Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Right Fit

Back in September 2013, I found myself in Milan for work. The airline had lost my luggage and I needed a new outfit for a big launch. Now, most people would think that needing to go shopping in Milan for clothes would be exciting, but I was rather scared. I'm 5'1" and weighed about 45 more pounds than I do now. But I had lost about 25lbs by that point, so I was starting to feel a little better about my appearance. But still, Milan fashion is known for being about the tall, skinny Italian woman, which I was not (I'm still not tall).

Fortunately, a colleague and I found this great store with fantastic customer service. They helped me find several dresses to try on that might fit. At that time I had only worn dresses for a few months. I was always reluctant to wear dresses up until that point because I didn't think they looked good on me and I wasn't comfortable in them because my thighs rubbed together. Being fairly new to dresses, I tended to stick to fit and flare dresses because they were flattering. At this store, my colleague convinced me to try on a sheath style dress. Low and behold, it actually looked good on me. I was shocked.

My advice is to go shopping with friends that you trust. People that will be honest with you. People that know your goals,  your fears, your style. But promise me this... you'll listen to what they have to say. If they want you to try on a new-to-you style, try it on. You might just be surprised with what you find looks good on you.

Here's the thing, wearing new clothes, especially ones that fit you well feels amazing. People will compliment you. They'll notice you're wearing something new. They'll notice the confidence you have that comes from wearing something that you feel beautiful in. When you feel good about what you're wearing, it serves as a form of motivation itself.

I love the outfit I have on above. I never would have worn a pencil skirt two years ago, but now I love how it shows off my curves. I feel beautiful in this outfit, and it shows when I walk around the office. So splurge on that outfit because you'll feel great and it's motivation to keep going. If you wear something that's a little too big, you won't show off that fabulous figure you've been working on. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

My Favorite Simply Grilled Shrimp

I don't profess to be a nutritionist or a dietitian, but throughout my weight loss journey, I ate a ton of seafood. It's one of the things that I attribute to my success. I always have a bag of frozen, UNCOOKED, shrimp in my freezer to throw together this quick shrimp dish.

To start, I defrost a handful of shrimp in some water. I've got eight shrimp in a bowl of water here and I change the water about three times over about a 10-20 minute time period to thaw them out. It takes no time at all and is easy to do when in a time crunch.

Once thawed, I remove the shells and place the shrimp on a paper towel to dry. If you don't place them on a paper towel, the shrimp will steam and not get a good sear on them.

I season my shrimp with this spicy garlic blend. It's a combination of dried garlic chunks, crushed red pepper and sea salt. I found this one at my local grocery store, but I've also seen these at places like TJ Maxx as well. 

I sauté the shrimp in a little bit of butter on medium high heat. I set my burner at around a 6 (out of 10) for shrimp. Make sure your pan gets nice and hot before you sauté the shrimp though.  If the heat is too high, the butter will burn. I like butter with the shrimp because it adds a nice flavor to it. I actually used a garlic parsley butter I got at my grocery store (about a teaspoon) this time around, but regular butter works just fine. Sauté about 3 minutes a side, or until you get a nice sear on the shrimp and they're nice and pink.

I served my shrimp this time around with a side of sautéed corn. I added about a teaspoon and a half of bacon grease (gasp!) to a pan and threw in about a 3/4 of a cup of frozen corn. I sautéed it with a little bit of that spicy garlic blend to tie it all together.

I know what you're thinking... I just made a meal with both butter and bacon grease. Yup. Like I said, I never claimed to be a professional, but I know what good food tastes like, and sometimes you need just a little bit of fat to make something taste really good. The key is that it's all in moderation. I don't use a ton of butter or bacon grease, just enough to add a little flavor and cook the shrimp and corn. You'll notice in the above photo that you don't see any of the butter or bacon grease on the plate. That's because I didn't use much. If you want to be even better, you could use some coconut oil with the shrimp or a little bit of canola oil instead. But the key to my success was to make sure I ate healthy while still enjoying the little things in life. If I didn't, I'd find myself splurging more often than not and down a path of destruction.


Friday, April 24, 2015

My Transformation to Date

Over the past 2.5 years, I've managed to transform myself, both physically and emotionally. During this time frame, I've lost 70lbs and have experienced an emotional transformation where I've found my inner strength, confidence and personal motivation. So often, I receive questions about how I've gone about losing weight and transforming myself. Now that I'm finishing up graduate school. I thought I'd start this blog, a sister blog to my quilting blog, to share with the world my favorite recipes, workouts and motivational tips and tricks. I'm not claiming to be a professional or formally trained in any aspect of my journey, but if what has worked for me can help others, I'm happy to share.

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