What started as a little nudge from her mother, ended up being a major life change for Erika. This woman tells, through her blog, the adventures of her journey, how she managed to slim down, her ups, her downs. She even shares her experience of being pregnant and how her baby girl and the fact that she separates from the father of the child makes her determined that she would gladly make a great living for her and her daughter. This is the push she definitely needed. In order to make more time for her family, Erika decided to be a self-employed mother, on her quest for health, healing and happiness. It is safe to say that she is on a right path to it all, because through this blog, she manages to describe her days and shares the little as well the big successes one person can make.
3. Be realistic about which habits need to go. "When I was heavy, I'd eat French fries every single day, plus carbs at almost every meal—like a sandwich for lunch or bread with pasta for dinner. A diet so heavy in fried food and carbs just isn't conducive to weight loss. To lose the weight, I went from three large meals a day to six small meals, mostly made of fresh vegetable salads with lean meats and nuts. And no more bread!"
Let’s go back to the beginning. I was always thin-ish. From my skinny teenage years to “just a healthy weight” college years, I was always thin-ish. Like I maybe topped 130lbs by the age of 21. Like most of you may know, Mark and I started dating at 14, got married at 20, started a business at 22 and then graduated college by 23. By the time we graduated college, we had somehow managed to build a legit company… APF, Inc. What literally began as Mark’s desire to be self-employed combined with his amazing gift of self-taught construction skills and my marketing “abilities”, quickly went from a backyard hobby to a full fledged stone countertop company. He spent his junior year of college fabricating granite in my Uncle’s backyard with a $2,500 saw loan from my uncle, a rope and a truck to maneuver the slabs along with a big humongous dream. This is going somewhere I promise ;-). He took Tuesday/Thursday classes and worked Monday, Wednesday and Fridays fabricating in the ole’ backyard. I was answering client e-mails and returning client calls between classes and at night while we worked at a local restaurant on the weekends. By our senior year, our company had grown just enough to afford for us to lease our own fabrication facility and that’s when life started to officially get CRAZY. It was amazing but it was absolutely INSANE. Once Mark graduated in December 2004, he was able to devote his full attention to the company and then I joined him when I graduated in May 2005. Upon my graduation in 2005, we had just moved to a much larger fabrication location, had approximately 11 additional employees and we were opening up a separate showroom location in downtown Monroe, GA. As exciting and wonderful as it all was, it was a stress that I cannot put into words. We had both worked so hard to grow the company yet didn’t quite realize what we were getting ourselves into. As two 23 year olds “self-thrust” into suddenly owning a company, we started to truly bring the phrase “Work Hard, Play Hard” to reality. Well as much fun as it was at times, the stress was intense. From managing employees to handling customers and issues and bills and everything in between, I got to a point where I started taking anxiety medication. Biggest mistake EVER.
If you get enough protein and fat, your total calorie intake should take care of itself. Because you feel full, you won't binge on a can of Pringles and blow your calorie count for the day. The remaining 45 percent of calories in our plan comes from carbohydrates — enough to give your palate a full range of tastes and your body a combination of fast- and slow-burning fuel.
I made my way around the interwebs with my friend Google and found The Retired Dieter, a blog devoted to IF and is extremely informative and informative.  From there Eat, Stop, Eat and The Fast 5 (both e-books) presented themselves, followed by Martin Berkhan at Lean Gains, Getting Stronger and Fitness Black Book – more great blogs all containing scads of helpful info on Intermittent Fasting.
Fast forward several years later, I had another baby (Winter) and came out of that pregnancy about 40-50 lbs over my end goal weight. I had always had this dream to finally hit the big “100” in weight loss. By 2013 I had begun to take some classes at the gym and count calories a little more but I in NO WAY did anything extreme. And I honestly believe that is the key to weight loss and to keeping it off. It was NO quick journey to that final number but by July 2013, I hit 120 lbs and had officially lost 100 lbs…
Hi Karen! I love Sparkpeople! I have been using there tracking tools for 4 years now and love it! It really helps you keep on track. I get ya about weight! I know I can’t eat like I used to too! It’s hard, but well worth the effort! Thank you for your kind words and don’t worry you lose those last ten pounds! I’m working on 10 pounds myself! Just think positive, be true to yourself and know you can do it!!!

Control Your Environments. Another simple strategy to help cut calories is to control your environment -- everything from stocking your kitchen with lots of healthy options to choosing the right restaurants. That means avoiding the temptation by staying away from all-you-can-eat restaurants. And when it comes to parties, "eat a healthy snack before so you won't be starving, and be selective when you fill your plate at the buffet," suggests Ward. Before going back for more food, wait at least 15 minutes and have a big glass of water.

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