Monday, July 29, 2013


Ok, I'm too distraught about The Bachelorette to post anything more than this.

Today: 45 minutes of plyo, but also like 23455 cookies.


K, goodnight:)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stylin' Sunday

Ohhh yeah. My new weight has me feelin' like it's time to be a fashionista. So I dressed up a little today.

I GOT MAROON PANTS. And I love 'em and they fit so well. Better than any jeans I've ever had before, actually. I got them at Urban Outfitters. Shockingly they had my size with a length of 29" which is perfect for me (I have short legs...) Yay yay yay. And if you're curious, the graphic tank and denim shirt are both from Nordstrom.

Health Updates: I've been continuing with my 4 weeks to Lose 5 pounds plan. Crazily enough, I've already lost the 5 pounds in just 2 weeks! But, I'm trekking on. This weekend I went a little cray cray with my eating cause I was all like Hey I met my goal already, why not eat 3500 cookies? Bad thinking, Ellen. Yes, losing 10 pounds was the short term goal, but I've gotta think about the future. My ultimate goal weight is still 14.6 pounds away.

Which brings me to my new set of goals.
  • This semester, I'd like to lose another 10 pounds! This sounds so so so hard to do. I mean, juggling classes, homework, extracurriculars, and a social life isn't easy. Add exercising and healthy cooking/shopping to the list and it seems downright impossible. But I've learned this summer that dedication and determination lead to good things. And NOTHING is impossible!
  • I'd also like to get involved in an active activity! Luckily, college campuses are very active places to be. There are always new exercise classes, rec sports, and active social activities to try.
  • Finally, I'd like to cook healthy meals 5-6 nights a week. I'm always good about this at the beginning of the school year. But, when hard exams are coming up or if I miss a trip to the grocery store, I tend to just say Ah, whatevs, let's just go out to eat. Not cost efficient, and not conducive to weight loss. So I'm gunna try to cook as much as possible. Which I usually enjoy, so it shouldn't be an issue :) Another thing I tend to do is cook a main dish but leave out veggies/fruits/side dishes. I'm going to attempt to make more balanced meals.
I'm getting so antsy to get back to school. Can't wait to see my friends again and get back into the swing of things!


Saturday, July 27, 2013


I woke up this morning with a really good feeling. And then, BOOM, the scale showed me that magic magic number. The number that is exactly 10.0 pounds lower than it was on May 10, 2013 when I started this crazy journey! 

I may or may not have done a weird jumping dance move on the way back to my room.

Seeing this number did wonders for how I feel about myself. Not necessarily my appearance, because, as I've stated, it's hard for me to personally see any differences in how I look. But it helped me realize that I can literally do ANYTHING! I can lose weight. I can climb mountains. I can be a superstar. YEAH.

And here are a couple of stats that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside:
  • Upon losing this tenth pound, I took my BMI from the Overweight range to the Healthy/Normal range. That is a huge deal because it means that now I'm in an ideal weight range and have the capacity to lead a healthier, happier life!
  • I've lost 6.27% of my total body weight!
 So, anyway, hooray! I've got two more weeks of my plan, so maybe I can go back to school 12-13 pounds lighter! :)


Friday, July 26, 2013


Hi. Thank God it's Friday. This week was hellacious and I'm totally wiped. Plus I accidentally took a 2.5 hour nap this afternoon, so who knows if I'll be able to get any sleep tonight :/

Friday is my rest day (Praise) so I just took a 45 minute walk with Josh after dinner for some light exercise. I had a pretty healthy day of eating, as well. AND I discovered these delicious ice cream bars I thought I'd tell you about:

They're so yummy! The only thing is, they're pretty small. But for 160 calories each, that's understandable. They have a layer of ice cream and a layer of cookie dough, with little chunks of cookie dough on top! MMMM.

If you didn't notice, I eat ice cream a lot. And still lose weight. Like I always say, smart choices and moderation!

Treat yourself this Friday :) But don't go overboard!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Healthy Shopping List!

I remember going to the grocery store for the first time after I started my summer health journey. I felt like a lost child at Disneyworld.

Where do I go? What do I buy? What is healthy? What isn't?

This is healthy! And also yummy :)

Shifting to a healthier lifestyle is, without a doubt, scary, confusing, and frustrating. So, to help y'all out, I'd like to share with you a healthy shopping list. I think this list could be beneficial to first time dieters or anybody who would like to start eating better!

Without further ado, here it is:

  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Apples
  • Bananas (Get a gigantic bunch!)
  • In-season fruits (Peaches, berries!)
  • Grapes
  • Cuties/Clementines
  • Tomato sauce (My fave is Classico tomato basil)
  • Deli meat: Turkey or chicken (For sandwiches)
  • Chicken breasts
  • Any kind of fish you like! (Salmon, sole, anything you please)
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Ground turkey, if you're into that sort of thing. (Not a huge ground meat person. Or meat person in general. But if you are, this stuff is good and good for ya!)
  • Eggs
  • 2% shredded cheese
  • Babybel light/Laughing Cow (cause I can't live without cheese!)
  • Yogurt (Greek is healthiest, if you're into that sort of thing.)
  • Almond milk/Skim milk (I dare you to try almond milk. Not as bad as I thought it'd be! I get Silk unsweetened vanilla)
  • Hummus (The garlic flavor is my personal favorite)
  • Nut-thins crackers (I recommend almond or hazelnut!) or low fat Triscuits
  • Quaker caramel rice cakes
  • Jif reduced fat peanut butter (A must have)
  • Reduced fat graham crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Applesauce! Get the all-natural kind.
  • Nuts (Almonds/pistachios/whatever you love)
  • Hershey's dark chocolate kisses (cause we all need something sweet sometimes!)
  • Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches (I like cookies and cream!)
  • Weight Watchers toffee ice cream bars (what can I say, I love ice cream.)
  • Protein powder (This may not be at your local store! I think my mom ordered our's online. I use a brand called Right Size and I like the Lean Cocoa Bean flavor.)
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Whole wheat tortillas/pita pockets
  • Ronzoni pasta, whole wheat of course! (If you don't like whole wheat pasta, try Ronzoni's high fiber kind. Tastes identical to other boxed pastas.)
  • Honey Nut Cheerios medley cereal (YUM)
  • Peanut butter multigrain Cheerios (YUM) 
  • Oatmeal (I like maple and brown sugar & apples and cinnamon!)
I think that's it! Well, I'm sure I forgot something important, but that's all I've got for now. Hopefully this list can help you feel a bit more confident about healthy eating (and shopping)!

-Ellen :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lame Post Alert

Good day, readers!

I had a great, healthy day today. Went to another Zumba class with my mom. Always a great workout. And had a Qdoba naked burrito for dinner. Mmmmm. Glad Qdoba has healthy options! I'd be so sad without it in my life!

There's really nothing to report today. Just another boring day in the life of little old me.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken hummus pizza!

Do you like chicken? Do you like hummus? Do you like pizza?

Then I have a hunch you'll enjoy this chicken hummus pizza recipe! :)

I thought it was really good. Creamy, garlicky, and cheesy, with a crispy crust. I think you could even make this with little to no cheese and not really be able to tell the difference because of how thick and creamy the hummus is. I would also recommend adding mushrooms, bacon, or other toppings to add some more flavors and textures. This pizza isn't exactly low-cal, but it's definitely healthier than ordering Pizza Hut and it's also fun to make :) Here's the recipe:

In other news, my current weight loss is 9.4 pounds. Boom baby! As I've said, I do not notice at all and I can't tell where on my body this weight is coming from. But the scale doesn't lie! And that number is something to be proud of.

Have a teriffic Tuesday,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Doing it for ME.

 There are a lot of days when I'm not in the mood to workout. There are a lot of days when I want to stuff my face with unhealthy food. In those moments of doubt, it's very important to look at how far I've come, reevaluate my goals, and think about the future.

How far I've come: I've lost just about 9 pounds. Pretty darn good considering I've never even attempted to lose weight before. I'm pretty proud and amazed at what a little determination can do.

Reevaluating my goals: This whole journey started because of the way I felt about myself. If we're being 100% honest, it was never really about getting healthier. It was about getting thinner so I could escape being the person who heard all of the insults and mean comments I've gotten throughout my life. So I could be someone who received compliments and who was generally perceived as thin and normal and likeable.

The thing is, that's not really my goal anymore.

I would love to have people notice and compliment me on my weight loss. (Of course!) But, I'm more concerned with the bigger picture here. I just want to be happy with who I am.

When I look in the mirror today, I don't see a girl who's lost almost 10 pounds. I see flaws. I see reasons to work out. I see things that make me sad, not happy. And somehow, after all of this hard work, I still don't feel very confident about my appearance.

I've discovered that losing weight isn't the key to confidence. Years of insecurities have made me feel like crap, and a few pounds gone isn't going to help much. What I believe will help is realizing that...I am awesome. And my weight doesn't change that. I have an amazing boyfriend. Family and friends who love me. And my weight doesn't change that either.

Goals for the future: Work out. Eat well. Stay active. Love yourself. The rest will fall into place. You can't count calories every day for the rest of your life. Just keep working on weight loss until you feel that you are at a healthy and comfortable weight. Then step back and realize you're never going to be perfect. Don't hate yourself for skipping a workout. Don't freak out after every treat you let yourself enjoy. Above all, do this for YOU. You only have one life to live and you don't want to spend it at war with yourself.

[Sorry this is so long!]  -Ellen

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fun in the Sun-day: Kayaking!

Today Josh and I went kayaking! It was so much fun. And a great active activity/date idea! Kayaking burns 145 calories in just 20 minutes (which is about how long I was out there)! It definitely gives you an arm workout. And it's so awesome to try new outdoor activities that don't involve risk/danger, or running :) 

 I also bought school supplies today! Weird, I know, because it's still the end of July and school doesn't start for over a month. But I love love love buying school supplies. Like a child. In fact, I wish I was a child so my list could include awesome stuff like markers, glue sticks, and play doh. But I was content with some jungle animal folders, notebooks, a new pencil case, colorful pens, mechanical pencils, and an adorable backpack (below)!!

And, as always, I had to purchase a planner. I love my planner. Writing stuff down and creating strict deadlines for myself is the only way I can keep my grades up. In a way, this applies to weight loss. I lose the most weight when I carefully schedule and structure my workouts, and religiously log every food I eat into the MyFitnessPal app. If you can plan it, you can achieve it :)

Speaking of achievements, look who's down 9 pounds today! This girl! (Well, technically 8.6 pounds.) That means I've lost exactly 3 pounds this week! Yeah! In one week! Did I mention this eating plan/workout schedule is THE BEES KNEES?! If you would like to drop a few and go back to school looking your best, I'd highly recommend it. (Here's the link if you wanna try it!) I'm so proud and happy and excited to see how much more I can lose before move-in! :)

Tomorrow starts WATER WEEK at camp! Woohoo! Let's pray for sunny weather and no water balloon related injuries :)


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gloomy Saturday

 When I woke up this morning, I was annoyed. I thought: Ugh, great, I woke up at like 6:30. Gotta go back to sleep. But when I checked the clock it was 10:30! It just happened to be a dark, gross, gloomy day.

Luckily, I was able to pry myself out of bed and do 30 minutes of P90X plyometrics. And you know how I feel about plyo. PLYO MAKES ME WANNA DIE-O. But I got through it and I was fine :)

Oh wait! Forgot to tell you what happened before that! I weighed myself. And guess what. I'm down another pound! Woooooooot! This diet/exercise plan is hella dope. If you're looking to lose a few before going back to school, DO THIS PLAN. (I posted about it last Sunday. Sorry, too lazy to include the link :))

Other events of the day: Watching Les Miserables in a dark basement (I managed to only cry twice, but felt the need to express my attraction to Aaron Tveit at least six times); Going on a stroll after the rain stopped; Ending the day with Project Runway and House Hunters (I'm addicted to TV).

Tomorrow I hope to do some more shopping! Yay clothes.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Rest Day

Today was my rest day from my workout plan! I ate a bit too much, but I'm going on a long walk in a little while to burn off a few of those excess cals.

This was a long, long week. So hot. So stressful. I'm glad it's over. Looking forward to a relaxing weekend! Tomorrow Josh and I are going to kayak for a little while on the lake in my neighborhood. And hopefully I'll get a little more shopping done. (Back to school is creeping up on us, my friends, and I need CLOTHES.)

Oh! Also, I made a Tumblr. I don't know if I'm going to use just seemed like a good idea at the time. If you wanna follow me or whatever, here is the link :)

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Adventures in Fashion


Today was so so so exhausting. I got the mosquito bite from hell last night, which swelled up, turned red, and took over half of my forehead. Luckily the swelling had gone down quite a bit by the time I woke up. But I still looked a little deformed. So I had a Benadryl in hopes it would go away completely. It's still slightly swollen, but mostly gone.

If you didn't know, Benadryl makes you sleepy. You know what else makes you sleepy? 35 crazed 5-year-olds, 95-degree heat, stressful art projects, and the plethora of annoyances that come with my job. (By the way, I really do love my job. It was just one of those days. :))You know what else makes you sleepy? Interval training on the treadmill plus a full abs+arms workout. So, basically...

I'm extremely sleepy.

Proud of myself for working out as hard as I did and sticking with my diet plan today. I could've very easily caved in and cheated on my diet or taken a 2-hour nap. But I didn't and I'll be glad when the payoff comes.

I was finally able to make it to the mall this evening to get my 7-pounds-lost REWARD! A new iPhone case!

Yay! I also got 2 pairs of earrings, a dress, and a chevron top I'm so excited about. When I go back to school I'm going to try to wear more fashionable clothes in order to: A) show off my slightly smaller bod, and B) motivate myself to workout. (If I don't fit into my cool clothes, I can't wear them! Gotta maintain that loss!) And also I just enjoy fashion and I've always wanted to be more stylish :)

So, for the fashionistas out there, WHERE CAN I FIND MAROON PANTS? I'm totally obsessed with the idea that I need these pants. I feel that maroon is going to be very on trend this fall and I love earth tones and colored pants. I'd also like to get some new jeans, neutral tops, some cute cardigans, and a light brown leather jacket. Help me find these things, please!

And have a great night!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday

It was a lovely day at camp. Tie dye. Tae kwon do. Bundles of fun.

Then I got home and was like Ugh I have to do PLYO today UGHHHH. But I did it anyway.

This workout/eating plan is the bomb. I didn't enter my recorded weight this morning because it seems too low and I wanna wait another day to confirm that it's right. But if it is, this workout/eating plan is SERIOUSLY THE BOMB.

I just wanna snuggle in bed the rest of the day.

Plyo will do that to ya.

Here's a little chalk fitspiration. Have a great evening :)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Zumba Toning!

Good day, friends. :)

Down another pound! Woohoo! Just 3 more to go now until I hit my benchmark of 10 pounds GONE! I have confidence that I can lose 3 more lbs this summer. Maybe more! Just gotta stay on track :)

Today I went to a class called Zumba Toning with my mom. Zumba tends to be strictly cardiovascular, which some people love and others hate. Of course, cardio is great for your heart, weight loss, and overall fitness level. But this class, which involved maraca-like hand weights, squats, and curls, was a refreshing blend of Latin dance, cardio, and strength training. I'd definitely recommend this class to anyone who would like a fun, well-balanced, full body workout!

These are the hand weights we used! Aren't they adorable??

Tonight with dinner, we're having some fresh Indiana corn. One of the perks of living in the Hoosier State :) Mmmmm.



Monday, July 15, 2013

Plyo. Why oh why-o.

See what I did there? :)

Mkay guys. Look at the number to your right. It says "6 pounds lost."

Not what I was hoping for at this point in the summer. So yesterday I decided to rejuvenate my fitness plan and amp it up in order to lose a full 10 pounds by the end of the summer. That means I need to lose 4 pounds in 4 weeks. That sentence scares the s#!+ out of me...but I'm going to try very very hard to do it.

Here's the new plan: (which you can access here

And since this is so cardio focused, I'm adding back in this little guy a few times a week:
Yesterday I did an interval workout on the treadmill and today I did 40 minutes of plyometrics. PLYO IS SO KILLER, GUYS. Imagine jumping up and down repeatedly...intermingled with squats and leaps and all kinds of craziness. Yikes. 

Another big change I made was in my eating habits/schedule! I'm using this guide as an eating plan. I think it will help me to be given a very specific menu that I must eat. And this plan looks pretty reasonable.

No cheats!
No cheats!
No cheats!
No cheats!
No cheats!

I've gotta do this. I wanna go back to school proud. 

The one cheat meal I will allow myself in the next month is my family's annual back-to-school Benihana night. But that will probably be right before move in, so maybe I will have lost it all by then anyway! Fingers crossed.

I challenge you to do this crazy workout/eating plan with me. See how much you can lose in this last month of summer! BRING IT ON!!


Note: Move-in is in four weeks. School doesn't actually start for five more weeks. So I have a tiny tiny speck of wiggle room if I need to lose an extra pound or so before officially going back to class. 

And P.S. I just had the best dinner ever. So simple. Just 2 oz. chopped deli chicken, 3/4 cup broccoli, 3/4 cup whole wheat pasta. SO filling and delish :) Try it!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Hey guys! This morning I woke up and remembered that I have to work out. My thoughts went a little like this: Well. I have to work out today. What should I do? Running? It's too hot. Workout DVD? It's only 20 minutes. Maybe. Meh.

As you can see, I wasn't exactly thinking about how thrilled I was to have a healthy day.

So, I decided to come up with a list of ways to get motivated to exercise, eat well, and stay on track with a healthy lifestyle! Hope this is helpful :)

5 Ways to Motivate/Re-motivate Yourself!

1. Do the MATH! 

The other day, I got home from work and flopped onto my bed. In my mind, I was done for the day. Exercise? No way, Jose. Then, after a few minutes of playing around on my iPhone, I came across an app designed to calculate body fat percentage, BMI, BMR, and Waist-to-Hip Ratio. Just for fun, I plugged in my measurements. I found that my BMI is slightly too high and my body fat percentage is a little higher than I'd like, as well. Physically seeing those numbers and the risks they held for me motivated me to get up and get active! Here's an online calculator that can help you do the math!

2. Do some fashion pinning!

Of course we all know that the Health&Fitness section of Pinterest can offer us invaluable health advice, inspirational quotes, and a myriad of other helpful tools. But, for me, the Women's Fashion section is far more motivational. See a cute dress, bikini, or sweater? Yeah, it looks great on that model, but if you keep sitting on the couch, it's not gunna look so great on you. I know the promise of looking better in cute clothes is a great motivator for me! So, if you want to get motivated, do some pinning!

3. Do some Instagram creepin.

Okay, well, let's not call it "creepin." How about "searching"? Search for the hashtags #beforeandafter #beforeandafterweightloss #weightloss and I guarantee you will find something that inspires you. If you put down the donut and pick up the whole grain toast, maybe one day you can have a picture as inspiring as, say, this:

 4. Create a Motivation Board/Wall!

Seeing is believing, right? If you have to walk past a motivation board every morning, chances are you will feel more inclined to stay on track. I haven't had a chance to do this yet, but it sounds like such a great idea! Pick some inspirational quotes, print off your workout schedule, highlight your goal weight, and add anything to this board that you know will get you off your butt and into the gym. I love how this example has a bikini physically on the board. I know seeing that would make me wanna do a few extra crunches!

 5. Promise yourself a reward for after you finish.

I love rewarding myself for weight loss. Even though the ultimate goal weight is far out of my reach, rewarding myself for little victories makes the task seem much less daunting, and makes the goal seem closer and more concrete. But rewards don't just have to be for lower numbers on the scale. I have a much less formal rewards system for when I work out that I like to call eating more food. Some days, I'm tempted to skip my workout and just eat less food. The problem is, I usually skip my workout and then eat the same amount of food. To motivate myself to exercise, I've started thinking about one specific food I'm allowed to eat if I go through with my workout. So today, since I'm going to work out, I get to eat a Weight Watchers ice cream bar! Yay! 

Also, if you feel like food isn't the best motivator for you, give yourself a different mini-reward when you finish. Have your chipped nails been driving you crazy? Tell yourself you have to do 100 jumping jacks before you're allowed to re-paint them.

And in the end, you know what's more rewarding than a manicure or an ice cream bar?


That's what I wanna feel like stepping onto the scale!

Hope this helps! Now I gotta go work out :) Guess writing blog posts is a bit motivational, too :)

    Saturday, July 13, 2013

    Cake Fast

    It's not really a fast when you eat cake, is it.


    I made it til 6pm without eating anything except a couple Cuties and some celery. And then I was like, okay well I have a horrible headache so I should probably have dinner. Can't hurt. And oh there's cake so I should probably stuff my face with that because I totally want to weigh 8956 pounds when I wake up in the morning sounds like a GREAT PLAN


    Anyhow. I'll get back on track tomorrow. (I HATE saying that.)

    There are only FOURish weeks until I move back to Btown. I need to lose a pound a week if I wanna go back 10 lbs lighter. Can I do it? Yes. I think. Will I? It's up to me now.

    No more foolishness!

    Cake? Laziness? NO. Cardio? Lemon water? YES.

    On a happier note, I spent the day crafting with Josh and made this lovely piece of art for my college house:


    Like it?!!! I was so proud :) If you wanna know how to make it, here are the instructions.


    Friday, July 12, 2013

    Feeling FAB on Friday

     Right now I am just HIGH ON LIFE AND ENDORPHINS!

    I feel so great about where I am in my fitness journey, my weight loss progress, my job, and my life in general :)

    Remember that baby fast I did last week? Tomorrow I'm doing another! After reading the articles about fasting (which I included in this post) I was inspired to try fasting intermittently, since it's apparently extremely good for your body in a lot of ways.

    One of the most important parts about fasting is to prepare beforehand. Gotta eat a big meal the night before and sleep as long as you can. Which are both aaawwweeesssooommmmmmee. Since Josh and I have wanted to go to Carrabba's all summer, we are finally going TONIGHT! YAY BIG MEAL YAY. Good thing I exercised today :)

    Can you tell I'm excited?!?!

    I probably won't be so thrilled sipping my green tea all day long tomorrow. BUT TODAY, I SHALL REJOICE.

    Before: Meh. After: YAY LIFE.