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Journal Entry – Aug 19 thru 29

Aug 19 thru 31– Days 227 thru  239 (Can you believe it is day 239!?)


Creative Wellness Retreat

I am embarking on a 90 Day Creative Wellness Retreat starting September 1st.  I’m not physically going anywhere, it’s more a way of life and being: foundation, practice and principle.  It’s a challenge in a sense where my focus is achieve some serious goals that I have both physically and mentally and clear the mental clutter.


You ever get to those moments where you have deja vu?  Well, that’s where I am now.  I’ve been here before.  I’ve had success with weight loss, I’ve had my “it’s time to change my life” moments and I never quite understood what exactly is the moment or the even that happens where you just give up.  It’s never a big decision, right?  It’s small, seemingly insignificant behaviors that revert back to bad habits and lack of motivation to keep going.

This is not where I am by any means, BUT I could be and not even know it.  This is why I blog this fitness journey.  It’s as much of an accountability to you as it is to me.  A new 90 Day retreat to focus, schedule and focus on my dreams and goals sounds like perfect timing.

P90x3 Say Whaaaaahhhhttt?

Yeah.  I’m doing it starting September 1st.  Oh jeez!  I’m scared…LOL.  I know I can do it, but it’s like the first day of school with a new teacher.  Will I like him?  Will I get good grades?!!  Will I fail?  Don’t worry!  You’ll be there for every moment of it.

My Feet Hurt

That moment when you realize that you are no longer 19 years old.  I can run, Burpee and jack with the best of them (only for just slightly over 5K), but I feel the pain a lot on some days.  Yay Aspercreme!  For now, that is.  Hopefully, that, some rest and some an anti-inflammatory regimen will help cure all my ills.

WARNING: Temptalicious Food Sites

I was looking at some Labor Day artwork the other day and as luck would have it I stumbled on some food sites that were all about the comfort.  Did I promptly shut down the pages?  Hell no.  I love looking at that stuff and go down memory lane, but it also helps me to get creative and say, how can I make this a healthy option. Sometimes you can’t but it still looks good!  Click the delicious looking cake below, but remember….I did warn you.


And the Winner Is….

…Me!  I did well with my results the week of August 23rd. The thigh is still a tricky measurement so it may be completely right or way off.

Weight: 5 lb (loss)

Waist: 1/2 inch loss

Chest: 1/4 inch loss

Right Arm: 1/4 inch loss

Left Arm: 1/2 inch loss

Right Thigh 3/4 inch loss

Left Thigh : 1 inch loss

This is great momentum that I hope to keep up as I start the next phase of this journey.

Journal Entry – August 12 through 18

Aug 6 thru 18– Days 214 thru  226

Workout Buddy

I am working out with a buddy.  A few actually.  One for the 30 Day Arm and Abs Challenge I’ve been doing and another one on Wednesday mornings.  She’s another coach who is also doing Turbo Fire.  It’s a lot of fun to workout with someone.  It really gets your energy up and keeps you accountable for another person.  I highly suggest it, even if it’s an online workout buddy.

Pre-Workout Tips

I thought this was great when I saw it.  I shared it with my challenge group a few days ago and now I’m sharing it with you.  As they say, “Each one, teach one, reach one.”  I do some of these already as I’m sure you might as well.  Check  it out.

My first Vegan Cake

I took a vegan baking class with my sister at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC and it was great!


What I have come to realize is that the ingredients are a bit more expensive than regular ingredients of course and making the cake is not as complex as the frosting!  Wow!  I think that alone was about a two-hour process.  The cake I made was a vanilla cake which wasn’t my favorite. The chocolate passed the Jen test, but there was an orange one that was off the charts delicious!  I was super impressed.  My sister made a raspberry one which was a close second.  The texture is definitely different and the cake is dense.  I still can’t get over the complexity of the frosting though.  Take a class and try it out for yourself.  I think it’s worth it for anyone, especially with the changing dietary requirements of the people we know.


I maintained  in inches this week, but I did gain a lb.   I’m hoping that’s in muscle.  I added in weights again.  It has been a few weeks since I used hand weights.  Turbo Fire uses using body weight and positioning for body conditioning, though they do use light hand glove type things that I enjoy using.  I’m good with the cardio, but I mentioned that I was missing the weights. So I have made some adjustments and added some alternating days of T25 Gamma Pyramid and Extreme Circuit to shred these muscles.  LOL

There is a jacket I have that I have been dying to wear this Fall.   I have another inch and a half to lose on my arms before I can fit loosely into it.  I will kindly be showing that to you when it happens!  Here are the numbers (or lack there of).

Weight: l lb gain

Waist (in inches): no change

Chest (in inches): no change

Right Arm (in inches): no change

Left Arm (in inches): no change

Right Thigh (loss in inches): no change

Left Thigh (loss in inches): no change

End of the Challenges….

…THAT NEARLY KILLED ME.  The 3o Day Arm Challenge was bad enough, but then the 30 Day Ab Challenge that my and my friend added was RIDICULOUS.  My bum is still aching from doing sit-ups.  and I ended last week Tuesday!  It was serious!  So glad they are over and I hope to NEVER do them again..LOL!  I do not have abs of steel, but I’m sure it helped.  If you ever want to put yourself through the pain, just Google 30 Day Ab Challenge.  There are a bunch of different challenges, like the squat one that I started out with, but these are no joke!

Fresh Corn Cakes with Pulled Pork


This is so delicious that I can’t stand it.  One thing you don’t have to do is make all the corn cakes.  You can freeze the batter or half the recipe.  You may also not be a big fan of pork, have chicken or dare I say tofu or Gardein.  Whatever you pleasure, this is such a sweet and savory explosion in your mouth that I know you are going to love.  So, try it!

Journal Entry July 21 through August 11

July 21 thru Aug 11– Days 198 thru  219

Where Have I Been?

I missed blogging but I have good reason for being MIA.  I attended Romance Writers of America and was very busy getting my books done so that I could be confident when pitching to publishers.  The conference was GREAT!  It was my first one and I am happy to say that it was a successful conference for me.  I was able to meet a lot of people, some amazing first-timers as well and I even met the iconic Nora Roberts and Sylvia Day to name a few.  Here I am below with them and some really handsome cowboys. Super fun times!


They were both exceptionally nice and respectful to us as fans and peers!  I was really happy and felt like I had found my people.  I was truly grateful and blessed to have that experience and meet so many wonderful people who are on the same path.  Unfortunately, my blog posting suffered, but I have even more great news.

New Blog

I have a new blog that I wanted to tell you about.  This one is more specific to my writing career and will also talk about fitness from the perspective of Jen the writer.  One thing about writing is that it is highly sedentary..  You are using your brain muscles, but you body, though alive (especially in romance) is not active.  I realized the impact of not being active and gaining weight quickly and my fitness journey has helped me realize that as a writer I really need to be super active.  It not only helps me keep the pounds off, but it helps me creatively as well.  As writers, we create stories everywhere; in the car, jogging, cleaning, shopping and doing regular things.  Being more active can only help with process.  So I have a new passion to reach out to writers, authors, researchers and editors to be more active.  It works.  My new blog  is under construction:, but I will let you know when it is on the go, but bookmark it!  Yay!  I’m excited.

Workouts and Results

I have been doing my workouts and eating pretty well.  I lost 5 lbs last week but that is after gaining some from my trip where I had less access to the foods I normally prepare at home and I only had time to exercise once on the treadmill and do my Ab and Arm challenge exercises.  Here’s my transformation so far.  I know it’s long overdo.


I have recovered though and I am back on track.  This is an ongoing struggle.  I retook all my measurements using the video that I posted a few weeks back and boy are they different!  I don’t even know how to really deliver the information for you here without screwing it up royally so I am going to start from this new base and report going forward.

Aggressive August Goals

I’d like to lose 12 lbs this month.  I lost 5 then gained 2 so that brings me to 3 lbs toward my goal and 9 more to go. It will be very difficult to do but I think that I can do it.  Let’s face it, 12 lbs is a lot, so if I hit 10 I will be happy with that.  I’m basically trying to pull away from these high numbers.

Thanks for putting up with my absence.  Please bear with me while I try to sort out my new schedule and new demands on my time.  I promise to be more consistent in the coming weeks.

Journal Entry – July 14 through July 20

July 14 thru July 20– Days 191 thru  197

Great Weather

When the weather is great, it is the best time to do some workouts outside without worrying too much about heat exhaustion.  New York has been cruising with some really nice days that are supposed to continue this week so I will be outside trying to get to this 5K doing a full run this week.


I found a really cool video to help with where you should measure for consistency.  I found it after I took my measurements for this week of course, but that’s ok.  My measurements will change somewhat, but it is better to be accurate than not.  You guys know, I have had challenges with measurements.  The Myotape helps loads but this video gave clear ways to get accuracy.  Take a look.

What the…?

Speaking of measurements, I weighted in and I gained another pound. Check it out

Weight: l lb (gain)

Waist (in inches): 1/4  loss

Chest (in inches): no change

Right Arm (in inches): 1/4 lb gain

Left Arm (in inches): 1/2 inch gain

Right Thigh (loss in inches): 1/4 inch gain

Left Thigh (loss in inches): 1/2 inch gain

I lost a smidgen on the waist and other places that I don’t document above, but overall I could have done better.  I’m not too bummed.  I worked my bum off this week and I am very proud of my workout achievements. This is only week three on the new program.  I will persevere!

Live PiYo Class

I took a live PiYo class this weekend with my coach who is a certified instructor for PiYo.  I loved it.  It was challenging, but it was so good.  If you can find a PiYo class locally, then you should try to take it.  It’s for both men and women, athletes and anyone looking to increase their flexibility.

Try This

I have to tell you that the pineapples as a garnish to this (as shown in the picture) is really good!  You can choose an alternative fruit, but the pineapple is a winner.

Spicy Honey Glazed Chicken Breast

If you like fruit with your protein, then this is going to blow your mind.  Click he picture for the recipe.  Enjoy!

Journal Entry – July 6 through July 13

July 6 thru July 13– Days 183 thru  190

Week Two 

This week Chalene introduced a new workout.  Low HIIT 20.  It’s a High Intensity workout where you go hard for one minute.  I LOVE this kind of training because you really can do anything for one minute! The music is great, the moves are easy to follow and you really are in control of the intensity.  I look forward to it.  I also ran this week.  I was able to run for 22 minutes straight, in addition to my regular workouts.

Squat Challenge

A few weeks back I embarked on a 30 Day squat challenge with a friend who was like “do it with me.”  So, I did.  I didn’t take before pics which would have been pretty cool, but I definitely had some lower body changes.  I have a fairly flat booty so I need help in this area.  Haha, so I welcomed the challenge.  By the end, I was up to 250 squats in one day!  It BURNED!  Haha, but it was tough but good and I felt like I accomplished something.  We are starting another challenge. Two in fact: Arms and also Abs.  YIKES!


Umm…Brazil lost and Germany won Germany then went on to win the cup against Argentina.  That’s all I have to say about that.  I’m good.

Biscoff Spread is the Devil…

…BUT it’s so good though!  I don’t even know why I brought it into the house.  It’s like a Costco sized jar of the stuff.


It’s not that it’s horrible, it’s just that for as good as it tastes, it has NO nutritional value.  If it had nuts in it, even if it was fortified with something, anything, I would be able to make a case for it.  It doesn’t.  So this is pure guilty indulgence.  I am putting it in the back of the cabinet.  I need to start enlisting that good cheat meal again. Remember that?  I made that good, good meal after I finished Alpha Cycle of Focus T25?!  That worked well.  I have to bring it back to basics.


Here are my results for this week.  I’ll tell you.  I expected better, but I’m ok with it because I shrank in inches, but I’m ready to push past this weight total that I have been hovering around for a bit.

Weight: l lb (gain)

Waist (in inches): 1/2  loss

Chest (in inches): no change

Right Arm (in inches): 1/4 inch loss

Left Arm (in inches): no change

Right Thigh (loss in inches): 1/2 inch loss

Left Thigh (loss in inches): 1/2 inch loss


Journal Entry – June 26 through July 6

June 26 thru July 6– Days 174 thru  183

New Workout (started on Monday June 30th)

I started a new workout program this week and I must say that it is different from the intensity of a 25 or 30 minute workout.  I think I got a little spoiled doing more in less time.  I understand why.  It’s because I got results doing it that way.  It’s like, “why mess with a good thing right?”


Well, I enjoy change and I love Chalene Johnson.  Everything from her bouncy energy to her jokes and her excitement when “her song” comes on.  Like all the instructors and their jokes, she makes me laugh and I forget about how long I am working out because I am having fun.

Sick in Summer

I didn’t expect to get sick in the summer.  I expected to do my workouts indoors and run in the park.  Instead, I got hit with strep throat (ick), fatigue and a fever on Wednesday!  It really wiped me out too.  I couldn’t run.  I did my Chalene workouts, but really, it was a pathetic effort.  I even did the squats for my 30 day squat challenge.  I know, I’m a warrior.  Haha.  Truthfully, I didn’t want to let my challengers, my readers or myself down.  I worked, but rested when I had to and I am finally starting to feel better even if it takes a while for me to get back to one-hundred percent.

STATurday Results

I haven’t been taking weekly stats besides weight.  I have that stats that I started out with at the very beginning, which I compared to now so I am going to give you a summary.  I will report from this point forward.  Check it out!

Weight Loss Summary: 41.5 lbs. (I lost 1 lb. this week YAY!)

Waist Summary (loss in inches): 4 inches

Chest Summary (loss in inches): 2 1/4

Right Arm Summary (loss in inches): 2 1/5

Left Arm Summary(loss in inches): 2 1/4

Right Thigh Summary (loss in inches): 2 1/2

Left Thigh Summary (loss in inches): 2 1/2

And that’s it!  Have a super good week, make it a good one, stay motivated and  get it done!