Weightloss Tracker

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Local Farmers Market Info

After my last posting about the movie documentary, Food, Inc., I have had several people ask me about the best places to shop organically and locally. I have compiled a list for you to use around the Lexington/Columbia area. This is certainly not all of the places you can shop for local and organic produce but these are the ones that I am aware of. I know there are many, many more! Please feel free to post one below if it is not on my list. I am always looking for more places to do my grocery shopping. :)
I wish we could get a Whole Foods store or a Trader Joes in our area! Fingers crossed...maybe one day soon!!!

Grocery Stores:
14 Carrot Whole Foods in Lexington is a great local shop filled with organic and locally grown products. They are very helpful and also have coupons you can use in their store online. Check them out!

Earth Fare in Columbia is also another great place to shop for organic foods. Earth Fare resembles a Publix grocery store but everything that fills their shelves is organic. A great place to go shop for foods that are good for you. Earth Fare also provides tons of coupons to use in their stores. They also have a weekly newsletter you can sign up for and they send out a weekly deal that is awesome! One week you got a free pound of chicken breasts when you made a $5 purchase. They also give away free milk, eggs, produce, etc. It is worth driving out to Columbia once or twice a month to load up on awesome deals on organic foods!

Farmers Markets
Town of Lexington's Farmer's Market on Main Street (grassy lot beside the BB&T building) is open from 9am-1pm on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month. A great place to find yummy local produce and goods.

Shoppes at Flight Deck Farmers Market is located in Lexington in the parking lot of The Shoppes at Flight Deck, 109 Old Chapin Road. This farmer's market is open 10am-2pm every first and third Thursday, April-October.

State Farmers Market just relocated to its new facility on U.S. 321. It's open 6am-9pm Monday through Saturday, noon-6pm on Sunday.

All-Local Farmers Market offers locally grown produce and organic meats! This is one of the few that provides organic meats which is awesome! They are open 8am-noon on Saturdays at 701 Whaley Street in Columbia's Olympia neighborhood.

Riverbanks Botanical Garden Farmers Market features organic food, homemade goods, and cooking demonstrations by Earth Fare. They are open 2-7pm on Wednesdays in the garden's parking lot, 1300 Botanical Parkway, West Columbia.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ready to Change the World?!

It's not as hard as you think it might be! I urge you to spend some time watching Food, Inc. I watched it tonight and it seriously makes me sick to my stomach. I am so thankful that I have changed the way I eat and the food that I now put into my body. What have I done to myself for the last 25 years by putting awful foods in my body?? Join me in supporting local farmers, shopping at Farmer's Markets, and buying organic products. The more we support organic products and local farmers, the better and more affordable our food is going to get!

Fresh Berry Tart

I am always looking for delicious ways to eat fruit and veggies especially during this time of the year. Fresh fruit and veggies are at their peak, are reasonably priced, and taste amazing. I had tons of berries in the fridge that I wanted to use so I made a delicious fresh berry tart with them and greek yogurt. This would be an awesome recipe to use during July 4th this year too!

Fresh Berry Tart
Serving Size: 1/8
Calories: 160
Fat: 5g
Carb: 26g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 5g

2 (5.3oz) containers of Greek yogurt with honey
3 cups of fresh mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and/or strawberries)
1 prepared shortbread pie crust
1 tablespoon of confectioners' sugar

1. Stir yogurt to blend in honey; spread one container of yogurt on the bottom of the pie crust. Place one-half of the berries in a single layer over the yogurt.

2. Spread the other container of yogurt over the first layer of berries. Place the other half of the berries in a single layer over the second layer of yogurt.

3. Sprinkle the top with sugar. Chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Back on Track

As I wrote earlier about last month, I have been off track with my workout schedule and eating right for about a month. I made a decision to get back on track this month and it has already shown to make a difference. I got on the scale this morning and I am down 2 more pounds from my previous lowest weight which brings my total it 54 pounds lost. I was so excited and stunned to see it on the scale this morning! I think I was stunned because I haven't seen the scale move or go up the last 4-5 weeks. It was awesome to see it going down again!

Now that I have lost a good bit of weight, I am trying my best to integrate weight training into my workout routine. At first it was hard for me to get my mind into it because I didn't want to see a "gain" on the scale from muscle weight. The more I researched it, the more I realized how important it was to incorporate weight training into my workout. First of all, muscle burns more calories than fat so the more muscle my body has, the faster it will burn calories. I definitely want to take advantage of that! Secondly, I want to be "fit" as I lose weight instead of just being a smaller version of my old, fat self. I don't want a ton of excess skin hanging around when I get down to my target weight. I probably will have some but I am hoping to work hard to not have much at all. The areas that I am having the most trouble with toning up are my upper arms and my lower stomach. I continue to work a lot on these areas so hopefully I will start to see some changes. Lastly, weight training is important to me because I want to be physically fit, not just look skinnier. I want to feel strong and have more endurance as I run, bike, Zumba, etc.

I wanted to share an awesome app I found for my iPhone called Nike Training. The app is awesome because it shows you so many different ways to train various areas of your body. It also has workouts you can do according to skill levels. I love the videos because they show you exactly what the exercise looks like.

The second app that I found that is full of great info is Jillian Michaels Slim Down app. It is full of awesome workout circuits that you can incorporate yourself at the gym. She also includes videos of the different workouts so you know what to do. I also like how in depth the instructions are for each exercise. She also includes a daily tip to read when you sign in to the app. They are always full of awesome information and tips from Jillian herself. Very motivating!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!! Make sure to MOVE! :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Workout Music

I was in major need of some new workout music for the summer. I had burned myself out with the other songs I had been listening to for the last several months. For my birthday, my friend Debra Dele, gave me a gift certificate to iTunes. BEST gift ever! I was able to get a brand new playlist of upbeat, fun songs! I included them below along with some of the lyrics that I enjoy listening to while workout out. :) I hope you will find a few new songs to keep your playlist motivating. Please leave a comment if you have any other songs that you enjoy working out to!

Strip Me-Natasha Bedingfield
" 'cuz when it all boils down
At the end of the day
It's what you do and say
That makes you who you are
Makes you think about it,
Think about it
Doesn't it
Sometimes all it takes is one voice"

The Good Life-One Republic
"When you're happy like a fool
Let it take you over
When everything is out
You gotta take it in
Say oh, got this feeling that you can't fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life"

Who Says-Selena Gomez
"You've got every right
To a beautiful life.
Come on!

Who says?
Who says you're not perfect?
Who says you're not worth it?
Who says you're the only one that's hurting?
Trust me,
That's the price of beauty.
Who says you're not pretty?
Who says you're not beautiful?
Who says?

Who says you're not star potential?
Who says you're not presidential?
Who says you can't be in movies?
Listen to me, listen to me.
Who says you don't past the test?
Who says you can't be the best?"

You and Tequila-Kenny Chesney

Me and Tennessee-Tim McGraw and Gwenyth Paltrow

Kiss Me Slowly-Parachute

Take a Back Road-Rodney Atkins

On the Floor-Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull

Rolling in the Deep-Adele

Set Fire to the Rain-Adele

Loving You Tonight-Andrew Allen

Vacation Tips

I just got back from a mini-vacation in Hilton Head and it was wonderful! I just love being near the ocean. There is something about the beach that rejuvenates me and refreshes my soul. One day, I hope to have a "getaway" beach house or live on the beach. The beauty is incredible and I always seem to rediscover myself. While I was gone, I came up with a list of tips that helped me stay on track as much as possible. I will say this was the first trip that I have taken since I have started my weightloss journey and it was great for me to see that I can continue to live my new lifestyle even away from the comfort of my home. :) Feel free to add more vacation tips to the comments section if you would like!

Hope's Vacation Tips:
1. Download lots of upbeat, fun music on your iPhone, Ipod, MP3 player for exercise.This will keep you motivated and excited to exercise on your vacation.
2. Pre-portion out snacks such as fruit, chips, crackers, etc. so you can easily grab them when heading out to the beach, the pool, on a hike, etc. This took me a little extra time in the beginning but it was AWESOME to have everything ready to go when I wanted it. :)
3. Take a cooler of food you eat at home already. I know most of the time, people wait and buy groceries when they get to wherever they are going but this was so helpful for me because it kept me in check. I know what food comes into my house now and what foods are my trigger foods. By taking my foods with me, it prevented me from going to an unknown grocery store and getting "whatever" foods I wanted. It also is nice because you have everything or almost everything ready to go if you are hungry when you arrive to your destination.
4. Download a free app on your phone that will track your outdoor exercise. Many times on vacation, we stay in a house or condo which does not have a gym so I have to take my exercise outside. I actually ENJOYED exercising outside in Hilton Head! I walked all around the area we were staying in, discovered BEAUTIFUL sceneries, and enjoyed the fresh air. Also, many people enjoy walking or running on the beach.
Some suggestions for iPhone users: (there are TONS of different Apps you can use, find one that fits you)
-Nike + GPS
-iMapMyRun (my favorite!!)
-5K Runner
-Nike Boom
-Nike + iPod (
5. TAKE YOUR EXERCISE OUTSIDE! Try something different! Discover your surroundings! This was SO much fun last weekend!
6. Plan a designated time for exercise. Remember, part of being on vacation is making time for YOU! Exercise is a very important part of taking care of you so make sure you do it but also enjoy it. :) My time was from 9-10am when it was cool outside and before the prime "sun" times. :)
7. If you can, try to take your pet along with you. We were lucky enough to be able to take my parents dog with us and I enjoyed walking Abigail around the property. Taking pets is a great way to make sure you get exercise because you have to walk them and get them moving. It is also nice to have a companion walk/run along side of you.
8. Research restaurant menus online before going. This was a great way for me to make good decisions about what food I was going to eat. Several of the restaurants did not have a calorie count online but I was able to decide what I was going to get beforehand without being tempted once I got there. Also, by looking over the menu beforehand, you have time to really see all of the options the restaurant has to offer instead of going for your "usual."
9. Research fun activities you could do with your significant other or family. So many places have awesome extracurricular things to do while you are on vacation. Try something out like canoeing, kayaking, tennis, renting bicycles, ropes course, hikes, surfing, etc.
10. Take a motivational book(s) to read. I took several books on vacation with me to read since it is usually the only time I really can spend time reading. Find a book that will keep you motivated to stay on track while you are away. I have read some wonderful books lately and they continue to pick me up and get me back thinking of how to stay on track.
Some great reads for motivation:
Working it Out-Abby Rike
Believe it, Be it-Ali Vincent
Love Food, Eat Well-Chantel Hobbs
10 Lessons From a Former Fat Girl-Amy Parham
Master Your Metabolism-Jillian Michaels
Unlimited-Jillian Michaels
Are You Ready-Bob Harper

I hope some of these tips will help you stay on track while you are away from home and enjoying your vacation. Remember, continue to make small changes to your normal routine. These small changes will add up to make a BIG change. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

6 Months

I cannot believe it has been 6 months since I started my lifestyle change. It feels like it has flown by but at the same time it feels like it has only just begun. I will be the first one to tell you that this past month was difficult. I am not sure why I had such a difficult time staying on track but I do think I allowed stress and life get in the way. I don't consider this past month as a "wash" because I learned from my mistakes and my "bumps" in the road. Unfortunately, life enjoys throwing us curveballs and the only way to survive is to figure out how to deal with these curveballs. I am still learning. I had many "bumps" in my road this past month but I am already moving forward and have had a great start towards this coming month.

Weight lost this month: Stayed the same
Total lost since December 15: -52 lbs

Goals for this month:
-do 1 hour of cardio 3 days a week, 1 1/2 hours of cardio 3 days a week
-Body Combat class every Monday morning and Saturdays when I am in town
-Zumba class on Thursday nights
-Try 2 new recipes each week
-Focus on 1 workout DVD each week at home
-Work a lot on weight training

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 14

The Good: I had an awesome day today. I feel so great getting back into my healthy eating and workout routine. I did 5 miles on the elliptical this morning followed by a 30 minute arm workout that really burned from yesterdays kickboxing class, and then followed all of that by going to a Zumba class tonight. I tried really hard to eat right today which also helped. I had to add a little more to eat that usual because I worked out more than normal. I need to keep some things in my workout bag to eat right afterwards because I was starving this morning after I worked out.

The Bad: I should have been more prepared for snacks today, especially after today when I was starving after doing 5 miles.

The Ugly: I still feel like I am so far away from my goal. Some days I feel confident and others I don't. I am hoping more confident days are coming my way.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13

The Good: I went to my WW meeting tonight and I lost 3 pounds to put me back where I was a few weeks ago. The last few weeks have been a roller coaster ride for me. Some days I was counting calories and eating right and then other days...stress took a hold of the wheel and I derailed. I was surprised to see that number tonight because I honestly thought the best I would do is stay the same.

I also started back at the gym today and boy did it feel GREAT! I am telling you that I am slightly addicted to exercising. As hard as it was to get up this morning after going 3 nights without much sleep, it was SO worth it! I tried out a class today called Body Combat. I have been wanting to try this class out but it is only offered during times I can't do it of course. Now that I am on summer break, I am able to get back to working out in the mornings which is awesome. I LOVED Body Combat! It was definitely hard and intense but it felt great! It was basically a kick-boxing class with some good cardio. I am definitely thinking it is going to be one of my new favorites and I plan to take it every Monday morning until school starts back. I am taking a Body Pump class in the morning so I am looking forward to that one too!

The Bad: I didn't prepare much for meals this week since Shawn worked all weekend so when I went looking for lunch, I didn't have anything. I took a banana, raspberries and blueberries to the pool today for my lunch but they did not fill me up. I needed something with some substance. I will be sure not to make that mistake again! I also am having a hard time finding something I can take to the pool and the beach with me for lunch. Last week when I went to the beach I took a ham and cheese wrap which was good. I guess I need to make sure I get those ingredients to keep at the house if I know I am going to be at the pool during the day. I did not like how unprepared I felt and I also let myself get too hungry that I wanted to eat everything in sight. Won't make that mistake again!

The Ugly: Tonight after my success at the Weight Watchers meeting, I was not in the mood to cook so I ran by Chick-Fila. I got my usual but I also added a small banana pudding milkshake! Yikes!! I know, bad choice and bad decision but at the time I tried to justify it by telling myself that I worked out and hadn't eaten that many calories today since I didn't eat anything for lunch except fruit. It definitely was delicious but not as good as the amount of calories it has! At least I now can say that I tried it when people talk about how good it is instead of daydreaming about how wonderful it might taste.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A little inspiration from a man who lost 120 pounds!

Check out this incredibly inspirational video about a guy who lost 120 pounds! Definitely makes me want to get up and run tomorrow morning! And...I think I will! :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Amazing New Find!

The other week my friend, Debra Dele, told me about an awesome water pitcher she bought at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. She was raving about how wonderful it made her water taste only by putting FRESH fruit in the middle of a tube that "leaked" into the water. Crazy idea I know BUT she said it was wonderful! I was so glad she shared this with me because I went out tonight and got one myself. :) I am always up for a fun new way to make something boring, fun and creative! The best part about the whole thing is that it is an ALL NATURAL way to make your water taste delicious. I used to love Crystal Light but after finding out that it is FULL of chemicals, I stopped drinking it and switched to adding fresh lemons to my water. I love that you can add whatever fruit you want to add to the center of it and create all kinds of different flavors for water. The package suggests strawberries, raspberries, lemons, blueberries, watermelon, etc. I look forward to trying LOTS of new combinations this summer! Thanks Debra Dele for the review! :)

Check it out online! Use your 20% off coupon at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and you have a great deal on an awesome pitcher.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm Back!

Thanks for hanging on for the last week without me. I have had an incredibly crazy last week but it has been a fun one. :) I will be honest and say that I have not stuck to any plan for the last week and have not counted calories at all. I am going to get back on track tomorrow. I got through the end of the year at school, moving classrooms, going on family vacation, and welcoming a new niece into the world. I am ready to get back on track with my eating, counting calories, and working out. My goal is to lose 20-30 pounds by the time school starts in August. I am READY to MAKE IT HAPPEN! I am looking forward to setting up my gym schedule next week and deciding what my summer workout schedule will look like. Right now, I am thinking of doing a class in the morning and then cardio in the evenings depending on Shawn's work schedule. If I can't make it to the gym twice on a day, I will use one of my workout videos at home and/or my Wii fitness games. I will do my best to keep a log of my workout schedule this summer. :) I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far and I look forward to losing more weight this summer! :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I am so sorry for my absence this week. This is the last week of school and it is full of moving classrooms, boxing up my things, report cards, permanent records, enjoying my last few days with my students, making their end of the year gifts, organizing the mess that I created throughout the year, etc. I am extremely exhausted and ready for next week to be here so I can relax and get back to my routine. Unfortunately, this week I had to put SOME of my healthy habits aside and create alternate plans to get through the week. Putting in back to back to back 12 hour days does not motivate me to go home and workout and/or cook so I have missed the gym this week :( and we have eaten dinner out every night. Not the best thing at all to do but at the same time, I honestly don't know how I could do anything else this week. I will get back on my program Sunday! Gym time and healthy eating time! Looking forward to this summer so I can workout, take more classes at the gym, try new recipes, create new recipes, and organize our house. :)

Please excuse me from updating until Saturday or Sunday! I have a few more days of mayhem before I get back to my life. :)