May 31, 2013

Rock Bottom...

I read recently that before a person can have their "a-ha!" moment for any change they want or need to make in his or her life, they have to go that place where they hit rock bottom.  The place where it seems like it can't get any worse, so it any changes in the right direction will be at least somewhat profound.  My friends, I think I am there.    I could write an upbeat post about recipes or great sports bras, but this is an honest look at my life, so I plan to be honest.

I have been trying for WEEKS to get myself on track.  I even rejoined Weight Watchers in order to get the support I thought I needed at meetings.  After a lot of thought, I have realized that I still do need support, but Weight Watchers is not for me anymore.  I decided to end my subscription and I was really depressed about that because I felt as if I had failed somehow.  The truth is that just because this method does not work for me, it does not make me a failure.   I just need to go back to the drawing board and figure out what will work for me.

The reality is that I have not been going crazy and eating bad foods.  I have been active.  There is room for improvement though.  There are things that I can do better.  I know what those things are.  It is just so damn hard to be honest with myself.  SO. DAMN. HARD.   I think it has a lot to do with admitting that I have a problem.  Admitting that I have a problem means I have a weakness.  Admitting that I have a problem means that I have failed in an area of my life.  I don't like to fail.  I have an extremely difficult accepting when I fail.  Is this an issue? Yes!  Is this part of my battle? Absolutely!  It is so important that I decide to work on being kinder to myself while embracing healthier habits like proper diet and exercise.  It is not going to be easy, but as I sit here typing this with tears in  my eyes, I have realized that this is one of those rock bottom moments.  One of those moments where I feel powerless.  HOWEVER, now is the time to be empowered rather than surrender to a lack there of.

I will do this.  It will be hard and it will not be overnight.  Just be patient with me as I stumble along the path.

May 27, 2013

Recipe Time: Chicken Tortilla Casserole

One of my issues with lunch time during the work week is that I need something substantial in order to keep me full.  I find that many times I do not get enough protein in.  I am not sure if this will do the trick or not, but Mexican type food sounded good this week, so I decided to develop a concoction that is a taco-like casserole.  One of my favorite fast-food places is Chipotle.  I LOVE me a nice burrito bowl.  I tried to incorporate some of my favorite elements into this casserole.

So, here it is.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole


  • 12 corn tortillas (I actually used 10 because I was running low, but 12 would have been ideal.)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast.
  • 2 cups of your favorite jarred salsa - I used the organic Meijer brand.
  • 1/2 cup of canned, black beans (I do not like a ton of beans, so add more if you like)
  • Corn (I had fresh corn on the cob.  I cut the corn off 3 medium-sized ears.)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite canned enchilada sauce
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • Chopped cilantro


  1. In the morning, I put one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast in my crockpot with a couple cups of salsa.  I cooked it slow and then later shredded the chicken with a couple forks, for a nice chicken filling.  If you don't have the time to cook the chicken in the crockpot, you could probably speed up the process by cooking on the stove.  I always use the slow cooker though.
  2. Once the chicken is finished, start shredding prepping your casserole.
  3. Prehead oven to 350.
  4. Line the bottom of the pan with a light layer of enchilada sauce.
  5. Layer half of the tortillas on top.
  6. Add half of your ingredients: chicken, corn, beans.
  7. Sprinkle on some cilantro and 1/2 cup of cheese.
  8. Repeat the layers only adding the rest of the cheese as the final layer.  
  9. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

So, listen.  I am not a professional chef.  This is something I literally made up as I went along.  I measured because I wanted to keep track of my calories.   I made this based solely on my personal tastes.  Feel free to adjust according to what you like and add/subtract calories accordingly.

I plan to serve with a romaine lettuce salad.  If I am really hungry and have the calories, I will definitely add in a small serving of brown rice also.

Servings: 6
Weight Watchers Points/Serving: 9
Calories per serving: 379

May 26, 2013

Learning about myself...

It is a mystery to me how my motivation can fluctuate from highly motivated one day, to having nearly no motivation in me the next.   I mean, I want to be healthier, but I am not always doing what needs to be done in order to get the job done.  See, most people who lose their motivation seem to lie to themselves.  I'm not! So, I am having a really difficult time understanding my behaviors.  As I have reflected this week, I feel like maybe planning is an issue.   You see, I am an ultra busy person (as many of us are).  I am also very much a planner.  Soooo, lack of planning combined with my busy schedule results in haphazard, fly by the seat of my pants behaviors -- especially with food.  My plan this week?  To PLAN.    I have found a nice recipe for a skinny, clean eating version of enchilada casserole.  I am going to make it tomorrow and take it in my lunch this week.  I plan to pair it with lots of healthy veggies, so that I don't get that afternoon crash where I am starving and really don't give a crap what I eat.    I am also going to clean out the fridge and avoid buy foods that are trigger foods for me.  AKA:  No dark chocolate candy bars.  As much as I tell myself that I will only have one square....that just doesn't happen.

Besides my poor planning this week, I DID do a few good things...

This is my standard "Happy Birthday" cupcake from work.  The school year is nearly over and the social committee provides birthday cupcakes to people on their birthdays.  Since my birthday is in the summer, I got mine on Friday.  This delicious looking treat sat on my desk all day and I wasn't even close to tempted to eating it.  One of my students came in salivating over it, so it went to him.  This kid's family has no money and he is lucky to get 3 square meals a day, let alone a special treat.  So, I was more than happy to allow him this indulgence.   I am proud of myself for not instantly devouring this thing.  In the past, I would have.

On the same kind of note, I AM noticing that I am listening to my hunger cues a lot better lately.  I stop eating when I am full.  I don't have this urge to clear my plate no matter what anymore.  That is a just an old behavior learned from childhood, that I have had to work on.  Don't get me wrong, there are still occasions where my plate is cleared, but if I am starting to get full, I stop.

I was alone with both kids for Friday and Saturday.   It was hard not having help (huge credit to the single moms out there!), but I got through it without stress eating.  I love quality time with my kids and we had some much needed mom and kid time. 

We went to a wedding yesterday, and had a nice time.  I got to spend some quality time with my family and I loved every minute of it.  We don't get together all at once often enough.  It was really nice, because we were sitting around a table at the reception, and we had time to sit and catch up -- including a very involved conversation with my dad about awesome TV shows.  I love them all so much, and moments like that help you understand the importance of being around as long as you can for those you love.  It makes you want to do better.  Without even knowing it or without them even trying, they inspire me.  

(From the left: Me, my mother (Cathy), my son (Aidan), my dad (John), my daughter (Darcy), my sister's boyfriend (Scott), and my sister (Carrie)

My sister and I.  I love her!  We don't get together often enough, but when we do we always have fun.  This was our attempt at a "selfie."  We were contemplating mocking those who choose to pose with a "duck face", but we couldn't even bring ourselves to do that in jest.  Instead, we went for the overly enthusiastic look.  I think it turned out cute though!

My attempt to get a cute picture with Darcy.  Unfortunately, I am the only one who looks happy.  She looks ask if she is plotting my death in this one...

So, yeah, great weekend!  I learned a lot about myself this week too.  Looking forward to spending the rest of this long weekend with family.  

May 21, 2013

Faces of a Dressing Room...

I read a really good blog post today from one of my favorite blogs, where the author talked about her difficulty being confident enough to buy great clothes, her insecurities, etc.  I identified with every single word.  It inspired this post because it is something that has been on my mind due to a recent, somewhat unsuccessful attempt to purchase new clothes.

My experiences in a dressing room can be summed up by a few different facial expressions... (Again, I hate taking pictures of myself, but for demonstration purposes, I felt it necessary.)


Unfortunately, this is the most frequent look on my face.  This is the "Oh HOLY HELL!" look.  This look is reserved for those occasions where I see an awesome outfit on the hanger that I JUST KNOW is gonna look great, and then I am sucked back into reality.  Recently, this is the look that appears on my face on most of the occasions that involve trying on maxi dresses.  NONE OF THEM have EVER looked even remotely good on me, yet I keep trying them on and holding out hope that one fine day that I won't look like a manatee in the damn things.  All I want is a cute long dress that can be worn with flip flops!  Is that so much to ask?  


This is the look on my face that is reserved for bathing suits.  (bahahaha)  All I can say, is thank Baby Jesus that bathing suits now exist where you can buy skirt or short bottoms.  


This look is either really good or really bad.  Most recently, it was the look I got because I tried on a size 16 dress that actually fit...and didn't just fit, FIT WELL.  I was in shock.  When this look is good, it is usually followed by a happy dance.  Seriously, if I love an outfit or fit into a smaller size, dancing does occur.  When this look is bad, I am usually shocked and disgusted by my bat wing arm flab, muffin top (So, sad that muffin top has a negative connotation, because they are, in fact, the most delicious part of the muffin...but I digress.), or the width of my butt.  


This is the dressing room face that I aspire to have.  I aspire to be happy with the way I am.  This does not mean that I want every outfit I try on to magically look hot.  This means that I want to be happy in my own skin.  This means that I want to be able to look in the mirror without automatically tearing myself be able to acknowledge when I actually do look good.  This face to me is happy, confident, and care free in a sense.  

Where did this all come from?  Well, I mentioned that I was inspired by another blogger, but it was really something I was toying with after an experience that I had this weekend.  I have a family wedding to go to this weekend (Congrats to Lauren and Ryan!).  Since I knew that I had this event to go to, I was in the search for a dress.  I wanted something fun and pretty for an outdoor, spring wedding.  Anyway, awhile back I found one I liked and bought it online.  I tried it on again this weekend and I had a really hard time.  It fit.  It probably looks nice, but it is almost like I feel like I don't deserve to look nice in something so fun and cute.  Although, the dress is perfectly decent, I kept looking at it and wondering if it was too short for someone like me (translation: a fat chick) to wear.   I am going to suck it up and wear it anyway because, well, I don't have time to find anything else, and hope to not be self conscious the whole time.  I just want a time where I feel pretty, fun, and confident.  It is hard to imagine that this day will ever come, but I am going to work on it.  

I really need to step outside of my box and decide to try on and wear things that I automatically assume will make me look gross.  I need to shop with friends, because most of my friends and relatives have great senses of style!  I need their help.  Are you listening friends and family?!  I need your help!  That is assuming that anyone is even reading this.  

Until that fine day where I can have more number fours than number ones, I will try to remember this:

And this...

because it is seriously hilarious...and TRUE!   hehehehe

but no, seriously, the first one... :)

May 19, 2013

A Week in Review...

This week has been crazy -- to say the least!   RECAP!!

I had a GREAT Mother's Day!  We decided that since we are not going on a vacation this summer, that we would buy King's Island Gold Passes for the family.  I am happy with that decision because now we have zero excuse to say we are bored with nothing to do.  We went on Mother's Day and although it was a little chilly, we had a lot of fun!  I really enjoy taking the kids to do stuff like this, because I feel like we are creating fun memories for them.  I want them to look back and remember the awesome, fun things that we did as a family.  Here are a copious amount of King's Island pics (mostly starring Darcy because she and I were off by ourselves for awhile while Tim and Aidan were riding bigger kid rides...)

Me and the kids  in front of the fountains! I wanted a nice picture of me with the kids for Mother's Day.  Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time (Thanks,Darce) This picture makes me realize that I need to do something with my hair.  

At Planet Snoopy, all the Peanuts characters were running around for photo ops.  Saw everyone but Charlie Brown. He didn't seem to be anywhere.  Boo, Charlie Brown, Boo.

The kids had fun on the rides also.  My kids seems don't seem to be afraid of much ride-wise.  Tim and I on the other hand... We are getting old and afraid!
These were the Red Baron airplanes.  The kids loved this one.  It seemed to be Darcy's favorite!  She was laughing and squealing.  So cute!

The only picture of could get of my hubs.  He does not allow photographs, so I had to be sneaky.  

Riding rides and quality time spent with my family was awesome.  The only not awesome part was the crappy $46 amusement park lunch we purchased.  (Why, God, why??)  Why we did not leave the park for something tastier and cheaper, I will never know.  I mean, we have passes, we can leave and come back in whenever we want, because we are important.  ;)  So, yeah, all of that was fun, BUT the very best part of the whole Mother's Day weekend was...

Be still my heart.  This is the very best gift that I could have ever gotten.  My little guy is just the sweetest.

Moving on from the weekend...

This week was graduation week for my Senior students.  It has been a lot of work getting them here.  I don't know if I have mentioned it, but I am a school counselor in an urban school district.  It is hard, but I love it.  This week was hectic and emotional.    

On Wednesday, I went to the salon for some much needed "me time" and a change with my hair.   This is what my stylist came up with.  It is short, but done so well!
Sorry about the stupid look on my face, but I hate taking pictures of myself.  It just feels so odd and forced.  About the only time I do it is when I get new hair and text it to a friend for their opinion -- like I can go back in time and change my mind or something...

Fast forward to graduation day...yesterday.  It was awesome, but I am exhausted!  I essentially had a 6 day work week.  Back at it tomorrow, but counting down the days until summer!

The last awesome part of my week was this:

I got this as my Mother's Day gift.  it was a week late, but worth it!  My in-laws came for a visit and brought it with them.  Tim got a great deal on it because his mom gets an employee discount at the store where it was purchased.  When it was all said and done, I got a fancy model of a Keurig for about $100.  Coolness!  I have great in-laws and we always have nice visits.  Don't be fooled because I have a picture of a coffee maker up instead of them.  :)

Well, that has been my week!!  I have been out of the better lifestyle routine, but really did well.  I ate well and although I did not to formal exercise.  I got in a lot of activity points in just because of all the running around I have been doing.  Now, I am off to plan my week in food before going to the store!  I need ideas for packing lunches....blah...

May 5, 2013

Planning Ahead

I had a really good week!  I ate well, exercised and maintained a healthy state of mind and had plenty of motivation.  I did not lose any weight though.  This is because my monthly visitor has become a bimonthly visitor lately...much to my chagrin.  Soooo, as a result, I am bloated and without weight loss.  I am trying to to let that get me down though because I know I rocked the plan this past week.

In order to keep the positive direction, well, positive, I decided to plan ahead again this week and prepare food for healthy packed lunches.  I decided to do grilled teriyaki chicken with veggie kabobs.

Earlier in the day, I marinated some boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders in teriyaki sauce.  I did not know then that there is high fructose corn syrup in that stuff.  Unfortunately, the chicken was already marinated and ready to go when I figured that out.  Soooo, next time I do this, I will make my own, HFCS free marinade.    Then, I chopped up some veggies for my kabobs.  The veggies I chose were inspired by my old favorite dish that no longer serve at Outback Steakhouse -- the chicken and veggie griller.  I was so sad when they got rid of that, but I digress...

I sliced up zucchini, red onion, red bell pepper, baby portobello mushrooms and pineapple chunks (not pictured).   I did not have any fresh pineapple, so I used canned pineapple chunks -- the kind in juice.

Time to grill!  I usually grill on the non-stick aluminum foil.  It is easier to clean up, and I don't run the risk of the veggies falling in the fire.

All finished! Yummy!  I plan to pack these with a couple tenders, one skewer of veggies and brown rice.  I kept the veggies pretty crisp, because I do not want them to get mushy when reheated.

Packed up and ready for my lunch box!  


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