This was my dinner last night. Looks pretty high in calorie, right? Well it's not! All this was just 420 calories and was super easy to make. First I sautéed some onion in a teaspoon of olive oil and then added my chicken and cooked with a cover on until the chicken was done. I seasoned with garlic powder, black pepper and the smallest dash of salt. Then I added some frozen broccoli and cauliflower with a tablespoon of water and covered that until the veggies were tender. When that was all said and done I added two wedges of laughing cow cheese (30 calories per wedge) and melted that into the mix and voila!! It tasted so indulgent, I would have never thought I wasn't eating chicken Alfredo. I will defiantly be making this again when I am craving something rich. Olive Gardens Chicken Alfredo dish is 1,440 calories. Granted I didn't have the noodles in mine but still, that's pretty impressive!
I am in the home stretch here with my first challenge of keeping consistent with my new lifestyle change for 21 days. I weigh in on Sunday and am really going to push myself this week to workout harder than I have been. I had my lemon water this morning and my oat revolution oatmeal for breakfast (110 calories) - I also got my huge cup of green tea in and will be working out soon after I post this. For lunch I had some cantaloupe, grapes and a hard boiled egg. Not as much as I normally would like to eat for lunch but today I just wasn't feeling it. For dinner I will be having a baked breaded pork loin with homemade baked sweet potato fries or chunks; just depends on what shape I feel like cutting them into tonight! lol
Copyright 2016 © Marilyn Manfrom
Day 14 of 21; I have been pretty busy lately but still am keeping on! Seven more days until my weigh in. I have officially made it two weeks with a few skipped workouts. I am proud to say that I also have not had fast food for two weeks either! Well, I did have Subway a few times but it was in moderation and calorie counted into my daily allowance. I either get ham on flat bread or a veggie on flat bread. I really don't consider that fast food since my idea of fast food includes a deep fryer but I still know that some of its processed. Right now I am just working on making better choices and trying to stay consistent with my daily routine. I have not had a cheat day and am not letting myself even think about having one to treat myself until I get over the 21 day mark. I have been eating a lot of cantaloupe, cottage cheese, shrimp, crab and snacking on grapes, carrots, those new "Even Thinner Wheat Thins" (22 pieces for 140 calories) & popcorn. I have been keeping up with my water and get at least one huge cup of green tea in a day. I have not missed a morning with my lemon water and still have been taking those apple cider vinegar tablets. The past few days I have been having my oat revolution oatmeal for breakfast (1 pack is 110 calories) - One of the toughest parts for me is eating right away in the morning; within the 1st hour after waking up. You think it'd be easy but it's one of the hardest things to get myself to do!
Copyright 2016 © Marilyn Manfrom
<-- This was my lunch the other day! An orange, broccoli, baby carrots, grapes & wheat thins. There has definitely been a huge change in my diet and my choices. I have been staying strong and keeping on. I am so proud of myself for staying dedicated. I still have been drinking my lemon water, green tea and water. It’s only been a week but I feel great already. My body is going through a good change and I’m back to being on the straight and narrow. I have had so many temptations already but have held my head up high and ignored any impulses that I may have. I have also been keeping the rule of not eating after 7PM. This by far is one of the hardest rules that I have made for myself but I have been following my regimen religiously. I can't wait to weigh in on the 7th. I know I have already lost something, I can feel it!
This morning I had an egg that I cooked with my olive oil cooking spray for breakfast. I put a little dab of water over it and put a lid on it. It isn’t one of my best looking eggs but it turned out good. I had it over a slice of plain wheat toast. I also had a cup of green tea with it. For lunch I had a cold turkey sandwich on wheat bread with yellow mustard, raw baby carrots & broccoli. For dinner I had a serving of my shrimp chili (see below). I also got more than enough water in for today. I am well at 1 ½ gallons! Yesterday morning I had my oat revolution oatmeal for breakfast (110 calories) with a banana.
I have been slacking with my past couple of workouts but this evening I got myself in gear and did a good workout in the basement. Tomorrow I plan to go for a walk. I always hated walking in the winter but then I thought of something; I had watched the show dual survival the other day and the two guys were dropped on a snowy mountain with blizzards. I remember the guy said they needed to find food because in the cold their body burns more calories trying to warm itself back up. My light bulb went off and I am going to start winter walking and see if I can burn 2x the calories! That's if I don't bundle up too tight. Our winter this year is mild so it is perfect for being out and about. It makes sense to me!
Today I decided to experiment and made a spicy shrimp chili dish. It turned out very good and is only 239 calories per serving. I made a huge batch so I will end up freezing some for my meals. I thought it would go good over rice but in the end the rice ruined it so I will eat it more like a chili. I was going to make just a vegetable chili but I thought I'd try shrimp! I didn't want to do my same old turkey chili recipe. I wasn’t sure how I would like the shrimp in the chili but I love it! I made it extra spicy but not too hot. It has just the right amount of heat. Enough to give my metabolism a good kick! It has everything from zucchini, green pepper, celery, jalapeño, onion, to crushed tomatoes. I also found these cute little saltines crackers that are 70 calories per 17 crackers.
Copyright 2016 © Marilyn Manfrom
My first goal is to force myself to stick to my new LIFESTYLE CHANGE for 21 days. I read online a while back that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit. This is a baby step in the right direction! After 21 days I will do another weigh in. So far I am doing very well! I have become so fed up with myself that I just power through it.
This morning I had my lemon water before work an ate a banana for breakfast. I also had a mid morning snack of my nature valley blueberry bars (which are awesome by the way) and for lunch I had a half a cantaloupe with 1/2 cup of cottage cheese. For dinner I had 1 baked pork loin filet and baked sweet potato fries. I roasted the sweet potato with olive oil that I measured out to be exactly 1 tablespoon. It is so easy to get carried away with oil and condiments. I count every single calorie. I have also cut out salt. This is very hard for me since I salt everything! But I know my body does not do well with sodium. I am currently on my third cup of green tea and started taking my apple cider vinegar tablets yesterday. I also started back up on my water drinking and yesterday I downed a gallon and a half. Today it is looking like I will be 4 cups shy of a gallon. I have been having to pee every 10 minutes! I also did my recumbent bike for 30 straight minutes and did 30 straight minutes on the elliptical tonight after I got home from work.
On a different note I have been pretty excited working on my new conceptual photo series. I am doing a set of 5 images with 5 different models. I have my last one scheduled for this Friday a couple hours away. They all will have the same concept, I can't wait to share! I am working on this series for "No Filter" - No Filter was created by Sophie Simmons (Gene Simmons Daughter) and is a website that collaborates 25 different artists/people from around the world. Stay tuned! I have so many great things happening in my life right now, it is time to get myself in check!
Copyright 2016 © Marilyn Manfrom
I have been extremely discouraged lately. I have been trying to stay on the straight and narrow but just seem to be getting curve ball after curve ball. I can't seem to get with the program. I keep trying to get ahead but every time it seems like I take 2 steps back. All I want is progress but I have been discouraging myself so much that it is blocking change. I seem to be no longer motivated by what used to keep me going. I somehow justify my actions by making myself believe I deserve them. I am just stuck in a rut!
So as I sit here, I try to figure out what is missing...and well, here I am writing about it. For me writing things down (or typing) is a great way for me to move on. There is just something about getting it all out in the open in order to get over whatever slump I’m in. If you stumble upon this...yes I am back to blogging about my journey; even though I said in my last posting it was the end. I need this. I am finally ready to do this all over again. Here is to the first day of the rest of my life.
I will start to catch you up on the past 404 days…
This morning I woke up and had my lemon water in 1 cup of warm water and made myself a blueberry smoothie for breakfast. I use 1 cup frozen blueberries, 7 tablespoons of Yoplait Original Vanilla yogurt, a shot of water and 1 banana. I had a mid-morning snack of a Nature Valley granola bar and am currently waiting for my green tea to finish steeping. For lunch I am going to have half a cantaloupe with cottage cheese and for dinner I will have a scrambled egg with wheat toast – NO BUTTER – I also am starting with my exercise routine. 30 minutes on my recumbent bike for starters. I have printed out a calorie intake sheet where I write it all down so I can stay accountable for everything. I found it online; here is the link if anyone is interested: http://www.webmd.com/diet/printable/food-fitness-journal
I have become extremely frustrated on finding pants. I have come back to the place where I once said I would never visit again. Here I am on the hunt to find clothes to cover up my body. I have gained a lot of my weight back in my legs so it has been extremely hard to find a pair that doesn’t glorify every bump and ripple. This has been my turning point. Today is the day I have decided enough is enough. For the last week I have purged my kitchen of any temptations, geared myself up emotionally and laid out a plan. Step one was a much needed and overdue weigh in. I weighed myself for the first time in almost a year and am only 19 pounds shy of what I used to be at my largest. How did this happen? How could I have let myself get so out of control? Today, January 18th, 2016, I weighed in at 319 pounds. My heaviest weight was 338 pounds. In a little over a year since I had lost 100 pounds I have managed to gain 81 pounds of it back. I stopped calorie counting, watching what I ate and quit working out. I quit caring. I stopped doing everything that I had worked so hard to accomplish. My fast food habits picked up again and slowly day by day I lost myself. No more lies, no more shame.
With the push and encouragement from my Mom I have decided to blog about my struggles again, for writing about it seems to help tremendously as well as the support from my readers.
Things really took a turn for the worst when we lost our beloved Nibbler this past November. She was our black lab and for anyone that knows us, knows that our dogs are our babies…our world. We had just celebrated her 5th Birthday a couple weeks before her passing. We started noticing signs that something might be wrong when we would come home from work and she was not jumping up on the door waiting for us to come in to the house. A few days went by where she wasn’t greeting us at the door. We thought she may just not be feeling well and gave her space to get better. Never did we suspect the severity of it because she’d go through spurts where she’d be back at her normal self; jumping on you with excitement. A few days after that she wouldn’t come downstairs to go potty before I left for work in the morning. This was highly unusual. Worried, I called my Mom from work to go check on her to see if she was still upstairs sleeping and to see if she could take her to the vet for me since both Michael and I were at work. My Mom took her in and she was treated for a gastrointestinal infection. It was odd because she wasn’t puking uncontrollably or having issues going to the bathroom until that day she had a runny bowel movement. After a few days of her being on her medication we realized she was not getting any better. She had stopped going potty and I was convinced she had a blockage because a few weeks back she had thrown up a little grass that she had eaten and it looked as if there were a few pebbles in it. I thought she must have eaten a rock & that is why she has been acting lethargic. In a panic I took her to the vet again but this time for x-rays. My worst case scenario in my mind was that she would need surgery to remove whatever blockage she had. I told the vet to do whatever test it took to figure out the cause. She was admitted that morning and was put on fluids for the entire day. I was at my Moms on my lunch break when I got the call, Nibbler did not have any blockages. As soon as I was ecstatic with that news, she hits me with the end result. After a blood test they discovered her kidneys were failing. Those next few days were the worst days of my life. We tried everything. She would get admitted to the vet for the day on fluids and would come home at night with IV fluids since they don’t have 24 hour care. Luckily my Mom was a registered nurse and she would come and administer her fluids for the night. We had our living room set up with blankets and everything that we felt would make her comfortable. We slept with her, woke up with her and even carried her outside so she could pee. She quit eating, and by this point it had been 7 days since she had gone number 2. I tried to get her to eat; I made her a rib eye steak that she wouldn’t touch. She wouldn’t take a treat; she wouldn’t even touch a plain hamburger from McDonalds. That’s when I knew she wasn’t going to recover. Nothing we were doing was helping; her kidneys were too far gone. Her levels never improved. Her last days were tough on her. If I knew then what I know now; I would have never put her through all that. We had no idea the severity of it, no idea it was kidney failure. I wanted to make sure we did everything that we could do. Within a week of her not greeting us at the door she was gone. Looking at pictures of her weeks prior I would have never imagined the road we were about to go down. She had congenital kidney failure. There are not many warning signs. The 2 signs that I can relate to Nibbler was the excessive water drinking and the bad breath but how were we supposed to know? Dogs drink water, dogs have bad breath and she’d been like that since she was a puppy. On the last day we arranged for the vet to come to the house. At this point she couldn’t get up and would have episodes every few hours. What we were doing wasn’t helping. The best decision for her was the hardest one to make. It was time. I replay it like a bad dream. I try not to think about it but sometimes I can’t help it. I try to remember her as her goofy, lovable, hyperactive self. We got her cremated (which I am so glad they have that as an option nowadays) I just couldn’t bear the thought to bury her. After she passed we were faced with another obstacle. We never thought about how our other dogs would react; Heidi, Silver & Chewie. The last couple of days they had stayed at my Moms house so Michael and I could be with Nibbler. When they came home we were slapped in the face with their reactions. They searched for her, looking everywhere. For the first few weeks, every time they came in the house they assumed she’d be there. Once they’d realize she’s gone they would each deal with it in their own way. Chewie would mope and sleep, Heidi would deal by sucking on her stuffed animal toy and Silver would get so upset to the point of nausea. Nibbler was Silvers soul sister; they were like Thelma and Louise. That was the hardest part of the grieving process for me. Watching them slowly come to the realization she’s gone. It is still so fresh, still so unbelievable. We miss her every day.
With saying all this here is to the re-start of something good, something positive.
Wish me luck…
Copyright 2016 © Marilyn Manfrom
After a lot of thought I have decided I will not be posting about my weight-loss anymore and will be closing this blog. I will be making a link to my past postings on my homepage but I will not be updating it any further. This does not mean I have given up but only that I have closed one door to open another.
So, this is where it ends; on Entry 390.
This blog has helped me grow in so many ways over the past 3 years and I am now on to a new venture. It's not good-bye, it's see you later!
Since this is my last posting for my weight-loss, I will inform you guys on how I am doing. I have been LIVING! My world used to revolve around weight-loss but I have come to make it less of a priority and more of an accomplishment. After losing the bulk of my weight I have come to be more comfortable in my own skin. I take on life one day at a time and have learned to not put so much pressure on myself. I will always want to lose more weight and will always have that desire to be better. I now know I am able to succeed with whatever I set my mind to do. For now I am just living my life to the best of my ability. I have learned to cut out the negative and focus on all the positive.
There are certain things that I will never stop doing because they have now become a habit; for example, drinking almost a gallon of water a day, using extra virgin olive oil instead of butter or vegetable oil and being more active. This process has changed my life drastically for the better and I will never forget the support from friends, strangers and family. I have come a long way but as far as this blog goes, this will be the end. Thank you all for the encouragement and motivation. I will never forget it. You will all hold a special place in my heart.
I will still continue to work towards my goal weight; I just will not be blogging about it anymore. I feel good about this decision and hope for a successful future. As for my new chapter, keep checking in for new photo blog updates. I will be posting lifestyle shots often as well as photo-shoots that I have done with clients. I have so much fun in doing all of this and find much enjoyment! I cannot wait for what waits ahead.
Over and out!
Thanks for reading.
I always have a "guard" when I am working out. My dog Silver is ready to go if my recumbent bike actually decides to take off one day. She always thinks I am going somewhere! For people who have dogs, you will understand the struggle of trying to work out with them. Especially when you try to do sit-ups on the floor! They think it's party time.
Well Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I cooked and had it at my house last year but this year I think my Mom and I are going to be crazy and go to the pre-black Friday deals they have on Thanksgiving Day. I don't like that they start black Friday early but I suppose it helps with the stampede of people killing each other. After all we can push Thanksgiving over a day right? Re-writing history is easy! Just kidding, but Thanksgiving has become more about black Friday and good deals than actually sitting down and being thankful. I have no idea who started this black Friday crap but it sure shoots everything you are thankful for out the window when you are cut throat next to someone else fighting over the latest deal & running over them to get through the doors. It's like Americas very own real version of the Hunger Games just on a retail scale. I can just picture myself rocking back in forth in lawn and garden wondering if my Mom is ok in cookware.
On to a more positive note, I am down 3 pounds! Like I said before I have been fluctuating with the same ten pounds but I am determined to stop the pattern. It is frustrating but in the end I also need to start being happy with myself. I am the way I am and I should be happy with my current shape. Sometimes I put way too much pressure on my need to succeed that I do just the opposite.
Well a lot has gone down since my last posting! As you guys can see my website has changed up a bit. I have kick started my photography again and am combining both worlds! I am so excited to see where photography will take me this time around. I had put it off for a couple of years and just recently figured out that it is what I have been missing all this time. I feel more inspired in all aspects of life and like I said in my last posting, I feel complete! I forgot how natural holding a camera in my hand feels and how it gives me a rush that nothing else in this world can. I will be posting full sets of the shoots I do on my photography blog. You can also like my photography facebook page here: Marilyn Manfrom Photography
Can you believe the picture of my "driveway" above? It went from fall too winter overnight! I don't know about anyone else in my area but I sure was not prepared for this crap! We got about 24 inches of snow in about 24 hours. We have been shoveling a path for the car but have a snow blower on the way!
I have been doing "OK" with my weight-loss. Nothing to really inform you guys on. I keep gaining and losing the same 10 pounds and have been getting very frustrated. I also have not been happy with myself and know I need to get real. But it is nothing that I have not said before. I have been keeping up with my workout routine but still have not been staying strict with my eating habits. I do so good for about a week and then I fade out and end up making horrible choices. Which then escalade me into the black hole of fast food doom. I don't even have an excuse for it! It is just poor decision making on my end. Something's got to give! It's a vicious cycle that I need to snap out of because the more I cheat the more I feel it is ok and the more I feel it is ok the worse my progress gets and the worse my progress gets the more it takes away what I have already accomplished! Hopefully in my next posting I will have some better news to share because I need to figure out something that works for me and my current situation. You can talk the talk but you need to walk the walk!
I am excited about this free photo book we won. I decided to make it a wedding photo book and am very happy with how it turned out! I thought I'd share because well, LOOK IT! :-D
(Picture below) - My favorite tree takes on Mother Nature! I had taken the last picture not too long ago when I got my new camera and realized that I have taken pictures of this tree for the past 4 years and put together this! Weirdly, I was generally in the same spot every time I took a picture. If I ever move I wish I could dig it up and take it with me! But I guess I will always have this :-)
I have been obsessed with the clouds this past year. They have just been breathtaking! I am always pulling over and trying to get a picture with my phone. Yesterday was one of those days that I just had to take a picture!
Just to forewarn you; this posting is not going to be weight loss related. Some days I just need to turn that off because I drive myself insane trying to figure out new ways to say how I'm doing regarding my progress. I am sure I have repeated myself with postings but I can't remember everything I have wrote about over the past couple of years. I know it is the theme of my blog but today I'm just going to talk about stuff!
This past weekend was great. I did something every day! I had today off and I just got back home from visiting an old friend. It was so nice to catch up! Saturday and Sunday I went out of town with my Mom, which is always fun. I am so excited because yesterday I finally upgraded cameras and bought myself a new one! For anyone that knows me, knows this is a big deal for me! The timing was perfect and I am so excited over the good deal I got. I knew there was a reason I was holding off so long with making a purchase! (Over a year to be exact) & I ended up saving $200.00! I can't wait to start doing photo-shoots again (which I will be soon) - I feel more inspired and confident than ever! Below is the first picture I took with my new camera. I just love it - I love my old camera too but I am going to take it in to get professionally cleaned & tuned up to see what the issue is exactly that I have been having. I have tried to fix it myself but nothing I did seemed to work without the same issue coming back. Maybe it's just old age! I've had it for about 10 years. Once I get my older one cleaned up I will have 2. I have always wanted to have a backup! I just know it will come in real handy and will give me the peace of mind that I need to shoot without the fear of not having a plan B; especially for weddings. There is no worse feeling than to have your camera unexpectedly malfunction on someone's wedding day when you are the one in charge of photographing it! Trust me; I know how that feels first hand. My first camera gave me a great run but now it is time to explore the possibilities of the future! My Mom said I act as if my right arm had been missing all this time and I just got it back! Photography is not just a hobby for me, it is a big part of my life and maybe that is what I have been missing all this time. I feel complete again!
I'm taking this as a sign. I thought I'd splurge a bit and have a little hash browns with my eggs for breakfast this morning <-- THEN this happened! It turns out Michael didn't close the pour side of the pepper shaker when he used it last so when I went to sprinkle a little on my eggs it came out full speed ahead! It all happened so fast and in the end the meal was unsalvageable for me to eat it. I like pepper but not this much! It was almost comical. I fired up some more eggs and had them with just wheat toast!
It is 8:00PM right now and such a gorgeous fall night outside. I would love to go for a walk but not by myself! I have needed some good old fresh air. I always feel so great after a brisk walk outdoors. It has been a while & I could use the change up from my recumbent/elliptical bike routine. Tomorrow I have plans to go for one & I am actually looking forward to it!
My name is Marilyn and I am 27 years old. I have been overweight for most of my life and on May 1st, 2012 I weighed in at 338 pounds. This blog is about my weight-loss journey.