Facing the Fat

I’ve experienced some ups and downs since my last post, but I recognize what I have to do in order to be happy with myself. I’m still lacking motivation to exercise, but I’m doing it anyway. I know that if I keep trudging through that I’ll be glad I did.

I spent most of the weekend at Mom’s house, and I saw family and friends that I don’t get to see everyday, and it highlighted how different I look and feel than I did last year.

Mom has dropped over 50 pounds since February, and our family friend, Linda, has dropped 50 pounds as well. I gained about that much, but they weren’t judgmental because they understand how tough it is.

I know that I have an opportunity to change what I don’t like about myself. I know that I don’t have to choose between being physically healthy and emotionally healthy, and I’m working on improving physically right now because I’ve come so far emotionally over the last couple of years.

I’m eating more vegetables, drinking fewer sugary drinks and dragging myself to the gym. I know that eventually I’ll get back to the place in which I crave the endorphin rush, and I hope it happens soon because I’m tired of feeling like this.

As we close out 2014, I’m holding onto hope that I’ll feel different by this time next year…

 

 

 

Adding More Goals to the List

Am I the only one who finds it hard to believe that it’s already December? It feels as though this year has flown by, but I’m okay with it being over. I’ve had some great moments, but this year has also come with some stress and disappointment (in love and within myself.)

I didn’t gain all of my weight back, but I’ve gained enough back that I no longer feel confident in my abilities. I’ve already shared that I feel like a failure in this area, and it’s still true.

I remember a time when I felt like a weight-loss champion. I also remember a time when fruits and veggies were a priority in my daily life, but they have once again been replaced by unhealthy, sugary alternatives.

When I was experiencing success before I was doing some key things that I’m not doing now: exercise and food journaling, and I was doing both consistently. (I’m sure that none of us are surprised that I saw good results.)

I’ve grown a lot spiritually, and I’m a much better person than I was several years ago. Life is better than it has been in a very long time (even when stressors pop up.) I’m happy with my life right now, but I’m not happy with my weight. It’s hard to explain that, but I’ve tried in numerous blog posts.

After having success recently when I eliminated sugary drinks and doughnuts, I’ve decided that I’m going to continue refraining from doughnuts. I haven’t had one since mid-September, and after months of overindulgence, it feels good to say no. I’ve been more careless with sugary drinks at Starbucks, but that ends now too. I can enjoy regular coffee, but I’m not going to allow myself to fall back into a routine of daily hot chocolates or caramel macchiatos.

I’ve also added tracking back into my routine, and I’m going to do it daily for the next 30 days. It’s an effective way to make sure that I’m eating what I should be eating, and I’m going to let go of the regret that I have due to my lack of faithful tracking until now. I’m going to focus on cardio 4 days a week too.

I’m completely different than I was when I tried this before. I barely even remember the person that I was. I’ve spent so much time looking at the way I lost in the past that I’ve overlooked who I am now. I’m going to start telling myself that I can do this and challenge myself to take steps in the right direction.

 

 

Dinner For One?

I’ve been a bit of a homebody this week, which isn’t typical for me.  I’ve been eating at home more because I’m here, and it makes me think that I should take time to stay in more often.

I live alone, and I don’t always take time to cook for myself because it feels like so much effort to cook for one.  I enjoy cooking when I’m having company, but on the rare evenings when I’m at home, I find myself more interested in doing other things than cooking (like knitting, watching New Girl or Scandal, painting my nails, blogging, baking something to share with friends, homework, etc.)

I’m going to work on changing the way I think about cooking for myself because if it’s worth the effort to cook for someone else, it’s worth it to cook for myself.  It saves money and calories to make the extra effort, and I’ve always known that I should do it.  I

don’t think of myself as lazy because I’m almost always on the move, but it’s probably a good idea to spend more time at home preparing meals that are healthy for myself.

Am I the only one who prefers to order in or eat cereal when dining alone?

Feelings, Calories and Another Fresh Start

This is an exciting time in my life because I’m surrounded by so many amazing people.  After the end of my not-quite-relationship, I needed some time to process my feelings, so I took the time I needed.  I was almost over the heartache by the time I posted about it, and now I can honestly tell you that after spending the day with that man today, I’m okay.  It feels good to see him and not feel like I’m falling apart.

As I was chatting with friends earlier, I realized that I’m not romantically interested in anyone.  There’s a guy that I would be interested in if I thought he’d be interested back, but there’s no one calling me every night before bed or texting me 20 times a day.  I like the feeling I get when I think about the possibilities of liking someone who might like me back, but I’m back to focusing on everything that I do have.

I possess a lot of characteristics that someone would be attracted to, but right now, I feel like those characteristics are hard to see because of the cloud of my obesity.  For a long, long time I’ve said that I don’t want to have to change to make someone want me, and it’s true.  I wish that there was a smart, talented, funny, handsome and interesting man in my life who would let me bake for him, sing for/with him, laugh with him and play Scrabble with him.  I wish that I could have that without feeling like I have to change first, but the truth is that I’d like to change regardless.

It’s no secret that I suck at losing weight, nor is it a secret that I need to lose it anyway.  I take responsibility for it, and I think it’s time to change my perspective.  I want a tall, honest, intelligent man who loves Jesus to think I’m beautiful, but I also want to think I’m beautiful.

My priorities haven’t been weight-loss related in a long time.  I’ve changed so much spiritually and emotionally, and I’ve made positive strides in so many areas.  I feel good about many areas of my life, but I’m still letting my weight affect me in ways that I wish it didn’t.

I’m going to try again…What else can I do?

Since moving to New Orleans I have visited several Weight Watchers meetings, but I haven’t found one that makes me want to go back.  I underestimated the chemistry of the meeting that I went to in New York, but I have to start somewhere.  I’m going to start counting calories today, and my goal will be to stay between 1500 and 1700 calories per day on days that I exercise.

We’ll see how that goes.  I’ll also be accountable to people in my everyday life about the numbers on the scale.

Time will pass whether I try to make changes again or not, and right now I don’t care about the numbers nearly as much as I care about creating healthy, controlled habits.

Am I the only one who has to start over again and again and again?

 

Reclaiming Healthy Habits

I’ve been trying to reestablish some healthy habits, and one of those habits is eating at home.  I don’t really enjoy food in the mornings so I’ve gotten back into the habit of starting each day with a smoothie.

Last week, I tried a few new flavors, and I liked the results.

I made a green smoothie (as I often do)  with apple, banana and spinach, and it was amazing!

apple banana spinach smoothie

I also mixed strawberries and blueberries, which might be my new favorite.

Bluberry Smoothie

I did orange, banana and a little pineapple too, and it tasted like dessert for breakfast.

Strawberry Orange Pineapple Smoothie

I’ve also been drinking homemade green juice a lot lately, and I’ve begun craving it, which was totally unexpected.  My favorite blend is kale, celery, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro and lemon.

green juice

I like bringing it to class because I can drink it at room temperature, and there’s just something about it that satisfies my taste buds.

I still like to chew food, of course, and last week I finally attempted to make quinoa.  It was amazing, and it satisfied my hunger all afternoon.  I made dressing using strawberries and a mango, and it was pretty outstanding too.

Quinoa Salad

 

One thing I’ve noticed is that eating at home is much more exciting when I find new foods that I enjoy.  Mixing different ingredients in the blender to see how it tastes is fun for me, and I think as long as I’m eating protein packed meals with fruits and veggies, I’m doing pretty well.

I use Greek yogurt in my smoothies to add protein and bulk.  Does anyone have any smoothie suggestions for me?  I’m always ready to try something new!

 

Healthy Eating, Or Habits That Seem Nearly Impossible

I’ve been burning the candle at both ends this week, and I’m tired.  Some fantastic things have been happening in my life, but I find myself struggling with food choices…still.

The struggle isn’t new.  The desire to change it isn’t new.  The mental block that keeps me from making the changes I need to make isn’t new.

My struggles don’t actually pertain to food.  I know that.  They’re built up inside my mind, and changing the way I think will change the way I operate.  I know.  I know.  I know.

I’ve been crushing my 10,000 steps a day goal this month, and by the end of the week I will have exceeded 250,000 steps for the month of August.  I feel great about the cardio part, but I continue to feel crummy about the food part.

I know that I need to change my eating habits.  I also know that it’s not cool to munch on near an entire bag of chips and salsa on my sofa while I watch a movie with friends. (Yes, I did that.  No, I don’t usually do that.)

It’s hard.  I know. I get it.  I need help with this, but the help has to come from within me.  Making small changes has led to big results for me in the past so I’m going to incorporate some small changes starting now.  Here’s what I plan to do:

– Track my food intake – it’s such a simple way to help myself succeed.  Why did I stop doing it?

– Replace one meal a day with a salad for the next few weeks.

– Drink more water.

It’s a struggle.  People try and fail and succeed and fail and try again at this all the time.  I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with the food they eat, but it’s my responsibility to fix me.  Trying again…

 

 

Ideas for Tackling Food Cravings?

As I was reading blogs this morning I came across a post about strategies to tackle food demons, and I started thinking about what I can do to control my own cravings.

I often crave food when I’m not hungry.  In my mind it doesn’t matter if I’m happy, sad, stressed, lonely, bored, etc.  My mind automatically assumes that situations will be more gratifying if food is involved, and I’ve been attempting to change that mindset for years.  I still have a lot of work to do.

I did a little research (thank you, Google) and came up with a few ways to beat cravings that I can imagine working, and I am going to start implementing them right now.

-Brush your teeth – I can see this working because I don’t like to eat anything for a while after I brush my teeth.  I can also whiten them because that means no eating for at least two hours, but I certainly can’t do that every time I have a craving.  i don’t want my teeth to be so white that they glow in the dark. ;)

Avoid your triggers – Jeez.  This one is tough because so many things make me want to eat junk, but I get the point.  Last week I picked up my old friend, Clint ( aka The Suit) at the airport, and his flight didn’t come in until after midnight.  I had some time to kill so as I was driving past Krispy Kreme, I decided to order a doughnut.

Krispy Kreme Metairie

I avoid this place most of the time because it’s so easy to convince myself that I need to buy more than one doughnut, but that night I reminded myself that the gratification of the doughnut would make me feel good for about 30 seconds before it made me feel bloated, lethargic and regretful.  I left the parking lot…doughnut-less, and I felt like I had won a battle within myself.

Drink  water – I drink a lot of water, but it’s hot in New Orleans so I won’t hurt myself if I drink more than that.  I keep a few 32 oz. bottles filled at all times, and it’s fairly easy to drink one quickly.  I usually feel full for a while after that, but I also feel like I did something good for myself, thus making it a little bit easier to pass on the junk food.

Keep it out of your environment – I cleaned out my fridge last week and got rid of most of the things that aren’t good for me.  I have a pint of ice cream in the freezer, but it’s not a trigger for me.  I have a serving from time to time, but I’m usually okay with that.  I don’t keep chips or candy in my place most of the time, and when I bake, I get it out of my house quickly too.

It’s easier for me to succeed when I have healthy choices available instead of unhealthy ones which leads me to my next strategy…

Plan – When I chop veggies for stir fry or roasting, I eat them.   When I boil eggs so I have a quick snack, I eat them.  When I come up with new, delicious ideas like a banana + 1 tbps of freshly ground almond butter, I eat that.

Exercise – I don’t mean that you should hit the gym every single time you crave a cupcake (although that may not be a bad idea for me.)  I mean, if you’ve made time to exercise, it’s a little easier to remind yourself that you’re doing good things for your body.  Maybe it’s a good idea to do three sets of jumping jacks, planks or something similar instead of eating, but that won’t always be a realistic option.  I mean, the folks at Starbucks might look at me like I’m crazy if I start doing lunges when I’m craving baked goods.  (I just ten avoid them there.)

Having healthy options that I like allows me to eat food that tastes good which reminds me that I’m doing this because I can, not because I have to.

Eat regularly – I know that when I eat breakfast and exercise that I will likely have a healthy day.  I also know that when  I avoid eating until late afternoon, I’ll eat too much at that point so it’s important to eat in a timely way.

I realize that there must be a zillion other ways to fight cravings so I’d like to ask YOU to offer some advice on this.  My question is…

What strategies do you use to avoid cravings?

Or is there something that you think might work that we should try?

Many of you have learned how to deal with this successfully, but I’d like to think that I’m not the only one who still fights with myself to say no to overeating.

I’m working on this, and I’d like to know if you are too.  I’d also like to hear your ideas too so please take a moment to share them.

 

 

 

Cooking At Home

Sometimes I have to start my post by whining a little.  I just have to say that my ankle hurts.  I’m sure that the hour of Zumba I did this morning didn’t help it, but what am I supposed to do?  I took a week off from workouts earlier this month, and it didn’t feel better.  If it’s going to hurt regardless, I figured I should at least burn some calories.

cheese tortellini

 

I’ve been icing it, and I’ll stick to the elliptical tomorrow which doesn’t seem to aggravate it as much. I’m not sure what to do to make the dull and constant pain go away, but it’s not horrible so I’ll stop whining for now.

This week has already presented some health challenges, and I’m trying to conquer them one at a time.  It’s going to be harder this week because I’m going to several Superbowl events including ESPN Nation, VH1 Concert Series and some CNN events.  We also plan to spend Sunday at the Superdome so I’ll pack some Pellegrino to refrain from drinking beer empty calories.

I’ve cooked several meals at home this week, and I have really enjoyed eating healthy and delicious foods.  It’s satisfying to make something delicious and enjoyable, and knowing that it won’t keep me from reaching my goals makes it even better.

I made a salad loaded with greens, bean sprouts and baked tilapia.

tilapia salad

 

Clint said my bbq shredded chicken was awesome, and I have to agree.

 

bbqchicken

 

I made 100-calorie crepes with Greek yogurt and fresh berries before the parade with Matt and Shannon Sunday.  This is one of my favorite meals, but I don’t make it often.

crepes

 

 

When I wake up I plan to put a beef roast in the slow cooker.  I will load it up with onions, garlic and Lipton onion soup mix, and it will be ready by the time I’m done with class.

What are you cooking this week?

Opinion: Celery Is NOT a Snack

I stay up late.  Don’t even bother telling me that I should go to bed before 1 am because I’m not going to do it.  I don’t get up at 6 am so I can go to bed late and still get enough sleep, but around 9 pm I start craving food.  Right now I’m trying to figure out what my last snack of the evening should be.

It’s easy to say “eat a vegetable,” and that’s good advice.  I just have to be more specific about what I need to have in my kitchen to satisfy me while keeping me on target.

 

Here’s a list of late night possibilities that I’ve come up with so far:

- raw sugar snap peas

- hummus

- Greek yogurt

- fresh berries

- oatmeal (with a boiled egg white on the side)

- 100 calorie Belgian chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s

 

My list needs to be longer, but I am aiming for things that will truly satisfy me so I don’t find myself searching for something else after my snack.  I know it seems like I should add almonds or other nuts to my list, but history has taught me that they’re not a good evening snack choice for me.

For months I drank a gallon of water everyday, but I lowered my goal to 10 glasses recently.  I think a gallon is probably best, but for now I’ll stick with being happy with at least ten.  Maybe drinking significantly less means I’m thirsty.  I’ll keep that in mind too.

Working out five days a week is going well, and while I set a goal of 30 minutes, most days I’ve done twice as much.  I know that making small, healthy goals is the way to do this, and surpassing them makes me feel like I’m in control.

Losing weight is a mind game, and I try to remind myself of that.

How are you doing with your current goals?  What are they?

 

 

 

What Can I Say? Next Week = Awesome!

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday!  My week has been extraordinarily busy, and some cool things have happened.  I started a new job.  It’s just a part-time thing in addition to what I already do, but I’m really enjoying it so far.  The work is interesting, and the people are great!

The Suit and I are also learning a lot about building our own business, and we have some big ideas.  We’ve been lucky to meet and learn from some of New Orleans’ most successful entrepreneurs, and we’re just getting started.

And a month from today I’m moving into an awesome little apartment downtown.  It’s been a long time since I lived alone, and I’m looking forward to it for several reasons:

  • I’m looking forward to being independent again and having a glass of wine, or a Belgian tripel after a long day if I want to.
  • It will be nice to fill my DVR with shows that I love (like Drop Dead Diva, Suits, Covert Affairs and White Collar.)
  • I can decorate my place the way I want to…I chose the sofa, and I’ll choose everything else.  I like the mildly contemporary, minimalist look – clean lines, but with pops of color.
  • It’s in a beautiful building in the heart of New Orleans.  It will take me less than 15 minutes to get to school and work, and my apartment is less than a mile from The Suit.  It will be nice to walk to his condo in ten minutes instead of driving for over an hour.
  • It features stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops throughout, wood floors and floor to ceiling windows.
  • It’s close enough to Mom’s house that I can visit whenever I want to.  I can spend the weekend on the bayou, or Mom can visit me for a day of lunch and shopping or whatever we want.
I’ve been hoping to move into the place since I first learned about it in July.  It’s been a long time coming, but I have a lot to do between now and October 12.  It’s probably a good idea to have furniture when I move in, right? ;)

And next week is going to be one of the coolest weeks of my year.  It’s time to go to Baltimore!  Last year I attended Fitbloggin’ for the first time, and I knew as soon as I arrived that I’d be back this year.  Having the opportunity to spend face time with people that I’ve grown to adore over the years makes the trip worthwhile, and there are added benefits like improving my blog, experiencing new fitness techniques and meeting new, awesome people who will be in attendance this year.

I’ve been fortunate to do some pretty cool things in my life, but Fitbloggin’ is near the top of my fun list, and it’s only a week away! Can you believe I’ll get to spend time with so many of my favorite people at once?!

This year I’m excited to be connecting with McCormick to bring you tips and information that will make your food more interesting.  As a major sponsor at Fitbloggin’ this year, McCormick is going to show us how spices and herbs can dramatically alter a meal without forcing us to take a hit on calories and fat.  They’re hosting an afternoon tour on Thursday, and I’ll be there.  Will you?  If you’ve already signed up for Fitbloggin, I hope you’ll join me.  You can sign up here, but do it soon because spots are almost full.  I’m looking forward to so many things this year, and seeing so many of my kindred spirits will be an incredible part of that.

Following Baltimore, The Suit and I are heading to New York for a few days.  Among other things, we plan is to sail on the Hudson, attend a taping of Anderson Cooper’s daytime show and end our evenings when the sun comes up – probably somewhere in the meat-packing district.  There’s also a guy somewhere in New York who owes me some 50-calorie cupcakes.  (Note to the man with the cupcakes: You know who you are, and you know what I want.)

Next week will be filled with hugs, learning, fun and new experiences, and at times like these it’s easy to recognize that I have so many reasons to be grateful for my life and everything in it.

Will you be at Fitbloggin?  If so, I’ll see you there!  What are you most excited about?