Goodbye 2013 … Welcome 2014!

With a new year among us there are many resolutions flowing and being shared amongst those of us who are on social media outlets.  Whatever your resolution/wish/goal is for 2014 I wish you happiness, success and a beautiful & cherished 2014.
What is my resolution? Well … I don’t make resolutions because in my mind a resolution is a rule and rules are made to be broken.  So I make promises to myself. I also make goals for myself to aim at conquering.
2013 had me at a very long standstill for a while (having surgery, ending up in physical therapy and on doctor ordered restrictions from doing really anything). That 6-month roller coaster aside, I ended 2013 on a high note – I’ve been back at the gym, going to my beloved zumba class at least 2 times a week, usually 3.  I eased into it slowly, doing what I could. I’ve been working out with some weight machines and last week I did my first total body workout class before zumba. I was so sore and could barely move for a few days, but I’m feeling better and can’t wait to smash another total body class on Saturday morning.
 
One high-note that I ended 2013 on was I went shopping at Kohl’s because I had some Kohl’s Cash to spend. I found a pair of jeans and decided to try them on. I find shopping for jeans can be a pain because my waist is one size, but my behind is another. I’ve been wearing 12’s for over 4-months now, so I pulled on a pair of size 10 jeans and THEY FIT! I was elated! They FIT PERFECTLY!  I’ve been doing a tango with the scale for weeks – for a while my weight was continuing to go up and up and up due to a medication I was taking. This just showed that regardless of whatever the scale says, hard work will pay off and show in other ways. Obviously, I’m losing inches thanks to my work at the gym … so I’ll take a non-scale victory any day! Speaking of losing inches … I should start measuring myself.
Now as for 2014 …I want to make 2014 the healthiest year for me!
I am aiming at hitting my goal weight this year. It’s been a long time coming, I deserve it and I’m going to give it my all to get there.  Now that I can use the gym as a tool to help me get there, I’m going to use that to my best advantage. There isn’t a secret to losing weight – it’s just a lot of hard work and dedication. I also realize that sometimes the scale will not be my “friend” so I’m going to focus more on how I feel (physically), how I felt my week went and if everything I did/ate was accounted for. If I’ve been dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s, I’m going to hope for the best but I’m also going to realize that sometimes the scale doesn’t reflect a good week and I will not let that get me sidetracked or down.  I also need to realize that I’m technically paying to look like this (meaning my monthly Weight Watchers membership, my ActiveLink and my gym membership) so eliminating one of those monthly payments in itself can help be a driving force to hit my goal weight.
Another goal of mine is to try to watch and perhaps even limit my snacking. I love snacks, always have, but I want to have only 1 or 2 healthier/low point snacks on hand at a time. Over the past 2 months I’ve slowly been depleting the snack stock by putting stuff out with company comes over, offering it out, giving it away, etc. I realize I live with others who eat what they want, but since I do primarily most of the grocery shopping I want to only purchase what’s requested not any “oh I think he’d like these” type of items. Truthfully I’d like to make my snacks healthier alternatives – onion & chive cottage cheese with crackers/pita chips, hummus with vegetables or pita chips, greek yogurt with fruit, deli ham rolled up with pieces of pickle, and I think it’s time to reintroduce sugar free jello back into my life.
I’m also looking into giving Weight Watchers Simple Start (Simply Filling) program a shot. To hold myself accountable, I think I’m going to follow the program BUT I’m going to track/weigh/measure everything out.  There was 1 week in 2013 where I was house sitting and followed a relatively simply filling sort of lifestyle. I didn’t have snacks on deck; I only had fruits, vegetables, lean meats and grains on hand. I was satisfied and lost a good amount of weight that week. The program would also kick my adoration for sugar and carbs.

As always I’m focused on maintaining positivity this year. Trying new things and pushing myself to branch out of my comfort zone more and more.

Here’s to making 2014 one of the best years of our lives!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hello … my name is Shannon


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Hello.  My name is Shannon and I’m a self-proclaimed Carboholic.  I also am attracted to things with the word “New” on them.  The “New” thing doesn’t get me into trouble as much as carbs do.  Okay, so not even carbs of all kinds … I’m most importantly talking about, bread!
I love bread. Always have. Bread, like almost any child, is a staple from a very early age. Toast, peanut butter and jelly, sandwiches, French toast, etc.  They all begin with bread.  Three of these were introduced to me as a child, minus, peanut butter and jelly.  Yes, I had my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my teenage years (I want to say I was 15 or 16 ) and I had it out of sheer curiosity. I know! When I say this to people I get sideways glances. But truth be told, I just never really wanted one … I mean as a child in my mind peanut butter was meant to be eaten on crackers, not bread!
I remember my mom coming home with a fresh stick of hot Italian bread from the local bakery. The smell would draw me (and my nose) in.  I would eat it either plan or with butter on it. To this day, if someone has a stick of hot bread in their house I’m going to sniff it out. I’m like a hound dog – it’s crazy. And it drives me absolutely insane when my local grocery store takes the fresh bread out of the oven because I swear they pump that smell through the ventilation system. My stomach starts growling and suddenly I want to make subs for dinner. Forget the groceries in the cart, subs! That’s when I breathe through my mouth and quickly find my way to the checkout aisle – sans stick of hot bread.
Since starting my weight loss journey I’ve sideways tackled the bread obsession. If I do have bread, its light bread, light wheat or multigrain slims. I buy pita bread from the local Lebanese bakery if I want pita bread – or I buy the wheat flax pita from the grocery store.  I admit the breads that I buy for myself aren’t a trigger for me. I don’t love light white bread.  BUTwhat I found this past week was that I subconsciously reach for bread to incorporate with meals that I may not necessarily need with a meal.
For instance, the week before last I was out of my element dog/cat/house sitting for my aunt and uncle while they were on vacation. Due to this I had to pre-plan every meal to a T. My usual staples weren’t at my fingertips so I had to eat what I brought with me.  Looking back at that week I was kind of subconsciously following the simply filling technique by eating more power foods (see here), and found I was satisfied and full after meals. If I had bread, it was a multigrain slim or light bread and it was with one meal – either with my egg salad or with a hamburger, etc. at dinner.  That week when I stepped on the scale my reward was a pretty hefty loss (nearly 5 pounds).  I was shocked.
Fast forward to going back home, being in my element and eating the way I tend to eat at home. I realized I wasn’t as satisfied as I was the week prior. By 5-days in, I felt I was a little bit bloated. Looking back at my week there were some days where I had a sandwich for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and I may have had a piece of bread to go along with dinner. I also wasn’t having my fruit salad as my nightly snack as I was the week prior.  It was definitely a learning lesson and one that has made me create a goal for myself this week.
My goal this week (as the weeks to follow) is to be more conscious when making choices surrounding bread. I want to try to have 1 serving of bread a day, but I’m not going to be overly strict on myself because I don’t like rules. I break rules. But I am going to question myself “Do I need to eat this as a sandwich?” and if the answer is no, I’m going to try it without the bread and see how I like it. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but I honestly like bread, I like sandwiches and I’ve lost weight eating them. But I’m trying to make healthier choices for myself. If I skip on the bread, I could provide my body with more protein at dinner or at lunch. Which means being satisfied longer … and that’s what I’m aiming for.
QUESTION:
So what is one goal you’ve set for yourself this week or month?