Sunday, June 24, 2012


Is it just me, or does it seem like every time we resolve to make a change in our lives, the cards tend to stack themselves against us? Anyone else have that problem? Just me, then?

First of all, let me just say that this WILL NOT become a blog in which I give a bunch of excuses for why I keep experiencing setbacks, but week 2 of my 10-week challenge completely fell to the wayside. I believe I exercised twice this week, and I honestly have no idea what I ate (except that I had grilled chicken, baked sweet potato and salad for dinner tonight...and a homemade vanilla milkshake...*hangs head*). With Father's Day, a teething child, issues with our paperwork for our house (we're supposed to close sometime this week), packing and prepping for our move, spontaneous road trips (I did do a little hiking one day, so maybe that counts for something), let's just say there were no additional pounds lost this week. At least I didn't gain any back. In fact, I didn't make any gains at all...

Ok, but tomorrow is a new day, and even though this week we will close on our house, do some painting, and move into our new house (God willing and the creek don't rise), I am back on track.

One of my worst antagonists for derailment: lack of planning. It was Thursday before I got to the grocery store to stock up on healthy food choices, so for several days I practically lived off Subway and Chick Fil A. It's nearly impossible to meet a goal without formulating and abiding by a plan. But my fridge is stocked now, and since my husband is off work this week, I have both help with my son and moral support. 

Here goes week 3...

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Looky what came in the mail yesterday! It just got real. Nine weeks left. This invitation is going on my fridge as a warning beacon every time I open the door.

The first week of my 10-week challenge is over, and my weigh-in made me as happy as Jessica Simpson with a box of Pop Tarts: I've lost 2.4 pounds this week!!! Seeing that number in front of my toes just revs me up even more! Fewer things are more motivating than seeing progress.

I skipped the Insanity Fit Test at the beginning of last week, so I had an extra day to work out yesterday. I chose to do P90X Kenpo and Ab Ripper. If you've never tried a kenpo workout, I highly recommend it! This 1-hour workout is filled with punches, kicks, blocks and a lot of stretching, is virtually no impact, and will tone pretty much every muscle in your body. It's a great workout for what should be recovery days. My heart got a little break, my muscles got a good stretch, and I was still drenched by the end of the workout. And even though it's slower paced, it's anything but boring. I used 1-pound wrist weights, and I'm sore in all kinds of new places today! I'm looking forward to the Insanity Plyo Cardio Circuit today, and I'm planning to go for a nice jog this evening. 
I pretty much had leftovers to eat yesterday, so my menu lately is nothing to write home about. But since I am down to one pumping session every other day (yay!) and am no longer expending those extra calories, this upcoming week I am really going to commit to giving my diet a nice trim: baked chicken or fish for dinner, fresh salads, steamed or grilled veggies, fruits, and whole grains.

I have a couple of baked tilapia recipes I'm excited to try this week, but I'm open to learning new flavors! What's your favorite way to cook fish or chicken?

Thursday, June 14, 2012


My handsome husband's birthday was yesterday, and you can probably guess what that means...I took the day off. No workout, unless you can count a few hours of shopping (which I do), and no keeping track of what I ate. Let's just say, I celebrated well. :)

Today, though, I'm back on track. That means Insanity Plyo Cardio Circuit and Pure Barre Pershing Square 2. Boy, that was a hard 1.5-hour combination! My lower half was shaking as I trudged back upstairs after my workout (my home gym is in our basement). 

Tuesday, I did Insanity Pure Cardio and P90X Ab Ripper X. My husband's birthday festivities began Tuesday evening for us with a pizza and movie night, so I am again excusing myself on birthday calories! I did eat healthy the rest of the day:

1 egg, scrambled
tropical smoothie 

leftover jambalaya

I've always admired those individuals who could stay the course and choose healthy meal options while on vacation or celebrating life events. I haven't decided yet whether I'd like to strive to be one of those people; I'm definitely not to the point where I can pass up birthday cake (or in my husband's case, apple pie—so there was fruit involved). It's becoming clear why my body doesn't change as fast as I'd like: to me, there are some foods that do taste as good as skinny feels. Or so I think... 

My meals today:

Life cinnamon cereal
skim milk

leftover chicken and pasta from lunch yesterday 

6" turkey and white American cheese on honey oat bread from Subway
chips (oops!)
white chocolate macadamia nut cookie (oops!)

So, I obviously have some work to do in the diet department. I give myself a B+ overall for today. Two more days until weigh-in, so I better make up for it tomorrow!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Honestly, I wasn't looking forward to my workout today. Day 3 of Insanity is the Cardio Recovery DVD, which I assumed was going to be a boring, low-key, mansy-pansy workout. Glorified stretching. I figured I would at least need to pair it with a Pure Barre DVD to get the most bang for my buck. (Read about my Pure Barre workouts here.)

Not to mention that I took my "before" photo today, and well, let's just say that after that, I wanted to kill it in my gym. I didn't want to look like that for another second! (Hopefully, as soon as my milk supply dries up, my metabolism will get an extra boost.)

Well, if you've ever done that workout video, it's not a wussy workout. It is slower paced and wasn't enough to get my heart racing, but it's about control instead. It's a lot like Pure Barre in that you perform slow, controlled movements that require complete concentration and engagement of both body and mind. That's not my strong suit. I like workouts where I put my body through the ringer but can let my mind wander. High intensity, high impact. So this was more of a challenge than I had imagined. But my muscles were shaking toward the end! 

If a tree falls in the forest and no one's around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Not only was my workout a stretch for me, but I'm learning that I really don't like keeping a food diary. I've always boasted a "healthy appetite;" I'm a girl who likes to eat and just makes up for it in the gym. I simply don't like having to give an account of what I've eaten that day. Plus, I'm freakin' hungry when I work out this much! But this kind of accountability is necessary for that very reason, I think. It forces me away from mindless overeating, from believing that calories eaten in secret don't really count. I've also heard that working out will get you in great shape, but you won't look like it unless you also watch what you eat.

So here's what I ate today: 

Cheerios with skim milk and a banana

leftover shrimp and angel hair pasta (if you missed this recipe, get it here) 

a spoonful of peanut butter 

jambalaya (get the recipe)
2 slices cinnamon toast (low-sugar)

This weight-loss challenge is going to be good for me, body and soul. Hopefully, not only will my body get in shape and I'll lose the 10 pounds, but I'll also train myself to start living a more self-controlled, disciplined life. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Shrimp and angel hair pasta

I got this recipe from my mom, and though I still can't make it quite as good as she does, I make it all the time. We had this tonight for dinner, in fact, and it is so easy and delicious that I have to share it with you! It's the perfect light summer fare.

Baby shrimp and angel hair pasta

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, zested
1/3 lb fresh baby shrimp, pealed and deveined, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 lb angel hair pasta, cooked al dente
1/4 c white wine, optional

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. 
Add olive oil and melt butter into it. 
Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
Add lemon zest and shrimp, and squeeze juice from half of lemon into pan. Heat shrimp through for another 2 minutes.
Add wine and tomatoes. Toss and heat tomatoes through. 
Add cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat evenly in sauce.
Season with salt and pepper. 

I've modified this recipe to simplify measurements and allow for leftovers. I use a whole bag of frozen shrimp, one package of grape tomatoes, and one package of angel hair pasta (sometimes we use whole wheat, but I'm not a stickler). This recipe is delicious with or without the wine, too; we don't always keep it in the house, so a lot of times I make it without.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do!

I'm making my way through 60 days of the Insanity series, which has proven to be my go-to workout when I want to slim up fast. I swear nothing cuts through flab like that workout! Since today was day 2, I completed Cardio Power and Resistance, along with some more heavy bag drills.

I'm also keeping a food diary this time around, which is something I highly suggest if you are trying to lose weight. Actually seeing the food I eat each day written down on a sheet prevents me from eating mindlessly, and even though I'm not exactly counting calories, I feel more accountable for what I eat, which encourages me to eat less.

Today's meals:

one slice of whole wheat cheese toast
one mixed berry smoothie (frozen mixed berries, 1/2 cup low fat all-natural vanilla yogurt, and a splash of OJ)

6-in. Subway sweet onion chicken teriyaki 
one small peach
two mini pecan spins (my sweet treat for the week)

1 cup Cheerios with skim milk and sliced banana

shrimp and angel hair pasta with grape tomatoes (get the recipe!)

I'm not willing to cut out my ranch dressing, nor will I touch the lower-fat, higher sugar version, but instead of slathering it on my salad, I dip my fork in the dressing first and then take a bite. I save a ton of calories that way. 

What tips do you have for enjoying your favorite higher-fat foods? Feel free to comment below!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New fitness challenge

My last fitness challenge seems a distant memory with all that has happened in the past two months. We are in the process of buying a house, which many of you know how time consuming that can be. My son, Liam, just turned nine months old, and not only is he finding new, interesting ways of moving around, but he's entered the blessed separation anxiety stage. Needless to say, we've been spending lots of quality time together! This past week, he started cutting a tooth and began waking during the night, so our days have been filled with catching up on rest...and keeping up with our bubbly baby.

Even though my workout routine has taken somewhat of a back seat, I have lost another few pounds! I can't say that I've stuck with my no-sweets rule, so that weight loss may include a little muscle mass with it, unfortunately. And when we move into our new house and join the community pool, I want to feel good in my swimsuit. The best course of action is to get back at it, and I learned last time that the best way to stick with a weight-loss plan is to make it public. It's hard to veg out and be lazy when I know I'll have to blog about it later.

My goal: lose 10 pounds. My timeframe: 10 weeks. Why 10? Well, it just so happens that 10 weeks from today is my 10-year high school reunion. Enough said. 

I'm pretty confident that this time around will be a little easier, even though it's the last 10 pesky pounds I need to lose. My biggest hope comes from the fact that since Liam turned nine months, I've retired the breast pump and am going to stop breastfeeding. (Don't worry, I have plenty of stored milk to last until his first birthday.) This is important for several reasons:

 1. I've been reunited with my dear friend, caffeine.
Yes, believe it or not, our morning cup of joe can actually increase the effectiveness of our morning workouts—as long as we don't load it up with sugary, creamy goodness. You can read about this here and here. And it gives me the energy boost I need to tough out a longer workout. As if I needed any more reasons to enjoy my morning latte!

2. I can have dairy again.
For the past nine months I've had to practically eliminate dairy products from my diet because it upset my little tyke's tummy. But it's actually been proven that healthy servings of low-fat dairy products can help trim belly fat (as part of a healthy diet, of course...that doesn't mean you can eat tons of doughnuts and milk and still have a six-pack). See for yourself here.

3. I have more time (and energy) for my workouts.
Pumping 6-8 times a day was a great calorie burner, but it also drained my energy and took about 1.5 hours of my day. May not sound like much, but I'll gladly take it! 

4. Simply eliminating pumping might possibly help me shed a few pounds.
Breastfeeding played a significant role in helping me lost my pregnancy weight. Most of the weight (about 22 pounds) melted off by the time my six-week postpartum checkup rolled around. But, it seemed that my body went into survival mode after that, clinging to those last 6 pounds for dear life. I've had several friends say that they hit a plateau in their weight-loss plan until they stopped breastfeeding/pumping completely, and then they lost several pounds within the first couple of weeks that their milk dried up. So, I'm hopeful.

5. I can finally cut some calories.
While I was breastfeeding, the only rule of weight loss I couldn't follow was cutting back on calories. Now, that's not an issue, so I can safely eat less calories and not worry about it affecting my milk supply. I'm back to reducing the amount of sugar I eat, allowing myself one treat a week, and I'll be loading up on fresh summer fruits and veggies. 

Just in case my looming high school reunion, and the fact that I'm documenting my progress, weren't enough accountability, this time around, I will post before/after pics at the end of the 10 weeks. And I'll also tell you all my starting weight: 139.8. My goal is to break into the 120s...and stay there.

Today, I completed Insanity Plyo Cardio Circuit, P90X Ab Ripper X, and some heavy bag drills. Off to a great start!

I want to know what your favorite go-to workout is! Feel free to comment below...