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

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


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

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