30 Day Challenge 10, and Reflections of a Former Fat Girl.


I am so not a fan of Mondays! They tend to be the most stressful work day (with the exception of this past Friday, but more on that later). They also tend to be the hardest day to get up and get going. Alas, here I am, blogging at 7 am, after waking up at five and busting out a personal record 2.25 miles in 34 minutes at the gym! CRAZY!

I skipped the Challenge post last month, because I was a little put off by my weight loss stall, but with some hard work and re-dedication, I finally broke the 200 lb mark. I am officially under 200 lbs, and a member of the One-derland club I heard so much about when I first started researching weight loss surgery.

Truth is, June 24th will be my one year surgiversary, and I still can’t believe that I have lost more than 100 lbs. It’s surreal. It’s what I used to dream about back in those days when I was taking phentermine, running at 5 am and 300+ lbs…..what I dreamed of sitting in those Weight Watchers meetings, angry at all of the skinny women groaning about all the cakes and cookies in their office….and here I am.

I am under 200 lbs, running at a steady stride, and living the life I always saw in my mind. There are still some things left to be desired, and I am working on those. It seems that no matter how far I come in my personal life, I am still struggling to achieve my professional goals. Friday, I was really disappointed by a combination of the factors contributing to that. I had an emotional breakdown, and found myself crying my eyes out the whole night. Thank goodness for my boyfriend, who panics slightly when I get like that, and reminds me that I am a SURVIVOR. I always have been, and I shall continue to be.

I beat the thing that held me back all of my life, and I am going to let my career goals beat me? Definitely NOT. It’s in God’s hands, and I will do as he leads me to. Like I always have…and I am pretty positive that I will come out of the situation stronger, as usual.

Not to mention, I spent the weekend in San Bernardino to make sure I was with my uncle on Father’s Day, and he told me that he was hard on me when I was living with them because he was trying to bring out all of the potential he saw in me. He told me that I am the survivor of my generation in our family…and if you knew my uncle, you’d know compliments from him are only given to those who are truly deserving! YESSSS!

Also, I got to see my Dollface, Mia Renee. This picture pretty much makes my day:

Clearly she has some Asian heritage that none of us knew about. Lol.

Moving on! Forgive the quality of these photos, but my camera is acting ridiculous, and if I waited for someone else to take them….you may never see them! Also, please forgive my ghetto hair clip….I have to run the flat iron over my head after I post this! Haha.

Here they are…..30 Day Challenge 10!!

If you look really closely, you can see the beginning of abs…beneath the pudge. Lol.

The fact that I have a gap between my legs still baffles me! AHHH!

So, that is THAT!

I must admit, I am pretty proud!

As this year of transformation has taken place, I have become really aware of my emotions, and the transition they have made since my former fat days. I am still considered plus-sized, but the fact that I was categorized that way never bothered me so much. I guess what I was fighting the whole time was how I felt about myself, and the way that made me act. I was defensive, and I was easily offended. I no longer really care what others think. People will still make rude remarks, or even still see me as a fat girl. And you know, that’s fine. Because they don’t know how far I’ve come….and they have nothing to do with how far I plan to go from this point forward. I wake up, look at myself, and feel gorgeous. And I won’t let that feeling leave!

Yesterday’s “I feel pretty!” moment.

To all those who stuck by me at my worst, and help me celebrate on my way to being the best I can be: THANK YOU.

Encouragement is something that you can never truly measure. And the overwhelming amount I have received on this journey has touched me more than you know. It’s what motivates me to get out of bed at 5 am when the alarm goes off. It’s what tells me to keep running when my legs feel like giving out. It’s what makes me choose the chicken breast over the potato chips.

And I will be forever grateful. I won’t let you, or myself down!

Now…..let’s get out there and have a Magnificent Monday!!! WOOOOOO!!!

‘Til Next Time,


Sondra Jo

Mini Margherita Madness!!!

So, most people embarking on a journey to higher and healthier living would typically avoid something like pizza.

I have been struggling the past couple of months to finally ditch the 200 pound zone, and as of Saturday, I am officially 196.6 lbs!!!

With that being said, the true challenge now is to keep losing until I hit that miraculous 175 lb mark, and simultaneously keep myself from being utterly bored by healthy eating in the process. I have been doing a protein smoothie in the morning, a light lunch, and a sensible dinner. On nights that I hit the gym, I usually just have one of my ready-made protein shakes from Costco, so it can help my muscles recover and such.  Tonight? I decided to make one of my favorites! Margherita Pizza!

Not only is this recipe SUPER simple, but with the fact that I usually cook for myself only, I have been able to concoct a quicker, easier, more convenient, and MINI version of it.

Ready-made whole wheat pizza dough, all-natural pizza sauce in a jar, good-quality mozzerella (I’m 1/2 Italian….Kraft is NOT), and fresh tomatoes and basil make this meal a cinch…and you can make one big pizza, a couple little ones…whatever your (healthy) heart desires!

What you need: (today, I picked up all the fixins at Fresh and Easy for less than 10 bucks!):

Ready Made Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Mozzerella, packed in water (I prefer ciliegine, which is a bit bigger of a ball than pearlini mozzerella, but again, you can easily use shredded as well). Typically, I like to just kinda pat the mozzerella dry and absorb some of the excess moisture, as sometimes it will tend to pool on top of your pizza if you don’t.

Fresh basil

Fresh tomatoes

A Jar of pizza sauce

What you need to do:

Shape your crust to desired size, and place it on a lightly oiled pan

Spread tomato sauce on crust

Place cheese on sauce

Add basil

Add tomatoes

Bake at 450 degrees for about 12-15 minutes (usually, you can refer to the directions on your pizza dough), and dig in!!

Molto bene, no?

What’s awesome is that you can easily alternate other healthy ingredients. Diced veggies, lean meats….eating healthy doesn’t have to be a punishment!

For example: Fresh and Easy pizza sauce is not only super yummy and fast, but it literally is just basic ingredients, with no crazy crap added. 1/2 a cup is sixty calories, and for my little pizza, I only used a tablespoon!! Peep the label:

Nothing but what I would have used if I took the time to make my own sauce at home. Sometimes, it’s just nice to know what the heck you are eating. You’d be surprised how much better you feel when you trade soda for breakfast protein smoothies (that don’t taste like crap….more on that in another post), and McDonald’s McChickens for homemade, fresh and healthy eating.

Just wanted to share. This meal was just as fun as it was fast! What more could a 196.6 lb girl ask for?

Now, I am going to eat that gorgeous pizza, and hit the gym for Zumba tonight!

‘Til Next Time!


Monday Madness…As Usual!

Hello my loves!

So again, slackin’ on my blog mackin’, but I didn’t forget you!

Let’s start with an inspirational photo, shall we?

This is my mantra for this week! WOOO!

The past weeks have been full of shenanigans and I must admit, I’ve been pretty productive! I started a new position at work (in my own office), and I have been working as hard as possible to make the transition a smooth and efficient one for all parties involved. The car situation has been BEYOND stressful, but thanks to the amazing people in my life, I haven’t had to use public transportation once (what is that about? Seriously…when you’ve had a car, the bus is like the WORST thought ever. Lol). Sean and I attempted to install my newly purchased radiator Sunday, but we had a nightmare of a time just trying to get the plastic piece that shields the radiator off! So, we called it quits, and after a mild emotional freak-out, and Sean getting kinda crazy on me and telling me I need to calm the heck down, I contacted a friend who works on cars, and he is coming over tomorrow to fix Dulce so I can get her back on the road!

After that was all set,we headed to Temecula to two awesome wineries and went to Lucille’s BBQ for dinner. All in all, it was a lovely day. If you’re ever headed to Temecula, I strongly suggest hitting up Keyways Winery. Sean and I are big on sweet wines, Moscato especially, and Keyways has what is now our new favorite! You can check them out at KeywaysWine.com. They have live music and lunch on weekends in their gorgeous outdoor patio area. Our server, Tiffany, made the experience beyond enjoyable with her expertise, and her ability to tailor to our preferences. She also encouraged us to try new things out of our comfort zone, and we had a blast(along with just a bit too much wine, for this tiny-stomached individual). We also went to Wilson Creek Winery, after Alex told me about chocolate shot glasses with chocolate wine (DUH!), and while it was a bit too crowded for my taste, we did have a Chocolate Zinfindel that blew our minds, and Sean bought a bottle. I am very excited that we now have a bottle of Moscato and a bottle of chocolate dessert wine to add to our evenings in. Our last night in consisted of cheesy RedBox flicks, homemade baked ziti and garlic bread, and a red wine we weren’t crazy about! Moving on up? Definitely!

We have already planned our next Temecula wine tasting outing, and we will be heading to South Coast Winery first to do a sixty-minute winery tour that ends with a wine and cheese pairing. I am super excited! After that, we are heading to one of the other boutique wineries on the De Portola wine trail, and then driving to Laguna Beach to check out some art galleries, and eat a sunset dinner. June 23rd can’t get here fast enough!!

I managed to lose another pesky five lbs since the last post, and now officially just need to lose 30 more to hit my goal. For every 5 lbs lost, I will be rewarded with a new accessory from Forever 21. Sean is also starting his own weight loss journey, and for every 10 lbs he loses, he is putting $2o in his goal jar that I made for him.

Made from a 2 lb protein powder container, of course!

I know it looks a bit girly, but I sent him a photo, and he claimed to be excited…so I will take that! Clearly, he is a too-good-to-be-true boyfriend, but I don’t think he’d lie to me about that. Lol. I have volunteered to match his contributions when he hits goals, and the total will be put towards some additions to a new wardrobe for his handsome self! YAY!

I am so happy to have someone in my life that is not only one of my best friends, but someone that supports my every endeavor, and strives to make big moves in life with me. It’s something I never had before, and I can’t imagine life without it.

That is my recap for now. I totally skipped my 30 Day Challenge for May, but seeing as the scale wasn’t budging, you didn’t miss much. I won’t let June pass without one! 🙂 This will be another crazy month, what with work events, potentially taking on more work, making time for my relationship, and baby showers, bonfires, and more this month! Whew! But I will post at least weekly.

If you haven’t yet, please check out the guest post from Jillian McKee on the link between nutrition and cancer!

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start. The year is already half over! CRAZY!

‘Til Next Time!



GUEST POST: “The Link Between Cancer and Nutrition”

After participating in Relay for Life this year with the American Cancer Society, the fight to raise awareness and promote prevention for cancer has become very important to me. Jillian, who wrote the following article, reached out to me and asked me to share with my readers. I am honored to be considered a writer who can help effectively spread the knowledge!

Read on, and feel free to comment. Contact me if you’re interested in contacting Jillian, as well!


Cancer And Nutrition Information

By: Jillian McKee

Eating healthy is one of the best things anyone can do, especially those who are dealing with or have been impacted by cancer.  Anyone who is in remission or has been recently diagnosed should know that the body can benefit from the life giving nutrients that healthy foods provide.  

Research is just beginning to uncover the medicinal benefits that many fruits and vegetables provide, and it may be a long time before we are able to break through and develop natural cures for cancer.  In the meantime, it simply makes sense to give our bodies what is good and wholesome.  Our bodies thrive off of the nutrients that are found in most healthy foods, and the more we eat, the more of these nutrients we absorb.

When our bodies feel well, our minds are generally happy as well.  Plus, eating healthy is easier on the body when it comes to digesting and processing our intake.  This can help the body devote more time and energy to fighting the cancer and building immunity as opposed to digesting fats and complex carbohydrates.  

There are limitless resources available for anyone who wants to learn more about how nutrition impacts health and well being. The value and the simplicity of making dietary adjustments cannot be stressed enough, especially for cancer patients. So, even if it is hard to think about this kind of a lifestyle adjustment, doing so can have major benefits to your overall health.

Nutrition for mesothelioma or other forms of cancer is just beginning to become more integrated into treatment strategies. Unfortunately, not every oncologist puts enough emphasis on this safe and natural way to compliment other methods. That being said, developing a nutrition packed dietary strategy can only serve to help cancer patients, while offsetting some of the side effects during treatment.  

Becoming educated and informed about the spectrum of benefits that eating nutritious foods has on the body is one of the best things that any cancer patient can do. Our bodies need a steady supply of nutrients in order to be as strong as possible when it comes to fighting off an illness and maintaining health.


If cancer is a part of your life, learn how healthy foods are one of the best things that can be given to the body. Some of the world’s best medicine is found in natural foods, and the more we eat, the more nourished our bodies will be.