Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage – Whole30 Compliant :)

I’m all about some breakfast sausage! And it’s really hard to find any that is Whole30 compliant…with no sugar and no added “crap” in it. So I decided to try to make my own & I’m so glad I did! This was really easy to make & it tastes delicious! I also think the recipe would be easy to make and freeze if you wanted to use the patties at a later time. This was my first time making these, so I am sure I fill find some better tips and tricks along the way & I will certainly share when I do! If you have any suggestions to make it better, just leave a comment to help everyone!

I also feel like you can add in any other spices/flavorings that you love to change this recipe up from time to time! This is just the one I used for now, so I wanted to share. If I start adding new things in, I’ll definitely update this post!

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Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey (or chicken or pork) — I bought mine at our local butcher. Be sure to check the ingredients if you are doing the Whole30 program to make sure that it does not have any added “stuff” in it!

1 tbsp. organic garlic powder

1 tbsp. organic sage

1 tbsp. fennel seed 

1 tbsp. sea salt

1-2 tbsp. ghee or any cooking oil of your choice (Olive oil or coconut oil would work really well with this too)

Optional: 1 tbsp. Flavor God “Everything” seasoning (This is not necessary at all, but it made the flavor THAT much better!)

Directions:

1) Put all ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl and mix with your hands (wear gloves if possible!)

2) Roll into about 2 inch balls. Pat down to form a patty. You should get approximately 10-12 patties.

3) Heat frying pan with ghee. When the pan is hot, cook the patties 4-5 at a time. (The bottoms should get crispy and you can flip when they do.) **If you prefer to bake these, you definitely can!

4) Cook thoroughly. There should be NO pink. Your best bet is to use a meat thermometer and make sure the meat is at or above 165F either way you decide to cook these.

5) ENJOY!!! :)

Whole 30/Low Carb/Keto “Crack Slaw” Recipe

I promised you guys that I would post my recipe for Whole 30 compliant “crack slaw”. I found many recipes online that were VERY close to being Whole 30 compliant, but not quite…and on day 25, I couldn’t have “not quite Whole 30″ as an option! This recipe is also great for a low carb/keto/LCHF lifestyle as well. So so good for anyone, really :)

This is a super simple recipe and doesn’t take long at all. You can add different/more/less spices and sauces as you see fit, but this worked and it worked WELL! Even my picky hubby likes it! I call that a win! ALSO…there are certain things, such as the homemade sriracha & coconut aminos that you can substitute with regular store bought sriracha & soy sauce if you are NOT doing Whole 30. You can also use any ground meat you prefer. I believe ground beef works best for this specific recipe, but if you prefer ground turkey or ground chicken…by all means, go for it!! Here’s all you need:

Crack Slaw!

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground Beef (or Turkey or Chicken or Pork)

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (you can also use coconut oil, sesame oil, ghee, Kerrygold butter…whatever works for you)

1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of diced onions

14 oz. bag of coleslaw mix (or you can just shred cabbage if you don’t want the add ins) ((EDIT: I just found the Green Giant Fresh Southwest Vegetable Blend at Walmart & it is DELISH in this! Best batch I’ve ever made!))

3 tablespoons of coconut aminos (tastes like soy sauce without the soy & salt…soooo good!)

Salt & pepper to taste

*OPTIONAL**
2 tablespoon sriracha (this recipe is from Nom Nom Paleo minus the honey!…love their site!!)

You can also add any types of seasonings you want to this! If you want to add garlic powder instead of or on top of the minced garlic, that would be great! There are many ways to season this & it is all by preference.  If you aren’t doing Whole30, soy sauce would be fine if you prefer that. And if you don’t like the taste of soy sauce, leave it out completely & add some extra spices. When I say this recipe can be VERY modified, I mean it! :) I feel if you have the cabbage, the protein, and the olive oil, anything else you add with taste delicious and amplify the basic dish!

Directions:

1) Brown ground beef and season with salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. Remove from pan and set aside.

2) Saute onions, cabbage, & garlic in olive oil & cook until the tenderness you prefer (I like mine more cooked than most)

3) Add in coconut aminos, sriracha, salt & pepper

4) Add ground beef back into the cabbage & mix well

5) Serve warm & top with sriracha (optional), salt, & pepper as desired per serving!

 

Let me know if you try this & what you think! And also if you make any substitutions or add something & you think it tastes great, let us know!! :) Enjoy!!!

Whole 30 so far! :)

As many of you know, I started Whole 30 about 24 days ago…and at that point, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to! I knew it would be hard. I knew it would test my mental strength more than anything. But I really didn’t know it was going to do things to help my mood, my skin, my hair…just everything.

For those of you who DON’T know what Whole 30 is, you can find all of the information on their website. Everything is laid out from the rules to tools to use to help you and also a timeline of how you may or may not feel each day while going through this process!! This site has helped me tremendously! I also did a lot of research for recipes on Pinterest & Instagram (aren’t hashtags just the BEST)! And I even joined a Whole 30 Facebook group that is very supportive. And of course, the book that explains EVERYTHING called It Starts With Food. I recommend one or all of these things to keep you on track and also to help you remember that you aren’t alone!!

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I know I’m not done yet, but I just wanted to let you all know that if you are contemplating it…DO IT!!! Just take the plunge and try it. I will say, however, that I do believe you need to mentally prepare yourself for what you are about to do. You are going to know every ingredient going into your body and you need to know how to pronounce all things! There’s no excuses on this. And there is no “cheating” (as so many people like to call it) during the 30 days.

I know there is an OFFICIAL Whole 30 that is being run by the Whole 30 creators themselves that starts on August 1st! There’s a couple of days from now until then to get yourself prepared & ready to go! Are you up for the challenge?! You won’t be disappointed!!! :) I’m going to do a complete write up of the entire Whole 30 journey for me when I’m all done. But I just wanted you guys to have the above resources to help you get started ASAP!

Let me know if you have ANY questions here in the comments & I will try my absolute best to answer you!!

Love you all & I wish you all the best of luck!

Just some of the (amazing) meals I made during Whole 30!

Just some of the (amazing) meals I made during Whole 30!

Wink Frozen Dessert Giveaway!

I am SO excited to announce a super fun giveaway this week!!! I had the opportunity to try Wink Frozen Desserts last week, and I am honored to be able to share the Wink love with my followers!!!

First…a little bit about Wink! It was started by an awesome guy named Gabe who had some allergies & was unable to eat ice cream or any other delicious frozen desserts (like YoAmazing…of course! hehe)! So of course, he had to come up with his own allergen free concoction…and HE DID IT!!! All of Wink’s flavors are vegan, sugar free, dairy free, fat free, gluten free, soy free, nut free, and egg free! Yes, that is right…all of the major allergens…FREE!!! Each serving has only 25 calories & only 3 net carbs! It is sweetened with Stevia & Monk Fruit (which are two of my favorite natural sweeteners).

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My variety pack came in the mail that included 5 different flavors of Wink. The flavors are: Cake Batter, Choco-Mint, Cinnamon Bun, Cocoa-Dough, & Iced Latte. I took all of last week trying a new flavor each day. I even mixed my beloved Quest Bars in some of the flavors and it was a delicious, low calorie, and low carb snack!

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I will tell you now…if you are expecting ice cream, you are thinking wrong here. This is called a “frozen dessert” and not a CREAM for a reason! So you have to know that going into it! With that being said, for 25 calories, 3 net carbs, ZERO sugar, and zero guilt…you can’t beat it!!! I have tried Arctic Zero before & it was not my favorite thing in the world…at all. Eeeeek. In regards to taste & texture, Wink beats Arctic Zero HANDS DOWN!!! Alex agrees with me. So do my employees at YoAmazing! Bottom line is that Wink is delicious and very different than anything you’ll ever taste! & I personally feel like you all HAVE to try it!

…Which is why I am SO excited to be able to offer you an awesome giveaway here thanks to the amazing people at Wink! They wanted to give 4 of my blog readers & Facebook/twitter/social media friends a variety pack to try as well!!! And it is SUPER easy to get entries for the giveaway! If you click the link below, it’ll take you to a page where you have a chance to enter into the contest 28 TIMES!!! And all you have to do is LIKE Wink & myself on Facebook, twitter, and instagram AND share the giveaway with your friends! If you do all of those things, you will be entered 28 times! Crazy, right?! And don’t worry…if you are already following myself or Wink on social media, all you have to do is connect to those sites through the giveaway site, and your entries will automatically go into the drawing! The contest starts on Tuesday, February 18th during the East Coast #JustCrunchEm party on twitter & it will end the following Tuesday at 11:59pm!

 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN WINK FROZEN DESSERTS!!!

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Putting it out there in 2014!

Hey everyone!

So as you know, I was on a very popular weight loss show a few years ago & that’s how most of you know me! It was the greatest experience of my life & I made life long friends & learned so much about what works & what doesn’t work for myself & my overall health for life! I feel like all great things require learning both wonderful & not so wonderful things to make it the best experience (just my opinion).

With that being said, YES, I was on a TV show…but NO, the show does NOT define me, nor does my weight. I feel as though that is a very large misconception out there about what is on TV and the reality of the situation. At the end of the day, every single contestant is a REAL person with REAL feelings and REAL emotions who legitimately just wanted to get their lives back. The show is based on numbers on the scale, but if you really think that is the WHOLE picture, then you need to take a step back and look at what is really going on. The scale, again in my opinion, is a very small portion of overall health & it is important to know that, ESPECIALLY as a fan of the show.

When we are at the ranch, all we do is fight for a number. I totally understand for the sake of what we are doing….going from morbidly obese individuals to healthy and fit individuals is the point. There is more to that than weight. And for me, losing 230 pounds plus having skin removal surgery made me LOOK like a completely different person. And I changed in SO many ways for the better!

But I also let some of the other superficial things get to me. For example…I weighed in at 213 pounds at my finale. To most, that was not “skinny enough” and I can’t tell you how many THOUSANDS of people kept saying “keep going so you can get to your goal weight!” or “Hope you get to 150 soon!” amongst many other things. The REALITY of the situation is that, according to the doctor, I WAS at my goal weight. I WAS at the weight that I am supposed to live at for life.  213 pounds for a woman? No way. Well…WAY! I’ll NEVER weigh 150 pounds. I have an extreme amount of muscle for a woman, so the number on the scale isn’t going to reflect the same way it does for someone standing next to me. I was born strong and I am PROUD OF THAT (now), but I didn’t understand that coming off the show. I was so proud of how far I had come, but all I could think about is how far I had left to go…and I just wanted to make everyone happy.

There have been many days where I told myself “you need to lose more weight” and I obsessed over the scale. I didn’t talk about this often because I didn’t want to be “that person”. This only happened for a short time until I MADE myself stop. I knew from losing 112 pounds on my own before I ever stepped foot on the ranch that I was mentally strong…and the entire journey was MENTAL. But I found myself letting my mind getting the best of me.

I found that what I manifested (I was too fat, I had too far to go, comparing myself to others) is what I became. It was SOO unlike me to think this way. Ask anyone who has known me forever and they will tell you I have always been a confident person, even when I weighed close to 450 pounds. Literally. I found myself starting to be something I didn’t want to be and started to go backwards…more so mentally than physically, but a little of both…and I didn’t like it. I told myself all of the wrong things and ultimately it negativity affected me.

It wasn’t until the beginning of last year (2013) that I started seeing the WHOLE picture. I started seeing that it was NOT just about weight and it was about health. I started doing my own research about what it means to be healthy. To my surprise, that DOESN’T mean eating foods that are all zero calories just for the sake of eating low calories when all those foods contain are chemicals. That meant to eat nutrient dense food and eat plenty of them. I learned that healthy fat doesn’t make me fat…it actually helps me burn it more. I learned that sugar is really not okay for MY body, even if it is in the form of a 50 calorie snack. If a 50 calorie snack has 10 grams of sugar…that is a problem for me. These are all things I didn’t understand before. Truly. I know it sounds crazy, but I just didn’t. Since the very beginning of when I started losing weight, all I did was count calories and exercise. I even got to the point of eating WAY too little, which is ultimately what affected me and my metabolism so bad and I have had to fight for the past year to build it back up. I can say I am successfully doing that now, and I am so happy.

I have learned A LOT from this process. The most important thing I have learned is that I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to be what someone thinks I should look like. I have gained about 40 pounds back (and still kept off around 200 pounds…how can I be upset with that?) and I feel as though I have been very open about it all. But it was from manifesting all of the wrong things. It was all MENTAL. It was all from over thinking. It was all not seeing how far I had actually come. I see it now. And nothing & no one can take it from me…ever :)

I am committing this year to being the BEST VERSION OF MYSELF that I have ever been. That has nothing to do with a scale. That has nothing to do with what other people think of me or tell me I should do. It has everything to do with ME. And loving ME for ME. And I can honestly say that I DO!!! I am so happy. And I am so proud of myself for not giving up. It’s not how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up…truly!!! I believe that now that I am fully understanding this concept again, EVERYTHING will fall into place the way it should…weight, self-worth, health and happiness!

I hope that any of you reading this who may have had some ups and downs in your life read this and see that self-worth and being happy with who you are, what you’ve done, and where you’re going is the most important thing in life. I don’t have all of the answers. I’m certainly not perfect. I’ve messed up a lot in the past and I will mess up again. But I do have a strong mind and I have faith in myself that I will do all that I need to do to live the healthiest life possible forever.

I love me. I love Courtney Lynn Crozier. And I hope that you love you too. Here’s to an AMAZING & HEALTHY 2014!!! WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!!!

 

PS–I also must say that I feel SO INCREDIBLY BLESSED to have the “fans” (I hate saying that…I like to say FRIENDS!) that I have gained through this entire process. Even though I have haters sometimes, for every hater there are 10,000 WONDERFUL AND BEAUTIFUL souls who support & love me daily…and I can’t thank you all enough for that!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the energy you give me too!

 

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Blogging in 2014! :)

Hiiiii my loves! Happy ALMOST 2014! For those of you who follow me on a daily basis, you know that I have had a HECK of a year (wouldn’t change that for the world!) with minimal time for anything “extra” to say the least! Blogging got put on the back burner, but because I am FINALLY finished with college now, I want to make blogging a priority in 2014! I LOVE being able to interact with all of you here & on all of my social media sites as it keeps me motivated and inspired too! I’m blessed to have the community & love that has been created on my pages & I just love you guys!!!

I really want to know what YOU want me to blog about this year!! Whether that’s videos, workouts, recipes, inspirational stories, daily stories, struggles, triumphs, things I’ve learned/continue to learn…ANYTHING! I just want and need your ideas to make this blog everything that YOU want & more!!! So please comment below & let me know what you’d like to see in 2014 that can help you, the entire community, and myself as well become better this year! I have a feeeling this is going to be one of the best years yet! I can feel it in my core! :)

Love you all & can’t wait to hear your ideas very soon!!

xoxoxo

Court <3

Meet Kristen Kinney!

Hey everyone! I had the pleasure of interviewing Miss Kristen Kinney for next Grimmway Farms weight loss success story!!! And you guys will be blown away when you read her answers!!! Thanks for answering all of my questions, Kristen! You rock lady!

 

1)    When did you start your weight loss journey?

 

I started my journey on June 26, 2012. I have lost 144.2 pounds since then.

 

2)    What was the first step you took to begin? Do you remember the specific moment it clicked for you, or was it more of a gradual process?

I’ve tried to lose weight a thousand times before. Sometimes I would succeed, but I would always gain the weight back because I had only learned how to diet, not how to live a healthy life. It took me a very long time to “get it.” I truly believe that I had to get to the point where being obese was harder for me than losing the weight would be. Last June, having reached an all-time high of 328 lbs, I finally reached that point. It wasn’t any specific thing that triggered my change, but rather realizing just how much of my life obesity had stolen from me.   I was 27 years old, but my body felt more like 77 years old. I wasn’t living my life. I was merely existing. One day I just realized that I could not go on living that way. In that one moment, I decided that I had the power to change. That belief has made all the difference for me, and I have never looked back since.

3)    Did/do you have a personal trainer or did you do it on your own?

 

I do not have a personal trainer. I just did what I could in the gym at first, and then I took advantage of my gym offering to design a free personalized strength training program for members. That was really helpful since I was kind of clueless about the machines.

 

4)    How often did you work out when you were losing weight? How often do you work out now?

 

To be honest, when I first started, I mainly focused on my diet, and not working out. I did that because during my past weight loss attempts, I had tried to change everything in my life all at once. It was way too overwhelming! I knew I was just asking to fail if I tried to go from a completely sedentary fast food junkie to a health food-loving gym rat all at once. I tried to make small changes a little at a time so that I could actually maintain them. All those little changes add up to a very big change eventually if you are patient. For example, in the beginning I just tried to walk outside for half an hour around 4-5 days a week. Now I work out for an hour in the early morning and an hour later in the day, 6 days a week. Also, I usually try to squeeze in an extra-long workout of 3-4 hrs the day before I weigh in. It sounds like a lot, but once it becomes routine it is much easier. I have to make it a priority. At the beginning of the week, I look at my schedule and actually put my workouts in as appointments on my phone planner. It seems more like a commitment that way, and I am less likely to make excuses for missing a workout when I already have the time blocked out.

 

5)    Can you lay out what a day of workouts/activities might look like for you? Is what you do now similar to what you did to lose weight?

 

Well, sometimes my workout starts right as I wake up (at a soul-crushingly early hour) when I exert myself enough to throw my alarm clock into the wall. Well, not really, but I feel like it sometimes! I always try to get my metabolism going early with an hour of cardio in the morning, usually half an hour on the elliptical and half an hour on the treadmill. But now that I can actually run more than 30 seconds at a time, I like to run outside some mornings and watch the sun rise. Usually two mornings a week, I switch to swimming laps at the YWCA. Then for my later workouts, I do half an hour of cardio, and then half an hour of strength training. I switch up which muscle group I focus on every day so that each one has enough time to recover before I torture (oops, I meant exercise) them again. Now that I’m in decent shape I am looking to get into more sports and race activities too.

 

I still have around 55 pounds to go until my goal weight, so I am not at the maintenance point yet. When I do reach that stage, I think I will do pretty much the same thing except maybe not have 2 workouts a day quite so much. Right now, sometimes it is a struggle for me to not go to the gym too much and push myself too hard (never thought I would say that!). As I get smaller, it gets harder and harder for me to lose even a pound. I have a tendency to take things to the extreme, so when I see a low weight loss number, part of me is screaming to do “MORE! BETTER! FASTER!” But I try to remind myself that this is the way I am going to spend the rest of my life, and I can’t spend my whole life in the gym. It’s all about moderation for me.

 

6)    What types of food did you eat while losing weight? Are there one or two foods that are staples in your refrigerator?

 

I have gotten introduced to a whole lot of new foods while losing weight. My diet before this began could be summed up in two categories: “in a box” and “from a drive-thru.” I ate garbage, and so I felt like garbage. And when I tried to lose weight before, I would always eat “diet” food that was full of sodium and left me hungry. But now I try to eat mainly “real” food. I always have on hand grilled chicken, tons of fruits and vegetables, hard boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, whole grain bread, and steel-cut oatmeal. I have gotten pretty obsessed with using a crock-pot now too!

 

7)    What keeps you motivated and accountable?

 

When I have tried to lose weight before, I always was pretty private about it. I was so ashamed, and I didn’t want people to see how much my weight hurt me, both physically and emotionally. But this time, I decided to put it all out there for the world to see. I’m not going to lie; it was incredibly scary to do that! I keep my Facebook friends updated regularly on how I am doing, good and bad. I weigh in every Wednesday, no matter what! I even took my scale with me while visiting relatives over Christmas. I also started a blog where I write about all the different parts of my journey. I didn’t know if people would care about what I was doing or what I had to say. But I couldn’t believe the response once I got started. Seeing all these people respond to me and being able to help some of them on their own journeys is definitely something that helps keep me motivated. I feel like as I have lost the weight, I have found my voice.

 

My family and friends have been very good at motivating me as well, sticking with me through sometimes questionable new recipes, going with me to the gym, and taking my progress pictures every month. I have never even met some of my friends though. At the very beginning of my journey, I joined a Facebook weight loss support group called “Destination Skinny.” We keep each other accountable by weighing in weekly, and keep each other motivated through all of our ups and downs. I can post anything on there, and I know they will understand because they are going through the same thing.

 

I have inspirational quotes all over my bedroom and bathroom. It may seem weird, but it works for me, and that’s what matters. I just tell people that they can’t argue with the results! Above all else, I strive to be honest with myself and stay accountable. I lied to myself for a long time before, and all that did was get me to over 300 pounds and miserable. So whenever I am tempted to not write down something in my food journal or to skip a workout, I remind myself that I am hurting no one but myself.

 

8)    What is your number one piece of advice for people out there who are just starting on their weight loss journeys?

Anyone who has been through this with me will tell you that the number one thing I preach is moderation. It has always been an all or nothing thing for me before now. I was either making a permanent butt indention in the couch shoveling ice cream in my mouth and watching TV (embarrassingly enough, sometimes while watching The Biggest Loser) or I was starving myself by eating only iceberg lettuce and canned crab (yes, weird true story) and running 15 miles a day. I had no sense of balance at all. But in order to succeed on this journey, you have to have some moderation. After all, this is something you should be trying to do for the rest of your life. I don’t know about you, but I can’t live the whole rest of my life without a cheeseburger every now and then. The key words are “every now and then.” It doesn’t have to be either “all the time” or “never.” If you can honestly tell yourself that you are making healthy choices most of the time, that is good enough. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about becoming better than you were the day before.

 

ANYTHING ELSE?

I would love for you to check out my blog! I don’t hold anything back there. I’ve got funny gym stories, thoughts on being overweight, news about what crazy recipes I’m trying, basically just everything related to this weight loss adventure of mine. The web address is www.thespaceinbetweenallornothing.blogspot.com

My weight loss has made such a huge impact in my life that now I just want to help everyone else to be able to do this too. Let me tell you, I’m not some kind of super human weight loss machine. I’m a normal, regular person. I have a normal, regular life. I know people say this all the time, but it is true: If I can do this, so can you! Most people think weight loss is primarily a physical thing, but I am here to say to that it is mainly a mental thing. Once you decide to believe that you can lose the weight, nothing can stop you!

Meet Kevin Riley! :)

Hi everyone!! Another new week which means yet another amazing weight loss journey to share with you! Please meet my new friend Kevin!!! Kevin has SO many wonderful and insightful things to say and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to get to interview him! Thank you Grimmway Farms for introducing us!
KEVIN RILEY
1)  When did you start your weight loss journey?  
I started my weight loss journey in April of 2011.
2) What was the first step you took to begin? Do you remember the specific moment that it clicked for you, or was it more of a gradual process?
Let me paint a picture.   I was unemployed.  Around 560 pounds.   Depressed.   My life was going nowhere.   What was worse is that I was so big I could actually feel myself dying.   Everything hurt.   I was always out of breath.   If I stood up and/or walked for more than 10-12 feet, my back would be in excruciating pain.  Simple tasks were beyond me.   I had to take time out to catch my breath when taking a shower for crying out loud. Most concerning for me was my mental state.  I’ve always loved taking care of my niece and nephews.   Babysitting was one of the few joys in my life.  However, now my depression and poor health were making it so I could no longer care for them.  If anything went wrong, I would have a crazy anxiety attack.   As horrible as this was, it was the thing that saved my life.
My family was concerned for me and had planned an intervention.   Now I can be a stubborn fellow so this may not have gone over well.  I would have been defensive and probably would have fallen into a deeper depression.   My sister, Erin, was smart enough to realize this and went with Plan B.  She invited me out to dinner (let’s be honest, I was always down for a good meal).   At this meal, she told me how worried the family was and offered a suggestion.   She wanted me to meet Marty Wolff from Biggest Loser Season 3.   She had attended some bootcamps with him and thought he could help me.   That is what started me on the journey.   My dear sister gave me that little push to get started.
3) Did/do you have a personal trainer or did you do it on your own?
As mentioned above, I met Marty Wolff.  He is my trainer.  I have met trainers in the past and I have always hated that first meeting.  Because every trainer I met would look at me with either an expression of “oh lord, look how much work I have to do” or an expression of outright disgust.  So, I was not particularly looking forward to my meeting with Marty but I knew I needed help.  I was pleased to find out that Marty looked at my like a friend from the get-go.  He greeted me warmly and said that he saw strength in me.   He promised me that we could make this work if we met halfway.   We tried to walk as we talked, but I only made it half a block and then we sat on the curb and talked there.  He never made me feel bad for not being able to move.
Marty went above and beyond for me.  He was describing the nutrition plan and that a group of people were meeting to walk through a grocery store together and learn what was good to buy and what was bad.   He wanted me to attend but could see that I was upset and asked me why.  I told him that I couldn’t walk a grocery store.   My back would hurt too much.  His solution?   We drove to the grocery store where the event was planned to take place.  While I waited in the car, Marty went inside and a) found out that they had a motorized cart I could use to attend the walk-through and b) bought me some groceries to last me the three days until the walk though.  He wanted me to start right away.  That level of commitment was amazing to me.  And I can never repay that faith in me.
4) How often did you workout when you were losing weight? How often do you workout now?
When I started, I worked out for 60 minutes twice a week.   My initial workouts wore severely limited.  I would walk across the gym and sit down.  We would talk.  I would walk back and sit down again.   That was all I could do.   However, things improved fairly quickly.  For most of my journey, I would work out 4-5 times a week and sometimes more if I snuck in a hike or swim on the weekends.   I am still on my journey so the workout regimen is the same.   At times, I have fallen off the wagon and done less.  At times, I have done more where I work out twice a day multiple days of the week.   The goal is to try and keep moving forward.
5) Can you lay out what a day of workouts/activities might look for you? Is what you do now to maintain similar to what you did to lose weight?
At Square One Health Club (Marty’s new club exclusively for People of Size), most of our workouts are 45 minutes long and they take the form of games or bootcamps.   We do circuits and timed challenges.   Much of what we do is to build strength while still keeping ourselves moving for the cardio benefits.   Mini-competitions tend to push us to work harder as well.  Even though there is never a prize on the line, we push ourselves so our team can do the very best it can.   Surprisingly, no one is ever belittled, demeaned or saddened for poor performance.   We just chip in to make the difference.  It is a lot of fun.
6) What types of foods did you eat while losing weight? Are there one or two foods that are “staples” in your refrigerator?
The core of the nutrition plan is simply to fill yourself with nutrient dense foods.   We get a calorie level that is based off the amount of lean muscle mass we have.   After that, we try to use those calories to eat natural, non-processed foods.   As we go, we tweak the amount of protein we take in because that is what keeps us full for longer periods of time.  I was encouraged to drink lots of water and decrease (if not eliminate) the consumption of diet soda.
I don’t know if I have “staples” in the refrigerator.  However, greek yogurt, spaghetti squash, Kashi cereal and lots of berries and vegetables tend to be on hand most of the time.  Egg white quiche is a key for me.  It fills me up for most of the day.  So I will often have turkey sausage, egg whites, low-fat cheese, and a variety of vegetables (peppers, mushrooms, onion, etc) on hand to make quiche regularly.
7) What keeps you motivated and accountable?
Well, to be honest, I am having a low motivation period right now so this is hard to answer.  It happens from time to time.   This is a long journey.  Every time some skinny person tells me that I should just “eat less and exercise”, I want to point out that those are only tools.   Telling someone who is morbidly obese to just “eat less and exercise” is like telling someone to just “go run a marathon or two”.   Most people can eat less and exercise for a few weeks and drop the weight they want to lose.   Someone like me has to do it for YEARS.   Sorry, off my soapbox.
The community of people at Square One tend to keep me motivated and accountable.   We all look out for each other.  We rejoice in our victories, commiserate defeats, and can sympathize with each other’s difficulties.   This is 100% of what makes this place more successful than other programs.  We know that the weight loss journey is primarily a mental journey.  Support groups, friends, and trainers help us to stay on track and work the mental side of what we do.  I also keep a blog.  This helps me to stay motivated because it reminds me of where I came from and where I don’t want to return.   So, despite my low motivation period right now, I know that I will get it together because I want it, my friends and workout partners are looking out for me, and my trainers are there to help push me to greater success.
8) What is your number 1 piece of advice for people out there who are just starting on their weight loss journeys? 
Look.  It isn’t easy.  It is a long journey.  But here’s what I can promise you.   It will be easier than you think and the benefits are well worth the effort.   I used to look at the fact that it would take me years to lose the weight and that was my reason not to start.  It was too hard.   However, you don’t have to hit your goal weight to be successful.  You don’t have to wait until you are there to feel better.   That happens right away.  In my case, it took a very short time (just a few weeks) before I was reaping the rewards.   I felt better.  I could breathe better.   My depression was going away because I was doing something to change my circumstances.  In 4 months, I went from a guy who couldn’t walk a half a block to a guy who walked a 5k!  I couldn’t believe it.   And like rolling a snowball down a mountain, the benefits just kept getting bigger and better the longer I stayed on the journey.
You all are worth it!   Change your life.  Change your circumstances!   And most importantly, try to find some friends to do it with you.   Not that skinny friend who will order nachos while you are having a salad.   They are fine, but the ones you need for your journey are the people who will enjoy that salad with you, work out with you, and walk the path with you.   My Square One friends are a dear part of my life and a HUGE reason for my success.
 
If you have ANYTHING else that you’d like to add, PLEASE feel free! I don’t want to leave anything out! :)
I would like to invite anyone who is interested to check out my blog.   It is long and I primarily do it for me.  However, I have shared it with others and some have found it helpful to them on their journeys.   I believe that if it helps or inspires one other person, then it is worth the effort of writing it down.   It begins in October of 2011 and starts by recounting the beginning of my journey and how bad I let it get before starting.
^You should DEFINITELY check out Kevin’s blog. He has so much great info on there and I know you will love it just as I did!
Also, don’t forget to sign up to potentially be chosen to win a trip to the Biggest Loser Resort for 2 on behalf of Grimmway Farms!!!! Check out all of the details here…. www.justcrunchem.com
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Meet Allison Jones! :)

Helloooooo again, everyone! It’s that time of week again! We have our fourth success story to feature…and let me tell you, this girl is BEAUTIFUL inside & out! She took the plunge into a healthy lifestyle fairly recently and she is looking FABULOUS! I love that she has taken this one choice at a time so far…and is well on her way to all of her health goals! It’s my honor to introduce you to the gorgeous Allison Jones!!
ALLISON WEIGHT LOSS
1) When did you start your weight loss journey? 
I began my journey, two months ago, on January 7th 2013. I have lost 32 pounds since that day.

2) What was the first step you took to begin? Do you remember the specific moment that it clicked for you, or was it more of a gradual process?
After two months of marriage, my husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma. I spent up to 10 hours in the hospital, by his side, while he received his chemotherapy. On January 7th, in the middle of the hospital, I decided it was time to change my life. My husband did not choose cancer,yet here I am committing slow suicide. I felt so selfish. That was my moment. I watched him fight for his life and it was time for him to watch me fight for me. From that point on I dove head first into my weight loss. I came home that day, emptied my cabinets, weighed myself, activated an online food journal and I haven’t looked back.

3) Did/do you have a personal trainer or did you do it on your own?
No trainer. I have done everything so far on my own.
4) How often did you workout when you were losing weight? How often do you workout now?
When I first began losing weight, I worked out 3-4 days a week for about an hour each day. Now, I workout 5-6 days a week for close to two hours each day. I still have about 100 pounds to lose so I know that I will have to keep up with this routine for some time to come. I am totally okay with that. Working out has actually become enjoyable for me! I am in LOVE!
 
5) Can you lay out what a day of workouts/activities might look for you? Is what you do now to maintain similar to what you did to lose weight?
My typical workout activities are the elliptical, jogging (never thought I would say that), and a class at my gym called body combat! To be honest I am a little obsessed with that class. I sometimes do that 3 or 4 times a week. I also do strength training 4 times a week. The type of exercises I do now are very similar to the type I did when I first began. I have,however, increased my length of time spent training and my intensity.

 

 
6) What types of foods did you eat while losing weight? Are there one or two foods that are “staples” in your refrigerator?
When I first began losing weight, I was completely clueless. I read into a few of Jillian Michaels’ books and I began to grasp the concept of clean eating. I limited my foods based off of the rule, ” If it has a mom or came from the ground it is okay to eat.”. Another rule I used was, “If it has a commercial on T.V., it doesn’t go near my mouth.” That seemed to give me a pretty good guide of what and what not to eat. I also began counting calories like it was my job. I had no idea how many calories I was consuming until I put it all in front of me. When that was made a reality, I was able to see how much I needed to cut back! Right now, the food that ALWAYS makes an appearance in my refrigerator are eggs! They are my go to for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! I have found so many new healthy recipes to use them in! Absolutely my favorite right now.

7) What keeps you motivated and accountable?
My husband and my little boy, of course. Also, since starting my journey I have been very public about it. I posted it on my facebook and my instagram. I have so many supportive people that make it a point to check in on my progress.A few people have messaged me saying that I have inspired them to make changes themselves.I would hate to let them down. They help me stay on track and focused on days I feel like quitting. I think being very open about my journey was one of the best decisions I have made.
 
8) What is your number 1 piece of advice for people out there who are just starting on their weight loss journeys?Oh goodness. Just one? Haha. There is so much I would love to say. However, the most important would be to not give up. EVER. The best part about losing weight is that there is no such thing as an ultimate failure. You have the choice, with every breath you take to say “This is NOT how I am going to live.” If you mess up, which you will, you will have another opportunity around the corner to be successful. It is a beautiful thing to finally realize that you can not fail until you stop trying. Ask the people who love you most to support you, encourage you, and be honest with you when you need it. Crawl,walk, run, fly…whatever you need to do. Just do NOT give up!
I LOVE everything Alison has said here!! She is so right…NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP!!! That can’t be in your vocabulary when you decide to take the plunge into a healthy lifestyle! It’s for LIFE, even with the ups and downs! Also, Allison…please know that we are ALL praying for you, your husband, and your families in all of the ups and downs that life brings. We are proud of you for being a fighter! Just know you are always in my thoughts and prayers!
allison weight loss 2
Remember, if YOU want to be featured as one of our weight loss success stories, please check out Grimmway Farms website and submit your application! It can be any type of loss…5 to 500 pounds! We are all in this together! :)
Until next time…
xoxoxo
Courtney

Meet Michelle Jud! :)

I’ve been so blessed with the opportunity to interview some wonderful people who have been on the same journey as I have for a while now! Our next story is an AMAZING woman who lives and breathes a healthy lifestyle! Please take a look at the question she’s kindly answered and maybe you, too, can be inspired by her! Please meet my new friend, Michelle Jud, everyone! :)
MICHELLEJUD
1) When did you start your weight loss journey?
I started my journey in the summer of 2010.

2) What was the first step you took to begin? Do you remember the specific moment that it clicked for you, or was it more of a gradual process?
Looking back now, I think it was a little bit of both.  I remember being sick of myself and finally fed up with not being able to do anything.  My twins were 5 at the time, and I remember being sad at the kind of mother I had been up to that point.  I was a horrible example, completely inactive, and I could barely get up and down off the floor to play with them. 
When I found out that The Biggest Loser was holding auditions here in Omaha, something inside me said “This is your chance!”.  I felt that my life was about to change, although I had no idea what that really meant yet at that time.
3) Did/do you have a personal trainer or did you do it on your own?
I did it with the help of an amazing trainer and an awesome, supportive community of people just like me! 
In line at the audition, I met former Biggest Loser contestant, Marty Wolff.  He was offering a “beginner bootcamp” for people with 100 pounds or more to lose.  Since I didn’t get a call back from the show, I remember thinking that I was still going to do something about my weight.  I made my cousin come with me to the info session for the bootcamp. After hearing Marty’s story, I thought that if he could do it, I could do it too!  I joined the beginner bootcamp and became good friends with many of the others there who were also bigger like me.  After the beginner bootcamp was done, I joined up with Marty’s regular ongoing bootcamp and I have been doing the same thing ever since!
4) How often did you workout when you were losing weight? How often do you workout now?
When I first started, I usually worked out 3 times a week.  I also spent the first year of my journey doing races just to prove that I could.  Now that Marty has opened Square One  (a health club specifically for people of size), I have more opportunities to work out and usually try to hit 5 or more workouts per week.  I still enjoy doing races.  Just 2 weeks ago I did Trek Up The Tower (a race up 40 flights of stairs) for the 3rd year in a row and managed to beat my best time by almost 3 minutes!
5) Can you lay out what a day of workouts/activities might look for you? Is what you do now to maintain similar to what you did to lose weight?
I just try to stay really busy which helps me control my eating.  In the morning I go to one of my jobs, and in the afternoon I go to work at Square One.  I usually work out in the evenings, either doing a single class or back to back classes. 
Even though I am not yet in the maintainence phase, what I do now is nearly the same thing as I did in the beginning, bootcamp style classes and trying to get in lots of cardio.
6) What types of foods did you eat while losing weight? Are there one or two foods that are “staples” in your refrigerator?
I really just focused on keeping in my calorie range with as many nutrient-dense, real foods as possible.  In the beginning it was a lot of “eat this, not that”, just making small changes and substitutions so as not to be overwhelmed. Instead of pasta, I would have spaghetti squash.  Instead of using regular milk, I would use almond milk. 
Most recently, we have made a huge change in the way we eat in my family.  We are converting over to a clean eating lifestyle, and so far it has made a huge difference!  It is definitely not an easy process, but I have started a blog and a Facebook page so that I can continue to learn, and hopefully help others as well.  If you are interested in checking it out, it is called Grownup Spinach.
7) What keeps you motivated and accountable?
These days, it is helping others on their journey. 
I still weigh in weekly, and I am actually not done losing weight just yet, but what really keeps me going is encouraging people and helping them see that they are stronger than they think they are!
8) What is your number 1 piece of advice for people out there who are just starting on their weight loss journeys?
It is not a diet but a lifestyle change.  However thinking of it that way can be overwhelming.  If you start out with small changes it is easily sustainable and will eventually snowball into bigger changes. 
The other thing is that you just really have to believe you can do it.  I know it sounds cheesy to say “If I did it, anyone can do it”, but I truly believe that. 
Finally, I would say, find a source of inspiration and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories.  Winning the small battles makes it easier to see that you can win the war.
If you have ANYTHING else that you’d like to add, PLEASE feel free! I don’t want to leave anything out! :)
I just want to thank Grimmway Farms & Cal-Organic Farms and also you, Courtney, for giving me the chance to tell my story. If anyone is interested in any of my other ramblings, my facebook page is
and my blog is
^Check out her blog!!! You guys will LOVE it!! :) Doesn’t this lady, ROCK?! I love what Michelle said about this being a lifestyle change & NOT a diet. I think almost anyone who has had success with weight loss preaches the same thing. I’m glad we’re on the same page, girl!
Also…another huge thanks to Grimmway Farms for introducing Michelle and myself. The things this company are AMAZING and they make a difference!!! If you haven’t signed up for a chance to win a trip to the Biggest Loser Resort thanks to Grimmway, click HERE now! :)
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