My Scale Broke and I am not sad about it!

It finally happened.  After using that sucker for almost two years straight, the battery died.  Oh how it gave me such gratification in the beginning of my health journey.  Watching the numbers go lower and lower made me SO happy.  I was fanatical about weighing in every single day.  And then it happened….the scale stopped moving during my plateaus….and I got pissed off because I was working my arse off and it should have been moving but it wasn’t!  So frustrating.

But then something miraculous happened at the beginning of summer.  The first thing is the batteries died in my digital scale.  The second thing is I no longer carried about the numbers on the scale.  I have talked about this before, but will touch on why these two things are equally important to my journey.

When the batteries in the scale died, I was SO mad.  I wanted it to just start working the way that it was supposed to.  I had paid $30 for that thing and it should work right?  Well….here is the confession.  I don’t think it EVER worked right.  For example, I could weigh at 6:30 a.m. and it say one thing and then weigh again at 6:35 a.m. and miraculously I had gained 5 pounds.  That, to me, spells malfunction!  So I kept jiggling the thing and then I said “Oh Well!!!” And then….I felt ok which leads me to the second thing….

As I type this I feel free.  No, not that I just got out of jail free, but more of a “I finally did it feeling!”.  Let me explain….for the past 2 years it has been about the scale….losing fat and gaining muscle.  The jiggles had to go!  I was OVER it and like most people I wanted results.  I have done enough research to know that this process is long and slow and sometimes frustrating, but that didn’t stop those feelings.  So after my scale broke, I said to myself that it was time to let it go.  Let the numbers on the scale go.  I also decided to stop tracking calories through MFP.  I was sick of it because I felt like all I did was track foods.  It was tiresome and a major deterrent to my overall success.  Health and progress can be better measured by other things that have nothing to do with numbers on a scale.

So how am I measuring my progress on my journey? I am using a variety of things that have nothing to do with scales and numbers.

  • Measuring Tapes!  ->  I have tracked my measurements since the sixth month of my journey.  One of the hard things to learn was that sometimes the scale isn’t going to move but the inches will and that is ultimately what matters.
  • Fitness Milestones ->  As I work through different workouts and fitness routines, I have found new found strength that I didn’t know I had.  I could have never held a plank months ago and now I can with good form.  I can run without getting ridiculously winded or tired.  I can do squat jumps continuously for more than a few seconds….You get the point.
  • Clothes ->  One of the best measures of my personal success is how clothes fit and how they lay.  I can tell if I have lost or gained inches or weight, just by how lose or tight my clothes feel.
  • Clean Eating –>  I have made a conscious effort to eat more whole foods and eating good carbs which as I have said before are my weakness.  I am eating more fruits and veggies everyday and making a more concerted effort to do so.

When you ask me how much I weigh or how much weight I have lost….I will be honest and tell you around 100 lbs and I will also tell you that your health journey is more than numbers on a scale.  It’s about YOU and you are more than those numbers.

Do you struggle with scale obsession?  How do you monitor your progress?  Looking forward to feedback!

Things that make me go “hmmmm…..”

There are so many things that I have encountered during this health journey that have made me scratch my head.  Some of the head scratching is for a good reason and some of the head scratching is because I am shocked at how little I knew about health and how little others now about health.  I thought it would be funny and enlightening to list some of the things that make me go “hmmmm….”

Top Crazy Questions

  1. “Can I just lose weight without working out?  It’s tiring”  Why yes you can lose weight without working out.  And you will gain it all back.  Working out is supposed to be tiring.  It’s call WORK for a reason.
  2. “Can I just skip two meals and then eat dinner?”  Sure you can skip breakfast, the most important meal of the day.  Be a raging, hungry lunatic all day, and then gorge at dinner.  Your coworkers and family are going to LOVE you. (or not!)
  3. “Can you stop you are making us all look fat?”  Hmmmmmmm…..
  4. “Do french fries count as a vegetable?”  Yes someone asked me that and no I did not answer it.
  5. “Are you guys (Mister S and I) sick?”  Ummm….no we aren’t sick other than being sick and tired of being unhealthy.  NEXT!

Top Crazy Comments

  1. “Gosh you’ve lost all that weight and still have wide hips”  Jesus be some common sense for people!  While I could have found this offensive, I didn’t.  Mister S likes the hips and so do I!
  2. “Where did your boobs go?”  Ok….so….I have ALWAYS been small chested when you compare my chest to my hips.  I’m happy with them and once again…Mister S likes them so 😉
  3. “You need to feed that man (Mister S)!  Quit depriving him of food!”  For the record, I did not and do not starve Mister S.  He eats quite a bit, BUT he eats good stuff (mostly 😉 ) so….I can oblige the first part and continue to feed him.
  4. *Opening my fridge* “Where is the good food?  This is rabbit food!”  Then just call me a rabbit cause fruits and veggies is how we roll!
  5. “You’re starting to look anorexic”  This was totally head scratch worthy.  Anorexia is NOT a joke or something to joke around with.  Ah….watch those words folks….watch those words.

 I am CERTAIN that people mean well when they ask questions or make comments, but sometimes I have to wonder.  Have you dealt with any comments like these from people?

“hmmmm….sometimes I wonder….”

Green smoothies? No, thanks….I’ll have some chocolate instead!

In my quest for beverages, I stumbled upon this great idea to make myself a green smoothie the other day! I was SO ready to gobble that thing up and suck down all that good vegetable and fruit goodness. I get to the kitchen and start adding things to the blender and mixing and scraping down the sides and mixing some more and adding a few things. I was really excited about it all.

In case you were wondering what I put in there, it was a handful of spinach, almond milk, some ice, strawberries, pineapples, mango, and agave nectar as a sweetener. It sounded so good……..

And then I mixed it. And it turned green. And it started to look like baby poop. My mind started racing and I thought “I can’t drink this mess!” And I didn’t. I am a green smoothie drop out. I simply could not drink it and be happy. No way… I just can’t!

You would think I would have given up completely on the smoothie thing but no….I pressed on and came up with something that I could hang with.   I struggle to incorporate the right amount of protein into my diet.  It has been a longstanding struggle of mine because I LOVE carbs….buttered rolls anyone?  Carbs = comfort for me and I just love them!  I set out to come up with a smoothie that would provide me with some protein but also satisfy my sweet tooth craving from time to time.  This where the chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas come into play.

Although Lady S has a severe allergy to peanut/peanut butter, we still keep it in our home.  We are SUPER CAREFUL with it and usually only consume it when she is not in the house or for work lunches.  I decided to concoct a smoothie recipe that has it in there and some chocolate too!   The banana is added for fun and for a boost of fruit!

So without further adieu

Choco-Nana Peanut Butter Smoothie

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Ingredients

  • 1-2 tbsps of Natural Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup of Unsweetened or Vanilla Almond Milk (you can also use soy milk, regular milk, or plain/vanilla greek yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp of semisweet or milk chocolate chips (can substitute white chocolate or butterscotch chips)
  • ice cubes (quantity depends on how much you like)
  • 1 Frozen banana OR 1 freshly peeled banana (eliminate the ice if using a frozen banana)
  • 1 splash of real vanilla extract

Directions

  • Place all ingredients in the blender.  If using ice, place it at the bottom so it crushes and blends completely.
  • Blend until well mixed and enjoy!

Protein and Fruit all in one and some chocolate too!  SCORE!

 

 

New Recipe! Honey Spiced Salmon

Mister S went in the kitchen last night and literally slayed the salmon that I had laid out for dinner!  Growing up, I had always had fish battered and fried and I loved it!   As a matter of fact, I still love it and have it at least once a month from the wonderful fish camp down the street.  (Fish Camp….so southern right?)  When we started trying to incorporate more fish into our diets, we struggled with what to do with it.  I do not like steamed or broiled fish, so grilling it seemed the only way to go.  After figuring out that part, we had to decide on what type of fish to eat.  We settled on cod or salmon as staples in our diets.

My general disclaimer before giving up the goods, aka the recipe, is please do all you can to buy wild caught fish.  Farm raised fish can contain all types of dangerous things including pesticides, diseases, and other unpleasant things that you simply do not want.  You can find more information regarding the differences between the two here.  Of course if you eat out, you can not control this unless the menu/chef is pretty specific about your fish’s origins.

Now onto the recipe which is what you came here for right?

Honey Spiced Salmon 

 

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***Sorry for the unsolicited attack of the fork in the pic.  It felt left out***

Ingredients 

  • 4-6 4 oz Salmon Fillets
  • 2-3 teaspoons of organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2  teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or olive oil cooking spray

Directions 

  • Preheat your grill to 350 degrees.
  • Mix your spices and honey in small dish to make a paste.  Adjust amounts according to your families likes.  Smear on each fillet, covering the front and back fully.
  • If using butter, melt it and allow to fully coat the surface.  Allow the butter to brown slightly.  (This will give you a nice, nutty flavor) If using olive oil cooking spray, you do not need to allow it to brown (it won’t) and you will not get the nutty, flavor)
  • Apply each fully carefully and allow to cook 3-5 minutes per side or until desired level of doneness.  (We like it WELL done!)
  • Be sure not to crowd your pan or the surface of your indoor grill as you want the fillets to get a nice char and not steam against each other.
  • Once done, remove from grill/pan and allow to rest for a minute or two and serve with a nice green veggie and a starch!

Calorie count for each fillet comes in at around 215 calories per 4 oz serving.

Enjoy!

Eat More to Lose More? The ugly truth

At last update I had lost 100 lbs and so had Mister S!  When you hear people say that it is a lifestyle change, they are absolutely telling the truth.  It is unreal the amount of fruit and veggies we buy in our weekly grocery run.  But alas!  That is a good thing.  We are incorporating more veggies and fruits in our diets everyday.  Instead of chips at work, Mister S defaults to the produce department and eats apples, bananas, citrus fruits, and peanut butter.  What a difference this is from where we were when we first started this journey.  Unfortunately, there is a downside to all of this.

My weight loss has stalled!

Many people hit the dreaded plateau during their weightloss journeys.  I haven’t met one person who hasn’t.  It is simply the most frustrating time of everyone’s experience.  The scale doesn’t move.  The inches won’t come off.  You just aren’t sure what to do to get the scale moving in the right direction again.  I remember going through this at 30 lbs, 45 lbs, and 60 lbs lost.  I remember being just as frustrated then as I am now!

So how does one break the plateau?  This is such a complicated question to answer.  When the body hits a plateau that means your body is used to what you’ve been doing and it is holding onto fat in order to function.  This can happen when your caloric deficit is too high or when you are overdoing it by working out or you simply aren’t eating enough food.  

In my case my caloric deficit was too high meaning two things.  1.  I wasn’t eating enough and 2.  I was working out too much.  *sigh* So how am I fixing this….Well it is much more simple than I had made it out to be.  I have increased how much I am eating, on average eating between 1700-1900 calories a day and working out every other day as opposed to 5/6 times per week.  I am also eating back some of my calories burned working out.  I feel better physically and mentally so it is working.  Beyond that, the scale is moving downward again so it was the right thing for me to do!

Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself in a plateau.  It happens to everyone at some point.  You just have to figure out how to break out of it and keep trucking right on!

Ro

Cookout Confessions and Pasta Salad Recipe

I am not a fan of cookouts.  There I said it.  Something about the combination of heat, the smoke from the grill flying in EVERY direction, the flies, warm potato and pasta salads, lukewarm meats…..Oh dear Lord….The thought of it just….ew!!!!!  It is literally sabotage on a healthy eating plan. And there are the fireworks that sound like gunshots to me that go boom in the middle of the night.  Being that Lady S has severe peanut/tree nut allergies, that adds another layer of anxiety for me at these functions.  Now so that I don’t confuse anyone, I can handle Mister S’s grilling for a few reasons…1)  I can patrol food safety 2)  His food is immaculately cooked and hot when we eat it and 3) I can patrol food safety 🙂   (See a running theme here?)

Ok, so now that I got that out, I can move on to the meat of the post.  I respectfully and nicely declined an invitation to a cookout today for the above stated reasons.  Instead I decided to make myself a good ole pasta salad!  I guess you could say that I am obsessed with pasta salads and those delicious looking one pot wonders that I see everywhere.   I have been stalking Pinterest this summer for healthy, filling pasta salads that I can make at home that maybe Lady S will eat.  I have successfully done the first thing but Lady S refuses to even partake in the pasta salad goodness!  Shame on her.  It was the broccoli that turned her off from it!

For lunch today I made the most delicious pasta salad that took all of 15 minutes to put together and it is choked full of good veggies and good carbs to help keep you full.  My challenge, in terms of eating, has been to eat cleaner this summer and to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet.  I will fully admit that I don’t eat enough vegetables and fruit is an entirely different story.

So you want the recipe right?  The ingredients are listed below in the quantities that I used.  You are more than welcome to double, triple, or quadruple the recipe if you are feeding a larger group of people.  The below recipe will serve 4 with the calorie content coming in at 124 calories per serving.

Caesar Veggie Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 cup DRY vegetable farfarlle or rotini pasta
  •  1/2 cup of pitted, black olives
  • 2 tbsps of grated Parmesan or Parmesan Romano cheese
  • 4 tbsps of Creamy Caesar or Italian Dressing

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook pasta to package directions.  Do not overcook the pasta or it will become mushy and not hold up well.
  2. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and then quarter, placing in a bowl
  3. Cut the stalks off the broccoli, using on the florets.  Chop into preferred size.  Add to the tomatoes.
  4. If using whole, pitted olives, cut in half.  If using sliced olives, leave as they are.  Be sure to drain the liquid from them.  Add these to the tomato/broccoli mixture.
  5. Once the pasta is done cooking, drain very well being sure to remove the majority of the water.  Rinse with cold water until pasta is no longer warm.  Drain again removing as much water as possible.  Add this tot he broccoli/tomato/black olive mixture.
  6. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss it all together.
  7. Lastly, add the Caesar or Italian Dressing and mix it all well being sure everything is incorporate together.  Chill and serve or eat immediately.  Be sure to store leftovers properly in the refrigerator.

***You can tweak this recipe anyway you wish even adding in grilled chicken for a protein boost if you like ***

Enjoy!

 

Chicken Chipotle Tacos! Oh My!

In the quest to cook dinner for my family each day, I have had to get quite creative in coming up with fulfilling and fun foods!  Boneless, skinless chicken is a staple in our home and we eat it at lest 2-3 times per week.  There are so many things to do with it, but I found out last week that we were doing a little too much frying and not enough baking, grilling, and crockpotting… (Yes crockpotting is a new word….log it into your memory).

I enjoy cooking just as much as the next person but I DO NOT want to stand in the kitchen all afternoon because it’s hot!!!  I was searching around on the internet and found this wonderful recipe for Chicken Chipotle Tacos and it was a hit in our house.  I did not stick by the recipe exactly and tweaked it our liking but it was gobbled up here.  Lady S had nothing to do with it because she doesn’t like tacos!  What in the world is wrong with her?

I adapted the recipe for these from a wonderful website, Slender Kitchen.  If you try it out let me know how your family liked it!

Chicken Chiptotle Tacos 

Ingredients: 

  • 2-3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts/tenderloins (we used tenderloins)
  • 1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 16oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

In your crockpot, place the chicken inside spreading them out on the bottom.  In a small bowl combine the oregano, garlic powder, cumin, tomatoes, and 2-4 of the chipotle peppers and 2-4 tbsps of the adobo sauce.  Mix well and pour on top of the chicken breast.  Cook on low 3-5 hours.  Serve with black beans, corn, chips and salsa, and all the fixings!  Enjoy! 

***You can adjust the amount of chipotle peppers and adobo sauce to your liking making this as spicy as you like.  We like spicy so we used 3 peppers and 5 tbsps of adobo sauce

***You can use fire roasted tomatoes as described in the original recipe if you like.  It may alter the flavor some.