July 22, 2011

Favorite Foods!

Being a picky eater has probably been the hardest part of this journey. I literally despise eating most vegetables, so this means I don't touch salads (I know, bad!) but of course I'll eat a potato ANY day ;) Same with fruits, I only eat a few and I am usually particular about how I eat them.

Making sure I get myself eating correctly with the small amounts of foods I do like (most of them not being the best choices) is a struggle. Here are some of my favorite snacks/meals I've been munching on recently!

Arnold Sandwich Thins (Honey Oat) are literally amazing. 100 calories and I love them 
with peanut butter or even with my lunch meats! So, so delicious. Pictured above:

Arnold Sandwich Thin (Honey Oat) - 100 Calories
1 tablespoon Jif Peanut Butter with Omega-3 - 95 Calories
Banana - 70 Calories

Total = 265 Calories of yum!

This right here is the BOMB! My newest addiction for sure. Perfect for breakfast or I might 
just have one of these bad boys as a snack. Here's a breakdown of everything:

Wild Harvest Organic Homestyle (2) Waffles - 180 calories
Honey drizzled on top - 60 calories
Cinnamon - maybe 6 calories?
Apples - 30 calories

Total = 276 calories

My Personal Weight Loss Journey...thus far!

I know this is my photography blog, but I also want to speak on a topic of something I am very much a part of these days: weight loss! A lot of who I am and what my brand is, is about being comfortable in your own skin, taking pride in yourself and natural beauty. That's why I'd like to bring you guys into a very special personal journey I've been taking over the past three months...

It was brought to my attention that I should begin blogging my personal experiences and tips on how I'm going about my new healthy lifestyle. Keyword right there: LIFESTYLE. I'm not doing any type of "diet" and I think that is the key point to all of this being a success and staying a success.

Let me bring you back to what I like to call "rock bottom" - for those who don't know where this all started or haven't kept up with my personal Facebook...

"In the past three years, my physicality has changed dramatically - to say the least. I didn't gain weight because I had a baby or anything like that. I got lazy, got stressed and food became my outlet for just about anything. I was always the skinny girl and could eat anything I wanted to without ever noticing a difference in my body. Main reason being that I danced for the majority of my life till I was eighteen and then I stopped cold turkey. My body did not like that one bit. Moving away from home shortly after that probably didn't help much either. I slowly became lazier, and lazier. Fast food was the only food I'd eat. 

The occasions where we did have home cooked meals - I'd eat 4 servings worth. Who needs that anyways? I was eating close to 4,000-5,000 calories some days, easily. I'd also do it in 1-2 meals. I would not eat at all during the day and then once dinner rolled around, I would stuff my face with a full medium Pizza Hut cheese pizza...to myself. Maybe it was a full box of Mac & Cheese? Anything that came made for multiple servings, I would eat the entire thing. The weight was piling on and piling on QUICK.

Within three years, I gained a total of 80 pounds and pretty much doubled myself in size. Horrifically unhealthy and even gave me unwanted health problems that a young lady of my age shouldn't even have to worry about. I stand here NEEDING a change. My body is feeling the changes that have happened in the past 3 years. I am not the same person that I was. I am ashamed of who I've become. But it's time to stop feeling sorry for myself and become the person I am MEANT to be."

That was three months ago, April 2011. Here is the progress made since that point!

Starting weight: 220 pounds
Goal Weight: 140-145 pounds
Current Jean Size: 17-18
Goal Jean Size: 9-10
Weight loss goal by July 8th: 40 pounds (Lost 22lbs by 7/8/11)
Weight loss goal by October 1st: 70-80 pounds

"Ashamed to say I have still yet to loose big amounts. I started off slow, thinking I wanted to ease my body into this but at the same time I really want to see changes. After all, what's a better incentive?!

As of today I am still 216.2, but have been fluctuating like crazy. My lowest was 213 but that didn't last but a day. For the past week, I have been training myself with Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I am staying on level one for probably another several weeks, so it feels! Each time I do it though, I find myself getting stronger. I have also been using the iPhone App - Lose It - to keep track of my calorie intake + calories burned during exercising.

My new game plan is to REALLY stick to having 3 solid meals a day, plus 2 snacks during the day. I went and bought myself plenty of items which should be able to cover this. I am also going to try and work out with the 30 Day Shred, TWO times a day and see what changes may happen.  I am also thinking I am possibly building muscle? That could explain the minimal weight loss but I will admit, I have had a couple cheat days already. It's just so hard when you want to do dinner with your boyfriend at your favorite restaurant and NOT eat the whole plate like you used to :( 

Portion control, Stephanie! Portion control!"

"I'm down 9 pounds and holding steady at 211! 

I've definitely been noticing a change in myself physically. My stomach is getting smaller and my arms are definitely getting toned! Really stepped it up the past few days and hoping to keep it up. This is actually becoming something I am truly enjoying. I feel so much better about myself and it's only the beginning. I just don't know why I didn't do this sooner!

Here's to another 10 pounds!"

"So I haven't quite made it to 20 pounds but I'm pretty darn close! This is me -18 pounds! I had about a week where I completely sucked at everything: eating, exercising and sleep. I was lucky I didn't end up gaining, thankfully!

My regimen is still the same - 1,400 Calories per day (Three Meals + 2 Snacks) I try my hardest to not eat past 9pm but that's hard for me for some reason. I ended up getting a Gym Membership but immediately regretted it because I seem to be doing better on my own terms in my own space. We'll see, I'm going to try it out a bit longer!

I still don't see HUGE differences but I suppose that's because I see myself 24/7. I guess this is what almost 20 pounds looks like? I'm just ready to get into smaller jeans. Everything keeps getting stuck at my thighs. Gotta work on those!! Just keeping up what I'm doing. I love that this is becoming a part of my life vs. doing it because I have to. I still have my moments but this is all still new to me and I have to say - I am pretty damn proud of myself thus far! ♥

Thanks to everyone for the continued support. You are all amazing!! Here's to another 20!"

"I thought this would be a fun comparison shot ;) This is me -20 pounds! I guess I have gotten a bit skinnier! Not going to lie, this makes me happy and I am so glad to finally have the results staring me in the face. When you see yourself every day, you just can't tell. I'm ready for more. Bring it ♥"

"So it's my 22nd Birthday today and I've lost a grand total of 22 pounds! Not quite my initial goal of 40 pounds, but I was WAY over my head at that point ;) I'm glad to be easing into this and staying steady. I'm not fluctuating nearly half as much as I was in the beginning of all of this.

Today I decided to celebrate my slimmed down figure by getting a few new items. Not too many though, because I know I'll keep getting skinnier (yay!) It was just nice to try things on and feel a tiny bit better! This shirt I am wearing is a size Medium! YAY!! ♥ That definitely made me happy! Going to do my best and not splurge the calories during Birthday Dinner buuuut I can't make any guarantees ;) Just feeling extremely grateful today!!"

"Another fun comparison! -26 pounds ♥"

"Sorry for the crappy quality photos! I am just far too excited to share that I've finally hit the 30 pound mark!! :D Nothing like showing off the gun's, you know?

Another 40-50 pounds and I'll be set!! This goal just keeps getting closer and closer in my mind. I'm hoping to be there by January, but if not, that's okay! I'm just excited about any progress made because it's a huge step in the right direction!"

That brings me to today! Proud to say I am 30 pounds closer to my goal weight. There is no ideal "end date" when I hope to achieve my goal. I know that this is a process and it won't happen overnight. This is a completely new lifestyle for me and I'm still very much getting used to it!

I hope that this helps someone out there. I know how incredibly hard it can be, believe me. I've been the skinny girl and I've been the overweight girl. I know both mind sets and you know what, everyone feels insecure. I believe in true, honest beauty now. I probably won't ever be my 125lb skinny, dancer self - but that's not me! I'm okay with just being healthy. This is more than just a physical change for me. It's mental, emotional and most importantly I am making sure I live a FULL healthy life!!!

Keep an eye out on my blog for more detailed breakdowns of what I am doing, how I cope with the journey and just see it through my eyes. I know putting myself out there like this was something I REALLY needed to be sure about. I am so thankful that I did it. I truly don't think I would have stuck to it without the incredible support of my family & friends. I've been able to connect with so many people about this. No matter what shape or size, everyone always has insecurities. I am hoping this shows that you can be proud of who you are but also to be a strong person. I am going on a constant journey with this. I'm discovering so many new aspects of the person I am. It's truly humbling and I feel blessed.

Thank you to everyone for the constant and ever growing support! It literally keeps me going on those tough days <3 Keep up to date on the blog for the remainder of my journey!