Rising above challenges

ME!

We all have challenges.  None of us with exactly the same ones.  I know that mine aren’t unique…so I wanted to share them with you.

First let me tell you that when I was younger, I had this amazingly high metabolism.  All through high school I never quite made it to 100 pounds.  I know, rough problem to have!  I joined the track team, because I love to run, and had to quit because I was losing too much weight.  Oh to have that issue now!  I was always proud of my body.  I was a model and and wasn’t afraid to flaunt what I had.  Always wore short shorts…tank tops…short skirts…even up into my late 20’s and early 30’s when I finally met the man of my dreams and got married.  I can’t remember exactly but I think that my wedding dress was a size 6 which was big for me!

So why am I telling you this?  Because after I got married and started having kids, all of that changed.  Naturally my metabolism isn’t what it used to be. I’m 3 days away from being 42 after all.  And I have had 3 children.  My first challenge was postpartum depression.  None of my pregnancies or births were easy.  But after almost having died with my second one, my depression was pretty bad.  So  needless to say…I didn’t worry about losing weight.  I started dressing differently.  No tank tops unless I was in the house…shorts that covered most of my thighs…longer skirts or pants a lot of the time.  The self confidence I once had had quickly disappeared.  My walk changed, my posture changed and more importantly, my smile changed.  I didn’t realize that last part until recently when I was looking at old pictures.  A smile that used to make my eyes light up, no longer did.  Sounds sad, doesn’t it?

As most of you know by now, I’m determined to lose weight.  I’m determined to be a size 6 again.  I want to see my kids grow up…and hopefully see their kids.  And not from a wheelchair or a hospital bed!  

Now…even though I’ve lost 10 pounds and still have a ways to go, I can already see a difference.  My thighs made their first public appearance in about 10 years and my eyes twinkle when I smile again.  I’m generally feeling better about myself and generally feeling BETTER!

I’ve been pretty good about not cheating.  All bets are off on my birthday and my trip to Toronto next month though!! HAHAHA

If you are enjoying this blog…please comment and let me know!

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One week down!

So…Last Thursday was one week since I started this new journey with Medifast!  

I have to admit, it’s been  harder than I thought. The first couple of days I was super excited and ready to go.  I ate my meals every 2 to 3 hours…drank more water than EVER and was happy to do it!  I even drastically cut down my Diet Dr. Pepper drinking!!  From 5 or 6 a day…to 1!!  Then temptation started…cravings…and the feeling alone because the rest of my family is still eating normally and I have to cook it!  I declined any invitation from friends to go out because eating at restaurants scared me.

BUT…I kept going…I stuck to it and when I stepped on the scale this past Sunday I had lost 7 pounds! And I went down a back size!  Of course this makes me realize that it’s totally worth it, but still it’s difficult right now.  I miss a meal here and there and some days I don’t get all of my water in…most but not all.

I did, however, venture out to a restaurant with a friend.  Could I have picked a harder place??  The Cheesecake Factory!!  But, thankfully I was with an uber supportive friend.  There was no bread at our table, we both drank water and she ordered the same salad I did!  I don’t think she has any idea how much that meant to me and how much more I love her now!  She in no way HAD to do that!!  We saw a movie after and I didn’t even get popcorn!  Am I proud of myself?  YES!

Part of my difficulty is because of how much I love to cook. But I’ve discovered that it’s fun to try to recreate some of my favorite dishes to fit into my lean and green lifestyle!  I found a recipe for a buffalo chicken “pizza” – the crust being cauliflower and I LOVE it…so now it will be fun to attempt different toppings on this fantastic crust!  Oh and a little Pampered Chef product plug here…have a recipe that calls for grated cauliflower???  The Manual Food Processor to the rescue!!!

I’ve also missed my normal workout routine…I’ve slowed it down a bit to account for the change in my calorie intake.  So I’m looking forward to amping it up slightly this week and back to normal next week!  Need to lose as much as I can before my vacation in July!!!  

Keep reading for more fun adventures and discoveries!

The weight loss journey begins!

I’ve probably never mentioned this in such a public forum before…but I am very uncomfortable in my own skin. I realize I am not as young as I used to be, and I’ve had 3 children, but I no longer recognize myself. As a matter of fact, my own 5 year old told me how fat I am the other day. Now, while I realize he’s five and probably doesn’t understand exactly what he said and why it hurt my feelings, it only served to voice how I already feel outloud.

To see me in person, you probably would have no idea how insecure and uncomfortable I am. The actress in me knows how to mask it. But here’s the thing. I’m tired of hiding how I really feel. If you’ve ever heard the song Reflections by Christina Aguilera…that’s how I feel. I show a different face to everyone around me…even my husband most days.

So I finally decided it was time to do something about it. It’s time to be the person I used to be. So the tone of my blog will change for a while…from one about cooking…to one about my weight loss journey. Because I want everyone to see that they can do anything they put their mind too! I won’t say that I”ll post every day…but at least every week. Sometimes more. And I’ll share both my good and bad on this journey.

So what am I doing to change things? Well…I’ve tried just about every weight loss thing out there. My chiropractic physician referred me to Medi-Fast…so I took the leap…ordered a month’s worth of food…and I start tomorrow! One of my very best friends is helping me on the work out front…And I love her so much for being such a motivating presence in my life. She’s 20 years younger than me, but we are the same person! And I know that without her, and the support of my incredible husband and friends, this would be much harder than it needs to be.

So…here we go…my journey to be back to a comfortable size six!!! Wish me luck!!

xoxo

Picky Eaters

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If you’ve ever been to one of my Pampered Chef parties…you know that I lovingly make fun of my picky husband. I know that most families have a picky eater or 2…in my case I have 5. I am probably the only Italian woman on the planet that managed to marry a man that won’t eat any sauces of the red variety! There are times I feel like a short order cook. Between me trying to lose the last pesky 15 pounds…and the Picky Family sometimes it can get a little time consuming. And as I’m sure I said in my first blog, I try to prepare dinner as fast as possible so I can spend more quality time with the whole family at one time. But I found a secret…a very obvious one, that I can’t believe I never thought of before!! And I’m sure a lot of you do this…and if not…you might after this!

What’s this not-so-secret I stumbled upon?? FREEZER MEALS!

Over time I’ve learned to plan my meals for the week and do my grocery shopping all at once. And thanks to True Couponing (please check them out when you have a chance. Their approach to couponing is awesome. http://www.truecouponing.com) I’ve learned how to do it a little less expensively. Because, let’s face it, it’s expensive to feed a family as large as mine these days.

So back to freezer meals. It was all a bit overwhelming at first. When do I do it…what things freeze well and what doesn’t…what containers are best to use. So I did what I usually do when I have questions…I looked for a book. And I found the perfect one. “Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer” by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell & Bonnie Garcia. This book not only has great recipes, it has amazing tips to help you get started on your freezing journey. So I started by using their recipes until I was comfortable with the process. And now I’m experimenting all on my own.

So, now I want to help anyone out there that needs it. As part of my Pampered Chef business, I now offer Freezer Pleezer classes. If you or anyone you know is interested…contact me today. pcheflaurie7@aol.com 🙂

Why I started this blog…and why I do what I do

Welcome to my very first blog. I apologize ahead of time if my thoughts appear jumbled at times, but as you can tell from the title…I stay pretty busy! Today I wanted to just tell you a little about me, my family, my job, and why I decided to start a blog.

I am a work at home mom with 4 kids. I have an 18 year old step-son, a 9 year old son, 6 year old daughter and my youngest son will be 4 in just a week and a half. That in itself is enough to keep one running. Add in having my own business and it’s enough to make that same one crazy. And I have to admit, I’m old school. I insist on family dinners every night, or as many nights a week as possible. My daughter started cheerleading last season, and even though she had practice 5 nights a week, we managed dinner together before we left for the field. Working for myself, from home, definitely helps to make that possible.

Which takes me to why I chose the business that I started 10 years ago. I am an independent consultant with The Pampered Chef. What led me to this company when there are a plethora of direct sales businesses out there? Or even other work from home opportunities? It was the belief of the Founder, Doris Christopher, that family mealtimes should be brought back. In this day and age, it’s very difficult for families to spend that time together. Between single parent households, or homes that require that both parents work full time jobs outside the home, family dinners are almost non-existent. So The Pampered Chef does it’s very best to provide tools that make meal preparation time much shorter! Let me give you an example…I’m Italian…so cooking is in my blood. I followed my mom and grandmothers around the kitchen from the time I could walk. So everything I make is from scratch, and can be very time consuming. My husband (fiance at that time) used to complain about the 2 hours I would spend cooking after I got home from work every day. I had actually never heard of The Pampered Chef…amazing, I know! I was given a gift certificate for my wedding…I checked out the products online, and then decided I wanted more, they were awesome…so I scheduled a party. I knew before that party that this was something I wanted to try. I fell in love! I can honestly say that I didn’t expect this to be my career…but here I am 10 years later! The products aren’t the only reason I’ve stuck with it. After spending all day with my kids, it’s nice to have some adult time when I go do my parties! Also, I love what the company does for the community. There are 2 amazing programs that I do anything I can to help out. The month of May is Help Whip Cancer month. We have special products (PINK ones for those of us girly girls :-)). Money (usually $1 or $2 depending on the product) is donated from the sale of each of these pink items to The American Cancer Society to help with Breast Cancer early detection education and research. Since we started this program we’ve donated nearly $11 million dollars to this cause. Round up From The Heart is the other program. This program donates to Food Pantries locally, through Feeding America. We have several methods to raise money for this cause. Rounding up your order is one of our most common, we also sell trivets and cookbooks – $1 or $2 from the sale is donated to Feeding America. We’ve raised more than $20 million for Feeding America since 1991. And of course, fundraisers are available for both of these programs, or any cause you would like to raise funds for. So, in other words, there are so many reasons why I chose and why I stay with this amazing company.

Although this blog is in no way meant as a sales tool, I will be mentioning products here and there, seeing as it’s all I use in my kitchen. What I hope to do is inspire other busy women to take the time out to bring their families together over a delicious meal. I am an average person, just like all of you…if I can give you a recipe, or an idea that will help you in some way, that is what makes me happy. I will post at least once a week, but if the mood strikes me or if I think I can make you laugh…it will be more. And I love feedback…if there is a topic you’d like me to blog about, please let me know!

So I will close for now! Happy eating!!