Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Update and more Smart Ones reviews!

I am not even mad that I'm still not doing my usual meal-prepping. I told a friend just yesterday that I am still enjoying my Smart Ones meals every day for lunch. It's so convenient to grab and go each morning. NO EXCUSE not to have a good, pre-labeled meal at school. I have ventured out from my usuals lately and have three more favs...

This one I especially like because it tastes like a loaded baked potato! Nice and cheesy!

A week or so ago I decided to get really strict with weighing/measuring my food and counting calories again. Today is day 10 and I'm already down about 9 lbs to 255.3 as of this morning. I find that if I stick to the Smart Ones for lunch (and sometimes dinner) because the calories are already counted, then weigh/measure everything else I will get an accurate number. I found that I had to admit I was guestimating a lot more than I thought. Classic portion distortion. I don't feel like I'm eating less, but I do feel like I'm more aware and making better choices.

Last weekend I attended a church wedding for the first time in my life. My kids and I had a great time, and I wore a red dress that's been hanging in my closet for 5 years. I briefly wore it back in 2009 after my divorce on a girls trip with my besties. Soon after the trip, it was too tight. But this weekend, it fit well and I felt really good. 

Small choices definitely add up. I will keep pushing forward!

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.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Staying the course...

If there is one thing that I've learned on this journey, it's that preparation is key to success. I knew that this first week back to work would be hectic, so I made sure I had plan as far as what I would be eating. I didn't have time for my usual meal prep this weekend, and honestly, I just didn't want to. I'm tired of the usual "healthy" meals that I can fix ahead of time. So I headed to the grocery and stocked up on Smart Ones entrees. They were on sale this week for under $2, so I'm thinking I probably even saved money by going this route.

Now, my favorite is the Three Cheese Ziti Marinara, but I actually grabbed a few other kinds to try... just for variety.

I really liked the Mini Rigatoni with Vodka cream sauce. Definitely a new favorite!

I also like the Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans. Another one to add to my list.

My exercise has been great this week, so now if I can only stay the course and eat a sensible dinner each evening I'll feel so good about things, even if the scale isn't moving. I know I'm making healthier choices, and I'm TRYING and not giving up. I have to believe that the sum of all my efforts will eventually add up to something great.

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.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Loving me...

Even though people warn you otherwise, one still has a delusion that if you lose enough weight that you will magically love yourself and that everything will turn out perfect in your life.

If you can only lose the weight, you will be pretty and you will be confident. That perfect person will gravitate to you because the universe is so pleased with your progress. Life will be so good if you lose the weight!



You will be the same old person you've always been if you don't change on the inside.

I know that feeling. Because even though I'm 60 lbs lighter than I was, I am still the same old mess on the inside that I've always been.

It gets so old sometimes. So frustrating. Why can't I figure it out?

I see people with loads of confidence that radiate self-love and I view them in awe... how does that feel? How do I get that?

I try to say self-affirming things. I try to be positive and grateful for the good things in my life. But at the end of the day, it's all bullshit really.

Because I don't love myself. I've just got to the point where I like myself enough that I'm trying to figure it out. But self-love... it's elusive.

It's so much easier (for me) to find someone else to do that FOR me. I go from bad marriage to bad relationship, to another bad relationship because I want so badly to feel love from SOMEONE. Even if it's fake and temporary. Because that's better than nothing, right?

Because right now, I am feeling lonely and depressed. And when I'm lonely and depressed I start making contact with people that I shouldn't. Because any attention is better than none. Maybe they will love me this time, right? And even if they don't, they can lie to me long enough for me to feel some sort of validation.

Before it's over. Again. Because there is a reason that they're not in my life anymore.

The cycle continues. I'm insane, I know.

But at least I SEE it now. I see the key to future happiness. And I know it's self-love. I HAVE to start loving me enough to know that I'm worth it. I have to work on me before I can ever successfully be with anyone else. I know that's why GOD has put me in this position... there is a lesson to be learned.

But on days like today it's so hard. Because I'm lonely. I want to be loved. And I can't do it myself yet. Even though I've been trying for a long time. I just don't "get" it. Maybe after being made to feel worthless and inferior for 30+ years by people who are SUPPOSED to love you, it just takes a while. Maybe...

And it doesn't hurt that time is ticking away... My 38th birthday is right around the corner.

And being at this weight-loss plateau for close to 9 months sucks, too. Because if I could only lose the weight things would be better, right? I might be able to attract the right person if I felt like getting out there. But right now I look and feel frumpy most of the time, and I'm just too old/tired/ugly/fat to put myself out there so what's the use?

That's all crazy talk, though... I know that. But it's still what runs through my head on days like today. Days when it feels like I'm always going to be stuck in a place I don't want to be.

But I have to believe with all my heart that better days are coming. And that everything will work out according to God's will. And that I will love myself one day. And it will be amazing...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Break!

It is officially Spring Break in my world right now. My two-week vacation started on Saturday (March 8) and I celebrated by heading to Atlanta to see my good friend, Crys. I needed some time away to reset my brain.

Last week I dealt with some issues with my right leg. Lots of pain and swelling. A trip to the emergency room and a follow-up doctor visit gave me no answers. Just more frustration.

I had already planned my Atlanta trip prior to these issues, so I decided to just go and make the best of it. Driving for three hours each way probably wasn't good for the swelling, but the pain was minimal and it didn't prohibit me from having an awesome time. I needed that time away from my kids and my life.

Crys is actually a friend I met via this blog... she used to also blog about weight loss. But she is now at her goal weight and looks absolutely amazing. When I first saw her I immediately noticed that she has lost even more weight since the last time I saw her in person a year ago. I envy her progress, but I know she worked her butt off for it. She still does.

The night before I left (Sunday night) I accompanied her to the grocery store so she could stock up on healthy food for the next week. It was very encouraging to me to see that even at her goal weight, she still prepares ahead of time for a successful week. It reminded me that having a plan and keeping good food choices around will always be a part of this journey.

So when I got back to town on Monday, after I got my kids settled the first thing I did was hit the grocery store. I stocked up on plenty of fresh fruit and veggies for me and the kids (since they are home for two weeks, too). I also got snack foods and plenty of Smart Ones. The last time I apparently didn't get enough because my son loves them, too! He likes to eat one after school to hold him over until dinner. Which is fine... but I warned him that he better make sure there is always one in there for me!

I am still steering clear of the scale, and honestly I think it's helped me relax a little. I am trying to concentrate on the positive aspects of being healthy and fit instead of dwelling on the numbers. I know I've made progress, even if the scale doesn't show it. I will keep pushing with every food choice and every decision to exercise and be active. Because a healthy lifestyle is what I'm truly after. The numbers will hopefully catch up. But until they do, I will be happy with seeing my progress elsewhere.

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.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Clean Slate

The past few days (weeks) have been hard, to say the least. I’ve experienced a small setback on this weightloss journey of mine.

This morning I woke up and looked at my “diet calendar” to see how many stars I accumulated this month. My “diet calendar” is located in my bedroom near my scale. I get gold stars each day I work out, green stars for each day I have eaten well and stayed within my calories.

Let’s just say that there are not many green stars this month. Not a lot of gold ones, either. But more gold ones than green, which is good because it means that I’m working out pretty consistently again.

Stress is not an excuse to eat like crazy, I know. But lately the amount of stress that I deal with from both my job and my role as single parent has been very overwhelming.

But this week, after dealing with a VERY crazy situation at home, I decided that enough was enough.

And I did some soul searching.

What’s really important in this journey? Is it the weight loss, or the overall health that I’m REALLY searching for? Is it more important to be perfect, or to be focused on my goals no matter what is thrown at me? I can’t be perfect… there’s no way that’s ever going to happen. But as long as I can wake up every morning with a decision to be healthy and happy, I think I’ll eventually get to where I need to be.

I’m (once again) stepping away from daily weigh-ins. It’s just too discouraging and I think it drives me insane sometimes. My daily goal will be to stay within my calories (still tracking on MyFitnessPal) and to exercise for at least an hour (cardio + weights) four times per week. I will continue to meal prep, but when I can’t, I will have a back up plan. I’ve decided to go back to keeping frozen meals like SmartOnes around for times when I don’t have time to meal prep and need something fast and convenient to eat. This way, I will be able to stay within my calories, and have the satisfaction of knowing I made a good choice. SmartOnes now offer gluten free and vegetarian meals… I’ll definitely be trying those.

That’s my immediate plan. And I think it will work. I’ve actually did quite well for the last three days, and I’m looking forward to staying control this weekend.

I think giving myself a clean slate will help me get focused and motivated. A setback doesn’t mean you are a failure. The only way to fail is to stop trying.

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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Binge-eating and what's next

I've relapsed.

I should have seen it coming, and in many ways I think I did. And I tried to stay positive and avoid it.

But I have relapsed. And I'm having a hard time getting myself together.

Yesterday was a binge day like I haven't had in a long time.

It was pre-meditated. And I didn't regret it at all.

I sat down in my car with a huge piece of red velvet cake purchased from Kroger. And ate about half of it before I felt better. I ate the rest later in the privacy of my bedroom.

I cried before I went into the store. Cried over being fat. Cried over my foot pain (more on that later). Cried over hurt feelings from an ex. I cried over being lonely. And overwhelmed. I cried over money and bills.

And then I ate my cake.

And I felt better.

I told myself beforehand that I would NOT feel better. That it would make me feel worse. But it turns out that piece of cake was clarity. It was soothing and yummy and took my mind off all the shit that was making me unhappy.

Like it always does.

I came home, made a healthy dinner and meal-prepped for success this week. But honestly, I wasn't feeling any of it.

What's the use? I'm not losing weight. I don't feel any healthier or different. Hell, I proved to myself with that binge yesterday that I'm still the same FatHollie underneath it all. All these months of trying to get it right and I'm still the same food addict that I've been since the beginning of Hollie.

I went to the doctor a week ago and had a full panel of blood work done. There MUST be something wrong with my thyroid or hormones or SOMETHING that is prohibiting me from losing weight, right? Nope. All is normal. (That news, although great, was very discouraging because deep down I was hoping there was some sort of medical reason for my 9-month plateau).

I started having horrible foot pain on Sunday morning that hasn't gone away. I'm limping and it hurts to walk. So taking out all my frustration at the gym is a big NO right now. I thought about doing the bike but any foot movement is painful. (And this stresses me out because all I can think of is another medical bill).

I'm just having a rough time with this section of my life. I've pretty much accepted that I'll be single for a while. I've accepted that single parents struggle financially and that I'm blessed to be able to pay my bills on time. I've accepted a lot of things.

But I do NOT accept being fat. I figure that's the one damned thing I should be able to change. And my body is fighting against me.

Or is it just that I'm not doing enough? That I'm not consistent and I am not being honest with myself about my level of commitment. Maybe I'm not trying all that hard.

But I honestly think I am. And that's what makes me so pissed off.

I'm trying. And getting no results.

Then I binge like yesterday. And I feel like I'm back to the drawing board.

What can I do?

Well, I think it's time to start going back to OA meetings. I saw an OA friend at a church I was visiting yesterday and I took that as a sign.

I also think that maybe I just need to simplify things a bit. I'm overwhelmed with juicing and clean eating and no sugar and low carb and acidic foods vs alkaline foods, etc. I've learned so much that I feel the need to implement EVERYTHING. But I can't. It's expensive and time consuming. I'm running low on time and money. So I've got to find some type of happy medium.

I haven't weighed in over a week, and I'm not sure I want to. But I think I need to.

Not sure what to do about that.

I definitely need to get back to prayer, and get God back into this. I was focused while fasting. But I've fallen off. Big time.

I'm not quitting. I just have to get the courage to get back on the wagon. It's harder than it seems sometimes.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Day 35 - progress update

The month of January was good! I lost a total of 11.7 lbs (from 270.8 to 259.1). It looks like I may have lost a few inches, too. 

I finished my Daniel Fast with no treats, and started the process of transitioning to "real life" eating. The first few days were rough... it was scary to add things back in and then the scale started creeping up. 

Ultimately, I decided that from this point forward I am going to start counting calories again using MyFitnessPal and follow their recommended amount (1660 calories) and actually EAT them. When I first started counting again I realized that I was eating only about 1200-1300 calories, not including what I'm burning during exercise. After a pep talk from a new friend who has lost 100+ lbs in 7 months, I have decided to at least eat my minimum daily. I am trying to choose clean, whole food and make sure that I'm balancing my macros, but it's not perfect. 

My goals for February...

I am actually enjoying exercise again, and I am DETERMINED to finally get some kind of at-home gym set up in my garage. I NEED a place (besides my tiny bedroom) to exercise at home. Last night, for example, I got home late from taking my daughter to play practice. I could've popped in a DVD, but I couldn't because it would keep my kids up if I did it in my room or the living room. The way my wood floors are set up... the whole house would be bouncing. Not to mention that you can hear the slightest noise, even with the doors shut. But if I can get the garage cleaned and set up, it's on the opposite end of the house as our bedrooms, plus the floor is concrete. It will work.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 15: Wednesday Weigh-in

I'm happy with that :)

So glad to be back in the 250's... Still going strong. One more week of the fast. But I'm not really going to change much as far as eating when it's over. I'll add fish and maybe lean chicken and turkey. I will also go back to protein shakes. And coffee! 

I've been doing more research on Paleo and will probably eat similar to that while still juicing 1-2 times each day. My focus will be on nutrition, I do know that.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 13 - I miss coffee

Today is day 13 of my Daniel Fast, and so far, so good! I haven't cheated one time, nor have I wanted to. Yeah, sometimes I REALLY want something that isn't allowed, but cravings haven't been overwhelming. The only thing I truly miss is coffee. Oh, how I want some coffee so bad! It's definitely one of the first things I will treat myself to. And I'd love some tilapia. Weird, but the stuff I want isn't even bad. So I know I'll be able to last for until January 22.

I'm still very adamant that I am not eating sugar or refined carbs this year. Which still even seems crazy in my mind, but I am determined. I really think it's a necessary step to beat my food addiction. Yes, I will miss it. But I'll live.

I have discovered that beans don't agree with me. After making three different recipes with beans last week, I noticed that my belly stayed really bloated and I became constipated. The only other thing that could be causing this is the wheat crackers (Triscuits - they are allowed) I've been eating. We'll see after the fast. I'm already planning on cutting down on beans this week, but the wheat crackers will stay until I'm off the fast and can find a gluten-free alternative.

Oh, I've discovered natural peanut butter. Freshly ground. And it's amazing. Such a treat.

I've lost down to 261.5, but the scale really hasn't moved in the past week. Any other time I'd be stressing but right now I'm not worried about it. Weight loss is a bonus, not the reason for this fast.

I do think I'm growing closer to God. It's almost like I feel him talking to me at times, and I need that. I'm still waiting on my "breakthrough" but I believe I'll get it. I'm only half-way through this fast, and I'll go longer if I'm led to.

Not exercising a lot. Honestly, I "want" to, but I haven't been very motivated. My energy level isn't great... maybe lack of protein? This week I will try, but I have a work deadline that's killing me, so that will come first. Hopefully I'll knock out the majority over the next day or so and will be in the gym soon. Right now, honestly, eating and food is my main concern. The fitness will always come.

Pray for me!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kale and Quinoa Salad w/black beans recipe

I posted this recipe on Facebook and Instagram last night and lots of people want the recipe! This recipe is vegan and also Daniel fast approved. 

1 c. cooked quinoa
1 c. black beans
1/2 bunch kale
1/2 bell pepper (or red pepper)
1/2 jalepeno pepper (no seeds)
1 lime
1/2 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
chopped cilantro (didn't measure...prob 1/2 cup?)
red pepper flakes
sea salt

If you haven't already cooked your quinoa, do that first. Same for black beans, unless you're using canned. If using canned black beans I would rinse them well before using them.

Chop up your kale. Then make a dressing in a separate bowl with the lime and lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic and seasonings to taste. Mix it well, then pour about half of it on the kale. With your hands, massage the dressing into the kale for about 2 minutes. 

Then add everything else and mix it up well. Pour the rest of the dressing on then mix again. So easy and delicious! 

I had this for BREAKFAST this morning with some low-sodium Triscuits, whih are also Daniel Fast approved.