First Weigh-In of 2013!

9 Jan

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(found on pinterest under my motivation board)

My husband likes to say this a lot… he is one of my biggest inspirations. He works out a lot, sets fitness-related goals for himself, doesn’t let injuries set him back, eats fairly well (to be fair, it’s probably because I feed him healthy things!), is a great father and follows his dreams. Whenever people ask him why he is going to college for the first time in his 30s, he always says that he is going to be 40 anyway, and he might as well be 40 with a degree. I love that sentiment, and I think it’s so true. It would be so easy to be self-defeating. Either way, I’m going to be 25 this year. Either way, I am going to have to experience the summer weather. Either way, it will be time to go to the beach. I might as well make the most of the time I have and treat my body right.

Speaking of my husband, I think it is so important to have a support network. He is my number one fan, but I also have a loving family who want only the best for me, even if they express it in ways that I might not always want to hear. It comes from a place of love and concern, and I know I can always count on my parents to keep it real and tell me when they think I’ve gained a bunch of weight.

My husband turns 34 today! Happy birthday to the original reader and continuous supporter of this little corner of the blogosphere 🙂

Today is my first weigh-in since starting My Fitness Pal. Full disclosure: I am trying to eat 1200 calories a day and work out 3x a week, but I have been slacking on the working out (aka not working out at all). I have been cooking more this week, which is nice! My husband noticed the change in my cooking habits and is liking the fresh meals too!

I am down 2.1 lbs this week! Yay! I’m excited! I will be super happy to get out of the 160s (AGAIN). My goal for next week is to get close to 160, if not out of 160s entirely.

So far, so good 🙂 I’m loving this new motivation. I keep telling myself, it’s not how often I fall, it is how often I get right back up and do the damn thing!

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First Week and Lots of Meal Planning

8 Jan

As I said last post, I want to find new ingredients to cook with — trying to keep things healthy and fresh!

Through all of my dieting and all of my ups and downs in weight loss, I’ve learned one thing pretty well about myself. If my tastebuds are bored, I’m just not going to stick with it. Indian food or Mexican food or just my grandma’s pasta will tempt me with its deliciousness. I used to wish I could be one of those people who just shovels down food, knowing that it is merely fuel for the body. I’m not one of those people (which is fine! Everyone is different) — I adore good food, I love to cook it, eat it, and I’m pretty sure it’s my love language. If you are someone I love, chances are I’ve cooked for you at least once.

So, in some ways it’s been somewhat liberating to just flip through old Cooking Light magazines or food I’ve pinned and instead of thinking “oh, that has flour so I cannot eat that” or “ughhh, how many Weight Watchers points is that?,” I get to just see how many calories it is and decide to make it. So simple!

One new ingredient I cooked with tonight is wonton wrappers, as part of a deconstructed wonton soup recipe. It was a huge hit, even for a not-super-into-wontons lover like my husband. Recipe is forthcoming, as I have a few more tweaks to make it perfect.

When I’m doing this thing, I know I’m doing a good job because my meal planning is on point and I’m looking forward to cooking some bad ass tasty dishes.

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This is from a few weeks ago, and my grocery store image isn’t great, but I love to really accomplish a great menu for the week (critical since Chris and I tend to eat leftovers for lunch), and I feel less stressed about dinner when I plan ahead.

Plus, the geeky foodie in me loves to spend Saturday night looking up yummy recipes for Sunday’s grocery trip.

My weigh in is on Wednesday, and I’ve done pretty well so far this week with my eating, with the exception of my grandma’s 80th birthday party (it’s progress not perfection), but even there, I didn’t eat til I was stuffed, which is a good thing.

I haven’t been feeling defeated recently, which is awesome. I know I’ve ate healthy, worked out and lost weight before, and I can feel it — I definitely will do it again. I’m planning on enjoying this journey, hopefully with more dinners like tonight’s delicious meal:

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I might pretend I am on The Biggest Loser on Wednesday — intense weigh ins going on this season ohmygoshhh.

Trying Something New

3 Jan

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(from pinterest… how I feel about New Year’s Resolutions right now.)

So, I’ve done something rather radical. I quit.

Yep, I quit Weight Watchers, after being a card-carrying online member since August 2011. I’ve seen great success on Weight Watchers. I’ve also felt unmotivated, uninspired, and just generally, underwhelmed with it recently. And by recently, I suppose I mean since the summer when I started trying different things — no white stuff included. I don’t track as much as I should anymore, and I haven’t been finding their recipes to be that exciting.

I really loved Weight Watchers originally, and it helped me lose a lot of weight. And who knows, maybe I’ll go back one day? For now though, I’ve decided to go back to counting calories. I am working with My Fitness Pal — I got the app on my iphone, and so far, it’s okay. I don’t really like their recipe builder, so I might switch to another calorie counting app.

I feel sort of free at this point. And a little uncomfortable. I guess it will take me a while to get over “how many points is this worth?!??” mentality. Hopefully this will be a good jump start for me this year.

(In my honest opinion– there is nothing wrong with Weight Watchers! I really loved the program at first, I just wanted something new. I still highly recommend it to anyone who wants to lose weight.)

My husband and I are trying to save money… I had the thought that trying to cook more frequently, no matter how tired I am, might help us save some money. We spend a TON of money on both groceries and eating out. It’s insane. Today I made a stir fry with baby bok choy — first time cooking baby bok choy, and it was delicious! I’m excited to find new healthy ingredients to cook with:)

Some things on my radar:
*cooking with quinoa or other whole grains
*making more vegetables
*making my own cheese (possibly a ricotta?)

End of 2012; Beginning of 2013

2 Jan

Wedding Joy

I’m so grateful for 2012 — what a great year for me and my family! I had so many wonderful experiences (including traveling, getting a new job, getting married and having the most amazing honeymoon), and I learned a lot. I hosted parties, I took a few risks, I cooked new food, I got ALMOST DOWN TO GOAL WEIGHT, I messed up, I made mistakes, I fell in love even more every day — and I lived.

To ring in the new year, we invited some friends over and I cooked a ton of food… friends, food and lots of laughter meakes of an excellent New Year’s Eve celebration, in my book. I cannot wait to move to a larger place to entertain even more loved ones!

2013 should be even better than 2012 (I know, is it even possible?). I am a huge fan of resolutions, as I have usually been able to stick to them in recent years (if not for the entire year, than at least for most of the year). I also am OBSESSED with list making. I guess instead of pressuring myself to follow these “resolutions” (after all, human will is ever-changing, and when I “resolve” to do something, it is hard to stick with it for an entire year and not feel like a failure when I mess up one day), I will try to view these as aspirations for a healthier 2013.

I’ve divided these goals into physical, mental and spiritual goals for the next year:

Physical
* run a 5k (I tried to do this last year, and I never finished the Couch-to-5k program)
* get down to my goal weight
* try to workout 3 times a week
* try more recipes and cook more food (this is vague because I’m not sure how I want to accomplish this… meatless monday again? trying a new recipe every week?)
* no soda AGAIN! Got into bad habits after my honeymoon… for shame!

Mental
* finish grad school applications
* read a few classic books or books that really make me think — rereading doesn’t count either (I’m a huge reader, but I usually read for entertainment, and not necessarily for knowledge)
* STOP THE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK… I internally (and externally to my husband, I must say) bash myself and my looks a lot. This isn’t healthy and isn’t something I want to teach my stepchildren.

Spiritual
* meditate more
* read out of my daily spiritual meditation book every morning

And last, but not least — I would like to update this blog more. I know, I really say it all the time, but I get discouraged when I stop tracking and start eating everything in sight (ahem, most of the last few months).

I hope everyone had a joyous new year, and I hope you all are ready for 2013 and all of the new adventures!

Quick Dinner Ideas (and Cobb success!)

4 Dec

cobbsalad

I’ve been so busy recently, and outside of trying to fanatically plan my meals for the week and making something hearty on Sunday to last for a good part of the week, I’ve been trying to develop an arsenal of quick meals.

While hopped up on Benedryl last night after an unfortunate incident with an eggplant, I made an easy cobb salad. Now, the husband was categorically opposed to salad-as-dinner before last night. Another quick meal is fajitas, which I make pretty frequently as a two in one meal, meaning he gets fajitas and I get a salad — chicken sausage, quickly sauteed bell peppers and red onions, some shredded cheese, some romaine lettuce, some black beans, a little sour cream/greek yogurt… voila! He can make tacos, I can make a salad, and we are both content (plus it usually makes 4 servings with one package of chicken sausage). So, while I am fully a fan of salad for dinner, he believed that he would be hungry.

Not so, with this quick, easy and SUPER FILLING Cobb salad.

What you’ll need:
rotisserie chicken
1 avocado
cherry tomatoes
1 can pitted black olives
1 English cucumber
1 head of romaine lettuce
2 hardboiled eggs
blue cheese crumbles (mine had dried cranberries in them – yum!)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lime

1. Peel all chicken from the skin and put in a bowl. I usually get between 2-3 cups of chicken out of one rotisserie chicken (tip: get the kosher chicken; not sure why, but it always tastes better). There will be leftover chicken, you only need maybe 1/4-1/2 cup of chicken per serving.
2. Rinse the tomatoes and rinse/drain the olives.
3. Chop: the cucumber, the avocado, the cherry tomatoes, the lettuce, the hardboiled eggs. Put them into their own little containers if you have a picky husband. (Chris dislikes olives and uncooked tomatoes, and is indifferent towards any avocado). Put the juice of half a lime over the avocado to prevent from browning.
4. Assemble! I put the romaine down first, and then make little segments with everything, as seen in the photo.

Husband’s verdict? He liked it and definitely said he would eat it again!

Love a good, quick meal that is so easy a girl hopped up on Benedryl can make it 🙂

Besides fajitas, I like to make a quick stirfry, breakfast for dinner (with chicken sausage and eggs), burgers or quick gyros. Any other ideas?

Changing Your Mind

3 Dec

progress gbshaw

I took a yoga class at my gym on Saturday. Let’s be honest here: I’ve been going to my gym for months and I have stuck very firmly to the rare zumba class and the elliptical. I have fear of not knowing what to do and failing (I can admit that I have slight perfectionist tendencies.)

On Saturday, after writing my blog post, I realized that I should push myself and try something new. The last time I tried a yoga class was with a friend at a new yoga center. It was the hip place to go. People raved about this yoga center. Me? I felt totally judged (I probably wasn’t, but still!) by all the hot young thangs standing on their heads and I felt no serenity at the end of the class, instead feeling like I was going to pass out… and my car got towed. It was not a good experience. Although I had been to other yoga classes at different places and I had either hated them (bikram yoga) or mildly enjoyed them (hot vinyasa), it never spoke to me the way it spoke to other people.

I figured I just wasn’t a yoga person. And that’s okay. I could be a foodie-sometimes-elliptically-sometimes-hiking person.

But, I wrote about this journey on Saturday. And I put yoga pants on and went to a yoga class at the gym. Then something amazing happened — I absolutely loved it. I’m not sure if it was the instructor, or if it was the class, or what it was, but it absolutely spoke to me.

I was going to go to yoga again tonight but I had a bad allergic reaction to something and was on Benedryl instead… Hopefully I can make it before next weekend. But even if I can’t, this has sort of confirmed in my mind that I need to have an open mind on this journey — try new things, retry old things, and never stop searching for progress.

If I cannot make it to a yoga class before the weekend due to the schedule, maybe I’ll try a different class and push the boundaries even more.

Journey Update

1 Dec

The holidays are a hard time to recommit to changing your life. Halloween hits you in October with its sweetness, and then there is Thanksgiving with its license to gluttony (my personal favorite holiday) and there is the holiday season (which somehow lasts for an entire month with cookies and cakes), followed by decadent new year celebrations. No wonder most people recommit to their health with new year resolutions — after a whirlwind of overindulgence, I always feel the need to too!

But here is the thing — I participated in a clothing swap right after I got back from Europe and got rid of all of my size 12 and most of my size 10 clothes. Getting ready for work is super difficult, and I’m not able to wear my cute new size 8 clothing because I’ve indulged to the point (with the wedding and honeymoon and holidays) that it can no longer be considered a cheat. I totally fell off the wagon, I hate the way I feel, and I also hate the way I look again.

I want to get back to the way I felt before the best events of my life happened.

So I’m recommitting, during the holiday season. I’m exploring my options — should I stick with online Weight Watchers?, should I start going to meetings?, should I start tracking calories instead?

One thing I’m going to do is make it to the gym three times a week. I went on Wednesday and felt good, and I’m getting ready to go today.

I’m also not going to beat myself up. This is a journey, and I floundered for a bit. Life got good and then it got crazy, and now I’m entering the holidays with a determination not to gain all my weight back. Journeys can take a lifetime and I’m starting to realize that this one probably will. There will be no miraculous point where I’ll need to stop watching — unfortunately, I love food too much for that.

It’s a matter of having one small moment of indulgence followed by resuming the healthy lifestyle, not just saying eff it and eating like a crazy person for a week because I overindulged at one meal.

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I want to feel the way I felt on this day — at peace, content with myself, and about 10 lbs thinner.

Here is to fighting the good fight, even with temptation all around me in the form of hot chocolate and Christmas cheer 🙂