Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Year in Review - 2009

As 2009 winds down to a close, I thought it would be nifty to write my year in review. This is the year that my new way of life began, it's was the last year of my 20s (eek! I will be 30 in 3 months) and I survived my first year of marriage. It's been a BIG year for me in many different ways.


January 2009 - 209.6lbs to 195.2lbs

I made the decision to change my life. Me and 3 other women that I work with decided to diet together (my diet of choice is weight watchers), have weigh-ins every Friday and to bring a healthy snack on weigh in day. I didn't know at the time that this was going to be a complete lifestyle change.

February 2009 - 196bs - 191.6lbs

I had started going to the gym quasi-regularly. I wasn't running yet, but I was friends with the elliptical. I had lost 18lbs total by the end of this month. I was under a lot of stress at this point, my husband has an esophagus problem and it had started to act up badly at this point. I felt as if the gym was an outlet for frustration. It was the first time I had looked to working out as source of something other than a pain in the ass.

March 2009 - 189.2lbs - 188lbs

The stress continued, my husband had surgery and he had some complications. I managed to run on the treadmill for 5 minutes without stopping and it felt as amazing as if I'd just climbed Mt. Everest! I turned 29 years old and had an awesome 80s themed birthday party. I dressed up like Madonna.

April 2009 - 185.6lbs - 180.6lbs

I started to get in the groove of working out. I enjoyed it, could run a little farther and push a little more. You could really tell I was losing weight. This is when I started to get the runners itch.

May 2009 - 178.4lbs - 174lbs

I feel good and look good. I love running and working out...I'm not stopping! I got my Nike+ and it changes me. I have changed. I can do this! Everyone at work slowly tapered off their weigh ins this month, or at least documenting them, therefore: The Unlikely Success Story is launched!

June 2009 - 175.2lbs - 166.8lbs

Everything is going along just fine...then my world crashes in around me. The husband and I are in a terrible place in our marriage and begin talking about the big D. For a week I hardly eat, I have no energy to work out, I'm sick. I lost down to my lowest adult weight. The husband and I talk, and talk, and talk...we vow to do whatever it takes to save our marriage. A month that began with turmoil ends with a new beginning. My progression picture was taken the day after we decided to make things work. You can tell I'd had a rough week. Looking back, I think that week saved our marriage.

July 2009 - 168lbs - 168lbs

My job gets 10x more demanding during the summer, time wise and mentally. After the past month, my running has suffered. I manage to fluctuate in weight a bit, but really make no progress. The month goes by in a blur of work. My husband and I spend a lot of time together and work on remembering why we were together in the first place.

August 2009 - 168lbs - 165.2lbs

See July, just add some weight loss. I had picked up on running again and was enjoying working out. I began to look at the time spent running or at the gym as my "get away". The one thing that I could do for myself no matter how busy things got.

September 2009 - 165.2lbs - 162.6lbs

I realize that blogging is going to be what makes this time different. I start blogging more, I start running more. I signed up for my first 5k in November. The husband and I celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary. We made it, by the skin of our teeth, but we made it. Things are looking up for us.

October 2009 - Spotty Weight Records around 165lbs I'm guessing

I run a lot, the husband turns 36. I do ok with eating, bad with monitoring my weight, and my drinking is out of control. I'm losing stamina on the whole thing. I try a lot of new recipes and rediscover a love of cooking. I don't really lose, but I maintain alright.

November 2009 - Spotty Weight Records around 165lbs-168lbs I'm guessing

I train for and run The Greensboro Gobbler. I have a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family, modifying many recipes to make them healthier. I indulge moderately and guiltlessly, for the first time.

December 2009 - Weight as of 12/26 172.8

I overindulged too much this month, I have been running and training for the OIB Run for Food. Of course, all that running isn't going to help me when I'm shoving all of the food in the world into my mouth. Granted, I'm only up 8.8lbs (thanks in large part to the running, I'm sure) and I haven't really been tracking my weight since October, but this is too much for comfort and it's time for me to regain control. I got some great tools for Christmas to help me with my journey, now it's time to put all my good advice and tools to work for me!

My end weight of 2009 wasn't as low as I would like it to be, but like I've said before, I'm not going to be too hard on myself. I'm very healthy and comfortable with where I have gotten. My goals (which I will share on January 1st) don't focus merely on loss of weight anymore. I rocked 2009 and I plan to rock 2010. Here's to another year of healthy living! Best Wishes for 2010 to all! :)

"You're gonna eat lightnin' and you're gonna crap thunder!"


Risin' up, back on the streets, did my time, took my chances....

Sorry, I was having a Rocky moment.

Yes, I was successful in my efforts to have a good, on-point day yesterday. It felt great!


I tracked everything I ate and I had a really great 4 mile run!

It felt really good to have an on-point, healthy remember routine and to remember how much better "satisfied belly" feels as opposed to over "over-stuffed burrito belly". Let's see if I can make today equally as successful!

Coming up later today I'm going to post my 2009 year in review. I love seeing the changes through the months and looking back on the past year in preparation for 2010!

2010 is going to be awesome, I can just feel it in my bones. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Take that Hershey Miniature Bar!

Nestled inside a candy cane forest, located in a Christmas coffee mug which resides on my half-door counter in my office lies a golden nugget.

This golden nugget was put there this morning by a fair soul whom I love dearly. About 11:15 while entering my office my hand automatically went toward the nugget, drawn by it's shiny wrapper and promise of chocolaty goodness.

Almost in slow motion like a Baywatch Babe my mind says "Nooooo...dooonnn'tttt dooo iiitttt" and flashes this:

in front of my face. My food journal. I thought about it for a moment and thought "If you eat that, you have to write down 1 point. Period. That's 1 point that you can't get back or have later, do you really want that chocolate?"


And this is why I love to journal. Sometimes it gives you that moment of clarity you need to make smarter choices, to say no to mindless eating.

I think my food journal and I are going to rekindle our romance. So far I've treated it to a container of Chobani Pomegranate yogurt with a sprinkle of granola on top and now I think it's time to give him a little Tortilla Pie. :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Disappointment Induced Insomnia

Saturday I got on my Wii Fit to try out my new Wii Fit Plus game that I got for Christmas. I got the new game all set up, making sure to set Chase up a Mii character since there is now a section that monitors your pet's weight as well. After all that was done I decided to check my weight.

Let me preface here by saying that I haven't been on a scale since mid-November. I knew what I was doing, I knew my pants were getting tighter. I knew I wasn't being as good as I should have been.

Ok, so the Wii Fit Plus game carries over all of your stats from the original Wii Fit (pretty nifty, it eliminates your need for the original disc) and much to my surprise (really Tonyne? REALLY? You're shocked? You ate the world for 6 weeks for the love of Matthew McConaughey's bongos!) it tells me that while still in the "Overweight" category (barely) that I am +8.8lbs since the last time I weighed in.

That's right it clear +8.8lbs.

Now, you would think the shock of such a discovery would send me right back into the world of healthy living as soon as possible, correct? Especially with the way I preach the "indulge, not too much and the next meal is always a chance to reign back in control". Yeah, I should have followed my own advice. Instead I continued to eat on Sunday and even to a lesser degree today.

So here I am, up at midnight when I should be sound asleep in my bed, stressing over a weight gain. I know what needs to be done to get it off, now it's time to put my good talk to good use.

I am making this promise to you now: on Tuesday, er, later today, I will track my food. Regardless if I go over points, I will track. I will run my 4 mile training run and I will reign this puppy in.

*deep breath* Ok Self: The holidays are essentially over, New Year's eve is at your home, you are in control of food, waiting until the 1st is not an option, indulging in a treat or two once or twice a week is ok, indulging in one or two treats once or twice a day is not. Now, you have a plan, you know what to do...stop obsessing and GO TO BED! *deep breath*

"why wait for tomorrow, with what you could do today?"

Meatless Monday – Tortilla Pie


I renamed “Vegetarian Monday” to “Meatless Monday”, has a better ring to it I think. I hope no one minds. :)

Today, I got a recommendation for Meatless Monday from a friend and co-worker Shelly. She recently became a vegetarian and had made this dish. She found the recipe on, a fantastic website that everyone should use.

Click here for the original recipe for Tortilla Pie as seen on

Here is how I made it:

Tortilla Pie Redux

1 can refried beans

1 cup salsa, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes

7 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas

1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat shredded Cheese mix (I used what I had on hand)

I followed the directions as she wrote them in the original recipe for mixing and baking. Except for the fact I didn’t have a pie plate (which I was shocked to realize) and used a baking sheet.

Of course I had to include Chase who I had plenty of time to play with while this lovely dish baked for 40 minutes. 

The result is a really hearty meatless meal. The beans pack a punch of protein and you don’t realize it’s missing meat at all. You could easily add MorningStar “Meat Crumbles” to this if you wanted the meaty texture, but I promise you won’t miss it!

It’s a messy meal, but it tastes great! I think a pie plate would have made for a pretty presentation, but the baking sheet worked fine. I am enjoying it with some fat free sour cream on the side. Next time, since I cook mostly for myself, I will probably half the recipe and make the whole thing smaller. I will be eating tortilla pie for days!

There it is, another Meatless Monday…and I haven’t missed the meat yet! :)

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Healthy gifts!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas! I certainly did. Christmas Eve was a day spent running around visiting family and friends. Santa tagged along with us...

...he stole the show really. He's just so adorable...of course, I'm biased.

On Christmas day the husband and I had no plans except to hang around the house and go see the movie AVATAR, which was amazing! On Christmas morning we opened gifts together, he did such a good job of shopping for my new lifestyle this year! Last year several of my Christmas gifts revolved around alcohol, this year my gifts revolved around fitness and I love that! :)

I got a heart rate monitor.

Wii Fit Plus and my new favorite movie.

Some bath salts for aches and pains.

My husband really did great this year with the gifts. He even filled my stocking with some helpful kitchen gadgets. I think his fear of me impaling myself with a sharp object while trying to core an apple inspired the apple corer/slicer. :)

Our Christmas was nothing fancy this year. It was just us, enjoying the day together. That's really all I needed to make this one of the best Christmases yet.

Was Santa good to you? Did you get any gifts that reflect your new lifestyle? Tell me, tell me! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What a difference a year makes.

My "Before" picture was taken 1 year ago on Christmas day. Since I know I will be busy on Christmas Eve and on Christmas day the only thing I plan to do is stay relatively "unplugged" and enjoy the day with my husband, I decided to take my "1 year later" shot today. So here it is, the difference 1 year of healthy living has made.

44 lbs lost.
A 5k Ran
A healthy lifestyle learned and maintained
An "I can do whatever I set my mind to" attitude that I have never had before
Respect for myself, physically and mentally.

It's been an amazing year. Some of the changes I've made have been easy, others not so much...but the changes I have made I know will be permanent.

I still have some pounds to lose, I wasn't as good around the holidays as I had hoped to be but you know what is different this year? I didn't beat myself up over it. I indulged, most of the time in moderation but not always, and the next meal it was as if it never happened. There was no "Oh well, I went off the wagon..." free for all. I just accepted the fact that this is a busy and difficult time of year, did the best I could and will move along. I know that January will bring back routine, healthy eating and regular schedule will resume.

I am so proud of myself. It brings tears to my eyes to think how far I've come and how much I disliked myself and the way my life was going a year ago. While being overweight was a big part of it, it definitely wasn't all of it. Once you begin fixing things, it makes it easier to continue to do so.

The difference a year can make can end up saving your life. I know it very may well have saved mine.

I want to thank you all for reading my blogs, giving me support and encouragement and continuing to do so. I honestly feel as if blogging has been a huge part of this journey, holding me accountable in a way that makes it easier to say no. Thank you. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) and a wonderful 2010!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Vegetarian Monday – Baked Tofu


For the first official Meatless Monday dinner I chose the Baked Tofu recipe that TJ posted on her blog, TJ’s Test Kitchen.

I was leery at first, I’ve had tofu before but I don’t remember liking it.

Food - Baked Tofu 004

I followed her directions to press the tofu between layers of paper towels and marinate it in a soy and ginger mix before baking it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. (Excuse the post-yoga hair and clothes)

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I paired it with some lightly baked kale that I baked alongside the tofu for about 6 minutes.

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My friend Kelly joined me for dinner and we were both really surprised by how tasty this dish was! I totally forgot I was eating tofu. The marinade made the tofu so flavorful I didn’t miss the meat. The Baked Tofu was a little time consuming, but if I would have thought to press the tofu before I started yoga I could have multi-tasked and saved some time.

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So the verdict is: Baked Tofu=delicious! Go try it! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another day in the life


Today I started and nearly finished all of my Christmas shopping. The mrspotatoheadl1most favorite gift I bought? I got our niece a Mrs.Potato Head! I’m pretty sure I only bought it because I want to play with it because I loved my Mr.Potato Head as a kid…but I still think she’ll like it!  

Well, I hope she does. :)

I started the morning with a pretty decent (for me) 3 mile run at 10:27 pace and some weights before breakfast. Since it’s my day off that was around 9. Then I had some oatmeal and got ready to head out shopping. I hit the Outlets first, lots of walking around outdoors in the cold and that’s when I realized…my breakfast wasn’t enough.

After the outlets I had to go to Wal-Mart and on my way there I would pass…Taco Bell. Taco Bell always used to be a binge fest for me. You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen me polish off  6 tacos in under 30 minutes…wait, you don’t want to see that. I looked like a rabid animal. I was starving and I needed gas and this particular Taco Bell is attached to a gas station and I still had hours of shopping left to do and some of that shopping involved groceries. I can’t grocery shop hungry, it’s bad for the bank account.

I pump my gas and honestly question if I should have Taco Bell or if that’s going to send me into a binge frenzy. I decide I can handle it and I get 2 Double Decker Taco Supremes and a Diet Pepsi. I ate one in the Wal-Mart parking lot before going in to shop and then I had the other one when I got home as a snack. Now, I know you’re thinking this is no big deal…but to me it is. I could have easily gotten entirely too much food and eaten until I was sick. I would have before and not thought twice about it. This time I thought and I enjoyed and it was enough.

Now my Christmas tree has presents under it, my tummy is happy and satisfied and I successfully enjoyed something I thought I could never enjoy without gluttony. It was a good, although very cold, day.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Super Quick Sweet & Spicy Squash


I found myself in a common predicament tonight. My plans changed and I had nothing planned or thawed out for dinner. I had 1/4 of a butternut squash in the fridge leftover from another recipe and I remembered that last week I made some butternut squash in the microwave and it was really good. So I figured this time I would pay attention to what I did and share it with you, so here it is!

Super Quick Sweet & Spicy Butternut Squash

1/4 Butternut Squash cut into small cubes

1/2 tbsp Agave Nectar (you can use a combination of 1 tsp oil and 1/2 tbsp brown sugar as well)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp red pep  per flakes

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Mix all ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl.

Place in microwave for 2 minutes 30 seconds, covered.

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Stir and then microwave for an additional 1 minute. Makes 1 serving.

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I served mine on the side of a Boca Burger and it made for a quick, easy dinner! No defrosting required!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A new look!


I revamped The Unlikely Success Story just a little bit today, I’m not sure I love it, but I like it better than what was. I’d love to know what YOU think. :)

I just got back from a pretty decent 3 mile run and some arm weight training. I love it when I can finish a run and be proud of it.


I have been toying with the idea of having a vegetarian day once a week. One day where I eat no meat at all. I do this about once every other week, but it’s never planned. This would be like “Meatless Monday”. The idea hit me last night when I made the Spaghetti Squash Cake Parmesan, which I have decided to rename SS Parm for short. I can try new vegetarian recipes, some I find, some I make up and then post the recipe here and write what I think about it. As a girl that almost panics when I see no meat on a plate, I figure if I think a vegetarian dish is good, it must be!

I think I’ll do it. It’s decided. 

Ok friends, that’s all I have for today. Tomorrow I’m going to The South’s Grandest Christmas Show at The Alabama Theater! A friend got us free passes and I am so excited! I can rarely get the husband to do things like this, so I’m going to cherish it. I’ll leave you with a video so you can be jealous…don’t hate. :) Happy Tuesday!


Monday, December 14, 2009

A quick and easy dinner!


I decided to give taking pictures of the stuff I’m cooking a try, so here we go…I’m also writing this on Windows Live Writer, so that’s 2 new things!

I made Spaghetti Squash Cake Parmesan.

It started with the recipe from Roni at for Spaghetti Squash Cakes

I made the recipe as she described, not going to repeat it for you, but here are some pictures:

I did deviate from her recipe a little, I didn’t have any eggs so I used Egg Substitute and I like crushed red pepper flakes in mine, so I added them. My squash was a little over done, but it still worked out!

Then, I assembled everything in a lasagna type fashion. I used about 3/4 cup sauce, 1/3 cup shredded cheese and about 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese. I did a layer of sauce, then squash cake, sauce, then cheese. I repeated.

I baked it in a 350 degree oven until bubbly, about 15 minutes while Chase and I waited impatiently.

I served it with some broccoli and pasta, which I made because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but it turned out fantastic. Tons of flavor and a quick, easy vegetarian dish!

Date night and cement.

Friday after work I had a Skype date with my best friend who recently moved to Florida. If you don't have Skype, you should get it! It makes video conferencing a breeze! Then I did laundry. I could probably manage to do laundry every day and there's only two of us! I'm not sure how that happens.

On Saturday, I worked and planned to go for my 2.5 mile training run after work. Well, the husband decides he wants to do "date night" and I'm never one to turn that down. My husband and I have alternate schedules most of the week so our time together is a bit limited. We went to a bar, had some beers and played Buzztime Trivia. It was so much fun...but, I had a cheeseburger and fries. I was starving, ill prepared and craving a cheeseburger, so I had one.

Later that night, some friends of ours asked us to come to another bar and see them. It had been so long since we've seen them, we went there too! I had 1 beer and switched to water. This is good for me, an entire night out and I only drank 4 beers. I swear I'm not an alcoholic, I just like beer. :) We got home around 12:30am and watched SNL before going to bed.

I woke up around 9am on Sunday and got ready to go to the gym. I noticed my head was stuffy but figured it would clear up during my run. I stretched, that felt good and I got on the treadmill, started running and it felt as if my entire body was encased in cement. I was supposed to run 2.5 miles and I barely made it to 1.9. It was a slow run too...

after the treadmill I went to the weights, figuring I would at least get some strength training done. I found I had the same problem, my entire body was just exhausted. I started feeling nauseous and knew it was time to go home. It just wasn't the work out I had wanted. I sat around with a scowl on my face for a good 30 minutes afterward. I have no idea what was wrong with me, I feel alright today and I'm hoping for a better work out tomorrow. I spent the rest of Sunday doing some Christmas stuff and watching really awful Lifetime Christmas movies.

If you made it through this post, give yourself a pat on the back because I'm pretty sure it was really boring. :)

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hey, I know that girl!

Did you guys see today? If so, you can say "I know that girl!" That's me, well, my back, and my Operation Beautiful note I wore on my first 5k. If you aren't familiar with Operation Beautiful, go spend some time there. You won't regret it.

I had 2 great runs since we last talked. I have been at training this week and with the holidays I just feel like I'm going, going, going non-stop and when I do stop, I drop on the couch. Thank goodness for my training runs, they get me in the gym as it's been really cold (well, cold for here) I have started mixing in some weight training again. I forgot how much I enjoy that.

I wanted to share my latest gym mix, this gets me through a 2.5 mile treadmill run and about 40 minutes of weights.

(I don't know why this is so tiny, but if you click on it, it gets a little bigger...sorry I don't have time to fix it today! :p)

It works great and kept me dancing in between the weight machines...luckily I had the gym to myself because no one needs to see that. :) The new Adam Lambert CD "For Your Entertainment" is AMAZING gym music!

Well, I'm stealing time from work to write this blog and with the conference I just attended I haven't been in here for 3 days and I'm writing this from under a pile of paperwork, kinda like this guy:

Paperwork Pictures, Images and Photos

Happy Friday!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A good cause and good motivation.

On Saturday after my post I started thinking about how I was going to keep myself motivated and active during the holiday season. I mentioned how my jeans were already getting a little tighter from all of the holiday festivities, so how was I going to stop that? I'm not expecting to loose any weight during this month, but I would at least like to stop gaining. I'm realistic.

I looked on and found a 5k close to home that takes place on January 9th. It's the Ocean Isle Beach Bridge Run for Food and proceeds benefit a local food pantry.

It's good motivation to keep moving throughout the month of December because my training schedule keeps me running all month:

and it raises money for a cause that I am passionate about. The holiday season is about giving, I am giving to the food pantry and I am giving myself the gift of health. It's a win-win situation.

I am excited for this 5k. The Greensboro Gobbler, my first race, I was so nervous and didn't know what to expect. I feel like I will have more fun at this one because I know what to expect. It will be a tough run though because the course is over the scenic high-rise Odell Williamson Bridge to the mainland and back to the island..

I am up for the challenge though! I am so proud of myself for finding ways to make sure I stay motivated and active during the holidays. The old me would have just surrendered to the temptations and said "January, I'll get back on track in January." It's never too late to be good...for Santa or for you! :)

I raise my Monday Morning coffee to you, here's to a great week!

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The Unlikely Success Story is lived, written and maintained by Tonyne.