Great Run!

At least one hundred times in the last three years, I’ve bumped into a neighbor in workout clothes and we’ve chatted about our mutual love of running.

Despite this almost daily interaction, we had never run together. I had often thought about suggesting it, but I was intimidated by her fitness level: she regularly competes in triathlons and, despite my Marathon success this past January, my weight gain has really crushed my self confidence.

A few nights ago, after we’d bumped into each other walking our dogs, she told me she planned to do an 8 mile training run Tuesday morning and asked if I’d want to join. I hesitated, embarrassed that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, but then told her I’d love to.

For two nights in a row, I panicked, worried she’d be so much faster than me or that she’d feel like she had to tone down for me to keep up, and I even debated canceling on her. I didn’t want to be that person, though, so when my alarm went off at 4:45am this morning to get ready, I got up, stretched, and put on my running clothes.

I met up with her and her friend, another super fit runner, and I could feel myself getting really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But they were so nice and friendly and excited to run together, I decided I would give it my all and hope for the best.

Nine miles later, we finished as the sun was rising over Lake Baldwin, and I couldn’t believe we were done. We talked the whole time and, except for a quick water stop, we ran the whole route. Because of the high heat and humidity, we committed to a 10:00 minute mile pace; and it felt perfect the entire way.

No pain. No stress. Just a beautiful run and great conversation.

I’m so glad I didn’t cancel, and this gave me the confidence I needed to know that my few extra pounds haven’t diminished my athletic ability or endurance. I can get this weight back off, and I can continue to get stronger and faster at the same time.

I can do this. We can do this.

Bon appetite, my friends!

– Tori


Still Here!

I didn’t post Friday-Sunday, but it wasn’t because I fell off the wagon: I was literally just so exhausted each day from my action-packed weekend, I didn’t have the steam (or motivation) to post!

Friday my grandmother came to spend the day with me to celebrate her 74th birthday. She’s like the perfect combination between a crazy, eccentric German woman and a toddler; she’s brilliant and funny, but if you don’t keep your eye on her, she runs off and eats sand or something.

She loves the beach, so I took her to New Smyrna Beach!


Kidding, kidding, but she does require a lot of energy and attention. She lives alone, so when we’re together she basically pummels me with conversation, which is definitely enjoyable but surprisingly exhausting after a few straight hours.

She’s also a diabetic who refuses to eat right, so I’m constantly aware of what she’s doing, eating, and drinking, making her check her blood sugar and cancelling her order (and getting herself she should be eating) when she turns her head at the restaurant.

Saturday, my husband and I spent the whole day at Disney World and had a blast. We ran around Magic Kingdom all afternoon, and then wrapped up our evening at Epcot. Despite our workout that morning, we still managed to get in an additional 20,000 steps (putting me at almost 38k for the day!) by the time we got home around 11pm. Yeah, needless to say, we crashed hard that night.


On Sunday, we went out to lunch with friends (Vietnamese! Pho is my jam!) and then went to the Orlando City Soccer Game that night.


Yes, I budgeted calories for that Jell-O shot, and it was worth it!

All three days, I managed to control my eating and stay on track, not to mention getting in a hardcore workout every morning!

After a successful weekend, I am going into my new work week back down to 134.2 lbs, down a staggering 7 lbs since Monday last week! I know it’s not realistic or sustainable to lose 7 lbs in one week, and I’m sure much of this is water weight, but it still put me in a great mood this morning and further reinforced my commitment to sticking to this as a lifestyle tweak, not a diet.

Hoping for another great week, and I’ll try to get back to posting daily from this point on, but I make no promises.

~ Tori

February 1-29: It’s DietBet Time!

You guys know I love using technology for tracking my health and fitness. I use MyFitnessPal to log my meals, RunKeeper to track my mileage, Jawbone Up to track my steps, and multiple Paleo apps to search for recipes and ingredients list for new dishes. So, it’s only natural that I would start using Instagram for health and wellness, too!

Now, I try to keep my account on Instagram pretty loose, in then sense that I do not want my profile associated with any one topic. So, instead of using my account to talk about my weight loss or workouts, I tend to post pictures of my puppy, funny gym shirts, and whatever delicious food I’m about to scarf down. However, I absolutely LOVE following people who are dedicated to their journeys, and that’s how I came across @AmyDown100!

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She’s this super cool chick who has managed to shed 100 lbs through healthy diet, exercise, and positive thought. She’s very real: she talks about the good days and the bad, just like I try to do on here. She recently underwent surgery for excess skin removal and, since the recovery period severely limited her exercise, she admits she gained a few pounds back. It’s human, and I love the fact that instead of getting upset or depressed about it, she’s taking charge. How?

With DietBet!

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DietBet is basically the real-life version of putting your money where you mouth is. You pay in $30 to join a pool of other dieters. Ultimately, the goal is to lose 4% (or more) of your body weight in four weeks.

Here’s the best part: it’s not like a tournament where only the top losers win (sounds oxymoronic, but you know what I mean). ANYONE who loses at least 4% of their money back is guaranteed to get back their initial investment ($30), and then they split the “winnings” — aka, the $30 investments of everyone who didn’t lose 4% — with their teammates!

I’ve seen people making $20-30 per DietBet they join — the investment keeps them motivated ($30 is a nice dinner out), and so they follow through with their exercise and healthy eating plans. You’re not limited to being in one DietBet at a time, either. You can join dozens, if you want to, as long as your willing to pay the $30 to get started per bet and you’re committed to working your butt off to ensure you don’t miss your 4% weight loss goal, since you’ll lose the investment for all bets simultaneously!

Amy’s trying to get herself refocused and shed those couple extra pounds that creeped up over the holidays and after her surgery, so she’s hosting her own DietBet challenge, starting February 1st through the 29th!

If you’re already struggling on your resolutions or just need a little extra umph to get you going through the cold months, I strongly suggest you join us on DietBet!

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s lose this winter weight together, and make money while doing it!

Bon appetit!


Combating the Office Job

One of the biggest challenges with having an office job is the 8-10 hours of sitting my body has to endure 5 days per week, 48-50 weeks per year.

Fortunately, I work in an environment where kinetic engagement is encouraged, with most meetings occurring on the move (we walk laps around the lake our building is situated next to) and an open floorplan that encourages us to make our space ours.

My amazing team surprised me on my birthday this year with a balance ball chair for my birthday, which has pretty much become my favorite thing on earth.

IMG_7185It came with a smaller ball, but I happened to have a spare balance ball at home, so I rotate between the smaller and larger depending on what I’m doing throughout the day.

As someone with ADHD, this thing is a lifesaver. The slight bounce keeps my extra energy channeled, and the unstable surface keeps my obliques and lower abs engaged (but not exhausted) throughout the day.

The smaller ball is easier to sit on (it fits the chair perfectly), but doesn’t challenge my core to balance as much, and I have to make an active effort to bounce to feel the effects. The large ball, however, is like sitting on a wild animal, and after a few hours I can feel every muscle in my back, shoulders, and abdominals getting tight and firm.

While this balance ball chair hasn’t helped me resist the office sweets and treats (darn that candy jar!), it has helped me stay focused and do something other than just sit and stagnate for the majority of my day.

Every little step counts, right?

Bon appetit, my friends, and happy bouncing!

~ Tori

DAY ONE: Projected Eating & Food Plan

I figured posting my food plan for the day on here would help me stick to it, so here goes. Please keep in mind that I’m awake 20+ hours per day, so it’s going to look like I eat a LOT (6+ meals per day), but this is unavoidable due to the fact that I can’t survive more than 4 hours without eating SOMETHING.

Breakfast #1 (2am):
– Medium Green Apple (80 calories)
– Cage-Free Hard-Boiled Egg (60 calories)
– Gummy Prenatal Vitamin (20 calories)
– Gummy Biotin Vitamin (15 calories)
– Coffee w/ Light Cream (45 calories) — technically, the cream isn’t Paleo [no dairy permitted], but I haven’t made it to Whole Foods yet this week to pick up the delicious coconut creamer.

P.S. I know it’s absolutely ridiculous that I still eat gummy vitamins at 30 years old, but it’s the only way I stay consistent. Who looks forward to a chalky pill every morning? No one. A delicious, sour-apple flavored vitamin? Yes, please!

Breakfast #2 (4:30am):
– Celery Stalks (25 calories)
– Cucumber Slices (30 calories)

Breakfast #3 (9am):
– Grilled Chicken Breast (110 calories)

Lunch #1 (12pm):
– Broccoli and Kale Trader Joe’s Salad, no dressing (260 calories)

Lunch #2 (3pm):
– Baby Carrots (35 calories)
– Grapes (105 calories)

Dinner #1 (6pm):
– Mango GemWrap (15 calories)
– Spring Mix (15 calories)
– Rotisserie Chicken Deli Meat (60 calories)
– Bolthouse Cilantro Avocado Dressing (20 calories)

Dinner #2 (9pm):
– Pan-fried (with Coconut Spray) Swai (130 calories)
– Steamed Butternut Squash (65 calories)- Garlic Cauliflower (80 calories)

As you can see above, this adds up to about 1,050 calories, so I’m allowing myself a flex/cheat of approximately 150-200 calories to use at my leisure throughout the day. I’m not going to name it here, as I’m not sure what it will be yet! I’m not going to restrict myself on this cheat, with the exception that I’ll try to keep it as close to Paleo as possible: no grain, no dairy, no soy. My bet is that I’ll splurge on the leftover mango I have at home, or maybe steal a piece of two of extra dark chocolate from the office. We shall see!

I’ve struggled for a while to stay under 1,600 calories per day (impulse-eating, not planning out my meals), so I’m hoping this extra diligence and planning will serve to keep my calorie consumption in check!

Monday’s Accountability Report: Back on the Wagon

OK, I got the pity party out of my system. If you read my earlier post, you probably realize that I had a rough weekend (over-indulgence that led to a dramatic spike on the scale), which nearly sent me into a spiraling depression this morning.

Thanks to the comforting words of some of my blogging friends (I’m looking at you, Want Need Will and you, Keen Peach), I’ve calmed down and climbed back into the saddle. Fitness and wellness is a journey and not a destination, right? I’ll continue to take this one day at a time.

I’ve been mostly good today, with just a little bit of chocolate (seriously, I can’t make it more than 12 hours without SOMETHING chocolatey) and under 1,400 calories consumed.

I had a substantial amount of homework to do in prep for class tomorrow, so I had a window of under 90 minutes to workout (including travel time to and from the gym). With that in mind, I decided to max out on the Stairmaster, doing 60 minutes all out, ranging from 104 to 128 steps per minute. If you’ve never been on the Stairmaster before, let me assure you: that’s a strenuous pace. I almost fell off when I was doing my 60 second sprints at 128 steps/min.

I’ve decided I’m going to be 100% honest with these accountability reports, so here’s the full summary of food log/ exercise log:

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As you can see …I get a lot of veggies in daily, but portions are my challenge. And I sneak sweets in a bit too often, but it’s really hard to resist in my office setting.

Here’s a glimpse at just some of the tasty food I had today:

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And, just in case you doubted the intensity of my workout, here’s my proof:



Let’s hope the scale is better to me tomorrow.

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Thursday’s Accountability Report

OK, I’m exhausted. EXHAUSTED.

Three hours at the gym this morning, ran a few errands, and then my dinner date cancelled …so I hit the gym with my girlfriend in the evening.



I wasn’t hungry for the majority of the day, but the last half hour I’ve had a serious case of the munchies. I’m trying to cut myself off now before I cancel out my ridiculous hard work!

Hoping this morning’s scale miracle doesn’t bounce back tomorrow!

Bon appetit, my friends!

Wednesday’s Accountability Report

Today was a great day!!

I had a record low weigh-in, had a kick-ass workout, and really enjoyed the first day of my other class. It seems like it’s going to consist of engaging discussion and very interesting content.

I also managed to save my extra calories to have a special treat tonight: a Cadbury Creme egg! For anyone that has followed this blog for a while, you know that these are my favorite. I normally don’t have enough leftover calorie allowance to eat one (they’re between 150-170, depending which flavor), so I really savored it tonight. YUM!

Here’s my report for the day:


Like I said, my workout was awesome: elliptical, weight training, lunges, squats, and the Stairmaster! Tons of calories torched!

On that note, time for some sleep!

Bon appetit, my friends!
– Tori

Tuesday Accountability Report

First day back to class for my MLS, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet (I have homework to do)!

I ate out for lunch today, and thought I made a healthy choice (chicken, apple, walnut and spinach salad), but my calorie-counter said that it packed a bigger punch than I expected: almost 600 calories.

I kept my dinner as light as possible (egg whites scrambled with mushrooms, onions, broccoli, and leftover lean flank steak), and I only had a sugar free jello pudding for dessert, but it still clocked me at close to 1,700 calories for the day. Boo.


Oh well.

Tomorrow is a new day, and I have no plans to eat out tomorrow, so I should be able to adhere to my goal of under 1,300 calories consumed (and over 1,000 burned at the gym).

Bon appetit, my friends!
– Tori

P.S. I know I shouldn’t weigh myself daily, but I was 127.4 (down 0.8 lbs from yesterday) at 7am this morning. I’m hoping today’s overindulgence doesn’t jack that number up; I’d be happy to stay the same! Wish me luck!

Monday Update and Accountability!

So …hopped on the scale this morning to discover a pleasant surprise:


That means I went down -gasp- seven pounds last week!

Granted, I know the vast majority of it was water weight, but it still makes me feel good. Plus, it doesn’t hurt my motivation to stick with it this week!

I ate a little more than planned, but that’s because we had a family dinner and I hate to eat restaurant food. I made the healthiest choice possible (grilled salmon salad, no dressing), but it still adds up.

Here’s my daily summary:


I’m off of work this week (it’s my first week back in school, so I took the week off to get ahead), and with that extra time I want to hit the gym hardcore every day.

Wish me luck!

Bon appetit, my friends!