Thursday, December 30, 2010

My year in retrospective

This time a year ago, I was waiting. Waiting for what exactly? Well, I was one of the hundreds of thousands of morbidly obese Americans vying to be selected to be a contestant on a weight loss reality show.

In October of 2009, I auditioned for a new ABC weight loss show. I was around 320 at this time. They wanted people that were 200+ pounds overweight and I tried to act the part. I received a callback, but in the end I just wasn't big enough. Ha! That's something I had never heard before.

So, I spent the first two months in 2010 waiting to audition again. This time for Biggest Loser. I had auditioned once before for the show, two years prior in 2008. I was actually told during the October audition process, "if I don't get you on this show, I WILL get you on Biggest Loser." Those words gave me a lot of false hope. So, during these two months I did nothing to change my unhealthy lifestyle or try to lose weight. I did everything not to change the way I looked. I even waited to cut my hair and donate it to Beautiful Lengths. Between October and March, I actually gained weight. At this point I was hovering around 330-335.

The months following the audition was a roller coaster of highs and lows. The process completely broke me down and it was hard for me to not think about what might be going on behind the scenes in the casting process. This is an excerpt from one of the private journal entries I wrote during the casting process:
Whew, what an emotionally drawn out week this has been. I spent Sunday and Monday ANTICIPATING the call back, Tuesday morning was actually alright, I think I should have been more nervous than I was. I didn't really prepare. I was just excited I got calledback. Then spent Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday analyzing my interview and yesterday and today fretting over this damn hometape they want me to do BY TUESDAY!
So again, I did nothing for 2 months. I ate what I wanted and didn't exercise. In the back of my mind, I thought I'd be at the Ranch in just a few weeks, so why start losing weight now. Looking back, of course, this was a horrible way of thinking. On April 22, I received the news that the NBC executives passed on me as a potential contestant. This is the feedback I got from my casting director:
To be honest I feel like they thought you were just too all American normal. Everything I love about you.
When I read the message saying I was not selected, I cried. I was actually on my way to an event and I had to pull myself together pretty quickly, but that doesn't mean I didn't grieve for many days, because I did. Apparently I grieved for the whole month of May because on June 6 I started this blog and made a pledge to change my life and to never audition for a weight loss show again. It took me some time to get a grasp on eating healthy and exercising regularly again, but fortunately I was able to lose 30 pounds between June and November and maintain my weight in December. I can't say 2010 has been a horrible year, but I don't know that it was the best year either. There have been a lot of good times for sure, and equally a lot of disappointments.

2011 will bring at least 50 more pounds lost and my 2nd half-marathon in February. I will make 2011 a great year. And it won't be an accident when it is.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On the 12th day of Christmas my family gave to me...

Today was the first day in many days that I've felt in control again. My calories are under my 1,900 goal and I walked 4 miles at approx a 19 min pace.

I'm not even going to look back at what went wrong (well maybe I will for my own internal introspective, but I won't rehash it here). I'm only going to look ahead and make sure my calories are on point the rest of this week into next month so I can either lose or maintain on Sunday. I have to remember I have a hefty goal ahead of me - I have approximately 6 months to lose 50 pounds. Scary!

The highlight of my holiday (and birthday!) was definitely the awesome, awesome fitness gifts my mom and sister gifted me.

New "wicking" sports bra. I haven't tried it yet, but it seems like it will be way more supportive. I've been wearing crappy cotton sports bras that just don't provide any support.Resistance bands. I asked for hand weights but I got these - and I'm not complaining!!! It comes with a DVD so I can't wait to try them out. I'm in some serious need of strength training in my life. My sister tried to show me a few moves Monday night ;)

Finally a jacket that's not cotton! I've been wearing fleeces and hoodies, which hold in moisture. I think this will be a welcome piece to my workout wardrobe.

A great base layer piece - it features a "Duo Dry" material. I have tried it on, but haven't walked in it. It seems like it may be a bit short on me (I have a long torso), but I think it will work out fine.

There was one disappointment - these running tights. My mom got me a pair of XXL C9 running tights from Target. When I inspected them they looked....small. Sure enough they didn't slide past my thighs. I measured them and they are only about 36 inches around the waist - is that an 18/20? Seems small to me.

It makes sense that they didn't fit, I'm not an 18/20 or XXL. Although, I have another pair of XXL C9 capris I bought 2 years ago when I did the Music City half-marathon. They were actually tight when I bought them and I always had a wear a long t-shirt with them (and still choose to do so, even at 30 lbs lighter). I ended up ordering these Danskin Women's Plus Performance Leggings from Wal-mart. I loathe Wal-mart, but they were only $13 since this style is discontinued, plus I didn't actually have to go IN a Wal-mart store.

I can't wait to try out all these new, awesome gifts. I got new tennis shoes last week and I'm ready for that 10 mile walk!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Weigh in - week 29

Last week's weight: 297.2
This week's weight: 297.4

0.2 pounds gained

32 pounds lost since June 2010

Last night, after getting back to my mom's house at 3:30 am from family Christmas festivites (cause that's how we roll), we walked in to discover the house was 54 degrees and the heater stone cold.

At this point I was so tired and just wanted to sleep. We sought refuge at a friend's house and my head hit the pillow at 4 am.

The wacky sleeping schedule has left me groggy and I'm having a hard time getting going today.

This weigh in has me entering 2011 officially under 300!!! I am proud I've maintained through Christmas and have no doubt I will continue to lose next week.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Going "Loko"

View 2010-12-21 09:14 in a larger map

This was my "almost" 4 mile walk yesterday. I probably should have mapped my walk before heading out, but instead I just set off and just went where my feet took me. I am so thankful my mom lives in a safe, residential area perfect for taking my feet to the streets! I'll do another 4 miles tomorrow and on Friday I'll do my DIY 5K Santa Shuffle. That one I'll for sure need to map before hand.

I am eating fine, but last night I indulged in the alcohol a bit. Ever heard of Four Loko? Yes, the stuff that was pulled from the shelves because it caused a few deaths and heart attacks. Well, I tried the non-caffeinated version last night. I guess the draw is that is it cheaper than liquor, but has 12% alcohol - more than twice that of it's beer counter part. It didn't have a nutrition label so I have no idea for sure, but it tasted like it was filled with 5 million grams of sugar (and yes, it tasted good). Looking up the calorie count on Spark People, I found it has 660 calories in an almost 24 ounce can (and some sites report 60 g of sugar and 65 carbs). YES - I typed that correctly - 660! I only had about half a can because it was so sugary I couldn't drink it all. With that much sugar, it sure did cause an epic sugar crash too. Obviously this isn't something I should ever put in my body again. But when in Rome...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weigh in - Week 28

I forgot my laptop in Nashville so for the next week or so my blogging abilities are limited. My mom only has an archaic computer that takes forever to do anything and I hate using it. I did try to post my weigh in yesterday from a Blogger app I downloaded on my phone, but it deleted half my post before I was done, so I gave up.

Anyways, better late than never. Here we go.

Last week's weight: 295.8
This week's weight: 297.2

1.4 pounds GAINED

32.2 pounds lost since June 2010

The last several weeks I've been teetering back and forth between 295 and 297. I don't think it's a big deal, I just need to stay on my game for the next two weeks and really focus on making the scale go down after the holidays.

Tomorrow I will get in a 4 mile walk. It didn't happen today because I had a major case of the "Kelly flu" (aka hungover). I spent way too much time on the couch, but I had a great time with friends last night so it's totally worth feeling like a worthless blob.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday pitfall: how I survived

This is probably the hardest week I've had since September. I only walked once due to snow/ice and holiday parties (I will walk 9 miles in the morning). However, I did have one significant victory when I indulged at my work holiday party Thursday night AND stayed within my calorie range for the day. I'd really love to recap what I ate, so here we go:

3 oz honey baked ham - 170 cals
1/4 cup mashed potatoes - 50 cals
2 Tbsp corn casserole - 45 cals
Pea and mint crostini - 40 cals
Croissant - 110 cals
1/4 cup salad w/1 tsp dressing - 25 cals
Captain Rodney's cheese bake (2 Tbsp) w/3 club crackers - 130 cals
1 small brownie - 115 cals
1 small slice cheesecake - 240 cals
7 oz pino grigio - 155 cals

Total - 1,080 calories

Whoa I know, where does the victory come in you ask? For one, I did not eat every dish offered. I left out sausage dip, green beans with bacon, the cheese ball, potato salad, shrimp salad, and the list goes on and on. Secondly, I pre-planned my lunch so that it was low in calories. Lunch came in at 220 calories. With breakfast, I was only at around 585 before heading to the party. My calorie total for the day was around 1,660. Even if I miscalculated what I ate at the party (easy to do) and was off by 10%, that still puts me at 1,900 for the day - my goal.

While I realize others would approach the holiday party differently, I chose to enjoy myself and cut out unwanted calories elsewhere in my day. And so, I'm calling this a victory because I didn't compromise my enjoyment OR my calorie goal for the day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hold the Stuffing - halfway point

If you recall, I am participating in my work's Hold the Stuffing holiday challenge. It is a voluntary program facilitated by my employer's healthy and wellness department that encourages little to no weight gain during the full, two-month holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years. They weigh you in a week before Thanksgiving and a week after New Years. If you do not gain more than 2 lbs, you are entered to win a prize.

Today mark's the half-way point and I am happy to report not only am I maintaining my weight, but I have lost 5.4 lbs in the 4 weeks since I weighed in.

I am hoping putting this in perspective helps me stay away from all the baked goods I have in my house right now. Last night I munched on far too many molasses cookies and toffee bars. I need to bring them into work so they are gone in a snap.

This is also a good reminder of my "guidelines" I set a month ago. I have been letting them slip as of late.

- No consumption of any baked goods brought to work by others.

- Allow myself 1 piece of dessert ON the day of the holiday and not the days before or after (I am going to try to stay away from dessert until me)

Less than three weeks to get through the holiday tempations and I am hoping another 5 lbs lost!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Imagine my surprise when I was actually LOOKING FORWARD to heading to the gym after work in the snow, ice and -3 windchill. Yep, all I wanted was to hit the treadmill for an hour and decompress from my day.

However, my plans came to a screeching halt.

While in the elevator, my co-worker informed me the employee gym closed at 4 pm today.

Say what!?!

So my walking plan has been thwarted for the week. There's no way I can walk Thursday because of a work holiday party. And Friday is out because I am walking 9 miles on Saturday morning. So, now I'm down to just walking Tuesday (after a wine party) and Wednesday. Damn.

This makes it even more important to watch my calorie intake, this week, amidst plenty of holiday temptations and my very own baked goods staring me in the face.

I should be prepared with a back-up at home workout, but I have no idea what that should include. What is your favorite at-home workout?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weigh in - Week 27

Last week's weight: 297.8
This week's weight: 295.8

2 pound LOSS

33.6 pounds lost since June 2010

My scale has been doing some serious jumping around this week. Monday morning I was down 4 lbs from last week's weigh in to 293. Friday, I got on the scale and it showed me 3 different numbers between 293 and 299. Could something be wrong with my scale?

Despite the weird scale jumping around, my calorie differential (from Spark People) was around 8,900 for Sun-Sat, but I know I've had a couple situations where I could have done better. I had french fries twice in a week, which is something I don't normally do. I've also been craving all of the holiday baked goods and sweets so several days last week I had a couple cookies here, a few candies there. And it adds up. I am not of the mindset where I am never going to have cookies or chocolate again, but I need to stop saying, "oh I'll just have these 2 cookies" every other day. That's what gets you in trouble.

I have TWO holiday parties at work this week. One will be easy to avoid over indulgence because it's just an hour and a half wine party with light apps. I am bringing a healthy shrimp salad on cucumber slices. The other is dinner at my boss' house. This will be where trouble comes in. There will be fat filled appetizers, un-healthy honey baked ham with all the trimmings and pie....PIE! Not to mention alcohol galore. I want to enjoy celebrating with my co-workers, but not overindulge. I am bringing a vegetable and I know another co-worker is bringing a salad so at least there will for sure be a few healthy(er) options.

My plan is to simply have a light lunch and have small portions of *some* of the items and limit my alcohol to a glass or two of red wine.

How do you avoid over indulgence at holiday parties without drawing attention to your calorie counting ways?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It always comes back to being prepared

It was a frustrating walk today. My GPS tracker on my phone crapped out on me (couldn't find the GPS signal where I was - I think it was weather related) and I had no idea how far I walked. I decided to walk for approximately 2 1/2 hours and figured that would be around the 8 miles I needed, but unfortunately I turned around about a mile too soon and ended back at my car only about 1:45 hours in. I tacked on about a mile at the end by walking down 8 blocks past my car and the 8 blocks back, but it still only gave me around 7 miles. I was frustrated at the end because my feet hurt and I FELT like it could have been 8 miles.

I plan to make up the miles this week by walking Mon, Tues, Wed. (I have a holiday party on Thurs. and need to walk Wed instead.)

This morning made me realize I NEED to start planning my long walks out better so that I have fresh locations AND I know how far I am walking when I go out in case the GPS tracking on my phone doesn't work.

I think the sleepless night I had last night contributed to my frustration of not completing the 8 miles, but I'm trying REALLY hard not to let it get to me knowing I will get in extra miles this week. On another note, my calorie differntial is looking really good this week, so hopefully I have a good weigh in tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

3 miles: personal record!

You may have seen this on Twitter, but I almost forgot to post here that I did my 3 mile training walk last night in 47:53 - a personal record! That is approximately a 16 minute mile. I've been struggling with motivation lately so I decided to challenge myself with trying to do 3 miles in under 50 minutes. I have to keep the treadmill visits fresh, ya know?

Now that it's dark and cold outside, I've been hitting the treadmill during the week. I have a few tips to keeping it fresh:

- Do intervals. Either way you do it, either by distance or time. Choose an increment to go as hard and as fast as you can then do a recovery interval for a bit longer time than the first segment. (ex: 1/4 mile at 4 mph then 1/2 mile at 3.5)

- Change machines mid-way through your walk/run. I know it sounds silly to get off a machine, wipe it down, then move to the other side of the room, but the change of perspective may help your, "oh this is so boring" thoughts.

- Cover the display and only look at it after a pre-determined time. After a commercial break, for example. Or every two songs.

- Think of your walk/run as smaller segments. When I hit 1/2 a mile on a 3 mile walk, I am 1/6 of the way through. 1 mile is a third. Before you know it you'll be half way through, then you'll only have a quarter mile left.

- Make mental lists about what you have to to that day/evening, the next day, the coming weekend.

- And of course, set a time limit and finish your mileage before that set time. It keeps you focused on an end goal and the challenge gives you something to think about besides how boring the treadmill is.

Tomorrow I am attempting 4 miles. I may try to go outside on a well lit road with a bike path/sidewalk - we'll see how I feel!

Do you have tips for race training indoors? Share them below!

Random thought

Could this be any more amazing? Wedding cupcakes served in tea cups.

Cupcakes in teacups [Style Me Pretty]

This photo is right on target with my cold, wintery daydreams today. Love.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How to know when 'most of the time' is good enough

I love comparing stats and numbers and backing up my personal opinions with cold, hard data. Weird, I'm aware.

I follow several weight loss bloggers. Some, who I envy because it seems every week they lose, lose, lose - and never, ever have a gain! I'm jealous of those that "seem" like they have no problem taking the weight off (I know this is only my perception). I also run into several posts during a week of bloggers posting a gain - big gains - week after week. Lose and gain, over and over, the same 5 pounds. I am not judging anyone, just observing and using this observation as a catalyst to reflect on my own behaviors here.

Over the last 6 months I haven't felt like I had many weeks with significant gains (+1 or more), so I went to the data to investigate what my behavior when it came to the scale.

The Breakdown
  1. I had 6 weigh ins out of 26 weeks with a gain (1 week was less than a pound gain, and 1 week was 0.8 pound, but I rounded up)
  2. That is 23% of the time where I gained
  3. Which means, I lost weight 77% of the time!
  4. I missed 2 consecutive weigh ins due to being out-of-town for vacation (the only 2 I've missed)
  5. I lost 33.4 pounds in 26 weeks (June 6 - Nov 21)
  6. That is 10.14% of my starting body weight
  7. My BMI went from 44.6 to 40.1
  8. That is 4.5 points
  9. If I lose at least 2.8 pounds from my weigh in on Sunday, I will be OUT of the morbid obesity category (BMI of over 40) and move into the severe obesity category (BMI of 35-40)
  10. I have dropped 2 dress sizes and I already feel like I am working on crossing over into the next one.
So, my point is, that I gained 23% of the time, however, I lost weight 77% of the time which goes to show you to be successful you do not have to be perfect, but you have to be great MOST of the time to see results.

I am often hard on myself. I am my own food police, I am the food police to others (I am working on this). I feel guilty if I miss a work out, I push others to not cut out on theirs. I want to do everything perfectly, because if it's not perfect then I think what is the point? However, I think my biggest positive behavior has been when I do gain, or do go out and eat some french fries, I don't get down on myself BUT I do make a conscience choice to TRY BETTER NEXT TIME. There is a fine line between beating yourself up about a bad decision and being apathetic about your bad decision and not taking the chance to learn from your mistakes to make better choices the next time because in the end, if you aren't learning through out this journey then what is the point?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weigh in - Week 26

Last week's weight: 296.0
This week's weight: 297.8

1.8 pound GAIN

31.6 pounds lost since June 2010

I knew it was coming - a gain. I've been lacking motivation and the cold weather has my cravings all over the map.

This week, I will focus on pre-planning my menu for the week and get 7 servings of fruits and veggies each day plus I will make a conscience effort to not overeat on Saturday after my long walk.

I am also switching up my training schedule and swapping out the Monday walk to take a water aerobics class Monday evenings, which I believe will burn more calories. I've been doing so well on my long walks, that I feel I don't need to focus on walking 4 times a week when I could use some cross training in my schedule.

Lots to get done today - have a great Sunday!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

10 weeks until race day

I realized today that I am NOT a group exerciser. I don't particularly mind group exercise classes if I go on my own, but I don't really enjoy getting a friend, or multiple friends, together to go out and exercise.

I realized this when I pulled up to the greenway at 7:05 this morning and there were about 50 people from a local group training team getting ready to start their run. Anxiety immediately entered my body. Were they going to be doing the same pre-determined route as I was doing today? My next thought was, "that's a lot of people to run around or passed me." In the end they went the opposite way and I enjoyed my peaceful walk where I only saw 4 people until the last 2 miles of my route.

I like going my own pace - as fast or as slow as my body needs me to go. I get much better quality work outs in if I do them on my own, I am my best competition.

My walk today was another good one. If My Tracks is measuring correctly, I did my first two miles at a 4.5 pace and completed 7.4 miles with an overall pace of 15:47. However, something happened when My Tracks was tracking my walk because it measured my walk out at 4 miles and then the walk back to my starting point only at 3.4 miles. So, once again I have no idea REALLY how far I've walked or how long it took me. Oh well, here's what we're recording:

View 12/4 Training Walk in a larger map

Friday, December 3, 2010

Motivation in weight loss

I've been having a rough week on the motivation front. I was sick earlier in the week (and I still have an earache) and the weather in Nashville is cold, cold, cold. This makes me want to eat macaroni and cheese and stay in my warm and fuzzy bed all day long - but alas I have to go to work, I haven't had ANY mac and cheese and I've been hitting the gym to walk.

So how do I get out of this lack of motivation funk? Cindi suggested I write out my goals (i.e. smaller clothes, feel better, look better, be healthier).

This prompted some major introspective thinking on the treadmill last night. What are my goals? Why am I putting all this work in? Immediately I remembered my next milestone I'd like to reach: lose 50 lbs by July 1st. It sort of freightens me this is such a huge goal, 50 lbs in 7 months (7.14 pounds a month) is more than I've lost in such a short period of time. However, I didn't blindly make up this goal.

The reason why I put this date on my goal of losing 50 lbs is because my sister is expecting her second child in July and I couldn't be more ecstatic!! One of my reasons to change my unhealthy lifestyle back in 2008 was because my neice was just a few months old and I realized I wanted to be able to run around and play with her effortlessly. I didn't want to be the fat aunt. I didn't want to pass on unhealthy habits to her that have been passed around my family for generations.

I hope thinking about WHY I am doing this is motivation enough to get back on track and get the scale moving in the right direction. I hope my long 7-8 mile walk tomorrow will help even out my week, as I haven't been as diligent with food choices.

I think motivation is the hardest thing about weight loss - it provides dramatic ups and downs to boot. What motivates you? How do you keep your motivation alive?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weigh in - Week 25

Last week's weight: 296.0 (this was the actual weight even though I reported 299.6 - taken 2 days prior to weigh in day)
This week's weight: 296.0

No loss, no gain this week

33.4 pounds lost since June 2010

The scale held steady over Thanksgivning and the weekend that followed. Honestly, I dodged the bullet on this one. Here I confess my overeating sins.

Friday night I had about 400 calories of pie and ice cream, when I said I would not have pie other than ON Thanksgiving. There was just so. much. pie.

Saturday after my long walk, I ate about 2000 calories over my normal daily goal. It was boredom eating. I spent the afternoon watching movies and for some reason all those chips, ice cream, snack cakes and tater tots kept calling my name. This was the first time I binged in many, many months.

Yesterday, my mom and I went to lunch before I left town. The place we dined had delicious homemade pasta, so of course I got the cajun seafood pasta with CREAM sauce. The portion was larger than my head. Thankfully, I am getting better at saying "when" at the point I get full so I only ate about 1/4 of it and I left the leftovers with my mom. I hope she enjoys them, because that pasta was darn good!

So, I can't say I have overcame the triggers of family and home, but I am working on it. I feel like I keep falling off a horse and every time I fail it is more painful. I have a plan turning in my head for my Christmas trip home.

I hope you all had a satisfying, wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

7 mile half-marathon training walk

It was a bit warmer than yesterday's 27-degree walk and the sun was shining bright. I decided to do my long, 7-mile training walk on the Katy Trail - a 255 mile bike path that spans across most of Missouri, which I am lucky enough to have access to a trail head a few miles from my childhood home.

It was a brisk 37 degrees when I set out, but without a cloud in the sky, the sun was very warming. I was able to keep my pace at 17:30 for the entire 7 miles, finishing at just around 2 hours.

You can access this bridge on foot or bike - which is part of a highway bypass - to cross the Missouri River and connect to another greenway in the area.

A shot of the Missouri River, which a majority of the 255 mile trail follows.

I enjoy walking on this trail. It is secluded from traffic, but backs up to many neighborhoods so there is something to look at and has great river views. I think another reason why I enjoy being out on this trail is because I hope to do a cross-state bike journey on it at some point in my life. Maybe I need to ask Santa Claus for a bike?

My other new favorite thing is My Tracks - an app for Android that records activity with GPS technology. I was able to set 15 minute notifications so I never had to pull out my device and see how long I had walked. I effortlessly did 7.02 miles in 2:01:44 or approximately a 17:30 pace.

My walk from yesterday (I dated it wrong) and today are below.

View 11/25 in a larger map

View 11/27 in a larger map

Friday, November 26, 2010

Post-Thanksgiving report: Two Thanksgiving dinners?

It wasn't perfection, but I was in control and I made my food choices with the knowledge of what I was consuming. If I went back and changed anything, it would be not having the small snacks I had before dinner was served. that added about 400 calories to my day, but overall not bad.

I ate around 2,300 calories yesterday. My normal daily goal is 1,900. However, I ate my favorite Thanksgiving items (in limited quantities) and was very satisfied. I even had a small slice of my uncles' infamous Bourbon chocolate pecan pie.

I come from a family of divorced parents. I often have to split time on holidays between my dad's side of the family and my mom's side. This year was no different. I made the decision to eat Thanksgiving dinner at my aunts house on my dad's side. Afterward, I joined my aunts, uncles and cousins at my mom's house where they had not eaten dinner. I was full from my dinner a few hours prior and faced with another Thanksgiving dinner. I am happy to report that I staved off a 2nd Thanksgiving dinner and sat outside of the dining area while they ate dinner. This may seem weird, but my health is more important. I enjoyed the time visiting with my family before and after the meal, and ate dessert with them.

My Thanksgiving victories:
- No seconds at dinner
- I did not eat a 2nd dinner at my mom's house (normally I would have had another plate)
- I did not eat so many pre-dinner appetizers I wasn't hungry for dinner
- I only ate one kind of pie, and it was a small piece. (normally I would have tried every kind of dessert - pumpkin, pecan, coconut cream and apple pies)

Today, I took a brisk 3.16 mile walk in the 27 degree icy cold of Missouri and tomorrow I plan to do 7 miles. It feels good to get all of my walks in even though I am out of town visiting family - one of my worst binge and unhealthy food eating triggers - a REALLY great feeling.

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving too - I can't wait to weigh in Monday morning!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rain, rain go away

This morning I woke up at 6:30 (on my first day of Thanksgiving vacation) to pouring down rain.


My plan was to head to a trail not far from my mom's house to walk my 3 miles. At 6:35 my thought turned to, "No way, Jose!"

I know all the "real athletes" out there would say that if you're training for a race, then you should train in any weather. My roommate, for example, trains in rain, sleet, snow. Freezing or hot as hell. Well, I'm not that hardcore. So, I headed to my hometown's rec center.

When it comes down to it, it was between walking indoors or waiting for the weather to clear enough to walk outside with the chance of not walking at all. I decided the former was a better option.

So after paying $7 to be admitted, at 7 am I was here:

It was a pretty uninteresting walk, but I completed my 3 miles in 53 minutes, so that is what is important. I'm not sure what will happen with my participation in the 5K in the morning. The weather forecast does not look good for 7 am. My only hope is that the rain holds off - I can deal with the cold with layers.

What are you all doing this day before Thanksgiving? I've set tables, made two pies - Caramel Apple and traditional pumpkin and plan to have dinner with friends tonight. I can't wait to have a piece of one of those pies tomorrow!

Monday, November 22, 2010

If I was making Thanksgiving dinner...

On my mom's side of the family, creamed corn is a veggie. In my book, corn isn't even a veggie. To say my changes in thought over the last several months differs from my family's thinking about nutrition is an understatement.

I am going to my aunts house (on my dad's side) for Thanksgiving dinner, she does the cooking and doesn't let me bring anything. Which is fine, I only say that to paint the picture of how not in control of what is being served I will be this Thanksgiving.

My plan is simple: Walk 3 miles in the morning, have a light breakfast/lunch and watch my portions at dinner. Also, I don't have to feel like I need to eat every side that is served. I'll eat 2-3 that I really want (including as many green veggies that are served). I will also allow myself one piece of pie without guilt (it may even be pecan).

However I've given a lot of thought to what recipes I would substitute if I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner. My arsenal would include:

Creamy turnip-potato puree - 61 cals for 1/2 cup

Amy's green bean casserole - (omit the rice) approx. 75 cals for 1/2 cup

Homemade whole cranberry sauce
- (with some substitutions) 95 cals for 1/10

Baked sweet potatoes with honey and cinnamon - 90 cals for 1/2 cup

Roasted vegetables w/olive oil (carrots, Brussel sprouts, broccoli) - 50 cals for 1 cup

Mushroom gravy - calories unknown

And, of course Turkey - 120 cals for 4 oz

For a grand total of 491 calories - and honestly it is a HUGE meal, so using this menu you really could eat smaller portions of the carbs and still be very satisfied.

Part 2 - under 300 milestone: what I've learned and new goals

Always believe the scale - I weighed in this morning on my own scale and it did show, in fact, that I was at 296 - exactly what the "foreign" scale showed Sunday morning. So, always believe the scale whether you want to or not.

I also took my measurements today and here is the change since June:

Hips: -8.5
Waist: -4.5
Arm: -4
Thigh: -2
Neck: -2

Total inches lost: -21

The last 6 months have truly been a turning point in my life. I feel more in control of my eating and cravings than I ever have before. My binge eating episodes have been slim to none and I've learned how to enjoy food in smaller portions without completely cutting out things I love (read: cupcakes)

Things I've learned that have made all the difference:

1. Measuring my food to a T and learning what typical measurements look like without effort.

2. With that, logging EVERY. SINGLE. BITE. of food I consume. I have done this daily for over 3 months. Funny, how my most successful time in the last 6 months were the last 3 months. Correlation? I 150% think so. When you log your food (truthfully), you learn A) what the calorie counts are on your everyday foods so you can plan better and B) learn what foods have outrageous calorie counts that you can leave behind.

3. Stop and enjoy your food! I am a fast eater. Always have been, always will be. I still have a ton of work to do on slowing down my pace at the table. But when I think about actually slowing down I ENJOY my food more. I TASTE the food and end up more satisfied. When I used to read this tip in articles or books, I huffed at the idea - but spend a week really "enjoying" your food and you will see what I am talking about!

4. A little in moderation, is OK. I don't need to ban ANYTHING I love from my diet. If I plan to have a cupcake, then I build it into my daily calorie total. I never feel deprived and I believe this may be key in cutting down on my binges.

Now what?

The question I get a lot is, "What weight do you want to be at, what is your ultimate goal weight?" And my answer simply is I don't have one. Maybe it's because I am scared of committing to a number and then not getting there. But it's also because I didn't turn to a healthier lifestyle over 2 years ago because I wanted to be a certain weight. I just wanted to be healthier and live a more fulfilling life. I experienced my little brother's death (not health related) and my dad's heart attack. I had chronic back pain (still do) and every morning felt like an 80 year old woman getting out of bed. At some point I knew my body would start to give out even more, and I didn't want it to be when I was 30. I never set out to "be skinny." Some days I think I'd be happy at 250, other days I want to aim for the sky and be under 200. The bottom line is I want to be fit. I want to be healthy. And I never want my weight to hold me back. So I'm not sure what that number is, but I think I'll know when I get there.

New goals

In addition to continuing what I have been doing already (improving my relationship with food, logging my calories and following Carb Lover's) I plan to:

- Lose 50 lbs by July 1st (I know this seems like a random goal, but I'll have more explanation soon)

- Finish the Mercedes half-marathon in February.

- Work to fill my diet with at least 7 servings of fruits and veggies daily.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Goal achieved - 30 lbs down and under 300!!


I am OFFICIALLY under the 300 lb mark. I will NEVER see a "3" as the first number on the scale AGAIN! EVER.

Last week's weight: 301.2
This week's weight: 299.6

Total LOST this week: 1.6 lbs

29.8 pounds lost since June 2010

My weigh in is a little less than scientific this week, as I was out of town this weekend. I used a different scale this morning and it weighed me as 296. That seems a *little* optimistic to me, so I weighed myself after dinner tonight and I was at 299.6. So I'm officially weighing in at that number, knowing the number should be a little lower in the morning.

I've been thinking about this post for weeks now. How will I feel? What will I want to say?

In all honesty, this is just the first milestone of what I hope to be a handful more, so while I am ECSTATIC to be at this milestone, I know I have a lot more fight left in me. When I started this blog, I wanted to start simple with a goal I knew I could attain with a little bit of diligence and hard work. Now, here I am - 30 lbs lighter and UNDER 300!

If you remember my first post, my two goals were to:

- Lose 30 pounds by the end of 2010

- Run my first 5K by the end of 2010

Unfortunately, I folded my second goal after having some back issues 4 weeks into training to run the 5K. And while my running dreams are on hold, I'm walking 13-16 miles a week; training to walk my 2nd half-marathon in February. Out with one fitness goal and in with another! And I attained my weight loss goal 40 days ahead of my deadline.

Rewarding a goal achieved
My first choice of reward was to rent a bike from the new Nashville Bike Share program. They just started this program this year where you can rent a bike - for free - at two locations in Nashville - one downtown at the Riverfront and one at a bike trail.

Unfortunately, I found out 2 weeks ago the program is seasonal and closed last Saturday. I was crushed since I was REALLY looking forward to getting on a bike after all these years. So instead, I will be treating myself to my first ever facial courtesy of Groupon.

Part 2 coming soon
I've learned a lot these past 6 months and I am already brewing up my next weight loss goal. Should it be more challenging? Should I stick with what is working? I will share more of what I've learned about weight loss and myself, along with my next plan of attack, tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Scale surprise and eating for training

This morning there was a very special surprise on the scale. I hope it sticks around for Sunday, which means I would officially have complete goals (lose 30 lbs and be under 300) before Thanksgiving and 6 weeks before my deadline. This will definitely help me stay on track as I finish my work week and travel out of town Saturday.

I have a lot to post about - new clothes (2 sizes down), my goal reward, setting my next goal - I just haven't had the time.

Half-marathon training
Monday I didn't finish my training walk. I went to the gym during a peak time (right after work), which meant I could only be on the treadmill for 30 minutes - I got in 1.9 miles in 32 minutes, which is a 16:40 pace, but the schedule had 2.5 miles. So I have put $5 in "the jar."

Yesterday I went later in the evening and was able to do my 3 miles. I'd love to find another option for walking indoors, I just can't afford a gym membership right now. I will attempt to get up and do my walk before work on Thursday. Hopefully it is light enough.

Carb Lovers kickstart - Round 2
I admittedly realized last night I haven't been following the kickstart menu plans at all. I've been eating "Carb Lover's friendly," but out of the 3 days I've been "following" it, I've only really restricted my calories 1 day. I really will try to do better for the next 4 days, but I've just been really hungry since my 6 mile walk on Saturday, and I refuse to leave myself starving.

Anyone out there that exercises A LOT - I'm talking burning 2,000-3,000 calories a week - have any tips about how to nourish yourself so you aren't hungry, but you are also not consuming a lot of calories?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hold the stuffing

Every year my company hosts a 'Hold the Stuffing' challenge for their employees to maintain their weight during the holidays. Basically you weigh in before Thanksgiving and then again after the New Year and if you don't gain more than 2 lbs you are entered to win a prize.

2 years ago I gained 2.5 lbs

Last year I didn't participate (i.e. I probably gained 10 lbs during the holidays)

This year my goal is to maintain (or lose). So I weighed in today. And I will weigh in again the second week of January.

I've been working on my "Holiday Plan" for weeks now. I've made several "guidelines." A few are:

- No consumption of any baked goods brought in by co-workers (so far, we've had pie, cake, muffins, bagels and pastries)
- Allow myself 1 piece of dessert ON the day of the holiday and not the days before or after

I'm still deciding how to tackle Thanksgiving Dinner, as I will not have control of what is being prepared. Portions will be key.

Of course, when I talked to my mom tonight and asked her where she wanted me to eat Thanksgiving dinner (her family, or my dad's) she goes, "oh just eat a little at both."

I just can't win.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kickstart Round 2 - Day 1

Day One
I didn't do well on day 1. Insomnia left me awake at 5 am, and I had my breakfast by 6. I also indulged in a soy latte from Starbucks.

I was hungry every couple of hours (I'm attributing that to my 6 mile walk on Saturday), so I had several snacks. Plans to go watch football with friends had me drinking half a diet coke (damn you diet coke!) and then dinner out with friends at a Chinese buffet ended it all.

I was at 1,500 calories (my goal) before dinner. At dinner, I ate items that were not breaded and fried - no egg rolls, crab ragoon, fried rice or lo mein. I did have a few bites of rice noodles with my hibachi. So, what I ate was mostly meat and veggies. I had about a reasonable sized a plate and a half of food - somewhere around 600-700 calories is my guess but there's no way of knowing. The scale was unwaivered this morning so my calorie intake couldn't have been too off par.

Day 2 of Round 2 kickstart is looking up.

Missed walk this morning
It is cloudy and foggy in Nashville today, which means at 6 am this morning it was almost still completely dark out. Which also means I didn't walk because I'm not down for walking in the dark.

I have plans after work with a friend (for a manicure and pedicure), which means I will leave work at 4:30, go walk indoors, then meet up with her. If I don't make it tonight I'll be walking Tues, Wed, Thurs - not ideal.

This balancing act is what I remember disliking the most from the last half-marathon training. 5-8 hours a week of working out is just a lot in my book and usually something (friends, relaxation, a clean house) has to go by the wayside. Anyone have tips for time management?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Carb Lovers Kickstart - Round 2

Today I am starting another week of Carb Lover's Kickstart. There are four of us on Twitter doing it together (But I think I started a day early). The biggest thing for me I think is sticking to the 1500 calories.

Things I will do differently:

- Have the green tea drink
- Make sure I eat 1500 calories so I do not feel tired or lack energy (last time I was coming in around 1200-1400 and while I was not hungry, it caught up with me after a few days
- Eat an extra snack on the days I walk 3 or more miles
-I'm not going to stick to the meal plans exactly (not recommended for first time Kickstarters), but I am using them as a guide

Tips I picked up from the first time I did Kickstart

- Drink plenty of water - at least 64 oz a day
- Exercise 4 times a week
- No soda or other artificial sweeteners
- Stay away from sugar and sweets completely - you can stay away from dessert for a week! (Sub in fruit and Greek yogurt if you need to)

My hope is this will kickstart my metabolism right to get through Thanksgiving and get me under 300 pounds (only a little over a pound to go!).

In the case of full disclosure, I've already had a soy latte this morning. My insomnia had me awake at 5 am and I headed to the grocery story at 7 and a soy latte just sounded perfect. So I did it. Not the best start to a week of strict commitment.

I am also getting together with some friends today while they watch the football game. I plan to eat before we go and I will have unsweet iced tea while we're there. We may go out for dinner afterward, so I will try to have a lower cal lunch.

Right now, I'm going to have a banana strawberry shake (frozen bananas, strawberries and milk) for a snack - I ate breakfast at 6, so I'm already hungry!

Have a great Sunday!

Weigh in - Week 23

Last week's weight: 301.6
This week's weight: 301.2

Total LOST this week: 0.4 lbs

30.6 pounds lost since June 2010

I'm honestly ecstatic that there was any downward movement on the scale at all. I was expecting a small gain or just an even week. Honestly I know my extra water aerobics session and 6 mile walked helped. Also sticking to my guns on calorie consumption helped even me out from last weekend. After doing Carb Lover's Kickstart this week, I expect I'll be at my goal of under 300 lbs next Sunday. I'm already building my next goal.

Carb Lover's kickstart post coming up!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Uncooperative restaurant and 6 mile walk

That's the approximate route I took on my walk today - approximately 6.18 miles according to Honestly, it wasn't a bad walk (I've had worse). My time was 1:57:25, which is about a 19 minute pace. I'm happy with that for now since the last long walk I did was 4 miles three weeks ago. I know I'll need to get my time to 18:30 per mile eventually.

Two things I remembered about half-marathon training:
- You get freaking HUNGRY after your walk - I wanted to eat everything in sight (and I nearly did)
- My FEET hurt

Eating out at restaurants
This morning I shared the joy of a friend's pregnancy and unborn child at her baby shower. It was a wonderful celebration at a local restaurant, with a meal served buffet style.

I filled my plate with fresh fruits and cooked zucchini, squash and carrots and headed to the omelet station - passing up all the tasty looking fried chicken, pork, waffles, biscuits and gravy.

My first clue of impending trouble should have been when the omelet cook paused when I asked about egg whites and gave me a condescending reply yes. Then I asked for him to go light on butter and oil. A couple tablespoons of oil and a teaspoon of butter later (note: not light in the least) my veggie omelet was frying like the eggs I used to wake up to on Sunday mornings as a child.

The cook left my omelet there frying and stepped away for a few minutes. When he returned, I asked him if he would make another another egg white omelet with no butter or oil. He said he couldn't and when I protested, he laughed at me and rolled his eyes. At that point I gave up on eggs. After realizing there wasn't much for me to eat otherwise, I went to the manager asking if the the kitchen could make something for me. He wasn't helpful at all and told me they had to use oil to prevent it from sticking - saying this as he walked over to the omelet cook, not the chef in the kitchen. At this point, I wasn't going to eat anything anyone cooked me because the way they were acting (like it was a huge inconvenience) - who knows what they would have put in my food - bodily fluids or otherwise.

I didn't want to be a bother, I was a guest at a baby shower after all, and the focus wasn't on the meal, it was supposed to be on celebrating my friend and her child. So I mainly ate some fruit, veggies, and potatoes. Has anyone had trouble with a restaurant not being accommodating at all? What did you do? Is there anything I could have done differently?

Tomorrow I will begin the Carb Lover's Kickstart week again. I'm working on a post about that with some tips I jotted down about last time I did Kickstart and some things I'm going to do differently.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm back bitches

Last night I got on a treadmill for the first time since I failed at my couch to 5K training over the summer. I am very grateful that we have a free employee gym with treadmills, ellipticals, weights, classes and all the other usual suspects found at a gym. However, it's not a very "fun" place to work out - I am really hating the end of daylight savings for that reason.


I got my ass on the treadmill and crushed that sucker for 3 miles, with a pace of around 18:20. And no pain from my ankle, so I guess I'm back in full swing. I'm actually going to head to water aerobics after work today to get in an extra work out since I haven't really been working out the last two weeks (but I've managed to lose 7.4 pounds, imagine that).

Tomorrow I'll do my 6 miles, as long as my ankle holds out. I'm sort of scared about the pain this will cause because the highest milage I've done was 4 miles three weeks ago.

With a baby shower Saturday and a gathering with friends Sunday, my goal is to just stay within my calorie range and make reasonable choices. After last weekend, I have to do this to maintain (or just gain less). Sunday's weigh in will be interesting for sure.

Happy Friday y'all!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This dark at 4:30 thing is not working for me

The end of daylight savings time is kicking my ass. Anyone else in the same boat? It's only 7:15 and I could crawl into bed right now. Yesterday I headed to the employee gym to test out my ankle for a 3 mile walk. It was getting dark and once I got over there I realized there were no parking spaces because all of the lots were closed due to the basketball game. At that moment I had a choice to make, deal with it and seek out a parking space on the street a few blocks over or go home. I choose the latter.

This is a perfect example of how you always have a choice and making a series of healthy choices more times than the unhealthy choices will lead to being successful in building a healthy lifestyle (and hopefully in my case, weight loss).

Because of that choice, I got up at 6 am today and walked before work. Never in my life have I been able to exercise before work. I'm just not a morning person and the thought of getting up a couple hours early makes me want to puke. In this case the time change has affected me to my benefit.

My walk was pretty good. I only got in 2 miles before 1) my ankle started throbbing and 2) I ran out of time before I had to head home and get ready for work. I may try to do morning walks at least until it is too dark.

Training is going a bit slow at the moment, I've missed 2 longer walks because of my ankle and I'm not sure I'll be able to do the 6 miles on the schedule today. I'm just taking it as it comes and listening to my body when I go out to walk. This approach seems to be working, but I don't want to fall too far behind.

My scale showed a gain this morning. Hopefully being back on my eating plan and exercising even a slight bit will shake it out. I admit though, I did not count calories at all Sat - Mon. I ate what I wanted and drank plenty of alcohol. My family is a trigger I need to work to overcome. I intend to dive into this issue head on during the holidays. I'll be blogging more about the weekend and some "Ah-ha" moments I had when I comes to family and my relationship to food.

Carb Lover's Kickstart - take 2

I plan to do another week of Carb Lover's kickstart beginning Monday. Stephen and a couple lovely ladies I am following on Twitter (@marleneglaser and @onnalark) will join me and start their Carb Lovers journeys. If you've been thinking about trying Carb Lover's, please take the plunge and join us. It helps to have support. Email me at emilysbiglife [at] gmail [dot] com.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Early morning walk

I woke up at 6:15 this morning. That's earlier than I wake up even for work.....and I'm off today. Figures right?

My stomach is upset and that had to do with my early wake up call. I decided to take advantage of the lack of sleep and my time off and took a quick jaunt around the neighborhood in the brisk 35 degree. It was actually felt great.

My stomach is still upset, and I am staying far, far, far away from fried foods. I just haven't consumed that large of an amount of junk in awhile and I think my body has actually changed! Despite the stomach ache it feels great that my body CRAVES healthy food now.

Last day to spend with mom and I will be going back to my healthy eating with my banana-strawberry shake (and coffee)!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weigh in - Week 22

Last week's weight - 303.6
This week's weight - 301.6

Total LOST this week - 2 pounds

30.2 pounds lost since June 2010

Disclaimer: I weighed in yesterday knowing that last night I would be enjoying myself at the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ fest. And enjoy I did.

This week's weigh in DOES put me at my GOAL of losing 30 lbs by December 31st! 54 days before my deadline, by the way. However, I am still not under 300 pounds because of a few gains I had. I have something in mind to celebrate my first goal, but I will talk more about that and actually do it once I get to the under 300 mark. I expect that to be before Thanksgiving!

My mom is in town for the next two days, but I think I'll have some good blog topics next week - there was an interesting observation about the relationship with food between me and my mom and it definitely got my thinking. I can't wait to dive into it.

I haven't walked in over a week because of my ankle. I plan to do my first walk post-second sprain on Tuesday. My training schedule puts the walk at 3 miles, but honestly I'm only going to do that distance as long as is no pain during it.

Hope you all enjoyed your extra hour of sleep! I'm waiting for my mom to wake up so we can go to brunch. YUM!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fast Food Wars

I know we've all seen headlines like this: "McDonald's Happy Meal has no mold after 6 months sitting in woman's apartment"

Yeah, yeah, I usually read the article, view the pictures and shrug.

Well, here's the latest video in this "OMG, fast food is so bad for you" saga:

I want to know, does this make you not every want to eat McDonald's - or other fast food again?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This ain't your mama's fried chicken

Last night I made my first attempt at cooking collard greens. We got a bunch in our final CSA share last week. After the turnip green disaster, I proceeded cautiously and followed a recipe this time.

I used Amateur Gourmet's rendition of a Lee Bro's recipe. And they turned out great!

Given my big ol' pot of collards, I was craving some fried chicken to go with them. I was on my way to the grocery store and even reasoned, "Well, I'll just get ONE piece to take home from the deli."

But I didn't. Nope, I was a good little Carb Lover's (and calorie counting) girl and came home from the grocery store and dredged some chicken breasts in a mixture of corn flakes, salt and pepper and baked them in the oven.

Oh - my - goodness! It was SO good and the extra pepper I put in the breading mixture made it *almost* like my mom's homemade fried chicken I haven't had in probably 5 or 6 years.

I will be making this again and again! I also think I'll try Amateur Gourmet's collard soup idea with my leftovers.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Moldy banana bread, Halloween treats and ankle report

Well mold on banana bread is one way to prevent me from eating it when I am already full. I think this is the ONLY time any portion of a loaf of banana bread made it to the trash in my house.

NSV perhaps?

Someone at work brought in their excess Halloween candy *shakes fist* It wasn't even anything Carb Lover's friendly like Reese's or Hershey's dark chocolate. Also, did you know that fun size Almond Joys are 82 calories?

I don't really have anything to say, ankle hurts less today. I'll try to do a short walk probably Wednesday.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weigh in - Week 21 and another ankle sprain

I am a klutz. There's no way around it. I constantly trip over my own two feet, knock things over, fall and just all around am awkward. I also have weak ankles. I was blessed (insert sarcasm) with parents who have thin, long bird legs. I have very thin ankles for my size and sometimes I think that means my ankles struggle to keep me upright, as example tonight when my ankle rolled walking down a sidewalk in Downtown. I wasn't doing anything weird, or horseplaying. Just walking. I wasn't drunk - it was 6 pm - and I had only had one drink. I hit a an uneven brick just right and BAM my ankle snapped to the right.

The aftermath

The unfortunate part is I had plans to see a show at the Ryman with a group of friends. I was in a lot of pain and moving slowly and decided it was best for me to go home and elevate and ice it. It is better this morning, but still sore. I'm not sure how this will affect my half-marathon training, as I'll probably need to take a couple weeks off to begin to heal.

Enough Debbie Downer, on with the weigh-in!

Last week's weight - 308.6
Today's weight - 303.2

Total weight LOST- 5.4 pounds

28.2 pounds lost since June 2010

I finally broke through my pogo plateau and was able to shed over 5 pounds this week. I watched my food carefully, walked about 10 miles and took a water aerobics class.

One of the victories of this week is that I was able to enjoy a bit of alcohol consumption. I had a wonderful glass of red wine with dinner Friday night and a few drinks at the Halloween party that night. I also had a Sazerac at this Whiskey bar last night (the only drink I had of the evening.)

Not sure what today holds, friends from DC are in town. They may go hiking, but I hope some pre or post hangs are in order since I won't be able to hike.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ode to gluten free pizza

The last time I was at my favorite pizza chain in town, Mellow Mushroom, I noticed they had gluten free pizza crust. Intrigued I made a note to try it on my next visit - tonight that came to fruition.

GF Crust Ingredients:
Bean, rice and tapioca flour, starch, yeast and egg.

I'm not 100% sure this is Carb Lover's friendly, but given the choice between this and hand-tossed, greasy, white flour crust, I think it's at least a slight improvement.

I ordered the Mega Veggie with mounds of olives, tomatoes, onions, peppers, broccoli, artichokes and tofu. I substituted daiya dairy-free cheese for the feta.

Can you say, "freaking, absolutely delicious?!" I ate half of a 12" - I. just. couldn't. stop. eating. it. The crust was thin and crispy, but surprisingly flavorful. And the non-dairy cheese? ZOMG - soooooooo creamy, like better than regular mozzarella. The veggies were also super fresh and crunchy.

I have no idea how many calories were in this, but I did find that Uno's Chicago Pizza Grill has a similar item, and I calculated half of one of theirs to be 480 calories and I added approximately 1/4 cup of tofu for a grand total of 530 cals for half a 12" pizza. Not bad, even if I underestimated a bit, because I set aside 1,000 cals for dinner tonight not knowing what the options would be for me at this place.

The best part is my friends let me take the leftovers home for lunch tomorrow - now that's what I call friends!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bouncing around - Weigh in - Week 20

Last week's weight - 307.6
Today's weight - 308.6

Total weight GAINED - 1 pound

22.8 pounds lost since June 2010

Earlier in the week, I was down in the 305 range, but I allowed myself to be lazy with my eating over the weekend. I worked 8-6 Friday and 12-7:30 yesterday and I was on my feet so I used being tired as an excuse to eat fried rice on Friday and Taco Bell yesterday. So lots of sodium was taken in this weekend. Hopefully that's what the gain is from as my calorie counts were just slightly over my goal.

The regrettable part is that while I was working yesterday I resisted pizza AND fried chicken, but when I got home I decided to go out and get Taco Bell. And instead of just getting one burrito, I ate too much and felt sick afterward.

I've been doing this negative behavior the last few weeks where I'll do fine Monday - Friday, but as soon as Friday night hits I "don't care" what I eat. This will change this next weekend. I am just over 8 pounds away from my first goal and It would be wonderful to reach it before the holidays.

Heading out for a 4 mile walk (even on my sore and blistered feet) and maybe to the Farmer's Market later.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why you should stop making excuses

After a long day at work, and walking probably about 5 miles, I crashed at 8 pm. Now, I have a serious 3 AM insomnia problem. I have a lot on my mind, so I'm going to get on my soapbox for a minute (or two) here.

I have a lot of pet peeves. I'm just an easily irritable person. This is one of my faults. However, I have made a conscience effort to work on my irritability the last couple years, but one thing that will continue to grind my nerves is when people make excuses for not doing something or making a change in their life. On everything from an unsatisfying job, to low self-confidence to weight loss/building a healthy lifestyle, if you have a problem, no one is going to fix it for you, so fix it yourself.

I guess I was lucky that my mother and father raised me if I wanted something (tangible or intangible) then I should go out and earn it - with hard work. So, I don't take excuses from people well. I'm a problem solver by nature and I'll always have an answer to your excuse.

One thing that goes hand-in-hand with excuse making is only giving 50% of yourself to a goal. To me, it's all about being honest with yourself. Your sub conscience is the easiest person to lie to. Sure, it's really tempting to fudge a little when you enter your portions of what you ate in your food journal/calorie count, but who is that benefiting? You? It's not, because if you fudge, you know deep down how much you ate and a few extra bites at each meal that you aren't recording adds up and could hinder the scale. No one else probably even looks at your food journal, so you aren't protecting yourself from anything in the long run.

In turn, if you're honest and, even if you slip up, write down every bite at the correct portion size you will begin to learn the REAL nutritional information in what you are eating. So chances are, before you have that second helping of rice you'll think about having to enter it into your food journal and may choose to not go back for seconds if you aren't really hungry.

The same idea works in exercise and workouts. You know how hard you are pushing yourself. You know if you are walking as fast as you can to get your heart rate up or if you are just going through the motions. If you aren't going to give 100% to your work outs then whats the point? That's wasted time in my eyes. I am not saying every workout is going to be at the same intensity each and every time. Of course, you are going to have good days and bad days, but if you can honestly tell yourself that you are pushing as hard as you can and cannot push anymore, then you are working to your full potential.

If you haven't heard, I've committed to walking another half-marathon in February. This will be my second half-marathon. More thoughts on this to come.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I beat a Italian restaurant

I have a huge problem with making a lifestyle change to where you don't get to enjoy the things that you just plain enjoy - like going out to eat with friends. I know all the experts say mealtime shouldn't be social time, but too bad I enjoy having a meal with friends and eating out.

So, when my co-workers planned to go to lunch to celebrate another co-worker's new position (promotion) in another department, I, of course, wanted to partake.

The restaurant was Amerigo - a new world Italian bistro. "Uh oh, what's the chance they'll have Carb Lover's options," I thought to myself.

The night before I perused the lunch menu and narrowed it down to a salad choice, entree with fish or a grilled chicken option. Doing this allowed me to wait and see what I felt like eating for lunch that day before making a decision, leaving me more satisfied with my meal.

When we got to the restaurant I avoided the bread. It was non-Carb Lover's friendly white bread served alongside olive oil (my favorite combination). Sure, one piece wouldn't have been too bad, but I know one piece would have led to another and then another and before you know it I would have eaten a whole loaf.

I ordered the Chicken Acuto - Flame grilled chicken breast over black bean salsa with grilled Roman artichokes and green beans. Topped with a spicy sauce of olive oil, cilantro, lemon juice and seasoning.

Putting the ingredients into Sparkpeople, my lunch calculated under 500 calories. I'm considering this a victory. I realize it is just one meal and only one time I was able to resist the bread basket, but I feel like my portions and binging have been really under control (sans this past weekend) the last several months and every time I am able to do this out at a restaurant it reminds me it IS possible.

Again, preparation is key. Would I have been able to make a smart choice had I not looked through the menu before hand? Most likely not!

***Side note: in the midst of ordering I did find a note on the menu that they can substitute whole wheat pasta in most of their dishes - good to know for next time!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Preparation is key

I know I have a crazy week ahead of me - it's our biggest weekend event at work. Tonight I was at work until 6:00 and missed my walk. I did come straight home and cook a meal of sweet potatoes, sauteed kale and veggie hot dogs. YUM!

Knowing I'm not going to feel like cooking this week, I went out to Kroger and bought ten healthy frozen meals - mostly Amy's whole meals (which were on sale this week at Kroger). I plan to take 5 to work and leave 5 at home. I don't plan to eat all 10 in a week, but it gives me great grab and go options. I can pair it with some steamed veggies and viola, a healthy meal!

My other preparation attack for my busy week will be to take my work out clothes and tennis shoes to work tomorrow so I can walk directly after work before it gets dark, hopefully I won't stay as late, but if I have to then I will be prepared!

With a little preparation, you can have a better week.

Weigh in - Week 19

Last week's weight - 306.8
Today's weight - 307.6

Total weight GAINED - 0.8 pounds

23.8 pounds lost since June 2010

So I've been jumping around on the scale for the last several weeks. I haven't been very strict with what I'm eating so of course I will plan to go back to being stricter on following Carb Lover's and with my calorie intake.

Busy week at work. Hopefully I can do a full post tonight.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I've been a bad, bad blogger

Obviously I haven't posted in like years, but I've been busy. Starting last weekend I have plans for every weekend well through the end of November. Sigh. Being this busy makes motivation a kettle on a back burner for me. When motivation is down, eating right and exercise just don't get enough attention.

This week has been hard. I was out of my element dogsitting this week and today I am headed to St. Louis. Eating wise I haven't done horrible 'cept that burger and fries I consumed at lunch yesterday.

Did you know a regular cheeseburger and regular fries at Five Guys is over 1,300 calories!!! Outrageous! I looked at the nutrition content before heading there with a friend for lunch and opted for the little burger (no cheese or mayo) and half an order of fries. This cut the calories to 790. Still horrible, but I am learning.

Just did a little walking this week Tues-Thurs with the doggies. Yesterday I took an extra 20 minutes after exercising the pups to do another lap around the 'hood. It was cold out, but felt good.

Next week, I need to focus on getting back to my regular exercise schedule and hit Carb Lover's a little more stricter. I haven't weighed myself all week, so I have no idea where I stand.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weigh in - week 18 - Carb Lover's week 2

Last week's weight - 307.6
Today's weight - 306.8

Total weight lost - 0.8 pounds

24.6 pounds lost since June 2010

I know I was MIA last week. I just had a lot going on and it was a busy weekend. I'm back this week and ready to be in full swing.

I admittedly didn't post my weigh in on purpose yesterday because I had a few too many beers (7 - spread out over the whole day) Saturday and I was bloated. I weighed in at around 310 yesterday morning. This morning I was back to my normal expected weight of around 306.

This second-in-just-three-weeks morning-after beer weight gain has taught me I just can't drink beer. Even light beer, which is what I was drinking, makes me bloated. I will have to stick with vodka and a no-calorie mixer when I want to have a bit of alcohol from time-to-time.

I also did not follow Carb Lover's very strictly last week. C'est la vie, right? I got pretty much back on track yesterday (except for the sushi I had with white rice last night).

I'll be housesitting for a friend this week and she has a great neighborhood to walk in and with two dogs to walk I hope to get in plenty of exercise.

Happy Monday y'all!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Final weigh in for Carb Lover's kickstart week

Starting weight (9/27) - 313.6
Today's weight - 307.6

Total weight lost - 6 pounds

23.8 pounds lost since June 2010

Well, I did as the Carb Lover's editors promised....I lost 6 pounds in 7 days! And I am now just about 7.5 pounds from my goal of being under 300 and losing 30 pounds by the end of 2010. My aspirational goal is to hit this milestone before Thanksgiving!

This is just a quick update to post my final results. Look for Part 2 tonight where I talk more about my feelings on the Carb Lover's plan and post some tips I figured out along the way.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Carb Lover's - Day 7

I had the most perfect walk today. It was only in the high 50s around noon today and it felt great! It was my first real walk of fall with hoodie and all. The weather combined with a lucky and amazing Pandora playlist from the Justin Timberlake station put me at a good clip consistently for an hour. I really wish I had a GPS watch to measure distance and speed, but my feeling is that I did about 3 miles.

I went the same direction on the greenway as when I was recovering from my back pain. I went about a mile further in just 10 minutes longer time. If all of my walks made me feel this great then I would want to get out and walk more!!

I completed day 7 of the kickstart plan of Carb Lover's today. I will weigh in tomorrow morning and post the official amount I've lost the first 7 days. I will also post my thoughts on the plan and some and share some tips I think will be helpful to anyone considering using this plan as their means for a lifestyle change.

What I ate:
B: Fiber one carmel delight w/1% milk
L: Shrimp stir-fry with ginger
S1&2: corn tortilla filled with almond butter and chocolate chips (warmed) and baked lays
D: Skillet salmon and Parmesan potatoes

Calorie count: 1,678

How I feel:
1,600 calories seems to be my sweet spot. I definitely couldn't sustain 1,200 and have been more mindful about getting in snacks and eating larger portions during meals. I was able to do a to do a lot of activity today without feeling hungry or tired. Truthfully, I am beat now and didn't have the energy to go to the grocery store, but I really got a lot accomplished today.

Weigh in tomorrow!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

National Banana Pudding Festival and a NSV

A couple friends and I headed out the inaugural National Banana Pudding Festival this morning in Centerville, TN. The website promised sampling "the best" banana pudding around. The three of us shared the eight 2oz samples offered on the Puddin' Path.

I did end up taking tiny bites of each sample (and a few second tiny bites of few of them). All in all I probably didn't eat more than a 2oz cup, and that is probably a generous estimation considering there was a 1/3 of our samples left.

They had actual banana trees along the Puddin' Path and decorating outside!

The Puddin' Path was decorated in greenery and banana trees.

Samples 1-4

Samples 5-8

The aftermath.

After all the pudding-ness (and a quick stop by the local quilt show) we headed on our way back to Nashville and to find some lunch. We ended up at a little Mexican restaurant. I stayed Carb Lover's strong and ordered a meal of two chicken tacos with corn tortillas, no cheese and beans on the side. I did also allow myself to have 5 tortilla chips and guacamole. Spark People estimates my lunch at around 490 calories and I am happy with that. My friend nominated our day out as another non-scale victory (NSV) and I'm accepting it!

What I ate:
B: Fiber One Carmel delight w/1% milk
L: 2 chicken tacos with corn tortillas, lettuce & tomatoes, 1/4 cup refried beans, guacamole and chips
S1: apple
D: Shrimp stir-fry with ginger
S2: Frozen yogurt (no-sugar strawberry and original tart)

Calorie count: 1,604

How I feel:
I woke up with a good amount of energy. But later I felt a bit sick to my stomach, it may have been all the time in the car on windy roads though. All in all I feel good. And I am proud it was effortless for me to keep on plan today.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Carb Lover's - Day 5

Today has been a rough day energy and food-wise. I took an early lunch to run some errands. After eating the trail mix snack I headed out and thought, "why not walk?" So I walked about a quarter mile to the eye doctor to pick out my new glasses and then walked from there over to the medical center, which by my estimate is about a mile. Then, it was a 15 minute walk back to my office.

By time I got back to my office, two hours after my snack, I was STARVING. I ate some left over chicken pasta primavera. About an hour later I was still hungry and actually feeling a little dizzy and light headed. With no extra snacks on hand I had $1 in cash and headed to the vending machine. The baked chips were my first choice but they were $1.25 and I literally had $1.15 in cash. So I got the "whole grain" Lance's crackers with cheese. They were a bit salty, but they did the trick. I have no idea if these are Carb Lover's approved. They are a little high in calories and fat, but they had a few grams of fiber and 9g of whole grains.

I was tired all afternoon, but the crackers held me over until after my water aerobics class. I snacked on some strawberries on the way home since I had to stop by the grocery store to get some lean ground beef.

Now it's 8 pm and I really could just go to bed. After I get this laundry done and bathroom cleaned, I just may do that.

What I ate today:
B: Nature's Own whole grain sandwich thin w/1 T almond butter and a banana
S1: Trail mix (cornflakes, dried cherries and almonds)
L: Chicken Past Primavera
S2: Lance's Whole Grain crackers w/cheese
S3: 10 strawberries
D: 4oz 96% lean ground beef on Nature's Own whole grain sandwich thin topped with mustard, spinach and onions. Served with side salad and 1/2 a baked potato with salsa

Calorie count: 1,719

How I feel:
Tired, tired, tired.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Carb Lover's - Day 4

I didn't think that what I brought for lunch today would be filling enough. All I had was a black bean burger, a small apple and string cheese. I did feel immediately hungry afterward, but I think that was more because I was used to eating MORE in volume. After a bottle of water I was good to go until my 3:30 snack of 2 wasa crackers and almond butter. I LOVE almond butter!

Tonight I made the recipe from Carb Lover's that I was most excited about. I give you, Chicken Pasta Primavera.

I love a good pasta dish. I always loved pasta. Give me a seat at a table at Olive Garden and I'm basically in utopia! Perhaps that's just the unlimited breadsticks though....

I think that the editors of Carb Lover's Diet printed the measurements wrong on this recipe. If you follow it exactly, the servings only allows for 1/2 a cup of pasta and 2 ounces of meat. That's a pretty small serving to me. Here's what I did:

- Used 1 cup of dry pasta, which roughly gives you 2 cups cooked; diving into two servings. Even by increasing the serving size in the recipe I was eating 1/2 a cup less than the serving suggestion on the packaging.
- Cooked about 1 lb of chicken breast; divided into 3 portions that's about 5.33 ounces per serving (these are all estimations as I don't own a food scale)
- Cubed the zucchini vs. ribbons (It was just easier to prep that way)
- Served it with 2 T of Parmesan cheese per serving instead of 1 T
- Omitted the salt

It resulted in a nice, filling portion of 435 calories for dinner. And it was pretty delicious (but it needed the salt).

What I ate today:
B: Banana and fiber granola bar
L: Morningstar black bean burger on whole wheat thin bun, small apple and string cheese
S1: 2 whole grain wasa crackers w/4 tsp almond butter
D: Chicken Pasta Primavera

Calorie count: 1,239

How I feel:
Still going strong. Walked before dinner for about 25 minutes.

I had the realization today that of course I am rocking this new menu. I am doing so well because it is within the structure of Monday thru Friday. I generally don't have a problem eating right during the week. The real test will be Saturday and Sunday. I'm glad I've started to think about this so I can start to mentally prepare myself to stick to the plan and not slip. Especially because I am going to the National Banana Pudding Festival! No pudding samples for me unfortunately...

Thank God tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Carb Lover's - Day 3

I stepped on the scale this morning and according to the scale, I've lost 3 pounds since Monday morning and weighed in at 310.6. Wouldn't it be awesome if I kept up this momentum for the next 5 days?

I also made it through the morning without snacking!!! I was starving by 11:30 again and I could have had the strawberries I packed, but I drank more water instead and found that's all I really needed.

I added a couple handfuls of spinach to my banana shake today. I'm also going to pick up some protein powder or add a cup of greek yogurt to the shakes in the morning because I think that will help making the shakes more filling over the 4 hours between breakfast and lunch.

What I ate today:
B: Banana shake (frozen green banana, 1% milk, honey, spinach)
L: Big Chopped Salad
S1: 1 oz tortilla chips and 1/2 cup salsa
D: 4 black bean tacos

Calorie count: 1,459

How I feel:
Still going strong today. I walked around 1.68 miles after work and then had dinner with friends. I probably didn't need that last black bean taco at dinner because again the meal was filling, but it was so delicious I wanted another one!

I've shared two of the Carb Lover's recipes with friends and both were loved by all. I did add some lime juice and jalapenos to the black beans tonight that surely made them tastier.

Of course, I am craving my usual chocolate and fries. But these are just cravings, it has nothing to do with actually being hungry. Despite my weird dream about food last night, the food has been pretty satisfying on taste factor.


I had a dream...

I had a dream last night about food restriction. I think this concept has been consuming me this week on Carb Lover's kickstart as I'm not used to following a strict meal plan and while I'm not starving myself, I am not allowing myself "cheats." Yes, I've been counting calories for awhile now, but I usually just eat what I want in moderation.

In the dream, I was at some sort of state fair type place and people were trying to shove french fries and funnel cakes and corn dogs my way. What the heck!?!

I turned down breakfast on Saturday with a friend at one of my favorite southern, family style restaurants, Monells. It was a big decision for me and one I don't regret. We are going to still meet up after breakfast and have a great day together. Still, I can't believe I turned down Monells because I am always looking for an excuse to go there!

I honestly don't feel that restricted on the kickstart plan. Sure, I'm having to make changes in what I am eating. But I have wonderfully supportive friends. Tonight my CSA group will get together for dinner (as usual on Wednesday nights) and I am serving them the black bean tacos from the Carb Lover's book. I have also invited them to bring something along if they'd like and we will probably make a veggie dish from our CSA stash.

If I can do this, then anyone can. It just takes a little planning.