No Weigh May

I apologize for being MIA. However, I come to you today with a very good lesson πŸ™‚

I work at a clinic, and they offer a free wellness fair for employees and their families–height, weight, fasting blood work–the works. A few years ago when I did it I had high blood pressure (which I ended up going on meds), my cholesterol was 261, and my glucose was teetering on the edge of a real problem. I worked really hard to get those numbers in check, and before I got pregnant with my son in 2013, I had gotten my cholesterol down to normal, got off the high blood pressure meds, and my glucose was within normal.

My weight was and still is something that hasn’t gone down. I am still considered obese, and even when I was at my lowest weight of 165, I was still considered obese for my height. But I was healthy, and I am still healthy.

My mental health has always teetered. I am a high anxiety and stress person, and with this journey to lose weight I have struggled to find balance with the scale. I still do measurements, but I rely on the scale to tell me everything about myself. So I decided to participate in “No Weigh May” to give my mental health a break from negativity. Basically, you put the scale away for the whole month of May and rely on measuring and progress pictures, and I learned a lesson nobody could ever put a measurement on.

The Con

I’m going to start with the con just to get it out of the way. I have been at this for just over two weeks, and looking back I have realized that the scale helped keep my eating in check. When I’d weigh myself every few days if I saw the scale go up a little, it would prompt me to make healthier choices or at least to really think about what I took out of the fridge or pantry. “Am I eating too much sugar? Sodium? I should lay off the chocolate covered almonds.” The last few weeks I have found myself taking a few chips here or a candy there and not really thinking about it. I’ve worked too hard at trying to eat clean and get down to a more manageable weight to let some candy and chips that I don’t really need get the best of me. It comes to me being strong enough and explaining to myself that I don’t really need it and prioritizing what I want most. Wanting to lose weight and be healthy doesn’t mean that I can’t have something, but it means I need to eat in moderation to succeed, and I have to find a way to get that through to myself.

The Pros

I have more body confidence, which outweighs the cons any day of the week. The last few weeks I have focused on lifting, and I love seeing my arm muscles get more defined. I flex for everyone and everything. I’ll even flex for the cat. No joke! Even when I flex my belly, I can see definition of abs. I am proud of how far I’ve come. Typically when I’d step on the scale and see I’ve gained a pound, I’d instantly see it on my body. It would screw my whole day, even if I had a great lifting day and my arms were looking fly. My brain would seriously tell me, “You definitely look fatter now that you’ve stepped on the scale and saw it go up. See it? It’s right there on your belly.” Every flaw would be identified because my confidence was deflated. Not stepping on the scale has made me more aware of my body, and I often stand in the mirror in the morning admiring the parts of my I like rather than looking for the things I don’t AND not letting a number tell me my body isn’t good enough. On Saturday morning after my shower as I am listening to “Me Too” by Meghan Trainor, I even found myself looking at my curvy booty in my jeans and saying, “Daaayyuumm” instead of “damnit.”

The experience has made me want to find a bold lipstick (and I don’t wear lipstick except maybe once a year for pictures) and go try on clothes that I normally wouldn’t pick out because society might laugh at me or say it wasn’t acceptable for someone my size to wear it. And the age-old comment “Don’t glorify fat. It’s unhealthy” makes me roll my eyes now. People come in all shapes and sizes. I just happen to be built bigger and have more fat on my body. While I am labeled, clinically, as obese, my doctor says nothing because I am healthy in every other way, and my weight does not prohibit me from doing things. My lack of confidence does, and unfortunately there is no way to measure that except to look inside yourself and make the choice to love yourself instead of hating.

I am still on a mission to eat clean because healthy is what I strive for. Whether the result means I’m still fat or perhaps I look lean, I’ll take it. I know I’ll struggle at some point with my body confidence as I think everyone does, but I am making a promise to myself to put more effort into seeing the positive than the negative.

If you like TED Talks and are interested, click HERE. I don’t know a lot about Lillian Bustle, but this TED Talk was really enjoyable and explained a lot about body image. I am starting to look up to her for her confidence and self-respect.

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Waking Up Early: Day 1

I bought this cute pair of mint capris from Scheels in March, and I did something you’re told never to do: buy them small. I figured it would be motivation. When I tried them on, I could barely get them over my thighs, and I couldn’t get them buttoned. The scale and tape measure have not been very nice to me since starting my clean eating journey in February, but I decided to bust out the capris on Saturday just to see what would happen. I’ve been eating well and lifting, so I figured why not? And they fit! Not very comfortably yet, but the point is I didn’t struggle to get them over my thighs, and I could get them buttoned. I just felt like a sausage in casing, so I have a little work to do.

I’ve been eating a small breakfast within an hour of waking, so I decided I’d start doing a 10-20 minute ab exercise in the morning too. I knew this would require waking up early, which I don’t care for. My hope is that by adding in the small exercise (on top of my normal after-work exercise at the gym) I can shed some belly fat so I can fit into those capris by June.

I had some wins and losses. My win was I did wake up at 6:30, 20 minutes before I normally do. The loss was I didn’t exercise. I ate breakfast and also realized that I’d need to wake up earlier if I expected to exercise and fit breakfast in before 7. So tomorrow I’m going to shoot for 6:15 and see if I can’t feel a bit more motivated to work out.

Recipe Time

So my breakfast was amazing, so amazing I want to share it with you. I didn’t look at the calories before I made it because I didn’t care, but once I plugged them into My Fitness Pal, I cared quite a bit more, haha. It came out to 700 calories, but I think that can easily be modified. I got it from this website.

2 bananas, coined
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
Cinnamon

Mix together and either warm on the stove or microwave. First, two bananas is too much for one person. Second, it wasn’t clear if coconut milk was supposed to be from a can or carton, and I did a can. You could use from a carton, and it would taste less rich, which is probably what I would do next time. I’d also omit the shredded coconut just because I don’t think it added anything other than texture. It was very good though, and I’ll definitely be making it again. I ended up taking some leftovers for my mid-morning snack because it was just too much and too rick for that time in the morning.

Progress!

I think we all know that one person throughout our journey that truly just wants to see us fail, or perhaps they are just so unhappy with themselves that they want to see us in the same boat. Misery likes company, right? I wouldn’t necessarily say my mother in law wants me to fail, but during Easter she said something that bothered me a bit longer than it should have.

Throughout this weight-loss journey, I am also working on and patience and letting go. I’m learning to not take things so personally and brush them off. This one took me a bit longer, but I have been able to brush it off since, and I find it has strengthened me. At Easter my family gave me Kind bars because they know the hard work I have dedicated to trying to change my eating habits. At my son’s birthday, which we had on the 2nd, my mother in law brought a tote (yes, a tote–a small tote, but a tote nonetheless) of candy for my husband and I. Reeses, Werthers, gummies, you name it. I was kind of being pushed to eat it, and I said, “We’re trying really hard to eat clean and healthy.” She said, “Well you’re in the wrong family then!” And she managed to add a snarky laugh afterwards as well for good measure.

I let it bother me longer than it should have, as I said. I stewed. How dare she say that to me? I work my a double s off, and we are trying to be healthy. What is wrong with that? We are taking care of ourselves! Who is she to say otherwise and make such a naive comment?

Deep breaths. Get your mind centered.

I’m glad she said it. I’m glad she put that out there in front my my whole family and her own. Because in that moment I wasn’t the one that looked weak (and I won’t be the weak one going forward either). I have a choice–I can either let that comment chip away at my happiness, or I can use it to fuel myself to work harder and prove that our journey is making a healthier difference in our lives.

So after the party ended, I boxed up all the candy. My husband took half to work with him, and I took half to work with me to share with our coworkers. In the last month of our clean eating journey I have lost nearly 8 pounds, and I have started lifting. I am in beast mode. I am proud of myself. I am strong. For the first time in my LIFE I love myself. I don’t wake up, pinch my fat in front of the mirror and sigh. I don’t talk down to myself. I’ve embraced that if this is the body I live in for the rest of my life, I’m ok with that, but I am always going to strive to be healthier and not give up, no matter what anyone might say.

Recipe Time

What’s a post without some food? Haha. I don’t know if I can truly call this a recipe because I didn’t really go by one. However, there are probably a billion different recipes out there.

Stuffed Green Bell Peppers

1lb ground turkey
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (1/4 for each bell pepper, so 1 cup of cheese total)
Black beans
Corn
Onion
Garlic
Whatever other vegetables you’d like! Be crazy and add rice or quinoa!

I cut the tops off the peppers, pulled out all the guts, and placed them in a 9×13 pan, or whatever pan they fit into. My peppers were pretty big. I put the ground turkey, onions, and garlic in a pan and browned it and then added corn and black beans near the end. I filled each of the green peppers with the mixture. After the bell peppers are filled, add the cheese to the top. Broil them until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown (I would add some cheese throughout the mixture next time). My oven broils at 500 degrees.

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In the words of Johnny Bravo: “Whhooaaaa mmaaamaaa!”

Living for T

Two years ago, just a few minutes past midnight, I shook my husband awake. “Time this…ok, how long was that?” My husband, bleary eyes instantly becoming huge, said, “Oh my God. That was only a minute.” He shot out of bed and started getting things in the pickup.

Seeing as this was my first child, I was really dumb. I kept calling the hospital earlier that afternoon and asking them if I should come. They told me that if I felt I was in labor I should come, but it could be a false alarm, which is common for first-time moms.

I didn’t want to miss work that Monday for a false alarm, so I waited…from 5:00PM until after midnight when I kept getting woke up by twinges of pain. I also waited until there was a complete ND, white-out blizzard. If you’ve ever been to the mid-west during one of its blizzards, y’all know what I’m talking about. Plus we had to drive 75 miles to get to my hospital. We barely made it on the interstate before highway patrol shut it down. The going was slow and no visibility at times, but we made it. I called my mom 10 minutes from the hospital to tell her because I knew if I called her before I left she would have called the ambulance. Anyway, we made it, I got roomed and was 6cm along when I arrived.

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At 11:27AM my life changed forever. I was greeted by a pair a beautiful eyes (and chin) that mimicked mine in the most perfect way. It’s amazing how natural everything comes when you have a baby. Well, most everything. I can’t say it was always easy, but I trusted myself to know what was best. I remember soaking in my epsom salt bath looking up articles on how to breastfeed or what temperature was best for his room. I remember trying to change his diaper for the first time and wondering how in the heck I never learned this in 25 years. I worried constantly about if I did the right thing.

I don’t think the worrying stops, but today I have a happy, healthy two year old. I did everything I thought was best as a mom. He walks, he can slay any animal noise, he’s independent, a daredevil, and loves his puppy and kitty. He’s smiley and active, and while he can throw a mean tantrum when he doesn’t get his way, he can also give the sweetest kisses.

He’s the reason this blog got started. I wanted to document my weight loss journey, and I named my blog Living 4 T because that’s what I am doing: I’m living for my son, Tristan. I’m becoming more positive, more energized, more active for him so he can grow up to be a good person who leads a healthy life too. His presence has made me want to be a healthier person, so I’m setting an example for the beautiful boy that graced my life two years ago. I’m living for today, tomorrow, and Tristan.

Happy 2nd birthday, sweetheart. Mommy loves you more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for making me a better person and for helping me to believe in myself, that I’m worth it.

The “L” Word

This morning as I walked out the door to go to work I told my mom, who takes care of our son during the day, “I never thought I’d ever be the person who would take a hard boiled egg with sriracha and a piece of cheese to work for a snack.” It’s the honest truth too. Hard boiled eggs growing up, unless they were deviled, were THE devil. You couldn’t pay me enough to eat one, and yet, here I am eating them and actually enjoying my snack. I still like my other snacks, but I’ve since modified the kinds of snacks I take. Gone are the days of just a few Cheez-its or candy bar. I buy organic snacks low in sugar, or I take an apple with peanut butter. When you make good choices, you start feeling better and because you start feeling better you love the healthy choices you make.

Speaking of better choices, I started the dreaded “l” word in the exercising world–Lifting. On MFP it seems to be the most menacing form of exercise, especially if you’re a cardio junkie like me. If you had told me a year ago that I’d be lifting, I’d have laughed at you. While I’m starting to see a change by doing cardio, I’m really serious this time and wanted to add more to my workout. I talked to our fitness instructor about personal training, and she was so excited I approached her because she needs a partner to lift with, so she is doing it for free. I am very blessed and fortunate that she is donating her time and talents.

We didn’t add any weight to the bar yesterday, but I was able to do eight squats with the 45lb bar. I felt really good about that, especially since I’ve never lifted before! Lifting was a lot less intimidating that I first thought, and my instructor has assured me that I’ll only get stronger and more confident and eventually I’ll be lifting way more than a 45lb bar. We also did tricep dips, diagonals, chest flies, one-legged squats, and some ab exercises. We did one ab exercise that requires to to lay on your back, heels as close to your butt and reach behind your butt for the opposite foot. I told her this kind of resembled how I put on my pants in the morning, haha!

I have a feeling lifting is going to become my new health obsession, and I can’t wait to see my body and attitude change even more. What healthy changes are you making today?

 

The Breakfast Blues

I eat breakfast every single morning and a healthy one at that, which is far cry from when I was younger. I came from a family who didn’t eat breakfast (and still doesn’t),except for Sunday mornings, but my brother and I would grab our big mixing bowl, fill it up with cereal, and watch Saturday morning cartoons. I’m glad I don’t have those same habits as an adult, although they taught me a few things about my diet and how those habits were hard to break.

I did some research about when the best time to eat breakfast is, and I guess I eat more of a brunch. They say to eat breakfast within an hour of waking so it kick-starts your metabolism. My breakfast falls somewhere between 2 hours before lunch and 3 hours after waking up. It has worked for me, but perhaps my body needs a shock. So this morning I woke myself up a half an hour early, made two egg whites and had a piece of cheese. I tell you what–it took a lot to choke down that egg white. I am unsure why I hate food that early, but it is a change I’m willing to stick with to see what happens.

My day was made better when my son (T) gave me a kiss though. He’s a very independent toddler, and typically when I ask for a kiss he struggles to break free and runs screaming. It’s like high school all over again, haha! Perhaps T sensed I needed a mood boost because while I was holding him and talking to my husband, he planted a kiss right on my cheek. As I started to tell him just how much I loved him, he puckered up and laid one right on my lips. *Sigh*

Recipe Time

Over the weekend I bought some chicken legs because I found a recipe for the Best Chicken Drumstick Recipe EVER. I was skeptical, but it seriously is the best chicken recipe I’ve had. It calls for the simplest ingredients:

-Raw Chicken Drumsticks
-Olive Oil or Coconut Oil (I forgot this step, oops)
-Salt
-Black pepper
-Garlic Powder
-Paprika
-Cinnamon (she says not to skip this, and I agree. This MADE the recipe)
-Cayenne (I didn’t use this because of T, but I bet it would really amp up the chicken)

You literally just rub the drumsticks with the oil, put the salt on, and then sprinkle the remaining ingredients. Put in the oven on 400 degrees for 30 minutes, flip the drumsticks, and bake another 30 minutes. She uses parchment paper, but I used our Yoshi Mat. If you don’t have one, make your life easier and go buy one. They are worth it.

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My mouth waters thinking of these drumsticks. I also made two potatoes with dill weed, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and pepper in a pan on the stove. Took me about 30 minutes on low heat, constantly tossing, so they wouldn’t burn. They were delicious. Don’t be scared to put on as much or as little seasonings as you want with either the chicken or potatoes. Recipes without exact measurements used to turn me off, but I experiment, and I actually end up loving the recipes a lot more when I put my own twist.

Hope you have a terrific day, and thanks for reading!

Happy Friday!

It is supposed to get to the upper 60s/lower 70s today, setting a record for March. Say what?! Even yesterday was beautiful, so beautiful that I packed my little guy up, and we took a quick 30 minute walk before dinner.

Ah, dinner. It was so delicious. My husband was gone last night, and typically when he is gone I break out a box of mac and cheese for dinner (and in turn I am hungry an hour later). Yesterday I was proactive and took out a pound of ground turkey and decided to also use the zucchini in the fridge. I found a recipe for Clean Eating Garlic Parmesan Turkey Meatballs. No, that is not a typo in the recipe. It does indeed call for 10 cloves of garlic, and yes, you should use 10 because that is what made these meatballs delicious. My toddler son, who won’t eat anything but ham, oatmeal, green beans, and fruit, gobbled up a whole meatball himself and then wanted more of mine.

To go with the meatballs I kind of formed my own recipe with the zucchini:

1 Tbsp oil (I used Wild Tree Organic garlic dipping oil)
1 medium zucchini
3/4 cup of southwest style hasbrowns
Onion powder, garlic powder, dill weed, Italian seasoning and pepper to taste

You can leave the outside on the zucchini, but I took mine off for my son. I put the oil in the pan with the potatoes and zucchini and then just eyeballed my spices. I like a lot of flavor, so I used quite a bit. Cook for 10 minutes, and you have a quick, easy side dish that is healthy too!

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I was actually full after it as well. I’ve been “tricking” myself with the smaller plates though too, so maybe that is helping as well.

Tonight I am headed to the gym after work to do some of those chin-ups and work on strength. The rest of the weekend will be spent going out to eat unfortunately, but I’m hoping we go somewhere that will allow me to make good choices. On the plus side we will be moving my brother, so I will be lifting heavy boxes and walking a lot!

Have a fantastic Friday! xx