Protein Bar Review: Think Thin Bars

I’ve discovered a great new protein bar and I knew I had to share. ThinkThin Bars.  These have officially become my “go-to” snack during my work days. They are big enough to feel like a true meal replacement if you’re using it as one and full of protein (20g each!) to keep you full until you actually get to sit down at a table for a meal. I tend to break these in half and each it with a piece of fruit for a snack and I’m STILL getting around 10g of protein.

Not only do they have an insane amount of protein each, they actually taste great and they’re relatively low in points!  (Around 6-7 per bar, which are around 1.5 inches wide and 4 inches long.)

Chocolate Espresso: This is my favorite one, to my surprise! It’s got chunks of espresso beans in the actual bar, so it’s definitely got the right flavor, especially when it’s my breakfast or morning snack! Keeps me going for a while.

Chunky Peanut Butter: Peanut butter… delicious. This one tastes exactly like the creamy PB one, except it has “chunks” which really aren’t peanut chunks, but more like concentrated creamy bits. It’s also not as sweet as most people expect when they get chocolate covered peanut butter stuff, but it’s still really good.

Creamy Peanut Butter: Exactly like the one above only without the chunks. Just pure PB awesomeness.

White Chocolate: This is my second favorite one, again, to my surprise. It’s more of a light brownie taste on the inside and covered in white chocolate. The flavor is just really nice.

Brownie Crunch: Chocolate with a little crunch. What more can I say?  It’s tasty!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry: Not so good… unless you like the taste of fake strawberry.  People just need to learn to stay away from putting it in their products unless they can truly make it taste GOOD.  They didn’t pull it off.

These are just a few of the flavors.  It also comes in chunky peanut butter, cookies and creme, caramel fudge, dark chocolate and a few more.  Click here for more!  I’ll definitely be ordering the last three I mentioned because I haven’t found them in stores just yet.  They also carry fruit and nut bars, bites and a few other delicious-looking products.  Hopefully one of these days they’ll respond to my tweets so I can work out a giveaway!

The bars are also gluten-free.  They aren’t dairy-free, but they do use certified kosher regular dairy ingredients.  All of them are no to low sugar (0-4g per bar).  If they used stevia instead of sugar, they’d REALLY have me wrapped around their finger.

thinkThin Protein Bars
Calories per Bar: ~230
PointsPlus per Bar: 6-7
Texture: 4/5
Flavor: 4/5
Ingredients: 4/5

Reaching a Milestone

I’ve lost 50 POUNDS!!

I’d say that’s worth a post of it’s own, right?  It seems like I’ve slowly been inching towards this goal, but goodgollygosh I finally made it!  I still have 100 lbs to lose, but here I am a third of the way through and I know I’ll make it to where I want to be.  And now I finally get to spend $200 on new clothes!  Well, my reward is listed as $150 on new clothes in my Milestones and Rewards post, but I got $200 in giftcards at Christmas that I’ve been holding on to for exactly this purpose (and now I can save that other $150 for new clothes in the winter since I’ll need them!)

First off, THANK YOU to everyone who “liked” my FB milestones yesterday on my RWWF page and my personal page.  It is extremely touching to know I have so many people in my support system.  And a very special THANK YOU to my wonderful fiancee who instigated the conversations which led me to deal with the fact that I needed to make some changes in my life.  She’s been there right next to me at every victory and every disappointment.  She’s been a wonderful motivator for exercise and her squeals of delight at all my tasty dishes (and willingness to photograph many of them) have made cooking and creating healthy recipes an amazingly fun and inspiring experience.  And another special THANK YOU to my wonderful parents who have always supported me in all my endeavors and even joined Weight Watchers together this year.  In fact, they’ve lost over 60 lbs combined and my skinny-minny dad even reached his Lifetime Goal a couple weeks ago!  How amazing is that?!?!  They keep me on my toes.

This hasn’t been a smooth journey, though.  It’s taken me a little over a year and a half to get off these first 50 lbs.  I’ve fallen off track with both exercise and tracking my points, but I always got back on.  That’s the important part.  I keep getting back on plan.  Weight Watchers (as reluctant as I was to start it) is really the right plan for me.  It fits my life.  I don’t even go to the meetings or subscribe to WW Online right now, but I use a free app on my phone called WWDiary to do all of my tracking.  It’s been a lifesaver.

Okay, I’m done with the thank yous and general life blah blah blah now.  I thought it might be fun to list out 50 things that have changed in my life during this first 1/3 of the journey.  Then I’ll be able to come back and look at it whenever I lose my motivation and reaffirm why I need to get back on track again.

1. I can shop in the plus size section of regular stores like Old Navy, Target and JC Penney.
2. My back is finally healthy!
3. My “front butt” is almost gone!
4. Smiles come with one chin, not two.
5. I have more energy.
6. Bedroom antics are waaay more fun (TMI?)
7. Sleep comes more easily.
8. I can run around with our dog and not get exhausted so fast.
9. Looking at myself in the mirror is a much happier experience.
10. I fit into chairs with arms more easily.
11. My skin is clearer and brighter.
12. My knees don’t creak much anymore when I go up stairs.
13. I can stand on my feet for much longer periods of time (important for when I actually DO go to culinary school!)
14. Clothes shopping gets more and more fun.
15. I actually WANT to do things like ride a bike and walk more than 3 miles in a day.
16. I can jump and dance around like a crazy person without worrying about pulling a back muscle (keep those abs tight!)
17. I am stronger physically.
18. I am stronger mentally.
19. I feel more satisfied by the food that I choose to eat.
20. I barely ever experience an “uncomfortable” fullness after a meal because I know how to stop myself from eating too much.
21. I chew more gum.
22. I am looking forward to swimming this summer.
23. I am generally more satisfied with life.
24. I have done two 5Ks with my baybsie and plan on doing at least 48 more!
25. I feel more accomplished.
26. Long trips in cars and trains aren’t as uncomfortable.
27. I found my passion in life: cooking!
28. I’ve learned how to reward myself with non-food things.
29. I feel less stinky.
30. Parks are much more enjoyable.
31. Losing 100 pounds feels like a POSSIBLE goal.
32. I’ve made great blogger friends with wonderful, inspiring people!
33. I can keep a bar of chocolate in my fridge for more than a day.
34. Going to the gym isn’t nearly as intimidating.
35. Other people in my life have started changing theirs for the better which continues to motivate me every day.
36. I’m looking forward to wearing my wedding dress!
37. I am not nearly as worried about how our wedding pictures will turn out.
38. I can reach all the places I need to wash in the shower without extra straining!
39. General check ups at the doctor aren’t as scary.
40. I eat a lot more fruit and vegetables and I love it!
41. I pee a lot more which helps to flush out all sorts of toxins.
42. I am more sociable with people in general.
43. Sweating isn’t such an uncomfortable experience anymore.
44. My body doesn’t have random aches and pains as much.
45. Moving into our new apartment was much easier since I’m stronger overall.
46. I’m more aware of the food I put in my body.
47. I’ve discovered so many delicious and creative ways to make food fun and exciting.
48. When I hug people, I feel closer to them because I literally AM closer to them.
49. I don’t get winded going up and down the stairs at work (since only take the elevator up in the mornings)
50. Life is exponentially more beautiful and full of hope because this is the right journey for ME.

Havarti Ham and Veggie Frittata

Delicious. Photo by Jess!

“The secret to a great frittata is a very hot pan… because that’s what makes it fluffy.”
– Harrison Ford as Mike Pomeroy

Thank you, Morning Glory, for such a fantastic one-liner that it actually stayed in my culinary brain.  It’s great advice, by the way, because it actually IS the secret.  That one line (and one scene where he actually made one) was all I needed to be convinced that frittatas actually ARE that easy to make (and that I never want to be a news anchor.  Early morning drama?  No thanks.)

Making this frittata was quite possibly the easiest egg dish I’ve ever made.  Aaaaaaannnnnndddd… the cleanup was ridiculously easy!  You know how your pan gets all egg-crusty when you make scrambled eggs or breakfast scrambles and you have to clean it all out before you can even think of using it again?  Yeah, none of that with frittatas.  If you cook it right (with a really hot pan), it’ll slide right out and your pan it perfectly usable for another frittata the next day!

Here’s what you do: pick your fillings, cook em up and then pick your cheese, mix into eggs, pour over fillings, saute, bake.  VOILA.  Seriously.  It’s that easy.  And I figured this out from a freakin’ movie.  It was a hilarious movie, though, so that makes it double awesome.  Here’s my very first frittata recipe for you to enjoy!

Double Awesome. Photo by Jess!

Havarti Ham and Veggie Frittata
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4


  • 2 oz ham, 2 PP
  • 2 oz creamy havarti cheese, 6 PP (if you have a lighter version, use that!)
  • 3 eggs, 6 PP
  • 3 egg whites, 1 PP
  • 1 medium scallion, sliced
  • 5 mini sweet peppers, diced
  • 1/4 zucchini, diced
  • salt and pepper

1. Turn oven on to 350. Then heat up a skillet to medium heat.

2. Cut up the zucchini, peppers, scallion and ham. Spray the skillet with Pam and pour in the veggies. Saute until desired tenderness (about 3-5 minutes).

3. While your fillings are cooking, mix your cheese into your eggs (shred it first if you need to) and add the salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture over fillings. Put away all your utensils, now! Leave it be until it browns slightly around the edges.

4. Once it’s slightly browned, stick the whole skillet onto the top rack of the oven and let it finish cooking for about 10-12 minutes. This will finish baking it and let it get nice and bubbly on top. Once the time goes off, check to make sure it’s cooked thoroughly. If it is, there should be no excess liquid on top and it should be able to slide right out of the skillet once you loosen the edge. Slice into fours and enjoy!

We topped ours with Sriracha the first time and this morning when I had my other piece, I topped it with my favorite mix of Chobani 0% Plain and Spicy Guacamole with fresh chopped cilantro on top. Aaaahhhmazing. I can’t wait to try some other combinations soon!

Oh, and I lost a few more pounds this week when I wasn’t really trying.  I just ate less and made better decisions.  I love when that happens :)

Losing Weight with Wolfram Alpha

Hey Y’all!  So you know how I’ve mentioned a few times that I work for this company called Wolfram|Alpha?  Yeah, well, we’re awesome and so is our “Computational Knowledge Engine”.  Yup.  That’s what I said.  We actually compute data for you right on our website.  In fact, we can do a lot more than that…. like help you to lose weight!

They asked me to write a post for our blog about how to use W|A to lose weight.  I thought I might have to do a lot of research and querying on our website to find a good way to actually do that, but in fact, it was extremely simple.  We can show you the nutrition value of thousands of foods.  We can show you the estimated caloric burn of different activities based on your height, weight and age.  We can help to calculate what your caloric intake should be every day depending on what your goal weight and time allotted is.  We can do so much!  So check out the blog that I wrote to see just how handy it is.

And if you’re not interested in using it, just go and read it because you think I’m neato and you like reading what I write!  =D

One more thing.  I’ll be guest posting on ANOTHER blog this week!  Dacia over at 33 and Counting asked me to write a post, so I went all out and wrote a little about my journey and lot about food!  I even included a recipe for another delicious Indian meal.  It’s all broken down into WW PP just like I do here.  Dacia’s pretty amazing.  She’s lost over 100 lbs in less than a year with Weight Watchers!  So make sure to check it out this Friday!

Toughing It Out Instead of Stuffing It In

I had a moment like this last night. It was a stressful week and a stressful weekend and although I took a sleep aid, I still ended up laying in bed awake for 3 hours. All sorts of thoughts were circling my head, tears were leaking out of my eyes and plans of making a midnight McD’s run for crappy food or raiding the fridge to eat away my emotions were starting to form in my brain. But I didn’t do it. I went to the bathroom, cried it out a bit, gave it to God, took a few deep breaths and finally went to bed. And dammit, I deserve two stars too.

Invisible Girl

Me. I’m proud of me today. I wanted to eat a house, multiple times actually. Had it been covered in chocolate I might have surrendered, but as of 8:30 p.m., my house is still standing as are my neighbors’.

It’s been tough, but I keep circling back to my goals of 2012 that I posted earlier in the week. I do believe that it is worth the effort to take care of my body and soul, and I am convinced that sugar will be my life-long enemy. I’m not always sure about the beauty or the strength things I jotted down, but I think those goals are at least worth working toward.

As I sat in my office today at 1:30 p.m. with absolutely fucking nothing crossed off my to-do list, I tried to convince myself that a sweet treat from down the street would alleviate stress and increase my…

View original post 228 more words

I’m Bugging Out

Bodybugging that is.  And so far, I’m loving it.

It’s interesting to look back on my life and see how my journey towards health has changed.  From the fifth grade until about age 25, I tried so many different “diets” – Slimfast, diet pills, South Beach, starvation, Jorge Cruise’s 8 Minutes a Day, even some Richard Simmons stuff – and it never worked for very long.  I never felt like they were “livable” after a couple weeks, and obviously (in my experience), they weren’t.

Now that I’ve found something that works for me, I’m trying out a new kind of “supplement” – apps and products that help me to better track my calorie intake and calorie burn.  I’ve tested out all the different websites and for me, has the best Android interface for calorie tracking, but comes in a close second.  I actually think myfitnesspal has a lot more options food and exercise on the website, but their android interface doesn’t provide a widget and that’s what I want.

This Bodybugg is a recent purchase.  I found a fantastic “cyber Monday” deal and couldn’t pass it up.  I’ve been watching The Biggest Loser constantly since its now available to watch instantly on Netflix and I always see them wearing their bodybuggs.  I did my research and found the one that works for me, and wouldn’t you know it… I can track it on my phone!  So I have all my information right at my fingertips.  It’s been really fun this weekend testing out my calorie burn.  These are a few of the things I’ve learned:

– Grocery shopping makes you take a lot of steps
– My body burns an average of 1-2 calories per minute in a sedentary state (like sleep)
– I burn a lot more calories than I thought I was based on activity calculators on websites
– It’s a lot easier to burn more calories when you’re in a happy relationship ;)
– Running burns a TON of calories
– Even when just hanging around at home getting things done, I still take around 2500-3000 steps in a day

I love seeing the physical proof of a hard days work. I can track everything and feel good about my progress. And I definitely feel like I have more control over my weight loss because I know exactly what’s going in and what’s getting burned off! I’m the only one to blame for any discrepancies.

Check out the links to see what might work for you. I bought my bodybugg for $100, so don’t spend too much more than that. There’s going to be better deals out there than buying at full price!

PS – I still use fatsecret for food/calorie tracking since the bodybugg program for tracking food it severely limited.  They seriously need to team up with another website to take advantage of their food database!

Hitting a Milestone

People, I have some stats to give you. These are numbers that I am proud of, numbers that have changed my life and numbers that keep me moving forward.

– I have been writing this blog for 1 year now!
– I’ve written 147 posts since I started.
– My posts have been viewed 28,740 times so far.
– In those posts, I’ve included 90 recipes.
– I’m almost 1/3 of the way towards my ultimate goal weight
– As of today I’ve lost a total of 42 lbs!
– After only 18 days on the Game On! Diet, I’ve lost 8.5 lbs!
– I’m down 2 whole sizes in pants and almost 2 sizes in shirts.

Since I finally hit my 40 lbs lost milestone, I have another reward to give myself! This time, it’s a weekend trip to Chicago with my baybsie! We’re going to stay in a hotel, walk all over town and look at the beautiful Christmas decorations, go out to eat and do a little shopping. It’s the perfect time of year to have a little getaway!

This Game On! Diet has really jump-started my weight loss again. It’s re-invigorated me towards eating healthy and exercising daily. It’s brought Bella and I closer together as we’ve worked together to change our eating habits, prepare our food for the day, encourage more exercise and comforted each other as we struggled through the hard days.

I’m looking forward to my next Milestone and Reward, the 50 lb marker! Then I get to buy $150 of new clothes! I’ve already had to ask for gift certificates to clothing stores as Christmas presents because I need to replace a whole bunch of my shirts! They’re just too big to wear and I need more than just comfy pants and a loose t-shirt to work out in nowadays.

Well, that’s all you’re getting for today, but I plan on posting my recipe for a DELICIOUS microwave meal that’s been keeping me sane throughout the past few weeks. Easy, delicious and super healthy for you. So stayed tuned!


Kicking your friend's butt while shrinking your own! (that's their tag line)

Today starts a new adventure worth $200. Seriously. If Bella and I win this game against our friends Jenna and Mike, we’ll win $200. So, we’re gonna win it! GAME ON!

The Game On! Diet book is the most hilariously written, honest diet book I’ve read so far. It’s written by Krista Vernoff, the executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy. Um, LOVE THAT SHOW. I can see why the show is a success. This book is just further proof.

So basically, we get points each day for doing things like eating 5 balanced meals a day (fist-sized carb, palm-sized protein, thumb-sized fat, no unnatural sugar, no bleached grain foods, etc.), exercising at least 20 minutes a day, getting 7 hours of sleep, breaking an old habit, starting a new good habit, well, you get the picture. You count up all your points and if you lose 1% of your starting body weight each week, you get to add 20% of your total points to your overall score. That could make or break a win!

Why is this worth $200? The four of us decided to go all in and up the stakes. $50 per person going in, and only one couple will get the pot. Double or nothing! And I really don’t feel like LOSING $50 right before the holiday season. It’s only three weeks long, so I think we’ll be able to do it. No, I KNOW we will! I’m using that money for Christmas presents!

As far as the food goes, I really don’t feel like it’s too restrictive. You get 100 calories a day of whatever you want without incurring a penalty (as long as it’s not a “snack”), you get 5 filling meals (or three meals and two hearty snacks), one free meal per week AND one entire day of the entire plan each week. Gotta trick our bodies into continual hard work, otherwise they get used to only getting like 1600 calories a day!

So this morning, Jess and I played some Kinect Volleyball for 20 minutes and kicked BUTT. Then I made breakfast – 2 egg whites, 2 handfuls of spinach, 2 tsp of cheese and some Pam spray. Flavored it with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Wrapped that up with a tasty 100% whole grain whole wheat Mission wrap. It was still kinda bland, but filling! Jess chose two kiwis instead of the wrap for her carb. Second meal will be cashews, 2 cheese sticks, a carrot and a small apple. See? That’s quite a lot of food for a “snack”! I’m thinking maybe a mexican wrap for third meal? We’ll see, though. This will really require some meal planning. I plan on doing a bunch of that tonight. And cooking up a ton of brown rice to use throughout the week.

We might just take some before and after pictures throughout this game too, so look forward to some of those in three weeks! And if you’d like to check out some of the stuff the other team is doing, go to Jenna’s blog.  She’s one crafty mo fo!  I already taunted her this morning with CUPCAKES CUPCAKES CUPCAKES.  Oh man, I’m horrible, lol.

Drop Yo Pants!

I did this at LEAST 15 times last night.  Why?  I was going through all my pants to see what was too big, what still fit, what almost fit and what will fit in 10-30 more lbs!  It was really quite exhilarating since I’m down almost another complete size!

My lovely friend, Elizabeth, gave me a huge bag of clothes that she doesn’t wear anymore (since she’s a rock star and lost like 55 lbs this past year).  All of it is stuff that I’ll eventually wear… and she’ll witness me strutting around the office in it too since we work together.

(Future Conversation)
Me – “Hey friend, did you see my snazzy pants and beautiful green shirt?”
Her – “Those look familiar….”
Me – “That’s because I raided your closet and stole yo sh*t.”
Her – “… Or because I gave them to you since I’m a super star and lost 55 lbs and can no longer keep them up without a massive belt!”

Now that I’ve finally gone through all my pants, I know that I have FOUR pairs of jeans to wear right now instead of two!  Those two pairs that have holes in them can be tossed rather than patched!  They were getting too big anyway.  I also have FOUR pairs of dressy pants that I haven’t worn in years!  I don’t usually wear dressy pants, though, since we can wear jeans to work, but it’s always good to have them on hand for special occasions, right?  I also have about 9 pairs of other pants in 3 lower sizes waiting to be worn.  WOOT!

Guess what?  I’m not the only one who’s almost into a lower size of pants.  My beautiful fiancee walked into work wearing pants that she hasn’t worn in two years!  WOO HOO!  All those 5Ks are paying off!  AAANNNDDD she finally gave in and bought a smart phone (iPhone 4, to be exact), so now she can use all those awesome free apps to track calories, exercise, etc!  She’s super pumped and I’m super pumped for her :)  Welcome to the 21st century, my love!

Okay, that’s my randomness for the day.  And if you too are gonna drop yo pants, don’t do it at work.  (Unless that’s your thing…. =D)

Guest Blogger: Dacia and her Journey

A few weeks ago, I asked my awesome Reluctant Losers if any of them were interested in guest blogging on the Reluctant WW Foodie blog.  Why not?  They’re working hard, they have their own stories and it’d also provide some new perspective for all my awesome readers!  A handful of them were definitely interested.  Now, sit back and enjoy the very first guest post from Dacia about her journey towards health!

Hi! My name is Dacia and I blog over at The focus of the blog is my journey towards happiness and creating a better life for myself. The post topics vary from friendship and family to my career to fitness but mainly focus around my weight loss journey which started almost seven months ago. When Angela asked if anyone would be interested in contributing a post to be featured on her blog I of course jumped at the chance; it is the least I can do for someone who has helped keep me motivated and inspired throughout my journey. Of course I had no idea what I would write about as I am not used to being a guest blogger. After many days wracking my brain I decided I should write about my weight loss and what has helped me be successful so far. Although I still have a significant amount of weight to lose before I reach my goal I still view where I am at today as a success. I have changed my life a complete 180 degrees and am happier and healthier than I have ever been. To me, that is success.

Two months in and around 15 lbs down!

Last February I reached my breaking point. This was also the time when I realized that I was the only one responsible for the state of my life (136 pounds overweight, hating my job, feeling isolated) and that I was the only one who would be able to change things. I had tried this many times before; I would throw myself into a workout routine and a diet and give it my all for awhile but then I would give up after not seeing any results or when the deprivation finally got to me. I was queen of the extremes; it was either 100% or 0% with nothing in between and that is just not healthy nor is it sustainable.  Not this time though, this time I would do things differently. This is what I would like to share with you today, the changes I made that have helped me find my way to a place of love, support, health, and happiness.

Be accountable.  I needed to learn how to be accountable for the state of my life and so I started a blog. I told the world (or the few people reading) everything; what I wanted to change, how I felt about myself, problems I was having, and quickly I was finding ways to work through them. My support team grew from my husband and a few friends to a small colony that helped keep me motivated and provided inspiration daily and within no time at all I started to see positive changes in my life.

Plan, Plan, Plan. I had no real time management skills seven months ago. Really, why would I? My life was pretty basic; work, eat, TV. The only thing I ever really had to plan was what TV shows, and in what order, I would be watching. Now that I am much more active and am making better food choices I found I need to plan everything in order to stay on track. I plan my meals, even meals that will be eaten out, I plan my workouts, I plan out times to clean and also times to relax.  I used to document this on my blog weekly, meals and workouts, but now that I have become more familiar with my routine I have stopped. That doesn’t mean I have stopped planning. I have a calendar on my desk that I use to plan out my workouts for the week and my husband and I still plan out our meals and activities weekly. Like Winston Churchill said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”

Have fun, do what you love. I learned right away that you will be more likely to maintain a routine if you are filling it with things you love to do. At first I was pushing myself to go on the treadmill to walk/jog but I hated the treadmill and therefore hated working out which made me look for reasons to skip it. Dreading your workouts is not a good place to be in. You are very likely to quit if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing. It took time, I tried out lots of different activities, but I have found ones I love doing. Now I work out because I want to not because I should or have to.

Almost 7 months in and 50 lbs down!

Eat what you want. This is a similar ideal as finding workouts you love. Eat things you love to and enjoy eating. This is my favorite aspect of Weight Watchers. On WW I can eat whatever I want as long as I portion, track, and practice moderation. If you have a diet that is too restrictive or requires eating foods you dislike you are also setting yourself up for failure. Another thing I would like to mention that I learned about how I was eating is that my focus was only on taste. I loved to eat and loved tasty foods and would eat them without ever thinking about how they made me feel. I have become a more conscious eater now. When I eat something I think about how it makes me feel after and I factor that into deciding what I should eat. For example; I love cheeseburgers. If I could, I would eat them every day. However, eating a cheeseburger makes me feel crappy afterwards. I feel lethargic and gross and that is not a good feeling. If I eat a cheeseburger I will more than likely spend my evening on the couch instead of the gym and I don’t want to do that. I also love eating fresh veggies and when I eat a big salad loaded up with every vegetable imaginable I feel great afterwards. I am not lethargic or uncomfortable; I am comfortable and filled with energy. So every meal I choose what I will eat based of what it provides me both in satisfaction from taste and in how I feel overall afterwards. Listen to your body- it knows what it wants.

Be kind to yourself and others. This was the most important lesson for me to learn. I was, and still am sometimes, really tough on myself. Early on I was really obsessed with the scale and would freak out if that number crept up even a little. It took months before I started to relax and cut myself some slack. I think realizing that the non-scale victories are equally as important helped control the scale obsession. Yes, I still weigh myself regularly (it is the easiest indication of how my body is reacting to diet/exercise) but now if I see a gain I use it to help evaluate how I have been behaving and incorporate any necessary changes into my routine. Presently I am just as happy to hear someone say that my fitness routine inspired them to try something new as I am to see the number on the scale drop. Ultimately, even though this journey is about me it revolves around everyone I come in contact with. As I mentioned earlier, I have a great support team but what kind of person would I be if I took their kind words, hugs, pats on the back, and gave nothing in return? It is just as important to be kind to others, unconditionally, as it is to be to yourself.  “What this world needs is a new kind of army – the army of the kind.”  -Cleveland Amory

Thanks for reading!