I’m 28! Birthday Thoughts

Hello! Today is the first time I’m writing to you as a 28 year old. Birthdays are weird as you get older, because as you get older they become less exciting and more like, “Oh, it’s my birthday.” This morning I completely forgot it even was my birthday until I opened Facebook on my phone after I pressed the “snooze” button. My adult responsibilities got in the way of me anticipating my birthday – I worked close to 50 hours last week, finished thesis changes, had house guests and doctor appointments. What a whirlwind! Needless to say, I had an amazing day today filled with delicious food (Hubby took me to Cheesecake Factory. Mmmm. We shared a piece of peanut butter cheesecake and half of it is sitting in our fridge softly singing “Alysssaaaaa. Alyssssssaaaaaa. Birthday calories don’t count.”), wonderful people and all of the warm, fuzzy feelings I get seeing so many of you wishing me a happy day. You’re all quite lovely!

In thinking about what I want 28 to be like, I want to claim my health. I’m fortunate that my blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels are fantastic, but this year I want to shed my excess weight and reveal the slimmer, slender Lyssa. I’m not going to put a number on how much I want to lose, because that sets me up for disappointment if I don’t make it, but I need to get closer. I’m in the process of doing some fact-finding that I’ll share more about later, but it might be a little clue as to why I’ve struggled so much the past few months. (For the last time… No, I’m not pregnant. Ha!)

Here are some health related things I want to do this year:

  • Run a 5k with April. We’ve been discussing doing a Double Chin Diary Sister Run, and I’m trying to figure out which 5k will be our first to hit up. Any suggestions?
  • Keep drinking water. Did y’all know I’ve been OFF DIET COKE for over a month now??!?!?! Unbelievable. The only thing I miss is the convenience of grabbing a cold coke when I want something different than water. I feel like my skin has cleared up a lot! I’ve been guzzling unsweetened iced tea like crazy!
  • Focus on strength training in addition to cardio. Too often when I’m trying to lose weight (aka my whole life) I just focus on sweaty, messy cardio. However, this spring’s bootcamp session reminded me that great results come from mixing it up. Plus, nothing makes you feel more badass than pushing a sled filled with weights across a park.
  • Work on changing the negative self talk to a voice of compassion. This means calling out my friends and family when they diss themselves. Life is too short to hate yourself… so I want to make sure I live every day grateful for this body I have, as imperfect as it may be. It is perfect because it is mine, and it works, which is a gift some people don’t have.

That’s all I got for now. Here’s some exciting news: The Double Chin Diary has been listed in Diet To Go’s top 100 inspiring weight loss blogs!!! There are days when I’m too tired, too lazy, or too meh to write, but for the most part, I love coming back here and checking in. Writing has always been my sanctuary, and to know that there are real live people out there reading my rambling warms my heart. When I reach my goal, know that you have played a part in it. THANK YOU.

I hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂

Diet to Go Week 4 Review: 8 Pounds Down!

Hi everybody! Today is a happy Friday, because after one month on Diet to Go, I’m down 8 pounds, which is huge for my sluggish slow metabolism! I still have about a week’s worth of food left so I’ll do one more update next week, but WOW, 8 pounds. Let’s talk about some of the things that make this worthwhile.

1) Portion Control. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to measuring. One cup = 1 heaping, big ass cup in Alyssa land. One Tablespoon = Probably 1.5 tablespoons, but “I’ll just round down.” Diet to go eliminates the margin for error and forces me to eat on portion, every time – but that doesn’t mean I don’t get to eat a lot. In my diet days, I never get TWO chicken breasts. Well, since they’re little chicken breasts, I got two. Awesome!

Diet to Go BBQ Chicken Meal - SUPER yummy!

Diet to Go BBQ Chicken Meal – SUPER yummy!

2) Variety. I get stuck in ruts when I’m dieting on my own, and I very quickly get sick of chicken breasts, salads and whole wheat toast in the morning. Every day on Diet to go I get something new and yummy to eat… like a breakfast of a cinnamon bar, strawberries and OJ.

Diet to Go Cinnamon Bar and Berries

Diet to Go Cinnamon Bar and Berries

3) Food that makes you feel good. This is an odd one for me, because I’m still working on the psychological reasons that I crave certain foods when I’m stressed. I had a certain day this week that was PACKED with stress, and my impulse was to go crazy for carbs and rip open a bag of potato chips like a rabid bear. I didn’t – but I did pick a meal in my plan that was loaded-with carbs and comforting. So guess what – I satisfied my emotional urge, but stayed on my diet – and THAT is something worth celebrating.

Diet-to-go Carbtastic Meal of Tamale Pie, Corn and Baked Potato

Diet-to-go Carbtastic Meal of Tamale Pie, Corn and Baked Potato

So, there you have it – one very happy customer. I’ll do another weigh in next week, but I’m also going to be launching a giveaway where you can win a WHOLE WEEK of Diet to Go food to try. Does anybody have any questions about this plan? Would you try it? Does anybody have any creative ideas for next week’s giveaway, or should we stick to the standard “leave a comment and enter for a chance to win” type thing? Let me know, and I hope you have an amazing weekend filled with good for you food and smiles!

PPS: Today we have a Puzzled & Polished WINNER!!!!! Our lucky winner, drawn by random number, is number ONE – Julie!!!! Congrats!

*Diet to Go is compensating me in exchange for weekly reviews. Don’t worry – opinions are always my own! 

Diet to Go Week Three!

Hello everybody! Let’s start off with some good news – Elisabeth G. won the KalorieBox Giveaway! Congrats, Elisabeth – watch for an e-mail!

I wish I could start this week’s post with another awesome weigh in like last week (Remember, 3.7 pounds?!), but unfortunately, it’s one of those times of the month *cringe, I know, this is awkward* and evidently my body is acting like a camel (ie so much water floating around my body I could hydrate an army). So we’re just going to skip the weigh in this week to give myself a couple days to um… dry out. (I weighed in and I’m up a couple pounds from last week – but I’m staying optimistic and know that I’ve done the work I need to do, and as KJPugs says, you always get the week you deserve eventually!) But on the positive side, I am still absolutely loving this week’s Diet to Go meals! This week was a mess of meetings, appointments and deadlines – so I was happy to see that the meals are truly “to go”, especially when I scarfed a smoked chicken sandwich in between stop lights as I drove to an offsite meeting. You can see photographic proof of that, here.

Diet to Go Omelet Pomodoro

Diet to Go Omelet Pomodoro

I had a lot of favorites, food wise, this week. Let’s talk about breakfast. Several years ago before I started this whole get healthier thing, I never ate breakfast. But now, it’s like “Whee! I get to eat!” when I wake up. Diet to Go has mastered the use of cheese and tomatoes when it applies to eggs. Today, I had this amazing omelet pomodoro (220 cals) – a basil spiced omelet with cheese oozing out of the middle and sicilian flavored asparagus tips. This breakfast was amazing – I even forced my husband to taste it as he was walking out the door to go to work.

Yummy Grilled Cheese French Toast from Diet to Go. Note the Fitbloggin post-its!

Yummy Grilled Cheese French Toast from Diet to Go. Note the Fitbloggin post-its!

Here’s one of my fav lunches from the week – a french toast style grilled turkey cheese sandwich with apricot pudding and a mushroom artichoke salad (560 cals). The apricot pudding was more like ice cream, and the bite I had of my mushroom artichoke salad was refreshing and tasty.. but then I couldn’t eat the rest because my cat licked the bowl and stole a mushroom out of it. Since I’m not a fan of sharing my meals with cat-breath (do you KNOW where they lick?!), I disposed of the artichoke mushroom salad but happily nommed on the rest.

Black Bean Soup and Pretzel from Diet to Go

Black Bean Soup and Pretzel from Diet to Go

This lunch is easily another one of my favorites- see that little pretzel there? I would like to raid the pretzel factory that makes me, because I’m pretty sure I could just lay in my bed and eat soft pretzels all day and be perfectly content. Add an iced cold raspberry lambic and I’m in heaven. Booze, carbs and bed… what could be better?! Anyways, I’m off topic. This lunch was super yummy because it’s something I wouldn’t normally pick for myself but I really enjoyed it. The black bean soup had a nice spicy touch, with lots of smokiness (probably from cumin), some juicy strips of bell peppers, and a lightly salty broth. I dipped the pretzel in it and enjoyed a peach pudding for my dessert. This meals comes in at 700 calories but includes a string cheese which is not shown here since I saved that for a snack. The thing is, when you look at some of the calorie counts for the meals, your instinct might be “My god! That’s a lot of calories!” but when you factor in the portion sizes and the fact that you’re pretty much full all day long, it all equals out. I’ve actually ended up coming under calories a lot in myFitnessPal, simply because I’m too full to eat the “extra” like the string cheese or yogurt that comes with the meals.

Diet to Go Turkey Dinner

Diet to Go Turkey Dinner

This meal does not photograph beautifully, but it was delish! Has anyone ever tried the SmartOnes Turkey and Gravy Dinner? It used to be a favorite of mine, but now that I’ve had this one I can see that was a weak favorite, for sure. These mashed potatoes were REAL – no instant junk here – and the turkey was lightly seasoned with a simple brown gravy. This was truly a comfort food meal.

If you’re interested in trying Diet to Go for yourself, check out their website here. You can use coupon code FEB15PERCENT to save 15% off any meal plan, and you can also enter next week for your chance to win a week worth of free meals!  /

Does anybody have any questions about Diet to Go? Have at it! 🙂

Diet to Go Week Two Review: Food that makes me go Nom Nom

Hey everybody! I’m near the end of two weeks with Diet To Go, so I have to share my thoughts! It’s not my official weekly weigh-in day yet, so watch for that post on Monday to see how I’m doing. So far with Diet To Go I’m down 6.8 pounds. WOW.

I’m still really enjoying the Diet-to-Go food! I’ve only had one meals that I didn’t love, but I’ll talk about that in a minute. First let’s look at some yummy meals that rocked my socks!

Diet To Go Tomato Basil Soup

Diet to Go Tomato Basil Soup

This was a fire-roasted tomato basil soup. I’m not a huge fan of anything described as “fire roasted” because usually it’s just a bad euphemism for “burnt”. However, this soup blew away that stereotype of mine – because it was rich, beautifully flavored, and packed with charred bits of tomato and savory basil. Served with a warm wheat roll, this was a tasty treat of a lunch.

Diet to go egg quesadilla

Diet To Go Egg Quesadilla

First of all, look at the size of this meal! It’s HUGE, right?! This was an egg quesadilla with a side of citrus and a potato cake. The quesadilla was fresh and fluffy, and after two pieces and the fruit I was stuffed! This breakfast had all the components of a winner – starch, protein, carb and dairy with fruit. YUM!

Diet To Go Turkey Penne Pasta

Diet to Go Turkey Penne Pasta

Ok, I know I’m like a broken record, but again, look at this serving size. One of my big concerns about trying a pre-packaged food plan was that I’d be starving all the time. Not so with Diet To Go, as this is a generous pasta serving (maybe even bigger than is suggested. I hope my dietitian isn’t reading this! lol!). I’m all about volume, so a hearty pasta dish that gives you an ample serving feels nice and comforting. It had a tangy tomato turkey sauce that gave the pasta some nice flavor.

Diet to Go Chicken Pizza

Diet to Go Chicken Pizza

Last but not least is the Chicken Pizza! On Friday night I was feeling a little bit pouty as my husband had a smoked pork sandwich and a beer – so I picked out the Chicken Pizza. I cooked it in the oven and got the bubbly, brown cheese effect I was after. It’s nice to feel like you’re having junk food on weekends, so this pizza scored big with me.

Ok – so there has only been meals I didn’t love – an Indian chicken curry salad sandwich. I blame this on myself, mostly, because I’m a bit of a culinary snob and believe curry should only be served over fresh, fluffy rice or scooped onto a steaming hot tandoori naan. I couldn’t get into a cold curry salad, so this meal just didn’t do it for me, but the quality of the food was excellent with a fresh roll and big juicy chunks of white meat chicken. So, week two is a wrap! I’m really pleased so far with the results and am looking forward to my next week of meals. I even got to go in and pick out what to substitute for sea-food (I am anti-fish!) and I got to pick some intriguing things that I wouldn’t normally try (like Black Bean soup!).

Do any of these meals look yummy to you? Would you like a curry chicken sandwich? Don’t forget, at the end of my reviews, Diet-to-go is offering one of my readers a FREE WEEK of meals! Pretty awesome, right?! Have a great day!

* In coordination with the honest bloggers act, I am being compensated and provided complimentary meals for these posts. But don’t worry – my opinions are always my own!