Tag Archives: food

What I Ate!

20 Sep

Hello Everyone! Its time for WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY! I hope you all enjoyed the post on HIIT! I felt like it was something really important that needed to be shared. I love finding new ways to live a healthy lifestyle..and when I do…I will tell you all! My week has been really crazy. I am starting to think that school social work is not what I want to do with my life. It is really confusing and scary when you don’t know exactly what is going to happen and exactly where you are going to end up! I truly believe my calling in life is to help overweight kids, teens, and adults. I hope that God opens up doors for me and leads me in the right direction. It is all in his hands! So….lets get started with what I ate on Wednesday!

Breakfast: I slept in a little too late, so breakfast had to be quick! I had a new granola bar I found in the store and it was so good! It actually kept me full until lunch. Now, I typically don’t like to have processed food in the mornings, but I have to leave extremely early for my internship and its sometime necessary! The ingredient list wasn’t long at all, which helps! Paired it with a banana!

Lunch: I got creative with my lunch! I mixed a can of light chunk tuna packed in water with 1/2 cup of fat free refried beans with 1/4 cup fat free cheddar and salsa! Microwaved it for about 1 minute! It was so good! Packed with protein so it kept me so full!

Dinner: We had shrimp in our house, so I went online and found a shrimp scampi recipe! It was from Eat Better America! It was so good! Basically it was whole wheat pasta, olive oil, garlic, spinach, shrimp, and tomatoes! I absolutely loved it! Shrimp is packed with protein and is so good for you!

Snack: My snack was simple! 1 container of Yoplait Greek Yogurt with 1/5 ounce of peanuts! I used the strawberry fruit on the bottom yogurt so it tasted like peanut butter and jelly! So good!

Mixing up foods and coming up with creative dishes really helps me stay on track! Have fun with your food! I try not to eat the same thing all of the time…That way my metabolism doesn’t get used to it! Also, it keeps me from getting bored and giving up! One day…Just try mixing random things together! You’ll find you come up with some really tasty things! 🙂

Live healthy and God bless xoxo M

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About This Blog & How I Lost The Weight

13 Sep

Since I have a lot of new followers…I thought it would be a good idea to share what this blog is about and how I lost the weight again!

Hi all! My name is Maria and I am 22 years old. I am a social worker and dedicate my life to healthy living!
After my weight loss story was featured on the cover of PEOPLE magazine in August of 2013, I decided I needed to share my success with others in a different kind of way….so here’s my blog!

This blog is for all those who are trying to make
their lives healthier and who need some tips, motivation, and support!

I post things such as workouts, recipes, and weight
loss tips! I believe in healthy living and making it fun! Everyone needs a little inspiration in their life!

Here’s to making our lives happier and
healthier!

When I lost 105 pounds 6 years ago, I NEVER thought I would get my story out. I had always dreamed of it happening, but I never thought it would. There were many times I would send my story to magazines, websites, etc. and always get turned down. It got to the point where I finally gave up. I trusted that God had a plan for me, and getting my story out was not in his plan. In February, I decided that I needed to go to counseling to heal some past hurts and issues. I will post more about that soon! I needed to heal myself emotionally. When I lost the weight, I only healed myself physically. The same month I first started counseling, my mom sent my story into PEOPLE magazine. Well, the rest is history! I landed on the COVER of PEOPLE magazine! God DID have a plan! It was when I finally fixed my emotional problems and past hurts, he allowed me to share my story with the world. My story is raw. It is true. It is real.

I got so many amazing texts, emails, calls, and messages from people who saw the magazine cover and the news stories. Everyone wanted to know how I did it! What my secrets were! Everything I ate! Well, now everyone can! From a little push by a good friend, I decided it was a great idea to start a blog! I am new at this….so bare with me! I plan to post pictures, recipes, what I do in the gym, random ideas and motivational tips, and a look into my personal life of living a healthy lifestyle!

SO….HERE GOES NOTHING!

So, the question of the day….HOW DID YOU LOSE SO MUCH WEIGHT AT 15?!?! Simple answer…WEIGHT WATCHERS! Growing up, I was always overweight. I didn’t play any sports, I wasn’t active, and I LOVED to eat! I especially loved to snack. There was always a snack after school…and usually two before bed! I had a good group of friends growing up and was never bullied, which was a huge blessing. I have two older brothers who were both football players…they needed to eat a lot! So, I just fell into their eating patters. I was always the “clothes holder” going shopping with friends because I couldn’t fit into the clothes in the stores they loved. It was miserable, embarrassing, and downright AWFUL!

At 15, I was 240 pounds. Size 28. And a freshman in high-school. The best friends that I had all through growing up were involved in sports once we got into high-school…I wasn’t. Therefore…they made new friends and I was left out. It happens. Being left out is a part of life. However, being so overweight, I had no self confidence to stand up for myself and try to become involved in their lives again. I simply put up a GIANT wall and ate my pain away. The hurt was terrible. I cried everyday after school. There were moments when my mom and I had to plan out who I was going to talk to in school and where I would sit in the mornings before I needed to be in homeroom. Most times, I would just sit alone.

One night, I was sitting at my kitchen table. My mom came in the front door, walked into the kitchen, and set books on the table in front of me, and walked away. I picked up the books because I was curious where she was for an hour and I saw that they were Weight Watcher books. Now, I know my mom wasn’t pressuring me to lose weight, because she did my entire life, and eventually gave up. I didn’t like knowing that people wanted me to lose weight…it actually made me eat more! So anyway, I picked up the books, and started to look through them. That’s when I saw that Weight Watchers was based on a points system. Everything you eat has a points value and you have a daily target. You use a tracker to track your points each day. When I saw that PIZZA and FRENCH FRIES had points values…and I could still eat them if I tracked my points…I knew I needed to do it! I think my mom had a heart attack when I told her I wanted to join!

That Saturday morning, my mom and I got into the car and headed to weight watchers! We got myself all signed up (with a doctors note of course) and then it was time to face the scale! I didn’t know how much I weighed. I never weighed myself and I wouldn’t even let the doctors tell me. So, I stepped onto the scale. The receptionist was so sweet and so supportive. She made the process a lot easier. They keep the scale very private so I didn’t see what I weighed until I went into the meeting room. When I saw 240…I was shocked! I knew I was heavy, but I didn’t know I was that heavy.

That was the first day of the rest of my life! I was completely changed that morning. Something just came over me and I knew good things were going to happen! My leader was incredible. My mom was by my side. I knew it would work. There were weeks of gains and weeks of binging like I used to. But I took it step by step and day by day. I never said I need to lose exactly 105 pounds. I took it 5 pounds at a time! Thinking of the end result was just too overwhelming!

SO…my advice to you…If you are ready for a change. Do it. Walk into Weight Watchers. Throw out the bad food. Start to research healthy eating. I promise it will become second nature to you and worth it! Its going to be hard. Its going to take a lot out of you. There will be tears. And there will be haters. But the end result will be wonderful. Your life will be changed.

If a normal girl like me can do it…ANYONE CAN! Feel free to ask questions in the comment box!

WhAt I aTe WeDnEsDaY!

22 Aug

So..as promised, I am going to share with you guys EVERYTHING I ate today! So many people struggle with coming up with food ideas when they are trying to lose weight or just eat healthy! It takes a lot of experimenting! I still struggle with it…sometimes NOTHING looks good in my fridge or pantry. Its about being creative and listening to your cravings! So….here is “what I ate Wednesday!”

Breakfast: 1/2 of an Arnold 100% whole wheat sandwich thin toasted…with an egg fried up (cooking spray in pan;break yolk)…with a slice of reduced fat cheese and tomatoes! I always like to pair carbs and protein together for breakfast! It helps to give me the energy I need and it keeps me full all day long!

Snack: I needed a quick and easy snack today….I was really busy with running errands….So, I sliced up a Fuji apple and dipped the slices into 1 TBSP natural peanut butter. Such a treat!!

Lunch: Lunch was quick and easy today! Chicken breast baked in the oven with a little bit of Cajun chicken seasoning. A side of broccoli. and of course a little bit of ketchup! I LOVE ketchup and have to watch how much I eat. But, I will never give it up! I tried not eating it for a month and ended up gaining weight because I would pick at more food because I was missing having it! Crazy, I know…but having it works best for me! All in moderation!

Dinner: I was meeting an old Weight Watcher friend tonight for dinner at Panera Bread. You have to be careful there! A lot of the things on the menu are TERRIBLE for you!! However, they have a HIDDEN menu with AMAZING options! Tonight I had the Power Mediterranean chicken salad. It has spinach, lettuce, grilled chicken, tomatoes, and a hard boiled egg. Dressing was olive oil and lemon juice on the side! So good and it felt like I was eating something bad!

Snack: I LOVE to have a snack at night after dinner. It is something I will always do! Now, when I was overweight the portion would be HUGE! Almost 3 bowels of cereal. Now, I make sure I measure everything out! I had a good amount of points left over tonight so I was able to have a higher point snack. I had 1 cup of Raisin Bran with Flax seeds and 1 cup of skim milk!

I hope this gave you some insight into what my days look like! typically its breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks! Sometimes I can fit in 3 snacks! I track my food by using Weight Watchers points plus values. Everyone has a different points plus value depending on height, weight, age, and gender.

What were some of the things you guys ate or tried today that you really enjoy having?!

-God bless and live healthy!
– M xoxo

Fall, Football, and Parties….Tips on how to say no to all of the SNACK food!

20 Aug

Well..I hate to say it..But fall is right around the corner! Summer is always a blast. This summer was especially fun for me. My oldest brother flew in for a week, I was flown to NYC for a photo shoot, and I was able to take a mini vacation to the mountains. I enjoyed being off from school…with literally nothing to do besides read, swim, and sleep in. That’s all going to change starting Tuesday though! I start my Practicum and couldn’t be more ready! I spent the day today running errands getting school supplies, a cute vera lunch tote, and of course a dress for work. Something about buying things for school and fall clothes makes me one happy girl! Here are pictures of my new dress from The Limited and my Vera Bradley lunchbag!

This fall is going to be amazing…I just know it! I will actually be “working” instead of sitting in class, I will get back into a routine, and my parents are buying a new house…which means decorating and painting! I’ve figured out that I will go to the gym 3-4 times a week right after I get off of work. I start at 7:15 and get done at 2:45…So I am hoping I can make it into the gym before the rush! I will be doing meal prep on Sunday…planning out 2-3 dinners to make a week. Leftovers the other nights.

Fall really is my favorite season. I love the colors of the leaves. I love to go apple picking. I love to wear scarves, jeans, and sweaters. I love to go to farms and pick pumpkins and sip hot apple cider. Something about the warm colors and the smell of fall brings such peace and joy into my life. Fall to me means the end of the year is coming…and it gives me time to reflect on what this past year has brought.

Fall also brings a lot of yummy comfort food! Football starts which means parties and get togethers! And you can’t have a party without food, right? Party food is one of the hardest things for me to handle. I LOVE munchies. I was and still am a snacker. It sometimes gets me in trouble. My brother is a football coach for a pretty well known college team. Therefore, we always are wathcing the games! Which means, there is normally snacks and food! My boyfriends brother plays football for his high-school, which means we always go to the games and go to his house after. So, at the games there is concession stand food (which is so good right?!) and then after the game his family typically gets pizza. This is where the self-control and discipline come in.

There have been times where people have gotten legit MAD at me because I was not eating the pizza and the nachos. I would and still plan on packing my own snacks/food if I don’t want to eat badly or use my extra weight watcher points. I stuggled with this for a long time, but I realized that my health is more important than falling into a trap of being forced to eat food that I don’t want to eat. Stand up for yourself! You will feel 1,000 times better brining your own snacks and saying no! One tip I have is to just tell the person hosting the party that you would like to bring something! Make it healthy and know you can have it! Don’t say “oh, I can’t eat all of your food so I have to bring my own.” Make is positive! Say, “I am so excited to come! I really want to bring something!” Simply leave it at that! I guarantee that NO ONE will even know its healthy or weight watcher friendly! Do not worry about pleasing everyone…because it is not going to happen. Do what is best for YOU! YOU ARE WORTH IT!

One of my favorite things to make and take to a party is my Barbecue Chicken Chili! This chili is literally SO good that I could eat it every single day! It is warm and comfoting..just what I love for fall and parties! It can be put on a baked potatoe, eaten with baked tortilla chips, or just eaten in a bowl! It’s made in a crock pot which makes it even easier to take to a party and to double! I promise you that no one at parites will know it is healthy and weight watcher friendly. So…here it is!

1 pound chicken, breast, ground, raw
1 large onion, uncooked, chopped
1 medium pepper, green, seeded and chopped,
3 cloves garlic, fresh, chopped
31 oz kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 and 1/2 ounce pinto beans, rinsed and drained
14 and 1/2 ounce canned diced tomatoes
12 ounce chili sauce (found by worcestershire sauce in stores)
4 and 1/2 ounce green chili peppers, canned and diced
1/4 cup chili powder
2 TBSP worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP cumin

Place the chicken, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a crock pot; stir with fork to blend. Add the kidney and pinto beans, tomatoes, chili sauce, green chilies, chili powder, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and cumin; mix well. Cover and cook until flavors are blended and the chili thickens slightly. 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. Yields 1 1/4 cups per serving. Weight Watchers points+ = 7.

The serving size is great and the points are low! This chili is absolutely perfect for parties, convienent dinners, and I guarantee everyone will like it! It tastes like you are eating something greasy and fattening…when in reality it is SO HEALTHY!

So…stand up for yourself. Take control of your situation. But most of all…enjoy yourself! Fall and parties should be fun! Plan ahead! Take charge! And remember that YOU ARE WORTH IT!

-Live healthy and God Bless
– M xoxo

S’mores, Pizza Pies, Cookies….OH MY!

19 Aug

I’m back from the mountains! I had such an amazing time and did not want to come home! It was so peaceful and just what I needed. My mom, dad, and I went up Thursday and had so much fun. We grilled hamburgers, made a campfire, and really just enjoyed each others company. Here’s the house we stayed in! It is a good family friends cabin…They were kind enough to let us use it! The backyard was beautiful as well. The water was right there! There’s nothing better than the sound of rippling water! So peaceful.


Friday morning my boyfriend, Robby, was able to come! I was so glad he was able to get away from work for a little! We really just hung out and enjoyed not having to do anything! We knew we wanted to make a fire that night…So we took a walk through the woods. I always thought I was the outdoorsy type…However, I realized I AM NOT! First I wore flip flops and shorts…Not a good idea! So then I changed into shoes, pants, a hoodie, and a hat! I was all set! We collected some nice sticks for the fire! It was actually really fun!



Saturday morning we went to the local ski resort that was 15 minutes away. They had a summer activity package that included tubing, slides, swimming, bowling, mini golf, paddleboats, rockwalls, and more! Our favorite part of it was to be able to ride the ski lift as many times as we wanted! There is something so peaceful about being about the trees and soaring with the birds! At the top of the lift was a beautiful lake! We really enjoyed being on the paddleboats!



One of the most exciting things for me however, was the rockwall! When I was overweight…There were multiple times where I encountered a rock wall. I was never able to do it. So, I knew I needed to try! I was nervous. Seeing it brought back all of the humiliating moments of not being able to either fit in the harness or not being able to lift myself up it. But Robby was right there encouraging me and I knew I could do it! I did it….But I didn’t get very far! Who knew I was SO afraid of heights and falling! I made it half-way up….And that was enough for me! It felt so good finally being able to do something I couldn’t do when I was overweight!

Now…along with all of these fun activities…there was food. A lot of it. And it wasn’t healthy. The majority of the summer I deprived myself of treats and things that I was craving. Deprivation is a terrible habit. Because in the end it backfires, which is what happened to me at the cabin. I didn’t eat one healthy thing and my portion sizes were way too big. Now…it is ok to enjoy yourself on vacation. It is ok to spurge and enjoy the food. But, I went back into my binging ways. I could have easily packed a healthy breakfast or a healthy lunch. Instead I stocked up on everything that I wanted all summer but didn’t let myself have. If I would have given myself more leeway over the summer and had more treats, this overeating at the cabin wouldn’t have happened.

I look at this as a learning opportunity. I know now that depriving myself doesn’t do any good. Because when I was binging on all of the bad food… I was feeling guilty. Which shouldn’t happen. Treats are meant to be a good thing! Your body needs them to speed up your metabolism! If I had allowed treats throughout the summer…and ate healthy meals along with treats at the cabin…the guilt wouldn’t be there. SO please…DONT DEPRIVE! Have a treat. Enjoy it. Plan for it. And get back on track the next day. If you do weight watchers like I do…count the points for it and use your extra 49 points! It is allowed to have French fries, pizza, and ice cream…but in moderation! I am human. I sometimes slip up. I sometimes go back to binge eating. However, I can recognize it now and move on. Today I was back in the gym, tracking my points, and eating healthy! It feels so good! Before I would have said forget it…I ate bad 4 days. Might as well give up on eating healthy. If that sounds like you…. 4 days of eating bad wont make you gain 20 pounds. Just like 4 days of lifting weights wont make you strong. It is ok to slip up! Just don’t give up!

I hope this post helps some of you. Having a treat meal should be a fun and exciting thing. Too many people think of it as a bad thing. Like I said before. Don’t deprive. Plan. Enjoy. Get back on track!

-xoxo M

My Healthy Mashed Potatoes

12 Aug

When I was overweight…I used to make mashed potatoes with a STICK of butter in them! After I joined Weight Watchers, I needed a healthier version…SO this is what me and my mom came up with!

4 cups peeled, cubed potatoes, cooked
Mash with 2 TBSP parmesan cheese, 1 TBSP margarine, 1/2 cup fat free or skim milk, salt and pepper to taste!

1 cup = 3 Weight Watcher points+

Seriously, try them! I haven’t made the old version with a stick of butter in 7 years!!! Enjoy!!