Soybu Winner & Thoughts ‘n Plans

 Basics, contests, goals, lifestyle, support, workouts, Yoga  Comments Off on Soybu Winner & Thoughts ‘n Plans
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

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

Feb 102014
 

Its late on my first full day here in Cancun and you might wonder why the heck am I blogging? Well, its not like I’m a daily or even weekly blogger anymore, I blog when I’m inspired by something to talk about. Tonight, I am inspired to talk about my progress with The Emily Program and how it has taken a huge chunk of anxiety out of my life. I know I’ve already talked about how much better my anxiety and my eating habits are, but holy cow I can really tell now that I’m on vacation.

When we are in our day to day life at home there are healthy decisions that need to be made all day….what to eat, what to wear, what’s on my schedule today, feed the cats, feed the husband (teehee), hit the showers, scheduled exercise, blah blah blah.

But, here in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort, everything is in slow-mo….hardly any decisions and I can take my time to make them, plus they aren’t that hard…..pina colada or a mojito? Heehee

In the past, I would have really noticed my tendency towards compulsive eating and my anxiety when on vacation. I would have been saying to myself all the time, “Well, I’m on vacation I might as well eat this and this and this and that and that and that……..” which would trigger guilt and anxiety afterwards OR I might have been on the other side, before I learned intuitive eating, and I could on vacation while on a “diet” Oy…that would have sucked, there are so many wonderful foods here…fresh tropical fruits, fun drinks, outstanding traditional style tacos, room service, gourmet restaurants in the hotel etc etc……being on a “diet” would have thrown my darn anxiety off the charts.

But after today, I feel fantastic.  I had more than your average number of adult beverages on the beach today, not that I was counting.  We ate every few hours when we were hungry, a nosh of tacos here, a bit of fruit there, some happy hour veggies and dip, some yummy salad and steak for dinner…..no worries, no woes, just yummy fuel on a magnificent day at the beach.

Small aside…I was finally able to go back to regular exercise after 3 months of physical therapy. I’m happy to say that after 1 month of Megan K’s Fit Body Boot Camp I’m down 3 inches off my body. No diet food, just 3-5 days a week of 30 minute boot camp sessions and intuitive eating with the instruction of my dietitian at the Emily Program (its not a food plan or a diet) 🙂 I know some people progress faster, but this is just perfect for me 🙂

<3

Merbear

A few of my favorite snack combos!

 Basics, Blue Diamond, Fitbloggin, Food, foodie, guilty, Lenny and Larrys, lifestyle, recipes  Comments Off on A few of my favorite snack combos!
Oct 182013
 

I’ve learned from my dietitian and from personal trainers that the best snacks are ones that have a combo of macro nutrients, or at least one!!

What’s a macro nutrient?  Carb, Protein and Fat are!

One of my morning go-to snacks that is easy to pack  is 1 serving of crackers (either measured out, or usually a snack bag size) and 1 string cheese!! (Carb and Protein!)

Another is homemade trail mix: (this is 10 3/4 cup  servings)

  • 5 cups of Cheerios (or any other healthy, not sugar cereal you like)
  • 2/3 cups of Almonds (or a lower fat kind of nut) – I use Blue Diamond almonds, most recently I’ve been using their Dark Chocolate flavor!!!!
  • 1/2 cup of cashews (or a higher fat kind of nut)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 single serving size bags of M&Ms (or any other brand or generic version, I usually use the Unreal, Unjunked brand)

(The trail mix has Fat, Carb and Protein in it!)

I also like to have a single serving size yogurt (any kind…regular, low fat, greek  (BUT NOT FAT FREE) and a 100 calorie bag/3 cups  of regular microwave popcorn (Fat, Carb, and Protein!)

Sometimes though, I’m in a big hurry….I can only throw a few things in my purse before I head out the door, whether or not I know if I’ll have to be eating or have a challenging food choice later in the day, I always put almonds in my purse!!  You get fat AND protein…plus, umm, there are some really yummy ones out there.

Today at my desk I had these that I mentioned above:

 

Blue Diamond DARK CHOCOLATE almonds - 100 calorie pack

Blue Diamond DARK CHOCOLATE almonds! 100 calorie pack

Yeah, these are chocolate!! Not coated in candy chocolate, but a light dark chocolate powder. Omigosh soo good!

As many of my readers know, Blue Diamond almonds was kind enough to give out lots of samples at Fitbloggin ‘13 and they *did* send me a box of dark chocolate samples because I was so sad that they ran out at the conference! How sweet are they?  However, they did not request in any way that I talk about or review them. I just like them so much and feel that they are so kind, that I wanted to share how much I really do love almonds.

Have you guys had their toasted coconut ones? Wow, if you want a healthy tropical getaway in your mouth, go get a sleeve of them and enjoy guilt free!!

I also have been known to pick up a sleeve or two of their Mocha Cappuccino at the gas station when I want a pick me ‘up, they actually work, plus they fill my tummy 🙂

Other items that I substitute in for snacks are:

2 Babybel cheese rounds instead of the 1 string cheese.

3-4 Graham cracker squares and a single serving of regular chocolate pudding

Goldfish crackers and Cheez It snack bags as my cracker choices

Oooh and …. 2 Oreo Cookies and a single serving yogurt

Yes, yes…things that are sweet are okay and if you know that you can always have them and that nothing is bad….its easy to build up automatic moderation.

I actually haven’t had Oreos for a few months now, not because they are “bad” but I know I can have them anytime and I’ve developed more of a taste for cheese, crackers, yogurt and nuts!!

There is also another cookie that I love to have, its super filling, mouth-wateringly tasty and I also was introduced to it at Fitbloggin!!

Have you tried Lenny & Larry’s complete cookies?

There are lots of flavors, my absolute favorite is Pumpkin!!! But double chocolate is fantastic as well 🙂

They are not “diet” cookies but much healthier and filling than a store bought cookie!!  Scrumptious!!

Lovely Alyssa was representing Lenny & Larry’s at Fitbloggin’ 13 and sent me cookies to sample. She did not request or require any reviews or postings from me, I just love them that much!

dtl_coo_pumpkin3 lennylarry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you guys get some ideas about yummy and easy snacking! Its important to eat every 2-3 hours to keep our blood sugar stable.  Going too long between meals and snacks drops your blood sugar and then you just want to maw down anything you can get your hands on…which is not good!  Keep ahead of blood sugar spikes and valleys by keeping your eating regular and healthy!!

<3 Merbear

Mar 272013
 

I chatted a bit about this in my PNP Trackstar Challenge Facebook group, so thanks to those of you that are reading this again. I thought this would be a good topic to bring up to all my readers.

I haven’t been to a WW meeting for two weeks until today (I was on business trips, couldn’t find another meeting out of town that would fit in either)…..I’m up 9 lbs from my last weigh in. Ugh. I’m very glad that I don’t have any more traveling for quite awhile..and this was the first time I have ever traveled for work. So, I think I will recoup (I actually reset my WW start weight to start over)….and I will be ready with a plan next time I business travel.

There are things that I need to remember to plan ahead for:

1) Barley’s Angel’s meetings..there will be beer..I will be tasting it and discussing it with my friends (1x a month)

2) Parties on weekends….my friends get together and do gaming parties with lots of snacks and alcohol

3) No last minute food challenges…have snacks on hand, meal plans on hand, preview menus or have a plan for when I can’t preview a menu

4) I’m a foodie and a beer geek…there are so many awesome (healthy or not so healthy) things to try out there…I want to try them because I love the variety and trying new things….same with when I see a new beer that I haven’t tried…need to save my activity and weekly extra points for those NOT for a random snack on a Tuesday night unless I’m hungry and need it!

We know what has worked for me before, I lost about 4 lbs at my meeting two weeks ago…so what gives? What worked?

1) Meal Planning – it was fun, I loved knowing what meals I could make/have ready all week and I loved having leftovers and lunches!

2) Previewing menus before going out – decide what I want ahead of time..so that I can just enjoy the company when I’m out

3) Bring my own snacks and drinks to house parties, no one cares what I’m drinking

4) Be my own best friend, put myself first…its hard for me to say no when I have pressure (even if its fun, non-threatening pressure)

5) I am better at managing my choices when I get my anxiety in check, so I need to meditate/yoga/exercise/take some me time DAILY

6) I feel like my Weight Watcher’s meetings are Wednesdays are definitely important, but its a group and not a buddy, I need to find a buddy who is doing Weight Watchers and also “gets it”, someone from my regular day-to-day life. I have so many support groups online…so I’m reaching out to friends who may want to be a buddy.

I’d love some suggestions you guys might have about eating out, needing a snack last minute..what do you eat?,

What you might do if you have several “food related” things going on in one week…..

What do you do to have some “me” time..how do you make sure and take it?

I’m glad that I finished Slimgenics…that wasn’t real life…it was SO restrictive so I know why I lost all the weight, but I wasn’t going to be able to maintain that lifestyle…I can’t say no to everything , all the time for the rest of my life.  Weight Watchers has taught me some great lessons on building healthy spaces, meal planning, etc…I just need to get it INTO MY HEAD!

Also, I LOVE that it is finally brightening up and getting a bit warmer here in Minnesnowta!  I am so much better at exercising when I can get outside!!!! Go away winter blahs!!! I need to get my running times back to something acceptable and I want to get back on my bike! YAY!!!

<3 Merbear

Mar 042013
 

Hi!

This week I lost a pretty good amount of weight! What’d I do? Nothing crazy, took some advice from friends like Kris and Mindy who commented on my post last week:

I thought about what makes me feel satisfied, what foods are “whole” also known as Power Foods on Weight Watchers. I thought about how much I eat out and how Kris reminded me that the nutritional information at restaurants isn’t always spot on. I didn’t go crazy with measuring but I also was a bit more careful with it.  I made sure to have fruits and veggies with every meal or snack.   I ate out less and I drank beer only one night and it was just samples with my Barley’s Angel’s group, I also cut out cola except for ONE night because I needed some caffeine and something that was diet. I think that having at least one fish night a week is really good for us, too. I’m a big fan of steelhead trout these days, it tastes and looks like salmon, but is way less expensive and is even a little more moist.

What made me feel satisfied:  home made food

What did I drink: water, sparkling water, tea, coffee, skim milk (some diet soda but without any cola)

What did I prepare: LOTS of Weight Watcher’s and Hungry Girl recipes!!

How did I do it: I sat down on Sunday and whipped through the Weight Watcher’s recipe pages and printed out what looked good like a madwoman and threw them in a folder.  I did the same with my Hungry Girl to the Max cookbook.

Step 1: Grab all the recipes you can in about 30 minutes and get them all in one spot either in a book or printed out

Step 2: Pick 5 that you want to make that week

Step 3: Make a shopping list of what you don’t already have in the house

Step 4: SHOP! 🙂 🙂

Step 5: Cook what I want for dinner

Step 6: (if its a Sunday or Saturday, cook what I want for lunches!)

It seems simple enough, but I wasn’t doing this very often, now I will be. This week I have a whole week of lunches, plus other leftovers if I get too busy to cook during the week. I get to eat  Weight Watchers Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash for lunch this week..mmm with cheese, squash and spaghetti, mmmm!!!!

Weight Watcher's Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta

Weight Watcher’s Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta

Then leftover at home I have chili and chicken parmigiana!! All were recipes from the weekend!

I’m also prepared to make buffalo chicken fingers this week as well 🙂

We learned this last month in Weight Watchers and it finally has hit my brain and is proving to be true, preparing my own food and planning ahead what I  will eat, especially dinners…really helps me stay focused on my points for the day because I feel satisfied and PROUD of what *I* made…I know what’s in it, I know its good for me, and I know its tasty already. I look forward to the meals I made or will make for dinner, and it keeps me on track all day. I know how many points I can have the rest of the day! (This can be translated to calories or whatever type of plan you are on)

Another good thing about prepping ahead: you get all the dishes done on prep day instead of washing pots/pans/mixing bowls etc repeatedly all week..its SO NICE!

I kept the ball rolling…I made ahead and planned meals for this week, too.  Loving this!

Oh, and I’ve earned 12 activity points for WW this week so far (I go Wed – Tue). Add something active and fun into your weekend as a social event or something with a loved one. I’ve been lifting weights and walking/running on the treadmill, too.

<3 Merbear

 

Jan 232013
 

As you all know I’m a WW member now and wow, the program has gotten so full of helpful habits, tips & routines.

This month the routine is adding a fruit or vegetable to every meal.  I had to remind myself at first, but now I do it automatically. It might seem like a chore at first…but adding a banana, strawberries or a melon to breakfast; cherry tomatoes, an apple or oranges with lunch; or,some salad and cooked veggies with dinner has really made me feel fuller and more satisfied with my meals and snacks. I am actually now starting to crave certain veggies..like roasted brussels sprouts!

One habit I am SUPER proud of though is planning out my meals and points before I eat them.  This is a slow habit to build because I’m not a very good meal planner. But, knowing what I’m going to have for dinner…really helps me to stay on track all day. I’m looking forward to my yummy planned ahead dinner and I know what snacks/meals I can have during my work day and not feel guilty or worried about “fitting in” dinner.

Last night I made Steelhead trout. This fish tastes and looks exactly like salmon except it is more tender and has less fat/calories/points and the same amount of protein 🙂  By the way it was really easy, I just cooked it in a packet of foil in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes. It was PERFECT. (Oh, I put lemon juice, a couple sprays of olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder and dill) It was a household favorite!

As part of my counting up points before I eat them, I had a Vietnamese take-out victory today. We went to a local, only open for lunch during the week, Vietnamese restaurant to pick up lunch for work today.  I ordered the chicken & vegetable stir fry with fried rice.   I already had my breakfast points in my tracker, I also have my homemade baked chicken fingers for dinner in there too, and then I put in the chicken & vegetable stir fry (2 cups).  After that…I saw how many points I had left for the day. Determined I wanted a snack with points this afternoon combined with my apple, so I took that out. Then, I saw how many points I had left and I MEASURED out 1/2 a cup of fried rice (I keep measuring cups at work!) and threw the rest away!!

Measured my fried rice!

Measured my fried rice!

Threw the rest away!

Threw the rest away!

 

Tracker

 

How about that?  Rockin’ the healthy habits!!!

<3 Merbear

 

P.S.

I’m all set for Fitbloggin’ 13 in Portland! I hope to see you there!

Some days, you just have to go with the flow..

 Basics, fun, lifestyle, support, Team REFUEL  Comments Off on Some days, you just have to go with the flow..
Oct 162012
 

 

First…Hello out there Popchips winner..I haven’t heard from you yet! Can you post in a comment here if for some reason I missed your email?? Otherwise, I’m drawing again this week!

Second….vote ALL month for me!!  I NEED YOUR VOTES!  I submitted a video sharing what my After workout ritual is and how I refuel with lowfat chocolate milk and now have the chance to get sponsored on Team REFUEL! Check out my After video to VOTE FOR ME! If it earns the most votes at the end of the month, I’ll be the next sponsored athlete of Team REFUEL and have a chance to star in my own “got chocolate milk?” ad! And it’s all for a good cause. For every vote cast, REFUEL will donate $1 to the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Thanks

SEE MY VIDEO AND VOTE HERE! 

Swinging at the Park

Its the little things

I woke up this morning and I didn’t want to do anything. I was stuck by being po’ed at not losing weight or even maintaining over the weekend. Yes, I had some fun at the Zombie Pub Crawl…totally worth it…

Ryan & I are dressed as zombies

RAWRR BRAAINS!

 

…..but I still kinda felt like I was paralyzed…I couldn’t move on with my day, because I couldn’t decide if I was going to go to Slimgenics and face the music of an official weigh in (after a week of not going)…I stayed in bed and read Twitter, read about jobs, applied for jobs (still looking for some copywriting contracts folks!)….looked at Facebook…then….called my mom….

…yup, calling mom works 🙂  She invited me out on a walk around the lake with her and some homemade mom-style lunch beforehand.  Perfect! It got me something specific to go do and to get my juices flowing! While I was over at my parents’ house I got a voicemail from Slimgenics encouraging me to come in, offering some strategies to stay on track and some Halloween tips. I then planned to go today…but found out from mom that my niece would be spending the evening. I jumped at the chance to hang out with her….thus…swinging at the park and a big smile on my face.

I needed that.

Mom time, adorable niece time…swinging on the swings time..

Know what I mean?

<3 Merbear

 

 

Sep 162012
 

 

Do you ever have one of those days where you don’t want to start eating? Not because you’re afraid of food, or you’re wanting to starve yourself, but you just don’t want to do the work of planning the meal, making the meal, and recording the meal. It just,  once in awhile…feels like too much?

This happens to me…and its not because I want to be *bad*…its not because I want to eat foods that are off my healthy eating plan or something….I just, ugh, I’m feeling lazy…that’s all, plain and simple.

You folks know I’m finishing up Slimgenics now, but I’ve done Weight Watchers, My Fitness Pal, Sparkpeople, Ediets…all those things…and none of the eating plans really have a….”do whatever” type of plan.  Its obvious why, if I’m not conscious of what I’m eating…then the eating *can* go bad, so why would any plan want that to happen.

I always end up eating on these days, because like I said I’m not for starving myself or anything.  But, I usually do it when I am quite hungry and I’m annoyed at being hungry because it doesn’t feel good. Then I begrudgingly write down what I ate, which is usually an apple, or peach or something that is easy for me….and I move on..throughout the day, being annoyed at recording my food.  Again, not because I’d rather be eating bad for me food, just kinda, meh, about forever having to think about what I eat.

Usually by the next day I’m over the feeling and it goes away for at least a week if not more. Most of the time if it happens its on a weekend…when I want to turn my brain off.

Will I ever be able to turn my brain off about this stuff? I mean I remember to breathe, to blink, to look both ways before crossing the street..how much longer til I can just eat right? Ever?

I don’t really have a solution besides the fact that to survive, I eat…so don’t worry about me not doing that..

Thoughts?

<3 Merbear

Nov 302011
 

This morning my friend @amyalbrecht posted on Twitter to the #f2fpack:

“I’m making today good food choice Wednesday! The goal is to stay under my calories, work out with the Wii tonight AND blog about it”

Well this week I’ve really needed a kick in the butt. Right as she was posting that I was posting on Twitter @merbearmn:

“I’ve been tracking but since Friday I’ve been ~ 200 cals over my daily goal!….”

So then I thought, you know what, I’m going to join Amy in the challenge and I invited Sarah @fabchallenge who’s been looking for some motivation to join us, too!

Well, I’m SO glad I made the decision…as soon as I walked into the break room at work this morning someone and brought in ALL THEIR LEFTOVER PUMPKIN PIE! For the love of…@#$%* but I had my challenge, and some days I might have tried to “budget” it in and given up a few healthier things in my lunch and snacks to eat it, but not today! No way! Today was Good Food Choice Wednesday!

I ate a yummy spinach salad with sunflower seeds, blue cheese, leftover turkey and tomatoes on it.  I also had a snack of my favorite Chobani 0% Pomegranate with blueberries mixed in!  I realized, if I just eat this stuff, its good, its filling, its tasty, it makes me feel good and it throws a better party in my mouth than Doritos or cookies ever will! Seriously!  Cause the party keeps going..instead of getting instant gratification of a cookie and then feeling guilty after…you get the gratification of something tasty AND you feel good which helps us make MORE good decisions!

Head on over to Destroying Dead Ends to see how Amy did! Then head over to Sarah’s blog Finding My Fabulosity and see how she fared!

I have one more day of work this week…which will start out with weight lifting, then elliptical and after work running around the Metrodome! I’m pumped for some temperature controlled running that isn’t the treadmill!  I’ll report on how it was!

After Thursday I have Friday through next Wednesday off!  I’ll be in Chicago for the weekend, I’m going to run the Santa Hustle 5K! Its going to be featured on the Travel Channel! We’ll be wearing santa beards and technical Ts that look like Santa Suits! YAY! I’ll take pics and post about that for sure, too! 🙂

<3 Merbear