My Journal

My Eat, Pray, Love Journey

Transition, Will Power, and Cheetos

I began my day like any other.  My routine of waking up, getting ready for work, packing up my food for the day, and hitting the road.  But, this morning was different.  This morning I realized that it has been six months since I began this journey that I am on.  I decided, on Januray 4th, to change my way of eating.  I never use the word diet…never.  I knew, this time, I was going to make a lifestyle change not going on a diet.  My mind was made up and I decided to take control of my life.  I had no idea what type of impact that Wheat Belly lifestyle would have on my life.

I am not a stranger to the lastest trends and strategies for losing weight.  For goodness sake, there I was, an obese woman in her late 30’s trying to get back on the wagon.  What to do, what to do?  Atkins???  Weight Watchers??  Low fat/high carb?? Paleo?? And then, I picked up a magazine and there was an article about Wheat Belly with an example menu.  At that moment, I knew that this is it.  Cutting out grains, starched, sugars, sugary beverages, flours, and all ingrediants that I cannot pronounce should be easy.  Deep down, I enjoy clean ingrediants.  One ingrediant foods are the best!  For years, I have not spent too much time in the center aisles of the grocery store, instead I would spend my time in the drive thru lanes of any and every fast food restaurant.  I have to break the cycle.  This transition started with me making a choice.  I dedicated myself to the Wheat Belly lifestyle and I never turned back.  Goodbye candy, popcorn, chips, ice cream, pop, sausage McMuffins, pancakes, toast, cake, brownies, mini candy bars….well, you get the picture. 

The transition was surprisingly easy.  Sure, I had detox flu.  I had headahes, sick to my stomach, and dizziness…I knew that I had to power through.  I am stronger than the garbage that I have been putting into my body.  The symptoms only lasted a few days.  After a few months, I saw the scale move…but, I was still seeing the same reflection.  I was prepping every meal.  Using recipes from the Wheat Belly line of cookbooks.  I gave up alcohol and coffee.  Drank water and tea only.  Posted pictures of meals on the Wheat Belly Facebook page, as well as Instagram.  Social media was keeping me accountable.  I had no desire to cheat or go back to my old way of eating.  It is hard to not become a victim to the scale, especially after seeing success and the the dreaded plateau hits.

A couple months go by and the scale would move back and forth between four numbers.  Do I blame it on rapid weightloss in the beginning?  No, I do not.  Here’s the deal….an extremely overweight woman decided to eat clean, no longer graze in her car while eating fast food, drink water, and focus what is going into her body….and boom…..75 pounds gone!!!  A plateau is bound to occur.  This is the tricky part, how does one handle their plateau?  How does one handle their scale not moving for weeks?  Does frustration kick in?  Bordom? And then you hear it.  A little voice crying out,” Ice cream….you deserve ice cream.”  Then the mind trick begins.  Your mind is starting to justify the cheat before it happens.  “Pig out!!  Go ahead!!  It’s only one meal or one scoop!!”  Sure, everyone deserves a scoop from time to time.  Hey, I am all about enjoying life and eating food, but this time it is different.  I think this time, I actually understand my relationship with food.

How is that possible?  What happened during this transition for me to become enlightened about my longest love affair?  I will tell you what happen…Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Blizzard happened.  I will remember this experiecnce for the rest of my life.  Now, let’s back up.  Let’s start at the beginning.  Hi!!  My name is Adrienne and I am addicted to Lays Potato Chips and Ice Cream!!!  I would visit Dairy Queen multiple times a week for a Mint Dilly Bar and if I was feeling super depressed about something and thought food was the answer, I will take one large blizzard please!!  Well, this day…I was not depressed, but I wanted something bad.  So, I ordered a medium Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Blizzard.  First of all, who am I ?  I never order anything like that, but for some reason I wanted something different.  Secondly, should I have ordred a large?  I take my blizzard home and ate it.  About 10 minutes later I regretted my decision of eating the blizzard.  Not because it was a cheat….I am human.  I will make mistakes.  I regretted my decision because I could taste, in every single bite, how processed the “ice cream” tasted.  The chunks of cookie dough, the frozen soft serve, and the horrible after taste.  My taste buds are so clean that I can detect a hint of unclean food.  This, my friends, was the first step of forming my new relationship with food.  

I do not want to eat anything that is unclean.  I would rather eat something fresh, whole, and delicious than a box of french fries, a bowl of cereal, or chips and salsa from the Mexican joint down the street.  I am making the choice to fuel my body with real foods and not with food like products.  I am more aware now, than ever in my life, of what I am putting into my body. A co-worker asked how I am able to stay on my plan and that I must have good will power.  I replied to her that it has nothing to do with willpower, rather I prefer to eat real food.  I have not had a fast food burger since last year.  I have not eaten chips or crackers or granola bars.  I looked at my co-worker and said, “I have no desire to eat the snacks in the snack room because of all of the chemicals and ingredients in the food.  And really, it is not food.  The snacks are more like a food like product.  There is nothing real about it.  What is a cheeto?  I mean really, it is crunchy and neon orange.”  The look on her face was priceless.  Her response, “Ummm, you are right.  what is a cheeto?” And with that, she walked away.

Here I am, six months later and 90 pounds lighter. I want to thank Dr. William Davis for The Wheat Belly Detox Book and for his assistane and guidance in the Facebook group. I want to thank all of the members of the group for your support and putting up with my food pictures.  I want to thank the two documentaries, “Food, Inc.” and “Fed Up”.  Both films opened my eyes even more to the food issues that are plaging our youth and the nation.  I want to thank my friends and family who are supporting me and cheering me on.  I am looking forward to the next six months.  Looking forward to learning more about myself and my relationships.

For those of you who have been following my blog since I started writing it in February, remember THE SHIRT?  You know, the shirt that was super tight, would not button, and it basically felt like a sausage casing….well, here I am now…..in the shirt….


And here is another picture I would like to share of my progress…


Food is my fuel.  Food is my nourishment.  Food is my friend.  We are no longer intimate.  We have a healthy relationship. 

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

I have been following the Wheat Belly way of eating (WOE) since January 4th, 2016.  I have found much success by focusing on simple ingredients, cutting out sugars, grains, alcohol, processed foods, and sweets. Within the first couple weeks, I remembered how much I had missed eating cleanly.  I no longer felt tired, over stuffed, bloated, and gross after eating.  This time, I knew that I found my “magic pill”.  Funny thing is, I did not find a pill.  I found something much more important.  I found a few piece of me that I was missing for some time.  The piece of me that enjoyed cooking and taking pictures of my meals. I lost my passion for cooking… can you believe it?  I also lost the piece of me that enjoyed putting  clothes together to make my next cute outfit.  Being overweight makes a person lose pieces  of themselves and their happiness. I lost the piece of me who enjoyed doing yoga and zumba.  My knees hurt all of the time.  I would rather lay around and be lazy than do anything physical.  I lost my happiness.  All of these things made me happy at one time.  When did I become so unhappy?  Is grabbing a donut, a pop, or some fast food worth more than my happiness?  Now, remember…I have since found these missing  pieces and I am putting myself back together.  

I have not posted in a while and that is not because I “fell of the wagon” or I am gording myself with S’mores.  From time to time, I have a tendancy to become bored…let’s face it, I am a Gemini.  That is another story for a different blog entry.  Anyway, I am not bored with eating the Wheat Belly way…I am still moving forward and contining on  my journey.  The last six weeks have been difficult for me because I have had a hard time with prepping my food for the week.  I have said it once and I will say it again….planning and prepping food has been and will be the key to success.  I will admit, I have not been cooking like I was before.  Why you ask?  I honestly cannot give you a reason.  One week I was sick, another week I had a few events over the weekend, another weekend something else came up, and then work is crazy at the moment.  It is hard to be a mother, work a 40-55 hour work week, live life, and plan.  I am not saying that it is not possible to plan and prep meals for the week, but when it is sunny…the pool calls my name.  

The excuses and the pool (which is normally my happy place) are causing me to lose those pieces that I have found.  I am not finding the time that I need. Guilt is beginning to set it.  At the beginning of the year, I decided to stop drinking coffee when I began this WOE.  I love Starbucks and I should not.  So, I broke up with coffee.  I will pick a green tea from time to time, but NO COFFEE!!  I know that coffee is ok to drink and everyone drinks the bulletproof coffee, but for me…it is a trigger.  I will drink it all day and not enough water.  One day, I went through the drive thru and ordered a tall iced coffee with no classic sweetner with heavy whipping cream and I felt guilty.  Sure, it is guilt that I have created in my mind and I do not fully know why  I feel guilty…but, i did.  Father’s Day approached and on my plate was a burger no bun with a couple ribs with store bought BBQ sauce, cole slaw made by whoever with whatever it in, and some black bean and corn salad.  After I ate, the guilt I was expecting was not there…and that made me nervous.  Am I setting myself up for a disaster? The following weekend involved a great weekend with oysters, beers, wines, friends, 4 jalepeno poppers, and 4 onion rings.  WHAT AM I DOING? Fast forward a couple weeks later at a baby shower for my dear friend.  The shower was held at a Mexican restaurant and they had new street tacos on their menu!!!  HECK YAH!!!!  TACOS!!!  I will take three please with a side order of no guilt.  Let me tell you….I did stop the insanity.  But before the insanity was stopped, I had a deep conversation with myself.

I told myself to stop this craziness.  With every bite I ate, I had less and less remorse.  Where did my guilt go?  I depend on guilt to keep me in line.  Sure, a slip up happens from time to time, but not so many in a row and then it happened… I saw something that slapped me in the face.  All I have to say is that… a picture speaks a thousand words.  Now, I have been a plus size girl for many, many years.  I am the master of taking selfies.  I do not have many full body pictures of myself.  A full body picture is a mirror of truth.  I do not want to see how others see me.  I know that I am the funny one with the “cute face.”  I do not want to see the truth.  Even now, and 85 pounds lighter, I can look at a full body picture of me and see flaws without loving myself.  That is caused by the many years of self loathing that I have to work on.  I am a work in progress people!!!  I know what I have to work on, but much more than that….I can identify the fact that years and years of lying to myself has caused walls to be built up.  Breaking the walls one brick at a time is my self improvement project.

 Let’s get back to the picture that slapped me in the face.  A little background of the picture, it was taken in November of 2015. a group of fourteen co workers and myself rented a cottage for a Girl’s Weekend.  I was the chef for the weekend.  I prepared every meal and snack because one of my goals in life is to open a restaurant.  The weekend was fantastic.  A lot of fun, laughter, food, and pictures take.  Last week, one of my co-workers (who is also one of my very best friends) told me that she stumbled across some pictures from the weekend on her phone and she could not believe a few pictures that she had of me.  She told me that I looked like a completely different person.  This intriged me and frightened me at the same time.  Am I ready to face the truth?  How did I look?  Did I look how I felt?  How do others see me?  What was I wearing?  How many chins do I have?  The panic and anxiety set it, but then I realized that this is what I need.  I need this picture.  I need to see this.  This is a validtion that I need.  Maybe guilt will come back to me.

And here it is..


and……

I looked at myself and I was speechless.  WOW!!! Who is that person?  Is that me?  I was slightly embarrassed, but then I became proud of myself.  Those few pieces of myself were found again because of these pictures.  I am a strong woman who made the decision to live a happier, healthier, and more balanced life.  At this moment I became empowered.  Empowered by my strength, dedication, and persistance.  These pictures are a great reminder of why I vowed to become healthier on January 4th.  85 pounds later, here I am. 

and….

I am a work in progress and I am proud of it!!  This is who I am and I am ready to continue with my journey.  

100 Days….and going strong.

January 4th, 2016 was the first day of my journey.  A journey that I have been on before, but this journey felt different.  Change was inevitable.  The path that I chose to take was different, but I needed something different.  Nothing was working.  I tried them all ….Weight Watchers, Atkins, Kimkins, I drank shakes, I cut out this, I cut out that but never knew why.  I stumbled upon Wheat Belly and it was the best day of my life.  I became empowered.  I decided to do something for me and my health.  I deserve to be healthy.  I deserve to feel comfortable.  I deserve to have control of my thoughts and my will.  I decided to do something for me…..for me.  Wheat Belly and Dr. William Davis has changed my life forever.  100 days of focus, of learning about food, of learning about me and the person I was and the person I have become.

For those of you who read my blog, you know about the shirt.  The shirt I was wearing on New Year’s Eve that would not button.  I bought a shirt, thinking that I was going to look super cute, and it did not fit.  I was embarrassed and extremely uncomfortable. Now, it not only buttons, but it is getting big….major non scale victory.  It is  easy to be a prisoner to the scale.  I prefer measuring my success by how my clothes fit and how I feel versus the scale.  I am going to be honest, I do weigh myself once every two weeks….just because. 

Throughout the last 100 days, I have found myself taking more pictures of myself so that I would have something to compare myself with.  Even though I am losing weight and my clothes are becoming smaller, I tend to forget my starting point.  I have my problem areas and they are still there, just smaller.  Like I said before, I have been on this journey before.  I know what my triggers are and I know when I get frustrated and throw in the towel.  From my history of weight loss, I forget what I look like before and think that one burger with a bun and fries will not hurt me or some ice cream will be ok.  That one burger then turns into a quick breakfast from McDonald’s to a weekend of junk and shame.  I also know that I get frustrated when the scale stalls….again, the reason why I am weighing myself once every two weeks.  I know myself better than anyone.  I know that I am going to talk myself eating something that I shouldn’t.  I know that I am going to grab something easy because I did not plan.  This time is very different.  I am sneaky and I am able to talk myself into eating an ice cream bar quicker than it took me to type this sentence.   I want to be successful, so I decided back in January to take action and lay a foundation of success.  I plan and prep every week, I cook 90% of my meals, I weigh myself once every two weeks, I look back at pictures from the beginning of the year to remind myself how far I have come, and I eat chocolate everyday. 

In 100 days, I have lost 70 pounds.  Living the Wheat Belly lifestyle has been the best thing to happen to me.  I am mindful of what I am putting into my body.  I do not read labels because real food does not have labels.  I am not looking to cut corners or try to implement foods that are not apart of the lifestyle.  I own the books and cookbooks and they are my guide.  If a food is not listed, I do not eat it.  80% of my meals that I make are from one of the Wheat Belly Books. I AM living the Wheat Belly lifestyle.  I have lost weight because I am no longer making excuses, I am no longer living to eat, I am no longer thinking about food constantly, and I am not finding fault in my life to make it OK to emotionally eat.  I am living a healthy lifestyle and I am NOT ON A DIET.  This is my way of life.  This is how I eat.  This is the best I have felt in years and I do not want this feeling to end. 

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Here are three pictures of me, in the same outfit, and months apart.  The first picture on the left, was taken on January 24th.  The middle picture was taken on March15th.  The picture on the left was taken on April 12th.  Looking at this pictures stirs up many emotions.  First of all, I feel an overwhelming sense of pride.  I am proud of myself and being proud is OK.  Next, I cannot believe that the picture of the left shows me wearing a shirt under my shirt.  The shirt was too short because I was so round…I needed to wear a shirt.  I feel like I want to cry.  This is a perfect reminder picture.  Lastly, I cannot wait to see next months picture.
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During the last 100 days, I have realized that I am a strong person.  My will power is strong. I have not strayed from the WOE once.  I have stayed true to the program and to myself.  I am no longer lying to myself.  I am not going to proclaim my plans to loss weight and 2 hours later eat five  mini snickers and chase it down with a Mt. Dew.  On day #1, I made my choices.  I knew what I had to do and I decided to do it.  Beginning any journey can be challenging. Being mentally prepared and able to commit 100% is a must.  I decided to stop fooling myself and do it.  The question I asked myself a couple questions, is junk food, fast food, and convenient food really that important?  Is my life going to be over if I cannot eat processed foods again?  Is junk food filling a void in my life?  After hours of self reflection and 100 days of happiness and control, I am in a better place mental, physically, and emotionally.  Gaining control of my life is the best thing that I could ever have done for my self worth.

People ask me if I am starving myself.  People say that there is no way that I can lose that much weight with out starving myself.  Well…I eat constantly.  I am in the kitchen daily.  I drink water, hot tea, and unsweetened iced tea.  I have not drank coffee since January 3rd.  The reason why I gave up coffee is because I know that I would drink it all day long and that is not a good for me.  I eat breakfast every morning.  I eat a snack every day between breakfast and lunch.  I eat lunch.  I eat two squares of 85% or 90% dark chocolate in the afternoon. I eat dinner.  I am not deprived.  I eat better now that I ever have before.  Here are a few pictures of how a typical day in food looks like.

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I seriously eat like this everyday.  EVERYDAY!!!

For those of you who are on a journey, all I ask is stay true to who you are.  Do not lie to yourself.  Do not doubt yourself.   Love yourself.  Be strong.  Focus on what is important in your life.  Follow your path and you will find success.

The Reflections of Imperfection

Before going to sleep last night, I had a pretty good idea what I was going to wear to work.  Either dress A or dress B.  Both dresses are cute, both can have jackets worn with them, one I could wear tights with, and the other is a wrap dress.  I decided that the morning will dictate which dress I will pick.  Either dress, I could not go wrong.  Morning came, I checked the weather…warm today, cool on Friday.  Great, wrap dress today and dress with tights on Friday.  As I was getting myself put together, I thought about what I should layer over the dress.  A blazer, a sweater, or….dare I say…nothing.  Wearing a dress without a sweater or a jacket is almost unheard of in my life.  I am the layering queen.  So, I decided on a blazer.  I could take it off if I wanted to.  Who knows, maybe I will be chilled in the office and need it.  Maybe it will rain and it will cover me up.  Maybe I am making excuses and beginning to layering my comfort.  Oh, who cares…I put the blazer on over the dress and off to work I went.

I get to work, take off my blazer and look at myself.  I thought to myself, “hey, this does not look bad.  I can pull this off without a jacket.”  Then I walk down the hallway and catch a glimpse at myself…NO FRICKING WAY!!!  I need my jacket, or should I say….my comfort.  I have a friend, who is also my co worker, come to my desk to check me out.  I ask her…jacket or no jacket.  I stand up, with no jacket.  She replies, “NO JACKET!!  Do not put it on to show me.”  Emily, my friend, continues to tell me how great the dress looks and how I should be proud of myself.  Now, let me say, I am a confident person.  Very rarely am I insecure or uncomfortable, especially in my own skin.  I do not know why today was different.  Why was I consumed with the stupid jacket?  Anyway, I ask another friend how I looked and she replied, “GREAT!!”  Why do I not believe them?  What kind of trick is my brain playing on me?  I have two of my dearest friends telling me how great I look and I refuse to believe it.  What is wrong with me?  What do they see that I do not see?

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The day continues and I debated about putting the jacket on and then it hit me…..my jacket is a security blanket.  I need to bring a fricking blankie to work in the form of some type of layered clothing.  I decided that after an hour of debate, I was not going to put on the jacket.  I was going to put myself out there.  Sure, I felt intimidated and scared, but I had to do it.  The bumps in the road have been  many and this is one more for me to get past.  So what if I walk down the hall and see my reflection of imperfections.  I am a beautiful woman and if you do not like what you see….close your eyes.

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Today, I was in a battle.  A battle with my thoughts and stereotypes.  The battle was long and hard.  At one point, I was questioning why I feel alone when I have a supportive group of friends and family surrounding me and cheering me on.  I have many people contacting me through Facebook and my everyday life and telling me how much I inspire them.  I have inspired many people to begin their own journey of weight loss and healthy living.  I know that I am doing good by blogging and posting my food pictures on Instagram.  How do I know this? The overwhelming response that I get from those telling me that they look forward to seeing what I am going to eat for dinner or this person wants the recipe or that person wants to learn more about what kind of healthy lifestyle I am living.  As I walk from the back of the office to my desk in the front, I catch a reflection of myself and stop.  I look at myself and told myself to snap out of it.  I am living the life I am choosing to live.  I am getting healthy, I am losing weight, my focus is on living a balanced life and I am doing it.  Who cares if I giggle here and giggle there…..I LOVE ME.  I love who I am…I am smart, strong, kind, funny, helpful, thoughtful, caring, respectful, honest, trustworthy, loving…I could go on for hours….see, that was a joke.  After I gave myself the much needed pep talk, I checked the mail and I received my FabFitFun spring box.  I was excited to open it.  My friend Emily was with me because she wanted to see what was in the box.  This is one of the items that I received and I truly believe this was my sign to calm down and enjoy what I am doing….and Emily thought that the necklace totally fit me.

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The battle is over and I won.  Why did the battle begin?  Who knows.  A pity party happens every once and a while.  I have accomplished so much in the last 87 days since changing my lifestyle.  I have lost 65 pounds.  I am no longer a prisoner of food.  I am aware of how I am fueling my body.  I am helping others if help is wanted.  I have inspired many to eat healthy.  I have created a lifestyle that I am in charge of.  Do you remember the sausage casing shirt from my blog 40 Days and 40 Pounds??  Well, look at this…  I took this picture today.  I needed to see for myself how far i have come and I was not going to lose my battle.

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SUPER BAGGY!!!!

Do not lose sight of what your goal is.  Do not allow your thoughts to cripple your progress.  Continue on your journey, this is just another bump in the road.  Be stronger than the negativity. I am happy that today happened.  I am going to sleep as a stronger and wiser person.  I have a new tool that I will help me with the negativity that creeps in every so often.  Today was a good day….and tomorrow I wear dress B.

Planning, shopping, prepping, and a pair of jeans.

I am a planner.  I love to plan.  Planning parties, planning menus, planning my weekend activities, planning to make a To-Do list, planning what to wear, planning when to watch TV….after typing this, I wonder if I am some deep rooted issue.  Maybe I should plan on visiting that topic with my therapist.  My therapy sessions is a topic for another day.  So…  Saturday night is my food planning night.  I have found much success with my process.  People have asked me how I have time to cook or how am I so organized.  Here is the answer, it has taken me years to get to the place where I am in my life.  I am at a place and have an understanding that I am my worst enemy.  I am the only one standing in the way of my goals. After years of finding success and finding failure with my weigh loss journey and the shame I felt when my pants no longer fit or I could not bend over and tie my shoe without feeling like my eyes were going to bulge out, I created a formula for myself. 

The formula includes a mission statement, a pledge, a plan, and a system.  My mission statement for the  weight loss journey is “to create a lifestyle that is healthy, happy, positive, and realistic; loving myself and understanding that I deserve to live a healthy lifestyle while focusing on my strengths and not allowing my weaknesses to detour my goals”.  After creating this mission statement, I made a pledge to myself.  I pledged to make a lifestyle change.  This is not a diet!!  I want to live a healthy a life and I do not want to be a prisoner to food.  January 4th,  2016 is the day that my life changed and my new lifestyle began.  I pledged to not give into temptation, to stay strong, to think about the future, and live this beautiful life.  My plan is simple taking time for myself.  Take time to plan meals.  Take time to grocery shop.  Take time to cook.  Take time to reflect. Take time to reach others.  It is easy to say that there is not enough time in the day to make a meal,  so instead I picked up a meal from a restaurant.  It is easy to say that the kitchen will be there tomorrow, so the cooking will be done tomorrow.  Remember, love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle.  I do love myself enough to understand that I deserve the best.  The best thing for me is to plan.  I have to put a system in place because planning is the key to success. 

I know that my main weakness comes to the surface when I am not prepared.  Meal prep has been a challenge in the past.  The excuses come in and the regret follows shortly after.  My meal prepping system works for me and is the main reason why I have found success with the Wheat Belly lifestyle.  Since I do not eat grains, starches, and sugars, I have to make every meal myself.  I read every label that ends up in my cart and I am aware of what I am going to put into my body.  Usually on Saturday night, I do through all of my Wheat Belly Cookbooks to find out what I want to make for the week.

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I begin to make a list of recipes that I want to try or have tried and love.  I make sure that I write down what cookbook each recipe comes from, I can get easily confused. 

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After I make me meal list, I begin my grocery list.  I look in my freezer, pantry, and fridge to see what I have. 

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After looking at this list, a realize that this list of meals will easily last me a week and a half.  I am cooking for one, so I know that I will have tons of leftovers.  I take the leftover situation into consideration when creating my meals for the week.

Next, it is off to the grocery store.  I shop at three grocery stores.  My main store is Whole Foods and I shop at two local grocery stores, Fresh Thyme and Martin’s Supermarkets.  The list that I have, I know I will only be shopping at Whole Foods….well, I will by my chicken at Martin’s.  So, this is some of the things that I bought today.

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and….

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Being extremely familiar with Whole Foods, I have to say that I know how to shop there and not spend a ton of money.  Again, my grocery list will last me a week and a half.  This is how much I spent at Whole Foods.  Remember…you are worth it….

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I personally do not think that $100 is not bad at all, especially for real food.  Whole foods.

The next part of my system is to prep a few meals to get me through the first part of the week.  I love options.  I do not want to get bored with food.  I like to have one or two breakfast options and two or three lunch/dinner options.

To begin with, I made breakfast.  I had a craving for biscuits and gravy, so I used the recipe in the 30 Minute Cookbook.

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I also have an avocado, strawberries, sliced turkey, and tomatoes for another breakfast option.

I made Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo with Peppered Chicken.

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Another option that I made, Peppers and Sausage from the 10 Day Detox book.

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For a snack, I made my very favorite Chocolate Avocado Pudding from the 10 Day Detox.

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For a dessert, I made the Pineapple-Coconut Snowballs from the 30 Minute Cookbook.

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I need snacks to get me through the work day, I made salami roll ups using uncured salami and cream cheese…

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and lastly, I made “pita chips” and guacamole for a snack.

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This is my life.  This my mission.  This is my goal.  The be happy, healthy, focused, strong, creative, and at peace with my choices.  Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be expensive, but it has to be taken seriously.  This is not something that is a one night thing, it is a one life thing.

By the way, I bought a pair of jeans today.  The jeans are two sizes smaller than what I wore in January….guess what?  They are too big.  Looks like my system is working for me…..and I am not longer a prisoner to food or my jeans.

63 Days and Still Going STRONG…and 50 pounds GONE!!!

How does an individual measure weight loss?  Some may use a scale to weigh themselves.   I know people who measure parts of their body with a measuring tape and count inches lost.  Personally, I like to use my clothes to determine if I have lost weight.  A few blogs ago, I posted a picture of me and what I like to  call “THE SHIRT”.  The shirt that I bought and thought it was super cute until I put it on and it wouldn’t button and barely fit over my arms.  Well, guess what?  Day 63 and I am able to button “THE SHIRT”. 

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As with most people who are on their weight loss journey, it is easy to get discouraged.  Personally, when I look into a mirror it is hard to see a smaller me.  I see my imperfections.  I see parts that I wish were smaller and others that I wish were tighter.  Looking into a mirror, I can watch myself jiggle and think to myself, “yeah right, this is really working”.  But then, when I pick up the unit of measurement (THE SHIRT) and can button it for the first time, I realize that the formula is working and just sit back and enjoy the ride. 

Do you remember the movie “Fight Club”?  “Fight Club” has a set a rules that the fighters had to go by.  The first rule of Fight Club, do not talk about Fight Club.  This rule is how I feel when going through a weight loss journey.  Do not talk about dieting.  THIS IS NOT A DIET, this is a lifestyle.  If someone is looking for a quick fix or a magic pill, this is not it.  This is not a diet, this is a journey of self discovery, wellness, fitness, and balance.  Most mothers, wives, husbands, and parents have a hard time making time for themselves. This type of lifestyle takes time and effort.  No one else can go on the journey, only the person seeking a healthier lifestyle.   Taking the first step and making a personal commitment to a healthy lifestyle is the first step of personal growth and ownership. Owning thoughts, owning decisions, owning choices, and owning your life.  I have one life to live and I am choosing to live a healthier life.  I am choosing not to go through the fast food restaurant, rather I am grocery shopping and I am eating at home.  I have made the decision to not drink coffee anymore.  I have made the decision to meal plan and follow through with it.  I am choosing what I want to eat and when i want to eat it.  This is my life and I am going to live it as amazingly as possible. 

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So, here I am Day 63 and I am still going strong.  People have asked me how I have found success.  I have the mindset that I will succeed.  Failure is not an option.  On January 1st, I knew that when I committed, there was no looking back.  I planned for four days on how I was going to attack this journey.  I did not want to set myself up for failure.  I researched, planned, focused my thoughts on staying positive, and embracing the lifestyle.  I am going to do this the right way. 

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Every week, I plan my menu and my grocery list.  I am cooking for myself only.  My son will try something I make every once and a while, but most of the time my son eats a completely different meal.    The first thing that I do, usually on Saturday, go through all of my Wheat Belly books. I own the 10 Day Detox, 30 Minute Cookbook, Wheat Belly Cookbook, and the original Wheat Belly book.  The reason why I go through the books weekly, I am looking for recipes that may sound good at that moment or maybe I missed something.  Usually, the meals make plenty of leftovers.  So, I expect four servings out of each meal I make.  As I go through the cookbooks,  I make a list of recipes or ideas that I would like to try.

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After that list is complete, I look at it to determine how many meals I have, how many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that I have, and how many leftovers would I have.  I usually have a lot of meals written down, but that is fine….I like options.  I downsize the first list to my grocery list.  I try to pair meals together that will have repeat ingredient.  Checking the pantry is a must.  Don’t worry, the pantry to stock up nicely.  It will take some time, but the cost will come down after a little while.  OK… so I am on to my grocery list.  I love breakfast.  I know that I will make a casserole, hard boiled eggs, or a muffin for breakfast.  I try to make one breakfast to last me the week at work.  To cut back on costs, I take my dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

My grocery list is categorized by meal and then ingredients.

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I am sure that you think the my grocery list is done, but it is not.  I have on more list to create.  This list is comprised of all the ingredients and items I need for the next couple weeks.  I will add the grocery store name if there is a sale, I will have my normal purchases on the list, and quantity.  I am posting my list after I went to the grocery store.

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Organization and time is needed to create grocery lists and to create focus on health and this lifestyle.  This works for me.  I am an organizer and my background is in food service.  I am a self taught cook and baker.  I find enjoyment out of creating meals, planning, shopping, and cooking. 

I am going to share some pictures of the food that I made from this grocery list.

To begin with, I made the Basic Bread, the Biscuits, and Mocha Walnut Brownies (All from the Wheat Belly Cookbook)

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Next, I made Sloppy Jose, using veal chorizo and a basic biscuit.

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I made the Grilled Cheese Breakfast Bake from the Wheat Belly Cookbook.

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I made the Rueban Sandwich using the Basic Bread and 1,000 Dressing from the Wheat Belly Cookbook.

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I made the Turkey and Brie sandwich with asparagus.

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And lastly, one of my favorites Chicken Nuggets and No Macaroni and Cheese.

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Deciding to change habits can be a scary step, but after reaching goals and seeing change…a stronger, healthier, and happier person emerges from the once scared person.

Stress, Anxiety, and Swiss Cake Rolls

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know the kind of day that I am taking about.  The morning brings promise and hope to the new day, the radio station is playing the best songs one right after another, the unsweetened iced green tea from Starbucks was paid for by the person ahead of you,  paying it forward is a great way to start the day, the to-do list is getting shorter and shorter, and then it happens.  One thing can cause the day to spiral.  An expected phone call, a bill in the mail, making a big purchase, or life happens.  As the thoughts and scenarios run through the mind, something is triggered in the brain.  The brain senses stress.  Stress has not been around for a while and the brain reacts.  A switch has been turned on. The switch that makes the brain think that it is OK to eat.  The brain has given me a excuse to eat.  Stress eating is OK, right?  Eating because  I am feeling anxious is normal, right?  Man, those Swiss Cake Rolls look delicious.  Oh, Little Debbie…you are a bad, bad girl.  The way you tempt me.  Swiss Cake Roll, Donut Sticks, Zebra Cakes, Comic Brownies, and Oatmeal Cream Pies….I have loved you for years.

Adrienne!!! Snap out of it!!!  Seriously, I had to snap myself out of the thought of eating a Swiss Cake Roll.  I began my healthy lifestyle in January and a few nights ago was the first time that I craved something processed.  What is it?  It is the comfort of knowing that Little Debbie has always been there for me?  Is it the over processed creamy center that keeps me wanting more?  Is it knowing that the Swiss Cake Roll sticks to the white cardboard and I want to scrape it off with my teeth?  Sure, memories and comfort play into the desire of stress eating, but ultimately I am standing in the way of my success.  I have the power to make the choice of what I want to do and how to handle the stress.  Being a stress eater for most of my adult years, I know I have to reprogram my thoughts.  I prefer to eat healthy.  I enjoy the taste of the food.  I love the colors of the food. And I love how I feel.  Why would I sabotage my journey for a moment on the lips and the hours of self hate, regret, and the replay over and over in my head.

Cutting out sugars, grains, and only having on serving of dairy a day has done wonders for me.  No more aches and pains. I am beginning to love myself again.  Someone wants to take a picture, I am picture ready.  I am not afraid to take pictures anymore.  Before January 4th, I never wanted to take a picture.  I did not want to see the truth.  I am no longer living that life.  I am living a realistic, healthy, and positive life. Since taking on this lifestyle, I have kept a photo album of most of the foods that I have prepared.  Most of the meals and snacks that I have prepared have come from the Wheat Belly Cookbooks.  I would love to share some of my favorite snacks.  Who says that eating healthy does not taste good or there are no options out there. 

Guacamole is a great snack and I eat it often for dinner.  Lately, I have been making real cheese crackers and guacamole and calling it dinner.

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A great dessert or a late snack is the One Minute Blueberry Yogurt.  Blueberries and heavy cream make for a wonderful marriage.  Chop up some dark chocolate and sprinkle on top and never miss ice cream filled will sugar again.

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One late afternoon, I knew that I had to eat. I was not sure what I wanted.  I made some cheese crackers, fried up some bacon, and topped with a tomato.  a BTCC, a bacon tomato cheddar cracker.

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What goes better with raspberries than chocolate…..nothing.  A simple and satisfying snack.

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One of my very favorite snacks at the moment is the Chocolate Avocado Pudding.  During the work week, I take one serving to work along with some berries to put on top.  Today, I ate strawberries with the pudding.  The pictures below, I used blueberries and raspberries.

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Who needs you Little Debbie!!!  There are many delicious options out there to eat, none of which are overly processed and can last for many years in a wrapper.  Real food will always taste better than food like product.

By the way, the evening of stress and anxiety….I did not eat.  I texted a friend….the buddy system works well to fill the void of food.

January 1st and February 15th (Pictures)

My goal, the day I walked into my favorite clothing store, was to purchase a super cute outfit.  I was not shopping for a special event or party, I was shopping for me.  Clothes shopping with no pressure is the best.  So, as I was walking through the store, I saw a mannequin and loved the outfit.  Walked over to the rack and pulled a tank top, a t shirt, a flannel shirt, and jeans off the rack.  Went to the register and took care of business.  Days later, I decided to wear the outfit.  Do you know that feeling, as a child, when putting on new shoes and you think you can run faster?  Well, I thought with this new outfit, I would feel comfortable, fashionable, and on trend at the same time.  To my disappointment, I felt like a stuffed sausage.  The casing around me was tight, would not button, and was not cute.  I looked in the mirror and was disgusted.  I was disgusted with myself.  How did I allow myself to become uncomfortable in my own skin.  For as long as I can remember, I have been a plus size girl and I am usually OK with that.  That’s the issue, I am usually OK with that.  This time was different.  My confidence was missing.  I needed to find my confidence. 

Changing my eating habits and my lifestyle has brought my confidence back.  40 pounds lost and I feel like I have lost a much more.  And indeed, I have lost a lot more than just weight.  I have lost the inner hate and embarrassment.  I have lost the need to constantly fill those feelings with mini Twix bars and potato chips.  Most importantly, I have lost the horrible negative energy that I had around me.  Living a healthy lifestyle is much more than losing weight, it is inner therapy.  Learning about strengths, weaknesses, and triggers while finding tools and support to help along the journey makes every day exciting.  Waking up, every morning, and knowing that success is obtainable is what living is about. 

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So, do you want to see the super cute outfit?  The picture to the left was taken on January 1st, 2016.  The picture on the right was taken on February 15th, 2016.  The picture on the left brings back the memories of how I felt to be a stuffed sausage.  The flannel would not button, t-shirt was tight, and do not get me started on the jeans.  When creating this before and present picture, this is the first time that I can see a change.  Plus, putting the clothes on this morning, I can breathe.

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40 Days and 40 Nights

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40 days ago I made a choice.  I made a choice to stop lying to myself.  I made a choice to make a change in my life.  I made a choice to stop making excuses and become accountable.  The roller coaster of life was in full affect and I needed to take control.  Control of my choices, my happiness, and my well being.  My mental health, at that moment, was weak and not typical.  Constant unhappiness with myself, unhappiness with choices, and unhappiness with my appearance were weighing on me both emotionally and physically. Every Monday, I was going to start eating better.  Every Monday, I was going to wake up earlier.  Every Monday, I vowed to cook more meals at home.  I mean, this is me….Adrienne.  I love to cook, but could not remember the last meal that I made at home.  Convenience became my friend.  Disjointedness, laziness, and convenience became my friends and I lost sight of what I enjoy doing and who I was.  I am not a liar. I am an honorable person.  The perpetual cycle of lies, self loathing, and excuses had to stop.

Taking on a task to create change in my life is serious matter.  This is the time to create goals and a vision for my future.  In May, I will be turning 40 years old.  By the time that I am 40, I want to have a handle on my life.  I want emotional wellbeing, financial security, physical strength, and a healthy balance.  In order to make this happen, research and organization had to become my main focus.  A few friends have said, “Just eat less and move more to lose weight.”  Yeah, right..maybe for the men who are telling me that.  I do not disagree with that formula, I know that formula is not right for  me.  One day, I was in the grocery store and I saw a magazine by the register. The headline hit me like a ton of bricks, “Lose 10, 20, 30, or 50 pounds!”  And with that headline, this magazine sells millions of copies and i bought one.  I did not know what to expect or what kind of crazy cabbage soup/grapefruit/taco diet would appear.  The article pertained to going Vegan once a day and eat “normally” the rest of the day.  What?  What does “normally” mean? Pass on that.  I flipped through the magazine and stumbled upon a recipe for bone broth.  As I read the recipe, the words Wheat Belly appeared in the article.  I have heard of Wheat Belly before, from friends who have had ailments and joint pain.  As I flipped through pages of the magazine, which included more recipes and a few success stories, I became intrigued by the lifestyle and knew at that moment…..THIS IS IT!!!

I went on Amazon.com and purchased a few books…

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By purchasing the books, I am educating myself.  Giving myself the proper tools to become successful.  Jumping into this lifestyle change without educating myself can create self doubt, self loathing, and create self sabotage.  At this moment, I decided that I was not going to PROCLAIM to anyone what changes I was making.  Because, let’s get real….proclaiming that you eat this way or that way not only creates labels, it also makes the person who is proclaiming come off like a food snob.  The proclaimer is putting themselves in a mold which can become self destructive.  I am the type of person who needs accountability, but this time….I am making myself accountable.  From that moment on, I began eating to live and not living to eat.

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And here I am…40 days later.  40 pounds lighter, less joint pain, no acid reflux, and sleeping well.  The lifestyle that I have chosen is not for all and that is absolutely fine.  In 40 days, I have planned and prepped six weeks of meals.  Five Monday’s have passed without the lie of starting over again.  Five Monday’s have come and gone without hating myself for drinking pop, eating candy and chips at work.  The sixth Monday is approaching and I have my meals and grocery list ready for tomorrow. 

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So, here it is.  A new blog entry and a new me.  This is the best I have felt in years.  I hope to reach other’s who are in search of obtaining their goals, who want to make change, and are serious about the change.  I am on an endless journey and would like to create a network for other’s who are on a journey.  It may not be a journey of weigh loss or eating healthy, but a person journey of balance or strength. 

Thank you for reading 🙂

Balancing Life, Healthy Living, and Instant Gratification

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I have no idea what the hell is going on with me.  Am I missing my bi-weekly therapy sessions?  I feel very unbalanced.  How do I find my balance?  I have had balance in my life before.  What did I do to get out of balance?  Did I become complacent?  Am I bored?  How am I going to find this balance? 
I want my house cleaned now.  I want my yard cleaned up now.  I want my workout to be over now.  I want Monday to be over now.  I want  to lose 20 pounds now. 

I know all of the tasks that I have to complete will not be completed without me doing work.  The thing is, I like work. I like to see before and after pics.  I like taking tasks off of my to-do list.  I like to accomplish goals.  I like to lay in bed at night knowing that I have done the best that I can do.  I love showing my son that a goal can be obtained with hard work and dedication.  Now, Adrienne…..make it happen!!!

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I purchased a planner some time ago.  Honestly, I purchase many planners and notebooks with the intention of filling them all up, but they sit there until the perfect moment.  My green planner will be used for this special task.  The task is to called OPERATION: FIND BALANCE. 

OPERATION: FIND BALANCE will include planning for meals, workouts, blogging, work, paying bills, family affairs, and me time.  Another idea that I would like to incorporate this operation, I would like to clean out my house.  I would like to accomplish one deep cleaning task daily.  I believe that there is comfort in knowing both my house and life can be balanced. 

I have to be realistic with this planning.  I am not going to try to conquer everything all at once, but if I am able to see a plan on paper, I am more likely to accomplish what I am trying to do.  How much sleep do I need nightly?  Am I taking too much on?  Can I work full time, be a mom, chef, tutor, maid, a workout partner, and me?  YES I CAN!!!

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This is the planner that I purchased months ago.  I am excited to use it.  This planner was designed to organize the chaos in someone’s business or life.  This planner is to be used for one month.  Breaking a habit and creating healthy balance takes 21 days.  After 30 days, I should have a great handle on my life.  Honestly, I will be happy, I am able to create a system that will work for me.  I am not going to give up. 

I will plan my life until I am blue in the face, but I need to implement what I am writing down.  I need to be accountable for my actions. 

I need to get emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy. 

Who’s with me?

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