Monday, August 13, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday

I love reading these from Kenlie's blog so I thought I would start participating! If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts.

This week's topic is groceries! Something I should be purchasing as we speak but I am putting it off until tomorrow.

In the Kitchen

1. How often do you cook at home? I typically cook about 4 dinners a week in the kitchen. I also pack my lunch everyday and eat breakfast at home 7 days a week.

2. Do you eat more fresh produce, frozen or canned produce? Definitely fresh. I struggle with it not going bad since my husband eats very little produce but I still prefer fresh!

3. What are a few unusual staples that can always be found in your kitchen?  I don't think I have anything unusual...maybe the 6 different flavors of peanut butter;)

4. Look in your fridge, then tell us about the healthiest thing in there. Apples from my grandfather's orchard.

5. Now share the most unhealthy thing in it.  Lunch meat

6. Do you eat leftovers? I will eat them but usually my husband snags them.

7. Do you use coupons at the supermarket? Yes! I have found that it is harder to use them now though since I have started eating better because most coupons are for processed foods.

8. How often do you try new recipes? Maybe once a month.

9. Do you make grocery lists? Do you stick to them? I typically make a list but I definitley do not stick to it.
10. If you could buy one food item that would magically be calorie-free, which item would you choose? Pizza!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

I have seen many bloggers do "What I Wore Wednesday" posts and clothes are something that I love so I figured that I should jump on board! I have purchased a whole new wardrobe since my weight loss. My current favorite stores are The Loft and The Limited. Recently I allowed myself to get rid of the majority of my old clothes. Holding on to them felt like permission to gain the weight back. I took many of them to a Clothes Mentor that recently opened up in my area and I was able to get a fair amount of money for the clothes (much more than I feel I would be able to get at a yard sale). I will be donating the rest of the clothes to families in need.

One thing I do want to mention when discussing clothes is that I feel that it is much harder to shop now that I have lost weight (I know that sounds like the opposite of what everyone says!). When I was larger I spent more time evaluating whether clothes were flattering and I purchased clothes because they fit me well and looked good. Now I have a hard time distinguishing between whether I really love something or if I want to purchase it because it is a small size and it fits and that makes me excited. Does any one else who has lost weight struggle with that?

Okay...on to the outfit. I do really LOVE this outfit. It makes me feel confident and attractive:

Sorry for the poor picture quality and messy bedroom;) I haven't gotten the hang of the self portrait yet! The top and skirt are both from The Limited and I paid less than $30 total for them both. The shoes are from Shoe Carnival from a few years ago (They are SO comfortable). I won't be back posting until next week. I hope to have a good weekend of exercise and eating right and I hope you do too!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Before and Afters

Here are a few pictures that show what I looked like before and after my weight loss:
2008 Before ~180 pounds

2010 Before 153 pounds

2012 After ~130 pounds

Today After a 5 Mile HOT Run:)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hello Internet:)

Where should I start? I have started a blog before and I didn't keep it up. I didn't have a set goal in mind when I started a blog in the past and I am not sure that I do now. First let me tell you a little bit about myself. Over the course of my life I have struggled with my weight. Recently I have dropped 35 pounds. I probably should have started a blog when I was going through the weight loss journey. My goodness, the other weight loss blogs have certainly helped me, I feel the need to pay it forward. Although, I can't say this blog will always be about losing weight (although who wouldn't like to lose just a couple more), it will be about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For me that involves utilizing most of the same things I did when I was losing weight.

In addition, I plan to discuss my struggles with sticking with a healthy lifestyle. As someone with a history of eating disorders and years of disordered eating it can be really difficult not to compare myself to strongly to others. Hearing the stories of other people who have gotten in to shape or have lost weight is very helpful but it can also lead to negative self talk ("Why can't I lose more weight?", "How is her pace that low on a 10 mile run?", "I need to start working out twice a day too."). Currently I have a bit more time on my hands than usual because I work in the education field and I am off for the summer. When I am not super busy these thoughts are much more pervasive. Although I am aware of them and I am able to work through them I do have my days where I simply throw my healthy lifestyle out of the window and find myself viewing food as the enemy.

I know for some of you reading this (is anyone reading this? haha) you may be wondering how I lost the weight. I originally started at 180 pounds in May of 2008 (my highest weight ever). I had just graduated college and I was getting married the following year. I began losing weight through Weight Watchers and it really worked for me. Most of that weight loss was due to changes in my eating. I exercised some but not regularly. My choice exercise had always been running due to running track in high school. It is also a fairly cheap way to exercise when you don't have a gym membership! I ran a few miles once or twice a week. I also worked a demanding job in retail (that I hated) that took up around 50 hours a week. I lost around 35 pounds before my wedding in August of 2009. After getting married, I slowly put the weight back on. I was attending graduate school full time and working full time. By the time I graduated and started my new job I was back up to 165.5. Last summer I started the weight loss journey again. I tried Weight Watchers and it did not work. I was eating too many processed foods and had to learn to eat cleaner. During that summer I began to read blogs about weight loss and I learned about the 17 Day Diet. After a summer of Weight Watchers and exercising in the heat to see no movement on the scale I decided to purchase the 17 Day Diet book on my Kindle. I read the book and it really made sense to me. I grocery shopped with my Kindle in hand so I could use the lists provided in the book. This book made sense to me. Basically, I shopped the perimeter of the grocery store. No processed foods and more protein. This approach worked for me and has been maintainable. Over the course of the past year I have dropped 35 pounds and I am now running and working out more than ever. I believe that everyone has to find what works for them; this approach clicked with me and I have been able to maintain the lifestyle.

Recently I have started going to the gym (a friend gave me a free 3 month membership) and I have been taking classes that involve strength training. In the past when I have attempted any sort of strength training (even the 30 Day Shred) I have seen an increase on the scale. This has been happening since I started taking classes at the gym and I am really struggling. I am still running and cycling and it is hard to see the scale go up when I have been working so hard. I understand that muscles retain fluid after vigorous exercise but it doesn't change the fact that I am unhappy with the number I see.

So...thats a little background on me! I hope this blog will serve as an outlet to work through struggles with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and I hope that it will allow me to share some ideas and get to know some of the people on the blogs that have helped me so much during my journey.