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First Weigh-In of 2013!

9 Jan

timepassing

(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!

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.

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!

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 🙂

How to Cook While Juggling

17 Nov

After I came back from our honeymoon, I started studying almost immediately. I am trying to get into grad school, so I started taking prep classes for the GMAT and working on my applications to school. Pairing that with a crazy work schedule, my husband having to work several weekends, and trying to get enough sleep every night, I have been neglecting not only my little blog but also my kitchen.

The first week of classes and studying, I was totally overwhelmed. We ate out most nights and I totally was transported back to college where I had the munchies and just ate whatever. Obviously I’ve gained a few pounds since my honeymoon, and it became quite clear to me that the goal this month should be to not gain any weight (and to be honest, that’s usually my goal around the holidays).

By my second week, I had some new ideas about what to do to eat well and not get carry out every night. We have been doing lunchmeat for some lunches (usually I cook enough that we have leftovers for lunch and I make something new for dinner) and eating leftovers for dinner. I’ve been making quick meals — chicken sausage fajitas, gyros, roasting some veggies while studying for a bit — and I started buying yogurt with fruit already in it to save me time in the morning.

(If anyone else has any time saving suggestions, I’d be happy to see them!)

One thing that has helped me immensely is my slow cooker. And with that, I give you my slow cooker cassoulet (inspired by a Cooking Light recipe).

*warning: this doesn’t taste like cassoulet whatsoever; picture a hearty and flavorful chicken stew and that’s what this realllllly tastes like

Serves: 6
10 WW points plus (but super filling!)

Ingredients:
2 parsnips, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1.1 lb of chicken or turkey sausage, mild flavoring, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of Great Northern beans, rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste

For breadcrumbs:
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 oz Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a pot or pan (I used my trusty Dutch oven) and throw in parsnips, onion, garlic and carrots. Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Take cut sausage and put into pot, cooking until browned (a few more minutes). Put into slow cooker.
3. Add thyme, bay leaf, canned tomatoes and beans into slow cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste and combine everything.
4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
5. Melt butter in microwave and add cheese and breadcrumbs. Stir until combined.

Serve 1/6 of stew and top with 1/6 of breadcrumbs. Enjoy!

And some pictures:

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Cooking in my Creuset pot.

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Getting cozy in the crock pot.

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Deliciousness!

Our Wedding

26 Sep

The last three weeks have been hands-down the best weeks of my life.

Chris and I eloped to New York City. We had a private ceremony in Central Park. Everything was magical that day — from my hair and makeup being done, to our bouquet arriving and being more beautiful than anything I could have asked for (including our florist attaching the crown from my grandmother’s veil to the bouquet), to Chris’s face as we saw eachother for the first time, to taking a cab to Central Park and giggling in the back like excited kids on Christmas morning, to Chris’s beautiful vows by the water, to everyone on the streets shouting their congratulations like all of New York was celebrating with us, to a wonderful dinner in Columbus Circle (which we found out as we were leaving is owned by Marc Murphy) overlooking the city with free appetizers and desserts, to flowers and chocolate cake left by our hotel in our room — seriously, a magical day. The best part was getting married to the love of my life.

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And guess who wasn’t worried about my weight or feeling fat that day? This girl. I felt beautiful — if not a little bit constrained by my corset dress. And who totally owned that burger in a wedding dress? Oh yeah, I did — not feeling like a fat girl at all! Just a lady celebrating her romantic Central Park elopement with her man. With grease and cheese and fries 😉

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Totally blissfully happy.

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Just a few pictures — more to come! And we followed our elopement with a picnic with our loved ones and a wonderful two week foodgasm touring Italy and Paris… aka a honeymoon.

More to come with food porn and details about each place we visited — as well as thoughts on food cultures in other countries and ideas for fall meals!

New Joy

29 Aug

Sometimes, it is just all about the little things.

Recently I feel like I’ve just been breathing, trying to hold on until the honeymoon.

Going shopping for our honeymoon and feeling awesome for fitting into a middle size (instead of the largest size in the store or no size at all because everything is too small) is a great joy now. I’ve always loved to shop, but shoes used to be my favorite thing to buy because of my weight.

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I picked up some sexy lingerie in a size medium. I tried on dresses in size mediums. My pants are size 8s.

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Deep breath. Exhale. With all the stress recently, I’ve decided to stop stressing about the weight. Work, relationships, getting everything done in time… I just cannot be bothered about my weight right now. I guess just maintaining until after the honeymoon is the goal. Now onwards to the wedding!