Tuesday, January 26, 2010

VQCI. (Very Quick Check In)

Hey beautiful bloggers!

Just doing a quick check in to let you know that the move went well. My new place is currently titled "Box City" and I'm running in to some speed bumps because I was allowed to move early. I currently don't have a fridge (but borrowed a miniature dorm sized one from a friend) or a working tub drain.

I'll be going back and forth between the "old house" and the "new place" for the next week or so just trying to get everything in order. I'll be unpacking for the rest of my life.

I'm also hideously embarrassed about the amount of clothing I own now. I literally got rid of an entire car full, and still filled an SUV with under-the-bed bags and garment bags and tubs of clothes. Sheesh. Sounds like maybe I should have a the-last-twenty clothing shop operating out of my closet!

It's amazing how much stuff you can acquire when you have a lot of room, or are willing to find the room. It's essentially like gaining weight. You want it, you'll make room for it. I want that delicious pistachio cannolli I enjoyed with a friend over lunch yesterday, so I had it, and my body will surely make room for it.

Probably on my ass.

I have made a solemn vow to my best workout buddy that I will be back in FULL EFFECT as of the first of the month. I know, I know. Why wait? Honestly, because I'm drained. Physically because of the move yesterday, and emotionally because I am giving up a very long term relationship, a lot of love and a lot of dependence. It's tough, I'm eating too much some days and eating too little most days. I have no idea where I am on the scale but that scale fast is over on the 2nd and I'll have to fess up. My guess is I'm firmly (and possibly very high) back in to the 150s. And you know what? That's just where I am right now.

It's been a weird, trying and crazy last couple of months. My jeans still fit, which means no matter how far gone I've gotten, I ate least haven't expanded to fill my own zip code again.

I'm excited to see where February will take me. I'll be the only person in control over my life.

A lot of healthy habits to form and re-form. Cooking, walking the dog excessively, working out, relaxing, being productive and enjoying my own company.

I'm terrified and excited all at once.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Horrible Weight Loss Ideas and My Triumphant Return to the Gym (maybe)

So, if I were a horrible person with horrible ideas, I might suggest that you try to stir up your own great dramatic tragedy because it's a decent way to lose weight. I hopped on the scale yesterday simply because I was concerned (terrified) that I'd gained 20lbs throughout the course of the last week. My eating habits have been completely out of my mind.

Cute little surprise that I have lost most of my quitting smoking weight gain.

Sad fact of the matter is though that it's only because I keep forgetting to eat.

Hey, before you start yelling at me, I've been busy. I literally am constantly moving all day and if I stop I'm scared I might die.. like a shark. I've set little phone reminders to tell me that I need to eat something as well as graciously accepted all invites out to dinner. If I can eat at a restaurant, I'm going to eat.

So, I haven't been to the gym since... Tuesday the 12th. Before that, I hadn't been to the gym since the Tuesday before that. That's all over now. I'm going back tonight and I'm getting back in to the habit. I need the exercise right now in preparation for the moving I'll be doing next week. Lots of heavy lifting. I am counting on my friend "other Nicole" to meet me there at 5:00pm for a class. Even if for some reason she calls to cancel, I'm going to ignore her and pretend that she'll be there. It's my motivation for going.

Only about 2 weeks until all of my things will be in one place, I'll have pictures, and I'll be massively improving this blog (in so many ways! Surprises to come!). It's going to be my project, my way to show you I appreciate you reading even in times of totally lame posts.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Update City!

Hey pals.

It's been ultra busy here as the packing/separating/bartering situation begins. I have to say that as far as break ups can go, this is pretty admirable. I can only hope that we are able to continue this and be better friends than we were partners because it feels really really good.

Today is full of driving, lifting, folding, pushing, hauling furniture I've found from all over the metro area on Craigslist. I'm excited to have some new things to fill my new life, well, at least new to me (in both instances). Some of them are worthy investments; others are impulse buys. I can always replace them down the line as I learn how to budget and save on a single person income.

I apologize that for at least the next week this blog will have nothing much to do with weight loss. I'd like to say hello to my new followers and let you know that under "normal" circumstances, this blog will be filled with a plethora of fantastic information, especially as I begin this new chapter. I'm going to have a whole special feature on Cooking for ONE, complete with recipes adapted to feed just you. There's no shame in living alone!

Please accept my apologies as I once again explain that for the next two (or so) weeks, my updates will be scattered, infrequent and most likely not about food, fitness, fun or weight loss. Hang in there, I promise some excessively awesome content once I am settled in.

xoxo. nic.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Free Dinners and Self-Destructive iTunes Playlists.

Ok kids.

I'm not in it. For the last 2 days I have been either not eating or eating horribly. I'm not tracking, even with the TRACK ATTACK, and I need to get back there. (Sorry Joanna, you must be bored)

Yesterday, I had 1 slice of bread with an unmeasured but extremely small portion of peanut butter smeared on it hurriedly as I was leaving the house for work at 6:15am. Around 2:00pm I realized I hadn't eaten anything since that and I made myself a quick bowl of granola.

I went to Bikram again yesterday to try to rescue myself from the horrible class I had last Saturday where I both exploded in laughter and then subsequently tears as I sobbed my way through the last hour of class. I want my Bikram back. I was determined for this to be a better class. I even brought along my best friend, Jessica. She had never done Bikram before so I was pretty excited to share it with her. I was totally convinced she was going to love it.

The class sucked.

I'm not just being a negative nelly, and it wasn't either of our faults. It was an instructor I'd never had and he was a total douchebag from the second we got there. His tone of voice was accusatory, totally unwelcoming and totally uninspiring. He basically singled 4 people in class out because they were the names he could remember: Jessica and I were 2 of the names.

I understand that this practice is about perfecting form for some people. Great, that's not why I go. I go because none of my other fitness is even remotely relaxing. I go because it feels like a detox. I go because I don't have to talk to anyone; in fact talking is not allowed. I go because it's something I ordinarily would never do. Either way, I don't go to be the world's best yogi. I suck at Bikram yoga, honestly. Usually I don't like to participate in activities I'm not instantly good at, and I'm really not good at this, and neither was Jessica. Why should she be? She's never done it before, she's in a highly heated room with 25 other people, standing with her head below her heart.

Either way, the instructor made us both uncomfortable and I'm writing a letter. It doesn't sound like much writing out part of the story here, but I'm actually still angry about it so I can't send the letter until I've calmed down some.


Jessica took me to dinner because she's lovely. She also gave my Christmas present (yeah we hadn't seen each other in a while) which was extremely thoughtful: a "thirsty" towel for my yoga mat! For Bikram! It soaks up sweat super fast and won't move all over the place like my stupid beach towel does. The second was a daily planner (love) from Eating Well (love) with tear out recipes on every other page (love). It's safe to say that this is pretty much THE perfect gift for me.

I love writing things down. I can't stop writing things down all day. I already have 3 daily planners and I use them all for different things and I will definitely use this one as well! I'm especially excited about having an arsenal of never-tried-before recipes to bring with me into my new life. I'm going to be VERY open to trying new things.

On that front, the love/lost front, I'm mostly still in survival mode: trying to find cheap furniture that doesn't look like I dragged it from the alley behind a house - which I have no problem doing. There are just a bunch of things that I need, and a lot of things that I want. Need comes first. Want comes later.

I'm sorry I'm so boring this week guys. There will be very exciting adventures to come relatively soon, but we may be in a non-exciting dry spell for a bit while I kind of pick up the pieces and get my stuff together.

If I don't blog for days, don't be surprised or concerned, but feel free to email me if you're just going nuts wondering what's going on.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coming Clean.

I've been avoiding you.

I'm just being honest.

I think having a blog when you're going through something traumatic like ending a super long term relationship is like have a telephone when you've downed a bottle of tequila.

I had a really fantastic conversation yesterday surrounding the weird things we do when we we truly believe we can't do something ourselves. It's all self-medication, short cuts and just generally sweeping things under the rug. I'm through with all of it, hence all of the change in my life that you get to read about. It's just hard. Things that are worth doing are hard; they're also the most rewarding, educational, and they feel really good to celebrate.

Oh... P.S. About self medicating: I'm smoking again.

Sorry I let you down kids. It was a good run, but I honestly can't handle all of it at once, and because I'm eating well again, back to exercise, but now venturing out on my own as a single girl, something had to collapse. I'll try again when I'm ready.

Upcoming exciting stuff: Jen at priorfatgirl.com is gathering up any MN healthy/weight loss/fitness/crazies bloggers for a meet up. I'll be there.

In food news, having Joanna be my accountable buddy with our Weight Watcher's TRACK ATTACK game, I did really well. I'm still not weighing in, so I won't know how well, but I'm just filled with a general sense of pride for staying the course through this week. That's pretty impressive.

Today, after work, Jessica and I are headed to Bikram for her very first class. I scared the bejesus out of her last night when I was telling her what she needed to bring and some of the regulations of the practice. I'm really good at ruining exciting things with too much information.

Can you believe it's 2 weeks (well.. 13 days) in to January already? Weren't we just sharing resolutions and drinking champagne? (Well, you were. I was asleep.) I'm feel pretty accomplished already this year and here's why:
  • I've learned to do tricks on a trapeze, thus conquering a small fear of dangling from ceilings (or the sky, or a mountain) and also looking extremely cool in the process.
  • I've been drinking water like a maniac, which was one of my goals for the year.
  • I had the courage to leave a relationship that just wasn't working even though it's a difficult thing to do.
  • I found a fantastic apartment the next day.
  • I've reunited with 3 friends I hadn't seen it what felt like forever, and have just generally been more social in a way that does not overwhelm me.
  • All of these accomplishments prove I've learned to both appreciate and listen to myself and my own needs, as well as overcome the fear of being uncomfortable.
What is your proudest accomplishment this year?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Great Things.

I don't have a ton to report on my end, I've mostly just been staying busy as a distraction and letting my friends know, one by one, face to face, that Justin and I have called it quits. It's interesting for me to remember that a very choice few of them know our real history, our real story, and so much of this a surprise.

It feels cleansing to have these conversations and to be quite honest, I'm proud of myself for being that [honest].

Yesterday I did some more planning for my new single-girl lifestyle, making a list on Target.com of all the things I will be leaving behind and need to replace. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of money I'll have to spend in February 2010, but again - excited about the overall change. Change, for me, is almost always positive.

I met up with my friend Crystal at 11:30am for brunch at Kozy's in The Galleria, a very upscale shopping mall in a suburb of Minneapolis. They have an amazing brunch deal. $15.95 gets you a complimentary mimosa, a complimentary caramel sticky bun, and your choice of made-to-order omelets, belgian waffles, minnesota style hashbrowns (butter and some sort of fatty delicious creamy soup mixed in with the potatoes), sausage links, bacon strips, wheat toast, cheesy scrambled eggs, and the list goes on. All you can eat.

I hadn't been eating much in the past few days. I would remember to eat when I looked at my tracker and it was mostly empty. I didn't want to have an embarrassing TRACK ATTACK from Joanna, nor did I want to deny my body fuel it needs to guide me through this stressful time.

I ate a fair amount too much at brunch, had great and reassuring conversations with Crystal, and then we headed across the way to Barnes and Noble so I could pick up It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken. I was also trying to get my hands on The New Rules of Lifting for Women, but they were sold out. I do believe I've mentioned before that book stores + me = danger for the pocketbook. This particular book store happened to have 6 gigantic tables of clearance items that were marked down EVEN MORE than their original 50% off. I had at it.

I walked in to buy 2 books, and only ended up with one of those, but made up for the loss of the other one by purchasing 8 more books. Plus side? 9 books for $48. That's pretty fantastic.

After the book spree, I headed home, spent some time making nerdy spreadsheets and lists, and before I knew it - it was 5:45pm and I was headed to meet a very old girlfriend for drinks at my neighborhood bar. She and I worked together at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage way back in the day when I didn't realize how much I hated corporate america (as evidenced by my excellent consumerism at the bookstore). We hadn't seen each other in nearly 7 years and she recently divorced from her husband, so it was a timely chat for me. We basically picked up right where we left off, she helped me work through some confusing feelings and all and all I left that conversation feeling extremely validated.

You see, I'm dealing with this journey into splitsville very well because for me, this happened months ago. Maybe even years. I've already broken down over a long period of time, slowly giving it up day after day that nothing changed when it was promised that it would. I had already given up. Talking with Holly, who was in a similar but also complete opposite position really helped me to feel that it's ok to feel this way; That just because we're broken up doesn't mean I should feel like I *have* to break down. We all deal in our own ways.

I ended up being out a lot later than I meant to. I never ate a thing after that gigantic brunch, but knowing I should, I had a salad for dinner and fell asleep reading my breakup guide, the dog snuggled up into my back.

Funny story. At Kozy's, at brunch, at the waffle station, there were little bowls of deliciousness. Strawberries, syrup, raspberry sauce, chocolate sauce and GIGANTIC serving bowls of fresh whipped cream.

Man, did I ever pile on the whipped cream. I LOVE real whipped cream and it was something I was willing to go overboard on.

When I got back to the table and started cutting up the waffle, I took my first bite and...


That was SO not whipped cream. It was a giant pile of butter. In all of my excitement to eat the biggest mouthful of fresh whipped cream, I now had to either spit out what very well might be 1/2 a cup of butter, or swallow it whole. [I spit it out]


Have you every accidentally eaten something terrible? I'm calling Kozy's to tell them labels would have been very helpful in this situation and that they owe me $5 million dollars to pay for the heart attack that will inevitably cause [later in life].

In WAY cooler news...

Rachel at Body by Pizza has hit the 100 lbs mark! Go congratulate her on this AMAZINGNESS!

Jack Sh*t has literally gotten fit. He's in onederland and [re]wrote a song about it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Starting Over.

Well my friends, I have a unique opportunity.

I'm starting over.

Not with this journey, not with a new job, not with a new haircut, nadda.

I am literally reinventing my life, or so it feels.

For the first time in 10 years, I'm a single girl. Before you get all girlfriendly "oh I'm so sorry" etc etc, please know that this is a very good thing. And as you've seen the loving pictures of me and my partner on this here blog you'll know that no matter what, that won't be broken - even if it is separated into two households. While it's always nice to say "I hope we'll be friends," It's a lot easier to say "I know we'll be friends." and mean it.

It would be really easy for me to feel like my life was crumbling around me, but I won't allow myself to sink that low. Life is now full of possibilities in places where they weren't, and I have the amazing opportunity to live alone. This is also something I have never done. Just me, the dog, and our apartment - which I'm still hunting for.

This also means good things for my physical fitness as I attempt to keep my mindset positive, I've been staying very busy with activity. Yesterday, I attended Aerial Class again and swung on the trapeze and later went to Bikram Yoga class with a girlfriend who had never tried it before.

In all honesty, the Bikram class was like a bad trip. As I allowed myself to relax, my mind wandered - attempting to find a place of silence and relaxation. Of course, it couldn't, because right now I'm in no way relaxed. The great part about breaking down in tears in the middle of a Bikram Yoga class is that no one notices. There are beads of sweat pouring from everyone and who can tell the difference?

It's a loss, no less, and I will grieve and mourn and cry and do all the things girls do when they end a relationship, but for the most part I am feeling strong and empowered, excited for what is on the horizon and where the life I've been creating for the last 2 years will take me.

It was great time to run in to this post through DumbLittleMan. Because I will be having this "fresh start," what do I want to do with it?

I wish I had the list all made out to share with you, but I think it's going to take some time to be thoughtful about it. Intentional. I have never really focused on what I want to do, just me, and only me. It's always been what I'd like to do, but with consideration for what you might want to do too. Or there have always been factors, like making sure it doesn't cut into time with my partner, and all of those other rules we live by in life.

Do you have any suggestions for my list? Maybe there is something I've never even THOUGHT of that I might like to do. I bet you guys have the answers.

I also came across a type of yoga I had never heard of through Nicci at Nicci's Nifty Eats. I did a little research (google) and found a place nearby that teaches Anusara Yoga, which is as much about alignment as it is about attitude - both things I need work on. Any of my Minneapolis readers want to try a class with me?

What would you do if you were starting all over? You can change anything. Any detail. Reinvent your story.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny....

Remember that yogurt commercial? The one with the girl and her bikini, hanging every so obviously in her house. She walks by it every day, eating her yogurt, dreaming of wearing it.

Her motivation.

I wanted that.

When I was 200lbs, it was easy to be motivated on a superficial level. I wanted to shop in "regular" stores. I wanted to wear clothes made out of natural fabrics (WHY is all plus size clothing polyester? Seriously.). I wanted to just be smaller.

Now that I've lost 50lbs, it's a littler more difficult to find that vain motivation. I've got muscles, a waist and I can shop wherever I want. So I rummaged my closet, a virtual clown-car of clothing. There had to be something in there that was still too small or that I never felt totally comfortable wearing. My bikini is out. I will most likely NEVER be totally comfortable in that, and really... I live in Minnesota. I can only wear it for like 3 days a year.

But.. I found this:

It's an H&M stretch jersey/wool blend dress. It's nothing special. I got it used and it's been washed a few too many times, but I love it. I love love love it. I love everything about it.

..except the way it looks on me.

my holiday pudge

my child-bearing hips

'da booty! no complaints there.. actually.

First off, I'd like to echo Roni and state that this is MY journey. Please do not compare me to you or you to me. I've worked hard, I've struggled. I continue to work hard and struggle. What's a comfortable weight or body view for me is MY decision, and I appreciate your respect in that matter.

Second, this dress might as well be re-named as "the second skin." It is tight, it has shape and it leaves very little to the imagination. It is the PERFECT motivation and measurement for my goal!

At this point, I could probably successfully wear this dress out with the right die-hard shape wear and perhaps if I held my breath and didn't eat or drink a drop... but where's the fun in that?

I hung the dress up in my closet 2 days ago, and each morning when I go in there to pull out my clothes for the day, I stop for a minute and imagine "goal-me" in that dress. Hits of a 6 pack popping out from behind the tight fabric and "all the curves a man likes." Goal-me is a BAD MAMAJAMA!

Do you have a vision of yourself when you've reached your goal? Maybe yours is more constructive - arms up, crossing the finish line at a 5k (or maybe a marathon!). Maybe you're healthfully conceiving a child. Maybe you're shopping a sample sale?

Whatever it is, don't lose sight.


I hesitated last night to post an update in the evening. In the past, when I've had highly successful days and post about how angelic and perfect I was, I get a whiff of Entitlement City and start eating.

Well, today I can tell you that yesterday was spot on. 100% on plan, even on a dinner date with a girlfriend. I ate according to my adorable meal plan, stayed the course at the restaurant even though there was plenty of temptation, and found myself with 2 points left at the end of the night before bed (forgot to eat my applesauce snack and miscalculated another item).

I debated with myself about whether or not I really needed to have anything. I made myself a cup of tea while I caught up on all of your blogs and looked over my tracker for the day.

Ultimately, I decided to have the most dangerous dessert of all.


I have a huge problem with cookies. I can count the number of times I've been able to stop at a single serving on one hand. I just can't do it, or so I thought.

Last night, I had one cookie. Just one. It was adorable. I ate it slowly at the dining room table as I'm also on a ban from eating in the bedroom (the typical catalyst of my binges). I tracked it right away and headed off to read in bed. The reading in bed part may have been what saved it. On weeknights I typically watch the news at bedtime and drift in and out of sleep, running back and forth to the kitchen to get more sweets. Last night, I changed my behavior in 2 ways, probably more likely for it to stick.

I'm proud of myself. I know it's just one day, but that's all we can control. So now, I'm on to today, and so far so good.

Yesterday was also my Weight Watcher's meeting, but I'm still not weighing in so I don't have that info for you. I do have a GIGANTIC NSV [non scale victory] for you though. Because I was going to dinner with a friend directly from the meeting, I wore my "going out(fit)" versus the usual black sweatpants. This week's "going out(fit)" included SIZE 6 jeans.

Size 6.

I'm not saying they weren't snug, because they were. I'm also not saying they aren't really more equivalent to an 8, because they are. I also don't actually care that much what number they were, but they looked pretty fantastic, I felt pretty fantastic, and I'm slipping out of size 10 pants that were too tight last week IN to jeans that have been too tight forever. So, cut yourself some slack. Sometimes we really are just bloated and not just making excuses.

I'm having a GREAT time using my clothes as measurements of my success while I take a break from the scale.

How else do you measure your successes?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Some 'splaining To Do.

Seems I left a whole lot of people out of my plan to take a nice long break from the scale.

The addition of the "40 day break from the scale" to my miniature weight tracker in the sidebar happened yesterday because I didn't want anyone who stumbles on to my blog to think I'm just lazy and don't update my weigh ins. Not so.

When I left for AZ, I knew I'd be missing a meeting (and therefore not weighing in). It was there, in the mountains, I realized I needed a big damn break.

You see, new readers, I've been at this game for 2 years. I've effectively lost more than 40 pounds. Notice how I said "effectively." I've really lost more than 50 pounds, but in the the past month I had gained some of that back due to the brilliant idea to quit smoking during the Holiday season.

I let the scale tell me what to do. It has a certain power. If I'm diligently tracking, working hard, and generally staying the course and it shows me a number lower than my last visit, I go ahead and *reward* myself by eating 5 days worth of calories in one sitting. The next day, when I get back on that scale and it shows me a gain... I binge out of an urgent need to relax.

It doesn't make sense, I know. But for some of you, it will make perfect sense. The anatomy of a binger is difficult to pin down. We eat and eat and eat and never feel full, but the second we stop - we're full of something else.


I wanted to stop that cycle, and since my clothes barely fit around Christmas time, I'm using those as my indicator until my scale fast is up - which will be on the 3rd of February. I will share though, that the last time I stepped on the scale for a brief check in after some majorly damaging eating - I was back up to 155. A 12 pound gain from my lowest weight.

You'll have NO idea whether I'm losing or how much I'm losing for the whole month of January... and neither will I. Instead, we'll chat daily about the different measures I'm taking to stay on track, what's happening in my fitness world, and maybe - if you're lucky - I'll get bored and post some of my super ultra delicious recipes.

I'm up for the challenge, in fact the anticipation is making the whole thing that much sweeter.

Poof! Puff! Pass!

Major props to Weight Watchers for acknowledging other New Year's Resolutions when your whole business is a primary one.

Some self-explanitory stuff, but reading things over and over (and over) again is extremely helpful to me.


“No man ever reached to excellence in any one art or profession without having passed through the slow and painful process of study and preparation”

Last night I was up until an ungodly hour (for me) taking an inventory of all the possible meals I could create this week without heading to the grocery store. I should mention I did make a quick stop at the grocery store before starting this project... but I used coupons. That's right, in the New Year, I'm a coupon lady.

So, on post-its (my favorite earth-ruining tool), I came up with all possible breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack combos and then I planned everything out on my favorite new tool.

Want one? Get it from Token Fat Girl.

I'm feeling very prepared in this new year, and although it's already had some many slip ups, I'm taking time to reflect on them each night in my new Planner/Journal tool.

To add some accountability, I'm partnering up with my friend Joanna for a game we're calling "TRACK ATTACK."

When you're a Weight Watcher, you're enabled to have e-tools, a super awesome food database and tracking tool.

And because we trust each other, we've exchanged sign in information to our accounts. This way, we can check up on the other's tracking in a stealth ninja-style. This is such a great thing for so many reasons. a) Someone IS watching. b) I'll get some new ideas for good food. c) I get to feel like a haxor. d) Extra accountability.

I'm excited to hear feedback about what I'm eating. I'm sure there are things I'm missing. It's also very new for me. I talk about my binging, but I've never really shared to WHAT EXTENT I am overeating when I overeat. It can be bad. I'm hopeful that with Big Brother TRACK ATTACK, those will stop faster, become fewer and farther between and eventually just be under control. That is a slow and painful process however, but I'm learning from it.

I feel like a little kid with their new backpack, new school shoes and every thing all packed up. Total boy scout preparation.

FitBottomed Girls had another great post about some really awesome tools to help beginners get started, but damn if I wouldn't enjoy some of them to spice up my routines!

What have you done this week to prepare?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

the big picture vs The Big Picture

We always talk about how important it is to both keep sight of The Big Picture when you're working toward a long term goal. Imagine yourself in that wedding dress, that bikini, that racing kit. How do you look, how do you feel? Envision it.

Having a firm grasp of that moment will help drive you toward it.

It's also very important to LOSE site of the big picture. Break it down into small manageable steps. Rather than "Ughhh I have 78 pounds to lose," break it down in chunks. Reward yourself every 10lbs, every 5lbs, hell... every POUND.

Sometimes, like when you're seeking a loss on the scale, it's better to focus on the small things. Others, like when you have an eating mishap, it's better to focus on the big picture.

This week, I'm focusing on the big picture. My eating - other than a one night free for all, has been top notch. I am ending the week with absolutely no wiggle room, in fact I'm in the red for points by 3.5. Back when I was starting this journey, seeing the red, seeing the fact that I have eaten myself into negative numbers would have discouraged me, made me feel like giving up. The big picture me knows that giving up would not help me reach my goals. The big picture me has gained so much confidence, so many skills have been built which is evidenced by the fact that the number screaming at me in red is only 3.5 rather than 305.

I really believe, especially since we have a whole gang of NY Resolutioners joining us in the blogging community, that the first few weeks, months, years of your weight loss journey need to be about forming habits. Your reward, of course, will be smaller numbers on the scale, smaller jeans hanging in your closet, but the brass tacks of the matter is that you can not accomplish this feat long term without forming these habits.

So, reserve your Big Picture thinking for when you need motivation, and think in terms of "Just for Today."

Give yourself credit every day for the things you did right, no matter how small, to keep those habits up. Measure your milk, write down your food, say "No" to something you don't actually want. Those are not things you're supposed to be doing, they are conscious choices you are making and you deserve credit for that, regardless of anything else that went wrong.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Help Me (Help You)

Something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately is YOU. Or, you guys (or gals) rather, and what I can do with this blog that might actually serve a purpose other than a self-indulgent dumping ground.

You see, I've been through it all. I've been the big girl trying to lose 75 pounds. I've been the small girl trying to lose 5 pounds. I've been the slightly chubby girl trying to lose 15 pounds. Every stage of weight loss, I've been there. And "being there" means you know what works, and obviously what doesn't work or you wouldn't have "been there" so many times.

How can I take my experience at the top and the bottom of the weight charts and snowball it into something helpful? From the daunting task of "the big picture" weight loss to the stress and struggle of someone with less to lose?

What are you looking for from me?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Eats and Feats.

Wondering how my aerial class went?

These are the "fabrics." These "fabrics" were not my strong suit as I'm not exactly what one might describe as graceful.

The trapeze, however, required less grace and more strength - absolutely where I fit. I got up there all by myself, much to the surprise of my spotter, who wasn't paying attention when I just went for. Hey, I signed a waiver. I wanted to fully take my life into my own hands.

A little bit of "Look Ma, no hands!"

In the middle of a bend, I eventually learned how to tilt my pelvis and engage my core so I became a straight line balancing the weight of my entire body purely on my core muscles.

The beginning of "The Mermaid."

The ending of "The Mermaid."

Figuring out the best way to dismount.

..and down. And done.

I have to say that was a total blast. There ended up being quite a few people I knew in the workshop because I invited a bunch of people on Facebook. Who doesn't like cool, new and FREE in the New Year? Probably everyone who didn't come.

I am going to keep indulging this. I didn't feel like I had enough time to decide if I truly liked it or not, and I feel I didn't give the fabrics a fair try. I'm going back on a Saturday for a full class with instructions and all.

On to the the EATS! (just to prove how well I'm doing)

morning coffee + morning glass of water

banana mash + 2/3 tbsp Naturally More peanut butter

which was mixed in to my oats and sprinkled with cinnamon

turkey sandwich with mixed greens, tomato, onion and mustard + 1/2 apple + carrot chips with 2 tbsp spicy three pepper hummus

and of course, more water

lunch dessert: juice spritzer

almonds + walnuts pre-workshop snack

super delicious Tomato and Pepper Lasagna

with a side salad

Staying on track today felt effortless, which was really important because it was a "rest" day for me. I knew the aerial workshop would not provide a true workout, so it was more of an active rest day, but a rest day nonetheless. Typically, my rest days are full of the desire to eat. Eat eat eat. It's all I think about all day, no matter how busy I am. I feel like old habits are starting to form again and I'm out of maintenance/gaining mode and full on into loss mode.

So, today I swung from a trapeze. What new adventure are you going to take on this year?

Good Morning, lovelies. It is too, a good one that is. It's the 3rd of the month, the 3rd of the year, the 3rd of the decade an I already feel like I'm putting the whole thing to good use.

I don't know what finally clicked, but I've been treating my points as a guideline again, not just a number. I've been tracking every morsel, and making fantastic choices to stay as close to my daily points target as possible. When I work out hard, I eat an extra snack and keep everything else the same. This regimen is working well for me. It's helping to reverse the entitlement I was allowing myself to feel for the amount of "working out" I put in every week, hell, every day.

Last night, I was lucky enough to go out on a "date" with my family. Everyone got as fancy as we were willing to get when it's -20 degrees out, and headed to our favorite restaurant's new location just MERE BLOCKS away from our house. When I head that Koyi Sushi was opening a Seward location, I just about died. And then I died again when I realized how that could be the very reason I may need to claim bankruptcy in the new year. I avoided it for the first few weeks it was open, but last night, on our family date, we learned that their prices at the new location match the neighborhood, reasonable, versus their first location in Downtown, which is on the more expensive side. I giggled about it to myself, considering I know the menu like the back of my hand, that they offer the exact same things with lower price tags. AMEN!

I kept it simple with sashimi, knowing that if I didn't go for any of the delicious mayo-y, avocado-y rolls that I could "afford" to have a drink. My special treat.

The date was lovely, and was actually a gift from a friend via a gift card I received in return for throwing a splendiforous baby shower in her honor. Free dinner always tastes better.

But as we got home, changed into PJs and put in a movie... we entered the danger zone.


Always the toughest part of my day and my diet. I love sweets. LOVE them. I am still trying to discover how I can eat dessert without going overboard. When I swear off of it, I feel deprived and binge. When I allow myself something decadent, it's not enough. And the struggle goes on.

I've been relying heavily lately on Diet Hot Cocoa from Swiss Miss that is only 25 calories per packet. While the boys ate ice cream, I sipped my cocoa and ultimately fell asleep half way in to the movie, ending the night 100% on target for points.

And in celebration of the New Year, I'm trying something new today. I'm headed to an Aerial Workshop - I will be swinging from ropes, swings, hoops and fabrics. I'll be sure to take pictures, but here's one of me in my leotard to start you off.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cheers to YOUR Beers.

I was right. Most of the members of my gym were absent at 8:15am on New Years Day morning. I got in a killer workout, and when I was leaving around 10:00am, watched a lot of haggard smelly people roll themselves through the door.


I headed to my Mom's house after the gym. I've spoken about it before, briefly, but my Mom and I have a difficult relationship. Out of respect for her, I won't go in to detail, but it's safe to say that most every interaction we have leaves me feeling slighted, "less than," or screaming my head off. I knew this can be the year we can tame those things. I picked us up some Northern Lite Lattes from Caribou and headed over. I generally always try to stop for coffee before setting foot inside my childhood home, no matter what time of day (or night) it is. This is the backdrop where all of my poor eating habits were formed and year by year I'm trying to recast myself as a new player: not the girl who's digging in the cupboards for anything... even saltines... to eat in excess.

We sipped our coffees, laughed at her dog, talked about the days since Christmas and how stressful both of our jobs have been. And then she asked me...

Something I vowed to stop doing because it always ends in tears. Something I vowed to say "no" to no matter what...

My 60 year old mother asked me to show her how to "do something on the computer."

Anything that has to do with computers and my Mom becomes a high-stress situation. I am a patient and kind teacher, but when she starts to get freaked out, I get frustrated and then we both yell. This time around, it was actually fun! When she started to get high-stress about not understanding, I simply explained it another way, or another way, or another until we found a route that made sense to her. She wrote everything down, she did a few trials while I was there, and SUCCESS! She can now create photo albums, upload pictures, tag people, write captions and rearrange them on Facebook. I also taught her how to download pictures by capturing them online and then uploading them to her own Facebook page, should someone put some pictures of her on their blog, etc etc.

She was smiling, clapping, happy. Those things I rarely see in her anymore. It was a truly joyful event in its simplicity and I'm so glad it was the way I started my year. It was also extremely helpful for me, knowing that we're far more alike than I care to admit at times, to know which string of words really brought her out of her high-stress environment.

You see, my friends, the women in my family tend to play the victim. When you are someone who plays the victim, it's VERY hard for you to recognize it. I see myself as more of an annoying martyr type - I go out of my way, all the time, but I'm probably going to remind you of it if you deny me something I ask for. That's manipulative. The W Women are manipulative.

And we're good at it.

And that's why I want to take 2010 and learn to relax, learn to be introspective, learn to listen to what I'm really feeling and not just what my knee-jerk reaction is. 2010 is the year I will think before I act or speak (and if you know me in real life, you know I do NOT do this).

This applies so well to relationships - with loved ones, a partner, your co-workers, your fridge.

If you have difficult relationships in your life, consider this as a year to start addressing them. Do you think it would make your weight loss journey easier to have more champions ON your said or AGAINST you?

Perhaps emotional eating wouldn't haunt us so much if we allowed ourselves to feel our emotions and learn from them rather than swallowing them whole.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, Smaller Rear.

Welcome to 2010.

Happy New Year, folks. I rang it in at 6:00am this morning when I woke up, because I was fast asleep in my bed well before midnight. I'm not big on heavy drinking and screaming at midnight.

I'm already taking strides to complete my resolutions. I didn't reach my goal for the No Mo' Potato Challenge, but that's ok. I have accepted the fact that I put way too much on my plate (literally and figuratively) for the month of December what with quitting smoking in November and the holidays [and cookies] to follow.

You might notice on my sidebar to the right that the Monthly Fitness Goals link has changed to my year in goals: 2011 Countdown. All of my New Year's resolutions are there, ready to be tracked, and some already have. I fully intend to add to this list as my interests and goals grow, but I think it's a great starting point.

I've already accepted the fact that I'm ringing in the new year heavier than I was at last year's welcoming ceremony. Though I haven't "officially" weighed in at a heavier weight, I have been stepping on the scale every few days so I'm aware of where I am. Accepting of where I am now. That's just from the scale's perception. I achieved a lot of great feats in the fitness realm, and I'm incredibly proud of where 2009 took me. I pushed myself and I've grown immensely for it. But... I've already sworn in blood that 2010 will see me making my ultimate weight goal of 138 pounds and every (other) resolution I've made is a step toward that, whether it's weight loss related or not. 2010 will allow me to re-prioritize. Get back to putting myself first, remembering how great that feels, and how much I can accomplish when I feel whole.

I'm headed in to the gym. The Firm is only open from 8:00am to 1:00pm today, which I suppose I should be thankful for. What I lost in features at the Y (pool, indoor track) I gained in open hours on Holidays. Luckily too, most people at the Firm look like they'd be in to NYE partying, and I highly doubt it will be too busy. *fingers crossed*

How do you plan to follow through on your resolutions? Are you a tracker? Will you do a monthly review? How can we also resolve to stay on top of these resolutions?