Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Doing What Works for YOU!

So first off, I want to start off by saying that it is very hard to be on a weightloss journey while people around you know about it.  This is usually why I choose to not let people in my "real" life read this blog.  Lately it seems like more and more people are finding out about it, which is fine, but there is a reason why I like it to be a secret.  Mostly because I can't stand the comments and reactions from people.

Let me explain...

I have been on this journey for 2 and a half years and am still a big girl.  When people hear that I go to the gym 5x a week or eat clean (most the time) they give me a look that reads "ummmmm you're fat you must not be doing something right."  I hate those looks from people and I always feel the need to show them my before picture or let them know that I have already lost 50lbs!  It's like I have to justify myself, it's SO annoying and I should NOT feel like I have to do that.  Ever.  I especially feel the need to justify myself when people around me are talking about healthy habits and food.  I feel like whenever I chime in people are like "I'm not listening to her, she's fat...what does she know about a healthy lifestyle." SO annoying.  Maybe it's all in my head but it probably isn't.  I know that none of these people mean anything harmful, it's just the way they react.  It kinda does hurt my feelings a little.  I really need to get a better filter and stop advertising my personal journey to so many people around me...sad but true.

I wish that everyone could just understand and realize that everyone's journey is different.  What works for some people doesn't work for others and there is no "quick fix."  It's not as easy as just burning more calories than you are taking in, it's more than that (for me anyways...).  It's a mental and physical struggle every.damn.day.  I have to lose this weight MY way by doing it a way that works for ME.  That may be going to the gym 5x a week and then having an indulging meal on the weekend.  If that stalls me for a bit, then so be it.  It's what I have to do to keep going and not give up.  Realize that this is my journey and I am doing this in a way that works for me.  I wish everyone would just understand that...

Anyways.....enough of that.

So randomly on Saturday I was going through my massively overstuffed closet and came across some clothes that I haven't worn in a long time!  I realized that some of these items are from a picture that I had taken years ago.  Just for fun I tried them on and was very happy with what I saw.  These clothes were way too big for me!  They were hanging off my body and I love that feeling.  So here is a comparison picture of how far I've come..

3X Juicy Couture Hoodie
3X Old Navy tank top
Size 22 Lane Bryant Jeans
So I love this comparison because the picture at the right isn't even at my heaviest!! No clue how much I weighed but it wasn't close to being around what I was at my biggest.  For comparison, I now wear size XXL or XL in tops and size 18 or sometimes 16 in pants.  I have come a long way! Yes. I. Have.

So since this post title is called "Doing What Works for YOU!" I want to talk about what works for me.  It may not work for everyone and I am in no way telling anyone to do what I do, let that be known.  But...I am willing to share what works for ME.  So here we go.

Eating clean.  I love it. Is it hard to do?  Hell yes.  It's not hard in the way that the food tastes bad, it's more hard that it's not easy to come up with new creative dishes that don't cost $20 to make.  I am sure there are plenty of cheaper clean dishes, sooooo share them with me if you got em'. :)

What I do is usually meal prep on Sunday for the week.  I will make one large clean dish and eat it at night for dinner during the weeknights.  This is actually very important for me so that I stay on track food wise.  Some of my favorite clean meals are:

  • Chicken with avocado, tomato and red onion
  • Eggs with shrimp and avocado (sounds weird but it's good)
  • Bruschetta chicken
  • Chilli
  • This random, throw anything you got in it, pasta dish
This is pretty much all I eat all. the. time. for dinner. Haha.  I don't food prep the eggs and shrimp, that I just make if I need to make something quick for one night.  The recipe I kinda perfected this week was the random pasta dish! I have blogged about it before but I did it a little different this time.  I didn't use zucchini "pasta" because I only had 1 zucchini on hand and wanted something with more substance.  Instead I used that veggie pasta.  Here is a step by step of the dish.  No real recipe...

  • Olive Oil (maybe 3/4 cup)
  • (2) Cloves Chopped Fresh Garlic
  • Sundried Tomatoes (dry, not in oil)
  • (2) Vine Tomatoes
  • Grape Tomatoes (new addition...perfection)
  • Zucchini Chopped up
  • Baby Portabella Mushrooms (new addition)
  • Shredded Roasted Chicken (remove the skin)
  • Spinach (fresh, not frozen)
  • Feta Cheese, optional

First I add the oil and sautee the garlic in it.  Then after a few minutes I add the sun dried tomatoes.  Once those are starting to incorporate in the oil I add the chopped vine tomatoes and the grape tomatoes.  The grape tomatoes were AWESOME in this.  They plumped up and stayed whole so when you bit into them they popped in your mouth.  It was sooo good. 

After the tomatoes are cooked and starting to soften, add the zucchini and mushrooms.  It's important to make sure that the olive oil is incorporated throughout, so keep stirring. 

After the veggies are cooked and soft, add the shredded chicken and already cooked pasta (cook the pasta before you start cooking the dish).  Once the pasta and chicken are mixed in well, add handfuls of spinach. I added most of the bag because once it wilts down, it really is not that much.  Just keep mixing the spinach in until it steams up and becomes wilted. Doesn't it look pretty!? 

Once the spinach is all wilted down, it's ready to eat!  I sprinkle some feta on top and it's fantastic! You can probably use mozzarella or parmesan cheese too, whatever you like. I love this dish. Like a lot.  Adding the grape tomatoes and mushrooms really improved the taste and texture of the dish. My fav by far.  I usually eat this after the gym and it heats up really well.  It's so good!

I love eating clean and I try to make sure I eat clean dinners every night during the work week.  It's hard on the weekends and usually for lunch during the week I eat dirty little smart ones.  Does anyone have any easy clean lunch recipe ideas?  I would love to get away from the frozen lunch entrees, I know they are horrible for you but they are just so convenient.  Let me know!!! :)

I will do a workout recap for the week on Friday!  But I am doing awesome so far with my workouts this week! YES!!! :)


  1. I started a blog to help myself keep track of things while on this journey ... I don't know how many of my friends and family (or anyone *Ü*) reads it. I have put it out there that I AM really working on this again(I got to goal several years ago, but although I've stayed very active, the weight has crept back on. It's the EATING!)I'm lucky in that I've really had nothing but support. There was just a thread on MFP about friends/family not only being negative, but purposely sabotaging those trying to lose weight. It's a tough enough journey under any circumstances without having to deal with negativity or judgement!

    1. I read your blog!! I love it!!! :)

      It's so awesome that you reached goal and are working hard to get there again! You can do it! No one has time for negativity during their journey. We must surround ourselves with positive people!! <3

  2. Have you thought about mason jar salads for lunch? I was talking about these with some folks in a FB group today.


    1. Those look like a great idea!!!! I may try them! Thank you for the tip!! :)

  3. Just a suggestion for your lunch.. what about making two different meals for your Sunday prep? My best friend usually does what you do, but she uses her (ex:chili) for lunch instead of a dinner meal? You're already cooking and prepping for dinner so it would just be one extra meal! Just a thought =) Keep up your hard work!!

    Twitter: m3gar0ons

    1. That is SUCH a great idea and I have thought about doing that before! I have to just come up with something yummy to prep I guess! I should try this next week! The problem is...haha this is so dumb...but I probably wouldn't bring home the containers I bring my lunch in! Such a lame excuse but I don't have a dishwasher so the idea of washing extra dishes every day makes my lazy self cringe. BUT....I am willing to try it!!!!! Now....what to make?!

  4. Wow! That looks soooo delicious. Thanks for sharing! I may give it a go in the kitchen. =)

    I know what you mean about those kinds of looks. It's frustrating because, the people around and close to you are supposed to be the ones that you can tell, "Hey, I'm trying to lose weight." So you've got someone to encourage you right? But now I just clam up because I have gotten a few judging looks whenever I ate anything unhealthy. Or ate anything, period. =( It's really sad how people can be so judgmental of others.

    1. If you try it, you have to let me know how you like it and if you have any suggestions to make it even better!! :)

      It's really sad because we should be PROUD to be on this journey! Which...I am proud but not proud enough to yell it from the rooftops. Even one negative comment out of 100 is enough for me to keep this journey to myself! Sad but true....but we have our internet friends for support! RIGHT?! :) xoxo

  5. That looks SO good. I think it would be a healthier alternative to some of the pasta dishes I eat (problems of being an Italian haha).

    Your look so pretty in both your pictures, but despite smiling in the before picture I think you look happier in the after.

    1. It is soooo yummy!!! I eat the sameeee things alllll the time so I am so glad I found this pasta concoction! Try it! And the best part is you can pretty much add anything you want to it!! That's what I did! :)

      And thank you for your kind words! I am a completely different person now than when the before picture was taken! I am def 100% happier! xoxo

  6. This is such a very healthy recipe. I've never tried making pasta salad before because my family loves white sauce, or red sauce, lasagna. etc. I think, it's now time to prepare new meal for them. Let's see how will they react to this. HA HA

  7. I can completely relate to you on how people react when you tell them you eat healthy even though you're not a size 0. I have been into healthy eating for years now, but the only problem is I eat A LOT of good stuff! And that is my problem. I struggle with portion control and how much I eat every day even though I never eat fast food and always try to make my own healthy food. It's as if I can't be taken seriously. I look at skinny people who are sick all the time and then at myself, someone who is overweight but am never sick and consider myself very healthy. But at the end of the day I keep doing what I do and working on that goal.

    1. I totally agree with you on everything you said!!! I sometimes have a hard time controlling my portions! I always think "hey...it's healthy so I can have a whole avocado!" But then you realize you ate more than a serving just because it was a "healthy" choice. Ugh!! I have that problem as well! Weight watchers has defiantly helped me with the potion control part...but obviously I still struggle with that a bit. Something to work on tho..right? xoxo

  8. I love your blog, it gives me so much inspiration :) I'm starting my own journey (again) as well.

    I hate that even though you loose weight people will always judge you. I will never be a size 0, people should just except it as I have already! :D

    1. Awww thank you so much! Good luck on your journey!! YOU CAN DO IT!!! Do you have a blog? I would love to follow!

      Ugh people will always judge...so annoying!

  9. Thanks, luck is always needed :) Yup started it yesterday, will post more today hopefully :)


  10. Great entry, Julie! The pasta and veggie mix sounds delicious!

    I do a lot of different things for clean lunches. Here are some of my go-to items: thomas light multi-grain english muffin with deli turkey meat, lots of veggies, and a little hummus for a little zest. GREEK YOGURT! I love the stuff and eat it a lot, always non-fat and sometimes with fruit on the bottom, other times I mix in fresh or frozen fruit. I also bring fresh fruit and sliced veggies (sometimes with some hummus as well). There are even single serving 1-min brown rice containers at the grocery store. And none of these require any dishes and minimal prep time. Hope these help!

    1. Thanks Colleen! Those are great ideas!! I need to use hummus more. Those ideas seem so much easier than making like a huge meal prep and putting in tupperware!!! Thanks love! xoxo