Thursday, February 28, 2013

WHAT just happened?

Before I get to the "WHAT just happened moment" from last night, I must fill you in on one of my favorite meals of all time. I know, I usually think that every meal is "the best", but Carrabas is simply amazing.



First of all, I think they made the "Wine Wednesdays" up just for me. After a long drive to Harrisburg, a Blackberry Sangria was just what the doctor ordered.



It was my sisters first visit to Carrabas and I think she loved the restaurant just as much as I did. We both had amazing entrees. She ordered the Seafood Stuffed Cannoli and I had the Chicken Bryan with Green Beans.

Chicken Bryan with Green Beans
We both left there full, and I actually left there with leftovers. This is an accomplishment that doesn't happen often. I'm proud that I didn't eat it all (because even though I was stuffed, I probably could have).

Leaving the restaurant with leftovers gave me just enough room to fit in some time on the treadmill back at the hotel where we are staying in Harrisburg.

Last night's run was A-MAZ-ING. I couldn't believe it when I beat my personal record for fastest mile. My last record set was last month at about 13 minutes. Last night, I ran a 10:25 minute mile. I could not believe it. I kept thinking, WHAT just happened?


I am pretty convinced that this treadmill was set up a little differently than the treadmill I am use to at the gym back home, but I don't care; I'll take a 10:25 mile, any day!

Do you run more for distance or for time?
Lately, I have been having fun seeing how fast I can complete my mile. Some days, however, I just run as far as I can until I feel the need to slow down or stop.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Better Than Brownies

I have taken more pictures of my blender this week than I would like to admit. I am just completely in love with smoothies right now. They are amazing!

Green love.
Last night, I was craving peanut butter brownies. I almost made them, too. I stopped myself and decided to make a peanut butter banana smoothie, instead. I am so glad that I did. It really hit the spot! In the words of my husband, "this smoothie is better than brownies!" That says a lot.



The peanut butter banana smoothie was simple to make. It included A LOT of spinach, which resulted in what I like to call "green love". I know, I'm weird, but roll with this for a minute.

Green Love PB Banana Smoothie:

4 tbsp peanut butter
2 cups crushed ice
3 cups baby spinach
1 small banana
1 - 4oz. container Activia Vanilla (60 calories)

This recipe serves two and it's about 285 calories per serving. The most important thing to note is that it's okay to double the recipe. You'll probably want more. I sure did!

I am definitely going to count my new smoothie adventures in my goal of making 26 new recipes before I turn 26. Since I tried both this Green Love PB Banana Smoothie and the Strawberry Banana Smoothie (click here to see that recipe) yesterday, this brings my total of new recipes tried up to 3!

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I have been itching to go for a run, lately. Last night it was cold and rainy so even though I have been looking forward to another run with my Garmin 410, running outside wasn't an option. Maybe if I had a treadmill in the house, I would have gotten a run in. The option of purchasing our own treadmill is starting to look better and better each day!

Instead of running, my last night at home before my business trip was spent on the couch with my husband. I listened to him play his acoustic guitar and sung silly lyrics to go with his music. We laughed a lot, so I will count that as calories burned for the evening.

There is a gym at the hotel I will be staying at for the next couple nights. My sister and I get on the road at about 1:00 p.m. today. We will get in to Harrisburg just in time for a late dinner. I hope to get on a treadmill tonight or tomorrow at the very least.

Do you prefer to run outside or on a treadmill?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Vegetable for Breakfast

This morning, I woke up early and tried something new! I made a strawberry and banana smoothie with spinach. I have heard that you cannot taste the spinach when adding it to a fruit smoothie, so I decided to give it a try.


I was a little nervous to try the drink once it was made. It didn't help that when I raised the glass to my mouth, the voice in my head kept shouting "spinach, spinach, spinach"! The smoothie was speckled with red and green dots. It didn't look like something I would want to drink, but I tried it.


Much to my surprise, the smoothie was delicious! Spinach in a smoothie is a great way to sneak in a serving of vegetables. I had a vegetable for breakfast and I didn't even taste it!

Here is the recipe I threw together this morning:

6 medium strawberries (tops removed)
1 small banana
1-4 oz. Activia Yogurt (vanilla)
1 handful baby spinach
1/2 cup crushed ice

One of the best things about the smoothie, aside from the taste, was that it's only about 200 calories. The worst part about making a smoothie for breakfast, however, is the clean up. Well worth the effort, though! I felt great for having 2 servings of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables out of the way, all before 7:00 a.m.!

Have you ever made a smoothie before? What's your favorite kind?
I think I may try peanut butter in my next smoothie. Peanut butter and banana sounds good right about now!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Where or What

My meal plan for this week looks odd since I will be out of town for part of the week.

M – Turkey dinner at moms
T – Pierogies with onions
W – N/A
T – N/A
F – Calzones

I do not know where or what exactly I will be eating for dinner while out of town on Wednesday and Thursday night, but I will be sure to track it using sparkpeople.com. I love that sparkpeople.com has an iPhone app, so I can track food on the go. I use it daily and love, love, love it!

I have not been very creative with dinners lately because of how busy we have been. I hope to take some time to try new fun recipes soon. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment, below! I’m always interested in new recipes, and not just because I have a goal of making 25 more recipes before I turn 26 next February. I just love trying new recipes!

My mom invited us over to dinner tonight and my mother-in-law invited us over for dinner next Monday. This is very exciting news for us because that’s one less night of groceries we have to buy. We have been doing great at budgeting for groceries each week, and having a place to go one night a week has been helping, too!

Even though it is a goal of ours to pay off our credit card this year, we do have one tempting decision to make. We really want to purchase a treadmill. We found one for $599 at Sears. We haven’t fully decided, yet. It was originally $899 but will be back on sale at the $599 price March 1st – March 10th. I’ll keep you updated on what we decide.

Do you have a treadmill? How often do you use your treadmill? What brand of treadmill do you have?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I Didn't Want to See You Again

It is Saturday morning. Time slows down a little on quiet Saturday mornings and I feel like I can just breath. As I reflect on the week that I just went through, I can say one thing for certain. Work was insane this week! As a result, I did a lot of nothing when I would get home late every night. If you want to know how to gain weight, I can tell you. I did a pretty good job at that this week. I have the perfect recipe for it, too:

Stress + Late Nights + Eating Badly + No Exercise + Few Blogs this Week = 3 lbs. weight gain

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Dear 233 lbs.,

I thought I said I didn't want to see you again. Oh, it's my fault we have met once more? Well, I won't be here for too long. I took a wrong turn and I will be leaving you very soon.

Sincerely,
Determined

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I feel determined, but a part of me also feels doubt. I want so badly to get back on track, back to my routine. This upcoming week, however, is going to be anything but routine.

Monday - 9 hours in office
Tuesday - 9 hours in office
Wednesday - 4 hours in office; 6 hour drive to Harrisburg
Thursday - 6 hour meeting in Harrisburg
Friday - 6 hour drive home

I will be going on a business trip this week. That always throws my schedule off. Losing weight requires me to put myself first, much of the time. However, so much of my time and energy goes in to my job. So much of "me" goes in to my job. I sometimes feel as if I lose myself in my job. I work as a Paralegal in a Child Welfare Agency, so the work that I do is very important. It impacts the lives of children and families. It is an incredibly stressful job, but it is equally rewarding. I love my job. I love the work that I do. It's what I've always wanted to do. Some days are harder than others, but as I said in my last post, I love the challenge. I love completing something I once thought wasn't possible. So, this week ahead will be another challenge.

Business trips are a challenge in many ways. First of all, on Wednesday I will be working in the office for 4 hours and then I will be driving to Harrisburg for 6 hours. I will probably not get in until 7:00/7:30 p.m. I will be eating a late dinner at a restaurant. So, if you have been following along, that means I will be sitting for many hours and then eating out. I will be tired and a little stressed. This is starting to look a lot like my recipe for gaining weight, above. No wonder I rarely leave a business trip without gaining a pound or two.

Thursday, I will be in a meeting for most of the day. The lunch will be provided, something I do not know ahead of time, and something I cannot plan for. Breakfast and dinner will be from a restaurant. Challenging for a person trying to lose weight, but not an impossible feat.

Friday, I will be traveling back home. Breakfast and lunch will be from a restaurant, but dinner will finally be at home again.

The challenge is to make it through my business trip without gaining weight. Here are some key things I want to challenge myself with this week:

1. Make smart choices when dining out in Harrisburg
2. Fit in time for exercise
3. When I am not in a meeting, try to enjoy myself and appreciate the opportunity of being out of town

My sister will be joining me on this business trip. This makes a world of a difference. She helps drive and she helps me feel more relaxed. It seems less of a business trip and more of a vacation with her around. You can read about the last time we were in Harrisburg together by clicking here.

My sister is happy to be active with me, whether we are jogging around the town or going to the gym. She is supportive of my weight loss goals. She is happy to accommodate my choices when eating out. I could go on forever about how amazing my sister is. She always tells me how beautiful I am, usually when I am least expecting it. She is caring, honest, and so funny. I feel like I can tell her anything without a filter and she still loves me. She is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. I am so lucky to have her as a sister. I couldn't imagine life without a sister; without her. She is simply the best.

My sister and I after jogging the bridge in Harrisburg this past summer.
My sister is a huge reason as to why my work is so important to me, too. The Agency that I work for seeks permanency for children. We deal with children who have been removed from their homes, from their parents and sometimes, sadly, from their siblings. If you think about it, if you have them, siblings will be the longest relationship we have in our lives. Our parents will one day pass, our friends and our spouses/significant others have not been there with us our entire lives. My sister, has been and I have been for her, too.

When children in the system are torn apart from their siblings, it is, in my opinion, devastating. If anyone were to know that every situation is different, it would be me. I have seen hundreds of different cases come across my desk and I know that sometimes separating siblings is necessary. However, there are times when siblings are separated simply because there are no foster homes available to take them all; it's an injustice. In times of trauma, your siblings can be of great comfort. To have them removed from you when you have already lost so much, is devastating. The relationship with my sister gives me a passion in my career. I connect with the work we do in the Agency because of my sister and the impact she has had on my life. She may not know just all of the ways that she impacts me, and those in her life, but I must tell you, she's a great person.

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Tonight I will be going to my dads for my birthday dinner. If you don't remember, I will be happy to remind you that it is still my birthday month. I am not quite sure what we will be having but pizza and a salad were mentioned.

I plan to use my yoga mat today before dinner, tonight. Today seems like a good day to bring some balance back in my life.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Balance and Challenges

I love a challenge. I love to challenge myself. I think this is why I really enjoy losing weight. Don't get me wrong, the health benefits of living a healthy lifestyle is my number one reason for losing weight, but the challenge is what makes it fun for me.

Lately, I have been feeling a little drained. I didn't follow through with my challenge to go to the gym last night and sometimes that just has to be okay. Work has been extra challenging lately as I cover for a co-worker who is on maternity leave and another who will be going on vacation, soon. While doing three different jobs makes the word "challenge" seem like an understatement at times, I really do enjoy accomplishing something that I didn't think would be possible.

Work has been a constant challenge lately, and while it is tiring, it is very rewarding; and I love it! The down side to this is that I have had less fight in me for my personal challenges. Life, however, is all about balance. Just because I am giving a little extra of myself at work this week, doesn't mean that I am giving up on my personal challenges all together. It won't always be this challenging, and I'll be ready for the shift. The important thing is to recognize when you are pushing yourself to the limit, and give yourself a break. Burning out is not an option. I have been down that road way too many times. Life is to be enjoyed, and it can be enjoyed by practing balance.

Following my meal plan is something that I did accomplish yesterday and I plan to do the same, today.

Meal plan for today:

Breakfast: Egg and Cheese Muffin
A.M. Snack: Pudding
Lunch: Soup and Salad
P.M. Snack: Fruit Snacks
Dinner: Calzones

I plan on grocery shopping for some fruits and veggies this weekend so next week I can eat less fruit snacks and more of the real thing. Sometimes you don't realize what you're missing in your diet until you write it out.

Do you keep track of what you eat daily?

How many fruits and/or veggies are you planning on eating today?

Photo from this past weekend with my friend, Mindy.

P.S. One of my best friends, Mindy, is celebrating her birthday this weekend! She's a pretty neat girl, the neatest you'll ever meet. If you wish her a happy birthday in a comment, I bet she would really like that.

Happy Birthday, Minders!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Just Hanging Around

It's been a few days since I have blogged. I've been thrown a little off balance but I am finding my way back.


This weekend, my husband and I did a few projects around the house. Actually, I probably shouldn't say "we". I mostly layed on the bed with the pups all day and watched him work as he made a light fixture, hung an old window above our headboard, hung our flat screen tv, and made shelves in the bedroom. I didn't help much but I was doing really well at cheering him on!




This week has been a little weird. I worked from home on Monday since our office was closed for President's day, and then I called in this morning due to inclement weather. The roads were a sheet of ice and then it had snowed on top of that. I didn't want to risk the drive in to work and I had the time, so I took it. I feel like this week hasn't really even begun and it's already Thursday.

I didn't make or follow a workout plan this week, but it's never too late to start! I am still just hanging around 230 lbs. and I can't wait to make my official breakthrough in to the 220's! It will most likely not happen this week since I haven't been in the gym and I haven't been eating the best, but I am not giving up!

Today is a new day and it will be great!

My plan for the day:

Breakfast: Egg and Cheese Muffin
A.M. Snack: Pudding
Lunch: Soup and Salad
P.M. Snack: Fruit Snacks
Dinner: Chicken Salad

Gym or Wii Fit after work.

What are your plans for the day?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weight Loss Rewards + Dreaming of Summer

I try to reward myself with something for every 5 pounds I lose, bringing me closer to my ultimate goal of losing a total of 100 pounds. I keep track of all of my weight loss rewards in the "Weight Loss Rewards" tab, above.

This past week, I have reached a new all time low of 230 lbs. I went shopping two nights ago not knowing what I might find, but knowing that it was time for a new reward gift. Nothing was really appealing to me until I got in to the fitness section of the store (times sure have changed for me)! I was drawn to the wide array of yoga mats they had in stock. There were some priced as low at $7, so I grabbed a pink one and didn't think twice.


The yoga mat is a good reward in that it will help me as I continue on in my weight-loss journey. I have hard wood floors so doing yoga, floor exercises and stretching will be more comfortable with this mat. I am also looking forward to spring and summer when I can use this mat outside in the grass, or on the stone patio by my pond. Strecthing by the pond with a cup of tea is one of my favorite things to do before work in the mornings (again, times have defintiely changed). I can't wait until we get that warmer weather so I can spend some time outside, again!


Our pond in the summer.

Our pathway in the summer.

Our backyard, last summer.

What is your favorite time of year?
My answer in late winter will be summer, but if you ask me in late summer, the answer will be fall!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

I hope that you all had a great Valentine's Day!

Last night, I made my first ever homemade frosting for red velvet cupcakes. I used the recipe from Taste of Home. This is the first new recipe I have tried as part of my goal to try 26 new recipes before I turn 26 next February.

Recipe # 1 of 26: Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons skim milk

Directions:
In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.
 






I had no idea how easy it was to make frosting! This batch turned out really good and I am looking forward to trying recipes for other kinds of frosting in the future.

Have you ever made homemade frosting before? What is your favorite kind?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chocolate for Breakfast

I had chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered grapes for breakfast. This could mean only one thing; it's Valentines Day!

Thanks to my mom and step-dad for the pleasant surprise at work this morning!

Happy Valentines Day, readers! I hope that your day is filled with love, happiness and just a little bit of chocolate.

I would now ask that you remove your hat and give a moment of silence for "the old me" who use to think I needed to deprive myself of chocolate or a certain food to lose weight and be healthy.

Say this with me, "moderation, not deprivation". This is now my motto, my way of living. This is what has helped me lose the weight! If you're an old time reader of my blog, you may have heard this phrase 10 million times before. Bare with me.

So many years were spent thinking that I needed to deprive myself of some of my favorite foods to lose weight. That's not the case. Depriving myself of chocolate covered strawberries on Valentine's day would make this girl very sad and maybe even a little cranky. That's no way to live! EAT the chocolate covered strawberries, and don't even think about feeling guilty about it later!

If you are reading this and thinking, "Kay has gone off her rocker; she is losing it." Then you're partially right. I AM losing it; losing weight, that is!

"But how do I eat chocolate when I am trying to lose weight, and not feel guilty about it?"

Repeat after me: "moderation, not deprivation."

So, you ate chocolate for breakfast, or maybe you had a few too many heart shaped cookies. Are you going to do that tomorrow, too? Or the next day, or the day after that? My answer is probably not. So, why feel guilty? Enjoy the little "splurge", if you will, and move on! Actually, scratch that. Get MOVING! The best way to make up for those extra heart shaped cookies you ate would be a little extra time in the gym.

Living a healthier lifestyle is an everyday thing. Every day! Some days I am better than others, but the important thing is that I am happy. If I wasn't happy during my weight loss journey, it wouldn't last very long. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I am happy and feel empowered when I abstain from a certain food. This would usually occur after I have eaten too much and I have decided to just stop before the word "moderation" becomes a distant memory. But eating chocolate covered strawberries on Valentines day makes me happy.

What makes you happy, today? Abstaining from a certain treat or treating yourself?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Alert the Media

I’ve got some exciting news! In my second week back to the gym, I have beaten my fastest mile. Don’t laugh at the number; this is a big deal for me! I started years ago at a 20 minute mile. (Yes, that is basically a walking pace.) When I started trying to time my fastest mile this year, I began at about 17/16 minutes. I dropped down to 15 minutes, and then beat that with 14 minutes. I am now down to 13:46 minutes!


I didn’t even want to go to the gym last night. If it weren’t for my husband, I definitely wouldn’t have gone. He motivated me to carry on, to stick with my plan. We got to the gym at 6:00 and left at 6:20. I said that I went to the gym, but we didn’t stay long; just long enough to beat my fastest mile (yeah!).

I know that I will have to do some serious self motivating to get myself to the gym tonight. My husband is in night class, and I can already picture myself cuddled on the couch with my dogs instead of going to the gym. I need to push those thoughts out of my mind and just stick with my plan!

So far, I have stuck to both my dinner and workout plans for the week!

Meal plan:

M – Chili (done)
T – Pierogies with Veggies (done)
W – Chicken with Veggies
T – Chicken with Veggies
F – Calzones

Workout plan:
(gym is closed TH & F this week)

M – Gym (done)
T – Gym (done)
W – Gym
T – Rest
F – Rest

Making and sticking to a plan each week has really helped me through my weight-loss journey. I was really excited to find that this morning I weighed-in at my lowest weight of 230 lbs. I am SO close to losing a total of 40 lbs. So far, I have lost 38 lbs. and I am feeling great!



I had to take a picture this morning when I noticed my collar bone for the first time in 5 years! 38 lbs. later and they are coming out of hiding.

I alerted the media (on twitter and instagram) at once!

Do you have a twitter account? I just started using mine and I think I'm getting the hang of the hash tags and such. You can follow me, here: https://twitter.com/goaloflosing

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Dangerous Treadmill

My name is Kay and I am addicted to Subway. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Subway since my husband and I had lunch there on Sunday. I have gone through a lot of different phases with Subway. I was in love with the turkey and provolone at first, then it was the seafood (sorry to gross you out if you hate seafood), now it is the buffalo chicken on flat bread. That is what I had for lunch and dinner on Sunday. I split my 12 inch between the two meals and it was a very good day!

Just in case you're wondering, that's not Edward Cullen in the background. It's my cute husband :)

I think that subway will be seeing me very soon; especially since we have one gift card left. Consider it spent.

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Last night my husband and I went to the gym as soon as I got home from work. We use the free gym available at our local school district. The high school is not too far from our house so it’s convenient and affordable. Who can’t afford free, right?

When my husband and I got to the gym, the only two working treadmills (I said it was free…) were being used. We decided to do some work on the stationary bikes while the two people “finished up” on the treadmills. After 10 minutes, I decided to try the rowing machine. I peaked at their time on the treadmill and it was almost 45 minutes. I spent a little time trying the rowing machine for the first time (which was super fun) and decided to peak at their time again. It was nearing an hour. I was a little frustrated because all I wanted was 10 measly minutes to warm up, run and cool down. Just 10! When it got over an hour and they were still on the treadmills, I decided to give one of the barely-working treadmills a go. This particular treadmill is fairly dangerous as the belt is loose and makes you almost fall every two minutes; but I used it and got my run in for the night, anyway (*without falling*). When we left, the treadmill people were still going strong. Darn you, treadmill people! Share.

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After the gym, we walked in to our house and were instantly hungry. It smelled amazing as soon as we walked through the door. I had thrown all of the ingredients for our favorite Simple Slow Cooker Chili in the crock pot early that morning. That was easily the best idea I had all day. It was really nice to have dinner ready for us as soon as we were ready for it; and we were ready!


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I almost forgot. The gym is going to be closed on the 14th – 18th. This is changing up my workout plan for the rest of the week, and will impact next week, too.

M – Gym (done)
T – Gym
W – Gym
T – Rest
F – Rest
S – Wii Fit
S – Rest
M – Rest

That’s the new plan. Let’s hope I remember not to go to the gym on the days it’s closed!

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What’s your favorite machine to use when working out?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Opportunities

It's Monday, already? I guess so! Yesterday, my husband and I went grocery shopping for the week ahead. I wore the new jeans that I bought when we went shopping on our date night on Friday. These jeans are two sizes smaller than my old pair and they fit great!



Before we went shopping for groceries, we made a dinner plan for the week. I worked on my workout plan, too. Even though I wasn't very happy about being in the gym last Friday, I decided to keep it on the schedule. It was actually a nice way to end the week! I may need reminded of this come Friday, after work.
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“Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” -Jim  Lefebvre

I just found that quote recently and I love it! I truly believe it, too. Things that I use to view as obstacles have now turned in to opportunities. For example, a birthday party with cake and ice cream. I use to dread going to functions whenever I was on a "diet". That's no way to live; dreading functions just because of the type of food that is going to be there. As my dieting mentality faded and the idea of living a healthy lifestyle emerged, I realized that a function with tempting food isn't an obstacle, it's an opportunity; an opportunity to overcome my weakness, an opportunity to succeed. 
Do you have any obstacles that you can turn in to opportunities in your life?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dropped Two Pant Sizes

I am super excited from my weigh-in this morning. I try to do an official weigh-in every Sunday morning, and try to keep track on my weekly weigh-in's tab, above. I have had a few temporary leaves of absence but I have been back at it since the beginning of this year! Anyways, I am excited because I am down from 234 lbs. last Sunday to 231.4 lbs. this Sunday! This is my lowest weight during my weight-loss journey, to date! (pause for pat on the back)

Not only am I excited, but I'm surprised for this loss, too. Yesterday consisted of eating out at Texas Roadhouse and Menchies, the best frozen yogurt place I have ever been to!

Before we went to Menchies, my husband and I took my mom and step dad out for dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. My mom feeds us so often, so it was nice to take them out for a change. Before my mom left the restaurant, she actually told us that she was making meatball subs and pasta salad tomorrow (today) for lunch, and said we had to come over. See what I mean? She loves to feed us and we aren't complaining! Being that my mom lives a couple blocks away from us, it's not unusual for me to give her a call on my way home from work to see what she is making for dinner. I often have the choice of either sticking with my dinner plan or going over to have my alternative dinner plan at my moms house. Actually, my mother-in-law lives a little over a mile away from us, too, and she often tells us what she is making for lunch/dinner. Moms are just great like that! We shall never go hungry living between two moms.

My Steak Salad from Texas Roadhouse

After dinner at Texas Roadhouse, my husband and I spent a good four hours shopping at the mall. I got two new pairs of work pants and one new pair of jeans. Going shopping for pants has never really been a fun task for me. Pants are either too long or too small for my shape. For a majority of the shopping trip yesterday, the pants I tried on were too big and long. Pants being too big is unusual for me, I was trying on my size (24) and they were all too big. It was finally at the last store when I decided I would take in three different sizes of pants to try on. I found a style of work pants that I liked and picked out a 24, 22 and 20. I first tried on the 24; too big. I then tried on the 22, doubting they would fit. I zipped them up and they were actually very loose in the legs. I set them in the maybe pile and decided to try on the size 20, just to see how much more work I had to do before fitting in to this size. I haven't been able to fit in to a size 20 pant for at least 4 years, so I was very doubtful that I would be able to pull them up over my waist. When I zipped up the size 20, I was stunned. They fit perfectly! I think that I spent about 2 entire minutes in those pants, just looking at them in the mirror, speechless. When I took them off, I double checked the tag, just to be sure. It was a size 20, alright! I have dropped TWO pant sizes! I don't even know when this officially occurred because I despise shopping for pants. It has been quite a while since I have done so, at least two years since I have had any luck finding pants that I have liked and that fit right. Yesterday's shopping trip, however, was a complete success!


After our shopping trip, we went to Menchies. I don't know what took me so long to try fro yo (frozen yogurt) but I am officially hooked! I don't ever want ice cream again. (Don't quote me on that last sentence.) Frozen yogurt is just so creamy and light. It's truly amazing. The shop was really fun, too! You pick your bowl, pick your flavor of fro yo, add whatever toppings your heart desires, weigh then pay! It's $.45/ounce, and worth every penny! After we got home, I was thinking of excuses to stop there again. I think that Menchies is going to be included in many date nights to come! I'm trying to think of an excuse to go back today.


Vanilla yogurt, white chocolate chips, fresh raspberries, fresh strawberries, yogurt covered pretzels, and animal crackers.
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Have you ever tried fro yo, before?

Do you prefer ice cream or fro yo?

What are you favorite toppings for your fro yo?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Not Ditching My Date

So, I am pretty excited to say that I saw 232 lbs. on the scale this morning! I haven't seen that low of a number since July of last year. Only a couple more pounds and I'll be out of the 230's for good!

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Last night, I went to my sisters last basketball game for the season. I was only able to attend one other game this season. It seems like I'm a bad luck charm for them because whenever I go, they lose. That still didn't keep me and my little brother from cheering my sister on with a sign!


I didn't get home until 8:30 last night and I was beyond hungry for dinner at that point. I quickly took out the George Foreman grill and made some tuna melts with pepper jack cheese. I only ate one and put the rest in the freezer for lunches. I actually had one for lunch today with my soup and it was really good!

For dinner tonight, we are making our favorite calzones! I am planning on going to the gym with my husband before dinner. To be honest, I really don't feel like going to the gym tonight. My "aunt flow" decided to visit this morning and the cramps are killer. Besides, I don't know what I was thinking planning a gym session on a Friday night. All I want to do is go home, eat dinner and relax after a long week. With that being said, I'm not going to let anything get the best of me. I am determined to stick with it! I've never regretted a workout but I almost always regret when I don't.

Gym, I hope you're ready for me because I am not backing out on our date!

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What are you plans for tonight?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Resolutions. Remember Those?

Before I get in to my resolution talk, I want to announce that I am completely killing my workout plan for this week!


I made my long awaited return to the gym on Monday after a few months off and went back again last night. I am not doing the C25K program at the gym like I had originally planned because I was actually ahead of where I thought I would be. I didn't think I would even be able to run for a minute straight but it turns out I didn't lose everything from my time off from the gym. I was able to kick out 5 minutes of running with a couple minute walking intervals in between. I'm not pushing myself too far this week since it is my first week back, but I look forward to slowly increasing my time. Before my miscarriage in November, I was working on my fastest mile. I want to build my endurance back up before trying that again.

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The beginning of February has come at me quite fast. It almost always does with my birthday being on the 4th. Before I get too far in to February, I would like to look back at the New Years Resolutions that I made for this year. Do you remember those? I am trying to keep mine in the front of my mind. I will be reaching my goals this year!

New Years Resolutions for 2013:

1. Reach goal weight.
My goal weight is 168 lbs. I began my weight loss journey at 268 lbs. It has been a goal of mine since Spring of 2011 to lose 100 lbs. I have done well at losing a majority of my weight and maintained it through the year of 2012. Now, it's time to lose, again! After having a miscarriage in November 2012, my husband and I decided that we would like to try to get pregnant again at some point in our future. With that in mind, reaching my goal weight is something I would like to do sooner rather than later.

2. Eliminate credit card debt.
Since I would like to begin trying to conceive sometime in the future, I would love to take that next step while being credit card debt free! There is a large amount of our money going toward our credit cards each month. Once we eliminate that debt, we will actually have money to put in savings for a change.

3. Enjoy life, just as it is, right now.
I want to work on taking some time each day to take a deep breath, step out of myself for a moment and look around. I want to take time each day to enjoy my life, just as it is, right now. My husband and I are blessed with a wonderful home, pets and careers. We enjoy coming home to one another, making dinner and relaxing at night. I know this is something we should be cherishing each day because it will not always be like this. One day, we may have a child to come home to and take care of; I know our lives will change a lot once that day comes. While I am excited to one day start our family, I know that now is the time to enjoy each other, just as we are.

Progress:

Resolution #1
I am down from 239.6 lbs. at the end of December to 233.4 lbs. as of yesterday. That's 6 pounds down for my first month. I'll take it!


Resolution #2

My husband and I have transitioned in to a new way of spending. We take out enough cash for two weeks to cover groceries and gas. We have envelopes for each, and only use the allotted amount; once it's out, it's out. So far, these past couple weeks we have been using less than what has been allotted. The extra money is our fun money; there is an envelope for that, too! When I save on groceries, we get to have more fun! It makes meal planning even more exciting. I think this will also help us stay on track for paying off our debt.

Resolution #3
I don't know that I haven't been enjoying every day just as it is, but I am working on it. I think that I have ended the month of January better than I began it. Definitely feeling less stressed and more balanced!

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Did you make resolutions this year? How are you doing with them? Remember each day is a new day to work toward your goals!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

From XXL Down to XL

Maybe I should be honest with myself and just consider the entire month of February as my birthday month. I will be having dinner with my dad's side of the family to celebrate my birthday at the end of this month, so it only makes sense to extend this celebration until then, right? Okay, it's settled then. I am celebrating a birthday month!

Some pretty awesome presents from some pretty awesome people!

Last night, my husband and I met a couple of my best friends since high school out for dinner for my birthday month. We ate at TGIFriday's, an old time favorite restaurant of mine. I had a lot of fun catching up with them and I can't wait until the next time we can all get together again!


Last night for dinner, I ordered a side salad and the petite steak meal with tomato and mozzarella salad and a side of broccoli.


Since my friends told the waitress it was my birthday, I was sung a birthday song and was given a free sundae, too! I went a little over calories last night, but it was totally worth it. Besides, I'll just be making up for it in the gym tonight! This journey isn't about deprivation, it's about moderation and a whole lot of give and take. I took in some extra calories last night so I'll burn off some extra calories tonight. Balance, balance, balance!

Speaking of my journey, I was completely thrilled to buy my first XL shirt from Old Navy this week! I have had to buy XXL shirts from that store for the past five years; I repeat, FIVE YEARS! It was an amazing feeling to be back down to an XL!


Between work and the birthday dinner, I was away from home for nearly 13 hours yesterday. My dogs really missed me, so we ended the night with a cuddle fest on the couch.


The perfect way to end any night if you ask me!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Giveaway Winner and Birthday Week

It's time for the moment we've all been waiting for; the winner of my birthday GIVEAWAY! (cue the shouts, cheers and clapping) 

Giveaway Gifts
There were 32 comments counting as entries for the birthday giveaway sponsored by Thirty One. I numbered each comment 1 through 32 and used the true random number generation from random.org to pick the winner. There was no way I could pick the winner myself, because I wanted you all to be a winner and that's just way too much pressure for me. SO... the winner of my first but certainly not last giveaway is...



CINDY (clogzilla(at)yahoo(dot)com)! Congratulations! Email me at goaloflosing(at)yahoo(dot)com with your shipping address so I can send these amazing gifts your way!

As for the rest of you, thank you so much for entering to win! This was a lot of fun and I can not wait to host another giveaway in the future!

Also, a special thanks to Thirty One Gifts for sponsoring this giveaway. If you or somebody you know may be interested in sponsoring another giveaway, send me an email; I just can't wait to do this again! I love giving back to my readers!

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So, I'm not quite sure if you remember me saying that I was only going to celebrate my "birthday weekend" this year. No, you don't remember? Okay good, then we agree; THAT never happened. I am now celebrating a "birthday week". It ends on Friday. (Dear husband, I'm sorry. You will have to hear 'because it's my birthday' for a few more days).

During my actual birth day yesterday, we did a lot of fun birthday things. First of all, we both took the day off from work. Mostly, we did that so we could do a lot of this...



We spent some quality time on the couch with our favorite dogs. As you can see in this photo, Topher spent a majority of the morning yawning and it appears that Max was severely disturbed to find that I was no longer sitting next to him. He was clearly under the impression that we were not getting up from the couch until early to mid afternoon. He was thoroughly disappointed when we left around 2:00 p.m. to go shopping at the mall.

After the mall, we went to Lowes to go buy some supplies to start our vegetable garden. We bought planting pots, seeds and some seed starting mix.


We knew exactly what we wanted because we had a plan before we left the house...


Maybe I shouldn't have showed you that. If my husband knows these garden plans have been leaked, I don't know what he will do. He trusted me with these top secret garden plans. He takes this gardening stuff pretty seriously. Good thing it's my birthday week; I can get away with a lot more during my birthday week. For instance, I can get away with writing "corn row" in our garden plans instead of just writing "corn". Why does this matter? Well, it matters because I really wanted to write "corn row"; like the hairstyle... do you get it? Okay, moving on...

After walking around Lowes for an hour (that place just sucks you in!), we went out to dinner. We ate Chinese food. I know, it wasn't part of my dinner plan for the week, but this is my birthday week and sometimes dinner plans don't get followed during birthday weeks. Actually, let's just forget about the dinner plan for this week because we are meeting friends out for dinner to celebrate my birthday tonight, too. I'll try again next week! (P.S. I weighed in a pound down from last week bringing me back down to 234 lbs. Yay!)


After dinner, we decided to check out this place called Sam's Club. You may have heard about it before. We have not been invited to this club, but we decided to crash the party and take a look inside.


We do not have a membership, but we are contemplating getting one. I was almost instantly convinced to buy the membership once I saw the candy aisle..


However, we did leave without getting a membership. We went next door to Giant Eagle and bought our groceries for the week, instead.


After putting the groceries away at home, I changed into my workout clothes and did a birthday workout. (Putting "birthday" in front of this week's activities is just part of the requirements for my birthday week). I walked and ran intervals to complete my birthday mile. I actually haven't been in the gym for a couple months, so I was super excited to be able to almost pick right back up from where I left off in November. I walked 2 minutes, ran 5 minutes, walked 2 minutes, ran 5 minutes, walked 2 minutes, ran 2.5 minutes, then cooled down for 1.5 minutes. I felt really good after. I forgot how much I love the treadmill when it's snowy and cold outside!


So, Sam's Club members, if you are out there... a question for you:

We didn't really need any bulk items right now, and it didn't seem like a great deal unless you're planning on buying bulk. Am I right, club members? Give me the deets. Is the membership worth it?