Thursday, December 20, 2012

Give it time.

It's no secret that this time of year is difficult for those of us working on losing weight. Log onto MFP and you see just how many people are struggling. Temptation is everywhere. You can't walk into a store without seeing the well designed displays of chocolates and goodies calling your name.  Commercials are more teasing than usual. Everyone is baking and passing around joy in the shape of a cookie. There is an abundance of parties (and corresponding treats for said parties). People are sharing their meal and dessert plans on facebook and anywhere else they can post it. A girl (or boy) can't leave her house, watch TV, or look online without seeing food. It's everywhere this time of year. Especially the sweets. Oh, those freakin sweets!

It can be a rough time for anyone. Throw in the desire to lose weight (not put it back on), a HUGE sweet tooth, and a former eating disorder... it can almost drive a girl crazy. I had a dream last night that I was stuffing my face with cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate covered nuts. I couldn't stop (I didn't want to). All of the things I've said "no" to this week were haunting me in my dreams! I woke up craving those items like you wouldn't believe. I was ready to drive to the nearest cinnabun and get the biggest one I could find. I was already preparing myself for my next failure and the day had just started. But instead, I did as I always do, I went to the gym. (Thank goodness it has become a habit.. because I was struggling with it today). When I got there, I was still thinking about what I was going to shove down my throat today. I was convinced that I was going to fall off the wagon today. I was starting to obsess over it. The thing is, once I started running, the obsession went away. I began to think more clearly. Each lap that I ran, the more in control I was feeling. "You'll hate yourself if you go along with it."  My voice of reason was coming out as I ran. "Saturday is treat day.. you can have ONE of those things.. and you can wait until then to get it." So much so, that I decided to push myself further and run more than usual. I ran for 35 minutes straight. Afterwards, I felt empowered. I didn't need those stinking treats anymore.. I didn't want them. I didn't want the way they were going to make me feel afterwards. I finished the rest of my workout and went home. I ate exactly what I planned out for the day. I feel so pleased that I didn't let that moment of weakness take me down with it. This is what happened around Thanksgiving and it made me feel so sick with myself afterwards. The difference this time? I didn't run out of my way to get that fix. I stuck with my plan. I kept telling myself "wait." Until eventually my reason and self control came back. So if you're battling with your own demon this week, give yourself time to fight back. Find something to take your mind off of it until you have the strength to say no. Heck, go workout! Worked for me.
I know this hasn't fixed my problem permanently, there are still many days before Christmas and many more temptations to avoid. But I made it past this one. One thing at a time. One little step/one little victory at a time.
Good luck!
A little inspiration:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

All Caught Up

I've been MIA for a little while. I needed some time away from the computer so I could focus on catching up with everything. There was lots of baking, parties, shopping, and wrapping needing to be done (and that dreaded trip to the Post Office). Not to mention all of the other typical things that need to be done daily. The list kept growing and I wasn't marking stuff off as fast as I would have liked. So my little break allowed me to get on top of things. I'm officially done with my Christmas shopping, cards, and baking. I have sent off everything. It's such a huge relief. I'm usually the person that likes to get things done early, so still having things I needed to do a week before Christmas was driving me nuts.
I've had a few small victories this last week:
* I've still managed to stick to my usual gym routine. I've been making my way to the gym each day and doing my thing. I could have easily talked myself out of it saying, "I'm too busy" but decided to make it a priority and treated it like a daily appointment that I could 't miss. It's a bit empowering.
* During my Christmas baking frenzy, I only ate ONE cookie! (snickerdoodle if you're wondering). It was definitely tempting but I decided before I started baking what one goodie I wanted and then I stuck to it! It helps having my husband home. It gives me the accountability I need in those super tempting times.
*I made lighter/healthier versions of all of my goodies. I felt better giving them to others knowing that they were healthier versions.
*I didn't let the plethora of parties and gatherings we've been to or had this week allow me to make bad food choices over and over. I save up calories and enjoy myself within reason.
* I received my first goodies package in the mail yesterday. It was full of sweets (cookies, chocolates, and other candies and sweets). I haven't gotten into it yet! I'm waiting for treat day this Saturday to sample a few.  Yesterday was hard, I kept looking at them and wanting to eat them all. But somehow I talked myself out of it and today I'm not really craving any of it.

I've still been sticking to Strong lifts 5x5. I'm not really seeing any results yet. But I have been able to increase my weights on everything. I'm moving up slower than I expected in weight but it's more important to me that I can do them all in proper form. As a beginner, it's taking me a bit longer.
I can now squat with 75lbs, bench with 35lbs, deadlift with 50lbs, overhead press with 40lbs, and barbells with 50lbs. I know this doesn't seem like much but it's more than I could do a month ago and I'm pleased with it. Small progress. Maybe when I increase my weights more I will start seeing progress.
I'm seeing changes really slowly on the scale. But I'm trying not to let that affect me. The scale is not the defining factor of my progress! (or so I keep trying to convince myself). It's not easy to get over a scale addiction, especially when I'm not seeing progress in other ways at the time being. But I'm not gaining, so that's good. A small  victory, even. Getting through all these temptations around this time of the year and not gaining is a great thing.  I think when the new year starts, I'll reevaluate and see if I need to make some more changes. But for now, I'm just going to get through Christmas and both of my kids' birthdays.

I'll end with two positive thoughts. My son has graduated from pull-ups to regular big boy underwear! It's an exciting time. My daughter was wonderful at their Christmas concert at school. I've got two awesome kiddos. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Initiate Happy Dance

Last night we went to a hockey game. The first one that we've been to in a long time. Our team won and everyone had a great time. I'm not sure if I had more fun watching the game or watching my kids watch the game. They were so into it. My daughter was dancing, clapping, and shouting the cheers. My son would have liked to see more fights (proven by his jeers to "FIGHT!") but couldn't stop watching. Not to mention, I was able to enjoy the whole night snuggled up with my hunny. #goodtimes

The hockey team wasn't the only victors last night. I had my own little victory as well. I didn't eat ANY food at the hockey game! Everyone around me was eating good stuff like hotdogs (kids), pretzels with cheese (mom and sis), or enjoying a beer (husband). I didn't get any for myself. Just sat there rooting for my team and enjoying some ice cold water with my favorite people. I had made a promise to myself (after my fall off the wagon last week) that I would not have any treat/cheat meals until I lost all the weight I put on and felt I had my self control back. So to be there surrounded by all that temptation and standing my ground was a big deal to me. I'm getting my control back! I was thinking reasonably and thinking about my health/progress instead of letting my stomach do the thinking. And my lack of yummies didn't make the night any less fun or special.
So when I woke up this morning, still riding my victory high, I decided that I would finally check my weight. I've been avoiding the scale since last Sunday when I saw a 10lb increase caused by my binge attack. I know that I didn't gain a real 10 pounds in those 4 days but hated that new number I was seeing. So, I've been eating well, exercising, and drinking plenty of water this week hoping to erase that number. It happened today! When I stepped on the scale this morning, not only was I back to my pre-binge weight, but I had a slight loss (only .2 but still very pleasing). Now I finally feel like I'm back on track. I keep saying I will stop letting the scale affect me so much but it's easier said than done.

I finished my first week of Stronglifts 5x5 this week. My muscles definitely got a good workout. I'm enjoying my rest day today. I still don't have any progress to report but just an update that I do like the program and will be sticking with it.

Enjoy your Sunday! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vitamix, baby!

Yesterday was a pretty typical Friday. It was a good yet uneventful day. That was until we had an unexpected knock at the door that evening. It was the UPS man and he came bringing gifts. One of the packages I received wasn't wrapped and I was able to see what it was. A Vitamix Blender!!

(Swoons) Isn't it beautiful?!?! 

I quickly called my (very amazing) mother-in-law to let her know that it arrived. She decided since it wasn't wrapped and I knew what it was, that it'd be a good "family" gift that I could start using now instead of waiting until Christmas. SCORE! (This is when I began my happy dance). 
I've been wanting one of these bad boys for a long time now. So, she didn't have to tell me more than once that I could start using it now. 
After ripping open the box and carefully pulling out the newest addition to my kitchen, I began reading the instruction manual. (Ok, not the exciting part but I wasn't taken any chances of misusing it). After familiarizing myself with the machine and how it works, I quickly skimmed through the recipe book that came with it for a recipe that I had the ingredients for. My very first recipe using my Vitamix Blender was... (drum roll).... 
Orange Sorbet. Simple yet awesome. I served it for dessert. My 2 year old really loved it! And the machine worked better than I expected. I threw in peeled oranges (whole), honey, and lots of ice and it blended it together like a boss! So easy! Best part about my new favorite appliance (shhh.. don't tell my Stand Mixer) is that it cleans itself! Yep! Just rinse it out, fill it half way up with warm water, throw in a few drops of soap, and turn it on. It works as it's own dishwasher! Then you rinse it out one more time and let it dry! It took me all of 5 minutes to make orange sorbet and clean up. 
I spent the rest of my night after the kids were in bed, looking through the recipe book. So many things to try, so little time. I have come up with a list of a few must makes for the following week:
Hummus, Peanut Butter, Almond Milk, and Broccoli and Cheddar soup. 
The machine works so fast that it actually creates heat and can make quick soups! It can blend items down to make milk out of almonds or my own nut butters. I can make cold items like my own ice cream, shakes, smoothies, or sorbets. I can grind my own flours or knead doughs. The possibilities are just endless. And I plan on testing this thing out like crazy! It came with a large book of recipes and I see it as a personal challenge to try them all out. 

Today marks the start of the first weekend I get to spend with my husband in many months. We've got a relaxing and fun weekend planned. Some Christmas shopping, hockey game, COOKING, and putting up Christmas lights and decorations. Most importantly, the family just being together. :)

I hope that you all have as nice of a weekend. HAPPY DECEMBER!! 

*Be ready for my next gazillion posts to have something about a new food/drink/frozen item that my blender made me.*

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A little bit of "YIKES!" "GRRR!" and "YAY!"

Let's start with the "YAY!"
The husband is home! Late on Monday night, my dear hubby returned. I can't even begin to describe how happy we are in this house. I felt all of that extra stress and frustration (that I didn't even realize I was carrying around) evaporate from my body. It's been AH-MAZING. :)
Last night, I needed to make a quick run to the store to grab one thing. I was able to go do that without the kids! Yes, I made a quick run to the store and it was actually quick. I didn't have to bundle the youngins' up (because it is freaking cold out there), get them buckled up in the car, take them out of the car, go inside, battle the "Mom, can we buy this?" or "MOM! Sissy hit me!" phrases over and over, and then go through it all over again as it was time to leave, get back in the car, and go home. Nope, I just walked in, grabbed what I needed, and left. I even jammed loudly to my music in the car (just because I could).
This morning, my daughter wasn't feeling good. So we kept her home from school. Guess what? I was still able to go to the gym! Yep, a sick child didn't mean I had to stay home! I could just go on and on about how great it is having him home... but that would force me to change the title of this blog to, "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!" And well, I have other things I'd like to write about.

I've been debating whether I wanted to write about this or not. And I decided that I need to. I need the accountability and the humility.
Thanksgiving did not go as planned! I was so determined to tackle the Holiday and be victorious and walk away with my head held high. When in fact, that planned failed before Thursday even came around. On Wednesday, the kids and I went with my mom to the SuperMall a few cities over. While there, we saw Johnny Rocket's. A yummy little burger, fries, and shakes place. I was very easily convinced that we could go there for lunch and it be okay. Well, that inner binge monster saw it's opportunity to come out to play. I ordered way too much (and was not holding back). I got the cheese on my fries, the bacon on my burger, and the worse possible milkshake to have when watching your calorie intake. After lunch, I calculated that I had just had about 3000 calories. That should have stopped me, right? My side of reasoning should have stepped up and turned my self control button back on. But no, I had fed the monster and it wanted more.
For those of you who don't know, I was a serious binge eater before I started MFP. There were times I would eat to the point where it made me sick and still want to eat more. I'd easily eat 5000+ calories a day. 
Well, that's where the "GRRR" comes into play. Before we left that mall, I also had some candy from the chocolate store, a pepperoni pretzel from Annie's Pretzels, some mini cupcakes, cookies, and any other samples and small snacks there. I went to bed that night feeling so sick to my stomach. I was so angry with myself.
"Well, at least your learned your lesson and got right back on track, Amanda!" you may say. Nope. I woke up that next morning and decided that I was gonna have pecan pie with my Thanksgiving mea. afterall. I went to the store (at 6 am) and grabbed a pie. A pie that I got into before Thanksgiving lunch was even ready. I then proceeded to have 2 helpings of way too much food for lunch. Then another piece of pie!
"It happens! You did better the next day, right?" you're thinking. Nope. I made terrible food choices both Friday and Saturday before I finally snapped myself out of it on Sunday. And I'm not going to go into detail the food choices I made those two days, because it's just disgusting the things I was allowing myself to eat and the amounts that I ate them. 
Couple that with 5 days of  missing the gym and you can imagine how icky I was feeling and looking. When I woke up Sunday morning, I stepped on the scale and saw a 10lb difference from the last time I stepped on it. "YIKES!" (Yes, I know it wasn't a real 10 pound gain... but I also know that I definitely gained some real weight with all of that water weight, too). Then the thought of my husband coming back home and all of my hard work finally gave me the strength to stop. I hopped right back on track. This week has been going just as well as all of those other weeks before last week happened.

So what in the heck happened? That was my first binge since I started MFP 4 1/2 months ago.. and it lasted 4 day days! Where did I go wrong?
Well, I've come up with a few answers.. a few lessons learned.
1. I broke the rules on Wed. when we went out to lunch. Saturday is my "treat day" in which I get to enjoy some of the unhealthier foods I enjoy in moderation and within certain calorie limits. Yes, I do go over on my calories that day but only if I earned enough calories during the week to still keep me within my weekly calorie goal. During the week, when I see things I want, I always think, "Wait until Saturday!" Then when Saturday comes around, I choose the thing I want most and enjoy my treat. I also find many of my cravings are gone by the end of the week.
2. I was very emotional/stressed last week planning for the husband's return and all of the other things happening at the same time. I have had emotional eating problems in the past and it has always been my #1 trigger for bingeing. I shouldn't have put myself in a position like that knowing how I was feeling. I let my guard down.
3. I let myself get discouraged by my failures. One mistake shouldn't lead to more.. but it did. "I screwed up yesterday, so what's the point?"  It took me a while to get out of this mindset.

I'm not having any treat days for a while.. until I lose back the weight I gained and things settle down a bit with all the excitement and readjustments we will have to make. I'm waiting until I feel confident in my self-control and judgment again.

But I'm not beating myself up over it anymore. There's no point. It's done and over. I've learned from it. I'm back on track this week, back at the gym, and enjoying my family being whole again.

I've almost completed my first full week of Stronglifts 5x5... and I like it. I've taken some before pics and while it's too soon for any progress pics, it goes something like this...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bad Days Happen

Man! It's just been one of those days. You know those days when you wake up and can't seem to do anything right all day long? Yep. That kind of day. The kind of day where you ruin the new recipe you've been dying to make for lunch and have to come up with a quick back up plan. The type of day where you start off running late and can't seem to catch up.  The type of day where you either drop or break everything you touch! Now, I'm not one to usually get stressed out over the small things and can deal pretty well with daily hiccups.. but today was just kicking me in the butt. I felt myself slowly building up frustration as the day passed. I know the reasons behind my less than pleasant mood.  
I can be a bit of a control freak/perfectionist/etc sometimes. I like to plan my days out and mark things off my list as the day progresses. Add special events to the calendar and I seem to make things harder than they need to be. My to-do list is a bit bigger than usual and me crossing things off that list just wasn't happening today. I've got so many things I want to get done before Thanksgiving and my husband returning. But life kept interrupting those plans today. I think the thing that frustrates me the most is that I couldn't go to the gym this morning. Gasp! Because we all know that one missed day at the gym will completely undo all of my success!
I know that isn't the case and every day can't be perfect. But it still doesn't stop those inner voices from speaking their piece. I still haven't learned how to go easy on myself on those less than perfect days. It doesn't help that I'm so close to being in the 150's.. that it's taking over my thoughts  (healthy, right?).  
I should just accept that I won't see that number this week and that doesn't mean I've done badly. Yet, easier said than done. The hardest part about losing weight isn't the eating and exercise.. it's changing your thinking process and behavior. It's repairing that broken relationship you have with yourself. Weight loss is as much an emotional journey as a physical one. 
And I know that my husband won't care at all if the house isn't perfectly clean when he gets back,  if the fridge is fully stocked with all of his favorites, or all of the small things I'll obsess over that he won't even notice. But these are the things I've been stressing over. Silly? Right? I think it's just me finding something to focus on instead of the all of the anticipation and nerves I have about him coming back. SO MUCH HAS CHANGED! Will he like all the changes? How will his return impact my progress? Or worse! Will he even notice how much I've lost? (This is about the time I tell my brain to shut up and clean something and prepare). 

But thanks to my sweet friends on MFP and their nice words, I've been pulling myself out of my funk. I decided to start thinking about positive things instead of stressing over the things I can't control. I've finally gotten good at drinking enough water during the day. My secret? I drink 2 cups when I first wake up before breakfast. Having those first two cups knocked out of the way first thing in the morning makes it easier to get the other cups in throughout the day. 
Another thing that helps me cheer up when I'm feeling lame about my progress is to look at my pics that I've taken. Even when I've been stuck at the same weight for a little while, I can look at my beginning pics and during pics and see that I'm making good changes. However slowly it may be. I may not be done but I'm not just starting out either. That makes me feel better. I decided to share my progress photos with you all. I'm wearing the same sports bra and shorts in both the before and during pics.  I took some new pics today so I can compare my progress when I finish up the Stronglifts 5X5 program. Hopefully I'll have better "during" pics for you in a couple of weeks. 

THANK YOU for letting me vent! I just needed to get my crazy ramblings out of my head and out there. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and a fresh start. Most of all, I'm just going to relax this evening and not do anything else (because I'll probably break something else if I touch it, lol). 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weight for it....

*(That title was my best attempt at being cute and creative, lol.)*

Today I started the Stronglifts 5X5 program. I've seen it all over the place on MFP and have seen some people that have had great results with it. After doing some reading, researching,  and LOTS of thinking about, I decided I would go ahead and start it. I know that Thanksgiving week isn't the best week to start a new workout program, since my gym will be closed on both Thursday and Friday. But in the past, I've always done the "it's not a good time to start because of this and that, so I'll start next week." Well, new me doesn't make sorry excuses any more! I've decided that it's okay if I can't complete the first week right, I'm still getting started. (Who in the heck is this person?? Definitely not the same person my husband last saw months ago). 
Up to this point, I've just been winging it as far as the gym goes. I go in and just do what feels right. It's worked fairly well for me but there's only so much a system like that can do for you. I've had to constantly change it. When I first began, I started off doing as much cardio as possible (1 hour on the elliptical, 1 hour on the treadmill) just burning away those calories (800-1000 calories burned a day). Because that's how you lose weight, right?? That quickly burned me out. Then I read enough to know that having some sort of strength training is important, so I just began using whatever I found at the gym and mixing it with my favorite cardio at that time (and slowly reduced the amount of cardio I was doing). Then I kept fine tuning that approach. I split my workouts into 1/2 the time doing strength, and 1/2 the time running. Trying to create a routine of some sort. I reduced my time at the gym to just 1 hour a day/5 days a week. And that's where I've been up to now. Still winging it but with more organization. Not anymore!
It's time to create a game plan! I will still be keeping cardio in the mix. I've actually come to really enjoy it. When I get to running and complete 1 mile, 2 miles, or 3 miles.. I feel GREAT! My blood is pumping, my mood is better, and I feel accomplished! This was something I didn't think possible a few months ago. It has been my biggest confidence booster and I'm not giving it up. Though, I won't be over doing it anymore and it won't interfere with my lifting. I will have lift days and I will have cardio days. No more 1/2 and 1/2 days. On days when I lift, if I really feel like I must, I will run a mile max at a light speed. My cardio days will be another story! I have that traithlon I want to do with my SIL next year, so I will be pushing myself on cardio days. But I won't have to split my time up anymore. On lift days, I will lift! On cardio days, I won't have to split up my time to squeeze in some half-a$$ lifting. I can focus on just my cardio or just my lifting, depending on the day.
I'll be throwing in a mix of running, biking, and swimming as the year passes by for my cardio days, to train for the traithlon. But for now, with the nasty winter weather, I'll be focusing a bit more on running than the other two. 
The program is a 12 week program. I've decided I'm going to do the whole 12 weeks before I make up my mind about it. I have learned that I may change things too quickly. I don't give it time to really work it's magic. So, for the next 3 months, you will hear a lot about it most likely, and that's because I'm going to stick with it for the recommended time.  Hopefully this is the key to getting my mind to accept that the number on the scale is not the deciding factor in my health and awesomeness level.
Speaking of the number on the scale. That dreaded machine with mind control powers.
I'm hoping that all these new changes are the right thing for me. I'm so close to my goal but keep stalling. It's frustrating as anything to work so hard and not see the progress you think you should be seeing. I'm still working on finding that right daily calorie goal. I've been doing a lot of researching for BMR, TDEE, and any other initial you come across when working to lose weight. It's confusing trying to find the right number. I used this calculator to try and determine my TDEE. Then I cut 500 from it and that's what I've been using as my daily goal. I eat back exercise calories sometimes just to make sure I stay above the BMR number. I was advised to keep going like this for a month straight before I make anymore changes. It will give my body a chance to adjust to the changes. That way I can see if I'm truly maintaing, losing, or gaining and can change it from there as needed. So that's what I'm going to do. NOT EASY! No, no, no. Last week I only lost .4 pounds. It made me want to cut my calories immediately to see a bigger loss. But I'm going to give it this full month before I make anymore changes. Wish me luck!

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving and the new recipes I will be trying. (Again.. who is this person?!?!)
I've come to REALLY enjoy cooking! It's almost a hobby now. I search and search for new recipes all the time. Or I find old recipes and change them up to be healthier. I cook throughout the day and freeze a lot of things to make quick and easy meals for another time.
I use to hate cooking. I'd try anything to not have to do it. (Wonder how I became obese??)
 I didn't like to cook, therefore I would buy and make those nasty pre-packaged meals. Well, since those were so nasty (it must have been my cooking, right?). Then I got to where I wanted fast food or take out all the time, because my cooking was so bad. And once you get that fast food craving, nothing you make tastes as good. It was a nasty spiral that just got worse and worse.
So when I decided it was time to get healthy and lose weight, my first thought was, "oh no! I have to cook! That means I'll be easting nasty forever!" Much to my surprise, when I started cooking healthier homemade, less-processed meals, they weren't so bad. (You mean by using fresh clean foods, things would taste better? Homemade tastes better than something out of a box?? Hmm..)
The more I began to experiment with foods and flavors, the more I enjoyed it. I learned new ways to use the machines in my house. For instance, did you know that a blender can be used for other things than making a milkshake?!?! And that a freezer can be used for other purposes than to freeze stoeffler meals and ice cream? Surprised the heck out of me too!
In fact, my Christmas wish list consists of new appliances and goodies for the kitchen. Things that will just improve my cooking experience. It will help in my food experiments. Like when I try a new dish a few different times and a few different ways before I decide if I like it or not. That vegetable you don't like steamed.... have you tried it grilled or broiled? May change your mind about it!
Well, those are my ramblings for the day. Hope you are all having a wonderful Monday! I can't stop smiling today because each hour that passes is one hour closer to seeing my man!

Can someone tell me HOW to attach the MFP ticker to my blog that shows my weight loss progress????

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pancakes, Bowling, and More!

One thing you will see a lot of when on MFP is protein pancakes. It seems like everyone is eating some version of them. I was finally driven by curiosity to make some for Pancake Saturday. As I began searching for recipes, I was really surprised by how many different protein pancake recipes there are out there! I settled on an easy one to try first (since I had all the ingredients on hand). My first impression of protein pancakes? Very yummy! I'll definitely be trying more versions of them to find my very favorite. But for now, this will be a "go-to" when I want a quick and easy protein pancake. She has many other really yummy recipes on her site, so definitely give it a look.
The kids were big fans of the pancakes too, so it wasn't just me. They taste just like regular pancakes, so if you're looking at the ingredients and thinking, "No way, Amanda!" Give them a try before you make up your mind!  Here's a peek at how my first set looked:
With pancakes marked off our "to-do" list, there was something else we had to do this weekend. I've been promising the kids we would go bowling for quite some time now. But things went to crap last week and we were gone for a week trying to deal with everything. So, since this was a fresh weekend, I decided it was about time to make good on my word. We had a great time and it was nice to get out of the house and do something (since it was raining like crazy outside). We had Subway for lunch, even though Pizza Hut and Taco Bell were calling my name from inside the bowling alley. I couldn't tell you the last time I ate at either of those places. I'd like to keep it that way for a while longer.
 I went to my favorite store in the mall, Romy. Bought a few new pieces of clothing. I can't believe how much I like buying clothes now. I don't go in the store completely dreading the purchase I need. I've bought more clothes for myself this year than I have the last 3 years combined. It's nice to have nice looking clothes again. When I was at my heaviest, I just couldn't stand the thought of buying any clothes. Definitely not nice clothes. I tried to hide my fat under baggy clothes and sweatshirts. I'm definitely not hiding now. I have some awesome orange pants, a very cute green skirt, and some other nice looking items that stand out just a bit. Not to mention the red hair I'm sporting compared to my usual brunette locks. I've really been changing up my appearance and enjoying myself more. Must be that returning confidence sneaking out.

We made Bison burgers for dinner. I wish I would have taken a pic to share. But that would have required me to slow down and stop eating long enough to do so.
We grilled the bison patties and then placed them on whole wheat buns and topped it with light cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, mushrooms, light mayo, and some light ketchup. So freakin' good! I was so happy that we made extra and I get to have one for lunch again tomorrow! Yay for leftovers! I usually have lots of chicken and turkey, so it's always a treat when I get to have some red meat. When that red meat happens to be in the form of a burger.. oh yea, baby!

I've got an awesome busy week ahead of me full of great things! Thanksgiving, Black Friday shopping, and a homecoming for my husband! Can't wait to get to sleep and start the week!
Wishing you all a wonderful week! <3

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm back!

Yikes! It's been too long since my last post. Between a family emergency, coming back home and getting back into the swing of things after being gone all that time, and juggling everything else; I've just been too tired to think, let alone write about my thinkings.
But I'm back! Too much has gone on the past few weeks for me to back track and catch you all up. So instead, I'm just going to focus on the now and the upcoming. I officially hit that 40 pounds off goal (and a few extra). It was my goal to reach before my husband comes back home from deployment. I hit it just in time. I'm very happy about this. When I first started and made my goal, it felt more like wishful thinking. Now it's a reality. It makes me very confident about losing the rest and reaching my final goal (25-30 more to go).
My weight loss progress has slowed down a lot since I raised my daily calories. But the weight is still coming off and I think I've finally busted through my plateau. I've been hanging around the 160's for quite some time! But, as of today I was 160.8. So, who knows! I may just finally enter the 150's soon.
I'm trying to convince myself that the change is good. Slow and steady = permanent. Right? The important thing is that I can live this way more long term. I feel like I'm getting enough food and I feel satisfied. I'm not constantly obsessing over when my next meal will be. I'm not looking at my daily menu thinking.. "yuck, is that it?" I may not be losing 2-3 pounds a week anymore but the 1/2 pound I lost this last week is off. It's 1/2 pound less that I have to work at to meet my goal.  Plus, I was able to enjoy a ColdStone ice cream last weekend and some Famous Dave's (for the 1st time in 4 months) and still lose that bit? Even better. I know I'll have some more things I will want to enjoy over the next two months, so I'm going to keep my daily intake and exercise routine set the way it is now and allow myself those treats (don't worry.. in moderation). When January comes around, I'll probably lower my calories again and work harder to lose the rest of the weight. Or not.. who knows. It's up to how I feel. It's such a challenge to acknowledge that the scale is not the only important thing to determine my weight loss progress. I've lost 6 pant sizes and went from an XL shirt (fitting tight) to wearing a M comfortably. I can run 3 miles straight and do a real pushup (never would have happened 4 months ago).  So, while I haven't been perfect in my weight loss journey, I haven't done too shabby either. I've had a huge change in a short period of time. So maybe this slow down will help me in changing my gears. I want to care more about body fat% instead of the number on the scale. I want to build lean muscle and burn away the fat. I want to get into a single digit pant size! I may not reach my "ideal weight" but if I can hit the other goals.. then I'll be pleased with that.

Like I mentioned earlier, the husband will be back home soon!! I'm so excited, I can't stand it! I've been doing a lot of errands and what nots to prepare for his homecoming. Getting my hair done this weekend.  I've already got my Welcome Home outfit picked out. It's an awesome little dress.. size MEDIUM! How's that for a welcome home? He left and I was wearing an XL.. and I will now be picking him up in a Med! Not to mention the fiesty red hair compared to the brunette it was before. I also know that having him home will be even better for my weight loss goals. I'll have support at home! I'll have HELP! Have I mentioned how excited I am? lol

In the midst of planning for the husband's homecoming, I've also been planning for Thanksgiving. First Thanksgiving since starting and I'm not scared. I will be doing the cooking this year, so that helps to ensure that the foods are healthier and not going to counter-attack all of my hard work. Here's what I've decided on for my menu (it's still subject to change if I can find some better recipes.. but this is what I'm leaning towards with a few recipe adjustments here and there):

Mashed Cauliflower
Skinny Brocolli Mac-n-cheese
Green Bean Casserole
Whole Wheat Rolls (still searching for a good recipe- if you have one)
Mini Pecan Phyllo Tarts

We have our Thanksgiving meal at lunch. Gives me plenty of time to get in some activity that day. We'll still be enjoying our favorites, just lower in fat, sugar, and sodium than previous years. I won't be obsessing as much over my calories in/calories out on that day, but will use good judgment on portion size and amount eaten. Let's see how it goes!

I will end this post with some pics of my new favorites as of late:

I'm obsessed with making this salad:
Strawberries, broiled chicken, spinach, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, cucumbers, and some low fat raspberry vinegarretet.

Next is my Click Protein Shake/Frappe. I make it after I workout. It's filling and can be a great snack in place of a meal.. and it's so good! It helps me get over those Starbucks Frappe cravings..

Here was lunch today:
Open faced Pork Loin sandwich on whole wheat naan topped with reduced fat cheddar, low fat mayo, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Yea, it's as good as it sounds/looks.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Just wanted to let you all know I'm back! :)
Tomorrow is Pancake Saturday and I will be making my first batch of protein pancakes!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thought of the Day

I saw this the other day and have been thinking about it a lot today. I did a little math of my own and not including my sleeping hours, a 1 hour workout takes up only 6% of my waking hours. That gives me 94% of the day (14 hours) to do everything else I need to get done before I go to bed. To think that I use to give myself the "I'm too busy" excuse all the time as a reason not to work out. Honestly, I'll probably spend more time writing, reading, rewriting, and posting this blog.
I have had to change a few things to make my time at the gym more convenient. After all, change was what I needed.
The biggest change? My sleeping schedule. I wake up earlier than I use to. I use to sleep in to 7:30 each day, 8:00 on a good day. I now wake up no later than 6:00. I go to sleep a little bit earlier than I use to. It's a big deal if I stay up past 10 anymore. And you know what? I love the affect it's had on me. I never feel the need to take a nap during the middle of the day (like I use to). I hit the gym first thing in the morning after my daughter goes to school. I get it done and over with. I'm back home and out of the shower before some people are waking up for the day. I love it. First thing in the morning and I already feel like I've accomplished something for the day. It took me a while to get into the new routine. But now, I find that I just wake up on my own. Where as before I relied on my alarm and a back up alarm to get me out of bed in the morning. This change and led to other changes. Better changes.
I've begun planning things better. I've gotten a little more organized. If I plan my meals out in advance, it makes the days go easier. I go shopping and get everything I need in advance. Then I just follow the plan. There is no last minute rush and panic on what to make for dinner. I already know. That saves a lot of time in my day right there. It's insane how much time I use to spend worrying about what to make for dinner, rushing to the store to get the stuff (if we didn't have everything on hand), and coming home and throwing it together. (Before I started eating healthier, ordering take out happened a lot because of this). Then, I'd have to rush to make sure the kids ate, were bathed, and off to bed by a decent hour. Then after all of that rushing, I'd have all of the clean up to do after. Blah. It was exhausting. Not to mention, the extra money spent that way.
Now, I go in there and have dinner ready by 5:30/6:00. Yea, sometimes I may change my mind and move days around but I still have everything I need and can get it cooked on time. We eat and I clean up the kitchen while the kids play for a while. Then it's bath times, story time, and bedtime for them. Then I get a bit of time to myself without any cleaning left to do. Yea, that's right.. FREE TIME! I actually get guilt-free FREE TIME! I'm looking for my next book to read because I do have all of this extra free time.
Another thing I've planned is my cleaning schedule. There are the things that need done every day and then things that need to be done just here and there. And having that system has helped me keep the house nice and clean. These things can no longer be affected by my gym time. Because I have them under control.
Once I decided that going to the gym wasn't something to find time for but a priority, I found ways to make the time. Just like the many other things I work around during the week (swim class, dance class, Dr. apts, etc) it's just another part of my daily routine. And it's true what they say, after a while, it just becomes second nature. A habit.
Anyway, when I saw that post earlier this week, it made me think of all of the excuses I use to make for myself and how I was hurting myself and failing myself by doing so. To think that I could already be at goal if I would have just realized this all years ago. But this journey is all about changing and growing as a person (while shrinking), right? At least I'm learning my lessons now. And I get onto myself a lot about not doing this all sooner. But, I know that I wasn't ready then for all of those added changes. I'm glad that I can handle them all now. I feel better physically and mentally.

Tomorrow is pancake day and this is the recipe I will be trying: Snickerdoodle Pancakes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Happy 100th to me!

Yes, that's right! Today marks my 100th day of eating better and exercising! I definitely feel like doing some dancing. I can't believe it's already been 100 days. It really doesn't seem like it was that long ago. Today is also special because it marks the 100th day that my mom has been making healthier choices as well. We started this thing together and I'm very proud of her for keeping it up and sticking it out with me. We've almost hit 1/3 of a year of healthier lifestyles together. She's been the most important person to me in this journey. I don't know if I would be doing so well if it weren't for her.

Why is 100 so special to me? Considering the journey still ahead of me, why am I so happy about 100? No idea. But it feels like an accomplishment and I'm going to relish in it! 100 days from today was not a good day for me. I hated myself. Couldn't stand the look of myself and was very depressed with the person I had let myself become. In a desperate attempt to change things, I joined MFP. As I was logging in my information on MFP, setting my goals, taking before pictures, weighing and measuring myself, I was so sick of myself and disgusted in everything about me. That day I began watching everything I ate, trying to exercise (a very pitiful attempt), and just full of self-loathing. I decided that I had to do it this time. I had to succeed. What type of mother would I become if I continued to hate myself so much? I didn't want to find out. I wanted to be the good role model and good mother I know I can be. Show my children the way to live instead of just telling them what to do. "No, don't eat that, it's bad for you" and then not eat it myself. "Let's go outside and play!" and then actually play with them instead of watching them have fun.
It was a depressing start, that's for sure. I criticized everything I did and was very mean to myself. There was always that voice talking in my head with nasty hateful things to say. I was my worst enemy. I was afraid that if I didn't make changes, I wouldn't be able to hide my depression anymore. That it would really start to affect my day-to-day life. Of course, this made me hate myself more.
I started looking at all of the success stories on MFP. Reading their stories and hearing about their journeys were refreshing. I wasn't alone! I didn't have to fail!
First thing was first. I finally decided that it was time to forgive myself for being so fat and be proud of myself for making the right choice to get back on track. I wasn't going to put myself down anymore. In fact, I was going to be encouraging to myself. After that, things began to improve. I started finding new ways to cook things I enjoy and realized that calories and eating didn't have to be my enemy. I didn't have to hate food in order to lose weight. (What a relief, right?). I can still eat, feel satisfied, and lose weight! I didn't have to go to bed hungry or hate the food I was eating. Yes, food is fuel. But I want tasty fuel!
I began to push myself harder in the gym. I set mini goals to accomplish: 15 minutes of straight cardio today, 20 minutes tomorrow. Next thing I know, I was on the elliptical for an hour and could breathe just fine afterwards!  I started out unable to lift 30 pounds of weight. Next thing I know, that 130 pound weight seemed light. I was improving! Slowly but surely! Then it started to show. Those pants that were too tight were falling down. Once I started seeing changes and improvements, I was hooked! If this is what it feels like to get healthy, I'm on board!
It's still trial and error for me. I try things at the gym, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. I've changed my daily calorie goals a few times. Right now I eat 1370 calories a day. On days I workout, I eat back most of those exercise calories. Where before, the thought of eating my exercise calories was terrifying. I'm just trying to find that perfect fit for me. Something that will keep me going long term and keep the results coming. I'm still not there yet but I'm starting to understand my body better and learning what to do for it.
Most importantly. I love myself again. I take pictures of myself just for the hell of it now!
I've also begun to care about the way I look again. I've been using green tea facial cleanser and daily moisturizer with SPF. I put on make up again. I've tried some fun things with my hair. It no longer seems like a waste of time to put in effort in how I look. I'm not a lost cause!
I guess 100 days seems like such an accomplishment because a lot of growth has happened (and shrinking) over the last few months. I know I'm only half way there. But I feel more confident than ever that I will succeed. It's almost second nature now.
Okay, so I know you're wondering. What treat did I have for my 100th day celebration? Pure awesomeness. Using half of the recommended honey, I made these for the kids a few days ago, Peanut Butter Crispy Treats. I left the white chocolate off of mine and enjoyed one as well. They've been in the freezer.
Today, I thought about how good it would be with some chocolate. So, I used some mini dark chocolate chips and melted them in the microwave. Then I covered the treat in the chocolaty goodiness. It tasted almost like mix of a Reese Cup and a Nutter Butter. So good! Low in sugar and calories but very satisfying. Sorry about the bite mark in the picture. I took a bite and thought, I need to take a picture and share this!!
Today was also a good day at the gym. I ran 2.43 miles in 30 minutes. I want to get that to 3.3 miles in 30 minutes. So, I'm not there but I'm not that far off either. I did some good lifting and felt like I got a good burn in today.
One last picture before I run off to do my fun Wednesday activities.

Does this sum it up or what??

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Triathlon? Why not!

I have a new goal to add to my list! I'm very excited about it. My very first ever Triathlon! The triathlon will include a 3.3 mile run, 1/2 mile swim, and a 12 mile bike. I have ALWAYS wanted to do one. In fact, as far as bucket list goes, it was under the, "Do Before Turning 30" category.
My sister-in-law was talking about doing a triathlon that will be going on in her area next year. She was wanting to see if there was anyone who wanted to join her. I thought it was awesome for her and instantly wished there was a way I could do one. But then it hit me. Why can't I? I've been kicking butt in the gym lately. I'm in way better shape than I was a couple of months ago. If I set my sights on doing a triathlon next year, what's to stop me? Nothing. So, after speaking it over with the husband, we decided it'd be a fun reason to go down there and visit. My SIL and I are now discussing our training schedules and getting the ball rolling. This is happening.
I changed my gym routine around today to involve time on the treadmill running. I ran the whole way but I need to cut a good 9 minutes off of my running time. Discouraging? Not at all. 3 months ago, I couldn't have ran 3 minutes straight, let alone 3 miles! I'll have more than 3 months to train my body to adjust to the new speed. The biking will be pretty easy for me. The real challenge will be the swimming. I'm a decent swimmer but I don't have any real method for doing it. I just get in the water and move my body in a way that gets me across the water without going under. Fortunately for me, my husband is a fish. This dude use to teach children how to swim and has taught many grown men how to swim. He makes it look easy! He has offered to be my personal coach in swimming as soon as he gets back home. So, with him on my side, I have no fears about getting the swimming challenge conquered before the big date next year. Just a warning: you will probably be reading a lot about my triathlon training over the next year.
This has even bumped up my confidence to do a 5k run coming up next month right here where I live. First one ever! It's amazing how one decision can lead to so many other healthy and awesome decisions. Confidence is contagious if you let it be. Even more exciting is the thought that I should be at my goal weight this time next year. I'll be kicking butt in a triathlon and looking good doing it!

These are my kettlebells. Aren't they pretty? Well, they are no longer sitting in my closet to look pretty. I've been finding good ways to use them at home.
Last weekend, I tried that youtube video with the kettlebell exercises. It's a pretty good workout. You definitely feel it! I'm not a fan of all of the workouts in the video. Especially the one where you have to pass it through your legs. I'm just too clumsy for that. Almost broke a toe once or twice. The squats were really great with them! I felt it so much more than when I do regular squats. Overall, I'm glad I tried it out. I'll be researching more ways to use them and they can be my "go-to workout" when the weekends are around and I feel like I need to workout but can't go to the gym.

I've been enjoying baked oatmeal for breakfast this week. I used the Blueberry Banana Recipe a week ago and really enjoyed it. This time, I decided to use strawberries and apples (my two favorite fruits). I only use half of the honey the recipe calls for because the fruit is sweet enough to me. Turned out really yummy!! I wrapped each serving up in wax paper and put them in the freezer. Pop them in the microwave in the morning and breakfast is ready.
Here's what it looked like when I first started throwing it together:

And here's the finished product:
Just as the recipe says, I cut it into 6 servings.  It's perfect to have before I go to the gym for my morning workout. It's filling but not TOO filling. And I think it's better than regular oatmeal, it's not as mooshy as a bowl of oatmeal.

And one last pic before I call it a night. Remember that dress I mentioned last post? The one I bought too small as a goal to work for? Well, here it is! If that doesn't make you want to lose weight, nothing will! ;)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pancake Day

When I first started changing my eating habits, I banned all foods that I use to love (because they were all bad and should never ever be eaten again, right?). I was doing pretty good eating new things like oatmeal and eggs for breakfast. Two foods I use to hate. My taste buds were slowly adjusting and I could stomach things I use to turn my nose up to months ago. Except onions. I will never be able to enjoy onions.
Well, one day my daughter asked (more like begged) me to make her some pancakes. I thought about it and agreed that I would make some that Saturday. I began looking for some recipes that would be low calorie and low sugar and as healthy as possible, so that I could enjoy them too. I was very surprised at the many options out there. This is when my addiction to the site was born. I began by making the banana nut pancakes on her site. They turned out really good. The kids were happy and so was I. I decided that pancakes once a week would be nice. Pancake Saturday (sorry I don't have a cooler fun name for it) was set. I've tried several of the recipes on the site and have enjoyed them all. It was through this site that I was introduced to another site.  My new obsession:
I decided to make the brownie batter pancakes she has on there. They look so delicious and were just haunting my dreams. I must say, I'm very pleased with the results. I didn't have spelt flour, so I used whole wheat. She recommends using less sugar if you are using syrup. So that's what I did, I put less sugar in the recipe and enjoyed them with some syrup drizzled on top and some fat free cool whip. It tasted like a dessert. Paired it with some turkey sausage and I was very happy at breakfast time this morning. The kids LOVED them as well. Now that this day has passed, I will look through the many recipes both sites have for pancakes and plan what lovely creation I will have next Saturday.

While I was in the baking mood, I decided that I would make my mom some chocolate chip bread. She is going out of town and wanted to know if I would make her some mini loaves to take with her. I saved a few slices for myself. I started off using this recipe exact I now leave the banana out and just use a full cup of applesauce. Also, I use whole wheat flour because it's what I have in the house and I prefer the taste now.
They turned out  good and I plan on having one tomorrow with some coffee for breakfast. It's been a sweet weekend. ;)
I would just like to say, homemade applesauce is the best. I use it for EVERYTHING! Both the pancakes and the bread have some applesauce in them. Much healthier than adding oil and sugar but still tastes great!

I typically don't work out on Saturdays anymore. I use to work out every single day. It led to me being sore and tired at the end of the week. When my gym hours changed (Mon-Fri) I decided that would be a good way to ease up on my weekends. Saturdays are relaxing. The kids and I are usually running around doing some sort of activity but it's enjoyable. Sundays are when I have my weekly weigh-in. That tends to motivate me to do a little something at home. Usually it's some time doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred or a walk around the neighborhood. I'm trying to learn of some effective exercises to do with kettlebells. I received a set for my birthday this year and haven't had a chance to use them as much as I would like. I found this youtube workout video that is 30 minutes of kettlebell work outs. I'm going to try it out tomorrow. Hoping it's a good one.
I'm on the waiting list for a program offered at my gym which will provide me with a fitness trainer. I'm eager for them to get to me on the list and call me. I can't wait to start this program and create a workout designed for me by someone who knows a little bit more about the subject than I do.
I bought a motivator dress today. It was at a yardsale (never been worn.. still had the tags) and for only $3.00. It's too small for me now. I can't even get the zipper half way up. I will be leaving it at the front of my closet, so that I can see it each day. It'll be that extra push to keep working hard. I can't wait until the day comes that I can wear it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Healthy "To-Do" List

I LOVE "to-do" lists. I'm a list maniac. Just take a look at my day planner, it's full of them. I wake up in the morning with all the thoughts in my head of things I'd like to do and can't wait to sit down with my breakfast, day planner, and pen. I slowly make my list of all the things I'd like to do. The best part is when I take my red pen and slowly mark those things off as the day progresses. Even on my laid back days, I feel the need to write myself a list. My obsession with lists is a bit weird, but the people in my life have come to accept that about me.
So, it's no surprise that when I started MFP (myfitnesspal) and it helped me create little goals, that I was super happy. Yay! Goals! As I started setting my weight goal, exercise goals, and daily eating goals, I didn't quite feel like it was enough. I needed more things to look forward to. I needed more things to scratch off my "healthy to-do list." I needed more short term goals to keep me satisfied until I could reach those awesome big goals. That's when I sat down with my pen and started writing out a list of things I'd like to happen. Some of them were scale related and others were non scale victories that I craved desperately. I made sure to have a wide variety of goals, so that even on those bad weeks, there was a chance for a small accomplishment, a little victory to push me. The feeling of scratching off a goal that once seemed so hard to reach is so powerful. I highly recommend making out small goals, medium goals, and large goals for yourself.
Here are some of the goals that I have met and still have to look forward to:

*Lose 15 pounds
*Reach a 10% weight loss
*Be able to run a mile again
*Do a REAL push up
*Hold Plank position for a full minute
*Do a pull up unassisted
*Have a normal sized towel fit around me with no gap
*Fit back into wedding ring (by far the most special victory for me)
*Lose 40lbs before husband gets back home
*Go down a clothing size
*Fit into single digit pants again
*Wear a medium

I have many other goals, some silly, some really big, and others just plain awesome. I know that eventually, I'm going to be able to scratch them all off (even that darned pull-up one that I'm not sure why I even put on there.. ugh, hate pull ups!). I have little rewards that I give myself for doing well. When I started going down clothing sizes, I rewarded myself with some new clothes. My mom and I plan on having a girl's getaway when we both reach our final goals. And I have other rewards planned for my remaining goals. Some small, some bigger. I hit the 40lb goal a bit early, so I'm changing to to 50lbs. Bit of a stretch but I'm optimistic.

Now that I'm starting to scratch off more and more goals, I'm putting more focus and emphasis into what I'm eating. I've been slowly changing my eating goals over the last month. I'd like to say I eat 100% healthy, unprocessed, clean, and balanced foods everyday. But that just doesn't happen. I do try my best. I make the healthier choices and watch how much I intake but I still have a lot to work on when it comes to food. I still have a lot to learn.
This isn't something I've been able to change over night. I battle with it all. Sugar, salt, etc. I try to focus on one area and when I feel confident enough, I battle another. One area that I know I will need to focus more on eventually is my carb intake. For now, it fits in my macro goals on MFP but I know that I would see better results if I dropped my carbs some more. I'm not ready to do this yet. I choose hearty whole wheat choices, veggies, and fruits as the carbs I intake and will keep them until I absolutely have to make that change.
Sodium has been my big one that I've been working on currently. I was blown away when I realized how much sodium I was ingesting each day and didn't realize it. Most of my focus is on keeping my sodium down at the moment. This is easier by just making most stuff at home and using fresh ingredients. Not always easy to do when you have 200 other things to do during the day. But I've been working on planning ahead and making changes one at a time. Planning my meals out in advance and doing the prep work the night before has helped me make progress.
I do enjoy a treat everyday. When I first started, I avoided it all. I had such a strict, bland, and unsatisfying diet. It made me cranky and I hated every bit of it. I felt like I was on a diet and just waiting for it to end. Not what I wanted. I'm going for lifestyle change. So, I decided that as long as I stick to my calorie and macro goals and I practice self control, I will have myself a treat. I make sure the treat is under 200 calories. I use lighter versions and make it instead of getting it from somewhere else (helps me control the portion and know the nutritional information).
Today's treat was a "smore." I used a reduced fat graham cracker, sugar free chocolate pudding, and reduced fat cool whip. It was so yummy and satisfying.

 Dinner was spaghetti. Spaghetti is one of my favorites. Of course, I've had to change the recipe up a bit to make it healthier and fit into my goals. But that's okay, I still get my spaghetti. I'm learning that I can still eat the food I love and lose weight. Moderation and ingredients are key!
I was hungry today, so I threw in extra veggies to give it more volume. 2 cups of mushrooms and 1 cup of sliced zucchini gave it that extra volume. Cooked it with some ground pork and enjoyed it with some low sodium organic spaghetti sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top of whole wheat spaghetti noodles. Filling and low calorie.
                                                                 Finished product:
Well, tomorrow is a rest day (day away from the gym). It's also Pancake Saturday. I'm trying a new recipe I found:
I've been looking forward to tomorrow all week so that I can try these babies out! I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

First Blog!

So, I decided it was about time for me to get in on this Blogging thing. I think that my friends are getting a little tired/bored with all of my recent topics of conversation and Facebook posts. As most of my them belong in the same 3 categories: Weight Loss, Food, and Exercise.
By creating this blog, I can now post ALL I want to about things in these categories and not worry about people thinking, "Oh great! There she goes again."
I've found that by being open about my weight loss journey and sharing things, I do better. Having the audience, accountability, and support has been amazing! This is why I'm so obsessed with It has really changed my life.
I guess a proper 1st Blog would provide an introduction of sorts.
My name is Amanda. I'm overweight! Yes, that is said with a bit of excitement. Because not too long ago, I was very obese. And sometime here in the future, I will be normal weight.
I wasn't aware of just how obese I was until I started having hospital visit after hospital visit for one problem and then another. This past summer while at one of my many hospital visits this year has offered, I stepped on their scale. This was the first time I had stepped on a scale in months. I saw a number pop up that I couldn't believe... I was over 200lbs! When did that happen? I was completely disgusted with myself. I knew I was fat but just didn't really realize how fat I had gotten. I was already at a point where I avoided being in pictures or wearing nice clothes. I tried to hide my fat (even from myself). But there was no hiding that number that I saw. It was stuck in my head. I started making small changes and saw small changes.
It wasn't until July 17, 2012 that I was introduced to My Fitness Pal. This was the day that I began making REAL changes. I decided I was done drinking soda. I also decided on a daily calorie goal and was set on keeping to it. I began measuring and logging everything I ate or drank. The first week was tough but when I made it through and saw weight loss (6 lbs the first week), I had this surge of motivation. I began adding in exercise. It was very slow at first. It takes some time to go from sedentary to active. But I didn't give up. I went and pushed myself a little bit more each day. 3 months later, I'm still very dedicated to logging everything I intake and all of the calories I burn through exercise. I have a workout routine that I follow and actually look forward to every morning. I'm down 40 pounds now. I still have a lot to lose and feel like I am only getting started. After I finish losing the weight, I'm going to focus on building lean muscle and staying fit. This isn't just a quick diet to lose weight but a lifestyle change for me. One that has been a long time coming.
One thing that has changed the most is my relationship with food and my kitchen. I use to LOATHE cooking. I'd go in there and do what I could to make it quick and get it over with. This resulted in a lot of processed foods and pre-made meals. And of course it didn't taste good, so I developed an unhealthy preference to take out or fast food.
Not anymore. I am always looking for new recipes and make sure to work at least one new recipe in each week. I prefer homemade food now. I've learned recipes to things I would never have thought to make homemade before, such as applesauce. Now it's one of my favorite and most used recipes. I'm not a great cook but I'm much better than I use to be. It's funny to think that the thing that got me in the most trouble with weight (food) is also what is helping the most to lose the weight.
When I first started losing weight, I was depriving myself of anything and everything I use to enjoy eating. That was miserable. I love food. I enjoy it and the depriving I was doing was only setting myself up for failure. I've now learned to change things around and make healthier, lighter versions of the foods I love. Which I have been able to do thanks to a wonderful site: Her recipes have helped me GREATLY!
Eating things I enjoy with healthy twists helps keep me satisfied and prevents me from splurging or binging later on. I use to be a binger. BIG TIME! I could stuff my face with ridiculous amounts of terrible foods and never feel full. But as my relationship with food has changed, I know I can stick to my goals and enjoy food at the same time with moderation and smart choices.
I still have a lot to learn with food and fitness. I still have inner battles that I fight everyday. But I'm making improvements each day and sticking to my goal.
And I think that's a good amount of info to take in for a 1st blog!
Thanks for joining me on this journey. Now be prepared for blogs about food, weight loss, and exercise! I'll be sharing the recipes I try, the workouts I've been experimenting with, and anything else there is to share. :)