Weight Loss Tracker

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Peaks and Valleys

I did not want to work today. I was tired, and didn't eat too well yesterday...which meant that my defenses were down. There were candies and doughnuts in the breakroom and I indulged. A lot. I don't even like doughnuts!

I was feeling all guilty and gross after work. But I pulled myself together and ate healthily before my workout and weigh-in...at which point I found out that I am

198lbs!!

Apparently, despite all of my little indulgences and over-working, I balanced it out! After I weighed myself, I had a FANTASTIC workout. Pushed myself, felt the burn, and was accompanied by the soundtrack for "Songs for a New World."

At which point, I came home (in the snow!) and ate 3pieces of pizza, drank some pop, and had some Peppermint Jo-Jos. Damnit!!

I keep flip flopping between healthy and not healthy behaviors! Why isn't this easy? Calming down. breathing in and out. Those choices are behind me. I can make a better choice in the future. What do you do when you find yourself having health highs and lows?

Monday, December 28, 2009

I've been naughty....

get your mind out of the gutter! I'm talking about holiday eating of course. I have been indulging more than usual, and the giant pile of goodies on our kitchen counter is not making things any easier. (it takes all my will power to resist the peppermint candy oreo's from Trader Joe's)

Last night I was up late, watching tv and surfing the net, and I had a sudden craving. Did I let it pass? No. Did I go downstairs to find something healthy-ish? No. I got old costco birthday cake out of the mini fridge...and scooped out a piece with a plastic cup....I couldn't take the time to walk downstairs and get a fork...I wanted that cake.

It tasted fantastic.

For about 2 minutes.

And then it was a little rock in my stomach. I know better. I know that if I had stepped back, and walked downstairs to get a fork, I would have found something healthier to eat. So the trick next time is to wait 5 minutes. Okay, at least try to wait 5 minutes.

Goals
So I have been writing about goals lately. Mostly pre-new years goals. And I have 2! I have already started both changes!

Goal One: Run at least twice a week.
Yep. I am committing myself to this. And one of the reasons is the Shamrock Run. I am putting a group together to participate named TEAM AWESOME PANTS. (you have to wear awesome pants...obviously) I really want to jog the whole thing. Right now I do a lot of interval stuff, but I think it would feel amazing to just go. To push my body. To get over the mental hurdles and find my zone...while wearing awesome pants:)

Goal Two: Dance more.
I love dancing. Every time I saw the nutcracker as a kid, I would twirl back to the car with visions of myself on stage. I love Riverdance(stop judging me), I love watching anyone dance, and I watched So You Think You Can Dance for the first time this fall. And I want to dance. Right now that just means I dance at home alone, but I am hoping to join some classes....maybe try zumba for the first time....maybe try a little hip hop...who knows?

So those are my life goals right now. And of course, try not to eat cake unless I want it badly enough to get a fork.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Blustery days and cravings

Happy Holidays! I hope you all are enjoying your family and friends this wintery season, and not getting too caught up in the commercial side of things!

My week has been busy...too busy. For a few days I worked both jobs, sometimes one right after another. I was tired, and fed up, and not enjoying my food. You know how when you are craving something, but you don't know what it is? And everything that is not what you are craving loses some of its taste? That was cured at lunch today when I had and open faced sandwich with goat cheese, olive oil, avocados, tomatoes, and some bacon. YUM!

And then I went on a run with my dog. And I would say 75% of it was spent actually running! woot woot!

I finally went the easy way to upload my "before and after" pictures...which means I took a picture of them and then uploaded them:) So here they are:

Everything just looks slimmer! So much cause for celebration!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Goals on the Block!

My final results are in for the Biggest-Weight-Loss Challenge group I was in! My team won! We lost 6.15% of our total weight, and I am so proud of everyone on the team. Everyone was committed to showing up, which is half the battle for any goal!


Here are my results (the first number is from September 15th, and the second is from December 8th).


Weight: 228.....220

Body Fat%: 41.15%.....38.13%

Fat Weight: 93.82.....76.26

Chest: 122cm.....113cm

Waist: 116cm.....112cm

Hip: 122cm.....114.5cm


As you can read, this group was a huge success for me! I have before and after pictures....but I am a novice with my new computer, so scanning and uploading those pictures will be accomplished when my sister and brother have time to make me feel like and idiot for an hour:) Good news: you can totally tell the difference!


So what does this new weight mean for me? Well, first off, it means that I am 46lbs away from my ultimate goal, 154lbs.


That means I need to reconsider my original goal. At the beginning of my 90lbs in 90 weeks journey, the end date was in May of 2011. Looking at that goal now, I know I don’t need another 70-something weeks to lose 46lbs. But I also know that plateaus and struggles are in my future(because that is how life goes), so 46lbs in 46 weeks might be a wee bit unrealistic.


My compromise is this: 46lbs in (about) 50weeks. The new final weigh-in is DECEMBER 19th, 2010. That’s right folks, I’m moving the date up. I factored in some extra weeks so I don’t get discouraged if a weigh-in isn’t up to par.


Other things this new weight means is: being able to wrap a towel almost all the way around my body, shaking my hips like maracas, keeping up with my adorable dog on jogs, and wearing loose clothes that used to be tight!


The Holidays

Ahem...yeah, so the holidays are difficult. I don’t know about all y’alls families, but mine is full of excellent cooks. And my friends know how to make a spread of zesty hummus and winter brews like nobodies business. So what’s a girl to do?


Take it one gathering at a time. Eat small portions, try not to go back for seconds, and enjoy the delicious food and drinks. I write this like it’s easy.


I try not to graze, I try to limit intake and choose the healthiest options, but it doesn’t always work. And speaking of work, I am uber busy with my jobs. So not only am I tired when I arrive at gatherings because I’ve already worked one or two shifts, but I am usually hungry. So defenses are down, cravings are up, and I’m working on it.


Always having water with me helps, as does trying to eat or drink slowly. Or standing a wee bit away from the food table...or keeping your hands busy with a healthy food, like peeling an orange...or telling stories with my hands, which keeps them too busy to eat...oh wait, I already do that:)


Anywho, what I am trying to say is: stay sane. Eat slowly. Love your family and friends. And think of your pre-new-year goals, mine will be here soon!


Sunday Funny for getting all the way through this post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv5woNs9WRE

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rolling Hills of Weight-loss

Remember at the beginning of my weight-loss journey? Think back four months. I lost big numbers in those first weeks, mountains of excess that were weighing my body down. Then I became consistent with 2-4lbs every week...and now I am hitting 1s and 1/2s.


So I am not plateauing, but I am not living on easy street either. Am I okay with a 1/2 pound loss one week, and a 1-2 pound loss the next?


Yes. My goal and aim is still to lose 1lb a week...but. The real goal is to get healthy and lose weight as part of that process. So as long as I am doing that every week, I will be happy.


Which brings me to my final weigh-in! My final weigh-in this past tuesday was:


200lbs!!


I get a massage!!!! We got before and after pictures from our Biggest-Weight-Loss program, as well as stats for body fat and measurements that I will be sharing with you shortly.


Altogether I lost 28lbs in 13 weeks. I am really proud of myself, and I am so thankful for all the support and info I got from my team. I highlytrulycompletely recommend having a support group! Weight can be a touchy subject, and having a safe place to face it head-on with others going through the same struggle, is important. I will be switching gyms in the next month, but right now I love seeing familiar faces working up a sweat.



Goals!

Have you been thinking of goals? I have....and I am really nerdy excited....but you will have to wait to hear what my new goals are, since I am need of a new bra! (tmi?)


Have a fabulous weekend, enjoy but don’t over-do, and remember the real magic of Christmas is in your heart (cue cheesy music and my brother rolling his eyes:)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Off to the Tree Farm!

It's Christmas time! Today we are trekking out to our usual tree farm to pick a winner of an evergreen. By the way, I love Christmas...probably because I love my family and friends, so any excuse to spend time with them is fine by me. Also, when photo opportunities like this one from 2 years ago arise, I think we step up to the plate with confidence:
(aren't we purdy?)

Speaking of pretty, check out this photo from 2.5 years ago:
(I do a mean air guitar:)

It's amazing how in less than a year I went from that picture to this one:

Bigger body, less confidence. This journey is not just about weight-loss. That is an obvious external change that comes with gaining my life back.

I feel more in control of my life. I feel confident in what my body can do, and how I can choose to react to what happens around me. I feel more at home in my strong body, and am excited for the many changes in this transitional phase of life.

This is a rather random post, but my scattered thoughts are slowly organizing themselves...so thanks for being part of my organizational process:)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blue Moon Blogging

Oops. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The hardest thing about blogging after a mini-break is that I have so much I want to blog about!


So let’s start with the obvious: this week’s weigh-in. It was my last Biggest Weight-Loss class and as you might remember, I was aiming for losing another 1.5lbs before this past Tuesday. That would have brought me to an even 202lbs. The sad news is that I didn’t lose 1.5lbs. The good news?


I lost 2.5!!!


I now weigh 200.5lbs:) Yayayayay, happy dance! In the past 13 weeks, I have lost 27.5lbs in a healthy way!!! I am so pumped and excited for next week’s weigh-in (I reallyreallyreally want a massage).


I think the success of the last week can be attributed to my outdoor time. I had an entire day without work last Saturday! With 2 jobs I have some short days, but not many that are completely mine. And what did I do with my free 24 hours?


I woke up early(I know, ridiculous) and went on a hike with my friend M. It was foggy as I drove over bridges to pick her up and head into the Columbia River Gorge. But as we started hiking, the fog cleared and it was blue skies the whole way!


Hiking makes me feel free. I love jogging, and circuits in the gym, and walking my dog in our neighborhood, but on a mountain or in the forest I feel more alive. I don’t have to work hard to break a sweat. I just have to put one foot in front of another. And with a good friend, good conversation makes the time fly by.


I also went on a long jog with my puppy near a lake. There weren’t many other people out and about...probably because it was approximately 25 degrees outside. (The weather is sooooo cold right now. As in, my hair froze as I walked to a coffee shop this morning:)


It’s important to mix training/exercise up, and even doing the same thing in different places helps. Run inside one day, outside the next. Weight circuit at the gym, personal weights at home while watching Wedding Crashers. Mix it up!


A New Idea

I had an idea last week. More of a revelation actually. So here goes: I eat emotionally. And when I eat emotionally, I reach for comforting foods. Foods that remind me of childhood, or that I associate with certain memories of good times. (okay Losergirl, this is nothing new...It’s actually quite well known...and common...so get on with it)


What if, instead of reaching for comfort foods, I did comfort activities?! I could read a book I’ve read multiple times before. I could work on that dang afghan I have been making for the past 9 years. I could watch a familiar movie, or play with my dog, look at old photos, wear an old sweatshirt....there are so many possibilities not including food!


I was able to try this technique out the other day, and it helped me more than I thought it would. Instead of reaching for the bag of chocolate chips, I found my old copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and read the first chapter. My grandmother gave me a 1954 copy of the book, and the smell alone reminds me of the first time I read it about 10 years ago. That feeling of home, of familiarity was almost as good as the brownie that I was craving.


(side note: this good idea might not apply when a certain Losergirl is experiencing her womanly time and would consider punching a grandmother to get her hands on a chocolate chip cookie, chocolate ice cream, candies, or hot chocolate....because rules were meant to be broken and I am not giving up all of my excuses for indulgence just yet)


Resolutions

The New Year is getting closer my friends! And that means new year resolutions. Yay? You might remember a few weeks ago when I made my “before the new year” resolution (199lbs by 2010). I am well on my way, and I hope all of you who made your own goals are doing well and getting it done! Or at the very least, trying, and not beating yourself up.


I am hesitant to make resolutions, because I fail at them every time. Like last year, I resolved to treat my teeth better. I flossed until March, and now only do it once in a blue moon. And it’s such a set up. How many people truly commit to their resolutions? And why does the new year seem like such a great time to start? Why not, RIGHT NOW?


So a challenge to you: Think about something you want to change in your life. It can be a big change like, "stop hanging out with family and friends who bring me down," or a small change like, "write a letter once a month."


Write it down. Then write down how you are going to change it. The small steps, the big steps, whose help you will need, who will hold you to the change, what you will do when little failures occur. Then write down all the benefits you could possibly create with this change. Write them down in BIG LETTERS. Maybe give yourself an incentive, a prize.


Now, here is the kicker. Start your journey to that life change between now and December 31st. Be a rebel. By the time 2010 comes around, you will be on your way instead of just starting! In the next weeks, I will share my goals and how they are starting out, and I would love to hear yours!


Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Last Week of Biggest Loser

Quick post my friends, and then it's off to work (again:).

At my weigh-in this past week, I only lost .5lbs. Not great. Okay, good, but not my goal, which is one pound a week. My disappointment in that half pound carried over into my workout.

I didn't push myself as hard. It felt like I was going through the motions, just getting it done, and not pushing myself.

On one of my sprints around the track, I pounded out my frustration, and on the next run, I decided to stop wallowing. As much as I love a good pout/sulk, it wasn't going to help me get that next pound lost. So I made amends with a half pound, and moved onto the next.

I have been pushing myself every day this week, adding 5 minutes to every every workout, pushing myself to go faster, further, and focused..er? If I can lose one pound this week, I will have lost 26lbs in 13 weeks!

So here are the lessons for the week: don;t be over confident about food choices. Eat good food. Make mistakes, and then learn from them. As my friend S. said, "the path to success is paved with failure."

Also, don't trust my dog near salmon patties and onion rolls. She will eat them all:)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

YumYum


(pay no attention to the weird formatting above. I don't know how to fix it:)
And then I've got to fend for myself. Getting bored of soups for lunch at work, I have been trying to mix it up a little. Last week I mixed some mango salsa with shredded chicken leftovers and scooped it up in a whole wheat tortilla for a good meal.

On Sunday night I tried a recipe for Thai Chicken Salad from Shape magazine. Due to some leftovers, it was a thai turkey salad, but who's keeping track? Basically, I mixed shredded turkey and shredded carrots with these:
(peanut butter, rice vinegar, and ground red pepper)

The results were meant to go in a sandwich, but I used whole wheat tortillas again. The finished product, tupperwared and ready for the next day, looked like this:
I wish I could say it was awesome, but the taste of vinegar was strong, and the texture was mushy. BUT, I am even more determined to find a healthy peanut sauce out there that I can easily make!

Luckily, I was still excited about a dinner I made the week before, so my disappointment wasn't too bad:)

I wanted to try cooking fish. Cooking meat in general is a tricky area for me where I can make a marinade, but fail at actually cooking it. So I looked in the American Heart Association's Quick and Easy Cookbook to find an easy approach to fish.

Voila. Pan-Seared Tuna with Mandarin Orange Pico de Gallo. Sounds tricky, but I did it! For sides I had steamed broccoli and 5-minute cous-cous(I was bored of pasta and rice).
(That's my plate! The tuna is hiding under the pico de gallo.)

But enough about the successes. Let's talk a bit about the improvement opportunities. I was so proud of my last weigh-in, and the self-control I had on Thanksgiving, I let go on the weekend. I was working and cranky, so I procrastinated on planning meals to bring, be really hungry when I got home, and then loaded up. And I had more pizza than I could handle. Too much pizza=tummy ache.

As my life gets busier, I need to make more time for food planning. I know it's not a great hobby, but I love food, so spending time thinking of delicious healthy foods shouldn't be a hardship.

Lately I have been making excuses about food because it has "healthy fat." I will not shun fat, it is the taste in most foods and your body needs some.

However. I don't need large quantities. I've noticed that when my eating habits veer from healthy, I start abbreviating my food journal. I try to make the page seem relatively empty so it looks like I didn't eat too much. Who am I fooling???

And this is in the freezer. Right now. I really want some. BUT. I had a lot of good food today, and the ice cream will be there tomorrow. So I will wait. I will wait for creamy deliciousness, that is only 100 cal per 1/2 cup serving.

DARN YOU PUMPKIN ICE CREAM!

(Also, I love green tea. Especially when I can drink it out of my mug that is as big as my face:)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Day has come and gone

And how did we do? Let's rewind a bit, and go back to Tuesday.

I weighed in at 203.5lbs!! YESYESYES! I have lost 40.5lbs since starting this journey 3 months ago. But that number isn't the important thing. What's important is that I feel like I am getting a 2nd chance at life.

For the past two years it felt like my life was an inevitable downward spiral. I had to get my kicks in while I could because what is so darn exciting about living? Being the single friend for another few years? Writing papers(which I hate doing with a passionate fury)? Traveling so I didn't have to deal with my problems? And then what? Graduate and sit on the couch for a few months being rejected from job after job after job.

Low points. And my fat allowed(allows) me to set up a protective wall. It is my barrier, my battle gear, my excuse. And that will be hard to deal with as I break it down bit by bit, pound by pound.

But I have started. I now know that I CHOOSE MY LIFE. There is so much I don't have control over. But I do control my actions. I control what I eat. And what I do. I know that I can set goals and reach them. I know that there is more to life than passing classes and building resumes. I know that I can push myself physically.

So I am thankful for my self-confidence that is returning in small pieces. I am thankful for my family, my friends, and this blog. And for good music and coffee and my dog and books:)

THANKSGIVING
I read a post from another blog the day before Thanksgiving that really spoke to me, and I wish I could have shared it sooner. It is from a blog called Feed Me I'm Cranky. I just started following it, and her post on Thanksgiving spoke to me.

You should follow the link and read it, but for those of you who can't be bothered to go, here is a intense compression of what she had to say:

Don't build up the holidays as this huge ordeal that you have to get through. Plan for the chaos, make your own decisions, don't set yourself up for failure.

So I took Thanksgiving as a pretty regular day with a big meal at the end (not hard, considering I worked that morning:)
I ate small portions, had a big dinner, and only indulged in one dessert. (okay, don't hate me, but I don't really like apple/pumpkin/pecan pies...I know, sacrilege. Sometimes they hit the spot, but not usually, so it was easy for me to pass on them)

How did your Thanksgivings go? Favorite foods? Did you exercise on Thanksgiving? How are the holidays going for you so far?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Preparing for battle!

Thanksgiving week is upon us! In preparation for some long days and temptations, I am planning and preparing my food as much as possible, and scheduling in workouts when I can.

For example, this was my Monday:
3:30am-wake up. eat oatmeal.
4:25am-start work. eat awesome spinach salad with veggies I made. drink coffee. eat homemade yogurt parfait. eat orange. drink banana protein smoothie
12:45pm-meet with friend for awesome vegetarian lunch of peanut sauce, veggies, and brown rice. remember that I hate brown rice, but force myself to eat it.
2pm-go on a walk. up a big hill. get lost on purpose and find quiet in big city.
3:30pm-sit in small library and read new book.
4:15pm-drink expensive tea in hipster cafe while covertly eating my wheat tortillas and mango chicken salsa from home. read and rest my feet.
5:45pm-start 2nd job. cashier, joke around, stay standing.
9:45pm-go home. eat peanut bar. watch the end of the sisterhood of the traveling pants 2. realize that it is full of good intentions, but a terrible movie none the less.
11:15pm-write in food journal. go to bed.

Because of how far away I live from my jobs, it doesn't always make sense for me to go home between them, which is why I filled the gap with friend, exercise, and rest. What really helped me through that day was having plans, flexibility, and prepared food..which is how the rest of this week will hopefully go.

Talking about preparation, I spent some time the other day going through old magazines and cutting out what I found useful or interesting! I have Shape magazines from 2005, if that gives you any idea how many I had collected.

This is what our table looked like as I was working. It may look like a mess to you, but it all made sense to me:) I am down to only possessing 2 fitness magazines! Once I go through them and cut out what I want, I will have the best health binder ever, and be saving space in my room.

And now for an opinion or two (keep in mind that these are old magazines I was going through, so time may have changed them from what I am judging right now).

I like Women's Health way more than Shape. It has more articles than little blurbs, and it seems more well-rounded than Shape. I would say that Women's Health is the cool older cousin who seems to have it all figured out, while Shape is the trendy college freshman whose attention span is about 30 seconds:)

It still bugs me that bikini bodies are their constant covers though. What about a wetsuit? Or pilates clothes? A parka? Maybe some hoodies and sweats? Heck, I could model those!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beer belly in the works...

Ok. So my last few days have been full of gatherings. Fun, happy times with those I love! And of course, they wouldn't be complete without food and drink, right?

Right.

For my mom's birthday dinner, we went to a german restaurant to celebrate. Good moments:I only drank water, I ordered the small version of my entree, I...ok, that's it:)

Not so great moments: I ate appetizers(cheesy, fatty appetizers, only half of which were actually good), I ate a roll of bread with lots of butter, and I ordered dessert...but it was one of the baby desserts, so I get kudos for that, right?!

It is so difficult to let go of the "eat what you can right now, because others will eat it all, and you will be left with nothing" mentality in family settings. So what am I going to do next time?
Plan what I want to eat. Order a really healthy entree if I want to indulge in something else on the table. Stick to water!

What's funny is that yesterday I ate healthy, well portioned food, and then drank beer all evening. Oh self-sabatatoge, you tricksy devil.
Beers can range from 100-175cal per 12oz serving. By my factoring, I had about 400extra calories last night, due to my drinking. Part of it was that I had had a long day at work, and wanted to relax. Kick back, drink something yummy, and let customer service go.

But there is also a part of me that just doesn't want to become the girl who says no. You know the girl in your group who is always sizing up calories, who wants to go out, but doesn't actually order anything, who complains about how they are so full from dinner hours ago?

I need to be more comfortable with being picky about what I eat. I just don't want that to define me. Blast and wretch!


In good news, I took my dog on a really long walk this week and got through the pain of tuesday's workout! And I spent 65min on the treadmill! So there is hope and happiness, and one more day of the weekend!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My first award, and some other lovely blogs to read!

First and foremost: I have received my first blogging award! The most fantastic Sugar-free Cupcake over at Health, Happiness, & Skinny Jeans passed me on the honor of the:

Of course, as with every Bloggy Award, there are A Few Rules. They are, forthwith:
  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

    So in the great blogging spirit, I would like to present the Super Scribbler Award to these five blogs I lovelovelove to read:

    fit this, girl! Mary has fun when she moves, and you can watch how she reaches her goals, listen in on her conversations with her body, and even get a good recipe for mac'n'cheese!

    The making of Dree How do you get fit with an intense class schedule and the busy life of a college student? Dree is figuring it out, and gaining confidence in the process (you rock!).

    Prior Fat Girl I like to think of Jen as a leader in the weight-loss/health blogging world, probably because her posts are fantastic, and she has gone on such a long journey with her weight. Woot woot for her wisdom she shares!

    Washington^Squared Oh Katherine, I love knowing what is going on in your life as you teach math in Washington DC. Keep grooving like you do, and let those kids know how exciting integers and matrices can be!

    Somewhat Crafty Wedding You are just so darn crafty! Not only with your wedding, but with your new house projects too! And your puppy is adorable:)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Blonde Jillian

And now, for a dramatization of the Biggest Weight-Loss Challenge Work-out tonight.

Me: What's that you're holding, substitute trainer?
Trainer: Oh this? It's your ass!
Me: Oh...it's kind of big.
Trainer: I know. Well, are you ready?
Me: For what?
Trainer: I'm about to hand it to you.
Me: Damn.

Sometimes, we get comfy in our routines. We get used to the pace and moves we set for ourselves, and we forget to shake it up.

Tonight we had a substitute trainer, and I would describe her as a blonde Jillian. I hated her and loved her for one hour:)

She pushed us past where we thought we could go, and while my tomorrow is going to be painful, I appreciate it. Some exercises were a battle. The Burpie? That move where you drop to your hands and knees, kick your legs back, pull them back in, and stand up? I'm pretty sure I sounded like a rhinoceros passing a kidney stone while I did it, but dangumit, I did it!

Goals
Oh Fergie. You crazy woman you. I have tried some intense inclines because of you. I can handle 15 minutes. You do it for an hour? You crazy!

But seriously, what a great workout. I have been doing intervals where I walk on a 15% incline for 4 minutes, lower down to 3% for 1 minute, run for 3 minutes, walk, and do the whole thing over again. (yes, it hurts. Yes, it is worth it.)

I lost another 2lbs this week, which means I now weigh 205lbs, only 5lbs away from adiosing the 200s! And I had this crazy idea today.

Why not ring in the new year at 199lbs? If I lose 1lb every week for the next 5 weeks (which is my usual goal, but this is holiday season, so loss is going to be trickier) I could be halfway to my goal weight for the start of 2010!

Now, I don't want to set myself up for failure, or feel like a failure if I can't reach this goal, but I KNOW I can do this. This goal while keep me focused through the holidays, and the motivation of a massage is plenty good!

So here is my challenge to all y'all. Make a goal for the next 6 weeks. It can be a fitness goal, a health goal, and organization goal, any goal. Don't wait for the new year. What can you accomplish in the next 6 weeks?

Let us know what you can do before 2010, and how you are going to do it! Let's make the last bit of 2009 rock!







As the stressful seasons begin..

In addition to my barista job, I have taken on a seasonal position at an outdoor retailer (yay!).

Both of my jobs are part-time, so I will be working anywhere from 40-55 hours a week until January, prime holiday season. Which means holiday shoppers...blegh.

Before I go on, allow me to say that I love my jobs.

Okay fine, I enjoy my jobs and get along with my co-workers and don't completely dread going to work. It would be awesome if I was being paid to travel and read and bake and be myself, but not everyone can have that job...does anyone have that job??? (damn you Anthony Bourdain!)

Dream job aside, I like my jobs because I am directly interacting with people all the time. I get to have brief conversations with interesting people from all walks of life, and hopefully brighten their day with a good latte, or by helping them find the perfect water bottle for their camping trip. I would say that 85% of my customers are great.

But the other 15% can make my life a mini hell-on-earth.

I know this is off-topic from health, but for my mental health, read and remember these thoughts below as you delve into Christmas shopping, Hanukkah shopping, grocery shopping, or what have you.

Remember that you are interacting with a human being. Not a machine. Not an animal. A person. Someone who deserves respect. That means that "please" and "thank you" are good words to use.

Exercise patience. Maybe you will wait 5 minutes instead of 4 minutes for your usual espresso drink. Maybe the lines are long. Maybe they were out of something in your size, or the cashier is new and has to ask questions. Breath in. Breath out. Calm down.

Please, get off your cell-phone. Call the person back, set it down for the transaction, send it to voicemail. The cashier does not think you are cool because someone is calling you. Seriously.

Don't sweat the small stuff. This time of year can turn your average laid-back person into a caroling-deal-chasing-zombie...trust me, I've seen it happen. The drive to buybuybuy can suck the fun out of what should be a winter wonderland.

You may not be in charge of everything, but by golly, you can control yourself. You get to decide your level of calm, and how you will live. Focus on the important things (which aren't things, but people, time, and feelings) and let the craziness go.

Remember that it is the thought that counts, and the heart behind that thought that really matters.

And seriously, get off your cell-phone.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What can I say, I've got good jeans:)

So this is me almost 3 months ago, on a very exciting trip to Ikea (wait, aren't all trips to Ikea exciting? Answer: YES.) I consider the dress I am wearing my Kirstie Alley dress. You know how she had a legion of those long cotton dresses for when she was overweight? This was my go-to dress for when nothing else fit right. It hugged and flowed in all the right places, which was a bonus this summer since my capris were a wee-bit tight, and I didn't want to drop money on depressingly large-sized new clothes.

But I have been trying this new thing where I eat less and move more (maybe you noticed:), and these days I feel a little more like this:

Aren't we awesome? I don't quite have my brother's drummer arms yet, but I certainly have less arm than 2 months ago, and a little definition in my shoulders...and you might note the lack of a double chin?

The Pants Dance
I have been belting all of my pants to fit my slimmer body. For the past year and a half I have bought only one style/make/brand of jeans, but they are spendy, so I have been waiting to buy new ones until I have saved up money for moving out, college loans and health insurance.

Ross came through for me though! I was doing a quick walk-through, on the lookout for a new belt, and I saw a pair of size 18 jeans that was one sale for 12 dollars. Worth a try?

YES! I am down two sizes since I last checked! So this is me and my new jeans(they stay up without the help of a belt!)

It feels great to be fitting into all of my clothes properly! And just as inspiration for even smaller sizes, one of my amazing/talented/fantastic/wonderful friends sent me inspiration jeans!!!

They are some of her old ones, size 10, and one day....I will fit in them.

Right now, I can only get them up this far. No worries! I will be trying them on every 5lbs so we can see them get closer and closer to actually fitting over my thighs, zipping, and buttoning! (And I will officially have my first pair of jeans with sparkles on the ass:)

So here is to sparkles on the ass, 80's dancing with friends, late-night food-carts, walking in downtown, and jeans! Have a great Saturday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!

I lost weight! Is this some dirty trick? I have a stressful week, stray from the healthiest choices, and am rewarded? I was hoping to find gain, so I could beat myself up and learn from my not so great choices...really.

But the scale tonight said 207lbs!! Holy Mole, that is such a low number! If I make it my goal to lose an average of 1lb per week thru the holidays (aka: booze/binge season), I could weight 200lbs as I ring in the new Year!

So many exclamation points!! I didn't know how important the Biggest Weight-Loss Challenge would become to my health, but it makes me sad to think it will be over before Christmas. We all cheer each other on, and make faces as we do painful exercises our instructor smiles and talks thru:)

(This is what I look like when I work out;)


So what have I done right in the past week? I haven't been hitting the gym too much for fear of becoming sick again. I wanted to give my body a chance to fully recover, so I walked...and walked...and hiked...and walked. (My dog really likes this trend:)

I also make sure I always have a healthy snack with me. Some people can "forget" to eat, or go for more than 5 hours without eating.

Hahahahaha!

Yeah, right.

If I don't eat about every 4-5 hours, I get cranky, tired, and my jokes fall flat:) Some common snacks I keep around are apples, oranges, string cheese, mini packages of teddy grams, edamame, or trail mix (which can be very high in calories and sugar, so be careful with portions). I also have started drinking green tea at least every other day. I don't know much, but I know it is healthy for some reason, and with some honey, it is pretty tasty!

What do you snack on through-out the day?


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

I have been waiting all week for the blogging mood to strike. Waiting for a fantastic positive message, waiting for more to write than simple (boring) updates, and I realized something today...

I didn't really want to blog because I have been off in my health plan, and I didn't really want to share that. I want to be strong, and above food cravings, and past the emotional eating! But as I keep typing and reminding myself, I am HUMAN.

I like to think that to have a balanced life means balancing good and bad...okay, a little less bad than good would be great:) I have good days, I will have bad days. I will resist, I will give into temptation. I will exercise, I will watch an entire season of Veronica Mars in one week. (924 minutes=15.4hours=too much squinting to watch tiny people on my computer)

So here is my catch-up, my truths, my week in retrospect:

The good news is...I lost another 1.5lbs! I currently weigh 209.5lbs, the lowest I have weighed in the past 2 years! To celebrate, I went out and bought 2 new DVDs. I wanted some funny in my life, so I got She's the Man (so bad it's good), and Beyond the Pale (stand-up by Jim Gaffigan). Woot woot for some laughter to come!

The bad news is...I talked more than I walked this week. My mouth was running off with ideas, suggestions, theories and opinions about weight-loss and health, but I wasn't living what I was saying. So I am trying to spend more time living my ideas than telling them to other people.

I ate...while distracted with media. I would either be on my computer or watching Veronica Mars, and I slipped right back into my old habit of munching while watching. We have all read articles about turning off the media (except for music) when we eat so that we can enjoy the tastes more and be conscious of what is going in our mouth. I don't want to slip back into un-aware eating. I don't want to be a couch potato. I want to be healthy. Blegh.

I was discouraged...about being sick. A girl can only cough so much!

I made...chicken soup! With veggies and brown rice! It turned out pretty well, and I felt ultra-healthy after eating it for lunch:)

I saw...a Jeep Cherokee with real deer antlers on the front. Truly. It was a sight to behold.

I appreciate...the beauty that is around me. The pouring rain and thunder that scared my dog. The silly community-theater play I saw with my parents. Having comfy shoes and dry socks.

I will...be kind to myself. Challenge myself. Pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep moving.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Fine Foggy Day

Thank you to everyone who gave me advice about being sick and working out! What I have been trying to do is be active every day without doing anything intense, and get lots of rest. And today I was able to talk in the morning without sounding like the 90 year old woman who has been smoking since she was 13! Imagine, a whole shift without using a cough drop!

On Friday I was able to workout with a friend and we swapped ab exercises and ideas. While I love listening to my ipod while working out, it was a great change of pace to talk while on the elliptical (I didn't even notice the 45minutes whiz by) and have a knowledge exchange.

It is so much easier to achieve a goal when you have help and support. When people know what you are trying to do, they can HELP YOU. And we are humans. Flawed humans. We need help:)

Especially with the holiday season fast approaching! How can you be healthy and happy when the only way to make your aunt Edna happy is to ask for a second helping of pecan pie with whip cream? How can we integrate new, healthier recipes into family traditions? Where do we find the time for movement when we are exhausted at the end of the day? All these answers* and more, coming soon to a blog near you!

*answers are subjective, and do not apply to everyone. As a matter of fact, they might be very individual, but can still serve as jumping points for you to answer the questions for yourself:)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm feeling like a natural woman...

You know what I love about being a woman? Okay, there are a few things, but one of the great bonuses of being female is the curves. Not the curves of my excess weight, but the natural curve of the hips and chest.

I have gotten into the habit recently of standing with my hands on my hips, because it is so exciting to me to have a waist again! For so long all I had was rolls of fat at different heights. But this is great. I feel more confident and capable, like a super woman! (Now all I need is a phone booth and a bodysuit/cape...on second thought...hold the body suit...not enough confidence for that yet:)

You know what else is great? My WEIGHT!

ahem.

I now weigh 211lbs.

211lbs! Or, in caps, @!!LBS! (1 more pound until I get 2 new DVDs...dare I start thinking about which ones I will get?)

In the past week of losing 4 pounds, I have had food poisoning and a cold, so circumstances were not primed for eating a lot, but wow. I feel like I am constantly (happily) surprised at weigh-ins. Every week I wait for something to go wrong. I step on the scale dreading a higher number.

And then I see results. Results for the hard work I am putting in. Results for bashing through the excuses, choosing to move, and moderate eating. These results are fueling my journey, and will hopefully inspire me when I hit plateaus. So here is to green tea with honey, rainy days, long walks with my dog, and curves!

Being Sick
Last Thursday I got intense food- poisoning. The next 24 hours were an unexpected detox that left me a little weak. Saturday I felt great again, and was able to do a workout at the gym that went something like this: 20min fast walking on the treadmill, then 15 min on the StairMaster, then 15 min on the reclining bike. ( intense, right? I'm calling it my mini-trinity:)

But Sunday I woke up with a sore throat (after a night of drinking with my brother and sister:). That sore throat steadily progressed into a cough/cold that kept my home from work for a day, and has me a little tired.

Now, the problem is, what do you do about working out and eating when you are sick? Most of my exercise lately has been dog walks of 1-3miles long. I take it at my own pace and slow down when I get tired.

When I get sick though, I crave not-so-healthy food. So I have had some M&Ms, ice cream, chips (gasp!), and some bigger meal portions than necessary. (I also made Moroccan Chicken Pot Pie! I love it so much, but the crust is butter and flour times one billion! Oh well...it tastes like moroccan air:)

What's funny is that I was feeling down about some of my food choices, and then I realized that my choices now are still SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE CHOICES I WOULD HAVE MADE 2 MONTHS AGO.

I forget how far I have come (33lbs, to be exact). I am not perfect. I am a work in progress. Aren't we all?

GOALS
1) Fergie Work-out....I don't know if I can last a full hour at a 15% on the treadmill, but I am going for 30 minutes.

2)Add 5 minutes to every workout....it's like doing an extra exercise session every week! This might mean extending my cardio, but I might also take that time to fit in some extra abs time, or try the rowing machine again. Try this out yourself, and let me know how it goes!

"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." -Maya Angelou

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fergalicious

Who doesn't love Fergie? She sings in one of the best groups of our time, she can handle a solo career, and she is beautiful without being a size zero or bland!

I was going through more old magazines and I found an article on her that I love. (keep in mind that this article is almost 4 years old, and I do not speak personally for Fergie. You might find it hard to believe, but I have never met Fergie personally...doesn't mean I don't rock out to her on my ipod!)

She talks about how she is very strict with her regular diet, but will, every once in a while, eat pizza, or drink some wine. She talks about body image, turning 30 years old, and scheduling in work-out time, but my favorite part of the article concerns her workout.

"Her favorite way to break a sweat? 'Walking for an hour on the treadmill at 2.5mph and a 15% upgrade.'"

WHAT?! That is crazy! So crazy, I just might try it. Remember that there are multiple ways to break a sweat and get moving. You don't have to be a runner to rock on the treadmill, just get a good incline going and stick with it!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

I, who have no sisters or brothers, look with some degree of innocent envy on those who may be said to be born to friends. ~James Boswell

So this is a random pictures/stories/crafts post, so enjoy!

The best news is that: My sister is home! She goes to school in WA D.C. Too far away. At least we have unlimited minutes between our phones. And I don't know if I told you guys yet, but I love my siblings. They hard-core rock. Like my little brother? He is center snare for the highschool marching band, and even though he is an 18 year old guy, he has good moments:)

Here we are at his last high-school football game!

So...we wrapped my sister's room in ugly wrapping paper as a homecoming surprise! And then we dog-piled...because we are cool like that.


This is my sister and I in awe of the bad decor in a B&B we were staying at...seriously? SERIOUSLY?


So this morning I got a little crafty. And it only took 30 minutes! All you need is a corkboard(or a fridge front, or a wall to tape things on:), some scissors, old magazines, and you are set!

I had been thinking about making an inspiration board for a while, and then was convinced when I say what Skinny Me had done. So I gathered my many old magazines and started cutting. And this is what I ended up with:
I choose real looking women, and people moving, and yes, that is Jack Black dressed as Nacho Libre in the upper left corner...who wouldn't want to be a rocking-comedian-cute-musician? In a cape?

Okay, I can see I am alone in this argument:)

So the last portion of this delightful-sunny-sfternoon post is about my breakfast. I think my sickness was some intense food-poisening, because I feel great now. Woot! And this morning I had an all-star breakfast.

Can I just say, I love oat bran? Not as soupy as farina or cream-of-wheat, but smoother than oatmeal. Then I sprinkled some walnuts, dried cherries, plain yogurt, and brown sugar on top. ( the dried cherries were a splurge as WINCO the other day:)

BAM! My awesome breakfast! Paired with a little black coffee and the best hydration out there: H2O.

Have a fantastic weekend!!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sickness and Success

Good health and happiness to you all! I am currently sipping blue gatorade, trying to restore my body that does not want anything to do with food. I am listening to my body (goal from last week) and it is saying, "take it easy. Slow down for a bit. Sleep." Fair enough body, fair enough.

In other news: I know you have been dying to hear the results of my most recent weigh-in, right? Well hold onto your seats folks, because Tuesday I stepped on the scale, ready to see 219lbs...and instead saw:

215!!!

yesyesyesyes!

I think I really pushed myself with working out the past week, including a "last-chance-workout" on Monday that consisted of my jogging/walking on the treadmill for 52 minutes. I don't think I have ever spent that long on the treadmill. Luckily, I was listening to the Avenue Q soundtrack. (quite possibly my favorite musical ever. Look it up.)

Such a huge weight-loss does concern me a bit though. I think some of it has to do with womanly bloating and body weight-fluctuations, so my goal for the next weigh-in is to maintain that loss. Especially now that I am sick and might not be able to work out as much.

Oh, and I finally had spaghetti squash!! The first way I tried it was with olive oil and a mix of cumin, curry, and a bit of red pepper. It still tasted really squashy (what did I expect?). But I was determined to make something tasty.

My second attempt was lightly sautéing artichoke hearts, peppers, onions, some bits of chicken, and then adding in 1/2 cup of low-sodium v8 as the "sauce." MUCH BETTER.

I am trying to think of my "diet" as an opportunity to get creative with my food. What can I make that is healthy? That doesn't taste bland? That doesn't taste like diet food? That everyone in my family can enjoy? It forces me to make a wider use of all the spices I have available in the kitchen. Except for rosemary. blegh.

So go be creative! Make something new! Concoct a new dish! Redo a bland sandwich! And spice up your life!



Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Sunday Funnies...

Hey guys! Hope everyone's weekend went well, I had some cake, some walks, some struggles with what to eat, but ultimately, I had a good time:) I just wanted to share wonderful video with y'all. Hope it helps you on your road to success and health!

Rawr!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who is Loser Girl?

I like a good stretch every now and then.

An extra post today! What fun!

I realized that my favorite blogs to read are the ones where I know some things about the blogger. And then I realized that there are a few people reading this blog who don't know me in real life! (how cool is that? Way to connect us, internet!) And y'all who know me wouldn't mind reading some random things about me, right? Right!

I now present to you, a random getting-to-know-me list:

I am 22. Yep.

I graduated from university in May with an English degree...like I was ever going to get a job with that:) And what a fine, healthy economy we graduated into...ahem.

I work as a barista, making espresso drinks for the masses. This means at least 4 days a week I am on my feet for 8 hours straight and working within 10 feet of a pastry case at all times...yay for burning calories in an active job! Boo on the pastry case:)

I live my parents at the moment....ouch. I actually really love my family, and living at home makes it easier to have good food on hand, as well as support and the cutest dog in the world. While I am hoping to move out soon to be closer to work, I really can't complain.

I love traveling. And books. And baking. And singing. And musicals, and hiking, and plays, and movie kiss montages on youtube, and the rain, and mountains, and the ocean, and games(like Clue and Apples to Apples, not mind games:).

While generally pleasant to people, I get pissy when I am driving...especially if you change lanes without signaling. If you do that, and notice the driver behind you gesturing wildly with her hands and looking peeved, wave...it's me!

The Pacific Northwest is the best region in the world. If you disagree, I will fight you.

Or I will let you have your own opinion on a very subjective subject...

But seriously, it is.








I gotta feeling.....oooooo!

Speaking of good songs, I listened to the Freaky Friday soundtrack the other day during my workout, and I was pleasantly surprised! It's no Black Eyed Peas, Queen, or rousing Beethoven symphony, but most of the songs have a good loud drum beat you can climb stairs to...you can also motivate yourself by thinking of lil ol' Lindsay Lohan and the path her life has taken...chuckle to yourself, then focus on making your life awesome, yet dignified:)

I weighed in this week at 220lbs: new sports bra, here I come! Good timing too, I'm starting to like jogging.

I'm going to be honest, I was a little disappointed at the weigh-in. One pound? I've done better than that every other week! But.

I lost one pound even though I went to a oktoberfest themed birthday party, ate out with family, and had the urge to hibernate. I lost that pound in a regular week of living...which means I am changing the way I live my life. It's scary and exciting at the same time. I love the extra energy I have when I eat right and exercise, and I need all the extra endorphins I can get! (I work in customer service...'nuff said.)
But this journey is also a letting-go of my old self. The old-self who would eat all the oreos, who would watch more tv. The old-self who had a pretty face, who was the perma-single funny friend, never the love interest. I could stream-of-conscious on this subject for a while, but I will limit myself to this: I am nervous about this new life I am creating, but I know it's the best shot I have at the life I want.



As for the past weeks goals, I did go jogging twice, but I only made two new recipes. No problem, I can do the other two this week. The two new recipes I helped concoct (new to me, that is) are the red cabbage and apple slaw, and a curry/coconut/cumin/pumpkin soup. I also now have some spaghetti squash in the house, so I am looking forward to making something with that for the first time!

So, new goals for the coming week:
  1. Two new healthy recipes!
  2. Listen to my body. I will continue to push myself, but I don't want to push myself to exhaustion or sickness. Then again, maybe this goal should include not listening when my body says, "it's hard. I don't know if I can do level 6. Maybe you should just take it easy." Hells no! I know that my body is capable of great things!
Hope everyone is rocking the socks off of this week and respecting themselves with healthy food, good exercise, and a wee bit'o'fun!