Winter Weather in Maryland

If you live in the Mid-Atlantic you know that snow isn’t a common phenomenon here. If you live in Boston, you’re wishing it wasn’t common there either. For the rest of you who aren’t experiencing these little problems, you can live vicariously through us. Snow is so beautiful until you’re housebound by it. Here are a few pictures from the other day full of snow-shoveling, which, by the way, burns 400-600 calories an hour! This is my new winter workout.

snow_bound

The above picture is a shot of the street I live on. Yes, it’s one way. I live in the middle of a little forest and we have to plow it ourselves. The county government doesn’t legally have to do it for us. Luckily, my neighbor has a four wheeler with a snow plow on the front of it, God bless him!

winter_weather_in_maryland

Don’t I look great with a shovel? I’m trying to break up the slush/ice so that it doesn’t freeze overnight creating a mess to drive on. P.S. A great snow-shoveling outfit is always necessary. I’m wearing LL Bean insulated snow boots, New York & Company leggings (they’re really thick), Aeropastle puffer vest (found it for $10 last year), a Forever 21 sweatshirt, and J Crew head warmer.

snow_covered_forest

This is my driveway people. The only way we’re getting up or down it is if we shovel it by hand. My little red Toyota is at the bottom. I can honestly say that I didn’t know what “back-breaking” work was until my dad decided I was old enough to shovel snow like an adult. I also didn’t know that a heating pad works miracles! In all honesty though, being outside and breathing in the fresh air is so good for your mental and physical health.

dogs_in_the_snowOur pups like to race around in the snow, usually scaring the birds away from their winter bird feeder. Rude. The chocolate lab is named Riley and the little, squirty beagle is named Reagan.

winter_style

I can’t complain about where I live. It’s private, quiet, and really beautiful. As a kid, I could ride my bike, play outside, and just have fun without having to worry about too much. I grew up in the house I still live in and I’m blessed to have all my memories stored in one place.

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Losing the Christmas Cookie Weight

Coffee and this blog is how I like to start every morning! Writing for you is something I enjoy immensely. As I promised yesterday, I’m sharing with you my weight loss tips. When I started college I was around 150 lbs. By the time I finished my freshman year, I weighed 165 lbs. Yes, I gained the freshmen fifteen! In order to get this weight off I had to make some lifestyle changes. One change was what I ate and how much.

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I lost about 20 lbs by doing the Slim-Fast diet and I’m here to try it again starting today. I went to Target and found the necessary items I needed to start this diet (my favorites to the left). The plan works like this: 3 snacks (fruit or snack bar), 2 protein shakes, and 1 healthy meal per day. Ultimately, you’ll be eating roughly 1300 calories a day. In order to maintain your weight (assuming you don’t eat a whole pizza and box of Twinkies everyday) you need to eat 2000 calories. To lose 2lbs a week, you need to eat less than 1500 calories. I always try to maximize how much weight and fat I can burn a week, Based on my current weight, BMI, and height, 1300 calories per day is what I should be taking in. The Slim-Fast diet is the best diet I’ve found to accomplish my goals.

What’s in the meals you ask? Well, that really depends on what you enjoy eating. Slim-Fast recommends it be less than 500 calories and include healthy choices (aka no fettucini alfredo). They have a list of healthy recipes you can choose from on their website. I’m looking forward to trying the chipotle turkey and black bean chili. I love Tex Mex style foods. I also found one that’s low-cal and tasty called the tex-mex couscous salad. I love anything that has couscous or basmati rice in it! There are so many things you can make that are low in fat and calories but still taste good.

Eating healthy shouldn’t mean sacrificing flavor! It also shouldn’t mean missing out on the things you love. Here’s my biggest tip for being successful on a diet: Eat what you love on special occasions. If you’re going out to eat with the girls Saturday night, then enjoy the pasta carbonara and chocolate cake! Little cheats like this will make the rest of your diet a success because you are still getting tastes of what you love. When you deprive yourself completely it sets the diet up to fail because you’ll be cheating all the time. Eventually, this cheating adds up! On a personal note, I much rather have a dessert at a restaurant than a candy bar or bowl of ice cream at home. I rarely buy sweets for the house but when I go out, I get something decadent.

Looking fabulous is so worth the little calories cuts I have to make. Bikini season is just around the corner and I plan on spending a lot of time in the sun this summer. Losing a dress size is the best feeling in the world! Not feeling like a beached whale when you take off your beach cover-up is even better.

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