Christmas Cookie Temptations

Gingerbread CookiesSo…..I’m sure that by now you have noticed that Christmas is right around the corner. As if all the lights, Christmas music and Christmas tree vendors didn’t give it away! All joking aside….Holidays are definitely the time to spend some quality time with family. I’m not sure about your family but with my family that involves FOOD and lots of it…specifically COOKIES. I grew up in a household where my mom loved to bake Christmas cookies and over the years watching and helping her, I too fell in love with baking. I will bake from the moment I wake up to the time I go to bed on the weekends. Baking for me started out as something my mom and I could share but it soon turned into a stress reliever for me. There is just something about following a recipe and measuring everything out to the exact measurement that is just so satisfying.

Obviously being around all of that sugar and amazingness can cause temptation to rear its evil head. Dealing with that constant temptation isn’t an easy task. I would love to say that I have the worlds strongest will power but let’s be honest……I’m weak! SOOOOOO WEAK! I refuse to be that person who goes through the holidays depriving myself to the point where I dread the holidays. So yes….I will have a cookie or two but never three……never (insert sarcastic eye roll here). So how do I keep myself from eating the 20 dozen cookies I just baked….I give them away. I will keep a few dozen for me and the hubby to enjoy because you can enjoy all things in moderation which I have had to teach myself. Hubby however…..I can’t control him! He is known as the cookie monster in our home.

I hope that everyone enjoys the holidays and spending some quality time with their families.

XOXO,

Jen

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I Joined the Gym!

Joined the gymSo I’m sure a lot of your are in the same boat as me when I say that I’ve always cared too much about what people thought about me. So much so that it has held me back and kept me from reaching my goals. I always avoided situations where I had to physical in front of other people or be in a swim suit in front of people just because I didn’t want them to judge me for being plump. With that being said I never in a million years thought that I would ever join a gym…working out in front of tiny little women in their cute little workout clothes….but I did it! I took the plunge and joined a gym. I’ve officially been a member of Edgewater Fitness for about a month now and I AM IN LOVE! I never thought that I would be so comfortable working out in front of other people……I feel more motivated there than I do at home. I guess it’s the fact that you never want to appear as if you are a slacker so you kick your own butt just to keep up with the lady beside you on the treadmill or lift 20 lb. weights instead of your normal 8 lb. weights because the girl next to you who is half your size is currently curling 30 lbs.

When I decided to join the gym, I knew that I needed to be committed to this because a) I was paying good money to be there and b) I have goals that I want to reach and I had to get serious if I want to reach them.  So far I hit the gym 4 days a week for at least an hour and a half during the week and on Saturdays I’m usually there for at least 2 hours….sometimes 3 if I don’t have much to do that day. Leaving the gym hot, sweaty and sore is by far the best feeling in the world. I always walk out of the gym knowing that I’m one step closer to the ultimate goal. I have no idea why it took me so long to do it.

If you are on the fence in joining a gym because you aren’t comfortable working out in front of people or just worried people are going to judge you….don’t listen to yourself! Take the plunge and join….its the best motivation I’ve ever had! I’ve already lost 10 lbs.  just by sticking to my schedule and trying to kick my own butt in the gym. I push and push myself harder and harder each and every time my sneakers hit that floor.  I can’t wait to see what happens after the end of month number 2!

Face to Face - 9.10 to 11.1

xoxo,

Jen

 

Losing Hope

TEARS-sad-songs-30412485-1280-960So its been a really long time since my last post. Not a lot has changed since my last post except I’ve really lost my motivation and my hope. I tried waking up every day with a positive attitude and tried to force myself to get motivated…to get moving….to hit the ground running. It seemed like every day I lost more and more of myself and it began to feel like all of that hard work that I was putting in wasn’t doing any good. I felt deprived, exhausted, lonely and just unworthy of anything. I finally gave up working out……continued to eat healthy for a while and then I eventually gave that up to and fell back into my old ways. Binge eating, takeout, McDonalds….whatever I wanted I let myself have. Then I looked at myself in the mirror with disgust because there I was a failure yet again. Why is it so hard for me to stick to something? Why is it so hard for me to lose this last 20 lbs. that I so desperately need to? I need to shed this last 20 lbs. so that I can move forward with my fertility treatments….what’s more motivating then that? I want nothing more than to be a mother…..so why is it so hard for me? Why can I not bring myself to stick to something and dig deep and do whatever I need to do to reach that goal? Life gets so busy and I’m a creature of habit…..I do what’s easy and convenient. I expected so much more from myself this time around and I still let myself, my husband and my future child(ren) down because I’m not able to stay focused enough to lose weight. As I sit here and write this all I can do is blame myself….beat myself up….everyone keeps telling me “So what you had a rough few months….get back on the horse and move forward.”. Easier said then done for someone like me….someone who has been heavy her entire life, someone who has hated herself for being plump, someone who wished that she was just like everyone else, someone who looks at the women around her and just wonders why I couldn’t be like one of them….why do I have live with burden of PCOS? What did I do to deserve this? Why me?

My Go To Recipes

Hey everyone! So everyone says that a healthy diet is the most important thing when you are trying to lose weight. This was and still is a big thing for me because I am all about convenience especially when it comes to lunch. I’m sure many of you can relate when I say that getting 5 minutes to eat at work on any given day is a win. I’ve been super swamped at work lately…short staffed, new year and a ton of projects to prepare for. So meal planning and prepping have been my new best friend. Prepping on Sundays for my lunches and dinners for that week has kept me on track and kept me from making some major mistakes. Below are some of my recent go to receipes. I hope that you enjoy them! 

My first go to meal is a Grilled Chicken Breast with side salad dressed with my homemade Italian dressing. This is one of the easiest meals you can prep. 

Season your chicken with a low sodium seasoning of your choice and grill until done. My favorite is the Mrs. Dash Fiesta seasoning. Toss spinach and roman lettuce together with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions. Dress your salad with the homemade Italian dressing. 

My favorite Italian dressing recipe is:

Ingredients:

1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp italian herb

1 tsp Dijon mustard (no sugar added)

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper 

1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend very well. 

2. Transfer dressing to a container and keep in the fridge for up to 2 months. 

3. Shake well and serve.

NOTE: Best to let it sit for a day or so to allow the herbs to infuse in the oil and vinegar. 
Greek Turkey Burgers topped with Tzatziki sauce and a Tomato and Cucumber salad

This is a favorite of mine and hubbies! The office is usually pretty jealous when I make these as well because the office normally smells amazing when I reheat them! 

Recipe is super easy as well:

Ingredients:

3/4 cup grated zucchini (squeezed to remove as much water as possible)

1 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup of diced red onion

1 Tbsp dried oregano

3/4 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp black pepper

1/3 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well by hand. 

2. Divid into 6 Raquel patties. 

3. Cooke burgers on medium heat, about 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the middle. 

4. Top with tzatziki sauce and serve with your side. I chose a tomato, cumber and red onion salad dressed with my homemade Italian dressing (receipe listed above). 

You will have to forgive me…I forgot to snap a picture of this final receipe but this recipe has saved me so much time! This is called the 4 ingredient slow cooker salsa verde chicken! 

Ingredients:

6 Bonless, skinless chicken breast

2 Cups salsa verde

1 Bottle of beer (light of course!)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Directions:

1. Add chicken to the slow cooker. Top with salsa verde and beer, and sprinkle with cumin and season with a few pinches of salt and pepper. 

2. Coat chicken by turning chicken over.

3. Cooke for 3 to 4 hours on high heat or 7 to 8 hours on low heat. 

4. Once chicken is done, remove from slowe cooker shred with two forks and place back in the slow cooker to toss with the sauce. 

NOTE: Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 

This chicken is great for tacos or burrito bowls or even to eat on a salad. Great for lunch or dinner! 

I hope that you all enjoyed these recipes! Let me know if you try any of them! If you enjoyed this post and wish to see more like this let me know!

Just a personal update…..I’ve lost a few more pounds and just that much closer to my goal!! Stay strong and keep moving everyone!

XoXo,

Jen

At Home Work Outs

So….yet again life got in the way of my blogging! The holidays are always such a busy time for me both in my personal life as it is in my work life. I have done my best to keep eating clean and working out as much as I could but lets face it….its the holidays! The time to be with family and eat amazing food prepared by your loved ones….if you are going to indulge the holidays is the perfect time to do it. Needless to say I only gained 3 lbs over the holidays and for me that is a win!!! From the last time we talked I had lost 17 lbs…..and since then I have lost 10 more. I am now 20 lbs away from my goal! I need to lose these last 10 lbs to start the next step in my fertility journey. With that being said, I was looking to mix up my workout routine a bit because the workouts I have been doing were getting old and I needed to step it up a bit. So on the hunt I went for something new.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I enjoy watching UFC and I happened to find the at home UFC Full-Body Intensity Training dvd set. I’m going to be honest…when I first started this program I was having second thoughts. The workouts were very tough for me and some of the moves weren’t that easy for me so I ended up modifying some of the moves to accommodate my physical level. The important thing is…..I KEPT GOING! The program has gotten easier for me to do and I’m having a blast! If you are looking for a new workout program and enjoy kick boxing or martial arts, I highly recommend this program!

ufc-home-workout

Some of my other workout programs that I have gotten and loved are the 21 Day Fix Program, Zumba and Tae Bo with Billy Banks. I will touch base with you guys next week with some of my go to lunch recipes!  Until then….drink your water, have faith in yourself and keep moving!

XOXO,

Jen

Fertility Update

baby-dust-needed-hereIts been a few weeks since my last post. Life has finally slowed down long enough for me to breath a little easier. Just an update on what’s been happening in my life…we were finally able to get hubby’s swimmers checked. We also  had the chance to schedule our follow up appointment to review our test results and get our game plan from our wonderful doctor at Shady Grove. Here is how the appointment went:

I walked a little slower into the office that morning….anxiety had officially overtaken my body. Hands trembling and sweating all at the same time. Head spinning from all the thoughts running a mile a minute. What if both of us have issues….would conceiving a baby even be an option for us anymore? It took me about 15 minutes to walk into the office which normally takes be about 5. I finally made it to the second floor and just about 5 feet from the office door. Reaching for the knob felt like I was reaching for my ultimate doom. While signing in I looked at the other women waiting to be seen wondering if they had the same cards dealt to them that I did. I sat in the small leather couch right across from the reception desk hoping the wait wouldn’t be forever for my own sanity….I needed to know what were my options…..would it be possible for us to conceive our own baby? Finally about 10 minutes go by and the doctor comes out and walks me back to his office. I took a seat and he starts off with “the small talk”. In side I’m screaming at the top of my lungs…..JUST SHUT UP AND TELL ME MY FATE ALREADY!!!! After we caught up on what’s been happening in my life, he says “ok lets take a look at what we are dealing with”. FINALLY! He first takes a look at all of my test results because lets be real…I had to endure to most testing so its only fair I go first right! So my results were great! My tubes are open and filled nicely, no fibroids or pulps in my uterus, blood results were great…my only issue is my PCOS. That brings us to hubby. His blood work came back great….all levels looked great and his swimmer count was amazing! Low normal for count is from 5 to 10 million and hubby came in at 64 million so we are in great shape there! (Yes he gloated a little and that made him walk a little taller that day). The shape of his little guys were off a little bit but doctor proscribed a prenatal vitamin for him that will take care of that. The best feeling in the world was knowing that he was ok and the only obstacle we have to deal with is my PCOS. After the test results were revealed then came the, “How’s the weight loss coming?” questions. I was honest and told him that I had struggled a bit with this when I first saw him. I had lost 30 lbs. when I first saw him and then I ended up gaining about 10 of those back…the holidays, stress and depression got the best of me. Since then I have lost those 10 lbs. and 23 lbs. on top of that!

So what’s the next step. Well I have been given strict instructions to lose another 30 lbs to decrease my chances of getting gestational diabetes. Despite my weight the doctor told me that I am very healthy and I do carry my weight very well. He also had a great outlook on my additional weight loss…..when I do get pregnant and I am full term I will be approximately the same weight I am now. So I have set a new goal for myself to lose these last 30 lbs by January in hopes to have a fall baby in 2017! I guess I have my new years resolution!

XOXO,

Jen

Polar vs. FitBit

polarWho doesn’t love a good fitness gadget! I’ve owned my Polar Ft7 for a while now and I fell in love the moment I first used it. I am a very competitive person by nature so I was in constant competition with myself. Watching my calories burnt increase was the best feeling in the world. It really helped me push myself harder every time I strapped it on but it really left me wanting more. I only put it on when I worked out and it didn’t count my steps and I really had to track my progress manually. The heart rate monitor strap was a little uncomfortable as well. Don’t get me wrong….I still think the Polar fitness trackers are an amazing product and work really well but there had to be a better option that fit my every day needs.

Recently my company started a FitBit challenge on September 1st. Each participant was supplied with the FitBit zip which we all received in August so I got to use it for a little before the challenge started. All the ladies in my office are participating so I have the best support group anyone could have. After using the FtiBit Zip I was instantly hooked so I decided to splurge and get the FitBit Blaze watch. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE! The FitBit app is multifunctional and really helps me track everything in my daily life from my water intake to my sleep patterns and it even monitors my heart rate like my Polar does.

fitbit-blaze

Working in an office I knew my activity level was pretty sedentary but I never fully understood how sedentary I really was until I got the FitBit Watching my co-workers hit 4,000 to 6,000 steps before lunch and I was at 1,000…..I knew I had to step up my game (pun intended). I work in a mall that is just shy of 2 miles long if you walk an entire loop. I have the best work place for those trying to get some major steps in…..so why wasn’t I taking advantage of it? I set a schedule for myself because lets face it…working in an office its hard to walk away from your office if you don’t have it on your calendar! So I walk at least 3 times a day….once in the morning, once after lunch and once right before I leave for the day. So for all my non-fitbit users out there your daily goal is 10,000 steps which approximately 5 miles and if I walk my mall 3 times a day like I have scheduled I hit that 10k mark every single time. Now you may ask….should I really be walking 10,000 steps every day? Here is the link to the FitBit Blog that explains why you should:

Should You Really Take 10,000 Steps a Day?

Another great function of the FitBit app are the challenges you can do with your friends. All the ladies of my office love doing the Work Week Hustle. Like myself, my coworkers are also competitive so it’s a constant battle in my office to beat each other….who doesn’t love to have bragging rights in the office! The first two challenges I came in dead last because I underestimated the ladies I work with…so here I am pushing myself even harder to keep up with these amazing ladies. We just ended this weeks challenge and I finished 2nd with a total of 59,351 steps for the week! Whoop Whoop! I can’t wait for next week!

So if you are on the fence about purchasing the FitBit…..do it! It has changed my life and really pushed me to keep moving throughout the day. So much so that I have lost 17 pound in the last 2 months! Yes…..17 pounds!!!!!! Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Jen