Friday, October 16, 2015

Steph Says: That Little Voice

Ever have one of those days where you just aren't feeling it?
And you're not even sure what "it" is?
That's me today.

But it didn't start out that way.

I woke up at 4:15 a.m. and headed to the gym for 5 a.m. Power Pump class. I was (key word: WAS) feeling good so I hopped on the Stairmaster for 15 minutes and burned off some extra calories to boot. I felt like Wonder Woman- my Friday was off to a fantastic start! I was ready to tackle an awesome fun day with my daughter!
Got home, started getting ready for the day, ate some Greek yogurt and a healthy pumpkin-apple muffin made by my sister-in-law (so I know it's super packed with healthy stuff. She's a wizard in the kitchen when it comes to yummy, health-conscious food).
That's when things started going downhill.
The doubt. The self-loathing. That evil little voice started up.

You shouldn't have eaten that.
Um, excuse me?
You should have just saved the calories. You're taking Rascal to get donuts with your parents (because #donutfriday) and you know you can't resist a blueberry cake donut.
You're going to tell yourself, "It's ok, I worked out this morning, I can have that donut!"
Because you have no willpower.
Because you are just meant to be fat.

Getting dressed proved to be a struggle because I knew this day definitely involved painting, and might involve some outdoor activity. And today's weather ranged from a low of 56 to a high of 92. How do you even plan for that? I went with shorts and a tee with a zip-up hoodie. And right off the bat, I knew the shorts were too tight. But right now, everything is too tight.

These shorts were loose last year.
LOOSE, Stephanie.
You aren't even back where you started, you're bigger.
Why are you even trying?
You're never going to get to your goal.
Go eat a donut, fatty. It'll make you feel better.

So I listen to her. In fact, I eat two donuts. But I don't feel better. Surprised, anyone? 

After donut Friday, it was time to head to the local pottery painting shop for storytime with Rascal and some fellow mom friends- a group of women I really like and enjoy being around. I got out of my car, pulling down my shorts and tugging at my shirt. And all the moms look so cute. They're dressed well, their hair looks great, and their kids, who, granted, are a little older than Rascal, are equally adorable. They look so put-together. And I know they're not judging me, but let's face it, Rascal and I look homeless. I mean, with her well-developed fine motor skills, I planned on getting more paint on us than on the ceramic pumpkin and dressed accordingly.

You don't fit in with these women.
They're amazing moms, and they look so effortless! Their kids are all behaving so well.
Your kid just hauled off and smacked you across the face for no reason.
You are a terrible parent and you look so bad in front of these moms.
Way to go. Mom of the year.

I took Rascal to the back of the store to have a "chat" about her behavior, and to add insult to injury, I catch a glimpse of myself in a full-length mirror.
I look worse than I imagined.
We finally left, a little more colorful than we arrived, and I just felt so beat up (after all, my kid only smacked me three times) and dejected. I couldn't decide if I should just drive home or drive off a cliff or go get fast food.

Yessssssss food!
Food makes you feel better.
Especially things that are ridiculously unhealthy.
Like Taco Bell.
Or macaroni and cheese.

The voice won again. We stopped at the grocery store. While I did manage to avoid Taco Bell, I ended up with a takeout box of mac and cheese to split with Rascal. Rascal, who then had a meltdown in the parking lot because HOW DARE I suggest we get out of the cart and into her car seat.

Mom of the century.

Now I'm sitting at home, still stuffed into my too-tight shorts because I am punishing myself for the poor food choices I've made today.
I miss feeling lean.
I miss when my shorts were loose and everything in my closet fit.
I am upset with myself for getting rid of all my "fat clothes" and now wishing I still had them, because they would fit now.

But you DON'T really want those clothes back, do you? You can lose the weight again.
I know you can.
I know I've been really mean today, but it's because I know how far you've come and I hate seeing you backslide like this. 
I am YOU, after all. 

But losing weight is a horrible, wonderful thing, Voice. The highs are so high. You feel like you're on top of the world because your hard work SHOWS.  But man, when the lows hit? There's nothing that can stop that voice.

So here's a different kind of "before and after."
I did a lot of damage in 7 months. Now I'm paying for it.
I got cocky. I felt like I didn't need to try as hard.

Well, guess what?
You do.
You have to try.
You have to try every single day, and you probably will have to try for the rest of your life.
First, take a nap with Rascal.
Shake it off.
Wake up feeling refreshed.
Take your kid to the park. Run around. Burn more calories. Make better choices for the rest of the day. 
Stop wallowing and DO SOMETHING.

Okay, Voice. I hear ya.
You know, sometimes, you're not so bad after all.

Just gotta give you some tough love every so often.
Now don't screw up again.

Okay, Voice.
I hear ya.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Steph Says: Fall Fun with Rascal

October 1st in Louisiana came in with a little chill in the air (read: low 70s) so it's time to bust out all the fall, y'all.

This is my favorite season. Like good ol' F. Scott said, "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."

I want to dress in fall colors and bake fall treats and hug on some pumpkins while drinking salted caramel mochas out of warm mugs. In my boots. Oh, how I want these Tory Burch riding boots!

I should probably start up a gofundme account for these babies.

One of my favorite things about my city in the fall is the pumpkin patch. In addition to the pumpkins, the local church puts on a fall craft show at the patch the first weekend in October. My friend Amy was selling her precious crocheted hats, so Rascal and I met up with some friends there to say hi and see what there was to see.

There were about 25 or so vendors, and there were lots of cute hand-made items to buy. I got some bows for Rascal because she is finally getting down with the whole "I look so cute when I don't pull my hair out" thing, and she finally has enough hair again to clip on a bow. I also got some kettle corn and sweet dough cookies- both of which I pretended were for Rascal, but who am I fooling?

We also picked up some white pumpkins to decorate. I'm sure my subconscious saw this on Pinterest somewhere, but I'm pretty proud of myself for thinking this up/remembering this project on the fly.
When we got home and I finally gave up on hopes of Rascal taking a nap, we went outside and painted our little pumpkin friends. Pardon me while I pat myself on the back for making sure Rascal didn't get any paint on her clothes.

You gotta do what you gotta do.

The weather was PERFECT and we both had fun- I'd call this a major mama win. Plus, our pumpkins turned our pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself!
After that, we decided that we needed more pumpkins to paint, so the following day we went back to the patch with my parents. As you can see, Rascal was beyond thrilled to pose for pictures with Mama.

She loves me.

Happy fall, y'all!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Steph Says: Bulu Box Review & Discount Code!

Hey friends!
After two beautiful weeks in Pensacola, I arrived home to my very first Bulu Box delivery!

I love getting packages and letters in the mail. Who doesn't?! Mail is so much fun! Except for bills. And junk mail. I mean, how many times are you going to offer me this credit card? I already spend too much money I don't have- can you NOT tempt me any further? Kthnxbye.

So when FitApproach offered its SweatPink ambassadors a chance for a free Bulu Box, I jumped all over that. Bulu Box is, according to FitApproach, the first health, nutrition and weight loss discovery box designed to help you feel your best. Each month, you’ll get a custom box filled with a new mix of 4 to 5 premium samples from top brands to try. Every sample is sufficient enough to decide if the product is right for you.

Here was the delicious and nutritious spread waiting for me! I was a little sad (at first) that it wasn't all edible, but that quickly changed!

So fancy!
Right away, I tried the Earth's Care Anti-Itch Cream. Living in the deep south has its perks, but the thriving mosquito population is not one of them. And they adore me. First time I took the Rascal to the park upon our return from Florida, I was promptly eaten alive. I couldn't wait to get home and slather myself in this cream. Thankfully, it WORKS. Two minutes after putting it on my bites, they stopped itching and I could again focus on something other than wanting to scratch my legs raw. It's thicker than I expected,  more like a balm than a cream. I'd definitely buy this in a larger size to keep on hand. I love that it's made of natural camphor and menthol so it won't irritate my skin any further than the mosquitoes already have!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Then I tried the Quest protein powder- peanut butter flavor. I have been wanting to try this brand ever since I first heard about it, so I had high expectations. Quest surpassed them! I mixed it with skim milk in my Blender Bottle and it came out like an actual protein SHAKE- thick and creamy, not like slightly thicker flavored skim milk. The peanut butter flavor was on point as well. And they gave you not one, but TWO sample packets of this! Way to win me over. Next time I need protein powder, this will be my first choice.

Like buttahhhh. Peanut buttah.
Then I tried the Herba Prima Fiber Plus Powder supplement. Honestly, I didn't notice much of a difference in my regularity?? I don't really pay attention to that in the first place, unless there's a problem, so who knows. The dark color of the drink was rather unappealing and the apple cinnamon flavor wasn't my favorite either. I noticed that the label claimed this was the "new and improved flavor" so I shudder to think of what it tasted like BEFORE the improvement...

Bottoms up.
I brought the Mediterra Sundried Tomato & Basil bar along with me on a day trip to Baton Rouge. Okay, real talk? I am a firm believer in the idea that any type of wrapped-up bar should be sweet in nature. This did nothing to change my mind. The granola/protein bar texture does not lend itself well to a savory flavor. It was just weird. Really, really weird.
I just can't. Can't even, even. 
Last, but SO not least, were the Movit Energy Gummies. Y'all,  they were good. They tasted like legit fruit snacks, like the ones I steal from my kid. Exactly unlike the way those gummy vitamins can taste. I tried my bag before a 5 mile run instead of my usual Spark or preworkout and I had the same amount of energy that I usually do! I was worried they wouldn't give me the kick I need at 5:45 a.m. on Saturday, but they were perfect. I think these could really give me a burst of energy in the middle of a run or a race.

All smiles.

To sum up, three out of five products were fantastic, which is pretty sweet odds for a sample box. I was really happy with the variety between all of the different samples, and it was a fun way to try out some new products. That Quest protein powder won my heart hands-down!

Interested in giving BuluBox a try? The lovely people over at FitApproach have given me a discount code to share with you! Visit their website and use the code SWEATPINK for 50% off a 3-month subscription to BuluBox. That's like five bucks a month. That's like, less than one grande salted caramel mocha.

Oh dear God, someone bring me a salted caramel mocha. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Steph Says: Except...

One of the girls in my run group is injured. I FEEL for her because she WANTS to run, but she has to take it easy. So last week I decided to stick with her and walk 4 fast miles instead of run the usual 5 with the crew. Then on Friday night, as we're planning our Saturday run for the weekend, she throws out "Hey anyone wanna bike with me tomorrow?" And I'm like SHYEA so we decide we're gonna bike 12 miles and I'm like praise Jesus, I don't have to run tomorrow!
Then I had a small realization. Revelation, if you will. My group is running 5 miles twice a week and ramping up to 5 plus on Saturdays to prepare for race season. That's also with hitting the gym Monday-Wednesday-Friday. 
That's a lotta fitness going down and I AM ALL ABOUT IT.
Except I get burned out on running REAL quick. And my first race of the season isn't until Cajun Cup 10k in November. And my first half isn't until December or maybe even January. And I'm also planning to run another FULL ZYDECO in 2016. In short, there are many, many miles in my future. I'm already burning out and it doesn't even need to get that real yet. 
So I made an executive decision. I'm going lighter on my miles, higher on my intensity. I've been wanting to work on my speed for, oh, four years or so. Why not now?! Dial down the miles, dial up the pace. Boom. Done. Plan, planned.
Except I feel like a failure. 
In my warped brain, twelve miles on a bike isn't good enough.
Here's the conversation my brain is having lately. 
Buckle up. 
Biking? Pffft. I should be running eight or more miles. I should be eating better. I shouldn't have eaten Cheez-Its for dinner. I should try IIFYM again. I AM trying Weight Watchers again. Wait, that teensy kid-sized granola bar is three points? I have to run 2 miles to earn back those points. What is my life? Ooh pumpkin spice latte M&Ms? It's fall y'all, get in my basket and get in my belly. I need more FitBit steps. I want a cheeseburger. Why didn't I burn more calories this morning? Am I not lifting heavy enough? It felt heavy. I'm sore! I didn't think I could lift my kid out of her crib after those chest flys! Should I have just one tablespoon of cream with my coffee? Or two? I think I earned two. I want some of Rascal's cereal. Why don't I remember Captain Crunch being this good? I should be having egg whites. What's for lunch? I'm eating breakfast thinking about my next meal. Diet starts Monday. Diet starts Monday. Diet starts Monday. 
There is something seriously wrong here.
Except five years ago, a lap around the neighborhood on my bike was like WHEWWWW FITNESS. Now I'm biking twelve MILES.
I've changed so much as a person and my body is totally different but, still, I feel like a complete failure for gaining back a solid 15 pounds when I was SO CLOSE to my goal. And furthermore, HOW WILL I EVEN STAY THERE if I ever manage to reach the goal?!?!?!? One sunny day, in the near-distant future, I'll hit goal and be like yeaaaaaaaaaa let's go get Route 44 milkshakes at Sonic to celebrate!!!
Except goal will never be reached if I continue to find little reasons to "celebrate." Oh, it's Tuesday? We need cupcakes. Oh, I ate really healthy all day? Gotta have some Oreos to balance that out. It's all about balance, right? WRONG KINDA BALANCE, STEPHANIE. 
Except on Saturday morning, I got on my bike and rode over 13 miles. I rode through a neighborhood that inspired me to possibly start a major renovation project on my grandparents' old house. I rode down a wooded private road with beautiful homes and decks on a hidden pond. I rode over the bridge and saw the sun rising over the Vermilion River. I rode with...this is SO CHEESY but I can't help myself...with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face and I had SUCH a good time with two of my favorite girls. When it was all said and done, I'd  burned over 600 calories. 
Except no more excepts. Because maybe it's enough just to be happy and enjoy the journey right now. I'm not who I used to be. I like who I've become over the past two years. I just wish this me had a little more wiggle room in my size 12 jeans.

Except ok I lied, one more except...Except tomorrow is a new day to start over. To make the good choices. To eat the healthy things. To be happier than I was today. 
Now THAT'S a plan I can be all about.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Steph Says: Healthy Mex

It's no secret that I love food.
I especially love mexican food. Chips, queso, and a margarita so big I could swim in it? My happy place. Add in some good friends and perhaps a plate of sizzling beef fajitas, and you're looking at my version of heaven.
However, all of that el saturated fat is no bueno for my whole "stop gaining weight" thing. Plus, those gallon-sized margaritas aren't cheap. Unless you hit a 2-4-1 special... okay, I'm getting off track.
I love to eat, but I haaaaaaate to cook, so the easier the better. The only (well, not only) thing I hate more than cooking is cleaning up after said cooking. I like one-pot wonders fa sho.
This has got it all, senorita.

1 lb ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 jar of salsa (I like On the Border brand for this particular dish)
1 can of black beans
Optional: 1 can of corn and/or some taco seasoning
1. Brown ground turkey and onions. Drain off any excess fat.
2. Drain, rinse, and dump in the canned beans (and corn).
3. Pour in jar of salsa. Season if you so desire. Stir it up. Cook until it's all heated through.

Hecho. Terminado.

Whatever you can dream up.
Jalapenos? .
Sour cream? Sure!
Cheese? DUH.
Tortilla chips? Well, there goes the "healthy" element, but whatever floats your boat. Ooh. Or Fritos. Go with the Fritos Scoops. Go big or go home, yo.
Lettuce? Heck YEA. Make this shiz into a taco salad! Dump some shredded iceberg in a bowl, ladle this goodness on top, sprinkle some cheese- voila. (Wait...this blog just got multilingual!)
Rice? Make it a Chipotle bowl knockoff. Go 'head with your bad self. 
Or. OR! Put this on a flour tortilla and make a burrito out of it! Or tacos! The possibilities are ENDLESS, my friend.

I'd post a picture, but there's really nothing pretty-looking about this meal. Just trust me, It's a healthy fiesta in your mouth.

De nada.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mad Libs with FitApproach and Puritan's Pride

Remember that game Mad Libs? I used to love playing that as a kid! Nerd alert. 
It was also great when I taught 7th and 8th grade English to help the kids remember nouns and verbs and all those parts of speech. But I don't teach English anymore so BYE, FELICIA! 
But when FitApproach and Puritan’s Pride came up with this Mad Lib, I couldn't resist!

I’m so pumped to fuel my #1MillionMinutes goals with Puritan’s Pride! All summer I plan to run and lift my way to a healthier, fitter me, and I’ll need help staying hydrated and fueled during all my healthy adventures!

I will make sure I stay on track and will rely on fruits & veggies to keep me well fueled before, during and after workouts, and my giant water bottles to keep me hydrated!

I’m most excited to try Biotin and Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM from Puritan’s Pride because they look like things I could really use. I'm trying to strengthen my thin hair, and I'm sure my joints wouldn't hate a little extra love!

One supplement I’ve never tried but am curious about is coconut oil. I think it might make me extra nutty...just kidding. I'm really curious about cooking with it!

Bring it, #1MillionMinutes! I’m ready to go!

This post was written in exchange for a gift from Puritan’s Pride, thanks to FitApproach and #sweatpink! My hubs taught me well... if it's for free, it's for me. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Steph Says: I have a problem.

It's no secret that I love to eat. I mean, how else would I have spent most of my teen and adult life over 200 pounds? By eating healthy and exercising? Surely, you jest.

I didn't "discover" exercise until my dear friend Katie made me wog the LSU lakes with her (she jogged ahead, I stumbled along gasping for air and mentally writing my will), then dragged me to the Rec and taught me how to do hip bridges. (What a fabulous introduction, eh?) Somehow, I got a little hooked.

Eating, on the other hand, has always been my downfall. Let's hope there's a taco in that other hand.
I know all the tricks. I've tried almost every diet in the book. I've counted calories, points, carbs, proteins, fats, and the pounds on the scale as they've gone up and down and up and down.
And up.

Lately, I've been having a bit of a mental block. And I'm seeing the results on the scale. I was so close to my goal of losing 100 pounds in two years, but I didn't quite make it. By a measly FIVE POUNDS. And that has sent me into a tailspin of unhealthy choices, one after the other.

I have this terrible tendency to let one bad choice ruin my whole day. Ate too many carbs at lunch? Oh well, guess I need to make oven s'mores at 10:00 p.m. with Triscuits because I am a sad, desperate woman.
Why can't I just say, " had way too many carbs at BEHAVE YOSELF the rest of the day"? Why must I sabotage all my hard work with a major TREAT YOSELF-style binge?

I managed to do 10 days of nearly perfect IIFYM tracking, but then on Saturday night we went to a little outdoor concert where I decided that I needed sangria and pizza. So that was naturally followed by ice cream, steak, garlic bread, toffee cookies, Chinese food, cake balls, a scone, and more unskinnified iced coffee than I'd like to admit.
(At least I didn't eat all that in one sitting. Or even in one day. I spaced out the binge over four days...yay?)

So here I sit on Thursday morning wallowing in regret and self-pity and some extra pounds. I've been here before. I didn't like it all those other times...and I don't like it now.

So WHY do I keep doing this to myself?

Will there ever be a time in my life that I can just apply all of this knowledge and continuously make healthy choices, with a few little splurges here and there? Splurges that I can just savor in the moment, and then move on. Will I ever be able to lose or maintain just by knowing and eating what's good for me (whole grains, lean meats) instead of craving and devouring what's bad (whole cakes, sugary sweets)?

I'm tired of starting why do I keep giving up?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Steph Says: Race Training

Ahhh, race training. A dedicated, set schedule that dictates when and how far one must run in order to achieve the desired results come race time.
Also known as: what I'm NOT doing right now.
Who am I? What is life?
South Louisiana goes on a bit of a race hiatus from late May to October because it is just too obnoxiously HUMID to get anything done outdoors. And I just hate the treadmill. HATE. I've tried, and I feel like a total spaz, plus I'm worrying the whole time about just how awful it will be when I trip and have to tuck and roll off the back of the belt. 
Did I mention I fell off a treadmill in 4th grade at fat camp?
Did I mention my day-long stint at fat camp?
In short, I fell off a treadmill on day one and completely skinned off (as in, no skin remained) my knees, so I couldn't return to camp because my skin had to basically regenerate itself and I couldn't exactly "perform exercises" in that state.

Good times.
Stop laughing.
It's not funny.
Stop it. 

I fell in love with outdoor running back in 2011, and no matter the weather, that's where I feel best. Which is why I get a little antsy when there's nothing to train for. The most important thing about training for me is the mental aspect. My body has proved to me time and time again that it can, and will, do whatever I tell it to do (except when it comes to the treadmill). My mind, however, is still the not-so-little little girl at fat camp who is scared. And has the knees of a burn victim.

So how does a former fat girl go from couch to marathon? This is what has worked for me.

1. Pick your race.
My next big race won't be until November. I may do some 5ks if they come up, but I'm gunning for the Cajun Cup 10k. It was my first "big race" and I will always love it! Once a race has been chosen, you gotta commit. 
2. Set your goal.
Last year I finished the Cup in 1:08. This year I want to do it in less than an hour. (Oh great, now I typed it here, so it's official.)
3. Pick your plan.
There are hundreds of training plans available online, plus dozens of apps. Google around and see what fancies you. Best advice? Look for something that will work with your life. If you can't find time for a 10 miler on a Wednesday, keep looking for a 5 Tuesday/5 Thursday kind of plan. Or go with the tried and true Couch to 5k app- I will sing that app's praises until the day I die!!! 
4. Stick to your plan as much as possible.
Guess what? Life happens. So you go with the Wednesday 10 miler plan, and you have to work late one week. Or your kid gets sick. Or someone dies. (My grandpa passed away one week before my first marathon- talk about throwing a wrench into my plan!) Things will happen and runs will not happen. Don't beat yourself up. Just do better next week. 
5. Don't slack on the training runs...especially the long ones. 
When you're out there on mile 14 of a 20 mile run, it's VERY tempting to turn it into a casual stroll. Don't. Push yourself. Take it seriously so that when you reach mile 14 of the race, your body doesn't think "Oh, alrighty now, time for a relaxing little jaunt around the park! Cheerio!"
Apparently my body talks like a British chimney sweep. Or I've watched Mary Poppins a lot lately. The kid likes what the kid likes, and these days it's a spoonful of sugar. 
Good luck getting that out of your head. 
6. Get ready for race day. 
You've put in the work, so in order to make race day a good experience, plan out your clothes/shoes/fuel/gear the day before. Lay it all out so you're not scrambling at 4:30 a.m. because there are few things worse than not being able to find your headphones and being in a rush just to make it to the start line. 
7. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Run the race, collect the bling, enjoy the post-race party, and stuff your face (and then get back on the wagon)!

This post was created as part of the #sweatpink @fitapproach SPA Blogger Pros program! Click here if you wanna know more about Fit Approach!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Steph Says: A Day In The IIFYM Life

Bwahahahahah, oh that's a good one! Real cute! Oh, my abs hurt from all the laughing. Do I get to count that as my workout?

I LIVE to EAT. Food is life. I love the taste of food. I love the social aspect of it. I love going out to dinner. I love lunch dates. I love brunch dates. I just love food.
If you were to ask me if there is anything on earth I love more than food, I could only name two things: my husband and my daughter. But don't ask me that in the middle of one of her new public temper tantrums. You may receive a VERY different response.

IIFYM, or If It Fits Your Macros, has been an eye-opening challenge for me food-wise, but in a good way. I have realized just how horribly off my serving size estimations have always been. IIFYM is helping me to learn what makes my body lean(er) and my muscles strong. It's also keeping my brain active (I had to relearn 2nd grade math for this) and my tummy happy! Basically, you (or a coach) calculates exactly how many grams of protein, fat, and carbs (macronutrients) your body needs a day based on your weight loss/muscle gain goals. Then you weigh everything you eat and track the amount of macros you consume. I used Paige to calculate my numbers. Her prices are very reasonable and she gave me so much information! Thank you Paige! She figured out that I need to eat 148 grams of protein, 64 grams of fat, and 165 grams of carbs each day in order to continue losing weight. Here's the trick: I weigh and measure almost every single thing I eat. Yes, it's a hassle. No, I don't love that part of IIFYM. But it's worth it because I am seeing the results!

My eating day begins the night before. Before I fall asleep, I take a mental inventory of what needs to be eaten the next day, such as a fruit that's on the verge of going bad or certain leftovers I need to get rid of, or if I know I have lunch or dinner plans. I enter these into the My Fitness Pal app with a rough guess on the weight- I'll verify as I go. Last night I realized I needed to eat some almost-bad cherries and a frozen turkey burger that I had put in the fridge to defrost. Then comes the fun part: I start dreaming.
Ooh, turkey burger. Well, I need a bun for that, and I have a bag of frozen sweet potato fries I need to go easy on the carbs at breakfast to save room. Gotta have cheese too. Hmm...all I have is mozzarella. But I also have turkey pepperoni. And tomato sauce that I need to use. Oh my, a turkey pizza burger?! I am a genius.
Then I go to sleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head and a flexible, loose plan of my upcoming day. Things will change, things will weigh more or less than I anticipated, so I'll do some finagling all day long to get it all right.
I wonder how many carbs are in a sugar plum?
What IS a sugar plum?!
Just go to sleep, Stephanie.

When my alarm goes off, I'm actually excited to get out of bed...because it means I get to eat. Starting with my gummy vitamins- 4g carbs.

Today I stayed home most of the day, so I was able to make everything at home and didn't need any "on the go" meals such as protein shakes or quest bars (but I usually have a daily protein shake. Today I was just lucky!) I also ate things that had nutrition facts on the package or could easily be found on My Fitness Pal. If I eat out somewhere, I try to look up the nutrition facts online and overestimate the serving size. If it's something cooked by someone else, or a place that doesn't have nutrition facts online, I guess and/or try to find similar things on MFP. Sometimes I throw my hands up and say whatever, I'm eating this and I'm going to savor every untracked, unweighed bite! but I try to keep those experiences to a minimum. Key word: try. 


All goes according to plan! This scramble is my low-carb breakfast go-to, and it has a lot of flavor. Plus it's EASY.
Turkey Scramble
1 egg (53g, 5.3f/0.4c/6.7p)
6 tbs egg whites (from the carton- 0f/0c/10p )
Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Crumbles (57g, 5f/2c/10p)

Pitted cherries (155g, .3f/25c/1.6p)

Iced Coffee
4oz Fair Life Skim Milk (0f/3c/6.5p)
1 tbs half & half (1.5f/.5c/.5p)
2 packets Splenda (0f/2/c/0p)
Fill glass with ice, then pour in iced coffee! Black coffee doesn't have enough macros to bother tracking. Yesssss!

Crisis time. I realize that my turkey burger (which is supposed to stay frozen until the day you cook it) has been sitting in the fridge a lot longer than I thought. So scratch that, but I need something with protein, and I am still hung up on my pizza burger idea. But wait! I HAVE SOME DELI TURKEY! Crisis averted!
Broil it, baby. Look at that melty cheese!

Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Seven-Grain Hamburger Bun (58g, 2.5f/22.4c/6p)
Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast (107g, 1.9f/1.9c/19.1p)
Turkey Pepperoni (19g, 2.5f/0c/5.7p)
2% Mozzarella Cheese (19g, 3.1f/0c/4.8p)
Pasta Sauce (30g, .7f/2.2c/.5p)
Alexia Seasoned Sweet Potato Fries (138g, 11.5f/34.4c/3.3p)

I had originally planned to eat a little more of this apple, but I ate a few more fries than I was supposed to. There weren't enough fries left in the bag to justify another serving so I just finished it off and adjusted some of my carbs. I weighed out my portion and shared the rest with Rascal. She loves apples, and I feel like a half-decent mom. Aww look, she's eating healthy! *shamefully scrapes Rascal's uneaten bits of corn dog and ketchup into the trash* 

Honeycrisp Apple

I had to do some thinking here because I ate less protein at lunchtime than I had originally planned due to the turkey burger issue. So where I had planned for some kind of mixed veggie, I subbed in some edamame because it has more protein than say, peas and carrots.
It got a little complicated here. The serving size on the bag was 28g of UNSHELLED pods. Last time I checked, the pods were not exactly edible. You ever tried eating one of those? My husband has. He doesn't recommend it. I had to do some searching on My Fitness Pal and some Googling to figure out the correct macros, and to be completely honest I'm still not sure if I got them correct. Life goes on.
Okay. Disclaimer. I am a terrible cook, especially at night. It's like something just goes horribly wrong when I try to experiment in the kitchen, and if it's dinner time, something's getting burned or it's gonna be just plain BAD.  Exhibit A- my Teriyaki Chicken Fried Rice Fiasco.
The chicken alone is delicious. 

Delicious. I don't even like chicken, and I look forward to eating this.
But I had some leftover brown rice and I still needed some fats and protein, so I thought I'd make Chinese! Easy, fun, and yummy, right?

So wrong.
The egg didn't do what I imagined it would. The edamame should just be eaten alone. The rice makes this look like dog food. And the chicken, the delicious chicken, didn't taste like saucy teriyaki goodness. It tasted like chicken. But since I went through the trouble of weighing all this, you bet your sweet bippy I ate it all.
Just in case you like looking at train wrecks up-close. 
Teriyaki Chicken (132 g, 9.4f/6.3c/26.7p)
Edamame (105 g, who knows if this is 100% accurate- 3.8f/12c/12p)
Brown Rice (68g, .5f/15.5c/2p)
Egg (50g, 4.7f/.9c/5.6p)

Dessert/Snack 2:
After that awful dinner, this saved me. I always try to save macros for an after-dinner treat because I am a firm believer in the whole "treat yoself" movement. P28 to the rescue!

P28 Whole Wheat High Protein Bread (53g, 4f/13.6c/15.8p)
P28 Signature Blend Peanut Butter (33g, 13f/7c/14p)

All of that totals up to 151 grams of protein, 70 grams of fat, and 167 grams of carbs. I went over on my protein by 3 grams, fat by 6 grams, and carbs by 2 grams. IIFYM allows you a little bit of wiggle room +/-5 grams on either side of your goals, so while it was not a perfect day, it was close.

And there you have it- my day in macros. Does your brain hurt? Well, it's worth it for me because I get to eat a LOT of food while losing weight- I call that a win!
Two months of IIFYM.
My stomach is tighter, my shoulders are more defined, and my angry face is on point.

I can't believe I just shared this picture. I'm hoping this post was so long that none of you scrolled this far... I'm not where I want to be, but I am on the right path.
I am worth every ounce of trouble.

Thanks for coming along on this ride.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Steph Says: Stitch Fix Box 2 Review

My second Stitch Fix box was so much better than my first, and I kinda wanted to keep everything! But you know, the whole "I have no job and no real paycheck coming in and my husband doesn't seem to believe that new clothes are a NEED and not simply a WANT" thing makes me have to hold back. It's not fun.

But seriously. I NEED NEW CLOTHES.
My closet is stuck in this weird mid-life crisis. Approximately 1/8 of it has cute, current, stylish things that fit me nicely. Half of it is gym clothes and "I'm not leaving my house today" clothes. The other 3/8 is filled with my old teaching gear, which is now mostly too big but I keep hanging on to it "just in case." Does anyone else do that?! Oh hey, this shirt could also double as a circus tent in a pinch, but I better keep it just in case... in case of what? An emergency circus tent malfunction?
I don't even like the circus.
And I wouldn't be wearing a dressy work top to the circus if I did happen to find myself at one.
And somehow I've gotten completely off track. Surprise, surprise.

If you're like...what is this mythical Stitch Fix she's talking about? check out my first post for all the details on how it works. Basically, cute clothes show up on your doorstep. I'm in. 

Thanks again to The Hubs for his photog skills. We even took this one outside. He's earning his paycheck, that one. Onto the Fix!

Item #1
Fun2Fun Clarise Mixed Print Tank
I. Love. This. Top. I love the print, I love the length, I love the colors, I just LOVE IT. $38 was a little pricey, but I try to keep at least one item so my $20 styling fee doesn't go to waste. I totally kept this one and I've worn it enough already to get my money's worth.

Item #2
Daniel Rainn Tolley Mixed Print Crochet Detail Tie-Neck Blouse
(that's a mouthful)
Okay. Sixty-eight dollars? What the what? Are you kidding me? And I find Daniel Rainn tops at TJ Maxx for $16.99 on the reg. Maybe you're paying for the ridiculously long style name? This was cute, but a nope.
Because I can think of a dozen ways I'd rather spend $70!

Item #3
Papermoon Zemba Henley Blouses
I liked this top. I like it even more now that I'm looking at this picture again. But up close, the print was just weird. Really weird. On second thought, I'm satisfied that it was sent back.

Item #4
Papermoon Rylie Embroidery Detail Tank
So much love for this top. I'm a sucker for embroidery detail, so I knew right away I was keeping this one. I wore it for Rascal's birthday party because it matched the decor (yes, I wanted to match my daughter's party's plates. Shut up). She's a keeper!

Item #5
Pixley Marie Abstract Chevron Elastic Waist Dress
Aww, this dress. It was cute. I liked it. But I wasn't head-over-heels for it, and there was something not quite right about the little flap of underboob fabric. Plus, it was not a summer-in-Louisiana-friendly material. If you live in the South, I know you feel me.

So there you have it! Box #2 was a definite winner in my book. I feel like the stylists over there are getting to know me a little bit better, so I'm going to be requesting my next box soon. What should I ask for?

And if you think you'd love a Fix in your life, I'd be mucho thankful if you'd use my referral code.

Hope you have a lovely Friday!