Journal Entry – February 24 – 28

February 24 thru 28– Days 50 thru  54

Beta Week Three and Blogilates

In my last post I mentioned a recipe that I got for the banana pancakes and directed you to the Blogilates website with my blogosphere BFF, Cassey Ho!

She is a  fitness professional and has some great YouTube videos on Pilates.  The reason I spent so much time on her site was because of the whole food recipes she had but also because I was in search for help with my abs.  I have come to the understanding that because I am heavy (in particularly heavy in the mid section) I have to burn the fat with the cardio, for sure, but I have to attack the abdominals like a stranger coming into my house uninvited!

She has a 28 day cycle of Pilates workouts that she does, and though I am not doing all of her videos, I have committed to doing her beginner workout and some of her other videos that strengthen the abdominals and back.  Even when I was doing her workout I started to feel the pain in my lower back, but guess what, I got though them better because I got real detailed instruction on what I should be feeling and where.  The lateral breathing exercise she does was my aha moment.  I really was able to use some key body positioning to feel if I was doing it right.

I did it on Sunday before my Focus T25 Stretch video and though I feel like I had more of a workout that day I was VERY happy with how my midsection reacted and felt with her exercises.  I’ve done Pilates before but she goes nice and slow with LOTS of burning repetition that give you more than enough opportunities to get it right 🙂

Quinoa Almond Joy Bars

I made these on Sunday.  This was yummy recipe but I have to let you guys know that the texture is not what it looks like in the picture.  These are very moist with a hot oatmeal mouth feel, but cold, so if that is going to bug you don’t try it.  However, I will say that when reading the reviews, someone said that they used no water, so that may have been a problem.  In that sense it maybe worth it to try it, but keep the water addition to the recipe in mind.

Quinoa Almond Joy Bars - photo by Jennifer Welsh

Quinoa Almond Joy Bars

I offered one to two taste testers, a friend and my father.  My friend had several and enjoyed it, but my father took one bite then another and then kindly placed it back on the plate.  It was a toss-up.

In any case I liked.  It’s a nice alternative to something small and sweet.  Do I wish it was a brownie instead?  OF course I do, but it gets me over the hump and onto the next day without F@#$ing up.  So I LOVE IT!  Click the picture for the recipe if you want to give it a go!

Gamma It Is!

I think.  At least so far it is. I think I will continue with the rest of the Focus T25 series and may do it again if I’m not tired of Shaun T by the end of Gamma.  The weather will be nicer and I may start my running program again which I am looking forward to because right now, I’m already 18.5lbs lighter which will hopefully get me running with better form and a little faster.  Hopefully, by then I will have lost a bit more but this is a good start for that program.  I do have to do something in addition to running though. Mama needs some muscles.

Day 27  –  Feeling Miserable

When I started Focus T25 I prayed for 2 things, 1) not to get sick and 2) not to get injured.  Well, Thursday is a very long day for me.  I teach until 9:30pm.  I was in class with my students and here it comes.  I start feeling “weird.”  I feel my head for warmth.  I get all achy, my head hurts and my stomach isn’t feeling so hot either.

Because of my long day, my meal situation gets a little screwed up.  I take snacks in the hopes that when I go home I’ll have my dinner and sometimes I even take my dinner with me.  This day I missed my dinner altogether.  I don’t know what was happening, but all I did was come home have some vitamin C, some ibuprofen and tea before going straight to bed.  I pray that this was from something I ate or lack thereof and not the flu or something else.  Pray for me y’all.  I’m only 2 weeks fem finishing Beta!!!!!

Pumpkin Smoothie 

So this morning I got up and did my workout.  It’s double day Friday (2 workouts) and even though I am not feeling good, I only had one more day before my rest day, so I really pushed through it.  I did ok, but I felt slower and less “focused” shall we say.  This morning I had a pumpkin smoothie and it was sooooo good.  It gave me some nutrients, energy and was comforting for the NY iceberg we are in at the moment.  I meal literally we are the temperature of and iceberg with wind.  Stay warm y’all – it’s Brick City outside!!!


If you want some comfort check out the recipe above or some other recipes online for the pumpkin smoothie and go for it.  Tomorrow is my results day.  I always look forward to those.  I can’t wait to let you all in on the goodies!

Have a super day!


Journal Entry – February 17 – 23

Hey guys!

I missed my regular Friday blog entry so this one is combined with my results.  I hope you are having a super Sunday!

February 17 thru 23– Days 43 thru 49 

Trouble With the Abdominal

One of the things that I have been having serious trouble with is the ab work.  I don’t feel like I have the proper form.  I get a lot of pain in my lower back as well.  Shaun T says to take a break when you feel pain and I do, but then I don’t feel like I’m getting in a complete workout if I stop. I’m tightening the abs as best I can, and I’m ok for a few of the exercises and then it goes downhill. I’m not taking about the burn from lactic acid in the muscles, I’m talking about the “something is not quite right anymore” kind of pain. 

I try to go back to it but once the pain in my lower back starts it’s impossible to do it.  I’m not giving up though.  I try to stretch in between to give the muscles hurting some relief.  I’ve spoken to a few people and they say the same thing.  Take is slow, slow, slow and modify when possible. With V-holds try to put one foot on the floor and tighten, tighten, tighten.  

Weekly Weigh In

Here are my Beta Week 2 results:

Weight: 1.5 lb loss

Chest: 1/4 lb loss

Waist: 1/4 inch loss

Arm: 1/4 inch loss (L) no change (R)

Thigh: no change (L)  no change (R)

I’m still losing and though I am not discouraged it is a bit discouraging to see the weight loss and inches creep slowly and still not make quite as much sense as I would like.  I guess it’s because I want atypical results.  Because I’m so heavy I think, “I should lose a lot quicker,” but I have to remember I’m older, my weight is stubborn and this is going to be a long journey.

I know I say that all the time and it is basically to remind myself of that as much as to be encouraging to others, but I have my less than positive moments where I’m like WTF?

Truth be told, the journey IS long, but I’m in it and I’m doing it.  It’s one thing to say it and another thing to live it.  I am happy that the weight has consistently gone down over the weeks.  When I look back at my first post in the New Beginnings Journey, I knew that I was looking at .5 to 1.5lbs a week in weight loss and I have had that and some even better weeks. For that I really am happy and grateful!  I’m guess I’m just having a moment of self-pity and doubt.

Enough of that!  Let’s keep it moving…

Banana Pancakes

In my quest to stay on point I am always looking for new recipes.  I tried these banana pancakes.

The ingredients are simple just 1 banana and 2 eggs.  You mix it well (I used a whisk) and then  make them on a griddle or non-stick pan like you would normal pancakes on medium or medium/high heat.  You can use non-stick spray  but I used coconut oil (1 teaspoon) to add more flavor.

Banana Pancakes - Photo by Jennifer Welsh

Banana Pancakes – Photo by Jennifer Welsh

If you need more guidance to make them, you can find a more structured recipe just click the picture.  The entire recipe by itself is about 248 calories.  I chose the recipe here from Blogilates because she has some other good recipes but also some on the go workouts.  Plus she makes me LOL and she is a lot of fun.  I love her!

It was an interesting combination and something different.  I liked it but I didn’t love it.  It was a nice Saturday morning breakfast alternative.  I put a little almond butter on mine instead of syrup so it was nice and protein rich.  Try them and tell me how you like it.  I may try adding a little cinnamon next time.

Three Weeks to Go

My last three weeks of the program, as it is, are approaching and I am starting to think about what exercise I should go to next.  Should I do Shaun T’s Focus T25 again (2nd round)?  Should I go to Insanity (yikes!)?  P90 with Tony Horton (yikes x2)?  I haven’t made any decisions yet, but I should start thinking about it.  Oh, there is also the Gamma Phase.  Those workouts are really scary!  Maybe if I do T25 again and then do Gamma.  I’ll should be ready by then! LOL  It’s all about progression and building up to it.  I’ll let you know what I decide in the end because I surely will be blogging about it!

Page 45 – Dana Marie Bell

Cynful by Dana Marie Bell is the second book in her Halle Shifters Series which I am a fan of.  It’s another explicit book with delicious paranormal tales.  I love it.

So, I figure…page 45 might be delightful!  It reads…

“… safe place to land and a willing ear to listen.”

If I extend my love life to include friends, I would say that this is exactly me and a perfect description.

My Music – Lianne La Havas

The funny thing about Lianne La Havas is that my cousin introduced me to her music via a concert at Webster Hall in New York City last year and I fell in love with her music.  Ever since, I have been following her live performances which are great.  Don’t get me wrong she sounds beautiful on wax as well, but live performances are alway thrilling especially when artists sound really good.

Check her out and buy her music.  She is so worth it.  This is her song “Tease Me” but her up tempo songs are great as well.

Journal Entry – February 15 and 16

February 15 & 16– Days 41 & 42 

Weekly Weigh In 

First Beta Phase Weigh In and here are the results.

Weight: no change

Chest: 1/4 lb loss

Waist: 1/2 inch gain

Arm: no change (L) and 1/4 inch loss (R)

Thigh: 1/4 inch loss (L)  no change (R)

I expected some loss and it appears that I have lost in terms of inches, but this is Beta week one.  The body could be in a bit of shock from the new workout.  I am also suffering from bloating this week, so I am not discouraged.  I’m taking it all in stride.

The Creation of New Habits

As I pass the forty day mark I am really impressed by how I have been able to embrace the new habits.  First thing in the morning when I get up, I do my work out.  I have great workout days and some pretty atrocious ones, but I go back every time to get it done.  This is not the first time that I have been on a program or attempted to lose weight, but I am trying to change my mind and think of things in terms of a way of life.  So, I continue to ask myself, “Is this something that you can do for the rest of your life?”  I ask this question of my nutrition and also of my exercise.  I want these habits to be doable and enjoyable because that is how I want my life to be.  These new habits, I have been able to do for forty days.  This is good stuff.

Snow and Shoveling Extras

I keep having to shovel this snow!  I’m all for the extra strength training, but the snow is stating to really feel oppressive.  We literally have glaciers surrounding us from snow and ice pile up.  New York City is not built for this kind of weather.  The already small streets are dangerously narrow and when you drive down some roads you feel like you are on a roller coaster trying to stay on the tracks.  All I see at the end of this is new tires and wheel alignments for many cars challenging the potholes and ice.  BUT I’m staying positive, you know, up beat and perky about it!  Through the shoveling I get some arm toning, thigh and leg work as well as a bit of cold fresh air and sun (when it makes an appearance).  So though it is a pain in the a$$, I am thankful and grateful for whatever falls from the sky, but man oh man, I can’t wait for Spring.

Journal Entry – February 10 – 14

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!  Today is a day to show your love for your special ones; friends, lovers, husbands, wives, parents, children and the list goes on.  So show your love today and everyday.  xoxo

February 10 & 14– Days 36 & 40 

A Glitch in the Program

I started Beta this week but something I failed to realize was that I was missing TWO videos from my program.  I called Beach Body and they sent the missing videos I needed with no problem, but I had to adjust and switch around the calendar of workouts.  Now, if you know anything about me, it’s that I’m process oriented.  Though this wouldn’t bother most people, it bothered me and I had to really focus and remember that I could still get the workouts in and hopefully do those missing workouts later in the week. I just needed a new plan.  It did take me a minute to get past it though.

I started the workouts and let me tell you they are TOUGH.  I’m using weights now.  Stretchy bands come with the workout, which I tried, but then moved to 5 pound weights and I felt better about some of the moves that required bending or moves lower to the ground.  I really can feel it.  Even though I got a good foundation with Alpha Phase, I am really having to push through these workouts.  I always laugh at my myself when I struggle through because it helps me get past the burn. It’s more calories, right?

My nutrition hasn’t changed.  I’m still sticking to 300-325 calorie meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and 10-150 calorie snacks.

Valentine’s Day

I love chocolate and I love sweets, but guess what?  I’m not having any of that this year for Valentine’s Day.  It helps that I don’t have a boyfriend right now to give me chocolates…lol.  I do have sisters and friends, but they all know what I’m about right now, plus they have boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives, etc, so I won’t see most of them.  So it’s movies and healthy trail mix instead of popcorn for me.  Yes!  Winning!

First Beta Weigh In – What to expect?

I have no idea what to expect from my first week on Beta Phase.  Because I am using weights, I could actually gain weight, which would be ok if I lose some inches.  It’s hard to know because the workouts are so intense now.  So, I’m sure this weigh in will have some surprises.

Journal Entry – February 8 and 9

February 8 & 9– Days 34 & 35 

Weekly Weigh In – Special Edition

Alpha Phase? DONE!  Here are the results for my fifth week:

Weight: 3 lb loss

Chest: no change

Waist: 1 1/2 inch loss??

Arm: 1/2 inch loss (L) and 1/2 inch loss (R)

Thigh: 1/2 inch loss (L)  1/4 inch loss (R)

My 5-Week Summary for Alpha Phase is as follows (Let’s bold them for emphasis, shall we?):

Alpha Weight Totals: 17 lb loss

Alpha Chest Totals: 1/4 inch loss

Alpha Waist Totals: 3 inches loss

Alpha Arm Totals: 1/2 inch (L) 3/4 inch (R) loss

Alpha Thigh Totals: 3/4 (L) 3/4 (R) loss

Wow!! It’s pretty cool to see what the hard work has done over a period of time.  I’m happy with the results, but like I said this is the tip of the iceberg for me and I have long way to go. The inches thing is still tricky but I’ll keep recording it.  Practice makes better.  It is still nice to see success after a period of stagnant weight loss.

Beta Phase Begins

I told you that I was going to watch the Beta Phase videos while I enjoyed that magnanimous sandwich that I talked about in my last entry.  First, let me say that the sandwich was delicious and delightfully messy!  It had a lot of healthy components but also a lot of not so healthy ones.  It was spicy, garlic-y, tangy, creamy, and crunchy.  It was great!  I took it slow and stopped when I had enough.  This is progress.  This is what it looked like.

Karissa Cooney's Spicy Slaw Sandwich Photo by Jennifer Welsh

Karissa Cooney’s Spicy Slaw Sandwich Photo by Jennifer Welsh

I watched the Beta Phase videos and I was like WHHHHAAAAAHHHTT!!???!!  Yeah, this is getting serious and super intense.  When I looked at the moves, I thought to myself, “I am not going to be able to do this!”  Then I think back to the days before I started Alpha and the words I spew sound familiar.  I can do it!  I can do anything I put my mind to! I will get better at it!

I relaxed a bit because I have some anticipation related to the next five weeks and what I could potentially accomplishment.  My daily devotion from Pastor Joel Osteen said something that stuck with me. It read “fear, worry and uncertainty are beneath you.”  I’m going with that. This is the phase that really tests you abilities and forces you to focus.  I’m ready.  I had 5 weeks to get ready.  I’m going for it!

Special Thanks

I’d like to thank our blog mate Carolina at I made your version of the Lasagna Cups.  I know your inspiration started from a Kevin & Amanda recipe, but I truly enjoyed your version.

Carolina's Lasagna Cups - Photo by Jennifer Welsh

Carolina’s Lasagna Cups – Photo by Jennifer Welsh

They were very yummy for only 28o calories a serving.  I added a bit more parsley and a bit more garlic but everything else stayed the same.  Soooo good!

You guys check out her blog.  It is inspiring and helpful, just like we all try to be.

Have a good one.