10 Things That Happen When You Eat Healthy

A healthy lifestyle is something that many of us strive to achieve on a regular basis. Year after year, New Years resolutions are made to go to the gym, eat healthier and cleaner, to lose weight, quit smoking, cut processed food, or to somehow change our body’s current competition and situation making life better and healthier. Many of us want to do it, but a lot of us haven’t quite figured out how. In an effort to help inspire some change, I want to tell you about 10 (not-so) crazy things that happened to my body when I’m focused on eating healthy.

Now, does this mean I am 100% on plan all the time? Of course not. Just the other day I enjoyed 2 delicious slices of Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza, a Chicago classic, and while it’s not healthy, it was delicious and I enjoyed every bite. A healthy lifestyle means you’ve found a balance between eating healthy most of the time and figuring out how to work your indulgences into your plan in moderation. 

That being said, when I’m eating well most of the time, my body tells me, and there are some crazy things that happen when I’m on track.  Read more

Saying Farewell To Freestyle… For Now…

I know. This title is probably shocking to all of you. I’m saying farewell to Weight Watchers Freestyle?  It’s true, and while part of me is a little sad about it, I’m not actually abandoning Weight Watchers, but just the current plan. Allow me to explain. 

I love everything about Freestyle except one little detail: I’m not really losing weight! As an experiment, I took the season of Lent as an opportunity to step away from the scale and to focus on what I’m putting into my body more than the number on the scale. Healthy living is not always about the number, and I needed to regain sight of that. So for 47 days, I didn’t weigh myself. Instead, I focused on eating the right foods and staying on track. I had a few indulgences and a few days where I consumed a little bit more than I would have liked, but I tracked everything and in those 7 weeks I didn’t go over my weekly Smart Points allowance once. Not a single time! This means I stayed on track and balanced throughout the entire Lenten season.  I was really proud of this, and I was certain the scale would reflect my almost 7 weeks of effort and focus. Then I stepped on the scale on Easter morning… Read more

Easter Candy Cheat Sheet |Weight Watchers Smart Points Edition

EasterTitle

Okay friends, here’s the scoop.  As I’m sure you know by now, Weight Watchers launched a new program that completely redefined the values of our Points system.  This means that everything you knew about Points Plus is now irrelevant and Smart Points are the new Weight Watchers tracking system.  With the introduction to Smart Points came the recalculating of everything we had the PP values memorized on.  This, of course, includes our beloved Easter candy.  While I had an entire Easter Candy Cheat Sheet made up with Points Plus values (and it’s still valid for those who chose to stay on that plan), I felt compelled to write up another cheat sheet for the majority of us who transitioned to the Beyond the Scale plan with Smart Points.

Due to the nature of Smart Points, which really cracks down on our sugar intake (and for a good reason), you will notice that the Smart Points values of your favorite Easter goodies have gone up drastically.  While this is in fact a sad thing, don’t shoot the messenger.  I’m just here to tell it like it is.  I didn’t get a hold of every candy out there, but I did pick up some of my personal favorites and I wanted to share the calculations with you.  Without further ado, here’s the Easter Candy Cheat Sheet with Smart Points.

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A Different Kind of Self Care | Life Update

Self-care is a super hot topic right now, and rightfully so, as it’s a very necessary and often overlooked thing that people should be doing regularly.  The definition of self-care is “any action we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” This can be practically anything from taking a nap, spending time doing your nails, going to the gym, practicing a little retail therapy, alone time, etc. Like I said, self-care can be anything, and everyone’s definition of self-care can be very different. At the end of the day, it’s about making the unselfish decision to something to care for you and you alone. 

Self-care can often be looked upon as being selfish, but it’s actually quite the opposite.  We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” which is the truth. If your cup isn’t filled, how are you going to pour yourself out to others? As we hear in the obligatory safety video every single time we’re on an airplane “please put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” What good will you be to others if you can’t take care of yourself?  Without making a conscious effort to make sure you’re mentally, emotionally, and physically at your best, you will not be able to be of much help to anyone, including yourself. 

While I am an active participant in my own little self-care routines of at home manicures and facials, time to do what I want, lighting candles and diffusing essential oils, and treating myself to the occasional treat for no reason other than it makes me happy, I recently started on a much more complicated, time consuming, and physically demanding version of self-care, and it could quite possibly be the most important decision I’ve made in recent years. 

I started physical therapy. 

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10 Tips To Help You Bounce Back After A Gain

We’ve all been there. It’s weigh-in day, we get on the scale thinking thin thoughts, fingers and toes crossed that the number goes down, and while we can hope all we want the scale does the exact opposite and decides to tell us we gained weight this week. It’s happened to every single one of us. Trust me, you’re not alone.   This happened to me not too long ago, and it got me thinking about what I can change and do right now to help make sure the following week wouldn’t have the same result. I ended up coming up with 10 things to do to help me (and you) bounce back after we see a gain on the scale. 

 #1: Assess What Happened

The first thing you need to do is reflect on the week and figure out exactly what happened to cause your gain. Of course, there are some cases where a gain happens despite the fact we did everything “right” all week long. Perhaps we had a little too much sodium or hormones are messing with us. These situations are unavoidable and will sometimes result in a gain despite our best efforts, but these tend to be the exception when it comes to seeing a gain, not necessarily the rule. Odds are we can find something that happened in the past week that might have helped the scale out a bit. Maybe we didn’t track a whole lot of BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes), which would have added up, or maybe it was not tracking entire meals that contained Smart Points, which I know I’m guilty of.  Did you eat different, less nutrient dense foods? Is working out typically a part of a week resulting in a loss and you didn’t move as much? Just check in and see if you can figure out what happened. Then think about what you can do to turn it around.

#2: Take An Emotional Inventory

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9 Weight Watchers Instagram Accounts You Should Follow

 

I love Instagram. I spend a lot more time on there than I really should on a daily basis. While there are plenty of Weight Watchers related blogs and Youtube channels out there, Instagram actually has it’s very own WW community filled with members that aren’t necessarily blogging or making YouTube videos. While I’m on IG to help grow my own following, I love following, engaging with, and becoming friends with fellow members of the Instagram community.  While there are a ton of great accounts out there, I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you. If you’re not following them, you should be! 

9 Weight Watchers Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

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40 Things I’m Giving Up For Lent

Lent is the season of time in the Christian church that we take for reflection as we journey up to Holy Week and Easter, which is the week on which the entire Christian faith is built. For many Christians, it is traditional to give up something for Lent, something that isn’t easy to give up, as a form of fasting to grow closer in a relationship with God. Most years, I do this as well. Typically, it ends up being some food-related thing because this woman loves food. I’ve done coffee, Starbucks, chocolate (many times), and I’m pretty sure I gave up cheese one year. As I’ve grown older, giving things up has grown beyond the spectrum of sacrificing a favorite food for the 40 days. Truthfully, there are so many better things to give up. Choose to give up things that will truly help you grow as a follower of Christ and as a human being.  Sure, giving up chocolate is fine, and for many, it feels like a true sacrifice, but I encourage you to dig a little deeper and give up things that will truly help you grow.

As an example, and inspired by the 40 days in Lent, here is a list of 40 (yes, a long list) things that I will do my best to give up this Lenten season. Read more

February 2018 Goals

Well, the first month of 2018 is already gone! That went by in a flash, huh? Clearly, I’m not used to it yet because not 10 seconds ago I titled this post February 2017 goals without a second thought.  Does anyone else feel like it takes 1/3 of the year to get used to writing down the new date?

January Recap

I laid out my goals and resolutions for 2018, and so far I’d say I’m doing a somewhat decent job at reaching them. Here’s where my goals are sitting at the end of the month:

Hit goal weight: I’m down a whopping 3.4 lbs. Considering I was coming off of the holidays, a month-long vacation that included a cruise and a road trip, and getting used to the new Freestyle plan, I’m thankful I was able to lose at all.  Down is down. 

10,000 YouTube Subscribers: I’m at 6,500, with growing about 600 just this month. I’m optimistic about meeting this goal, but it will take continued work.  Read more

My Top 10 Weight Watchers Friendly Items @ Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s ranks pretty high up there on most people’s list of favorite grocery stores, and I’m no different. I often say that Trader Joe’s is my happy place. There are so many food offerings at decent prices for the outstanding quality you get. Often times they also have unique food options, which makes going to Trader Joe’s more fun than just heading to the Walmart down the road.

While Trader Joe’s had amazing food selections across the board, what I am most pleased with is how many items I find on Trader Joe’s shelves that are Weight Watchers friendly. I have an entire list of favorite things that I am sure to purchase pretty much every time I’m in that store. Since the rollout of WW Freestyle, a handful of my favorite items have decreased in Smart Points value, making it even more amazing than before.

Here are my top 10 Weight Watchers friendly items from Trader Joe’s.

Everything but the Bagel Seasoning:
If you shop at Trader Joe’s odds are you have tried this miracle spice given to us by the TJ’s gods. This magic creation adds everything bagel flavor to anything you put it on. Since I’m someone who has never eaten (more wanted to) an everything bagel in her life, I was skeptical as to if I’d like it, but since it was all the rage, I figured I’d give it a try. I am HOOKED. This blend of sesame and poppy seeds, garlic, onion, and sea salt adds an incredible flavor to pretty much anything. I use it in my eggs, my mac n cheese, on top of roasted squash, and anything that needs some extra flare. It takes things to a whole new level and I’m utterly obsessed. For 0 smart points and at only $1.99, I restock several bottles at a time because this is something my pantry will never be without. Read more

6 Free Apps I Use For Weight Loss (Other Than The Weight Watchers App)

We all know that I use the Weight Watchers app a billion times a day because I am a Weight Watchers member, but many of you have asked for suggestions of other apps that I use throughout my weight loss journey.  I tried to stick to free apps, but there are a few where the app is technically free, but you need a piece of technology to use it, which costs $, or there are optional in-app purchases. However, technically, all of these apps are free and they’re all on my phone, getting used almost every day.

Fitbit

The first (and most obvious) app I use every day is the Fitbit app. While the app is free, you obviously need to own a Fitbit device in order to use it.  I’m that person that not only uses her FitBit each and every day, but I have grown so used to it that if I forget to wear it or it dies, I feel like my steps don’t count.  Maybe that’s not exactly a healthy relationship to have with a little electronic wristband, but I love it.  My Fitbit helps me make sure I am getting the necessary activity I need every day, and it ads a gamification (*nerd alert*) element to activity.  I want to hit all of my daily goals and beat my friends! If there is any app that is as important to my weight loss as the Weight Watchers app, it’s this one.

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