What does your inner skinny chick have to say to you? Listen, and you might be surprised.
Welcome to My Skinny Chick Diary
You have just opened the pages of my "Skinny Chick" diary. You will read the words of wisdom from my (and your) inner "Skinny Chick". You may be surprised at what you read. This diary recounts my journey as my "inner" Skinny Chick meets my new "outer" skinny chick. How does this transformation actually happen? Read and you will find out how listening to your inner "Skinny Chick" can transform you too.
I can't say that I'm happy that 2011 is coming to an end. I really think that this year has been my best year ever. Many of you who follow my blog or know me personally may assume that it has to do with my 35-pound weight-loss or being selected to represent Weight Watchers, alongside others, in their national advertising campaign--"Believe." I can say, those are two of the highlights of my year. However, as I sit back and reflect on the snapshots of events that occurred this year, I am reminded that there were so many other things that have significantly changed my life forever.
I was baptized this year with my husband. This event was so significant because, although my husband and I both grew up in Christian homes, and have believed Jesus Christ to be our personal Savior since childhood, we had never publicly professed it. It was amazing to demonstrate our love and obedience to God in front of our family and friends. This really was a catalyst to my spiritual growth. I believe that this growth is the foundation for all of the other internal changes that I have been able to make this year.
Yes, I did lose 35 pounds this year and I am continuing to maintain that loss. This phrase in itself is amazing, however, I am most proud of the healthy habits and behavioral changes I have made to my lifestyle. I never thought that I would be training for a 10K and looking forward to running a half-marathon in the near future. I am proud to say that I have kicked my addiction to fast-food and I am more aware of the food that I am putting into my body.
My proudest accomplishment is that I FINALLY know me. I am so aware of who I am and what I believe in. I know what I am passionate about and what makes me "tick." This is a peace and a clarity that is indescribable. I also have the pleasure and the honor to work and make a career out of what I LOVE! I stepped out on faith and trusted God to provide in order for me to follow my dreams. I am able to finally use the talents that He has blessed me with.
2011 also marks the end of my 20's. In a few short months, I will be entering my 30's and I couldn't be more excited. I am entering in to the next chapter of my life as a woman who is driven by the Holy Spirit, who is healthy, who knows and loves herself, and who is comfortable in her own skin. I can only hope that my story can help inspire others to live their best life and experience the peace and clarity that was intended for them.
This is a phrase that I hear all too often. I hear it from "helpful" friends and family and even complete strangers when they find out that I am on Weight Watchers. My inner Skinny Chick says: Let's demystify the idea that there are things you CAN'T eat. It's all about learning to make choices. The common belief is that once you have committed to lose weight or to live a healthier lifestyle, there are things you MUST give up. This could not be further from the truth. What would happen if you began a weight-loss plan and part of that plan was giving up all of the foods you absolutely LOVE? Would you actually stick to that plan or even further, make it a lifestyle? For most of you, the answer to that question is "No." This is exactly why you shouldn't give up the foods you love. Learning how to make the right choices for YOU is the key.
What exactly do I mean by this? Well, my favorite foods are pizza and popcorn. Not just any popcorn, movie theater butter popcorn. I think it is more like a popcorn addiction. I may need an intervention. If I started a weight-loss plan that required me to give up pizza and popcorn forever, there would be no chance of me actually sticking to it. So how can I incorporate pizza and popcorn, foods that are not so healthy, into a healthy lifestyle? Well, as I said earlier it's all about choices, and shall I venture to say, planning. Here are some tips from my inner Skinny Chick on how to incorporate your favorite foods into a healthy lifestyle:
Lighten it Up
Remixing our favorite foods into a lighter version of themselves is a wonderful way to still enjoy the foods we love. This helps you in many different ways. In addition to still being able to enjoy a slice of pizza, you are also using your creative mind and trying new things. I remember the first time I decided to try making a homemade pizza. I was very skeptical. I went to the store and purchased the whole wheat pizza crust. I used part-skim mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato sauce and loaded it with lots of veggies and grilled chicken. (Sounds good doesn't it?) Well, it was good, actually it was GREAT. I may get gasps from this, BUT it was even better than a pizza I could have ordered. Skinny Chick Challenge: Take your favorite food or recipe and swap out some of the ingredients for lighter or low-fat options. You will be surprised at how you don't sacrifice taste or flavor.
This is a difficult concept to comprehend when your thinking of your favorite foods. However, grasping and practicing the art of portion control will not only help you when enjoying your favorite things, but also when eating all foods. My inner Skinny Chick says: Make it a habit to look at the nutrition label of the foods you are eating (if there is one) and take note of the serving size. This just might be an eye-opener for you. I know it was for me. *SIDENOTE* Did you know that for most cereals, the typical serving size is between 3/4 of a cup and 1 cup? Measure that out and put it in your cereal bowl and see if that is how your bowl typically looks in the morning.
Another tip for portion control is "bulking up" your portioned meal. Take my favorite food pizza, for example. If I am using portion control and just having 1 slice of pizza, I can add a salad or soup to the pizza to bulk up the meal. More than likely I would still be hungry if I limited myself to ONLY the slice of pizza.
WHAT??? We can actually do this?? Of course! My inner Skinny Chick says: Deprivation is our enemy! When we feel deprived of the foods we love...we BINGE! It is very important to live a flexible and realistic lifestyle, meaning allow yourself to actually enjoy the foods you love. This does take proper planning, however. Make sure that if you are going to treat yourself that it is a planned treat. You should try to do things like add in extra activity to allow for the treat. Or if you know that you enjoy a beer or glass of wine after work, fit that into your plan by adjusting your meal choices throughout the day. (A special shout out to my girl Suzi Storm who lost over 100 pounds on WW and never sacrificed her BEER! Check out her blog: Ok, Just One More Beer http://www.suzistorm.com/)
So go out there and eat! Just remember these tips and the next time someone says, "You CAN'T eat that!" Remember, you can. It is your choice to eat and plan for the foods you love and still live a healthy lifestyle.
Get the most out of this holiday season. Remember to incorporate activities with your loved ones that DON'T revolve around food! You will fight temptation to over eat and you spend quality time with the ones you love.
To run or not to run; that is the question. Well, that was the question that I always had in my mind. As I stated in an earlier post, I am currently training to run a 10K(that's 6.2 miles for the metrically challenged) race in January. January 28th to be exact. Here is the link to the race I will be running, for those of you who are curious. http://www.tartantrot.com/ That may sound like a great accomplishment to some of you. Believe me, for me, it is. It took a lot for me to get to this level.
Before joining Weight Watchers, I had a personal trainer that I worked with for about 9 weeks. He used to say to me all the time, "If you wanna really be in shape, become a runner." I could hear him saying this to me in my head over and over again. Running was something I desperately wanted to be able to do. But to no avail. I remember in the beginning I would get on the treadmill and walk. I would look over at the person on the next treadmill over and they would be running. Sometimes the person was heavier than me and they would STILL be running. I would try, but I just couldn't do it. So, I came to the conclusion that I just was NOT going to be a runner and I could still be in shape.
This conclusion is actually a true statement. There are many things that you can do to get in shape that don't involve regimented training. My inner Skinny Chick says that: you should find something you truly enjoy doing. That way you will be looking forward to being active, not dreading it. If you don't have an idea about what it is you truly love to do, here's a rule of thumb. Think about what you loved to do as a kid. Chances are, you still love to do the same activity. My fun thing is DANCING! I absolutely love to dance. I am not really sure people would say that I am good at it, but I definitely have a great time doing it. Because my fun activity is dancing, I started to look into ways I could incorporate it into my week. My husband and I went out with friends and tried country line dancing, which is something I never thought I would do. To my surprise, we absolutely loved it and we both worked up a nice sweat! We started going once a week. Sometimes, I would just turn on my radio when I was at home and dance around the house. No one was there (except for my dogs) to see me looking crazy and I burned a lot of calories by simply having fun. Think of all the fun ways you can burn calories. If you have gone to the mall recently to do Christmas shopping, I am sure you burned some calories doing that! To find out other fun ways to get activity in, visit a Weight Watchers meeting this week. Activity is the topic for the week. To find a location near you, visit www.weightwatchers.com.
So, I'm sure you are wondering how I went from dancing to training for a 10K race. Well, it was a gradual process. Like I said, I focused on things that I liked to do, like dancing. I also tried activities that I had never tried before, like kickboxing, which is now one of my new loves. I spent quality time with my husband (and dogs) and friends by walking in the park together. I tried to incorporate some type of activity into my day every day, even if it was just for a few minutes. My inner Skinny Chick says: Some activity is better than no activity. Research does show that doing short spurts of exercise throughout the day (like 10 minutes intervals) has the same effect as doing a lengthly workout.
Using this plan for activity (without running) I was able to lose 20 pounds! I felt so great about myself. Not just because of what I had accomplished, but I physically felt better. So much better that I thought I would give running another try. I still remember my first time back on the treadmill after I had sworn off running. I looked at the runners on the treadmills on either side of me. They were really in shape. They ran with ease as if they could literally run all day. I pledged to myself that day, "I am going to do this. I WILL be a runner." I started out slowly, running for a minute and walking for 4 minutes. Then I would run for 2 minutes and walk for 2 minutes until I would run for a full 5 minutes and walk for 2 minutes in between. I was becoming a runner. This was around April of this year. During this time Weight Watchers was promoting their annual Walk-iT event. This was a 5K (3.1 miles) race. The goal was for members to get out and walk the race. I committed to running the race. For 6 weeks I trained and on May, 22 2011, I ran my first 5K!! On May, 29 2011, I made my goal weight (35 pounds lost) and have maintained it ever since!
So now I am running almost every day. I run at least 3 miles. Hopefully, by January 28th, I will be running at least 6 miles almost every day. I am now the person on the next treadmill over that inspires others! A couple weeks ago, I was at the gym lifting weights. I had just finished running 3.5 miles, so as you can imagine, I was a bit sweaty. I overheard two guys talking to each other about me. One of them said, "I've never seen a GIRL sweat like that before!" I said to him, "You don't lose 35 pounds by not sweating." That posed a question in my mind, "Are some women afraid to sweat?" I remember having conversations with some of the women I know and a lot of them expressed that they would be more active, but they didn't like to sweat. My inner Skinny Chick is saying to you: Don't be afraid to sweat like a Skinny Chick! I am definitely not afraid. In fact, here are a couple sweaty pictures of me today at the gym after running 3.5 miles!
If you are not afraid to sweat like a "Skinny Chick,"(even if you're a guy) email me your sweaty pics to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will upload them so that everyone will see you sweat like a "Skinny Chick!" Be proud of your sweat. You worked hard for it!
I am a "skinny chick". Not just on the inside anymore (which is still hard to believe). My inner "skinny chick" has now morphed into a new outward "skinny chick" appearance for all to see. This sounds like a great thing to most people, and don't get me wrong, it is. I am happy to be 35 pounds lighter and healthier than I was before. It's just that now I can't hide from her. She is now living on the outside instead of just on the inside. I still hear her voice, now it is speaking to a room full of people instead of just to me.
Losing 35 pounds has totally transformed my way of life. I now work full-time for Weight Watchers, which is the weight-loss plan that I followed to lose weight. I am a meeting leader who is responsible for motivating, educating and inspiring people to reach their weight-loss goals. I absolutely LOVE my new job! There is nothing more rewarding than being able to share my experiences with Weight Watchers in order to help others like me.
I have to admit, though, that there are days when I struggle with the outer "skinny chick" that I have become. I look in the mirror and say, "Who is this person?" I hear her (my inner "skinny chick" that is ---because she is still there) say to me, "It's you."
I truly can't believe the person that I have become. I actually cook now instead of going through the drive-thru. I am training to run my first 10K in January. I eat things like Greek yogurt, skim milk, baked sweet potatoes, brown rice, wheat pasta, sugar-free everything and I actually LIKE it! Who am I!!!
It will take some time and adjustment, but I think I can get used to the outer "skinny chick" that I've become.