Extending Our Happily Ever After

"We do! Now let's live healthy and fit!"


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Day 24 – 100 Day Challenge

Today was another good food day… I’m getting back on track! Thank goodness! I still didn’t do great with exercise, but I did walk at work today, so that’s something.

Also, I was called today by lady who ran an article on my weight loss story for our company last summer. She wanted to do a follow up story. I had told her that I really didn’t lose any more weight. We talked for a while and she wanted to know how things were after my hip replacement surgery and the car accident I had last year and told me that after all I had been through, to hear that I had maintained the weight loss and that I was still excited and focused on my journey even though I still had disappointment that I hadn’t lost more weight told her that my story is still very motivating and very relevant to what she was looking for. She said that it was “real”… not every weight loss journey was easy or full of constant successes, but it was just that… a journey.

I am still motivated to lose weight, even though I have not seen the scale get into “new weight loss” for over a year. I still challenge myself to get out and exercise, I still get up every morning and drink my lemon water and pack my lunch and go to work with the excitement of being on plan and I think it’s that energy that probably has helped me keep the weight off and not gain it all back on. I am proud of maintaining the huge loss I’ve done. I also know and have every confidence that I will reach my goal, even if it’s going to be “in my own sweet time”… it will come. At least I’m headed in the right direction! That feels amazing!

I am thrilled with my health and my energy and stamina. I could ask for more, but I’m quite happy with this!

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Day 23 – 100 Day Challenge

Grrrr! I had videos from the past few days on my phone, thought I had uploaded them to Giveit100.com/Cinnamarie1 but I guess I did not… and I deleted them off my phone! LOL Well, I’m not able to retrieve the video, so now I’m video”less” for those days…

I could LIE and say it was of me working out like crazy! LOL But, really, the first video was of me walking, and it was from the high school to downtown Scranton where the St Pat’s parade was being held on Saturday. The second video was just a simple one of me in the car explaining how I didn’t walk IN the parade, but rather just around town because of the cold.

Oh well…

I’ve been unfocused and needing to get back into it with food and exercise. I am “off”. I seem to have the exercise down on the weekends… but not the food… then during the week, I’m great with the food, but not the exercise! I come home tired from work and then I’m busy with things. This week, Monday was spent with a quick dinner, then getting Chris to his community band practice. Tonight was a Toastmaster event… it was an Area International Speech and Evaluator contest… Alot of fun, but I wasn’t really home.

I just have to figure things out… and this weather… it’s still so very cold and I just need the warm weather to come back. I want to get back to being more active and even possibly going to walk the lake twice around instead of just the once.

Anyway, long day, heading to bed now. I will try to get more on top of my videos, it’s really not my strong point.


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Days 19, 20 and 21 – 100 Day Challenge

Been a busy weekend! We had our huge Scranton St Patricks Parade weekend here. 9th biggest in the country, I believe. Anyway, it’s always a huge production here.

Friday was a normal day, Work but then I donated Plasma. That went well and was alot more relaxed than the previous Tuesday. The only concern is that later that night, I still was bleeding a bit from the needle spot… I’ll have to ask about that next time I donate. Usually when I give blood, I clot up pretty fast, so I’m not quite understanding why it’s not the same with this… size of the needle? Just not sure. Also, my iron is just borderline, but it always is… so I’ll keep having to eat the broccoli and spinach and just keep up with the leafy vegetables and such.

Saturday was parade day… I meant to walk in the parade with my son’s Marching band, but I had no idea when the parade started, so I walked downtown too early and because I only own one green shirt and it’s a short sleeve, low-cut one at that… and the day was a bit cool and windy… well, I was VERY COLD! I just figured that once I got walking, I’d be fine… but instead, I stood there, nearly 2 hours waiting for the parade to start… so just about when it did start, I opted instead to walk to the mall where my former boss was with his son and ordered a hot tea and stayed a bit warm! LOL I did, however, walk downtown, walk to the mall, walk around for the 2 hours trying to stay warm… but then he and his wife drove me to my car where I waited for my son after the parade… then drove home! OH well! I tried!

Today, we went grocery shopping for some healthy foods, got fruits for the week, our greek yogurts, some ground turkey and some canned salmon, etc. I did get some instant cream of wheat, I think that’s good for iron… so I’ll eat that the day before donation day and maybe that will help in my iron levels, too…

Ohhh, and this isn’t quite on plan, but then again, it’s mostly for my co-workers, but we do cut a bit for ourselves… back in December, a girlfriend of mine on facebook posted a 60+ fudge recipes post. Well, I started making different recipes of fudge once a month since then and taking it in to my co-workers. Well, I call it “Fudge Friday”… this Friday coming is going to be “Fudge Friday” and the fudge I’ll be making is a Mint Oreo Cookies and Cream Fudge in honor of St Patrick’s Day… (it’ll be green, of course)… so, I had to purchase the ingredients for that, too… I’ve been picking different recipes every month. Last month’s was the best thus far with a Neopolitan Fudge (strawberry, vanilla, chocolate layered fudge, pink on top for Valentine’s day) I’ve been trying to get very creative! Next month’s fudge is Banana Cream Fudge! It’s been fun, because alot of these I’ve never made before and people at work have never tasted before, either.

Anyway, This morning, I walked around our lake with this guy from work… he’s on a journey to lose weight, too. It was our first “buddy walk” together. He’s a nice guy. My son went with and did his running thing. I like that he goes up there with me, even if he doesn’t walk with me, but I love that he’s fit as well and at least we talk on the way home. The only cause of concern today was that it was very cold, temps in the low 20’s… and my lip was swollen and numb after the walk… almost as if I had been to the dentist and had a procedure done. That’s never happened before and to be honest, it’s still a bit numb and swollen now… even after I’ve typed all this. I don’t know what I could have done to have had that happen… so this is a bit odd and I guess I’ll have to keep an eye on it.


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Day 18 – 100 Day Challenge

Took the day off… slept in til 11:30! I loved that! It was a very windy, cold, blustery day and I woke up feeling congested and just sleepy!

It felt very good catching up on some sleep. Then just hung out with hubby and watched some tv. We found a good BBC show called Paradox to watch… unfortunately, it only ran one season. I’m not sure why, as it was very good! We finished it.

Dinner tonight was very thin ground beef steaks and some roasted vegetables. I’m donating plasma again tomorrow after work and wanted to make sure that I didn’t have a problem with my iron… which I almost always do, but hoping that I make their requirements. I just barely scraped by on Tuesday, so here’s hoping!

Well, I’m still a bit run down, so headed to bed again today, early… Well, 10 pm is fairly early for me, so I should feel pretty good tomorrow.


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Day 17 – 100 Day Challenge

Today was pretty uneventful… back to work.

Weather is cooling down again, which is a bit depressing after the gorgeous day we had yesterday. It rained this afternoon, poured for a bit, actually… and now it’s chilly, windy and freezing rain has started. We are expecting some snow tomorrow as well! These early months in the year are always so crazy in the Northeast, one day warm and sunny, the next, overcast and snowing! It’s just nuts!

Well, I didn’t get a video uploaded today, will have to try to upload two tomorrow.

Someone recently approached me and asked about my goals regarding my future in regards to my journey with my weight loss. I’ll speak a moment to that… and some of my friends/followers here sort of know my story already through sparkpeople.com or facebook or even my website http://www.cinnamarie.com or http://www.extendingourhappilyeverafter.com .

Back in March of 2012, I weighed 378 lbs. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t my highest weight, but since this was the start of my journey and my first official weigh in, that was what I was going by. At that moment in time, I was in a bad place physically… I was in pain most of the time. I had degenerative arthritis in my lower back and right hip and three herniated discs in my back as well. I was missing work often, due to days where I’d wake up and was just unable to move. When I’d go grocery shopping, I’d often have to find places to sit down, or end our day after one trip to the store so I could get home and rest. I couldn’t stand more than 5 minutes without sitting down to rest. All this and I was only 44 years old.

I knew that my weight was out of control and that if I wanted to live a longer life with quality, I needed to do something about it. I found a diet (17 Day Diet) that I felt would be something my husband and I could follow and we started it and the weight started to come off very quickly. It truly changed how we thought about our diet. I didn’t exercise at first, but after losing over 30 lbs, then I started walking with Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds DVD’s. I knew they were low impact and with my back/hip issues, this was the way to go for me.

It took me about 18 months to lose 150 lbs… and then the following year, I basically maintained that loss… Last winter I did gain 32 lbs back and I’ve lost 27 of those lbs… I still have about 50-60 more lbs to go on my journey but that’s basically the story of it…

Throughout my journey, I found out that I needed a hip replacement, due to all the weight I carried for decades! This was done last May and now that degenerate arthritis in my right hip is now gone. The weight I’ve lost has truly helped the arthritis in my lower back and my herniated discs as well… and I know when the rest of the weight comes off, that will also help tremendously.

I have discovered that I can’t zumba. I can’t P90X or do Insanity. I can’t run. I can’t even do pushups or many floor exercises. I can’t do a sit up because being on the hard floor is just too much for my back… however, I do have a “Bean” (remember those from the infomercials?) and I do situps on that, or with use of a stability ball.. I just need support for my lower back. I often use the term “I am working with a broken body” when I talk of how I manage my exercise… but I do exercise and I do stay fit.

Also, I managed to lose my weight with no exercise equipment here at home or through joining a gym, although I did try joining a gym last year, but I only went for less than a month and as it didn’t add to any weight loss, I won’t count that. The only real money I put into my weight loss was the purchasing of a daily multi-vitamin (purchased at WalMart, their generic brand) and 5 Leslie Sansone videos (all under $10 a piece and not purchased all at once, they were bought throughout the journey, as rewards for weight loss and when I wanted to get a new workout).

Back to the initial thought… what is it I want to do in regards to my goals with my future, considering my weight loss? Well, I’ve been mostly inspired to help others and I have helped others. There have been facebook friends who have honestly been following me from day 1 and have also lost alot of weight and they have told me that I inspired them. I have co-workers who also have lost alot of weight and contribute that to my influence on them. I have been called, emailed and texted many times over, asking for advice from friends about what they should do, or how they should start, and I always claim to not know the answers, but I end up just giving words of encouragement and just giving a voice to the voice already inside themselves and usually pep them up and spur them on to get going in their weight loss goals. However, what is near and dear to my heart, besides always being there for my family and friends and that is way up at the top of my list… is that I’d LOVE to be able to help others that were where I was.

I’d LOVE to inspire those that are VERY overweight, who can’t move much, who have mobility issues, who don’t have the money for diet things that are out there, because they really only need to have money for REAL FOOD. They don’t need money for a gym. They don’t need money for equipment, like a treadmill. I was morbidly obese for most of my life… it’s who I was for so long, that I can relate to that person. I know what they feel, because I felt it for so many years. They feel that it can’t be done, they will never lose weight and you know what? It’s SO MUCH EASIER than they think it is, and I’m living proof.

I want them to BELIEVE in their souls that it’s not hard to lose weight… it’s hard to live in a body that doesn’t lose weight. Because, I soooo remember how hard my life was. How hard it was getting up in the morning, IF I could get up out of bed! There is no way I’m believing they can tell me that they feel AWESOME! Because I KNOW they don’t!

I feel so passionate about this… but my heart breaks, because I want more than anything to help them feel awesome! I know that they can! I want that for them as much as I wanted it for myself. I want to put that pep in their step and that smile on their face like I did with myself! It will truly change their life and not only that… it will EXTEND IT!

That is my goal for my future… That is my audience, in addition to anyone else who is inspired by my story.

My parents are the top two on this list. They taught me EVERYTHING they know about food and exercise. I NOW want to teach them everything I know about food and exercise. My parents are in Southern California. I’m here in Northeast Pennsylvania. That is my dream, I hope to make it come true in a few years.

Pic of Chris and I with my parents, followed by Chris and I from last Summer

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Day 16 – 100 Day Challenge

Such a busy day! 

Took the day off for doctor appointments! I had 3 today. I like to just take a day off and schedule them all in one day, rather than taking off early from work three different days. It’s just easier. 

Today was also a GORGEOUS day! The temps climbed up to about 60 degrees! Yay! However, we are due rain after midnight and then all day tomorrow, with declining temps and yep, it’ll end in freezing rain and snow! Yep, it’s still winter and well, them’s the cold, harsh facts of it, I suppose! 

Anyway, this morning was the ol’ gyno appt for the yearly visit us women have to make… and yes, it went well, thank you very much… then it was off to the dentist for a cleaning and now that I have a new hip, I had to take antibiotics before the visit… this is a new thing for me, but I was prepared and on top of that requirement! One that I’ll have to do for the rest of my life now. Then, checked the temp from my car and it showed that it was over 40 degrees and I was near a favorite walking path of mine, so I went for a 35-40 minute walk! (yep, got my exercise in! Yay me!) While on my walk, I met a super nice family… a mother named Lisa and her two small boys, Ethan and Aiden! I definitely had a fun time talking to little Ethan who loves Airplanes and Trains! 🙂 Hope to run into them again, he helped me march a bit as we walked! 

After that, I headed out to Taco Bell (blame the movie I rented the other day with a Mariachi lead actor… I’ve been craving Mexican food ever since). However, they had this burrito called the Cantina Burrito, which is a healthier version… It was soooo good and so big that I actually couldn’t even finish it. Anyway, I had water on me, so that and water got me through and I thought, “let me see if my optometrist will let me do a walk in appointment, too”, so I drove there… He wasn’t in, but I made an appt for my son and I. Off to the hospital for my next appt. 

Now, I’ve been wanting to donate plasma… there is this local place in town where you can earn money doing it, but apparently I’m a special case and with my history of cancer and then my surgery within the past year, they needed to know if I had any blood products in the surgery, so I needed to get paperwork at the hospital to figure out that blood product question. I had a letter from my gyn about being cancer free for the past 16 years, so that part was figured out… and then I had to go to medical records to get the other bits… then it was off to my last doctor appt, the neurologist… the name sounds alot worse than it is… I see him for my back, I’m all good. It’s more of a check in after all the surgery stuff. No biggie. 

But, then I ran home to get the paperwork on my cancer free letter, then off to the plasma donor place. That was around 2 pm! Well, long story short (too late, I know)… I was there a bit over 4 hours (special case situation)… I just made the iron count, always on edge with that and had to cut out early on the full donation and nearly didn’t stop bleeding for them to let me go, but I was in a hurry to leave as Ivan needed to get to work! OMG! I couldn’t clot fast enough! I got home JUST IN TIME for him to leave and he barely made it! 

Then, I forgot all about Toastmasters, so I had to call a friend of mine to get me to the meeting and we were late to that! Uggh! It was such a crazy day… I didn’t eat til I got home, nearly 9 pm… had leftover turkey taco meat with cabbage from last night and green tea and water…. 

Eating was just not super consistent and a bit of a mess today, because of my crazy, hectic schedule… but it wasn’t horrible and I DID exercise! LOL 

Overall, I had a decent day today.. I think I’ll sleep like a baby! Look at the video today on http://www.Giveit100.com/Cinnamarie1 of where I walked… the path is GORGEOUS! 🙂 One of my favorite walking paths!


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Day 15 – 100 Day Challenge

My video today shows the dinner we had tonight… Ivan prepped the Turkey Taco meat part of it, I did the veggie part of it… and then let Christopher have some veggies before we added in the meat. Christopher is a pescatarian, so we usually let him at the veggies first.. 🙂 If you’d like any of my recipes, I list them in the notes section of our ‘Extending Our Happily Ever After’ facebook page. It’s delicious!

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Also, finished up Nurse Jackie tonight and now, just watching some tv and will walk while I do that and wait for Chris to come home from practicing with his community band.

I’ve got some doctor appointments tomorrow and if I can swing it and the weather is nice, I may go for a nice walk. I took the entire day off work, as I had 3 appointments scheduled. If I do, I’ll post a video of where I decide to take that walk.

I’ve got a Toastmasters meeting tomorrow, then, unfortunately, I’m missing the next three meetings. I have some great news and some excitement coming up… The next meeting, we’ll be having a host family meeting because during the month of April, we are going to be hosting two French exchange students! We are very excited! This will be a first for us. Both will be boys and both are 16. Each will be here for a week seperately from the other. The only experience I have with this is that when I was younger, my parents used to host foreign exchange teachers and I believe they were only from Germany. It was a very enriching experience and I really enjoyed their stays with us. I’m very much looking forward to meeting our two students!

It’ll be a very busy time for us all, I’m sure!