May Weigh In

Hey everyone! It’s monthly weigh-in time! I wanted to get this post up closer to the actual date that I took the photos, but I recently got a new computer and have been in the process of transferring all my files and pictures over and getting everything organized. Now that it’s done, I can show you my results. I’m really happy with this month…

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166.1! That’s a 3.6 loss this month and 31.9 lbs from my highest weight ever. I wanted to get to 165 by the 15th so that I would only have another five lbs to lose for my goal, but this is still a great loss for me.

As always, here are the photos from this month.

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And for some perspective, here are the side-by-sides…

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While this wasn’t a huge loss, I am thrilled with my results! The photos don’t always show the true-to-life progress, but in reality, I’m feeling great and notice things getting smaller and smaller (and tighter). This month I noticed a big difference in my arms and back and from the front, I’m starting to notice that my waist is curving more and more. I also got a new sports bra and I’m thinking of doing a review on it. The bra I was wearing in the photos last month and in all my other monthly weigh-ins, is actually two bras. I was wearing a regular bra underneath with the straps pulled together and a really inexpensive sports bra from Target over that. It was getting to be too big and wasn’t doing its job anymore. It was time to invest in a good sports bra. This one is significantly more supportive. I’m also thinking I need to upgrade from my zebra, fold-over, shorty shorts too. =) I also feel like because the material is a little thicker, it sort of hides my stomach, which is my biggest problem area. So perhaps I’ll find something else to wear for next month. I’m also thinking of doing a bikini reveal next month, too (but I reserve the right to change my mind about that).

I also had a non-scale victory. I was whining when I took these pictures that I thought my stomach still looked so big from the side, so I decided to pull out the measuring tape and see where I was. Last time that I measured, I was 38 inches at my widest, and this time I’m 37 inches! I wasn’t expecting a 1 inch loss at all so I’m really thrilled. They say that if your waist measurement is more than half your height in inches, then you are at a higher risk for health problems, so because I’m 5’2″ (62 inches), my goal is for my waist to be at 31 inches, but of course, I wouldn’t mind that number being even smaller. I would love to get to the part where I have a flat stomach, but I just have to remember that it’s a long process and I’m not even halfway to my ultimate goal yet. Patience!

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So that’s my weigh-in! How are your health/fitness goals going?

Thanks for stopping by,

Miranda

Skinny Milkshake

Since I’ve given up sweets for the year, I have to improvise and pick healthy substitutes when a craving strikes. This recipe is really easy and fun. You just need a blender and you can make changes with the ingredients like I did.

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2 cups milk (you can use ANY kind, I used whole)

2 frozen bananas

3 heaping tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (or less for less of a chocolate-y flavor)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (you can double this if you want)

(optional) 1 packet of stevia or 1 tsp of honey or whatever sweetener you prefer

(optional) a handful of ice cubes (I skipped this because the texture was perfect for me)

You could also add protein if you’d like. This will probably make it thicker and fluffier too.

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until desired consistency. I prefer mine a bit more on the liquid side rather than a stiff ice cream texture so I let it blend for a while. Whatever floats your boat.

**This will make a big batch. You could freeze or refrigerate this for later if you want but it will probably separate. Just put it back in the blender again and give it a whirl (maybe add a splash of milk).

April Weigh In

Allllllllllrighty. So the 15th of the month rolled around and that meant it was time to face the music scale. Good news: I’m in the 160′s! Bad news: This number was slightly lower a few days before (168.3) but because I decided I needed to have two bacon, egg, and cheese taquitos the night before weigh-in, I saw a slight gain when I woke up the next day. Oh well. This number is already going down again, so I won’t beat myself up about it. Gotta live a little right? And besides, this month I lost a total of 3.7 lbs! Goodbye forever, 170′s!
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These were taken on laundry day. Please excuse the crazy bed situation…

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Just like every other month, I think there isn’t going to be any difference in the side-by-sides… and every month, I am wrong. I can always see slight differences here and there. This month, I have to say that there isn’t a huge difference in the pictures, other than the first one. I can really tell a difference in my stomach in this first photo though. It’s starting to look less….doughy. My jawline and cheekbones are starting to redefine themselves and my collarbone is making a regular appearance these days. Hello, ladies.

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I am starting to see a difference in my thighs too. I’ve never really thought of my thighs as a ‘problem area’, that’s always been my stomach, but they are just-a-shrinkin’. I’ll take it.

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In this side-by-side, I feel like my stomach is super bloated (someone please take my keys away from me after 10 PM so I can’t raid the drive thru).

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And even though I feel like my back fat is NEVER going to go away, I can tell that my bootay is becoming less wide and more round…Who doesn’t love a round bootay?

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I think now that I’m just skrinking overall, it’s getting harder and harder for me to tell the difference in pictures because they aren’t perfectly to-scale. I think next month I’m going to have Joel take pictures instead of me doing selfies, so that I can get a more accurate ‘read’. I try to hold the camera in the same place every time but sometimes I feel like the scale is just way off. 

Non-scale victories this month:

When I asked for no bread with my meal at a restaurant, a lady jokingly told me I was “one of those girls who could use a slice or two”. She was very sweet and we started talking about weight loss. I told her I had been losing weight for the past six months and she was all, “You go girl”! It was a fun/nice moment.

One of my husband’s colleagues didn’t recognize me. When he finally figured out who I was, he told me how great I looked. It seriously doesn’t get old to hear people comment on your weight loss. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable in the moment, (picture awkward shoulder-shrugging…head cocked to the side…me saying ‘Thaaaannnkkss’, and then trying to change the subject as fast as possible) but I can’t lie. I feel like I am GLOWING for the rest of the day.

I bought not one but TWO bathing suits. One was a bikini and one was a monokini. Who the hell am I? I’m not quite ready to do a reveal (I’m going to wait a couple more months) but I won’t lie… I try them on at home and wear them around just for funsies…My dogs think I look great.

Also, I know I said in another post that I don’t really measure myself and I wouldn’t (and probably still won’t) throughout this process because I just want to focus on how I look and feel and how clothes fit. But after I was feeling the bloat and wondering if I even looked any different, I decided to grab the tape measure and see if I lost any inches around my waist. The last time I measured I was 40 inches at my widest. This time I was 38 inches! Whoooo-hooooo!!!!!!

And…I bought, and wore, and felt amazing in this adorable pair of shorts this weekend. They are from Target and they are a size 17 (juniors) and they are already slightly too big (I bought them two weeks ago).

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I LOVE the mint color and the lace detail. I want to go back and buy more pairs. This is huge for me because normally I would try and cover up as much as possible during the summer, subsequently making myself hot and miserable and cranky. But now I can look forward to wearing things like this and not feel self-conscious about it. SO worth not having dessert or soda. Mostly. ;)

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Oh and one last thing. I have two “events” coming up. June 1st my two best friends and I are going on a girl’s trip to San Antonio for the George Strait concert (and to celebrate my best friend’s birthday)! Sofreakingexcited!!! And a week or so later is my husband’s company’s annual Manager’s Meeting. They put us all up in a nice hotel and we all get to relax for three days (free food and booze!). This year it’s at the Hilton in Southlake, which is right next to some great stores/restaurants. I’m going shopping, y’all!

Obviously I want to look and feel great for both of these fun things, so I’m publicly claiming that I WILL be at or below 160 by then. That’s only 9.7 lbs in a month and a half. I can do it. And I can’t WAIT to share pictures!

How are your goals going lately?

Thanks for stopping by,

Miranda

March Weigh In

Alright, so it’s weigh in time. I have to say that I am very pleased with this month’s results but I’m also a little confused. You’ll see why in just a bit. Here are this month’s pictures.

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The scale reads…* Drum-roll…

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Last month I weighed in at an even 178 lbs so I’ve lost 4.6 lbs this month. YAY! Super happy with that number. Now for the confusing part. Here are the comparison shot from last month. *I know i’m looking a little orange in this month’s photos. I swear it’s not a spray tan or anything. The lighting was just weird.

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There is almost no difference in last month vs. this month. In fact, in some of the photos I feel like I look heavier. It’s so weird. I lost less weight last month and looked way thinner. I was really confused at first but I think I have an idea why. My stomach is always the first place I look when comparing photos because that’s the place I want to lose weight from the most. So when I uploaded these I was a little pissed to see that my mid-section looked a  little bloated, but after I got over it, I realized that I had a pretty big loss in that area last month and this month I also see changes in my face and arms and shoulders. And even though you wouldn’t be able to tell with the two bras that I’m wearing in the photo, I think my girls have gotten a bit smaller too. Also, I do see some changes in my back, bum, and legs (which you can’t see much of in these photos), but overall I expected to see a bigger difference. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am THRILLED with my 4.6 lb loss. I know I’ll see bigger differences in the coming months so I’m trying to not let it bother me.

A really awesome NSV this month was that I FINALLY went down another jean size. I found some old size 14 jeans tucked away in my closet and when I slipped them on they not only fit, they were maybe 1/2 size too big!!! I was so glad I found them because I hate going jeans shopping so now I can put that off for a little while. That means I only have 1 pair of jeans now, but with summer around the corner (we are already getting warmer weather around here), I can rely more on dresses. I love dresses.

Also, I should really confess that I totally never went past week one on the C25K. I’m thinking of re-acquainting myself with the biotch that is Jillian Michaels. I didn’t lose much weight when I did the 30 Day Shred around this time last year, but I did lose inches and tighten up overall. Ugh. I want to want to exercise, but naps are just so much more fun. ;) I wonder if I can get the actual Jillian Michaels to come to my house. The 30 Day Shred Jillian is MUCH nicer than the Biggest Loser Jillian. By the way that’s about to wrap up! Who do you want to win? I’m tied between Danny (Dani?) and Jackson. Danny is a total bad ass but I just love Jackson’s personality and sweetness.

So that’s my weigh in for the month. And just because I always feel like I’m mean-muggin’ in all of these photos (I’m really just concentrating on getting a decent picture), I thought I would include a picture of me smiling.

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I can’t believe I’m starting to like the way I look with this little ensemble on…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My husband is taking me on a date tonight. Aww ye-ah!

Thanks for stopping by,

Miranda

Date Night: Woodshed

Okay y’all… We finally went to a new (to us) restaurant that everyone and their mother has been talking about in Fort Worth… The Woodshed Smokehouse.

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Cheeseburger Cauliflower

Today I’m posting this recipe I tried a couple of days ago.

This recipe was adapted from Healthy Low Carb Living.

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Cheeseburger Cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower (should yield about 4 cups)
  • 1 pound of ground beef (I used extra lean grass fed)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup onion (I used pre-chopped frozen)
  • 1 can Ranch style beans (could substitute for plain pinto or any other type of bean)
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese (I used Cheddar)
  • Splash of skim milk (optional: may add a bit at the end if too dry)
  • 2 tbsp Light Sour Cream (you could also try Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic salt (or whatever seasonings you prefer)

To start, boil water to steam cauliflower. This was my first time cooking with cauliflower and I wasn’t sure how long to steam it so I started with 5 minutes and let it go a couple minutes longer with the heat off until it was more translucent and tender.

Add garlic and onions to a non-stick pan (so you don’t have to add oil and more calories)  and cook until fragrant.

Add beef and seasonings and brown.

When cauliflower is steamed, drain and use a potato masher to roughly mash cauliflower into smaller pieces (NOT until totally smooth like mashed potatoes, just chunks). Set aside.

Once beef is browned, add beans (I also added the juice from the can) and stir. Let cook for a couple of minutes to allow beans to warm.

Add cauliflower.

If mixture is too dry add a splash of skim milk. (I used about 2 oz.)

Add 2 tablespoons of light sour cream and mix until coated.

Spread 1 cup of cheese evenly over top of mixture.

Turn oven broiler on and broil until cheese is bubbly. Check every minute or so for burning.

Makes 4 servings.

DIY Dog ‘Pizza’

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making my own dog treats for a little while. I totally winged it with this recipe.

I added about 2 cups of the oats to start with, then mixed in 1 large egg, and about 3 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter. Then as I mixed it all up (with my hands), I added a couple more handfuls of oats because the mixture was a bit too wet.

So I just plopped down the whole mixture onto a pizza pan and mushed it down until it formed what looked like a pizza crust…

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Then I popped it in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes..

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I may have tasted one. For quality control purposes.

I stored them in a couple of plastic bags and refrigerated them.

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***A little disclaimer though:Most folks probably know this, but it’s worth repeating. If you do make these, please be careful about what you put in them and don’t add any ingredients that are known to be harmful to dogs. I only used these ingredients because I knew they were safe and I have given them to my dogs without any problems in the past. As far as I know, peanut butter is safe for dogs, but just like a human can have a peanut allergy, so can a dog, so please consult a professional and do your research before giving your pet any human food.***

February Weigh In

It’s monthly weigh in time! Last month I weighed in on the 19th and this month on the 16th. I could have waited a few days to officially weigh in and maybe lost another pound but I’m trying to weigh in closest to the 15th of every month. So here we go:

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I lost 3.4 lbs. Not as impressive as my 8.1 lbs loss from last month but that’s okay. Those are 3.4 lbs that I’ll never see again. I actually weighed a couple of days ago and weighed 177.1 so I was surprised to see this .9 lb increase. I think I know the reason for this temporary increase, but more on that in just a minute…Overall I can’t be upset about losing “only” 3.4 lbs because that brings me down to exactly 20 lbs lost from my highest weight ever of 198 lbs. Boom-shaka-laka!

So here are the comparison shots from last month. I wasn’t expecting to see much difference from last month because I only lost 3.4 lbs but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw these side-by-sides.

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The changes are subtle but they are there. Especially in my midsection. I think in months past, my body has been burning fat from the inside out (meaning that the fat deposits on and around my organs were the first to go) and is now starting to burn the fat off of more noticeable places, which I’m very happy about. Everyday I’m noticing that I look less and less bloated and swollen.

Now, as far as food goes this month, a couple of updates. First off, I reduced my calorie intake by about 100 calories a day and I now have my intake set to about 1600 calories a day on MyFitnessPal (if you’re on there send me a request and let’s be friends- miranda.rowe25 (at) gmail (dot) com). MFP is supposed to adjust calories down for you but for some reason it didn’t so I calculated my BMR and readjusted it myself. *Your BMR is the amount of calories your body need just to exist. I try to eat  no more that amount of calories everyday. So, I’ve had to readjust the way I am eating and I had some bad moments this month. For some reason, I was craving my favorite fast food from Whataburger a lot and I had it about 6 times last month. My eating habits are still a big work in progress. I’ve made huge changes so far and I’m still going strong without sodas, sweet tea, and desserts, but I still fight my fast food ‘addiction’. I love home cooked meals but sometimes I just want to drive through, ya know? My goal for the next month is to try to cook dinner most nights.

I also have a new update on the exercise front. I started the C25K program last week! (The new exercise combined with the not-so-great eating this month is also part of why I don’t think I lost as much this month and saw that .9 lb increase.) So far I’ve only gone on three ‘runs’. If I’m being honest, my version of ‘running’ looks like a scene in a horror movie where someone just got stabbed and they are desperately trying limp/walk/drag themselves away from their murderer (complete with all the grunting and moaning and labored breathing). I’m pretty sure some of my poor neighbors thought a cat was being tortured outside. It’s real sexy, y’all.

I downloaded the app on my phone and I was surprised that I was able to run the whole time (during the running parts, not the whole 30 minutes). The first run was exhilarating. It felt good. I felt like a bad mo-fo when I was done. The next two were a little harder. Day 1 was all smiles. Day 2 I was feeling good but pretty tired. Day 3 I was totally wiped out and just collapsed on the floor when I got home.

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What I like about the program is that it’s only 3 days a week. In the past when I’ve tried to exercise everyday, I’ve felt overwhelmed, didn’t want to do it, and then felt incredibly guilty for skipping a day. I don’t want to start that pattern again. So, for now I’ll keep with this before adding anything else in. Although I should mention that I’ve contemplated adding back in the 30 Day Shred. That Jillian sure knows how to make you BURN. Still deciding on that one. We’ll see, but no matter what I just don’t want to stress about exercising. That’s not helpful.

Now, because I don’t want this post to just be pictures of me all sweaty and half-naked, I’ll show you a cute dress I picked up from Target.

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It’s just the slightest bit too tight on the top but I think it’ll fit great in another couple of weeks. It was one of the last ones and I couldn’t pass up the cuteness. I mean, it’s a mint/navy chevron print. Come on.

Also, I have been LOVING my new mascara combo. I tried the L’Oreal Double Extend mascara (at the recommendation of one of my favorite bloggers, Mama Laughlin) and layered it under my usual go-to, L’Oreal Carbon Black Voluminous. I love the Carbon Black by itself but this combo really gives you the ‘fake lashes’ look without the actual fake lashes. * Side note: I wear a TON of mascara when I wear makeup. I usually put on about 6-7 coats. Here’s the before (no makeup except concealer under one eye) and after (no eye makeup except the mascara):

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Love it! So happy I found this combo!

Okay, I think that’s enough pictures of my mug for one post.

How are things going in your neck of the woods?

Thanks for stopping by,

Miranda

January Weigh In

Technically, these photos were taken on January 19th, and last month I took photos on the 15th. Not exactly one month apart, but close enough…

*Please excuse the messy half dry/half wet hair situation.. I did NOT feel like blow drying…

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I lost 8 pounds y’all!! 8.1 to be exact… *Pause for happy dance…

And for comparison purposes, I put last month’s photos next to this month’s…

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19thI can definitely tell the biggest difference in the side view. The shorts I am wearing were TIGHT in the first pictures (I was asking a lot of those zebra stripes)… They are still pretty tight, but three months ago I couldn’t even get them on…And next month, they’ll fit even better. Progress, yo!

This 8 pound loss puts me at 16.6 pounds total loss from my highest weight ever of 198 lbs.

Happy face!!

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As far as what I’ve been doing, I haven’t started exercising yet. I have gone to the gym a couple of times this month and pushed way too hard and it stalled out my progress. It was kind of a bummer because I wanted to get into the 170′s this month. Oh well. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’ll get there…I’ve been doing some research and I think I’m just about ready to set up a workout plan soon.

Food wise, I’ve been doing really well (I think)… I’ve gone over my calorie limit 5 times in the past 5 weeks, and only one of those was more than 100 calories. The rest were between 25-80 calories. No biggie. I’ve had some pizza and some pasta and some other “bad” foods, but at this point I’m more focused on calories in/calories out. Baby steps.

I’ve been craving sweets like a mother. I think some of this is hormonal…

Joel snapped this picture of me at the grocery store when I spotted a giant tub of one of my favorites..

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I’ve stayed strong. I won’t lie though. Coffee has gotten me through this. I start the day with an Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte. It’s not the greatest alternative, but it’s better than the sugary concoction I used to slurp down, known as the Iced Caramel Macchiato. When I’m craving dessert, I’ll grab a banana or an apple with some peanut butter, but lately, I’ve been having a glass of milk after dinner. Sort of my version of a nightcap.

Overall, I feel pretty good about this month’s progress. My clothes are getting baggier and baggier. Even my wedding rings are starting to not fit. If they get too much looser, I’ll have to wear them on a necklace until I can get them re-sized.

I know things are changing because, for the first time in a long time, I’m actually looking forward to the warmer weather. Not the ridiculous 110+ degree Texas ass-whoopin’ known as Summer, more like a nice breezy Spring day in a sun dress. Normally, I dread the warmer weather because that means less clothing. Who have I become?!?!

Thanks for stopping by,

Miranda

Bass Hall and Botanic Gardens

On Dec. 21st Joel and I had holiday photos taken at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. We were too late to have them sent out for Christmas cards, but I’m glad we took them anyway, for you know, memories..

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On Dec. 23rd, Joel and I treated ourselves to a show at the Bass Hall.

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These lovely ladies on the facade of the building are my favorite…
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After the show was over (standing ovation!), we popped over to University to have some breakfast for dinner at our favorite pancake house in the whole world, Ol’ South.
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