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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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Weight Watchers: A Diet or a Lifestyle?

"Are you sure you can eat that on Weight Watchers?" 

"Do you have enough points to eat that on Weight Watchers?" 

"Can you eat that on your diet?"

We have all had people ask us these questions.

My answer to all of them has always been, "Yes, I can because Weight Watchers is not a diet.  It is a lifestyle that allows me to eat whatever I want in moderation."  Even with that said, people have looked at me with skepticism and with an unsureness that was unsettling.

This is not my first time following Weight Watchers.  However, this time feels very different for me than it ever has before.  In the past I believe I treated it like a diet.  This time, I am using the rules and guidelines to make this my lifestyle and my journey to a healthier me.  I do not think of WW as a diet anymore because this is not a program that I will be using for a short time.  It is a program that I plan on using for the rest of my life.  The tools that are presented by WW would be helpful to the skinniest people in the world.  It is all about enjoying life in moderation.  It allows me to live life to the fullest, to not miss out on fun times (or delicious food) and to make healthy decisions.

Many people I see who are currently doing a "diet" seem MISERABLE.  I am sure they will see immediate results but I highly doubt they will see long-lasting results.  Thanks but NO thanks!!!

I actually feel bad for people who are following fad diets because they are making sacrifices that will not benefit them in the long run.  To say I never make sacrifices while on WW would be a lie.  However, my sacrifices are worth it to me.  When I say sacrifice I mean making better choices.  Several examples are having two cookies instead of four or having one glass of wine instead of half a bottle.  These sacrifices are benefitting me because I am training my body and mind to eat right and to enjoy life... all in moderation.

So the next time someone asks you about Weight Watchers, don't let it stress you out.  Just explain to them that WW is a program that allows you to live your life in a healthy (mentally and physically) way.

Weight Watchers= A healthy, happy lifestyle.
Weight Watchers does not= a diet.

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New Recipe Alert: Simply Filling Cornbread

Simply Filling is AMAZING! I love the program so much.  Even though I have 49 points that I can use to my liking, when I found the recipe for SF Cornbread, I was a happy girl.

This recipe is from Jenuine Mom and it is fabulous!!!  The worst part of it this recipe is having to stop eating it.  I had it for breakfast a few days and I ate it with chili for lunch a few days.  It was amazing and I cannot wait to make it again.

Here are most of the ingredients...

And here is the delicious pan of cornbread!

I will 100% be making this delicious and Simply Filling recipe again!  Definitely try out this recipe if you like cornbread and are doing Simply Filling!

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Running is my favorite type of exercise... Really?

I am so proud of this picture.  This picture shows a girl who is giving 110% of herself and is constantly pushing her own limits.

Several months ago, I never used my treadmill.  Eight weeks ago, I started using my treadmill three to four days a week.  Now, I use it every day.  That in itself is a major accomplishment for me. However, I have recently been breaking all of my own records.  Today, I ran three miles in 42 minutes... That means that I ran 14 minute miles.  When I started interval running/walking, my mile was over 16 minutes.  I hardly recognize the person I was before this journey.

As you see below, I am by NO means perfect.  My exercise schedule is not flawless and there are some days when I push myself harder than others.  HOWEVER, as you can see below, I have not given up.  I am continuously pushing forward, getting more miles under my belt.

Here is my record of miles logged!  I am always striving to do more!

I am nowhere near the perfect runner.  I am nowhere near the perfect anything.  But at this point in my life, I can truthfully say I am happy.  I'm happy with what I'm accomplishing and I'm happy with my life.  The future has never looked so bright!

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Simply Filling, Counting Points, and Wendie Plan... OH MY!

I LOVE Weight Watchers!

I just wanted to throw that out there before I write anything else.  I love the flexibility of the program... I love the way WW isn't a diet but instead a lifestyle... I love the community and support I have found thanks to WW!

With those things said, I have experience doing Simply Filling (I refer to it as SF) and counting points.  The Wendie Plan is a technique used to split up weeklies amongst your week.  People often resort to the Wendie Plan when they are at a plateau.

Here are the pros and cons of Simply Filling and Counting (in my opinion).

Simply Filling:
1. SF promotes healthy eating.
2. No counting or measuring of Power Foods necessary.
3. Teaches you to listen to what your body needs.
4. Teaches you to know when you're full.
5. Gives you 49 weeklies which can be used on foods not considered SF.
6. Requires more prep but this prep leads to an easier week overall-->Lunches for the week are ready on Sunday.
7. Get more energy, better skin, better sleep.

1. Takes time to meal prep and prepare for your week.
2. Certain things (fat free cheese) are considered SF but IMO they are gross whereas things like avocado (which are amazing) are not considered SF.

Counting Points:
1. Freedom to eat anything you want (in moderation).
2. Fruits and vegetables (for the most part) are 0 points which makes it very easy to incorporate them into meals.
3. Can literally stay on track in any situation.
4. Less prep required.

1. Nothing is off limits -->Sometimes the best choices are not made... this can be an issue for me.
2. Supposed to use all of my points daily -->I have had days where I was not very hungry but I would just eat points to eat them, instead of eating because I was hungry.

In my opinion...



Although I have the same number of cons for both SF and counting,  Simply Filling is my preferred technique of choice!  I had a wonderful experience while doing SF and I cannot wait to start it again.  Occasionally, I like to mix things up and go back to counting points but I know SF is the best technique for me at this point in my journey.

If you have questions, please comment below.  I am by no means an expert but I truly love following the SF plan and have done a lot of work to be as successful as I can be!

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My Vision Board

The idea of making a vision board has been floating around #wwsendtheloveteamslim for a while.  Recently it was brought up again so I decided that during my Spring Break I would make my very own vision board.  I've never made one before so I was not sure what I wanted to do or how I wanted to do it.  I decided to make my board all about how I'm currently feeling and to provide motivation for whenever I feel like this is too much!

My first ever Vision Board!

I am so happy with how my vision board turned out.  I made it in three sections.

Top: Words that I have been trying to live by.
Middle: All inspirational phrases to keep me motivated.
Bottom: The emotions and feelings I have in relation to this journey and my progress.

I placed my vision board in front of my treadmill so when I want to stop or give up, I push a little harder.  I am hopeful this board will help me continue on this journey.  I plan on making another vision board.  My goal for the second board is to visualize what I want in the future in all areas of my life!  Keep your eyes open for that!

I encourage everyone to make a vision board.  Your reasons can be different than mine but it is a nice way to encourage and motivate oneself.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

To whole30 or not to whole30... THAT is the question!

To whole30 or not to whole30... that is the question!

Last night during Skype, I mentioned the idea of doing whole30... This may sound drastic to some (or all including me) because it makes you eliminate sugars, grains, dairy, and alcohol!  The reason I was considering it is because whole30 is something I have wanted to try for over a year and I felt like I might be at a place with enough willpower to succeed.  Additionally, there are several main reasons I wanted to give whole30 a try!

The reasons I want to do whole30 are: 
1) To challenge myself physically, emotionally, mentally.
2) To change the way I view and use food. (Not turning to it as an emotional crutch, not abusing it)
3) To cut out unnecessary sugars.
4) To pick good, healthy, natural foods (without worrying about high point values).
5) To remove processed foods from my life.
6) To take a break from the pressures of the scale and learn how to REALLY listen to what my body needs.

After discussing this decision with my bffl Allie​, I have come to the decision to not do whole30.  As she put it, "If what you're doing is working for you, why change it?"  

Instead of taking this major leap into whole30 I will go back to my true love, Simply Filling.  I will try to accomplish the same goals I listed above... but instead of whole30, I will go about it in a less restrictive and more familiar (and awesome) way.

My Simply Filling Month-long plan: 
1) Limit bread, pastas, grains, carbs. (Allowed to eat them, just try to cut down)
2) Limit added sugars (buying some Larabars and other whole30 approved items that do not have added sugar)  (Stick to fruits and natural sugars instead).
3) NO ALCOHOL for 30 days. (Did this during Lent and it really helped me!)
4) No weighing in for the month of SF. (Stop worrying about the numbers and just pay attention to the journey and how I'm feeling)
5) Eat only when I'm truly hungry. (Try to limit snacking and break old patterns/behavior)

Simply Filling is a plan I love and a plan I can stick to.  Weight Watchers hasn't let me down yet and I plan to keep it that way!  Here's to my month of Simply Filling (starting April 17)... I will OBVIOUSLY keep you posted!

*Thanks to Allie and Bridgette, for helping me find my way on this crazy, complicated, up and down journey.  You girls helped me to think about my goals and to evaluate the best way to do that at this point in my journey!

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Anthony... The Man, the Myth, the Motivator!

In one week (4/14/15), Anthony and I will be celebrating our three year wedding anniversary!  I cannot believe how fast time has been flying.  He is truly an amazing guy and I am blessed every single day we spend together.  He is goofy, funny, silly, smart, hot, and an all around amazing husband.  He is a dedicated son, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, and son-in-law.  He is extremely athletic and has had many amazing life experiences.  He's the kind of guy that you could put in a room of strangers and he would end up making many new friends.

This morning, he pulls me aside to show me a passage in the book he is reading, "The Warrior Within" by Bruce Lee.  My husband is very involved in Martial Arts and he loves everything related to Martial Arts.  So when he told me to read the passage, all I could think was, "Great, I'm going to see someone doing Karate or speaking words of wisdom like Mr. Miyagi."  Instead, this is what I read...

I was stunned.  This passage was so beautiful, such a wonderful way to talk about a couple.  Anthony said to me, "When I read this, I thought of us."  My heart literally melted.  I am so lucky to have a man that thinks so much of us as a married couple.  

Not only is Anthony an amazing husband and an awesome friend... He's my biggest supporter!  He constantly encourages me on this journey.  He supports my crazy/awesome obsession with all things #wwsendtheloveteamslim related.  He understands when I am spending hours on Skype with my girls.  He helps me to stay motivated, even when I'm feeling down.  He makes sure to let me know I look BEAUTIFUL... That I look thinner... That I'm shrinking... That I'm kicking serious ass!  Without him, this journey would be much more difficult.

With all of this said about Anthony, I do have many other amazing people in my life who support everything I have been doing.  He is just that constant motivator and cheerleader.  I know I can always turn to him and he will be there.  

Writing this is making me feel a little emotional because we have been through a lot together and I could not think of a better person to spend the rest of my life with.  He really completes me (no matter how cheesy that may sound)!  I look forward to a lifetime together... I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together!

April 14, 2012: The best day of my life!!!!

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Sunday... Like that's an excuse!

Hi Everyone.  First and foremost, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover!

With that being said, holidays are filled with love, family, happiness, and FOOD. The food involved with holidays has always been (and may always be) a struggle for me.  When do I learn to say, "thanks but no thanks" to the donut that's staring me down or the cheese and cracker plate or the delicious Pizzagaina?  I am constantly working on listening to my body and making improvements... just doing better than I did last time.  At this point, that's really all I can do!

Let me start talking about this specific weekend by saying I am in no way perfect and I will never pretend to be perfect.  I am just continuously choosing to make better choices as I continue along on this journey.

Yesterday (4/4/15), I went to my Aunt-in-law's house to make Pizzagaina.  I started the morning off with a kaiser roll and some scrambled eggs.  I counted it and moved on.  As the day progressed, the pizzagaina started to roll out of the oven.  I had a slice (which I counted)... Shortly after that, the pizza came out of the oven, I had some (which I counted)... Shortly after that, I ate a donut (which I counted).  Now, did I make the best decisions ever? NO.  Could it have been worse? Definitely!  There are two key things that I want to highlight as a success for this day.

Successes of Pizzagaina Day:
#1: I tracked everything I ate.
#2: Instead of eating all I mentioned above and chugging some regular soda to wash it all down, I stuck to my water... A lot of water!

The trays of pizzagaina!
My slice of pizzagaina!

Every little change I find myself making is having an impact on my life!  It is making me feel accomplished... successful even.  The icing on this cake was that when I got home, I decided to hit the treadmill.  My three mile time was obliterated (knocked 1 minute, thirty seconds off of it).

I am choosing to focus on the positives of my weekend instead of the negatives.  By trying to focus on the positives, I am not allowing myself to slip down the slippery slope of over-eating and minimal activity.  As I write this blog, I am so happy with the changes I am making in my life.

Today (Easter Sunday), I will be going out to eat with my dad for Easter.  We are going to be having Chinese food.  I already have my food tracked and I know what I'm going to eat.  On top of being prepared with food choices, I did FIVE, yes, FIVE miles on the treadmill!

I feel unstoppable and I love it!

Next obstacle: 
Going to Newport, RI with the hubby for two days.  
But I'm not worried... Because I'm prepared!

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Slow and steady wins the race...

Several months ago, our #wwsendtheloveteamslim group was prompted to take full body pictures!  The first time I took pictures was on February 4.  Then, a little over a month later, I took my second set of pictures.  The results were INCREDIBLE... JAW-DROPPING! (See below-Don't mind the silly faces!)

I see MAJOR changes from February to March!  Side View: My stomach is much smaller! Front View: I look more narrow.  Seeing these changes motivated me to continue on my journey.  Since my pictures in March, I have been working out 5-7 days a week and I have started running!!!  

Below, you will see my monthly progress for March...

When I first looked at the side by side of these pictures I was unhappy with the changes because I felt like there weren't any changes at all.  I didn't let it discourage me because I know I'm working hard but it was a hard pill to swallow.  BUT THEN, as I looked at the image again, I noticed several positive things!!! Side View: My butt is getting higher and tighter and my chest area looks smaller! Front View: My face looks thinner and my waist looks a little smaller.

Looking at my pictures have helped me to realize that my journey should not be focused on the scale.  Instead, I need to recognize that changes are happening.  Not only do the pictures tell me that, but the way I feel every day lets me know I am making changes!  In April, I'm going to focus on continuing to run and I plan on incorporating strength training.

Check back in a month and I'll have a new set of pictures! :D 

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Product Review: Good Health Veggie Stix

Product: Good Health Veggie Stix

I went to the food store to get some chips because friends are coming over tomorrow night for SCANDAL!!!  I saw these veggie stix on an end-cap and they were on sale!

Taste: These taste amazing!  They taste chips-esque but are light and crispy!  (Anthony is eating them too, which means a lot!!)
Aftertaste: No nasty aftertaste.  All I taste is the flavor of the stix themselves.
Nutrition: I can pronounce all of the ingredients!  That's a good things in my opinion!
Points: 3 points per 1 ounce serving.  You get a LOT of veggie stix in one ounce!! (See Below Picture)

If you have any products that you would like me to review, please send the information my way! :D

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A Re-cap of March and My April Goals!!!

A few months ago, I started to create monthly goals.  I have found myself being more and more successful as each month passes by.  

During last night's Skype session, I was the facilitator and I asked everyone to share how they have stepped out of their comfort zone since starting their weight loss journey.  Additionally, I asked how everyone reflects on their successes/struggles/journey.  This topic is important to me because I have been working on taking time to reflect on my journey.

As I look back on my goals for March, I am thrilled to say I accomplished all four of my goals.  

1. I was a winner with my DietBet= I stayed motivated and did not give up (A stomach bug helped)
2. I've been staying extremely hydrated= My skin is clearer and I feel better (now aiming for 120 oz/daily)
3. I have been making better food choices than ever= Instead of trying to cram in as much junk food as I can with my WW points, I prefer to eat healthier, "cleaner" options
4. I've been working out more= up to 6-7 times per week!

Even though I'm thrilled with hitting my goals, I am looking to do even better in April.  First and foremost, I will NOT be aiming to lose a certain amount of weight each month!  This journey (esp this time around) has been showing me what really matters in life.  The number on the scale will not be how I measure my success.  What counts is HOW I am feeling and HOW I am making my life better!

I am really looking forward to this next month on my journey!  Cheers to a great new month!! Look out for my monthly pictures... They will be posted in a few days!

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