Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's my Party, I'll Eat Junk if I Want To

Yeah...I'm not even going to PRETEND that today was a good eating day...and I doubt tomorrow will be either...and you know, it's funny, but I don't feel the least bit guilty about it!

Anyway...I don't have time to write a long post. I just wanted to pop in to say HAPPY EASTER!!! I had a great weekend, and more fun planned for tomorrow, so I shall be sharing the weekend recap (as well as some other exciting stuff) with you later this week!!! And then I'll be back on track to hit my ultimate goal of 148 - hopefully in the next two weeks! Hold me to it!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fat-Free Good Friday

First of all, I hope that you all had a safe, happy, and healthy start to your long weekend. I know that I ate way too much chocolate did!

Second of all, I lost 0.6 of a pound this week. So I didn't hit my ultimate goal (1 more pound to go) but I also didn't gain, which is what I was afraid of! Thankful for that!

Onto more important things...

Recently, blogger SkinnyMeg had a post titled "More Than Being Skinny". If you haven’t read it yet, you really should. It gave great insight into the many benefits that exercise and healthful eating can bring to your life – besides the weight loss, of course! I don’t think you can possibly read about her journey without feeling proud of the positive changes she’s made, and how far she's come.

Naturally, it got me thinking about my own struggles. Many of you know that this isn’t my first rodeo – I successfully lost weight once before, and even kept it off for awhile…until marriage, school, and the stresses of daily life caused me to lose focus. After that I spent entirely too much time eating, being lazy, and feeling miserable about my appearance. Throw in my depression and anxiety disorders (sometimes well-treated, sometimes not) and you had a pretty unhappy Brenna.

I hit a breaking point last summer, a few months after having my second child. I was grumpy all the time, mad at myself, and feeling like a failure in my life. There were many reasons for this – and most of them could NOT be fixed by eating well and exercising. But after being dragged against my will to the doctor's (for my own good, I will admit) and put on proper medication to stabilize my moods, I realized that out of all of the stresses that were causing me pain, my eating and activity habits were at least things that I had control over. (And let’s face it – when you can’t stop screaming and crying, and your doctor orders you to get “one hour each day just to yourself”, it’s pretty easy to find family members willing to offer support).

I’d be lying if I said that I cared about anything other than weight loss…at first. I’d tell myself that I wanted to set a better example for my children – and I DID – but thinning out was definitely the main goal. I wanted to look at photos of myself and not be saddened and frustrated at what stared back. But very, VERY quickly, it became about so much more.

I suddenly had more energy. I was sleeping better. I felt more bonded to my family. My anger dissipated. I became a better wife and mom. Some of this was due to the medication, and I am thankful for that. But a lot was ALSO due to my new lifestyle - and knowing that I made those changes myself is something I can be proud of!

So it's no longer about being skinny for me, either. It's about knowing that I don't back down when a challenge presents itself. It's about the feeling I get when I shave a few more minutes off of my best run time. It's about knowing how far I've come, and how hard I had to try. It's about being pro-active with my health. It's about letting the little things in life bring me happiness again.

And you know what? I like that.

P.S. I'm sponsoring Holly's blog in April. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Link-me-up, Scotty!


Another link-up! And this time, it isn't over by the time I post it! Yay!!!

1. If calories didn't count, I would eat...a LOT more dill pickle chips, McDonald's, and Tim Horton's donuts. I'd have the cloggiest arteries you've ever seen.

2. On my Prom night...we got pulled over because the person driving our car (a friend of mine) has the same name as a wanted felon or something. AWKWARD! Oh and I went with an ex-boyfriend, which was actually NOT awkward.

3. When I go to the store, I always buy...chocolate. Why do I do that to myself, you ask? Because apparently I like to constantly fight temptation in my own home. Because that makes sense.

4. Family functions typically...are LOUD...with two toddlers and two babies (mine and my sister's) you just can't bother even TRYING to keep chaos to a minimum. And there is usually a lot of food, and none of it is low calorie. We're awesome like that.

5. I think my blog readers...are the main reason I've been successful in my weight loss. My blog isn't special, I'm not very exciting, but people read and follow me anyway, and leave nice comments...and it DEFINITELY helps me to keep myself accountable. Thank you SO MUCH for cheering me on!

6. I'd much rather be...a stay-at-home mom. But we just can't afford it. So, maybe what I really want to be is a lottery winner...hmmm...that sounds good...

7. I have an obsession with... reading blogs. Especially those relating to fitness and weight loss. It's a bit ironic that I spend more time on my butt READING about exercise than I do actually exercising, but...let's just forget about that, shall we?

8. My work friends...have much more interesting lives than I do!

9. When I created my Facebook account...I had no idea what it was and only did it because my friends told me to. Yup, peer pressure won out. Now I'm obsessed!

10. My least favorite word is...something that I won't type here. But it starts with a "c" and rhymes with "bunt". Hate it.

11. I really don't remember...where I ever put anything. Seriously, I'll have something in my hand and five minutes later, it will be gone...and I won't even remember putting it down!!! And I kid you not, I did it with my baby once. Seriously. (It was at home, no worries, and she was in her pack and play)

12. Justin Bieber... is a fellow Canadian, has lots of talent, but I still don't REALLY get the obsession with him. And he needs to stop tweeting. Like yesterday.

That's all for today!!! Now go join this link-up...NOW!

Monday, March 25, 2013


So, yesterday was bad...

Me + kid's birthday party + everyone telling me to "eat more" + dessert = BAD COMBINATION!

I may have ruined my chances of hitting my goal on Friday. Actually I'm pretty sure I did. And I felt like garbage after, because the evening turned into a full-blown binge. This is how I felt after:

Awful, right? When will I learn...?

On the way TO the party, I saw a bunch of people running a race. I'm not sure what kind of race it was, but I saw a "17k" marker, so I'm thinking it may have been a half marathon. I think those are around 21 kilometres? Anyway, it definitely made me itching to get back outside running. So I put my best foot forward today (pun intended) and knocked out 5k in 31 minutes. That's pretty close to my fastest time ever, so I'm thrilled with that!

I know that this wasn't a very exciting post. I'm hoping to have some new and cool stuff coming up on this blog soon, though. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fat-Free Friday

I have an announcement to make...

...(no, I am not pregnant. Go away.)

...I AM IN THE 140s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*happy dance* *cartwheels* *giant smiley face*

I weighed in at 149.6 this morning. You have absolutey NO idea how excited I am. Almost as excited as I will be when I hit my ultimate goal of 148 pounds (hopefully next week...I am so ready for maintenance). A year ago, I would NEVER have thought this possible!!! But several months of Weight Watchers, exercise, and blogging (to keep myself accountable) have much a huge difference in my life! Of course I wish I had started sooner, but all in all, I'm not complaining!

I have joined a challenge for the next week that focuses on cleaning up my eating. We are all allowed to chose our own goals. No cleanses or detoxes for me...just cutting out a lot of the junk. So here is what I am going to do in order to reach my goal by next week (besides get rid of this TOM bloating. Heh.):

- Push myself harder with my exercise
- Not overindulge at the party I am going to on Sunday
- eat more healthy fats (from nuts, fish, legumes, etc)
- eat more veggies and drink more water
- eat less sugar and salt
- avoid processed food as much as possible
- avoid artificial sweeteners
- avoid (for the most part) chocolate and peanut butter, since they seem to be my downfall lately
- eat only whole grains, not the white stuff
- think positive and not beat myself up if I do have a slip - this one is very important!

Oh yes, I am also finally going to try quinoa this week. Any recipe suggestions?

That's really all I have to say for now. I'm just in such a giddy mood :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What I am loving...

- spaghetti squash
- that spring is coming
- being able to pull off skinny jeans (pictures to come later)
- the fact that I actually crave lunches like this:

instead of lunches like this:

- asparagus (who knew?)
- onions - I put those devils on everything now!
- running outside!
- being so close to my ultimate goal
- chocolate fudge ice cream bars (only 90 calories for the ones I have, score!)
- All-bran cereal...yes, seriously...
- my kids' ages
- heck, just being a mom
- my new dry shampoo
- lifting weights
- my faithful readers :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

Today may not have been the most exciting St. Patrick's Day of all time in the eyes of some, but it was still a good day in my eyes.

I started by getting up and going for a run. It was colder than I thought, but I pushed through anyway. I didn't set any personal records or anything, but I did last an hour, and tackeled some of the hills around my house. Big win for me!

Next, I took my daughter swimming with my sister and niece. My sister had to yell at some pre-teens who were being idiots and nearly knocked our daughters in the head with their volleyball. Lame. Afterwards I tried to take a picture of my daughter but this is the best I got (her hair and swimming don't mix!)

Then I went home and made something that I had been looking forward to all week:

A homemade mint chocolate chip milkshake. It was worth every fattening sip.

I wore this, because I'm an idiot:

Then my daughter wanted to take a picture of her brother, and it ended up looking like this:

Could be worse? She's only 3.

I ended the day by going to a movie with my husband (Oz: The Great and Powerful. It was okay). No drinking, not partying, but lots of family time!

Hope that you all had a safe and fun St. Paddy's Day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fat-Free Friday AND Before and After - One Month of Work

So, I'm a horrible blogger, because I totally forgot to share with you some of my workout successes from February!

Basically, at the beginning of the month, I realized that I had become cardio-obsessed and had completely neglected my strength training regiment. So, I decided to put more of a focus on strength once again, including doing two daily challenges (one focused on my arms, the other on my abs) hoping that I would see more definition in my body. Although changes weren't drastic, I'm pleased with the results:

I am thrilled with the changes I see in my arms. I always struggle with them!!! And even though childbearing has completely destroyed my tummy area, I can still see improvement! So I might as well keep trying, right?

Something else to discuss: “Everything in Moderation”

From the moment I began this recent weight-loss quest, I have had one main mantra: “everything in moderation”. I say it here, I say it to myself, and I say it to others. Moderation is something that can be applied to many things in life, and of course weight loss is no exception. I don't believe in depriving myself completely of my favourite things just to make the scale happy.

As you can tell, though, from previous posts, I have not been following my own advice. At least, I haven’t been following it when it comes to sugar – more specifically, CHOCOLATE! I used to be able to satisfy my sweet tooth with a single oreo, or a small chocolate-covered marshmallow egg. Not anymore. Lately, eating chocolate leads to eating more chocolate, junk, and even more chocolate. I wonder if something hormonal is going on…?

Anyway…a few days ago, after yet another session of cramming-chocolate-into-my-face-as-fast-as-I-can-before-bed, I got ticked off. Ticked that I had once again let a certain (delicious) food control me. I figured that the best way for me to beat this new addiction was to go cold turkey – for just three days. So, I set out to not eat even ONE BITE of chocolate before my next weigh-in. I also decided to try to eat a little bit cleaner, because my overall eating habits have been slacking as well. So, how did I do?

Day 1: No problem! I felt great, had only a small taste of something sweet (vanilla flavoured), wasn’t hungry and didn’t miss my chocolate!

Day 2: I was good until about 4:00, at which point I wanted to gouge my eyes out and replace them with oreos. But I resisted the temptation.

Day 3: I didn't eat any chocolate, but I started to think that this whole thing was stupid. Why cut something out for three days that I fully intend to eat again? And I ended up eating too much sugar to help quench my chocolate cravings. Dumb.

I'll consider it an overall success because I definitely do not crave chocolate like I did even a few days ago. So that's a win. Also, I lost another 0.8 of a pound, bringing my weight to 150.6...only 2.6 until I reach my ultimate goal! Hopefully that will happen in the next two weeks.

I’m going to be picking up some healthier chocolate fudge bars that I’ve tried before that are only around 90 calories, and plan to use these as my post-dinner snack. I always feel the need to eat something after the kids go to bed, and I figure a fudgesicle is the way to go because a) it’s chocolate, but doesn’t cause me to crave other chocolate, and b) it takes a long time to eat, which will satisfy my mouth’s stupid desire to have something constantly in it!!!

I also want to continue to eat less processed foods. I don’t mind some (say it with me: MODERATION) but I feel like lately I’ve been relying on it too much, and as a result I’ve been feeling hungrier throughout the day!

Hope everyone had a good week!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Link Up Fun


Okay, so technically, I think that this link up may be closed already...nonetheless, I thought the questions would be fun to answer, and I'm lacking blogging inspiration today, so...without further ado, here we go...

1. People always tell me that I talk too much.

2. In the movie based on my life people would probably leave the theatre thinking "What the hell?"

3. Typically, I end up regretting stuffing so much chocolate into my pie hole

4. I always ask to leave off the bacon. I don't eat mammal meat.

5. Kim and Kanye really need to go away. Just...please?

6. My Parents always reminded me that...sorry, can someone remind me?

7. Every single day I spend way too much time thinking about food.

8. This one time in College I had a roomate who had a criminal record for fraud AND assault, and needed me to sign some sheet from her parole officer because we were living together. True story.

9. My grossest habit is I pull out my hair when I'm stressed.

10. My latest white lie was I honestly can't remember. I'm pretty honest.

11. I know all the words to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat

12. When I grow up I want to be a professional shopper for some rich lady.

13. Sexy time is exhausting.

14. I will never, ever ever ever ever write a song about Sibbie.

15. I think it's hilarious how awkward I feel watching uncomfortable scenes in movies.

How would YOU answer these questions? If you were part of this link up, let me know!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fat-Free Friday

First of all, you know what's really embarassing?

Getting to work and realizing that your socks look like this:

Yeah, up and over the leggings. I'm sexy and I know it.

Moving on...I am thrilled to report that I had another blog post featured on Fitness Unscripted's webpage. You can read it here. I admit, this was a bit of a whiney post, but I felt that I needed to put it out there. I know that a LOT of people are struggling right now, and it helps to know that we aren't alone.

In other news, I lost 0.8 pounds this week. I'll take it. I had a few HORRIBLE days. Again. Surprise, surprise. I finally figured out my problem: I replaced my salty, greasey cravings (can anyone say "chips"?) from a year ago with non-stop chocolate cravings today. I still haven't figured out what to do about it though...

My weight is currently 151.4 WHICH MEANS...drum roll please...I am only 3.4 pounds away from my ultimate goal!!! I can't wait until I can say that I lost 50 whopping pounds...which will hopefuly happen by the end of the month!

Wish me luck, once again!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake!

I know that some of you like to see photos of my "creative pursuits", as I call them, so I thought I'd share this picture with you. This was my daughter's first birthday cake, which my wonderful friend Anne helped me to make:

We even made a miniature version for her to destroy eat all by herself!

That's all I got today. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fat-Free Friday = Freakin' AWESOME!

Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?”

Isn’t this a great quote? (I can’t remember if I’ve shared this with you before. I have a terrible memory). I saw it in the signature line of my co-worker’s email, and I just love it. I’m all about ongoing self-improvement (as if you haven’t noticed), and it’s truly not all about what I look like on the outside. The inside is even more important. So, let me ask you - is YOUR attitude worth catching? I'm hoping mine is!

Now, onto Fat-Free Friday: this week was BAD. Despite eating good meals (yay me), I found that I was RAVENOUS throughout the day. (I feel like I’ve complained about this before. Many times.) Anyway…I spent way too much time shoving way too much random food into my mouth. Kids’ leftovers. Chocolate. McDonald’s pies. Chocolate. Mom’s mac and cheese. Chocolate. Cookies at work. More chocolate. Seriously, I was even shoveling stuff into my mouth that I DON’T EVEN LIKE! And I have no idea why.

Fortunately, with a bit of determination, I was able to reign in my snacking on Wednesday and Tuesday. Which is, I’m sure, the only reason that I lost 2.2 pounds this week. Yes, you read that right. I'm still in shock about that! I'm officially the lowest weight (152.2) that I've been since BEFORE I WAS MARRIED!!! Man I feel like a rockstar...

I don’t know what my problem is as far as food goes, but I suspect that one issue is that I’m starting to find my “go to” foods BORING. I mean, I’m not much of a cook, so being creative with food isn’t something that comes easy to me. But I’m making the effort to try new things. For example, earlier this week I threw together a shrimp stir fry with a bit of Thai sauce that was quite yummy. And one morning I tried a new oatmeal combination (plain oatmeal + ½ cup thawed frozen raspberries + 1 tablespoon semi sweet chocolate chips = YUM). I’m also looking into trying a “skinny” taco salad this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed for me that this helps!

Sweets have been the biggest craving, which is something that I actually DIDN’T struggle with before beginning this weight-loss journey, so I do find that a bit confusing.

But still, I lost over 2 pounds, I'm less than 5 pounds away from my ultimate goal, and I finally found coloured skinny jeans that I love (in a size 8!!!) So, today is a good day!

Also, I now have an email address hooked up to this blog! Send me a line at bren.babysteps @
That's ".ca" people, NOT ".com"....I'm Canadian, eh?
And leave a comment.
And take my poll.
And become a follower of this blog. I really want to hit 100.

That is all!