May 072016
 

This article really struck a chord with me and my life proves it.

Why You Can’t Lose Weight On a Diet

22 yrs old, a bit “curvy” joined WW – down to 135, crabby all the time but super hot bod, boyfriend stopped calling me “beluga butt”

25 yrs old, engaged, happy – 190

30 yrs old, single again, WW – 165

32 yrs old, dating, happy – 180-200

34 yrs old, married, Slimgenics, skinny, bitchy – 175 lowest weight reached, couldn’t handle it anymore

35 yrs old, 220 lbs, joined Emily Program for Compulsive Eating Disorder, fixed my relationship with food, stopped dieting, left program 37 yrs old, less anxiety, happy – 250 lbs

38 yrs old (now) – content, happy, married, really curvy, size 18-20, strong, fit, only issue: obesity – 250 lbs – I’m scared of my actual weight, but nothing else, love my body, eat mostly what I want 90% good nutrition, keep my body moving the best I can with 3-5 days a week of workouts, yoga, walks and/ or weights

Just thought I’d share, I hope there is more evidence, proof and what to do next,

 

<3 Merbear

 

Apr 042016
 

Finally I found a plan that works for me. It is actually not that complicated or hard to follow and seems fairly like “duh”, but sometimes you need to a kick in the butt to even have a “duh” moment, haha!

A Little History..

For me, a very good friend of mine followed this plan for about 5 months and had a major turnaround in her health including eating, lifestyle, inches and pounds.  Since I know she’s as busy, or even busier, than I am and I know she is a very reasonable person, I thought I’d give it it a try.

The week of Christmas, Sunday, December 20th, 2015 – I spent my day shopping and meal prepping, on Monday, December 21st I did a 30 minute cardio workout, ate my planned meals and felt awesome.  I did that same thing again, including through Christmas and New Year’s Eve for the next 21 days.  I lost several inches and 10 lbs. Yes, I had wine on Christmas, enjoyed some Christmas treats, and toasted on New Year’s Eve….it all balanced out with health eating 95% of the time and my daily workouts.

After that round, we went to Hawaii and I was able to continue with the healthy habits I’d learned and (21 days builds a habit!) maintain my healthy changes.  A week after that, I sprained my ankle and while I’ve been meal prepping and following a healthy plan I haven’t been working out due to my hugely swollen ankle.

Back In the Saddle AGAAAAAAIN

Well, today, I’m back at it, with some modified moves and an ankle brace, it FEELS SO GOOD TO BE BACK!  I got so used to moving every day and it was really hard to convince myself to get back to it, but I’m back…woohoo!!!

TotalBodyCardio040416

The other awesome thing I did today was I used some onions and red peppers that I prepped ahead of time yesterday in the right portion, all chopped up, and I made really EASY chili for dinner tonight with leftovers all portioned out for some lunches this week!!Ingredients040416

Chili040416Beans040416

I literally just googled “Easy 21 Day Fix” Chili and found this recipe, whipped it up with it on my iPad in the kitchen and voila!

 

 

 

 

Super good with some portioned out cheese and 2% Fage Greek Yogurt mixed in, too!

 

 

 

What is all this?

The plan I started following back in December and now that I’m back doing again is 21 Day Fix from Beachbody and the 21 Day Fix workout DVDs.  I’m impressed with how easy it is to measure out my ingredients in the provided color-coded containers, put together recipes that came with the plan, but then also find TONS of suggestions and awesome tried and true recipes online from other enthusiasts of 21 Day Fix!  This plan is easy to prep for, follow and repeat until I get to the goals I want to reach!

Join Me!

<3 Merbear

Aug 312015
 

First – the Soybu Giveaway –  I assigned all 5 entrants a number, by the order they commented.  I used the widget on random.org to choose a number.  The number random.org choices was “1”. The #1 commenter was Liz!! Liz will win a Maria skirt in her chosen size! Congrats Liz!!

Okay so brain dump of feelings/thoughts/plans

Frustration, I feel it a lot…ugh, I just want something to feel right. Why are all the workouts I feel like I can stick to so expensive? How come I can’t just go running and have it work, why does it have to be so hard?

I just want to make a food plan, go grocery shopping, be ready for the week and make healthy food for lunches and dinners…and be able to just eat healthy.

Put those two things together….exercise that I like (I understand HARD, but it can’t suck nor can it eat my whole wallet) and then eat my planned food and have snacks in between that are healthy…

It sounds so SIMPLE…why can’t I make it work?

I set goals and don’t keep them….why?

It seems I’ve only been able to keep up with a good eating plan/exercise plan when I have buy in from others, it can’t just be me. I can’t do things alone and just for me, it doesn’t work in my brain.

A co-worker sent me 2 weeks free of Core Power Yoga, I went 6 times, it was awesome! I loved it!  Now, its $20 a class or some ridiculous price packages I CANNOT afford…I searched for deals and there aren’t any out right now.  I did just sign up for 1 week free of their online yoga videos…so I can make that last another week! I want to keep going to these classes though cause I have a buddy, even if we aren’t in the same class, I feel the camraderie and that we have that in common keeps me going.

I have loyally seen the same personal trainer for about 5 years, I see her twice a week for 30 minutes and she continues to challenge me and build my muscles. Why does this work for me? Appointments, accountability to another person….it so works for me!

I hope this time around…hubby and I are going to go into the healthy eating TOGETHER. I’m good at eating a healthy breakfast, I’m good at packing a healthy lunch and eating eat (saves money too, haha)….but evening plans and weekend things…the things I do with friends and with hubby, just get me off track..it is NO ONE’S FAULT BUT MY OWN…but I need a buddy to be accountable to who is also doing it with me….and hubby says he will and I’m super happy!!  He knows I need the help and unless I’m on a spendy food plan where all my food is practically made for me and super mapped out..I just can’t stick to it, so I’m very excited to have a buddy.

<3 Merbear

Aug 242015
 

 

Soybu2

Its Meeee!!!!!

 

Krya Tank & Joy SkortHello!!  What do you think of my cute new outfits? This summer I was introduced to Soybu through the Fitbloggin’ conference.  Soybu is an amazing company that just released a plus line and its so comfy, cute and versatile! What else do you need?

Camryn Tee, Maria Skirt, Taryn Tank

Camryn Tee, Maria Skirt, Taryn Tank

 

I loved running the Women Rock 5K in my Soybu Joy Skort and Kyra Tank!! This is the first time I was able to fit well and comfortably into a running skort. Thank you Soybu for having a plus line!

I frequently wear a combo of the Camyrn Tee, Taryn Tank and the Maria Skirt to work.  I look business casual and feel like I’m wearing stretchy sweats, great for long days at work! Plus, I can wear the super cute skirt right out for dinner or happy hour with friends or my hubby!

 

 

Well guess what?? I want to give one lucky blog reader a free Maria Skirt, which is defintely my favorite piece right now from the Soybu plus line!

All I need is for YOU to visit the Soybu website , take a look at the Plus line, and tell me what pieces YOU like in a comment.  Also, please sign up for the Soybu mailing list and let me know that you did so in the comment as well with the email that you signed up with (so Soybu can verify that you signed up of course!) Another bonus for signing up, you get 25% of your first purchase from Soybu!!!  Please visit and comment on this post by Thursday night, August 26th and I’ll post a winner over the weekend!

I want to share with you that Soybu did give me a couple free pieces of clothing, but they did not pay me or require me to post about them, I just wanted to do this giveaway!

<3 Merbear

Aug 162015
 

CrazyAwesome

I tried CorePower Yoga for the first time today. I’ve done yoga before, I’ve even done heated yoga before. I’ve never tried yoga, in front of other people, in a new format, at my current weight.

I am trying different workouts on top of my 2x/week active weight lifting (like bootcamp but with a personal trainer), because I need more movement, more stretching, more engaging activities to burn calories.

I’m okay with hard and I am so thankful for all of the kind words and thoughts flowing from the yoga instructor to the class about doing what feels best, finding the right modifications of poses that work for us, etc…..but I felt only frustrated, upset and embarrassed for myself 90% of the workout. I used to be able to do all these poses, with only a little bit of effort, not because I was well practiced, but because I didn’t have a bunch of fat in the way in my stomach/legs/you name it.

I definitely appreciated the poses I could do and the stretches that felt so good and that I made it through 60 minutes with only truly having to stop once (major foot arch pain). I actually, truly thought about stopping and walking out so I could go to my car and cry I felt like such a failure. Right before I got to the actual point of stopping and leaving though – the instructor would say something to the class that was super encouraging and had us breathe, focus on our breath and why we were there. After class she even found me outside of the studio and told me how well I did in my first class and she answered a lot of my questions which calmed my nerves a bit about participating in other classes and moving forward.

It is still hard for me to forget how I felt though, during most of the class, almost wanting to cry, not because it was too hard, but because I felt like I wasn’t good enough – I kept telling myself my intention for the day though that “I am good enough.”

I’m not really sure where this post is going, I am going back to CorePower Yoga, most likely tomorrow – either another all levels class or I might challenge myself more with some sculpt and do what I can and take a break when I’m overwhelmed.

This is something new, I have a learning curve – it was hard to lift weights when I first started doing that and now I love it.  I know I can do this, seriously…just gotta get back in there, right?

I’m so tired of the body that I’m in, I need it to move/be healthy, I need to love it and I can’t love it the way it is now..its not me…I’m working at getting back to me…its not easy, but it’ll be worth it.

PainReachGoalLifetime

Thanks for “listening”

<3 Merbear

Jul 062015
 

CrazyAwesome

Soo, I went to Fitbloggin’ two weeks ago, I missed last year (cue anxiety) and I thought I might have been forgotten, I thought I wouldn’t know what to say or how to act, I worried about the people who’s faces I recognized, but names I didn’t remember or even worse people who remembered me and I had NO idea who they were…ack ack ack.

Well, it was just the opposite…everyone knows it can be hard to remember everyone else, everyone knows that we double-check on names, everyone knows that its hard to come out of your shell on the first day and it takes a few hugs and hellos to really get back into the flow….aaaah.

But even BETTER, was a panel I participated in where we discussed the inner struggles that we have in common, that are hard to talk about with people who don’t understand, and we built our own little support system, called Mental Health Monday. Its a blog link up where we can be here to provide support, have our posts read, and keep the support going. I’m so excited about this!

Okay my little write up kind of goes all over the place, its a stream of thought type of post, sorry for the rambling 🙂

It is funny to me…Fitbloggin’ was both the best feeling on Earth because I was surrounded by my people, a tribe that understands me and that knows my struggles and I know theirs. Not just about mental health..but the challenges of living a healthy lifestyle, keeping up with what’s best for our bodies, fighting against fads, people who don’t support us and just general apathy when things aren’t going our way and we feel we aren’t moving forward. But on the other hand, it is so HARD to be around all these people you want to see, talk to, hug and cry with all weekend long..how do you decide who to talk to, which after-hours event to do, what activity is best, which panel to attend…and you get all wrapped up in it and you end up doing nothing and seeing no-one.  Or do you? Does it just feel like that, or did that really happen?

I feel like I saw everyone and did everything but like I also missed out on everything and saw no one…at the same time.

I feel so loved and welcomed but also like I’m not a part of it and not really that important…. at the same time.

I had a point when I was on top of the world, loving the fact that so many people “joined” my beer crawl and I was so excited to walk around Denver with everyone…but then there was just one. One person joined me, the rest fell away and probably joined a more popular group of people, I found some of them at my last bar crawl stop. Do I take it personally? Do I just blow it off cause people got lazy and didn’t want to go….if it was someone else running the beer crawl would they have been able to draw more people? I had a great time with my lovely friend that joined me, don’t get me wrong…but its just that feeling..in the back of my head….back to the bottom of the world feeling.

I often feel included but not part of the group at the same time…it happened a lot at Fitbloggin’ and when it finally really got to me….on our last night there….and another good friend asked me if I was okay…I actually reached out and told her what was on my mind and how I was feeling…there were tears, encouragement…a big hug…and I felt better…pretty much instantly…another lesson of how reaching out really does help. I love you my friend, you know who you are.

I love you my Fitbloggin’ tribe, you know who YOU are..and if you don’t…but you are reading this…you are part of it

<3 Merbear

May 172015
 

Ooookay then….two weeks of Seattle Sutton’s pre-made meals for weekdays and my own plan for weekends….didn’t really get a good test of it, last week was challenging!

The plan:

  • Eat Seattle Sutton’s meals Monday dinner – Friday lunch
  • Make smart eating out choices or cooking at home choices with Ryan (husband) Friday night through Sunday night

What really happened:

  • Monday & Tuesday – right on the plan, plus Tuesday morning hour long INTENSE bootcamp!
  • Wednesday – last day for a co-worker – went out to lunch (Chipotle veggie bowl & chips), met for happy hour – 3 whiskey sours – went out for dinner to a fantastic burger place  (Red Cow – Edina, MN)- burger/coleslaw (yay not fries!)/1 beer (tap takeover from Bell’s YUM beer)
  • Thursday – exhausted from staying out late Wednesday night, ate fine through out the day, took a nap…went to see Above & Beyond at Skyway Theater – had Redbull and Vodka (not a lot but still, empty calories, caffeine/Red Bull was very much needed!) – oh did dance a lot plus I did personal training half hour bootcamp in the morning
  • Friday – running late, brought breakfast & lunch to work didn’t eat them – at 12pm ate 3 chicken fingers/1/2 serving of fries – at 7pm ate fish fry/tartar sauce/a few fries & walked around Northeast Minneapolis at Art A Whirl – 2 beers & a tiki drink that night – plus a personal mushroom pizza — 12,000 steps that day though!

Goals for this week:

  • Monday – Friday Seattle Sutton’s meals for breakfast, lunch & dinner..I don’t have any other plans that are challenging this week, its a great week for a focused re-set
  • Tuesday & Thursday half hour bootcamp workouts with personal trainer
  • Monday & Wednesday – walk the doggie!
  • Friday night: rest up for my BIRTHDAY WEEKEND
  • Saturday night – its my birthday, brunch in the morning with friends & bar crawl in the evening – I’m a reasonable person…but seriously, anything goes, MY BIRTHDAY!
  • Sunday – rest up, help decorate for my friends wedding, enjoy friend’s wedding, make smart choices, dance and have fun 🙂
  • Monday (Memorial Day) – Eat Seattle Sutton’s for breakfast/lunch – enjoy birthday FAMILY dinner of yummy grilled steak/baked potatoes/veggies

What went right:

  • 2 planned workouts and one day with 12,000 steps and another day with 5,000 steps

Next week should be better 🙂 Right?

<3 Merbear

May 082015
 

Hello friends!!!

Last time I posted I talked about Seattle Sutton’s and I have stayed with my weight loss plan since then (which was mid-January).

This is truly MY weight loss plan because it has measurable steps and results that I am totally in charge of. This is the first time I really found my groove with the way I learn…through practice and being accountable to just myself.

What I’m looking for is success in consistency, a regular rate of weight loss during this phase, which I have…I’m down 20 lbs and I did it by eating an average of 1400-1500 calories net (if I exercised I ate those calories, too) per day. That doesn’t mean there weren’t days that were higher than that or lower…but on average I stayed with it…and on average I ended up evening out at losing about 1 lb a week over the last month, yay! (I dropped quicker the 1st month, which is normal)

I lost 20 lbs, I lost several inches off my body, down 1-2 sizes depending on where I shop and my brain is MUCH clearer when it comes to choices, serving sizes and eating in general.

Weight Loss Chart

Weight Loss

Seattle Sutton’s provided me with  3 meals a day that added up to approximately 1200 calories, I added my own light snacks (or beer or dessert) to make up the rest of the calories to get up to 1400. But, with those 3 meals there was even more value than just portion control – a reliable source was providing me with nutritionally balanced meals that were filling, well portioned and….easy to replicate when I make my own meals, or serve myself from someone else’s meals and this is a big one..order from restaurants.

I made a change this week with Seattle Sutton’s…instead of meals every day of the week, I cut down to meals just on week days and I’m in charge of my own weekend meals. Whoa! That sounds scary, the weekends are the scariest for choices….not for me, let me explain.

I am at the highest risk for making poor choices when I don’t have time….when I’m tired on a weeknight/in a hurry to get to work with breakfast in my stomach and lunch in my bag. So, that’s where I’m still getting support for Seattle Sutton’s for another few weeks.

But, I’ve already started making great choices when I am at my leisure…when I am making, ordering or serving myself food.  I’m so used to seeing my whole dinner on a salad plate and I know that if that’s chosen wisely I will be satisfied and I will continue to lose weight…plus I can still enjoy myself.

Over the last few weeks I have had steak/potato/salad for dinner when my husband grilled, I ordered sushi..only 2 rolls and miso soup…SO PERFECT!  I easily made those healthy choices and felt good about them.  I know what my plateful of food should look like veggies/fruit, protein, some carb…..and those proteins are lean proteins and the carbs are the good stuff…its okay they are a potato or rice, or bread….just the right kinds….sometimes its mac ‘n cheese (just not too often and not too much).

I still have about 65 lbs I want to lose, but its coming off and its staying off. The more I lose, the more easily I can move and once I can really get moving….this extra fat is TOAST!

<3 Merbear

Jan 192015
 

My husband and I are going to start Seattle Sutton’s meal plan on Monday. We have signed up for the 21 meal plan so we’re going to have our breakfast, lunch and dinner pre-made for us every day of the week. I pick them up on Mondays and Thursdays..the food is fresh you keep it in your refrigerator and warm it up when you are ready to eat.

This is how we are going to start our journey, by kick starting weight loss without the stress of meal planning and counting right at the start.  Our goal though is to scale back on Seattle Sutton’s as we move forward and do part of the week on our own and part of the week with meals provided (this is an option). Then, once we think we can continue on our own with meal ideas under our belt, we will keep moving forward with healthy weight loss and then maintenance on our own.

Seattle Sutton’s doesn’t really provide counseling and emotional support, they provide a guaranteed 1200 calories a day plus a grocery list of suggestions to supplement that if your body seems to need more to be fulfilled and sustain weight loss…like increasing up to 1500 calories a day.

I will also be going to my doctor every 3 months to have all my vitals tested including fasting blood test, blood pressure, etc etc.  I will be weighing myself regularly as well as getting myself measured by my personal trainer every month per usual. This medical monitoring is a big deal…I have youth on my side, but in a few years…if I keep this weight on or add more…I am endangering my LIFE…so its buck up and solve this now or umm…die..basically…so I choose life. Death is scary…especially if its before I’m like 100 years old or something.

One thing I’m super excited about is to be able to start running again..right now running HURTS and its dangerous for my back and knees at my weight. I was doing great back when I was running at a lower weight though…so once I can fit into my running gear again, I’m going back at it….obviously easy does it…I’ll be making a plan with my personal trainer.

The other support that is needed, is emotional support….I need you my friends and family…please don’t forget about Ryan & I just because we are eating our prepped meals, we still want to see you and spend time with you! In some occasions we can adapt what is being served at a restaurant to fulfill our nutritional goals..on other occasions we’ll bring our own food or we’ll meet you after we’ve eaten.  This goes especially for myself…if eating Seattle Sutton’s 3x a day for awhile forces me to isolate myself from being social, I might lose weight…but I will also lose myself and be extremely lonely. Yes, Ryan is super awesome and I love to spend time with him, but losing weight won’t help us if we kill each other 😛

Not sure what else to say besides I’m excited and nervous to start this whole new chapter in my life….learning portion sizes, what my body needs and how to lose and then maintain for the rest of my life.

<3 Merbear

Jan 042015
 

First, I want to say THANK YOU to the outpouring of support, encouragement and thought provoking ideas shared with me on my last post in comments, Facebook chats and in person hugs. You guys are the greatest.

Now for the topic at hand. This morning I was sitting on the couch, browsing Facebook, etc for an hour or two after I got out of bed. I was ignoring the growing growl in my tummy. I do this quite often…..

I get immobilized…stuck…I know what I should eat and I know what I want to eat and I just can’t move and commit. It isn’t laziness, I am truly immobilized, like I’m paralyzed…looking towards the kitchen…..just…ugh…stuck.

This is often why I don’t eat until I’m starving, which leads to either poor choices or making good choices but overeating, or BOTH.

I happened to be texting with a good friend this morning and was sharing these thoughts with her.

 

Friend: I get it. What do you have that you should eat?

Me: Eggs, Orange, Milk.

Me: I want Cinnamon Toast Crunch 🙁 I can’t have it though, because I have 5 grains for the day and we’re having chicken fried rice for dinner..which normally takes up 3…so thats 2 left for the day and I’m going out for lunch.

Me: My hungry inner child is asking for cereal, popcorn, sandwiches and potatoes!

Friend: Have apples with cinnamon sprinkled on them, crunchy cinnamon taste.

Me: Hmm, that sounds good, I’ll get up and do that plus eggs.

Friend: I get stuck on food a lot, too!

Friend: How are the apples?

Me: Yummmmmmmmm 🙂

I guess one of the ways to have this not happen is to have a bunch of foods around that are all good choices that I like…right? Why is that so hard? Does anyone else relate to this?

<3 Merbear