About Me

Bountiful, Utah
We are the Ta'atiti family. I started this blog back in 2008. I kinda forgot about it for a long time and just recently decided to pick it up again. My main motivations behind this blog is to document my weight loss journey through the Take Shape For Life program as well as document significant events for my kids - Sina and Miracle. Hopefully they will find value in these posts and maybe even learn from some of my life lessons.



Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Day


It’s Thanksgiving Day and we are in Modesto. It’s been a lot of fun so far catching up with everyone. We baked a ton last night - pineapple dream cake, jello poke cake, and chocolate trifle. We are frying turkeys today. We brought our deep fryer and I rubbed the turkeys last night with the Neely’s rub I always use.

I was off plan yesterday and today. I’ll be back on tomorrow. I’m hoping to sign up as a health coach when I get back so I can bring on Ashley and Aunty Cindy and Uncle Lusi.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Optavia week 5

Started this journey on 10/24/17. Today is day 1 of week 5 and I am officially down 30 lbs. I lost 30 lbs in 4 weeks and it feels amazing. This is a huge benchmark for me and I can't wait to see where it leads me in to 2018.

We are heading out for California tonight for Thanksgiving. Excited to see mom and the family. I won't be getting my food until Monday and I'm about out. I emailed nutrition support and this is what they said -

Unfortunately we haven't found any bars/shakes on the market that have the same nutritional structure. However, we do have a plan developed for when clients are without Fuelings. If you are out of meals completely then you could have three smaller lean and green meals (4 ounces of lean and 3 servings of approved vegetables per lean and green) and one serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy (e.g., milk, yogurt) each day. Choose dairy products that are about 100 calories per serving and unsweetened or no sugar added (to keep carbohydrates to a minimum).  Please note that yogurt does not replace a fueling, it simply acts as a place holder because the calories and carbohydrates are similar.  Yogurts do not have the same vitamins and minerals as a fueling and should only be used in “emergency” situations.

Now that I have a plan I feel good about what to do. I will need to get some low fat sugar free yogurt and some lean and green stuff to make in Modesto. 

Excited to eat turkey on Thanksgiving too!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Take Shape For Life - Week 4, Day 4

I was in Texas last week for training and then I went to see Nephi. I wasn't on the 5 and 1 while there, I did more of a 4 and 2. I was happy with my choices. I was choosing meals that I wouldn't normally choose and it worked out okay. Before I left, I weighed myself and I was as 343. I had remained steady for about 5 days straight. When I got back Sunday and weighed in on Monday morning I had jumped up 349. I had gained 6 lbs while in Texas...I couldn't believe how fast that was. Well, I had gotten back on the 5 and 1 Sunday morning and just let it ride.

I weighed myself this morning just to see where I was and I am now down to 340 flat. I was able to lose the 9lbs since Monday. I felt like I had some inflammation from the food I was eating last week and I needed to lose that again. It feels good to be back on track.

I also went to Zumba Monday night. It was actually harder than I thought it would be, I feel like my muscles are super sensitive. The rest of the week was full of other activities - Tuesday night pitching for Sina, Wednesday night was my closing class for the semester, last night was a TM meeting, tonight we are helping Glen and Puni move, and tomorrow is Anthony's birthday. So I'm pretty shot for any other opportunities to go to the gym. I plan on going next Monday, then we drive out to California on Tuesday for Thanksgiving. So next week seems shot as well, though I do anticipate starting to weight train again once we get back.

I shared this picture with one of my Facebook support groups. The bottom pic was my first class session back in September a little more than a month before I started the program. The top was my last class this week. I can see a big difference in myself. These side by sides give me a lot of motivation and confidence to keep going. It feels good to be doing this and to feel so healthy and so light. I am 20 lbs away from my first benchmark of 320. After that, the big goal is to be under 300 for the first time in years by February.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Winning the "Why"

Yesterday I flew on an airplane for the first time since being on this program. I've lost 25 lbs since starting and I was hoping to be more comfortable on the plane than I usually am. A couple of years ago I bought a seat belt extender for the plane just so I didn't have to ask for one. I also usually ask for an aisle seat so that I have more shoulder room. Yesterday I was assigned a window seat. I usually don't like the window seat because my shoulders uncomfortably bump up against the wall/window, but this was not the case on that flight. Not only was I sitting comfortably, I was able to fit the seat belt without an extender and it even had a little slack.

One of my 3 "whys" was being able to sit comfortably on a plan and this is the first time I've felt this way in a long time. I'm winning the 'whys' and it's only the beginning.

I sent that pic to Anthony as I sat on the plane telling him of my small win. He has been an amazing support to me through this process and I am so happy to be doing this health journey with him.

I packed all my food in individual bags so that I could be ready to go each day without too much work about what I was going to eat. I planned it out and packed it up. Here's what it looks like -

One more pic only because I am liking taking more selfies haha...it's because I like what I see and it's empowering to see the results in my face. I am eager to get back and start going to the gym again.

That's me and the Lonestar Cafe cow :)

The Journey Day 16


Yesterday was the start of Week 3. In my weigh in I had neither gained nor lost from the day before which I am okay with. I know that things are leveling out. The most important thing is how I feel and I really do feel amazing. I flew in to San Antonio yesterday for training that starts this morning.  I have been feeling lately like I'm not getting enough nutrition. I am starting to track my calorie intake on myfitnesspal app and even with the lean and green I am barely getting 800-900 calories a day with the PCMR fuelings.

I wasn't sure if my feeling queasy and headaches was due to the cycle regulating or due to lack of enough calories. Anyway, yesterday was the first day I deviated a tad bit from the regular program and did more of a 4 and 2 rather than a 5 and 1. I arrived at the hotel at about 2:30. I had eaten 3 fuelings up to that point since I had been up since 4:45 am. I went to the Denny's in front of my hotel and ate a steak and zucchini. I immediately felt better after eating that meal. I was proud of myself for not giving in to anything off plan. I took the bread off the plate and ate just the steak and veggies.

Later on, I got a text from JoEllen. She asked if I wanted to do dinner and I was excited to have company and someone to talk to. I walked about a half mile down to her hotel and then we settled on eating at Lonestar cafe. I had a smoked chicken salad with a vinaigrette. Again, very proud of myself when there were so many amazing things on the menu.

One of the things I love about being on this program is not only do I sleep better, but I don't have acid reflux anymore. I am still up and going after 7 hours of sleep like clockwork every day. I was super tired last night so after talking to Anthony and the girls over the phone and saying our family prayer over the phone, I knocked out. That was about 9:45. Sure enough, I was up by 4:45 am.

I talked to Shannon last night and it was good to hear that there are highs and lows to the program. Sometimes there are days that I feel a little more energy than others and some days that I just feel tired. Yesterday was one of those days. I took a nap after lunch and it felt good. Lately I've been like turbo just go, go, go, but yesterday I definitely felt a change.  We had daylight savings last Sunday and gained an hour which I feel has thrown me off my sleep schedule. I'm waiting for the adjustment to come and hopefully it will by the end of the week.

Today I am attending a training on an evaluation model called Results Based Accountability and we are being trained by Mark Friedman who create the model.  I'm looking forward to hearing from him and learning some new evaluation strategies.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Journey Day 14


Quick update...I weighed in this morning because my flow is starting to slow down. I'm down 2 more pounds...343. That's a total of 25 lbs in 2 weeks! I'm weighing in again tomorrow for my official 2 week total, but I'm stoked about this.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Journey Day 13


It's been almost 2 weeks since I started the program, but it feels much longer than that. I've had some major issues with my cycle this week that have caused some bloating and irritability, but all in all the energy continues to be up and I feel great. I told myself at my last weigh in that I would only weigh once a week or biweekly on Tuesdays, but sometimes I just have to know. So despite my feeling bloated and fear that the scale had gone up, I weighed myself yesterday morning just to see and I'm down 3 more lbs since Tuesday. So I'm down to 345 now from 368 13 days ago. Woohoo!!

One of the most interesting things about this program is that I literally can not sleep in anymore. My body is used to getting 7 hours of sleep now and just pops awake in the morning when it's time to eat. I feel like my body is driving this journey, I'm realizing that more and more with each day. When I wake up in the morning it seems to nudge me out of bed to go downstairs and eat. I try to close my eyes and reposition to get a little more sleep, but in the end my brain just does not shut down. I've never been a morning person so it's weird, but exciting to now be one. I used to be able to stay up all hours of the night and I just can't now. When it hits 10:30, I'm no good...I lay my head down and I'm out.

I'm leaving for Texas next week for work training and then I'll drive down to see Nephi in San Angelo for the weekend. I'm very excited to see Nephi and to hang out with him. I miss him so much sometimes. We were face timing last Sunday and he was shocked to see the difference in my face. I told him about what I'm doing and he said he would find good places for us to eat where I could have a healthy meal. I have also prepared a plan for meals and will pack everything up. I usually buy all my meals on these trips because I get reimbursed with a per diem, but I'll be saving a ton this time and still getting paid with a per diem. bonus!

One thing I look forward to is working out again. I feel like it will be a different experience when I go back because I feel a lot lighter and have a ton more energy. I might even go early in the morning which I've always wanted to do, but could never get out of bed to do. That's my plan once I get back from Texas and hopefully this cycle will have ended.

Today is Sunday and for to'ona'i I'm making seared tri-tip steak with sautéd veggies and a green salad...and rice for the kids. I'm trying to find a good balance between what we eat and what the kids need to eat. So far they are champs...they are growing and eating more healthy and it makes me happy.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Journey Day 11


Despite some health issues this week with the birth control pills, I'm going strong. I know I'm in fat burn mode because I can barely eat the meals when it's time to eat. I'm sleeping really well except for the all night bleeding. With my cycle being so off I actually felt cravings for the first time yesterday in addition to the backache and abdominal cramps. I drank a propel and ate a sugar free Jell-O cup and that curbed it really well. Later, even though it was a 1/2 snack extra - I made the chocolate peanut butter cup in the freezer with the brownie and the PB powder. OMG! It was like eating a real peanut butter cup it was so good!

I also shared a comparison photo yesterday with Shannon and she posted it on Facebook. I wanted to see for myself the change...sometimes it's hard to tell just looking in the mirror, but it is really apparent here.

This top pic was taken at the pumpkin patch on Sina's birthday last month - nearly 3 weeks ago. The bottom was taken in my office yesterday. I'm so proud of the differences I see. It's one thing to feel the difference, but to see it is so empowering! Belle has asked about the program and I sent her some information on it. I feel like my success story will prompt others to want to be on it. It truly has changed my perception of food and nutrition and I can't see myself ever going back.

I'm thinking of maybe even becoming a health coach after the holidays. I think my progress will give others hope...our Polynesian culture around food makes it so difficult to sustain any type of eating program, but this definitely feels different and I'm excited to share it with others.

I've been enjoying cauliflower pizza crusts lately and so far I've made 3 different types of pizza. Today I think I made my best crust and pizza yet - balsamic shrimp and spinach pizza...so good!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

back-tracking . . .

Old unpublished post....

I discovered a cool lil site as I was checkin' out Francine's blog, as I often do. I found out that I can make this whole blog thing a book whenever I want to. That discovery has gotten me very excited to write more and to post more pictures because I'd hate to regret not putting more pictures in. So these pictures a bit dated, but I wanted to show Sina in her "earlier days".

Sina at 2 months and then 4 months

The Journey Day 8

So the weekend was a little interesting. With the sleep schedule shifting a bit to staying up later and getting up later I had to adjust the eating times a bit,  but all in all I stayed with it. Sunday I wore a puletasi to church that I stopped wearing because it was getting tight. It fight so well and felt so good.

During toonai after church, Becky mentioned that my skin looks really bright and clear and that I look happier than usual. I told them about the program and how much it has changed the way I think about food and the goals that I have. They asked me about Thanksgiving and I told them I would probably do a cauliflower mash and eat turkey. Before I started last week I had some concerns about the holidays, but those have all gone away now.

I weighed in this morning at 348.2 exactly 20 lbs down in 1 week. I can feel it in my body and bones. It's easier to walk and get up and down the stairs. I have more energy and actually want to get things done around the house. I worked from home yesterday and went up and down the stairs during meal times for exercise.

I had a check in call with Shannon and Heather last night. Heather is the one I reached out to first when I saw her posts on LinkedIn. She referred me to Heather who got me started. They continue to emphasize the importance of the health community and making sure to stay connected for support. I see others post so freely on the Facebook pages and I am just not ready to do that yet. Perhaps in time I'll feel more comfortable, but right now it just isn't something I want to do.

I have joined multiple lean and green meal support groups and have found some amazing recipes. I think that is the most exciting part for me...looking forward to what I can make for dinner. Some people are really creative in the things they come up with. I found a recipe for making a bagel out of the mashed potatoes. I'm totally trying it to eat at a on plan sloppy joe or chicken sandwich. Someone else shared a frozen peanut butter cup they made out of the pudding and pb powder. I might have to do that for my holiday treats.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Journey Day 5


We had a late night last night, first at the ward trunk or treat activity and then all of the older girl cousins and Veni came over for a movie marathon of Guardians of the Galaxy. I think I got to bed at like 1:30 am.

This was the first time I had gone to bed that late on this program. I had seen some videos on youtube saying that if you don't go to bed within 2 hours of your last fueling that you need to eat another one. I wasn't sure so I didn't do it. Plus we had a hearty salad from cafe rio which I think may have been a little more than I should have had. Anyway, I'm learning to adjust to the weekend schedule and it's a little harder than I thought it would be.

Because we went to bed late last night, I didn't get up until 9:00 am. I ate my first fueling right away and I noticed right off the bat how much energy I had. In fact, it is 8:15 and I have had the most energy today than I have had in a long time. It feels kinda weird actually. I'm also finding that I am sleeping more through the night, even with the need to pee more often, I am really getting good sleep.

We started our Saturday chores and I decided that today I was going to organize the pantry and reserve a shelf for my food. I cleaned my room while sipping on my water, of course. I took a shower, loaded some laundry, and headed to the Dollar Store to buy some containers to divide the food. I was quite happy with what I found. It took me about 2 hours to organize and clean out old food, but I'm really happy with the results. 

I've also been finding some really good recipes on Pinterest so I was super excited to go to Costco today to buy some ingredients. Now I wish I had a bigger fridge because it's getting hard to fit everything in, however, it's probably a good thing so that we use up all that we are buying before loading up on other things. I'm pretty proud of what our fridge looks like now - 

One recipe I have been dying to try is the cauliflower crust pizza. We bought 2 bags of cauliflower rice from Costco today to try a few different things this week. I made a pizza for me and a pizza for Miracle. The recipe said it would be 2 servings and as I was making it I was like...now way is that 2 servings. I can't possibly just eat half of that. But low and behold I couldn't eat more than half. It was right on the money for my appetite and taste buds. I give my first pizza an 8 out of 10!

The toppings were ground turkey, spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms. I experimented by grinding down the turkey burgers I had in the food processor. That worked out really well. I'm going to ground the rest of it tomorrow to prep for the coming week. I'm leaving the other half for Anthony, but guarantee he will want another whole one. Next time I'm gonna do chicken, spinach, and mushrooms.

Tomorrow I plan on making Mongolian beef and broccoli and green beans. That should be good. Now that I have a better understanding of the program and what is allowable, it will be easier to plan dinner menus for the week.

I think I am now in full fat burn mode because of the level of energy I have and because I found it a bit difficult to eat some of the meals today (except for the pizza). I wasn't hungry so it was a little harder to finish a whole bar. It is now 9:12 pm and I am due for another fueling. One thing I want to start doing is reviews on the fuels. I tried the spinach/pesto mac and cheese and I'm not a fan. I need to figure a way to beef that taste up. I'm thinking a 1/3 of a lean added to it might help, but I don't think I can eat it plain again without gagging.

Some of my favorites include the dark chocolate shake, the creamy chocolate shake, the mint chocolate crip bars, the brownie, the pancakes, and the silky peanut butter bars. My least favorites are the mac and cheese, the peanut butter crunch, the strawberry shakes, and the bbq crunchers. I'll have to try the crunchers again tomorrow since I've been on for almost a week now...I think it my taste buds might adjust to it. I still have more to try, but so far that is where I am.

Anyway, some fuel reviews to come...

The Journey Day 4


For future reference...I was transferring a lot of what I wrote from documented thoughts from previous days so the dates are off that is why I put the dates in the blog....

I started this yesterday, but didn't finish. It was Day 4 yesterday and the morning text I got told me that I should be getting in to "fat burn" mode which means more energy, less hunger in between meals. I definitely started to feel that. My body is changing in terms of how it responds to the fuels. I feel more satisfied after having a fueling and it's easy to drink water as well. I am able to drink a ton of water without any problems.

We ate at cafe rio tonight. I was pretty proud of what I had - steak salad - no rice, no beans, no tortilla, just the meat, lettuce, pico, and guacamole and a little bit of the dressing. I'm finding that I look forward to the daily lean and green meal especially since I am finding good recipes. I found a ton on pinterest that I want to try.

I noticed the swelling in my body especially my hands and feet have gone down a lot. I think the first 15 lb loss was a lot of water weight, but I can totally feel a difference. 

That's my water bag...I take at least 4 bottles of water, a propel, and a powerade zero to work with me along side my fuels. 

That was me this afternoon...feeling really good. I sent that pic to Anthony and mama! Anyone who knows me knows that I do not like pics and I don't randomly take them like this so this is huge for me. I can see a difference in my face and I love it.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Journey Day 3


They say that your taste buds start to change and I'm definitely experiencing that right now. The food is starting to taste good, haha. Shannon asked me tonight if I'm struggling with wanting food and I can honestly say I'm not. I get more excited thinking about the lean and green meal I can eat and how good it will taste. I also started looking on Pinterest for lean and green meal recipes and that got me really excited. I did get a sight headache today, but I'm not sure if it was because of the meal plan or due to the pill. Regardless, I tried propel for the first time and it really helped.

Tonight we ate lettuce chicken wraps and it was super good. I am so proud of the girls eating with us without complaint and just enjoying the experience as well. I am also noticing some differences in my skin. I typically have very oily skin, especially my face. I use a charcoal face wash every day and oil free moisturizer to keep the zits and blemishes at bay. I noticed today that my skin was not oily. I thought it may be due to the water intake. I have never drunk so much water consistently ever so my body is probably in shock with all of the hydration. Shannon also said that the minerals in the food will help with skin, hair, and nails. That's a definite side bonus!

I weighed myself this morning. At first I didn't think I would weigh every day just in case it didn't move in the direction I hoped, but after seeing the drop in 7 lbs yesterday I thought it would be good to just check. So I weighed in at 357.4...another 4 lbs down for a total of 11 lbs. I am super excited about that.

I'm finding that I am letting go of a lot of fears and old beliefs I had about myself. I have always hated scales. I can count on one hand how many times I've weighed myself in my life. I feel like that is changing a bit as I see the number declining each day. I used to believe it defined who I was as a far person, but now it is adding definition to my success story. It is empowering to feel this way and let go of the old out of site, out of mind mentality in terms of knowing how much I weigh.

I used to not eat breakfast in the mornings...like, at all. I was never hungry in the morning and I would often times go all day without eating if I was busy at work or didn't have time. I would then come home and eat everything in sight because I was starving. This program is helping me to think differently about food and the word "fuel" for the body. Now that I have to get up and eat right away, I am seeing the difference it makes in my morning and my whole day. I have started to keep a fuel bar next to my bed so that I can wake up, read my scriptures, say a prayer, stretch, and eat my fuel bar within 30 minutes of waking up. I am really liking this new routine and I am seeing the difference it is making.

I love the holistic approach of this program as well...balancing physical, mental, financial health, for an overall optimal way of living. I would add spiritual to that balance. I am reading my scriptures daily now which I never had time to do before and being more prayerful which has really helped me to be successful up to this point.

I have loved doing this with my sweetheart. He has been a strength to me since day 1 and to be on the same journey (different program) is really empowering as a couple. We've been married for 13 years this year and we've always struggled with fertility. I can't help but think that my weight has been a huge contributing factor. I often feel guilt because of the fear I have always had in addressing my weight. I often think of how things could have been different if I had been more healthy. While I've always pushed the thoughts and feelings to the back of my mind and hidden in them in a dark corner of my soul, I am finding that my thought processes are starting to change. I'm more grateful now for the children we do have and for the blessing we have received. I am truly grateful for this renewal of both body and spirit that I am blessed to experience. It has only been 3 to 4 days, but it feels longer than that. I am excited to see where it goes from here.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Journey Day 2

10/25/17 - Day 2 and I'm feeling really good. I got a good 7 hours of sleep last night and felt refreshed this morning. One of the things required is that I eat within 30 minutes of waking up. So I got up and went downstairs and ate before getting ready for work. Apparently, this helps bring up the blood sugar levels after a long night of sleep. I think it helped.

I have been drinking a lot of water still and going to the bathroom A LOT! I feel like I'm shedding a lot of water weight which is good. I'm feeling really light. I weighed myself this morning at 6:30 and it was 361.4. Not bad...7 lbs down in 1 day. That's so crazy to think about, but really motivating.

I talked Shannon tonight and she was very supportive. She reminded me to eat enough protein. I went to lunch with Sulu today and had a salad at Paradise Bakery. It was the chicken caesar salad - basically just chicken over greens. Very little cheese and the recommended serving of caesar dressing per the condiment list. I felt good about that. I did eat one extra fueling today only because my timing was off, but I hope to fix that moving forward.

Shannon also sends me a text every morning in addition to our nightly check ins. I'm surprised by how much it helps to have a coach. I definitely feel more accountable to the process.

Anthony has also started the Keto eating this week. He is excited, going through the highs and lows of that eating program, but doing well. We also have our girls eating better too. I took them in for check ups last week and Sina weighed 130 and Miracle weighed 197 at 11 and 14 years old. This new lifestyle is for our whole family, not just us and the girls have been great troopers with us. I made them grilled steaks and salad tonight for dinner and they loved it.

The Journey Day 1

10/24/17 - Today is my first day of actually eating off the meal plan 5 and 1. It is basically eating 5 fuelings (these are the individual meals they send you) and 1 lean protean with greens which is called Lean and Green. I prayed this morning that I wouldn't get a headache from lack of sugar/carbs. I'm required to drink at least 84 oz. of water each day and I did that today. That required many trips to the bathroom, but all good.

We had a team lunch today and we went to the Bayou. It is one of my favorite places and I usually get something like the cheeseburger or the gumbo with their sweet potato fries. Today, I chose to eat my Lean and Green at lunch and had a grilled salmon over greens. Wasn't the best tasting, but it was filling. So far the little bars/meals they provide keep me pretty sustained until I have to eat again which is every 3 hours. The hardest thing right now is eating during meetings since the 3 hour marks sometimes falls between my meeting times, but it's okay.

Shannon called tonight and I reported that all went well, except I am really tired. This program requires at least 7 hours of sleep. I am definitely not getting that a night so I will need to change that tonight. She also encouraged me to weigh myself in the morning and that it is more accurate in the morning.

The Journey - Take Shape For Life - Pre-start Day

I need a place to track my progress in the program Take Shape For Life and so here goes...

10/23/17 - Received the box of food in the mail. Exciting! I just realized this is is a revamped version of the old Medifast program which I've tried. Hopefully the food tastes good. My coach is Shannon Schritter. I talked to her on the phone and I've decided to start tomorrow. There are 4 things I need to send her - front, side, back photos, initial weight :( and my 3 "whys" for doing this program, and my WATCH measurements.

3 whys are -

1. Be healthy, live long to see my girls grow up
2. Confidently look in the mirror again
3. Comfortably sit on an airplane or even ride a roller coaster without fear of not fitting in the seat

One of the reasons I always avoided programs and coaches was I hate being in a state of vulnerability. I don't like people knowing my business especially trying to get in to my head as to the "why" behind the things I do. This time, I feel like I need to let go and trust the process....sounds very cliché, but whatever. I sent Shannon the list of whys.

Initial weight at 10:30 pm tonight is 368.2
Waist - 58
Arm - 19.5
Thigh - 30
Chest - 55
Hips - 60

Here we go....