Accountability… What’s that?

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I have to say back sliding is one of the hardest things to admit to. Excuses start with “I’m just retaining water,” or “I am a little stressed… it won’t take much to get back to where I was.” And those excuses keep coming until you can really rationalize that you have GAINED weight back. It’s there. It’s hanging on your hips, pulling down on your tummy, and making your belly shake and your butt jiggle. Your MyFitnessPal app still has you at your lowest weight and you feel ashamed to change it. It’s been almost a year since I have seen 185 on the scale. It’s time to face the music.Take the plunge. Start from Square 2 (not 1 at least!) and get back on track. This week, I admitted to myself and MyFitnessPal that I had officially gained 20 pounds in the past year. I can finally mark progress when I lose weight instead of seeing that daunting 185 and wondering when the heck I will ever see that number on the scale again.

onestepcloserLast weekend, I went away for my first business trip ever. It was terrifying at first to be pushed out of my comfort zone and go to a place where I did not truly know everyone. I love my coworkers and boss, but it is an entirely different element to hang out with them for 5 days straight in one of the craziest cities I have been to: Vegas. I would not trade that time for the world. My comfort zones were stretched in places they really needed to be and learn to just let go and live. The classes were inspiring and I walked away with information I could apply to my job but also my life. One of those lessons was about accountability. Finding out what your big picture goal is and then breaking it down by year, by month, by week, and by day. Every single day you should be doing something to achieve your goals. Whether it be a fitness goal, a business goal, a personal goal. Every day you have to dedicate some time to achieving something to improve yourself. If you find yourself thinking you are perfect, you have mostly just become complacent and forgotten how to dream. There is ALWAYS something you can be doing to become a better version of yourself. To help in achieving those goals, you have to become open with them. Tell people. Friends. Family. Someone who can help in achieving them. When you keep your goals bottled up, you never know who can help you and you also have no one keeping you accountable. No one helping you to strive to a better version of yourself.

I admit that in the past year I became complacent. I was just going through the motions. Work, watch TV, see my pony. livelifeinjoyThere wasn’t much in the “bettering me” department. I gained weight and got lazy despite going to the gym, I only did the bare minimum. This business trip was exactly what I needed to light a fire under my ass and find my passion. Find who I want to be inside. My goals for 2015 are starting to shape up! This is what I have so far:

1. Get to 165 pounds by the end of the year. I will be at 195 by the end of April and back to my original weight by the end of May.

2. Work out 3x a week at the gym. Horseback ride Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

3. Get the inside of the house painted by August. Dedicate one room per month.

4. Pay off ONE credit card by the end of December.

5. Go on 15 Hikes (all being 2+ miles long).

Those are my 5 main personal goals this year. I plan on blogging at least once a week to keep you all updated on my progress. Now what I want to know is…

What are your goals? What do you want out of 2015 for yourself? Let me know in the comment below and maybe we can help each other stay accountable.

Busy Week and It Isn’t Over Yet!

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Sorry for the lack of posts the past two days. My friend was up from Florida and Tuesday/Wednesday morning was the only time I had to spend with her. It was amazing since our other high school friend came down so all three of us could be united for an afternoon of Fruit Ninja, dancing and bowling! Oh yeah, we had a fairly active Tuesday and then used up all the calories we burned to go out to eat at a Japanese restaurant. This sort of put a bit of a kink in my salad-a-day challenge since I had been planning on a salad for dinner and did not really have one at lunch. So I ended up having 2 small salads instead at the restaurant and then ate half of my Pad Thai. Yummy.

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Cucumber, apple slices, and crab with an apple cider vinegar dressing!

Wednesday morning, my friend and I decided to go on a 4 mile walk to get an iced mocha latte, and because I really wanted to walk up the big hill near my apartment. It was such a nice work out and we did it all under an hour! Pretty impressive. For lunch, I made us Coconut Chicken Salad  — a recipe I got over at Skinnytaste.com

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Coconut Chicken, Spinach, Spring Mix, Alfalfa sprouts, and shredded carrot. Yum! It was a hit!

Then it was time to part ways… which really breaks my heart since she would be such an amazing work out buddy to have live close! I am motivating my friend to do the 4 mile walk with me at least once a week starting on Sunday! It is get to start getting in shape for hiking thanks to the giant hill of doom! (I have to remember to take a picture some time so you guys can visualize it!).

I felt a little guilty about not having a big huge salad on Tuesday so I made up for it by having ANOTHER salad for dinner Wednesday night: Leftovers from Monday!

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Lettuce, peppers, avocado, tomato, onion, ground turkey, and crushed tortilla chips covered in a mixture of salsa and light sour cream! So delicious!

The taco salad is very easy to put together. My husband browned up the turkey meat, and then added 2 red peppers and an onion and sauteed that with the meat. He is the seasoning God so I am not 100% sure of the measurements since he pretty much does it all by feel and taste. All I know is that it has salt, cumin, chili powder, a little bit of garlic powder, onion powder, and a little dash of cayenne chili powder (since spiciness kills me).

The 4 mile walk yesterday was not enough, so the husband and I also went to the gym where I ran 2.5 miles. Part of that was bumping up the incline to 15% and working on building up those hiking muscles! It was killer.

Today’s game plan is to get caught up on homework that I have been slacking on for a whole entire week, go horseback riding, and then most likely walk to my friend’s house for game night (where I plan to bring all the candy I have left over from the movies to get it out of the apartment for good! Way too tempting). 

How is your week going? 

Also, if you want more inspiration for salads make sure to check out Trying Not to be Fat and Grace Got Healthy! Their salads rock more than mine.

The Good and The Bad of The Biggest Loser

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When I first started on this weight loss journey, I gained a lot of inspiration from fellow weight loss bloggers — real life stories of people struggling to take control of their lives. On some of these blogs, the show “The Biggest Loser” would come up about being such a huge motivator to these bloggers. Once I realized the show was on Netflix, I decided to check out past episodes. I was totally captivated by how these people worked so hard to change their lives. Their progress from week to week was totally mind blowing. I could definitely see how easy it is to get caught up in the show’s environment and become empowered. After watching the first five seasons in a month, my desire to keep watching the show diminished. Why? Because there wasn’t enough to take to the show to apply to my own life. My brain was thinking I could be those people. I could lose 10 pounds in a week! But I couldn’t do that because I would have to exercise ALL the time. All the time. That’s their full time job on the show is to work their butt off to lose as much weight as possible in a week. And I know the body can withstand it but the body cannot keep up that kind of action for the rest of their lives. People get burnt out and a lot of the people who leave the show cannot keep all the weight off such as Season One Winner, Ryan Benson who started the show at 330 pounds and today is almost back to the same weight. When you have a show designed for pure competition with a money incentive, Health does not become the main objective.

I know the trainers really do care about their contestants. I have definitely seen the understanding and they would not have such successful careers if they did not get long term results. Also, I have no idea how the show has changed in the past few seasons because like I said earlier, my desire to watch it dropped. It just was not realistic enough for me. But I get it, who is going to watch a show where each person drops a pound or two a week, lives normal lives with going to work and school, caring for their children, spending a whole episode talking about how to budget healthy foods when money is tight? Not enough people. Not enough people to make a difference. But that is what America needs. America needs someone to sit down with them, figure out how to make healthy food and exercise fit into their lives, and show them that it can be done. I know I will look and feel better once I lose weight and that was a huge motivation to make the change, but it is a huge struggle to make that transition.

I am not going to lie, eating healthy can sometimes be a little bit more costly than just buying a lot of processed foods, but I am fuller longer and definitely eat a lot less than when I was eating bad food. The first initial shock of a grocery bill may send you to tears but you may realize that you don’t actually need as much as you think you do. 

I love that the show shines light on the problems of obesity but when I see people commenting on how much weight a person should be losing (“OMG, why are some of those heavy people only losing 2 pounds in a week?! They have so much to lose!”) it makes me upset. Yes, I know that is what they are there to do but our bodies were not made to shed that weight so fast and then keep it off. When they do spotlights on previous people on the show, a lot of them have rebounded. Most of them are not as drastic as Season One winner and Season Three winner, but an additional 20 – 30 pounds does put a strain on the body. I am sure they also have to work much harder to keep it off than a normal person who took a very slow time to get the weight off. I know if I am not entirely committed, my body does not rebound as fast as I thought. In a month of not concentrating or exercising, my weight just fluctuated like a normal healthy body should.

I am not saying “Do Not Watch the Show” but I do want people to not be discouraged when they are not dropping the pounds like their fellow contestants. I don’t want you to get upset at a person for only losing a pound or two. Losing weight is hard and a pound or two is considered healthy in “real life.” There is nothing wrong with losing just that pound. Keep being motivated! Keep striving! Each step you take towards health is a step in the right direction. 

Curry! It’s Hurry Time!

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The moment you have all been waiting for…

A delicious curry recipe. You may remember that I was tantalizing you with this wonderful picture a few weeks back…

So delicious! One of my favorite meals (as long as the husband doesn’t add too much curry powder!)

 

This is a very versatile recipe that can be made entirely vegetarian or can be made with chicken, beef, pork, lamb, etc. The recipe I am going to give you is for chicken and I will give you the recipe that our recipe is based off of so you can make your own changes! Also, you can serve it over rice, cauliflower rice (just cauliflower that has been cooked quickly in the microwave and beaten by a food processor muahaha), tortillas, or nan bread. Yummy! Or you can just have it all on its own like a curry stew (which I did a lot to save calories and I could enjoy  more of the curry).

First, if you are going to make this with chicken, buy 2 pounds of big chicken thighs. Reason? It is cheap and it has lots of flavor. Keep the skin on (don’t worry, the skin and stuff is not actually going to be consumed… it is all for the flavor). Roast the chicken thighs in the oven with some rosemary and poultry seasoning at a low temperature for about an hour. By low, I mean around 250. The other ingredients you are going to need are the following:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 medium onions, but you can do less if you aren’t big on onions

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 can tomato paste

1 cup water

1 cup light coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons curry powder (more or less depending on the amount of spice you want)

6 large potatoes cubed (can use red or russets)

1 cup small carrots

1. 10 minutes before your chicken is done roasting, heat up a large pot with the olive oil. Add in the onions and garlic once the oil is hot. Saute until onions are translucent. Add the tomato paste, water, coconut milk, garlic and curry powder, and salt for taste.

2. By this time, your chicken should be done. Take out of the oven and very carefully remove skin and cut it off the bone into small pieces (this is a huge pain and I apologize but the flavor cannot be beat. You can use boneless, skinless chicken too but the flavor may be a little different).

3. Add the chicken to the pot, cover and simmer for an hour.

4. Wash potatoes and cut them into bite size pieces. Throw them and the carrots into the pot and simmer again for another 45 minutes to an hour (until potatoes and carrots are tender). Feel free to add more seasonings, but watch out! Curry powder is potent!

5.  You can add more water/coconut milk to get it to a consistency you like.

 

Enjoy! Definitely plan ahead for this one, but it makes a lot of meals that you can heat up throughout the week! This basically fed me and my husband for 3 to 4 days (depending on if we had it over anything or if we ate it by itself).

This is so good, and I am definitely going to have my husband make it again before my surgery!

If you don’t like coconut milk and would like to make it with something else, here is the original recipe:

4 tbsp. light olive oil
4 med. onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 c. water
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 tbsp. curry powder, adjust to taste
2 lbs. boneless beef or lamb, cubed
6 lg. potatoes, cubed

In a Dutch oven, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Add minced garlic, tomato paste, water, garlic powder, curry powder and salt. Cook until mixture begins to thicken and onions are tender. Add beef or lamb and cover. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour, being careful not to boil.

Add potatoes and continue to simmer for another hour or until potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt and curry or garlic powder, if needed. Add water to desired consistency.

Serve over hot rice with flour tortillas that have been heated.

 

Weekend Re-Cap and Comparison Photos

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This weekend was CRA~ZAY. Meaning I socialized and talked to people, which is a really big task for me. Especially the whole people part. Even people I don’t even KNOW. Messing with my taking over the world plans which means I have to spend all week trying to catch up on what I missed over the weekend. Since my kitties are no help whatsoever in making sure my world domination plans go smoothly. Yeah. Way to go kitties.

Can’t you tell they care SO MUCH about my evil schemes?

On Saturday, I got to meet some of my husband’s extended family that lives in Maine. Now my family is not very large, and we have never had a big family reunion. But with this family, it seems almost like a yearly thing? It’s pretty amazing! And Kevin had only met one of the relatives that had been there (or at least that he remembered) and the last time he saw her was when he was 8 years old. He is 33 now. So it’s been awhile. So we really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into… which was total and utter chaos with a large topping of awesomesauce and love. His family was absolutely incredible, very friendly and super helpful as we asked hundreds of times how people were related and what not. Basically these were a lot of his second cousins? Kind of sorta. They were all gathered to celebrate the woman who married my husband’s grandfather’s brother’s birthday.  Does that make sense to any of you? Oh well close enough.  There was a lot of yummy food but I was actually pretty well behaved, surprisingly! And just munched on things here and there and had a few bites of some sweet treats. I was actually super proud of myself. YAY!

Sunday…was a lazy day. So that wasn’t so crazy. I mean mostly the crazy part was dealing with my mom, but when is that not crazy? We had a Big Bang Theory marathon and went to a discount used movie/music/book/fun store and loaded up on some kiddie movies! Came home and watched Despicable Me. Love it. Seriously. I want to be an evil villain and then have my heart changed by 3 awesome kids. Please and thank you.

Monday was labor day and full of awesomeness. Took my mom and sister out for breakfast because I wanted to hang out with my sister and my mom was upset that we couldn’t play games like we originally intended because the BBQ we were going to on Sunday got rained out and moved to Monday. Sorry, Mom! Life happens. So for the BBQ, I made skinny red potato salad which is always a hit and the husband made up the burgers.

Yup. That’s me making my bbq face while everyone else seems to be in conversation!

So I didn’t eat very healthy yesterday, but still… I wasn’t too bad! So ha.

Today I just had a smoothie and am about to have a nummy veggie burger. Also, I did the Salad Challenge 6 out of 7 days! I missed Saturday and should have made up for it yesterday… but I don’t think potato salad and pasta salad count. Ooops.

Lets see here…

SQUIRREL

I got really artistic with Peg’s camera. I’m awesome. I also made a comparison photo which may or may not really suck. But I tried my best!

Picture on the left was taken around Easter 2011, picture on the right was taken this morning! =D Same shirt, it just fits a lot better!

 

So that’s my weekend in a nutshell! Squirrel included and everything.

 

 

 

I’m Getting Social!

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In my attempt to become awesome and take over the world inspire people, I have decided to get connected. Meaning I just signed up for twitter. And made a Facebook page. Internet Gods, help me. I have no idea what I am doing but I am sure it going to be a complete and utter blasty and a half as I make a bunch of mistakes an effort to keep you guys connected to my every day life and help in making you feel guilty kicking your ass into high gear. As you can see to the right here (unless you are looking on your phone in which case check it out AS SOON AS YOU CAN GET TO A COMPUTER. And I mean don’t even kick off your shoes when you get home), there are links to the twitter page and facebook page. See? Super easy to become a fan of…whatever I do.

 

I felt like writing a post to let you guys know. Stand tune to further changes and also a post tomorrow about steps to take when you first embark on your healthy journey since it can be such an overwhelming task!

 

Thank you for putting up with shenanigans! You guys are the best!

Have An Active Date Night!

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Just last year, a date with the love was going out and eating way too much food, hitting a movie and indulging in a little bit of popcorn (I mean come on, who goes to the movie without popcorn? Yes, that was my reasoning even when I was too full to really eat it), and then go home and crash on the couch and watch some more stuff on the screen because I obviously did not get enough at the big screen. I would wake up feeling miserable and gross, and date night just did not appear to be very much fun when you are stuffing your face so much you feel ready for someone to just roll you down the street.

With getting healthy, we have decided to get more active with our date nights. We have done a lot of walking and hiking this year which I have absolutely loved. I never come home feeling ready to die from a food coma but instead feel exhausted (in a good way). On Friday, the husband and I decided to indulge in some sushi and also go bowling! There is a bowling alley right near our favorite sushi restaurants that does glow in the dark bowling after 8:00. They also have this awesome deal where you can bowl for 2 hours and it only costs 20 bucks. Not too shabby! About on par with going to the movies. We didn’t think we would be there for the whole entire 2 hours… but time just flew by! I ended up being victorious because I am really good at distracting the husband with my boobs I rock at bowling. I even managed to get a couple shots of the date so it is like you guys were right there with us — cheering me on!

NOM. My hubby taking down that sushi like a pro — also notice his bowl of spicy mayo on the side. Gross. But I love him.

 

We also get a soup when we are there — sometimes the sushi chefs will even spoil us and give us Tuna Soup On The House. Heck yeah! It’s nice to be a regular.

 

Rocking the Bowling Shoes.

 

Sucking at bowling before the Glow In the Dark bowling started. Lots of gutter balls those first rounds!

 

My man in action! Go, go, go! Oh no… gutter ball…

 

Now we’re talking — this is how it looked once the lights went down! There was disco lights and rockin’ music too. Yee haw! The place also started filling up which was nice to see!

2 hours of bowling is definitely a good work out. Both the husband and I were a little damp with sweat by the time we were done. It made me feel a little less bad about gorging myself on sushi. Why does sushi have to be so delicious?!

Before we headed out, I actually took some full body shots of myself in the mirror. I haven’t done it before because I was so ashamed of my body and it was just a reflex to delete every single shot. Seriously. I couldn’t control myself! But this time, I was able to fight the urge and show you guys where I am currently at (and you can check out the outfit the husband picked out for me).

Frontal shot. Also, kitties were all over me. The shirt I am wearing is the medium one I could fit into. YAY

 

Side view! I still have another 40 – 50 pounds to lose but the progress is definitely there!

 

You guys are probably curious as to what the scale said too… and luckily it is some positive news despite the fact I ate out a lot last week and then drank way too much on Saturday… I was still able to go down a pound! Whoo! My current weight is 202.

So when you are thinking about what to do for date night, I recommend doing something active. Take a picnic lunch and go on a hike or swimming. Bowling is still a lot of fun, especially if you are competitive (just not to the point of being mean and obnoxious). Don’t do the every day dinner and a movie. That’s just way too much sitting and too many temptations. Sight seeing and window shopping are also great options and best of all, can be very inexpensive!

What do you guys do on your dates? Or when hanging out with friends?

(I have not forgotten Last Song I Heard about the award! Big thanks and I will get around to it either today or tomorrow!)