Don’t Give Up!

I wanted to write you today and share something really personal.  If you’ve ever battled your weight, some of this will probably feel incredibly familiar to you.  Over the last several years I really let myself get into a bad place physically and emotionally.  I didn’t value myself enough to make changes that would really manifest into something meaningful for my physical well-being.  Every day was a constant barrage of negative thoughts, beating myself up for being so weak, and then trying to comfort that hurt with food.  it’s a stupid cycle to get into but, that is where I found myself.  Many times I would utter the words, “I’m ok with how I look”, but that was a lie spoken by my inner voice to keep me from succeeding.

Now that I am back on track, (down 15lbs thank you very much!) I want to speak to you about where you are in your life’s journey.  Don’t let that inner voice drag you down.  Tell it to shut the hell up.  You are worth getting yourself healthy.  You are worth being around for your family and friends.  You. Are. Worth. It.  Negative thoughts result in negative results.  Love yourself enough to make even just some small changes today.  Maybe you get out and walk for 15 minutes.  Don’t walk at a breakneck speed, just get out there and move.  Maybe, instead of soda with lunch, you have water with lemon.  Take some small steps just for you.  Add a new small step each day or each week and you will be surprised at how they add up into big changes for you.

I could sit and be extremely pissed at myself all day for essentially wasting years of my life by being obese but that would not be productive.  Instead, I thank me for not giving up on myself, for saying out loud, “I’m worth it!!” and meaning it.  Do something kind for yourself today and above all, do not give up.  If I can do this, you can do this and that is a fact.  I am someone who detested exercise and would revolt at the thought of eating the way I am right now.

I’m not saying you need to do what I’m doing as far as eating or exercising goes.  What I’m doing works for me.  But love yourself enough to explore what will work for you.  There is something out there for everyone and every lifestyle you just have to find the changes you can live with and start there.  I’m in your corner, ready to cheer you on!!  Don’t give up.  Set small goals and shout from the rooftops when you achieve them.  Just don’t give up!!!

PAnn1 - I love this!!!

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Bruschetta for Breakfast!

Eggs are a delicious way to start the day but sometimes I get a little bored with just poaching them or scrambling them.  This weekm I tried something a bit different and really liked it!!  My grocery store, Harris Teeter, sells this amazingly delicious ready-made bruschetta topping in the deli area and I always have some on hand.  I use it to jazz up scrambled eggs so I thought, why not try it with egg on toast?  It’s a super-simple, quick recipe that will keep you satiated until the next time you eat.

Here is my “recipe” for Bruschetta for Breakfast:

1 egg white (my nutritionist said the whole egg would have been fine, too)
2 slices of artisan whole wheat bread (thin, no more than 160 calories for 2 slices)
cooking spray
2 Tbs Tuscan Bruschetta

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray the bread and place in the oven for about 5 mins or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, lightly spray a small skillet with cooking spray and turn the heat to medium.  When the pan is warm, place the egg white in and season with cracked black pepper, if you like.  You want the white to come together but don’t cook it too much, you don’t want it to get dried out.  You can cut the egg white in half and share it between the two slices of bread and then top each with one Tbs of the Tuscan Bruschetta.  It is DELICIOUS and lite and filling all at the same time.  Here is what mine looked like, though I folded the egg white and only had it on one piece of the toast.

Doesn’t that look SO GOOD???
Another great way to use this bruschetta is on a salad.  In fact, it is a great replacement for salad dressing.  One day last week, I had some leftover London Broil that we had cooked on the grill so I measured out 3 oz of the beef and placed it on 1/2 a heart of romaine.  Then, I added a tablespoon of capers and 3 tablespoons of the Tuscan Bruschetta.  SO. FREAKING. GOOD.
After I ate it, I had to admit that really, 3oz of the London Broil was more than I needed.  1.5-2 oz would have been more than enough.  But it was really good!!
Are you curious at all about my latest weight loss results?  Well, I had my session with Bernadette this week and was down another 2 lbs, bringing me down to 196!!  This is so exciting!  When I went to see her a month ago, my weight was up to 205 and I was feeling out of control and totally desperate.  It has been such a help to meet with her weekly.
I have high hopes for where I will be at the end of the year!!  🙂
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Mango Salsa – A summertime dish

One of the best things about the summer season is how much fresh fruit is available.  Watermelon is something I look forward to every year!  Another favorite of mine is mango.  Now, mango is one of those fruits like pomegranate. It’s kind of tricky to peel and eat but once you figure out the key to unlock the goodness you’ll be so glad for it!!

With my new way of eating, I’m trying to add more color to my plate.  That way it’s easy to see that I’m getting more nutritious fuel for my body.  So today, I whipped up some Mango Salsa to go along with the grilled chicken and corn on the cob I planned to eat for lunch.  It’s so yummy, sweet, a little tangy, and very bright.  Like eating sunshine!!  Here is the recipe:

Mango Salsa
Serves 2

1 ripe mango
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
2-3 Tbs red onion, finely chopped
1 healthy pinch of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime

To see the best way to peel/slice a mango, please watch this video on You Tube.  Mangos can be quite juicy and, if not done properly, your hand could slip on the knife and that would not be good!  So watch this video first:

Once you have your mango all ready to go, combine the red pepper, red onion, and cilantro with the mango.  Then, take your 1/2 a lime and squeeze it over the top.  Set it all aside and let the flavors come together for a little while.  I left mine out on the counter for 30-45 minutes or you can put it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it.  Let me tell you, once you have this light, refreshing side dish you will want to move somewhere tropical so you may eat it all the time!  I absolutely love it!!  One serving is only 98 calories and is chock full of good things so I’m only happy to eat my share.  You could also add black beans to this for a complete meal.

Here is what it looked like on my plate today:

Yummilicious!!!
In other news this week, I had another visit with my nutritionist and my weight was down 2 more lbs.  WOOT!  It’s nice to see the scale moving in the opposite direction for a change!!  Bernadette is so helpful and supportive.  It’s so important to have someone on your side, who isn’t going to judge you or recriminate you, only help and offer advice when it’s needed.  Losing weight is not easy and the path the get to the final destination is incredibly long.  This is why having Bernadette guide me is so vital to my success.  I haven’t been able to do this on my own in a long time but she is going to help me get to the point where I can.
I’m still working out every day, walking on the treadmill and lifting free weights, too.  To keep things from getting to stale I ordered some exercise DVD’s from a company called The FIRM.  I had some years ago and they were great, high-energy, and HARD workouts!  Now I’ll be able to mix up my routines a bit and keep my body guessing about what’s coming next.  Hopefully that will help keep plateaus at bay.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you today.  This week I’ve been looking through some new healthier cookbooks and am looking forward to sharing some meals I make soon.  Until then, please take care and thanks for stopping by!!
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A review and a pic of yours truly.

The other night we were at Target picking up a few things and I decided to peruse the frozen section to see if there were any new, interesting Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones offerings, specifically for breakfast.  Because our schedule is so hectic, it’s nice to have something quick to prepare on hand for those times when I forget to defrost something or just plain don’t want to cook.  Well, Smart Ones had some nicely portioned breakfasts and I decided upon the Waffles and Turkey Sausage.

You can see from the photo that the turkey sausage is not particularly photogenic, however, it was actually pretty good!  The package comes with two waffles, a small packet of syrup, and two turkey sausage links.  There was a fancy envelope which allowed you to microwave the waffles to the desired crispness but, mine weren’t crispy.  🙁  They still tasted fine but, if I did this again I’d just use the toaster. All in all, it was surprisingly good.  The syrup allotted was so much less than I’m used to using but it was exactly enough.  That’s an interesting by-product of this journey I’m on; it’s getting easier to see what a proper portion size looks like.
Today I decided to have my oldest take a pic of me so once I reach my goal, I have something to look back on as motivation to keep working hard.  So, here I am.  All 5’3″, 201lbs of me:

Yep.  That’s me!  I’ve got a long way to go but I know I’m going to make it.  This morning I worked out on the treadmill, walking for 30 minutes at about 3.7mph.  Let me tell you, listening to the Black Eyed Peas songs “Pump It” and “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” will get you moving like nothing else!! I have a medley of songs by them Lady GaGa and Madonna on a playlist and it makes the treadmill time just fly right by!  After my walk, I worked out using free weights and did some crunches.  Can you tell I’m ready to get in shape??  🙂
Finally, I wanted to share with you this delicious salad that was my lunch today.  It consisted of leftover grilled chicken, 1/2 a head of romaine lettuce, 1/4 of a red pepper, a tsp of raw sunflower seeds, a Tbs of capers, all topped with 1.5 Tbs of Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette.  It was so delicious!!!  There is something about eating salad during the summertime.  So light and crisp, I love it!

It’s nice to feel so pepped up about something and not being submerged in self-loathing feelings.  Certainly makes for a much better day.  🙂  I hope all is well in your world!!

 

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Invigorated!!

Wow!  Can you hear me yelling that from where you are??  WOW!  Yesterday, I had my 2nd weekly meetup with my nutritionist, Bernadette, and was feeling pretty good about my progress through the week.  She had me get on the scale and I hopped on it like a dog jumps in the car to go for a ride; I was excited!  So, at my first appointment my weight was 205.  At this appointment…. 201!!!  Yep, I lost 4lbs in a week, only by reducing my calorie intake and making smarter food choices.  Oh my god, I was so incredibly elated to have a 4lb victory my first week!!

The beauty of this plan with Bernadette is, I can still enjoy the tastes of my favorite foods.  If I want a hot dog for breakfast, that’s what I eat.  It’s just a lite one.  For snacks, Bernadette originally suggested a small piece of Hershey’s chocolate but, what I noticed was, when I put the chocolate in my mouth there is some kind of instantaneous response to it, a trigger, that makes me want to eat 20 more.  After discussing that with Bernadette, she ok’d my 2nd choice which is Zone bars.  I take a meal replacement bar and cut it in half for a snack.  These are great because I still get the taste of sweetness and chocolate that I’m looking for but without the emotional response triggered by the Hershey’s chocolate.

Another thing that I’m finding really helpful is an app called My Fitness Pal.  It’s free and you can download it to your phone or your iPad.  They also have a website if you prefer to go that route, too!  Oh and did I mention it is FREE?!  You just can’t beat free.  They have an extensive database of foods and it’s likely that if it’s at your grocery store, it’s on My Fitness Pal, too.  I’m trying to stay at around 1200 calories a day.  If you’d like to follow me at my fitness pal, you can add me as a friend there.  I’m listed as eviec1.

This change in eating has revived my interest in cooking, another great side effect!  There are several great sites out there offering a mix of inspiration as well as really awesome looking recipes which I plan to try out.  Check out www.skinnytaste.com, www.dashingdish.com, and www.canyoustayfordinner.com and I think you’ll agree they have so much to choose from.  Last night, I made this pulled pork recipe from skinnytaste.com and it was really good!  Mine was a touch too salty but I think that is because I used a bottled sauce that had a mustard base.  In spite of that, it was really good and I’ll be having leftovers for dinner tonight!!

So, this week I have added exercise to my daily routine.  Using my Spotify account I setup a playlist of songs to help me keep up a brisk pace on my treadmill.  It’s so much more awesome to walk on the treadmill listening to music!!  For two days now I have walked for 30 minutes on the treadmill at 3.5mph. Also, at 3 times during the walk, I pump up the speed for 1-2 mins to give my walk a little more oomph.  Man, my energy level is so high after working out!  It’s great!!

So, it has taken me a long-ass time but this finally feels like the right fit for me.  I will keep you posted on my progress!!

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