Monday, April 30, 2012

Snack ideas...thanks TBL!

I have always been a big meal eater, which I think has had a major contribution toward my weight issues.  I have been trying to do a better job of eating smaller, more frequent meals. So planning for snacks in my daily meal and nutritional plan.

I wanted to share a great article from The Biggest Loser that I ran across on facebook last week.  I hope it gives you some good ideas for healthy snacks also....enjoy!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My biggest challenge right now.....portion control & feeling satisfied

Sorry for all the posts today folks.....getting some things off my mind so I can move on and make some progress!  I call it "therapy day" lol

So a few self-realizations in the few days I have been doing the body by vi shakes this week.
1)  I am still really struggling with portion size and overeating.  I am still getting too much of my "entree" and filler on my plate and less of the veggies than I should be.  I continue to not want to stop eating and I have been REALLY bad lately about sneaking a little more food while "putting dinner away".

  • I think part of this is the stress I have been under lately.  I am a stress eater, so in the evening it's easy to want to keep eating out of that habit.
  • I have been so busy that I haven't been as faithful to my meal planning and grocery shopping, that I am rushing and not getting dinner ready at a reasonable time in the evening.
  • Because of that I think another struggle here is that we have been eating so late lately (not getting dinner on the table until between 7 and 8) that I am getting overly hungry and then eating too quickly so I don't realize I am getting full until it's too late and I have overeaten.

2)  I am a food addict. I just like to eat.  I like the way it tastes.  I like the way it makes me feel while eating (until I get guilty about eating too much).
3)  The shakes help me with portion control - the shake recipe is always the same size and I don't have to worry about putting too much on my plate.
4)  I like feeling like I am eating sweets and desserts with the shakes (triple chocolate, cinnamon bun, etc).  I don't feel the "need" for dessert at night nearly as much

So a few changes I will be trying to make for this week:

  • Change to having shakes for breakfast and dinner (instead of lunch).  
    • I can fix my shake for dinner when I get home from work, hopefully preventing me from getting overly hungry and falling into the overeating trap.
    • I will take dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.  This will allow me to pack a more portion controlled size meal and not be around the extra food to eat more than I should.  
Hopefully this change will help me stay on track.  Stay tuned for updates on this experiment.  

Trying something new....Body by Vi

I have been working on weight loss journey since January.  While I am seeing progress, it has been SLOW progress (average of 1-1.5 pound a week for a total of 15 pounds).  Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to be making progress.  But I felt like I was needing to do something different to give myself mentally and my numbers a boost.  I have a friend that is a Body by Vi distributor.  I have heard a her personal story of how it's helped her Crones disease.  So I decided to give it a try.  Since it's a meal replacement it costs basically the same (or possibly a little less) that I was already spending on meals so I figured what did I have to lose.

My shake mix arrived Thurs afternoon so I started my new regimen of 2 shakes and 1 meal a day starting on Friday.  I found a great web link to over 100 recipes for fun flavors (  I am having fun trying new flavors.  Cinnamon roll is by far my favorite so far.  Triple chocolate is a close second though.

I am looking forward to seeing what progress I make and what I learn about myself too hopefully make some additional changes that will result in some higher numbers.  Stay tuned for updates!

analyzing the numbers

I am known as "the spreadsheet queen".  I make a spreadsheet for EVERYTHING!!!  I have been weighing in daily since the beginning of January.  And yup, you guessed it, I made a spreadsheet to track it all. lol.  That can be a good thing and a very frustrating thing.  It has felt like this is the slowest process ever and that it is taking forever for this weight to come off.  There has been a lot of up and down in my daily numbers.  So it has made seeing the progress even more challenging.  So this week I decided to slightly change the way I was looking at the numbers.  Instead of looking at the daily numbers, I decided to do a weekly average.  Then I compare my weekly average number to see if I am up or down for the week.

What I found out from that is that I have been consistently losing 1 pound a week.  Looking at the numbers this way has made it easier to see that there is progress....constant loss instead of getting caught up in the "noise" of the daily number ups and downs.

Now if I can just work on getting the formula right to make the progress faster, then I will be in really good shape!!

I didn't fall off the Earth....sooooo busy!

I just wanted to let you all know that I didn't fall off the face of the earth.  I have been sooooooo busy with work the last couple of weeks I haven't had the time or the energy to blog.  And it seems this time of year is always the busiest and most stressful.   There are always lots of school activities as we prepare for summer vacation and one of my daughter's and my husband have May birthdays so there are always those events to plan.

I have lots of ideas in my head.....if only I could mentally dictate my posts while I am getting ready for work or driving....would be sooo much more productive lol.  But I can feel a difference.  I miss it when I don't blog.  For me, writing is therapeutic.  So I am going to try to re-commit to consistently posting every 1-2 days.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New jeans!

I have been so busy this week I haven't had a chance to share these photos till now!!! My old jeans were literally falling off me....I had them sinched up with a belt. But I was drinking so much water (and I have the smallest bladder in the world!!!) that was becoming problematic :o) I broke down and went and got a new pair of jeans last first time to be able to buy jeans at Old Navy!! Old pair was a size 22, new pair is a size 20. (I REALLY wanted to get into the 18's but they were just a bit snug still....but soon!) This is about a 2" difference in the jeans. I feel like a completely new person without my pants falling off me. I keep looking down at my legs and wondering who's they doesn't seem like I am on the right body. Work pants definitely need to come next....those are getting way baggy too! Awesome feeling!!!!!

Facebook page....LIKE it!!!

Don't forget that I have a facebook page for this blog!  It would be great if you would click "LIKE" :-)  I post a link to new blog posts on there so a super easy way to keep up with when there is something new to catch up on!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My inner child...what a brat!

I am feeling a bit, a little LOT schizophrenic tonight.  There is nothing like being the parent and having an argument with your inner child.  Here's a peek at our "conversation" tonight....

"It's time to get on the treadmill, hon."
"I don't want to."
"I'm sorry, you need to."
"Nooooooo, I said I don't want to."
"I know you said you don't want to.  It's only 30 minutes.  If you just go get it done then you can play on the computer for a bit before bed."
"I want ice cream."
"You can have some ice cream after you get done on the treadmill."
(Stomps off, grumbling under my breath....stupid tradmill, I hate you.  It's not fair....goes on for 28 minutes.)
Then "ok, maybe this wasn't soooooo  bad - but I am not going to tell HER that!!!"

Seriously, it is just ridiculous that I have to play such mind games with myself to get my fat ass up off the couch and get moving for a measly 30 minutes.  I am sad that I let myself get to this point.  I hate that this is such hard work to make these monumental changes in my life.  I am frustrated that I am not happy with the results I have gotten so far.  I think it sucks that I keep hitting these plateaus on the scale and I keep seeing nearly the same big stupid number every day.  I wish I knew what to change to get the "recipe for success" I so deeply desire.  I keep telling myself all the cliches...."Slow and steady", "It's a marathon, not a sprint", "I am making a lifestyle change, not just dieting".  And rest assured, I am not giving up.  I just need to vent.

I know this is a Debbie Downer kind of post.  I'm sorry but I did vow to myself be real with this blog when I created it.  I want to show you that it's not all sunshine and roses and easy happy days.  I am a real person and I have good and bad days just like everyone else.  I hope to have more good days than bad, but I believe that by sharing experiences and being a support system, we give ourselves power and strength.  So thanks for letting me vent.  I am the type of person that needs to "blow and go" every now and then.  I need to vent, scream, yell, cry, stomp and get it all out and then I can move on to a new day.  Thanks for your support and encouragement.  Now let's get the duct tape and shut that little brat up!  I'm gonna go eat my ice cream!  :-)

Monday, April 9, 2012

FU...Coincidence? I think not!

So in case you were wondering after last night's blog post......yup, I earned my dessert tonight.  :-) And it was soooo yummy!

Day 2, week 1 of couch to 5k complete.  FYI - I still hated it lol.  The best part is knowing I did and and being done.

I had a revelation while in the middle of my workout tonight.  I am using a podcast that has music and a voice over the top that tells me when to run and when to walk.  I am convinced that she strategically placed the song "FU" by Celo around the 4th run cycle (the 4th run seems to be the toughest for me).  I wanted to sing along at the top of my lungs "'FU' workout!", but of course I couldn't breathe to even get the words out.

Tonight wasn't easy.  It seemed to be harder to keep going than the night before.  I wanted to stop soooo badly.  I mean really, who would know anyway??  I would.  And I know I have to write about it on here.  Seriously that was the main factor in me finishing that workout tonight and not wussing out and stopping.....was that I felt obligated to report back.  Even if no one ever reads this and I am just typing to myself,  I thank you "all" for holding me accountable.  I want to not feel fat for once in my life.  I want to be a role model for my kids.  I want to succeed.

Here's to building the habit (and hoping I will stop hating it at some point).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Playing the mental game

I have a few confessions to make....I am disappointed with myself for my lack of commitment to working out.  :-(  I have made lots of excuses and have not been holding myself accountable for the work I need to do to meet my goals.  I hate the guilt that comes along with not doing the things you know you are supposed to do.  Eating the right foods, avoiding the wrong foods, downfall is exercise.  I have never enjoyed it, been good at it, been consistent with it, pretty much ever done it unless I was forced to.  I know, that is pathetic.

So I looked at the calendar and realized that time had completely flown by while I blinked and I hadn't even realized it!  It had been 2 weeks since my last workout.  I did Couch to 5k on Friday and then did a 5k (my first ever!) on Saturday.  By the time Saturday night came around I could hardly walk because I had so much pain in my right heel.  I have had this happen once before.  So I was taking it easy and before I knew it 2 weeks had flown by (well maybe technically you could count the day I helped my brother move and the day I had to clean up from water damage in my basement as workouts - but not intentional ones, so I am not counting).  

I had lots of excuses - work was CRAZY busy, my foot hurt, I didn't want to injure it worse, I ran out of time (but oddly managed to find time for facebook and Pinterest.....hmmmm) - seriously I could go on for days.  But Sat for some unknown reason (I'm going with divine intervention) I was in the mood to exercise again.  So I got on the treadmill while Ali was napping and I did Couch to 5k again.  It felt sooooo good to overcome the desire to not work out.  I still hated every minute of it, lol, but I was proud of myself.  And that is a great feeling.  I would much rather be proud of myself instead of being ashamed and disappointed.

And not only was I proud of myself for actually doing it, but I was proud because I pushed myself to run all 9 times during the workout (I only did 4 last time).  I was coming up with all kinds of excuses in my head the entire time....I am just getting started so it's ok to ease into it.  If I did better than last time it's still better.  Even if I slow down now, it's still better than doing nothing.....again, I could go on for days.  But I didn't let myself quit.  For me, it was important to know that I had 9 runs to go and every one I completed was one less that I still had to do.  I counted them down.  I wanted to stop.  But I wanted to succeed more.  And I did.  And I loved the feeling of pride I had for myself for not giving up.  For pushing myself to finish. :-)

So that was when I realized that in order to get consistent with the exercise, I may have to break out the mental games.  What do I love??  Yup, food.  Especially dessert.  But it's getting harder for me to justify dessert (even if it is a better choice....a Weight Watcher ice cream bar and only 3 points) if I haven't done anything to earn it.  So I decided to use my want as a way to motivate myself.  I have decided that will only allow myself a dessert if I have done at least a 30 minute workout.  I think it will be a way for me to realize the consequences of my choices and hopefully to begin to build a habit.  Should I use food as a reward? Prob not. But I figure at this point a 3 pt WW chocolate bar is the lesser of 2 evils.  Let's get he habit built on something I was already doing and then maybe I can work on building a better habit to replace that one with. 

So how was tonight, you ask???  Sadly, no dessert.  My laundry list of excuses include:  we had family over for Easter dinner, after they left, Ali fell asleep on my lap, after I got her to bed I was tired.  So I still have work to do to stop the excuses and do it anyway.  But I am making the first steps - to realize that I am making excuses and to hold myself accountable.  So no dessert tonight.  But you can bet your sweet ass I will be getting one tomorrow!!!  :-)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Honey Balsamic carrots

I am trying to branch out from only eating corn, green beans and salad as my veggies.  This was a recipe we tried this week with our baked salmon and rice.  It wasn't a total wowza, but wasn't a flop either.  We will definitely be having this again.

1-2 lbs.
2 Tbsp
olive oil
1/4 tsp each
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp
1/4 cup
balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Clean and peel the carrots. Cut the carrots into one-inch sections (cut on a diagonal for more visual appeal).

STEP 2: Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place the carrots on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the carrots to coat. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes, stirring once half way through.

STEP 3: During the last ten minutes of cooking, prepare the balsamic glaze. Combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small pot. Simmer the mixture over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes or until thickened. Once thickened, turn off the heat and stir in the butter until melted.

STEP 4: When the carrots come out of the oven, drizzle with the honey balsamic glaze and toss to coat. Serve warm!

Homemade Chipotle burrito bowls....YES, please!

I have a total weakness for mexican food (ask my hubby)!  I could probably eat mexican food for lunch and dinner 5-7 days a week.  I will be completely honest by telling you that Chipotle is my favorite restaurant!!!  The bowl that I order there is 18 points for the entire bowl.  I will plan  my points in the day to save up for that meal!  I will save my extra weekly points for that meal.  I might even think about working out for that meal....yeah, major!  And my family all enjoys eating there too (bonus)!

I have shared with you before the recipe I found for Cilantro-Lime rice (a HUGE thank you to Skinnytaste - I LOVE her blog!).  I make it REGULARLY and it is a HUGE hit with the family!  So when I found the recipe for Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork) I was over the moon thrilled!!!!  I have been looking forward to making this meal for over a week since I made our weekly plan and went shopping!  And if this was a hit with the fam, it would make a MUCH cheaper alternative!!!

Anyone that knows me knows that I don't like to try new things.  Especially recipes.  I mean, really this was like messing with an institution in my house!  What if it was a fail.....but I put those fears and doubt out of my mind, and instead looked forward to a fantastic meal!!!  So I was just thrilled when this meal received a enthusiastic thumbs up from all the family members tonight. It really is nearly spot on to the chain I love so much!!

So here's how you can make them at home yourself.  

Pork Carnitas
·                     2.5 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed (I used Smithfield)
·                     6 cloves garlic, cut into sliver
·                     cumin
·                     dry adobo seasoning (I used Goya)
·                     garlic powder
·                     3/4 cup 99% fat free chicken broth
·                     2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to taste)
·                     2 bay leaves

 pork with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan on medium-high heat,brown pork on all sides for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Using a sharp knife,
 insert blade into pork, cutting small holes and insert garlic slivers. Season pork generously with cumin, adobo and garlic powder all over.

 chicken broth in the crockpot, add bay leaves and chipotle peppers. Place pork in crock pot and cover. Cook low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, shred pork using two forks and combine well with the juices that accumalated at the bottom. Remove bay leaves and adjust salt and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.
Browning the pork first is essential so don't skip this step. Pork shoulder is very inexpensive and you can make a few meals out of this. Be sure to buy the boneless pork shoulder blade roast, as it is leaner than the pork shoulder picnic. The prep for this is about 15 minutes the night before. Get it ready and refrigerate it so you simply take it out and plug it in when you get up. Serve this with tortillas, use in burritos, or simply have this with cilantro lime rice. You can make your own Chipotles burrito bowl with lettuce, sour cream, corn salsa, guacamole, or whatever else you usually put in yours!

Adobo Spice - I couldn't find this when shopping at the store.  So I put my smartphone to good use and googled it.  I could order it online, but anyone that knows me knows I am an instant gratification girl, so I wasn't thrilled about that option.  But then I found a make your own recipe....wohoo!  Saved!  So here is the one I used.


  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder


  1. In a bowl, stir together the salt, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder. Store in a sealed jar in a cool, dry place.

Cilantro-Lime Rice - use my previously posted's a winner!

Pico de Gillo
Fresh tomatoes, diced
Red onion, diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Lime juice to taste
Salt to taste

Add other toppings of your choice:
Beans - Black or Pinto
Fajita veggies - sauted white onion and green pepper
Sour Cream - I used fat free :-)
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Pico de gillo
Or anything else you want!

The finished product!

For those of you wanting WW points, that's difficult for me to say simply because it depends on what you put in your bowl and how much.  I estimate it to be close to a Chipotle bowl by the time that you add everything in...
Meat - 4pp for 1/2 cup (4oz)
Rice - 5pp for 3/4 cup