Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pop Sucks!!

If you know me even just a teeny weeny bit you probably already know that I really freaking hate pop!! Despise, despise, despise that crap!

I used to have a pop addiction. When I lived with Channy in our apartment about 2.5 years ago, I drank ginger-ale like it was the last thing I’d ever do. I would have 3-5 cans a day and would squirt lime into it. It was my go-to drink. No wonder when I moved out I was at my heaviest weight! Pop is basically liquid candy. So disgusting.. and YES (!!!) I do think diet pop is even worse. People drink the stuff at breakfast, lunch and dinner! Each can roughly contains 150 calories, most of which are from sugar (usually high-fructose corn syrup). This is the equivalent of 10 TSP OF TABLE SUGAR!!

Benefits of drinking pop (as if there are any)

  • Caffeine- which can make you more alert and more able to concentrate
    • too much can cause insomnia, anxiety, irritablity and tremors

That’s it my friends.

Disadvantages of drinking pop (here we go...)

  • Added sugar- There is so much damn sugar in pop.. it’s kind of ridiculous. Oh and by the way.. just 20 minutes after drinking pop your blood sugar levels will go through the roof!! This will cause an insulin burst. Want to know what happens after that? Your liver turns the sugar into fat. Lovely right? It can also cause heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If you drink pop you have a  80% increased chance of getting type 2 diabetes
  • It makes you fat! - can cause obesity and serious health problems. If you drink 1 pop a day and don’t change anything else in your diet you can gain up to 15 lbs a year. Also just by drinking 1 pop a day you are 27% more likely to be overweight than those who choose to not drink pop everyday
  • Destroys your teeth- It is very high in acid which softens tooth substance and forms plaque which eats away enamel. Enamel breakdown can lead to cavities( added sugar also causes cavities). Sugar and acid mixed together can make your teeth decay a lot quicker. Plus pop stains your teeth (eww!). Imagine losing all of your teeth because you couldn’t kick a pop addiction?
  • Phosphoric Acid- Linked to kidney stones
  • Caffeine (also a disadvantage)- can make you feel dehydrated as it removes water from the body
  • Its addicting- The way your body reacts to the sugar in the pop has been compared to the way your body reacts to HEROIN
  • No health advantages- No vitamins or essential minerals
  • Bad to the bone- Literally. High quantities of phosphorous will suck calcium out of your bones. Increased soft drink consumption is a major factor that can lead to osteoporosis. 80% of people affected by this are women. 20% are men
  • Contains Sodium Benzoate- Ew. This is used to preserve food! This adds sodium and decreases the availability of potassium in the body. Sodium Benzoate is also linked to asthma and eczema
  • Soda can coating- the coating contains BPA (Bisphenyl-A) which is known as a cancer causing chemical. This chemical has also been linked to reproductive abnormalities

Then you have the debate: regular pop vs diet pop. How about NO POP!? I personally believe that diet pop is worse than regular pop. Not only does it include artificial sweeteners that turn around and make you hungrier it can cause a lot of health issues. Here are a list of health issues associated with drinking “diet” pop:

  • Kidney Decline- Kidney function can start declining after drinking 2 diet pop’s a day. Kidney decline is not associated with drinking sugar-sweetened pop
  • Higher Risk of Metabolic Syndrome- One pop a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome which can potentially put you at risk for heart disease. Some other symptoms? Belly fat and high cholesterol.
  • Obesity- And you thought diet pop would HELP you lose weight, eh? Artificial sweeteners can prevent the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods. Your body is tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar when it’s not. This causes you to overeat!
  • Mold Inhibitors-  They are in almost all diet sodas. These chemicals can severely damage DNA in the mitochondria and can potentially inactivate it The mitochondria converts energy into forms that are useable by the cell.

It all comes down to that crappy artificial sweetener.

Diet pop may not contain any calories but the potential risks associated with consuming artificial sweeteners scare me enough to not even think about drinking it ever again. Sadly, diet pop seems to be a huge “thing”. In children consumption has doubled over the last decade and has risen in adults by almost 25%.

Quitting something you’re addicted to is hard..  here are a few steps on quitting the awful habit of drinking pop
  1. Clear all pop out of your house
  2. Have healthy drinks available in your home like water, tea, fruit juices (I only drink cranberry which is rarely). Also have a water bottle near you at all times
  3. Get enough sleep so you don’t need caffeinated beverages to keep you awake throughout the day
  4. Push through the cravings and withdrawal. Feelings of anxiety, restlessness and cravings may happen but push through!

Can you believe all of the crap the can happen from one tiny can of pop? For those who are sitting in front of their computers or phones drinking a soda.. what do you think now?


Thanks for reading!


Steph

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Another week.. Another review!


Steph
This week has been great! I was on track, active and have eliminated snacking past 9pm! I may not have stuck to the workout schedule I set but there were a few factors that affected it. On Friday I was so exhausted I could barely function, so doing tae bo was out of the question. I think on Wednesday and Thursday night I probably had a total of maybe 5 hours sleep so I ended up passing out at 9:30 on Friday. I did end up waking up around 9am feeling refreshed and energized. I decided to try my new Tae Bo dvd for the first time. It was kind of different than what I remember .. but OMG my muscles KILLED all day saturday and 10 times worse on Sunday. I was hurting! I did end up doing Zumba on Monday with Jenn and our friend Elisha. It was soo much fun! I also did yoga again on Tuesday. So I did stick to working out 4 times last week but just didn’t stick to the days. Also, I am starting to feel like this is becoming a habit.. so that’s good! I weighed in this morning and was down 1.4 lbs! It feels good to lose! Since I did gain last week I decided to weigh in every day this week to track the fluctuations. It’s kind of crazy how working out and eating healthy affects the scale! At least I know I am gaining muscle. I want to thank everyone for their support this week. Your comments, motivation and kind words have been wonderful!

Jenn
My week was not one of my best. I did continue to make time for exercise, but I feel like I really was not pushing myself. I opted for the easy exercises. My parents came over Saturday evening and watched Noah while Brandin and I went out for dinner and a movie. It was so nice to get out but we were both ready to go home and be with Noah, we definitely love having him with us everywhere we go. It is important to make time just one on one with your partner, it was nice. This past weekend I did not track and ate a lot of junk, I felt disgusting Monday. I was bloated and feeling blah. I was extremely strict Monday and lost the water weight I gained over the weekend, thankfully! My husband and I did a lot of changes around the house and it’s refreshing seeing things different. Noah this week tried blueberries and he loves them.

Here’s to another week towards the thin!!
xo

- Steph & Jenn

Monday, January 28, 2013

Help from.. Reddit!?

I frequent Reddit quite regularly. Most of the time I visit the same subreddits but there are times when I’m bored and I’ll search for new subreddits to browse. Quite a few months back I found a few that I think are worth sharing. They offer weight loss tips, support, praise and motivational stories. Here they are:

LoseIt - http://www.reddit.com/r/loseit
PointsPlus - http://www.reddit.com/r/pointsplus
ProgressPics - http://www.reddit.com/r/progresspics
GetMotivated - http://www.reddit.com/r/GetMotivated/
Fitness - http://www.reddit.com/r/fitness
Healthyfood - http://www.reddit.com/r/HealthyFood/
Nutrition - http://www.reddit.com/r/nutrition
Body Acceptance - http://www.reddit.com/r/BodyAcceptance/
LoseIt Classic - http://www.reddit.com/r/loseit_classic/

Whether you are a reddit user or not, please feel free to check these out!

Steph

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tired of the Same ol' Breakfast?

Last weekend I decided to try something new. Something that I had frequently looked at but never actively tried! If you’re a Weight Watcher you’ve possibly already heard of the blog Skinny Taste. This is a website filled with low-fat recipes that includes the WW pointsplus+ values! It makes it really convenient and easy to make delicious but WW friendly meals.

I decided to try something new for breakfast as I find it the hardest. I made the Skinny Overnight Oats in a Jar both Friday night and Saturday night. It took me less than 5 minutes and provided me with a DELICIOUS breakfast the next day :).

Here is the recipe. I highly recommend it and give it a 9/10! I made a few changes and it still tasted yummmmmmmy!! I might make it again for breakfast tomorrow because now I’m craving it!!

Heres how I made it:

Ingredients (minus brown sugar! whoops)


1/4 cup Oats (I used Large Flake Oats and they worked fine)
1/2 cup unsweetened skim milk (or almond, soy)
1/2 Banana (she called for ¼ but I love banana taste!!)
1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup blueberries (or any other berry)
1/2 Tsp brown sugar (I don’t own NuNaturals liquid vanilla stevia)
pinch cinnamon

Notes: I used Frozen Banana and it worked fine!

Mix all ingredients in a jar (or a tupperware container) and put in the fridge until the morning. Top with your favourite oatmeal topping! Enjoy!

What it looks like after you mix in all ingredients:


Finished product with a sexy Instagram'd finish!! :)


I topped mine with crushed walnuts and mmmm it added a little something something!!

6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus+! Usually I try to stay in the 3-5 points range for breakfast but this was sooo filling I just didn’t care! It kept me full for hours!


Also, the next day I prepared one with raspberries and less cinnamon. Here's how it looked:



I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Thanks for reading!

Steph


Friday, January 25, 2013

Eating When Bored

I've noticed over time that I am struggling with a pattern that I have set. When I am bored or watching a show, I always feel that I need to snack. I don't know what it is that triggers me to do this but the need sometimes becomes so overwhelming. I have started to try different ways of beat this craving to snack. Doing a quick 10 minute exercise generally really helps a lot! Once I'm done my 10 minute workout I don't have the craving anymore. Weird, right? I wish I knew why it works, but I just know that it does. Another way to fight the urge is to drink herbal tea. 

Some people may call this emotional eating. I know I always considered emotional eating to be when I was sad, angry or rewarding myself with treats. I have now begun to realize that snacking habits can definitely be related to all sorts of emotions and habits. I speak for myself when I say that if I am stressed or unhappy food is not on my mind whatsoever! I would never be that girl sitting crying and indulging into a tub of ice cream or any other treats. I am the person that likes to celebrate using food or just simply because habit screams at me when I am watching tv! 


Readers, please make sure that you are properly nourished and hydrated, these factors could also potentially make you crave unnecessary snacks. Don't forget that being tired is a huge culprit, your body starts craving foods just to keep your energy up. 


So before snacking and consuming unnecessary foods, ask yourself if you really need it or is this just our body's way of telling us we’re bored.


This is based on my own personal struggle, I know there are many other people out there the same as me. I hope some of my strategies help you, because they have helped me! If the snacking urge arises and you know it's not due to any of the triggers I have mentioned. Refer to Stephie's post about snacks, she mentions a lot of great delicious options! 


- Jenn

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Visual of my Journey

Hey all,

Some of you may not know this about me.. or may not know me at all. I wanted to share with you how far I've come :). This may not be where I am hoping to end up but I am finally happy with myself. Not just because I've lost 40 lbs but because I finally love myself for the person I am.. inside and out. 

The other night I went through pictures on my laptop (which I rarely ever go on anymore). I saw some pictures of myself from October 2010-January 2011 and I was amazed. I couldn't believe the transformation I have gone through since then. Check it out:





Before


October 2010- Chan's going away party


October 2010 - Beatoberfest


Chans Visit home January 2011


December 2010


December 2010


Sometime in 2010


December 2010

I look back on these pictures and I wonder how the hell I let myself go so much. But then I look at these next pictures and I think "Stop living in the past!!"



After

 October 2012

Aruba! November 2012

P.S No I do not live in hotels haah!!

December 2012

January 2013- My zumba wear! (minus the furry boots) 

January 2013- Face Comparision shot. Being silly :P 

January 18-2013

January 22-2013

It's kind of crazy how much I (and others) can already see a difference since the beginning of this month! It feels great!! I'm really proud of myself for getting back on track so well :)

For those people who think they can't do it.. it just takes effort. A lot of times certain things won't happen unless you do something about it. This is one of those things! 

Thanks for reading!

Steph!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Week in Review



Since Chan was gone for a lot of last week she will be updating you soon. For now, Jenn and I will be posting about our week :). Here it is!

Steph
This has been a tough week for me and I struggled so much. It’s really hard for me to let you (and myself) down so this week I have decided to make a big change. I’ve decided that I am going to use my own damn advice and set some attainable and realistic goals!

Here is a list of things I have struggled with this week:

  • Overeatting/Snacking (mostly late at night)
  • Not working out
  • being lazy (on week nights)

Here is what I am going to do to correct those things:

Overeatting/Snacking: This week I am going to plan 2 days in advance. I am going to go through my cupboards tonight and make a plan. If I fill my day with high protein/high fiber foods I may be less tempted to snack at night. Also, if I plan out a snack after dinner and have 0 point foods cut up and readilly available I won’t be as tempted to grab the crap food and will  instead have berries or some chopped veggies. I am also going to not eat past 9pm this week unless it is a 0 point food. This week I am cracking down on that!

Not working out: I am also going to preplan this! I am going to try and do something 4 days this week with the option of an additional workout on either Sunday or Monday . Here is my plan:

Thursday: Yoga (in class)

Friday: Taebo DVD at home
Saturday: Yoga DVD at home
Tuesday: Zumba at Studio

Being Lazy: This one isn’t too bad as a lot of the time I have things going on during the week. This week if I find myself tempted to do nothing or find myself sitting on the couch I am either going to pull out my exercise ball and do a 10 minute mini workout or I am going to clean! Both get me activity points and they both get me off the couch!

This is a really long one but I needed this to help me plan! This week is going to be great and I am going to be successful!

Jenn

This week was a harder week for me, I had a personal physical issue that limited my workout routine. I still managed to get active though, and I continued to track the food that I ate. I am feeling really motivated and ready to get more exercise now that I’m feeling better. I still managed to lose 1.4 pounds this week! Yay!

Sleeping patterns this week were really bad. Noah was getting two teeth at the same time, so we had really late nights and we napped at weird times of the day. I’m happy to say that my little guy now has 5 chompers! He is also getting really good at crawling, each day he gets faster and faster. I’m so proud of his progress.

I am happy to say that I managed to eat vegetables daily these past few weeks. Anyone who knows me, totally understands how hard this can be for me. I’m actually starting to enjoy it! My metabolism has also increased.

This blog is helping me tremendously, I feel like I not only need to do this for myself but for everyone else too, it is extremely motivational.


Thanks for reading!
Steph & Jenn

Jenn's 30 Day Challenge

“No Matter What, Sweat Everyday.” - UnderArmour


Week 1

I have decided, I am going to! Thus, my 30 day workout challenge! I was terrified to start this challenge that Stephie suggested I do as I was worried I would fail. After a nice long motivational talk with her, there is no way I will fail. So here I am on day three of my challenge, I never thought I could work out three days in a row. I am determined! I will do 30 days and set new habits. Day three was much easier than day one was, and I’m sure as I keep going it will get easier and easier. I’m doing this for me because I deserve to feel good. I have been doing a lot of treadmill exercises, the first couple days I did a 200 calorie workout in 20 minutes. That was really hard! I struggled and parts of the exercise I had to hold onto the sides to help me. By day three of doing the same exercise I was able to do it without holding onto anything, I could have kept going! I like changing it up though, so I went to a Zumba class for a fun workout. This is only week one, and next week I plan on pushing myself to do 30 minute workouts. It feels great exercising again. It has been 5 days and I can really feel my energy rising! I still don’t really look forward to working out, but I look forward to the feeling afterward. I feel fantastic after! When I have a really busy day I fit in time to exercise after Noah has gone to bed.

Week 2

This week was a harder week for me, I had a personal physical issue that limited my workout routine. I still made time because I am taking this challenge very seriously. In the first week I felt like I was counting each and every single day, and forcing myself. I feel weird now if I don’t work out. This week I also started losing track on which day it was, because it is becoming a routine! I am feeling less bloated and my legs are feeling tighter, my shins look a little more toned. The biggest difference is my energy. Even though this week I wasn’t feeling the greatest, doing a 10 minute workout would really make a difference. This week was a lot less exercise compared to what I did in the first week. I tried doing 10 minute sessions of yoga, stretching, lots of cleaning, and Zumba one of the days. Every day I made of point of doing something! Now that I’m feeling 100% again I am so excited to get back into harder workouts. Most importantly I am feeling empowered!


I am so excited to share with all of you the difference 30 days of exercise has done for me. I’m halfway there, I can do this... and so can you!!


J

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Setting Small, Attainable Goals

When you make small, attainable goals the rewards feel so much better. Yes, originally I had wanted to lose 80 lbs overall but after almost 2 years I’ve only gotten half way there. I can admit to slacking for a lot of the past year but now I am only focusing on the future and my achievements instead of my past and mistakes.

I remember the first time I hit my 5% weight loss goal. I was sooo happy! Then came 10% and weight watchers reminded me every time I lost an extra 5 lbs. It felt great! Having small, attainable goals can really motivate you to push yourself harder and to not give up. You’re getting that little reminder that “hey, you’re making progress!”. If you are having small victories every so often it will help you stay on track and push you to hit that next victory. Before you know it you’ll have reached your long term goal! These small goals are stepping stones to the big goals. Doing this is setting yourself up for success!

Setting food related goals can be really helpful if that is something you tend to struggle with. Maybe your goal is to increase the amount of veggies you eat every day or to try to have veggies with every single meal. Maybe you want to set a routine of constantly keeping healthy foods cut up and available for snacking. Maybe you don’t consume enough water every day and your goal is to get in 10 glasses a day. Perhaps you struggle so much with water intake your goal is to cut out all pop and juices all together. Thats a toughie.. but trust me, if I can give up pop.. ANYONE CAN!!

Maybe your goal is to lose 50 lbs. Set smaller goals within those constraints. “I want to lose 50 lbs.” Attainable? Yes, but that’s the big picture! Now you need to set an action plan and create a set of smaller goals to get you there. How are you going to lose that weight? What steps are you going to take to make sure you stay on track?  “I want to lose the first 10 lbs within 8 weeks and to do that I am going to do the following.... I also am going to start working out 3 times a week doing...” By creating a plan and forming those tiny goals you are already making those goals more achievable. The smaller goals would be to lose 10 lbs in 8 weeks and to also start an exercise regimen of working out 3 times a week,

Tips on setting attainable goals:

  • Be realistic- Saying you want to lose 50 lbs in 2 months is hard, agressive  and incredibly unhealthy. if you make a realistic goal you’re more likely to keep focused and stay motivated
  • Be specific and include a timeline- “I want to lose __ lbs by ___” or “I am going to create a workout plan by”
  • Write these goals down and look at them daily.
  • Break it down- Write out steps you will take to achieve these goals.
  • Eliminate temptations- If you’re trying to stop eating junk food or cutting back on pop, eliminate all of the temptations from your kitchen. If you can’t see the bag of chips.. you’re not going to eat chips! Even if you live with others.. move it from an area you frequent regularly. I moved all of the christmas chocolates out of the kitchen and into a corner of the apartment. My boyfriend likes the chocolate but I don’t have to look at it anymore!
  • Set your limitations- Know your limits.. stay within them! I say this almost every time I do yoga.. I’m a clumsy, crazy yoga-er. Consider your personal fitness level, health, etc. Tailor your goal to this.

Goal setting doesn’t have to be hard if you take the time to set out a very detailed plan.

Keep smiling and start planning!

Steph

Monday, January 21, 2013

For the Love of Zumba!!


Zumba isn’t for everyone.. but it’s definitely for us! Sometimes fitting in a workout can be frustrating and sometimes boring and repetitive. This is why Zumba is so damn awesome! Every time you go in you get a different workout because there are so many instructors PLUS they all have different moves for different songs.

Last Sunday we went in for a morning class as I (Steph) had a free pass and I was able to take a friend. I obviously took Jenn as she is my zumba partner. We always have a blast. Today we got our ASSES KICKED!! Oh my.. after the first song people were saying “if this is your warm up I’m already done!” and they all looked exhausted after the first few songs. Personally I felt like I was done half way through but there was NO WAY I was going to quit. After the class was done I felt like I had a total body workout and felt AAAHHHH-mazing. We also went in Tuesday night for the most challenging class which also whooped us.. but it was worth it!

Steph’s Thoughts on Zumba
I know some people don’t want to try Zumba because they’re scared they will look like an idiot or won’t know what to do. No one is watching you so don’t care what people think! If they ARE watching you it’s because you’re doing it right and they’re trying to follow you instead of the instructor. Zumba isn’t really that easy but with practice and effort you can get the hang of it really quickly. One thing I like to do if I can’t figure out the steps is count them out in my head. It makes it soo much easier!
I initially started doing Zumba in November 2011 and quickly fell in love. I purchased a monthly pass from LivingSocial in November 2012 for Studio Fuzion in Kitchener. I had been there a few times before but I was trying to go 3-4 times a week. It was a blast! Now I go when I can and am purchasing a monthly membership next month. It will push me to get more workouts in and if I get the recurring membership I know I will go 3-4 times a week again. It’s definitely worth a shot to try this out... I highly recommend it!

Jenn’s Thoughts on Zumba
I tried Zumba for the first time with Steph. I bought a promotion where you received unlimited classes for $29 for a month. How could I turn that deal down!? This is what started it all. Zumba doesn’t feel like a normal workout class, to me it feels like a dance class. I am usually sweating by the time the first song is over, but not exhausted. By the third song I start to really feel the burn, and by the middle of the class... Exhaustion happens! It doesn’t feel like regular workout exhaustion though, because the music is so fantastic and up beat that you just want to keep dancing! Near the end of the class when we do stretches during the last song, it feels so amazing. You can really feel how hard your muscles have worked and it gives you a chance to catch your breath. I always feel very refreshed after a Zumba class. Going with my bestie Steph makes it that much more fun.
I recommend Zumba to anyone who is looking for a fun workout. There are people of all ages, shapes, sizes and experience. So if this is something you have never tried before I encourage you to go! Following the steps are not that hard and people don’t even pay attention to you, they’re busy focusing on their own moves.

Finding different ways to exercise keeps it fresh, so Steph and I encourage you to change it up. Doing the same routine gets boring. Try Zumba, we did and we love it!

If you’re from the Kitchener-Waterloo area please check a class out! You can find schedules and pricing information on their website here: Studio Fuzion

“Ditch the workout! Join the party!” - Studio Fuzion
Steph & Jenn
 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Healthy Go To Meals & Snacks

Life gets busy and sometimes making something quick, easy and healthy can be a challenge. That is why I decided on making a post about my go to foods. 

When the morning is hectic and you're rushing to get out the door but need to grab something quick and healthy, grab a banana and a slice of toast with peanut butter. Bananas have been proven to provide just as much energy as a cup of coffee but you won't crash after. There are so many great things bananas can do for you. My perfect breakfast food! 


At lunchtime I really start craving salty foods. My current favourite go to food at this time of day is the Campbell's Gardenia Soups (250ml=3pts). They are ready to go, I pour it into a cup and microwave it for 2 minutes. Super easy and lots of delicious flavours. I like to pair it up with some wheat thin crackers (12pcs=2pts) and a serving of raw vegetables on the side, I normally have broccoli with a low calorie dressing. 


My go to dinner meal is a simple garden salad and shake and bake boneless skinless chicken breast. Meal takes 25minutes! Super yummy and fast. 


Wanting a snack? It’s important to always have fresh fruit ready. When purchasing fruit that requires preparation I always make sure to chop it all up and put it in tupperware containers in the fridge. I find I am more likely to grab something that’s ready to eat when I want to snack. I always have a fruit bowl with apples, bananas, oranges and sometimes pears there for me to easily grab. Another good one is Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop popcorn it is a great option and really delicious! Only 3pts for half a bag and high in fiber.  


Hopefully my current go to meals help you make a healthier choice. Just remember to keep certain items stocked in your kitchen and it will make it easier to choose the healthier option. 


I change my go to food often, so as it changes I will be sure to share with all of you. 


- Jenn

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I am only one, but still I am one



I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. -Edward Everett Hale

This has been my favourite quote for quite some time. I can relate to this quote in many, many ways. I truly believe in trying to be a good person and bettering humanity. I strive to be kind to every person I encounter.. to be courteous and always have top notch manners. Doing this has made me feel internal happiness. I’ve always enjoyed making other people happy, smile and light up. I think it’s because I made a change in my life about 2 years ago. I was in a dark place and can honestly say that I hated myself. I thought many things about myself.. stupid, fat, ugly, disgusting, failure, etc. I cried a lot. I had gotten out of a relationship that was very, very toxic. That split needed to happen for me. For a period of time I didn’t think I’d ever be happy again. I smiled but was dieing on the inside. I honestly had trouble looking people in the eyes. Unless I knew you, I likely didn’t talk to you or look at you. Maybe I was ashamed? Hiding? Scared? I don’t really know. All I know is that since then I have made the most amazing transformation. I have grown into this beautiful, strong woman who loves herself an incredible amount. I never thought I could admit to openly saying that but now I can.

Back then I knew I needed change. I wasn’t sure how or in what way I was going to change my life but I knew I had to. If I didn’t I honestly don’t know where I’d be right now. The first change I made was health related. I was very unhappy with the way I looked. I hated mirrors and anything that was reflective. I hated the awkward lumps on my body and always thought people were judging me when they looked at me. I decided to make a drastic change. I cut out all carbs for 2 weeks. It was pretty hard and I did it but I knew I couldn’t do that forever. I decided that was the wrong change for me and instead tried to tackle my pop/soda addiction. I was probably consuming 3-4 cans of ginger ale a day. This change was harder than trying to cut carbs. Oh man, did I ever crave pop! I did it! And you know what? I’ve had ONE can of pop since then. It was a celebration pop when Jenn’s son was born. I did it! Just because I knew I couldn’t tackle that one change didn’t mean I had to give up completely. That was just the beginning!

Even though I was depressed and in a very dark place I started to live again. I surrounded myself with love and laughter.. with people who meant alot to me. I bought a calendar and made sure I had something going on EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I wanted to keep busy so that I wouldn’t fall back into a bad place. I also then decided to join weight watchers. This was the decision that completely changed my life. I saw progress within the first few weeks. I dropped really quickly! People had even said that they could see a change in my body after only two weeks. It felt great. Changing my eating habits was something that I could do. I didn’t work out.. I didn’t exercise. I changed my diet. It was something I could do. In May of that year I decided I had too much spare time and wanted to do something good by helping others. I decided to start volunteering at a local homeless youth drop-in center. This was a totally new experience for me. It was something I had never even thought of doing but not only was I helping them..it helped me ALOT. It made me a stronger and better person. I was able to have full-on personal conversations with youth that I didn’t know. I was able to talk about their struggles and support them and offer comforting advice. I even built great relationships with some of the youth. I was able to stick up for myself and for the company I was volunteering for by not accepting any disrespectful behaviour. I confronted them when there was an issue and I never received much backlash (though of course there was SOME).

In that period of time my life changed. I changed. I turned back into this person who was strong and confident and loved life and being around others. I could talk to complete strangers and would make eye contact with no issues. I grew to love myself again! I went out and did things. Jenn and I went to a TON of concerts that summer. I spent a lot of quality time with my former sister in law Saysha (who will forever be known as my sister), and LOVED it. It was the best summer of my life! I also fell in love. I grew so much that I completely opened up to the person I had been interested in for months. I told him I had feelings for him which was something I had never done in my life. I took the first step :). It worked for me as we’ve been dating for 1.5 years and recently moved into an apartment together.

Since then my relationships have grown stronger, I’ve been working out, I’ve become more confident and “ballsy”. I am more open and honest and I can look any person in the eye! I love who I have become. Though my journey may have started in a very dark place I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel and I never quit. I always did what I could. I may not have done everything the right way but I did it my way and I succeeded. I have accepted myself lumps and all, have grown to love myself  and have realized my self worth.


Today I saw someone post a picture quote on Instagram that really hit home. “It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.” Jillian Michaels

And with that said.. I am going to go brew some tea and enjoy the rest of my day :)

Toodles!

Steph

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snacking

Picking a healthy snack out when you’re really, really craving something sweet can be pretty hard to do. I find it helpful to keep a variety of healthy snacks available that are easy to acquire and require little to no prep. This isn’t always the case but let me tell you.. eating a handful of fresh berries can be JUST as satisfying as eating a package of swedish berries. I like to call berries “natures candy”.

I’ve come up with a list of healthy snacks that I personally love. Maybe you will find something on this list you haven’t thought of before to stock in your cupboard or fridge


  • Fresh cut veggies. I like to either buy a veggie tray or cut up the veggies ahead of time and keep them in tupperware in the fridge
  • Yogurt (I prefer greek)
  • Frozen grapes. MmMmM This gets me excited just thinking about it!! They taste so different frozen and it kinda feels like a treat! 0pts!!
  • Cottage cheese



  • Fresh Fruit


  • Laughing cow cheese and crackers (1 pt for 1 regular laughing cow, 1 pt for 2 light laughing cow. I live wheat thins which are 2 pts for 11-13 depending on the kind. Try sweet potato like me!)



  • Almonds (12= 2 pt)
  • Other nuts
  • String Cheese
  • Popcorn (Air popped is best AND lower in points)
  • Rice cakes (1 pt each!!)


  • Turkey Bites (2 pts)
  • Blue menu (PC) fruit bars (frozen)- I LOVE these! They are also only 2 points!
  • Yogurt (I prefer greek)
  • Frozen grapes. MmMmM This gets me excited just thinking about it!! They taste so different frozen and it kinda feels like a treat! 0pts!!
  • Cottage cheese



  • Hummus & pita bread or veggies for dipping
  • McDonalds ice cream come (6pts!)
  • Thinsations Yogurt covered Pretzels (3 pts!)
Snacking doesn't have to be hard if you figure out which ones are better beforehand and have your go to snacks available. I like to even mark the points on the boxes in my cupboard so I know exactly what the points are without even needing my calculator. Hope this has helped :)

Snack well my friends!

Steph

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our Week in Review

So we’re on week two of Through Thick and Thin.. Let’s break it down!

Steph’s Week in Review

This week has been a bit tougher than normal. I had a few days where I switched back to old habits and ate pretty poorly. I guess that’s part of transitioning to a better lifestyle. This week hasn’t been completely bad though! I stuck to my eating plan and made sure I ate everything I had planned out from Monday to Saturday! I only had to switch one thing which was squash for mixed veggies, so not a big change. I also incorporated working out back into my routine by doing yoga and zumba twice and being very active around the apartment. Even though it was a rough week (eating wise) I still lost .2 lbs so I’m not overly upset. It’s something! Plus I gained 47 activity points which makes me feel like I could be gaining muscle!

This week I want to challenge myself to not eat past 9pm. It’s the one thing that prevented me from staying back on track. This upcoming week is going to be my best yet! I can feel it!! Let’s do it girls!

Jenn’s Week

Well, I did it! I managed to fit in exercise every day this past week. Some days were harder than others but I did it. My body is sore, because I have not exercised in a long time. I will be doing 30days straight. Keep posted as I will be writing a new blog post telling you all about how my 30day challenge went in detail. For all you Weight Watchers, I gained 36 activity points. I feel so much better incorporating exercise into my routine, it really has lifted my spirits and I feel proud of myself. I didn’t think I could do it, but I have proven that I can and I will do this!  
Although I did not have veggies every single day, I did really well because I only missed one day where I didn’t eat any. I also did really well this week tracking! I am actually using my WW account, yay!!!


I dropped .4 this week on the scale, I was hoping for more because of all the exercise I did. It’s still a drop though, and I know if I keep this up in the long run it will pay off. Since starting this blog I have averaged a pound a week, and I’m okay with that!

Thanks for reading :)


And there you have it! Our week in review.

Until next time,

Steph & Jenn

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Adjusting to the Demands of a Baby

As far back as I can remember, being a mother was always something I looked forward to. Some people thought I was crazy for wanting to give up my freedom and why would I try at 22 years old to have a baby? Well, the answer is because I know this is what I want. I met the man of my dreams and when we started trying we had already been together for about 7 years and were newlyweds. We had our down payment for a house saved and we were browsing the market.The timing in my opinion couldn’t have been more perfect! It took two full years of trying and many struggles along the way but we finally have our little bundle Noah. My life feels so complete, he is our absolute everything. Even though we go through our tough times with teething, fussy nights, and just normal baby stuff, I wouldn’t want things any other way. I don’t understand parents who curse having children, I absolutely despise it. 

Things sure have changed since Noah entered our world. I have to say, he was and still is a perfect baby though. From when he was born all he wanted to do was sleep. We had to set alarms every three hours to wake him for his feedings. We did this until he turned 3 months old, at that time the doctor said it was now safe to let him sleep as long as he desired and that he would wake on his own to eat. It was perfect because it took me months to heal from giving birth, so this allowed me to get the rest I truly needed. During this time it allowed me to clean the house, organize all the new baby gear I received from family and friends and take care of me.
When Noah turned 5 months he started sleeping a lot less, keeping up with chores and making time for me started to be more of a challenge but it was still manageable, as he was still pretty stationary. 


When my son turned 6 months old it all changed! He started sleeping less and developed sleeping patterns. He was rolling around and would get bored easily. Every week he would do new things and reached milestones. Watching him is so rewarding. Time for me is very limited now, but that’s okay! I am the happiest I have ever been. Noah sleeps through the night still, he has a mothers dream schedule. His normal sleeping pattern is from 7:30pm-6:00am, he will nap for an hour around noon, and then another hour around 3. Perfection at it’s finest! I am still adjusting to making time for myself though, and entertaining this little guy sure does get tiring, or I should say exhausting most days! I normally nap with him at noon, it helps give me the extra energy I need for the rest of the day. 


He just turned 8 months old and now he’s starting to crawl and be adventurous. He is at such a cute, and busy stage. Finding time to do simple things has become a challenge. I take the time during his 3pm nap to fit in cleaning the house, doing laundry and making bottles. So when do I have time to do my nails, straighten/curl my hair, or give myself some pampering? Is doing my nails even worth it anymore because it seems like my hands are constantly in water? My answer is yes, because it makes me feel good! If I don’t make time for me I start to feel blah. I see other Mom’s around town that look blah, because they were not able to make time for themselves. It’s so important that us Mom’s out there, focus on ourselves too! If we don’t feel good about ourselves, it will affect the family. Even though doing my nails, make up and other girly things makes me feel great, that might not be what works for you. We all have something that we like to do, those things we did before children that made us feel confident and happy. I’m asking you to go back there, give yourself 30 minutes a day just for you. It’s important. 


Even though it has been a struggle, I have been able to fit in time to do my girly things that make me feel good. Now it’s your turn. My current challenge is incorporating exercise into my schedule. So far I have managed to fit in a 20min sweaty workout a day. It might not sound like much to other people, but to someone like me who hasn’t worked out in a long time it’s not that easy. I have been told it will get easier and pretty soon I will be able to rock out on my treadmill for much longer periods of time. 


Remember to make time for you, because at the end of the day you need to be happy to keep your family happy. 


- Jenn

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What's Stopping You?

Have you been thinking about making a change? Maybe you’ve been thinking about changing your life for the better? If not change, then maybe personal improvement? About starting a new routine or adding something new to your routine? Have you been wanting to stop smoking but just haven’t worked up the courage? Have you wanted to lose that muffin top that we all hate so, SO much but just haven’t thought about how or when? Or maybe you’ve THOUGHT about it and just haven’t DONE anything about it.

No one is going to make this happen except yourself. YOU choose your own path.. you decide how you live your own life. YOU need to take the first step. Do you see where I’m going here? Change is not something someone else does for you.. or something you should do for someone else. Changing for the better is something that needs to come from within yourself. The want to lose weight, change your life or quit smoking needs to come from within yourself.

At one point in my life I realized that no one was going to make my dreams come true except for myself (and The Rock if he would just get his butt over here! ha JKing!). It is MY job to plan this dream/goal for myself. It is my job to wake up in the morning and STICK to that plan and to move that little step closer to my goal. I have chosen to enjoy every damn step of my journey instead of constantly wishing I was already where I want to end up. Maybe it’s taken me a bit longer than I had expected.. but am I still the 250 lb depressed, emotionally screwed up person I was over 2 years ago? No. For me it was just as much emotional as it was physical. I needed to talk myself into change and THEN I needed to get off my butt and put it into action. I think I’ve done a pretty good job.


You may ask yourself “what if I can’t do it?” or “what if I fail again?”. But what if you succeed this time? I tried weight watchers 2-3 times before it actually worked for me. I sometimes wonder where I would be if I hadn’t given myself that extra push. Do it for yourself! Challenge yourself!

I ask this of you my dear readers;

If not now, WHEN?


Think on that one

Steph

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Yummy Veggie Smoothie


I have always struggled with eating vegetables. I made a goal for myself to get at least one serving daily. I know that is not nearly enough. Lately however, I have tried to come up with different ways of increasing my veggie intake.

Veggie Shake to the rescue!!! Seriously.. I live on these shakes now and it makes it so much easier to get those greens down. I usually have them at lunch as a meal replacement because it is so filling. You can however take this recipe and cut it in half and have a nice smoothie treat.

If you’re a Mom you most likely have a baby bullet for pureeing or mincing your baby’s food, that is what I use to make my smoothie because I don’t own a blender.

Time: 5 minutes
Veggie Smoothie Ingredients (2pts):

  • ½ cup tropicana orange juice
  • 1 banana
  • squeeze ½ lime  & ½ lemon
  • 1 slice of ginger
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 scoop plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
(You may also add 1tbsp of honey (add 2pts) if the smoothie is not sweet enough.)



There you have it, a delicious way to get three whole servings of vegetables and approximately 3 whole servings of fruit.

I also like to have a serving of salad or other steamed veggies with supper. That’s as good as it gets for me fitting it into my diet.


- Jenn

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