Traveling through life with a timer and sneakers

Archive for June, 2014

How to lose weight the easy way…

Cut off an arm!

But on a serious note, I have recently learned from friends that a few acquaintances have been overheard saying I am losing weight “the easy way” and my only wish is that I had heard them say it.

I am not big on confrontation, but I do think this is an issue that needs confronting. There is not an “easy” way to lose weight and I am so sick of all of the judgement that exists about various diet and health choices. From the stigma of weight loss surgery to the negative attitudes about meal replacements, I just don’t understand why people feel they have the right to label one method or another “easy.”

I have been on the HMR Diet for 227 days. That is 227 days where I have had to say no to all the delicious food out there in the world. It’s 227 days of eating the same general meals. It’s 227 days of dragging my butt to do some sort of exercise. It’s 227 days of mental and physical battles.

And yes, I have lost over 100 pounds in those 227 days. And yes, that seems fast. But to me those 227 days seem like years and years of struggling.

In truth, it has been years of struggle. My first attempt at a diet was in high school when I went with my mother to a Weight Watchers meeting. And I have been dieting in some form ever since.

I know how hard it is to count calories, points, carbs, vegetables, meal replacements, cups of juice, glasses of water, grams of protein and more. None of it is easy.

The difference this time is that I have found success because I have found something I can manage. Which makes it look easy.

However, I still have to fight to get every pound off. I have to take notes and learn in every health class so I can continue to form habits to keep the weight off once it is gone. I will have to continue my health education when I begin the long process of transitioning from Phase One Decision Free to Healthy Solutions and eventually to Phase Two. It is a long and time consuming process but it is what I need to do to be successful.

Ultimately when I hear someone say someone took the “easy way out” to lose weight, what I hear is jealousy. It is the same jealousy I could hear coming from my mouth years ago when I watched someone else be successful in their weight loss journey taking a different route than the diet I had prescribed myself to. I wasn’t successful. She was. Clearly her path was easier.

I was wrong about her path. And if you think my path has been easy, you are also wrong.

It sure as hell hasn’t been easy. But it does work for me. And I am healthier because of it. You are welcome to join me.


Vanilla Scented S’mores Shake

Reflecting on summer evenings with friends pre-HMR takes me to making s’mores with homemade vanilla marshmallows. The rich sweet flavors were what I attempted to recreate with this shake and it didn’t disappoint. I hear there is a sugar free toasted marshmallow syrup that exists but I haven’t seen it yet to try out.

1 HMR Chocolate 800 packet
2 ounces Torani SF S’Mores syrup
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 cup of water
8 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients except ice together to mix. Add ice and blend until fluffy. Enjoy!

I bet this would also make a delicious hot beverage – it’s on my list of drinks to try!

Salted Lavender-Vanilla Chocolate Truffle Pudding


This week’s HMR meal replacement homework was to try the pudding in a new way. I have made lots of puddings over my weeks on the diet so trying a new way seemed like a challenge.

This afternoon I met friends at the San Francisco Ferry Building. A total foodie haven! When we wandered by a gourmet chocolate shop, I was inspired to take an earlier shake recipe and modify it a bit to turn it into a rich pudding.

Be warned that lavender extract is VERY strong and the amount I use may be too much for most people. If you are new to using lavender oil, try using just a drop or two.

Salted Lavender-Vanilla Chocolate Truffle Pudding

1 HMR 70 Chocolate Shake Packet
1/8 tsp Lavender Extract (or less!)
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa
2 ounces Water
1-2 pinches Flake Salt

Mix all ingredients except salt together until creamy (I use a tiny whisk but a spoon should also work). Sprinkle salt on top.

100 pounds lost. A reflection.

This week I officially hit the 100 pound weight loss club. Spoiler alert: It’s not an actual club. No clubhouse and no secret handshake. At least not that I am yet aware of.

As friends have learned about my accomplishment, I have had a couple ask me how it feels to have lost 100 pounds. And I don’t really know how to answer.

I want to say it feels fabulous. I want to tell them how awesome I feel. I want to extrapolate on the health benefits I am seeing both physically and mentally.

But I am hung up on something bigger.

I let myself get to the point where I needed to lose over 100 pounds.

In this truth lies the complexity of the triumph.

I started running while on this weight-loss journey. I have run several races and have signed up for many more. Every race so far I have had a faster time than the previous race. I want to shout my PRs from the roof top. I earned those. I am taking myself to new places I have never been before. I was never a runner and now I am. That makes me feel fabulous.

But reflecting on the 100 pounds lost yet only being a pound lighter than my lightest adult weight… It means I was a failure in the past. I let myself gain those 99 pounds. I treated my body terribly. I hurt myself and now I am making reparations.

Yes, I could say that “hey at least I caught it and am doing something about it” but in all honesty I feel like that’s a cop-out right now. I am instead choosing to use this time to reflect on the why and the how. Not why and how I lost the weight but on the gains. I think it is important to reflect on the reasons I gained so that I don’t repeat my mistakes.

So while I am happy to have finally hit this milestone and I don’t want to dwell on the negative, I am holding off on celebrating. I am realistically approaching the accomplishment. I still have many pounds to lose until I am at a healthy weight. The reparations are being made and the real journey is just beginning.

Raspberry Fudge HMR Diet Muffins

These are super easy to make and have traveled in my purse to many end of the school year social events! Baking time may vary depending on your oven.

Raspberry Fudge Mini Muffins

1 HMR Oatmeal
1 HMR Chocolate 70 shake mix
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa (I prefer Ghirardelli)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar-free raspberry syrup (Torani or DaVinci work)
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of water (reserved)

Preheat over to 375 and spray cooking spray in mini muffin tin.

Mix oatmeal, 1/2 cup of water, and raspberry syrup. Microwave for 90 seconds.

Add cocoa, baking powder, shake mix, and reserved 1/4 cup of water to the oatmeal mix. Be careful not to over mix as you will lose the air bubbles that make the muffins fluffy.

Distribute into 12 mini muffin rounds. Bake for 20-25 minutes until muffins are firm when lightly pressed down on. Remove from oven and then from pan to prevent over-cooking and collapse.

Makes three servings of four mini muffins.

Vanilla Rose Peach HMR Shake Recipe

Our health class this week was a party! No, it wasn’t just a fun class but an actual party. To be more specific, it was a condiment potluck where we all brought some of our favorite condiments to share with our classmates. I swapped some condiments as well as went out and bought some new ones — feeling totally inspired!

And just in time for a really hot weekend!

This shake uses rose water which adds floral notes and a level of complexity to the shake that I can’t explain but it really does elevate the meal. Play around with the amount you use as I tend to enjoy strong flavors but rose water, like the lavender extract, can be overpowering. So if you like more subtle flavors, start with half the rose water.

Vanilla Rose Peach Shake

1 HMR 800 Vanilla

2 ounces Torani SF Peach syrup

2 tbsp rose water

1 cup water

8 ice cubes

Blend liquids and shake mix together. Add ice and blend until smooth and fluffy.

Chocolate Lavender Shake with Sea Salt

I have always enjoyed unique flavor combinations as well as mixing sweet and salty flavors. When brainstorming new ways to mix up my HMR diet shakes, I started to reflect on gourmet chocolates I had enjoyed prior to starting the diet. This smooth floral shake has complexity and yet still offers all the benefits of an HMR meal. I let my Vitamix run extra long to make the shake extra fluffy!

Chocolate Lavender Shake with Sea Salt

One packet of HMR 800 Chocolate
1.5 cups of water
8 ice cubes
1/2 tsp food grade lavender extract
Flake salt

Blend shake, water and extract together. Add ice cubes and blend until fluffy. Pour into glass and sprinkle with flake salt.