Life


Currently // April Life

It’s APRIL?! Where the heck did January, February, and March go?! I can’t believe it’s already April. I’m excited that warm weather comes with April. That means more time spent outside with friends and family!

Since it’s the first Wednesday of the Month, it’s time for “Currently…”

The first Wednesday of each month, I participate in a link-up with other blogs and we write about things we are currently doing. Each month has it’s own prompts, and this month’s topics are things I am currently wearing, sipping, wishlisting, writing, and exploring. 

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Wearing: Yoga Pants
Maybe that’s such a lame and boring answer, but I am seriously loving my yoga pants right now. I have a pair that are straight legged that I wear with some chunky heels and a flannel button up and it looks so awesome. Casual but put together and SO comfortable!

Sipping: La Croix
I’m not sure why, but I am on a La Croix kick. I have been trying to cut down on caffeine and soda, so I picked up some La Croix to take the edge off. It’s sparkling water with natural fruit flavors so it filled that soda void. I ended up buying more flavors and now I’m addicted to it.

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Wishlisting: Spa Day
Between the insanity that is advisement and being so busy the past few weekends, I am in desperate need of a spa day. I would love a nice massage and a facial. I don’t think that will happen anytime soon, but a girl can dream, right?

Writing: Academic Plans
So maybe it’s not the most inspiring thing, but bloggers don’t live in a land of Pinterest -perfect lives. Many bloggers, myself included, have full time jobs so, right now, I only have time to write Academic Plans and blog posts. Maybe that makes me boring. Sorry. Since it’s academic advisement, 90% of my day is writing out schedules for students and making sure they’re on track for graduation. I think it’s pretty fun, even though it can be exhausting.

Exploring: Savannah
 I know it’s weird, to explore the city you live in, but it’s been a lot of fun, actually. Historically, Savannah is probably one of the coolest cities in the United States (it is definitely the most haunted). When my in-laws were in town, we took them on a historical trolley ride. It’s one of the most tourist things you can do in Savannah, but it was cool to just sit back and see the city and hear about all the history. A few months ago, my friend Becca came to visit and we went on a Haunted Pub Crawl. Mike and I were the only people from Savannah on both of those tours, but it’s a fun way to explore the city, especially when there’s so much history and a lot to see.

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What are you currently wearing, sipping, wishlisting, writing, and exploring?

Carrie Signature


My Favorites // March Life

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March has seriously flown by. Winter is gone (well, it’s supposed to be) and springtime weather is on the way which makes me happy. There were so many amazing things that happened in March! Here are some things you may have missed:

5 Things Losing Weight Has Taught Me
Eating Healthy on a Budget
Thinking Thin// Abandoning the Fat Mentality

Now, onto my favorites for March! Each month, I reflect and choose my favorite thing, my favorite moment, and my favorite food. It’s a great way to remember the things that happened each month so I don’t forget or take things for granted. When things get tough, it’s nice to be able to remember all the good things!

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Favorite Thing| Bentoware from Laptop Lunches

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I know I did a sponsored post with Laptop Lunches earlier this month, but this has really been a favorite item. I use this at work nearly every day because it makes packing food for work super easy. Even if it’s not my whole lunch, I have a bunch of snacks I put in it so I can stay full throughout the day. I consistently bring carrots, apples, and blueberries to work and the Bentoware makes it really easy to pack up without taking 100 different tupperwear. I am so glad I was able to try out Bentoware because it’s such a cool product!

Favorite Moment| Sunny Days

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So my favorite moment isn’t just one day, but a weeks worth of days we had this month. It was really cold for awhile and then a couple weeks ago we had this week that was just beautiful! 80 degree weather, the perfect amount of breeze, clear skies. It was gorgeous!  We spent a lot of time outside and had fun going places we hadn’t gone before. It was just a really nice breath of fresh air (no pun intended). I can’t wait for the spring weather to come back so I can continue to enjoy it!

Favorite Food| Pastelitos from Vicky Bakery, Miami, FL.

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Pastelitos are a cuban pastry. They have all kinds of fillings and they are delicious! There is no where to find them in Savannah (or anywhere we go, really) so I always looks forward to having them when we go visit my husband’s dad’s side of the family in Miami. They came up to see us this week and they brought pastelitos with them. I was so excited! Some are filled with just cheese (sort of like cream cheese) and some are filled with guava and cheese. So good! They aren’t good for you in any way, but they are a treat and I enjoyed them.

 

Overall, I was very happy with the way March panned out. It was crazy busy at work and with family over and plans every weekend, but March went really well and I can’t wait to see what April brings!

What are some of your favorite things from March?

Carrie Signature


This Week // Highs + Lows Life

This week has been a rollercoaster. I started the week off with a sleepless night due to an emergency room visit and I wasn’t able to catch up on that sleep until yesterday. I swear I was in bed by 8:30 every night this week. I’m looking forward to being all caught up and back to my normal self!

Before I get started with this weeks highs and lows, I wanted to announce the winner of the Laptop Lunches Bentoware giveaway!

And the winner is:

Laura Houston!

Congratulations, Laura! I’ll be emailing you soon.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

highs and lows

ICYMI

Bentoware Lunchbox Review + Giveaway!
Eating Healthy on a Budget
Meal Planning Resources!

highs

I got my own office at work! Since I started in July, a group of us were in one room in an arrangement kind of like a cubicle. It was totally ok, we had a lot of fun, but we always knew we were going to be moved to offices after some renovations and now we’re moved! It’s really cool to have a door. Another high is that I’m pretty much caught up on sleep. I am still really tired but I’m functioning and I am thankful for that!

We also had some fun visiting the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. I definitely want to go back with my actual camera to get some awesome photos. It was beautiful!

lows

Starting the week in the emergency room wasn’t the most ideal! Sickness is no fun. My exhaustion really took a toll on my workouts because I was so exhausted. I was able to get to the gym Wednesday and this morning. Next week will definitely be better, but my body really needed a break!

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This coming up week, I’m going to make it to the gym in the morning 3 times. I used to go daily! I need to just get back into that routine and a week of early workouts should get that kickstarted.


This Week // Highs + Lows Life

I decided that I want to end every week with a kind of reflection. I want to make sure I document the highs and lows of each week so I can remember that even things get tough, there are always good times. Sometimes when bad things happen, it’s easy to feel like things will never get better but it’s important to remember that with the bad comes the good!

This week was a great week! Between taking a much needed rest on Sunday to getting some much needed yoga practice in, it’s been a productive week!

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ICYMI

I created an eBook about healthy living and some awesome printables to help you organize your meal planning.
9 Ways to Jumpstart your Workout Routine
Thinking Thin// Abandoning the “Fat” Mentality
An Easy Breakfast Hash Recipe
Currently // March

 

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This week I was finally able to use a gift I received that was very dear to me. My great-grandmother recently passed away at the young age of 103. She always had Franciscan Desert Rose China and my mom was able to track down some pieces with that pattern to give to my sisters and I (my great-grandmother’s actual China was with a family member somewhere I believe). I was given a teacup and saucer along with her old train case. It still smells like her! I finally was able to use my teacup this week and I love that I have that in my possession!

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I will admit that I completely screwed up in terms of diet and exercise this week. I don’t know why, but I feel like I just haven’t been able to stick with things as much as I’d like. I took Sunday off like usual- Sunday is a rest day in our house- then worked out Monday, Tuesday, and this morning. I just haven’t felt like I’ve been pushing myself hard enough and my diet is so poor! It made me feel pretty awful about myself this week, to be honest.

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For this week, my goal is to eat a healthier diet but, most importantly, not be so hard on myself if I don’t. I have a bad habit of feeling guilty for not having great nutrition all the time and that’s just silly and needs to stop!

 

What are some of your highs and lows of this week and what are your goals for next week?

Carrie Signature


Currently // March Life

I follow a slew of incredible blogs, but one of the blogs I frequent the most as of late is Dearest Love. I met Jenna in undergrad at Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship years ago. I have followed her blog since she started it and I am in love with it! Every month, she does a “Currently” post. In those posts, she mentions different things she is currently doing. It could be things she is doing, reading, wishing, dreaming, anything. Each month has it’s own topics. Other bloggers will write their currently posts and they all link together so we can see what everyone is doing. It’s a really cool little circle and I decided I wanted to take part!

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Currently I’m…

Dreaming of warmer weather! We have had some amazing weather the past couple of days and I wish it would stick around! Sadly, I know that it’s going to get back to around 40 degrees on Friday. I will definitely be cherishing the 80 degree weather we’re going to have tomorrow!

Planning for a busy season at work. I will be back to back to back with appointments for the next couple of months. I love it, but it is going to be really busy so I have to be organized! Combine that with the fact that I’m moving offices soon… I’ve got a lot to plan for.

Making a new habit. I am really trying to get into the habit of practicing yoga at least 4 times a week. I did it almost every day for a week and then I got busy. I have been increasingly exhausted every day, so yoga is on the back of my mind, but I always feel better when I practice so I’m trying to do it more often.

Baking nothing at the moment, but I made no-bakes yesterday!

Watching Empire. I LOVE this show. Cookie Lyons is my Spirit Animal! She’s so fierce and I love it!

 

What are your currently’s?

Carrie Signature


My Favorite Things // February Life

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I cannot believe that February is almost over! I feel like it was just New Years and here we are, almost into March. February is always such a sweet month and there were so many awesome things that I did and tried.

After reflecting on the month, I realized that I’ve sort of forgotten all of the great things from previous months. Because of that, I wanted to start a new segment on the blog that highlights some of my favorite things each month. I think it will be a good way to reflect on the positive things from the month and it will also give me a chance to share about new products (or old products) that I used and loved!

I already have lists of my favorite things (accessories, apparel, and supplements), but I think doing it monthly and expanding on why things were my favorite will be really fun!

Each month will consist of 3 parts:

Favorite Thing
Favorite Moment
Favorite Food

 

So, right now, let’s start with February Favorites!

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Favorite Thing| Quest Nutrition Products

While Quest bars are usually always on my favorite things list, they were especially useful this month. With all the traveling I did, I really depended on Quest products to keep me on track. For example, I traveled from 3:00 until about 8:00 on my way to New York and I never had time to get something to eat. It would have been really easy to grab some chips from the airport, but I packed some Quest bars and some Quest chips so I didn’t have to be limited to whatever the convenience stores had. I got enough protein to keep me full until I was able to get a late dinner (it was 10:00 before I ate!) and I was able to “cheat clean” as Quest likes to say. +1 for Quest bars in February!

Favorite Moment| New York City

It’s no surprise that my favorite moment of February was traveling to New York City for Valentine’s day. The view from our place was amazing, I got to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, I ate amazing food from Shake Shack, Carlos Bakery, and Katz Deli, and I got my picture taken by Humans of New York at the Met. It was such an amazing trip! I had been to New York twice before this trip, but this was the first time I went that I was able to explore the city on my own terms and I really fell in love with the city during this trip. I can’t wait to go back (in the spring or summer time) and see more!

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Favorite Food| Eggs Benedict

February was the month of the eggs benedict. Nearly every time we went to brunch, I got eggs benedict. Something about it just makes my heart really happy. It’s such a comfort food. I also ate the best eggs benedict I’ve ever had this month. North Beach Bar and Grill on Tybee Island, Ga added smoked salmon to their benedict and took away the bread. SO good.

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Benedict on a croissant from Goose Feathers in Savannah, Ga

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Delicious gorgonzola grits and smoked salmon egg benedict from North Beach Bar and Grill on Tybee Island, Ga.

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Eggs Cristopher from J. Cristophers in Marietta, Ga

Overall, I’d have to say February was an amazing month. Hopefully March follow suit!

Talk with me below!

What was your favorite thing, moment, and food of February?

Carrie Signature


A Little More About Carrie… Life

After a month of blogging and a feature on Humans of New York, I feel like it’s time for me to share a little more about me.

I don’t want to write a biography because that’s boring, so I thought I would put together a little list of things about me!

biography

  1. I grew up in Northern California
  2. I have 2 younger sisters!
  3. I live in Savannah, Ga with my husband and 2 fur babies
  4. We’ve been married for almost 3 years.
  5. I battled anorexia from age 8 to age 16.
  6. From age 16 to age 20 I battled with binge eating.
  7. It took a doctors appointment telling me I had high cholesterol and was classified as pre-diabetic to get my ass into gear.
  8. I had a membership to a gym on campus but I paid for a gym off campus because that’s what I was comfortable with.
  9. I used MyFitnessPal to track my food.
  10. I ran. A LOT.
  11. My official starting weight in March 2011 was 163 lbs.
  12. I weighed 115 lbs in November of 2011.
  13. Over the next couple of years I gained back a lot of that weight due to losing it so quickly.
  14. After gaining back some of what I lost, I realized I needed to live healthy instead of aim for skinny.
  15. Now I maintain around 130 and I don’t stress!
  16. I’m no longer classified as pre-diabetes
  17. I’ve run multiple 5ks, 2 half marathons, a Warrior Dash, and a Tough Mudder.
  18. My pant sizes range from a 1 to a 12 (not even kidding- pant sizes are stupid)
  19. My favorite food is cheese and Cuban pastelitos.
  20. My favorite movie is Armageddon
  21. My second favorite movie is Die Hard.
  22. I have a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Masters of Education in Higher Education Administration
  23. I work as an academic advisor at a university and I LOVE it.
  24. I have a running buddy and she’s the BEST. We run on Tuesday’s after work.
  25. I have a pretty weird sense of humor.
  26. I don’t have a gallbladder or an appendix.
  27. I love to travel but I get really anxious about going places I haven’t been (SPOILER ALERT: I do it anyway).
  28. I still watch WWE (not even ashamed).
  29. Law and Order SVU and Criminal Minds are my go-to binge watching shows.
  30. I’ve seen every X-Men movie in theaters on opening weekend.

I tell yall this because I really am just a normal person who was obese, worked hard, and got healthy. When I say anyone can do it if I can do it, I really mean it! I wouldn’t sit in a gym parking lot, much less work out in a gym. I was able to change my life around and I sincerely hope I can motivate you as you live healthy with me!


New York City! Life

This past weekend I went to New York City and it was a blast! So many fun experiences and great food. Good thing we walked a lot! I have a feeling NYC is overall a very heart healthy city- I walked 7-8 miles every day I was there!

On Friday, I took a plane to NYC and landed at JFK. I was really nervous about navigating my way into Manhattan alone, but I managed just fine. I had to ask someone where the AirTrain station was because there weren’t too many signs in my terminal, but once I got on the AirTrain it was smooth sailing. After getting off the AirTrain, I paid for my ticket (you pay for the trip at your station- I got off at Jamaica Station) and then headed toward the E train toward the World Trade Center.

 

When I got to the World Trade Center stop, Mike was waiting for me to walk us to the place we were staying. The view was amazing! new york view

    

Shortly after, we met up with a childhood friend of mine for dinner. We hadn’t seen each other in almost 8 years so it was great to catch up and see her!

The next morning (Valentine’s Day!) we went to a cute cafe close to our place. I got a bagel with cream cheese and Mike got a sausage, egg, and cheese croissant sandwich. The sandwiches looked so good! They had one made with french toast!

After breakfast, we got on the R train and went to Times Square. Times Square is amazing, if you’ve never been. I think everyone should see it once in their life. We walked through Times Square and got tickets to Phantom of the Opera from the TKTS station.

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After getting tickets, we went to a sushi buffet called Ichi Umi. This place is SO good. The scallops were so fresh, they were brought in from a local bay that morning!

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After lunch, we went back to Times Square so we could head to the Majestic Theater on Broadway. Seeing Phantom of the Opera has always been something I wanted to do. I saw it in San Francisco when I was a
kid, but I don’t remember much. I’ve always loved the show and I was SO excited to be able to see it on Broadway!

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It was amazing! When we left the theater it was SNOWING!! It never snows in Savannah, so it was so cool to be able to see snow!

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After the show, we went to the new Carlos Bakery location near Times Square.

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We got some pastries and then we went to dinner at Chevy’s- a childhood favorite of mine that I haven’t had since moving from California 10 years ago.

After Chevy’s we went back to our place, took a nap, and went to a bar called The Royal near Union Square to watch the Slam Dunk Competition.

On Sunday, we woke up and ate breakfast at the same cafe and headed to Central Park. It was SO cold!  central park

We wanted to walk through the Central Park to get to the Met, but it was so cold we couldn’t even think, so we hailed a cab and got a ride to the Met. The Met was amazing! I loved seeing all the history and all the modern art.

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After the Met, we went to eat at Katz Deli. The sandwich was so good but it was huge! We split a sandwich before we went back to our place, took a nap, and packed up to get ready to go.

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After we packed, we went to Grand Central Terminal and ate at Shake Shack. Grand Central Terminal is another location that everyone should see. It’s gorgeous! When we were done eating, we got a bus ride to LaGuardia and then flew back.

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It was probably one of the best vacations I’ve been on. Even though it was short, we did so much and had so much fun!


I also got a ton of walking in! Check out my FitBit stats for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!

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What has been your favorite vacation?

Carrie Signature


Eating Light at a Sunday Beach Brunch Fitness / Life

After a Saturday filled with yard work and house chores, Mike and I decided to head to the beach for brunch on this morning. We live about 30 minutes from Tybee Island, though we don’t go there as often as we probably should. I want to make a point to go the beach more often this year. It was 70 degrees and it was the perfect weather for a beach front brunch.

The drive there was great. No traffic and just warm enough to let the windows down.

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We went to a little restaurant called North Beach Bar and Grill. It’s a small place (with surprisingly adequate seating) in a more residential area of the island and it is walking distance to a public dock that goes right to the beach. Usually they serve burgers and seafood, but on Sunday mornings they serve brunch. The menu was small but everything looked amazing.

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Eating light at brunch isn’t always easy, but I made it a priority to find a wholesome meal. I ordered the Smoked Salmon benedict. It came with smoked salmon, sliced tomatoes, bacon, poached eggs, chive hollandaise, and home fries (a hash). Mike ordered the Jamaican French Toast which was two HUGE pieces of  Challah bread made like french toast. Mike and I also split an order of their gorgonzola grits. The smoked salmon benedict was seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. It was perfect. The salmon brought the perfect amount of savory to the whole dish and I also liked that there wasn’t an overload of hollandaise.

When looking at the menu and trying to get something lighter, I made sure to stay away from things with bread. Bread is delicious and  I DO eat bread, but I will avoid it if I can. I picked this dish because of the insane amount of protein in it. Eggs and salmon and bacon? That is a LOT of protein. It definitely kept me full during the day.

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Eating out doesn’t have to be a bummer! Pick something high in protein and enjoy yourself. If you really want to try something that you can’t find anywhere else (like the gorgonzola grits) get an order of it and share!

After brunch, Mike and I took a walk on the beach and enjoyed the weather.

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Do you like the beach? What’s your favorite beach activity?

 

Carrie Signature


The Skinny on Counting Calories (and Why I Stopped Counting Them) Fitness / Life

Counting calories. So many people who are losing weight or getting fit count calories and/or macros. While calorie counting apps are incredibly useful, it is so easy to end up a hostage to counting calories. I know for me, personally, a lot of my day was spent figuring out what fit into my day and what didn’t. Another part of my day was spent worrying about whether or not my goal was set correctly. It is emotionally draining and mentally exhausting.

 

I lost a lot of weight counting calories. I won’t deny that. But then I gained a lot. And then I had trouble losing it again.

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I learned a lot about counting calories throughout the years.

  1. Calorie counting can be useful
    Calorie counting is a great tool to use when you are first starting your weight loss or fitness journey. Calorie counting for a month can really teach you a lot about what foods are worth snacking on and what foods are best left for “every-so-often” snacks. Calorie counting can open your eyes to how many calories are in some of your favorite foods and it can show you what you may need to moderate.
  2. Calorie counting can cause problems
    Calorie counting opens your eyes to how many calories are in food which can, for some, make eating more stressful than helpful. It also is very hard to do long term. Are you going to log into an app every day of your life? If you find yourself in a position like I was, spending a lot of time obsessing over what would fit and what wouldn’t fit, counting calories may not be the best thing for you long-term. Many people I know have become obsessed with counting calories. So much that a day they go “over” can ruin their day. Even if it’s only 50-100 calories over! That’s not a healthy way to live your life. The extra stress isn’t any less healthy for you than an extra couple of pounds.
  3. Calorie counting is confusing
    The more weight you lose, the more your calorie goals change. You may be told to eat more or less than you currently were. Either change can make weight loss confusing. Calories in vs. calories out, they say, but it is much easier said than done. Once you lose a certain amount of weight after eating at a certain deficit, your progress stalls and your calorie goals must chance and that can cause a lot of anxiety for people. I was progressing and now the scale isn’t moving or even creeping back up: I must be a failure. Not an uncommon thought. But you are NOT a failure.

 

 

 

That’s great, Carrie, but how did you STOP? Quitting calorie counting is hard. Especially when it is something you’ve done for a long time. In my case, I was quitting a 4 year habit. You think you’re going to end up where you started. You may feel like you’re not in control of anything anymore. It easy, but, let me tell you something: it was SO worth it! It may seem daunting at first, but here are the 4 things that really helped me stop counting calories.

  1. Delete (or modify) your app
    I relied heavily on a calorie counting app and, while I didn’t delete it, I use it for the community support and for the recipe builder (so I can share nutrition content with others). If you find that you can’t go into the app without logging, just delete it.
  2. Use common sense with your food choices
    Go back to the basics! The food pyramid is a great resource. Fill your plate mostly with veggies, then protein, then starch. If you can choose between and apple and chips, choose the apple. If you really want the chips, eat the chips but choose an apple for the rest of the week. It sounds super simple because it is! Eat nutritious food all the time and junk food in moderation.
  3. Eat mindfully
    This can take some practice after using calories to tell you when to stop, but rely on your body to tell you when you’re full and when you’re not. Before you snack, think about what you’re craving and think about why. Could you eat some carrots and be satiated? If not, you’re probably not really as hungry as you think. Make sure your snacking isn’t mindless.
  4. Enjoy yourself
    It is 100% ok to go out and enjoy yourself every once in awhile. You don’t always have to get salads or chicken when you go out to eat and you don’t have to only hit up the veggie trays at Superbowl parties. Every once in awhile, it’s ok to indulge and you shouldn’t feel bad about it!

See that picture at the top? I was counting calories in all of those photos, except for 2- the first one and the last one. The first one was before I decided to change my life and the last one was a month ago.  The photo in 2011- I weighed 115 pounds. I was following my calorie plan. But I quickly gained back a lot of that weight because it wasn’t sustainable for me. After I gained back weight in 2012, there doesn’t look like much of a difference in weight for the rest of the photos. Even when I stopped counting calories, I didn’t back track. You don’t have to be scared of what might happen if you stop counting calories.

What will happen, however, is you will feel less stressed and more confident about yourself. You don’t need to rely on an app to help you lose weight. You can use what you learned from those apps to help you live a healthy lifestyle, but you do not need to rely on them to continue that lifestyle. That part is something you can do on your own!

 



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