Meal Planning

I Lost 100 Pounds: But Gained So Much More!

I Lost 100 Pounds: But Gained So Much More

I lost 100 pounds! I lost more than my youngest kid weighs. It’s an amazing feeling, but it hasn’t been easy. I fought for every ounce I lost, scolded myself for every pound I re-gained, and celebrated every single step I took toward achieving my goal. During this process, I dealt with countless obstacles and it would have been so easy for me to give up. I even did for a little while. When I first began my journey, I weighed in at 278.6 pounds and had type 2 diabetes. But, y’all already know that. Right now, I’m 178.6 pounds and in no danger of being diabetic!

According to the Lose It! app, it took me 23 months and 16 days to achieve my goal of losing 100 pounds. Not too bad considering that I stopped trying for quite a few months and was limited on physical activity due to having a hysterectomy. Once I was released, it was on! I may have lost 100 pounds but I’ve gained so much more from this journey!

Love, Acceptance & Patience

Before I began, and even during, this journey, I didn’t love or accept myself and you can forget about having patience with myself. I didn’t hate myself but I wasn’t pleased at all. Each time I looked in the mirror or caught a glimpse of myself elsewhere, I would cringe and automatically focus on my flaws. My face was fat, my belly stuck out further than my boobs, etc.

Throughout this journey, somewhere, and I can’t pinpoint where, I fell in love with myself. I learned to accept myself for who I am and not worry about what I’m not. My patience was severely tested each time the scale didn’t move or someone would poke fun at me for measuring my food. I learned that I had to wait for my body to catch, which it always did. And, for those who poked fun at me, who’s laughing now, huh?

Perfect Does NOT Exist

For a type A person like me, perfection is always the end-result. Well, forget about it because that shit doesn’t exist. Repeat after me: there’s NO such thing as perfect! If you wait for all conditions to be perfect to start, you’ll never start anything. Life isn’t perfect – there’s highs and lows and in-betweens and you gotta learn to roll with it. Enjoy the good moments, learn from the not-so-good moments, and chill out in the in-betweens.

I’m Capable

I’ve learned that I’m more than capable to achieving anything I set my mind to. My body is capable of working hard and doing more than I ever thought possible. I’m capable of making changes and sticking with them. I’m capable of walking away from food when it doesn’t serve me in a positive way. I’m capable of processing my emotions without using food for comfort. The point is, I’m capable!

Strength, Confidence & Determination

I cannot begin to articulate just how strong, confident, and determined I feel now. It’s amazing to feel this way about myself and I’m enjoying every second of it. Yes, I still have some work to do, but I’ve already come so far. My confidence is through the roof these days and that’s taking some getting used to. I’ve always been somewhat determined and everyone tells me they wish they had my strength, but I don’t remember the last time I truly felt strong and determined. I’ve never felt it like I feel it now, I can tell you that.

I used to give up fairly easily when things weren’t going the way I thought they should go. But, one quote has changed my mindset for the better:

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore and I’m much happier because of it!

Food Isn’t Evil

I’ve never thought of food as evil, but I’ve had many other thoughts about it in the past. I’ve learned that I don’t have to give up the food I enjoy to achieve my goals. It all comes to moderation! I still get my iced coffee from Dunkin’ but I get a small or medium instead of a large. You notice I said “a”? I only get one when I used to get multiple. I try to stick to no more than 2 Dunkin’ runs per week. I don’t feel deprived of something I enjoy but it’s not enough to wreck all the work I’ve done.

I no longer run to the chips or cookies or cakes when I’m upset, which is much less often these days. I’ve actually started craving healthy foods, like celery. Who the hell craves celery?! I know that’s what you’re thinking. But, I do. I’ve gained so much more knowledge about food and nutrition and getting healthy the proper way that it no longer bothers me when junk food is brought into the house. I’m just like, “eh, whatever” and I keep it moving.

What’s Next?

I’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time and this still isn’t my stop. I’ve set a new goal of 160 pounds and I’ve added strength training to my routine. I currently walk 3.25 miles most mornings and workout with weights after that. I wake up at 5 am every day so I can get an early start on my walk to beat the heat. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t (it’s very hot and humid here). I’ll evaluate things again once I hit 160 and go from there. I’m not aiming for a specific number on the scale; I’m aiming for what makes me happy and healthy.

Lost 100 Pounds But Gained So Much More

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3 Benefits of Meal Planning

Meal planning is different than meal prepping….try not to confuse the two. Meal planning is simply the act of planning what meals you’re going to prepare for the week ahead. Meal prepping, on the other hand, is the act of actually putting those meals together and freezing them so you don’t have to cook all week. See the difference? I don’t generally meal prep because I don’t like wasting food. It never fails, as soon as I’ve prepped my meals, I’m not in the mood for what I’ve prepped and I end up throwing it in the trash. Now that I’ve filled you in on the difference, it’s time to dive into the three benefits of meal planning.

Saves Time

Who doesn’t want to save time when it’s such a precious commodity?! I’m all about saving myself as much time as I possibly can! I sit down each week, usually on Saturday, and plan out our meals ahead of time. I make my grocery list based on the meals we’re having, adding the staples, of course, and head out to the grocery store.

How does this save time? I don’t have to think about dinner for the next week. All I have to do is take out the meat so it thaws and cook it. I’m not trying to figure out dinner every day and then have someone tell me they’re not in the mood for whatever I’ve taken out to cook. It also saves time in the grocery store because I know exactly what I need to buy. If I don’t need anything on an aisle, I don’t go down that aisle! My goal is to get in, get what I gotta get, and get out.

Saves Money

Because my list is specific to dinners for the next week, I don’t buy stuff I don’t need, which means I’m saving money! I only buy enough to get us through that meal plan (ok, maybe some extra snacks for the kid) so I’m not totally shocked when I get through self-checkout and see the total. Meal planning also saves me money because we’re not ordering out because no one could decide or agree on what to have for dinner.

If you’re having salad or other dishes that call for fresh ingredients, do not buy these too far ahead of time because they’ll go bad before you get to use them.

It’s Healthy

When you plan your meals ahead of time, you know exactly what you’re making so you can make a healthier version. There’s no guessing as to what’s in the dish because you made it yourself. For example, last night we tried a Pinterest pesto chicken crock pot recipe. Only the chicken and pesto had to cook in the crock pot and I can eat that. However, it calls for cooked pasta to be added at the end. Well, I cooked regular pasta for the guys and whole grain pasta for myself. I know exactly what was in my dinner last night because I measured it and made it.

Meal planning also gives you the added benefit of being able to make dishes healthier for you. If your family loves a certain dish and it’s always on your menu, take some time to research ways you can make it better for you. I bet you could make it healthier and your family wouldn’t even notice! I get the whole family involved in meal planning because they eat here, too.

Weekly Meal PlanDo you want to start meal planning but don’t know where to start? My weekly meal planner printable will help you get started. On the left are the days of the week for you to write down your menu. The right is a shopping list; only use this list for the items you need to complete your meal plan first, then add everything else you may need. I keep this in my Filofax and take it with me when I head out to the grocery store. It’s a great way to get started and help keep you going.

I don’t follow this plan to the letter; sometimes I jump around depending on everyone’s mood but we always eat meals that have been planned ahead of time. Enter your email address below to download this free weekly meal planner today!

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Brace Yourself: There is NO Quick Fix

Brace Yourself - There is NO Quick Fix

I’ve been on every fad diet imaginable over the years and there’s one thing they all have in common – THEY DON’T WORK! How many of you have bought into diet pills or other “guaranteed” methods of weight loss? If you raised your hand, the next fact is going to surprise you. Americans spend over $60 billion a year on weight loss products. $60 billion! And you thought eating healthy food was expensive.

I don’t care what any of these products say, there is NO quick fix for weight loss! You have to put in the work, which is why so many people fail at weight loss. We get lazy and look for a miracle pill that’s going to melt the fat away. No matter where you look, you’re never going to find it. Stop spending your hard earned money on fad diets and invest in YOURSELF. How do you do that?

You start by realizing that you DESERVE to take time for yourself. Your health should be your top priority and these fad diets are wreaking havoc on your health. Diet pills, for example, aren’t good for your heart and can increase your blood pressure. When you yo-yo diet, you lose fat and muscle, but, when you re-gain the weight, you actually gain more. Stop doing this to yourself!

Instead of wasting your money on fly-by-night fads, invest in a good pair of running/walking shoes and budget more for groceries so you can buy healthy foods. Weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Yep, you read that right. On July 27, 2015, I was 278 pounds and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I was put on metformin and lost more than 60 pounds in 6 months (weight loss is a side effect of the medication). At my 6 month check up, I was taken off the metformin and, within a year, I gained back all but 20 pounds. Why? Because I didn’t fully commit to changing my lifestyle.

It all starts with committing to making a change and always following through. That’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but it’s the one thing that will literally save your life. Trust me – I know. As of February 1, I’ve fully committed myself to getting healthy. At my last visit with the doctor, I was 259 pounds. I’m currently 196 pounds and I feel amazing!

There’s been no medication, no fad diets, no strict programs, no special food. It’s just been me, my Skechers GoRun shoes, my FitBit, the Lose It app, lots of lean protein, and all the fruits and veggies I can get.

Brace Yourself There is NO Quick FIx

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The Importance of Being Intentional

The Importance of Being Intentional: Why Goal Setting is Important

Each and every one of us has goals we want to achieve. What good are goals if you never follow through to achieve them? Those aren’t goals; they’re dreams. Goals are things to work hard to achieve to make your life better. It’s important to be intention when setting your goals so that you’re more likely to achieve them.

How to Be Intentional

Be realistic. Don’t set goals so high you’ll never reach them. That’s a form of self-sabotage and you’re not going to do that. Even if you think your goals are too small, so what. We all have to start somewhere! For example, when I first began my weight loss journey (again), my goals were to drink 2 bottles of water each day and get 5,000 steps per day. Those are small goals to me now, but, back then, they were huge!

Write them Down. To make your goals more concrete, you should write them down. Keep the paper somewhere you can see it regularly, like the fridge or your desk. I like to type my goals out in my Notes app and share them to Instagram. Why? Because sharing them with others makes me want to work hard to achieve them.

Plan Ahead. I can’t stress the importance of planning enough! It will help hold you accountable and keep you on track. Use a calendar or a daily planner to help you plan for the week ahead in case you could get thrown off course. If one of your goals is to exercise 3 days per week, take a look at your calendar to see what the best 3 days are. There’s no need to be caught off guard!

Tell Others. Nothing makes you want to follow through more than knowing others are watching you. Let me be clear – you’re not telling others about your goals so that you achieve them for those people. You’re telling others to help hold you accountable to yourself. This helps you set goals that you’re more likely to achieve.

Being intentional when setting your goals helps set you up for success. Don’t even think about setting a goal that you know you can’t or won’t achieve; it’s not worth the disappointment.

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My Battle with Emotional Eating

My Battle with Emotional Eating

It’s no secret that I battle emotional eating and it’s something I’ll battle every single day for the rest of my life. Here lately, it’s gotten the better of me and I’ve spent some time trying to figure out why I’m reverting back to old habits. I’ve been doing so well at staying on track with my food and exercise, but twice last week I found myself eating just to eat. Here’s what happened last week.

Tuesday

I had to have a thyroid biopsy done that worried the shit out of me. I’ve never had a biopsy of any sort done before and I didn’t know what to expect. Sure, the doctors communicated the procedure to me, but, until you’ve gone through it, you really don’t know exactly what to expect. My husband wasn’t allowed to come back with me and I was scared to death. I wasn’t able to workout before the biopsy and that alone put me in a rough mood.

The biopsy consisted of me lying on my back, with my head tilted up and to the right, while sinus drainage ran down my throat. I couldn’t clear my throat, cough or even swallow. Talk about being miserable. The doctor began by injecting lidocaine in my throat to numb the surface and then numbed the nodule on my thyroid. From there, 5 other needles were stuck into my throat to draw the cells out of the nodule.

The damn lidocaine didn’t work as well as I would have liked but I made it. My throat was sore all day and then the bruising began. I felt tired all day after that and just wanted to sleep. Of course, I couldn’t sleep because I had work to do. I ended up finishing my work somewhat early and lounged around the couch for the rest of the day. During that time, I drank several cans of ginger ale and ate 2 sleeves of saltine crackers. Damn…

Wednesday

This day was much better; I exercised in the morning like I normally do and managed to stay on track all day. I didn’t have any appointments and was able to go about my day as usual.

Thursday

I had a second interview first thing in the morning, so no exercise again. The interview went well, I think, but I won’t know anything until Monday. I stopped at Dunkin’ on my way home to grab a medium iced coffee. When I got home, I had to get straight to work, which meant no time for a workout. I was slammed with work because I got a late start. I ended up eating a chocolate bunny and drinking the last several cans of ginger ale.

What Have I Learned?

I learned quite a bit about myself last week; some of it wasn’t new and some of it really irritated me. I don’t do well when my schedule is thrown off. Nothing new there. What I learned that really irritated me was that I’ll make any excuse to eat junk because that’s exactly what I did both days. I let my schedule being thrown off be the excuse for me to eat what I wanted, when I wanted.

I also learned that my battle with emotional eating is far from won. Both days last week were very stressful, in their own way, and I just didn’t handle it very well. I’m still stressed about the results of the biopsy but I’m not eating the stress away. I know eating doesn’t help my situation but that doesn’t stop me from doing it.

It looks like I’ve got a lot more work to do to overcome emotional eating. Learning new techniques and tricks are at the top of my to do list. I’m tired of sabotaging myself especially when I get so close to my goal!

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How I Set the Tone for My Day

How I Set the Tone for My Day

I recently read a blog post about setting the tone for your day and it intrigued me. After reading it, I realized that we are responsible for how our days go. With that being said, I started thinking about how I set the tone for my day or rather how I wasn’t. I used to just get up in the morning and start my day automatically. Things are a bit different now and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Set Goals for the Day

I set small goals for myself for the day first thing in the morning. Okay, not exactly first thing in the morning; I do need my coffee. The goals I set for myself aren’t big ones; just ones that help keep me motivated and on track. Some of my goals are the same each day, such as completing my to do list. Others are different depending on what I have to do that day. For example, if I have appointments in the morning, one of my goals is to walk the park instead of my usual route.

Think Positively

Believe it or not, the first thought we have in the morning influences our tone for the day. I never really thought about this until I read the post. Since then, I’ve started having more positive thoughts in the morning. Instead of waking up at 5 am on Monday, thinking “ugh, Monday”, I wake up at 5 am on Monday and think “It’s going to be a productive start to the week!”. Kinda sounds corny, I know, but it works!

Be Flexible

Admittedly, this one is difficult for me because I’m a planner gal. Y’all know how much I love planning my days and I don’t handle it well when things don’t go as planned. But, I’m learning to be more flexible when it comes to this. Things don’t always go like you think they should and there’s no sense getting pissed off about it. Remember this…

Exercise

I’ve found that I have to exercise first thing in the morning. Not only does it help clear my mind, it also makes be happier and keeps me from overeating. Exercising is something that I do for myself every day. It’s good for my mental and physical health.

Morning Routine

Keeping my morning routine is essential for me if I want to complete my to do list. This routine consists of enjoying my coffee, having breakfast, and cleaning up around the house. If I have a busy day at the office or with appointments, I move pretty quickly. However, if I have a slow day, I take my sweet time…with 2 exceptions. I don’t rush through my coffee or my breakfast; that’s my time to reflect on yesterday and prepare for today.

Did you know that you’re responsible for setting the tone of your day? Not many of us realize it, but it’s true. Your attitude is completely up to you. Don’t waste anymore of your precious time worrying about things you can’t control or change; accept what is and move on.

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Does Planning Help with Weight Loss?

Does Planning Help with Weight Loss? Learn how a daily planner can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Y’all know that I’m a planner junkie and I’m never without my Filofax. I’m often asked a lot of questions about it when I’m out about how I use it, if I decorate it, and so on. I’m never at a loss for words when it comes to “my book” and I’m always excited when someone asks me about it. Now that I’m back to losing weight, I’ve been asked how it helps me with that and I thought I’d share my answer with the world. Does planning help with weight loss? You bet your ass it does and here’s how!

Stay on Track

I use my Filofax for every thing under the sun, including staying on track with my weight loss. For me, I have to write everything down in order for it to get done. When it’s written down and I get to check it off, I feel so accomplished and eager to get more done. This helps me stay on track with everything I need to. Although I log my food in the LoseIt app, I still use my Filofax to write certain things down regarding food. Keep reading to find out what those are.

Meal Planning

Once a week, I sit down with the hubs and plan our meals. I have to do this twice most times because of the differences in how I eat these days. There are a ton of meal planning printables available on Pinterest you can use as your meal planner or get ideas from to create your own. When I first started meal planning, I used some pages I bought from Target (gotta love the dollar spot!).

Target Dollar Spot Meal Planner

When I was using this, the hubs and I sat down on Sundays and planned out our dinners. Since he works long hours and the kid is in school, dinner is the only family meal (during the week) I need to plan out. For me, however, I plan out all 3 meals.

This worked out very well for me when I was using the week on 2 pages inserts, but, now that I’m using the day one 1 page inserts again, I needed to make a change. I now write my meals done on my day on 1 page inserts to keep everything in one place.

Daily Meal Plan

Track activity

I’m not big on decorating my inserts or using stickers, except when it comes to tracking my activity. I bought some small heart stickers from Amazon a while ago that I use to indicate when I worked out. I don’t put these on my daily pages; I use them on my month on 2 pages. This allows me to see, at a glance, how I’m doing with activity for the month. My daily pages is where I write down what activity I’m going to do. For instance, when the weather is nice, I go on a 2 mile walk outside. Instead of writing “workout” on my daily page, I’ll write “2 mi walk”. If we all do something active as a family, I write that down, too.

More Organized

Being organized is huge for me because I always have so much going on. My Filofax is where I write down everything I need, want, and have to do on a daily basis. I write all appointments down on the month on 2 pages insert and on the daily page of the appointment. My monthly view is used for setting appointments so I need to write them on the daily page as well or I’ll forget all about them. It may seem like I’m doing extra work but it works for me. I know who has what going on at any given time and that makes me happy!

Held accountable

If there’s ever a day when I ate terribly or I didn’t get in any activity, I always go back to my Filofax to find out what happened. I try to keep these days to a minimum but they still happen sometimes. If I’m out all day with appointments and running errands, I know that I need to plan ahead and pack a lunch, throw some snacks in my bag, and figure out how to get in the activity I need. I really don’t like leaving tasks unchecked in my book, so I do everything I can to do everything I’ve written down. Even if I don’t feel like it, I get it done…most of the time.

Do you still thinking planning doesn’t help with weight loss? Planning is an essential part of my life; without it I would probably be sitting on the couch, staring into space. You need to find out what works for you and run with it. Need help or advice? Contact me today and I’ll help you get on the right track!

Does Planning Help with Weight Loss? Learn how functional planning can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

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