I’ve been going to LA fitness since August. At first I was intimidated in the free weights section but have slowly gained my footing. Everyone has always been very friendly and even helpful if needed. Recently, I moved from Seattle to Lynnwood and so I switched to an LA fitness facility in Lynnwood. I’ve been going for a few weeks now and everything had been great so far. It seems to be less crowded and has more equipment. It typically is pretty clean and has most equipment in working order.  On top of that, the fellow gym-goers are always friendly and give a wave. I had been loving it until last night…

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Minestrone is my very favorite soup but I can’t say I love the sodium in the canned version. I wanted to make something that could easily be stored and eaten when I’m craving something warm and comforting. I adapted a recipe from Taralynn McNitt (www.simplytaralynn.com) that makes 32 servings. Be careful! This almost didn’t fit in my crockpot. Again, this is something I prepped the night before.

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I said I love cheese and pasta right?! This dish is perfect for pasta lovers and is a great way to sneak in some protein. Protein is something I’ve always struggled getting in. I’m not much of a meat eater. In fact, I typically only each white meat and fish! This dish took a bit more time and effort but I have leftovers available now for the next week! Again, I prepped my meat the night before to save time after work.

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If there’s one thing I love, it’s pasta and cheese. I wanted to find a dish with balance where I could enjoy both of these things. I tried this chicken parmesan bake from Skinny Taste and was not disappointed. So glad I had leftovers!! This recipe is quick and easy to make after work or school.

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I’ve never been one to do much cooking. Fast food or top ramen was always so much easier and tasted just fine. I knew I needed to make a change though, if I was going to live healthier.

Heres my start to much healthier eating:

Turkey Chili is amazing in the winter and warms you right up. Besides some prepping, it’s so easy to just throw everything in the crockpot and let it cook all day. I prepped my ground turkey and veggies the night before so that I could just throw everything in on my lunch break. It sure made my apartment smell delicious all day and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

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One Baby Step at a Time

It’s truly amazing what a few months can do for physical endurance.

I still remember the way I felt on my first intensive hike.  I went with my family to Mt. Rainier for a gorgeous day of hiking to a river. I didn’t think much of it, planning to go on the hike.  I didn’t think about how I’d handle the incline and distance or how I’d handle keeping up with my crazy fit family, most of which have done full marathons (yes, I said multiple).  That was definitely one of my lowest moments physically. I can’t even think of a time that I felt lower about myself and what I could do.

Dan-Julie-Sean_Hiking (6-30-2013)

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It happened again.  There I was, trying on clothes at the Nordstrom Rack, and I found myself in tears.  Now as somebody who has been overweight for as long as she can remember, this isn’t anything new.  Many times I found myself crying while trying on clothes, wondering why even the largest sizes wouldn’t fit.  I always knew I was on the larger side, but never thought of myself as so large I would have to shop at special stores.

Shopping for high school dances was always a nightmare.  The junior’s section would carry junior’s sizes and those would never work.  Although I am on the shorter side, the short dresses would always be so tight and so short that I never would have passed a fingertip test to get in to the dance.  As it was, one of my most embarrassing dance experiences was when a teacher called me out on my dress being too low-cut.  I never meant for that to happen, but it was what passed as fitting at the time.  Why would I have wanted to wear something like that anyway? Why would I want to feel uncomfortable for an entire night of dancing? To be like everyone else.  I was at a stage in my life where I was hell-bent on fitting in, no matter what that meant.

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