Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Dreaded "Plateau"

So, I have been going at this weight loss thing for the past 3 months.  I have lost 23 pounds, and gained muscle in the process. I was really hoping it would be more by now, not gonna lie! (Especially when your husband loses 60 pounds in three months!!)  The hard part is that it has been PAINFULLY slow this last 6 weeks.  I think I only lost 5 or 6 pounds within that time.

Now, I am not going to say I have been perfect at my diet either.  The more I lose, the more I tend to justify a small cheat here, and another one there. And I do mean small.  Maybe some snack mix here, or a few Cheetos there.  I haven't been as strict as I was when I first started, but it is so darn hard during this time of year!  I still feel like I have a good hold on my calorie intake though, it's just the quality of food could improve a little.  My exercise routine hasn't changed. I am still busting butt at least 5 times a week with that!

202 before, 179 now.  I can see a big difference when I look at the above pic.

The above pic is Tom and I exactly one year ago.  I remember feeling so uncomfortable and bloated in these pics.  I was probably about 205 (or so)  I was sucking in, and I still look pregnant, lol!  My cheeks were so round you hardly see my eyes!  Below is Tom and I this year.  You can SO see a difference in Tom's face!  I am so proud of him!!  And you can see my eyes this year ;)

I am down to 179, I can't tell you the last time I was in the 170's!!  Probably seven years ago, maybe?  Honestly, my goal is to just get through the holidays without GAINING any weight.  That should be hard enough!  I try not to get too caught up with numbers on the scale.  There was an experiment I saw online (wish I could remember where)  where a gal posed in a bikini and people were asked how much they thought she weighed.  She was very toned, and you could tell she worked out and took good care of herself.  She was only my height of 5'3".  Answers ranged from 115 - 135.  She was actually 155.  Muscle weighs a lot!  The point is, you don't always have to be 120 pounds to be healthy.  Health comes in different shapes and sizes, and despite being 179 I feel like I am stronger and more fit than some of the 130 pounders I know ;)  I have a goal in mind though, so I will keep going until I reach it!!

Here are the most recent pics of my weight loss.

For those of you that have been following me on this journey, thank you.  It means so much to have cheerleaders.  The comments on Facebook REALLY push and motivate me.  Weight loss is HARD.  I need the support, and it does help!!  I hope I have been able to inspire some along the way as well.

So, how about you?  What do YOU do when you reach that dreaded plateau, and how do you push past it?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Candyless Halloween

That's right, there will be no consuming of candy this year (at least for me!)  My children will still stuff their little faces and end up with tummy aches like every other year, and I will rub it in, like every other year ;)

When I began this journey, the holidays really scared me.  Fall is ALL about eating!  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas - they all seem to circle around delicious (and not so good for you) food and I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the temptation this year.  We have already been to a couple Halloween parties, and I am happy to say I was quite content with my small bowl of chili or whatever other semi healthy option I could find.  The temptation to indulge will always be there, but I guess the difference now is my life no longer revolves around food, which is kind of amazing. Because it use to.  Like A LOT.  Fun = FOOD.  My mindset is different now.  Now FUN = LIVING.  It means being active, and being comfortable in my own skin, it means having enough energy to run around with my kids and having the confidence to try and experience new things and people.

I am excited to enter the holiday season with this new frame of mind.

This Christmas I am giving myself and my family the gift of a healthy mom, sister and wife.

I am down to 181 now.  21 pounds GONE since August and 32 pounds gone from my highest weight!

 SO excited to get in to the 170's..... :)  Bring it!!

These are one of the few pairs of jeans that actually still fit me.  All of my old jeans are now giving me that flattering gangsta crotch (how low can you go?!).  Time to go shopping soon!  I tried on my winter coat from last year that used to fit snugly, and I am now drowning in it.  Nice problems to have, I guess :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

10 Changes in 10 Weeks

1.  I lost half a shoe size 
     I was hoping to lose weight anywhere, but this was unexpected and not needed since I can't afford 50          new pairs of shoes.  Let's hope the trend stops (although a girl can always use an excuse for new shoes,        so forget that last part)

2.  I can now wear my daughter's shirts 
     It's true.  Much to my 14 year old's dismay she will catch me wearing her clothes more and more often          these days.  It's a good thing she has good taste.

3.  Hayden can reach his arms all around my waist now when he gives me a hug 
     This makes my heart happy.  I feel like he can love all of his mommy now, and not just the fat part in the        front, lol.

4.  I don't get out of breath when painting my toenails anymore
     Ladies, you know what I am talking about, especially if you've been pregnant!  Bellies get in the way,            pregnant or not. It is so nice to be able to BREATHE again.

5.  I no longer avoid mirrors
     Especially the dreaded bathroom mirror that add shadows in all the wrong places!  I am no Jillian                  Michaels.  I still have quite a way to go with my weight loss, but it is nice to look in the mirror and feel            proud of my progress these days instead of feeling ashamed of my lack of effort.

6.  I suddenly have many more clothes
     All those clothes I have been holding on to for years, you know the "one day I will fit in to this again" pile?      Today is that "one day", I am wearing dresses and jeans I haven't worn for years, and dare I say some          are even loose!

7.  I can watch TV or work late at night without snacking.
     Say what??  Yep, I just don't.  Cravings are pretty much gone, and in fact because I don't snack at night        anymore, I really don't watch much TV either.  Funny how they can go hand in hand.

8.  My girls are making better food choices
     My lifestyle change hasn't gone unnoticed by my 11 and 14 years old girls.  I don't push it on them, I              prefer to lead by example.  I notice them grabbing an apple or celery sticks for snacks much more now. I      feel at peace knowing Tom and I are being good examples to our kids and teaching them how to respect      and take care of their bodies.  Notice I didn't say anything about the boy?  Ya, that's probably not going        to change, unless they make vegetables with Mine Craft on them...

9.  I don't take naps anymore
     I use to nap in the afternoons, almost every day.  By 3 pm I was exhausted.  I think most moms are, so I      didn't think much of it until one of my friends recently mentioned napping, and then I realized I hadn't              taken one in weeks!  Bottom line is, I have more energy and stamina.  I feel better.  In fact, I was able to      climb 3/4 of the incline a week ago!  That thing isn't for sissys!

10.  My husband won't keep his hands off me.
       Oh wait, some things never change!

Before (about a year ago, 205 pounds)


Sometimes it takes pictures for me to realize, "wow, my body really is changing!"

For those that are following along, I am down to 184 now.  18 pounds gone since August 3rd, and 29 pounds gone from my highest weight. It still sounds like such a big number to me and I still have 44 pounds to lose to get to my goal, but I am proud of my progress and proud of the girl I see in the mirror!  I am grateful to feel better, and that is the ultimate goal!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Worth it

I use to be a glutton.  Yuck.  Looking back even a few months ago before I seriously began this journey, my husband and I would eat whatever we darn well wanted, whenever we wanted.  There was always a reason to eat junk in our family - birthday?  Yay, let's eat cake!  Hard day at work?  Let's get crazy with pizza and chocolate!  Another day alive?  Let's overindulge in dinner, again.  Too busy?  We'll just stop and get fast food.....we didn't count our calories, and we certainly didn't exercise enough to counteract all we were eating.  We fooled ourselves in to thinking that eating salad with our giganto meals, or making the occasional smoothie was making it ok.  We were trying. We actually thought we were living it up, living life to the fullest by overindulging. No wonder I gained 35 pounds over the last 5 years!!  I was in denial for a long time.  That's the first step, is realizing you are in denial.

I am ashamed that I was so irresponsible with my body.  You can't hide what you put in to your body, it shows.  Trust me.

I had to stop making excuses, because you know that's what they are right? I know them all well:  I am too busy, I have health issues, it's too expensive, I don't have support, my kids come first, I am TIRED...I have used them all.  Maybe you have to. I had to stop the excuses for my children, my spouse, but most importantly for ME.    The longer you go without change, the more you are damaging yourself - and not just physically.  I can attest that there are emotional and spiritual consequences to not taking care of your body. They are real.  Only you have the power to change.

I know it's hard, I am in the middle of it being hard.

I am down to 185 now.  I have lost 17 pounds in 7 weeks, and 28 pounds from my highest weight (non pregnant)! I have busted my butt to get here, and I still have a long way to go.  I know hard.  But I will keep going, because I feel alive, and because I am worth it.  My family is worth it.  I feel like me again.  When I look in the mirror, I am starting to recognize that girl again.

I promise you, that pizza, soda or high carb meal - those extra calories don't taste as good as feeling healthy.  They just don't. If you are struggling to stop the excuses, remember that you are so worth it, and you are BIGGER than the excuses.

Friday, September 27, 2013


I've been at this for 7 weeks now.  I realized today I no longer call it a "diet", it has become a way of life for me now.  It's just what I do every day, and I really hope it stays that way.

I have noticed pleasant changes the past week or so.  Mostly, that almost all my pants are falling off me.  (ok, not quite)  but they are so much more loose.  Give me a few weeks, and I think I will have to go shopping for new jeans! The funny thing is, the numbers on the scale haven't gone down that much in the last couple weeks (I am at 188 now, so down 2 more pounds), but I can tell my body is changing in other ways.  I am starting to see definition, I feel stronger, I have more energy. I am definitely gaining muscle. So, I have lost 14 pounds since I got serious 7 weeks ago, but overall I have lost 25 pounds since I was at my heaviest a couple years ago.  That is MAJOR.

A couple people at church who don't know what I have been doing asked me on Sunday if I had lost weight.  It's a good feeling when people start to notice your hard work!

My friend Niki and I work out with the big boys now, and I think we annoy some of the personal trainers.  Their clients actually give US praise, haha!!  And we are doing it by ourselves!  We pretty much ROCK.  I am grateful to have a friend to work out with.  We are a couple of sarcastic and whiney gals sometimes, but I think we are kicking butt, and I am proud of us ;)  Speaking of butts, this picture was actually taken to ask if I should cut my hair or not, but I got lots of compliments saying I was looking skinny, and I thought - maybe those squats are working afterall.

I graduated to weight gloves.  I messed up my hands pretty bad after one session - see image below.  That's the mark of a good workout right there!!

Today one of the "big boys" saw us walk over to the barbell laying on the floor and asked us if we needed him to move it for us.  HA!  Niki, said no thanks, we are actually using it.  We rocked that barbell!!  Those are the moments that make me feel good.  When guys in the gym think we can't do what they do, and then we DO IT.

Next week Tom and I are doing the incline.  I am scared.  Not a fan of heights, or climbing 2000 steps (which aren't normal steps by the way).  They are railroad ties strewn about along a mountainside.  I am determined to reach the top, so it was nice knowing you.

And I am throwing in this pic of a Greek Salad I had the other day, because it was freakin' amazing, and because I can.  If you are local, go to that Gyro's place in the food court at Chapel Hills mall and ask for the Greek Salad with Souvlaki.  They will hook you up!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hi, My Body is a Rollercoaster.

Oh my heck, this is HARD work, you know- this whole losing weight thing. I have been eating clean/healthy and watching my calorie intake and working out faithfully for a good 6 weeks now.  The first couple of weeks the pounds were melting off, I think I lost 13 pounds in the first couple of weeks.  I kept thinking, wow!  This is actually easier than I thought, I should be at my goal weight in no time!  And then....a few weeks in, I actually started to GAIN weight.  Like 5 pounds worth! Wha?? I hadn't changed my diet, or my exercise routine.  Was I gaining muscle mass?  Maybe. But it was frustrating as heck.  I have been working SO hard.  It is not easy to stay this disciplined, trust me.  No dessert, no sugar, no chips, nothing!  Working out HARD every day of the week...there are days I would much rather be LAZY, trust me.  There were days where I was moody and grouchy and NEEDED a candy bar, but didn't give in.

What makes this time different though, is that I didn't give up. Even though the scale was laughing at me, I didn't give in like I had in the past.  "Well, this isn't working, so pass me the pizza" was the attitude I would have in the past.  I kept on keeping on!  So here I am, and whatever the reason I gained that five pounds, I have now lost all 5 of them. It took a week and a half. I am still holding strong at 190.  Still down 12 pounds from when I started, which is still a big deal.  It is SUCH a rollercoaster, this weight loss thing.  You can be doing the same thing day in and day out, and your body still reacts differently.  Some days you need more calories, some day you need less, some days you retain water, the next day you don't. It's hard knowing the right thing to do. Our bodies are such complicated things!!  (Or maybe just mine is?!)  I guess the most important thing is that I FEEL so much stronger, I have more energy, and my clothes fit better.  I am starting to see "definition" in some of my muscles!  That's really my ultimate goal.  To achieve optimum health for my age and situation.  What obstacles have you come across while losing weight/trying to get healthy.  How do YOU overcome them?  No, seriously, I need all the help I can get.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A "Whole" Bunch o' Recipes

I am that girl who posts pics of her meals on Instagram and Facebook.  Yep, totally guilty.  I am not an aspiring chef, nor do I think everyone wants to see my pictures (so I apologize if they annoy you).  It's mostly a personal diary of sorts for myself.  I like to look back on healthy meals I have made and that were successful.  Successful = yummy and healthy, and I don't want to forget them!  I do however think a good recipe can inspire others to eat healthy, so if I can achieve that as well, then I am a happy girl.

Recently, some friends have asked for the recipes to some of the meals I have prepared, so I dedicate this post to sharing some of them.  I try to prepare healthy and whole food whenever possible.  Whole meaning REAL.  No additives, chemicals, junk or anything processed. Basically, the good things that God put on the earth for us to ingest.  Sometimes this is impossible to fully achieve, because I do buy some pre-packaged food here and there (bread, salsa, salad dressings, etc) but I try to make sure the ingredients are few and are as natural as possible.  Also, I try to make meals that are well balanced and full of vitamins and nutrients.

Below are some of my most recent creations along with the recipe. Warning:  I am not a "measure" girl, I kind of make up my recipes as I go along, so the amount of some ingredients is approximate. Use your own judgement! I have also included the fast track version if applicable.  Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
1/4 cup olive oil
crushed garlic (I use the pre-chopped fresh garlic in a jar)
favorite tomato sauce
parmesan cheese

Wash the spaghetti squash, and place WHOLE squash in a pan and bake for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees.  They are HARD as heck when they are raw, and I promise you, almost impossible to cut open!!  After baking for 15 minutes, it will become more soft.  Cut it in half, length wise.  Take the seeds out, and rub olive oil, salt and pepper on the flesh.  Place halves down (with rinds facing up) on a baking sheet and bake for about an hour at 375 degrees (it might not take as long if you are a lower elevation).  Squash should be very tender and soft.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Scrape squash out with a fork in to a bowl.  Toss it with garlic, salt, pepper to taste, and olive oil.  Add your favorite tomato sauce on top (I am partial to Traditional Prego) and garnish with fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Portabello mushroom(s)
plum tomato
feta cheese
olive oil
italian seasoning

Clean out the mushrooms so they look like shells.  Chop up fresh spinach and tomato and toss it with some feta cheese, herbs, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  (Lay off the salt because feta is usually salty on its own).  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until sizzling.

Alternative: Stuff the mushrooms with whatever sounds good to you, mix it up with different cheeses, sausage, bacon, crab or shrimp.....

Fast track version:  Many supermarket delis (Whole Foods, etc) sell these pre-made in the produce section.

Do you want the recipe for the yummy looking sweet potatoes from my image above?  Get it HERE.

Veggie Burgers

1 can of black beans (rinsed and dried)
half of red pepper, diced
half an onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
1/4 cup of corn (optional)
1 egg
3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. hot sauce
salt to taste

mash black beans until pasty (make sure excess water is gone before mashing).  Blend garlic, red pepper and onion in food processor and add to bean mixture.  Mix up egg with chili, cumin and hot sauce and add to bean mixture. Add corn (optional) Add bread crumbs and mix thoroughly.  Pat in to 4 patties, and bake on an olive oil greased pan at 375 for about 10 minutes on each side.  You can also grill them.

Serve by themselves or with a whole wheat bun.  Great garnishes are avocado, tomato, red onion, salsa and cheese.  Enjoy!

Fast track version: MorningStar brand sells veggie burgers at the grocery store.

Pesto Chicken with whole wheat pasta

4 chicken breasts
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (or spinach, or combine the two)
2 cloves garlic (more if you are a garlic fan like myself)
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

Grill or sautee cut up chicken breast in olive and garlic until cooked.  Pour pesto on top and heat thoroughly.  Pour over cooked whole wheat pasta and garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Fast track version:  Buy pre-made pesto sauce, "Classico" brand in the glass jar is very good.  Buy a pre-roasted deli chicken to save yourself prep time.

Fiesta Chicken Bowl

precooked chicken breast
brown rice
taco seasoning (find your own all natural recipe, or use Mrs. Dash taco seasoning)
diced tomatoes
black beans
fresh cilantro
one lime
red onion or green onion, diced

Cook chicken in taco seasoning (Mrs. Dash now has an all natural taco seasoning).  Serve it over cooked brown rice, and garnish with all the fixin's from above, your fave salsa and squeeze fresh lime juice over it all.  Enjoy! :)

Fast track version: Use chicken breast from a pre-roasted deli chicken.  I do this a lot!!  It saves me tons of time.

Rise and Shine Smoothie

This is my favorite smoothie recipe!

equal parts of (maybe like half a cup):

fresh pineapple (frozen)
fresh blueberry (frozen)
fresh spinach leaves

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1.2 cup coconut milk

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Open Faced Bruschetta Omelette Sandwich

1 egg
half cup of fresh spinach
8 diced cherry tomatoes
half tsp. of crushed garlic
whole wheat bread

Sautee tomatoes, spinach and garlic in olive oil.  Beat one egg and add it to the pan.  Stir up all ingredients.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve over toasted whole wheat toast.

Quick tips:

  • Buy a jar of fresh minced garlic.  This saves time (no pressing) and it tastes amazing.  I add it to *almost everything!
  • Buy fresh fruit on sale, chop it up and freeze it for your smoothies.  This saves time and mula.
  • I buy 2 roasted deli chickens and cut them up, and put them in baggies for the week.  I use the chicken for meals and salads.  They are delicious.  My dogs love the scraps :) (don't feed them the bones though!!)
  • Always keep fresh spinach on hand.  I buy a big container of Organic spinach and use it for my salads, my smoothies and for "lettuce" in my wraps and sandwiches.  Spinach contains SO many vitamins and nutrients.  Iceberg and RomaineLettuce contains hardly any, so I say don't bother for the most part unless you mix them up with greens.
  • Always keep lemons and limes on hand.  They are great in your water, but I use lemon over all of my avocado to keep them from going brown, and lime over almost every "mexican" inspired dish.  It adds such a yummy fresh flavor!
  • keep chia seeds on hand.  They are supa healthy, and great in your yogurt, smoothies and even mixed with peanut butter as a healthy dip for apples.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday

My name is Callie and I have an addiction to the scale.  It's awful, I need help. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I weigh myself daily when I am dieting and I shouldn't.  We can't always measure our progress by the numbers on a scale, sometimes we are gaining muscle (which can mean weight gain for a while).  This was me for almost the first 2 weeks of my diet. Sometimes the scale stays the same for weeks despite our best efforts (which can be water retention, gaining muscle, that time of the month, etc).  It's just not fair to solely rely on the scale as a measure of your progress!  We also need to pay attention to how we feel and how our clothes are fitting.

  I resolve to only weigh in on Wednesdays and share my progress with you along the way.  

My first blog post about this journey was last Wednesday, so it has been a full week.  I have been super good.  Still working out 5 days a week, still eating whole and healthy food in smaller portions, and honestly I haven't felt this good in years.  I feel alive.  I feel sore, but alive ;)

When I stepped on the scale this morning, it read 190.  That means I have shed 5 pounds in one week!  I am kind of ecstatic.  Since starting this new lifestyle change 3 1/2 weeks ago, I have lost 12 pounds!  I haven't weighed 190 in over 4 years. Woohoo, happy dance!!

Suddenly last Sunday, when I was choosing what to wear to church I had many more options!  Dresses that I haven't been able to wear for years slid on my body with ease.  I can't tell you how GOOD that feels.

Bring on the next week!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thyme-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

The only thing I miss just a little with my new way of eating are white potatoes.  I am pretty sure I could live on them if I had to.  I am kind of a potato addict.  There are so many ways to prepare potatoes, and I LOVE them all.  However, I KNOW my body does not need all that white starch, so a much better option is to go with sweet potatoes.

Just how many health benefits are there to sweet potatoes?  Well, there are actually too many for me to write down, but this article will give you the rundown!  So do yourself a favor and read it, and then jump on the sweet potato bandwagon.  They are kind of amazing little bundles of nutrients and antioxidants.

When many of us think of sweet potatoes we are use to the traditional casseroles from Thanksgiving laden with butter and marshmallows.  There are much healthier ways to prepare these little gems, and here is one of them. I think I might just make them for dinner. Enjoy!!

Thyme-Roasted Sweet Potatoes


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced (I use the pre-minced garlic in a jar)
  • 1/3 cup fresh thyme leaves, plus 6 thyme sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 400°F. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange potato slices in single layer on heavyweight rimmed baking sheet or in 13x9-inch baking dish. Place on middle rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes. (I usually toss them halfway so they don't stick). Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with thyme sprigs. (Makes 6-8 servings)

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Skinny on my Nom-noms

I think I read somewhere once that losing weight is 80% what's in your kitchen (what of you put in to your body), and 20% exercise (don't quote me on that) but I remember being surprised by the statistic.  It makes sense though, and here is why.  You can spend hours in the gym, but if you are coming home and eating 2 candy bars and a bag of chips, or 1000 calories in pizza for dinner, or slamming down cases of Dr, Pepper, your work at the gym was for naught.  Unless you are an olympic athlete needing 6,000 - 10,000 calories a day, you aren't doing yourself any favors by working out hard, and then eating sugar, carbs, and high calorie, low-nutrition food.

Real food is fun and delicious!  I am posting some pics of my meals for you so you can see that meals can still be yummy, beautiful and appetizing without all the carbs, fat and sodium that we have become accustomed to in our society.

greens with cranberries, feta, and honey lemon vinagrette

When I have lost weight in the past, or when others around me have lost weight, people always ask the same question.  "HOW did you do it?!!" Like there is some magical potion, or new miracle discovery that caused the weight loss.  Yes, there are crazy crash diets, there are even pills that claim to rev up our metabolism, or even scare you in to not eating by causing you to have diarrhea if you do (um, no thanks).  But let's be honest with ourselves, the only way to lose weight the right way is to eat less junk and more nutritionally dense food and exercise more.  The hard part for most is that they are addicted to sugar.  Sugar is EVIL.  It should be considered a drug, because it is THAT addictive, and it is THAT harmful to our bodies.  It seriously wreaks havoc on our blood sugars, our insulin levels, our hormones, pretty much everything.  It is why obesity is now an epidemic, we are surrounded by sugar everywhere we go.  Hundreds of years ago, it was harder to come by.  Our bodies are not meant to consume as much sugar as we do!!  Sometimes harmful sugar lurks in places we don't even think about.  We don't think about it while we are eating our spaghetti dinner, or eating that croissant for breakfast, or even in some of the canned soup we eat, or the ketchup we put on our hamburgers.  We have to become more aware as a society of the dangers of sugar when it comes to our health and well being.  I think we have come a long way compared to 5- 10 years ago, but so many are still in the dark - or they were like me, they know better but choose to ignore their knowledge.  For years and years I have known the dangers of sugar, I have done low carb diets and lost upwards of 15 pounds only to gain it back.  Trendy diets like Paleo and Atkins work for some, but for many it is unrealistic to keep up with  long term.  I am one of those people.

The key is learning to eat the right kind of carbs, proteins and healthy fats. When we start eating these, our cravings for sugar naturally go away, we feel more full and satisfied, and the weight starts coming off!

Ok, so what have I been eating?

Healthy sugars (aka fruit)

I am a busy mom, so I need quick and easy meals and snacks!  I have one smoothie a day, because they are nutrient dense and take less time to consume than a sit down meal.  Often I will drink one for breakfast each day.  Two things I always put in my smoothies are spinach and chia seeds.  Spinach is super good for you, and it is easily masked by fruit.  I have put it in my 6 year old's smoothies and he doesn't notice a thing!  Chia seeds contain a bunch of Omega-3's which are super good for you PLUS when they get moistened they produce a jelly type coating which makes you feel full AND aids in digestion.  They are awesome little guys!  I also use a little bit of yogurt (I like vanilla,  but find some with as little sugar as possible).  Each day I switch it up a bit.  My favorites are pineapple and blueberry or banana and avocado, however I just use whatever fresh fruit I have in the house at the time.  Smoothies are cool like that.

Healthy fats

One myth is that fat is bad for you.  Not all of it is.  There is good fat and there is not so good fat (but even some of that is ok in moderation).  Bad fats are high in saturated fat.  This is cheese, butter, red meat, deep fried foods.  Good fats are olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and most salad dressings.  There are more, but those are the ones I use most in my diet.  Coconut oil by the way is AMAZING.  It gives wonderful flavor to most foods, and make a delicious substitute to butter on your whole grain toast :)  Nuts make a great go-to snack when you are on the run.  I always make sure to have almonds, peanuts or mixed nuts in the kitchen.  I couldn't live without them.  Raw is best.  The flavored kind typically have lots of sodium.  A little bit of peanut butter with a green apple is healthy and delicious for a snack!

spinach salad, quinoa salad, and a veggie burger cooked in coconut oil


It is really very hard to eat too much of these, and the variety is endless.  Thankfully I love almost all veggies (although mushrooms and okra can take a hike).  I LOVE salads, and I love mixing them up with fruit and nuts and different dressings.  Experiment, have fun with it!  Roast them, grill them, eat them raw, but try not to boil them or cook the guts out of them as this destroys all the nutritional value!  Veggies you should stay away from are white potatoes (try sweet potatoes), corn in large amounts, and even carrots.  In moderation they are great, but they actually have lots of sugar for a veggie and can spike insulin levels.

 cherry tomato, avocado, corn and cilantro salad with honey lime dressing

 strawberry, blueberry, chicken and feta salad with poppyseed dressing

Go green!  Eat whole and organic whenever possible.

Spinach salad with red grapefruit, almonds and citrus dressing.

Lean meat like turkey, chicken and fish are good choices.  I love my steak, don't get me wrong, but red meat like beef and pork contain a lot of saturated fat which I like to eat in moderation.  Eggs are your friend.  Try various omelettes, breakfast burritos (with a whole wheat wrap), and even deviled eggs with a little mayo won't hurt.

Beans, beans are good for your heart! ;)  I love throwing black beans in with quinoa to make a yummy salad, or as a filler in wraps with chicken.  I also LOVE me some hummus!  It's low carb and delicious with whole wheat pita chips or veggies.  (I am starting to get hungry)

Spinach, tomato and onion omelet with fresh fruit

Good carbs

If you have to have carbs, make them as good as possible.  Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, 100% whole wheat bread, whole wheat wraps, etc.  Whole grains don't spike your insulin levels, and they leave you much more satisfied and without the cravings that refined carbs leave you with.  I try to limit these foods to one serving a day.

Turkey wrap with spinach, red peppers and hummus

So that's what I eat in a {nut}shell.

One thing both my husband and I have noticed with eating this way is that  1) our cravings are gone 2) we eat less because we feel more full 3) everything tastes better!!  Our diets were so heavily laden with refined carbs, salt and sugar before that healthy food tasted bland.  Now that the junk is out of our systems we can actually taste again.  Whole and natural food is truly delicious and bursting with flavor!

Tomorrow I will try to post my favorite healthy recipes for you.  So tell me, what do you struggle with the most when it comes to diet, and what can you do to change it?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.

This is hard.  I hate being vulnerable. Like nails on a chalkboard, root canal, Nickelback on the radio kind of hate it. You see, I am a perfectionist (not by choice). I always have been, and the one thing I have never been able to control is my weight.  I hate that, I promise you. BUT, if I can help anyone else out there who is struggling with food addiction/motivation to change, and if this blogging thing keeps me somewhat accountable for my actions, then I figure I should give it a go.  So, here goes nothin'!  I hope you'll stick around for this weight loss journey, because cheerleaders are always fun to have around. Warning though: you may laugh a little, and cry a little, yawn a little, but I can't see you, so do what you need to do :)

Isn't my family cute?  This was probably pretty close to my highest weight.

My name is Callie.  I am a 38 year old mom (not sure how that happened, because I use to be young-ish) of three pretty awesome kids, and a wife to a pretty amazing husband.  I have been overweight pretty much my whole life, so let's start with that.  When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.  I have been on Synthroid for 28 years, people!  For those of you who aren't familiar with Hypothyroidism, let me give you a crash course on the matter - it sucks.  That's pretty much it.  We can't metabolize food properly, we are tired (all of the time) we hurt (Fibromyalgia is common with it) and the best part, our bodies LOVE to hold on to weight.  We are more prone to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety and mood swings.  As if being a girl isn't hard enough, right?  Ever since I was diagnosed it has been a constant battle, although I am good at hiding it.  I keep a smile on my face, and I love life, and I love my family and friends.  Most people would never know my struggles by looking at me.  Dealing with Hypothyroidism AND having a food addiction make for an interesting ride.

Let me also mention that I am Mormon. Why is this relevant? Because along with being Mormon there are obvious things I don't partake in. I don't drink, I don't cuss, I don't smoke, I don't use drugs, I don't gamble, I don't even drink coffee! Basically I have one vice and one addiction in life, and that is FOOD.  Glorious food!! Give it to me. In the past, when I had hard a day I didn't get a glass of wine, or smoke a cigarette, or go out and party. I indulged in chocolate, or chips, or ice-cream and it was okay, because it's just food, right?  We have to eat to live, so it's pretty easy to justify inhaling whatever is around you at the time.  It's how we celebrate, it's how we mourn, it's how we live.  Society is always justifying a good food binge.

Now, don't get me wrong there have been many times in my life where I got serious about losing weight, and I was successful a couple times with crash diets, losing 15 pounds here or 10 pounds there, but it never lasted long because the diet wasn't realistic, and it ultimately ended up with more weight gain, and also that "what's the point? I always fail anyway, I may as well just be happy being chubby" feeling.  But I am not happy being chubby.  I am a fit, healthy, vibrant woman stuck inside of this body.  And I am tired. I am sick and tired, both literally and figuratively.  I am ready for change, and I will explain later why this time is different.

College days, probably my smallest at 155.  I am the one in the middle of the trunk ;)

The thinnest I have ever been in my adult life was in College.  I was 155 pounds.  I am 5'3", which makes extra weight even more of a challenge.  Let's just say, I don't hide it well.  I wasn't fat by any means, but I wasn't "thin" either. I actually have a lot of muscle, and I was pretty fit, but not "thin".  I don't think I will ever be "thin", I don't quite have the frame for it, and to be honest I am a pretty curvy girl.  I've got hips and boobs and probably always will.  I maintained that weight pretty well until I got married and had baby #1.  After that pregnancy,  I couldn't get rid of that last 15 pounds, so I was up to around 170-175.  Baby #2 came, up to 185.  Then baby #3 came, and surprisingly I didn't gain too much more weight, maybe 5 pounds or so.  And then I got pregnant with baby #4, and 4 months in to my pregnancy we lost that baby.  I was devastated.  Three years later it still hurts.  There are not many more things in life that are as painful and heart wrenching as losing a child, I promise you.  In a two year period after we had lost the baby, I had ballooned to my highest weight ever at 213 pounds. I can't tell you how humiliating it is to type that!  NO ONE has ever known my weight except my doctor.  So there it is. I was kidding myself in to thinking it wasn't a big deal.  Pardon the pun.  I thought, it's not THAT bad.  I still look pretty good.  I am still cute.  My husband would still tell me how beautiful I was, bless his heart.  I told myself I was still eating healthy most of the time (in between weekly pizza binges and trips to Sonic!)  Looking back I can see how a few things happened.  #1, I was getting older.  My metabolism was changing.  I couldn't get away with things I did in my 20's.  #2 I was using food to medicate myself. It was my drug of choice. #3 I became so overly busy trying distract myself from the pain, that I was too busy to eat healthy.  I was slowly becoming my own worst enemy.

Thankfully, I have some pretty amazing friends.  Friends who changed their lives by eating right and exercising.  They were, and still are good examples to me.  Over the past year and half, we worked out together, had weight loss classes, did boot camp and supported one another. Very slowly I managed to go from 213 pounds down to 202.  Just eating a little bit better, and exercising here and there.  Selling my cake shop probably helped too (that's a whole other story).  It's not good to be surrounded by cake when you're a gal like me! So, I was down 11 pounds, but knew I could do better than that, much better.  And then, this happened.  My husband (my partner in crime, my binge buddy, my fellow couch potato) did something crazy and unexpected.  He started exercising.  Like regularly.  Mountain Biking.  And then, he started eating healthy, and then he started climbing mountains and junk, and he started losing weight.  And then 2 months later he was down 40 pounds!  FORTY flippin' pounds!!  Woah.  Hello wake up call!  I couldn't justify my poor habits anymore, because I didn't have anyone saying "its ok".  In the past, when I had started a weight loss program, he would support me for a couple weeks, and then say "good job honey, now let's order some pizza."  And that was the end of that.  I don't blame him.  It just wasn't important to him at the time, and I wasn't strong enough to fight my battle on my own.  But now, HE was the one being the example.  He was being the inspiration, and I wanted to join him.  And so I did.  Timing is everything sometimes.  It's not about looking good anymore (although that's a plus), it's about having more energy, feeling lighter and more alive.  It's about being a good example to my kids, and living long enough to meet my grandbabies.  You see, when you get closer to 40 I think something shifts.  You start to realize this body you've been given isn't immortal, it's going to die one day, but I want to be an old lady when that happens.  I have way too much to LIVE for.

My hubby and I today (like last week).  We are both starting to feel better, and we are kind of babes too, just sayin'. ;)

This week, I think I am starting to see a difference :)

2 1/2 weeks ago I got serious.  I started fresh.  We stocked up on fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, beans and lean meats and I haven't looked back.  Our kids hate us.  I hardly cook for them anymore, and to be honest some nights they fend for themselves, because if they don't want to eat Quinoa Salad, then that's their problem. (ok, sometimes I will throw them a sandwich).  Then I started working out regularly.  Weight lifting like a man three times a week (M, W, F) and Zumba twice a week on T, Th.  I feel awesome.  I feel more fit already, and more alive, and I am not going to stop this time.  In 2 1/2 weeks I am down 7 pounds, my clothes fit better, my double chin is getting smaller, and I am out of the 200's and down to 195.  Five more pounds and I will be where I was after Hayden was born.  But I won't stop there either.  I would love to be 150.  My ideal weight is probably in the 130's, but I can't think that far, so we'll go with 150.  That's 45 pounds away.  It seems daunting, but I am pretty sure I can do it with some support and accountability. So, let's talk about it!  Leave a comment on here or on Facebook, and let's ride this journey together!