My Top 5 Weight Loss Must Haves!

On my weekly weekend recap, I happily reported that I lost 5 pounds this past week.

However, I lied. 

When I went to my doctors appointment this afternoon, I was actually informed I lost 8.2 pounds.


I can not wait to write all about my plan and what I am doing, but I need about seven more weeks before I can, so bare with me. I am doing some trial and error and experimenting. 

Last week, I had a complete blood panel done. Basically a physical. I have been honest about my weight struggle this year. I do not really want to go in a lot of detail on this entry, but basically January through April my body was put through hell. Pair the physical pain with mental and emotional, and it resulted in me "letting myself" go for a while.

You see, I have lost over 100 pounds. My journey first started in September of 2008 when I was 19 years old. Here is the thing though: the journey never ends. Just because you lose a significant amount of weight, does not mean the journey is finished. It is a complete lifestyle change. I did a great job of keeping it off until earlier this year. 

Since obtaining my new job at the end of October and making some big changes in my life, I have been a lot happier. Actually not just "a lot happier", but unbelievably happy. I almost feel like a brand new person. I tell some people I have been "reborn". Thus, I have picked myself up, dusted myself off, and now I am back at kicking ass and finishing getting the weight off that I have gained this year - all 34 pounds of it. I am down 8 right now - that is a start.

Gaining a significant amount of weight this year made me really worry about my health. My heart, blood pressure, cholesterol, thyroid, and most of all, possibly obtaining diabetes. Well, I am elated to say that when I went to my follow-up appointment today everything was perfect. I am in tip-top health. I definitely did not expect that. I thought maybe I have screwed my thyroid up from gaining weight, that I was in danger to develop diabetes, and that my blood pressure would be through the roof. To be honest, I was just scared that I had completely thrown my health away. That is how low I have felt this year.

Since health and fitness are the two of the biggest parts of my life, I thought I would share my current top 5 must haves to help aid in my journey! I would also leave to hear what you guys use as well. What has helped you? Please feel free to leave your tips in the comments below. We all need support and advice!

1.) Coconut Oil

As crazy as this sounds. I eat one tablespoon of this a day. I literally put a tablespoon in the jar, scoop it out, and force myself to eat it. It really does not have must of a taste. I think most of the struggle is mental. Initially my mind wants to think it's butter so I almost gag eating it, but then when I taste it, I am fine. Of course you can also cook with it! Use it as a non-stick spray. The benefits of coconut oil will literally astound you! I buy mine at Earthfare and I also know it can be found at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Click here to read all about the amazing benefits!

2) Quest Protein Bars

These bars save me from hunger and when I am go-go-go, which is 95% of the time. You truly have to be careful about the protein bars that you eat. Most of them are NOT better than candy bars, literally 90% of protein bars out there have more sugar than candy bars! They also can be loaded with additives. Quest Bars have 21g of protein which is perfect as a meal replacement. I eat 6 "small" meals a day and a Quest Bar paired with an apple is ALWAYS my meal #2. Furthermore Quest Bars have 21g of carbohydrates and 17 of those is dietary fiber. That is fantastic! 80% of people do not get enough fiber in their diets so this is a great source. To show you how even more amazing Quest Bars are, most of them have just 1g of sugar. Not to mention the taste. They are absolutely delicious. And I say that as a picky eater. My top two favorites are chocolate chip cookie dough and white chocolate raspberry. I buy them at GNC mostly. You can buy them by the box or as singles! GNC always has a special on them as well -- buy 3 get 1 FREE! They can also be ordered online on Quest Bar's website. 

3) Vitamin B12 Injections

This may sound a little odd, but it isn't. Instead of taking a vitamin B12 pill, I opt to get an injection. Naturally, a persons body does not absorb a "pill" as well as it does an injection directly into the blood stream. Vitamin B12 Injections have changed my life. However, they do not cause weight loss. What B12 does is improve your overall well being. I am NEVER fatigued at work anymore. I am able to handle stress and pressure easily, my mood is constantly stable and positive, and I simply feel so much better. I work out in the evenings and sometimes I am exhausted by the time 5 o'clock rolls around. I work in a corporate office environment, but I am the Office Manager. That means I NEVER sit down. I run around all day, so some days the last thing I want to do  is go to the gym when I get off of work. Oh, and you can forget me getting up early to go workout. I hate morning workout's. B12 has helped me so much with that. I have a lot more energy and best of all that energy is not coming from sugar or caffeine. I get my injections at a place called "Medi Weight Loss". They are $10 a week there. Medi is national franchise with locations throughout the United States. I have heard a lot of people tell me they are also available at primary care doctors offices as well as other weight loss clinics. If you do not have a "Medi Weight Loss" clinic around you, I would search and call around for any wellness practices in your area. Another benefit; a lot of insurance companies cover the injections! Thankfully since my company has a "wellness" program, I get reimbursed for them. Check with your employer as well, it can't hurt!

4) My Health Journal and "Life" Planner
Aside from a strong mind, organization is one of the top 3 most important aspects of losing weight. I use my planner to record expenses, write grocery lists and meal ideas, appointments, goals, and more. I use it to list all of my thoughts. My planner was designed for it too! I bought it at Target for $20 and best of all, the dates are not printed in there, you write them. So if you buy it today, it starts today. Every health professional and doctor I have ever spoken with has told me how imperative recording your nutrition and workouts are and that if more people did and stuck with it, they would see such a difference. I use my journal to list out my daily nutrition and exercise. My journal is nothing but a simple pink notebook that I also bought at Target for around $1. One may think it is time consuming, but it really isn't. It takes me maybe 10-15 minutes a day. And lets face it, if you really want something, you will make time for it. Recording what I eat keeps me in check. It ensures I do not under or overeat, that I am consuming the adequate amount of proteins, fiber, etc. A lot of times, if you take the time to write your diet out, you would be surprised at how quickly calories can add up! By keeping myself prepared and organized, I stay on track and motivated. I have noticed that I always do better losing weight when I keep up with it in my journal. 

5) BCAA's.

BCAA's are "branched-chain amino acid's". YES! They are essential! These are amazing and must haves for ANYONE who engages in any type of exercise and/or physical activity. They do not cause you to gain weight  nor are they dangerous, they are solely for muscle recovery and they absolutely make a difference. They also help fatigue. I take two capsules after every training session and two in the morning when I first wake up. If I wake up tired, sore, and stiff in the morning, as soon as I take two of them, they make me feel like a new person. Branched-chain amino acids stimulate the building of protein in muscle and reduce muscle breakdown. Another interesting benefit of them is that they prevent faulty message transmission in the brain cells of people with advanced liver disease. I buy mine at GNC and order through 


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