Friday, August 21, 2015

Staying on track while on vacation!

Summer vacations are so much fun but they can also be a major source of anxiety and pressure when trying to lose weight. It's easy to say "I'll be really good as soon as I get back." And ya know what, if you can do that, good for you. 

Personally, I know that it is very hard for me to get back on track after being derailed during vacation. Once I'm out of my normal routine, it becomes much harder for me to get back on track!  

With this said, I have been working on gaining more control with each passing vacation. Back in July, I went to Wildwood for a long weekend. Did I stay on track? No, not entirely. Did I get as much activity as I typically prefer? No, not entirely. Was I as off track as I would normally be? No, not at all. I was happy with the successes I had but I knew there was room for improvement. 

Right now, I am typing this from my bedroom at my grandparents' house on Cape Cod. Below is the list of goals I set for myself in preparation for this vacation. 

These goals are SMART goals because they are realistic and not too restrictive. I am allowing myself to enjoy without going overboard! 

Next week, I am going on another trip. It will be full of even more temptations. I will allow myself to enjoy without overdoing it because all the good food doesn't taste as good as losing weight and getting healthy feels. 

I may not be where I want to be, but I'm certainly happy with how far I've come and with how I've changed many of my old habits and routines. 

I will update you on how my weigh-in goes Monday (wasn't home today, Friday, to weigh in on my scale) and I will update you after my trip to Minnesota!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

These are the girls...(A story of support)

I am so blessed to have a group of women who support me while I am on this crazy weight loss journey.  Without the love and support of these girls, I do not know where I would be.

These are the girls who know exactly what to say and when to say it.

These are the girls who make me laugh when I want to cry.

These are the girls who let me be myself without judgement.

These are the girls who trust me and allow me to trust them.

These are the girls who lift me up when I am down.

These are the girls who make me laugh and cackle and cry happy tears from all of the inside jokes.

These are the girls I can talk about raunchy/funny/silly things with.

These are the girls who give me support and guidance when I need it.

These are the girls who motivate me to do better.

These are the girls who show random acts of love and kindness, unlike I've ever experienced before.

These are the girls who I can reach out to when I'm having a bad day.

These are the girls who help me be a better version of myself.

These are the girls who I call my best friends.

I thank God for these girls every single day!

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All Aboard the Struggle Bus!

The Struggle Bus has picked me up and NOT let me off.  I am having a really hard time with my eating habits lately.  While I have continued to work out, I know what I am doing wrong when it comes to food.  Instead of continuing down this path, I can and will change my habits.  I am going to make myself some goals and I plan on sticking to them.

My Plan to Succeed Again:
1. Switch back to the tracking method.  Even though I LOVE Simply Filling, during Summer, I think I need the flexibility of points.  With this said, however, I plan on eating as many power foods as I can, with the occasional treat here and there.

2. Continue to drink 120oz+ water every day.  I love how water makes me feel.  In addition to this, I am going to stop drinking soda for now.  I will not have anymore soda (at least) until my trip to Minnesota!

3.  Continue working out and keep pushing to do better and better with my running time.  Once Summer School is over, I will go back to my early morning workouts.

4. STOP before I eat something I know I shouldn't and really think about whether or not it is worth the points.

5. Do not eat to fill the void I have due to my miscarriage.

My Goals:
To lose 5-10 pounds by my trip to Minnesota.  I have a goal weight for that trip (since I'm currently up a little bit) and I hope to hit it.

To lost 20 pounds by my 29th birthday on November 12!

To continue working out and keep getting better and better.

I will be blogging more and be posting more on IG and Facebook to help hold myself accountable!  I can and will do this... AGAIN!

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Monday, June 29, 2015

True Life: We are going to a Fertility Specialist...

Yesterday, the anxiety started to kick in...

The appointment with the fertility specialist was finally upon us (was scheduled in May).

Luckily, I was able to sleep last night.  However, when I woke up this morning, I felt a little uneasy.  I think the hardest part of this whole process (so far) is the "unknown" that lies ahead.

While I am blessed to have a few people to talk to about this, I feel like the topic of fertility is taboo.  It seems like people are afraid to talk about IVF and fertility treatments and what it's like to really struggle with fertility (trying to conceive and/or coping with miscarriage).  This topic SUCKS to talk about; it's heart breaking, upsetting, sad, and difficult... but it's reality for many couples nowadays.

I am the FURTHEST thing from an expert in this field but as a person who just started this process, it really benefits me to have a more open dialogue about this scary and trivial time in my life.  While I know I have Anthony to lean on, he is also new to this process.  Instead of keeping these thoughts inside, I decided to write down my concerns, emotions, fears, and hopes.

Our appointment today was just the tip of the infertility treatment iceberg.  We met with our doctor (who seems fabulous), met with our nurse, and got a run down of the steps that might be taken throughout this process.  Some of the preliminary tests were run already and this will help us see what course of action will be taken next.

At this point, I may have lost some people's interest and if so, I apologize.  I am just a bundle of nerves as we embark on this journey.  My fears are real and will be addressed in time.  My emotions are all over the place.  And my hopes are really high for my future as a mom.

Currently, my greatest fear is learning there is NO hope for Anthony and I to conceive a child.  This would be heart breaking and pretty earth-shattering.  While it would be devastating, it is something I have to come to accept as a possibility at this point.  Along with this major fear, I have hope that everything will work out, one way or another.

This blog post may be a little TMI for some of you but I needed to put this out there.  I also wanted to help others who may be going through the same process as we are right now.  As we proceed, I plan to remain positive and optimistic.  It will be hard at times but I know Anthony and I will be okay.  We are already so grateful for the love and support people have shown us in regards to this struggle.  No one knows what lies ahead but we will fight to make our dreams our reality.

The one thing I ask of people is to be sensitive about this topic.  The next time you want to ask a couple that has been married for a few years, "What are you waiting for? Why don't you have babies yet?" think about the struggles they may secretly be facing.  Getting pregnant is not as black and white as many people think.  It can be a very hard process for many.  Be aware of this and try to remind yourself how you would feel if people constantly questioned why you weren't a parent yet.


 To be continued...

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My 5 Day Detox!

A few of my #wwsendtheloveteamslim girls have been doing the Whole30 program.  While I appreciate what whole30 stands for, I do not feel it would fit into my life the way I would want it to.  Therefore, I modified the main principle behind it (to eat healthy and "whole" foods).  Instead of doing a Whole30, I figured I would do a 5-day detox.  This detox would help me to make better food choices on a daily basis.

1. No added sugars.
2. No dairy.
3. No gluten/bread.
4. No alcohol.

My goal was to complete this detox for 5 days.  I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!  Now, because of this, I will be continuing to live my life this way.  I am going to use the 80/20 rule.... 80% of the time, I will make sure to eat "clean" and 20% of the time, I will eat what I want (CHEESE, WINE, BREAD).

With this flexibility, I am able to stay in control of my life and health while still indulging occasionally.  The main reason I plan on doing this is because of how great I felt when I was doing the detox.  I felt healthier, leaner, and happier!

Here are a few of my meals from my 5 day detox:


Today was supposed to be the start of Round Two for my Sugar Detox.  Instead of that, I threw myself a mini-pity party.  I will be starting tomorrow AND I will be continuing it on Saturday (which happens to be 4th of July).  Normally, I would use Saturday as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted and not think about what was going into my body.  THIS YEAR, I plan on sticking to the rules of my detox.  I KNOW I can do this....

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Importance of Loving Yourself!

This morning while I was perusing Instagram, I saw a few posts related to loving oneself.  People always talk about how they love their family and friends.. but rarely do people talk about loving themselves.

This post is not meant to be a lecture or a speech on how important it is to love yourself HOWEVER, I am realizing that this is such an important piece of everyone's weight loss journey.

We have all seen it before... Women who lose TONS of weight but still aren't happy with themselves.  Weight is only a number, there are so many things that actually measure self-worth.  It may be hard to ALWAYS see the best in ourselves but it is so important for us to feel good on the inside.

There are many reasons why I am on this journey but the number one reason has and always will be... ME: My health, my happiness, my overall well-being.

Now, I know I still have a long way to go on my journey but I'm happy to say that I have always loved myself.  There are times in my life when I feel more comfortable in my own skin but I am happy with the woman I have become.  This idea REALLY hit home for me today when I was looking at two pictures I took of myself.

My journey has not been easy, nor has it always gone in my favor, but I am so happy with where I am at this point.  Not only am I feeling great mentally and emotionally, I am loving the changes I am physically seeing with myself.

I compiled some recent pictures that are making me feel great about myself and are motivating me to continue on this journey.

***I am not trying to sound cocky or vain.  This is just a major motivation right now!!!

So remember to love yourself.  
Take the time to really appreciate the great qualities you possess.  Your weight is a number  It does NOT define you.  
It does NOT make you better or worse.  
Love what you stand for.  
Respect your body and mind.  
Take care of yourself.  
Reward yourself.  

Remember, you are amazing!

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Monday, June 1, 2015

June Goals... Wait, it's JUNE ALREADY?!

I am okay with my results.  While I know my month wasn't filled with the best eating, my exercise and activity has been ON POINT!  Goal #4 was not accomplished because I felt tracking on both MFP and WW was overwhelming.  I was already struggling with everything and it was way too much to track on both!

For June, my goals haven't changed much.  I am going to continue drinking 120 oz of water and working out 5 to 6 times per week.  Now, I am also aiming for 30 active minutes every day!!!

Most importantly to me are the last four goals.  I want to eat more fruits and veggies (by having them at every meal).  Additionally, I want to make the best food choices I can.  Simply Filling is the means for me to accomplish these goals.

Lastly, I want to cut down on snacking at night.  I feel like it undoes all of the good I do throughout the day.  I look forward to my next month on this journey!

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Simply Filling: Take 2! (Keys to Success and Daily Menu Ideas)

On Saturday, May 30, I recommitted to the Simply Filling technique again.  To be honest, I missed Simply Filling!  It is my favorite WW technique but I need to occasionally mix up my eating patterns. Since I have experience doing Simply Filling, I feel this is a natural part of my life.  My knowledge of the program has helped me stay on track even when I might not have in the past.  Hopefully, this information and advice helps you too!

My keys to success on SF:
1. Be prepared.
2. Have variety of power foods.
3. Allow myself to use points without guilt.
4. Continue being active.
5. Incorporate fruit and veggies into as many meals as possible.
6. Eat slower (to avoid overeating).

By following these keys, I find SF to be extremely successful for me.  I love the fact that I do not need to measure and weigh and point the power foods I am eating.  The flexibility I get with this program helps me to stay on track.  I have also found it is pretty easy to stay on track in many different situations.

Below you will see My Day One on Simply Filling:
Breakfast: Two eggs (over easy) with a Light English muffin, cucumber, and watermelon!
Lunch: Two brown rice sushi rolls.  Not everyone will consider this SF but all of the ingredients used are listed and all of them are considered power foods.  I make sure to get rolls with brown rice and with ingredients that are SF power foods!
Dinner: Flank steak, oven fries, corn on the cob, edamame, and sauerkraut.

These three meals are 100% simply filling!  I did eat some Oreos for dessert... but that's ok because that is why SF gives you 49 weeklies (plus Activity Points)!!!

Here are some Meal Plan Ideas:

B: Cheerios with skim milk and a banana
L: Grilled Chicken breast with brown rice and edamame
D: Lean Ground Beef Taco Salad
S: LF Yogurt, fruit

B: Two eggs with an english muffin and a side of watermelon and broccoli
L: Costco Turkey Burger over a salad with a yogurt
D: Flank steak with oven fries and roasted cauliflower
S: Cheerios, fruit

B: Yogurt with cheerios mixed in and a banana
L: SF Spaghetti with Meat Sauce 
D: Lean Ground Beef Burger with FF feta, onion, lettuce, tomato, on a Light english muffin
S: SF Oatmeal Cookies, Fruit, Popcorn

As you can see, some things will repeat each and every day (fruit/veggies).  The best part about SF is once your meals are prepped you are all set and ready to go!  It makes every day much easier.  Again, if you have any questions, just ask! I hope I am able to help! :D

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

We had another awesome Skype night topic!!! Amanda brought up the idea of having S.M.A.R.T. goals!  I love this idea.

As I look back on my goals from recent months, I feel that most of my goals have followed this plan.  From now on when I set goals, I will definitely think about this acronym.

Current Goals:
1. Workout 5-6x per week.
2. Drink 120 oz a day.
3. Keep increasing activity.
4. Hit 40 pounds down! (only 2 pounds away)
5. Complete C25K by the end of the summer!

I am pretty excited because my goals are all SMART approved and I have been so motivated to continue down this road.  Here we go!

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Goals: I'm coming for ya...

This journey has me setting goals in all aspects of my life.  Currently, I have a few random goals which I am working towards.

Steph's Goals:
1. Complete C25K! 
I recently started running (more like interval walking/jogging) and I am so excited to be making the strides that I am.  I am also loving the way I feel when I get out and run!
2. Hit Onederland! 
I am almost 40 pounds down and I cannot wait to hit wonderland.  My concern isn't the actual number, it has to do with how I feel (physically) when I get to that point of my journey.
3. Have a baby!
Pretty self-explanatory.  My husband and I have been having some struggles in this department (including a miscarriage) and I would love to be a mom <3
4. Toughen up!
I am EXTREMELY sensitive.  I let little things bother me and it SUCKS!  I am working on letting things go and I am working on not taking everything personally.
5. Focus on what I am eating versus just worrying about eating points!
I have been doing a good job (for the most part) with losing weight and now I plan on focusing on eating the best I can. Instead of eating within my points but having Reese's and M&M's, I want to eat "real foods" that are all natural and delicious!

I'll keep you posted on how I do!

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SendTheLoveTeamSlim= Love!

I joined #wwsendtheloveteamslim in August 2014 and it was one of the best things that could have EVER happened to me.  I not only met wonderful people, I made best friends***!!!  One of my absolute favorite things about this group is that we all come from different parts of the country, we all have different stories, we all are at different points in our journey, and yet we all are here to give and receive support.

The support and love is unparalleled.  I never could have imagined meeting women who would become so near and dear to me via social media.  For all the ugly (on the inside), nasty, malicious, unsupportive people out there, there are loving, supportive, wonderful people too.

Our group is like a butterfly going through a transformation... We are a group of people who want to be successful and share in this journey together.  It's a beautiful process.  Each new member is adding something unique to our group and it's so much fun.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us all!

***I HAVE to give a shout out to Allie... It is because of her that I am in this group and it is because of her that I have a new best friend!  Thanks Allie :-*

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Yea, I'm struggling... But I'm still kicking butt!

Last night we had our weekly Skype meeting. I happened to be the leader. Whenever it's time for me to be the leader, I think long and hard about choosing a good topic. I happened to know that several girls (along with myself) have been struggling lately. With that in mind, I came up with the following topics: 

1) Those who are currently struggling say one positive thing you are doing.
2) What is the number one reason you are on this journey/what's fueling your fire?

This journey is hard. The struggle is real.  However, I have found that all of us are doing at least one thing right!! It's so easy to be negative when struggling. Instead of focusing on the negative, I thought it would be useful to celebrate what we are doing successfully!

Currently, I am really proud of the amount of activity I have been completing every day.  My food game has been off but my activity has been up!  Some others said that even when they were not making the best choices, they were still tracking every bite.  By thinking of what we are doing right, we all realized that we are definitely making good choices daily.  This journey is a rollercoaster, it isn't smooth sailing.

It's times like these, when we are struggling, that remaining positive is key.

The second part of Skype night involved what got us started/what is fueling our fire.  The reason this was a two parter is I started my weight loss journey for one reason and I now feel there is another force driving me to do better and better.  When I initially started this journey, my main goal was to lose weight to help get pregnant.  Now that I have suffered a miscarriage, lost weight, and still have been struggling with fertility, I decided to change my focus.  Now, I am working on getting healthy and active because I like the way it makes me feel.  Not only how I feel but the changes I see within myself (physically, emotionally, and mentally).

To those of us struggling right now, try not to let it bring you down.  Hurdles are thrown at us for a reason... this is all about how we handle the obstacles, overcome them, and move on.

Best wishes to all and I hope the struggle bus ride comes to an end shortly!

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  
If I'm being totally honest, I've been struggling HARD!!! 
No, like REALLY HARD!!!  

This past Friday, I had a gain of 2 pounds.  That was after two weeks of some good losses... I hate when I get into a spot where I am yo-yo-ing.  My eating has been an issue for me since Spring Break.

I think there are several reasons for my struggles (emotionally and other).  All I know is I am DONE making excuses.  I know what needs to be done and now I just have to do it!

Here is my plan for getting back on track!!!!

1. Take this journey day by day.
2. Stop allowing a bad day to turn into a bad week.
4. Think before I eat... Am I eating because I'm hungry or because I am emotional?
5. Try to pre-plan my days so I do not binge or go over on points.
6. Work out every week day (aim to do 2 miles each morning and at least 1 after work) AND try to work out at least one day per weekend!

I know I can be successful because I've done it before.  I know what needs to be done and it will be done...  Here goes nothing.


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Thursday, April 30, 2015

May Goals and my April Re-cap!

When looking back on my April goals, I am sad about the goals I did not meet but proud of what I accomplished!!! The reason I couldn't complete goal #2 is because I got injured. Also, Spring Break kicked my butt BUT it was a lot of fun!! I look back on each month and assess where I am in regards to where I want my journey to take me.

As this month comes to an end, I am excited to see what I can accomplish in May!! 

1. I will continue drinking 120 ounces of water a day!!! (I have been drinking water with lemon and cucumber... and I'm LOVING it).  
2. I started C25K today and I LOVED IT!!! I plan on continuing this for as long as I can... Hopefully to the point when I can actually run a 5k!
3. If I do not do C25K every day, I still plan on working out 5 to 6 times per week.  My foot is really starting to feel better so I am going to aim for this goal!
4. I will forever love Weight Watchers... with that said, I want to use it in conjunction with My Fitness Pal to make sure I am not eating too many carbs versus not enough protein.  I obviously want to lose weight... but more importantly, I want to BE HEALTHY!

I love that I'm starting May on my weigh-in day!!!

Here's to a fresh month.  Good luck and Good health!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

My New Simply Filling Lunch Recipe!

As many of you know, I love Simply Filling!  With that said, it takes a little more prep than tracking and it can sometimes get boring.  I decided to switch up my lunches for this week.  Since we are allowed to eat Whole Wheat pasta, I wanted to incorporate that into my meal.

I boiled my water and cooked my pasta.  While the pasta was cooking, I started working on my own SF sauce.

Whole Wheat (SF) thin spaghetti
Ground Turkey (extra lean)
2 cans Hunt's Sauce (15 ounce can)
Garlic Powder (1-2 tbsp)
Italian Seasoning (1-2 tsp)
Salt (1 tsp)
Pepper (1 tsp)
Red Pepper Flakes (1 tsp)
Grated Parmesan Cheese (1 tbsp)

Directions for my sauce:

First, brown the ground turkey over high heat.  Once the turkey is browned, it is time to start the sauce!

Pour two cans of sauce right into the pan with the ground turkey.  Next, pour a few tbsp of water into the pan.  At this point, add the salt, pepper, roasted red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder*!  

*I don't have exact measurements because I think it needs to be made to meet your taste preferences (see above ingredient list).

Let all of the ingredients simmer on low for approximately five minutes.

My sauce simmering away!

Once the pasta is cooked, mix all of the ingredients together.  Stir and serve!

I portioned this out for five lunches for the week.  I plan on making some broccoli to eat on the side so I have some veggies with this meal.

Finished Product!
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A Saturday Success Story!

Yesterday, I had a BBQ and a birthday celebration at a bar to attend.  Knowing this, I switched to tracking (instead of SF) for the day so I could enjoy without going off plan.

The BBQ I went to was at a friend's house... I was so excited because it was the first time I've seen her since high school.  I made sure to eat something earlier in the day but by the time I got there, I was pretty hungry.  I am SO proud of myself because all I ate was a cheeseburger, some Emily bites crab dip (that I made), a few pita chips, two slices of kielbasa and a Coke Zero!  The fact that I was able to resist the temptation of more food was a major NSV for me!

After the BBQ, my husband and I went out to celebrate a friend's birthday!!! We went out to a bar... I had saved 14 points for this second celebration.  I drank two glasses of wine and had two mozzarella sticks.  Since I haven't been drinking a lot, I was feeling pretty good after two glasses... :-)  I easily could have had more to drink but I chose to stick to my points.

My point is that I now realize I can enjoy life, I can celebrate events with friends, I can go to BBQ's and bars, and still stay on track.

Some of the girls... Out celebrating Carolyn's birthday!!!

I have another BBQ to attend today and I already know what I will be eating (thanks to asking the hostess what will be served) and I am back to Simply Filling.  This weekend has shown me just how "in control" I am on this journey.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

My (sometimes) Dreaded Weigh In Day!

My Weight Watchers membership is the online version.  This option gives me the flexibility to weigh in on any day and at any time.  I have chosen to weigh in on Friday mornings at my house.  In the past, I had different weigh-in days and I have found Friday to be the most effective and beneficial in my life.

In November of 2013, when I re-started WW, I was going to the meetings and the meeting I chose was a Saturday (9 a.m.) meeting.  My leader was amazing... In fact, we still keep in touch via Facebook.  The things she said, the tips she provided, and the support she gave was the best I've ever experienced with WW.  So many of the things she said registered with me and I continue to carry these ideas with me today.

With all of these positive things said, I had to stop going to meetings for two reasons.

1. $50/month was more than I could afford at the time.  
2. I was missing opportunities to hang out with friends on Friday nights because I was too afraid of the damage it would do for me on Saturday mornings.  

Now that may sound like an excuse... "I couldn't go out drinking with my friends... wahhhh wahhhh wahhh!" But, I was 27 and wanted to be able to go out with friends and not feel guilty or worried about weigh-in the next morning.  I would not go out Friday and Saturday night because it was not financially doable and because I would not want to be that off track.  With those two factors considered, I decided to switch to an online WW membership and I changed my weigh-in day to Friday.  I have never regretted this decision.  Have there ever been weekends when I had a few off days? Yes!  Have I been able to regain control for the rest of the week and still had success on my Friday weigh-in? Absolutely!  I love my weigh-in day and ritual...I have a pretty specific ritual when it comes to weighing in and it has helped me.

After I weigh-in, I track my weight on the WW app and I go about my day.  I am blessed to have an amazing support system with my #wwsendtheloveteamslim ladies.  I know that if I'm struggling, I have a network of people who will help me get back on track.  The WW online membership is the perfect one for me because of the support I receive daily.

Different days work for different people... Fridays just work for me!

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