Saturday, April 30, 2016

Coordinating Stripes

white jeans $12.99 Limited Edition Gap
blue striped tee $1.50 Old Navy
cardigan $7 h.i.p.
scarf $2.09
purse $12.99 Bueno
black/taupe flats $5.60 Bandolini (new w/ tags)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Two Casual Outfits

jeans $5.99 Faded Glory, pinstriped button down blouse $4.90 L.L. Bean, scarf $2.39 Gap

khaki pants ?, olive tee $2.58 Forever 21, cardigan $7 Chico's, olive loafers $6.84 Aerosoles

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Portion Control: Plus a Before and After Pic

Before: Dec. 2011,161.8 lbs.  After: April 2016, 129 lbs.

The nearly 33 lb. difference, as displayed in the above photos, has made a huge difference in my life.  Even though I don't have an extreme 100 lb. weight loss to talk is a significant amount to me.  I know that I am much happier and healthier having shed those pounds.  I also know I've struggled all my life with gaining and losing them (plus more).  This is the longest I have ever stayed on a diet ...and a healthy one at that.  I consider my current way of eating a permanent lifestyle change, even though I may call it my "diet".
I have learned that the amount of food I (in the past) thought I needed to feel satisfied was not an accurate amount of what I really do need to feel satisfied.  I just had to practice eating less and re-train my brain a bit.  Making a conscious effort at each meal, day after, day, week after week has made eating smaller portions more of a normal habit. However, I still have issues with portion control and must always think about keeping things reasonable. I will always have to be diligent at keeping my mind in check with the reality of what my body needs.  But, the more I do it, the better at it I get and it becomes less of a struggle.
My pre-planned meal guide is extremely important in helping me stay on track and I'll talk a bit more about that in a future post.

To exercise portion control I have reduced the amount of food I put on my plate at each meal.  I have a set number of meals to eat per day (6).  I count my 2 cups of morning coffee as meal 1...although I know it's not really a meal, but I'm not ready to eat food until about 2-3 hrs after I've started sipping on the coffee.   So breakfast comes usually between 10-11am ish.
The meals are not spread out too far from each I know if I only get so much at meal 2 that's okay because in just 2-3 hrs I'll get more food.  I have found that the smaller portion I used to think might be too little to make me happy is just enough to satisfy me, be healthy for me, and keep me going until my next meal.  My afternoon and evening snack enable me to have a reasonable and healthy sized lunch and dinner.
One example of a portion size for me now:
Pasta at dinner time... In the past I might have eaten 3 ounces which is 1 1/2 servings.  Now I will eat 1 ounce of pasta which is half of a single serving.  I will use different varieties of pasta, depending on the recipe, and will bulk up the dish with chicken, turkey, or shrimp and vegetables. 
If we are having a low cal sauce, I use a lot less of it than I would have in the past.  If making an alfredo I make a healthier version using 2 T marg, a little unsweetened almond milk, 3 T fat free cream cheese, and a little light/low fat italian cheese, garlic powder, salt substitute, and pepper.  I make a quantity (for the two of us) that will lightly coat the pasta, not drench it....and will add chicken or shrimp and lots of broccoli to the 1 oz of fettucine alfredo. good.  (No more 1/2 n 1/2, loads of butter and full fat cheese.)

Another example of a revamped portion:  On a work day I'll use only half a can of albacore tuna for my lunch (about 2pm) rather than a whole can.  I will add a little low fat mayo to it and make a wrap with a low carb 50 calorie whole wheat tortilla.  I'll also put spinach in it to bulk it up a little more.  That will keep me satisfied till my 3:45pm low fat mozzarella cheese stick. 
Oh, and I must add, that for breakfast on work days I'll take with me and eat oatmeal.  1/2 serving of oats w/ unsweetened almond milk, walnuts, 1/2 banana, blueberries, sugar free (15 calorie) maple syrup and a Trader Joe's soy breakfast sausage patty along with 8 oz V8 juice.  So I have a hearty breakfast around 11am.

So just eating a bit less, making healthier choices as much as possible,  and eating at regular intervals has really worked for me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

New Peep Toe Ankle Booties

Another good thrift find...these creamy soft and comfortable open toed booties.  They have cute buckles on the sides, but this photo was taken before I got my pedicure so I was uncomfortable shooting a close up of my toes without polish.  I'll be showing these off more another day since my toes are now currently presentable for the season. :)
ankle booties $5.59 Body Central
blazer $5 Worthington
necklace $8.99 via ebay
skirt =  at least 15 yrs old

Monday, April 25, 2016

A New Spring/Summer Handbag

I was thrilled to find this handbag that will go with anything this spring/summer season.  I love the neutral colors and details... like the white tassel and gold accents.  

handbag $5.59 Aldo
white jeans $6.39 Miracle Body
cardigan $7 h.i.p.
scarf $4
earrings $1.39
shoes $6.50 Anne Klein

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Night Time Snacking

 These are my usual treats:

*South Beach Bars = 100 calories
*Jolly Time Healthy Choice Popcorn = 100 calories per bag
*2 medjool dates stuffed w/fat free cream cheese and 10 cashews = 225 calories
I love having the popcorn and being able to eat the whole bag myself and sit and crunch on something slightly salty sweet for a while.
And I LOVE the yummy/sweet dates filled with fat free cream cheese...but I have to be careful with this one and work on limiting the cashews to the amount on the plate in the above picture.  I can get a bit too heavy handed with doling out the nuts.

Sometimes I will also have decaf coffee with my South Beach Bar which will add an additional 75 calories (because I must have non dairy creamer in my coffee).

Another snack I might have on occasion would be 1/2 an english muffin (toasted) w/ 1 1/2 T peanut butter for 200 calories.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Buttercup Yellow Cardigan With Spring Floral Scarf And Skinny Jeans

Linking up for Visible Monday at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style blog.

cardigan $6.04 Land's End
black skinny jeans $3.49 Forever 21
studded black suede flats $12.99 BCBG
purse $8 Fossil
scarf = gifted

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Light Denim Jean Jacket With Pink Top And White Jeans

denim Jacket $9.10 Nordstrom
pink tee $4.80 Jones Sport
white jeans $6.39 Miracle Body
scarf $3.99 Rachel Zoe
purse $12.99 Bueno
ankle boots $6.99 Mossimo Supply
bracelet and earrings = gifted via Charming Charlie

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Afternoon Snack Foods - They Curb My Urge To Overeat At Dinner

I rarely miss my afternoon snack which comes between 4-4:30pm.  I like to keep the snack to between 50 and 150 calories.  I'll eat one from the list below:

*low fat mozzarella cheese stick=50 calories (my go to because it's quick and easy...especially for work)
*1/2 piece fruit = 60 calories
*1/2 toasted english muffin w/ 1 T peanut butter = 150 calories
*Quaker Chewy granola bar = 90 calories
*1/2 red pear w/1 triangle Laughing Cow Asiago cheese = 85 calories

This little afternoon snack keeps me going until 6pm dinnertime.  The snack keeps me from feeling starved so I don't overeat at dinner. 
Another thing that helps me not overeat at dinner is knowing that in just 2 1/2 hrs, after finishing the meal, I get to eat again (night time snack). 

Through repetition, meal after meal, snack after snack, day after day, I have re-trained myself and I now look forward to one of the above snacks.  At my afternoon snack time I don't even think about other unhealthy foods.  This is not the time of day I experience my highest level of cravings or have the greatest inclination to I find myself completely happy with my healthy little snack.
(In a future post I will talk about my evening struggles with my temptation to overeat and how I'm still working towards overcoming those feelings and reaching a goal of being more successful in that area.)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Healthier Me: How I've Lost 35 lbs.

In a couple of months (as of July 1) it will be exactly 1 year since my husband and I set about making some big changes in our I decided I'd like to share a bit about my weight loss journey and how I've improved my eating habits.
If anyone would like to hear my story you may click on the link on the right side of this page that says "How I Lost Weight and Changed Bad Eating Habits".

black shorts $2.09 Mossimo
striped top $3.25 First Issue (Liz Claiborne Co.)
long necklace $2.64
silver bracelet (5th photo, I'd forgotten to put on earlier) $2.29

black hoop earrings .49 cents
black low heeled mules $10.40 Nine West
purse $14.99 Koltov Collection via Ross Dress For Less 

Link Up:  Visible Monday

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Last Two Remaining Outfits From March

Outfit 1:  dark navy trousers $3.83 Celebrity Blues, navy tee $1.50 Old Navy, lightweight cardigan $7 Coldwater Creek, navy purse $7.38 Liz Claiborne, cognac loafers $7.65 Sutton Plaza

Outfit 2:  khaki trousers $? Old Navy, tee $1.49 J.Jill, 
cardigan $3.49 h.i.p., scarf ?, cognac purse $7.99, cognac loafers $4.99 Honors

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A New Blog Feature

I decided I'd like to share a bit about my weight loss journey and how I've improved my eating habits.
If anyone would like to hear my story you may click on the link on the right side of this page that says "How I Lost Weight and Changed Bad Eating Habits".
I may incorporate posts to this blog from time to time sharing things associated with my eating plan such as menus of what I eat, food products I've discovered that we like and eat regularly (like quick and easy things from Trader Joe's), healthier food alternatives, occasional recipes, maybe some more before/after photos, etc.
I know I always find encouragement from other people who share about what they eat, before/after photos,  and their healthy eating habits.
So if you're interested in that kind of thing you may see a bit of it here on occasion.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Banana Republic Dark Denim

A pair of my favorite Banana Republic jeans thrifted for only $7....paired with a baby blue sweater and pearls.

sweater $1.29 Designer Originals
white button down blouse $4.99 Separate Issue
dark denim jeans $7 Banana Republic
purse $7.38 Liz Claiborne
snakeskin print flats $4 Fioni
necklace/bracelet ?
pearl/crystal earrings $3.98 via Target

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cherry Red and Pink Fringed Scarf With Tan Blazer

white pants $3 Daisy Fuentes
tan dressy tee $3.40 Dress Barn
tan blazer $2.28 New York & Co.
scarf ?
gold necklace $5.99
purse $4.90 Monet
shoes $4 Karen Scott 

Link Up = Visible Monday

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016

Yellow Cardigan and Red Overcoat

dark navy pants $7.80 Fire Los Angeles
navy tank top $1.50 Uniform-John Paul Richard
cardigan $6.04 Land's End
scarf .70 cents
nautical earrings $2.39
navy purse $7.38 Liz Claiborne
red mules $4 Karen Scott
red overcoat $7.79 Rafaella

Wednesday, April 6, 2016