Things I Discovered While Eating Healthier (Plus Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet Results)

As y’all know, I started the DietBet a month ago. I knew that it was scheduled to end just days after my birthday, and still I signed up. After several years of slight drops, but mostly raises, in weight, I wasn’t sure I would ever feel that drive to lose a few pounds. I’m comfortable in my own skin. Do I wish that jeans were more comfortable and that I could fit into my skinny girl dresses? Of course…but do I also think that I look awesome in the clothes I have now? Yep. Because sometimes the right plus size clothes can make a girl feel just right.

But somehow, I was finally ready to start dropping the pounds. And DietBet provided just the right amount of motivation: Money. But not just like…losing money…the opportunity to WIN money. I signed up for two DietBets: The 30 day bet with Joules and Kari and a 6 month bet with 800-ish other people.

I’m in this thing for the long haul kids.

I started fast and furious, dropping weight like nobody’s business. It was awesome. Then I tapered off right before my birthday… And it was a rough patch to get back on track. The last several days have been a serious effort to lose that last pound…we’ll find out soon enough if I made it or did not. Even if I didn’t make it, the group of 31 players lost over 200 pounds! That’s a pretty sweet deal if you asked me.

So before I share my weight loss victory or not, I thought I’d share a few things I learned during the start of this long journey.

Healthy eating tips and tricks that make it just a little bit easier

  • Zucchini, when sliced thin and grilled to a dark crisp, tastes like toasted marshmallows. (You heard it from me first.) Now I get why my dad always called it nature’s candy.
  • If you put enough delicious on a salad, you won’t need dressing.  (And no, I didn’t use bacon or salt.) I’ll show you sometime. 😀
  • This one surprised me the most: The less of the bad stuff you eat (salt, refined sugars, heavy carbs), the less hungry you get. On the days that I ate mostly fruits, veggies, cheese and proteins, I ate less without feeling hungry. Eye-opener.

So, did I win the DietBet? Yep. Im down 10.5 pounds in a month. It was hard work, especially with the birthday celebrations this past weekend, but I made it. The goal is to keep chugging along (probably at a slower pace than this one-month kickoff, but I’m super excited for the next 5 months) and lose several more pounds.

I dont notice the weight loss as much in my stomach as I do in my face, but it’s all got to come off eventually!
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Thanks for the support, kids!

And congrats to all of the Pocketful of Quirky Grace betters, because more than 200 pounds is no small feat!

Would you try a DietBet? Does it seem like a motivator that would work for you? What healthy eating tips do you have for me?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Healthy Eating Habits Should Start Early

Quick intro/disclaimer of awesome: I’m working with the NRA (That’s National RESTAURANT Association) and Triberr to talk about healthy eating, especially with kiddos, through the Kids LiveWell Program. Everything I say, I do believe, but for the record, the NRA has sponsored this campaign post. 

Okay, so I’ve been Dietbetting with Joules and Kari and a whole lot of YOU this last week and a half. In addition to the Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet, I’m also participating in the Transformer DietBet-a six month commitment to lose 10% of Chrissy. And my real goal? More than 10%. Because I used to be healthier. And I want to be healthier again.

So far, I’ve lost 4.5 lbs. I’m weighing in weekly, instead of daily or multiple times a week. This is best for my weight loss, so that I don’t see the regular ups and downs of a typical week. If my weigh-in shows that I gained a pound this week, I’m still down by 3.5 and if I lose more…well YAY! I’ll be keeping you posted on Wednesdays from now on.

These days, I have some pretty healthy habits. I love vegetables. I love lean proteins. (Okay and cheese). I don’t eat a lot of pasta or breads…but I have a tendency to overdo it on the snacks. And the sweets. Those are my kryptonite.

But I didn’t always have healthy habits.

One of the things I forever think about is my chubby childhood. I was never the tiniest girl in school, not by a long shot. I ate a lot of McDonald’s. In fact, I could eat more McDonald’s as a kid than I could eat right now. I can remember my grandfather taking us to Mickey D’s and ordering a value meal because a Happy Meal just wasn’t filling enough. And you bet your bottom I super sized it. And ate every bite.

Sure, I wasn't fat...but I was one of the biggest kids in my class. That's tough on a little kid.

Sure, I wasn’t fat…but I was one of the biggest kids in my class. That’s tough on a little kid.

From the age of 8, I was always on the go, whether we were heading to or from cheer practice to this event to that party, I had a pretty busy life. So fast food was definitely a thing for us. But it wasn’t just fast food chains…my family ate out…a lot. Not because my parents couldn’t cook or didn’t want to (they were/are excellent cooks), but because going out was a family thing that we did. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That’s where my brother and I gained our passion for fine dining. Our love of delicious food. Our tact and class when it comes to behaving in a restaurant.

What I would have changed-would have LOVED to change-would be the choices that were available for me. At 9-years-old I was a connoisseur of chicken fingers and honey mustard sauce.  I ordered chicken fingers every. where. we went. And the honey mustard sauce was a big deal. I’d eat it by the bowlful. Because that was what the restaurants had. Chicken fingers. Cheeseburgers. Mac and cheese. French fries.

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With the Kids LiveWell Program, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association, restaurants across the country are offering healthy and delicious options for kids (and adults too!) You remember my amazing breakfast sandwich from Denny’s right? They’re working to make healthy choices for kiddies so that they can start building those healthy eating habits right from the start.

This Saturday, at the NRA Show in Chicago, bloggers will be meeting the restaurateurs and chefs behind the new and exciting healthy kids meals. Will you follow along with me on social media with the #KidsLiveWell?

Follow Kids LiveWell on social media (Twitter and Facebook) for updated news, information and more! You can also find out if your favorite restaurant is a participating Kids LiveWell restaurant and start making healthy choices for you AND your family!

Do you wish they had healthier choices when you were a kid? Do you have kids and try to make healthy choices for them when dining out? What do you think of KidsLiveWell?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Straight Up Now-Baby Got Back…and Wants to Lose it, Lose it.

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My baby brother and cousin rockin’ out in the sandbox.

I just started playing the throwback  game in the social media world. So I thought it was pretty perfect when Twindaddy planned to start his 25 songs in 25 days challenge on a Thursday with the first song being “A song from your childhood.”

I have two songs for you. Because I’m a terrible decision maker. And I’m doing something else this month for funsies.

The first song is one my cousin (the adorbs blonde above on the left) and I used to dance around my mother’s living room listening to…on CASSETTE TAPE.

Straight Up by Paula Abdul

Most of the music I listened to as a kid was from my parents’ fave radio stations, but we loooved the Paula Abdul.

The second song is from my high school cheerleading days. Not quite childhood, but pretty darn close.

Baby Got Back by Sir Mix a Lot

Yes. That. Our senior year, this song was part of our competition routine. And yours truly was the girl who stood up valley-girl-style to say, “OH. MY. GOD.” It was awesome.

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In this picture, I was doing a single extension with the support of a spotter. It was my proudest cheercomplishment.

As I checked out this pic, I thought about how I used to think I was fat, because I was bigger than the other girls…and what I wouldn’t give to have those legs again! Which leads me to the The Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet.

I’m joing up with two of my bloggy friends, Joules of Pockful of Joules and and Kari of A Graceful Life, to lose a few pounds.

Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet Team

And you can join us too! I’ve done the Weight Watchers thing since, well, high school…and it has worked and it has not worked…So I’m doing this with my own diet and exercise and financial accountability, but you can use whatever method works for you. The goal is to lose 4% of my body weight in 4 weeks. With DietBet, everyone can win. Join our DietBet now!

  • The DietBet’s official start date is Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
  • All participants will need to weigh-in on May 4th or May 5th.
  • The cost to participate is $20.
  • The Bet is to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks.
  • The official end date is June 2, 2014.
  • You can make your weight private so that only YOU see it.
  • Your pictures can also be private (your full body shot and scale shot).
  • We can all support each other on the DietBet site to stay motivated.
  • At the end of the bet, the total amount of money in the pot is split between the winners (after they take their fee out).
  • If we ALL win, DietBet will not take their fee and we will all get our $20 back.

So wish me luck. And get excited for the next 24 days of musically themed posts!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tasty Tuesday: 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus Chicago Style Hot Dog

So one of my plans/goals for this year is to lose some weight and get back to looking like the Chrissy in this karaoke picture. As Weight Watchers has always been my go-to weight loss plan, I’m back at it. Back in the days of college I lost 40 lbs when Katie at Words for Worms and I did WW together. I was way skinnier back then to start though! It’s amazing how you think you’re big until you get older and look back thinking, SHIT…I was so skinny!

My biggest reason for always going back to Weight Watchers is the flexibility. I can eat the foods I love. I can eat cheese (and the good stuff, not that nasty plastic fake cheese you people call American Singles) as long as I account for it. The trick is in the tracking.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been working on a new site for my foodie-ventures (which has, of course, encountered some snafus)…and I think that it’s all going to be Points Plus calculated when it is officially up and running. I may end up having to start it as a WordPress.com blog if I can’t get what I want working soon. But that’s beside the point. /end internal dialogue>

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

So last week, I was jonesin’ for a hot dog like nobody’s business. And quite frankly, the thought of a diet dog makes me cringe. I’m from Chicago (ish) for God’s sake. So I’m willing to sacrifice the poppy seed bun for a whole wheat bun, but in no way on Earth am I sacrificing the meaty goodness of a Vienna Beef Hot Dog. Lucky for me, and you, on Weight Watchers, a small Vienna Beef Hot Dog is just 3 Points Plus.

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

A true Chicago-style dog includes the following ingredients:

  • Poppy Seed Bun (Steamed)
  • Vienna Beef Hot Dog (Boiled)
  • Mustard
  • Bright Green Pickle Relish
  • Chopped Onion
  • Sliced Pickle
  • Sliced Tomato
  • Sport Peppers
  • Celery Salt

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

You’ll note that most of those ingredients are 0 Points Plus! The poppy seed bun is 4 points (S. Rosens brand, if you will), but the whole wheat bun (Healthy Life) is only 2 points. (For the record, if I’m only having one dog, I’ll suck it up and use the extra 2 points…but I had 2 dogs because they were delicious and I’m a glutton.) Green relish can be full of points, but 1 tablespoon is 0 points…so measure wisely.  (I didn’t have any relish, which is sad, but you know…I survived. I also subbed pickled hot peppers for sport peppers because I was missing a few ingredients…so adjustments can definitely be made…)

Chicago Style Hot Dogs Weight Watchers Points Plus

One last thing: if you put Ketchup on your hot dog, I will forever judge you. That is all!

What are your favorite local “delicacies?”

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!