Fatty Confessions: Let’s Be Honest

I feel like sometimes I need to be completely honest to a public audience in order to make some progress. Today I’m going to talk about the fatty things I’ve done. In no particular order and some more recently than I’d like to admit. I feel like if I can be honest about what it took for me to get to my heaviest and others can relate, then maybe I’ll be even more ready to move forward towards the best shape of my life!

Here we go:

  • I used to sneak left over cake from the breakroom at work by putting it into my coffee mug
  • I’ve made nachos with nacho cheese doritos and put so much cheese on them that the chip has broken when I lifted it up
  • When I throw anything away that I might want to eat later, like baked cookies, I have to not only throw it in the trash but then pour ketchup over it, because yes, I WILL grab something out of my own trash and eat it if it’s sitting on top
  • I’ve eaten an entire mini bag of goldfish in one sitting
  • I’ve eaten until it hurts and then kept eating
  • I’ve spread frosting on graham crackers
  • I’ve melted an entire cube of butter and poured it over popcorn
  • I’ve made cheese “fondue” by merely melting cheese into a pot and then dipping anything and everything into it lol
  • I’ve had dinner and THEN went out to dinner with friends
  • I’ve eaten an entire thing of Ben & Jerry’s
  • I’ve went to three different drive thrus for food at once because I wanted multiple things
  • One time I somehow ate half of a cake by continually eating “just a bite” with a fork
  • One night I made bacon and cinnamon rolls for dinner, no really, like I baked cinnamon rolls and then had bacon on the side with them O_o

These are probably my most embarassing food moments. Jenna Marbles also has a great video I’ll post below that has me dying laughing. Truth is, we’re all human and we’ve all done things we’re not proud of. Sometimes people joke with me that all I eat is carrots but that is FAR from the truth, I’ve still got a ways on my journey and I have and still will make a lot of mistakes. Keep going!! We can all do this!

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Sleep: The Ultimate Variable in Your Success

Everyone knows that sleep is important, really important. I’ve covered this topic in a past post as well, but what really happens to our bodies and our minds when we don’t get enough sleep? And how can we really make the effort to get enough on a regular basis?

Let’s be Honest

Chances are you’re not getting enough sleep. Now that we can all admit this to ourselves we can move forward. Simply “going to bed” can often mean getting into bed and watching Netflix for 3 hours, exploring Pinterest on your phone, or playing the YouTube game where one cat video leads to another….and another….and….you get it.

What Happens to Your Mind. The American Pyschological Association also lists symptoms here.

  • Unable to multitask
  • Irritability and moodiness sinks in
  • Easily distracted
  • Slower speech and information recognition
  • Lack of empathy and lowered emotional responses – you know, when it looks like you’re not listening or caring and people ask “you tired?”
  • It’s hard to remember things
  • Lack of concentration
  • Persistent clumsiness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Increased stress

What Happens to Your Body. As if the emotional and mental symptoms above aren’t enough, our body also goes through a number of chemical responses and processes when we do or don’t get enough sleep. Our bodies are triggered to release hormones at different times of the day and many of them when we sleep. Children especially need enough sleep to allow growth hormones to be released efficiently. The protein prolactin is also released during sleep which aids in immune system regulation and cell growth and cell cycle proceses, which down the line help aid in water and salt balance within the body.

Ever notice how hungry you feel after a restless night? That’s because hormones that help regulate our appetite and glucose levels are often released while we sleep. I’ve touched on the roles of ghrelin and leptin before but mostly we can take note that ghrelin is the hormone responsible for our hunger and instense cravings, it’s the meal initiator, while leptin is the hormone known for balancing your bodies energy stores, it’s also referred to as the fullness hormone as it triggers your brain that you are done eating and satisfied, it’s the meal ender.

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Common Myths about Sleep

  • Everyone needs the same amount – actually people can differ in the amount of sleep needed. Most adults need 8 hours of sleep to function properly but some can avoid most symptoms listed above after 6 hours, while others really need 9 or 10. Take time and note of the balance you need.
  • The older you get the less sleep you neednot true. Throughout your adult life you will still need the same required amount of sleep, however, it may be more difficult to sleep straight through the night like you could when you were younger.
  • Quantity over quality – I have to point out that just because you got 10 hours of sleep doesn’t always guarentee you’ll feel super rested. The Quality of our sleep matters, too! It’s important for our bodies to get into R.E.M. sleep or rapid eye motion. This is when our brain is super active and cells are regenerated in our brains. Just because YOU are asleep doesn’t mean parts of your body shut down. Think of your brain as a puppy that’s at home all day while you’re awake and its just WAITING for you to go to sleep so it can go outside and run around.
  • You can easily adjust to a new sleep schedule but staying up late or sleeping in much longer false. The body CAN adjust to a new sleep schedule over time but only at a rate of about 1-2 hours per day. That means if you’re about to work a night shift from a regular 9-5 day, it’s going to take your body some time before you feel “normal” and rested again.

My Experiment

Yeah – I lost sleep over my blog for you guys – ok not entirely true – but for the past week I haven’t been getting enough sleep. I get up around 4:30 every morning to hit the gym, yes I am crazy but I also don’t know my own name until after I’ve chugged a cup of black coffee – thank god for self starting coffee pots. This past week I wasn’t going to bed until 10, sometimes 11pm. Yeah, that’s maaaaaybe 5 1/2 or 6 hours of sleep a night. YIKES! Here’s what happened:

  • Mentally drained and exhausted
  • Moody and irritated – just ask my boyfriend
  • A complete lack of emphathy or symptahy – I’m pretty sure “suck it up” was my motto during this past week
  • Complete absense of motivation
  • Excuses GALORE – suddenly all my long-term and short-term fitness goals were now “unrealistic” and “unnattainable”
  • EXTREME hunger throughout the day especially from 3-6pm, my stomach ACHED and I couldn’t eat enough after I got home
  • Sugar cravings – had you presented me with a cake, I would have punched a baby penguin to eat the entire thing
  • Fast food cravings
  • Depression – after about the 4th day, I was ready to give up on everything, my diet, working out, I just wanted to go drink beer and was already planning happy hours in my head

Then last night I actually got enuogh sleep. Today is like a WHOLE NEW WOOOORLD!! My motivation is back, I’m ready, I WANT to eat healthy and I’m not starving like crazy after all my healthy snacks.

Realistic Ways to Get Enough Sleep

So now that we’ve went over some of the science and personal experiences of sleep deprivation, how can we all realistically GO TO BED ON TIME??????

Here are my suggestions:

  • Set a time to GET into bed – if you know you like to spend 30 minutes shooting aliens on your phone, then alot the time for it
  • Go to bed around the SAME TIME every night – yes even on the weekends, try not to venture too far off from your normal routine. When I stay up to 1am on a Friday night, it doesn’t seem to matter how much I sleep in, my body is exhausted and confused
  • Do things that make you tired an hour before bedtime – read a book, light candles, take a bubble bath, listen to soothing music, brew some tea, get away from computer and TV lights, let your mind calm down from the busy day.
  • Be strict – it’s easy and certainly ok every now and then to make an exception and head to a late event on a weeknight, but if you do this all the time, you won’t be alert or happy the next day.
  • Keep track of how you feel when you DO get enough sleep – sometimes the motivation around bedtime can be hard. We have the night self and the morning self. Getting in the habit of going to bed even when you don’t want to will make hearing that alarm clock in the moring less awful.
  • Look for apps to help track your sleep and monitor your Circadian Rhythm

Healthy French Toast Under 300 Calories!

Who doesn’t love French toast on the weekend?! I’m always trying to find sneaky ways to still eat my favorite foods. I created an easy French toast recipe that will leave you full, satisfied, and not even missing the syrup!

What you’ll need:

  • Strawberries
  • Low-cal cinnamon raison bread (I used Safeway brand at 60 calories a slice)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • Powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • unsweetened almond milk
  • cinnamon
  • ground cloves

You can either make up a big batch – the amounts above are for one serving (2 pieces of french toast)

Directions:

  • Heat up griddle pan to med heat
  • Mix egg, almond milk, cinnamon, ground cloves, and vanilla extract into a shallow dish (I just do a dash of the spices and eye ball the almond milk)
  • Dip each piece of bread into mixture, coating both sides and cook on griddle
  • Mix up sliced strawberries with 2 tsps of powdered sugar

And VOILA! You have an amazing breakfast you won’t feel gulty about at only 275 calories!

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Working Out: The Perks We Forget About

It’s so easy to stay in the negative when we aren’t in the shape we want to be in. We make excuses, we say it’s too hard, we complain of being so tired, depressed, and unenergetic. There’s NO WAY we could possibly committ to a daily workout, especially BEFORE we start our day.

But we forget (and so easily, too) how amazing it does feel to BE active and to STAY active.

People often say “I just ran out of motivation” and believe me, I used to say the same thing. Then I realized that waiting to do something or start something until you WANT to do it is never going to get you anywhere. If I only did things based on when I FELT like it, I’d never go to work, I’d never get out of bed before 9AM, I’d be completely and utterly unaccomplished and bored with myself.

We have to CREATE motivation, strength, and determination. These are outcomes of our own internal assessment and self growth.

Here are some things I started doing lately and the after effects:

  • I started drinking LOTS more water (close to 100 oz a day) and now I WANT to drink more water all the time, in fact, I’m thirstier
  • I started doing 5am cardio and now I go to bed on time WANTING to wake up and workout all over again
  • I started putting fuel into my body instead of sludge to merely keep me alive and now I CRAVE healthier food
  • I stopped drinking alcohol when I was depressed or had a rough day and instead I go on a walk or a run and guess what, I FEEL better
  • I never let myself go more than 2 days without working out, even when I’ve had bad food the same day, and now I find myself craving bad foods less!

I now SLEEP harder, think DEEPER, SEE further, and feel BETTER.

But why is it so easy to forget this when we dive into a plate of nachos Friday night and then somehow don’t come up for air again until Monday morning when we feel defeated, exhausted, and mentally drained from guilt?

We have to keep track of how things make us feel. We have to REMEMBER what makes us feel GOOD, what makes us feel ACCOMPLISHED, and sexy!

Trust me, there are perks to the hard work it takes to lose weight and get your body into shape. This is a continual journey for more than just abs, it keeps your brain active and alert and aids in the complete, all-encompassing joy that is your life.

Don’t give up! You GOT this! Get it!

A look into my early start today….

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Body Image And Comparing Yourself to Others: Why It’s Not Worth it

I have written posts before on body image before. I’ll link some of them here:

But today I ran across a post that really spoke to me and I’ll be reblogging it below. I think it is SO important to stay on top of our mentality and outlook when it comes to our bodies and continually work to be at a mindset where you can love your body. But it’s true that sometimes the thoughts and expectations of others can hinder our own thoughts. Frances is a Seattle blogger who speaks her mind and does nothing less in this post. Please make sure to visit her blog here and read her other posts.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

 A high school classmate of mine posted something on Facebook today comparing herself to a well-known and extremely thin celebrity. The gist of the post was why bother competing if we have already lost. It is a very good question but it got me thinking about body image and the way we view ourselves as women.
 
I don’t think any female wakes up every day and thinks she is supposed to look like Barbie or Kim K or Gwyneth Paltrow. I do, however, think we wake up every day and are told that we should want to look this way. This puts us in this weird middle place where we know that the whole world is not judging us on a daily basis, watching the number of calories we take in, the number of hours we spend in the gym, and how flattering our outfits are on these rock hard Pilates bodies. No. We might be judged by the people we know, our friends, family, coworkers; and we might be judged in passing by strangers we walk by in the mall or at a restaurant, but in general we do not experience the same type of scrutiny to always look amazing as celebrities do, and yet we feel we should put ourselves through that experience.
 
Most days after showering I look at my naked body in the mirror and I see some really positive things. I have great collar bones, my back is really nice, I have a stellar ass, my legs are long and toned (even if there is a tiny bit of cellulite). But I also seem to focus on the negative aspects of my body. My stomach is not flat, my hips are too large, I have back fat that cosmetic surgeons refer to as flanks (I know this from looking up liposuction), my breasts are too small, the backs of my arms are not as toned I would like them to be, my nose is slightly crooked, my upper lip is too thin, my eyebrows are different shapes, my ankles are too skinny, and so on. Yet, with all of my imperfections, most days, I look in the mirror and can overlook the things I hate about my body. I can put on clothes and know they flatter my body. I can walk out of the house with my head held high and know that I look good.
 
The paparazzi don’t follow me around every single day, and I think that helps my self-confidence, living in the PNW doesn’t really hurt it either. But I guess my point is, who decides what is beautiful and why do we all expect to fit into the same box of beauty? Why do we even want to? We all have different hair color, eye color, skin color. We come in different shapes and sizes, so why are we trying to force ourselves to change? Of course, I am not saying to accept being overweight, or people shouldn’t get cosmetic surgery if that is what they really want, but I am saying that striving to look like a celebrity is ridiculous. Those women are paid to be beautiful whereas the rest of us are paid to show up to work every day and perform our job duties. Sure, being pretty helps me in my profession of slinging margaritas, but my job is not to be pretty.
 
Comparing ourselves to knockouts such as Jennifer Lawrence is like comparing ourselves to aliens. We seem to forget that we do not live in the same world as these beauties. Sure, we might inhabit the same planet, but we are not actually competing with them. I wake up every day having no fear that my boyfriend might one day leave me for Angelina Jolie, partly because he has never done a movie with her, but also because it is never going to happen. We spend so much time worrying about how we look and wondering why the girls that grace the covers of gossip rags have these perfect bodies while we slave away trying to maintain a reasonable BMI that we forget these starlets are freaks of nature. We forget to look around the grocery store and see the women we are actually competing with, and usually against those women, we are safe.
 
But the bigger problem is that we seem to forget we are more than just our outside appearance. For all of my physical flaws, I am pretty fucking awesome. I am smart and creative, I dance and laugh at myself, I make my friends and family laugh (usually at my own expense), and generally I am a pretty cool chick. So, while being pretty might be what gets me free drinks, being rad is what makes guys, friends, family, strangers, whoever want to continue a conversation with me. That has to count for something, and honestly I think that has to count for a lot more. I was born with this body type. I came out of my mother’s womb destined to have a pear shaped body and be mistaken for a lesbian throughout my formative years, I cannot change that. Being awesome is something I had to groom, not a lot because I was also born pretty freaking awesome, but it has been honed, slightly. That is what I think we should be focusing on. Not who looks the most like some famous actor or singer, but who can hold a conversation and have an original thought and make a joke and laugh at themselves. Maybe if we started focusing more on those things we would be jealous of how funny or smart a celebrity is instead of how thin or large breasted. And maybe it is just me, but I would rather look up to a smart person than a pretty person.
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If you have a personal story or body image perspective you want to share, please let me know! I’d love to help share your thoughts.

Easy and Healthy Frittata Recipe Under 170 Calories per Serving

164991_10100477385722240_1543516758_nIt’s spring time and easy recipes are always on my agenda. I’ve made plenty of breakfast casseroles in the past but they are usually filled with fat and cheese (delicious) but not accomodating to my waist line. So I whipped up this easy recipe while back that is so easy, healthy, and delicious you just might want to make it every week! I’ve also decided to start posting on a weekly basis (probably every Wednesday) to keep a steady stream of info out to you guys and not go MIA for months at a time anymore!

Ingredients:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 8oz of ham or turkey breast
  • 3-4 cups of fresh spinach
  • 6oz crumbled feta cheese (typical package size)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray
  • Beat eggs in large bowl until well blended
  • Add in crumbled feta and stir
  • Chop up meat into bite sized pieces and stir into mixture
  • Add in 3-4 cups spinach and blend
  • Pour mixture into baking dish
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until middle can be poked with a knife and come out clean

When you pour all of the ingredients into the pan, it will look like there isn’t enough egg mixture to soak the spinach but trust me, as the eggs rise the dish will come out perfect!

You can eat 1/8 of the frittata for 168 calories or 1/4 of it for only 336 calories! My boyfriend LOVES this and wants me to make it all the time. Also a great post-workout snack. You can make it ahead of time and eat it all week, too!

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In the picture above I also made a side of sliced bananas and blueberries for a yummy morning treat.

Enjoy!

Guest Post: Enjoy a Healthy Vacation by Remaining Nutrition-Minded

Cole Millen is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.”

appleWorking hard all year long to prepare your body to look great during vacation is a big effort that will reward you with looking and feeling terrific.  When many people go on vacation, they are surrounded by amazing foods that can quickly begin putting the calories back on.  To avoid this happening, consider trying out new things when it comes to your snacking and dining out options during your vacation.  You’ll discover you can maintain your current weight while also still being able to experience great foods that are healthy and satisfying.

Pack Snacks to Ward off Hunger Cravings

Packing nutritious snacks is one of the best things you can do to keep from splurging on fatty foods such as potato chips, candy bars and ice cream.  If you are going out shopping for an afternoon, consider packing dried fruit, homemade granola bars, nuts and fresh fruit.  A bag of grapes or apples will be a great thing to take along with you to the pool or the beach to get you through the afternoon until suppertime.  These are also great items to feed your family during the day without giving them foods that are loaded in sugar.

Picking the Right Hotel

Often times picking the right hotel is overlooked in your plans for staying healthy. This can be a big mistake considering it is one of the most important aspects of a healthy vacation. It is pivotal to ensure that your hotel selection can accommodate to the healthy lifestyle that you are trying to embody while you are away from home. Make sure that the hotel offers the amenities that are most important to you in helping. On a recent trip of mine I went to Sin City and found a great site that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding both their amenities and offerings as well as the restaurants in the area. This allowed me to plan out which restaurants I would be able to visit as well to eat both nutritiously and deliciously.

Pack Your Crock Pot and BBQ Grill

You may have never thought about packing your crock-pot to take with you on vacation.  If you can make a humorous adaptation to the motto, “Have crock pot, will travel,” you might be surprised to discover how creative you can get with your meals during vacation.  Traveling with a crock-pot is especially handy if you are traveling with your entire family.

Feeding a whole family at a restaurant for every meal can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars a day.  By taking your own basic cooking staple, you can choose to prepare healthy meals that simmer all day while you are out enjoying your vice.  When you get to the hotel in the evening, your meal will be ready!  If you are going on a more rugged type of vacation, leave the crock-pot at home and bring a miniature BBQ grill so you can roast vegetables and fish for you meals.

Watch Out for Food and Menu Labels

For the times you do choose to dine out or stop at a store to pick up some groceries, be sure to check the food labels.  If you consider purchasing a fat-free salad dressing, make sure you pay attention to the sugar content on the label.  Fat free items are often still packed with a lot of sugar and this can add on extra pounds without you even knowing it.  One salad dressing option you might consider is using a homemade salad dressing consisting of a combination of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings.  Greek yogurt is another healthy topping to add to a salad to give it a delicious flavor without all the unnecessary calories.

If you would like to write a guest post or have a topic you’d like me to write about please email me at sarah.rose.scott@gmail.com