Monday, October 18, 2010

Goals For the Week

I've decided to put down some goals for this week. If this helps, I will make it a habit.

Workout at least 20 minutes each day this week, working up to 30 minutes.

Do Yoga everyday! This is the calming, breathing sort of Yoga and will be aside my regular workout.

Drink only 2 mugs of coffee each day. Drink in the morning so as not to effect sleep.

Eat well and eat enough!

Allow myself a low cal daily treat. My daily diet is almost completely sugar free. I eat fruit, but other sugars, especially refined sugar, are almost completely done away with. I suspect this is leading to cravings. A piece of birthday cake at a party makes my head spin and makes me want more.

Make time for fun and relaxing.

So far this week, so good.

As I think about the 2 bad weeks that led to this day, I am thankful. I've learned a lot during my downer time.

Today I am feeling firsthand why it is so direly important that I take better care of myself. I only made it through 20 minutes of working out. After eating around 1000 calories each day for 3 days and not exercising for 2 weeks, believe me, I feel it. I am still considering this a step in the right direction and after a good night of sleep and eating regularly for a few days, I will feel stronger.

A lot of people online workout more than I do, but I cannot keep up what I was doing. I must find moderation. Since I began exercising, I have always hit it hard and burned it out leaving myself drenched and exhausted. When I have lapsed in my routine, the first few days actually make me feel better. I have to find the moderation to pursue a routine that allows me to feel improved by physical activity.

I spoke to my doctor about this. She has advised me to only workout for 30 minutes, 5 days a week or 40-45 for 4 days. She said that I should use a couple of days to do moderate exercise and couple for intense. I had been working out 5 days a week intensely. I am going back to morning exercise because getting it done in the morning allows me to feel freer for the rest of the day. Also, I am seeking fun in my routine. I love running, but each day I pushed myself to run farther and faster than the day before. I cannot keep competing with myself in this way. I just want to move and I want to enjoy doing it.

I am still learning. With each blunder, I learn what not to do. I am learning about myself. I feel physically badly right now and emotionally drained, but I am learning and I see nothing except positive things coming from this.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Turn-Around

I have not been taking care of myself. My calories have been fluctuating in an unhealthy way with days of overeating followed by a few days of under eating to try to compensate. Exercise has been hedged out by stressful activities that only make the cycle worse. I am dull, I am tired, while climbing stairs yesterday I thought my legs would not carry me.

I finally started doing some light Yoga a couple days ago. I had to do something! It has helped.

Today is my turn-around. I ate a healthier amount of calories and drank less coffee, and feel amazingly better. It is surprising how quickly the body responds. Tomorrow I plan to workout for at least 30 minutes.

It is time to shake off this funk.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Slippery Slope

I was reading Shane G. today and thinking that it was so amazing that he can balance this whole weight loss game with other responsibilities like school. College makes me want to eat my arm off. Seriously, it is so difficult for me to control the stresses of school and find the mind, energy, and motivation it takes to control what I eat and how I exercise.

I fear I am on a slippery slope.

Exercise has been nonexistent for me for a week and a half now. I tried to make up for this by cutting calories, but that has only worked about half the time. I am eating very healthy, whole foods, but too much of them. Right now, though it is evening, I am drinking coffee and gearing up for another late-night study/homework session.

I am in a sucky place. I just keep telling myself that I’ll do this until I get over the hurdle... I’ll cut back on calories in lieu of exercising until this week is over.... I’ll do better when this tough class ends.... I’ll lose this five pounds when I can (lately I’ve been losing and gaining the same five pounds while struggling to just maintain). The thing is that as these classes end, new ones begin.

I only have about 20 hours left. I don’t know if I can make it. I fear that I am only getting a BA so that they can stick me a cubicle, any way. I bet I could gain a tremendous amount of fat sitting in a cubicle all day

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Paying off

Feeling good about myself has been a challenge for me my entire life. You know, just feeling good about who I am and how I look right now with no preconceived, externally influenced conditions. I realized this fully just yesterday, and I realized it because I looked in the mirror and realized how much I like myself right now.

I am not a petite woman by any stretch. I am six foot tall and of big Scandinavian/German stock. No matter how much I lose, I will never be petite. As I looked in the mirror yesterday I noticed this, but felt so perfectly fine with it; something that I never fully felt okay about in my life until now. My reflection appears healthy and strong now. My shoulders are broad and you can see muscle definition in my upper arms and legs. I am not chiseled and my physique is still very feminine. I just look healthy.

Yep, this whole healthy food and activity thang... yep, it pays off.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Egg Nog!

It may be a bit early, but I’ve already made egg nog. I followed the low fat, low cal recipe below.

Lite Egg Nog

5 Cups Light Vanilla Soy Milk or Skim Milk
1 Small Packet of Instant Fat Free, No Sugar Added Vanilla Pudding
6 t No-Calorie Sweetener
1 T Rum Extract
1/2 t Nutmeg

Blend all ingredients on high in blender. Allow to chill overnight. Can be served with shot of rum added, but don't forget to add calories.

Made with soy: about 68 calories per 1 cup serving
Made with dairy: about 120 calories per 1 cup serving

I tried this recipe using both skim milk and light soy and both worked very well. I’ve seen this recipe on several foodie sites, one attributed it to Hungry Girl.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My appetite has been ridiculous lately! Too many nights I’ve found myself around 500 calories over. Nothing is happening on the scales, but I really need to rein this in a bit. I think I may have brought this on by attempting to cut calories too much and upping my exercise at the same time. I need to figure out what the magic range is and stick with it. I am even considering visiting a nutritionist.

The food that I am eating is actually really good, and that is part of the problem. When I find myself craving a heaping spoon full of almond butter and a glass of skim milk or a big bowl of watermelon, it is difficult for me to say “no!” I want to respect my body, but I also want to avoid giving in to cravings that are not good for me. It is a difficult dance sometimes.

Besides my monster appetite, I feel great about my body. During my runs I really notice just how awesome I feel. I feel strong. Last night I even earned a compliment on my guns while running in a sleeveless shirt. Awesome! When I feel so good the loose skin around my thighs doesn’t bother me, nor does the dab of marshmallow I am still carrying in my lower stomach area. Some of these problem areas will tighten up with time, but even if they don’t I am prepared to live with it. I just want to be healthy.

I made this for dinner one lazy night not long ago...

Raw Brownie Dough

2 T Almond Butter
2 T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 t salt
1 T Stevia or another no-calorie sweetener
1 t vanilla extract

Mix and eat. Makes 1 serving at about 300 calories.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I do not believe in things just falling into place. I believe in forcing the pieces to fit. I just cannot seem to figure out how to make all the “healthy lifestyle” pieces come together and stay that way. For days or weeks all the food pieces will work in my favor, but exercise will not be happening like it should. At other times, all the exercise pieces will fit, but the food pieces will be out of control. Why can’t I get it ALL together?

Recently I have been working out like a mad woman, but my appetite has been stoked. My weight doesn’t seem to be going up, but it isn’t coming down either. Adding this to the other pieces of life I am trying to juggle and it just seems so overwhelming.

I do have some good things to celebrate. My upper body is toning up nicely due to some weight training I’ve added. I am running longer and faster than ever. I may not be losing weight, but I am toning up.

Things I need to work on: controlling calories and eating clean! This morning I’ve already given in to a Poptart craving. I need to work toward making these pieces fit better.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I am still working on getting it right. In weeks past I posted about how controlled my calories were. This past week, my exercise has been regular and intense, but my eating has been, well, more than it should. No binging, nothing too out of control. I think that trying to cut back on calories may have backfired.

Nut butter is something that I am going to have to keep out of the house for a while. I am not attracted to the kid’s hydrogenated stuff, but the dark chocolate almond butter and the white chocolate peanut butter is going to have to go for a while. Getting enough protein is an issue in my diet, but I am going to seek sustenance from something with fewer fats and calories.

My steps ahead this past week: For the first time ever I ran for a whole 30 minutes and covered about 3 miles and I have had many successful smoothie creations.

Here is a new week! Leap ahead!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Duly inspired by Patrick, I planned a run at 5 AM this morning. However, the inspiration of the Sand Man overpowered Patrick’s good example and that run never happened. It is probably for the best because it has been a constant rain since I awoke this morning at 6. I have run in the wet, I have run in the cold, but I think wet and cold would have been overwhelming at 5 AM. (Should that be “ran” or “run”? Microsoft Word says it is “run.” Hmmm.) I still plan to take that run tonight.

I have not been doing so well with keeping my calories below my new limit. I tried to cut back only a few hundred calories, but that is easier said than done. I am still eating below maintenance, so I am not too worried. Peanut Butter seems to be the real culprit that is setting this goal amiss. I am uncertain what to do because getting enough protein in a diet stuffed full of fruits and veggies is already a challenge for me.

If you have completed the C25K, what are your plans? How do you plan to keep in shape during the winter? Do you plan to do the C25K again in the spring, or do you have a plan to keep up the running indoors?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

C25K Graduate

I have finished the C25K program, but I am still working on perfecting my time. I run about 3 miles in 30 minutes, sometimes more like 2.75 miles, so my time could use some work. I take walk breaks sometimes for 2 to 3 minutes when I really feel like I need to. I am still very happy with the distance I am able to cover and how good I feel running. Loosening up on myself and being a bit more easy going about the program has made running more fun for me. Some runs are better than others, but the key for me is just doing it 3 days a week no matter what is going on or how I feel.

This week I have stepped up the strength building. I am mostly working on upper body and core strength. It feels good. This is a part of my fitness program that I have neglected at times.

Yesterday I made BBQ Kale Chips...

BBQ Kale Chips

1 T Mesquite BBQ seasonings (garlic, onion powder, cumin, paprika, pepper)
1 t Splenda
3 cups Kale removed from stems and washed
Nonstick spray

Set oven to 300. I used a premade Mesquite rub, but you can easily mix your own seasonings. After preparing kale, place one layer on sprayed cookie sheet. Spray kale with nonstick spray and sprinkle with Splenda and BBQ seasonings. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Resolve

I have been hovering right around 10 pounds from my goal for a while now. This has been mostly due to my satisfaction with being this weight. I feel good! I feel really good, most days! That feeling of jumping out of the bed in the morning, even when I didn’t sleep so well the night before, is my favorite part of being healthier... but I digress.

My goal weight became my goal because it is the weight that the FDA proclaims healthy for my height. I have been slouching around for a while and I now have set a plan into action to fix that. (For some reason I feel this post needs some evil laughter at the end. Maybe it is all the talk about my “plan.”)

I am cranking up and varying my workouts and pulling back slightly on calories (only slightly pulling back because I am afraid of stalling my weight loss; my caloric intake is pretty steady and controlled now).

Mwahhh, ha, ha, ha!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I think I am coming out of my funk. This week has been a toughie, but I am nearly soaring today.

I am fortunate that I am not a true binger. However, I do have some tendencies in that direction. I have to be careful around the sweets because those are the old eats that I miss most. I am learning new ways, primarily using fruit, to get my sweet fix without heading back to old habits.

The binge tendencies really showed themselves this week. Monday I realized during a stressful phone conversation that I was almost planning to go out for cake and ice cream. It was weird because it was more of an urge or desire that was beginning to cement itself in my consciousness. Just as my plans began to take shape with me eating a helping that equaled more like 3 real portions and leaving the rest for the kids (as if I was being selfless by doing it for the kids), I reminded myself that I do not eat that way anymore. The urge returned over the next couple days, that cake became chocolate in my mind as the urge and plan was further getting a foothold, but I resisted.

Today I ran out to the market for a few things and didn’t even think about that cake and ice cream. I didn’t even realize I had done it until I sat down to write this post. I am almost certain that had I visited the market on Monday or Tuesday, I would have given in. With what refined sugar does to my blood sugar levels these days, I would have been stoned all day.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Earlier in the day I changed into running clothes and began stoking myself up for a run that I wasn’t feeling up to; this seemed to help. After my 5 minute warm-up walk, I took off and as I looked down my path I figured it would be awesome to run around the neighboring baseball field.

This baseball diamond is surrounded by uneven ground and has totally wiped me out in the past. Running on uneven, grassy terrain partially uphill is hard. So in the very beginning I ran it. I ran around that diamond that seems troublesome for the high school boys who run around it. I ran the rest of my run (20 minutes) and finished with another trip around the diamond. I think I may make this grassy route part of my regular run. The hills could really make my legs stronger.

I was doing really well within the C25K program until the heat wave hit. I’ve ran 25 minutes twice, but for the last couple weeks my runs have been more like 20 to 22 minutes. I felt good about my 20 minutes tonight because of those trips around the baseball diamond. It feels wonderful to do something that seemed so challenging before. It was tough, especially the second time, but I did it!

After my most excellent run, I came home and made this Green Goddess dressing for my salads tomorrow.

Make tomorrow a great day!

Blogging For the Greater Good

I want to send a big Thank You out to my friend Big Clyde at The Clydesdale Project. To be honest with you all, I have not been feeling it this week at all. My diet has been healthy and within my calorie allowance, but the exercise has not been coming easily. Right now, due largely to inspiration from Clyde, I am wearing running clothes and will be heading out later this evening for my C25K run. Thanks again, Big Clyde and all the other fitness/weight loss bloggers who pique my thoughts in the direction of better living every day.

So this is how this works, aye?! Jack Sh*t has posted often about how much blogging has helped him in his journey. At this point in my journey, I am in quasi-maintenance. I am 10 pounds away from goal, but some of my habits have shifted from loss to maintenance. When I first started I could lose 6 pounds in a week, while now losing 1 pound here and there makes me smile. Most of the time just not gaining makes me very happy. I can see blogging being a huge aid in helping me to maintain for the long term.

A few blogs very worthy of recognition (in no particular order):

Dr. Fatty Finds Fitness
Responsibility 199
Losing Weight after 45 is a B*tch
The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser
The Anti-Jared
Bitch Cakes

And, of course...

The Clydesdale Project
Jack Sh*t

I have been reading most of these blogs throughout the process of losing 80 pounds and I cannot thank the writers enough.

Friday, August 6, 2010

OMG! I found Truwhip!

This may not seem like a big deal. It is to me because when I began losing weight, my kids still wanted sweet treats from time to time. Low sugar cakes topped with an icing made of fruity yogurt and Lite Cool Whip became a dessert that I could share with the kids. As clean eating became more of a priority and the knowledge I was garnering began trickling into the choices I made as a mother, Cool Whip was one of the first chemical laden products that stopped coming into my home.

But, I still occasionally like cake (whine, whine). Last night we made strawberry shortcake (my youngest made a tall concoction she called “longcake”).

Strawberry Short(long)cake

1 box reduced sugar yellow cake mix
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 cup natural applesauce
1 container strawberry yogurt

1 container Truwhip
1 container strawberry yogurt
1 pound strawberries

Mix cake mix with applesauce, water, egg whites, and yogurt and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until lightly brown. Mix second yogurt and Truwhip. Layer cake, berries, and topping in bowls or parfait cups. 16 servings= less than 200 calories a serving!

(Truwhip did not sponsor this post in any way! I am just pleased to find an all natural whipped topping sans high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and other funky stuff.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I have been making my own yogurt!!! Yes, all those exclamation marks are at the end of that sentence because this excites me!! Making my own yogurt saves money, ensures that I am eating clean, and, I don’t know, it just feels so dang quaint. You can make your own plain yogurt, too.

You need:

Crock pot slow cooker

8 cups of milk (anything but ultra pasteurized; I use skim milk)

Yogurt starter (you can buy yogurt starter or just use a small container of natural plain yogurt with live active cultures)


Place milk in slow cooker and turn switch to low setting for 2 1/2 hours. Unplug, do not remove lid, and allow milk to sit for 3 hours. Remove about 2 cups of warm milk, mix with live cultures and pour contents back into slow cooker. Wrap towel completely around cooker for insulation and leave it for 8 hours.

Your final product should be slightly runnier than store bought yogurt, but can be strained through a coffee filter in a mesh strainer for a thicker, creamier consistency. The final product may be a bit lumpier than the store bought stuff too, but this is only because the yogurt lumps are floating in whey. It’s completely natural and while it may not look great, it tastes so fresh.

It’s weird... I was never a foodie, I could not even really cook until I began living healthier and caring about what sort of food I put into my body.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Still making progress, but so tired

Life has not been a bowl of cherries. Well, actually I’ve been eating so many fresh cherries that removing all those pits have stained my fingers and left me in dire need of fresh manicure, but Life has been full change and difficulties. I always feel like a whiny child when I write stuff like this. Adults are supposed to be accustomed to life being difficult and unfair and act accordingly with resilience by adapting. But, to be honest, my husband losing his job is the worst thing that has ever happened to us. This is the biggest blind change we’ve ever made. I look back and feel as though we were hiding in that small town where everyone knew our names and knew our history. Now, I am constantly dealing with city dwellers who seem to always be covering their a*ses because they’ve been screwed over so many times. Business and social interactions are just very different here. It is a different culture out here, folks.

During times like this I just want to run. I want to run until I burn. it. out. Thanks to the C25K I can now run. I could barely run 1 minute when I started, now I easily run at least 25 minutes, and that is if I don’t feel up to the full 30 minutes for some reason.

Some days I feel like I have mastered my bad habits. I can look back over several days and see that I have eaten plenty of veggies, drank lots of water, exercised, and taken excellent care of myself. Then something crashes and I find myself struggling. I find myself reminding myself of why I began this journey, why I even lost over 80 pounds to begin with, and I keep reminding myself with a pitiful weariness.

The good news is that a year after beginning all this “new lifestyle” stuff, greasy foods totally disgust me. The idea of eating cheese fries smothered in ranch dressing or a fastfood burger (foods I once thrived on) totally turns my stomach. Now if I could just get all disgusted by cheesecake or cookies, I’d have this thing all set.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Dang, it's been a while. I've made loads of progress since my last post. I am controlling calories, but not as afraid of food as I was when I was last blogging. It seems that at that time losing so much weight made me terrified of gaining it all back. I am no longer afraid, but I am wise about the habits I cultivate. I am working out more than ever and feeling great because of it. I am also still losing weight, but at a much slower pace than before which is to be expected. I am happy in my own skin more than ever before.

Life, however, has not been easy this past year. A little over a year ago my husband lost his job and was forced to move into the city. Me and the kids were left behind and have been preparing for the move since. This is a huge move for us! Not only will everything be new, but my kids will be leaving a small, conservative school and little town for a much bigger city with its benefits and pitfalls. I have spent this time finishing my Bachelors degree and taking better care of my body. I am now completely off all medications and my blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are excellent. I've done this so that I can watch my kids grow up. I will be there for the good and bad in their lives. That is the motivation that gets me through, that makes me work out when I don't want to. Any way, this year has not been a piece of cake, but I have found that even when everything feels out of control, my physical well being is something that I really can control, and that is empowering!

Soon things will change. (God, please let it be for the better.) My family will be reunited. In 21 hours, this part of my schooling will be finished and I will hopefully find a job and begin work toward an MA. And maybe things will settle down a bit so that I can exhale.

This is probably not my return to blogging. Acting as a single mom (God bless the parents who must to do this all the time), I barely have any time for blogging. By the time I get the kids home from school, do homework, make their dinner, make sure that they get some much-needed outside time, and get them to sleep at night, I am all worn out. This is after a day of working out, cleaning house, doing my own homework, and boxing/bagging things for the move. I will keep this blog open. I enjoyed reading it a bit this morning and thinking about where I was and where I am now. Perhaps in the future I will return full time. Perhaps.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I now own new running shoes. Spending money is sort of a commitment for me. If I pay for something, I am motivated to use it. I know I can do this. There is a casual marathon that takes place in late summer in a city near where I live. As soon as the snow melts, I will begin preparing. Well, actually preparation has already begun; that’s what the new shoes and online research is all about. ;)

My hamstrings are killing me and I hope they do not hold me back. I started jump training last week to “ramp up my metabolism” and the work out is causing my thigh muscles to hurt badly. I just hope that this doesn’t mean that pain in my hamstrings is some weakness or defect that will hinder my running aspirations.

Before work out:
1/2 of a banana with 1 teaspoon natural peanut butter on whole wheat flat bread – 200 calories

1/3 cup oats mixed with 1/2 of a banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon brown sugar – 250

1/2 lemon Lunar bar – 100

PB & J on whole wheat with crispy kale – 400

Snack size Snickers bar, a couple conversation hearts (V Day just never really ends) – 100

Chicken soup – 200

Carrots with 2 ½ tablespoons of hummus – 200

Pumpkin yogurt – 200

Pumpkin yogurt is made with 1/4 cup plain canned pumpkin and 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Total: 1650

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Today was a victory that I am only now fully appreciating.

This morning I awoke feeling awful. I have been feeling badly for a few days and blaming it on bad sleep. However, when I checked my blood pressure per doctor’s orders my heart rate was below 50. My pressure was something like 111/60, but the low heart rate was what concerned me.

For the last few days my heart rate has been around 56 or 57, but yesterday it was twice checked at 52 and this morning finally dropped to 49. Anyway, a trip to the doctor today confirmed that I am so over hypertension medication. They took them away! I am free of meds! Free!

My doctor was tickled. I mean fists above her head, arms in the shape of a ‘V’ tickled. I was happy, but felt too unwell to properly show it. I was trembling and dizzy. I am finally now enjoying my small victory.

Oh, and all of my blood work from last week was finished and my cholesterol, triglycerides count, everything is perfect. I am healthy! After a good night’s sleep, I will feel like a goddess.

Before work out:
1/4 cantaloupe with 1 tablespoon almond butter – 200 calories

Overnight oats – 300 calories

Lunch was awesome:
Grilled cheese on whole wheat with low cal cheese and bell peppers, crispy kale, and a side of bell peppers with 2 tablespoons hummus for dipping – 400

I made my crispy kale by coating bite size pieces of kale with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a teaspoon of olive oil and then baking at 350 for 20 minutes. Halfway through the process I shook the baking sheet to make sure that all the kale became equally crispy. After baking I seasoned with sea salt. These were surprisingly good (at least I was surprised). I was offering a piece to everyone in the house exclaiming, “Try these! They’re so surprisingly good!”

Roasted potato and peppers with a cup of vegetarian chili and 1/2 cup plain yogurt – 700

Whole wheat toast with 1 teaspoon almond butter – 100

Total: 1700

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Due to snow, it looks as if this evening’s meeting at church will be canceled. These meetings are supposed to be similar to Weight Watchers and all who are “interested in nutrition, exercise, and healthy living are welcome.” I am really looking forward to beginning a program that will keep me ramped up to lose these last lingering 20 pounds.

Last week I added jump training to my daily work out. This has been very challenging for me. I have always been a book worm and never athletic, so my body is surprising me all the time. At the age of 32, I am just now learning where my physical strengths and weaknesses lie. Most of these surprises have been wonderful in that I am amazed at what I am capable of. The bad surprises lie in learning how painful and tight my hamstrings and thigh muscles can become. Today I became terribly cramped in my left thigh. I’ve studied anatomy and physiology, but I can’t remember all that stuff, so let’s just say my lower a$$ is hurting on my left side. I kept going and the cramp mostly worked itself out, but tomorrow I may skip the jump training and do something else.

I haven’t been doing a good job of chronicling it, but I’ve already made time for 2 thirty minute sessions of yoga this week. My weekly goal is 3 yoga sessions.

To be honest, I am a bit of a mess right now. I appreciate my body more than I ever have and I am taking very good care of myself, but this is a difficult time for me emotionally. My husband with whom I am very close is living 2 hours away, I am trying to prepare my children, myself, and my house for the move, and I have 3 final ten page papers due this weekend to end my current term. If my husband were here these tasks that just seem so huge to me would not be so difficult. He supports me with encouragement and he helps with the kids and house, so I am really missing half of my team right now. Still, I am so happy to have made these changes because being healthier allows me to better tackle the hardships of life.

Here is some truth: if we are each lucky, we will live long enough to witness our bodies cease to work properly. No matter how well we take care of ourselves now, this will inevitably happen. When this does begin to happen and we find ourselves facing the disorders and illness that come with old age, we will be in better shape to deal with the problems. Surgery and treatments are scary enough without having to face such procedures knowing that obesity stacks the odds against you.

I look at my body as a tool; these days I am taking better care of this tool and it is working better for me because of it. Whether I am forced by life to face great illness or just the stress that comes with daily living, I am now better equipped.

Before work out:
1/2 frozen banana – 100 calories

Rice pudding – 300

2 egg white orange omelet – 100

The rice pudding was made with 1/3 cup of left over rice, 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and raisins and warmed in microwave.

The omelet was a variation of a recipe I found once in a cookbook of medieval meals. I whisked 2 egg whites with about 2 tablespoons of orange juice, orange rind, and a pinch of nutmeg before pouring into a heated skillet. The egg whites rise and puff a little and the flavor is similar to a custard, but not as sweet. I used to make these with whole eggs and a side of marmalade.

For some reason that I cannot fathom all that food was not holding me until lunch. Perhaps it is because I’ve pushed up the intensity of my workouts.

1/2 cup Fiber One cereal with 1/3 cup skim milk – 100

Turkey on whole wheat with Greek yogurt, cucumbers, and lots of spinach – 200

Kashi cereal bar – 120

Black Chai tea with light soy milk – 80

Subway six inch chicken sub with loads of veggies – 400

Low cal frozen yogurt – 300

1/2 cup fro yo – 120

(Yes, I really did measure out a 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt because I knew I was overindulging a bit.)

Total: 1820

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Last Twenty

I have lost to date 70 pounds. My scale has refused to budge for 4 weeks or so. I need to lose just 20 more pounds to be considered within my healthy weight range for my height. It comes down to this. I am redoubling my efforts. I am determined. I am even joining a group similar to Weight Watchers at my church. Let’s see where this takes us.

Before work out:
Slices of apple salted and wrapped in spinach leaves – 100 calories

Today was a difficult day to get started. I think I have caffeine withdrawal after staying at the Baby Boomers’ Paradise that is my mom’s and dad’s home. Much like chain smokers who light up as they extinguish, they grind the beans as they drink the last remaining cup in the pot. It is high priced, gourmet stuff and it flows like milk and honey for my entire visit leaving me deliciously wired.

Breakfast after working out:
Overnight oats – 300 calories

I think I got this recipe here. Last night I mixed 1/3 cup oats with 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/8 cup skim milk, 1 teaspoon almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and a few raisins and then stored it in the fridge overnight.

1 piece whole wheat bread with less than a teaspoon of almond butter – 100

Lunch was a processed mess.

Weight Watchers burrito – 220

Low cal vitamin water – 25

These were leftovers from about 3 months ago before I became serious about eating cleaner. I do not intend to bring any more frozen diet goodies into my house. I have found that when one eats fewer calories it becomes even more imperative that every bite offer nutrition. Low calorie burritos will not ruin you, but is it really the best you can offer your body?

Baked chicken breast, Jasmine rice, roasted veggies – 700

Dinner was good, but the rice was extremely high in calories.

1/3 cup ricotta cheese and peaches – 200

Total: 1645

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Come Monday

I am currently visiting my parents, so I am in the land of comfort food. I am staying on track as much as possible and just finished a rather awesome work out (if I do say so myself). Days like this when I am not able to eat the way I usually do actually motivate me. I return to exercise with a renewed vigor charged up to work off the excess calories I've consumed. I always go home ready to eat clean with plenty of good fruits and veggies. It also doesn't hurt that I've bought a slew of new summer clothes while down here, so I am ready to tone up and look good.

I plan to return to blogging as usual on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Before workout:
1/2 frozen banana – 100 calories

This morning I did 2 segments from The Shred Level 2 and 2 segments from level 3 plus the warm-up and cool-down. It is snowing here, so I suppose I had better get happy about DVD workouts for a little longer.

Breakfast cookie – 300 calories

This is my current favorite made using 1/3 cup of whole oats, teaspoon of natural peanut butter, teaspoon of light brown sugar, teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa, and 1/2 of a banana.

Chocolate covered soy nuts – 100

These chocolate covered soy nuts actually come in the little 100 calorie snack packs. One thing that I am learning from blogging about my daily meals and snacks is that processed food is still a part of my diet almost every day. The cereal bars and snacks I eat often contain corn syrup and other nefarious or unnatural ingredients. I’ve made a world of progress since I started this process in May of last year, but I would like to work harder in the future to make my diet even cleaner.

3/4 cup of bran flakes with 1/2 cup skim milk – 135 calories

Salmon steak, 1 ½ cups of brown rice, small spinach salad – 500

Ice cream cake – 600 calories or more

Yeah, this birthday celebration sent me back to work out hard for another 40 minutes. I knew the party was coming, so I ate fewer calories throughout the day and the additional work out felt good. I may try to fit an hour and half in more often.

Total: 1735, but maybe more

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yesterday I visited the doctor for a checkup. The results of my blood work are not back, but according to the doc I am radiating good health. They sort of treat me like a rock star when I go in and this makes me think that not many at-risk patients choose to lose weight. I even talked the doctor into weaning me from my hypertension medication. We’ll see how that goes, but for now, my dosage is at least lowered.

I try hard not to get on my soap box because losing weight is sort of like finding religion. I think we’ve each had that friend who “finds God” and can’t shut up about how great it is, and wants everyone to “get saved.” I wish I could make everyone realize how great they would feel if they lost the excess weight they are packing around, but I keep it to myself unless someone asks. I hope that analogy is not offensive to anyone.

Before workout:
1/2 cereal bar – 60 calories

1/2 frozen banana – 100

After workout breakfast:
1 whole wheat cracker topped with 1 teaspoon peanut butter, 1/2 banana and 1/4 cup plain yogurt – 300

I did level 3 of the Shred. I think I may start mixing it up and doing a segment from each level and changing it up each day. I cannot wait to get outside for exercise! Yesterday the sun peaked out for maybe 30 minutes, so I ran outside to jump rope. Rocky Balboa would not have been impressed, but I jumped until I couldn’t, stopped for about 3 deep breaths and then continued the cycle. Anything is better than nothing, I suppose.

Salad with dry roasted chickpeas, feta cheese, and salad spritzer – 300

Today I dry roasted chickpeas. Some recipes call for coating the chickpeas in olive oil, but someone advised me to try dry roasting without oil or salt. Apparently they do not get as dry and crunchy when you season them before baking.

I baked chickpeas from a can (rinsed, drained, and blotted dry with paper towel) in the oven at 400 for about 40 minutes then dusted them with a seasoning salt that included onion powder and garlic. This snack seems very versatile; if you want a sweet snack you could season with a little cinnamon sugar or pumpkin pie spice, if you want a different taste try lemon pepper or garlic salt. The texture is similar to corn nuts.

3 prunes, a few dried chickpeas – 100 calories

Coffee with soy milk – 100

I got in 20 minutes of yoga today. Yay!

Broccoli soup – 180

Small salad, basically just like lunch but without feta – 200

1 whole wheat flat bun with 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter – 300

Total: 1640

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Shredded today and although I am feeling somewhat ill, I pushed myself and felt good about my performance afterward. Last night I watched The Biggest Loser for the first time. I don’t have TV, so I downloaded episodes on Hulu.

All I can say is, wow, they are making a ton of money from this show! I have not had TV for like 10 years or so therefore I’ve missed this whole “reality television” phenomena. On each episode they endorse new stuff like water filtering pitchers and sugarless gum, and there are ads encouraging people to make reservations at Biggest Loser resorts. Wow, $$$!

The 30 Day Shred really helped me when I first began exercising, but had I watched The Biggest Loser before buying a Jillian Michaels DVD, I don’t think I would have tried it. I think it is wonderful when contestants who weigh 400 or 500 pounds lose weight, but there is something exploitive about the show that turns me off. The shirtless weigh-ins, Jillian perched like a gargoyle atop the treadmill screaming into the face of a contestant, Bob offering a “trainer tip” to a contestant telling her to chew a particular brand of gum when she gets a craving for sweets, and all the constructed drama. I feel intrusive and voyeuristic watching it.

1/2 frozen banana and 1/2 cereal bar – 150 calories

Breakfast after working out:
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt with chopped apple and teaspoon of peanut butter – 250

Raw veggies (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower) with about 3 tablespoons hummus – about 200 calories

1/2 lemon Luna Bar with a cup of coffee with 1/3 cup almond milk – about 200

Early Dinner:
Six inch Subway chicken breast sandwich – 400 calories

Coffee with 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon light brown sugar – 100

I stopped drinking daily coffee months ago. It just seemed that as I began eating better, I felt so good in the morning that I didn’t need caffeine to get going. It is usually on days like today when I am feeling blasé that I begin hitting the French press hard. Still, this was a really tasty coffee treat for only around 100 calories (approximately 15 for coffee, 25 for sugar, about 15 for cocoa, and 40 for almond milk).

1 whole wheat cracker with a tablespoon of peanut butter and 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt with a diced apple – 350

This “dessert” was all crunched and mixed together and tasted a lot like pie.

Total: 1650

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This morning I did level 2 of The Shred again. Today I did butt-kicks (basically running in place) during the cardio portions of the routine. I wanted to see if I could sustain a “run” for the full two minutes, and I did, every time. I would think that propelling oneself forward is probably more difficult than running in place, but I am trying to work up the courage to do this in public. As Hamlet said, “There’s the rub.”

I live in a small town. Think somewhere between the Duke Boys and Redemption (no, I am not kidding). When I hit the road running, everyone who drives by will recognize me and probably snicker. I know I once drove by while our mayor (who is known affectionately as “Dough Boy”) was running and because of his red face and gasps for air I thought perhaps I should call whoever is in the line of succession behind the mayor (sadly, I don’t know who that is right off the top of my head) and tell them to begin moving their stuff into his office. I could choose one of the many wooded hollows to take a secluded run, but if I happen upon someone’s illegal herbal garden, I may never be seen again.

We are planning a move to the city, but I need to get over this embarrassment of people watching me run.

Plain fruit topped with vanilla yogurt and raw oats – 300 calories

Second breakfast:
4 oz. chicken breast on a flat, whole wheat bun thingy with spinach and plain Greek yogurt – 300

To ensure I received my daily requisite of fecal matter, I used spinach from a bag. As the witch said at the end of The Wizard of Oz, “Oh, what a world! What a world!”

Green oats – 200

1 piece of whole wheat toast with teaspoon of molasses – 100

Mixed nuts – 200

1/2 of a cereal bar – 60

Small cup of Veggie Chowder (last night, I promise) – 200

Chicken breast on flat, whole wheat bun with spinach and Greek yogurt – 300

1/3 cup of vanilla yogurt with a peeled, cubed orange – 100

Total: 1760

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yesterday must have been a day of evaluation and refocus for many within the weight loss blogosphere. After writing about my desire for fresh motivation and reevaluation, I read many similar posts by various bloggers. For some, I think the New Year’s resolutions are beginning to chaff and wane. For others, I think this will be something we will be doing again and again for the rest of our lives. Once the weight is off and our goals are met, we will have to keep returning to the fount hoping to find that motivation that got us here in the first place. I truly hope with all my heart, mind, and body that I am in this second camp of lifelong members.

This morning I popped The 30 Day Shred into the DVD player and worked out to Level 2. I hate to give Jillian Michaels any credit because of her recent endorsement of diet supplements (pills) which I think is very irresponsible of her, but I love that I first was introduced to walking push-ups through this DVD. The first few times I did this exercise, I couldn’t believe my body was working this way. I have moments like that all the time during yoga. I do a routine that takes me through a number of stretches and while my body is bending in new ways I can’t believe I am doing it.

This winter my scant collection of workout DVDs has been worn out. I realized yesterday how bored I was becoming with the exercise routines I’ve been doing. I can’t wait until it is warm enough to go out and exercise. I have a secret dream of running, but I am not sure how to get started. Maybe this spring/summer of 2010 will be my time to run!

Before workout breakfast:
1/2 a frozen banana – 100 calories

Post workout breakfast:
Breakfast cookie – 300 calories

Last night I made this cookie using 1/3 cup of whole oats, teaspoon of natural peanut butter, teaspoon of light brown sugar, teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa, and 1/2 of a banana, and popped it into the fridge overnight.

After breakfast and attempting to finish a paper on Goethe’s Faust (I am a fulltime student majoring in English and about 30 hours from completion of my BA. Yay!) I did 20 minutes of yoga.

I may fit in another yoga session this evening to help me unwind after my Girl Scout Troop meets. Cookie time is not my favorite time of year.

1 whole wheat cracker smeared with a tablespoon of part skim ricotta cheese and a teaspoon of strawberry preserves – 100

Cup of Veggie Chowder – 200 calories

Tuna salad on two corn tortillas – 200

Lunch was so filling! This was a lot of food for just 400 calories. I made my tuna salad using light chunk tuna and a tablespoon of garlic and cucumber Greek yogurt. The chowder was still wonderful the second day.

1/2 Kashi bar and glass of unsweetened iced tea – about 100 calories

Small baked chicken breast (about 4 oz.) – 200

Spinach side salad with sprouts and ranch salad spritzer – 100

Cup of Veggie Chowder – 200

After dinner snack/dessert:
3/4 cup of vanilla yogurt with plain peaches and strawberries – 250

1750 calories

Veggie Chowder

Last night I made a healthy, delicious soup for the fam. I served it along with sushi that I had brought home. The recipe came from The PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) Vegetarian Cookbook.

I think that I’ve mentioned that I am only now learning to cook. My husband, who was the primary cook until moving for his new career (we will join him soon), would say this is “mixing” not cooking. But, this is where I am right now and this recipe produced a wonderful soup. This is my variation of the Potato, Broccoli, and Corn Chowder found in the book. I used frozen veggies that I had on hand and it turned out very nicely.

Veggie Chowder

1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
1 bag frozen broccoli
Garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of Neufchautel
1 ½ cup skim milk
2 (15 ounce) cans diced potatoes

In medium stock pot combine all frozen vegetables with broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium heat and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add Neufchautel (or vegan cream cheese substitute; the book suggests using Tofutti), cook while stirring until fully incorporated and smooth. Add skim milk (or a vegan substitute like unflavored rice milk) and potatoes. Cook uncovered for 7 to 10 minutes. Serve.

This recipe says it makes 4 servings with each serving coming in at 238 calories, 4g fat, 2g saturated fat, and 16g protein. These would be huge servings!

This was a very healthy, quick and easy, hearty meal. I will make this again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I have been thinking today about motivation and focus. I did not lose 70 pounds by eating frozen pizza and sneaking chocolates. I need to refocus my attention on the goal of being healthy and use that aim to motivate me. I can do more.

I have been busy today, so I do not have the meal breakdown, but I did stay within my “number” today and I fit in my 40 minute workout this evening because I was unable to do so this morning. I can do more.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I have been tempted to try the Green Monsters, but I don’t own a food processor or blender. Well, actually I do have a very small, maybe two cup size, mini food processor that I use for dicing veggies. This led to my morning adventure of Green Oats.

Oh, my! They were green! But, very tasty. I made mine using 1/3 cup of old fashion oats, substantial dash of cinnamon, smaller dash of nutmeg, and a teaspoon of light brown sugar. I then diced a big handful of raw baby spinach in my teeny, tiny food processor and added it to my prepared oats. I will definitely eat this again!

Green oats – 100 calories

Cardio and strength training for 40 minutes... however, I do not feel like I gave it my “All” today. Sinus drainage is affecting my sleep and I felt tired before I even started. I did work up a good sweat and got my heart thumping, but I had difficulty pushing myself to my fullest. As always, I felt much better after exercising and it was far from a useless workout.

It is a good thing I was able to get some exercise in. I needed it because a birthday party was soon to follow.

Lunch (?):
1/2 doughnut with scoop of fat free vanilla frozen yogurt – 300

1 piece Valentine’s Day candy – 75

I rounded total to 500 just in case that doughnut was worse than I thought. You may have noticed by now that I am constantly surrounded by children who bring concoctions such as snow cream and doughnut parties into my life. This is no excuse, but I have found that sugar stimulates my appetite making it harder to avoid overeating. Recognizing this has helped.

Real lunch:
Whole wheat flat bread with a smear of hummus (about 1 tablespoon) and spinach, spouts, and tomato – 200

2 pieces Valentine’s candy – 150

1/4 cup unsalted cashews, almonds, peanuts – 150

Broccoli soup – 160

1/2 baked potato with 1/4 cup of cottage cheese – 200

After dinner snack/dessert:
1/2 cup fat free frozen yogurt with tablespoon natural peanut butter – 200

1/2 cup fat free frozen yogurt with plain peaches and strawberries – 100

Total: 1660

I try to eat around 1700-1800 on days that I do the whole cardio and strength training routine. I purposely allowed myself more fro yo because of this. It is amazing how much you can eat when you are eating healthy! Thank goodness the Valentine’s candy is gone now!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Start

My post yesterday may have made me appear to be a neurotic calorie counter on the verge of an eating disorder. I know a few people in my life who appear to be naturally skinny who wish that I would fall into such healthy habits that I could just eat and not think about it. This may be a nice thought, but I have been overweight for most of my life, so I doubt such a thing as healthy eating without thinking is possible for me. Besides, thinking is supposed to be a good thing.

I began this weight loss process because my doctor was alarmed at some of my test results. At that time I had gained 30 pounds in the year since my last checkup and my cholesterol was high. I am 32 years old, and in my mind this is too young to be on regular medication. Still, I was about to throw in the towel and accept my fate. I told my doctor that high cholesterol seemed to run in my family. She looked up from her paper work and responded, “Well, this Triglyceride count is something that can change. It’s based on nothing but what we put in our mouths.” At that point it was as if epiphany struck. If this was something I could change then I would change it.

I immediately began examining my diet and questioning how I had gained so much weight in the past year. Fast food stuck out as one major offender because as I became busier more of my meals came from the drive-through. My fast food habit ended that day. Snacking was another problem. On a bad day I may stop off for a king size candy bar and soda or buy a high calorie coffee treat. I stopped rewarding or entertaining myself with candy and syrupy lattes right then. These were good starters and I am proud to say that I have stuck to my convictions, but there was more to learn.

I began searching the internet for ideas. I realized that I simply didn’t know how to eat or live to be a healthier weight. I found Losing Weight After 45 Is a Bitch during one of these searches and found the calorie calculator. (However, here is my favorite calculator because it asks about activity.) Counting calories probably does not work for everyone, but it was a magic formula for me. As long as I could eat a certain number each day and achieve a goal outcome, I could do this.

My diet has become healthier over time and I have learned to cook, but knowing the number got me started. I lost most of the weight without exercise this way, but now I exercise five days or more a week along with three days of yoga. Exercise has made a huge difference in my body and my life. I will blog about that someday soon.

Breakfast Cookie – 300 calories

I made my cookie last night from 1/4 cup oats, 1 teaspoon natural peanut butter, 1/8 cup almond milk, 1/2 a banana, big dash of cinnamon and a small dash of nutmeg.

After 20 minutes of yoga, I had lunch.

Large spinach salad topped with chopped yellow apple and balsamic vinaigrette – 200 calories

Whole wheat cracker with natural peanut butter and coffee – 200

Later I had a cup of black tea with 1/4 cup skim milk and a teaspoon of Splenda, two whole cashews and three pistachios, a cereal bar – 200

I rarely drink caffeine anymore, but today I’ve been digging it. This is probably because I am suffering from sinus problems that are making me feel sluggish. Also, I do not encourage others to use Splenda. As much as I have tried to remove most of the processed and artificial food from my diet, I cannot seem to avoid it as much as I would like and right now I cannot find a better no calorie sweetener to use.

Dinner brought more processed food.

Raw broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots with 1 tablespoon of hummus for dipping – 100 calories

Lean Cuisine frozen pizza – 340

Tonight was pizza night at my house. I serve the family a pizza made at a local deli. The deli puts it together using 100% real cheese and a handmade crust (I am not certain about the sauce), but I eat the preservative filled mini pizza because it is low in calories and fat. Luckily the ingredients list is not as scary as I expected. Pizza is one food that I really miss from my days of eating whatever I wanted without thinking too much about it. I am a Gen Xer; we all ate a lot of pizza.

After-dinner snack/dessert:
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt and about 7 frozen strawberries – 150 calories or less


This is good because I like to keep my daily total at about 1500 on days that I do not do cardio.


I had another post planned, but I am doing this one in response to the Anti-Jared’s Obese entry.

When I decided to lose weight I did not feel ugly nor did I suffer from low self-esteem. I knew I was a big person, but my family is made up of big, tall people. I was actually fairly active and felt that as long as my body did what I wanted it to, everything was fine. Now I am only in my early thirties; who knows what years of obesity would have done to me? But, when I began this journey (ugh) I had no idea what lay in store for me. I had no idea just how good I could feel. I suppose it is true that one cannot miss what one has never had.

Since May I have lost almost 70 pounds. In fact according to the scale this morning I weigh in at 204 on my 6 foot tall frame, so I have lost 72 pounds since May. I don’t pay a lot of attention to the number on the scale, so that kind of just crept up on me. Most women I know would be in terrible direst at weighing more than 200 pounds, but I am in a size 14 long pants and looking slim and toned. I still plan on losing more, but if I had to stay at this weight for the rest of my life, I would be happy. Am I obese? I suppose that is in the eye of the beholder.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I’ve lost 60 pounds, almost 70, since May of last year! I need more exclamation marks!!!! This has been great and far easier than I ever would have imagined, but I need motivation to keep me on track. This blog is part of that motivation.

I have fallen into the habit of reading many of the numerous blogs out there devoted to the weight loss journey. (Yes, I just called it a “journey.” How very Oprah-esque.) In the future I plan to share some of those cool blogs and to point to resources on the web that have helped me on my, a-hum, journey. I also plan on using this blog to keep myself accountable for my calorie intake. After all, weight loss for me is all about calories in vs. calories out.

Today I feel that I over ate. This doesn’t happen often, mostly because I surround myself with good food and it is difficult to overeat on veggies and fruit no matter how hard you try. However, today was a chili kinda day.

One Breakfast Cookie prepared the night before (I make mine a little differently) – 300 calories

After climbing on the treadmill and walking at a 3.5 pace with the sharpest incline my machine can muster I had second breakfast (I usually eat a little before and after working out).

Second Breakfast (I feel like a hobbit calling it that):
½ cup vanilla yogurt – 100
Mixed with fruit and high fiber cereal – 100

Whole wheat flat bread smeared with hummus and topped with spinach, sprouts, and tomato – 200

Now, here is the part of my day in which things went all helter skelter. We made snow cream with milk and sugar. I ate a good portion of this snack and added 300 to my calorie count bringing my total to 1000 for the day.

Dinner continued the confusion and inner drama.

Chili made with 4 cans beans, tomatoes, and 3 lbs. of red meat bliss (I hardly ever eat red meat anymore). Calorie count – I have no freakin’ idea. I topped that heaping bowl with plain yogurt and sliced avocado and went to town. I went back for a second heaping portion, and even returned to eat more straight from the pot later on. After dinner, more snow cream and a calorie killer known as pistachios.

I don’t think I blew my calorie intake for the day, but I do not like it when I cannot easily count the calories in the food I am consuming. I feel out of control. And that chili was like crack cocaine! I only intended to eat 1700 calories for the day because my thirty minute treadmill workout was not as active as my usual weekday exercise routine.

See why I need a blog? Even if I am just talking to myself, I need to sort these things out.