Saturday, September 13, 2014

My week in food... and yes, it's good!

This week has been another crazy, busy, hectic week. But through it all I've been so thankful for the investment made in the Personal Trainer Food. It has TRULY kept me on track. You can't ask for meals that are more easy to prepare and convenient. I pack my insulated lunch box and a microwavable dish with me at all times and so far, I've been able to eat whenever I feel hungry. (Which is not as often now that the cravings have subsided).

Here is a sample of some of my meals this week:

As you can see, each lunch and dinner consists of a meat (I pretty much chose all types of chicken since I don't eat beef) and a veggie. All of the meats are seasoned really well and are remarkably tasty. The veggies are fresh and are yummy with the garlic sauce they provide. 

The breakfasts usually have eggs or omelets and sausage. I am not a sausage fan, but the maple sausage is the bomb!

Every night before I got to bed, I go down to my deep freezer in the garage and choose my food for the following day. Two meats, two veggies, and a breakfast. I bring them upstairs and put them in the kitchen freezer. The next morning its super easy to pack what I need in my insulated lunchbox along with a snack (also provided). If I know I'm going to be gone all day, I'll pack everything. Sometimes I add a couple of boiled eggs or a side salad (which is allowed) if I know I'm going to exercise or if I think I'm going to need more to get me through a long day.

You can add any meat or veggie or eggs that you want (if this amount of food isn't enough). But so far, I think this food is plenty. When you are eating good carbs and whole foods, I just don't think your body needs as much. Just two weeks into low-carb living, I find that I am more satisfied with my small meals and am not hungry as much. 

I still WANT sugar and bad carbs, though... but the cravings are not intense. Honestly, the first week I felt like crying everytime I was faced with a food that I can't have. Sad, huh? But now, I just look longingly at the pizza and keep going, lol.

This will all be worth it. I know I am making the best, most healthy choice for my body. I am SO ready to start losing weight again. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tune into Dr. Oz on Friday!

Remember my awesome trip to NYC a few weeks ago? Well, I can now announce that it was to tape a very short segment of the Dr. Oz Show! I'm on there for MAYBE 5 minutes, but hey... I was on TV!

The show will air on Friday (Sept 12). And I'm pretty sure it's the segment right at the beginning of the show. Dr. Oz's new season is all about getting 'Healthy' back, so that's what me and a few other women talk about. How we are getting healthy back. 

I'll blog more on the EXACT issue I talked about on the show once it airs. It's been REALLY relavent lately! 

I also just want to say in advance that I'm already getting nervous about being seen (and seeing myself) on TV. The camera adds 20 lbs. and I don't need all that! 

Oh, well. It was a great experience either way!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Meal prep for 28 days... Done!

Tonight I am ending my 7th day of low-carb living. Has it been breezy? NO. But it is getting better. I've eliminated all added sugar and "bad" carbs. All this week the only carbs I eat are fruit and veggies. And this weekend I have eliminated even further. Today I haven't even had fruit. The "carb flu" is gone, but the cravings are still there sometimes. I know it will continue to get easier.

I am excited about tomorrow because I am trying something totally new. I have invested in my meal prep for the next 28 days from Personal Trainer Food. This company often has great deals on Amazon Local and Groupon. After doing my research, I was sold. The food is not processed and is based on a low-carb diet. Basically, you're eating eggs, meat, and veggies. That's it. NO CHEATING.

The point of their plan is to replace all the "wrong" foods with all the "right" foods. If you form good eating habits and make it a routine, you will successfully lose weight. 

Hey... that's what I've been trying to do, right?

So, this is going to make things a bit easier for me. The past month has been rough... work has been super stressful. Now I have physical therapy and softball most afternoons. Not to mention getting my kids all the other places they have to go. I survived last week while still eating right, but some evenings I was starving until I could get my low-carb meal in order. 

I know that's not a good way to stay on plan and consistent. So hopefully, not having to plan or buy my meals will be the key to KEEPING on track. And I don't feel bad because I'm eating a lot of processed junk.

I got my big, HUGE, box of goods yesterday.

Honestly, it was better than I expected. The veggies look fresh and REAL. The portions look substantial. And from my online research on this company and the food, everything SHOULD taste really good. 

I completed my 24-48 hour recommended fast today, and even got in a short workout. I'm ready. I've already grabbed all of my food for tomorrow from my deep freezer and have it in my kitchen freezer ready to go. It's amazingly simple. 

Just like I need it to be. Lord knows I have enough other stuff to figure out right now!

I can't wait to tell you how this goes.

And remember, use this link to check it out for $50 off!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Size Slim - Garcinia Cambogia review

A few weeks ago, I was approached by Barbara at SizeSlim about trying their supplement, Size Slim Garcinia Cambogia, for free in exchange for my honest review. Now, before everyone freaks out... I'd heard of this supplement before when I was doing research on the Dr. Oz show (more on that later!). Dr. Oz REALLY recommended it, so watch the video on that link for all the information you need about what GC does and how it works. I compared the recommendations with the product they were offering and figured I'd give it a try. There aren't any crazy side effects listed. It really is a natural supplement.

I actually got the product before I decided to re-commit to my journey... I took it for a few days and noticed an increase in energy, but I didn't feel jittery (which is good). I fell off for about a week, but decided to start taking it again this weekend when I started doing low-carb. I've decided that I like it... I feel like I'm not as HUNGRY as I usually am when doing low-carb. Yes, the cravings are still there, but the hunger isn't. And again, I do still feel like I have more energy. I've been working 12+ hour days and I'm not wiped out (yet). 

I'm not sure about the fat burning component just yet... We will see how that goes. With any type of supplement, you really have to use it along with diet and exercise for it to work. And that's what I'm doing. This isn't a magic pill, but they don't exist anyway. I'm just hoping it will give me a boost. I need any help I can get right now.

If you're interested, check this product out at They've even offered a promo code for 10% off (SKINNYHOLLIE10). I did my research on the company... their product is priced well and meet all of Dr. Oz's specifications for good product. That has to mean something, right? :)

Day 4... Good news!

Today is day four of my low-carb/no sugar re-start and I'm already down almost 7 lbs. I wish I could say it's been easy so far, but I'd be LYING through my teeth. I want comfort food in the worst way.

My stress level is through the roof. New responsibilities at work are proving to be very overwhelming for me. I feel like no matter how much I work I just can't get caught up to where I need to be. I'm trying to stay positive but it's hard. 

I just want to eat. Lots of sugar and candy and cake and carbs. 

But I know I'd be miserable. And I'd keep getting bigger and bigger.

So I must stay on the course that I've chosen. Because at the end of the day, it's the right one for me. I know that time will make it better, and that hopefully in a week or so I'll feel much better.

I did get SOME great news yesterday. My physical therapist has cleared me to exercise again! I'm allowed to do the elliptical and some jogging intervals as long as I can do so without pain. She really made me do a lot of work yesterday with lower body weights and she said my resistance level is really good. She wants to see how adding exercise makes my knee feel. 

I have to say I'm really happy to get back to working out... I just have to get back into a routine with it. I've got 10,000 things going on in the evening so making time will be a must. But I will. Because I need desperately to get back to where I was so I can feel successful again.

I've also made another big investment to make sure that I stay on track... I have ordered a food plan from a company called Personal Trainer Food. It's not processed food... real food that includes protein and veggies. It's actually to help folks like me establish good eating routines again. It's an investment in good health and I'm excited about it. Meal prep without the prep!

Check it out, and use this link if you order (please!)

Thank for all the words of support. I'm feeling kind of low right now, but I'm very hopeful that I'll be back on the right track sooner than later. I'm so ready to make some progress again!

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1... Starting over

I made up my mind this weekend that today, September 1, 2014, would be my "new" starting point on this weight loss journey. 

I am out of control. 

Although my goals are always in sight, I have officially fallen off the weight loss wagon. Hell, I've fallen off and got run over by it.

I am not eating according to my goals at all. This past month has been rough. School started, and the stress just started rolling in. And a new job assignment (I'm still teaching) just added to it.

Did I mention that I fell and hurt my knee at work less than a week into the school year? Yeah... So I'm not allowed to do any type of exercise that I like - only the recumbent bike that I HATE! I'm not even motivated to go to the gym. 

I'm not motivated at all. I just eat. And eat some more. And I feel sick because I know I'm out of control. So it makes me depressed. And work makes me stressed out. So I eat more. Because that's always the solution, right?

Well, I shouldn't have been surprised to see this number this morning.

But I was. I've been hovering between 270 - 275 lbs all month. I DID NOT expect to be this close to 280 this morning. I was disgusted. Horrified. Discouraged. Angry. 

But also determined. I know what to do. I have cleared all the "bad" stuff out of my house and replaced it with "good" stuff. I have hopefully set myself up for a good week. An awesome week.

I know it will be hard. I'm choosing low-carb, no sugar/sweets/bread. I know this works for me... even though my food addiction tells me that eliminating food groups isn't the answer. But deep down I know that I just can't handle moderation. I need to go cold turkey and get the sugar out of my system. I am an addict. 

What works for some does NOT work for all. Why is it that we don't tell an alcoholic or drug addict to use in moderation, but we tell food addicts that it's okay? It's not okay for me. It's not. (and I will have to remind myself of this in a few days when I'm jonesing for some sugar)...

I won't post these on Instagram or Facebook right now because I'm embarrassed. But here's my new "before" pics. I know a lot of this puffiness is bloat. But I still feel awful. I'm so disappointed.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Empire State of Mind

(I wrote this on Thursday...)

Today is an exciting day. I can't go into details right now, but I am on my way to New York City for an adventure! It's crazy how fast it all happened, but I am grateful for what promises to be huge opportunity. 

Remember how a little over two years ago I got to go to New York City for Slim-fast when I was a blog ambassador for them? And do you remember how I blogged about how miserably humiliating the plane ride was? The small jet and the seatbelt extender... How my legs pressed against the seat in front of me and how I couldn't lower the tray table? And how the seat handles pressed into my thighs and made bruises... It was emotionally and physically painful. I weighed around 320 lbs then.

Well, fast forward to now. When I got my flight confirmation for this trip, I immediately noticed that this flight had also been booked on a jet. My anxiety level grew... And I prayed that even though I've gained about 10 lbs (back up to 271 as of yesterday) this flight experience would be better.

So far, so good! No seat belt extender this time. Plenty of leg room and I'm not smashed into my seat. My tray table comes down and doesn't touch my legs or belly. I was even brave enough to go to the restroom (which involved traveling down the aisle a good way). The restroom was SUPER TINY but I fit!

Who knew little things could be so huge! I mean... Fitting in an airplane bathroom, lol! But when you've been morbidly obese for the majority of your life, and when you've had painful experiences as a result, these things matter a lot.

(Flash forward to today!)

I am back from New York. I can't talk about details, but I promise to give them as soon as I have to ok! Just know that it was a great experience.

While flying back, I made a big decision. It's time for me to really, SERIOUSLY get my eating under control so that I can start losing weight again. 

More on that tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Diets Don't Work

This seems to be the new catch-phrase in my life lately.

As much as I wanted it to be the answer, the Whole 30 didn't last long for me. I tried to even ease out of it into a Paleo-style way of eating.

That hasn't seemed to work, either.

I think it's the restriction. When I start restricting my mind goes crazy. Like a switch goes off and I have an insatiable urge for everything I'm supposed to be restricting.

I tried carb-cycling for two days last week.

And then the 4th of July rolls around and I woke up wanting to have a cookout with friends. It was actually a blast, and I didn't regret anything I ate.

But the eating on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and today... I'm kinda regretting.

I am feeling like a diet failure. Again.

It's July 8 and my summer is almost over. Teacher inservices start tomorrow. I got back to work on July 25. And my 20-year reunion is August 2.

AND I still haven't lost any weight this summer.

Yes, I have maintained. I have exercised and I haven't miserably failed and started gaining weight.

But my intention was to lose weight this summer. Why can't I just lose weight?

I am over it. It's the one thing in my life that I can't get right or be content with, and I just hate that! It irritates me to no end.

I was standing in the kitchen last week griping about my diet and food and my teenaged daughter looked at me and said, "Momma, you know that diets don't work. That's your problem."

I hated to admit she was right. But I was still trying to Whole 30.

THEN another friend said the same thing a few days ago. Diets don't work. Stop dieting.

Damned if I didn't log into Instagram this morning and a friend had posted a link to another guy's account who just wrote a book with the title, "Diets Don't Work".

I think it's a sign.

My goal for the rest of the week is to just track using MFP. I went in and defaulted the goals... I am just going to try to follow what they say. I am going to try not to stress about the food. Just track.

I refuse to give up, but damn. I'm so sick of diet and weight loss right now. I just want to be normal. I just want to have a NORMAL relationship with food. I just want to see weight loss as a result of effort. I just don't want to feel STUCK anymore.

Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Not so lazy summer!

I can barely count the ways I love summer break! It's been so nice to relax, sleep in, and just take a break! 

But don't think for a minute I'm slacking on my goals... My gym sessions have been great! I'm keeping up with cardio and weight training, and I'm already seeing progress.

I'm also continuing to eat well. My SmartOnes are still keeping me on track. I actually ventured out and tried some of their breakfast items this week. The Smart Beginnings products are really good! I liked the apple and cinnamon oatmeal, but this egg and cheese english muffin sandwich was the bomb! And much healthier than what you would get at fast food joint.

My goals for the rest of the summer are to stay prepared with good meal choices and keep up with my fitness routine. It's easy to slide off track when you are at home all day, but it's not necessary! I'm keeping my freezer stocked with Smart Ones that I can grab any time of the day... breakfast, lunch or dinner. No excuse not to eat right, or to grab junk.

And if I do have a set back, I immediately wipe my slate clean and keep it moving. One mistake doesn't have to ruin your whole day! You always have the choice to eat better for your very next meal. Start fresh. Move on!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Being prepared...

Today I was looking back on the past week, and how successful I've felt as far as my diet and exercise is concerned. It hasn't been EASY, but it does seem like making good choices hasn't been such a huge struggle. What has changed?

Well, first, I think it has to do with making a decision to STOP restricting. Instead of deciding what I CAN'T eat, I am concentrating on what I can eat. I am enjoying lots of fresh fruit since several of my favorites are in season. I am also trying not to beat myself up, or obsess over the times that I choose to have a not-so-healthy option. Like the other day I had s'mores with my daughter. I had one, thoroughly enjoyed it, then moved on. It was not an excuse to throw in the towel for the day and eat crazy. It was a treat.

Another way I feel I am setting myself up for success is to be prepared. The more "good" choices I have around, the more likely I am to eat them. I have been making sure to prep fresh fruit and veggies ahead of time for grab-and-go snacks. I am trying to cook more since I'm on vacation, but sometimes with softball being almost daily, I still have to grab a SmartOnes meal when pressed for time. I'm glad I still have several in my freezer for times like those. Three minutes, and I have a great, tasty meal that is low in calories.

Honestly, since I've started eating the SmartOnes, I've all but stopped any sort of formal "meal-prep" like I used to do. I would spend hours cooking food to eat for several days at a time... But if I ever got behind or skipped a day of meal prep, I'd be in trouble because I wouldn't have anything healthy to eat. SmartOnes has really spoiled me. They are faster, less expensive, and there is way more variety. I never get tired of them... there is always a different kind if I want it.

And the most important thing? They keep me prepared. When my kids want pizza, I can eat a SmartOnes pizza (the Thin Crust Cheese Pizza is to die for!). When my kids want taco night and I'm sick of tacos (I am!), I can pop in a SmartOnes Chicken Quesadilla and still have a hot meal at the table with the kiddos. It's a win-win!

And I'm still having to share with my kids... My son loves SmartOnes almost as much as I do!

I'm so grateful that I'm finally finding ways to make this a true lifestyle for ME.

My next goal for the summer is to start trying more recipes. I've learned that variety keeps me from being bored with my food. Time to start experimenting with new things!

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with the Smart Ones brand and received compensation for my participation in the clean slate project ( However, all opinions given here are fully my own.