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Jennifer Swafford

How Badly Do You Want to Fly?

Written on March 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm , by

I saw this quote on a blog I read quite often and it really spoke to me:

How does one become a butterfly?

Love, love, love this!  How many of us are stuck doing the same old thing because it is “comfortable?”  Do you think the caterpillar is miserable being a caterpillar?  No…that’s all he knows.  He doesn’t even know what is coming.

I was comfortable being fat.  I didn’t even know what I was missing.

It was comfortable to come home every day, lay down on the couch and nap for two-three hours.

It was comfortable for me to eat anything I wanted whenever I wanted.

It was comfortable for me to never exercise.

However, comfort isn’t always the best way.

I was missing out on life.  Life was literally passing me by one day at a time.

Here is a perfect example.  My honeymoon, in St. Lucia.  My new husband wanted to go hike a mountain.  Hike a mountain?  I weighed close to 300 pounds.

Pitons in Saint Lucia

Jen and Jason in St. Lucia

I wasn’t going to hike any mountain!  So, he went by himself.  I made my husband hike a mountain, by himself, on our honeymoon, because I was not physically able to do it.

Talk about missing out on life.

Now, I am a butterfly.  It is not comfortable to have to plan meals constantly.  But it keeps me on track.

It is not comfortable to have to train for half marathons.  But the feeling of accomplishment crossing the finish line is worth every second of training.

It is not comfortable to plan out all my meals, eat healthy and grocery shop and NOT eat what everyone else is eating.  But I feel so much better after making good choices!

But…you know what?  It feels damn good.  I am finally living life and loving it.

I am finally becoming a butterfly!

Are you living your best life or are you being a caterpillar who is capable of so much more?

It Sux To Be Fat Jen and Jason

Jen and her husband, Jason

Chocolate Protein “Sundae” – Recipe

Written on February 7, 2013 at 9:05 am , by

After my workout today, I wanted something other than a protein shake.  I wanted ice cream.  I was hot and sweaty and I just wanted to sit down with a big old sundae and indulge.

However, I did NOT want to undo all the hard work I had just put in on the treadmill   So, I made an executive decision.  I would take my knowledge of what is good after a workout, banana and protein powder.  I would combine these two things and make a healthy post workout snack and STILL give in to my sundae craving.

Here is what I created:

Chocolate Protein Sundae

Not only did it taste A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, but it was only 3 Weight Watchers points plus for the entire sundae!

That is fewer than my famous Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake!

You simply must try this.  You don’t even have to workout to enjoy this one.  If you didn’t just finish a workout but just want it for a treat, just eliminate the protein powder.  It will still work.  Hey…you can even get crazy and add in your own “mix-ins.”  Just make sure you count them!

Without further ado…the recipe!

Chocolate Protein Sundae

Chocolate Protein “Sundae”

Serves: 1

Weight Watchers Points Plus:  3 points plus (Plus additional toppings)

Ingredients:

One frozen banana

One scoop Chocolate Protein Powder (I use Designer Whey)

Milk of Choice (I used half and half because it was all I had)

Directions:

In a blender, food process, or Ninja, combine all of the ingredients.

Pulse until the banana is crumbly.  Mix with a spoon to incorporate.

Then, wait for the magic to happen.  As you continue to pulse the food processor, the banana will turn soft like “soft serve.”  If you find that it is too thick, add a little more milk.  I probably used a total of 2 Tbsp half and half in mine.

Scoop out, top with fat free whipped cream, light syrup and sprinkles (all optional of course!).

Enjoy the heck out of this one.  You deserve it!

Chocolate Protein Sundae

How to Choose a Weight Loss Program

Written on January 2, 2013 at 9:31 am , by

Happy New Year!

With the new year comes new goals.  Most people have “lose weight” somewhere on that list.  Some will choose to eat less and exercise and read Fitness magazine for inspiration.

It Sux To Be Fat reading Fitness Magazine

Millions of people will choose a weight loss program to help them achieve their goals.

Here are five things to remember when choosing a weight loss program:

  1. Ask yourself, “Can I do this the rest of my life?”  Any program you choose must be able to be done for the rest of your life.  If the answer is no, you are less likely to have LASTING weight loss.  Yes, you might have weight loss for a short amount of time but if you cannot stick with their plan forever, eventually you will quit and chances are you will gain some, if not all, of your weight back.  So, this is the first tip because it is most important.  I chose Weight Watchers because they have a plan that works for my life.  I know plans like Jenny Craig and Medifast have a period where they transition back into “real food” at the end of their programs.  I know Wheat Belly Diet and others like it teach you to eat to live healthier.  Just take a few minutes, do some research and find the plan that fits into your lifestyle the best.
  2. Ask yourself, “Is this program affordable?”  Another goal for many people is to get their finances under control.  If you choose a weight loss program that is too expensive, you are more likely to quit.  Find one that fits into your financial plan.
  3. Ask yourself, “Does this program have people I know that have been successful?”  You want to choose a plan that has success – LASTING SUCCESS.  If you can see others who have lost weight and maintained it for several years on a weight loss program, that is a good sign that you will find success also.
  4. Find a buddy to do the program with you.  If you can, get some support.  When I joined Weight Watchers four years ago, I went with my dad.  Each week we would go to meeting together and support one another.  It was so nice to have him there and be able to talk to one another and it helped us to stay on track.  Over the years, I have become friends with other members at my meetings and we miss each other when we don’t show up.  Accountability is important so try to find someone to join the weight loss program with you.
  5. You must remember this – The program won’t work itself!  All of the above things are great and true but if you don’t work the plan, the plan won’t work for you.  No matter which weight loss program you choose, you must be 100% committed to doing what they ask you to do.  Stick with it for at least six weeks.  If after that time, you don’t think it is working for your life, find a different program.  There are so many weight loss programs out there that work for different people.  If you are in one that isn’t working for you, don’t waste any more money.  But…you have to do the program like you are supposed to.  Whole heartedly!

I want to encourage you to choose a weight loss program.  It can be anything you choose but choose one that will make you healthier this year.  This is YOUR year.  You can do anything you put your mind to!

What is one thing you plan to do in the New Year?

Jen of ItSuxToBeFat lost 100 pounds on Weight Watchers

I successfully lost 100 pounds on Weight Watchers!

No Regrets

Written on November 6, 2012 at 10:30 am , by

Silver Comet Trail Half Marathon 2012I  recently finished my second half-marathon.

I wasn’t sure up until a week before if I was even going to do it.  I went back and forth about IF my body was ready to run another half marathon.

You see, I am a planner.  I like to make a plan and stick to it.  I had an 8-week training plan and I missed a few of the long runs.  This caused doubt in my head that I wasn’t ready.

I did two 10 mile runs on the last two Sundays and those went well.  I was slower than I had run them before but I still ran them in a decent time.

It wasn’t until the Sunday before the race that I decided I could in fact do it and I would run it.

I wasn’t going to break any personal records.  I wasn’t going to get out there and be miserable the whole time I was running.  I decided I would enjoy the race, walk if I needed to, and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.

That’s exactly what I did.

I finished about 10  minutes later than my first half-marathon but you know what, I finished.  And…I enjoyed it!

I allowed myself to go at the pace that was right for me.  I allowed myself to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and the trail I was on.  I allowed myself to just be in the moment.

And I finished.

Later that afternoon, I was sitting down having a moment of silence for the morning I had just had.  I sat there thinking, “This moment would have happened whether I ran that race or not.”  The good thing was, I was sitting in that moment with no regrets.  I did it.  I doubted it, but in the end, I did it.

I lived with no regrets.

I think this is pertinent to so many areas of life.  Things come up daily and decisions must be made.  Ask yourself next time you are making a major decision, “Will I regret the decision I make?”  Make sure you live with no regrets.

I don’t regret joining Weight Watchers almost 4 years ago.

I don’t regret doing my first half marathon or my second.

I don’t regret signing up for my fourth Gobble Jog on Thanksgiving morning.

In general, I don’t EVER regret a workout or a good health decision.

The only regrets I have are the ones where I make an unhealthy decision for me and my body.

I want to encourage you to…Live with no regrets.

 

Jennifer Swafford writes about weekly weigh ins, healthy recipes, product reviews, and weight loss at It Sux To Be Fat. Follow her journey on Twitter or Facebook as she goes through life’s ups and downs and takes her new healthy lifestyle one day at a time.

Failure to Plan

Written on September 4, 2012 at 9:54 am , by

Failing to Plan is Planning to FailOne of the major keys – Possibly THE major key to weight loss is one simple word.

P-L-A-N

In everything you do, you must go in with a plan.

First, let’s talk Food.

  • Breakfasts are pretty foolproof because there are so many options of grab and go. Even if I don’t plan breakfast, I can still be successful. I usually stick with oatmeal which is a quick two minute prep.
  • Lunches are another story. If I don’t plan my lunch the night before, my only choice is to either have the hubs bring me something or eat school food (blah…no thanks!). Lunch must be planned out and MADE the night before. If I don’t make it the night before, then I run the risk of either running late to work or not having a lunch.
  • Snacks are the same as lunches. If I don’t pack one, I don’t have one.  With my job, it is a little tricky sometimes because I don’t have the option of running out to get something. Either I have it or I do without.
  • Dinners – THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IF I DON’T HAVE A PLAN!  Sure, I can always stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up something to make. However, the reality is that I am usually too tired to think that hard. I have to have a plan. Not only do I have to have a plan, I have to grocery shop ahead of time and have the food ready and available.

This has really tripped me up this past week. I didn’t really have a plan so we ate out almost every night. FAIL!

I am going to make this one of my goals for September – Plan meals and grocery shop on the weekends for the upcoming week!

Now, let’s talk Exercise

Planning is so important when it comes to exercise. Without a plan, I tend to make excuses and do without.

My best exercise program that I REALLY stuck to was when I was training for my half-marathon. I think because it was written on a calendar, I did it. I worked out every time I was supposed to! It was awesome!

With my job, I have to plan ahead to exercise by packing my workout clothes in my car. If I don’t pack them, I have the perfect excuse NOT to workout. After I get home, I have dinner, dishes, lunches and then bed…no time for working out. I have to workout BEFORE I get home.  Without workout clothes, that is not going to happen!

For the month of September, I will be training for another half marathon so hopefully I will rock the exercise!

When it comes to being successful in weight loss, eating and exercise are your two biggest worries. If you eat right and exercise, the weight will come off.

When it comes to planning and weight loss, eating and exercise are your two biggest worries. If you plan for your eating, and plan for your exercise, the weight will come off!

Remember…A failure to plan is planning to fail. What steps will YOU take this month to plan for success?

 

Jennifer Swafford writes about weekly weigh ins, healthy recipes, product reviews, and weight loss at It Sux To Be Fat. Follow her journey on Twitter or Facebook as she goes through life’s ups and downs and takes her new healthy lifestyle one day at a time.

Find Your Greatness

Written on August 13, 2012 at 10:22 am , by

I don’t know about you but I was all into the Olympics this year.  I was really into it at the beginning when the gymnastics and swimming were going on.  The track and field was amazing too!  The speed of the runners makes me envious.  I am a bit of a slow runner so to see them running that fast is truly impressive!

One night while watching the Olympics, I saw this commercial:

Wow!  What a great commercial!  Some of my favorite points of the commercial are:

  • Greatness IS for everyone - NOT just a chosen few.
  • It is within all of us.
  • We are all capable of it.
  • All of us.

“Even me?!?  I am capable of greatness?  But I weigh over 250 pounds.  I can barely walk to my mailbox without breathing heavy.  Forget walking up a flight of stairs.  How can I have greatness?!?”

Let me repeat…GREATNESS-IS-FOR-EVERYONE!  That means you.

It Sux To Be Fat Half MarathonIf you would have told me three and a half years ago, weighing 275 pounds that I would run a half-marathon, I would have said you were crazy.  I would NEVER be capable of doing anything that great.

Oh, I am going to lose 100 pounds?!  Sure…right!  No way.  Greatness is not for me.  I am destined to be overweight the rest of my life.

Oh, now you are telling me that I am going to start a blog and have thousands of followers and people tell me daily that I am an inspiration to them?  Now you are just plain crazy!

Well…guess what?!?  All of that happened and so much more!  Like the commercial said, it was always within me.  I was capable of greatness.  Even weighing 275 pounds and taking naps on the couch every afternoon.  It was within me.  I just had to find it.

Guess what?!?  It is within you too!  All you have to do is find it!

 

Jennifer writes about weekly weigh ins, healthy recipes, product reviews, and weight loss at It Sux To Be Fat. Follow her journey on Twitter or Facebook as she goes through life’s ups and downs and takes her new healthy lifestyle one day at a time.

Sinless Cocktail Mix

Written on July 31, 2012 at 3:32 pm , by

A few weeks ago, I enlightened you to the caloric horrors of most alcoholic beverages. The good news is, there are so many alternatives out there that you can have your drink and you don’t have to feel guilty about it!

Sinless Cocktail Mix is one of those low calorie options that you can use and save lots of calories!  Here are the facts on these mixes:

  • Only 5 calories per serving
  • Sweetened with Stevia Extract
  • Sugar Free
  • Made of All Natural Ingredients
  • Comes in three flavors:  Original, Strawberry, and Sweet and Sour

So, how does it taste you ask?  Well, I certainly have a favorite!  I actually thought I would like the strawberry better than the original margarita flavor. I did not!  The strawberry was OK – just not my favorite! However, the original margarita flavor was yummy!  It definitely did not taste like it only had 5 calories per serving!  I adjusted the mix a little and did two parts tequila to one part mix and it was perfect. The recipe was so easy to make!

Their website has a whole page dedicated just to yummy recipes that you can use with their mixes! They also have a convenient store locator so you can buy some and try them for yourself! Just make sure you look in the refrigerator section of the liquor store!

Save yourself some calories and check out these sinless cocktail mixers! Have you tried them?

Now for my disclaimer – Be Careful How Much You Drink. I am a lightweight.  After a few drinks one drink, I am D-O-N-E.  Then, five year olds get to have their way with you (and your hair).  Here are the pics to prove it!


Jennifer writes about weekly weigh ins, healthy recipes, product reviews, and weight loss at It Sux To Be Fat. Follow her journey on Twitter or Facebook as she goes through life’s ups and downs and takes her new healthy lifestyle one day at a time.

How to Get Back on Track after Vacation

Written on July 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm , by

Last week was the Fourth of July and many families went on vacations and trips out of town to visit family or friends.  Many people allow themselves to “take a break” from healthy eating when on vacation.  Maybe they feel like they “deserve” a vacation from all things, including watching portion sizes and counting calories.

A few weeks ago, I was on vacation in Destin. It was a great week but I didn’t focus on my eating like I should.  This week, I am planning to get back on track and get focused once again on my goals.

Jennifer It sucks to be fat in Florida

Vacation trip to Florida. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Swafford.

If you are one of those people who tends to “take a break” from healthy living while on vacation, here are 3 ways you can get back on track after vacation (or even just after taking some time off from your healthiness goals).

1.  START – I know this seems simple but if we don’t start, or if we put it off until tomorrow, we will never start.  Tomorrow never comes!  Pick a day (today) and start now!

2.  GET MOVING – Make an exercise goal and stick with it.  When we are feeling bad from poor eating on vacation, nothing can release better endorphines than a good walk/run.  Just go at least 10-20 minutes a day and you will have a better outlook on getting back on track!

3.  TELL SOMEONE – Accountability is so important.  Tell a close friend or relative that today you are going to start eating better and exercising.  Call them each night and tell them how you did or maybe even have them call you (if we haven’t done so well, we might not want to call).  If you have an accountability partner, you are more likely to stick to the plan!

The main thing you can do is just do it.  Just go ahead and start TODAY because You-Are-Worth-It!

——

Jennifer writes about weekly weigh ins, healthy recipes, product reviews, and weight loss at It Sux To Be Fat. Follow her journey on Twitter or Facebook as she goes through life’s ups and downs and takes her new healthy lifestyle one day at a time.

Favorite Summer Drink Alternatives

Written on July 3, 2012 at 11:25 am , by

Blueberry Lime Margarita

Summer Cocktails!

Summer is in full swing! For most people, summer is spent by the pool or the beach or outside grilling with friends and family.

It also means drinking alcoholic beverages.  Nothing beats the 100 degree temps like a nice frosty beverage.

For those of us trying to live a healthy lifestyle, alcohol can pack a serious caloric punch. According to WebMD and Forbes, there are some drinks that you need to avoid at all costs due to the high number of calories.

  • Long Island Iced Tea (780 calories)
  • Margarita (740 calories)
  • Pina Colada (644 calories)
  • Chocolate Martini (438 calories)
  • White Russian (425 calories)
  • Mai Tai (350 calories)

So, the question is, “How can we still enjoy a summer cocktail without drinking a meal’s worth of calories!?!” My opinion is to try and find some healthier options to replace these favorites but still let you enjoy a summer drink.

Here are some healthy alternatives to your favorite summer drinks.  Try them and let us know what you think:

  • Long Island Iced Tea  - This recipe has 80% fewer calories and 1/3 the carbs of the traditional recipe.
  • Margarita – Fellow Fitterati, Skinnytaste has made a citrus margarita spritzer for you to enjoy!
  • Pina Colada – Fitness has given you a pina colada cooler along with eight other refreshing low calorie cocktails!
  • Chocolate Martini – This chocolate martini has only 136 calories!
  • White Russian – This alternative will only cost you 250 calories!
  • Mai Tai – This mai tai is slimmed down with only 127 calories!

If you are someone who would rather just skip the fancy drinks all together and find a solution for every day drinking, here are some tips to use:

  • Drink Wine – Most glasses of wine will only cost you between 100 and 200 calories depending on the portion.
  • Drink Light Beer – Most light beers contain the same amount of alcohol but with fewer carbs!
  • Mix your favorite liquor with diet soda instead of regular.
  • You can also mix up drinks and add more flavor by choosing flavored vodkas.

As always, before hitting the bar or the beach, make a plan.  If you can go into a situation with a plan in your mind, you won’t be making hasty last minute decisions that you will regret later on.

Above all, take time this summer to relax, spend time with friends and family, and go ahead and enjoy a few beverages.  Just try and make smarter choices so you can feel good afterwards!

 

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