I’m Not Gonna Lie – I’m Feeling a Little Overwhelmed…

So, the last time I wrote was Monday, and for some reason, this week, I’m feeling particularly stressed out about life in general.  Since Monday, I have done really well with going to bed at 9pm, getting up at 5am and getting a meditation in before I start getting myself and Landon ready for the day.  This is definitely helpful, especially in just getting me prepared for next week when I will have to start getting up to run early in the morning.  I’ve also been totally on track with the nutrition plan, and I’m now down 5 pounds since Sunday (which is AMAZING since its now only Wednesday!)  So, that’s all great.  But, this week so far has just been pretty challenging, and I’ve been honestly struggling a bit to keep a positive attitude in the face of it all.

So, on Monday, I had an assignment due for school, and Landon was home with me all day.  Justin ended up being gone pretty much the whole day because he had to go to work early in the morning, didn’t come home until after lunch and then had to fly to Arizona for work on Monday afternoon.  He was gone for two nights and just came home today (thank goodness!!).  I work a 12-hour shift every Tuesday from 8am-8pm, so Tuesday morning I got up at 5, had a cup of coffee, did a meditation, showered, dressed, woke Landon up, gave him breakfast, got him dressed, dropped him off at daycare (he cries like his heart is forever broken EVERY TIME we take him to daycare, which breaks my heart), and then headed to the urgent care where I work.  And THEN, because the daycare closes at 6pm, I had to get my adult son (age 20) to watch Landon in the evening, since Justin wasn’t home.  My son doesn’t have a car, so I had to get permission from my boss to leave work to rush to the daycare, pick up Landon and drop him off at home and then rush back to work.  Of course, the second I walked back into work, there were multiple patients waiting for things that only an RN can do, and I was the only RN on duty, so I had to spring into action immediately.  I HATE keeping people waiting – I guess because I hate to be kept waiting.  But anyway, it all worked out fine, but WHEW! Single moms and dads, I seriously salute you for dealing with this kind of crap every single freaking day, because everything is 100 times more difficult and complicated when you don’t have a partner to help you out!  Love and hugs to you all! So anyway, my shift ended at 8pm.  I came home to  Landon still up at around 8:30 so he was pretty punchy and acting all crazy.  I gave him a snack, got him into his PJ’s, read him some stories, sang him a lullaby and tucked him into bed, and then went straight to bed myself.

In what seemed like 5 minutes later (even though it was actually 8 hours) – I woke up at 5 am, and did it all over again – coffee, meditation, get myself ready, wake up Landon, feed him and get him ready, take him to daycare (deal with him crying like someone died as I’m leaving), and then I had to head off to my first clinical rotation of the week.  Incidentally, throughout this whole time, I just gotta say, I’m also missing my husband like crazy.  I am so grateful to be able to say that he is hands down, my best friend, and everything is just better when he’s around. Which is GREAT, but it also makes flying solo just super-sucky by comparison.  So, anyway, I finished my clinical day at around 4 and by the time I got home, Justin was home and all was right in my world again.  BUT – I have clinical all day tomorrow, plus I have to teach a diabetes prevention class in the evening, and then I have clinical all day Friday.  I have a major assignment for my capstone project due on Monday, which I haven’t started working on yet, so that is going to take up a lot of my time on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  I also have to be continually studying for all of my classes to stay on top of the content, PLUS, I’m supposed to be preparing now, for my nurse practitioner board exams that I will have to write after I graduate before I can actually be licensed as a nurse practitioner (this is barely happening, at this point).

AND, I’ll just admit this too while I’m at it – my house is a mess, there are about 8 loads of laundry that need to be done, our suitcase from our trip to San Diego is still not unpacked, and, after I pay all our bills this week I might have $5 left to my name. UUGGGHHHH!!!  BUT – one thing that I know for sure is that in times like these, when I’m feeling like this, the best thing that I can do is to turn to gratitude.  Its kind of nice to have this outlet to just let it all out and vent about everything, but at the end of the day, what really gets me through it all is really and truly counting my blessings and just reminding myself of all of the things that I’m grateful for. I know that might sound simplistic and Mary Poppins-ish, but it works for me, ok?  It’s been hard – especially this semester – because I feel more disconnected than I think I ever have from friends and family, just because I simply don’t have time to be there for them the way I wish I could be,  between all of the other things I’m juggling.  It’s a necessity to prioritize right now, unfortunately.  But I just have to keep my eyes on the prize.  Come December 15th, I will be done with school and embarking on a brand new career that will fulfill me and support my family in achieving all of our future dreams.  So, its all worth it, but for right now, I just hope everyone understands.

As crazy as this may sound, I’m actually looking forward to getting back to running next week, because I really feel like that helps to keep me balanced.  It’s an outlet and an opportunity to clear my mind.  It’s also time that is just for me, guilt-free, because its still working towards something productive.  So, sorry for the venting, but this is what’s real for me right now.  Oh, and I had said before that I would share a link for the meditation series’ that I like the best so here it is:

https://chopra.com/articles/guided-meditations

They have lots of free content, but also packages that you can purchase, and periodically, they offer their packages for free for a 21-day period, so if you register, you will get emails letting you know when that is happening.

So, its 9:09 now and past my bedtime! Gotta get up early and get back at it tomorrow! Thanks for letting me unload. 🙂gratitude

 

 

 

My Toddler Does NOT Care About My Goals

Well, yesterday I said that I was going to start getting up at 5 every morning and meditate, because that is the time that I am going to have to get used to getting up for training.  That did not happen today.  So first, I actually got up at 6:30 – not 5:00 – mostly because I was up during the night from 1:30-3:30 – just unable to get back to sleep.  This happens to me quite a bit.  I just can’t turn my brain off when I wake up in the night and its so hard to get back to sleep!  We got an herbal sleep supplement in our swag bags from the race in San Diego called Estrella PM, which worked really well for me, so I ordered a bottle of that yesterday from Amazon. I really like it because it just seems to help me get a good solid night’s sleep without waking in the middle of the night, and with no groggy feeling in the morning.  But, for now, I’m out of the samples that we had so that’s that.  It’s supposed to arrive on Thursday and I can’t wait because I really can’t afford to not be sleeping.

So, when I got up at 6:30 this morning, my 23-month-old, Landon, was still sleeping, but he normally wakes up anytime between 7 and 8.  So, I had a choice to make as far as what to do with the time I had before he woke up: shower and get myself ready for the day or meditate.  I knew I wouldn’t have time for both, and my husband, Justin, left for work at 5am and was likely going to be gone until lunchtime.  Because I had an appointment today at 1pm, I opted for the shower – and by the time I was done, Landon was up and trying to climb out of his crib!

Saturday, Sunday and Monday are normally “days off” for me – which really means that they are days in which I have to study and catch up on assignments for school.  I am in graduate school right now, working on my master’s degree in nursing.  I work a 12-hour shift every Tuesday as an RN in an urgent care, and I am in clinicals for school all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  This week is a bit complicated because Justin has to go out of town for his work – leaving this afternoon, and coming back on Wednesday evening.  We only have Landon in daycare three days a week right now, so since Landon has to go to daycare tomorrow and Wednesday, I kept him home with me today.  I love having him home with me, but he is at an age where getting anything done while he’s around is very, very difficult.  So, studying on a day with Landon at home pretty much looks something like this:

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As you can imagine, successful meditation with him around is completely out of the question. 🙂  I left for my appointment shortly after he went down for his nap, and he woke up and Justin left both within 30 minutes of my return. SO – meditation is probably not going to happen today.  BUT – there is always tomorrow!  I WILL get this down and make it all work somehow.

As far as following my nutrition plan, I’ve been totally on track, and I just have to say that the Optavia 5 & 1 plan is absolutely amazing.  NOT saying its easy.  Justin and my 16 year old Zachary had chicken enchiladas for dinner yesterday and I wanted to eat some SO BAD – but, yesterday I weighed 150.6 pounds and this morning I was 147.4 pounds.  My doctor was amazed today because the last time I saw him, about a year and a half ago, I was 25 pounds heavier and my blood pressure in his office that day was 190/101! Now, I’m off all of my blood pressure medication and doing great.  So anyway – that part is going good.  I did my meal prep yesterday, but just ended up making some salad with chicken breast and some salmon with a salsa fresca.  Both were really easy and perfect for the hot weather we’ve been having.

SO, that’s the update for today – I now have a crying toddler at my feet so I guess its time to sign off!

The Road to Boston Starts Today!

Last Sunday, I ran the Rock n’ Roll San Diego Marathon (which is a fabulous race, that I highly recommend – beautiful course, although quite hilly – so well organized and lots of fun). I finished in 4 hours and 23 minutes, which is a pace of 10 minutes and 4 seconds per mile.  In case you’re reading this and are not familiar with standard race distances, a full marathon is 26.2 miles. There are other standard race distances – generally, a half-marathon (13.1 miles), a 10k (6.2 miles) and a 5k (3.1 miles).  Before I got into running seriously, I thought the term “marathon” applied to any kind of long-distance race, so I just want to clarify – when I talk about running/training for a marathon, I’m talking about 26.2 miles.  So here are the official results:

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So overall, the race was good, but honestly, not quite what I wanted it to be.  My goal for this race was to finish in under 4 hours.  Don’t get me wrong – I feel great about finishing this race – I mean, finishing a marathon is finishing a marathon and is an accomplishment, no matter what the time.  Also, we had a great time at the race. It was an amazing experience, and I definitely something to celebrate!

 

I could give all kinds of reasons (aka: excuses) why I fell short of my goal.  Ultimately though, I have to admit that the bottom line is I just simply fell off track in the last four weeks of my training program.  Even though some stuff happened – I got a really bad cold, school became suddenly very stressful and time-consuming, race-day was hotter than I expected, blah, blah, blah – if I’m being 100% honest, I am responsible for the result that I got, and I could have done better with a more committed approach to my training.  Which is ok. I am not beating myself up over this at all – just being real about where I’m at right now, and where I need to be in order to reach my next goal, which is to qualify for the Boston Marathon in my next race, which is the St. George marathon in early October.

To qualify for Boston in the St George race, I need to finish in under 3 hours and 45 minutes.  That is an average pace of 8 minutes and 35 seconds per mile.  So that means that I need to run the next race about a minute and a half faster per mile to reach my goal.  What’s it going to take to get that much faster? Commitment, motivation, and a lot of determination.  So, since blogging about my weight loss journey a few months ago helped me so much to stay on track, I’m going to make time to write about my training journey because I think it will help to keep me accountable.  So if you’re reading this, THANK YOU!!  You are helping me more than you know and I appreciate it so much!

I’m not going to share my entire training plan right here and now, because that would just be so boring, but the plan for the upcoming week is to drop weight before the physical training begins next week.  I decided that I would give myself two full weeks following the race for my body to heal before getting back into a training regimen that will include running and strength training.  Sticking to the training plan is obviously a key element to getting where I want to be, but another, equally important key, is nutrition, and weight.  I know that part of what it will take to be as fast as I want to be is to get lighter, so going in to this training, I need to drop some weight.  As of this morning, I am 150.6 pounds (further evidence of how off-track I got in the month leading up to San Diego). My goal is to run St George at a weight of 130-135 pounds.

So, for the next 7 days, starting today, I am going back on the Optavia 5 and 1 plan. (If you want details about what that is, go back and read my earlier blogs)  This is going to be challenging because I have totally fallen back into the habit of eating whatever I want over the past month or so, but I know if I stick strictly to that plan, I will give myself a really good kick-start, while also giving my body kind of a detox/reset.  So, my focus for this week is super-clean eating, a gallon of water a day, no alcohol, no junk, definitely no sugar and very, very low carbohydrates.  As I get into my training program and the weekly mileage ramps up, my nutrition plan will need to be modified, obviously, but this week’s focus is really just to drop as much weight as possible before I start training.  Since it’s hotter than hell in Vegas right now and for the next 3 months, the only time I can really get my running in is early in the morning, so I will also need to get disciplined about getting up early – around 5 am – to get my training in.  So for this week, to help me get into the habit of doing that, I’m going to get up at 5am every morning and meditate.  I really like the Deepak Chopra/Oprah Winfrey mediation series, so I will use that.  I will post a link for the series I use in my next blog.

Later today, I’m going to take my measurements and some current “before” pics.  I will also post those in my next blog.  I’m also going to prep my meals for the upcoming week so I will take pics of that and share later on.  I’m planning to keep the meals simple for this week.  Probably just grilled salmon with broccoli and turkey mini-meatloaves with some kind of veggie – not sure what yet.  I’ll see what calls to me at the grocery store.  So thanks for reading, and also thanks in advance for supporting me on this journey!

Here are a few more photos from the San Diego race – it really was a lot of fun – and here’s to bigger and better things in St George!

 

I Wish I Had Time To Blog!!

 

So, this is just a time in my life that happens to be a little bit crazy.  And, that’s totally ok, for a few reasons: 1) My husband and I are in the process of raising our now 18-month-old son, who is a very, very, very much wanted, IVF miracle-baby, and we are doing everything we can to enjoy every exhausting second of it!  We also have an AMAZING 16-year-old who survived a terrible accident against all odds, but who also has some permanent medical problems as a result, and who also, obviously, is in 11th grade and still lives at home. He is an absolutely wonderful and inspiring kid, and every moment with him is a blessing.  In addition, we have a 22 year old, who we are proudly putting through college – he is currently working on becoming a CNA and then will go on to begin nursing school, while working as a CNA.  He also has aspirations to go as far as he can in the medical field, and he is going to be great – we’re so excited for the future he is creating for himself.   And, we have our incredibly talented 20-year-old, who is a songwriter/musician/singer/rapper with INCREDIBLE talent.  You might think I’m biased, but I’m not  – if you don’t believe me, check him out here:

We are doing everything we can to support him in finding success in the music industry – which is SO difficult and unforgiving, but is also so CLEARLY what he was born to do.  There are limits to what we can do to help him with this, but he works hard at it every day and he is so deserving of success in his art.  SO – that’s the kids!  ALSO;

2) I am 11 months away from achieving a long-held dream of getting my masters degree in nursing and becoming a family nurse practitioner, and 3) I’m about to begin training for my first of 2 marathons this year – the second being a Boston qualifier – running the Boston Marathon is my other long-held dream, which I fully intend to make a reality this year.  And finally, 4) My husband is working on building his business as a health coach, which has been really successful so far, while also working full-time as a surgical robot technician – a job which frequently requires him to travel.  So, I guess my point in all of this is that I just don’t have time to blog right now – which I do regret, because I love doing it, but this is my life so I just get to do what I can, when I can, and not worry about it otherwise.  We are 100% taking this year moment by moment, and that is what is preserving my sanity right now.  I can only do what I can do RIGHT NOW, so that is all I’m going to put energy into.  Period.  It’s been a great lesson for me, being that I tend to be a little high-strung and anxiety-prone.

What’s really awesome though is that, everything that we have going on right now, although stressful and demanding, and honestly sometimes, completely overwhelming; is due to the fact that we are making things happen in our lives that are things that we, collectively, as a family, have always wanted.  So I am just really, really happy about that. It makes it all worth it, and positive, even when it gets to be a bit much.

So, when I’m not at work or in clinical, this is my life right now:

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Notice the baby monitor in the background, in which there is a toddler standing in the crib, waiting for me to get him up from his nap.  That would be, this guy:

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I usually get up at between 4:30-4:45 in the morning, because that is prime time to get some school work done. Landon usually gets up at around 6am.  Soon, I will be using some of that time to run or train in addition to schoolwork, but this is what a typical week looks like for this semester:

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I’m in clinical for 16 hrs/week on Mondays and Fridays – Landon goes to daycare on those days.  Tuesday and Wednesday right now, are days to get caught up on school-work.  Tuesday, I have Landon with me, but Wednesday he goes to daycare, so that is a prime day to get some work done. (even though, I usually am missing him by 4pm and end up going and picking him up)  Every Thursday, I work a 12 hour shift in an urgent care.  Saturday and Sunday are for finishing up whatever I need to complete for the week in schoolwork, long runs, meal-prep for the upcoming week and a little family-time and relaxation.  Next week is when I will be starting a 16 week training program for the full marathon in San Diego in the beginning of June, so my schedule will look a little busier as far as work-outs go.

As far as my weight-loss journey goes, I’ve been pretty much following the Optavia 4 and 2 program – so that’s 4 Optavia fuelings and 2 lean and green meals – but I’ve also indulged here and there, not in bad food so much as just extra good food – because I’m starting to get into training and am exercising a whole lot more.  My weight has steadily stayed at 145 pounds, which I’m pretty happy with.  For this week only, I’m doing the Optavia 5 and 1 plan just to get the weight down a bit more before I start training hard – knowing that I will put on weight with the muscle I will be building – and only because I know that its so much easier to run when I’m lighter, so I want to stay as light as I can while still being healthy and strong.

So, yes its busy, but overall, I feel really grateful to have the opportunities that we have to do everything that we’re doing.  And I know, 11 months from now, it will all be SOOOO worth it.  I just had a phone call with my academic advisor, and he is already talking about sending me an application for graduation and writing the board exams.  Even though it all still seems so far away, I know it’s going to go by so fast and a year from now, our lives will have completely changed again!

In the meantime…….I’ll just blog when I can!

Holiday Confessions (and, of Course, New Year’s Resolutions)

Happy New Year!!  I can’t believe it is already here.  This is going to be a HUGE year for me, and I feel just a little bit like a first-time sky-diver, standing in the doorway of the plane, getting ready to jump.  I KNOW its going to be great – it will be a year FILLED with the accomplishment of long-held goals – but its also a bit daunting.  But what the hell – bring it on, right?! Life is meant to be LIVED – its not meant to be spent hiding away in one little comfy spot forever.  What would be the point of that?

But before I get into the details of what’s cooking for me in 2018, let me give a little update on where I’m at right now.  As far as my nutrition/fitness situation goes, I was doing OK – I maintained through Thanksgiving, and even continued to lose weight up until just before Christmas.  And then, honestly, I just went for it.  Through the Christmas holiday and New Years, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, drank whatever I wanted and I did not run.  BUT – I’m not apologizing for that, and I really have no regrets.  I had some wonderful times and created some amazing memories with my family and friends, and that is what these holidays are all about – at least that’s what they should be about.  And I didn’t go absolutely crazy – I did still try to make healthy choices most of the time.  But, when I made Christmas cookies with my sister and nephew, I ate one or two.  I didn’t eat TWELVE, mind you – just one or two.  Just for fun – here are some photos of the Christmas cookie project:

So anyway, they were delicious and I ate a couple.  No regrets.  I drank wine with my sister, and when we went camping for New Years Eve, I made my special camping chili – and I ate the camping chili.  Again, no regrets.  It was a great holiday, and through it all, I knew that I was going to gain a few pounds, and I also knew EXACTLY what I was going to do to get back on track after the holiday.  I’m sure others may have a different opinion, but I believe that being healthy and fit is not about deprivation.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying food.  It’s just important to be CONSCIOUS about the decisions that you are making, with a clear knowledge of the impact that what you are putting in your mouth is going to have on your body.  And, its also important to be committed to your health overall, and to make primarily healthy choices that will support you in your goals.  But to cling to steely will-power to the extent that it prevents me from fully enjoying a once-a-year holiday with my family and friends – not my style and no thank-you.

So, just before Christmas, my weight was 141 pounds, which is right about where I want to be.  Yesterday morning, I was 148 pounds – so 7 pounds of weight gain total.  Still 20 pounds down from where I was when I started working on weight loss, so not bad at all.  Here’s what amazes me though – I started back on 5 Optavia fuelings per day plus 1 lean and green meal yesterday, and after only one day of that, I’m 145.2 today!  So, my plan is to continue on 5 and 1 until Sunday, and then I will need to go back to 3 lean and green meals plus 3 Optavia fuelings a day because I will also be doing a LOT of running, and I need the fuel.  I’m pretty sure by Sunday or Monday, I will be right back down to 140 give or take, and ready to really start training for the races I have planned this year.

So that’s where I’m at – here’s where I’m headed in 2018:  First and foremost, I will be finishing my master’s degree in nursing this year, and this time next year, I will be getting ready to write my board exams to be licensed as a family nurse practitioner.  So that means full-time classes, plus over 600 clinical hours in the upcoming year!  Pretty crazy right?  But it will be SO worth it once I get that done.  I have been wanting to do this for over 10 years, and now I’m finally doing it!!  The other thing that I’ve been wanting to do for EVER is run in the Boston Marathon, and this year, I have a plan to make that happen:  I’m going to run the full marathon in San Diego on June 3 – no time goal or anything, I just love that race and run it almost every year – that will get me my base training, and it will be a warm up for what’s next.  In early October – I can’t remember the exact date now – I will run the St George marathon – that race is a Boston qualifier, which means that, as long as I make the time requirement for my age group in that race, I will be qualified to register for the Boston marathon!!  That time requirement is 3 hours and 55 minutes, so I’m shooting to run the St George marathon at about an 8:30 pace – which is crazy-fast to me.  BUT, I know I can do it if I work hard.  So that’s the plan.  In addition to that, I also signed up with ilovetorun.org for their 1000 miles in a year challenge – which should be a piece of cake with all the marathon training I’ll be doing.  So, its going to be a really BIG and very busy year.  I know it might seem crazy to try to do all of this at the same time (especially since I also have 2 jobs and a husband and 4 kids – one of whom is a toddler) but for me, this looks like BALANCE.  School, work, family – all of that stuff is important, and necessary and are all priorities that I will do anything for.  The running though, is 100% for me.  That is what will keep me sane through all of this, as crazy as that may sound.  Running is my therapy.  It’s my time to think, to be alone, to work out frustrations, to meditate and celebrate.  I love it.  So, I’m a little nervous, I won’t lie – I know I’m taking on a lot – but mostly, I’m EXCITED.

Bring it on, 2018!

I Believe I Can Fly!

So, I want to share this selfie, which I took after my run today:

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Here’s what I am celebrating: I am 45 years old, and I have had 4 children – the most recent one being a year and a half ago by C-Section, after being induced 6 weeks early due to severe pre-eclampsia.  The day after my 16-month-old was born, I weighed 198 pounds.  If you had asked me at that point, if I thought it was possible that I would EVER want to go running in nothing but a pair of running tights and a sports bra, let alone post a selfie of myself in that, I would have said, adamantly, NO.  Not in a million, gazillion years.  I really and truly thought that I was done with feeling strong, with feeling good about how I looked, with ever wanting to wear anything sexy again.  I felt broken.  I really thought I was on a physical downward slide that was just going to continue from that point on.  I put up a brave and optimistic front, but the reality is, I was devastated inside.  I felt like I could not trust my body anymore, and that I had no control over what it would do.  So the way I feel about this photo has nothing to do with narcissism – I love it because it makes me feel like I can believe in myself again.  Sure, its great to be able to fit into clothes that haven’t fit me in years.  To be able to wear a bathing suit with pride instead of shame.  To feel sexy and to not have to wonder when my husband looks at me in lingerie, if he really likes what he sees, or if he’s just looking past what’s on the outside because he loves me and what’s on the inside no matter what.  I feel like, to a certain degree, it’s maybe not PC to celebrate losing weight, and feeling good about how you look as a result, and I’m not striving for any kind of physical perfection, nor do I think anyone else should – that’s all definitely a myth.  What I am really celebrating here, is how I FEEL as a result of all of this.  How this recent weight loss and subsequent return to my former state of physical well-being has impacted my belief in myself, and sense of power and strength that has been both missing and missed.

So all of this brings me to the topic of running.  Running has just been my thing for my entire adult life.  It’s been my sport, my therapy, and a source of fun, friendly competition and accomplishment.  I love it.  But, since the birth of my youngest child, its just been really hard.  And I tried – I really tried to get back to where running felt good.  I ran and trained regularly over the past year or so.  I watched what I ate – I tried to make it all good quality food.  I did all the things that had worked for me before.  I got my weight down to around 170 pounds, and I just couldn’t get it under that.  Not by more than a pound or two anyway.  Just before Landon was born, when I was at the height of late pregnancy misery – I registered for the full-marathon at the Rock N’ Roll San Diego race in early June of this year.  I did it at that point because I wanted to remind myself that I would get back to being that strong, able-bodied person again at a point where I was so swollen, and so pregnant that if I dropped something onto the floor, I would just leave it there because it was just too hard to pick it up.  By the time the actual race rolled around, I was still stuck at around 170 pounds, and running was a struggle.  It didn’t feel good.  It was hard.  I had to downgrade from the full marathon to the half-marathon, and even that was kind of a miserable struggle.  I felt like a shadow of my former self.  Here are some photos of me from that race:

Sorry about the quality of the photos, but I actually really hate them, so I have no desire to purchase them.  But, as I think its easy to tell in these photos, I felt like crap.  I felt heavy and slow.  I ended up averaging around an 11 minute per mile pace in this race.  Which is a fine pace – there’s nothing wrong with that pace, but it’s not what I wanted for myself at this point.  I actually didn’t care about my pace in this race, I just wanted, more than anything, for running to feel good again.  It didn’t.  It was miserable.  I struggled through the entire race.  I didn’t know if I would ever really enjoy running again, or if I would ever run another full marathon – let alone run the Boston Marathon, which has been a long-time goal.

Fast-forward to now – 6 months later – and really and truly, I feel better than I EVER have, physically.  Since I’ve reached my goal weight, I’m slowly adding more calories into my diet while easing back into running, and I’m just thrilled because running has NEVER felt this good.  Every run this week has been great, but today, I ran two miles at a 8:39 pace, and I felt like I could have run all day.  I ran the second of the two miles at an 8:21 pace, which is a record for me. Here’s my stats:

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I’m finally back to loving running again, and I feel, once again, like anything is possible.  It is, without a doubt, 1 million percent due to the weight I’ve been able to eliminate in the past two months.  I’ve honestly never felt this good  – just strong, healthy and fit – not even back when I was in my teens and twenties!  I WILL be running the full marathon in San Diego this year, and I’m going to completely KICK ASS!!

So, today, I’m just celebrating that anything is possible, and its never too late – and that I’m a super-sexy 45-year-old-mother-of-four-running-super-hero!!

What’s possible for YOU?

Post-Goal-Weight Day One and This Week’s Meal Prep

I really should actually be studying right now, for the final exam for my differential diagnosis class, which is tomorrow night, BUT I feel like writing a blog post, so I’m gonna go ahead and do that while I feel like it, because if I don’t, who knows how long it will be before I get around to it again? I was supposed to be working today and tomorrow, but the urgent care that I just started working for is brand new and is still under construction, and there’s been a delay on opening, so I have an unexpected, but rather welcome, two days off.  I say that I have two days off, but in reality, I also have about 10 hours of lectures to catch up on and a final exam tomorrow….and a final exam on Wednesday……and one on Friday, but you know – it’s days off from work so that’s cool, and having extra time to study takes a lot of the stress away from the preparation for those exams.

SO! Today was the first day of my switch to the 4 and 2 plan, which means that I had 2 lean and green meals and 4 Optavia fuelings.  I also ran today – 1.5 miles at a fairly brisk pace.  I’m just easing back into running this week, so I’m keeping the distances short.  My full marathon isn’t until the first weekend in June, so I’m not going to start hard-core training for that until I’m 16 weeks away.

It’s weird, actually, now that I have developed the habits that I have on the 5 and 1 program, to be in a position now, where I need to watch my intake in order to prevent further weight loss.  But if there is one important thing that being on this program has taught me, it’s that it is absolutely essential to be conscious of what one is doing, nutrition-wise.  That was important when I was looking to lose weight, and its equally important now, when I’m looking to maintain where I’m at, and make sure I’m supported in staying healthy while I train for a marathon.  When I was on the 5 & 1, it was a no brainer – all I had to do was eat my 5 fuelings every 2-3 hours and make sure my lean and greens were on point.  Now, however, I’m using MyFitnessPal to track my status.  I have a Garmin watch, which works with MyFitnessPal – so they communicate with each other.  So the Garmin tells MyFitnessPal what my activity looks like for the day, and based on that, it adds to my recommended caloric intake in order to support the activity level that I’m at.  It’s great to have this technology – it makes it really easy.  I’m pretty sure a Fitbit and a hundred other devices can do the same thing.  But, before I get more into all of the details of where I’m at today, let me just recap food-prep Sunday.

So every Sunday, me and my friend Lara, who’s on the program, and for the past two weeks, my friend Sarah – who is just starting the program, get together and prepare our lean and green meals for the week.  This has actually become a really fun weekly event that we all look forward to – and it makes it SO easy to stay on track throughout the upcoming week.  We spend a total of about 3-4 hours every Sunday doing this, and I just think it is 1000% worth the time and effort.  I am an extremely firm believer in meal prep.  Period.  For me, personally, this whole program would have been a total fail without it.  That might not be true for everybody, but it’s definitely true for me.  And besides – doing it gives me a weekly opportunity to bond with my girlfriends, and for us to support each other in what we’re up to with all of this.  It’s just all good!

So this week, we made:

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Salad with shrimp, boiled egg, romaine lettuce and red pepper – this is 184 calories, 7.1g carb, 6.2g fat and 24.5g protein.  It is simply 2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup of red pepper and grape tomatoes, 3.5 oz of cooked shrimp and 1 chopped boiled egg.  I just squeeze some lemon over it and add some salt and pepper and it is really yummy.

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Grilled chicken with mushrooms and steamed broccoli: this is 206 calories, 7.6g carb, 6.9g fat and 36.6g protein.  It is 6oz of boneless, skinless chicken breast with carne asada seasoning on it, grilled on my cast iron grill pan with 1/2 cup mushrooms sautéed with cooking spray and 1 cup of steamed broccoli.  I know that this meal sounds very boring and simple, but the carne asada seasoning makes it quite delicious.  It gives it just a bit of kick.  Grilling the chicken just to a point where its a tiny bit pink in the middle makes it perfect and juicy once it’s reheated on either the stovetop or microwave.

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Turkey mini-meatloaf with miso-sesame green beans.  This is about 189 calories – 7.6g carb, 4.9g fat, 28.1g protein.  This is 5 oz of 85% lean ground turkey mixed with 1/4 cup of shredded zucchini, mushrooms and onion – which makes the meatloaf super-moist.  There is also some chopped fresh Italian parsley and salt and pepper in the meatloaf mix.  To make the green beans, I sautéed the shitake mushrooms in cooking spray, added garlic and then mixed miso paste, rice vinegar, water and sesame oil.  The steamed green beans, mushrooms and miso-sauce all get mixed together and then everything is sprinkled with sesame seeds.  And, OMG – this entire meal is absolutely TO. DIE. FOR.  It is so unbelievably good.  I mean, all of this food is good, but this one is a definite keeper!

So that’s our meal prep for this week.  We are all pretty excited about it.  Just to recap – the formula for the lean and greens is 5, 6 or 7 oz of lean protein, depending on what the protein is, and the lean-ness of said protein.  Along with it goes 3 servings of vegetables.  One serving is generally 1/2 cup, unless its some kind of raw greens, in which case one serving is 1 cup.  It’s that simple.  For the meals that we created this week, with the proteins purchased at Costco and the veggies purchased at Smiths, it cost about $35 for 7 meals, or 5 bucks per meal.  Not bad, if you ask me.

Today, for breakfast, I had an Optavia peanut butter crisp bar and 2 cups of coffee at about 6:30.  My mission today was to study, but we had to get groceries first so we dropped Landon off at daycare at around 8, and then went grocery shopping.  By the time we got home from doing that, it was almost 10 and I was famished so I actually ate 1/2 of one of the mini-turkey meatloaves that we made yesterday with a coconut La Croix.  I ate lunch at noon – I had the shrimp salad – and then I went for a 1.5 mile run at around 1:30.  At around 2 I had an Optavia mocha blast shake – it was a bit early, but I needed to have something post-run.  I also had a little bag of Medi-Fast sea-salt popcorn while I continued to study.  I took Landon to his physical therapy appointment from about 3:30 until about 5 and then when I got home I had the grilled chicken/mushrooms/broccoli, which really filled me up.  I gave Landon his dinner, played with him a bit, gave him a bath, read him some stories and put him to bed and that brings me to this point.  I have to study some more tonight, and while I do that, I’m going to have an Optavia spiced gingerbread with some sleepytime herbal tea, and that’s my day as far as nutrition goes.  In addition, I have had about a gallon of water and 4 cans of LaCroix, which is also basically water.  I find that the water intake is really important – I feel better and always have better results in terms of weight loss when I shoot for a gallon a day.

According to MyFitnessPal, this is how my day looks:

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As you can see in the second photo, I’m going to bed tonight with a 762 calorie deficit, which is probably a bit too much now that I’m no longer looking to lose weight.  Because I ran today, plus I walked over 11,000 steps, I burned 507 calories in activity and only consumed 955 calories.  What is crazy though, is I never for one second today, felt hungry, deprived, or like I wanted to eat anything that I couldn’t have.  So now I am in the position of needing to look to add healthy calories to my diet in order to meet my body’s needs to support my activity level.  Pretty cool.  Because being on Optavia over the past two months has had such an impact on my eating habits, I’m really not all that interested in eating all of the garbage that was sabatoging my efforts to lose weight in the past.  Now I get to really consciously think about how I can best add foods to my daily intake that I enjoy and that are also high in nutritional value so I can maintain what I’ve achieved, and stay healthy while I train to run the best marathon of my life.  Sounds pretty awesome to me!!

So that’s it for now!  If you’re reading this, and are interested in finding out more about the Optavia program, you can send an email to my wonderful husband, who is a health coach for the program: justintruelove@outlook.com – he can give you all the info you need, and I’ll always be available to share my experiences and help out in any way I can. I can honestly say at this point, being on the other side of 22 pounds down is worth it’s weight in gold! It has made my life better in a million ways.  So if you’re thinking about it, just go for it – give it a try.  And I’m saying that for one reason and one reason only: this program works.

Have a great night!!

 

I’ve Reached My Goal Weight!!!

It has been ages since I’ve written a blog post! The past few weeks have just been really busy – I’ve had 2 days off in the past 16 days, plus school, plus Thanksgiving, plus life with a toddler, and so on and so on…..BUT, I have continued to stay on track, and this morning my weight was 145.4 pounds!!!  The goal that I set two months ago was 145 pounds, so I’m calling it close enough – knowing that I will still probably lose a little more over the next few weeks, but I am going to go ahead and celebrate today!  I feel like a completely different person.  I have a ton more energy, more confidence, I sleep better, I’ve been off of my blood pressure medication for about two weeks now, and my blood pressure just now was 124/68, and overall I just feel happy.  I feel so good about where I’m at, how I feel, and how I look, I just feel like I can do anything,  Right now, with everything that is going on in my life, I could very easily be a miserable, stressed-out wreck but I just don’t feel that way.  I feel like I can handle it all, and I really think that the physical well-being that I’ve gained over the past two months has everything to do with it.

So let’s take a look at some before and after photos – the top pics were taken on October 1st.  I weighed 167.8 pounds and my body fat percentage was 31.5%.  The bottom pics were taken today at 145.4 pounds with a body fat percentage of 20.6%:

I really don’t know if the dramatic difference that I see and feel comes through in these photos, but I look at the top pictures and I can’t believe that’s me.  I notice details in the top photos, like my double chin and the complete lack of definition in my upper arms, not to mention that belly and it makes me so excited to be rid of all that now.  I can honestly say that I will never go back to that, because more important than how it looks, I haven’t forgotten how it felt.  It really sucked.  I felt like crap.  I felt old, unsexy and like my body was falling apart.  Now, I feel like the person I was 10 or 15 years ago, and I am extremely proud to say in the pictures on the bottom, that I am 45 years old!  All of these changes have not only been good for me and my physical and emotional well-being, but they have been really good for my relationship too – because when I feel sexy, I act sexy and when I act sexy, well, it just makes for a happy husband. 😉 (sorry if that’s TMI – but you know, these things are important!)

Here are the numbers from the past two months:

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Sorry, it’s a bit blurry – I’m a terrible photographer.  But what stands out for me from this is the total inches lost – since October 1, I have lost a total of 24.25 inches overall from my body.  That’s over two feet!!  So, sure, it comes from different areas overall, but the bottom line is I’ve lost over two feet of just MASS from my body.  It’s no wonder I feel like I can fly when I run now!

So, here’s the question that I am asking myself today: could I have achieved results like this, on my own, without the Optavia program that I’ve been on since October 1st.  And although it’s definitely not impossible for a person to achieve this on their own,  for me, my honest answer is no.  In the past two months, I have learned so much about the effect that my food choices have on my body, and whether those choices cause me to gain or lose weight.  It really is quite a delicate balance.  It is NOT as simple as just counting calories.  That’s the thing that I think is really key for people to understand.  It’s much more complex than that – because you have to consider how certain foods trigger insulin production.  You have to think about the glycemic index of the food that you’re eating.  If you want your body to burn fat, you have to balance things just right so that it will do that without holding onto the stores it has because it’s in starvation-mode.  So, if I were trying to do this on my own, knowing myself, I would give up at a certain point due to the yo-yo-ing and plateaus that would result from my nutrition plan falling short of what’s required to get the effect that I can get with the Optavia plan.  The single greatest thing about the Optavia plan is that is requires very little of the person on the plan.  It’s really pretty much a no-brainer.  The only thing that takes some planning is the lean and green meal – it’s got to be the right amounts of the right foods, or you could easily sabotage yourself.  But still, its pretty simple – its just a matter of planning ahead and setting yourself up for success.  But aside from that, you just eat a fueling every 2-3 hours for a total of 5 fuelings plus your lean and green meal, plus 3-4 liters of water, and if you do that, you will lose weight.  Rapidly.  And although its not always easy, its also not that hard.  The other thing about it that’s really cool is that I know that, if I consciously choose to eat/drink things that are outside of the plan on a particular day, because of what’s going on that day, I can expect that I will either not lose or even gain a bit depending on what I do, but then I know FOR CERTAIN that, once I get back to the plan, I will regain any ground I may have lost, and start losing again within a few days.  The results are fool-proof when you follow the plan to a T.

And finally, being on this plan, and carefully planning and preparing my lean and green meals, has made me really, really aware of the nutritional content of various foods, and just how much a tiny amount of the wrong thing can totally derail what I’m trying to do.  For example – I can eat a salad that has shrimp, boiled egg, red pepper and romaine in it – the whole salad is 200 calories.  But if I decide to put 2 tbsp. of ranch dressing on that salad, it will add 140 calories!!  If I put salt and pepper with a squeeze of lemon instead of that ranch dressing, I could eat almost twice the amount of salad with the same amount of calories.  These are the things that set us up to fail – even when we think we are making the effort to eat better.  When I do decide to splurge a bit, I now know what foods are worth splurging on, verses the foods that will just kill everything I’m trying to accomplish.

So, that’s where I’m at as of now.   Today is Sunday, so I did meal prep for the week today with my friends, Sarah and Lara.  I’ll blog about the details of our meal prep in my next post, but Lara has been on this program for about a month and she has lost 13.8 pounds. The Sarah that did meal prep with us today is starting up on the program this week, so we will be cheering her on and excited to see her results.  My BFF, whose name is also Sarah, has been on this program for 6 weeks and she has lost 20.6 pounds.  Our friend Mariel has been on it for 4 weeks and she has lost 18 pounds.  Our friend Josiah, who was the person who introduced us to this program, has been on it for about 3 months and has lost a remarkable 73 pounds!!  So there is really no question as to the results that can be achieved with this particular program.  I know it sounds like I’m pushing the program, and honestly, I am.  But for one reason and one reason only – and that is because I know that it will work.  If you are a person who needs to lose weight to feel better, to be healthier, to avoid a myriad of health problems, if you follow this, it will work.  Plain and simple.

So this week, because I’m at my goal weight now, I’m going to start a 4&2 plan – which means 4 fuelings plus lean and greens for lunch and dinner.  I’m also going to start preliminary training for a marathon in June so that means running, yoga, and strength training, which will escalate over the coming weeks.  As the activity escalates, so will the nutritional intake.  Next week, I will go to a 3&3 program, which is what I will stay with – its important to keep eating small meals every 2-3 hours, but my main meals will evolve as my activity level increases.  Of course it will always consist of lean proteins and veggies primarily, but quantitites will increase along with some complex carbs in order to give my body the fuel it needs to prepare for a marathon.  One thing I know for sure is that it feels amazingly different to run with a body that is 22 pounds lighter!!

Have a great week!

 

What I Ate Wednesday!

Well, it’s been a pretty successful week so far in terms of my progress with the weight loss.  This morning, I was exactly 150 pounds – so that’s 17.8 pounds lost in just over six weeks, and I am now only 5 pounds away from my goal!!  I’m feeling pretty good.  I’ve been really, really busy, so that makes sticking with the nutrition plan pretty easy.  I don’t really have time to think about food much.  I’m in the last two weeks of the semester in school, so two weeks from now I will have year one done and I will only have one more year to go to finish my master’s degree in nursing and then I will finally be a Family Nurse Practitioner! (well, after I pass the board exam, that is) Even though its been tough, I know that it will be SO worth it in the end.  This has been a goal of mine for a long time.

If everything pans out according to plan, 2019 will be a pretty big year for me.  There are 3 things on my current vision board that I have not yet accomplished:  running the Boston Marathon, becoming a family nurse practitioner, and building our dream log cabin on a nice piece of land  – most likely in Montana.  My husband and I both have a secret passion for the idea of a homesteading way of life.  So, I will be done with my master’s degree at the end of 2018 and will be writing my boards and beginning working as an FNP in 2019.  I also plan to run the St George marathon in October of 2018, which is a Boston qualifier – so the plan is to qualify for and run the Boston marathon in April of 2019.  So, that will be two HUGE goals of mine attained in the same year.  And, actually, there’s a good chance we will be ready to make a move by then too – we’ve really just been waiting for our son Zachary to finish high school, and he graduates in 2018 – so I guess I’ll need to start thinking about some new goals soon!  I’ve had the same ones for so long, I’m really not sure where I’ll go from there at this point.  It’s always important to have goals though, so I will give it some serious thought.

So anyway – I wanted to give an overview in this post on what I typically eat in a day at this point in time.  This is the meal plan that has been responsible for the roughly 5 pounds that I’ve lost in the past week, and the almost 18 pounds I’ve lost overall.  This is what I ate yesterday, but its pretty typical of what I usually eat.

So, breakfast was zucchini pancakes with two slices of turkey bacon.  I would normally just have an Optavia fueling when I wake up in the morning, but I had a few of these breakfasts prepped in the fridge and I wanted to use them up so I’ve been eating them for breakfast.  I always eat my first meal of the day within an hour of waking up, even though I’m not super-hungry at that time usually.  I also usually have two cups of black coffee in the morning, and I try to get started on getting my water in early as well.  I try to get 3-4 liters of water in every day, which I really feel helps immensely with weight loss.  The only way to get that amount of water in though, is to always have a water bottle with me, and take a drink pretty much every time I look at it.  As I’m writing this, it’s 8:16am and I have already had 1 liter.  Anyway, here’s a photo of breakfast:

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This is actually a pretty substantial meal.  It’s basically shredded zucchini with egg whites, a little bit of potato flour and some cotija cheese.  The bacon is Jennie-O, which is my preference for turkey bacon.  It’s crispier than Oscar Meyer.  This meal is 185 calories, 6.7g carbs, 11g fat, 12.7g protein.  This is obviously, higher in calories than an Optavia fueling usually is, but since its the first meal of the day and I’m usually pretty active, it seems to be fine.  I ate this at around 6:00am

At 9am, I had an Optavia fueling – it was the Chia Bliss Smoothie, which is 110 calories, 1g fat, 11g protein.  This is not my favorite of the Optavia shakes, although it’s good – just not my favorite.  I just had only one left in the box so I decided to use it up.

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Of course, I had the ever-present water with it.  I make these shakes with about 1/4 cup of ice and 1 cup of water.  I mix it all up in my Nutri-Bullet and it comes out really thick and creamy.  The ice makes a HUGE difference.

I had to go to work at noon yesterday, so I had my next fueling a bit early – around 11:30 – because I knew I would not have a chance to eat once I was working and I didn’t want to end up going 5 or 6 hours without a fueling.  I had the Optavia Rustic Tomato Penne – which is 110 calories, 11g protein, 1.5g fat.  This fueling has a soy-based “meaty” tomato sauce (although there isn’t actually any meat in it) – so I like to mix this up with some chopped romaine lettuce.  The lettuce only adds about 8 calories to the meal and very little carb, and it’s delicious.  It tastes a lot like a taco salad, and it makes for a pretty satisfying lunch.

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I had a LaCroix peach-pear flavored sparkling water with it.  I’ve definitely developed a LaCroix habit with this nutrition plan – it helps me a lot when I’m feeling a little hungry.

I got really busy once I was at work, and so it was 3:30 before I had time for another fueling – this is not ideal – the goal is to try to eat a small meal every 2-3 hours, but it couldn’t be helped in this case.  I did get my third liter of water in though, prior to this fueling.

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These are the Optavia Jalapeno Cheddar Poppers – 110 calories, 11g protein, 1 g fat – I really like these.  They are nice and crunchy with just a little kick, which is good.  They make a really good afternoon snack.

I had dinner at around 5:30, and it was a lean and green meal that I had prepared on Sunday – it’s a stir-fry with 6oz chicken breast and 1 1/2 cups of veggies including bok choy, broccoli, mushrooms, red pepper, onion and garlic.  This is about 257 calories, 8.3g carb, 7g fat, 43.2g protein.  It is REALLY tasty!

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The picture does not do it justice.  This is a delicious meal.  The water in the background is my 4th liter of the day, so I hit my goal! 🙂

Later in the evening, at about 7:30 – I had my final fueling of the day.  I like to make this one kind of a treat, so I usually go for one of the dessert-style Optavia fuelings with a cup of Sleepytime herbal tea.  Last night I had the Spiced Gingerbread, which is 110 calories, 11g protein and 5g sugar.  This comes like a mix, which is mixed with 3 tbsps. of water, and then baked in the oven in its own little container that comes with it.  It’s wonderful eaten warm, right out of the oven with some tea.  I put my feet up to enjoy this while watching an episode of Game of Thrones (my husband and I are in the process of re-watching the whole series).

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So that’s what I usually eat in a day.  Not bad, right? Sure, sometimes I just want to eat half a pizza, but this nutrition program is actually filled with a lot of good food – and it makes me feel good.  Also, by sticking with this (for the most part) for the past six weeks, I now have back the body that I haven’t seen in at least 10 years – probably more like 15, really.  That’s it for today – only 5 pounds to go!!!

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Sunday Meal Prep and Six-Week Weigh-In!

Well! I am really excited today because when I weighed myself this morning, I was 151.0 pounds!!  I actually did my weigh-in and measurements on Saturday, along with a photo and at that time I was 154.6 pounds – so I’ve made a lot of progress over the past two days! Ok so in a nutshell, I’ve been on this new nutrition plan for 6 weeks now, and when I started, I was 167.8 pounds, body fat was 31.5% and bust/waist/hips were 39/36.25/42.5.  Now, I’m 151 pounds, body fat is 22% and bust/waist/hips are 39(these boobs aren’t going anywhere  – lol)/33.25/39.75.  So I have lost a total of 16.8 pounds in just over 6 weeks!  Here’s my latest before and after photo – the top photos were taken on October 1st, the bottom ones on November 11.

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And, when these latest photos were taken, I was 154.6 pounds – so I’ve actually lost another 2.6 pounds since then!  I am just thrilled with this.

Over the past two weeks, I had been changing things up a bit, and was eating my pre-prepped breakfast lunch and dinner along with three Optavia fuelings every day.  This resulted in very slow to minimal weight loss and eventually, I kind of stalled at 153-154 pounds.  My goal is 145lbs, and I’m feeling pretty impatient to get there, so on Friday I decided to go back to the Optavia 5 and 1 plan – which is 5 Optavia fuelings and one lean and green meal every day, until I get to my goal weight.  The good news about the plan that I tried over the past two weeks is that I know that I can maintain my weight with it once I get to my goal.  For now though, I’m sticking with the 5 and 1 and lo and behold – I dropped 2.6 pounds in 2 days!!

So, for meal prep this week, I kept it pretty simple.  We had a bunch of extra grilled chicken from last week, so I made a vegetable stir fry with 6 oz of the grilled chicken in it.

The veggies are bok choy, broccoli, mushrooms, red pepper, a bit of onion and lots of garlic (I love garlic) – I cooked everything up in my wok with about 2 tbsps. of sesame oil and 4 tbsps. of soy sauce.  We chopped up the leftover chicken, and then weighed out 6oz of that chicken with 1 1/2 cups of the veggies per lean and green serving.  We made six servings of this – 4 for me, and 2 for my friend who is also on the Optavia 5 and 1 plan (she’s lost 8 lbs in 2 weeks!!).  I had this for dinner last night and it was SOOOOOOOO SO GOOD!

We only made one other meal option this week.  It was also grilled chicken, but prepared differently, with fresh pico de gallo.  For this meal, I hammered boneless, skinless chicken breast to about an inch in thickness, sprinkled some carne asada seasoning on it, and grilled on my stovetop on my cast iron grill pan.  (My collection of cast iron cookware is my pride and joy)

My cast iron is well seasoned, so I only had to use a little bit of cooking spray to keep the chicken from sticking.  The pico has tomatoes, cilantro, purple onion, jalapeno and a bit of cucumber in it with a little salt and the juice of one lime.  For each meal we measured 6oz of chicken breast with 1 cup of chopped romaine lettuce and 1 cup of pico.  We made 5 meals total with this – 3 for me and 2 for my friend.  We ended up with 2 big chicken breasts leftover, so that was dinner for my husband and my 16 year old last night as well!  So good!

So that’s it for now – I’m excited for this week and looking forward to more progress.  That weight goal is just around the corner!! Woohoo!