Weight Loss Journey Week 4: Weight Watchers Points Plus

166.8 pounds

Up .2

Total Net Loss: 1.4 lbs

My sister’s birthday was this past week, which means I ate cake. Every day. For four days. That is how I gained this week. But it won’t happen again, because I have started doing the Weight Watchers Point Plus system.

I started doing it last Monday. I didn’t pay for the program, but instead downloaded a free WWPP calculator app on my phone. Every day I get 30 points, 10 for each meal. I plug in the nutritional values for what I eat, it tells me the points, and I log them. Unfortunately the free version only lets you save the values for about 10 or 15 foods, so I have made my own list that I keep on my phone. Healthy foods cost less points, so you can eat more of it, and junk foods cost more points.

I did this system to lose 40 lbs back in 2015, and it worked! It’s better than just counting calories because it takes into account what is actually in the food, and it lets you eat whatever you want, as long as you don’t go over your points. I loved having the freedom to eat what I want while still watching my food intake at the same time.

Where I went wrong this past week was not counting points for my dinners, especially Thursday and Friday, and all day Saturday and Sunday.

Personal story time!

In the days leading up to this week’s weigh in, I thought a lot about what I did last time I used WWPP.

In 2015, I started to lose weight in March or April, around the same time I started talking to  a boy named Matthew. I’ll post our full story later, and for now I’ll just focus on the parts relevant to my weight loss.

Essentially he made me feel beautiful, like he would love me no matter what. I felt secure in who I was and what I looked like. Because I was so happy, I didn’t eat junk food as often.

Sounds odd, doesn’t it? I was happy so I ate healthy? Whhaa?? But it does make sense when you take into account the fact that I am an emotional eater. I eat when I’m sad, angry, bored, jealous, lonely, etc. So when I was just happy, I didn’t feel the need to eat as much. When I was bored, I texted him. When I needed self assurance, I fished for a compliment. When I started to feel jealous, I reminded myself of my amazing boyfriend.

It was incredibly easy for me to follow the WWPP system because I never felt the need to eat bad food or go over my point limit. Now, however, it is a lot harder. I’m single and 20 lbs heavier than when I was with Matthew. I struggle with loneliness because I know what it’s like to not be lonely. Prayer helps a lot, but there are still some days when I just want to eat a whole box of Girl Scout Cookies because I can’t call up my best friend. Back then, my thought process usually went “I could eat those cookies, but I don’t need to. I’m happy without them.” Today my thoughts go “I could eat those cookies, and I am because no one can stop me and I want them.” If we go a little deeper, the thought is “I am going to eat those cookies because I’m sad and they’ll make me happy.” But the thing is, neither cookies or boyfriends are what I need to fill my heart. God is.

When I pray that God will help me with my self esteem and loneliness, that He will help me live loved, that He will give me the strength to make the right decisions, it’s a lot easier to choose a salad over pizza.

In short, WWPP system is great as long as you follow it, watch your sugar intake, and  ask God for strength.


Davilyn’s Birthday and No Shampoo

Today was my little sister’s eighth birthday. Davilyn Mikayla Star DeAnda was born January 26, 2009. I was in the fourth grade at Pillow Elementary. I was nine years old. Our mama had been laid off from work the day before. She went into labour that evening from the stress. Mama went to the hospital while I was school. She called in and Mrs. Garcia, my fourth grade teacher, told me my mom was headed to the hospital. I was very happy and prayed that Mama would be okay. Nana, my maternal grandmother, picked me up after school. At the hospital I waited in a waiting room with my uncle Bubba and my brother Jayden, who was just 5 at the time. We watched Animal Planet on the TV. There was no remote, but Bubba is very tall and was able to reach the buttons on the side of the TV. We were in that room until about 8pm, an hour after Davilyn had been born. She was born sunny side up, meaning she came out face first instead of crown first. That was the first indication of her personality. Her head was purple and swollen and she cried if anyone touched her head. I got to hold her and was told to NOT touch her head. I, of course, did not follow that order. When no one was looking, I touched the band of her hospital beanie very softly. She opened her eyes to look at me. She was looking around very early for a newborn. Another hint at her personality. Davilyn has always been curious and ahead of the curve. She held her head up early, she sat up early, she crawled early, she walked early. Today she is the smartest in her class, as well as the tallest. Today we had pizza and cake to celebrate her birthday. Tomorrow our parents will be taking her to Dairy Queen to celebrate. On Saturday we’ll have a party with the family at GattiTown. It’ll be fun!

On a completely different note, I’ve decided to try and not use shampoo. I’ve read a few articles about people who stop using shampoo and the wonders it does for their hair. For a while I thought “I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t use shampoo and does wash with goats milk soap.” I forgot to shower the other day and actually liked the way my hair was, and didn’t like it after I showered. Today I thought “Hmm, what if I just stopped using shampoo today..” and was still debating in the shower if I should do more research, but finally was like ‘ah what the hell’ and rinsed my hair really good. I won’t be going cold turkey, but I will be going longer between shampoos. We’ll see how my hair reacts and I’ll do more research into what other people do. I’ll keep y’all updated on how it’s going!

Weight Loss Journey Week 3: Exercise

Weight: 166.4. Gained: .2 lbs. Total Net Loss: 1.6 lbs

Today I would like to talk about exercise. While the best way to lose weight is through a healthy diet, exercise is very beneficial to the entire well being of a person. I speak from experience.

I’m one the many people who hates to exercise. It hurts during and after, and makes me feel gross all over. When I compare how I’m doing to how everyone else is doing, I feel gross on the inside too. Yet I still look forwards to gym class every year. I love seeing how I’ve improved over the semester, and I love how good I feel after working out. I’ve also found that my mental health improves a lot when I’m working out regularly as well.

All of the positive things I’ve experienced from working out are experienced by everyone who works out. Regular exercise is great for your metabolism, your general physical health, your mental health. While I good cite plenty of studies to prove this information, I would instead like to direct you to the YouTube channel 100 Days.

This channel is John Green and his best friend Chris living a healthy lifestyle for 100 days. They are exercising every day, meditating, and eating healthy. John Green can attest to the fact that exercise does wonders for mental health. He suffers from OCD, anxiety disorder, and depression. Since starting 100 Days, he says his mental health has improved drastically.

Just as John and Chris are tracking their exercise progress, I’m tracking my progress as well, thanks to the Fitnessgram.

Pacer: 25

Push Ups: 7

Curl Ups: 26

That was the only part of the FitnessGram we did this past week. I would like to note that these are the best numbers that I’ve ever gotten. Impressive to me, but also confusing. How could I have gotten 25 on the pacer when I’ve never gotten more than 23 at the end of the semester? That thanks goes to my bike.

For Christmas, every member of my family got a bike, except me. I didn’t know how to ride a bike, and wasn’t sure if I would have time to learn. On Christmas day, we went out front to try our new bikes. We were all outside, except for my brother, so I tried his bike. Three days later, I had learned how to ride, and I rode every day until school started again. I ended up buying my brother a slightly smaller bike so he could try to learn to ride while I rode my bike. Now that school has started I can only ride my bike on the weekends, but a full week of riding every day still helped me a lot.

Moral of this wandering post is that exercise can be and is very beneficial in many facets of life.


-UPDATE – Jan 24 2017 –

I ran a mile today in 11 mins and 33 seconds. The couch recognized me in front of the class, used me as an example for much benefit comes from exercising regularly, even if it’s just something like biking.

Hidden Figures

This is my first movie review. This review is not going to be analytical at all, but instead will be me recounting my entire experience with the movie.

This review does NOT contain spoilers.

Image result for hidden figures

I saw the movie Hidden Figures on the day it came out. My grandmother and I went to go see it at the Westgate Theatre in South Austin using the free tickets I had been given earlier in the week. Funny story about those tickets.

On Wednesday, January 11th, the Central Market and Westgate Theatre by Ann Richards came to our school. They wanted to do something nice for some local high school seniors, and we were the closest. They gave each of us two free movie tickets and a $20 Central Market gift card with the intention of us taking a friend to see Hidden Figures and eat at the cafe in Central Market. Once the representatives left, the teachers handed out the envelopes containing the card and tickets and told us we could use the tickets to see any movie and we didn’t have to use the gift card at the cafe. One teacher told us that the admin of the school were thinking about going on a field trip to see Hidden Figures, but nothing had been confirmed. That evening I made plans with my Grandmother to see Hidden Figures on Friday the 13th.

Life proceeded as normal until Friday afternoon. The seniors had a class meeting, and at these meeting we were told that next Wednesday, January 18th, we would be going on a field trip to see Hidden Figures. The problem with this is that I already had plans to use both my tickets, so I wouldn’t go on the field trip. I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but then the senior class vice president told me that the field trip was mandatory. I said “I made these plans before this field trip was even a solid idea, I’m going to see Hidden Figures with my grandmother tonight. I’ll just stay at school and work on scholarships when everyone else goes. And what can the admin even do to me anyway? We’re about to graduate!” And I went outside to meet up with my grandma.

Grandma and I ate at Olive Garden, visited the kittens at Tomlinson’s, then we went to Westgate. And guess what we discovered? Our free tickets weren’t free! There was a $1.50 surcharge to use them. Upon further reflection the next day, I realized that the surcharge was probably because we were seeing an evening movie. But in the moment we were very confused, though we still paid the fee and got our tickets and seat numbers, B4 and B5. We were going to be very close to the left corner of the screen.

Before we went into the theatre itself, we stopped by the bathrooms. While Grandma and I were washing our hands, an old lady started talking to us. She had heard me telling Grandma that the rest of the senior class would be seeing the movie next week. The lady had just seen the movie herself. She told us that she remembered segregation. Even hospitals were segregated. Black patients were on the highest floor of the hospital and were given the oldest equipment. The lady told us she knew a black man who started out at the bottom on the hospital staff, but worked his way up to the top. Any doctor who wanted to buy new equipment more than a few thousand dollars had to ask for his permission. I liked that lady and her story.

Finally we made our way into the theatre. Grandma and I were pleasantly surprised to find that the seats reclined! This made us worry a lot less about being in the second row. We reclined our seats back and settled in to watch the movie.

The movie was really good! The characters were funny and sassy, and were played by great actors and actresses. There were a lot of emotional moments, both happy and sad. The story was inspiring and relatable. It was the kind of movie that caused the entire theatre to laugh and gasp as one. It really makes you think about our society as well. These women are the reason why we got to space, so why don’t we learn about them in school? Why don’t we talk about the women who went through so much at work and still came every day to do their job? Why don’t we talk about the African-American women who were played a vital part in a huge event of our history?

Weight Loss Journey Week 2

1/16/17                Gained 0.8 lbs    Total Net Loss: 1.8 lbs

I started the week with the intention of writing this blog post about not depriving yourself and allowing yourself to have the food you want to eat sometimes. After today’s weigh in, I have another point that I would like to talk about: Portion control.

First lets discuss the importance of not denying yourself good food. When you are dieting, you will be tempted to cheat and eat sugary and/or fatty foods. We have all experienced the cravings, the ‘just one bite…’ thoughts. Know what you should do when this happens? Let yourself have the one bite!

Imagine you have not allowed yourself any treats your entire diet. Unless you have a will and determination of titanium, chances are you have struggled every single day to stay on the right path and always eat right. Then, one day, SNAP and the entire cake is in your belly. Your stomach gurgles  and churns. It hasn’t had to handle this much food or sugar at once in so long. You’re now going to spend the rest of the day feeling uncomfortable and wishing you hadn’t given in.

Now let’s imagine you have let yourself eat small treats here and there. Most days fresh fruit or sugar free candy is your dessert, but once a week you let yourself have a cheat meal where you eat whatever you want. Dieting this way does two things. First, it allows you to stay happier and be better motivated. You know you’ll be able to eat some ice cream or a big bowl of pasta later in the week, so eating good today isn’t so hard. Second, cheat meals confuse your body. Your body adjusts to eating healthy, so when you eat bad it’s like “What is this?! What is going on?! Ahhhh!!” and you might lose a little extra weight. But if you do it wrong, you’ll end up gaining some weight back, just like I did this past week.

Just like in Week 1, everything was good until Friday came around. Friday night my grandmother and I had dinner and saw a movie. We ate at Olive Garden, where I had four cheese ravioli with marinara sauce. Instead of saving half of the plate to have another day, like I usually do, I ate the entire meal. That was strike number one. With cheat meals you still have to remember to not eat too much. That can mean not getting seconds or putting half of your restaurant meal in a to-go box. Strike two was downing four zeppoli – italian doughnuts. Having dessert would have been fine if I hadn’t eaten all the ravioli. After that we saw Hidden Figures, which was an amazing movie that I will soon be writing a review for. And that was Friday. One cheat meal that would not have affected me too negatively.

On Saturday, I won the 2017 MLK Youth Legacy Daughters of Charity Humanitarian and Spirit award. It was my first scholarship, so my parents and I decided to celebrate. We went to the only italian restaurant in Kyle, Texas: Ilario’s. I made the same mistake that I made the day before. I ate my entire plate of tortellini and had a scoop of Baskin Robin’s on the way home.

Because I had two big cheat meals, I gained 0.8 pounds. What I should have done is choose a healthier dish on Friday and saved half of both of the meals to eat another time. If I had done that, maybe I would have maintained last week’s weight instead of gaining almost a pound.

So this week’s lesson? Let yourself have cheat meals, but be sure to still watch your portions!

Weight Loss Journey: Week 1

Weight on 1/9/17. Total Net Loss: 2.6 lbs

Hello! This past week I shed 2.6 pounds, as well as some tears. Let me recount for you what exactly went down.

For the first four days, Monday to Thursday, I did pretty good. I had big, healthy breakfasts and smaller lunches and dinners. If I wanted dessert, I had raisins or sugar free cool whip. I rode my bike as much as possible. I didn’t always have whole wheat, whole grain bread and super lean proteins with every meal, but I always made sure to make up for that with exercise. Then, on Friday, I cheated.

We were having a potluck in class. There was a wide variety of food. Potato chips, fresh strawberries, Chik-Fil-A nuggets, lima beans, my signature oatmeal pancakes, Kool-Aid, blueberry pie, and my weakness: Bluebell ice cream. I was planning on having a some nuggets, a few of my pancakes, strawberries, and NO ice cream.

So I ate my food. Alone. Then I walked around the school. Alone. I started to clean up the lunch mess. Alone. I was starting to feel quite lonely as I sat back down in my seat. I glanced at the two gallon tubs of half-melted ice cream. What happens next is best detailed in the text I sent my mother after everything went down.

I cheated on my diet. I had 1.5 cups of ice cream. I got the first because I was feeling a little sad and lonely after spending all of lunch and advisory alone and figured it would be ok if I didn’t have any sweets tomorrow and because I’ve done pretty good all week. On my way back to my table with my second cup, a girl was looking at me judgmentally. I figured it was just her resting face and dismissed it. I passed her and sat down. I glanced at her and she was staring directly at me with the same face. It felt like she really was judging me. I finished half the ice cream before I had to go to the bathroom and sob for a few good minutes. I feel really bad about cheating on my diet when I had been doing fairly good and about assuming that girl was judging me and about feeling bad from the start because I had just finished another chapter of Uninvited about grasping God’s love instead of grabbing for other people’s love. I think I’m being over emotional because I’ll be starting my period soon and I think this has been an attack from the enemy. I do feel better after praying and after typing all this, but still not 100%

To which my mother replied…

I have been emotional too, I am supposed to start this weekend too. I have been dealing with feeling like people are staring at me because of my glasses.
But it doesn’t matter what they think.
And a little icecream isn’t gonna hurt your diet at all. Every day is a new day, start fresh tomorrow.
The girl was probably looking at you because she was trying to get up the nerve to say something,  maybe she needed at friend.
Never assume it’s all about you 😍😗
You are beautiful and loved  and perfect the way you,  if you want to be healthier and you want to lose weight do it for yourself not anyone else (I know it’s hard I struggle with this myself,  that’s how I can speak from experience)
I love you and God made you perfectly 😆
After reading that and saying another prayer, I felt a lot better. I realized that I was being really hard on myself, which just makes things worse. It starts a vicious cycle of feeling bad, so you eat, then you feel bad, so you eat, then you feel bad… yeah. Not productive. That cycle has actually ended a few of my diets in the past, and I’m guessing the same thing has happened to some of you reading this as well.
For the rest of the weekend, I let myself have sweets without completely blowing my diet. I had a serving of TimTams while watching a movie, two small pieces of pie, two s’mores. Enough to not feel left out, but not enough to gain more weight. Enough to feel happy from the sugar without feeling terribly guilty afterwards. If there is one thing that I learned from dieting, it’s that you cannot deny yourself good food. But more on that next week.

Weight Loss Journey: Week 0

One of my New Year resolutions is to lose at least 25 lbs by my graduation on May 31st of this year. I have decided that I will document this journey right here, on this blog. Every Monday I will post my weight and talk about the past week. What worked, what didn’t work, any new discoveries or revelations I may have had.

Seeing as to how today is the very first day of my diet, I am going to write about my history with weight loss and why I am trying to lose a few pounds.

Today I am 168 pounds. In the past two years, my highest weight was 183 lbs and my lowest was 140 lbs. Mid spring of 2015, I was around 180 lbs. One morning I was thinking about a person I know who is very overweight and suffers a lot because of it, yet has never made a true effort to change their lifestyle and get healthy. I realized that I was well on my way to becoming just like them. So I decided to do something about my weight.

By late spring I had lost some weight, but had not made any major leaps or anything like that. And then I developed a crush on a boy at church. I began talking to him regularly and as our friendship grew into something more that summer, my body began to shrink.

What is interesting about this is that I was never losing weight for him. From the beginning he was always very loving and accepting, he always thought I was beautiful. He never pressured me to lose weight. Instead, he gave me the confidence I needed to say “I can do this, I can get healthy!” By that winter, I had lost 40 lbs. I loved the way I looked and felt, I loved my boyfriend, I loved God and was growing closer to Him as well.

Of course, all good things come to an end. In March of 2016, I had been maintaining around 145 for a while, and God had put it on my heart to break up with my boyfriend. I was making a conscious effort to put God first in my life at that point, so even though I still loved him, I broke up with my boyfriend.

For the rest of that spring and all of summer, I did not watch what I ate. By the time school started again I had gained back half of what I had lost the previous year. My mother and I tried to diet together in the fall, but in October God blessed us with a new house, and in the move my mother and I decided to hold off on our diet until January, after the move and after the holidays.

I am not trying to lose weight because I want to get another boyfriend or because I hate my body or myself for gaining the weight back. If I have learned anything in the past several months, it is that my body is a wonderful gift from God, and I should treat it well. We don’t through away gifts from our loved ones here on Earth, so why do we trash the amazing gift that God has given us? God doesn’t make mistakes, and He made each and every one of us. God is forever and always the most important thing in my life, so I want to treat my body as best as I can in order to honor Him.

140 lbs is the weight where I feel good, look good, and am not starving or depriving myself. That is when I am at my best.

My plan to get back to my best? The most important thing is the diet. I will be loosely following the doctor’s diet. The main point of that diet is to eat one lean protein and one complex carb at every meal, along with vegetables and some fruits. At school I will pick the best options, which in the mornings will be eggs on a whole wheat tortilla, and at lunch will be salad. At home I will eat whatever my mom has cooked for herself, since she is following the same diet. I will avoid sugar as much as humanly possible. That means no sugar in my daily life, but I will allow myself treats at special events. As for exercise, I will be exercising at least twice a week at school thanks to gym class. At home, I will be riding the bike I got for Christmas and playing Just Dance.

Now it is time. My mom and I have recruited my uncle to go on this journey with us. Every Monday we will take a picture of our weight on the scale and send it to each other. We will hold each other accountable and support each other. That is also the reason why I am posting my weight on Snapchat and blogging about it. I want to hold myself accountable and tell others about my journey.


Morning Weight 1/2/2017