Fighting The Inevitable Slow-Down Of Weight Loss

fight back

It’s a sad but true part of any weight-loss effort — at first you’re humming along, losing a pound or two a week, and then wham! A week or two, or more, goes by with no progress on the scale and you may even gain a pound or so back.

It’s discouraging, but it’s not the end of the world. A lot of times our bodies get used to our new healthy habits and so the weight loss steadies. Or we slip a little here and there, not measuring food as carefully or allowing ourselves a few too many treats.

I’ve been there — in fact, it’s something I’m experiencing right now. I’ve lost about 9 pounds on Weight Watchers and, while I’m still tracking every day and focusing on healthy foods, I haven’t seen the scale go down in a couple of weeks.

Here’s how I’m trying to fight this “inevitable slow-down” and make sure it doesn’t last too long or curb too much of the progress I want to see!

  1. Back To Basics
    Sometimes things that we start out doing when we embark on trying to lose weight get slowly tossed by the wayside as we see success. For example, I definitely haven’t been drinking as much water in recent weeks as I was in the beginning. That’s why one of my healthy goals for the Stellar Fit Fam Facebook group this week was to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. I’ve also taken out my measuring cups again!
  2. Reduce Eating Out
    I’m guilty of eating out too much — and it definitely can come back to haunt me. For convenience sake, I’ll eat dinners out a couple times a week, and lunches at least three times a week. And going out to breakfast on the weekend is one of my favorite treats. But combining all of that together equals way too many “extra” calories — while I try to estimate my Weight Watchers points accurately, there’s no doubt eating out can derail those estimates. This weekend I made breakfast at home, and while I have had two lunches out already this week, I have homemade lunches ready to go for the rest of the week.
  3. Up Your Exercise Game
    I always lose weight more consistently when I’m watching what I eat, but I also tend to keep that train moving forward more when I’m working out, too. These don’t need to be super-strenuous workouts, and it can be as few as three times a week. But that extra movement goes a long way to not just burn calories, but put me in a healthy frame of mind. While some may think, “Oh, I worked out today, I can eat what I want.” I tend to think, “I feel so good because of my workout, I want to keep that healthy feeling going.”
  4. Control Your Treats
    We’ve had a lot of birthdays in the office lately, and I love to celebrate with coworkers over a piece of cake. I haven’t said no to the cake in the past couple of weeks, but I’ve also tried to control the number of other treats I may have usually allowed myself. For example, instead of bringing home ice cream, I’ve had portion-controlled treats from Skinny Cow. There are certain treats I know I can control myself around, and others I can’t, so I’m trying not to put myself in temptation’s way.

There’s no doubt that I am not perfect when it comes to these tips — but I am trying! And each day that we make healthy choices for ourselves, then the more progress we will see. Even if weight loss is not your goal, sometimes these reminders can go a long way to refocus our healthy habits. I hope these tips have helped you!

How do you get your mojo back when weight loss has stalled, or you’ve been eating too many things that aren’t so good for you?

Posted in Uncategorized, Weight Watchers, Weight-loss | Tagged , | 2 Comments

What I Want Now

I have a few items on my “Wish List” that I am saving up for, so I thought I’d share them with you!

What I Want Now …

For my home office:
My little desk is in one of our guestrooms, and I’ve slowly been pulling it together. We already have this pretty comforter, and I made the corkboard by recovering an old one. I still need curtains for the room, though, and I’m in love with these gold desk accessories from the Nate Berkus line at Target. I also need a new waste bin, and this one from Bed Bath & Beyond goes well with the other burlap touches in the room, such as the throw pillow.

For the walls:
I’m looking for some prints to add to the wall next to my corkboard, and I’d like to reorganize my desk at my real office, too, so these prints seem like the perfect fit. I would probably take them to Kinko’s or Staples to be printed, then find cheaper frames at Michael’s (thank you 50% off coupons!). I’d love the “Keep Calm” print in purple, of course!

For peace of mind:
I have been dreaming about getting a massage for months! I have never been to Massage Envy, but their prices seems good, and I am ready to relax.


This is exactly what I look like when I get a massage.

For my feet:
My handsome hubby already bought me a super-cute pair of booties with fringe for my birthday! I can’t wait to wear them! I could still use a new pair of black flats, since my old ones are worn out.

For my wardrobe:
I guess this is kind of a weird shirt, but for some reason I am drawn to it. It’s possible it will be way too long and swallow me up, but I want to give it a try! I think with slim black leggings and a bootie with a heel, as the girl is pictured wearing here, it could be flattering.

For chilly days:
I told myself if I got anymore new coats, they could not be gray or black. In fact, I’d love a patterned coat, so this coat here was a no-brainer.

For my mini:
The cover I have for my iPad mini is falling apart, and I’ve been on an “all gold everything” kick, so this cover should do it!

Do you usually give people a Wish List for your birthday or the holidays? Or do you like to be totally surprised?

Posted in Accessories, Clothes, Fashion, Gifts, Home, Shopping | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Fashion Friday: Scandal Style & Watch Party Recap!

Last week I watched the premiere episode for “Scandal” at a great wine lounge here in Birmingham with the hostess, Javacia, and other members of See Jane Write — it was my first Scandal Watch Party, and I hope I get to go to many more!

leopard dress

I wore my new favorite dress — a leopard print 3/4-sleeve from the clearance rack at Lane Bryant!

As a treat for the watch party, we enjoyed delicious popcorn from Naughty But Nice Kettle Corn Co. I highly recommend it!

Besides all of the drama, my favorite part about watching “Scandal” is checking out Olivia’s wardrobe. Over the years we have seen her wear some fabulous coats, suits and glamorous dresses.

Here are some items I think are trendy for fall that you can see and have seen on Olivia Pope!

Capes are definitely popular this season and I especially love the way this one looks on Olivia — the gloves are key!

We all know how much Olivia loves to wear white. I happen to love this oatmeal ensemble — between the gloves, bag and the shape of the coat, each element makes the outfit interesting and not boring at all.

Ladylike blouses.
Just like the gloves she wears in the photos above, touches that make people call you a “lady” will be a go-to. A beautifully draped blouse is a wardrobe staple.

Trench coats.
This is one item every woman should have in their closet — and I don’t! I think it’s time to invest in a well-cut design, like Olivia’s.

To say I like tweed, especially tweed jackets, is an understatement. Pair with trousers and you have instant workplace panache. Throw it on with a T, jeans and heels, and your Saturday-night outfit looks pulled together and posh. I want each and every one of these tweed jackets!

Do you like any of these trends that I’ve pulled from “Scandal”? Which ones are your favorites?

Posted in Accessories, Clothes, Fashion, pop culture, Style, television | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Introducing: Stellar Fit Fam Facebook Group

Yesterday as I was driving back to work after having lunch with my good friend Sherri, I had two thoughts on my mind:

  1. I can’t believe it’s almost October!
  2. I have to think of an exciting, entertaining way to get my diet and fitness back on track.

As you may know from reading my blog, I started doing Weight Watchers again in July, and so far it’s been going really well. Even when I injured my back about a month ago, I was still losing about 1 pound per week, and I was happy with that pace.

Unfortunately I haven’t lost anything in the past couple of weeks, though, and I’m ready to change that around. And I want you to join me in an effort to focus on our health and fitness!

Enter, the Stellar Fit Fam Facebook group!

stellar fit fam


I wanted to create a space to help one another focus on taking care of ourselves — and keep each other accountable for whatever health goals we are working toward as individuals. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, whether you like to eat a paleo diet, eat clean or simply pay attention to your calories, whether you love to run or do spinning or lift — I want people of all fitness levels and goals to feel comfortable joining this community and sharing ideas.

The first thing I want this Facebook group to do is help each other during the next three months — some of the hardest months of the year to eat healthfully and exercise regularly. With holiday parties and lots of seasonal treats, it can be easy to indulge a little too much. So we’ll kick off the Stellar Fit Fam Facebook group with a Healthy Holiday Challenge:


Here’s how it works:

  • Join the group on Facebook where we can build a community of self-care and body positivity and exchange recipe ideas, workouts and tips and tricks that work for us!
  • Each week I will provide a challenge for the group via the Facebook group. For example: For Week 1, we will all try to drink at least  64 ounces of water a day and eat a piece of fruit or serving of veggies as a snack. We will also try to work out a minimum of three times as week. The goal here is to try to form healthy habits that everyone can benefit from — so drinking water and eating fruit and veg is good for us all! And the workouts you choose to do can be at your level — walk, run, go to Crossfit or swim — whatever you enjoy and find challenging!
  • Look for posts on the blog each week that help educate us and support our weekly challenge.
  • On Fridays, we will check in on the Facebook group and report to one another how we did with the weekly challenge. We will also learn what the next challenge is for the upcoming week.
  • I will also do regular Periscope sessions (@StellarJennifer) with healthy eating and workout tips and take questions to fuel further discussion.
  • One last thing — please sign up for my newsletter for additional tips and accountability — and a free printable calendar! This calendar, available by this Friday, Oct. 2, will include all of the month’s weekly challenges and daily mottos or quotes to encourage a healthy body image and self-care.

I hope you will all join me on the Facebook group and for his three-month Healthy Holiday Challenge! I think the community and accountability will be so valuable for me, and I hope you will find it valuable, too!


Posted in Body Positive, Healthy Eating, Stellar Fit Fam, Weight Watchers, Weight-loss, Workouts | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Makeshift 5k Recap & Photos

I started writing this post last night, and I honestly wasn’t sure what to say because I am so happy and excited with how the Makeshift 5k turned out this Saturday!

In addition to the awesome friends and readers who joined in around the U.S., I had a great time with all of you who joined in here in Birmingham, Ala. Thank you so much for coming!

Javacia of See Jane Write and Writeous Babe, has participated in all three Makeshift 5ks! Her support means the world to me.

Javacia of See Jane Write and Writeous Babe, has participated in all three Makeshift 5ks! Her support means the world to me.

We met up at the Homewood soccer fields and took off on Lakeshore Trail. Some of us walked, some ran, and we enjoyed the beautiful trail — cool temps, trees just starting to change colors and lots of other walkers, runners and cyclists out and about.

Ready to walk & run! Are you?! #Makeshift5k #stellarmiles

It’s beginning to look a little like fall around here!

I walked with my husband for 2 miles and, thankfully, my back felt just fine! And it felt great for the rest of the weekend, too. Maybe all of that drama is behind me. I’m going to test it out by working out at least three times this week and see how I do.

jj 5k

So lucky to have the never-ending support of my hubby!

The best part about the Makeshift 5k was seeing people from all walks of my life coming together — I had family members, family friends and old friends from college at Penn State join in virtually.

I had friends from my days at Southern Living magazine participate (including Katie and her sweet dog, who are not pictured, sadly), as well as friends I’ve made from See Jane Write and blogging.

Jessica, of Spiffy Eats & Giggle Water, is a huge inspiration for me!

Jessica, of Spiffy Eats & Giggle Water, is a huge inspiration for me!

Artney, of My Pretty Brown Fit, and her friend ran a total of 14 miles Saturday! So glad they joined us for 3.1.

Artney, of My Pretty Brown Fit, and her friend ran a total of 14 miles Saturday! Rockstars! So glad they joined us for 3.1 of their miles.

Thanks for coming, Mary Eliza, Emily and Dawn!

Thanks for coming, Mary Eliza, Emily and Dawn!

Jeniese, who blogs at The Jenesaisquoi, was kind enough to join the 5k Saturday, too!

Jeniese, who blogs at The Jenesaisquoi, was kind enough to join the 5k Saturday, too!

I’m so grateful to all of you! (I have more group photos to come soon!)

The night before the Makeshift 5k, I had a hard time falling asleep, and I woke up extra early, too. I was a little anxious, wanting the rain to stay away and everything to go well.

Mostly, though, I was thinking how lucky I am to have such a great support group surounding me. I started out on my fitness journey about six years ago and, except for a few periods of rest due to small injuries or being sick, I haven’t let a week go by yet where I haven’t exercised.

Maintaining that commitment to my health is what the Makeshift 5k is all about for me. It’s about keeping my fitness level up, challenging myself and others, and focusing on something that’s good for me.

Over the years, my health journey has developed a wonderful side effect: building a community. I now chat with friends, family and even strangers about fitness goals, giving ourselves “me time” that allows us to take a breather, let out stress and build healthier bodies and minds.

Having people around me who support those goals and cheer me on means more than any of y’all know! And getting to celebrate that with the Makeshift 5k is such a joy.

Thanks to all for walking and running this weekend! And for coming on this inspiring ride with me!

Posted in exercise, Fitness, Health, Makeshift 5k, Running, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Makeshift 5k Is Tomorrow!

I can’t believe the next Makeshift 5k is TOMORROW!!!


I am so excited to see so many of you interested in working on your fitness and participating in the 5k. It’s a wonderful way for us to get together on a regular basis and encourage each other to walk and run. Thank you so much for everyone who plans to come out tomorrow!

Let’s review the details:

What: Makeshift 5k — participate in-person in Birmingham, Ala., or virtually by posting a photo on Instagram using the hashtags #makeshift5k and #stellarmiles (by 12 p.m. CT)
Where: Lakeshore Trail; meet in the large parking lot near the soccer fields off Green Springs Hwy. We will start off on that side of Lakeshore Trail and walk or run to the entrance of Samford University and back.
When: Saturday, Sept. 26 (tomorrow!) at 8 a.m.

If you are planning to join us, please RSVP on my Facebook event page, or via my Eventbrite page, too.

For the in-person participants, I will bring water and snacks for after the walk/run. If you need extra water for during the race, make sure to bring some with you.

And everyone is encouraged to post a photo on Instagram to be eligible for the drawing! Use the hashtags #makeshift5k and #stellarmiles to enter!

makeshift drawing

Please remember to take your own fitness abilities and health into account when venturing out for the 5k. I am not walking or running expert, a personal trainer or a doctor. So please consult your own doctor if you need the green light to join us, and listen to your body!

If anyone has any questions, please hit me up on my Facebook page or email me: stellarfashionandfitness[at]

See y’all at 8 a.m. tomorrow!

Posted in exercise, Fitness, Makeshift 5k, Running, Walking | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Satisfy Afternoon Snack Cravings

(Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Extend Nutrition bars to review, but all opinions and thoughts in this post are my own.)

Ever since I started back on the Weight Watchers program, I’ve had to think ahead about what I will snack on each day. Meal ideas come fairly easily — breakfast sandwiches, cereal, eggs or mini bagels in the mornings; salads, sandwiches with fruit on the side at lunch; protein and veggies at dinner.

Snacks, however, have been a bit of a toss up. I always stock up on fruit, since on Weight Watchers it’s 0 points. But I usually need something more substantial in the afternoon to tide me over until dinner.


I recently tried Extend Nutrition bars for the first time, and they’ll definitely become a go-to snack now! On Weight Watchers each bar is about 4 points, depending on the flavor. I tried the chocolate and caramel (130 calories, 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber), the cookies and cream (140 calories, 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber) and the yogurt and berry (150 calories, 9 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber) — all of the bars were tasty, but the yogurt and berry is definitely my favorite!


The best thing about the bar is I was satisfied until dinnertime. I snacked on some grapes, but I think that was more of a habit thing, which is why low-point snacks are good to have around! Sometimes I think I snack out of boredom, sadly.

Having these bars in my desk drawer will definitely help keep me happy, now!

According to, the main goal of these products is to control your blood sugar for longer, actually up to nine hours. The way it works is the bar digests slowly, so your blood sugar stays stable.

And you can even order the bars to be delivered to you automatically, or pick them up at Target, Publix, CVS, Walgreens and other stores.

How do you satisfy your afternoon snack cravings?

Posted in Food, Healthy Eating, Weight Watchers | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Fall Fashion Transition Staple: The Soft Pant

photo by Sherri

photo by Sherri

If you have been reading my blog at all during this past year, then you know there’s one trend I’ve been wanting to bring into my wardrobe: the soft pant.

Well, finally, finally! I have made this happen. I found two really awesome pairs of soft pants at Old Navy recently when there was a HUGE sale. (Seriously check out their sales. I ended up with two pairs of pants and four shirts for under $50!) And after purchasing them, I realized the best thing about the soft pant is it’s the perfect fall transition piece.

Because it’s a pant, you feel more covered up and you don’t need to make the leap to wearing tights or leggings yet. You can pair them with short-sleeves or long-sleeves, depending on the temperature and, especially for work, you can throw on a blazer or jean jacket for more polish and/or warmth.

Your shoes can also transition the look — sandals or wedges for warmer weather, booties or flats for cooler days.

Here’s how I styled my soft pants:

photo by Summer

photo by Summer | Old Navy pants, $19; oatmeal T, $12; Target sandals, $16; Michael Kors Jet Set tote, $278 ; necklace (similar)

I love the print of these pants and knew the oatmeal-colored top would be great with it. I think a mustard-colored shirt would also look awesome.

soft pants navy2When it gets chillier, I will wear these pants with brown booties, or lace-ups boots such as my old pair from Steve Madden, and a jean jacket. Or add on a mustard cardigan!

soft pants navy3The fit of these pants can be tricky. You don’t want them to be too baggy — hello, diaper butt! — but because they’re lightweight, too tight isn’t an option either. These are an XXL at Old Navy and while I like the size for this pair, I’m worried my cranberry pair should’ve been an XL.

I still love the color of them, though!

I bought a black T with an Aztec print on the front to wear with these, too. (similar here) I’ll wear that with a black knit blazer or a jean jacket, as below.

My gray booties work well with these pants because the pants are slightly short — ankle length — and with one more turn of the cuff they skim the top of the booties, which makes the look right on trend.

cranberry pants2

What do you think of soft pants as a good transition piece for fall? How would you wear these?

Posted in Accessories, Clothes, Fashion, plus-size, Shopping, Style | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unexpected Color Combos

I received a text a week or so ago from a friend who said, “What shoes do you wear with orange pants?”

I immediately needed to know what shade of orange, and when I learned it was a rusted orange, I responded with:


I should’ve added cranberry, too, because right now I want to wear cranberry with everything!

One thing I admire so much is when women combine colors and you’re left thinking, “Wow! That really works! I never would’ve thought to put those together.” With that in mind, I present to you inspiration for combining unexpected colors!

First up, orange pants, of course!

This look from Merrick’s Art is simple, but effective. As I warned my friend, black with orange can look too “themey,” but with the lighter T underneath and the light scarf, this works. And since the pants don’t scream “orange!” there’s a subtleness to it.


I love how Sarah from Wearing It On My Sleeves combines navy blue and mint green with orange. Mint green, you ask? I was skeptical, too, but it really does work. These deep shades with a pop of pastel makes it exciting!


As I said above, I want to wear cranberry everything, all day, every day this fall. I think I desired this last fall, too! Guess it’s a color that’s sticking around for a while. And, speaking of orange, the always fashionable Olivia Palermo pairs the two colors seamlessly.

Cranberry, or, in this case, a deeper maroon, also looks amazing with mustard yellow, and I love how Mix Match Fashion brings this together with the leopard belt. The caramel colored accessories work perfectly, too. This look is great for a big day at the office!


I love everything about this outfit from Lovely Pepa: the textures, the plaid, the mustard with the cranberry with the blue. I want to recreate this look from head to toe!

cranberry mustard plaid

When it comes to bright colors, sometimes animal print really is a go-to choice to bring the look together. I love this leopard top with the coral/orange pants. You could wear this all year long, just change out the sleeveless top for a leopard cardigan or long-sleeved blouse.


Yellow is one of those colors I just do not wear often enough! I love how this shade can lift any outfit up a notch. Take the look below (I honestly wish I could give this woman credit because I love her look, but can’t remember where the photo came from!). Navy blue polka dot pants, a white blouse and caramel accessories — pretty tame, right? But that pop from the yellow blazer makes the ensemble.

8-chic-work-outfits-you-can-copy6Whenever I’m looking for colorful inspiration, I can always turn to J’s Everyday Fashion. She’s so smart about combining different shades — as she does here with the mustard yellow cardi and, again, mint! I think this works so well because she brings both colors in from her necklace and the rest of her outfit is neutral — black, white and blue jean. This is one of the easiest ways to mix colors — unexpected shades on your tootsies!

static.squarespaceAnother fun way to play with color is to mix different shades of the same color, like Sarah Jessica Parker does here. Always on the edge of fashion, SJP can even make a simple outfit look chic with a tweed blazer (all the rage this season!) and a bag and shoes of the same hue. It’s the light purple/pink T paired with the deep purple cords that I love. I would’ve been tempted to wear neutrals only with these pants, but the lighter-colored top looks awesome.

September 26, 2012: Sarah Jessica Parker pictured this morning leaving her home in a purple and pink outfit and heads to a Meeting in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Elder Ordonez/ Ref: infusny-160|sp|

Photo via: Elder Ordonez/

Finally, brights! Pair bright hues — yellow, purple, hot pink, royal blue, lime — with each other and, pow! You’ve got a statement making outfit that will make heads turn. I love that she uses a chambray shirt as a neutral base for this look.

What are some of your favorite unexpected color combos?

Posted in Clothes, Fashion, plus-size, Shoes, Style | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Fashion Friday: Mr. West’s Beige Brigade

Fashion? You call this fashion, Kanye?


via NYTimes

Kanye West presented his spring 2016 Yeezy collection during New York Fashion Week this past week and, for me, it was a complete dud.

Actually, I find it completely ridiculous. For starters, everything is beige. OK, there is some black thrown in, but for the most part, the clothes all look like they could’ve been created out of ace bandages.


via NYTimes

Beige leggings. Baggy beige sweatshirts. Basically, he wrapped these gorgeous models in versions of my beige shapewear.

How is this fashion? I mean, I get that all artists are entitled to create clothing that they feel makes a statement, or expresses whatever aesthetic that they want to express.

But I just don’t get this. And I don’t think fashion critics did, either. Most of the articles I read were all about the celebrities who attended his show. In fact, the New York Times provided a map of the front row showing you who’s who.


via NYTimes

It seems even the New York Times found this more exciting than his actual collection.

I find it annoying that someone like Kanye gets the buzz he gets because of his celebrity — as if the fact that he’s a musician turned designer makes his collection more noteworthy.

I do think several designers who came into fashion through another avenue — be it music or movies, etc. — have overcome that stigma and they create something impressive every season.

For example, Christian Siriano, who started out on “Project Runway,” gets better and better every year, in my opinion. He created a collection for spring 2016 with a somewhat monochromatic color palette, too, but with a surprising pop of color at the end. And the clothing had form and texture and felt luxurious. In my eyes, he has overcome his start as a reality show contest.

Kanye, take notes.

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano,

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano,

Christian Siriano,

Christian Siriano,

Christian Siriano,

Christian Siriano,

Christian Siriano,

What do you think of Kanye’s Yeezy collection for next spring? Is there value there, or is it as boring as I feel it is? How do you feel about Christian’s designs? What other designers do you think have surpassed people’s expectations?

Posted in Fashion, pop culture, Style | Tagged , , | 4 Comments