Category Archives: Mandy’s Blog


Killer (And Free!) Resources for Realistic Weight Loss

secrethealthHere are a few killer weight loss resources, as promised!

Yesterday I shared the secret to my weight loss success and what I’ve been up to since my last post at The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life.

It had been awhile, if you remember. But yesterday I shared how wonderful the Paleo diet has been for my health. Not just in losing thirty-five pounds, but also in clearing up more than a few symptoms and long-term health issues I’d struggled with. (Fabulous complexion, thank you!)

I’m happy to say that, in addition to melting the fat, the Paleo diet has eliminated almost all of my PCOS symptoms. It’s built up the muscle mass. I’m leaner, energetic, and just not hungry all the time.

But I didn’t magically pull Paleo knowledge from thin air. I learned it from somewhere. And since this isn’t a Paleo blog, I’d like to share where you can find a few of the Paleo and medical experts who have helped me get my life back.

Medical Doctors and Nutritional Experts

  • Sean Croxton from Underground Wellness knows that self care is better than health care. Do you have symptoms without an identifiable cause? Sean can show you how to get healthy after the the medical field has failed.
  • Andreas Eenfeldt is the family MD practitioner behind Diet Doctor. He takes a comprehensive and easy to understand approach to healthy nutrition using what he calls the LCHF (low carbohydrate, high fat) diet. He explains how the low fat craze caused obesity and how to beat the bulge.
  • Chris Kresser discusses how diet and nutrition cause a number of diseases in America and how political issues undermine the efforts of good medicine.
  • Robb Wolf is well known in the Paleo community. He’s published a number of helpful books on the subject.

dessertSavory and Healthy Paleo Recipes

  • Chowstalker  posts delicious, quick, and healthy recipes. Your plate will never be boring with a recipe resource like this one because you’ll never eat the same thing twice.
  • Dessertstalker satisfies the sweet tooth for Paleo and nonPaleo foodies alike. Cookies? No problem. Because grain free is the way to be, and Desserstalker knows it.
  • Fast Paleo pools recipes from Paleo-friendly sites around the web and brings them all to your screen. They also have an app.

Have I missed any no-miss resources? Share them here. I’m interested.


Does This Secret to Weight Loss Surprise You?

cheeseHave you ever stumbled across a secret that changed your life forever?
Have you ever struggled and scraped, knowing there was a secret to success you just hadn’t found yet?

I started The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life hoping that an accountability to you would help me stick to my weight loss goals. But it turns out that there was a secret to weight loss far more powerful than accountability. That secret is so simple, I almost couldn’t believe it. And I’d heard of it before. A thousand times.

Hello, friends.

It’s been a while since I posted here at The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life. I’ve had some unreported ups and downs. When I posted last, things weren’t going so well on the fitness front. I wasn’t making progress on my weight loss goals the way I wanted to.


But Things Have Changed

I learned that some foods, like sugar and grains, cause inflammation and addiction.

Once I knew that, kicking the habit turned out to be just kicking a habit. Desire for sugar turned out to be a conquerable challenge, the way that all addictions are conquerable.

To kill an addiction, you just ignore it until it goes away. And if you ignore addictions completely, most of them disappear in three days.

I’m not sure what the future holds for The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life. Now that I know the secret to weight loss success, I’m not sure I want to write about it anymore.

But I’ll tell you, right here and right now, the secret that burned thirty-five pounds off my frame. I’ll give you that secret for free, because I’m not trying to sell you anything. Because something this good should be shared with friends.

You can spend thousands of dollars for the secret if it makes you feel more deserving, but the reality is that people are giving this stuff away for free.

No, you can’t eat anything you want. No, you can’t feed your addiction and still lose weight. But you can have everything you always wanted if you apply this knowledge.

If you don’t want to struggle anymore. If you want to be healthy, lean, fit, sexy, and clear-headed. The secret is easy.

Here’s My Secret to Sustainable, Healthy Weight Loss. Fanfare, please!

secrethealthEliminate grains, refined sugar, gluten, and excessive carbohydrates from your diet. Women, eat less than one hundred carbohydrates daily. Eat whole foods. Eat fat. Yep, you heard me right. Eat fat!

I follow a modified Paleo diet, and I’ve never felt better.

Don’t let the silly name fool you. Did cavemen really eat this way? Who cares! I feel amazing. I’m losing weight. I think more clearly. That’s all I need to know to never give it up.

Let the next sucker eat grains and sugar.

It’s no secret anymore. The truth isn’t exclusive to the rich anymore. Peasant food like grains and sugar and chemical compounds make you fat, sluggish, and stupid. It’s the food that masters fed to slaves because it’s cheap and made them too tired for resistance.

Do you like being a slave? Or do you want to be healthy, lean, happy?

Check back tomorrow for a list of resources that reveal what fit people really eat. I’ll also post a couple of links to recipe sites. And I’m talking delicious, savory, hearty, filling, and truly healthy meals that cook up quicker than you can fly through a fast food line.

Until then!

I’m glad to see you here. Welcome to The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life.


Thank You for Your Support

It’s been awhile. I’m almost ashamed to say that I’m alive and well.

Thank you to everyone who emailed and commented while I was away. I’m still working on writing back to each and every person who sent me their encouragement and support during my unofficial hiatus.

And while I’m on the topic of my hiatus, I’m not sure what to say except that I fell off with a remarkable totality. In fact, my crash was so sudden and absolute that you might think I was trying to fail.

Of course I tried to pick up again. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.

The past months have had their own silent ups and downs. I wanted to get my routine back before posting again. But with each passing day without a post, it became that much harder to jump in again. I felt pretty sure that you would understand what happened, probably knew without me having to say it. But sometimes it’s easier to forgive other’s shortcomings than it is to forgive my own. Maybe you know what that’s like too.

As you might imagine, my fitness and weight loss are in radical decline. I haven’t exercised regularly since December. And every week since then that I don’t exercise, I can feel my habits and mindset merging with the old me. At first it was muscle aches as the strength I had built fell away. Then it was knee pain. Lately, dizziness spins my head every time I stand up, and showering is exhausting. Worse, I feel the pessimistic mind set winning more often, sluggish thoughts, frustration and impatience. I don’t think as clearly or healthy-minded.

I’ve given away my one sure antidote to anxiety and depression. And even if exercise doesn’t make the weight slough off, it was worth so much more than that.

I’m not sure where I’m going from here. I don’t have a plan or feel as sure as I did when I tore off the wrapping of my shiny new blog back in August. But I do know that avoiding you and my support system isn’t part of it. I also know that exercise is at once a part of and separate from it.

I think, as first steps go, this is a good one.

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Images: FlickrGabriela Camerotti


If At First You Don’t Succeed, Spit It Out And Try Again

I ate candy just now.

I’ve been working hard to stick to my No Sugar Until Christmas Eve goal. I have two whole days of sugar abstinence under my belt. Let’s see if I can make it three days this time!

Still, I feel bad that I didn’t make it longer without succumbing to the habit. You know I’m feeling vulnerable if watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall can make me emotional! You know that part where Mila Kunis’s character says “If you hate something, change it”?  I was watching this movie that’s supposed to be hilarious and all I can think is “Oh my God, I’m trying!!!!!!” after I’d just eaten 3 mini Reeses, 3 Hershey’s Kisses, and 4 mini candy canes.

Why can’t I have rock hard resistance to all things misery-inducing?

If it was just sweets, this wouldn’t be so hard. But while I was resisting the sweeties and the cola and the apple juice for two days straight, I started to notice how kind of boring and lonely my lifestyle is right now. A lot of that has to do with the limitations I put on myself because being fat kills my confidence. It isn’t easy to get out there and live it up without a care when I’m adjusting my clothes all the time or constantly wondering if I’ll fit.

Do I eat candy because it’s the only source of joy in my life that I indulge in? Can that really be? And how do I fix it? I know that losing weight is a great start. But I’m wondering if I’m fat for other reasons. I mean, those Reeses tasted good and all, but they weren’t that good.

What’s going on here?

While I think about that, I’ll be busting ass to reach three days without sweeties this time. Wish me luck!

Image: Sidereal


The Sweet(Free) Life

[blockquote align="left"]I can resist everything except temptation. (Oscar Wilde)[/blockquote]I love Oscar Wilde, but if he were here today, I’d kick him in the shin. Why? Because I’m here to prove him wrong this month as I resist every temptation! So eat that, Mr. Wilde…unless it has sugar in it. ;)

Temptation lurks everywhere. I chose the best possible month to exercise my willpower because Christmas-time means candy galore!

It isn’t your average dusty Snickers bar, either. Those grocery store shelves are overflowing with savory peanut brittle, airy divinity, and gooey cherry cordials. This delectable goodness comes only once a year!

But that just means I’m even prouder when I glide on by. Why? Because this month, I decided that I was ready for The Big One, the ultimate challenge: I’m off the sweets and on to the sweet life.

Have I been perfect? (Wouldn’t that be awesome?)

Sure I strive for perfection. But I’m also human. Breaking habits is a messy business, and I expect to take a few missteps. But today I resisted sugar 36 times! And apple juice was my only indulgence (12 ounces).

Narrowing the No-Sugar Rules

  • In those first days of December, I had two cans of coke. I wasn’t sure I wanted to nix the cola. But then I read my rules, and I did say “no added sugar.” So cola is out.
  • When the sugar beast is on steroids, a girl needs a back up plan. And dark chocolate is a surefire craving killer. Next time, though, I’ll shoot for something higher than 55% cocoa. Still, I’ve stuck to the 1/2 serving-per-maniacal-sugar-frenzy (and indulged twice).
  • Hot apple juice is a nice cold weather treat. Maybe too much of one. It turns out that apple juice has more sugar than cola, which was an awful disappointment. I played with the idea of keeping the “apple juice allowed” rule since it technically has no added sugar. But at 42 grams per mug, I just can’t justify it. So it’s out.

I’d love to be up to my elbows in diabolical deliciousness. Instead, I’m flexing my willpower like a muscle! If every resisted urge were a bicep curl, I’d be the Incredible Hulk! Today I resisted sugar 36 times. That’s like squatting 100 willpounds!

And next week will be even better! I like the idea of keeping this goal next month with even stricter rules.

This is the most fun I’ve ever had avoiding sugar!

Image: kevin.j, Boz Bros, Ruben Bos


I’m Sugar-Free, But I’m Still Sweet!

Sometimes the sugar fit comes over me like a madness. I know how dramatic that sounds. So when I say I can’t retract the statement because it’s totally and 100% true, you’ll appreciate my meaning.

Today is day #6 of my sugar-free month. Sadly, I lost the post where I outlined the rules. So let me share those again.

Sugar Free is the Way to Be: Rules to Live (for a Month) By

  1. No desserts, no candy, nothing with added sugar
  2. If the fit is unbearable, it’s okay to eat 1/2 serving of dark chocolate (if it works for period cravings, why not month-round?!)
  3. Apple juice, in moderation (under 0-12 oz. per day), is also okay

The idea is to avoid sweets and tame the sugar beast. But I’m fully aware that I’m addicted to the stuff and that sometimes breaking an addiction takes superhuman resistance and a generous patience with myself when I screw up.

And I fully expect to screw up. But not today.

Today I’m channeling my quitter’s nature ;) . And I have much experience in quitting bad habits!

Sugar Versus Tobacco

When I quit tobacco (and whatever else is lurking between those cigarette papers!), I went at it head on.

I decided to quit smoking. Quit buying cigarettes. Lost my mind. Bought a pack. Smoked it. Decided to quit smoking. Bought em again when I was ready to scream. Smoked them. Lasted a bit longer before I bought them again. Tore them all up. Waited a full day. Bummed one from a friend. Bought another pack. Gave them away. Lasted a day and a half…

On it went before I finally lasted two and a half days. Then I bummed a cigarette from a friend, got sick, and eventually stuck it out for three days straight. After that, that burning need was gone and all that was left was desire.

I still want to smoke sometimes, but only when I see someone on TV smoking. Real live smoke turns my stomach.

I imagined that quitting sugar would be similar. Thankfully, that burning desire comes less often than it ever did with smoking. But I still lose my mind sometimes.

More tomorrow.

Image: Cy-VBitpicture


December Goals: The Big One

I finally beat those pesky diet goals last month. I’m beaming with pride. Those were some tough goals to crack!

I ate sandwiches at home most days of the month. I tried two new healthy recipes. I planned easy as pie recipes with less than 600 calories. And I kept up with my exercise goals. It was smokin’ hot!

What’s really exciting, though, is that my recent success means I’m ready for bigger and better things. In November, I took the time to focus on the diet goals that were giving me trouble. Now, I’m ready to try the Big One.

The Big One

My big health goal for December is to be sugar free until Christmas Eve! I’ll tell you the no sugar rules that I’ve set for myself in tomorrow’s post. But for now, I’ll just say that it’s on like Donkey Kong. I know I’m ready. I’m excited to move forward. This will be no easy task, but I’m up for it! And I’d love to have you along.

But one big goal isn’t enough. I’m also focused on maintaining the excellent progress I’ve made so far. So I’ve got four goals for December.

December Health Goals

  1. Maintain my exercise routine: 2x strength train and 2x cardio each week
  2. English-style horseback riding most Saturdays (or make up a missed lesson on a Wednesday)
  3. Fast food no more than 2x in December (and keep it low calorie even then!)
  4. No sweeties, no desserts, no added sugar until Christmas Eve!

I’m ready. I’m excited. Let’s kick some ass! Are you ready?

Image: Riv


November Wrap Up: Progress and Goals

November was a month of intense concentration!

I focused heavily on food goals since those have proven the toughest for me so far.

Exercise continues to be the easy part of this weight loss adventure (not effortless, but not an immovable obstacle either). My diet, on the other hand…

Still, I’m proud to say that I met all of November’s goals.

November Goals Refresher:

  1. Work out 4x per week (2x cardio & 2x strength train)
  2. English-style horseback riding most Saturdays
  3. Try a new healthy recipe
  4. Plan two healthy go-to meals and use them

Weight Loss Goals Assessment

Calorie consumption is undoubtedly the source of my woes (more on that later this week). So it’s incredible that I met all my goals this month, especially those slippery little diet ones!

I tried a new healthy recipe to meet goal #3. That broccoli salad tasted amazing with some minor modifications. A quick blanch and a dash more mayonnaise amped up the flavor without adding too many extra calories.

To meet goal #4, I planned a salmon dinner and a three bean chili. Chili was great, but it turns out that turkey and swiss sandwiches are just as healthy and far easier to make ;) .

Workouts are going fine, as is horseback riding. My progress calendar is full of proud moments and wonderful events like workouts and riding and recipes, oh my!

Overall, a successful month. In December I’m taking on a HUGE goal, so look for December plans in the next few days.

See you next time!

Image: Kurafire


Two Healthy, Super Fast, Low-Calorie Go-To Meals!

My healthy food goals continue to vex! But I’m moving forward, and crossing accomplished goals off my list anyway!

I decided to focus on eating habits this month since these give me the most trouble. Setting shorter time limits ensured that I met my food-based goals this month. That way, if I miss the short term goal, the pressure would be on to meet it before month’s end.

For November, I decided to find a healthy recipe the first week of November, shop for it that Friday, and cook it Saturday afternoon.

But it isn’t for no reason that I’ve said my eating habits are the greatest obstacle to my weight loss goals. I missed that first short term goal. But I’m poised to accomplish it long before November ends.

I left myself plenty of room for error. And it’s paid off so far. I’ve got two healthy go-to recipes and the groceries ready to go!

Healthy Recipes: The Criteria

  1. I need foods that store well. That way the ingredients don’t go bad before I need them.
  2. The meal has to be filling.
  3. Low calorie and well-balanced is a must.
  4. Quick is the winning idea here. To be a go-to meal, I need to go from after-work hungry to eating in less time than it takes to run to the nearest fast food drive through.

The Healthy Recipe Winners:

Pan fried salmon with black beans, spinach, and cous cous

Here is a well-balanced, low-calorie meal that’s ready in a hurry. Salmon keeps well in the freezer, and defrosts under the faucet while I change my clothes and put away my work things for the day.

It’s easy to defrost spinach in the microwave where I also reheat the canned beans and water for the cous cous. Simple, filling, fast, and delicious. Winner!

According to my recipe calculator at MyFitnessPal, this gigantic plate, including 6 oz. of salmon, 3/4 cup of beans, 3/4 cup of cous cous and a cup of broccoli (if that doesn’t keep me full, I don’t know what will!), is only 530 calories!

For a fully satisfying, super fast, gigantic meal, 530 calories is perfection.

Three Bean Slow-Cooker Chili

Here’s an awesome go-to meal that I can throw in the slow-cooker on Sunday morning and eat all week long. Chili freezes well. And I can store it in individual one-cup portions to defrost during the week. Cooking chili in the slow-cooker makes this a one dish wonder. And I’ll have only a bowl to clean each time I defrost it. Awesome! (Recipe coming soon!)

Two recipes. Two great places to start! I’m loving it.

Image: Flickr

fat girls guide to life logo

Eat Well Today, Lose Weight Tomorrow

For three days, I’ve maintained excellent portion control and food choices! It’s so much easier when I take it one day at a time. I notice that when I start to think about maintaining good eating habits into the future, I start feeling deprived. So I stop thinking about tomorrow. And that helps me do well today.

All I can control is today. So today for lunch I had a half turkey sandwich with mustard, lettuce, pickles, extra tomato, and swiss cheese. I avoided the mayo because veggies at the work cafeteria have butter. While it tastes awesome, it’s not so awesome for my healthy diet plans when combined with mayonnaise on a sandwich.

I won’t think about how much weight I could lose by next year if I keep up these awesome eating habits (although it’s tempting). Instead, I’m proud of how great it feels to have made a great decision today.


What are you proud of today?