Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Last week I reached 15 pounds lost, and I have to say this was huge for me for so many reasons.

As I type this, I am officially at 18 pounds lost (WOOHOO!!) but reaching 15 was my first big goal.

For some, 15lbs may not seem that much or a small goal, especially when I have over 100 I want to lose.  But honestly, EVERY pound seems big to me at the moment!  I had decided that instead of setting large goals that can take a while to achieve, I would set my goals in 15 lb increments.   I wanted something to work towards but that wouldn’t take me months and months to achieve.  I wanted to feel success in these “smaller” goals and keep my motivation going.

Part of this weight loss thing is the mental aspect.  Moving past what you have always done.  Making yourself the priority.  Keeping yourself going when all you really want to do is eat those chicken wings with ranch dressing followed by a slice of Edwards Chocolate Crème pie.  

I usually always fail with the mental side of weight loss.  Whether it is the binge eating or setting unrealistic goals (I can lose 50 pounds in 3 months with this fad diet!) or feeling alone or being way too hard on myself, I always have found some excuse reason for a diet failing.

But 15 pounds is now GONE and it feels GREAT!!

Literally, I am feeling different.  Feeling better.  I have more energy, probably because I am eating to keep my body fueled and not eating so much it actually slows me down and feels heavy. 

My clothes are starting to feel different.  One pair of work pants I have are nearly to the point of too big!!  Love that.  And this other pair I would never wear because they had been dried and shrunk a bit and were super snug in the legs and I could barely button them.  Well, I put them on yesterday and BOOM, THEY FIT!  Like perfectly.  And I am wearing a shirt that is actually a little clingy to me…granted, I am still wearing something  over it, but baby steps, no?!

15 pounds also got me past a number I didn’t want to be at, just about the most I have ever weighed.  Breaking past that was a big deal.

The fact that I lost the 15 pounds in 6 weeks was also a great motivation.  It was realistic.  About 2.5 a week.  Slow and steady.  I also think:  “Hey, by the end of March I could be down 30 lbs and maybe by my birthday nearly 40lbs!!  I could get a few new clothing items!”  Yep.  Motivation.  

In the scheme of things, the time it will take to lose another 15lbs doesn’t seem like that far away.  Totally doable.   I mean, I know it will take me a year or more to lose all the weight I want to lose, but these mini goals keep me going!!

It was also the first 15 pounds.  Folks, do you know how long I have tried to lose the first 15lbs?!?!  I am not saying that the next 15 or the next 15 after that will be easier, BUT making the change and sticking with it are the first steps.  Instead of watching the scale slowly move up, I am now excited to watch it go down!

For me, this is becoming a way of life.  For the foreseeable future I need to be aware of my eating habits.  That doesn’t mean that I am totally OK with this all the time or that this weekend I didn’t go over my caloric intake.  But when I did, I was not hard on myself.  I did not feel guilty because even though I did go over, I still kept things healthier than in the past.  It isn’t an “all or nothing” mentality for me right now.  I am learning to live with my love of food and learning healthy alternatives and notice when I am hungry and find a healthy balance between it all.  I have always enjoyed healthy food and overall eaten healthy most of the time, but I would either binge on crap food and/or eat way too much of even the healthier stuff.  Healthy food still has calories, Jenn.

This weekend, I was hungry.  Like ALL. THE. TIME. HUNGRY.  Instead of denying myself and then just eating until I feel sick…I had some little snacks here and there until I felt satisfied.  Ok, some cheese and crackers.  30 minutes later…nope, still hungry.  How about an apple with peanut butter.  Ok.  Getting there.  Maybe 3 hersheys kisses will help that sweet tooth.  Yep.  I am good now.  I recognized what I wanted.  I ate with care, knowing what I was putting in my body and not just blindly eating until I was past the point of satisfied and stuffed.  That a plate of nachos isn't a snack.  I am learning there are days where I will be hungry and want more, and to my surprise there have been days where I am not that hungry and have actually eaten less than my 1300 calorie allowance.  Yeah, I KNOW!!

I am learning to take myself out of situations that have always provided me the opportunity to overeat.  Like after Henry goes to bed and I am downstairs watching TV.  Nope.  Now I either go to bed or go upstairs and read and or watch something on my computer.  By removing myself I am breaking that habit I have created over the years…sit on the couch in the evening and mindlessly eat.  I do miss it.  The other day I wanted so bad to grab the chips and dip and sit and eat and watch TV.  It will all take awhile.  But that day, I said no and guess what, I was OK!  I felt great the next morning.  Huh.  Maybe you don't need to overeat, Jenn....

I allow myself sweets and snacks, but just in smaller and calculated amounts unlike past diets where I removed everything that seemed to be tasty.  So, if I want that fudge bar tonight or popcorn, what do I need to remove from my diet to have that?  I calculate everything I am eating the night before.  At the moment we have oreos, chips, tortilla chips, M&M’s ALL in the house.  Just a few months ago I would have considered that a challenge to eat all that (you know, so it wasn’t in the house anymore).  Now, I am weighing out my options on exactly where my calories go.  Three “knock off” oreos are 150 calories.  Do I have 150 calories to spare?  No, but I have 100 so 2 it is.  Still get my oreos and still within my calories.

For some this thinking is pretty easy.  Basic.  Straight forward.  But for someone who mindlessly eats and has binged as much as I have the past 20 years, it really is this "far-fetched" concept.   I have always taken the “eat until I am full or that void I am feeling is filled with something else” way of eating.  Now I think of EVERYTHING I put into my body.  I am still thinking of food ALL THE TIME, like I was before.  But now it is a more positive way of thinking instead of looking for comfort, or out of boredom or stress.

And don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all been easy so far.  I emailed my sister a few weeks ago because for over a week I hadn’t lost and actually gained a pound.  Of course my younger sister wrote me an amazing email and helped me stay focus and kept me on track.  She really is a smart cookie. mmm, cookie.  And a week ago I was crying to Terry because he was eating a big mac and filet of fish and fries (as a "special treat" yuck) and has lost 30 lbs since august and while I am very proud of him and didn’t for a minute want what he was eating, it was the fact that I couldn’t have it that made me cry.  I know, weirdo. 


Yep, this fifteen is FAR more than just the pounds as you can tell by my long winded post.  But this is why I know this will work this time.  I am sharing to keep me going and accountable.  I am sharing to get these feelings out in the open, to say them and acknowledge them.  I am sharing these successes, because as illogical as they may seem to some they are how I have always thought and I cannot do this if I do not acknowledge WHY I overeat.  I am sharing so that when I have a hard day, I can look back at these posts and tell myself to hang in there.  To look at how far you have come.  To keep going because you are worth it!!  That even though today may be hard, tomorrow will be better.

On to the next 15!!!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Recipe of the Week – Stuffed Pepper Soup

I must say, this may be my favorite soup right now.   With cold weather here, a warm and comforting soup is exactly what I crave.

And this soup doesn’t disappoint.

I found this on one of my favorite new food sites, Skinnytaste – HERE.

This fits into all my healthy food criteria.  It is easy to make, budget friendly, healthy, tastes great, and I could go back for seconds without feeling guilty!! Winning all around.

About 1 ½ - 1 1/3 cups of soup with ½ cup of rice is about 261 – 275 calories. (My recipe in my fitness pal calculated slightly higher than the recipe on the website.)

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Servings: 6 • Size: about 1 1/2 cups soup, 1/2 cup rice • Old Points: 5 • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 261 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 37.5 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 17.6 g • Sugar: 6 g
Sodium: 606 g  (without salt)

3 cups cooked brown rice (omit for paleo diet)
1 lb 95% lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (I use 1 whole pepper)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (I use 1 whole pepper)
1 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz each) cans petite diced tomatoes (i used oregano, basil garlic ones)
1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
2 cups reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
salt and fresh pepper to taste


In a large pot or dutch oven, brown ground meat on high heat and season with salt. Drain fat if any, reduce heat to medium-low, then add peppers, onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes on low heat.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Serve about 1 1/3 cups of soup in each bowl and top with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice.

Makes about 9 1/2 cups.

Seriously.  SO EASY.  For lunch I will even omit the rice and add an extra half a cup of soup and it is still around 200 calories!!

Some notes from when I make it:

I add more peppers than what it calls for.  I add one whole green and one whole red pepper. 

I used lean ground turkey instead of beef.

I added petite diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano in it for added flavor.

I also didn’t add the dried marjoram because, well I don’t own any.

Some Sriracha in your soup for an extra kick is AWESOME!!  I didn’t add to the whole thing, just my individual bowls of soup.

I will say that for me, this makes a lot…but I am the only one eating it.  But if you are feeding a family AND want leftovers, perhaps half or double it.

And if your family isn’t counting their calories, you may want more rice.

Seriously, I am making it this weekend for lunch and for lunches for the next week.  It really has turned into my “go to” soup of choice.

If you try it let me know what you think!!  Did you change anything?!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Henry - This Age Is Awesome

Have I mentioned how awesome my little man is?


Well you (and by you I mean my 3 readers) are going to hear about him again!

Henry is just a few weeks away from 3 ½ (what, huh, when did this happen?!) and boy o’ boy, is this an age.

He is awesome and stubborn. Hilarious and dramatic.  Self-sufficient and needy.  Adventurous and independent.  Goofy and moody. And he is full of all the emotions, good and bad.

the grumps

He always wants to help, but of course on his own terms.
Loves chores

He has his own opinions and not afraid to share them and if you do not like his opinions, then LOOK OUT.

He knows how to make people laugh and is hilarious to be around.   He actually wants to make jokes and make people smile.  His faces are priceless and always with the laughter…well until he doesn’t want you laughing and then you get yelled at for laughing when 1.5 seconds ago we were all laughing.

The things he says.  I try to write them down, but it is hard and I forget or I am laughing so hard I don’t think to remember them.  Or I am too busy getting lawyered by my 3 year old to write them down.

Me: Henry, are you tired?
H: No, I am just laying down to save my energy. 


Me: Henry, go brush your teeth.
H: “UUUUUUUHHHHH. (dramatic turn) FINE MOM.


H: Mom, I am not bad today, I am just pretending to be bad.


H: Mom stupid is not a nice word.  I won’t say stupid anymore.  We shouldn’t say stupid because it is bad.  Like bitch is bad and stupid is bad.


H: Mom, I am going to say stupid today. 
Me: But that is not a nice word. 
H: Yeah, but this is my conversation and I am choosing to say stupid. It is my choice.
Me: Well, then you have to deal with the consequences of using bad language.
H: That’s stupid.


Me: Henry, you are the best.
H: Yes I am.
(Humbleness has yet to be learned yet)


H: Mom, can I have a cookie.
Me: No, after dinner.
H: How about I have a cookie now and then I will eat my dinner.
Me: No, that is not how it works.
H: That is how it works for me!
(and then if no cookie, commence dramatic tears)


H: Ok, mom.  This is your choice.  You either play cars with me or play trucks with me.  That is your choice.  If you do not choose, you will go on yellow and then a time out.


H: Lily is my girlfriend and my best friend and I love her.
Me: Oh really.  What exactly is a girlfriend?
H: someone you do things with and is your best friend and you love.


Terry and I were talking this week how cool he is.  I mean, like really cool.  And fun to be around.  Well, most of the time unless he is hangry. You won’t like Henry when he is hangry!!  HENRY SMASH.

We also said it is funny that T & I are so introverted, especially growing up, and our son is the opposite. He loves talking to people (Henry…stranger danger!!), he loves to be around “his kids” (friends) and he always wants to be outside and NEVER stops moving or climbing.

 (he is standing on my legs)

Can't walk without jumping
You can't tell, but that leg never stops moving, even when he is laying down. 
Oh and notice the destruction!

Seriously.  NEVER. STOPS. MOVING.  We say he has restless leg syndrome.

He is also the sweetest.  I mean the sweetest.  He will come up to me and just give me a kiss on the cheek or mouth “just because I love you”.  He will come up and whisper “I love you mommy.”  Or say “We are best friends”.  He gives out the best and tightest hugs.  “One more hug mom” “Always, my sweet boy.”  And he always  wants to snuggle.  Honestly, I am not sure this kid leaves my lap or side, he always wants to be with me.  I hope the sweetness never ends.

 on my lap & cuddling

He also uses his manners (in between saying poop and fart) but I am impressed at how well he uses please and thank you and excuse me.  Now if we can just work on the name calling and pushing/punching.

My son fits into no single mold, which I not only love but encourage.  I just want him to be himself and happy with who he is and who he wants to be.

He loves to cook, bake, fight, jump, run, and wear my high heels.  He loves princess and avengers. He picked out shoes (size 11!!) the other day that had spider-man on them and another pair with pink sequins and fur.  He loves to “shake his booty” and wants to take dance class and karate.  He loves technology and writing and doing anything adults do.

He loves finding recipes with me on pinterest

This age.

This age really is SO MUCH FUN.  Yes, there are some issues because he is more independent and thinking on his own and making more choices, but he is also so great to be around.  So awesome!!