Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fun with Pressure Cooker!

I have always been interested (if a bit leery) in using a pressure cooker to prepare fresh meals in less time. My friend Melissa at The Daily Mel ( recommended the Instant Pot, so I bought it when it was on sale on Amazon Prime Day this month ( When it arrived this weekend, I felt a bit overwhelmed with all of the functions but decided to just jump in and cook.

My first meal was Mongolian Beef (, and it was a winner for both my daughter and for me. Next up was a recipe for Bright & Tasty Lentils (, and it was also a winner!

Tonight I am making Braised Chicken with Capers (, which will be dinner for my boyfriend tomorrow night along with some steamed asparagus. It sure smelled good even before I started the pressure part of the recipe, so I have high hopes.

I am now feeling more comfortable with the device, and look forward to trying more recipes over the next few months. It has reignited my desire to cook dinners at home despite crazy long days at work; anything that can do that may be worth its weight in gold.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Soaked Sunday

It is a yucky day in Illinois. Intermittently rainy, very humid, and just plain messy. My BF and I were driven to use the indoor track for our Sunday walk this morning. It was just as humid on the track, but our walk was as pleasurable as ever since we have so much to talk about.

I decided to head up to the workout room after the walk for a solo session, and this happened.

Holy moly! I was exhausted after all was said and done this morning! And now my thighs are feeling the burn since I had the Arc Trainer resistance pretty high for most of the workout.

A great workout morning, followed by a lazy afternoon around the house. Now I am preparing food for the week to keep myself on track.

There will be travel to the U.K. for me this month, so it will be a challenge for me to work my plan since it is for business. Hopefully I can do some serious walking while I am there to counterbalance any eating and drinking choices that may not be as positive as possible in regard to weight loss.

On to another solid week!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

WW at W

My new job comes with many health-related perks. They are sponsoring a Weight Loss Challenge that goes from 6/8 to 10/2, with prizes for this that lose 5% (Fitbit), 10% ($100), 15% ($250), and the top male and female loser by percentage ($500).

Additionally, they are offering June free at our gorgeous fitness center, and you can earn July free if you work out 4 times in June, August free if you work out 6 times in July, and September free if you work out 8 times in August.

Top that off with 100% reimbursement for WW at Work if you attend 15 of the 17 meeting in the series.

I signed up for all three! And I have been refocused ever since my weigh-in for the Weight Loss Challenge last Monday (UGLY).

Combine that with a gorgeous Cafeteria that has a focus on healthy food and integrated with My Fitness Pal, and I feel renewed in my quest for fitness and healthy weight.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Service Sunday

Life is bigger than my struggles with weight and fitness. Today I am introducing my daughter to the world of volunteerism so that she can also learn to pay attention to the world outside of her thirteen year old life.

We are going to spend our Sunday afternoon working a lane at the Special Olympics regional bowling tournament. I have volunteered for the organization before, but never for this event. My daughter has only performed volunteer work involving packing lunches for hungry children, so this will be a first for her. 

I hope it is a great experience. She has a wonderful heart and I would love to see her extend it to others who need assistance. Wish us luck!

Saturday, April 25, 2015


This has been a week of transitions for me. I had my last day at my previous job on Thursday, and start my new job on Monday. I also made some changes in my eating on Monday, and have been fueling with healthier foods and tracking my intake on MFP. I can feel the difference in my jeans already, so some of the retained water is coming off.

Lean proteins, low-fat dairy, fruits, and veggies have been the center of my diet. I have also enjoyed wine a couple of times because I am not cutting that out! The BF and I went out with friends on Thursday night which forced me to make some choices about where my calories would be spent, and that went well, too. Tonight is his birthday celebration and I am taking him to a very nice steakhouse for dinner as well as meeting friends for drinks afterward, so I am being careful with breakfast and lunch while making sure that I get some exercise in to allow a bit more indulgence tonight.

My upcoming trip to the U.K. made me realize that I want to get back to a sport place with my body to feel confident and comfortable taking that trip and meeting the team. This will most likely be my only fave to face visit with them this year, so I want to bring my best and so much of that is tied with how I feel about myself.

A good start. Now to continue with consistency, which is where I have stumbled these past few years. I have done it before and will do it again.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Where to Start?

I don't even know where to start. Both in recapping the last six months or with my path back to health.

A huge management change at work last  November made it the wrong place for me to be. Commence job search! I do not like the search, so that pretty much consisted of applying to 10 jobs in the area. No good fits. So I kept going with my current job, trying to make the best out of it while avoiding my new supervisor as best I could... and then an amazing job found me!

A very good friend and previous co-worker saw a job posting for her company (which is one of my top two companies I want to work for in Illinois), and it was like a dream. An offer in my hand less than two weeks after they first contacted me, and resignation a week later. I start my new job on 4/27 and could not be more excited! Some of my team is in the UK, so I am heading over there for a face-to-face meeting in early June.

Things with the BF are fantastic. After over a year together, he told me that he loved me for the first time. ��

The weight issue is an issue for sure. I feel so uncomfortable in my own body. Things went downhill with my eating around Thanksgiving and have not improved. No amount of spinning or running can mitigate binge eating. I am trying to find a way to stop the cycle again.

Again, so much change, both great and not so great. I need to make some more changes to feel good about myself again.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mixing Things Up

Where has the last two months gone? The good news is that they have been predominantly good months, barring a family relationship termination almost three months ago. It is sad that it is most often the people closest to you who betray your trust, and even sadder when it is a parent. 

On the positive side, my DD and I had a fabulous trip to enjoy the fall colors in Maine. We enjoyed our Halloween immensely, complete with our annual haunted house visit. And I joined a new gym! 

I chose this one for several reasons: Cost, proximity to home, clientele, and classes that fit my schedule as a working single mother. I have taken 6 classes in the first month of my membership (3 Spin classes, 2 Corebar/Pilioxing Classes, and 1 class for lower body toning called Tighter Assets). 

I love the a Spin classes, and that is surprising to me! Each instructor is different, so some have focused on strengthening and some on intervals. And I also love the Corebar/Piloxing classes. Very high energy and challenging.

The Tighter Assets class was a big challenge for me, and not in a good way. After all of my abdominal surgeries, two of which cut me from breastbone to pubic bone and all the way through my muscles, I have poor core strength. I also have had two hernia surgeries due to incisional hernias from the two veggies, so I am cautious about hurting myself and causing anothe hernia. The Tighter Assets class made me feel uncomfortable, but the instructor was the real issue because she was barking at people with a tinge of meanness about their form or not trying hard enough. I had to modify some of the balance moves, and she made me feel bad about that. That is not something I want in a group clas, so I may try it with another instructor once I am in a bit better shape in terms of balance.

All in all, the classes have been and I have enjoyed branching out! I have met some nice people, I feel like part of "something", and I have challenged myself in new ways.  And that is a good thing!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pizza Victories & Running Clubs

Yes, they are totally unrelated but both a part of my week. And I consider both to be victories, actually.

I had a rough weekend for many reasons. It was very emotional, and I found myself without any appetite on Sunday. And also without any motivation to grocery shop. So, when my daughter arrived home from her dad's house on Sunday night, I had nothing to feed her for dinner. Seeing as I was already in my jammies for the night, I decide to order in. Which, in my house at least, means pizza. Good pizza. Giordano's stuffed cheese pizza, to be exact. TRIGGER FOOD.

I was going to go for the all or nothing mentality meal and just shove in as much as I could do that the temptation would be gone the next day and I could 'start fresh', but then I found myself full after two slices. I calculated my points and realized that I could actually have another slice and still be within my points for the day, but I didn't want one more.  What?!?!?!?

The next day, I still had enough pizza to eat for dinner with my child, so I used my points wisely during the day, and had two pieces of stuffed pizza for dinner. All within my target for the day.  And I was happy!  Who knew?

That was a major victory for me... A victory in eating like a 'normal' person and not one in a diet or binge mentality.

Now for the running club. I have a friend who had been encouraging me to join a local running club, which I have been saying I was going to do for almost a year now.  Last week I FINALLY made my way into the store that sponsors it and asked for details, but did not go that week. This week I set myself up to go by asking my daughter to see if she could arrange for some friends to meet her at the library during the time of the run, since the club meets across the street from our public library. And then I forgot about it.

My daughter, however, did not.

Tuesday she told me that she had two friends meeting her at the librRy the next night. And I was trapped into colliding through!!! So I went last night to join the 'beginners' running club since it had been so long since I ran, and ended up joining them on their Week 9 of 9 (graduation) run! We ran 3.04 miles with 2 minutes of running interspersed with 30 seconds of running. We did this for 40 minutes, and I made it! I was exhausted, but I finished!

And I felt great. Onward to next week!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

Down 1.6 this week, for a total of 13.4 since I started WW again. I have been counting points for a couple of weeks now since I have been going out a lot and indulging in foods not on the Simply Filling list. Obviously both techniques work for me.

I had a slip last night, though. Kept it at a slip instead of a slide, though, because eating all that junk did not make me feel good at all and, frankly, it did not taste all that good anyway.

I am off for a four mile walk with my boyfriend in a few minutes. A great way to kick off a new week on the right foot!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Three Weeks In

As I knew it would, my weight loss slooooooowed down this week and I was only down 0.4 pounds. Which is actually fine since I was out Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and finished up Sunday with wine at my BFs house. My loss thus far is 11.8 pounds in 3 weeks, which is a great start.

And then there was today. My daughter starts 7th Grade tomorrow, and we historically have a day of fun on the last day of summer vacation. This year she chose lunch at The Cheesecake Factory because she is currently obsessed with Oreo cookie cheesecake. I decided that I wanted to eat cheesecake, too, so I skipped breakfast (which I never do) and ordered what I wanted at lunch. The Skinnylicious Chopped Salad was delicious, as was the slice of Dulce de Leche Caramel cheesecake. Truth be told, though, I started to feel unwell by the time I was finishing the slice. I am not used to all of that sugar and fat, and I felt pretty gross and needed a nap after it.

That meal alone was 5 points over my daily point target. Wow. And this I will be having tea for dinner lol.

I love the fact that I could turn to counting points instead of Simply Filling for the day, which I did, and that I could make that food decision today with no guilt.

It's time for me to step it up on the exercise front now, so that is my goal for next week.