Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WOOHOOOO.

If you live in Minnesota, you know that the Twin Cities took a serious beating on Saturday.

20 inches of snow in 17 hours. I shoveled all of it. Not for the whole city, clearly, but my whole house/sidewalk/porch/parking combo. It was awful. It was strenuous. I also walked 2.5 miles in thigh high snow.

I weigh in on Sundays.

I LOST 2.2 POUNDS THIS WEEK!

Very excited to have seen results. I am motivated to keep going.

More later when there's more time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

and so it goes.

Yesterday was our annual holiday office party. It's not like a "fancy" office party where people dress up and have cocktails and dance and get drunk and accidentally make out with each other. It's a celebration in the middle of the work day, where there is super fatty tired-inducing food and some games.

This year, I opted out.

I spoke to my boss, who knows my situation with food. She was just a colleague 3 years ago when I was losing all my weight. She was very impressed and inspired and asked me to help her at the gym. I did. We worked out together, we talked about food, we traded cookbooks. I knew she'd understand, and she did. I got a get out of jail free card.

I went home and prepared myself a healthy lunch. I went to the gym. I ran some errands. It was definitely a better choice.

I did, later, on a whim, head out to a little cafe to play a couple games of cribbage with a twitter friend. I had 2 beers when I meant to have one. I'm not beating myself up about it because had I chosen to go to the Holiday party, I would have had 0934438395845 more PlusPoints than I ended up having with those 2 beers, which I earned because I had the points for them.

I'm starting to come around again to the fact that this is a barter and trade system with myself. If I want a beer, I have to work out longer. If I want to be lazy, I have to eat less. It's a simple concept, but it's so easy to feel that it's "unfair" or that no one else has to live life this way. Which is somewhat true, because a lot of other people don't want to eat until they can't move. That's not a "normal" thing for them. So, because I have food issues, I have to keep myself in check.

When deciding whether or not to skip the party, I did solicit some advice from other dieters on some good solutions. Here's what they said:
  • Fill your plate with vegetables and carry it around.
  • Always keep a glass of water in your hand so you have one less hand to shovel food into your mouth.
  • Use this time to visit with those people in other departments you rarely get to see. If you're talking, you're not chewing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Trackstar.

I have been tracking for nearly a week on the new program. I do not understand the PointsPlus values at all, which is probably a really good thing. It forces me to use all the tools at my disposal and stay on top of what I am eating and portion size. I have been measuring and entering Nutrition Information into my plan manager to make sure I'm totally aware.

Tonight, the first night of my home-all-week week, I'm prepping food to make it easier to grab. This means breakfast and lunch stuff as well as snacks. I'm chopping vegetables, portioning out protein, putting fruit in a huge bowl right at the front of the fridge, etc.

I'm feeling pretty good about my involvement. I've been going over on points daily, but I AM tracking. I'm finding it difficult to navigate the higher point values of some of my "healthy" standbys. They're clearly still healthy, but too many of them won't help me lose weight (apparently).

How are you doing with the new PointsPlus program if you are a Weight Watcher?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

HELLO DECEMEBER.

So, it's December now.

I just need to pause for a second and say that this year has gone INSANELY fast. Ridiculously fast. I feel left in the dust, but it's good dust.

On to the goals.

December Goals
  • Make it to the gym 12 times
This is not to say I will only go 12 times, however, I have been on "workout hiatus" for approximately six months. 12 times is already nearly every other day of the month, and my schedule is quite hectic near the holidays. I hope to work out more than 12 times, but visiting the gym can be a barrier to that at times; so... 12 visits.

  • Track Weight Watchers PlusPoints Daily
Track EVERYTHING I eat in my plan tracker on a daily basis. Regardless of how much I ate and what. If I go over, I want to know. No more denial. This is how I will pinpoint weaknesses and new habits I've picked up that are causing the creeping weight gain. It also helps me to be aware and accountable of what I'm putting in my mouth.

  • PLAY BROOMBALL
I joined a broomball team. This goal is more encompassing than that, however. Play broomball is a blanket statement for MOVE MORE. Have fun moving. Ice skate. Sled and run up the hill. Bike through the snow. Build a snowman and tackle him. Snowboard. It's winter in Minnesota and there are a million things to do.

  • Pay Attention
Pay attention to all of it. Be aware. Be attentive. Be forgiving. Be grateful. Be honest. Be present. Be me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Plan, New Goals, New Me.

Today, Weight Watchers rolled out PointsPlus, an entirely new plan.

I am elated that this is coinciding with my decision to fully dedicate December to my "diet," both in the sense that I'd like to lose weight, but also to give more attention to what I'm eating, when I'm eating it, how much of it I'm eating and also how fast.

It's time to tackle some of the root issues that are causing me to gain weight, my lack of willpower being one of them, and some of the life-long habits that stand in my way of making REAL change (such as eating way too fast and hence too much).

Now that my "new" life has settled down some: I've been in my new apartment for nearly a year, I've settled into a very exciting and mutually supportive relationship with a fella, and I finally have given myself enough credit to admit and believe that I have the power to change.

I rejoined the YWCA, so I have my activity cut out for me. A big part of me believes that simply reintroducing exercise will help me shed pounds, and I intend to, but I know that the eating is where the focus needs to be this time. Maintenance will be a combination of exercise and eating, but the eating habits will carry me through old age, injuries, and any other scenario that might come my way.

I am giving my monthly goals some serious thought tonight and I'll be back tomorrow to update them, along with NEW "before" pictures. I've accepted myself where I am, and intend to move forward from here with respect to where I have been, but not dwell on where I was.

Have you already set your goals for December? Care to share?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm so totally thankful today. For so much. But relevant to this blog, I stumbled upon this quote this morning, and I'm thankful for that too.

"I spent so many years and wasted so much energy agonizing over my “shameful” parts - my fat parts, my hairy parts, my pimply parts, my asymmetrical parts - that I had no resources left over to become a strong, happy, well-adjusted adult woman. When I finally began to embrace and praise all of my body parts, I suddenly had the time and energy to be passionate about other things; I began to blossom into the self-aware, confident human that American culture tries so desperately to prevent us from being."


Be thankful for you. That you have a body that moves, that works, that gives you life. That allows you to be present and hug your loved ones, regardless of it's size.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The first step!

In this current journey, the one in which I gain 20+ pounds after starting my life over, I've been truly avoiding the first step. "This" journey started 5 months ago, promptly after I decided the gym wasn't a top priority and eating out and drinking were. Dating was.

It was fun!

Now that I find myself with more of a steady connection, kind of a boyfriend, a manpanion, whom I've been seeing for the last 6 of those months and now am seeing exclusively, I've gotten a little too comfortable ordering the burger off the menu. And a beer. Maybe two. Sometimes three. I'll sneak some fries from his plate when I choose to order a salad. I'll just eat.

We all have to eat, right?

That's not the important part of "this" journey. It's the lack of exercise. The lack of fitness. The lack of gym. The lack of biking to the store that's only a mile away instead of driving.

This morning, I took THE FIRST STEP in reclaiming my former athletic self.

I went to the gym!

My new/old gym.

I worked out.

For an hour.

Hard.

Really hard.

I lifted weights.

A lot of them.

I sweat.

A lot.

I feel amazing.

Here's to new/old habits.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hard times.

We all hear about "sympathy weight." Husbands or partners or what have you gaining weight along side their pregnant counterparts.

Well, sympathy weight is very real and VERY real in situations unrelated to pregnancy.

I'm not pregnant, nor is my best friend, but the sympathy weight is attacking us.

My small 2 bedroom apartment, where I live alone, has been dubbed "Breakup Central" this year. I moved in in January, a newly single woman starting life over for the first time in a billion years. It is the first time I've had my own place. Just me. Only me. No boyfriends, no roommates, an awesome bedroom and an office with a futon. Four months later, friend #1 broke up with her LTR boyfriend. She moved in with me. I had become so accustomed to my new solo living life that I had to set the boundary that she leave... soon.

Fast forward 10 months and friend #2 breaks up with her LTR boyfriend. Friend #2, my best friend. She is living here now, sleeping on my futon, laying on my couch while I sit in my chair, while we watch TV drinking beer and eating pizza to cope. Not that friend #1 was not important, but friend #2 is the kind of friendship where you'd get out of bed at 2:00am on the coldest day of the year and drive to be by her side if you needed her. So she's here. And we're eating.

I am not being a good friend in this way. Offering up the pizza and the hoagies and the cake. In retrospect, this has only happened twice. I have cooked, I have provided healthy snacks and breakfasts, but sometimes... you have to splurge in the name of lost love.

And so this week, the first week, has been a bad one. We've had a pizza party. We've had beer (a lot of it) and we've had cake. We've even had cupcakes. But we have biked, and we have stayed up talking and we have slept... a lot.

I'm brainstorming now healthier ways to be supportive so we don't fall further into the sympathy weight trap.

What would you do for a best friend in need?

Monday, October 25, 2010

vetoed topics.

I carry a little cross to bare with my family. A veto-ed topic that I often want to bring up because it is a giant piece of the puzzle that is my journey.

I've made an executive decision to talk about it, mostly because it has to do with me. I'm often of the mindset that other people's stories are not mine to tell, but this one is. So I will.

So.

Little known fact: All of the women in my family have had gastric bypass.

My mother, my sister, two cousins, an aunt. We are prone to obesity. It's in our genes.

The reason why this is so important to me is because I feel victorious that I have escaped medical interjection's grip. I did it myself.

It was hard.

And even though I'm regaining weight, I'm in control. I have the tools. Some of the women in my family who took the medical route have not been so lucky.

I have a gripe with gastric bypass. Simply because of the examples I know, and others of which I've read. Medical professionals TRY to give you the tools, but there's simply not enough follow through. There aren't enough follow-ups, nutritional advice, or instruction.

My own mother has completely gained back all of the weight and then some.

We aren't equipped. These habits run deep, like spores that have dug into your bloodline and taken over.

I take pride in the fact that I did it alone. Of course, I wasn't alone. Of course I had support. I had you, and you, and you. My readers, silent or commenting. I know you're there. You followed my struggles and celebrations and confusion. You related. We did it together.

It's important to remember what you're doing for yourself, but also to think about how many people you're inspiring along the way. One more person who can see "It's possible" when it feels everything but.

You can do this.

I know because I did.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Opportunities.

So, Jen over at priorfatgirl.com was holding digital auditions for a new member of the priorfatgirl family. Something sparked in me and I applied. I made it through to the second round.

I bet a lot of you applied to, and I wish you the best of luck.

The deadline for a blog post to show up on priorfatgirl.com was today, at 5pm. That's right now.

I literally had 20 minutes to write it.

I'm slightly disappointed with what I cranked out. I had to fit my whole weight loss journey into less than 800 words. I had to be convincing, because it will be voted on.

I wasn't funny.

I like to think I'm normally at least slightly humorous on this here blog. I try to entertain you. Share my humiliations. My triumphs. My struggles.

I told my story. I made promises. I was no nonsense, as per usual.

Something about this feels important. Like becoming a "formal" priorfatgirl makes it real. I am one. I lost the weight. I've gained some of it back, but I'm in control. I've always been the one in control. I think that's the biggest idea we bargain with. It's always someone or something else's fault. It's not, kids. It's us.

You have to believe in you.

You have to know that YOU are capable. (You are. Trust me.)

I'm capable. I'm going to do this. priorfatgirl or not.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What used to be.

Last year, around this time, I was running competitive 5ks. I identified as an athlete. I trained. I lifted weights. I was evening branching out and going to Bikram Yoga.

This year, I find myself making up every excuse in the book. I quit my gym 2 months ago because the cost had exceeded what I was getting from the membership; which is nothing, when you don't go.

I had good intentions to re-join the YWCA. I even stopped in this weekend, but my wallet was stolen (a sob story for another time) and my debit card hasn't shipped yet and I apparently need that information.

As SOON as I get that card, I'm going in to get another card. The membership one. You know, to the Y.

I'm conflicted now, as I still - in my mind - identify as an athlete even though I do nothing of the sort. I don't even really enjoy walking as exercise and I don't seek out opportunities to take my bikes on long rides. This needs to change.

I see the difference not only in my body, but my mindset, as I've fallen off the exercise track. I need to remember that each day is a choice. A choice to work out, or not to. Each has it's own set of consequences. Sure, if I work out I might miss sitting on my ass in front of the TV for an hour, but I also have the added bonus of getting to eat more! And losing weight! And firming up! And having less things to complain about!

It's a choice.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fear is not an option.

I've been thinking a lot about how I'm going to pull this off lately.

I have become so accustomed to instant gratification, giving in for the sake of a brief moment of joy, even with the consequences.

I'm up another 2 pounds since I last weighed myself. I feel hopeless when I look in the mirror again. Not because I look terrible, or because I'm "disgusting" or any of those things we tell ourselves, but simply because I know what I am capable of and that I'm not doing it.

That just a year ago, I was 20 pounds less than I am now, in great shape and loving every minute of it.

I want to be back there.

I'm tracking this morning. I made myself eggs and cottage cheese even though I wanted to go out to brunch. I'd like to lay in bed all day but instead I'm taking the dog to the Minnehaha Dog Park and plan to walk and hike and climb with him for 2 hours.

My lunch and dinner plans are made. My day is planned out around points again, the way I need it to be. I'm tracking. I'm consciously thinking about what I need to do.

I WILL get back there. It's a decision, every day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

ok ok ok.

Well, I'm playing games again. Already.

At the very least, I am owning up to them, and coming back here and continuing to sign into WeightWatchers.com even though this morning I didn't want to.

I made a meal plan yesterday afternoon. I stuck to it through lunch, but fell off plan when a friend tempted me into Happy Hour with a gift certificate. Free? Can't pass up free, right?

That's not true. You can totally pass up free. I used to pass up free, but it's a little harder now with less motivation.

So, I drank some sake. And I ate some beef jerky. Oops.

Then I had some wine, which I planned for.

And then I was convinced I wanted tacos (which was true, I wanted them) and had a margarita and some tacos. I was offered a second margarita (TWO FOR ONES) and had 2 sips and asked her to take it away. I also ate about an entire basket of chips.

Wahhhhhhhh.

So, I don't even know how to track how many chips I had, so I've just decided I have no flex points left, which definitely doesn't work for this weekend at all. I have a board meeting tonight, and there are always cupcakes there. I will turn them down. This is promise - to myself, and now to you.

Tomorrow night I am going to a fashion show where there will be free wine. Need to think of a good plan for this.

Saturday is a good friend's birthday. I need a plan for this.

Sunday is the beginning of a new week. I just need to make it through these hurdles and start all over.

The easy thing to do would be get in some activity points. That's what I always did, but the fact of the matter is that this week, I simply do not have time. I'm not overexagerating either. I have been working nonstop and then running around doing all the other things I have to do and inbetween I have been fitting in very small bouts of date time with my manpanion. That date time is generally spent biking, so that's a little something, but it's my mode of transportation and doesn't really count as exercise.

Next on my to-do list (next week) is to re-join the YWCA. I need to be back in a gym, but I want to start on a week that I can actually go. That is not this week.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed trying to plan for life?

Suggestions for how to stay on plan through a friend's birthday party? Eeeeek.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

chalking it up.

Yesterday wasn't the greatest day for my food plan. Know why? Because I didn't have one.

The first half of the day went well, regardless. I ate breakfast (oats + 1tbsp Peanut Butter) and had a small banana for a snack. I was having a TERRIBLE day and because I'm prone to emotional eating, I was very much on guard.

A friend of mine, trying to be a sweetheart (and succeeding) brought me some tart treats from Whole Foods, delivering them to my workplace. They looked decadent, but because I recognized I was in a terrible mood, I made sure to give 2 of the 3 treats away. I did savor one, and I took the time to savor every second of it.

I didn't get a chance to sit down and eat lunch until about 2pm, which for someone who gets to work at 6:30am is really really really late. I am generally home for lunch, which makes eating healthy an easier option. I had baked up some spaghetti squash on Sunday, so I tossed some of that in a pan with homemade sauce and a handful of spinach. You really can't get a heartier low point lunch than that. It came out to 1.5 points, and it was a sizable bowl of hot deliciousness. I feel like that more than made up for the tart that I savored earlier.

Things started to fail as I felt more and more stressed in the late afternoon. I'd been working all day, running all over the city, ate a late and relatively hurried lunch which made me hungry for dinner a little early. I re-heated a small portion of pork roast and some yams and gobbled it up in a matter of minutes. Because I didn't leave time to FEEL full, I didn't feel full. I ate an ice cream cone. And then I ate a popsicle. I tracked both of these and still had points left for the day.

I headed out to meet up with Paul, my manpanion, at his house just because. He got a new rear wheel for his bike, which was a fixed gear and now it's a 3-speed internal hubbed cycle of awesomeness. I sat around on the porch preparing for a workshop and drinking half of a Crispin Cider. [I'm out of points now]

Did I mention I stopped on the way there and bought 1/2 a dozen cupcakes?

Did I mention I only tasted one of them, and when I say taste I literally mean taste?

Win.

I attended my workshop, which I forgot went until 9pm instead of 8pm. I sat there, somewhat bored and definitely tired which I mistook for hungry because every unidentifiable feeling in my life equals hunger, apparently. Luckily, I had a Kashi granola bar in my purse. I ate it. [-3.5 points at this point. I count .5 points for the lick of the cupcake] Then I had a glass of wine [-5.5 points]

When I realized I really should get to a birthday party for a friend I hadn't seen in about 4 months... I dedicated myself to attending for at least 45 minutes. My best friend decided to go too, sweetening the deal. I hadn't seen her in at least 3 weeks, which is too too long. I had 2 beers [-11.5 points] but a lot of fun.

When I got home, I felt "hungry" again. I made a fried egg [-13.5 points] and dished up a little bit of my favorite brussel sprout/bacon hash [-16.5 points].

I fell asleep almost instantly.

So, not a great eating day, but I had all of my flex points available. HAD being a key word. Now I only have 18.5 of them and I'm going to need those because I am too busy/tired to actually get any activity in.

I didn't wise up and make a meal plan for today, mostly because I was asleep. I'm thinking about cranking that out as soon as I hit "publish" on this post.

Do you make meal plans?

Monday, September 20, 2010

cook cook cookies.

I spent my entire day cooking after I headed out to the Farmer's Market yesterday.

I roasted: beets, leeks, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, onions.

I prepared a 5lb pork roast and roasted that up with potatoes, yams, carrots and onions.

I also turned those roasted brussel sprouts into my favorite breakfast/brinner hash with turkey bacon and potatoes.

I had two girlfriends over for some social time while I did the dishes and we had some wine and played in my closet.

I ended the day with 12 points remaining because when you're handling food all day you don't get too hungry.

I ate yogurt with granola for dinner because granola is one of my favorite foods but it's usually not worth the points involved. It felt like dessert for dinner and it was indulgent.

I also went on a mini walk yesterday, which in the gorgeous weather felt like a treat.

It was a great start to my Weight Watchers week. I have a fridge full of awesome WW-friendly food and I am prepared!

How do you ready yourself for the week ahead?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

morning plans.

It's late September here in Minnesota, which means the chill hits you when you flip back the covers in the morning. I've had a particularly long week full of overtime at work, annoying conversations and saying "no" to a lot of enticing offers to go out in order to stick to my budget and my meal plan.

I'm sitting in bed, wearing my Snuggie as a robe and the covers pulled up to my lap while I wait to hear the kettle whistle letting me know that my oats will be ready in mere moments... because it's late September here in Minnesota... which means I'm going through my annual "GIMME CARBS" phase of eating.

But oatmeal is a smart choice.

I stayed in last night because I was working until 10:30pm on a few projects that need to be finished by the end of the month, which also explains the overtime at work, and will explain it moving forward when I keep talking about how I was working until 10pm or 11pm or until I should be getting up the next day but never slept because I was working all night. I'm burned out on it, but I need the paycheck. I've been quietly and patiently looking for a new position that will feed my interests a bit more; I've been at this job for 6 years and while I still love the idea of it, I'm no longer challenged, or really even all that enthused by it any longer.

Mornings are my favorite time of day, especially now when it's just a little bit colder and it makes staying under the covers feel like the ultimate indulgence. It somehow feels a little easier to enjoy the simple things, which makes the tiniest thing feel like a reward.

It's Sunday, which means it's the beginning of my Weight Watchers week now. When I moved to online only I decided Sunday would be a great weigh in day for me. It forces me to continue healthy habits on Friday and Saturday and not play that "I still have 4-5 days to make up for it" game. I'd rather just stay on track as often as possible, create the habits that need to be created.

But it's Sunday, so I just weighed myself. It's the first time I've weighed myself in months. This morning I was finally feeling ready.

I officially report that I'm at 164.0lbs. That's quite the gain from my lowest weight, but I'm accepting myself where I am, because there is no point in thinking any other way. This is what I weigh. No matter how much I fret or curse it, it's still a fact, so there's no point to do that. I weigh one-hundred-sixty-four pounds.

I have 25lbs to lose now. I'm breaking that down to 5lb goals so that it seems less impossible. I'm also well aware it's not impossible, because this is weight I've already lost, I just regained it and need to lose it again, so there.

This morning I am treating myself to a trip to the St. Paul Farmer's Market. This is the best time of year to go to the market for produce. The crop is more varied and a lot of the root vegetables are ready to go. Perfect for roasting and crockpots and hearty meals. I love the St. Paul Farmer's Market the most because they require all vendors be from within 100 miles. The Minneapolis Farmers Market allows re-sellers and I can sometimes be confused by who's who and where are they from and is this produce really local? That's an easy question to answer when you see bananas and pineapple at someone's stand. We don't really grow those things here in the midwest. I prefer STP because it takes ALL of the guess work out of it. I can easily spend my money the way I intended and not have to search.

Do you have a farmer's market in your town?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

hello again.

Hello again my friends.

I'm making a firm attempt to return to blogging. I needed to get my footing first.

I have been on a going-out strike for about 2 weeks at this point, trying to regain momentum with my motivation toward cooking for myself and focusing on making healthy choices. This has been going well so far, but mostly because I have taken a new direction for a main goal, which has been my budget.

It's easy to focus on how expensive healthy food is when you're swiping your card at the grocery store, but all in all we know that cooking for ourselves at home is incredibly economical.

If you're a budget conscious person, I highly recommend mint.com as a tool. It's ridiculously user-friendly and quite eye opening. Also, pie charts.

Mint.com let me know that in August I spent more than $600 out at bars and restaurants. This doesn't work at all because it's about 1/4 of what I make in a month. Possibly more depending on the month now that my organization has cracked down on who is exempt and who is not with the entrance of our new HR director (and an HR department in general). I am no longer salaried and the balance of 30 hour weeks to 70 hour weeks has been shifted with the seasons. This will end up working in my favor more often than not because I tend to get extremely busy in the cooler months with the holidays, so I expect that quite a bit of overtime will be coming my way. This week alone I worked 16 hours of overtime. YE$.

I fully realize that the absence of exercise has contributed the most to my weight gain. I used to be a gym rat. It used to be my favorite way to spend time. Now I rarely even want to ride my bicycle. I quit my fancy gym that I was never using, and have decided to re-join the YWCA. That means ZUMBA! That means 8 blocks from my house! That means a WAY cheaper membership! Efficiency.

You can expect to see me posting here regularly again, as it is a pledge I have made to my best friend who has realized that blogging really helped her in her journey and we are both working on losing weight we have re-gained. I am hoping that my commitment to re-committing will help her along also as we have always stuck together.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Control.

It's been a little less than 8 months since my big life-changing move. In those 8 months I've drastically sucked at working out, restarted some horrible eating habits and managed to gain 20 pounds.

It's frustrating, to say the least, but I have grown (less in the literal sense) vastly during this time.

We go through waves where putting ourselves first means being the healthiest we can be, and putting ourselves first as means of sedating. I've been sedating, and celebrating, and reworking and growing.

I managed to grocery shop and have prepared many of my own meals in the last week. I haven't been focusing on THE healthiest choices, but I have been practicing portion control - something I've really let get away over the last year. Not only does this rule for practicing habits, but it rules because the food I bought will last longer - which is a good thing because I'm poor.

I feel like I may be ready to begin tracking my food intake again. This is something I will go balls-out on for 2-3 days and then quit the second I "mess" something up. When I get back in to it, I want to be dedicated, and I know this is not the right time to start. Portion control will continue to be the focus for the next week.

With a cluttered social calendar, it can be difficult to plan ahead, but I'm managing. This is why the PC is so important. I've been eating out for dinner most nights, but always asking for a box at the beginning of the meal. I find that when my food is out of sight, it is also mostly out of mind. Plus, leftovers.

Boys have been stealing my sleep, so I also need to learn to knock that off too. Not boys, but staying up late, specifically with boys. So maybe boys.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Trouble Trouble Trouble.

It seems some of my dear readers did, in fact, hold out to see if I'd come back. I suppose it's predictable, this journey is never over and I talk way too much for someone who would just "quit" a blog.

I'm glad you're still here.

I haven't made any great strides or progress. I did start to get concerned with the fact that I had also "quit" running, and made my triumphant return on Saturday morning. By triumphant I mean lame. By lame I mean slower than I should be. By slow I also mean short. By trouble in the title I mean I have a 10 mile race at the end of September and I can currently complete 4 miles in a somewhat-decent time.

I have a lot of work to do.

On the food front, I cancelled a date last night and had a girlfriend over for dinner instead. We made roasted chicken, balsamic beets, broiled polenta and a HUGE salad with almonds and crisp peppers. It was oh-so-delicious and REAL. All real food. It pleased me to see a plate full of things that were not of convenience, but simply tasteful.

I won't mention that we also downed 2 bottles of wine, because that would defeat my point about being so good with the food.

It felt great to eat and catch up on all the goings-on. There are a lot of goings-on by the way, but we'll get in to those as they accidentally spill out over the course of our time together on this here blog.

In the meantime, I'd really like to hear about great Summer Salad recipes. Anything you've got. Let's hear 'em.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The old College Try.

Remember me?

Guess what? I'm up 20lbs from my lowest weight. Well, almost 20lbs. That means I've been doing something wrong. Well, sort of wrong, amidst my many many many rights. It's a sacrifice I was willing to make for a while to train myself to just do what I wanted FOR myself, and no one else. That meant eating a lot of things I shouldn't.

Now that I feel I'm putting myself first again, I am ready to commit to shedding these pounds again.

Are you still with me?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Well... I don't have much to say for myself.

I think I'm going to retire this here blog.

I'm just not motivated to write primarily about weight loss and fitness.

I've started a new blog, it's protected. If you'd like to go through the hassle of having a wordpress account, I can add you as a reading member, otherwise... goodbye my friends.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Follow Through.

Follow through. I have very little of it right now. I keep promising myself things and not doing them. I have made social outings my main priority. I've been having a lot of fun; so much so that it feels worth the fact that my jeans are cutting across my stomach right now.

It's April 13th and I can't believe I haven't been talking more about the #30daysofbiking effort I'm a part of. You can follow it here: http://30daysofbiking.com

I had a great workout last night. I met "other Nicole" for Circuit Training class at the gym. After biking more than 60 miles this weekend, my legs were ready to explode, but I powered through. I feel accomplished.

The one thing I am struggling with right now is food choices. It feels great to be able to say, and literally mean, that is the only thing I'm struggling with right now. 95% of my life is complete and total awesomeness currently. That 5% represents my current weight gain and struggles to climb back out of a food rut. I've been eating out a lot and making poor choices while doing so.

Hopefully, the fact that I dragged my ass back to the gym after feeling defeated for being absent for so long will be a big driving factor for recovery. I picked up some good breakfast and lunch options at the co-op last night. I have been trying to eat mostly frozen meals for dinners at home so that I can keep portion control in check and not have to work too hard to make a decision or actually make the dinner.

It is raining hard here in Minneapolis. Thunder and lightning are dancing outside my window. This means it will be a slow day at the office. Something feels right about this. It feels romantic. It feels intentional.

It's a great day to be overly productive and drink too much coffee.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Making the switch.

I took a first step, sort of. I went grocery shopping.

I bought mostly vegetables and fruit. I need to come up with a plan for these though, that part I skipped in favor of working on my totally beautiful new bike.

I just switched from the Monthly Pass to e-tools only. This was a difficult decision for me. Not being in meetings if/when I hit goal means I can't be a leader. I'm hoping Diane (my leader) would stand up for me later if I come back. We'll see.

Today's goal is to just not binge and get in at least a 45 minute workout.

Baby steps.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Committed.

"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." -Wayne Dyer

That's really all I've got for you today. I'm trying to regain my mojo. I went to the doctor yesterday for relatively hilarious reasons, but had to be weighed with all my clothes on. I didn't bother to take my phone out of my pocket or my keys off my hip, but I sure wish I had.

159.

That's what the scale screamed at me. In my head, I want to make a million excuses about why it was so high. I mean, I had just eaten breakfast, and I was wearing heavy jeans and my phone weighs at least .8lbs, wah wah wah.

The fact of the matter is - I'm gaining.

I have been.

I've been slacking, I've been making excuses, I've been feeling sorry for myself.

It's so easy to fall into the trap of "Well everyone else can eat whatever they want!" It's not true. Those people probably naturally compensate for the gigantic basket of tater tots they share with their friends by eating less at their next meal, not more. Once I get on a crappy food roll, I'm flying at 100mph. Bring on the burgers.

So.

Today is a new day. Today started with a protein filled breakfast and has snacks planned at certain times. Today's lunch is heavy and dinner is light because I have an evening workout scheduled. The rest of the week has been planned around various social engagements. Snacks will be purchased to store in my various fashionable purses so that I won't be hitting up little trays of deliciousness.

I know exactly what I have to do. I can sit around and think about it, or I can just do it.

Guess what I'm choosing?

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm not gonna lie.

Ok ladies, I missed you.

I've been treating life like a big vacation lately, and it's been amazing and fun and full of ridiculous, cheek-aching smiles. It has to get real again.

I visited the scale this AM and I'm up again. I haven't been to my Weight Watchers meeting in weeks (maybe over a month) and I haven't tracked a thing in just as long.

Today I'm starting over, but in that traditional "diet" way where I actually start tomorrow.

Today is about preparation. I'm meal planning, taking in to account scheduled social engagements, planned activity, and finding ways to fit more activity in around both of those things.

My plan to "get back on track" is to expand my exercise routine, which has really been lacking. All I've been making time for is my Saturday Step class and sometimes not even that. This afternoon I'm headed to the gym for my strength training routine, tomorrow I'm headed back to boxing class - unless an invitation sways me in which case I will go for a long run in the afternoon. It's all part of the plan.

I'm also committing to coming back here to blog at least 3 times this week. Blogging keeps me alert and accountable. Blogging keeps me connected to this community. Blogging, for me, is a spilling of secrets - it's easy for me to admit to you when I've made a mistake and virtually talk myself through the process of what to do next.

Anyone else in a stage of recommitment?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Whoa.

I made it over the 54 hour mark for being smoke-free. This is about the point where I start to get agitated, ridiculously. The third day. The day from hell. The day that really counts the most.

I'm trying not to let it get the best of me, but this round of Chantix is feeding me some of the crazy side effects. Last night (and the night before) I was having these crazy livid dreams. I woke up feeling like they were still happening and it took a good 3 minutes until I realized that no, I was in fact alone in my room.

WEIRD.

Also, in other non-awesome news, I look pregnant today. All that talk about maintaining my weight is out the door. I was holding strong at 152lbs for many many weeks and I weighed myself yesterday (as I've been doing pretty much every 2 days to stay on track) and I'm up to 156. Yikes.

Back to salads for lunch, I guess.

Today I'm going to Bikram Yoga with my friend "other Nicole" and we'll sweat out the stress. I'm hoping this will be the perfect time for a little detoxing from the smoking, and it will feel great to get some sweat working again. I've managed to have 3 good workouts so far this week, and this will be a nice active rest day.

How are your workouts going?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oh, hello.

Wow.

Life is distracting.

I've been trying to make goals here and there and find ways to let this new chapter of my life play into the goals I've had for years. One super easy motivator of dating as an adult is the very real idea that you'll be naked with someone you really don't know that well. That will get a girl to the gym.

I quit smoking again yesterday, so we'll see how that goes.

I've also committed to #30daysofbiking in April. If you're a twitter user, do a twitter search for #30daysofbiking or go to http://30daysofbiking.com/bike/ for more info. It's me and a couple of friends, which ended up turning into more than 100 people from all over. The premise is simply to ride your bike every day of April, regardless. Could be around the block, could be across the state, and then you tweet about it with the hashtag #30daysofbiking. I'm a contributor to the blog, so I'll be updating here and there with my adventures in addition to the tweeting.

Another motivator: one of the events planned (well, that I planned) for the 30daysofbikings is a SHORTSHORTSRIDE. Tiny tiny shorts. Why? Because it's hilarious.

Additionally, I've gathered a handful of ladies to run the Women Run The Cities 10 miler with me this year. Remember last year, that was the race I chose for my first 5k? We will be Team Jeff, in honor of Kassie's dog.

I've been having some ridiculous binges yet somehow have maintained my weight, probably because I'm back on my bike and riding more often. I've also been trying to get in walks with girlfriends as chat-time because I am broke and the sun has finally returned to MN.

I wish I felt like I had time to catch up on everyone's blogs. I am going to make a point to at least pick them up where they are.

If you feel like summarizing for me, please do!

Can you help me brainstorm some goals that might help me get back and stay back on track?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hall and Oates Make a Comeback - in my Living Room

Oh ladies.

(and like... two gentlemen)

I am smitten with the single lifestyle. I'm also WORRIED about the single lifestyle. At the rate I'm going, I'm moving more, but definitely not eating less. How in the world do people date and stay fit? I've been out to eat like 800 times in the last 4 days and I have been to the gym once.

Granted I'm back in the saddle with my bike and I've traveled many miles, but it is in NO way canceling out the damage I'm doing at the table.

I refuse to be that girl who orders a salad on a date.

What do I do!?!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Whoops... sort of.

I skipped my Weight Watchers meeting (again) yesterday in favor of walking around Lake of the Isles with a girlfriend and making dinner at her apartment. I feel it was a better choice. I'm starting to question whether switching to meetings was a good plan for me.

I know I am definitely not OP right now. I'm not tracking, but I'm eating well for the most part. I have been feeding a peanut butter craving for a week now, but in reasonable amounts and simple building meals around it. Peanut butter is a life source.

This is a predicament however, because you must be a meetings attendee to become a leader once you have reached goal weight. This frustrates me, but I totally understand that you must first know the culture and the working ways of meetings to become and effective leader.

My new plan is to switch back to online only for a month or two. Now that I have successfully shed most things that were causing the most stress, I think losing (when I actually commit) will be much more simple.

I have also decided to quit my gym, The Firm. I joined The Firm in October, firmly needing a swift kick in the ass. It gave me the motivation I needed to be excited about cardio again. It served its purpose and I no longer need it. I am interested in switching BACK to the YWCA for the benefits that I didn't feel were necessary prior to the switch, but that I now crave. These include a gigantic indoor track and a lap pool.

I got back on my bike and I haven't looked back. In fact, lately, I have been saying that every day has been "the best day ever." It's going to start to sound cliche, but honestly, each day keeps getting better than the one that came before it. I am falling back in to myself which is ultimately the most exciting thing ever.

You all know that Jessica is my best friend ever in the world, (BFEITW) and while we were out the other night we had a short but super meaningful [to me] conversation about my epic return to nicoleness. I realize now how captive I had been kept and kept myself, I completely lost me, but I'm coming back.

Speaking of being out, and being awesome, here is what we did the other night.

#bikegangride with bunches of friends. That's me in the front.


Video of said awesomeness. (That's my butt with the yellow belt)

But here is an example of "being back." Standing outside of Busters on 28th, a super delicious bar near a super delicious bike shop, I got the sudden urge to do a cartwheel. The sidewalk was wide open and had obviously been swept recently. I walked up to my new friend Zach and said "So, how do you feel about cartwheels?" From there, we did many many cartwheels, in front of a bar with a very large picture window. It was the most fun I've had in many years and I was delighted to see someone caught it on video.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hesitation.

I hesitate to post anything. Not that everything in my life is a big secret right now, and not that I don't overshare every single second of every single day.

I've been living a lot, offline, which seems to be the norm for me the last year or two. I spend all day tethered to a computer for work. I chat, I tweet, I look at people's kid's pictures on Facebook and I read articles in between. I have to put in the plug for twitter being my new friend matching service, however. I have officially met some of the most amazing people I know through channels I've discovered via twitter. The important lesson was to make sure we met IRL (in real life).

It's too easy to do and say things online that don't end up playing out in your life. I worry about that with this blog sometimes. I worry about goal setting that I don't actually care about. I worry that talking to you guys about how my motivation is waning again will kill yours. I worry that we soak up so much strength, positivity (and negativity) from each other that it's so weird that we aren't the kind of girlfriends chatting over mimosas on a Sunday morning.

I'm happy to be here for you. I'm happy that you feel like you "know" me and I feel like I get a glimpse in to your day, your plan, your life. I love that relationship. I count on it more than I'd care to admit.

Sunday I went to Duluth. My plans were nothing more than to watch my brother play music to the brunch crowd, perform a couple songs with him, and go for an exorcism walk.

Yes, exorcise.

Does that look weird? It's because I had some "demons" for lack of a better word, following me around. I hiked the Sucker River, the scene of the crime where I first fell in love. I went there to forgive. Y'all have not been privy to important information about the beginning/middle/end/contents of my previous relationship - and you shall stay in the dark - but it was hard. I kept my head up and tried everything I could to keep it going when I shouldn't have, but eventually grew courage, left, and now I'm here - happier for it. I had to exorcise the resentment, the belief that I gave so much and got so little. Those are not true. I am a better person from that relationship, but I needed this walk to remind me that.

Sucker River Sun

Yesterday I wore "skinny jeans." I had to laugh at the irony of the statement because while I'm "in shape," I will never have "skinny" legs. They're quite muscular and curvaceous at the same time. I looked like an ice cream cone. I felt weird for as long as I concentrated on it and eventually it just went away. The second I stopped obsessing over my triangle-ness, the second someone complimented them.

I've realized that the more I agonize over the little things - that mini snickers I ate at my board meeting, the fact that I skipped the gym all weekend - the more likely I am to continue a downward spiral. It's a shame cycle. "You already sucked, why not suck more?"

Well, there's a saying in my Weight Watchers meeting: "You can suck at it, but you can't quit." I've just decided to alter what I think of "sucking at it." This is mostly in regards to my life right now, not so much the weight loss aspect, but I think they come hand in hand.

My main focus currently is earning back the friendships I lost while I was busy being a "good girlfriend." It was hard for me to keep up with all my responsibilities in my past relationship and also maintain healthy friendships. I ditched out on a lot of plans. I wasn't there when I should have been. I didn't call. I'm also extremely interested in meeting new people, so I can kill two birds with one stone on that one and just title the "goal" Relationships.

Relationships get hungry. I'm a good cook. I would like to buy into a CSA this year and attempt to cook only from these boxes with supplemental protein. Not only would this force me to be more creative in the kitchen, I would save money and almost certainly always have too much, allowing said Relationships to join me for dinner in my backyard.

Speaking of backyards, the city is my playground. I'm so horribly embarrassed that I have been on exactly 2 bike rides so far this year. Not this season, just the year in general. I love biking. I am a huge bicycle advocate. With amazing opportunities on the horizon, I hope to drastically drop my car dependence that I adopted over the winter. I will re-become a bike commuter this year or at the very least only be allowed to drive when it's absolutely required.

I feel when life is going your way, the weight loss aspect becomes easier. I need to switch the focus off again for a little while. I started running in the mornings. This helps me make wiser decisions all day.

I may cancel my gym membership in favor of running/biking/tennis/walking/pushups/pullups/real activity with real people.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Out of the Loop

I've fallen off the map for a couple days. I've been distracted by something (or someone(s)) and for some reason hadn't even touched Blogger in a matter of days.

I'm all caught up on your blogs now and while I wish I had some sort of exciting news, weight loss tips or a full report on an amazing thing I did this week - everything I've been up to has been somewhat super secret and I fear my tendency to overshare would lead to poor repercussions on my part.

Know that I'm well, excited, and big things could potentially be coming (for me, not necessarily for you, but you can celebrate with me!)

I'm headed up to Duluth today to see my brother. He plays (music) during brunch at a restaurant where we both used to work and I'll be singing a couple songs will him, visiting with some of our friends and then heading to Gooseberry Falls for a nice long foggy walk with my ipod and Mother Nature.

I love Duluth in March. Things have thawed just enough for it to look like a city straight out of the old black and white industrial photographs. It's just gorgeous.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Frittata For All!

As I explained in yesterday's post, frittatas are awesome. They're the BEST vehicle for utilizing your vegetables that will soon turn or little bits of hard cheese you just don't know what to do with. Leftover meats. Whatever you've got, a frittata will probably make it taste good because all it is really is a crustless quiche. It takes a little finesse to become a frittata expert, but with a practice you'll be great.

And so I give you the basic recipe which you can try to low-cal-it-up by using Egg Beaters, but it will be gross and will not set, trust me. This is PURE protein, just eat it. It's best served with a good mixed green salad.


Basic Frittata

You'll need:
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp basil or marjoram
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmessan cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
You'll do:

First, preheat your broiler and have a rack ready in the upper quarter of your oven.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, add the fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and shredded cheese. Melt the butter in a heavy oven proof medium sized non-stick frying pan on medium heat. When the butter starts to foam, tip in the egg mix. Turn down the heat to low-medium and let the eggs cook gently for 10-15 minutes or so. (Seriously. Be patient.) Check to make sure the underneath is set and notice that the very top of your frittata is slightly runny.

(To check while it's in the pan, you'll continue to run a heat proof rubber spatula around the edges of the pan. You can gently lift it at that point when it begins to set)

Pop the pan under the broiler for a minute or so to set and lightly brown the top. YOU MUST WATCH THE ENTIRE TIME or you'll probably burn it.

Take it out when it's done.

Slide a spatula under the frittata to free it from the pan, slide onto a warm plate and serve in wedges.

ENJOY!

Monday, March 8, 2010

From Farm to Fork.

This weekend went by a lot quicker than I wanted it to. I managed to get myself in to a good amount of trouble in that brief couple of days, but that's a story for another time, or perhaps, another blog.

I followed through with my pledge for the TUTU Challenge on Saturday. 2 miles on the treadmill at 6.3 mph (about 9.75 min mile), 1.25 hours of Step class and 1 hour of Circuit Training.

I didn't barf, though I may have entertained the idea as an excuse to leave the room, which gets extra sweaty when you stay an extra hour. Amazingly enough, come Sunday morning, I wasn't the least bit sore. I managed to burn 1,139 calories! Amazing.

Later on Saturday I took off for my cooking class: The Solo Cook. Here's that adventure:

Mississippi Market Coop's new(er) West 7th Street store in St. Paul

All cooperatives in our area typically remind you that you're MEANT to be there. #gocoop!


This is Kristin of Farm to Fork setting up her station



If you don't have a Microplane, you should probably get one.

Our first dish: a lentil, chard, sausage and bacon stew served over crostini. This can be eaten just as a stew, over toast, or made in to a salad of sorts. So many ways!

We spent a fair amount of time talking about what "the solo cook" needs to have in their kitchen. I tend to have an extremely OVER stocked kitchen, so I was excited to know that I'm in a good place as far as equipment goes.

I do NOT, however, have a cleaver, and now I really want one.

Chocolate bread pudding

I kind of liked it. Can you tell? Yes, those are finger swipes.

The frittata, the highlight of the class. A simple yet complicated dish to master. It can be the perfect vessel for any veggies you have in your fridge that are becoming questionable.


All done, now to slide it out.

My friend Stephanie and I really enjoyed the taste testing aspect of the class.

Frittata

Oh.

Yum.



All in all, the class was fun and informative as far as giving me some ideas with how to better utilize whole foods (less processed) more often in my cooking and taking the emphasis on making solid "meals" in the realm that we always imagine them. It doesn't always have to be a big production. For instance, this afternoon I was feeling lazy and didn't want to "make" lunch. I didn't have any frozen meals to fall back on but didn't feel like "making" anything. I remembered back to the beginning of all of this, how I "assembled" things. I grabbed a chicken breast, spread jalapeno hummus on it, dumped some black beans on top of that and served myself up a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese. It was pretty much the most delicious thing I've had in a long time and it took no effort. I need to remember things like this when I'm digging around in the freezer. I will be FAR more satisfied if I take the extra 3 minutes to put something together.

However, I was hoping for a little more advice on how to cut down on food costs or some good recipes that serve two. No go. All 3 of the recipes we took home served 4-6, and most of the class was focused on having a well stocked kitchen for a "live alone." I think this would have been a really great class for the recently divorced man. As a seasoned cook with a well stocked kitchen and pantry, I got little use. However, Kristin was really kind to answer a lot of my questions about freezing best practices, so I can continue to make the recipes I loved to cook for the family and freeze myself individual portions.

The best part? Hanging out with my friend Steph whom I hadn't seen in forever, spending some time out and about doing something productive and having a portion controlled lunch!

What was the highlight of your weekend?


Friday, March 5, 2010

The Challenge (and why this weekend will rule)

Tomorrow morning I am embarking on a challenge. A serious challenge.

So, I've talked to you about my Step instructor, Doug, the one in the speedo, the one who makes me gargle my lungs every Saturday morning at 8:30am and drags me through the moves until 9:45am.

And I've told you about Brad, my super fun but equally crazy Circuit Training teacher who fools me in to thinking I'm just dancing around even though I'm basically doing jumping jacks for an entire hour.

And right now I'm telling you that I am going to take these 2 classes BACK TO BACK.

Tomorrow morning, I will set foot in the gym at 8:05am, jog 2 miles on the treadmill, suffer through an hour and fifteen minutes of ridiculous Step class and then subject myself to an additional hour of Circuit Training.

If I had to estimate, I'm going to say this will be worth WELL over 1,000 calories burned, which is good because later in the day I am going to the Mississippi Market Coop for a cooking class called "The Solo Cook" to learn how to adapt my family cooking skills to my new single self.

After that, who knows? I might just have a date.

Oh there will be pictures, my friends. Pictures of my red/sweaty/exhausted face after the workout of a lifetime, pictures of my cooking class, and pictures of everything in between.

and THAT is why this weekend will rule.

What are your big plans?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another Taste Test from the Goody Bag.

All of the ladies from the PriorFatGirl meet up have been working their way through their goodybags this week. I tried those delicious cookie bites, and today I thought I'd give the Funky Monkey freeze dried fruit a chance.


The flavor I took home was "Pink Pineapple" (pineapple and guava)
The package states it's 100% real fruit, fat free, with no sugar added.


It looked weird, like old pizza crust, but here goes...


hmmm...


Do not like.


What do I do?


Yuck.


Sorry Funky Monkey. Not a fan. I'd rather have an actual pineapple.

In their defense, my friend took home a bag of Cinnamon Banana flavored Funky Monkey and said they were good. That's a flavor I probably would have enjoyed in crunch form. This was way too sweet and just way too.. gross. They were so repulsive to me that I felt it necessary to put up such unflattering photos. JUST. NOT. IN. TO. IT. Eat real fruit, benefit from the water content.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reader Question on Cooking.

Well I'm feeling very unoriginal after the fridge post! Apparently everyone likes to take pictures of their own and look in another person's fridge. This still confuses me, you're all fridge perverts.

However, my friend Lycia, who is not new to dieting but is new to the lifestyle change posed a great question: "Did you start out cooking your own meals? Right now I'm completely overwhelmed ..."

And the answer is, yes (and no).

When I first started getting serious about Weight Watchers, I wouldn't say I "cooked" so much as "assembled." I kept my menu VERY simple. Oatmeal for breakfast, turkey sandwiches and fruit for lunch, baby carrots and cappuccino for snacks, and I, too, survived on Lean Cuisines and Smart Ones for dinner at first. I didn't want to force the boys to have to eat the way I was eating, as if "healthy" eating would be a chore for them. And I honestly didn't think I could eat "real food" and lose weight.

It wasn't until I started exploring Weight Watchers fabulous website and their giant database of recipes that I started cooking. When I realized we could be eating most of the things we had always eaten only "lightened up," they were on board (not necessarily by choice, I just started cooking). I started investing in cookbooks, utensils, new pans, and any other gadget I could get my hands on that would make me excited to spend time in the kitchen doing something other than leveling off a pint of Ben and Jerry's while avoiding the giant pile of dirty dishes.



I have built up an amazing collection of cookbooks that keep the meals simple to prepare with limited ingredients as those are the two main points of importance to me when I'm making a meal. a) Do I have (or do I want to spend) time to make this meal? b) Can I afford everything it requires and still utilize what's left over?

That is why my favorite book to date is a Weight Watchers cookbook called Now and Later. The premise of the meals is that you will follow one recipe for dinner "now", and a portion of that recipe will be used "later" to create a separate meal. It's a fantastic time saver, and it also adds variety without forcing you to buy too many "non-staple" ingredients to spoil away in the fridge.

I'd love to hear about YOUR favorite cookbook. Particularly one with simple healthy recipes to get Lycia started (and, perhaps, to add to my collection as well).

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fridge Raid!

Since I've moved in to my new place I've had a number of girlfriends over, many of whom are trying to lose weight. For some odd reason, even though I haven't lost anything of significance in a long time, these ladies look to me as a role model in the weight loss world.

I'm not discrediting what I've done in the past. I've certainly been successful. I've lost more than 50 pounds and kept it off for 2 years. I want to lose the last of it, but slow and steady wins the race and I'm not rollercoastering up and down as I have in the past. This is a HUGE accomplishment and should serve as a reminder to those of you who are "stuck" that you've already come so far. Don't give up on yourself.

So, when these girlfriends came over, they took pictures inside of my fridge.

No. I'm not kidding.

I found it odd and off-putting at the time, but I realized... hey.. that's pretty clever. If what I eat or keep in my fridge inspires you in some way, awesome.

Here's a little tour of my fridge.


The fridge.


Pictures of me and my favorite lady, also family and love notes serve as a reminder for WHY I am on this weight loss journey. I have a life and I want to live it in the most healthful and exciting way that I can.


One of my favorite "pick me up and keep me going" quotes.


Inside!


Top Shelf: Raw chicken breast in tupperware for tonight's dinner. On top of that, leftover polenta (also for tonight). Half a banana from this morning's breakfast, Fage 0% Greek yogurt (two of them) and a multitude of fat free single serve greek yogurts. Organic fat free cottage cheese. Left over black bean and corn salsa with 1/2 an apple in a tupperware on top of it.


Middle Shelf: Herb and Mixed Greens in the big tub, bagged spinach on top of that. Spaghetti sauce in the back, turkey tenderloin leftovers from the "roasting incident" Saturday, tupperware of thawed shrimp, behind that are the rude "roasted" veggies waiting to be made into soup, two little tubs of hummus (one roasted red pepper and one cilantro + jalapeno), carton of rice pudding, 2 cartons of eggs.


Bottom Shelf: wine for my wino habit, chilled water, asparagus, tapioca loaf gluten-free bread, corn tortillas, my work lunchbox which is empty but just chilling in the back, some cilantro, a tube of prepared polenta, Diet Hansen's ginger-ale and a few Diet A&W root beer.


Veg Drawer: red pepper, green pepper, tomato, carrots


Fruit Drawer: 2 grapefruit, mango, 2 apples, honey tangerine, pomegranate seeds



Deli Drawer: two tomatoes, soy cheese, lox, prepped green and red pepper slices, 1/2 a lime?, deli turkey, low fat string cheese


Door: smart balance butter, salsa, blueberry pomegranate applesauce, peach cups, condiments, Light Silk, Green Goodness juice by Bolthouse Farms, egg beaters, Jello Pudding cups, FF redi-whip, beer, more beer, bottled water from the move and a can of Sparks.

Are any of these items weird and worth photographing? They're pretty much staples in my house. What do you keep in your fridge?