Weight Loss Journey

So…. A really long time ago, and I mean an eternity, I started on a weight loss journey. One that has been up and down. It all started when I saw a photo of myself in 2011. I felt horrible and sluggish and when I looked at the picture I saw someone who had let themselves become incredibly unhealthy.

I made the decision to diet and add exercise to my everyday life. For about 6 months I did an extreme diet, one that was impossible to keep up long term. I cut out everything and limited my calorie intake to an unhealthy amount. Did I lose weight, yes. Did it stay off, no. Not all of it anyway.

I dropped 39 pounds. I got close to my goal weight. Then emotional eating kicked in. My life took several backflips. I was in an abusive relationship. My weight loss took a front seat to the myriad of reasons my ex-husband chose to unleash his rage on me. Of course in his eyes it meant I was cheating, not getting healthy. Life got really difficult and I would say 4-5 days out of the week were filled with fear in my own home.

But in 2015 I left the marriage and decided to get healthy again. I ate decently off and on but the stress of getting out of that relationship and being a single parent took its toll. I found it hard to stay on track. I basically fluctuated back and forth for over 2 years.

Finally in June of 2017 I decided to work hard and stay on track. My health is important. I want to feel better and be active with my kids. So here we are… I started Keto in June and have lost 16 pounds. I took a break when I went to Vegas and just recently started back up. My body responds well to this way of eating and I don’t feel deprived. Mostly I just miss bananas lol. I’m excited to see my body changing in a positive way. It’s something I can do for myself and honestly just helps release some stress.

I am super excited to be back on the band wagon and hit my goal of toning up and staying healthy. What better way to keep me accountable than to incorporate it into my blog?!

What’s your goals? What works for you? I want to hear!

2011- The picture that started it all
July 2017
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Low Calorie Mac and Cheese

Low Calorie Mac and Cheese

Ingredients
3 slices turkey bacon or center-cut bacon
4 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) uncooked whole-wheat or high-fiber penne pasta
2 large yellow summer squash
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 large tomato, chopped and seeded
4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
2 slices fat-free cheddar cheese
Optional: salt and black pepper

Directions
Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Once cool enough to handle, crumble or chop and set aside.

In a large pot, prepare pasta al dente (firm) according to the instructions on the package. Drain well, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.

While water comes to a boil and while pasta cooks, cut squash into pieces similar to the size of penne, about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick.

Spray a large skillet (with a lid) with nonstick spray, and bring to medium heat on the stove. Add squash, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally uncovering to stir.

Add spinach and tomato to the skillet, re-cover, and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach has wilted, tomato is soft, and most of the excess liquid has cooked off, about 3 minutes. Drain any remaining excess liquid. Set aside.

Place cheese wedges in a microwave-safe bowl and stir to break them up. Add sour cream and cheese slices, breaking cheese slices into pieces as you add them. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir thoroughly. Microwave for another 30 seconds, or until cheeses have fully melted. Mix until smooth.

Add cheese mixture and cooked veggies to the pasta. Toss to coat. Top with bacon. If needed, bring to desired temperature on the stove. If you like, season with salt and pepper, to taste.

PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, about 1 cup): 227 calories, 5g fat, 491mg sodium, 33g carbs, 6g fiber, 4g sugars, 13g protein

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Weight Watchers Peach Cobbler

This is an amazing recipe. I can’t believe that I came across it and how delicious it turned out to be. This is so incredibly low calorie that I could hardly believe it.
The best part about this recipe is how easy it is to put together.

Here is all you need (this recipe is from Pinterest)

2 lbs frozen peaches
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can diet Sprite or 7up

1. Spray Pam in 13×9 pan and spread all of frozen peaches.
2. Sprinkle dry cake mix over peaches.
3. Pour can of Sprite over cake mix.
4. Cover with foil and bake for 20 min. at 350 degrees.
5. Uncover and bake for 40 min.

Ta-Da it’s done!!!

Some tips from my experience. I used diet Sierra Mist. You could use any lemon lime diet soda you prefer. I also did not use frozen peaches. I happened to have some peaches that I had canned over the summer and decided to use them instead. Also, my grocery store sells a sugar free cake mix that would reduce the calories even more.
Make sure the soda covers all of the cake mix. That is how the cobbler browns.
This has been a life saver for my diet.With all the calories I have saved on dessert, I can treat myself some nights with a little vanilla frozen yogurt to go along with it.

 
This is right before the cobbler went into the oven. The problem is that it was eaten so quickly that the after photos are in the stomach of my entire family. They like to eat it as soon as it comes out of the oven. 

ENJOY!!!!

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Weight loss

Okay so I have not posted about my weight loss since April. Arghh!! That’s crazy. I am supposed to be finished with this by now. I had thought I would definitely be at my goal weight by now. I haven’t posted since April because there was nothing to report. How boring to read week after week that I had made no progress. I am pleased to say that after gaining a pound back that I have finally started picking up my pace again. My last post stated that my total weight loss was 30 pounds. Well I gained a pound and that brought it back to 29 pound weight loss. So a couple weeks ago I managed to skim off 2 pounds and this past week I dropped another 2 pounds. YAY!!!!! I know it’s not much but it is progress which is all I can ask for. So to date my total weight loss is drum roll please…33 pounds. My goal to loose this week is 3 pounds. I will post next Tuesday and see if I met my goal.

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Weight loss tricks!

So my cousin by marriage had a post on her blog about her goals to being happy and healthy. It made me think about all I have been through to lose all of this weight in the last 6 months. It has been a long and sometimes hard journey for me, but well worth it. I know I have been documenting some of my journey with everyone, but I thought I would go a little more in detail about how I actually dropped the weight. Let’s rewind back to October. I had just taken a vacation with some friends to the beach and had been staring at my fat photos. I was feeling horrible about myself and my body and to be honest it was really beginning to effect every aspect of my life, physically and mentally. Physically I could no longer run in the yard and play with my kids without being winded. I had NO energy and just wanted to lie on the couch. I had no reason to get up and do anything or get dressed or put on makeup since I don’t have a job. So here I was watching myself gain more and more weight yet I couldn’t stop the eating because that was my way of copping. Not a healthy way but the only way I knew. I had a phone conversation with my sister-in-law the last week of October and she was trying to explain how she achieved her weight loss success. I didn’t really understand how it worked but I tried it anyway. After a week I had no luck. Not even losing one pound. So my sister in law drove out to my house and gave me some papers and a book she used to stay focused. After that first week I was hooked on that method. I lost 5 pounds that first week. So here is what I did. Let’s begin with my diet.

Calories matter. That is what you focus on, not the fat. You have to count your calories.
You are limited to a certain amount of non-protein calories a day. So what does non-protein mean?
Counting non protein calories  Total calories
                                                -Protein calories (grams of calories x4)
                                                -Dietary Fiber calories ( grams of dietary fiber x4)
                                                -Sugar Alcohol calories (grams of sugar alcohol x4)
                                              = Non-protein calories (these are the calories from net carbs and fats)
Example
If a protein bar has 210 total calories, 5g dietary fiber, 18g sugar alcohol and 19g of protein
dietary fiber 5g x 4= 20
sugar alcohol 18g x 4= 72
protein 19g x 4= 76                              then add your totals once multiplied
___________________
                           168  
Once you have gotten this number then you will take your total calories and subtract this number from it since these calories naturally burn off in your system and you don’t need to count them.

210 – 168= 42 non protein calories.
So the lesson here is that many foods look like a scary calories number but once you subtract out the healthy calories it really makes a big difference.

So for 2 weeks I ate 600 non-protein calories then on week 3 I ate 1000 non-protein calories and you continue this pattern throughout your entire diet. The 3rd week is VERY important. From personal experience I know. I was doing so well that I tried to leave out the 1000 calorie week in an attempt to lose more weight but I ended up hitting a wall for a few weeks and not losing anything. My sister in law told me it was because I was skipping that 3rd week and my body was losing momentum. I had to eat the extra calories in order to jump start my weight loss again. Now I stick to it just as written. And it works.

My downfall is sugar and you have to avoid sugar for this diet. In order to get around that I had to train my brain to eat similar to a diabetic. Russell Stovers makes great sugar free candies and chocolates. There are many freezer pops that are sugar free as well as cookies and pies so I never felt deprived. Eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day and drink lots of water.
Another important rule to remember is to eat a high protein breakfast and eat it within 3 hours of waking up. VERY important. When I pack in carbs for breakfast I do not lose as much that day versus starting my day with eggs and bacon.
Okay last tip on diet is to take 1 fish oil vitamin during the day. This really does work. It gives me energy throughout the day. In the evening after dinner take a multivitamin. This is all outlined in the packet I received and I wasn’t sure why it would make a difference but I was adamant in the beginning about doing this program as outlined but began slipping midway. Let me just say on the days I didn’t take those vitamins I only lost ounces versus pounds. I’m just saying. I don’t know why or how it works but I’m am proof that it does.

Exercise

I weighed 177 when starting this program and could only tolerate walking. So I started out walking 5 days a week for 20 minutes and gradually worked my way up to one hour. I now do some intervals mixing my walking with some running. I will walk 5 minutes then run 2. The more weight you lose the less calories you burn per minute. According to my calorie king book- light exercise like walking, gardening, housework will burn
130lbs- 3 cal/min
170lbs- 4 cal/min

moderate exercise like brisk walking, swimming, shoveling snow
130lbs- 5 cal/min
170lbs- 6 cal/min

heavy exercise like jogging, vigorous cycling, kick boxing
130lbs- 8 cal/min
170lbs- 10 cal/min

I tried adding as much exercise as the weather and time would allow.

This works and over 30 pounds of weight loss later I am proof. It was hard at times and I hit some bumps. I had to get over the midway hump and find my momentum again and trying to reshape the way you have eaten your entire life is difficult, but it can be done. I will try to find some of my low calorie meals and post the recipes for everyone who wants to give it a try. Good luck and I hope this helps someone else in need of a healthier lifestyle.

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Dieting on Week 3

No real news to share. I absolutely lost sight of my goal on Super Bowl Sunday and munched on chips, dips, chicken wings, cheese fries. It was a horrible sight. I was like a ravenous animal attacking this plate of food. So long story short, I gained the 2 pounds back from last week and then lost them again. So I am at the exact same spot on the scale as I was last Thursday. It’s OK though because this marks a new week and I will do better!!!!

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Dieting on Week 2

So it is the end of the 2nd and I had some ups and downs. I worked really hard this week to shed the pounds and it was working. I was eating healthy, lots of whole wheat and veggies. It was also so beautiful this week so I got out of the house and walked for at least 30 minutes or more a day. My daughter and I also downloaded a music program to the PlayStation 3 this week and did LOTS of dancing. She loves to dance around and it gives me great exercise without feeling like I am. As of Monday I was down 3 pounds and ecstatic. I was getting ahead of my goal and it made me feel good. Then Tuesday I woke up and had gained 2 pounds back. WHAT?!?! I couldn’t believe it. I ate so good that day and worked out for 1 hour. So how in the world did I gain 2 pounds? I don’t know but it made me feel horrible. I was super upset for a while and frustrated that I had such a huge set back and wasn’t even sure where I went wrong. Once I pulled myself together I pushed forward and pretty much had to force myself to eat good because I tend to be an emotional eater. But I did it and lost 2 pounds this week. That brings my total weight loss to 24 pounds. That is something to be proud of I think. So here is to trying to stay positive this coming week.

P.S. I wish I had my camera so that I could show you what a huge difference 24 pounds has made.

I love my new music channel on the PlayStation 3 and for anyone with a sony device you can download the too. Any song you want is right at your fingertips.
Click here to find out more!

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Diet on the 2nd Week 1

Okay so here is my week 1 all over again. I am calling it week 1 because I lost track for so long that I began loosing count. I have decided to start fresh and today ends my week 1. So I did really good this week with my eating, but exercise was not so successful. I did walk 2 days this week, but it rained a lot the rest of the week. I also slipped on Sunday and had a sliver of cheesecake. Literally a sliver of it. So as of this morning I lost 2 pounds this week. It brings my total to 22 pounds and makes me super excited and a little more motivated than I have felt in about a month. I can’t wait to get through this week and keep shedding these pounds. I have a feeling I am going to make it to my goal weight at or close to my goal time. I will be bikini ready before this summer 🙂 Can’t wait!!

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Low Calorie Mac and Cheese

I have been testing new recipes to make sure that I stay on track with my diet. I feel like I am getting my momentum back and don’t want to loose it. Today for lunch  I made a low calorie mac and cheese. The one thing that I have found so hard to give up during this diet. Again this is another recipe from Hungry Girl show. This episode aired yesterday on Food Network.

Ingredients
3 slices turkey bacon or center-cut bacon
4 1/2 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) uncooked whole-wheat or high-fiber penne pasta
2 large yellow summer squash
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 large tomato, chopped and seeded
4 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
2 slices fat-free cheddar cheese
Optional: salt and black pepper

Directions
Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove. Add bacon and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Once cool enough to handle, crumble or chop and set aside.

In a large pot, prepare pasta al dente (firm) according to the instructions on the package. Drain well, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.

While water comes to a boil and while pasta cooks, cut squash into pieces similar to the size of penne, about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick.

Spray a large skillet (with a lid) with nonstick spray, and bring to medium heat on the stove. Add squash, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally uncovering to stir.

Add spinach and tomato to the skillet, re-cover, and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach has wilted, tomato is soft, and most of the excess liquid has cooked off, about 3 minutes. Drain any remaining excess liquid. Set aside.

Place cheese wedges in a microwave-safe bowl and stir to break them up. Add sour cream and cheese slices, breaking cheese slices into pieces as you add them. Microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir thoroughly. Microwave for another 30 seconds, or until cheeses have fully melted. Mix until smooth.

Add cheese mixture and cooked veggies to the pasta. Toss to coat. Top with bacon. If needed, bring to desired temperature on the stove. If you like, season with salt and pepper, to taste.

PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, about 1 cup): 227 calories, 5g fat, 491mg sodium, 33g carbs, 6g fiber, 4g sugars, 13g protein

I did not have the spinach today to mix in but it still turned out okay. Now I am not going to lie and tell you that this is the best mac and cheese that you will ever have because it isn’t. There is nothing like some crock-pot or baked mac and cheese, but to curb my craving for this cheesy goodness it did the trick. It is a decent dish to help get through this diet without feeling deprived.

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dieting on week…lost track

I have to confess how horribly off track this diet became throughout the holidays. I did not gain much, but even the couple of pounds was frustrating. It was so hard to resist the delicious food and then our home was filled with junk food. Starting last week I decided to get back on track. My last post was at the beginning of December and my weight loss total was at 16 pounds. As of this morning my total loss is 20 pounds! I now need to loss 27 more pounds to reach my goal. My plan is to reach this before spring. Hopefully around the middle of March. We shall see!

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