Jan 27, 2011

...Not as good

As you all probably know, it's harder to check in on a not so good week. And you also know that we need this accountability to get back on track, so here I am. It makes me feel like the last two weeks of doing well were really just a fluke, and now I'm back to my "old ways" of half-hearted trying. :( Oh well. 

We went out of town this past weekend on what was admittedly pre-billed as a "weekend of eating." I know, somehow I failed to mention this on my blog--funny how that happens. We went to Cleveland sans kids with Jamie and David (sister-in-law and significant other), and had a great time. I wouldn't say that I totally screwed up for the whole weekend, but after all, it was a "weekend of eating." We went lots of places, and to the chocolate shop twice. 

Anyway, got back home Monday night. Logged calories again on Tuesday, and did pretty well. 1651 for the day, including dinner at Chick Fil A. It was a very hard day because I was stressed about work/school, and I very badly wanted to go to the Chinese buffet for lunch. Thankfully that plan was nixed, and it ended up being a pretty good day.

Wednesday (yesterday) was a snow storm, and I found myself home alone at noon and wanting lunch. It's a strange feeling when you're the mother of 2 <6 year olds and you find yourself at home by yourself, not knowing if you should do laundry, dishes, or just veg on the couch. I decided on a Lean Cuisine and Fiberful bar from Trader Joe's. And a beer, to "celebrate" the free afternoon off. Bryan came home soon after, and we went to a movie, and I ate half of a large popcorn (and water). Came home, continued "celebrating" with a few more beers, and had pirogies and brussels sprouts for dinner. Good stuff. Then--at my request--Bryan made chocolate chip cookies from scratch while I lazed about and watched the basketball game, and I ate 4 of them. 

If it hadn't been for beer and cookies yesterday, I would've had 1422 calories for the day. As it was, I had over 2200. Doh! 

Today started well--oatmeal and an orange. And then at lunch I caved and finally did the Chinese buffet. One of the worst things about doing that is it's nearly impossible to count the calories for it. I decided today though that I would do my best to do so, so I could at least see the estimated damage. As it is, I am seriously thinking about skipping dinner tonight, and just having some steamed broccoli when I finally get hungry. Estimated 1364 calories for the day already. (by the way, I use caloriecount.about.com, which certainly has its flaws, but it's a pretty good calorie-counting system). 

Good news is, in the midst of this I did manage to do 50 crunches the other night, and my first attempts at "real" push-ups (not "girl" ones). I also did some plank positions last night, to help prepare myself for more real push-ups, because I was really not even able to do one when I tried it. 

Also, I have re-evaluated my running plan for running a half marathon in early June. I'm doing the Jeff Galloway Half Marathon to Finish plan, which is conveniently 19 weeks (exactly the amount of time I have). I'm starting by first doing a few runs to determine my Magic Mile, as Mr. Galloway puts it, from which I can determine my best half marathon pace, which will be approximately 14-minute miles. 

So, there's where I am. I hope you all had a great weekend and beginning of this week, and that writing this all out will help me to do better in the meals and days to come. Thanks for being here! 

Jan 20, 2011

S'been a good week

I've been doing well this week. And, it looks like I'm finally in the 180's for good. 189 has read consistently on the scale. Sweet!

Here's what I've been eating: 

Ate really well, then ate too much granola for afternoon snack, made my belly feel bloated and nasty. Went to KFC before a meeting at church, and only had 1/2 of a grilled boneless breast and a mac n cheese. Then late that night (after 10pm) finally was home, showered, and SO hungry. Decided "what the Hell" and had a full bowl of honey nut Cheerios, milk, and strawberries. Was just what I needed, and I don't even care that I ate that late. Had 1430 calories for the whole day. 

hard boiled egg, and half of a Clif Chocolate Chip bar
Healthy Choice meal Lemon Herb Chicken (210 calories)
Whole Wheat sandwich thin toasted in toaster oven with olive oil, salt, and oregano
Whole cucumber (very filling, I ate half at lunch, half a few hours later)
and for a snack before going home, a Kashi TLC Chocolate Chip cookie, heated in microwave (mmm!)
1 Yuengling (128 calories)
a reduced fat Hebrew Nat'l hotdog
whole wheat bun grilled with butter (about a teaspoon)
potato fries roasted in the oven with olive oil
Calories for the day: 1405! 
I really thought about having a Skinny Cow ice cream last night, because I knew I could afford the calories, but I just didn't want it that bad. :) 

Also, I ran yesterday (on the treadmill) for 25 minutes straight, and walked for 13 minutes. Burned over 350 calories there. 

Greek yogurt (5oz), 1oz homemade granola, and about 2/3 cup strawberries sliced on top. So beautiful and delicious.

Jan 18, 2011

A good weekend, aided by a stomach virus

Hey, at least there's a positive aspect to having a stomach bug, right? In fact, the very first time I lost weight, which at the time was totally not on purpose, was spurred on by a stomach bug. On Friday, I ate a total of: a handful of grapes, and a small bowl of noodles. Maybe 250 calories for the day. And on Saturday I felt better, but my stomach still didn't want a lot of food in it. I've found that you can hold onto that feeling if you really try, and remind yourself that small meals are totally sufficient. As long as you don't go and cram an entire pizza in there one day, your stomach will stay pretty happy with the smaller stuff. 

Anyway, it was a good weekend of eating. In comparison to last weekend's alcohol debacle, I had a total of one glass of wine last night, and 2 beers watching tv on Sunday. Pretty good. We ordered pizza twice, and both times I only had one slice. I kept my snacks on hand wherever I went, and had things like Stretch Island Fruit, Kashi cereal bars, oranges, and boiled eggs while working on home improvements at my sister and brother-in-law's new house. 

Due to being sick on Friday, I weighed in on Saturday one pound down. I don't really count that, but I also know that it won't be long 'till that pound really is off for good, and I'll be into the 180's again. 

Food sofar today:
1.25 oranges (between breakfast and lunch)
couple handfuls of homemade granola (not low sugar, but my husband made it, and it's soooo good)
roasted butternut squash in the toaster oven (see my pic on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/LauraWV)
and a Lean Cuisine Chicken and Vegetables
I'm at 679 calories for the day sofar. 

Jan 13, 2011

I don't feel any different

I just went to lunch with a friend. I am neither surprised nor proud of what I ordered from the menu; it was just intuitive... I can't eat a pizza for lunch, and I shouldn't get a steak hoagie. The pizza at this place is amazing, and the hoagies are just so-so, so either way, there's no way I would've got the hoagie. I actively decided not to get the pizza.

I ordered the chef salad, minus the pepperoni. The salad has not that much meat, two boiled eggs, and probably 2oz of mozz cheese. Ordered it with full-fat ranch dressing. Fat free ranch dressing is horrible, in my opinion. I also ordered a side of their garlic bread, which is excellent. I ate everything I ordered (except I didn't finish the ranch). I am already over 1100 calories for the day, when usually at this time I'm less than 700. I don't mind, because I just won't snack this afternoon, and whatever dinner is, I'll take it easy.

I intuitively ate, and it is just fine. Sure, I ate a lot of fat (garlic butter, ranch, cheese), but I don't feel any different. The only thing I feel is full. My mind isn't mixing in there, telling me "you already screwed up the day," or anything like that. It's just food. I ate what I wanted, and decided not to eat pizza--which would have been delicious, but so was my meal.

Oh, and guess what else? I'm back down to 190 today, my pre-Christmas pre-vacation weight. It's been a long time that I've been struggling up and down from 190 to 195, and I'm finally on the low side of it again. I'm not going to let it slip away this time. 180's here I come!

Jan 12, 2011

"I don't get stressed."

Stress. Stress is usually something that I feel like I pretty much never have. I have an easy life. Like most middle class Americans, I generally know that my next meal will be there, my house will be warm, and that my family will be supportive. Like most Christians, I remember that God is always there to take whatever burdens that I think I have. And like most federal employees, I know that my job is pretty much always going to be there, and that nothing about it is really going to stress me out. 

I even seem to see stress as a weakness to overcome. My husband gets stressed about his job, and even though he has great reason to be, and they call/text/email him at home on weekends and evenings, I still  tend to get aggravated when he just can't let it go. I know I should be supportive (after all, I'm his family), but I tend to lean a little heavily towards "If you don't like it, change it; if you can't change it, let it go." 

But lately I've actually been stressed. For awhile I was stressed about money, and now finally I have a plan, and everything is back to normal. In addition to that, I've been stressed about my experimental project that will cap off my Masters of Public Health degree. I am so looking forward to that, nearly all I can think about is the graduation. Who will come, what will we eat, where will we eat it...? But there's this huge thorn in between me and that glory: the project! 

I had to create a plan last semester, complete with dates when each part of the project will be done. Needless to say, I haven't stuck to that plan in the last few weeks. I'm behind, and only this week have I really started to catch up. I've spent 3 straight days in the lab: preparing for the experiment, running it, washing up, running some more... and now I've got to wash everything up and prepare to do it all again next week. I can't express how great a relief it is just to be doing it. 

It's like running. You get all worked up with "I'm not exercising like I'm supposed to. The big race is coming up. They're all going to think 'who does she think she is? a runner?!'." I'm realizing now that it's like that with this, too: "You're behind, there's no way you'll get it done, you don't even know how you're going to do that one part. They're all going to think 'who does she think she is? a scientist?!'" Well, I'm not a scientist, but I'm closer to being one today that I ever have been--just like I felt on that day of my first race. 

So I'm trying to remind myself that stress has taken its toll on me lately. I've made some poor eating/drinking choices. I've slacked off on running (this week). But we can only do what we can do, and this week is all about this project. It is getting done. It is going to be good. God knows the results are going to be a trip to write about come writing time, but they're at least coming out. 

And stress is leaving my body. I need to remember this feeling. It feels good


Here's what I've eaten today: 

Breakfast: 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, made with water and 1/4cup 2% milk
Lunch: a carrot, 1T ranch dressing, and Healthy Choice Balsamic Chicken
Afternoon snack: a pear, and a Kashi cookie
Dinner will be (unless the snow derails our plan): 2 chicken/shallot/lettuce/mayo wraps, and roasted butternut squash

And yesterday when I thought I did so poorly? (reference 4 slices Domino's pizza + 2 beers, then Hershey's kisses), I still came out at 1860 for the day. Not too shabby. 

Jan 11, 2011

My food today speaks for itself

Here's what I ate today: 

Kashi Golean Honey Almond Flax cereal (0.75cup)
Light Chocolate Soy Silk (0.6cup)

Midmorning snack
a large clementine (or small orange, whichever you prefer)

Healthy Choice Pumpkin Ravioli (300cals)

Afternoon snack
Dannon Light n Fit Peach 4oz cup
Kashi Oatmeal Dark Chocolate cookie

4 (yes 4) medium slices of Domino's pizza
2 beers

Immediate after-dinner "snack"
6 Hershey Kisses and one mini Reese's cup

Oh well... mistakes were made, and it wasn't because I was out of healthy food in the house. I went to the grocery store twice today, and bought great healthy food both times. 

Jan 10, 2011

Feeling crappy but did something great

Today I woke up with a headache, which put me in a sour mood. Since losing 60 pounds, these days are very few and far between. As the day has progressed, and Dayquil capsules have come and gone through my system, and I am again experiencing this headache, I have become pissed at myself for letting me get this way. I know why it happened. Here are the events that most likely led to my headache today:

1. had remainder of a cold last week, though vehemently denied it
then the weekend came, and
2. I worked physically hard at helping my sister get her new house in shape (do not regret this at all), but
3. didn't take a nap Saturday
4. instead, had 4 beers and later 2 glasses of champagne
5. worked hard at Sara's house again (again, do not regret one bit)
6. didn't take a nap
7. proceeded to stay up too late playing Fallout

News flash: if I let my body get too tired and do not treat it well, a lingering infection will most likely pop back up, often in my sinuses, and cause a headache and general feeling of malaise.

The good news?

Good news is, I persevered at work today and finished the section of experiment that I should've finished 2 weeks ago. Even though I have already said this somewhat sarcastically, I will not belittle this accomplishment with further sarcasm. No matter the deadline, this is a big thing for me to have done today. I had help, and it was much needed. My co-worker, Derek, was gracious enough to run most of the samples while I did the experiment, and it was much-needed. There ya go. Big accomplishment today. I did it. One step closer to being a Master of Public Health (in May 2011, can't wait!).

And for anyone who's interested, here's what I have eaten sofar today:
Kashi GoLean Crunch Honey Almond Flax (0.8 cup), Light Chocolate Soy Silk (0.6cup), a Stretch Island Fruit Co mango leather strip, Healthy Choice Chicken Verde, and a whole wheat sandwich thin toasted in toaster oven with olive oil, salt, and oregano sprinkled on it. Oh, and just now a Kashi blackberry cereal bar. Not sure what dinner will hold, but I whole-heartedly intend to sleep through it.

Jan 7, 2011

How Roni Changed My Life

On August 27th, 2009 I fired up iTunes and searched for a podcast on weight loss. I wanted something small, with little production, and no loud-mouthed fitness coach yelling at me. I wanted a personal story of someone who had been there, changed their life, and had reached out to tell the tale.

I found Roni (pronounced like "Ronnie"). After downloading an episode, popping in my ear buds, and setting about doing dishes at work, the first thing I heard was a relatively low-quality mic in an empty-sounding room, and a very friendly voice: “Hi guys! It’s me, Roni.” She answered a few listener questions that were fairly straight-forward, and then got down and dirty with a question about how to “love yourself.” I thought, “This is it. This is for me.”

I soon learned the basic story of Roni: after having a baby she lost 70 pounds on Weigh Watchers. As I listened and re-listened to episodes, I also learned the heart of the story: upon becoming a mother and realizing that her life was so much bigger than a number on a scale, she learned that she had the ability to make her life into whatever she wanted it to be.

Roni has transformed her body and mind, blogged, podcasted, run, tweeted, shared her own recipes, and used her genuine enthusiasm to inspire thousands of readers, watchers, and listeners. She now works full time from home doing all of these things, planning her annual FitBloggin conference, and taking advantage of amazing opportunities like being a spokesperson for Weight Watchers Ice Cream. With all this going on, I am amazed when I email her a recipe suggestion, and she responds within a few hours.

In addition to her many jobs, Roni is an awesome mother. She has an amazing relationship with her 5 year old son, and they cook together regularly. He eats an amazing assortment of food for his age, and can probably identify more vegetables than the average 30 year old American.

I have waited a long time to write a blog post about Roni, and I think I know why. She is such a huge part of what I have done for myself, of how I think about food and guilt and life, that to tell anyone about her is almost like admitting I’ve been cheating. I didn’t come up with this all by myself. These concepts that I have of my “diet” being defined as the food that fuels my body… that there is no “on plan or off plan”… and that some days I’m just going to want pizza, beer, and cookies… these concepts are all Roni’s.

While Roni discourages her readers from saying that they want to be like her, I can truly say that when I began this journey, if I hadn’t had someone like her to look towards town the long, long tunnel that I felt was before me, I don’t know that I could’ve walked through it. I knew that she—or more accurately, a version of me that was a little more like her—was on the other side, waiting for me. What I didn’t realize at the beginning though was that that tunnel wasn’t a journey of weight loss, because I came out the other side of it about 30 pounds ago, and I still have pounds that I will lose. That tunnel was the journey that my mind had to go through, and these days the old me and new me walk as one, continuing to love and be inspired by Roni. 

Jan 6, 2011

2 More Days of Good

The following are yesterday's and today's posts from my page on Blogtolose.com. I intend to always re-post those here, even though they are mostly just daily updates of what I'm eating.

January 5th, 2011 - Another <1600 calorie day!

Yesterday was great! I really really didn't want to go running, but I did. Then I went to the farm and hiked around for about a half an hour, doing work. I felt physically tired at the end of the day, which always makes me happy. I had a great evening with the family, after talking to one of my sisters and my mom while driving home... I was a little concerned about the dinner my husband decided to make (breakfast for dinner: homemade biscuits, eggs, bacon). But, I omitted the bacon from my plate, added an orange and some jelly, and I ended up just over 1500 calories for the day--again!! So awesome.

Today I'll be doing some hiking for work at another farm, and I'll try to maximize the walking that I'll actually do. Looking forward to the ~2 hr drive there, and then back. It will be a nice, relaxing day. Tonight's dinner is already planned, and I will have it all entered in before I leave work today.

and today, January 6th, 2011 - A 1/3 meat/carb, 2/3 veggie kinda dinner

Did great yesterday... by lunchtime I was very hungry, and had done some work out in the field. At first I suggested to my co-worker that we go to Arby's, and he was like "You don't usually suggest that. Have you figured out something healthy there you want to eat?" and I hadn't, so I was like "How about Subway?" And really Subway was the healthiest thing I could've picked yesterday given our options, so thank God I picked it.

Because I was HUNGRY! I ended up getting a 12" honey oat sub with turkey and no cheese. Added tons of veggies and honey mustard. Twelve inches is a lot of sub, granted, but it was a lot of pretty healthy sub (mostly all that bread was the worst part, but man it was good!). I didn't even get a diet soda, I just drank my water.

Dinner was planned: cooked kale and hamburgers. The husband and kids were having potatoes too, but I opted out. I had one 3oz burger with a very hearty bun, and a big bowl of kale. It was a good "1/3 meat/carb, 2/3 vegetable" dinner, which I hardly ever have. Usually it's 1/3 meat, 1/3 carb, 1/3 vegetable--on a good day. :)

I did have a strong craving for chocolate last night though. I had 3 Hershey kisses and 2 mini Reese's cups. That put me over 1600 calories for the day. I'll take it!

Jan 4, 2011

Finally a day I can be proud of!

Yesterday was really good. I posted here in the morning to say what I would eat for the entire day, and I stuck to that plan entirely. Dinner was only one Heb Nat'l low fat hot dog, one large baked potato with reduced fat sour cream, and at least a cup of broccoli. I seriously wanted a snack last night, pretty much from the minute I finished dinner until I went to bed. I stuck it out though, mostly because I already had all my food logged, I knew it was just over 1500 calories for the day, and I didn't want to screw it up.

It's amazing to me how long it must have been since I've actually stuck to my plan for a whole day. I know it's been too long since I've actually logged in everything that I've eaten for the day. Usually I taper off somewhere after lunch, because I eat something that's too hard to calculate (usually because it's something I shouldn't be eating).

But yesterday, I did it!

And today, I ate breakfast when I got to work. It was an orange and a slice of Banana Bread a la Roni. 210 calories sofar for the day. I'll have a snack before lunchtime, and before I eat lunch I'm going running outside with my friend. I'm really nervous about it, because we haven't run together in at least a month, and I've been running on a treadmill since then. For some reason, going "back outside" always makes me really nervous. Especially with her, because I'm sure she'll be in better shape than I am. It doesn't matter though, right? It's not a competition with her, just going out there for myself, and keeping each other accountable.

Lunch will be about the same as yesterday, and I'm not sure what dinner will be. We don't have anything at home to cook... so, we'll see. But I do promise this: whatever it is, I will post it here, AND I will enter it into my log at Caloriecount.

Jan 3, 2011

Ready to Rock it Out

Eating this weekend wasn't the best. Firstly, New Years Eve was a jumble of drinks, snacks, drinks, and then a slight hangover. Saturday was spent pretty much eating whatever I wanted, and began with a huge and fatty breakfast. But, I relished a day to just rest and veg. It was kinda nice being slightly hungover. It was like "whatever" all day. I knew this day wouldn't affect future days, and that is always a relief. 

Yesterday was weird, eating-wise. I started with a slice of banana bread a la Roni, then I had about 2/3 of a scrambled egg leftover from the kids. Went to church, helped undecorate, and partook in the unhealthy lunch provided to us: Little Caesar's pizza (I had 2 slices), full-fat banana bread (one slice), and they had chips and dip and brownies, but I didn't partake in those. Next we went home, chilled, and eventually got hungry again. At around 3pm, we had a meal somewhere between lunch and dinner: leftover open-faced steak quesadillas on pita, and a few roasted potato fries. At around 6:30, got hungry again and thawed some homemade pumpkin soup of the husband's awesome recipe (very low fat), and then a small Caesar salad. I also had about 1.5 ounces of chocolate. I'm not sure how I did for the day, but I know it could've been worse.

I spent the evening reading the first 6 chapters of Kara Richardson Whitley's Fat Woman on the Mountain, a book suggested by Roni that I received as a Christmas present. It was delightful to have something to read, and to hear someone writing about many of the same thoughts I've had throughout my life. One of the things that really has hit me is the comments you get on being thinner. I'll save that for another blog post, but it was just so good to read it coming from Kara. 

After reading and laying on the couch for like 2 hours, I got up and did some exercises before going to bed: push-ups, crunches (with leg lifts!), stretches, and some lunges. I didn't even count any of them, I was just busy talking to Bryan about the book.

This morning I stopped at the grocery store to stock up for work for the week. I bought a bunch of stuff: squash and zucchini, kiwi, banana, yogurt, blueberries, Silk, Clif and Luna bars, and Kashi stuff is on sale at Kroger so I bought 2 boxes of cereal, and for the first time am trying their box of chocolate oatmeal cookies and blackberry soft-baked cereal bars. I also got broccoli, whole wheat hot dog buns, and lower fat Hebrew Nat'ls for dinner with the family tonight. 

For breakfast I had:
  • Kashi Go Lean Crunch Honey Almond Flax (2/3 cup)
  • 20 blueberries
  • 1/2 of a banana (will eat the other half later, but already logged the whole thing)
  • Silk Light Chocolate Soy Milk (they were out of light vanilla, and this was actually the lowest calorie of all soy and almond milks available)
Lunch will be: 
  • Lean Cuisine Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken
  • roasted squash and zucchini in my toaster oven, with olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper
  • then snacks this afternoon, maybe a kiwi and later a chocolate chip cookie
Dinner tonight:
  • a Hebrew Nat'l light beef hot dog
  • whole wheat hot dog bun 
  • ketchup
  • roasted broccoli with chili powder and olive oil
  • potato in some form, maybe baked