Weighing In: 10% of my body weight gone, and taking a different approach to vacation,

Journey

As of today, I weigh in at 186.7lbs. Bringing my total loss to 27.3lbs since January 11th (The day the picture on the left was taken).

I also hit another neat landmark: I’ve lost 10% of my total body weight! It’s crazy to think that 1/10th of me is gone forever, and I’ve been wondering where the heck I put all of that! That’s more than the amount of weight of a Costco-sized bag of rice…

I’ve had a few other non-scale victories this week as well. Namely: I have dropped two pant sizes.

I celebrated these victories by purchasing a few new items to wear over spring break when I go to Arizona, including a two-piece swimsuit. I’ve found great joy in eliminating clothing that is too large on me and by finding inexpensive pieces to replace them. 

 I also allowed myself a, “cheat day,” on Sunday, after saving some of my weekly points and indulged in a burger with some sweet potato fries with some friends– guilt free! However, I do not believe in “rewarding,” myself with crappy food anymore so I’m looking at it as a cheat meal because I wanted to, rather than a reward because I’ve, “been good.”

As I gear up to leave for Arizona, I am faced with a challenge that any person trying to lose weight can relate to: Vacation! How will I navigate the balance of having fun while sticking to my goals?

For starters, I already have a plan set that I will try to make most of my outings each day focused on some form of exercise. I had ample opportunity to have a “typical,” college Spring Break fueled by alcohol, music and hangover food, but I opted for something else that will leave me feeling relaxed and rejuvenated when I return home, rather than starting classes feeling worn out, broke, bloated and sick. 

I am excited to be able to catch a nice tan and maybe even lose more on this week away so that when I come back home I’m not dealing with residual guilt from poolside margaritas or ensuing drunchies.

Don’t get me wrong– sometimes party-based Spring Breaks sound fun!

There is nothing wrong with enjoying Spring Break however you see fit– hell, I know next year I’ll probably go the Spring Break in Cabo route! But for right now, I am just doing my best to keep my goals in mind and honestly consider what will help me reach them faster and easier.

I’ve already got plans to hike with a friend who lives down there, access to a gym, and plenty of sunny sidewalks to stroll down if boredom hits, in addition to lots of swimming, and golfing. 

I also plan to do lots of acts of self-care such as doing my nails, putting on a face mask, journaling, yoga, etc.

I have intentionally chosen to go somewhere where I know I’ll have plenty of support from the people around me– something I also try to do while at home.

Since I am visiting my grandparents, they are already aware of my goals and are pretty healthy themselves. I know wont have to worry about finding healthy and fresh food to eat throughout the week while I am there.

I also know that they will be more than encouraging if I want to spend some time at the gym or go hiking with one of my friends since they want me to succeed just as much as I do. 

To summarize: I think anyone can be successful and stick to their goals while on vacation as long as you plan ahead, have a good support group around you, and treat it as a time to make your life better now and in the future– keeping in mind that instant gratification generally won’t fuel your success. 

In that same vein, I think the most important part about a vacation is just doing whatever makes you feel happy, healthy and good– however you see fit. 

What are some of your tips/tricks for sticking to your goals during a vacation? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Bye Bye Muffin Top!

Kenzie

15 minute Pepperoni Pizza


As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I love a good, “craving tamer,” that satisfies my hunger and cravings without sacrificing my health or hindering my progress. 

This pizza is super delicious, extremely easy to make, and it rang up to only seven smartpoints! 

I paired it with a salad and doctored up the jarred sauce I used with some extra herbs in order to heighten the sophistication of my #brokecollegekid meal. 

Ingredients: 

1 flat-out bread co. whole wheat flatbread 

7 slices of pepperoni 

2 tbsp sliced olives

2 tbsp pizza sauce (any kind!)

1 oz Trader Joe’s Shredded Light Mozzerella

Optional: Italian seasonings (like basil)

(I also put about 1/2 tsp of olive oil on the bottom of the bread to make sure it didn’t stick to the baking sheet)

How:

I baked the flat bread for a few minutes on its own at about 350 to get it a little crisp before I put the sauce and the rest of the ingredients on.

  • Spread out the sauce, top with pepperoni, then a layer of mozzerella, olives, & then more mozzerella. 
  • Bake it in a toaster oven for about 15 min at 355. (Regular oven for about 10 min, 350)
  • Slice it up and then enjoy!

I’m happy I get to enjoy a wide variety of foods without giving up the foods I love. Next time I’ll probably add in some more veggies on top, (Bell peppers are bae).
Bye bye muffin top!

Weighing in: 25 Down and Checking Things off of my Bucket List 

Woohoo! Today I’m 189.3 which means I’m officially 25 pounds down! I’m so excited about this I #literallycanteven.

I have been trying to up my daily exercise and have been getting around 30-60 mins of cardio + alternating between arms/legs and core doing strength training about six days per week.

I also ran a 5K on Saturday, something that was a HUGE “bucket list” item for me. I’ve already ran many 5k’s as a cross country runner but this time felt a bit more victorious because I really worked for it and got over my built up fear of running in public. I even got a little emotional at the end and shed a tear (maybe two), because I haven’t been this proud of myself in a very long time. 

Next up on the list is to get back on the mountain and go snowboarding again. Something I used to love but haven’t done in over seven years. I’m going next weekend and I just can’t wait.

I’m also excited to be taking a trip to Arizona for spring break to visit my grandparents and I’m going to try to be touristy in a different way than I am used to– hiking and biking whenever possible. Also some reading books whilst laying in the sun is definitely in order. I bought the plane ticket for myself as a reward and as a way to say hey, you deserve this. 

It’s a huge thing for me to check off a milestone like this because a year ago I didn’t think I could do it but here I am doing it.


Bye bye muffin top!

Kenzie 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Packed Shake 

Warning: This recipe is highly addictive, try at your own discretion. I dare you 😉

I’m all about finding things that will give me more bang for my nutritional buck and this shake certainly does just that. 

Post gym I was seriously craving something sweet and filling and I conjured this up in my kitchen. I did a lot of strength training today so I knew getting a lot of protein in would be key.

I have found success on this journey by fulfilling my cravings with healthier, smarter options so that I don’t feel deprived along the way. With 23lbs down, I do believe it is working. 

This recipe packs a whopping 20g of protein and it’s only 7 weight watchers smart points. It can be even less points if you use 1/2 cup halo top rather than a whole one like I did. It’s also fairly low calorie but I treated it sort of like a dessert or a meal. 

In a blender combine:

3tbsp peanut powder (PB2 or Jif make good ones!)

1 or 1/2 cup chocolate halo top

1/2 banana 

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

A few ice cubes if you want 

Blend and enjoy 😋

Bye bye muffin top!

Low point potstickers and “rice” 

One of the ways I’ve managed to find success thus far is by replacing foods that I’m craving with a healthier, more nutritious alternative that I make for myself, at home. 
One of my very favorite meals is fried rice, potstickers, and miso soup at a restaurant. Unfortunately, if I even tried to put this all into my point tracker I’d probably run out of two days’ worth of points. 

I’ve been making this meal for dinner recently and adding in different veggies into the cauliflower if I brown it a bit in a pan. But today I just opted for steaming it in the microwave.


I found an awesome alternative for potstickers at Trader Joe’s which allows me to have 7 potstickers for only 6 points! 
To make them, I follow the instructions on the package which just involves lightly sautéing and then steaming them for about ten minutes.  

The Trader Joe’s potstickers don’t come with sauce, which is arguably my favorite part of the whole meal, so I’ve been enjoying making my own. My favorite sauce so far consists of:

Ginger (1tsp)

Garlic (1tsp)
Honey (1/2 tbsp)

Worschestershire (1/2 tbsp)

Soy (1/2 tbsp)

Sesame (1 tsp)

Rice vinegar (1tbsp)

*The honey and sesame oil add about one additional weight watchers point, but it’s still delicious without those components.

I’m a huge fan of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, and other alternatives to simple carbohydrates so naturally riced cauliflower is a no-brainer. 

The riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s makes it super easy for me to just cook the amount of “rice” I want and leave the rest in the freezer until I’m ready for more. It also cuts down immensely on my food prep time as it takes only 3-4 minutes to be fully cooked. 

I also enjoy this meal with miso soup which is one 1 point (I like Kikkoman Tofu Miso packets) you just mix it with water and heat it up and it’s genuinely delicious.

I spent a total of 12 minutes making this meal and I am completely full and satisfied from it at the cost of only 8 points!
What are some of your favorite “treat” alternatives? Let me know in the comments below & feel free to subscribe for more recipes, meal ideas and more!
Bye bye muffin top

Xoxo, Kenzie 

A VIP experience, Twenty Pounds Down, and Gaining Back the World.

This morning I weighed in at 193.8, which means that I’ve officially lost 20.7lbs since I began this journey the day after my twenty-third birthday. The weight has honestly come off much quicker than I was expecting but I assume that this will slow down over time. I believe this is in part due to going to the gym at least 5 times per week and consistently tracking my points and being mindful following days when I’ve slipped up and gone overboard.

Last night I went to a concert and after the show the group I was with was invited to go onboard the tour bus to hang out with the artist. I joined in and had a wonderfully fun time. Admittedly, I enjoyed a few drinks, but I was cognizant in staying within my allotment of Weight Watchers points. I don’t regret it at all, but I also want to maintain my sobriety 99% of my time throughout this journey. A month ago I probably would have declined the invitation to go, for fear of how I looked. A year ago I would have been inhibited by my crippling and uncharacteristic social anxiety. I had great conversations with the artist, his crew, and my friends. I actually felt like I was welcome, enjoyed, and belonged there. With each pound lost, I am gaining back so much more in my life. Experiences like that are why I am doing this.

Additionally, after the show I purchased a t-shirt, partially as a souvenir, and partially because I have a very limited amount of clothing to work out in at the moment. I got a size XL and when I put it on this morning, I realized it is way too big for me. I will still wear it to the gym and whatnot, but it was a positive reminder that this process is working and worth it. img_1284

With each pound lost I feel like my steps have become lighter, everything has become just a bit more effortless. For the first time in months, I’ve been able to fall asleep without the assistance of my Trazedone prescription. My eyes have fluttered open, ushered so by the light of the morning. My wakefulness precedes my alarm clock. I remain awake with a level of alertness that I am just now calling forth from the depths of my memory. My skin somehow feels like it is glowing- I see a blushed warmth in my cheeks when I smile at myself in the mirror— I actually look at myself in the mirror, and I don’t feel the burning singe of hate in my heart I had grown to fight, and then began to ignore.

To feel hungry— to feel a genuine want and need for food as a form of nourishment is something I had forgotten about. The joy of taking time to prepare a meal, to chop the fresh produce and enjoy an apple’s natural sweetness, the crisp crunch of a carrot, or the buttery texture of an artichoke is something that disappeared from me in the midst of my depression.

Of course, preparing a fresh meal is not always something I am able to do because of the constraints of time, but it has become a truly enjoyable ritual to carefully select things at the grocery store, consider how they may nourish me and how I will prepare them. This is so vastly different from my previous habit of hurriedly picking up as many frozen meals and pre-made foods as I can afford with my limited funds— If I even made it to the grocery store. Food delivery services cater to depression, fuel it, by allowing you to forgo the necessary events of interaction, or the need to take the blip of effort to put things into a shopping cart, to place them in a microwave.

I have so much more now. It’s as if all of the things that were fundamentally wrong in my life are slowly being fixed, healed through this process.

I’ve experienced the comfort of knowing I have emergency money in my savings account. The financial ability to go to movies, experience fun outside of bars, to gas my car for a day trip, or enjoy a new book that I gift to myself.

On a heavier note, i’ve felt safety in knowing that, if assaulted again, I would have the physical power to run away or fight back. I feel safety in knowing that as my confidence has slowly returned to me, I have a voice that I can use, a voice I am starting to believe in.

There is something amazing in the way I can feel my personality returning to me— a spirit of light and enjoyment of life that had left my body for a few years. I laugh genuinely, and with my whole heart. I’m not afraid to be around people. Let me rephrase that: I’m no longer trying to hide— my body or my mind.

I cannot wait to see what other revelations will come as I continue on this journey. As I nourish my body and take care of it as a temple, I nourish my passion for enjoyment of life and I drink in the experiences that come my way.

Oh, and my double chin is now like, a 1.5 chin so big ups for that!

Goodbye to the twenty extra pounds of weight and the world that have been on my body, mind and spirit, and, Bye Bye to my slowly dwindling muffin top!

Protein Packed Pancakes 

If I told you I’ve lost 19 lbs and eaten pancakes almost every day, would you believe me? Well I have! These cakes offer a whopping 21 grams of protein and they keep me full for so long that I often don’t think I’ll use up all of my points for that day. I love to spice mine up with some canned pumpkin or a mashed banana and then top with fruit, cinnamon, or some sugar free syrup. 

To make them I use Kodiak Cakes pancake mix and then I add some things In to mix it up and pack in some extra nutrients. 

The Pumpkin Version (6sp)

1/2 cup Kodiak Cakes Protein Blend

1/4 cup puréed pumpkin

2 egg whites

1/2 cup water 

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1 tbsp sugar free syrup 
I combine all of the ingredients into a bowl, mix until it’s all blended together.

Put a bit of coconut oil or Pam onto a  non-stick pan that’s heated over medium heat. 

Then pour 1/4 cup of batter on to the pan and heat until the top begins to bubble

Flip and cook until the other side is browned and the inside of the cake is no longer doughy.

I like to top mine with additional cinnamon and eat them as is, but if you want to add more syrup or fruit they are delicious that way too! 

The Banana Version (6sp)

1/2 cup Kodiak Cakes Protein Blend

1/2 cup almond milk 

1 banana mashed 

2 egg whites

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

1 pinch of salt 
Mix and mash everything together in a bowl– Cooking and serving instructions are the same as the pumpkin ones.

Enjoy!

Bye Bye Muffin Top 🙂