Monday, November 19, 2012

Turkey Day Approacheth...

What happens AFTER the meal
That's a word, right?  Approacheth?  According to spell check it is not, but I'm using it anyways.  Deal with it.  So, Thanksgiving somehow is already here- it seems like July was yesterday, but maybe the power outage we had is just messing with my head.  Whatever.  I've been eating well/doing well lately, so I am planning to make this delicious holiday about more than just food- because I will have SO much family around, so hopefully I can have ONE delicious, crazy big meal, nap it off, and then go back to normal, healthy eating.

As for what I'm bringing- I'm making this Roasted Butternut Baked Penne mac and cheese- it sounds SO SO good.  I'll make a small trial batch tonight just to make sure it doesn't taste weird, but with the ingredient list I think that might be impossible.  I also had about 5 butternut squashes laying around (a coworker grows them) so I spent a few hours roasting and pureeing squash. 

I've made it my mission to make mac and cheese a staple at holiday meals- I don't really understand why it wasn't before- it has all the warmth and comfort a holiday meal needs.  I'm hoping that sneaking in a heaping portion of veggies (disguised as creamy and rich!) will go over well- but I think the butternut will be a great addition.  Don't worry, I'll let you know.

Weigh in this week went.. ok.. I technically lost weight, but not much.  Only .2 lbs.  I know it's better than gaining, I just thought that my week had gone better, so it was a little disappointing.  I'm still glad I went and weighed in though.  I'm thinking of switching what night I go to meetings- my leader isn't really inspiring me much- and the lady I used to like a lot unfortunately isn't a leader anymore.  There are even two new locations near me- I haven't tried either, so maybe I'll shop around a little bit and see if I can find a leader who puts a little more spark into the meetings.

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving- this is by far my favorite holiday- you get to see and spend time with your friends and family, and eat REALLY GOOD FOOD.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Last week: -.2 lbs
Total: -5.4 lbs

Friday, November 9, 2012

I'm A Loser, Baby the scale!  Two weeks in a row actually LOSING weight feels really, really good.

We got power back on Saturday afternoon, after 5 days without- power at work was not fully restored until this past Monday, which makes a full week without.  Again- nothing compared to what a lot of other people are going through, but it felt amazing to be back at home, cooking and cleaning my own stuff.  It was awesome.  Cleaning out the fridge was not, however.  My freezer was full of frozen veggies and made at home prepared meals that I had to toss, but that can be built up again.  That being said, my fridge is really clean now, and full of food that will all get eaten before it has to be tossed.

This week at the WW meeting, we talked about Power Foods- which are basically fruits/veggies/high fiber/ low fat foods that are healthy and will keep you full longer.  I even got to share with the group what the difference between farmed/ wild salmon was, as well as pastured chickens/beef/turkeys, etc.  I found it a little mind boggling that people who are teaching others to eat healthier and treat their bodies better don't even know about how eating animals that are treated better and fed better food will be healthier for US to eat.  It seems like an obvious concept to me, but it was great to be able to share the information with others.  If animals that are fed food they are not supposed to eat, and makes them sick, why would we think those animals are healthy for us to ingest?   Hopefully little steps like this will help more people start to eat better quality food.  Baby steps, am I right?

Also, I went to the dentist today, and got a clean bill of health!  There's nothing better than hearing you're doing a really good job with your dental hygiene.  I used to loathe going to the dentist, but now that I've been brushing with this electric toothbrush- going to the dentist is a very pleasant experience.  $100 seems expensive for a toothbrush, but it's less than getting one cavity filled, so it seems worth it to me.  Plus, there is a big link between the quality of your dental health and your overall health- especially heart health.  So brush up, people!

Anyways, I lost again this week!  I feel like I've been exercising some will-power lately, and it feels good.

This week: -1.6 lbs
Total:  -5.2 lbs

Friday, November 2, 2012

Oh, The Humanity

I'd like to start this post off by saying it could be SO MUCH WORSE.  My heart goes out to everyone that's been affected by Frankenstorm, I mean, people died.  People lost their houses.  My troubles are nowhere near that.  I'm just out of power, and it sucks.  I'm not facing any sort of devastation, just annoyance.  Since Monday night, we've been out of power.  Not just at home, but my parents house, and work.  Which means, I've been freezing since Monday.  Thankfully, my parents have a generator, and we've been staying there, but all I want to do is sleep in my own bed, which I can't do, since it's roughly 40º.  The power company won't give an estimate of the time the power will be back on- all they'll say is that "they should have everything up and running by Sunday night."  That's almost a WEEK.

Ugh.  That's my rant.

In better news, I lost1.4 lbs this week.  In worse news, I gained 2 lbs the week before.  However, I feel like I'm getting back on track a little- after gaining what seems like a million pounds since TallBoy and I got engaged, I feel like I'm getting in control of my eating.  I still haven't been getting much activity in, but I know I've cut down on consumption. 

So, here's my numbers for the week:

This Week: -1.4 lbs
Total: -3.6 lbs

Yup, I really am starting over.

Friday, October 5, 2012

And The Good News Is...

There is no good news!  I gained again this week- took last week off to go out of town for a wedding, and was at another wedding the week before.  All this celebrating, time in the car, booze, etc., has really got me up on the scale.  It was almost embarrassing at WW this week- there was another Heather who apparently lost 1.2 lbs this week, and the leader announced that and congratulated me... and I had to correct her in front of everyone, that I indeed did NOT lose any weight this week, in fact, I gained 2.2 lbs.  I didn't even log my food, really, for the past week and a half.  Guess what?  It shows.

Day to day, I've been in a pretty good place- happy, excited, lots of stuff going on.  That's great.  It is, however, disappointing to weigh in, and find that you've gained, yet again.  We aren't going out of town this weekend, so I'm going to start with a small goal- just keep track of everything I eat this weekend.  Every.  Last.  Bite.  That's it.  Hopefully that will start to curb my bad habits and start forming some new, good ones. 

I can't say this came as a shock or surprise- I knew re-joining WW in the beginning of September this year would be hard- inundated with weddings, wedding planning, and soon!  a trip to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival- none of which lend themselves to healthy eating- but hopefully the damage is a little more controlled than it would've been had I just been flying solo.

Here's to a good weekend, and keeping myself in check.

This week: +2.2 lbs
Total: -4.4 lbs

Friday, September 21, 2012

First Week Back

I gained .4 lbs this week.  I was really good about what I ate mid week last week, but then I went to a birthday party, a baby shower and a wedding shower over the weekend.  I ate poorly at those events, and let them ruin my progress the rest of the week. Those are my problem areas- weekends and parties.  I know I'll have a glass of wine, and then I'll reach for another cupcake or chip.  When I'm at a party, I stand next to the food, so I should not do that.  It's like I forgot how to eat and have never seen cookies before.  This weekend we're going to another wedding (three this month!), but I have a plan.  We have to drive there and back, so I'm going to DD.  If I skip the wine, then I probably won't have a second helping of food or dessert.  And even if I do, I'm not drinking all of my extra points.  So here's to a night of soda and lime!  Plus I know TallBoy will enjoy getting to knock a few back with his college buddies.  So win-win?

Here's to a more productive week, and not being so hard on myself.  If I blow my points in one day, I don't have to spend the rest of the week in a downward spiral.  Here's to positivity!

This week: +.4 lbs
Total: -6.6 lbs

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Love Thyself

I'm a big fan of Sally's Blog- Already Pretty.  I'd highly recommend her latest entry, titled "Shame and Motivation"- it's a big reminder why I want to lose weight in the first place.  I've been shaming myself TOO much lately, and it's not working, it's not right.  Making myself feel worse about how I look right now won't make me want to lose more weight or look better, it usually spirals into some sort of self loathing fest that involves a lot of wine and cookies.   She says:

Body shame is easy. Body love is hard. Body shame is fast. Body love is slow. It can be so tempting to just succumb to shame and let it steer our actions and blunt our emotions. But if you want to exert control over the arc of your life, and if you want to undertake positive physical change, I urge you to approach that change from a place of love. Think about the concept of stewardship: The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.
It's like I forgot that it was okay to like myself even when I'm not at or near my goal weight.  Even though I have a lot of good in my life right now, I still find myself just ANGRY at the state of my body right now.  I need to love myself and need to move forward with weight loss because I want to be healthy, NOT just because I want those other jeans to fit.  Anger and self hatred only work as motivation for a very short amount of time.  Love is where it's at.  I should've been really listening to Nada Surf this whole time- "Always love- hate will get you every time."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back to Basics

I think we're going to need some work on our cake cutting skills...
Well, well, well.  Guess who's got two thumbs, still has weight to lose and is going back to Weight Watchers?  This gal.  Doing this on my own, even with the forum community at LoseIt, just isn't working anymore.  I haven't been holding myself accountable, so I'm going back to the group approach, Weight Watchers.  Off the top of my head, I think this is the fourth time I've been a Weight Watchers member?  I've reached goal weight once before, and then yo-yo'd until I was at my starting weight again.  This time I'm not at my starting weight, but I've seen an upward trend lately, and need to be proactive.  I mean, I do have a wedding coming up in about a year.  Like I said before, I'm not trying to be a skinny bride who looks nothing like myself, but I do want to look fit in pictures.  I also don't want to gain a bunch of weight after the wedding.  I am a little nervous that having a specific date in mind to look 'good' by is a little daunting, because knowing myself I might let loose a little after the wedding... I hope it helps.  By the way, that date is September 7, 2013!  We've booked a reception hall and cannot wait.  Our wedding is going to be very US, with lots of family and friends, good beer, good food, and hopefully, Buster will be part of the ceremony. 

So, you'll be hearing a lot of PointsPlus talk on here... get used to it.

Don't get me wrong- I do LOVE LoseIt- I think it's an awesome tool that can be very very useful, but for right now, I really need the community setting and support that comes with Weight Watchers meetings.  My first meeting back is tonight.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Recipe Round Up- Summer Edition

Been awhile since I did one of these- but it's summer and the grill is going strong!  These are a few recipes I've tried out recently and loved:

Smokey Spice Rubbed Salmon with Black Beans and Corn-  This was a winner, all the way.  I was afraid that the rub would be overpowering, but it was perfect.  Very complex flavoring, paired very well with the corn and beans.  I actually saved some of the rub and cooked it with the vegetables.  TallBoy said it would also pair well with rice (he's always craving simple carbs) but I thought it was perfect as is.  But if you have a hungry fiance it might be worth it to just make the rice already.

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats- Yummy.  Satisfying, low carb, tons of veggies.  My only real complaint was that these took me like, an hour and a half from start to finish. And only 35 of those minutes were baking... so it's kind of labor intensive.  However, it does make a lot, and the leftovers make delicious lunches.   I used ground chicken instead of shredded, but you could use ground turkey, beef, or even just beans.  I also used my own taco mix instead of the spice mixture she uses on the meat.  If you don't mind a little extra prep work, this is a good recipe- hearty yet summery!

French Toast- OK- not diet friendly or really truly summery or anything... but this is a GOOD recipe.  Simple, easy, delicious results.  If you want to make a really GOOD breakfast for dinner- make this version.  The orange juice and peel really add a little kick to these while not being overly ORANGE.  Top with maple syrup, and pair with bacon and mimosas.  You're welcome.

I wish I had more summer recipes to post, but we have hardly been home this summer to cook!  When we have, it's been a lot of grilling out, burger, chicken, etc. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Scientific Weight Loss Tips

A great new video from ASAP Science- a wonderfully simple explanation on how our bodies handle food.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

No Donut, Heather

Usually when I pick up my FitBit in the morning, it displays some sort of inspirational message, such as 'You Rock, Heather' or 'Hug Me, Heather' or 'Burn It, Heather' etc.  I'm not sure if synching it with my Lose It profile (a complete log of my food intake) has made it self aware, but this morning my FitBit said, 'No Donut, Heather.'  Woah.  Advice I better heed today.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Let's Start Again

How many times have I said this?  How many times have YOU said this?  I know it's been a lot, but I think it's fair to give yourself a do-over and not continusly punish yourself for not being at your goal yet.  And sometimes you just have to let go of your rollercoaster of a past year and just say, screw it.  I'm starting again on this whole thing, and this is my new starting point.  So as of today- August 9, 2012- I'm saying-

SCREW IT.  I'm starting over.  I have a HUGE year coming up, and I'm going to eat healthy.  I'm going to get in shape for the wedding but not stress about weighing 120 lbs for it, because, that's not who I am.  I've never been tiny and I never will be, and I don't want pictures on my wedding day that don't even look like me.  I just want to look like me, only with a happy wedding glow.  I've totally already stressed about several wedding things and I'm hoping once we nail down a venue (then a date!!)  I can relax a little.

So here we go, lets let stress roll off our backs like ducks in water.  Just go with it and it'll be fabulous.  Planning starts in 3...2...1... GO!

Monday, July 23, 2012

I'm in Love, I'm in Love, and I Don't Care Who Knows It!!!!

Aw, how sweet!  TallBoy must think I have skinny fingers!  In GREAT news, he proposed to me on Friday, July 13th.  Way to make Friday the 13th awesome!!!!!  If you're wondering if he used Buster in the proposal- he did, and it was fantastic.  Then we went on vacation and we totally forgot about the splitting meals to save money/calories thing, and I gained about 5 lbs.  But the wedding diet started yesterday, and it does feel really good to be eating vegetables again- something I haven't touched in a little over a week.  Unless french fries and potato chips count as potatoes... but I'm pretty sure they don't. 

This blog post can't really convey how utterly excited and overjoyed I am- he's just the best.  I don't really think there are enough lines for me to go !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as much as I need to.  I don't think I've ever been this excited, and if you know me, you know that's a TALL order.  WOoHoo!!!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Links

I've just got one link for ya today- it's an interview with my TallBoy about his decision to leave the office scene behind for a hands on job in the craft beer world.  It's been over a year since he's been at it, and I've never been more proud of him. 

From Corporate Blah to Brewing Beer:  The Man Who Said No To Being a Yes Man

Thursday, June 28, 2012

EDIT: Here's to Good News!

Doing pushups with my niece!
Finally, a losing week!  It felt really good to see a lower number on the scale this morning- especially after a weekend of debauchery down at OU- doing even a partial shuffle during Ohio Brew Week is rough.  Even splitting beers and not going to anywhere close to all the bars... It's rough.  That being said, we walked a lot.  And it was about 90º the whole time, so I got in a pretty good workout, even though my calorie intake was through the roof.  We had a really good time though, and all that splitting made TallBoy and I realize that during vacation- we're planning on splitting most of our meals!  What a great idea- save money and calories- no one needs to eat a full sized restaurant meal anyways.  Portion control at it's finest.  Plus we'll be walking a TON in DC, (not to mention it'll be about 1000º and 98% humidity) so hopefully I won't have a drastic gain over vacation.  But that's next month.  Lets talk about how I did this week:

This week: -.2 lbs (my -2.2 was way off)
This year: -2.6 lbs
Total: -12.2 lbs

Not quite where I wanted to be this year, but I'm okay with it.

On a totally unrelated note- it's my niece's birthday today!  She's two years old, and loves doggies and her Aunt Heather.  Yay birthdays!

Editor's Note, June 29, 2012- I weighed in on Thursday, June 28th, and was totally surprised by the number on the scale.  I know that sometimes and extra two pounds in either direction happens, and I usually know to treat it as an outlier and don't record it... especially in a blog post.  But I caved.  I was so excited.  Then, I weighed myself this morning, and while I was still a smidge below last week, it was no 2.2 lbs.  So, in an effort to keep myself honest, here's what really happened.  I lost .2 lbs.  It's something.   A little something, but it's fine.  It's not up, so I'm happy with that.  Here's to a successful weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

This Month Is A Problem.

There's no easy way to say it.  And I certainly did NOT want to blog about this.  But I feel like I have to, I need to be accountable or it will just continue.  Weigh-in's have gone from bad to worse.  I didn't blog last week due to my gain, and I wasn't going to again this week... but I have to.  I've gained another 1.8 lbs in the past two weeks.  That means in the past month, I've gained back 4 lbs.  It's incredibly depressing, frustrating, and totally my fault.  I've been exercising less and eating more.  It's exactly the right way to gain weight.  I've said this many times before, and I'll say it again, but I have so much trouble keeping myself on the right track in the summer.  It's so frustrating, because I KNOW this.  I've known it for years, and yet every summer I gain weight.  It happened last summer, the year before, and probably every other year of my life.  I can't seem to break the summer cycle.  So many events and trips planned- even when I plan on eating healthy, it seems to go out the window.  We're out of town every other weekend, which means just one more class I can't go to on Saturday morning.

I even purchased weights/weight bench, etc, and I haven't really even used it yet.  I need to get back on the wagon, and soon.

This week: +1.8 lbs
This year: -2.4 lbs
Total: -12.0 lbs

Friday, June 8, 2012


Buster's all "Mom, put down that donut!"
See how I've been doing my weigh-in's on Fridays lately?  It's because I'm trying desperately to not log my Thursday weights, because they've been too high.  I gained again this week and I know exactly why- my gym time has dropped lately and my food intake has gone up.  It's not really a surprise that I've logged gains the past two weeks, but it is disappointing.  Weekends tend to be really tough for me, especially during the summer.  I wish I could condition my brain into thinking that margaritas and guacamole DON'T taste awesome when you eat them on a patio.

I'll be hitting my Saturday groove class for the first time in like a month tomorrow- summer is so hard to squeeze in weekend workouts.  I'm pretty sure TallBoy and I have almost every weekend planned through the end of September.  I just gotta be better during the week- I've really been slacking in that department.  I did take a TRX class yesterday for the first time- HOLY COW it was so hard.  I'd love to continue taking those classes... but they're an extra $15 each, which is like half of my monthly gym membership alone.  I might try to start taking more weight classes soon.

I know all the tips/tricks to get through parties, etc- I'm just not actually applying them.  Here's hoping I can will power my way through this weekend.

This week: +.4 lbs
This year: -4.2 lbs
Total: -13.8 lbs

Friday, June 1, 2012

Zero Sum

That black plastic on my jeans?  My new FitBit!
Ugh, weigh-in.  I gained back what I lost last week, hence the title of this post.  However, I did receive a few new gadgets yesterday that should help me to work on my goals, and get me closer to it.  I've only been wearing my FitBit for less than a day now, but I'm really excited about it.  I slept with it on last night, and it told me this morning that I slept with 96% efficiency.  Whatever that means.  I didn't need a tiny gadget to tell me I'm good at sleeping- I already knew I was awesome at it.  Nice to have data to back that up I guess?  I haven't gotten a chance to break-in my HRM yet for anything other than fancy watch purposes, but I plan on using it this weekend.  Wahoo! 

This week: +1.2 lbs
This year: -4.6 lbs
Total: -14.2 lbs

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Diving In Headfirst

I've gone on a shopping spree.  The best kind, in that most of it was paid for by someone else.  When I graduated from the COSE Wellness Tracks Program, they told us that we could apply for a $300 Wellness Grant- i.e. $300 to use on health and wellness items that COSE would pay for.  I'm not one to pass up free money, so I've spent the last week deciding what to spend my bucks on.  I got my grant approved yesterday, and immediately got to work on my list.  I plan on reviewing these items individually, as well as posting pictures of the mini-basement gym that I'm working on, but those are all future posts. 

What I've purchased lately- (not all of these were with grant money):
BOSU Balance Ball
Free Weights
Weight Bench
Fit Bit Activity Tracker
Polar Heart Rate Monitor

These items will all either help me get in shape, or help me to figure out the most efficient way to get in shape.  I've read a lot on the LoseIt forums that FitBits and HRM's provide so much valuable information on how your body handles workouts and burns calories.  I've also read that to maximize this information, they're best utilized together.  So I bought both.  I can't wait to try them out, I will definitely be posting about the results I see from these products!  I feel like the more information you can derive about how your body handles and burns calories, the better equipped you are to not only lose weight, but gain muscle and maintain a healthy weight. 

I've found that I really like weight lifting, but I much prefer to do it at home, where no one can see that I look like an idiot.  At this point, I mainly use the gym for classes and not much else- I'm fine with that though.  I feel like I'm still getting my money's worth since I go several times a week.

Weigh in tomorrow- full disclosure, I ate a lot.  Didn't exercise a lot.  That being said, I'm glad my 'high' weights are lower than they used to be after a weekend of bingy eating and drinking.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Coming up Roses

Maggye and I- Halloween 2003
I had a yearly doc checkup this morning.  Everything is fine with me, don't worry- but I realized that despite recent events, I've had an amazing year since the last time I saw my doctor.  I may not be where I want weight-wise yet, but I have so many things to be thankful for.  On top of all that- a good friend of mine who I've only gotten to see a few times since college is coming to visit this weekend!  I'm so excited I get to show her and her husband around my beloved Cleveland.  We have a trip to the West Side Market planned, tours around Tremont and Ohio City, a visit to my parents house for a bonfire, and a tour of TallBoy's brewery.  Buster will get to play with their dog, Walter- who is roughly horse sized.  Buster loves horse-sized dogs.  That and probably a lot of crying from laughing so hard.  That happens when we get together.  We'll probably talk about our Japanimation Halloween costumes from 2003.  We tend to be ridiculous together.

For weigh in- I had a really good week.  I dropped a little more weight, and have been motivated to get to the gym.  I plan on buying a heart rate monitor soon, so I can more accurately gauge my calorie burn from workouts.  All in all- things are getting better.  I hope everyone has an amazing Memorial Day weekend!

This week: -1.2 lbs
This year: -5.8 lbs
Total: -15.4 lbs

Thursday, May 17, 2012

On The Way To Normal

Three days.  The worst.  Pretty satisfying once it was out though...
In an effort to get back into everyday life, I've been coping in a way that really surprised me... gardening?  Yes, folks, black thumb over here has been spending a lot of time in the yard, making it look nice for once.  Weeds be gone!  That plant I don't like?  Sure, I'll spend THREE DAYS digging it up.  Like I said, I'm surprising myself.  Two Saturdays ago, TallBoy and I spent seven hours weeding, edging and mulching the front gardens.  Last night, I spent two hours in one of the back gardens weeding.  I think I'm only a quarter through that one garden.  I've really let the yard go these past few years while focusing on the interior of the house.

Regardless of what may seem like a manic gardening mode, at least it's a productive, healthy way to cope.  Not only am I making my yard healthier and look better, it's also good exercise.  We've gone back to eating fresh grilled food, and my body is THANKING me for it.  I didn't think I'd lose this week, (I have been up by a few pounds on the scale), and I've maintained from the last time I weighed in.  I haven't been tracking the last few weeks, and have been eating like a pig.  I think I expected to have gained ALL the weight back, and am pleased with getting back to what, for me, is a normal weight.  I think all this outdoor time has done me some good.

This week: No Change
This year: -4.6 lbs
Total: -14.2 lbs

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Past Few Weeks

Hey blog- long time no see.  The past few weeks have been an unfortunate series of events, starting with my grandfather falling ill, and ending, with his death on May 6th.  These past two weeks have been filled with a lot of tears, a lot of sadness, but also joy in celebrating his life.  He was the kind of guy that got knocked down repeatedly and got back up, time and time again.  He lived life until the very end- just six weeks ago he was in California, visiting his army buddy.  He drove out to the Grand Canyon and took a helicopter to the bottom. At 85!!  He traveled, he loved his family, he was a tough old bird.  It was his time, and he knew it.

With all of this happening, The Cleveland Dilemma has been the last thing on my mind.  I've treated my body pretty poorly the last few weeks, and I'm paying for it.  Starting today, I'll be reintroducing my body to vegetables and exercise and trying to stay away from the pizza and wine for a little bit.

My grandpa always said that Life Goes On.  So it will, for us, without him.  Grandpa- you will be missed. 

And now, back to our regularly scheduled (sort-of) posts.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eating Your Feelings

Woof.  The last two weeks have been rough to say the least.  To fill you in on what's going on- my grandfather had a kidney removed on Tuesday to try and squash some cancer he had growing on it- bad news is, they weren't able to get all of the cancer.  SO.  I've been back and forth to the hospital, no time to cook, no time to blog.  Life has equaled work/hospital/family stuff, and that's about it.  Emotionally, it's been really hard for me and my family- dealing with everything that comes with bad news.  Not only is he close to me as a relative, but he's also the founder of the company I work for.  My sister and I are his only grandchildren.  This news has been devastating.

I've spent a few evenings at home on the couch with TallBoy, a pint of Ben and Jerry's, Buster, and a bottle of wine.  Coping.  It's hard to see anyone you love be in pain and not be able to do anything about it.  So I've been skipping the gym, and eating a lot.  I know it's bad for me, it makes me feel worse and not better- and somehow I can't stop.  I'm going to squeeze in a class at the gym tonight- I think it'll help me take my mind off of things for an hour, so I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm up a little again this week, but I'm going to try coping with some new workouts if I can fit them in, and not with food.  Although I can guarantee I'll have at least one scoop of ice cream this weekend.

This week: +.4 lbs
This year: -4.6 lbs
Total: -14.2 lbs

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Little Step Back

I just wanted some cuteness in this post!
I gained a pound this week.  Not too bad in the scheme of things: it was over a holiday, and there has been some stress lately.  I'll lose it again, plus more- I'm sure of it.  Like I said- I'm trying to be positive in the face of bad news- not just about weight.  There's so much more to my life than this number on the scale- and sometimes life really puts that into perspective for me. 

It's a really short post today- I've got other things to do than blog! 

This Week: +1.0 lb
This Year: -5.0 lbs
Total: -14.6 lbs

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's Going To My Head!

I'll be honest, hearing "whatever you're doing, it's WORKING"- is awesome.  It feels so good to hear because I've been working really hard.  I've even noticed certain things that used to take a lot of talking myself into (like ordering healthy food at a restaurant, or working out when I get home) are much easier to do.  However, I can feel myself slipping sometimes. 

The other times I've lost weight I usually get to this point (right about where I am right now) that I get really proud of how I look and feel, and get reaaaaaaaal comfortable.  Comfortable- not always a good thing.  Usually I don't really realize it; get back on the eat and drink whatever I want train and gain the weight back. 

This past weekend, I attended a fish fry, a birthday dinner, and Easter dinner.  I ate with reckless abandon.  Today it showed on the scale.  So what am I going to do?  Kick up the veggies.  Eat less, exercise more.  That's what works, and that's what I'm going to do.  I'm committed this time to keeping it off, not losing and gaining over and over again.

This blog post is more for me than you, dear reader- but I just needed to get it out there- this blog helps me keep accountable!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I've Lost a Buster!

15.6 lbs of pure joy
First things first: I didn't lose Buster.  He's fine and dandy, probably sleeping a sunbeam at home right now.  Or looking out the window.  Or doing other dog things.  In other words, safe and sound.

What I mean, is that my total weight loss is currently equal to what Buster weighs.  And that's awesome, because he is one fat puppy.

We had our Wellness Tracks graduation last night, and I was honored with special recognition for doing really well in the program.  Needless to say, I'm really proud of myself.  Plus, I got a $25 gift card to Heinen's, my favorite grocery store.  The class as a whole did amazingly though: Overall we lost something like 300 lbs, and 132 inches.  A few people said that they have been taken off of cholesterol and blood pressure medication- one lady has even lost 70 lbs over the past year, and has gone through the class twice.  I think everyone left last night feeling inspired and ready to stay on track with being healthy.  I know I am.

One thing I know I need to work on: positivity.  TallBoy told me last night that I need to be as happy about a loss as I am sad about a gain- that sounds weird, but I know that when I'm down about a loss, I treat it like a much bigger deal then when I have a really good week and lose.  So today, I'm celebrating a loss!  Not only did I take off what I gained last week, but I'm down even more than that. 

Cheers to the weekend!  Happy Easter!

This Week: -2.4 lbs
This Year: -6 lbs
Total: -15.6 lbs

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Checking In On New Year's Resolutions

My tubby puppy
The first blog post I did this year was about my goals for the year.  Then the other day I realized I should probably check on those more than just once a year.  So I figured we're about a quarter of the way through, let's have a progress report.  Here are my goals and how I'm doing so far:

  • Keep tracking food, as much as possible.
    • Check!  I've been relentlessly tracking my food on LoseIt.  It's probably the most useful weight loss tool I've used, and that includes Weight Watchers.  Not only that, but I've been really mindful about what kind of carbohydrates I'm eating and using the app to keep my proteins/carbs/fats in check.
  • Keep going to the gym- learn more about strength training.
    • Check!  I've gotten into some classes that I really enjoy- and my Wellness Tracks program has taught me how to use weights.  It's a winning combination.  Next up would be to try some power/weight classes.
  • Keep working on the blog.
    • Um, check?  Actually I haven't been doing as many posts as I'd like, but I'm working on it!
  • Lose another 10 lbs and keep it off! 
    • On my way!
  • Start and keep track of a budget- put money in SAVINGS!
    • Check and check!  This is something I'm REALLY proud of this year.  I'm actively saving and really mindful when I'm shopping.
  • Cut down on drinking.
    • Check and check.  My tolerance is about non existent now... but it's nice because my willpower is so much better.  I can enjoy one glass of wine instead of polishing off half the bottle.
  • Floss everyday!
    • Um... not really.  I know, gross.  But I did get an electric toothbrush and I know my dental health has improved.  But this is something I really need to work on.
  • Keep the house neater.
    • Again- BOOM! CHECK!  Spring cleaning has commenced.  The house is looking good, and staying neat.  It took a few months to get this down, but so far, so good.
  • Give Buster less table scraps
    • Um.......................  He's looking a little fat.  I keep telling everyone it's just his 'winter coat' but he's got a bit of a tummy.  We have started only letting him lick one plate after dinner instead of both, and I've been walking him around the block now that the weather is nice.  This is another one I have to work on a little more.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

In unrelated news, Buster's still cute.
Did I just quote that Paula Abdul song?  The one with Skat Kat in the video?  I sure did.  I know I literally JUST did a post about how this whole thing isn't just about weight loss; but I gained this week, and I was really disappointed this morning.  I have exercised and ate well since my last weigh in, and yet I still gained this week.  I think part of it is a hold over from St. Patrick's day- (we don't always gain or lose weight immediately)- but now I just have to keep on keepin' on.  I just hate how losing weeks always tend to be a half pound or so, and gaining weeks tend to be over a pound.  It just seems cruel.

Now that my COSE Wellness Tracks program is over, now it's up to me to continue on eating healthy and exercising on my own.  I'm inspired enough about how much my body has changed for the better over the last year that I know I can do it.  And a slow journey in the right direction is better than a quick loss and then a continued gain. 

Good luck getting that song out of your head ;)

This week: +1.2 lbs
This year: -3.6 lbs
Total: -13.2 lbs

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Twice the Strength

yes, those are my actual guns
On November 23, 2011, I had a physical assessment to get beginning health numbers for this COSE Wellness Tracks program I was about to begin.  I thought at the time getting my beginning stats right before Thanksgiving would help me to not go overboard through the holidays, (to some extent it probably did)- but I probably should've waited until December to get my beginning weights.  Because of this I was not only trying to lose weight, I was fighting the few pounds I gained through the holidays.

That being said: my reassessment was awesome.  I went in yesterday evening to get weighed and measured.  I was really nervous, because I knew my weight hadn't gone down drastically- I had a goal to lose 13-15 lbs in this 12 week period, and I only lost 3.  However, everything else was significant.  Let me just lay them out for you:

From November 23, 2011 to March 26, 2012 (5 months):
  • My blood pressure went from 130/75 to 100/65
    • I was always under the impression I had really good blood pressure, but in fact it was a little higher than I'd like to start with.  My blood pressure now?  AMAZING.
  • My resting heart rate went from 78 to 60.
    • This means my heart is beating 25,920 times fewer per DAY.  9,460,800 beats fewer per YEAR.  My heart isn't working as hard, which adds years to my life.
  • My resting flexibility increased by  3 inches, which means my muscles are a little looser and more flexible during the day.
  • I lost .75" from my neck; 2.5" from my shoulders; .5" from my biceps; .5" from my chest; 2" from my waist; .25" from my thighs and calves.
  • The force generated from my core went from 106.5 lbs to 170 lbs.
  • My upper body muscular endurance went from lifting 35 lbs 35 reps to 70 reps.
  • My lower body muscular endurance went from lifting 85 lbs 50 reps to 93 reps.
    • These numbers mean that I've gotten almost twice as strong as I was in November.  And I thought I was fit then!!! 
The most encouraging part about all this is that even when you're not 'losing' at the scale- you're still doing really good things for your body.  What I got out of this program- what you eat isn't the only important thing, it's good to keep in mind when you eat it, and what you eat it with.  Balancing your proteins, carbohydrates and fats in each meal is important to keep in mind. Adding weights to your routine can really shake things up.  Anaerobic and Aerobic exercises are equally important, so strike a balance!

I'd highly encourage anyone who is interested in getting healthy to not only keep a journal of their food, but make some measurements and periodically reevaluate yourself.  Progress isn't just about the scale, it's about your whole body composition.  You might just surprise yourself- I know I did!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Color Me Surprised

Yup, the hammock's up.
Well well well.  SOMEONE'S pretty proud of herself this morning.  Someone's so pleased with her progress that she tried on bathing suits yesterday morning.  Does she have a vacation planned for the near future?  No.  Does she have access to a swimming pool?  Absolutely not.  Is she even at her goal weight?  Nope!  Just a few good things coming together at once. 

1. This was a week that involved a holiday- and I actually LOST.  That's the first time that has happened... ever.
2. It has been above 70º every day so far this week.  What?  Cleveland in March?  Seriously- what's happening?

Granted, that holiday was St. Patrick's Day- not one that involves a lot of eating surrounding that day (i.e. Thanksgiving/Christmas)- but still.  Any big eating/drinking day tends to really throw off any good I've done that week.  Maybe I would've lost more this week had I not attended the St. Paddie's Day festivities downtown, but I had to do it at least once.  That being said... we probably won't do it again.  It was pretty overwhelming. 

My COSE Wellness Tracks program is coming to a close next week- that means I'll be going in for a reassessment to see how I've done so far this year.  I know I'll be down a couple of pounds, but more than anything I'm looking forward to seeing how my body has changed- if I've lost inches and gained muscle and endurance.  Monday is my reassessment, so I'm going to take it real easy this weekend and focus on working out and eating right so I'm not up on Monday. (that's a usual thing for me)  I'll also be checking back on on my New Year's Resolutions next week, I think I'm on track!

This week: -.6 lbs
This year: -4.8 lbs
Total: -14.4 lbs

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's Always Sunny... in Cleveland?

There was a lot of pale skin showing in the Cleve yesterday...
...This is not what spring usually looks like in Cleveland.  Usually, we still have a few feet of snow hanging around, and my bare feet are nowhere near any green grass.  Yesterday, (March 14!!!!!) it was 78º.  It was both amazing and weird.  I worked out outside.  I had ice cream.  I wore sunglasses.  I didn't wear socks.  In short, it was a miracle. 

I'm not sure when this turned into a weather blog, but now I'll get to the health news.  I also got yelled at my nutritionist yesterday for my shamrock shake cheat.  She was just as surprised as I to find out that they're not only 540 cal for a small- but 88g of carbohydrates and 74g of sugar.  That's like... a few days worth of sugar.  But whatever- I made up for it by eating healthy the remainder of the week and not freaking out about it.  Because guess what- Shamrock Shakes happen.  Yes- try your best to make healthy food choices- but sometimes your wonderful boyfriend brings you a surprise Shamrock Shake and you don't turn that down. 

This week: -.4 lbs
This year: -4.2 lbs
Total: -13.8 lbs

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy PI Day!!!

Last year, I linked a recipe for an excellent Zucchini Feta Pie in honor of this lovely day.  Today?  Sadly, I didn't make any pie this year.  I had a Shamrock Shake on Monday, and upon the discovery that it was 540 calories (for a small!!!), I decided pie should probably be out of the picture today.  (Actually, I'm saving up my calories for green beer on Saturday.  St. Pats is on a SATURDAY this year, which means it'll be extra fun and extra... um.... amateur hour.  Let's just put it that way.)

Now, in honor of PI day, I won't disappoint- here's a link to another delicious looking savory pie from Katie- I haven't made it yet, but it looks amazing.  Tomato Pie?  YES PLEASE.  I can practically smell it through my computer screen.

What kind of pie are you eating today?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Life Lately

My Wonderful Family!!!
...Has been good.  Nothing big and exciting, but things have been great here.  Granted, I'm typing this as it's rainy and grey outside, but that's nothing new for Cleveland.  The weather is wonky here, all the time.  Yesterday it was 68º and sunny.  Things that I'm thankful for this week:

  • Nick and Buster!  For snuggles and hugs, for filling my life with love.  
  • For good recipes.  Specifically, this Carrot Ginger Soup.  It's seriously awesome.
  • For some great weather days speckled in with the bad.  I can take the snow and the rain when I get to see the sun every once in a while.  It reminds me that summer is coming!
  • For taking control of my willpower.  For the realization that I can stop eating when I'm full, and that when I don't eat well, I feel bad.  And actually applying these things when I'm eating.
  • For family!  It's my Grandma's 85th birthday today!  And it was my Grandpa's 90th last week.  We had a big party to celebrate last weekend, and it was awesome.  My cousin even DROVE up from Jacksonville!  Crazytown!  

Weight wise, it wasn't a big loss this week, but it was the right direction.  And that on top of a good week?  What more can you ask for!

This week: -.4 lbs
This year: -3.8 lbs
Total: -13.4 lbs

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Brrrrrrrr... It's Cold In Here

My office weights
This winter has been mega weird. Not that ups and downs are unusual for Cleveland (any time of year!), but it's really been exceptionally strange.  Snowfall, then two days later, 58º.  That being said, I'm cold all the time at work.  I'm making a goal to fix that- when I'm really cold and I can spare a minute- I pick up my dumbbells and do a quick set.  A few minutes later, I'm warm again and I did my body good.  Maybe a few minutes doesn't seem like much, but it adds up, and it's all in addition to my regular workouts.  Maybe when it's FINALLY warm out, I'll start taking strolls around the block on my lunch break and be one of THOSE people.  Hey, a workout's a workout. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Keep On Truckin'

Another week, another victory!  I'm still fighting the weekends, but seem to be gaining some ground.  Trying to be mindful at every turn is hard, but I guess all it takes is practice.  As you can see from the graph at the left- All of the higher bars are from weekends, and the lower ones are usually weekdays.  So, I'm eating way too much on weekends, and then spending all week working off the damage.  (That 4000 calorie day?  That was at a beer festival that included not only beer, but pizza and burgers.  Most of those calories?  Pizza.  I have a problem.)  In the last few weeks, I've tried to be more consistent with my calories, trying to stay within budget on average for the week, and it's been working.  Hence the weight loss.  Cause guess what?  A 4000 calorie day will ruin your week.  (4000 Calorie week?  Gained 2.2 lbs.  I'm pretty sure it's not a coincidence.) 

It's kind of exciting to have this sort of data at my fingertips.  All it does is prove the point that every logical person has ever made about weight loss- it's about eating right and exercising.  When you don't do those things, you gain weight.  When you do, you lose.  It's that simple.  Even if it's not about weight loss- it's about being healthy and mindful of your body.  When you fill your body full of crap, you will feel like crap.  When you fill it with the right amount of lean proteins, vegetables and unrefined carbohydrates, you feel awesome. 

This week: -1.4 lbs
This year: -3.4 lbs
Total: -13.0 lbs

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Secret to Weight Loss

via Say Something Posters
Proper nutrition and exercise.  I've known this for roughly forever, and yet- sometimes I guess we just need to be reminded.  If there was a magic pill with no side effects that let me eat whatever I wanted, and still lose weight?  I would totally take that.  But unfortunately, that does not exist.  So until that's invented and it doesn't turn us into zombies, I'll just stick with diet and exercise.  I got the reminder I needed last week when I met with my nutritionist that even though I'm at a calorie deficit during the week, and feeding my body right; the weekends are putting me over the top.  If three out of seven days are spent blowing through calories, the other four are just catch up days.  That's why I've been stagnant for so long. 

This past weekend I kept it (mostly) under control.  I still led my life, (went to a party on Friday) but exercised more over the weekend.  I ate fairly sensibly on Saturday and Sunday.  I know this upcoming weekend will be a challenge, but I'll be meeting it head on.  I've been sick all week and therefore haven't clocked enough exercise time.  That in and of its self will make this weekend harder, but I've been eating well all week and preparing mentally.  Again, this journey is about learning and making permanent changes- and I feel as though I've made a lot of good decisions for my health in the last year.

This week, I'm down, but didn't quite undo the damage I did the week before.  So here goes another week, fighting the good fight.

I'm adding in a new stat for my weekly weigh in- since I've been at this for over a year, I'm going to also log my weight loss stats for this year since my yearly weigh-in in January.

This week: -1.6 lbs
This year: -2.0 lbs
Total: -11.6 lbs

Monday, February 20, 2012

Recipe Round Up- Soup Edition

As I'm facing the upcoming 78 months of winter looming over the lake, I am once again turning to soup as my go-to lunch and dinner.  I did this a lot last winter, and it was really helpful to have an easy take along.  One thing I learned- only keep about 3-4 meals of one type of soup in the fridge and freeze the leftovers.  No matter how good it is the first couple days, any amazing leftover gets boring after you've eaten it for a week straight.  Pop your soup (after it's cooled down, of course) into some freezer ziplock bags in individual portions, lay flat in the freezer, and BOOM, you have lunches for anytime you want.  This way when you're onto another lunch, or forgot to go to the store, you can be all like, hey! There's that awesome soup (or other dish) in the fridge!  I'm rattling on.  Here's the deets:

Look at all that STUFF!
Tortellini Soup with Beans and Chard-  Looks like I'm on an Elly Says Opa kick lately.  What can I say, she likes her soups 'bulky,' as do I.  This is hearty, filling, cheesy, and spicy!  I had never used chard before, but it's a clear winner over spinach in soups.  The chard is peppery and holds up under the heat, instead of turning into wilted mush like most spinach in soup.  I'd also double her recommendation of fire roasted diced tomatoes- they're delicious in this.  Over all this brings the heat and fills your belly.  Two thumbs up.

Sausage Lentil Soup- I made this with chicken hot italian sausage instead of keilbasa, and it was amazing.  I say, the best soup I've ever made, and we all know I love making soup.  It's very hearty, filling, and low on calories.  TallBoy said that he was "afraid it'd be bland" (I think because he's never had lentils before), but was VERY pleased with the outcome.  I also didn't serve it with Parmesan, but that would probably be pretty good.  I mean, what isn't good with cheese!?

Chicken Spaetzel Soup- This is my own recipe, and it's super easy. 

2 Cups shredded, skin off, cooked chicken
2 Cups Spaetzel- I use Sophie's Choice- locally made, and I'm sure they have to be aware of their unfortunate brand name... but they're delicious, I swear)
6-8 Cups Chicken Broth
1 Bay Leaf
1 Cup Diced Carrots
1 Cup Diced Celery
1 Cup Diced Onion
2-3 Cloves Garlic, Smashed
2 tsp Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Sautee Garlic and Onion in large stew pot until onions begin to turn transparent.  Add in carrots and celery, sautee until soft.  Add bay leaf, chicken stock, salt and pepper, simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Add in chicken, simmer for another 20-30 minutes.  Add in spaetzel just before serving, let the dumplings get warm, and then serve.  Makes 6-8 generous portions.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Back To My Old Tricks...

Creepy, right?
Happy Belated Valentine's Day!  Since today is weigh in day, and I haven't posted in about two weeks, you should know now that it isn't looking good.  I yelled at my scale this morning.  I wish yelling at the scale made the pounds drop off, but we don't live in a perfect world.  I'm always talking about how stress affects my eating habits, and this week/weekend was no different. 

TallBoy and I went to the Cincy Beer Festival, to pour beer for The Brew Kettle.  I knew this was coming for a while, and had planned on trying some new beers and indulging a little bit, but Friday morning came with a panicked-stress-in-my-face type of morning.  By the time we got to Cincinnati, I was eating a donut burger.  Yes, you read that right.  It was a cheeseburger, with a donut for a bun.  Followed by copious amounts of pizza, beer, more pizza, and then Skittles and Doritos.  Saturday and Sunday were much of the same.  I got it back under control (kind of) by Monday, and then Tuesday was Valentine's Day.  Which I won't even delve into, because our meal was AMAZING, homemade, and I don't regret it.  I just wish it hadn't been preceded by a ton of junk food over the weekend.

Yeah, our Valentine's Day was amazing
I was chatting with one of my co-workers the other day, and I was telling her now that I've been eating fairly cleanly for a long time, that when I do indulge in fast food pizza (think Papa John's/Marco's) or other 'bad' foods, it makes me feel physically ill.  Papa John's now makes me feel like I've got a touch of the flu- I don't sleep well, and my stomach tends to feel bad for at least a day afterwards.  I know when I eat these foods that I won't feel well (which is why I don't do it that often), but I still do it.  I boggle my own mind.  Or maybe I just love pizza too much.  She was saying that she feels sick too, but kind of relishes the feeling- it means our bodies are no longer used to these types of foods and are basically rejecting them as fuel for our bodies.  Which is a good way to think about it, I guess, but I wish it made it easier to say NO to these foods.  I guess I'm learning.

So, here we are at weigh in; up again.  I have my 'mid-term' with my nutritionist this evening, and I have to tell him that in the month and a half since I started this wellness program, I haven't lost any weight.  I've just been losing and gaining the same three pounds.  Granted, I've started lifting weights and have been varying my workouts, but it's very discouraging.  I need a better way to deal with stress than food. 

This week: +2.2 lbs
Total: -10.0 lbs

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Basal Metabolic Rate

If my extra pounds were this cute, I wouldn't mind them.
In trying to figure out the sweet spot with weight loss, I've been restricting my calorie intake along with getting in a good amount of exercise (both aerobic AND anaerobic); consuming less refined carbohydrates and more lean protein.  I usually eat between 1100 and 1400 calories per day, a little more when I'm hitting the gym, but occasionally I'll have an off day (i.e. a Friday or Saturday) and eat upwards of 2200-3000 calories.  My weight loss has not really been at the levels I wanted, although I am aware I'm not super far from my goal, and weight loss slows down the closer you get to your goal weight.  I have been a little worried lately that I might not be eating enough calories to be feeding my body the proper nutrients.  I did a little research and started reading about Basal Metabolic Rate, or the daily amount of energy my body spends just to keep up basic bodily functions.  In other words, the amount of calories I need just to keep my body happy and healthy in a resting state.  By deduction, to lose weight I should be eating at LEAST this amount of calories a day, but less than the amount of calories my body needs to maintain it's current weight.  There are many calculators out there, but they should all be within 100 calories of each other.  This is the one linked and recommended by a moderator on LoseIt forums.

It's also good to remind yourself that while tools like LoseIt can tell you how many calories to eat to lose "2 lbs per week", that number may be below your BMR- which ultimately will not be healthy.  Remember that these tools are just that- TOOLS, and YOU need to do the research to make sure you are being healthy about your weight loss.

My BMR= 1491 cal/day.

I need to average approx. 2050 cal/day to maintain my current weight.

I'm going to try to up my daily average closer to 1500-1600 cal/day, and lower any outlier days like Fridays and Saturdays. (weekends! curses!)

Now that I've cut the majority of refined carbohydrates out of my diet, I actually find it's harder to reach my caloric intake goal without ingesting too much fat or carbohydrates.  Let's be honest, the things that make up the bulk of my daily intake volume wise (veggies, fruit, lean proteins) don't take up the bulk of my daily calories.  When 2 cups of spinach is only 14 calories and 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil is closer to 200, it's harder to eat the amount of spinach to make up for that 1 Tbsp.  Getting more calories in isn't something that's a problem for most Americans, but getting calories that contain the right nutrients to keep your body happy and healthy is a completely different battle.

At this point, it's much more about losing weight the correct and healthy way, and not the fast way.  Not that it's really been fast anywhere along the way, but that's okay.

Anyways, I'm going to go eat some cottage cheese and go to Group Groove! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

So True.

via Already Pretty
Sometimes life feels like an uphill battle, only made harder by our own thoughts and insecurities.  Don't let your mind bully your body.  Take care of your body and love it for what it is, not what you've been told it SHOULD be.  Listen to your body and appreciate it every day.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Good Sign

Well, something in the last week shook loose.  Specifically, 1.6 lbs.  Oddly enough, I dropped a little over 2 lbs the first day after severly reducing my carbohydrate intake, and then maintained that over the course of the week, and then added an additional .4 lbs on Tuesday.  I actually scooted back my weigh in day until this morning in the hopes that I'd be able to move it back down, but to no avail.  This week was rough, but not as bad as I thought.  Friday and Saturday I felt mildly like I had the flu- much less energy, headachy, etc- but my nutritionist said anytime you make a big diet change that's bound to happen.  However, I didn't really crave carbs this week the way I thought I would.  I'm not really sure what the next step is to this, my nutritionist said to just try and keep my carb count below 100g per day.  That's good news for me, because now I can start incorporating more high carb fruit and veggies back into my diet- I really need to be getting in way more fiber than I have been this week.  Still no refined carbs, but I think that's for the best.  I think I'll try my hardest to keep those out of my diet as much as possible, since they're basically just pure sugar.  Don't get me wrong, I'll still have cookies every now and then- but I'll try and get a handle on really limiting what processed carbohydrates are entering my body. 

That being said- I ate Jimmy John's for dinner (no choice- had a family emergency) and ordered the "unwich" which is basically the stuffing of a sandwich wrapped up in lettuce.  Let me tell you WHY Jimmy John's tastes so good normally- it's all bread and mayo.  The rest of the stuff is REALLY unsatisfying.  Reason #4562302 that cooking at home is better.  My cooking is way better than "healthy" crap at restaurants.  No wonder I have trouble when it comes to dining out.

This week: -1.6 lbs
Total: -12.2 lbs

Since I reached my 12 lb goal- next up is 16 lbs!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Back to the Drawing Board

How I'd Like to Feel
I've been really frustrated with this plateauing.  I talked with my nutritionist last night about it, and we went over my food journals for the last month, and she seemed almost confused as I am.  I'm eating within the right range of calories and getting in the right type of nutrients, and I'm still at a stand still.  (*despite my angry/rambling post on Tuesday, one spiked day shouldn't throw my entire good week off they way it seems to be doing.)  She thinks I need to shake it up a bit, so for the next week, I'm going to severely restrict carbohydrates.  Starting with today, my week will look like this:
Thursday- 50g Carbohydrates
Friday- 50 g Carbohydrates
Saturday- 75 g Carbohydrates
Sunday- 75 g Carbohydrates
Monday- 100 g Carbohydrates
Tuesday- 150 g Carbohydrates
This is a big change up for me, as I usually view a day with less than 100 g of carbs as a really low day already- typically even 100g would not allow for any bread.  So basically, for the next week, any bread/oatmeal/rice etc is out of the question.  This will be especially hard, because with such a limited amount of carbs, how am I going to get in the right amount of fiber?  Things that I would usually eat: bananas, apples, beans, and quinoa are all really high in carbohydrates.   My food intake today will consist of eggs, meat, lettuce, yogurt, strawberries, avocado and chili (made with ground turkey and beans).  Even that is slightly over my allotment of carbohydrates.  I was told to stay between 1300-1600 calories per day, but with this low amount of carbs, I'm finding it difficult to even reach 1300 calories.  I know something needs to be shaken up in my diet, so I'm going to try this, keep a close eye on how I'm feeling, and track the results. 

This week: +1.2
Total: -10.6

I have made up what my reward will be when I reach my goal- an hour long massage!  I haven't gotten one in forever, and it's hard to justify normally.  (A good massage is NOT cheap!)  But I think that would be an excellent goal reward!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Recognizing Your Weaknesses

I'm at the point in my life where I have done a lot to educate myself on nutrition, I'm learning more and more about fitness, and yet- I'm stuck because I refuse to have one weekend where I eat well the entire time.  I know what you're all saying (the same thing TallBoy says to me): it's the weekend!  Pizza's okay on the weekend, as long as you don't eat it during the week!  My nutritionist even told me that when I showed her my food diaries last week.  That could be true, if I were trying to maintain.  But I'm not.  I'm actively trying to lose and I keep sabotaging my progress.

During the week- I eat healthy.  I mean, really, really healthy.  I'm so good about watching my food intake, getting in the right nutrients, going to the gym, etc.  Even on Saturdays, most of the time I'll make it to a Group Groove class at the gym, write down all my food, and eat healthy most of the day... but then, Saturday night comes.  Which is fine, because I exercised and ate healthy all day.  But THEN Sunday morning comes.  Let me just write out what I ate this past Sunday:

Breakfast: pancakes, bacon, maple syrup, coffee. 
Snack: The rest of the pancakes.
Lunch: Half of a frozen pizza from Heinen's.
Snack: Made a batch of no-bake cookies.  I ate half of it, TallBoy ate the rest.
Dinner: (not that I was hungry, mind you- I was STUFFED. And yet... I ate again anyways.)  Plain noodles with butter and Lawry's seasoning salt.
Throughout the day- a bottle of Framboise Lambic.  

I added it up- it was 3,000 plus calories of mostly refined carbs.  Guess how much exercise I did? Zilch.  I barely moved off the couch.

Now, lazy days every once in a while are fine- everyone needs a break.  But this is my Sunday.  Every week.  This is my problem.  I know what I'm doing is wrong.  Even when I got out the ingredients to make no-bake cookies, I said to myself... WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? And I went ahead and made them anyways.

I spend Sunday destroying the progress I've made during the week, and then spend the rest of the week trying to recover and maybe just *maybe* lose a tiny bit more.  I'm making this so much harder on myself than I need to, just because I have this voice telling me, it's okay!  You earned it!  But I haven't yet.  I guess I'm just pissed off and disgusted by myself today, angry that I'm on this plateau because of my self-sabotage.  I know the only way out of it is to just power through, but it's so hard.  My nutritionist told me that addictions to sugar and fat are literally just as hard to break as addictions to hard drugs, and while I've thankfully never been addicted to heroin, I love white flour and butter.  A lot.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Green Monster and Two Pounds

You guys!  I lost 2.2 lbs this week.  I've been sick this week, so I haven't been working out as much- but I've still tried to eat cleanly and well.  It seems to have done it's job.  I'd chalk this loss up to being sick, but as I've said in the past, I'm not one who looses their appetite when they're not feeling well.  When I felt the worst (Monday night), I came home from work and just kept looking through the cabinets for more food.  Thankfully, I keep my pantry and fridge full of healthy, filling foods, so my binge consisted of spinach and almonds.  Yep.

I realized I've had a bit of a sweet tooth lately, and so I looked around the internet for some fixes that would fill me up and satisfy that hunger without breaking my budget.  As a result of this, I'm totally a smoothie person now.  I don't know why it's taken me so long to realize how awesome a good smoothie is... but the past is the past, and smoothies are the future.  Yes, I just said smoothies are the future.  Did you know that if you put SPINACH into a smoothie with other flavors, it doesn't taste like spinach!?!?!?! It tastes like the OTHER stuff!  It's amazing, and green!  Here is my new favorite snack, inspired by this recipe at Iowa Girl Eats.  I found it on Pintrest, like every other awesome thing in the world.

Green Monster Smoothie
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze
1/2 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
1/2 Frozen Banana (peeled and cut into chunks prior to freezing)
1/2 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt (0%)
1 Cup Ice
2 Cups Raw Spinach

Put all of the above in blender; blend.  Keep in mind, you'll probably need a pretty high powered blender to pull this off- and if it doesn't seem to be blending, try adding a little more liquid (like water or almond milk.)  If you want to up the protein, try a little more yogurt or peanut butter.  If you want a little more flavor, add more frozen banana and less ice.

Stats: (via LoseIt) Calories: 185; Fat: 6.2 g; Carbohydrates: 28 g; Fiber: 3.9 g; Protein: 7.6 g.

It will be beautiful and green, taste like peanut butter, and not like spinach.   Yay smoothies!!

Anyways, weigh in this week went well.  Due to the smoothies?  Who knows?  All I knows is I've got a new favorite snack!!!  How about you?  Any great smoothie recipes or add ins I should know about?

This week: -2.2 lbs
Total: -11.8 lbs

Goals for this week: Try and get in 10,000 steps a day, or at least 70,000 for the week.  Starting... today!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Beans

Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Beans
2 Bell Peppers
1 Jalapeno, de-seeded and diced
1/2 Medium Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, diced
1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
1/2 lb 90% Lean Ground Beef
1 Tbsp Taco Seasoning ***
1/2 Cup of diced tomatoes
1/2 Cup Canned Pinto Beans
2 oz shredded cheese (I used Horseradish Cheddar)
Salt and Pepper to taste

***I used the linked recipe to make my own taco seasoning- super easy if you have a well stocked spice cabinet.  It tastes awesome and avoids any of the preservatives/icky stuff found in the packets.

Pre-heat your oven to 400º.  Chop the bell peppers in half and de-seed, but leave the stems.  Place the four halves on a baking sheet.  Roast for approx. 15-20 minutes.

While peppers are in the oven, sautee onion, jalapeno and garlic until fragrant.  Add ground beef and taco seasoning and sautee until done.  Drain any excess fat.  When peppers are done roasting, take out of the oven, and drain any excess water.  Turn oven to 350º.  Place peppers open side up on baking sheet.

Probably should have gotten a meltier cheese...
In mixing bowl, combine quinoa, pinto beans, tomatoes and beef mixture.  Stuff each (pre-roasted) pepper with about 1/4 of the stuffing.  Cover each stuffed pepper with about a 1/2 oz of shredded cheese and bake at 350º for another 10-15 minutes, and if cheese is not brown and bubbling, turn on the broiler until it is.  Watch it closely!

Serving size: 1 stuffed pepper.  
Stats (via Lose It recipe calculater): Calories: 278; Fat: 12.4g; Carbs: 18.6g; Protein: 22.8g

I liked this with the quinoa, but both my Dad and TallBoy said they thought it was a little bland and would prefer it with rice (I also added negligible amounts of salt to this recipe).  I think sour cream, avocado or some Siracha might be a good way to up the yum factor as well, but for me- this was a really healthy dish that was also really satisfying and tasty as is.

This would be incredibly easy to make into a vegetarian dish- just sub some more/different beans in for the ground beef.

My inspiration for this recipe came from Ashley over at The Edible Perspective.