Tuesday, April 26, 2011


(my hubby and me a couple weeks ago!)

Tonight was the night...
I transitioned from WW member to LIFETIME member.

There...I said it. I am proud of myself. This weight loss journey has truly made me see a side of me I haven't seen before....one I didn't think existed.
I always thought it was in my genes for me to be heavy--to have big hips--to carry weight.
And while it's true that I DO have bigger hips and am more prone to carry weight than some people, it doesn't define who I am and it certainly doesn't stop me from being a healthier, happier person.

I have now lost 65 pounds. 
That number astounds me. I didn't even think I could lose 40. 
And here I am, having passed that number 25 pounds ago. 

I discovered that I could make changes...inside...outside. I learned I really could allow myself to LOVE myself. Even if I am not thrilled about the saggy skin or the exterior flaws. This journey has allowed me to see that those things don't make me who I am. The other changes...with food...with exercise...running my 5k, cooking better for my family, practicing self control...and then starting to see myself in a different, more accepting light...those are the things that have helped make me a better me.

I am excited to reach Lifetime for many reasons...primarily because now I can pocket the money I was spending on meetings every month, and still get to GO to my meetings! :) That was a HUGE motivating factor. But now I can look into working for weight watchers and I am more motivated than ever to keep up this healthier lifestyle and keep those pounds off. And I can say for myself and TO myself, that I did it. I accomplished something great.

And it feels SO good.

- - - - - - - - 

if you're just tuning in to my little blog, don't forget to check out the 29 pts in 29 days for some meal ideas--I had planned to do another round of daily tracking and posting, but with a cross country move looming overhead (4 more weeks, EEK!) I just don't have the time. But once we're settled, I will be back at it and hoping to really get this blog up and running the way I have envisioned it!

In the meantime, if you blog about your weight loss journey, I would love to share your story here too! PLEASE shoot me an email or leave a comment with your link and I will put you in the spotlight!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


A few weeks ago, at my WW  meeting, we talked about exercise and keeping up with it. I've got to admit that after my 5k in February, working out definitely took a back burner for me. I have felt very discouraged about that and wondered how I could change that around.

Someone in my meeting suggested having a goal. And then it hit me...I am not working towards anything. Nothing. Not a race, not a weight goal, not a single thing. And THAT is my problem.

With preparing to move and getting ready for my husband to graduate, and with the incredibly yucky weather we've had here, I felt that there was a lot in the way from really doing much. And I couldn't think of a goal--something to really work FOR....until the other day.

I decided that I could at least work on walking more...10,000 steps a day. I may not be able to get in a full workout at the gym or go outside to do a full run, but I can up my walking--whether in the grocery store or in the parking lot, or on the stairs in my own house. 

So now I'm in the market for a great pedometer. Any suggestions on one that won't miscount all the time?? And I would love to hear what works for you...what are YOUR goals? What keeps you moving?!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

RECIPE TIME! How about some strawberry stuffed french toast!?!?

I've got this recipe posted on my recipe blog as well, but it was tasty enough to share here too. :)

I remember when I started the Weight Watchers program, and somehow felt that my cooking would be so limited. I could not have been more WRONG! I have cooked and baked and created so much more NOW than I ever have in my life. And I LOVE that! I am always on the lookout for how to make a recipe a little bit healthier. And while nothing about stuffed french toast screams HEALTHY, per se, (well--except the strawberries!) it is a delicious and filling meal that would make a great entertaining dish at a brunch or for your own daily breakfast. Am experimenting with how they freeze this weekend, and I will definitely post an update! And really, you can't even have a bowl of cereal for 4 pts+ nowadays! :) My kids LOVED this and even added extra berries to theirs. So I'd say it's a clear winner in our breakfast rotation!


Approx. 16 inches of hoagie roll bread
2 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
2 oz. plain fat free greek yogurt
3 TBSP. strawberry jam
3 egg whites
1/2 C skim milk
1 TBSP. ground cinnamon
1/4 C strawberries (diced)
1 TBSP sugar

Slice your bread into 1 1/2-2 inch slices. Then using a paring knife, cut a deep slit across the top in the middle of each slice. This will form your pocket. (don't cut all the way through!) Set bread aside.

Chop and rinse strawberries and put them in a bowl with sugar--set them aside.

In a bowl, mix cream cheese, greek yogurt, and strawberry jam together. MIX WELL.

Preheat skillet or griddle to about 350 degrees. (I use a big griddle, but you could use a pan over the stove as well)

Now it's time to get your egg dip ready. In a bowl, beat egg whites, milk, and cinnamon together. Take your strawberry filling and stuff a generous Tablespoon of it into your bread slice. Fill in with fresh strawberries. (you can also mix the strawberries in with the filling and save a step!) Soak your bread for about 15-20 seconds on each side in the egg mixture, and place on the griddle. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

Serve with powdered sugar and/or sliced almonds.

Could also serve with a light syrup, but we all thought it was delicious without!

Serves approx. 8 slices (4 pt+)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weight Loss 101

I wrote this on my family blog a while back, but felt it was appropriate to share here as well. As more and more of my friends and family (and sometimes even perfect strangers) start their own weight loss journey, they often approach me and ask what I did to lose the weight. So I want to share a few of the basics that made a big difference to me...

Please remember that I am not a health professional--I am merely sharing what worked for me... ;)
1. Pick a plan. I happened to join Weight Watchers, because I wanted to maintain regular foods in my life and not feel deprived, but make healthier changes overall.(and I absolutely LOOOVE it!) That program setup worked for me. You may choose something else, but regardless you have to have some consistency somewhere. You can't do low carb here, and low calorie there, and cabbage diet another time, and throw in some slim fast there too. You've got to pick something and stick to it so you can maximize your success. And most important, you have to LOVE the plan you choose...if not, you will drop it like the boyfriend with bad breath.

2. I decided not to DIET. (notice the first three letters of that word are DIE! :) I just have REFUSED to accept my weight loss as being associated with the word DIET throughout this process. Diet = deprivation to me...and it also doesn't give of the feeling of long term sustainability.I simply saw that I was making certain healthier changes to my eating habits. This was HUGE for me--because our minds play such a big role in the weight loss process!

3. WHEN YOU BITE IT, WRITE IT! Yes, write down what you eat--do it daily. I have done it now for
 8 1/2 months. Sure, I've had a day or two where it was as possible as I hoped, but aside from that I haven't faltered--I have stayed constant and at this point it is such a habit. I know that if I am to lose weight, it is imperative that I know exactly what I am putting in my body, HOW MUCH of it, and when I did it--it is SO helpful in so many ways! Consider what you put in your body almost like transactions that debit from your daily account balance (points target or calories, etc) Deduct the number as you eat--so you know where you stand. This also made me take accountability for those little bites and licks that would happen throughout the day and helped me STOP doing so. I didn't want to take the time and efforts to have to write a nibble of fruit snacks or a bite of mac and cheese or the last few tastes of dinner as I was putting it away. The write it when you bite it habit helped me change the nibble habit.

4. In realty, the most important thing is location, location, location. With healthy eating, the most important thing (at least to me) is PORTION, PORTION, PORTION. Seriously--test yourself! Fill up a bowl with your favorite cereal or icecream, for example. And then read the box and take from your bowl the appropriate serving size. YOU WILL BE STUNNED. Try it with a bowl of cereal--you'll be stunned!!

--Take your recipes--figure out the nutritional info for them. There are lots of websites that do this--and then keep the info for YOU to know the nutritional content and decide what numbers work for you (sometimes shaving off 1/3 of a piece of something can cut back the fat and calories and SUGAR by a lot more than you'd think!)--so you know that for YOUR recipe 1 1/2 Cups of soup is a serving, or that your favorite chocolate cake serves 15 (instead of 12 like you've always thought). 
The smallest changes make the biggest impact.

--After reading this post, run, don't walk, RUN buy a kitchen scale (I have a digital one...LOVE it!). I can't believe I went without one for so long! As far as I am concerned, it is a KITCHEN ESSENTIAL...as much as the forks and knives in my silverware drawer. I use it when cooking--I use it when plating my food (I put my plate on their and zero it out, and then add my meat or whatever I am weighing so I know I am getting an accurate amount). I use it when I am getting croutons or almonds or whatever else has a crazy serving size of like 2 TBSP when it's a bizarre shape that would in no way fit in a measuring spoon! :) LOVE it! While some people may think that this would get really old or be a pain, I never have seen it as that. I see it as an empowering tool--I love the control of knowing that I am no longer eating a 10 oz piece of chicken out of ignorance, but rather a 4 oz. one...and by the same token, that I can have 4-5 croutons instead of the 1-2 I thought would make up the correct serving.


5. DON'T DEPRIVE -- (again, I am speaking from my experience and what worked for ME)  obviously, as part of a change for healthier eating there has to be SOME resisting of the old junk you've eaten. If not, there will be NO change in your weight or health. However, I have heard about some eating plans that institute a certain day or the entire weekend to eating what they want, and only making them be on track the remaining day. This, to me, sounds absurd! :) If I feel like I have to go X many days without eating something, and then have 1-2 days to have a free-for-all, I will WITHOUT FAIL binge on the foods that are terrible for me! 

This is where portion control and your food journal come into play. I can't speak for other eating plans, but for Weight Watchers you're allotted a certain amount of points. Because of the high point value of certain foods, there are certain foods that automatically became less appealing because I found that I didn't WANT to spend my points on them. But once in a while I find that something like a hotdog or pizza or french fries sounds good. So let's say I eat a hotdog. I write it down. And I just make sure that I eat soup or something else lower in points that is filling to compensate for the high points I am spending on that delicious dog! And at the end of the day it balances out. I still have dessert and sweet treats...but they are SIGNIFICANTLY scaled back from where they used to be. I find that now, a small piece of candy or a single serving brownie in a mug or something small is really all I need to get that sweet fix...instead of the big brownie sundae drizzled with caramel and hot fudge and whipped cream and cherries...

This brings me to my next point...

6.  In time when you mess up, pick yourself up and move on! In other words, don't let a slip up keep you down. It takes more than one weekend to ruin you for life. Consider it an opportunity to learn and just recognize where you went wrong and how you can fix it next time, and move forward. Don't drag your mistakes on and on and dwell on it forever....it will only lead to one more piece of cake to try to drown your sorrows. :)  

7. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE! It's really important to find non-food ways to reward yourself during the weight loss process. I thought this was silly at first, because CERTAINLY just losing the weight should be prize enough. But there is a whole different level of satisfaction that comes from having something to look forward to! 

Set milestones for yourself...maybe you'll start off with aiming to lose 5% of your body weight....then 10%....then go by pounds...maybe you will break it up into 5 or 10 pounds segments. And then pick rewards to match! You don't have to spend a lot of money doing so...maybe you set up an agreement with your husband that after meeting a goal, he will do the dishes and put the kids in bed and massage your feet and watche a chick flick with you...okay, maybe I've gone a little far here. lol. But you get the idea. Or maybe it will be one new piece of clothing...or a massage at a salon...or even just a new haircut. Just be sure to find something that you will be EXCITED about--

My 50 pound goal prize was to buy a little black dress...since I have never in my life owned one or felt like I could look good in one. My 60 pound goal was to buy shoes to match. It feel fantastic to have something to look and feel incredible in!

8. GET MOVING! I didn't start out doing much--but I did start out doing SOMETHING. Go for a walk, a run, park farther in the parking lot at the store. Instead of carrying all your groceries over your arm in one giant load, take a couple trips out to the car. Join a class. Walk up your stairs a few times. Do a workout video--just pick SOMETHING! As the weight came off, it because easier and easier for me to do more and more--and that's a good feeling! 

9. WEIGH YOURSELF. Take pictures. Rinse. Repeat. :) I seriously wish I had done a real before picture--and checked in doing so throughout my weight loss process. I was too ashamed. But hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had just done it--

10. TELL A FRIEND. Or lots of them. It is such good "therapy" to journal your way through this process--and to share your successes or hangups with someone. There is a HUGE amount of support to be found--and it is SUCH an encouraging thing to know people are behind you.

I hope that ANY OF YOU who are in this process of shedding the pounds know that I am SO happy to be that cheerleader for you if needed. I mean it!! This process has awakened me in a passion for this topic, and I am so happy to share snack ideas or meals or tips and tricks....or just to be a sounding board. Just hope you know that....feel free to leave a comment or email me if you wanna talk more about it! 
hollowayfam (at) yahoo (dot) come