Feeling Exposed… and Letting that Go

I’ll admit it:  Blogging is a super-weird thing.

I’m working my way into YEAR FIVE here at NTTC, and I’m still surprised by thing that come up through the process.  This week, I had an awesome opportunity to participate in an interview with Women’s Health Magazine.  The magazine reached out requesting an interview for their Weight Loss Success Story series, and I was thrilled to have an opportunity to participate.

I did a phone interview with Ashley at Women’s Health, and we had a great discussion.  She asked me questions about my weight loss story… and I candidly told her about how I lost the weight and about how I gained it in the first place.

Ashley transcribed the conversation into this article that is currently posted on Women’s Health Online.  How amazingly cool is that??

Womens Health Magazine Article | No Thanks to Cake

Excited about the article all week, I got the link from Ashley with the final story, and I completely froze.  I got nervous.  All my words were right there.  All those things I said… talking about how I was embarrassed about appearing larger than someone who was 6 months pregnant and about quitting a 5K halfway through.  It was all true, it was all there for their entire audience (with a much more significant reach than NTTC)… and it scared me to death.

In the blog world, you quickly find your people that you can bounce ideas off of… for example, Emily has been my gut check for my blog redesign, and I immediately reached out to Alyssa for thoughts on the article.

Thank goodness for blog friends!!! In my head, I had made myself nervous about the article… and Alyssa reminded me quickly of why the article existed to begin with:  To help other people who are trying to lose weight and experience what I have.

My story of weight loss is a fun tale peppered with telling progress pics and lots of stories about yoga (the Red Rocks kind, the farty kind, and the one where there were dolphins.)  And, at the same time, it’s a story of the challenges I’ve faced along the way, the emotional eating habits I’ve worked to overcome, and learning to lean on others for support.

Before After | No Thanks to Cake

And in the end, while blogging may be weird… and it may have its ups and downs (especially on the scale,)  every nervous moment of “should I post that” is worth it… if there’s just one person out there that it helps.

Despite my initial pause, I can’t be more thrilled to have been featured in Women’s Health… if real life weight loss is what they’re looking for, it doesn’t get more real than this journey.  And, it continues…

Thank y’all for being there every step of the way!  xoxo

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1462 Days Later

If you would have told me that I would be writing this post 4 years ago, I would have laughed.  That girl on the left couldn’t see what was going to happen, and there’s no way she would have known what lied ahead.

1045 Days Later | No Thanks to CakeAnytime November 1st rolls around, it’s a special day for me.  Another “birthday” if you will… and the only anniversary I really celebrate.  It’s my Jenny-versary, and my blogiversary too… a pretty awesome day, indeed!

Before After | No Thanks to Cake

On November 1, 2010, I made the decision to change my life.  I chose to REALLY start living again.  I leaned on Jenny Craig to help guide me through the process, and I’m so thankful she did.  I changed my eating habits, I began exercising, and mostly… I aligned myself fiercely behind feeling great.

Before-After | No Thanks to Cake

1462 days ago, I thought it was all about the weight.  Every bit of it.  1462 days ago, I was convinced that if I lost the weight… the magic would happen.  I would have that life I had always dreamed about.

Well, I was half right…

Before - After | No Thanks to Cake

Losing the weight didn’t make miracles happen. It just doesn’t happen that way.  Sorry to break the news to you.

What losing weight did do was allow me to believe that every one of those miracles could happen!  By lifting that proverbial and physical weight off my shoulders, I’ve had more time to consider just what I want out of this beautiful life I’m living.

I  stopped worrying about finding a pair of pants that fit and began spending more time planning where those pants were going to go with me.  I stopped worrying about what other people thought about the way I looked and started thinking more about what I wanted to say.

I regained my confidence.  I found that spring in my step.  I stopped worrying about the small stuff that was holding me back.  I found me again.

Before-After Rockstar | No Thanks to Cake


The number days since I decided to get healthy


The number of blog posts I’ve shared through the process


The number of pounds I’ve lost since November 1, 2010


The number of recipes I’ve shared here on NTTC

1 million

The number of times I thanked my lucky stars that I decided to join Jenny Craig on that day back in 2010.

1 gazillion

The number of thank yous I owe my friends, family members, co-workers, readers, passers-by, fellow bloggers, and everyone else who has lent a kind word, helping hand, and word of encouragement along the way.

Here’s to the next 1462 days of healthy living!!!  Thank you all! xoxo


To see my annual checkpoint posts from years past, check out

365 Days Later

730 Days Later

1099 Days Later

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3 Things I Learned from Menu Planning

After a summer of eating out, grilling out, and spending time on vacation, I used labor day weekend as an opportunity to get my “life” back in order.  

I woke up on Labor Day feeling out of sorts.  In my head, I had deemed September 1st “the first day of the rest of my life.”  And, as an important “start-over” date.  Despite all these great intentions, I just felt nervous.

Would I be able to stay on “plan” this time?  

Would I be able to curb my night-time eating that had been spinning out of control?

How would I incorporate all my work-related dining out activities?

Could I make this work again?

In the midst of all the fears that were running through my head, I realized more than anything that I didn’t have a plan.  I did what any girl in 2014 does, I jumped on Pinterest to find a meal planning resource that would help me along my way.  First and foremost, I wanted to decide what it was that I would be eating for the next week, and food-prep the crap out of my Monday afternoon.

I found several different meal planners out there, some that tracked daily meals, many that focused on family dinners, and only one that tracked all the meals and snacks I wanted to plan.  This one ended up being my favorite, and I have plans to create my own on a rainy day.  We’ll see…

In filling out the squares last week, a lot of lightbulbs went off and I learned more than I ever could have imagine.

3 Things I Learned from Menu Planning | No Thanks to Cake
1.  Without a plan, I had no plan.

We’ve all heard that saying “failure to plan is planning to fail.”  When you write everything down that you plan to eat on paper, you realize this very quickly.  I quickly began to reflect upon how previous weeks had gone.  I had to make healthy choices every single day, and competing with those healthy choices were their unhealthy cousins… unhealthy meals.

I was counting on my will-power to help me make it through the week.  When co-workers asked me to join them for lunch, I could easily say yes… because I was hungry.  I hadn’t had a snack all morning and was ready to eat anything I could find.  When friends suggested dinner out, I didn’t have a plan otherwise… so, why not join them for Mexican food?  And, then, sitting at the table, I’d have to once again make healthy decisions.  To stay on my “virtual” plan, I’d need to muster up the willpower to skip the chips and salsa, and to forgo the quesadillas in lieu of a simple grilled chicken salad.  Sometimes I did well, other times, not so much.

In the end, there were too many decisions to be made every single day, and too many opportunities to slip up.  With a concrete plan in place, I found myself with structure, convenience, and peace of mind.  I’m not saying I executed the plan perfectly, but I was about 150% better than weeks without a plan!

2.  My kitchen was snack-deficient.

By the time I filled out my meal plan, I had already gone grocery shopping for the week.  Now, I was sure I had healthy foods busting out of my fridge and cupboards; however, when I looked at the food I had planned to eat, I found out very quickly that I was completely deficient in the snack department, and I made plans to correct it immediately.

Why are snacks important?  Because in those moments where you get hungry, you define your day.  Do you reach for a bag of carrots and Laughing Cow cheese (a favorite snack of mine) or do you start digging through the cupboard for something-anything that might be tasty?

I had healthy snacks on hand to get me through maybe Wednesday, but I needed snacks for a full seven days.  Outlining what I would eat each day shone a flashlight on the situation and helped me make sure that I had plenty of snacks on-hand, pre-packaged, and ready to go.

Food Prep | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Having a Plan Reduces Stress

Overall, I felt much less stressed throughout the week when it came to making healthy decisions.  I was able to anticipate the needs that came up throughout the week, both planned and unplanned.  I was able to travel out of town and stay completely on-plan with oatmeal from home and a build-your-own salad at a pizza place.

Meal Prep | No Thanks to Cake

My schedule is also nuts.  By the time I get home, I’m tired and hungry.  Having a plan of what was for dinner… and having those foods on-hand and ready to eat/prepare made things so much easier!  And, again, kept me on track…

I felt at-ease, knowing that this area was all planned out… all week long!  One less things to worry about!

I’m going into the this week and have once again written up my plan.  It may change a little bit.  I may eat Subway on Tuesday, and eat chicken on Monday.  Who knows… but I’ll stay within this framework and make good decisions.

3 Things I Learned from Menu Planning | No Thanks to Cake

Mostly, I’ve got all the foods I’ve outlined in my home… prepped and ready to go.  Even if I hit 80% to this plan, I’d call that a win!  I love the feeling of being prepared to be healthy for the week, and I plan on doing just that!

Have you considered meal planning? 

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Yoga on the Rocks {and a Breakthrough}

July was quite a month for me.  I was movin’ and shakin’ all month long.  Non-stop.  Every day, there was something.  Every weekend, I over programmed myself.

While it was a wonderful month, I came back from San Diego…. EXHAUSTED.

Throughout the month of July, I was a little more open to dining out… to having a cupcake… and to skipping the gym, en lieu of working at night.  Seriously, I don’t even know how I wrote content for NTTC there was so much going on.  Thanks for hanging in there with me, folks…

And, when the end of July arrived, I felt as though I had been changed…. in many ways, for the better, but in other ways, I had slipped back into an uncomfortable place.

Uncomfortable in an eerily familiar way… uncomfortable in that way where I didn’t know if I could get myself back on track.  Truthfully, I was worried.  Very worried.   Not only had my eating habits slipped significantly, but I also hadn’t been to the gym regularly since… well… Fitbloggin.

For the past month in regard to healthy living, I’ve felt like I was on the edge of an avalanche… where the ground feels unsteady, as though it’s about to crumble.

I knew I had agreed to go to Yoga on the Rocks bright and early on Saturday morning.  My friends over at Core Power Yoga offered me free tickets to attend, and I even roped my friend Erin into joining me… but, did I really want to practice yoga?  Most definitely, no.  I was out of practice and had felt lethargic for the past week.

What I wanted to do was sleep… but I’d committed to going, so I set my alarm for what I like to call “the butt-crack of dawn” on Saturday morning.  I’ll let you in on a secret amongst us friends… I am so not a morning person. Not even close…

Saturday morning came quickly, and I dressed and headed to Red Rocks Amphiteater for the event.  I’ve talked about Red Rocks here before both for a concert and for Film on the Rocks, but I realize that not everyone is familiar with my amazing state… so I’ll give you a peek at its amazingness.

Film on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

It is one of the best venues in the country for live music.  Surrounded by gorgeous red rocks, the acoustics are phenomenal… and then, there’s that view too.  I’m guessing that not every state has this little gem.

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

When we arrived, Erin and I checked in… grabbed our free Core Power mats and orange sunglasses and went to find a spot to practice.  I knew I was in for a treat when I saw my favorite concert venue filled with brightly colored mats and yogis practicing their favorite headstand poses throughout the amphitheater.

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

As we set up our area, I was still hesitant about how I my personal practice would go.  Knowing that I’d be practicing on unforgiving cement, I layered the giveaway mat underneath my Affirmats mat for extra support… as if those the words staring back at me weren’t enough support.  I love this mat… and I love that these words stared back at me for the next 60 minutes.  I needed them, and I repeated them throughout the class.

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

Can we again pause at the magnitude of this venue??

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

As the class began, Amelia Earhart kicked the event off… what an incredible and beautiful story she has.  If you’re not familiar, she recently just flew around the world!

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

She also reported that she is a huge fan of yoga… and spoke about her practice.  The instructor, Inanna Jessop, took over shortly after and we got to work.

Inanna described the purpose of the class was to “ground down in order to rise up.”  How beautiful is that?  And, truthfully, I feel like that is exactly what happened to me during the next 60 minutes.

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

We warmed up, and then completed the most beautiful sun salutations and balance poses.  We spent some time working the core (they don’t call it “Core Power Yoga” for nothing!), and as we were working our way into savasana, I had that moment… the “I’m practicing my beloved yoga at freakin’ Red Rocks” moment… and it was then that I realized things had begun to shift.

When our time in savasana ended and Sam Smith stopped singing (love him!), I wanted more time.  When we sealed our practice with a collective namaste, I almost didn’t want to say that beautiful word… because it meant it was over.

Erin and I packed up our stuff to leave, and it took me forever to roll up my mats.  In that moment, I thought I was just too relaxed and not focusing… but in reality, I didn’t want to leave.

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

Something else happened that was incredibly significant… I realized that my body and my mind was craving yoga.  My cells hadn’t forgotten how this practice serves them.  It remembered, even when I took a month off… it remembered.  And, it responded.

I was energized, poised, and for the first time in weeks… empowered and inspired.  I knew that I COULD again… and with that, I knew that I WOULD.  

And what would I or could I do?  Ever since, I’ve felt the possibilities to be limitless.

Yoga on the Rocks | No Thanks to Cake

Since then, I’ve had a laser focus on being grounded, fueling my body with healthy foods, and setting intention of what will come in upcoming days, weeks, months…

This journey that I’m on has lots of ebbs and flows.  I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t… but the recent pause scared me.  After that beautiful practice on Saturday morning, I don’t fear a thing.  I’ve got too much that I want in my life to worry about fears… and it appears that when I get lost, all I have to do is get back on my mat.


Thank you to Core Power Yoga for providing Erin and I with complimentary passes to participate in Yoga on the Rocks.  I can’t wait to join you guys again next year!

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