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Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello 2013!

by Cara

This is a difficult moment for me. Saying goodbye to my good friend 2012. I said last year, that 2012 was the year of ME. It was the year I would make a drastic change and that I would start the year with NO RESOLUTION, only CHANGE. And here I am saying farewell, to one of the best years of my life. 2012 was about significant change not only visually, but emotionally. I am a stronger and happier person as I ring in 2013.

So here I am thinking about what I want this next year to be, but first I need to come clean with a few things I have been struggling with. First, I must admit that the stress of the holiday season took its toll on me. I didn't track my food for 3 weeks, I ate chocolate (way too much chocolate, including World Famous Toffee at work), and I didn't work out. And that is Number two...I didn't work out. I have used my back injury as an EXCUSE. Yes, I am admitting to it here, because I need to hold myself accountable and I need to share this because I know that I am not the only one. I did and do have some back pain, however, this whole time I could have been doing low impact SOMETHING. Instead, I used it to completely avoid working out. I tried a few things over the last 4 weeks, but really, I have not done crap. This can no longer be an excuse. I might not be able to run just yet, but I can walk and bike and definitely do squats. Over the last 3 weeks I gained. 5 pounds, to be exact. I am excited to say that I am still under 200 pounds, but not by much.

So I will return to my BASICS. Wearing my BodyMedia FIT Armband (to track my burn), I will use MyFitnessPal app to track my food (1400 calories) and I will workout 1 hour 3-4 times per week. In addition to this I want to finish my training sessions at 24 hour and take 1 class per week. I hope to challenge myself to try new classes not just Spin.

Brianne and I have a ways to go, in pounds and in management. This is not a New Year's Resolution to lose weight this is our new LIFESTYLE that we started over a year ago. We have found over the past year that we are motivating others, maybe with this blog, or with pictures, but what it comes down to is that if we can help just one other person make the right choices to find the healthy fit life we have paid it forward and we have met our goal, Inspire to be Inspired. The experience that we had 13 months ago at the Biggest Loser Resort in Malibu, changed our lives because we were ready to change our lives. We tell people all of the time START NOW. There is nothing but yourself holding you back. Even if you commit to cutting out fast food or soda or to walking 30 minutes a day, make the change NOW.

We wish everyone a truly happy and HEALTHY 2013.
Wishing you all the best from,

PHAT CHANCES


Sunday, November 25, 2012

BLOGiversary

One Year Anniversary.
(all photos used in this anniversary blog are from previous posts, CLICK on each photo to read the post it goes with!)

Who would have thought that with a little faith, a lot of courage, and a 2 week stay at the Biggest Loser Resort our lives would change forever? We sure didn’t, but we are so glad it did. Exactly one year ago today, we started Phat Chances. Two days before leaving for the Resort, we decided to journal the beginning of what would be the greatest journey of our lives.

Phat Chances started out as two unhealthy, overweight sisters taking a chance…a phat chance, on fighting to get their lives back. We may have different goals and abilities, but struggle is struggle. It’s a transparent. Today, Phat Chances continues as two sisters living the fit life. There is still a transparent struggle. There always will be, but will we ever go back to who we were just one year ago?….PHAT CHANCE.

Today, we mark success. This journey has lead us to know what it means to care for ourselves, to love ourselves, and to be the best for ourselves and the people in our lives. It has not been without trials and set backs as we are still learning and finding our way, but to sit here today and think about how far we have come, we can’t help but be proud.

What we have learned:
All you have to do is burn more calories than you eat.
Eat good, fresh food as often as possible.
Treats are acceptable in moderation and for the right reasons
This journey is more mental than physical, but you gotta sweat. A lot.
You can go longer and harder than you ever thought possible.
It’s not about losing weight. It’s about living a healthy lifestyle.
People struggle. All people struggle. Be kind.
Nothing tastes as good as this fit life feels. Nothing.
Everyone enters your life for a reason.
It’s not easy every day, but every day is good.
You can only control you. Nothing else. Ever.
A positive mental attitude will take you a lot farther than you think.
Be vulnerable.
Tell everyone about your journey.
Find what works for you and do it.



We reflect back on 365 days of a journey that started with fear, doubt, and shame, but has turned into a journey of pride, commitment, and hope is unreal. Our goal was to lose weight and our goal now is to live the lives we choose for ourselves. Life continues on whether you make changes or not. Everyday goes by quickly and without delay. Life isn’t going to wait for us. We can’t pause it or slow it down. We can’t control the burdens or necessities. There will always be challenges. If it were all rainbows and sunshine, we would be in bikinis shopping somewhere tropical with umbrella drinks and good music. That’s just not the case. Life is about making the most of what you have every single day and if you want more, you and only you can change that.

It is with a humble heart and mental clarity that we look back on this year with pride. We are not at goal weight, we haven’t accomplished everything we wanted to this year, there have been hard days, but what a journey! Without hesitation, everything…all the sweat, tears, breakdowns, sore muscles, relentless fight to push just a little harder than we did the day before has been worth it. It is this feeling right here that will fuel us to continue.  

To everyone we have the honor of sharing our lives with: thank you. Thank you for believing in us. We know time has been limited and we are still learning to find the balance, but without you, we are without. There are many defining moments in life that allow you to look back and know there is a reason for all of this. Our journey has redefined what we know, how we love, who we are and what we will be.

To our Family and friends we call family….there are no words that can fully express how much your sacrifice, patience and unconditional love mean to us. Our hearts and souls are filled because of who you are for us. You carry us through the darkest of times and we will be forever grateful.




To the Biggest Loser Resort, the BLR staff and the BLR friends we met along the way…you came into our lives when we needed you most. You knew us at our worst, saw us at our lowest and loved us without reservation. You broke down our walls and built us back up. There will never be anyway that we can repay you for the support, friendship and continuous inspiration. Thank you.





To our trainers…we know the difference between our own workouts and your workouts. We know what it means to sweat and push and fight because of you. You get to hear our complaints, doubts, bullshit and craziness. You put up with us when we don’t want to put up with ourselves. You have given us courage, inspiration, knowledge and friendship. Our lives will never be the same because of you. Thank you for loving us even when we might not like you.



To ourselves…never forget why you started, what you learned and how good it feels to feel good. There will always be sore bodies, little time, pressure at work, fear and doubt, but you two are pretty freakin' badass. Always remember who you are and who you want to be for others. Be at peace with life, with your service for others and the strength you have within to accomplish absolutely everything.


Tips:
There is a fire inside all of us. If yours is dim, only you can light it back up. Fight to live the life you want for yourself. Fight every day.

Believe in yourself. Trust the process. Change forever. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Holiday Game Plan

I have been working on several posts. I have 3 drafts sitting waiting to be finished, but it is that time of year and well, time is just going so fast. I wanted to finish a recipes post that I started, but I read something last night that EVERYONE needs to know. 

I was looking for a pumpkin "pie" dessert and while paging through The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook I found "The Thanksgiving Game Plan" which I think works well for all celebrations. And seeing as I have several coming up in the next 30 days I thought what better way of showing my gratitude to all of you then by sharing this important Biggest Loser knowledge. Here it is, found on page 174. If you want to buy the cookbook check out The Biggest Loser Website on NBC.

Thanksgiving Game Plan

#1. Give Yourself Permission. 
If the Thanksgiving meal is a special one for you, plan to enjoy it. Make an agreement with yourself that it's okay to have one splurge day.  You've worked hard enough thus far, and enjoying Thanksgiving dinner is not going to ruin all of that hard work

#2. Frame Your Splurge
Limit your indulgences to just one meal, not the entire weekend. A key to weight-loss success is learning to keep your exercise program and eating structure healthy the day before and the day after your celebration. This is called "framing" your splurge.

#3. Have a Plan
To make #2 work, you'll need to plan out the details so that you can stay on track. Can you make sure that you stick to your calorie budget on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving? If you are traveling, can you plan out your exercise for the four-day weekend? Be sure to pack any workout clothing or gear you'll need and be prepared.

#4. The Splurge
Remember that a holiday meal is NOT your last one on the planet Earth. How can you maximize your pleasure, fully enjoy the meal, but still feel like you made good decisions? One strategy is to not come into the meal famished. It may be tempting to "starve yourself" before the meal, but that will only set you up for overeating once you sit doen to the table. The goal is to have a great time and enjoy your company. Give yourself permission to eat the foods you love, and savor them.

#5. Take Pride in Your Recovery
The next day, it's time to get back on track. If you overate, don't beat yourself up about it. If you did well with your choices, then congratulate yourself. Your overall success depends on how quickly you can recover from these special days. If your Thanksgiving normally spills over into Friday or Saturday, can you do it differently this year? It's important to get back on track as quickly at possible and avoid consuming high-calorie leftovers in the coming days.

Lastly, I love to cook and bake. It is one of my most favorite things to do. This year I am looking for mor things to fill my time. I will be working on the Thanksgiving Holiday this year (don't worry I will be celebrating on Friday) but Ryan found a 5k for us on Sunday and I am really focusing on non-food things to do. Crafts with the kids and music, oh and to fill the place of warm cinnamon smelling baked goods I am burning a Glade candle. 

Remember, it hurts to overeat. 
So enjoy, but you are not the turkey...you don't need to be stuffed.
Happy Thanksgiving, from Phat Chances.  




Wednesday, October 31, 2012

{Happy Halloween}


Trick or…Workout
by Brianne

Halloween starts the first of the holidays that I am determined to survive this year. I can recall last Halloween like it was yesterday. Every holiday has a food associated to it that I recognize I will never feel the same about ever again.

Happy Halloween…I overdose on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Not like 2 or 5, but like an entire package. One cup is 105 calories, 6.5 grams of fat and 21 grams of sugar. Doesn’t actually sound that bad….unless you eat 20 of them.

Happy Thanksgiving…oh and how thankful I have been every Thanksgiving for carbohydrates. My moms stuffing, yams drowning in brown sugar and them biscuits from a can. I have used more butter on those pieces of shit….just call me Paula Deen.

Merry Christmas…See’s candy is a big one, but let’s not disregard hella food for 2 if not 3 consecutive days. As. Much. As. Possible.

Happy Friggin New Year. My last suppers usually occurred around New Years. Every year I would wait until New Years day to begin a diet, but only if I didn’t have a party to go to or if it fell on a Monday. Otherwise January 2nd or 3rd or 4th…you get it.

Last year and every year before that for at least 5 years, the holidays equaled shopping and food. How can anyone argue with how fabulous that sounds? Well, I believe that every year for at least the last 5 years, I have gained at least 15 pounds from October to January. And that’s just 3 months out of the year…let’s not forget those Reese’s Easter egg shaped cups that weigh like a full pound, my birthday which I usually dread and hope to suppress my dread with food, everyone else’s birthdays, Valentine’s Day, oh and Monday-Sunday. It’s been many years of bad food, a bad attitude about food and no…I mean ZERO fitness. No friggin wonder I struggle with my weight.

This year, the holidays WILL be different.

For the holidays this year, it is important that I plan ahead to ensure success. I will be continuously involved in a Shakeology Challenge with my trainer, John Hebison. This keeps me extremely focused on my food and fitness. I log my food and fitness every day within the group challenge. The key factor for success on my journey right now is accountability. I am not yet at a place where I just skip around chasing butterflies. This shit is still hard and I miss the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups so I recognize I need support and constant mindfulness. I am not “fixed”. This is a process. To get through the holidays, I will also make sure I eat before I go to the parties and when there, I will watch my portions and options. If asked to bring something, it will be something I can eat. Veggie trays, fruit salads etc. I will keep alcohol to a minimum, as I would rather eat my calories than drink them. And as I don’t plan to deprive myself completely, fitness is essential. I will have treats. I am not dying. I am living. There will be treats. Shit. It is my goal to workout every single day from today until December 31. I am sure it will go far past that, but there will be fitness or some kind every single day.


Shout outs:

Nooch…30 days baby! You are an athlete. A strong woman. A determined Canepa. Make it simple. Show us how it’s done. You’re my hero. Always will be. YOU GOTTA WANT IT TO WIN IT.

J-Heb…We bringing sexy back.

Holiday Season…you sneaky asshole…I am so over you.

Tips:

To anyone who struggles like me through the holidays…the time is now. Don’t wait for January 1 (or 2). Start now. Watch your portions and make good choices. Don’t make excuses.

Avoid the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup isle of your local supermarket.  




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

HOT OFF THE {BENCH} PRESS



We are excited to announce that Diets in Review, an online resource to EVERY diet and fitness program under the sun has published our story. We were contacted by DIR after our very good friend and former Biggest Loser, Courtney Crozier gave them our information. Thank you, Courtney for believing in us and being a part of our journey. We believe that this struggle…the weight loss struggle is one of the hardest on Earth. Food is an addiction for many people who seek a change that feels near impossible to reach. And sedentary lifestyles are becoming easier and easier as we have more and more technology at our fingertips and everywhere we go. We are proud of how far we have come and hope that with spreading the news that it is possible, someone…anyone may see their worth and fight, fight for their lives.

There were many conversations had. Several text messages sent. Lot’s of thought and anticipation, but in all times we spoke about starting this journey, we never once thought about the people we would meet along the way and definitely never thought that we could ever come close to inspiring someone else. Us? The two overweight sisters. Who knew?

We never thought we would have met the trainers and staff from the Biggest Loser Resort. We never discussed how we would become life long friends with Kelly from Idaho, Heather Insac, Meg from AZ, Keith the Jersey Firefighter, Amanda from Maine and Haley the Doctor. In all our planning, we never thought we would reflect back on our journey and realize that we have people we don’t even know supporting us and cheering us on. We never thought about how our journey would bring us closer to our family and amazingly brilliant cousins, Meghan, Kelly and Kasey. Starting our journey, we didn’t think about returning home and continuing our work with two of the most invested, talented personal trainers, Michael Friedman and John Hebison.  Friends that we haven’t spoken to since grammar school and high school are now part of our inspiration. We never thought about how we would continue group workouts and enrich our lives with our spin class and boot camp friends. Messages from people we don’t even know seeking inspiration to start for themselves and finding it in our words. We definitely never thought we would be friends with actual Biggest Loser contestants…Courtney Crozier, Sione Fa, Mike Messina, Tara Costa, Arthur Wornum and Sarah Nitta, just to name a few. They are the reason we chose the Biggest Loser Resort and seeing their courage and tenacity in person changed us forever. We never thought about how starting our journeys would create an entirely new world for us. But what a world it is and how lucky we are.

We believe that our success, the fire that drives us every single day are the people that empower us along our way.

Our message is simple, INSPIRE to be INSPIRED. This journey is not easy and hard days will continue, but it is with the strength and inspiration we have gained from the people in our lives that we find it in ourselves to continue. If at the end of all of this, should there be an end, we manage to inspire one person to believe in themselves and the brilliance that is life, it will have been worth every second. There are lots of blogs, amazing stories of weight loss success and lives that have been changed forever. This is our story. Our blog. And our lives have been changed because of it. Thank you for reading, for supporting and for being a part of the greatest journey of our lives.

We love you and this fit life more than bread and butter.

-Brianne and Cara 





Thursday, October 4, 2012

Inspire to be Inspired.

by Cara


I am surrounded by inspiration. I have this amazing family. Truly loving and encouraging friends. And complete strangers rooting me on. My accoutability has been this blog. But with it I am truly encouraged and inspired by my sister Brianne. She is changing her life so much I feel so lucky to be on this journey with her. This journey we are on is never ending. I will be enjoying fruits and veggies and "healthy" options the rest of my life. And I have a new found addiction to running half marathons (a full will happen in there somewhere) and I really really like to sweat. What a difference from where I was a year ago.

Today is my 31st birthday.

One year ago, my husband and I had set out to a nice date night. Our first stop was a surprise trip to See Jane Run, a women's athletic store on 24th Street. See the last 6 birthdays I have been saying that I want to run a half marathon. Not once had I met that goal, and each year the birthday would pass and I would stay the same and I was be getting bigger and less motivated. Last year, as I was hitting a big year, Ryan took me to the athletic store and told me to pick out some running shoes. There were also clothes that fit my size 22 body. That same night I had a surprise party with my family and my closest friends. It was there that Ryan also gave me the gift that truly has changed me... a two week stay at the Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge Malibu. Ryan wrote in the card that he wanted to support me in all of my goals and that as I was moving to a milestone birthday he wanted to make sure I did it right. 

Last year on my birthday I weighed 280 lbs. I am not happy about that. I was struggling to play with my kids, I struggled to find clothes and I was struggling to feel the happiness I always have on the inside on the outside. But truth is I was happy. It wasn't until I recently saw pictures from our trip to the Resort that I realized something I didn't know. That whole time....I didn't know I was FAT. I just didn't know, I didn't see it. Honestly, I was blind to it. 

Over the last year, I have shared my goals. My weekly goals, my calorie intake goals, my fitness goals, half marathon finishes. These are major. The number on the scale is important to me, I don't make it my primary goal, but watching that number go down makes me feel GREAT. 

Four weeks ago I set the goal that by today, my 31st birthday, I would be in ONEderland. ONEderland is when there is a 1 infront of your weight. I think the last time I remember having a 1 was in 2000, I remember weighing 193 when I first met Ryan at San Jose State.  Today, I weighed in at 197.6. WHAT?????

I only have 17.6 pounds to go to reach my ULTIMATE weight loss goal of 100 lbs. See setting goals that are achievable is all part of the process. And once I meet that goal I set the next one and then the next. To keep myself on track and on the journey I must have a goal that I am working toward. It will not always be a number on the scale, but there will always be a goal. 

To hold myself accountable here are my next goals:
-100 lb. loss by December 10, 2012 (one year anniversary)
-U.S. Half Marathon November 4, 2012
-Spartan Sprint at BLR Malibu December 2, 2012 
-Find a new SPIN class to take once a week
-INSPIRE others by sharing my story and my new found LOVE for health and fitness


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

{The 101}

by Betty

For those of you that live in the Bay, you know Highway 101 well, or as Cara would say The 101. Hwy 101 is a pain in the ass. It’s busy, uneven, crazy and causes more heartburn than buffalo wing sauce and red wine. However, The 101 is also the path of least resistance. It is direct and the majority of my outings involve using this corridor. I would rather sit in traffic on The 101 than go all the way around on 280 (the more scenic, less trafficy route). I use this analogy of this highway because my weight loss journey thus far is similar to The 101. I want to be on the most direct route, however there is traffic; it is uneven and even though now there is less buffalo wing sauce and red wine, there is heartburn. There are accidents, road rage and lots of fuel used. Additionally, I compare my journey to The 101 is because I HAVE LOST 101 POUNDS.

Yes, this is my 100 pound post and I have mixed emotions.


I never started this journey thinking a 100 pound loss would even be possible let alone 100 pounds in 10 months. No matter how well I am doing, doubt is at the forefront. To reach a goal like this blows me away. 101 pounds. Ca-ra-azy.

I have been holding onto this 101 pound lost knowledge for a couple days and didn’t tell many people right away. John, my trainer knew right away (because I see his damn face every single day), but I thought when I reached 100 pounds, I would jump up and down and go by a BMW or something. Yea no. Instead I doubt. I look in the mirror and I still see someone who has not completely figured this out. I have a long way to go and my relationship with food is still broken. I still want to use food to cope with my emotions and even though, I don’t use the way I used to, I still use it. I am still saddened by what I did to myself and the fact that I am celebrating 101 pounds off my body is embarrassing. I have managed to change my entire life in less than a year…physically, but mentally, I still struggle. I still have doubt, insecurity, fear and shame. Forgiving myself seems near impossible. I know…101 pounds shut up, right?! It’s so awesome and I feel so proud, but in the same breath I can’t seem to find a smile. Instead anxiety, a couple angry tears and uneven traffic find their way to the surface.

Cara and I write this blog to hold ourselves accountable and inspire others the way we have been inspired. I try to keep my posts positive and encouraging, but this is life…real life and it isn’t like the effin Sound of Music. (Well, I guess it is, but instead of singing and smiles, it’s boot camps and hiking). Cara and I have both just reached huge goals on this journey and will be giving Phat Chances a little face lift as well as the Phat Chance Facebook fan page we started. The motivation behind telling our story is simple…inspire to be inspired. Whether 1 person follows or 100, we are humbled by this journey and feel so fortunate to be able to share. With that said, I would be doing a disservice to anyone who reads it if I didn’t tell my truth.

Every journey is different as is every struggle, but what they all have in common is the ability to pick yourself up and remember why you started, why it even matters and what you need to do to make the changes necessary to be successful.

These 101 pounds will not go uncelebrated and I am profoundly proud of myself for having come this far. Every bucket of sweat, every portioned effin plate of unsalted, ranchless food, every clothing size decrease, and every person that supports me has all been so worth it. I am changed for the better because of it. There is more work to do. There will always be work to do.



Shout outs:
Not even sure where or how to begin. I have never felt more love than I have since I started this journey and for the people who have been there all along, I was just so closed off I never saw it. To the new people, you have enriched this journey beyond words and I will be forever grateful.

I dedicate this song the people in my life that love me as I learn to love myself…thank you.
Cara Marie…Whoa. We had a Phat Chance in hell to do this right. Thank you for never giving up on me.



To me: You may never be a saint, you swear a lot and have more issues than People Magazine, but you know who you are and what you want. Do not ever allow yourself or anyone or anything to stand in your way. Continue to fight for your life, for what is right and for the people that stand beside you and believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself. I give you my word that this life is worth it. You are worth it. 101 pounds…so badass. Learn that forgiveness will release you from all the guilt and shame and do whatever it takes to get to a peaceful place. With a little more work, you will be one of the greatest people you know. And you know some really freakin great people.

Tips:
Take The 101. It may not be best ride, but it will get you there.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FOOD.

by Brianne & Cara

We have been getting a lot of requests on our "GO TO" foods. Let's be honest our weight gain was almost entirely made up of over eating and eating the wrong things at the wrong times. Lately we have been on point with our food. And as we have shared before we are currently using Shakeology. So with several requestes we decided to unveil our usual "GO TO" food.

Also as we have shared before, Cara is a calorie counter (MyFitnessPal app) Brianne is not, but she does focus on good food that she portion controls.

BREAKFAST

Cara:
-Quaker Low Sugar Oatmeal (any flavor) with 1 Trader Joe's Just-A-Handful Omega Mix added in, 1 cup coffee with Sugar-free Vanilla Creamer, 1 hard boiled egg (372 calories)
-Quick breakfast sandwich: 100 calorie English Muffin, 1 slice 2% American Cheese, 1 whole egg cooked with PAM only (220 calories)
-Protein Shake: Almond Milk or No Sugar added Flax Milk, frozen peaches and ARIA Womens Protein Powder, 1 hard boiled egg (190 calories)

Brianne:
-Egg whites with spinach, mushrooms, green onion and hot sauce. Quick and easy. I like to eat my grains/carbs early in the day so I will sometimes put it in a whole wheat 100 cal wrap or have a half a whole wheat english muffin or a sando thin with it. Depending on how hungry I am, I also have a turkey sausage patty or fruit.
-Oatmeal (original, unflavored), Non-fat milk, berries and truvia
-Cherrios, Non-fat milk, banana

       
LUNCH

Cara:
-Garden Burger Chipotle Black Bean Flavor, sandwich thin and small mixed green salad with Newman's Lite Balasmic Dressing, apple (330 calories)
-4 oz baked or grilled boneless skinless chicken breast (usually from the night before) with Green Giant Frozen Antioxidant Blend veggies, apple (300 calories)
-Whole Foods Jalepeno Hummus, whole wheat pita or mini pretzels, carrots and apple (270 calories)

Brianne:
-Leftovers from dinner are always the easiest. Plan to make a little extra at dinner for the next day.
-Whole wheat sando thin OR whole wheat 100 calorie wrap with low sodium turkey, lettuce, and mustard with a piece of fruit or carrots
-Salad with chicken, carrots, red cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes, and Newmans Lite Balsamic Dressing with a piece of fruit

DINNER

Cara:
-Zucchini Bake: think Baked Zitti, pasta replaced with zucchini, marinara sauce and either chicken breast or Jenni-O Spicy Italian Sausage, mixed green salad with garbanzo beans and Newmas Lite Balsamic dressing (285 calories)
-Tofu, veggie and chicken breast stirfry with 1/2 cup brown rice (250 calories)
-Turkey Burger on a sandwich thin, reduced fat cheese and sweet potato and kale "hash" and mixed green salad with Newmans Lite Balsamic dressing (484 calories)

Brianne:
- Extra lean ground turkey with steamed spinach is my go to. It’s quick and always fills me. I dip the turkey in mustard usually and when feeling like a chef, I will throw some onion in with the turkey. I will switch up the veggie choice as much as I can. Usually broccoli, brussell sprouts or zucchini.
-Taco salad. Again, extra lean ground turkey with low sodium taco seasoning over lettuce, black beans, onion, tomato, 1/3 avocado and hot sauce.
-Tofu/veggie stir fry. I steam broccoli, carrots, green beans and mushrooms and throw them in a pan with cubed extra firm tofu and low sugar teriyaki. If you can't find low sugar be sure you measure out the real stuff because the calories can add up quickly. I let the whole thing cook together and add red pepper flake because I like everything HOT. You can serve this with brown rice.

SNACKS

Cara:
I break my snacks into morning and afternoon//savory and sweet.
Morning:
-hard boiled egg--70 calories (if I want 2 I have just the whites--34 calories) 
-FAGE 0% greek yogurt (THE BEST) Peach or Honey--120 calories
-Banana--100 calories
Afternoon:
-1/2 serving nuts almonds or cashews and a 1/2 serving (about 8 crackers) wheat thins--147 calories
-2 light swiss laughing cow wedges with 5 Ak-Mak crackers--180 calories
-Apple--70 calories

Brianne:
-Greek yogurt. My fav is Fage with the fruit mix in. Peach and blueberry are the bomb.
-Low-fat string cheese and a piece of fruit or carrots and raw green beans
-Brown Rice Cake with natural peanut butter
-Wasa or Ak-Mak crackers with salsa
-Hard-boiled egg

For the last month and a half we have been replacing one meal with Shakeology. Cara usually replaces breakfast or lunch, Brianne will replace any meal. What we have learned to be the most important is NEVER leave home without a healthy option. Throw an apple, granola bar, KIND bar, handful of nuts, something in your bag. You will also see that we ALWAYS have water with us. Other than water, Brianne likes sparkling water and decaf coffee. Cara will drink water, Zevia Sodas, and Vitamin Water ZERO lemonade.
-


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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pound by Pound

Guess What?

Are you wondering what we are doing EVERYDAY to change our lives. Well, we found a solution to be more connected to our fans, readers and people joining in on losing weight for good!

Come check us out on Facebook.  



Like our page, you won't be disappointed.

And don't worry if you are looking for our in depth, emotional filled and REAL words we will still be blogging. We want to be able to connect regularly with our readers and audience. Come find us.



Saturday, September 15, 2012

{When I think of letting go…}

 by Betty

            This might be one of the most important days I will ever have on my journey and tonight, from my bed with ice on my knees and tears in my eyes I write about it to all of you.

(This was written on Thursday. To Betty, my apologies for the delay in getting this amazing Blog Post out to the world. They keep getting better and BETTER!)

There is nothing like looking back to day 1 and reflecting on all the work I have put into saving my life. Seeing change, especially good change in yourself feels like nothing else I have ever known. My dear BLR sis, Meg Gazaway posted a video that was taken of Cara and I on the Friday of our second week at the Biggest Loser Resort back in December 2011. I know it was Friday because the video is of Cardio Disco with trainer John Yohman at the Resort…only the greatest day ever on the Earth….Cardio Disco Fridays at the BLR. The video is short and shows both Cara and I acting like complete fools. It also shows Tara Costa from Biggest Loser Season 7 who was at the Resort with us and who also happens to be my Badass Girl Hero. I watched the video several times thinking about how much fun we had and how much I miss the Resort and friends we made. But more than that, I was blown away by how Cara and I looked. I won’t speak for her, but I could not believe that’s what I looked like. Literally, overwhelming. I watched it a couple more times and cried. I cried because I realized that this is working. All the sweat, sore muscles, spinach and extra lean ground fucking turkey are working. Part of me felt so relieved. I don’t look back on before pictures often because I am still far from being happy with what I see now. I have a long way to go and this journey is far from over, but knowing that I look so different from how I started gave me some validation. Much needed validation.

The other part of me fell apart. I look at the girl I used to be not long ago and I can’t fathom how I allowed myself to get that out of control. What the hell was I thinking? I was never in denial about my weight. I knew I was fat, unhealthy and wearing a really large size. I knew I needed more space than the person across from me in a booth. I knew I was completely addicted to fast food. And I knew I was extremely unhappy. What I didn’t know was how bad it actually was. I can’t believe in all my years of weight gain, especially this last year at my very heaviest weight did no one ever say anything to me about it? This is not me placing any blame on anyone. I take full responsibility for my weight, but 10 months ago I was ridiculous. I can’t even put it into words. I was a burger away from a freakin heart attack. How was I not bullied? How did my family not hire someone for an intervention? How did I keep any friends? How the hell did I allow that to happen to myself?


 I spent most of the day thinking about the video and looking at a side by side picture I created to stare at myself before and myself now. Even writing this now, I am shaking my head completely baffled. I feel like I don’t even know the girl in the before picture. Almost like I didn’t know her then either. Ten months ago I was just alive. Going through the motions. Dealing. Eating. Today, 10 months later, I feel like I am living. Committed. Mindful.

 
I am holding onto a lot of guilt that I must allow myself to release. I haven’t forgiven myself for losing time, eating all my emotions and packing on the weight. I feel guilty for making my family and friends see me unhealthy and unhappy. I haven’t forgiven myself for turning to food as my only coping mechanism in the hardest of times. I feel guilty for all the problems my weight and wallowing have caused. That was not a life. At my heaviest weight, I was just alive. I was not living and I am ashamed.


Seeing the video has really pushed me. I recognize that I have the food and fitness part pretty dialed right now, but none of that will last if I don’t get my mind right. It’s about forgiveness, acceptance, and the ability to have the courage to admit and confirm that I will never go back to that person I was 10 months ago. I will never go back.

I am letting go of that girl, that life, that weight, that guilt. I will never go back.

Update: I am just a few pounds away from a huge weight loss goal and will post it when it happens. I am on day 38 of 60 of my Shakeology Challenge and have never felt better. I can’t recall the last time I was officially in an XL t-shirt, but I am just about there. I feel stronger, cleaner, and happier. This journey has changed my entire life.


Shout outs:

Cara…Do you remember our first day at the BLR? I was terrified. That first damn hike at Malibu Creek? I thought I was going to die. I can’t believe we were so broken. That video is cray. We aren’t those girls anymore. We have been blessed with a life filled love and so many reasons to be thankful. You believed in me from Day 1 at the BLR and I will never be able to truly express how lucky I am to be your sister. You keep me inspired every single day. Going back to that life of the 2 girls in the video…PHAT Mutha Effin’ CHANCE.


I hiked (yes, I said hiked) Mission Peak with my trainer John Hebison. 5.49 miles. Half of it was at a 90 degree incline (slight over exaggeration, slight) and there was a real life tarantula on the path that literally almost caused a full on panic attack. I complained most of the way telling him how much I disliked him and hiking. It was damn hard, but it was way easier than all the hikes were with all my weight on me and I could feel the difference. Johnny, I love you for mere fact that there is no bullshit. You don’t carry me, you don’t baby me and you don’t let me quit. You have come into my life when I needed you most and I hope you never leave. Thank you for believing in me every step of the way, even when I can’t stand you. You’re a game changer.



Vanessa Turner…my new friend who booked 2 weeks at the Biggest Loser Resort after I told her my story. She is there now, week 1 and I can’t stop thinking about her. Vanessa, your courage inspires me. To take your life into your own hands and make a change takes more courage than most people know. I believe in you and can’t wait to hear all about it. Huge hugs to John Y, Tonia, Essara, Nancy, Amanda Fitz, Chile, Cam, Jake, Dr. Love and Pool Volleyball Fridays. Best time of my life.

Nooch…I dedicate this song to you. And to me because I cry just a little when I think of letting go.





Tips:  
Forgive yourself. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shake What Yo Momma Gave Ya!

Shakeology Review
by Cara

What is Shakeology? Well after about 20 days on it (Betty has been doing it now just over 30 days) I want to share more info for all of you that might be interested or just want to know what we have added to our routine. Here is some information direct from their website.

Shakeology Connection
I will say this, I was skeptical. I am re-learning how to eat real food and this wants me to replace a meal with a drink. Hmmmm. Not really sure I like that. However, I find myself being more conscious of what I am eating when I am incorporating the shake. Mindfulness is the key to success. So I am giving it a try. If you follow me on Facebook you read that after ONE WEEK, yes, ONE WEEK of following the Shakeology Plan, adding some intensity to my workouts and replacing one meal a day with Shakeology, I broke my 8 week plateau. I dropped 4.8 lbs in my first week of Shakeology. Betty is having even more success, as she is using Shakeology and working out 6-7 days a week. Shakeology changed her game plan and IT IS WORKING!!! She is on the verge of losing 100 lbs. And about 30 of those pounds with Shakeology. 


See the picture. Can you imagine eating all of these fruits and veggies in a day, could you do it in one meal? Shakeology carries all the nutrients, fiber and protein you see here. I know I can't eat all of this in one day! But I get it in one shake. Its true, eat all of this or drink it, you will be regular. But it is also building your immunity and giving you micronutrients you don't usually get. 

Here was my lunch today and yesterday. I like to call it the Peanut Butter Cup. Yes, there are some recipes to make this shake taste like you are cheating. 

My favorite ingredients:
-FLAX or Almond Milk
-Ice
-Banana
-Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
-Fresh or Frozen Strawberries

There are a million options including only using water. To make it a meal replacement you should add some additional ingredients. Alone the powder is only 150 calories. Today I added 1 tablespoon reduced fat PB and Almond Milk which brought me to 280 calories. I also think an important key is to use a blender, I have a new found LOVE for my Magic Bullet. 

Shakeology is also part of the Beachbody Series. This includes Shakeology, Turbo Fire, Insanity, p90x, and Coaches to guide you through your weight loss goals. Betty and I are not "coaches" but we do use John Hebison as our Beachbody coach. You can access his Coach Site with the link above. Or on the Beachbody site it is: http://www.teambeachbody.com/johnhebison

Shout Out:
Beth and Juliet: I sure do miss you 2. I hope this gives you the info you were looking for. I also love that you are following this journey. Thank you for being avid readers. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Oh. Hello.

Its been a while.

Betty has been on a roll. Meanwhile I am trying to keep up. She has been killing it, I am motivated. It goes something like this...

Betty: posts a picture, sweating and killing it
Me: that Beezey (gets up goes downstairs and turns on Turbo Fire) SWEAT my ASS OFF

So if you have been following me everywhere else other than just here you will see that I have made a few strides. I will say in part thanks to Betty's motivation. I finally ended an 8 week plateau. I have made it to 209 lbs. I have officially lost 70 lbs. 70 lbs. I feel great. I feel like I could stop and just start to maintain, however, I do have some goals that I would still like to meet.

Goal #1: 199 by October 4 (my 31st Birthday and now only 4 weeks away)
Goal #2: Find a new class (spin or other) to do once a week
Goal #3: Run a long distance 10+ miles once a week.
Goal #4: Gather photos from the last 10 months and do a side by side collage.

Over the course of this journey I have shared my goals and I have made sure that I come back to the same goals when I feel like things aren't working. A reminder to everyone of what they are: track my food (1480 calories) on MyFitnessPal, work out 3 one-hour (I have upped this to 4) sessions per week, and wear my Body Media Fit Band to track my calories out.

I started doing Turbo Fire, part of Beach Body, if you have heard of INSANITY or p90X you know what it is. Turbo Fire is all pylometrics and high intensity workouts. I love it for the fact that there are 20 and 25 minute sessions that I can feel comfortable doing even when I am my most tired. I know I can do a 20 minute workout, shower and still be in bed by 10:30. So that is something I have changed up a little.

Lastly, I am struggling a little to figure out what I will do after October 1. My trainer of 8 months, Michael, is moving...to L.A. I am struggling to think about what I want my fitness future to look like, but also because Michael helped me find things and forget things that were holding me back from being where I am today. I was once told by several former Biggest Loser contestants that finding the right trainer is like finding the right relationship. It is something that needs to be just right, for both of you. I am so sad to say that although we are "breaking up", I will never forget the life I found at mile 12 of my very first half marathon. I will forever be thankful for that last mile because of you. CHANGED forever as I made it to that finish line. And a new found LOVE for marathoning. Looking forward to keeping this going. I wish Michael the VERY best. And this will be a true test to my inner athlete, I will take on the challenge.

Happy weekend, everyone.
-Cara

(Unfortunately, I did have some photos to attach from my phone, but my phone took a dive in the tub tonight. Look forward to the collage coming soon!)

p.s. You know that your ENTIRE life has changed when you celebrate your 7 year wedding anniversary hiking 4.5 miles with the man you used to drive thru dinner with 5 out of 7 nights a week. #CHANGE #FOREVER #happyanniversarymylove





Monday, August 27, 2012

{My Why}



 by Betty

T’was an amazing weekend. In fact, my last several weekends have been bomb. There was a time not long ago where my weekends were spent sleeping until 2pm, waking up to eat, watching TV, eating again and going back to sleep. I so don’t even know that person anymore. This past weekend entailed Body By J-Heb Boot Camp, my dear friend Dylan’s birthday party, dinner with BLR alum and bestie, Heather, the end of my quarter in school…with a much needed upcoming quarter off, some good sleep and Target. (Love me some Target.) On my way home from dinner with Heather, I started thinking about My Why.

My Why is best described by one of my Beach Body Shakeology coach’s, Tiffany Gaspie as the reason why you would run into a burning building. Though this journey is about clean eating and exercise, to be successful, ya gotta get ya mind right. It’s all mental. It is important to figure out My Why to stay focused, on track, motivated and if ever off track, reminded of why you started in the first place. My Why isn’t the same as fitting into a dress or looking good for a social function; it is why I choose to live a healthy life. The reason I get up everyday. Why I am so grateful. Why I live.

This concept is complex. I immediately thought, of course, it’s my family and friemily (friends that are family). Nothing means more to me and nothing ever will. Not completely satisfied with this Why, I decided to dig a little deeper reminding myself to make My Why about me in my relationships. Why would I run back into a burning building?

To know me is to know I would do anything for anyone in my life. I am not a saint (close), but I do know unconditional love and selfless service. My relationships have always meant the most to me for as long as I can remember. The quality of my relationships is the reason I get out of bed everyday. I feel profoundly fortunate to have people in my life that know me well and love me still. I am honored to share my life with people who inspire me, teach me, laugh with me, and understand me. My relationships connect me, ground me and make me a better person. I like to think I share my life with some of the greatest people on the planet.

My Why:  My word. I frequently say “You have my word and my word is all I got”. To trust someone completely, takes all of me. To allow someone to trust me, takes all of me. My word is as good as I am and for the last 10 years, I have not been good. I have been a shell…a fake shell. My intentions have been good, but like I have said before, good intentions without action make it all crap. If my word is to be as good as the person I am, then my word has been shit.

To everyone in my life, family and friemly, I give you my word that I will work every day to be the best me for me…and you. And you all know who you are. Nothing means more.

Update: I am on Day 22 of my 60 Day Shakeology Challenge and I have lost 27 pounds in 27 days. Granted this is a huge weight loss, and would not be normal results for everyone, however, I do feel a major difference in my energy level and insides. I replace one meal a day with Shakeology and eat clean the rest of the day. Currently, I am working out 7 days a week with a trainer and on my own. All my workouts are different involving cardio, kick boxing, circuit training, resistance and weight lifting. I have learned more about the person I am in the last 22 days than I have in the last 8 months. I feel strong. Committed. Vulnerable. And hilarious! I have never been more proud of myself.




Shout outs:

Heather: You came into my life at the darkest of times and you have made it all so worth it. Thanks for getting me.



To Johnny and my fellow Body By J-Heb Boot Campers and 60 Day Shakeology Challengers: Just like my 2 weeks at the Biggest Loser Resort, this journey has been made all worth it by the relationships that have developed. I feel unconditionally supported and encouraged and nothing feels better. Thank you for putting up with my swearing, ladder complaints and J-Heb shit talking. You are all such an instrumental part of my journey and I will forever be grateful.

To Dylan…your courage inspires me beyond words. Should I ever wonder if I am doing the right thing for myself, I will think of you.

To me: Now you know My Why. It’s about being the best you for you and for them. Never forget or lose sight of Why you started, Why you continue and Why you will live this fit life until your last breath. You have one life to live and you aren’t getting any younger. The time is now and you are so worth it.

Tips:


Think about your My Why. Why do you do what you do? Figure it out, journal it, and always think about it when darkness falls. It will light your way.