March Goals and February Wrap-Up

March Fitness Goals

I’ve missed a couple weekly reviews – the one from this week I wanted to wait and do today since I knew I was going to write a February wrap-up and set some new goals for March. I can’t even believe we are at March 1st already!

Overall, things are going okay. Not losing weight as fast as I want, but I suppose it will take some time to repair my metabolism and get things going. I have been going out to eat a little too much and despite staying within points, I know I can get better food for my PointsPlus values eating at home.

I’ve been strength training 3x a week and trying to get my steps in daily. Some days I don’t try too hard to get my steps in, so I want to go back to making that a priority. Another thing I want to incorporate into my workouts throughout the week is some HIIT.

You know how they say losing weight is as easy as calories in, calories out? Umm…losing weight is freaking HARD. There is so much that goes into every move you make, from what to eat, how often to eat it, how to properly strength train and incorporating cardio (but not too much) into your routine. I feel lost sometimes with what I need to be doing so if anyone has any resources for beginners please leave the information down in the comments below!

Fitness – This month I just want to focus on getting in my HIIT training, which I will use from Dashing Dish. I plan on continuing with my 3x a week strength training, but will be increasing weights this week since last week felt a bit lighter.

Also, I’m going to refocus on my Good Health Guidelines on Weight Watchers. Keeping it simple and just focusing on filling those requirements as much as I can each day. Between that and tracking I should be getting better with food choices.

Fashion/Beauty – I’ve done a great job this month with staying on top of hydrating my skin. My face is so hydrated and smooth now so that makes me happy. I’ve also been trying to hydrate my body especially now that I am working out so I can keep my skin as supple as possible. For my face routine, I use the L’Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil followed by the Garnier Ulta-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisturizer and in the morning I wipe my skin clean with some toner, then hydrate with Garnier Moisture Rescue Gel Cream Dry Skin and the Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream. All of this I found at Ulta.

What I’m Cooking

Later today I will be going through my Skinnytaste Cookbook and making a menu using my Erin Condren Wellness Journal. I’m excited for the weather to warm up so I can get outside and start grilling!

What I’ve Favorited

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift! 

Skinny Shamrock Shakes

McDonald's Shamrock Shake 13.

That’s how many PointsPlus are in a 12 ounce serving of McDonald’s springtime favorite, the Shamrock Shake.

I’ll admit, years ago I used to wait in anticipation for these to be available – the peppermint goodness was always so refreshing! I remember my very last Shamrock Shake vividly. We were living in Colorado and my dear husband went out to get one for me, but when he returned with it I took one sip and spit it out. Not only was it way too sugary and had very little milkshake consistency (basically just the base flavoring), it tasted like toothpaste. Yuck.

That was before Weight Watchers and before knowing what a point bomb it was! Not even worth it, in my opinion. Aside from a few exceptions, I’d much rather eat my calories than drink them. If you love Shamrock Shakes from McDonald’s, you’re in luck because there are a few PointsPlus-friendly options out there!

Skinny Shamrock Shake Skinnytaste

Skinnytaste Skinny(er) Shamrock Shake

Skinny Shamrock Shake Shugary Sweets

Shugary Sweets Skinny Shamrock Shake

Weight Watchers Mint Shake

Weight Watchers Mint Cookies & Cream Smoothie

How do you enjoy a Shamrock Shake? Do you invest the points or do you make a skinnier version?

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift!

Meatless Meals for Lent

Photo: Ezra Pound Cake
Photo: Ezra Pound Cake

It’s that time again — Lent!

I feel like it was just Easter time and here we are the day before Ash Wednesday. Lent is something new for me — I’ve been going through the RCIA program at my local church and this will be the second Lenten season I go through — it’s much harder to abstain from meat than I thought.

For that reason, I needed to take some time to look for recipes that fit in with days I can’t eat meat (Friday) and find something else to make. I don’t care for fish too much, so it makes these special days a bit harder to meal plan. Here are some of the meatless meals for Lent that I plan on making throughout this next season.

Skinny Vegetarian Recipes from Skinnytaste — so many amazing recipes as usual for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Photo: Skinnytaste
Photo: Skinnytaste

Chile Cheese Casserole from Food Network

mealtless meals
Photo: Food Network

Sopa de Ajo (Garlic Soup) from Cooking Light

Photo: Cooking Light
Photo: Cooking Light

These are just some of the dishes I’ll be making for the next few weeks — what are some of your go-to meatless dishes?

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift!

 

Weekly Review — February 14th

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today’s a special day in my house, the husband and I are celebrating our 11th anniversary — can’t believe that many years have gone by already. Hope everyone has a nice day with loved ones, pets and/or friends!

This week was much like the last few weeks — tracking on eTools and hitting my goals on Fitbit. I spent most of the week going beyond my daily step goal and continuing on with my Dashing Dish strength training plan! Seeing lots of difference in the way my body looks, which is bizarre considering I hadn’t seen much difference any change on the scale.

Fitness: I’ve been sticking to my weights three days a week following the guide I got off of Dashing Dish and actually enjoying it. I’ve started out with 15-45 pounds depending on my body part and doing about 15-20 reps in each of my three sets. I wanted to establish a baseline in order to see my progress as I go. I earned 33 APs and stuck with tracking each meal.

Yesterday there was a surprise for me on the scale.

Bikini Body Countdown

FINALLY. After going to the gym for almost 1.5 months straight (I’ve only missed five days of going to the gym since New Year’s Day — actually since my birthday on January 31st) and seeing my weight go up or stay the same, I saw a drop yesterday of -4.8 pounds. That’s awesome and I know next week could be weird since it was such a big loss, but I plan to keep going no matter what. I have goals this summer!

Fashion/Beauty: I’ve been really trying to make an effort with hydrating my skin daily, especially as I am trying to lose weight. My facial skin is really smooth and I picked up this stuff from Ulta, C. Booth Egyptian Argan Oil Body Butter — I like the subtle scent and it does not feel greasy at all, though it really seems to hydrate my body. I’ve also been making an effort to get in my daily multivitamin and skin vitamin.

What I’m Cooking

In my post about Meal Planning Tips, I mentioned trying to use themes for different nights of the week. I tried it this week and it worked okay, though I really need to go shopping and get some more groceries. I’ve been getting reacquainted with my old love Pinterest – that site was a never-ending source of good ideas when I lived in Colorado. Now I just want to make food, portion it out and track.

This week I made chicken and vegetables, spaghetti and meatballs, and some leftovers. I downloaded the newest issues of Cooking Light, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Food Network Magazine on my iPad, so I have plenty of recipes to look through this weekend.

What I’ve Favorited 

Overall, it’s been a great week! Ready to keep going and hit my goals.

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift! 

 

Gym Chic Fashion

The other day I made a quick trip into Target (is there even such a thing?) and something caught my eye.

Gym Chic Target

These tank tops are super soft, cute and inexpensive — perfect for making a statement at the gym! I think they’re even cute enough to wear outside the gym. Target changes the inventory frequently, so I’m not sure how long these tanks will be available.

I noticed they were from Chin Up Apparel, so I took a look at their website since Target only had a limited selection. While you’re going to score a better deal by purchasing the Target designs, there are even more to choose from on the Chin Up Apparel page.

These are some of my favorites!

ChinUp Apparel

I have to admit, right now I am in the phase of throwing on a pair of gym pants and one of hubby’s t-shirts to work out — but I know that feeling good is also a boost to my confidence. Looks like I’ll be making a few purchases in my future!

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift!

Meal Planning Tips

 

Meal planning is one of those things that I always have good intentions with, but then often fail to pull through after putting the time and effort. There are a couple reasons why I fail:

  • I want to go from eating complete junk to uber-healthy. I should know by now that this does not work for me! After a week of eating junk, the last thing I want to eat is plain chicken and quinoa — but I put it on my menu and then fail to follow through once the time comes to make food. Then what do I do instead? Go out to eat.
  • I add things that I am craving at that moment to my menu. When the time comes to make it, I don’t really want it anymore.

I know that my efforts in the gym are only going to work if I start making the effort at home. Menu planning is one area that I need help in to make sure I succeed with my goals. I did a little searching for menu planning tips and found this great resource from The Kitchn. Here are some of the tips that stuck out for me:

  • Spend time looking for recipes. I used to do this with my Pinterest page and actually made a lot more food at home. Perhaps it’s time to do it again.

Erin Condren Wellness Journal

  • Keep a journal. I bought the Wellness Journal from Erin Condren so I could keep all my meals and snacks in one place. This has been helpful so far in tracking meal ideas and workouts — I have also been making goal notes, such as drinking my water or getting my multivitamin. Lately, I’ve been wanting to write things down the old fashioned way — this planner is great. Use my referral link and save $10 on your next purchase!
  • Make theme nights. I’ve never done the Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Italian thing in my house, but I’m thinking that might make it even easier to find certain recipes to go with each night of the week, plus it ensures I get lots of variety in my meals! Going to give this idea a try and see how it works.
  • Don’t crowd the refrigerator. I actually love looking at a half-empty refrigerator. It makes me feel like I can easily see what I have in there and for the most part it’s organized. I can’t even say how much food I throw away on a constant basis because it got lost in the abyss of the crisper drawers or got shoved to the back.

What are some of your go-to menu planning tips?

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift!

Weekly Review — February 7th

It’s been a pretty uneventful week, so this review might be on the shorter side! Been tracking points, trying to stay active and drinking water — it’s definitely keeping me occupied.

bikini body countdown

The scale hasn’t moved AT. ALL, but I can tell my body is looking different.

bikini body countdown progress

Fitness: I’ve had a successful week meeting my goals on Fitbit and staying on track with my Dashing Dish strength training schedule. I took a rest day on Thursday, but actually felt guilty about it…so this week I want to make it a goal to get my steps in every day. I like seeing all those green stars on my dashboard!

Speaking of Fitbit — I have currently burned enough calories to provide five meals to those in need. Hoping to earn a lot more this week with my cardio sessions. As of now, I’m earning one meal a day with my activity. Check out my post about #FitForFood and sign up!

Fashion/Beauty: Drinking water is hard! I’ve been working on getting in my 64 ounces in…something I want to continue doing this week. Also trying to remember to take my multivitamin and Hair & Skin supplement.

What I’m Cooking

It’s been a week of not cooking much in my kitchen. I’ve had a hard time adjusting to some new schedules here, but that changes this week. I’m not failing to plan — going through my Skinnytaste cookbook with my Erin Condren Wellness Journal and making a plan of action! If you use my referral link, you get $10 off your next purchase — making the planner free. I love free!

Erin Condren Wellness Journal

What I’ve Favorited 

7 Workout Mistakes That Keep You From Losing Belly Fat

Wash Your Face With … Oil?

Out-of-This-World Oatmeal Recipes

That’s it for this week, hope it’s a good one!

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift! 

Weekly Review — January 31st

Today is the end of the month, a chance to reflect how January went. I also turn 32 today, an age I once thought was ‘old’ but now that I’m here I still feel like I am in my 20s. I suppose I’ll always feel that way.

Anywho, January was pretty awesome in terms of my goals. I not only hit my goal of walking 100 miles this month, I kept it going and officially hit my second milestone, 120 miles.

End of the month

Finishing this goal proves to me that I can do it. I can complete things I set out to do and keep going. I’m the person that never put time into dedicating myself to going to the gym. This month, I went to the gym 30 times (31 when I count going this afternoon). While the scale has not budged, I have seen a substantial difference in the way my clothes fit.

I tracked every day on Weight Watchers and earned 137 activity points. There once was a time when I would earn 1 AP a WEEK if I was really making an effort. Now that my goals for January are over, I realized how important they were in keeping me motivated! I have new goals for February, which I will share below.

Fitness: I spent a lot of time on the treadmill this month, so I want to switch up my fitness routine in February to accommodate a balance of cardio and strength training. I am liking the Health and Fitness Calendar featured on Dashing Dish — Katie provides a layout of workout options for each week and then you go and grab any number of her workouts to plug in for your strength and cardio. I love her variety because there’s something for everyone, beginners to advanced.

Dashing Dish Fitness

You need to become a member of her website to gain access to these monthly plans, membership is $5 a month. Along with the membership you get exclusive recipes, workout plans, guides and videos that aren’t available to non-members. While the workout calendar is a part of the membership benefits, you can still go onto her website and check out her other fitness workouts and put the month together on your own.

Fashion/Beauty: Now that my walking goal is over, I decided to put February’s goal on something else I struggle with: drinking water. I know my skin and body could do well with a lot more water, so I created a challenge to drink 64 ounces of water every day. I’m going to take a ‘before’ picture of my face and see if there’s a difference by the end of the month after drinking at least 64 ounces a day. Want to join in? Find me on Instagram @bikinicountdown!

Bikini Countdown Water Challenge

What I’m Cooking

Since it’s my birthday weekend/Super Bowl, there are going to be lots of (tracked!) foods I plan to indulge in — steak, eggs Benedict, nachos and pizza (don’t forget the jello shots!) are just some of the things I know I am going to be using my weeklies and activity points for this week. The rest of the week will just be about using stuff up in my pantry!

What I’ve Favorited

Lots of things I saw this week I liked and you might be interested to check them out, too.

So there’s my week — and month — wrap up, can’t wait to see how February shapes up! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram so we can stay in touch.

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift! 

 

 

Fitbit FitForFood

I love my Fitbit Flex — it’s helped get me more active ever since I bought it back in October.

Fitbit FitForFood

Aside from doing myself good, I can now use my Fitbit to do good for others, too. Fitbit has created a new campaign called FitForFood — the premise of the challenge is very simple: burn calories and give them to someone else. I’ve often wished I could just transfer my calories to someone else, and now it’s possible — in a unique way!

Fitbit is teaming up with Feeding America in this awesome campaign — all we need to do is burn a collective 1 billion calories! Once the 1 billion calorie milestone is reached, Fitbit will give a donation to Feeding America that will help provide 1.5 million meals.

See FitForFood in action and sign up here – it officially kicks off February 3rd!

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift! 

Bikini Countdown Challenge — Hydration!

In general, I’ve had a hard time lately getting in my daily recommendation of water. I’ve been too dependent on grabbing a diet soda when I want a beverage, rather than water.

I know that needs to change — it’s probably a good reason why the scale isn’t moving that much despite my efforts in the gym or tracking! After creating the 100 miles walking challenge in January, staying accountable through Instagram helped me tremendously – I stayed on track and will exceed the original goal by walking 120 miles in the month.

Bikini Countdown Water Challenge

This month, I’m focusing my challenge on drinking water. I’m keeping it simple and attainable for everyone by making the goal at least 64 ounces — if you can drink more, awesome!

Join me February 1st in tracking water intake — tag me @bikinicountdown on Instagram and use #bikinicountdownchallenge so I can see your progress and cheer you on!

Interested in joining Weight Watchers? Use my referral link for a free gift!