Welcome to Trophy Wife, Balanced Life!

I’m a happily married mom to one energetic toddler boy.  I’ve started this blog to document my struggles to end my yo-yo dieting cycle, feel better in my skin, step up my style game, and keep my house in order.

I love good food, craft beer, fashion, working out, and am slowly starting to enjoy cleaning and organizing my home. (slowly…)

I’m not an expert at anything, including diet, exercise, home organization, or style.  This blog is intended to document my attempts at self improvement through crappy iPhone photography and a lot of sarcasm.  Please don’t take any of my advice as fact, I simply am sharing what works and doesn’t work for ME.

I hope you enjoy reading!


Fitness, food, weight loss, Weight Watchers

Limitations vs. Excuses

Can we talk excuses?

I’ve been full of them for the past couple months.

Trophy Husband got an amazing job opportunity that has required us to move to a different state.  We are living in a 2 bedroom apartment when we are used to a much larger house as a family.

I’ve used the apartment as an excuse to not keep up with my healthy eating and fitness goals.  The kitchen SUCKS.  It’s a tiny galley style with almost no counter space and it’s an old school electric coil stove, which I hate!  (people who buy electric stoves by choice- please tell me why in the comments! I need fire!)

apartment kitchen
Seriously… so. small.

I avoided cooking in this kitchen for weeks.  I hate the stove, I don’t have most of my pots and pans or knives and utensils.

Because of this, we ordered take out a lot! Uber Eats was a blessing and a curse.  (if you want to try it and haven’t already- use my code eats-paulad67 and we will both get $5 off!)

I gained 7 pounds in the month of January, due to my hatred of the apartment kitchen and pure laziness when my son and I would travel back home to Michigan while my husband stayed behind for work.  Even when I had my beautiful big kitchen and gas stove at my disposal, I still found myself ordering takeout or hitting up the drive thru.  My poor kid has consumed to much pizza and tacos that past couple months.  (not that he’s complaining!)

Two weeks ago, I decided to stop the madness and get my life together.  I actually went grocery shopping for actual ingredients and cooked most of our dinners at the apartment.  It helps that on my last trip to our old house I brought back more of my kitchen gear that I was missing.

Since I started cooking again, I’ve lost 6.5 of the 7 pounds that I gained.  Funny how not eating like a complete idiot will do that for ya.

Another excuse that I’ve had is that this apartment is too small to work out.  I’m used to having my little workout room in my basement with a treadmill, a big TV, and plenty of room to do my Beach Body workouts.

Now I have this:

apartment gym
Be jealous of my super fancy “gym”!

I finally got off my butt and started 80 Day Obsession.  I’m on Day 12 and I’m LOVING it!  It’s hard, but I feel great- stronger than I ever have.

And you know what- I need about 20 square feet of space to do these workouts.  My downstairs neighbors may be a little pissed at me during the jumping jacks… but I try to land as softly as I can.

Speaking of 80 Day Obsession- something that Autumn Calabrese said a few workouts ago stuck with me and inspired me to write this post.  I’m paraphrasing, but she basically said “Limitations are things that are beyond your control that you can overcome; Excuses are reasons that people use when they want to quit.”

This small apartment and less than ideal kitchen are limitations, but I was using them as excuses to not do what I needed to do.  I made the decision to adapt to my surroundings and figure out how to make them work for me.

This living situation isn’t ideal, but it is temporary and I’m so thankful for this opportunity that my family has in this new city.  And now that I’ve reframed my thinking about the apartment, I’m ready to move forward with my Weight Watchers program and fitness routine and finally reach my goals!

What limitations do you have that you are using as excuses?  How can you overcome them?  Tell me in the comments!

Fitness, food, weight loss, Weight Watchers

A Disappointing Weigh in

You ever feel like you’ve done everything right and things just don’t go your way on the scale?

I’m sure having one of those days!

I worked my program this week the way you are meant to.  I tracked everything.  I had blue dots 5 out of 7 days and I didn’t even go near using all of my weeklies.  I also had 49 fit points that I didn’t eat.

I was SO excited to get under the next “decade” of pounds today. (I was only 0.6 lbs away!)

But then…

I stepped on the scale at my Weight Watchers meeting, and it said I GAINED .4 pounds!

My face when I saw the scale

I was SO ANNOYED.  How could this happen?  I was a model weight watcher this week!  Looking back at my week, there is nothing that I would go back and do over.  I even ordered naked tenders and a side salad at Buffalo Wild Wings, FFS!

My leader came over and chatted with me because she could see that I had an attitude.  I told her what happened and talking to her really helped me to reframe my disappointment.

She told me to get my app out and look at my last few weeks.  And then to look at my graph from the beginning.  I was able to see a steady downtrend of the 11 pounds that I’ve lost since recommitting to Weight Watchers in October.  I’ve had some gains over the holidays and with the stress and lack of routine in moving my family to a new state this month, I had a set back and gained seven pounds thanks to the convenience of Uber Eats.

Sidebar: if you haven’t tried Uber Eats yet and want to, use code eats-paulad67 and you and I will both get $5 off. I don’t recommend ordering from there almost every day for two weeks like I did, though….


The point that I’m trying to make here is that one week doesn’t define my success.  I know that I’m doing the right things to lose weight and improve myself and sometimes the scale is not going to reflect that.

Perhaps I had too much sodium yesterday.  I’ve been doing 80 Day Obsession workouts and my muscles are SORE.  They are probably holding on to a bit of extra water.  Heck, maybe I just needed to go to the bathroom!

I’ve come a long way on this weight loss journey (gawd I hate when people call it their journey… but I don’t know a better word to describe it!).

The photo on the right came across my Facebook memories feed yesterday from two years ago, so I did a side by side.  I’ve lost 33 pounds since then!  Do I have more to go?  Yup.  But am I PROUD of what I’ve accomplished thus far?  You’re damn right!

side by side
Down 33 pounds and one upper lip

If you’re feeling discouraged and not seeing the results you want, please don’t quit!  I know that I’m doing the right things for my body and if I continue to do these things, I WILL get to my goal.  And you will, too! 🙂



Weight Watchers Freestyle!

Disclaimer: I don’t work for Weight Watchers, nor am I sponsored by them in any way.  Outside of my meeting leader, they don’t know who I am.  All opinions expressed are my own, and of course if you are thinking about joining, you should consult your doctor.



If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I joined Weight Watchers a couple months back.

I LOVE Weight Watchers.   As a chronic yo-yo dieter, I’ve tried everything- South Beach, Atkins, Slow Carb, Master Cleanse, My Fitness Pal, etc., but Weight Watchers is the only thing that has ever truly worked for me. I used it to lose weight for my wedding, and I had some great success a couple years ago when I rejoined.  I’ve never gotten to goal, though, because I keep giving up. (my issue, not Weight Watchers!)

I am definitely known to start a diet/workout plan, do great for a few weeks, and then fall hard off the wagon and gain everything back and then some.

This time feels different, though.

Since joining WW on October 13, I’ve lost 11.2lbs.  That is including a hiccup where I gained 5.2 the week of Thanksgiving. (Oops!) I’ve thankfully lost that weight plus another pound, so I’m good now!

The fact that I went to the meeting knowing I had a huge gain is how I know it is different.  In the past, if I knew I had gained, I would skip the meeting.  That would lead to more weight gain because I didn’t go to the meeting when I really needed the support.  And then I would think “well, I can’t go back to my weight loss support group until I lose the weight that I gained!” So, I would continue to skip, continue to gain, until I finally just gave up.

I’m learning now that those weeks that are tough are exactly the weeks that I most need the meetings.  My leader is amazing.  The group at my meeting is amazing.  I go to the meetings with two coworkers who are super supportive and definitely help hold me accountable.

And the biggest change that I’m seeing in myself is that I’m tracking everything, even if it’s not “good” food.  In the past, if I had an indulgent day, I’d just not track it.  Like, if I didn’t put it in my tracker, it never happened, right??? Now, I’m tracking the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It has helped me to see the “damage” and come up with strategies to get myself back on track. (work out more, eat under my points for a day or two, etc.)

And you know what?  *Most* of the time, it’s not as bad as I thought it was.  (we won’t talk about this past Friday when I ate 77 points in one day…. pizza, birthday cake, homemade papusas…)

This brings me to my review of the new WW Freestyle program.

Just this past week, Weight Watchers rolled out an update to their program, and though I just started it on Friday, I must say that I LOVE the changes!

First- They added a BUNCH of foods to their Zero Smartpoints list.  There are now 200 foods that I can have that cost me nothing.  And it ain’t just vegetables.  It’s all fruit and vegetables, even corn and peas that used to cost points!  Plus all beans/legumes including black beans, fat free refried beans, kidney beans, and lentils.  And the part I’m most excited about is that several proteins are now zero points, including eggs, plain fat free yogurt, boneless skinless chicken breast, and lean turkey!

yogurt bowl
Zero points for breakfast!

The next amazing thing thing that they have added is the ability to “rollover” unused points!  That’s right, if you don’t use all of your daily points, you can roll over up to 4 per day into your weekly bucket!  Got a big event planned for the weekend?  Be smart with your points and you can roll over up to 24 points for booze!  Well… I’d use them for booze!  You use them on whatever you want!

The only negative that I heard in the meeting was that people were a bit upset that their daily points went down.  This is true- your points go down by about 20-25%.  I used to get 34, now I get 26.  It’s all good though, because SO many of the things that I eat daily and used to spend points on are now zero! My turkey chili recipe is now zero points! In fact, today I’ve had breakfast and lunch and I’ve only used 3 points.

Turkey Chili
Turkey chili (0sp), Fat free cheddar cheese (0sp for 1/4 c) and sour cream (3sp for 2 tablespoons)

Overall, I think Weight Watchers has nailed it again.  This program is the perfect program for me given that my philosophy in life is to maintain balance.  I can eat mostly healthy, with plenty of flexibility for indulgences.  I’m so sure that this is going to be the time that the healthy lifestyle sticks for me and I will get to my goal weight!

Bravo, Weight Watchers!

Fitness, food

How to Stay Healthy during the Holiday Season

Hello readers!  The following is another guest post from my buddy Kaitlin.  She’s got some great tips on how to enjoy the holidays without derailing your fitness goals!

Christmas cookies

This can be a tough time of year to keep up your healthy lifestyle. Life gets busy and you skip a workout, then you overeat at family gatherings. It happens to us all! Here are some ways to make it through without throwing your goals out the window.

1. Sweat

Getting in your workout everyday not only helps you maintain your weight, but it also relieves stress. The holidays can bring added stress to all of us. There are parties to attend, dishes to make, and gifts to buy. Give yourself a gift by working out daily and sweating away the stress.

2. Have a plan

Know before you go to a party how you will stick to your plan and not fall completely off the wagon. Can you have a healthy snack before so you won’t be starving when you get there? Can you drink more water and less soda or beer? It’s not about completely eliminating all the comfort foods or your favorite dish that your Grandma only makes during the holidays, its about having it all in moderation. Grab a little bit of your comfort foods and balance that out with lots of lean proteins and veggies. Know before you go what you will do to stick to your goals!

3. Stock healthy meals

Have healthy meals ready to go in your fridge or freezer. Save the comfort foods for family get-togethers. When you are home, you can control the food. Make sure to have plenty of leafy greens, lean proteins, and fruit in your fridge so that you can have everything ready for a healthy lunch or dinner.

4. Start a new tradition

Instead of baking cookies all day, could you start a new tradition of going for a family hike or playing outside in the snow? If you already have a great tradition around baking with your family, then maybe you could add another one that gets you moving!

I hope these tips will help you fight the extra holiday pounds this season and still allow you and your family to enjoy the season! Have some tips of your own? I would love to hear them! Feel free to send me a message!

About Kaitlin:

Kaitlin Zucco is an online health & fitness coach in West Michigan. When she’s not working out at home with her husband and 2 year old daughter, Emma, she enjoys traveling and soaking up as much beach time as possible in Holland.

You can find her through her Fit and Fiesty Facebook page.



How to Make Perfectly Crisp Bacon

If you’re like me, you love bacon!  If I could, I would probably eat it with every meal.  What I don’t like, however, is the time it takes to fry bacon on the stove, not to mention the mess it makes!

I’ve been using the oven technique to make bacon for years, and I’m never going back!

Step 1:  Lay bacon out on a cookie sheet


bacon raw

We have these great racks (get your mind out of the gutter!) that we use when we cook on our baking sheets.  You definitely don’t need the trays, but I like to use them because all of the grease drips down and then I feel like it’s healthier.  They were maybe $10 for two of them and you can get them at any big box store. Here’s a set from Amazon.

If you don’t own the baking trays, you can just lay the bacon flat on the baking sheet.  Lining the baking sheet with aluminum foil will help reduce clean up as well.


Step 2:  Place bacon in cold oven and set to 450:



Step 3:  Remove bacon from oven when it comes to temperature


I’m not sure why this seems to work better than preheating the oven, but going from cold oven and heating up to 450 gradually has been the best cooking technique for me.  Check it right when your oven comes up to temp.  You may need another minute or two depending on how crispy you like your bacon, but I think it comes out perfectly at the exact 450 mark.





How to Stick to a New Fitness Lifestyle

The following is a guest post from my friend Kaitlin.  She has been helping me meet my fitness goals for a little over a year now.  She is a great motivator and has gone through an amazing fitness transformation, so she knows what she’s talking about! You can find her at Fit and Feisty.


Do you struggle with starting and stopping a new program? Are you all-in for a week and then life happens? Here are my tips to stick with whatever new program you have started to achieve lifelong results!

1. Keep it realistic

We all start in a different spot. Some of us can go out and run 5 miles after not running for years. Others have to start with walking a mile first (thats me!). Want to run a marathon? It starts with 1 mile at a time. Want to be able to do 20 push-ups? Maybe you need to start by doing 10 on your knees. Set achievable goals that you can strive for weekly and keep pushing to get to the next one. It will feel so amazing when you can start crossing off those small goals along the way.

2. Find a friend

The best way to keep yourself accountable is to find someone to HOLD you accountable. Whether that is an online community that you can check into, a running partner, or your significant other. Find someone that will push you and make sure your show up when you say you will. It also makes the workout more fun when you can do it with someone else!

3. Find your jam

This is one of my favorite ways to get excited about a workout and to make it go faster! I always have music blaring. Find out what pumps you up and then rock your workout! Dancing also helps to burn more calories! 🙂


4. Make it a habit

Decide when you like work out – is it morning, lunch, or at night? Find what works for you and make that your routine. It will soon become second nature, just like brushing your teeth.

5. Pause, don’t stop

We all have days where we don’t feel our best or the day slips by. The key is to let those be the exception and not the norm. Be ready to start over the very next day. Taking a rest day is needed but letting that turn into two makes starting up again much harder!

I hope that these tips help you to stick with your new fitness program and make it a lifestyle, not a quick fix or a fad!

About Kaitlin

Kaitlin Zucco is an online health & fitness coach in West Michigan. When she’s not working out at home with her husband and 2 year old daughter, Emma, she enjoys traveling and soaking up as much beach time as possible in Holland.


food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Marinated Flank Steak Wraps

Trophy Husband and I tag teamed on a delicious dinner the other day. (I previewed it on my Instagram story on Sunday)

We are big meat eaters, but find it hard to always stick to healthy meals when we do anything other than chicken breast.  These steak wraps definitely hit the mark with flavor and health!


For the marinade:

about 1/2 c olive oil

about 1/4 c balsamic vinegar

Worcestershire sauce- a couple splashes

Pepper to taste

For the rest:

Flank Steak



garlic powder

onion powder

1 green pepper

1 large onion

Low carb Tortillas

Cheese (optional)

Mayo or sour cream (optional)

Step 1:

Marinate the steak in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire and pepper for at least 4 hours.

Step 2:

After the steak has marinated for the desired amount of time, broil for about 5-6 min on each side. You can probably just cook for 10-12 min without turning, but I like to cook mine on a grated tray so you kind of get grill marks.

Note that you may want to cook longer if you want your steak to be more well done.  We like ours a little pink, so this is the time that works for us.

You could also grill outside, or cook on your stove if you prefer.  The broil option just works best for us in terms of clean up.

Step 3:

While your steak is cooking, chop up your onion and bell pepper and sautee in some olive oil with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4:

Slice your steak in thin strips.

cutting steak
I promised you crappy iPhone photography, and I’m definitely delivering with this shot!


Step 5:

Assemble wraps with desired toppings!

I did veggies, cheese, and mayo for more of a true philly steak feel.  Trophy Husband used sour cream instead of the mayo for more of a fajita feel.




Cleaning and Organizing, fashion, Uncategorized

The Great Closet Clean Out Wrap Up!

Sorry for the delay in updating, dear readers! I started a full time job a few weeks ago and while I’m absolutely loving it, I don’t have as much time to work on the blog.

I wanted to give you the final wrap up of the Great Closet Clean out.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about- go here first. The Great Closet Clean Out Series

I’ve already cleaned out my shoes,  my dresses, my pants and tops.  Now it’s time to get rid of the rejects!

The first thing I did was post all of my more “collectible” sneakers to Facebook Marketplace.  These are items that I knew were worth a lot more than a consignment store would give me.  If you aren’t using Facebook Marketplace, I definitely recommend it for buying and selling, especially if you have kids!  It’s easier than Ebay because you don’t have to worry about shipping, and you meet up with people in person so you know you’re going to get your cash.

In all, I sold six pairs of sneakers for a total of $110.

I then took all of the remaining items to Style Encore.  They are a national chain of resale shops that buy and sell name brand, gently used clothing.  (They also own Plato’s Closet and Once Upon a Child)

Trunk full to the brim!

Style Encore bought about 1/4 of what I brought in.  They paid me $77 for what they wanted and I loaded the rest back up into my car.

I was determined to not bring the stuff back into my house so the plan was to drop everything off at Goodwill on my way home.  It’s odd, as I was transferring all of the items out of my reusable tote bags and into trash bags, I found myself trying to rationalize why I should keep some of the stuff that the consignment store didn’t take.  I overcame the urge, though.  I tried on everything in those bags and it did not fit.  There was no reason to bring it back in the house just to sit in the closet!

And now we shop…

After ridding myself of all of the items that don’t fit or that I don’t wear, I assessed my remaining wardrobe to determine what I needed to replace or any holes that I was missing.

I couldn’t believe it, but the only item that I felt that I needed was a pair of black ankle boots.  I really thought that I was going to have to buy tons of clothes, but the beauty of trying everything on in my closet was that while I got rid of a lot of things that I don’t wear, I’ve discovered that tons of items that I couldn’t wear because they were too small now fit me!  I’ve still got a ways to go in my weight loss journey, but I’m 20 pounds less than I was BEFORE I got pregnant.  This weight loss has allowed me to go shopping in my own closet.  So many items that I’ve owned for a couple years feel new again because it’s been so long since I’ve worn them.

Will I go shopping for new clothes this season? Of course!  But for now, I’m enjoying my “new” wardrobe.

Now, back to the boots.  I went to DSW because I had a coupon and a gift card from my birthday.  I found the PERFECT pair of black suede boots, and after my coupon and gift card I only spent $8. Whoop!

new shoes

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my closet clean out process, and I really hope that you’ve taken some of my tips to help free yourself from clutter that is weighing you down.

Thanks for reading!



Trophy Wife Tip: Dress Comfort

Ladies, can I talk to you about chub rub? That’s the technical term for when your thighs rub together when you walk.  (sexy, right?)

With this unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having in Michigan, (90 degrees at the end of September??? WHAT?) I’ve been wearing a lot of dresses.

You’ve seen pictures of me, so you know that while I’ve been making progress with my fitness, I mos def do not have a thigh gap!  I love wearing dresses, though, so I’ve tried a few solutions to try and combat the chub rub.

One option is to wear a thigh slimmer ( like this one) that will give you some shaping in the thighs, hips, and waist.  This type of garment is pretty structured and can feel pretty warm under a dress.  Not ideal for a hot summer day!

I’ve also tried a slip short, which is similar to a thigh slimmer, but has less control in it and doesn’t come up as high on the waist.  This is great when you want some smoothing without the restrictiveness of a thigh slimmer, or if you have a more sheer fabric dress and want a little more modesty.  I actually have this style from the JKY line at Target and love it.  The only problem that I’ve found is that the bottom tends to show when I sit down in a shorter dress.  Not cute!

The best solution that I’ve found for me is a product that I hope most of you are using on a daily basis.  Are you ready for this??? It’s deodorant!

It’s no secret! this stuff is magic!

Seriously- take the deodorant that you are using for your underarms and rub some on your inner thighs.  It totally prevents chafing, aka chub rub.


deodorant dress
Cool and comfy in my summer dress!


This has been today’s Trophy Wife Tip! I hope you enjoyed!

Tell me in the comments if you have any other easy wardrobe hacks!

Cleaning and Organizing

The Great Closet Clean Out: Tops Edition

Y’all.  Trying on all of these tops took FOREVER, but I am so glad I did it!  I got rid of so many items that I have been holding onto for no reason.

Same as with the pants process, almost every top I got rid of was because it was too big.  Actually, not a single top was too small for me.  There were some that fit, but just not flattering on my body.

Exhibit A:

ruffle top
This is why you try things on before you buy. Why did I ever think this top was a good idea??

Others fit, but I just never wear:

floral top
I *want* to like this tee… but I’ve owned it for three years and have worn it twice.

Then we have tops that I legit bought as maternity wear, even though they are from the regular women’s department.  Why am I still holding onto these tents???

I also discovered many shirts that were too tight post pregnancy for various reasons, but now fit!  I have this shirt in three colors- black, white, and olive.  It’s such a great basic to wear on its own or under a jacket or cardigan.  I’m so glad I tried them on again because they now fit!

olive top

Going through this process has reintroduced countless new wardrobe options for me!  I have so many “new” tops to introduce back into the rotation!   I’ve also freed myself from a bunch of big, baggy tops that I’ve held onto “just in case.” Well, I don’t want “just in case” to happen.  I don’t want to get to the point where I have to wear XL everything.  Getting rid of the giant clothes is taking me out of my comfort zone, but will also be a great motivation to stay on track with diet and exercise.  If I need to buy new, I want it to be SMALLER, not bigger!

As with my pants, I will have to repeat this process again in about 6 months.  There were a few tops that are on the verge of being too big, but I kept because I love them.  Also quite a few that haven’t been worn in more than a year, but that was because they didn’t fit.  If the ones that now fit are not worn in the next six months, they will be going.

Thanks for following along with this closet purge! I will let you know how I make out at the consignment store.  Anything they don’t take is going directly to Goodwill! This stuff is not coming back into my house!

Remember, if you’re doing this with me, please post photos to instagram and use #trophywifegreatclosetcleanout.  I’d love to see your progress!