Operation Skinny Jeans: 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gluten-Free January - Week 1 Menus

After a lot of debating with myself, I decided to start my gluten-free January on Thursday, January 3.

Why?

Tom's (Tom = my husband) family celebrates Christmas on New Year's Day; with five kids who have a lot of things to do during the holiday season, it's always just been the most convenient time for them to do it. For our Christmas celebration, my father-in-law makes the most delicious chicken and noodles ever, and he pretty much only makes them then. I LOVE them, and I couldn't bring myself to pass over what is probably my favorite meal of the year.  I know that some of you probably have celebrations tomorrow too (or might be continuing celebrations from tonight, lol), so for any of you guys interested in doing Gluten-Free January, I wanted to make sure you had time to get your celebrating done and get to the grocery for anything you might need.

So how is this going to work?

On Fridays, I will be posting a menu for the following week (for example, this Friday, I will be posting a menu for January 6-12). The thinking behind this is that it will give you time to check the menu (I know that weekends can be super busy) and it would be enough time to get any grocery shopping done. If it's not, let me know! (And, of course, Fitspiration Friday will still be happening!)

During this time, all menus will be gluten-free and clean eating. This means all foods will contain no artificial ingredients or wheat products. Everything will be as natural as possible. I'll provide product suggestions and recipes for homemade versions when applicable.  I'll provide a list of anything you'd need for the menu for the week, so if you don't have it, you'll know you need to get it.

A little warning about the menus: as of right now, I'm not planning on posting calories and other nutritional information per meal.  I know that seems a little odd, coming from a weight loss blog, but hear me out. The amount of calories that I, an obese woman looking to lose a significant amount of weight, need to eat daily is not going to be the same as a smaller woman looking to lose a smaller amount, or a woman who has lost the weight and is trying to maintain.  Since our caloric needs are definitely going to vary, I don't want to get into specifics. I figured it would be better to give you the meals and let you figure out how much you need to eat based on your own needs.

I'm listing two snacks for each day; if you only want to use one (or none), that's fine. It's all up to you and your needs!  If you're still hungry, snack on fruit or veggies! The amount of groceries you'll need to buy will depend on the amount of people you need to feed. I'm not trying to make things difficult, I promise -- I just figured it would be easier to tell you what you need and let you get as much of it as YOU need.

Since this is a one-month thing (for now), I'm not going to be investing in all the different gluten-free flours needed to recreate your favorite baked goods. I do plan on purchasing one to help with a few recipes though.  Pre-packaged gluten-free products (like pizza crust mix) tend to be more expensive than those with gluten in them, but it's cheaper (to start with) than buying all the different flours necessary to make it happen.  If you do choose to purchase different flours or mixes, I highly recommend Bob's Red Mill. You should be able to find their products in the natural foods section of your grocery store.

As far as your groceries go, locally-grown, farm-raised, free-range products are best, but I know that's not always doable, so go for organic when you can.  I realize that organic, natural foods tend to cost more, so I created the menus with budgets in mind. As far as produce goes, if something's not in season, see if there's a frozen version available. Frozen produce maintains much of the nutrition of fresh. With cheese, it's better to buy a block and slice and shred from the block as needed. Many shredded cheeses have cellulose (usually made from wood, or sometimes cotton) in them to keep the cheese from caking together. Um, yuck. Make sure to check labels!!!

If  you want to mix and match the meals, or use leftovers, feel free! I know that some people (myself included) are totally okay with eating the same things over and over; I'm just trying to add a little variety for those who don't.  As far as beverages go, water is definitely the best you can pick, but if you want a little variety, try some decaf herbal tea, milk, or the occasional cup of decaf coffee or fruit juice.

I'll be tweeting about my gluten-free month using the hashtag #GlutenFreeJanuary. If you participate, feel free to tweet along with me!

*Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor. THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. This is just a menu plan I've put together using what I've learned about nutrition, clean eating, and gluten-free eating.*


Thursday
  • To make the oatmeal, cook as usual, then mix in chopped apple (I recommend a Granny Smith), cinnamon, and a little pure maple syrup if desired
  • Larabars can be found in the natural foods section of your grocery store, where you would find Clif Bars and Power Bars
  • For the omelet, I personally like to use onion and spinach (or kale), but the vegetables are totally up to your preference
  • Chicken breasts should be baked or grilled (definitely not breaded or fried!)
  • Toppings are okay for a potato as long as they're made from all natural ingredients (real butter and all-natural sour cream are totally fine)
  • I recommend eating the broccoli steamed. It's healthy and tasty.

Friday
  • If you don't know how to make egg salad, here is a recipe
  • For the burgers, you can eat them bunless, wrapped in lettuce leaves, between slices of Ezekiel bread, or try Oopsie Rolls

Saturday
  • Pop plain popcorn kernels in the microwave for 2 minutes in a brown paper bag with the top folded down, then add any toppings you like if you don't want to eat it plain
  • For your salad, you can try to find a natural, gluten-free dressing (I know Annie's makes some, but I think they may have sugar or canola oil in them), or make your own (if you like ranch, like me, this is a good recipe)
  • Here is the recipe for chocolate avocado mousse
  • Here is the recipe for 3P Tilapia

Grocery List

Produce
-apples (at least one Granny Smith)
-avocado
-bananas
-baby carrots
-berries (your choice, fresh or frozen)
-broccoli (can buy frozen, if you like)
-celery
-chives (if desired for the egg salad)
-grapes
-lemon (for juice)
-lettuce
-onion
-oranges
-potatoes
-spinach or kale

Dairy
-butter (organic preferred)
-cheese (your favorite variety)
-eggs (cage-free, free range preferred)
-Greek yogurt
-Parmesan cheese (NOT the kind in a can on the dry goods shelves)
-sour cream (all natural)

Spices/Condiments/Baking Needs
-cinnamon
-cocoa powder
-honey (raw preferably, or locally made...not your average, run-of-the-mill honey bear)
-mayonnaise (all natural, no canola oil...if you can't find any, you can make your own)
-olive oil
-paprika
-pure maple syrup (organic preferably)
-salt and pepper
-vanilla extract

Packaged/Frozen Foods
-boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
-Ezekiel Bread (if desired)
-ground beef or ground turkey (your preference)
-Larabars (any flavor...my favorite is Coconut Cream Pie :)
-plain popcorn kernels (usually found in bags by the packaged popcorn)
-slow cooking oats (gluten-free)
-tilapia (fresh or frozen fillets)

*a brown paper lunch sack for popping popcorn

If this menu isn't your cup of tea, Jess decided to get in on the fun too.

Let me know what you think!

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Recipe- Veggie Tomato Sauce

As promised, here is the recipe for Veggie Tomato Sauce. This recipe makes a ton, definitely enough to save! We will also use it for Lasagna on Saturday.

Veggie Tomato Sauce:

Ingredients:
1 lb Ground Turkey (You can use ground beef, but we have stopped eating ground Beef so we use Turkey. )(Also this is optional, obviously)
Tsp Olive Oil
1 Onion- grated
2 large Carrots- grated
1 Green Bell Pepper- seeded, cored and grated (a mandolin comes in handy haha)
3 cloves Garlic- minced
Tbs Italian seasoning 
26 oz can Tomato Sauce
5 1/2 oz can Tomato Paste
2 C Red Wine (one for the sauce, one to drink. Second cup optional, but then you aren't fun ;) )

Lets get cooking!:
  1. Brown the meat. Drain and run hot water over to remove as much fat as possible. 
  2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over med-high heat. Cook onions, carrots and bell pepper until soft. Add meat and Garlic and Italian seasoning.
  3. Add Tomato Sauce, Tomato Paste and 1 C wine. Simmer for 30 min to 1hr 30 min, however long you need :)
  4. Drink the other cup of wine while you simmer :)
  5. Once simmered to your liking, portion into two portions, one for Spaghetti, one for Lasagna. :)



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weight Watchers Menu Dec 30- Jan 5

You asked for menus, and guess what ladies (and I am assuming at least two gentlemen… I know of one specifically… ) YOU GOT YOUR MENUS!

Give me an M… (say m….) Give me an E (…) okok.

I am excited, clearly.

I am a huge huge huge believer in planning planning planning! If you know me, you know this is true. I am neurotic and have calendars and calendars and plans and if there isn't a plan I kinda panic. SO of course I make weekly menus to plan what we are eating that week. Now I am sharing this with you. And if you aren't on Weight Watchers, have no fear. WW isnt a program where you eat "their food" so my menu would work perfect for you too.

AND Alex is menu making as well, so you will have two awesome meal plans to go off of! Woot!

Here it is ladies (and please tell me there is a gentleman…)

Bam!

So here is the breakdown! 

Sunday:


Monday:
  • WW means "Whole Wheat", not Weight Watchers in this case… 
  • I don't mind using a Ranch packet mixed with FF Sour Cream for ranch dip, but if you do, here is a recipe that sounds pretty good. I haven't tried it. From 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday:
  • I typically use 99% FF popcorn from the store, but if you aren't cool with that, you can check out Alex's post for another easy and cheap way!
  • For meatloaf, I buy pre-seasoned raw meatloaf, but there are lots of easy recipes out there to make Meatloaf. I portion it into muffin tins. Cooks faster too :)
  • For the Cauliflower- I rough chop it into florets about an inch and a half big, toss in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I roast at 350 for 15 min, checking to make sure it doesn't burn. A nice golden brown is where I take it to :)
Wednesday:
  • Steak Fajitas are also really easy. Cut up peppers and onions, put olive oil and garlic in a pan. Saute the veggies and when they are almost soft, cut up steak into thin strips, toss in and finish cooking together. Add Cumin and other mexi-spices to taste. 
Thursday:
  • For taco salad, I would use left over meat from Sunday's tacos or from Wednesdays fajitas, depending on which I had more left over. 
  • Easy tip for chicken breasts. My favorite way to cook them is to boil. Bring a pot of water to boil, stick in the raw breasts and let it boil for about 15 min. Check the middle for done-ness. Keeps the chicken super super moist, and it is cooked without any fat. Delish!
Friday:
  • I use microwave bacon. I am lazy.
Saturday:
  • The Lasagna is from one of my FAVORITE WW (Weight Watchers this time haha) cookbooks of all time called Just 5. Over 125 recipes with only 5 ingredients each. I will post this recipe for sure before Saturday. 
And here is your shopping list!

Produce:
Grapes
Apples
Bananas (I only buy as many as I plan, or they go bad. )
Cauliflower
Celery
Cucumber
(2) Green Bell Peppers
(2) Onions
Lettuce 
Tomato
Lemon
(2) Carrots

Meat:
Ground Turkey
(2) Turkey Sausage
Meatloaf 
Deli Ham
Steak
(2) Chicken Breast
Microwave Bacon ;)

Dairy:
Eggs
Yogurt
FF Sour Cream
String Cheese
Light Ricotta Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese

Middle Stuff:
There are things that aren't listed that I am assuming you have. Like peanut butter and brown sugar. If not, buy that stuff too :D
Steel Cut Oats
Granola
Corn Tortillas- I wanna try and make these… Maybe not this week, but I do!
Spaghetti
Lasagna Noodles
Larabars
Bread
Ranch Packet
Tortilla Chips
Pop Chips
Graham Crackers
Popcorn
26 oz Tomato Sauce
5 1/2 oz Tomato Paste
**Red Wine

Well there you have it! Stay tuned for the Veggie Tomato Sauce recipe (tomorrow morning) and the 5 ingredient Lasagna :)

What do you think? Was this helpful? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Come back Monday for Alex's menu :)






Friday, December 28, 2012

Fitspiration Friday- 2013! You're Looking GOOD!



Can you believe it is almost 2013!? Man this year has flown by. We are looking forward to all the exciting changes coming our way in 2013 and that is certainly keeping us inspired!

Alex's Goals
  • More than anything, I want, as always, to get pregnant.  I think in 2013 it might actually be possible!
  • To get into a pair of jeans that doesn't have a 2 at the beginning of the tag
  • To lose at LEAST fifty pounds. I know I can do more than that, but I'm more likely to follow through if I make a smaller goal.
  • To help educate others on what's really in the food we eat.
  • To start running. And give it a proper try this time.
  • To encourage my friends and family to make healthy, positive changes in their lives.
  • To wear a pair of shorts in summer.
  • To not give up this time. I CAN'T give up this time.


Jess's Goals:
  • Get below 200 lbs! This one seems so far away, but I know I can do it! 
  • To run a 5K. Like run the whole thing!
  • To prove that I can do this. I want this more than anything!
  • To only drink water/ things that are water based (tea, flavored water)
  • To rock a pair of skinny jeans! 
  • To get pregnant!
  • To see Operation Skinny Jeans grow to inspire more and more women to follow their dreams and lose weight! 

What about you? What does 2013 look like? Any big goals? Lots of little ones?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Every girl needs a pair

Of good workout shoes!


Shoes are so so so important! They support your body, put everything into alignment, and absorb the shock of you walking (or running). Finding a good pair is very important and should be a priority :)

For a long time I had Sketchers tone ups and in the same sentence I want to say NEVER GET SKETCHERS TONE OR SHAPE UPS :) Okgladigothatofmychest :) Those kind of shoes are not good for your legs, hips and back. They throw you out of alignment and make you tear weird muscles.

I am lucky enough to know a former Nike employee that knows how to fit you for running shoes. Of course another great place to go would be a specialty running store, but lets assume you are not a professional runner or someone willing and/or able to drop $200 beans on shoes that don't have red soles. So assuming you are like me, go to an athletic shoe store and ask them what you should get. They should check out the bottom of the shoes you are wearing, to see if you over-pronate or under-pronate. They will also check how high your arch is. Then they will ask what you are gonna use them for. Here is what I learned. 

Being on the fat side of things means that you need shoes with hard, thick soles. Shoes with air are bad because they will pop (and nothing makes you feel worse than popping the air shock absorbers on your shoes). You also want to look for a shoe that doesn't bend in half when you bend it. Bend it so it touches sole to sole, not fabric to fabric. If it bends, put it back. The next thing you are looking for is a nice breathable fabric. Your feet will sweat, this will help :) Lastly you are looking for a fit that isnt super tight. Your feet swell while you are on them so you want shoes that feel nice with room to spare.

As always, try a few pairs on and decide whats best for you. I went with the Nike Lunarglide 3 that I got at a Nike outlet. They are the ones in the pic above, but different colors. The right shoe will make you want to be more active. Your feet wont hurt and you will feel better :)

What shoes do you wear when working out? Any great pairs you recommend? Did you go to a fancy running store? Was it worth it?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Giveaway Time!!

Yay! We met our goal of 100 likes on Facebook! We are super excited and now we are hosting a giveaway! We decided to give away two of our very favorite healthy snacks!

Alex is focusing on Clean Eating, and her go to snack is Larabars. She loves that they are all natural made from fruit and nuts so they are not only clean, but delicious! They come in a huge assortment of flavors and will satisfy any sweet tooth you have!




Jess is on Weight Watchers and she LOVES their 2 pt bars. They are the perfect size and come in all sorts of flavors too! Her favorite part is that they are only two points!

So to celebrate our 100 likes on Facebook we are giving away a box of each to one of you! Wanna win? Just enter below! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fitspiration Friday: Success Story- Margaret


Welcome to our new Fitspiration Friday series Success Stories. Once a month we will feature a success story that has inspired us to continue on our journey. There is really nothing more that inspires us then the success of others especially those who have been in our jeans. So we decided to feature one story a month on Friday's. To kick it off we are featuring Jess' big sister Margaret who through Weight Watchers has lost a total of 64 lbs. We'll let her tell you all about that. 


Hi there! My name’s Margaret, I’m Jess’s big sister and have too dreamed on skinny jeans. She and Alex have kindly let me borrow a bit of their blog space to share my story. Thanks girls!!
My most recent weight loss began on a completely uneventful Saturday, as I sat munching away on my McDonald’s breakfast (sausage, egg and cheese bagel. Beautiful!). I saw there was a Weight Watcher’s meeting near me in the next half an hour, so I slapped on some clothes and went to get on the scale for the first time.
Weight and me are not good friends. I hate my body and this has manifested itself in ways I’m not prepared to go into, but it’s been a bloody battle to say the least. I wanted the weight off and I wanted it gone immediately. I felt huge and uncomfortable in my body, like all eyes were on me. I was completely baffled that a slim, attractive man had decided he wanted to be with me and there’s still a part of my mind that thinks he’s mad. But I’ll run with it.
Anyway, back to the scale, I weighed in at 192lbs. Must be said, this wasn’t my highest ever weight, 215 was. I’m 5’0. Not a good look. Not healthy either to be fair.

Margaret (on left) before

Weight watchers and me got on like a house on fire: the weight was dropping off and it wasn’t until 3 or 4 months that I saw any sort of gain. My partner, Jonathan, decided to join in with me, not because he needed to lose weight exactly, but mostly because he ate pretty poorly, he’s just blessed with genetics. It was great having him along, we were on the same wave-length, points (or lack thereof) were a part of everyday conversation and we had a system, it worked. He lost 28lbs by the time he got to goal. After he finished, he completely let loose and put 7 pounds of it back on, in a week. After this the dynamic changed a bit, we weren’t a team anymore and I think I’m really starting to notice the effects of that now, but more on that later.
I pressed on and my final weigh in was 128lbs, a total loss of 64 pounds! I was verifiably normal sized! And it was awesome, I felt great, I looked great. And the secret to that loss really was Weight Watchers, followed the plan to the letter, never missed a weekly meeting and after about 8 or 9 months, that was me! I loved the new clothes and rocked the skinny jeans like there was no tomorrow. Short shorts? No problem! Tank tops? Bring it on! Bikini, you better believe it!
All this, you may have noticed, is past tense. The hard part really isn’t losing the weight, it’s maintaining it. Everyone reading this absolutely can lose weight if their mind is in the right place and they have the right support. At the time, I mostly walked everywhere, and that was honestly the only exercise I did. I did some ballet as well, but it was beginner and not really an aerobic work out (great fun though, highly recommended). No one talks much about the other part of the journey, keeping it up.

Margaret after

Right after reaching my goal, I moved to Northern Ireland. My job changed and thus my schedule changed. There wasn’t a meeting that I could attend because of my work schedule or it was too far away. I kept going on my own for about 6 months or so, but slowly but sure, things have gotten tighter again and I’m having to go up in sizes. This sucks. And it’s not just one thing that goes wrong, it’s several and they’re subtle, hardly notice they’re there.

Margaret now

If I had to pinpoint it, the lack of support is what I’m missing at the moment. The meetings kept me motivated and kept me right. Because I was losing so consistently, the other members admired me. I thrive on being a good example and a teacher’s pet (ask Jess, she’ll confirm this, ha!). I was good because I couldn’t let them down and I wanted to the A+ student, as it were. The other part of it was Jonathan doing the program alongside me. Changing your eating habits on your own, when you live with someone else, is neigh on impossible. I can do my best to only bring good stuff into the house, but then he rolls in and orders Dominos. I tend to feel put out when he’s able to munch and do as he pleases and still remain slim. Why can’t I do that?! Why do I have to sit and suffer while he does what ever he wants? It’s frustrating and it’s not fair.
My greatest success was having the right people and influences around me, when those left, I began to slip. I need to try and figure out how I can get that back and I feel that is my key to my own weight loss success, without the support, I’d have never been bothered enough to do it and proven that I can’t keep it up.
Thus the journey begins again!


Congrats Margaret you are looking great, you have inspired us all! Keep up the great job. 
Now here's where you come in, are you a success story? If so and you want to be featured as one of our monthly success stories, email us at operationskinnyjeansblog@gmail.com and tell us your story, we would love to hear from you. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Cookies Everywhere and Not a Bite to Eat

Ah, the tradgedy of a dieter at holiday time. There are company potlucks and gift exchanges and caroling parties and cookie exchanges and it seems like every single one of them has cookies. But homemade cookies are hard to track! You don't know what ingredients they used or what a portion size is, and e-tools just gives you a generic "cookie" number, which doesn't help either. You could just not eat the cookies, but thats no fun, and people ask, and sometimes get belligerent if you don't take a plate of their cookies back to the table with you. 

To avoid this insane holiday stressor, and to save yourself from what will probably be another chocolate chip cookie binge, you can always bring your own. That's right, YOU bring the cookies! You know whats in them, what a portion looks like and exactly how many points each one of those babies is. Stress- solved. "But where can I find health conscious cookie recipes? Isn't that like an urban myth or something?" you say?

Nope

I'll prove it to you.

Check these out.

Crackle Spice Drops- Weightwatchers.com (2pts)

Gingerbread People- Weightwatchers.com (2pts)

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons - Weightwatchers.com (2pts)

Chocolate Marshmallow Bark- Weightwatchers.com (4pts)
Oatmeal Pecan Lace Cookies - Weightwatchers.com (3pts)

Chocolate Cookie Sticks- Weightwatchers.com (3pts)

Also, let Pinterest be your guide! There are lots of low cal cookie recipes out there! Go out there, be in control!

What is your favorite holiday cookie? Not a fan of cookies? Fudge maybe? God I love fudge…



What to wear?


I am by no means an expert in work out clothes, but I am overweight and I do work out, so I wanted to share with you what I wear. :)  Navigating the work out clothes racks can be a scary and intimidating challenge. I am here to help!

If you look at my "before" picture, that is pretty much what I wear.


I have 3 pairs of capri length leggings. They are all Danskin from Walmart. I like the length and they are nice and light weight.

I also like to wear a t-shirt, and an undershirt. The undershirt helps me feel comfortable when I need to lift my arms :)

There are some really awesome work out clothes at Old Navy that I am seriously lusting over. Maybe Santa will help with that ;)

They have compression pants, shorts and capris that would be great for running or doing yoga. They hug you tight, but push in what you want to be pushed in :)

I also love these capris. 


And these shorts :)


As far as shirts, Old navy has a line of activewear with moisture wicking fabric. This is an excellent feature when you are a girl who sweats! I love this tee and that it comes in so many fun colors. Also the seaming on the back offers great support. 


So there you have it! My recipe for a solid work out outfit! What do you like to wear? Any favorites you wanna share? I have heard you can also wear those Old Navy shorts under skirts like Spanx! Sign me up!




Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Workout Songs

There are some songs that are good to work out to any time (Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger", anyone?), but since it's the holiday season is upon us, I figured I'd put together a more festive playlist to help get you in the holiday spirit.

"Extraordinary Merry Christmas" by the Glee cast



"Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms



"Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee



"Step Into Christmas" by Elton John



"All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey



"Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" by 'N Sync



"Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys



"Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney


"My Only Wish (This Year)" by Britney Spears



"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" by the Chipmunks



"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" by Jackson 5



"Last Christmas" by Wham!


So there are some fun, (mostly) high-energy songs that would make a fun addition to your workout routine (plus, who doesn't love air-hula hooping to the Chipmunks?!)

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why? And a Weigh In

There are hundreds of ways to lose weight. In a sea of options, its pretty common to try more than one (or 5 or 6) methods before you find one that you really feel works for you. This is really common.

So you may wonder what it is about Weight Watchers that made me chose it as my preferred method of shrinking. Well I will tell you :) But first I will tell you a little more about me.

I have tried lots of different ways to lose weight, and I have learned a lot about myself in the process. I have learned what works for me and what doesn't, and I am pretty sure I am not alone.

I need accountability. I need someone's to count on me to succeed. I HATE letting people down. I will go out of my comfort zone to not let people who care about me down.

I don't do well with deprivation. The minute I am told I can't have something, I want it, and all the things. Fun story- I was doing the HCG diet (you know the pregnancy hormone one) and the diet is UBER restrictive. After eating my daily allotment of 500 calories consisting mostly of chicken breath and tomatoes, I would binge on Cold Stone Ice Cream. I don't even love Cold Stone or anything, I would just binge. Depriving myself ALWAYS leads to a binge.

I need some structure. I don't really love being told what to (and more specifically not to) eat, but I definitely need guidelines. I didn't get here by eating all the right things, obviously, so having some guidelines really helps me stay on track.

I don't like to count high numbers. They give me a headache. I get 39 points a day, most foods are between 1-10 pts, and I can do that math. Easier math = better chance of counting.

I'm a little techie. I like my gadgets, and I really like a program that is as plugged in as I am. I am way more likely to count points if I can whip out my iphone and look it up.

I like people. I like connecting with and helping other people. I really like going to meetings. I make new friends, get helpful tips, give helpful tips, and get support. I try my hardest not to miss a meeting, and I know that works for me.

So there you have it. Why I choose Weight Watchers over every other plan out there.

And since I owe you- I lost 1.4 today! I am officially 263! This is the lowest I have gotten in all my weight loss efforts. I also hit a fun milestone last week that I totally skipped over (on accident). I have lost 22 lbs! My highest weight (on my wedding day) was 285.5. I am so glad to be moving further away from that number every day! I am also really excited to get back into the 250's here soon. I haven't been there in a really really long time.

So what is your weight loss plan of choice? Why do you do it? What's your favorite part? 




Monday, December 17, 2012

5 Tips for Surviving the Holidays

As we are all well aware, the holiday season is full of temptations: sugary desserts, calorie-laden comfort foods, and festive cocktails are all quite common.  With all these treats spread out before you (often multiple times over the holiday season!), it's not uncommon for people to put on a few pounds.  Here are my tips to combat over-eating during the holidays.

pic from ThinSpire Me!

1.) Bring your own food. Yes, it can be a hassle, and yes, some people might be offended (although if you explain the situation, they shouldn't be, but you know how some people can be).  You're less likely to be stuffing your face full of whatever's available if you brought along your own healthy snacks to munch on (like carrots and hummus, or grapes and cheese).

2.) Use smaller dinnerware. When your plate is larger, you feel a subconscious need to fill it. If you have a smaller plate, you're getting less food than with a larger plate, which means less calories per plate (and maybe you'll even subconsciously feel fuller on less!). This might sound silly, but I like to use baby silverware. I tend to eat quickly (bad for my digestion and my metabolism), but baby silverware forces me to take smaller bites, so it takes me longer to eat the same amount of food. It helps me feel fuller on less food.

3.) Indulge in your favorites, but use smaller portions. For example, I'm a starch girl. At family gatherings, it's totally common for half my plate to be filled with my granny's mac and cheese. I'm still planning on eating some of it this Christmas (it's SO good!), but I'm going to eat a normal-sized serving instead of the three or four servings I usually put on my plate. If you're afraid of overindulging, see if someone will split a serving with you.

4.) If you want a cocktail, choose champagne or a mixed drink with a lower-calorie mixer.  Champagne has fewer calories than beer or wine. Infused vodka could be a good choice, because compared to many types of alcohol, vodka is lower in calorie content, but the infusions add flavor (many people can't drink vodka by itself, which is why I'm not suggesting it...plus, it's always more fun with flavor!). It's super easy to make your own infused vodka too!

5.) Try to do something active to work in some sneaky workouts. Have snow? Go sledding (trudging back up those hills in the snow works those muscles!), have a snowball fight, or make snow angels. Indoor (and outdoor) ice skating rinks can be found in many areas. Dancing can be a fun holiday pastime (and you can combine it with karaoke and make it into performance art :P).

What are your favorite tips for getting through the holidays without packing on the pounds?

 
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Healthy Holiday Wish List

I think it is sometimes hardest to he healthy around the holidays. There is a lot of candy and cookies and temptations at every turn. So for Christmas this year, I asked Santa for things that will keep me on track :)
3. Nike Gym Bag - $75

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fitspiration Friday: Word.



We, like everyone else on Pinterest, love those little inspirational sayings! We can't stop pinning them! Here are some that keep us going!









So much inspiration! What inspires you? Please share!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Change your routines

OMG everyone! We are so close to a giveaway! Only 32 more likes! We are fun to follow, I promise :)

So as you probably read in my Weight Watchers 360 post, WW rolled out two new sides of the program, "Routines" and "Spaces".

The logic being that losing weight isn't just about tracking what you eat and getting more activity. Losing weight (long term) is about changing your life, and your world around is definitely a part of that. Sure, you can lose weight without changing these things, but it will be a lot harder, and your chances of long term success are a lot less.

So I started looking at my life, and I found some weaknesses. I am married (as is Alex) and my husband doesn't have the same weight loss goals that I have. I know I am not the only one in this exact situation. This is hard. I want to eat better, but then he is over there eating ice cream and I get cranky. I had a good talk with him about how I need him to aid me in my journey, not hurt me. I asked him to do a few things:

  1. Keep me accountable for tracking. Check my tracker every night and make sure I tracked everything. (I am pretty good at tracking through lunch, but dinner never makes it on there)
  2. Hold me accountable. Don't let me make self destructive choices. 
  3. Help me eat better, even if you don't. 
On that last note, I had a dinner epiphany. We don't have to eat exactly the same thing for dinner every night. We could eat two different dinners with the same ingredients. He can have smothered burritos, and I can make a taco salad, for example. He agreed to help me with this as well. 

So after tackling my spaces, I moved onto my routines. I have an extreme want to wake up early and go for a jog. It sounds picturesque and like something thin, healthy people do, but I can not, for the life of me, make it happen. I just like to sleep way.too.much. And thats okay. Its healthy to sleep. I just need to stop putting this impossible expectation on myself and make a better plan. That is when I had another great idea! 

My husband and I carpool (I take the train into the city, and he works by the train station) so we get home at the same time. He would take the dog out while I started dinner, then we would eat and veg in front of the tv. After we were comfy, it was nearly impossible to get us to get up and be active again. So I had the idea that when we get home, I will change and go to the gym while he takes the dog out and cooks dinner. And after a 30 min work out, I would come home and we would eat dinner :) Adding a 30 minute work out to my routine (which doesn't actually disrupt our lives because lets face it, he cooked most of the time anyway) seemed too obvious not to try it. And I was feeling pretty lazy about my activity efforts so this helps. 

I am feeling really good about these new changes, and after working out today, I feel really good about doing it again tomorrow :)

So there you have it! New routines and taking charge of my spaces :) 

What kind of routines have you adopted since starting to get healthy? How have you changed your environment to help you succeed?


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Look: Holiday Looks I Can't Wait To Fit In!

So it's no secret that Jess and I LOVE clothes. Unfortunately, when you're this big, it's often hard to love how clothes look on you.  Two things I'm most looking forward to wearing are cute dresses (at this point, I feel like pretty much everything makes me look like a cow, let alone short dresses that would show the thighs I always keep covered) and heels (ay yi yi, the pain!).

With that in mind, I put together three holiday looks I'd love to wear (all featuring Modcloth dresses -- I also can't wait to have a bunch of cute Modcloth clothes!). You may notice there's lots of sparkles, lace and bows -- yeah, I kind of have Taylor Swift's taste in clothes. What can I say? I'm a girlie girl at heart.

I can't wait to have a cute holiday dress next year! (Of course, a larger income and  a place to wear a holiday dress would help too!)

P.S. The middle look is my fave :)


Untitled #43


Dress
modcloth.com


Blue dress
modcloth.com


Darling long dress
modcloth.com



Charlotte Russe high heel pumps
charlotterusse.com


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