March Goals and February Wrap-Up

March Fitness Goals

I’ve missed a couple weekly reviews – the one from this week I wanted to wait and do today since I knew I was going to write a February wrap-up and set some new goals for March. I can’t even believe we are at March 1st already!

Overall, things are going okay. Not losing weight as fast as I want, but I suppose it will take some time to repair my metabolism and get things going. I have been going out to eat a little too much and despite staying within points, I know I can get better food for my PointsPlus values eating at home.

I’ve been strength training 3x a week and trying to get my steps in daily. Some days I don’t try too hard to get my steps in, so I want to go back to making that a priority. Another thing I want to incorporate into my workouts throughout the week is some HIIT.

You know how they say losing weight is as easy as calories in, calories out? Umm…losing weight is freaking HARD. There is so much that goes into every move you make, from what to eat, how often to eat it, how to properly strength train and incorporating cardio (but not too much) into your routine. I feel lost sometimes with what I need to be doing so if anyone has any resources for beginners please leave the information down in the comments below!

Fitness – This month I just want to focus on getting in my HIIT training, which I will use from Dashing Dish. I plan on continuing with my 3x a week strength training, but will be increasing weights this week since last week felt a bit lighter.

Also, I’m going to refocus on my Good Health Guidelines on Weight Watchers. Keeping it simple and just focusing on filling those requirements as much as I can each day. Between that and tracking I should be getting better with food choices.

Fashion/Beauty – I’ve done a great job this month with staying on top of hydrating my skin. My face is so hydrated and smooth now so that makes me happy. I’ve also been trying to hydrate my body especially now that I am working out so I can keep my skin as supple as possible. For my face routine, I use the L’Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil followed by the Garnier Ulta-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisturizer and in the morning I wipe my skin clean with some toner, then hydrate with Garnier Moisture Rescue Gel Cream Dry Skin and the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream. All of this I found at Ulta.

What I’m Cooking

Later today I will be going through my Skinnytaste Cookbook and making a menu using my Erin Condren Wellness Journal. I’m excited for the weather to warm up so I can get outside and start grilling!

What I’ve Favorited

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift! 

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Weekly Review — February 14th

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today’s a special day in my house, the husband and I are celebrating our 11th anniversary — can’t believe that many years have gone by already. Hope everyone has a nice day with loved ones, pets and/or friends!

This week was much like the last few weeks — tracking on eTools and hitting my goals on Fitbit. I spent most of the week going beyond my daily step goal and continuing on with my Dashing Dish strength training plan! Seeing lots of difference in the way my body looks, which is bizarre considering I hadn’t seen much difference any change on the scale.

Fitness: I’ve been sticking to my weights three days a week following the guide I got off of Dashing Dish and actually enjoying it. I’ve started out with 15-45 pounds depending on my body part and doing about 15-20 reps in each of my three sets. I wanted to establish a baseline in order to see my progress as I go. I earned 33 APs and stuck with tracking each meal.

Yesterday there was a surprise for me on the scale.

Bikini Body Countdown

FINALLY. After going to the gym for almost 1.5 months straight (I’ve only missed five days of going to the gym since New Year’s Day — actually since my birthday on January 31st) and seeing my weight go up or stay the same, I saw a drop yesterday of -4.8 pounds. That’s awesome and I know next week could be weird since it was such a big loss, but I plan to keep going no matter what. I have goals this summer!

Fashion/Beauty: I’ve been really trying to make an effort with hydrating my skin daily, especially as I am trying to lose weight. My facial skin is really smooth and I picked up this stuff from Ulta, C. Booth Egyptian Argan Oil Body Butter — I like the subtle scent and it does not feel greasy at all, though it really seems to hydrate my body. I’ve also been making an effort to get in my daily multivitamin and skin vitamin.

What I’m Cooking

In my post about Meal Planning Tips, I mentioned trying to use themes for different nights of the week. I tried it this week and it worked okay, though I really need to go shopping and get some more groceries. I’ve been getting reacquainted with my old love Pinterest — that site was a never-ending source of good ideas when I lived in Colorado. Now I just want to make food, portion it out and track.

This week I made chicken and vegetables, spaghetti and meatballs, and some leftovers. I downloaded the newest issues of Cooking Light, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Food Network Magazine on my iPad, so I have plenty of recipes to look through this weekend.

What I’ve Favorited 

Overall, it’s been a great week! Ready to keep going and hit my goals.

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift! 

 

Meal Planning Tips

 

Meal planning is one of those things that I always have good intentions with, but then often fail to pull through after putting the time and effort. There are a couple reasons why I fail:

  • I want to go from eating complete junk to uber-healthy. I should know by now that this does not work for me! After a week of eating junk, the last thing I want to eat is plain chicken and quinoa — but I put it on my menu and then fail to follow through once the time comes to make food. Then what do I do instead? Go out to eat.
  • I add things that I am craving at that moment to my menu. When the time comes to make it, I don’t really want it anymore.

I know that my efforts in the gym are only going to work if I start making the effort at home. Menu planning is one area that I need help in to make sure I succeed with my goals. I did a little searching for menu planning tips and found this great resource from The Kitchn. Here are some of the tips that stuck out for me:

  • Spend time looking for recipes. I used to do this with my Pinterest page and actually made a lot more food at home. Perhaps it’s time to do it again.

Erin Condren Wellness Journal

  • Keep a journal. I bought the Wellness Journal from Erin Condren so I could keep all my meals and snacks in one place. This has been helpful so far in tracking meal ideas and workouts — I have also been making goal notes, such as drinking my water or getting my multivitamin. Lately, I’ve been wanting to write things down the old fashioned way — this planner is great. Use my referral link and save $10 on your next purchase!
  • Make theme nights. I’ve never done the Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Italian thing in my house, but I’m thinking that might make it even easier to find certain recipes to go with each night of the week, plus it ensures I get lots of variety in my meals! Going to give this idea a try and see how it works.
  • Don’t crowd the refrigerator. I actually love looking at a half-empty refrigerator. It makes me feel like I can easily see what I have in there and for the most part it’s organized. I can’t even say how much food I throw away on a constant basis because it got lost in the abyss of the crisper drawers or got shoved to the back.

What are some of your go-to menu planning tips?

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift!

Weekly Review — February 7th

It’s been a pretty uneventful week, so this review might be on the shorter side! Been tracking points, trying to stay active and drinking water — it’s definitely keeping me occupied.

bikini body countdown

The scale hasn’t moved AT. ALL, but I can tell my body is looking different.

bikini body countdown progress

Fitness: I’ve had a successful week meeting my goals on Fitbit and staying on track with my Dashing Dish strength training schedule. I took a rest day on Thursday, but actually felt guilty about it…so this week I want to make it a goal to get my steps in every day. I like seeing all those green stars on my dashboard!

Speaking of Fitbit — I have currently burned enough calories to provide five meals to those in need. Hoping to earn a lot more this week with my cardio sessions. As of now, I’m earning one meal a day with my activity. Check out my post about #FitForFood and sign up!

Fashion/Beauty: Drinking water is hard! I’ve been working on getting in my 64 ounces in…something I want to continue doing this week. Also trying to remember to take my multivitamin and Hair & Skin supplement.

What I’m Cooking

It’s been a week of not cooking much in my kitchen. I’ve had a hard time adjusting to some new schedules here, but that changes this week. I’m not failing to plan — going through my Skinnytaste cookbook with my Erin Condren Wellness Journal and making a plan of action! If you use my referral link, you get $10 off your next purchase — making the planner free. I love free!

Erin Condren Wellness Journal

What I’ve Favorited 

7 Workout Mistakes That Keep You From Losing Belly Fat

Wash Your Face With … Oil?

Out-of-This-World Oatmeal Recipes

That’s it for this week, hope it’s a good one!

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift! 

Weekly Review — January 31st

Today is the end of the month, a chance to reflect how January went. I also turn 32 today, an age I once thought was ‘old’ but now that I’m here I still feel like I am in my 20s. I suppose I’ll always feel that way.

Anywho, January was pretty awesome in terms of my goals. I not only hit my goal of walking 100 miles this month, I kept it going and officially hit my second milestone, 120 miles.

End of the month

Finishing this goal proves to me that I can do it. I can complete things I set out to do and keep going. I’m the person that never put time into dedicating myself to going to the gym. This month, I went to the gym 30 times (31 when I count going this afternoon). While the scale has not budged, I have seen a substantial difference in the way my clothes fit.

I tracked every day on Weight Watchers and earned 137 activity points. There once was a time when I would earn 1 AP a WEEK if I was really making an effort. Now that my goals for January are over, I realized how important they were in keeping me motivated! I have new goals for February, which I will share below.

Fitness: I spent a lot of time on the treadmill this month, so I want to switch up my fitness routine in February to accommodate a balance of cardio and strength training. I am liking the Health and Fitness Calendar featured on Dashing Dish — Katie provides a layout of workout options for each week and then you go and grab any number of her workouts to plug in for your strength and cardio. I love her variety because there’s something for everyone, beginners to advanced.

Dashing Dish Fitness

You need to become a member of her website to gain access to these monthly plans, membership is $5 a month. Along with the membership you get exclusive recipes, workout plans, guides and videos that aren’t available to non-members. While the workout calendar is a part of the membership benefits, you can still go onto her website and check out her other fitness workouts and put the month together on your own.

Fashion/Beauty: Now that my walking goal is over, I decided to put February’s goal on something else I struggle with: drinking water. I know my skin and body could do well with a lot more water, so I created a challenge to drink 64 ounces of water every day. I’m going to take a ‘before’ picture of my face and see if there’s a difference by the end of the month after drinking at least 64 ounces a day. Want to join in? Find me on Instagram @bikinicountdown!

Bikini Countdown Water Challenge

What I’m Cooking

Since it’s my birthday weekend/Super Bowl, there are going to be lots of (tracked!) foods I plan to indulge in — steak, eggs Benedict, nachos and pizza (don’t forget the jello shots!) are just some of the things I know I am going to be using my weeklies and activity points for this week. The rest of the week will just be about using stuff up in my pantry!

What I’ve Favorited

Lots of things I saw this week I liked and you might be interested to check them out, too.

So there’s my week — and month — wrap up, can’t wait to see how February shapes up! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so we can stay in touch.

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift! 

 

 

Weekly Review — January 24

Another good week doing what I need to be doing! I gained .05 this week, but I am not worried — I have been tracking everything and exercising and will just keep moving forward.

I have made a good amount of progress in my #bikinicountdownchallenge and should finish it completely by tomorrow — SIX DAYS ahead of schedule. I am super proud of myself for finishing something I set out to do. There have been many days I did not feel like going to the gym, but I knew I had to get it done.

For years, I’ve not felt like monitoring my portions or getting exercise — which is exactly why I’m almost 32 years old and not happy with the way I look or feel. Countless summers, milestones and deadlines for my weight loss have come and gone with no results. I’m not putting a time frame on anything this time. I am creating goals and completing them one meal, one day and one month at a time.

Week of January 24th

Weight Watchers: I’ve been a trackstar the entire month of January and I will be continuing with this trend. I’ve been trying to pre-track some meals so I see how I can incorporate some treats into my day. With my birthday on Saturday and Super Bowl on Sunday, I know it’s going to be a big weekend of indulging. I plan on using my weeklies and watching portion sizes, then working hard all week earning back some activity points. Here’s how January has shaped up so far according to my Weight Watchers Progress Report:

Bikini Countdown Weight Watchers

 

I voiced my frustration over on Twitter about gaining a little bit this month, despite tracking and getting over 100 activity points — I feel so much better in my clothing and actually feel a bit more solid in my legs and arms, so I need to take measurements and track my progress that way. Great advice from my fellow weight watchers!

Fitness: This week has been a good one for getting in my steps. We took a trip to Disneyland, which always allows me to get in a good amount of steps. Since I am going to hit my 100 Miles in January goal tomorrow night, I am going to start the Couch to 5k training program on Monday and keep the streak going.

Bikini Countdown January Challenge

 

Fashion/Beauty: Nothing much to report on this topic — I am trying to take better care of my skin and taking my Extra Strength Hair, Skin & Nails softgels from Nature’s Bounty. I have not taken them consistently enough to notice a difference, but will definitely report back once I take them as directed. While I plan on continuing my fitness goals into February, there are going to be some additional challenges I want to give myself to take better care of my skin — such as drinking water and taking vitamins.

What I’m Cooking

This week I am keeping it simple! Here’s what’s going on in my kitchen this week so far:

What I’ve Favorited

That’s my week in review, can’t wait to see where this week takes me! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so we can stay in touch.

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift! 

 

Big Flavor, Small Portion

I was over on Instagram the other day when I saw it:

#bigflavorsmallportion

Cooking Light
Cooking Light

Cooking Light used a hashtag that just clicked for me at that moment and put into words the kind of way I want to eat for the rest of my life.

On Weight Watchers, watching portion sizes is a huge aspect of the program — it’s something I try to keep in mind for each meal. Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not…it’s a work in progress! While looking for ideas during my meal planning, I often come across recipes that use many ‘healthy’ substitutes or artificial ingredients. More and more, I hear about fat-free and sugar-free products and when browsing them at the store, I see that the nutrition isn’t much better than the ‘regular’ product.

While there are some things I naturally just prefer lower fat — such as skim milk — I’m 100% behind the idea of using big flavors, just eating less of it! To me, this seems like a realistic approach to learning how to navigate food for the rest of my life. When I make food at home, I want it to taste good and look appetizing — that’s the only way I’m going to be successful in watching my portions and tracking what I eat. Therefore, I must confess something to you.

I choose regular bacon instead of turkey bacon. 

I choose an actual egg instead of egg substitute. 

I use regular or 2% milk cheese instead of fat-free. 

I cook with real butter instead of margarine. 

I use skim milk in my coffee instead of fat-free, non-dairy creamers. 

Everything in moderation! For me, #bigflavorsmallportions is a theory I know fits in my lifestyle and will keep me satisfied and on track. Luckily, with a program like Weight Watchers, I can do that. The Recipe Builder feature on eTools allows me to make adjustments as I go so I can see if an ingredient is truly worth skipping or modifying.

What ingredients do you choose to swap or skip?

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift!