HH2 Top Ten Finalist – Please Vote!

So if you’ve been following along the last while you’re aware that I have been participating in a challenge through Weight Loss Rebels called Hardcore Hotties 2.  Just so happens I finished top 5 on my team and top 10 over all – bazinga!  I’m sure you’re also all aware of that because I’ve been campaigning HARD for votes these last few days.  I could win 500 bucks for this, hell yah I’m campaigning!

SO, what I’d like to ask of you (my loyal and dedicated followers) is if you have the time and think I deserve to win this challenge, click here and ‘like’ the bottom of my personal posting using your Facebook account on Fit Bitch’s Blog & Shit.

If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can also Pinterest, LinkedIn, Email, Twitter, or Google+ share it and that all counts towards my votes!

BeforeAfter

Transformation HO!  Here’s my progress picture.  Legit the picture on the left is only one pound difference from the one on the right.  I gained a whack of muscle and lost a bigger whack of fluff!

Anyway, I’m continuing on with the Hardcore Hotties 3 challenge so hopefully there’s more change in my future but for the time being, can you pretty-please vote for me to win this round?!

Here’s the hyperlink again in case you want to share it with all your friends too!
http://www.weightlossrebels.com/kim

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Bacon Spinach Onion & Feta Stuffed Pork Chop Love

In this past year, I have finally learned to love myself.  That may sound sad to most of you but I’ve come to realize it’s more realistic than sad.  I was just going through the motions in life, working because I had to, learning how to be a Mom, trying to remember how to be a wife, eating, sleeping.

Only after I re-evaulated my life did I realize there was room for change.  I made some small changes here and there and all of a sudden, happiness was more prevalent in my day-to-day life.  You know why?  Because I’m WORTH IT.  We’re all worth it.  I knew I needed to make some changes if I was going to be happier and I was right.  I thought to myself, if I change nothing, nothing will change so I started small and worked my way up.

Magic

Find out what it is that makes you happy and go do it.  Like Howard Thurman says, the world needs us.

`HThurman

One of the changes I made was signing up for Weight Loss Rebels, the group I talked about in my feedback post last week.  Being a part of the Hardcore Hottie 2 challenge has taught me balance in my daily life by finding fitness routines and exercises that I actually enjoy doing.  It’s taught me more about carbs, proteins and healthy fats and why our bodies NEED minimum amounts of all three on a daily basis for healthy function.  It’s taught me that people from all over North America and the world can come together in an online group and support their common goals and even though I never met any of them face-to-face, I have made friends I will hopefully one day get to meet up with.  The program basically taught me that being a happier you comes from somewhere inside you and until you realize that, any external changes you make won’t matter; we’re all worth every bit of happiness we can bring to ourselves.  The program taught me all that and so so so much more that I will continue to live everyday.  Plus lift heavy shit.  Always lift heavy shit.

Lift_Heavy_Shit

For all those reasons (and two more), I decided to do the Hardcore Hotties 3 challenge too.  My BFF asked me while I was doing HH2 what my deal was and how I’d been toning up.  I told her and she text me the same night saying she’d signed up for HH3 so I said what the hell, I’ll do it again too.  Then TODAY I found out I’m in the top 10 finalists for HH2 and first place is $500 – huzzah!  Right after I type this post, I’m going to attempt writing a bio about myself to send in for voting.

I’m SO DAMN PUMPED about the top 10 finish because I was born a competitor and it’s SO fulfilling to see all my hard work come to fruition through all the pictures I’ve been taking over the last few months, I want to win so badly!  But there’s another part of me that’s incredibly humbled also because the other ladies that have been nominated are in the same boat as me, hard-workers that crushed this challenge too.  May the best Hottie win!

So by now everyone be like “what the schnapps, I thought this post was about pork chops?!”  It is.  What better way to celebrate a top 10 finish and some self-love than with pork and bacon?  No better way.

Now because I’m married to a farmer and butcher all rolled into one, when we butcher meat we get to customize our cuts nicely.  These pork chops are MONSTERS.  They’re bone in but they were still 34 ounces each (that’s just over 2 pounds) and since today was a go day for me (did a wicked spin class this morning) and I spent the majority of the late morning and afternoon running around town and working in the meat shop, I didn’t get a chance to eat lunch so a solid 11 ounces of that made it into my belly.  That was the majority of it actually since the Daughters ate some as well and the bone accounted for a lot.

On my way home I started thinking about what I was going to make for supper with these and since they’re so thick.  I thought why not stuff them with more delightfulness?  Sun dried tomatoes would have been amazing but I didn’t have any of those in the house so instead I was forced to use fresh smoked bacon (seriously, out of the smoker like 5 days ago), feta and cream cheese, fresh spinach and red onion.  Wah.  Rough life.

Chop the bacon, dice the onion and throw them in the frying pan.  Once the onions are clear, add the spinach and a bit of water with a lid and let them steam for a few minutes.  After that’s done add a spoonful of cream cheese and the feta and turn the heat off.  Stir it around until it’s nice and creamy and dare yourself not to eat it all.

Feta_Stuffing

If you don’t have these gloriously fat and overly large pork chops to cook, the ones we usually get from Costco would work well too.  Or any thicker cut chop for that matter.  I would actually prefer to make them with smaller de-boned chops because there is less waste and they’d be easier to finish cooking.

Stand the chops on end and slice them about 3/4 of the way through (don’t go all the way to the other side, you’re not making a sandwich).  Spoon the stuffing into the crevice and press it closed.

Stuffed_pork_chops

I seared mine in a cast iron pan then transferred them to a casserole dish to bake in the oven.  I used my oven probe because it’s the best invention since laser hair removal and cooks the meat really well without killing it to death.  For anyone without a probe they were seared and went into the casserole dish and into a 375F convection oven for about an hour and a quarter.

Pork Chops

Stuffed Pork Chops

4-5 Pork Chops, cut at least an inch and a half thick
Bacon, half pound
Half an onion, diced
Fresh spinach, 2 large handfuls
Cream cheese, big spoonful
Feta, a good chunk
Sun-dried tomatoes (opt), a few chopped

And there you have it, the post to end all posts.  Bacon, pork, cheese, non-mathmatical measurements and self-love plus fitness.  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed eating it.

Rock on Hotties.  And for anyone that’s not a Hottie yet but would like more info, feel free to drop me a line and I can get you all the info you desire.  You’re all worth it and everyone deserves to be the healthiest they can be.  Kim.

Ginger Snap Whoopie Pies with Caramel Cream Cheese Filling

Golly, where has the time gone?!  It’s already the middle of June, in a month I’m going to be mourning the loss of the beginning of summer!  In my neck of the woods, we don’t get too many months of good weather so once it gets hot it usually flies right by and before you know it it’s dark at 8pm again.

Mkay, now that I’ve depressed you, let me share with you a recipe of delight.  A BFF a while ago says to me, “I’m making whoopie pies tonight.”  I’m like “what the hell is a whoopie pie?!”  She’s like “you don’t know what a whoopie pie is?!” I’m like “I can take a guess but it doesn’t have to do with baking…”  And so the conversation went and we laughed at our immature selves because it’s fun and then I found out what a whoopie pie actually is; two cookies sandwiched together with some kind of delightful filling between.  A homemade Oreo, if you will.

Ginger Snap Whoopie Pies

So one day a few weeks ago it was rainy and cool and I wanted some comfort food.  One of the best things to make when I want comfort food is ginger snappers.  I posted my Grandma’s Ginger Snap Cookie recipe last fall under the title Comfort Food: Ginger Snaps so step two can be found there.  We’ll make the filling first so it can cool in the fridge while the cookies are baking.

Let’s now take those cookies to THE NEXT LEVEL.

Get the butter and brown sugar in a pan and get them melting down.  Once it’s boiling, stir until it starts to thicken nicely and remove from heat.  Add in the cream cheese and vanilla and stir until it’s melted.  Put it in the fridge to cool and then make the cookies.

Caramel cream cheese filling

Caramel Cream Cheese Filling

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soft cream cheese
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Once the cookies have been baked and cooled, spread the filling between them and squish together.  Serve it with vanilla ice cream too.

And this is also a great fruit dip, the Daughters love to dip apples in it for a special treat!

Just in case you forgot what they looked like already…

Ginger Snap Whoopie Pies

You.  Are.  Welcome.  Kim.

WLR: HH2 Program Feedback

Since mid-March I’ve been participating in a health and fitness challenge program called Hardcore Hotties V2.  It’s through a website called Weight Loss Rebels owned by one Meg Brown.  The challenge consisted of a very easy to follow list of food choices, workout options and weekly check-ins via photo or measurements.

Before I get to the before and after photos (because that’s really all anyone wants to see anyway so I’ll leave it for last) I want to give my honest feedback of this program.  There’s a closed Facebook group where all the participants can share their struggles and achievements as well as recipe ideas, rants, progress photos and questions.  I was only asked to post my feedback there but because I’m a consumer and I have a voice, I want to share it with all my followers whether you like it or not.

Firstly, I commend Meg Brown on the program she started.  Because she chose to change her life three plus years ago, over 99,696 people (I expect that number to surpass 100K after this post haha) now follow her musings on her Fit Bitch Facebook page and at least 60 people in this last challenge changed their lives for the better.  She is a wife, a mother, a proud Albertan, an entrepreneur, a badass leader and a role model like no other.  I appreciated every email reply, facebook post, and most recently I was greatly humbled when she asked to share my progress photo on her page as inspiration for others.  She truly is a dedicated health and wellness advocate and is someone you can trust if you are thinking of making a lifestyle change anytime soon.

Secondly, Meg can’t run these challenges all on her own.  She’s got extra-special people on her team called Ambassadors that lead us also.  To Erin, Jeri, Amber, Jennifer and Greta, your support and encouragement was amazing also.  When there were questions Meg couldn’t get to in time, all of you were there to provide answers for us as well as personal stories, expertise and total hilarity.  I’ll definitely be watching for some of you on Comedy Network this winter.  If you’re interested in checking out any of the ambassadors, their Facebook page links are listed below:

Amber – Rural Rebel Mama
Greta – Greta Fitness
Jen – Rebel ReJENeration
Kerrie – Fit & Tattooed with an Attitude
Jeri – Hard Core J
Obar – ObarMuscle
Dan – Dan Keogh Weightloss Rebels Ambassador
Erin – Push

If you are wondering what your life could be like in a few weeks, a few months, a year, check out the pages above and see the transformations for yourself.  These are real life people that have real life issues, jobs, families, reasons for excuses but they all stuck with it and their quality of life has increased because they’ve come to embrace healthy change.

Now that the important plugs are out of the way, I will give you my honest opinion of this program and why you should enrol in a challenge ASAP: IT.  WILL.  CHANGE.  YOUR.  LIFE.  Obviously I have nothing but positive reviews for it now that you’ve seen that advice but it honestly was one of the best things I ever did for myself.

Lastly, this challenge taught me how to correctly portion food for myself (which is a feat of God for those that know how much food I need to consume in a day to be human), it taught me that exercise doesn’t have to take hours and hours and you don’t have to feel like death each time you do it (just semi-death), I still eat cupcakes but also kill spin classes now, and I had the support of an entire group of people that were all in the same situation as me.

I found the program easy to follow, the workouts easy to follow, the challenges easy to follow and the weekly check-in was also streamlined because it was just a reply on a a post already put up by the ambassadors.  There’s a point system involved but I honestly was never keeping track of the points.  I was doing this for myself and there was only one week I didn’t meet all my workouts and it was because my personal life got too busy.  Did I say fuck it and give up because I missed one workout?  Not a chance.  I picked it up next week and did an extra.

This challenge was about not giving up on me because I deserve to be at my happiest.  Not everyone has a thing about personal body image and that’s totally cool, but I know myself and I’m happiest when my clothes are fitting comfortably and my belly is still full.  This program helped achieve that for me.

BeforeAfter
Check out Kim! She’s a participant in one of our Weight Loss Rebels Hardcore Hottie challenges, and I LOVE this picture! What an amazing difference, but she’s ‘only’ lost a pound. – Meg”

This is my before and after shot with Meg’s caption.  There is legitimately only one pound difference between these pictures and all it took was the courage to sign up for a program I could push myself to do.  It’s been a lifestyle change and I don’t think I’ll be turning back from it now.

My life before the program (without steady exercise) I found I was grumpy, tired, lethargic and impatient.  Now that I have a steady dose of exercise each week I have more energy for my Farmer, my kids, my to-do list, I speak differently, I view life differently and my heart is wide open.  That coupled with good good food, family, friends, love and definitely SLEEP has improved my quality of life tenfold.

With the program’s last day on Sunday, there’s now a prize for the first place entrant.  Once again, like the points, the prize had never even crossed my mind but the idea of being nominated by my challenge peers for the title is a humbling one.  I never thought I could inspire anyone to do anything but after Meg posted this picture on her page it’s garnered 619 likes, 56 comments, 36 shares and 3 inbox messages in one day from friends that saw it asking how I did it and what the program was all about.

I’m here to tell you right now that it’s real life and you can do this too.  The next challenge goes June 16 to mid-September and is already full (I’m enrolled with a BFF) so this isn’t the last of my transformation photos.  In a month or two I’m sure the information on the next challenge will be made public and if you want to sign up, hit up the WLR Programs page for more information.  There’s lots of options open to you.

If you’ve been thinking of doing something about this for a while, why wait any longer?

Health and prosperity to you all, Kim.