Sunday Summary: Day 7

Hello peeps!

I hope you’ve been having a fantastic week. I’ve been busy… but I can’t tell you why. Hopefully I’ll be on a sharing mood soon. :mrgreen:

Today I just wanted to let you know (and keep it on¬†the record) that I’ve made it to Day 7 of JJ Smith’s 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. WOOHOO!

10dayI got to be honest. It’s been a little trying but only a little. I am actually pretty happy with how well I have been doing. For those of you not familiar with this program, it’s a 10-day plan in which every day you have the same smoothie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (there are 10 different smoothies). The smoothies are mainly made of 2-3 cups of dark leafy greens (spinach, spring mix, kale), and fruit. In the morning you start with a cup of detox tea (I use Yogi) and lots of water (or herbal tea) throughout the day. You are also allowed to eat crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots; and nuts and peanuts as long as they are raw and natural; and hard-boiled eggs (random?). I’ve calculated my daily calorie intake at around 1200 (the smoothies take about half of that). It also says that you should have up to three bowel movements a day and to help yourself with Salt Water Flush or MagO7, but I’m not doing this, I’m letting nature do it’s thing.

So, Day 7… I’m down 7.6 lbs. which is great but I had gained about 15 lbs. since my lowest point and although I am super happy I am aware that there is much work yet to be done. But I’m liking this. I can see continuing with 1-2 smoothies a day and yummy salads with protein.

I am usually very skeptical about these programs but this one is pretty doable; mostly, because you do get to eat something in between. I admit that I don’t follow it completely and have “cheated” with avocado and oranges which are not on the list but I don’t think they’ve done much harm. JJ Smith also manages a super encouraging Facebook group that I recommend you check out if you are wondering how other people do on this.

That’s it for now…
Weekly Words of Wisdom


good advice ūüėČ
and thanks for stopping by.


“O” is for Omnivore

OBeing an omnivore, an animal that eats food of both plant and animal origin, is probably the cause of a lot of our problems; certainly a source of one of mine. Being able to eat pretty much anything has expanded our taste buds and driven us to exploit too much of our natural habitat. And it wasn’t enough to eat varied locally but we’ve moved things around and disturbed natural habitats to create a food system that can meet (with detrimental effects) our ever-demanding taste buds. It’s our¬†dilemma¬†as Michael Pollan puts it.

I read this book many years ago. It was an assigned reading in an Environmental Communication class I took one summer. In this class and following Pollan’s lead, each of us tried to follow the production chain of a particular food. I remember I did soy milk from a particular brand and since then have sworn the whole thing off. I was baffled by¬†how difficult it was in the US to really know where our food came from and/or how it had been produced. Since then I try to have more control over my food at home but when eating out (and even sometimes at home) I tend to throw the rule book out. Bad choice.

If Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma seems too long, I recommend that you check out his Food Rules¬†book. Very short and to the point. Here’s the main lesson you’ll find in all his books and a great piece of advice for all of us omnivores:

Eat-Food-GraphicNow, when it comes to meat I have gone vegan and/or vegetarian a few times and when I go back to meat it is rarely red. If I eat red meat it is usually grass fed. I gave up seafood¬†for humanitarian reasons¬†and now it looks like fish is off the table too. You can read the article that convinced me here but I’ll summarize the top reasons: we’re overfishing and depleting our marine wildlife, fish can live for quite a while (upwards of 80 years) so we could be eating really old fish, and finally, most fish eat other fish which brings me to this highlighted point:

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So… I don’t know what most people are up to but this omnivore is going to finish the chicken and fish leftovers that are in my fridge and I’m heading back to vegetarianism, well, let’s say mostly vegetarianism. Seafood is definitely off the menu but I may partake in free-range¬†chicken and/or grass-fed red meat every now and then.

Oh, sushi… I already miss you so much.

A New Dietbet: Because everything that goes up…

… must come down. HOLY COW peeps! I went up four pounds since my last weigh-in. Boys and girls, this is what happens when you EAT ALL THE FOOD and then some. So… new game plan. Well, really more like back to the game plan with slight modifications.

This morning I got up and faced the scale, took my “before” pictures, and submitted my official weigh-in to start a new Dietbet.

Screen shot 2015-01-21 at 3.52.31 PMThis will be my third Dietbet… third time’s the charm, right? I did my first Dietbet Transformer (that’s a 6-month game)¬†from Jan-July 2014 and lost 12.4 lbs falling 6 lbs short of my goal.¬†My second Transformer ran from July ’14-Jan ’15 and I lost 14.8 lbs falling 2.8 lbs short. With this Dietbet I hope to finally make it to goal but more importantly make it out of “obese.”

There are currently over 350 players and the pot is over $45000. Every month each player bets $25, half goes to the monthly pot and half to the final pot. Every month all the winners split the pot evenly but we don’t get paid until the end of the game.¬†Here’s what I have to do to win:

IMG_3593Dietbet encourages a slow-and-steady approach breaking up the goal into 6 rounds. In order to avoid dangerous dieting, each player must have lost at least 6% of their initial weight to qualify for the final round. Here’s my break-up:


‚Äď Round #1 (02/21) 3% = 161.8 lbs.
‚Äď Round #2 (03/21) 6% cumulative = 156.8 lbs.
‚Äď Round #3 (04/21) 8% cumulative¬†= 153.5 lbs.
‚Äď Round #4 (05/21) 9% cumulative¬†= 151.8 lbs.
‚Äď Round #5 (06/21) 10% cumulative¬†= 150.1 lbs.
‚Äď Round #6 (07/21) 10% maintain¬†= 150.1 lbs.

There is still time to sign-up and play if you’re interested. I‚Äôll be posting every month on my progress.

What will I do differently?¬†As I have mentioned before¬†I have spotted a few things I need to work on and others I believe I can tweak to improve my results. Here’s the plan so far:

1. Start with a strong breakfast. My breakfast is usually very light so I am going to start with something more nutritious. Like this.
2. Increase running. I have been really neglecting my runs even though I can definitely see more progress on my weight loss when I run. For starters, I plan to run at least 2 miles twice a week.
3. Lower my carbs. I wouldn’t say that my diet is very carb heavy but I want to¬†lower it a bit more and see what happens.

That’s about it for now. We’ll see how it goes.

PS. The OUTFIELD notecard in my pictures was my secret word provided by Dietbet to submit along with my weigh-in pictures. These are the ones I submitted this morning (without the measurements, of course).


Sunday Summary: I don’t need wheat to bake

Hello peeps!

I just registered for a new Dietbet¬†which will run from January 21st to July 20th. I also have been eating ALL THE FOOD… and skipping breakfast. I’ve been really bad. To top it off, aunt Flo decided to pay me a visit so I am also in all kinds of moods (and as you can read, without shame).

On better news I clocked 8 1/2 hours of exercise this¬†week including a 2-mile run, had two fabulous friend dates, one with an old classmate I hadn’t seen in a while and one with a group of new friends, and I found a fantastic¬†banana bread recipe that I have now modified and made it even healthier. I may never use whole wheat flour… ever… again.

My Healthy Berry Banana Bread:

Preheat oven at 325 F and prepare baking pan with cooking oil spray (I used an 8×4)

1. Mix all dry ingredients: 1 1/4 cup of oatmeal flour (I just put oats in a grinder) + 2 tbs. baking powder.
2. Mash one large banana –¬†better if it is very ripe.
3. Mix all wet ingredients: 1 egg + 1 tbsp olive oil + 2 tbsp vanilla extract + 1/4 cup almond milk.
4. Mix banana and wet ingredients well
5. Mix everything with a spatula and then add a handfull of raspsberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
6. Pour into baking pan and cover with nuts (I used walnuts).

Bake for 35 min.or until toothpick comes out clean. Let sit for 10 min before serving.

As you can imagine it is not a very sweet bread but it is super healthy and great for breakfast. The lesson I learned is that you can make a perfectly moist and yummy banana bread with no wheat… for the win!

Weekly Words of Wisdom


get out there and try something new
and as always, thanks for stopping by ūüėÄ

The Best of 2014

Well… here we are, December 31st 2014. It’s been a really interesting year for sure and I hope I have set the stage to an even more interesting year. Let’s review:


1. Start a New Adventure:¬†I started a few different projects this year but my biggest adventure was this blog. This little blog has opened doors I didn’t know were there. I find that my writing has improved, my social network has grown, and new opportunities have arisen. All good things.

BEST POST IN 2014: Year One: The Weight Loss Chronicles

2.¬†Arrive at Goal Weight:¬†What is “goal weight”? I know a lot of people don’t like the BMI statistic but I find it a good number to start with. I don’t believe it is a specially important number nor does it say a lot when considered alone. But, it’s a good number to start and along with eating well and moving more, a healthy BMI is something I am striving for. On January 1st 2014 I weighed-in at 188 lbs., today I weighed-in at 166 (I’ve been eating out a lot). At 5’1”, my BMI is 31.4 which keeps¬†me in the obese category (will I ever escape?). However, in 2014¬†I managed to lose 22 lbs. and I am super proud of that.

BEST TRANSFORMATION PICTURE 2014: From size 18 to 10

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3. Zumba Everyday: This was a really silly resolution. In reality doing zumba everyday is not going to help me lose weight. I have learned that I have to diversify my workouts and so I have. I mostly did zumba this year but I also took weight training classes, barre, and yoga; I also did some running, took nature walks, and got on the elliptical; every so often I took a kettlebell class or went for a swim.


4. Eat with a Purpose: Another silly resolution. I consider this one accomplished. I pretty much recorded everything I ate all year, missing only a handful of days. I planned ahead when I ate out and learned from all the bad decisions. I am much more aware of what I eat and keep learning more every day.

BEST CHEAT MEAL 2014: Buttermilk Chicken Fried Burger at Porterhouse Grill in Athens. GA.  

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5.¬†Run a Half Marathon:¬†What was I thinking! ūüėÜ This year I completed the Couch to 5K program and ran my first official 5K. I also did a 10K MudRun and completed most of the 36 obstacles. That was amazing! Half marathon? Maybe someday.

BEST RACE 2014: Ultimate Challenge Mud Run

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6. Read More: Initially I wanted to try and read one book a week. I fell way short but I still managed to read more books than I did in 2013. I read 20 books total this year and learned quite a bit. My favorite book reconnected me with my roots and sparked my interest in history.

BEST READ 2014: Bolivar: American Liberator by Marie Arana (my review)

7. Pay off Credit Cards:¬†I managed to pay off one of the two. I am looking forward to paying off my second credit card and destroying it too. No more credit cards for me for a while. This year as I change sizes I’ve become a thrift store regular and I love it. It’s more like treasure hunting and less like shopping which I find a little too much sometimes.

BEST SHOPPING SPREE 2014: $20 Brown Bag Sale

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8.¬†Travel More:¬†This year I have been the most financially challenged I have been in a while. I’ve gotten incredibly creative and when better times come I know I’ll make much better use of the extra cash. I still managed to make a few trips including Washington DC., Athens and Atlanta, GA., Williamsburg, VA., and Savannah, GA.

BEST TRIP 2014: Fitbloggin in Savannah, GA. 

9. Make New Friends: My recently-developed introversion and moving to a new town made it difficult to make new friends but I have managed some. I joined a wonderful Book Club, developed some friendships at the gym, and let my online social network grow.

BEST NEW FRIEND 2014: Come’on ALL OF THEM of course ūüėÄ

10.¬†Volunteer:¬†I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t really made much progress on this resolution. Although I did some volunteer work here and there and was able to make some donations and participate in¬†a few charitable activities I haven’t really committed as I wanted to. A few months back I attended an interest meeting during¬†National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week¬†and I realized that this is what I want to get involved with. Hopefully I will find a group I can work with.

Overall, it’s been a very productive year. I feel I was able to accomplish most of the goals I set out or at least I got them started. Check back tomorrow for my 2015 Resolutions list.

 As we prepare to say goodbye to 2014


Be safe.

How did you do with your resolutions? Preparing any for 2015? Comment away.

Monday: Here we go again…

Hello peeps! How’s your Monday going? Hopefully well. Me? Well… I’m trying not to be disappointed with the scale and focus on the non-scale victories instead (it is so hard). Tomorrow is my official weigh-in day for Dietbet and I’m going to lose the round… AGAIN! ūüė• Fortunately, I have lost enough to qualify for the last round so here we go.

Today I start a 15-day¬†Healthy Holiday Challenge on Facebook that is organized for free by my virtual coach Lucia Targett¬†and it’s a fun way to stay accountable during these tempting times. The rules are pretty simple (click on the image to join):


DAILY POSTS: I love that I have a place to check in everyday without flooding my own page.

THE WORKOUT PLAN:¬†I’m keeping it simple and trying to meet my regular weekly target of 6-10 hours of exercise. This usually means going to the gym at least five days.

EAT CLEAN:¬†I’m pretty good as long as I prepare my meals and avoid eating out. I have a dinner with friends tomorrow and will probably eat out over the weekend but I’ll stick to healthy choices and minimize the outings these next 15 days. I am also lowering my sodium intake. I hope¬†that does the trick.

And of course the most fun: BEING ENCOURAGED AND ENCOURAGING.

Alright! So this is the plan… now let’s make it work. Today I started out with a fruity/nutty breakfast; lunch was black beans, with ground turkey and veggies, half an avocado, and a tablespoon of grated parmesan; and my snack was a handful of almonds with dark chocolate. I’m now heading to the gym for an hour of zumba followed by an hour of barre… my regular Monday workout. Dinner will be protein granola with almond milk and a cup of green tea before bed. That should do it. ūüėÄ

Come back tomorrow for a new Dietbet Update (Round 5).
It’s not going to be pretty but it should be fun.

Blogging 101: What’s in the name


When I first decided to start a blog per the request of a few friends (Maria… wink wink) I turned to my Facebook friends for help.


And so “The Extra Pounds”¬†was born to refer to not only the very real extra pounds that I carry and work hard to get rid of but also the not-so-literal pounds that also weigh me down like my emotional and mental state. When I started I didn’t really think I needed this outlet as much as I do. I thought I would share meal plans, recipes, exercise routines, and the occasional personal insight but eight months in I realize that it is much more. It’s a way to connect with others, to find and be found, to exchange stories. In a way, it’s an anchor. An anchor that has helped me stay on track through the most stubborn plateaus.

I truly believe that without this blog and without the amount of sharing I do on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I would have given up and called it a day. I am sure of that. I wouldn’t care so much about making progress or identifying and overcoming the challenges that come up if I didn’t have the support I have found online.

The tagline was a¬†natural extension to the title. When I think of my extra weight I immediately think how much they take out of my life. I was hiding it all but in truth the extra pounds were hurting me literally and figuratively. I got easily tired so I avoided walking a lot and this limited my outings. I was in pain, tired, and grumpy… who wouldn’t. My extra pounds of flesh and emotional baggage are¬†the bane of my existence.¬†If I don’t get them under control, they will kill me… perhaps not kill me kill me but they will certainly kill the person I want to be.

So far, I’ve shed 60+ lbs off my 5.1 frame and in honor of
Transformation Tuesday
let me show you what that looks like


PS. The picture on the left is from 2009/2010 which is not even my highest (225.4) but I was probably pretty close. I was still wearing these clothes early last year (size 18/XXL). The one on the right is from last week when I officially changed sizes (size 10/M). At 165 lbs. I am hoping to make it to 158 lbs (BMI < 30) by December¬†31st. I declared 2013 the last year I was over 200 lbs and I want to declare 2014 the last year I am obese. Hence the extra work I’m putting in this month.

Thanks for stopping by – Happy Tuesday