Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday!

Last week my weight was it's 182!!!! I lost 4.5 ponds!! AND, I reached my first goal! I'm so excited! Hopefully by this time next week, I will be in the 170's and out of the 180's FOREVER!! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Emotional eating no more!

It's a well known fact that people eat more junk food when they are tired. For me, over 12 years straight of being pregnant and/or breastfeeding combined with getting up during the night with babies + getting up early with toddlers + kids who need me to stay up at night until they fall asleep + staying up late to get stuff done while kids sleep = a whole lot of chronic and BIG tiredness!! I have gotten used to being tired all the time; it's now the "norm" for me and I don't usually let it get in my way. I do attribute, however, a lot of my weight gain to eating out of exhaustion and stress.

I am having to work really hard to combat the years and years that I used food as my coping mechanism; it gave me a temporary energy boost and helped me "escape" my stress momentarily. Also, a lot of the foods that are easy to grab and eat when you only have one hand free (because the other hand is cradling a fussy baby or toting around a clingy toddler) are junk foods...chips, cookies, crackers, bits of brownie, handfuls of dry cereal, bagels, etc...all things that don't require any preparation (washing, slicing, cooking, etc) and are finger foods. Those foods have been a mainstay for me over the years. This is how I got to be where I am...and even heavier!

My heaviest weight was around 220!! 7 years ago I decided, for the first time since becoming overweight with my first pregnancy, that it was silly to go on being so fat! I lost about 45 pounds in 4 months. Then, I took a hiatus on my health journey for 3 years and managed to keep 20 of those pounds off during 2 more pregnancies and births. I again got serious about my weight and lost the other 20-25 pounds once more. After an ankle injury and another pregnancy, I gained those 20 pounds back again; the lovely diet yo-yo that we all know and hate! I am happy that I changed enough to keep the remaining 20 pounds off permanently, though! But, I still had the habit of grabbing those junk foods and grazing in between meals to try and combat the vicious cycle of stress and exhaustion. Changing this now has, so far, been the hardest part of my health journey. Habits are hard things to break; especially habits you are so emotionally tied to!

I have done a lot of self-talk to change my thinking. When I really want to grab a handful of crackers or bake a batch of cookies, I tell myself, "that is not really what you want! You want to be healthy and fit!" It's HARD! Some days, like today, I feel like throwing a big ol' fit complete with flailing on the floor, kicking my legs, pounding my fists and yelling "it's not fair!!!" I have to remind myself food is not going to help me to feel better. Food is not going to rescue me from my stress or exhaustion. Food is not going to do the laundry, load the dishwasher, make kids more compliant or rock the fussy baby to sleep! Food is not a crutch of mine anymore! I am too strong and too healthy to need crutches!! I am the one who decides whether my day is happy or crappy! Food is there to nourish my body; to make me stronger and more capable of living my life to the fullest...not a selfish friend who could care less and brings me down in the end....not anymore!

Boy, I sure came close to succumbing to my old habit today! It was a busy day, the baby was fussy and wouldn't nap and my toddler was not feeling well....and I am hungry!! I came scarily close to skipping my workout (which I did at home instead of the gym because of the late hour) and making a batch of cake batter to eat while watching a movie instead. Really...I was so close! But I stuck it out. I refused to give in. I knew I couldn't give up! I was angry that I couldn't give up! I was angry I couldn't do what I wanted to do; what was easier and more familiar.

If I had given in to that temptation, I would not feel very good about myself right now. Sure, it would've been just one night, one time, blah, blah, blah....but it would've been me using a crutch I knew I didn't need. It would've been me giving in to weakness and it would've been me being whimpy. I don't want to be weak and whimpy. I want to be strong! I want to be determined! I want to succeed!!!! I WILL SUCCEED!

Needless to say, even though the cake batter would've tasted yummy, being strong tastes even better!

Weigh-In Wednesday!

Okay, so technically today is Thursday...but I did weigh-in yesterday! I just didn't get a chance to blog it.

Last week I weighed 188. This week I weighed 186.5. So a pound and half loss. I was bummed about it. I know I should be happy for any loss...any loss is making progess toward my goal! I was just feeling irritated that I am working so dang hard and changing so much, and seeing baby progress. I want to see big, huge, GIANT progess!!! :) I know it will come. I know by continuing on this road and following the plan that this same time next year I will probably be at my goal weight and feeling awesome. :) I have to just keep chugg'n along!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tip Tuesday!!

Drinking enough water every day is important any time in your life, but did you know that it can help you loose weight?
Hunger pangs and thirst pangs feel quite similar, so it's easy to get the two confused. Many times when we are feeling "snacky," all our body really needs is some water! Try drinking a glass of water every time you feel you need a snack. If, after 10 minutes, you still feel hungry, have a nutritious snack. Then drink another glass of water to make that snack feel even more satisfying!
Some studies suggest that your metabolism is boosted 3%, simply by drinking more water!
Water helps your body function properly and more smoothly. It helps rid your body of toxins and helps your muscles get the oxygen and nutrients they need to be stronger and healthier.
Water helps all systems in your body get more oxygen, thus helping you to feel more energized!
You need to consider a few different things when determining how much water your body needs every day. A general rule to follow is 1 ounce of water for every 2lbs of body weight. Adjust that amount according to how much physical activity you participate in and the temperature of the day.
I drink between 90-120 ounces a day and feel much better now compared to when I used to drink less! :) I use a big, 30 ounce cup with a straw. I keep it filled with ice water on my counter and sip from it all day long.
Benefits of drinking water:
-helps to regulate your appetite
-increase your metabolism
-boost your energy levels
-prevent or alleviate some headaches
-high blood pressure
-reduce cholesterol
-less water retention
-ease joint pain
-less chance of developing kidney stones
-releases toxic waste products
-improves skin

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Take the Bull By the Horns!

It's amazing how taking control of one area of my life, leads me to take control in others!

Since I stopped being so wimpy about my health and fitness and started being more disciplined, I have naturally become more responsible with many other areas of my life. Woohoo! Not only do I feel and look better, my whole life is improving!

Being proactive and in control of my eating has shown me a few things; first of all, it's not a big, hairy, scary, hard thing to be more disciplined! It actually makes me feel more powerful and especially more capable! Going without all the *yummy*, fattening things I was used to eating has shown me that I can do without and be just as happy and just as satisfied. That feeling has leaked over into my financial world; more things aren't what is going to make me happy...I am the only thing that can make me more happy!

Following through with my commitment to work out 6 days a week has opened my eyes to the fact that, if I really want something, I can make anything happen! No excuses for not keeping the dishes done anymore! No reason to have a messy, disorganized home! If I want it, all I need to do is make it happen!

Pushing myself to my physical limits while working out has proven to me that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined! I can do REALLY hard things and survive! I can do scary things and survive! Even more, if feels GOOD to push myself out of my happy, comfy little bubble of a comfort zone! That empowering feeling has me looking forward to the future and what other things I will push myself to achieve!

It is exciting to me that I feel this way...and it's only been a few months! There were so many things in my life that I was not happy with. I couldn't really seem to figure out how to keep my kitchen clean. I was frustrated that no matter how much we made, we still lived paycheck to paycheck. I felt like my worries and anxieties were making too many of my decisions, and I didn't know how to change that. Now I have hope! :) I know things are going to get better and better because I have changed...I am no longer allowing myself to be wimpy. I am the one in charge of my life. I will take the bull by the horns and make GREAT things happen!

What will you do?

Garbonzo Bean Brownies!!

Most of the recipes I found for Garbanzo Bean Brownies involved adding more than a cup of white sugar! So, I tweaked a few different recipes to come up with the following recipe.

2 c garbanzo beans (approx. 1 can) rinsed and drained
4 eggs
1 1/2 c dark chocolate chips (I used 60% cocoa) melted*
3/4 c honey
1/2 t baking powder

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl by heating them for approximately 60 seconds. Don't over-heat! The chips will still be holding their "chip" shape even when they are fully melted, so stir to test for meltedness! Blend the remaining ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add the melted chips and blend. Pour into a lightly greased 9x9 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I would suggest checking them at about 15 minutes, though.

These brownies were very chocolaty and moist! My kids gobbled them right up! Lots of yummy protein! :)

*I don't like the added sugar from the chocolate chips...maybe I'll tweak it again and see what I can come up with!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How I am Living "The Plan" and Loosing Weight!

Plans always look great on paper (huh, or the computer screen!) but how does it look in real life?

Below is a short explanation of how I am applying "The Plan" to my life:

I have cut way back on the carbs I was eating...not because I think carbs are evil or I think a low-carb "diet" is the way to go, because I believe the complete opposite! Whole grain carbs are great for your body and you really need them to be healthy!! Actually, like most of us, I was unaware of just how many servings of carbs I was eating a day!! I would say that now I eat about 4-6 servings of 100% whole grain carbs a day.

I usually eat a small (again, paying attention to actual serving sizes) bowl of whole grain, low-sugar cereal with skim milk.

A few hours later, I usually have a snack...maybe a few eggs scrambled up with a bunch of veggies or a yogurt, etc.

For lunch I usually eat a sandwich (using reduced calorie bread which is really just bread that doesn't have as much sugar in it and is sliced thinner) or a wrap with some protein and lots of veggies in it or a small portion of left-overs, etc.

A few hours later, I have another snack...probably some fruit and a piece of dry toast with a few teaspoons of almond butter on it.

For dinner, I choose a low-fat protein and add as many veggies as possible to our meal. I am being a lot more careful, again, of portion sizes. Remember that a portion of most lean meats is about the size of a deck of cards. I don't have seconds...unless it's on veggies. :)

Most nights, I don't eat anything after dinner. I brush my teeth at 8pm so I won't be tempted to eat anything else for the night.

I keep a bowl of washed grapes on the counter all day long. I am a grazer....I need something to graze on! :) Sometimes, I will pop a bowl of plain popcorn (air-popped, no butter or salt) and leave it out on the counter too. Air popped popcorn is very good for you. :)

I exercise 6 days a week without fail. It's just what I's how I am going to reach my destination! I do 60 minutes of cardio in my target heart rate each of those 6 days. I strength train with a trainer 2 days a week, and one additional day on my own. I do ab/core exercises every day.

I bake a healthy treat on the weekends.

My goal is to drink 90 ounces of water a day. I am breast-feeding, so this may be an abnormally high amount...I think the average person should shoot for about 60 ounces a day. I use the big water mug that I got at the hospital when my last baby was born almost 4 months ago. I keep it full on the counter all day long.

I make it a point to fill my cart at the grocery store with lots of healthy things....especially fresh fruits and veggies!! As I'm walking through the store, I look at my cart and decide if everything in it meets my healthy requirements...if it doesn't, I put it back.

My husband knows I do NOT want him to buy any junk!! He is pretty good at complying. :)

That's basically what "The Plan" looks like for me! What about you? How are you living a healthier life?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Full Disclosure Friday!

Loosing weight is hard! Some days, I have to try REALLY hard to have a positive attitude about it.

I don't love working out, though I do love how I feel after I've done it!

I don't love eating healthier, but I do love knowing that I am giving my body the nutrients it needs and I do love not feeling blobby and guilty after eating a ton of junk!

Thinking about how long I am going to be on this road of weight-loss is over-whelming! I have a LOT more weight to loose. That's why I am trying to just think of it in 10 pound increments...10 pounds is not so daunting! I am, of course, going to be on this road longer than it takes to loose the weight...I will exercise and eat healthfully for the rest of my life, but it's more intense now since I have to loose, not just maintain.

It's easy to feel like I am all alone on this journey. I look around and see lots of people eating whatever they want and doing whatever they want. I see a lot of that, if that is what I look for. When I look for fellow Healthtopians, I find lots of those too; people's carts at the grocery store filled with veggies, friends who serve air-popped popcorn, grapes and smoothies at GNO, the neighbor who religiously walks her dogs twice a day, the hoards of people out on the sidewalks in the evening of a beautiful day: there really are a lot of people who are making wonderful health choices each and every day. I guess I need to look for them more and feel sorry for myself less!

I guess I struggle the most with this journey on days when I allow myself to feel sorry for myself....sorry that I can't eat what I want when I want....sorry that I can't just skip a day of working out and be lazy. When I choose, instead, to feel empowered by my opportunities and healthy choices, I have a much better day!! I need to refocus and choose empowerment more often!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In Wednesday!

Weighing myself every day or two is just not working out for me. I am switching over to weighing in once a week and would love it if some of you would like to join me!! :)

This morning I weighed in at 188. (wow, I am a little anxious about putting out my numbers so publicly, but it's all for the greater good!) I lost 3 pounds this week! :) That's the most I've lost in one week since I started working out (at 195 pounds) 4 weeks ago!

When I started this weight-loss journey, I weighed a whopping 202. That was about 8 or 9 weeks ago. So my total weight-loss thus far is 14 pounds! :)

I feel a lot better since starting to live more healthfully and especially since I started working out every day. I feel better physically...I have more energy and drive and feel stronger. I also feel better emotionally and mentally...more in control, content and happy with myself. :)

If you have not committed yourself to a healthier lifestyle yet, I strongly encourage you to do it right now! There is no reason to wait another month, another day, or even another minute not working toward being healthier and feeling better!

If you'd like to join me in my weekly weigh-in (which I hope you will....) then either leave your weigh-in in the comments or link us to your blog if you have one!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reward yourself for your weight-loss!!

Yes, less fat is reward enough, BUT...why not squeeze in even more things to look forward to?!?

I am going to give myself some great incentives to stay on track and keep on loosing by setting some goals with a reward as each goal is met. :)

My first goal weight is 182. When I reach that goal, I am going to get my hair cut and highlighted!

My next goal weight is 172. When I reach that goal, I am going to buy a new book or two!

My next goal weight is 162. When I reach that goal, I am going to get a pedicure!

My next goal weight is 152. When I reach that goal, I am going to buy some cute, new workout clothes!

My next goal weight is 142. When I reach that goal, I am going to get a facial!

My final goal weight is 135. When I reach my final goal, I am going to buy myself a new wardrobe!!


A reward system is going to help me to feel my progress in a more tangible, celebratory way. :) It gives me something to look forward to other than just numbers on the scale. It also helps me organize and define my goals in a way that makes my ultimate task of loosing over 60 pounds less scary and daunting. Some people give themselves just one or two smaller goals within their larger, ultimate goal...say every 20 or 25 pounds. I decided that having my goals set at every 10 pounds would help me stay motivated the best. 10 pounds is totally attainable and within my reach!

Your goals don't have to be numbers on the scale, either. You could choose clothing sizes, or fitness level goals (running up a flight of stairs without being totally out of breath, for instance.)

Whatever your goals are, write them down and read them often. And tack on a special non-food related "treat" as a special reward when each goal is attained! It'll help you stay focused, motivated and on-track to your ultimate goal of health and fitness!

It's good to be regular. ;)

Sorry for those of you who were hoping, but this is not a post about fiber. :)

Though fiber is very good for you, this is a post about regularity on this blog; which does not involve more fiber.

In addition to recipes and other random posts, you can now expect:

Tip Tuesdays
Weigh-In Wednesdays
Full-Disclosure Fridays

Exciting. I know. Stay tuned for all the good, fun stuff ahead!

Monday, August 9, 2010

It Ain't Just a River in Egypt!

We're talk'n about DENIAL, here people! And boy have I been living in it! I had no clue I was, which I guess is why it's denial!

I have always used whole grains and we drink skim milk. We haven't regularly eaten things like Pop-Tarts, Eggo's or Lucky Charms for breakfast. We really only drank soda once a week for family movie night or when we shopped at Sam's Club....these things all led me to believe I had a pretty healthy diet.

Tonight while strolling through the grocery section of Wal-Mart, it finally dawned on me that in fact, no...I have not been as healthy an eater as I had thought I was all these years. I really have considered myself a fat person who ate mostly healthy.....which is a total contradiction; how could you become fat if you ate a healthy diet?

Since starting "The Plan" about 6 weeks ago, there are quite a few things I have changed about the way my family and I eat. For example, we used to eat take-out or fast food about once a week (more during stressful weeks...) Restaurant food has soooooooooooo much fat and calories!! You can easily and quickly consume more than a whole days worth of calories in one meal! And still have left-overs!! I never really thought much about it and always justified the meal by saying things like "it's just a really stressful day" or "I need a break" to myself.

In thinking more deeply about how we used to eat I realized even more things we used to do that were way less than healthy! We used to have tortilla chips with every mexican-ish meal we ate. Realistically, each of us would eat a couple of servings worth of chips at said meals...that is a LOT of fat and calories. We also used to have chips around to eat with sandwiches. I have a *special* weakness for chips so never really even considered not having them! I sort of thought of it as my reward for working so hard! Extra fat jiggling around on your thighs, as it turns out, is really not such a nice reward. We used to not eat very many fruits or veggies. I would have days where I ate a lot of veggies or a weekend when we snacked on fruit, but it was never a consistent part of our diet. It has always been a pain to try and get the kids to eat fruit and veggies, so I avoided the battle....never really considering that I should lead by example. Also, I used to get myself a special snack when I ran errands without the kids. It made me feel like I was getting a special treat and like it made my time alone even more relaxing and rewarding. Again, adding more cellulite is really not the most special alone time activity!

There are a LOT of others ways I have changed the way we eat. I think it just never really hit me how drastic and different these changes have been until this evening in Wal-Mart. I saw a lot of over-weight people pushing carts full of food that is KEEPING them over-weight and unhealthy. Suddenly, I felt empowered with the knowledge that my choices and the food in my cart are leading me down a road toward health and fitness. It hit me that, YES! I am really doing this! I am really, finally changing what needs to be changed! I am no longer in denial about my "healthy" lifestyle! I am ACTUALLY living a healthy lifestyle!! For reals!!

I spent most of last week feeling very angry (thus the lack of posting...) I was angry that I had to change; angry that I couldn't eat what I would like to eat; angry that it's not okay to be fat; angry that I was hungry but it was too late in the evening to eat; angry that it was so easy to get so fat; angry that getting healthy is such hard work; angry to have put myself in a position where I have so much weight to loose; angry that Doritos have so many calories...the anger was strong!

Tonight, now that I have fully realized where I have been (living a pretty unhealthy lifestyle,) I feel happy! I feel happy that I have finally taken control; happy to be able to change; happy to have the support of my husband and family; happy to have the knowledge I need to make healthy choices; happy and hopeful for the progress I've made and the great progress I know I will make; happy that I can trust myself to continue on the path to health and fitness; happy to be proud of myself for working hard! :) And oh so happy to no longer be in denial!