Hi all!  It’s Jennifer – Biz’s twin sister.  Since Biz and our Mom were leaving at the crack of dawn to go on vacation – I’m taking over for today.

I think what I will share is my weight loss success so far this year.  It’s going pretty well – I can’t believe I’m still at it!  Like everyone else in January – I was the “I’m going to do it this time!” camp which usually lasts for a few weeks, then the excitement wears off and then it’s starting and stopping over and over again.

This year was different – I had a Dr. check up mid-January.  As you all know Biz is diabetic and miraculously – even though we are identical twins, I’ve been lucky so far and do NOT have diabetes.  But in December Biz gave me her old testing kit to check for blood sugar.  I hadn’t checked my blood sugar in about a year maybe.  And it was high – 140’s – 150’s fasting (normal fasting blood sugar should be below 100).  That scared me a ton!  So I had my Dr. do my blood work.  He gave me 12 weeks to see if I could lose weight or else I would have to have more tests done.

I love Weight Watchers – Biz and I were made lifetime back in 1999/2000 and we love that kind of program.  I tried to get a group going in my office but didn’t have enough people – but as luck would have it there was a long standing meeting on the 6th floor of my building!  I contacted the person in charge to ask if I can join their group and they said “YES!”  So – I started the end of January – and my weight was almost at an all time high at 201.5.  The highest weight I ever got to was 207 and USUALLY I will get up to 199.9 and then panic and try to lose weight (it’s an ongoing saga!).    So that was kind of a high number to start out with.

The people in the Weight Watchers group could not have been nicer – the leader, fantastic – she’s around my age – she lost NINETY pounds and has kept it off for 10 years.  If you saw her – you would never guess that she ever had a weight problem.   I went for 19 weeks – except week by week – some of their staff quit, or never came back and the group got smaller and smaller and they had to cancel the meetings, last week was my last meeting (sad face!).   I never missed a meeting, I logged all my food 100% for those 19 weeks and even when I had weeks where my losses were small, I never gave up.  The weekends used to be hard for me- I would do great on the weekdays, only to eat like a crazy person over the weekend, then feel like Monday I had to start over again.  Now, I stay within my calories, get lots more exercise on the weekends and when Monday rolls around – I get to KEEP going instead of STARTING over!  (and that is a great feeling!).

Have I felt deprived in any way?  Not at all! Check out my instagram page at Jenncooks0319.  I’ve logged pretty much most of my food – with the points value.  Now that my Weight Watchers meeting was ending – of course I could find another meeting near my office or home – or I could just do Weight Watchers online – but I decided I would switch things up and log all my food on My Fitness Pal.  I am going to post the calories for my foods now and people can figure out the points if they want. 

One of my favorite breakfasts!
One of my favorite breakfasts!

This is one of my favorite breakfasts – Eggo frozen waffle with sugar free syrup and chia seeds, hard boiled egg, 6 slices deli ham, 3 oz. roasted potatoes and an orange.  Does that look like diet food?  šŸ™‚

Fiesta on a plate!
Fiesta on a plate!

Biz and I LOVE tacos – and I use half ground beef now and half cooked quinoa.  Then I sometimes get the green salsa from Chipotle to accessorize!

What about exercise?  Glad you asked!  For those of you who don’t know I finished 2 marathons in 2005 and 2006.  But as with anything, if you stop exercising for a while – it’s like starting all over again!  I love walking, so that’s what I did in the beginning.  I take the train to work in downtown Chicago, and I started getting off 1 or 2 stops before my regular stop – now I get off 4 stops and walk about 15 minutes to start my day.  Then I walk during lunch.  When it was too cold out in the winter, I used the underground pedway system.  There are miles of underground paths in the City – like an underground city!  That way I could walk my whole lunch hour without being in the cold.  Or if it was nicer out, I would walk either to the Lakefront path or the Chicago Riverwalk – or just through Millennium Park.  So getting my steps in during the week has been NO problem!  But what about the weekends?  My husband is an avid runner and he’s been running for 20+ years – getting up super early during the week.  He suggested since it’s summer – would I like to run with him on Saturdays…..AND……get up early to do so.  If you don’t know I LOVE to sleep in on weekends.  Having teenagers – they are sleeping in, so I would take advantage.  It isn’t unlike me to just stay in my pj’s until noon just chilling watching cooking shows! 

For the last 10 weeks, I’ve set my alarm AND woken up at 8:00 every Saturday – to try to beat the heat.  And you know what?  I love it! At first it was hard – but now it’s like I’ve accomplished so much before the day even gets going and when we get back our kids are usually still asleep! LOL 

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And today – I weighed in and I was 176!  The lowest I’ve been in years.  My goal is to get to 140 by the end of the year – that’s a comfortable weight for me to maintain I think.

I hope everyone has great 4th of July plans.  My niece is getting married Sunday – so super excited about that!  Thanks for listening to my story and check back for more guest posts while Biz is on vacation.


My helpful tips:

  • I weigh and measure all my food just to make sure my portion is correct
  • I log everything I eat – first I used the Weight Watchers App, now I use My Fitness Pal
  • Avoiding food/treats/junk at work – I pretend someone sneezed on it and that grosses me out!
  • I bought a large mason jar for my water, trying to drink 3 of those during my work day.
  • No food is off limits – I don’t care if it has a carb, protein, fat, dairy – I can eat whatever I want
  • I still have treats!  I’ve never given up having some beers over the weekend and of course my beloved Party Pizza Friday – I have Pizza as much as I want on Friday nights.
  • Moving more has helped me to   – I used to be a total couch potato!
  • Reading weight loss blogs, following people on Instagram doing great motivates me.
  • I LOVE the You Tube channel – Lose it like Lauren – she lost 147 pounds and still struggles, but is winning the fight!
  • I also love Gracie’s journey channel – she’s down close to 90 pounds I think – very inspirational.
  • Write down WHY you want to lose weight and revisit those often when you feel like quitting.
  • One tip that has stayed with me from an old WW leader – is if you eat out to replace a meal because you didn’t bring a lunch, or you are too busy to fix something at home – always eat as healthy as you can – it’s not a celebration if you are just eating out for convenience.  If it’s your birthday or anniversary – then by all means splurge – just keep regular eating out not a free for all!
  • I’ve interviewed lots of people about their weight loss, including friends Lori and Shelley – all naturally!  Check out their stories here

You can see more of my recipes at my blog http://www.slim-shoppin.com