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July 20, 2012:

Oops. I definitely took my eyes off the target, and wound up gaining several pounds over the past 6 months. So easy to gain.

Fortunately, it's always been easy to lose that weight, as well - probably I don't diet, simply start exercising.

And now, I have a pretty yellow bicycle ... I am already starting to see results from riding the 5 miles to and from work a few times a week. Hopefully, by the end of summer, I'll have dropped those few pounds I've gained since January, and then some more.

I plan to have a fun, outdoorsy summer, full of biking and perhaps a few picnics.

Have a great summer, y'all!
January 2, 2012:

Whee. 2011 is gone. I achieved some major personal goals. Sadly, weight loss didn't even make the list. :)

2012, though? It's the year of the healthy Maya. Just 365 days left. Yes, today's the second, but this happens to be a leap year. Bonus day. :)

Simple goals will get me there (and you, too!). Just eat healthier and in smaller portions at each sitting. Keep working out, just up the intensity. That's it. The one-two punch that'll get me to my health goals.

Personal happiness goal: Paint my condo. No, not just off-whites and beiges. I'm going for COLOUR. Lime green, royal blue, lavender, sunshine yellow. It may wind up looking like a Jackson Pollock painting knock-off: I'll take that over white walls any day. :)

Here's wishing you a happy and stress-free 2012, too!
December 2011:

Hmph. It's almost the end of the "brand new year!" And my main achievement has been weight. The gain, not the loss. :) It's time to start revisiting my goals and aims, especially since we now have yet another chance to say "A brand new year!", coming up real soon now.

So, it's back to the drawing board. Back to basics, actually. You know, the old "eat less, move more" stuff. So here we go again. I don't know what I weigh (no scales), but I know my clothes are tighter on me than they were about 20 pounds ago. :) I estimate I am somewhere near my original starting weight, hopefully not much higher if at all.

Time for renewed focus, time to start taking responsibility again rather than hiding my bad choices under the umbrella of "oh, so much work, so much stress, so little time to make healthy choices".

Here's to a lighter me and a cheerful you!
Update, April 2, 2011:

Fell off many wagons! Yep. Already. Just over 3 months into 2011, and I'm just as heavy as when I started this year!

But things are slowly changing ... I'm now working my way through the Insanity workouts from Beach Body. Shaun T. is pretty motivating, in a tough, get-down-to-it way. It doesn't hurt that he's easy on the eyes, either! :D

I'm finding that my core isn't as strong as it used to be, and my cardio-vascular ability sucks. BUT. Even just a week into Insanity, things are getting better - I can survive the workouts, and in most cases, I can sort-of keep up (sort-of, as in I don't think I'm as all-out-intense as the people on the DVD, but I still stay in the exercise as long as they do!). My lungs stay full longer, my heart doesn't thump madly just going up a few flights of stairs.

In short, Insanity is AWESOME if you stick with it! I don't expect dramatic results where I'd go from a size 14 to a size 4 in 2 months, but hey, going from a 14 to a comfy 12 would be quite satisfying! :)

Update Jan 1, 2011:

UP! I've gained back all the weight I'd lost (some 35 odd pounds).

What happened??? Life did. Nothing major. Just a more sedentary job, more choices of restaurants at lunch and dinner. :) The usual. I dove in to the dumb choices, and my body is reflecting that. :) So it's back to being sensible. January 1st seems like a good place to start! :)
Original Introduction (January 2008):

208 pounds! That was more than enough for me. :) I'm tired of being bigger than my friends (most people from my culture are slender, some are downright skinny, and I'm the odd one out in every gathering!)

So, since I hit 208 again in 2008 (I was down to 185 or so in 2006, then I took a job I hated and turned to food and zero exercise as a way of dealing with it!), I've decided this is going to be the year for lasting change. I'm headed for 128 (the centre-point of the range for ideal BMI for my height)... let's see how long it takes.

Since I'm going to be lifting weights as well, I may decide that's too low a target, but for now, that's what I'm shooting for - I can always change my mind. :)

Umm - I just realised - I haven't got my NAME anywhere on this page. I'm Maya. Turned 40 in 2007. Indian, like Sushmita Sen (Miss Universe 1994) who is my hero in terms of attitude, looks and just WOW-ness. :) My goal is to eventually have a body that looks as good as hers - same basic shape, after all, right? Yeah, right! :)

Oops - did I say I'm Indian? I was born and raised in India, but I'm now a proud Canadian! The maple leaf is probably my favourite logo! :)

Updated January 1, 2009:

Here we are. A new year. A whole 365 days to reach for every dream we've ever dreamt, to make each dream come true!

After almost a year on Spark, I'm still not at that first goal of 199 pounds. However, I'm so close I can almost taste it, so I know it'll be here soon. And then I'm shooting for 195 by Jan 14th.

So, here we go. 2009 is a fantastic year so far - I've already achieved ONE goal that I'd set for Jan 14th: I can now hula hoop non-stop, in a single direction (clockwise for now - update: now I can do it counter-clockwise, too!) without dropping my hoop or changing directions or making a wild grab for it ... for OVER 5 minutes! Wheeeee! (Background? I only taught myself to hoop during the summer of 2008 ... and then only did the hooping for a few weeks before I got distracted!)

Onwards, forever onwards. This is going to be the year of massive action. Anything I even _think_ I might want to do, I'm going to do. :) Yes, fools rush in, and all that - I'd rather be a fool having fun than play it safe and lose out on life! :)

Updated Jan 21st, 2009:
I can't believe it. I got on the scales today, and WHEEEE! I'm at 198! Stepped on 3 times. 2 times it said 197.something, once it was evenly at 198. I'll take 198.

So, my first goal is finally here. Over a year after I started SP. Now I have to plan my NEXT goal. :) Done. 185. Yes, that's a bit of a jump. But why not? :)

I'm happy! :)


Updated May 6, 2009:

Phew. You'd think I lost a bit more since Jan 1st? Yes, I did. I was down at 192.5 when BLC-9 ended, back in early April. Then I kinda got lost and meandered - moved, didn't have access to a "real gym", ate a few burgers I shouldn't have. I did walk a lot, but that was almost all the exercise I got, since the beginning of April. That and the 100-pushups challenge, that I'm still doing.

Got up to 199. Decided I wasn't going to cross that mark again, so I started watching what I ate, last week. :) And for the past couple of days, I've been working out as hard as I used to. I'm in Week 6 of the 100 pushups challenge - tomorrow will be Day 1 of that. And I just did Day 1 of Week 6 of the 200 squats challenge, too ... that one is a LOT easier for me, because I have strong glutes. And today, I weighed in at 196.

Okay. Time to get serious. I'm laying out the goals again. Week by week. Wednesdays will be weigh-in days, since that coordinates with the BLC-10 challenge that I'm on.

Here we go:

May 6: 196 lb. -- That's the starting weight.
May 13: 194 lb. -- Achieved 194.5 - not QUITE there!
May 20: 192 lb. -- 193. Dang! I'd better work a lot harder!
May 27: 190 lb. -- 192! Sigh - off by a WEEK's worth!
June 3: 188 lb. -- 190. Still off by a week.
June 10: 186 lb. -- 189. Gonna eat healthier this week. No KFC. :)
June 17: 184 lb. -- 187.5
June 24: 182 lb. -- 186.5
July 1: 180 lb -- 186 - UMM. Oops. :)

PHEW! My friend's wedding reception is on July 4th, and I really, really want to weigh no more than 180 at that point. Wish me luck. Better yet, send over a BIGGER dose of determination!


Update July 6th, 2009:

Okay, I didn't make it to 180 by the wedding reception, but I felt *great* at 186. Now I'm shooting for 178 or lower by the end of July - let's see how I do. Ideally, I want to be 175 by the time this month is done. Here's the weekly breakdown I'm *planning* - let's see how closely I stick to this plan!

July 1: 186 lbs. -- That's the starting weight.
July 8: 184 lbs. --185
July 15: 181 lbs. -- 184
July 22: 178.5 lbs. -- 183
July 29: 175 lbs. -- 180

Update July 24th:

Ooh, I didn't even *notice* I'd got past 185. Well, I did, but not to the extent of going, "Hey, THAT was goal #2, and I DID it!" So, here I am, somewhere between 182 and 184 (bouncy, bouncy me!) on most days. What do I aim for next? You know what? 167.

Why 167? Because that was, for the longest time, the weight I felt BEST at - had a few happy years at that weight, and I'm ready to get there again.

So, 167 or bust. And I'm pretty certain I'll *be* there by the end of 2009. It doesn't matter how fast or slow I get there, though, as long as I *do* get there!


Update August 2nd:

Another month. Time for some new goals. I didn't get to 175. Not even close! But I *am* down significantly ... I'm at 179.something this morning - YAY!

What does that mean? I didn't make the goal I'd set for myself. But if I'd not SET that goal, I wouldn't have got as far as I have. :) I think I'm going to get there (to 175 and below) THIS month for sure!

Aug. 1: 180 lbs. -- That's the starting weight.
Aug. 5: 179 lbs.
Aug. 12: 177 lbs.
Aug. 19: 175 lbs.
Aug. 26: 173 lbs.

And I just realised that if I stick to these goals for August, I'll be within shouting distance of my year-end goal weight of 167! Wow! Now THAT's motivation! :)

Aug. 1: 180 lbs. -- That's the starting weight.
Aug. 5: 179 lbs. -- 179 achieved. (Despite the burgers!)
Aug. 12: 177 lbs. -177! Wow! Was NOT expecting that!
Aug. 19: 175 lbs. -- 179. Wasn't expecting that, either!
Aug. 26: 173 lbs. -- 177 *Yeah, when you overeat ...

Update Sept. 5th:

Well, okay - I lost a grand total of just 3 pounds in August. Mostly because I've not really cared what I put in my mouth. While there were *some* days when I stuck to my SP-suggested calorie range of 1900 to 2200, *many* (maybe most!) days, I was closer to 2500, with the occasional WAY higher-intake day. (Yes, I burn off enough calories that 1900 to 2200 calories a day would have me losing weight!)

Well. At least I know for sure that a couple of days of "blowing it" on the healthy intake side will NOT cause an immediate weight-gain!

This month, I'm going to take it a bit easier - both on the food intake and on the targets - just a pound a week is definitely doable, given that I managed 3 pounds last month without even trying. That should get me to 173 (the same target as for August!)

Weigh-ins continue to be on Wednesday! :)

Sept. 2: 177 (3 weeks in a row)
Sept. 9: 176
Sept. 16: 175
Sept. 23: 174
Sept. 30: 173

Update October 1:
Umm. Didn't *quite* make it. But close. See?

Sept. 2: 177 (3 weeks in a row)
Sept. 9: 176 -- 175 (pure fluke, believe me!)
Sept. 16: 175 -- 177 Yeah, well, look at my tracker. :P
Sept. 23: 174 -- 177!!!!
Sept. 30: 173 -- 174!!!!! Yay!

Almost all of September disappeared in a haze of depression and lots of work. Fortunately, walking everywhere meant that I did not gain an ounce despite eating every bit of fast food I could lay my hands on at the food court in the mall.

That included the Big Crunch sandwich from KFC (*with* mayo), the super-sized fries from New York Fries, several bouts of Chinese takeout, Meatball Marinara sandwiches from Subway (love the sauce!), the Volcano Tacos from Taco Bell, burgers from A&W (they had a 2-for-1 deal! :)) and lots more.

Fortunately, NOT all on the same day, but I ate fast food about 3 times a week through most of September. And, in each case, this was *after* eating the lunch that I'd packed from home! Which was healthy food like fish, veggies, etc! :)

The *last* week of September, something clicked in my head. The depression has started to lift, I'm hunting for a new job, and my eating has improved. And, as you would expect, given that I didn't gain at all during the month, my weight actually dropped 3 pounds this final week!

So, despite all the slacking off, there were definitely lots of lessons to take away from September - I have a super-duper, fantastic, mega-efficient metabolism. My body can tolerate all kinds of fast food and I can eat up to 3,900 calories in a day (I did - check out my trackers!) without actually putting on weight. Of course, if I did that every single day, or if I wasn't getting in as much exercise as I was, I'd have ballooned up.

October is going to be the month where I *stick* to the plan. :) Given how easily I dropped those three pounds, I'm actually going to go back to aiming for 2 pounds melted each week. But I'm not going to stress about it - if it happens, great, if not, I've got a life to live anyway, and, honestly, I'm enjoying my current weight! :) I need to stay focused on staying out of depression and keeping weight-loss as a focus would likely drive me down if the scale reflects badly on my lack of effort! :)

Oct. 1: 174!! Yay! I *like* this weight!
Oct. 7: 172 --
Oct. 14: 170 --
Oct. 21: 168 --
Oct. 28: 166 --

Update November 6th:

Oct. 1: 174!! Yay! I *like* this weight!
Oct. 7: 172 -- 173. Not quite there, but not bad!
Oct. 14: 170 -- 176. Stress. Interviews. Food. Yum.
Oct. 21: 168 -- 176. New job coming up. STRESS.
Oct. 28: 166 --

Umm. Yeah, I kinda fell off the weigh-in wagon. I spent October mentally gearing up to do the whole job-hunt thing. I started a new job this week.

So, in all that excitement, weight was *very* far from my mind. My clothes seem to fit the same, so I'm not worried. I've not gone overboard with the eating, except for a rather unnecessary bit of candy-eating on Hallowe'en night (my niece and nephew are very generous with their candy stash!), I've been getting in *some* exercise - so I think my food intake is in line with the amount I'm burning.

In other words, ALL'S WELL! :)

I walk a couple of miles from the subway to work a couple of days each week. This gives me the exercise I need, but also offers me a chance to peek in windows. Not to see what's inside, but to appreciate *my* smaller, cuter figure. :) I tell ya, I'm becoming quite the narcissist - I just can't stop looking! I look GOOD. Relaxed, still-plump, nice waist-line emerging, firm butt and legs. Mmmm. I *love* my body. :)

Goals for November? I don't think I'm setting weight goals this month. Instead, I'm gonna set exercise goals - the weight will either stay the same or fluctuate slightly, and I'm not too worried about it.

November goals:

Nov 1-8: 200 exercise minutes -- achieved 353
Nov 8-14: 200 exercise minutes -- achieved 120
Nov 15-21: 200 exercise minutes -- achieved 615
Nov 22-28: 200 exercise minutes -- achieved 320
Nov 29-Dec 4: 200 exercise minutes -- achieved 480


Update December 6th:

Phew. November was a *busy* month. I started my new job, yet another desk job. I did make a point of walking from the subway to work (and sometimes back FROM work) several days each week, so exercise wasn't completely gone from the routine (that's a 2.25 to 3 mile walk, depending on which subway station I get off at).

I also decided to use the corporate discount my company gets - I signed up at the gym. Yay, me. Now I have a REAL gym to work out at, with full access to a squat cage - I've really, really been missing that for the past 3 years! I'm no muscle babe, but I'm feeling good from putting in those half-hour weights sessions this past week (which is when I finally started going to the gym on the way in to work each morning, FOLLOWED by the walk!) - let's just say it's been a GREAT week. :)

And, lest I forget, November was National Novel Writing Month - an international challenge to would-be writers around the world to focus on writing 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. I signed up for that, and actually managed to meet the 50,000 word goal - YAY, me! So now I know if I ever decide to start writing in earnest, I'll be able to churn out the words I need to get the book done! :)

All that said, I've NOT been eating healthy this month - I've eaten out way too often because it seems to be the "norm" at software companies to go to lunch. :) That needs to change. So, I'm putting that on my goals for the month of December - I'm going to eat lunch out only two times each week. I know the exercise will stay steady, and I really don't think I care about the weight - I haven't weighed in in a couple of weeks. :)

Dec 6-12: at most 2 lunches out -- achieved 2
Dec 13-19: at most 2 lunches out -- achieved 3
Dec 20-26: at most 2 lunches out -- achieved 2
Dec 27-Jan 2: at most 2 lunches out -- achieved 2

Update Dec 31st 2009:

Well. I did achieve, mostly, my goal of not eating out *at lunch* more than 2 times a week in December. Which was a good thing. Sadly, I did eat out at dinner as well, a couple of times each week. That adds up. My weight is up - not a huge amount, but definitely not "just a pound or two".

The GREAT news is that my metabolism is still roaring - any day that I stay within about 2,500 calories (and not too much of it from worthless, junky carbs), I actually lose weight. Which tells me that January is going to be kind to my body because there'll be less occasions when I just want to eat out because "everyone" is doing it! :)

That, and the fact that I've rediscovered wild Atlantic salmon (I love fish, but I like my fish to taste fishy, and most farmed fish just doesn't do it for me. And I've got those yummy veggies to go with the fish ... :)

January 2010 WILL focus on the gym again - I've slacked off majorly the past two weeks and it's time to get that weight routine down pat. I'm going to aim for 4 to 5 days each week, this time going with a split routine. Cardio will continue in the form of walks to work (3 miles one way from the subway to work!) and/or swimming some evenings after work. I'll have to be careful with timing things on the swim - the last bus now is at 7:30 p.m. rather than 9:30, which means I have to be really aware of when I leave work and head out for the gym. But everything is doable if you want a result, right? :)

So, here are my January goals:

Jan 3 - 9: 5 weights sessions planned - 3 achieved
Jan 10 - 16: 5 weights sessions planned - 5 achieved
Jan 17 - 23: 5 weights sessions planned - 5 achieved
Jan 24 - 30: 5 weights sessions planned - 4 achieved
Jan 31 - Feb 6: 5 weights sessions planned - 4 achieved

And January 4th is my next fitness assessment at the gym - it'll be 5 weeks since the first one. I wonder how I'll do, given that I've not lifted weights at all in the past two weeks, and that cardio has been spotty to say the least? We'll just have to wait and see, huh?

Here's to a fantastic 2010 to EVERYONE!

Update, Feb. 6, 2010:

It occurs to me that this page is getting way too long. If I put it all into a blog, though, *I* will forget where I've been, so, for now, I'm going to leave it all on my main SparkPage. Thank goodness SP now shrinks it all way down unless someone actually wants to read it! :)

So, January was, unexpectedly, an eventful month. I'd planned to get in 5 strength training workouts each week. How did I do? Pretty well, all things considered. I managed 5 days twice, 4 days twice, and 3 days in the very first week of January. I think I'll keep up that schedule, because it just works well for me. So, I'll be attempting to get to the gym every weekday in February as well - of course, there happens to be a long weekend in there, and this week has already been a 4-days only week, so it's not going to be perfect, but it is pretty darned good.

All that strength training had one major side-effect ... I was hungry ALL the time. Not necessarily "real" hunger, but I wanted to eat. And eat. And eat some more. And I did. I ate everything I even remotely thought I wanted. That included several KFC sandwiches (I *love* the Big Crunch sandwich!) and a few samosas, and more than a couple of the Sausage and Egg McMuffin, too! :) It was all delicious, and yes, I put on some more weight.

The amazing thing, though? When I went in for the *next* fitness assessment, I'd actually dropped 1.4% of body fat! Woohooo! I'm impressed - all that gorging and still to lose fat! Wow! So now I'm sorta motivated to eat a little cleaner this month. I'm making no promises, but I do want to cut back on eating fast food, so that's going to be my goal for the month: fast food only one time per week. That's HUGE for me ... I tend to give in way too easily to salt-cravings! :D Wish me luck!

Here's the new goal list:

Feb 1 - 6: At most 1 fast food meal planned - 3 achieved
Feb 7 - 13: At most 1 fast food meal planned - 3 achieved
Feb 14 - 20: At most 1 fast food meal planned - 3 achieved
Feb 21 - 27: At most 1 fast food meal planned - 3 achieved

Update: Feb 28:

Umm. Okay. February was a total failure as far as eating at fast food places goes. Every week, I ate way more fast food than I'd planned.


Mostly because I wasn't focused every *single* day on what those totals were adding up to, wasn't focused on bringing enough healthy alternatives that would fill me up *and* satisfy the taste buds! Silly me.

Okay, so March is going to have to be a do-over. I think, this time, I'm actually going to focus on the eating. No more just taking in arbitrarily huge amounts of calories and *hoping* I do okay!

So, to keep it simple, I'm aiming for 2,150 calories per day, with ONE splurge day each week. Splurge day is up-to-3,000-calories.

Here's the ongoing tally:

Mar 1 - 6: 1 2,200+ calorie day planned - ??? achieved
Mar 7 - 13: 1 2,200+ calorie day planned - ??? achieved
Mar 14 - 20: 1 2,200+ calorie day planned - ??? achieved
Mar 21 - 27: 1 2,200+ calorie day planned - ??? achieved
Mar 28 - Apr 3: 1 2,200+ calorie day planned - ??? achieved


Update: October 2, 2010:

Fell off the wagon with a thud back in March. Ate my way through stress and boredom.

Looked up late in September and realised I'd really done a number on my body - I weighed in at 211 pounds on September 28th!

Hmph. Obviously I am NOT one of those determined 5% who just lose the weight and keep it off. :) Time to get back in action. So far, simply by focusing on staying aware and making healthier choices, I've managed to stick mostly within my SP-prescribed 1700 to 2150 calories a day (exercise has never been my problem, see? it's ALL over-eating!), I have managed to get my weight back down to 204 pounds. That's still 10 pounds higher than my ticker shows, but I am refusing to change the ticker until I get below 194. :)

Hang on to your seats, this may be a bumpy ride:

Oct 2: 204 pounds
Oct 3-9: Aim: 202 pounds, achieved 203.5 pounds
Oct 10-16: Aim: 200 pounds, achieved 205 pounds
Oct 17-23: Aim: 198 pounds, achieved 203.5 pounds
Oct 24-30: Aim: 196 pounds, achieved 202.4 pounds
Oct 31-Nov 6: Aim: 194 pounds, achieved ??? pounds


Member Since: 1/9/2008

Fitness Minutes: 111,703

My Goals:
- Bike to work at least 3 days each week (remember the sun block!)

- Eat at least 2 servings of freggies twice a day

- Drink plenty of water (my usual when biking is about 14 cups a day)

My Program:
I *used* to do a bunch of different workouts. Now: it's Insanity all the way, baby!

Started March 27th.
Plan to finish: May 25th 2011.

And I *plan* to watch the eating, too - but I've said that one before. :)

Personal Information:

Other Information:
Look up Tabata Training Protocol - it's like HIIT on steroids. It'll do GREAT things for your body if you do it 5 days a week! :)

Try it out:

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