Jan 032013
 

No! Seriously! They’re good!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I got home from work, hubby wanted to make tacos…but he had to do some work first..and I was pretty hungry.

Did I eat chips? No

Did I eat crackers and cheese? No

I said, hmm….I feel like having brussels sprouts…seriously! You can go from raw brussels sprouts to a yummy roasted snack in 20 minutes!! NSV!!! Vegetable snacking!

I grabbed my bag of sprouts, chopped off the bottoms, split them in half, tossed them in olive oil and baked them at 425 for 20 minutes! Voila! YUMMMY!

While I was waiting for them to bake I had a banana, a quick, sweet, tasty healthy treat.

But then, while I was waiting for tacos to be ready…I snacked on roasted salty brussels sprouts and watched TV…ate it just like popcorn or chips…mmmm mmm!!!

Another yummy vegetable appetizer that I’ve had  was at the Cheesecake Factory of all places…..on the Skinnylicious menu they have roasted artichokes…sooo yummy, too!

Keep those eyes open for new tastes!

Jun 172012
 

Alright running shoes……

Meet biking jersey and biking shorts…..   

Now that I’m done with the Minneapolis Marathon Relay I am elated to #1 FIT into my old bike shorts and #2 start training for the Minneapolis Duathlon on Sunday, August 26th!

The Du is a 5K, an 18 mile bike ride, then another 5K.   My friend Kelly, who just finished the GRANDMA’S MARATHON this weekend will be riding in the Du as a veteran. I also have some other friends that are running/biking for the first time like me! I’m super excited for what is supposed to be a fun event.

But, what I’m MORE excited for is to mix in BIKING with my running. Since the running is 6.2 miles total, which I have experience with…(crazy that I can say that!)..since I did the Get Lucky 7K and my portion of the Minneapolis Marathon was 5.5 miles….I can do maintenance on the running front and really get into re-honing my biking skillz.

MS 150 2009

Now, why do I say “re”honing..(as if that’s a word)…because I used to be an AVID biker.  Notice the blue jersey I’m wearing in the 2nd picture?  That’s a National Multiple Sclerosis Society Lifetime Rider jersey. That means that I participated in MS rides for at least 7 years.  Which I did…7 years in a row I did the MS-150 in Minnesota. Which is 2 days, 150 miles of bike riding. I stopped for a couple reasons, #1 my team broke up and #2 my bike was stolen 🙁

Last year I got a new bike and so did my fiancee (teehee, love saying that)…and now I can USE IT!

My first real bike ride back in the saddle is today…with my dad for Father’s Day…we’re going to ride the Greenway to Lake Calhoun…I’m really looking forward to it!

So be prepared to see my stats on Dailymile include running AND biking.

A few other tidbits..

….I’m back full force on my Slimgenics…I didn’t really stop doing it, I just let a few non-plan foods slip in during my engagement and birthday celebrations (only a few days)….I’m down 46 lbs and counting….I want to lose a total of 65 for now (based on how I feel as I get there)…so 19 left!!

In another post I’ll show you the cute new outfits I got from Ann Taylor Loft, I’m so proud to be a size 12 and a Medium there! My favorite store (I kid you not!) It had been so long since I could shop there that my store credit card had deactivated…but now…I’m going to be a regular customer. I used to buy lots of capris and tops from them…but, for the first time in my life…I *love* skirts and dresses! So, watch out world…cute Merbear is coming ‘atcha!

<3 Merbear

A great find including an NSV!

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May 282012
 

I was searching everywhere for my padded bike shorts. I went through every drawer, clothing bin and even cleaned out my closet. I didn’t find them inside and went to check if I had any more boxes in the garage. I did, they were even labeled “good exercise clothes to be saved til skinny.” Okay, that sounded kind of promising! I opened the box and I giggled with glee as I saw running shorts, wicking tops, warm up pants and sports bras! Nope, no bike shorts, but who cares, I am going to save tons of money now! My workout stuff is getting a bit big so I’m super pumped! I ran in the house and tried stuff on and the mediums all fit! Oh and I saw another box labeled “small, keep for later,” and I brought that in, too. The box had my cute Victoria’s Secret bras & bottoms as well as my assorted bikinis! Uuuh people….THEY FIT! Omigosh, I’m summer ready!

So….I never did find my bike shorts, I swear they are somewhere tho….but I saved lots of shopping dollars!!!!

w00t!

<3 Merbear

Who’s legs are those?

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May 142012
 

On Sunday afternoon, I was waiting in the car at the mall while Ryan ran an errand. I was sleepy from the warm sun and a tasty, healthy ahi tuna salad lunch.

I was in the passenger seat in the front of the car. I kicked off my shoes, moved the seat back and put my feet up on the dash….Aaah naptime.

I opened my eyes in the middle of my dozing and looked up….Uuh, aré those MY skinny legs? Well, I can feel when I touch them. They have familiar scars, definitely my pale color.

Dang! I HAVE SKINNY LEGS!

image

Apr 172012
 

….in my closet amd storage bins! Yeah baby!

This week I had to admit that another two pairs of pants were way too baggy. I know I shouldn’t complain….but that left me with just two pairs of work pants…and I thought I’d have to go shopping. I didn’t want to because I’ve still got about 25 lbs left….and a bunch of pants that I was sooo close to fitting in last week. Now, in actual lbs I lost 3 since last week….that doesn’t really sound like enough to be able to fit into pants in just a week! But….it was! I went from saying goodbye to two pairs of pants and hello to SEVEN MORE PAIRS OF PANTS!

Also, these pants are some of my favorites and they are average sized….12!! From some of my fav stores….Express, Ann Taylor Loft and NY & Co!

Onward and…downward? 🙂

<3 Merbear

Apr 162012
 

 

Bridesmaid's Toast April 2012

Look at these two photos….

Where am I?  What’s in my hand? How do I look, how do I feel outside?

How do I feel inside?

4 months ago, New Year’s Eve 2011….I’m in the back of the photo….I’m pretty darn happy…on the inside and outside….happier looking on the outside…concerned about how happy I look on the inside.  Holding a drink..okay its NYE gotta party a little…but worried about how much I should drink to not look like a party pooper but how little can I drink so I don’t overdo my calories….trying to weigh my options….fit in but try to do some of the right thing.  Happy to be hugged by my boyfriend, happy to be hidden in the back of the photo and have his arm around me, too.

Jump up a four months….to this weekend.  Trying on bridesmaid dresses for my best friend’s wedding. Where am I? IN THE FRONT OF THE EFFING PHOTO! I’m ELATED to be in a photo with my friends and to be toasting my best friend. I’m ecstatic on the outside and I’m pretty proud of myself, satisfied and happy on the inside, too. What’s in my hand? WATER….what was being offered to everyone at the dress fitting? Champagne, orange juice, mimosas and cookies. What was I happy to drink and it didn’t even phase me or worry me that I needed to “fit in”..WATER. Was I happy with the choice before, while and after I drank it? YES. Do I think its super fun, cool, and invigorating to be posing all funky with my WATER toasting my best friend in the FRONT of the picture. YES!

BAM!

That is all,

<3 Merbear

Apr 142012
 

So, what’s been going on lately? Lots!

I’m officially down 35lbs which feels really good. I can see the definition that I’ve been working on for the last couple years of weight lifting actually starting to emerge from under the fat. I’m really excited to finally see that change. I’m still surprised when I put on a shirt and my tummy doesn’t stick out automatically. My default stature so to speak no longer has a tummy pooch, it’s so weird!
My boyfriend said to me last night that I’m probably a lot closer to bikini ready than I think I am. Woohoo!

Per our initial Slimgenics body type, height etc estimates I still have 25 lbs to go…but I dunno, I can see 15 coming off my butt and hips, perhaps the rest is just here and there and internal? My body from my true waist up is pretty good, my trouble area is the bad-donk-a-donk and it has a bit more to go for sure 😉

This last week I had two days of Slimgenics “detox” and boy, a good way to appreciate the main Slimgenics plan is to be on two days of a stricter version of it! Detox days include a whole grapefruit as breakfast, lettuce only salads with apple cider vinegar and a bit of dressing with lunch and dinner, chicken and parsley for lunch, fish and parsley for dinner and 2 cups of cucumber slices with apple cider vinegar as a snack, plus two of the low calorie thermogenic snacks. I wasn’t hungry, but I also didn’t have enough energy to run, so I had to skip a day. I definitely did feel like the detox cleared me out and I definitely had a nice weight loss whoosh the day after I finished detox.

One of my counselors did advice that Ryan and I eat beef more often and we can’t argue with that, yum! It is a limited food item so we have to space it out, but now we are definitely including steak or ground sirloin into our meal plans at least once a week if not twice!

I was having trouble with being hungry and even getting headaches on the days when I ran…and Slimgenics now allows 6 ozs of Greek yogurt your milk serving and not just as a protein. So, we figured out if I eat Greek yogurt as a small breakfast before I workout, replacing my daily milk, and then after my workout I have eggs and then my 2nd protein for dinner….I’m refueling my body a lot better than a protein bar or starches can and it has worked out really well for me! Yay more yogurt and protein!

Last weekend I took a big step and cleared out all of the clothes in my closet that are too big. All that stuff was actually pretty nice because I bought most of it last spring, summer and even fall of 2011 when I was at my highest weight ever. Those clothes were not just baggy on me but literally wouldn’t stay on….so time to admit I would never be back in them and to get them out! My closet is pretty empty now, but at least everything in it I can actually wear. I am slowly refilling it with clothing items I have had stored away that are starting to fit again which is exciting! But, I’m kind of at a stage right now where the saved clothes are about 1 or 2 sizes too small…I may have to buy a pair of work pants to help in between, I’m thinking Old Navy sale rack! But boy am I looking forward to wearing my Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Express pants and tops again soon!

Since my PR in running outside two weeks ago I have successfully done more 3 mile runs with an under 13 min mile average and now my standard run length is 3 miles. Woohoo, my practice runs are 5ks, that makes me feel pretty cool. My first 4 miler is coming up next week if I don’t miss any runs this week. I hope I can do them all!

Tomorrow, for the first time ever in my life, I will be trying on a formal dress that is not a plus size! I’m going to be picking my bridesmaid dress for my best friend’s wedding, I’m sooooo pumped! For the wedding and that I have more choices and I just don’t have to go with the “kinder” dress styles, we have a few to pick from.

I want to give a shout out to my marathon relay girls – Corryn, Amanda and Kelly! We are SO gonna rock the Minneapolis Marathon, I’m so lucky to know you girls and I truly value our friendship and the fact that we can sweat together, too! Woohoo!

Okay this has gotten long, so I will say next week is a Slimgenics biogenic week then fresh start weekend so we get bigger protein servings, no starches and smaller snacks M-F and then unlimited protein, only green veggies and no starches on the weekend. I’m actually looking forward to it for two reasons #1 This week leads to a nice weight loss whoosh the following week and #2 It comes just in time for sushi on Friday night…woohoo extra sushi and a BBQ for my sister’s bday on Sun…yessss more steak and chicken please!

Hugs!
<3 Merbear

Apr 012012
 

On Saturday I had my first long run assignment from my Runner’s World Smart Coach program. As I’ve mentioned I’m running a 6 mile portion of the Minneapolis Marathon as part of a fabulous relay team of awesome girlfriends! I’m doing an eleven week 10k training plan.

So far on the plan I’m following the guidelines and pacing myself at an easy sustainable pace, but it seems I’m already getting used to the 2 miles and my 3 miles wasn’t too big of a stretch for the long run. I was prepared to run slower than on the treadmill cuz #1 outside seems more challenging #2 I hadn’t done a 3 mile training run yet and #3 my 5ks take me over 40 mins still.

But, I got myself out on Lake Calhoun and just thought, “Mer, it’s nice out here, you don’t have a goal pace, just a distance….you aren’t trying to keep up with anyone….just use this as an opportunity to enjoy the lake, relax your mind and just go…”

So, I did….and I ran the fastest I ever have for a sustained amount of time, with no stopping, no walking….just going…. 12:40 minute mile for 3 miles! Yaaaay MEEE!

<3 Merbear

Mar 252012
 

Hi hi!

I’m halfway through my weightloss at 30 lbs down with another 30 to go.  I’m actually not halfway through my weeks at Slimgenics though! My program with them is 28 weeks..and I’m on week 10…but halfway done losing! Woohoo!

My jeans started really getting baggy and awful and so I used a Living Social deal for the House of Amore & Fede in Edina and bought two new pairs.  One pair fits now, yay no more saggy! I also bought a pair that is another size down 🙂  The 2nd pair I bought are Miss Me brand and Amore & Fede lets you exchange them back in for an in store discount if they are gently used.  So when I shrink out of those, I can go back and get more with another discount!

My new Cowgirl Tuff Jeans!

 

I just wanted to let you guys know about how I was doing and that I’m so happy to have new jeans! Oh, they are 2 sizes smaller than my previous jeans! YAAY!

I’m also training for a 10K because my next race is a 6 mile portion of the Minneapolis Marathon on June 3rd.  I’m using SmartCoach from Running World Magazine to plan out my training and I love that, too! Plus, per usual I’m lifting weights twice a week.

<3 Merbear

P.S.

House and Amore and Fede and Living Social have no idea that I mentioned them or that I’m happy with the deals, I just wanted to share with all my readers!

 

Mar 142012
 

The only thing I could think about yesterday all day was how badly I wanted to go home and get outside and go running!  Yeah, I’m officially a running dork 🙂 I may not be super fast, but I can run and I love it!

Instead of thinking about that I have to run or have to make an exercise plan or have to get minutes in…all I thought was…its beautiful out, its not windy, its sunny…I want to put on my sneakers and hit the pavement!  Woohoo.

I ran a 5K this weekend and it was OK, I think with Slimgenics I kinda run out of juice when I hit the 30 minute mark, just cause I can’t super fuel myself up due to having to spread out my food through out the day…I don’t get more food just for exercising. But, its okay I still finished, with a few hills and lots of wind in 40 minutes…I’ll take that 🙂

I have another race on Saturday, the Get Lucky 7K…to celebrate St.  Patrick’s Day this year I’m running a 7K instead of drinking beers! Woohoo! 🙂  I am actually going to bring water with me for this race and cut it with a tiny bit of G2 (that’s the no calorie Gatorade), so I don’t completely poop out at the 40 minute mark when I have another 20 minutes probably left.

I was up at my weigh in today, but I’m right on track with plan..so I think its just that lovely monthly water retention…I weigh in 3x a week so I’m sure it will rectify itself by Friday when I weigh in again 🙂 I’m still like 26 lbs down, so that’s nothing to sneeze at 🙂 I hit my 25 lbs down mark and rewarded myself with a manicure 🙂

Ooh…also I put on a pair of my smaller PANTS from my “smaller stuff” bin…YAYAYA! Size 12 baby! I have already been able to wear smaller sized tops, but this is the first smaller sized pair of PANTS!!! I also had to stop wearing my original weigh in khakis cause they were like falling off me…so its a good thing I had a pair to replace them with!

Alright that’s what I got!

Peace out 🙂

<3 Merbear