Operation Skinny Jeans: September 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I am beyond excited I got my P90 program in the mail!

I have been waiting for this since June and so far I am not disappointed! My plan is to wet my feet with the workouts for the next week and then start on Monday with my group!

So from what I understand there are two calendars, sweat and sculpt. And each has 3 sections, A, B and C. And each section has 3 workouts. This is starting to sound complicated. Its really not, which I love. And I really think I am going to like the meal plan too. You eat Breakfast, lunch, dinner and a few snacks, and they give you 6 recipes for each (and 18 snacks) so you can literally plug and go. I love that its simple and easy to follow.

Here is a rundown of what is in the box.

And I think my vlogging schedule will be about weekly. I have some fancy ideas but we will have to see how it all goes. Right now my plan is weekly tho. 

And I will be tracking my food with MFP. I have given up resisting, I need to do it. If you want to stalk and judge what I eat, I will be posting my daily totals on IG and you can see my diaries if you friend me. My name on there is operationskinnyjeansjess. 

And don't forget that tomorrow is the first day of the Rocktober Challenge! So if you want to join, here is more about it, and check out Instagram for details on that challenge. 

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Monday, September 29, 2014


Ok I know I was going to talk more about P90 today but I don't have the package yet so its hard to talk about it without having it. I promise I will post about it when I get it!

So instead I am going to talk about motivation. I get asked a lot how I stay motivated, and I have answered "I do it every day." which is right, but I think another part of that is I never stop learning. I have discovered motivation isn't something you just have, its something you have to pursue, actively, every single day. I am not that person that wakes up every morning, sings about the birdies and is always excited about fitness and healthy living. I am not sure that person exists. I am just as unmotivated as everyone else, I just do something about it instead of wallowing in it.

I read. I love reading to learn and personal development has helped me overcome my binge eating. It has also helped me understand more about myself and how fitness and commitment to it isn't just about loving to workout and eat healthy. Its about figuring out what works for you, and doing it with variety, consistency and intensity. Reading personal development is a huge part of staying motivated for me.

I get inspired! I love reading other success stories! I want to know what worked for you because it inspires me! I follow lots of inspirational people on Instagram and Facebook, and I read lots of blogs that keep me going! I love seeing other people succeed. It really motivates me to kick ass!

But something I have learned is that inspiration and motivation aren't the same thing. You can be inspired by other people and things, but you have to internalize it INTO motivation. You can not be motivated by other people, motivation comes from inside. I think a lot of people look to other people to motivate them, but that isn't going to get you anywhere. Motivation comes from inside.

Find something that keeps you going, and do it daily. Consistency will trump feeling motivated when you need it to. But learn how to find motivation in yourself to keep yourself going.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

What's Next

September is almost over, and I am always thinking "what's next." I have always said that when something stops working, or I get bored, I switch it up! I like to keep things interesting so I am always giving 100%. Just over 3 weeks ago I told you all about the 21 Day Fix, and I posted my results on Monday on Facebook, but I thought I would post them here too!

In the 21 days I lost 7.9 lbs. I didn't measure inches, but I will for my next plan.

I struggled a little bit in the last week with the SNAP challenge. I couldn't afford fruit, or nearly enough carbs, so those two containers suffered. But I got in my protein and veggies so it wasn't a complete loss. I also didn't drink Shakeology that last week which left me bloated like the Hindenburg. But I wanted to stay true to the challenge so I gave it up. 

But that is over, and a success in my opinion, so I am on to the next thing. Back in June, when Beachbody announced a new program coming this fall, P90, I knew I wanted to try it. My first dance with Beachbody programs was with P90X3, which I loved and had great results from, but I struggled with a LOT because even the modified moves sometimes were too hard. I just can't do a donkey kick or plyo pushup right now in my journey and I know that held me back. 

But when they announced P90, my eyes got wide, and I knew this was it.  I love Tony Horton, if that wasn't already clear, so the idea that he created a beginners version of P90X, that was all P90 science, but none of the extreme, I knew I could do it, and I knew I could CRUSH it. And once the test group results started coming out, I grew even more excited. Women my size, in the mid 200's were losing 40-50 lbs! In 3 months! I knew that if I stuck to the program, REALLY stuck it out, and did the whole thing, I could have awesome results too. 

So that is my plan. 

It was released on Tuesday, and I bought it that day. It will get here on Monday and thats when I am starting. I am doing a test group with other people starting the 6th, but I want to be a week ahead to prepare everyone for what is coming. I am also going to vlog my way through the program. I want to record it all, and so I am going to do so on video. I think it will be a really cool way to look at my transformation over the next 3 months, and a great accountability source too. I haven't got all that set up yet, so stay tuned. I should have the first one done on Tuesday ish, with what comes in the box and all about the program. 

So yeah! That is my plan! I start Monday and day 90 is New Years eve. 

And as far as running goes, I am easing back into it. I have a 5K plan I am following, and today is "walk a mile" which I know I can handle. I just want to fall back in love with it. No big goals, no races for now, just me and the pavement getting to trust each other again. My next race (whether thats in the next month or year) will be a 5K. I want to RUN a 5K before I move on from there. And like run the entire thing. 

Will I be sharing my meals like I was for a hot minute? No. I mean maybe periodically if I make something delicious or photogenic. But I realized that it wasn't helping me and 80% of the time I would forget to take the picture before I started eating, and nothing is grosser than a picture of a half eaten dinner. It wasn't practical for me. I am going to look at the meal plan that comes with P90 and decide if I want to track via MFP. I am not a huge fan of tracking, but I know it works. So we will see what the program looks like. 

Will I be weighing in every week? Potentially? I have learned never to promise anything because life happens and I just don't know. I don't weigh myself weekly right now. On saturday if I wake up, don't poop and get dressed before I think about it, I am not going to weigh that day. But since I will be vlogging I will try to be more consistent about that. The fact is tho that my weight in the middle doesn't matter to me. I have gone from scale OBSESSED to scale apathetic. I wear clothes, I can feel how things are working. I don't need to weigh myself all the time to stay accountable. It just becomes an obsession for me. 

Oh! And someone asked me about my intentions of becoming yoga certified. Yeah- like not this year. I didn't mean for that to sound like I was doing it tomorrow. Its expensive, and I am no where near where I need to be physically to do that. But I have my good friend Caren  who is an instructor that I have plans to work with in the meantime. This fitness journey for me isn't a short term thing. I think its okay to have long term goals, and becoming a yoga instructor is definitely a LONG term goal. 

If you want some support and accountability for October, I am running a free challenge called Rocktober. I will be posting my check ins every day, like everyone else, so we can keep each other accountable. And the person with the most points at the end gets the new 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook (that I am in love with) so it doesn't hurt to try. 

I think that's it! I am curious what your plan looks like this fall! Trying anything new? 

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rocktober Challenge

So for the last couple months I have been doing challenges on Instagram. They are fun, but 99% of the people dwindle toward the end of the month. I get it- its hard to keep up and you forget and blah blah blah.

So this month, I wanted to do something a little different. You may or may not know that I am a Beachbody coach. And through this I do monthly challenge groups to motivate people to get fit. We all workout together, post accountability, and share recipes, ideas, tips, struggles, all that. Its like a little workout group and I love them.

But I totally respect that not everyone can afford to buy a program to join a group, so I thought it would be fun to do a free month long challenge group. It is going to be called the Rocktober challenge. The whole month of October we will have a free group with the same daily accountability as my challenge groups. You will workout together, share all that stuff I just said up there, AND even win a prize, like all of my challenge groups.

The prize for this group is going to be the 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook! 100 days of Real Food is one of my favorite blogs, and she just released a cookbook! I love it (like awkward dancing-in-the-kitchen love it) and I can't wait to gift one to you!

So how do you join? Great question! You go here. It is a closed group on Facebook so no one can see what you are posting. If you have friends you think would benefit, please add them- this group is open to everyone.

There are just over 90 days left in this year, and I want to make the most of them! Lets work together to kick some ass in October!
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Get Over It

So after my post about running gear yesterday I started to feel guilty. I have maybe run twice since I decided not to run my half marathon last month. I set a goal the beginning of this month to run every day, and every day I can think of a reason to not do it. I have built it up in my head like its this big task that really isn't that big of deal, but because you KEEP putting it off, it just gets bigger and bigger and scarier and scarier until you don't know WHY you just didn't do it a month ago, but you can't seem to get over the hump and just do it again. Thats how I felt about running.

And writing about it yesterday, or at least about what I like to wear when I run in cooler weather, made me realize that I really should just do it. My friend Ida messaged me that she was excited I was considering running again, because in my past posts she felt like I had given up on it, and it made me think. Had I given up on it? What would happen if I never ran again? Do I even like running? Does anyone? Why do I have it in my mind that in order to be a good "fit person", I have to run? I don't know.

But what I did know is that I just needed to do it to get over my issue. So I redownloaded the Nike + Running app (because there is a cool feature that you can share your route without the world being able to figure out where you live... because stranger danger) and was poking around the features. I noticed a new "Coaching" section and found that they have a 5K training program in there. I literally hate C25K. I can't finish it and its not because I can't run that long, its just not my style. So I checked out the training and day 1 was "Run 1.5 miles". Ok... I could do that. It even suggested walk/ running intervals, which I can do, so I said okay.

Then I procrastinated. I checked my email a couple more times, checked my Facebook, did some dishes, and looked back at my phone. It's just a mile and a half. Its not going to kill you. It was hot outside, but again, it won't kill you, and maybe it will help you figure out how you feel about running. So I put on my running bra, and searched high and low for my compression capris (couldn't find them, had to wear long pants... in 85 degree weather) and threw on a tank top, head phones and running shoes. I couldn't back out now. I picked a podcast in my queue (oddly enough called "To Scared to Try" by The Chalene Show) and pushed go on the app.

Out the door I went, and I realized 1. Fuck its hot. 2. I didn't grab water- sweet! I ran for the first 5 minus before I needed a walking break, and did a lot of run-walk-run-walk in between there. Fun fact- when you don't run for a month, it is kinda hard when you decide to do it again... I made it up the big hill and was in the downhill part and I just let it go. I ran the whole way down the hill and walked the last little bit to cool down. And to be honest, it kinda sucked. The whole time I kept thinking "dammit I am thirsty. Why am I doing this? Is this fun? I don't think so... Fuck its hot" and so on. But I am listening to this podcast about how people don't start because they worry that their first try isn't perfect, rather that just "good enough" and so they never move forward. This exact fear of not being perfect has plagued me for years. Especially in my running. I have never been a runner. I never ran the mile in high school. I ran my first mile like a year ago on a treadmill (which is totally different than running on a road) and my first mile on a road in March. I used to think you had to set ridiculous goals and run ridiculous distances to be a "runner", something I SO BADLY wanted to be, because I am so not. But that shitty run made me realize that just getting out there, doing my best, and finishing it is good enough for me right now. I am not going to run a half marathon any time soon, but I don't have to. I am going to start with a mile. Then 3. And I am going to sign up for a 5K, something I haven't done in a year and a half, and just take it slowly.

Getting out there and just doing that run helped me get over this crazy fear I had of it. Sometimes we just need to shut up our brains and DO the thing to get back in the habit of doing it.

But I realized in that run that I have not given up. That I may not LOVE running but I love how it makes me feel afterward, when I am laying on the floor getting face kisses from my dog trying to catch my breath. And I love running with my friends, even if we chat as much as we run. I am okay if I never run ridiculously long distances, and I am okay if I do, but right now I want to focus on becoming a better short distance runner, and I can work up to it. I am excited for cooler weather, it always makes running easier, and I am looking at a few races to wet my feet with this fall.

It all comes down to this. Do the thing, you'll have the power. Stop building it up in your mind. It is not as bad as you think it is, and putting it off is making it worse. Just do it.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cold Weather Running Gear

It's fall! Finally! My favorite time of year!

I love the weather and the pumpkin stuff and especially running. I don't think its any secret that I prefer running (jogging, wogging, whatever you want to call it) outside in cooler weather. The heat and I are not friends. But now that its cooling off, I am getting back into the habit of getting outside for a run.

Its less of a need right now, since you could go out and not freeze in a t-shirt, but with cooler weather running comes a different set of clothes. So I went online to Old Navy, my favorite place to buy workout stuff, and put together my list of running in cooler weather essentials. They are pretty obvious.

Cold weather running gear

So its cold outside, put some pants on. I love Old Navy compression pants, so I chose two of my faves, the striped tight ones, and (the ones I wear most of the time) the straight leg in black. They are my jam. They are comfy, move nicely, are warm enough without feeling like a leg sauna, and they are compression so you feel secure and not... floppy? yeah that.

Next is tops. Long sleeve. See, I told you obvious. I will run in short sleeves until about 60 degrees, then I prefer long sleeves. You can always push them up. I like an open neck so I can regulate my temperature, unless it is particularly cold, then a fleece hoodie is the way to go.

Keep in mind to always wear less than you think you need. Running (or whatever you are doing out there) makes you warmer than you think. Its a pain to strip off layers as you go, so its better to freeze for the first half mile until your body warms up. Also take into account the sun. If its pretty chilly out but the sun is out, you will get warmer than you expect.

When winter rolls around, I usually wear fleece lined leggings under my compression pants, and I have a fleece lined running shirt for extreme occasions. I love running in the snow tho, so I have those things. And gloves, those are a good idea. I don't like stuff on my head, so I don't wear earmuffs or hats, but thats a personal choice.

Don't be afraid to get outside just because its getting a little cooler. I think it is way more pleasant to run in the cold, but maybe I am weird.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Are you wearing your giveashit pants today?

Weight loss is hard. This journey is hard, and never goes the way you want it to. And there are two ways to react to it. You can quit, which is easier, or you can keep going.

I have failed at a lot of things in life, which I have talked about before, and I have let my failures define me. But something I decide every day is to not fail at this. I may stumble, I may even fall flat on my face, but I will not fail.

I heard an awesome quote today- Think of your failures as bruises, not tattoos. And call them not failures but experiences. There is a life between "Success" and "Failure". Its where we try. And only you, through consistency and intent and true perseverance, can decide which its gonna be.

My experiences, my bumps and bruises, have shaped my journey. They have nudged me in the right direction, where I will no doubt bump into something else along the way, and course correct. But if I decided that every bump and nudge and bruise was a failure, I would have given up a LONG time ago. Don't be afraid of the bumps. Don't turn them into failures. You can have the shittiest of shitty days, but you only fail if you decide not to wake up and try again. And the choice is yours. You can choose to let your struggles be your downfall. You DECIDE to stop trying. Your failure is your choice. And only you can choose it. Failures and experiences look the same, its all about how you choose to react to them.

I have chosen too many times to sit down and pout. When life gave me lemons, I said fuck it, I am gonna sit here with my lemons and stop trying. And where did that get me? No where. And I didn't like that anymore so I stood back up, left the lemons behind and just kept moving forward. No matter what bumps I hit along the way, I keep putting one foot in front of the other. Other people's opinion of your journey are none of your concern. Whether you are doing it fast enough or the right way, or whatever is up to you. It is your journey. You do you.

So today I implore you, no matter where you are in your journey, to try today. Just today. If you are on fire and haven't hit bumps, that should be easy. If you are sitting on that bumpy road surrounded by lemons throwing a lemon themed pity party, stand up. What is one day going to hurt. Just try today. Tomorrow you can grab those lemons and keep pouting, but today, give it a try. Move more than normal, eat something green, drink some water and smile. Give today some giveashit and do your best. Then if you want, decide to do it again tomorrow. That is progress. Its one day, no matter what happened the last day, deciding to put your giveashit pants on and just do the darn thing.

k? Lets just try today.
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Friday, September 19, 2014

SNAP Challenge Wrap Up

Today is the last day of my SNAP challenge!

This has been an eye opening challenge for sure. Not really to the experience of living on less, because I have done that before, but on trying to make healthier choices while doing it. I think more than anything it has opened my eyes to how many people that read my blog and that I know struggle with food insecurity every day. It is a real problem, that I think a lot of people can dismiss as "someone else's problem" but it isn't. And I hope that by talking about it, I helped open your eyes to it if its not a situation you have ever found yourself in.

First I am want to share my experience with food insecurity in the past, then some incredible stories from people who shared on my Facebook page. Its really easy to ignore the problem when it doesn't identify with anyone you care about, and reading these stories is very eyeopening.

When I was a kid, we were on SNAP. I was about 6, I think, when my mom sent my sister and I down to the 7/11 on the corner to get food. I remember getting a hot chocolate, and that our food stamps wouldn't pay for it (because apparently you can't buy prepared food with SNAP, something I didn't know at that age) and I remember having to throw it away. I knew what food stamps were, we lived in a low socioeconomic area, but until that time I didn't know we were on them. I remember when we were at my mom's, my sister and I would share a ramen for dinner, or we would share a pot pie. We were also on free lunch and free breakfast at school, which helped because I am sure we weren't getting adequate nutrition from half a packet of ramen for dinner.

Fast forward about 15 years and I experienced food insecurity again. My husband and I were just dating, but we thought we were ready to live in the real world. He was a server at Olive Garden and I was going to school full time, doing a work study for student aid. We were living off credit cards to get by, and we ate a lot of restaurant leftovers. We had a very small budget for food, about $20 a week, and we would go on, what we called, the spaghetti and hot dog diet. We could get a few boxes of spaghetti, sauce, and those cheap hot dogs to get us through the week. It wasn't healthy, but it was something. When we started to get back on our feet, I we had a different respect for people who struggled to eat. We were those people. And any time we could we would donate to the food bank, especially around holidays.

When I opened up my Facebook page to hear other people's stories, I was so touched. A lot of people are going through this struggle right now. I am incredibly lucky to have a different situation right now, but not all people do. Here are their responses. I recommend reading through all of them. Each of their experiences help paint the picture that is food insecurity in our community.

Click through to read the comments:

This challenge has reaffirmed my passion for this cause. There are a few things you can do to help if you feel driven to. Donate to your local food bank. Do it often. Quarterly we go through our pantry and donate anything that is unopened and not expired. Boxed pasta, spaghetti sauce, oatmeal (that we bought without realizing we had some), all canned goods. These things can make a big difference for someone else, when it is just collecting dust in your pantry.

Around the holidays, the food bank is always at my local Walmart or grocery store collecting food for the holidays. Grab a flyer and buy something. What will cost you $3-$5, will make a families' day. My husband's company buys a turkey for every family that works there for Thanksgiving, so we always pay that forward by buying a Turkey (or 2) for the food bank.

If you want to give your time, the food bank is always looking for volunteers. There are so many ways you can reach out in your local community- all you have to do is ask.

I was planning on doing a calorie and price run down of my meals, but 1. they were all in the budget, and 2. the food isn't what matters. What I wanted to do was raise awareness for this very real problem. I relate to people's stories. I can throw stats at you until the cows come home, but stories are what change you.

I am so glad I did this challenge, and it isn't the last you will hear from me about it. And if you want more information about how you can help, or about SNAP, go to feedingamerica.org.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Real Life Fashion- Old Navy Style

Remember this? I do! 

Ginny and I are dorks and love shopping! So we picked out a staple at Old Navy, this black dress, and  styled it 3 ways each! Since I first discovered the dress in my last shopping trip to Old Navy, I have 4 looks :D

I fell in love with this dress the first time I tried it on. Its a great cut, very flattering, and I love that the neckline is higher so it is good for bigger busted ladies like myself! It is good for work or casual or even fancy events if you accessorize it correctly so I thought I would share my favorites! All the accessories and shoes *except my Converse in one pic* are from Old Navy :D

#1- The Original :D I would wear this to work or maybe to a happy hour or dinner date. Casual- Fancy rating, I would give it a 7.

Brown belt and Leopard (tho hard to see) flats
#2- Casual Friday. I would wear this- you guessed it- on casual Friday. Or maybe with flats on a Tuesday. I would also wear this to book club or brunch. Or really any day. I love this look. EFF I want that necklace.
Boyfriend Sweater, Chunky Necklace (that I need) and leopard print sneakers 

#3- Boss is in the Office. On very very rare occasions I wear heels. These nude heels are cute and not too high. I liked the colors of the scarf and thought they went well together. I thought a belt would be too much, but now I kinda think a belt would be good. Hm.

Nude heels and Scarf
#4 Lazy Sunday or super casual Friday, like do you even have to wear dress pants M-Th? This look would have totally worked any day of the week at my last job because I could wear jeans and t-shirts all week. I would definitely wear this on a weekend tho. Its cute and casual and I should have sized down that shirt, it looks sloppy. Oh well.

Chambray shirt (that was too big, oops) and brown canvas belt
#5 (because I suck at math and actually bought this dress with a gift card from my birthday and wore it to see a play and go out to dinner). I would call this... I don't know, Fancy ish. Theatre appropriate, probably work too... (note- none of these accessories (except the necklace) are from Old Navy...)

Belt from Target, Boots from Lane Bryant and I was wearing black tights from lord knows where

And here is all the stuff I used. Except I can't find jewelry on their website! Weird...

Old Navy

OH and in case you are curious, yes you do need this dress. Go get it. It's only $25. And no, I wish Old Navy knew who I was, sadly they don't so no free stuff for me. OH and I am in an XL in that dress. And the sweater. I grabbed a XXL for the blue top and should have grabbed an XL.

Go check out Ginny's outfits with the same dress!
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