I fell…Hard.

So…Yes. Wow. Lots and lots going on since we last met.

I moved to Washington, DC last February and started a new job. I also moved into a new apartment. Fast forward to July. I left the job I moved here for, because I landed my dream job. (more on that another day.) Fast forward to Nov. 1 and I moved into yet another new apartment. Commitment issues? Ha, no. [well maybe] But, both my job and new apt are permanent for a long, long time.

Rewind to last February. I was in the best shape of my life. I [f e l t] amazing. And damn, looking back-I looked amazing. So then I moved. Told myself I had until March 1 to get settled and then kick it back in to my amazingly healthy gear. That happened. Sorta. Fast forward to today [with a few pauses] and here I am…up 20, yes [t w e n t y] lbs and feeling like crap. It’s amazing the toll unhealthy food and lacking exercise has on my body once it’s trained to be accustomed to all the healthy things:

  • Some of my pants still fit, but not comfortably–and seriously some not at all.
  • Many of my shirts are tight in the arms.
  • There was a good amount of time getting dressed in the morning was easy. Everything in my closet fit, felt comfortable, and most importantly made me feel confident—Something I remember telling people was one of my favorite things about losing weight! Now trying to piece together the several items in my closet I’m comfortable in feels like chore.
  • My face has been breaking out like crazy for the last few months (even under the care of a dermatologist!)
  • My workouts feel more difficult in a bad way.
  • I am constantly tired and/or “just don’t feel great.”
  • I [ c r a v e ] sugar. I mean crrrrrrave.

(I’m really not trying to go all Negative Nancy on myself, these are just the facts people.)

Here’s what really shocks me. I’ve sat in those Weight Watchers meetings and listened to countless people talk about how they had lost so much weight and were back because they gained some or all of it back…And each time I remember thinking, “I just don’t understand how that happens. This is my lifestyle…That won’t ever be me.” Whelp folks, I ate those words (and clearly several slices of pizza and all the sweets) because here I am…Riding that struggle bus allllll niiiiigggghhhht loooooong.

I’ve tried to pinpoint if there is one thing that is causing this or if it’s several…I know one thing is the culture in DC is far different than what I was used to in Kansas City. Happy hours weren’t mandatory, brunch didn’t mean bottomless mimosas by the pitcher and as many menu items as I wanted. Weekends weren’t based around bars and booze and my workouts weren’t an “if I have time” option. But that being said…I have to learn to balance. I can’t won’t give up my social outings, but I also [r e f u s e] to let my social life take pertinence over my physical and mental health.

The other [bad news bears] situation tapping on my shoulder: HOLIDAYS. Oh, Lord why is the season ‘o eating upon us?! I absolutely refuse to eat and drink my way through November and December only to wake up January 1 a defeated, bloated, why did I do this mess. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So in my plea to myself to find my healthy ways…To get back on track…To FEEL overall amazing again…I’m turing to you all. Please help me get back on track and finish 2014 strong!

Today begins my personal 15lbs by 2015 challenge. I’m aiming to lose 15 by 1/1/15. I know I can do it–but think it would be a whole lot more fun you all did it with me =D Your goal doesn’t have to be 15 by 15…or even scale specific!

  1. What will you publicly agree to accomplish by Jan. 1, 2015? 
  2. Have any of you gained weight back that you’ve lost? If so, how did you get yourself back on track?

I find myself feeling disappointed that I allowed it to get to this point–a place I never thought I’d be. This is a challenge I honestly never thought I would be facing…But I’m human first…and unfortunately you all know what that means! I am really struggling to stay positive and man oh man do I want to be. I am sharing this with you all yes, in hopes you can help me! But more importantly because I want you to know this weight loss thing is a mad struggle. It’s emotional. And no matter where you are in your journey, [you're not alone.]

This is the night before I started my 15 lbs by 2015 challenge.

The night before I started my 15 lbs by 2015 challenge.

 

FromFattyTo goes to Washington…

I am so sorry I have been slacking! Buttttt…This is the story all about how my life flipped turned upside down (in a good way!) I am moving to Washington, D.C.! I interned there after college and FELL. IN. LOVE. It’s an amazingly inspirational place. I will get back to posting weekly menus and what not…but I’ve literally had to pack up my life and ship it to a far away land in a VERY short amount of time. I’ve received a huge amount of support from you all in my new venture and I cannot thank you all enough!!! For now, this is all I’ve got. Next time you hear from me, I will be writing from D.C.!!!!!!!

Weekly Menu January 20-26

Weekly Menu 1/20-1/26

Weekly Menu 1/20-1/26

 

Click on image to enlarge.

Here’s my weekly menu! I am actually going to be out of town Wednesday-Sunday, so this won’t be exactly what I’m eating, but I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging if you try to plan your meals based on my menu =D Have a great week!

Recipes for this week’s menu:

Skinnytaste No Bean Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili 

Skinnytaste Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips

Easy Egg Salad Sandwich 

Skinnytaste Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas 

Skinnytaste Crock Pot Picante Chicken and Black Bean Soup

Weight Watchers Baked Chicken 

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Oregano and Lemon 

Pecan and Chipotle Crusted Chicken: Recipe found in comments! Give her page a like, she posts awesome meal ideas!!

Healthy Oatmeal and Apple Pancake

 

Healthy Oatmeal & Apple Pancake

Healthy Oatmeal & Apple Pancake

You can make 4 small pancakes or one large. Really good, filling, and most importantly…easy! 4 Points Plus on Weight Watchers.

What you need:

  • 1/2 chopped apple (the sweeter the better) But that’s my motto in life, lol!
  • 1 egg or 2-3 egg whites *I used 3 tbsp egg whites, if you use an egg increase PointsPlus to 5
  • 1 sweetener (I used 1 tsp sugar in the raw)
  • 2 tbsp oatmeal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

How to make it:

  • Heat pan over low to medium heat
  • Form pancake(s)
  • Flip after about 2 minutes

Healthy Garlic, Tomato, Shrimp, and Spinach Pizza

Healthy Garlic, Shrimp, Spinach, and Tomato Pizza

Healthy Garlic, Shrimp, Spinach, and Tomato Pizza

Ummm, yum. I’ve been craving pizza, and this one felt fancy and hit. the. spot. I added spinach to mine from the original recipe. I had 2 pieces for 7 Points Plus or 322 calories and a side salad for 2 points plus.

What you need:

  • 1/2 pound thawed frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Prebaked pizza crust
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes to taste

How to make it:

  • Slice shrimp in half horizontally.
  • Place a prebaked pizza crust on a shallow baking pan.
  • Combine olive oil and minced garlic in a small bowl; brush oil mixture onto crust.
  • Top crust with halved shrimp, halved grape tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through.
  • Cut into 8 slices; serve.

Easy Fruit and Pecan Side Salad

 

Easy Fruit, Nut, and Spinach Salad

Easy Fruit, Nut, and Spinach Salad

I love fruit and nuts in anything…Especially salad!

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped blackberries
  • 2 teaspoons pecans (sometimes I used sliced almonds)
  • 1-2 cups fresh spinach
  • Your favorite vinaigrette

How to make it:

  • Roughly chop strawberries and blackberries
  • Mix well in bowl
  • Top with dressing and enjoy!

Skinny Taste Turkey Santa Fe Lettuce Wraps and Skinny Taste Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

 

Skinny Taste Santa Fe Turkey Lettuce Wraps and Skinny Taste Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Skinny Taste Santa Fe Turkey Lettuce Wraps and Skinny Taste Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Another Skinny Taste winner! I subbed ground chicken for the ground turkey. 2 wraps is 8 Points Plus (I actually counted mine as 6 Points Plus because I didn’t use the dressing, but your call!)  I served mine with Skinny Taste Cilantro Lime Cauliflower “Rice.” 1 cup is 2 Points Plus.

Wraps

What you need:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions
  • 12 oz leftover turkey breast, diced small
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tbsp diced jarred jalapeno peppers
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 8 large Iceburg lettuce leaves
  • 12 tbsp Avocado Cilantro Ranch Dressing

How to make it:

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red bell pepper and scallions to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes until tender.
  • Add the diced turkey, corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to the pan. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring well so the spinach gets mixed in with everything.
  • Place about 1/3 cup of turkey mixture in the center of each lettuce leaf. Top each wrap with 2 tbsp cheese and 1 1/2 tbsp avocado sauce if desired.

Find the original recipe here: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/11/turkey-santa-fe-lettuce-wraps.html

Cauliflower Rice

What you need:

  • 1 medium head (about 24 oz) cauliflower, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 limes
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

How to make it:

  • Remove the core and let the cauliflower dry completely. Coarsely chop into florets, then place half of the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is small and has the texture of rice or couscous – don’t over process or it will get mushy. Set aside and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil, scallions and garlic and sauté about 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the cauliflower “rice” to the saute pan. Cover and cook approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat and place in a medium bowl; toss with fresh cilantro and lime juice to taste.
  • Makes 5 servings.

Find Orignal Recipe here: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/10/cilantro-lime-cauliflower-rice.html

Skinny Taste Spinach and Quinoa Patties

Skinny Taste Spinach and Quinoa Patties

Skinny Taste Spinach and Quinoa Patties

I absolutely love these! The freeze well and make a great easy and delicious lunch! 2 patties is 6 Points Plus and 236.2 calories.

What you need:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 large scallions, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup steamed spinach, chopped (frozen is fine)
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs (for GF, be sure to use GF breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

How to make:

  • Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and place the grains in a medium sauce pan with 2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid, about 20 minutes. Let it cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, eggs, Parmesan, scallions, garlic, salt, steamed spinach, and breadcrumbs. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. The batter should be moist, but not runny. Form patties 1/4 cup each.
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. In 2 or 3 batches, cook the patties covered for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until browned and golden.
  • Makes 14 patties.

Find original recipe here: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/06/quinoa-and-spinach-patties.html

My thoughts on Weight Watchers Simple Start

So it’s been a couple of weeks since Weight Watchers officially unveiled its new Simple Start plan…I, being the app-loving girl I am, discovered the plan several weeks ago and of course being the impatient, love trying new things girl I am…I did it! There are several things I love about it, my favorite being how EASY it is to plan meals and snacks! I have been a Simply Filling girl for a long time now, so to me this plan is kind of Simply Filling on steroids- haha! The major difference between the two plans is the weekly allowance (Simply Filling) or weekly indulgence (Simple Start) points. On SF you can use all or none of your weekly points (to use on non-power foods) however you want to split them up. Meaning you could use all of them in one day or split them up. With Simple Start you have to split them up (if you choose to use them) so 7 indulgence points per day at most. I honestly try to keep my weeklies to 7 points plus per day at most on Simply filling anyway, so this wasn’t really to challenging for me.

Here’s where I think Weight Watchers is really smart. I’m sure you have all heard of “clean eating.” If not, clean eating is basically a diet consisting of no processed foods (sounds striking similar to Simply Filling, right?!) Even as a Weight Watchers member, I used to find it kind of terrible how little focus was placed on choosing “cleaner” options on Weight Watchers. Sure, you were encouraged to eat fruits, veggies, and lean proteins…but in my experience it was more about finding a way to live on the processed food we were all used to stuffing ourselves with, in a more portion controlled way…Which is good! I’m not saying I never eat processed food..Hello, I could eat my life away in sweets…But it seemed for a long time that Weight Watchers showed people how to lose weight by eating fast food and colorfully packaged 100 calorie packs instead of REAL FOOD. But times, they are a changing!

I absolutely LOVE that Weight Watchers sees the importance of teaching people to shift from predominately processed foods in

Cutting processed foods for 4 days

Cutting processed foods for 4 days

their diet to power foods. I have seen so many benefits from changing to a cleaner diet…Not only on the scale, but in HOW my clothes fit, muscles look, skin feels, etc. The biggest change for me is the bloated mess I become with I overdo it with the processed stuff! The picture to the right is the difference of 4 days of clean eating! So crazy.

So I challenge each of you to try Simple Start! It’s 2 weeks and I think you would be AMAZED at how good you look and feel, and the number on the scale. Are you going to try it? Let me know how it goes!

 

Weight Watchers Moroccan Chicken with Apricots and Squash

A weight watchers chicken dish

Weight Watchers Moroccan Chicken with Apricots and Squash

I really liked this Weight Watchers recipe! A different way to prepare chicken! I subbed the jasmine rice for brown rice. 9 pp per serving.

What you need:

  • 1 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), four 4 oz pieces
  • 3 spray(s) cooking spray
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1 large uncooked vidalia onion(s), chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked butternut squash, peeled and cut into1/2-inch cubes (about 3/4 lb)
  • 3/4 cup(s) uncooked jasmine rice, or basmati rice, rinsed   (I used brown)
  • 16 halves dried apricot halves, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) canned chicken broth, or more if needed
  • 1/4 cup(s) cilantro, fresh, minced

How to make it:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Rub salt and pepper all over chicken; set aside.
  • Coat a large oven-proof pot with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add oil; heat until it begins to shimmer. Add cumin, coriander and cinnamon; cook until fragrant, stirring, about 30 second to 1 minute. Add chicken; cook until lightly browned, flipping once, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate; set aside.
  • Add onion and squash to pot, scraping down sides and bottom of pot to incorporate pan drippings. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to turn translucent and squash begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Add rice and apricots; place browned chicken on top. Pour in broth; bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  • Cover pot and bake in oven until rice and squash are tender and chicken is cooked through, checking half way through to see if more broth is needed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving. Yields about 2 cups (including a piece of chicken) per serving.

Find original recipe here: http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/recipepage.aspx?recipeid=220921&ExplicitNav=food&ExplicitSubThirdNav=PowerFoodRichRecipes