As a 5'11 female, I have always been called "big boned". Which let's be honest, being called "big boned" is just a way for people to tell someone they are fat without being harsh about it (at least that's what was always in my head). Anyway, my sophomore year of undergraduate school I was at my heaviest weight I have ever been. While I was uncomfortable with my weight, I started working out, and trying to eat healthier. The first 5 pounds flew off and then I was at a stand still! Which, if you've been on a weight loss journey, you know is the HARDEST thing to see and accept. I was doing everything right, why wasn't I losing weight?!

However, I quickly realized after I lost that weight that this was much more than a diet, it taught me how to eat healthy and how to make my favorite comfort meals into healthy, clean-eating friendly meals. Now, I have made working out a daily routine, and have started steering away from "dieting" and instead living a healthy, clean, lifestyle. I am also focused on creating a lifestyle that I can maintain and one that is not unrealistic.

That summer while I was home visiting family, my sister, mother, and I had an in-depth conversation with my father about his weight. My entire life my father has been big. But at this point he was on multiple medications for his blood pressure, cholesterol, and other health conditions resulting from a stroke he had when he was 36 years old. At his most recent routine monthly blood drawl and Dr. visit, he had been told he was morbidly obese. He was ashamed of this news and didn't want to tell us. He was so ashamed that he didn't want to diet because he was scared of FAILING at dieting. We sat as a family, frustrated that he wasn't willing to diet, and discussed the possibility of him not living long enough to see my sister or I walk down the aisle at our wedding, or live long enough to see his grandchildren. This approach was NOT working for him. He was upset but didn't know how to handle his emotions. He was embarrassed and feeling like a failure, scared, intimidated, etc. Thus, the conversation stopped.

The next few days I spent online researching diets for myself. Finally, we were grocery shopping at Target and I noticed a book called 17 Day Diet. I read the reviews to my father and read some of the sample "meals" to him. It seemed easy enough. He said he wasn't interested, but my mom and I bought all of the groceries to start the diet the following Monday. My mom started cooking my dad's meals and made him a packed lunch to take to work, and he agreed to only eat what we made for him. We stuck to the diet and we both ended up losing weight with minimal exercise! I am forever thankful for this diet, I lost 45 pounds and my father lost 70!

Now, I am a 23 year old Clinical Psychology Doctoral student, still trying to improve my lifestyle, keep it fun, quick, and BUDGET friendly! As a psychology student, I believe self-care, attitude, and positive outlook are the most important qualities to a happy life! Let's be honest, as busy and hectic as school can get, it would be SO much easier and cheaper to grab some easy-mac and spaghetti o's, but I am going to make these recipes SO much better than those fat-filling-carb-loading-junk food meals that SEEM more convenient. My favorite pastime, AKA my favorite way to procrastinate is to spend hours on Pinterest. Recently I have been asked to post the workouts I find on Pinterest as well as recipes and reviews to healthy Pinterest meals. Most recently I have been asked to post how to  MAKE Pinterest meals healthy. That is what I am going to attempt to do here. I am always accepting of requests and questions! Just remember, I am a full time doctorate student so I may not respond as soon as you send it ;)

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