29 June 2013

DiGi WWWOW Awards 2013: Top 50 Blogger of the Year by Nuffnang Category

8 Lovely Thoughts
Remember the #DGWWWOW Awards 2013 I mentioned a few weeks back? Well, the voting is now closed and they have 50 finalist from all categories.

Shortlisting the top 50 entries in each category are based solely on the most number of votes.

Panel of Judges will evaluate these top 50 shortlisted Potential Winners on June 24 to July 5, 2013 and select the BEST ENTRY for the category based on the criteria mentioned as the ultimate winner.

I want to thank all Her Weight Loss Diary readers, friends and family especially to the SITS Girls Community who voted and sent Her Weight Loss Diary to the top 50. I am so honored! 

Thank you.

The competition is really stiff. I know Her Weight Loss Diary is against popular blogs and I don't have high hopes of winning. But being listed on the Top 50 is accomplishment. I can't be thankful enough. These are the top 50 of Blogger of The Year by Nuffnang category.

  1. Shneep's Corner - Because normal sheep and snails are a little too mainstream!
  2. Akma Omar [dot] com - Lifestyle Blogging, Business, Travel and Opinion Blog
  3. Abstrak Hidup - Aku Mahu Kau Denganku, Pastikan Kau Ada Selalu.
  4. Denai Hati - Hidupkan Untuk Memberi
  5. Miera Maira iz Mumbling Troubling
  6. Secret of Shaila - Be what you are. This is the first step towards becoming better than you are.  
  7. Tinta Masterjhee - Menulis Apa Yang Dirasa, Mencoret Ikhlas Dari Jiwa
  8. www.Pengerindu.com - Bukan Sekadar Weblog Biasa
  9. Blog Pakar Cinta
  10. First Time In My Life - Sometimes you should be nervous 
  11. First Time In My Life - Sometimes you should be nervous
  12. Kucing Hitam - Blog Semanja Kucing...Meow!
  13. Fatin Imani Official Blog - you will end up spending the rest of your LIFE counting and still never catch up. 
  14. HafizRahim - Sharing is caring. 
  15. Zamier Zainuddin - A creative man is motivated by desire to achieve not by desire to beat others. 
  16. Angel Love Soldier - Let's Talk About Soldier 
  17. Earncent.com - Lelaki kacak, Cendol Banting dan Ain Maisarah.
  18. In Piscean's Heart - I could be sloppy, I could be sexy, I could be friendly, I could be fiery!
  19. kroleZONE - Sharing all the things in my head.
  21. ErickJB Days - friendships, romance, love, passion, lovers, desire, life & reality.. 
  22. The Story Began Here - Sharing is caring
  23. Catatan Perjalanan
  24. Syazwani Mazlan Official Blog - Lidah akan menentukan siapa anda
  25. Sarcasm Puh-leeze - For your daily dose of LOLs & Running Man
  26. Dr. Totin Jamain - Biar Kena Maki, Jangan Patients Mati! 
  27. Bolehland.net, the webcomic! - The adventures of two guys in Malaysia, in comics!
  28. The Heaventears Haven - Love life by Living life to its fullest.
  29. Sudden Dimension - Controversial yet making sense, leading a distinct way of living.
  30. Irinenadia - Being married at an early age.
  31. The One & Only Me ♥ - It's all about me, my family, my friends & FOOD! XD
  32. Macikz Konah - Great way for me to express myself, share my feelings and thoughts.
  33. Her Weight Loss Diary - One Pound at One Time
  34. Kisah Emas Putih - Ingat jadi blogger ni senang ke? Ia tak semudah yang anda fikir.. 
  35. This is the miracle of love - I know its hard being a single mother but I'd rather do it by myself!
  36. The Precious Gift - I blog to express not to impress.
  37. Kauluan Express - Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit
  38. Aku Penghibur - Jom Senyum Bersama Aku Penghibur
  39. Aecha Charmy Tries to blog! - Found me how typical am i!!!
  40. Drexar21 - Blog teknologi informasi terkini
  41. cheeChingy - Believer in unicorns, and Pikachu chooses me. Imagination flies when I blog.
  42. Ceritaku Di Mana-Mana Saja - Blog Semua Dalam Satu
  43. Datin Tyka Zorro Malaysia - Cerita dari pengalaman yang pernah dihadapi
  44. Miao&WafuPafu Comic Blog - It's Cuteness Overdose! Telling stories with comical blog posts since 2007.
  45. ClassyPyt by Sarvin Sidhu - Beauty, Fashion, Latest trends - just a click away!
  46. CleverMunkey - A munkey with a tale...
  47. Giorgio Izas : Blog & Aku - Life is like a wheel, sometimes we're at a top and sometimes we're under.
  48. Everything in Asyik Maiburogu - We Are Shaped and Fashioned by What We Love
  49. Silent Confessions - Sometimes, hope, faith and dreams are all you need in life.
  50. His Selfish Machine - If you like music, art, photography, musical theater and food, love, you like me.
Can’t wait until the Blogger of the Year by Nuffnang is announced.

UPDATE 06.07.13 : Winner from every category 
1. Blogger of the Year by Nuffnang - Irene Nadia Marcello
2. Shorty Blogger of the Year by ChurpChurp - Typical Malaysian
3. Fave Entertainment Blog by MSN - Kaki Gosip
4. Fave Tech Head by Lowyat.net - Mr.Piratz
5. Online Shop of the Year by Mudah.my - Pestle & Mortar Clothing
6. Top Online Over-Achiever Under 16 by IACT - Ruth Kezia
7. App of the Year by InMobi - Teratoman for Amok
8. Fave Video of the Year by SAYS - Mat Luthfi
9. Photostory of the Year by Yahoo! - Ronan Tan 'The Color of My Heart'.
10. Breakthrough YouTube Star by Google - Amrita Soon
11. Social Media Gathering of the Year by Malaysia Kini - Cyril Dason of Tweet-up Kuching 2012
12. Fave Makan-makan Expert by Nuffnang - Teo Chee Seng of Epic Makan Time
13. Most Inspiring Internet for Good Award by Innity - Refuge For The Refugees
14. People's Choice Award by DiGi/Astro - MyHazman.com
15. Best of the Best by DiGi/Astro - Mat Luthfi

Congratulations to all winners!

27 June 2013

Challenge: Creating Non-Scale Victory

7 Lovely Thoughts

The scale has stopped moving since April. Ahh, have I mentioned about this before? The scale has stopped moving. I'm not losing any weight, not gaining either. I am around that 74 number. BMI = 31, OBESE. How frustrating is that. I feel that I will never lose weight. But it's not the time to give up yet. Let's talk about Non-Scale Victories. Non-Scale Victory is just as important as losing pounds because they speak to the joys of being human.

Waking up early in the morning is a nightmare. If you noticed, I've mentioned several times in my previous post that I tried to rise early. I usually wake up about half an hour before my daughter have to go to school. And it's no fun if every morning is rush and rush. So when I woke up extra early this morning, I count it as my Non-Scale Victory. I got some exercise and found some quiet time — without interruption and live without noise. Getting up early is still a big deal for me but it's a work in progress.

I'd love to report and celebrate my Non-Scale Victory (NSV) every week because NSV helps keep me focused in the right direction, especially when the scale doesn't budge. This post is a link up to KTJ's NSV link up. For next week, instead of thinking what I have accomplished off scale, I think it's a great idea to create a Non-Scale Victory Challenge.

NSV Challenge #1: Go to bed early and wake up early in the morning
Many successful people get up early to exercise. Knowing how to sleep well, wake up early and have the best morning can boost your life quality.

NSV Challenge #2: 10,000 steps every day
Taking 100,000 steps a day without dietary can prevent any weight increase, although it may not cause weight loss on its own, according to studies.

NSV Challenge #3: Eating clean for 7 Days
  1. Avoid foods that are highly processed, full of preservatives to keep them fresh on a shelf, or colored with dyes. If you don’t buy it, you will be less likely to eat it.
  2. Stop eating at least 2 hours before bed time.
  3. No fast food.
  4. No sugary drinks. This includes artificial sugars in diet drinks like Crystal Light and Diet Coke.  
Lisa of The Dose of Reality shares her NSV last week, and it's too good not to share here because her victory is utterly uplifting.

What are your Non Scale Victories this week? You've certainly made progress, but it isn't necessarily weight-related. Give yourself credit! I'd love to hear about them, however little!

24 June 2013

Debate: Weight Loss Deadline — Yes or No?

17 Lovely Thoughts

This week is week four of five on 35 Day Challenge: Drop One Dress Sizes in 5 Weeks. I have a confession to make. The scale has stop moving since April. My diet is quiet a mess during this challenge and I barely exercise. I hope to produce some weight loss result this final 2 weeks.

Do you make sure you get to a weight loss goal by a certain date? .

I want to be at least 54 kg by my next birthday on November. That means I have to shed at least 20 kg in 4 months. That is a lot of weight! But setting a date for a weight loss goal create a sense of urgency. It's a great motivator and gives me reason to get started, and work hard to achieve the goal. Weight loss deadline is also a measure to say how far I have to go toward reaching that goal.

Birthday goal is not my first deadline this year. To be honest, I have setting several specific weight and date goal before.

Chinese New Year is only 8 weeks away!!! I need to lose at least 10 kg before February!


I have friend's wedding coming up! I need to lose 7 kg by 4 weeks!!!

Sound familiar? I had a great idea, got all excited, envisioned the result but when the date is getting closer, I  would start to slip up more and at the end of the day I failed to meet the deadline. I would feel like a complete failure. I would give up and chuck the whole thing. After some time, I move on and try to meet a new deadline again.

Is deadline necessary for weight loss? Or is it 'you will get there, when you get there' and just be patient and make healthier changes that you can keep forever? Let's debate.

21 June 2013

What's Your Non Scale Victory?

13 Lovely Thoughts
Sorry for the lack of updates. I've became less motivated to blog this few days. In case you've forgotten, There are 3 more days left to vote for HER WEIGHT LOSS DIARY on the DiGi WWWOW Internet For All Awards 2013. I want to thank everyone for your support.

Non-Scale Victory

Remember when I posted back in April that I'm back to square one? Nah, I feel that I'd never be able to lose weight, the scale has stopped moving.

Disappointed. Hopeless. 

But part of me believe that meeting my weight loss goal is still possible. After all, good health isn't always measured on scale. Non Scale Victory is about focusing on positive changes towards weight loss and building on them. This is another week to celebrate Non-Scale Victory. This post is link to KTJ Weighing In.

Last Sunday, hubs and me went to watched Man of Steel with the kids. We never go out to the movies after we have kids. I like to go on date nights, go to the movies every once in a while with my hubby, but I can't because I just hate leaving my kids with someone else. But Man of Steel sounds like a great family movie, so we celebrated Father's Day by watching the movie together. I usually don't bother to eat or drink during a movie because it's only distracting the cinematic experience. But I brought foods with me for the kids because the show time was near meal time, and in case the kids get bored. We have popcorn, hot dog buns and cup corn. This may not be the best Superman movie but the kids enjoyed.

Non Scale Victory: If we're not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn't settle for junk food.

We returned home, and my son asked for another hot dogs. He seemed to really like it, like the best hot dogs he has ever eaten. But then his request struck me. We haven't had hot dogs for almost a month now in our house! Maybe over a month, I don't remember. I realized that I've also stopped buying canned foods. But okay, last night I bought some canned tuna for the first time in 5 months.

My weight loss is maybe slow, but it's not about that weight loss deadline that matters. It's important to just focus on giving my body good food and trying to move more. 


What is your Non-Scale Victory this week? Share in the comments, and let's celebrate.

19 June 2013

Sapna's Weight Loss: How She Started Slimming Down From 86 kg to 53 kg in 12 Months

6 Lovely Thoughts
Sapna Vyas Patel weight loss success story
Stay Wow: Sapna Before and After Her 33 Kg Weight Loss
This is a weight loss story of a girl named Sapna. First off, this blog is NOT run by Sapna. Just like any other weight loss success story on this blog, Sapna's story featured here to inspire you (and me) to never give up, to remind everyone on this weight loss journey that weight loss is all possible if you put your mind in the right frame. I have received many emails dedicated to Sapna. And Sapna has nothing to do with this blog. If you want to contact her, just click her facebook page link available at the bottom of this post. 

Straight to Sapna's amazing weight loss story, she was only 19 years old when someone saw her hanging out with her niece, and 'complimented' her by saying: "Your daughter is very cute." There were also one incident when she was stopped from entering her HSC exam center. The teacher supervising the entry of students told her that parents were not allowed in the center. People had mistaken her to be much older than she was.

That series of shameful moment was her wake up call to lose weight. It was in 2009 when she was 23 when she really began her weight loss journey at 86 kg and lost 33 kg in 12 months - without pills, surgery, or crash dieting. Her waist size reduce from 36" to 24", and she does not experience loose skin or stretch marks after the weight loss. 

How she did it in 12 months? This is Sapna's no-longer-secret to a successful weight loss:

1. She does weight loss math
Sapna follows this weight loss principle: The amount of calories you burn should be more than the calories you take on the same day.

2. Lifestyle changes 
With the same formula, Sapna modified her lifestyle with smart eating and right workout plan. She follows high protein and low carbs diet.

3. Strong determination 
Speaking from experience, Sapna says that without strong willpower, even the best plans will becomes worthless.

Sapna Vyas Patel weight loss success story

And this is the advice from someone who's already success in her weight loss battle. You can have a plan for weight loss, but you need to have the right self-control and discipline to successfully lose the weight.

How to gain self-control for weight loss?

1. Cold Feature VS Hot Features
In the 1960s, Walter Mischel tested four-year-old children for self-control in "The Marshmallow Test": the children were each given a marshmallow and told that they can eat it anytime they want, but if they waited 15 minutes, they would receive another marshmallow. Follow up studies showed that the results correlated well with these children's success levels in later life. A strategy used in the marshmallow test was the focus on "hot" and "cold" features of an object. The children were encouraged to think about the marshmallow's "cold features" such as its shape and texture, possibly comparing it to a cotton ball or a cloud. The "hot features" of the marshmallow would be its sweet, sticky tastiness. These hot features make it more difficult to delay gratification. By focusing on the cool features, the mind is adverted from the appealing aspects of the marshmallow, and self-control is more plausible. 

2. Distraction
Distraction is a surprisingly effective technique to keep you away from temptation and change your mood. For best results, the thing you engage yourself in as a means of distraction should be both absorbing and interesting to you. Doing this thing should either require your full attention or be so absorbing of your attention that you will forget yourself. Watching a movie or TV show, surfing the net, reading a book, listening to energizing music, calling a friend and exercising are some good examples.

3. Competition
When there is no competition, we may lose self-control very easily. Since there are no other players to compare, we may become relaxed and unmotivated. Healthy competition is necessary. If you want to be real good, compete with yourself and beat your last performance.

4. Caffeine Stimulation
Caffeine allows us to simulate changes in our conditioning history. Drink a cup of tea or coffee to simulate a state of wakefulness.

5. Change of scene
Going for a 'change of scene' can remove emotional stimuli and manipulate our emotional conditions. Change the location to come out from contradictory excitement.

6. Reward and Punishment
Setting firm rewards and punishments will associate good self-control with positive feelings and bad decisions with negative feelings. set punishment to stay on track. Why do you keep driver's license with you while driving? You know that if you get caught, the cop will punish you. Will you keep it if it's not compulsory? 

7. Listening to your inner voice
When you feel like quitting, think about why you started. If you give up now.. think how much you will regret it 3 months from now? The pain of commitment is far less than the pain of regret. Listen to your innervoice and do what's right.

8. Meditation
Remember, meditation is for the mind, what food is to the body. It helps in a holistic way, re-energizing you and thereby helping you control your mind. Learn to relax and meditate even while working. Close your eyes for a while and try concentrating on an object. If you can concentrate for some time, you'll be the master of your mind very soon.
From Flab to Fit: Interview in DNA After Hours - Pg3. 

*All pictures are copyright to Sapna Vyas Patel Facebook.
Subscribe to Sapna Vyas Patel's videos.

14 June 2013

I'm the SITS Girls in the Spotlight!

37 Lovely Thoughts
I am so excited! I am "Today's SITS Featured Blogger". I feel so honored.


In blogland, being featured on The SITS Girls is kind of a big deal. The SITS Girls is a blogging community for women and mom that was created to support one another and has grown to 40,000 strong.

Welcome SitsGirls! If this is your first time visiting me I welcome you. I’m so excited that you spend some time to stop by.

1. Who's Behind "Her Diary"
A little introduction to myself, call me Honeybee. I am an obese SAHM with two kids who have been struggling with weight loss for years.

I cannot seem to stick to any diet plan. But this year, I try once again to stick to my commitment to lose weight. I want to be at least 20 kg lighter by my next birthday on November 9,2013.

I want to lose weight to feel better about myself. I want to lose weight to look great in body hugging dress. I want to lose weight so I can "do it" with the lights on. I want to lose weight to set a good example to my kids.

Blogging is a way to hold myself accountable with my commitment to lose weight.

Welcome to My Journey! I appreciate your kind support.
Subcribe to get notified upon new updates.

2. What you might have missed in "Her Diary"
I'm no expert about weight loss. I am still in a journey myself. But whenever I found or being inspired by any weight loss story from other reliable source, I repost here to remind myself and encourage my fellow buddy.

Doses of Motivations 
Diet Plan
Ass-Kicking Workout
Hope-Giving Weight Loss Stories 

3. How to get in touch with "Her Diary"
I don't bite. So don't afraid to get in touch with me. I'd love to make friends. You can subscribe to "Her Diary", or simply say hi here.

Welcome to My Journey! I appreciate your kind support.
Subcribe to get notified upon new updates.

4. What's Her Diary next deal?
DiGi WWWOW Award is looking for someone who voices out in a very distinctive way to share their views, personality, opinions and feelings with the readers. Her Weight Loss Diary is on the running to win the "Blogger of The Year by Nuffnang" category. Show Her Weight Loss Diary some love, and vote. It's simple. You register via Facebook / Twitter / Google+ for access to the voting engine. You only allowed to cast ONE vote ever day until June 23.

I thank you in advance. Please leave your blog url in the comment so I can return to you the love. I enjoy your visit. Thanks The SITS Girls.  

Non Scale Victory: Ditch The White Bread

12 Lovely Thoughts
I'm a carboholic. I'm a huge fan of white bread. Bleached white flour, you know. I love pasta, and sandwiches, I eat rice everyday. For Asian, rice is inescapable! 

Then last week, my mom and me stopped by an organic shop, she bought to herself four loaves of whole grain organic breads, and gave me one. I started to like this whole grain bread ever since. I discovered few interesting things about this new found:

1/ More filling
Whole grain bread is low in fat but high in fibre and complex carbohydrates, which explains why you fill up quicker.

2/ Tastes better 
I love to eat (white) bread with peanut butter. But with whole grain bread, I don't need peanut butter spread anymore. It taste good alone.

3/ Improve bowel health 
If you said "yuck," when I write about bowel movement, you're not alone. Most people don't want to discuss going poop. But bowel movement is an important body function. So it's good to know how to relieve irregularity or constipation. Whole grains diets has help me keep my digestive system regular by promoting normal bowel movements.

Inescapable: Asian culture is big on polished white rice with all their meals

Making the switch from white bread to whole grain bread can be tough. But I've switched to whole grain bread, as opposed to white. I think my kids like white bread if they are given the option, but I want to introduce whole grain bread in my home and influence the whole family practices healthy diet.


This post link to Katie of KTJ Weighing In. Well, that is my one and only very small success this week. What is your Non-Scale Victory this week?

Man and a Genie in a Bottle

13 Lovely Thoughts
This story is not related to weight loss. Neither related to anyone. Posted this for fun.

genie and aladdin
For illustration: Genie and Aladdin. Image from tv-facts.net
An Arab stranded in the desert. He has spent many days crossing the desert without finding a source of water. It gets so bad that his camel dies of thirst. He's crawling through the sands, certain that he has breathed his last, when all of a sudden he sees a shiny object sticking out of the sand several yards ahead of him. He crawls to the object, pulls it out of the sand, and discovers that he has a Manischevitz wine bottle.

It appears that there may be a drop or two left in the bottle, so he unscrews the top and out pops a genie. The amazed man asked if she was going to receive the usual three wishes.

The Genie said, "Nope ... due to inflation, constant downsizing, low wages in third-world countries, and fierce global competition, I can only grant you one wish. So ... what'll it be?"

"I wish I were surrounded by water. I want to be white and have women show their naked butt to welcome me."


The man turned into a toilet bowl in women's toilet.

The moral: Your wish could cost you half a million dollars. Be careful what you wish for.

Let's have a small talk:
If you were stranded on a deserted island but could only have one thing in the world, what would it be?

12 June 2013

My First Blog Award Ever!

10 Lovely Thoughts

My first blog award, the Liebster Award! I am deeply thankful to Dani of That Fitness Chic for nominated me. I feel loved. I would like to apologize for the delay in responding. I was on a one week vacation last week. My second blog award is the DiGi Blog Awards. To be. Oh, let's hope. Show some love and PLEASE VOTE for HER WEIGHT LOSS DIARY.

I have no idea of the origins of the Liebster Blog Award but here are the 6 RULES (copy and paste from Dani's blog):
  1. Acknowledge the blog that nominated you. 
  2. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created. 
  3. List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you believe deserve some recognition. 
  4. Post 11 questions for them to answer 
  5. Notify them that they've been nominated. 
  6. You can't nominate the blog that nominated you.
11 Questions: 

1. What is your favorite food? (I love food)
I love everything about foods. Ice cream, chocolate, pasta, breads, cakes. All fattening foods are irresistible. (and you say, no wonder you're fat.)

2. Where would you travel if you had unlimited funds?
Around the world. I love to visit new places.

3. Who is your biggest inspiration?
My mom. Mom is the strongest person I ever know.

4. What is your favorite musical group right now?
Micheal Learns To Rock and Boyz 2 Men. I love the 90's.

5. What keeps you motivated?
My kids. I want to set a good example for them.

6. What are you looking forward to most this summer?

7. If you had any super power, what would it be?
Power to see the future.

8. What made you start blogging?
I started 3 years ago, but only seriously into it this year to keep myself accountable with my weight loss goal.

9. What do you admire most about yourself?
My cuteness. I am a narcissist, haha.

10. Do you have a lifer slogan? What is it?
I love "Mark 11:23 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them." I live by it.

11. How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa Claus?

I never believed in Santa Claus. :)

Her Weight Loss Diary nominate...
1. Lulu & Daisy
2. J-Ziggy
3. You Shut Your Mouth
4. The Diary of a Fat Mom
5. Fitnasty for Life 
6. A Healthy Makeover
7. The Carb Monster
8. Hollie Runs This
9. Honey, I Shrunk the Mom
10. The Fit Train
11. Living Like a 2 Year Old

Her Weight Loss Diary's Questions:

1. Would you say, you are easy going or serious and determined?

2. Are you willing to admit you sing in the shower and if so, what song do you sing most?

3. What do you do when you get nervous? Do you hid? Get loud? Do something to distract yourself? Change the subject?

4. Do you have any interesting habits? If so please list them. (Examples: suck on a finger, twirl hair, roll tongue, double jointed)

5. What is you favorite thing to eat; vegetables, meat, or equal amounts of both?

6. In social situations, you: find it easy to communicate, or are more of a listener than a speaker.

7. Where would you prefer to spend most of your time if you were on holiday: meeting people, or reading and taking lonely walks.

8. A sentence or two describing a happy memory from your childhood.

9. Something that you learned recently.

10. What’s your sign, and do you believe in horoscopes?

11. Do you reply to people who comment on your blog?

Thank you for taking time to read. I'd like to extend an formal invitation to you all to answer the questions and pass it on. I'd like to learn about all of you! Leave a comment with your link so everyone can read it :)

10 June 2013

Wendy's Weight Loss Success Story You Haven't Read

9 Lovely Thoughts
This is a guest contribution from Wendy, the writer of Daily Dose of Del Signore. 

Over the past six years, I have battled an unhealthy amount of weight gain and all of the problems that go with it. I was depressed, stressed, and feeling like I was 90 years old. I had a wonderful husband and a beautiful little boy, but I was stuck on the sidelines of our life together. My daily heartburn, excruciating back issues, and mood swings left me miserable. I was either hiding behind a camera or watching my son and husband enjoy life together.

There came a time that I was so disgusted and miserable with myself that I decided something had to change. Today, I would like to share my story with you and bring you hope. Weight loss is such a struggle for me and my successes did not come overnight. I have fought to lose every single pound, but there has never been a moment I regretted any of it. It was all worth it because I get to share this part of my life with you today. If I can help one person live a healthier life, it was absolutely worth it to me.

On November 12, 2011 I celebrated my son's second birthday. We spent the day with our families at a local railroad museum. When I got home, I started going through all the pictures. That was the very moment I realized I was done with it all. I was beyond devastated that I was actually balancing my son on my fat rolls in pictures. I felt like I was ruining the pictures of our special moments together.

I began keeping track of my calories with My Fitness Pal. I used it on my iPhone and online. If I went out to eat, I would search the foods to know what I could eat to stay on track. This is one of the most useful tools I have used during my journey. At the beginning of March, I had almost reached my half way mark.

March 1, 2012 my husband took pictures of me with my son. I was so proud of my progress and thrilled to see pictures of me with my son that I didn't cringe over. Little did I know that my weight loss journey would be put on hold the very next day.

March 2, 2012 my whole life was completely turned upside down. The marina my family works for was hit by an EF3 tornado. For the next three weeks, we worked non-stop without a day off. Our lives were filled with clean up efforts and any attempt to return to normal. Friends, I have never been through a more traumatic period in my life. Due to the stress and my insane emotional eating, I didn't officially reach my half way mark until April 20, 2012. I was simply watching everything I ate to lose this weight.

On May 29, 2012 I had plateaued for around 4-5 weeks. I decided to start staggering my calories. I would eat 1200 calories one day, then I would jump up to about 1600 the next. It kept my body from getting used to the same intake each day and I started working out of the plateau.

On August 10, 2012 I found a water that I didn't mind drinking! I shared the apple-cinnamon detox water that I absolutely love. Not only did it make water more tolerable at the time, but I was able to lose weight that crept back up. If you hate water, please give this a try!

On October 1, 2012 I started sharing some of my tips and tricks in my 31 Days to a Better You Series. Looking back now, I believe this is where I really started to notice how much I wanted to inspire others to live healthier lives. I have a huge heart to help people reach a healthier weight and I am so blessed that my blog can do that.

November 12, 2012 found me comparing my year's progression.

January 30, 2012 I finally admitted here what scared me into finally taking my weight loss seriously.

To date I have lost 57.9 pounds. I have 3.6 pounds to lose until I reach my original weight loss goal. My journey will not end there. I have some great fitness goals in mind that I will share soon. On November 12, 2011, I wore a size 18 pair of jeans. I wore XL everything. Actually, I still ran around in some of my maternity clothes... Today, I wear a size 10 comfortably. I wear mostly Mediums with some Smalls now. Just in my pooch area of my belly I have lost 10 whole inches of fat. I am not on any medications and I have no health issues. This is by far the healthiest and happiest I have been in my entire life. I am so blessed to have a second chance to live. I was slowly killing myself with my health problems. When my weight decreased, the health problems disappeared! I have been given the opportunity to love and enjoy my family the way I have always dreamed of. It was worth every single tear and struggle.

My biggest things that help me stay focused:
1. Eat protein!
For breakfast, I eat a protein bar and Greek yogurt to keep me full. I consume 20 grams of protein just for breakfast.

2. Keep your butt out of those fast food places in the beginning!
Get control of your eating and then make healthy choices while dining out. Some places I don't step foot in: Kentucky Fried Chicken (their only veggie is green beans filled with sodium) and Long John Silvers. If you walk in a place to eat that doesn't offer more then two salad meal options, turn your behind around. Not even kidding. When I eat out, I stick with salads unless I go somewhere that has low calorie menu options. Applebee's is fabulous for this!

3. Drink more water
Take your body weight and divide it in half. That is the number of ounces of water per day that you need! 

4. Work your way into a healthier lifestyle by making one change at a time
Let one healthy change become a habit before starting the next. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to overhaul your life overnight. I promise it rarely works and normally doesn't last very long.

5. Keep track of your calories 
I use My Fitness Pal and I love it. You can easily calculate how many calories are in meals at your favorite restaurants. It helps you stay on track! Some large dinner salads can contain more calories that regular menu meals.

6. Take Before and During pictures 
There will be days that you are just so frustrated. If I didn't have these, I might have quit. Take measurements as well. Even though you may be getting smaller, your mind doesn't always accept that fact. Some days I still feel like I'm 60 pounds heavier.

7. Hold yourself accountable by sharing your progress with friends or family
When I shared my progress with my Facebook friends, I got such an overwhelming amount of support.

8. Find a weight loss buddy!
I have made several weight loss blog friends along the way. We cheer each other on. I've also found friends at church that I enjoy going to Zumba with. I don't think I would have tried it on my own (I'm actually a little shy in real life), but I am so glad my friends got hooked on it with me.

9. Eat one big salad a day. Period. 

10. Stick to the whole grains to feel fuller and leave starches and sugars behind. 

You can join me at Daily Dose of Del Signore to read my entire story from the beginning. If you would like support on your own journey, I would love to hear from you! 

* If you have a success story of your own, please share what worked for you. Inspiring story like yours, will help me and other weight loss aspirant to stay focused. Click here to submit.

07 June 2013

Ways to Develop a Healthy Relationship With Food

4 Lovely Thoughts
This is a guest contribution from Katie.

Hi everyone! I'm Katie and I blog over at KTJ Weighing In. I've been overweight my whole life and now I'm finally taking the steps to live a healthier life. I'm so excited that I was asked to guest post here today and share with you all! So thank you Honeybee!

It takes a long time to change your eating habits. I'm a work in progress and slowly but surely I'm learning how to eat again. It feels like I have to reprogram my brain to know what a healthy portion size is and for what foods to avoid. It is a daily struggle, but I know it will definitely be worth it in the end!

Repeating "it's not worth it" when I'm tempted by foods really helps. And when I have that great feeling of accomplishment after seeing a loss on the scale I am happy with those choices because the bad food really isn't worth it.

So, some of what what I'm doing to have a healthier relationship is to track my food. To be aware of my weak areas, to know what I'm eating daily. Work on changing habits a little at a time. Focus on one change a week, then build on that. Packing healthy snacks and having them with me so when temptation hits I can curb that hunger with a healthy alternative. 

I have a lot of weight to lose. It can be overwhelming thinking about how far I have to go, but a good reminder from one of my favorite weight loss books, "Finally Thin" by Kim Bensen is:
"If you are extremely overweight, remember, there is a real blessing to having a lot of weight to lose. Why? By the time you reach your goal, many of the new healthier habits will be ingrained because you've practiced them for a longer period of time. You'll be one step ahead in your maintenance."
There are plenty of diets that can give you a quick fix. Promise that you will lose x pounds in x amount of time, but to really keep it off, to really change your life, you need to change your habits. You need to learn to create a healthier relationship with food!

I'm still learning! I'm not an expert at all, but this is what I'm trying to do. The key is to not change everything at once. Start little and then build on that. One step at a time!

06 June 2013

How to Get Social while Keeping Your Diet Intact

7 Lovely Thoughts
This is a guest contribution from Elizabeth.

how to get social while keeping your diet intact

I'm not going to lie, staying on your plan (whatever that might be) when eating out or going to parties and other social events is not easy. This is something I've always struggled with myself. However, over the last three years of losing more than 150 pounds, I've found a few things that help me.
Good Housekeeping seal of approval

1. Seven ways to Stick to Your Diet When Eating Out
If I know I am going out to eat at a certain restaurant, I look up their nutritional information online before going. This way, I can plan my meal and fit it within my calorie budget for the day. Many restaurants now have that information online. If it's a last minute dinner, you can't pick the restaurant, or you can't find their nutritional information, then there are a few ways I handle this: 
  • I order water or unsweetened tea to drink. You can waste hundreds of calories if you get soda and keep getting refills. 
  • Skip the appetizer or bread. Or, if you do have bread, limit yourself to one piece of bread or one roll. 
  • If you like fish, check out the menu for baked or grilled fish. Avoid things that are fried. 
  • Chicken dishes are often a good choice, or you could also get a small steak (6oz). 
  • Pasta dishes are usually tons of calories and I've seen some that are 1,200 calories per plate, so avoid those. 
  • Order a healthy side, like a steamed vegetable. Avoid loaded baked potatoes or french fries. 
  • If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to 1 glass of wine or beer. Don't get one of those drinks big enough to fill a bathtub. ;)

2. Another Tips to Survive Parties and Social without Sacrificing Your Diet
If it's a special occasion and you do splurge, don't fret. One meal out isn't going to make or break you, so if it's your birthday or other special occasion don't worry about it. Don't use every occasion you eat out as a reason to overindulge though. It's always someone's birthday or anniversary or some holiday. I don't eat out a whole lot, but when I do, these are things that have helped me stay on track.
how to get social while keeping your diet intact
{ source }
When you're attending a party or other function, try to find out what kinds of foods will be there. You can even enter them into your food diary or log (I use Sparkpeople's food tracker) before you go to help you stay on track. If it's an occasion like a wedding, of course let yourself have some cake. Just don't overdo it on drinks. Drink a lot of water to help fill you up.

3. Tips for barbeque season
For occasions like barbeques, you could have a hamburger without the bun to save calories, and just limit your portions of things like macaroni or potato salad. I know it's hard when you're at a picnic and everyone is snarfing down hot dogs like there is no tomorrow, but you can enjoy yourself without overdoing it. What works for me is to make sure I've eaten healthy all day beforehand. If you're starving when you get there, you'll end up eating way more. Sometimes everything looks good, but you know how BBQs are. There is usually SO much food. So, I will let myself have a spoonful of each thing. For instance you could have one tablespoon or so of potato salad, 1 hot dog or hamburger without a bun, a small amount of chips and dip, and a small amount of dessert. Eat a tiny piece of cake and 1 cookie if it's a situation where there are tons of desserts and you'd like to try different ones.

how to get social while keeping your diet intact

If I am asked to bring something, I try to bring something healthy, like a bowl of fruit salad, or a nice green salad. Then I can have a big bowl of fruit or salad to fill me up so I am not as tempted to eat junk. One thing that also works is not hanging out by the food table. Move away when you're done getting your food.

I know these situations are tough, so have a talk with yourself before you go, and remind yourself of why you want to eat healthy. Will overindulging be something you regret the next day? Think of your goals and your health and remind yourself of how unhealthy certain foods are, and that you really don't need them to be happy. You can have your cake and it eat too, you just can't have the appetizer, huge main course, bread, drinks, AND the cake. :) It's all about balance. I hope these tips are helpful. 

About Elizabeth
Elizabeth with 151 lbs difference: 325 lbs vs 174 pounds
Elizabeth is a former overweight person. She'd been on many diets (even slim fast as a child) and lost and gained weight throughout her life. There was a time she really believed she'd never be able to lose weight and would be obese forever. She kept gaining weight after having kids and felt too overwhelmed to deal with it. In 2010, she started tracking her calories at a free website called Sparkpeople, started walking and lost weight. She prooves that it's possible to change when you just decide you will never give up. She blogs and inspire people on The Singing Bird and From Fat to Fit on Facebook.

05 June 2013

The Why's and What's of Overcoming Food Cravings

16 Lovely Thoughts
This is a guest contribution from Carla Bruns.

I know what you want me to say. You want me to say that everything is going to be so easy and once you just do these little tips or tricks then you won’t want those “bad” foods anymore. And you’ll be totally okay after only a week or so. If this were true, I’d also have a pill for you to take that would give you the body of Jennifer Aniston (or insert whatever person’s physique you admire). The truth is, we’re all human, we all have desires and wants that may or may not be good us, and it takes a lot of mental work and willpower. Now before you go away, let’s chat a little.

I believe that there are why’s and what’s that need to be defined before you can get to the how of overcoming food cravings. This mental work that I’m talking about can’t only be conversations you have with yourself in your mind, they need to be written down. Concrete.

So get out your journal and write about WHY you want to change your diet.
Please don’t write “to be healthy” and then think this is over. Healthy is abstract and arbitrary. You must define exactly what healthy means to you. Does it mean walking up and down the stairs comfortably, being able to do CrossFit, getting off of medication? Define your why, concretely, explicitly, thoroughly.

I have a perfectly lovely client who is trying very hard to drop some weight. She often doesn’t complete her food journal. When I asked her why she says because she knows the choices are bad so she doesn’t want to write them down. My question is why are you eating something if you know it’s only going to make you feel “guilty”, “bad” or “regretful”? And this doesn’t just happen when you hire a personal trainer, people have these feelings all the time. I can’t tell you you’re why, you have to figure that out on your own. But once you have that down it’s so much easier to stop eating foods that you know aren’t fueling your body for health, fitness, and success. So what is your why…is it stress, boredom, feeling down?

Now that you know why, WHAT is it?
I’ll use myself as an example. I have been soda free since the beginning of May. It was a hard and tough road. Why? Because I drank soda when I was stressed. On top of that our refrigerator at work is stocked with sodas. And I can help myself. Can you imagine the horror of being a stress eater and having the place that causes you stress opening supplying you with your trigger food? Here’s the amazing thing, now that I’ve not had the soda, I’m actually less stressed! I can’t explain why but certainly not being hyped up on caffeine and sugar has helped. Now what is your trigger food? Just like people with drug problems, eating/drinking that trigger food usually has you moving on to other foods as well. I drank soda. Then ate chips. Stop the soda. Stop the chips.

Now finally, we can get onto what you can do. 
I posed the question on Facebook and here are some great what’s that have helped other people.
  • Think about what you want, and how it's going to affect you once the flavor sensation goes away. 
  • Occupy yourself instead. 
  • Call a friend, go for a jog, read a book, get out of the house & do something meaningful! 
  • Don't buy it! If it's not in the house, it's not in my mouth
  • I give myself permission to have one serving of whatever it is, but only if I wait 30 minutes or until I am truly physically hungry again to have it. 
  • Usually by the time 30 minutes passes I don't want it anymore. 
  • I don't cut out the things that make me happy (which is sweets). I allow myself one sweet a day, but it has to be dark chocolate (which I don't love, which means I won't overindulge and I still get a sweet). 
  • Phase out slowly! 
  • I find that chewing gum helps me avoid temptation. 
  • I don't bring the food into my house. I know I can crush a whole pack of Oreos, so I avoid the aisle at the store and they never make it home. 
  • Don’t go into convenience stores. Pay at the pump! 

My personal what is just keeping on top of my first why and remembering my goals and objectives.

Are you ready to get rid of those cravings now?

About Carla Bruns
Hi! My name is Carla Bruns. I'm a forty something fitness, food, and healthy living blogger over at Real Into. I hold a BS in Psychology, am aFso Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Spencer Pilates Instructor and Brand Ambassador. Real Into follows all my latest obsessions in food, fitness, health, and all things fun. I hope to see you around soon!
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04 June 2013

Should Health Bars Feature In Your Diet Plan?

12 Lovely Thoughts
I'd like to remind all the participant of 35 Days Weight Loss Challenge that this week is a sugar-free week. Hope your Day 3 will go smoothly. I'd be fascinated to know how do you plan your the rest of your week without sugar. Let me know in comments below.  In the meantime, please welcome our guest contributor, Charlotte.

More and more of us who are concerned about our overall health and well being choose to eat so called 'healthy' foods and snacks.

Health Bars for Weight Loss?

However, while we perceive many of these as being the healthy choice, most of them are no more than cleverly packaged and well advertised and promoted gimmicks with no real benefits in terms of health or nutrition.

The Facts About Your Cereal Bar
One of the most popular 'health' foods is the cereal bar, tracker bar or power bar. Often marketed as the perfect snack to replace a missed meal for those on the go or with hectic lifestyles, cereal bars are a convenient and clever way to get vital nutrients - or so the manufacturers would have us believe. In the past, only athletes ate health bars and this was because these original high protein and high fibre snacks had great benefits in terms of quickly replacing lost energy and aiding the levelling off of lactic acids and blood sugars following extreme exercise. 

However, they were dry and not particularly tasty and while they did a great job, they were only of real interest to serious athletes. The rapid growth of the diet and health food industry over the past few decades meant that health bars were a serious contender for a revamp. It's this reworking of the original health bar formula which causes concern today. Far removed from the original health bars consumed by athletes, today's health bar is far tastier and comes in a variety of flavours and options. It's also much more pleasant to eat, a lot moister and chewier than the originals. What could possibly be the harm in that you may wonder?

Exposed - The Unhealthy Bar 
Manufacturers rightly identified a gap in the market and were fast to capitalise on it. More of us have busy lives and less time to prepare foods and meals, so health bars were touted as the ideal meal replacement and snack bar. Some are even said to aid with weight loss. However, it's highly unlikely that any of the popular makes of health bar available now would have any effect on weight loss considering the ingredients, high calorie count and hidden extras that they contain. You may think that because the label doesn't include sugar that you're choosing a healthy alternative to breakfast. Sugar comes in many forms and glucose and dextrose are just a couple which appear regularly in the list of ingredients on the labels of the major brands of bar. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are just as detrimental when it comes to health and nutrition. These ingredients all add a sweetness that makes us enjoy these so called healthy snacks, but more importantly in the eyes of the manufacturer, it keeps us coming back for more.

More Astonishing Facts 
Sadly, it's the manufacturers and advertisers who are the real winners in the so called healthy foods market. Take one of the popular 'multigrain breakfast bars' for example, the makers describe it as deliciously chewy, yet it's a wholegrain cereal bar. It's also packed with pecans and 'drizzled' in 'sweet' maple syrup. The vast range of flavour combinations, even chocolate chip in some cases, and the new chewy texture makes these 'health bars' so far removed from the original, high protein bar which athletes used to enjoy. The chewiness makes these snack bars easy to eat and the sweet, exciting flavours means that it's easy for our taste buds to succumb to them . However, the nutritional benefits are dubious to say the least.

One needs to be rigorous when checking the ingredients of food whether it's health bars, snacks or readymade meals. SaintsandSlimmers is one such organisation that has applied the science to dieting and aims to provide personalised and structured diet plans and a range of products and bundles that won't compromise your nutritional intake. One example is a meal replacement that can be a good substitute for lunch, with an emphasis on protein and fibre that also fulfils the RDA for vitamins and minerals.

Unfortunately the same is true of many of the foods and drinks which we recognise as being 'healthy' or good for us. Even fruit juices, which many of us think are tamper proof, fall short when you examine the facts. Although a juice may be called pomegranate and raspberry, a look at the label reveals high amounts of apple and grape juice in amongst the healthy pomegranate that most of us chose the product for. These juices are included for two reasons. One, they're cheap to produce and two, they're sweet and they make us crave that taste. Most commercial fruit juices are highly sweetened and made from concentrate, try to choose some of the pure juices with no additives available instead.

In short, don't be fooled by the advertising into thinking that the most popular is the best. Overall, nothing beats a wide variety of good, fresh foods. Simply reducing your portions is a good springboard to start shifting that weight.

About Charlotte
Charlotte is a qualified nutritionist and writes for Monocore Ltd and SaintsandSlimmers on a number of topics related to weight loss and the human behaviour. 

02 June 2013

35 Day Challenge: Living Sugar-Free on Week 1

5 Lovely Thoughts

Today embark the first day of my first 35 Day Challenge: Drop One Dress Size in 5 Weeks Without Cardio All the best to buddies from fatsecret whom join this challenge. Are you in? Let's the game begin. Subscribe to Her Weight Loss Diary. You don't want to miss a thing.

Getting Connected with HEWLD
is a fun way to shed pounds for good!

This week's mini challenge is a one week without sugar. The best alternatives to sugar can be found in natural, whole fruits. For example, banana, berries, and apple. You might consider a little honey if you need something sweet added to tea.

Tips for One Week Sugar-free Challenge:
1. Clean your house
It is important to rid your house of sugary foods and beverages. You can typically put sugary foods in a box hidden so I avoid any temptation.

2. Drink lots of water
Whenever you experience an intense bout of sugar cravings, try drinking a glass of water to curb the urge. People who are addicted to high levels of sugar may have difficulty identifying the difference between a sugar craving and thirst.

3. Be prepared with food
Snacking helps control hunger and rein in portion sizes at meals. Prepare or carry healthy snacks and ensure you eat before you go out anywhere.

4. Avoid hidden sugar
Be careful in what you order when going out to dine. Obviously cakes, cookies, pies, puddings, soft drinks, are crossed off the list as being loaded with sugar. Avoid processed foods altogether, you are probably consuming more refined sugars than you realize. Sugar is added to most packaged foods even if they are not sweet.

5. Get out and exercise
Respond your cravings for sugar by engaging in some type of physical activity.

6. Leave your comment on Her Weight Loss Diary 
Leave your supportive comments here and read what others have to say. Support and accountability are important elements in a weight loss challenge. Don't forget to subscribe by email to be notified of any updates to a discussion.
Don't miss a thing!

I am glad you take up the challenge. We are sugar-free for 7 days. Do you have any handy tips to add here? Share your tips in the comments. Good luck, all.

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