Monthly Archives: October 2012

This ain’t twerkin for me

Half a pound.

I lost half a pound.

Weight loss isn’t linear.

Weight loss isn’t linear.

Weight loss isn’t linear.

Maybe if I repeat this over and over again, it will somehow make me feel better about my 0.5 lb loss this week.

And it does. A little. But in reality, I lost 0.2 lbs last week, and 0.5 lbs this week…and that’s not good enough for me. I need to lose almost 50 lbs, and if I keep up this snail-like pace, I’m looking at reaching my goal in late 2014.

Slow and steady may finish the race, but “normal, acceptable pace” beats “slow and steady” any day.

So I’m changin shit up.

I figured out that, in the last 6 days, I’ve eaten an average of 1650 calories every day, and I exercised for 90 minutes 3 separate times. That led to this 0.5 lb weight loss. Obviously this is not working for me.

The truth is, weekends are what trip me up. I hang out with my friends, go out to eat, and drink a little more than I probably need to. On Saturday I had 1850 calories (due to alcohol) and Friday I had 2500 (due to a slight meltdown where I consumed 3 carrot cupcakes in 20 minutes – let’s not talk about that). So while I ate under 1400 every weekday, my weekend calories increased my average significantly.

So what am I gonna do? I decided that every weekday for the next 7 days I’m going to eat 1250 calories. But then on Friday and Saturday I’m allowing myself 2000 calories per day, or 4000 total, however I want to split it up. And I’m going to exercise FIVE times. This will give me an average of apprx. 1450 calories consumed per day, with hundreds of calories burned in exercise on top of that.

I’m hoping this will give me the extra kick in the butt on I need to get that scale moving.

The good news is, I’m no longer as hungry as I was. I was literally waking up, starving during the first week of this diet. But now my body is adjusting, so hopefully 1250 will be doable.

I’m not sure what the scale will have in store for me next week, but I’m excited to give this new plan a try.

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Warning: Do not read unless you hate cookies

LISTEN UP WORLD.

I wandered into Trader Joe’s today for some bananas, turkey, and low-cal tortillas. That was all I was going to get. And then I happened upon this:

It was just sitting on the shelf, staring at me. I suddenly remembered reading a rave review for it online, and I couldn’t resist. It practically jumped into my hand.

Now let me explain to you what this product is. The jar reads, “A deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits.” What that means is, is that this delectable devil-made treat has the consistency of peanut butter but tastes like crushed up gingerbread cookies. Yup.

Now you may be thinking, “Why would I want to eat crushed up cookies when I could just eat normal, solid cookies instead?” I hear you. But think about it – would you rather eat peanuts or peanut butter? Peanut butter, obviously. And this cookie butter has done for cookies what peanut butter did for peanuts: Made it 1000 times better.

I had to stop myself after 2 tablespoons (180 calories, similar to peanut butter). But I could have eaten the whole jar. Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to handle this being in my fridge. [Update: I discovered it has lactic acid in it, which may go against my dairy rule…maybe that will keep me away.]

I’m sorry, world, to have introduced you to this product. I want you to try it because I want you to experience the sheer ecstasy that comes with one bite. But it comes with a warning: you may end up knuckle-deep in the jar, scraping the bottom for more.

To make up for the cookie butter debacle, I decided to make a pretty healthy dinner. I bought a bag of pre-shredded fresh brussel sprouts from Trader Joe’s. I love brussel sprouts, but my favorite part is always the leaves that get really crunchy when you cook them.

So I decided to peel back the leaves on all the sprouts and separate them from the center, so all the pieces would be thin enough to get crispy.

The centers are on the left. I threw them away, but I’m sure if you’re crafty in the kitchen you could figure out what to do with them.

I then fried the shredded leaves in small batches, to ensure they’d get evenly [slightly] burnt. I used PAM olive oil spray to save calories.

Afterwards, I put a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, for a total of 115 calories. Not too bad!

I should mention, that even as I’m typing about vegetables, I’m still thinking about the cookie butter.

What have I done…

Just keep swimming

For all of you out there that say the scale doesn’t matter to you, I say….you’re lying. No matter how much we tell ourselves that we don’t care what the scale says, we do. It’s the most definitive way to measure our progress. It’s quantitative. Generally, it’s hard to argue with numbers.

That being said, yesterday I put on a pair of jeans (granted, these are my “big girl” jeans, but I’ll take what I can get) that I used to have trouble buttoning. I mean, last week I literally felt like I was in a denim-spandex-like straight jacket. But yesterday, they zipped easily. They weren’t loose by any means, but they fit normally. It’s amazing what 10 days of eating well can do.

But then I got on the scale this morning.

Apparently, I only lost 0.2 pounds in the past 8 days?? I lose 3.1 pounds in the first 3 days of dieting, but now I only get 0.2?! It makes no sense.

To make matters worse, I got on the scale ten minutes after my first attempt this morning and it said I gained a pound….in ten minutes.

What gives? Is it because I’m bloated? Was I particularly un-bloated last week? Did I eat a heavy meal last night? What is going on?!?

As much as I analyze, I still don’t know the answer. Trying to analyze the scale is as useless as trying to analyze the text you got last night from the guy you like. It’s a wishy-washy temperamental appliance that changes its mind and goes back on its word. And unfortunately, it has the power to make or break my mood.

So what to do? Part of me, of course, wants to believe that nothing will work and throw in the towel. But then I check myself. If I give up, I’ll hate the scale even more in a month when I have to start all over again. So I’ll just keep chugging along, hoping my efforts will eventually pay off in a definitive, countable way.

For now, I’ll just keep swimming.

The gym and other uncomfortable things

I wonder what it’s like to feel “in your element” at the gym. To walk in, shed your t-shirt, and strut on over to the free weights, all while staring at your perfectly toned reflection in the mirror. You casually chat with the girl who works at reception, smile at the guy next to you lifting 300 lbs, and casually do a few reps…just because it’s fun.

Me and the gym? We don’t get along. I don’t think there’s another place in the entire world where I feel more uncomfortable. First of all, before I even do anything, my body is squeezed like a lumpy sausage into high-waisted spandex and two sports bras. So I definitely don’t look the part.

And then I actually get on the machines. It’s not possible to describe how red I get when I run. There aren’t words in the English language. It’s like a tomato got a third degree sunburn and was also somehow sweating profusely while panting like a dog in 100 degree weather. My friend once asked me if I needed to go to the hospital after I got off the treadmill.

It’s that bad.

So yesterday I was stretching after running, and I thought I noticed a guy on the elliptical staring at (and judging) me in my sweat-soaked tanktop.  I avoided all eye contact, looking down at the sticky mat. He let out a grunt of disgust, “Ugh, no!” I froze. Was he talking to me? Am I really that gross that you need to verbally express your disgust?

A few minutes later I walked by him and saw that he had been yelling at the TV screen. I guess he was a little too involved in his football game and forgot where he was.

That’s when I realized…everyone at the gym is in their own little world. I don’t pay attention to anyone else in the gym, so why would I assume everyone is paying attention to me?  Nobody really cares what I’m doing. Nobody’s really that concerned with my (bright) red face.

And even if they were. Even if every single person in the gym was looking at me, and judging me, and thinking all the horrible things in their heads that I think about myself….well, they can just suck it up.

Because I may be overweight, I may be out of shape, I may look like I totally don’t belong in your macho / skinny space, but I’m here.

And it’s better that I’m out of place at the gym than right at home on my couch.

The trouble with weekends

Whenever I start trying to lose weight, I always give up on myself on the weekends. I usually go past my calorie goal, think “screw it, I already messed up,” and then proceed to binge eat whatever’s available. And I mean whatever is available. Think: a box of cereal, a jumbo bag of almonds, beef jerky…you name it, I’ve binged on it. Preferably drunkenly while crying. It’s all pretty picturesque.

Well this weekend I hit a road block again. See, if this is a lifestyle change…and not a temporary diet…I have to be honest with myself. I’m 24 years old, I like to go out to bars, and I’m not going to quit drinking. Am I going to pound eight beers and then pass out in a pile of french fries? No. But I like having a few cocktails with friends on Friday night, and I’m not willing to give that up.

“Why don’t you just factor in alcohol to your daily allotted calories?” Sounds simple enough. Except in that situation, I’m having 3 drinks on 1000 calories of food……I think we know how this ends.

So what’s the solution? I’m not sure yet. I went over my allotted 1400 calories on Friday and Saturday, but I feel okay about it. I didn’t go home and binge. I didn’t give up on myself. And I’m right back on track today…plus I walked two miles, did 45 minutes of cardio, and an hour’s worth of strength training (ow).

So maybe I just won’t worry about it for now. Maybe I deserve a few drinks on the weekends when I’m perfect all week. We’ll see how I progress. If I’m not losing weight, I’ll make some changes. This is a learning process, and I’m just starting to figure it out.

In other news, I went on a beautiful walk by the ocean. It was particularly cloudy and windy, which was a welcome change! I’m getting tired of the sun. :)

And I have a new favorite meal that satisfies my sweet cravings. I call it “banana oat peanut butter honey mash.”

As expected, it’s 1/2 cup oats cooked, 1 tbs honey, 1 tbs natural crunchy peanut butter, and half a banana. Only 360 calories and delicious!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

A series of choices

I’m slowly learning something: Every day is a series of choices. We can either make choices that make us happy or choices that make us sad. It’s pretty simple. We’re not perfect, but we can choose to be happy in the long-term with every single decision that comes our way.

So today I decided to recognize and celebrate every happy choice I made.

At noon, my office served Mexican food for lunch: Enchiladas, quesadillas, guacamole, the works. All for free. Last week, I would have eaten my piggy little heart out. Today, I chose to eat a small plate of grilled chicken and steak, a bit of refried beans, and some peppers and onions. The happier choice!

Around 3:00, my office had a huge party and gave out tons of free candy, beer, and snacks (see a pattern here?) All I wanted to do was to stuff my face with candy.

But instead of 3 piles of this:

I had this!

Would it have been better for me to not eat anything at all? Probably. Actually, definitely. I didn’t need to eat in the middle of the afternoon. But still. I’m proud of myself for not diving teeth-first into a pile of swedish fish.

After work, I had to pick up a prescription from CVS and head to the gym. I really didn’t feel like working out – I’m sore from yesterday. So I made a compromise. I walked a mile and a half to get the pharmacy. Definitely not a full workout, but it was something. Better than driving and then lying like a log on my couch.

So today was not a perfect day. Hardly. But it was pretty damn good.

Plus I had a low-cal (and delicious!) dinner to make up for all my snacking.

A whole bag of butternut squash from Trader Joe’s, a tablespoon of Smart Balance, and 12 roasted almonds sliced in half. Only 330 calories! Yum.

What happy choices have you made today?

The rule of dairy

I have a love affair with all things milk: ice cream, butter, milk chocolate, cottage cheese, brie cheese, cheddar cheese…well, you see my point. I don’t think I’ve gone a day without eating dairy since 1999. I don’t know how to cook, so I found that if you put cheese on something – anything – it automatically tastes better. So that was my basically my go-to meal for the last 15 years. Cheese + something else.

I was lactose intolerant when I was a baby, but at some point, I started drinking milk again. I thought it was a sensitivity that had just gone away with age. But about a month ago I decided to try to go without dairy again. I hadn’t been feeling my best, and I thought, “why not try it?” And let me tell you…it’s been HARD. All my go-to meals disappeared, and I was starting from scratch. But I have to admit, I have more energy, I feel less sick, and there’s been one another big benefit….

It helps me resist food I don’t need!

Let me demonstrate for you.

This is how things used to go for me:
Someone else: “Hey you, have a cupcake/cookie/sliceofcake/pieceofchocolate!!
Me: No, no thanks.
Someone else: Come on, just one bite!
Me: Ok, one bite.

Cut to me, 20 bites later.

Being dairy free has given me an excuse to avoid all those sweets. Once you tell someone you have an allergy, they don’t ask any more questions. Plus, it forces me not to give in. It’s a rule: I. Can’t. Eat. Dairy. Rule. Knowing that makes it easier to pass by a bake sale or a vending machine full of Snickers bars.

Plus, I may not be able to eat this:

But I can eat this!!

Yup, vegan dessert. Tastes almost (or as) good as regular dessert.
And if I want it, I have to make the conscious decision to go out and buy it, as opposed to just picking at a pile of cookies near me.

So maybe you don’t have an allergy, but making a rule really helps me stick to something. Maybe my next rule will be no coffee….although I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Oh, and PS…I lost 3.1 pounds!

I’m sure it’s mostly water weight (I was particularly bloated at my initial weigh-in), but it’s encouraging none-the-less! So now my official weigh-in day is Wednesday….which is better than Sunday, because the decisions I make Saturday night (think: alcohol) can skew the scale in the morning.

Sigh. Now I’m craving a vegan cupcake.