Recipe Of The Week – Meatless Zucchini Roll-Ups

Only 3 days since the last blog…are you tired of me yet?

While brainstorming on some new things I could try on this blog, I decided to combine my obsession with 2 things: cooking and taking pictures of my food.

For those of you that are friends with me on FB (and most recently Instagram since I’m a late bloomer there), you know how culinarily obsessed I am. There is typically not a day that goes by that I fail to post some type of photo of something I’m eating…Unless I’m being forced to eat in the car. Let’s face it…a photo of a bag of chips isn’t exactly sexy.

So I decided to start posting a ‘Recipe Of The Week’. Some weeks there might be more than one if there’s something so incredible (and easy to document) that I feel needs to be shared with the masses.

So…how’s this ROTW thing going to go….well, for starters, most of my recipes aren’t exactly born from scratch in my brain (although some are). I am a Pinterest fanatic and I get a lot of inspiration there.

However, I never follow every step of a recipe. Whether it be that I don’t like the ingredients, or the original recipe wasn’t gluten free, or I’m missing a few things it called for, I always, always, always put my own spin on it. (Which doesn’t always work out, unfortunately….Ask Allen how ridiculously spicy my curry is every time I make it. Can’t seem to figure that one out.)

So I figured I would pick something I’ve made…link to the original recipe so you can decide what you like best (and to of course give props and proper credit to the person I borrowed the inspiration from). I’ll tell you what I changed, give you photos of the process, whether or not it was good and things I might do to improve it next time.

Sound good?

Can’t hear you so I’m going to assume your answer was yes…

Ok…before getting to this week’s recipe, here is the fine print/rules. (Yes…there are rules! What do you think this is? Spring Break?!)

1) No, I don’t know how many calories were in what I made. I might have an estimate based on what the original might have been but I have a terrible habit of just cooking by site and taste and not by measurement (which is why I’m a crappy baker). I also haven’t count calories since I went gluten free. Dangerous, yes. But 88 pounds later I can’t say it was the wrong choice. I believe in moderation and cutting calories in certain areas (i.e. the drinking the calories thing) so I can splurge in others. Sorry to disappoint you if nutritional information is what you were in search of.

2) Every recipe will be gluten free. Duh.

3) I am not an expert at vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, etc. I will not claim that any of my recipes fall in any of those categories (I will say ‘meatless’ if applicable) as I am not well versed in those areas yet. (Maybe one day?)

4) Cooking is a trial and error sport. (Hah…there are nights that I would consider it a sport.) I cook A LOT. A lot of the dishes I make turn out well and some don’t.

Best advice I can give you is to be patient with yourself. Keep trying. I’m a risotto master now because I made it for myself a lot in college until I mastered it. (And it took a lot of trying in order to conquer it, I promise.) Cooking is what you make of it and how much you enjoy it. Improvise with what you like and what you know works and have fun!

5) Let me know how it turns out if you make something I’ve posted! I’m obsessed with food and would love to know how others are enjoying something I so thoroughly enjoy too.

6) “Everything in moderation…including moderation.” ~ Julia Child

Ok, now to the good stuff….

Meatless Zucchini Roll Ups

Meatless Zucchini Roll-Ups

I’ve become meal planning obsessed so have themes for each day of the week to make my life a lot easier. (It makes planning a heck of a lot easier too!) It’s amazing how much less we’re spending on groceries and food in general each month. Here’s how our week typically goes:
Meatless Monday – Self explanatory
World Traveler Tuesday – Something international…Mexican, Thai, etc.
Down Home Wednesday – Something wholesome and Southern…a meat and 2 kind of meal.
One-Pot/Crock Pot Thursday – Less clean up…slow cooked deliciousness.
Fun & Frugal Friday – Something cheap and easy…Pizza, tacos, nachos, etc.
Free Saturday – Saturday is reserved as either our night to go out or to have leftovers.
Salad/Souper Sunday – Since it’s Fall I’ve been sticking to the ‘Souper’ part lately.

I made the roll-ups for dinner tonight. I love zucchini…I love cheese…I love lasagna. And this was a perfect combination of the three.

Here’s the original recipe: Meatless Cheesy Zucchini Roll-Ups – From Tried And Tasty

And here’s my version:

This was enough for 3-4 slightly hungry people or 2-3 hungry people.

Prep Time: 10-15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes (Depending on thickness of zucchini)
Rest Time: 5-10 Minutes
 

Ingredients:

2 medium sized zucchini
1 ½ c shredded mozzarella
½ cup part-skim ricotta
¾ cup low-fat cottage cheese (This is the secret to all good lasagna!! Try it!)
¼ cup fat-free sour cream
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp red pepper flakes (this is of course optional if you don’t like spicy)
½ cup Parmesan cheese (divided)
2 cups Marinara/Pizza/Tomato Sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
 
The ingredients. Please excuse my picture taking skills...I'll get this lighting down sooner or later!

The ingredients. Please excuse my picture taking skills…I’ll get this lighting down sooner or later!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

After cleaning your zucchini, remove the ends and slice thinly with a mandolin. I have a really cheap one so the slices were a bit thick. The thicker the slices, the harder this is. If you have a heavy-duty vegetable peeler and a steady hand that might work to make these thinner.
A lot of my pieces ended up splitting in the middle so I had to piece them together when rolling which, while tedious, worked out ok.

Slicing the zucchini...

Slicing the zucchini…

Once you’ve sliced your zucchini, mix the roll-up filling in a small bowl. The original recipe called for Greek yogurt, which I have a love-hate relationship with. I always use cottage cheese in my lasagna and knew that’s what I wanted to use instead. I know it sounds weird but I promise it’s a perfect ingredient for this!
Mix the cottage cheese, ricotta, sour cream, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, ¼ cup Parm and ½ cup mozzarella cheeses.

The cheesy stuff...

The cheesy stuff…

In a casserole dish, place half of the tomato sauce in the bottom. (Yes I know it would have been better to make my own but wanted easy tonight!)

Lay your zucchini flat and ‘fill’. Place about a tablespoon on one end and roll. It’s that easy. Place each roll in the pan, top with the other half of the tomato sauce and pop in the oven.
You could use toothpicks if you wanted it to look super perfect. I didn’t feel like having to go back in and pick them out. Laying the roll-ups on the seam and packing them in there tightly worked like a dream.

The pre-roll pic...

The pre-roll pic…

Pre sauce...all rolled and cozy.

Pre sauce…all rolled and cozy.

Post sauce...still all warm and cozy.

Post sauce…still all warm and cozy.

Bake for 20 minutes (this will depend on the thickness of your zucchini. If it’s paper thin you need less time).

Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parm and bake for an additional 10 minutes. You can broil for a few minutes as well if you like your cheese browned. (Be sure to watch it!)

Let sit for 5-10 minutes after removing from the oven and enjoy!!

The final product!! Yummy!!

The final product!! Yummy!!

Would I Change Anything? Not really. This would be delicious with Italian Sausage or ground beef, but was tomato-y perfection without it. (The end result was a tad bit watery because of the zucchini but not enough to distract from the flavor…the longer you let it sit after it comes out of the oven, the better that gets.)

Would I Make It Again? Absolutely. It was easy and delicious!

Fork Factor picTry it out and let me know what you think!! Or let me know what you think of this new idea and anything you’d like me to add or take away.

Massaman curry is on tap for tomorrow’s dinner…fingers crossed that it’s not too spicy!!

Until next time…

Live Love Eat

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Eureka! – A New Challenge

Will start the post off with a few housekeeping items…

1)      As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’ve added a few things to the right-hand side of the page. I’ve linked my Facebook and Twitter pages to the blog – feel free to follow me! (Warning: Twitter is addictive. I’ve officially been on it for a week and I cannot stop. Think there’s going to need to be Twitter rehab in my future.)

2)      New Page! Look up…see it? I’ve added a page at the top that links to some of  my favorite Blogs. Most of these are Gluten-Free ones…but they’re all phenomenal! I’ve got a lot to learn from these pages. Make sure to check them out!

3)      Have suggestions? This blog is intended to not only fulfill my need for therapy, but to hopefully benefit you as well. If there are things you’d like to see added to the site, topics you’d like me to discuss, or things you’d like me to shut up about – I want to hear it! I want this to be an evolving site…hopefully getting better and not worse. Your feedback is always encouraged!

Ok that’s it for housekeeping…phew! That was tough! I don’t think I’ve done that much housekeeping in 6 months! I kid, kid! Or do I? 🙂

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So how was my week? Well…I had an absolutely incredible epiphany this week. Major light bulb moment…and a bright light too. Before I get into my slap-in-the-face moment for the week…I’ll get the bad part out of the way.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That is an increase in weight.  Not making excuses for it – just feeling really positive about some changes in thinking that I think will pay off big time in the weeks to come.

As I’m typing this, Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” is running through my mind. (Dad – I know you’re impressed by that Midnight Special era reference.)  Just in case you’re not sure what song I’m talking about…here’s your soundtrack for the rest of the post…Listen now!

I’m sure your bummed it’s not me singing instead. Your ears will thank you!  🙂

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Without further adieu – on to my Eureka Moment:

I can thank 2 people for my “moment” this week. One, an incredible author. The other, a Facebook friend.

It’s no secret that I have a love for food. I’m a Hayes. I’m pretty sure an icon for food is part of our family crest.  And I’m not only referring to my love for eating whatever is in front of me. I’m talking about my caviar taste with my Cheez Whiz budget.  I love good food. Quality food. Food that has been braised for hours. Food that has so many different levels of taste that your mouth doesn’t know what to do. Food that evokes so much emotion. Food that is so good, that if you ever were lucky enough to have it again, would take you right back to that first time it touched your tongue. Food that I’ve been replacing with nutrition-less, processed garbage.

One of the blogs I follow regularly is Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. The author, Shauna Ahern, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after many, many years of struggle.  I received Shauna’s book (“Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back and How You Can Too”) last week. I have not been able to put it down. All that emotion and passion that I have for food – she also has. But she writes about it in a way that is far better than anything I have ever read in my entire life.  She is someone who has the ability to make you feel like you’re experiencing the taste of fresh lemons, or crusty (GF) bread, or the rich essence of truffle oil solely by reading the words on the page – and it deserves serious props. She has helped me to completely change my take on food and what I put in my body….more in a minute.

Second person (thank you, Jason) made a comment in response to my tantrum from last week that really opened my eyes to the way I have reacted to this diagnosis:

“Instead of focusing on what you can’t have, focus on what you can.. if you can cover all the base nutrients your body needs, it will cease food seeking behavior..”

And he’s right.

Both Shauna and Jason are spot on. What have I been doing focusing on all the things I’m not allowed to eat? Look at all the things I can eat! Am I crazy?! How preprogrammed for processed food am I?!

With their input – I discovered something about myself and my body. I don’t crave fried food. I don’t crave bologna or packaged products. I don’t crave frozen meals or fast food. For the first time EVER in my life…I’m craving what my body needs. Fruit, vegetables, olive oil, grains, meat. I’m craving vegetables fresh out of the ground, meat straight from the butcher, fruits that smell like paradise, seafood that has the smell that takes me back to my summers spent at Fripp Island. I’m craving olive oil so green it looks like grass, basil so sweet you want to put it on ice cream. Honey with the comb still in the jar. Cheese fresh from the farm. These are the things I want. These are the things my body wants.

These weeks since the diagnosis, I’ve been doing what I can to continue on the same path I’ve been on for years. Focused on making unhealthy gluten-free substitutes for the unhealthy gluten-full choices I was making before. That’s not what I need. That’s not what my body needs.

Great, so I can still have shredded cheese from the store. But I thought about it…The cheese is shredded in a factory, packaged, labeled, sent to a distribution center, possibly sent to another regional distribution center, and then eventually makes it to the grocery store shelf. How many nitrates and 35-letter preservatives are pumped into that cheese to make it last through all those steps? That’s not taking care of my body. That’s pumping it with foreign substances.

I want to believe that fruit from the grocery store is fresh. Bananas don’t grow in Greensboro…so how much time has passed between the time it was picked and the time it makes it to my plate.  If I didn’t pick it myself, I want someone to have done it a few hours prior.

I want a dab of fresh churned butter, rich and nutty, instead of half a stick of something called butter that is pumped full of a substance similar to Vasoline and completely flavorless.

I want fresh ground smoked paprika…not something McCormick bottled when Clinton was still in office. (Have you ever noticed how all cheap bottled spices smell the same?) I want fresh thyme and rosemary…the grassiness of flat leaf parsley. Not the nasty “Italian Seasoning” concoction that seems to outlast most water heaters.  (I bet Giada DeLaurentiis would shoot someone before having that in her house!)

I want meat that was cut away from the bone earlier that day. I want steak so fresh it almost moos. I don’t want the saran-wrapped beef on a red Styrofoam tray that sits on top of that curious, black, menstrual pad-looking sheet full of liquid. I want shrimp pulled from the NC/SC coast, still briny with delicious Atlantic Ocean saltiness, not something farmed in the middle of Taiwan.

I want the absolute best. I deserve the absolute best. And I welcome you to my new mission: Operation Unprocessed.

I from here on out, will do everything in my power to ensure everything I put in my mouth is as fresh and as whole as it can possibly be. I owe it to my insides.

Will this be slightly more expensive? Yeah probably. Getting meat from a butcher isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it. Buying high quality olive oil isn’t cheap…but if I only have to use a tablespoon of rich, delicious oil vs. a ¼ cup of the store-brand to evoke an incredible flavor profile – then I do come out cheaper in the end, and healthier.

The Farmer’s Market will be my best friend. I went this weekend. And this may be one of the dorkiest things I’ve ever said, but being there made me emotional. I was amongst hard-working farmers. Men and women with callused hands – evidence of tough, daily labor. Proud of their crops, eager to hand out samples of fresh raw corn and bright red tomatoes. I had visions of recipes running through my head. Thoughts of ways to use the turnips, poblanos and crowder peas. I was overwhelmed in a good way. A very good way!

I made my first purchase for Operation Unprocessed. Brilliant heirloom tomatoes. A huge bunch of basil for $1. Dirt flecked, firm potatoes. Fresh honey (one of my most favorite things in the entire world.) Sweet ears of fresh corn picked that morning. Silky, tart Camembert cheese from the Goat Lady Dairy farm. I was in absolute heaven.

Needless to say, the first meal on my new quest was divine. See for yourself….

Heirloom tomatoes, Camembert cheese and homemade basil and arugula pesto - delish!!!!

Not bad, huh?

How is that restrictive?! How is that a tough way to live?! I’ve been doing this all wrong. Operation Unprocessed is exactly what my body needs. This epiphany has unlocked the door to getting past my lifelong, manic problem with food. I no longer want to live to eat, I want to eat to live.  Who wants to take the challenge with me?

“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Good. Gooder. Bestest.

Those of you that read last week’s blog know I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease…If you didn’t know, or didn’t read the blog – SHAME ON YOU!! (Click here for the rundown.) In honor of the fact that I’m feeling much better, and to play off of my post from a few weeks ago – this week’s topic explores the GOOD…the GOODER (yes – I know this is not actually a word)…and the BESTEST (despite what I originally thought – bestest is a word in the dictionary. Learn something new every day!) facets of weight loss.

GOOD: You want to lose weight.

GOODER: You look for guidance and motivation to keep you going on your journey.

BESTEST: You check out my blog every week to know that there is someone else out there fighting the same battle.

 

GOOD: You walked a mile on the treadmill.

GOODER: You ran a 5K on the treadmill.

BESTEST: You made it to the end of the treadmill.

 

GOOD: A co-worker commented on your weight loss.

GOODER: A friend you haven’t seen in a while is shocked at how great you look.

BESTEST: Your mother makes you show her some ID.

 

GOOD: You buy lots of produce at the grocery store.

GOODER: You buy organic produce at the grocery store.

BESTEST: You grow your own vegetables…in your bathtub.

 

GOOD: Salad for lunch.

GOODER: Salad for dinner.

BESTEST: Salad for breakfast.

 

GOOD: You’re taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

GOODER: You’re biking to work instead of driving.

BESTEST: You’ve decided to swim to your European vacation.

 

GOOD: You do 50 sit-ups every day.

GOODER: You do 50 sit-ups every hour.

BESTEST: You never stop doing sit-ups.

 

GOOD: You do Yoga, Pilates or Zumba.

GOODER: You do Yoga, Pilates and Zumba.

BESTEST: You do Yoga, Pilates and Zumba, all at the same time.

 

GOOD: You achieved your goal rate on your heart rate monitor.

GOODER: You exceeded your goal rate on your heart rate monitor.

BESTEST: Your activity level melted your heart rate monitor.

 

GOOD: You have to cut back on cupcakes because of Gluten-free restrictions.

GOODER: You find a Gluten-Free bakery in town.

BESTEST: Your incredible sister bakes you a batch of the most delicious GF cupcakes with a dark chocolate ganache frosting so you won’t be left out when dessert is served.

 

 

GOOD: You watch what you eat.

GOODER: You don’t think twice about making a healthier choice when eating out.

BESTEST: You’ve lost the bad habits that got you in trouble in the first place. (Thank you, Celiac Disease!)

 

GOOD: Your clothes are a bit looser.

GOODER: You have to make a new hole for your belt buckle.

BESTEST: You have to buy suspenders to keep from mooning innocent bystanders.

 

GOOD: Eating healthier has opened the door to trying new vegetables.

GOODER: Your day consists of compiling a list 101 ways to cook a rutabaga.

BESTEST: You can now name every vegetable in the cruciferous family and accurately describe every aspect of their taxonomy.

 

GOOD: You feel comfortable being in public in a swimsuit.

GOODER: You feel comfortable being in public in a bikini.

BESTEST: Hello, nude beach!

 

GOOD: You drink 8 glasses of water a day.

GOODER: You drink your body weight in ounces of water daily.

BESTEST: Your city has just re-instated drought level water restrictions as the result of your daily intake.

 

GOOD: You’ve lost 10 pounds.

GOODER: You’ve lost 20 pounds.

BESTEST: You’ve lost 10% of your starting weight!!!

Not having any trouble with cooking at home, but I’m desperately missing the convenience I once had in terms of finding something to eat. Gone are the days of blindly going out to eat without doing research ahead of time…gone are the quick last minute trips through a drive thru to grab lunch on the go…gone are the days of recovering from a hangover with a chicken biscuit and a regular coke. (I know that accounts for about a zillion calories, but sometimes you’ve just got to grease it up to get yourself back to normal!)

I am now forced to be acutely aware of everything and everyone that might have touched my food. I have to guard my food to prevent someone from sticking their contaminated fork in my potato to have a bite. (Sorry dad – had to call you out on this one!)

I have to trust where I’m going to eat…have to trust that the person preparing my food doesn’t say “Gluten what?” and then proceed to grab my food immediately after touching a hamburger bun. I know that there’s probably a pretty good chance that everything will be ok…but right now, I’m not willing to take the risk. I’m not willing to undo what I’ve already done.

Why am I so OCD about it? Well…I cannot even begin to describe how amazing I have felt for the last week. Sticking to a very strict GF diet has done wonders for my digestive system, my energy level, and my skin, believe it or not. Do I miss bread, fried chicken, Campbell’s soup and licking envelopes? (Yep…the envelope lick-y part could contain trace amounts of gluten.) No I do not. Don’t miss the pasta, don’t miss crackers, don’t miss gravy…To go from feeling as awful as I felt for the last decade, and especially the last 6 months to feeling absolutely incredible – I don’t miss any of it…not for one second!

In honor of my digestive rebirth – I will leave you with this:

GOOD: You finally found out what’s been plaguing you health wise.

GOODER: You start to feel better after “treatment”.

BESTEST: You feel better than you have in 15 years!

 “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill

I have a confession…

Yes, that’s right…I have a confession. I am addicted…completely and utterly addicted, to brussell sprouts.

I’ll give you a moment to process that…I know you didn’t see that coming at all…friends and family are whispering to each other: “No not Hannah! I never thought it would happen to her!” I know, I know…I don’t look like the “type” (haha – no really, you don’t expect a woman with a weight problem to be obsessed with brussell spouts).

I could eat them every meal of every day for the rest of my life.  For those interested…I like my “poison” roasted.

Hate them, you may, but thanks to my little miniature cabbage friend, I have had an extremely successful week…see for yourself…

There goes the first goal! Marked through and complete. 5 pounds gone…and ahead of schedule!

So yes, the addiction to brussell sprouts is true, but that’s not the only admission I have tonight.

Confession # 2 is that I really beat myself up this morning when I got on the scale. I was upset with myself for having only lost 5 pounds. I’m not sure why. I have no reason to. My 85 pound weight loss goal by November 15th was based on 2 pounds per week…2…and I’m more than double that. I was very committed (and still am) with my diet this week and logged every single morsel I put in my mouth. That’s a huge accomplishment for me, and I was beating myself up?! I don’t get my own mind sometimes. Perhaps I need to not watch 4 episodes in a row of the Biggest Loser…seeing 21 pounds a week lost on some people is totally messing with my mind! Granted – I’m not working out 11 hours a day either.

(On a side note: Some of you have asked about what I’m doing physically – I am set to work with a trainer a few times a week starting in the next week or two…I’m making baby steps in the exercise department because I want to make sure I’ve got the eating piece under control. Eating brings me the most amount of anxiety and struggle mentally – a topic which I will get into another day…for now I’m getting the diet under wraps instead of tackling every demon at one time.)

I know that one of my biggest obstacles, and perhaps one of the reasons I’ve struggled so much in the past, is that I’ve never known what it’s like to be thin. All the self-help books tell you to visualize your goals. Well I can’t…ok, maybe not can’t, but I don’t know how. I cannot imagine myself thin…I cannot picture myself without pudge…I cannot picture myself in a single-digit size…I cannot picture myself walking out the door in the morning and running 8 miles like it’s nothing. Don’t get me wrong…I want it like it’s nobody’s business. I just feel like the drive and the motivation I feel right now starts to wane over time because I can’t keep saying to myself  that I know what it felt like and I want to be there again. Trust me…I’m miserable the way I am now…I feel like the real me is in here somewhere trying to get out…hell, I ate the real me at some point so I’ve just got to peel away the layers to allow the “true me” to break free.

I’d love to have some fancy software like they had on TLC at one point, with a computer generated image of the thin me. I think that would do so much for helping me visualize that goal.  How do you overcome that? How do you envision yourself as something you’ve never known?  Any input or feedback you might have on this is much appreciated.

I am still incredibly inspired by your continual support over the course of the week. Getting through the first 7 days was not nearly as difficult as I expected. The first 2 were slightly trying – but it got easier and easier day after day. The only thing I’m craving now (and this is random) is Ginger Ale…of every awful thing I used to crave like it was my job, and I’m craving a carbonated beverage used for curing hangovers…Oh well – I guess it could be worse!

For now…I’ll forgo the Ginger Ale and stick to the brussell sprouts…

Until next time…

 

“The best way out is always through.” ~ Robert Frost

Posting My Starting Weight: Humiliation or Liberation?

Well there it is…in all its glory…the scale.  I can’t hide behind the number anymore…can’t secretly write it down in a little journal or notebook for no one else to see but myself. Though posting what I actually weigh is causing some unnecessary anxiety – it’s quite freeing!  I will say with 100% certainty that I will NEVER see this number on the scale again. (On a side note…I apologize for the poorly pedicured feet!)

Part of me is afraid that some people might have the “OMG she weighs how much?!” response…(hell, I had the same response when I stepped on the scale this morning!)..but I keep reminding myself that I can’t fix what I’m not honest about…well, that and I’m pretty sure that no one looks at me and says “Hmmm…I thinks she weighs 130 lbs.”

Those of you that know me the best know I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life “trying” every diet, juice, pill or other gimmick on the market. While some of them are promising…I am sad to report that eating raw vegetables for the rest of your life isn’t feasible, liquid diets are miserable, cabbage soup is a horrible way to live (for both you and those around you) and most disappointing of all: taking QuickTrim does not make you look like a Kardashian. Really bummed about the last one – I was really hoping to look like Kim Kardashian by Valentine’s Day!

I’m fed up with the yo-yo dieting and roller coaster weight battle I’ve been fighting.

I want to shop in a normal store. I want to like pictures of myself instead of having to un-tag myself in them to prevent showing 14 chins instead of 1. I want to wear shorts in the summer (confidently that is). I want to wear undergarments that are cute and dainty, not ones that are on the verge of being industrial (Ok so, yes I have cute ones – Sorry, Dad – but is frilly underwear really that cute in a size 18?!). I want to look in a full-length mirror with satisfaction instead of despair. I want to stop thinking mean thoughts when I see skinny women. I want to be able to say my weight out loud with pride. I want to say “I used to be overweight.”  I want my boobs to stick out more than my stomach when I’m sitting down and not the other way around. I want to feel the power of accomplishment. I want to stop wearing out the thigh of my jeans before anything else. I want to wear cute boots that actually fit over my calves. I want to live longer. I want to stop giving excuses as to why I haven’t succeeded before.  I want to change my life.

Wait a minute…no, I don’t want these things…I WILL DO these things!!!

After only 1 day of this blog officially being online, I can feel in my soul that this time is different. I have already made better decisions with my “followers” in mind. I can’t wait to share my success! It’s so motivating to know that I have cheerleaders out there!

Until next time…