Tag Archives: healthy recipes

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!

Creamy salsa goodness anyone?!

26 Aug

Well, since I am starting my internship tomorrow, I needed an easy dinner for the week! My crock pot is my best friend! Seriously, if you don’t have one, get one! It does marvelous things! I just love that I can throw everything in it in the morning and it will cook all day! That way, when I come home, dinner is ready and I don’t have to worry about a thing! So…one of my all time favorite dinners to make in the crockpot is Creamy Salsa Crock Pot Chicken! It literally tastes like something really high in fat and calories! It’s amazing! So…here it is!

1 pound frozen chicken breasts
1 jar tostitos salsa
1 can black beans, drained
8 oz block of fat free cream cheese (or weight watcher brand)

Place frozen chicken breasts in crock pot. Cover with salsa and drained black beans. cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or on LOW for 9-10 hours. During last 30 minutes of cooking, place cream cheese in the crock pot and let sit until done. Use two forks to shred apart chicken and stir everything together.

2/3 cup = 5 points plus!

I typically eat mine with brown rice as well! This is my dinner for tomorrow and its already tracked in my tracker! Also, I sometimes double the recipe in case I don’t want to make another dinner during the week!
Enjoy!
-xoxo M

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