My Eats

How "The Accidental Fat Chick" Hatched...

Welcome to The Accidental Fat Chick's new online home!

During the summer 0f 2008, I woke up one morning with a drive to live a healthy lifestyle. Since then, I've made many changes and lost nearly 50 pounds. Many of my friends and family members have come to me, asking about what I'm doing & how I'm doing it. While I certainly would never claim to be an expert, I'm happy to share what I've learned along the way.

So after careful thought... "The Accidental Fat Chick" has hatched... with the hope of helping at least one person and to be the accountability I need to finish what I started. :)

Thank you for visiting!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Where's the "Do Over" Button???

Can this be Saturday afternoon? Could yesterday have been some sort of sick, really long, dream? Please??? Hmm... no chance of that happening... so I guess its time to fess up here. I slept in just a little bit, but the husband was anxious to get going for the day. For some reason, he wanted us to go shopping together... wondering what the heck is wrong with him. He rarely wants to go shopping with me, pretty sure he'd rather go to the dentist & have them forget the Novocaine.

In an effort to take advantage of this rare opportunity, I made some regrettable mistakes. I decided that I could skip the gym & failed to pack along snacks for the day. As if that's not all bad enough, when we were off on our shopping trip, I ended up eating Chinese food, ice cream and regular soda. And then when we got home, I ate a freakin hot dog. Seriously, what the heck happened to me???? I really don't know...

On the bright side, I found some awesome deals. Old Navy had the cutest little t-shirts on sale for $5 & an extra half off all of their clearance. It was nice to be able to get some clothes for my constantly growing child & a few t-shirts that will actually fit me well. At Ross, I found some Fit & Fresh containers for really cheap; hoping they will help with packing along quick foods for my busy days (and ones like yesterday). Last find of the day was The Biggest Loser for the Wii on sale for about half price. I hear mixed things about it, but thought for the price it's worth forming my own opinion.

Looking Forward

Today is pretty much my day to prepare for the week ahead - meal planning, gym schedule, family obligations, kids group stuff, a little "me" time - prep day needs to be preloaded with extra hours. :-)

Tomorrow, I get to go shopping at Trader Joes. I love shopping there, but since the nearest one is over an hour away from our house - off the island & north - I don't get to go very often. I have my basic list for there, but if anyone knows of something particularly yummy I'd love to hear about it.

Thank you everyone for the quick & easy food ideas. I'm looking forward to trying them & kicking this Around the World Challenge in the tush!

Friday, February 26, 2010

I Ran!!!!

Not very fast. Not very long. But I did indeed run on the treadmill at the gym last night... for two whole minutes. Ok, I know its not very much, but considering I've NEVER even walked any faster than maybe 3.4 on the treadmill I was pleased with myself. What made me do this? I don't know... perhaps it was Keelie's post over at Real Fat. She ran an entire 5K on the treadmill and I was thinking of her as I lugged my tush onto the treadmill (if you haven't noticed by now, I HATE the treadmill). There I was walking away, trying to convince myself I wasn't bored to death, and slowly increasing my speed... finally when I hit 3.8 I decided "lets see if I can actually run on this thing without falling flat on my face." Weird thing, I actually felt more comfortable running than I ever have walking on it. Now I think its going to be my new gym game, to try to add a minute (or however long I can last) each time I run on the treadmill. That's how I tricked myself into going from 35 to over 100 floors on the StairMaster. :-)

I found out last night that the gym is starting the Around the World Challenge early... two whole weeks early. This morning, I went back, signed up & paid the fee. I'm the first to sign up!!! I don't know whether I'm happy about it starting early or not... it definitely presents some challenges and adds more stress to my already packed schedule. But on the bright side, I won't be at the gym for eight hours finishing it up on Mother's Day this year. My Mom will thank them profusely when she hears... lol.

The challenge was highly rewarding for me last year because I'd never done any sort of physical challenge before. But, there was one problem that I'm hoping to find a solution for this year: I was spending sooooo much time at the gym that I ended up eating a lot fast food meals and other less than healthy things. Much of my hard work at the gym failed to be maximized because of this.

This time around, I'm really trying to plan ahead because I want to see the full effect of the challenge - physically & mentally. So I need a little help... What are some quick, easy meal & snack ideas?

On a final note: A big thank you to Crystal at Fitness Journal for mentioning my 2-4-8-10 Challenge on her blog today. :-)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Caught in the Act!!!

Yep, that's me... rifling through the basket of chocolate at kids group last night. I was anxiously searching for a Kit Kat. The closet thing I found was this...

It is a Kit Kat, technically, but white chocolate just doesn't cut it in my book. So I "settled" for nine Hershey's kisses. I made them last the entire two hours I was there by sucking each one slowly and really enjoying the flavor & texture in my mouth. And since I had left some wiggle room in my meal plan, knowing there would be chocolate there, no guilt for me. :-)
I stayed pretty close to my planned meals yesterday. I did eat one peanut butter creme Girl Scout cookie between breakfast & lunch. For snacks, I ended up skipping the grapefruit; but ate an extra string cheese.
The husband was being a computer hog this morning so I never got my meal plan for today posted. Breakfast was steel cut oats with strawberries, sliced almonds & milk. Regretfully, I ended up at Jack in the Box for a late lunch. I went in with the intention of having the Chicken Fajita Pita & water. But those darn curly fries sucked me into their curliness & forced me to ask for them; I swear they did! On the bright side, I talked myself out of having the sugary root beer along with it. So a little extra time in the gym tonight & a light dinner should compensate.
Does anyone else ever feel like living a healthy lifestyle is a full-time job?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Plan of the Day

Yesterday, I had such terrible lower back pain that I spent the day with muscle relaxers. And as my trainer says, the gym & muscle relaxers are NOT friends... so I had to skip. I was really disappointed and anxious to be there, especially with all the stuff I have left to do there.

This morning, my back is feeling better so far- a little tender, but not real pain. So my plan is to take it easy this morning & then put in a light workout at the gym. After that, if it hurts I will take a muscle relaxer. Hopefully it was just a one day deal... but really I'm not that lucky lol.

On the food front, my meal plan of the day is:

Breakfast- Mini Oat Pancakes with 1 Tbsp reduced fat peanut butter & 1 small banana

282 calories

Lunch- Salad with 2 cups chopped romaine, 1 cup chopped spinach, 1/8 cup chopped red onion, 2 oz shrimp, 1/2 oz. reduced fat feta, 1 Tbsp sliced almonds & 1 Tbsp light sesame dressing; 2 kiwi

266 calories

Dinner- 1 mini bagel with 1 Tbsp almond butter & 1 Tbsp sliced almonds; 1 apple

327 calories

Snacks (as needed throughout the day)- 1 grapefruit, 3 cups airpopped popcorn, 1 light string cheese

243 calories

Calories for the day: 1,118 (plus I'll undoubtedly have a couple pieces of chocolate at kids group, so that should put me at 1200ish)

I typically aim for 1400-1500 calories, but am trying to keep it lower on light or no workout days.

I'm hoping having my planned meals out here for the world to see will help me stick to them better. Debating between doing them as daily posts or putting them on their own page - what do you think???

Off to make my pancakes... hope everyone has a great day! :-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Around the World & 2-4-8-10 Challenges

Before I get into the details of the challenges... I'm a bit perplexed, but the scale LOVED me this morning. I was sure that after the weekend of indulging I would be lucky not to gain (ok, I was really prepared to gain a hefty sum if I'm being brutally honest). But, according to the scale I was down 2.6 pounds from last week. I'm really pleased with the number and it makes me feel even more hopeful that's its possible to go enjoy a weekend from time to time, as long as its planned for in advance. :-)

Around the World Fitness Challenge

About a month after I started going to the gym, I saw a sign for the Around the World Fitness Challenge. Looking over the requirements, I was thinking to myself "there is no way I could do all that," but I wanted to do it nonetheless. The way it was set up, you could choose to do just part of it & I figured I'd pick & choose. Then a couple weeks into it someone (who shall remain nameless) said something about the whole thing being a stupid idea. It should be known that I don't take comments like that very well... so from that day forward I set out to complete the entire challenge.

The challenge requirements were:

  • The Frequent Flier Challenge: 30 hours of workout time logged at the gym

  • North America Challenge: 330 sets on Circuit machines

  • South America Challenge: 276 sets of Core Strength

  • Australia Challenge: 378 sets on Free Weights

  • Asia Challenge: 48 miles on elliptical or Arc trainer

  • Europe Challenge: 150 miles on bike

  • Africa Challenge: 38 miles on treadmill or rower

  • Antarctica Challenge: 2,100 floors on the StairMaster

There was a six week time period to complete everything. It took me until the very last day of the challenge, Mother's Day, to get it finished.... I spent just shy of eight hours in the gym that day (I credit Toby Keith & George Strait for keeping me going, their movies were on tv).... but I DID IT!!!!

For the girl who avoided gym class like the plague in school, this was a MAJOR accomplishment. At awards presentation, I won a gift certificate to a local spa... hmmm... maybe I should think about redeeming that one day soon.

The 2-4-8-10 Challenge

When things settled down from the holidays, my friend & I were looking for something to get us back to our gym routines... so we came up with a modified version of the Around the World Challenge... which we named the 2-4-8-10 Challenge. Basically the two (2) of us working for (4) size eight (8) in 2010 (10). We set 12 weeks for the time frame (so it will end when the gym's official Around the World Challenge starts) & multiplied the numbers from the Around the World Challenge by 1.75. My thought with this was that it would help me gear up for the gym's challenge & get my butt to the gym when I might skip otherwise.

We chose rewards for if we were half way to completion by the six week mark & then one for if we complete everything by the end of the 12 weeks. For six weeks, the reward was a trip to an upscale movie theater. For 12 weeks, its shopping for a new outfit at Westlake Center in Seattle (any excuse to shop in the city lol) The six week mark has passed and neither of us were halfway there. Some stuff happened in her personal life that got her off track & my needing to be there to support her got me off track too. I just finished reviewing how much I have left to do (in 5 weeks) and its remotely possible IF I make substantial time for the gym. Bottom line: I know, without a doubt, I'm getting to the gym more than I would have without the challenge & I will be better prepared for the gym's challenge than I was last year... so that's something.

As of today this is what I have left:

Elliptical - 78 miles

Bike- 130 miles

Treadmill- 59.3

StairMaster- 3,135

Circuit Sets- 421

Core Sets- 368

Free Weight Sets- 637

4 weeks, 5 days remaining... Can I do this?????

We will see....

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Turtle Way...

Meaning slow, but surely, I'm going to get where I need to be. There is NO try here, I will get there. Period, end of story. Still trying to get back on track from the weekend, I took some steps toward getting there today.

First, I figured out exactly what I need to do on a daily basis at the gym to complete the first phase of the "2-4-8-10 Challenge" I'm doing with my friend. I can't believe I haven't talked about that on here yet... we patterned our challenge after the one I did at the gym last year & gave ourselves 12 weeks to do crazy things like almost 4,000 floors on the StairMaster. I'll write about it in detail tomorrow, but we're down to the final five weeks & I still have a LONG way to go.

Then, I set about meal planning for the coming week (starting tomorrow). I still have one day left to figure out. Once I get it all done, I'll post my plan for the week, so you can all hold me accountable to stick with it. I already know we have a special dinner tomorrow & Friday night, so those are factored in.

Though I have eaten way more than I should have today, its all been from the healthy things I stocked the house with. Don't know why I'm so stinkin hungry today. I got in a little over an hour at the gym, split between bike & treadmill. Have I mentioned how much I HATE the treadmill? Oddly enough, it didn't bother me soooo much today. But, for some unexplained reason, my hamstrings are killing me. They were hurting before I went to the gym & by the time I left they both had this sort of numb, but burning at the same time sensation. Planning to go soak in a hot bath & hope they feel better in the morning.

Tomorrow is scale day... I'm prepared for a less than happy outcome after the weekend & I'm ok with that. Scale peeking Friday morning showed I was on the right track & I'll be right back on it as of tomorrow morning... still hoping its not tooooooo terrible though.

That bath is calling me... oh no, inanimate objects are talking to me? I may be in real trouble here. :-)

"Cereal Pa"

Most of my friends have mentioned a "favorite" food that their Mom made when they were growing up - usually something sweet & definitely far from healthy- that has now become a sort of comfort food for them. For me, this is a bit of a foreign concept. My Mom HATES food, cooking and pretty much anything to do with the kitchen. When I was a little girl, before my Dad passed away, I remember her making simple meals (definitely nothing memorable). After my Dad passed away, her primary method of food preparation was deciding which restaurant to drive us to for dinner. Hmmm... could this be why, as much as I LOVE cooking, I find myself drawn to the allure of restaurants so frequently?

While my friends have their "favorite" comfort foods from their Mom's... I have "cereal pa." My Grandpa's favorite cereal was Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, but when I was a little I couldn't say that & have always called it "cereal pa." I'm not big on sugary, fake flavored cereals, but this is one I can't seem to let go of... and I've pretty much decided not to. However, like so many things in my life... I have assigned little rules to it. #1: I will only buy it when its on sale (ie. no more than $2 per box) and #2: I only eat one bowl (measured serving) per box. Usually I make my bowl, the last serving in the box, so there's no chance of going back for more. This has worked well & kept me from eating it by the box.

A few weeks ago it was on sale for $1 per box, but you had to buy five boxes. Five boxes equals five bowls of my favorite cereal for me - or does it? I made it through boxes 1, 2 & 3 without having a single bowl. On box #4 I succumbed and had a bowl... unmeasured which is so not like me. Box #5 is in the cupboard, unopened... and I'm determined that when it is opened I will resist. One bowl out of five boxes seems reasonable... and I'm not feeling at all like I'm being deprived of something I love.

How do you keep from going overboard on foods you really like? Are there foods you have to totally avoid?

On another note: I'm finding it way more difficult to get back to my routine than I thought I would after the weekend. I mean it was only a couple days...but it feels like its been a couple months since I happily went to the gym & ate a "planned" meal. But I'm working on meal planning for the week (starting tomorrow) and will get to the gym later this evening.

I fell a little short on my mini-goal last week... gonna keep the same goal for this week. Hopefully a "normal" week will make it attainable. Hope every one's week is off to a good start!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Bon Jovi Weekend

This weekend will always be referred to as "The Bon Jovi Weekend."

My partner in crime for the weekend: none other than my best friend, Erika. We started the weekend at my favorite nail salon... my nails (fingers & toes) are now a beautiful shade of blue & adorned with flowers. Arriving in Seattle an hour before we could check into the hotel, we went straight to The Cheesecake Factory. My menu there... one strawberry margarita (I thought I was doing pretty good to limit myself to one lol), WAY too much bread, and the combination of Steak Diane & Herb Crusted Salmon with mashed potatoes. It was soooo yummy, I could have easily eaten every bite; but somehow I managed to leave half the mashed potatoes on the plate. I skipped ordering dessert & managed to have just a couple bites from my friends... such restraint I tell ya. :-)

Shopping wasn't supposed to happen til Saturday... but with a little extra time to spare we found ourselves in Old Navy. A year ago the only thing I could possibly buy at Old Navy was an occasional XXL tshirt (if it was generously cut). Friday, I was able to purchase a tank top & t-shirt, that fit comfortably, in a size Large!!!! Yay for the smaller size & double yay because they were both on sale.

After checking into the hotel, we walked to the concert. I think it was roughly about a half mile each way... so not the longest walk, but better than nothing. The concert was fantastic - lots of new & old music. The band was awesome, the lighting and video monitors were over the top. I would've gladly gone again last night... but geesh those ticket scalpers make a killing for big shows. When the concert was over, we considered going to a bar or something but ended up just going back to the hotel. We stopped off at a grocery store on the way for some food... I bypassed all of the temptations and got a cup of fresh cut fruit - strawberries, blueberries, pineapple & mango. Very yummy & totally satisfying.

We awoke to a gloriously sunny Saturday morning in Seattle... how rare is that for this time of year? No complaints though... lol. By the time we got ready & checked out of the hotel, it was pretty much lunch time... so off to find The Hard Rock Cafe we went. We found a parking lot near the Pike Place Market and figured we'd just walk from there. Not being totally certain where the restaurant was (its only been open since Feb. 10th), I plugged the address into the navigation on my phone... so of course it gave us driving directions... which actually turned out to be a good thing. Thanks to the driving directions, we got in a 1.25 mi walk to the restaurant, as opposed to the couple blocks it would have been if we'd known exactly where it was.

No more referring to myself as a "Hard Rock virgin." We found the restaurant, were seated immediately (no small feat there & within minutes after our arrival there was an hour wait), and I dove right in. Something called a Local Berry Margarita. Normally I prefer my margaritas blended, this one was on the rocks, but super yummy. My meal was an open-faced sirloin sandwich with mac & cheese. The sandwich was piled with sirloin, mushrooms, onions & Swiss cheese. I did pull off the cheese, left one piece of the steak & most of the bread behind... however I inhaled the mac & cheese. Seriously, the BEST mac & cheese I have ever tasted. It was an awesome experience... we even got a visit from the head chef.

After lunch, we walked around the market, which was nice, but really really crowded. I avoided all of the tasty treats they tempt you with there. I did find some tart, dried cherries that don't have sugar added... thinking they will be perfect for one of the trail mix type things I create for snacks. The walk from the market back to the car was probably a half mile or so.

On the way home, we stopped at the mall & I ventured into Lane Bryant. Odd how long it had been since my last visit (I used to give them weekly donations of my husband's paycheck lol). The objective of this little visit... BRAS. I have been in bra hell for months... trying to find ones that fit... and I think perhaps I finally have achieved success. Its amazing how a properly fitting bra can slim your midsection... who would've thought?!?

Last food confession of the weekend, we were sucked into Cold Stone Creamery on our way out of the mall. Love it size cake batter with chocolate chips, almonds & graham cracker crust in a waffle bowl. The almonds are healthy, right?

Self reflection of the weekend: We didn't walk nearly as much as I had hoped, but we did get in a few miles worth of walking all together & some of it included steep hills... so not a total loss. Food wise, I feel like I did fairly well in comparison to what I could have done & what I have done in the past. I left food uneaten at each meal, skipped ordering dessert, and limited myself to one drink at each meal. Also, because we were "on the go" so much, I didn't snack between meals. All in all, I think it was a step in the right direction. Other than the bread at The Cheesecake Factory, I was able to enjoy myself without going totally overboard.

Tomorrow I will have to tell you about "cereal pa" and figure out my plan for the week... for now, its been a LONG (but fantastic) weekend and I need SLEEP!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Let The Weekend Begin!

My friend will be here in just a few minutes & then its off to Seattle... for Bon Jovi; their world tour kicks off here tonight! I'm super excited. I already know where we'll be eating tonight & tomorrow... and its not gonna be a pretty picture but I'm ok with that - Cheesecake Factory & Hard Rock Cafe... too much good stuff. lol

In anticipation of the weekend, I have been careful with my eating all week (except perhaps last nights salad lol). Rarely do I peek at the scale between weigh ins... but I did this morning because I wanted to see how things were prior to the "big concert weekend." -2 pounds!!!! So even if the weekend comes with a cost, at least I KNOW that what I've been doing this week was working... and after tomorrow its right back to the routine. And maybe, just maybe, it won't be SOOOOO bad... I mean we will be walking A LOT. :-)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chicken Salad

My son and I just arrived at the hospital for his weekly OT & PT sessions... and its Chicken Salad day in the cafeteria! This is soooo not fair of them... lol. There are no words to describe how much I LOVE this chicken salad of theirs. It may seem a little odd to be so "in love" with food from a hospital cafeteria, but this hospital has amazingly yummy food and this particular chicken salad rivals anything from a restaurant. The Cheesecake Factory used to have a similar salad on their menu & the one here is every bit as tasty.

This salad, while yummy, is definitely not a "healthy" meal option. It has a generous portion of fried chicken breast, thick cut bacon, pecans, corn & to die for good honey mustard dressing. They only serve it every 4-6 weeks and always on a Thursday; lucky me that it happens to be my son's therapy day. Its an indulgence I plan for as soon as I see it on the menu. These "mean" people changed the menu, so now here I sit, knowing the salad is being prepared downstairs as I speak... knowing that I will go downstairs... knowing that I will order the salad... knowing that I will eat & thoroughly enjoy each & every luscious bite.

A moment of weakness? Perhaps... but one that I will gladly succumb too. What can I say? Some things are just worth a few extra floors on the StairMaster! :-)

Do you have a meal like this? One that you just can't say no too? One that you feel is worth the extra work you have to do to compensate for it?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wacky Wednesday

This was the most odd Wednesday I've had in... hmm... a LONG, LONG time. As I mentioned last week, Wednesdays are typically crazy, busy for me. Today just wasn't... I took a short nap after my son got on the bus, put in an hour at the gym, did some core & free weight sets at home, babysat, had a friend come visit, packed up the car to go to kids group. It was all so oddly calm, I don't really know how or why... but I'd love to put it on repeat for all future Wednesdays. Maybe yesterday's "day of rest" was more helpful than I thought. :)

For my hour at the gym, I tried something completely out of the ordinary & was surprised with the result. I have NEVER done this before, but I took a book to the gym with the intention of reading it while I was on the bike... which is just what I did. My usual resistance level on the bike is 6 & I'll bump up to 8 for a little variety. Today, I set it on 12 & just rode. What a huge difference it made... my heart rate was up to the fat burning zone within about three minutes & easily stayed there the entire time. There was literally sweat dripping off my elbows & the sides of my shirt were SOAKED when I finished. I completed the same number of miles I do in an hour on the lower level, which really surprised me... it felt like I was going way slower. Total calorie burn (from my HR monitor) was just shy of 500... which I think is a decent number for the bike.

There was a moment tonight, that made me giggle and a little sad for the person at the same time. One of the people at kids group made the statement that "God shouldn't have given us taste buds or the sense of smell," his point being that then it would be easier to be a healthy weight. Keep in mind here, he was chatting with my mom at the time & she considers food to be a mortal enemy and I think she truly believes that if its good for you there is no possible way it can taste good. This way of thinking is soooo foreign to me... it makes me crazy. But at the same time it got me to thinking...

Where does that mind set come from? How do we go from eating the nutritious, whole foods our parents fed us as infants to a society where if its not battered, deep fried & filled with things we can't pronounce then it can't possibly taste good?

Don't get me wrong - or think I'm being judgemental - I eat a lot of things that fall into the latter category. But, I also genuinely love the flavor of many healthy things - especially fruits & veggies.

But I'm curious... why do you think people fall into that way of thinking?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One of Those Days!

This has been one of those days I knew was going to be a challenge before I ever drug my tush out of bed. My son woke up two short hours after I finally gave up and went to bed... he was ready to be up for the day & just couldn't quiet down (though I think he was TRYING). The husband came in the door all upset over the "rules" of our property managers. We got a bill for putting out six EXTRA trash bags in one week (for a family of three & I recycle like crazy) - I DON'T THINK SO! Anyway, they are making us pay because we can't "prove" we only had our allotted two bins out. The ear buds for my ipod shuffle went "POOF" overnight and are no where to be found... totally sucks you have to use the special ones that come with it because all of the controls are in the ear bud wires. And to round out my list of grievances... the scale was not my friend (up .8) and I have had cramps from hell all day! All of that, though not earth shattering, adds up to STRESS! Ok, sorry for the vent... actually feel a little better to get it all out there.

I don't consider this part of my challenging day... but I skipped the gym & haven't followed my meal plan to the letter. Honestly, my friend George (aka TOM) is causing me a ton of pain & I just didn't feel like pushing my body at the gym. As far as food goes, I've been STARVING all day. My planned meals for the day normally keep me feeling satisfied (not stuffed), so I'm not sure what the problem is. On the bright side, I've eaten extra of the "convenience" foods I made ahead... avoided the drive-thrus (Starbucks was SOOOO tempting) and "The Danger Zone" at the grocery store.

About the scale... sigh... ugh... but I know what caused it; one part my friend George, one part too many restaurant meals and one part not having a meal plan for the week. Even though I can pinpoint the causes I have to admit I'm feeling a bit discouraged. Maybe disappointed is a better word; disappointed with myself for my weaknesses (all the restaurant food & not declining invites) and not making myself a priority (agreeing to do stuff people, know that agreeing would mean sacrificing gym time).

But, onward & upward as they say... Meals are already planned for this whole week. I have two restaurant meals planned over the weekend & adjusted my meal plan for the week to compensate for them as much as possible. Now if I could just figure out the magic fix to the George issue... lol. Oh and disciplining myself to stick to the meal plan would be a nice touch as well. :)

Time to go make dinner - roast beef sandwiches & mushroom soup... yummy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Day of Cooking

Yesterday was my day of cooking & food prep for the week...

Grilled chicken, roast beef, turkey breast - there shall be no complaints about lack of protein this week - lol. Whole wheat pancakes & muffins, berries sliced - quick, easy breakfast for the busy mornings. Rice cooked & a couple of soups made - easy, heat & eat dinners for after the gym. Fruit & veggies cut and since I'm a dipper fat free dips to go with the veggies are ready and waiting.

I try to do this kind of prep day regularly, so that I am not as tempted to hit whatever drive-thru is handy on my way home. But, as I was venting about the other day, my dear sweet husband is an expert at eating my carefully prepared convenience foods. This time around, I cooked twice as much of the things he eats. And yes, I "forgot" to buy some of the junk he normally insists on. My son and he both go other places where they can get goodies, assuming they think they can't live without their goodies, they can get them at school/work... no need for them to enter my healthy kitchen.

Now the test...

The refrigerator has a new resident.... its rectangular, transparent & takes up approximately half of one shelf. To some its known as a basket... to my husband its "the hands OFF or else" box. He has agreed to stay out of it & not to eat anything marked with a pink sticker (for things too big for the basket). Hopefully he keeps his word or I'm gonna need help coming up with the "or else" lol.

News for today: I bumped up to a higher level on the StairMaster! My legs were on fire by the end of 20 minutes, so for the last ten I went back to my old level. Then I did about 20 minutes on the bike. Somewhat of a shorter workout than usual, BUT, considering how much I did NOT want to go to the gym at all today... I'm pleased. What got me there when all I wanted to do was stay home and eat Midol like candy? Mmmm... The Cheesecake Factory & Hard Rock Cafe... my weekend to come dining choices. Pretty sure those words alone are enough to pack on some pounds without even setting foot inside either... good motivation to get this tushie to the gym no matter how much I don't feel like it.

What gets you to the gym when you'd rather be anywhere else?

For the Cute as a Bunny Challenge, my personal goal this week is to do at least 7 hours of cardio & 100 core sets.

Fingers crossed that I'll pleased when I see the scale tomorrow. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Light was ON!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Krispy Kreme donuts, especially when they're hot & fresh. Before I started trying to eat healthier, I would bring them home and stick them in the microwave if they weren't warm. Now, my "rule of the Kreme" is I will only stop there if the light is ON. The light has NOT been on when I was near there in well over a year, but tonight it was ON!!!! Yes, I stopped; yes, I only ordered one for myself; yes, it was warmish; yes, it was tasty (though not as tasty as I remembered in my mind) and yes, limiting myself to one is a HUGE improvement... I used to eat them three at a time if they were hot. But seriously, this could not have happened on a worse day... grrrrr.

The day started well enough. Breakfast was steel cut oats with strawberries, topped with sliced almonds & some fat free milk to drink. If only it continued on so well... but today was a classic example of "failing to plan equals planning to fail." I had a fast food lunch (chicken biscuit, mashed potatoes & gravy) and a slice of grocery store pizza for dinner (it was nasty, I don't know what I was thinking). Then of course followed by the donut.... ugh.

Possible causes for this meltdown of planning: a) I slept-in too long this morning & was in a rush to get to my mom's (it was grocery shopping day for her, which is a story all its own), b) grocery shopping took soooo long, I wanted immediate nourishment when we were done (not that I'm saying the pizza qualifies, especially considering how nasty it tasted) and c) "my friend George" (aka TOM) is trying to come visit early and I feel like curling up in a ball on the sofa.

Ok, confessional over. Tomorrow will be a better day! I will be home, with my planned meals & a trip to the gym (even if I have to ply myself with painkillers to kick the cramps to the curb lol). Plus, tomorrow is meal planning day for the coming week and that always motivates me. :)

Cute as a Bunny Challenge

Just a quick note to say I'm joining the Cute as a Bunny Easter Challenge. If you haven't heard about it... it starts Monday & goes for seven weeks. The goal is to lose one pound per week & set a personal mini goal each week. Get all the details at: "Ah... Me so Hongry!"

Off to think about what a good mini goal will be for the week...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gym Discovery

Just to get this out of the way, when it comes to stationery bikes at the gym, I am a huge WUSS. Its the recumbent bike for me... sorry but my tush just cannot take the regular bike seat for more than 10-15 minutes at a time.

While I love my gym, its relatively small & there has been a large influx of new members lately. With all of the new people, I've had to make some changes to my normal routine of 30 minutes each of three different machines. For a long time, I've started with the bike, then done either the elliptical or StairMaster and ended with the rowing machine or treadmill. The one frustration with this has been getting my heart rate into a good fat burning zone on the bike. Yesterday, when I got to the gym it was packed, but there happened to be an empty elliptical so I started there instead. Then I went to the bike, with my heart rate already up in a good fat burning zone, it was easy to maintain that level throughout the 30 minutes on the bike. Why I didn't think of this before I don't know... maybe I just get too set in my routines sometimes.

That's my gym discovery of the week. This one simple switch, forced upon me by circumstance, led to burning an extra 100 calories... which doesn't sound like much... but thinking about it multiplied by days, weeks & months it'll add up. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Surprises: Pleasant & Otherwise

Wednesdays are always crazy busy for me - babysitting midday & kids group at church in the evening, plus all of the prep work for kids group and the hour long drive each way. This one was no exception, but thanks to all of the cooking I did earlier in the week I was able to eat well all day. On the hour long drive home, I started feeling hungry but proudly bypassed all of the drive-thru's because I knew there was salad waiting for me in the fridge at home. Well... guess what... NO salad in the fridge when I got here!!! The Husband (yes, that's what I call him quite often lol) has been helping himself to all of my "convenience" food & leaving the crap food he insists on bringing into the house sitting there. Sometimes, I swear he's secretly trying to sabotage me... sigh.

Pleasant surprise: There was a guy at kids group tonight that I hadn't seen in 20 years. We went to the same summer camp for 2-3 summers, but he was from a different town & camp is where our "friendship" ended. It was a goosebumps experience... I mean what are the chances of him randomly ending up in the same place I was after all these years... but mostly it made me think of my best friend from camp - Alisha - and how dearly I would love to get in touch with her again. The cool part for me was that 50 pounds ago, I would have been too embarrassed to go up and talk to him... but now, even though I still have a long ways to go weight wise, I don't hesitate out of anything other than general shyness.

Well... off to bed, so I can spend tomorrow morning preparing more "convenience" food. Does anyone else take this as a sign that I should prepare more & "forget" to buy his crap food?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Scale Day

Morning came to me WAY too early today; thankfully I went to bed a little earlier than normal last night. The scale was kinder to me than I anticipated - weight unchanged from last week. Considering how out of the norm my week was, I'm thankful for this.

After a breakfast of mini pancakes (made with oat flour) topped with reduced fat peanut butter and sliced banana, I headed for the gym. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are always super busy days, so my new plan is to get the gym out of the way first thing on these days. I got in a solid hour of cardio & will do some free weights and core stuff at home tonight.

The rest of the day has been devoted to cooking. I will have several food choices on hand for busy times the rest of the no excuses for hitting a drive-thru or grabbing unhealthy snacks at the store. The fridge is now stocked with premade salads, soups & cooked brown rice. In the cupboard, you will find healthy versions of banana bread & lemon poppyseed muffins. Still have a couple more goodies to make up tonight & about 12 pounds of chicken to cut into meal-size portions.

What kinds of things do you keep on hand?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oops :(

Today was NOT a good example of finishing a week strong (my weeks go Tues-Mon). There was a case of the melting measuring cup in my dishwasher late last night and it proceeded to interfere with my whole day today - or at least that's the excuse I'm gonna go with. I did spend the whole day trying to eradicate the smell of burned/melted plastic from the dishwasher & dishes that were assaulted by the fumes. Really I don't know what was wrong with me today, just really was off course in many ways. Rather than eat real meals, I sorta grazed all day... mostly on healthy things, like the veggie tray... but there was more chocolate than I want to admit involved. I never made it to the gym, which is very abnormal for a Monday; its usually one of my long cardio days.

Scale day is tomorrow and I'm trying to prepare myself mentally for a setback. This past week has been less than ideal, today was like a big punctuation mark on it is all. The bridge picture is so symbolic to me - I know what needs to happen, but so often I fail to make what I do align with what I know needs to be done to succeed.

Things that I think will help me have a more successful week:

  • Having healthy grab 'n go things prepared ahead of time for busy days

  • Scheduling gym time

  • Being more faithful about journaling food

Keeping my fingers crossed for the scale in the morning... but I know I put myself in the position by letting life sidetrack me. The coming week will be better!

Super Bowl Snack Inspiration

Miracle of miracles, I made it through all of Super Bowl Sunday with only one indulgence (a brat with bun). My saving grace.... a tray full of veggies & fat free dip. While everyone else was eating chips & other goodies, I was pretty content with my veggies & dip... and since the dip was only 10 calories per tablespoon I was able to double-dip without regret. 60 calories in dip, plus the veggie calories, is a HUGE savings over what I would have eaten if I'd dug into the chips. Today I had some of the left over veggies & dip with my lunch. Anyway, this got me to thinking... why does a veggie tray only get fixed for special events??? So for this week, one of my goals is to have a veggie tray in the fridge at all times. Pretty sure veggies with a little dip trumps a bag of chips any day... lol.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Danger Zone - Conquered

At one of our local grocery stores, there is a corner I refer to as "The Danger Zone." Perhaps, you have one in your local grocery store as well - its the bakery corner. I'm not sure what propelled me in the direction of that corner tonight, but I found myself right smack in the middle of it. Surrounded by some of my favorite "treats." Donuts with chocolate frosting (and sprinkles), yummy strawberry shortcake, cherry filled turnovers, french bread, jalapeno cheddar bagels. As if all of that isn't enough to put you a carb-coma, they recently relocated all of the snack crackers to this corner as well. Standing in the middle of "The Danger Zone" I could feel my mouth watering as I thought about how yummy any one of those treats would be. BUT, as I was walking to the donut case, I STOPPED myself. After all, I had just come from the gym & I thought "Why spoil a good workout with a sugary treat?" Then I looked at the bagel - large bagel covered in cheese & jalapenos. Seriously, I LOVE these bagels. BUT, once again I STOPPED myself. I have some little hundred calorie whole wheat bagels here and popped one of those in the toaster, which was a tasty little snack with a thin layer of veggie cream cheese. So, for this one time, on this particular evening, I conquered "The Danger Zone." What happens next time remains to be seen...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

1,000+ in 90 Minutes!

No, not 1,000 calories consumed in 90 minutes lol. Today is the first time in my year at the gym that I can verify I burned over 1,000 calories in a single workout. According to my heart rate monitor, for a 90 minute session, I typically burn 800-900 calories. Today I kicked up the intensity a notch and was rewarded. :)

I'm curious to know how many calories others burn in a "typical" workout.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Here I Sit, How I Got Here & Where I'm Headed

Here I Sit...

A little more than 43 pounds lighter than the morning I woke up driven to live a healthy life. After a year of steady loss, I got off track for several months - pretty much quit going to the gym & relaxed my food standards WAY too much. Eating whatever looks good in a restaurant is fine when you only eat out a couple times a month... NOT so much when you eat out almost daily... lol. As a result, I sadly must admit that I gained back over 10 pounds of what was lost. In the last month, I've gotten my act together... back to a normal gym routine (though way out of shape again after the "break")... making wise food choices... keeping a food & exercise log and being accountable. Six pounds and six inches eliminated in the past 30 days... pretty happy with those numbers. Now if I could just make it through more than 40 floors on the stairmaster without feeling like I'm dying! :)

How I Got Here...

Looking back - way back - 5th grade was probably the last time I was a "normal" weight (more on that in the future). In the Spring of 2008, I weighed in at the doctor at nearly 250... I told myself it was just because it was afternoon, I'd eaten a big lunch and was wearing heavy clothes. WRONG! The next morning on my scale at home - sans clothing and food - the scale read 241. For some seeing the biggest number ever might have been an immediate wakeup call - not in my case - seems I was too busy with life and taking care of everyone else.

My husband left on deployment #4, 5, or 6 - I've lost count throughout the years. My son & I settled into a routine of home during the week & visiting my mom on some weekends. It was after one of those visits that I woke up soooooo sick to death of being fat I couldn't take it another minute (which is a little strange considering how unbothered I'd always been by my weight... more on that to come too). Its weird to say and probably hard to believe, but after that day my desire for unhealthy foods greatly diminished & my desire to be active greatly increased.

During the first few weeks after that, I was eating way less food than I had been eating - not necessarily any healthier though to be honest - and started to use some of the exercise videos that had been collecting dust in my cabinet. Early in the summer, I finally caved & bought my son a Wii. Of course I had to get myself something for it too... so I bought the Wii Fit. By the end of summer 2008, I was alternating between the videos, the Wii Fit & walks on the beach and had started making healthy food choices on a regular basis. That was my basic method for the next six months.

In February last year - at 209 pounds - I finally got up the courage to go join a gym in town. This was a HUGE step... afterall, I am the girl that did everything in her power to get out of PE in school - from 6th grade on. The thought of exercising in public has always had the ability to make me go from fabulous to nauseous in the blink of an eye. Knowing that I needed to kick things up a notch if I were to keep losing... I put on a nice outfit, grabbed one of my favorite handbags, swallowed the "I wanna hurl" feeling in the pit of my stomach and marched into the newest gym in town. The staff was wonderfully welcoming & right away I felt comfortable there. Shortly after joining the gym, I competed in their "Around the World" Fitness Challenge and completed the entire Challenge. I was one of about a dozen people out of 150 to complete the entire Challenge. This was a MAJOR accomplishment for me - remember gym class escape artist here - I had NEVER done any sort of physical competition in my life. From there I was hooked... at least until I got totally sidetracked by that pesky little thing called life.

On the food front, I choose not to follow a specific "diet" or eating plan... in fact I really detest the "d" word. I firmly believe its all about making healthy food choices for life and not something you can go on or off of. At home, I make a conscience effort to make healthy choices - utilizing recipes and meal ideas from a variety of sources. When I eat in a restaurant, I generally let myself enjoy a meal without worrying too much about the calories/fat in it. As stated, this works out okay when restaurants are the occasional treat - otherwise, I don't recommend it.

I have used the website to track my activity since the beginning. It has proven helpful in many ways, such as seeing not just the calories I'm eating, but the nutritional value of the foods I'm putting in my body. I LOVE it and think its so worth the $9 a month.

Where I'm Headed...

Looking toward life as a Deliberate Skinny Chick - aka reformed Accidental Fat Chick. I don't know what that means as far as a number on the scale or a jeans size. My current size is the smallest I've been in my adult life - I have no clue what 180, 170, 160, or150lbs will look like or what size those numbers will equal in the jeans department. Can't wait to find out!

The current game plan: Stick with the 2-4-8-10 Challenge & be prepared when the new "Around the World" Challegen kicks off. Increase the intensity of my gym workouts & find ways to add more active motion to my daily routines. Possibly do The Big Climb in Seattle... if I have a friend or two to do it with me. Fine tune my meal plans - especially to reduce the number of calories I drink.

My husband leaves for yet another deployment in May... my ultimate goal would be to finish what I started when he was gone the last time and be at an ideal healthy weight when he comes home in December. 50 pounds in 10 months... I know I can do it!

What is your ultimate goal?