Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Yesterday, my friend Mandy posted this questionnaire on her blog, and it really hit home and got me thinking. Mandy is my constant cheerleader and seeing these questions on her blog...I just had to answer them. I’ve been keeping a private blog about my struggle with weight, and even though it’s journaling my thoughts, it is still me keeping my feelings private. And sometimes that just isn’t helpful. I challenged myself to answer these questions publicly. This post is incredibly personal, probably a bit heavy (no pun intended) and it is basically one truth-bomb after another. So, there is the disclaimer.

1. Brag about some of your daily, healthy habits. I basically only drink water and try not to any drink sodas. I usually have one a week. Other than water, I drink one cup of coffee a day, sometimes a Cranergy, and sometimes Crystal Light. But mostly, just good ol’ water.

2. Do you track your daily food intake? If so, how? Yes. Well, I do now. I fell off the Weight Watchers wagon quite a while ago and slowly let all I’d lost, plus some, pile back on. The worst part is that I don’t think anyone was surprised. And that HURT. So, I’ve been back on WW for almost a month, and I’ve lost almost 10 lbs. So, I use Weight Watchers online and the iPhone app to track my food consumption.

3. What do you want to change most about your daily routine? I want my new habits to finally replace my old ones, once and for all. It’s SO hard for me. But I wake up every day trying to make the best choices I can. I hope that eventually, the right choices will become second nature.  

4. How often do you exercise? Well...I kind of don't. I’m just trying to keep it real. I’ve swam laps a couple of times, but that is only very recent. I have never enjoyed exercise, but lately it’s become painfully obvious that I NEED it. Today, I am starting the DVD series, Walk Away the Pounds. I will do it today, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Starting next week (Monday) I will do it 6 days a week. Wednesday will be my “rest” day. Keep me accountable, internet!!

5. How do you stay on track when you’re on the go? I'm....not very good at this.  But I'm trying.  <- What Mandy said. I am best at staying on track at work, where I only have the foods I should be eating. I struggle at night sometimes, because I’m so used to snacking in front of the TV. But the absolute worst time for me is the weekends. When I am on the go. This is something I am working very, very hard on.

6. What’s one excuse you use that prevents you from reaching your goals? FEAR. Typing that word brought me to tears. For about 4 years now, my weight has been kind of a shield. It’s the excuse I use in my own head for why I don’t do things. Every time I say “I’m going to lose weight”, I think I self-sabotage. I give in when I know I should be strong, and I feel guilty yet relieved at the same time. But change is about being brave. Facing fears.

7. What scares your most about your journey? Haha, see #6? Fear has kind of always controlled me. Sometimes I worry I don’t have it in me to be as brave as I need to be. I also worry so much that people around me are so over it. Seeing me commit and fail over and over must be so ridiculous to witness. I’m someone who needs support and encouragement, unfortunately, so I’m always worried that people will judge me for my failure or give up on me.

8. What do you think will change most when you reach your goal? (If you have reached it, what’s different?) I absolutely despise looking at myself in the mirror. I hate shopping. I don’t like to be in pictures. And more than any of those vain reasons of not looking good…I don’t FEEL good. I feel weak, tired and unmotivated a lot. I eagerly look forward to the day Ryan has to keep up with me. I want to enjoy two of my favorite things again – swimming and shopping. And I really, REALLY want to feel good in my own skin.

9. What motivates you to reach your goals? The answer to this question changes all the time. Mostly, I am motivated by my own reflection, or the way I feel when I’ve done an activity that wears me out, but doesn’t seem to affect those around me. I want to be in MUCH better health before we start a family…and I am so ready to start a family, so that motivates me. I’m also motivated by results. And, as terrible as it sounds, sometimes I feel jealous of those around me…and my goodness is that one heck of a motivator.

10. Share a few of your goals.
  • There is an expensive, beautiful turquoise dress that I’ve worn ONCE that is still hanging in my closet. I want to wear it again.
  • I want to wear a swimsuit in public without it being a traumatic event. (Yes, I sound incredibly dramatic. Don’t cast judgments when you haven’t lived in my skin.)
  • I want to lose enough weight/gain enough strength to be able to enjoy Yoga.
  • I want to be in better shape so I can have healthy pregnancies.
If you stuck with me, and don’t dislike me a bit, after reading all of this…then thank you for the love and support you just sent out into the universe. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

What A Birthday!

Since the last time I posted was to discuss my upcoming birthday, it seems appropriate to to do a little birthday breakdown. It was an absolute PERFECT birthday! I was so spoiled by my family and friends and the week left me feeling so, so loved. 

My "birthday week" started with dinner with my best girls at Chuy's! 
Nice photobomb, waiter dude!

I opened a gift from one of my best friends, Brittany. She cross-stitched my favorite words from my favorite movie, The Princess Bride.  It was so thoughtful and beautiful.

When I got home, I decided to open my gift from Ryan, even though it was still 2 days before my actual birthday. He is not a patient gift giver, haha. He gets so excited to see people open their gifts that he will wear you down until you agree to open it. And I must say... the moment I saw what was inside the box, I did not regret opening it early.

My sweet, thoughtful, over-achieving husband got me a CUSTOMIZED KITCHENAID STAND MIXER!!!! It is so beautiful and absolutely perfect. I think I'm still in shock...

On my actual birthday, I stumbled out of the bedroom at 6am and flipped on the kitchen light to find that Ryan had stayed up late decorating our kitchen and living room. I so wish he'd been up with me when I saw this for this first time. I am willing to bet the smile on my face was a big as they come. He really went above and beyond to make my feel special on my birthday.

My friends and family went above and beyond this year, too.

A card made by a dear friend's son. It's Chloe and Cooper!

When I got home from work, Ryan, my brother and I headed to Red Lobster for dinner. It was so yummy! Then, we scooped up a movie I'd been dying to see and headed home to settle in for the night. Ryan also made me THE most delicious Skinny Peanut Butter Pie EVER. (Ryan used regular peanut butter, FYI.) It is easily one of my (new) favorite desserts - even compared to NOT skinny ones!

I took a vacation day on Friday and got to spend the entire day with my Mom. We met for an early lunch at BJ's, did a little shopping and then decided to watch The Dark Knight in preparation for The Dark Knight Rises, which we saw Saturday morning. It was SO good!! Ryan's parents also happened to be in town so we met them for dinner Saturday night to celebrate my birthday one last time.

If my 29th birthday is any indication of what 29 will bring, then I'm entering a really amazing year of my life!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Turning 29...

In 10 days, I will celebrate my 29th birthday.

My last year in my 20's. 

Many friends and family members have told me that their 30's are/were the best years of their lives. I don't fear growing older, but this birthday feels a bit strange. I can remember my feelings on my 19th birthday. I was eager to get through 19 and turn 20. The thought of being in my 20's was so exciting and I vividly remember knowing I had year to get myself together before turning 20. As it turned out, my 19th year was one of the worst of my life and 20 was a new start of sorts. Once again I am filled with those same feelings. One year to get "ready" for 30.

I'm quite happy with most of my life today. I am married to an amazing man who is the great love of my life and my very best friend. I have an amazing group of friends. I have a family who loves me. I have a job that I don't hate going to every day. I am involved in some amazing organizations. I know what I want out of life.

But at the same time, there is so much I still want for my life. I want to help Ryan find a job that HE doesn't hate going to every day. I want to finish school. I want to start a family. I want to be done with "apartment living".

And for some reason, 30 seems like a natural deadline.

Obviously, all of those things cannot be achieved for me in one year. But, I feel like 29 will be a year of change and preparation for the future.

I am so ready.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's Not Always Going To Be Good

If you've been around my blog for a while, you know I used to post a lot of recipes. (They can all still be found here.) That's become a less frequent thing. Mostly because we went an extended period of time where we made the same dozen+ things over and over. But, thanks to Pinterest, I have entire boards devoted to recipes. 

This week, I picked one. 

This dish is a healthier alternative to a regular lasagna. It looked so good in the pictures so I decided to give it a try.

Here is the recipe:

Easy Peasy Skillet Lasagna
Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: >10 minutes
(*Note: I don't know where she got this. From start to finish, it took us about 35 minutes. Still quick, but not that quick.)
Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers One Pot cookbook.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • About 6 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into thirds & fully cooked
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (dried or fresh)


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.
  2. Add noodles to skillet and stir into the mixture well. Add scoops of ricotta cheese over the noodles; add in mozzarella and Parmesan. Stir in parsley.  Cook about 2 more minutes, or until mixture is thick.
  3. Serve immediately with additional basil or parsley.
I got the water boiling for the pasta and started prepping the other ingredients. Ryan was my sous chef. Since he has years of chef-ing experience under his belt, I like to assign any chopping to him. He is just so good at it. ;)

Cooking together is so much more fun! 

Once the onion, garlic and basil started to fill the kitchen, I was encouraged. It smelled so good! I followed the recipe exactly, but added an extra few leaves of basil and added some oregano and Italian seasonings.

As the cooking process continued, I made a fatal and very out of character error. I didn't taste it at any point. The blogger said it was savory! Creamy! Decadent! DELICIOUS! I believed her. And as I took the first bite I soon knew...she was wrong.

It looked better than it tasted.

Ryan and I quietly ate small servings. It isn't the worst thing either of us as cooked...but after several bites, we both just kind of gave up. It was just so bland. Even adding extra basil and seasonings, it tasted like canned tomatoes and noodles.

I haven't completely given up on this dish though. I still feel it has some potential. For only 275 calories per serving, it deserves some effort. So as I've done with others before it, I plan to take it under my wing and tweak the heck out of it until it's as yummy as I know it could be.

Lesson learned. I could cook three meals a day, everyday, but - it's not always going to be good. :)