Sunday, May 29, 2011

Weigh in - largest weekly loss to date

Last week's weight - 269.8

This week's weight - 263.0

6.8 pounds LOST

66.4 pounds lost since June 2010

This is not a typo. I lost almost SEVEN pounds this week. I repeat, this ain't no joke. And here's proof:

I had to take a picture because I didn't quite believe it myself. I followed all of my rules this week, exercised 5x and had a great weigh-in. Funny how when you put all of your effort into something you get results, huh? It just goes back to my personal goal of putting 100% of effort into everything I do. I'm not talking about being perfect. No one is perfect, but everyone has the ability to put in 100% of effort into whatever they want to set their mind to. Whether it's weight loss, or learning to run or my job, I never want to be left wondering if I could have done something better if I had put more effort into it. I am not lazy and I intend to show the world I mean business.

I intend to take this long weekend to move onward towards my July 1 goal. I may not hit 250 by July 1, but it is within reach and I have my mind set to it. Plus I have a new pair of jeans a friend gave me that just barely don't fit and I intend to wear them soon. ;)

Happy Sunday!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A NSV: I may just be in shape

I've been going to water aerobics off and on for over 2 1/2 years. It was really the activity that got me on the wagon to working out regularly. I've always loved the water. As a child, I was on the neighborhood swim team for a short time and I learned to water ski when I was 4 1/2. I figured it would be something I would at least enjoy since I didn't like exercise much when I started out. And I did. I loved being in the water. Sometimes I would go 5 days a week. I still go from time to time and it is my goal to go at least once a week during the summer.

Wednesday I went for the first time in a couple weeks. There was a sub instructor, one that I've taken classes from in the past, but her style this night was a bit different, meaning I wasn't used to most of her moves.

There were a lot of new faces in class, many struggling with the moves. Then it hit me. I am no longer an exercise "beginner". I can do this activity, and many others, with relative ease.

There was one move in particular Wednesday night: Kneeling on on a noodle underwater, breast stroke from one end of the pool to the other. Using your core strength to keep you from face planting into the water. I was lengths in front of the others, looking back I thought maybe I was doing the move wrong? After studying the instructor a bit, I realized I'm not doing the move wrong; I'm just IN SHAPE.

A major NSV this week as I try to get back on my game and move away from the negative body image feelings I've been having recently.

What is your biggest NSV this week?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

PHOTOS: What I Eat

I haven't really had many words lately so today is show and tell via pictures day. I am constantly taking photos of what I eat. Sometimes I'll post on Twitter, but usually they don't get posted anywhere. So here is my latest collection of food photos.

Turkey, avocado, mozzarella and spinach on Arnold's whole grain bread.
Around 425 calories.

Crazy Veggie Salad. Local romaine & radishes (thanks Jenne!), carrots, broccoli and green peppers with parmesan and a creamy basalmic.
Approx. 218 calories.

Healthy Choice Chicken Romano Fresca Steaming Entree.
Pretty tasty and only 230 calories. Good for a quick lunch.

My favorite snack: Fage 2%, fresh blueberries and 1 tsp honey.
Fuels my after work workouts for around 215 calories.

Fish tacos (grilled tilapia) with avocado, lettuce and salsa and black beans.
A satisfying dinner for under 500 calories.

Another quick lunch: Annies single serving Mac & Cheese with 1 cup broccoli.
Only 280 calories and Fooducate gives Annie's Mac and Cheese a B grade!

Just a random selection of what you may find me eating from day-to-day. I'm currently in a food rut, so please share links to your favorite recipes in the comments. I'd love to try some new things ove the next few weeks!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weigh in - losing and gaining the same 5 lbs

Last week's weight - 265.0

This week's weight - 269.8

4.8 pounds GAINED

59.6 pounds lost since June 2010

I didn't even want to post this because I am so disappointed in myself. I was doing well earlier this week with 262 on the scale, but Friday night I let dinner out interfere and yesterday that trend continued.

For the last 6 weeks I've been gaining and losing the same 5 lbs and I'm sick of it. Here's to new rules:

1. No more sweets. No more of these weekly cupcakes at work parties or having a brownie because "it's just one."

2. Bye, bye alcohol. I've been drinking alcohol a lot more regularly and it just causes all kinds of unneeded calories. Sorry friends, I am back to boring Emily. I will go to happy hour with you or hang out at the bar, but I will be drinking water.

3. No more fried foods. This one doesn't get me often, but I do love my french fries so I'm throwing this in for good measure.

20 lbs in 6 weeks. It's not going to happen, but I would rather put all of my effort into trying it then knowing I'm half-assing it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mississippi Losing The War With Obesity

This story I heard on All Things Considered tonight is so intriguing to me. They take you to Holmes County, Mississippi - the most obese county in the United States. Where 4 out of every 10 people are obese. It is also the poorest county in the state of Mississippi.

The epidemic in Holmes County is so bad that they can now only seat 2 children to a bus seat when previously they would have sat 3 to a seat.

And what about the woman, who doesn't look much older than I am at the age of 27, that had a stroke in the middle of the night?

This breaks my heart so bad, I had tears in my eyes as I listened intently to the report on my way home from work.

Of course when you are a single parent, living off food stamps and trying to feed 3 or more kids, you are going to go for the processed, cheap foods because fresh produce is more expensive, afterall. Is there nothing we, the American society, can do to change this?

I appreciate the Mississippi law makers are trying to lead by example. But I wonder how many state funds were put into the"legislator bootcamp" that could have been put into communities like Holmes County?

And what about the people that don't even believe there is a problem in the first place? The ones that think that you aren't obese until "you are goin' past 300-somethin and you're havin a hard time walkin and breathin." That is an actual quote from the Southword video.

You can't force people to see that there is a problem with the health and wellness of their community. You can't tell a parent that it's not normal for their school aged children to have high blood pressure if they don't want to hear it. But how do you make them WANT to hear you?

I don't have the answers. I can tell you the facts of how to improve your health as I'm lucky enough that I woke up and realized I was killing myself with food and have spent the last 4+ years educating myself. I've made changes to my lifestyle and I was fortunate enough to be able to afford the healthy food to make those changes. But what about those that don't have these resources? What is going to happen to them?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Walking in the dark

Last night KG, Miss Lynn and I took to the dark of night, armed with flashlights, to do a little hiking as part of the Team Green Full Moon hike.

Miss Lynn made quite the pre-hike spread for dinner including Lentil Walnut salad, Quinoa Blackbean and Corn salad, Squash Mac & Cheese and hummus with veggies and wasa crackers. Yum!

Afterall, it is National Salad Month, right?!

After fueling up, we set out on a 4.5 mile hike looping through Edwin Warner and Percy Warner parks. The trail was paved, which I was half-way relieved since I am really clumsy and have a tendency to roll my ankle for no reason at all. So, navigating tree roots in the dark wasn't exciting to me.

KG and Miss Lynn ready to go!

It was an especially overcast and cool night, so we didn't actually SEE the moon, but there were several deer along the way. We probably saw at least a dozen total throughout the hike.

So, have you ever walked in the dark? Well, let me tell you it's not as easy as you'd think. When it first started getting dark there was definitely an adjustment to be made. Every tiny crack looked like it could be an ankle buster.

Overall it was a nice to get out and do something after work that didn't involve a 2-for-1 special or other food item. I will definitely participate again - especially if a clear night presents itself.

There is a nighttime 5K in August I'm considering doing. I have to remember August nights are not generally in the 50s and overcast as last night was. I'll have to see how I feel about running in the balmy 100 degree evenings we tend to have in Nashville, but I thought it was an interesting event to say the least. Not as interesting as the Zombie Buffet 5K though. More on that later!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My favorite dress is no more

A couple weeks ago I traveled to my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri to see my dear friend get married to her soul mate. I was serving as the guestbook attendant and music master, so I was invited to the rehearsal dinner.

I brought this dress to wear to the rehearsal. I hadn't worn it since the spring/summer the year before so I brought a "back-up" dress that was more casual "just in case." Well thank God I did!

After slipping the freshly dry cleaned dress hurriedly over my head, I realized this. was. not. going. to. work. The arm holes hung so low you could see my WHOLE bra strap and there were about 4 inches in between my body and the fabric on both sides. When I walked out of the room I was dressing in, my mom says, "just hold your arms down." Uh, thanks mom....

I'm not sure on what earth I thought I could still wear this size 28 dress when I had brought a brand new size 18 dress to wear at the wedding the next day. Really, I thought I could wear two different dresses in 5 sizes apart? I read people say all the time that their brain does not stay "caught up" with their body as they lose a significant amount of weight. I guess this was my brain's way of playing it a little slow.

I'm really sad to lose this piece of clothing. I bought it on a vacation in Pensacola. I wore it to my friend Annie's wedding and to my sister's rehearsal dinner, among so many other "special occasions." It's sleeveless, but I never felt self conscience wearing it without covering up my arms. It really is the perfect dress.

My loss is your gain, however, and I have posted it on Great Clothing Exchange. I've had it for a couple years, but it's honestly been worn less than 10 times so I wanted it to go to a good home. And it can be yours for the cost of shipping. Just head over there and leave a comment. The winner will be chosen at random on Monday.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Emily's famous blueberry pancakes

I am queen of winging it in the kitchen. I am constantly taking a recipe and either trying my best to healthify it or changing it up based on ingredients I have on hand. Very rarely do I follow a recipe to a T. Sometimes this ends in disaster. But Sunday this ended in the best blueberry pancakes ever.

Saturday on my grocery store run I bought some beautiful blueberries. I had blueberry pancakes on my mind for the rest of the weekend.

But I couldn't just make plain ol' buttermilk pancakes, now could I?

I started with Todd's Famous Blueberry Pancakes recipe (However, I'm not sure who Todd is). I only did a basic healthification this time around subbing 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup rolled oats for the 1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour. I also used the aforementioned fresh blueberries.

Each pancake is approximately 72 calories with 3 g of protein and they were very filling! I had 3 pancakes with 2 tablespoons of syrup and 2 slices of center cut bacon for a meal of 383 calories - well within my realm of a normal amount for breakfast - and I was sustained all morning, even through a late morning/early afternoon 2.5 mile walk before lunch.

I could have went farther and used applesauce for the butter or flax seed + water for the egg. Or cut the sugar out. But I was OK with those small trace amounts of fat, cholesterol and simple carbs. But taking these steps could decrease the calories per pancake by 7 whole points, should you care to do so. (9 calories if you use skim milk)

I've found my best strategy for weight loss isn't about cutting foods I like out of my life, but more about making modifications to bring some better nutritional value to these foods. Would it be sensible to say I was never going to eat pancakes again? No! I love pancakes for breakfast every once in awhile and if I can get a little more nutrition by using whole wheat flour and oats in my batter then why not indulge myself?

[Side note: I am never good at taking pictures, so I contracted Stephen to take a picture of the reheated results this morning, but alas I don't think they look too great reheated (a lot like shriveled disks), so you get nothing.]

Have you ever been hiking in the dark? No? Well stay tuned for my report on Wednesday from my very first full moon hike I shall experience tomorrow night.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Weigh in

Last week's weight - 265.6

This week's weight - 265.0

0.6 pounds LOST

64.4 pounds lost since June 2010

I was on a roller coaster this week. No joke. After a huge 5 lb loss, I caved into Mexican and margaritas in the early part of the week and booked myself to spend too many meals eating out (3 dinners and a lunch).

I resolved to stick to my 1650 daily calorie goal no matter what and while I wasn't perfect it made me conscience of what I was ordering and eating while out.

I was way up around Tuesday, back down Thursday morning and then up again Friday. I finally evened out this morning to score a small loss. And I didn't starve myself yesterday.

I forced a no eating out rule this weekend and successfully cooked a delicious dinner last night and even better breakfast this morning.

For breakfast this morning I made whole grain blueberry pancakes and center-cut bacon. I hope to share the recipe with you all tomorrow. It was one of my "substitute on a whim" creations and I believe it turned out great.

Happy Sunday y'all.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

So, I suck...

I really suck at this blog thing. To have a successful blog, you have to write in it, right?!? Regular updates are not something I have mastered.

I'm a woman of random thoughts and then quickly forgetting them. This is possibly why I like Twitter. I can share my random thoughts and although oftentimes no one is really paying attention it feels cathartic to share.

This hasn't been a great week. Not a bad week overall, just a bad week food wise and I'm feeling a bit bloated and guilty.

It started Sunday at a belated Cinco de Mayo gathering (Ocho de Mayo?). What went from resolving to try the 100 calorie Skinnygirl Margaritas, to not drinking at all and back again to the Skinnygirl variety turned into me drinking 5 or 6 regular, full calorie and sugar laden pre-mix variety. Add on a massive bowl of guacamole, more tortilla chips than thought possible and two, yes TWO, keylime cupcakes and I did not start my week off well (or celebrate my 5 lb loss in any sort of emotionally healthy way).

Tuesday I went to the gym AFTER having 2 margaritas at a happy hour and finished off my dinner leftovers when I got home.

These are the habits that got me where I was 4 years ago.

I'm really good at identifying the problems. Not so great at coming up with a solution I'll stick too. Regular grocery shopping and meal planning must be a part of my life again. Less eating out, even at the sacrifice of social engagements has to happen.

On a good note, I've completed 3 days of Couch to 5K. I started on Week 2 since I could already run 90 seconds at a time. I'm hoping to do two more days of Week 2 and then move onto Week 3.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Weigh in - 5 pound loss!!!

Last week's weight - 270.6

This week's weight - 265.6

5 pounds LOST

63.8 pounds lost since June 2010

Woot! Woot! Looks like the combination of cutting my daily calories intake a bit along with continuing to incorporate jogging into my weekly exercise plan is working!!

Very happy about this. I still have hope I can reach 250 by July.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Help....I'm hungry

I decided this week to cut my calories from my daily 1900 to 1650. It's an experiment to say the least and I'm freaking HUNGRY.

My reasoning behind it was I haven't adjusted my calorie intake since losing 60 lbs and I just randomly decided it was time. I started thinking about the doctor's visit I had a couple months ago. My doctor has one of those fancy scales and it measured my BMR at 2,100. Honestly, that's lower than I imagined. Even though that is the number I'm burning if I only lay in bed all day, I realized I was consuming 1900 calories a day - really close to that BMR number.

Let me tell you, 1650 is NOT a lot. It basically removes all the cusion I had in my day for when I attended a party, lunch meeting or happy hour and didn't have complete control over my environment.

The week hasn't been perfect. There was at least one day with margaritas and Mexican food involved.

I've also been hungry. Like right now. It's 9 pm at night and I'm starving. I've already met my calorie goal for the day (there was an icing incident when I made cupcakes earlier), so I'm most likely going to drown myself with water and go to bed slightly hungry. I hope my body will adjust next week and the feeling of hunger will subside.

What are your favorite low calorie meals and snacks? I've been turning to a lot more fruits and veggies this week.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Another gain...

Last week's weight - 270.0

This week's weight - 270.6

0.6 pounds GAINED

58.8 pounds lost since June 2010

Well, well, well...I'm doing pretty good chipping down that 60 lb weight loss. I'm not sure why I've been hovering around the 270s, but this had GOT to stop.

I'm torn between cutting myself slack for last week and beating myself up for not being able to get it together.

Actually I didn't do *too* bad last week considering I spent 2.5 days out of town at a work conference, eating away from home AND I went to a wedding in St. Louis. I'd say ONLY a 0.6 gain is pretty much a miracle.

Sat and Sun were a little rough. I mean, there was PIE at the wedding PIE! And then there was the alcohol part...

Click for larger image

I also got in 2 days of exercise despite the fact I only spent 2 nights in my own bed. I walked/jogged 2 miles at the hotel gym and 3.75 miles Saturday in St. Louis.

Saturday was my first time jogging outside since I pulled by back last August. At the time I was on week 2 or 3 of Couch to 5K. I'm slowly starting to incorporate jogging into my workouts by doing intervals of 2 minutes jogging and 1 minute walking. Hopefully soon I'll have the confidence to try Couch to 5K again. 8 months and counting to shave 15 minutes off my half-marathon time. Can I do it? We will see....