Embracing Life! Today Was a GREAT Day!

Have you ever had one of those days when just everything felt 'right'?  When the world seemed to smile down on you and you felt like you rediscovered something you'd lost?  Well... today was that kind of day for me!

I've been struggling with my goals, with staying motivated, with getting out the door and on with things I know I should be doing for the last couple of weeks.  And today, on a grey Saturday when I could have very well stayed curled up in bed when I first woke up, I jumped out from under the covers and hit the ground running!

In the shower I was singing.  I haven't sang in the shower for a LONG time! And I suddenly realized I *was* singing and then truly just grinned about it.  Something inside of me has changed back to how it was last year.  I'm all excited about life again... I'm making right decisions, crossing off To Do items... energized. I'm doing things for me that I know I should be doing and I feel GREAT and excited about this journey I'm on.  :)

I participated in a virtual 6K walk with other bloggers today for the Napa River Rock & Stroll to raise awareness for the Cope Family Center and prevention of child abuse.  Last night, a Twitter friend, Meg Leever (check out her great card designs @LoveMegCards) told me about 8 year old Kerra Wilson who was killed by her stepfather in Nebraska this past week, so I walked in little Kerra's memory today and felt more empowered than I have in a very long time!

Empowered to the point of where I finally decided to tackle a fear I've been ignoring far too long at the gym - the dreaded elliptical trainer! Now, granted, I have gotten on it before... but only for a couple of minutes at a time.  This afternoon, though, when I was finished with the 6K, I just decided - tired out or not - it was time to overcome my fear and "just do it"!  So, I did... I climbed on, read through the different settings, cranked up the tunes on my iPod and mastered the darn thing.  And I am stunned to admit that I actually enjoyed it!  My arms and legs were actually synced up really well, I was NOT uncoordinated and I did NOT fall off!  I was, if I do say so myself, rather graceful on it! *beam*

I will forever be grateful to my ex-trainer, Parker Robinson, who - when I was first meeting with him - told me that we would rediscover the athlete within me on this journey.

That athlete is here again.  She raised her hand and waved at me today. I kind of recognize her!

Life is good!

Dream. Believe. Achieve.
Jan / HealthyLoserGal

Biggest Loser 12: Let the Battle of the Ages Begin!

Tomorrow night is it, friends... the new premier of season 12 of Biggest Loser and there are definite changes in the air!  First of all - as the new promo picture highlights, Jillian Michaels is gone.  (You'd have to be a BL hater or living under a rock to not know this by now! lol)  I, personally, loved Jill and will miss her tough love and borderline sick humor but I'm a big fan of Bob Harper, too, so it will be good to see some continuity in training. 

I'm really excited to see that Dolvett Quince from Atlanta has joined the show.  This guy is the real deal, friends.  He is a trainer who knows what he's doing to motivate and encourage and get people to their goals...and, ahem! He's not too hard on the eyes. ; )  You can follow him on Twitter like I am @Dolvett or on Facebook.

There is all kinds of chatter about Anna Kournikova and how she'll fit in and whether or not she has the credentials to be on Biggest Loser. I'm personally hoping she does a great job and admire her work in helping kids across the US to get moving and active.  Here is a little part of the NBC blurb about her: "As a former World #1 doubles player and #8 singles player, as well as a certified trainer, Kournikova has always made a healthy lifestyle an integral part of her life, and she's honored to have the opportunity to inspire others as part of the upcoming 12th season."  She does, indeed, have training certification, folks!

The contestants I've tweeted with are anxious for tomorrow night's premier.  Some twitter contestants include:   @CJRainville (she's a doll!) @JessicaLimpert (she is, too!) @joemitchell1 @ramonmedeiros50 and @John_Rhode.  Locally, I'll be rooting for Johnny Forger who is 65 and a Boston area realtor.  I'm still trying to figure out whether or not I met him in February at the Boston auditions

I just tweeted with Ali Sweeney (she's returning as host which is wonderful!) and she'll be live tweeting EST tomorrow night, too.  I asked her if she was planning to tweet live and her reply was "Heck, yeah!!" LOL  She's lots of fun! : )

I'm hoping you'll join me tomorrow night from 8-10pm EST for the Twitter party online!  I'll be joining the Mamavation crew for the #BritaChallenge party.  We always have a blast during these two hours and, as is her way, Leah Sedgie (@Bookieboo) has come up with great giveaways that will be happening during the event (just click on the party link to get in on the giveaways)! :)  Other hosts/panelists at the party are some of my favorite bloggers and fitness folks including Carla aka MizFitOnline, Roni Noone, Jenn from FitBottomedGirls, and Tony from TheAntiJared. Fun bunch!

You all know how much I love drinking water, so the Brita tie-in is one I'm happy to support tomorrow night!  Without water, we dehydrate, our bodies shut down and we basically stop losing weight or being healthy.  Drink up, my friends! :)

I love watching Biggest Loser.  I love seeing the inspiring transformations and I love challenging myself Tuesday nights during the two hours of television watching to do something healthy.  I'll be involved in the Twitter party tomorrow night and just want to watch... but next week... who's with me for step aerobics during at least two 15 minute intervals during the show? *grin*

Here's to our health, to finding inspiration to continue our journeys and a toast of good luck to this season's contestants!

Dream. Believe. Achieve!
Jan / HealthyLoserGal

Summer Vegetables' Last Hurrahs

This weekend provided one last golden weekend of summer in my eyes... a chance to turn my face toward the skies, eyes closed and just soak in the sun a tiny bit while out walking.  I also gave myself one last leisurely stroll through one of the local Farmers' Markets (this time in Waltham on Saturday) and stopping by a few of my favorite local, small farm stands.

I came home with delicious urban garden grown sweet corn, farm tomatoes, bulls eye and red beets, and peaches from the Farmers' Market and late season watermelon (complete with deer teeth marks in the outside rhine!), cukes and onions from this summer's favorite find: the 78 year old farmer on the Concord / Bedford line who is deaf as can be but doles out a plentiful pound of veggies and always offers me something free to go home and try since our initial one hour chat back in June.  When I visit with him it is like visiting with farmers from the small town I grew up in of Salem, NY, and I always leave with a smile and a heaping bag full of great, just-picked vegetables.

Tonight I threw together a very quick and easy (and one of my goes-with-everything) salads made with fresh garden tomatoes, sliced onions, fresh corn, avocado, and rinsed black beans (the lone ingredient from a can). The only thing you need to add, and only if you wish to, is the juice from 1/2 lemon and 2 Tbsps of lite Caesar salad dressing to toss into the veggies (and, technically "fruit" since avocado isn't a veggie).  I sometimes add a few pinches of freshly chopped cilantro, too, which gives the salad a nice kick if you'll be eating/serving it the following day.

The beets got the very plain and simple boiling method... and voila! a summer dinner of fresh veggies is complete with plenty of leftovers planned for the work days ahead.  As that famous woman down the road from Lexington used to say, "Bon appetit!".  ; )

Dream. Believe. Achieve.
Jan / HealthyLoserGal