast cancer survivor, who leads a very fulfilling life. I am honored by her love and encouragement.

Sadly, Theresa was not so fortunate, she left this world on July 6, 2010. She was, to the very end, fierce in her will to live a full life even facing a Stage IV diagnosis since the spring of 2006.

Theresa gifted me with her love, friendship, and sisterhood. She inspired so many of us with her faith, hope, and determination in spite of very slim odds.

Theresa was a two time DFMC alum, she ran the 2007 Boston Marathon with me. My family and I treasure every memory we made together.

One year after emergency brain surgery in March 2008 to remove a brain metastasis, and only 10 days after receiving brain radiation in April 2009, Theresa ran in the 2009 Boston Marathon. In her 2 Boston Marathons for DFMC, Theresa raised almost $11,000 for basic cancer research. Talk about an inspiring woman!

I am dedicating my 2011 DFMC/Boston Marathon to my beloved sister Theresa and to all the sisters, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, friends,and families affected by this disease. Won't you please join me in supporting this cause? You may donate online at Just click on "Support A Runner" and type in my name, you'll be linked to my personal webpage. Please let me know if you would like me to remember someone special in your life who has fought this disease, I will carry their name with me on Marathon Monday, inspiring me to keep moving forward and close to the finish line.

I am thrilled to say that my niece, Lisa, and sister-in-law, Anita are also part of the 2011 DFMC family, they will volunteer for the team. Lisa has run the last leg of the Marathon several times, I look forward to the day when she will run the Boston Marathon herself!

If you’ll be in Boston on April 18, 2011, won't you join my family and please come cheer on my DFMC teammates and me as we race towards the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer. We train and run with thousands of special people in mind and hope in our hearts. Dana-Farber is setting the pace in the race against cancer, and we’re grateful for your help.

God bless you all!

xo Elizabeth aka "Lizzie", "Liz"

WOW, I'm just trying to run 1 mile without huffing and puffing...can't even imagine 26.2.

Best of luck Momma Pops!

*Picture is of Mrs. Puopolo with Theresa on the left in April 2007, two days before they ran the Boston Marathon together.


*Weigh-In Wednesdays - April 13, 2011*

4/13/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Good Morning!
Well it's Wednesday again, time for me to hop on the scale and see if my efforts this week have paid off. I was really excited about this weigh in because I had another really good week -- lots of activity points, stayed on plan every day, exercised my willpower, etc. I even had a dream just before waking up that I was trying to weigh in, but I couldn't get the scale to work. Then all these little children were around me trying to read the numbers on the scale and then I couldn't see over their heads. Then when I could finally see it, the scale said I was down like 15 pounds. Too bad it was only a dream.

In the real world, I only had a small loss this week of .4. I was really hoping for at least another pound, but I will take it. The last 4 weeks, I've lost a total of 4 pounds so that does average out to a pound a week. Right on track. Hopefully, next week I'll get another good drop!!

Gain/Loss Since Last Wednesday = -.4
Total Loss = -17.8

What I did well this week:
-I was super motivated and tracked EVERY day
-I earned 37 activity points! (About 10 miles of hiking/walking/running, a REALLY hard kickboxing class, 2 P90X DVD workouts)
-I showed some great self control. (Think Papa Gino's at a get together and I didn't even grab a slice. I turned my back to the pizza and didn't walk into kitchen!)

What I could have done better this week:
-I'm still not really committed to doing P90X 6 times a week. I think I will continue to just do two a week (when my workout buddy Leah comes over!) and keep working on the Couch to 5K running program in the mornings. When it comes down to it, I rather be outside.

Other Stats:
So I have a really fancy "Biggest Loser" scale that also calculates Body Fat %, Body Water %, Muscle Mass, and BMI. I don't always track these things, but in general I've noticed that my stats are getting better! Since I was only down .4 this week, I needed some other form of accomplishment so I compared my stats this morning to the first time I bought the scale in June 2010. After digging out the spreadsheet, I was pleasantly surprised by my findings:

Body Fat % -- Down 4%
Body Water % -- Up 1.5%
(The total body water percentage for women should be around 51% and for men 55%, I'm currently too low because I have too much fat!)
Muscle Mass -- Up 1%
BMI - Down 2.3

So this helps me to realize that I really am making progress to a healthier me. Slowly, but surely.

Here's to another great week full of motivation and willpower!



The Couch to 5K Running Plan

4/11/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Happy Monday!

For years, I have wanted to learn how to run. To be one of those women who graciously made her way down the road, in her cute workout clothes, pony-tail flopping in the air, and the beads of sweat glistening beautifully on her skin.Yea, I want to be her.

In the past, I've researched running plans, bought running shoes, but have not stuck with it. This time it is going to be different. I have been loving my walks with my walking buddies and I want to continue that. But I REALLY want to start doing the "Couch-to-5K Running Program" in the mornings before work. (Click Here for More Info). Scratch that -- I AM GOING TO START THE 9 WEEK PROGRAM THIS WEEK.

Here's the plan:

Week 1:
Three times this week, I WILL:
Do a brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

I WILL do this Tuesday Morning, Thursday Morning, and Sunday Afternoon.

I WILL blog every Monday to discuss the prior week's results and get pumped for the next week's goals.

My hope is that by telling the world about my plan, it will keep me accountable.

Anybody want to join me in this challenge?


Pizza or no Pizza?

4/06/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Today, I had a real test of willpower.

I just finished blogging the last couple of days on how good I've been on my weight loss journey. I found out yesterday that my company would be ordering Bertucci's for lunch today for a working meeting. Since I knew that I wouldn't be able to get up and bring in my own lunch, I would HAVE to eat some Bertucci's. At first I was nervous...ugh, I've been so good! I can't stop now! How can I resist the pizza?

So early this morning, I found out that one large slice of Bertucci's cheese pizza is about 7 points. Not bad. I could eat one.

Would I be able to stop at one? That was the true question.

In case I decided I wanted to eat two, I ate a filling, but low point breakfast (No Fat Cottage Cheese + Sliced Banana + Cinnamon = 2 yummy pts). As the clocked ticked to 12pm, I literally started to get nervous. I could smell the pizza once the delivery guy came down the tummy was grumbling...ahhh, this is going to be bad!

LUCKILY, they also ordered a HUGE garden salad. YES, I thought. I piled a whole plate of salad with a tiny bit of italian dressing (i'm assuming full fat) + some grilled chicken that I plucked off the top of a big creamy pasta dish. Thank goodness the chicken was just placed on top and not mixed into the pasta dish. And then I grabbed the smallest slice of pizza I could find.

I ate the salad first so I could fill myself up...I felt so empowered. I was really doing good. Then I ate that slice of  pizza and I REALLY enjoyed it. I felt full. I didn't need more. I just  finished tracking my meal and my guestimate is that I consumed about 12 points. A lot for lunch, but NOT bad at all considering my 2 pts breakfast. I still have 15 points left for dinner, which is perfect. Wow, I managed to have pizza for lunch and still stay on plan. I love WW!

And while others went up for 2nd and 3rds ( I was in a room full of 6 men), I stayed in my chair. I was definitely tempted to have another slice, but somehow I found the strength to stay put. And I'm so proud of myself.

"If you think you can do it, or you think you can't do it, You are right."
Henry Ford


*Weigh In Wednesdays - April 6, 2011*

4/06/2011 *Sara-Marie* 2 Comments

Good Morning!

So Wednesdays are my official "weigh in" day for Weight Watchers. I am pleasantly surprised (and so flippin' excited) to say that in 1 week, I am down 2.8 pounds! Woo hoo, that's the most weight I've lost in a week since my first week on WW (which was 4 lbs). I do weigh myself every morning, so I did notice the weight loss over the weekend. On Sunday, I was down 2.4 which prompted my earlier post. I'm so glad that I was able to keep the weight loss through the next couple days and even lose .4 more. This bring my total weight loss to 17.4! :)

Gain/Loss Since Last Wednesday = -2.8
Total Loss = -17.4

What I did well this week:
-I was super motivated and tracked EVERY day
-I earned 27 activity points! (Walked 15.03 miles + 2 P90X DVD workouts)
-We didn't eat out AT ALL this week! (Even though we were tempted many times!)

What I could have done better this week:
-I overindulged a bit at a Saturday afternoon party. There were lots of finger foods and I kept going back to the table! It was like I couldn't control myself! Although, I tried to stick to the fruit display, I did end up eating a brownie, a few crackers with cheese, and I did dunk my fruit in some of the chocolate fondue! Good thing I had walked almost 5 miles that morning!
-I haven't been consistent with the P90X routine. It's supposed to be 6 days a week and some mornings I just couldn't get myself out of bed! Thank goodness I'm still walking with the ladies in the evenings!

Here's to another great week!

Until Next Wednesday,


About a Year Check Point

4/03/2011 *Sara-Marie* 6 Comments

So last year on April 17, 2010, I decided I had had enough of being overweight and I really needed a change in my life. At that point, I joined a new gym, hired a personal trainer and saw some good progress. I felt stronger, I was losing inches, but the weight wasn't coming off as fast I had wanted to. The truth is, I was focusing on the exercise but not as much on the diet.

Over the next couple of months my weight fluctuated -- I would lose a pound, gain a pound, lose a pound, gain a pound, etc.

On September 25th, the love of my life proposed to me and now I had two BIG goals: save money for the wedding of my dreams and make sure I look GREAT on the most important day of my life.

So we had to make some budget choices and I decided that I couldn't afford my personal trainer anymore, but I did join Weight Watches at the end of November so I could at least focus on my diet.

As of this morning, I am down 17 lbs from around this time last year. My first thought was, wow...I failed myself. I wanted to lose 50 lbs in a year and I only managed to lose 17. What a waste of time!

But I decided to change my attitude and instead think, wow...I am 17 pounds LIGHTER than I was last year at this time...that IS a VICTORY! (And definitely not a defeat!)

I feel like now I have all of the tools I need to really keep going and reach my weight loss goals. Weight Watchers is really helping me to keep my diet in control, and my workout buddies are helping me keep active. I know that this new found motivation will really help me start shedding the pounds...and of course fitting into that wedding dress is the top motivator of all!

Lastly, throughout this year I have been taking pictures of myself in the same workout outfit to track my progress. It has really helped me to remember that the scale is not the only measure of progress. My clothes fitting better, my overall appearance, and how I feel is really important too! AND PICTURES DON'T LIE! When I look at the pictures above, I can really tell that this year has not been in vain and that I have started something worthwhile.

Technically, I still have 2 weeks to meet the 1 year mark, so let's see what I can lose in the next 10 days!!!



Part III: Effective Communication

3/31/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

*Nuggets of Wisdom - Part III: Taken from the book The Richest Man Who Ever Lived, by Steven K. Scott. This is by no means an attempt to plagiarize, just taking note of this amazing teaching!*

I haven't had time to post lately, but as I wait for Mark to come out of his LASIK surgery I thought I could continue with the chapters on COMMUNICATION. Sorry if it doesn't format correctly as I'm using email functionality!

Anyway, the significance of communication:

- What we say, and how we say it, can have a life changing impact on others. 

- Your communication can extinguish anger or escalate it. Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turns away wrath but grievous words stir up anger."

- Your communication can wound others or heal them. Proverbs 12:18 "There is he that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health." 

- Your communication can infuse life into a person's spirit. Proverbs 15:4 "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life." 

- Your communication can save a life or take a life. Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love urbanely eat the fruit thereof."

- Your communication can bring delight to others. Proverbs 25:11 "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." 

Solomon's Keys to Communication

1. Speak in such a way that you make others want to listen. (Proverbs 15:2)

2. Learn to become persuasive. (Proverbs 16:23)

3. Listen before speaking. (Proverbs 18:13)

4. Be slow to speak and guard your words carefully. (Proverbs 29:20)

5. Never tear others down - rather build them up! (Proverbs 12:18)

6. Stop while you're ahead. (Proverbs 10:19) 

7. Share genuine wisdom. (Proverbs 10:31)

8. Always speak truthfully. (Proverbs 10:18)

Communication is so much a part of who we are, let's pay more attention on how and what we communicate! 



Nuggets of Wisdom - Part II (Vision & Hope)

3/11/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

*Nuggets of Wisdom - Part II: Taken from the book The Richest Man Who Ever Lived, by Steven K. Scott. This is by no means an attempt to plagiarize, just taking note of this amazing teaching!*

"A VISION is a precise, clearly defined goal with a detailed plan and timetable for achieving that goal." (Page 33)

Proverbs 29:18 - "Where there is no vision, the people perish."

How to Gain a Vision for Your Top Priorities (You'll need a few separate sheets of paper!)
  1. Write a clear and precise description of your most important dreams in any given area.
  2. Create a "Goals Page" for that specific dream. Make a list of the specific, intermediate goals that need to be achieved to fulfill that dream.
  3. Create a page for each goal and label those pages "Goals to Steps" and list the intermediate goal you want to achieve and then list the steps that need to be taken to achieve that goal.
  4. Next, take any complex step in your list of steps that requires the completion of more than on task and create a "Steps to Tasks" page. List the specific tasks that need to be completed to take that step.
  5. The final step in this process is to assign completion dates to each task and step.
MY TOP 5 PRIORITIES: My relationship with God, my marriage, my future children, my family, and my health. (It's interesting how my top 5 priorities didn't include my career!)

"HOPE is a well-founded and confident belief that a specific vision (goal, desire, or promise) will be achieved or fulfilled within a specified amount of time." (Page 42)

Proverbs 13:12 - "Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but desire fulfilled is a tree of life."

"When hope is put off, you lose your emotional energy and your motivation. Your creativity and productivity begin to plummet. You withdraw. Sooner or later, you give up on the vision or dream altogether. Give up too many dreams, and living becomes little more than just getting by." (Page 43)

BUT like Proverbs 13:12 says, "desire fulfilled is a tree of life!"

Our power source should be vision and our fuel should be hope!


Nuggets of Wisdom - Part I (DILIGENCE)

3/11/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

*Nuggets of Wisdom - Part I: Taken from the book The Richest Man Who Ever Lived, by Steven K. Scott. This is by no means an attempt to plagiarize, just taking note of this amazing teaching!*


"Diligence is a learnable skill that combines: creative persistence, a smart-working effort rightly planned and rightly performed in a timely, efficient, and effective manner to attain a result that is pure and of the highest quality of excellence." (page 12)

The Rewards of Becoming Truly Diligent

You will gain sure advantage.
  • Proverbs 21:5 - "The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage"
You will be in control of your situation, rather than have the situation control you.
  • Proverbs 12:24 - "The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labor."
You will experience true fulfillment.
  • Proverbs 13:4 - "The soul of the lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich." (As in so contented and fulfilled that you crave nothing)
You will attain the respect and admiration of those in authority.
  • Proverbs 22:29 - "Do you see a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings."
Your needs will be satisfied.
  • Proverbs 28:19 - "He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread, but he that follows vain persons is void of understanding."
You will experience ever-increasing success.
  • Proverbs 13:11 - "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished but he that gathers by labor shall increase."
Your efforts will be profitable.
  • Proverbs 14:23 - "In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty."

The Consequences of Not Being Diligent
(Same scriptures! Fascinating how each contains a blessing and a curse!)

You will always be at an insurmountable disadvantage.
  • Proverbs 21:5 - The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage. BUT everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty."
You will be ruled.
  • Proverbs 12:24 - "The hand of the diligent will rule, BUT the slack hand will be put to forced labor."
You will crave, but will find little solace.
  • Proverbs 13:4 - "The soul of the lazy man desires, and has nothing; BUT the soul of the diligent shall be made rich."
You will lack understanding.
  • Proverbs 28:19 - "He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread, BUT he that follows vain persons is void of understanding."
Your wealth and security will dissipate.
  • Proverbs 13:11 - "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished, BUT he that gathers by labor shall increase."
Your efforts will come to nothing.
  • Proverbs 14:23 - "In all labor there is profit, BUT mere talk leads only to poverty."

How can you bring true diligence into every area of your life?
"Solomon gives us four steps that anyone can use to make diligence a part of his or her daily life. However there's one giant roadblock...our inherent tendency to take the path of least resistance, our innate laziness." (page 20)

Recognizing the Root Causes of Laziness

  • Proverbs 21:2 - "Every man's way is right in his own eyes..."
Conceit (Arrogance)
  • Proverbs 26:16 - "The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason..."
Ignorance and Irresponsibility (Foolishness)
  • Proverbs 24:30-31 - "I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down."
Laziness Results in More Laziness
  • Proverbs 20:4 - "The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing."

Solomon's Steps to Bring Diligence into Your Life

Step 1 - Wake Up to Reality
  • Proverbs 6:9-11 - " 'How long will you lie there,' he asks. 'When will you get up from your sleep?...poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man."
Step 2 - Define Your Visions
  • Proverbs 28:19 - "Without a vision, the people perish."
Step 3 - Effectively Partner
  • Proverbs 15:22 - "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed."
Step 4 - Pursue Wisdom; Build Your Life Upon It
  • Proverbs 16:16 - "How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver."
How great is this advice for every part of our lives? True diligence can help our careers, marriages, relationships, finances, etc!

Back to reading...XOXO


Coincidence? I think not!

3/11/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Good Morning!

So it's been a couple of weeks since the last blog post, but I just had to share some AMAZING nuggets of wisdom that I'm getting from a book I randomly picked up yesterday. Mark and I were driving to PA and stopped somewhere in CT for a break. In the shopping plaza that we pulled into, there was a Borders that was going out of business. Mark suggested that we take a peek and see if we could find any good books for cheap. I rush to the back of the store because I needed to use the restroom (the real
purpose for stopping in the first place!) and on a rather empty (and
messy) shelf there was a book standing perfectly straight up that immediately caught my eye: The Richest Man Who Ever Lived, by Steven K. Scott.

I was intrigued.

It turns out this book is about King Solomon and the Book of Proverbs. The author, who had serious trouble holding a successful job for many years, was given the following challenge:

"There are 31 days in the month, and there are 31 chapters in the biblical Book of Proverbs. Every day, at the start of each day, read the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds to that particular date. Read two chapters on the last day of months that have only 30 days. Do that every day, month after month, and I guarantee that within two years you'll be smarter than all of your bosses. Do it for 5 years, and I'll bet you will become a millionaire."

What an awesome challenge! The author accepted the challenge and it worked! Whenever he followed King Solomon's advice, he became extremely successful (the man's a millionaire now!) and when he acted against the advice in Proverbs, he failed miserably.

The book presents some of the biggest pieces of advice taken directly from the Proverbs and so far it's awesome! Why Proverbs you may ask? Well in case you weren't aware, here's a short summary of who King Solomon was:
*He was appointed King of Israel by his father, David, shortly before David died
*He was only 12 years old!
*He was terrified of ruling Israel because he didn't think the had the wisdom to do so
*God appeared to Solomon and asked him for what he wanted and he asked only for wisdom (1 Kings 3:9)
*Since Solomon didn't ask for riches, wealth, honor, etc, God was pleased with him and gave Solomon more wisdom, knowledge, riches, wealth, and honor than any king before him or any king that come after him.
*In terms of wealth, some have suggested that in today's dollars, Solomon may well have been a trillionaire!
*An even bigger example is when he began to violate the laws of living that he so wisely wrote in Proverbs--when he went against his own advice his success and happiness diminished.

Is it a coincidence that when we follow the same advice that God gave King Solomon to share, we are able to reach true success and happiness in our lives? Is it a coincidence that this book caught my eye during a random potty break in CT?


As I go through the book, I will be sharing some of the nuggets of wisdom on my blog for two reasons: 1.) This is too good to keep to myself and 2.) I think it will help me remember what I read!

I'm also going to take the same challenge that the author was given. I challenge YOU to do the same!



2/24/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments


Today, my coworker came into work with a tub full of homemade chocolate chip cookies. When you're trying to lose weight, that can mean DISASTER! So I contemplated my options and weighed the pros and cons:

Option 1
Kindly say "No, thank-you" when she came around and put the perfectly golden and chocolately goodness directly under my little nose.

I would feel empowered, knowing that I could deny myself the sweet treat and still remain on my eating plan for the day.

I don't get to eat the cookie.
My co-worker might get sad.
I would probably crave it for the rest of the day and then end of splurging on something much worse before bed time.

Option 2
Kindly say "Yes, I'll take 5!"

I would get to enjoy 5 delicious cookies.
My coworker would be happy to know that I trust her baking abilities.

I would totally throw off my eating plan for the rest of the day.
I would most likely feel horrible after I did it.

Option 3
Kindly say, "Yes, I'll have just one and don't let me have any more!"

I would get to savor and truly enjoy one chocolate chip cookie.
I would feel strong and completely in control knowing that I could treat myself (within moderation) and still keep on plan!


Clearly, I chose option 3 and I enjoyed that classic, American baked perfection...completely guilt-free.

Here's to healthy eating for the rest of the day!



Testing out Email Blogging

2/24/2011 *Sara-Marie* 1 Comments

This should be much easier to keep up with if I just have to compose an email and hit send. It also makes it seem LESS like I'm slacking off at work! Shame on me...


"The Lord is fighting for you! So be still!" Exodus 14:14

2/24/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments


Nutritious AND Delicious.

2/23/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

One of my favorite ways to ensure I keep on my healthy eating regime all week long is to make a big batch of yummy (yet healthy!) soup on Sundays and then eat it for lunch (and sometimes dinner!) throughout the rest of the week. It not only saves time and calories, but also money!

This week I made a “Spicy Black Bean Soup” that I found on Weight a few weeks back. Of course I added my own seasonings to enhance the recipe a bit, and it has really been hitting the spot! It’s so filling and a ¾ cup serving is only 3 PointsPlus points. Nice. I’ve also been pairing it with a side of Minute Brown Rice (4 Pts) and a tbsp of 50% reduced fat Cabot Cheddar Cheese (1 Pt). Delish.

The soup is low in fat, HIGH in fiber and protein. Plus each day I eat it, it has also been getting a little bit spicier! And there is evidence that show that spices can raise the metabolic rate by up to 50% for up to 3 hours after you’ve eaten a spicy meal. WOOT. I can use all the help I can get!

I know, you’re thinking: Please S-M, please give us the recipe! So, for all of you cooks out there here is the recipe (foundation of the recipe from with my tweaks:



1-3 Sprays of Cooking Spray

1 medium onion (or about half cup of frozen diced onions – that’s what I used)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 Cans of Goya “Low Sodium” Black Beans, undrained

½ tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 packet of Sazon Goya

1 packet of Goya Ham Concentrate Seasoning

1 heaping tablespoon of Sofrito*

1 ½ cups of fat free broth (chicken, vegetable or beef) –use more if you want a thinner soup

1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilis (about 15 oz)

1 can of sweet yellow corn, drained (about 15 oz)

*Sofrito is a Puerto Rican blend of cilantro, peppers, onions and garlic. We puree the ingredients in huge batches, freeze and then use in every day cooking as needed.


1.) Coat bottom of a large stockpot with cooking spray. Heat to medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, cumin seeds, sofrito, Sazon and ham flavorings. Saute another 1-2 minutes.

2.) Add broth.

3.) While the broth is heating in the pan with the sautéed mixture, take one can of beans and blend on high until smooth. (Use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender). Add blended beans to stockpot and mix.

4.) Repeat step 3 with second can of beans.

5.) Stir third can of beans directly into the stock pot (DO NOT BLEND). Add diced tomatoes w/ green chilies and corn. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Garnish with some fresh cilantro or a tbsp of reduced fat cheddar cheese!