Introducing: Scale-Less Septemeber!

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you might have noticed that I’ve started a new challenge: Brooke Not On A Diet’s Back To Basics Challenge! This challenge, put together by the incredible Brooke Birmingham is meant to get us all back to the very basics of weight loss and fitness. Each week, Brooke will introduce a new topic that will help us focus on getting back to basics. This week, it’s Improving Spaces (a topic borrowed from the Weight Watchers 360 plan). I’m happy to say that I’ve pretty much done all of the steps she includes in her post over the last year or so, especially improving my work space. In case you missed it, here’s a picture of my snack drawer and standing desk!

photo (28)

photo (29)

Also, I work out at work Monday-Friday every week, so I would say that work is where the magic mostly happens!

For my own personal goals this month, I wanted to work on focusing on my healthy eating and fitness. For this challenge, Brooke set up a private Facebook group and that is where I have outlined my two biggest goals:

1. Get into the next size down in clothes

2. Go SCALE-LESS for all of September and keep track of my progress by taking my measurements instead


The second goal has been well received in the #WWBTB group! Since I posted my idea to go scale-less this morning, I’ve had 6 others get in on it too. Imagine NOT stepping on a scale for an entire month while still keeping up the same amount of fitness and healthy eating that has helped me be successful! I can’t wait to see what the results will be. And even if the scale doesn’t move much, as long as I’m getting workouts and nutrition in, it will be a successful month either way!

So no more weigh-in’s for the rest of the month! My last one was for this morning to end my Diet Bet. I didn’t win, I was 2 lbs short but the good news is that I lost 7 lbs since the initial weigh-in of the bet so I really can’t complain!

❤ M.


Weekly Weigh-In and Diet Bet Time!


So, not surprisingly I’m up again this week. I conferenced all weekend long, work is feeding me twice this week, it’s my lady times (sorry, TMI). All in all, it’s not as much as I anticipated (at least 2 lbs) and like I said last week, I’m enjoying what’s left of my little summer adventures which includes the up and down scale dance.

BUT I have devised a way to get back to business! I set up a Diet Bet for the month of August! It’s a cheap bet of only $10 so my friends and fans can find out what the Diet Bet experience is like! Now I know what you’re thinking: Mariana, I thought you swore off Diet Bets! Yes, for a little while but now that I’ve had a couple of months to recover, I decided to give it another try and I’m taking the pressure of myself this time by making a low bet. If this goes well enough, I’d be happy to consider a higher bet next time.

How does DietBet work exactly? Well, an organizer sets up a game and sets the bet amount. You sign onto to a DB by paying the bet first, submitting a picture of your weight as it shows on the scale and then you have 4 weeks to lose 4% of your body weight! That’s it! The site and the mobile app act as a social media site for you bet. You have a newsfeed that shows everyone’s progress (it doesn’t show your actual weight unless you want it to) and you can cheer each other on, check in your workout and announce any other achievements. So if you’re interested, click on the image below to get the link.

Click to get to my game!
Click to get to my game!

That’s all for this week’s weigh-in! I got some packing to do, sleep to get, miles to run in the morning and a 7 hour road trip after work tomorrow! I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve ben on the go, go, go!

❤ M.

Final BodyKey Update

Hello! Sorry I haven’t written much lately, I’ve been busy! I am, however, jumping back on track after another week of not really watching what I eat (but still tracking!) and no scheduled exercise. It feels good to bring some structure back into my life but first let’s talk about my Body Key experiment…


…or I should say, the lack of my Body Key experiment. I stuck to the 2 weeks of shakes as a meal replacement as planned but the last few shakes appeared on random days and in place of random meals. Overall, this type of weight loss system is most definitely not for me. A shake in place of food once every day until the end of time? No way. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I like to EAT food. Not drink it. And honestly, a shake with lots of nutrients (read: nutrients and chemicals) does not a meal make. Having a meal should be an experience. There’s nothing wrong with arranging a plate of colorful food that smells and tastes good. Eating a meal isn’t just about warding off hunger, at least not for me. I enjoy eating, I mean hello? How do you think I arrived at having to Unfluff in the first place? But lately, my relationship with food has transitioned from unhealthy and abusive to a source of joy and nourishment. So I’ma eat all the things, k?

I guess the one positive thing that came out of the experiment was that I learned that I enjoy a shake for breakfast on occasion. It is a huge time saver when I’m unable to get out of bed running a little behind in the mornings. Also, in the summer, I prefer iced coffee anyway and would rather eat something cold but filling. After a few attempts at just the powder with water or almond milk, I finally figured out that I need to start bulking my shakes up to make them a more satisfying meal-like experience. My favorite combo thus far has been 1 banana, half a cup of rolled oats, a cup of unsweetened almond milk and some PB2. This helped really make the shakes a meal and kept me full much longer. This combo especially helps me get my oatmeal in without trying to down a hot bowl of food when it’s a bagillion degrees outside.

In conclusion, I lost about 1.5 lbs doing the Body Key planned, mainly because I never did it on the weekends and I barely touched the rest of the system (the appetite suppressing chews, the pills and the last of the aloe shots). It was fun while it lasted I guess but it is not my weight loss method of choice to say the least.


❤ M.

Body Key Experiment Update: 1 Week Down

Here’s my weigh in:


You know what 40 lbs lost, I’ma need you to stop being so hard to get to! Le sigh. I’m not shocked, I drank a lot of adult beverages last week (durn you open bar at the at-work BBQ!!) and ate some pretty rich food too. I was impressed by the BBQ salad selection though at our work celebration last week, that was pretty stellar. As were the margaritas…

Well, the Body Key experiment is going ok. Not great, not terrible, just ok. The week started with the aloe shots on the first day. The instructions are to kick off the plan with an aloe shot in the morning then in the late afternoon for the first two days. Since mancakes didn’t want to do these, I did 2 on the first day, forgot about them for a day and a half, did another on day 3 before dinner and threw out the fourth after forgetting that I took it out of the fridge and left it in my gym bag. The third shot I took was on an empty stomach and since we were prepping dinner I took the Slimmetry pills too. That was a mistake because I had stomach cramps within minutes of finishing the shot. I started chugging water to fill my stomach but the pain only ceased once I got some dinner in there. Thaaaat can’t be safe….

The pills I haven’t really been doing. Quite frankly, I keep forgetting about them! I’m going to try and remember them so I can see if they even make a difference.

I’m not all that into the shakes. These are meant to be a meal replacement and I’ve tried making it several ways to make it taste better but they keep coming up chalky and only kinda chocolatey. I made it with water the first day, plain unsweetened almond milk and pb2 the next day and on the third I tried plain unsweetened almond milk the rest of the week. Mancakes seems to like the shake and he just makes it with water. Me notsomuch.

I’ve only done the chews once, I don’t really see the need for them unless I know my next meal won’t be for several hours and I’m already hungry at that point.

We didn’t do shakes over the weekend, we could have but didn’t. I’m having a hard time with the meal replacement concept. Sure the shake has enough protein and nutrients to chemically replace a meal but it has 0 satisfaction. I really like to chew my food. To smell it, savor it ,cuddle it, etc. So I was over it until today when I had a shake (with oatmeal, a banana and chocolate PB2 added to it)for breakfast. I can see why people lose weight on this stuff…because they’re HUNGRY.

One thing I have noticed is that I’m snacking more. Because A. I feel like I’m underfed and B. I’ve started to justify in my head that because I’m replacing a meal that’s usually 400-500 cals for a 165 cal (made with water only) shake then I have all sorts of extra calories left for the rest of the day. Full meals keep me full and satiated longer. I’m realizing that I eat less overall if I’m sticking to my usual 3 meals and 2 snacks a day than when I’m snacking here and there trying to make up for the less than satisfying shake-meal experience.

So to sum it up: photo (26)

❤ M.

Weekly Weigh-In: Body in Transition

Since Tuesday is my weigh-in day, I decided to make it my first at home weigh-in now that I’m no longer on Weight Watchers. I’m sad to leave WW but I’m not sad we’ll be saving a little more money each month. I’m also excited to try to find my own groove using MyFitnessPal (username is Intrepidida if you want to connect!). I really love the community there and the fact that I can sync my Fitbit Flex and other apps so all the technology things are talking to each other!

So now it’s onto this week’s weigh-in! Keep in mind, I didn’t share last week’s weigh-in because I was crazy busy recovering from FitBloggin. I was up 2.6 lbs (yeeesh). This week?


Thank you FitBloggin for kicking my booty! It’s true what they say, sometimes results show up a week later. Those 3700 calories I torched in 3 days in Portland finally got me all caught up!

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve been feeling in my new body. When I first started my weight loss journey, it was pretty easy to lose my first 20 lbs and it was exciting to wear a smaller size. Now I’m on the cusp of losing my second 20 lbs and I’ve started noticing how much my actual body is changing.

For anyone that has a lot of weight to lose you’ll notice that your body doesn’t just get small and tighten up all over. Sometimes it happens in sections or just one area will lose all the weight it can before moving on to the next. I’ve always joked that I gain weight from the top down (boobs then waist then butt/legs) but I’ve never engaged in large scale weight loss like this so I have no idea what to expect.

Turns out I lose weight from areas in no particular order. At first, it was my waist then came the booty and then the top shelf. Right now my stomach has gotten really soft, like an old waterbed mattress. It’s strange, awkward and kind of hilarious. Although I fit into smaller sizes, I still have to tuck certain parts in here and squish a love handle around to make a more flattering silhouette. I still have to hike my pants up or girdle up in a nice dress but I wouldn’t trade this body in for my old one. A minor inconvenience for a lifetime of healthier living I suppose!

Speaking of ridiculosity: day 2 on the Body Key system was equally as bizarre as yesterday. I changed up the shake with some almond milk and PB2. I over did the PB2 I think, so I’ll tweak that tomorrow. I tried the appetite suppressing chew today and it was well, here’s how it turned out:


Oh lordy.


❤ M.

Project Unfluff Project #2: What’s A Crash Diet Like?

*Yes, there once was a Project Unfluff Project #1 that was to make over my basement for a work out space but the ceiling is too low and then later it flooded and got kind of nasty so that’s out!

For those who have been following my journey for a while, you know full well that I have made my progress through tracking points (now calories since I’m off of weight watchers :-/ ), exercise and healthy eating. Although I have often thought about changing my life for the better, I never considered doing anything too crazy that required pre-made meals/shakes/bars/pills/gels etc. Quite frankly, those things kind of scare me and I’ve seen and heard plenty of stories from people who have tried some wacky things to lose weight only to eventually give up and gain the weight back (and then some for most).

So when I came back from FitBloggin and looked through all of my swag (<– this post has a giveaway going on until July 12!) I had no idea what to do with the 30 day supply of the Nutrilite Body Key system we were all offered. I took the kit home thinking I’ll take a look, maybe I’ll give it away or try it out. I showed it to mancakes and asked him if he wanted to share the kit with me, or if I should try it on my own. After thinking about it, I didn’t feel right about actually giving it away to a reader because like I said, I don’t really believe in this stuff and I wouldn’t encourage you to do it.

BUT, I have never been through a quick-fix, crash diet and I’ve always wondered what it’s like to ingest all of that craziness, replace a meal with a shake, and take supplements/energy pill thingies. If you are doing something like this or did something like this in the past, I’m not trying to be offensive. I know a lot of people have found success with weight loss systems but it takes persistance, money and in some cases a lifetime of commitment to these kinds of products in order to maintain your weight loss. I know in my heart this is not the kind of weight loss I want to try nor attempt to maintain.

This is why I WANT to try the body key system. I know it sounds crazy and backwards from everything I have ever said. But I also think it’s arrogant to walk around and say I would never try something like this without being able to empathize with those of you that have tried something like this. Curiosity always gets the best of me, it’s what makes me who I am! Mancakes is going to be my partner in crime with this one and I’m glad because this means I’ll only do 2 weeks of the dang thing instead of 4 (high five mancakes!).

So here’s what the Body Key System supplies looks like:

Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake, Appetite Suppressing Chews (eat one, drink 8 oz water to ward off hunger) and aloe vera shots for the first two days. Not pictured: Slimmetry pills (take 2 20-30 min before each meal)
Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake, Appetite Suppressing Chews (eat one, drink 8 oz water to ward off hunger) and aloe vera shots for the first two days. Not pictured: Slimmetry pills (take 2 20-30 min before each meal)

So my understanding is that you replace one meal a day with a shake and take the Slimmetry pills everyday before each meal. There are 4 aloe vera shots in the kit for the first 2 days of the plan, 1 in the morning, 1 in the late afternoon. I did mine today as you can see:

It's not that bad, tastes like sour apple juice. Hence the cringing.
It’s not that bad, tastes like sour apple juice. Hence the cringing.

The fruit chews I have yet to try but mancakes did one today. You chew one up, drink 8 oz of water with it and it’s supposed to ward off hunger until your next meal. He says it worked for him. As for the shake, we both decided we are going to do the shakes for our lunches. Mancakes really enjoyed his shake today, I’m on the fence. The flavor is ok but I prepped it with water. Tomorrow I think I’ll make it with unsweetened almond milk and a scoop or two of PB2 to make it more interesting and maybe a little more satisfying. I was pretty hungry most of the day after lunch. I worked out at 2 and then ate my snack of greek yogurt and a peach followed by a SoyJoy bar on my way home. That helped but I think my metabolism burns pretty hot these days and I think that’s why I stayed pretty hungry.

Top: Lunch and snacks on Body Key (red square is the appetite chew) Bottom: what I usually pack for lunch
Top: Lunch and snacks on Body Key (red square is the appetite chew) Bottom: what I usually pack for lunch

Overall, day one was a bit rough. We’ll see how the next 13 go. Stay tuned!

❤ M.

Ready to Get FitBlogged!

I am giddy with excitement! I’m at the airport right now waiting for my flight to Portland to attend my first FitBloggin Conference!

After over a month of anticipation and getting to know the other attendees through the Facebook group, I can’t wait to start putting faces to blog names and Twitter handles! So many FitBloggers have commented on how they can’t wait to spend time with our people. Look at me, I have a new set of people! I can only imagine how much energy and excitement there will be when we stuff a hotel full of people who live their weight loss and fitness journeys out online. Talk about extra version overload!

I’m also ecstatic about checking out a new city like Portland! Professionally, I haven’t had too many opportunities to go to conferences outside of Illinois so this is a big deal for me. I’ve watched mancakes get a chance to attend conferences and be hired out as a facilitator for universities and although the travel and the work is exhausting, he gets a lot out of those experiences and he grows more in his expertise and exposure to new ideas every time. For me to have an event I can go to each year (when I can afford it!) to learn more about how to grow my passion for writing and health and fitness is not just exciting, it’s important. Now granted, the schedule for this week calls for working out like a mad woman too but I have no doubt it will be good, sweaty fun.

So here’s to you FitBloggers! I’m excited to meet all of you and establish new friendships across the blogosphere. I feel as though I will finally get roped into orbit with you which will make my little blog feel more connected to bigger and greater things. And in case you’re looking for me today, I’ll attach a selfie for ya. I plan on rocking my new-found side braid obsession for most of the conference!


❤ M.


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Exciting News!

Sorry to interrupt your holiday weekend but I just got some really [un] flufflin’ awesome news! Let’s keep this short.







I get to go to FitBloggin’ this year as a Live Blogger! I am beyond excited about this opportunity especially since I’m only 6 months into this whole weight loss blog thing. I’m so glad I had the courage to take a chance on myself and submit my application for an assistantship. I am really looking forward to meeting some extremely cool people, getting my learnin’ on at sessions and workshops and most of all, checking out beautiful Portland! This conference falls on the same week as my birthday (which is June 24, btw, mark your calendars 😉 ) What an awesome birthday present to me and to Project Unfluff! I’ll be sure to keep you all posted about my experience as a Live Blogger. Ooo I gotta order me some business cards…

Now go back to your netflix marathons (ERMERGERD ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT!!!!!) and barbecue.

❤ M.

Weekly Weigh-In!!


The line on my weight tracker chart keeps going down, down, down. I attribute my bigger losses these last few weeks to the addition of pure cardio back into my weekly work outs. These last 6 weeks or so were spent in my living room with Jillian doing the 30 Day Shred. Although this was a great work out that helped me lose weight and inches, I wasn’t getting an intense enough burn from the 30 min/day work outs. Two weeks ago, however, I started going back to the gym for cardio and wow how it’s made a difference! I am back to bringing my heart rate way up and sweating like crazy and I’m pushing my body harder too!

In turn, I am also soooo freakin’ hungry! I know I’m probably just adjusting to the added exercise so it’s probably temporary. I don’t mind giving into these cravings (within reason) since everyone knows, a fed and watered Mariana is a happy, healthier-feeling Mariana. So I’m definitely keeping the cardio routine up! Yes, I am aware that strength training is also important and I plan on incorporating that in at least 2 days a week but I really like the results and the little high I get from the cardio. Speaking of which, who’s up for a new challenge!? I know I am!

Here are the 3 Challenges I will be doing for the next 3 months, all of them simultaneously!

My Couch to 5K Challenge that Anyone Can Join!

Gwyspiration for Weight Loss’ 3 Month Challenge

A Merry Life’s Diet Bet

Ooooo I am so excited to be so motivated! Everywhere I turn BOOM! Challenge! Boom! Support group! Boom competitors! Knowing me, this smells like a recipe for success. Please feel free to join me for any or all of these!

Project Unfluff Project #1: Basement Makeover-ish

For a few months now, I have very lightly dabbled with working out at home. I own an old set of Zumba DVD’s and I have Wii work out games like Wii Fit Plus, Zumba and EA Active. Prior to signing up for my gym membership, I worked out at home out of necessity but I was never really that into it. Part of the reason being that I have to share my living room with my toddler and all of her toys. Working out at home and stepping on Dora figurines is not really my idea of fun and although my daughter loves trying out Zumba with me, she is also in the same danger as her beloved figurines.

Luckily, we have the luxury of living in a two flat with a shared basement. This is somewhat rare in Chicago and a huge treat when you need extra storage and living space. I haven’t been down there in a bit but I’m coming around to the idea that  it would be a great space for working out. My neighbor mentioned this idea to me once before but I never thought anything of it until now. Now that the weather is frightful these days, I especially would love just being able to go downstairs and burn just as many calories as I would  at the gym. I’m not really sure what my plan is as of right now but here is a picture of the space.

basement before

It’s a big space and I might find a way to project the DVD onto the white wall. We shall see!

On a related note, I think I might just…be…ready to…try my first self-imposed  fitness challenge! I picked up Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred from the library and I only have it for a week but thankfully I also have friends who look out for me so I’ll be borrowing the DVD and some free weights this week. I’ve never done a 30 day anything and I’m really anxious that I’ll want to quit before I see any real results. I’ve been pleasantly surprised thus far with how much I’ve enjoyed going to the gym and how I’ve started to look forward to workout days. Lately, however, I’ve been questioning if I’m happy with my “routine” (read: lack of routine) at the gym and since a personal trainer is financially impossible at this point, I have to find other ways to delve into strength training and body-shaping. I’ll devote an entire post just to the start of the 30 Day Shred this week and hopefully I will have additional posts to follow along the way.

Tomorrow is another weigh-in and I’m feeling really good about it! Until then, night night Unfluffers!