Non scale victory – jet style

Today was my first flight in a while. My first flight since coming home and starting the ultimate reset in fact.

My first flight in about 30 lbs.

And let me tell you how *different* it was. I sat in a window seat. I don’t ever pick that unless I’m with my hubby because I’m do worried about being squeezed into that spot. But I picked it today. There was a guy already in the aisle (who turned out to be that jackass type traveler who thinks the no electronics rule doesn’t apply to him) and I was nervous. Usually my hips are right against the seat, spilling over a bit. I’m a hippy girl and that’s just where I have always carried a lot of weight. Well this time, I fit fine. I had ROOM. This was crazy. Buckled in and no hoping and praying the seatbelt fit. I have never used an extender, but to be honest I was damn close. Not today, extra belt! It was fabulous ūüôā It was one of those non scale moments that makes you realize how far you have come and that you really are doing something.

Being big, I think I don’t appreciate my weight accomplishments. 30 lbs to me – I’m still plus sized and still fat to the world. It’s sometimes easy to forget that even though I’m still not at my goal, I have done a lot. I fly a lot. This was flight 30-something for me this year. So this is a place where I have had to really face my weight and where I could really see that I am shrinking. It feels sooo good ūüôā gives me so much motivation to keep it up!

Post Thanksgiving Recovery Plan

It’s the Monday after the holiday and as we all head back to work it’s evaluation time for Thanksgiving health and fitness goals:

For me, I was 100% on exercise.  I sometimes had to workout late (10pm start = ouch) but I stayed on track and pushed hard.

For food I was maybe 80%. ¬†I did eat tons of veggies and my healthier options. ¬†But I also had too much mac and cheese (ironically not even on Thanksgiving – but Friday night. ¬†the man makes it 2x a year and I just went a little overboard), too many meals out (spent all day in the city on Wednesday, out shopping Friday, out for the game Saturday) and too much meat (I had meat 2x a day for 3 days in a row – big big change for me). ¬†I also skipped shakeology one morning, which is a disaster for me. ¬†Seriously. ¬†I don’t know why I do that…every time I do I really struggle with cravings all day. ¬†Lesson learned, I haven’t skipped again.

So now it’s Monday. ¬†The family members have all gone home (one with a ton of mac and cheese left overs), the football games have been played and my gym is now my gym again instead of the spare bedroom. ¬†So how do we get back laser focus after a holiday like Thanksgiving that is very much a food and sit on your butt kind of weekend? ¬†Four super easy steps, that’s how:

  1. Water. ¬†Like you are crossing Death Valley folks. ¬†Guzzle a gallon today. ¬†Why? ¬†A few reasons. ¬†One being if you drank a little more than normal (which is kind of typical during the holidays, especially when surrounded by family, eh?) ¬†then it’s time to rehydrate. ¬†Two being you probably didn’t drink enough over the holidays (I didn’t – I struggle at home anyway, and when I’m crazy busy cooking and entertaining it’s easy to forget to guzzle). ¬†Three being it will help you stay full while you bring your food intake back to normal levels (something has to replace that mac and cheese!). ¬†Four being – it’s just healthy for you and you should drink a lot of water anyway for life. ¬†Pick your number, ponder it over a glass of water. ¬†No flavoring of the water with anything in a packet either. ¬†Fresh fruit and/or veggies (like cucumbers) if you need a break from plain water. ¬†
  2. Eat Clean. ¬†Alright, it’s time to be a little strict on yourself this week. Check out¬†Michi’s Ladder¬†and stick to the top 2 tiers. ¬†Personally, I don’t do non-fat cheese, I stick to regular cheese, that’s my only mod. ¬†But I don’t have much or have it often. ¬†I also will be really focusing on building mainly vegetarian or vegan meals home and on the road this week. ¬†Lots of veggies and lots of fruit too. ¬†If it comes in a bag or box and isn’t onion, oranges, grapefruits…you get the drift – leave it alone.
  3. Train Mean. ¬†Whether you stayed on your exercise plan or not – today is the day to move. ¬†Doesn’t matter what you do, just sweat it out. ¬†I am still doing INSANITY and got my workout in today as I did through the holiday. ¬†Go move. ¬†Now. ¬†I’ll be here when you finish ūüôā
  4. Sleep. ¬†Yes, you heard right. ¬†Sleep. ¬†I was so off schedule this week staying up late to hang out with family and waking up early to cook or watch football. ¬†I’m going to definitely focus again on my 7-9 hours of sleep a night like I usually get. ¬†Sleep is important for health, lots of studies talk about how people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have health problems and be obese. ¬†Combat that by hitting the pillow on time tonight. ¬†Figure out what time you need to wake up and try to be in bed 7-9 hours before that.
Something else to start thinking about this week – what are you going to do to keep it solid through the holiday calendar that officially kicked off last Thursday? ¬†For me, it’s INSANITY obviously. ¬†It¬†is a¬†63 day program and will take me all the way through new years day so it is perfect for right now. ¬†What’s yours? ¬†I realize now how big a fan of laying out your workout plan for a long chunk of time, then working that plan. ¬†Beachbody programs (all of them), Jillian¬†Michaels Body Revolution, and I’m sure tons of other programs, these are just the ones I’m really familiar with. ¬†If you can’t afford a DVD program or simply don’t want to spend the money on one – totally ok, you can DIY this. ¬†Sit down RIGHT now and plan out a program in whatever your exercise of choice is on a calendar. ¬†Then do it. ¬†Even if it’s Dance Central for exercise – print off a calendar for now through January 1st and write down every single day you will workout. ¬†Then daily cross it off. ¬†This is powerful – it’s the contract with yourself to stay on track and move. ¬†
Do the same for food. ¬†Time to think about your diet too. ¬†There are tons of options. ¬†Beachbody and JM programs have food books with them to help guide you. ¬†There are other in person options like Weight Watchers. ¬†You can also take the opportunity right now to start the Ultimate Reset, which you guys all know I think is just the best thing ever and totally changed me and my hubby. ¬†If you are not feeling me – add one good thing as you take away a bad thing. ¬†Example? ¬†No more McDonalds for breakfast – have something from home. ¬†One simple change that will go a long way. ¬†Do that every week an you will be on your way. ¬†There is a nice chunk of time to do it right now and especially if exercise isn’t your thing – this is the best way to get started on health. ¬†In general – diet > exercise for weight loss. ¬†You can’t exercise out a bad diet – but you can have a great diet with no exercise and be crazy healthy. ¬†So don’t just focus on exercise – focus on your diet while exercising.

Why I Stay Motivated

Two words-

New jeans.

This weekend I bought a few things for myself in the sales. Nothing ridiculous, but I was in desperate need of some clothing that fit – especially new jeans.

I started this journey not wearing jeans in January because my size 24 jeans got too small. I worked my way back into them. Then into my 22s I had laying around. Finally into my old 20s. That took about 8 or so months. Well now my 20s are crazy baggy and just not cute. I have that dumpy butt thing going on. So I decided to try on some 18s at the GAP just to see.

Lo and behold – they fit!! They actually fit. Not the stupid low rise ones – those are not for women with butts. But the bootcuts fit great. Add 50% off and I felt like it was my special personal holiday.

I’m not there yet – I would like to be a lot farther from plus size when I’m done. But I will happily take this victory. One year and at least 4 jean sizes smaller. More really since all the 20 and higher sizes were women’s sizes and the new 18s are straight size.

Obligatory dressing room shot ūüôā

Beachbody Black Friday Deals

If you have been thinking about investing in your health and wellness – you still have time to hop on these deals :

Go to my shopping page to pick up all these deals.  If you sign up as a coach today at you get an additional 25% off plus me as your coach and membership into Team Tenacity.
Questions?? Hit me up at healthyengineer@gmail .com ūüôā

Inside and Out

I have lost 55lbs and counting. I am feeling much better physically. And I can tell that that better feeling is starting to really change the way I feel about myself. I want to do my hair nicely, dress better. Do my makeup and nails. I smile more. I am happier.

I don’t want it to sound like I am becoming some vain chick. I am not. I just am starting to really care about myself again and treating myself like I deserve to be cared about.

For me, my weight gain was really out of not doing right by me. Not taking the time for me to exercise. Not saying no when I should to dessert or pizza or candy or takeout. Not that those things are individually horrid – but eating all of them in one day, sometimes more than once is. For me, my weight problems of late have been due to a lack of giving a damn about myself for the basics people. I was eat, sleep, work, repeat. I didn’t take my down time, my sleep, my rest, or my pamper time. All of these things are needed for a balanced and healthy life! Taking the time to make yourself feel beautiful – whether that is weight loss, a new hair cut, a mani/pedi, or whatever – is VITAL!

Yes, vital. Crucial. Nonnegotiable.

See that taking care of self shines through every single thing you do. How you interact with your significant other. How confident you feel at work. How comfortable you are asserting yourself. All of those things come back to taking care of self. For me, I was letting my weight hold me back from so much – I see that now. I can be a better version of me. No. I WILL be a better version of me. I will not let myself be priority 10 on a list of 12 things. I will make sure that never happens ever again.

Are you your own high priority? If not, why not? What can you start doing right now to change that? Exercise? Schedule a hair appointment? Read a personal development book? The list of ideas is endless – one will speak to you.


So Thanksgiving is in just a few days!!!  Are you planning a healthy Thanksgiving?  Health(ier)?  Or not really looking to do anything different than the norm at all?

I am doing a combination of all of the above.  I do not believe in complete absence of tradition or self deprivation.  I also believe, above all, in being realistic.  I remember when doing WW some of the members would say they would just have a turkey sandwich and an apple and then be confused why they fell off that plan around 3 pm.   Before you finalize your Thanksgiving plans, think about the following to help you have the Thanksgiving you want without battling yourself the whole time.

  • Where are you celebrating? ¬†Are you at home, a friend’s house, a family party and are you going to know the menu in advance? ¬†Can you bring a dish or two if not at home to help you plan?
  • What food requirements are in the crowd (vegan, vegetarian, low fat, low carb, no special attention, ect) and how do these align (or not align) with your own diet?¬† If it is not your diet, what are you going to do for food before/after to make sure you really get enough food for the day to be satisfied?
  • If you are cooking at home, do you have a few healthier than normal options this year? ¬†I am going to make the dressing and mac and cheese because they are my sisters’ favorites (and dressing is mine!). ¬†But I also am eliminating most of the other sides that are not vegetable based and replacing them with different clean veggie options because we just don’t need more bread/carbs beyond those. ¬†Making a clean cookie recipe in addition to the sweet potato pie my family wants. ¬†So I can make a plate that has some of the favorites – but still have mostly healthy options.
  • Any good swaps possible? ¬†I am going to delete the usual green bean casserole and making regular green beans instead. ¬†A friend is making mashed sweet potatoes with a little butter and honey instead of candied yams. ¬†There are many awesome ways to clean up something so you still get the essence of the item so to speak, but with a little healthy added. ¬†Mix these in with some of the really awesome traditional foods you want and you have a nice mix for everyone in attendance.
  • What are your actual limits?¬† Decide in advance. ¬†Are you eating dessert? ¬†Are you going to have Auntie’s famous sweet potato casserole? ¬†Are you going to stick to eating clean? ¬†Decide right this minute what you are going to do and where you are going to give. ¬†Write it down and read it ever so often and right before you go into the meal. ¬†This step will take into account everything above so really think about it.
My Thanksgiving plan is pretty simple. ¬†I will be picking up the honeybaked ham and roasted turkey breast because it’s just easier to buy that stuff and it tastes amazing. ¬†Making cranberry sauce, dressing, mac and cheese, fresh green beans or collared greens, spinach salad with homemade dressing, roasted root vegetables, and a baked fruit side (probably pears or apples…not final on this one). ¬†Dessert will be a sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie cookies (very clean recipe I found from @josiephelps on instagram). ¬†A nice mix of new healthier traditions my husband and I want to start with some old family traditions. ¬†
The swaps I am making from my usual Thanksgiving are:
      Old                                                       New
Potato Salad                                      Spinach Salad
Green Bean Casserole                        Roasted Root Vegetables
Canned Cranberry Sauce                   Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Last thing I will say about planning a health(ier) turkey day – burn some extra calories. ¬†Agood way to help the fact that this is a food based holiday and for most of us not celebrating at home alone, it’s just what it is. ¬†I plan on getting up and hitting INSANITY hard in the morning and getting my family up and moving with a walk or Dance Central (or both!) as the day goes on. ¬†The moving is as much about working off some mac and cheese as much as it is to just get us away from the kitchen for a little while. ¬†I tend to graze on Thanksgiving, even when the food is put up, because it is totally acceptable on that day to do it and nobody gives you that look you get 99% of the other days of the year of are you going to eat THAT?? ¬†Go put up holiday decorations, go shopping (stores apparently open at 8pm, whoa), dance, walk, crochet, knit, do SOMETHING that takes you just away from the food and keeps you busy when that feeling hits. I personally plan on making much smaller quantities than normal to help us not have leftovers for days, but I know for some of us that isn’t really possible because we aren’t in control of the menu. ¬†
Okay…that’s long but I hope it helps. ¬†Add on if you would like in the comments ūüôā

Almost Over…

Today, whenever I free myself of work, starts my last weekend where my hubby and I live in different states. ¬†My last weekend of having to skype/text/call/email/tweet my hubs instead of just being able to sit and talk. ¬†It’s been around 8 months since he had to leave to to to Tennessee for a job opportunity after being unemployed for a long time, about a year, and we have had to have a commuter relationship. ¬†Due to my job and where I am with things, I could not leave and had to stay in Virginia.

Flying back and forth for way too much money (nobody apparently goes to TN, who knew?). ¬†Trying to find time during the day and night and weekend to connect while living on different clocks because he was in a different time zone. ¬†Trying to figure out how to keep building a relatively new marriage while we couldn’t see each other for weeks at a time. ¬†It was hard. ¬†My husband is not in the military – and after this experience I can’t imagine how military wives/husbands do deployments. ¬†I could at least contact him and go visit whenever I wanted, a luxury that military¬†families¬†do not get. ¬†I got a whole new appreciation for what it means to be married and what it means to have to put in work into a marriage. ¬†Not that our relationship was always easy – like all couples we have had disagreements. ¬†But even that changes when you are far apart. ¬†Some trivial things just aren’t important anymore. ¬†For me, I realized all that my husband does and has to deal with when all of a sudden I was the one in charge of all the household chores again. ¬†I realized how important he is to me. Not that I had forgotten, but it is easy to not realize the true value of what you have when you see it every day. ¬† We both realized that we have to take some things more serious – our life planning ¬†– living with a purpose instead of just living – being healthier – being on the same page about health.

Somehow, something I did not imagine happening happened in the 8 months of our long distance marriage. ¬†We grew stronger. ¬†We became more one than we were before. ¬†We bonded. ¬†See, when someone isn’t close, you HAVE to communicate differently. ¬†You don’t sit all day with news or an idea and think I’ll email later or I’ll tell my hubs/wife at home tonight this. ¬†You just text or email or tweet or something ASAP. ¬†There is not a reason to wait because that in person time isn’t coming. ¬†You call every day and talk for longer than you talk when you live in the same state because you have to share everything in that call you forgot to text or email earlier. ¬†You find reasons to reach out – you send pics of your meal or that weird thing that happened. ¬†I never realized how much MORE we could communicate until we had to communicate more to stay involved with each other’s lives.

So as I started out…this is my last weekend of being here by myself. ¬†Some things will change – like I will have to stop using his dresser for my clothes and the top for my morning toiletries/makeup storage – I won’t be able to blast Lady Gaga at 5:15 AM when I wake up for my workout – I will have to account for someone else in my plans instead of just doing whatever whenever. ¬†But some things will not – we will still text and email during the day – I will still be happy to hear from him whenever he sends something – and he will still want to get into a deep conversation 5 minutes before my bedtime.

My one lasting lesson from this year – love, appreciate, enjoy, care, and treasure every freaking moment you have with those you love when you are around them. ¬†Don’t wait to share something you know they will laugh at or your great news or tell them how much you love them. ¬†And when stuff gets tough – you are strong enough to get through it. ¬†My hubby and I have only been married for 25.5 months and we have had already about 20 of those be living out of state or dealing with prolonged unemployment. ¬†Only the first half a year of marriage was kind of status quo for us and we are heading into another stretch of uncertainty as he looks for a job here again. ¬†But I know we will be ok – we have been here before.

thanks for reading ūüôā

Food Favorites: Eat Drink Smile

I found my new favorite food resource –¬†Eat. Drink. Smile.¬† She has a meatless section and so far everything I have made has been delicious! ¬†I have had to make some mods due to ingredients and availability…but in general love them. ¬†I find that people that make vegan/vegetarian meals that are not vegan/vegetarian tend to make more filling meals. ¬†Granted, it’s only been a few months of me even living in this world so maybe I should shut up ūüôā ¬†But I find her meatless section is full of stuff that I just love. ¬†So far:

Black Bean Jambalaya¬†– AMAZING. ¬†Like seriously. ¬†I didn’t use the hot sauce and instead added a few drops of liquid smoke. ¬†Served it with bob’s red mill gluten free cornbread and it tasted way too delicious to be full of healthy ingredients. ¬†This recipe is vegan but nobody will complain…trust me.

Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Rice Bake¬†– Really really filling…more than I thought it would be. ¬†I didn’t use the saffron – I balked at the cost of it (it’s like $20 for 5 pinches). ¬†But it was fine without it. ¬†Just remember if you use brown rice to cook it in the pan longer (about 2x as long) to make sure your rice isn’t crunchy.

Giant White Beans with Goat Cheese and Pesto¬†– I don’t really live close to Trader Joe’s so I used regular old white beans. ¬†To make it more like what she did, I chopped up 2 medium tomatoes and added them to the layers. ¬†I then added more goat cheese…because who doesn’t love goat cheese???

I am thinking of the list below for the next few weeks:

Cabbage Au Gratin¬†– comments mention adding zucchini to it…which sounds yum

Butternut Squash with Blue Cheese and Spinach

Roasted Asparagus Lasagna Рbecause the 3 most delicious words in the English language are in the title

One of the things I have learned most about being a mostly vegetarian is that hearty meals are not so hard to find. ¬†The main thing to do is to use hearty veggies and beans to beef up a meal. ¬†An extra side of roasted veggies does wonders and don’t be afraid of grains in moderation ūüôā ¬†Also – fruit is the BEST dessert!

Bend but Don’t Break November

This month has been a really rough one and I really wish I knew exactly why so I could change it and make it a little easier. ¬†Seriously…I just feel somewhat out of sorts. ¬†Maybe because there was so much going on –

The superstorm and worrying about my sister who was out of power and couldn’t stay in her building in lower Mahnattan for a week.
The election and staying up for the returns because I’m just a political nerd like that and I could NOT get to bed not knowing the outcome and seeing all the speeches.
My hubby’s contract job ending 2.5 months early and us having to re-think our entire life plan and come up with a decision for what he was going to do in about 72 hours while we were in different states…so not even able to have a face to face to sit down and talk.
My team leader at work taking a new position and a new team leader coming in during a time where we have a million things going on and I’m the second in command and now wondering what my job will be with a new leader.

So yeah…just a few things going on that pretty much hit every aspect of my life in just the last 2 weeks and it has left me pretty run down and a little worn out. ¬†So the past few days I pretty much have done just the basics – eat, sleep, exercise, work – and relaxed the rest of the time – read, sleep, relax.

But – I have my priorities in tact. ¬†Seriously. ¬†I have stuck to eating clean, even though Halloween was stressful and I have noticed as I get more tired that I’m more¬†susceptible¬†to the pull of the crap food. ¬†I have not missed an INSANITY work out, oh hell no. ¬†That’s important right there. ¬†Still cooking clean at home. Still focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel. ¬†I may be bending by being at home a little right now and struggling with some things…but I’m not breaking. ¬†I’ve come too far for that mentally and physically.

I told some friends that I knew would be very¬†judgmental¬†about becoming a Beachbody coach. ¬†It was interesting how that went over. ¬†They think of Beachbody as just being a sales organization and really didn’t realize that there was anything else to it. ¬†I think most people don’t – I didn’t. ¬†I think they still don’t realize what I get from this situation. ¬†I was told that “oh it’s going to be fun to tease you about this!” ¬†It was hurtful to me that I would be teased for something that I’m doing to improve my health (that statement was made after I explained to them what I was doing)…but it reinforced to me that I needed to find a supportive community and I did the right thing. ¬†These friends were my weight loss buddies before and I’ve always been different from them when it comes to certain things – clean eating and fitness. ¬†And I think this made it clear how different. ¬†It makes me even more driven to make a community for everyone that needs it to be open, friendly, and supportive. No judgement. ¬†No bias – just success. ¬†You should not be afraid to do what YOU need to do for YOU. ¬†If you need to do WW or Jenny Craig, or Shakeology, or anything else – do it for YOU if it’s what you need.

November is Here!

Ok, it’s a week old. ¬†This week has been so crazy that I just realized I hadn’t posted about starting INSANITY yet! ¬†Or my weigh in from Monday. ¬†Or anything else I’m supposed to do. ¬†I have been 100% on track…just really all over the place. ¬†My sister

So I’m a few days in – and of course I’m loving it so far. ¬†This kind of workout – athletic drills sweat dripping so much that I can’t see, ect is one I really enjoy sometimes. ¬†Especially in the mornings. ¬†Sometimes with Turbo Fire my brain is not really awake at 5:30 am and I would get so confused about the choreography even though I knew it. ¬†Which makes very little sense because at heart I have all the rhythm. ¬†But anyway, this is easier – do this one move until I say do this other move. ¬†Ok. ¬†I can do that. ¬†And I can push hard because I don’t think, I just do. ¬†I just finished week 1 today. ¬†Followed the schedule as is, no adjustments, no additions. ¬†Have that bad boy posted on my wall and I check off the box when I’m done.

Insanity is so weird. ¬†Like how jumping jacks in the warm up are crazy hard but the cross jacks later are easy (easy in comparison to how the jumping jacks feel, not easy in comparison to laying on my floor like I do after the workout). ¬†They are effectively the same motion, with a very very small difference. ¬†I sometimes wonder if I just really need the long warmup/stretch before I can really do that move effectively? ¬†Or has my soul been worn down so much that hard doesn’t exist? ¬†I don’t know…but I will keep working at it. ¬†For now I do what I can do for that warm up interval and if I really can’t do any more I do the modified ones with as much jump as I can. ¬†In general if I need a break, which I do sometimes, I first try to downgrade the move (so maybe a power jump becomes a squat for a break until I catch my breath and get back into jumping). ¬†Next step is to gulp some water and walk around my basement until I can get back into it. ¬†Some moves don’t really have a good downgraded move, but most do. ¬†I just try to move as much as I can in general. ¬†I also saw improvements in my fit test! ¬†I will have to do another post with my changes from the summer ūüôā

Diet wise, still doing the same thing. ¬†I have had meat – when the man was in town we went out and had meat. ¬†I still don’t cook it at home, but I do occasionally indulge when on the town. ¬†I haven’t noticed any stomach issues, even with the first meal. ¬†But I still think I enjoy vegetarian meals 95% of the time.

Weight – I know you have been waiting ūüôā ¬†My signal here is so busted, so I can’t add the pic (will add later) but I am 245.4 as of Monday ūüôā ¬†Very happy with this of course. ¬†Of bigger news, pretty much all of my clothes are too big, a lot of my XL tops that I was working to get back into are starting to be too big. ¬†My pants are all falling off except the 18W and some of the smaller cut 20s. ¬†In general, I need about $200 to go shopping and buy all new pants, a few new tops, and a sweater or two. ¬†Oh I’m good with a sale, I can make $200 go very very far ūüôā ¬†I’m also apparently only 9 or so lbs away from just being obese (as opposed to severely obese) on the body mass index. ¬†I know this index is not exactly the best for everyone and I tend to carry mad amounts of muscle so I don’t always look as big as my weight would indicate. ¬†But it is nice to know that I’m not gonna be severe anymore, ha!

Signing off for now. ¬†I hope you all went out and voted today ūüôā ¬†It’s a big responsibility to elect the leaders of our country, so research your candidates and your referendums/amendments/proposals and let your voice be heard ūüôā

Also a reminder –¬† for daily pics and lots of details on upcoming challenges. ¬†I’m putting together a fighter fit challenge for January 2013. ¬†Main program is Les Mills Combat, but any program is welcome! ¬†The goal is to plan now for a¬†commitment¬†in January so you are already good to go, resolution already started. ¬†And if you want to join me through the holidays on any program, please shoot me an email at healthyengineer@ (new email!) and let’s discuss. ¬†Have questions? ¬†that works too ūüôā I really want to help people get through the holidays losing weight and maintaining health – so let’s goooooooo!