Challenge Yourself Blog: Cindy Cervantes

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2 .My body fat goes down every week! Okay small increments but they mean something!

3. I also feel like I look better and I have much more energy.

4. Those squats really work!

5. My clothes are a little looser.

6. AND a 1st grader in another classroom totally made my day -- she told me I was looking skinny!

Mind you, skinny is not a term I've heard associated with myself since I was a gawky 13-year-old. She must be looking at me through rose-colored glasses but it felt so good!

Bridesmaid update: We have filled our spot. Victoria Beltran, Marco's cousin (more like a baby sister than cousin) will be honoring us by being in our wedding. We're so excited!

T -40 days ... YIKES!

April 4 -- Tips From a Challenger

1. Write down everything you eat! You can either write it on paper or track it online at Self.com. You'll be surprised how much you are really eating. It really keeps you from reaching for that chocolate chip cookie when you know you've been healthy all day.

2. Eat your veggies! How can you not? It's spring! Eat things you've never tried before. I'm now in love with radicchio. Veggies are one area I was falling behind in. I've started increasing my veggies this new month and I feel that it's making a difference.

3. Drink water all day. This is another thing I wasn't doing. As a teacher you can't run to the bathroom every five minutes, however, you do find a way to get there. I feel energized. For those who don't like water, use the Crystal Light powder for water. They have tons of flavors.

4. Experiment in the kitchen. One of my greatest passions is cooking and baking. I think that is partially what got me to this weight. I have been re-making my recipes (especially that delicious Mexican and Italian food) and it's working. I make sure to measure my olive oil and not drizzle freely. Using spices and herbs really jazzes up your food so that you don't feel like you're eating low fat. My next challenge -- lower fat brownies.

5. Try to find ways to make food prep easier. For example, I buy prewashed, prepackaged salads and veggies. I also buy rotisserie chicken and precooked chicken breasts. I spend a little more but the time I save is so worth it.

6.Eat half of a portion when you eat out at a restaurant. Marco and I are now each ordering a salad and then sharing an entree. Guess what? We don't even miss that extra entree.

7.Do your cardio. You feel so much better. Even if you only do 20 minutes, those 20 minutes mean something.

8. Don't be so hard on yourself. If you fall off the workout/diet wagon, get right back on and don't look back.

April 3 -- I'm Only Human

Week 5 was wonderful until Friday afternoon. I seriously don't know what took hold of me. Granted, the weather was as crazy as always -- five days straight of downpours, thunderstorms, flash floods, but that was no excuse to ditch my workout with Will. I called him and left him a rambling message about bad weather on his cell phone and headed straight to the nail salon.

I think I just needed a break -- a manicure, pedicure break. Much better than a brownie and hot fudge sundae break if you ask me. Boy did it feel good. It was good for the body and soul. Girly girls will understand me completely. I think all of the stress of the wedding kind of got to me that day. You always feel like you're forgetting to do something, or call someone, or whatever.

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