Thursday, October 31, 2013

Four Years Ago


I'm gonna show a tough picture today in honor of it being Halloween. 

Four years ago on the left, now on the right....


And just for the fun of it....


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Eat Healthy, Lose Weight, Save Money


I have spent some time this week food prepping. Life has been so busy lately and we have a long to-do list this month. I don't want to waste time in the kitchen, but I still need to feed my family healthy meals. 

The answer to fitting it all in is Planning and Prepping. 

I decided to step away from Aldi again. I tried to do that once before at Walmart and I fell flat on my face. I'm still angry with Walmart, y'all. 

And I've been a little hurt too. 
After sharing my food prepping posts this summer, one lady on Pinterest decided to bash my stuff. I'll admit that was kinda hard to take. I feel that if she would have actually read the post, it would have made sense to her and she wouldn't have made the comment that she did. 

So...I'm going to try the whole sharing my prepping thing with you again. I'm by no means an expert at this! There's probably a thousand different ways to go about it, but I thought I would share what works for me. 

This week I went to Sam's and I attempted to find healthier foods to prep with. 

For $10.98, I bought 6 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breasts. For $1.83 per pound, it's a pretty good deal. I cooked it for an hour in a 350 degree oven all at one time. I decided to place it in my stand mixer to shred it for recipes. 

And I had a bunch of chicken to work with!


I will use this on salads, enchiladas, and casserole type meals. 
You can add it to veggie soup for a very healthy meal. 
Chicken, tuna, turkey and venison are staples in our household. 


I took three large spoonfulls of shredded chicken and cooked them with stir fry veggies. 
Throw it over some premade quinoa and you have very good meal. My boys ate it all like crazy...no leftovers. 


I bought a large package of quinoa at Sam's for $5.88. It's gluten free and can be used as a side dish, in place of rice in recipes, or in casserole type dishes. It's rich in protein and is so versatile. 

I made the entire package while my chicken was cooking and I had a large container! 


I also made some enchiladas. I bought two packs of whole wheat tortillas for $4.98. 


You can use them for wraps with the shredded chicken and lettuce. 
You can make quesadillas for quick lunches. Throw some spinach and all natural cheese in them. 


I added some cheese, corn, pinto beans, and shredded chicken to mine. 


I lined my pan with foil and stuck them in the freezer. Once frozen, you can just lift the foil from the pan and wrap them to store in the freezer. When you're ready to cook them, just place the foil packet back in the pan for easy clean up. 


Before I bake these I will add enchilada sauce and some diced tomatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Top with cheese the last five minutes of baking. 

I actually didn't mind shopping at Sam's for my meals. If you take the time to find recipes that you can use some of the same ingredients in bulk, then it's worth going there. 

You can't go wrong with bulk chicken, frozen veggies, quinoa, and tortillas. 

I got five pounds of apples for $5.98, sweet potatoes for $6.25, large bags of lettuce mix for $2.19 per bag and lots of frozen veggies. 

I also bought bulk items to make a ton of venison chili. Not into deer? Just use ground turkey. 

I will cook it in the crockpot all day and then divide it into family serving sizes to freeze for future meals. With chili as the starting point, I can make multiple meals....

  • Chili Pie (put chili in a baking dish, top with cornbread mix, top with cheese and bake). Super easy, but doesn't kill your diet!
  • Chili Mac (chili on top of whole wheat pasta)
  • Stuffed Peppers (hollow out your peppers, add chili and some cheese and bake)
  • Chili Casserole (mix it with some of that quinoa and add some corn...bake it)
  • Chili-ladas (Make enchiladas, but add the chili mixture. Bake and top with cheese)
There are tons of ways to use leftover chili without burning your family out on the whole bulk food prepping!

I spent $113.08 at Sam's and I don't think it's that bad at all. I got a ton of food for the money and I will be stocking my freezer so I got more than just a week's worth of food.  


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Disney on Ice

Last week Ryan and I surprised Caleb with tickets to Disney on Ice Princesses and Heroes. 
Once he found out, he was beyond excited....and silly...and wild. 


Disney on Ice was right beside the college I graduated from. Caleb got to see where his mom went to school for the first time. I love showing him stuff like that. 


Once we walked through the door, we realized that this was about to get expensive...

Of course Caleb wanted the light up toy that cost the most! 
$22 for a moment of happiness...Seriously insane. 


But...it was worth seeing the pure joy on his face. 
(I honestly don't see how families with multiple kids can go to places like this. It must be a never ending battle/whine session every single time.)


I'm not really sure who was more excited to see all of the Disney characters....think it may have been me....


When it was all over I asked Caleb what his favorite part was...

Without hesitation he told me that he liked Ursula the Sea Witch (from The Little Mermaid) best. 


Seriously? He liked the Disney villain better than all of the prince overload? 

Sure enough...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Motivation Monday #25

Good Monday morning! 

I thought I'd kick off the link up with some comparison pictures. We had our annual Halloween party this weekend and I looked back over the past four years of parties...


Caleb's first and second Halloween parties. 


And his third and fourth...

I'm so grateful that Caleb's not the only one that has changed!
I am thrilled that he's the only one of us that's getting bigger...

What are you thankful for today? 
What goals have you accomplished this week? 

I can't wait to read about them! 


Here are the co-hosts for Motivation Monday:

Wendy @ Daily Dose of Del Signore
Veronica @ V Watts' Thoughts
Morgan @ Fat to Fit Confessions
Tiff @ The Fit Train
Katie @ The Carb Monster
Alisha @ Coily Locks

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tellico Party

This weekend we had our Halloween party in Tellico. 


Caleb wanted so badly to be a fireman this year. 
I'm pretty sure he just wanted the ax. 



Ryan was a vampire and I added a bite mark to my neck. 
He drove me absolutely nuts with his whole Dracula impression. 


My parents were clowns and Zoey was a little bumblebee! 



Tara was an angel. 



Ryan, Dad and Caleb added a crime scene...


They thought they were hilarious! 


Ryan, Caleb and I took a long trail ride in the Jeep on Saturday. 
It was absolutely beautiful and were able to see some pretty Fall colors. 


Five minutes into the ride, Caleb was completely out. 
It was kinda nice to have a long quiet ride through the woods! 


My favorite picture from the weekend...


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wild

My child is always the wild one in a crowd. He's the one jumping off of things and causing his mama to have panic attacks. He has this whole super hero invincibility complex going on these days. Combine that with his fearless personality and we're bound to have accidents.

We have been so fortunate that Caleb has waited almost four years to have a play ground accident.

I was finishing lunch when I got the call that Caleb had face planted on the playground.


The bridge of his nose was swollen and under his eyes got a little dark. 
But the first thing I noticed was his poor skinned nose! 

The pediatrician wanted to check him out and we spent the afternoon at the doctor's office. 

Luckily, we have no broken bones or teeth. 
Just a bruised, skinned nose to show off. 

The doctor spent about two minutes watching my wild child before handing me a piece of paper showing what to do in the event of a head injury. He simply looked at me and said, "You're going to need this." 

This is just the first of many because that child is all boy. He's rough and tough and sometimes he does crazy things. But it's part of what makes him special. 

Dinner was in the crockpot for when we got home. Caleb got his belly full, I gave him a nice long bath, got his nose doctored up, and we settled in for family movie night. About twenty minutes into the movie, he was sound asleep on the couch at 7:30. He was absolutely exhausted from his wild day. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Struggling?

The holiday season is upon us. This year has passed by so quickly and I can hardly believe we're about to dress up for Halloween next week. 

I was looking back through some of my Halloween pictures and I just cannot believe how much I have changed. 


This time last year, I was 37 pounds heavier. 

It really helps to put everything into perspective when you can compare pictures and actually see progress.
There are some days that staying on track is so difficult. There are days that I really want to go all out by eating ice cream, tons of pasta, and plenty of chocolate. 

One of the best things I've done is share my story and gather support from people around me. 

Last month when Emily approached me about leading an accountability group for October, I knew that it was a great idea. If I have other people cheering me on and going through the difficult times with me, I am so much more likely to stick with it. The October group has been so inspirational with their successes and it has kept me going. I love seeing the ladies in the group rejoice as they are achieving their goals. 

We've got women who have struggled for years on their own finally losing significant weight and inches! 

I am just so very proud of our October ladies! 

You may be wondering if you could finally take that step towards losing weight and fitting back into your smaller clothes. You may be so sick and tired of not seeing any progress. You may be dreading all of those pictures during the upcoming holiday season. 

I've been there. I know exactly what it's like to go through that. 

Want to know how to change it? 

Let me and Emily coach you for thirty days. Let us show you exactly how to do it. Give us a chance to show you the kind of support you need to make it happen. Just give us thirty days to change your life. I have 6 beautiful ladies who will tell you that we can absolutely do it. I have 6 women who are changing their lives as you read this. 

Give me thirty days and I will show you. 

We have a limit of 10 people per accountability group. If now is the time for you, take the next step! 
If you're tired of feeling run down and heavy, let me help you. 

The group is filling up now, so email me if you'd like to join! 



This Year...Last Year

Last year, we went to the Orange and White game in April. My weight loss journey has gotten so long that I can now compare from year to year and still see progress. It's not just a measurement from the very beginning anymore.



 I like that I can see progress when it seems like things have slowed down quite a bit. It really helps to keep me focused.


I know that I've come a long way, but I am excited to see what I can do with another year of hard work.


I've thought a lot lately about my journey. 
During the football game, I turned loose and actually ate. I had the pretzel I wanted and I enjoyed every bite of it. Normally, I just wouldn't have done it. Something has dawned on me over the past week or so. I'm actually happy with my body right now. If I improve, great. If I don't lose another pound, I think I'm okay with it for now. I am finally enjoying life and it feels amazing. I am physically able to do whatever I want to do at this point. My aches and pains are gone, aside from the soreness from Insanity. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Face Off

I was born in South Carolina and I've always considered myself a fan of the Gamecocks. I pulled for them way before Steve Spurrier became the coach. I've seen that team go from nothing to actually being ranked. I've always wanted to see South Carolina and Tennessee play, my two very favorite teams. I finally got the opportunity to see them this past weekend! 

I joked with everyone for weeks about what color and what team I was going to pull for. Ryan told me there was absolutely no way I was wearing anything but orange! I seriously debated, but in the end I knew what color I'd be wearing...


Tennessee was the unranked underdogs of the day, but I knew I had to pull for my Vols. 
We stopped for a quick breakfast before going to our first Vol Walk. 


Ryan, my dad and my great uncle David went with me. 


We were told to show up early to get a good spot for the Vol Walk. We got a spot right in the front! 





Butch Jones walked through the streets and it was an absolute mad house of energy! 



I got to high five Justin Worley, Rajion Neal, and Marquez North. 
I thought that was going to be the highlight of the Vol Walk, but I was so wrong...

I had no idea that over 200 former Vols were right behind the team. 
The one and only Johnny Majors was literally two feet from me. 


I literally stood in the crowd with my mouth wide open as these amazing former players walked right by. 

Side Note: Had Peyton Manning been a part of this Vol Walk, someone would have had to pry me off the man. Possibly a police officer. Oh, how I love that man. 



When the wind blew and the clouds were out, we just about froze! 



I honestly thought Tennessee would do okay against the number eleven team in the country. I figured they'd hang in there, but I never expected those boys to come out fighting like they did. Tennessee just didn't let up! I have never been in a stadium that loud. The fans were just unreal! 

When Tennessee won in the last three seconds of the game, Ryan and I were flipping out! 
Ryan thought he was going to be sick, I was in shock, and we were clutching to one another as it finally sank in! The Vols won! No one moved from their seats and the players took the field. 



Walking out of the stadium in a sea of Orange, the fans chanted. It was awesome to see the fans finally get to celebrate an epic win over a ranked team. 


If you're friends with me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, I apologize for all of the orange! It's not every day your two favorite teams face off and the underdog wins. It's not every day you see Johnny Majors walking with the Vols. And I finally got to see it all! 

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