Operation Skinny Jeans

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Since tomorrow is all about thankfulness (and turkey, lets be honest) I thought I would take a moment to be thankful today.

I try to be thankful every day of the year, because I think it's important to cherish what you have. Because of that I started keeping a gratitude journal a while back, and it has really helped me focus on the amazing things in my life.

First, my husband. Andy is my best friend and I am so lucky to get to spend the rest of my life with him. Fun fact- tomorrow is our 4 year wedding anniversary :D Every year we take an anniversary photo, and I am excited to take ours tomorrow. These are our past ones.

Secondly I am thankful for my family. My parents and sisters are the bomb and I am glad we have each other .  I am also one of the lucky ones who's in-laws are really awesome. They are my family and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love getting to see them all this time of year. 

I am thankful for my friends. I have some of the best friends a woman could ask for. My friend Alex has known me for almost 10 years, and I couldn't imagine life without her. And my friend Sonya has only been in my life for the last year or so, but I can't imagine life without her either. These women support me through thick and thin, and they are my rocks. And all of my friends that support me on a daily basis. You all mean the world to me. 

And lastly I am thankful for all of you. Having you by my side has made this journey a lot easier, and I am so thankful for that. Thank you for supporting me and inspiring me and keeping me going. You all mean so much to me, and I would tell each of you thank you in person if I could. 

After that mushfest, who's ready for a day off and some good food :D I know I am! 

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What I hate about the 21 Day Fix

It's just one thing, but it's a big thing.

The name.

It frustrates me that a program that makes so much sense has a name that doesn't fully explain what it is. Sure, it is structured as a 21 day program, which I like in a way, but it isn't a "Fix" and I hate the way that word is used. A "Fix" implies something short term, and not permanent, and adding in the "21 Days" part doesn't help the image. I think it gives people the wrong impression about the program, which really is a shame.

The 21 Day Fix is not a "quick fix". It's not a magic pill or wrap that will promise crazy unrealistic results.

It is a meal plan and workout program that is hard, and requires work and dedication, but can yield results if you commit to it. Just like anything else that involves eating better and working out.

The reason it is set up as a 21 day program is because people can see results in 21 days. And lets be honest, people have short attention plans and the program isn't easy. It is easier to commit to a life change for 21 days, than for 90 days. And it only takes 21 days to build a habit, so in theory if you commit to something for 21 days, it will be something you can stick with long term. But the program doesn't only last 21 days. If you look at it like that, the program really only lasts a week. You get 7 workouts, and every week you do them again. Every Monday you do the same workout, and every Tuesday, and so on and so forth. There are ways to switch it up, do doubles, add workouts in, but by and large, week in and week out, its a routine you can follow.

And the workouts aren't rocket science, which I think is what I love about them. You do a set of 3-5 moves for a minute each, then do it again. Then you do 3-5 different moves for a minute each, and then do it again. It's about repetition and pushing yourself to do squats for a full minute, then lunges for a full minute, then something else, then do it again. What is nice is that each workout is different, and you get some variety. There is total body, cardio, legs, arms, pilates, yoga, etc. You get to work your whole body throughout the week just to do it again the next week.

I explained how the program works in this post, and I really believe its not a fix. It's a way of looking at food and portion control (and proportion control) that can change the way you look at food. Eating the right amount is just as important as eating the right things. And while there is no secret to good nutrition, some people need it laid out for them, like me. I do well with structure, knowing I need to eat 6 proteins, 6 veggies, 4 carbs, 4 fruits, and 1 fat a day. I can hit those markers and feel satisfied and not hungry and in control. I don't feel deprived because my carb can be potato chips once a week if I feel like it. Or chocolate or wine. Treats are allowed, 3 times a week. There is a container conversion for pizza, again its a treat, but I can have pizza and not have to think that I am blowing my whole week.

And I love that Autumn continually makes videos (free videos, on youtube) giving more ideas and tips of how to stay on plan and still live. Like this one about Thanksgiving.

And after a lot of thought, and discussion, and going back and forth about what I am going to do to control my eating, I have decided to follow the 21 day fix meal plan. I am still doing P90 workouts for now, but I am eating via the container method. It makes sense, it makes me feel good, and I don't have to pay monthly for it :D

If you are hung up on the name, don't be. Look past that and see what could be a great solution for you long term. Portion control eating is nothing new. But having easy color coded containers to measure stuff in, and a clear cut eating plan of how many of each container to eat a day is, and it makes life a little bit easier, which isn't that the point?

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving- Plan of attack!

I am notorious for going crazy on Thanksgiving. I love food, especially thanksgiving food, and I am always that person who fills up their plate and goes back for seconds. In past years I have tried to be better, but I always end up feeling deprived so I go back and get more and I end up feeling bloated and ashamed that I lost control again.

We all have triggers to overeat. Buffets are mine. Especially holiday buffets. Social situations give me anxiety, and I try to combat that with stuffing my face, apparently. But my plan this year is to be different. And I think the reason it will be is that I am looking at the holiday differently. For the last, at least 6 years, I have been "dieting" over Thanksgiving. I make a sweeping declaration that I am not going to overeat and I set myself up for failure. I grab only a little bit of turkey and veggies, and then stare longingly at the stuffing and mashed potatoes I am not eating. Which usually ends with me caving, grabbing some and then feeling overly full after seconds.

But this year I have a plan! I am not dieting over Thanksgiving (or at all, which I think makes a huge difference) but instead I am just going to enjoy it. I know what portions look like, I know how to eat in moderation, and I am going to have a little bit of everything I want, and I am going to stop when I am full.

I am also going to move that morning, whether at home or if the weather is nice maybe go for a run. I tend to eat better when I workout so I think that will help. But really other than that, I am just going to enjoy it. Thanksgiving is one day of the year, one meal out of literally over 1000. It isn't going to kill me to enjoy it responsibly.

I am learning the way we think about food has a lot to do with how we consume it. When something is special or a treat, we tend to covet it and overindulge. If we look at it as just another meal in a series of lots of other meals, we can set aside our emotions and just eat it. It is hard, but taking the emotions out of food can make it a lot easier to manage your temptations.

Any tips or tricks for getting through Thanksgiving? Leave them below! We can get through it together!

And if you want some help staying on track between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Ash and my diet bet starts on Thursday!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Vegan Reese's Cup Smoothie- And a giveaway!

This is a sponsored post for Puritans Pride, through Sweat Pink. I was given products in exchange for my recipes, but my recipes and opinions are all my own. 

I love this smoothie. Or shake, or whatever. It is delicious. I have such a sweet tooth, especially this time of year, and I know that I can satisfy that without going crazy because of delicious shakes like these. 

I am a huge fan of chocolate and peanut butter together. Who isn't amirite? So when I got Vegan Chocolate protein through Puritain's Pride (via SweatPink) I knew I had to add peanut butter to it. And man, it didn't disappoint. The protein powder itself has a great texture, super smooth and doesn't come out too thick which I appreciate. It also has a subtle sweetness and chocolateyness so its not over powering. It really pairs great with peanut butter. 

Here's the recipe!

Vegan Reese's Cup Smoothie

1 scoop Puritain's Pride All Natural Soy Protein- Chocolate1 tablespoon All Natural Organic Peanut Butter 1 cup Unsweetened Almond MilkA few ice cubes. 

Add together and blend away! You can also chop up a Reece's cup and sprinkle it on top for fanciness ;) Double points if you drink it from a mason jar! 

And here are the stats! 

And you can win some awesome stuff (including this protein powder) from Puritain's Pride!

It is a Pin it to Win it! Between now and next Friday, everyone who pins the top picture will be entered to win:

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

When in doubt

This has been a week full of mushy posts but hey, why not add another one ;)

Living your life on the internet is kinda hard. Like most of you know, this isn't my first blog, but this blog experience has been completely different than my past experiences. For one, more people than just my grandma read it, but more than that I have never been as open as I have been on this blog. Which has presented some really intense moments for me. I think its been a huge growing experience being so raw, but it also has left me vulnerable in a few cases. Granted I wouldn't trade it for the world.

It has also introduced me to some of my best friends in the world, and some of the best acquaintances a girl could ask for. I have met so many incredible people and I can't say how thankful I am for it. You guys mean more to me than you know.

But back to my point, I think, like I mentioned on Monday, there can be some pressure to be perfect online. To wear the trendiest clothes, to take the best food pictures, to have the most interesting life, get the best fastest results, blah blah blah. And this pressure can lead people to do drastic things, like fabricate stories or photoshop their photos. I totally get it, because the pressure is real, but I can't imagine actually doing it.

The thing is, I am a terrible liar, and I am not organized enough to remember every detail of my lie, so I really don't do it in general. It never pays off, and its a pain in the ass to keep up with. My motto in life is "When in doubt, be yourself." For real tho, my senior year quote was "How could I have been anyone other than me?" which pretty much sums up my life, which is fancy since I chose it 10 years ago. Trying to be someone you aren't has got to be exhausting, and isn't life already hard enough? I can't imagine trying to be perfect, and I am okay with that.

I read a lot of blogs, and I stop reading a lot of blogs when I feel like the person behind the keyboard is being inauthentic. I love a little realness in the people I follow, ya know? Who can relate to someone who is perfect all.the.time. Granted, I am kind of a hot mess most of the time, but I own it. I think way less of us have our shit together than we pretend to on the internet amirite?

So I am gonna be over here, lovin on some dinosaurs and rhinos, bingewatching netflix shows,  and dressing up as Katniss for a quiz and then a midnight showing of the Hunger Games, being me.

Take me or leave me, I am who I am.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Staying on track this holiday season

I can't believe it's the holidays already! I feel like the years are passing by like crazy these days.

I feel like the holidays are one of the hardest times of the year to stay on track with your goals. Statistics show that people gain, on average, 8-10 lbs (or less, I stand corrected.) between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. That's crazy! And not shocking at all. There is an abundance of delicious food, social situations, and stress. It can be a disastrous combination.

But the good news is, it doesn't have to be! In the past I have struggled with the holidays, but I have a few things that help me stay on track.

1. Be prepared. Know when you have events coming up and plan for them. Make sure to eat good nutrient rich food before you go, and plan to indulge a little bit. Don't go hungry and make sure to drink lots of water. It's alright to indulge, especially in the foods you love and only get once a year, just make sure to do it in moderation, and don't feel guilty about it.

2. Limit your alcohol. I know, this takes all the fun out of it, believe me, but try not to drink an entire day's worth of calories in a night. Stick to drinks that don't have a lot of excess sugar, and limit yourself to one or two.

3. Bring a dish. When we go to a family get together, I always bring my favorite dish. That way I know what is in it, and I can turn to it without feeling guilty.

4. Set a goal and stay accountable. I think we get in the mentality that the year is almost over and we can start over next year, so we stop thinking about it. Its nice to take a break, but sometimes what we need is to stay focused and work toward our goals.

Last holiday season, my friend Ash and I co-hosted a diet bet that went from Thanksgiving day to Christmas eve, as a promise to lose weight between the holidays, and not gain (like most people do). It was awesome and really kept us accountable over the holidays, so we are doing it again!

Along with this Diet Bet will be a private Facebook group for all the support, accountability and comradare you can imagine. 

I am looking forward to the support and accountability of a Diet bet this holiday season. Are you up for the challenge?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why I am a coach

Having an eating disorder is lonely.

You start to doubt yourself, and how you feel about other people. You begin to wonder if you are even yourself anymore. When you make sweeping statements that NOW is the time you are going to lose weight, your friends and family don't understand. They have seen this before, a swing of mania to your upcoming inevitable depression. Its not that they don't respect you or love you, they just don't know how to react anymore. Your declarations of weight loss become as silly to them as saying you are going to build a rocket ship to the moon!

There is only so much patience and love they have before they tune you out.

But what they don't understand is that when you declare, you mean it. But your brain sabotages you slowly but surely. Every positive step in the right direction is met with an equal step in the wrong direction until you are eating ice cream from the carton in the shower so your husband doesn't see you. True story.

Losing weight is lonely. People who have never struggled with their weight don't understand. Eating the way you do is your normal. Your family eats this way, your spouse, but this way of eating is killing you. WHY YOU? Why do you have such problems with it? And your family doesn't want to change, there is nothing wrong with them. You add more veggies to dinner plates, action that's met with groans and eye rolls. You encourage the family to go on walks (so you don't feel like the fat girl walking on the side of the road with everyone staring) and they refuse. You ask your fit friend to go to the gym with you so you aren't alone, and while she starts running on the treadmill, you struggle to keep a steady walking pace.  You just end up feeling more ashamed than when you started and you go home and stop trying. It's too hard.

I have done this alone. And I have done this with support. And I can tell you, having people that are on the same journey, supporting you, encouraging you, keeping you accountable, makes all the difference.

I didn't become a coach for money. Money was never a goal of mine. Nor rank advancement. I became a coach because I wanted a coach. When I was starting out I would have KILLED for someone to message me and say "Hey girl! I was thinking about you today, how was it!" I yearned for someone to celebrate the fact that I didn't drink a soda today. I cried at night because I wanted someone to care.

The summer before I became a coach, I held 2 groups to encourage people. I loved having that support and accountability part, but people begged me for a workout and meal plan, or at least guidance. I couldn't give it. I am not a trainer, I have no nutritionist training, I couldn't help them. And it broke my heart. For my 2nd challenge, I got a trainer and a nutritionist on board, and I was so happy to be able to offer the complete package. Support + workout+ nutrition = success, every time.

When I was approached (for the 3rd time) by a friend and mentor of mine about coaching, I decided to give it an honest thought. I was happy to give people the support and accountability part, but I had nothing I could offer for workouts and nutrition. Enter Beachbody. I decided to try P90X3 and I loved it, and fell in love with Tony Horton, Beachbody as a company and Shakeology. And it gave me the platform to offer people a workout and nutrition solution I believed in, along with the support and accountability I loved providing.

I am not a trainer, I am not a nutritionist, and I don't claim to be those things. I am a cheerleader. I am the person that will be there for you to celebrate every victory, whether big or small. And I am the person you can come to with no judgment when you are riding the struggle bus. I am not perfect, but I am positive, and I have been there.

I coach because I desperately needed a coach. I want to be the person I needed most when I struggled most. And even tho I am still figuring things out on the workout and nutrition side of it, I am a pro at being positive and supportive.

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