Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What Would Tara Do?

Tara Costa-contestant on season 7 of the Biggest Loser....what an inspiration!  I've mentioned before that we are watching old seasons of the Biggest Loser on Netflix and we are now on Season 7.  Tara Costa is, by far, the most inspirational and motivational contestant that I have seen.  She's definitely my favorite from any season I've watched. 

Tara is such an athlete.  She wins so many of the challenges-even the challenges that are typically dominated by men.  The episode we watched last night was the most motivational.  Since she was clearly the strongest of all the contestants, they viewed her as a threat.  So, there was a challenge where the contestants could take their weight they had lost and give it to other contestants.  They didn't know, at that point, what the second part of the challenge was.  So, many of the contestants gave all of their weight to Tara because they knew that it would be a disadvantage to her for the second part of the challenge.  In fact, it was.  It was quite the disadvantage.  All of the contestants had to pull a car for 1/2 a mile.  Some of the contestants had to pull extra weight because they had weight added to them from other contestants but Tara had to pull an extra 250 + pounds....that was a lot more than most of the other contestants!  She started off kind of slow and I wasn't sure she was going to be able to do it.  But as all of the other contestants started slowing down, she started moving faster!  She was amazing!  She just kept pulling and moving and she ended up winning the challenge for immunity!  What an amazing thing to watch!  After all of the other contestants gave her all of that extra weight, she just never gave up and kept pulling as hard as she could.  This to me, was just a perfect example of endurance and perseverance.  That's basically how Tara approached everything and every challenge on the show. 

It's not surprising that Tara went on after the Biggest Loser to compete in marathons, triathlons, the Ironman and many other competitions.  I know I've used the word amazing several times, but that's what she is.  I will be sad when this season ends because she is so inspiring and she has myself asking, "What can Tara NOT do?!"  She has something inside of her that not everyone has.  That's why I have decided my new mantra will be, "What would Tara do?"  :) 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's Time to Come Clean

You will notice that my weight ticker has been updated.  No, I am not closer to my milestone of losing 100 pounds.  In fact, I am a lot further away from it now.  I couldn't just keep pretending that my weight had stayed the same since August.  It's been an up and down cycle since August.  I will gain some weight and then I am able to get some back off.  Then I gain some more and get some back off.  On and on and on.....the problem is that ever since I saw that 169.8 on the scale back in August, I haven't seen it again since.  The closest I have seen is 173.  Then I went home for the holidays and completely binged out on food.  Now my weight is at 177 (it might be higher after my weigh in on Saturday because I have had a rough week).  I am ready to turn this ship around.  I have been doing a little too much of this sort of thing lately:

(Part of my brunch at Plant)

(R's ice cream birthday cake from the Hop)

(Alien cookie from Rosetta's Kitchen)

But I have a plan and a goal.  One of my New Year's resolutions is to finally hit my 100 pounds lost milestone.  I want to make that happen.  I am so close yet so far away!  Luckily, the gym I am at has a lot of 21 day challenges.  I participated in one through the holiday season and I was very successful.  My goal was to burn at least 3500 calories each week of the challenge.  I was able to burn closer to 5000....yay!  I have discovered that, for me, my problem is with my calorie intake.  My goal for the new 21 day challenge is to eat within my Weight Watchers points everyday for the 21 days of the challenge.  If I go out to eat, I have to figure it out within my points.  If we go over to someone's house or if they come over to our house, I have to figure it out.  That's life and that's how it will be for the rest of my life.  Temptations, challenges and struggles will ALWAYS be there.  I have to figure that part out because if I don't, I will gain weight back.  This is one of the those times that I remember the quote that's something like this:

"It's hard to be healthy/thin and it's hard to be overweight.  You choose your hard." 

I don't want to go back to weighing 265 pounds.  I felt terrible about myself.  I couldn't do half of the things I do now.  I was not happy and healthy.  I want to be healthy and capable of doing many things for the rest of my life.  I don't want sit on the sidelines of my life because I am not healthy enough to participate.  These are the things I need to remember when I am overcome by the desire to snack mindlessly.  I always need to remember where I came from and where I want to be.  

I will clean the slate and start the 21 day challenge begins.  21 straight days of being on plan!  Let's go!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Review: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

With the new year here and so many people blogging about resolutions and starting over on the road to health, I know it's kind of strange that my first post of the new year is a book review.  To be honest, there are so many things I want to post on but I am lacking the motivation to actually put a post together.  I feel like the weekends fly by and time is so limited.  We moved into our new rental house 3-4 weeks ago but are still not completely settled in.  Every weekend is filled with unpacking and getting the house in order.  But enough of that for now.....

Over the holidays, I made a trip home to see my family.  I started reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer on my last trip home and I finished it this trip.  This book was excellent.  I would recommend it to anyone.  I would recommend it to meat eaters, not to convert them to veganism, but to open their eyes to what goes on.  I feel like that's something they owe the animal they are eating.  At least find it in yourself to see the life and death of that animal.  I know everyone is not going to be vegetarian, I am not that naive, but I would like to think that if people knew more about factory farms and the life and death of the animals, they might be more likely to seek out "humane" options.  I say humane in quotations because my opinion is that no meat is humane but, once again, those are my beliefs.  I would be thrilled if the book at least converted someone into a meat eater that is informed about the type of farm they get their meat from.

I never felt like this book was just spitting out facts and figures.  I always felt like there was a story to Foer's writing.  He went to some factory farms and interviewed some of the workers, the owners of the farms and animal rights advocates.  I love that he decided to start working and researching this book after he had a child and he wanted to know what he was feeding his child.  I think that's a really good point.  People always worry about kids getting sick, getting infections, etc. but they often don't think about one of the most fundamental things to our survival and well-being: the food we eat. 

If you have not read this book yet, I definitely recommend it.  I think it will be an eye opener.  I have been a vegan for 6 1/2 years and it still opened my eyes to many things I was not aware of.  Some of the things were painful to read, however, I am very happy I did read the book.  Go and read it!  :)