5 Years!

Last week a pretty important milestone happened in my life. It almost went by without being noticed, which doesn’t surprise me considering the type of month I had in January. A lot of things got thrown to the wayside, but I’m glad I didn’t let this milestone go totally unnoticed.

In fact, I remembered late in the day what day it was. So, I posted a quick snippet up on my Instagram and Facebook page.

Here is what I posted:

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5 years ago today, I walked into my first Weight Watchers meeting. 5 years ago I decided to do something for me and to start loving myself for who I was and who I could be. 5 years ago I told myself that I would never see the number 327 on the scale again. 5 years ago I took the first steps to become healthy, but never set out to lose 172 pounds. I honestly didn’t know if I could do it, but I did. I now know that I can do anything I set my mind to. And that life now is more amazing than I ever thought it could be. In these last 5 years I have found the love of biking, cooking, and even the love of my life. Who would have thought that my mom inviting me to a meeting would bring me so much? Here’s to another healthy year!!!

FIVE years guys! That’s a pretty big deal! To me, February 2nd is like another birthday to me. It’s the day I decided to become a better version of myself.

I remember life before that day and how much I didn’t really enjoy it. I was a sad person who really didn’t love herself which lead me to some pretty crappy relationships. The one I was in right before joining WW was horrible. I wasn’t emotionally or physically abused, I just put up with a bunch of crap I never should have. But I did, because I didn’t think I deserved any better.

Thankfully, one weekend my cousin came to visit and we had a real talk about things. I started to realize that I did deserve someone better and while it took a couple of more weeks and a huge event to happen, I got rid of that guy. I was in a bad headspace for a bit after that and remember doing a lot of emotional eating.

Then I decided that I needed to do something for myself and forget trying to find someone to make me happy. That I needed to make myself happy, I just didn’t know where to start with that. Then my mom called me one Tuesday night and told me about the Weight Watchers meeting she had gone to that night. She invited me to come along the next week to see if it would be something I would like.

I went the next Tuesday and stepped on that scale and knew from that moment on that I never wanted to see that number again. I didn’t set out to hit goal that night though, I figured I’d lose some weight and see where it went from there. I took it 5 pounds at a time and set other goals for myself, like getting under 300 pounds, and losing the weight I gained while in my previous relationship.

As the weight came off, my confidence returned. I really truly started to love me for who I was becoming. I tell people with every pound I lost, I gained a pound of confidence. That confidence gave me the courage to put myself on a dating site and after a few frogs, I met my prince. ๐Ÿ˜‰

To say that February 2nd, 2009 was a day that changed my life forever is an understatement. There aren’t enough amazing words to describe that day and what it means to me. If it was not for that day, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I wouldn’t be a woman who is living the life she was intended to, at a healthy weight, able to move freely, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, smiling and laughing every day, writing a blog that inspires others, a cover girl, has her dream job, all while married to the most incredibly supportive sexiest man ever.

If you would have told me back then that that day would be the start of a whole new beginning, I would have never believed you. But it happened, one day at a time, and even with several bumps in the road. I kept trucking along, because I always knew I was worth it and the hard work it has taken these last 5 years to get here.

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As I like to say, it hasn’t always been easy, but it was ALWAYS been worth it.

So, if you are someone looking to begin your own journey, or someone who is currently feeling stuck and like it will take forever, please find hope in my story. Please know that there isn’t a quick fix to losing weight, that it does take time and hard work, that it won’t always be easy, and that no matter what never give up on yourself. You have to take it one day at a time and the good with the bad. Nobody is perfect and if we were, well life would be pretty dang boring. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thank you guys for all the support over the years, I truly am grateful for my readers. You guys are there to cheer me along and offer support when needed. You are all the best! <3 Past years: Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4

Meatless Monday: French Fry Tacos!

My Skinny Snowman challenge is well underway and everyone seems to be doing awesome! One of the challenges of the week is to have a meatless Monday (no fish, no chicken, no meat of any kind!) to earn some points.

And since a majority of people eat meat, they can be lost when it comes to figuring out what to eat when making a meal meatless. Lucky for you guys, I’m pretty good at this meatless stuff! ๐Ÿ˜‰

A few weeks ago, I picked up this cookbook at the library. (Which is now overdue…oops!)

Bake and Destroy

There are a lot of tasty looking recipes in here from green bean casserole pizza to falafel waffles! The one that really stood out to Mr. B though were the french fry tacos. With a name like that, we had to give them a try.

The recipe in the book suggests using frozen french fries, but I always have potatoes around and wanted to make this mostly Simply Filling, so I made my own french fries and baked them in the oven. Other than that, I followed the recipe almost exactly!

French Fry Tacos by Brooke: Not On a Diet

French Fry Tacos
Recipe adapted from Bake & Destroy by Natalie Slater
Serves: 4 (2 tacos)

Ingredients:

For the french fries:

3-4 medium sized russet potatoes, cut into french fried shape
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp oregano

Directions for french fries:

Preheat oven to 425. In a small bowl mix your spices together. Add your potatoes to a gallon sized baggie and toss in your seasoning. Shake around until the potatoes are covered. Spread out on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cook for 20-25 mins, flipping halfway through.

Filling:

1 T olive oil
1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
Salt & pepper to taste

8 corn tortillas

Directions:

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, heat up your oil. Add all of the filling in the pan, except the tortillas. Cook until onions have softened and everything is warmed through. About 10-15 minutes.

Warm up you tortillas either in the microwave or in a small skillet.

To assemble tacos:

Place some fries on the tortilla, add some of the filling, then top with whatever taco toppings you’d enjoy! Sour cream is my favorite! ๐Ÿ™‚

These were fun to make and eat! They will definitely be showing up again in our menu plan!

For more meatless meal ideas, check out all the ones under my recipes tab!

Simply Filling 101: The Basics

Please note that this post is from 2012 and has not been updated with the new Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale changes. Refer to the updated Weight Watchers material for the correct information.

One of the most popular messages I receive from you guys is about the Simply Filling portion of Weight Watchers. How it works, will you lose weight doing it, and other things. I thought that a mini series of posts about it would be super helpful for you all since you guys are curious about it and also because I think it is the most underutilized portion of the Weight Watchers program.

I have been doing mostly Simply Filling for the past year and have been switching back and forth between counting PointsPlus and SF for the last couple of months.

So, I suppose you could say I know a thing or two about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Which, since I adore you all, I’m sharing my knowledge with you! My plan is to discuss the basics of the program in this post and have another post next week answering some FAQs about it. If you have a question, feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll try to answer it as best as I can in my next post!

Weight Watchers Simply Filling 101 by Brooke: Not on a Diet

The basic concept of Simply Filling is you eat strictly from a list of Power Foods until you are satisfied and you do not need to track these foods. I still recommend writing them down if you feel better with tracking, but again, there’s no need to write anything down that is on the Power Foods List. But, it is wise to track the things that are not on the list so you are aware of how many weekly PointsPlus you have left.

So, those 26-72 PointsPlus you get a day? They’re out the window. You do not use them when doing SF. As long as you eat from the list, you are fine.

What types of foods are on the list you ask?

Well it’s pretty much based on the foods Weight Watchers labels as Power Foods or the ones with the green triangles next to them in all of your WW literature and tools.

Which are based on your lean proteins, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and non-fat dairy. And if you’re following program and getting in your Good Health Guidelines, then you should be mostly following Simply Filling as it is. But that’s not the point of this post.

Now one of the most important things about Simply Filling is listening to your hunger cues.

Let me say that again….

You MUST listen to your hunger cues.

That’s how this works, you eat from the Power Foods list until you are satisfied. Which, I know seems absolutely scary, but it isn’t. You just need to learn to trust yourself. Besides, do you really think you’ll gorge yourself on chicken breasts? Probably not.

So, you’re cruising along and eating from the list, listening to your hunger cues, right? Then something comes along that you want to eat and it isn’t on the Power Foods list. What do you do?

Well, no worries, you can still enjoy it! When following SF, you still get your weekly 49 and any activity PointsPlus you earn to use towards things that aren’t SF. Now you don’t have to live without that donut in the break room that has been calling your name. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh and that 2tsp of oil you’re to be getting in everyday, that’s included! No need to count it against your 49.

Do you think you got the basics down?

Weight Watchers Simply Filling Technique: The Basics by Brooke: Not on a Diet

It is really easy once you get the hang of it. It took me a bit to get it down, but now it is like second nature to me. All I have to do is pick from that list and base my meals around it. I’d say SF is fool-proof actually. The thing that scares people the most is the whole “eating until you are satisfied” bit, which like I said before, you just need to learn to trust yourself. And how will you ever know if Simply Filling is or isn’t for you if you never give it a try?

Now, that you know the basics, what else are you wondering about Simply Filling? I will try my best to answer any questions in a post next week!

Have you ever done Simply Filling?

Did this post help you understand it a bit better?