Apr 30, 2014

Ain't Nothin' But a Number!

As you can tell by my recent posts on Facebook and my latest blog entry, I am really excited about my upcoming Facebook challenge.  We have a great group of people and I cannot wait to get started.

The group of people who have entered are a great mix of new friends and old.  One thing I am noticing though is that there are several participants who are really hesitant to send me their scale picture/before weight.  Trust me...there was a time where I would have chosen some form of punishment in place of making my weight public knowledge.

Although I am nowhere near the weight I want to be, I have stopped allowing that number on the scale to define me.  That number is not who I am.

The number for me is 252.

Do I like that number? Hell, no.

Do I want it to go down? Definitely.

Am I less of a person because of this number? Absolutely not.

I am not saying that I am never insecure anymore.  That would be a lie.  I doubt myself all the time, but I am learning each and every day to be more forgiving.

I feel great and I am getting stronger.  The scale is not moving as fast as I would like, but I am noticing differences in my body. I am stronger.  My endurance is much better.  I am tightening up.  I recently ran 3 miles in under 30 minutes!!  I am slowly turning into an athlete of sorts.

I haven't taken progress pictures in a couple weeks, but in the most recent one, there is only about a 5 pound difference -- but it looks much more significant than that.  I am not going to allow the fact that the number isn't crazy big take away the fact that I made progress.  (That is why I want my challengers to send me a before picture.)

The scale is nice, but it ain't everything!  Don't beat yourself up.  Join the challenge and know that if you send me your weight, you are sending to a person will not judge.  I am just a cheerleader.

In other news....

CONGRATULATIONS TO MY FIRST GIVEAWAY WINNER!!  Enjoy your Brady Bands, Leslie!  I know I do.  There are so many pretty choices...and for a great cause!  I will be e-mailing you this evening with your giftcard!


Apr 27, 2014

May-Day! Summer Slim Down Challenge and GIVEAWAY!!

A couple weeks ago, I started a challenge group on Facebook and I decided to revamp a bit with a new and improved version.  That is why I have started the up and coming May Day Slim Down Challenge!  I would LOVE all of you to join in!  It will be fun!

We all have fitness goals right?  We all know that summer is coming and with that comes less clothing, right? I know I would like to start it off feeling lighter -- especially since I have an impending beach vacation.

Soooo....here are the rules!

  1. You commit to healthy eating and exercise for the month of May.
  2. E-mail me a picture of your starting weight (a picture of the scale) each week and a before picture, so that I can keep track of your progress.
  3. Please send both pictures to me by MAY 1st!!
  4. Share and cheer everyone on via the Facebook challenge page!  
The person with the greatest percentage of weight loss (Geez, I sound like Allison Sweeney.) will win a $25 gift card to use towards Beachbody products.

In exchange for joining this awesome Facebook challenge group, you will get support from like-minded people as well as get tips, meal plan, and recipe ideas from yours truly!  I hope to see you there! Remember, the challenge will officially begin on May 1st.

Also, I am hosting a Brady Bands giveaway!

If you are not familiar with Brady Bands, you can read about them here.  The short of it is that Brady Bands sell awesome headbands that you can purchase for exercise (These suckers don't slip!) and they also make really pretty dressy bands.  At least 10% of the proceeds for these bands go to CureSearch -- an organization which does research for a cure.  

Are you ready to get fit for summer?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Daily Dose of Del Signore

Apr 22, 2014

Must-Have Items

I was thinking back to items that I would NOT be able to live without whilst "workin' on my fitness."  I hate it when people say that, by the way.  I am trying to be ironic...or something... I also like to work fancy words like "whilst" into everyday sentences....

Ok.  Sorry.  Please don't leave.  I seriously have a point.

I thought it might be fun or useful to share some of the things that have been very useful to me.  Heck, they may already be useful to you OR you may find them useful.

My Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Based on all the Instagram calorie-burn pictures I see (I, myself, am guilty), I imagine that most people have one of these.  I love mine though.  It was my birthday gift a couple years back.  Tim asked me what I wanted and that is what I told him.  It really is an awesome gauge.  I like seeing how much I burn, but it also helps me keep track of whether or not I am working hard enough.

Blender Bottle

Love this thing!  I sometimes take some protein powder to work in order to make an afternoon snack.  This little guy does the trick.  The only thing is that you have to be in a place where it is ok to make some noise. The little wire whisk ball makes quite a bit of noise.  I have had more than one person stop by my office when I am getting my shake on to ask, "What are you DOING in here?"

Old Navy Compression Pants

They are comfy.  They don't shrink in the wash.  They suck me in in all the right places.  They don't ride up. They are my favorite thing to not only wear to the gym, but also a lovely uniform for weekends at home.  What more could you ask for?

Moisture Wicking Socks

No picture, here.  Cause, well, we are talking about socks.  Seen one...seen 'em all!

I did not understand how great these were until I purchased my first package of them on clearance at Meijer. I bought them cause they were on clearance (duh) and because they were purdy colors (double duh).  It wasn't until I got them home that I realized what they did.  They are nice, cute, and are more comfortable during rigorous exercise.

Girl Talk 

I am talking about

(The awesome DJ guy)


(The less awesome board game from my childhood.  Although, I DO wish upon a star that there would be some use for this in my fitness.   Will I win a date with Brad who loves surfing and James Dean? or Homer who loves computer club and collects bugs??  Oh, the suspense!!)

Anyway, music Girl Talk --- The mixes are not for innocent ears.  There is a lot of cursing and other inappropriate material, but as I have said before, so are my runs.  They are just very upbeat, awesome music mash ups that keep me moving and motivated to keep going.  The good news is that his mixes can be downloaded free off his website.  He samples a lot of music from other artists, so he cannot sell his music...silly copyright laws... ;)

My Otterbox Phone Case

Cause nobody drops her phone more than me whilst (see, I did it again!) working out.  I also manage to turn my sleek, light weight iPhone into something as heavy as the car phones in Miami Vice.

Almond Milk

I know this seems like an odd choice, but I would be lost without it.  I use it to make my morning Shakeology and for other meal prep uses.  I typically buy unsweetened vanilla.  It is the bomb diggidy.  I get real upset when I run out of it.   A strange panic sets in.


Cause, yum.  It also makes me feel great.  I can tell when I don't drink it.

Fresh Fruit

It is the only way I get past my sweet cravings.  While it will never replace chocolate in my heart, it will always be a happy substitute.  Mmmmm...fruit dipped in chocolate....

So, yeah, these are my essentials!  What items could you not live without?

Apr 21, 2014

Team Beachbody -- Just Call Me Coach!

I know what you are thinking...

Beachbody? Courtney? Noooooooo.  Well, that is what I think when I look at that, anyway.

Although, if you have been to a beach lately, you know that there are all kinds of bodies exposed.


I have recently made the decision to become a Beachbody Coach.  I still have a long way to go fitness-wise, but I love socializing with others online and I LOVE cheering others on who are in the middle of trying to lose weight and/or get fit.   So, what qualifies me to coach you or anyone through?


I know what it's like!!  I know what it is like to...

  1. Be so tired that you will try to think of ANY excuse to not exercise.  Where putting your gym shoes on is a task because you are dreading it so much.
  2. Crave chocolate so much that I would do just about anything for it...well, almost anything...
  3. Want to wear the cute clothes in the non plus-sized section
  4. Stand on the scale and be totally pissed because it doesn't read the way I want it to.
  5. Have tried every single diet out there.
  6. Want a change soooo badly!
I am living it!  I can coach someone through!  I know what it is like to need a cheerleader or to really just need a swift kick in the ass to get moving.

I also believe in the products.  I recently began using Shakeology which is awesome!  I feel so much better since I have started drinking it.  I have also been following the 21 Day Fix program.  I love the workouts and the help with portion control has been the best thing ever for me.  I have been eating healthy for awhile now, but have come to understand through this program that it is not enough to count your calories if you are not consuming a healthy balance of all the essential food groups.

As soon as it arrives, I am going to begin the T25 exercise program in addition to my gym workouts.  I am slightly intimidated by these because they are supposed to be TOUGH.  It is only 25 minutes though and the results people are seeing from this are nothing short of insane.

Don't worry.  I am not going to use my blog as a sales site for Beachbody products.  I just wanted to explain why I have made the step to venture into all of this.  I sincerely believe in the products and I want to find another way to help people as much as I can.

Of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me. You can also visit my coach site if you would like to place any orders or get more information about what Beachbody has to offer.  Again, I am not going to nag.  Just stop by if you have interest or even just some curiosity.

Aside from that, I am going to begin a Facebook group that will start on May 1st.  I am giving it a sort of Biggest Loser theme.  I plan to award prizes for several different categories -- including greatest percentage of weight loss, most inches lost (because we know the scale sometimes is deceptive), and even some other fun ones like best cheerleader or something!  I think it could be tons of fun and a way to socialize with like-minded people!  If you are interested, please take the time to "like" me on Facebook and send me a message!  I will get the group set up and invite you along!  Hope to see you there!

Photo Dump: Easter Edition

Sometimes it is just fun to share a weekend through pictures...Enjoy!

 My weekend started with Good Friday off.  The kids both had school, so I took advantage of some time alone and did some shopping.  I got some amazing deals at Lane Bryant!  I managed to get $250 dollars worth of shirts and jewelry for $35!! (6 shirts and 2 necklaces) I had several coupons that worked well together and the entire store was also on sale.  I was so excited...although I cannot wait to not have to shop there any more.

Later that night, we went to dinner as a family and decided to get dessert at Orange Leaf.  We had never tried it before.  It was AWESOME!  I think I have a new favorite dessert spot!  Darcy, being adorable as ever, eats her dessert at a snail's pace.  There she is doing her pose!  I swear when I tell her I am taking her picture, she poses like we are doing a magazine photo shoot.

Not gonna lie. I have no picture of Saturday.  I did, however, drive Tim to the local record store for Record Store Day (He collects vinyl.)  I also went grocery shopping.  Wooooo hooooo!

Fast forward to Sunday!  Before we left for our Easter festivities, I tried to take some outdoor pics of the kids.  Darcy wanted to pose cute with her brother...Aidan looks like he is thinking of 6,000 other things he would rather be doing...

He cheered up when I told him that I would let him wear his MineCraft Creeper hat for his solo picture.

Here's Darcy doing another magazine pose!  She is such a ham.

The pics below (fruit and veggie trays) are the items that I contributed to Easter lunch with my family.  Look at all that candy in the background!  I am not gonna lie.  Some of those M&Ms ended up in my belly.  I did not go crazy though...which I am proud of!

Blurry veggie tray! I have to admit...cucumber slices with a little bit of ranch has become one of my favorite snacks!  YUM!  And did you know that celery burns more calories during digestion than there are calories in it?!  Craaaaazy!  I wish that were the case for Reese's.

Easter egg hunt!  My sister, cousin, and I had some fun hiding these suckers!  Some eggs had candy...some had money...waaaaay better than finding hard- boiled eggs, in my opinion.  Maybe it is because I would rather eat a Milkbone than a hard-boiled egg.

And finally, because I am AWESOME, here is a pic of my cousin, Megan, and I wearing some stylish new eye-wear.  I have NO flippin' clue what or who I am looking at in this picture, but I DO know that I look sexy.  Sorry, boys, I am married...  My cousin is single though...just sayin'.  

Also cannot help but notice that my mid-section is slimming down.  Booyah!

Apr 17, 2014

Time to Get Serious: Body Image

I recently saw this article posted on Facebook.  It was an interesting blog entry which touched on how crazy Photoshop jobs done on models and celebrities in magazines, give young people a very distorted image of what an "attractive" body is.  The image is more distorted than the pictures in the magazines themselves.  In the blog entry, this photo was shared:

It compares two pictures of the same model.  The edited picture is so ridiculous I actually had a hard time believing that it was actually published somewhere.  

These startling statistics were also shared:

42% of girls in grades 1-3 want to be thinner. No 7-year-old should be self-conscious about their body. 78% of 17-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies. And no, that wasn’t a typo. 30% of high-school girls and 16% of high-school boys have an eating disorder. Teenage girls are reportedly “more afraid of gaining weight than getting cancer, losing their parents, or nuclear war.” 

So, why do I feel compelled to write about this topic?  Well, for a few reasons...

  1. I was once one of these teenage girls and these feelings have carried over into my adult life.
  2. I have a beautiful daughter of my own.
  3. I work with teenagers every single day and I have seen what these unfair expectations have done to them.  

As I have discussed before, I grew up overweight and had to deal the with the cruelty that comes along with being an overweight child and teenager.  I resorted to a few things to help "hide" my appearance.  My father used to be a very large man.  He wore a size 5X shirt at one point.  When I was a young teen, I found myself borrowing his over-sized shirts in order to hide my body...not really seeing that the incredibly large clothing actually drew MORE attention.  

This was me as an 11th grader.  Looking at this picture, I don't see anything wrong with this girl.  I wish I could go back in time and talk to her.  

Now that I am an adult, I am still very critical of myself, but have gotten better.  I have started dressing better and investing more time and energy in improving myself.  This is not because I want to appear better to others, it is because I want to feel good and comfortable in my own skin.  It is because I want to be healthy.  It is because I deserve to feel just as beautiful as a woman who can shop outside the plus-sized section.  I am constantly working on it, but I have made more improvements than you know.


Darcy is my beautiful 4 year old.  I cannot imagine how she could ever think of herself as less than that, but I know those thoughts will creep in.  I mean, last week, she was reluctant to wear shorts because she did not want other people to see her knees.  After I convinced her of how perfect her little knees were and how cute summer clothes can be, she gave in and was fine with the shorts.  I decided that I cannot openly criticize myself in front of her because I don't want to plant that seed in her head.  

My Work Children

Working as a school counselor, I have seen stories that some of you would not even believe...or want to believe.  It is an extraordinarily rewarding job, but on a near daily basis I speak to teenage kids who somewhere along the line, have been told that they are not skinny enough, their hair isn't pretty enough, their skin isn't dark enough (I work with a predominately African American student population), their shoes aren't stylish enough, or that their sexuality is not what it should be.  Some break out into tears and come to me to pour out their emotions...in which case I always listen and offer a shoulder to cry on.  I also build them up and make it my mission to continue to do so until they walk out those school doors.  Others take more serious measures.  I speak to some who have scars from where they cut themselves in order to distract them from the actual emotional pain they feel.  I speak to some who are suicidal.  I speak to some who are convinced that no one will ever love or accept them for who they are.  I sit in front of these kids and give excellent advice...all the while thinking that I should follow some if it myself.

I am not trying to be a downer.  It is just that the article I stumbled across really struck a chord with me.  The point is that there is no real definition of what beautiful is.  Who or what decided that anyway?  Decide what it is that makes you feel you are the best version of yourself and go with it.  Stick with it and do your very best to bring it out in others.  

Apr 11, 2014

No Excuses Check-In Challenge

This weekend, I ventured into the realm that is hosting a Facebook group.  The hardest part about changing your lifestyle for good is the accountability factor.  Then there is also the annoying voice in your head that tells you to skip workouts.  I don't know about you, but I have actual arguments in my head.  I swear the devil Courtney and angel Courtney actual appear over my shoulders.

I had to show off my MAD Paint skillz!  Try not to be jealous...

The inner dialogue goes a little something like this...

It has been such a long day.  I just want to curl up on the couch tonight and watch TV.

No, Courtney, you will feel so much better if you go work out.

No, No, NO!  You will feel much better if you pass out into a drooling mess on the couch.  You will feel so energized!  Nothing is more fulfilling than falling asleep on the couch at 8:00 and then waking up a couple hours later only to walk up the stairs to go to bed.  So productive! Besides, you ARE walking up stairs! Yay, activity!

Seriously, dumbass?

Bite me.  Mmmm...bite....does someone have food? 

On a good day (and most days lately), I have not been letting Lazy Courtney win.  Sometimes she does though, and I am willing to bet that sometimes your Lazy side wins too.  It happens even to the most committed of us.  The trick is not to let Lazy Courtney go on a winning streak.

For me, the tool to not letting Lazy Courtney win is accountability.  If can communicate with people who share my goals, it is very motivating.  We cheer one another on during victories and losses.  It is great! If you are interested, I would like to formally invite you toooooo...

Join!  Share your secrets!  Your successes!  Get support on your bad days.  Check in with us everyday to let us know what you have done to make that step in the right direction.  You may just make some friends along the way too. Awesome, right?  Once we have enough people in the group, I will close it to a private group, so you can feel comfortable posting pictures, etc.  I hope you will consider it.  I even plan to do some fun giveaways.  

Hope to see you there!

Daily Dose of Del Signore

Apr 8, 2014

This Girl...

I have been on here talking about how I have been struggling and how I don't know what the hell I am doing. Just yesterday I realized that I have been being way too hard on myself.  The truth is that I AM making progress.  I AM working hard.   Check these suckers out!

After getting several comments about how much thinner I was looking (and not noticing it myself), I decided to take some progress pictures.  Of course, rather than noticing the progress, I immediately focused in on my arm fat.  My arm fat is by far the part of my body that I detest most.  Blech.  Anyway, I snapped out of it and realized that there IS progress!  This is 3 weeks of progress!! I have been doing it!  I have been working my program and doing a great job.  This is a huge inspiration for me to just keep moving and plugging along. I am sure there has been weight and inches lost.  I just have not done them yet.  If the scale doesn't read the way I think it should, I do not want that to negate the obvious progress I see in these pictures.  I let the scale have waaaay too much power.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how much I am growing as a person.  I talked about it a lot this afternoon when I met with my therapist.  (Yes, I see a therapist...)  With his help, I came to the following realizations...

I also decided that...

Ok, so how many of you instantly started singing the song when you saw this?  I did.  haha. 

So, what about you?  What are you proud of today? 

Apr 5, 2014

MIA and my 21 Day Fix

I have been missing in action lately.  I am sorry.  I have had writer's block and have really just taken a break to figure out what my next step is as far as getting myself together health wise.  It is just hard to get on here and know what to write about when I, myself, am not sure what the hell I am doing.

I have a better grasp on things now though.  I have this wonderful person to thank.  I have mentioned Jess in previous blog entries in reference to how much I love her blog.  She has, however, become a wonderful coach for me as I try to meander my way through this thing called weight loss.  I can safely say that I now consider her a friend in this journey.

After being turned down by my insurance company when inquiring about visiting the dietetics department at a local hospital for a consultation, I was really discouraged.  I NEEDED HELP.  I know that you are supposed to eat healthy, blah, blah, blah, but I needed actual parameters.  I have learned a couple things about myself when it comes to diet plans over the past several months...

  1. I HAVE TO EXERCISE and do so rigorously or I lose momentum FAST.
  2. I cannot participate in a diet which totally eliminates a food group.  Knowing that I cannot have the food makes me feel deprived and then I get pissed and throw in the towel.  It is all mental, I know.  I could have a diet that says I am prohibited from eating fish eyes and I would then crave them.  Well, maybe not...but you see my point.   
  3. I need something that is easy to understand, cause complicated also is a sure way to make me give up in two days.
After learning that a dietitian would not be in my future, I learned of this:

The eating plan is simple.  You have a series of colored containers and a different food group corresponds with each color.  You get a certain amount of containers per day and as long as the food fits in the container, you can eat it.  The food plan guide outlines preferred foods for best results and recipes.  I am loving this plan so far!  Jess happens to be a Team Beachbody Coach, so she has been a great guide as I have figured out this plan. 

The workouts are GREAT!  They are only 30 minutes and work muscles that I don't think I even knew existed in my flabby frame.  I am getting stronger already.  I pair these workouts with my gym workouts. Again, I L-O-V-E them.  I am not one to say I love exercise either -- ever. 

Now, the big question?  Has it been working?


Over the past couple weeks, I have lost a little over 5 pounds (which is really good for me).  I did take my measurements before, but have not remeasured yet to see if I have lost inches.

This has been working so well, in fact, that 3 people at work have complimented me and have noticed that I am dropping weight!  One of them was a man!  Men never notice these things, I my opinon...so, SCORE!

Soooo, I just wanted to let you know that I am still at it over here.  I have just taken a break because I had no clue what I was doing for awhile.  I am sorry if have been sick of reading about my diet of the week.  It is just something that has truly been an experiment for me.  What will work?  What will be the program that really clicks with me?   This one really has so far.  It says 21 day fix, but I plan to stick with it for more than 21 days.  (I recently became a Beachbody Coach, so if you are interested in the 21 Day Fix, let me know! I would be happy to give you more information!)

I have also been involved in a 90 day challenge with Jess and some of her readers.  We are trying to get our bodies presentable for swim suit season.  I know that I want to feel more confident in my bathing suit when I head to the beach in June!  So far so good!  I am going to continue to work myself hard so that I can feel good when relaxing on the beach.

Daily Dose of Del Signore


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