Thursday, January 31, 2008

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomatah

Yesterday was grocery shopping day, and in preparation, I sat down in front of several websites and printed out a veritable ream of recipes. I don't cook every night, usually just 2-3 times a week, so I had to limit my recipes to a handful of 6, plus some recipes for snacks and breakfasts.

Last night, I made a SparkPeople recipe: 15 minute chili. For a quick dish, it was really good, and incredibly filling. I cut the recipe in half from 4 servings to 2, and it made THREE HUGE servings, plenty for dinner for two plus someone's lunch for the next day (guess whose!). I was going to post a picture, but I left my camera at home (my own computer is completely malfunctional...the memorial service for my hard drive will be announced at a later date...), so maybe I'll get that up later. I'm working towards more than words, here, as I rarely make a recipe that doesn't have a picture.

For those of you who might want to make it, here's the recipe:
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 16-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 16-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 28-oz can chopped, stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 cup salsa

1. In a large pot, brown turkey with chopped onion.
2. Add beans, tomatoes, chili powder, and salsa to turkey mixture. Cook until hot.

That's it! So easy, quick, and it uses only one dish, which is my favorite part of it all. I added a stick or two to celery to the first step (chopped up) just for an added veggie. It was a nice different texture for the chili, too. The recipe says that this makes 4 servings, but I cut the recipe in half, and had PLENTY for three full servings. After I halved it, my calculations from the labels was just under 8 points per serving. Not bad for such a filling meal. You might want to double-check your own points, though, just to make sure I can do math (which is a highly contestable assumption!). If you come up with a radically different number, PLEASE let me know.

I also made a really quick trail mix. I found a recipe for a 2-point version on Hungry-Girl, but once I got in the store, I realized that the core ingredients were actually dried toddler foods. Yuck. So I ran back to the dried fruits and nuts section, and picked several things up there. I mixed the original serving sizes of soy nuts, raisins, pretzels, maple-brown sugar frosted mini-wheats, and banana chips, and a double-portion of dried apricots in a mixing bowl and then divided it into thirds to make three 5-point baggies. (I was actually so anal as to divide each ingredient's portion into thirds, and then add each ingredient to a baggie, just to make sure I was counting the points right). I made a couple of batches, and now I've got about 9, super-quick, relatively low-point breakfasts or snacks ready in the wings. What I love about the trail mix idea is that you can add whatever you want--popcorn, sugar-free candies, etc--and make as high or as low point bag as you want. I'm going to try again with the ingredients in a few weeks and see if I can get a lower point batch; the banana chips really upped the points for how many I get to eat (but I LOVE banana chips!!!).

Hope everything is going well with you all today!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Time Keeps On Spinnin' (Spinnin') Into the Future...

It can't only be Tuesday, can it? This past week and a half has been so busy I feel like it should be Friday already. I've got so much going on at work and school that I've been a little bit of a bitch, and not the sexy kind, either. I think my boyfriend was a little glad to get out of the apartment and away from me to go build a computer. It's strange to think guys need "me-time," too.

All the stress, pretty much from Friday afternoon through now, has made it difficult to prioritize. I've always let junk food comfort me when I'm going crazy trying to keep up, and I've wanted so desperately to rely on that crutch this week. I admit, Friday evening was a total splurge night. We're talking pizza, hot fries, doritos, AND cheetos. It was bad. And last night I had half a Woodchuck Amber and two cups of cereal. So now that I've said my Hail Marys, I'll add that even though I ate all that crap, I DID write it down, and count up the point values. I'll also add that it's woman's week, and this is the first that I haven't turned to fast food, potato chips, and chocolate to make the cramps go away (come to think of it, that didn't really make the cramps go away, but emotionally, I felt a lot better).

I've been going to the gym regularly, too. I'm alternating days with cardio and strength training, with Saturday as a rest day. I've been getting headaches every time I exercise, too. They're not bad, but just enough to be noticeable, and a major pain in the ass. I've heard that a lot of people get them, so I'm not too worried, but it's still something I need to check up on. I'm just a couple of weeks away from getting my first fitness goal prize--an Enell Sports Bra. I've been wanting one of these for years, but have never stayed on track long enough to warrant the cost. I have huge boobs, and there isn't a sports bra in creation that can prevent me from hitting myself in the chin when I run (okay, I'm not that hugely-breasted, but almost). Plus, it's Oprah recommended! :P

Saturday, January 26, 2008

1st Weigh-In!

The first weigh-in is usually easiest, for me anyway. I'm excited, ready to go, and I'm guaranteed at least some water weight. :)

First weight-loss: 6 pounds!

Why are fat girls in the gym?

One week officially under my belt! I feel like I've done really well for my first week - I got lots of veggies in, drank almost as much water as I'm supposed to every day, and even got myself excited about working out.

I'm really lucky to go to a university that has a FREE on-site gym for its students. Nice gym, too, with ellipticals and treadmills both of which have little tvs above the heart rate monitors that you can listen to with headphones. They're even hooked up to cable, which is nice, because I don't even have cable in my apartment. They have Swiss balls, weighted balls, free weights, and weight machines. And, for my added happiness, showers and lockers. All of this 20 paces from the library, my certifiable home base for my final semester.

The swankiness of it all got me a little excited, so I went for the first time a couple of days ago. I jogged for thirty minutes. My brother showed up and he showed me how to use some of the machines. I probably worked way too hard, especially considering I got home, went entirely hypoglycemic, and threw up the remnants of my tuna salad & spinach wrap. Yummy, huh?

I'll be taking it easy the next few days, sticking to yoga and my hand weights at home. I FINALLY found a cheap yoga block and strap, so that will great to help me stretch out my complaining muscles.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Well, damn.

And I thought I was rounding UP when I guessed my start weight on Saturday...

Turns out I was 11 pounds under. The scale could be wrong, but as it's the one I'll use (I don't have one of my own) I guess I've got to go with what it tells me, eh? And I even took my Nikes off.

My new starting weight: 211. 61 pounds to lose in whatever time is comfortable.

Support Like a Jog Bra

I opened my Lil' Fattie (the unlabeled, inconspicuous, navy blue, 200 sheet, 5.5"x3.4" notebook in which I track my food, exercise, and water intake for the day) to yesterday's page for review. This is a breakdown of what I see:
Salad: 0 - 24
Lo-Fat French (2 servings): 2 - 22
Granola Bar: 4 - 18
1 C. Skim Milk: 2 - 16
Yo Baybuh's Love: 0!!! - 16!!!
Baked Lays Doritos: 3 - 13
Roly Poly #13: 6 - 7

I don't exactly remember consuming my "baybuh's love," unless it be his endless support I revel in each day. My boyfriend (read: baybuh) has been a real trooper in my efforts to shed my middle. He helped me throw out all the junk in my pantry (he wasn't just okay with it, he helped me throw out the cookies, salt and vinegar chips, and full-calorie sodas that he so loves). He eats what I eat, no matter how much of it is veritable rabbit food. Although he despises vegetables (he credits this hate to their texture when cooked, no matter how gently), he chowed right through the 0-point, ALL-veggie soup I made. He chowed slowly, he chowed reluctantly, he chowed with much swilling of water, but he chowed. He never once verbally complained (his grimace, though, gave him away).

The reason I was able to stick to a diet two years ago was the support of my mom, who joined it with me, and my best friend, who was the bride who asked me to wear a powder blue bridesmaid dress (despite my previous misconceptions about powder blue, it was actually a cute dress). I was not particularly interested in dieting when I did, and once I got out of the dress, I didn't have any interest in continuing. But when I was trying to lose weight, both of these ladies bounced recipes, gripes, cravings, and ideas off of me, and I them. I felt guilty if I cheated around them. They never expressed their love and support of me in my lil' fattie, but it was there, underneath the print, behind the motivations.

I suppose that I'm reaffirming the support I have in my life. People do support me, even the one that will end up having to eat his mayo-laden sandwiches and regular Dr. Pepper outside the house. They support me because they think I can do it. I can lose 50 pounds. That's a great feeling.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Starting Out...Again

I don't know why I feel compelled to start a blog devoted to my weight loss. There are a thousand other dieting/exercise/health & fitness blogs out there devoted to this, and my contribution to the genre will be small. I suppose my motivations are these: Firstly, blogging is public, and to some degree, a method of accountability. Not that I know anyone who'll read this, but the fact that it's publicly viewable is enough. Secondly, I think networking is important. Being able to read about other people's sucesses, foibles, and stories really grounds me. It connects me to people I wouldn't otherwise be connected to, and better, we happen to be working for the same things. So add me to your blogroll, leave me some comments, and settle in. (Was that shameless enough?)

So what exactly are the things I'm working for? To lose weight, obviously. But more directly, to look as I feel. There are times my body doesn't cooperate with me, and it's because of all the extra pounds I'm carrying around. I want to feel well, to feel attractive and sexy and so ridiculously comfortable in my own skin I'd walk in the bar naked. Some of the bullet-points on the last page of my "Fat Lil' Notebook" are little black dresses and red high heels, the ability to shop anywhere, unhesitant leaps into my baby's arms, and "for his eyes only" photos in a drawer. So although I have a number in mind, it serves only to give me something tangible to grapple for. 150 pounds is the recommended body weight for me, but if I feel comfortable at 166.78, that's fine with me.

I started Weight Watchers two days ago. I've done the program before, for several months in preparation for a powder blue bridesmaid's dress. I lost 15 or so pounds, a pant size, and several ill-fitting shirts. That was two years ago, and since then, I've gained steadily. But okay, no guilt, it was two years ago that I got off track. Two days ago, I got back on it. It's been okay so far. It's a struggle, craving the impromptu breakfast runs at McDonald's, the burger dinners, and heavy on the cream-sauce pasta dates and going for SpecialK, veggie soup, and glasses of water instead. Saturday, I was right on track; Sunday, foiled by leftover snack foods, and today, I've eaten so damn healthily that I've got 13 points left in the day. This is going to be interesting.

As an aside, talking about losing weight is hard to do without being incredibly trite. Already in this post, I've tried to avoid using the phrases "weight loss journey," "diet program," "goal-setting," and "hard work and dedication."