Blogs > Lighten Up with Jessie

Jessie Baginski, a Mayfield Heights resident, is back for a second try at Lighten Up. The 2013 contestant says she's ready to take what she learned last year and give it a good go this year.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Missing Aladdin's - the food and the company!

Wow! I can't begin to say how much I miss seeing my Lighten Up friends at Aladdin's the last few weeks. Work commitments and other scheduling conflicts have kept me from attending our Monday night dinners. It's eye opening to reflect on the fact that when I am seeing people every week, I get better results! It's not like a "program" in terms of rehashing with a crowd what did you eat, what exercise did you do, etc. which only makes you want to highlight where you missed the mark, but we celebrate our progress at every level. Sometimes that is about getting all A's on Vitabot; sometimes it's about clothes fitting differently - and sometimes it's just to laugh about the mishaps during the week. No matter what the conversation, I am meeting amazing people I may not have otherwise met and truly enjoying the friendships - and the great food - at Aladdin's!

Miles for Mulching

Well before it actually snowed AGAIN today, we worked on getting down our mulch this weekend. What a great way to get in 12,000 steps!

It felt great to spend time outside in the sunshine and very motivating to make sure I'm staying on task. I was discouraged after the weigh in because the evil red scale had very different numbers than mine did. Amazing what sunshine and warm air can do to inspire activity.

Looks like another sunny weekend so another 6 miles of mulching!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stumbling blocks

The most recent weigh in was very disappointing. Although my scale was wavering with 2 or 3 pounds all month, it was wavering beyond the initial loss, which was great. Then on my weigh in I was actually up from my previous loss. That setback was the beginning of a couple of tough weeks. I have to put it out there that when I have days that actually involve breakfast, lunch AND dinner meetings, keeping on track is very difficult. I topped off this crazy two weeks of food meetings by spraining my foot, really feeling like I've derailed so much work. However, now that these two weeks are over, it felt great to get back into my routine with a breakfast smoothie and turkey wrap for lunch. I am so grateful for the friends I have met through this program. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging. We all know that we will have some failures along the way, but the most important thing is to get back on track and try it again. Lifestyle changes are like learning to play a new sport - you have to get comfortable with setbacks before you can master the skills.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Going Green

Going green has taken on new meaning at our house - beyond recycling. Thom makes this pretty tasty green shakes with 1/2 banana, handful of blueberries, fresh apple juice and a scoop of wheatgrass - I have to add a spoonful of yogurt to mine. At first I thought YUUUUUK! I had put too much wheatgrass in and felt like I could smell and taste it all day. I'm not a big fan of shakes and smoothies so it's not a daily event for me, but it is a very nutritious breakfast on the go!

So anxious for spring to arrive! I'm looking forward to putting my green thumb to work in the yard. After this crazy winter, it really needs work - and that is one of my favorite work outs, spreading mulch and prepping the beds for planting!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Travails of Travel

Traveling is a challenge when dieting. Not only is it difficult to find menu items that meet your diet preferences, but you have to let go of control of preparation and portion sizes as well.

Now let's talk about traveling to the City that Care Forgot, my hometown of New Orleans - a foodie heaven! All things considered, I did well for my ten days with my sisters and my dad. My sister Sharon had saved for me Gambit's 700 places to eat in New Orleans so we could try out a new place to two while I was home. Lunch at Sun Ray Grill off of Metairie Rd was a great choice - outstanding grilled fish tacos and shrimp quesadillas! Mr. Ed's was happy to grill my trout instead of panee (coated and fried) it- topped with crabmeat and green onions. So that was all good.

Parade season brings its own set of challenges. Shrimp po-boys and ham/turkey sandwiches ruled the days and evenings. You just can't eat salad and catch beads at the same time! I accepted the fact that all that white bread was definitely going to disrupt any thoughts of weight loss. I did however, add my little diet twist to the sandwiches - instead of mayo I used sliced tomatoes and cucumbers to dress them. My sisters loved the change; the brothers-in-law, not so much.

I only succumbed once to my beloved beignets and thoroughly enjoyed every wicked bite of the sugar coated puffy pastries with a great cafe au lait. REally, you can't have them at least once while in New Orleans!

I was thrilled to stay in touch with my Lighten Up friends through FB and really looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday night. It's good to be home and get back on track toward my goals!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Expanding horizons

Monday nights are do much fun at Aladdin's! Although I'm a regular customer for hummus and tabouli, last night our table went for the appetizer sampler.
The baba, hummus and tabouli were all excellent as always. The fourth item was dawali-grape leaves stuffed with rice and chickpeas. They were delicious! We also split a veggie plate for dipping our hummus and baba.

The real treat is getting to know people you may otherwise never met. We share stories if our lives, and recipes for healthy meals on a budget. So far Reider's is the place to go for great prices on produce!

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Good first month

Well, I'm only down a couple of pounds - a little shy of my 1 lb per week goal, but my clothes are fitting better - and I got into a pair of jeans I couldn't even zip last month! so I'm feeling pretty good about that. The best part about the weigh in was seeing everyone again and cheering for each other as it seemed like everyone had lost at least a couple pounds- kudos to Jane - 11 lbs!

Hoping for the thumbs up on Monday to move ahead on a fitness plan that will help me reach my goals a little faster. Looking forward to a new dish at Aladdin's this week. so far everything has been delicious and more than filling. Thank you Daad and your team for working with this program this year!