Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Happens When You Are No Longer Eating Your Emotions

So in January of this year I started my journey to not only lose weight but to stop binging/emotional eating and cut my emotional ties to food.

And while I am not exactly at the weight I thought I would be at by this time, I am still down 33lbs and very proud of THAT accomplishment!

Even more than the weight loss, I am proud of the fact that I have not had a full on binge in TEN months.


You guys. This is HUGE for me.

I have had some times where I have snacked a little more in the evening than I should and overate, but it definitely doesn’t qualify as a binge.

Binge eating – When you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food and feel unable to stop eating.

Emotional eating - the practice of consuming large quantities of food -- usually "comfort" or junk foods -- in response to feelings instead of hunger. 

Any time now I think I may start a binge, I have stopped myself very quickly.

I have learned to control my overeating, though it happens and is perfectly normal.

For me, binge eating was tied with my emotions that ranged from happy to sad to stressed to bored to mad to overwhelmed to, well whatever. 

I am learning to NOT eat for comfort but to fuel my body. 

I am learning to not immediately turn to food when I am stressed or happy or sad. Though it happens.

I have started eating whole foods 80% of the time, which allows me to eat healthy food but still have those indulgences.  This also helps to avoid overeating and/or binging on food because I no longer feel deprived with what I am eating.

I believe I have the healthiest relationship with food I have EVER had.

So then, I ask myself regularly, why am I so miserable?  Why am I unhappy?  Why am I SO angry all the time?

Yesterday I was leaving home and said goodbye to my 4 year old.  We said our normal, bye, have a good day, love you’s and then he said:

H: “Don’t come home angry today, ok mom!!”
(Feeling like I got punched in the gut, though this little boy has no idea of his brutal honesty that I needed to hear) 
Me: “Ok buddy, I won’t be angry today.”
H: “You promise?!”
Me: sigh “Yes, I promise…love you.”

Ugh. Tears.

It has been something that I have kept thinking about for the past few months.

I am losing weight. 

I am getting a hold of my binge eating. 

And yet I am ANGRY. 

EVERYTHING annoys or frustrates me.


The other day it came to me.  Now of course, I am not a psychologist, so I could be WAY off on this.  But to me, it makes sense.

For 20 years I have used binge eating as my emotional release.  When I get stressed I turn to food.  I would eat a large amount of food quickly and just to feel this release. I would FEEL better after my binge, even if my stomach hurt or feel guilty for eating all that food.  BUT I was satisfied and whatever those stresses I had before were temporarily gone and forgotten as I sat in a combination of food bliss and regret.

To fully explain those feelings I got when I binged is hard and may not make sense to someone who doesn’t have those ties.  But it is a form of addiction and has similar effects to your body.  Am I comparing myself to a heroin addict? Come on…of course not.  BUT, foods high in fat, sugar and salt (the ones I would normally binge on) are known to release and trigger those same “feel-good” chemicals in the brain that certain drugs do.  And then of course when the sugars and stuff wear off, you come down and don’t feel good about yourself so you eat more to feel better about yourself.

Even now, I think about binging nearly EVERY day.  Even as I write this, I think with a sense of comfort and happiness in eating a big plate of nachos and some cookies without care.  While I know now I shouldn’t do it as I have made so much progress, I still have a part of me that WANTS to do it. Every. Single. Day.  

When it comes to stress, some people write in a journal.  Some workout.  Some talk to a professional.  People have different ways of dealing with stress.  FOR nearly TWO decades MY way of dealing with stress is food.  And now THAT is gone.

I am no longer binging.  I have drastically reduced the amount of high sugar, fat, and salt I consume. So when I am stressed I have no release.  I am not saying food was a healthy release, but I have yet to figure out a way to release my stresses in a HEALTHY way and I think that is part of what is causing these feelings of unhappiness and anger. 

I have never dealt with my stress in a healthy way, but I would temporarily ignore it with something that gave me enjoyment.  Now, I am just not dealing with any of it.  I am holding it in until I literally explode at whoever is around me….usually my husband or son. 

As I am nearing the end of my first year journey to a healthier self, my new goals along with continued weight loss, is to figure out how to handle my stress and emotions in a healthy way.  That most likely will involve speaking to an actual professional which will also help with my OCD, which is worse than ever….but that is an entirely different post!!!

But that is also part of the reason I am a beachbody coach.  It is giving me the opportunity to find a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.  It is allowing me to connect with others and share my feelings and listen to theirs.  It is encouraging to work on myself physically AND mentally and leave the emotional ties to food out of the picture.

I still have a long way to go, but am getting closer.

So how do YOU deal with stress?  Emotional eating?

How are you helping YOU?!?!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pushing Through the Negative to Find the Positive in Myself

So, my first round of the 21 Day Fix I did AMAZING!   I lost something like 9lbs and 18 inches in just 3 weeks!!! 

And while I have managed to keep it off, this second round I have barely lost anything.  Between birthdays, our anniversary, and a head cold that will NOT go away….my motivation has been lacking big time and I am falling back into some of my bad habits.

A bad habit isn’t always physical….meaning binge eating, not wanting to workout, eating junk as I watch TV.  Infact, my eating has stayed pretty consistent, a splurge here and there.  And I workout when I can and feel up to it.

But bad habits are also mental.

Yep, I am mental! 

See, it is more so the frame of mind I fall back into that really brings me down and can be SO hard to get out of.

I get down on myself and focus on the negative.

“How could you let yourself become 100lbs overweight?”
“You still have so far to go.”
“You don’t have time for yourself, you have a family to take care of.  There isn’t time for you.”
“You lost 30lbs and your smaller clothes still don’t fit, you are never going to do this.”

Those are just a few of the thoughts that run through my head.  Perhaps I am a bit dramatic.

But after YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS of dealing with my weight and thinking about weight. And food and binge eating. And what you think other people are thinking about you….it wears on you.  It is hard to break that way of rationalizing when things don’t “go your way”.

I was being all pitiful and mentioning this to a dear friend (also my beachbody coach) and she reminded me that I didn’t put this weight on all at once and it is going to take time to get it all off.  And that I can do this. 

I agreed and cherish how much support she gives me, but still stayed in this funk.

I read how well other people are doing in our challenge group and for a minute got mad….not at them, but at ME.  I kept thinking, that could be you Jenn and you didn’t give it your all.

Then my mom said this week she wanted to help me become a coach because I am doing so great and she wants to help so I can keep going.  I appreciated this beyond words, but of course I was like…well I haven’t done so great the past few weeks. (turned it to a negative)

Then today.  I was listening to this coach meeting and she said “You are more important than giving up.” 

I think, after a week of people telling me over and over what I was failing to hear and remember, I finally heard it ALL at one time.

It all resonated with me and sunk in.  (I know, takes me a bit longer!!)

You guys, my biggest obstacle in losing weight isn’t the amount of weight I need to lose or even if I can do it. 

It is ME. 

It is getting past these thoughts in my heading that are stopping me from moving forward.  These thoughts I have had for years and years.

It is remembering that I. AM. IMPORTANT. 

That this is going to take time. And be hard. And not always go my way and be frustrating BUT I can do this.  And that I have SO MUCH support around me right now if I just open up and accept it.


I have to keep that in the back of my head.

I am worth it.

If I want to take care of my family and SHOW them how amazing eating whole foods is for your body and the benefits of working out, then I need to lead by example.

I need to get out of my head.

That may be my biggest challenge for me during this journey.  It is not easy.  Some people may be able to set their mind to something and just do it.  And in some ways I can.

But most of the time I am in my own head.

Questioning everything.

I realized early on this journey is far more than just losing weight.  There is so much more that has brought on this weight then just sitting on the couch and eating.  There are these mental blocks I need to push through.  I need to change up the way I think and view things.  I need to address WHY and HOW I got here and what is stopping me from moving forward.  The answer always come back to me.  I am stopping myself.

It is "funny" how that works, no?!

So today I am trying to refocus.  To take away the negative and focus on the positive.

“How could you let yourself become 100lbs overweight?”  It doesn’t matter how you got here, what matters is that YOU want to change and you CAN change.

“You still have so far to go.”  But you are closer today than you were yesterday!

“You don’t have time for yourself, you have a family to take care of.  There isn’t time for you.”  If you want to take care of your family you MUST take care of YOU first!  There is always time for YOU!

“You lost 30lbs and your smaller clothes still don’t fit, you are never going to do this.”  This will come, but it is more about how you FEEL right now!

I must get out of my head if I want to succeed. 
I am going to try to stay positive.

So, in an attempt to do this I have wrote down some of my thoughts and motivational quotes that I will repeat when I start getting down and falling back into my “bad habits”....

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must but never EVER give up.

Focus on how far you have come and not how far you have to go.

When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.

I want to be a before and after. 
(This is something I keep saying to myself.  I want to have those before and after pictures that make people gasp....I want to show how much I have accomplished!)

Weight loss is not just a physical, but mental.

Don’t stop trying just because you have a hit a wall.  Progress is progress, no matter how small.  (This sounds very Dr. Seuss like….this pleases me)

This is a slow process.  Don’t make it slower by quitting.

I am WORTH this.  I CAN do this.  


I am worth it and YOU are worth.  We can do this.

What are some things you tell yourself to keep going?  

*I will becoming a beachbody coach in October.  If you are interested in more information, please let me know.  I want to help people just like they are helping me!!  I want to do this together!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Meal Planning on the 21 Day Fix

I have been meal planning for a long time, especially meal planning on a budget.  But I admit, I was slightly overwhelmed right before the 21 Day fix started.

How much food do I need? 

What meals should I eat? 

How will I divide these containers over the course of the day? 

Will I be hungry?

So the Sunday before my first day of Round 1, I spent THREE hours in the kitchen prepping food. Seriously, who has three extra hours?!?!   I was stressed….and I am a planner and LOVE to meal plan. And when it was all said and done, I didn’t use some of what I prepped as it was just TOO much.

So the next week I simplified and over the past 5 weeks have come up with some easy tips on meal planning for the 21 Day Fix.

It is crazy HOW simple this can be!!  Though I think part of it is accepting this as a life style change and getting use to it!

These are "tips" (using that loosely, more like the things I do!) that worked for ME. Everyone is different, but thought I would share in case one or more helped you!


See above! Seriously, do not over plan meals. Especially if you are new to the program. Yes, the planner is saying don’t plan too much. I am a walking contradiction in SO many ways. I would, for the first week or two, keep your breakfasts and lunches simple. Maybe even the same with slight variations until you get use to the program, containers, how much you will eat, and proper portions.

So I did hard-boiled eggs or steel cut oats in the morning, salads for lunch, and yogurt and fruit or cottage cheese and fruit or hummus and veggies for snacks. My dinners I explored a little bit, but still kept it simple…maybe only trying one or two new recipes a week.   I also tried to incorporate "normal" food we always made before, just adjusted slightly.  I also picked only two different fruits and veggies for the week and that is what you use.  Unless you know you will use them, don't buy all the fruits and veggies.  It is more to prep and may go to waste.  Wait and see how the program works for YOU and then start adding more each week.  But to start, simplify!

Simple mushroom cap pizza!

2. Eggs are an EGG-cellent idea! 

These are my go-to food. TWO eggs = ONE red container. AWESOME. I always have hardboiled eggs to add to a salad or grab as a snack or breakfast. I also keep plenty of eggs to add to a meal or make as an meal! I have omelets at least once a week. And of course, being on a budget, eggs are fantastic. Go get those eggs!!

Spaghetti Squash "pasta" w/ poached egg

Baked egg in mushroom cap

3. Take shortcuts when you can.

Sometimes meal prep and cutting up all those veggies can be a lot.  I try to take short cuts. I buy a rotisserie chicken on Monday and shred it all up and put it in a bag for the week. I add this to salads, omelets or make meals out of it. Again, very cost effective and saves so much time.  My friend just introduced me to using steel cut oats, some water, yogurt and fruit and mixing it and putting in the fridge overnight for breakfast the next day*.  Takes literally two minutes and DONE.  Huge time saver, you know instead of cooking the oats and storing them and measuring the next day. As my son says...boring. I also buy baby carrots...I know, some are against them.  But Henry and I eat them and it is SO much easier.  For me sometimes spending a little more on individually priced items that save time is better.

4. Plan Snacks. 

Now, I think when you eat whole/clean foods you get more food and feel more full. BUT, if you are a snacker (is that a word), like I am, then making sure you always have 21 day fix approved snacks is key. Cottage cheese, apples, grapes, yogurt with peanut butter to dip your apples in – yum, veggies and hummus are a few of my go-to snacks. I am actually going to start exploring new snack ideas for the second round to change it up a bit!!  Just make sure you have options so if you DO get hungry, you are not gravitating towards the unhealthier snacks!

Just found this...21 Day Fix Buffalo Chicken Dip!  Cant wait to try it!


1/2 red container Greek yogurt
1/2 red container shredded chicken
1/2 blue container shredded cheese
1 green container veggies
Tapatio, Franks Red Sauce or favorite hot sauce

*Preheat oven to 350
* mix yogurt, chicken and 1/2 of cheese and hot sauce
* scoop into oven safe bowl 
*Bake for 15 minutes until heated all the way through

1 red container, 1/2 blue container and 1 green container!

5. Write it down!

Every night I plan my food for the next day and pack it and write it in my journal. Yep, no app for me, I hand write. I actually plan our dinners for the entire week on Friday, but lunches and stuff I go day by day, but always one day ahead.  I can do this because I keep my lunches and breakfast simple and consistent.  The dinners are the ones where there is more of a chance to have higher calories or the need for certain container amounts. So if I know what we are eating for dinner and how many containers I will need, I can adjust daily for my other food based on what we have and sounds good. But write it down! You will forget how much you had if you don’t. Plus, it is nice to go back for ideas!!

6. Have fun!

Enjoy the cooking or prepping of food.  For me, three hours was not enjoyable, but an hour or so is!  Let your kids help and wash items or pack your lunches...my son loves putting items into the containers to measure out.  I am embracing the food.  Appreciating the preparation I put into getting my meals ready each week.  I am now trying new foods and meals and exploring all the options out there!!  I also am having fun with how I take my food to work (bento boxes are great - i use these), but that is just me :-) Remember, this is a lifestyle change, NOT a diet.  So if you do not love it and embrace this or appreciate how this food fuels your body, it is going to be harder to stick with it.  So have fun with it!!

And to help out, here are some of my favorite things to eat! 
All simple, easy to prep, budget friendly and 21 Day Fix approved!

Shrimp kabobs
Pita Pizzas/Mushroom Cap Pizzas
Spinach, chicken, feta whole wheat quesadillas
Grilled Chicken/Fish with veggies
Spaghetti Squash with spinach, turkey bacon, feta, & poached egg 
(used THIS method to cook the squash, but made my own recipe how I wanted)
Mushroom caps with baked eggs inside - HERE
Anything IN a pita!
Taco bowls
Greek nachos 
(baked whole wheat tortilla slices, feta, tomato, cucumber, lemon, and maybe so fresh herbs!)
Yogurt (1/2 R) with peanut butter (2 tsp) and apple slices (1P)
Chocolate, Peanut Butter Banana "ice cream"
(blend a cut/frozen banana until creamy.  Add a tsp cocoa powder and 1-2 tsp peanut butter)


And just because I have salads every day doesn’t mean they have to be boring. I have gotten great at making AMAZING and different salads every day!! I cut up the lettuce and wash it the beginning of the week. Let it sit out and dry completely then bag it up so I have lettuce for the entire work week!  I fill my salads full of veggies and make it a pretty large meal so I am not as hungry in the evenings!  For me, evenings is when I am the hungriest so I try to curb that by eating a lot and more frequently the first half of the day!

So what do you do for your meals?  Any other tips to share?

*Overnight steel cut oats - 1/2 yellow oats raw, 1/2 yellow water, 1 red yogurt....mix and top with fruit.  Put in fridge covered for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Friday, August 28, 2015

21 Day Fix Review – My Life Is Changing

Ok, perhaps not a review, but more my thoughts on the 21 day fix.

I just completed Round 1 of the 21 Day Fix and I must say the past 21 Days have been truly life changing.

I know, that is a pretty powerful statement, but it is true.  And keep in mind this is coming from the girl who is a [past] binge eater, loves food, hates working out and has NEVER been able to stick with a diet.

But of course, this isn’t a diet.  This truly is a lifestyle change.

The past few weeks have been emotional, busy and I have been far from perfect with the program.  Good thing the program is not seeking perfection.

Did I work out every day?
Nope, but as many days as I could and FAR more than I have in the last 5 years. (maybe missed 4)

Did I ever “cheat” with my food? 
Yep, I may have had a couple bites of cake or a few bites of cheese dip one day.  But the majority of the time, I was spot on with my eating.  And actually loved what I was eating! (pics below)

But honestly, none of that matters to me anymore...the "did I follow everything exactly".  (Big change!)  I am not trying to feel guilty for my choices of working out or what I eat, because when I put the guilt with food, or any emotions for that matter, then that is when I eat poorly.  I am doing the best I can and focusing on all my healthy choices.

What matters to me now is HOW I FEEL.

Plain and simple. 

And eating whole foods and working out regularly makes me feel amazing….and I haven’t felt amazing in a long time in regards to my body.

I have waited a few days to write my recap because I wanted to see what I did after the program was done.  I didn’t want to check in with the group that is still open.  I didn’t want to plan.  I didn't want accountability.  I know it sounds weird or backwards, but I wanted to see what I DID, back in my “normal” life. Would I go back to my old ways or would I stay with it naturally.

As it turns out, I am naturally gravitating towards the healthy way of eating/living because it really does make me feel better.

Yes, I will admit, I haven’t worked out the past few days (and I notice it and am going back to it) and I have strayed from the meal plan a couple times, but folks I am actually craving that lifestyle.  I want my salads and containers of WHOLE food and packing it for lunch EVERY day.  I actually am still drinking coffee with raw sugar….YEAH, the girl who bitched and complained and cried, literally, about giving up her creamer is still drinking black coffee with raw sugar.

Boom.  Changed.

Yes, I had a piece of pizza Tuesday, but I had a huge salad with it. AND, I didn’t have four pieces of pizza like before.  I am learning to incorporate this into my life and make the healthier choices.  You know that "binge" mentality of not being able wanting to stop, being obsessed with eating as much as I can and if I can't I get mad.  Nope, I just wanted a taste.  I enjoyed the food, but I wasn’t obsessing over it like I have always done in the past.  Same when I had a few bites of a cake, that was enough.  I didn’t need a piece of cake and then another later that day.

To some this may not seem like a success.  But for an emotional binge eating, overweight, food obsessed person….it is HUGE.

This program has done far more for me than I ever expected.  I went into thinking, I really hope this helps me get over this plateau and lose weight and is the quick fix I need.  But instead, I came out feeling like it truly changed my life.

It changed how I feel.  I have more energy.  I feel healthier and not weighed down by the processed foods.

It changed my desire to workout.  I still dread working out simply because finding time to do it can be more of a challenge and is not ideal, but I know I can workout now.  I feel myself and see myself getting stronger.  I am doing moves I couldn’t do three weeks ago.  When I go a day without working out, I am excited ready to get back at it.

It changed how I look at food.  This may be the biggest.  Right now marks the healthiest relationship I have ever had with food.

Yep, that is worth repeating.

At 35, I have the healthiest relationship with food I have ever had.

I respect how the “right” foods can fuel my body and the wrong foods make me sluggish.  I am looking at portions differently.  I am cutting those emotional ties that I have towards food.  I am learning (yes still learning) the difference between my needs vs my wants.  And I am learning how to control my desire for those wants.   Now, I am not giving up all those “wants", no, we like those things in moderation.  But I am carefully choosing what I prefer to put in my body instead of putting it ALL in. The 90/10* rule folks...well, it may be more like 80/20 for me, but I am working on it.

Here is what I got to eat....still great food, but in the right amounts and HEALTHY/WHOLE foods.

It changed what I thought I was capable of doing.

It changed what I thought was healthy and what I now realize is healthy. 

It changed my body and my mind.

I am seeing myself for ME.  Something I have always struggled with.

Was this easy?  No.

Does the group help? YES.  They keep you accountable and are amazing!

Am I still learning? Of Course.

Do I still have a long way to go? Duh….but focusing on the NOW.

Does the program make sense? Yes.

Can I follow it and stick with it? You bet.

Can I do this for me?  Absolutely!!

I am currently down 9lbs and 18 inches (counting arms, chest, waist, hips, thighs and calves) in the past three weeks.

You guys.  That is 28lbs total since I started in January.

 (from January - August)

So with all that said, why do I say this is life changing? 

Because, this is my life and it needed changed and this is the program that is finally helping with that.

I am not just doing the 21 Day Fix to look great in bikini or tone up a bit (which are still great reasons to try it!).

But for me it is so much more.

It is about my health now and as I get older.

It is about my future.

It is about how I feel.

It is about no longer missing opportunities with my son because I am too embarrassed with the way I look to go somewhere or do something with him. (this one makes me cry all the time)

It is about no longer worrying if I will be able to fit in a seat or something, because of my weight.

It is about no longer not going places with my husband because I am embarrassed that he will be embarrassed (though that has never given me reason to think that, I still do because of my own insecurities).

It is about me not getting so angry with myself about the way I look and feel that I take it out on those around me.

It is about not feeling guilty when I eat, especially in public, and instead learning to appreciate food and feel comfortable eating so i don't want to hide and binge.

It is about so much more than just losing a few pounds.

It is about finally feeling LIKE ME and not this person “trapped” in this body.

So would I recommend this program? YES.

Is it tough? YES. But a good tough.

Is it worth it? Without a doubt.

Can YOU do this? YES!!  If I can, you can!

If you put in the work and time.  Plan your meals.  Workout. You will not only see results, but FEEL the results!!!

I will be starting my second round in September!!  The group dynamic is truly amazing...all about the accountability and probably the only way I got through this with the results I did!

What are YOUR thoughts of the Fix? Has it changed YOUR life yet?


Other posts on the 21 Day Fix from me HERE and HERE.

I am at the point where in the next few months, I want to be a coach and continue my journey while also supporting those who are on a similar journey.  I want to inspire those who are in a similar place and have tried everything to lose weight and continue to BE inspired as I move forward with my weight loss journey.  I truly feel this is a program that can do that.

*90/10 Rule - if you eat healthy and workout 90% of the time, it allows for that other 10% of the time to have that leeway and enjoy those times where you do not follow the healthy eating.

Monday, August 10, 2015

21 Day Fix – Week 1 Complete

So I completed my first week of the 21 Day Fix and I couldn’t be more THRILLED with the results and how I am feeling.

You guys.

This program is legit!  IT. WORKS.

I have been trying some sort of diet on and off my entire life.  None work, or at least they only work short term.  And you already know of my struggles the past four months not losing weight and being stuck at the same spot.  So going in I had this weird ying and yang of positive and negative thinking. (“Maybe this will actually work!!  Maybe like everything else, this won’t work for me either.”)

And as someone who has struggled with weight issues my entire life and has a hard time losing weight because I love food so much and most diets restrict all foods, I wasn’t sure what sort of results I would see.

But this is NOT A DIET.  It is a lifestyle change.  A program to reset not only your body but the way you look and think about food.

I admit, going into it I was a bit overwhelmed.  I meal plan, but I felt I needed to OVER plan.  I wasn’t sure how much food would fit into the containers so I didn’t know how much to buy.  Would I be hungry?  Would I have time for this? And working out EVERY DAY, seriously, I can barely workout ONE day.

But I needed to try.  I wanted to try.

Day one my biggest issue was my coffee.  I believe I literally thought about my coffee and creamer 85% of the day. Addicted much?!?!  I talked about this in my previous post HERE.

My husband’s insightful words, really stuck with me: “Stop thinking about the coffee and think about how much better you will feel in a few weeks, let alone a few months.”

I have repeated this to myself nearly every day.  And it wasn’t just in reference to the coffee it was in reference to everything.  It was about working out.  It was about clean eating.  It was about taking care of MYSELF.

I want this.  Oh, you have no idea how bad I want to succeed and get this extra weight off.

So I just did it and did the best I could.

My fears were quickly put to rest by one simple thing…..the facebook group I am involved in.

This is key. 

They are going through the SAME THING. 

They have days where they do not want to workout or their bodies are so sore they can’t walk.  They have days where they eat that cheeseburger or scone instead of their containers of food.  They have days where they do not want to prep One. More. Meal.  Holy shit...they are just like me and I am not the only one thinking these things!!!  

They also have days where they shine!  They fit that workout in, even at 9:30 at night.  They follow their meal plan exactly!  They lose weight and/or feel better!  

We encourage, motivate and inspire each other to keep going.  It is amazing.  Even after only a week, you feel that comradery and genuine support.

So instead of getting discouraged after day 1 (no coffee and a very hard workout) and putting my DVD’s back on the shelf with all my other dust collected DVD’s I only used for a short time…I pushed through.  I felt like I needed to push through for them…I didn’t want to be the ONLY one not doing the workout!!  I mean, we all felt like shit after a hard workout, why should I be the only one who didn’t.

I committed to 21 days. 

It is only 21 days. 

I can do this. 

WE can do this.

One week in, you wouldn’t believe how much easier* things have gotten!!

I am getting through my workouts out with more strength!  I still modify almost all the moves, but I am doing it and I feel stronger!  Even daily tasks around the house seem to come easier.  Yes, I have been pretty much sore since last Monday…but that shows I am working hard, right!!

I have energy!  I am drinking HALF the amount of coffee I was before I started and with only a teaspoon of raw sugar.  I drink one cup in the morning and one after lunch.  And I still have FAR more energy than I have had in YEARS!

I am eating well and following the program!  I haven’t been craving salts and sugars nearly as much as I thought I would.  I think because I AM eating and eating a lot, I am not hungry.  That processed sugar isn’t making me want more food, I have natural sugars in my body that are keeping it energized and sustained throughout the day.

I am losing weight and inches!  This is no joke, the first week I lost 6 lbs and 10.5 inches.  Stop it.  JUST STOP.  I didn’t believe it at first, even though I can feel the changes.  I think that right there speaks for the program.  And I know this won’t continue at this drastic of a pace, but still it happened and I hope to see some continued results!

So that is WEEK ONE!! 

Some may ask (because I have already asked myself the same things):

“Your only one week in, you are just trying to sell things, that is why you are so enthusiastic about a program.” (Nope. I am not a coach!  And even if I was or become one, what I am “selling” is the happiness and excitement that comes with making HUGE changes in your life after decades of struggling to make those changes.  This is someone who is very overweight and finding something that is working and I am beyond thrilled.) 

“Ok, how can you really love this so much if you have only done it for one week??”
(Because I FEEL and SEE the difference!!  If this is how I feel after ONE week, I can only imagine how I will feel after three weeks or three months!!)

“You won’t feel like this in a couple more weeks, the newness will wear off.”
(I think the hardest part is over.  That first week.  That isn’t at all to say this still isn’t hard, because it IS and will be.  But from this point on every week will get a little better and I am seeing that now!  Even if I plateau again, I am working out…the thing I have been dreading and avoiding since, well forever.)

And believe, I know the excitement will wear off a bit and I will want real pizza and not a pita pizza like I am having tonight.  I know I will want that slice of cake or a hot fudge sundae and not banana "ice cream".  I know there will be days I don’t work out.

But that is the beauty of this…if I can maintain this for at least 90% of the time and have 10% for those extra treats then it is still great and I am still moving forward and being as healthy as I can be!! (90/10 philosophy HERE)

Here are some things I ate this week!!
Look at this weekend lunch!!!

Typical work lunch. 

Went out to eat and made the "right" choices!  tasty! 

Fajita night!!  Limited the oils and had an amazing and filling meal!

Breakfast on the weekend done right!!!  
Goat cheese omelet with sauteed spinach and mushrooms and turkey bacon...with a side of fruit!)

Dessert...YES PLEASE!  
Banana "ice cream" with peanut butter, cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips!

Portabella mushrooms with an egg INSIDE!  
Spinach and grilled chicken, pita and some hummus.  Delicious.

I will post before and after pictures and my final thoughts after the program is over in two weeks!!!

*I say easier, but this is not easy.  I am just getting better with every passing day.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Day One – The 21 Day Fix!!

Yesterday I started the 21 day fix.  More about it HERE.

As you may have read previously, I have been in a bit of a rut and my weight loss has stalled.  So I thought this could be the kick start I once again needed.  I also have the encouragement of a dear friend who is the Beach Body coach and about 20 people in our group who are also doing similar “fixes” for the next 21 days!!  So that coupled with the continued support of family and other friends I thought, I NEED TO DO THIS FOR ME!!!

Note: A support group is priceless.  I never use to think that, now I am all like…the more the merrier!  (Online of course.  Never in person.  Can't take that social interaction.)

Now I get I am ONE day into the program, but still here are my initial impressions of what the 21 day fix is all about.  I wanted to write them down now and then go back and see what I think after 21 days.

The 21 Day fix is all about changing your habits (it takes 21 days to make new habits, so they say)  It is about clean eating, working out, learning about proper portions, keeping your body properly fueled, and making a lifestyle change.

Let me say while this program does say you will lose weight and inches, and in many cases a large amount in a short period of time, I would not consider this a diet.  Or at the least a fad diet.  This program could (and should) easily be incorporated into your daily life when you are at the fitness level you wish to be at.  It is VERY well balanced between food and exercise and is more of a kickstart to healthy living.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Meal Planning - It Is All About the Prep

So I have been having difficulty losing weight, even on a diet.  I am getting some tests done just to see if it is hormonal or something, but I also am looking to refocus my diet and cut out even more sugars and carbs and work on portion control.

To help with this I will be starting the 21 Day Fix in a week!!  Am I suppose to be excited about that?!?!  So I decided to prepare for that this week by getting back into the more strict lunches and meal prep (the last few weeks I haven't planned as much).  I haven't received my 21 Day Fix yet, so not sure what my portions will be, but either way I planned a healthy and lower carb meals for *most* of the week, at least during the day!

Meal prep in full force for breakfast and lunches for the week!!  I need a bigger kitchen for sure...

Breakfast will be spinach and feta Egg Muffins for the week.  Approximately 105 calories each.

Spray large muffin tin with Pam.  Crack one egg in each and stir to break the yolk.  Add 1/8-1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach and 1 tbsp feta to each egg.  Add pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.  Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes or until set.  I will probably eat with a piece of toast, Lovi'n fresh aldi bread, that is 70 calories a slice!!  And of course coffee.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!! Breakfast DONE!

On to lunches.  This week I have two different sets of lunches.

Three days I am having salad, hard boiled egg, 2 oz rotisserie chicken, cucumbers and yogurt ranch. Calories approximately 245 calories.

The other two days lunch will be buffalo chicken lettuce wraps. 4oz rotisserie chicken with franks red hot and celery mixed in.  Four romaine leafs, cucumber and carrots with yogurt ranch dressing.  Calories approximately 250 calories.

Snacks will be a heaping cup of strawberries and 1/4 cup almonds.  (50 and 170 calories respectively)

 (Henry loves helping to put together my lunches!!)

So when it is all said and done I have lunches and breakfasts done for the week with extras leftover to eat during the week.

Bottom shelf is ALL mine!!

What I bought for breakfast & lunches:
1 rotisserie chicken
1 large container strawberries 
1 english cucumber
1-3 pack romaine lettuce 
1 small bag of spinach 
Bolthouse Yogurt ranch dressing (already had)
Baby carrots 
Celery (already had)
Small container of feta

We have a bunch of stuff going on this week in the evenings.  We have stuff with friends a couple evenings and family in town Friday - Sunday and a cookout with friends Saturday!!  Meals in the evening will be a little heavier, but I feel I have balanced them well with my low carb, high protein and low calorie days!!


Sunday - Pasta casserole
Monday - Pizza and Salad
Tuesday - Fajitas
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Breakfast
Friday - OUT - Family
Saturday - Cookout
Sunday - Grilled Chicken and Grilled Veggies

I also have 100 calorie fudge bars from aldi's fit & active line for some of those evenings I need a chocolate fix. YUM!!!

I forgot to track just my food expenses because we needed so many non-food items at the store.  But I estimate about $100 was spent on food for the week (excluding the cookout food).

What are YOU eating this week?!?!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Weekly Meal Planning

Here is a look at this weeks meals, prep from last weeks meals and more meal planning ideas!!  If you missed my last post, check it out HERE.

This weeks groceries, $89.  (sparklers and glow bracelets not included!) Eating out one night (approx $40) plus about $10 at a different store. Total for the week $139.

A large portion of my groceries for the week also included 4th of July items.  Cookies, snacks, and three sides for a cookout.  Because I knew about half my budget this week would be for just this weekend, I planned my meals next week to be some of my lower cost items that I can stretch a dollar, as well as really utilizing pantry items!!

Tip: On the Meal List you keep for meal planning, note which ones are on the lower end of the budget and which one always provide leftovers.  This helps to stretch your money and food.

Meals for Friday - Thursday

Friday - Out (cookies and goldfish for fireworks)

Saturday - Cookout (Taking homemade pasta salad, corn and avocado salsa, watermelon, and "cheesecake" filled strawberries.

Sunday - Pasta with "burst" tomatoes and basil.  Garlic knots & salad on the side.

Lunch prep: I will eat hard boiled eggs, almonds, lunchmeat, cheese cubes and yogurt for lunches.  Will prep on Sunday.

Monday - Portabella Mushroom pizzas (Henry hot dog & mac and cheese) and salad

Tuesday - Stuffed baked potatoes (make extra for lunches for Terry)

Wednesday - Breakfast (veggie omelet)

Thursday - Grilled Cheese and Soup (most items from pantry - easy night)

The meals that I choose this week are very low cost.  Again, I am utilizing my pantry to help from buying more at the store and by planning meals without meat, I have saved additional money.

Tip: If you need to save money on food for the week, make it a meat free (or nearly meat free) week! Eggs or tuna in place are a great source of protein and a fraction of the cost.

Now, I am dieting and when on a diet it is not always good to turn to the more cost effect meals like potatoes and pasta.  However, I make plain baked potatoes to eat instead of the stuffed ones and add my own toppings separately so I can control them.  And the pasta just has roasted tomatoes with basil and a little olive oil.  It is light and when you eat a small amount with a salad it works out greta!

I try to eat real foods, just try to find ways to incorporate them into my calorie count and daily life.

Example on meal prep.

This was last weeks meal prep.  I got all my vegetables ready, I packaged and seasoned fajita mixture for dinner that night, prepped kabobs for later that week, and made soup for my lunches for the week.  All done on Sunday by 11am!!

Ready to prep!!

Shrimp kabobs, prepped for one meal during the week.

Look at the Shrimp kabobs later in the week.  
Had over a little bit of leftover rice pilaf from earlier in the week.

Henry wanted to help...though help turned to eating!!!

When you have extra, use it!!  I had a bag of extra snacking green peppers in the fridge 
that a cut up and used in the soup.

Soup for the lunches, done on sunday!

Rice for soup (if wanted) and burrito bowls. Done!

Fajitas...prepped and seasoned!

Example: Easy pantry meal one night 
Used left over asparagus from earlier night and made an omelet.  Toast, 2 slices 100 calories, asparagus 30 calories, 2 egg & 2 egg white omelet 182 calories = awesome and filing dinner 312 calories!!  Cost, no idea because it is so low...a couple bucks, maybe?!

So what did you eat this week?!  Did you try any meal planning?  Please share!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Eating Healthy on a Budget – A Long Post About Meal Planning


This is long, sorry about that.  

This may not work for you, so share what works for you!!

These are just my tips, it is all about finding a way that works for you!


One of the hardest things for me when it comes to a diet is planning healthy meals the family loves, while also not going over the budget.  I think we can agree, that sometimes eating healthy can come at a price!  But over the last 6 months I am learning that this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.  I have managed to find ways to incorporate a healthy diet for me and for my family, while sticking to our budget.

Now I do have to say, many meals we eat separate things.  My husband works crazy hours so we may not always have dinner with him.  And my son is, lets say, a particular eater.  He does eat healthy, but the list of foods he likes is somewhat limited.  And then there is me who wants to eat healthy and try new alternatives.

I know some are thinking…SO DO YOU MAKE THREE MEALS?!

Uh, not exactly.

But I do prepare meals a little differently.  If my husband will be home for dinner then I make a meal we will all like and share.  If he is not, he eats what he wants (usually leftovers or frozen meals because that is his choice!) and then I make something easy for Henry (mac & cheese with broccoli, canned fruit, carrot sticks, chicken nuggets for example) and then I may make myself something easy like an omelet or salad.  These are easy meals to make for dinner, but also keep all of us healthy and happy!

Tip: Have a list of quick, easy and healthy meals to fit in your regular week.

We also budget to eat out maybe once a week.  We like to eat out.  Plain and simple. 

So, with all that said, I have learned how to eat healthy while staying on a budget.  The major key, for me, to eating healthy is meal planning.  I have been meal planning for over year for our budget, but the last 6 months have found ways to incorporate my healthy eating into our meal plan!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Incorporating a Diet on Vacation and Getting Back on Track When the Vacation is Over!

(I feel this sums up me and my progress and how I am learning as I lose weight)

So this last weekend I was home for the week and of course I "had" to eat at all my favorite food places that I only eat at once a year.

How can I pass up pizza at this amazing pizza shop that uses lots of fresh and local (Amish grown) ingredients?!

Or Chinese at my favorite Chinese restaurant....that just so happens to be a buffet.

After standing outside for 6 hours at the Fiesta tent sale, wings and a drink seemed like a must.

No trip home is complete without cream chicken sandwiches and fried mushrooms served with a tall and crisp homemade rootbeer at the Rootbeer Stand!

And can you really go to the Drive-In movie and not snack on nachos with cheese, popcorn and junior mints?!  Ok, you probably can but it isn't as fun.

And what is breakfast without an amazing creme stick from a local bakery!

So I think you are getting my point.  My trip home revolved around two things.  My family and food.

And when you are on a diet, it can be frustrating when you feel you cannot indulge in your favorite things.

But I made a choice.  I was going to let myself eat my favorite things, but take it easy.

See, when I restrict myself, that is when I hurt myself the most because one of two things happens:

1. I either binge eat, or
2. I get very angry (hangry) that I don't get to eat the things I love.

Yep, I am a bit of an extreme person, but I DO get angry when I want to eat something and don't get it. I wasn't going to go the entire trip and not eat some of the foods that make me happy.  It is vacation and I wanted to enjoy myself.  But I also did not want to avoid the foods and then go crazy and binge one day.


That is the thing I am learning and this is something I am going to have to work on for the rest of my life.  Ask any binge eater....this can be tough.

So when we ate pizza, I had a salad to go with my dinner.

A heavy Chinese buffet at lunch and a lighter dinner can balance out nicely.

Eat a smaller amount or half of the foods you like so you get a taste without overindulging.  So you only need half that small strawberry milkshake, not the whole thing.

If you do splurge on, lets say a creme stick, don't do it every day.  One day is enough.

Drink lots of water!!  Especially if you want to have beverages (like alcohol) in the evening....keep it simple during the day and are not drinking your calories.

Make sure you still have healthy snacks and don't skip meals as you still need that fuel for your body and it will help from overeating later.

And remove the guilt!!!  If you are eating within the parameters you set up, then do it without the guilt.  Enjoy as you shouldn't have those negative feelings associated with food...not healthy.

These are things I tried to do last week.

Was I perfect? Uh hell no.  Who is?  But I tried to be mindful of my diet without only focusing on what I ate.

I don't want my love for food to make me unhappy.  I don't want to be so focused on what I eat that I get angry.  I want to enjoy, but enjoy in moderation.  I want to focus on how I feel when I eat.  ENJOY every bite, even if there are only a few bites.  I don't need everything and all at once...a little bit here and there can make me just as happy.  I want to focus on when I feel full and stop instead of feeling I need to power through that entire bag of popcorn.

Since I started this leg of my diet, I have been trying to be more mindful of how food makes me feel.  How I feel towards food.  My food triggers and knowing how to stop myself.

Vacation was no different.  I wasn't going to throw everything I have learned the past 6 months out the window and eat everything in site, but I also wasn't going to not enjoy those foods I love.  This is part of the learning process.

I think overall I did well on vacation.

And the weird thing is I am excited to get back to my healthier eating.


Yep.  I went to the store and bought my salad stuff and have been prepping my healthier foods for the week.  Even though I am off work today, I picked right where I left off before vacation. 1650 calories a day.  I had coffee and an egg and english muffin for breakfast.  A delicious salad for lunch.  And will have a nice dinner, all within my calories.

I think when you start eliminating some of those foods and get in the habit of eating a certain way, it makes it easier to come back after you indulge.  I treated myself last week and now back to my new lifestyle.  Plain and simple.  I have to make it that I have no other choice, this is just the way it is.

THIS is my new lifestyle.

And for the first time, I am OK with that.

I don't know if I have too many tips for getting back on track after a vacation other than just do it.

Go to the store when you get home and get your healthy foods.

Don't bring excess food from your vacation home...you splurged there but at home you are back on track.  i.e. we don't need to bring back creme sticks from the bakery back home!!

Plan healthy meals full of flavor that first week back or your favorite healthy meals to get you excited to eat!

Make up your mind that this is just how it is.  And the next vacation/special occasion you can splurge again, you just need to be healthier now.


 So tell me, how do you handle eating on vacation?!?!  How about getting back on track when vacation is over?!