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Keepin’ It Real | I Got Fat

This post isn’t about body shaming. It is about keepin’ it real and calling it what it is – I. Got. Fat.

Today, this week strangely came full circle. I have known for awhile that I needed to make changes in my eating and activity levels. But honestly, 2015 had so many changes in our life that I wasn’t mentally ready to focus on my body. I needed to focus on my mental health. I needed to find me, and find my happy. I am almost there. I overcame the stress, anxiety and depression that my work situation had put on me. I found my happy. And I have almost found me. You see, she is buried somewhere under all these extra pounds.

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On Monday, I woke up and made the decision it was the day I was going to start recording what I eat, make healthier choices and make the changes I have needed to make. I don’t know why but I made the decision as I carefully, out of nowhere, measured the number of tablespoons of creamer going into my coffee. And I only had one cup.

I even stood on the scale. It has been awhile since I had the courage to take that action. 186. Those are pounds. The only time I have been this heavy is when I was pregnant. And honestly, I look pregnant now. I am shocked nobody has tried to run my belly. Thank goodness it hasn’t because I am sure I would say something inappropriate but I wouldn’t be surprised!  Ya’ll, I am being serious. I looked better 17 weeks pregnant with my daughter, and, I know, I was huge for 17 weeks!

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I already made the mental commitment to make a change. I have eaten between 1200 and 1500 calories every day this week. Of healthy choices. I have recorded everything I have eaten. But today, something came up that just confirmed further that now is the time.

Today, in my Facebook memories, was a picture. On this day, 10 years ago, I posted a picture of me and my boyfriend (now hubs). It was from the Law School Prom my 1L year (translate to Barristers Ball my first year of law school).

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That is me. At least 65 pounds smaller. 65. Pounds. That is like the weight of both my children combined right now. We won’t go into all the excuses of how I got here because, honestly, they don’t matter. I got fat.

Fat is one of those words that has become politically incorrect. Every time it is the first word to come to my mind to describe something when I am reading with the kids, I get all nervous. Like it isn’t a word I should teach them to describe anything. Like it is a bad word. But it is an accurate word to describe myself right now. My body is composed of too much fat. I am squishy. And lumpy. My muffin top could win a contest. I am not healthy. I am fat.

I am putting it all out there – my weight, pictures of my current self – because that is what I do. I am an open book. And I want to hold myself accountable. If I am still this fat in a month, then I am failing. I do not like to fail. So, game on.

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Pepper Soup | Dinnertime and the Livin’s Easy

The hubs came home a few weeks requesting that I make Pepper Soup. This was an odd request to me. It involved peppers and soup, two things the hubs doesn’t eat much of. Plus, I had never heard of such a soup. But I was up for the challenge, found a couple of recipes, added my own twist and this batch is pretty dang good! So here it is, Pepper Soup.

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Pepper Soup

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
2 pounds of lean ground beef (I used 90-10)
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, pressed
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Soy sauce, to taste
2 green peppers, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 orange pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
32 ounces of beef broth
1 cup water
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of stewed tomatoes
2 heaping tablespoons of packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Starch of choice (rice, pastina, oyster crackers), optional

Instructions:
1. Brown beef and garlic over medium-high heat. Shake some Worcestershire Sauce and Soy Sauce on there while it’s cooking. I know, I know. I hate it when recipes fail to give proper guidance on the amount to use but I just poured a little on and didn’t measure it. After beef is browned, drain and pat dry with paper towels. This is kind of gross, but it makes the soup better.

2. Dump everything except your starch of choice in the crock pot. I like to cut up the stewed tomatoes a little when I put them in. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

3. If you want to add a starch, prepare as directed (rice or pastina) and add  to the soup about 20 minutes before removing from the crock pot. DO NOT let rice sit in a turned on crock pot for longer because you won’t have soup. You will have super expanded rice with beef and peppers. In our family, I like to eat it without a starch to reduce calories and carbs. The hubs likes oyster crackers. So if you have a starch, you can always add it, if desired, before each serving.

 

 

Quick Quip

Me (to the hubs arguing I need a smoothie blender): I just hate washing blenders. It’s a pain in the ass.

Hubs: You hate cleaning anything.

Me: (blank stare as I swallow the taste of defeat)

Keepin’ It Real … The Itch

Alright. If you know me, you know I am an open book. I don’t hold back. Especially in the name of a good laugh. So I am starting a new series here on the blog called Keepin’ It Real. Really, it can be about anything I just want to talk about and, in the process, keep it real. And I am going all in for the first installment. Putting it all out there at the risk of complete and utter embarrassment.  If you are a guy, you probably want to stop here if you want to keep your fantasies that women are all roses and butterflies south of the border!

The Itch

Let’s just start this post by saying that I have not had many feminine issues. I have never had a yeast infection. I have had one UTI, which the doctor attributed to a “flurry of sexual activity.” Doesn’t that sound so wild, and fun, and …. young. The honeymoon phase of a relationship is a whole lot different than the two kids phase. The only flurry we have around here these days is snow flurries.

Then, there was that one time in college that I got one of those smelly bacterial infections. The prescription I was given warned me, ALL over the bottle, not to drink alcoholic beverages. I did not heed the warning. And miss a weekend at Mother Fletchers and the Freaky Tiki (I went to college in Myrtle Beach)?! Um, no. Grown-Up Sarah would like to smack College Sarah in the back of the head. That prescription warning was not just for fun because I don’t think I have ever been so sick in my life. I can still picture the toilet I spent hugging that night and next day. And I don’t think I drank again for, like, 2 weeks.

So you see, really, I have a very healthy, happy vajayjay. Until recently. When I got the Itch. What is the Itch, you ask?  Jock Itch. Also called, when on the foot, Athlete’s Foot. The irony is not lost on me. At this point in my life (or really any point in my life), Jock or Athlete are two words never used to describe me. And yes, women can also get Jock Itch. I know, I know, you hear Jock Itch and you instantly visualize toned football players in the locker room smacking each other’s asses. Not a 30-something mama of two with a muffin top sitting in her pajama bottoms writing a blog post on Jock Itch. But bikini line, groin, same thing. Same itch.

The Itch all started with some irritation in my bikini line that I attributed to razor rash. It seemed to mostly go away but would get itchy every now and then when I wore certain underwear. Fact – I need new underwear. Or to lose weight. Or, in the perfect world, BOTH. But because I refuse to buy underwear that could double as a sail, some of my undies are a little snug. So this cycle went on – I would think it was gone and then all of the sudden it would flare up and get really itchy! But then it was gone. So I didn’t think too much of it til it got itchy again.

Well, this last time, it was out of control itchy. Like, OMG-this-shit-is-itchy itchy. And then it started to burn. I decided this cannot be irritated razor rash. So I had to do secret internet research. Don’t want the kiddos to see any pictures that might pop up, don’t want the hubs to see me reading up on “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH MY CROTCH” (a very interesting and informative Google search, I assure you), and I certainly don’t want the creepy interwebs to start targeting me with advertisements about creams and vajayjay cleanses.

Based on my research, I determined it must be Jock Itch. It was only in my bikini line, which made me think it wouldn’t be a yeast infection, and it is winter here in Western New York, so there ain’t no air gettin’ up there. It is dark, and cozy, and warm. Apparently all things that Jock Itch likes. So I got some Jock Itch cream (for the hubs of course), and, let me tell you, nearly INSTANT relief. So I do believe my self diagnosis is correct.  Who knew. But please, for the love of all things chocolate, can we come up with a better name for this than Jock Itch?

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Mexican Goulash | Dinnertime and the Livin’s Easy

I took this meal up a notch and made it my own tonight so it is time to share. This recipe is quick, easy and yummy plus uses only one pot. It is pasta plus taco. What could be better? Hopefully someday my picky eaters will like it, and it will be a family favorite (I am not holding my breath on the last part)!

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Mexican Goulash

One Pot Beef Taco Pasta

Mexican Goulash

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
1 package of taco seasoning, pick your heat
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels (I have also used canned corn, drained)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup taco sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
2 cups elbow noodles
Grated cheese, optional
Beans, optional

Instructions:

1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Once browned, add taco seasoning and stir to coat.

2. Add corn, salsa, taco sauce, diced tomatoes, water, and elbow noodles. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until noodles are the way you like to eat them. This always seems to take longer on my stove top.

3. If desired, add beans of choice and cheese. If you have a crowd that all loves black beans or pinto beans, I would add them with the other ingredients, otherwise heat before serving. Or add a dollop of refried beans on top, then stir it in – it is delicious. Weird looking but delicious.

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This is a great go-to meal if you are short on time, or just don’t feel like cooking. It is going to be a resident in my 2 week meal plans!

Recipe adapted from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts.

Ohhh, Baby I Love …. Strawberry Revolution Tiebacks

I love stuff. And I love supporting small businesses. So when I find stuff I love. Like can’t-live-without love, I have to share it. It would be mean of me not to, right? After all, kind is the new pretty according to one of my FAVE small businesses, Strawberry Revolution.

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Michelle, the face, brain and heart behind StrawRev is a genius. She won’t admit it, but she is. She has designed not only one perfect headband, the Studio Tieback, but recently released another that is now fighting for the Best Headband Ever award, the Boho Twist.

Let me start by telling you that I have never been able to wear headbands. I hated them, in fact. Besides needing to fix them a million times a day, they always gave me terrible headaches. But when I started my photography business, a hair tie wasn’t cutting it. The flyaways and falling pieces in my face drove me nuts. So. Finally, I broke down and tried one of these Studio Tiebacks my tog friends were raving about.

Oh. Em. Gee. I am now a collector. And they are a normal part of my new uniform as a work at home mama. I am telling you, if you have hair, you need to try one! No headaches and they stay in place all day long. Like all day. Like you forget they are there all day. Like I usually have a couple on my nightstand because I forget I have them on and go to bed.

Even better? Michelle has one of the biggest hearts I know. Proceeds from every sale are donated to help put an end to bullying. Her packaging makes you feel gooooood. And she had also designed fun shirts that every woman needs. They are soft and comfy, and have messages we can all relate to: “Mom Boss” “Kind is the New Pretty” “Coffee Makes Me a Better Person” and more!

Trust me when I say, you need Strawberry Revolution in your life. Go. Now. Treat yourself.

Best Headband Ever

 

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef | Dinnertime and the Livin’s Easy

Yesterday, I made the first dinner of my first 2-week meal plan. I went with a new recipe, added a few tweaks of my own and the result was pretty yummy and the hubs approved! Best part though? It was super easy to make!

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Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

Between 1 and 1.5 pounds of stew meat (I use the pre-cut stew meat because it is easier and, well, less gross)

1/3 cup corn starch

2 tablespoons olive oil

3-4 minced or pressed garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 cup soy sauce

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup brown sugar

Green onions, one bundle will more than do you

Instructions:

  1. Put the corn starch and garlic powder into a large zip lock bag, and give her a shake to mix. Add stew meat (if you don’t buy the pre-cut, cut it into strips or chunks first). Shake, rattle and roll until the meat is covered. Set aside.
  2. In your crock pot, mix together the olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, water and brown sugar until the brown sugar dissolves. This will seem like a LOT of soy sauce. With the little pouring device, it is almost painfully slow and you WILL question whether this is too much soy sauce. Just keep going.
  3. Add coated meat to crock pot, mix to coat meat with sauce. Put on top, and cook for 5-6 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high.
  4. Serve over rice, and top with some green onions, sliced.

Easy and tasty. My kind of recipe.

Recipe slightly tweaked from The Recipe Critic