NOVEMBER 2011

  • FABULOUS

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    One of my favorite parts of doing Take Shape for Life & utilizing the Medifast products, is that they come out with 2-4 new products a year.  Two year ago I fell in LOVE with the brownie and the cheese puffs {Parmesan & chili nacho}.  They became staples in my day to day journey.  Last year I got hooked on the BBQ bites and enjoyed the spiced pancake.  I also always love some of the old staples like the dark chocolate antioxidant shake, dutch chocolate shake, chili, chocolate chip pancake, chocolate pudding, hot cocoa, and the chocolate mint bar.

     

    Just a couple weeks ago, they released three new products.  I LOVE them all.  I have been enjoying them each daily & am giddy about the fact that they are helping me reach my goal.  The scale is moving in the right direction {down} consistently, and I am using these awesome meals to get me there!
    The new products are:

    1. Orange Blend Drink: Admittedly, I was hesitant about this one.  I haven’t been a huge fan of any of the shakes that weren’t chocolate and thought this would taste like the orange shake.  It doesn’t.  It tastes a bit like the Tang I used to drink at my Aunt’s house when I was a kid.  I blend it with a little ice & water in the blender to get a super frothy, orange julius-y type drink for breakfast & it is amazing!

    2. Hearty Vegetarian Sloppy Joe: I love the chili, so thought it might taste super similar to that.  It’s different and I actually like it better!  It has a lot more substance to it than most the other soups, and a hearty & warm flavor.  I make it on the stovetop with 1c. water rather than 1/2c. and enjoy it with a package of the garden veggie crackers for lunch.  So good!

    3. Chocolate Chip Soft Bake: warm, chewy, yummy!  I sometimes add 1T. PB2 when I mix it and that makes it even yummier!  Totally good for a last meal of the evening.  I’ve even had it for breakfast!  Shhh… (:  And, it’s super yummy made in the microwave or the oven, so you can make lots ahead of time to save for later if you’d like.

     

    Soooo, I want to give a way a box of each of these great new products to some lucky winners!

    All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me which product you’d like to try.  Simple, right?

    For an extra entry in the category of your choice, post about the giveaway on your blog or Facebook.  Then come back, leave a second comment letting me know what you did.  Easy peasy!  Spread the word & check back.  I’ll pick the winners Monday morning.

     

    And, if you haven’t heard yet, I extended my black Friday new client special thru tonight!  If you are a first time new client & sign up TODAY, you will receive $75 off your first month’s order!! Contact me at zkyoufit@hotmail.com for more details.  Spread the word to family & friends who might be interested in losing weight or getting healthy {you know everyone you know is planning to start something on January 1st or sooner} and you get a $20 cash gift card if your referral becomes a client!  I’d love to help you {or your loved ones} reach your goals!

     

  • TRAVELING & HOLIDAY TIPS

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    With Thanksgiving fast approaching and Christmas immediately {or so it seems} after that, I know many people will be traveling to spend time with family.  During the month of October, we took a trip to the Oregon Coast.  We left on a Friday late morning and came home the next Saturday, so it was over a week of pure vacation bliss.

    Okay…mostly bliss.  When you’re traveling with two littles there are bound to be some small issues ocasionally.  And there were…but I barely remember them already.  Which is why I am a HUGE believer in yearly family vacations and traditions of all kinds.  Because after it’s over, you rarely remember the arguing, the sighing/whining/crying {not always just from the children}, the feelings of “why would we ever bring our kids on ‘vacation?'”, etc.  You just remember the awesomeness of the whole thing.  The smiles, laughter, memory making, and the total adoration you have for your family.

     

    But, I digress.  I want to tell you a bit about our trip & give some helpful traveling tips so you can still enjoy vacation, but not totally butcher your plan or the hard work you’ve put into your dream body so far.

     

    We stayed on the Coast and had a great time.  Beautiful weather, too!  I stayed on strict 5&1 Take Shape for Life plan the entire time.  I didn’t veer off at all. Zac and the littles enjoyed all kinds of yummy deliciousness in regards to foods: ice cream on the boardwalk daily, Tilamook cheese, famous pizza, sugar laden cereals, tacos, hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream, muffins, and cinnamon rolls.  It was tempting, but I was feeling good.  Here is how I did it.

     

    1. Plan Ahead:  This is crucial.  I packed a see through big tupperware type storage bin with my Medifast food & any other essentials I needed in that bin.  My vitamix blender, splenda, seasonings I like, pan spray, PB2, etc.  I decided before we even left that I’d stay on program which made the actual vacation temptations a lot less tempting.  I’d also figured out what I’d have each day as far as my 5 Medifast meals and made a grocery list for when we got there of ingredients I’d need for my lean & green dinners.

     

    2. Stay Active:  The resort we stayed at had a nice workout room which I frequented all but one of the days we were gone.  I did at least 30-60 minutes formal exercise in there {elliptical/treadmill} and then made sure to get lots of informal activity in as well.  We took long walks & I’d pack a kid or push one in the stroller.  We took the stairs {we were on the sixth floor} several times a day and played on the beach often.  We window shopped & parked far away when we drove places so we’d get a good amount of walking in.

     

    3. Have safe “treats” for yourself:  I didn’t want to feel totally deprived while I was there, so I took all the fixings for my homemade “ice cream,” enjoyed a couple sparkling waters, and made crystal lite.  I had diet hot cocoa a couple evenings, and cheese on my salad a few times.  Just little things that helped me feel like I was getting a treat without going off plan.

     

    4. Reward with non-food rewards/activities:  One day Z took the littles out for a couple hours while I soaked in a hot bath & read my book.  I bought a new book for myself, was treated to a massage, and cuddled up to a movie with my guy on a couple nights.  These were things I don’t always have time for at home {or don’t make the time for} so seemed like great rewards.  They also helped me stay on top of my goal and not veer off in any “I deserve food because I’m doing so awesome” moments.

     

    5. Be held Accountable:  I told Z, my health coach, several of my clients, and a couple friends & family members that I was staying on program.  I had clients checking up on me while I was away!  I knew I had to report good things & didn’t want to disappoint anyone {including myself} so I was motivated to stay strong.  I also kept a strict food & exercise journal on my phone so that wherever we were, I could write down anything I put in my mouth.  This kept me on track really well & is something I do on an every day basis, not just for vacations.

     

    These are just a few ideas of things you can do to prepare for traveling & Holiday’s with family, friends, and food.  Most of all, be conscious in your decisions, decide what you want beforehand, and ask for help.

     

    Oh yeah.

    Uupon coming home & weighing in the next morning, I’d lost a pound.

    On vacation.

    It wasn’t a lot, but it was something.

    And I owned it.

     

     

  • WORTH WAITING FOR

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    Confession: Much of my emotional attachment around the Holiday’s comes from food.

     

    Pioneer Woman’s Maple Cinnamon Rolls=Christmas

    Pumpkin rolls & bars=Thanksgiving

    Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies/muffins/bread=Fall & Winter

    Roast Beef Tacos with all the fixings & the best orange/pineapple slushy drink=Christmas Eve

    Ham & sweet potatoes with LOTS of marshmallows=Thanksgiving

    Caramel Apples & homemade donuts=Fall/Winter

    Homemade rice chex goo, lemon bars, gingerbread cookies, and oreos with cream cheese frosting=Neighbor/friend gifts

     

    You see what I mean?  I look forward to the Holiday season as much as the next person.  One of the main reasons for that in the past was because it meant I’d be eating super yummy and extremely comforting food.

     

    This year I’m really striving to reach my goals and have determined not to partake in the usual beloved food items.  1. Because I know myself well enough to realize doing so may throw me into a downward spiral & take me even further from my goals, and 2. I am retraining my brain to enjoy friends/family/conversations, more than food in social situations.

     

    Last week my son was assigned to bring the treat to his preschool class for Monday morning’s session.  It was Sunday late afternoon and I had no idea what he was going to take.  I pulled out the recipe box and found my old standby Fall/Winter favorite: Homemade Oreos.  These cookies are basically to die for.  They have a cake mix based chocolate oreo cookie on top & bottom and an amazingly yummy cream cheese frosting in the middle to sandwich the cookie together.  They are super yummy warm, even better the next day after sitting overnight, and completely amazing frozen.  So really, they are totally unsafe for me to be around.  I can’t just “put them in the freezer till the day I will allow myself to eat one,” because I know how yummy they are frozen and that makes them even more tempting.  But, I needed something for him to take & I had the ingredients, they are easy, and he was excited about the prospect.  I figured I could roll them in sprinkles to make them even more festive.

     

    I prepared everything and from step one till the very end when the cookies were completely assembled & waiting to be taken from my house, I was having conversations with myself.  I was using Dr. A’s technique of Stop-Challenge-Choose.  And here is what I kept telling myself:

     

    “I really want one.  I want some of the dough.  I want a spoonful of frosting.  I want an entire warm from the oven with frosting dripping out of the sides, cookie.  I want a cooled off leftover cookie.  Just one won’t undo all my progress…”

     

    Then, {this process only took a matter of seconds in my head} “I can make these anytime.  They are not a novelty.  I’ve just made them seem that way.  I always have cake mix, cream cheese, and powdered sugar.  I can make these cookies on any given day.  I don’t have to feel deprived because I’m not eating one.  I can have a brownie that is yummy and almost as good and stay safely on plan.  When I meet my goal-if I still desire to do so-I can make these cookies again and enjoy one in maintenance.  I am not depriving myself.  I’m choosing what I want MOST over what I want now.”

    When I’d made the decision in my head, the cookies weren’t even tempting.  In fact, I kept the leftovers in a baggie on the counter in the kitchen for several days afterward till my boys had eaten them all & I wasn’t even phased.  A few days after the conversation over the cookies in my head, a friend sent me a quote she’d found on Pinterest, which I’ve had on our fridge for quite a while.  It’s a mantra of sorts for me & is totally applicable.

     

    "the cause of most of man's unhappiness is sacrificing
    what he wants MOST for what he wants NOW."  Gordon B. Hinckley
    

     

    It’s not worth it for that one meal or even a weekend of meals, to give up what you want most for what you want now.  You are worth MORE than that.  I am worth more than that.   I’m looking forward to meeting my goal and enjoying that cookie.  But who knows, by that point I may not even want it!

  • PRODUCT SHOUT OUT

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    Confession: I can eat a bung-load of peanut butter.

    {That’s code for a whole lot}

     

    It’s true.  That delicious tasting spread is like smooth goodness in my mouth & tummy.  I LOVE it.  I like chunky, but I prefer smooth and although I buy the healthier version, Adam’s Natural, peanut butter is not easy on my body or the number on my scale at weigh in day.

     

    It’s a great source of fat and a decent source of protein, sure.  But just 2 small Tablespoons packs a big punch.  210 calories, 17 grams fat, 6 grams carbs, and 7 grams protein.

     

    In phase one-fat burning-of Take Shape for Life, I can have one extra snack a day in addition to my 5 Medifast and 1 lean & green meals.  One of my options is 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.  Turns out that doesn’t get me too far.  I’m often left wanting more…and on rare {read: frequent} occasions, find myself eating more than a tablespoon…Like three or four.

     

    Needless to say, I like the stuff.  And it hasn’t been helping me reach my goals.  I desperately wanted another option.  I could give it up for good-because I’m all or nothing-but I didn’t really want to have to.  Finally, a friend mentioned something on Twitter that sparked my interest.

    PB2.  Powdered Peanut Butter.

     

    Say what??  Of course I was skeptical.  It’s powder, after all.  But I read reviews and talked to lots of friends who’ve tried it and LOVED it.  The common consensus seemed to be positive.  The only place near me that sold it was over an hour away and it took me about a week before I could pick up a jar.  I was excited, but still a skeptic.  The nutrition facts were this: 2 Tablespoons gives you 45 calories, 1.5 g. fat, 5 g. carbs, and 5 g. protein.  WOW!

     

    I tried it and have to admit mixing a powdery substance with water and seeing it become peanut butter was a bit weird at first.  But then I tasted it.  And it was DELICIOUS.  I was sold.  The regular version is my favorite, but the chocolate is tasty, too.  It’s not that chocolatey, if truth be told. I ordered a case of 12 the very next day through a great site called Netrition.  They have great prices & cheap shipping-especially if you pair it with other items like yummy coconut oil!

     

    I am a definite PB2 convert.  Love the stuff.  Use it every day.  And, to be able to have 2 Tablespoons for half the calories in 1 Tablespoon of the regular stuff?  Totally worth it.  Complete no brainer.  I like it by itself as a snack {with 1 packet splenda added}, but my very favorite thing to do is to add 2 T. to my medifast brownie and microwave it as directed.  Top with 1-2 T. fat free spray whipped cream {5 calories} & it is like pure perfection in my mouth.  Try it & let me know what you think!

     

    {All opinions are my own.  I was not reimbursed, sponsored, or encouraged by Bell Plantation, Netrition, or EcoGold to love their products.  I just do!}
  • A WISE TRAINER

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    In college, I had a personal trainer I adored.  It was a love/hate relationship at first.  She was beautiful, lean & muscular, and incredibly strong.  I wasn’t sure she’d be able to relate to me at all seeing as she weighed about 100 pounds & I was much larger.  And much more self conscious.  In our first session, she had me try assisted pull ups.  I knew I wasn’t even close to being able to do a pull up on my own, but I thought with 20 or 40 pounds of assist, I could do it.  Umm, no.  I was sorely mistaken.  Turns out, it was much harder for me.  I was weaker than I’d realized.  I had to use ALL of the assist to do my 12 reps.  Totally humiliating.

    Of course she made me feel like it happens all the time and it was no big deal.  And, she promised me if I was consistent and worked hard, I would continue to make progress and eventually not need as much assistance.  {figuratively and literally}

    She taught me something else, though.  One day she chatted with me after an especially grueling upper body session where I was surrounded by full length mirrors on all sides.  She asked if she could come check out my closet of clothes.  We had become pretty close friends at this point-I tend to do that with people-and I told her {a little confusedly} that she could.  She came over and started throwing baggy workout clothes in a pile.  She had me try on different jeans & if they were too baggy she threw them in the pile, as well.  She laid down the law & the law was this: I was not to wear baggy workout clothes to the gym anymore.  I couldn’t wear the ugly old sweats/tshirts/sweatshirts I had been wearing to hide the body I was kind of ashamed of.  I was also not to wear the baggy jeans & sweaters all the time.

    She pulled two of the clothing items I kept in my “dream pile.”  You all know what I’m talking about, right?  That pile of clothes we’ll “Someday” fit into.  The too small jeans/skirts/dress/shirt, etc.  I had a bunch.  I had a pair of goal jeans & a pair of goal yoga pants.  I had not even attempted trying these items on.  She made me.  They were tight.  They were a bit uncomfortable.  The yoga pants horrified me and the jeans were able to be buttoned, but left an unattractive muffin top at the waist area & were definitely too tight to sit for long.

    I wasn’t sure what her point was, but she insisted I wear those jeans almost daily for a couple weeks and the yoga pants & a tank top to our workout sessions.  I trusted her judgement enough to do what she said and I learned a valuable lesson.

    I worked dang hard to fit into those clothes because I saw them every day.  In two weeks, the jeans were fitting a bit better & I was starting to own how I looked in fitted workout clothing.  I even liked it because I could see the tiniest changes my body was making at all times.  Since then I’ve tried to remember that discomfort isn’t always a bad thing.  It can be a very motivating driver & an indicator that something needs to change.  And I’ve always kept a pair of the next goal size around to try on & wear around the house frequently.

    {picture taken 11.9.11}

    So each time I wake up thinking I want to wear scroungy sweat pants & an oversized sweatshirt, I remember that when I do that I feel less accountable for what I put into my body, what kind of workout I do, and just how I feel about myself in general.  The times I’ve cheated on my program have most always been times I’ve not gotten fixed up & dressed for the day.  The days I value myself less.  Because you never feel really uncomfortable in a baggy pair of sweatpants.

    I’m grateful for that lesson from a wise trainer 5 years ago.  I haven’t always heeded her advice, but when I do, I see results much more quickly and am less likely to self sabotage.