Twenty pounds later...

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated! The hard truth is that March was a difficult month for me as far as staying motivated goes. I have a great support system between my family and friends, but I found myself not wanting to go to the gym. I tried excusing home workouts as enough. Spoiler alert: they’re not enough.

One week in March I didn’t go to the gym AT ALL. The week before I had gone five times, and I had loved it. Then I just hit a total wall and had no desire to go anymore. I did some stability ball exercises at home, but nowhere near the intensity I hit at the gym.

I lost 0 pounds that week. That was the first time I went without losing a pound or more in a week since I started this journey. Exercise makes a difference, kids. Don’t fool yourself into thinking healthy eating is enough (though it’s very, very important!).

So I got back on the wagon this week. I have started walking/jogging outside since the weather has FINALLY started to become spring-like here (in other words, it’s in the 40s). But I need the structure of the gym still a few times a week, so I’m getting back into that rhythm again.

I hit a milestone yesterday. I weigh myself every Friday morning. I started this journey on December 31, though I didn’t start eating better along with exercising until the end of January. As of yesterday, I’ve lost 20 pounds. Twenty pounds! I’m literally stunned.

At the top you can see a current before and after photo of me. The before is from Christmas. When we took that photo, I wasn’t 100% happy with the way I looked, but I thought I overall looked OK. It’s such a strange reality you live in when you’ve been overweight for so long. You start seeing yourself a certain way, and suddenly don’t realize how far you’ve let yourself go.

I have a longggggg way to go, but I’m going to get there. Slowly but sure. Twenty pounds is a victory for me. I can see the difference 20 pounds makes. I feel happier without those 20 pounds.

Twenty pounds. I’ll take it.

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Healthy

Twenty pounds later…

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DreamI’m in love with this quote above. It perfectly sums up the past few weeks of my life.

I’m still eating right, which has surprisingly stopped being so difficult. I haven’t used a cheat meal in two weeks, I think. It truly, truly gets easier the longer you do this. The temptation is still there, that’s for sure. Yesterday I went to see a movie with my sister and I was so tempted to just be like, “Eh, a cheat meal night! Why not!” But I realized it so wasn’t worth it, so I ate my Lean Cuisine pizza at home before we left. My sister ate popcorn next to me and I didn’t cheat a single kernel. Or a sip of soda.

I’m almost two weeks without soda now. While I can’t say that I technically feel any different, I know it’s good for me. I did manage to drop 2 lbs. over the past week, up from my normal 1 lb. So that’s an accomplishment. The cravings still hit me from time to time, especially when I eat foods that I normally would have a Coke with (i.e., tacos and pizza). I’ll feel my hand want to reach for a can, but I resist. I’ve been having pretty much just water for the past two weeks. I tried flavoring my water, but bleh. I’d rather just have plain water.

Exercise is still up and down. It’s the hardest thing to commit to, though I always feel better when I do go to the gym. Now that I purchased a stability ball, yoga mat, and hand weights, it does make it much easier to at least do SOMETHING every day. My friend recommended this stability ball home exercise, which kicks your freakin’ butt. So even on my bad days, I’m doing something, which is more than I would have EVER done before.

My stamina is up. I’ve noticed that I’m not breathing hard after doing seemingly little physical movement. What a relief. I used to be slightly winded after walking into work every morning. Embarrassing to admit, but it’s true. Now I feel fine, and I purposefully walk as fast as possible to and from my car. It feels good that I can go up a flight of stairs with a basket of laundry and not be winded. That was my reality before.

Green Smoothie

I’ve been drinking green smoothies every morning at work for the past week. It’s amazing how changing that one little thing changes everything. Before, I generally would just eat a breakfast bar (which technically isn’t bad for you, but it’s not AS good), but now I just drink a smoothie. It keeps me full until lunch most days, but the biggest difference is how much more alert and clear-headed I feel after I drink it. I feel so much more focused now in the mornings. It’s a great feeling.

When I’m having a low day now, I watch “The Biggest Loser” to re-energize myself. I’ve always enjoyed watching that show, but now I don’t watch it while eating a bowl of ice cream.

I also created a Facebook support group for ladies of any age, physical set, etc. to share their stories, get inspiration from others, and swap recipes and helpful links. It’s been so wonderful. If you want to join, just let me know!

The wedding I’m standing up in is almost four weeks away, and I’m going to feel good no matter what. I’ve already achieved more than I ever thought I could. But I’m not stopping after the wedding. I’ve already signed up for two 5Ks this summer to keep myself motivated and going. It’s going to be awesome.

Healthy

Dreams into Plans

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My Farewell to Coca-Cola (for at least 30 days)

Well, the dreaded day is here. The day I bid farewell to my sweet, sweet Coca-Cola. For anyone who knows me well, you know what a BIG DEAL this is. I love Coke. Before I started this journey, I’d have one with lunch and one with dinner. Probably averaged 28 ounces a day (I know, I know).

Once I started counting calories, I cut down that amount to one 12 oz. can a day. And that was hard enough, because I’d think about Coke during my other meal. I’m basically some level of a Coca-Cola addict, sadly.

So that’s why I’m doing this big, scary thing: I’m giving up Coca-Cola (and all other soda) completely for at least 30 days. It’s half to up my weight loss progress (less than 2 months until it’s bridesmaid dress time!), but mostly to prove to myself that I can. That I’m stronger than I think. That I can give up something I never thought I could.

It’s not going to be easy. I already know this. I don’t really drink much outside of water and soda. I’m not a huge juice, coffee or milk fan. I’ll be experimenting more with smoothies during this time (just bought a new blender yesterday), and plan to get Crystal Light mixes to add to water so it’s a bit more exciting.

But the bottom line is that this is happening. That photo at the top of this entry was my Coke from last night. The last one for 30 days.

I’ll need encouragement during this period. I’ve been told by many people that once I give it up, I’ll probably never go back to it because it’ll taste too sweet. And if that’s the case, great. But I can’t imagine that at this point. So please share any tips, ideas or great drink combinations to give a try.

Good bye, lovely Coke. It’s not you (well, it kind of is)–it’s me.

Healthy

My Farewell to Coca-Cola (for at least 30 days)

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Progress

Just wanted to do a quick update on my healthier eating/workout journey. First, let me just say that everyone has been tremendously supportive, and I cannot thank you all enough for that. I’ve received so many “get it, girl!” texts, Facebook messages and in-person compliments that I am just beside myself. When you’re making a decision day after day to live better, you need support.

A few more things I’ve realized in the past few weeks:

  • Three meals a day are no good. Before I started this, I had three meals a day. ANDDDD also a snack whenever I was hungry. We’re talking vending machine bags of chips and Pop Tarts. Then I realized (after several friends informed me) that I couldn’t keep that up. So now I plan to eat 5-6 times a day. Here’s a look at my day now: Breakfast: I have a breakfast bar as soon as I get into work; Mid-breakfast: generally a Greek yogurt; Lunch: I’m pretty boring with this, so it’s usually just a sandwich, Baked Lay’s and string cheese; Mid-afternoon: a sweet something; Dinner: this is always varied, but fish and chicken are generally my go-tos; Evening snack: sometimes I have some calories left, sometimes I don’t, so this is always flexible as well.
  • Have someone check up on you. Like I said before, the encouragement is a huge thing. A friend from college offered to check in on me, and now she’s the person I text whenever I know I NEED to hit the gym, but have no desire to. I tell her a time to check in on me, then she does. It’s simple, but it works. I hate not following through, so now I do it. And she usually texts me a photo of Ryan Gosling as a reward after, so that works.
  • It gets hard. I’ve had difficult days. Days I wanted to give this all up. Days I did not go to the gym. Weekends I went out of town and didn’t make the best choices with food. But you know what? I kept reminding myself of the photo I posted above. And, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to wait until Monday or the next day or anything to get back on track. You can do it now. That’s what I force myself to do. Now. Not later. Now.
  • You’ll find yourself. I KNOW. Corny. But it’s so true. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am finding how far I can go, what I’m capable of, so forth. Every time I complete a workout, that’s more than the two-months-ago Molly would have accomplished. I’m so much stronger than I gave myself credit for. For the first time in a LONG time, I feel a strong confidence coming from within me. Because I CAN do it. And I will.
  • People are awesome. Like I said above, encouragement is the #1 key to me continuing down this path. And I’ve been so wonderfully surprised to find my blog posts/Facebook statuses are actually meaning something to other people, when originally they were just to keep me going/accountable. People have told me I’m an inspiration to them, which blows my mind. I am humbled. But those words just motivate me to work harder.
  • I’ve lost 13 lbs. so far! So very exciting.

If any of you are also motivated to exercise/eat better, just let me know if you need me to check in on you. I’d be thrilled to pass on the encouraging words.

Daily Life

Progress

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Frozen yogurt strawberries recipe

Tonight I took an idea I saw on Pinterest and tweaked it to get a low calorie count. The finished results were so delish, so I thought I’d pass on the recipe to others!

Start off by placing a piece of parchment paper down on a cookie sheet. Wash and dry strawberries. One by one, dip the strawberries in a vanilla Greek yogurt of your choice (I used Yoplait’s Honey Vanilla Greek yogurt). Use a spoon to help cover the areas that need more yogurt. Place the strawberries on the sheet, then put in the freezer. Check them after an hour, and take out if the yogurt looks frozen. If not, check them every 15 minutes until they’re frozen to your satisfaction. After that, you can add another coat of yogurt and freeze again if you’d like, but I didn’t this time around.

According to my calculations, each strawberry is around 15 calories. Enjoy!

(Note: Some of my family members thought they were a bit too frozen when fresh out of the freezer. It didn’t bother me, but you may want to try letting them thaw for a short time before eating.)

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Frozen yogurt strawberries recipe

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