Monday, January 9, 2012

{The Quest}

by Betty

Thank God it's Sunday...for 2 very different reasons. I love that I feel rested on Sundays after some good sleep catch up on Saturday and it's the end of my food and exercise week. I look back on what I ate, how I moved and what didn't or did work best. Each week I am finding things that work really well for me and some that I need to change immeidately. One thing working is my cooking. I have been in the kitchen every day. I am no culinary genius, but I am doing better and not disliking it so much. One thing that isn't working: I am not tracking my intake consistently every meal. I know I am not eating over my calories, but I have made deprivation mistakes in the past that play a huge role in my failures. Making sure I eat my daily calorie goal is important to my weekly and long term success. I have asked countless trackers what systems they use and the answer is always the same 'do what works for you'. I have tried a couple different methods of tracking and can't seem to find one that I can stick with. I would love to hear about your best practices in food tracking. What do you use?

Blogging definitely works. Going back to read previous posts and the comments friends left keeps me motivated and accountable. I am reminded of my commitments and goals.

I turned on the TV last night and watched the ending of Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts. Great book, too. There is a quote at the end of the movie I am including below. You never know where little random phat chances of thoughfulness come from. For me, it was this quote.

      "In the end, I've come to believe in something I call "The Physics of the Quest." A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you're brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you"

Whether you know this book/movie or not, one thing is clear, anyone with any internal struggle must be brave, mindful, vulnerable, and ready. The hardest of these for me is vulnerability. I am still learning how to allow myself. Stop my avoidance and try to embrace emotions. What I do know is that I am brave. I am more and more mindful everyday and I am ready. I tried planning to get my mind right before I left for the Biggest Loser Resort, but if I couldn't do it before on my own, what made me think I could just schedule it in the day before we left? I always have unreachable goals set for myself...that's part of the problem. So I get to the Resort and with the guidance of Essara and the friendships made with other guests, I found myself ready, brave and very mindful for my return home. To renew all of these amazing lessons, Cara and I are talking about having a BL day at my house. We will invite friends and family interested in the process and will provide information we received at the Resort. Our way of paying it forward. This will renew our Resort education and keep us brave, ready, mindful and most of all, vulnerable. I may not be wearing my sports bra and shorts in front of you all, but I definitely feel exposed. It's hard being the elephant in the room, literally. It's still not easy and everyday I have a moment of WTF!, but I know what I want and I know how to get it. From this moment on, it's up to me. I will be the reason for success and I will be the reason for failure. But as I have said before, shoot me between the eyes if I ever go back.

Shout outs:

To the Biggest Loser and Jillian Michaels are like bread and butter, weirdos and video games, crystal light and sparkling water, me and reality TV, wholly guac and everything, chocolate covered strawberries and the Biggest Loser Resort...THEY ARE MEANT TO BE. Make it happen NBC. It's time.


I have some favorite go-to items I pick up at the store every week...
salsa: I eat a lot of salsa. I love saucy food. To replace my ranch, ketchup and gravy, I use salsa. For me, the hotter the better.  
apples: One thing I clearly remember from the Resort was my regularity. Fiber is your friend. I have never felt cleaner than I did at the Resort. Lot's of fiber in the skin of an apple, plus with my new and improved taste buds, apples are yummy sweet goodness.  
rice cakes: I may thank rice cakes in my weight loss success speech. I love the crunch and you can put anything on them..peanut butter or laughing cow.
crystal light pure: I was a complete Diet Coke addict before the Resort. At least, 1 a day, sometimes two. I do love water, but sometimes I just want something different. Grape and Kiwi Strawberry are my favorite.
salads from Trader Joe's: I am all about quick and easy. Already made salads with low-cal dressing are the way to go. Takes the work out of packing lunch.
Ak-Mak crackers: great with salsa.
Whole Wheat Tortillas: There are lots of brands out there. I go with the lowest calorie per serving size. Easy whole grain to grab with egg whites or ground turkey.
Speaking of ground turkey...Jenni-O, I adore you. I use the extra lean ground turkey from Jenni-O several times a week for turkey patties, taco meat, in tomato sauce, and stir fry.

What are your go-to food shopping items? I am always looking for more ideas!


  1. Love you love you! You are brave! I felt your vulnerability in his post and I loved it! Xoxox! As for food tracking, I'm really liking Net Diary! It has a scanner on it so you don't have to type anything if you don't want to. You just scan the package! Awesome! My personal go-to food items are honey crisp apples (I too was an apple hater before BLR's tasteformation!), beef jerky, light string cheese, raw almonds, egg whites in the carton, almond milk, oatmeal, Kind almone and coconut bars (when I need something sweet), Cuties, grapes, organic turkey meat (split a string cheese in half and wrap each half with a turkey slice), laughing cow lite, whole wheat sandwich thins.... Man, I must be hungry! Lol!

  2. I haven't used a calorie tracker in a while, but when I did, I went to They have almost everything listed, and all you have to do is click, modify if need to, and add to your daily intake.

    I'm with you on the premade salads from Trader Joes. I started to go to Fresh & Easy now to just add even more variety. Like TJ, they have their own low cal/healthy premade salads, soups, meals, etc. I've been adding a lot of salsa/pico de gallo and some hot sauce to my foods. I heard it helps speeds up the metabolism. Lately, I've been craving crunchy snacks so I started munching on carrots and celery sticks to help kill the craving without having to reach for the chips.

  3. I want you and Betty to know that you have inspired me and changed the way I eat and look at food. I am lazy and I hate working out and would rather eat a cheeseburger and fries from Wendy's then put together something healthy. But I think about the two of you and how far you have both have come and I think that I can do it too. I think it's awesome you get your hiking in too!! Keep it up!! And I love Salsa too!!

  4. Brianne....the thing that has always worked for me was a journal...especially when I was cutting weight for a contest....journal it everyday...meals, cal and may feel wierd at first but over time you'll get used to it. If you miss an entry just make sure you get back on track ASAP...

    Remember no one steps into the same river twice because the river is always changing...try to get better everyday...even if its just a smidgen better than the day before...keep up the good've already come so far...


  5. Landon Modena-KurpinskyJanuary 9, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    So I've been doing Weight Watchers for almost a year now, so I use the tracker on their website which probably doesn't help, but the motions are the same. For me - I plan out my dinners on Sunday nights and put those all in my tracker Sunday night. As for lunches, I pack them the night before work and track those in my tracker while watching TV before bed.

    In terms of go-to favorites, never underestimate the amazingness of a bag of frozen berries. I use them for everything - fruit protein smoothies, on my greek yogurt in the mornings and on plain bran cereal. Also - Grapes. LOVE Grapes. Especially frozen.

    My main goal is just trying to make each day better than the day before. The past is the past. Don't dwell on in. You can't change what you've done, you can only change what you are doing. In fact, I remember reading a very wise quote that came from the biggest loser ranch on this very here blog: "Be hard on yourself in the gym, be easier on yourself everywhere else."

    Thank you for your honesty through this journey. You are helping people more than you will ever know.

  6. Balance, moderation and variety. It is the only thing that is proven to work. My favorite snack chip is "Mary's gone crackers". Ha ha ha isn't that funny?

  7. Mark said-

    You should really think about purchasing a juicer! I just bought one and have been making one juice a day to get my 4 servimgs of fruits and veggies a day. My energy level has increased and feel like I am getting all the nutirents, vitamins and antioxidants.. And the best part is one glass of juice fills me up like I had an entire meal..

  8. Go-to food shopping items:

    OROWEAT Sandwich Thins (Multi-Grain)

    Steel Cut Oatmeal (by Quaker Oats now at Safeway)

    Almond Milk

    Morning Star Griller's Prime Veggie Style Burgers

    Brown basmati rice or Brown Jasmine rice (Trader Joes)

    For my soda fixes (Like if I REALLY have to have a soda...)
    Pepsi One (Splenda)/Diet Coke (Splenda)

    (For everyday cooking, I prefer this to olive oil for its clean/light taste. Also great for stir-frys!)
    Grape seed oil (Trader Joes)

    Organic spinach (For my salads)

    I do a lot of my shopping for organic/pesticide-free fruits and veggies at the farmer's markets! I also have a juicer (started juicing as of yesterday) after seeing the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead last year =)

    Hope this could be of some use to you!

    -Leslie G. <3

  9. Bananas

    Spinach- It goes in everything; eggs, soups, marinara sauces, on sandwiches, or as a salad.

    Healthy Select soups. I know what every single ingredient is in them, and they have some lower sodium options as well.


    Quinoa- cooked with chicken broth, it tastes better and is a great alternative to the white rice we used to eat with every meal.

    popcorn- we just got an air popper for Christmas, but prior to that we would buy the healthy pop bags or single serving bags.

  10. Bri, some of my (healthier) staples from Trader Joe's, I'll leave out the ice-cream and frozen burritos:

    Bananas--they come in handy for a quick hunger stopper, or cut them up for yogurt topping. Also, if you want a sweet deal, they're great in smoothies, protein shakes.

    Spinach, kale, or broccoli. If I'm by myself or if I'm doing the cooking for the fam, one of these greens is easy to boil and lightly salt. Very healthy. (Tip: The darker the green, the better for you)

    As you know, sparkling water is bomb. It has the carbonation of soda without the sugars.

    Dried cranberries or dried fruit. I also like trailmix, but be careful, a lot of these bags have tons of calories...not sure this is a choice you want to make depending on your goals, but there's a ton of variety on the wall and they're better than a candy bar.

    Love you,