Friday, July 20, 2012

Body Fat Loss and Gluten Free Diets

Oh hey there! Remember me?

So a lot has happened since we last spoke. I've finished my 6 week boot camp and I'm in serious withdrawal! I very much miss my two-a-week classes with our instructor and the ladies I met in the class. I always left feeling so accomplished.

Right after boot camp ended, I had my 16-week meeting with the gym. They remeasured me, took my body fat percentage and weighed me. I must say I'm pretty happy about the results.  Now keep in mind that I only lost about 6 pounds, BUT that number is irrelevant in my mind because I lost 10.6% body fat! 10.6 PERCENT!!! How crazy is that?! I lost 3.5 inches all around (now it would have been 4.5, but I gained in my bust...but I count that as a win, haha!) The biggest change was losing 2 inches in my abdomen. I could tell his was happening by the way my clothes fit, and it was one of the areas I wanted to lose the most. HOORAY!
This is the first time I have felt comfortable in a swimsuit in YEARS

I lost 18.2 lbs of fat weight and gained 13.2 lbs of lean weight. Yay for lean weight!  This was the PERFECT way for me to start my week-long beach vacation!

I was so proud of myself for getting up to run or workout on the beach half of the days we were on vacation. It was beautiful out and I always felt accomplished and ready for the day.

Now I've given myself a new challenge.  Lately in the world, Gluten Free diets have become a trend. Many people have a gluten intolerance, thus need to eat gluten free to be healthy. Stars like Miley Cyrus have credited her tiny frame to a gluten free lifestyle, though many people forget that she has an allergy which is why she has had to change her eating habits.

So many are under the assumption now that gluten makes you fat. NO! Some gluten is necessary in a healthy diet (again, unless you have an allergy or intolerance), but those going on a gluten-free diet are losing weight because gluten is found in most processed foods. It is these processed foods that make people gain weight, not simply the gluten. You see? You stop eating gluten, so you stop eating processed foods, so you lose weight b/c processed foods are no bueno.

Anyways, I've given myself a challenge to eat gluten free for 2 months. It is simply out of curiosity for how it will change my body. I know gluten is healthy for me in certain amounts b/c I do not have an allergy, but being someone who eats a LOT of breads, pastas, wheat, etc... I wanted to see how it would change me to cut all those things out completely. Gluten is an inflammatory, so many people I know say they are not bloated like they were before they made the switch. One friend even said she can tell a difference in her knees and fingers!

I'll keep you all updated. So far I've been gluten free since Monday. I even had to give up cookie cake at work on Wednesday! Terrible!

And now, I leave you with a beautiful sunrise from the beach. STAY MOTIVATED!

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Friday, June 15, 2012

What I Eat - A Typical Day


I've been meticulously keeping up with my food journal for the past 4 weeks. It has helped me stay in control of my eating and I must say I am completely obsessed with it. It is always with me, even if I'm not going somewhere that I plan on eating anything. Last week the gym took our journals from us for one day to review them and pick who had the best journal and I about went nuts!  Sure I wrote down what I ate and my calories on a piece of paper, but it's just not as fun as when you're writing in a pre-planned spiral bound journal that is designed for that specific purpose!
Because I am trying to lose weight, I have limited myself to no more than 1200 calories a day. Even doing this and exercising doesn't make the weight fall off because I really only need to lose probably 5-10 more pounds and it is DIFFICULT! I try very hard to get as close to 1200 a day as possible because I do not want to eat too FEW calories, which would end up having the opposite effect than what I am shooting for. However some days I eat and eat and eat, but at the end of the day, I'm still 100-200 calories under that 1200 limit.

Part of this is because I am cooking low calorie foods, so although I'm eating a lot, the calorie count remains low.

For example, here is what I logged in my food journal yesterday. I am also linking anything possible to a source so you can find the recipes yourself! (Note: I don't think the links are changing color for some reason, so just place your mouse over them) They are all so yummy!
  • 9:15 a.m.
    • 2 pieces Nature's Own sugar free whole wheat toast: 100 cal
    • 1 Tbsp regular Jiff Creamy Peanut Butter: 90 cal
  • 11:30 a.m. 
    • 1/2 cup fruit pudding: 75 cal
      • 1 20oz can pineapple tidbits
      • 1 cup sliced strawberries
      • 1 large sliced banana
      • 1 big package sugar free vanilla pudding mix
        • pour pineapple tidbits in a bowl (with all the juice) and stir in the pudding mix. Fold in your chosen fruit. Refrigerate and enjoy!
  • 1:15 p.m.
  • 3:45 p.m.
  • 7:30 p.m.
  • 9:00 p.m.

TOTAL CALORIE INTAKE: 1063.5 CALORIES

Cake Batter Dip!!

Monterey Chicken

Skinny Chicken Enchiladas
So there you have what I eat on a typical day (actually that is what I had yesterday). I'm generally a little closer to 1200, but for some reason yesterday I was under. You can see that I eat a lot and I eat every few hours (minus that time between my mid-afternoon snack and dinner. That's when I'm at the gym). Although it isn't that many calories, I am NEVER hungry! If I start to get a little grumble, it's time for a snack anyway!

I hope you all got some great ideas from this post! If you feel out of control of your eating, I highly encourage you to keep a food journal!!

STAY MOTIVATED!

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

2nd Progress Pictures and Boot Camp Workout

Oy vey! It's that embarrassing time again where I temporarily lose sight of any sanity I possess and voluntarily post pictures of myself in my underwear to show you lovely readers my weight loss and toning progress.

It has been a slow and steady journey so far, but it is definitely working. I mentioned the other day that I've lost 4 lbs since starting boot camp and (more importantly) my food and nutrition journal. I received positive feedback last night from the staff at the gym about my eating habits thus far, so cheers to that! Even better, today is pay day so I can afford to go grocery shopping and get more fruits and veggies!

So let's get on with it, shall we? Here are a few progress pictures for you:


No it isn't anything dramatic, but it is progress and that is all I really care about at this point! I have a long way to go in my hips and lower belly area (don't we all?)
I also want to point out that I am getting a little muscle definition in my thighs (which are one of my biggest problem areas). I've been doing a lot of running for my 5k!

I will always have big thighs, but now they are beginning to look muscular rather than just straight fat and dimples! Ha! I don't mind them being big as long as they are solid.

Phew! Now that that's over with, I'd like to share Boot Camp #2 workout with everyone. It took about 35-40 minutes for me to complete this list, but I was also tied for the first person done. Today my arms are so exhausted from all of those burpees and push ups! In order to pick up my tumbler of water on my desk, I have to use both hands! I am also very sore in my calves, though thankfully my thighs are doing good!


1 lap around building
5 burpees
90 high knees
5 burpees
80 lateral jacks
5 burpees
70 speed skates
5 burpees
50 butt kicks
5 burpees
40 squat jumps
5 burpees
30 mountain climbers
5 burpees
20 jump lunges
5 burpees
10 super planks

In case you have never heard of a burpee, here is a video I did a while back, however last night she made us hit our chest all the way to the floor which is a little different from how I normally do them.


Are you going to try this at home?! Push yourself! Y'all can do ANYTHING!!!

I also wanted to mention that I MIGHT be instructing group fitness classes at my gym soon! I was asked if I'd be interested, so further discussion will happen next week! Super exciting!! I'll channel my inner Richard Simmons! COME ON LADIES!

Until next time...STAY MOTIVATED!Pin It

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tires and Treadmills

Well friends, day 1 of boot camp is COMPLETE and days later I'm still feeling it. This past Saturday was our first real session, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Here is a brief overview of what we accomplished:

Station 1:
20 air squats, 20 mountain climbers (repeat until station 4 is finished)


Station 2:
Get on the treadmill (DO NOT TURN ON) and push the belt until you are walking. Keep the belt moving until station 4 is finished. (This was the worst one for me. Serious burning in my calves)


Station 3:
10 squats with weighted bar, 20 jump ropes (repeat until station 4 is finished)

Station 4:
Running with tires. Run around the building and up to the road. Pick up a spare tire and run back. Drop off the tire and run to the road and back. Pick up the tire again, run to the road and drop it off, run back. (you could walk with the tire if needed)
After all of this was finished (35 minutes), we had a plank competition and did some ab exercises. I was super sweaty and happy all at the same time!

...then I woke up Sunday morning...and couldn't lift my legs enough to simply roll over in bed. That means it worked, right? Now it's Tuesday and I'm STILL walking like a wounded flamingo.

I have good news!! I've lost 4 lbs in a week! I've never lost that much weight so quickly EVER! I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm drinking a TON of water (we're talking 70-80oz a day) as well as eating every 2-3 hours. I have been meticulously tracking everything and have only gone over my allotted 1200 calories one day, which was Saturday and we were driving home from Jacksonville until 2 a.m. so I needed to eat.

I also had a big breakthrough this weekend. I went to the pool IN my swimsuit and didn't feel like I had to hide under a rock. That is a major accomplishment for me. It has been probably 2 years since I have been in a bikini. Granted, I was at a hotel pool in Jacksonville, FL with a bunch of little kids around me, but still!

Because Monday was a holiday, boot camp was rescheduled until Wednesday (thank goodness! I needed the rest), and I promise to keep all of your amazing readers up to date on what is happening.

Are you staying motivated? Have you reached any milestones, whether physical or mental? I'd love to hear! KEEP UP THE HARD WORK!

(P.S. Have you voted yet for my boot camp picture? Just go to this link and "like" my picture) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=452903581391049&set=a.452903341391073.121604.210231538991589&type=3&theaterPin It

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beach Body Nutrition - Whole Grains

Happy Thursday friends! I hope you're all doing splendidly!

Before we get into the point of this post, I want to ask y'all again to please help me WIN the social media contest for boot camp!
It is so easy, and all you have to do is log in to Facebook and "like" my photo!
Here is the link! http://on.fb.me/JuxDFn
Yesterday evening I attended the first nutrition meeting for Beach Body Boot Camp. Although I think I have already read up on most of the nutrition information we will be learning, I wanted to make sure I was soaking up as much of this 6-week experience as possible, and who knows? I might end up learning some new tidbits of information!

Last night was all about switching from refined grains to whole grains. I made this switch around November of last year and haven't looked back since! To be honest, if you compare a box of white rice v. a box of brown rice, there isn't too drastic of a difference in terms of calories, sugars, etc... However, once you start comparing the minerals and nutrients, you'll notice that the refined white flour products have been stripped of these awesomely healthy benefits! Why would you want to deprive yourself of these things that are so good for you?!

But don't be fooled! A lot of products will design their packages to trick you into thinking you're eating a healthy whole-wheat option! Make sure you always check the ingredient list before purchasing and choose products that have 100% whole wheat flour as the FIRST ingredient!  Just because it's brown doesn't mean it's whole wheat and just because it says "100% wheat" doesn't mean it is WHOLE wheat!

If you're wary that you'll like the taste of whole grain foods, start slowly. You don't have to jump in head first and cut out every bit of refined grains within a 24-hour period! Start by making simple switches like using brown rice instead of white or mixing half whole wheat pasta and half white pasta and gradually using less and less white pasta until all you have left is the whole wheat! It's the same concept as weening a baby off a bottle.YOU CAN DO IT!!

As a side note, I came home last night to a great surprise in my mailbox! Somehow I got signed up to receive Whole Living magazine! I haven't gotten a chance to go through them yet, but if I find any great recipes, I'll be SURE to share them!

Please go "like" my Facebook picture!! It would mean so much to me! And stay tuned for some progress photos!Pin It

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I NEED YOUR HELP TO WIN!

My Beach Body Boot Camp is having a social media contest! We each took a picture yesterday at day 1 of boot camp and the person with the most Facebook "likes" on their page by June 18th WINS!

PLEASE HELP ME WIN!

It takes 10 seconds! Just login to Facebook, go to this link and click "like" -- it is SO EASY and I will love you forever!!



https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=452903581391049&set=a.452903341391073.121604.210231538991589&type=3&theaterPin It

Boot Camp Beginnings!

**This is a long, brain-dump type of post**
Last night I headed to the gym after work for the first day of Beach Body Boot Camp!! It is a six week program I am participating in with hopes of stepping up my game in both weight-loss and body transformation.
How cute is the decor in our Group Fitness room? Beach Balls and Flip Flops!
The first session was very introductory. We were weighed-in (which yes, made me angry), took our "before" pictures, talked all about what we would be doing, set goals, and received our food and exercise journals. I am keeping track of EVERYTHING I eat and drink for the next 6 weeks. It has already helped me make good decisions! Since I know they will be checking our food journals every week (and there is a prize for the best kept journal), I don't want to write things down like "1 cupcake - 300 calories" or "Starbucks Frappucino - 250 calories." Last night after boot camp, I REALLY wanted a mocha Frappucino light (which is only 180 calories), but didn't want my super fit boot camp instructor to see it when she reviews my journal on Saturday...so I drove right by!


I have given myself 1200 calories a day, which is about right for me since I'm not very overweight in the first place (it's tough for me to lose since I don't have much to go). It may not sound like a lot, but honestly since I'm eating lower calorie foods in the first place, I'm not depriving myself of food at all. 

Back to Boot Camp. 
Although we mostly talked during this first session, we did do a push-up competition. Now, back in high school I was the queen of push ups. I mean full man-style, perfect form push-ups! I could do about 20 in a row and was very proud of it! It may not be tons, but for a girl who didn't really work out, I thought it was pretty impressive. Since then I have lost muscle and can only do about 5. Diana, our instructor, told us we would be doing bent-knee push ups (or girly push-ups) this time, but at week 5 we would be having another competition and it would be regular style push-ups. I sized up my competition and felt pretty confident I could win. 

Before starting, she made it VERY clear to NOT peel yourself off the floor like a snake, and rather to push straight up with your arms. She had us go all the way down, touch our chest to the floor, release our hands, then push back up. Once we started, I realized she wasn't having us compete for who can necessarily do the most, but who can do them the longest. I didn't pace myself very well and the women around me were going very slowly. One by one they dropped out and I was 1 of 4 left. I REALLY wanted to win and kept PERFECT form the entire time because I didn't want to get called out for "peeling" up. I pushed up one more time and got about halfway up when I PHYSICALLY could not do it anymore. I tried so hard, but my muscles wouldn't listen. So I stopped and looked at the 3 remaining ladies. AND THEY WERE ALL PEELING THEMSELVES OFF THE FLOOR!!!! The other girl was pushing herself up then literally falling back to the floor, which is totally not the point of a push-up. Oooo! I was so mad! I didn't say anything, but I did feel a little better when a girl who was out early on pointed to me and said "she was the only one doing them right!" -- Yes...yes I was. 

So let's just say that week 5? GAME ON!!!! I have my secret weapon...the 100 push-up challenge! This program helps you work up to being able to do 100 push ups! I haven't completed it, but last time I tried I got back up to about 17 at once. By week 5, I should be able to do 25. 

After Boot Camp, I went out and ran my week 5, run 1 of the Couch to 5k program. I wanted to get some cardio in, since all we did at the gym were the push ups and some stretching. It went great, but I definitely need a bigger area to run in so I'm not just running back and forth in my neighborhood 4 times. 

I feel motivated today and ready to tackle the world! Do you?! STAY MOTIVATED, FRIENDS!!


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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When You Start Slipping

**I started writing this post last week and am just now finishing it!**
I've gotten my body to the point where I now don't particularly enjoy or crave (often) fast foods, I truly enjoy cooking healthy, and I feel gross when I do eat, for instance, McDonald's fries. I use to never give it a second thought and would blindly order a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and a medium fry without feeling any remorse.
I keep some of these in my desk drawer at work to nibble on a little
at a time if I feel hungry around 3 or 4 p.m.
However, a few weeks ago I ordered a french fry from said McDonald's and after I snarfed it down, I realized I felt terrible. Not just mentally terrible that I had made such an obviously poor health choice, but the skin on my face instantly felt greasy and my stomach was not very happy with me. I could feel the fries just sitting on top of my stomach refusing to digest.

Knowing that I now don't get the same satisfaction out of fast food or junk foods that I use to, I went about happily choosing fruits veggies, whole grains and even baking my own SKINNY version of fries when the craving came on (thank you Pinterest and Skinny Taste!)...

...but then there are those times when we start to slip again...

For me, those times generally only happen when I'm short on cash, which, in turn, means I'm short on groceries. I'm literally now to the point of only having rice, canned beans, some condiments, and popcorn at my house. There is nothing for me too cook and I'm low on cash since I'm saving for my skydiving trip this weekend (pictures will be shared, I promise), so I haven't gone shopping. So what happened? I ate junk food, fast food, and whatever my office had lying around the kitchen (since it's finals week for the students, that means donuts, sausage biscuits, chicken biscuits, etc...).
Healthy breakfast options at work
I can feel myself slipping and I'm giving into serious temptation. This morning, for example, rather than having a banana or apple from the bowl on the counter at work, I literally stared at a chocolate glazed donut for a full minute before giving in and devouring it. I kept looking at it while it taunted me and brainwashed me with its gooey chocolate icing. It screamed "EAT ME! YOUR DIET IS SCREWED THIS WEEK, ANYWAYS!!!"

So I did. And I felt good for about 5 minutes until I realized that although I hadn't been eating well all week, I just ruined another opportunity for me to veer myself back onto the right path.
My great lunch from yesterday - strawberries, rotini with some
melted ICBINB and some parm.

**This is where I picked up writing again today**

Here is what I say...if you feel yourself slipping back into old, unhealthy eating or exercise habits, stop right there!! Look in the mirror, stare into your soul and remind yourself why you started this journey in the first place. Was it to feel better in clothes? To be able to play more with your kids? To see what your body is capable of? Once you remember your reasons, ask yourself if those reasons are worth giving up. If you still want to achieve those things, then push through your rut and tell yourself that it WILL get better and put your mind to it!

I went out to the grocery store last night and was finally able to pick up some fruit and veggies. I made dinner for the first time in a week and it was so delicious! It also felt nice to know exactly what I'm eating again rather than not knowing exactly what kind of unhealthy ingredients a restaurant is putting in my meals.

Today I head back to the gym and next Monday I start Beach Body Boot Camp! I've got my goals in my head again and I'm feeling strong. I can do it!

I hope you're all staying positive and STAY MOTIVATED!


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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting Bored and Switching It Up

Work has been terribly busy since my last post and I apologize for my absence. Hopefully it will be slowing down a tad and I can get us back to regularly scheduled programming.

Last night I signed myself up for a 6-week Beach Body Boot Camp at my gym. I think it is exactly what I need to get my motivation back up and running! I've been bored lately with my workouts and a little upset about the slow nature of my progress, so I need something to jump start my excitement again. I can't help it...I'm human and I like fast results, even if they're not realistic.

My Boot Camp starts on May 21st and it requires going to at least 2 1-hour boot camp classes a week (although I'll still be at the gym my normal 3-4 times) and a food diary. The woman who is teaching the class let me know last night she'll be pushing us hard for that 1-hour between running through the parking lot, strength training and cardio. I must say, I am very very excited. The end of this 6 weeks comes JUST before I leave for the beach with my family, so it couldn't be more perfect.

I've also started back doing Couch to 5k, a program I highly highly recommend to anyone who is interested in beginning running. It really starts you slow and eases you into being able to do a 30-minute 5k. Because I am not a complete beginner, I skipped to week 5, but due to a 4-day running vacation, I've had a little setback and am still working on being able to complete my 3rd week 5 run..

I couldn't be more proud of my momma, though. I had her start the Couch to 5k program (forced, is more the word for it) and told her that she and I would be running a 5k by ourselves one morning while we are at the beach...no excuses. She definitely was not excited when she started and reminded me over and over again that she is not good at running and has no real desire to run...I didn't like that answer and told her, well, too bad. She's now on week 3 and has already pushed herself past the limit she thought she was capable of achieving. I cannot wait to see how far she can go!!! Of course, she is also holding me accountable saying that if she's able to run a 5k by beach time, I better be able to also. The pressure is on!!

I challenge all of you to get out there and push yourself to try a new activity, or if you're having a tough time staying motivated, switch up your workout! Do something fun! Sign up for an interesting class and see what you're capable of! You can do anything and I firmly believe that.Pin It

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm Going to Pay For That

Everyone...last night was one of those epic failures on the get-fit-or-die-trying journey. Monday night I stayed up so late preparing those HIIT workout videos and loading them onto YouTube and the blog that I ended up getting very little sleep. By the time 5:30 p.m. Tuesday came around, I couldn't imagine going to the gym because I just had zero energy. My eyes felt like they were a million pounds!

I went home and laid down on the couch, determined to not fall asleep so I wouldn't accidentally sleep though The Voice and the new episode of Giuliana and Bill, and let me just tell you...I did not get off that couch except to use the bathroom until 10:00 p.m. when I slumped into my room to catch the final moments of the Giuliana and Bill baby special and finally went to sleep.
Struggling to stay awake for Giuliana and Bill
Oh wait...I did get off the couch one time, but it was just me literally rolling onto the floor so I could the eat the Chinese food T got me for dinner off of the coffee table. Yea...after I had done all this preaching about how high in calories and unhealthy Chinese food is, I made my boyfriend go buy me some because I was too exhausted to cook anything healthy (or find a better take-out option).

So after skipping the gym, eating unhealthy food, and barely moving at all between 5:30p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, I felt pretty terrible. I told y'all I wouldn't sugar coat things on this blog and I won't. I really felt like such a hypocrite.

But then I started to think about what I had done right (which, seriously, few and far between at this point). I only ate half of my meal last night. If this was a year ago, I would have stuffed myself because I didn't have the self-control to stop eating when I knew I was full. What I could have done better, other than obviously opting to eat something else, was put a small portion on a plate and put the leftovers away so they were out of sight, out of mind.

Today I was determined to do better. I had planned to go to lunch with a friend, and we had chosen sushi. YUM! I love sushi so much and I usually order 2 California rolls and rice...which is a lot of food, especially for lunch. To do better, I opted today for only 1 California roll (because I can't eat just the normal raw fish) and rather that rice, I ordered edamame. I tried to eat my roll without any soy sauce, but ended up using just a little tiny dab of the low-sodium version.
Still had lots of salt, which I tried my best to brush off

Only half of this was mine, for the record!
I have to keep remembering that even on the days when I eat poorly and make bad choices, I'm still making better choices than I would have a year ago and I'm slowly learning how to control myself. Now today, I'm going to kick ass and take names at the gym!!

Side note: I really love grapes!Pin It

Monday, April 23, 2012

Progress photo 1 and Weekend Workouts

Too often I spend the entire week eating well and working out just about each day, only to have the weekend come about and put me back a few steps.  I tend to eat worse and, although I have much more time on my hands, workouts get pushed to the side to make room for more naps.

This weekend, however, I made strides in staying on track, especially in the workout-realm. I skipped the gym on Friday and opted to go for a run around the neighborhood instead. Taylor joined me, which made me run the entire way without stopping. I can do a mile fine on the treadmill, but when you add in changes in elevation and the fact that I'm now having to propel myself rather than having the treadmill do it for me, it makes it much more difficult. (I had a picture for this, but I accidentally deleted it from my phone)

Saturday morning my friend, Mackenzie, and I did a take 2 on our early spin class. This time we arrived when the class really was, rather than an hour and a half early. :) 
For the record, I'm really not that ripped...it's the lighting.
If any of you have ever taken a spin class before, you know it's not exactly the most comfortable thing in the world and tends to make your lady bits very sore. However, I would 100% encourage anyone to go to a class. The music is fun and it burns so many calories! You can make it as hard or as easy as you want to, but I feel like if you're going to go to a class (especially at 8:30 a.m. like we did), you might as well put everything into it and turn your resistance up to get a good burn going! 

I continued my workout streak on Sunday by going on another 1 mile run around the neighborhood. I had planned on doing putting in some more mileage, but the sun was really beating down on me, making it pretty miserable. But hey, doing 1 mile is 130 calories more than I would have burned sitting on the couch!

I also experimented with some new foods this weekend! Check out the healthy lunch I had yesterday!

I finally used the quinoa my mom sent me for Easter and tried it out with this cheesy quinoa bites recipe. It wasn't bad, but I think next time I'll go a little easier on the carrots and maybe throw some reduced fat cheddar cheese on top. 

Y'all really need to try this Zucchini and Spinach Fritter recipe from Kat at Living Like the Kings. She had said she was obsessed with them, and after making them, I can see why! I found myself making one, then eating it while another was in the pan, and then eating that one when it was done! I did manage to save a couple for the next day. 

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all be waiting for, and the moment I've been dreading...my first set of progress pictures. 

I really would rather not post photos of me in my underwear on the internet, but I feel like it's really important for you all to see that these things I preach about have positively affected my body. Please keep in mind that I have only been seriously exercising for 1 1/2 months and only since about January have I make huge changes in my diet. I still have a very long way to go, and I know that, but it is fulfilling to be able to physically see the change.



The first photo was taken in late November while I was in Ohio for Thanksgiving break.  The second was taken Sunday morning (after I had eaten a peanut butter sandwich, mind you!).  Please look past the lighting changes and the difference in the panties I am wearing, as those things make the progress look much more than it truly is.  As you can see, I've got some serious hips on me, which will never be small, but definitely still need to be slimmed down a bit.. I keep getting reminded by own personal trainer/boyfriend that 
a) the skin on the back of my legs is much smoother than it was before
b) my midsection and hips will be the last place I lose weight (awesome) 
c) I CANNOT SPOT REDUCE FAT! I have to keep doing lots and lots of cardio to remove the fat, and then strength training to tone and lean-up the muscle UNDERNEATH that fat. 


So...now that you've all seen entirely too much of me, I will leave you until another post! 
Enjoy and STAY MOTIVATED!!!!!!!!
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Gym Bag

I've got some goodies in the works for y'all in the form of new easy at-home workouts, so be on the lookout for those!  In the meantime, I wanted to share what I carry with me in my gym bag. It's really not a lot, but for now it's all I need.
First of all, I am completely in love with my gym bag from Nike. I picked it up from the local sports store and am smitten with the bright purple and pink! The best park is inside with the POP of pattern! I know technically the color doesn't matter, but come on...I'm a girl and these things make me happy.

My water bottle from my Aunt...I mean... "Easter Bunny" fits perfectly in the side pocket. I love that this water bottle has a straw so I don't have to tip the bottle upside down and squeeze it to drink (wow, that sounds lazy). I'm not exactly positive where the Easter Bunny found it, but my best guess would be Bed Bath and Beyond.

Tennis shoes can get pretty stinky and dirty and my gym bag has a zippered side-pocket compartment to hold your shoes so you don't get the things IN the gym bag dirty or smellier than they likely already are. Can y'all see that fun pattern peaking out?! Don't you just love it?? The shoes I currently use are a few years old and desperately need to be replaced, but who has the money for that?! They are Nike Lunarlons and they've been great, but man have I worn them out!


This are the usual contents of my bag. 

1. Sports bra - my favorite being my Nike sports bra with light padding on the inside. Nothing make you more self conscious than knowing your girls are at attention and visible through your shirt.

2. Dry-Fit shirt. This particular one I wore during the Disney Princess Half Marathon for my Belle costume! I generally prefer wearing loose-fitting tanks for the extra movement room.

3. Running leggings! These Under Armour ones are great! They are made for running outdoors and kept me so warm in the coolest conditions and did so well with repelling the sweat! They are a tad warm for indoor training, but with only 3 pairs of leggings, I make do with what I have.

4. Under Armour socks. These socks are nice and snug against your foot and also absorb the moisture so well! 

5. Granny Panties! I just cannot exercise in a thong, nor can I get myself to just not wear undies at all, so I opt for these full-bottomed no-panty-line underwear I got from Wally world. I wouldn't recommend them because they're definitely not made for working out and are too thin for all the sweat, but they don't show panty-lines and I can't afford the $20 per pair of athletic underwear.

6. Travel toothbrush and toothpaste.

7. Tanning Lotion - my gym has a tanning bed and on occasion I feel like laying in it while I'm there, though as you can tell by my clearly-not-tan skin...it's not very often that I do this.

8. Inhaler - I have very mild asthma that will sometimes just sneak up on me, especially if I'm cold while running. This just helps open up my passageways

9. Deodorant - self-explanatory

10. 2 sets of ear buds - The black ones broke and now sound only comes out of one ear, so I have a second pair, but keep the first just in case it breaks too.

11. Small towel to wipe off all the sweat that pours off of me when I kick ass and take names.

What do you keep in your gym bag? What is something you CANNOT go to the gym without? Do you have any recommendations on things I should carry with me?


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Healthy Edamame Fried Rice


I am such a huge fan of Chinese food! I could stuff myself with it, wait an hour, and stuff myself again. Orange chicken or sweet and sour chicken are my favorites, but it's just not the same unless you've got a big helping of fried rice on the side. Now, all these delicious foods from our neighbors on the other side of the world don't exactly help out around the midsection. At a popular Chinese fast food place, there are almost 500 calories in JUST the serving of fried rice you're given! You might be saying to yourself, "Oh but it's so good! It's totally worth it!" NEGATIVE, GHOSTRIDER!

After spending an hour busting my hump at the gym in hopes of a Beyonce-esque body (for those of us with hips that don't lie...Shakira, anyone?), the last thing I want to do is ruin it on one serving of delicious but unhealthy rice.  But sometimes our tastebuds want what they want...so what are we to do?

Enter Skinny Taste

Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE Gina's website? I'm completely obsessed with it and 80% of my meals are from here.  She recently posted a recipe for Asian Edamame Fried Rice. I knew instantly I had to try it, especially after seeing that a cup of it is only about 200 calories. WIN! She swapped out the bleached white rice for it's healthier brown cousin and used mostly egg whites as well as a good oil option, substituted light soy sauce, and of course, the fiber and protein-packed edamame!
Please excuse my gross post-workout look!
I made it last night and Taylor and I both scarfed it down! Okay, so Taylor scarfed, I used chopsticks because a) who doesn't love using chopsticks and b) it make me eat slower, which is something I've always had a problem with. By the time I was done with my bowl, Taylor had eaten 2 and the whole pan was gone. So much for leftovers for my lunch! Curse him and his fast metabolism!

Edamame Fried Rice
Skinnytaste.com 
Servings: 6 • Size: just under 1 cup • Old Points: 4 pt • Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 202 • Fat: 5.8 g • Protein: 8.6 g • Carb: 28.5 g • Fiber: 4.3 g • Sugar: 1.1 g
Sodium: 244.1 mg (without salt)

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked brown rice
2 egg whites, scrambled
1 whole egg, scrambled 
1 tbsp Smart Balance oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced 
5 scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
1/2 cup shredded carrots
cooking spray
1 cup ready-to-eat shelled edamame (I could only find the steamer bags, so I just shelled them myself)
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (Taylor added a bit more to his, but I didn't think it needed it)
salt and fresh pepper to taste

ALMOST a full cup - I was a tad short.

Directions

Whisk eggs and egg whites, season with salt and pepper. In a hot wok (or large skillet, like I used), spray a little oil and cook the eggs. When cooked, remove from pan and set aside.Let the wok get really hot. Add oil and cook onions, scallion whites, carrots and garlic for about 60 seconds, careful not to burn. 

Add brown rice and stir well a few minutes to heat through. Add cooked egg along with soy sauce, scallion greens and edamame, mixing well for about 3-4 minutes.  

This will definitely be making a repeat visit at my house!
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Improvising at 7 a.m.

Last Thursday my friend, Mackenzie, and I were chatting online about working out, trying to lose weight, etc... She was going to be in town from Atlanta for the weekend and somehow she convinced me it would be a great idea to go to a Spin 60 class at 7 a.m. on Saturday. For those of you who have never been to a spin class, yes they are really fun and the music really gets my blood flowing, but lord baby Jesus, the seats are the most uncomfortable inventions ever and they will leave your lady parts bruised and sore for the next few days...especially after jumping into a full 60 minute class!

Regardless, I agreed (though I still think she somehow virtually drugged me to get me to comply). At 6:15 a.m. Saturday morning my "I'm Sexy and I Know It" alarm went off, I grumbled angrily from only 5 hours of sleep thanks to company being over much longer than I had anticipated, and I rolled out of my bed and into my workout clothes. 

When Mackenzie and I both arrived at the gym we noticed it was pretty dark in the building. We walked up to the door and noticed something was not right. After a quick search on my iPhone, we realized Mackenzie had misread the schedule and the class wasn't until 8:30 and the gym didn't even OPEN for another hour!! (I still love you, Mackenzie!)

We had two options. We could a) say "oh well" and go back to our warm beds without getting any exercise, or b) we could improvise and find something else to do at 7 o'clock in the morning and make waking up that early worthwhile..  We chose option B.

The spin class was at the campus gym and it has a big path around it. We decided to go for a walk and ended up moving from the track up the street to campus. It had been awhile since either of us had really spent any time on campus since we've graduated so it was really nice to get to walk around when no one was there. It was beautiful and very peaceful! A month ago I ran a 5k on campus, so we walked that same route and got in just over 3 miles. We didn't try to keep a certain pace, but just getting even that little bit of exercise was worth it. 



So here is my non-professional advice for all you hot mommas (and daddies) out there...sometimes you have to improvise. You can always come up with a backup plan. Say you wanted to go for a bike ride but find out you have a flat tire - go for a walk instead! There is always something else you can do, you just have to avoid letting that lazy demon on your shoulder keeping you from accomplishing something!!
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