Monday Meal Prep: Mahi Mahi Veggie Ramen “Bowls”

Thanks to the crockpot meals I put together last weekend, I still have dinner food for this work week– that means time for lunch prep this week! I’m trying to get back into a consistent exercise schedule, but with my job duties (which are increasingly eating up more personal time), learning Spanish, taking care of my dogs, keeping my house clean and husband fed, not to mention keeping up with this blog– it’s hard!

Nevertheless, I will always make time for weekly meal prep because it allows me to know exactly what I’m putting in my body and prevent weight gain, even when I don’t have time to exercise often. Diet is 80% of the battle, and if that part is squared away, then you continue to look and feel good!

On the lunch menu this week is a lovely concoction of Mahi Mahi marinated in garlic and ginger sauce, steamed Asian veggie medley, millet & brown rice ramen, and pot stickers. I call it the Mahi Mahi Veggie Ramen “Bowl”:

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I found this item at Costco a few weeks ago and thought it would be a great change from the usual brown rice that I include in my lunches. I also haven’t eaten ramen since I was overweight and in college, but this version is definitely much healthier. Hence why I bought it!

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Once I set the fish to bake, I steamed about 5 cups of veggies– I’ll be honest, I eyeballed the amount for four equal-sized portions.

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Immediately after setting the veggies to steam, I boiled some water, then dropped the ramen in when my veggies had about 7 minutes to go. This particular kind of ramen cooks VERY fast!

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Next up was the Pot Stickers! I wish I could take credit for hand-making these, but it was from Costco. This item is not whole grain, but it carries quite a bit of protein with each piece. Each potsticker is about 52 calories, and I included 2 in each lunch container. The rest were for my husband to snack on.

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And that’s basically it! Just dress up with some soy sauce or Sriracha and this is a delicious, healthy lunch. As you can see, I’m a big fan of Costco’s frozen organic produce and miscellaneous organic items. It makes meal prep a breeze… these four portions took me less than an hour to put together. Even my lunch containers are from Costco!

Hope this gave someone a good lunch prep idea! Approximate numbers: 350 calories, 30g protein

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A Fun Way to Learn Another Language / Una divertida manera de aprender otro idioma

In January, I wrote here about finally buckling down and increasing my Spanish proficiency for personal and professional reasons. My dad is a native Spanish speaker and my mom quickly picked up the language when they were married in the 1970s. Growing up in South Texas, I picked up a few phrases and important words, but the language simply wasn’t spoken very much at home… so I became resigned about being able to ever learn Spanish. About 80% of the country only speaks one language, and for most of my life, I was okay with being part of that majority.

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Mis padres (en el centro) en su dia de boda

Until now. The truth is, that it’s never too late to learn a second language. Kids do pick up languages faster than adults, but a big reason for this is that kids learn by babbling and speaking with whatever words they know. Adults obsess over correct verb conjugations and grammar rules in the target language, so it takes much longer for them to get comfortable with speaking.

I practice daily in different ways, but the most fun way is by listening and studying MUSIC! I complete lyric studies of my favorite Spanish songs — songs that I don’t mind listening to over and over — by studying the Spanish words and translating them into English.

Mira esto:

 

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La Tortura – This one took a while, because it’s super fast!

 

 

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Tu, by Shakira. This song is perfect for beginners!

 

Spanish movies and shows are great, but I find studying music so much more enjoyable. As an added bonus, it’s slower and easier to listen for individual parts than the rapid spoken Spanish on TV. I created a Spanish playlist in Spotify that I use with these lyrics studies. Right now I am listening to:

  1. A lot of Jarabe de Palo
  2. Shakira – though a lot of her music is pretty fast
  3. Selena, because, why not? She is the Queen of Tejano.

It’s also important to mention that I don’t just listen to these songs. Once I’ve heard the song once or twice, I sing along. Singing the words makes me feel more comfortable with correct pronunciation and rhythm. Yesterday I was listening to a recommended Spanish playlist on Spotify, and came across this beautiful gem covered from a 1960s love ballad from Argentina. It’s the latest song I’ve studied and sang out loud.

I have a tab dedicated to lyric studies in my Spanish Learning Binder:

 

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Mi Carpeta (binder). It has cheat sheets and sections for verb conjugation practice, reading exercises, etc.

As I dedicate more time and effort to increasing my Spanish proficiency, my vocabulary improves by the day. As vocabulary improves, speaking improves. It’s still a long road to fluency, but practice will help me get there!

Con amor,

 

Eva

 

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My Secret for Weight Maintenance: Daily Breakfast Smoothies

My only regret during my weight loss journey was that I didn’t discover the breakfast protein smoothie sooner. While I managed to lose plenty of weight without drinking a smoothie every morning, protein smoothies have been my secret weapon for keeping my weight consistent these past 3 years. When times get so busy that I’m not able to exercise for days or even weeks, I have managed to maintain a steady, lean 120 lbs – – largely due to these awesome smoothies!

I’d recommend at least one smoothie a day for breakfast to anyone looking to 1) lose weight, 2) maintain a certain weight/size, or 3) have a healthy, easy breakfast option on the go. People at work who see me drinking my smoothies often ask me how I decide what to put in them, how to make it, etc. The truth is: there is nothing to it! ANYONE can prep these over the weekend and have them ready to dump into a blender during the work week.

NOTE: These portions are for 2 smoothies each, since I drink these smoothies with my husband daily.

Step one: Protein + Fiber

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A big reason why these smoothies are so effective at weight loss/weight maintenance is that they are chock full of protein, which encourages muscle growth (supplemented with a weight training routine, of course) and prevents muscle loss. For those of you who are not big on Whey Protein, you can also use Plain, non-fat Greek Yogurt — though the smoothie will taste less sweet.

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The fiber and additional protein comes in the form of Flax seed (2 tablespoons) and Chia seed (1 tablespoon). Both are of filling fiber, which will keep your appetite at bay until you are ready for a mid-morning snack. Both are also full of Omega 3 fatty acids, which is amazing for fat burning– among many other health benefits!

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These have been the products I’ve used in my smoothies since this tradition began three years ago. All of these were purchased at Costco! The chia seed I purchased in bulk when it was on sale for $6 a bag, and the Flax seed runs at about $7. This particular brand of whey protein has the perfect protein/carbohydrate ratio and tastes great. One giant bag is about $35 at Costco, but will last us at least 2 months.

Step 2: Fruits + Veggies

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This is the basic combination of produce my husband enjoys. I will often alternate my fruits by the week. For example:

Week 1: frozen strawberries + spinach + banana

Week 2: blackberry/raspberry blend + spinach + banana

Week 3: mango + spinach + bananas

Some form of greens, whether it is spinach or spinach/kale, is a non-negotiable. I aim to get at least 3-4 servings of greens in each gallon-sized zip lock back, just in case I don’t get a ton of veggies in that day. The bananas are equally important, because without them, the texture and taste of the smoothie just isn’t the same. Plus, bananas add additional fiber and potassium. If a banana is browning, I may dice it up and include it in the gallon-sized zip lock bag. If bananas are perfectly yellow, I will typically add them into the smoothie the morning of.

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Step 3: Putting it all together

In the morning, these smoothies take me a grand total of 3 minutes to put together, because I’ve already put everything together over the weekend. Now it’s just a matter of dumping the protein + fiber bag and the fruits + veggies bag into my Blender Ninja, then adding either almond milk or coconut water (24-32oz, though I usually eyeball the right amount). I serve into two big cups and breakfast is served!

I drink my smoothie between 7-8am, and it’s so filling that I’m usually not hungry again until 11am or close to noon. I usually pack a protein car as a mid-morning snack just in case, but a lot of times the hunger just doesn’t kick in or I’ll forget.

Hope you’ll enjoy, if you haven’t already gotten into a daily smoothie routine of your own!

Approximate calories/protein/carbs per serving:

330 calories; 35g protein; 35g carbohydrates

 

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Four Awesome Crockpot Meals

…in 1 hour, for less than $25!

In my case, these meals didn’t cost anything because I was in the process of clearing out my pantry and freezer. I whipped up these four meals, each good for at least 1-2 days between two people, in about 1 hour this morning.

For quicker cooking, you’ll want to dice and slice up all your produce prior to putting together any meals. At this time, label your gallon-sized freezer bags like so:

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Let’s begin with recipe #1: Italian Chicken

Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts, 1 packet dry Italian dressing, 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, 1 can of cream of chicken soup (I used a reduced fat version), approximately 3 cups of frozen or fresh green beans – optional

Directions: Umm… there really aren’t any. Simply put all the above mentioned ingredients together and seal! When it’s time to cook, leave in the Crockpot for 8 hours on low.

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Recipe #2: Spicy Beef Chili

Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef (thawed), 2 cans beans (I used two cans of black beans, because that’s what I had, but you can use kidney beans as well… or one of each!), 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, 1 8 oz can tomato sauce, 1 chopped bell pepper, 2 tb minced garlic, 2tb chili powder, 1 tb cayenne pepper, salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Cook the ground beef by stove top and mix in with chili powder, cayenne pepper, regular salt and pepper

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2. Cool beef. Place in gallon-sized zip lock bag with remaining ingredients.

3. On Crockpot day, cook for 8 hours on low.


Recipe #3: Portobello Chicken Stroganoff

Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts, about 3 cups of chopped portobello mushrooms, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper, veggie of choice (I used frozen organic green beans again)

Directions: Just like the Italian chicken, this one is pretty straight forward. Place the ingredients in the bag and that’s about it. After cooking in the crockpot, top with egg noodles or some other pasta. Cook for 8 hours on low.


Recipe #4: Healthy Meat Loaf

Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef (thawed), 1/2 cup almond milk (regular milk is fine too), 2 cups panko bread crumbs, 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, 1 teaspoon sage, ketchup and/or BBQ sauce. 1 chopped onion is optional… I didn’t have onions on hand.

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl

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2. Form into 1-2 loafs with your hands, and place in ziplock bag

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3. I had extra mushrooms left over from the Portobello Chicken, so I topped these loaves with the leftover mushroom. When it’s time to cook these babies, I will top the entire dish with about 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce and 1/2 cup ketchup.

4. Cook in Crockpot for 8 hours on low.

And ta-da, that’s it!

4 Crockpot Meals

Each of these meals will last 2 days in our household. That’s 8 days of dinner I don’t have to worry about. By putting these meals together simultaneously,  I’m also saving myself at least 3-4 hours I would otherwise spend making these dinners on the day of. I’m also saving at least $75-100 this week since we won’t be eating out!

Even if you’re not a health enthusiast like I am, every one can benefit from the time and money-saving rewards of Crockpot meals. There will be more recipes to come!

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Current Status & 5 Key Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss

If you know me or have taken time to read through the few posts on this blog, you’ve probably figured out that losing 40 lbs and keeping it off is one of my proudest accomplishments. People who find out about my transformation always ask, “How did you do it?” as though they expect me to tell them about a secret pill or trick. I explain that I achieved my initial goal of losing 20 lbs through healthy eating and exercise, but that fitness eventually became a passion of mine — a lifestyle change that I have stuck with to this day. I’m writing this blog so I can share some nuggets of wisdom that allowed me to not only lose the weight, but keep it off for several years and counting.

#1: Get out of the “diet” mindset. Weight loss is only sustainable if you stop approaching everything as temporary. Living off a “diet” of broccoli and chicken breast will only last a couple weeks before you are ready to return to your old eating habits. Begin with making small sacrifices you can actually commit to, such as limiting the amount of fast food you eat or giving up sweets or alcohol (which is a killer for your fitness, btw). Once you’re ready for more, draft up a menu that meets your caloric needs (see #4) while still being appetizing to you. Over time, your body will stop craving unhealthy foods.

#2: Accept the reality that weight loss is 80% diet. Sure, there are some people out there who are blessed to eat whatever they want and still lose weight if they exercise. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people… nor is a majority of the population. Stop justifying eating greasy, fatty, sugary foods, or drinking alcohol because “it’s Friday” or “because I deserve it.” It’s okay to have a cheat meal every now and then, but you will never train your body to crave healthy foods if you are constantly justifying reasons to eat unhealthily. Set a goal to have a cheat meal once a week and stick with it.

#3: The type of exercise you do is important. If you are already significantly overweight, cardio + healthy eating will go a LONG way. I lost the first 20 lbs simply by using an elliptical and/or treadmill for about 45 mins each day. Once I reached about 130 lbs, taking off additional fat became a lot harder without sacrificing muscle. Steady state cardio will only take you so far before HIIT (high intensity interval training) becomes necessary. If you are only moderately overweight or just looking to shed a couple pounds of fat, HIIT + weight training will be your best friend. I do not recommend weight training alone if you are significantly overweight, unless you just really enjoy it and are willing to wait longer to see results. In either case, I also recommend finding out your body fat % and writing it down for comparison each month. You can find your approximate body fat percentage by using calipers or by using a body fat monitor.

body fat chartFitness101.com

#4: Track your calories and meal prep! Piggybacking off my comments regarding 80% diet, tracking of calories is a necessary evil in order to create the calorie deficit needed for weight loss. I tracked calories using the free MyFitnessPal app for the first year of my fitness journey, and it truly paid off. If you are unsure how many calories you need to in order to lose weight, see this nifty calorie deficit calculator.

Prepping your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners ahead of time makes it easier to reach your target weight. It’s also less expensive than eating out, so what do you have to lose? Here is an example of what I eat in a day, while in fat-burning/muscle-building mode:

Breakfast: Protein strawberry + banana + spinach smoothie with almond milk – 300 calories, 30g protein

Mid-morning snack: Protein bar(s) – Approximately 200 calories, 10g to 20g protein

Lunch: Salad, sandwich, or burrito bowl – Approximately 500 calories, 20-25g protein

Post-workout: Protein smoothie – 300 calories, 30g protein

Dinner: Crockpot meal with some kind of protein + veggies + complex carbohydrates – 500 calories, 30g protein

Dessert, optional: Greek yogurt with cherries (if I worked out that day) – 150 calories, 20g protein

Approximately 2,000 calories; PROTEIN: 150g

Granted, this diet would be one that I follow if I am trying to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. If I was overweight and had a more significant amount of fat to lose, I’d scale the calories back to 1,500 but aim to consume as much protein as possible. Protein will keep you fuller longer, and prevent any unnecessary muscle loss.

#5. Patience is key. Fitness is a journey, not a destination. – Don’t expect to see results over the course of a day, or even a week. Successfully losing weight is not an easy or quick process, and you must be prepared to endure setbacks and keep pushing. Don’t weigh yourself everyday. Set realistic monthly goals, and reward yourself when you meet them. Never lose sight of the prize! You owe it to yourself to commit to a healthier lifestyle, not a deprivation mindset.

Even today, I am still on my fitness journey. I don’t plan to lose more weight, but I am constantly working to make myself better– whether that is cutting down on my body fat percentage or trying to gain more lean muscle mass. With that said, here are my current stats as of 1/22/17:

Weight: 119 lbs; Body Fat Percentage: 24%; BMI 19.9; Chest: 34 inches; Waist size: 25 inches; Hips: 38 inches

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Because I am a firm believer in goal setting, here are some long-term fitness goals for 2017 given my current fitness level (which is mediocre at best):

  1. Develop quadriceps and calves. The bottom half of my legs are a little too skinny.
  2. Continue to develop upper body strength
  3. 19% Body fat, which leads me to…
  4. Visible abdominal muscles! Not expecting a super ripped six pack or anything, but a nice abdominal outline is attainable with the right diet/exercise plan.

That just about covers all I have for now. For my next post, I will begin posting information for my current exercise routine and meal plan if anyone is interested in keeping up. 🙂 Until next time/hasta luego!

<3

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MLK Weekend Meal Prep and PB Banana Bread Protein Bars

Hello again! Two posts in one day… I’m on a roll! I wanted to create a separate post about this weekend’s meal prep, since one of my goals with starting this blog was to share easy and healthy recipes with the public. 🙂

Since my weight loss transformation that I wrote about here, meal prep has truly been the key to maintaining my weight and saving time in the mornings. Even during weeks when I don’t get my exercise in, my weight always remains stable. Meal prep allows me more time to sleep (another key for weight loss), and prevents me from spending money unnecessarily and eating unhealthy options for lunch.

Lunch this week: chopped turkey salads. Nothing special, I know, but I didn’t want to dedicate more than 1 hour for lunch prep… so this worked out perfectly. About 20g of protein per serving with very few carbs.

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Recently I started experimenting with homemade protein bars, since these typically cost anywhere from $1-3 each at the store and are chock full of ingredients I can’t pronounce. This is the second recipe I’ve tried out in the last two weeks, and so far I’m a big fan. It only contains 4 ingredients! Behold, Peanut Butter Banana Bread Protein Bars:

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Ingredients (Makes about 20 bars. Cut recipe in half for 10)

1 cup almond flour… I got mine at Costco, but I’ve also seen it at HEB and Walmart.

1/2 cup peanut butter… any nut butter will work!

4 scoops of whey protein (vanilla)

2 ripe bananas

*2 cookie sheets and parchment paper

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Step 1: Combine mashed bananas with 1 cup almond flour, and mix both ingredients.

Step 2: In a small pot, over medium heat, mix the peanut butter and whey protein. Mix one scoop at a time.

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Step 3: Combine the peanut butter protein mixture into the banana and almond flour mixture. Stir well and put on two cookie sheets covered in parchment paper.

Step 4: Optional- You can put another sheet of parchment paper over the dough to flatten it out, or just use your hands. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until firm.

What I love about this recipe, in addition to the fact that it is only 4 ingredients, is that it is inexpensive (the most expensive ingredient is whey protein, which I always have on hand anyway) and easy.  Only about half an hour to whip up!

Approximate nutritional facts per serving: 120 calories, 6g carbohydrates, 8g fat, 10g protein

Muscle Milk Whey Protein

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Hola y Buenos Días, mis amigos!

Day 21 of Learning Spanish / Día 21 de aprender español

Since my last post, I have continued to actively learn Spanish on a daily basis. Even though I am far from fluent, I am already pleasantly surprised by my ability to speak in simple sentences and converse with Spanish speakers (using the term “más despacio, por favor” or “more slowly, please” plenty of times)!

I am dedicating anywhere from 1-3 hours a day to Spanish language learning. That may seem like a lot, but a lot of this time is spent actively speaking and listening to my colleagues who are Native Spanish speakers, as well as the occasional student. Here are the 5 key things I have been doing that is working for me:

  1. Completing 5 mini lessons on Duolingo per day – Duolingo is a free language app that helps you learn a language through various written and spoken exercise in a game-style format. Although it is not a standalone resource, it is perfect for getting quick practice in and memorizing high-frequency words.
  2. Reading and completing Spanish exercises via books – Yesterday I finally managed to finish Easy Spanish Step-by-Step by Barbara Bergstein. I purchased it off of Amazon for about $12 back in November, and it took me about a month to make it through all of the exercises. It is an excellent resource and really lays out all of the basic grammar rules. Today I will get started on the Advanced Spanish Step-by-Step… hopefully I’m ready!

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3. Listening to A LOT of Spanish Music – Selena, Celia Cruz, Ricky Martin, Shakira. I’ll listen to the song and attempt to translate as much as possible. LyricsTranslate.com is an awesome website that will bring up the lyrics in both English and Spanish, side by side. I try to sing a long as much as possible.

4. Switching iPhone settings to Spanish – What a great idea. I can’t believe I waited until yesterday to do this. Not only will most things on the iPhone appear in Spanish, but people’s posts on Instagram have an “ver traddución” option that will automatically translate an English post into Spanish.

5. Lastly and most importantly, I make an honest attempt to speak in Spanish, even if I know my grammar is wrong – I’m trying to focus less on always conjugating correctly and more on simply communicating, which is helping me learn words faster than if I wait for my Spanish to be perfect. This is a mistake so many language learners fall into, and it really hurts progress.

Yesterday I also discovered an awesome resource on the Internet and YouTube called Gringo Español. Even though he is a Native English speaker, he really breaks down Spanish concepts in a way any one can understand. Here he is explaining one of the concepts I’ve struggled with the most:

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New Year’s Goal Setting: 2017

How could I allow an entire MONTH to pass by without updating this blog? Bad Eva. Fortunately, however, we are about to embark on another year– and keeping this blog updated at least once every two weeks (until I get into the swing of things) is in order. My husband Justin and I had an awesome holiday with his little brother and my aunt. Since Christmas, I have been studying Spanish intensely and haven’t had time for much else. I could make an entire Christmas break-themed post, but I rather focus on the task at hand: New Year’s Goal Setting for 2017.

  1. Become fluent in Spanish – I’ve allowed 27 years to pass without really being able to speak Spanish. Considering I am Latina and from South Texas, where Spanish is basically the “unofficial” language, this is unacceptable. Enough is enough. Not knowing Spanish is inconvenient on so many levels, and knowing the language fluently will make me more marketable in my career. There is no excuse not to! I plan to achieve this goal by finishing Barbara Bregstein’s Easy Spanish Step-by-Step, then progressing to her advanced level book; using the Duolingo and Memrise apps on a daily basis; listening to Spanish music and watching Spanish films; conversing with my husband and coworkers in Spanish as much as possible.
  2. Re-dedicate myself to fitness – This is always on my list, and to be fair, I do maintain a fairly healthy eating and moderate exercise regimen throughout the year. Since this will most likely be my last year without a baby, this year will be a little different. I plan to complete the RIPT90 workout DVD set Justin purchased for me and continue eating 85-90% clean. I do not have a weight goal, but I am shooting for 19% body fat. I am currently just under 24%.
  3. Earn my principal certification – This January I will be starting a principal certification program while Justin begins his Master’s program in Educational Administration. I am due to complete the program in September, then take the certification exam to make it official. This is another goal I want to accomplish before we start a family!
  4. Be more consistent with blogging – Blogging used to be such an important part of my life, and I dumped it to the wayside when I moved to Houston and started my career. That is going to change. Blogging is therapeutic and allows me hold myself accountable and preserve precious memories over time. For 2017, I want to focus on being more consistent with my blog while gradually seeking to increase traffic on this site.
  5. Be financially healthy – Like fitness, this is something I aspire to every year, and for the most part – I was true to this resolution last year. We paid off our car, more than $30k, in less than one year! That was a huge accomplishment. This year I want to focus more on building up our retirement accounts, paying off our mortgage more aggressively, and saving money for our nest egg.
  6. Learn Microsoft Excel – I am trying to learn a lot of things at once, so Microsoft Excel is going to take a backseat until I am more conversational with Spanish. I intend to treat learning Excel as a major summer project while I continue my ESL and principal certification studies. This is simply too useful of a skill to not learn/master and add to my resume.
  7. Travel more – Justin and I travel as much as our schedule allows, taking road trips to various national parks and making the occasional trek to Puerto Rico to visit my aunt. This year, I would like to see some new places– preferably Spanish speaking countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, maybe even Cuba? As I progress in my Spanish prowess, I would love to go to Spain and a few countries in South America… but that will be later down the road. We have not decided whether we will go camping up north this Spring Break, so we shall see!
  8. Last but not least, I want to be better about maximizing my time so I can be the most productive self I can be. Normally, I am pretty good at this, but there are definitely times where I get sucked into social media or websurfing meaningless topics. This is exactly what I want to avoid. The way I see it, every minute is precious– it could be spent achieving my goals, whether that is learning Spanish, excel, dedicating time to fitness, etc. Life is simply too short to waste time.

Well folks, there you have it. GOALS, not simply resolutions, for the new year. I intend to achieve each and every one of these and update this blog on my progress. What are your goals for 2017?

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The Evolution of Eva

Hello and welcome to my blog! It has been more than five years since I left the blogosphere, but I am so happy that I’m back! Let me give you some background:

I blogged for several years as an adolescent, documenting just about everything that happened to me from the ages of 14 to 22– even working as a student blogger for the University of Texas during my college years. Blogging was very much a big part of my life. At the age of 20, I had the life-changing experience of studying abroad in China. When we returned from the trip, friends began tagging me in Facebook photos, and I couldn’t help but stare at them in disbelief of how overweight I looked.

Mind you, I had never been a “fat” girl. My parents might have nicknamed me “Chubby Dubby,” but I always just considered myself to have a little extra meat on my bones — never fat. This time was different:

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Many people who read this might be thinking, so what? I’m about the size of the “average” American woman, according to current national standards. That might be true, but for me, this was a big moment. The moment I realized that I didn’t like the way I looked and now was the time to do something about it. That’s when something started to click.

I immediately started adopting a more healthy diet– chicken, vegetables, brown rice, fruit– that kind of thing. I coupled that with about 30 minutes of light exercise a few times a week, and the pounds just started melting off. People kept asking how I was managing such rapid weight loss, as if they had no idea how weight loss worked. The formula is simple: just use more calories than what you put in. Create a calorie deficit. I lost the first 25 lbs in less than 3 months by sticking to this principle.

This formula worked… up to a point. This is when I hit a plateau and started increasing my work-out intensity. Unfortunately, I did not know how to increase work-out intensity the way I should have. During my first year teaching is when I reached an almost unhealthy obsession with exercise. I was running nearly 7-8 miles every single day and only taking in around 1,200 or so calories. Even though I was the slimmest I’d ever been, I was no more stronger at 110 lbs than I was at 160+ lbs.

smallevaShortly after this period, I met and got engaged to my now-husband, who encouraged me to live a more healthy, moderate lifestyle. He also helped me stay more consistent with weight training, which has allowed me to increase my muscle mass, so my body fan burn fat more efficiently and keep me relatively slim. I’ve learned that true fitness is not measured on a scale, but in visual appearance! I am still far from perfect, but that is the fun of being on this fitness journey!

currentevaEvery day I learn more than I knew the day before about what it means to be healthy and fit. The purpose of this blog is to allow myself — along with help others — maintain accountability, set and attain goals, etc. Thank you for taking this journey with me!

 

Love,

Eva

 

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