life update

GUYS! its been too long!

life has been chugging along, some good, some bad, but i’m still focusing on me to make sure i don’t let all of this hard work slip down the drain.

LIFE:

my last post was in NOVEMBER?!  man, the holidays got the best of me.  barbara and i got married, went to mexico, and are now in the process of trying to start our family.  we’ve had some hiccups happen, but its nothing that is going to stop us from bringing a child into this world.

i’m still incredibly terrified of small, ‘fresh’, babies but i know that will change once it is my own child in my hands.

in january, i finally transitioned to my new role as budget accountant.  this transition has been the main reason i’ve been so distant from my blog.  instagramming little bits and pieces of my day is easy, but sitting down and writing a post takes a little more time and effort.  this position definitely has its peaks and valleys as far as work load go, but i love the new work.  i was SO BORED in my other position with all the repetitiveness, and this position switches it up perfectly.

i’m going to chicago next week! its for business (boo), but it’ll be nice to get out and travel some.  hopefully i don’t freeze to death up there!  i think virginia weather has been cold enough it wont be too much of a shock to my system.

LAPBAND:

my lapband is still doing its job!  while i haven’t lost much since november, pounds-wise, my clothes have become a little looser, which is all that matters, right?  i’ve never NOT gained during the holidays, so to maintain was a huge accomplishment in my book, because i will admit: i definitely indulged.

between work stress/working long hours/super emotional personal struggle my band got SO TIGHT 2-3 weeks ago that i had to cut it back to liquids for a few days so my band could take a break.  i was on full liquids (cream soups, yogurts, pudding, broths, etc) for 5 or 6 days, then slowly transitioned back into soft foods, then normal solids.  while it wasn’t the most pleasant situation, it was much needed and i feel a lot better now.

i was suppose to have a fill this monday, but i cancelled the appointment since i’ll be busy at work getting ready for chicago.  i’m not sure if my doctor will give me another fill since my episode, but i guess i’ll see when i go back march 17th.  i haven’t had a fill since august, so too much liquid in my band shouldn’t be the case and most of the time, i don’t feel restriction like i think i need, i just think all of life’s stresses caught up to me and it made for a not so fun band experience.

i’ll keep you all updated on that one!

FOOD:

i’m still low carbing it as of right now, but my body is craving changed. i’ve taken some serious thought into how to make this a smooth transition without my triggers coming back full force. i’ve been considering going back to body-for-life eating (i documented it before) which is basically balanced intake: 40% carbs, 40% protein, 20% healthy fats.  i also want to keep the foods i eat as non-processed as possible, sticking to carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, berries, and things like that. breads and other processed carbs are hard on my digestion.

i know its possible to lose weight while eating carbs, they just scare me.  i don’t even mean that in a joking manner.. i’ve never known how to limit myself on carbs/sugars, which is why low carb usually works for me.  i completely restrict them so im not even tempted to eat them.. but then i get bored.. and eat some dessert.. and you know the drill. i can feel little ‘cheats’ creeping in a little too much which is why i know i need a change.

i’m currently doing an advocare cleanse to give my body a little boost, so i’m going to try to make this transition while cleansing/after the cleanse.  again, i’ll keep you updated!

WORKING OUT:

eh. not much to report on here.. i’ve been attempting but getting 2 days, AT BEST, a week.  i definitely want to get back into the gym more because my body is starting to feel soft, which i hate.  i have a great plan to follow so i just need to get on it!  i didn’t lose 75 lbs to stop at this.  i still have my dream body to sculpt here!

PROGRESS PICTURES:

here’s what about 75lbs down looks like:

photo 1 photo 2

 

i’m feeling better about myself every day and want to continue to do so.  this is the longest i’ve stuck with a weight loss journey and i want to make it work.  i’ve had a lot of curve balls thrown my way recently and i haven’t fallen off track like i normally would, so i’m taking that as a good sign.. and honestly, if i stayed at this weight (230 pounds) for the rest of my life, i wouldn’t be mad.  i love my body right now, i just want it to be a little tighter.  i don’t want abs or a thigh gap or whatever, but i want to be able to lift heavy weights and see some muscle definition in my arms and legs.

 

soooo.. that’s all i have for you today, folks!  hope you enjoyed my update and i hope i wont take so long to post next time!

low carb green bean casserole

hey guys!  just dropping in today with a quick recipe!  this one is one of my favorites and defintely makes an appearance at least once a week!  its also a PERFECT low-carb dish for thanksgiving tomorrow!  i plan to stay low-carb this thanksgiving, sticking with turkey, mashed cauliflower, and this green bean casserole.  i will have to stay away from my favorite: stuffing, but that’s the only food that is hard to resist for me this holiday.

so, this recipe is from my dad.  he doesn’t really have step-by-step recipes, just throws some stuff in a dish or pan and calls it good.  i’m finding out i’m the same way, so if your measurements don’t work out, its because i’m guesstimating here, but if its too soupy, just bake it a little longer (that always works for me :) )

 

photo99

 

low carb green bean casserole

ingredients:

  • 2 cans of french cut green beans (can use different style, but these are my favorite)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2-1 cup of French’s Fried Onion Toppers

directions:

  1. pre-heat oven to ~375*.
  2. in a sauce pan, over medium/high heat, melt butter.
  3. once butter starts to melt, add Lipton Onion Soup Mix and whisk until combined with butter.
  4. add in heavy cream and whisk for about 2-3 minutes.  at this point, the mixture should start to become pretty thick, like a gravy.
  5. place green beans in a small casserole dish.
  6. add thickened mixture to green beans and mix well.
  7. bake for about 10-15 mins, or until green beans are heated through and no longer soupy.
  8. remove casserole from oven and top with fried onions, then place back in oven for about 3-5 minutes, or just long enough for them to get crispy.
  9. remove and enjoy!

 

hope you all like this recipe!  its a perfect addition to your thanksgiving dinner menu!  if you make it, let me know how you like it and tag me in your pictures on instagram!  i love seeing people make my dishes!

 

xoxo

 

easy mashed cauliflower recipe

hey guys!  hope everything is going well! i wanted to pop in today with a quick recipe since, when i post pictures of my food, especially my mashed cauliflower, on my IG page (thesweatybetty) i get tons of questions of how i make it and what i top it with.

i may start doing this more often, since i can answer a lot of questions all at once, and its easier than being confined to an iphone screen!  so!  if you have any other recipes you would like me to share, let me know, and i’d be more than happy share!

mashed cauli23

ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • milk of choice (almond/skim/heavy cream)
  • laughing cow cheese OR butter OR both! (optional)
  • toppings of choice (more butter, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon bits..)
  • salt & pepper to taste

directions:

  1. steam the whole head of cauliflower however you choose to steam it.  i have a pampered chef microwave steamer that works great for this purpose.
  2. while cauliflower is steaming, get out your blender, i use my vitamix, and add 2-3T of your milk and 1-2T of butter OR 1-2 wedges of laughing cow.  (i never add the same amount of anything, and i actually never measure my milk, i just know that a little goes a long way, since cauliflower has so much moisture)
  3. when cauliflower is done steaming and fork tender, add to the blender and blend away!  this is where i’ve realized a little liquid goes a long way.  many times, i’ve ended up with cauliflower soup, because i added too much liquid.  i recommend starting with a little bit, and working your way up, versus too much in the beginning!
  4. keep blending until desired consistency.  (i blended longer than i thought i should have a few times back, and ended up with the creamy, velvety cauliflower puree i cannot get enough of!)

the length of my blending depends, somewhat, on what i’m making with my cauliflower.  if i’m making my imitation ‘shrimp & grits’ i leave it a little less blended with less or no liquid, for a texture that closely resembles grits.  when i make it as a side to lamb chops (pictured below) or steak, i blend a little longer for a creamy texture that closely resembles creamy/mashed potatoes.

mashed cauli

the toppings are also endless!  i LOVE mine with blue cheese, or maybe i just love blue cheese? who cares. i love them with blue cheese.  you could also sprinkle some cheddar cheese if you’re not a blue cheese fan.  you could add a little extra butter if you want to.  bacon goes well with just about anything, so why not add it to this mash?  or add butter, sour cream, cheese, AND bacon for a load mashed potato which has a little less guilt, since you’re not eating the potatoes, or if you are following a ketogenic diet like me!

my main suggestion is to just play with it!  like i’ve said, i played with my measurements until i found a mixture that i loved.  it took quit a few cauliflower soups before i found out the ratios that i liked. start out less (milk/butter) and add more if you think it needs it, if it still seams chunky and dry, add a little more at a time, and blend longer than you think it needs!

if you have any of questions, let me know!  hopefully this helps some people!

my manifesta

hey y’all!  i have a light post for you today! i wanted to talk about a new brand of workout clothes that i’ve recently been introduced to: my manifesta!

so, i was recently contacted by rachel of my manifesta to see if i wanted to try out of their workout clothes.  initially, i was hesitant because i had recently ordered some clothes from fabletics that were SUPER cute, but just didn’t fit my body well.  the shirt continued to ride up and the pants gave me a muffin top, which is something i’m not used to, since i usually wear old navy fold over pants.

i went onto the my manifesta site and started to do my research and i have to say, i was pleasantly surprised!   rachel was struggling with the same things i had felt when wearing my fabletics outfit in the gym.  clothes just weren’t working with our curves like they were meant to, since most companies design their clothes based on a size 4/6 women and just add fabric for bigger sizes.  she took action and got body measurements from women of all sizes and surveyed what women actually wanted.  she didn’t base her sizes off smaller sizes, and used models sized 2/4 – 22/24 to make adjustments to fit every woman.

after reading that, i was sold.  i also love that i could get the word out about a small business, since i come from a family that owns their own small business.  when i received my outfit, i was ecstatic!  it fit perfectly and emphasized everything i wanted, while camouflaging what i wanted to hide.  the material is super silky, and i also love that the tank i received, the Sweet Angel Tank, had a built in bra.  it gave me a little something extra that sport bras usually flatten out! i also can’t say enough about the Sorry Not Sorry capris.  they fit all my junk in the trunk, perfectly, and i was able to move about during my workout without having to constantly tug at my pants.  i went from rows to push-ups with no backside flashing!

i could probably write 3 more pages about how much i love this outfit, but i will spare you.  if you’re looking for good quality workout clothes, i without a doubt recommend my manifesta!  they’re also made in america, which i love!  so, i’ll finish my rambling and leave you with a few pictures, pre-workout and during my workout!

mm2

mm1

 

 

mm3

 

annnnnddddd!!! my manifesta was kind enough to make a promo code for my readers!  use the code SweatyBetty for 25% off your purchase! you wont regret it! i promise!

 

*disclaimer:  i was sent this outfit free of charge for an honest review on my blog and instagram.  all opinions are my own, i will definitely be purchasing items on my own!*

5 months out

hey there!  worst blogger of the year award goes to me! oh well, just be happy you’re getting a post today, ok :) so! i owe you all a update (if you even care)!

everything is going GREAT!  i honestly have no complaints.  my life has been crazy busy, filled with work, gym, events, weddings, new babies, planning for big thangz in my own life (!!!), so i haven’t had much free time to just hang out and type up a blog post.

so WEIGHT LOSS!  this is a weight loss blog, so i guess i owe you an update on that!  as of the 8th, i’m 5 months post-op from lap-band surgery. i’m currently down 66 lbs and feeling amazing!  for some reason 66 lbs doesn’t feel like a huge loss for me, but i feel so much better physically that it’s crazy!  i can move around so much better, clothes are actually comfortable to wear, and i can actually look at myself in the mirror without being disgusted.

i still want to lose 40-60 more pounds depending on how i look at those 2 stages, and i’ll re-asses my goals when i reach that point.  as i’ve mentioned in the past, i’m not trying to be super skinny, just healthy.  if i get somewhere between 170-200 i’ll be happy.  i still have a stomach pooch, flabby arm skin, and some thigh fat that i’d like to go away, so 40-60 seems like a good number to me.

here is an updated before and after:beforeandafter

lets see, what else.  i’m continuing to use a low carb diet as means of diet.  i’ve incorporated more fats into my diet to help with satiety, and it really seems to be helping.  i’ve done some research on the ketogenic diet and that is basically the plan i am following at this point.  here is the diet explained better than anything i can give you, from this website:

A ketogenic diet is quite simply any diet that forces the body into a process called ketosis, whereby fats are burned instead of carbohydrates for use as energy. A proper ketogenic diet calls for the dieter to consume high amounts of fat, adequate amounts of protein, and very low amounts of carbohydrates. Our bodies are used to turning carbohydrates into glucose to send all over the body as energy. When we enter ketosis by sufficiently limiting our carbohydrate intake, our livers start breaking down fat cells into fatty acids and ketones, to be used as energy.

i enjoy the higher fat aspect, because i can still enjoy some things that i normally wouldn’t on your typical weight loss surgery diet which is low-carb, low fat.  i get to eat avocados, bacon, butter, and all of the macadamia nuts i want (well, within reason) and still lose weight, which is awesome!

i did complete an advocare cleanse, and cut out higher fat foods and dairy for 10 days, which was torture to my cheese loving self, but i did well and lost quite a few inches!  i’m continuing using the MNS products, but it has been a little hard getting the pills in since my last fill. i can take them all, i just have to take them one by one so they don’t get ‘stuck’.  i do find a huge difference in energy when i take them and when i forget to take them, so i’m going to stick with those.

i’ve been really into seafood lately, so tilapia and shrimp have been on the menu quite a few times.  i also found a sweet kale salad at costco that i’m obsessed with, but had to stop using the dressing, because it had too much sugar and kept kicking me out of ketosis.

pistachio crusted tilapia w. sweet kale salad:

tilapia

bbq shrimp & cauliflower ‘grits':

shrimpngrits

andddd i’ve also had my fair share of ‘treat’ meals.  all along, i’ve mentioned i don’t want this experience to be just like every other attempt at weight loss.  i’m trying to keep myself from binging on everything bad, so when i’m craving something, i’ll let myself have it.  like chips and margaritas!  & ice cream, obviously.

margs

i’m still going to the gym regularly, which is great for me!  i usually go 2-3 months, then get burned out and stop going.  i had a little spout where i didn’t feel motivated, but i pushed through it and i average about 3-4 days in the gym, sometimes 5, but that’s definitely not always the case.  i’m lifting heavy, incorporating a lot of superset/drop sets, and doing SOME cardio. not MUCH, but some!  my workouts have been really intense with the new plan i’m doing, though, so i do keep my heart rate pretty high while lifting, so who needs cardio, right?

i can’t really think of anything else!  fitness and eating, with work, take up a lot of my life right now!  i’ll leave you with a picture of the baby, because i’m sure everyone would like to see his face versus mine any day.

scout

xoxo

update!

hey y’all! i wont continue to apologize for sucking at posting. you get it at this point.  not sure if anyone even actually reads this thing, but i figure i’ll post an update, anyways.

so! lap-band!  i’m about 2.5 months post-op at this point.  everything is going good, for the most part.  i’ve had one fill so far (which is where the add restriction to the band, so it takes longer for food to pass through, making me fuller, longer).  i had a check-up with my nurse practitioner a month later, July 14th, and she said i’ve been making such good progress, that i don’t need another fill for awhile.  here’s the thing, while i’m happy that she’s happy with my progress, i feel like i’m struggling on a diet.  i still dont feel much restriction as far as the band goes, but she assured me successful band patients don’t rely on the band to lose weight.  but, wait?  didn’t i have weight loss surgery to get HELP losing the weight?  anyways..

oh, and weight loss?  i’ve lost 48 pounds since my highest.  is it bad i’m not completely happy with this number?  i weighed in at 284 day of surgery and was 255, today. i’m losing more than 2 lbs a week, which is great!  but i want it to be more!  i know, i sound bratty, so i’ll just stop.  i just think of how much farther i have to go, instead of looking as how far i’ve come.

gym is going great! seriously!  i dont hate working out, which says a lot for the girl who skipped the gym for a pint of ben and jerry’s alllllll last summer.  barbara and i are good at pushing one another when one doesn’t feel like going.  i’ve been trying to get up at 4:15am to knock out workouts in the morning, but that doesnt always happen, and we end up in a gym packed full of meatheads.  seriously, we switched to a more affordable gym (we weren’t using the amenities at the more expensive one and their weight section sucked), and 5pm week days, you can’t move even though there’s so much equipment.  plus, i love being able to get off work and if i want to go home and veg on the couch, i can without feeling guilty if i worked out at 5am.

my eating has been going pretty good.  i’ve had 3 ‘cheat meals’ since surgery.  i hate to call them cheats, because this is a lifestyle change, but my doctor has recommended i keep things low-carb, so i still feel like i’m on a ‘diet’ at this point.  i went to a cook-out and grazed all day, ate buffalo wild wings, and had a piece of pizza w. some chips and dip.  nothing too crazy, but i did feel guilt after all 3 occasions.  for the most part, i don’t mind eating low-carb.  i like a chipotle burrito bowl without the rice or a cheeseburger without the bun, but sometimes, i do miss bread or ice cream or cookies.  ok, i’ll stop now, cause i’m making myself hungry.  i have found that quest cookies & cream bars curb my sweet tooth, when i’m really craving something sweet.  i cut down my intake of them, though, because it seemed to slow my weight loss for awhile, so now they are just a treat every once in awhile, instead of dessert every night.

other noteworthy items, lap-band related?  i did experience my first real ‘stuck’ episode and it. was. horrible.  getting ‘stuck’ with lap-band basically means food is stuck right at the stoma (where the band is placed/restricting) and it wont go up or down.  this usually causes ‘sliming’ which is basically just excess saliva produced.  the best way i can describe sliming is that feeling after taking one shot of alcohol too many and the back of your throat starts watering.  well, for a second, i forgot i had the band and ate 2 small pieces of chicken too quick.  and it happened. it got stuck.  i was driving in the car and had to pull over to spit out the saliva i had in the back of my throat.  then, i got to the destination, a car dealership, and ended up having to excuse myself in the middle of talking to the salesman, because i felt like i was going to throw up everywhere.  i got to the bathroom and spit up some more saliva, and then all of a sudden, it went away.  the chicken must have gone down, because i didn’t spit it back up.  this may be wayyyy TMI, but it was an experience i don’t think i can forget for awhile.  it reminded me to eat slow and CHEW.  i’ve felt an uncomfortable tight feeling a few times, which i THOUGHT was being ‘stuck’, but i was SO wrong!  moving on, i’m sure you know way more than you wanted to about that situation.

life outside of lap-band and exercising?  is there one?  just kidding, i’ve been enjoying life!  hanging out with family and friends and feel like summer is just going WAY TO FAST!  i’ve only had 1 weekend this summer where i had absolutely nothing to do, but i’m not complaining! plus, I GOT A PROMOTION!  i went from general accounting to my agency’s budget accountant.  yay, sounds so fun, right?! haha  our current budget accountant is retiring, so for the next 6 months, i will be training with him, continuing my daily duties, and training my replacement.  horray for 60-80 hour work weeks for the next few months.  hopefully this will all be worth it in the end!  luckily, i get my pay raise immediately, since i’ll be taking on so much more.

so, that’s my life lately.  i’ll leave you with a before and after i put together yesterday:

Capture

 

 

xoxo

life, lately.

hey guys!  hopefully you remember me!  i would say sorry for not posting so often, but i’m not.  i’m living my life and enjoying every second of it.  i’ll give you a quick recap of how life has been the last couple of weeks!

photo8

30 lbs down!

life with my LAP-BAND has been great, so far!  i have no complaints and my doctor thinks i’m doing very well!  at this point, i’ve lost 34 lbs, and i’m sure plenty of inches (i need to measure myself, soon!).  clothes are getting looser and i don’t feel awful in my skin anymore.  it’s hard to keep perspective, sometimes, since i still have about 95 lbs until my first ‘goal’ weight, but the other day, when i was using 2, 15 lb dumbbells, i realized that was how much i lost so far. i really need to appreciate every pound i lose, as i lose it!

photo10

284 vs 272

i’ve been working out 5 days a week!  i really don’t know who i am anymore!  i had zero motivation to go to the gym for the last year and half or so, but i really have this spark right now and i’m pushing it as far as it will go!  my workouts consist of lifting 5x/week  (arms+shoulders, chest+back, and legs alternating throughout the week) and cardio 3x/week.  i like to keep cardio short and sweet, so i’ve been trying my best to incorporate Body-for-Life HIIT routines in there.  i can feel gains in my strength AND endurance, so it’s a nice feeling.

photo14

my go-to pre-workout

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

barbell chest press

i’ve also been trying to get my 10,000 steps in a day, with my FitBit, but it’s HARD!  i walk a mile at 10am with a co-worker, but even with those steps, on days where i don’t do cardio, i’m only getting 6-7,000 steps.  i need to get better at walking around the office.  i get so busy, sometimes, i’ll only get up twice to use the bathroom and fill up my water!

food intake has been good, as well!  i’m getting my proteins in first, then veggies.  i haven’t been consuming many carbs because 1.  i don’t really have room and 2.  they seem to be a problem with most banders, so i’m holding off on them for awhile.  i’d like to get closer to goal before i start introducing them back into my diet.

photo11

chipotle bowl (just barbacoa, sour cream, cheese & lettuce)

the hardest part of this journey so far, is LISTENING TO MY BODY.  some days i feel SO HUNGRY, and after 4 bites, i feel full.  i want to continue to eat, because i convince myself that there is NO WAY those little bites of food have made me full, but they do!  if i feel hungry at work, i’ll pop in a piece of gum, and if i’m still hungry after 20 minutes, i’ll let myself eat a snack, if i’m not, i’ll continue chewing my gum and drinking my water.  i had my first fill wednesday and know that now it’s more important than ever that i start measuring my food to 1/2 cup portions.  i don’t want to risk stretching my pouch and ruining everything i’ve gone through over the last year because i was being mindless.

photo12

snack: 1/4 cup of mixed nuts

photo13

tuna salad + pork rinds

and yes, i had my first fill!  and it wasn’t that bad! so, i’m a really big baby when it comes to needles.  why i decided to get the weight loss surgery that included needles is beyond me, but i did good!  i went into the hospital and checked-in.  about an hour of waiting later, they were ready for my fill.  my doctor does all fills under fluoroscopy, which is basically just a real-time x-ray.  they insert the needle into the port, remove all the fluid, then insert however many CCs of saline they decide on, depending on how much restriction you need.  this is followed by a barium solution (to show contrast) to see how much restriction there really is.  well, while this was going on, they realized the needle they had inserted had a crack in it, so they had to insert another needle.  after that, everything went fine, and i now have 4.4cc’s in my band.

after a fill, your stomach can swell where the band is attached, so my doctor put me on 2 days of full liquids, 2 days of soft foods, then back to solid food again, being careful to not get anything stuck!  today was day 1 of soft foods and my 1 egg + 1 egg white, which i could only eat 4 bites of, has already kept me full for 2 hours at this point, so i’d like to think i can feel the restriction from the fill.

photo16post fill, liquid phase:  cream of chicken soup mixed + broth + unjury chicken soup protein

photo18

post fill, soft food phase:  scrambled egg w. cheese & ketchup

so, i’m sure i’ve bored you enough by now!  this has been my life, lately.  wake-up, work, workout, cook dinner (& lunch for tomorrow), watch a show or two on tv, then pass out.  i don’t hate it.  i feel great and my attitude has been amazing, so no complaints here :)



Q: what have you been up to lately?