My name is Steph and I’m just a girl who loves to cook.
That’s it really. My love of cooking and baking goes back a long ways, but my love of healthy cooking stems from my struggles, like many people, with weight, body image, and food issues for many years.
I was a fairly athletic and active kid and teen, but in my late teens and twenties, I adopted a more sedentary lifestyle combined with really poor eating habits. I dieted many times during that period and I lost and gained probably hundreds of pounds. I tried every diet, low carb, high carb, juicing, detoxing, cabbage soup, diet centers, green tea capsules, laxatives, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper drinks…everything!
“Your greatest responsibility is to live a life that nourishes your highest truth.” – Mollie Marti
In 2008, at 5′ 6″ and the age of 27, I reached my highest weight of 341 pounds. I felt extremely unhealthy, dejected, helpless and desperately focused on losing weight. Because of my short-sighted approach to the problem, I decided on what seemed like a quick-fix solution, which was not the gradual and balanced approach to weight loss and wellness that I now know is the only thing that really works when it comes to weight loss maintenance.
I don’t want to criticize or advocate any specific approach or method for losing weight and can only speak about my personal experience, but many approaches will work in the short term to lose weight. Whether it is extreme calorie restriction, excessive exercise, or even surgery – you’ll probably lose some, or even lots, of weight initially with any kind of plan. Different approaches work differently for different people and for different reasons. No judgement here. As I said, I believed every pitch, bought the DVDs and customized diets from the late night infomercials and ate nothing but fruits and vegetables for a week to ‘flush fat’ from my system. I now believe that I took the wrong approach by focusing on the outcome, rather than the process.
“Fall in love with the process, and the results will come.”
The real question when it comes to lasting weight loss and better overall health and wellbeing is, will your solution actually confront the problem? In other words, will you keep excess weight off and become healthier and happier if you don’t get the necessary support to change your relationship with food and permanently alter your everyday habits? My experience says no. And again, I have tried everything.
Because I was so big and was looking for a quick solution and was more focused on thinness than overall health, I didn’t take the most balanced approach, make lasting changes to my daily eating and activity habits, or get the support I needed and eventually, I started to gain weight. After a couple years, I had re-gained about 60 pounds of the initial 140 pound weight loss. Feeling completely defeated, I knew I needed to do something different, so about a year ago I began a journey of change.
“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” – Max DePree
At first, the change was slow. I started by deciding to cook more meals myself and eat out a lot less. I drank more water and started to be a little more active. I made a commitment to speak more kindly to myself and practice positive affirmations every day. I have had to change my relationship with food and figure out new ways to prepare and enjoy it. Any time I have failed at diets in the past, it was because I felt like I was on a diet and was basically waiting for it to be over. Shifting my thinking and making really delicious food that looked good too, I lost about 20 pounds of the re-gain in a few months, and then, in February of 2014 I decided to join Weight Watchers for additional tools, ideas and support and to date (26 April 2014) have lost an additional 20.8 pounds. I am now working towards a happy weight and more healthy general state of being.
For the last year or so, I have made a few significant changes to my approach and finally, I feel more confident than ever that I can get to goal – and stay there. On my journey, I have learned a few tricks along the way about how to prepare food that is light, but also delicious. I share my recipes with you here.
What do I mean by good food?
Good food should nourish, sustain, and connect us. Good food does not make us unhealthy, feel unwell, or cause us guilt, sadness, shame or helplessness.
Good living should include regular physical activity, a serious commitment to working on your emotional health in a variety of ways, and definitely the occasional treat in moderation!
All of my recipes and meal ideas incorporate as many natural and whole ingredients as possible and most include nutritional information and Weight Watchers PointsPlus™ values, as that’s the plan I follow these days.
I was born and raised in Southeastern Massachusetts and am the youngest of five from a big, loving, and loud family. I am married to my best friend, Rod who is my partner in love, fun and adventure and, along with my family, is my biggest supporter. We have a gorgeous and very smart 6 year-old daughter named Darcey (who was born during Rod’s first marriage, but we don’t use the term ‘step’ in our 100% family family) that we spend as much time with as we possibly can. I am a PhD student and teach college classes full-time in Media and Communication Studies while finishing my degree. Aside from cooking and baking, I love to be active, spend time with family and friends, travel, read and enjoy all kinds of music, movies and TV. I also love to follow recipe, diy, and beauty blogs and try out new ideas.
Follow my recipes and journey as I work on getting to goal!
“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create that fact.” -William James