Thursday, May 23, 2013

Physical Activity

No, I don't mean the gym. I mean my life-style.

Since it's summer, I live a pretty (OK, very) lethargic lifestyle. Other than the hour to hour and a half I spend in the gym, I'm a very sedentary person. My days consist of me sitting on the sofa or bed, watching TV and/or doing homework.

I read online that your metabolism slows down and basically becomes as lazy as you are. Therefore, I am going to try to lead a more active life-style. I don't really know what this entails, as my whole family is pretty sedentary as well, but I'm going to give it a whirl.

Through all of this change that I'm going to try to incorporate in my life, I'll employ my beloved dogs, Jackie and Jackson to come with me. Today, I took them on a 1.5 mile walk and it tired them out as much as it did me. It was groggy and humid out, but I know they appreciated the physical activity.

Tomorrow, I think I'm going to try to work in some fetch (that doesn't really work very well with my dogs, but I'll try). The only problem is that my dogs LOVE to play with other dogs, but don't realize that their enthusiasm isn't matched by the strange dogs that they don't know. Therefore, they end up getting hyper and excited, and it's pretty hard to control these two when that happens.

I don't know if I can take them for runs or to the doggie park, but I'm going to spend at least 30 minutes a day doing something active with my dogs. I'm gonna start with a walk every morning and night, but I'm sure that'll be a huge change for even my dogs.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Fitness Pal

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

My Fitness Pal is a great calorie counter that I'm using to be able to count my calories, update my workouts and also the amount of water I drink.

It's this nifty little app that allows me to just scan whatever I eat and tells me how many calories I should be eating and how much of each nutrient I need.

One of the things that I really enjoy is that it lets me create recipes and calculates the calories per serving of anything that I add! Last night for dinner, my sister made a veggie pizza on whole grain crust and it was so simple to be able to add in the ingredients and measure the calories per serving.

I also found out that MFP offers a cool 'ticker' that helps you track your weight loss on websites and forums, so I've attached mine to my Stats page! It's cool, customizable and it helps keep me motivated.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bad Days

The other day, I had a bad eating day. Not because I went over my calories, but because I couldn't control myself. After having an OK day all day, cravings struck me around 9pm.

All I could think about was food. I mean, lick-your-fingers and the bowl type of food. I wanted chocolate cake with ice cream on it, and then a slice of warm apple pie right after. Hell, I probably could have gone for some french fries too.

I hate the fact that food controls my thoughts, emotions and feelings. I hate being emotionally dependent on food. 

I get crazy cravings that make me rummage through the fridge, looking for stuff we don't have, and in the process, eating lots of crazy things and binging, sad, frustrated and very unsatisfied.

I know that in my last post I talked about having a healthy relationship with food, but I don't think I understood how hard that comes.

It means that when I'm laying in bed after dinner watching TV, I can't indulge in that bowl of ice cream. It also means that when my family is ordering take out for dinner, I can't have a couple bites here and there (because, for me, that always turns into half a plate of food I didn't need).

It's so hard to detach myself from something that I have to do everyday. I have to eat, but I have to eat right. I have to learn that chomping on obscure foods isn't going to crack that craving, but that instead I really do just have to have a glass of water and do something else. 

Trust me, I know ALL the tips. I just have to follow them. 

 I thought that by allowing myself to have a small, healthy desert everyday, I could banish these cravings. But, let's be honest, 100 calorie greek yogurt ice cream really isn't as good as apple pie a la mode.

I guess I just have to really remind myself how excited I was when I made my way out of the 250s, and how much hitting the next  milestone is going to mean to me.

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, right?

While I don't know if I will ever consider that statement to be true, I do know that I can't afford to cheat in the beginning stages of my regime. Right now, I'm in a vulnerable place where I'm trying really hard to stick to a routine, but my old cravings are creeping back into my life. I have to power through it and understand that going down into the kitchen after dinner can only end badly.

My roommate in freshman year told me that nothing good ever happens after 2 am. 
 I have to concur with her on this, because nothing good ever happens in the kitchen after 9pm.

There is nothing worse than when you eat something bad, and immediately regret it after you swallow. I used to get so depressed and would, in turn keep stuffing the cream cheese frosting down my throat, thinking there's no point in stopping now.

I did the same with a sleeve (or maybe a couple boxes) of Girl Scout Cookies. I was eating them mindlessly, when I realized that I was almost finished with the entire TWO boxes.  I had maybe 5 cookies left, and I wrapped it up and put them away, hoping to find distraction in TV. Unfortunately, my one track food brain couldn't stop thinking about those cookies and I ended up eating the rest thinking that I might as well finish them now, because they'd be gone sooner or later.

This type of behavior is what makes me feel saddened by my relationship with food.  

Food controls me, when I should be controlling it. 

After that night's binge, I have been eating much better, and will forever fight the urge to eat the whole box of dark chocolate in my freezer.

Friday, May 17, 2013


1 little, 2 little, 3 little calories . .

I've been counting calories for the past couple years on and off again. I've lost weight on it, but this time, I'm doing it to gain a sense of portion control.

In my family, food is served with a free (and heavy) hand. It's a synonym for love, comfort, and joy. If I was feeling sad, my grandpa would give me some ice-cream. Happy? A warm bowl of spaghetti always made my heart soar with joy. Food was it's own emotion in my life, and I see that philosophy carry over into my adulthood.

When I had a bad day or felt stressed, I'd seek out that doughnut or piece of tiramisu cake with vigor. I'd sit on the counter, legs swinging and eat away my feelings. I could trust that food more than I could trust life itself. Of course, I'd notice (and effectively block out) how my school uniform slowly stopped fitting, and how sucking in my stomach simply wouldn't make that zipper budge.

Food is my friend.

I truly, sincerely, even to this day, believe that.

So, I'm working on viewing food the same way we did long, long, loooong ago. I want to eat to live, I don't want to live to eat.

I think maintaining a healthy relationship with food will be one of the most powerful tools I can acquire for myself.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chocolate Banana Walnut Oatmeal

Chocolate Banana Walnut Oatmeal
Last night when I went grocery shopping, I picked up cacao powder! I love chocolate and I am trying to be healthy, so I figured this would be a great opportunity to combine both!

For breakfast today, I had a great bowl of power oatmeal! The reason that it's called that is because the oats are a great source of healthy fiber, nuts are great for long term energy and protein, and banana's are great pre-workout.

When I made this recipe, I didn't add any truvia (big mistake), so next time I would probably add some in the pot while boiling the milk.

I adapted this recipe from here. This one seems great, but it was a large batch and seemed a little complicated to make first thing in the morning.

Chocolate Banana Walnut Oatmeal Recipe:

3/4 cup almond milk (I use vanilla)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cacao powder (I used dark chocolate)
1 banana
Pinch of cinnamon
handful of walnuts (or any other nuts)
1 pack truvia or sweetner to taste

The recipe is so simple!

Just boil the almond milk, water and cacao powder and then add the oats.

Let cook for about 8 minutes, and then stir in the cinnamon.

Pour into a bowl, add walnuts and bananas on top and voila!

It's so easy and SO delicious. The whole recipe is about 400 calories and is super filling.

Alright, it's 11:37 AM and I need to stop procrastinating my morning workout!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cheat Meals

Happy Mothers Day to all the beautiful moms out there in the world! I want to give a special shout out to my mom who does more for me, and our family, than anyone. Without her, I wouldn't be anywhere. I truly love you so much!

(edit: to anyone who I actually know that reads this blog has probably seen this photo circling my social media on various occasions. This is actually the ONLY photo my mom and I have taken in a very long time). 

I had a great day today with my family, and had some great food at P.F. Chang's, which is one of my moms favorite places to eat. I had lots of delicious food, including a couple pieces of sweet and sour chicken, some lemon chicken, scallops, coconut curry tofu and lots of other deliciousness. I didn't really count my calories at all, but I did try to limit my portions and not eat too much.

I did well, I think. I had a couple pieces of each dish, along with a couple bites of dessert.  I wish I had taken more pictures of the food, but we were all so focused on eating (typical) that all Instagramming was forgotten.

I do have one picture, of the amazing cast-iron pot that the oolong tea was served in. As a tea fanatic, I never really understood the hype that major tea stores (Teavana, anyone? I'm addicted to that place) place in marketing cast iron pots. But after having some delicious tea out of it, I'm sold on it. They're probably a little too expensive and a tad un-realistic to brew tea in regularly, but it was pretty cool!

Since it's not real unless it's on Instagram.....can I un-count this meal?

 I think that because I am OK now with "letting go" for one meal a week, I put less pressure on myself, and it's easier to pick up clean eating again. Not going to lie though, I did have Chipotle last night, so does that count as two cheat meals? Oh well...

For the rest of the week, however, there are no excuses and I plan to be on-point with my eating game.  I've got weight to lose!

I'm probably going to take a post-eating nap and then hit the gym to start my second week of Couch 2 5K, and continue with Week 1 Day 3 of LiveFit.

It's weird, I'm starting to enjoy the gym. Who am I?

Hope everyone has a great mothers day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Since last Saturday, I have lost approximately 5.2 lbs. *ensue cheering*

I've gotten down to about 247-248, but never below. I'm hoping that by next week I can be near that mark, and surpass it the week after.

But my real progress marker lies not on the scale, but in my clothes.

I've always hated wearing jeans. When I hear the word, my mind immediately goes to the memories I have of me trying, yet ultimately failing, to suck in my stomach and get those jeans to button.

There's nothing more disheartening then having something not fit you. 

I remember always eyeballing the clothing I'd want to try on (what the hell, I still do this now) to see if it maaaybe it looks just baggy enough to fit over my body. But with jeans, it's the absolute worst.

Pick a size, any size. 

Chances are, I've tried it on. Like I said earlier, I've always been heavy-set. I remember weighing in at around 130-140 in the 3rd grade. Then, during 5th grade I started running with my dad. I'd just jog and jog and jog and somehow, around the beginning of 6th grade I'd whittled my way down to a size 11 in pants.

I remember this distinctly because we'd gone over to Macy's with my mom and aunt, and I asked my mom what size to try on. She told me to grab a 14, and for the first time in my life, something was too big for me. It was such a liberating feeling. 

Unfortunately, it didn't last long and by the end of 6th grade, those size 11 pants were too tight for me to even pull up.

My point in all this is, I really don't care what I weigh-in at. I care what clothes fit me. 

With that, I'd like to introduce my lovely red pants. I went to Old Navy (probably the only place on earth that allows me to squeeeeze my way into my size 18 pants, and allow me to deny that I need to go to the plus-size section of anywhere) last summer and purchased two pairs of pants. One pair of blue jeans, and one pair of red.

Though these pants have always been a little bit snug, and button just below the waist, my goal is to have them fit properly just in time for my first day of work on June 10. 

With this, I introduce to you my red pants!

 After I hit the 10 pound mark on the scale, I'm going to try these on again in the hopes that they fit somewhat better.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Clean Eating, Clean Eating, CLEAN EATING

The words Clean Eating actually terrify me. Terrify in the truest sense of the word, meaning the color drains from my face, my mouth is dry as cotton, and I'm probably more fidgety than Barty Crouch. It makes me feel like I'm supposed to be on a strict, no fun, no experimenting, bland egg white and oranges, diet.  As a person who loves food, truly loves it, there are no words more terrifying to me than C L E A N  E A T I N G. My mind starts whirling and I get images of high protein- no carb diets, sweet potatoes and other things I don't particularly like.

I love food. I love my veggies, I love carbs, I love sweets, and I especially love salt. The problem with Clean Eating isn't what the name implies, but the rigid expectations I tend to set for myself when I use the phrase.

I always say to myself, Okay, this is it, I'm going to eat clean and never mess up. Then, that's when all the weight will come off. It's my own personal mantra for failure. I make a plan to eat clean, worry about breaking it and slipping, inevitably I do break it, and then I quit. This cycle happens to me in various phases: sometimes within mere meals of starting, other times I can go days or even weeks. But I always manage to slip up, and then I quit. I quit because I think that if I can't stick to something, I shouldn't be doing it at all.

You're not ready. You don't have time. What the hell is clean eating anyways?! All things that I've said to myself in various stages of my clean eating failure.

But I've realized, throughout this year, with the great help of my friends, that mistakes are OK. That when it comes to riding the bike, you have to learn how to pedal first. That first phase of getting on your bike are the absolute hardest. I remember it in detail:

God, you think to yourself, It's awfully strange getting on this contraption with two wheels. What if it doesn't hold me? (A question I always, forever, unfortunately ask myself) What if I can't control it? What if I fall? What if I get hurt? I hate getting hurt. 

I remember my dad telling me that it was okay if I got hurt because in order for me to learn, a few bruises and scrapes were necessary. He always said that it's okay to fall and get hurt as long as you don't cry about it for too long.

The same philosophy, I have realized should be applied to the way I view myself, my weight,  my eating habits, and everything else in life. "It's a learning process" as my dad would say.

 So today, on this beautiful Friday in May, I am going to start applying this philosophy to my eating. It's okay if I mess up. It's okay if I had olive oil in my omelet. It's okay if I eat cheese. It's okay, as long as I understand that I need to begin to hold myself accountable for these actions. 

If I want a piece of cheese, I'll have it. But maybe I'll skip that slice of Pepper Jack on my dinner sandwich.