Monday, April 13, 2015

Comfort Foods

We all have one... or ten. A certain dish that makes us feel better even for a moment.

Grilled cheese, tomato soup, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, pancakes, a glass (or bottle) of wine, cake, ice cream, frosting right out of the container...

Sorry to make your mouth water!

We all have our go-to food in moments when we are sad or angry or confused or lost or whatever we are feeling that isn't "happy."

Although I LOVE everything listed above, none of them are the thing my mind goes to when I'm unhappy. I've written about it before and will probably write about it again, and I promise I'm trying to overcome it. However, the first thing my mind goes to in those moments is SODA... fizzy, bubbly, sugary, yummy, burns-as-it-goes-down SODA!

I've done very well today. I sold the Pepsi I had taken to work today with the intention of only drinking it if I had a headache because someone was throwing a fit that the vending machines were empty. I didn't regret it. For lunch, I went to a pizza place for salad bar ONLY and drank UNSWEET tea. (If you live in southern USA, you are probably familiar with the INSANE looks you get when you order tea in any form other than sweet.) When I craved something sweet after work, I shook up a cup of Herbalife Peach Mango Protein Beverage Mix. The stuff is basically protein kool-aid. IT IS AWESOME!

Then, I come home and someone I live with is in a mood. You know... the kind of mood that is caused by one person but taken out on everyone who is NOT that person? Yeah... that kind of mood. My first thought when it is directed at me is "I want a Pepsi." Now, I'm definitely a Coke drinker when I have the choice, but the household prefers pepsi and it keeps me from drinking as many.

Well, I've drank water instead. Water on top of water on top of more water... and it is NOT quenching my thirst because my brain is determined that I will give into this craving. I'm trying to write this to put it out to the universe so I don't give into the craving. I'll be going to bed soon because I have an insane work day tomorrow, and any sugar consumed will most definitely go straight to my waistline. But, it's so hard. I know I can get past it, but it has never gotten easier for me even when I've stopped drinking sodas for months at a time. I always crave it. I always enjoy it. Everyone says that when you stop for any decent amount of time it will taste too sweet when you drink it again. NOT FOR ME! I can tell you right now that my taste buds still throw a party when the fizzy liquid hits them.

This combined with only dropping 0.6lb this week is frustrating me. I KNOW I'm in control! I just want to know when it "feels" like I'm in control?

*Rant Over*

Friday, April 10, 2015

What the What?!

Oh man! Where have I been?

I'll tell you. I've been busy, and haven't been able to update in a while. Between three part-time jobs and trying to finish my novel, I am just a wee bit stretched thin.

However, I'm here to update you on the happenings in my life.

When I recommitted to my nutrition plan, I was super jazzed. I still am, and I'm finding new inspiration and motivation every single day. This isn't an exaggeration. There are so many wonderfully supportive people in this crazy yet beautiful world. It's lovely, and it is helping me learn to love myself more!

So, let's update. Shall we?

When I started blogging again last month, I weighed in at 265 lbs. I had told myself I wasn't going to post numbers, but this blog is about honesty. I don't want to sugar coat my situation. I don't want to make it seem better than it is. Full disclosure over here, and I'm not ashamed of it!

Now, 265 lbs. means I had gained FIFTEEN lbs. that I had previously lost. WHAT THE WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?!

Well, on March 22, 2015, I weighed in at 255.8 lbs. That is a weight loss of 9.2 lbs. in a week. SERIOUSLY! That is INSANE! I'm not sure what I did that week that made me so successful, but I'll take it especially since the past 2 weeks I have maintained between 255.8 and 257. Am I about about maintaining? NO! I'm not trying to MAINTAIN! I'm trying to LOSE! However, my goal was to lose 2 lbs/week. Well, I lost enough that first week to cover those other 2 weeks, meaning I'm still on track! I would LOVE to be ahead, but I am only human.

I wasn't perfect during Weeks 2 & 3 like I was during Week 1. I haven't even been perfect for all of Week 4, but I've been better. I'm working out more. In fact, my walks have turned into walk-run-walk-run. I made the choice to start running because my legs were aching while walking one day. It wasn't a cramp. It felt like they wanted more. I just started running. I can't describe it, but the moment I started running the pain in my legs vanished. It was the strangest feeling because I hate running. So now I stretch, walk to warm up a little more, run for a bit (read: until winded), walk, run, etc. Today, I did this for 1.88 miles. The last little bit I didn't think I was going to make it. I was trembling and STARVING! OMG! SO HUNGRY! But, I made it. Tomorrow, I'm aiming for a full 2 miles. I may just have to up my protein intake beforehand.

Now, I just have to get my food intake under control. Finances are TIGHT right now, so I haven't been able to order as many products as I would like OR buy the healthy options I LOVE at the grocery store. It hasn't been ideal, but I'm making the best of it. It just takes a little creativity.

So, that's what is happening as of this moment. My weigh-in is Sunday, and I'm hoping to have passed that pesky 255. If not, I'll just work harder during Week 5. I'm also hoping to have enough time to take my measurements, which I haven't done the past 2 weeks. I fit into a pair of pants I haven't worn in 10 years a few days ago, so surely I've lost an inch or two.

Until next time, stay happy and healthy!

Thursday, March 19, 2015


When you start out on a weight loss journey, most of the people who love you and care for you are supportive. You hear a lot of "Good job!" and "Keep it up!" and "I'm so proud of you." If you have friends/family members who have gone through a weight loss themselves, they will freely offer you stories of how much easier it gets.  If you have a health coach or personal trainer, they will have absolutely no problem telling you how good you will feel or how much it will be worth in the long run. Now, I'm not saying that you won't feel better. Believe me! I feel more energetic every single day. Overall, I do feel better, but there are some days when I feel worse. Today's discussion is... DETOX!

This is something people don't tell you about often. Why would they? They want to support you. They don't want you to give up. They want to be by your side when you reach that goal weight. They want to be able to tell you, "I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT!"

I'm giving up soda and junk food all at once. I spoke of my addiction to Coca-Cola a couple of days ago. Now, let me share with you my love of chips, buttery popcorn, and Taco Bell! OMG! I LOVE TACO BELL! Most of my cheat meals last year involved Taco Bell. Truth! I'm not saying Taco Bell is 100% terrible for you. Everything in moderation, my friends, but eating a quesarito at 10:30PM might not always be the best choice.

Now, that my back story is out of the way... let's talk about detox.

I'm not doing a cleanse or a detox regimen of any sort. All I'm doing is eating and drinking healthier options. My body is naturally detoxing on its own. The junk I have ingested over the years is flushing itself out, and my body has gone into a bit of shock. Fatigue, regular cravings of the junk I once had, headaches from the lower amounts of sugar and caffeine, frequent restroom visits (yes, I went there. Water will do its job.) These are a few of my personal detox symptoms, yet I do not give up. I deal with it because I know there is something better on the side. Weight loss will be great, but knowing I am flushing toxins and replenishing my body with healthy and useful nutrients is reward enough.

But... I'm still craving Coca-Cola multiple times a day, everyday. I'll let you know when it does. Until then, keep moving, eat healthy, stay hydrated, but most importantly, be happy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Keep It Moving!

Today's post is all about that word some people (including myself) dread... EXERCISE!

I've been active and overweight my entire life. I played outside with friends in my neighborhood a lot. I was part of the local Little League from tee-ball through junior league softball, through which a few of us practiced more than most because our coach was our best friends mom and they lived within walking distance of my house. I've danced in countless musicals. I would walk over a mile every night. And yet, I've always been overweight.

In high school, college, and the years after (until now), I became less active. I would have bouts of activity. (Musicals, carrying a backpack full of massive textbooks all around campus, etc.), but I never "exercised."

When I started my Herbalife plan last year, I set the goal of going to the gym and working out for an hour 6 times a week. For someone who spent most of her "free time" on the couch, that was a lofty goal, but I stuck with it... at first. I had a gym buddy, and we went 6 times a week. It was fun... until it got boring and repetitive and the soreness became unbearable because I hadn't allowed my muscles to heal. I was pushing myself too hard, too fast, but the number on the scale was dropping. That was what mattered. Right? WRONG!

What I was doing to my body wasn't health. I'm not saying to not push yourself beyond your limits. By all means, test those limits, but test them in a healthy fashion.

This time around I had set the goal to walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week. Well, that might have been a low goal because I've already surpassed it. I'm not sore. I'm not trying to do too much, but I'm breaking a sweat and being active. However, since I know I'm not pushing too far, I've added to it. The path I walk is almost 2 miles, and it takes me approximately 36 minutes to walk it. I know people who can run double the distance in half the time, but I'm not them. I'm me, and running is something I'm working towards. I just cannot do it now. So, I went to Pinterest (Imagine that!) and looked for beginner workouts. I found one! It's simple without being too simple. It changes by day, so it won't be too repetitive. The difficulty also increases by day. It's an 80 day plan with built in rest days, and I'm really excited about it!

Today, I did Day 1 along with my walk, and I feel amazing! That's what this lifestyle change is all about... feeling better than I did the day before. It's a slow process but beyond worth it.

So, go for a walk... a jog... a run. Play a game of basketball with some friends. Do some crunches and push-ups on your living room floor. Just keep moving!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"Hold Ya Water!"


I've been stewing around a few ideas for my next few posts. I mentioned this one when I started this blog last year, but I never wrote it. So, here it is...


I am not a water drinker. This is not an exaggeration. You could ask any one of my friends, and they would probably tell you how rare it is to see me drink water. (Unless, of course, I had a glass of liquor in the other hand.) That being said here's a small list of things I would prefer over water.

1. Coke
2. Tea (preferably peach)
4. Coke
5. Pepsi
6. Coke
7. Dr. Pepper
8. Coke
9. Coke
10. Coke

Get the picture? I LOVE COCA-COLA! Honestly, I love any soda, but Coke is my number one choice. Bubbly, brown, yummy, delicious, sugary, burns as it goes down COKE! I LOVE IT! It's an addiction, and that is not an overstatement. I have a problem.

This is not the first time I have quit drinking sodas. My second year in college, I gave up soft drinks for 6 months. Then, I came home for the summer, started back at the fast food restaurant I worked at, and fountain drinks were free when I was working. Yes, the fountain machine had water as an option, but the smells of the restaurant seeped into the paper cups and made the water taste funny. So, I obviously opted for soda. Poor decision on my part.

I have attempted to quit drinking sodas multiple times since then to no avail. I would always look forward to "cheat meal" because I could have one. I craved a coke multiple times per day, every single day! I still do. It wasn't until I gave them up again 3 days again that I changed my mindset.

It's an addiction, and I have to treat it as such. I cannot give into the cravings. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not four years from now... and definitely NOT on "cheat meal" day. The problem with having one on "cheat meal day" was the fact that it was never just one. I would drink 4 or 5 in one sitting. Then, I would tell myself, "It's still cheat day. I can have another." Need I remind you it's "cheat MEAL" not "cheat DAY." Then, a few days later I would say, "I haven't come close to meeting my calorie count. I can totally sneak a soda in today. Hell, I could even have two," and I would! Then, it turns into not eating just so I can have more and more sodas. EMPTY CALORIES! No nutritional value... just SUGAR!

WATER, on the other hand, has no calories and all sorts of health benefits. Here's a chart from

Water is important. Our bodies are 70% water. So, I drink water, and I'm learning to love it. I still crave Coca-Cola multiple times a day. I probably always will, and it is something I will learn to live with. Why? Because living life as fully as possible and being the healthiest version of myself while doing it is far more important than drinking soda every day.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Meal Prep Sunday

Hello again, friends!

Throughout the world of fitness/nutrition/health/etc, Sunday is often the first choice for meal prepping. This isn't a secret or new revelation. It is what it is, and for me, it works... at least this week.

Honestly, it works for me most weeks. It's a rare occurrence when I actually have to work on Sunday. I'm very lucky in that regard. So, Sunday is the day I choose to meal prep.

I'm back on my two shakes/day plan, which means, I only eat one COLORFUL MEAL per day. This can be just about anything as long as it is colorful. This also means that my grocery bill is often quite low for a week. Between the ingredients I already had in the house and my shakes, my total bill for the week was $34.00. This includes colorful meals and snacks for the full week.

This week, I went simple with my meals. I'm creating a 3 different options in a rotation of sorts. My rotation is "whichever I pull from the fridge is what I will eat that day." The one I'm currently working on is a play off a blackened chicken/fajitas. Basically, I rubbed some spices onto two chicken breasts. We actually do not have any blackening seasoning, so I just mixed a few spices we did have in the cabinets. Then, I slice some red onion, red/yellow/green peppers, and mushroom. I toss it all in a baking dish and cover it with some reduced sodium chicken stock with a dash (or ten) of hot sauce mixed in. I LOVE SPICY FOODS! I will never tire of them. While that bakes, I cook some brown rice. Once everything is done and cooled, I will divide it into serving portions into my take-away containers. Honestly... that's all there is too it. Since I don't actually use recipes, I cannot actually post it for you. I just play around in the kitchen. It's the only way I find cooking fun, and cooking SHOULD be fun! I do apologize for not taking a photo before I put it in the oven, but here's an after shot for you!

Those yummy portions will feed me for three days. So, next comes the staple of all healthy food choices... SALAD! Yes, I created mason jar salads. If you do not know how to create these, just search "mason jar salads" on Pinterest. It's the perfect way to prep a salad ahead of time without everything getting soggy. For these I've used a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, some of the extra brown rice I had prepped earlier, sunflower seeds, carrots, multi-colored bell peppers, mushrooms, strawberries, turkey, hard boiled egg, and some iceberg salad mix. NOW, before you freak out on me, I would prefer spring mix and spinach, BUT we are working on a budget. The grocery store I went to does a "Pick 5" special. The iceberg salad mix was on sale through that. So, I am losing out on nutrients, but saving on money. Plus, I have my Herbalife multi-vitamins to help bridge the gap.

Last but not least is my sandwich day! I'm not prepping it today because I can honestly do it the day before. Let's face it! Bread gets soggy too quickly when you chill it. It is what it is, but I do enjoy a sandwich about once a week. It'll be turkey with lettuce, pepperjack cheese, tomato, probably some cucumber.

I'm also prepping some snacks today. Basically, it's just bagging a few veggies sticks (carrots, bell peppers, celery, etc), strawberries, and a few almonds. I like to go ahead and count out my almonds that way I know I'm not going overboard. I also have some individual packs of non-fat greek yogurt and a few apples. I'll probably slice the apples the day before. Simply because I do not want them to brown... or I'll just eat them whole. However, my favorite snack is probably the worst for me. Peanut butter and honey whole wheat crackers. They are my absolute favorite. I'll prep two bags of them. That way I can have them in moderation.

Now, you are probably thinking, "Sarah, you only prepped 6 meals. There are seven days in a week." YOU ARE CORRECT! One day per week is cheat meal day. I never know when I'll have my cheat meal. I do not want to plan that day because if a friend asks me to go out to eat on a whim, I want to be able to go and not stress about my choice/letting my prepped meals go to waste. Plus, cheat meals are good for the soul. They keep you happy without going crazy. A lifestyle change like this isn't about denying yourself things you enjoy. It's about learning how to make healthy choices that also make you happy. If I want pizza, I'll have pizza. I just won't have an entire pizza. Small changes can equal long-term results. That's the goal.

Whether you are changing your lifestyle, interested in changing your lifestyle, a meal prepper, interested in meal prep, or have no idea how you got to this blog... I hope you have a wonderful and nutritious day!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It's Me Again!!!

Hello, everyone!

I'm back and happier than ever. Unfortunately, I'm also heavier. I haven't stepped on a scale, but I know I have gained. Why? Because I did not stick to my nutrition plan.

In the midst of leaving the job I had held for over ten years, starting not one but two new jobs, and moving, I became a little lax with my program. Finances became strained. Life got chaotic. I'm not making excuses. I'm just telling you my story. Did I give up? NO WAY, NO HOW!!

I'm alive. I'm breathing. This is a mere setback. I can do this. I will do this! It is not a matter if it happens. It's a matter of when it happens.

2015 has already been a wonderful year for me. I plan on keeping it that way. There's no turning back now. I can no longer be the woman I once was. That woman is gone. The only way out is up!