Thursday, May 31, 2012

Healthy Choices for the Office

Almost friday guys!  My day started off of course with Meal 1 breakfast (never skip this meal!):


3 eggwhites with 1 yolk (seasoned with a dash of tony's and parsley)
fresh sliced cucumbers and halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup oatmeal with 1 tsp of ground flaxseed, dash of ground cinnamon and 1 stevia; topped with a sliced large strawberry

It was delicious and fueled me for the morning (until meal 2 that is ;) ...

Here is what I packed for the office:


Meal 2 (bottom left tupperware): 1 tbsp greek yogurt with capers, smoked salmon on top of toasted ezekiel bread (recipe courtesy of the Hot Mom Bod - thanks Leslie!)

Meal 3 (bottom right large tupperware): 1/2 cup ground bison with baby bokchoy, steamed squash, 1/4 cup brown rice and (on top left - tiniest tupperware) 1 tbsp of fresh mango salsa I like to put on top of my brown rice (from Whole Foods)

Meal 4 (top right medium tupperware): celery sticks and 2 hard-boiled eggs sans yolk with 1.5 tbsp of hummus

Meal 5 (dinner with my two boys at home): tuna with sliced carrots, green onions and sliced celery on a bed of spring mix salad, dash of sea salt and pepper, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp of vinagrette, small handful of fresh cranberries

Working from home tomorrow so definitely no excuse to eat bad!  Step class too in the morning with a girlfriend =) ...



Happy friday!
Mrs. Chilly

P.S. - Make sure you reward yourself with a "treat" meal or two this weekend, especially if you stuck to your clean-eating all week!  Yay!  Enjoy, but don't overdo it and start off your weekend with exercise.  You will feel so much better all weekend ;) ....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Your Questions Answered ...

Wrapped up work early this evening (yes 10:45pm is early for me =) ...  so I thought why not blog?  I am sure many have wondered why do people blog?  It is similar to writing in a journal, with the difference that the posts published here are for everyone to read or comment on.  I started "My Fitness Journey" blog back in June 2010 mainly to be able to respond and address the emails, texts and calls I received asking how I lost my 52 lbs.  I genuinely love to help people, but it took me a long time to respond and that's not even getting to everyone.  My husband was actually the one who encouraged me to create a blog so I can address at one time all the correspondences I received regarding my journey.  It has now been almost 2 years and I have incorporated fashion recently within my fitness journey blog.  Who said clothes didn't go hand in hand with fitness?  We have to exercise in able to fit in the clothes we want to right?  I also blog because it is a way for my thoughts to evolve, for my body to relax and for my mind to escape ....

Here are just a few questions I received this week:

1.)  Do you buy premade hummus or do you make it from scratch?
Mrs. Chilly - for those of you who have not tasted hummus (or not know what it is), it is a middle eastern dip made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, sea salt and garlic.  I have tasted one that was made from scratch, but I will admit I buy pre-made mainly due to time constraints. I purchase the Tribe Hummus which can be found pretty much at every grocery store.  I like to pair the hummus with hard-boiled egg whites or celery sticks as a morning or afternoon snack.

2.)  Where else do you put flaxseed/wheat germ?

Mrs. Chilly - besides 1 tbsp of flaxseed in my 1/4 cup of homecook oatmeal, I like to put 1 tsp of ground flaxseed in my protein shakes.  Like I said on other blog posts, I have a "generic" magic bullet I use to make all of my protein shakes.  Make sure your flaxseed is grounded.  You can also put it in your protein pancake batter (see my Spinach Protein Pancake recipe blog post).  I like to put wheat germ in my oatmeal, as well as my protein pancake batter or clean muffins recipe (here is one I've printed out before).

3.)  Do you ever "fall off the wagon?"

Mrs. Chilly - heck yes!!  I am not perfect (who is?).  I am also 100% filipino and we are known to be meat lovers lol.  What's great about "clean-eating" is that the benefits can be seen in just a matter of days.  So let's say I cheat on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, once I get "back on the wagon" come Monday morning, I instantly feel great and energized on Tuesday morning.  I don't know about you, but I can actually feel fat burning because I am eating every 2.5-3 hours daily which keeps my metabolism revving.  Have you heard of eat more to lose more?  Now if you are preparing for a competition or show, then there are no such things called "cheat meals" until after your show.  But that is another blog post =) (see my post on how I trained for my fitness show) ...

Here is a pic of my breakfast this morning.  The protein shake courtesy of my good friend Crystal Lampe, owner of Beauty from the Earth ...

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 scoop all natural chocolate whey protein powder (I use Whey Factors sold at Whole Foods)
2 ice cubes
1 slice of ezekiel bread with 1 tsp of almond butter spread



Remember that you only get what you put in.  So if you want to get in your jeans, get back to your pre-pregnancy body or just be plain healthy, you have to be willing to change not only your habits (ie. eating out, excessive alcohol, fast foods, not exercising or moving, skipping breakfast or meals etc), but your lifestyle.  Definitely after a nice "cheat meal" (or two) on the weekends, I am ready to get "back on that wagon."  I don't think it's torture or "not living life (heard this so many times)," because I have my "treat" meal to look forward to on the weekends (or whichever day you choose).

Here is me before changing my lifestyle ... 5'1, 170 lbs and sluggish :-/ ....

BEFORE:


AFTER:

5' 1, 130 lbs, energized, happy and motivated!



What are you waiting for? ....
Believe,
Mrs. Chilly

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

**More on packing clean foods and clean eating**

As most of you know, this past weekend was US Memorial Day weekend where we honored our men and women who bravely serve (or have served) this beautiful country.  Most of America either had a 3 day weekend (or 4 days or more), had barbeques/picnics/cookouts planned, or took the boats out to the lake!!!   It was a bit slow this morning in my household after 4 days of abundant family time, exercise, swimming, potty training, good food, date night, movies, etc!  One thing I did look forward to was my clean foods packed for the day as I return back to the office (pic below):

Meal 2 - Oikos nonfat plain greek yogurt, 1/2 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, dash of ground cinnamon and fresh strawberries
Meal 3 - 1/2 steamed sweet potato, 1 cup steamed brocolli, 1 tilapia filet seasoned with sea salt and lemon pepper and 1.5 tbsp of fresh mango salsa (from Whole Foods)
Meal 4 - celery sticks with 1.5 tbsp of hummus (I normally do 2 tbsp but I ran out) and 2 hard-boiled eggs sans yolk


I (and my two boys) strive to practice clean-eating during the week and save my "treat meals" mainly on the weekends.  To learn more about clean-eating, Tosca Reno's The Eat-Clean Diet is a very good source to begin.  When I was ready to change my lifestyle, I swear I read this book in less than a week; I was that ready!  Brief summary, clean-eating is the habit and lifestyle of eating whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats.  It consists of eating 5-6 small meals a day to keep the metabolism revving (eat more, lose more), staying away from junk foods such as white bread, trans fat, refind sugar, sodas etc.

My clean-eating routine includes never skipping breakfast, cooking healthy meals for me and my two boys, packing healthy meals (such as above) to avoid fast food runs, drinking lots of H20, limiting alcohol intake and eating 5-6 small meals a day with one or two "treat" meals on the weekend.  I am not able to make it in the gym everyday like I used to (and I am fine with that) which makes it even more important to eat as clean as possible during the week (or 80% of the time) so I do not gain unwanted weight.  I am also only 5'1 so not much height there!   For me, it is not even to look like a fitness model because I definitely have to dedicate more time in the gym to achieve that look (or my competition picture - see blog header), but knowing internally that I am "gifting" my body with healthy foods is a benefit that can last a lifetime.  Plus, I like living life feeling good about myself and having the energy needed to balance my career, marriage and raising my little 3-year old.  The little bonus though is if I decide that I want that look again, I know how to get there.  Right now though with the demands of my work and family schedule, I have learned to compromise with my goals, my body and my priorities.  Funny, I am a happier Mrs. Chilly when my life is balanced (and I have a little more body fat than competition mode).  That is what's most important; a happy you.

Okay, I won't lie to you, it does take time and effort to eat clean, but the benefits are endless.  If you don't want to eat well, then just don't expect to fit in that summer halter top or the dreaded shorts.  If it was that easy, then America wouldn't have an obesity problem.  Sounds harsh, but I can totally relate from experience because I have been there!  One tip I do want to share especially if you have a full schedule like me is to try to cook your meals on Sundays (or whatever days work for you).  Oh and invest in good tupperwares!  With the way I pack my foods in the office, I am never hungry knowing I can eat every 2.5-3 hours.  And the next day I feel instantly energized knowing I ate clean the day before (you feel it the moment you wake up promise!).  One thing I tried this week was to cook half of our meals on Monday evening (holiday) and the rest this evening (Tuesday).  I just told hubby that his ground turkey with quinoa won't start until Wednesday vs Monday.  There's many ways to prep your meals; just find the best way (and routine) that works with you and your family.  Our steamed sweet potatoes and brocolli are my hubby's duties so that helps me out a ton.

Normally, grill night is Monday evening for us where hubby grills his and my son's butterfly porkchops and our marinated chicken breasts (dash of garlic salt and paprika) for the week.  Due to the holiday weekend, hubby grilled this evening and also grilled a piece of my almond crusted salmon fillet for me to top my spring mix salad with (pic below):


**Recipe:

spring mix salad (I purchased my tub from Costco at $3.99/tub)
small handful of pine nuts (also from Costco)
small handful of cranberries
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp feta cheese (I buy in bulk at Costco for $6.99/container - it lasts awhile)
4-5 oz salmon filet (I brushed the salmon with egg whites and sprinkled crushed almonds on top, then grilled)
1 tbsp of light vinagrette dressing
dash of sea salt and pepper

It was delicious!  Thanks to my hubby, the master griller =) ....  Tonight, I made a batch also of lean ground bison for my lettuce wraps for the week.  I found I had baby bokchoy in my fridge (also from Costco), one of my favorite asian vegetables and perfect for clean stir-frys, that I decided to toss some in in my ground bison:



    I wish you all a fabulous and "clean" week!  Tomorrow's breakfast consists of 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup of cold water, 1 scoop of natural chocolate whey protein (I like Whole Foods Whey Factor as it does not contain artificial sweetener), 1/2 banana, 1 tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder and ice cubes.  I have a "generic'' magic bullet blender that I love and makes my shakes in just a few minutes.  If you have a recipe to share, please send them my way or post on my facebook fanpage!

Cheers!
Mrs. Chilly

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ready, Set, Pack! ...

This next blog post was requested by one of my followers and dear friend.  One day I received a post asking how I pack/store my clean foods for the week?  Great question!

First off, it helps if you have a large refrigerator which I unfortunately do not have (yet).  Next, hubby and I went to walmart and found a set of tupperwares from largest to smallest and purchased two sets.  I mainly put my steamed sweet potatoes, brocolli, almond butter, vertically sliced celery and carrot sticks, measured hummus, etc in these containers.  They look similar to these only in blue:

 

Some of the "hot" foods I cook (i.e. zuchini and squash, ground turkey, brown rice and quinoa) actually go in real bowls and I just tightly seal a saran wrap over the bowl.  If you see my refrigerator on Sundays vs Saturdays (end of the week), you will be amazed at how my family of 3 actually eat what we cook during the week.  That is how I know we did well both in saving money (from dining out) and eating healthy.  The bowls I use are similar to these:


Grocery shopping is a family event for us 3.  I have blogged about this before, but my grocery list has my items listed according to the route we take in the store.  We start in the produce section, work our way up the meat aisle, dairy and egg products, whatever is left found in the middle aisles (i.e. spices, pam spray, taco shells, bread, soup for Alexander, etc).  Our last stop is way on the other side of the store; items such as toothpaste, mouthwash, greeting cards, shampoo, razors, etc.  Hubby pokes fun of my grocery list, but he admits it makes sense and saves us time from "roaming" around the store and picking up foods that do not normally make the list (junk foods!).  I think it is simply just "smart" shopping (with a little hint of my OCD =) ...

Once we reach check-out, my hubby takes our son and they both sit at the bench to wait on Mommy.  Hubby reaches for his phone and shows him pictures to keep him entertained while I check out.  Talk about teamwork!  We do this to avoid Alexander from asking for candy or chips, but once or twice a month he is allowed a bag of M&Ms or skittles.  His cheat meal normally during the week is a chicken nugget happy meal, his fave.  He also likes mexican food where he orders a ground beef taco with shredded cheese.  Yes he has cheats too like his parents!  That is his "treat" for eating his oatmeal, eggwhites, brocolli, sweet potatoes, chicken, fish, fruits for the week as well as drinking his 2% milk and water.  He absolutely loves mangoes (must be the Filipino side of him hehehe). 



I know grocery shopping is mainly mommy's duty, but if hubby can come along, it helps out a lot (at least for me).  Every other week, we also go to Costco to purchase our bulk items (i.e. oatmeal, chicken breasts, ground turkey, almonds, tuna, goldfish, etc).  We love Costco, but beware of the free samples - try to choose the healthy ones =) ....

After grocery shopping, hubby brings the groceries in as well as put them away in the pantry and refrigerator.  Right now, you are probably wondering "really?" ... Well, my hubby is an engineer (mechanical) and he is the BEST in organizing our small fridge and pantry.  He actually volunteered because he has ways to fit everything in and it be organized and neat.  I have offered to do it in the past, but I just don't do as good of a job and I hate it when my blueberries fall and scatter all over the ground (and worse, Alexander accidentally steps on them!! - Moms you know what I am talking about!) ...  While hubby does that, I take Alexander and clean him up because we all know that grocery stores (and any public places) can be a haven for germs!  I help hubby after that, but mainly I put away the toiletries and take out packaging trash to the outside garbage bin.  And voila, our grocery trek is done = total teamwork!! ;) ....


So moving right along .... here is an example of what I bring to the office.  It is meal 2 morning snack, meal 3 lunch and meal 4 afternoon snack with strawberry whey protein powder:



Meal 2 is normally consumed at 10:45am, meal 3 at 1:45pm and meal 4 at 4:15pm.  Meal 4 is a little early because I like to join my husband and son for dinner.  If I eat meal 4 later than 4:30pm, I am not as hungry come dinner time and I just end up watching them eat.  I have a medium lunchbox that I bring this in and while my work laptop is booting up (which is forever), I put the foods in the refrigerator (minus the protein powder).

I hope this helps!  Of course with my job, there are days I eat the meals a little later than planned.  I am not perfect by no means and sometimes I end up skipping a meal because I am in a meeting or just working on an urgent client deliverable/deadline.  But most of the time, I try to eat every 3 hours to keep my metabolism revving.  I am known at work to have several tupperware containers =) ... It's SOO worth it and along with my exercise, I just feel great! ...

Let me know if you have questions!  Remember a little planning makes a difference and it moves you one step closer to your fitness goals.  Try it and avoid those fast food joints for lunch!! ....

Clean-eating rocks!
Mrs. Chilly

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Misery Loves Company

I have had a very interesting and more-than-usual chaotic week this week.  My son was stung by a bee at his pre-school playground Monday late afternoon for which we took him to the doctor on Tuesday after I received a call in the middle of a client meeting.  The past two days has been a mix of team umizoomi, working from home, sleeping for a total of 3-4 hours a night, playing sandbox, reading several board books, making soup and grilled cheese sandwiches (with Mommy adding in brocolli in the mix) and of course, the never-ending trials of potty training.  Hubby and I had initially decided for Alexander to go "cold turkey" this weekend since it is a 4-day weekend for the 3 of us.  I had planned to already be a "mommy-zombie" with the upcoming lack of sleep, but looks like that is me now and it's not even Friday yet.  Needless to say, I am looking forward to the 4-day weekend and I hope to get at least 6 hours of sleep even for just one night! =) .... (pic is Alexander and I at the doctor to get his "boo-boo" checked)

Today was quite an interesting day because I encountered two so-called friends who just seem to live in negative energy ughhh.  I try not to analyze it why one is so negative, but I find myself still trying to find a reason why.  This one "friend" basically said that my fitness blog is bogus/ridiculous and that the world does not revolve around my new clothes, new shoes, how much weightloss I've accomplished or what I had for lunch.  Quite hypocritical as this came from a "friend" who owns a $500 blender, a $3,000 camera, a brand-new 5 bedroom house, the Orbitz stroller (you Moms know that this is one of the most expensive strollers known to "momkind"), boutique clothes for her toddler and buys everything organic at Whole Foods.

My fashion includes items not only from Loft (sale racks included), but includes, Target, Old Navy, Macy's, local consignment stores in my area, even garage sales.  I have no problem saying that I shop at Walmart but also shop for bulk items at Costco.  I go for deals and rarely have to pay full-price.  Nevertheless, this "friend" has no idea of the family and friends whom I have helped live a "cleaner" lifestyle by choosing clean foods over junk; or friends I have supported and coached in his/her own fitness journey.  This person has also never been FAT.  I guess I find it hypocritical that she accused me of "blogging" my clothing etc when she herself has items that many people would love to be able to afford.  I live in a modest 3 bedroom house that needs remodeling and repairs; thank goodness my own husband is a handyman and we are able to do it ourselves. 

Anyway, the main point of this is this person never truly was a "friend."  I work full-time and balance my home with my demanding and often high-stressed career.  Fitness and fashion are my hobbies and I am thankful to be able to balance all that I have chosen to include on my plate.  What's wrong with having a hobby?  One thing I learned through my fitness journey is that when you are healthy physically (i.e. you eat clean for 80% of the time and exercise regularly), then your mind is also healthy.  I remember clearly how I was when I weighed 210 and 170lbs back in the day.  I was irritable, tired, stressed and quick to judge others before evaluating what I am about to say or do without thinking of the consequences.  I do not miss those days and I definitely refuse to go backwards in life.  I learned my lesson there.

After my fitness journey to get to my goal weight, I am doing my best to do everything I choose to do in life in a positive manner.  I look at the glass half full.  I don't freak out about the little things like I use to (ie. being late, instead just thankful I arrived safely; dinner not turning out as good as I wanted, but instead being thankful we have food on the table; not finishing a tax return b/c my child got sick (like this week), but thankful my son has me to take care of him and understand the world will not end b/c the client did not get his/her tax return, etc.).  Don't sweat the small stuff!!!!! ....

To all of my readers, fans, family and friends, thank you for all the continued support.  I love hearing your stories, receiving your texts and emails.  And for those of you who still choose to live in "negative energy," THIS BLOG IS NOT FOR YOU.  I think we all have encountered people in our lives who love to put us down b/c they are unhappy with their own current lifestyle.  Don't become a part of that and remember that "misery loves company."



Have a safe memorial day weekend! ...

Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly

P.S. - my blog will be going under construction soon.  Stay tuned for a "My Fitness Journey" makeover =) ....

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Date Night

Hey ya'll!  I am in an extremely happy mood today and pretty much all weekend.  Hmm, maybe because I did a spin class Friday and did sprints, plyo circuit and a chest/back workout Saturday morning?  I tell you that exercise releases endorphins and definitely can put you in a fabulous mood.  I am a mother to a very active and talkative little 3-year old and I need all the energy I can get for our family weekends.  I also kept my diet clean up until Saturday evening when hubby and I had a date night (thanks to my wonderful parents and brother for watching our baby).

That night hubby and I had a list of to do's:  buy new phones (we both have had our blackberries for years mainly because of our work emails and it was about time to crossover), buy hubby new dress slacks (Macy's had great selections and he decided on 3 Nautica pairs - hubby has style too ;) and then off we went to Nobu Dallas for my birthday dinner (my birthday was in April but with the close of tax season, hubby's business trip and our son's birthday party, we both decided that May would be a better month to celebrate). 

Here is the outfit I decided on.  This is my second maxi dress for the season.  Most of my family and friends know that I LOVE the color yellow against my skin:


Shoes:  BCBG Maxazria
Belt: (not pictured) because I bought it right before dinner at LOFT. Will feature next time on another outfit!
Necklace: LOFT
Earrings: New York & Co.



The maxi dress is NOT petite because like I said before I find them too short.  This is in regular sizing and a size 2 or XS so the length is perfect with this pair of wedge shoes.  I must say the whole night I felt very comfortable!  Classy, chic and comfy - my 3 C's! ...

After all the shopping, it was now time to enjoy a fabulous dinner at Nobu located in the beautiful Crescent Court hotel in downtown Dallas:


Thank you honey for a beautiful and fun evening. 

Now back to my clean-eating!  Short work week this week so you'll most likely see me at my local gym doing spin and weights (text/email me if you wanna join me =).  Have a fabulous week! ...

Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sweet Sixteen

Happy friday folks!  Today's post (and outfit) is what I like to call my "Sweet Sixteen" outfit.  For some reason this skirt reminds me of Molly Ringwald's famous movie "Sixteen Candles" because of its pink, flirty and girly style.  This outfit was inspired by a Loft sales associate who wore a similar skirt with a simple black top:

 Top: Forever 21
 Cami: Forever 21
 Tropical Skirt: LOFT
 Shoes: Baker's
 Earrings: NY&Co.
 *********************************************************************************
Remember to get your exercise in first thing Saturday morning and I promise you will feel much better and more energized.  Like I mentioned in my facebook fanpage, why not try something new and download your gym's group exercise fitness schedule?  This is how I started my own fitness journey!  Here is my blogpost on that.

Hubby and I make it a routine we go to the gym first thing and get our workouts in.  It fuels us parents for the weekend and not feel so bad when we enjoy our "treat" meals Saturday evening; plus it's our reward for eating clean all week (or 80% of the time).  I think hubby mentioned taking me to Nobu Dallas tomorrow evening for date night.  So excited as this is, according to him, my birthday dinner and evening - woohoo!  I am also finally switching over to the iPhone so any apps you recommend, please send them my way!  One app I am interested in is the Gymboss which is a self-timer that will totally help me in my HIIT (high-intensity interval training) circuits. 

So ... family time, exercise, relaxation, shopping and date night with hubby are planned for this weekend!  I have sprints, plyo circuit training and chest/back workout planned for tomorrow morning - gotta get it done.  I also plan to eat my clean foods up until meal 4 (around 3:30pm) and then enjoy my "treat" meal at Nobu for dinner =) ...

Have a fabulous weekend ya'll!  ...

Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Fitness Journey - Recap

This blog was born back in June of 2010.  Almost 2 years later, I have made new friends, gained new fans via my facebook fanpage and have helped a few of my family and friends with their own weightloss goal.  This blog basically started because my "IT" hubby flat out said, "honey, you can't possibly have time to respond to all the emails you get asking how you lost all your weight or detail your recipes, so why not start a blog?" .... hmmmm, good point there and so My Fitness Journey was born =) ....

Most of you know that my heaviest was 210 lbs which is what I weighed when I gave birth to our first child, Alexander Lee, back in April of 2009.  I have yo-yo'd back and forth from 140 to 210, down to 170, 150, 125 and then my lowest 114 (day of first fitness competition).  Needless to say, I have always struggled with my weight ever since childhood. 

After I had our son, when he was about 14 months old, hubby and I packed up and decided to move to Texas where my family lived.  We realized we needed the family support to raise our little one, but it also worked out that the Dallas market at the time was abundant both in the IT and tax accounting professions.  Therefore finding jobs in our industries was not too difficult.  We got settled in and decided to join a gym.

Here's me at 170lbs:

This picture was taken back in June of 2010.  At this time, I was living a sedentary lifestyle and decided that it was time for a change.  I was 29 years old and vowed that by the time I turn 30, I would be fit and fabulous! ....

Time to get to work! ...

How did I start?  First off, I downloaded my gym's group exercise class schedule and highlighted all the classes I thought I can initially handle.  Bodyworks (whole-body weight class), step circuit, kickboxing - I couldn't wait to get started!  I also hired a personal trainer twice a week for 30 min sessions in addition to the classes.  Probably the most important change was my diet (no secret here!) ....

I had already read about "clean-eating" from Tosca Reno's The Eat-Clean Diet Book as well as my Oxygen magazines.  Prior to this lifestyle change, I had also already been exposed to fitness competitions back in 2006 when I went with my then kickboxing instructor, Lisa to Hollywood and she competed in Fitness America as well as attended a Cathy Savage's Camp in Boston.  It was an amazing experience and I knew that one day I wanted get on that stage too.

Here is me in Hawaii I'd say about 145-150lbs I can't exactly recall.  I still had some ways to go but after 4 months of training and group exercise classes, I started to see the weight decrease and my clothes fit better.  This was taken back in October 2010 for my hubby's best friend's wedding in Honolulu, Hawaii.  His BF lives and works there and I knew I better get my butt in gear in time for this trip!! ...



So .... not quite there yet, but great accomplishment thus far.  And you have to remember to celebrate your accomplishments whether small or large!  I decided to keep going to my classes and continued my personal training up until April 15, 2011.  I turned 30 years old that month and hubby threw me a 30th b-day party!  A few of my close family and friends were there (Emily, Bryan, Tracy, Julie, Rebecca, Navin and Andrew to name a few) and it was a lot of fun!  Here I am wearing a Bebe dress in a size 2 at 125 lbs.  Hard to believe I could even fit in a Bebe dress lol:



I must say having this body took a lot of dedication and perseverance.  I ate clean 80% of the time and saved my "treat" meals on the weekends.  I worked from home at this time so I was able to go to the gym in the mornings and get my workouts in before the day started.  I decided after turning 30 years old that I would make my dream of competing finally come true.

Next up, the Europa!  Of all the competitions, I chose the one where the pros and veteran competitors showed up :-/ ...  But honestly, I competed not for the trophy, but for the experience and celebrating my 14 months of hardwork and accomplishment.  Here is the the full blog detailing my experience training for my first fitness competition:


Most of you all know competing is not my bread and butter (or should I say my ezekiel bread and almond butter hahaha); I am your full-time senior tax professional by day, however, fitness is my other love on the side (yes, I have a love for tax too ;) - that's the nerd in me ... 

Now that I have reached a good weight for my height and body type, I refuse to go back.  I also refuse to fall in the typical "accountant mode" of burnt-out, tired, irritable and unhealthy stressed.  That's not to say I am not stressed with my profession at all (I am trust me as well as lacking sleep at times); I just make sure I keep my fitness routine in my schedule even though it's no longer everyday going hard at the gym. 

As I have detailed here in one of my blogpost, I am now also a full-time Mommy, wifey and have put competing on the back burner.  I am grateful for the work/life balance I have now and enjoy the time I spend with my family.  Here is the blogpost I am referring to in case you have not read it.  To sum up my competition experience, I would love to do it again of course (after having kiddos), but it's not my main passion.  Nothing wrong though with looking like one =) .... right now I'm mainly focused on maintaining my weight and continuing the healthy clean lifestyle.  I love that even my son will eat eggwhites, oatmeal, fish, grilled chx breasts, sweet potatoes, brocolli, etc with no hesitation!  That's an accomplishment in itself! .... 

So ... here I am now at 130lbs to date, size 4 and in Loft wear sizes, XS or S.  I am not at the gym 6 days a week like I use to, but minimum 3 times.  I have also started spin classes and love how it works my legs!!  I miss my group exercise classes and now that I am not in competing mode, I am able to attend my old classes more frequently.  But you will most find me in spin =) .... 



When I'm not in the gym, I have my own home elliptical that I do before work and then lift a muscle group on my lunchbreak at my office gym.  Like I say, "Where there's a will, there's a way!"  Aside from this past busy season, I've kept up with my clean-eating, eating 5 small meals a day with a combo of lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.  Here is an example pic of my meals today that I packed for work:


Just a few minutes of preparation the day before or even Sundays goes a long way for the work week. It helps me stay accountable to myself and avoid fast foods for lunch.  I save my "treat" meals for Saturday evening when hubby and I go on a date night so I know during the week I have that to look forward to.  Plus we all know eating out everyday (and at my job I see people who eat out EVERY meal) will not yield good results.  Change will not happen if it doesn't start with you.  Period.  You either want it or you don't and as you can see here, I wanted it BAD when I was 170lbs back in June of 2010.  No looking back for this Mama!! ....

I hope my fitness blog continues to inspire and help you.  I have recently just added fashion to it since that is also another passion that runs with the women in my family.  I must say that shopping is a much more pleasant experience nowadays!! ...

This blog was created to help you and please know that I am here for you to help you during your own fitness journey =) - what are you waiting for?!?  Let's go! ....  Remember, you are beautiful!!!! ....



Cheers!
Mrs. Chilly

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What I like to Call: Pattern-Blocking ....

Happy hump day!  Friday is almost here and I can't wait.  My hubby has date night plans he says for Saturday evening for my birthday (which was last month lol), and I am excited and planning what to wear already.

One trend I am starting to see besides color-blocking is what I like to call "pattern-blocking."  I am not 100% sure if this is the term the expert fashionistas use, but I think you all get the point! ...




Cardigan:  LOFT
Shoes:  Marc Fisher by Macy's

At first, I tried on a brown, metallic belt, but then saw this belt on a mannequin on the way to the fitting room.  I don't know why I like to steal off the showcase mannequin, but I seem to find the best items there!  One time the mannequin's arms fell off :-/ ... and hubby just shook his head (oops lol!).  Are some of you like me or am I just odd?  My theory is the best items are on display on a mannequin for a reason so I must also check it out =) ...

Anyway, this is how I "pattern-block."  Mixing the belt's pattern with a totally different pattern (the dress in this case), but all within the same color family.  I feel like I should be on a beautiful yacht when I wear this dress lol!  Hmmm, maybe that's where hubby is taking me this Saturday evening? ;) ...

Have a great rest of the week,
Mrs. Chilly

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My New Favorite: Maxi Dresses

This spring called for "color-blocking," mixing stripes with bold solid colors; mixing one pattern with another which I call "pattern-blocking" and of course the popularity of maxi dresses.  I don't know about you, but being 5 foot 1, I normally stay away from long dresses because that would add an additional "to-do" on my list to visit my tailor for hemming services :-/ ...

I was a bit shocked (and happy) when I tried on this LOFT maxi dress and realized the length was just perfect.  Yes, perfect.  At first I tried on the small in petite and saw that it was actually too short.  I didn't give up just quite yet so I moved on to the regular section (for the taller girls) and grabbed an extra-small.  Voila, with the right wedge shoes, I was able to wear this maxi dress comfortably without having to worry about tripping. 


With the cardigan, it can be worn in the office where it could get rather chilly. Maxi dresses are casual elegant, chic and downright comfortable (which is a must for us Mommies!):


Maxi Dress: LOFT
Wedges: BCBG Maxazria
Cardigan: LOFT
Earrings: NY&Company
Makeup: Bobbi Brown and MAC Cosmetics

Okay, by special request, here is a picture of the shoes I wore that made the dress the perfect length without any hemming needed.  Of course, I cannot opt to wear flats with this dress unfortunately then it will be too long.  But these BCBG shoes are so comfortable that I don't mind not wearing flats =) ....



I have seen "maxi-dress disasters" where the person wearing it was either tripping on the dress or had to hold it while walking.  What's the fun in that?  And for this reason, I've avoided the maxi dress.  Thank you LOFT for making such beautiful and comfortable maxi dresses.  I have now ordered my second one from you and can't wait to wear it! .. the hibiscus print maxi dress (pictured below):


Go ahead and try one on and let me know how you like the maxi dress.  And if it doesn't, no worries it won't hurt my feelings one bit =) ....

Happy shopping!
Mrs. Chilly

Monday, May 14, 2012

Thai Lettuce Wraps (clean and healthy version) ...


Most of you know I started a new meal program designed by the The Hot Mom Bod.  I met Leslie through my girlfriend and savage girl, Laura Lam Ortiz (click on her name for her feature on my blog!) During tax season this year, while I didn't gain, I lost a bit of my lean muscle because I simply didn't have time to fit in 5 small meals a day, let alone the time to cook and prepare my foods (we had a mandatory 60 hour work week - 55 chargeable to clients).  A few weeks I worked even more than that :-/ ....

Well, I decided to get back on track about a week ago and I can't begin to tell you how much I missed my old self, my workouts and my clean eating.  A week later, I feel great!  What a difference a week makes.  I see quite a bit of people in my line of work burnt out, overweight, tired and stressed.  I refuse to let myself go in that direction so I joined Leslie Jackson-Lancaster's Summer Sizzle Program.  It is a 30 day program with delicious and healthy recipes that I will have for a lifetime.  My workouts have also been great.  I am at my local gym at least 3 times a week and I do cardio on my home elliptical for 35 minutes before I start my day at the office.  When I can fit it in, I try to lift on my lunchbreaks at my office gym as well.

Many of you have asked for the thai lettuce wrap recipe so here it is.  There is a little modification from Leslie's version and mine.  She is coming out with her book and I will make sure to share it here along with her story! ...

**Thai Lettuce Wraps**

1lb ground bison (you can use ground chicken or lean ground turkey ... tofu for vegetarians)
Bibb lettuce
Shredded carrots
Mango fresh salsa (Whole Foods has the best!)
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
Thai red chili paste
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 stalks of green onions, chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp raw sugar
1/2 fresh squeezed lime juice

Cook in a skillet 1 lb ground bison, add last 8 ingredients above and cook until blended well.  Add 3 tbsp of the ground bison in the bibb lettuce leaf and top with shredded carrots and fresh mango salsa.  You can add fresh chopped cilantro, but the fresh mango salsa has cilantro already.  You can also add 1-2 tbsp of thai sweet chili sauce and drizzle on top, but my version did not need it =) ....

Super easy to make and it lasted me awhile.  I believe I had 3-4 servings left for the week! ...

Don't forget to check out Leslie's Blog for fitness and nutrition tips! ...

Cheers!
Mrs. Chilly

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Mama, My Hero ...

Happy Mother's Day to all of my family, friends and fans!  I hope all the Mommies in the world were able to put up their feet, sip some wine and watch the hubbies vacuum, cook, do laundry, pay bills and take care of the kiddos (wink, wink) ... okay, all this may not have happened, but I do wish you all had at least a fabulous day =) .... As for my own day, it was my usual duties, responsibilities and routine with just added specialness (wishes, thoughtful cards and lots of love) and prettiness (beautiful flowers and LOFT giftcard).  A mother's work never ends, so it was impossible to take a day off! ;) ....

I'd like to dedicate this blogpost to one of the strongest and hardworking women I know ... my Mom.  Most of you know I am 100% Filipina, daughter to Filipino immigrant parents.  We moved to the U.S. back in May of 1990, May 26, 1990 to be exact.  Wow, almost 22 years ago; hard to believe and with all moves, it was a struggle.

It all started back when my Mom applied for her greencard in 1972, but not receive a response until 1988, by then already married with 3 children of her own (ages 9, 8 and 1).  Most of my family and friends who also have immigrant parents tend to share a common theme and that is finding life/finding work and working hard once you find it .. "hanap buhay" in my home language.  Growing up, it was the women who were the breadwinners.  I remember both my father and mother working back in the Philippines and when we moved to the U.S., it was my mother who found a job first.  Firsthand this is where my hardwork ethic blossomed from and why I believe that women should strive to achieve and accomplish as much as they can so they can survive in this harsh world of ours if necessary.  We all hear it; tomorrow is never promised. 

Plan B:  Plan B is probably my most important lesson learned from Mom.  My brothers and I can tell you while growing up, we would see articles on the bathroom mirrors (for when we all brushed our teeth before school), we would see newspaper clippings on the cabinet above the microwave (for when we heated up our breakfast) or we would see sticky notes by our lunch money ($2 a day each back then).  The newspaper clippings ranged from 1.) the importance of saving, ROTHs, IRAs, etc. 2.) the importance of education and finishing college, 3.) lessons learned from too much credit cards, 4.) planning for the future and many more.  My Mom believed in women to work because tomorrow is not promised to you.  We all could have the most stable and loving relationship with our spouse, but God forbid should anything happen to the breadwinner, the spouse will have to step in to ensure the basic necessities are covered (i.e. food, shelter, clothing). 

While my Mom worked, I remember having to grow up fairly quickly ... helping with taking care of my two younger brothers, cleaning the house, helping my brothers with their schoolwork and preparing meals.  Back then, I may have missed (and wished) my Mom was home more often, but at age 31, a Mom myself, I understand now why she did what she had to do.  Survival.  It was difficult enough to leave your home country where you grew up most of  your life, say farewell to family and friends, sell all that you have and move to a foreign place all on your own.  We didn't speak any English.  I can't even imagine what was going on in my parents' minds starting all over in the U.S.

I look back quite often especially now that I am a Mom myself.  When you have a child, the world does not revolve around you anymore and your responsibility shifts to this person you brought into the world.  I have a responsibility to raise this little boy, feed him healthy foods, provide clothing on his back and make sure he has opportunities in this world.  I may not be around him 100% of his time, but I know I work to ensure I am able to provide for him and my husband .. or God forbid, step in and be plan B.  That doesn't mean I don't miss my son while I work; I do every second of the day.  But to know and accept that we are in God's hands, have a stable income from dual-careers, generous health insurance and an infinite love for one another, this all gives me a peace of mind.

Growing up, I may have not had the nicest things, but I look more at the bigger picture .. the fact that my Mom (and Dad) left her life in the Philippines so my brothers and I can get a piece of the American dream. 

And because of my Mom, I am who I am today and so much more.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!  I love you =) ...

Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thank you LOFT ...

... thank you LOFT for helping us Moms look fabulous!  I was recently asked by LOFT to be a guest Mom blogger on their facebook fanpage.  It was an honor, considering I frequent and shop at LOFT at least once a week.  Of course, fitting shopping in my schedule is almost impossible and when I am able to, I just have an hour to browse, try on and pay!  This is why I choose LOFT.  I almost always find something that accentuates my figure and still leaves me looking classy, chic and comfy (my 3 C's by the way).

This fabulous outfit, courtesy of LOFT made me feel beautiful and a classy Mom .. perfect for Mother's Day 2012!


Here is the link to the LOFT feature.  Thank you LOFT for this opportunity and please keep on making fabulous outfits for us busy Mamas! ...

Bohemian Blouse: LOFT
Floral Skirt: LOFT
Shoes: BCBG Maxazria
Necklace: LOFT
Happy Mother's Day to all my fabulous Mama's out there! You are beautiful.  Keep on being sassy and celebrate you =) ...

Cheers,
Mrs. Chilly

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Little Change is Good

The other day I finally blogged about how I "try" to fit all that I can fit in my hectic schedule.  Today I decided to try something new (a little re-arranging I'd say).  Instead of my normal weightlifting session during my lunchbreak, I decided to come in to work in my workout gear and lift first thing.  I did my cardio (35 min elliptical) at home from 620am - 655am, showered, cooked and ate meal 1 and read a couple of books to my 3 year old before he left for school with hubby.  It was when having my morning coffee that I decided to try this new schedule (to lift first) and see how it fit into my day.  Aside from being sore the rest of the day, I felt great and may try to do this routine for a month or two.  I have always loved getting my workout done in the mornings as it fuels me for the rest of the day.  As soon as I reached my seat, it was time for meal 2 and I was set to get productive for the rest of the day.  

For additional exercise (and family time) my hubby, son and I also started walking around the neighborhood after dinner.  Here's my little munchkin "pick'n a winner" (LOL!) in his favorite soon-to-outgrow red buggy =) ....



Hey, where there's a will, there's a way! (and I want to get ready for my summer swimsuit!) ...

Here's yours truly going into work today:


Pants: Champion
Tank: Under-Armour
Sportsbra: Lululemon
Shoes: Loft (I love flip-flops in the summer, but don't worry I did change into my Nike's before lifting!)

Third day into my clean-eating routine this week and I feel awesome!!!  During tax season, I still managed to eat clean, I just didn't eat frequently and skipped a few meals :-/ ... probably hurt my metabolism and lost lean muscle.  But I am back on track now!! ... Someone told me today that they overheard someone was dieting and ate popcorn for lunch??? ... Remember, eating frequent small meals throughout the day with a balance of lean protein, complex carb and healthy fat is the best way to go.  And I don't think popcorn has any of that, but just sodium and empty calories and in some kinds transfat.  I wish I could help this person out, but I don't normally offer what I know unless asked.

Summer is already here so  make sure to continue with your own fitness and nutrition goals!  In just a few weeks, half of 2012 will be over, can you believe it? ....

Cheers to fitness!
Mrs. Chilly

Friday, May 4, 2012

Stripes: Good or Bad

Happy weekend!  This blog will feature one of my favorite skirts for work.  Stripes can either do you justice or be your fashion nemesis ... make sure to choose the right kind of "stripes."  I've brought home stripe tops and bottoms and hubby never hesitates to tell me, "Uhhhh honey, those stripes aren't doing any justice to your figure."  I take his advice strongly so one cardinal rule of shopping .. never take off the tags until it is time to wear the garment(s).  Those fitting room mirrors can be misleading too!  Ha! =) ....


What do you think of stripes? ....

Skirt: Loft
Top: Loft
Earrings and Necklace: Charming Charlie's
Shoes: BCBG Maxazria (back from my college days! (04) - you do the math ;)

Cheers!
Mrs. Chilly

P.S. - those of you following me on FB, I did cut off only 2 inches from my hair, but it seems like 5 to me!  I am choosing to grow it out some more since my vitamins are keeping it healthy and thick! ...