Health

FAT TUESDAY… FRIDAY… ANY DAY THAT ENDS IN “Y”

Fat Tuesday... Friday... any day that ends in yWell it happened again. I went for my visit back home and I left with zero intentions of following my own advice with eating well and exercising. Actually that is not entirely true. I did intend on eating oatmeal for breakfast each day. I even packed it in my luggage and took it with me. I did not eat oatmeal one time. I also intended on running each day. I even packed my running shoes and brought them with me. But then it was 30 degrees outside, so that didn’t happen.

If dessert or bread was mentioned as a meal choice, my family responded with, oh and then you’re going to blame us for any weight gain. To which I say, yep. Thanks a lot fam! Thanks for not slapping the cake pop out of my mouth. Thanks for not hiding the bag of Utz BBQ potato chips from me, because you know ripple cut is the new black. Really it’s for your own safety that you didn’t get in my way, it only would have ended in a physical altercation.

I kid. I kid.

But seriously, in the moment I was all, “I don’t eat like this all the time. It’ll be alright. I don’t want to live my life always thinking about what I’m eating. I just want to live damnit.

Now I’m all like, “Why did I do that to myself? Was it worth it? Damnit Carlie!” I did it for the scrapple. What’s scrapple, you may ask. Scrapple is heaven. IMG_8028

The reality is I have gained back every pound I lost in January and I gained one more on top of that. That’s about a 5 lb weight gain in two weeks. I’m optimistic that since it was such a quick gain, it should mostly be bloating and should also be lost fairly quickly.

I need to stop doing this to myself. I know exactly what I need to do to lose weight and be healthy. I’ve written many lists about it. I’m going to do it. My brother challenged me to bet a *painful* to lose 4% of my weight in a month. Now don’t see that and think I just have money to burn, because I don’t. If I’m betting $$$$, then I can guarantee that I will make sure I lose that weight to avoid also losing that money.

This is happening. I’m betting $$$ that I will lose 4% of my weight by April 17. Oh man. It’s out there. There is no turning back now.

Wish me luck.

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Health

5 Equipment Free Exercises to do at Home

5-equipment-free-exercisesI’m writing this after eating 4 slices of Papa John’s pan pizza and 3 pieces of their cheese and bacon stuffed breadsticks. I didn’t eat it all in one sitting. Half for lunch, half for dinner. The results are the same. I could vomit.

I’m ashamed of the consistency in my weight loss posts the last couple of weeks. Or lack of weight loss- posts. I’m optimistic I will get my shit together one day and lose the weight I need to be satisfied. Today was not that day. Tomorrow will be!

In the meantime, here are a few at home exercises I do when I’m not shoving pizza and breadsticks down my gullet.

  1. Squats1e3783e04b30771a504ebaab8da03f7c
  2. Push Upsdog-doing-a-push-up
  3. Planksunknown-2
  4. Leg liftsimage
  5. High Knees/Butt Kicks

There’s two ways you can decide to do these workouts

  • Give each exercise a number of reps and then complete a certain number of sets. For example:

10 squats, 10 pushups, 30 second plank, 10 leg lifts, 10 high knees, 10 butt kicks= 1 set, complete 2-3 sets depending on your level.

OR

  • Give each exercise a time limit and do as many reps as you can in the time allowed. Record the number you were able to complete in that time. For example:

30 seconds squats, 30 seconds pushups, 30 second plank, 30 second leg lifts, 30 seconds high knees, 30 second butt kicks. Lengthen the time if you need more of a challenge.

Pretty quick, easy, and painless as far as exercising goes. I should probably do a round or two or twenty when I don’t feel like I’m going to explode anymore.

Update on my current weightloss:

Week 9: I gained 1.4 lbs, bringing the total since Jan.3 to 4.2 lbs lost, and from my heaviest weight ever 41 lbs.

After writing this post I did have two solid days of eating right and exercise, but it wasn’t enough to combat the other days of not. But I will continue on and hope to lose a few more pounds before my trip to visit family next week!

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Health

Five Weight Loss Myths

weight-loss-mythsI happen to be writing this early in the week. While I know that I have gained weight since the last time I did an update, I also know I have made every effort to get back on track this week, so I’m hoping for a loss on the scale by the time this is posted on Friday. I’ll throw an update on here last minute Friday morning.

Anywho, so there are a lot of tips and tricks and also false claims on how to lose weight. I have shared what I have been successful doing in the past and I decided my anecdotal story clearly validates it to be concrete science and should rightfully share it with you.

Weight loss Myths:

  1. Snacking is Bad: Snacking on garbage is bad. Snacking on real food like fruits and vegetables is not bad. When in weight loss mode I will have a snack at least 3x a day in between my meals to keep me from getting hungry. If I miss a snack and then mealtime rolls around and I’m ravenous, I’m more likely to overeat or eat not so healthy options. Don’t snack on these:false_snacks are Bad.png
  2. Fast Food is Bad: Eating garbage at the fast food restaurant is bad. There are healthy options at almost every fast food restaurant. You need to train yourself to choose these options, or downsize your portions. For example, I absolutely love the spicy chicken sandwich at Chick Fil A, but it’s not exactly the healthiest option. So I save that bad boy for special occasions and select the cool chicken wrap instead. Skip the fries and go with a salad or fruit cup instead and you’re golden. False_Fast Food is Bad.png
  3. Carbohydrates are Bad: Not all carbs are bad! Processed carbs are not the best choice, so if you can skip the white breads and pastas and shoot for whole grains, beans and brown rice, you’re going to be on a better track. Also fruits and veggies have carbs, but are super great for giving you energy and keeping you full longer than your processed choices. False_carbs are bad.png
  4. Weightlifting will Make you Gain Weight: False. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica. Doesn’t make sense? Sorry, just my favorite scene from The Office. So I did weightlifting over the summer and I didn’t gain weight. I lost weight. I’ve chatted about this before. Read all my weight loss posts. There aren’t that many and you’ve got time. false_weight-lifting-equals-weight-gain
  5. Eating Late at Night=Weight Gain: Incorrect. As long as you aren’t just consuming more foods than you would in a typical day, then it doesn’t matter what time of the day you consume them. Does that make sense? So you get off work late and are starving and eat at 9pm, if that is your dinner, it doesn’t matter if you eat it at 9pm or 6pm. However if it is now your 2nd dinner, then we may have a problem.

Golly gee, aren’t weight issues fun? Final note: I started looking up images on weight loss to add some pizzazz to this post and pictures of pizza come up. Seriously? It’s a damn conspiracy to keep us all fat.

Update on my current weightloss:

Week 8: I gained 1.6 lbs, bringing the total since Jan.3 to 5.6 lbs lost, and from my heaviest weight ever 42.4 lbs.

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Health

Weight loss. The Struggle is Real.

weightloss-the-struggle-is-realGuess who has two thumbs and fell off the wagon this week????….. This guy!! img_0922

Just kidding….she doesn’t have thumbs…. and it was me…

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I think it all started a couple weeks ago when we went to New Orleans. Beignets are a gateway drug ya’ll. Steer clear…. no, don’t steer clear, they’re amazing. All the cool kids are doing it.

Anyways, so New Orleans was like my teaser, I came home and got back into the groove of things for the most part but I made some pretty big errors too. I didn’t track my food, and I skipped a few workouts. Damn it Carlie! I should know better by now. Alas, here I am, and my daily weigh ins are definitely indicating I will have a weight gain this week. Especially since my mother in law has been here all week, and when people come to visit on vacation, they want to eat like they’re on vacation, which makes sense, because they’re on vacation! But damn it, I’m not on vacation and I have a very delicate balance I need to maintain when trying to lose weight!

So here I am, thinking about what the five ways I went wrong this week:

  1. Plan– I did not make a plan for the week. Normally I have a schedule for every meal and snack and I failed to do this. I am a planner and failing to plan definitely led to a plan for failure. womp womp womp. plan-ahead
  2. Restaurants, Diners, and Dives. Oh my!– I should’ve mapped out what meals would be eaten out. This would have allowed me to make more conservative choices at home in preparation for eating out, or I could have researched the menus to make better choices in advance of arriving to the restaurant. Alas, I let my eyes roam the menu which lead to one too many portions of mac and cheese and other heavy carb and fat-filled items.16403235_1219686821446509_4454195779467240004_o
  3. Workouts– I was on a very good schedule with my workouts. Monday, Wednesday, Friday I do dance fitness and strength training at home. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday I jog and swim laps. This week not so much. I have really slacked off and only did each workout one time. blah.fullsizeoutput_8c4
  4. Ice cream– So much ice cream. We may have had ice cream twice a day somedays. We would get it from various ice cream shops while out and about and then I had Halo Top at home as well. Lord, what is wrong with me. c5fde1fd981c875dd58d9196bf9b0ca1
  5. Connect– I blame my brother. Typically I talk on the phone to my brother a couple times a week. And we talk about how we’re doing with our weight loss goals. The last couple weeks, I’ve been busy when he called or he’s been busy at work and hasn’t had a chance to discuss. So it’s been too easy to ignore the fact that the above 4 items occurred. This is your fault Joshua. I hope you’re happy.548311

In all seriousness though, I don’t really blame my brother. I slacked off this week. I’m to blame. BUT…. I’m human and I’m in this for the long haul, so I will suck it up, put the ice cream away and get back to the plan. I know you all have my back, and it keeps me motivated when someone tells me how I have motivated them! Never in a million years would I think I could do that for someone else. So I shall get back to work immediately! I have some hot points to earn.

Update on my current weightloss:

Week 6: I gained 2.6 lbs, bringing the total since Jan.3 up to 7.2 lbs lost, and from my heaviest weight ever 44 lbs. According to my weightloss spreadsheet I’m behind schedule from where I could be. Disappointing and motivating at the same time to quit dicking around.

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Health

Top Foods to Eat for Weightloss

I absolutely adored our short trip to New Orleans last week. While traveling, I gave myself the privilege of being less strict on my diet and just enjoy my trip. Doing this did not come without consequences. I typically weigh in on Fridays but since we were traveling that day, I weighed in on Saturday and rather than losing any weight for the week, I ended up gaining .6 lbs. This is due to the lax on tracking my diet, and the numerous sweets and alcoholic drinks I allowed myself.

I’m not even mad about it! It’s not everyday that I have family visit, or that I travel to New Orleans, so I’m going to enjoy a could margaritas and beignets. Now the hard part is returning home and jumping back on the wagon. The first few days were a challenge. My appetite was higher than usual but I did my best to curb it through snacking on fruits and vegetables. On the bright side, my daily weigh ins reminded me I was making right choices and I could count on a loss for my official weigh in, and I met my goal of losing 4% of my weight in January for the dietbet I was participating in!

top-foods-to-eat-for-weight-lossTo be successful in losing weight I have found I follow a few staples in my diet that keep me satisfied because they are filling and tasty.

  1. Eggs– I eat eggs every. single. day. No I don’t have high cholesterol. No I never get sick of them. They can be made so many different ways! Scrambled, hard boiled, over easy, over medium, over hard, baked, poached… the list goes on and on.  If you follow weight watchers, one egg is 2 points so I personally prefer to take one egg and mix with 1/2 cup egg whites to make a 3pt wonder of scrambled eggs. Delicious. egg-hen-s-egg-boiled-egg-breakfast-egg-160850
  2. Quest Bars– I had a rocky start with quest bars. The first flavor I tried was cookies and cream and it was alright, but not anything to write home about. The second I had was white chocolate raspberry and it was gross. So gross. Now I powered on and fell in love with smores and double chocolate chunk. I’ve also discovered a warmed up quest bar is damn near heaven sent. I recently ordered a variety box of quest bars off amazon that had 18 different flavors. I haven’t tried them all yet, but some new favorites include banana nut muffin and blueberry muffin.img_7568
  3. Poultry– I don’t do red meat very often. Not because I don’t like it, but because poultry like chicken and turkey is a leaner meat with less fat and therefore healthier and easier for our bodies to digest. To make things easy on myself, I’ll cook a bulk amount of chicken on the weekend to help get me through the week. It can be used in lunches or dinners. I’ll use different toppings like bbq sauce, teriyaki sauce or other spices to give it variety. pexels-photo-262945
  4. Halo Top– I am such an ice cream addict. I’ve also become quite the chocaholic. combine the two and I’m weak in the knees. Thank goodness for Halo Top. Halo Top is a brand of ice cream that is becoming ever more popular which is a great thing, because that means it’s going to be available in more places. When I lived in Delaware it was NOWHERE. Now I can get it at the commissary or Publix in Florida. And word on the street is it’s available at costco now too. I love the chocolate and the mocha chip, and the lemon cake, and the strawberry, and the mint chip…actually there isn’t a flavor I’ve met that I didn’t like. Halo Top is love.16473835_1131420806984018_4418118659173994676_n
  5. Bananas and apples– I eat a banana every morning if I have one. And then I’ll have an apple or applesauce for a snack in between breakfast and lunch. They say you need to be careful with fruit because of the natural sugars, but this routine keeps me full, it’s tasty, and I tend to continue to lose weight steadily. banana-tropical-fruit-yellow-healthy-39566

So these are the food staples that work for me. What are some of your go-tos to keep you on track? If you don’t have any, feel free to test out some of mine!

Update on my current weightloss:

Week 4: I gained .6 lbs. Thanks Obama.

Week 5: I lost 2 lbs, bringing the total since Jan.3 to 9.8 lbs lost, and from my heaviest weight ever 46.6 lbs. Woohoo for getting back on track!

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Health

When Weight Loss and Real Life Collide

when-weightlossI’ve been back on the wagon now for 24 days. Last week I was down 8.4 lbs since Jan. 3, and 45.2 lbs since my heaviest recorded weight. Those first three weeks were relatively easy. Maybe easy isn’t the best word, I still had to put in the work. I tracked all the food I ate and I exercised almost everyday, if not multiple times a day. But in those three weeks, I didn’t have too many temptations to get off track, just a dinner out here, or a bbq there. Cue this week.

This week my brother in law came to visit and I am so glad he did! We took him around to show him Pensacola Lighthouse, the National Museum of Aviation, Pensacola Beach, downtown Pensacola, and we did an escape room with a group of friends. I loved being able to show him around our new city and of course we also wanted to take him to some great eats as well, because um…. hello food is amazing! So since we’re in the south, of course we had to get BBQ from Brother’s BBQ and then we went to a little seafood place in Pensacola Beach called Shaggy’s. Ultimately I did not go crazy going out to eat at these places. I didn’t eat any of the bread at the BBQ joint, and I had shrimp tacos at Shaggy’s… to go with my margarita and whiskey with coke and sprite. That was the first time I’ve had soda in….. I couldn’t even tell you. I so seldom have soda I don’t remember the last time I did.

You probably don’t really care too much about the food I had, or maybe you do because who doesn’t love food! My point is that life is going to happen. Circumstances are going to come up that interfere with your typical schedule, and we need to learn to continue living and how to navigate them so we stay on track towards our goals. So how does one manage eating out when trying to lose weight and get healthier?

  1. Plan ahead– If you know where you’re going out  to eat, prior to getting there- get online and research if their menu is available. Then you can pick what you’re going to order ahead of time. This will give you the opportunity to make sure your other meals are super good choices in the event that you’re going to splurge a bit on your meal out. Or you can pick something healthy and then when you’re at the restaurant, don’t look at the menu again. The temptation to veer off course could be too great and you may regret it later.unknown
  2. Box it up– When placing your order, ask the waitress to bring you a box with your food. Portion sizes at restaurants tend to be larger than typical. I’ve told myself that I’m only going to eat half of my food, but then in the midst of eating and socializing and eating more, I end up eating a lot more than what I originally planned. This doesn’t happen if I box up half of it before I start eating. Out of sight. Out of mind.too-full-to-take-another-bite-not-enough-left-for-doggy-bag
  3. Let go of your old faithfuls…most of the time– We all have them. Our go to dishes we absolutely adored, and binged on, and we know how absolutely horrendous they are to our health. To truly get healthy we need to let go of some of these temptations. When I would go out to eat I would always always always order either a shrimp or chicken alfredo. It’s my favorite. But I know how unhealthy it is and so I have learned to make better choices when I go out, because even if I eat a modest portion, it’s still not as healthy or filling than if I get something else. Now I haven’t banned alfredo pasta altogether. I’ve learned how to make alternative healthy dishes for it at home that will satisfy my craving, or I’ll allow myself to order it at a restaurant once or twice a year. No one’s perfect.unknown-1
  4.  Healthy alternatives– I get it, that pasta and that burger you’ve been ordering at restaurants is so tasty and you’re a creature of habit and it’s super tempting to keep with what you know. But I got fat and unhealthy by repeating dietary choices that are not healthy. If you want major results, we need to commit to major changes! Finding alternatives that still satisfy you, but aren’t 3000 calories for one meal are an excellent way to start. Find some healthy alternatives that work for you. Grilled chicken instead of fried chicken? Vegetables instead of potatoes? Salad instead of bread?ab3nzx2_700b
  5. Guilt-Free– Let go of the guilt. So you went out to eat and didn’t have a plan. So you went out to eat and didn’t stick to the plan. So you went out to eat more than once, or twice. So you went out to eat and had an appetizer, entree, and dessert. This is life! Don’t feel guilty and beat yourself up about it. Just get back on the wagon as soon as you can. And DO NOT tell yourself, you’ll get back on the wagon on Monday… unless it’s already Sunday night. Start with your very next meal. You’ll be thanking yourself later.

Life happens. It’s going to be near impossible to make every meal you eat perfect. So do what’s best for you and have a plan, that can really be my best advice. Correction: my best advice is to love your body first, then have a plan.lyb

I will have to give an update on any weightloss or weight gain for this week at a later date. We’re in New Orleans, and while I debated bringing my scale with me, I ultimately decided it would be weird and left it at home.

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Health

How to Get Motivated to Exercise When you HATE Working Out

courtesy-of-11I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I hate running. I’ve never been a runner. I failed gym class in middle school. I’m not proud of it, and it had more to do with the fact that I never changed my clothes, which for some reason is how you’re graded in physical education. Doesn’t really make sense, but since I haven’t taken a physical education class in over 12 years, I think it’s time I let it go. Moving on, like I was saying, I hate running. For years my husband has been trying to get me to go for runs and I’ve always refused. I’ve intermittently done zumba classes and pretended like I knew what I was doing on the strength training machines at the gym, but I’ve never truly had an exercise regimen. So when the husband left for OCS I already had plans in my head to dedicate the next 12 weeks to improving my health with diet and exercise. I wanted to finally get rid of the 50 lbs I gained since we got married and then some, not all in 12 weeks – that’s crazy- but as much as I could. I also wanted to be able to run 1.5 miles without stopping. Historically at OCS graduation family members could participate in the candidates final grad run and I wanted to be able to surprise my husband with being able to do it.

So the day after my husband left for what was supposed to be 12 weeks, but ended up being 15 weeks (yay for 3 more weeks of being able to lose weight!), I got my butt out of bed, put on some tennis shoes, and went for a run. Now let’s be forgiving for a second and broadly and loosely widen the definition of the word run. I do more of a hop walk, or a skip walk, maybe it’s considered a jog, I don’t know. I don’t think I fit the traditional sense of the run, but I wasn’t walking… the entire time, so for all intents and purposes my exercise will be defined as a run. Thank you for your leniency. I didn’t stop at just running, I also swam laps, started weight lifting, kept taking various barre classes and my favorite: zumba. I did not do it all in one day. I gradually worked up to the full out exercise regimen, but once I got motivated, it was fairly simple and easy to keep it up. So let’s break it down:

  1. Baby steps– If you are typically very sedentary with your amount of activity, I do not think it would be logical for you to jump into a crazy exercise regimen. The likelihood of long-term success is not high. So start small and work your way up to where you want to be. Walk for 30 minutes a day to start. Once that’s not a challenge, incorporate some interval training of jogging. This means you’ll jog for a set amount of time and then walk, and then jog again, and then walk. I did this using the c25k app. More on c25k later. I think it deserves it’s own number. Strength training- you don’t need to join a gym to do strength training, I mean, do it if you can and want to, but if not you can do it at home too. And the key to success is gradually increasing your workouts. The best strength training workouts I do at home are squats, push ups and leg lifts. Just those three exercises. I’ll do 10 of each to make a set. Do as many sets as you’re capable of. Can you only do one set? That’s fine to start. Next week do two sets. You’d be surprised at how quickly your stamina and strength will increase. So you’re doing your cardio with walking and your strength training, go ahead and add in swimming if/when you can. I love swimming and I’ve gotten a lot better with practice. When I first started, I would be exhausted after swimming 25 yards. That was only one way in the pool. I was too tired to swim back to complete the lap. But I kept at it, and now I can swim a mile, which is 36 laps in the pool I go to, not too shabby for someone who is obese.baby-steps-meme-300x210
  2. Workout Apps– I use various apps to keep me motivated and consistent with my exercise:
    1. Running: 
      1. Back to c25k, c25k stands for couch to 5k. So the gist is it trains you from literally no exercise to being able to run nonstop for 30 minutes, in theory this would allow you to be able to complete a 5k, unless you’re slow as shit like me and it takes you much longer than that to cover the distance-welcome to the turtle club. I like c25k though because it’s a free app, it’s only 3 times a week, it prompts you when to run, or when to walk, and it really works. I never ran a mile in my life prior to starting c25k and this morning I ran 3.27 miles. Again, we loosely use the term run here.turtles-in-peanut-butter
      2. I also use the app mapmyrun when going for runs because it tracks my pace and distance which the c25k does not. Could be an area of improvement for them in the future. It’s also super fun to make inappropriate shapes of male genitalia on the map.courtesy-of-10
    2. Strength Training: Stronglifts. I use this for weightlifting. I love strong lifts because it’s only 5 exercises: squats, bench press, overhead lift, rows, and deadlifts. Unfortunately, you either need a weight bench or a gym to complete these. I like strong lifts because it keeps track of the weight you lift and gradually increases it so you can improve. You don’t have to start using the bar either. I started my squats at body weight and used dumbbells or the weight plates to gradually work myself up to being able to handle the weight of the bar.5d86cdc270a92afe28da6ce725e112f5
    3. Fitbit: Yes I’m one of THOSE people. I wear a fitbit. I do not however talk about needing to get my steps in, or brag about how many steps I have for the day. Don’t be that guy, no one likes that guy. But my fitbit does make me aware of how active I’m being for the day, and it’s fun when it buzzes because I’ve hit my step goal, and I’m super pumped about the new one I got for my birthday because it’s water resistant and I can wear it in the pool. There are also challenges you can do with friends through fitbit to keep you motivated. You can set up daily, weekly or weekend contests. Whoever has the most steps for the challenge wins the virtual trophy! I may or may not have spent an evening jumping around and pacing my bedroom to get more steps in than a friend. We’re all competitive on the inside. Just don’t be a dick when you win. 85a20e5aa4a643d0ac292218ea139727
  3. Workout Buddy: Having someone to check in with, and is also working on their own goals is a stellar way to stay motivated. And if you’re thinking you don’t have any friends who can be your workout buddy you’re wrong. A work out buddy doesn’t have to be someone you physically workout with, or a personal trainer. Let’s chat about the options:
    1. In Person– So if you’re lucky enough to have someone you can workout with that’s awesome. It’s hard to find flexibility in our different schedules to workout at the same time. But it you do! yay! Knowing you have someone to workout with can make it a little less lonely, a bit more of a social experience, and you’re probably going to be more likely to show up because you know there’s someone waiting for you.gym-buddy
    2. Virtual– You can also connect with someone virtually, either someone you know personally or even a stranger through social media. There are tons of weightloss groups with people looking for accountability partners. So keep each other motivated through sharing your workouts, checking in with each other to make sure the other worked out and offering support or a swift kick in the ass (virtually) when it’s needed.57999939
  4. Diversify– A common misconception about weightloss is that you need to do cardio to lose weight. Or if you do any strength training, it’ll cause you to gain weight. These are myths. Yes strength training will cause you to build muscle. Yes muscle weighs more than fat. But muscle also burns more calories than fat, and it burns calories when you are at rest, not only when you are working out. So don’t be afraid to incorporate strength training into your regimen. It’ll help to keep you from getting bored, as many do when strictly doing cardio, which may lead to you giving up. We’re talking about getting and staying motivated after all. If you can add in swimming, I highly recommend doing so. Swimming is an awesome full body, low impact workout that will wear you out and you don’t even realize it. why-not-both
  5. Consistency– So getting started is super tough. Once you’ve done it though, it’s very important to stay consistent. This makes staying motivated so much easier. The key to my success is… can you guess?… making a schedule. Schedules are like lists, they make the world go ’round. I kid, but it’s true! For years I’ve tried the route of just saying I want to work out 3 times a week or 5 times a week, without a real plan on making it happen. And you know what happened? I didn’t work out, or if I did it didn’t last for long. To be successful for months at a time I write down the day, time, and what workout I’ll be doing, and that’s how shit gets done. Want a handy schedule you can download to help you get motivated? Alright… you can download mine here. It looks like this:fullsizeoutput_842

Getting started is the hardest part. I get it. My alarm goes off in the morning and I badly want to just stay in bed a bit longer. I don’t have any advice on how to get the motivation to get started other than make a plan and stick to it. Get your ass moving. When you feel too tired to exercise, that’s when you really need to do it. I’ve found I always have more energy after a workout than I did before. So what are you waiting for? A one hour workout is only 4% of your day. Don’t have a hour? Make time. Wake up earlier, stay awake later, workout while you watch Netflix. Move that caboose! You’ll be so glad you did even after a short amount of time. Trust me. I did it and you can too!

Update on my current weightloss:

Week 3: I lost 1.4 lbs, bringing the total since Jan.3 to 8.4 lbs lost, and from my heaviest weight ever 45.2 lbs. Last week we went out to eat dinner and I allowed myself two margaritas and macaroni and cheese (my kryptonite). The next day we attended a BBQ and I was able to really keep myself in check by loading up on fruit and a hotdog without the bun. I’m super proud of myself for that! The rest of the week diet wise was on point, and I followed my above workout schedule perfectly! I know I’m building muscle right now, so it’s going to be minor losses to start, but I embrace my membership of the turtle club. Slow and steady wins the race!

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Health · Military · Random Ramblings · Travel

Not your Typical Millennial: Choosing to be Intentional

courtesy-of-6Twenty-eight years. I’ve spent twenty eight years and some months becoming the person I am today. It’s funny how I have always thought I had my life together. I’ve had to be an adult for as long as I can remember. I started working (on the sly) when I was 11 at a convenience store my mom managed. I didn’t get paid, but she still got in some trouble for that when the supervisor found out. Fast forward to my first legit job at 14 working at McDonalds. I’ve worked for Dominos, Claire’s Accessories, back to McDonalds where I became a shift manager, multiple banks, multiple schools, and even running my own little business selling desserts. All throughout high school and college I worked full-time, and at one point I was doing school full-time, work full-time, and a part-time job.twitter-work-work-work-ahafgeidbdveisnaidhbejdisb-work-work-573277

I have a habit of trying to stay just under being overwhelmed. Which is why I was shocked when I was faced with the brutal truth that I’m considered to be part of the millennial generation, and I. was. appalled. Every time you hear about millennials it’s made out to be synonymous with entitled, lazy, overly sensitive children. So I was very distraught to be lumped into that category. And it didn’t really make sense to me. I’m not anything special. A majority of the people I know my age are very hard workers, and like me, have worked or do work multiple jobs. I think we should split up this millennial category a bit. Because I get around a younger 20 something and I don’t feel many similarities between our two upbringings or lifestyles. But that’s neither here nor there.courtesy-of-7

My point is, I’ve always felt very put together and like I had my shit on track. But something has happened the last couple months since turning twenty eight. I’ve started to really feel more clarity in who I am as a person, my values, what I stand for and believe in, who I want to be and where I want to go. And it makes me realize that younger me was just basically playing life and going through the motions. I was getting a college degree because I wanted to make a liveable wage, I wanted to feel accomplished and successful. I did what felt right at the time. I was getting a degree to be a teacher. And at the time it felt right, or at least I thought it did. Maybe getting a business degree or a journalism degree would’ve felt right too. I probably should have explored my options more because now I have a three degrees and three teaching certifications and have no interest in entering a classroom again. Buuuuutttt I have those pretty student loans to remind me that I paid a lot of money for a piece of paper with my name and and a sticker on it. Hmmmm. Maybe I am a millennial.

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I make it rain on my loan holders.

One degree wasn’t enough though, because even when I started teaching and I thought, maybe I don’t want to teach forever, I continued on to get my master’s degree in school counseling. And my how those student loans very quickly skyrocketed when paying for master’s levels courses. But I didn’t think about it, because I wanted that larger, more impressive piece of paper. And now I have it! And it’s framed, and sitting in a box right now, because I refuse to fully decorate a house I will only be living in for a few months. And I also don’t think it’s fair, or wise, or probably even realistic to find a job as a school counselor when I’ll be moving in a few months.

Even if we weren’t going to be moving soon, I still feel I’ve found a better connection with writing. And while doing research for a few posts this week, I came across another blogger who wrote about being intentional with her use of social media this year. And it really spoke to me, because I feel like intentional is exactly how I see myself now. I don’t want to just go through the motions, I don’t want to survive through the week to live on the weekends. I want to be intentional in a variety of aspects throughout my life. So what does intentional look like for me now?

  1. Career– I’ve always been very job-oriented, and career-driven. And I don’t necessarily want to change that, but I’m definitely pursuing it in a different way. I have this obsession with finishing things that I start. And I think that’s why I have a masters in education. I started my degree in education and by golly I was going to go all the way come hell or high water! And I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to be intentional with my career choices that fulfill me professionally, personally, and can make an impact in others. And while the idealist me would like to say-no matter what the compensation is, the realist me says-you’ve got bills to pay (thanks student loans). So I need to make a way for this writing gig to pay. Writing has connected with me in a way that teaching never will, so my pursuit from here will be taking my writing and finding a way to pay the bills with it. Intentionally step out of my comfort zone of banking, or teaching, or school counseling and truly set my sights on what I want to do. Oh fuck, it’s intimidating. Eh, I swear too much to be surrounded by kids anyways. f6e57fd72fcbf51feff9e60fe0d95184
  2. Social Media– I check social media a god awful amount. Sometimes I feel like my eyes are crossing from staring at a tiny screen. Anyone else scroll through their newsfeed until they have seen every new post, just to refresh so you can see the new ones that rolled in while you were scrolling? I’m going to be much more intentional with my social media usage going forward. Not to cast a dark shadow on the big bad demon of social media, it’s just, I can probably be doing something much more productive with my time. So I’m going to limit my social media usage to two times a day, with a time limit on how long I’ll be catching up. To make this work, I’m going to get rid of all those useless pages I currently follow- Do I really need to like Walmart’s page, or Dominos? No. So this way I truly can focus on staying connected with family and friends. courtesy-of-8
  3. Diet and Exercise– So I started this at the beginning of the year and I’m going to continue it, because even after only two weeks of healthy eating and exercise, I already feel a thousand times better! I’m going to be intentional about what I am eating. In case you didn’t know processed food is crap and really bad for you. So let’s try to stick to lean meats, fruits and vegetables as best as we can, k? K. And exercise. I’m finally getting my exercise regimen into a schedule that works for me. I’ll be sharing more about it on Friday’s post. 0e7c931b14166d183ec643e942a37914
  4. Free time– This is something I need to work on. I want to be more intentional with how I spend my free time. It ties in with the social media piece though. Currently all my free time is spent scrolling through Facebook or Instagram; however, with limiting my time with these apps, I’m going to finally allow myself the time to do some of the things I tell the strangers I do. You know how your dentist or someone will ask you what are your hobbies or what do you like to do? Normally I have no idea how to answer this, because who has hobbies anymore? It’s sad. I’ve gotten so tied to my phone, I’m such a liar when I finally spew out reading or knitting or some other super cool hobby that I have. Oh you don’t think knitting is cool? Psh. Wrong. But I haven’t knitted in probably years! So bye bye Facebook, and hello knitting needles! Or the books that just became available from the library on my kindle. Or how about all that traveling I claim I want to do? Let’s do that instead! So sorry Netflix, but I’m about to get all bookish and artsy AF. tumblr_ndannigsdv1qcy5a2o1_5001
  5. Marriage– My husband is about to become super busy with flight school, but right now we have some down-time while he waits to class up for part of his training. So rather than scrolling through Facebook, I’m going to instead be intentional with spending time with him while I can, doing all the things we both love, him outdoorsy stuff, me traveling and experiences. We cute.untitled-2524

This ended up being a longer post than I originally intended. And it almost feels like all those New Years Resolutions people set. New Year, New Me! Hopefully you’re still with me. Of course you are! If you weren’t you’d miss out on this awesome picture of my cat:img_7282

But seriously, intentional. Intentionality. Intentionalism. Let’s be a little bit more purposeful about how we choose to spend our time. Do you feel like you’re just going through the motions?

“Do not stay in a mistake because you’ve spent a lot of time or money making it.”

I’ll say it again:courtesy-of-9

And if you find yourself hitting your late twenties, or thirties and you realize you don’t want the same things you did when you were 18 or 20. Don’t be afraid to change. Yes it’s important to be responsible, I’m not saying drop the ball on your family and stop paying your bills. But don’t be afraid to change because it will be hard. Fuck yeah it’ll be hard. That’s what makes it worth it.

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Health

Eat food. Lose weight. A Recipe for Weight loss

this-is-me-eating-food-and-still-losing-weightIt’s a new year, and a lot of people start thinking about their health and make a resolution to lose weight or improve their fitness. Along with all of these “New Year, New Me” pals, are the critics. The ones with their negative nancy comments about new, fat people at the gym, or how it’ll only last for a couple weeks before it’s back to old habits. To these people, I say, how dare you? Get off your high horse and celebrate that someone has good intentions, or is taking steps to be a healthier, happier them. And I’d like to wrap it up with a big, you can fuck off. Who gives two figs if they’re only doing it because it’s a new year. And to those of you who made your resolutions and are making a commitment to do whatever it is you want to do, you’ve got this and you’re going to prove all the skeptics wrong! Allow me to not only join you, but help.

I’ve talked about the five steps I took to losing 40 lbs over the summer. You can read about it here. I also embellished on the importance of tracking your weightloss with a super handy FREE Spreadsheet here. Now let’s chat about food.

Lawd how I love the food. And it took some getting use to, but I found some really awesome ways to still enjoy my food, but lose weight at the same time.

  1. Plan. Plan. Plan. Those who fail to plan are planning to fail. So what was super helpful to me over the summer, and again over the past two weeks I’ve been back on the wagon, is planning my food for the week ahead of time. Every meal. Every snack. That way two things happen: I’m never hungry, and I don’t fly by the seat of my pants and end up eating something fattening and unhealthy, but convenient. Here is my schedule and you can download it FO’ FREE HERE! and then customize it to you, because you might not want to eat a quest bar everyday like me. screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-6-40-01-pm
  2. Don’t go hungry. Did I mention I’m never hungry? I mean it. I stick to a schedule and even if I’m not hungry, I eat, so that way I don’t GET hungry. And I lost weight. I lose weight. Present tense, because I’m back on the wagon. I’ve learned that if I let myself get hungry, then I’m much more likely to grab whatever is convenient or to overeat at my next meal. So while it may seem unwise to eat when you’re not really hungry, follow the plan.
  3. The same, but for less. This became like a game for me. I wanted to still eat some of the yummy foods I love, but make healthier versions of them. Like pizza. I LOVE pizza. Instead of getting it from a restaurant or falling back on the old Red Baron, I started to make it myself. I’ve mentioned before that I follow weight watchers. So I went all crazy lady at the grocery store scanning items into my app to see which ingredients I could find for lesser points. So I went from having one slice of pizza from Papa John’s for 11 points, to an entire pizza for 12 points. I call that WINNING!www-listfiveblog-com
  4. Substitutions. My second love is ice cream. Actually ice cream is my first love, pizza is the side chick. So I again scanned every item in the freezer section to find the lowest point ice cream. The answer is Arctic Zero. And then I moved and was able to get Halo Top in my life. And I will. Never. Be. The. Same. Again. Halo Top reigns supreme. Seriously. Find it at a store near you.www-listfiveblog-com-2
  5. Let it go. There were some things that unfortunately just could not be replaced though. And I had to ask myself. Is this really worth it? Is this brownie, or cheeseburger, or snickers bar really worth all the downsides of what fat feels like? More often than not, the answer was no. So I let it go. Forever. And I didn’t miss it then. And I don’t miss it now. Some things you just have to let go.www-listfiveblog-com-3

Food is amazing. Healthy food is even more amazing. I seriously feel a thousand times better when I stick to my plan and eat the non-processed, real food, over the garbage that I momentarily think the taste will be worth the heartburn, sluggishness, and fat that accumulates on my stomach, ass and thighs. I’m seriously so excited to see where I will be in a few months time. And I’m going to do it without sacrificing my love for the food.

Update on my current weightloss:

Week 1: I lost 5.6 lbs. I contribute this big loss mostly to the over drinking of fireball, wine, and strawberry-ritas that happened on New Years. But I also stuck to my eating plan all 7 days and getting in over 12,000 steps 4/7 days. This was done through running and dance fitness at home.

Week two: I lost 1.4 lbs. I get to put my money where my mouth is this week. Despite not losing as much as I would have liked, I’m not going to let it get me down. I stuck to my eating plan all 7 days, and I need to work on getting in more steps and workouts if I want to improve my fitness. I worked out 5/7 days. This was done through running and dance fitness and I finally added in swimming too.

This is me looking disheveled after a few workouts.

The next before and after pic will make the bitches go even more wild than the first one did.

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Health

Scrumdiddlyumptious Turkey and Rice Soup in 5 Easy Steps

ingredientsLast week I really, really, really needed to go to the grocery store-but I was procrastinating-so I reached that point where you eat the random things in your pantry that are only there because you never want to eat them. I’m not normally a soup person. But I had a couple cans of Progresso Light Chicken Noodle soup hanging out and collecting dust in my pantry. So I had those for lunch for two days and they were pretty good, and only 4 Smartpoints for you WeightWatchers people out there.

Well a friend of mine brought up her boyfriend getting sick and needing some soup and all of a sudden I got a craving for soup. I was going to just pick up a couple cans of the ole Progresso from Walmart, but then I thought how much better and healthier it would probably be if I made it myself. I set out to research a WeightWatchers friendly chicken noodle, but what I found instead was this bomb-ass recipe for Turkey and Rice. I had to make a few adjustments but it came out so delish! Ten out of ten friends would recommend.

Here’s the breakdown with nutrition and prices*:

Ingredients:

2 Carrots, Chopped: 32¢
2 Celery Stalks, Chopped: 33¢
1 Medium Onion, Chopped: 72¢
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced** 
6 1/2 C. Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth: $2.68
3 Tbsp. Flour**
1 C. Brown Rice, Uncooked: $1.26 with lots of rice leftover
1 Tsp. Dried Thyme**
1 Bay Leaf**
1 lb. Turkey Breast, Cooked & Shredded or Cubed-Cook the turkey breast however you see fit. I pan-fried mine, but you could bake, or boil or microwave. Whatevs.: $6.07
1 C. Fat Free Half & Half: $1.94 with lots leftover
Salt & Pepper to Taste**

Cost: $13.32

Servings: 6 Servings of 1 1/2 cups per serving: 5 SmartPoints per serving

Calories: 247 Carbs: 34g Fat: 2g Protein: 23 Sugar 5g

*Based off Walmart’s prices in Florida January 2017

**I already had these items in my pantry, so I’m not sure of the price =/ but buy them once and they’ll last basically forever.

Steps:

  1. Throw them carrots, celery, onion and garlic into your pot with 1/2 cup of broth and saute that ish until the onions are translucent and the veggies are tender. Took about 15-20 minutes in my pot.
  2. Add the flour and continue to cook for about 3 min.
  3. Add in the rest of the broth, along with the wild rice, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring the pot to a boil. ·Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 25-30 minutes.
  4. When the rice is tender, add in the already cooked turkey. Cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the half and half. Cook for 10 minutes.

Voila! Done-zo! Salt & Pepper to taste. Pig out!

I totally meant to take pictures of my finished soup, but I ate all of it before I remembered. But I froze half of it, so the next time I bust it out, I’ll add some pictures of my finished product. In the meantime enjoy this photo of my cats:

They’re the cutest.

Do you have any yummy and healthy recipes to share?

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