Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Answer Some Questions...From Someone Famous! I mentioned before,  I've got a guest interviewer on my blog today...Meaghan Smith!  For those of you that don't know or know about Meaghan, she is a fantastic person! She is a famous musician, a wonderful artist & I am honored to call her one of my best friends!  I was very humbled when she asked if she could interview me.  She's got some really good questions for me regarding my weight loss journey.

1. You're re-losing some weight that you had previously lost but gained back with your latest pregnancy. (Congrats by the way, she's gorgeous!!) What do you think was the biggest contributing factor to your pregnancy weight gain (besides the obvious fact that you were pregnant)? 

A little bit of back story here... With my first pregnancy, I started out weighing 227 lbs & gained 40 lbs.  From a medical perspective, I should have only gained about 20-25 lbs.  Owen was born in May of 2009 & it took me until March 2011 (after MANY failed attempts, MANY different "diets" & finally a weight loss competition) to get down to 162 lbs, losing 105 lbs.  But by July 2011, by the time I got pregnant with Kacie Jayne, I was back up to 195 lbs & gained 60 lbs with that pregnancy.

I think the biggest factor contributing to the weight gain during the 2nd pregnancy was a false sense of security.  I kept telling myself  "Oh, I'll just lose this weight after the baby gets here, no big deal."  I was constantly giving myself "passes" to eat more than I should've been eating, and foods that I should've been limiting.  I was feeling confident because I'd "lost the weight before, so I could do it again".  Had I been smarter, I would've realized that I was adding unnecessary extra work for myself.  I (luckily) didn't get Gestational Diabetes, but I wasn't doing myself any favors by not being careful regarding the amount of weight I gained while pregnant.

2. What would you say is your over all feeling about having to lose the weight again? Frustration? Confidence? (You did it once you can do it again.) 

At first I was in denial.  I was giving myself a "pass"..."Well, I JUST had a baby, so I need to wait until I'm physically & emotionally ready."  I lost a bit of weight right away (about 10 lbs) and that fueled the "false sense of security."  I felt like, "Oh, this is going to be easy!"  I started to eat a lot of junk ("Oh, well, I'm nursing, so I need extra calories to keep my milk up")  & gained back everything I'd lost & then some.

By the time Kacie was about 2 months, I was hovering around 250 lbs.  That's when the denial evaporated & I was left feeling depressed about my weight.  I realized just how hard it was going to be to lose 105 lbs...again!  I wasn't deluded anymore, but I wasn't really accepting the idea of having to do the work yet either.  I made half-hearted attempts & lost & gained the same 5 lbs for the next 2 months or so.

In the competition, I had won a year membership to VO2 max.  They were kind enough to put that membership on hold for me while I was pregnant.  They reactivated it in May, but I was too embarrassed to use it.  I didn't want all those "fit" people (the trainers & people who go to VO2 max) to see what I'd become, to see what I'd done to myself.  I stayed that way (squandering my precious membership) until about mid-August when I finally sucked it up & started going again.  The trainers (especially Jessica Elliot & one of the owners, Janine Walinski) were very kind & gracious & it made me wonder why I was so worried about it.

At first, I was very depressed at bootcamps.  I remembered what it was like to do those exercises when I was smaller... It is a lot harder to do a burpee at 250 lbs than it is at 162 lbs.   So I was (and still am somewhat) very discouraged with how difficult it was going to be to get there again.

However, I've accepted where I am, & I know how I'm going to get there.  I now have the confidence to do what I need to do to get there.  But it's taken me 6 months to get into that frame of mind.

3. Do you have any advice for pregnant women (I'm not pregnant by the way) about how to not gain too much weight over the course of their pregnancy? 

The "right" amount of weight to gain is different for everyone & you can receive guidance from your physician to know what that number should be.  But if you want to try to keep that number "in check", it just boils down to making more good choices than bad.  Don't give yourself a "pass" like I did.  Provide your body with the fuel it needs to grow a baby, let yourself have a few treats every now & then, but don't go overboard.  The more weight you gain, the more likely you are to be uncomfortable.

4. What do you think is the most important "life lesson" that you are learning from this experience?

That you are the only one that is in control ...of your body, your mind ... No one else can do this for you... You have to want it for yourself, and want it enough to put the effort in.

5. Do you have plans for after you lose the weight to keep it off? If so, what are they?

I will keep plugging away (bootcamps, eventually Crossfit & eating Paleo) until I've reached my goal & then I'll keep doing Crossfit & eating Paleo for the rest of my life.  I've realized that it's not just about a diet & doing some exercises to "get me there"... this is a that I've chosen for myself, one that I'm happy with & makes me feel good about myself.  I've heard "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle" sooo many times in my life before, but never really understood that sentiment to be real until now.

6. On a day to day basis, what are your weight loss goals/practices?

On a daily basis, I focus on fueling my body with the proper nutrition.  With Paleo, there are so many options for delicious meals.  When someone first hears about what Paleo entails, they feel it's very restrictive.  But once you start, you begin to realize there are actually a lot of choices & substitutions.  And because the ratio of fat in your diet is higher, you actually feel a lot more satisfied than if you're counting & restricting calories on a traditional low fat/low calorie "diet".  And ever day (except for one "rest" day) I try to do something active.  Mostly it's bootcamps at VO2 max, but I also try to attend a weekly Hot Power Yoga class at Love Life Hot Yoga or workout at home.

Basically it's about making good choices for my body & mind, day in & day out.

7. What is your longest term weight loss goal (Like, where do you hope to end up by the end of your journey) and when do you hope to achieve your over all long term goal? 

Realistically it will take me about 10 months to a year to get to my goal weight of 145 lbs.  It could come faster than that, it could take longer.  The important thing is that I know it will happen & I'm not anxious about it anymore.  I feel like the last time I lost the weight, I was putting in the work to get to a certain number on the scale, and then once I reached that number, I went back to my old ways & hadn't really learned anything.  I hadn't learned how to change my eating habits or exercise because it's good for my body.   This time around, I have completely changed my "to the core" feelings about food (and have beaten my sugar addiction!) & exercise.  I'm no longer depressed about the effort it will take to reach my goal.

My longest term goal would be to find a way to help other people reach their goals.  I would love to share the things I've learned, whether it be on a small or large scale.  Also, at some point in the future, I would like to become certified in some form of fitness instruction, whether it be Crossfit or Yoga...something.

8. Do you have negative thoughts when you're working out and if so, how do you deal with them?

I do have negative thoughts about myself while I'm working out...all the time.  Almost every bootcamp I do involves something that is challenging for me to accomplish with my current body.  For example, one of the things we do at bootcamp is a bear crawl.  Basically, you're crawling across the studio on your hands & knees with your butt straight up in the air.  This is very embarrassing for me, especially since as some of you may know, I do not have the smallest rear end.

BUT...I do it anyway.  That's the point...this weight is not going to lose itself & unless I work at it, nothing will get accomplished.  So I swallow my pride & put the work in.

9. What would you say is the most powerful motivating factor for your weight loss goals.

I know that the body I currently have is temporary.  I now have every confidence that it is possible & one day I will look like the person in my mind's eye.  Not only will I look like someone who is fit & healthy, I will be fit & healthy.  I will be strong & live with purpose.

10. You're super inspiring to me and a bunch of other people too. As someone who is achieving great things, what would you say to anyone who is struggling to achieve their goals, weight loss or otherwise?

Find your why.  "Why do I want to do this?"  If your are driven by something greater than you're desire to "do nothing" then you'll be sure to succeed.  Look for motivation around you.  People who have already succeeded.  Search out sources of strength & guidance.  You can accomplish what you set out to!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Pumpkin Pie & Apple Pie for breakfast... & Why I Think I've Failed So Many Times

So I heard about making Pumpkin Pie Smoothies (can't remember where) & I thought... I'm gonna do that!  (Beacuse that's just now I roll... I see or hear about something & I figure out how to do it) ... So... this is what I came up with...and it is amazing!  I've had it every morning for about a week now... Still lovin it!

  • Left over sweet potato (from previous night's dinner) or pumpkin puree (about 1/3 cup)
  • Coconut water/Almond milk - adjust ratios as necessary, depending on what you need the smoothie for
  • Coconut or Almond yogurt (you could use other yogurt of choice)
  • 3/4 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Ice
  • Vanilla extract (about 1/4-1/2 tsp)
  • Epicure's Pumpkin Pie spice (about 1/4-1/2 tsp)
  • Stevia (about 1/4-1/2 tsp)

Depending on what I'm doing I will also add coconut oil (about 1 TBSP, melted) &/or chia seeds (1 scoop)

Blend away in the ol' Vitamix & I am good to go in about 5 minutes!  It is delicious!

It's yummy!

So then the Apple pie is actually a detox drink that has Apple Cider vinegar in it.  I originally found out about it from Powercakes blog here. There's a link to the orinial recipe in that post... But here's the break down:

In a mason jar I put *1 TB ACV, with 1 tsp cinnamon & 10-20 drops of stevia, some lemon juice & some vanilla extract.  (Just waiting for my liquid vanilla stevia to arrive from

Now...onto what I said I would discuss a couple of posts ago... why I think I tried & failed so many times.
A few factors played a part. I wanted to lose weight, but not really enough to be completely motivated.  I felt uncomfortable in my body, but not enough to really commit to doing anything about it.  I struggled with self esteem, but not enough to be driven to fix it.

Also... I was & a little bit of me still is, very fickle.  I find the next greatest thing & be all over it... for like 2 weeks.  And whatever progress I made in that time was undone in a seemingly less amount of time. And... I never felt satisfied with whatever diet plan I was doing at the time.  It never felt like enough food, or I was depriving myself too much & would end up caving in & eating crap.  Because let's face it people...that's what binge food is.

Additionally, whenever I would lose a few pounds, I would feel entitled to take a mini-break...which usually meant a medium DQ Blizzard with Skor & Cookie Dough & extra hot fudge.  Then I would usually continue on with bad eating habits until I'd gained back everything I'd lost & sometimes even more.  Then I would get frustrated with myself & depressed about it & not be able to gain back my focus & dedication for weeks or months at a time.

So this time around...the way I'm eating, I don't feel deprived.  The food is good... & I'm getting used to not having sugar.  We'll have to see how it goes.  So far so good....fingers & toes crossed  :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fat Girls Can Do Yoga Too

Presently, I am a Fat Girl.

However... Sooner rather than later, I will become a Former Fat Girl... Through hard work and dedication, proper eating and LOTS of exercise, I will no longer have the body that I am in today.

Which is good, because I hate it... Every time I meet someone new, my mind screams out... "I promise this isn't what I really look like!  But it's not like you could really say that to someone as you're meeting them for the first time without them thinking you were absolutely crazy.

It's just that I had the unique perspective of having already lost 100 lbs & now I get to do it again (yay for me... ugh)  It's not like I'm just a girl with a goal (a huge goal) that's off to lose a bunch of weight... I've already done it & now I feel like I'm stuck in prison, biding my time in a jail cell that I hate, waiting until my jail sentence is up.  But... Instead of having a pity party about it (like I did for the first few months after Kacie was born) I'm actually doing something about it & have started to see results... So now I just have to keep doing things (bootcamps, long walks (which will eventually become long runs), etc) until I've reached my goal weight & them I'll keep going with those things at a reasonable frequency as a part of a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my days.

So tonight, one of the things I did was a Hot Power Yoga class at Love Life Hot Yoga.  I am not a girl that looks like I can do yoga.  And a few weeks ago I wouldn't have had the courage to even go.... Because frankly, I look awful in yoga wear (for right now anyway)  ... Trust me, I know what I look like & I know it's a ridiculous sight to see... I am painfully aware.  But... Unless I get out and do things to work on changing my body, it won't change.

 And although I don't look like someone that can do yoga, man, can I ever do yoga.  There are some things that are more difficult because the excess that my body has right now won't let me bend or stretch as far as I need to (although flexibility wise I totally could) I can do quite a bit... And do it well.  And I love how it makes me feel.  Strong, powerful and peaceful too.  

So, although I don't look like I belong in there,  I totally do... And I'll keep going & it will just keep getting better and easier as time goes on. 

Can't wait for this jail sentance to be up!

p.s. No picture this time because a) I'm not willing to post a picture of me in my yoga wear quite yet & b) I did this whole post from my phone & can't upload a pic from here. 

Til next time, when I get around to talking about the things I said I would in my last post... Goodnight!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Strike Out Sugar...Paleo Style

Tosca Reno is encouraging everyone to Strike Out Sugar for the month of Sept... There's a really good post on the blog Powercakes ... I found it while searching for a "Strike Out Sugar" picture (thanks Google) & there's some really awesome info about natural vs. artificial sweeteners... I'm a fan of Stevia myself.  You should definitely consider eliminating (or reducing) white sugar from your diet.  I'm definitely a sugar addict, but so far I've been doing well without it... I feel so good!

Well...onto the "Paleo Style" part... Alex says I'm fickle.  That may be... I think it was my very last post that I was saying I "couldn't do Paleo because there were too many restrictions" ... & any of you that read my blog the last time around may remember that I tried EVERYTHING on the market (even hypnosis!) ... So...I thought I'd give Paleo a "go" again & I'm feeling really good about it.  (Isn't that always the way when you try something new?)  But I mean I feel REALLY good.  Last time I was just "dipping my toe in, checking the water out"...this time I'm all in... As in, "clearing out my pantry"-all in...  And I've been cooking Paleo for my family too.  Alex seems to be cool with it so far.

This is what I made tonight...
Here's the link to the recipe:

Anyway...all in all it's going very well & I'm loving it!  I'll post some links to some great sites I've found with info & recipes soon.  I'd be interested to hear if any of you have tried this way pf eating, or if you're going to be cutting out sugar!  Next time... my new favorite website for workouts.  And...why I think I've tried & failed so many times... stay tuned!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Salmon Sandwich (without the sandwich)

I've been trying to switch up my protein for each meal (so I'm not just having ground turkey & turkey breast every day, every meal).  I knew I'd need to be open to trying some new things.  I've had a 6 pack of Ocean's Wild Pink Salmon that I bought from Costco a while ago. I thought I'd give it a shot.  I haven't been eating bread lately (I'm getting most of my carbs from vegetables & fruit***) so I decided to come up with a way to make it bearable to eat without being in a sandwich.

***side note...that's basically the Paleo diet, which I thought I wasn't really going to be able to do, but it's how I've eaten for about a week now, & things have been fine.  A source of protein & veggies (salad or sauteed) at lunch, & the same at dinner with 1/2 of a sweet potato.  I think it's interesting that in the latest issue of the Clean Eating magazine, Tosca Reno admits that she's cut out all grains from her diet (due to a gluten sensitivity) basically, the founder of the Eat Clean Diet, without really saying it, has admitted that she's actually gone over the the Paleo way of eating.  I'm doing a blend of the two, I guess... I'm not so strict on the "No Dairy" thing (greek yogurt, etc) & I'm more conscious about making sure my protein choices are lean.

Anyway, back to the salmon...

I took a can of the Wild Pink Salmon & mixed it with about 1/4 finely chopped green onions, 2 (big) cloves of garlic (I LOVE garlic), 1 tsp Whole Grain Dijon mustard & 1/2 TBSP Light Miracle Whip.  Mixed it all up with a little freshly ground pepper & divided into 2 portions (one for lunch & one for a snack later).  I also had leftover veggies from last night's dinner (broccoli, cauliflower & beets)  & it was really good!  The whole thing was only 261 calories.  I love experimenting with new things & new flavors & I've been trying to buy one new vegetable each week... Speaking of which, does anyone know how to prepare an eggplant?

Despite eating super clean (I wasn't eating this clean when I was in the competition), I've gained a few ounces each day & I'm getting very discouraged.  I don't understand it... I daily calorie intake is really good & I've been working out A LOT... I just don't get it.  I don't think I've had too much sodium... I just don't know...Any ideas?

Anyway, I'm going to keep plugging along... It'll have to work sooner or later :)

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Turkey Lettuce Wraps (In a Bowl) & Other Things That Are Working

Well... some of you may not know this (if you've just met me in the last year or so), but this...

is what I looked like at the end March of 2011... & then I gained some weight back...and then I got pregnant & gained A LOT of weight...& now I'm at the very bottom of a very large mountain that I feel like I was already at the top of, fell down & now I have to pick myself up & crawl back up step at a time.  Most of the time I feel very defeated & depressed about it...which was leading me to eat the things I shouldn't & therefore prolonging the time it was taking me to "get on it", so to speak.

But lately, I've been more focused & dedicated & have realized a few things... a) This weight is not (as much as I'd like it to) lose itself... I did this to myself (well, partly, I did have a baby), & now I've got to undo it.  b) I've done it before, I can do it again.  I know I said that to myself all through out my pregnancy, nonchalantly saying it as I'd be downing Marble Slab or whatever, "Oh, I can lose the weight all over again", like it was no big deal.  But it is a big deal.  It's hark work & dedication.  It's wanting to succeed more than I want chocolate or ice cream or sweet potato fries (with double dip)...

So I've been working at it.  Day in & day out, trying to make more good choices than bad.  And wouldn't you know it, I feel better on the days I work out & eat well (DUH!)
I've been Eating Clean, (tried Paleo...just couldn't do that many eliminations from my diet on a consistent basis...but I do have a few "Paleo-esque" meals from time to time.)  Today I had a perfect Eat Clean Day.  I had a Green Smoothie & egg whites with fresh (low sodium) salsa,  snack was an apple with some almonds, lunch was my new fave invention...Turkey Lettuce Wraps (but in a bowl) (recipe below), 2nd snack was a Babybel cheese triangle & some cucumber slices & baby carrots.  Dinner was turkey breast "chicken nuggets" & sweet potato spears.  Got some time in on the elliptical this morning & managed to get lots of housework done too!  It was an awesome day!  Hopefully many more to come & I'll be in the 230's soon :)

Turkey Lettuce a bowl!

Turkey sausage (the kind I found at Superstore only has 1.5g fat & 80 calories) but you could also use ground turkey breast or ground chicken.  Seasoned & sauteed w/ 2 garlic cloves (minced), onion (I used red) & 1 jalapeno (1/2 seeded, 1/2 w/ seeds). 

Then, saute a variety of veggies (I did orange peppers, zucchini, & tomatoes (fresh from the garden!)).  If I was actually going to put them in lettuce wraps I would have diced them instead of just chopping them.  

I put all of that in a bowl & then topped that with about 1/4 of an avocado (healthy fats!) & then around the perimeter of the bowl, I put one of my fave "dressings" a mix of fat free greek yogurt & low sodium salsa.  On top to that I placed loosely torn pieces of butter lettuce. 

It was sooo good... I should've taken a picture.  Maybe next time!

Anyway...things are going well...just climbing back up that mountain, one good choice at a time :)

Friday, August 03, 2012

Losing It...All Over again!

Well... Baby #2 Kacie Jayne Lambert arrived on April 1, 2012... And now I'm in the process of getting to my goal weight (145lbs).  I have to lose 100lbs...AGAIN!  Here's a recap for anyone who wasn't following my weight loss journey last time  (where I hit 162lbs at the finale of the Biggest Loser Grande Prairie competition (- and won!) on March 19, 2011) My starting weight that time around was 267lbs... 105lbs over the span of almost 2 years (lots of starting & stopping...many failed weight loss attempts)

After the competition I put back on some weight (about 30 lbs between March & July when I got pregnant with Kacie) & then throughout the pregnancy I gained about 70lbs (ughh)... At the end of the pregnancy I weighed 255lbs.  (This time around I'm not going to be shy about my weight, as I've been there before & this will be the last time I'm there!)

After Kacie was born I actually got down to 237lbs pretty quickly, but then as I'd done with Owen, I was eating way too much & got back up to 250lbs (yuck!) & I've been hovering around there since then. I seem to keep gaining & losing the same 5lbs.

As for exercise...I started with just walking (outside & at the Multiplex around the track) & then once breastfeeding was well established & my breast size settled down & regulated a bit, I added in the elliptical & treadmill with some jogging intervals.  I also added in Bob Harper's Weight Loss Yoga & the Action Hero Babe DVD series... And then a few weeks ago I swallowed my pride, sucked it up & showed up at VO2max for Beginner Bootcamp.  The day after my first one, I had the usual sore legs/hamstrings, etc., but overall, it felt really good & I was glad to be back.  Everyone was really nice & happy to have me back.  I was really embarrassed about the weight that I'd gained...some of the people there hadn't seen me since the finale of the Biggest Loser when I was 162lbs! And I was about 90lbs heavier!

So I've been working out almost everyday... Most weeks I'm doing something everyday, with a rest day on Sunday.  I'm trying to keep my eating in check, but I still have mini freak outs from time to time.  I'm going to be completely honest about what I'm doing & how things are going.  If I binge on something, I'm going to let you guys know about it.  I'm going to be accountable to all of you & hopefully that will help to keep me on track.  I've got big plans for this blog, so stay tuned!