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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!

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What I Ate Wednesday!

12 Sep

Hi Guys! SURPRISE! What I ate Wednesday is actually on…WEDNESDAY! I am sorry I’ve been posting it a few days later…but tonight I made a promise to myself I would get it out to you actually on Wednesday! So…lets get started!

Breakfast: Todays breakfast was so yummy! Peaches are in season now and taste AMAZING! So, I had Yoplait Greek yogurt with peach. Then I cut up a fresh peach from a local farmers market! TO DIE FOR! Then, on the way to my field location site, I had 1/2 ounce of cocoa dusted almonds! This breakfast kept me full all day long. The protein in the yogurt and almonds really help to keep you full!

Lunch: Lunch was quick and easy today…It was my first day of working with kids one on one…So I wasn’t sure of my time. So, it was an 100% whole wheat Arnold’s sandwich thin with 2 ounces of chicken breast lunch meat. I also had a Weight Watchers jalapeno cheese stick! Then I munched on some baby carrots!

Snack: After the school I go straight to the gym, so I always have an apple! Once I get home from the gym, its too early for dinner, so I NEED a snack! Today I was craving something crunchy and salty! So, I treated myself to 1 ounce of tortilla chips with salsa. I also had some diet pepsi..which I normally stay away from during the week. But, I have really been strict with my eating this week and needed a little treat!

Dinner: Well, this is something totally different for me, BUT IT WAS AMAZING! Robby’s dad is a hunter…So on Sunday, he gave me a TON of deer meat. I have never had deer, and honestly never thought about trying it. When I looked up the Weight Watcher points for it, I was shocked to see that it is a power food and REALLY low in points! My dad told me that’s because deer meat is so lean and much better than red meat! This was a deer roast, so I put it in the crock pot all day with just some onion soup mix. Then, I added in new potatoes! I also made fresh green beans from the local farmers market where I got the peaches! Seriously, this dinner was AMAZING! And I was shocked at how big the portion was! I am such a volume eater!

Snack: You all are going to be so bored with my snacks! However, cereal is and always will be my favorite! Tonight was special k red berries with almond milk…nothing new here! 🙂

I hope this helps give you all some ideas on what eating healthy looks like! It can be fun! And you can have all of the things that you love!

-Live healthy and God bless! xoxo M

What I Ate Wednesday….Even though it’s Friday!

30 Aug

Hi guys! So, I am SO SORRY that I haven’t posted all week. It was my first week in field experience, which kept me pretty busy. I was also sick which didn’t help AT ALL! As promised on my Facebook page, I am still going to share with you “What I Ate Wednesday!”

Breakfast: I was able to take my breakfast to my field placement site with me which was nice! So, I took a Yoplait Greek Cherry Yogurt with 1/2 ounce of cocoa dusted almonds!

Lunch: My lunch was simple…and since I wasn’t feeling well, nothing really tasted good! I knew I needed to have something with protein and a carb. So I had a chicken breast sandwhich on an Arnold’s 100% whole wheat sandwich thin! It was so so yummy! It hit the spot since I was sick!

Snack: When I got home from field, I was so hungry. So, I had 1/2 of an Arnold’s 100% whole wheat sandwich thin with 1 TBSP of naturally more peanut butter (you can find it at walmart)

Dinner: Again, since I was sick, carbs were the only thing that tasted good! So, I had 1/2 cup of brown rice with 1/2 cup of fat free refried beans and 3 ounces of chicken breast with salsa! It was SO SO good! And it was so easy to literally just throw everything together! I had the chicken breast already cooked so everything was just microwaved. Typically on Sundays, I will bake 5-6 chicken breasts that I can eat throughout the week!

Snack: I LOVE cereal…A little too much. But, since I love it, I always have it 🙂 So, my snack was 1 cup of special k red berries with 1 cup of almond milk. Its sooo good and perfect for an easy snack!

If you guys have ANY questions about any of the food I ate feel free to ask! This week has been stressful and I haven’t been to the gym once! I knew that if I went to the gym sick, it would put me behind even more! So, I let my body heal and get better and I will be back in action come Monday!

Look for a new post soon….Do you guys have anything you want me to post about??
-God Bless xoxo M

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

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

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers!

13 Aug

green peppers

Peppers are in season! I don’t know about you…but I am always looking for new ways to incorporate fresh vegetables into my diet! I am a comfort food lover! Anything warm and creamy and gooey is right up my ally! Also, I am a VOLUME eater! I love to see my plate all filled up! These stuffed peppers are perfect! They are SO filling and SO good. Also, they go GREAT with the mashed potato recipe I previously posted!

5 Green bell peppers
1 pound lean ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped onion
15 ounce tomato sauce
1/2 cup instant rice
salt and pepper to taste

Cut tops off of peppers and clean out center. Mix turkey, rice, onion, salt, pepper, and half of the tomato sauce. Stuff peppers.
Spray crockpot and use remaining tomato sauce on bottom of crock pot. Place peppers in crock pot. Cook on high 1 hour and then low until done.
Weight Watchers Points+ = 5pts+ for one pepper

ENJOY!! These are one of my favorites!!

-M xoxo