Friday, November 7, 2014

Binge - 1, Hollie - 0

It's almost like I knew... It was almost time for me to fall off a cliff.

Work stress is crazy. Single mom stress is crazy. And the holidays are coming, so the emotions are running high. To top it all off, I had to deal with a very hard incident on Monday (sorry, can't talk about it). I was in emotional meltdown mode all week.

I ate my last Personal Trainer meal on Monday, and to be honest, I really didn't have a solid "plan" for the rest of the week. I made some chicken breasts in the crockpot on Tuesday, got plenty of salad fixings. Splurged on almond milk and low-carb Greek yogurt, with the intentions of re-introducing some foods slowly. And it was all working.

Until yesterday.

First mistake... I went all day at work without drinking hardly any water. Not exactly sure why, since I'm usually guzzling all day. My left toe was hurting really bad and I was limping around and very uncomfortable. My daughter innocently surprised me with a small caramel Frappucino from Starbucks, and because my emotions and nerves were all over the place, I gladly sipped it until it was gone.

But I was okay with that small "cheat". And I was fully lying to myself.

I stopped on the way home from my after-school gig and got pizza and soda for my family.

And I ate half of a thin-crust pizza by myself. And washed it down with Coke Zero.

And I was HAPPY. It was like I had reunited with a long-lost friend. PIZZA! After 9 weeks, I missed my friend so bad. I was blissfully full and considered it a well-deserved cheat meal.

But then, it didn't end. I found my baby's stash of Halloween candy and started eating it as fast as I could. That's when I started feeling like crap. Because that wasn't cheating... it was binging.

Then I got emotional. And ate two bowls of Cocoa Krispies before bed.

Then I got sick. Then I panicked.

Then I confessed via Instagram and Facebook. For accountability...

Then I laid in bed for most of the night hating myself. Hating my body. Hating that food had such control over me and feeling so powerless to stop it.

Because I love food. Abstaining from it, or eliminating certain foods doesn't make me want it less. I STILL want that food. I miss it when it's gone and long for the day I'm skinny enough that I can enjoy it more often than I can now.

I feel so crazy and disordered sometimes. Why can't this just be easy? Why can't I be "normal" like everyone else?

But I woke up this morning determined to not look back. Yes, I slipped. And fell on my face. But I know that I can keep moving forward and get back on track. I know I can.

And I will keep trying every day until my body detoxes from this sugar and salt. Today hasn't been easy, but I've almost made it to the end. I WILL make it to the end.

I started tracking my food with My Fitness Pal today just for added accountability. My toe is still hurting so bad, and now my RIGHT knee is hurting, I think from limping so much. The pain and location really sucks because there is not much I can do at the gym as far as cardio that won't hurt like hell.

No matter what, I know I can't let myself lose control like that again. That was insanity, and after not being that crazy for 2+ months, it really felt strange. It scared me. I don't want to be that person. I want to stay in my size 16's and get even smaller. I'm well on my way, I just have to stay on course.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November Weigh In

I'm both excited and nervous about November. Excited about new beginnings and another month of progress. Nervous because this will be the first month I've had to prepare and plan my food. I only have 2 more days of Personal Trainer Food. Then it's back to meal prep. It's ok. I know I've re-trained my eating habits for the better. 

Hopefully I will be financially set to cotinie Personal Trainer Food after the new year. I love the convenience and I've seen awesome results.

Can you see the inches lost? This is just for October! 

Here are my overall results from September until now...

I was so proud! Then I stepped on the scale...

Really? Yes. Imagine my surprise.

But not really. I gave up on scale progress a few weeks ago. Concentrated  on my pants and clothes. And also how amazing I felt. 

And I'm trying to not let this mess with my head. Onward! 

My challenges for November include no junk/cheats until Nov. 21 (daughters bday), no weighing, and 30 for 30 (30 min of exercise daily for 30 days). 

Let's do this!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Planning for November

I have a lot of time on my hands today since I am playing wedding coordinator for my church. My responsibility is to make sure things run smoothly, then clean up after the wedding. Since the "run smoothly" part takes about 5 hours, and since things have actually went well today, I have been doing a lot of thinking about this journey.

I woke up this morning feeling discouraged. DON'T ask me why.

Because yesterday I was wearing my skinny jeans and feeling pretty good.

But today, I feel down. I think it has to do with the scale, or lack of it. Not really sure.

So I decided that it would be very pro-active of me to spend some time thinking about my plan for when the Personal Trainer food runs out in exactly one week, and what my next challenge will be to myself. I feel like I know what to do as far as food goes. PTF taught me to get back to the low-carb basics, and that works for me. I feel like using that as a tool has set me up for success. But my workouts...

Tomorrow my last 100 in 6 cardio challenge will end. Instead of doing another one, I feel the need to change up my workouts. I'm getting bored with cardio already. The bike and the elliptical don't challenge me anymore.

As much as I hate to admit it, it's time to pick up the weights. I also want to try to run again since my knee is cooperating for the most part. So after conferring with my friend, Sharon (who is a workout beast), weights it is.

I downloaded a routine from the JEFit app for beginners using the machines at the gym. I will also "run" 1-3 miles daily for cardio, depending on if I weight train or not. In the past, weights always start working and I see my body changing, but that damned scale ruins it for me. My weight will fluctuate up and I will quite because the weight gain messes with me.

But not that I am "off" the scale, I'm ready to try it again. I also need to do it for my knee, which is sore going up/down steps again. The physical therapist STRESSED to me that lower body weights were crucial in strengthening my knee and keeping it well enough to stand the impact of cardio. And I haven't done a single strengthening exercise in about 6 weeks at least.

So... that's the plan for November. Transition back to real, low-carb living with moderate cheats meals on 11/21 (Kalela's bday) and Thanksgiving. And to consistently complete a weight-training routine, along with only running for cardio.

I will stay off the scale, and continue to use my clothing to measure my success. I may even get the measuring tape out (I seem to hate it, too).

Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 7... Really?

It's been a crazy week! Back to work and going 100 MPH. Early mornings, late nights. At least softball season will be over soon and I will have a few weeks off before basketball starts. The life of a busy, single mom, right?

Well, this week has also been good because I've been back in my food routine, and even made it to the gym a few times. Oh, and I wore my new pants and sweaters and felt AWESOME.

It's weird to me at times to really LOVE the way I look when I see my reflection. I'm proud of myself... flaws and all. 

No matter how slow I go, or how long this process takes me, I will never be the girl on the left again.

I've had a little scale frustration that I think I forgot to mention. Although I can really see the inches coming off, the scale is stuck again, of course. It may be my scale, because I was weighting the EXACT same 262.1 for about three days after I came back from vacation. I'm intending on getting batteries for another scale that I have, but I just decided to let it go for a while. 

Ya'll know I get scale obsessed. Right now, I just want to enjoy feeling great. And looking good, too. Who knows about that scale. Sometimes it's an accurate measurement for me. But sometimes it's a mind game. 

I can't believe I'm at the end of my seventh week of the personal trainer food. I see my stash dwindling and it makes me happy and sad at the same time. I've decided not to reorder right now. With the holidays coming up, I figure that I need to figure out my next step.

This food has been a GODSEND to me. It's got me back on track, and finally LOSING again. My sugar cravings are not gone, but they are manageable. And I feel like I know HOW to eat again. 

Everything that comes with my Personal Trainer Food is food that I can buy at the grocery store and cook, so I guess I will have to get back to meal prep. But I know the holidays are coming in the next month, and I DO want to splurge in moderation.

Yes, I am nervous. Moderation is not my strong suit. But I'm going to try.

I actually sat at a meeting on Wednesday with a table full of birthday cake and didn't have any. Yes, it looked and smelled so yummy. But I passed. I know I will have to pass a lot, and I know I can do it. But I do want to splurge. I want to eat Thanksgiving Dinner with my family.

I will figure that out when the time comes. For now, I'm going to enjoy the next week or so that my food will last. I have truly been spoiled by convenience!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Getting through the rough times...

I took a road trip to Missouri to see my mom this weekend. In case you're new or missed it, mom has Alzheimer's disease and is in a nursing home.

I just wasn't prepared for how her condition has deteriorated since I last saw her in May. Bless her heart... It just made me so sad. And leaving her was the worst.

I cried most of the way home (4 hours). And I just wanted to eat.

I packed my Personal Trainer Food and a gallon of water for the trip. I was prepared, and had breakfast on the way. But once I got there, I lost all appetite and didn't eat again all day. On the way home, I was HUNGRY. Inside and out.

I had a hole inside my gut that I felt that only food could fill. I wanted sweets. I wanted fast food. I wanted anything but that food that was in my lunchbox.

But sanity kicked in. And I stopped at a PILOT and warmed up my food. (I've learned that PILOT truck stops always have a microwave).

The next day, I was down. Which I think is probably pretty normal. So just on a whim, I stopped by Old Navy on the way to my Saturday job to try on a pair of size 16 pants... just to see if they would fit. Guess what?????

Oh. Em. Gee. Happy just don't describe how I felt.

(And I'll add this, because someone left a comment about "vanity sizing" not even five minutes after I made this post. I KNOW these pants are VERY generously sized. They are stretchy. I am very aware of vanity sizing, and that these pants are not a "true" size 16. But I DON'T CARE. The tag says size 16 and this makes me HAPPY.)

Sometimes, I just want to eat everything in sight. Sometimes I want to quit. But I know why I have to keep pushing.

I have about two more weeks of Personal Trainer food left. And then I will probably just keep on eating the same thing... meats and veggies and eggs. Low-carb is working. I feel like I can do this, and I feel like I am finally in control. Habits are being formed every time I make the choice to stay sugar/carb free. Consistency is key.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Believing I can...

Yesterday I woke up feeling very positive about this journey. I am liking the way I look in the mirror. I have more energy and my skin is clear. After thinking back on vacation and the good choices I was able to make regarding food and exercise, I had an overwhelming feeling.

Success. I actually looked in the mirror and felt it.

I can and will reach my goal weight. I will actually get there this time. 

I feel like I am re-learning how to eat. Low carb is working for me. I still struggle with WANTING sweets and processed food. But I can say no... It's not compulsive anymore. 

I know I am a food addict. It's something I will always have to deal with. My relationship with food is very dysfunctional and I will always have to be careful with my choices.

But it's possible. I can see that now. I just have to say consistent and make this a lifestyle change.

I am still enjoying my Personal Trainer Food. A few have been hating on my choice to do that plan... But it's working for ME. And I am VERY happy with the convenience it offers. Yes, it's totally possible for me to cook the same healthy meals. But FOR RIGHT NOW, it's worth it for me to go with this option. 

My best friend and several others have also decided to order and are also loving the food. It's definitely worth the investment if you need meal options that are quick and healthy, and you don't have the time to meal prep.

And let me also say this... I don't get paid to endorse this plan. EVERYONE who orders gets a link for a $50 off referral coupon. Yes, if you order through the website, I would LOVE for you to use my link. It's $50 off for both of us.

But you can also get an even better deal through Groupon and Amazon Local. Just search for 'personal trainer food'.

I always blog about MY experiences on MY journey. And right now, this food is part of my journey and it's been great for me. Why wouldn't I share about something that might potentially help someone else who is struggling like me?

I appreciate every single person who reads my blog and supports me on my journey. I've been on a very public rollercoaster ride on here since 2008 and I have learned so much. I may not be at my goal weight, but I will get there one day because I refuse to stop trying.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Vacation and staying focused

Today is our last full day of vacation in Edisto Beach, SC. It's been amazing. Lots of time on the beach, lots of laziness in our wonderful condo, and lots of great time with my loves.

And this trip has not been about food. We actually haven't eat out once during the entire trip. Yes, it really cuts expense to cook/eat at the condo when you have six people to feed. But it also helps to keep focused when you are trying to stay on track with losing weight.

Has it been easy? Hell, no. It's been hard as hell when you're so accustomed to eating whatever you want on vacation. And especially when you're surrounded by sweets and 'convenience' food that you love.

Is it worth it? Absolutely. I am feeling pretty great right now and I don't want to ruin it. It's also just not worth ruining my progress over the past month or so. I'm worth it.

My friend took this picture on day 1... A candid shot. A few years ago I would have made her immediately delete any candid shots because I was so self conscious. I actually like this one. I am making progress. And I can see it.

It's been easy to stick to my Personal Trainer food since our condo has a full kitchen. I packed it in ice for the trip and immediately put it in the freezer. No excuses. It's a lifesaver. 

I'm off to go walk on the beach! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Trusting my journey...

I've been low-carbing for little over a month now. I've made great progress on the scale. But I've made even more progress mentally.

One month ago I actually contemplated giving up. My body was detoxing from carbs and I was miserable. I wanted all the sugar and I couldn't have it. And the thought crossed my mind that I should just stay fat. I mean, what was so bad about just being fat?

Because I've been big my entire life it's really sort of comfortable for me. It's familiar. I'm used to it. I've grown accustomed to the aches and the pains and the uncomfortable clothes and being out of breath. These things might just be a good trade-off to be able to eat all of the wonderful sugary foods that I love.

But then something within me realized that this thought process was insanity.

There was no way that I could ever go back to being that person.

So I stuck with it. And here I am a month later and 16 pounds lighter. My clothes fit well again and I feel great.

Yesterday was a long crazy day for me. I am now working contracts before and after school for extra money. And I have a couple of side jobs that I work on weekends and evenings. AND it's softball season and my daughter plays during the weeknights. My day started at 7 AM and ended around 11 PM.

And I stayed on track all day.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again ordering the personal trainer food was one of the best decisions I could've ever made. Yesterday morning it was as easy as counting out my meals, taking them out of the freezer, and putting them in my lunchbox. Also packed a plastic container and found that there was a microwave available to me everywhere I went yesterday. I ate well and I stayed on track.

As I was driving home from softball last night I realize that I really have dropped my excuses. I realize that I actually want it bad enough to stay prepared and do what it takes. 

For the first time in a long time I actually can see myself making some progress in moving forward in this journey. Even with vacation coming up next week I know that I am in the right mindset to stay on track and stay focused. I have a plan for my food and I've talked to my coach about how to eat out if that situation comes up. I am confident that I will do well.

I am expecting my second shipment of personal trainer food today. It was really a no-brainer to make the commitment for another month. I'm just not ready to lose the convenience of having all of my meals prepared for me ahead of time. I absolutely think that this plan is what is keeping me on track. My best friend is also doing the plan and she absolutely agrees with me that this was one of the best investments she has made for herself and in a long time.

Today I am very grateful that I did not give up. I will stay patient and I will trust this journey.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oct 1 weigh-in...

14.8 lbs gone this month. 

Not bad at all! 

I could never imagine just a month ago that I would be able to stick to low carb living this long. Yes, I do still want the bad stuff, but I'm able to say no and resist. 

The great thing is that I feel strong and I know I'll be able to keep going. 

I am doing Personal Training Food for another 28 days. It is absolutely working for me right now as far as convenience and meal prep. My first 28 days of food will be up on this Sunday. At that time, I  going to do a liquid-only 'detox' for two days before I start again.

My coach recommended this because my weight loss has slowed down. And since I will be off from work I think the timing is perfect. 

We leave for vacation in one week, and that will be my restart day. 

Yes, I am sticking to plan while on vacation. Why not?

I am not about to undo a months worth of hard work. We have a kitchen in our beach condo so I just plan on packing all of my food in ice for the drive there and carrying on as usual.

This vacation will not be about food. It will be about relaxing and exploring and enjoying time with my family.

When I get back I'll have another week off, and on that week I plan on hitting the gym hard and getting back into an exercise routine. Softball for my daughter is almost over, so I'll have my workout time back. I'm so ready.

I'm excited about October!!! My goals are finally within reach again.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Getting my groove...

This is been a week full of highs and lows on this weight-loss journey. Some days I feel so snacky and I feel like I just want to binge all over the place. But other times, like today, I feel very strong and full of resolve.  

I must admit that it's an amazing feeling to fit in a pair of pants that didn't fit you last month and also wear a hand-me-down shirt that belonged to my 16-year-old child.

I know that I'm not supposed to, but I have peeked at the scale several times this week. I almost had a breakdown just because I am not losing like I was a few weeks ago. 

But this morning it hit me that there is a reason why the people at Personal Trainer Food tell you do not stand on the scale more than twice during your 28 days. They tell you to really watch the inches that you're losing and how your clothes feel. And honestly, my clothes feel pretty amazing right now. I know that I'm losing inches even if it's not showing on the scale. And I'm sure that it being my time of the month doesn't help matters either.

Lesson learned about the scale. Again.

My goals for the weekend include drinking more water and getting more exercise. I know that life is really busy during the week but I've got to find time to get more activity in. I just really feel like I need it for my sanity.

And I know that I'm slacking on the water. My goal is to get back to at least a gallon a day or half my bodyweight like I'm supposed to.

I made another important decision this week. I have decided that I am not going to stop my low-carb journey when I go on vacation on October 9. I know that one reason that I decided to do the personal trainer food was to get back on track before I went on vacation. But what's the use of getting back on track when I go on vacation if I'm just going to ruin all of my progress while I'm on vacation! Since there is a kitchen in our condo there is really no excuse for me not to take my food on vacation with me and stay on plan while I'm there. 

I guess I'm starting to think in longer-term goals. I really would love to end the year 2014 below 250 pounds. I have not been below 254 since I started this journey in December 2012. And you all know that I've been between 254 and 260 something pounds for the past year or so. Except for the last month or so when I backslid to almost 280.

It's time to get this weight-loss journey pumped up again. I really believe that I have the tools now that I have my food under control. Now it's just time to have discipline and consistency and get the job done.

Since several have asked, and several people are even ordering (yay!), here is a link you can use to order Personal Trainer Food and get $50 off!

Monday, September 22, 2014

21 days...

2 lbs down this week... 14 lbs total since Sept. 1. I'm officially back in my 'normal' range of 258-265. But trust me, I'm trying to blow past that. 

I was scrolling through pictures tonight and ran across two pictures that were taken exactly 2 weeks apart. 

Look at the difference in belly fat since I started the Personal Trainer Food! I can really tell a difference in my clothes, too. 

Getting rid of the sugar and bad carbs REALLY makes a difference for me. And I'm never hungry anymore. 

I'm ready to make this week great!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Two things...

Two major things of been on my mind this morning. Just rambling thoughts really...

First thing: I was really nervous when I ordered the personal trainer food because it was such a big financial commitment. But at the time I was desperate to get back on track. I just went for it. And now I'm really glad I did.

Yesterday was a huge struggle food wise. I don't know why, but the cravings were out of control. I just wanted any and everything that I could get my hands on that was not on my plan. I think it may have been triggered by the donuts the day before. But the cravings are really bad. 

I know that the only thing that kept me on track with the fact that all of my food was preprepared for me. I did not have to think about what I was going to eat because it was already prepared. See, I have three big bags in my deep-freeze her that I choose from each night. 

Each night before bed I go downstairs and choose two meats, two veggies and a breakfast. I keep my snacks upstairs because they don't need to go in the freezer. In the mornings all I have to do is throw everything from my upstairs freezer into my lunchbox for the day. Easy.

That totally saved me yesterday. 

Second thing: my grocery bill has gone down considerably over the past two weeks. I didn't realize how much I was spending on my own food. I try to cook healthy meals for my children, but they are pretty simple. Nowadays, mostly the groceries are for school lunches and for quick dinners for the kids. 

So once again, the investment is justified. I am almost certain that I will be ordering this again after vacation next month. Like my good friend said yesterday, convenience wins!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Week 3 of low carb...

Almost at the end of week 3 of low-carb and I feel like I'm doing well! Still no cheats, and still doing the Personal Trainer Food. It's starting to feel 'normal' but certain things make me know I'll never be normal when it comes to food.

One of my students brought donuts yesterday from my favorite local bakery for his birthday. I felt like my life would END of I didn't have just one. I could smell them from across the room. But I didn't have one. And it was a HARD decision.

I dread going to Kroger because the Halloween Cadbury eggs are out, and also candy corn. Both are binge items and both make me feel happy to my soul when I eat them. 

I'm not exaggerating either.

But I know I will just have to fight those battles as they come along. Food addiction (any addiction) is hard to beat. Three weeks is just a drop in the bucket to how much time I'll actually need to get really clarity and maybe some good weight loss. 

That's why I still think ordering the food and making that commitment was a good idea. My food choices are made for me when I'm too weak to do it myself. And it also keeps me out the grocery store more often. I do a weekly trip to Aldi for the kids groceries and some salad fixings for me and that's usually it. 

Progress pic as of today. Size 18 pants from Old Navy and size Xl shirt from NY&CO. 

Also a few pics of my favorite foods this week...

I've been eating a big salad for lunch each day... with some kind of chopped chicken.

I'm loving the maple sausage. And I don't even like sausage, lol.

For dinner each night I'm doing two veggies and a meat.

And FYI... the garlic sauce provided with the meals is crack for veggies. I love it!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My week in food... and yes, it's good!

This week has been another crazy, busy, hectic week. But through it all I've been so thankful for the investment made in the Personal Trainer Food. It has TRULY kept me on track. You can't ask for meals that are more easy to prepare and convenient. I pack my insulated lunch box and a microwavable dish with me at all times and so far, I've been able to eat whenever I feel hungry. (Which is not as often now that the cravings have subsided).

Here is a sample of some of my meals this week:

As you can see, each lunch and dinner consists of a meat (I pretty much chose all types of chicken since I don't eat beef) and a veggie. All of the meats are seasoned really well and are remarkably tasty. The veggies are fresh and are yummy with the garlic sauce they provide. 

The breakfasts usually have eggs or omelets and sausage. I am not a sausage fan, but the maple sausage is the bomb!

Every night before I got to bed, I go down to my deep freezer in the garage and choose my food for the following day. Two meats, two veggies, and a breakfast. I bring them upstairs and put them in the kitchen freezer. The next morning its super easy to pack what I need in my insulated lunchbox along with a snack (also provided). If I know I'm going to be gone all day, I'll pack everything. Sometimes I add a couple of boiled eggs or a side salad (which is allowed) if I know I'm going to exercise or if I think I'm going to need more to get me through a long day.

You can add any meat or veggie or eggs that you want (if this amount of food isn't enough). But so far, I think this food is plenty. When you are eating good carbs and whole foods, I just don't think your body needs as much. Just two weeks into low-carb living, I find that I am more satisfied with my small meals and am not hungry as much. 

I still WANT sugar and bad carbs, though... but the cravings are not intense. Honestly, the first week I felt like crying everytime I was faced with a food that I can't have. Sad, huh? But now, I just look longingly at the pizza and keep going, lol.

This will all be worth it. I know I am making the best, most healthy choice for my body. I am SO ready to start losing weight again. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tune into Dr. Oz on Friday!

Remember my awesome trip to NYC a few weeks ago? Well, I can now announce that it was to tape a very short segment of the Dr. Oz Show! I'm on there for MAYBE 5 minutes, but hey... I was on TV!

The show will air on Friday (Sept 12). And I'm pretty sure it's the segment right at the beginning of the show. Dr. Oz's new season is all about getting 'Healthy' back, so that's what me and a few other women talk about. How we are getting healthy back. 

I'll blog more on the EXACT issue I talked about on the show once it airs. It's been REALLY relavent lately! 

I also just want to say in advance that I'm already getting nervous about being seen (and seeing myself) on TV. The camera adds 20 lbs. and I don't need all that! 

Oh, well. It was a great experience either way!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Meal prep for 28 days... Done!

Tonight I am ending my 7th day of low-carb living. Has it been breezy? NO. But it is getting better. I've eliminated all added sugar and "bad" carbs. All this week the only carbs I eat are fruit and veggies. And this weekend I have eliminated even further. Today I haven't even had fruit. The "carb flu" is gone, but the cravings are still there sometimes. I know it will continue to get easier.

I am excited about tomorrow because I am trying something totally new. I have invested in my meal prep for the next 28 days from Personal Trainer Food. This company often has great deals on Amazon Local and Groupon. After doing my research, I was sold. The food is not processed and is based on a low-carb diet. Basically, you're eating eggs, meat, and veggies. That's it. NO CHEATING.

The point of their plan is to replace all the "wrong" foods with all the "right" foods. If you form good eating habits and make it a routine, you will successfully lose weight. 

Hey... that's what I've been trying to do, right?

So, this is going to make things a bit easier for me. The past month has been rough... work has been super stressful. Now I have physical therapy and softball most afternoons. Not to mention getting my kids all the other places they have to go. I survived last week while still eating right, but some evenings I was starving until I could get my low-carb meal in order. 

I know that's not a good way to stay on plan and consistent. So hopefully, not having to plan or buy my meals will be the key to KEEPING on track. And I don't feel bad because I'm eating a lot of processed junk.

I got my big, HUGE, box of goods yesterday.

Honestly, it was better than I expected. The veggies look fresh and REAL. The portions look substantial. And from my online research on this company and the food, everything SHOULD taste really good. 

I completed my 24-48 hour recommended fast today, and even got in a short workout. I'm ready. I've already grabbed all of my food for tomorrow from my deep freezer and have it in my kitchen freezer ready to go. It's amazingly simple. 

Just like I need it to be. Lord knows I have enough other stuff to figure out right now!

I can't wait to tell you how this goes.

And remember, use this link to check it out for $50 off!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Size Slim - Garcinia Cambogia review

A few weeks ago, I was approached by Barbara at SizeSlim about trying their supplement, Size Slim Garcinia Cambogia, for free in exchange for my honest review. Now, before everyone freaks out... I'd heard of this supplement before when I was doing research on the Dr. Oz show (more on that later!). Dr. Oz REALLY recommended it, so watch the video on that link for all the information you need about what GC does and how it works. I compared the recommendations with the product they were offering and figured I'd give it a try. There aren't any crazy side effects listed. It really is a natural supplement.

I actually got the product before I decided to re-commit to my journey... I took it for a few days and noticed an increase in energy, but I didn't feel jittery (which is good). I fell off for about a week, but decided to start taking it again this weekend when I started doing low-carb. I've decided that I like it... I feel like I'm not as HUNGRY as I usually am when doing low-carb. Yes, the cravings are still there, but the hunger isn't. And again, I do still feel like I have more energy. I've been working 12+ hour days and I'm not wiped out (yet). 

I'm not sure about the fat burning component just yet... We will see how that goes. With any type of supplement, you really have to use it along with diet and exercise for it to work. And that's what I'm doing. This isn't a magic pill, but they don't exist anyway. I'm just hoping it will give me a boost. I need any help I can get right now.

If you're interested, check this product out at They've even offered a promo code for 10% off (SKINNYHOLLIE10). I did my research on the company... their product is priced well and meet all of Dr. Oz's specifications for good product. That has to mean something, right? :)

Day 4... Good news!

Today is day four of my low-carb/no sugar re-start and I'm already down almost 7 lbs. I wish I could say it's been easy so far, but I'd be LYING through my teeth. I want comfort food in the worst way.

My stress level is through the roof. New responsibilities at work are proving to be very overwhelming for me. I feel like no matter how much I work I just can't get caught up to where I need to be. I'm trying to stay positive but it's hard. 

I just want to eat. Lots of sugar and candy and cake and carbs. 

But I know I'd be miserable. And I'd keep getting bigger and bigger.

So I must stay on the course that I've chosen. Because at the end of the day, it's the right one for me. I know that time will make it better, and that hopefully in a week or so I'll feel much better.

I did get SOME great news yesterday. My physical therapist has cleared me to exercise again! I'm allowed to do the elliptical and some jogging intervals as long as I can do so without pain. She really made me do a lot of work yesterday with lower body weights and she said my resistance level is really good. She wants to see how adding exercise makes my knee feel. 

I have to say I'm really happy to get back to working out... I just have to get back into a routine with it. I've got 10,000 things going on in the evening so making time will be a must. But I will. Because I need desperately to get back to where I was so I can feel successful again.

I've also made another big investment to make sure that I stay on track... I have ordered a food plan from a company called Personal Trainer Food. It's not processed food... real food that includes protein and veggies. It's actually to help folks like me establish good eating routines again. It's an investment in good health and I'm excited about it. Meal prep without the prep!

Check it out, and use this link if you order (please!)

Thank for all the words of support. I'm feeling kind of low right now, but I'm very hopeful that I'll be back on the right track sooner than later. I'm so ready to make some progress again!

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1... Starting over

I made up my mind this weekend that today, September 1, 2014, would be my "new" starting point on this weight loss journey. 

I am out of control. 

Although my goals are always in sight, I have officially fallen off the weight loss wagon. Hell, I've fallen off and got run over by it.

I am not eating according to my goals at all. This past month has been rough. School started, and the stress just started rolling in. And a new job assignment (I'm still teaching) just added to it.

Did I mention that I fell and hurt my knee at work less than a week into the school year? Yeah... So I'm not allowed to do any type of exercise that I like - only the recumbent bike that I HATE! I'm not even motivated to go to the gym. 

I'm not motivated at all. I just eat. And eat some more. And I feel sick because I know I'm out of control. So it makes me depressed. And work makes me stressed out. So I eat more. Because that's always the solution, right?

Well, I shouldn't have been surprised to see this number this morning.

But I was. I've been hovering between 270 - 275 lbs all month. I DID NOT expect to be this close to 280 this morning. I was disgusted. Horrified. Discouraged. Angry. 

But also determined. I know what to do. I have cleared all the "bad" stuff out of my house and replaced it with "good" stuff. I have hopefully set myself up for a good week. An awesome week.

I know it will be hard. I'm choosing low-carb, no sugar/sweets/bread. I know this works for me... even though my food addiction tells me that eliminating food groups isn't the answer. But deep down I know that I just can't handle moderation. I need to go cold turkey and get the sugar out of my system. I am an addict. 

What works for some does NOT work for all. Why is it that we don't tell an alcoholic or drug addict to use in moderation, but we tell food addicts that it's okay? It's not okay for me. It's not. (and I will have to remind myself of this in a few days when I'm jonesing for some sugar)...

I won't post these on Instagram or Facebook right now because I'm embarrassed. But here's my new "before" pics. I know a lot of this puffiness is bloat. But I still feel awful. I'm so disappointed.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Empire State of Mind

(I wrote this on Thursday...)

Today is an exciting day. I can't go into details right now, but I am on my way to New York City for an adventure! It's crazy how fast it all happened, but I am grateful for what promises to be huge opportunity. 

Remember how a little over two years ago I got to go to New York City for Slim-fast when I was a blog ambassador for them? And do you remember how I blogged about how miserably humiliating the plane ride was? The small jet and the seatbelt extender... How my legs pressed against the seat in front of me and how I couldn't lower the tray table? And how the seat handles pressed into my thighs and made bruises... It was emotionally and physically painful. I weighed around 320 lbs then.

Well, fast forward to now. When I got my flight confirmation for this trip, I immediately noticed that this flight had also been booked on a jet. My anxiety level grew... And I prayed that even though I've gained about 10 lbs (back up to 271 as of yesterday) this flight experience would be better.

So far, so good! No seat belt extender this time. Plenty of leg room and I'm not smashed into my seat. My tray table comes down and doesn't touch my legs or belly. I was even brave enough to go to the restroom (which involved traveling down the aisle a good way). The restroom was SUPER TINY but I fit!

Who knew little things could be so huge! I mean... Fitting in an airplane bathroom, lol! But when you've been morbidly obese for the majority of your life, and when you've had painful experiences as a result, these things matter a lot.

(Flash forward to today!)

I am back from New York. I can't talk about details, but I promise to give them as soon as I have to ok! Just know that it was a great experience.

While flying back, I made a big decision. It's time for me to really, SERIOUSLY get my eating under control so that I can start losing weight again. 

More on that tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Diets Don't Work

This seems to be the new catch-phrase in my life lately.

As much as I wanted it to be the answer, the Whole 30 didn't last long for me. I tried to even ease out of it into a Paleo-style way of eating.

That hasn't seemed to work, either.

I think it's the restriction. When I start restricting my mind goes crazy. Like a switch goes off and I have an insatiable urge for everything I'm supposed to be restricting.

I tried carb-cycling for two days last week.

And then the 4th of July rolls around and I woke up wanting to have a cookout with friends. It was actually a blast, and I didn't regret anything I ate.

But the eating on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and today... I'm kinda regretting.

I am feeling like a diet failure. Again.

It's July 8 and my summer is almost over. Teacher inservices start tomorrow. I got back to work on July 25. And my 20-year reunion is August 2.

AND I still haven't lost any weight this summer.

Yes, I have maintained. I have exercised and I haven't miserably failed and started gaining weight.

But my intention was to lose weight this summer. Why can't I just lose weight?

I am over it. It's the one thing in my life that I can't get right or be content with, and I just hate that! It irritates me to no end.

I was standing in the kitchen last week griping about my diet and food and my teenaged daughter looked at me and said, "Momma, you know that diets don't work. That's your problem."

I hated to admit she was right. But I was still trying to Whole 30.

THEN another friend said the same thing a few days ago. Diets don't work. Stop dieting.

Damned if I didn't log into Instagram this morning and a friend had posted a link to another guy's account who just wrote a book with the title, "Diets Don't Work".

I think it's a sign.

My goal for the rest of the week is to just track using MFP. I went in and defaulted the goals... I am just going to try to follow what they say. I am going to try not to stress about the food. Just track.

I refuse to give up, but damn. I'm so sick of diet and weight loss right now. I just want to be normal. I just want to have a NORMAL relationship with food. I just want to see weight loss as a result of effort. I just don't want to feel STUCK anymore.

Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Not so lazy summer!

I can barely count the ways I love summer break! It's been so nice to relax, sleep in, and just take a break! 

But don't think for a minute I'm slacking on my goals... My gym sessions have been great! I'm keeping up with cardio and weight training, and I'm already seeing progress.

I'm also continuing to eat well. My SmartOnes are still keeping me on track. I actually ventured out and tried some of their breakfast items this week. The Smart Beginnings products are really good! I liked the apple and cinnamon oatmeal, but this egg and cheese english muffin sandwich was the bomb! And much healthier than what you would get at fast food joint.

My goals for the rest of the summer are to stay prepared with good meal choices and keep up with my fitness routine. It's easy to slide off track when you are at home all day, but it's not necessary! I'm keeping my freezer stocked with Smart Ones that I can grab any time of the day... breakfast, lunch or dinner. No excuse not to eat right, or to grab junk.

And if I do have a set back, I immediately wipe my slate clean and keep it moving. One mistake doesn't have to ruin your whole day! You always have the choice to eat better for your very next meal. Start fresh. Move on!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Being prepared...

Today I was looking back on the past week, and how successful I've felt as far as my diet and exercise is concerned. It hasn't been EASY, but it does seem like making good choices hasn't been such a huge struggle. What has changed?

Well, first, I think it has to do with making a decision to STOP restricting. Instead of deciding what I CAN'T eat, I am concentrating on what I can eat. I am enjoying lots of fresh fruit since several of my favorites are in season. I am also trying not to beat myself up, or obsess over the times that I choose to have a not-so-healthy option. Like the other day I had s'mores with my daughter. I had one, thoroughly enjoyed it, then moved on. It was not an excuse to throw in the towel for the day and eat crazy. It was a treat.

Another way I feel I am setting myself up for success is to be prepared. The more "good" choices I have around, the more likely I am to eat them. I have been making sure to prep fresh fruit and veggies ahead of time for grab-and-go snacks. I am trying to cook more since I'm on vacation, but sometimes with softball being almost daily, I still have to grab a SmartOnes meal when pressed for time. I'm glad I still have several in my freezer for times like those. Three minutes, and I have a great, tasty meal that is low in calories.

Honestly, since I've started eating the SmartOnes, I've all but stopped any sort of formal "meal-prep" like I used to do. I would spend hours cooking food to eat for several days at a time... But if I ever got behind or skipped a day of meal prep, I'd be in trouble because I wouldn't have anything healthy to eat. SmartOnes has really spoiled me. They are faster, less expensive, and there is way more variety. I never get tired of them... there is always a different kind if I want it.

And the most important thing? They keep me prepared. When my kids want pizza, I can eat a SmartOnes pizza (the Thin Crust Cheese Pizza is to die for!). When my kids want taco night and I'm sick of tacos (I am!), I can pop in a SmartOnes Chicken Quesadilla and still have a hot meal at the table with the kiddos. It's a win-win!

And I'm still having to share with my kids... My son loves SmartOnes almost as much as I do!

I'm so grateful that I'm finally finding ways to make this a true lifestyle for ME.

My next goal for the summer is to start trying more recipes. I've learned that variety keeps me from being bored with my food. Time to start experimenting with new things!

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with the Smart Ones brand and received compensation for my participation in the clean slate project ( However, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vacation Victory

Today is a good day. I woke up this morning and decided to weigh-in... Yesterday was my 38th birthday, and today is my first "official" day of summer vacation, so I wanted a start weight.

Last week on Wednesday (the last day of school), after weeks of bad eating and out of control food behavior, I was horrified to weigh and see 270 on the scale. What. The. Hell.

I've been hovering around in the 260's for almost a year, with an occasional dive into the 250's. But 270? It was a smack in the face. My eating and lack of focus was about to put my right back to 333 lbs.

So I made up my mind that I would do better. Even though I was heading out of town for the next five days. First to rural Missouri to take care of some business concerning my mom and to watch my nephew graduate from high school. Then on a weekend getaway to St. Louis with that same nephew and my two oldest kids. We came home yesterday (Memorial Day), which was also my birthday, to a cookout and birthday celebration my bestie had for me.

My main goals was to drink 100+ oz of water each day, control portions (not necessarily restrict what I ate), not OVEReat, and exercise when I could.

Thursday was easy. I packed food to eat on the road, so I was able to skip the fast food lunch I got for the kids. It was a VERY BUSY day, so our entire family (my sister plus her family and my kids) ended up just having sandwiches for dinner. I ate a turkey sandwich, skipped the chips and sweet tea. Drank water all day.

Friday was the graduation celebration. No major temptation until Friday night, when we had a huge cookout for my nephew. I was in charge of desserts (again) and baked beans. Even though there was a ton of food, I only had my baked beans (made as light as I could get them), potato salad, and a piece of grilled chicken. One plate, one regular portion. When I almost went back for seconds, and for a hot dog, I stopped and asked myself if I was really hungry. Since the answer was NO, I didn't get more food. I had a small chess square later that evening, but overall I felt good about the day.

Saturday was my little nieces birthday, and I promised I would get up and make her french toast. I also made waffles and turkey sausage. There was a total of 11 people at my sister's house, so lots of cooking. But I only had one waffle and 1/2 slice of french toast. That big breakfast lasted me until dinner. We headed to St. Louis around 3 p.m. and had dinner there at a calzone place downtown. I ordered one with cheese only, no meat, and peppers. It was so yummy, but I didn't feel stuffed afterwards. After dinner we walked all over downtown... I got 17,000+ steps on Saturday, over 7 miles according to my Fitbit. Lots of activity, and I still drank plenty of water.

Sunday we ended up skipping the big breakfast that was planned because my teenagers slept until almost checkout time. But I enjoyed a cup of coffee, then worked out. I did 28 flights of stairs at the hotel, plus 30 minutes on the bike in the fitness room. We ended up eating at Q'doba for lunch/dinner on the way home because all the food places on our "list" was packed. I wasn't really impressed with my food, so after I was full I gave the rest to my nephew. Later that evening when we got back to my sisters house, I got pizza for all the kids since my sis and bro-in-law had been out at a softball tournament all day. Victory is that I didn't eat any pizza. I drank my water and decided to wait until I was hungry to get something else.

Yesterday was when we headed home. I ate a sandwich for breakfast before I hit the road. The 4-hour drive seemed really quick, and we went straight to my bestie's house for her memorial day cookout, where I was surprised with cake, balloons, and a dozen roses for my birthday! There was a TON of food. But there was also lots of friends there that I had not seen in forever. So, I enjoyed the day, and didn't make it about food. I ended up eating a beef hot dog with 1/2 bun, 1/2 deviled egg, and a scoop of baked beans. I also had some apple ale and a beer, which was a birthday indulgence, and some cake later on that night. But I still felt great... Any other day at a cookout like that, I would be so stuffed because I KNOW the food is amazing (my bestie can COOK) and my excuse would have been that it's my birthday.

But I'm glad I didn't overeat, because going to bed happy about my choices over the last five days was PRICELESS. Not once did I go to bed disappointed and uncomfortably stuffed with food. I enjoyed my family and friends, and didn't make this vacation about food at all. I drank my water each day, and got plenty of activity. I knew I did great, despite having every excuse not to.

SO imagine how thrilled I was to weigh in this morning almost 9 LBS LIGHTER than I did on Wednesday. I even dug out my old scale to make sure that the number was correct.


Hell. Yeah.

So it's on. Today I am back home and more determined than ever to make this summer count. No work stress. No crazy schedules. Lots of softball and lounging at the pool. I can go to the gym whenever I want. And I have plenty of time to manage my food and prepare good choices. My excuses are out the window. It's time to see some real progress again!

Monday, May 19, 2014


Funny thing... lately I've been feeling very peaceful. It's as suddenly, all of my stress and anxiety has melted away. It's not like there's been some life-changing event that has happened that suddenly has given me tons of time, money or energy. I guess my perspective has just changed. I'm REALLY trying to find the positive in every situation in my life right now. No matter the circumstance, I look for the bright side. And it's helped my outlook tremendously.

I haven't been 100% dedicated to my diet/exercise, but I haven't given up on this journey. I've just decided NOT to stress about it. I am not beating myself up about my choices, and I'm not getting down about it. I am enjoying this journey I'm on, and appreciating the progress that I've made. 

Every time I slide on a pair of size 18 pants lately, I am grateful. I remember how size 26 feels. And no matter what is happening right now, I am not there anymore. I know I'm not done with my journey... I definitely have not reached my destination. I am just enjoying the scenery during this rest stop.

I've done pretty good at maintaining my weight loss during this "pause". I am still enjoying my Smart Ones meals. My daughter makes fun of me almost every morning when I grab my Three Cheese Ziti out of the freezer to pack for lunch. I can't help it. It's my favorite. And I usually buy 5 or 6 at a time. I'll never get tired of eating cheesy pasta for lunch. Don't judge me!

Wednesday, May 21 is my last day of school before summer break! I'm so excited to get some time off. But first, my kiddos and I will go on a road trip to Missouri to see family. I'll come back on Memorial Day, which is also my 38th birthday. I figure that it will be much easier to focus after that. As long as I keep this great sense of peace I have, I'm good. No more stressing about food and numbers. I have the tools I need, and I know that this journey is all about choices. Everything will be fine as long as I keep my eyes on the road ahead. 

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with the Smart Ones brand and received compensation for my participation in the clean slate project ( However, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Needing a clean slate...

Once again, I find that it's time for me to wipe my slate clean and move forward. I've slipped on my eating... It started out with bad choices last week, and it started spiraling out of control this weekend.

I can blame work stress, I can blame anxiety over my mom's health, and I can blame being overwhelmed with the responsibilities of being a single parent. But truth be told... it's all just excuses.

I know what to do, and I need to just get back on the wagon.

I have a meal plan all made up... Including my Smart Ones. Truth be told, I thought about just doing the Smart Ones for breakfast, lunch, and dinner since they now have breakfast options. But I don't want to get burnt out on a good thing!

I guess the lesson I keep learning is to stop beating myself up when life gets in the way of my healthy journey... It is totally possible to have a clean slate and to start over the next day. Each day that I feel guilty and beat myself up, it just makes me want to binge even more. If I would just get back up the next day, or even the next meal, and move on, it would be so much better.

I'm learning. I'm growing. And it will be okay.

It's all part of the journey. An occasional slip-up doesn't have mean that I go back to square one.

Lesson learned.

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I have a product review that is perfect for those of us that want to indulge without guilt. These Smart Ones fajitas were amazing! A good portion... Enough for two stuffed fajitas if you add the rice and beans like I did. So yummy!

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with the Smart Ones brand and received compensation for my participation in the clean slate project ( However, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fasting again...

I have decided to fast again for the next 21 days...

From April 30 through May 21 I will be fasting from social media and from sugar.

Weird combo, huh?

Social media, although fun and very inspirational, is also a time waster for me. I've found that on some days, I spend hours scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. Both on my personal pages and my SkinnyHollie pages. It's the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning! It's gotten out of hand.

So I will delete those apps and abstain for the next 21 days. And then hopefully I will be able to use them with some sort of sense.

I have also decided that in order to get some kind of sanity with my food, I have to kick the sugar habit again. I am simply lying to myself if I think I will ever have control of that addiction.

There is no moderation for me. Not now. Maybe not ever.

My birthday is May 26 and I am DETERMINED to get out of the 250's by then. I need to focus for the next 21 days, and I believe if I do so I will reach my goal.

So instead of spending time on social media, I will be at the gym or exercising. I will be able to read more and fill my brain with positive knowledge. I will be able to focus on all the things that have to be done at work for the end of the school year.

My last day of school will be the last day of this fast. I will be able to start my summer with a clean slate if I can stick to this fast.

And just to prove it's not about pure weight loss, I will not weigh myself during this time. I will weigh myself in the morning, and again on the morning of May 22. Not at all in between.

I believe that God can help me through this, but I must get my priorities straight. And make myself a priority, too. I know I can do this. I have to stop sabotaging my own efforts.

So.... you will definitely see more of me over the next three weeks. In my opinion, blogging is not the same as social media, so I will still be updating on here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

An email to my OA sponsor...

I have not been abstinent since Thursday night after OA. My reasons are really just excuses... I've not been abstinent. Period.

I have used the tools you have given me, and also read several other things. I think the main reason I am struggling is lack of a solid food plan. When life gets crazy, like mine is 99% of the time, I think a food plan will keep the guessing and wiggle room out of the food.

J from OA said something really profound to me the other night when we were talking about my struggle with the food plan... It's just for today. Stop thinking about whether or not THIS food plan will be forever. Just decide to follow it for today, or just for the coming week. You can always change it.

I guess, in my diseased mind, I've been trying to find a happy medium, where I can enjoy certain things in moderation while still finding recovery. In my OA reading last night, I am thinking that it's the food telling me that lie. That I am going to have to give up some things I enjoy because I am addicted to them, or because they are trigger foods.

So today, I made a food plan, and have already shopped for and planned out my food for the next week. Sunday through Saturday. 

Breakfast: Protein shake with 1/2 c. greek yogurt, 1.5 c. almond milk, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 tbs instant coffee. (I've decided that using coffee creamer full of sugar is not a good idea. So I am going to have my coffee this way. It's kind of like an iced coffee when I add ice.)

Lunch: Smart Ones entree (under 300 cal) and a 100 cal Greek Yogurt with fruit (under 10 grams of sugar). 1-2 servings of fruit. (watermelon or strawberries)

Dinner: Salad greens with bell pepper, 3 oz. baked/grilled chicken breast, 1/4 c. shredded cheese, 3 tbs of blue cheese or ranch dressing. 1-2 servings of fruit. (watermelon or strawberries)

No more than 3 servings of fruit per day.
No more than 10 grams of sugar in anything.
Besides the Smart Ones, no added sugar or white flour. Sweets are definitely the issue, but the yogurt or fruit usually don't cause any issues. 

Like I said, I have already grocery shopped, and anticipating a busy week next week with having standardized state testing and crazy schedules with work there are no excuses not to do well. I have a refrigerator at work so leaving my food at home is no excuse. I have Adkins low-carb shakes at work so if for some reason I can't make my breakfast, I will substitute it with that.

I am sorry that I have not been checking in like you said I have to. I promise that if you will give me another chance I will follow the rules. And if you don't want to be my sponsor anymore, I understand that, too. I need to get "clean". I need to find peace when it comes to food. I am ready to put the food down and take it one day at a time until the "need" to keep certain foods in my life diminishes. I know it will... I've been 90 days clean before. I've proven that I can get through holidays... I just need to prove that I can get through real life.

Thank you for all you do.