Tuesday, April 30, 2013

5K Fever

Beware of the 5K fever. When you have it, you do crazy things; crazy things such as sign up for another 5K, and then... another. I'll get back to this in a few.

I've had 5K fever ever since running the Law Day 5K on Saturday. I killed all three of my goals for the race and even met my "secret goal".

Secret Goal (noun): a goal you didn't even realize you had because it was so far in the back of your mind that you didn't even dare to dream it, but once you reach it you knew it's what you've always wanted.

My first goal for the 5K race was to beat my time from my first 5K race last year (51 minutes). If I didn't reach that goal, then my second goal was to finish within 60 minutes. If I didn't reach that goal, then my third goal was to just finish! To my surprise, I met all three of those goals!

Thanks, Sara for taking this picture!
My secret goal (the one I didn't even know I had) was to complete a 5K in 45 minutes. I didn't even think I was near being able to believe in this goal quite yet, but I beat it! The official results came in yesterday and I met my secret goal by finishing at 44 minutes and 48 seconds!

I seriously wouldn't have met this goal without my husband. He did everything aside from literally picking me up and carrying me over the finish line. That guy is my hero.


The morning of the race, I felt good. I wasn't as nervous as I had been the days prior. My husband and I parked in the parking garage that I use during work. We were a few blocks away from the Courthouse, which was the starting line for the Law Day 5K. We used those blocks of walking as our warm-up. We felt good. We were laughing and having fun during our walk. We made sure to "stretch it out" as we made our way to the Courthouse, mainly with high knees as outlined in the photo, below.


It was such a nice morning, a little chilly but perfect weather for a long sleeve shirt and yoga pants; perfect weather for a 5K race. Once we got to the Courthouse, we just stood there. As a Paralegal, I am often in Court and go to this same Courthouse at least 3 times a week. This morning though, with the sunrise highlighting the building's bold features, it looked different. The entire street seemed different. It was quiet, there were no cars. The only sounds we heard were the fast foot steps from people jogging; warming up for the race. We took a picture of the Courthouse and then proceeded to the registration table, a block away at the Gazebo.



When we got to the gazebo, I felt excited! We were finally here; our second 5K race! We picked up our timing chip and made our way to a park bench to secure it to our shoes. For our first 5K race, last year, we had numbers. This race used timing chips; the chip eliminates the need for numbers. I'm not quite sure which I like better.


After getting the chip attached, we started walking around. As we walked we ran in to Sara, a friend from high school. This particular friend has been incredibly supportive of my journey of living a healthier lifestyle. She has given me some awesome advice and isn't shy to tell me how proud and happy she is for me. When we ran in to her, she was with her friend, Megan. I haven't met a runner that I haven't liked, so of course we became friends by the end of the race, too! Making new friends through running = total bonus!

Before we knew it, it was time to line up for the race. My husband and I found our way to the middle of the pack. My husband was a little worried that we were too far in front, but I told him that we were doing everyone else a favor. I explained that we would be boosting their confidence by starting that far up because they would be able to pass us instantly. He liked that idea, so we stayed put.


I felt like we were standing there for 20 minutes. Time stood still as we waited, however, once I heard the beginning of the announcement on the loud speaker, I felt like it was too soon. Before I knew it, the announcer said "on your mark, get set..." and then the horn blew! We were off!


It took a good city block for the runners around us to fan out. We even had the chance to pass a few people within the first couple blocks, but that was about all the passing we did for the race. I had my garmin forerunner 410 set for intervals of 5 minutes of running with 2 minutes of walking. I planned on sticking to those intervals, and I would have, if there weren't as many inclines. The inclines burned me out, quickly. I stuck to my first interval and then it was random running and walking from there on out.

Within the first mile, I distinctively remember cursing out loud when I turned a corner and saw the road incline significantly. The way my body reacted to running uphill crushed my spirits. During those three miles, so many things ran through my head, and came out of my mouth. "I'm not going to beat my time", "I can't do it", "I just want to quit", "I am never going to do this again", "Why did I think I could do this?", "I can't keep going",  "I just need to sit", "I can't catch my breath". My husband, counteracted each of those comments with support, love and motivation. He held my hand a few times as we walked, and told me that I was okay. This is how I finished my race.

In the last mile, we began making compromises.  "We can walk if you make it to the next city block", "Let's start running at the red car all the way to the white car". I was hard on myself during this race. I couldn't help it. Being supportive of myself doesn't come naturally; it's something that I've worked on daily, and something that I will continue to work on.

Once I saw the Courthouse, I felt better. I felt like I could finish. The words coming out of my mouth started to change. I began saying "I can do this", "I've got this", "Almost there". My husband could see the finish line and told me "You're going to beat your goal!" I let out a little wimper cry, and held back a tear. I couldn't cry now, I needed to breath. I was running out of breath. I had made myself a compromise to run to the end of the block, then I could walk to catch my breath. This didn't happen. When I got to the end of the block, I saw Sara and my new running friend, Megan. They were standing there, cheering me on (cue another wimper cry). They were cheering me on! I couldn't walk, then; I had to keep going! I ran past them and gave Megan a high five as I passed.

I was almost done, I just had to run around the block of the gazebo. My heart was racing and I felt dizzy. To be honest, I felt like my head was going to explode. I looked down at my garmin and my heart rate was at 190. I should have slowed down, but the finish line was right there! I pushed through the fatigue and kept running. The final seconds of the race were a blur. I could see the time was at 44-some minutes and that Sara and Megan were waiting for us at the finish line. I kept running through the finish line, and hugged them both.

Nick told me that a lady had come to remove my timing chip from my shoe, but I don't remember that at all. (I actually gasped on our way back to the car because I thought I had forgot to turn it back in.) Sara gave me the rest of her water because there was none left when we finished. Having Sara and Megan cheering for us at the finish line is something I'll never forget. Their energy definitely helped me keep running at the end!

On the car ride home, Nick and I started talking about future 5K's. I still wasn't sold on the idea of doing another one, but he had already caught the fever. It was too early for me to catch the fever, after all, it was only an hour earlier that I was panting up an incline declaring that "I would never run a 5K again!" The fever did catch up to me, though. It was only a couple hours later, as we sat on the couch, when the 5K fever hit me. We have signed up for two more 5K's in the past two days.

As of right now, we will be running a 5K in May, August and September. Meeting my goal (as part of my 26 by 26 list) of running my second 5K this year has been met. At the time that I had made that goal, I hadn't imagined that my third, fourth and fifth 5K would also be done this year.


Like I said in the beginning of this post, beware of the 5K fever. It makes you do crazy things!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happify

Hi, everyone! I promise to update you on my 5K from Saturday, soon. I want to post about the 5K when I have more time to reminisce. In the meantime, I have something pretty interesting to share with you!

I am a Happify Pioneer! Don't know what that is? Well, I will tell you.

I was recently asked to be one of the first (a/k/a: a happify pioneer) to test a new website called Happify.com. I have been using the site for about a month now but fell in love with the site immediately! This is a site designed around the user, in effort to increase the users happiness!


We all could use a little happiness in our lives, am I right? Well, Happify uses science to help you form life-changing habits. According to their site, Happify activities are based on cutting-edge research from leading academic institutions around the world. You can use Happify anytime, anywhere—on your computer, or with our companion mobile app when you're on the go. When you sign up with Happify, you'll learn valuable skills to reduce stress, boost optimism, gain confidence and enjoy life more every day! Awesome, right?

Usually, you would have to request an invite to join happify, but since I'm a pioneer, and you are an awesome reader, I have this special link, just for you:

http://www.happify.com/o/lp?srid=blg47

Want to cope better with stress? Be a happier parent? Happify's tracks are designed to help you develop your happiness skills for specific life situations. Happify is scientifically designed with fun activities and games that help you form life-changing habits that leave you feeling more fulfilled every day. Happify is also an endless place for inspiration! You can see what makes others happy and get positive feedback and encouragement throughout your happiness journey. (You can also keep your activities completely private—it's up to you!)

So what are you waiting for? Get happy with me!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ready for Law Day

My husband and I are up early this Saturday morning, getting ready for our 5K race!

 

The Law Day 5K starts at 9:00 a.m. I'll come back with a full report later on today or tomorrow!

Wish us luck (we are going to need it)!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Full Review of Nordi

I am super excited and nervous for my second-ever 5K race tomorrow.

The first 5K that I ran was last year and it was called the "Ice Cream Run". We were basically running for ice cream. The race tomorrow is the "Law Day 5K". It benefits kids and it means a lot to me to run this race since I work as a paralegal for a child welfare agency. Last year's run was just about ice cream, ice cream that was gone by the time that I had finished my run. I wish I had known that we were literally running for ice cream. I might have finished sooner. Moving on...


Since I have had some training time with Nordi (our NordicTrack T5.5 Treadmill), I believe a review is in order. It's been at least 15 miles later and I'm still in love with Nordi.


PRO's:

Quick buttons
Calorie burn quick button
Time quick button
iPod connect
Speakers great for walking
Quiet
Easy set up
Price
Smooth
Looks nice, easy to read screen

CON's:
No distance quick button
Speakers are too quiet for running
Heavy to move
Frame flexes a lot when running (worried about durability)
No built in fan


I would buy this treadmill over and over again. We actually plan on it! We figured if we got even a year out of Nordi, our money was well spent!

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If you could choose... treadmill or stationary bike?
- Treadmill all the way, for me!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lucky Winner

First of all, I want to thank everyone who entered my 50,000 View Giveaway! Of course, I wanted everyone to win, so I couldn't choose myself. I used the random number generator which gave me the lucky number 14!


There were a couple "non-entries" I had to skip over when counting. There was a comment with just a question and an anonymous comment who didn't want to be entered but left a nice comment, anyway (thanks!).

After skipping the "non-entries", I found that Ashley Miller was lucky entry number 14! Congratulations, Ashley! Send me an email within the next few days with the address you would like your new Thirty One gifts to be shipped!



Again, thank you ALL for entering, for reading, for supporting and for just being you!

I love to give away gifts to my readers, and I am already thinking of what I can do for you next!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I Run for Me

Today is the last day of my 50,000 View Giveaway! Be sure to enter to win before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. I will be choosing a winner tonight, to be announced tomorrow!

Giveaway goodies!
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Yesterday was a bummer with a dentist appointment and hip pain. I have been stretching and haven’t felt the hip pain since yesterday morning. I hope it stays away for my 5K on Saturday!

At this point, I think I am just as excited for my race as I am regretful for signing up. I had to turn down some friends for drinks on Friday night because they wanted to meet at 8:00 p.m. and I want to be in bed by 9:00 p.m. The race starts at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning, which means that we will be there around 8:00 a.m. I will most likely be waking up at 6:30 a.m. and that’s not something I prefer to do on my day off. I am a little salty about it right now, but I know it will all be worth the rush of running my race.

I say “my race” because I’m not racing against anyone but myself. My first goal is to finish sub 51 minutes. My second goal is to finish sub 60 minutes. If I don’t reach those goals, I will resort to my third goal of just finishing, period!

In effort to feel less salty about my race on Saturday, I am going to remind myself of some of the reasons why I signed-up.
  • For the feeling of accomplishment
  • To finish what I started
  • To push myself further than I thought possible
  • To do something now that I couldn’t do only a few years ago
  • For my sweat, tears and efforts to show for something
  • For the “runners high”
  • To feel like I’m unstoppable
I run… for me.

When you run a race, what are you running for?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sad Face

I am starting to get nervous. I was all ready to begin running my mile as scheduled this morning, but stopped myself. When I started walking fast, my hip began hurting like it had toward the end of my two mile run on Sunday. I really hope the pain goes away and it doesn't prevent me from running my 5K race this Saturday! I took it easy and walked for only a half mile this morning. My hip hurt the entire time. Sad face.


Sad face continues. Tonight, I am schedule to get a cavity filled after work. I brought leftovers from last night's dinner with me in to work so I could eat dinner while I still could. I'm a big baby when it comes to needles, and I am dreading this appointment. Scheduling it at dinner time wasn't smart, either.



Bright side, leftovers were extremely good today. I made an awesome dish last night; it was simple, too! Pesto on top of chicken, topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of basil; amazing! I made a side of pasta with olive oil, grated parmesan, garlic and basil which went perfect with the pesto chicken!


Have you ever made pesto chicken before?

Do you prefer white sauce or red sauce on pasta?
- It depends on my mood. Right now, I'm really digging the white sauce!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Crunch Time

The final week of my April 5K Challenge has arrived!

When I woke up this morning to see the sun shining outside, the first thing that I thought about was running. I had a piece of toast with peanut butter before leaving the house. I drove up to the high school track and ran 2 miles in less than 30 minutes. Progress!


I felt really good during my run. I was thinking about going for a full 5K but decided against it when my hip starting to lock up toward the end of the second mile. I didn't want to injure myself only 6 days before the race, so I decided to stop at 2 miles.


I made my final meal and exercise plans for this challenge and went grocery shopping this afternoon. I took my thirty one tote and was able to fit all of my groceries for the week in this one bag! It was really nice to only have one bag to tote around and it felt good to not have to use plastic, too!

Dinner Plan for the week:

Sunday: Subs
Monday: Chicken Pesto Bake with Side Salad
Tuesday: Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken
Wednesday: Grilled Fish with Side Salad
Thursday: Skillet White Beans over Linguine
Friday: Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach
Saturday: RACE DAY!

Exercise Plan for the week:

Sunday: 2 mile run
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 1 mile run
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 1 mile run
Friday: Walk
Saturday: 5K Race!


After grocery shopping, my husband and I picked up lunch from subway. We both got foot longs so we could eat half for lunch and save the other half for dinner. Now, I've got enough time to fit in a nap before getting my housework done for the day. I am not usually a "morning exerciser" but getting my run done earlier today definitely worked out well. It gave me the energy to get my errands done, and now I have time for a well-deserved nap!

Do you like to/get to take naps?

When do you typically work out?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Guest Blog Post - Windiddie Family

Hey everyone! Just a quick update. I am happy to announce that I have been featured on the Windiddie Family Blog! I was very excited when Heather asked me to be a guest on her blog. You can read my post by following this link:

http://www.thewindiddiefamily.blogspot.com/2013/04/guest-post-giveaway.html

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

After Running 10 Miles

I spent the day pretending it was summer! The fact that it was 84 degrees and sunny definitely helped.

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to drive 2 hours out of town for a business meeting. The meeting went well and I got out an hour earlier than expected. I enjoyed the ride home with the windows down and the radio up. Once I got home, I took the dogs to visit my sister at work.

Oh, did I mention my sister works at an ice cream shop. Where else would you expect me to be on the first 80-degree day we've had this year?


I made an almost healthy choice at the ice cream shop. Instead of getting deep fried cheese sticks and hot dogs like every other person in line, I ordered a grilled chicken salad. I obviously didn't follow my meal plan, but this almost healthy choice makes me feel a little better about it. The fact that Northwestern Pennsylvania does everything they can to make a healthy thing unhealthy is not exactly my fault; however, I wasn't complaining. Fries on a salad... yeah, it happens here.



While I'm confessing, I must say that I didn't run two miles last night, either. I've been training for my upcoming 5K on my treadmill. My husband has been warning me that treadmill training alone isn't going to cut it. Since it was nice enough to run outside, yesterday, I went to the track and ran. It turns out, running outside is harder than running on a treadmill. (Yes, Nick. You are right. Are you happy, now?) Within the first minute of running I decided that I was not going to run two miles. I went on to decide that I wasn't going to run the 5K on the 27th, either. Obviously, once my first interval was over, I decided that I would still run the 5K. The second mile, however, was non-negotiable. It wasn't going to happen. Bright side... yesterday's outdoor mile was faster than Monday's treadmill mile.


Back to the ice cream shop. My sister changed my dogs lives tonight. She introduce them to doggie ice cream (it's not people ice cream, it's for dogs). I obviously HAD to get Max and Topher a scoop (or two). Who knew this existed? You can tell me, I won't let the dogs know you were holding out on them. It will be our secret. Pinky swear.


After running 10 miles... I mean, after drinking a peanut butter milkshake, we left the ice cream shop and stayed on our stone patio until the sun set. I was asked to write a guest blog post for a fellow blogger, so I worked on that by the pond while the dogs roamed around the yard. I made sure to take regular breaks from writing to look up at the clouds, close my eyes and listen to our pond waterfalls. It doesn't get much better than that.

Salad with fries on top. Weird or no?
Doggie ice cream. Have you ever heard of such a thing?
Favorite flavor of ice cream/milkshake?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

50,000 Views GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

Guess what, everybody! If you haven't read recently, Goal of Losing has reached over 50,000 total page views. I am so excited about this and I have decided to host another GIVEAWAY for my awesome readers! That's right, a GIVEAWAY for YOU! You can be a new reader or a seasoned veteran of my blog; it doesn't matter! All are welcome to enter this giveaway!

Since I have reached over 50,000 total page views, I have decided to give you 50,000 FIVE different ways you can enter to win:

1. Become a follower of my blog (when you become a follower or if you are already a follower, note that in a comment, below!)
2. Share this giveaway on your blog (share the link to your blog post in a comment)
3. Share this giveaway on your facebook page (comment when you've done this)
4. Like MY facebook fan page (if you already have liked it, note that in a comment)
5. Follow me on Twitter @goaloflosing (comment when you've done this)

BONUS ENTRY: Stand up, do the chicken dance, and leave a comment once you've finished!

Each comment = 1 entry so make sure you comment separately, otherwise it only counts as one entry. With the bonus entry included, you could have a total of 6 entries for this Giveaway! Awesome, right?

Okay, so now that you know how to win this giveaway, it is time to share the prize. Thirty One has sponsored three great gifts for this Giveaway!


A large zipper pouch, a mini zipper pouch and a wristlet key fob. SO, so, so CUTE!

This Giveaway starts NOW and will end a week from today, April 24, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. You have plenty of time to share this Giveaway with your friends and enter to win, yourself! Good luck!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Ran, I Cried.

My heart is heavy today. The truth is, I am angry. I am afraid. I am sad. The devastation at the Boston Marathon is unbelievable. When I think about the people who were there, I can't help but cry. The lives lost, the people injured, the worried loved ones, the medical staff, police officers, the residents there. My heart breaks for them all.

Last night, I was schedule to run a mile. I had a meeting run late and didn't get out of work until 6:30 p.m. My husband had dinner ready, so I stuck to my meal plan for the night. It was a warm day, one that I wasn't able to enjoy because I was in the office all day. My husband and I didn't check the news, or even turn on a t.v. We went out and enjoyed the nice night, on our bikes.

We rode our bikes to my moms house. It was there that we found out what had happened. The explosions at the Boston Marathon. My heart has been heavy since. The bike ride back home was different. I couldn't stop thinking of those who have been affected by this devastation.

I was scheduled to run a mile last night, but I wanted to do nothing more than sit on the couch and cry. I did let myself do that for a short time. It was at about 9:15 p.m. when I decided that I would run. I ran, I cried. I finished.



Monday, April 15, 2013

Relax and Meditate

Have you heard of Happify? I was invited to test the beta version of Happify a few weeks ago. I am happy to say that it's pretty darn cool. I've been learning a lot on how to help increase your own happiness. Something they strongly believe in is the power of meditation. Here's a short article from the site:

"Studies [S-5] found that meditation actually alters the brain in ways that help you support a sunnier outlook, increase empathy and feel less stressed. 
You can practice too. Meditation is easy and inexpensive, and requires nothing but you and your mind. Here’s how:
• Focus your attention on your breath, on a sensation in your body, or on a word such as, “relax.”
• When thoughts, emotions, or background noises enter your mind, which they inevitably will, just take note of them, and get back to focusing on your breathing.
According to brain imaging studies, meditation can lower high blood pressure and lessen chronic pain, anxiety and depression. Brain imaging studies show that meditation actually alters regions of the brain associated with memory, self-awareness and compassion.[S-5] [S-6]
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison [S-6] found that even beginners were able to increase activity in the brain region associated with positive thoughts, although experienced meditators showed a greater level of activity.
Bottom line: the more you practice meditation, the more you benefit."

That sounds nice, right? I am going to start setting aside some time to meditate, starting this morning. I don't know about you, but I'm not very good at sitting still. If I sit still and just try to meditate, it's almost like an alarm goes off in my brain and I hear my own voice shouting, "Warning, warning... you can't take a break to just simply sit here! You must think of something to be productive. Maybe you can go over your grocery list, or remind yourself about the chicken you need to take out of the freezer to thaw, or that bill that needs to be paid!" My mind doesn't like to be quite, but I will start practicing if it means lower high blood pressure and lower anxiety levels!

Something else that helps lower high blood pressure and lower anxiety levels... looking at this picture of my puppy when he was a puppy last year:



Something else that helps is exercise. I will be doing a little of that today. I am scheduled for a mile run on the treadmill.

Do you meditate? How long do you typically mediate? Any tips for a newbie?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Yeah, it's a Rut.

Edit: If you're visiting this page for the Oreo recipe from Pinterest, it's at the bottom of this post! Thanks for stopping by! :)

April 5K Challenge Update

The Goals:

- Get down to 220's
- Develop and abide by meal plans
- Develop and abide by exercise plans

The Deadline:

- April 27, 2013 (Law Day 5K)

The Terms and Conditions:

- Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning

- Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
- Exercise plans are to be posted for each week


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Weekly Weigh-in:

Start Date: March 24, 2013
Start Weight: 235.4 lbs.
Current Weight: 235.4 lbs.
Total Loss: 0 lbs. (+1.4 lbs. from last week)
Goal Weight: 229 lbs.
Goal Date: April 27, 2013
Pounds to go: 6.4 lbs.

Dinner Plan for this week:

Monday - Salsa Con Queso Chicken
Tuesday - Grilled Fish with Salad
Wednesday - Grilled Chicken with Salad
Thursday - Grilled Fish with Salad
Friday - Grilled Chicken with Salad
Saturday - Pesto Chicken


Exercise Plan for this week:

Monday - Treadmill - 1 mile
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - Treadmill - 2 miles
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Treadmill - 1 mile
Saturday - Rest

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I feel as if I have been in a rut. Two weeks without losing weight while in a challenge; yeah, it's a rut. I actually did very well with sticking to my exercise plan last week; my meal plan, however, was thoroughly compromised.

Last week I had to focus hard on my exercise plan. This week, I am determined to stick with both my meal and exercise plan. I am going to lose weight this week, and I'm going to build up my endurance for my upcoming 5K! April 27th is just around the corner, and I'm not going to let it sneak up on me!

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My husband and I have been very busy lately, hence the lack of blogs this past week. This weekend was completely booked, too. My husband and I took engagement photos for our friends, and since they were up from Pittsburgh, we spent the entire day with them! We went out to lunch and dinner on Saturday (hello, 1 lb. gain!) and took some pretty awesome engagement pictures.



Taking pictures is one of my favorite hobbies. I've done one wedding, a handful of engagement and family session, and school pictures, too!

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As for today, my husband and I got to visit my aunt for lunch. My husband installed a ceiling fan, and I got to visit. My aunt and I had a fun time sharing recipes, and talking about my all-time favorite topic; FOOD! She gave me a lot of new ideas that I can't wait to try! She also made a killer soup that I will definitely be sharing with you soon. It was only 151 calories for two cups. Amazing!

I made the dessert for our lunch today. I got the idea from a picture on pinterest. Unfortunately, the picture didn't come with a recipe, so my husband and I made up our own.

I will call this, Goal of Losing's Oreo Mousse Cups (a/k/a new recipe number 5 of 26):


This recipe serves 3 and each cup includes about 330 calories, 47 carbs, 12 fat, 4 protein.

Ingredients

9 - Oreo cookies (6 crushed, three reserved)
1/2 pkg. Jello brand chocolate pudding mix
1/2 pkg. Jello brand vanilla pudding
3 cups Cool Whip
1/2 cup skim milk

Directions

Crush Oreos, use as first layer.

Mix vanilla pudding mix with 1 1/2 cup cool whip and 1/4 cup skim milk. Beat well, about to mousse consistency. Use this as the second layer.

In a separate bowl, mix chocolate pudding mix with 1 1/2 cup cool whip and 1/4 cup skim milk. Beat well, about to mousse consistency. Use this as the third layer.

Top with an Oreo cookie. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve, or serve immediately.


Question: Do you prefer golden Oreos or the good old fashion Oreos?
- I prefer the good old fashion Oreos, myself.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Victorious Self

I have found the cure to a long stressful week. Please see the photo below for the cure.

photo from tumblr
If this picture doesn't make you smile, laugh or at least make you think "Aww...", then I am seriously worried about you.

I can't tell you how many times I have felt like the panda on top. You know that panda is thinking "I am allllllmost there!" I feel ya, panda. I feel ya!

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Lately, I have been spending a lot of time on a newer website called www.happify.com. I have been learning a lot and loving the activities there. I wanted to share this article with you, because I firmly believe in what it has to offer:

"Imagining a better future can actually make us happier—today. It clarifies our priorities and boosts our optimism, allowing us to break out of shackling beliefs and sets us in motion to deliver on great things for our future selves.[A-4] If we feel optimistic about our goals, we’re more likely to invest the effort in reaching them.
When we imagine and write about succeeding at the goals we've set for ourselves, it leads to increases in well-being and even physical health. In a study asking participants to write descriptions of the best possible version of their future selves for 20 minutes, four days in a row, researchers found that when compared with other writing prompts, this exercise was associated with positive mood and enhanced well-being three weeks later, and a decreased rate of illness five months later. [A-13] In a variant on this exercise by Sheldon and Lyubomirsky, people who visualized and wrote about their best possible selves over four weeks also showed higher levels of motivation and interest than those who were simply asked to write about life details.[A-4]
A study at Stanford University [A-11] asked one group of participants to watch a digital image of themselves exercising—an avatar personalized to look like them, while it asked a second group to watch someone else exercising. The people who watched themselves exercise were more motivated to exercise one full hour more, on average, than the other group.
Whenever you get the chance, think about your future self in two, five, ten years—whatever works for you—and imagine if everything you’d hoped would happen in the next few years actually DID happen. Meet your 'Victorious Self.'"

What would your "victorious self" look like?

My victorious self will be maintaining my goal weight, living healthier, living happier, with a child and my loving husband, surrounded by my awesome friends and family.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Silver Lining... check!

Do you know what this picture means:



Aside from it showing that I completed a very slow mile, it means that I actually DID IT! After a week off, I followed my exercise plan on Monday and I am ready to use my treadmill again, tonight!

Dinner Plan for this week:

Monday - Grilled Chicken with Green Bean Crunchtables (DONE!)
Tuesday - Burgers with side Salad (DONE!)
Wednesday - Quesadilla with side salad
Thursday - Quesadilla with side salad
Friday - Salsa Con Queso Chicken
Saturday - Dinner out with friends


Exercise Plan for this week:

Monday - Treadmill - 1 mile (DONE!)
Tuesday - Rest (DONE!)
Wednesday - Treadmill - 2 miles
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Treadmill - 1 mile
Saturday - Rest

So far, so good! Although, instead of having a quesadilla for dinner tonight, I am going to have a grilled chicken salad. My husband is off of work early today, so he offered to make us grilled chicken. Sounds good, right?! It's probably healthier this way, too!

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I had an unexpected doctor's appointment this morning. I called yesterday afternoon, thinking they would schedule me for next week, and they had an opening for today! As you may remember, I wasn't feeling well last week (hence the entire week off from exercise). Instead of over sharing, I will just say that my doctor is running some lab work to check my liver and kidney functioning along with other some other stuff. The good news is that I was 4 pounds lighter than the last time I was in and the last time they checked my cholesterol it was within normal range so they didn't have to check again, today! Silver lining... check!

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Tonight is my two mile run. I am going to do this distance in intervals and hopefully I talk myself in to running more than walking (unlike Monday's mile). I finished all of the seasons of Parenthood, which was fun to watch while on the treadmill. I need a new show, something to watch tonight. I've got access to Netflix and Hulu. Any suggestions for me?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Not an Option

I tried a new smoothie this morning!


I made a strawberry and pineapple smoothie with spinach for breakfast this morning. It consisted of about 1 cup of sliced strawberries, 1 cup of cubed pineapple, 1 cup of spinach and a cup of crushed ice. It was sweet, but not too sweet. I probably would have added some milk if we hadn't run out last night. Grocery shopping in definitely in order for tonight!

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April 5K Challenge Update

The Goals:

- Get down to 220's
- Develop and abide by meal plans
- Develop and abide by exercise plans

The Deadline:

- April 27, 2013 (Law Day 5K)

The Terms and Conditions:

- Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
- Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
- Exercise plans are to be posted for each week


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Weekly Weigh-in:

Start Date: March 24, 2013
Start Weight: 235.4 lbs.
Current Weight: 234 lbs.
Total Loss: 1.4 lbs. (-0 lbs. from last week)
Goal Weight: 229 lbs.
Goal Date: April 27, 2013
Pounds to go: 5 lbs.

Dinner Plan for this week:

Monday - Grilled Chicken with Green Bean Crunchtables
Tuesday - Burgers with side Salad
Wednesday - Quesadilla with side salad
Thursday - Quesadilla with side salad
Friday - Salsa Con Queso Chicken
Saturday - Dinner out with friends


Exercise Plan for this week:

Monday - Treadmill - 1 mile
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - Treadmill - 2 miles
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Treadmill - 1 mile
Saturday - Rest

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Last week, I didn't follow my exercise plan. This week, it's not an option! I will get it done!

What kind of exercise do you plan on doing this week?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I Will Not Drown

I'm currently in a challenge; the April 5K Challenge. I will be running a 5K at the end of April, and so I have been making meal and exercise plans to help me reach the goals of the challenge. I have only lost a pound in this challenge and I have 5 more pounds to go before April 27th. I also need to improve on my running before then. I made an exercise plan for the week, but didn't follow a single day of it. Right about now, I feel like this quote sums up this past week for me:

"To be always intending to make a new and better life but never to find time to set about it is as to put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one day to the next until you're dead." ~Og Mandino

Not good. I started off this week with the best intentions, but my follow-through was non-existent. Not to make excuses (which means there is an excuse about to follow), but some of my lack of follow-through this past week has been from me not feeling well. I may have to break down and actually call the doctor, which is the last thing I ever want to do. I often feel like going to the doctor can be such of a waste of time (and money). I am also anti-medication, for the most part. That is beside the point, what I really want to make clear is that it's completely normal (and probably wise) to take some time off of working out, when you aren't feeling well. So, why do I feel a little guilt for doing so? I guess it's because I'm only human.

I've had weeks like this before, and I know where to go from here. I need to steer clear of the guilt and keep pressing onward. This brings me to what may be my favorite quote: "You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there." - by Edwin Louis Cole

photo from google images
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So, as you may remember, I promised something to you a little while back. I promised that once I reached a total of 50,000 page views, I would host a GIVEAWAY. On March 29, 2013, I reached 50,000 page views. I will be ready to host the giveaway very soon, now! What's the hold up? Well, I have been waiting for today. I will know the exact gift I will be giving away after my Thirty One Party, this afternoon. I can't wait to go through the catalog with my friends and pick out exactly what I will be giving away!

Readers, what are your favorite Thirty One gifts, bags and/or patterns?

Friday, April 5, 2013

If it's Food, I'm Interested!

Lately, if my mouth isn't on fire, I'm not interested. Wait a second, who am I kidding? If its food, I'm interested, but you get the point.


This week, I made Jalepeno Popper Stuffed Chicken. Last night, I made a buffalo chicken salad, sans chicken. It was literally buffalo sauce, ranch, lettuce and croutons. If I hadn't had leftover jalepeno popper stuffed chicken for lunch earlier, I would have said it was the best thing I had eaten all day. I guess I'm just really feeling the heat lately, and Sweet Baby Rays buffalo sauce brings it, baby! (I may have first degree burns in my mouth from it, but that salad was worth it!)

This morning, I made eggs and bacon for breakfast.


While I was eating breakfast, I noticed my tomato plants have been growing quite a bit this week. Even if I'm not the best gardener (by any means) I just LOVE the feeling of growing something. It's so rewarding to see results.


The process of gardening reminds me a lot of my own process of losing weight. In growing tomato plants, for example, you plant a seed and wait patiently to see results. In weight loss, you begin healthier habits and wait for changes to occur; your pants to become looser or you see progress on the scale.

For plants, you water them daily, even when you aren't seeing any sprouts. For weight loss, you continue living healthier, even when you aren't seeing or feeling any results. 

Once you start seeing your plant's sprouts, you get excited and continue to water each day. Same with weight-loss, once you see results, use that as motivation to continue on! 

If you miss a day of watering your plants, it's not the end of the world. Just try to remember to water it the next day. The same with weight-loss. For example, I didn't follow my exercise plan at all this week. It's not the end of the world. I just have to continue on my journey and try to do better next time.

Slowly, maybe even before we know it, we will reach our goals.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken

I have made something amazing! New recipe #4 of 26, thank you for being so good! I tried a new recipe last night and of course, I modified it.


I have four words that may or may not make your mouth water: Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken. I never use to be a spicy food fan, but I couldn't be happier to say that I have changed my ways! I do believe this is now my favorite “tastes-like-its-bad-for-you-but-is-really-good-for-you recipe”. It’s a simple one, too (as if I’d try to make something that looks hard).


My modified recipe goes something like this:

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken

Nutrition information:
Serves: 4
Nutrition per serving: 269 calories; 5 carbs; 12 fat; 36 protein

Ingredients:
2 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 jalapeños, chopped (remove seeds for milder)
3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
4 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar (Sargento)
4 thin sliced skinless chicken breast cutlets, 3-4 oz each
salt and fresh pepper
olive oil non-stick spray

Directions:

Wash and dry chicken cutlets, season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.

 

Combine cream cheese, cheddar, jalapeño and bacon crumbles in a medium bowl.


Lay chicken cutlets on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of cream cheese mixture on each cutlet.


Loosely roll each one, secure the ends with toothpicks to prevent the cheese from oozing out.

Bake 22-25 minutes, serve immediately.

If you like cheesy deep fried poppers, this is the recipe for you.
Let me know if you decide to give it a try! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the recipe!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Feel-Better Routine

I received an email recently from a reader and decided to share the question and answer with everyone. If you have a question that you would like me to answer here on my blog, feel free to send me an email, too!

Question:

I have decided to start losing weight myself (234) at the moment. I came across your page while looking for eggplant recipes. I've started off with buying all healthy foods. My quetion is how do you stay motivated? I've tried to lose weight before but I just can't stick with it! Any tips you could share would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

It's great to hear that you are making the commitment to eat healthier and lose weight! It's not easy by any means, but it does make life easier in the long run. In order to stay motivated, it helps me to remember why I made the commitment to begin with. Personally, my reason for losing weight is to live a healthier, happier life. I know that I do not feel motivated 100% of the time, so don't beat yourself up if you don't, either. What is important for me is to really take advantage of the times when I do feel motivated, and forgive myself for essentially being human. There's no way for me to eat healthy all of the time, and even if there was, it's not for me. My goal is to eat and live healthier, not the healthiest. I wish I could eat healthy all of the time, but that just wouldn't be enjoyable to me. It would mean depriving myself constantly. Deprivation hasn't worked for me, and so I just strive to make healthier choices when I can. Small steps have brought me to where I am today, and small steps will take me to my ultimate goal. I hope this helps you!

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As for sticking to my plan for the week, so far not good. I did stick to my meal plan last night but I didn't do my 5K. I had a headache and actually stayed home from work today, too. I am feeling much better now. I spent the day on the couch watching Parenthood and 1600 Penn on Hulu. If you are ever feeling sick or down, I highly suggest my feel-better routine. It works wonders!


Cuddling with the pups all day helped, too!

What makes you feel better when you're sick or feeling down?