Friday, April 18, 2014

Honored and Excited! Can I be a success story???

This week I submitted my story to Weight Watchers as a possible Success Story. I'm hoping I am chosen to represent my amazing leader :-) Here's my application!

My Story:


250 lbs
After having my second child I found myself more overwhelmed, overworked, and more tired than I've ever been in my entire life. In July 2013, I’d had enough and I decided, "I'm going to lose 100 lbs!" I knew Weight Watchers worked and had tried it with success in the past. Prior to that, I’d tried pretty much everything; personal trainers, diet pills, Adipax (phentermine), working out, low carb, you name it, I tried it. I would just yo-yo up and down.  

I had sizes 12, 14, 16, 18, and even 20 in my closet at any given time. Not only was it frustrating to fluctuate like that, I knew it wasn’t good for my body. At 250 lbs I had heartburn every day. My back hurt, my knees hurt, and I would become winded walking up 1 flight of stairs. I had an active 2 ½ year old who wanted me to play outside. I had a newborn that needed me. Mommy was always “too tired”. I was miserable.

Starting weight watchers I made sure I did everything the way it was suggested. I made weekly goals. As each week passed I made that goal a part of my new lifestyle. 5 weeks in, I had a new set of guidelines which were attributing to my healthier life. I attended meetings regularly, I used my phone to track my meals, and when we went out to eat, I made sure to add up points. It was not easy at first, but the weight started coming off and I was so excited I wanted to keep going.

There were so many excuses I could make for not losing the weight. I work full time.  I have two kids, one a newborn. We’ve gone through sickness and stitches, sleepless nights, and every holiday meal. I hated exercise. Though active in high school athletics, it had been years since I really “worked out”. I thought I had to go to a gym and life weights.

150 lbs
After I had lost about 40 lbs, I felt so much better. I had a Wii, so I purchased Zumba and Just Dance. I alternated those work outs in my living room. Completing just 25 minutes of Zumba and 25 minutes of Just Dance the first week was easy. The second week, I did 2 zumba classes. The following month, I was working out 3-4 times per week. With my eating following Weight Watchers and my workouts, I found the losses steady each week.

If I had a craving, I found a way to satisfy the craving either by recreating it in a more healthful way or using my weekly points to splurge. In the 20 months it took me to lose the weight, I never felt deprived. That’s why it worked for me. Recently, I completed a 10 week workout program that included 60 workouts, resting only on Saturdays. That’s not something I EVER would have done before.


My life is completely different than it was before. My husband and I are happier, I play with my kids outside, and I have even been complimented for my positive outlook at work. Things are incredible! I am very happy. 

Photos I submitted are above.

My stat sheet from WW: Join Date, Goal Date, Lifetime Date (hoping tomorrow)


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sick. Sick. Sick. AND, Sick some more....


 This is ridiculous. I mean, RIDICULOUS! Our little team Dable cannot get well. We cannot! It's driving me CRAZY!
big boy acts brave
My brave boy!
This is my last 2 weeks of frustrations. Apologize for taking away from my weigh loss mommy and going into bitchy mommy here, but hopefully some of you can relate.

Monday- Phone call. Oldest Son fell on the playground. 3 stitches. Trip to Urgent Care.
(Hubby leaves to go out of town Tue-Thu)

Thursday- Youngest son crying in agony. "Mommy. Ear. HURT." Another quick run into the Urgent Care, Antibiotics for an ear infection.

Friday- Back to Urgent Care to remove the stitches. Wound is healing great! Time for Mederma

Fri night- Hubby home, happy weekend. All seems great!

Monday am- Oldest son wakes up sneezing, coughing, etc. "Mommy- I am too sick for school." Stay home.

Tue- Hubby leaves again- gone until Thursday....

Tue NIGHT- Pick up younger son from daycare and he seems fine. At bath time, I notice he has a few bumps and a slight rash. Before my eyes, it doubles. AGAIN, go to Urgent Care. It would appear he has a reaction to Penicillin..... New antibiotics.

allergic reactions or viral infection
Poor little man! 
Wed- Pick younger son up from daycare. Rash is SO bad he can barely see out one eye. Call my Dr. they say he should be seen. AGAIN, Urgent Care. They say, "Well I don't want to say the Dr. last night was wrong, but....this isn't an allergy. This is just a viral infection. BUT, he needs Steroids".... UGH!"

Thu- All good BUT younger son refuses to take medicines. I tried hiding it in Ice cream, yogurt, chocolate milk, you name it. NO DICE! He's too smart for my games.

Fri- All good BUT after our friends leave at 12:40 am, I realize I am not feeling so good, so I take Ny-quil. Next thing you know, my OLDER son gets up at 2:30 am. He threw up, EVERYWHERE. Change the sheets, snuggle him back in, give him a bowl. good, right? NOPE. 3:45 am- "Mommy, I frew up again". Cut to another sheet set soiled and put him in the guest room with me next to him. Poor guy up the rest of the night. Moaning and in pain. Mommy- NO SLEEP.

Sat am- YOUNGER son wakes up. Having labored breathing. Seems to be very lethargic and not better at all. Hubby takes him to EMERGENCY ROOM! 3 hours later, a chest x-ray and breathing treatment, he has a Viral Infection which just has to run its course....Great!

Sunday- Mommy sick all day. No rest for mommy.

Monday- Mommy still very sick, but needs to be at work. Boo.

Tuesday- Feeling a little better- still at work.

Wednesday- FINALLY better. 45 minute walk on my lunch break! I'm back baby!

I didn't weigh in last Saturday (you know the whole ER thing) and I am nervous at my number this coming week. In guessing, I think the last 2 weeks added about 3-4 lbs.

I have this week to make it up. Back to my healthy eating and get my workouts completed. Hope you all have had a better couple weeks than me....

Monday, April 7, 2014

Next challenge accepted

T25 is done. I finished it a week and a half ago. After 10 LONG weeks, I am able to share that I went from 155.4 to 148.4 lbs. I also lost a total of 9 inches from my chest, waist, arms and thighs. Went from a size 8-10 to a size 4-6.

It was HARD work. I've never committed to 10 weeks of anything in my adult life. I always thought the people on infomercials were fake. And maybe some of them are, but DANG! This worked. I gained muscle in places I never knew existed. I toned my legs, butt and arms. I can see clearer definition in my abs and I definitely lost some of the apron-y fat which sets in front of my tummy.

So, I took a week off. I deserved it, right? Whew! Let me tell you. I ate and ate. And ate some more. I went out to eat 5 DAYS IN A ROW! I dined on Chicken Teriyaki wrap with Sweet Potato chips, a bacon cheeseburger with an egg on top and fries, a plate full of Chicken Marsala from Calderone Club, a grilled ham and cheese panini with FRIES (again). I haven't been this mean to my body since before I began my journey.

Interestingly enough, the scale wasn't too cruel. I had lost a little weight, but I am a little nervous to see what happens this weekend. I am on Day 2 of 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels. This is a 3 DVD set I bought on Amazon for $8.50 or something. It is meant to do DVD #1 for 10 days, #2 for 10 days, #3 for 10 days. I believe you're supposed to rest on Sunday so it's a 33 day challenge. This one seems much more do able for me right now. I don't think I could commit to another 10 weeker! Whew!

I'm back on track with eating and I have discovered a new food line which is 100% organic that I'm excited about! It's been Yummy and Healthy! Will keep you updated. Stay tuned for my 10 week photos. I am a bit delayed, but I still look pretty good!

Monday, March 10, 2014

I just have to share this!

If you follow me, you know I don't go to the gym....I get my workouts in at home. This video below is PROBABLY why I avoid....It's funny! Enjoy!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

I had stopped trying

I realized the other day while I was in the shower shaving my legs, my life and overall being is in a much different place than it was 20 months ago. The reason I thought this was the fact I was shaving my legs and it was SO much easier to do! No grunting or hard work, just easy peezy!

It sounds silly, but something like that is a pretty big deal. Not only was it easier to actually shave my legs, I was DOING it! I had pretty much stopped caring about those maintenance and upkeep items of my life over the last year and a half. The upkeep of ME didn't exist! Shaving, having my hair done, putting on lotion, brushing my hair at night. Little things I had always done as part of my beauty regime, but had stopped because I no longer felt good about myself. Why bother, right?

In thinking back, not only did I give up on my diet and exercise and my beauty routine (because let's face it, I never liked looking in the mirror) I had given up on everything. My clothing consisted of XXL comfy pants and XL t-shirts. My "going out" clothes were a pair of jeans and a sweater. For work, I wore the same 3 pairs of pants because I didn't want to buy anything larger.

I never took much time on my hair. I wore it in a bun a lot of the time. My makeup was very minimal and I just used plain soap and no moisturizer. Again, why did it matter? I didn't feel pretty. I didn't feel desirable. Why should I even try?

NOW- I notice I am taking much better care of myself. My whole self. Working out, eating healthy, SHAVING my legs....Even making sure to moisturize my face and body (I have all this extra skin that needs tightening- it is our biggest organ, right?) Flossing my teeth and working on a cleaner, brighter smile :-) I also LOVE shopping again. The only problem is now I have to actually decide which looks the cutest, because overall things look pretty good. Hope that doesn't sound conceited...All of these things I had stopped doing- Why? If anything I made myself feel WORSE because I wasn't taking care of Me!

I am now. I am still a mom. 100% . All the time. My youngest has pneumonia and I took 2 days off work to make sure he had tons of snuggles and felt better. I made sure to continue my smart eating and my workouts. A little lesson- don't have crap food around the house and when you feel like snacking- YOU CAN'T. HAHA!

Week 10 of T25 is almost over- I've not taken final measurements or pictures, but I will on Sunday. That was 10 weeks of hard work. I feel incredible though! Weigh in at Weight Watchers Saturday and hoping to be back to my Goal of 150 and MAINTAIN!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I just don't want to.

Not every day is perfect. I don't always feel like eating the right way, and working out, and going to my meetings. This was my thought recently.

(Inner dialogue Saturday morning....)
I don't want to go to Weight Watchers this morning. I really don't. It's honestly the last thing I feel like doing.

My husband is out of town in Minnesota and was supposed to get home yesterday but he still isn't home and now I am sitting here with my two small children thinking I really don't want to go to Weight Watchers. 

I put my car into a snowbank yesterday and had to wait 2 hours for a tow truck. I am tired and just wanna relax! Ugh.

Turn it around, turn it around. My negative attitude won't win this morning, there are some major reasons I need to go to Weight Watchers today. The first being, I haven't gone the last two weeks. Oops.

Second, I have not been eating as well I had planned and I haven't been able to make it up yet. (you know when you delay going to a meeting because you figure "hey I'll do really really good next week and then it'll make up for this week"). 

Well that didn't happen,  I had to go out to eat 3 times this week. In some cases I made good choices but I also ate more than I should and not ALWAYS the BEST choices....

Finally, last time I went I actually gained 2 pounds and that completely deflated my spirit as the week before I finally hit my goal of 100 pounds! Urph. Get your ass to the meeting, Michelle!!

Well, I loaded up my guys into the car and I went to WW on Saturday. I was down .8 lbs. My goal weight is set at 150 lbs. I was at 150.4 just 3 weeks ago, but now I am 151.4 which means, only 1.4 more lbs to go to hit my goal weight....I am 151.4 lbs and 5'6". Why am I stuck on the idea I should be 130-140 lbs?

My new thought process is all about non scale victories though. I managed to finish ALL my T25 workouts - 8 weeks completed- 2 weeks to go. I bought my FIRST ever SIZE 4, yes, SIZE 4 skinny jeans at Gap. Overall, I am feeling good about me. Still a work in progress, eating one bite at a time. 

My new 1/2 way through T25 photo!
5 weeks into T25

Monday, February 10, 2014

My version of my fav- Pasta Fresca

There have been some awesome developments with my journey, but also with work I've been too crazy to share. That being said, I do not have time to write and share all the fantastic news right now, coming later today or tomorrow! I did want to share my new favorite at home make over recipe....

Noodles and Co Pasta Fresca copycat
PASTA FRESCA = PASTA DELICIOUS!

First things first, here is the AWESOME Pasta Fresca recipe. It's a copycat of Noodles and Company, but I'm more inclined to make this at home as it's only 9 points. Add some grilled chicken and voila, only 11 points! AND you made it at home. Much cleaner (less preservatives and such) and much more delicious. Noodles and Co. regular version is 17.



Past Fresca Recipe:

Ingredients

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups pre-cooked penne pasta
1/4 cup cubed roma tomato
1 tablespoon diced red onion
2 dashes kosher salt, and
cracked pepper
1 ounce baby fresh spinach
1/4 cup fresh garlic

Fresca Sauce:
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. sweet white wine
2 T. extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Sauté Instructions:
In a very hot sauté pan, add: extra virgin olive oil, pre-cooked penne, roma tomatoes, diced red onions, kosher salt & cracked pepper.
Sear noodles, stirring occasionally until steaming hot.
Add: baby fresh spinach, fresca sauce.

Toss to combine, serve with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Meatless Mondays- trying something new

Planning my menu board
LOVE my menu board!
I decided this year I am going to get further into my menu planning. I've made (Yeah, so my hubby made it) a board where I post my weekly menu. I've got it down to 5-6 meals per week where I have EVERYTHING on hand in my fridge and pantry. Recipes at the ready, too. If I decide I don't feel like eating a certain meal that evening, then I can trade it out! It's been a blessing. It also helps my hubby know what to get started should he beat me home from work.

This photo was right after I made it. Before I had decided on Meatless Mondays. However, I am on week 2 of Meatless Mondays. Tonight is Pasta Fresca (copycat version from Noodles and Co) and I'll let you know how it turns out. 

However, I have to share the recipe I made last week! It was simply awesome! Not too hard, but even my kids had 2 servings each! It was Whole wheat linguine with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto.


Recipe as follows:

1 cup sun dried tomatoes - not in oil (produce area)
1 T. Olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the powder stuff- buy real and shred!)
2 medium cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups basil (FRESH)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 t. sugar (I added this to offset acid)
Whole Wheat Linguine Pasta (Or high fiber pasta)

Place tomatoes in a heat-proof bowl; cover with boiling water. Let sit until softened, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain tomatoes but reserve tomato liquid.  

Place tomatoes, 1 cup of tomato liquid, oil, 1/2 cup of cheese, garlic, basil, salt and red pepper flakes in a food processor; process until smooth. 

Add more tomato liquid, if desired, and adjust seasonings. 

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water; drain pasta. In a serving bowl, toss pasta with pesto and about 3/4 to 1 cup reserved cooking water, depending on desired consistency; sprinkle with remaining cheese. 
Yields about 1 cup pasta, 1/3 cup sauce and 3/4 teaspoon cheese per serving. 

I served it with Steamed Broccoli, sprinkled a little more Parmesan on top of the broccoli. Yumm! 
NOTE: There was a lot of Pesto left, so I put it into a Tupperware container and have been using it as a spread for my turkey sandwiches and egg sandwiches in the morning! 

Oh, and I also figured I'd share my new license with you! The picture on top was me 1 month after my 2nd son was born. I was 250 lbs (I lied to the DMV- oops). I don't even recognize the woman in the picture.... Making the little changes can make an AWFULLY big difference, huh?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

What if I can't do that yet?

I am 2 weeks into T25, it's literally kicking my butt! I can feel the pain, people! Good news is, I already see a difference. My plan is to post after 5 weeks, so you can see it too.

Something I've been wanting to write about was deemed necessary when I ran into someone at work who had also purchased the workout. I was going on and on about how much I loved it, when she told me...She hated it! I was surprised. It got me thinking why it may just not be the right fit for her.

She's in the early stages of her fitness journey and may not have been prepared for the kind of exercise it offers. It reminded after we finished the first routine and my husband asked me is there was some sort of pre-requisite before starting T25? He is doing the program with me and he was dying.

Don't get me wrong, it's extremely hard. BUT I am struggling through- mostly using the modifiers when I have to. Even those moves can be difficult. So, how did I do it? How did I get to the point in my journey when I wanted to tackle this challenge. Let's list what I've done in general over the last 1 and a 1/2 years.

#1. I completely stopped eating fast food. I haven't had it since July 2012.

#2. I cut WAY back on alcohol. Maybe 1-2 drinks per month.

#3. I don't eat past 8 pm. EVER- OK, rarely :-)

#4. I have not stepped foot in a gym. My workouts are ALL done at home(with the exception of 1-9 round excursion).
Work out progression:
25-30 min of  Wii Zumba 2-3 days per week
35-45 min of Wii Zumba or Wii Just Dance 3 days per week
45 min of Zumba or Just Dance 4-5 days per week
45 min of Zumba or Just Dance 3 times per week, Elliptical 2 times per week = 5 times per week
Now: T25 5 days per week- follow each workout with 20-25 min of Just Dance or Zumba

#5. I get up early to do it. In bed by 9:45, up by 5 or 5:15 am

#6. My day for eating go as follows:
6:45: Smoothie (most mornings)
10:00: Popcorn snack
Noon: Lunch (brought from home or something sensible if outside office)
3 pm: Fruit snack (apple, grapes, kiwi, strawberries, etc.)
6:30 or 7:00 pm- Dinner (again at home)
7:50 pm: FINAL treat (piece of chocolate)

Remember- It's taking it one meal at a time. Don't ever blow off a whole day because you ate too much at breakfast. Every minute counts. :-) My first 80 lbs came off with eating alone, exercise came later, so make eating your #1 priority.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One year - Side by Side!

My video camera has been with our family since October, 2010. Feeling nostalgic, I plugged it into the TV today so I could watch the videos we have taken over the last few years. WOW. What an eye opening experience. I mean, WOW!

The majority of the videos, I was behind the camera. Narrating the happenings around me, to my husband's horror, and never showing my fat ass on camera. I know it sounds harsh, but I knew I was big. Heck, I was 250 lbs after my first was born. A whole YEAR after he was born, I was still 250 lbs. No excuses, just loving food and avoiding exercise. It wasn't baby weight, it was lazy weight.

So, back to the camera, the videos that do include me are horrifying! I am appalled at the person who was on that video. It wasn't me. I was huge! I never saw myself as the person featured. Sitting with my son, Myles helping him open his gifts, there were literally ROLLS of fat and my arm was huge! I am pretty sure my voice even sounded lower. I know why I avoided the camera as much as possible. Eek....However, the camera does add 75 lbs, right?

When we got to the video which was taken just a few weeks ago, I was sitting happily with my baby boy, Joel (who's now 18 months) helping him open his presents. The woman in that video was who I had always seen in my mind. NOT the large lady who was in those other videos. It made me so happy! Until I saw my little roll that hung over... UGH! I guess at least it was 1 roll and not a multitude.

It's been a rough road. Losing weight has not been easy, but it was VERY necessary. 2014 will be a whole new ball game for me. Now I've lost the weight, it's time to feel better about me. I'm re-focusing myself to Weight Watchers. I plan on attending meetings religiously again. I am even hoping to become a leader in 2014 or 2015.

On another note, which I'm on day 3 of T25 which is a workout regimen I've committed to for 10 weeks. It's really brutal, but I'm hoping it will help me tone and tighten. Seriously, it's only 25 minutes plus a 2 min cool down and it's QUITE the workout! I'm already writing a bit about how I'm feeling through these workouts, so expect to see some of that in 2014!

Overall I am happy with where I am right now. Happy for the first time in my adult life. I weigh 153 lbs, am wearing a size 6 pants and size small sweaters. I'm not completely satisfied, I want to look in the mirror and not see the extra skin. However, when I look at my beautiful boys, that skin and my stretch marks are reminders of them.

I'll definitely write more soon, but I just wanted to post some pictures and give anyone out there who is afraid they cannot do it some advice.... and I know everyone says it, but "IF I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU!". There's nothing special about me. I don't have extreme will power. I fight cravings. Chocolate and french fries are still part of my diet, just not every day. PLEASE reach out to me if you want to know more or if I can help. I'm a real person.

Take a look and see what a difference a year can make.

January 12, 2013
    December 31, 2013






I never EVER thought I would feel good enough to post pictures of me in a sports bra. In fact, I HATE most women who do this, but I am now committed to making these photos from yesterday my NEXT "before" pictures. I'll post those in 10 weeks.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Slow moving fast forward

Myles Joel Mom picking out tree
Christmas Tree Shopping!
Do you ever feel like you're living your life in slow fast forward? Not the one that goes really fast but the one that just barely moves forward but it's still a fast forward? 

That's how I feel my life has been lately. Between a birthday party and illness that about ruined me (promising to blog about both soon) with getting ready for my amazing family to come to town. I have not been doing so hot when it comes to my eating. 

A confession, I've been eating whatever I wanted to eat the last 2 weeks. Many lunches out and not REALLY ordering smart. I haven't been pointing. I haven't been tracking. Overall, it's just not pretty. So what do I do about it? On a good note, I've been continuing my workouts and I'm really loving my new T25 Workout but overall I know I've gained. The worst thing about it is I don't want to go to the meetings and weigh in. It's really scary for me right now. 

I'm around 10 pounds from my goal weight. I'm 153 pounds and I've "released" 97.5 lbs. I am a comfortable size 8 almost down to a size 6. I think the extra 10 pounds will put me down at the size 6 but I guess I'm not that concerned with the number. I just want to make sure I have learned better habits and I am set to maintain my healthy lifestyle for the long haul.

I think the most important thing for me to do right now is to look back and make sure I have genuinely changed. Changed my eating habits, changed my workout habits, and overall changed my life? I think I have accomplished this and I'm pretty sure these are changes that will stick. 

There's a part of me that's afraid though....I'm all of a sudden going to gain back the pounds I lost over night. Sometimes I even dream about it. I dream I look in the mirror again and my face is rounder, my boobs are bigger, and my ass is huge! I know this is impossible, but I'm scared anyways. 

I don't think I could go back to being the way I was before because I was so unhappy. The other thing that's really crucial right now is to not let my head get so big that I feel like I have this under control. As I realize over the last two weeks I am NOT 100 percent in control. Again, I haven't been utilizing my tracker as I'm supposed to and I haven't weighed in for almost two weeks. 

I know these are bad things. I know this is where it would be so easy to fall off the wagon. But I can't let that happen. All of the compliments that people have been giving me and extending to me are fantastic and they are deserved but I don't want them to go to my head. I'm not done yet. I'm not happy with the way that I look....yet.

How do I remind myself? 

Here are some of the ways I know that my lifestyle change has impacted everything about me. #1. I work out a minimum of 4 times per week. Usually it's five and sometimes its 6 but I never work out less than 4 times per week. 

#2. I never splurge on multiple items at dinner. For example, I used to get the big, fat loaded chicken sandwich with cheese and bacon all that good stuff AND an order of french fries. Now I'll either get a grilled chicken very simple with the French fries or I get the big, fatty chicken sandwich but steamed broccoli instead. 

#3. I drink lots and lots and lots and lots of water. If I don't do this I get horrible headache. I can tell how easily I get dehydrated because of my workout and because of running around. 

#4. I eat fruits and veggies at almost every meal. Let's be honest I'd like to say I do it every meal but I don't. (Maybe something to work for in 2014). I cut up carrots, celery, broccoli every week. Try to make sure to eat asparagus, Brussel sprouts, very leafy greens, my favorite is romaine, and I make sure I eat strawberries, grapes, apples, oranges, anything else I can that's healthy.

#5.  I have eliminated all clothing above a size 10. I do not ever want to go back to a size 10 or 12 or 14, god forbid a size 20 where I was when I began this journey. I used to keep multiple bins of clothing. They would span 3-4 sizes depending on my size. Making sure these bigger sizes aren't around won't allow me to gain 10 pounds and just go into the bigger size.

Little life changes are not always easy. As I sit here writing, I made treats for work this weekend and I am narrowly avoiding shoveling them all into my mouth....but I can resist. If

I can be aware of this now, I can fix my slide before it's too late. I can do this! You can too, just remember it's a life change, don't be too hard on yourself, but don't get out of control.

Myles + Mommy + Christmas Concert
Myles First Christmas Concert- Big guy!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I know, I know!

It's definitely on my mind that I haven't blogged for a week and a half. I'm SORRY!

Good news is after an AWFUL November I lost 4.6 lbs last week. My new # "released" is 97.2 lbs. I am finally in the "healthy weight" range.

There are so many things to catch you up on! My son's 4th birthday, the flu that roared through my home (while my hubby was out of town, mind you), and the upcoming excitement of the holidays!

Stay tuned because I will be writing Thursday. For now, enjoy one of my favorite videos:

What a grown man as a "2 year old" looks like!! LOL

Monday, November 25, 2013

Prepping for T-Day!

Last year I had a CU-RAZY successful Thanksgiving and overall holiday season! In the month of November, I lost 9.8lbs and in December, I lost 10.4 lbs. That's 20 lbs in a time where statistically most people gain weight.
Happy T- day! Get your HEALTHY on!
Recently, I've been having some challenges. So far this month, my weigh in's have gone as so.... up, down, up, down. I've lost 1 freakin lb! 1 POUND! Needless to say, I'm not happy with this result. It's time to revisit my blog from last year and refresh my thinking.

Here are my modified changes!

1. Don't eat the items I can eat any other day. I.E. why eat corn when I can have that any day of the week? LOVE this one. It worked last year and will work this year.

2. Smoothies all week. Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri. In addition on Thursday, have a smoothie for breakfast, a smoothie for lunch and take a walk before dinner.

3. WORK OUT! Tue, Wed, Thu am- log 45-50 minutes on the Elliptical or Zumba. I already missed this morning.... Last year I wasn't active like I am this year. I can gain 30 points to eat more!

4. Indulge in pie, but 1 tiny slice of each. (I completely skipped desserts last year)

5. Skip the skin and go for all white meat. Honestly I don't even like the fatty taste of skin anymore....

6. WEIGH IN on Saturday. No matter what. Make it to a meeting!

Luckily this year, I only have to attend 1 celebration where last year I had 2. My hope is to see the scale stay the same or maybe even go down. Now next week I have to tackle my 2 weeks of Christmas holidays this year.




Friday, November 15, 2013

Failure WAS an option.

family picture
I still see the little muffin top. Ugh!
When I started my journey 17 months ago there was doubt. I never let on there was doubt, but there was! I looked at this 100 lbs to lose and said "I can do it!" all while in my head saying, "Are you crazy! That's 100 lbs?" I wish I would have taken more pictures. Documenting this journey seemed as if it would doom me to failure. What if I took the pictures and I didn't like what I saw?

Duh! Of course I didn't like what I saw. I was 100 lbs overweight. On the outside I pretended that it didn't bother me. I pretended I was fine being a "big" girl. In fact, I NEVER saw myself that way, so I just convinced myself I was happy. The excuses I used were, I'm going to get pregnant again anyway, so why lose the weight. Muscle weighs more than fat (too bad I hadn't worked out in 8 years). Food is just so good! I don't have willpower. Working out takes too much time. I'm too busy. I just smiled and showed everyone I loved myself and I was HAPPY! Unfortunately, I was not happy. I had a wonderful husband, 2 beautiful boys, and a fulfilling job. On the surface my life seemed pretty great. I was not great.

serene setting dable family
The background doesn't feel real- but it is!
Every day I witness people who are not great, but they plaster a smile on their face anyway. I KNOW you're not happy. I've been there, I've faked it too. It hurts my heart when people think they cannot make a lifestyle change. I am no different than anyone else. I PROMISE you! I love to eat. I love to watch TV. I am exhausted every morning too. All of these factors are exactly the reason I needed a change. With executing one small change at a time, I found they compounded into what has become my new lifestyle.

As a reminder, here are the changes I made:

1. No more FAST FOOD. - Other than Burgerville in Oregon, I have not had fast food since 7/13/12. This includes McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Wendys. NADA! It's been so long now I can only imagine how awful I'd feel.


2. Do not eat PAST 8 pm.   I RARELY eat past 8 pm. If I do, it's 1 point weight watcher candy. If I ever feel starving, which happened to me at 3 am the other morning, I ate a hard boiled egg, grapes, and carrots. You'll be amazed how much of an impact this will have on your diet! If you have to eat, make it fruits/veggies. Something that will power your system and burn easily. NO CARBS!!

3. Work out 3 x per week.   Since April 2013, I have consistenly averaged at LEAST 3 times per week. Most of the time I shoot for 5 times per week. My schedule is ALL done at home. Zumba/Dancing on Tue/Thu/Sat and Eliptical 1 time per week.
4. Eat Fish/Seafood 2 x per week  Ok, I am NOT good at this at all. I have tried to incorporate 1 meatless meal per week. This is a reminder to me I still have changes to make.


michelle smiling boys playing
This is a REAL smile!

It may be time for me to initiate some new policies and procedures in my life. I'm not great just yet, but I have more TRUE, REAL great days than I ever did before. So with my beautiful boys in tow, and my husband by my side, I continue my journey. I'm not done yet.

I'm 157 lbs, size 8 dress/pants, size Small sweaters- I am looking good, not I just need my interiors to match. Also I've included some pictures of my family! My photographer and friend, Alia is incredible!
Her website is here: http://www.aliamorganphotography.com/

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Losing my first fur baby.

Last week was a rough one....After 15 years of companionship, I made the difficult choice to have my cat, Cleopatra put to rest. She had been degrading for some time and I was in denial to the extent of her quality of life. The week before her passing, there were too many signs to ignore. I made the call to the vet and scheduled what I feared would be her final visit.

Though hard for me, explaining this to my 4 year old was a challenge. So, off to Facebook I went to my incredible mommy group. I posted asking for advice and an angel from Louisiana responded. She is a grief counselor at a hospice center. Even though this was not a human family member, it was a member of our family nonetheless. This is what she told me I should tell him, "Jesus took kitty home today n kitty is no longer sick. Mommy is sad because I loved her w all my heart and wished she could have stayed but God made her well in heaven. Keep it real. Keep it honest". That is almost verbatim what I told him, adding in that we still have 2 other wonderful kitties who need our love. He got this gigantic smile on his face! He just understood she was in a better place.

The next morning, Myles made the point to explain to our other cat, Voodoo that Cleo had gone to heaven. That he would join her there some day, we all would. But for now, she can eat anything she wants without being sick, sleep on any bed without having to move, and talk to Jesus whenever she wants. He further explained, "you still have me, Mommy, Daddy, Joel and Moose (other cat). We love you." Tears flooded my eyes and I looked at my amazing little boy whose faith was so strong that he never doubted for a second. I am so blessed!

Needless to say, my eating was a little rough for a couple days. I am still feeling sad and a little lost without her. A little fur baby who fit into the palm of my hand is November 1998 is now gone. I'll miss her snuggles and meow. Thankful to have had her for the 15 years I did.

Promise next week's blog will be more uplifting, but my blog is real. Reality is, we lose our loved ones. Even our fur babies....

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Progress, not perfection

per·fec·tion
pərˈfekSHən/
noun
  1. 1.
    the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.


There was a point in my life where I thought I had to be perfect. Heck, I still feel like I have to be perfect. It's just not realistic, but it is very frustrating. Lately, my wise husband has been repeating the following phrase to me, "Honey- strive for progress, not perfection."

My idea of perfection was always to complete the list below:

1. Making sure I complete all tasks at home.
Tasks = Cleaning, cooking, laundry, playing with my kids (A task? I've been treating it like one- not cool)
2. Making sure all my tasks at work are completed
Tasks = Staying on top of all needs/requests, responding to e-mails, making sure my team and I are putting up the sales numbers we need to be considered successful.
3. Losing the weight that I need to feel like it's enough.
How much weight? When will I feel like it's enough? Not sure. As long as I feel good, exercise regularly, eat moderately and still continue to lose weight than I guess I'll keep losing.

I think about it now and I think- Did I seriously think handling those above items were the reason I could consider myself to be perfect? Would these truly equate perfection? Seriously who is perfect?

God knows, I am not. I need to be fine with this. How can I change my thinking?

I've been working on me lately. Reading books, taking time outs, just TRYING to become a better person. I think I'm making progress. I think....I came across this picture and it reminds me, reminds US- we are real. We are flawed. We cannot be perfect. Just strive for progress.

Born to be real, not to be perfect
Progress....


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cheesecake Renovation- Sinful BUT sensible

Cheesecake Light
Not the prettiest, but definitely tasty!
So, I did it. I made over a Cheesecake. I have to say this one was tough and go. There were a few key items I was looking to avoid with this makeover.

1. Gritty texture
2. Dense
3. Weird after taste
4. NO Fat Free Cream cheese (It is after all, still a dessert!)

Overall, the results were excellent! My husband told me it was great. He had no idea it was even lightened up! Until I told him there was Cottage cheese in it, then he made sure to tell me, "Well now that you mention it, I can taste that." My son said it was "Yummy". Discerning palate of a 3 1/2 year old, you know.  In order to avoid eating more than my 2 slices (One on Sun morning and one Sunday night), I took it into work.

Well, it vanished REAL Quick! It was sitting outside my desk on the mini "food" table. First there were a couple mini slices missing. Then I heard the chatter.... "Did you try that cheesecake? It's awesome!" and even someone who came into my office and said, "Michelle, you're killing my diet!" Oh I was only too happy to then let everyone know it was, in fact, a lightened up version of New York Cheesecake.

The traditional version of New York Cheesecake can pack as much as 15 points or 710 calories! My version is a mini splurge at 7 points - SERVES 14. Topped with Fresh Strawberries or Lite Hersheys syrup. This is a sinful way to end a meal, without feeling the guilt!

Here's the recipe:

Pre-heat oven to 350 for  Crust:
8 Squares- Graham Crackers
1 T. Butter- melted
1 t. sugar

Spray the springform pan with Pam. Crush crackers in food processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin into small crumb pieces. Add 1 t. sugar to grahams and mix together. Melt butter in microwave. Add melted butter to graham crumbs and mix together. Press them into the Springform Pan into a thin layer. Cook crust at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Take out of oven and cool

For Cheesecake:
16 oz. 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese (neufchâtel cheese)
2 Cups 2% Cottage Cheese
1 Cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream
2 Eggs
3 Egg Whites (only whites)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 T. Flour
1 t. vanilla extract
1-2 t. Lemon Zest

In food processor mix together the Cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream. Pulse until fluffy and mostly smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add in eggs, egg whites, sugar, flour, vanilla, and lemon zest. Using a whisk mix until well combined. Pour mixture into the prepared crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. The cheesecake will be lightly browned and almost set (may still be a little jiggly in middle.) Turn OFF the oven and let cheesecake stay in there for 1 hour. Place in the fridge for 4 hours to overnight to set.

Feel free to top off with Sliced Strawberries mixed with 1 t. sugar. If you let it sit in fridge, then it will create juices. Great topping with a quick spray of redi-whip! Enjoy!

AGAIN: 7 points for 1/14 of the cheesecake

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

No way! Little changes = 1 Major Victory

Looking through our basement this weekend led me to a box of clothing that hasn't fit me for quite some time. It's "that" box of clothes from my high school days. My Cheer leading uniform, Letterman's jacket, my Sophomore year homecoming dress, my Junior and Senior Prom dresses and ALL the Bridesmaid dresses from over the last 15 years. It was all the stuff I was saving for if I ever had a girl. Great dress up stuff!

The most influential piece I found was my favorite dress from my Freshman year of college. My first ever sorority formal function. It was 1996 and it was the "Jingle Ball".  I looked smokin' hot and I felt a sense of confidence at that age, I have yet to replicate, until now. You see, then I was 17 years old and 125 lbs. The dress made me feel special. In turn, this dress has been the drive for inspiration many times in my life.

I remember showing the photo to my husband and him saying "WOW! Look how small you were." It hurt to hear, but he was right. When I met him, I was never under 175 lbs. The majority of that time I was over 200 lbs and not really feeling so great about myself.

But, this photo of me in this dress represented where I wanted to be in essence, who I wanted to be. Year after year I would see this picture in my photo album and feel sad. Why? I never EVER thought I would/could be that small again. Well.... GUESS what? I found that dress last night and decided to try it on. Result- It fits! I may have some new curves, but the dress still looks good! Maybe I should try on my cheer leading uniform next? Halloween is coming up....

Silver mini college dress
My Victory comes in a silver skinny dress!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pizza, Pizza!

Cup o Chicken!
A couple months ago I saw a new thin crust pizza shell from Target. I used to LOVE making Boboli pizzas when I was single and even upgraded to the large ones once I got married. Even better a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza- meat lovers. yummy. Well Pizza Hut Personal Pan is 23 points for a tiny 8 inch pizza and I discovered a Boboli crust alone was 10 points for just one tiny shell....well I stopped those! SO, I was very excited when I discovered this new treasure-  1/3 of a crust was only 4 points! It give you about 3 slices of thin crust pizza for WAY less points! Feel free to play and add more veggies. Broccoli, Carrots, Green Onions, Load em on! All 0 points!
Italian cheese
Best Cheese- low points!

Here's my Awesome BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe:

1 - Thin Crust Shell = 11 points
5 T. - BBQ Sauce (I used Famous Dave's Sweet n Zesty) = 5 points
1 cup cooked chicken breast (chopped/shredded/chunked) = 5 points
2/3 cup - WW 4 Cheese Italian Blend=  4 points
Sliced Mushrooms = 0 points
Red Onion = 0 points
Veggies**

WHOLE Pizza = 25 points
1/3 pizza or 3 slices = 8 points

**Feel free to play and add more. Broccoli, Carrots, Green Onions, Load 'em on! All 0 points!

Pizza
Finished Product
Worst case scenario, if you have a bad day and decide to eat the whole thing, you aren't splurging that much! Smoothie for breakfast (2pts) and soup (4pts) for lunch- heck you could eat the whole pizza and still have a good eating day! Imagine the damage you could do if you ate even 1/2 a pizza.....Sad, because I used to share a Pizza Hut Meat Lovers with my husband at least once a month. After researching, I know that was 50 points for 4 slices. UGH!



Monday, September 30, 2013

Reflect & Refocus

Reflection of Michelle
Looking in my mirror- love what I see in the back.
The last couple weeks have been a little rough. Maybe it's because I have been insanely busy, maybe it's because people have been so complimentary about my weight loss that I thought I could take a break, or MAYBE I am just making excuses.

In all likelihood, the latter is correct. Last week was the first time I didn't weigh in for quite some time. In fact, other than my vacation, it's the first time since March. I feel guilty about it. Even worse, I got on my scale and home and there wasn't much movement, which is good, but also bad because that means I didn't lose. It could have been my workouts. Usually I strive for 4-5 days per week. Last week, I did a half ass workout on Monday and then NOTHING until Saturday afternoon. Want to know my excuse?

The Wii controller wasn't "syncing" with the game and I wasn't getting enough "points". WHAT? Are you kidding me, Michelle? Come on! It was just easy to take a mini backslide. I went to Maggiano's for a friends dinner, I ate the remaining dessert for the next 3 days. I made a loaf of zucchini pineapple bread, I slivered that baby to death! I bought Beef Jerky thinking it was a "smart" snack when I was feeling hungry. What's happening to me?

It occurred to me I have been working so hard for the last 15 months I haven't let myself slip. Well only a little. And never for a full week at a time. It's scary how easy it is to resume old habits. Even when those habits are not good for you. Yesterday I re-dedicated myself to me and to losing the last 15-20 lbs.

Here are a few key items I learned over the last week:

1. Keep bad food out of your house. If it's not there, you cannot eat it! Stock the pantry with more satisfying snacks. Worst case scenario you eat a few too many whole wheat pita chips and hummus.
2. Don't take home leftovers. You'll just eat them. Once you splurge, leave it at the restaurant.
3. Excuses are like a-holes, everyone has them. The crap about the Wii? I'm better than that!
4. Get rid of the sizes that are too big for me. There are plenty of people who need new clothes

In essence, I'm Back Baby! (As George Costanza would say)