Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Walking

Why I love walking as a form of exercise… It may not be an intense workout, but it gives me a whole lot of mental benefits!

#1: I’m FREE! Free, free as a bird! Quite simply, it gives me a break from my crazy, chaotic house. Sometimes it is too overwhelming and noisy to be at home and I need a serious breather!

#2: I can finally… think! If you have small children in your house, you know how truly hard it is to have any coherent thoughts! My walking (or any exercise where I don’t have a child interrupting me every other second), is a chance to have clear thoughts, what I call my “profound” thoughts. Now if I retain whatever profound thoughts I had by the time I finish and return to the craziness is a discussion for another day!

#3: Nature, beautiful nature. I love admiring the trees, grass, and other plants. Not to mention the ever entertaining creatures. Squirrels, chipmunks, bunnies, and birds can certainly be really entertaining and just plain beautiful to look at sometimes!

#4: Fresh air and sunshine. Sure this actually falls under the “nature” category, however I think it deserves its very own listing. I love the fresh air and sunshine. As long as the heat or humidity is not suffocating me, these two things are refreshing and invigorating!

#5: Variety in routes and length. Never a dull moment if you can change your routes day-to-day, and also challenge yourself to hit certain distances.

There you have it, a simple list as to why walking is still one of my favorite forms of exercise after almost a year and a half of healthy living.

What is your favorite form of exercise and why?

~Bonnie~

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Loving Yourself

love yourself

In this day and age, it is so important to practice self-love because even if we have loved ones in our lives that truly show how much they love and appreciate us, we still need to have a healthy dose of love for ourselves. Media and negative people are all over the place and can bombard us with critical thoughts. However, we can build a strong defense against these thoughts by being kind to ourselves and building love in our hearts.

Yes, I know it is so much easier to say than to do, but with time and practice you can get there! For me personally, I’m still working on it which makes it that much more important to me to share this with you all. To be honest, some days I can’t stop criticizing myself no matter how many times I correct myself right away. As soon as I have a critical thought about myself, I think “Don’t be so mean to yourself,” and try to replace it with something positive. For example, I chide myself for saying something that felt stupid, and instead say, “You’re human, that’s perfectly understandable and that person isn’t dissecting your words like you are. It was just a normal conversation and you didn’t say anything wrong.”

It’s a process like anything else, but is very worth doing and practicing on a daily basis. You will get to a place where you love yourself as much as others love you, or even more!

So I challenge you… to post or write down THREE things about yourself, your abilities, or your accomplishments that you like! Look back on this list when you’re feeling down or simply need a boost.

Bonus: post or write down one thing you can do each day that will show love for yourself and/or build your self-esteem. Make sure it’s something you can fit into your everyday life and stick with.

I will post in the comments my own response to this challenge, so feel free to read that to get some ideas for your own! Just remember that you are a unique person with a lot to offer, to yourself as well as others. You are indeed strong and powerful!

~Bonnie~

Fast Food Choices

Sometimes you just can’t avoid it: you are out longer than you planned and get hungry or even with the best of intentions, you forgot to pack something for while you were on the go.

kaboompics.com_Two apples on the board

I have been in this situation plenty of times throughout my weight loss journey so far, and would like to share with you some of my fast food go tos:

  • McDonald’s: grilled chicken patty by itself around 120 calories, grilled chicken sandwich or salad 310-350 calories, side salad with light or vinegar based dressing should be around 80-100 calories max, apple slices 15 calories, and fruit & yogurt parfait 130-160 calories (depends if you add the granola). As a bonus the ice cream cone makes a good low calorie treat for 170 calories, less if you get the kiddie cone. (mcdonalds.com)
  • Burger King: whopper Jr. 300 calories or 240 without mayo, tendergrill sandwich 460 calories or 350 without mayo, apple slices as a side 30 calories. They also have a cone which is 160 calories. (burgerking.com)
  • Wendy’s: grilled chicken wrap 270 calories, small chili 170 calories, side salad with light or vinegar based dressing should be 80-100 calories at most, crispy chicken sandwich 350 calories, and 4pc chicken nuggets 230 calories. (wendys.com)
  • Taco Bell: fresco shredded chicken soft taco 170 calories, fresco burrito supreme with chicken 340 calories, and bean burrito 370 calories. (tacobell.com)
  • Culver’s: snack pack buffalo chicken strips with small fry and diet/0 calorie drink 470 or snack pack with regular chicken strips and small fry and diet drink 510 calories. (culvers.com)
  • Dairy Queen: grilled chicken wrap 290 calories. (dairyqueen.com)

Obviously I didn’t list all fast food places or even all of the healthier choices at each place, but these are the ones I personally choose most of the time… There are always good or at least “better” choices when you have to eat away from home. If you have a way, such as on your phone or asking for a copy from the restaurant itself, look up nutrition info before buying your food.

Sweet Tooth Sweet Attack

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Anyone who has any touch of a sweet tooth understands that from time to time, we all crave something sweet! How to handle such a situation when you’re working on your health and trying to lose weight? Calories are precious commodities in our plans, as is the fat and carbs we try to limit to some degree in order to meet our goals!

So here are some of the things I’ve used for under 200 calories:

  • Apple sliced up with cinnamon on it.
  • Apple sliced up with a tablespoon of peanut butter to dip.
  • Banana with peanut butter to dip (obviously the banana’s slippery lol, so you might need a spoon or fork!)
  • Peaches, nectarines, plums, grapes, strawberries, basically any fruit that has a satisfying sweet taste is great!
  • Fruit with low calorie whip cream on top!
  • Canned fruit mixed with applesauce, yum! Low calorie too with lite syrup or water based canned fruit and unsweetened applesauce, around 100-120 calories. Even diced fresh strawberries in applesauce is delicious!
  • Unsweetened applesauce with a little bit of cinnamon mixed in.
  • Yogurt (regular/Greek) either with fruit or other dessert flavor or with fresh fruit added in.
  • Greek yogurt with peanut butter and/or bananas mixed in.
  • Low calorie pudding with fresh fruit mixed in, I prefer vanilla with diced banana.
  • Fiber One brownies occasionally since they are only 90 calories and really hit the spot for me.
  • Granola bars/Nutrigrain type bars.
  • Skinny Cow ice creams, which come in a variety of flavors and kinds with low calories.
  • Ice cream sandwiches, I personally use any brand and usually just regular or chocolate for 160-170 calories.
  • Ice cream cone from McDonald’s is only 170 calories, less if you get the kiddie cone!
  • Whole wheat/whole grain toast with honey nut or strawberry cream cheese for around 150-190 calories total.
  • Dry cereal occasionally if I’m desperate such as Life, Cheerios, or other relatively low calorie choices. This depends on what we have in the house.

The honey nut cream cheese was actually something my brother got but when I was craving something sweet and we didn’t have anything in the house, I tried that thinking the toast would fill me up and discovered that the honey taste really hit the spot. I used it another time when I was craving something sweet too. I haven’t had any strawberry cream cheese recently but I know from past experiences that it can hit the sweet spot too.

Most of these packaged foods are only occasional as I don’t keep many of them in the house on a regular basis, but they are good on the occasion that we do have them. I especially like the Fiber One brownies because I can keep them in my own space (away from grabby hands) and eat one as needed. I have by no means cut out processed foods entirely, and still turn to them pretty regularly. That is something I will work on as I continue my journey, but I do try to at least make a good effort to eat healthier options that are natural or minimally processed. Sometimes I do better than others, but it’s a process.

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Some of these could even serve as dessert with your dinner, or as an evening snack as most are really low calorie and/or healthy on some level.

So when you’re having a sweet attack, try something from this list and see if it works for you!

What are your go-to sweet treats that are low calorie and/or healthy? Do you have anything to add to this list? I know I didn’t list everything, because there are so many options so feel free to share! Passing along what you turn to can really help others in their own journeys.

~Bonnie~

Weight Loss Tips and Advice

weight loss tips and advice

Hello,

Have you ever had a question about weight loss and couldn’t find the answer? It can be hard to navigate forums and websites sometimes to find exactly the right information you’re looking for, even if you used Google (or another search engine) to do so. I’m offering to pass along the wisdom that I’ve accumulated over the course of my own weight loss journey. I am by no means an expert, but I have “been there done that,” in many weight loss related topics.

A little about me: I’m a 27 year old named Bonnie, and I have been focusing on my health and weight loss over the past sixteen months. I have lost 120+ pounds so far, and still have around 40 left to lose. I have babysat my two toddler nephews a minimum of 40-65 hours a week throughout my journey and live with them as well so they’re always around which can make things challenging. I have also attended one semester of school and juggling the whole healthy living, school, and babysitting was tough as well. Now I have just begun my own mainly online business and working hard to get it up and running adds a whole new level of challenge to the healthy living.

My journey has been a long one so far, and it can be trying at times, but I’m never going to stop moving forward. I love my new life too much to do so! Now I want to help others do the same thing, to find the strength and power within themselves to lose weight, improve their health, and find the confidence they need to live life to its fullest. Some things I have gained over the course of my journey is more confidence in myself and what I am capable of, improved overall health, less depression and anxiety issues, and so much more.

Me before I started to now! A work in progress but have come so far already!
Me before I started to now! A work in progress but have come so far already!

You can read more of my story in a couple of my past blogs: here and here, if you would like to know a bit more about me than the condensed version above. I would also like to invite you to download my freebies which are located above in the “Freebies” tab at the top of the page through a link. Right now there are only two, but there will be more to come in the near future.

Do you have any weight loss or healthy living related questions you would like answered? Would you like a listening ear to just discuss things with or a sounding board for ideas? Feel free to post any questions, ask for advice, or help needed in any form about weight loss or how to overcome obstacles. You can post them in the comments below or you can email me directly using the form below. I would like to help you in any way I can. If I don’t know an answer, I will let you know that as well.

~Bonnie~

FREE Weight Loss Workbook

weight loss workbook

Getting started can sometimes be the hardest part of improving your health and losing weight. Sure the motivation to lose weight may be the strongest in the beginning, but that will not carry over on its own. It wanes pretty fast for some of us.

That is why I have created a workbook designed to fire up your long-term motivation when you are first out of the gate. One that will give you a great baseline that can carry you a lot further than just getting started on your own.

These are some of the things that got me started on the right foot and I wanted to share them with you all. Even if you’re not “just starting,” and you’re just at some point in your journey where it’s getting tough for you for any number of reasons, this could be a good tool for you! And it’s free, so what could it hurt to try it?

All you have to do is click the download link and save. I suggest saving the document to work in on a computer and printing it to work with a pen as well, for best results, but it’s up to you and how you work best. If you prefer one way over the other, then that’s the way you should do it. Personally, I love both. I love my technology but it is also so refreshing to sit down with paper and pen and just let the muse take me away.

Follow this link: Downloads and click on the button below the workbook. (This is the new version, a second and better version I released on October 20th).

Feel free to send me a message, if you’d like. However, it’s not required in order to download the workbook. If you can’t get the link above to work, you can send me an email and I will send you the workbook directly. Thank you!

~Bonnie~

P.S. Check out my goals e-course: Goals to Become the Best You. It is a step-by-step guide with my help and assistance to make and pursue goals in a way that works for you! We have all felt discouraged or unmotivated to meet our goals. The trick is knowing how to go about your goals in a manner that can fuel you to move forward! Included is a 16 page workbook + guide, separate resources, and personal help through the community in the course. All this for the low introductory price of $30!

Super Easy and Simple “Recipe”

Do you ever have a strong craving for something sweet, but you don’t want to blow your whole plan? I do and honestly pretty often. I have a huge sweet tooth and sometimes it is just too hard to tame it!

Here is one of my go-to’s to satisfy the sweet tooth:

Fat free and sugar free vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk (I prefer 1% personally)
Half of a diced banana

The vanilla pudding tastes delicious even without the sugar and fat. I have eaten it by itself as well as with the banana and it hit the spot.

So what you do is prepare the pudding as per the directions on the box, using whatever milk you have available to you. Then after it has set in the fridge, serve yourself a half cup (one serving), dice half of a banana, and mix it together. Sit down and enjoy the sweet and complimentary flavors!

pudding and banana

It’s a dessert, but at least half healthy! Made with 1% milk and half of a small banana, it totals around 115-125 calories for the whole treat! What a lovely low-calorie way to fill your sweet tooth’s cravings! Plus it has the added bonus of 4 grams of protein from the milk!

You could also try other fat free, sugar free pudding flavors mixed with other fresh fruit or even canned fruit and find what works for you if this doesn’t sound good. There are so many options!

~Bonnie~