Tag Archives: calories

Soup is Not Filling


I’m so sick of this tooth! I had the root canal on Tuesday and have been in pain ever since. :( That does not bode well for my training. I need to be able to eat real food and I’m telling you, soup is NOT filling.

For dinner last night I tried to eat some real food and was pretty successful. Michael blackened some salmon again (it was soft enough for me to eat) and we steamed some veggies. I overcooked the veggies so they weren’t crunchy at all. I was able to eat with no problem, so that’s good.

I topped the veggies with some Goddess Dressing (broccoli and sliced baby carrots).

It was nice being able to eat real food. I can’t wait for this drama to be done with.

I also got a package in the mail yesterday that cheered me up a little. My Bondi Band!

It’s purple with white writing (even if the picture doesn’t look it). I love it. I’m glad I got that saying on it. It’s totally me. I run because I like to, because I like that my body can do it…but I let’s be honest. I also love cheesecake and pizza. :) I also got a decal for my car:

It’s kind of goofy, but I like it. :)

I spoke with my dentist this morning. I decided to stay home from work today and take it easy. Last night was ROUGH. I was in so much pain I was crying. And my threshold for pain is pretty high. I have numerous tattoos. I RUN. I’m training for an insane relay race. I can TAKE PAIN. But this tooth is bringing me down! My dentist is prescribing me some antibiotics. That’s usually a last resort for me because I hate taking them. I hate the side effects, I hate the way I feel on them. But I’m desperate at this point and Hood to Coast is in 21 days. I need to be on my game!

Hood to Coast Relay: In 21 Days!!!!

Mushy Dinner and Top Chef


After the dog park, I went home and Michael made me dinner. He made me ravioli for dinner because it was soft and I could eat it.

Since I haven’t been able to eat much, I was starving. My stomach felt hollow and grumbly. Michael made the ravioli and put pesto on it. I ate the 1 serving and was still so hungry. He made me a second serving. I was okay for calories so I wasn’t too worried.

It was tasty and I was able to eat them.

While I ate my ravioli, we watched last night’s Top Chef episode. Anyone else see it? I don’t want to ruin it for anyone…

Last week was a bit of a controversial episode. One of the contestants, Alex, allegedly stole another contestant’s pea puree! I was so shocked. I’ve never liked Alex on the show and that sealed the deal for me. Not only did the editing imply that Alex stole the puree, he WON that week’s competition. With the pea puree.

Last night’s episode was about ethnic cuisine. The “Quick Challenge” was cool. The chefs had to create Ethiopian dishes. I happen to love Ethiopian food, so that was a cool challenge. I won’t talk about the rest of the episode in case I spoil it for other people!

QUESTION: What did you think about the “pea puree” scandal?

Back to the Routine


Sunday night’s dinner was very… phallic…

Instead of our usual Sunday Steak Night, we decided to do bratwursts instead–mostly because we both had steak on Friday night and Michael had steak for breakfast. I was good with that; especially since Michael and Jeremy cooked dinner. :)

Michael boiled the brats before grilling them and Jeremy did his special trick for corn on the cob.

This time, Jeremy used butter and added chili pepper. It was a great addition!

Dinner turned out really good and not only that–it was COOKED FROM HOME! It was so nice to prepare our own food and eat normal portions.

I am grateful for the opportunity to go out to dinner with Michael’s family. I am also grateful for enjoying food prepared BY Michael. :) I skipped having a beer with dinner. It’s almost habit now. A habit I *really* don’t need! I drank water instead and decided my splurge would be dessert.

If you remember, I bought fudge from the beach this weekend.

I had half a glass of nonfat milk with a small piece of fudge (Chocolate Peanut Butter).

I also bought another treat for myself: Bondi Band! I’ve been wanting one for awhile now and I finally broke down and ordered one. I can’t wait to get it! I’ve been needing a new headband for running and I think I got a cute one.

QUESTION: Do you have a Bondi Band? Which one did you get?

For breakfast Monday morning, Michael created a half bagel sandwich. Half a bagel (130 calories) with a little light cream cheese, sliced turkey sausage and 1.5 scrambled eggs. It’s a little higher in calories than what I normally have for breakfast but it was tasty.

It’s also a good breakfast for days that I will run at lunch.

The Danger of House Guests


One of the “dangers” of having house guests is finding snack foods in your house that you wouldn’t normally buy OR eat. For example:

I can safely say I would never be tempted to buy this bag of chips on my own. First, if I’m craving junk food it’s usually sugar or chocolate. Second, I’ve learned to restrain myself for the most part. I’ve buying less and less processed food. Sure I have treats once in awhile, but I honestly can’t say the last time I bought Doritos. So imagine my surprise when I got home from work to find an OPENED bag of Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili chips. And damn are they good. Damn damn damn!! I’ve probably eaten two servings already. Damn you Doritos!

The other danger of having house guests is eating out. A lot. I anticipate that I will be eating out quite a bit in the next three weeks. I HOPE I have the willpower and restraint to order smart. I know the tricks of eating out:

  • Drinking a lot of water
  • Drinking alcohol slowly
  • Skip the appetizers
  • Order a salad/half sandwich combo
  • Split entrees
  • Soup and salad or veggies are a good choice
  • Split dessert

Yeah…I know all the tips. I’ve used them many, many times. That doesn’t mean KNOWING is DOING.

I got home from work Thursday night and met Michael and his friend Jeremy (who is visiting from Ireland) before headed out to dinner. We were headed to a movie so Michael decided we should eat at Dot’s Cafe on SE Clinton Street since it was across from the theatre.

Dot's Cafe

Dot’s is a funky hole-in-the-wall cafe that plays weird music and is so dark you can barely see your food.

Dot's

Oh and did I mention the velvet wallpaper and the Elvis paintings?

Dot's

It’s your typical Portland restaurant with sketchy service: either really friendly waitstaff of the effing b*itches that are too good to be your waitress. We had a mixture of both at Dot’s. Pretty typical! But the food is good (and cheap).

I drank just water. (Score!) I did not order an appetizer. (Check!) I also did NOT order my favorite item from Dot’s: a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon. Oh my goodness is that good! Instead, I ordered a burrito with black beans, brown rice, jack cheese and chilis. I skipped the guacamole and just went with the sour cream and salsa topping. Jeremy also got the Dot’s Burrito but with chicken.

Somewhat large. I ended up eating 3/4 of the burrito and skipped the chips. Jeremy’s burrito:

This One's For Amy in Ireland

Jeremy ate half of his burrito. Trust me, the burrito is pretty big!

After we ate we walked across the street to see the movie! That’s the next post. :) And boy was it a good one!

500 Calorie Dinner


After work last night I went to the pool and was happy to enjoy my swim alone! I love it when the pool is empty. :) I was really hungry when I got home and wanted something quick and easy.

I was on my own for dinner and I was in a soup mood. I made the Beef with Country Vegetables (170 calories a serving) and a toasted Sandwich Thin with Chavrie cheese.

Dinner was good and very light on calories.

As my side, I had some cantaloupe.

Thanks for all the tips regarding insomnia! I slept okay last night. A few people suggested a certain kind of tea and I will be picking some up this weekend.

QUESTION: What is your favorite quickie dinner?

Sharp Things Hurt


I skipped the pool last night and came home to help Michael start tiling the kitchen. His friend Dave kindly helped Michael pick up the wet saw and they moved the stove and fridge. Dave left after that so it was just us two for the rest of the night. I went to the grocery store to pick up dinner.

I needed something easy since we had no stove and couldn’t get to the fridge. I stood in line at the deli but decided against it. Everything looked greasy and covered in fattening sauce. Yuck. I went to the Organic frozen section and picked up two Bean and Cheese Burritos (300 calories each). Then I grabbed two ready-made salads. I’ve eaten these salads before and they were delicious. Expensive, but tasty. I got a Chicken Caesar Salad for Michael and my favorite salad for myself:

The Santa Fe Salad. It comes with chicken, cheese, corn and tortilla chips.

Only 280 calories! I also got a diet soda with lots of caffeine in it. :)

Gourmet dinner served!! Then back to tiling.

The wet saw was easy for Michael to use, which was good news for us because there weren’t a lot of mistakes or breaks to worry about. And the process went a lot faster than we thought. Not to jinx things, but if it continues to go this well, we’ll be done this weekend!

While I was drying off the wet tiles, I accidentally sliced open my palm with the cut edge of the tile. :(

OUCH. Michael sprang into action and played Doctor. He used a burn cream that he got last summer when he crashed his bike. He had road rash really bad on his hand and this cream was a miracle healer. Next he bandaged my hand and I put vinyl gloves on for the rest of the work that night (should’ve been wearing the gloves to begin with). Michael will be a good dad someday–he’s excellent at fixing boo-boos and distracting the injured person with jokes and stories. :) He’s a natural.

Needless to say, I was bummed about injuring myself at the start of the weekend! I hope it doesn’t hinder the rest of the project.

We are off to the local dive bar/restaurant to get breakfast before starting up the rest of the tile.

Have a great weekend!

Chaos and Disorder


You will not gain back everything you lost by taking an extra day off.

This is something I have to remind myself once in awhile. As you may remember, we are remodeling our kitchen and are in the process of laying tile.

It’s a really long, involved process which takes time–and we have a huge space too. This week we have been measuring tile to prep them for cutting this weekend. Because of the aggressive plan for this weekend, Michael asked me to take Friday off from swimming.

It’s a small sacrifice and in the grand scheme of things it makes no difference. I tell myself today “Would I rather have the kitchen done, or go swimming?” Of course I’d rather have the kitchen done! But when it comes to sacrificing my workouts, I tend to be a little irrational at times.

For example, I had surgery a few years ago to remove a non-cancerous lump from my breast. The doctor said I had to take a week off from swimming while I healed. I totally lost it at the idea of taking a week off! Of course it was needed, but I stubbornly tried to do other activities that weren’t swimming just to get my workout in. Why? Because my fear has always been that if I skip workouts I will start getting lazy about them which in turn will cause me to gain all my weight back. I know it makes no sense.

Before I hurt myself running last month, I wouldn’t have minded too much because I would have just added an extra run to the week and called it good. Now, however, I am trying to take it easy with the running for fear of re-injuring myself.

Michael was very sweet and as a compromise he said he’d walk with me for an hour every night–even if it was 10pm–to make up for the missing workout. He’s such a sweetie and today I feel silly for being upset about a WORKOUT.

QUESTION: Do you get upset when your workouts are thwarted?

Since the kitchen was in complete disarray, I went to Subway to pick up dinner. I got a foot-long Spicy Italian (my favorite) and some Sun-chips.

We split the sandwich for dinner.

I could make better choices at Subway but what I got was about 520 calories and that’s alright for dinner.

I’m excited for this weekend. I feel positive that we can finish all the tile and finally have a nice kitchen! And I’m looking forward to having less stress and chaos. The kitties are starting to show signs of stress too. We’ve had to move their litter box and food many, many times in the last few weeks. They look at me with a “What is going on, Mom?” kind of look!

Poor kitties!

QUESTION: Do you like Subway? What do you usually get?

No Bake Cookies


No Bake Cookie RECIPE:

Mix and Boil for 1 minute:

2 cups sugar

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup milk

3 heaping tablespoons of Cocoa powder

Remove from heat and add:

1/2 cup peanut butter (I prefer creamy)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups Oatmeal (uncooked)

Mix it all together.

Don’t add too much extra peanut butter because it won’t set correctly.

Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper and let it set.

Depending on the size of the cookies, it makes between 30-40 cookies.

I discovered a new website that analyzes recipes and tells you what the calories are! It’s so cool! Check it out here: Recipe Analysis. According to both the Recipe Analysis and a general google search, the No Bake Cookies are about 115 calories each cookie.

I have a family reunion this weekend and decided to make my favorites: the No Bake Cookies. They are the perfect crowdpleaser as well as super easy. There are very few ingredients and they are things I always have on hand. I used to bake A LOT. It was one of my hobbies in fact, and I loved doing it. When I started getting healthy, the baking hobby went bye-bye; mostly because I did not trust myself to have treats in the house, and also because I am a TASTER when I bake.

Ingredients

I got all the ingredients out beforehand. Which was a good idea because our kitchen and pantry is in shambles! It took me awhile to find the wax paper, for example.

I made a slight variation this time I made it. I used 2 cups of the regular oats I usually use, and 1 cup of the Scottish Oats. I think it will add a different texture to the cookies.

Dry Oats

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Follow the first part of the recipe and melt the butter.

Be sure to let the sugar dissolve completely or the cookies will be grainy.

Cocoa Powder

After the first stage, you must quickly add the peanut butter, oats and vanilla quickly and mix well before it sets.

Peanut Butter

Drop it on the wax paper:

Cookies

I let the cookies set for a few hours. Enjoy!

QUESTION: Have you ever made No Bake Cookies before? Any variations out there?

Time Travel Post #2 – Moving


About this time last year, Michael invited me to move in with him. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. It was an easy decision to make, despite my independent nature. I’d lived on my own for about 8 years. No roommates, completely self-sufficient.

I loved my old apartment. I had the perfect neighbor, a quiet neighborhood, and lots of storage and space! The local community pool was literally a mile from my apartment and I spent many, many, many days there swimming off my 110 pounds!

When Michael asked me to move in with him I was very happy and packed up all my crap. :) I had a lot of stuff. I decided I wanted to downsize and purge as much crap as I could. It was a very long process. I had TONS of books I had to sort and decide which ones to get rid of. I donated too many carloads of stuff to count to Goodwill. It felt great to get rid of junk.

Of course moving was stressful. It was a big decision and a big life change for me. Having been on my own for so long, I worried and over analyzed the idea of giving up my own space. It turned out to be a good thing and I’ve never regretted giving up my apartment.

Of course I got a little emotional looking at my empty apartment but then I moved on (literally).

Sometimes unpacking can be fun. Other times, it’s not fun. Fat Kitty of course had to explore every nook and cranny and “helped” me unpack. :P

This time last year Portland was experiencing a heat wave of over 100 degrees. My little apartment was NOT air-conditioned and it was miserably hot. :( There seems to be a repeat this year! However, I’m now in an air-conditioned house thankfully!

Last night was very hot and I was happy to have air conditioning. Today it’s supposed to be 100 degrees. Just a reminder in hot weather: make sure your critters get extra water and don’t get too hot!

For dinner we grilled steaks outside. I made a salad and cooked the gnocchi.

I topped the salad with goat cheese crumbles. What a great addition!

I realized we were out of pesto. Bummer. I love the steak/gnocchi/pesto combo. Instead of pesto, I sprinkled olive oil on the gnocchi and shredded fresh Parmesan cheese on top.

I’ve been having problems with a tooth for a few weeks now and in retrospect, steak probably wasn’t a good choice for dinner last night. Oh well! It was tasty!

For dessert I had two scoops of light vanilla ice cream, a little light chocolate sauce and less than a handful of M&Ms. Because of my tooth I haven’t been eating a lot lately. I’ve been way under my daily calories all week. I also have to eat a lot slower, so that’s been a positive!

Finally, congratulations to our friends Dave and Kat who just welcomed their daughter Norah into the world!! I can’t wait to meet the little cutie! :)

Healthy Snacking


What do you snack on? I’m a snacker during the week only. I rarely snack on the weekends because I’m usually too busy doing stuff to get hungry!

I used to bring snacks like this:

Lots of processed food!!

It was never filling and I didn’t really feel that great eating them. When I started running, my diet changed drastically. I quickly learned what food to eat as FUEL for my body. Instead of wasteful filler food like those snacks, I switched to fruit and veggies.

So instead of the food with bar-codes, I eat these things for snacks:

Medium sized apple: 80 calories.

String Cheese: 80 calories

Cup of Rainier Cherries: 90 calories

Serving of Cottage Cheese: 90 calories

Baby carrots: less than 50 calories

Cup of cauliflower: less than 50 calories

QUESTION: What are your snacking habits? How can they be improved?

Last night was another Twitter #fitblog Chat. I participated in the first part of the chat and then got distracted with dinner.

Here are a few of my thoughts about the questions last night:

Q1 Follow Up 1: how did the dietary/fitness change effect you in ways you weren’t expecting?

For me, the biggest surprise/change in losing weight was that I became an athlete. I NEVER would have imagined I’d be so athletic and so into fitness. I’ve come  a long way from being a lazy, 250 pound person that ate poorly and hated my body. Another surprise was that I became a RUNNER. Who would have thought that?!?!

Q1 Follow Up 2: what tips do you have now that you wish you could have given yourself when you first decided to make the change?

The biggest suggestion I have for people first starting out is to sign up for one or two sessions with a personal trainer to get a GOOD routine down and be trained on how to lift weights and use the machines properly. Injuries can be avoided! Another suggestion would be to get fitted for good running shoes BEFORE you start running! I waited way too long to do that. And finally:

STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH and STRETCH some more!!!

I will leave you all with another 100 calorie treat that I enjoyed this morning:

ICED COFFEE…..perfect for 90 degree weather! I added my own sweetener to save calories:

QUESTION: Did you participate in last night’s #fitblog chat? What were your thoughts?

Corn on the Cob


It’s been YEARS since I had corn on the cob!

I filled the pot with water and we boiled the corn for about 15/20 minutes.

At first I thought we were going to BBQ the corn on the grill but Michael didn’t want to fire up the grill for just the corn. Understandable. He picked up a rotisserie chicken from the store:

I made salads for us:

With our standard oil and balsamic vinegar.

When the corn was done, Michael peeled off the husks and cut the end off of the corn.

Peeling Husks

Michael wanted me to try the corn his way. He squeezed the lime onto a plate and directed me to rub the lime on the corn.

Step One: Lime

Next, he said to carefully sprinkle Chili Powder on the corn.

Step Two: Chili Powder

The verdict? I liked it! It was a cool flavor. I didn’t put enough chili powder on it, so next time I will. Have you ever tried this? Michael thinks he saw it on a travel/food show about Wrigley Field.

Dinner

Now comes the real question: How do you eat your corn on the cob?

I eat mine corn on the cob in a straight line: one side done, flip to the other side.

Straight Line Eating

Michael eats his corn on the cob in a circle, working his way from one end of the corn to the other. What do you do? I have no idea there was a different way to eat it! :)

How to BBQ Healthier


It’s almost summertime, which means the grilling season is here! BBQ’s, picnics, potlucks galore. There are simple ways you can avoid packing on the pounds during this fun season. For example, skip the cheeseburger and make a turkey burger or a veggie burger. Here are a few other tips:

1. Choose less fatty cuts of meat. If you are grilling chicken, take the skin off.

2. Try putting BBQ sauce on before you grill, not after. A lot of it will burn off but you’ll still have the flavor.

3. Go easy on the serving sizes.

4. But go NUTS on the veggies! Veggies are delicious when grilled. Try kebabs with sliced zucchini, carrots, peppers and onions. Check out this recipe at Food Network.

5. Watch the side dishes. I love grilling asparagus or zucchini as a side dish and I skip the potato salad or chips and dip.

6. If you must have dips, try hummus and carrots. Trader Joe’s has excellent hummus (I love the red pepper hummus).

7. Use a meat thermometer to make sure you are cooking the food correctly. Nothing ruins a good BBQ like food poisoning!

8. Try grilling fish instead of a steak or burger. Here are some tips for grilling Tuna.

9. Instead of cookies or cake for dessert, try grilling pineapple slices and eat them with frozen yogurt!

Condiments

Don’t forget that condiments can really add up.

From Last Night's Dinner

Choose lower calories options like mustard (which is almost always low in calories):

Mustard

I eat about 2-3 servings of mustard (which is really 15 calories, not 5). I skip the real mayo which is higher in calories and sometimes use a lighter version. Since I’m not a fan of mayo, I don’t miss it.

Ketchup is packed with sugar (no wonder I love it). 20 calories in 1 Tablespoon. How many tablespoons do you use for fries? I bet it’s not 1 serving!

Ketchup

Pickles are a great addition because they are tasty and very low in calories.

Pickles

Sweet relish goes great on hot dogs and burgers. I use it sparingly as well.

Relish

BBQ sauce can add a whopping 50-100+ calories to your meal as well.

The conclusion is that adding a lot of condiments to your meal can add up fast. Doing some quick math, eating all of  the above (several servings) can add 100-200 calories to your meal. While I’m not saying to cut them out, there are ways to season without gaining weight. Mustard, mustard, mustard! ;)

And don’t forget to exercise! Play basketball, badminton, frisbee, etc with friends before grilling.

QUESTION: How do you keep BBQ’s healthy? Do you have a favorite recipe to share?

Dorm Room Dinner


When I got home from the pool last night, Michael was almost done with preparing dinner. This:

Plus this:

Equals this:

And even more of a “White Trash” Version of his White Trash Casserole! ;) But who am I kidding? It tasted pretty good. :) I drank 1 Mirror Pond Pale Ale with dinner. We caught up on some Parenthood episodes (I think we’re now only 7 episodes behind!) and I ate a Biscotti for dessert (110 calories).

Then…I had a midnight snack. Okay, it wasn’t quite midnight. It was like 10:30. But my stomach started growling! I don’t know what is going on with me lately but if feels like I cannot eat enough food. Instead of eating another Biscotti, or some chocolate like I really wanted to do, I munched on some cantaloupe instead.

According to Myfitnesspal.com, these are my stats for yesterday:

Total Fat: 60 grams (goal 72)

Cholesterol: 554 (goal 300)

Sodium: 2774 (goal 2500)

Total Carbs: 224 (goal 300)

Fiber: 17 (goal 18)

Sugars: 33 (goal 32)

Protein: 66 (goal 82)

I burned 595 calories yesterday with my walking and swimming. I ate 1894 calories total.

Nutritionist’s Advice


Today I had an appointment with a Dietitian (finally!!). Since I already track my food and exercise, it was pretty easy to keep the “diary” like she requested. I printed off about 5 days worth from Myfitnesspal.com and tried to have a good range of examples of rest days versus normal exercise days plus intense exercise days.

The appointment went really well. I gave her my background on how I lost the weight originally, and how last year I gained 15 pounds as a result of medication I was taking. I told her I’ve lost 3 pounds since February when I stopped taking the pills. She said that was a perfectly fine amount and I shouldn’t be disappointed.

She said that 1590 calories a day (which is what I strive to eat, minus the days I exercise and eat more) is pretty low for my activity level. She said that a HEALTHY RATE OF LOSS is about 1/2 pounds to 2 pounds a week. According to her, 2 pounds a week is a lot. In order to lose 2 pounds a week, I’d have to cut 1,000 calories a day. 500 calories a day reduction = 1 pound a week loss. That is incredibly unhealthy.

She recommended that in order to lose about 1/2 a pound a week, to reduce my calories by 250 calories a day. However, she said that with my activity level being as high as it is, I should be eating MORE calories. She calculated my Resting Basil Metobolic Rate to be: 1250 calories and since I have a sedentary job I have 1500 calories a day. She said to then add on calories based on my exercise level.

We talked about Rest Days as well. I told her that I try to restrict my intake and eat the 1590 calories only since I am on a “Rest Day”. She said that’s the opposite of what I should do on Rest Days. Our bodies need calories on rest days because it’s replenishing what we burned the day before when we were very active. That totally explains why I’m usually famished the day AFTER a big workout.

I asked her about my sugar intake. Myfitnesspal.com always says I go over my daily allotment for sugar. I told her how much fruit I eat and asked if I should be restricting that. She said no. She said fruit was good fuel and healthy sugars and not to worry about the number.

She recommended I read “Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.” I’m definitely going to check it out.

All in all, I’m happy with my appointment. I feel like she reinforced what I already knew and was doing on my own. She also said that my rate of weight loss is fine. I won’t feel guilty anymore about only seeing 1 pound loss!


Food



I’m not much of a chef. For two years, I struggled with trying to figure out how to eat. I had to relearn what was “healthy.”

I was pretty restrictive with my calories. I wanted to eat 1500 a day (but it was usually closer to 1800 calories a day). On a side note, I was even evaluated by a “nutritionist” (I use that name lightly because honestly she was just hawking shakes) who said I should be eating 1200 calories a day to lose weight. Excuse me?? To me, that sounds like a starvation diet and NOT healthy.

My typical meals for two years were as follows:
BREAKFAST:
Low-calories cereal with nonfat milk or Egg Beaters scramble with an English muffin and fake cheese (nasty!)

LUNCH:
Every day for 2 years I had a turkey sandwich and the exact serving size of Wheat Thins.

DINNER:
Usually a Lean Cuisine frozen dinner with a salad.

I wasn’t perfect with my diet, but I was okay. I rarely snacked in between meals, and tried to eat fruit and veggies when I did.

Boy, am I sick of sandwiches now!!

This diet probably sounds awful to a lot of people. But for me it was great. I knew what I had to eat each day, I knew I would reach the calories I needed for the day, and I learned what PORTION SIZES were!! This is probably the most important lesson I learned in this whole process. I had NO idea what a portion size was.

Once I got comfortable with this diet, I started to change things up. I sometimes made a chicken breast on my George Forman grill for dinner. I love fish, so I baked salmon a lot. Again–not a chef. It wasn’t exciting food. But I learned portion sizes and what I should be eating, instead of what I wanted to eat.

Now before anyone gets too overwhelmed thinking they can’t do what I did…I slipped up many, many times! I was in no way perfect with my food for those two years. My weight fluctuated up and down and I battled the holiday bulge.

My suggestion to anyone trying to lose weight: LEARN PORTION SIZES. Trust me, it’s NEVER enough food. However, if you retrain your body to eat portion sizes, you will not be hungry.