Thursday, June 28, 2012


You know what I love about the internet? It has EVE-RY-THING. It is my lifeline. It is where I go when I am bored. It is where I go when I am motivated. It is where I go to stay informed. It is where I go to get new food ideas. It is where I go when I want to branch out and connect. So naturally, when I was feeling a little bored of my usual running-one-day-yoga-the-next routine, I looked to the Youtube to mix things up! And who else would I turn to but Jillian?!

It is no secret that I am a Jillian Michaels fan. She may have gotten a mean wrap from her time on the Biggest Loser, but if you've ever done one of her videos or Wii games, you know that is not her usual MO. (Well, maybe it is in real time? I can't attest, as I couldn't even kind of afford her.) 
In my search for what was next, I thought I would see what the 30 Day Shred hype was all about. I was a little nervous going in, since the one time Mr. Light wanted to try the Insanity workout, I stopped about 2 minutes in, fuming with anger.
I don't like to kill myself in my workouts. Yes, I want to be challenged, but I don't want to be obliterated. That makes no sense to me. (In fairness to the program, this was during the fitness test part of it. We didn't get past that, so I have no idea what the actual workouts are like. I'm guessing they're not much better, though.) I was afraid the Shred would be similar, but pleasantly surprised when I found out it wasn't! Just when I start to feel like I have no more of that particular exercise in me, it's time to move on to something else. She works you through 3 cycles of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs, breaking all of those cycles into about 30 second groupings each. These are more or less non-stop, but since you're constantly changing, it's easy to catch your breath...and she's not asking for 1 minute of frog hops followed by 1 minute of burpees. Thank God.
By the end of the workout, I feel like I did some good work, and I only spend about 25 minutes doing it! Which then makes me feel like I should probably do more. I know Puppy, Light would settle for a long walk;)

I still enjoy running every other day, but I know that it's important to keep other methods of exercise in your rotation. Your muscles need to rest, and using the same ones every day gets repetitive and eventually, ineffective. With the 30 Day Shred, you're supposed to do it every day for 30 days, but I haven't determined if I really want to add it onto my running days or not. I think I might go casual in my time with it.

For me, it's a great option for circuit training, since I HATE doing circuits on my own. I suppose most people would want a gym membership for group classes, but I'm a firm believer in that fitness should be free, and Youtube makes it so! I just hope Jillian feels the same;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how I might be perceived by others, and the mindset that comes with just being a human. I think we all have certain aspects of ourselves that we're overly aware of. Right now, for me, it's that I'm physically a much different person than I was the last time I was in these surroundings. When I was at my before weight, I more or less knew what I was to people, as I had always been that. I feel it wouldn't be wrong to say that I was a personality that others' enjoyed to be around, but where I think my personality is much the same, it would be a lie to tell myself and everyone else that what you look like isn't also a big part of how you're perceived. Before, I was the chubby girl, and there's definitely a stigma that comes with that. However, I don't really know what I am. I still feel like that chubby girl, but I don't think that people necessarily put that stigma on me anymore. Or maybe they do? I mean, I am 5'3".

To my left, the only opinion that actually matters <3
I know it's silly to try and wonder what others might think, and most people would probably tell me not to worry about it, since it doesn't matter what other people think. Where I do agree that what other people think of me is not important, I would be lying if I said I didn't still wonder. I would be lying if I said it didn't at all matter to me. And I don't know if that's part of just being human, or from living my life feeling judged by everyone I meet. In hindsight, I can see that most of that judgement was likely just paranoia, but I also know that it was in my head for a reason. The judgement had been there before, and it had impacted me.

So right now, my biggest question is: what will the new impact be? I do feel much more confident about my physical self, and I do feel much less embarrassed about what a stranger might think of me...I'm just really unclear as to what that is, and that's new to me. Mostly, I think I'm excited for the newness to wear off. I'm excited for Jamie, Light and Jamie Greer to be one; to be old news. And I hope that doesn't sound ungrateful or like I'm fishing for compliments, because I really couldn't be more thankful for this journey, and boy oh boy have I gotten a lot of compliments! This is just me, letting you meet me where I'm at. It seems like the most rational thing for me to write about today.

Do you guys feel you ask yourselves the same questions? Do you know what other's think, wonder what other's think, or really truly don't give a crap?

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Land of Ahs

Sorry for my hiatus, folks, but I'm sure you can understand the busy-ness that comes with moving. Nonetheless, I'm back in the saddle and excited about all the food options that have opened up to me, thus opening up to you via jamielightblog!

As a side note, before I begin, I don't care what anyone says or presumes- Kansas is the best place on the planet. Yes, I'm biased. But also, people here are, for the most part, quite friendly and often very considerate. That is a major shift moving from one of the largest cities in the world. In Korea, we were stared at *most* of the time. Straight faces. No words. Just gawking, glaring eyes. In Kansas, if we get looks, they're usually friendly, smiling glances, followed by a hello or good morning. On our run this morning, I would figure maybe 8 out of 10 people we passed said hello. I love that!

Today I'm sharing my first breakfast back in America! JD and I sent his parents a long, long list of the foods we were excited to have access to, and they graciously stocked their pantry and fridge with them in anticipation of our arrival. So for breakfast, this is what I put together:

1 TJ's* whole wheat sandwich thin: 100 kcal
80g egg beaters: 43 kcal
34g deli counter turkey breast: 36 kcal
1 wedge, laughing cow light*: 35 kcal
130g Fage 0% Greek yogurt: 74 kcal
54g sliced frozen strawberries: 19 kcal
53g Kashi Go Lean Crunch: 190 kcal

breakfast total: 498 kcal. For all of that!

What are some of your favorite breakfast items? Any great, lesser known low cal options I should look for? Leave yours in the comments!

*TJ's= Trader Joe's
*Sun-dried tomato and basil flavor

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why Bananas Are My New Favorite Thing

As you could probably tell from my absence this week, it's been a crazy one. Not only was it the last week of school, but also our last week of Korea. We've spent whatever free time we had preparing our resumes and suitcases...and now it's oh-so-close! We woke up early today for our last long run on the river. I actually got a little emotional and had to stop for about 15 seconds because the tears that welled wanted to push my contacts out of my eye. (I wasn't happy about that, but I figure it was short enough to not count as a pause.) I finished our 40 minute run strong, and kept a surprisingly good pace! Soon I will be able to get a better grasp on what that pace is. (I'm getting a GPS watch for my birthday in August, and I. Can't. Wait!) Anyway, since we woke this morning, it's been go-go-go, and now it's nearly time for sleep-sleep-sleep. I know I won't have time to post tomorrow, and probably not for a couple days after, so I thought I would share something amazing with you guys real quick:
Did you know that bananas can make ice cream?
Okay, sure, it's not exactly the same...but it's pretty dang close! Close enough to satisfy a craving, for sure. And you know what? It's super easy.

It's so creamy!
Here's what to do:
cut up about 130g frozen bananas- 115 kcal
(this works best with fully ripened bananas, but still works with newer ones)
add about 50ml skim milk- 20 kcal
now blend that baby!

I added 10g of dark chocolate giving mine another 60 calories, but also a delightful crunch.
The banana soft serve without the added chocolate chips is only 135 calories for 3/4c, where most 3/4c servings of just plain vanilla soft serve is about 288. I'd say that's a pretty worthy swap!

And you know what else I love about this option? You know you're getting more than one serving of your daily fruit, 4 grams of fiber, AND it's sustaining, unlike it's empty ice cream counterpart.

So, it's needless to say: I'm obsessed with this.

Alright time you hear from me, I will be Home Sweet Home! Do you have any good "eating healthy in America" tips I could benefit from? Also, let me know if you try the banana soft serve!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Experimental Dipping

I made about a cup of dip at 80kcal...not bad, not great, but tasty for sure!
As we're down to less than 1 week left in our Korean adventure, we've started working on clearing out as much food in our pantry/fridge as best we can. We've gone from asking each other "What do we want to eat?" to "What food do we need to get rid of, and when can we do that?"

So today for lunch, I got a little bit craftier than usual (the kitchen really is new territory for me).

On Sunday we had taco salads, and cooked up the rest of our corn tortillas for chips. I knew I wanted to finish off the chips and salsa today, but there wasn't enough salsa to satisfy the leftover chips. That's when the wheels started churning. 
On Saturday I had made a veggie dip using only Greek yogurt and a little bit of ranch mix (which was an idea that I got from here. Using this dip for cucumbers made it taste like tzaziki, which was a pleasant surprise!) Having half of my concoction left, I decided to mix the salsa together with my ranch dip. Where the flavor was nice, it was also incredibly salty (but that's because I had added to much ranch mix to my Greek dip to begin with...don't do that...), so I started to think of what I could do to tame the salt a little. I rummaged through the fridge, looking for anything that might work, and that's when I saw my last, lonely cucumber. Would it work? Could it work? I decided to give it a go. I only chopped up about 1/3 of the cucumber, but in the end, it was exactly what my little mixture needed! In the excitement of my new discovery, I decided to use a little of the dip to sauce up my egg sando this morning, and even on that, it was delicious!

Do you have any homemade dips or sauces you're loving lately? Do you have any unique uses for the ever-versatile Greek yogurt? I'd love to give them a try...leave your recipes/thoughts in the comments!

Friday, June 8, 2012


Today is the Light family's 3 year anniversary. Being that today is what it is, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about support.

A key to weight loss and healthier living is the support from the community that you have around you. The more resistance you have from your loved ones, the harder it will be. Guaranteed. So if you're embarking on a journey of your own, make sure that you're discussing your thoughts and expectations with your partner and/or family. Let them know what method you will be choosing, and ask them if they would be willing to help you and support you. Assuming they've said yes, let them know what they could do to support you. If you want to eat at home more, you need to make sure that they do, too. If you want to clear your house of junk food, you need to make sure that they're are on board with that, also.

Us on our anniversary picnic <3
I knew that when I started my journey, I didn't want my choices to make a negative impression on JD. I didn't want to force anything on him. Because we communicated with each other and set clear boundaries, it didn't take long for our eating habits and cravings to parallel. We both started to recognize the dangers of having a lot of junk food around the house, and we both lost interest in eating out. Did we get there at the same time? No, but because we supported each other and communicated what we were thinking/feeling/expecting, it didn't take long for us to meet each other at the same places.

I've read that when it comes to weight loss, women are more likely to sacrifice food, but men are more likely to amp up their fitness. This has definitely been true for us Light's, and has been a great way to "pay it forward" for each other. Not that either of us are superior in those, but it does seem that we take a bit of a leadership role in the categories suited to us. JD challenges me when it comes to fitness (and I love that!), and I challenge JD when it comes to food. Keeping that in mind will make your transition smoother, as well. If you find that isn't true for you and your mate, see if there are other areas in which you might balance each other out. This way, it doesn't feel like one person is taking the lead over the other.
Also key: Never let your appreciation go un-noted! Even if you feel it 10 times a day, let your supporter know that what they're doing for you means the world.

Have you encountered a lot of struggle in finding support, or are you finding that your weight loss efforts have been upheld and encouraged by those around you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jamie, Light: Tennis Pro

Today is what we like to call Wednesday, Saturday. You know what's great about Wednesday, Saturday? It's Wednesday, but it feels like Saturday.

It's a national holiday here in Korea, so my friend-and-coworker Julie and I decided to play some tennis!

When it comes to exercise, there are few things I love more than playing tennis. The only problem with tennis, though, is finding other people who know how/want to play, as well. 

Julie and I have worked together for the last 9 months, but it wasn't until about a week ago that we discovered we both love tennis! Two weeks before we break for summer, and I move back to America, of course...

So upon our discovery, we set up a play date right away. Today
was our second day playing, and we're looking to play again on Saturday. Yeah for summer!!

Since I've gotten so into my blogging, I've basically been taking
pictures of anything and everything that might be Jamie, Light related. Thankfully for me, I've got a husband with some awesome
photo skills!

I loved the pictures he took so much that I just couldn't choose
which one's to use. I narrowed it down to these;) Some pretty great
action shots, eh?!

I'm not going to lie; after losing 90 pounds, seeing pictures of yourself becomes a whole new ball game. It's not that I'm vain and think that I'm totally worth everyone looking at...and it's not that I feel like I'm so awesome that people need to see a bunch of pictures of me playing tennis--but after 28 years of seeing a totally different body, this body becomes somewhat of an anomaly...and seeing it (in action, especially) is just plain cool. And THAT is what I want to share with the world.

I'm curious, though...what is your favorite fitness activity?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Corn Chips...Who Knew?!

London, she's not so sneaky...but she is unbelievably cute!
You know what is incredibly easy? Making corn chips! I guess it's believable when you're using store bought corn tortillas like we did, but this is just one of those many things that you don't even think to do on your own (or at least, I don't).
In Korea, the tortilla chips you can find taste more like cardboard than anything else. They're terrible. So imagine how excited we were to find out you can bake them pretty easily on your own!
Corn tortillas aren't widely seen here, either, but about 2 months ago, Mr. Light and I found a stash of corn tortillas at our favorite foreigner grocery store. We snagged them up without much thought otherwise, and have found ourselves using them in a myriad of ways since. I know most people probably wouldn't agree, but I'm quite the fan of the taste an unfried corn tortilla provides, and I LOVE how much lower in calories they are than their cousins of the flour variety!

How we baked our own corn tortillas:
JD sprinkled a generous layer of salt on the bottom of a cookie sheet, and then quartered three 6" corn tortillas. With about 12 chips fitting flat in a single layer on the pan, we baked the chips for 8-12 minutes at 400 degrees. JD was absolutely amused at how the tortillas would curl up and then start curling back down!
Keeping careful watch on the chips, we pulled them out to cool, and turned them into nachos for dinner!

With the tortillas we used, the calorie count ended up being about 100 calories for 12 chips! And if nothing else, they're a fun activity for the family:)

I'm excited to try and create my own tortilla cups now! Can anyone say tiny taco salads?!

What food surprises have you come across lately?

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Scary Thing Is...

...that the number of people who gain back large amounts of weight that was lost greatly outweigh the number of people who have been able to keep it off (something like 80% of weight losers regain in 2 years. Egad!)

From the get go, I've been doing my best to educate and re-program myself so that I can be one of those people in the successful maintenance category. I've made notes of what successful maintainers do themselves, and I keep up with as many healthy eating/living/maintaining blogs as I can. Awhile ago, I'd come to terms with the fact that counting calories is going to be a life-long thing for me. When alcoholics are in recovery, they are always in recovery, and I've had to align myself with the same sort of mindset. I am in recovery from excess input and deficient output, calorically speaking. (I want to point out here the importance of looking at my previous weight struggles in a manner of calories and not food. Calories were my problem.)
But I learned something new the other day.
Mr. Light and I have been watching the HBO series The Weight of the Nation, Thursday night being the night for part 2: Choices. For the most part, this episode was very affirming for us, but we learned that, where careful watch on calories is the most successful way to lose weight, the most successful way to keep it off is exercise. See, I wouldn't have guessed that. I would have guessed that calorie calculating would rein supreme for both aspects. Of course it is still important, but it appears that it is the exercise that keeps your metabolism burning at a steady rate...without some kind of jolt to your metabolism, it will eventually slow down and get comfortable, more or less...which is something I already knew, but had only been applying it to eating and weightloss.
Imagine my surprise when the very next morning, my fitness motivation was about 2BPM away from this:
Look at London's face...not even SHE was having it! But I still got something done, thanks to the lovely Cassie Ho!
I know that it happens. I know that some days we just don't feel it like other days. But something about having watched that show the night before, and the fact that knowing the odds are stacked against my maintenance is constantly on my brain, I spent the entire day feeling just. plain. scared. I mean, I didn't spend my day cowering in a corner, but it was the back of my brain, sending me little reminders about once an hour. It certainly didn't help my mood or already stressed demeanor (...end of the school year duties, getting ready to move, looking for jobs when we're halfway around the world. STRESS.)

But you know what? I totally kicked today's workout's butt.
We ran on the river path for 40 minutes opposed to our usual 30, and I even ran at a faster pace than usual! It's fantastic how often I've been surprising myself lately. That makes me feel good. It makes me feel great to know that I didn't hate 37 of those minutes, and it makes me feel even better to know that, as of right now, I'm on a great path to proving those statistics wrong. I just have to keep focusing on that...on proving them wrong.
I'm in this for the long haul.

What is it that scares you guys about weight loss and/or maintaining? What keeps you focused?
Maintainers: Besides calorie counting and consistent exercise, do you have any other tips for me and my readers?

Leave your fears and tips in the comments...I love hearing from you guys!