Sep 20, 2014

Okay.. Wow.. What happened?!

Yeah.. Wow. I don't have a good answer for that. I fell off, hard. I went through a general funk there at first. Didn't want to do anything.. No diet no friends... Nothing. Then when I pushed through that it just got harder and harder to get back on the 'band wagon'. I've weighed in still for the most part.. Last week I had a gain, this week I had a loss. I haven't done any MAJOR damage - but it's still hard for me to STICK to eating right somehow! I'm not sure what changed and why all the sudden I just stopped.. But I'm getting back on 'track' with tracking. Although, I may not track tomorrow. Chinese take out for lunch and Popeyes for supper. BUT yes, getting back on track for  today!

As for the most current weigh in -

9/18/14 248.8 0.5lb loss (from last blogged weigh in) (7.6lbs total)

SO.. yeah. Not too bad. BUT getting back on track! Had my cereal for breakfast.. and going to do a workout later. Tomorrow I'm going to have a fatty breakfast.. buuut going to do a lot of walking around and have a healthy picnic with my BFF when we take our kiddos to see Thomas the Train.

Thank you for everyone who has stuck around during my time off the wagon. PLEASE stick with me and continue to cheer me on! I need the motivational help! Love you all!!

Aug 15, 2014

Weight in Thursday (a little late...)

     Sorry! Been really sick over here.. Started as what I thought was just allergies and it's enveloped into whatever it is I have now. I'm not a Doctor buuut, I'd guess it's an upper respiratory infection, or a sinus infection at the very least. I haven't worked out since last Wednesday (although Saturday I had a crazy round of cleaning around my house which should be counted at working out). I feel bad about it, but I've really hardly had enough energy to get up and out of bed each morning, and working out just sounds horrible.

     I've been thinking of moving my Weight Waters lapse day to Friday. See, starting a few months ago, a few girlfriends and I have started getting together nearly every Wednesday.. We call it our #WCW (woman crush Wednesday). These woman have become my lifeline! There were weeks where Wednesdays were the only day I looked forward to! I don't think these girls know just how much I needed their friendship in all this! But -- back on track here. WCW usually consists of eating, sometimes a bit of drinking, gossiping, talking, laughing, and more EATING. Everyone is very aware of my diet, and my friend Brie is also dieting, so the other 2 girls have also taken that into consideration. Last week we had DIY pizzas and my friend ensured I had all the diet cheese and healthy toppings I wanted. This week we had a loaded baked potato bar. So many carbs! But yes.. the point of this is that I think weighing in the morning after WCW is not good! Actually though, thinking about it more - Maybe that's best. Maybe I won't move my weigh in day, just so that I have something looming Wednesday night to try to keep me on track!

     But yes, moooooving on!

8/14/14  249.3  3.6lb loss (7.1lb total)

     Pretty happy yesterday! Made me feel much better seeing a slightly higher number loss there! Made me feel a litter better about all the work I'm putting into it. And knowing I'm back under 250lbs is a wonderful feeling! I'm just about back to my starting weight the last time I started Weight Watchers.. which is kind of a kick in the ass, but oh well. I'm going to get this off.. AND KEEP IT OFF!!

Aug 12, 2014

Change makes change

So, with all this clean eating there has been a lot of change in my house. My fridge is full of fruits and veggies and there isn't much junk food to be found. Obviously this has made a change in my son's live as well - but I never would have guess how well he'd take it. Just like with weight watchers, I've told Javion if he wants a snack he's always allowed to have a healthy snack. My crisper drawer (which is TOTALLY accessable to this 4 year old) is full of grapes, oranges, apples and carrots. And the tupperware of watermelon is within reach as well. All my son ever asks me for now is 'healthy snacks'. We're fighting over the watermelon when I get us a bowl full. He ate a bag of grapes in the span of 2 days. It's amazing! Also our fridge has that water in the door deal. and now all he drinks is water! Because he can get it himself.

Today he just warmed my heart.. as I was getting ready for work he came and asked what I was doing. I told him I was getting all my healthy snacks ready for work.. He then asked me fore baggie and he fixed himself a ziplock bag full of grapes and carrots to take the babysitter, for his healthy snack. "Mom see! Now you have YOUR healthy snack you take to work, and I have MY healthy snack I take to the babysitter!". 

It makes me feel like such a good Mom knowing I'm becoming a positive roll model for my son. I used to think all he wanted to do was munch on chips all day - but now I realize - He just wants to do what I'm doing. I could sit down and eat a family sized bag of chips in one sitting, no problem! And now we're fighting over watermelon and grapes. It feels SO GOOD to eat healthy and know that I'm doing whats best for our bodies. Looking forward to weigh in day!

Aug 7, 2014

Zucchini Lasanga

So, on the hunt for low carb food, aaand still have a massive amount of zucchini to get rid of. Pinterest has been amazing, and I've found many recipes that substitute pasta for zucchini! So tonight I made zucchini lasagna.. and to my AMAZEMENT it was only 3 Points+ a serving. 3!!! Insane! Now as you'll see in the recipe, there isn't much cheese. I'm really not a cheese-lover as I'm lactose intolerant.. so I don't miss it much. However you can add more, just mind, it will be more points! I had my bff over tonight and we both had one serving thinking we'd be back for more, but we were stuffed! Granted we also served it with some garlic bread that I made using light low-fat English muffins, which ended up being 4 points+ each, which was well worth it!

Now, I used a mandolin to slice my zucchini. Also the zucchini that I have are HUGE.. and I feel like the centers are way too soft and seedy - I just don't like that texture. So I scooped them out and sliced only  the hard fleshy parts. Also you'll notice I did half and half on the cheese. Really, that's all the cheese I had in the house... haha! I'm not sure if it would have been less point value to use all fat free, but it was good regardless.. and I mean.. it's 3 points! COME ON! When you make it, it doesn't seem 'wet' enough. But salting the zucchini help it to release it's water content and creates more liquid while cooking.

Zucchini Lasagna
12 Servings  3 Points+ each

  • 1 Large Zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup fat free mozzarella cheese
  • 3 TB graded Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tsp Italian seasonings
  • Salt and Pepper
Brown turkey meat in large skillet. Once browned, add tomatoes, garlic and Italian seasonings. Allow to cook until tomatoes are cooked down. Add pasta sauce and take off of heat. Lay down first layer of zucchini in a casserole dish and lightly salt and pepper. Add 1/3 of the meat/sauce mixture. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheeses, and sprinkle with 1TB of Parmesan cheese. Add next layer of zucchini, and season with salt and pepper. Repeat layer. Add last layer of zucchini and repeat the process. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15. Let cool a bit before cutting and serving.

Weigh in Thursday

You got it, first weigh in day! And well I'm not too happy. The first time I did Weight Watchers I lost 9lbs my first week. Needless to say this was not the same this time around. Trying to keep myself motivated and remember that a loss is a loss.. and I'm going in the right direction. It's a long long road ahead of me!

8/7/14 Weigh in - 252.9lbs (1.3lb loss)

So, yeah.. not much. But it's a start!

I've started a Facebook page now as well, as I feel like I want to post more and more, but find myself stopping as I'm worried my FB friends are going to start getting annoyed with my multi-daily posts with snaps of my healthy food and random thoughts! We'll see how it goes. I'm hoping it will as well help me stay motivated!

Aug 5, 2014

Chinese Fix..

I love Chinese food. I could eat it every single day. Garlic Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Fried Rice, Crab Ragoons.. I love them ALL. Well we all know how unhealthy take-out it! I've been looking up some recipes and experimenting on my own. Tonight I made some pretty tasty Orange Chicken. The original recipe said it was only 4 points+ a recipe, but mine didn't go quite that low. The recipe called for cornstarch, but I was out and subbed flour. If you have cornstarch, use that instead! Makes a much glossier and better textured sauce. I also added zucchini and green onions which seemed to increase the point value, which I'm okay with! I served with brown rice. I also promise to start taking better food pictures.. haha!

Skinny Orange Chicken
Serves 5 - 6 WW Points+ per serving

  • 1.5lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups zucchini, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice (I use Trop50)
  • 2TB honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 4 TB flour (or 3TB cornstarch)
  • 1 TB orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 mandarin oranges
    Saute chicken in a non-stick pan, stirring occasionally. Once chicken is browned, add zucchini and place lid on pan to allow to steam. Continue stirring occasionally. Mix rest of ingredients besides onions and oranges in a pot. Place on medium heat and allow to thicken, stirring occasionally. Once sauce is thickened add to the chicken and zucchini. Add onions and oranges. Serve with brown rice. 



 So, every great AFTER picture needs a BEFORE right? I suppose it's time to post it...

And that's me! All 255lbs. Looking back at where I was last year, I can't believe I got down to 217lbs! I've gained SO much back! It makes me sick! None of my size 22 jeans fit right anymore.. But I refuse to go back to 24! SO, here is the before. Let me publicly humiliate myself a bit to keep me motivated to GET IT OFF.

I had a lapse yesterday and went to a pizza buffet and went to down. I kind of tracked.. but after I hit 32pts I gave up. I used what was left of my weekly points, and I used the few activity points I earned, and I'm pretty sure I still hate more then that. BUT I went home and worked out. It was a ROUGH workout however.

I had hypertension.. but I don't take my meds. Not for any good reason other then I don't take them! My script ran out last year and at the time I thought I had it under control.. However last May, before Matt went into his last admit, he drove me to the ER because I started having crazy symptoms.. Shaking, backing out, chest pain, ext. My blood pressure was somewhere near 200/180. It was a pretty good scare as the doctors started throwing around the words 'Cardiac Episode'. I got back on my beds for a month or so, but everything went downhill again when Matt got admitted, and well, that road was traveled. I've been feeling pretty good as of lately, until last night. I started with the low intensity cardio and started feeling the tightness in my chest again. I started to take it slower and took a break or two, but then when I started the high intensity I started to feel that back-out shaky feeling again, so I switched to cool down and called it good for the night. I have a doctors appt set for the 22nd to talk to the doctor more about my blood pressure meds, and what plan of exercise would be best for me.

But moving forward - Been craving Chinese like CRAZY today so I made a 'skinny' orange chicken. Its not as skinny as I'd like it to be, as I forgot to buy cornstarch and had to use flour, but at 6pts a serving I'll take it over take-out!

Aug 2, 2014

Healthy Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

    And now for something sweet! Well, sort of. I took a recipe from Paula Dean and made some modifications. Paula's recipe was 8 Points+ a serving, and I brought this down to 4! This is also the first time I've ever made, or eaten, zucchini bread. This isn't very sweet, as I lowered the amount of sugar in the recipe, so I'm not sure if there's not enough sugar in the recipe, or if zucchini bread is not usually inherently sweet.. But none-the-less I liked it! I subbed the oil in the recipe for a mashed banana, but could also use 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce, for the same point value. Thinking getting some whole wheat flour to start doing more baking with, and see if that helps to bring down the point values as well!

Chocolate-chip Zucchini Bread
serves 24. 4 WW Points+ each
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
 Sift the the dry ingredients and set aside. Mix everything else besides the chocolate chips in a separate bowl. Stir until well combined. Mix wet ingredients into the dry. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Ashley's Zucchini Casserole

     I've recently come into the possession of a LARGE amount of LARGE zucchini.. So starting to try to come up with some healthy things to make! Tonight I literally threw together some random things I had lying around that I thought sounded good and went with it. The results were DELICIOUS! And filling! And its THREE Weight watchers points a serving. THREE!! The whole casserole was 11 but I was full after only eating a quarter of it.

Ashley's Zucchini Casserole
Serves 4. 3 WW Points+ per serving

  • 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 4oz cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese
  • seasoning salt

 Layer zucchini at the bottom of a small casserole dish. Sprinkle with seasoning salt. top with a third of the tomatoes, a third of the chicken, and a third of the cheese. Add second layer of zucchini and repeat the process. Top with the last layer of zucchini, tomatoes, chicken and cheese. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Back in the swing of things

Alrighty, so we're going to do this again! As I said in my last entry.. Life has done yet another 360 to me again. I feel like I'm starting to get into the groove of what may be my new 'normal'. Still adjusting to the loss of Matthew.. But having Javion back home (he spent some time away with family to give me time to grieve) has helped tremendously. I've quit my second job and started spending more quality time with him.

As of June 21st (my 27th birthday) I've been participating in the #100HappyDays challenge.. Which has been just that - A CHALLENGE. But I knew it was something I needed to do, especially at this point in my life. The last 6 weeks have been rough, still grieving, dealing the the stress of trying to settle things after his death, and dealing with a grieving Mother-in-law who seems to think I'm the enemy.. Yet I've been able to find at least one small thing each day that makes me happy.

Also, as of last Thursday I've officially started Weight Watchers again. Last weekend I didn't do so well and I really started on Monday of this week. We just finished a 'Burst Your Thirst' challenge at work to get us drinking more water - and I've used that to kick off my health transformation. I started the Advocare 10-day cleanse as well on Monday. I haven't set up and SET goals yet, other then I want to get into ONEderland.. (199lbs and under).

Thursday's weight in wasn't so great compared to initial 'baseline' on 7/24, BUT there were a few factors involved.. 1) I've been weighing myself in the kitchen, and the floor in there is VERY uneven. You can gain/lose 5lbs just by moving the scale over a few feet. I've moved it now into the bathroom where we've refloored, and its very even. 2) I had JUST started my period and was very very bloated and 3) I had a sodium-filled day before hand and was sure there was quite a bit of water retention there.

But moving on - So far so good! I find myself not using all my points and eating healthy! And get this ... Yesterday I actually worked out.. Like did a workout video, for the first time in at least 5 years. Honestly I cannot remember the last time I worked out. I know I was in Utah.. But even then I can't really remember. I have The Biggest Loser 2 workout DVD which lets you choose your workout.. it wasn't too bad besides all the lunges that my poor thighs could just not handle! But I did it!

Okay, well, to shorten up this entry I think I'll leave it there. I'm going to start posting some recipes that I've been experimenting with the 'skinny' them.. and I'll be posting my weigh-in Thursdays again as well. Hoping that blogging more will help me stay accountable, since I don't have Matt here to keep an eye on me!

Jun 19, 2014

Starting over.. again

Well.. Here we are. I lost weight. I got married. I let it go.

We had a rough year.. to say the least. Matthew was hospitalized a week after the wedding.. then every few months after that. From November thru April Matthew had 4 collapsed lungs needing 5 chest tubes. Matthew was admitted to Ames on Mothers Day for what we thought would be a routine visit.. When things went drastically wrong. 3 days in Ames Matthew went into acute respiratory distress. Matthew basically started to suffocate right before my eyes. We rushed him to ICU and he was put onto a ventilator. 48 hours on the ventilator in Ames and they life flighted him to Iowa City. With a miracle we got him off the ventilator.. But they kept telling us we were not out of the woods yet. Matthew had so much recovery to make. He was down to 111lbs and weaker then he'd ever been. He was oxygen dependent and constantly fought to catch his breath. His body was riddled with infections that that antibiotics could no longer fight. On Saturday June 7th they put in another chest tube as he had yet another collapsed lung. Matthew woke up early June 8th going back into acute respiratory distress. They informed me before even putting him on the ventilator, that they would most likely not be able to get him off successfully. I came in to the room to say goodbye to my husband while he was still conscious.. but he was so air hungry and distressed, I'm not even sure he knew I was there. They put him back on the ventilator and as a family we prayed. We spoke with the doctors, as we had been doing all month, about trying to get him on the list for lung transplant. Matthew was too underweight, too weak, and too riddled with infections for the transplant team to even consider giving him a set of new lungs. Towards the end of the day the doctors told us that transplant would not be an option, and now even the ventilator was having trouble keeping Matthew alive. We knew at that point that Matthew had fought enough. Matthew was removed from the ventilator at 6:00pm Sunday June 8th and peacefully faded away, surrounded by his loved ones.

My husband's funeral was June 14th, just a day before what would have been our first wedding anniversary.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this blog anymore. I want to be happy... but I dont know how to get there from here. I have been pushing forward with everything, and luckily I have some pretty amazing support groups to keep me going. My Mother-in-Law has been extremely helpful with getting all of the things settled after Matthew's death, and has even taken my son to the farm to spend a month out there with her.. to allow me some time alone to grieve.

I can't explain what it feels like to have something ripped away from you too soon. We knew that our time was short, but we never expected this. Not this soon.

I really should have a direction with this post, but I don't. Saturday is my 27th birthday and I'm planning on starting the #100happydays challenge. I feel like I need to step back and find things that make me happy in all of this. I know it will be hard..