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!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Trip East & Bra Wars

The driving part of the trip here was lovely - mild traffic & fairly good road conditions through the mountain pass. The Husband sitting next to me eating his array of food - chips, chex mix, cheeseburgers - and mouth full of chewing tobacco when he wasn't eating... NOT so much! Anyone remember my Mom eating the whole bag of Doritos for dinner awhile back? Am I somehow cursed to having one of them eating chips for meals while sitting in the passenger seat of the car? Seriously people this is not life sustaining food - more like heart attack in a bag - how do you call it a meal?

We arrived here in time for dinner - a lovely concoction of things I try to limit - sloppy joes & potato salad. Can we say ground beef (at least it was lean), white buns (thankfully I had whole wheat sandwich thins packed along), potatoes, mayonnaise? I ate pretty carefully on the way here because I knew something like this would be on the dinner menu & this Auntie makes some yummy food. My calories were pretty much dead on for yesterday... score one for me ... I'm usually a snacky traveler, lol.

Today has been a really inactive day, which I'm finding way harder than I would have thought. Sitting around for hours on end was so much easier before I started making the gym my second home. Food has been okayish so far today. We had a minor snafu on the way here, so I wasn't able to get everything I planned at the store before we came to the house. At least I was able to get some yogurt, fat free milk, low fat granola & the sandwich thins. She has lots of fruit & light string cheese, so I'm good on snacks. Lunch ended up being leftovers from last nights dinner & she is making this casserole with ground beef, rice, tomatoes & onions for dinner; its a yummy treat...but seriously I'm already feeling "cowed out" from all this ground beef.

I'm going to try to eat a really small portion at dinner because tonight we are going to the casino. They have these chicken things there that are to die for good... and since I only go there once a year (if that) I fully intend to indulge. Hopefully casino time will mean I can walk around lots... its a pretty big place & she always takes way longer to make her "donation to the tribe" than I do so my plan is to walk around after I'm done "donating."

My bra wars are continuing. The ones I packed to bring here just are not working out... we are going to go bra shopping tomorrow. I'm so at the end of my rope with this bra war... either there's enough room for the girls before they decided it would be a good idea to shrink to a shadow of their former selves or what's left of them wants to present itself for the world to gawk at. Its embarrassing! Any recommendations out there for a brand that might be worth trying?

I'm also going to try to get my hair cut while we are here... but I'm terribly scared of going under the scissors! No clue what I want to do with it. Its been well over a year since it was even trimmed & for the love of all that is unholy ITS TIME!


~ Julie ~

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just The Facts...

That's all I have time for. The Husband is impatiently waiting for me to get off of the computer so we can leave. We are going to visit him family on the other side of the state; I'm hoping I'll be able to blog there... but unless I want to let my "little secret" out for the family to see it might be hard. Does anyone know how the mobile blogging works? I could do that from my phone I think.

Anyway, the facts...

Scale day has been kind. I lose 1 lb. I'm pleased with that... since I want to do keep this slowly & in a way I can sustain for the long haul.

I made it to the gym for an hour this morning, even though I barely got any sleep & I am not a morning person.

I am halfway done with the bike part of Around the World!

I am not going to get in much exercise (if any) for the next four days... really not happy about that, but this was the only time to visit family before The Husband leaves on deployment.

Food may be a nightmare while I'm gone, though I told The Husband that we must go to the grocery store before we even set foot in the family's house.

Okay, it looks like that's all the facts I have time to share.

I hope everyone has a great week... and that I find a way to blog while I'm away... if not expect a book from me when I get home Friday night!

Tare care! :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stop Being a Victim!

Just an observation from my personal experience here: As I've been losing weight and people have talked with me about it, one common thing always creeps into the conversations. They all have excuses or reasons why they "can't do it." Have you noticed this? Sometimes it things like "I don't have time for exercise" or "its too hard to eat healthy." Those seem like the excuses of someone who isn't ready for a change or someone who hasn't had that critical some thing's gotta give moment yet. Then there's the reasons that give me a moment of pause, such as "I had a really bad childhood" or "my divorce almost killed me."

Now before I go on I want to share a little of me with all of you. I don't want anyone to think I'm some cold, heartless person... because I'm not. I have great compassion for people & it breaks my heart every time I hear about someone who is suffering in some way. This is me, who still tears up if I think about the people in the WTC and more recently those people trapped in earthquake rubble (ya know the people that survived, but couldn't be rescued in time).

Beyond the challenges of my daily life... being a military wife, raising a special needs child, my own health issues, living with an alcoholic... I have been a victim.

I have been a victim of sexual abuse. Not a subject I care to go into graphic details about... but I will say it was at the hands of a "trusted" youth group leader from Church (not a Catholic one) and went on for years.

I have been a victim of abandonment. Someone whom I believed would ALWAYS be there chose to walk away with no warning & no explanation. That damages in a way that even the death of a loved one can't.

I have been a victim of domestic violence. This too went on for years. Everything from yelling, screaming & name calling to choking (more times than I can count). I actually have permanent damage in my back from this.

I was very nearly the victim of rape. Thank God for a random motion-sensor light that scared the guy off. This man was the husband of a family member, so its a secret I keep.

My family has suffered the effects of senseless murders... something we are each victims of in our own ways.

So you see... while I know there are others that have experienced tragedies far greater than anything I've dealt with... I have had my share of painful life events.

This is where I say to myself - and to anyone who will listen - STOP BEING A VICTIM! Bad things happen to all of us. Yes, these things cause us pain & can change us in profound ways. Yes, its easy to see how these things can make taking good care of ourselves feel like one task too many when we are carrying the burdens of these painful life events around with us. After awhile, its easy to fall into the "I'm a victim & this is who I am" mentality. Trust me, I know, I did it for years.

For the longest time I refused to believe that any of these life events were a factor in my weight struggles. I mean really what does something that happened 15 years ago have to do with the chocolate bar I'm putting in my mouth today? But its more than that... its when you're feeling emotionally icky because you can't get the memory of something out of your head... and emotionally icky leads to low energy... and NO trip to the gym... the drive-thru for dinner because it would take too much energy to prepare a meal. Put this cycle on repeat day in and day out & it becomes easy enough to see how it can impact an attempt at a healthy lifestyle.

Then one day I was talking to my nephew & I realized that the very things I was telling him I needed to apply to my own life. He's only 18 months younger than me & his Mom passed away when he was five. Things happened to him after that that he uses as his "excuse" for all of the poor decisions he makes now. We were talking & I told him that even though I knew all of the bad stuff he had to deal with growing up that in my mind he could only use that as an "excuse" for so long. At some point, he had to realize he was an adult & responsible for his own life... and he could CHOOSE a better life for himself despite all of the bad things that happened to him as a child.

These are the things that can directly - or indirectly - impact our efforts to take care of ourselves and they must be dealt with. These are the things that you have to deal with or they will eat you alive. These are the things that we so often let become the "excuses" for not living our lives to the best of our abilities.

I said it the other day and I'll say it one more time... nothing in my past is worth sacrificing my future!

If you have things in your past that have become your "excuses" or "crutches" for not taking care of yourself and not living the life you deserve, I encourage you to take some time to explore ways of coming to terms with them & putting them to rest. A little thing called closure can go a long way toward a happier, healthier life. It can be a painful process, but its so worth it... in ways that can be more profound that you would dream possible.

For myself, most of the things I had to put to rest, I chose to do without confronting any of the people involved. I wrote lots... journal-like entries... letters to the individuals (that were later burned). I went for walks and talked to the "air"... yeah I probably looked funny, but voicing my thoughts, hearing the words spoken aloud helped. Doing this took time & caused many tears (I probably could have kept Kleenex in business)... but doing the emotional work left me with a sense of freedom that is hard to explain. Freedom to take care of my family.... Freedom to take care of myself & focus on my health... Freedom to be me! Freedom to enjoy all that life has to offer... without all of the baggage.

Someone near and dear to my heart told me once:

"As long as you feel like a victim, the person who hurt you is still victimizing you. How long are you going to be their victim?"

I care for you all so much & I really hope that sharing the less than pleasant details of my life will give someone the courage to face the things that are "secretly" or not-so-secretly holding them back from living the lives they deserve.

So I guess that is my question to you today... how long are you going to let yourself remain a victim?

The Results Are In...

Erika & I did our final measurements for our 2-4-8-10 Challenge this morning, final weigh in is tomorrow. Until the Around the World Challenge last year I had never paid that much attention to measurements... but this is really eye opening for me.

14 1/2 inches lost!

My waist said adios to 4 inches & my hips gave away 5 inches (2 1/4" just in the last four weeks!). And my thighs that never give an inch somehow shed 3". And of course, the girls had to give their share as well (though I would've been really happy for them reject the idea).

Here are pics from Day 1 & from today... 12 weeks later.

Now that the final pics have been taken, these pants are officially retired! They are just too big... darn it, lol. Its a tiny bit bittersweet because they are my favorite workout pants, but I'll be more than happy to shop for a new favorite pair!
If you comment regularly, you probably know that I try to respond to comments via email. And if you've commented recently, you probably know I'm way behind on this little aspect of blogging. I swear its all the extra time I'm spending at the gym sapping the strength from my typing fingers & turning my brain to mush. I'll get caught up... eventually.
I want to extend a warm welcome to all of my new followers! I'm so happy you've decided to join me & I look forward to your comments. :)
If you're following me & I'm not following you, please leave me your link so I can add you.
Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

1/3 Point in Around the World!

This is it... the Around the World Challenge is officially at the 1/3 point. I can't believe how quickly it is going. So how am I doing? Circuit sets I am a little ahead of the game on... The bike I am about 11 miles ahead of where I needed to be by today... The elliptical I am exactly at the 1/3 mark; this is awesome for me because last year its what I was so far behind on that I ended up at the gym for so many hours on Mother's Day. That's where the happy news ends. :( I only have 470 floors of the 800ish I needed on the StairMaster. I'm about 30 sets short of where I needed to be on core sets. And the treadmill and free weights I have made no progress on; the treadmill I'm sort of saving for the second half of the challenge & the free weights I'm procrastinating on because of my sore shoulder. I'm feeling pretty comfortable with my progress so far. Its definitely going to require adding some additional time to my workouts or going twice a day... but I will do it!

Anyone remember the little challenge I was doing with my friend? The 2-4-8-10 Challenge. Well tomorrow is our final measurement day & Tuesday the last weigh in day for it... have to wait & see how it goes. I know we both fell miserably short on hitting the numbers for the gym stuff... which I'm really disappointed about for myself. But I will redeem myself with Around the World.

On the food front, I let the husband bring a pizza into the house tonight. I ate two pieces that were super delicious... and about 600 calories. But considering I'd only had about 300 calories before that & I've only had 60 calories since... I think it'll be okay.

Okay, I think I've bored you with probably the most boring post I've ever written (and hopefully the most boring I ever will, lol) long enough... I'm gonna get some sleep before the fun of tomorrow begins. I promise I have more interesting things to write about tomorrow... like the fact that I'm leaving!

Hmmm... if I dream about a big plate of nachos will it make me gain weight? :)

When The First Teardrop Fell

There I was on the Leg Press resting between sets & I felt it... a teardrop roll down my cheek. Just my left cheek mind you, I don't why it is my silly eyes don't cry together. What was the cause of this embarrassing display of tears at the gym? Not pain in my troublesome shoulder. Not pain in my once badly injured ankle. Not my never-ending back pain. Not some new gym related ailment. Not fatigue from general over-exertion. Nope, nothing like that. It was because of the presence of a person... and not even a person I know.

There was this person - whose gender & description I will omit from this little story - who reminded me so much of another person - one who contributed to some of the greatest hurt of my life. The resembelence was so uncanny I couldn't help but staring. Though I knew there was zero likihood that this could be the same person, my sometimes devious mind couldn't help but envisioning what it might look like if they had a little "help" falling off the StairMaster. I know, terrible of me right?

When I first spotted this person, I was down on a bike & they were on the aforementioned StairMaster. I finished my time on the bike and decided that I would go upstairs, where with any luck I wouldn't have to see this person. I get up there and quite happily start doing my sets on the circuit machines... all was going smoothly (they were out of sight) until I came to the Leg Press. Then they were in my direct line of sight once again, but needing my set count I determined not to let the presence of this "unknown" but oh-so-familiar person bother me. So there I am doing my first set of leg presses & look to the tv on my right. The subject matter on the screen was something that further reminded me of this person I'd like to forget. And this is when I felt it... the once often, now less frequent overwhelming sense of hurt & the burning of tears wanting to surface. And between sets one and two... that first teardrop fell. And the last! Sitting there I reminded myself that nothing in my past is worth sacrificing my future & I proceeded to finish my circuit sets & move on to core sets. I have to admit when this person "joined" me on the mats for core sets, I was more than happy it was time for me to go back downstairs to the elliptical, lol.
This whole episode at the gym reminded me of something I've been wanting to write about for awhile... so I plan to write about it tomorrow.

For now, I have to drag myself back to the gym & work on getting Around the World some more. If you want a refresher in all that is required for the challenge, this post has the details. Today is the end of the week two, in theory that means I should have completed approximately one-third of each component... we'll see where I'm at after my workout today.

Oh, one last thing about the person at the gym... they are competing in the Around the World Challenge also... so maybe for purposes of added motivation I will pretend they really are the person they remind me so much of, lol.

Just for fun.... do you think its true that everyone has a twin out there somewhere?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Let me start by saying I was STUNNED to receive a pair of awards on Friday! Once I recovered from my shock, I had to start thinking about who to pass them along to; there are so many wonderful people its hard to choose. :)

The Stiletto Award

A HUGE thank you to "Scuttleboose" at Lose the Boredom! for nominating me for The Stiletto Award! She is always leaving me encouraging comments & has a ton of yummy recipes posted on her blog, so check it out if you haven't already. :)

If you want the full scoop on The Stiletto Award, here's where to find it.

Fun side note before I pass this along. When I went shopping a few weeks ago, I bought this pair of shoes... which loosely resemble the stiletto pic... and they are size 7 (my feet are shrinking too).

The "Rules"
1. Display the Stiletto badge of honor.
2. Brag about it - post a link to the page to highlight what the award is about.
3. Say thanks! Include a link to the friend who nominated you.
4. Share the love-nominate 5-10 more blogs. Leave links to their blogs and leave them a comment so they know they won!
5. Do what you do! Keep at it and keep inspiring others.

In no particular order, here are my nominations for The Stiletto Award:

  1. Buzzy & Breezelys Mama at The Fat Chick Weigh - She is one tough lady & I always enjoy reading her blog.
  2. Chris at A Deliberate Life - Chris is awesome! She speaks from the heart & thinks about people in all stages of their journey.
  3. Lyn at Escape from Obesity - Lyn has so many great insights & I love the honesty of her writing.
  4. Shelli at Skinny Jeans Fat Wallet - Shelli has a vibrancy & zest for life that is contagious.
  5. "Mama Pimp" at Its Just Me, Drazil & Sheniqua - Do I even need to say anything about her? She's one of the funniest ladies out there!

There ya have it, The Stiletto Award, and thank goodness I didn't have to put on those heels to dish it out... lol.

The Sunshine Award (for supportive comments)

This award came from Whitney at Fat Girl in a Wedding Dress. Whitney is on a mission & she has such a positive self-image; its a joy to read her blog. Be sure to check it out! Thank you so much for this award, I'm glad my comments give you encouragement. :)

Now I get to pass it on to ten people who leave me supportive comments. I treasure each & every comment I receive, so rather than choose "favorites" I think I'm going to take a cue from Whitney and go with the last ten people to leave me comments. Here they are:

Splurgie @ What A Splurge

Melissa @ Melissa's Adventures in Living Life

PhluffyPrincess @ Fighting My Fat Gene

Dani @ Well-Rounded Woman

Betty Rubble @ I'm Loosing It!

Mary Fran @ A New Start: Losing Weight

Scuttleboose @ Lose the Boredom!

Drazil @ Its Just Me, Drazil & Sheniqua

Chris @ A Deliberate Life

Mandy @ Finally Finishing It!

There ya go, the ten most recent commenter's on my blog... except my "anonymous" commenter. I know who she is, but she's sweet enough to stay "in hiding" so that none of our mutual friends find my blog, lol. She deserves a Sunshine Award too! :)

I have another post rattling around in my mind, but my body protests and says I need sleep... could it be all the hours I've spent at the gym?!? lol

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Different Approach

For as long as I can remember, I've heard people talk about all the things they'd do when they reached a certain weight... the ways they would reward themselves for hitting certain numbers on the scale. I'm sure we've all done it... said something like "when I lose 20 pounds I'll get myself a new outfit" or "when I hit my goal weight I'll treat myself to a spa day." Seems like a great plan, wonderful way to motivate ourselves. And hey, I'd work my a** off for a new Coach bag... so why not?
But, what happens when you work your a** off & the results are slow to come? Or *gulp* you just can't hit that "magical" number? Do you get discouraged, thinking you'll NEVER get there & throw the idea of the coveted reward out the window? Does it lose its motivational value when it takes so long to achieve it?

That was me for a very long time, I'd have this grand thing I was working toward... but setbacks would always hinder me, I'd get discouraged & give up the idea of the reward (or I'd get impatient & buy it for myself anyway). So... I came up with a new approach.

Rewarding myself for doing what I consider to be essential elements of living a healthy lifestyle. Examples of things I've done for rewards so far are:

  • When I reach 25 miles on the elliptical, I'll get a pedicure

  • If I track my food & exercise every day for a week, I get to pick a new nail color

  • If I drink all my water 25/30 days, I'll get a new water bottle

  • When I "collect" 25 days with no sugary soda, I'll get new bubble bath

  • When I reach 6,000 floors on the StairMaster, I will get a massage

Hopefully that gives you an idea of what I mean. I try to make most of them things I can achieve within a month, so that the "prize" is always within sight. Some are more long range goals to keep me going. Also, while the rewards are things that I will enjoy getting, they aren't the types of things I'm likely to run out and buy on a whim. For example, it would be silly for me to put a new outfit as a reward... because in all honesty I can't go more than a couple weeks without buying a new piece of clothing, lol.

This has been working pretty well for me as far as motivation & I like it better because my efforts are rewarded regardless of what the scale says... and let's face it... when the scale is slow to recognize how hard we're working, being rewarded for consistent effort can be a very motivating way to keep ourselves going when the lure of a big chocolate donut tempts us.

I know the gym gives away prizes for "Around the World," but considering I was lucky enough to win one last year, I'm not holding my breath on winning one this year. Here's what I'm working for as my personal reward... when I finish the entire challenge I will get this:

Its from Coach's Poppy Collection & I've been "in love" with it since the first time I saw it. I'm saving for it so the money will be there... but I haven't told The Husband yet, lol.

And because I was once of those people that told myself I'd reward myself when I hit my goal weight (not that I'm even sure what that is anymore), The Husband and I had this discussion long ago... probably 7-8 years ago now. He agreed that if I ever got to my goal weight, I could get the diamond stud earrings I've daydreamed about since I was a teenager. Honestly, getting them as a reward isn't that big a deal to me anymore because my philosophy on this has changed so much since then... BUT this is The Husband and I'm holding him to his agreement. I'm pretty sure he never thought he'd have to live up to his end of it... but at Christmas when the base exchange was having a good sale... he let me put these on layaway.

In three months, they will officially be mine. While I don't have an actual goal weight, I've decided 160 is the magic number for being able to wear these beauties. I suspect there is gonna be some gap between the time I get them paid off & reaching 160... so they will sit on my dresser, staring at me, being the ultimate in "I have no choice but to finish this now because The Husband shelled out hundreds of dollars for these earrings" motivational tool. :)

How do you reward yourself? What kinds of things do you pick for rewards?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Gym Report & A Confession

First things first, the skinny chick was no where to be seen. Darn it! Oh well, I'm sure we will meet again... the place isn't that big, lol.

With no skinny chick, I settled down to my 20 miles on the bike. It took wayyyyy longer than I expected, but I did it! Actually I did 21 miles!!! Then, I did a mile on the treadmill... which I ran for about 1/4 of... not much, but since it was AFTER the bike craziness I'm happy with it. I finished out the night with 20 sets on the circuit machines. All in all, I fell short of putting in the whole three hours... but I burned 1,116 calories!

My calorie intake for the day is sitting at 1346 right now, though I do intend to have a small snack when I'm done writing this. So I think I've done decent for the day... especially considering I had a wretched hot dog at AM PM after my son's appointments.

Do you know what this all means? It means I actually tracked everything for an entire day!!! I know, I know, not that big a deal and most of you do it faithfully. But its something I've really been struggling to do lately.

And for Mandy, who proclaimed me to be her "workout IDOL" (which I giggled at, but thank you for saying so) earlier tonight, I have a confession... there is a reason I do these crazy stunts at the gym. Ok, a few reasons... things like its good for me & it keeps me from getting bored. But the reason I'm talking about far less noble than either of those... the reason I'm talking about is the simple fact that I like, ok LOVE, food.

I'm unwilling (not unable) to give up certain things - like the occasional cheeseburger, Alfredo sauce, ice cream, chicken wings - I could go on.... but I'll stop here before I end up making myself crave something I don't want to indulge in for awhile. So there ya have it, I'm not working out like a mad woman to be skinny tomorrow... I'm working out like a mad woman so that I can have the foods that I LOVE and be a healthy weight one day in the not too distant future.

Does this mean I'm not as dedicated as the woman who can totally say no to every fried greasy food or every sweet thing that crosses her path? I don't think so... for me its another part of doing things my way & in a way I can continue to do for the rest of my life. Because lets be honest here, most people (not all) will eventually find themselves buried in a mound of donuts, french fries or some other "no-no". Then those people will feel guilty for "failing" and beat themselves up for the "failure." For myself, I'd rather avoid the guilty feeling... I have enough other things to feel guilty about in life, lol. What can I say? I know I'm weak & I plan for it!

Now that 20 miles on the bike has been conquered, its time to decide what my next crazy feat should be... what do you think? I'm open to about anything as long its something that will help me accomplish Around the World. :)

Skinny Chick at the Gym & More Insanity

I have so much that I want to talk about... but since I need to leave for the gym in about 30 minutes... most of it will have to continue rattling around in my brain for the time being. As I'm getting ready for the gym, I am giggling thinking about your comments regarding the skinny chick of yesterday.

Drazil - If I had had butt darts at my disposal I could have given her a smiley face on the tush.

Shelli - I was on a really tight schedule yesterday or I totally would have made sure I stayed on there longer & at a faster pace than her. :)

Tonight, I have three hours set aside for the gym. Do I think I can really workout for three solid hours? I'm sure as heck hoping so! After my insanity of 200+ floors on the StairMaster, my next feat of insanity is 20 miles on the bike. Assuming I'm not dead at the end of that, I need to get started on the two components of the challenge I haven't started on yet: free weights & treadmill.

But IF the skinny chick is there tonight, I will have no choice but to climb up on the StairMaster. :)

Mmmmmm..... I hope she is there... I'm in that kind of mood!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just When I Was Ready to Give Up...

It finally happened!

For weeks, I've been trying to get the Hip Abduction/Adduction Machine to lock in the first position... but my thunder thighs were objecting to being squeezed in there & I had to settle for locking it on number 2.

Today, I sat down and squeezed it as far in as I could, fully expecting it to lock on number 2... BUT OMG, IT LOCKED ON NUMBER 1!!!!!

There maybe hope for these thunder thighs of mine yet!

In other news from the gym, I was on the StairMaster climbing away when this super skinny chick climbed onto the one next to me & started practically running up the thing. A year ago, this would have made me get off the machine immediately. I was completely intimidated if someone small got an a machine next to me - especially the StairMaster. Today, I stayed on the machine for the rest of the time I had left & even took my time getting off of it. As I was climbing back up to clean the machine, the skinny chick turns to me and says, "You do pretty well for a big girl!" Ok, is that supposed to be a compliment? I assume it was... but really did she have to add the "big girl" part to the end?

What kind of crazy things have people said to you at the gym? How did you react?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Changing Tastes

How many times have you heard an "expert" say if you eliminate certain things from your diet that eventually your taste for them will change? Did you believe them? I've always been a little skeptical that my tastes for certain things - chocolate, cheese, mug root beer - would ever change. Sure there are things I don't crave the way I used to, but I still have a taste for them and enjoy them when I do indulge.

Last night, I was hungry and decided on a bowl of Grape Nuts for a snack. I have to admit that there are certain cereals I do not eat without putting real sugar on them & Grape Nuts happens to be one of them. So, I carefully measured my serving of cereal & my milk. Then, I opened the sugar...

And let me stop right here and ask: Have you ever really smelled sugar?

The smell is disgusting! It doesn't smell like anything I'd ever think of putting in my mouth on its own, yet I pour it all over cereal? What the heck?

Despite the smell, I put my usual amount of sugar on the cereal & headed to my comfy spot on the sofa (yes, I know its not good to eat in front of the tv... but that's for another post). The first bite I was like "why is this so damn sweet?" The second bite I was thinking "did they start adding sugar to Grape Nuts?" (which I know they haven't, lol). By the third bite I knew there was NO way I could finish the bowl of cereal. In the trash it went!

Then this morning, the same thing happened with my bowl of steel cut oats with berries & splenda. Let me just say I rarely use Splenda (or any artificial sweetener), but this is one rare exception for me. Anyway, with my usual amount it was so sicky sweet I could barely eat it. Not as bad as the Grape Nuts, but pretty icky just the same.

I realize I've been at the healthy lifestyle & making mostly healthy choices for the last 18 months or so... but this is new to me!

How have your tastes changed? What things have you lost a taste for over time?

Consistently Inconsistent

Consistently inconsistent... or maybe its a consistently on-again/off-again. It seems like I've been bouncing back & forth between good weeks & not so good weeks... and the scale totally reflects this. Today I am up just a bit, 0.6 lbs. Ugh, another freakin gain!!!

While I could be all discouraged by this slight increase, I'm not... especially considering the truth of my week. Yes, I had meals planned and yes, I had exercise planned. But ya know this my life and things rarely go according to plan. I ended up eating restaurant food... hmm... 4-5 times & I had planned for once or twice at the most. Six days of exercise turned into just three days. Its a minimal increase & I'm just going to shove it from my mind.

There are so many other things that tell the story of how I'm doing. Even though I've spent my "shopping allowance" for the month, I went to Maurices yesterday, just to try on clothes. Retail therapy without the guilt of overspending... hmmm I didn't know I was capable of such a thing, but apparently I am. The condensed version, I tried on about a dozen different outfits, all but one from the regular side of the store. The one from the plus size side, size 14 Capri's & cute little t-shirt were obviously too big. I've been on the regular side for awhile, but still bouncing back & forth for some things. So according to the lovely ladies at the store, I have officially graduated & am no longer allowed to look at the plus size side of the store. :)

I am thinking about changing what I use to track my food and exercise. Definitely want something easy to navigate on the computer and on my phone as well. What do you use?

I have more to share today... so I'll be back... right now I'm off to ponder ways to become consistently consistent!

Monday, March 22, 2010

22 Years Ago, Ashley & Being Worth It

On this day 22 years ago, my Dad passed away. I remember the events like it was yesterday... but its taken until the last few months for me to really begin processing all of the effects that one life-changing event has had on the entire rest of my life.

My Dad passed away in the evening (ironically in the maternity ward because the hospital was so full) & that morning one of the ladies from our Church gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the very next room. I've come to realize that wasn't the only birth that day... subconsciously or not, my mind gave birth to the idea that I wasn't worth it on that day... that is the day my Mom quit.

What do I mean? I mean this is when she stopped being the Mom I'd always had. She stopped preparing healthy meals; food in the house was mostly boxed/prepared stuff & we ate out A LOT. She stopped doing things like taking me to the dentist. She became so afraid of something happening to me that I had to stay close at all times. She discouraged me from participating in school sports or doing "active" things out of fear I would become injured. She pretty much stopped being physically active, so there went my good example for that (and the opportunities). Emotionally, it was extremely difficult to turn to her for support because of things that happened during my Dad's illness. Yes, she was grieving & I'm sure doing what she considered to be the best she could. But the damage done in her state of grief is long lasting.

Watching The Biggest Loser last week, I could so relate to Ashley that I just wanted to cry for her. For all of the things that my Mom didn't do, there was one constant. It became my "job" to be like her best friend. I always had to be there. That continued in the early parts of my marriage. If The Husband wasn't at work, she expected us to be at her house. Even now, its something we argue over; she thinks we should be there way more often than is really doable with our schedule & gets offended if I say I can't come because I have to get in my gym time or do meal prep. I cried for myself when Jillian took Ashley to talk with her Mom... because my Mom would NEVER be open to that type of conversation... which makes me feel like I'm always going to have these unresolved feelings.

And how does that relate to me not being worth it as far as my health is concerned? The biggest thing was the change in eating habits. When my Dad was alive, my Mom cooked healthy meals because he struggled with high blood pressure & she has diabetes. After he passed away, the shift was dramatic. Yes, she still avoided sugar... but everything else was back on the table. Once that became the norm, I had little chance of learning what a healthy diet really was. And I've realized recently that that is the very beginning of me feeling like I wasn't worth it. It was worth her time & effort to make real meals when my Dad was there... but when it was just me, it was no longer worth her time & effort to do it. There are other reasons, but I know without doubt this is the first moment where I felt like I WASN'T WORTH IT.

As a teenager, I used to always write a letter to my Dad on this day... and one common theme was always hoping he would be proud of me and the person I was becoming. I haven't written a letter to him in years now... but I still think about it & what I might be able to do in my life that would make him proud.

This is it... for this year and beyond... Whatever is happening in my world, no matter how crazy my life is, regardless of the challenges military life presents, no matter what... I will live a life that says to myself I AM WORTH IT! That I am worth the effort to take care of myself & live a healthy lifestyle. And more importantly than that, I will do whatever it takes to teach my son that he is WORTH IT too!

What do you think the best ways are to show our children that they are worth it?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Three C's of Saturday

Let me start by saying that I was truly touched by all of the kind comments after I posted yesterday. It seemed like every time I picked up my phone there was an email notification of a new post... which I swear to you is what got me through the day without inhaling all of the cheese in the house. I know you're all out there and I'm never truly alone... which I'm thankful for beyond words.

The first "C" of Saturday was crying. I cried A LOT. Can you burn extra calories from crying? If you can, maybe missing the gym was compensated for a little. There are so many things wreaking emotional havoc in my life right now and I think I do okay dealing with all most of the time. I think the whole friend thing just put me over the top as far as being able to deal. She knows what the month of March does to me & all of the extra stuff piled on it this year... at the beginning of the month we talked about how I wasn't be able to handle being alone for hours on end... and she chose not to be there... which only adds to the HUGE feelings of abandonment I struggle with in life.

I managed to do okay with my eating... other than a few too many girl scout cookies. I probably ate too many calories, I failed to track so I don't know exactly what the numbers added up to. The Husband (who btw was pretty decent when he came home & found me in tears) got home from work after the gym was closed, so no progress on Around the World for me.

The second "C" of Saturday was cooking. Since I was stuck at home, I decided I could get a jump start on today's cooking for the week.

First, I made enough pancake batter for three meals... and had some for breakfast with reduced fat peanut butter & sliced banana. YUMMY!

We had really ripe bananas sitting on the counter, so I made yummy banana bread. Only 155 calories a slice! I admit I ate two slices - one while it was warm from the oven & another later in the evening.

Next, I made my alternative to coleslaw (which I hate). Two batches - this one with chicken & then one without (thinking of the vegetarian BFF). This is pretty low calorie (a little over 100 calories per cup) and surprisingly tasty. I ate one serving of each batch, with some crunchy chow mien noodles.

For Dinner, I made these english muffin pizzas. They had turkey pepperoni, zucchini slices, mushrooms & 2% mozzarella. Not quite the real thing, but way less calories & virtually no grease!

And naturally, the final "C" of my Saturday was cleaning. The kitchen was a wreck after all that cooking!
In the evening, I worked on a necklace & bracelet... which I would show you, but they aren't done yet. I think its going to take a trip to the bead store to finish the necklace... darn it! lol
Finished the night with a hot bath, which was quite relaxing until the thought of a certain someone and her shaving trials popped into my mind. Then I was giggling & wondering if lesson 102 was available yet, lol.
Bottom line... as rough as the day was... I survived. I may have eaten a bit extra on the calories, but I didn't eat unless I felt hungry & I didn't keep eating once I felt satisfied. Maybe that is my success of the weekend... and if it is... it is enough.
Thank you again for all of the kind and encouraging comments!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm Alone, I'm Sad

and OMG, I WANT TO EAT! What is wrong with me? I'm a social eater, not an emotional eater.

But, as I've been sitting here with tears streaming down my face for the last hour, I keep thinking of what food might taste good enough to comfort me & stop the tears. This is not me, I don't do this... I swear I don't.

Why am I like this today?

Well... let's see here... Monday is the anniversary of when my Dad died and as I've hinted at in the past there are things that have come up over the last few months which are making it way harder to deal with this year... processing "new" things I guess you could say. I knew I was likely to have a hard time "dealing" over the weekend and I knew The Husband was most likely going to be stuck at work all weekend (I am & he is). So on Monday I asked the BFF if we could take the kids to Chuck E Cheese today. I try not to eat there, but the kids have fun playing (and to be honest so do I). Plus, I figured get out of the house, keep busy, I'd be okay emotionally. Its just when I'm alone with my thoughts that I can't seem to deal. Anyway, she said that would work & she'd see if her new boyfriend wanted to come along with his daughter too. No problem there, he seems to be a nice guy and his daughter gets along well with my son (no small feat there, lol).

Thursday the BFF tells me that she is sending her daughter to her Dad's for the weekend and then starts listing her plans for the weekend - clean up day at the dog park (with the bf I'm sure) and he's doing a bunch of maintenance on her vehicle for her. Whoa! What happened to our plans? But of course, I'm not in the mood for drama or excuses so I don't say anything. Bottom line, she "forgot" or decided she'd rather do something else... and I'm home... alone... crying my little eyes out... and no way to go anywhere since The Husband has our one and only vehicle at work. Yes, technically my son is home and yes, I'll probably try to get him to do something with me later in the day... but he just got a new game for his DS so that could be more fight than its worth.

I guess the silver lining to this is that there's not really any bad for me foods in the house except that chocolate from yesterday's post (thank God I don't bring them in)... now if I can just keep from going overboard what is here... Do you remember all of the cheese in the pic yesterday? Its all in the fridge along with enough bagels, english muffins & tortillas to make an elephant fat...

After all I've been through... please do not let this be where I turn into an emotional eater!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cheese & Chocolate

Friends, family members, anyone who learns of my weight loss... they all ask the same question: How are you doing it?

They all get pretty much the same answer:

I workout regularly

I eat healthy meals at home

When I eat out, I eat whatever looks good on the menu

I try to eat until I'm comfortable, NOT full or stuffed

At this point, people are usually nodding along like they've heard it all before... but the next thing I say almost always makes them pause and raise an eyebrow...


Its true, I do... cheese and chocolate pretty much every day. I'm sure there have been a few days where I've skipped one or the other... but I'm honestly not sure if I've ever gone without both for an entire day.

Now I'm not talking huge portions... that would just be silly. But I love them both and I know they have to be a part of doing this in a way that I can sustain for the long haul.

Some of my favorite ways with cheese (always 2% unless its Parmesan)... sprinkled on a breakfast scramble, string cheese with an apple as a snack, shredded cheddar sprinkled on veggie soup, feta mixed with brown rice & onions, and of course some sprinkled in a salad. And if I'm craving salty snack foods... I will toast a mini bagel (the 100 calorie kind), top it with an ounce of 2% cheddar & pop it in the microwave for a minute; sprinkle just a tiny bit of garlic salt on it and you've got a yummy little snack for under 200 calories or put a piece of fruit with it for a mini meal.

The main forms of chocolate I use are light chocolate syrup and mini chocolate chips. A little drizzle of chocolate syrup on oat pancakes with sliced strawberries makes it seem decadent and only adds a few calories. Its also a nice add-on for one of my favorite treats... bananas sandwiches (slices of bananas with Cool Whip Free & peanut butter). The mini chocolate chips often get tossed in (a teaspoon or so) to my homemade trail mixes. Sometimes I will just measure out a tablespoon and indulge... I always freeze them first and suck each one individually so they take quite awhile to eat. Otherwise about the only chocolate I eat (other than Hershey's kisses at kids group) are what The Husband refers to as "foo-foo candy," also known as Frangos, Lindt, or See's.

Now that I'm drooling thinking of all the yummy things I could make tonight... I must STOP and get my tushie to the gym.

Before I head out... how should I prove my insanity tomorrow? 260 floors on the StairMaster or 20 miles on the bike? :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Its Official... I Lost My Mind


That's what I did on the StairMaster tonight! Insane? Wasn't it just a few weeks ago I was whining because I couldn't do more than 40 floors? Honestly, I don't know what the heck possessed me...

George has been wreaking havoc all freakin day & on the way to the gym I was planning to do a light workout - some bike & treadmill. I get there, walk in, see its kind of dead & hop on the StairMaster. The first 50 floors were relatively tough... then it was like something took over my body & I was on auto-pilot or something. Not only was I continuing to climb, I was amusing myself by climbing at angles & walking with my hands on my hips! OMG, forcing yourself to climb without hanging on seriously kicks up the intensity a lot... you really have to engage your core to keep from falling off. Doing it for floors 190-200 was pushing the limit... I actually had visions of the staff running to see if I had survived the fall, lol.

I do have to admit, there was a point in the middle where I was more than a bit nauseas. As I was climbing I kept looking down thinking they should have barf buckets between the machines for crazy people that think they can do insane things. Logically, that would be a bit messy... ewww can you imagine? Maybe barf bags attached to the machine would be better - like the air sickness bags on airplanes. Thank goodness the urge passed... cuz in the world of sickness there is NOTHING I hate more than that, lol.

My workout for the day: 210 floors (insane!) and 3.5 miles on the bike... almost 1,200 calories burned. Don't know what the heck happened to a "light" workout.

Two hours post workout and my abdominal muscles are screaming! Its gotta be from the hands-free time... cuz I didn't do any core sets.

And as I'm typing, I think I know what possessed me... here's the proof I lost my mind... silly me took Midol before I headed to the gym. I was so focused on seeing how many floors I could reach that I didn't stop to think. My body had no clue what I was doing to it! I think its starting to figure it out, lol.

What's the most insane thing you've ever done at the gym or while working out?

Here in the Real World...

No returns necessary (at least not today).

At the beginning of December I found these cute Tinker Bell pjs at Walmart. I know, I know I'm not a fan of Walmart clothes... but their pjs are a different story alltogether & besides Alana (the little girl I babysit LOVES Tinker Bell). Anyway, I got them home & they were way too small. They've been sitting on the dresser, needing to be returned ever since. I picked them up today & thought to myself I wonder...

And the answer was YES! They do indeed fit now... still a little snug... but no return needed on this wonderful day!
The Best Laid Plans fall victim....
I had a serious craving for Mexican food... and I learned a long time ago if its a true craving you just as well get it out of your system and move on. God only knows how many calories I've ended up eating trying to "cure" a craving to no avail.
So I had these lucious Fajita Nachos.... But I did order the half order and scraped off most of the sour cream. And.... look at this... I left a good portion of the chips on my plate!
That's serious progress for me... especially when there was still half a bowl of salsa on the table... and I have a HUGE weakness for chips & salsa.
My son is just finishing his therapy sessions for the day... I'm off to feed him dinner & then conquer another day of Around the World... wish me luck!!! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An Off Day & Yummy Treats

Day three of Around the World & guess what I did!?! I took the day off!!! Why would I do such a thing this early in? Well.... to be honest I just didn't feel like going. My energy level was super low the whole day & the thought of putting on gym clothes this morning had me literally in tears (pathetic huh). Also, I'm feeling pretty comfortable with my ability to hit the daily numbers I need in order to finish the whole challenge. Or at least I was...

Have I mentioned before that The Husband is leaving on deployment soon? Well, if I haven't... he is and the "vacation" time he gets before leaving is coming up soon - March 25th-April 4th. This is the only time we'll have to go visit his family on the other side of the state before he leaves. There is no way I can deny him that opportunity because of some "gym thing." Not that we'll be gone the entire time he has off... but still it will be a big chunk of time that I have to figure out how to compensate for.

Can I stop right here and ask you all a question? My blog, why yes I can! :)

Just out of curiosity... how many of you are expected to take your Mom with you whenever you go to visit your inlaws?

Well, maybe not "just out of curiosity." See my Mom thinks that she should come with us every time we go to visit The Husband's family & gets HUGELY offended if we don't invite her. Since she has no other family nearby, I don't mind at all if its a holiday or for a birthday... but for all the time, every visit, its just too much. It stresses everyone else out & I'm totally restricted in what I can say or do during the visit (unless I want there to be a totally embarrassing blowup in front of his family). Its to the point where we are trying to avoid her finding out about the upcoming visit... ok end vent. :)

Food was okay today... not the greatest. I did pack dinner to eat at kids group... a tasty salad with spinach, romaine, cauliflower, broccoli, grape tomatoes, sprouts, carrots, low fat mozzarella, turkey pepperoni, sunflower seeds & balsamic dressing. I was taking the last bite when I realized I didn't take a pic of it. :( Much better choice than what I typically did for kids group nights - you name the drive-thru & I probably visited it on any given Wednesday night.

We did have some yummy treats there - the standard Hershey's kisses & some super yummy Irish Coffee Cream Fudge. No clue how many calories were in the fudge, but I only had two of the kisses... so hopefully it balanced out semi-okay. I'm not a huge Irish Cream fan, but this fudge was AMAZING! Its a very good thing that it was only there in limited quantities... its the kind of stuff I could "accidentally" eat way too much of & not even realize.

What kind of St. Patricks Day treats did you have?

Hope you are all doing well this week... I soooooo need to take some time to catch up on my blog reading.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Following Up...

I just wanted to write a quick note before I go to bed. Thank you for all of the positive comments about the new outfit. Peer pressure works... I will have someone take pics of me in the outfit... but you'll have to wait til after George leaves & my stomach doesn't look like its housing a full grown watermelon. Maybe by then I can find some cute sandals too!

Day two of Around the World kicked my butt. It probably would have been okay, but I got hit with killer cramps on the drive to the gym. With no painkillers on hand, you have no idea how badly I wanted to turn the car around & come home. I told myself NO! to that real quick, telling myself that I could at least hop on the bike for an hour or so... pretty sure you can be half dead and still manage that. Once I got in there it really wasn't sooooo terrible. My workout lasted just shy of two hours - 75 floors on the StairMaster, 1.6 miles elliptical, 25 circuit sets, 7.5 miles bike - raging cramps from hell and all.

Bedtime has arrived for me & George... and I'm whooping his butt into submission with some hefty painkillers so sweet sleep is headed my way... or at least I hope. :-)

Outfit in the Window & Scale Day

Before we get to talking about the outfit... today was scale day. I was a little anxious stepping on the scale, not quite a livin on a prayer moment though. My food choices were fairly decent throughout the week, but there were a few times when I probably ate more than I needed & then there was the yummy lunch out with Erika on Saturday. Plus my friend George is due to arrive any moment now & we all know the lovely things he can do to your body. The results: -1.6 lbs! I'm totally satisfied with that & feel like I'm getting back into the groove of things. Another five pounds & I'll be back to where I was when I fell off the wagon. Its exciting to be that close to that number again... but nerve wracking too. I swear its like I get to a certain point & do something to sabotage myself for some unknown reason. Not this time though, I'm determined!

Do you ever feel like you're your own worst enemy when it comes to reaching your goals?

In case I've failed to mention it at some point, I LOVE shopping. Some people would call it a passion... The Husband probably refers to it as a curse when he's shooting the breeze with his buddies and complaining about it to my mother-in-law. Anyhow, until the last couple years shopping was probably the most physically active thing I did on a regular basis... sad I know. The thing is I feel like I'm good at shopping... I mean I've gotten really skilled at finding bargains for just about anything I want; its rare that I pay full price for anything. Also, not news to you I'm sure (but to the skinny people of the world perhaps), you've got to be pretty savvy in the shopping department if you're gonna find anything resembling cute clothes to fit a chubbo body like mine was (is).

To set the stage for shopping opportunities on the island: We have Kmart, Walmart, the NEX (on base) and a few specialty stores. The Husband will tell you (and I can hardly argue anymore), I can be more than a wee bit picky when it comes to my clothes. While I won't refuse to buy something just because its at Kmart or Walmart, the chances of me finding something that I like (and fits well) is slim to none. Needless to say, clothes shopping for me meant a 40 minute drive to the nearest mall. Then one blessed day I was driving down our narrow little main street & spotted a sign in the window at Maurices advertising their new plus size section.

Cute clothes, reasonable prices, no 40 minute drive... I was hooked! My first visit there, I needed nearly the biggest size they had in plus; but somehow I was okay with that because hey the clothes were cute. Walking in I'd always look to the right (the regular sizes) & think "I wish," as I turned to the left (the plus sizes). The ladies that work in this store are fantastic, very supportive & encouraging! When I started losing, they immediately noticed & each time I visit the store for smaller jeans they celebrate with me. We've had this goal for several months now, that one day I'd be able to walk in the store & buy the outfit in the window from the right side of the store.

This past Saturday it finally happened!!! I can't tell you how thrilling it was for me. Not only was I able to buy the outfit in the window from the right side of the store... I didn't have to buy it in the biggest size. No XXL, No XL... just LARGE! They were having a decent sale, buy one get one 1/2 off, but of course this outfit wasn't included in the sale. But you know something... I bought it anyway... what can I say? Sometimes a a girls just gotta have the outfit in the window!

Now the questions, tights or no tights? Flats or sandals?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let the Fun Begin!

Today is the day - the official start of the Around the World Challenge at my gym. I had The Husband snap some "Day 1" pics for me before I went to do my measurements this morning.

My "official" beginning measurements for the challenge:

Weight: 200.4 lbs (they made me weigh there, with clothes & after two meals ugh)
Waist: 37"
Hips: 44.5"
Body Fat %: 38.2%
BMI: 33.3

My gym does this challenge every year, in the Spring, to encourage all of the newbies to keep working out & its a good kick in the tush for the rest of us. The dates this year are March 15th-April 26th. Each part of the challenge represents a continent & you get entered into a prize drawing for each continent you complete.

  • North America Challenge is 330 sets on the circuit machines
  • South American Challenge is 276 sets of core strength activities
  • Australia Challenge is 378 sets on free weights
  • Asia Challenge is 48 miles on the elliptical
  • Europe Challenge is 150 miles on the bike
  • Africa Challenge is 38 miles on the treadmill or rower
  • Antarctica Challenge is 2100 floors on the StairMaster

They also give an award for body comp change at the end of the challenge & there's a chance to win if you log 30 hours of workout time at the gym.

So there ya have it folks! My workout goals for the next six weeks... I'll track my progress in the sidebar.

Does your gym do anything do anything similar or other special events to help keep you on track?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Look What I Found & What I did (Again!)

This is a picture of me at The Husband's reenlistment ceremony in January 2004.

I'm guessing this is somewhere close to my highest weight - probably mid-230s or so. Is it weird that even though I've never felt overly bothered by my weight on an emotional level, looking at the picture makes me want to cry? I almost don't recognize the person in the picture... its like I never saw myself as a fat person though I clearly was (still am). How's that for denial???? Seriously, look at my face - all that extra chin & the chubby, chubby cheeks? How did I manage to miss that?

Finding this picture couldn't have come at a better time. I've been struggling to see a difference lately, even when I look at my progress pics they seem somehow minimal to me. But this pic is soooo eye opening for me. I think sometimes I get so caught up in how far I still have to go that I lose sight of just how far I've come. Does that happen to you?

Ok so I borrowed the picture from before because I didn't have my camera with me today, but YES, I burned over 1,000 calories in about 90 minutes at the gym. I started out on the StairMaster & did 111 floors!!! That's the most I've done probably since last year's Around the World Challenge. My legs felt like they could keep right on climbing, but my heart rate had different ideas on the subject, so finally I stopped. I also put in a solid hour on one of the wuss bikes.

I spent the afternoon in "commihell" aka the Commissary on base. The place becomes its own kind of hell when its busy, especially the Sunday of a payday weekend. You would swear its the last day the place is ever going to be open & people have to get their food that very day or risk starvation! Granted they are closed on Mondays, but geesh its nuts the way people swoop in there and inhale things from the shelves. Why did I choose to torture myself by going there today you ask? Around the World is starting & I was committed (I may need to be commited after shopping, lol) to getting the cupboards stocked in advance. A closterphobic person would have needed some seriously therapy to recover from the experience today, it was insanely busy & well picked over by the time we got there. But, thankfully (for me) the shoppers that came before me must not have been interested in healthful eating. With the exception of a couple items, all of the things on my healthy list were there waiting for me.

Where did the time go? I can't believe its already the start of Around the World!!! While I'm not as prepared as I was hoping to be, I feel like I've made enough progress that if I work hard the next few days getting stuff prepared I will be okay. If I don't wake up unable to move after the 111 floors on the StairMaster, I will share all of the challenge specifics again in the morning. Plus, I have news from my Saturday shopping trip to share too. :-)

What is on your agenda for the upcoming week?

Wishing you all a fantastic week! :-)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Plastic Bags or Containers???

This came up in the comments from my last post. If you prep food ahead, what do you use for food storage - plastic bags or containers?

I use a combination of both - see these two drawers in my kitchen are devoted to them! :)

The plastic bags are handy & I can easily label right on them. But I keep thinking about how many of them I use, the money they cost & if it might be better financially (long-term) & environmentally to switch more of my "convenience" foods over to plastic containers. I just don't care for the idea that I'm being wasteful.

I did some searching online for small (approx. 1-2 oz) size containers that come with lids... for things like a tablespoon of sliced almonds or salad dressings. Yes, I would measure everything ahead if it was possible. If I could just throw all my meals together in assembly line fashion I would be in bliss. Anyhow, the only ones I could find were from Tupperware and a little spendy, especially considering the quantity I would need. If anyone knows of any other tiny containers like this, I'd love to hear about them. :)

On to other news... The Around the World Challenge at the gym starts on Monday!

The requirements are pretty tough, and I know from experience it sucks in a major way if you get behind. I dusted off the calculator (ok, I found it on my phone lol) and figured out exactly how much I'd have to do for each part if I did that part every day, 30 days & 20 days. I tested the numbers to see how its going to go on the bike, circuit machines & elliptical tonight... just trying to get a feel for how much time I'm going to have to spend in the gym. I'm thinking its a pretty good idea to pack a blanket & pillow in the car so I can just live there, lol. It looks like it will take 2-3 hours a day... if I go 30 of the 43 days. Granted I might get through some of it faster if I lowered the resistance level, but I don't see how that is in the best interest of my long term goals, so I don't want to do it just for the sake of getting in the miles or sets. Now if it gets down to the last day, I may change my mind about that, lol.
I'm kicking meal planning & food prep into high gear over the next couple days... so hopefully I will be prepared when Monday morning rolls around. A question though... my calorie burn at the gym is going to jump from about 800 to 1500-2000. With the increase in calories burned, should I modify my calorie intake? And if so, how much?
Geesh, I'm all full of questions tonight! lol
Oh, I saw a sneak peek at the prizes they are giving away this year. It looks like they tripled the number of prizes & some of them are awesome. One is an overnight stay at a historical hotel/spa that I've been dying to go to since I was 16. Definitely something to keep my tush moving when I wanna curl up in a ball & die!
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Safeway Loves Me, The Conspiracy & Convenience Food

They really do! Look at that beautiful grocery ad for the week! Chicken breasts are on sale & we are literally down to our last three pieces of chicken in the freezer... so its perfect timing. Honestly chicken is almost always on sale at one store another so that's not such a BIG deal. But, look right next to the chicken & see BLUEBERRIES. They are buy one get one free!!!!!! I am soooooo happy about this. Blueberries are my absolute favorite fruit, but they are just too expensive for me to buy fresh during the winter unless they are on sale. Needless to say, I haven't had any in a LONG time. Frozen ones just don't do it for me... so I wait patiently for the fresh and now it appears my wait is over! Yay!

This is what I took along to kids group for my dinner last night...

And, its what I was thinking of as my Mom was munching away on her Doritos. I packed it in one of those Fit & Fresh bowls I picked up at Ross a couple weeks ago. It worked out perfectly, other than the included spoon that kept wanting to fold, lol. Breakfast for Dinner... but until I get to the grocery store again its all about getting creative in this house.

Update on the alliance/conspiracy: To be crystal clear, I have NO (well almost no) interest in what my Mom and The Husband choose to eat as long as they don't push it on me. If they want to gorge themselves on cheeseburgers & pizza more power to em. Selfish perhaps, but my main concern is making sure I'm putting mostly healthy things in my body... cuz lets be real here, I still LOVE all of those indulgent foods... but I CHOOSE to limit them. And, naturally I want to help my son learn to eat a healthy diet... I'm pretty lucky there, as he is usually happier with an apple than candy.

The best way to manage the conspiracy: To go back to the basics of what I did to lose the first 45 pounds. Novel idea right? Do what was working and put it on repeat! That means healthy foods only in the house, unless I plan for an indulgence. Restaurants limited to 1-2 times a week. Being firm about my gym time & dietary needs. And perhaps most importantly, saying a big fat NOOOOOOOO!!!!! when the time calls for it.

I took the day off from the gym... and did this with the time...

I prepared some "convenience" food... which was desperately needed. Lettuce & celery chopped... waiting eagerly to be mixed with other ingredients for tasty salads. Measured Bare Naked Fit granola, almonds and chicken & beef jerky (high in sodium... but its a weakness that I allow for once in awhile). All of the bags are labeled with the amount, calorie & fat I'm reminded of EXACTLY what I'm putting in my body when I reach for a bag. Taking the couple extra minutes to do that helps immensely as I go through the week. Often, I will mix and match with the bags to get the calories I'm allotting myself for a snack; so it makes it really easy to adapt to whatever I'm craving at any given time.

Random question: What kitchen appliance do you find the most helpful in your healthy lifestyle?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Forget the Alliance, Its a Conspiracy!

Let me just preface this by saying, I honestly do love my mom and The Husband (but geeeeezzzz)....

A conspiracy that many other husbands are apparently secret members of... and my Mother, of all people, seems to have joined up with them & The Scale! How could I say such a thing about my dear, sweet Mother??? This is how...

I pick her up on the way to kids group tonight. She needs to get her medicine at the pharmacy, but hasn't had dinner yet. She needs something to eat. So... drum roll please... she exits the pharmacy with a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos! Sitting next to me in the car, she pops the bag open & I can immediately smell the chips. All the way across town, I hear "crunch, crunch, crunch" and "oooooo these are so good." But NSV for me, I resisted... wasn't even particularly tempted. Not sure if it was because I really had no interest or because I was so disgusted by the idea of calling that dinner. Either way, I'm so glad I didn't have any of them.

Keep in mind, this is far from the only incident such as this. It seems like every time I go there, she wants to get McDonalds or Burger King... and then gets offended when I refuse to go. Once in a while, I will plan my meals so we can do it... but she would have us doing it every week if she had her way. She's also the one that has to buy chips, crackers & cheese spreads nearly every time I take her grocery shopping... then complains she doesn't have enough money to buy chicken breasts or other lean proteins. Sometimes I think the stress she adds to my life is enough to qualify her as part of the conspiracy, lol.

For those of you that so sweetly suggested I talk to The Husband about his role in the alliance (now known as the conspiracy)... I attempted it this morning... and the basic response I got was "you know I eat really healthy now." OMG! Is he serious????

Another tidbit of "proof" of his membership in the conspiracy: he has started making comments about me not needing to lose very much more weight & how he doesn't like women who are too skinny... so verbal manipulation... and once again IS HE SERIOUS??? I still have a good amount of weight to lose, which I think is pretty obvious. Its gonna be a LONG time before I'm in danger of being TOO skinny. Really, I think its making him feel insecure or something?!?

Oh and let's not forget that he is the one that was eating my "convenience" food, leaving me in a lurch... though the basket has helped squash that part of his agenda.

I have some ideas for how I'm going to continue squashing his participation in the conspiracy... I'll share those tomorrow. In the meantime, I think this conspiracy needs a name. Any ideas?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Husband & The Scale Have Formed An Alliance!!!

I swear to you it is true - The Husband & The Scale have formed some sort of evil alliance... and right now I have some choice words running through my mind for the both of them. See I think it goes something like this:

The Husband walks into the bathroom & The Scale says to him: "I'm tired of displaying a smaller number week after week. I feel so small and insignificant as the numbers go down. Please! Help me!!! I NEED to see those big numbers... for my self esteem!" (At this point The Scale is near tears... I'm sure of it.)

The Husband thinks about this & tells The Scale: "Well, I don't know what I can do."

The Scale continues his (yes it is definitely a "he") plight: "You know this isn't all about me, its about you too. Think of all the things you're missing out on while my numbers are going down."

This catches The Husband's attention and as he exits the bathroom, he says "You have no idea what I'm missing. Help is on the way!"

For The Husband's part, he puts his plan into practice on regular basis - nearly every day & sometimes more than once in the same day. He has devised a multi-step plan of attack to help The Scale. Step one: "Innocently" want to take me out to breakfast or lunch. Step two: Repeatedly carry on about how he wants pizza, a cheeseburger, Mexican food, fill in the blank with any other indulgence you can think of. He usually will persist with pleading until I have given in to one of these steps; there comes a point where its give in or deal with his "unhappiness." Step three: He will bring home a bag of chips (or other munchies), open them & leave the bag sitting out on the counter to tempt me each & every time I walk through the kitchen. Step Four: When we are out & about, he will ever so "conveniently" want to stop off at 7-11 & become upset if I refuse to go into the store with him. Its like he wants to suck me into that world of temptations... Seriously WTH???

I know its up to me what I put in my body... but oooohhhhhh the pure pressure (and utter lack of support)... this little alliance of theirs has assisted me in eating:

  • pizza
  • cookies
  • ice cream
  • taco bell
  • hot dogs
  • jalapeno cream cheese taquitos
  • sugary soda
  • hash browns
  • french toast
  • breakfast sausage
  • chips & queso

And, that's all in just the last week! Yikes!!!!

The Scale was handsomely rewarded by their evil alliance today... it was more than happy to display a number 2.4 higher than last weeks number. You could almost feel it doing a little happy dance under me.

Guess what?!? Its time to break up the evil alliance, IMMEDIATELY. I'm gonna kick them both in the butt!

Honestly, doesn't The Scale know that BIGGER isn't always BETTER?!? And as for The dear sweet Husband... if he wants that crap he can get it on his own time!

Scale? Husband? Do you hear me? Your time together is OVER!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I have a confession... You were right! Go ahead say "I told you so."

Living a healthy lifestyle is A LOT of work and takes time from other things that need attention. There's time spent at the gym, planning meals, preparing healthy meals, writing down what you eat and all the other things that come with it. Yes, this takes time away from the family, friends & Church. Yes, it means that I may not be as available for every little thing as I once was.

But its worth it! Its worth it because I can run & play with my son. Its worth it because I am teaching my son to make good choices with the food he puts into his body. Its worth it because (hopefully) when he is a grown man he won't have to suffer from the stress & burden of seeing his Mom struggle with all of the health issues that can be avoided by choosing a healthy lifestyle. Its worth it because when all is said and done.... I believe...

I am worth it!!!!

It breaks my heart that in all of your life, you've never thought YOU were worth it... that you've never believed YOU were worth the time & effort required to live a healthy lifestyle & take care of yourself. Will you realize that YOU are worth the effort before time runs out? I pray every day that you do... because I don't know how I'll ever explain to Garrin that his Grandma is gone due to something she could have prevented (or at least delayed) and you know there will be no skirting the issue with the way his brain is wired... but most because you're my Mommy & I want you to love yourself & KNOW THAT YOU ARE WORTH IT!



Sunday, March 7, 2010

Livin on a Prayer & Other Revelations

First of all, thank you so much for all of the encouraging comments after my last post. You ladies are the best! :) I'm sorry its taken me so long to get back here & write again... my night of thought actually lasted far into Friday & then the weekend was busy, busy with family & friends.

After much thought & self-reflection, I have to say I've been approaching things with a "Livin on a Prayer" mentality on an increasingly frequent basis. What do I mean by this? Simply, I've fallen into a habit of doing what works in the moment as far as my meals & exercise (or lack there of)... and then when scale day rolls around I say a silent prayer as I step on to the scale that somehow, by some miracle, the number will be kind to me. Yes, I have gotten lucky the last two weeks & not seen an increase on the scale... but I think luck has run out. It doesn't take much thought to figure out that when I plan meals & do meal prep early in the week, I'm much less likely to fall into this pattern of doing without regard to the big picture. Next step in the self-revelation... what do I do about it???

Revelation #1: A few days ago, I asked if living a healthy lifestyle ever felt like a full time job to anyone else. The overwhelming response is YES it does & then some. So... I believe its time to approach this healthy lifestyle as I would a job where I was being paid (and there is definitely a reward for the hard work of this "job"), rather than attempting to squeeze it into my normal time frame for meal planning/prep & fitness. This means planning my days with specific times on the agenda for the gym, meal planning & prep, meal & exercise tracking, and blogging. I'm not quite sure how that's going to look yet, but I plan to figure it out for the upcoming week before I go to bed tonight... then I can hit the ground running in the morning.

Revelation #2: I need to get serious about tracking my meals! On the days I plan my meals, I do a decent job of sticking to it... the other days I pretty much shrug off writing down what I'm eating. Somehow, I've gotten out of the habit of entering my food on myfooddiary... and I can tell that its hurting me.

And an FYI for you: March is the month my Dad passed away... 22 years ago. I know its been a LONG time and so many people tell me just to be over it already. But, I'm sorry, its not something you ever get over... especially when you lose a parent in childhood. I'm the type of person who so strongly associates dates, times & places with the joys & heartbreaks of my life that just waking up knowing its such and such day can take me right back to the emotion of the situation (no matter how much time has passed). This year, I think things are worse for me than they've been the last few years due to some other losses over the past year. I mention this not so much because I'm an emotional eater, but because when I'm sad its hard to motivate myself to do much of anything, so things like getting meals planned & going to the gym are way more difficult... and I think we all know what happens to me if I don't have meals planned...

Highlight of the weekend: Saturday was gorgeous here on the island. With rain looming in the forecast, I decided to drag the husband and my son out for a walk with me. After packing each of us a bag with healthy snacks (more of a mini lunch I suppose), we piled in the car & headed out with no specific destination. We ended up at one of the nearby state parks- we are super luck to have 3-4 within a few minutes drive. This one sits right on the water & has trails all over. My plan was to walk the trail that goes along the bluff overlooking the water & then go to the part where you can get down to the beach; but apparently my son's sense of direction had other plans for us. We let him choose a trail & ended up on two miles of trails that went up & down steep hills, some parts with big ruts & tree roots to climb over. Normally, I don't really count these outings as exercise, just part of an active outing for the family... but let me tell ya right now this one I counted! It was very challenging & my heart rate was definitely up there for most of it. By the time we got back to the car, we had walked just shy of 2.5 miles and I was comfortably exhausted!

One of the "easy" trails & The view from our picnic table

Well... I guess I'd better get back to work on planning my week if I want to see dreamland any time soon. Hope everyone had a good weekend & best wishes for a Happy Monday!