Wow. Done.

Sorry about the lack of posting over the past week or two. Life has been BUSY (a very, very good kind of busy with mini-vacations and lots of new projects). I’m kicking myself that I didn’t set up my Gringation Facebook page sooner because it has been a great way to share my adventures when I’m not able to do a full post.

One major thing that happened recently was…

I reached my goal weight!

My nutritionist had recommended that I get down to 24% body fat, and 30 pounds of fat later, I’m finally done!!

The new dieta de mantenimiento (“maintenance diet”) has been a-ma-zing. The fat loss diet never left me hungry, but it is so weird to be eating 3 TIMES as many carbs as I used to. I also get 2 cheat meals a week, plus the occasional brownie, should the opportunity present itself. When I saw the list for my new diet, I actually got tears in my eyes. It was so much food. I’ll be honest, most days I don’t eat all the portions I’m supposed to, and that’s 100% ok.

I’ve also been keeping up with my workouts. Today I ran 2K without stopping for the first time ever! A new record! Then I ran/walked another 6K after that. What a morning.

So here are the before and after pics for today…

Before: 160 pounds and 35% body fat

After: 130 pounds and 24% body fat

Aaaaand the face…

Before: 160 pounds

After: 130 pounds


Thanks to all my readers for the amazing support, e-mails, comments, workout tips and compliments. Ya’ll are THE BEST.


Read more about my weight loss journey with these posts:

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 1

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 2

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 3

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 4

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 5

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 6

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 7

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 8



I Ran One Mile Today

When I was growing up, we had physical fitness tests twice every school year. Part of these tests included a timed 1-mile run. From 4th grade through 10th grade, I remember always dreading “running the mile”. It was such an embarrassing experience, even though I’m sure I’m the only one who cared about my time. I hated being among the last kids to cross the finish line. Always. I could only ever run part of it and had to walk the rest, and my time was always one of the slowest ones in my class. Running the full mile without walking was something only the more athletic kids could do, and my entire life I’ve had this mental block telling me that I’m too weak to run a full mile.

But I ran 1 mile today.

Without stopping.

At 6 am.

And my running buddy Nadia told me this:

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 8

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 1

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 2

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 3

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 4

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 5

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 6

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 7

I was really hoping that today I could tell you I’d lost the final 2 pounds, but sadly that’s not the case. I had my weigh-in on Tuesday and was surprised to see that I’d actually gained about a pound! (now at 131 pounds) Fortunately it was all muscle weight. I gained nearly 2 pounds of muscle (yay!), but I only lost about 1 pound of fat.

Anyway, since I’m now doing free weights with lots of squats and lunges, it looks like I’ll keep gaining muscle, so I can’t say 128 pounds is my goal weight anymore. My weight might go up or stay the same, but the main goal is to reach 24% body fat. To get to 24%, I still need to lose a little over 1 pound of fat. It’s not much, but I do want to slim down my tummy and arms before I begin my maintenance diet, so the nutritionist put me on a stricter diet for the next 2 weeks to finish once and for all.

The gym clothes I’ve had for a year or more no longer fit me properly, so last week I went to Cancun’s outlet mall and got some discounted workout outfits. They’re all dry-fit, which is great because I don’t have to worry about everyone at the gym seeing my sweat seep through my clothes. Not a good look!

Here are some before, during and after pics in my workout clothes:

Before: 160 pounds

During: 145 pounds

During: 145 pounds

Now: 131 pounds (New Nike shirt and Underarmour pants)

Now: 131 pounds (another Nike top and Underarmour pants)

Now: 131 pounds (Nike running shorts and top I got for Christmas last year but couldn't wear until now) Legs are looking pretty good, yes?

I have been a little frustrated with my tummy not being flat yet, but now that I see the “during” pics from when I was halfway through my weight loss, I can see it’s come a loooong way! If you are on a weight loss journey, I strongly recommend lots of progress pics. It really helps to keep you motivated when you can’t feel any changes.

Wish me luck on the final leg of my diet! Once the small amount of unwanted fat is gone, I’ll be able to focus 100% on exercise and building some more muscle.

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 7

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 1

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 2

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 3

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 4

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 5

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 6

Last time I posted a weight loss update, I had gained half a pound from all my diet cheating. I was getting very frustrated with myself, but even more determined.

Last week, I had another weigh-in with my nutritionist. After 3 weeks of being good on my diet and lots of extra exercise, I was thrilled to finally lose 2 more pounds! It doesn’t sound like a lot, but 2 pounds is quite good when you’re so close to the end.

Only 2 pounds remain to reach my goal weight. Right now I’m at 130 pounds, and I’m aiming for 128 to have a healthy percent body fat of 24%.

I have a horrible cycle of behaving well for 2 weeks, losing weight, then behaving badly for 2 weeks and staying the same, then repeat. Since I behaved amazingly well before my last weigh-in, the current challenge is to break the cycle and follow my diet this time as well. Last week was very iffy with some cheating, but this week has started off amazingly since I’m so determined to finish this already!

I’ve been running/walking 4 – 6 km a few mornings a week, plus I’ve switched to free weights at the gym just to mix things up a bit. My cardio workouts at the gym have also been extended from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. I’m feeling great with all this extra exercise, and it’s fun, too.

Here are my before and after shots for today:

Before - 160 pounds

After - 130 pounds

After - 130 pounds

I love these pics because my legs are beginning to show a bit of muscle tone. I’ve never had muscle tone anywhere in my life! You can see that I have a bit of tummy to get rid of still, but that will happen with time.

Once I lose 2 more pounds of fat, my plan is to stop worrying about the weight and to focus more on toning up and getting healthier at the gym (combined with my maintenance diet, of course).


As I’ve mentioned before, please keep in mind that 128 pounds is my goal weight. It won’t be the ideal weight for everybody… some of you might by healthier at 110 pounds. Others might be healthier at 180 pounds. If you want to lose weight and/or get healthy, I recommend seeing a nutritionist to find out what path is best for you.

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 6

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 1

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 2

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 3

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 4

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 5

I went back to the nutritionist yesterday for my weigh-in, and the results were not good. I gained half a pound.

I have only 4 pounds left to go. The problem is I’ve been trying to lose the same 4 pounds for over a month now. For some reason, my willpower seems to have left me. Maybe 8 months of dieting is just past my limit, and I just stopped caring whether or not I cheated on my diet. In the past 2 weeks, there was a tiramisu, a dinner (and dessert) at Chili’s, and a very forbidden pizza, not to mention many tiny cheats in between.

There are 3 weeks left until my next weigh-in, and my goal is to not cheat once during that time, and to hit the gym (or running path) pretty hard 5 days a week. It’s a tough goal, but I’m feeling really motivated. Hopefully I can shed those last 4 pounds of fat by my next weigh-in, and gain some muscle. Even though I look and feel great, my percent body fat is still above a healthy range.

Here are some more before and after pics, even though they’re no different from the last ones since I haven’t lost weight since then.

November 2011 - 160 pounds

Now - 132 pounds

In 2012, I’ve lost 28 pounds and completed a 5K race. I can lose 4 stinkin pounds.

Unfortunately today’s birthday celebration day at the office, and this month the Brazilian team is in charge of getting the cake. The Brazilians at my office always buy the best cakes. Time to stay strong!

Tequila, Lightning and Neon Pants

Today is a pretty crummy day, so I’m re-posting some of the pics I posted to my Facebook page over the weekend to help myself realize that our life is pretty frickin awesome and I need to shut my mouth.

Friday Night

Jorge and I went to a friend’s wedding at a lovely little garden event area in downtown Cancun. There was great food (catered by the groom!), some salsa dancing and even one of the infamous Mexican wedding tequila lines.


I was bummed to be at the office on a beautiful Saturday morning, but it was brightened up by this Hotel Zone view from my cubicle…

…and a friend lent me these! So excited!

Saturday afternoon, I continued my 5K training at Parque Kabah (I really need to do a separate post on this park!), and I ran 1.2 km two times, with a 5 minute walk in between. I am so proud of myself that I can’t stop talking about it. It’s not a big distance, but it’s much further than anything I’ve ever done before.

Saturday night, a lightning storm came through Cancun with ridiculous amounts of thunder. It didn’t last long, but I managed to get a few cool photos of the storm from my street.


Jorge and I went to Dreams Cancun Resort early in the morning to pose as models for a friend’s business photo shoot. It was a ton of fun!

Later in the day, we went to a pizza lunch for my church at California Pizza Kitchen. Along with familiar faces, Jorge and I also got to make a few new friends! (We go to a small, English-speaking protestant church.)

Since we were already at the mall, Jorge and I decided to do some heavy-duty clothes shopping. Jorge got some much-needed shorts and shoes, while I got jeans, shorts and several tops as the last of my new “skinny wardrobe”. (This is the first time I’ve been able to wear shorts in about 4 years! Can’t wait to show off my legs next weekend.) I’ve been waiting for almost a year to buy a pair of Guess jeans as a weight-loss gift to myself. I was planning on regular blue jeans, but then I saw these and knew they had to be mine…

Whatever. I’m in a uniform 5.5 days a week and only wear regular clothes on weekends… so I think neon orange jeans were a fantastic choice.

Sunday night, Jorge and I watched an episode of The Mentalist on DVD, and I spent some time reading my new Game of Thrones book.

I was in a bad mood when I began this post, but now I’m feeling pretty good! All those amazing things going on in our life, and that’s just on a “quiet” weekend. 🙂



How was your weekend?

Are you having a bad Monday, too?

Are you pro- or anti-neon pants?



Weight Loss and 5K Training

Hopefully this will be one of my last weight loss update posts!

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 1

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 2

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 3

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 4


Remember that 2-week diet from hell I was just on to get over my end-game weight loss plateau? Well, it worked! I was able to lose 2 whole pounds (1 kg). That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s actually quite good when you’re right near the end. I’m at 132 pounds, with only 4 pounds to go to get to a healthy % body fat. My regular weight loss diet is now back in place (with a few less portions of carbs per day, but still nice), so I’m a happy girl.

My nutritionist even asked me if I wanted to stay where I am or continue. Wow! That means that she thinks I’m A-ok! I told her I wanted to get rid of the last 4 pounds to be at the % body fat that I should be, so onward we go.

Here are some more before and after pics… not very recent, but enough to give you an idea of how my double chin has disappeared! When I get down to my goal weight, I’ll be sure to have some awesome pictures for ya.




I’ve also decided to train for a 5K that’s coming up in August. This is very scary because I am horrible at running. Always have been. Back in grade school in Virginia we had physical fitness testing twice a year, and I always dreaded running “The Mile”. I was always among the last kids to cross the finish line, and the experience was just humiliating.

And now I’m doing it voluntarily.

This is what happens when you have too many athletic friends to talk you into things.

Most of you have probably heard of the Couch to 5K (C25K) program, and that’s what I’m using to train (along with a few friends). I’m just about to start Week 4 of the program, and it’s going… ok. It’s still unclear if I’ll be able to run the entire 5K without walking, but I will at least cross the finish line without crawling.

Several of my friends will also be participating and a few of them are at about my same level, so we’ve been keeping eachother motivated and even running together on a few occasions.

I started out training on the treadmill at the gym, but trust me: the treadmill is much, much easier than running outside. So this week, after some advice from my friends, I’m starting to do the vast majority of my running outdoors. Cancun has some great areas for running. Maybe I can post about that sometime next week.

What’s the biggest personal challenge you’ve ever overcome?

Worst Diet Ever

Last Friday I went back to the nutritionist for my 2-week weigh-in. Once again, I had lost almost no weight.

The nutritionist told me I have reached a plateau (again), and asked if I’d like to try a much different, more difficult diet for the next 2 weeks to “jump start” my system. I figured I’d give it a go.

Well, this new diet had better work because it is AWFUL. I feel like I’ve only been eating shrimp, lettuce and slices of turkey since Monday, and it’s all starting to taste pretty gross. On top of that, I am starving by mid-afternoon. So far I’ve cheated with sushi (Wednesday night) and half a bagel (last night) because my stomach just can’t handle how little it’s being given right now.

Today I’m excited because it’s “all fruit, all day… plus a sandwich” day! I love fruit and sandwiches, so I’m happy for the next 24 hours.

I’ll give it a few more days and if I’m still hungry, I’ll send the nutritionist an e-mail to see if we can’t beef up this diet a bit so I can survive the next 10 days without binging on pizza, Dr. Pepper and Froot Loops.

Here’s another before and after to keep me motivated through next week.

Before - 160 pounds (with my sister Sarah and... Elvis.)

After - 140 pounds (I've lost another 5 pounds since this picture)

These last 7 pounds are killing me.


Weight Loss Before and After: Part 4

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 1

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 2

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 3

Sadly, only 1 pound lost and no noticeable changes since my last weight loss update. Now I’m down to 134 pounds.

Here’s what happened: When my family was here in late May, I missed 2 weeks at the gym. Despite all of our dinners in Playa del Carmen, I was proud that I was still able to control my portions. My nutritionist was a bit disappointed that I only lost 1 pound at my weigh-in, but I am thrilled that I didn’t gain any weight with little exercise and all that temptation (including a day at an All Inclusive resort)!

There was even a 5-layer chocolate fudge cake at work that I didn’t eat! I even cut slices for everyone in the office and had it sitting within my line of sight the entire work day. So, so proud.

My goal is to lose 1.2 kilos (2.6 pounds) in 2 weeks (by this Friday), which would get me down to 60 kilos! (132 pounds) It doesn’t sound like much, but when you get down to the last few pounds, it gets harder and harder to let go of the weight.

Now that I’ve got the diet and temptation part down, I need to pick up the pace at the gym. I don’t want to fall into the “skinny fat” category, so it’s time to work on my tone. It’s already gotten so much better in just a few months, but this gringa’s got a long way to go!

To keep me motivated, here are some more before and after pics so you can see the difference in my face:

Before - 160 pounds

After - 134 pounds

What’s the biggest food temptation you’ve ever resisted?

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 3

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 1
Weight Loss Before and After: Part 2

Well, here I am, 5 months into my weight loss journey. First off, I was wrong. Turns out my goal is actually 128 pounds instead of 130 pounds (this is what happens when you live in a country that uses kilos). No biggie, 2 more pounds than I thought.

As you may remember, I started at 160 pounds back in mid-December. The entire month of April was a huge plateau, and I couldn’t manage to get below 140 pounds for the life of me.

2 weeks ago I decided to switch gyms so I could do more cardio and some weight training, as several friends recommended. The exercise switch seemed to get me over that plateau, and I’m finally down to 135 pounds! Just 7 pounds to go for this gringa.

Here go the before and after pictures (please pardon the sweat and red face, I had just gotten back from the gym):

Before: 160 pounds in November 2011

After: 135 pounds in May 2012

And from the side… check out the difference in the arms!

Before: October 2010 160 pounds

After: May 2012 135 pounds

So proud, and so close to my goal.

The weight training has been challenging because I’ve never lifted a weight in my life. On some of the arm curl machines, I can barely make it through 15 reps with just the machine (no weights). Pathetic, but ya gotta start somewhere!

I was really proud last week when I did 8 minutes jogging on the treadmill. I don’t think I’ve ever jogged for more than 3 minutes, so that was a huge deal to me.

The diet is a breeze now, except for the occasional soda. Oops.

On the downside, my leggings no longer fit me as of last week. This means that the only clothes I have left are dresses. Just a few more weeks til I can buy some skinny jeans and SHORTS! Oh my gosh, I haven’t worn shorts in years.