Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Healthy Foodies, Losing Booties!

I can't believe a whole year has gone by since I started my healthy living journey. There have been many MANY fantastic things that have come from my choice to live happy, healthy and active. I'm grateful that I blogged about every step along the way because I have so much to look back on! And I'm even happier for all of you guys for joining me! 

So reflecting back on before and after pictures is always lots of fun .. Now since I was stupid not thinking ahead at the time, I didn't take a "before" picture of myself at the beginning of my journey .. But I can still share pictures of my progress on just about everything else!

So that was me a year and a month ago. I was sedentary, very inactive, VERY overweight, constantly exhausted, moody, depressed, unmotivated, unhappy with myself, and struggled through day to day activities. 

My meals looked a lot like this: 1. The famous Mac of Big! 2. Yeah, my pizza addiction can still be a problem .. hehe. 3. Hamburger Helper and LOTS of it and 4. Mac and Cheese with hot dogs (not gonna lie - I still love that stuff!)

Well, thanks to a great friend (Hi Christina!!) and wonderful hubby, I was encouraged to return to Weight Watchers (where I previously lost 97lbs in high school!) to get myself back on track. Christina kicked my arse on the days I wasn't up to going to the meetings ("but I had a bad week and the scale won't be nice to me!") and hubby helped lift me up when I was down. Another wonderful friend (ROXY!!) introduced me to her passion for yoga and her positive energy motivated me completely - when someone is passionate about something, it really is contagious . I fell in love with yoga! Then a few friends registered for this 5K Army Run thing .. and Cindy (love ya!) convinced me to register too and run with her. ME, run a 5K?! Pfffft.

I started a Couch to 5K program and really struggled at first .. but soon I was in love with that feeling you get during and after a tough run (runner's high!). And I loved the results I was seeing - the combination of running and yoga was not only helping my weight loss, but my bum and legs were really starting to tone down! Running was a challenge that I loved to overcome. Asthma shmasthma. Before I knew it, I was running my first ever 5K!

And then once day where I was lounging on the couch after a loooong week .. I came across this incredible show:

Remember how I said how someone's positive energy and passion can be contagious?! BOOM. These ladies are frickin GODS in my book. They made nutrition and healthy living fun! They showed me that healthy eating doesn't have to just be salads and baked chickens. Before I knew it, I was addicted to learning about nutrition and had purchased their amazing book, The Looneyspoons Collection (now my bible and easily my go-to for just about anything .. go buy it!!) and wanting to do something more with my life. Janet Podleski inspired me to become a nutritionist - learning how different foods can impact your body is so fascinating. I'm now enrolled in school, getting my prerequisites in order to study nutrition and to become a dietician! And I got to meet the Podleski sisters - what a dream come true!!

I became an ambassador for Fit Approach #sweatpinkGirls Gone Sporty and Greatist. I've lost 57lbs (okay, now it's 37lbs because of my winter gain - no worries, it's disappearing fast!), love running and yoga'ing, walk just about everywhere, live in my workout clothes, and have a passion for nutrition and healthy-ing up my favorite recipes. I'm happier than I've ever been in my life!

So before, my snacks and eating looked like this ..

1. Chocolate cake (and just about any baked good!) 2. Hawkins Cheezies 3. Chocolate chip cookies in bulk and 4. Pralines and Cream ice cream
My meals now look a lot more like this:

Breakfast is served! 1. Scrambled eggs w/ spinach, mushrooms and green onions. 2. French toast w/ whole wheat and flax bread, a dollop of light whipped cream. 3. Avocado, onion and tomato omelette. 4. A breakfast wrap! All served with a pile of fruit, every single day.
Lunch time! 1. Light egg salad sandwhich on whole wheat and flax bread, veggies on the side. 2. A homemade mini pizza with light cheese and a big salad 3. Quinoa salad with feta, corn, red peppers and spinach. 4. A huge spinach salad with chicken and lots of veggies!
Dinner's Served! 1. BBQ chicken breast with mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed veggies. 2. Taco night! Light cheese, extra lean ground beef, tomatoes, avocado and mushrooms. 3. My favorite!! Daddy Lego's homemade turkey burgers with provolone, mushrooms, spinach and avocado, with a huge salad on the side. 4. A lightened-up Shepherd's Pie, made with lots of veggies, lean ground turkey, creamed corn and mashed sweet potatoes.
Snacks! Larabar all-natural no-crap energy bars (the apple one is my favorite!). 2. Fruit salad. 3. A handul of almonds. 4. Grapes! Yum!
A girl still needs to treat herself from time to time. 1. Lightly sea-salted almonds with dark chocolate quinoa pearls. 2. Rocky Road frozen yogurt. 3. My favorite lightened-up frozen coffee! 4. Apple chips!

All of my meals have fruits or vegetables (or both - and LOTS of 'em!) whereas before, I was lucky to have a banana or have Subway (there are veggies on my sub!). I always make sure to have a snack between meals so that I don't get too hungry and over-indulge come meal time. I drink lots of water and love to put lemon in it! I rarely buy packaged foods and eat mostly foods I prepare at home. 

I love being active. Running and walking are my go-to exercises, and when I want to tone and stretch, yoga is the one I choose. Being outside makes me happy. Soaking up vitamin D while exercising releases all those happy endorphins that keep my depression in line. I have never been in better shape - and I plan to keep getting better!

The absolute BEST reward for my decision to live a healthy lifestyle? Seeing the joy on my kids' faces because mommy has the energy to run along with them, kicking a ball, or chasing after them at the park, or playing Ring Around The Rosey for the millionth time without losing steam. I'm able to be the mommy I wanted to be - happy and energetic and active with my kids! And I'm a role model for the lives I want them to lead. They will want to be active and eat healthy because that is what they know right from childhood, and because their parents practiced what they preached. I LOVE IT.

Family runs, chasing bubbles, and a yogi-to-be!
Healthy breakfasts of eggs, toast and fruit, no-sugar-added applesauce snacks at the park, strong boys eat their fruits, and PB & J on whole wheat and flax with cheese and veggies.

So that was this past year. Better food choices and active living can make for a pretty darned amazing life, you know!? I'm so proud of this past year, slip-ups and all, and I know it can only get better from here.

To my hubby: I love you. Thanks for being my partner in crime and my number one biggest fan. You're pretty kick-ass!!

To my kids: thank you for being my cheerleaders, my motivation, my reason for healthy living. You both saved my life.

To my friends (my girls!!) .. Christina, Christine, Cindy, Roxanne .. You're all amazing. Thank you for inspiring me and for giving me the kicks in the butt that I needed.

Thank you all for being a part of my journey. I can't thank you enough for your kind words and support! 

Always remember: Healthy Foodies, Lose Booties!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on all of the success you've had in the past year! All those pics of your yummy and healthy meals has totally made me hungry though! LOL! Cheers, Tara xo