WW Problem: Going Out to Eat

In my second week of Weight Watchers, I’m down 1 pound.

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I knew I wasn’t going to lose another 6 pounds because that would be a lot after one week of changes. This is more consistent with what a person should aim to lose weekly. Also, I indulged in some pizza and Chinese food this weekend, not a weight loss winning combination, however delicious.

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My workouts have been consistent. I stick to a six-day plan, 3 days of strength training with harder, shorter bursts of cardio like jump roping and spinning, with 3 days of running.

I’m trying to be better about cooking at home on the weekends more often. This is difficult when it’s busy and I’m out and about. I’m pretty good at identifying what’s good to eat on menus, but I always find the healthy stuff is better when I make it myself.

Salads for instance! I went to a restaurant Friday night with my parents and because I wanted some chips and salsa, opted for a grilled shrimp salad. There were five tiny shrimps, lettuce, tomato, and a bunch of onions (blech!). It’s disappointing when you get something unsatisfying for a meal, particularly when you’re paying for it!

On Saturday, my friend and I split a small pizza with a large salad for lunch and then split some Chinese food dishes for dinner. The food itself is indulgent, but we also tried to manage the portions. Still, I want to try to stick to one indulgence on the weekends- at least in one day!

I also went out to eat on Sunday afternoon, which Weight Watchers builds into the plan, but I counted all my extra points for Saturday and didn’t want to go too crazy. I had a salad with grilled shrimp (much better this time) with a cup of soup and one roll because hey, it’s Bertucci’s and their rolls are amazing. I only had a small bite on Sunday for dinner because it was filling though.

I think the important mental note to take away when you’re trying to eat better or following something like Weight Watchers is that healthy living is something you want to be doing consistently. If you like to go out to eat, do so, but also learn to choose those indulgent favorites as a treat, rather than the norm. One meal does not a diet break, but if you view these changes as temporary, your mind will set back to old habits.

Plus, cooking at home can be fun!

Week 1 WW

I’m a week back into Weight Watchers and feeling strong! So far, I’m down 6 pounds!

I know that is a big number, but the first week or two will always jumpstart you. There were definitely some changes that needed to be made to my diet.

The biggest change I’ve undergone thus far is cutting back on the carbs. I still eat and enjoy whole wheat pasta, bread, and brown rice, but not as much and not for every meal. I grew accustomed to having two slices of toast at breakfast especially, but now I eat one piece or have a whole wheat pita or tortilla instead. I’m particularly careful to measure how much I’m eating to keep me honest. Carbs are comfort, but they are also necessary for the body to function, so I refuse to abandon them!

A specific carb I’ve cut down on using is butter. I love butter, particularly on top of carbs and inside dishes to make them taste so much better. Not using it as frequently has helped me become more creative with spices in dishes, but also helps me make better choices, for instance, peanut butter is a better alternative to butter on my toast in the morning because it has more nutrients and substance.

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The biggest benefit has been a lack of bloating. I would sometimes go to bed feeling gross or overly stuffed, not thinking that I’ve eaten too much more than I should until that point. I already eat a ton of veggies, but I’ve upped my in take, hello breakfast scrambles, and my tummy has improved overall.

My energy levels have also improved. I don’t feel as tired when the alarm rings at 4:30 in the morning and my workouts feel better fueled. I’m excited to see how much easier my running gets as I continue to shed pounds, including speed and endurance.

It’s also important for me to remember how far I’ve come from 7 years ago now when I was 100 pounds heavier to see how far I’ve come.

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Food Friday Round-up

It’s Friday (the 13th!) and I’m back with a round-up of food from the week! As I mentioned earlier, I’m back on Weight Watchers, but I’m determined not to fill my days with bland, boring foods. Here’s a look at what I’ve been eating- and enjoying- this week!

*This does not include snacks throughout the day.

Breakfasts

Scrambled eggs with red bell peppers, spinach, jalapeños, chicken sausage, and cheese in a whole wheat pita. (3 points)

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Cheese omelette with the most delicious fruit! (0 points)

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Scrambled eggs with red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and bok choy with feta in a whole wheat pita. (1 point)

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Lunches

Whole wheat tortilla with baby spinach, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli slaw, feta, and a drizzle of Italian dressing. (4 points)

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Whole wheat tortilla with shredded mozzarella, marinara, and turkey pepperoni. (7 points)

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Whole Foods plate with salmon, roasted broccoli, and a kale and brussels sprouts salad. (4 points)

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Grilled cod on top of two corn tortillas, broccoli slaw, and yellow bell peppers with a splash of teriyaki sauce and served with more of that yummy fruit. (6 points)

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Dinners

Blackened salmon with boiled cauliflower and a caesar salad. (11 points)

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Grilled shrimp, rice with veggies, and veggies stir fried in hoisin sauce. (7 points)

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Lemon chicken with brown spinach rice and spinach. (14 points)

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Guest Perspective: Shonna

Every so often, I’m going to incorporate stories of friends and colleagues and whoever wants to be included to share on the blog. While I like to think my own 100-pound weight loss can be inspiring to many, it’s so important to hear from different voices, as everyone faces unique obstacles and challenges throughout their lives.

I met my friend Shonna working at my current gym where I do personal training. She is a group exercise instructor of several different classes- hello Zumba and strength training- a passionate exerciser, and has a great fitness backstory she agreed to share.

Thank you, Shonna, for visiting GMMCA!

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When did you start exercising? Why? What did you do?
I remember doing tapes and television workouts when I was a little kid (Mousercise and Sweating to the Oldies were my favorites). I played sports a little and took dance lessons, but it was all pretty casual. After high school, I would join a gym and maybe walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical and machines, but I didn’t really have a plan or know what I was doing. I got way more into fitness around 2005 when I worked in the corporate world with a team that was really physically fit. We had a gym in our building and after a lot of convincing, I went to my first Spin class with my coworkers. I was surprised to see that it wasn’t scary at all! From there, I started running, worked with a trainer, and went to more classes.  In 2007, I became a Spin instructor and after being laid off from that corporate job, learned to teach more classes.
How has your routine and philosophy changed over the years?
I’ve become more comfortable with taking risks and trying new things! I really feel like you need to step out of your comfort zone because you never know how much you can do. I’ve also learned that while I love teaching, I need to set aside time for my own personal workouts and goals.
What does healthy living mean to you?
It’s an investment in my future. I have been through some health scares that were out of my control.  I want to be in control of everything I can to keep myself mobile and healthy and living a full life for as long as possible!
Are their any words of advice you’d offer to your younger self starting out on your journey?
Don’t be afraid! The gym, classes, trainers, running groups… they are not as scary as you think. You just need to find what works for you. I feel like some classes or organizations really have a bad reputation, but we are honestly here to help you. I know I try to make my classes as welcoming as possible for all levels and most instructors I know do the same. We all started somewhere!
What inspired you to become a fitness instructor? What do you love/hate most about it?
I was taking Spin twice a week in the gym at my office. They were looking for another instructor and I figured I was going anyhow, might be some good extra money.
I love seeing people achieve things they didn’t think they could. That could be anything from getting in the door in the first place to lifting a heavier weight than they thought possible.
I don’t really hate anything about it in general- but I don’t love when people come in with a closed mind or a negative attitude. It doesn’t happen that often, though!
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out?
Find something you love to do and it won’t be a chore! If you are a social person, go to a class or join a group. If you like to keep to yourself, find a trainer to design a program just for you.
What’s your favorite exercise?
Right now, I love my CrossFit class because it’s different every day. I’m really lucky to have excellent coaches and a dedicated class full of really supportive people at many levels.
You only have half an hour to exercise, what do you do?
Ah! Some HIIT training! A good mix of cardio and strength.
What are you most proud of in regards to your health journey?
I’ve been up and down in weight over the years. Right now, I’m up more than I would like, but I still get out there and work hard. Sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit for that.
What are some challenges you’ve faced over the years?
It’s always the “diet” for me. I got to my goal weight in 2012 and was a vegan. It worked so well for me until I suddenly started experiencing  some frustrating things like gaining back weight and feeling exhausted all of the time. The next year, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and later with thyroid cancer. After a complete thryoidectomy and radioactive iodine treatment (and a full recovery!!!) the vegan diet didn’t work for me anymore. I’m still struggling to figure out what works for me after all of this.
Any healthy eating tips you want to share?
It’s not a one size fits all situation! I feel like the one thing we can all agree on is eat whole foods as much as possible, but after that, it’s so individual!

Return to Weight Watchers

After a week of indulgent eating, I knew it was time to get serious about getting back on track, so I signed up for Weight Watchers. It’s what worked for me a few years ago and thankfully, I don’t quite have as much weight to lose, but I still am not feeling my best.

I like the idea of the new plan- many 0 point healthy food options- while carefully selecting the items that do have points. I do best when I’m not eating many processed foods and know when to stop. Sometimes the mind can go a bit blind when it comes to instant gratification, but following a plan definitely helps me to combat that urge!

Since I workout fairly hard 6-days a week, almost every week, eating is my big road-block preventing me from hitting my ultimate goal. Now that I’m back on Weight Watchers, I took some before pictures, something I regretted not doing specifically when I started my 100-pound weight loss journey! It’s not easy showing these pictures.

 

It’s summer, so I’m still going to have an ice cream cone or a beer, but I am going to learn to enjoy the splurge once in awhile, rather than every, or every few days even.

Even though there needs to be some changes made, I’m excited to get back to holding myself accountable and listening more to my body.

One fun thing about being back on the plan is trying and including new and different healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the blog.

Sunday was the first official day, so I enjoyed a veggie-filled (0) two-egg (0) scramble stuffed with red bell peppers, baby spinach, and grape tomatoes. I sprinkled on two tablespoons of low-fat cheddar (0!) and enjoyed a slice of whole wheat bread (1) with a teaspoon worth of butter (2) for a total meal of 3 points. I think one of the hardest changes I need to make is cutting back on butter.

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For lunch, I made an english muffin (4) pizza with a tablespoon of sauce on each side (1), two tablespoons of reduced fat mozzarella (1), and 5 slices of turkey pepperoni (0), for 6 points.

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Dinner came from the grill: scallops (0), steak (4), asparagus (0), and bell pepper (0) and a little olive oil (1), with a small serving of risotto (5).  All of that goodness for 10 points! Managing sauces and all those extras will also be a big change.

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Summer is a great time to get back on track eating-wise because of the option to grill food and not feel compelled to stuff yourself because of the cold and comfort. I hope you all enjoy joining me on this journey!

Total Body Crush

Workout Wednesday…on Thursday!

Because of vacation- woohoo!- I only had two workouts in the gym for this week. I did a lot of running and walking around the beach and jump roping in the backyard with my quick body strength total body workout.

Here are some shots.

Day One

Single-Arm Presses.

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Single-Leg Deadlifts.

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(Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to take it myself, or at least tried to get another one).

Kettlebell Swings.

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I performed each move (there were a few more I didn’t include in the series) 12 reps per 3 sets. It felt great to sweat!

 

rebranding

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Almost two years ago, I moved to LA to pursue a career in writing. I had a foot in the door, flirted with the prospect of maybe, kinda, sort of having a measure of success in getting into the industry at the lowest level.

I came home.

For the past few months, it’s been challenging. I’m happy to be closer to family and friends, thrilled to be a new aunt, and proud to be working as a personal trainer and helping people on their health journeys. I’m also happy to have tried LA, lived it, experienced and explored because I do miss it, more than I anticipated.

More than anything, I’m a little lost. As I edge nearer to 30, I feel like I should have my life figured out more than I do. I get so caught up in thinking how my life should be going rather than focusing on where I am right now. I’ve been a little ball of anxious, negative energy and I’m ready to come out of it.

This is evidenced more in what I claim to be most passionate about: writing. In all the articles and books, random words of advice I’ve poured over to make me a better writer, the message is clear, in order to make it as a writer, you need to write. I haven’t.

So here we are again. When I first created Give Me My Crown Already, I was on the brink of graduating college, I had just lost 100 pounds, and I felt as confident and prepared as I ever had in my life.

Since, I’ve learned a lot about what I don’t want to do professionally and more about sacrifices and failures that were unexpected. I’ve gained a few pounds and sometimes hate myself for it because I think I should have this down by now. It makes me skeptical and negative and exhausted.

When I first was losing weight, I knew nothing. I just tried. Exercise was my best friend. Going from nothing to something had fantastic results and working out helped me better to manage my anxiety. I enjoyed food more than I ever did when I was heavily overweight and was making better choices and having fun concocting fun, healthy, and delicious dishes. Over the course of these past six years, I have maintained most of the weight loss, but I long to get back to my lowest. I slipped into some old, bad habits, not necessarily with eating, which I’m okay with, or exercising, which I do six days a week, but with my negativity.

No more.

As I rebrand this blog, here’s what I promise. I’m writing, in many different fashions because I miss it and agonizing over stringing the perfect words together is far more satisfying in the long run than researching what I should be doing with nothing to show for it. I am going to be honest about my progress and how I feel. I am going to try to not let negativity devour me, which means forgiving myself my humanity.

With my two passions, writing and healthy living so intersected, I have the opportunity to share my story and learn a lot more about myself and life. Thanks for your patience.

Join me?