My Numbers Are In …

Health Image … and they aren’t good. no

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in the position of needing to visit my family doctor because I was having a lot of pain in my right shoulder running up along my neck. I was concerned that I might be having disc related issues again, but thankfully, it turned out that it was just a muscular issue. *whew* I really did NOT want to have to go through that ordeal again like I did a few years ago.

While I was there, I mentioned to the doctor that I’ve been having more flare-ups with the gout in my left ankle, so she decided it would be a good idea to do a full blood panel work up since I haven’t had one since last November during a short hospital stay. She rudely ) reminded me that since I’m 50 now, it’s a good idea to have a complete physical every year, including blood work. So, one of the nurses came in and drew my blood and said they would have the results back in about a week.

Fast forward to this past Thursday. I got a voicemail letting me know my results were in and the doctor wasn’t very happy with them. I still need to go by and pick up a copy of the full results, but here’s the run-down of the numbers the doctor wasn’t happy about:

  • A1C: 6.0 (5.7 to 6.4 is considered pre-diabetic)
  • Cholesterol: 208 (normal is below 200 – still need to get my HDL/LDL numbers)
  • Triglycerides: 195 (normal is below 150)
  • Uric Acid: 6.9 (normal for women is 2.4 to 6.0)
  • Vitamin D: 25 (normal is 25 – 80)

What does all of this mean for me? Here’s the plan of action:

  • Prescription for Zyloprim (300mg) to help bring down my uric acid levels since I have already made multiple dietary changes (cutting down/out on red meat, oily fish, alcohol, mushrooms, etc.) to no avail.
  • Take an over-the-counter vitamin D supplement to help bring that number up a bit more.
  • Lose weight.
  • Get back to regular exercise, especially non-weight-bearing exercise (swimming, water aerobics, stationary bike, etc.) until my gout improves.
  • Cut out all sugary drinks (never drink those anyway), snacks, and desserts.
  • Cut out white flour/highly processed carbs and focus on eating plenty of soluble fiber.
  • Avoid fried foods, frozen dinners, processed lunch meats, etc.
  • Avoid fancy coffee drinks, smoothies, etc.

As you can see, I have a lot of little tweaks I need to make in my habits. Given both of my parents have Type 2 diabetes, that is NOT a road I want to travel. Hearing my numbers scared me … HARD! I want to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to get this under control without medication. It’s time for me to not only get back to basics, but to get deadly serious about making these changes. Given my age, I’m running out of time to do something about this before it’s too late. NOW is the time and I WILL do this!

Until next time …

melissayuku

Image courtesy of  pandpstock001 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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October Goals

October Goals
Holy cow! How on earth is it even possible that it’s already October?!! The older I get, the faster time seems to fly. Before you know it, we will be at the close of yet another year. Unbelievable!!

Since my life has slowly started to settle down (thank goodness!), and today is actually the first day of a new month, I thought this would be a really good time to get back into my old habit of setting monthly goals for myself. This used to be a regular routine for me, but once I went back to school, it just kind of fell by the wayside. It’s time to dust that old habit off and put it into action again! With that in mind, here are my October goals:

  • Food:  Follow the Simply Filling plan on Weight Watchers for  the entire month. I love that the Simply Filling plan focuses on eating mostly whole foods which is the direction I really want to go with my eating. I’ll use my weekly PointsPlus allowance for things cheese, sour cream, etc. because I refuse to eat the frankenfood fat-free versions of those because they’re full on chemicals and just tasty nasty.
  • Fitness: My activity goal for the month is to accumulate at least 50 miles of fitness walking. So, that doesn’t include any of the walking I register on my Fitbit from just moving through my day. This goal works out to an average of 1.6 miles per day which is about 30 minutes of walking at my current pace. This doesn’t mean I MUST walk every day. If I choose to skip a day, it just means I will have to make it up on another. I just want to hit a total of 50 miles by the end of the month.
  • Fun: Now that I don’t have homework hovering over my head all the time, I’ve really been getting back into my love of crafting. I’ve done some cross-stitching, crocheting, and knitting over the past few weeks and had forgotten just HOW much I enjoy it. It’s also a tremendous stress reliever for me. With that in mind, my goal is to get in at least four hours of crafting time per week. Since I can easily craft while watching TV, that’s when it will likely happen.

So, those are my goals for October. I could have easily set a LOT more, but decided it would be best to set small attainable goals to get me going again since it’s been so long since I’ve set monthly goals. When October is over, my plan is to recap how I did with meeting my goals for the month and then outline my goals for November.

One other quick tidbit of news before I go … as many of you know, I’ve attended the FitBloggin‘ conference a couple of times over the past three years. It’s an amazing weekend of fitness, learning more about the business of blogging, and just spending loads of fun with an amazing group of people. Roni, the conference organizer, began accepting speaker proposal ideas yesterday for FitBloggin’15 which will take place in Denver at the end of June. I decided to bite the bullet and shatter my comfort zone by submitting a proposal.

I had been working on my session idea for a couple of weeks knowing Roni would be opening things up for submissions soon, so when she announced yesterday that it was open, I did some last minute polishing and submitted my idea. Since the submission process is open for several weeks, I won’t know whether my idea is selected until sometime in December. I’ll just have to try and be patient until then. Did I mention patience isn’t really one of my virtues? lol Anyway, if you are so inclined, I would really appreciate some good thoughts, finger crossing, etc. for me. Thanks!

Until next time …

melissayuku

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Make a Splash with Enell Scuba Blue!

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, I’m thrilled to have been selected as one of 17 Ambassadors chosen to represent Enell Sports Bras. Having worn their bras for 12 years, I’m a major fan! With that in mind, I was super excited to learn they were going to release a new LIMITED EDITION color this month. While I love their staple colors (white, ecru, black, and pink), there’s just something really fun about having a splash of color in a high quality sports bra. That’s where their Limited edition colors come in! The new color was unveiled late yesterday via the Enell website, so may I introduce … SCUBA BLUE!

Enell Scuba Blue
How cute is that with the black pants?! The new color was voted on by customers & retailers on the Enell website. Being a Tennessee girl, I was kind of hoping for the Orange Popsicle color (Go Vols!), but Scuba Blue was definitely another of my favorite choices as well, so I’m still happy. )

Scuba Blue has already been quite popular with retailers who have been placing lots of orders for it. So, if you’re interested in having one, you might want to pick one up sooner rather than later since this is a Limited Edition color. Once supplies are gone, they’re gone for good.

I received a preview of this gorgeous new color last week as part of my initial Ambassador package. I can’t wait to take it for a spin during a workout, but wanted to wait until I could share about it on my blog before sweating it all up. )

Enell Ambassador Package
Not only did we receive the new bra, we received some awesome Ambassador clothing items as well. There was a hat, t-shirt, and jacket which are all made from performance fabrics. They’ll be great to wear at races this fall! They also threw in a couple sample packets of Soak Wash made specifically for no rinse washing, so it’s the perfect companion for taking care of not only your Enell bra, but any other hand-wash items you might have such as handknits, swimwear, or fine delicates.

If you are interested in more information about the new Enell Scuba Blue bra, check out the new color announcement post on their blog. The post also includes a list of retailers (both online and retails locations) that are carrying the new color, so be sure to check that out as well.

Do you currently wear Enell bras? Whether you do or not, are you excited about the new color option? Please leave me a comment below and share your thoughts!

Until next time …

melissayuku

Disclaimer: I received the clothing items shown in the photograph above as part of my participation in the Enell Ambassador program. I received no other form of monetary compensation. As always, all opinions are entirely my own.

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My Suicide Story (RIP Robin Williams)

Being a worker bee class person, most celebrity deaths don’t really impact my day-to-day life. The only ones that really have are celebrities that I had the pleasure of meeting during my nine years working in the music industry in Nashville. That was mostly because I felt a personal (albeit very small) connection with them.

There are only two other celebrity deaths that I really remember hitting me hard. The first was the murder of John Lennon in 1980 because I idolized him. The second was the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman earlier this year which I wrote about at the time of his death. Sadly, I will now be adding a third celebrity death to that list – Robin Williams.

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard/read about the suicide death of Robin yesterday. It was all over my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds last night after I got home from work. To say it hit me hard would be a massive understatement. I finally just had to log out on all of my social media channels because I simply couldn’t process his death and read the things people were writing.

Robin Williams
The reason his death caused such a dramatic reaction in me is that one of Robin’s movies is directly tied to my own suicide attempt in 1998. Fortunately, unlike Robin, I did not succeed.

Now, I’m sure some of you are aghast that I just shared that little tidbit about my life. Yes, I tried to commit suicide. We don’t talk about mental health issues in this country, much less our own(!), due to the stigma that goes along with it. Unless some of us start to change that narrative, we will continue down this path which doesn’t help anyone, especially those dealing with their own mental health issues. So, grab some popcorn and strap in for the ride. Here we go …

I spent several weeks in the late summer of 1998 dealing with severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression because I began to have PTSD flashbacks (both while sleeping and awake) to the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. I was in therapy a couple of times per week, but things didn’t seem to be getting better. In fact, they were getting worse. I went out on disability from my job and things got to the point that I didn’t really want to leave the apartment because the fear of having a panic attack in public was just too overwhelming for me. I was quickly losing the ability to cope with the most basic tasks of day-to-day life.

I was married and my then husband (who battled his own mental health issues due to being a bipolar recovering alcoholic) decided it would be a good idea to try and get me out of the house. He convinced me to go to a movie with him using the argument that it was a weekday matinee so the theater would likely be pretty empty anyway and besides that, it would be dark in the theater so if I did start having a panic attack, we could quietly slip out and no one would realize what was going on. I reluctantly agreed and off we went.

When we got to the theater, my ex asked what I wanted to see and I told him I truly didn’t care and to just pick whatever he wanted to see. In what can only be classified as the worst possible choice ever, he selected “What Dreams May Come.” If you aren’t familiar with the movie, you can read the late Roger Ebert’s synopsis and review here.

Despite making it through the movie without having a full blown panic attack, the whole story line of the movie just left me feeling very ill at ease and pretty agitated. In hindsight, given I was dealing with my own mental health issues, watching a movie about a woman who is depressed and commits suicide probably wasn’t the best thing for me to be seeing at the time. Add in the whole religious heaven/hell component which was another struggle I was dealing with at that point in my life (another story for another day), it was just all too much for my fragile psyche.

After we got home, my ex decided to go out to run a few errands and pick up some dinner for us. While he was gone, I had a complete mental break and decided I just couldn’t live with the pain any longer. I found the bottles of psychotropic drugs prescribed for my depression and anxiety (he wisely kept them hidden from me, but clearly not hidden well enough since I quickly found them) and I took them all. By the time he returned home, I was pretty out of it and well on my way to going to sleep forever. He called 9-1-1 and I was rushed to the hospital where my stomach was pumped. I survived. However, the story doesn’t end there.

Upon my release from the hospital, I was “escorted” by the police to a local mental health facility where I was held on a 5150 hold for 72 hours for evaluation. That was my first of three involuntary stays over a period of three months, the longest lasting for 20 days for intensive in-patient treatment due to the recurring suicidal ideations I was having. What followed was several months of daily outpatient treatment which was gradually decreased over time to weekly sessions. I was finally able to return to work about a year after being put on disability, but I continued the weekly therapy sessions for another two years after that.

So, while I never knew or met Robin Williams personally, his death yesterday touched me deeply due to how his role in “What Dreams May Come” has always played a major part in my own past. Even now, 16 years later, it’s impossible for me to hear a reference to that movie without thinking of my own suicide attempt and being so thankful that I didn’t succeed in my effort to end my life. It just all kind of came full circle for me emotionally when I learned that he had chosen to end his own life, likely due to his own on-going battles with addiction and depression. I suddenly felt even more connected to him than I ever had in the past.

While I know suicide, and mental health in general, is never an easy topic to discuss, it’s an important one. For someone who has never experienced it themselves or had a loved one battling depression, it’s very easy to throw out the typical platitudes such as suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, why didn’t the person just reach out to someone if things were that bad, suicide is the ultimate act of selfishness, etc. Having been there, I can tell you it’s just simply not that easy nor that cut & dry.

When one is in the deepest throes of depression, sometimes reaching out isn’t an option. The disease keeps one mired in a place where they physically, emotionally, and mentally can’t reach out because they’re just shut down. Accordingly, it also puts one in a place where the ability to parse what is permanent and what is temporary simply doesn’t exist. Depression convinces you that everything is just bad, it’s always going to bad, and nothing will ever change. People who commit suicide don’t do it because they’re selfish and don’t care about their loved ones. They do it because they simply want the pain to end. That’s the mind of depression. I know because it’s exactly how I felt for months on end.

If you are reading this and are struggling with depression, please know that I’m rooting for you. If you are in a place where you can reach out to someone, please do. There is help and it does get better. If you aren’t in a place mentally or emotionally where you can ask for help for yourself, my hope is that there is someone in your life who loves you enough to get you the help you need and that you will be open to receiving it. My journey back to mental wellness wasn’t an easy one and there were many times I wanted to just quit and give up. In the end, I’m so glad I didn’t. Over time, and with lots of treatment and therapy, I made it through to the other side. Life is good again and my hope that you will find that path, too.

For those of you who have a loved one that you think may be dealing with depression, please check out this information for the signs of depression and what you can do to help your loved one. If you’re still unsure, speak with your loved one’s physician or a mental health provider. It’s better to reach out and be wrong, than to remain in silence as your loved one suffers.

Finally, to Robin — your spark and talent will be greatly missed in this world. Your family and friends are in my thoughts as they come to terms with your choice and their loss. May you rest in peace.

Until next time …

melissayuku

 

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Friday Fitness: Time to Move!

Friday Fitness
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve done a Friday Fitness post, so I figured it’s well past time for an update on where I’m at and what I’ve been doing. I’ve still be plugging away with walking, getting in an occasional yoga practice, riding the stationary bike, etc. Ultimately though, I realized I was letting myself get into a bit of a fitness rut. Well, August is definitely going to change that!

Enell Ambassador Logo
First up, I have some very exciting news. I found out yesterday that I was selected as one of the new ambassadors for Enell! I am a LONG time fan of their sports bras, so I’m super excited to be representing them now as an Ambassador. I bought my first Enell bra back in 2003 and I’ve been wearing them to workout in and for 5k races ever since. If you have big boobs, an Enell bra is a must, in my opinion.

The next two bits of fitness related news I have kind of go hand-in-hand.

#MyDaily10Mins   PiYo
First, I was cruising through some of my various social media outlets and I spotted an idea from Dawn over at FitDawn that definitely intrigued me.  She set a goal to do at least 10 minutes of exercise per day for the entire month of August. So many times, for me at least, when I see fitness streak challenges on social media, they are just too overwhelming for me, but 10 minutes a day? I can totally do that, so I’m in! I have some specific workouts in mind to help me reach my goal (more on that in a minute), but if all else fails, I can just work in a 10 minute #wycwyc walk somewhere throughout my day. If you’re interested in playing along, you can check out her blog post here and then join in on Twitter and Instagram to interact with other participants using the #MyDaily10Mins hashtag.

One of the ways that I’ll be using to get in some of my activity will be with the new PiYo DVD set that came out recently. If you’ve ever been too intimated to try a PiYo class at the gym, or don’t have a gym membership, now you can do PiYo at home! If you aren’t familiar with PiYo, it’s a fusion of yoga and pilates that incorporates cardio, flexibility, and strength training all in a single workout. It’s high intensity, yet low impact. It was developed by Chalene Johnson, she of the TurboJam/TurboFire fame. As with all of her workouts, there are also plenty of modification included along the way so anyone at any fitness level can follow the program. I’ll be doing my first workout of the set today and I’m really looking forward to it! My Weight Watchers pal, Nanci, who blogs at The Crazy Life of Mine, also happens to be a Beachbody coach, so I ordered my set through her. They’re even running free shipping for a limited time!

So, my August is definitely going to be all about moving more! I can’t wait to track my progress on my new Misfit Shine activity tracker! I’ll be posting a full review of the Shine, as well as a couple of the optional accessories for it, in the next week or 10 days.

What about you? What are your plans for staying active during August? Can/Will you commit to at least 10 minutes per day? Hit me up in the comments and let me know what you’ll be doing!

Until next time …

melissayuku

 

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I’m a Goal Digger (Goal Setting)

I’ve been floundering a bit lately in the motivation department. I’ll do well for a few days, and then I’ll fall off the proverbial wagon. Of course, all of this results in not really making any significant progress with my overall weight loss efforts. I’d been trying to come up with ways to get my motivation going again, but hadn’t really come up with a real plan of action. That all changed over the past few hours. I have a plan!

Goal Digger Challenge
It all started after reading an awesome “tough love: post recently from my pal Brooke talking about her own struggles lately. That post prompted her to create her new Goal Digger challenge which she posted about a few days ago. I downloaded the awesome printable she created and spent a little time thinking about it over the weekend, but never really came up with an actual plan of action.

Next, I read a post yesterday by my pal Carla talking about B.R.A.Z.E.N. goal setting. That rekindled my desire to come up with a definite plan of action for my own Goal Digger challenge, so I started jotting down some firm ideas in the Notes app on my iPhone.

The final straw in getting things committed to paper came tonight when reading the Goal Digger challenge posted by my pal Dacia. Once I saw her post, I printed out the chart that I had downloaded over the weekend, finalized my goals, and committed it to paper. To help hold myself accounts, I took a photo of the finished sheet immediately and posted it to Instagram because, you know, once it’s on the interwebs you have to do it, right?! lol

Even though I posted that same photo above, I’m going to write out my goals here as well. This will give me the ability to spell things out a bit more, too.

Daily Goals:

  • Track – That means good, bad, or ugly, what goes in my mouth gets put into my Weight Watchers tracker in eTools.
  • Water – Drink at least 48 oz of water and at least 80 oz of total fluids per day.
  • Move – I’ve gotten really lazy with my activity lately, so I need to ramp things back up again. My steps goal for week 1 will be an average of 5000 steps per day and I’ll increase that goal by 500 steps per day each subsequent week. So, by the end of week four, I should be consistently walking at least 6500-7000 steps per day. I’ll be tracking my steps on my new Misfit Shine fitness tracker.
  • Pack a Lunch – I need to get back into the habit of packing my lunch again during the week. By doing that, I have much more control over what I’m eating.

Weekly Goals:

  • Yoga – I really want to get back into the habit of doing yoga regularly again, too. Since I’ll be working on so many things during this challenge, my goal is to get in at least one 30 minute practice each week.
  • Weights – I know how important strength training is for me. It helps my joints and gets my very slow metabolism burning more. With that in mind, my goal is to get in at least two strength training sessions per week.
  • Weigh In – I’ve developed a bad habit of using the “no weigh in” pass far too often at Weight Watchers lately. I’ve still been attending my meeting faithfully each week, but sometimes I’ll go two or three weeks between actual weigh ins. During this challenge, I will weigh in EVERY week, regardless of what I think the scale might say.
  • Eating Out – This isn’t nearly as much as of a struggle as it used to be, but it’s started creeping back in a bit more. During this challenge, I plan to limit myself to eating out no more than two meals per week. That means I’ll be preparing just over 90% of my meals at home.

Monthly Goals:

  • Walk a 5k – This is something I’ve already been doing on a monthly basis anyway, so this goal is mostly to just keep that streak alive and going.
  • New Recipe – Since I’ll be preparing so many of my meals at home, this is obviously a great opportunity to try at least one new recipe. Trying new things helps keep my eating from getting into a rut of just eating the same stuff all the time.

Reward:

If you noticed, there isn’t anything filled in yet in the Reward section on my challenge sheet. It’s not that I don’t plan to reward myself if I meet my goals. It’s just that I haven’t decided on what that reward will be yet. I’ll definitely give it more thought over the 30 days of the challenge and will share what my reward will be when I make the final decision.

Since I don’t really know yet what I what to have as a reward, feel free to throw out some ideas! Just leave your ideas in the comments.

Until next time …

melissayuku

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Chicken Salad with Blue Diamond Almonds

As you know, I recently became a member of the Blue Diamond Tastemakers blogger network. As part of that program, they recently sent me tasty treats including a canister of Whole Natural almonds and a canister of Rosemary & Black Pepper almonds. The challenge was to figure out a way to work them a summer recipe or entertaining idea. Given rosemary and chicken go together so well, I thought using the Rosemary & Black Pepper almonds in some chicken salad would be a match made in heaven … and it was! Check out my finished product.

Chicken Salad
As you can see, I opted to make mine into a sandwich on some toasted wheat bread and paired it with some baby carrots and fresh cherries. It was an awesome lunch and was only 7 PointsPlus for my Weight Watchers plan — 4 PointsPlus for 1/2 cup of the chicken salad and 3 PointsPlus for the bread. The carrots and cherries were 0 PointsPlus.

Of course, this chicken salad would work great for summer entertaining, too. It could easily be served in a lettuce leaf as a lettuce wrap or used to top an artisan cracker. I think this recipe would be awesome finger food for a summer pool party or BBQ.

So, are you ready to give it a try? Here’s what you’ll need (note: a full/printable recipe follows at the end of this post):

Chicken Salad Ingredients
The first order of business is to chop the almonds. You could do this in a mini food chopper or nut grinder, but I just did it with a knife since it was a small quantity.

Chopped Almonds
Next, drain the chicken and place it into a medium-sized bowl. Shred it a bit with a fork to break up the chunks. Add the onions, celery, and chopped almonds then mix well to combine.

Time-saving Tip: If you’re like me, you probably use onions and celery quite often when cooking. Dice up some of each after doing the weekly grocery shopping and put them in the fridge in an airtight container. That saves time during the week because you won’t have to chop some every time you need them. Not to mention the fact it means you only have to cry once from chopping onions. )

Chicken Salad Prep
Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, and salt. Stir well or whisk until combined and smooth.

Chicken Salad Prep
Pour the mayo mixture over the chicken mixture.

Chicken Salad Prep
Stir well until all of the chicken mixture is coated with the mayo mixture.

Chicken Salad with Almonds
That’s it! It’s quick, easy, and best of all, tasty! The Rosemary & Black Pepper almonds add not only a nice crunch to the recipe, but a nice punch of flavor, too. It still tastes like a typical chicken salad, but with just that little something extra. Given how much I love chicken salad, this is definitely something I will be making again … a lot! lol

 

Chicken Salad with Blue Diamond Almonds
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 7 oz. Valley Fresh 100% Natural White Chicken Cuts, drained
  • ⅔ oz. Blue Diamond Rosemary & Black Pepper Almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup onions, finely diced
  • ¼ cup celery, finely diced
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • Pinch kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, shred the chicken pieces with a fork to break up the chunks. Add the onions, celery, and almonds. Mix well to combine and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, and salt. Stir or whisk until blended and smooth. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the chicken mixture. Stir together until the chicken mixture is coated with the mayonnaise mixture. This recipe can be served immediately or refrigerated until ready to serve.
Notes
Nutritional information calculated at http://recipes.sparkpeople.com
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 170 Fat: 9 Saturated fat: 1 Carbohydrates: 4 Sodium: 580 Fiber: 1 Protein: 19 Cholesterol: 35

Until next time …

melissayuku

Disclaimer: I received complimentary products from Blue Diamond for the purposes of this post. As always, all opinions are entirely my own.

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Summer Fun with Blue Diamond

Blue Diamond Logo
Recently, the nice folks over at Blue Diamond invited me to become part of their new blogger network, Tastemakers. I love Blue Diamond products and you can regularly find their 100 calorie packs (3 PointsPlus value for those on Weight Watchers) and a carton of the Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (1 PointsPlus value per cup) in my kitchen. Both products are definitely staples for me, so I’m really excited to be working with Blue Diamond and learning more about their full line of products along the way.

Blue Diamond Summer Fun
The first products I received were part of their Summer Fun project. I received a canister of Toasted Coconut Almonds and a bag of Blueberry Almonds. Since they are such an awesome snack food, I decided they would be a perfect pre-cookout snack when I had a couple of neighbors over recently. They were the perfect healthy nosh while we waited for the grill to heat up to cook dinner.

Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut
I was first introduced to their Toasted Coconut Almonds one year ago when I attended the annual FitBloggin’ conference in Portland. They were a HUGE hit among the conference attendees, myself included! If you are a fan of coconut, I have no doubt you will enjoy these. You definitely get the wonderful coconut flavor without having it completely overwhelm the flavor of the almond. It’s an awesome combination! For those on Weight Watchers, they’re 5 PointsPlus value per one ounce serving (about 28 nuts).

Blue Diamond Blueberry Almonds
I had never tried the Blueberry Almonds before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I knew I liked having fresh blueberries and almonds with my morning yogurt, but I wasn’t sure if I would like blueberry-flavored almonds. Well, I did! They were incredibly delicious! I liked them so much that when the bag they sent me to try was empty, I went out and bought more. For those on Weight Watchers, the blueberry flavor is 4 PointsPlus value per ounce (about 24 nuts).

All in all, both of these products were a major hit, not just to me, but to my guests as well. They were a great crunchy pre-meal snack that were definitely a lot healthier than chips!

Until next time …

melissayuku

Disclosure: I received complimentary products from Blue Diamond as part of the Tastemakers program for the purposes of this blog post. All opinions are entirely my own.

 

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Weekly Weigh In & Good Eats

Weekly Weigh In
 As you may remember from my previous post, I decided to do a reset on my weight tracker at Weight Watchers. I truly believe that was the mental shift I needed to get myself back on track. In fact, I was down 4.4 pounds this week at my weekly weigh in. w00t!!

Weekly Weigh In
It feels so awesome to be making forward progress and working toward my goals. Part of that obviously includes healthy eating and I’ve definitely be doing that! Here are just some samples of the things I’ve been eating over the past couple of weeks.

Salmon with roasted potatoes and sauteed green beans  – 10 PointsPlus

Salmon
Skinny Quinoa Skillet Supper from skinnyms.com (click this link for the recipe) – 5 PointsPlus

Skinny Quinoa Skillet Supper
I discovered a couple of new flavors of Yoplait Greek 100 yogurt. (Side note: a little birdie told me on Twitter that there would be more new flavors coming soon!) They were both really yummy, but the Boston Cream Pie was definitely my favorite of the two. 2 PointsPlus

Yoplait Greek 100 Boston Cream Pie
Yoplait Greek 100 Tempting Blueberry Tart
I made a plan of attack for Memorial Day to make sure I didn’t go off track. The plan began with hitting the grocery store and stocking up on lots of healthy food.

Grocery Haul
Stocking up on all of those wonderful foods turned into this great Memorial Day meal – 9 PointsPlus

Memorial Day Weight Watchers Meal
I got the recipe for the coleslaw last year from my friend Tracy. It’s awesome! If anyone is interested in the recipe, you can find it here posted on my Facebook page.

Of course, now that summer is upon us, you know what that means … watermelon season! My favorite time of the year when it comes to fruit. )

Watermelon
Of course, there’s more to weight loss than just healthy eating. There has to be some activity involved as well, right?! My activity levels have definitely been down since getting home from vacation because I’ve been dealing with a case of bronchitis. I didn’t let that stop me though, I just slowed things down a bit and listened to my body. Part of my recent activity has included a couple of virtual events with Jost Running. I walked the Brave New World 5k and, since I wasn’t up to walking a progressive half marathon, I opted to put in my miles on the stationary bike instead.

Brave New Route 5k
Brave New Route Half Marathon
So, that’s the recap of how things have been going for me lately. I know some other folks left comments here and on my Facebook page saying they thought they would pull a reset as well. If so, how are things going for you? Hit me up in the comments below.

Until next time …

melissayuku

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Fuck Perfect!

So, this happened last night.

Maximize Your Life
I will preface this post by saying it isn’t going to be a full review/recap of the Maximize Your Life show. I’ll do that in another post soon. Even though this isn’t a full review, I will say this … the show was AWESOME! Jillian was so warm and personable … and FUNNY! Even though there was a LOT of information being thrown at us, she found plenty of opportunities to keep us laughing.

Jillian Michaels
The purpose of post is to share my thoughts about the biggest lesson I took away from the show last night. It hit me HARD and I haven’t stopped thinking about  it since, other than when I slept.

In the latter part of the show, Jillian spent time talking about fear. She talked about how fear holds most people back and mires us in thoughts of “how dare I” rather than thinking “why not me” and pursuing our true dreams. She went on to talk about how fear is only temporary, but regret is permanent. It was definitely very inspiring to hear, but not necessarily something I hadn’t heard before either.

Finally, Jillian started talking about perfectionism. This is the part where I admit … again … that I really struggle with the whole perfectionism thing. It’s the whole “all or nothing” mentality that holds me back in so many ways. It causes my competitive nature to rear its ugly head with thoughts of, “If I can’t be the best at this, then why bother?” For example, when I start seriously focusing on exercise, in my mind, that means I need to go out and train for a marathon or something because I have this internal drive that I have to go balls to the wall with anything I do in life. My thought process goes something like if my friends are running marathons, triathlons, etc., then that’s what I need to do in order to be successful with exercise.

As Jillian is talking, I’m processing all of this in my head while still trying to focus on what she’s saying. As all this is going on, she made a statement that mentally hit me like a two by four to the brain.

Fuck Perfect
The first sentence perfectly sums up where I’ve been with my whole weight loss effort over the past few years. Having been so successful on Weight Watchers 10 years ago by losing nearly 140 pounds and then gaining 100 of it back, I definitely let my shame of feeling like a failure hold me back now. There is the fear that if I start losing weight again that people will quietly judge me and whisper things like, “I wonder how long she’ll keep it off this time.” Even within myself, I have thought of wondering why I even bother because I’ll probably just gain it all back again anyway.

The cycle of all those types of thoughts, coupled with my perfectionism, have been a deadly combination for trying to move forward with my weight loss. If I have some type of treat, rather than accounting for it in my daily points target or weekly points allowance, I just throw in the towel. I end up just eating off the rails for the rest of the day … or sometimes longer.

After spending several hours now thinking about this whole concept, I’ve come to realize that I’ve been punishing myself for … being human. I’ll NEVER be a perfect eater or exerciser. I’ll NEVER follow my Weight Watchers food plan 100% every single day for the rest of my life. It’s time to stop beating myself up for not because perfect, because there’s no such thing. Fuck perfect!

Starting Over
With all this in mind, I’ve decided to just start over, but with a new attitude. I know it won’t be easy because I have 50 years of experience at being a perfectionist. For my friends in real life who read my blog, if you see me falling into my old “all or nothing” mentality with my eating and exercise plan, please call me on my bullshit! I desperately need to break this habit if I’m ever going to find success. Thanks!

Until next time …

melissayuku

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