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


Halo Top and Happiness

Today was the first official weigh-in of my office Weight Loss Challenge.

I am hosting this challenge, not participating, which is an exciting turn of events for me.

There are currently 28 employees participating (out of an office of just 45), so I’ve created three different competitions to keep it fresh:

  • An Individual Competition: based on percentage of weight lost over 13 weeks.
  • A Team Competition: based on percentage of weight loss over 13 weeks for teams of three.
  • A Non-Weight Fitness Competition: based on number of push-ups, length of plank, and length of wall squat endurance.

I must say, having people weigh in (and take measurements – my personal gift to everyone who wanted it) was such an incredibly motivating experience!

Seeing people happy at their first positive successes or, in some cases, helping them understand that the scale staying still does not reflect the nutrition and wellness changes they’re making – which will have profound impact on their health long-term – has helped me put my own struggles in perspective.

My goal is a healthy, long life. Binging and purging won’t get me there.

As my beautiful sister-in-law reminded me last night, I have two gorgeous nieces who love me and I want to be a positive role-model to them in every way. I want them to understand that the number on a scale does NOT define self-worth, and that a truly beautiful soul goes much deeper than a smaller jeans-size. As a woman, I am greater than the sum (or the look) of my parts.

With that being said, I’m leaving work with the plan of enjoying an evening watching Netflix with my husband and enjoying a pint of Halo Top Mint Chip ice cream: don’t worry, I budgeted for it in my eating today:


Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori


I’ve reached the point where I’m accepting the fact that it’s not possible for me to lose weight while balancing two jobs.

Working 18+ hours daily and sleeping less than 3 hours per night is not the recipe for optimum health. I’ve put on about 10 lbs since starting this new crazy life (six weeks ago) and I’ve realized that the best I can do – at the moment – is try to maintain.

I’ve gotten my diet somewhat controlled, averaging 1800 calories per day – an improvement over the 2500+ I was struggling with a few weeks ago. When you don’t sleep, your body compensates by bringing in energy through food. I’ve never had sugar cravings as severe (and as insatiable) as I’ve had the past month.

I finish my contract with the TV studio on October 31st, at which point I will resume a normal, liveable work schedule. Either they will offer me full time (wahoo!) and I will leave my other job… or life returns to normal and I stick to my original position. I know I cannot balance two jobs long term (for the sake of my waistline AND mental health), so I’ve given myself the goal of just surviving the next six weeks without additional weight gain or mental breakdown. I’ll stop stressing the scale (I haven’t weighed in for three days and my hope is to NOT weigh in until after 10/31) and just focus on enjoying the experiences I’m gaining through this hectic schedule.

I think I can do it. Wish me luck!

– Tori


OK. I’m four days in and I’m still breathing!

I wake up every day at 1:45am. I am at Job #1 (dream job) no later than 3am. I work – feverishly – from 3am until 7:30-8am.

Job #2 (love it, too, but #1 is definitely my passion) starts at 9am and goes until 6pm, sometimes as late as 9pm.

Two nights per week, I attend graduate school (from 6:45pm to 9:30pm).

Somewhere in the tiny bit of hours leftover I need to:

  • Sleep. Currently, I’m getting less than 3 hours/night. I’ve been having two diet Rockstars per day, plus the occasional cup of coffee to survive. I’m doing this proactively, though, as I’ve not yet experienced the feeling of exhaustion. I’m just so scared of it hitting me (and knocking me out) that I’m drinking the caffeinated beverages BEFORE the yawns start.
  • Spend time with family/friends. Not doing too well at this right now, but I did just start this new schedule…
  • Eat healthy. I am failing miserably at the moment. Not only am I eating more (I have breakfast around 2am, then again at 5am, then at 8am, etc), I’m also totally binging on sugar at night. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and a propensity to eat at night, but this has been BAD lately. I’m scared to get on the scale.
  • Work out. Surprisingly, I’m not doing too bad at this. I went for a 45 minute walk Monday night (not much, but I had class that night, so I was literally in motion for almost 20 straight hours). I also went Tuesday night (no class) and again today, as I didn’t have to go to Job #2 until 11am. It probably would have been a better idea to take a nap (I’m feeling tired now), but I opted for 75 minutes on the elliptical instead.

I have no idea what’s going on with my appetite. I’m ravenous. Seriously, I can’t stop. Even coworkers have been teasing me: someone called me the “bottomless pit” today after they saw me open my filing cabinet (aka, my pantry) to grab a third snack within the hour.

My only guess is that not sleeping has sent my metabolism into chaos: my body is seeking alternative energy sources, resulting in frenetic eating. Will power can’t even squeak out a word – I’m just inhaling food until I’m so stuffed, it hurts.

I’m off from Job #2 tomorrow, so my goal is to come home at 8am, take a much-needed nap, get in a TREMENDOUS workout (at least 2-3 hours at the gym, all muscle groups!), and spend a little time socializing.

It has been an INCREDIBLE week. I’m having so much fun. I’ve been too excited/happy to even notice the sleep deprivation; really, the only time I feel tired is when I sit down for too long. As long as I keep moving, I’m good.

Life is good, but I have a feeling I’m going to need to find a better balance if I’m going to keep this up for an extended period of time. But I’ll worry about that once I get a nap!

Bon appetit, my friends, and have a great evening!

~ Tori


P.S. Check out who I met today at Job #1:

Djimon Hounsou!

Djimon Hounsou! 🙂

A New Challenge

So, first and foremost, my apologies for my sporadic posts the last few weeks.

I keep thinking of all of these things I want to post and topics to discuss, then get distracted with work (or school, or pets, or life), and the next thing I know, a week has passed! I guess that’s how the world works when you’re official an adult. (If you can’t tell, I’m still quasi-mourning the fact that I’m 30 now.)

As if things weren’t busy enough, starting Monday I face a new challenge: I start a second job.

Yes, on top of my 50 hour/week career, my graduate school classes in the evening, and my social life, I’m taking on an additional 20-25 hours per week.


Once the euphoria of getting the job wore off (it’s a pretty huge and, potentially, life-changing opportunity), the realization that my work day is now going to start at 3:30am and continue through 6pm, followed by 3-4 hours of school, really set in.

How am I going to do this?

While I think I’ve set up a strategy to survive each day and meet my work/school obligations, what happens to my social life? What happens to my health?

Looking over my calendar, a best case scenario would allow me to hit the gym 3-4 days per week — assuming, of course, I even have the energy to go.

And, even if I can make it to the gym these few days, what’s going to happen to my eating habits? Life is about to crank into overdrive, with just a few minutes to spare between commitments. Will I be able to maintain a healthy diet? Will I succumb to the allure of fast food, purely because it’s quick and easily accessible?

Yeah, I’m stressing.

My goal is to commit every Sunday evening to prepping healthy meals I can safely freeze/store to eat the whole week. I’m hoping that a few hours sacrificed from my little free time on Sundays will save me from pounds gained (and major stress) in the long run.

I know the siren call of pastries is going to be a daily temptation at the new job, as I’ve heard they cater breakfast almost every morning. Oh, boy. My hope is a speedy protein shake loaded with ground flax seed (fiber!) will give me strength.

I’m nervous for the road ahead, both for the professional obligations and the potential stress it may cause my personal life, my health/fitness, and my sanity. My hope is that through proactive preparation and a good attitude, I can make this work.

I start Monday. Wish me luck!

On that note, bon appetit my friends!



I don’t exactly know how I did it, but I did.

For those of you that actively follow this blog, you may have noticed the long radio silence the past few weeks. I’ve gone almost 17 days without a post on here. While I do regret the lack of writing activity, the silence was the result of a very good thing: I haven’t been stressing my weight.

For nearly three weeks, my weight (and my body as a whole) has been at the very back of my mind. Perhaps it’s due to my busy work schedule, life stressors, or the heavy graduate class I’m balancing, but the scale, my pant size, and the reflection in the mirror have not been important to me recently.

I’m not used to this freedom. I’m not used to walking beside the scale and not feeling inclined to strip and weigh myself. To weigh myself not once, but twice – because the first time might be wrong. Maybe a third time, just to average the three numbers together and get the most accurate weight. In the last three weeks, I think I have weighed myself four times. Each time, it was out of habit and not need and, in two of the four cases, I didn’t actually look at the number on the screen. I just hopped back off.

In the last three weeks, I’ve enjoyed pizza. Candy. Pasta. Foods I’ve normally considered “forbidden territory” have been peppered into my day-to-day. And guess what? They haven’t destroyed me. I’m still strong and healthy. I’m still a good person. Even if my jeans are a little tighter in the waist, my heart is happy and I’ve allowed myself to live.

This is a freedom I could get used to.

While I’m not saying I plan to drop my regimen and let loose entirely, I think allowing myself a little wiggle room has helped me.

I got on the scale this morning and actually looked at the numbers this time: 133.2.

Three weeks of just letting myself live – exercising when I could, eating well for the most part, and enjoying my indulgences without guilt – and my weight was right about where I started.

Maybe there is something to this 80/20 balance thing after all.

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori