Motivating Can Be…Motivating

I am always amazed when people tell me that I have motivated them to make changes in their lives. To me, I’m just sharing my story and documenting certain things to look back on and keep me moving forward. Then again, I find quite a few people to be motivating to me, and they are probably shocked too, as they are just doing the same.

As I sat here this morning, half asleep, sipping my coffee I realized that hearing that I have motivated someone truly motivates me more than anything. I love knowing that I am making a difference. I love knowing that there are others out there who want to take the steps I have and just need a little guidance. I love knowing that I can not only help them, but play a supporting role in their journey, because I remember what a rough and daunting road it could be.

For those of you just starting out or still nervous about taking that first step. Please, never hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns. I would love to give you the push you need, offer guidance or just play the role of cheerleader.

In order to succeed you just have to believe in yourself, keep pushing forward and know that sometimes you will fall, but you’ll get back up and be stronger for doing it.

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P.S. – If you would like a place to stay accountable, I will be running a weekly check-in thread on my Facebook page. You can click the circle logo to the right to take you there, click “like” and then jump on and tell me what you’ve done each week.

Another Food Adventure: Pad Thai

Another Food Adventure: Pad Thai

Over the weekend I had a conversation with some friends about the fact that I have never had Thai food.

They couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that I have never tried and quite honestly, I’m not sure I’ve gone this long without giving it a shot. I have always been curious about Pad Thai and other Thai dishes, but don’t know much about it and my husband tends to be leery of food that can be spicy.

(This definitely takes off the restaurant options for date night.)

While trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight, I stumbled upon a few Pad Thai recipes on the Vegetarian Times website and decided to finally give it a shot.

I eagerly made my grocery list and headed off to the store. Tofu and rice noodles are not something I can say I’m very familiar with. As a matter of fact I almost talked myself out of this dish a few times while trying to locate the tofu in the store. While I can honestly say it is not my favorite thing in the world, it really wasn’t that bad and I did enjoy this dish a lot.

(Photo courtesy of Vegetarian Times. I was too hungry and forgot to snap a pic for this blog.)

Pad Thai
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  1. 8 oz. rice noodles
  2. 2 tsp. peanut oil
  3. 1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  6. 4 oz. snow peas, trimmed
  7. 4 oz. firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/4-inch thick matchsticks
  8. 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  9. 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  10. 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  11. 1/4 cup chopped cashews for garnish (I used peanuts )
  12. 4 green onions, chopped for garnish
  13. 2 oz. bean sprouts for garnish
  1. In large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. When water boils, add noodles, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook until al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in large wok or skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and garlic and stir-fry 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, snow peas and tofu and stir-fry just until tender, about 4 minutes. Add soy sauce and lime juice and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cooked noodles and cilantro.
  3. Spoon noodle mixture onto warm plates and garnish with cashews, green onions and bean sprouts.
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(I left out the 1 to 2 tsp. hot chile sauce since my husband is not a fan of spice, but I did add some to my plate since I like heat.)

 As I stated above, tofu is not my favorite thing in the world but I really enjoyed this culinary adventure. I’m enjoying trying new things and I look forward to actually trying real Thai food in the near future.

Are you a fan of Thai food? What is your favorite thing to order? Any tips for a newbie like myself?

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Two Years and Still Going

This month marks two years since I started on  the road to health and wellness, and I couldn’t be happier.

I never in a million years thought that I would be 35 and in the best shape of my life.

As I’ve mentioned before, I spent the majority of my life overweight and unhappy. I would start a new weight loss program, become frustrated and go back to my unhealthy ways.

Every January 1st I would join Weight Watchers or the gym, like the rest of America, only to fall off the wagon by Valentine’s Day when chocolate took over the stores.

What is it that made this attempt different? I’m not sure exactly, but something just clicked. I did approach things differently this time and maybe that was the key.

I set small goals for myself instead of only focusing on the big picture. As I hit those goals, I felt my confidence grow and a new excitement take over. I liked working out and I liked how I felt when eating healthier food. Before I knew it I decided to take on P90X and that was a true turning point for me. I finally saw what my body was capable of and knew that I had the power to break the cycle and become a healthy & fit individual….I haven’t looked back since.

Since starting on this journey in May of 2009 I have completed:

  • P90X – 2.5 times (I had issues my 1st attempt & some workout ADD)
  • Insanity
  • Turbo Jam
  • 10 Minute-Trainer
  • ChaLEAN Extreme (I’m currently on my second round)

I have also done some Zumba, completed my first group workout (I have a phobia of working out with others), started jogging and become a vegetarian.

Was it easy? Heck no! There was a lot of sweat and tears shed (not to mention some vomit spewed during Insanity), but all of the above have helped me to lose over 100 pounds and completely change the person who I was.

I owe a lot of that to some amazing people I’ve met along the way. Without them I may not have come as far as I have. They’ve all inspired me to be my best and keep pushing forward.

However in the end, only I had the power to make the changes that needed to be made. It was up to me and no else to find the time, to make it happen and to reach for the happiness and health I deserved.

What’s my advice to those looking to make the change?

  • Start off slow You didn’t gain the weight over night and you’re not going to lose it over night. Plus the slower you lose it, the longer you will keep it off. You need to form a healthy lifestyle, there are no miracle pills.
  • Set small goals –  Don’t obsess over the total amount of weight you need to lose. Set 5-10lb goals for yourself.
  • Reward yourself when you reach those goals – You will be working hard to achieve this and you should reward yourself. It’s not easy to wake up early to fit in a workout or give up some of your favorite junk foods. Celebrate the victory!
  • Surround yourself with positive people – This was a big one for me. It’s hard to keep an “I can do this” mentality, when the people around you call you crazy, offer you foods you are trying to avoid or are waiting for you to fail. You need people who are willing to support you and cheer  you on. This is one of the hardest things you may ever do. You need a good support team.
  • Believe in yourself – Hands down….The. Hardest. Thing. – especially if you haven’t done the above mentioned yet. Most of us psych ourselves out before we even try. You need to embrace the “I got this” attitude. Get out of your own way!

I could keep listing things but to me, these are the most important. The majority of the changes are going to be mental. I didn’t realize this when I started and I am amazed at how many road blocks I have hit along the way. I thought this would be purely a physical challenge but to be honest…that’s been the easiest part, especially when I listened to the last bit of advice and stopped being my own road block.

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Two-A-Day Vlog Post

Well, I completed my week of two-a-days. Here is a lame vlog post for you. One of these days I’ll remember to turn the iPod sideways when shooting video. SMH.

Also – Thank you YouTube for always freezing the frame on the dumbest facial expression a person could make. You rock! *insert sarcasm font*

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