Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Process Pictures

I'm taking pictures of my progress as I lose the weight. It definitely is great to see the change! So far, I have taken photos at the beginning-- 240 pounds, and at 210 pounds. I've started posting them on another tab, next to my weigh-in's. I did take some that are just me in my skivvy's, but obviously those are just for my own personal amazement of the change.

The ones I've posted are how I typically would look-- cute shirt, make-up etc. It really bothers me how most people post absolutely horrific "before" pictures. I think it shows a more accurate difference if you show fairly similar pictures. Of course you'll look better if "before" you're frowning and have acne and messy hair and sloppy clothes and "after" you're smiling and dressed up with makeup. Soooo, thus, I look nice in both. :) I did take some in more workout-ish clothes though too.

The things that I'm specifically excited about is the change in my face and my stomach/waist! I can really tell the difference. :) What's also neat, is even though I'm still about 20 pounds heavier (in the 210 lb pictures) than I was at my wedding, I feel like my face looks like it did then! I'm sure that's because I'm more toned and fit than I was then. It makes me excited to see what I'll look like when I actually am my wedding weight again!

Here's they are, but check the other tab for updates!


240 pounds:


210 pounds:

Finished: First Frigid 5K!!!

I know that I did my 5K nearly a month ago, but I still want to write something about it. So, here it is:

I did it!

I completed my first 5K race!

And it was freezing. Miserable freezing.

It wasn't as bad as it could be....I mean, the weather forecast the night before predicted it would be -14 degrees when we ran....and we had a balmy +10!

haha. yeah. brrrrrr.

My whole family (mom, dad, John, 2 sisters, 1 brother-in-law, 1 brother, 1 sister-in-law, and me) was doing it together, which was awesome. For more than half of us, it was our first 5K--or any race for that matter.

We all got there at 7:45am, even though our race didn't start until 9:15, because my little 4 year old nephew was running the kids 1K race. It was adorable....but kind of pitiful watching all those kids freeze as they were all huddled at the starting line.

So we had over an hour to wait. They had said they would have heated tents, but they lied. Really it was just some big tents, that once there were enough people in there, there was some body heat. Brrrrrrr. My feet were freezing. As in, felt prickly and then numb. So a few of us went back to the car to warm up before the race. Great idea. :)

When it was about to start, we geared up again. I changed my shoes, since I was wearing my Vibram Five Fingers. I was pretty worried about wearing them, since there wasn't much between my freezing feet and the snow. I did have some toe socks, but they weren't very thick at all.

As John and I walked toward the start line, we realized we weren't going to make it in time for the starting gun. Yikes! So, (and this was a truly brilliant idea) we jogged up the hill to get the start. Oh joy. I was kind of freaking out, since I was already out of breathe before I even started. Great. We got there just as the walkers in the race were heading out (people who were walking were at the end). I stopped to catch my breathe, and then started out, weaving between people and passing all the walkers.

Around the first corner I caught up to my Mom and sister. My mom was just going to do a bit of jogging and mostly walking, and my sister, though she's a marathoner, is pregnant (woohoo!!!!), so she was going to stay with Mom. I ran with them for a little while to cheer them on, then pressed on. Next I caught up to my other sister and bro-in-law. They had been doing the couch-2-5K program, so they were jogging quite a bit, but hadn't been able to finish the program. They were walking when I caught up, so I went between them, grabbed their arms and jogged for a while. :) BIL had a way faster jog than me, so he actually took off ahead of us, but then I caught up again and ran a bit more with him before I took off ahead again.

And then it happened.

My utter melt down.

I had passed all the family I thought I would catch up to, and it was just John and me.

My feet were freezing. Like little pins of ice were in my shoes.

I couldn't control my breathing, first because of the altitude, then because I was just freaking out.

I couldn't see far enough ahead to make myself mini-goals because of the sea of people, so I felt like I couldn't push myself.

And then I started whining. Whining like I haven't whined since I started this journey. It was more like whimpering actually. "I can't do this, I have to walk. I can't do this. There's no way. Why did I ever think I could do this. This was a horrible idea. I can't do this." And on and on.

John was with me....he didn't know what to do. He tried many tactics to help, firmly telling me that I could do it, telling me I just needed to push though it. Reminding me that this isn't who I am anymore, than I've changed, that I was talking like the old Diana. Encouraging me that I have proved to myself that I am strong, that I can push myself, that I have conquered so many things in the past 6 months. He was really wonderful, but really I just needed to get over my pity party.

I felt like a failure the first time I started walking. I was near the point of tears, hyperventilating, half of me freezing, half of me sweating. I think I made it about half a mile. I had to walk another 2 times before I got to a mile. I felt pathetic.

I had my mp3 player with me just in case I needed a boost. I love music...I love moving to the beat and losing myself in it, forgetting the pain and tiredness. So I started it up.

About a mile in, my feet finally warmed up. I had heard that that's the way they should work, is since all the muscles in my feet were working, I would have better circulation once they warmed up. And sure enough, once I'd been moving, they were actually quite cozy! What a relief. :)  The VFF's were great from then on.

I'm not sure if it was finally something John said, or if it just clicked in my head, but around 1.2 miles I fixed my attitude. I said to myself "Self, shape up. Just because you had an awful first mile, doesn't mean you can't be proud of yourself for the rest of it! You can totally do this...you've trained for this. Yes, nature threw some obstacles that suck, but you've pushed past barriers before. Now do this!"

And I did.

I blasted my music, started shedding my clothes (thank goodness that John was there, he was like my personal coat rack. He held my coat, my hat, my scarf....lol), and ran.

And I kept running. And it was okay. I got a hold of my breathing. I found a great rhythm. I even was singing along to some of my music! A little before mile 2, I caught up to my sister-in-law, Ira. This was her second 5K. We had thought we would run about the same pace, and maybe run the whole thing together, but since I got a late start, that didn't happen. I was so glad that I caught up and was able to run the last mile with her. It gave me that extra boost. Everything felt great. My attitude was way better, I felt optimistic about finishing, I was *relatively* enjoying being outside in the gorgeous valley with the mountains around, I had my music, was flanked by two great family members, it was good. And then.........the last corner!!!

I had a great sprint at the end. I was dyyyyyying, but it was great. I pushed hard and had an awesome finish. My brother was there at the finish line cheering us on. It's way easier to push hard at the end when you're running through a line of people cheering. :)

The race was actually 3.2 miles, instead of a true 5K which is 3.1. My actual 5K time was 42 minutes. Obviously, very, very slow compared to most people. But that was 42 minutes that I pulled my 205lb self along! The other thing that was awesome, is that my goal was 40 minutes. I was pretty happy with only being two minutes off given my pathetic 1st mile!

Overall, I feel like my meltdown was proportional to the difficulties that I hadn't been prepared for (artic cold, running in snow, altitude). I haven't beat myself up about it. I am just so proud that I bucked up and did the majority of the race strong. I proved to myself that I am strong, and that I can push myself, even when I think I can't.

But, even so, I will be doing another 5K here locally, just so I can say that I ran a 5K. Because I know I can. And it will be warmer....mmmmmm.

So, that's my story of the 2010 Bozeman MT Huffing For Stuffing race.....my first 5K! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm BAAAAAAAAACK!!

Hi *sheepish grin*

So.....it's been awhile......

Sorry. :(

I don't really know how to start up blogging again. It's exactly like when I've been journaling consistently, and then life happens, and I don't write at all for 3 months, and then I have no idea how to pick up my pen again, because so many things have happened,  and I just don't know where to start. Wow, and that was a really long run-on sentance. I really have been away from writing for a long time. lol

So anyway, I am planning on catching up on some posts retelling the events of the past 3 weeks, like my first 5K, my Thanksgiving trip with my family, my eating victories and woes, my switch to the Y, my choice to go see a Naturopath, my fierceness on the racquetball court, etc etc etc. Yeah, I told you I had a lot of catching up! But, this is my amends for leaving the blogosphere for so long. I've probably lost any readers I may have had by now. I'm going to back-date the catch-up posts (it makes me feel better), so if you care, make sure you notice that there will be some "older" ones.

During my absence, I have kept reading the weight loss blogs I follow. It's been really encouraging, even when I haven't been as good about writing. Several people have hit some amazing milestones in the past couple weeks! And I'm going to add to those soon......my number will soon have a "1" at the beginning!!

Sorry for the rambling post. I didn't really know how to begin, but I felt I needed to somehow "announce" my resolve to start up again. So.....here I am! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deserted for the Y

All my gym friends are abandoning me......for the YMCA.

There's a new Y opening up a few miles from my gym. It's the direct competion. My gym (the Wellness Center) is affiliated with Huntsville Hospital. It's really big, has tons of classes, great instructors, childcare, nutritionists, a pool (complete with sauna and hot tub), high quality trainers,, and all the equipment is always clean, working, and nearly always have openings. I've been very impressed with the quality of this gym. And everyone I see every day and have built relationships with were happy too.

Until the Y opened. The Y is very snazzy. It is way more kid friendly. Instead of having TV's that you just pick which station is the best (or most tolerable), each machine has it's own screen with cable, so you can watch whatever you want while you work out. The pool is amazing, and even has big beautiful sky-light and some really cool kids water areas. They have racquet ball courts....one of the only places in all of Huntsville (and the only one on this side of town).

And here's the kicker. They stole one of our favorite aerobic instructors. And at the Y she'll be teaching classes everyday instead of just 2 days a week at the Wellness Center.

Nearly all of the people that I've become friends with are switching within the next week or so. I'm still debating. They're both about the same cost per month, so that's not really an issue.

On the one hand, the Wellness Center has become my second home. It has, surprisingly, becoming my comfort zone. I know how to push myself there. I know all the people. I know that people see how hard I work out and respect me instead of wondering why there's a fat girl at the gym. I like my classes. I like my instructors. I have a feeling of loyalty there. This gym is what helped me lost 35 pounds. And, it's only 1-2 minutes away from my house (depending on if I make the stop light or not!). It is absolutely SO convenient, so I never have any excuse to not go.

But on the other hand, I have learned which instructors push me...which is what I need. And the one that switched, oh my goodness she will kick your butt (and your abs, triceps, quads, calfs, etc etc etc) every single time. I would love to have a class from her every day. Also, I really would love to play racquetball more. After my last experience, I'm kind of hooked on wanting to play more. I love the idea of having fun and not realizing that I'm burning tons of calories. And, there is something to say for that I love having friends with me working out that I know expect to see me everyday. And they will now be at the Y. The one downside is the distance. It's about 10 minutes away.

I'm not sure what I'll do you. John and I are going to visit and get a tour on Saturday, and then we'll probably decide next week.

What factors do you find most important in picking a gym?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Beastliness!

I felt like an absolute beast today.

In a good way. :)

I had pretty much the most awesome workout today. I made the gym cower to me!

Here's what I accomplished:


Burned 2150 calories!

Ran 2.0 miles straight!

It still seems pretty crazy to me!!! I think this qualifies as beastliness.

Here's what I did to burn all those calories:
90 minutes of high-cardio step classes
30 minutes of yoga (though I didn't were my heart rate monitor, so that doesn't add into my calorie count)
45 minutes of intense (i.e. feel like I'm going to die) running/walking
30 minutes of getting my butt kicked by trainer Dave

For my running, I was supposed to run either 20 minutes or 2 miles for my workout for the Couch-to-5-K program. Saying I was sceptical about it is a gross understatement. I gave myself about a 40% chance of running 2 miles, 70% odds for running 20 minutes. Earlier this week I've only been running 1.5 miles total, and that has been with walking breaks ever 1/2 or 3/4 mile. 2 miles? Yeah right!

But, I started. I ran the whole thing at 5.0mph (which is slightly faster than I have been running). I put my towel over the display so I wouldn't agonize over how much further I had. I was watching Price Is Right to distract me. At the end of every commercial break, I would let myself peak under the towel to see how much I'd done so far. The commercial breaks are the hardest to push through, because they're so boring. Except for the Big Bang Theory commercials....those are still funny. I love that show. :)

I felt like I was going to die at 3/4 mile. And then again at 1.15 miles. And then again, and again, and again. But every time when I wanted to walk, I had another reason I told myself why I could go just a little bit further.

The very last time when I felt like quitting, when I had gone 20 minutes (2 miles took me 23:30), I wanted to walk for just 20 seconds so badly, and almost did. But then I told myself, it's not worth it. As in, I was going to run 2 miles for the very first time. And if I walked for 20 seconds right at the end, every single time I told someone that I ran 2 miles, I would have to qualify it with "well, almost straight. I walked a little bit once." And I decided those 20 seconds wasn't worth it. I wanted nothing to cloud my victory of running 2 miles.


And so I kept going. The last .10 mile I pushed my speed up to 5.5 mph because I just wanted to be done so bad already! And I finished!!!! It took me 15 minutes of walking until my heart rate calmed down....but hey, more calories burned, right?

I'm so proud of myself. I'm actually thinking I may be able to run the whole 5K on Thanksgiving afterall!

And by golly, I better have lost a good number this week....I burned over 1/2 a pound just today, and that doesn't even include my deficit from eating! I'm really feeling good about this week. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vibram Five Fingers

So, I have officially gone crazy. I think I've become a fitness nut, disregarding all my social and fashion sense pursue my fitness goals with reckless abandon.

Okay, maybe it's not that bad. BUT, when I bought these shoes,

           

I pretty much though that's what it had come to.

See, when I first saw VFF's, it was back in May, right before I flipped my life upside down to get healthy. That was the unhealthy-fat-lethargic-mousey-Diana. I saw those shoes with John, my reaction was:

"Those are absolutely hideous, and I would never want you to even try them on!"

And now....just six months later.....I have them on my very own feet. Yes, go ahead and mock me now.

So, here's why I went from laughing at them to wearing them:

It started as I became more and more aware of fitness in general, and how our bodies are supposed to work. It's been a long process of learning for me, because I was treating my body like trash in pretty much every way at the beginning of the summer.

Here in Huntsville, these have become pretty popular. The first person I talked with who had them was my Pilates instructor. She absolutely loved them, and told me about how great they are for your posture and how they allow your foot to move and support your weight the way your foot was made to to do. She is a very cute, hip, fit person, and so that started to change my perception of that they maybe weren't so bizarre after all.

I saw more and more people wearing VFF's, and everyone loved them. By the end of the summer, my gym shoes were starting to wear out. Which, by the way, is pretty much awesome, seeing as I completely wore out a pair of good shoes in 4 months by working out so hard!

So, I told John I would be interested in doing some more research and trying some on. Here's some stuff I found on the Vibram website about the theory behind these weird shoes:

Many experts believe the shoes we wear not only cast the foot in a protective form, but also weaken our foot and leg muscles, leaving them underdeveloped and more prone to injury. And while there are many occasions where traditional footwear is essential for protection, safety, and security, it is equally important to stimulate and exercise the foot in a more natural state on a regular basis.

That’s why we recommend wearing FiveFingers for exercise, for play, and for fun. Stimulating muscles in your feet and lower legs will not only make you stronger and healthier, it improves your balance, agility and proprioception. 
 
Vibram FiveFingers is different than any other footwear on the planet. Not only do they bring you closer to your environment, they deliver a number of positive health benefits—by leveraging all of the body’s natural biomechanics, so you can move as nature intended.

6 Reasons to Wear VFF's:

1. Strengthens Muscles in the Feet and Lower Legs - wearing FiveFingers will stimulate and strengthen muscles in the feet and lower legs, improving general foot health and reducing the risk of injury.
2. Improves Range of Motion in Ankles, Feet and Toes – no longer ‘cast’ in a shoe, the foot and toes move more naturally.
3. Stimulates Neural Function Important to Balance and Agility - when wearing Vibram FiveFingers, thousands of neurological receptors in the feet send valuable information to the brain, improving balance and agility.
4. Improves Proprioception and Body Awareness – those same neurological receptors heighten body awareness, sending messages about body mechanics, form, and movement.
5. Eliminates Heel Lift to Align the Spine and Improve Posture – By lowering the heel, our bodyweight becomes evenly distributed across the footbed, promoting proper posture and spine alignment.
6. Allows the Foot and Body to Move Naturally, Which Just Feels Good.
 

So, that was enough to intrigue me. I mean, it makes sense to let our foot use every little muscle instead of encasing it in a running shoe. Also, I go barefoot and wear flip flops a lot anyway, so I thought the transition might not be too weird.

So, I took the plunge.

I've had them for a week now. I must be honest, it hasn't been an instant success. But, supposedly some people need up to a few weeks to fully transition. 

One thing I can notice a difference in is the way it uses my muscles. Like, OH MY GOSH MY CALVES!!!!! I've been wearing them every other day, and the evening and day after I wear them, my calves are soooooo sore. Which is awesome. Because, well, I want rock hard calves. I guess that I just use the balls of my feet a whole lot more, and that's why my calves get a crazy workout. Also, after I've been wearing them for a while, my little toe muscles --like the ones I never knew I had-- start getting really tire and somewhat sore. Hopefully after another week my muscles will have caught up.

Another thing I didn't realize is that my toes are funny lengths. I had never realized this, but my 4th toe is way shorter than it should be. Instead of having a gentle slope from my big toe to my pinkie toe, the 4th one is actually only a teenie bit taller than the pinkie toe. Not a big deal, something I'd never noticed....until I wore FiveFingers. Now all of a sudden, it's like a glove where I'm missing half a finger! I can move all my toes, except if I try to move that little 4th one, it feels like it could slip out of it's little toe spot! Not good. I think it's just something to get used to and won't cause a problem. I think it's funny that I never had noticed that about my toes until the VFF's. Oh well, learn something new every day!

So far in the gym it's been good to use them. I really enjoy running in them; it's more of a barefoot running style --running with a midsole strike instead of a heel strike. My shins haven't hurt as much either when I'm running with these.

One thing that's weird about them is feeling different sensations. Like, in my step classes, I can completely feel the texture of the step, but even though it seems like I'm feeling it with my foot, the sensation I get is that my foot is rubber. That seems confusing, but it's the best way I can explain it. The grip is also something to get used to....it's a lot more grippy than tennis shoes.

That's my analysis for now. I'll let you know how they hold up when I run my 5K in the frigid cold of Montana. So far though, I think I'll like them.

Go ahead and judge me.....do you think the VFF's are weird?
 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Playing Pretend

Lately I've been playing pretend.....pretending to be an aerobic instructor. No, not just for fun (though I have been toying with the idea of getting trained once I am close to my weight goals), but because I'm going to be in my home state of Montana for 9 days in two weeks.

Now, I am intensely happy ecstatic about this trip....I will get to see my entire family (which only happens about once a year), I will enjoy the *hopefully* snow covered mountains of my beloved Rockies, as well as just enjoying the festivities of Thanksgiving.

BUT, there is a downside: I will be without my gym. Now, my whole weight loss groove has been hinged on my consistency with working out at the gym. I have made it my second home. The gym is absolutely my comfort zone. I don't work out outside. Ever. I absolutely love my aerobic/cardio classes, and take 1-2 classes a day, and do yoga 3 times a week. I don't sweat or push myself around people I don't know unless I'm at the gym. These are things that will need to change eventually, since I will want to develop more of a lifestyle of activity. But for now, this is the way I do things.

So, how on earth am I going to not gain while I'm at home without my gym, with all the delicious temptations that I grew up with, and with my family not being naturally athletic? 

I'm going to create my own workouts! I'm trying to take my comfort zone of my classes with me. :) And, since my family is also taking strides to a more healthy and active lifestyle, I'm going to use them as my guinea pigs and have them join me too! *obviously, only if they want to (Family: don't freak out if you're reading this! I won't force you! lol). My sister Angela has already said she'll join me, and obviously John will work out with me (he's my biggest cheerleader ever).

I planned this 45 minute cardio circuit taking cues from some of my favorite classes. It was difficult to plan since my constraints are that I can only use minimal equipment and we'll be working out in my parent living room (Mom, if you're reading this, hope that's okay! :) It was so much fun to plan! We'll do a circuit of 15 stations, alternating one cardio, one strength, and we'll repeat it twice. After that we'll cool down, do some abs, and stretch.

John and I tried this last Saturday. He said he had no idea that you could get such an awesome workout in the livingroom! I was pretty happy that I was able to push him to get a good sweat on since he's so fit already. And, what about my workout? Oh, I'm not concerned about if I'll be able to keep my heart rate up...in addition to doing all the stations, I have to keep talking to make sure everybody is doing the exercises right and telling them how much longer to keep going!

Talking while you're working out hard = bumping up your workout to a whole new level. So that's all good.

So hopefully, I'll do that circuit workout 2-3 times while I'm in Montana, and I will lead a yoga class 2-3 times as well. My whole family is running our first 5K on Thanksgiving day (Huffin' for Stuffin'!!), and I'm going to make sure I take a walk around the neighborhood whenever I get the chance.

With these plans, hopefully I'll not only just not gain weight during the infamous holiday, but get under the 200 lb milestone while I'm there!

And, I'll get to see if I'm cut out to be an instructor. :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat? The Two-Edged Sword of Halloween Candy

Last week I bought all my halloween candy. It was buy-one-get-one-free at Publix. I bought the good stuff....none of this tasteless sugary random crap for the little kids who ring my door bell, I bought bags of Reeses, Butterfinger, and KitKats.

On second thought, maybe I should have bought the tasteless crap so I wouldn't want to sneak my own candy every time I gave a chocolate to each fairy and superhero who comes to the door.

So anyway, I had a plan though. It worked all week. As soon as John got home from work the day I went to the store, I promptly handed him the bags of candy and told him to hide them. And, he would know if I'd snuck any because all the bags were still sealed. Now, we do have a fairly small house, and I know roughly were he hid it, but the point was, I would have to consciously make a choice to find it and open the bag, and eat the chocolate. There were multiple barriers so that I could rethink what I was doing at each point.

So, it worked great. There were several days that I really really wanted chocolate, but I knew that John would know if I opened the bag, and I knew I shouldn't, so I had yogurt or pomegranate instead.

Until today....... :(

John left right after work to go camping with some of our youth group, which left me all alone all evening long (and tomorrow morning). I would have gone out, but we share a car, and obviously, he has it.

There I was.
Alone.
Just me......and the chocolate.
Dun dun DUN!

I ate dinner, cleaned the kitchen, checked email, looked at our finances, then sat down to watch a TV show. And then it hit me...the craving for sweets. mmmmm.

I rationalized that it was okay to find and open the yummy chocolates since it was only 2 days before halloween. Certainly I can use self-restraint for that long.

uuuuuh, yeah, evidently not.

I told myself that I would only have 2 pieces, so that I could prove to John that I made an okay decision to give myself a little treat. But then, as I watched my show, the bag was just sitting there. Right there next to me on the couch, like my little devil buddy.

So I had my two. and then another. and then another. I probably had like seven. Which is absolutely awful.

Even as I typed this I wanted to fudge on that number, but this blog will only be useful to me, and to you readers, if I am brutally honest. So there you go.

I was a little pig. I thought that since I haven't had hardly any sugar the entire summer, my gluttony with sugar would be under control. I was naive. It will take much longer than 5 months to cure that. I now remember how wise it is of me to not keep chocolate or ice cream in the house.

My very wise sister Angela pointed out a very noteworthy idea: With as much extra money as I'm spending to eat healthy, wouldn't it be worth it to forgo the B1G1 free deal and pay full price on Halloween day? Just another way to "eat healthy". I don't keep candy in my house other time of the year just because it's on sale. And the higher prices I buy to get whole foods and more produce is pretty much just going to waste if then I squander my nutrition on sale chocolate. So....lesson learned. Won't be doing that again.

Another good thing that I learned from this (again, the hard way). After about 4 pieces, my body was telling me I had enough. I had at that point had way more sugar than I've had in quite a while. My blood felt like syrup. I felt "bleh". But...I kept eating more, because my taste buds said it was yummy.

And then, I had a tummy ache. For which I'm very thankful. I'm so happy that even if I haven't retrained my taste buds (at least in reference to chocolate), that my body is healthy enough to respond when I give it trash like that. Six months ago, my body wouldn't have flinched if I would have eaten twice that much. Now, my system is functioning how it's intended to....telling me when I've had too much of something. Way to go body!

Body reaction: 1 Self-control: 0.

I'll work out that next time....I need to have the restraint to listen to my body. But until I cultivate that, I'm not going to tempt myself anymore than necessary.

Tonight, I definitely got the trick instead of the treat from that candy.

How about you? Do you struggle with the candy around this weekend? How do you handle the temptation?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Of Bull Fights and Consistency

Weight loss sometimes makes you feel like the little red cape in a bull fight....maybe the matador remains unscathed, but no matter how much it flutters and twists around trying to avoid it, the poor little cloth gets beaten by the bulls horns every time.

Every one who has attempted weight loss has experienced this at some point. You work your butt off. You count your calories. You shake and stretch and move in ways you didn't have any idea your body could. But then......you get on the scale. And it hasn't moved an inch. Or even worse, you're stabbed by those bull horns by gaining weight.

Now certainly, sometimes it's deserved. A little too much dinner, an extra cookie, only staying 15 minutes on the elliptical when you were planning on doing 45. But sometimes, the calories just don't add up. You did have a calorie deficit every single day, you did do every workout, you did stay on point nutritionally. And still you get a disappointing number.

Here's where we each have a choice.

We can cry, whine, have a pity party, wonder why we even bother, or worse, quit.

Or, we can take a step back and look at the big picture...at the virtue of consistency.

This is what I learned a few days ago. I've had several disappointing weeks this summer. It was especially frustrating because I took the summer off my job and made weight loss my job for 3 months. I worked my tail off. And when I didn't see the scale go down, I was pretty darn upset.

I never came close to quitting, but John had to sit through many many many rants about how I didn't deserve this, how my work wasn't paying off, about why wasn't the "calorie in, calorie out" formula working. I felt like the bull had skewered me for a reward, and I felt like it had pooped on me too.
*If you want one such example of said rant, go read Grrrr....Stupid Scale!! from a few days ago
.

My "ahh-hah" moment happened when I posted all of my weigh-ins since starting in June (Here: Weigh-In's). It was the first time in probably 2 months that I had looked at my progress all together. And here's what I realized:

I have been way more consistent than I felt. Out of 22 weeks, I only gained weight 2 weeks, and had no change 2 weeks, since June. And two of those weeks were because of dear Aunt Flo.

The consistency that I have proved to myself is way more important and significant than any one week of seemingly failure. I have lost 33 pounds since June 1st...and that is something I am proud of! I will not stab myself over and over because I feel like my body isn't giving me what it's supposed to on any one given week. Because the fact is, I am losing weight. And I am doing it consistently. And that is what will get me to my goal. 

One week is not going to thwart my reaching my goal. Unless I quit. Unless I let it get me down. Unless I choose to let it overwhelm the many many many other weeks that I have done well.

And I choose not to. I choose to let the the truth of my consistency free me to be confident that even if I have an "off week", the next week, or the one after that, will be better. Because the changes that I am making, those will work. I just have to be consistent.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Goals--new and improved :)

I was looking back on some of my older posts today, and realized how very very different my goals are now from what they were at the beginning of the summer.

I have a job again...and thus, less time.

I have honed in on what I really struggle with, and what I need to focus on more.

I know what I can do, and thus have better expectations.

So, here they are, my new goals!

  1. Exercise at the gym 5 days a week, 2-3 hours a day.
  2. Burn an average of 1200 calories M-F
  3. Eat 1500 calories/day (and record my foods)
  4. Lose 2 pounds a week

Two pounds a week. I did that pretty much all summer long. The past month or so I've only been able to lose 1 pound week. I really am wanting to push to the next level to get back to that rhythm of weight loss.

Sometimes I feel like I get the raw end of the deal when it comes to weight loss. I read blogs of people writing about how they are doing great to workout 30 minutes 5 times a week, or that they only consider it a major "opps" if they lose control and have 3 alcoholic drinks and a burger and a dessert. And then they lose 3 pounds. Now really, I am absolutely, genuinely, happy for them. I would not in a million years wish anyone to struggle more with weight loss. 
Buuuuut.....it's kind of hard to not have a pity party when I know that, according to the numbers, I'm sweating my a** off to have a deficit for a good 2-3 pound loss every single week, and here I am, actually losing .5-1 pound each week. What is wrong with my body?!?! It's just frustrating.

So, back to goals. My goal is still to lose 2 pounds a week, but I'm going to try to not focus on the scale as much. I'm trying to look at it more as two separate things: 1) one pound a week is good, and the scale is still going down, and 2) the effort I'm putting in is something I can maintain. Oh well if those two ideas don't add up....

If I think of those things separately, hopefully I won't get discouraged when I see other people getting more results with less effort. I know that, eventually, my goals will see me to the end, as long as I am consistent with them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grrr......I wish I could throw the darn scale off a cliff!


So, I'm pretty peeved right now. Actually, I'm fuming.



This week was an AWESOME week for me this week. Here's why:

  • I burned an average of 1200 calories at the gym every singe day (M-F) this week. Yahoo!! Seriously, I kicked it into high gear this week. I was totally on my game, more motivated and excited than I have been in quite a couple months. 
  • My eating has been stellar. Though I haven't been tracking calories, I have only eaten the things I should, except for that small brownie on Friday night. I've watched my portions, I tried to rationalize any unhealthy meals, I've felt very confident and good about my nutrition this week.
  • I ran 1.25 miles this week.....for the first time EVER! Previously this summer my longest run was 1/2 a mile. I'm starting to run at least 3 times a week, and trying to increase the longest I've run once ever week.
  • I signed up for my first 5K! My goal is to run the whole way (slowly, but at least not coming to a walk). John will be by my side....even though he obviously could leave me in the dust. He said he wouldn't miss running my first 5K with me for anything. Isn't that sweet? :) Also, my entire family will be running the 5K as well! For many of them, it will be their first 5K also, so we'll get to go through the torture experience that together! I'm absolutely thrilled that my whole family is moving toward more healthy lifestyles.
So, with this amazing week, why am I so angry?

Because my stupid, idiotic, heartless scale says I weigh the exact same amount as I did last week. Seriously?!?!?! I freakin' had a 1500 calorie deficit 5 days last week!!!

One reason this is especially frustrating is I really really really want to be under 200 pounds before Thanksgiving. It will be the first time my family has seen me since I started my transformation. In order to reach that goal, I need to lose 2 pounds each week. Which is completely do-able. This whole summer, that was what I lost consistently. I went through a semi-plateau last month.....it took me 6 weeks to lose 5 pounds. So this week, I was absolutely stoked to break through that barrier, push my workouts to the next level, and get back to that 2 pounds per week.

And then this. *sigh* One explanation is that it is my time of the month, so that could affect it. Though I found that usually it doesn't, so I'm surprised. And even if that is it, it's not like my body will make up for it next week and lose 4 pounds. My body _never_ does that.

So, though I am going to keep working hard, this week might just make me not be able to be under 200 by Thanksgiving.....through no fault of my own. grrrrr. And it just feel like all my blood, sweat and tears are not rewarded at all.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Courage to Begin

I know it's been a long time since I've blogged. A lot has happened in the past week and a half, both good and bad in the health zone. Maybe I'll go back and write about it, but today I have something specific I'm thinking about.

John is starting to train for his first marathon. This is a stepping stone for his ultimate goal: an Ironman. I'll never do an Ironman, but it would maybe be fun to do a short triathlon with him some day. So, I was randomly looking up triathlon gear, and there's a lot of fun tee-shirts for tri-athletes. But one I particularly like. Here it is:
This is how I feel. I am no where close to my goal yet. I mean, 30 pounds is a lot (and by the way that's officially how much I've lost as of yesterday!), but I still have 70 to lose. But even though I'm not a slim and athletic 140 pounds yet, even though I haven't crossed the "finish line" yet, that is not where the victory will be.
The victory, the miracle, happened when I decided to change my life. When I decided to buy tennis shoes and wear them out. When I stepped into the gym that first day and knew it was going to become my second home. How many people will not make that decision because they think the victory is too far down the road? Too hard to make it? Will you be one of those people? The victory happens when you decide to change. That is the hardest hurdle, the one that will beat you down and not even let you get started.

So I declare today, The miracle isn't that I will finish. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.

When was your miracle? 
When will you summon the courage to start?

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Can Run!

wooooohoooooooo!!!!
 
I ran 1.25 miles tonight!!!!!!! And that was AFTER 2 hours at the gym in the morning, and immediately after my Zumba class this evening! 2 weeks ago, I ran 0.5 miles, the most I had run this summer. That was the last time I had ran. 
 
Tonight, I wanted to see what my legs could do, as opposed to dying because my heart rate was sky rocketing. I usually run at a 5-6 mph pace, so I slowed down to 4.5 so that I could keep my heart rate relatively under control.
 
I wasn't even hoping to run a certain distance, more just see how long I could run, but then I just going, and going, and going! And I actually.....wasn't dying! I decided I was going to shoot for a mile when I was at 0.6, and then when I got to a mile, I decided to keep going! oh my goodness!!!!!!!! I am SO proud of myself. John said he didn't think I would run a mile for a least another few weeks. I think this is the first time I've actually ever run a mile!
 
5K, here I come! I'll be conquering you before you know it!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Inspiration

This is amazing--if you haven't seen it yet, or even if you have already...definitely worth a re-watch. Inspiration comes from all different journeys, and though running isn't what I've found I love, this is an amazing reminder of that you can change your attitude, your health, your happiness, just by doing it. Making the choices, big or small, that need to be made to get you where you want to be. I hope to inspire people like this one day....to live my life uninhibited by my physical state, to be truly happy with myself, to show others they can do it too.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

As if watching a 7 year old isn't enough exercise!

The time has come to ease out of my hyper-intense summer fitness regime and into a more normal life style. Most of you know, I took the summer off to work out. So that I could really focus, have no excuses, and go all out fitness. I worked out 4-6 hours a day. I recorded my food intake and my calorie burn. I tried tons and tons of new, healthy recipes. I absolutely devoted myself to becoming a fitness guru and build healthy habits.

It was pretty much the most worthwhile summer I can remember spending. Ever. But, all "good" things must come to an end. I say "good" because, after all, I was sore for pretty much 3 months straight, always exhausted, and tried many a recipe that just, frankly, was not good.

But now that I have my habits under control, now that I have learned how to push myself mentally, now that I have a whole bunch of healthy recipes in my back pocket, now that I actually know that sweat won't kill me, I need to get back to a normal life. Thus....

I got a new job! Thankfully, I don't need to work full time. That really hasn't ever been a consideration for me, because my hubby and I prefer that I have plenty of time at home to keep the house, make dinners, and just general play good house wife. :) It makes our marriage happier. :)

I'm now working with two kids, a girl age 12 and a boy age 7, children of a single father, retired military. I arrive at their home at 2:40, wait for the boy to get off the bus, get him a snack etcetera, and then tutor him from about 3:00-4:30. He just started 1st grade, and they just moved from Korea. I think the transition from schools has been difficult for him, since he's just learning to read and add and such. Thus, he's only about mid-way through kindergarten academically. Thus--my tutoring. The daughter gets home about 3:30 and does her homework, then has me check it as well. I leave about 4:45ish.

It's really a great position. The kids are polite, energetic, loved, attentive, and enthusiastic. I love that I'm getting to tutor and see progress as he catches up with his class. The pay is amazing, even though I'm only there 10-12 hours a week, the father really wants to make it worth my while, and I'm getting paid as much as I was when I worked for the preschool (last year), and that was 25 hours a week!

So now, here's my new routine. I'm loving it---and I feel SO productive with my day!
I get up with John, and we get ready for our day together. I'm at the gym by 8:00-8:30, and stay until 10:30-11:30. Then I come home, have my protein drink, check email, take a shower, and have lunch. Then I still have another 2 hours to do house work, errands, or even take a nap! I go to work for a few hours, get home by 5:00, and have plenty of time to have dinner on the table by the time John gets home!

So, that's the new routine here! Today I managed to burn 1400 calories in my workout this morning! Go me!

I love my routine....I absolutely thrive on it. And I really feel like this new schedule is going to work great for me. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Runnning to victory :)

I ran 0.4 miles today!!!!

I know it sounds pretty puny...but really it's a huge accomplishment for me. Even though I've been crazy fanatical at the gym this summer, running has been the big hurdle I couldn't get over. 

I've been running a few times a week (if that frequently, to be honest) doing 60 seconds run, 2 minutes walk intervals. Then I bumped it up to 90 seconds run, 2 minutes walk. The most I've ever ran (since starting my exercise this summer) was 2 minutes straight.
It's been a bummer that I haven't stuck with my running very well. A whole 2 weeks has past since I ran. So this morning, after my gym classes, I hopped up on the treadmill and started running. I really wanted to see what type of distance I could go, as opposed to just the length of time. I thought that if I really pushed myself, I could go 1/3 of a mile.

In total, I ran 0.4 miles, which is about 4 minutes 15 seconds (I ran at a 5.7mph pace)! Wow! I'm so proud of myself...over 2 times the length of time I had run before!

Now, I know it's easy to forget the pain and skip to the glory now that it's over, but frankly....it sucks while I was doing it. My heart rate sky-rocketed (but my trainer said that's okay for short bursts), I was gasping for air, my legs muscles felt like scorching fire, sweat was dripping into my eyes, fat was jiggling all over the place....yeah, it was just pretty much not a pretty sight.

But I did it. I DID IT!

I'm going to see if I can run half a mile tomorrow or Thursday.

What are you going to do today to make yourself proud?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend and Weigh-In

I was pretty concerned this week about my my fitness. I was kind of sick on Monday and Tuesday such that I didn't go to the gym.....essentially that made for a 4 days weekend.

Yikes!

Then, this weekend I went up to Tennessee to go to my friend Stacy's wedding. I drove up Friday to Dayton TN, spent the night with friends, then drove up to the wedding on Saturday and back on Sunday.

This made for 13 hours of driving in 3 days --time that I could've used being active and instead sat in a car.

Then, to make matters worse, my friends (who are absolutely, totally, naturally skinny--by no fault of their own) brought snack for the road trips. M&M's, dried fruit, nuts......yummmmmmy.

I brought carrots.

Yeah, you can guess which won out....

The reception food was amazing, and filled with pretty good options. Instead of desserts galore, there was a scrumptious array of fruit --- delicious blackberries, raspberries, pineapple, melons, and strawberries! Yum!!! I will NEVER turn down fruit...it's one of the few healthy things I actual prefer hands down! There also was fruit cocktail, little sausages, spinach and artichoke dip (my kryptonite...can't pass it up!) with chips, chocolate fountain, and of course, cake. 
There also was a delicious, refreshing punch. I have made it a general rule to always just have water, since the calories can be really sneaky and gang up on you in a drink, but lemme tell you, this punch was good. So, enough said on that....I probably had 3 or 4 little glasses.

Receptions are always hard to know exactly how much you consumed. I felt like I had done fairly well all things considered, but there's not really any easy way to count calories during something like that. Sometimes I'm just a worry-wart, so naturally, I was worried.

Today rolls around, my weigh in day. I did my work out this morning. It was pretty light today, just one hour of step aerobics (750 calories burned), and one hour of yoga.

After I did my workout, I went to weigh in. The room that has the scale I normally use was occupied, so I went to a different scale.....and then to a different scale to get a second opinion (since it wasn't my normal scale).....

I lost 2 pounds again! I'm very excited, since that came off of a week that had a 0.5 pound gain, and I was worried it was going to happen again. But no! My body is still doing what it's supposed to...still going down! Woohoo! :)

So, that's that....I guess the moral of this story is I need to worry less and just do what I know gets results. :)
Amazing how just a little more effort and a little less fretting works!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fudging (the expression, not the food...sadly)

I've been letting my nutrition slide.

Not terribly, just a special treat here, a little extra serving there, a snack that's not on my "3 meals, 2 snacks" routine.

You know, just....fudging.

Fudging nutritionally is very easy to do. I think it probably took me 2-3 weeks before I really realized what I was doing. I got cocky.  

Thinking I totally have this nutrition routine down.
Because it's "habit", I can't fail.
Since I know what works, that's automatically what I'll do.

Wrong.

I realize now I actually have no grasp on actually how many calories I'm eating. Oh sure, it's all relative...I have way more notion of the calories I'm eating than when I started.

But that's the thing...it's all relative. What I may be doing now may be good enough to maintain my weight, but it sure isn't good enough for 2 pounds a week loss. 

Some people don't need to do that--count every calories that enters their mouth. They have a moderation control built in to their brain. Not me.

It's kind of like cats. 
My sisters' cat has this thing where she always acts like she's starving. They feed Noel twice a day, and she will hound them until she gets her food, then snarf it down like it's her last meal in a year, then meow incessantly an hour later if they even get close to the food cupboard. She would probably be like Garfield if left to her own devices.

My cat is very different. We leave Pixel's food out in this dish that has the big dispenser above it so it just refills when it's empty. It fits about half a bag of cat food in it each time. Pixel eats when she's hungry. And never too much. She's a small cat, and I almost wonder if she's eating enough!

I'm like Noel. With some foods, I don't know when to stop. Or I get the munchies... and don't know when to stop. This is why I cleaned all tempting junk food out of the house at the beginning of the summer. But now, even though I'm making "healthy" choices, I still eat too much (Think-- nuts. They're a great source of protein and healthy fat....but way high in calories).

So, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to start recording my food again. 

Every day, everything I eat. 

I use an online food tracker to make it fairly easy. Also, I'm also going to post my calories on my blog. Not everyday, but enough to make me accountable and record it and own up to what I'm doing. Just for some more accountability. 

So....back to work! Here's to being the sensible cat! :) 

My kitten Pixel when she was a baby

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Pants Dance

So, I have this box.

It's a big, moving type box (Chick-Fil-A waffle fry box to be specific), in the tip-top of my closet.

In big, sharpie marker it reads: Clothes To Grow In-To


At the beginning of the summer, I went through a "Pre-Cleansing Ritual". This all-important ritual involved removing all contraband from my pantry (you know, all the good stuff.....white pasta, hi-fat soups, chips, even stock items like extra ranch and chocolate chips!), making sure my goals and calorie budget were easily accessable, and sorting through my clothes to actually figure out what fit me in my current size and what many, many, many things didn't.

Because my most significant weight gain happened in the last 2 years, I've kept a good portion of my clothes as I've went up the sizes. Even before that, during college, though I didn't gain as much weight and I wore things out more, I kept my favorite things in hopes of getting back in them.

Most men scoff at the idea of keeping clothes around that don't fit you any more. For me, this was a very vital part of my journey. My plan success story is that I am going to lose weight so rapidly that I won't have the money to purchase new clothes for each size I pass.  But since I already have clothes in the next 2 or 3 sizes down that I've been keeping around, it all works out. :)

I don't, however, recommend keeping clothes that are incredibly dated and out of style and waaaaay further down your weight loss road. NOT because you won't get there. 
But because, 
A) they're just going to take up tons of closet space or shelf space 
B) they often act as more of a discouragement than a motivation, 
C) If it's too old chances are you won't like it when you do lose the weight and will throw it out anyways, and most importantly
D) You darn well deserve some new clothes and a shopping spree when you've lost that much weight anyways!!!!


So anyway, MY box. :)

This was the first time all summer that I've opened the box. I had a pair of jeans that I knew would fit me first that was already in my drawer, and frankly, I've just stretched the use of my shirts by wearing them layered or tighter, so I've mostly just noticed my shirts fitting better in general.

I decided to get down the box after I realized that my next pair of jeans (the one I kept in the drawer even though it was a bit small), was starting to get loose around the waist. Here's the result of what now fits!!!!!:


1 pair of dress pants (not worn for at least a year)
1 pair of pink capris (not worn since college)
2 pairs of khakis (at least 1 1/2 years)
1 new workout shirt (I'm not sure I ever wore this -I think it was on sale)
2 shirts that are know shifted to my "nearly fit" side of the closet
1 lacey-over-lay shirt thing-y that was too tight on my arms before



So yeah.......This is officially called Happy Pants Dance. The part of the blog where I come out and do a happy dance in front of my mirror, open my box and show what exciting things I fit into now! :) 

Yay for NSV!!!!! (non-scale victorys)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Racquetball and a Change of Attitude

Today I had a sort of epiphany.

John and I had an amazing labor day weekend, and so spontaneously decided to extend it by taking a day vacation. Since this was going to cut into my workout, we decided to do something different together.

We went and played racquetball! Let me paint a picture for you of how me "playing" went last time (and any time) I played.

I reluctantly step inside the court, instantly uncomfortable because of the floor-to-ceiling glass that lets any causal bystander observe.

John serves lightly-- "too fast!!!" I screech as I skid out of the way of the ferocious oncoming ball. John goes and retrieves the ball as I stand in the same place. 

Again, he serves, much more slowly this time. I nimbly take a step and reach my racket out to return the shot. 

This continues, John using his left hand, hitting the ball the straightest and softest he's able to, me only moving a step or two, complaining when the ball was hit too hard, or that I'm scared of it hitting me. I can't judge where it's going to be. I don't like the way it ricashays off the walls as it comes to attack me. I feel like everything jiggles if I move quickly or even try to lunge for the ball.

Ten minutes later, we take a break. "I'm sweating. I hate sweating!" I whine. I make a face to show my disgust. I feel like I can't do anything. I feel like I'm slow, uncoordinated, gross, unathletic, and fat.

After a pathetic "game" of this, I take the sidelines so that John can actually play a real game of racquetball with his friends. I wistfully watch them, wishing I could move that nimbly and quickly, sighing, *knowing* that I will never be able to be that athletic and confident.


HA! Yeah right! We just finished up playing two hours of fierce racquetball. And guess what?

I won 2 out of 4 games!

Yeah that's right. I was pretty amazing. Let me show you the newly improved picture of me playing racquetball....

"Is that all you got?" I taunt, "because I totally owned you that last volley!" I smile a perfect combination of wickedness and sweetness, despite the sweat that is soaking my ponytail and streaming down my face. 

I occasionally glance at my heart rate monitor, because after all, I need to get my workout in today, but that's not what this is about---I'm having fun. 

John wins the next volley, but I retrieve the ball anyway and jog back to my position to await his serve. He still serves lightly for me, but is playing with his right hand. We agreed that he would play with his left hand whenever he was ahead...but frankly, that hasn't been very often. My coordination is stellar, if I can get to the ball in time, I nearly always return it. I slam myself into the wall to be able to return a difficult, fast shot, and am rewarded with returning a shot hits the wall so close to the floor and at such an angle that John couldn't hope to return it. The point is mine. I am so into this game.


That game ends, and I push to play another one. and another, and another. Though I'm panting and have long since finished our water, we only stop because John's thigh is hurting (still recovering from the triathlon he did).


I feel quick. I am quick. I am coordinated. I am nimble and flexible. I actually, for the first time since I can remember, feel athletic

I may still be 75 pounds overweight, but I can do, and am doing things that I wasn't comfortable doing when I was 30 pounds lighter than I am now. Inside this body, there is an athlete forming.

But here's where my epiphany comes in: it's not just my body that is changing....I am changing. I am becoming that person I want to be. This is working!  

We were trying to figure out why I wasn't still afraid of the ball like I used to be. I thought it was just because I'm more coordinated now, but then I realized, no, it's because I choose not to be.  I have so much more confidence now, in myself, in who I am, in what I can accomplish.

I have pushed through so many uncomfortable things because I have decided to, that seriously, you think I'm going to be scared of a little ball hitting me and let that keep me from having fun and being competitive? No way! 

My entire attitude has changed about racquetball. It was no longer this sport I begrudgingly played since John wanted to-- I had fun. I burned 1300 calories in 2 hours, but do you know what? Go me...but I don't care! I had FUN!

This is the first example I've seen of how I actually will be able to enjoy being active once I get to my goal weight. It's not always going to be drudgery, I won't always want to avoid sweating above all else. Because when you're fit enough to be active like that, a whole realm of possibilities open up. For me, I found I love racquetball. I hope I also like canoeing and rock climbing, but I'm not sure yet. But I have solid proof now that I'm not just always going to have to drag my big butt to the gym and slave away because it's what needs to be done.

Will I still go to the gym? probably. But will that be the only thing I do? No....because there will be new activities that I love. I will be able to find new hobbies that I always thought looked cool, but *knew* I'd never be doing. And as the added benefit, they will be helping me stay fit.

What are some of the activities you look forward to being able to actually enjoy when you get fit?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quiche!

I am now on the eternal quest for healthy versions of normal delicious dishes. But they have to be good. A lot of the stuff I've tried has only been so-so, despite claims that "you can't even tell a difference!!!" Yeah right. That's baloney.

Sooo anyway, I decided to make a quiche this weekend, thinking, "wow, with all these eggs and veggies, this might be a really great healthy dish!"

But nooooo, all the recipes I looked up were like 300-500 calories per slice! Yeah, not working for me!

So, I decided to make my own version.  Here's what I did:

  • Used egg whites instead of whole eggs (keeping nearly all of the protein, and none of the fat)
  • Used part-skim cheese instead of regular, and cut the amount back from 1 1/2 cups to just 1 cup
  • Used normal milk (1% with a bit of half and half) instead of all half and half like some recipes call for)
  • Completely dropped the crust (the crust accounts for 100 calories per slice)
  • Stayed clear of fatty fillings like bacon, etc

The result? 100 calories per slice, of absolute amazingness! 



I've started trying to substitute egg whites when I can, but frankly, a lot of times the consistency is way different, or I just really miss the taste of the yokes. Honestly, though I'm not going to claim "you can't tell a difference" (haha), I didn't notice at all, and I felt like I was getting a yummy decadent food. John likes it too....he always enjoys quiche--even if it is seen as a "girly food." And you can eat it any time of day!

Here's the full nutritional info of the specific quiche I made (chicken breast, broccoli, mushrooms, mozzerella) -- 100 calories, 3.6 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 12 g protein. I say pretty good!! :)

This is going to become a staple at my house. Here's to finding healthy treasures!

*Update:

I was requested to post the recipe of the quiche I made...so here it is. :)

Chicken, Broccoli, Mushroom Quiche


Ingredients:
1 cup raw broccoli florets
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
4 oz. baked chicken breast (I used leftover rotisserie chicken for extra flavor)
1 cup (3.5 oz) low-fat mozzerella cheese
12 tablespoons Egg White Egg Beaters (liquid egg whites in little cartons)
1.5 cups 1% milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Directions: 
  1. Preheat over to 350  
  2. steam or sautee broccoli and mushrooms, usually minimal oil, or just water, until just tender
  3. mix with chicken, spread mixture in glass pie dish
  4. spread cheese over veggie/chicken mixture
  5. mix egg whites, milk, salt, and nutmeg together, pour into pie dish
  6. bake for one hour uncovered
  7. remove from oven, let sit for 15 minutes (this part is important, otherwise you'll wonder why it seems like there's still lots of liquid in it)
  8. Eat up!
You can also substitute different vegetables or meat. Yesterday I made another one that had canadian bacon, tomatoes, and mushrooms...yummy! Let me know what variations you try out!



Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cookie dough, chicken strips, and icecream, oh my!

I've been having cravings lately. Lots of them. The worst I've had this whole summer. Actually, some of the only ones I've had this summer.

The smooth, creamy deliciousness of soft serve blizzards from Dairy Queen.


The fried, glorious perfection of Chick-Fil-A's chicken strips, paired with their amazing fries, not without the best part of the honey barbecue sauce.


The not-so-secret delight of freshly made chocolate chip cookie dough before it's baked into cookies.


The satisfying, mouth-watering crunch of a good Dorito or Salt&Vinegar chip.



Okay, enough of that....writing about it is definitely not helping.

Yeah, like I said, it's been bad. I've been very firm in my mindset that this whole thing isn't about a diet for me....it's about changing my habits and choices. And I've done very well with that. But the fact remains that as I change my habits, I have been depriving myself of an abundance of foods I love.

I'm continuing to remind myself of the setbacks indulging too much would result in, and worrying about this coming weigh-in has kept me mostly in check.....but gosh, it's hard.

This journey isn't easy. I never expected it to be. But that doesn't change the reality of the temptations and the pity parties. It sucks.

John recently conquered his first triathlon last weekend, and he told me that what he tells himself when it's hurting the most is-- "Not because it's easy, but because it's hard." For him, that means, the reason he's challenging himself to push through the pain, is just that...it's a challenge. He wants to conquer it, to prove to himself he can finish.

I'm not there yet, but that got me thinking. For me, the reason I say no, the reason I keep depriving myself of the things my body mistakenly thinks it needs, the reason I keep pushing myself in workouts, is -- "Not because it's easy, but because it's worth it."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

25 pounds down!!!!!!

I'VE LOST 25 POUNDS!!!!!!!!
WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! 

I'm so proud of myself. I'm a quarter of the way to my goal! 

I can totally do this 3 more times!

To never be obese again.

Health, fitness, and skinny-ness (relatively).....here I come!

To me, that number says that this isn't just some fluctuation, or a spurt of determination that's just going to fade. 25 pounds is way more than that. It's one stepping stone of something way bigger. A full change.
But even more importantly than that, I recognize that though it is a monumental number, it's just that--one more stepping stone. I did the same thing this week to get to 25 as I did 3 weeks ago to get to 21. 

I lost two pounds last week, I lost one pound this week, I'll hopefully lose two pounds next week. But that's the thing, is the way I'm getting to these milestones is by doing in day in, day out, every week.

When I do get to 100 pounds, yes, that will absolutely be wonderful, but I think that the "insignificant" weeks of 17-19 pounds or 42-43 will be the bigger achievements. For it is in those weeks that I am pushing the hardest, going past my limits, enduring the grueling, tedious workouts and the sadness of saying no to yet another cookie.

I guess what I'm saying is, 25 is just one more pound than 24, just as 100 will be just one more pound than 99. And the real victory is in every single one of those "one pounds". 

It's the little things that define your commitment, strength, and determination.
Wherever you are in your journey, take pride and recognize your accomplishments and strength in the little things, for it's the consistency to reach the little victories that add up to the big milestones.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fast Food: Is there a healthy way?!??

We all know that fast food is notoriously awful for us. But that doesn't stop most of us from using the drive thru on a hectic day of errands. Aside from the occasional craving for a Wendy's Frosty or some Chick-Fil-A strips, most of the reason for stopping is for convenience.

It's on the way, it's quick, it's cheap, it tastes good (usually). For me, I find myself stopping when I'm picking hubby up from work and we're going straight to our evening small group.

Sure, it would be optimal to pack some tasty healthy snacks or a portable dinner and not feel like I need to resort to fast food, but in reality, that just doesn't always happen.

So is there no hope? Are those of us that don't plan ahead well enough to pack healthy food just doomed to be fat or unhealthy because of fast food?

No. Of course not.

Since starting my weight loss journey, I've taken to looking up the nutritional information of any restaurant we go to -- sit down or fast food. Now obviously, not all eateries have such helpful info online, but by using the ones that do, you can arm yourself with the *few* healthy choices at a fast food restaurant, and know what things to absolutely stay away from.

 Here's some of the little treasures of info I've found that have helped keep me safe from the evils of Ronald McDonald and the Burger King.

This isn't exhaustive by any means, it's just what I've found handy. Also, I don't just look at calories, but also how filling the food will be (fiber, protein, and actual amount of food), and if it seems "worth it" (as in, a kids fries may only be 290 calories, but that's a lousy waste of empty calories for you being hungry again 15 minutes later).

In general I stay away from fast food salads, because they usually aren't actually very low calorie, especially when you add dressing, and I'm picky about the quality of my veggies --and fast food hardly ever cuts it.

Arbys:

**Roast Chicken Ranch Sandwich --360 calories, 10 g fat, 26 g protein 
  • The amount of protein in this is going to keep you fuller longer, so you won't be starving again when you get home. This is the only Market Fresh sandwich I will order, unless I KNOW I'm only going to eat half of it. Though they are loaded with meat and veggies, the rest of them vary from 420-830 calories and 23-46 grams of fat!
 Regular Popcorn Chicken -- 360 calories, 16 g fat, 26 g protein
  • Though the fat is getting up there, the calories aren't awful here. However, you won't be getting much quantity of food, which thus won't satisfy you as well. Also, unless you're eating these puppies dry, forget ordering them. The sauces range from 45-140 calories --each packet!
 McDonalds:

Ranch or Honey Mustard Snack Wrap (Grilled)-- 260 cal, 9 g fat, 18 g protein
  • Though these aren't large, nutritionally they're not bad. As long as you're not too hungry, either one will do in a pinch. Just stay away from them fried!
Vanilla Cone-- 150 calories, 3.5 g fat, 4 g protein
  • Since it's low-fat ice cream, this is the best soft-serve I've found. It actually has 10 less calories then the "healthier" parfait, only slightly more fat, and less sugar. And you'll feel like you're getting a treat. But make sure it's only that--a treat, not a regular purchase!
 Chick-Fil-A:

Chick-n-Mini's -- 280 calories, 10 g fat, 16 g protein
  • Again, not too filling, but for the "oh-so-good factor", a reasonable choice for a treat. The other main problem with these is that they are on white biscuits and have breading on them, both of which add to empty calories.
**Chargrilled or Spicy Chicken Cool Wrap -- 410 calories, 12 g fat, 33 g protein
  •  This is one of my favorites for an on-the-go meal (not a snack). It has great veggies, and the entire amount of protein I need in a meal, without over the top calories!
**Chicken Strips (4 count) --500 calories, 24 g fat, 47 g protein
  • Now don't jump on me yet. I realize these have 500 calories and 24 grams fat (which by the way, is still, outrageously, "reasonable" by fast food standards), but they are just so absolutely good, that if paired with a wrap (see above), and split with a friend, these are more acceptable. Again, I only do it on a splurge, but I refuse to 100% cut something I love from my diet. So by only having 2 and and having half a wrap with it, I have a delicious, balanced fast food meal. Note, this is NOT the same a having just a few fries or something. These have a TON of great protein. :)
Burger King:

Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich (w/o mayo)-- 360 calories, 7 g fat, 37 g protein
  • I gotta admit, I haven't actually tried this yet, (just found it when I was looking up stuff online), but after seeing this I'm definitely going to. It looks yummy, and I'm very impressed they stuffed all that protein into 360 calories! Remember though, this also needs to be a small meal replacement, not a whole added snack.
 Subway:

Here lies the King of healthy fast food. Though most places don't have drive-thru, their service is quite speedy. And the health factor of what you'll be getting is definitely worth it! The normal 6" sandwiches range from 230-380 calories, with less than 6 grams of fat and 8-26 grams of protein! Flavor up the healthy way by adding mustard or red wine vinegar, and avoiding oil or mayo. You can get some great fiber in by choosing a whole grain bread. Subway is a safe place for variety, where you're able to breathe easy about getting what you want instead of picking and choosing on the menu. And ask for extra veggie--piling them on will make it even more filling!

Well, that's how I navigate fast food. Like I said at the beginning--when I'm really with it, I pack almonds, carrots, yogurt, etc. But, life happens. Hope this helps you stay in control while on the road like it does for me!