Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yay for Running!

It's official. I'm going to the gym tonight to sign up and get my first running workout in what feels like forever. I can't wait! It sounds silly, but I really am excited to get back in the gym. I told Steve last night that I'd be going today to sign up. He seemed kind of ho hum about it, but then when I said how I was excited he perked up a bit and said he was happy to see me so excited about it so I think he let go of any reservations he had. Plus then I mentioned to him the fact that it'll get me out of the house and possibly meeting new people, which he always loves when I'm out doing things for myself.

On another note, I'm not sure how my weigh in is going to go this week. My daily calories yesterday were good, but Saturday through Monday weren't so great. No huge crazy binges or anything, but I also ate some things I know I shouldn't have. Monday probably wasn't that bad, but we went out to eat and I ate WAY more than necessary. It wasn't anything horribly bad. We had teriyaki mushrooms as an appetizer and then my meal was marinated beef and pork with rice and a salad. So like I said, overall it wasn't horrible food I just ate it all even though there was a point where I knew I was full I just kept eating. Then when we got home I literally felt sick. I seriously thought I was going to puke and almost wished I would so I wouldn't feel so awful. Lesson learned. Listen to my body and don't eat more just because it tastes good. Ugh.

I also haven't been doing much on the exercise front. That's why I'm really looking forward to working out on the treadmill tonight. I can't push myself too hard since it's my first run in forever, but I'll listen to my body and work hard just not go overboard. Then, soon enough, I'll get to try out some classes. Yay!! I really am quite excited to try everything out. The classes, the weight equipment, the cardio equipment, the pool, the hot tub, the sauna, all of it.

I'll let you know tomorrow how my first gym workout goes. I hope you all are having a great week!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

To Gym Or Not To Gym

I told you guys recently that I was considering joining LA Fitness since it's near my house. I'm on the fence about it for a few different reasons and wanted to get some feedback. It costs $35 a month and if I sign up by tomorrow my initial fee for joining is dropped from $75 to $25. It has classes I'd really enjoy that I think could help me boost my cardio workouts and of course treadmills and bikes and weight training equipment and all that jazz. It also has a sauna, a pool and a hot tub. It's only about a mile from my house so it's very convenient. I really feel like I would use my membership. I work from home, so I think getting out of the house a couple times a week would be beneficial.

The main reason I'm on the fence is because of our finances. We're working on paying down a decent amount of debt and are making some progress, but I think Steve feels like this is unnecessary. I told him last night I was signing up and he said ok, but I know he doesn't think I need to get a gym membership. The other things to consider are the fact that we have a home gym, a stationary bicycle and a myriad of exercise dvds and weights. Technically, I've got everything I need right here and I don't need to add on the additional expense.

So what do you think? Gym or no gym?

Friday, March 26, 2010

WEIGH IN DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I weighed in at 188.4 lbs!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy that I broke through that wall. I am so close to 20 lbs lost I can taste it! I probably won't reach that milestone next week, but hopefully by the week after. :-) I just can't wait. I'm so happy with my progress so far. Now, let's go over the month by month breakdown since I started.

December: 4.8 lbs lost - 4 inches lost
January: 4.2 lbs lost - 5.25 inches lost
February: 5.0 lbs lost - 5.5 inches lost
March: 3.6 lbs lost - 2 inches lost
Total: 17.6 lbs lost - 16.75 inches lost

Obviously this month's numbers are a bit less than previous months. I'm not sure why. I've noticed the most change in myself this month, but only lost two inches. Oh well, I'm not going to over analyze it. Everything's going down and I'm feeling strong and healthy and that's the important thing.

I hope everyone's kicking ass and taking names! I'm looking forward to a wonderful weekend and sushi tonight to start the weekend off right. Yay for sushi!!!!!!!!

One last interesting tidbit to leave you with. One pound equals four sticks of butter. That means
I have lost 70 sticks of butter! How many sticks of butter have you lost?

**Edited** Only my weight is supposed to be in larger font. Even though it's small when I edit the post it's large when I publish. Grrrr...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My First "Whole" Meal

Last night I inadvertently made my first "whole" meal. I'm sure there have been some in the past, but this is the first since I've been contemplating making this change. Anyway, last night I had planned to make a recipe I found on Kepa's blog, or The Fat Lazy Guy's Log as he is otherwise know (I wasn't allowed to link to his blog for some reason), for Roasted Butternut Squash, Corn and Bacon Soup. He doesn't list an amount for each ingredient, so I'll list them out with the amounts I used.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Corn and Bacon Soup

- 1 butternut squash
- 1 bag of frozen corn with 4 half ears of corn (2 total)
- 1 cup of low sodium chicken stock
- 6 slices of ready made bacon (80 calories for 3 slices)
- 1 yellow onion (probably should have used half)
- 3/4 cup of chopped celery (probably should have used 1/2 cup)
- 3/4 cup of chopped carrots (probably should have used 1/2 cup)
- 4 Tbsp cream (could probably use less here too)
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Slice the Butternut Squash in half, put it on a tray, sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and brown sugar. Put it in the preheated oven for about 55 minutes.

2. After the squash is in the oven for about 25 minutes, throw in the corn and turn the oven down to 350 F (180 C) for 30 minutes. Or if you bought the frozen steam in bag kind like me you can hold off on microwaving the corn and just turn down the temp on the oven.

3. While that's baking fry up some bacon, take it out of the pan and set it aside. Even though I used ready made bacon I still did this with some Pam just to get some bacon flavor into the pan. I just chopped up the bacon, threw it into the pan, got it all good and heated up and then set it aside.

4. Using the fat from the bacon sweat off some onions, celery and carrots (soffritto) on a low-med heat until everything is really soft. Then blitz it in a food processor with a little chicken stock. Put that into a bowl and set aside.

5. Once squash is ready scoop out the squash, blitz it in the food processor with a little chicken stock. Put that into a bowl and set aside.

6. Microwave the corn if you bought frozen like me. Take the corn off the cob, blitz it in the food processor with a little stock. Put that into a bowl and set aside too.

7. Combine the Butternut Squash, Corn, Soffrito and some chicken stock. The squash should be the predominant element. Add stock until it has reached your desired thickness (I kept mine quite thick).

8. Add in some cream, the bacon, salt and pepper. Then serve it!

Makes 4 servings. 292 calories per serving. Here's the finished product.

Doesn't that look so good! It was really yummy. I actually just had a serving of the leftovers for lunch. YUM! Along with that I just made a simple salad with some romaine lettuce I chopped up, half an avocado and some light italian dressing. Overall it was a very tasty and satisfying meal.


I'm really looking forward to this whole foods thing. So far the past few days I've been having an orange with breakfast and even that small change has been really enjoyable. It's easy to forget how good fruits and veggies are if you don't eat them regularly. After last night's dinner and my oranges I'm definitely feeling good about this. And it makes me happy knowing that I'm making good choices. On top of this wonderful meal last night I also got in a good cycling session and I've been getting my 100 oz of water per day all week!

There's one final thing I wanted to talk about. I found this studio that offers adult fitness classes. Some of the classes they offer are: Kickboxing, Yoga, Pilates, Bootcamp and Zumba. That's right I said Zumba! I've been wanting to try this since I love dancing and now it looks like this is my opportunity. Plus the prices are really reasonable. You can get 10 classes for just $35. Not too shabby. Now that I think about it, though, if I'm going to pay for those classes maybe I should just get a gym membership? We have an LA Fitness really close to our house that is a possibility. I think I'll check it out to at least see what they have to offer and how much it would cost. Anyone else go to LA Fitness? How much do you pay a month?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Whole Food Diet???

I'm contemplating a switch over to a more whole foods diet. Fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins, less processed foods, you get the picture. Up until now I've basically told myself I don't have time to prepare food for every single meal, so I've stuck with popping a Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine meal into the microwave for lunch. Here's the thing though, I WORK FROM HOME! There's no reason I can't make time to spend a few extra minutes putting something together. I have the time I'm just lazy and not using my time wisely.

Recently I was at the grocery store checking out with all of my goods. I had planned a few fresh meals for this week. One was a Jamaican Jerk Chicken Sweet Potato Chili. Another was a Roasted Butternut Squash, Corn and Bacon Soup. And the last I've already made was a Cabbage & Apple Slaw to go with some boneless ribs I already had at home. When I pile all of my stuff on the conveyor belt I put things in order so it's easier for them to bag and easier for me to put away at home: frozen box meals, other frozen items, fresh fruits and veggies, canned goods, etc. Anyway I'm about to swipe my card and he's ringing up the fresh fruits and veggies and I'm noticing how everything's like a dollar and change for the most part. That's when I first started contemplating this fresh food thing. It made me realize how much less expensive those fresh fruits and veggies were than some of the processed things I was buying. Plus they're obviously much healthier for me. And who doesn't love some fresh fruits and veggies!

I've been kind of mulling this idea over in my head and the other day I'm watching Tool Academy. Yeah, I know, awful show. Anyway, there was this part where they had to prepare a romantic dinner for their partners and one guy made a tomato and mozzarella salad with balsamic vinegar. I thought, I can do that! Maybe not with mozzarella, since I'm watching calories and all, but I can put in a little effort to make something so simple that will make us feel like we're having this great meal out instead of just ho hum cooking.

Finally, today I decided to really look over the receipt from that recent grocery shopping trip. I decided to calculate the average price per item of the whole fruits, veggies and meats versus the processed stuff. The average for the whole items was $1.82 (and that include a $9 meat purchase that was a splurge). The average for the processed items was $2.52. That alone makes it pretty clear that if I start to move to more whole foods it might save me a bit of money, but it'll definitely save me a lot of unnecessary calories and sodium.

Anyone have any suggestions for how to make this switch? Any tips as far as making extra and portioning it out for later meals. Any tips on how to keep food from spoiling? Or maybe just some simple healthy recipes I should try? I'm open to any and all advice to get me moving along this path and make me more comfortable with the idea of taking the time to prepare healthier meals.

**Edited** I just wanted to add that I talked to Steve about this and he said "sounds good to me". We both love fruits and veggies, so that's never been the issue. Laziness has always been the problem. Plus, he knows I'll be the one cooking since he has a crazy schedule with working on his PhD and all, so all he has to do is eat the foods I prepare. However, he's a snacker, so when I stop buying crackers and stuff for him I'll be curious to see if he starts complaining. I'll just have to have fruits and veggies cut up for him to grab when he feels like snacking. Also, what about breakfasts? I can do omelets or oatmeal for myself, but he usually gets up before me and just grabs something as he heads out the door (or doesn't eat at all). I'd like to prepare something the night before that he can just take with him. He said he has access to a microwave and a sink, so oatmeal is a possibility, but I don't think he'd want to do that regularly. Any ideas?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Biceps and Greek Yogurt

I had a killer weight training session last night. It was definitely not easy and it left me more than a little sweaty. I always feel great after, though, when my muscles are all taut and exhausted. It's really a great feeling. I know I've posted one of these before, but I can't help it I'm proud of my biceps. Maybe if you got a candid of me in a sleeveless shirt I wouldn't feel the same way, but right now, I'm proud.

The last time I attempted to lose weight I didn't really do any weight training and I felt that was a great disservice to my body. I've mentioned before how I got down to 176.5 lbs, but at my brother's wedding was around 180 lbs. Here is a picture of me that is soooo not flattering. My big thing, though is comparing my arms then and now. I weighed less in the pic below, but I feel like I look much better now. I'm hoping that when my friend gets married in June I don't have the same feeling about her wedding pics. I don't expect to think I look perfect, since I've still got a ways to go and won't be anywhere near my goal weight yet, but I'd just like to be happy with how I look then. I may still be bigger, but I don't want to be flabby. I'm hoping that continuing to weight train and get my cardio in will result in me looking much better in her wedding pictures.


Last, but certainly not least, Greek yogurt. Can I just say YUM!! I know there are a lot of people that love it and just as many that don't, but I am one of the lovers. And a good thing for me is Steve is one of the haters. Why is that good you ask? Picture this, you're working from home and need a little pick me up and think a little Greek yogurt sure would hit the spot. You walk down to the fridge and *gasp* no yogurt! But there was one left in there when you checked last night, just for such an occasion. I don't understand! Then it dawns on you...he ate it. My point is it's nice to have one thing in the house that is mine and mine alone. I don't have to worry about Steve eating the last yogurt, cause it's mine all mine.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Roadblock

I have a feeling I'm going to break through that roadblock this week and have a decent weigh in. I had a nice relaxing weekend (aside from the 8 hour round trip to bring my brother back home from IN to WI and then drive myself back home again). I took the weekend off from exercise, so I got a little break (although I did work out on Friday, even after that weigh in). I'm raring to go again today and I'm going to be very mindful of the issues I feel I ran into last week. I'm going to shoot for 100 ounces of water a day and I'm going to keep track of my water intake. I'll shoot for 1400-1600 calories, since I exercise regularly and need the extra calories. And I'll try to get in some good cardio and weight training.

I've started a treadmill fund. I REALLY WANT A TREADMILL!! Hopefully it won't take too long to get enough money saved up. I'm already at $70 and I just started. I'm just going to continue to look for used ones as I save up the money and if I find one that I think is a good deal I'll get it, otherwise I'll keep saving until I find a better used one or have enough for a new one.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'm planning a kick ass dinner for tonight. We're going to have boneless lean barbecue beef ribs with some cabbage and apple slaw. The recipe for the slaw is courtesy of Salina. Hopefully the meal will live up to my expectations. :-) Have a great week everyone!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Weigh In

I weighed in this morning at 190.2 lbs. No change. Grrrr!!!! It's a bit annoying and I was even good this week about not checking the scale. I did drink quite a bit of alcohol at Steve's birthday party last weekend and snacked at the party, so maybe that caused the stall since I pretty much never drink anymore and snacking never helps. I did a bit of dancing, though, so I had hoped that would have evened things out.

I did really good on the exercise front, so I can't be too hard on myself. I put in a little over 3 hours in cardio and about 2 hours weight training. I did a really good job sticking to my schedule this week and that's with my little brother visiting! I think to some extent I wanted to set a good example for him, so that pushed me to stick to working out every day. I even got him to weight train with me one day and he couldn't keep up with me. And he's 18!! I've definitely been building a decent amount of muscle and I'm noticing changes. I'm looking forward to taking my measurements next Friday.

Today I've already put in 30 minutes of cardio walking the dogs and a little under an hour weight training. Today was just a weight training day, so the walk was just a plus.

One thing I think I didn't do as well on this week is drinking water. Normally I have no problem drinking tons of water since I love water unlike some, but this week I found myself being too lazy and not going to fill up my bottle. Jewlia Goulia mentioned a water bottle yesterday that looks like it may help with tracking your water consumption. I might have to go to Target and check it out. It couldn't hurt to have something that makes it so easy to track your water intake.

My lack of water this week accompanied with drinking and snacking last weekend may have been what caused my weight not to move this week. Then add in the weight training where I'm building muscle and I guess I can see why I didn't see a change. At least I know what to focus on this week and hopefully I'll see a change next weigh in.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Weight Over Time

I was inspired by Mama Laughlin's post where she posted pictures of herself and her different weights over time. I thought that was a great idea, because then as I make progress I can tack on new pics of myself as the weight gets lower.

These first two pictures are of me when I was just 18 years old in the summer of 2000. At that time I was taking dance classes and teaching classes and travelling with a dance troupe, so even though I didn't know anything about nutrition and had horrible eating habits you'd never know it. I'd guess I was probably around 140 lbs at this time. This pic is of me and two of my three brothers.


This picture is that same summer in 2000 when I was just 18. Even here, though, you can see that I held what little extra weight I had in my belly. I am an apple to the core...he he he.


This was after I went off to college. This pic was taken in 2001. It was either the end of my freshman year or the beginning of my sophomore year. I probably weighed around 170 lbs. I was very shy, so I overcompensated by drinking a lot of liquid calories. Plus whenever anyone wanted to order pizza or breadsticks at the end of the night I was all in to soak up that alcohol and because I really had no restraint and at the same time just wanted to be included in whatever other people were doing. Also, since I moved away for college the dance troupe was no more for me, so that exercise was no longer a part of my routine.


This was my 20th birthday in August 2002. I'm guessing I weighed around 200 lbs here. Obviously, my bad habits have really caught up with me at this point. And to add insult to injury the girl hugging me was my really close friend and roommate. How do you compete with that?


This was in March 2003 and this is the other roommate I had in college, Katie. Yes, I lived with these two girls. Seriously, what was I thinking, lol. I'm still friends with Katie, though, in fact I'm going to be in her wedding in June. And she'd kill me if she knew about this pic, because she hates how it makes it look like she has fake boobs. Anywho, I probably weighed around 180 lbs here. Katie and I made an effort to cook healthier meals at home I started working out, hence the weight loss. Katie always joked about how she could eat more than me. Gotta hate girls with high metabolisms.


I moved from WI to CA right after I graduated college. I really focused on my weight. I exercised most days and watched what I ate and got down to 165 lbs. This picture was taken in November '05 and it was two months after I met Steve.


This was in July '07. I was turning 25 the next month and weighed about 170 lbs in this pic. I was a bridesmaid in a really great friend's wedding back in WI and brought Steve home with me for the first time.


This pic was taken in April '07. Steve had moved in with me and we had definitely gotten comfortable. I probably weighed around 200 lbs here. This is one of the least flattering pictures I own, but it gives a clear shot showing I carry just about all my weight in my tummy.


This picture was taken in December '07. I probably weighed about 210 lbs here. These are my grandparents on my mom's side. Aren't they cute! I absolutely adore my grandparents.


This pic was taken in September '08. I was 26 years old here. I had lost some weight for my brother's wedding where I was a bridesmaid and got down to 180 lbs. I actually was down to 176.5 lbs about a month and a half before this, but I had some family drama and had started putting some weight back on.


This was June '09 at my little brother's high school graduation. Currently he is 18, my other brother in this pic is 29 and I have a third brother that's 25. I'm in the middle at 27. Anyway, in this pic I had gotten back up to around 210 lbs.


This picture is right around the same weight as the last one, 210 lbs or so. It's in August '09 when I turned 27. It shows my teeny tiny puppies when we first got them and is a decent full body shot of me.


This is right before I started my weight loss journey and my blog. This pic was taken in October '09. I officially started tracking my weight shortly after this and weighed in at 206 lbs.


This was in December '09. I weighed 199 lbs in this pic. That's my little puppy Dot. She thinks she's a lap dog. Lol. My how she has grown! Her brother's even bigger than she is!


The last pic isn't really a good body shot, so here's another one from January '10 where I weighed 198 lbs.


This is the last and most recent pic. This was Steve's 35th birthday party. It was taken in March '10 and I weighed 190 lbs in this pic.


Those are all the photos I have for you. It makes it very clear how much of a roller coaster I've been on in my adult life. I gained a lot of weight when I started college, lost it, met Steve, gained it back, lost some, gained again and now I'm finally losing again. I definitely need to put an end to this ride. I'll post a link on my blog so you can check out these pics any time and I'll add a new photo with every 10 pounds I lose.

Mmmm...Bool Kogi

I made bool kogi for dinner last night and boy was it yummy! And at 230 calories per every 4 ounces for a beef dish, that's not too shabby. I had a really good day yesterday. My little brother is on his spring break (he's a freshman in college), so he came down to stay with us for the week. It's great having him here. We had a birthday party for Steve this past weekend (he turned 35), so we've got tons of leftovers which makes me ecstatic my little brother's here to gobble them up. I got this cupcake cake and I informed him that he was to finish those cupcakes by the time he leaves this weekend. Lol.

Overall things are going well. I cycled last night for about 75 minutes and did about 17 miles. That's not the best pace I've ever had, but I was sweating, so I can't complain. I consumed around 1600 calories and ended the day with right around a 1000 calorie deficit.

My plan is to weight train tonight, so hopefully I don't have any issues getting that done. Anyway, here's a pic of me and Steve from his birthday party.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Dilemma...

We've been having a bit of a dilemma here in our house. Steve is going to school for his PhD. Obviously, this is a great thing for us and our future. However, it isn't easy. It's stressful and it's hard and it really requires a commitment from both of us to make this our priority. I'm constantly trying to rearrange anything I might have planned so that it fits into his schedule and I totally get that that's 100 percent necessary. Everything comes after his studying and article reading and whatever else he needs to do for his PhD. I'm completely on board and am constantly trying to do what I can to make things easier on Steve.

For the most part I handle all laundry and dishes and regular care for the pets. I plan meals and do the grocery shopping and prepare the food. I decided to hire a house cleaner a few months ago to come every two weeks because with all of our pets and the household stuff going from 50% my responsibility to 100% (and lets face it...I just suck at cleaning regularly even though I love a clean house) I just needed to get a little help somewhere so I could keep my sanity.

If I'm in the office late at night just bumming around on the internet reading blogs and such and Steve asks me if I'll be done soon (translation I'm making it hard for him to concentrate on studying or whatever he's doing) I promptly shut off my computer and leave the office to him for the night. Or if I'm reading (which I do every night before bed) and the puppies are getting restless and bugging him and in need of going to bed I'll stop reading and put them to bed and go to bed myself so they don't disturb him. I'd much rather continue to read for a bit longer, but to make things easier on him I'll go to bed even though I know it's hard for me to fall asleep and reading longer makes that easier on me.

Overall, I'm just doing all of these things on a regular basis to try and make life as easy on him as is humanly possible so he can focus on his PhD with as little distraction as is possible. I think because these little things are just normal everyday things it makes it easy for him to only see how hard and stressful this change has been on him. It's hard to make him understand how much I'm giving up and I'm working harder as well throughout this whole process. When you compare housework or caring for the pets or going to bed without reading as long to studying for exams and reading articles to work toward his PhD, he's basically always going to win. My stress is always going to be "less important" than his when compared.

That said, here's my dilemma. As you all know we bought that home gym. The room that the home gym is in is directly next to our office and his desk is directly on the other side of the wall connected to that bedroom with the home gym. There's nowhere else to put the home gym in our house, so moving it is not an option. The first day I used it he had a huge issue with the noise factor from the weights and the fact that it would cause things on his desk to shake. I totally get this, so I asked him what days would be best for him for me to use the home gym. That way I could still work out and not do it on a night when he's got class the next day and has studying to do. So he told me Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays were bad days. Ok, that's easy. That leaves me with Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays to weight train. Awesome, not a problem.

Now we get to this week. He's currently studying for an exam that normally wouldn't be until next week, but his professor is giving students the option to take it over spring break. And since he has another exam next week he's all about that. I realize that when he has an exam the current schedule may need to change and I have no problem with that. So I asked him tonight when he'd be ok with using the home gym next and he got all stressed out and said I'll get back to you on that. No problem, I tell him, just let me know tomorrow what works for you. He puts his head phones on to get back to studying and then takes him off and starts off on how I don't understand how hard this is for him and how giving him one more thing to have to figure out is unfair. He says I should be able to figure this out on my own without burdening him. Or maybe I just shouldn't use the home gym this week. Obviously the dilemma is that it's not a matter of me doing it whenever I feel like it and for me not using it is not a solution (I don't want to turn into those people that use it as a clothing rack and there can be times where I could see him telling me for weeks at a time that I can't use it and that just doesn't work for me). And like it or not I need him to tell me how I can work this into his schedule. I asked him point blank if I can just workout whenever I feel like it and he said no. So I said, ok, that's why I need to talk to you about this so that I'm not disturbing you and picking bad times to use the gym.

Overall, I'm just frustrated. He's got a lot on his shoulders and everyday I'm doing things for him, they're just easy for him to overlook or see his stuff as being more important. He's proud of me and my success thus far, but he lets his stress get the best of him and has trouble working with me on just putting a schedule together. Instead of just spending 5 minutes thinking about it logically, he adds it to his mental to do list and then wants to vent about it when a quick conversation could have solved the issue and he wouldn't have to think about it anymore. I even offered to work out during the day, so that I'll be doing it when he's not here, but the problem is with him being on spring break I don't really know when he'll be here and when he won't (hence my need to talk to him). I honestly think I'm just going to have to jump on the opportunity to use it any time he leaves the house (good thing I work from home). I'll just take it on a day by day basis and do my best to utilize it when he leaves and hopefully he'll get over his stress and let me know what days work for him even though he seemed adverse to even talking about it. Anyway, that's all for now. I'm still trucking along over here and I'll continue to do so.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weigh In Day!!!!

I weighed in this morning at 190.2!! I really wanted to get into the 180's this week, but after the stall a few days ago where I was concerned my weight wouldn't budge, I'm just stoked to have lost a pound. Next week though, 180's I'm coming for you!

I reached one of my milestones this week and have officially lost 15 lbs! My BMI is now in the 28's! Good things this week. I've lost consistently for 4 weeks, which is the longest stretch I've had without a gain thus far. That makes me extremely happy. Hopefully I can keep this momentum going and continue on this downward path.

My next major milestone that I'm working toward is something I haven't mentioned before. In the summer of '08 I lost some weight and got down to 176.5 lbs. Then I had some family drama that really affected me emotionally and I allowed that to derail my progress and ended up right back where I had started. Granted I had a lot of stuff going on (saving for a move cross country, planning the move cross country, finding a place to live from another state, packing up all my stuff into a moving truck and moving, driving cross country, unpacking all my stuff, buying a house, packing up my stuff again, moving again)...you get the picture, still I shouldn't have allowed all of this and the family stuff to cause me to completely throw in the towel, yet that's exactly what I did. So my next major milestone is to get below that low weight and weigh in at 176.4 lbs. That's just 13.8 lbs away. I can't wait to reach this goal!

**Edit** Just realized I've lost 25% of the total weight I need to lose to get to my goal. Go me!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Scale and Calorie Consumption

I got a lot of comments on my last post about the scale. I'm not by any means freaking out or giving in. I'm 100% on course and haven't veered off. I was just a little annoyed to see it staying the same and it made me wonder about how many calories I should be eating. I track inches on a monthly basis, so I do have another means of measuring my progress and don't depend solely on the scale, so don't think I'm flying off the deep end.

Last time I attempted to lose weight I did weight watchers online. I've seen other people's blogs that are doing weight watchers and in their blogs they'll talk about eating 24 points in a day. 24 points is roughly 1200 calories. That's where I started thinking maybe my calorie level is too high, but then I remember the flex points and activity points and I'm unsure again and I think maybe it's too low?

Currently I'm shooting for 1300 calories a day and allowing myself higher calorie days on the weekends of like 1800 or so calories for two days. So if you'd average that out over the week I should be looking at an average of 1450 calories a day. I'm working out for an hour doing either cardio or weight training about 5 days a week.

What do you think? Am I getting enough calories? Am I consuming too many? What's your opinion?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grrr...I hate the scale

This morning I decided to peek at my weight since I've had 3 great workouts the past 3 nights and have eaten well...it still says 191.2 lbs. Oh well, I guess that's what I get for checking mid week. Since I'd been working so hard I thought I'd see at least a small loss that would motivate me to keep pushing the next 2 days in my workouts. I'll leave the scale be until my weigh in on Friday. It's making me question my daily calorie intake. It's that big question we all struggle with wondering how many calories we should be eating. I've been kicking my butt working out and it makes me wonder am I eating too little? Or maybe I'm eating too much? Who the heck knows. I'm sure it's normal to question ourselves throughout this process. I just wish there was some perfect answer, so we all wouldn't have to sit and wonder.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Me? Run a 5K?

I was reading Jen's blog today and it got me thinking about 5Ks. Now I am not a runner and never have been. Actually, I don't even run or jog as part of my current routine. However, the weather is getting nicer and it is something I could start adding into my routine in the near future (no money for a treadmill or gym membership currently). Also, I have enjoyed running in the past. I used to go to the gym and run on a treadmill and I definitely have experienced the "runner's high".

Mostly, the reason I'm thinking about 5Ks is just to have reasons to get me outdoors and to meet new people and try something new and in the process possibly even support some charity that interests me. Also, Steve wants to get back into playing soccer. He's been involved in soccer his whole life, but the last year or so it has fallen on the back burner a bit for various reasons (taking the GRE, applying to grad schools, moving across the country, etc). A big part of playing soccer is just running back and forth and having the stamina for all that running. He's mentioned wanting to get out jogging, but his knees have been bugging him. So my thought is we take it slow. I honestly feel like whatever knee pain he's having will get better as he gets healthier and loses weight and just gets out there and gets moving. Personally, I don't feel he needs surgery or anything I think it's just the extra weight that's making his knees hurt. Plus, I've always loved going for walks. He's always fought me on it because he'd rather go out cycling (since he enjoys it more and it burns more calories), but I think his wish to improve his running stamina might get him out there with me. Plus we can cycle too, but the puppies can't come with us cycling.

So when I think about us recently moving to a new state, looking for interesting things in our area, wanting to get outdoors with our puppies, working on losing weight and needing to just improve our overall health it just sounds like 5Ks would be fun things to get involved in. We can start out walking/jogging and as our fitness improves, who knows, maybe one day we'll want to run the whole thing. I tend to be a bit competitive with myself as far as shooting for increasing my speed when I cycle or upping my weight now that I've started weight lifting, so I feel like I will want to eventually run timed 5Ks or 10Ks or whatever but if to get Steve started we need to walk I'm ok with that.

I googled Indianapolis 5K and I got a list of 45 that are in our area that occur between now and the end of the year. Of those 45 I checked out what each 5K was for and there were 17 that grabbed my attention either because it was a part of some larger festival that would be fun or it was for some charity that I'd like to support.

We are big breast cancer research supporters in this house. My grandma had breast cancer, which she beat, and so did Steve's mom, which she also beat. Steve's goal in life while he's working on his PhD and once he gets his PhD is to do breast cancer research. So, I see the Race for the Cure for the Susan G. Komen foundation and I'm immediately interested, but alas, it's on April 17th and that's the date of my best friend's bridal shower that I'm throwing (we're also missing out on a performance of a comedian we both love that we've never been able to see -- of course he'll be in our area the date of the bachelorette party...of course -- ah well, that's the nature of the beast with weddings).

There are a few others in May and June that are contenders, but there's definitely one in July I'd like us to do. It's on July 3rd, and has special 4th of July type festivities. Then at the end of November and in December there are some fun holiday themed events. One involves everyone who's running getting dressed up like santa. Another gives you hot chocolate at the half way point, has Santa on the lead bike, gives you candy canes at the finish and has free beer and wine tasting. Overall, it just seems like there are some fun events to get involved in by doing these 5Ks, we'll have chances to meet new people and I assume the fees would be tax deductible since most of them are for charities.

Anyway, I just wanted to write a little post about 5Ks, cause all of a sudden it's rooted this idea in my brain that I really want to check some of these out and get involved. How many of you run 5Ks?

$50 iHerb Shopping Spree Giveaway

Check out the $50 shopping spree giveaway on Mary’s Weight Loss Blog! I can win an $50 Shopping Spree Giveaway from iHerb.com and so can you! Click here for contest details!



I'm really hoping to win, but definitely check out the giveaway the iherb.com if you haven't already!

Holy Strength Training Batman!

I had a great night last night for two reasons: dinner and my workout. Dinner was the bomb. I've been trying out a bunch of new weight watchers and hungry girl recipes since I have a bunch of cookbooks that I pretty much never use. I try to limit my recipes to ones that have relatively few ingredients and are very simple to make. I'm really renewing my passion for cooking which has been fun. Onto the food. I made a turkey taco meatloaf. Here's a pic:



It was pretty simple.

1. You preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. You chop up one onion and saute it with some nonstick cooking spray.
3. In a bowl you mix together 1/2 a cup of canned corn (I always pick the no sodium canned veggies when I can), 1 pound extra lean ground turkey, the sauteed onion and half a packet of taco seasoning.
4. You're supposed to use a bread pan to bake the dish, but my ground turkey was actually 19.2 ounces, so a bit over a pound, and I used the whole can of corn, so I used a square baking dish.
5. You spread half of the meat mixture on the bottom of the dish.
6. Top with two slices of fat free cheddar cheese (although I used 4 since I had the square pan).
7. Spread on the remaining meat mixture.
8. Top that with half a cup of salsa (I used more like a cup).
9. Bake for 30 minutes.
10. Take dish out of the oven and top with 1/2 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese (I used a whole cup).
11. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Voila!

My suggestion, you may not need the shredded cheddar cheese on the top. Since it's fat free it ends up just being kind of a hard crust rather than melty cheese, so either use a low fat version or skip it altogether. I don't think it added any taste to the dish. The slices of cheese on the inside added plenty of cheesy goodness. My version with extra corn, turkey, salsa and cheese was 374 calories for 1/4 of the whole loaf. I had 1 1/2 pieces for a total of 561 calories, although, just one slice should have been plenty. It was just so damn good! Steve demolished the rest of it, so it's definitely a crowd pleaser.

After dinner I got on to my workout. I brought all of our hand weights and leg weights and weighted balls, etc. to our new workout room since I figured they'd get more use on my weight lifting days than any other time. I ended up doing a ton of different exercises: Ab Curl, Butterfly, Bench Press, Lat Pulldown, Leg Extension, Low Row (I have bands that accomplish this rather than messing with my weight machine), Adductor (or Thighmaster as it's more commonly known, tee hee), Hamstring Curl (with ankle weights), Bicep Curl (with free weights), Leg Lifts (with ankle weights to work on any saddle bags I may have) and finally Butt Lifts (with ankle weights -- I made up the name, it's when you're on all fours and you lift one foot up toward the ceiling to work the butt...hopefully that makes sense). Overall I kicked my ass! I was completely shaky after. The exercise I can lift the most weight on so far is 70 pounds on the bench press. I seriously worked every ounce of muscle I have, I swear! I managed to get a pic, but all were a bit blurry due to me being shaky. Happy Workout Everyone!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Good Food, Bad Food and Dance Cardio

I hope everyone else had a great weekend. Mine was awesome. It was just one of those stress free, go with the flow kind of weekends. Steve and I just hung out at home Friday and I cooked us a good healthy dinner. Slept in Saturday morning and then got up and did some stuff around the house. While Steve was picking up dog poop (the joy of being pet owners, lol) I decided to play with the puppies. I got this toy (totally forget what it's called) where it's the long handle with a little cup at the tip that holds a ball and you use the handle to fling the ball for dogs to fetch. Our dogs don't really fetch yet. They run after the ball and may pick it up and bring it like half way back to me, but more often than not I'm walking back and forth picking up the ball, flinging it, they chase it, I walk over to it, pick it up again and fling it again, etc. At least it gets me moving some more and it was so nice out that it was just a lot of fun. I'm loving the nice sunny weather. After that we bummed around a bit and did a little shopping, then went out to dinner. After dinner we went bowling with friends to burn off some of those calories. Then Sunday we went to a little drive in food place where they bring the food out to your car. It's just a little hole in the wall place, so that was fun. Then we did a little shopping and went home and took a nap. I woke up, hung out, exercised, showered and went to bed. It was just a very nice stress free weekend.

Dinner Friday night was really yummy. We both really enjoyed it. It was also pretty simple. It was grilled chicken with avocado corn salsa. The chicken was marinated in lime juice, fresh cilantro, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes and then I cooked it in a George Foreman grill. I made the salsa with frozen corn that I just popped in the microwave to cook. I put the bowl in the freezer to chill the corn a bit. Then I cut up some tomato and threw it in with the corn. I added some lime, fresh cilantro, salt and pepper and mixed it all up. Then I chopped up the avocado and tossed it in there and served it all up with the grilled chicken.



As I mentioned we went out to eat Saturday night. We went to this great restaurant called Barcelona Tapas. I assume everyone knows what tapas are, but in case you don't it's basically little appetizer sized portions. Instead of getting one big meal you get a bunch of smaller plates, so you get to try more things which is always fun. Then after that...we got dessert. Let me tell you it is by no means healthy, but it was insanely good. It's called Tres Leches cake,so for those of you who aren't familiar it's a cake soaked in 3 kinds of milk and this place served it with loads of whipped cream and caramel. Wow, was it good! Don't worry, we shared it, so it wasn't quite as bad as if I had had my own.



I've mentioned before that I'm looking to shake up my cardio routine a bit. My plan was to use the exercise videos available for free OnDemand. Well, let me tell you, the dance cardio selections are not so great. Most of them were like 8-12 mins, huh? I was trying to find one that was 45-60 minutes and the only one that was in that range was Urban Striptease. So I figured what the heck, I like dancing, I might as well try it. I stuck through the first half, but the music sucked (you could barely even hear it) and it just wasn't fun. I decided to try a different video for my second half and went for Disco Abs. It was only a 30 minute video, which is why I didn't choose it in the first place. It was done by Cheryl Burke from Dancing with the Stars and it was so much fun! I was literally smiling throughout the entire thing and boy was I sweating! I should have taken a sweaty pic, but I forgot. Oh well. Does anyone know of any other dancing cardio dvds that you really like? I'd like to pick up one or two to add to my exercise dvd library.

This morning I made a great breakfast. I don't know about you, but I've always loved McDonald's breakfast sandwiches. I haven't had one in quite some time, but I've always strived to find a healthy version of the breakfast sandwich. I decided to make my own this morning. I used Arnold's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins, 1/4 cup eggbeaters (that I cooked in the microwave in a nifty sandwich cooker thing that makes the eggs the perfect shape for a sandwich -- here's a link in case you want to get one), Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausages that I cut up to arrange on the sandwich and finally a slice of fat free cheddar cheese. The whole thing was just 280 calories.



So back to my earlier question. Anyone know of any fun cardio dance type dvds?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Weigh In and A Recipe

I weighed in this morning at 191.2 lbs. Not a huge loss, but a loss nonetheless. I'm down another 0.8 lbs, so that's a good thing. Honestly, I didn't expect a huge loss this week. I didn't exercise as much as I would have liked and I had a couple higher calorie days, so my total deficit since last weigh in was a mere 1,801 calories. Obviously, that meant I shouldn't expect more than a half pound weight loss and luckily I got a little more than that.

I'm excited for the coming week. I'm going to start working out on my home gym regularly and build up my muscles and I'll incorporate some new cardio into my exercise regime. I'm planning to have a much better loss next week.

I did my first workout on the home gym last night and boy was it a good workout! I didn't take huge rests in between sets, instead I'd do two exercises at once. Like last night I was doing the bench press or arm press or whatever you want to call it and the leg extension. I'd do one set of 12 reps on the arm press and switch over a do one set of 12 reps on the leg extension. Then I'd start my next set of arm presses. You get the picture. That way my arms got to rest before the next rep, but since I didn't stop moving I was keeping my heart rate up. I was definitely sweating while doing this workout. The two things that were the hardest for me were the butterflies and the ab crunches. Holy hell were those ab crunches hard! I still did my 3 sets of 12, though, so I'm happy. Here's my sweaty pic after my workout. This is for you Emily. This is what I really look like after my workout. Nothing glamorous here.



One good thing about this week has been the food. I've been trying out new recipes and had a really good one last night. Here's a pic.



Pork Tandoori was what the recipe called it, but it's basically a pork curry. OMG, it was sooooo gooood! Steve and I absolutely love Indian food, so I'm stoked that I learned how to make a pretty simple dish. That whole plate full of food was roughly 450 calories and you could easily have cut that down since I actually had quite a bit of meat. And the recipe was about one of the easiest things I've ever tried that I've got it memorized without even trying, so here it is.

Pork Tandoori
- 1.5 cups non-fat plain yogurt
- 1.5 Tbsp curry powder
- 1.5 lb pork tenderloin (this is just how much mine weighed, obviously if you're able to get a 1 lb pork tenderloin just reduce the amounts of yogurt and curry powder)
- 1 onion
- 1 lemon

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the yogurt and curry powder together in a baking dish.
3. Add the pork tenderloin and turn it around to coat all sides.
4. Chop up the onion.
5. Add the onion to either side of the pork tenderloin. (The onions had me crying like a baby last night!)
6. Stir the onion in with the marinade to lightly coat.
7. Put the dish in the oven until the temperature of the meat reaches 145-150 degrees (I didn't really time it since I used a meat thermometer, but I'd guess 20-30 mins.)
8. While that's cooking make some rice to serve with it. (I had about 1/2 a cup cooked (1/4 cup uncooked) jasmine rice that I added some curry powder to and that's included in the 450 calories I listed above.)
9. Remove dish from oven once the correct temperature was reached and squeeze the juice of the lemon over the top.
10. Stir the onions on the sides a bit to mix in lemon juice, meat juices, curry, etc.

That's it. That's about as simple as it gets. Obviously you should probably add a salad or some veggie to serve with it. Overall, this is a great simple dish.

That's all for me for now. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oh No You Didn't!

Oh yes I did! We went out and got ourselves a home gym yesterday! Woo hoo! And it was only $100! I'm so excited to start using it tonight. It's not completely set up. Two of the three stations are set up, but we need to buy a few nuts and bolts to finish it off. A quick trip to Home Depot and we will be all set. Setting it up was actually quite easier than I expected. Figuring out the cables was a bit difficult, but it was more of a mental strain than it being physically hard. Anyway, with no further ado, here she is.



On the far left you see where we can do Ab Curls. That's pretty much it for that station. Then in the center we can do the Butterfly, Bench Press, Lat Pulldown and Leg Extension.



On this picture you can see the station on the right side of the gym. There we can do the Leg Press and Military Press. This is the side where the cables aren't attached, so we can't use this quite yet.

There's also a few cable exercises we can do. We can do the Low Row, Abductor, Hamstring Curl and Arm Curl.

I think that's everything. Overall I'm just really stoked to try it out. It's a little bigger than Steve wanted. I think he's a little miffed that it took over "his" room. But the room was basically empty. There's a table in the corner for him to do his sewing and the ironing board for him to iron. Honestly, there's plenty of room in there for this thing. Plus once we get the last station hooked up we can move it over to the right a little and he'll have some more room. He's excited to use it too, so I think once he starts getting some use out of it he won't mind it taking up space in "his" room so much.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Great Workout!

I had a great workout last night! Which is good, since I hadn't exercised in, oh I don't know, 6 days! That may not seem like a long time to go without working out to some people, but my goal is to be working out 4-5 times a week, so 6 days means I'm so far off from that goal. Anyways, I cycled last night. I was going to do some dance cardio video from OnDemand or something to shake things up, but then the Biggest Loser was FINALLY back on and I wanted to watch it. Normally when I cycle I do the whole thing at level 3. Yesterday, I decided to kick it up a notch and bump up the resistance to level 5. Boy did that get my legs burning! On top of that I averaged nearly 16mph, which is a pretty solid pace even without the extra resistance. Needless to say, afterward I was sweaty! Here's the proof.



I hope you all are out there sweating your butts off!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In Case Anyone Cares...

These are the lies and truths I posted earlier.

1. I have 7 cats and 3 dogs.
2. The town I grew up in had only one stoplight.
3. I have a black belt.
4. I've lived in 15 different cities and 3 different states.
5. I can bench press 175 pounds.
6. I've read 30 novels by Nora Roberts.
7. I used to dance professionally.

Salina already got the truth correct. Do you want to know what it is?

1. Lie. I have 5 cats and 2 dogs, so yeah, I'm still a crazy person.
2. Lie. The town I grew up in didn't have any stoplights. And the population is 3,352...see how small of a town it was, I memorized the population for fun.
3. Lie. I've never done any form of martial arts in my life, although I do have a cousin that owns a martial arts studio.
4. Truth! When I was young we moved around a bit before settling in my hometown in New Holstein, WI. Then I went off to college, moved to CA after college where I lived in a few different cities and finally moved to Indianapolis for my boyfriend to get his PhD and we've lived in two different places since we moved here. No more plans to move for the next 4 or so years since we bought a house and we'll be here till he's done with school.
5. Lie. When I was in high school I could bench 150, which was more than I weighed at the time, but now...I have no idea.
6. Lie. I've probably read 70+ Nora Roberts novels...yeah I read a lot.
7. Lie. I never danced professionally, but I did teach for a couple years and was involved in dance most of my life.

Awards!!!

I've gotten my first awards ever!! So exciting and fun. The first is the Creative Writer award bestowed upon me by Molly Marie.



1. Thank the person who gave this to you
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog
3. Link to the person who nominated you
4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth
5. Nominate seven “Creative Writers” who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

And I nominate the following bloggers:

1. Salina at Salina Becoming Me
2. Sue at Did I Just Eat That Out Loud
3. Tiff at Project 365
4. Christy at Sarcastic & Sassy
5. Jenn at Watch My Butt Shrink
6. Monica at Confessions of a + Sized Girl
7. Emily at Getting Through My Fat Head

Here are some lies and one truth. Can you guess what’s true?

1. I have 7 cats and 3 dogs.
2. The town I grew up in had only one stoplight.
3. I have a black belt.
4. I've lived in 15 different cities and 3 different states.
5. I can bench press 175 pounds.
6. I've read 30 novels by Nora Roberts.
7. I used to dance professionally.


The other award I got was the Sunshine Award. I got this award from Christy at Sarcastic & Sassy.



I'm supposed to pass this on to 12 bloggers who add sunshine to my day by reading their blogs. Let's see if I read enough blogs to fill this up without any duplicates!

1. Julia at JewliaGoulia. Julia is so honest on her blog (TMI Thursday anyone??) and she gives great reviews of the things she tries out.
2. Greta at Big Bottom Blogger. Greta is a kick ass gym rat (although, she doesn't always think so) who inspires me to get out there and work my butt off.
3. Lorrie at The Token Fat Girl. I'm a newer reader of Lorrie's blog, but she shares some great recipes and posts her daily calorie burn from her GoWear Fit which motivates me to see the kind of daily calorie burn a person is capable of.
4. Frannie at Finding Frannie. Frannie is a fellow cyclist, but she's currently focusing on training for a 5K.
5. Erin at The XXL Files. Erin is a good humored blogger who's been a bit "blog shy" lately as she put it, but hopefully she'll get back in gear and start kicking ass and taking names.
6. Carissa at Have You Seen My Weight. Carissa has had a great consistent weight loss and it just shows me what you can accomplish when you stick with it.
7. Jen at Prior Fat Girl. Jen is a prior fat girl, so she's no longer trying to lose weight but it's nice to read about her occassional struggles to maintain because it's proof that we need to make this a life long change. We can't expect to reach our goal and just magically have our weight stay there. We still have to work to maintain it.
8. Trina at Ah...Me So Hongry. Trina is a very funny blogger who definitely is great at showing her personality through her blog.
9. Rachel at Body By Pizza. Rachel has lost an astounding 100 plus pounds and she's become someone who enjoys running. It's inspiring to see how far she's come and watch her as she works to cross the finish line.
10. Roni at GreenLiteBites. Roni has a few different blogs, but I'm really enjoying this food blog of hers. She includes videos of her cooking with her son, which personally I love to watch. Kale chips anyone?
11. Amanda at Another Prior Fat Girl. Amanda is another prior fat girl and also a vegetarian. It's interesting to see what foods she eats to give me vegetarian ideas. I'm not vegetarian, not by a long shot, but it's healthy for us to work vegetarian meals into our diet.
12. Just Another Fat Girl. I'm a knew reader of Just Another Fat Girl, but she's another vegetarian who eats VERY clean. It's kind of amazing reading about someone with such a perfect diet. A bit too perfect for my taste, but it helps me to strive to eat a bit more clean than I do.