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Weight Loss

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!

Running (or Walking) Your First Race

Written on November 7, 2012 at 9:57 am , by

Running or walking your first road race can be intimidating, especially if you have never been to a race before and don’t know what to expect. I’ve been running races for a couple of years now, everything from 5K’s and 10K‘s, to half- and full-marathons, and I still get nervous about each one of them! But there really is no reason to worry. I will (hopefully) ease your mind about your first race.

Choosing a race—I had no idea how to go about looking for a race at first. Now, I like to go to Active.com to search for races near me. I look at the location and date, obviously; but I also look to see if the race is timed (“chip timed” means that you wear a chip on your shoe or bib to determine your exact racing time), if there are t-shirts and/or medals included, and what the course looks like (Hilly? Flat? Dirt trails? Closed roads? Etc.) These are all personal preferences, but I always like to make sure the race is timed and that I get at least a t-shirt for my race fee.

Once you have chosen a race, you can usually take advantage of “early bird” specials, which means the cost is cheaper if you sign up further in advance.

The Expo/Packet pick-up—Depending on how large your chosen race is, there may be an Expo you can attend. This is where you will pick up your “packet” (bib with your number on it, race shirt, and anything else the race wants to give you); there are also vendors from running –related companies that have booths set up where you can shop. You can find everything from GU gel packets to running clothes and shoes to headbands and bumper stickers. Usually the Expo will be the day before the race.

At the Expo for the Detroit Marathon, in front of a map of the course

Preparing for race day—I like to get my outfit laid out and ready to throw on the morning of the race. You may want to pin your bib to your shirt; charge your iPod and/or running watch; lay out your shirt, pants/shorts, socks, shoes, hat, etc; and double check to make sure you have everything. I also like to make sure I drink plenty of water the day before a race so that I am well-hydrated. If you’re doing a longer race, then you may want to eat more carbs than usual for a few days leading up to the race. You also will want to make sure you know where to go on race day—where to park, how to get to the starting line, etc.

The morning of the race—I set my alarm to wake me up about an hour and a half before I have to leave, so there isn’t any rushing around last-minute. I leave early enough so that if there is traffic, I won’t be late. Sometimes I get to races much too early, but I’d rather be early than late. Once you park, you can go use the bathroom, walk off nerves, or stand around at the starting line.

The race itself—Larger races will usually assign you a “corral” at the starting line, based on your projected finish time. The faster people in the front, slower people in the back. If there aren’t corrals, you should try and put yourself where you think you may line up (if you’re running five minute miles, go to the front; if you’re walking, go to the back; somewhere in-between, just try and make your best guess).

The announcer will usually tell you how many minutes until the start. When the gun sounds, it may take a couple of minutes to get to the actual starting line (it has taken me anywhere from one minute to 30 minutes to get to the starting line—depending on how big the race is). Once you cross that line, your “chip” will start your personal timer, and you can go!

The most important advice I can give you is to not start out too fast. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, and feel like everyone is passing you, but just stick with what you’re comfortable with. At my first race, I could have sworn that I saw thousands of people passing me, and I felt panicked. But chances are, you will not be last—and even if you are, so what? You’re doing a race, which is a fantastic accomplishment!

During the race, there will be water stations with volunteers handing out water or sports drinks. It’s up to you whether to walk through them, run through them, or not stop at all. I can’t drink from a tiny cup and run at the same time, so I walk for about five seconds and throw it back, then start running again. I always make sure to say “thank you” to the volunteers.

When you get to the finisher’s “chute” (the last part of the race before the finish line), make sure you look up and smile, because there will usually be a photographer taking photos as you cross. Once you cross the finish line, there will probably be water and snacks for you to grab, and possibly a spot to get your photo taken.

And that’s it—congratulations! I can almost guarantee that you’ll be looking up your second race as soon as you get home.

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.

Fitterati Links: Kale Soup Recipe, Natural Childbirth, and Wearing White After Labor Day

Written on August 27, 2012 at 10:30 am , by

Kristin shares a delicious recipe for Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup. Yum! —Iowa Girl Eats

Kristin shares a delicious recipe for Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup. —Iowa Girl Eats

What a few of our Fitteratis have been up to…

Kale soup image link not working for you? Try this one.

Non-Mileage Fitness Goals: Set ‘Em!

Written on August 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm , by

Most runners LOVE to keep count. We track miles, minutes, and maybe even calories burned. But numbers can drive us crazy, too.

I think it’s important for runners to also set non-mileage goals because – trust me – you can’t always be increasing mileage and speed.  Even if you’re not prone to injuries like me, sometimes life gets in the way. Work ramps up or a new baby arrives. And sometimes, you just get burnt out on running and need time to focus on something besides the numbers.

When it comes to setting non-mileage fitness goals, I think it’s important that the goal is somehow quantifiable (or, in the very least, you decide in advance how you’ll know you’ve achieved it). Here is a list of non-mileage goals, some of which I’m currently working towards myself:

  • Train yourself to do a certain number of push-ups or sit-ups.
  • Do a plank for a certain amount of time.
  • Take a 30-Day Yoga / Zumba / Whatever-Floats-Your-Boat Challenge:  The key with long challenge like this is to build in room for error. Instead of saying you’re going to go to yoga for 30 straight days, say you’ll do 25 yoga workouts over 30 days.
  • Learn how to do indoor rock climbing.
  • Take dance lessons.
  • Learn to do a headstand or crow’s pose.
  • Become more flexible (for example, touch your toes or go into a split).
  • Increase arm strength to the point where you can do a chin-up (or two).
  • Regularly meditate.
  • Learn how to swim.
  • Start cycling for distance.
  • Bench-press a new weight.
  • Go for a walk every night before dinner.
  • Last through an entire hot yoga class without having to take a break.
  • Do all your housework to music and dance to the beat.
  • Stand up every 30 minutes and walk around your office.

I also think it’s a great idea to set non-mileage, non-fitness goals during injury, such as reading a new book each week or learning to sew.

What non-mileage goal are you currently working towards? 

Caitlin blogs at Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  You can follow her on Twitter at CaitlinHTP. Her second book, a guide to healthy living, was just released this past May.

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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