Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

I am looooooooong overdue for posting a new food recipe.  So y'all can thank my kids for tonight's little gem!  I had planned to treat them to chinese takeout (while I enjoyed my shake) but a fight ensued among the older children so I scrapped the treat and opted to cook at home for their punishment.....awwwww crap!  That means punishment for me too because now I have to figure out what to cook....boooo!

Ok, so I had defrosted some chicken breasts earlier with the hopes of having time to make the baked sweet and sour chicken that they love....no dice.  No time for that.  That's why I was opting for takeout.  So I scoured the pantry to come up with a plan C.  Let me tell you that my kiddos are picky eaters.  What one likes, the other hates.  So I pulled out my notebook of Pinterest recipes and found a new recipe that was neutral ground.  Yup, I opted for Switzerland tonight!  And bonus....it was a chicken recipe so I could use the meat that I already had thawed....score!  And double bonus....it only had 3 other ingredients, all of which I had on hand....winner!  And what a winner this recipe was!  So I was almost thankful that my kids had a fight....almost.

So if you are looking for a fast, simple, yummy, and low cal chicken recipe, be sure you try this one!

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package Good Season dry Italian Dressing mix
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix cheese, dressing mix and garlic powder
  3. Moisten chicken breasts with water, coat with cheese mixture.
  4. Place in shallow baking dish.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
Seriously, how easy is that?!?!?!?  Love it!  And all the kids liked it (shocking!!!!).  This recipe will for sure make the dinner rotation again soon!

I paired this dish with Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
  • 4 cups cubed Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the cubed potatoes into a baking dish. (The cubes of potatoes should be about 3/4 of an inch on all sides) You can spray the baking dish with a baking spray too to eliminate anything possibly sticking
  3. Pile on the olive oil, garlic salt, salt, paprika, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Using your fingers, or a spoon if you feel inclined, get in to the potatoes and carefully mix everything around until the seasonings coat each potato.
  4. Transfer the baking dish into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss the potatoes with a pair of tongs. Put the baking dish back into the oven and bake for about 15 – 25 minutes more until they are golden and crispy.
  5. Season with an little dusting of sea salt if desired and serve.
And green beans for a veggie.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

The big 5-0!!!!!

Well my birthday is coming up (next month), but it won't be the big 5-0 yet.  I am referring to hitting the big 5-0 in weight lost.......wooooooo hooooooo!  What a change this year has been!  50 pounds gone....I just can't even comprehend it.  I can't believe it.  It seems surreal.  I still feel like I will wake up from a dream and be back to 280 pounds again.  But I am celebrating this huge milestone and continuing on with the positive changes I have made this year.  It's crazy to see how differently I am eating and the fact that I am actually working out on a semi-regular basis.

I am so thankful for whatever it was that sparked these changes.  I still don't know what exactly it was.  Possibly seeing myself looking like a beached whale in a photo my mom took last year.  But I am thankful to whatever it was and even more glad that it has continued.  I have never stuck to changes like this for even close to this length of time. I am thankful for the progress, for the motivation, and for feeling better than I ever have before. I am truly blessed!

Here is a comparison photo....Father's Day 2011 and today (forgive the lack of makeup and terrible hair...we were in the pool today).  50 pounds lighter.

Thanks to you all for your support in my journey....through the good and the bad.  Here's to another great year!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Did I just miss the end of the world??

Ok, I think I missed the end of the world!!  Something really crazy happened already this morning....I got up early to exercise.....GASP!!!!  Yeah, anyone that knows me well knows I am a total night owl.  Mornings are NOT my thing.  In fact, they are the root of all evil in my book.  I would sleep until noon every day if given the chance....but I'm not.....I have kids, so that means no sleep.

So why the radical change you ask?  What happened to shift the planets into alignment?  Well, I have been having trouble getting my workouts in during the evenings.  My husband is working 12 hour shifts in a very physical job so when he gets home at 6:30, he is TIRED!  Sometimes he falls asleep in the chair....I don't blame him one bit!  So I have dinner to get ready and entertaining a 3 year old who hasn't seen us all day and is clingy!   And I feel guilty not spending time with her when she wants it and working out instead.  So I usually try to go get on the treadmill after she goes to bed, but some nights I have just lost any motivation to workout by that point.   And yes, to those that think I am crazy, sometimes working out in the evening makes it harder for me to go to sleep.

So since I have been having trouble getting my workouts in this week, I decided to try a morning workout.  So I set the clock about 20 minutes earlier and did 15 minutes on the elliptical - which by the way is becoming my new best workout friend (well isn't THAT an oxymoron!) since I can burn a lot more calories on it faster than on the treadmill.  I still like the treadmill best overall, but who doesn't love to get a better workout in less time....uh yeah, me for sure!  The less time I have to spend working out and the more calories I burn doing it (while not hating it) the better!

So here's to continued improvement on my journey to being healthier....who'd-a-thunkit??  Not me, that's for sure!  I'd better go buy a lottery ticket today!  Happy Friday y'all!!!  :o)

and bonus points for the totally appropriate photo!!!  :o)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Extreme Makeover - Weight Loss Edition

I have really gotten addicted to watching 2 hour shows while getting my treadmill workout in.  Yeah, I never saw that one coming!   I have to say that watching diet shows while working out is quite an improvement over watching them while sitting on the couch stuffing my face with fast food or ice cream like I used to do.

I really like to watch a 2 hour show, which condenses down to about 90 min after I fast forward through commercials.  I get a good pace in and a good workout.  And some actual quiet mommy time.....ahhhhhhh!

So my favorite show this summer is for sure Extreme Makeover - Weight Loss Edition (Sundays @ 9/8 central).  Being on a weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey myself, I find this kind of show very motivational to watch.  While I like, and sometimes watch, the Biggest Loser, I don't like the drama that the contestants bring out to win the big prize.  I think that a weight loss journey is so much bigger than the monetary prize.  So I have fallen in love with EM-WLE!  I love that it is 1:1 - trainer and participant.  I especially love that the contestants live their real lives at home, where drama, life, temptation and more happens.  I like that they have to figure out how to learn to shop for groceries, learn to cook new healthier recipes, figure out how to balance work, family, and working out into their daily routines.  Yes, I am not oblivious to the fact that it is still produced "reality" tv and it is probably not as challenging as a person doing it without the help of a tv show and production crew, but it just seems more real than many shows these days.  To me, this show is truly and genuinely about helping severely unhealthy people take the opportunity to get their life back and truly make a life changing journey to a healthier lifestyle.  Chris, the trainer, really seems to invest in the clients he helps.  And that is what I think these shows should be all about.

So if you are looking for a great and motivational show to watch this summer, I suggest you check this one out!   You can even catch up on previous episodes from this season on ABC.com!  In fact, I do think it's treadmill time for me now....time to go catch up on last week's episode.  Happy watching all!!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Who is your #1?

Support – to keep something or somebody stable; to give active help and encouragement

Have you surrounded yourself with an incredible support system?  Who is your number one supporter?  That person that
·         Holds you accountable
·         Challenges you, pushes you, encourages you
·         you can lean on when you are having a bad day and eating everything in sight
·          understands your hatred for the treadmill (or exercise in general)
·         will tell you if an outfit is flattering on you or not or if in fact that size fits you or not
·         gives you great ideas of new foods or exercise to try
·         talks you through a plateau
·         understands all that a significant lifestyle change for the healthier entails and the trials and tribulations along the way

I wanted to share my story of how I came to know my #1 cheerleader and our recent girl’s weekend.

Fate is an amazing thing.  I believe that people are brought into your life for a reason.  2 years ago a friend of a friend on Facebook was looking for a photographer to take her son’s senior photos.  I saw that my friend had commented on her post, so it showed up in my news feed.  As a photographer, I commented, joking that if she wanted to take a roadtrip to where we lived I would love to do them for her.  Nothing came of the photo shoot, but we became facebook friends.  I never knew how that one comment would change my life.  Crazy!!

Through something as simple as facebook we began to get to know each other through status updates.  Not surprising I guess, as we are both facebook addicts lol.   We found that we have very similar stories – both are remarried.  Both are working moms.  Both are very open, wear our hearts on our sleeve kinda people.  Both have similar likes and dislikes.  Both recently started on the biggest journey of our life – to become healthier and lose a significant amount of weight.  Melissa started on her journey almost a year ago (Aug 1) by joining Weight Watchers.  I also started making changes to my lifestyle about this time too, but not as dramatically as she did.   While I started the very beginning of my diet and lifestyle change in August, I didn’t really get 100% serious until January.  That’s when I started logging my weight, really committing to watching my diet consistently, trying to introduce exercise, etc.

Melissa faithfully posts a weekly photo on facebook to show her progress to hold herself accountable.  Along the way I started noticing a major change in how she was looking.  Her face was getting thinner.  She was losing weight.   I would comment on her weekly progress post, giving her kudos for a job well done, encouraging her on.  She inspired me to begin taking photos of myself to document my progress, though I wasn’t “out of the diet closet yet” and sharing that I had begin this journey, much less my progress.  It was my own little secret.  I was writing the blog, but was using it as my own therapy and not sharing with anyone.  
It was about Feb when I suddenly noticed a significant change between my FB profile picture and my weekly progress photo.  I was excited to see the changes in my own face and posted on facebook .  That photo was received by many positive comments and people asking if I had lost weight and what was I doing.  It was at that moment that I “came out of the diet closet” and began sharing my story with others, hoping that I could help inspire at least one person the way that Melissa has inspired and continues to inspire me.
We just “get” each other.  We have been through the “good weeks” together.  We have been through plateaus together.  We struggle with food the same ways.  We both struggle to stay on the wagon and not slip back into our previously bad habits.  We give each other new snack and meal ideas.  Exercise has not been something we enjoy or have been good at or consistent.  When one of us is having a bad or an off day, the other offers words of encouragement that only a fellow dieter can understand.  We don’t judge.  We support….no matter what!  Without envy, or jealousy.  Just true friendship and support.

So while seeing her weekly progress photos, I noticed we also have similar taste in clothing.  She was always wearing such cute outfits!!!  And she would post status updates of her bargain shopping adventures – that girl knows her way around the clearance rack!  So as my weight continued to drop off, in such a way that a new wardrobe was becoming more and more necessary, I told her we were going to need to plan a girl’s weekend shopping trip so she could help me find some new things.  So a plan was born!  I drove almost 5 hours to her house last weekend for the most relaxing and pampering weekend I have spent in a long time, maybe ever.  From the minute I hit her front door we were instantly confirmed that a truly great friendship had been formed.  We chatted until late into the night.  She introduced me to some new food ideas.  We got pedis.  And of course we shopped our hearts out!

I normally hate shopping with anyone else.  I am not a good person to shop with.  I don’t like to shop for clothes because I don’t like the way they fit on me. I wander around the store, usually several times, looking at the same items.  I pick up a few to try on.  I HATE the way I look in the dressing room mirrors!  I usually find that the things that were cute on the rack I don't like on me.  So I often waste time in the whole process and go home frustrated and empty handed.  So I tend to only shop if I NEED something.  But I was at the point now where I NEEDED to get new clothes so I had to shop.  I had multiple people telling me I was looking "frumpy" and my clothes were hanging off of me.  And they were right.  So my thought was that if I had to go shopping I might as well do it with someone who has great taste, mad bargain skills, who has my back (and the honesty to tell when something is HOT or NOT) and just make it as fun as possible.  

And BOY oh boy was that the right call!  I had the best time shopping I have ever had.  We found the cutest things!  I actually enjoyed shopping for once!  Of course, what's not to love when you are trying on sizes smaller than you have even been able to think about  in a loooooooong time and you have someone telling you how great you look! What a treat that was!!  For pants I was a wider range, 20, 18, even one 16!!  I even got a skirt that was a size LARGE....crazy!  I didn't buy a SINGLE top that was larger than a 1x.....wow what a strange change that was!  I still don't feel like it's sunk in and I've adjusted yet to seeing the new sizes in my closet.  I know my old clothes are baggy and loose (but they are familiar, comfortable and safe) and the new clothes fit but I still seem to be seeing the 280 pound fat me when I look in the mirror or wear clothes.

I firmly believe that when you go through such a life changing transformation like this you NEED to have people (at least one person) in your life that will regularly, continuously tell you encouraging things....how great you look, how great you are doing, etc.  You need to begin hearing the compliments and get to the point where you begin accepting them.  I have begun to realize that at my heaviest, I had a broken soul.  I had lost my self worth.  I was not confident in myself.  I was the fat person that no one, including myself, should want to love.  I was hiding from myself and the world behind food and my fat.  I didn't realize how truly unhappy I was on the inside.  But the person you truly are within, at your very core, is a strong, confident, beautiful, sexy, vibrant person.  You just need to find that and allow yourself the gift of becoming the person you were meant to be.  You deserve to be all of those things.  But you have to keep telling yourself that and hearing it for it to begin sinking in, and allow it to sink in.  It is a process, a journey, and takes time to migrate away from the former state of self-loathing and negative thoughts to being truly loving yourself and who you are.

So I encourage you, if you are going through the journey to changing your life, becoming healthy and losing weight, make sure that you have a #1 Cheerleader in your life.  Find a great support system and surround yourself with encouraging people that will build you up and help you to realize amazing person that is inside you, begging to come out.  You deserve to find happiness, confidence, and inner beauty.  Embrace it!  Enjoy it!

So in closing, I ask you.....who is your number one?