Monday, January 15, 2018

Freestyling on Weight Watchers: Weighing in on Week Two

Hey there!

So last week was another week doing the Weight Watcher Freestyle program and I must say I still am really digging the program.

Here's what I did that was good:

  • I meal prepped and brought my own food with me to work for breakfast and lunch - even though there's a giant spread of food there. Having my own stuff helped me to keep in control
  • I aimed to walk and get in close to 10,000 steps a day and succeeded more than I didn't
  • I earned the "blue dots" in the Weight Watcher App 6 out of 7 days

Here's what I didn't accomplish which I wanted to:
  • Still didn't drink nearly enough water
  • Used a few too many points on empty calories like alcohol
  • Didn't get to the gym once - no run / no strength :( 
  • I totally overate on Friday night and was mad at myself for letting myself get talked into ordering something less than healthy and eating it until I was beyond stuffed
But, even with the "not so good" moments I had another good loss. I was down 2.6 pounds! That a total of 7.2 pounds down so far! YAY! 

WooHoo! 
I was shocked. Although my clothing is fitting better and I'm feeling good overall - I was so sure that the Friday night binge and lack of getting to the gym were going to get me. I expected either a very tiny weight loss (like .2) or a slight gain. I was so not prepared to have lost 2.6 - so much so that the lady weighing me questioned why I looked so upset. I wasn't upset, I told her, "I'm just confused seeing that number because I was braced for something much higher." It took a minute for my brain to process the number especially after losing so much the week before! I never have losses like that two weeks in a row! In fact, I'm still not completely convinced that the scale is right and that the loss is legit. Which is kind of ridiculous. Why is it my default to assume that the bad moments totally outweighed the good ones? Why can't I just think, "Damn, I worked hard. I said no to a thousand fattening choices this week, made sure to get in my steps, carried my food all over and ordered steamed shrimp with broccoli when dining out instead of a calorie bomb of a dish and I guess it paid off." 

speaking of calorie bombs. Holy shit.

I don't know. But I am very happy that I've got a little momentum. 

So after the meeting I decided to do some meal prep. 

I made a bowl of hardboiled eggs. And then I attempted these 3 point bagels from Skinnytaste which are all the rage right now. 

I was super dubious. I made the GF version (so they are 4 points). And the dough was sticky and icky and I wasn't sure how they would turn out. 

Uh. I don't know about this.


They looked much better out of the oven!



And guess what? They are pretty tasty too. I had a half of one for breakfast (for 2 pts.) and I enjoyed it. 

I also whipped up my spinach pie. I took the original recipe for it and added another egg and a half a cup of plain, fat free Greek yogurt. The extra egg and yogurt really made it even better. 

So tasty
Then I decided to make soup. I remembered this 13 bean blend that my friend Angela used to make a soup with and figured it would make a great 0 point soup. So I got it. 



I soaked the beans overnight. In the morning I removed 3 cups of beans (it makes a shit load of beans) and put them in the fridge to do something else with. 

I put the rest of the beans into my crockpot. I added a chopped onion, 4 chopped garlic cloves, a 15 oz. can of basil, garlic and onion diced tomatoes, two boulion cubes, 2 bay leaves a little pepper and a dash of salt. Filled the crock pot almost to the top with water and put it on low for the day. 

OMG - it's YUMMY. So flavorful, hearty and comforting. It's a winner. Even my husband who's not particularly trying to lose weight loves it.  

It's really yummy

Please don't ask me how many servings it is - Just know it's a lot and I will be having this soup all week.  :)

Thanks for following my journey. How was your week? 

XO
Jen 






Sunday, January 7, 2018

Weighing In - Week One

I felt really good going into this week's weigh-in. I feel like I did a lot of things right. I made it to the gym 3 times where I at least ran/walked for no less than 30 minutes. (Surpassed my Weight Watcher goal of 72 FitPoints and actually earned 80!)

THE GOOD: I was very mindful of what I ate and tracked every day. I managed to earn the "within healthy point range" for 6 days in a row. 
TY WW app. I am proud :) 
THE BAD: I didn't drink enough water and I didn't get in any strength training which I'd like to try to work on.  I also drank alcohol (using my points!) almost every day. I should cut back on that but for better or worse I enjoy my nightly cocktail. 

I also did all of that even though between the holiday, working all week and a snow day, my routine was completely off.

So week one is in the books and the good news? I lost 3.8 pounds! Yay! This brings me 176.4 :)  I never thought I'd put a smiley face next to 176.4 but progress is progress and I'll take the victories as they come. 

Over the hill! 

My first goal is to get to 165 which is my Weight Watcher's goal (At this weight my doctor has determined that I'm healthy). At 165 I reach "lifetime" status again and don't have to pay for meetings as long as I stay at that weight or below. Plus most of my clothes fit (or fit better) at that weight.

My second goal is to get to and maintain between 150 -155.  

But my ultimate goal is to really just live healthfully and happily. If that's at 155 or 158 or 160 - so be it. I don't have to be skinny. I don't want to obsess over the number once I'm in the healthy range for me. I want to enjoy good whole foods, I want to work out hard, I want to be able to run the Chicago Marathon in October strong. I want to be fit. My goal is not to have the smallest ass or boast a size 2 label. My goal is to be happy, healthy and comfortable in my own skin.

I am not paid to endorse Weight Watchers. I do sing their praises because it's worked for me in the past and will work for me again. With that said, I have to say once again, I LOVE the new program. It's just so great knowing that I can EAT if I'm hungry. And I have. This is not a diet. It's a lifestyle that is doable encouraging healthy whole foods. I love that I can make my split pea soup or have a bowl of (lean) turkey chili or just grab a hard-boiled egg to take the edge off being hungry without having to burn any points. 

How was your first week of 2018?

XO
Jen 






Thursday, January 4, 2018

We Had it All: My Favorite Ragnar Moment

The best part of doing a Ragnar Relay Race is the incredible life-long connection to someone you can experience simply by sharing a van and a race with them.

From Fat to Finish Line Van 2 - We're missing John on this for some reason
I've done three Ragnars and three times I've been blessed with walking away from the races feeling bonded for life to the people I shared a van with. 


There's just something about the cheering, supporting, running and the sleep deprivation that brings people closer together.

One of my very, very favorite memories ever was from Ragnar Miami - Key West FL. This was the Ragnar featured in the From Fat to Finish Line movie. Some of what didn't make it to the movie was our middle of the night shenanigans. We were all a little slap happy as we made our way to the next major exchange - where I would get the baton from Rik (Van 1) to kick off our van's legs. On the way to that exchange, we laughed, joked, hit up a Wendy's for ketchup and salt packets (don't ask) and sang songs. 

This was before my 2nd leg run and before the night took a bit of a dramatic turn.

Anyway, before there was carpool karaoke, there was us, team From Fat to Finish Line Van 2 passing the "Welcome to Key Largo" sign and cruising down the highway. We couldn't resist. And I'm not sure how or why this happened exactly but before we knew it, John Hulsey (AKA Captain Awesome - and one of the greatest guy you could have in your van) had pulled up the lyrics and music to this song: 


And we belted this out. It was so fricken fun! We were silly and just joyously sang. I recorded it on my phone and up until now it was just Van two's secret little video / song. Every time any of us hear the song, we smile and are reminded of this moment. Up until now - no one but van 2 has ever seen this video but now, I share with you, the Van 2 singers! 



Hope you enjoy! 

XO
Jen 


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ragnar Miami Our From Fat to Finish Line Five Year Anniversary

Five years ago I boarded a plane and flew to Miami Florida to run my very first Ragnar with 11 other very special people. It was the original From Fat to Finish Line team and none of us knew what to expect.

The group of us, about 1200 collective pounds lighter than we had once been was not only embarking upon a 200 mile Ragnar Relay Race but we were also being documented and filmed along the way.

Director Angela Lee and I filming at the start
As a producer, I expected to be more the one telling the story than someone being a part of the story. If you've seen the film, you know that wasn't the case.




That experience. All of it. The people, the run, the film, has profoundly changed my life.


It was a tough race for me. Filled with both struggle and failing but also graced with the triumph of getting up and moving forward. I was also blessed with the gift of having the love and support of my team when things were falling to shit and I was falling apart.



That experience was super significant for me and in a lot of ways really represents this whole other journey I'm on.

There are ups. There are downs. There are moments where you feel like you've got it all together and there are moments where you feel like quitting. Ultimately, though, there's only one way to the finish line. As long as you keep on moving forward - whether it's losing 100 pounds or crossing 200 miles - as long as ya keep moving, you (and I) will get to the finish line. There's just no giving up. It's OK to struggle and it's OK to have setbacks it's all apart of it.

And oh yeah. It doesn't hurt to have 11 other or 20,000 fellow teammates or tribe to help you get up when you're down.

If you haven't found our FFTFL tribe on Facebook, please join us here. We're there to help you when you're struggling and cheer you on in your successes.


If you haven't seen the documentary film - please check it out. It was such an honor to be a part of that team and film. It's on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and DVDs can be ordered directly from our store

XO
Jen


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Never Judge a Book by Its Cover: People Magazine and Emotionally Healing

2018 is already leaps and bounds better than 2017. I feel very good about this year ahead.

Yesterday I worked out and meal prepped so going into today, I felt strong.

And today was a good day emotionally. As we build From Fat to Finish Line (the company), we've struggled financially. I AM NOT COMPLAINING. I made the decision to dedicate myself to FFTFL because I believe in it. But sometimes it's tough. We are trying to survive on just my husband's salary and he doesn't make much. We are backed up in debt and have really had to downsize and adjust how we spend and live. Some days the financial burden causes a lot of stress and angst around the household and I'm pretty sure that stress didn't help my depression / overeating and alcohol haze of 2017.

While all of us behind the scenes believe in what we are doing 100% - we're still not generating money to pay ourselves salaries. We've all made sacrifices for this passion of ours and the people in our tribe makes it 1000% worth it. I have never, not for one minute, regretted my decision to push my chips all in and go for it. But still, in the meantime, we have to figure out a way to pay the bills.

So today I got invited to do some freelance production work for a local company and about a half an hour in, they invited me to work all week! This unexpected week of work is going to help our household tremendously. I used to work with this company a few years back and it felt good to be there. It gave me a good confidence boost to be amongst people who believe I'm a talented and solid worker. When you struggle with depression and have had a few set backs, sometimes just a little thing like this can help remind you that you're not a piece of shit good at something. It's easy to start to feel worthless and lose your sense of ability. They are also very supportive and super impressed of what we are doing with From Fat to Finish Line and that's very cool.

Food wise I did well. And I'm still well within my Weight Watcher's points :)

And in bigger and better news - check out this amazing article in People Magazine about my very good friend Mike Bauler.


Let me tell you a little bit about this guy. I met Mike last February or so. I was convinced by Rik Akey (original FFTFL Runner in the film and head coach for the company) to run Ragnar Del Sol. Mike was in my van and I immediately judged a book by its cover. I looked him up on Facebook and without knowing one thing about him, immediately thought, "Ugh. I'm not gonna get along with this guy. He's young, good looking and a very, very fast runner." My own insecurities about being old, chubby and a very, very slow runner kicked in and so I immediately pegged him as "cocky."

Well, turns out, I was a total asshole. He couldn't have been a better van mate. Supportive, kind, protective, and motivational. He is a great guy. And the more I learned about him the bigger of an asshole I became for pre-judging him. This guy volunteers, takes his kids to their games and karate lessons, never complains about having to squeeze in his Ironman training around kid stuff and work, and is the commissioner of a wheelchair basketball league. Cocky? So, so far from it. I learned a great lesson from Mike - never, ever assume shit. It was super unfair of me to do that and petty. I could've missed out on having a great friend if I held on to my first impression based on practically nothing.  I now consider Mike one of my closest friends and I'm lucky to know him. Even if he is obnoxiously fast. ;)

How's your 2018 going so far?

XO
Jen




Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 is Off to a Good Start!

Happy New Year all!

First, some exciting news! Our documentary film, From Fat to Finish Line, made this "10 Things to Watch on Netflix on New Year's Day" list. That was very exciting :) 


After sleeping in a little this morning I got up and decided to make spinach pie. I find it to be pretty tasty and it's only 1SP per serving on the new Freestyle Weight Watcher's program. If you want to check out the recipe you can find it here. It's pretty simple and tasty with a cup of soup, as a quick snack, a side dish or even for breakfast.

My very green meatless 1SP lunch -
That's the Split Pea Soup I made yesterday.
After lunch I finally decided to get myself to the gym. My goal was to do at least 30 minutes of walk/run on treadmill - I managed 4 miles and a little over an hour. It felt great! 



I also took all of my measurements and made some short-term goals for myself:

Nutrition: I want to be as on point as possible with WW - my aim is 25 'blue dots.' For those of you not on Weight Watchers, the app gives you this blue dot when you're tracking and within your point range for the day. Looks like this: 


Fitness:  I'm aiming for 16 workouts or runs this month. With a combination of cross fit (or strength training) or running. Now I want to do more than this but this is a good goal. 

Personal: My goal is to blog 3-4 times a week if not daily for my own personal accountability and blogging really does help me to keep on track. 

Have you made any goals for the new year? How's your 2018 so far? 

XO
Jen





Spinach Pie Recipe

Weight Watcher's Freestyle Spinach Pie 

Spinach Pie


1 SP for a fourth of the pie

I love this tasty little spinach pie. It's only 1SP for a fourth of the pie! It's great as a side dish, served with some soup or salad or as a little snack.

You could use real cheese but it will up the points.

Ingredients:
20 oz. of frozen spinach
4 eggs beaten
3 minced cloves of garlic
small onion chopped
1/2 cup of FF Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of Kraft fat free shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of Kraft fat free shredded mozarella
generous shake of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350 - spray a pie dish (I use a glass Pyrex one) with a little olive oil spray.
Thaw out spinach and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can
Beat the eggs and stir all the other ingredients together - then add spinach.
Pour into pie dish and bake for about 20 minutes
Keeps well in the fridge and does well microwaved the next day

I bet this would be tasty with some shredded rotisserie chicken breast added. Could probably add some mushrooms as well.

My lunch: Spinach pie with my 0 point split pea soup

Enjoy!

XO
Jen