Thursday, December 29, 2011

Now For A Little Backtracking...

Oof- I knew the weigh in after Christmas wouldn't be great.  And it wasn't.  I wasn't as good as I was on Thanksgiving- didn't track my food for five days, and kind of just ate... everything.  But that's okay- it was a wonderful holiday.  This is what it looked like: 






Friday- Pre-Christmas Papa John's.  (totally unnessecary, a great example of stress eating)
Saturday- Christmas Eve dinner, followed by a family party. 
Sunday- Christmas breakfast!  Christmas lunch!  Christmas snack for dinner.  My belly was so full.  Christmas cocktails.
Monday- Kraft Mac and Cheese lunch, Christmas Dinner, part three.  (or so)
Tuesday- Tallboy's Birthday Breakfast, Birthday Lunch, Birthday Dinner

Sometimes, the schedule is full of family eating, and your only choices are sauerkraut and bacon wrapped blood sausage.  So, I ate it and loved it.  I'm headed back to the gym tonight for the first time in over a week.  I'm so tired and worn out, but it was so nice to see SO much family. 

Our plans for New Year's Eve?  Stay in.  Cook our favorite dinner and drink some champagne.  I'm really looking forward to taking it easy. 

This week: +1.6 lbs
Total: -9.8 lbs

I still have two weeks before my final weigh in for the year- hopefully I can nudge the scale back down a bit. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Good Start To The End Of The Year

She's a beaut, ain't she?
A few weeks back (pre-Thanksgiving) I made a list of guidelines to help get me through the holiday season.  Now- I haven't followed them to a T- but I have kept the list in mind the past few weeks, and it's really helped.  I've gotten in some extra workouts- trying out new classes and new exercises to keep myself entertained; stuck to eating homemade and healthy whenever possible; and continuing to keep myself hydrated.  It's been a rollercoaster on the scale, but I've managed to get back down to my pre-Thanksgiving weight almost every week.  Now, keep in mind, this is pre-Christmas now- deep territory.  Christmas eating won't just be one night or day- it'll be a whirlwind of four (yes, FOUR!) large Christmas dinners followed directly by TallBoy's birthday.

Before Thanksgiving, I was really nervous.  I guess this is the first year I've made a consious effort to try and maintain my weight through the holidays, instead of just throwing caution to the wind and passing out in the stuffing like usual.  It felt weird being nervous about eating before Thanksgiving- it was the wrong thing to be feeling before such a great day.  For Christmas, I feel like I can go in and make it about family and friends, and not just about the food.  I did it at Thanksgiving, and I can do it again.  I know this is a longer string of meals, but I have faith in myself for the next week. 

I'm going to make my official year-end weigh in day on January 12, 2012.  That'll be almost exactly a year from the day I started this blog with my first weigh-in.  Hopefully by then I'll have managed to be back to my pre-Christmas weight!

This week: -2.0 lbs
Total: -11.4 lbs

I'll be back after Christmas- most likely for next week's weigh in! 

Merry Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011- Looking Back

Get it?  LOOKING back?  Waka waka!
We're closing in on the end of 2011, I was thinking this morning about all the things I've learned this year about myself and my health.  I may not have reached my goal weight by the end of this calander year, but I do feel as though I've changed as a person in a really good way.  I wanted to start wrapping up the year with round up of the things I've gained this year- thankfully it's not weight!

1. You can start over any time you want.  The phrase "I'm starting over on Monday" will never cross these lips again.  Seriously.  Why wait until Monday?  Or tomorrow?  If you ate poorly at lunch, just eat well for dinner.  It's seriously as simple as that.  If ALL that's available for dinner is pizza, just have a slice.  It won't kill you.  Just make a serious effort to eat well at your next meal-  it will get you back on track.

2. Junk food REALLY makes you feel like crap.  If you want a reminder of this, spend a weekend eating pizza, drinking beer, and eating fast food.  I recently spent a Saturday with college friends, eating college foods.  It was super fun, but when Sunday morning arrived with a headache, I said, screw it.  I'll eat bad again today.  Guess what- Sunday night?  The WORST.  I really haven't felt that sick from food in a LONG time.  It was the reminder I needed that eating healthy does make me feel better, all the time. 

3. It's never all or nothing.  Practice moderation.  Like I said before- if you eat poorly or skip a workout, it's not the end of the world.  You don't have to throw all your effort out the window just because you ate worse than usual.  Take it in stride, and move on.  Don't give yourself an ultimatum- you won't stick to it.

4. Exercise can be enjoyable.  This was hard for me to learn, because I thought that if I wanted to get fit, it meant being miserable at the gym, or running outside, which I hate even more.  I spent a good three months trying to get into running, hating every minute of it.  So I started taking classes at the gym and realized I could get cardio and strength training in another way.  I've always loved dance, and taking aerobic dance and zumba classes has been awesome.  I LOVE going to work out, and while I'm sweaty and look disgusting, I feel awesome and can't wait to go back for more.  If you don't enjoy exercising, you won't do it.  Period.  How long can you keep doing something you don't enjoy?  So find something you actually like, and you'll go.

5. Losing weight will never be (and should never be) fast and easy.  Let's face it.  I would've loved to be twenty pounds thinner overnight.  Hell, I would've loved to be twenty pounds thinner this year.  That being said, I have learned so much about nutrition and exercise and cooking that would not have stuck if I had gone down some easy route.   If you woke up twenty pounds thinner tomorrow, how would you have any idea to keep it off?


6. Get to know (and love) your own body.  I will never look like a twig, I will never be a supermodel.  But I know I can look and feel better in my own skin, with my own body type.  You have to love and appreciate your shape, and work on making it the best you can.  Don't base your goals off of a J. Crew model, base them off of a healthy version of you.  I can't rock skinny jeans, but I also have leg muscles that can kick your ass.

7. Find a way to make yourself accountable.  It's hard to admit, but staying healthy really is all about will power.  For me, tracking my food intake and blogging about my struggles and triumphs has really helped me to stay on the right path.  Having support from friends and family is really important, but if you don't believe in yourself that you can get there, it won't happen.  It comes down to you, so do it for the right reasons.  Stay healthy, stay happy, and stay on track.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekend in NYC

TallBoy and I got each other a trip to New York for Christmas!  We went last weekend and had a blast.  I had really prepared myself to walk a ton and eat healthy, and the former was accomplished.  I just have such a hard time being good when I'm not at home.  It's something I really need to work on.  I got to see one of my best friends from my time in DC, spend copious amounts of time with TallBoy's sister and her husband, and even got new glasses!

That being said, it didn't make for a great weigh in this week.  I was hoping the hours and hours of walking we did would offset the burgers and pizza and beer (and I'm sure it probably did to some extent)- but I'm still up this week.  I didn't log last week either, since we were leaving for NYC and I didn't want to do a blog post at 4 am- so here's how it went:

Last week: -.6
Total:  -11.4


This week: +2.0 lbs
Total: -9.4

So... up and down.  Unfortunately more up than down.  I have a few holiday festivities, but I will be able to clock some gym time and eat most of my meals at home, so I think I can hopefully shed some of that gain this week.  It's HARD getting through the holidays when you're really concerned about gaining... especially since you don't want to bring everyone down with the whole, "oh, I'm trying to watch what I eat" thing.  That being said, I also don't want to start over again on January 1.  Will power!  I need you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Can't Be The Only One THIS Excited About Brussels Sprouts.... Am I?!?

Seriously though- the fact that they're back in season is making me giddy.  The 8 year old me is punching my face; the 27 year old me is loving it.  And I don't care who knows it!  There are about a million recipes out there on the blogosphere, but the one that I default to when those knobby green heads are all over at the grocery is just a simple grilled mustard recipe.  I should be attributing it to someone or something... but I've kind of adapted it and changed it and forgot where it came from.  When I make it I'm the furthest thing from being exact, so adjust to your taste.  I kind of just throw everything in.  So here goes:

Heather's Grilled Mustard Brussels Sprouts
A pound of fresh brussels sprouts, stems removed and halved
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp spicy mustard (I use Dick's Horseradish)
2-3 cloves chopped fresh garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Wash, stem and chop your sprouts.  Pat dry, then put in a microwavable dish, and microwave on high for approximately 3 minutes.  (This steams your sprouts and cooks the middle, which the grill won't do on it's own.)  Take your steamed sprouts and coat them generously in olive oil, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper.  Like I said before- I just kind of squeeze everything in and then toss the sprouts around.  Once coated, put them in a grill pan.  I usually grill these on med-high for about 7-10 minutes.  Since grills vary a lot, just keep an eye on them, and when they start to get a little brown and crispy looking, they're done.  Once you take them off the grill, put them back in the bowl that you tossed them in in the first place and give them another go around with the leftover mustard.  Serve immediately.  Serves 3-4, or 1-2 if you're being greedy.  (Or realistic)

I've paired these with everything from turkey burgers to chicken to steak, I swear, they're good with everything. 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

via
This article, by one of my favorite authors, Mark Bittman, covers a common question- 'is junk food really cheaper?' If you're familiar with this subject- you know the answer is a resounding NO!  When it comes to our wallets, waist lines, healthcare, etc, we're killing ourselves with fast and cheap 'food.'  As someone who spends a lot of time and money cooking for myself and loved ones, sometimes I need a reminder of WHY it's important to cook at home and know what you're putting into your body.  Yes, in some sense we're all 'addicted' to food since we need to eat to survive; but what you might not realize that addiction to certain kinds of processed and fatty foods is a very real thing that we, as a culture, NEED to back away from.  Some of my favorite excerpts:

"This addiction to processed food is the result of decades of vision and hard work by the industry. For 50 years, says David A. Kessler, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and author of “The End of Overeating,” companies strove to create food that was “energy-dense, highly stimulating, and went down easy. They put it on every street corner and made it mobile, and they made it socially acceptable to eat anytime and anyplace. They created a food carnival, and that’s where we live. And if you’re used to self-stimulation every 15 minutes, well, you can’t run into the kitchen to satisfy that urge.”
 "HOW do you change a culture? The answers, not surprisingly, are complex. “Once I look at what I’m eating,” says Dr. Kessler, “and realize it’s not food, and I ask ‘what am I doing here?’ that’s the start. It’s not about whether I think it’s good for me, it’s about changing how I feel. And we change how people feel by changing the environment.” 

"To make changes like this more widespread we need action both cultural and political. The cultural lies in celebrating real food; raising our children in homes that don’t program them for fast-produced, eaten-on-the-run, high-calorie, low-nutrition junk; giving them the gift of appreciating the pleasures of nourishing one another and enjoying that nourishment together." 

Cooking at home not only gives you the knowledge that you're doing something good for your body- but you're also doing something good for your family.  If I'm spending an hour preparing dinner, you better believe we're not eating in front of the TV.  We're sitting at the table and talking like real people.  And it's awesome.

Read the full article.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wading Into the Holidays

My favorite moment from Thanksgiving
I was nervous for Thanksgiving this year.  I think I freaked myself out that I wouldn't have the willpower to NOT eat a thousand plates of food, and then I freaked myself out that freaking out wouldn't let me enjoy Thanksgiving.  Turns out, neither were totally true.  I enjoyed Thanksgiving, took it easy, and ate well at the meal.  The problem for me was the following few days.  Regardless, I managed to get back on track this week.  Last week I was really proud to have lost 1.2 lbs on my weigh in day! (Thanksgiving morning!)  I knew this week would be recovery from the holiday, and I was okay with that.  I was expecting a gain this week, and that's what I got (self-fulfilling prophecy, anyone?)  However, it's a manageable gain that I can get past.

This week: I will NOT beat myself up over a gain, instead, I will let it be that carrot in front of my nose at the gym.  Speaking of carrots, I will eat more of them.  I will go out of town for TallBoy's college makeshift reunion and enjoy myself, but immediately get back on track the moment I sober up.

This week: +.4 lbs
Total: -10.8 lbs

*also!? Today is DECEMBER 1st?  I think I've been a day off for at least a week.  I totally thought it was November 30th.  Whoops?*

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Then This Happened

Remember when I said I was busy like... until next year?  I wasn't joking.  So on Sunday, we chopped down a tree (don't worry, we paid for it), and then yesterday, we decorated it.  After a workout at the gym, and after some awesome soup.  So, yeah.  Even with the Elf Soundtrack on and Christmas decorations up... it's still November.  And there's no snow on the ground, so no, it doesn't feel like Christmas.  But I'm hoping it will soon, because that tree is sticking around.  Maybe I'll cover it with a sheet until December 15th, when sane people should be putting their trees up.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Results

Uh, yeah, these totally happened.
Whew!  What a great couple of days.  I know you're dying to know- did I stick to my plan? Yes- mostly.  If you want to recheck my goals- check 'em out here.  Yes, that's through the end of the year, but it's also to help me get through each individual holiday.  So, how did I do?  Well.  Mostly.  I worked out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday AND Friday.  Not only did I bring gym clothes to my sisters' house to workout the day after Thanksgiving, but I actually used them. I feel like I deserve some sort of award.  However, I did fall a little flat on all of the goals.  Let's just take a walk through the long weekend:

Wednesday night: Went to my fitness assessment for my COSE Wellness Tracks program I'm doing in January.  It got me PSYCHED up.  I met TallBoy at the gym, and I wasn't even planning on working out Wednesday night!  Fitness assessment the night before Thanksgiving?  Great idea- it really put things in perspective and made it easy to stay on track the night before a holiday.

Thursday:  Sensible breakfast.  Weekly weigh in: down 1.2 lbs!  Total of  11.2! Got there, sliced up my delicious breads that I brought... sampled some.  Tracked ALL my food, stuck to ONE plate, and filled it half with salad.  I'm really glad I was in charge of bringing that.  Only had half a piece of pie and a few glasses of wine.  Even for dinner later that night, was pretty good about the small portions.

Friday: Worked out!  Ate salad with turkey for lunch!  Went on a big family walk to get... ice cream... then had pizza for dinner.  It's hard away from home.

Saturday:  Oh man.  Remember when I said to make holidays about ONE day?  This is where things really went downhill.  Tallboy and I drove back from Columbus to work the Cleveland Wine and Ale Festival- was fun, but ate and drank my way through way too much... everything. 

Sunday:  Scared myself a little when I weighed in, but stayed on track for the day.  This is what it's about- realizing you may have messed up a bit, but getting back on the wagon as soon as possible.

I have another big weekend ahead of me, thankfully the increased food/booze intake will just be one day this weekend.  I'm going to stay on track every day until then and get some more gym time in.  I'll probably still be up on Thursday, but I'd like the damage to be as minimal as possible. 

How was your extended weekend?  Were you able to do some damage control, or was it your 'cheat' day?  Did it turn into a 'cheat' four days?  If so, you can get back on track, don't throw the rest of the year away!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

100th Post- Give Thanks!

Thanksgiving.  It's my favorite holiday- not just because of all the stuffing, pecan pies and macaroni and cheese- but it's one day a year that we all sit down and really focus on what we're thankful for.  That being said: I'd like to give thanks.  This is my 100th blog post, and I will start off by being thankful for this blog, the people who read it, and that it has helped me stay focused on my health goals.

This year, I am thankful for:

1. My wonderful guy, TallBoy He stands by me when times are tough, gives me every cuddle I need, and loves me to no end.
2. My dog, Buster He's the happiest being alive I have ever encountered, and no matter what I'm feeling like, that rubs off on me.
3. My awesome family- I may not have a large family, but we're very close.  I also am thankful for TallBoy's family- they treat me like one of their own, and it regularly feels like my immediate family has quadrupled.
4. Cooking- Learning and improving on my cooking skills this past year has really led me to appreciate food- not just for the sake of tastiness (that counts too)- but for learning how I can treat my body well through food, and treat other people and animals well by the decisions I make in the kitchen.
5. Babies!  More specifically, my tiny neice, Emaline- for reminding me that not only can everything be new, but everything can be the MOST exciting thing you've EVER seen or done.  Also that broccoli and bananas can be the tastiest treats ever.  She'll pick broccoli over cake any day.  What a weirdo.
6. My amazing friends- Who knew that moving back to Cleveland would result in such a plethora of amazing friends?  Add these newbies (and oldies) to my DC and Charleston besties, and I feel like the luckiest girl ever.
7. Snow- for reminding me that if I can weather through a few dark months, I'll have an amazing summer to look forward to.

There are a lot of other things, but this was just a smattering of stuff I needed to get out there.  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and it's filled with family, love and food.  Don't let this be the only day of the year that you let people know how thankful you are for them- spread gratitude year round!  Let this day be the icing on the cake for the people you care about.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The 8 People Who Will Ruin Your Attempt To Lose Weight

via
Cracked has this great little article about the saboteurs we all have in our lives who unwittingly slow or halt our progress losing weight.  Don't be that guy!

My favorite quote:
"Losing weight after being fat for a long time seems like a monumentally impossible task, like climbing Mt. Everest, or in some cases, a flight of stairs. Either way, going from the way you are to being a "normal" weight can sometimes seem like a ridiculous fantasy. That's why when you succeed with changing one tiny habit, it can change your whole perspective. It's not this monstrous solid mountain you have to overcome, it's just a big pile of stones, and you just easily picked one up and moved it. It's not about heaving the whole thing aside with some supernatural effort, it's just about moving one stone at a time. And the first one wasn't so bad, so you're stoked to grab a couple more."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Halfway There... Again.

Where to start... I guess with the weigh in.  I lost .2 lbs this week- next to nothing- but still a loss- which is good.  I've had weeks of maintenance before when I though I'd be gaining- but I really thought I'd lose this week.  It was really the first week that I stayed under my calorie allotment on LoseIt- so I thought that would equal a pound and a half loss.  Not so much.  Eh, keep on truckin', right? 

Even with the maintenance, I feel like I'm getting to a good place with my exercise- I went to a 'Group Groove' class on Tuesday and LOVED it.  It's a bit like Zumba-  cardio/aerobic/dance- I was a little nervous when I arrived because I was probably the only person under the age of 60, but once we started I realized it was a class you can really make to your own level.  I sweated and danced like crazy for an hour, and felt awesome after.  I like going to a class as opposed to doing a similar program at home by myself- if I were doing this at home, I probably would have stopped half way through because I was exhausted.  I like a group atmosphere- it pushes me further.

In other health news, I've decided to do a program starting in January called COSE Wellness Tracks- I'm not entirely sure what the program will be like- but I know it starts with a full fitness and health assessment next week, and then a weekly meeting in which I'm guessing we'll weigh in, talk about challenges, give support to one another- probably similar to Weight Watchers.  If it is, that's great, but I am interested in learning more about how food and exercise affect my specific body, and how I can improve upon it.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I would encourage anyone looking to get started on working out or eating healthy to contact their healthcare representative and inquiring about any offers they have about health programs- if there isn't something free, they almost always offer some sort of discount towards health and wellness programs, be it a gym or Weight Watchers or a program they run themselves.

So- this week wasn't a bust, but I'm not where I was hoping to be.  My next weigh-in day is on Thanksgiving- so I probably won't do a blog post about it, but I promise I'll catch up soon after.  I'm glad my weigh in day is Thanksgiving- that way I'll have a week to recover.  Even using my goals for eating during holidays, I don't expect it to be easy.

This week: -.2 lbs
Total: -10.0 lbs

*-10.0 lbs does feel GOOD.  Even though I was already here once this year, I'm glad to be back.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Goals Through The End of the Year

My Thanksgiving Day spread a few years back
Research says (by research I mean things that I've overheard and am typing as well as I remember them) that people on average gain 6 lbs (and keep it on!) during the holiday season.  I've made it through Halloween, but still have Thanksgiving, a makeshift OU Homecoming, a trip to NYC, a Friends Holiday party, two work holiday parties, Christmas (at three-five houses!) and New Years.  That's a lot of food/booze/pie.  I've been mentally preparing myself, and am going to look at this checklist everyday until January 1st.  Then I will continue on my journey of health, but right now I feel like I'm in lock down.  Alls I know is last January 1st felt like rock bottom.  Maybe it was the tequila on New Years Eve, or the unfortunate choice of Chili's Curbside Pickup of Bacon Cheeseburgers and Mozzarella Sticks, but I felt like Jabba the Hut.  Or Pizza the Hut.  Either way, BAD NEWS BEARS.

Goals through the end of 2011:

  1. Maintain working out 3-4x a week (3x at gym, 1x at home)
    • if I'm out of town- bring gym shoes and take a long walk.
  2. Treat each occasion as it’s own- 1 MEAL, not a week
    • don't let one messed up meal get your whole day/week/month down! you can start over whenever you want- you don't have to wait until tomorrow or Monday
  3. No refills of the plate
  4. Limit desserts
    • pick one and try a small piece.  don't get an entire dessert plate
  5. Limit alcohol intake
    • alternate wine and water
  6. Drink a lot of water WITH all meals
  7. From 11/15- 1/1, no weekday drinking unless on Holiday
  8. Make soups/ low-cal meals to freeze for last minute meals
  9. Fill plate ½ with greens- salad, veggies (dry), etc
  10. Start big meals with a big green salad/ a lot of water
  11. End each day with a note about something I'm thankful for
What are your goals through the end of the year?  How do you avoid overdoing it through the holidays?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recipe Round Up- Thanksgiving Themed!

*Editor's note- some of these recipes are healthy.  Some are NOT.  But, in an effort to stay seasonal and give some recommendations that will earn you a head seat at the Thanksgiving table, I had to throw in some butter laden recipes.  And you wonder why I'm having trouble losing weight.*

Acorn Squash Lasagna
Acorn Squash Lasagna- Oh Martha Stewart.  You get me.  You really do.  Not only do you love all things Halloween, but you make the best food.  I thought I'd die my house smelled so good last night.  Let me entice you... fresh squash, sage, parmesan, ricotta, noodles... need I say more? Martha says this is 4 servings, I'd beg to differ- I sliced mine in 9 pieces and that seemed to do the trick.  Also, use an 8x8 baking dish, she forgot about that part too.

Quick Cheesy Bread- I say quick, because you don't have to let it rise, or any of that 'bread' nonsense.  This bread will make you a hero though.  I'm serious.  I think it's best cut into small slices and served as an appetizer, probably with some vegetables so people don't have a heart attack immediately.  Or, serve it with tomato soup.  That sounds good too.

Cheesy Bread left, Beer Bread right
Beer Bread- I've made this a few times now- always to bring somewhere, and never to eat alone, because otherwise I might only fit into sweatpants.  This is super easy, but whatever you do, DO NOT use a hoppy beer.  It's gross, trust me.  Use something on the lighter side- I've used Bud Light and Pumpkin Ale successfully, and I think the Pumpkin Ale won.  Best breakfast ever- a thick slice of this topped with an egg over easy.  You'll probably think you've died and gone to heaven, but you haven't, so don't do anything stupid.

Baked Broccoli Mac and Cheese- This one is actually pretty good for you.  I love it when you can successfully sneak veggies into something notorious for it's unhealthiness.  It'd make a great side at Thanksgiving, and no one would suspect you've really cut calories in this dish.  I served this with chicken sausage baked in, and it made a great main course for dinner.  Plus days of leftovers.  Yum!  Also- how great of an idea is THIS!?  Individually portioned mac and cheese!? GENIUS!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Already!?!

I woke up to THIS.  Snow.  Now- I shouldn't be surprised, as I live in Cleveland and our weather likes to bounce back and forth between 80º and 23º on any given day of the year.  But if you'll recall yesterday's post- that was a picture I took... yesterday.  Just so you know how many leaves I have UNDER that snow.  Anywho, it's supposed to be 55º tomorrow, so leaf raking will commence.... WET leaf raking.  Super excited about that. 

On a more exciting note, I got my new Christmas Tree Stand in the mail yesterday, (from my sister!) and got pumped for the holidays.  Then it started snowing and I realized I'm not ready for another 5-17 months of winter. 

Happy 11/11/11!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Slow and Steady Wins The Race

Guess what I'll be doing this weekend?
For the first week since starting with LoseIt- I finally reached my weekly goal of a pound and a half.  Things seemed to really click this week- food decisions, will power, exercise, the whole thing.  I'm feeling good and focusing on smaller goals.  My current challenge- get to -12 lbs.  Last week I was at -8.2, and this week I'm proud to have lost another 1.6 lbs.

On Tuesday I forgot my gym shoes- so what did I do?  I went home and walked the dog and worked out there, instead of just tossing my workout day.  Go me!

TallBoy and I are planning a December trip to NYC- so I know I'll have some additional food/willpower related hurdles coming up soon.  I plan to maximize our walking on that trip to offset the additional calories I'll be taking on.  I'm also planning on watching Elf the week before to really get into the holiday mood.  I'm really excited for the holidays this year- this will be the first year TallBoy and I will spend EVERY holiday together, from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years.  I'll be posting some Thanksgiving recipes soon- keep an eye out!

What are your biggest holiday hurdles?  How do you plan on preparing and dealing with them?

And no- I have not come up with a non-food related reward for reaching my ultimate goal- I'm having trouble with that for some reason.  Suggestions?

This week: -1.6
Total: -9.8

Monday, November 7, 2011

Motivation Tips


Source
One of my biggest hurdles is going out to eat.  At home, I cook, eat healthy, don't keep junk food around, drink a lot of water, etc. etc. etc.  However, when I'm out to eat, some tiny brain elf I have stored up there always takes control of my brain and tummy when it's time to order.  Get the salad!  Is what I'm thinking when I walk in.  Then, out of nowhere, these fairytale visions of cheeseburgers and nachos and creme brulee fill my mind and all of the sudden I'm ordering all wrong.  A buffet?  Forget about it.  No, seriously, it's like I black out and wake up feeling crappy after a plate of fried mystery things.  Now- I believe in moderation, so I know that if I'm really craving a burger, I should have one at some point, otherwise I might fall off the wagon while driving past a McDonalds.  But is that craving REALLY there, or am I just not prepared?

I had dinner with some girlfriends last week at a Mexican restaurant.  Before I went, I realized and acknowledged that Mexican food is a downfall for me, but why should it be this time?  I had it last week, and it turned out as a blow to my progress, so why should I let it affect me again?  I did some research on the best things you can eat at Mexican restaurants, and the results came back -pretty much nothing.  There is VERY little on a Mexican restaurant menu that is good for you.  So, before I went, I ate a big salad at home.  Just lettuce, kale, tomatoes, carrots and mushrooms, and a touch of dressing.  I ate this huge bowl of veggies, and by the time I got to dinner and downed a glass of water, I wasn't really hungry.  Is that rude?  I decided I'd make this dinner about friends, and not about food.  When we ordered, I got a cup of black bean soup.  It was tasty and I didn't miss out on the conversation that I went there for, and I didn't blow my calorie budget.

If you're going out to a restaurant that you've been dying to try, or it's known for something special that you've made a special trip for, eat what you want.  But prepare before hand by getting in a good workout and eating sensibly for the day.  If you're going to see friends or celebrate something, make it about that- not about the food.  Don't view going out to eat as an obstacle, just make it about something other than the food.  Value your company instead of stuffing your face.  If they have bread/chips on the table, just put them out of reach.

What are your best tips for eating in moderation?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Big Changes Start With Little Things


Ah, Thursday.  Lets check in on how I did with my goals from last week's weigh in:
  1. Workout 3x- check!  I've been using the elliptical lately instead of doing my C25K program on the treadmill- my left knee started to hurt a few weeks ago, so I wanted to try something a little lower impact on my knees- I like it.  I can do it longer, and I think I tend to burn more calories.  My normal workout routine is 45 min- 1 hour on the elliptical (switching up programs), followed by about 30 minutes of stretching and strength training.
  2. End the week with a calorie deficit- almost.  I ended last week approximately 230 calories over my budget.  Which, I think, is pretty fantastic, although I see my LoseIt friends routinely ending their weeks thousands of calories UNDER their budgets- I'm not really sure how they do it.  Obviously they're exercising more than I am, and eating a lot less, but I think it would be difficult for me to eat a lot less than I currently am.  This week I'm going to go for this goal again.
  3. Exercise WILLPOWER at Halloween Party/ handing out candy- Check.  Sort of.  I worked out AND ate really healthy before the Halloween party on Saturday night, but also brought a loaf of cheesy bread that I nommed on a bit.  And drank a... few... beers.  Handing out candy I ate one Reese's PB cup, but was good otherwise.  Although I did have a glass of wine or two...
  4. Figure out a non-food related reward for getting to my goal weight-  I haven't figured this out yet.  I've tried new clothes in the past, but it didn't really seem to work.  Any suggestions?
The result?  -.8 from last Thursday.  Yes, that's the right direction, but I should also point out that I have my calorie limit set to lose 1.5 lbs a week, and that obviously hasn't been happening.  Weekends are definatly my downfall, and this weekend I am looking forward to- there are no parties, and I can control my intake and exercise much more.  Also, I need a weekend to just relax.  Although in all reality I'll probably be mowing the lawn/ raking leaves, which my yard desperatly needs.  But hey, exercise!

Instead of focusing on my total 20 lb goal right now, I'm focusing on getting to -12 lbs.  Smaller goals seem more manageable right now.  

This week: -.8
Total: -8.2

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Here I Go Again...

It's a duck/dino gourd. Autumn! Deal with it.
Weigh in time!  These last two weeks have been rollercoasteresque, and not in a "yay, rollercoaster!" way.  Every day, up and down, but staying in some high regions that I'd rather forget about.  I didn't even do a blog post about last week, because, embarassingly enough, I was even up .4 from the week before.  Yes, ladies and gents, that means as of last Thursday, I was a pound above where I started my LoseIt journey, and only down 6.2 lbs from January 1st.  Seeing as how I have two months left to get to my 20 lb goal, well... it's going to be a rough holiday season. 

So, last week, I gained .4.  This week, I lost 1.2, which puts me .8 lbs under where I was two weeks ago.  Only .2 lbs under where I started LoseIt.  I am not losing faith, but I am realizing that I need to step up my game.  I've decided that in addition to staying under my calories each day (it's Halloween weekend coming up!), I won't post any exercise calories until the end of the day, as to not use them as an excuse to eat more stuff.  I do plan on using a lot of my 'saved' calories this weekend, but I'm also going to try really hard to only go over my calories on Saturday, a night in which I'll be dressed in costume, and it'll be really hard to stay under.  Ugh.

On a happy note, I have been making some great recipes, and adding a lot more veggies to my meals.  I tried acorn squash last night for the first time, and it was delicious.  Never fear, blog post to come about that!

Goals for the week:
  1. Workout 3x
  2. End the week with a calorie deficit
  3. Exercise WILLPOWER at Halloween Party/ handing out candy
  4. Figure out a non-food related reward for getting to my goal weight
Good Luck, Me!

This week (and last): -.8
Total: -7.4

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Seed Almond Crusted Chicken

I have a boatload of roasted pumpkin seeds leftover.  I've been eating, sharing, all of the above, and still have a bunch left.  I probably should have made a few more varieties, but I didn't, so I'm 'suffering' the consequences.  I stumbled upon this recipe for Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Tilapia on SkinnyTaste, and it sounded like a great idea!  Why not use my leftover roasted seeds as breading!  Genius!

I've experimented with breading/encrusting chicken before, and while it's been good, I wouldn't say it's knocked my socks off.  This one though... lets just say I don't know where my socks are.

Pumpkin Seed Almond Encrusted Chicken
1-2 lbs chicken breast, sliced thinly
1/2 C roasted or raw pumpkin seeds (I used my Cinnamon/Salt variety)
1/2 C plain panko bread crumbs
1/4 C raw slivered almonds
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
whatever other spices you'd like!
1 egg, lightly beaten

In your food processor, process pumpkin seeds and slivered almonds until you have a chunky crumb consistency.  Pulse in panko, salt and other spices.  I didn't add much because my seeds were already spiced, albeit very lightly- you can be really creative here with your spices, kick it up with cayenne or add garlic salt, whatever your heart desires!

Put your breading mixture into one bowl, beaten egg in another.  Spray a shallow pan with non-stick spray (I use my Misto).  Dip a chicken breast in egg mixture, then dip in breading, make sure to coat both sides.  Place encrusted chicken breast on pan, repeat until you're finished, with the chicken space evenly in a single layer.

Bake at 400º for approximately 30 minutes, or until your chicken is done.  This will depend greatly on the thickness of your chicken breast.  I served this with wilted spinach and rice, but I'm eating it on a salad for lunch, and that's great as well!

Next time I make this, I do plan on soaking the chicken in buttermilk- it really tenderizes the chicken.  If you do soak in buttermilk, there's no need for the egg to get the breading to stick.

I think this breading would be good on tofu, veggies or fish as well!  It packs a great crunch!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

I love breakfast.  It's a well documented fact.  I'm like Ron Swanson, except, you know, a lady.  Anyways, I just wanted to a little post about how I switched my everyday breakfast up a little bit...  only by adding tomatoes and an egg yolk.  I'm getting farm fresh eggs now from my coworker, and the yolks are so perfect and pumpkin orange that I feel bad throwing them out.  Plus, they're delicious. 

Anyways, wake up a few minutes earlier, and make this for yourself.  It's delicious, nutritious and will seriously give you a leg up on the day. 

Open Faced Breakfast Sandwich
1 slice of toast (I prefer Ezekiel Sprouted Grain)
1 egg
1 thin slice of cheese (REAL CHEESE!  Not American!)
1/2 tomato, thinly sliced
Spices to your liking- I add Matt's Mix, freshly ground pepper and dried parsley flakes

Toast bread.  Make your egg however you see fit- I just microwave it in a cup.  Slice your tomato.  Top toasted bread with a layer of sliced tomato, followed with a slice of cheese.  Microwave until cheese is melted.  Top with cooked egg and seasonings.  Eat.  Enjoy your day.

"Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait, wait. I'm worried what you just heard was, 'Give me a lot of bacon and eggs.' What I said was, 'Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.' Do you understand?"  - My hero, Ron Swanson

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Time!

My weirdo pumpkin this year
It's that time of year again where apple cider runs rampant, the leaves are accumulating in the backyard, and all of the sudden you have three large pumpkins on your front stoop, just waiting to be carved.  Being a bit of a creative freak, not only do I LOVE carving pumpkins, but I like roasting the seeds as well.  I haven't figured out what to do with the stringy stuff besides the garbage, but it's gross and that seems like a good place for it.  Turns out I need to slow down on shoveling the seeds down my pie hole, cause my teeth are starting to hurt.  Two recipes below!

*HINT!* I found a salad spinner works pretty well for drying the seeds after your excess pumpkin has been washed away.  Whatever you do, do NOT open the spinner while it's still spinning... you'll end up with pumpkin seeds all over your kitchen.  Not that I know from experience or anything...

Roasted Cinnamon/Salt Pumpkin Seeds

1-2 Cups cleaned and dried pumpkin seeds
1 tsp Olive Oil or melted butter
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar

Preheat oven to 275º.  Toss the cleaned and dried pumpkin seeds with just enough olive oil or butter (ooooo butter WOULD be good on these) to evenly coat the seeds.  Sprinkle in your cinnamon/salt/sugar and toss again to coat.  Taste one and adjust your seasoning.  Pour these into a baking pan in one even layer, bake at 275º for about an hour.  Feel free to toss on a little more salt/cinnamon after they're done- I did, and it was worth it.

Matt's Slap Ya Mama Seeds
1-2 Cups cleaned and dried pumpkin seeds
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Matt's Mix (or salt, or another seasoning salt)
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp-1 tsp Slap Ya Mama (or any other cajun seasoning mix)

Preheat oven to 275º.  Toss the cleaned and dried pumpkin seeds with just enough olive oil to evenly coat the seeds.  Sprinkle in your Matt's Mix, pepper and Slap Ya Mama and toss again to coat.  Taste one and adjust your seasoning.  Pour these into a baking pan in one even layer, bake at 275º for about an hour.

I preferred the kick in the pants from the spicy seeds, but the sweet and salty ones were a nice change from most pumpkin seeds you try.  

And now a word from Buster- my favorite pumpkin I've ever carved!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Surprise

Yeah, the Smoke Monster is following me
Okay... I've been on the verge of tears for the last two days... I gained 2.4 lbs this week.  I literally have no idea how it happened- I've worked out 4 times since last Thursday, ate healthy, and I gained.  A lot.  It's been a complete mystery, and it's driving me insane.  I'm obsessed with the scale- it's affecting my attitude towards everything negatively lately.  I'm actually thinking about weighing myself only once a week, instead of every day, but it's so hard when the scale is staring me down every morning.  I have felt like complete crap the last two days because of this- I have to just get over it.  Get over it, get past it, move on, and stay on a healthy path.

I didn't even want to do a post about this today, because it would make it REAL.  I'm hoping I can get out from under this attitude black cloud, because it feels like a million pounds.

This week: +2.4 lbs
Total: -6.6

Monday, October 10, 2011

Recipe Round Up

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese
Cinnamon Honey Walnut Butter- Probably the best nut butter I've ever had.  Let me just say this, I'm never buying peanut butter from the store again.

Spiced Pumpkin Cream Cheese - A great appetizer or dessert- creamy, pumpkin pie goodness with a kick of spices.  I served these with graham crackers, spice cookies, sliced apples and pretzels for dipping.  Yum!

Cheddar Bay BiscuitsTallBoy has been begging me to make these for a LONG time now, so I made them Saturday night.  Apparently, they were spot on for the famous Red Lobster biscuits.  Basically, this recipe will save me from ever having to set foot in a Red Lobster again- once was enough. 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes- Okay, I don't have a link or a full recipe, since I made them up on the spot- but here's the gist: Cube sweet potatoes; boil about 30 min; drain; add sour cream or cream cheese, a touch of maple syrup and butter; mash with mashing device- I use a hand mixer.  I keep the skins on, but I guess that's your prerogative.  Do it!

Friday, October 7, 2011

TallBoy's Famous Chili

When we're cooking, TallBoy and I switch off.  I'll cook, he cleans, vice versa.  There are a few things he's claimed- steaks, burgers, Beer Can Chicken and chili.  He's awesome at all of these; so much so that I just let him tell me when it's time to eat.  When he's cooking other things, I tend to stand around, add stuff and generally be a pest- but when he's making chili, I just get out of the way.

I have argued for making our own chili seasoning, but he swears by the McCormick packet stuff- and I have to admit, this chili comes out pretty damn delicious, so I guess I'll concede on this one.


TallBoy's Famous Chili

Ingredients:
2 lbs lean ground turkey
Lawry's seasoning salt
1 green pepper
4 stalks celery
2-3 medium sized yellow onions
1 yellow hot hungarian pepper
8 oz fresh mushrooms
1-2 jalapeno peppers (he uses 2)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 envelopes McCormack HOT Chili Seasoning
2 15 oz cans HOT Chili Beans
2 Cans Dark Red Kidney Beans (drained)

1-2 12 oz cans of CHEAP beer (this is the ONLY thing we use cheap beer in)

** This chili is not for the faint of heart- it is SPICY.  If you want to cut down on the spice, use less hot peppers, or remove the seeds, even use mild seasoning/chili beans, but I recommend it HOT.**


Directions:
In a large pot, brown ground turkey with a couple of good shakes of Lawry's.  After it has browned, drain any extra grease. 

Dice all fresh ingredients: green pepper, onions, celery, hungarian pepper, jalapenos and mushrooms.  Add half can of beer and diced veggies to ground turkey, cook until soft (NOT mushy).  Again, drain off extra liquid and grease.

Add can of crushed tomatoes and McCormack seasoning packets.  Add remaining beer (he usually adds another complete can of beer for this step).  Add the remaining beans, and simmer for another 30 minutes, at least.  

This is sacrilege to TallBoy, but I like to serve this with a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheese.

This makes a whole boatload of chili- I'd say at least 8-12 servings.  


Also, make SURE you have a doggy helper.
In my opinion, this is usually the best the next day, when the chili ingredients have been hanging out and comingling for at least 24 hours.  It takes a big person to admit when they've been defeated, and TallBoy's Chili has indeed defeated mine.  The only thing we do NOT agree upon when it comes to chili is the carb that goes alongside- he's a saltine guy, and I am decidedly a cornbread girl.  Although- I did make a perfect beer bread recipe last week with pumpkin ale that we might be able to agree on goes well with chili...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some Perspective

My post today was kind of negative.  But I went on some LoseIt Message boards and came across this, in response to someone who also wasn't losing at the rate they wanted to- it made me feel much better today.  It feels like a good day to put things in perspective.
"Please put The Biggest Loser and women's magazine covers out of your mind; losing "thirty pounds in thirty days!!" is not only irrational for most people, but very unhealthy. You should not be trying to lose more than 1% of your body weight per week. You're doing it right.

Weight fluctuates because scales measure everything, much of which can change from day to day. A scale doesn't measure just fat -- it measures everything in you and on you, including but not limited to bone, muscle, organs, muscle glycogen, water, waste, hair on your head, toenails, etc. A normal, healthy person's weight WILL fluctuate from day to day, and sometimes it may seem like a wild ride. If you've had a lot of salt, you can retain water and "gain" pounds in a single day. Good news is: you'll lose that "weight" as soon as your hydration rights itself. You need to concentrate on trends over time, and not get too hung up on day to day. As long as things are more or less trending downward, you're doing just fine. Weight loss is not a smooth progression downward. Examined over a course of months, it will look like a more or less downward trend, but it will spike upward and downward on the way. As I like to say, the line looks more like a snake than a slope, and sometimes it even looks like a sidewinder. Totally. Normal.

You can reduce some fluctuation by weighing at the same time and in the same condition. Many people here weigh first thing in the morning, after their first trip to the bathroom, unclothed. It doesn't really matter when you do it, but try to keep things consistent. If weighing every day freaks you out, then don't do it. Only do that if you enjoy gathering data and can keep the ups and downs in perspective.

Don't be taken in by the people who think the measure of success is how fast you can lose weight. Fast weight loss is not good weight loss -- and fast weight loss is often followed by regaining the weight. If what you are doing is a TRUE lifestyle change, then small changes over time, resulting in small losses over time, will add up to big things in the long run. By the time you reach your goal weight, you'll be completely trained in how to live as a thinner person. If a magic unicorn waved his hoof in your direction and you were immediately 120 pounds, you would have no idea how to stay at that weight and Mr. Unicorn really didn't do you any favors (let's assume the unicorn added a magic tummy tuck in there too, but you get my point). Use this time to learn to live a healthier life.

As long as the weight is going down, don't worry about how fast it goes. Some weeks you'll seem to lose nothing, and then you may seem to drop a whole lot the next. Weight loss goes in fits and starts, not a smooth progression. Your body has a lot of adapting to do. Don't ask it to do too many things at once and you'll have a sustainable way to reach your goals.

And really, what you are trying to do here is lose fat, not weight. It's a subtle difference, but an important one. Water weight? Who cares ... doesn't really matter toward your health. Muscle? You definitely want to eat enough to support your muscles, because if you're undereating and lose muscle instead of fat, that's bad news for your metabolism. It might help to get a scale that measures body fat percentage as well, and track that along with weight. Also start keeping a log of measurements -- waist, hip, bust, upper arm, neck, thigh, wrist, etc -- because sometimes the scale doesn't move but measurements change."

-Barb F. from the LoseIt Message Boards

Baby Steps

I've already done a post with this title, I'm pretty sure.  Probably this picture too.  I'm down this week by .6 lbs, but I'm still feeling the same sentiments as I did when I weighed in last week.  Frustrated and confused, but not throwing in the towel.  I have a new pair of jeans that I'm dying to break in, but they don't quite fit yet.  I don't want to fill this blog with pessimism, but I'm frustrated as hell.  When will eating healthy + working out regularly = weight loss?  I'm not measuring myself (which I should probably be doing), but damn it, I want to see the numbers go DOWN!  Preferably by MORE than half a pound!

Ugh.

This week: -.6 lbs
Total: -9.0

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Week's a Bust

Blah.  I notice that when starting a new workout program, I tend to gain weight.  I'm still eating healthy, like before, but my exercise has increased by a lot.  And I gained 1.2 lbs this week.  Not cool, scale, not cool.  This is the reason I usually stop working out about 2-3 weeks in; I'm not seeing the numbers go down.  I've hit up a few message boards on LoseIt- and heard from other people that this happens to them as well when they're starting out on fitness- but to keep on doing it because it WILL help.  Eventually?

I don't want to make this journey JUST about weight- I take comfort in the fact that I'm still doing GOOD things for my body, but it's disheartening to put in a lot of work and see those numbers go up.  I will not let this discourage me from staying on my path, if anything, it'll make it easier to hit the gym this week, and maybe try out a new class or two.  BTW, the gym thing is going well.  I like it.  I don't love it, but I'm feeling good after, so that's something in the positive column!

In other good news- fall is officially here!  Huzzah!

This week: +1.2 lbs
Total: -8.4 lbs

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wash Your Lettuce!

Here is an interesting article on NPR today about proper vegetable and fruit washing techniques.  Apparently I've been doing this all wrong, but I've never gotten sick.  However, I will start to implement these technique; especially washing bananas and melons- I guess I thought that just because you don't eat the outer layer you were safe from bacteria.... I guess I overlooked that a little bit.  Here's to clean fruit!

I usually eat an apple or pear on the way home from the grocery because I'm usually starving... maybe I should wait until I get home. 

Pears are, however, the most comfortable fruit to hold in your hand.  Take notice next time you're eating one!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Recipe Round Up

Lemon Basil Grilled Corn Pasta- tastes as good as it looks
Lemon Basil Grilled Corn Pasta- Holy COW!  This was awesome.  Ashley calls it a 'summery pasta' and I totally agree.  It's easy, tastes great, makes wonderful leftovers.  I tossed in some shrimp and red pepper flakes and called it a day.  Also- the dressing you make for this would be tasty on a salad, or pretty much anything.  Photo by Ashley over at The Edible Perspective.

Tex Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole-  This won me points with TallBoy.  It's getting chillier out, and I thought it was casserole time, to which he responded, "ew, casserole?"- because to him, casserole= tuna casserole.  (Which, for the record, I think is delicious.) This however, is NOT tuna casserole.  It tastes like Mexican comfort food and makes a TON... AND 1/8 (believe me, 1/8 is enough) of a serving is only about 394 calories.  Oh, and obviously, he loved it. 

Crispy Potato Roast- I want to go to there.  I'd like to eat this every day, but it might defeat the whole purpose of actually eating healthy.  Although, when it's all said and done, serve this as a side dish and you won't be killing yourself.  It's not only one of the best things I've ever made, but it's also one of the easiest.  Take this as a side dish to a dinner party, and people will be IMPRESSED.

Coconut Butter!-  I've been wanting to make some nut butters for a while- I decided to start with what seemed like the easiest one- Coconut Butter.  There are a lot I want to try though, I'm thinking up next might be an almond or walnut butter.  Used sparingly, this is perfect over oatmeal, fruit, anything you can think of that would taste better with coconut!

Summer Squash Shells with Ricotta -This dish does two things very well- incorporates seasonal veggies and tastes like it should be bad for you.  Why have I never thought of adding zucchini and yellow squash to mac and cheese before?  Or using Ricotta, for God's sake?  So simple! So genius!  Makes a boatload of food, so weather you're serving this as a main dish or as a side, it'll feed you dinner and leave you leftovers for days.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Keep on Keepin' On

I've been waking up earlier.  It's next to impossible to get out of bed, but once I'm awake, I find my mornings are more productive than they've ever been.  I've started walking Buster in the morning when it's nice out... (I'm not the only one who's gained a few pounds- he's got a bit of a belly now!)  Buster really enjoys it for the first mile; is not too pleased about the additional time spent on the road.

What this is all leading to- is that I've been spending more time being active, and less time on the couch with a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate.  I mean, that still happens occasionally, just not as often.  This all equals me losing another pound this week!  Whee!  And I am feeling it- I could barely walk yesterday from all the squats I did on Monday.  This workout thing isn't exactly easy to get into- but I'd like to keep up being active for the long term, so that means starting now.

I've got the gym, morning walks, a new nutrition tracker, and I'm on my way (again).  Go me!

This week: -1.0 lbs
Total: -9.6 lbs

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend Warrior

Nerd Alert!  I went to see the band!
Generally, my thing is to lose during the week and gain on weekends.  That'd be a fine system if I was at the maintenance point, but I am not.  It's especially hard when I go out of town, my goals just go out the window.  However, this post is a little pat on the back for me, because I went out of town for the weekend, and tracked EVERYTHING.  I was able to enjoy myself, and stay on track.  Motivation is creeping back into my life, and I'm psyched about it.  I even watched football the whole weekend.  I even skipped out on wings.  Bring it on, autumn! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

All Aboard!

Me driving the wagon- I guess I grew a huge beard too...
I'm back on the wagon! Train! Whatever mode of transportation meets your fancy, I'm on it.  I had this realization this morning- unlike most things in life, you can always hop back on the weight loss wagon.  Literally, anytime you want.  I've been off it for a while now- I looked back into my Weight Watchers log, and the last time I weighed in was July 7.  At that point, I was down 13 lbs.  I've continued to weigh myself everyday since then, and I have found that the numbers have crept up about 6 lbs.  5.8 to be exact.  So over all, still down 7.2 since January, but not really where I wanted to be considering it's halfway through September.   

Not to be discouraged, last week I decided to take charge again.  I'm not just back on the wagon, I'm driving it.  I started logging my food again with LoseIt- they have a great website and a REALLY great iPhone app. (I actually like it better than the WW app, plus, it's FREE!!!!)  You enter your height/weight/age, and your weight goal, and they tell you how many calories you can eat a day.  Now, I'm not one to JUST calorie count; I know every calorie isn't equal.  I'm doing this with the mindset that I can use this to my advantage if I continue to eat whole, healthy foods, and not low calorie, nutrient-lacking junk.  Low-cal to be low-cal is dumb.

So, a week in- (my new weigh-in day is Thursday), I'm down 1.4 lbs!  I joined a gym, have been watching my food intake, and it's working for me again.  Back on the wagon, baby!

Week... I have no idea what week I'm on at this point: -1.4 lbs
Total: -8.6 lbs

photo via

Friday, September 9, 2011

An Impulsive, Rash Decision Made Over The Course of Several Months

I've been pretty absent on the blog lately- (Buster's posts have noticed a certain uptick though)- I was tired of not following through with my blog promises.  So I stopped blogging.  After months of "I'm going to weigh in this week!" I noticed that I was STILL paying 40 bucks a month for a WW pass that I wasn't using.  I decided last week that I was going to drop the monthly pass, with the plan to still have access to the online e-tools- but when I went to sign up for e-tools, they ended up being much more than expected.

Anyone who's ever done Weight Watchers will tell you two things in reaction to this- 1. it's a bad idea, and 2. I did that too, then went back.  So we'll see.

Now- I should be honest and tell you I've gained a bit this summer- around 5 lbs.  It's by no means everything I've lost this year, but it's a definite set back.  What I really want and need and lack, is motivation.  I'm about to officially join a gym- I joined it last month on a trial basis- and really enjoy it.  Check one in the plus column.  I'm slowly working up my running with the Couch to 5k app- also really enjoying it.  Check another one in the plus column.  However, I've almost completely stopped tracking my food.  I'm still eating well and cooking a lot, but I'm sure that my food intake has increased, because the scale is creeping up a bit.  My new plan- I'm using a free (FREE!) food tracking website- Lose It- to track my food intake.  It's pretty cool so far, but I know nothing works if I don't put in the effort.  Weight doesn't come off just because you spend money on a Weight Watchers monthly pass or a gym membership.  You have to utilize these outlets. 

I'll be blogging more on my progress, but I needed a little kick start, so hopefully this is it.  I'm ready to get off this plateau and ready to see the scale go down again, NOT up.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

App Review- C25K

As I mentioned before, I joined a gym.  I haven't been regularly excercising in a while, so I decided that I should start off slow and work my way up to more daunting tasks.  I've attempted the Couch to 5K program before, but never with much success- my will power to run a 5k is usually defeated by the Couch.  Long story short, there's an app for that now.  I was looking back into the Couch to 5K program again to get a schedule of runs, when low and behold, they have an app that TELLS you when to run and when to walk.  I know it seems simple, but 4 bucks is worth not having to do math at the treadmill. 

It plays your music in the background; tells you when to run and when to walk; tells you when you're halfway done; if you're running outside- you can get the GPS function for an extra buck and it'll track your distance and speed; and has a handy journal to track your progress.  It's like a personal trainer inside your phone.  I'm currently in week 2 of the 10 week program, and it is going very well. 

From my understanding- there are a few Couch to 5K apps out there; and while I'm sure they all work about the same, this is the one I'm using.  I spent $3.99 overall for the app with the GPS functionality, and it was totally worth it.  It's making me feel like running is something I can actually do, instead of wanting to die every time I think about working out.  So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weird Food Find

Purple Peppers- who knew?
Heinen's has a really great selection of locally grown produce right now- I've been taking advantage of it all summer.  Yesterday, I picked up these weird little peppers called 'Purple Peppers'- about half the size of 'normal' green/red peppers, with this strange deep purple, butter yellow color to them.  How'd they taste?  I'll stick with my red and yellow peppers, thankyouverymuch.  They had a little bite to them, but overall lacked taste.  They were like watered down green peppers.  But I grilled them up anyways, and added them to a chicken parm sandwich.  Salted, peppered and grilled, they were okay.  Long story short, I love trying new, weird looking stuff from the grocery, even if it doesn't taste great.