HYC Update

This week was exhausting. Here's the quick and dirty:

  • Ate very well all week
  • Worked out a compromise with my brain to not feel guilty about eating certain foods (see post below)
  • Enjoyed a rich and luxurious birthday dinner with Katie and friends sans guilt.
  • At said dinner - the dessert was not that great. A chocolate and peanut butter tart that should have been heaven, but was too airy, light on the peanut butter and not sweet enough. So, my NSV of the week - I stopped eating it. I made a very good dent, trying to savor the flavor, but then I realized - why eat what isn't that great?
  • Attended Mr. Black's holiday party - held at a certain rock and roll museum in Seattle. We all wore jeans, and as I was going up the stairs, Katie gave me my favorite compliment of the month! She said "You look fantastic." I said "Oh, have you gotten a pair of the Lane Bryant Right fit jeans yet? They are amazing!" When she said no, I encouraged her to try some on, because they really are fabulous. She said "Sara, it's not the jeans." That girl is beautiful and generous, I tell you!

The not so hot:

  • Alcoholic co-worker was let go this week. They tried numerous times to encourage her to get help, to no avail. I was sad for her and her children, and I hope this is the impetus she needs to get help. So, I've been flying solo (we share a position) and spent 3 hours working overtime this week. I missed two work outs with Katie! Horrible! I owe her.

  • All this working is getting in the way of my blog surfing and commenting - so I'm going to work on that as well!

Amazingly, I am down 1.2 pounds to 230.8 this week. I don't know how, since I missed two work outs, and ate a rich dinner, but I am running with it.


Balance, or... I love bacon and I can't quit

When I was 25 or so, I remember going to bed on a Saturday night, sober. My usual weekend pattern involved performing in a show, then going out drinking for 2 or 3 hours, and then eating a burger and fries or scrambled eggs and bacon at 2 am. I am so pretty, I know. Awaking refreshed and headache free was such a distinct feeling, that I've never forgotten it. Because it was at that moment that I realized that moderation could be a handy life tool. However, if there is something I enjoy, it is hard for me to do that moderately. I listen to a CD over and over and over again (there were some confiscated by my dorm mates in college!) I am "in love" by the second date, and oh yeah, there's that pesky overeating thing.

I've finally come to terms with my meal/snack/sweet tooth guilt. I want to share it here, simply as a journal entry for myself, working it out, but also it may help other people. I've decided to stick a fork in my food guilt and toss it aside. Because really, I can't think of a bigger waste of my time. Besides watching Scott Baio is 46 and Pregnant - which I have only heard of, I've never actually seen it. Swear. Unless you watch it too - and maybe we could talk about it?

As I've grown up and out (har har) - I remember hearing doctors and diet gurus on talk shows or what have you make this remark about bacon or any other fatty delicious food "Well, in moderation, that is okay." and what I would hear is "Don't ever eat bacon unless you want to have a heart attack 10 seconds after swallowing." Eating healthfully used to only feel like torture by deprivation. And nothing makes me want to do something so badly than hearing no. This lead me to think about why I was feeling so guilty about wanting the chicken and chorizo enchiladas. I think I am afraid that one unhealthy meal will make the 58 pounds come flying back on. Or, that I won't be able to stop at one unhealthy meal, and I'll be back to where I started. But I can. I can enjoy myself and know that the next day, I'm going to be 100% on plan or "back to normal".

Because here's the thing I have realized. I am pretty damn healthy. I've made so many changes to my diet and lifestyle, that they are a habit. A routine. They are sustainable behaviors that I can live with forever, and not burn out. If I went to the gym 7 days a week and only ever ate vegetables and brown rice - I would have given up a long time ago. Compared to this list, a little bacon and cheese in moderation isn't going to do the damage long term that I am so fearful of.

- I pack my breakfast and lunch to take to work
- I eat at least 4 servings of fruit/veggies every day
- I exercise 4 days a week at the gym, and walk the dog on other days (usually)
- I don't smoke or use drugs
- I take my multi-vitamin and calcium supplements
- I drink somewhere between 64 and 80 ounces of water a day
- I recycle
- I call my Mom once a week
- I say I love you every day

Okay, those last three are to be funny, but really - isn't a balanced life what it is all about? Eating healthfully 90% of the time? Of course it is! Do I drink too much half and half? Yes, but so far, my cholesterol levels are fantastic - and they've been given a boost too, with all this exercise junk I've been doing.

So I'm not going to reward myself with food, and I'm not going to stress out about an indulgent evening. I'm going to continue with regularly planned meals and get back on that elliptical and feel good. So if you're feeling blah - write down everything you've done right! You'll feel much better, I promise.


Happy Birthday to Katie Jane Beth Sue and Aimee

Happiest of Birthdays to Katie Jane Beth Sue, my devoted work out buddy, my friend, my salted-caramel making partner, my cart pusher, my Mrs. Chang line-up identifier, super talented quiller and card maker, authority on all things U2, Lord of the Rings, WWII history, Benefit products, wine, chocolate, anything involving the UK, Orlando Bloom and .

Without the support of Katie over the past year and a half, I would not be the owner of this stronger, healthier body that I have today. Without her friendship, I would be much lonelier and absent of mirth. I love relying on her steady and logical advice, and her kindness is a reminder of how everyone should be. Viva Katie!

And Happy birthday to Aimee! The first person to be my friend when I moved from California to Washington, who was so welcoming to me when I was navigating a new high school. Aimee is my dancing partner, my Groove Is in the Heart memory maker, my spinning on the merry go round with Robert and asking boys to Senior Ball friend. She is always available to listen and laugh with, she is an inspiring marathon walker, incredibly graceful dancer and she is the child-whisperer. When that woman becomes a mother, it will be so right! Without Aimee, I would have never met another wonderful woman we know and I would be much more ignorant on social causes. Aimee's sense of building community is so natural and effortless to her and it is so inspiring. Aimee reminds me to be open to all new friendships, to allow all the people in my life to come together in different combinations and that taking care of myself is just as important as taking care of the others in my life. Viva Aimee!

Happy birthday to my favorite Aquarians!


No Chew Recipes

I am surprised that I have gotten such positive response to the idea of a motivational list, and to make it public, no less. I'm working on it, and will share it of course!

Oh I kill me with my own post titles. Of course you have to chew these things - but not a whole lot. I promise that this isn't going to become the Sara's mouth blog, but my choppers won't be healed until February 1st - oy, the suffering! Here are some things you can eat when your dentist tortures you and tells you that you can't chew anything crunchy. (popcorn - oh how I miss you - we are going to get down and dirty when this whole teeth thing is through!)

Tortelloni Salad
But Sara, tortellonis are high in fat and carbs! I can't eat that! Au contraire mes amis, you can eat this! Here's how:

1 8 oz. package Barilla Ricotta & Spinach Tortelloni (tortelloni? Not tortellini? Yes, tortelloni.)
1 bag baby spinach - how much is that - 8 ounces? A whole bunch
2 7 oz jars of roasted red peppers - less if you like
2 3.5 oz jars of marinated artichoke hearts
1/3 cup of Pesto sauce - homemade or jarred.
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Prepare tortelloni according to package directions. While pasta is boiling, slice the roasted peppers into strips. Drain the artichoke hearts - but reserve the marinade liquid. When pasta is cooked, drain, and then toss with the pesto - you may want to reserve some of the cooking water to use to thin out the pesto, and to help it coat the pasta. Also, you can use the artichoke marinade too. A little pesto goes a LONG way in this!

Once the pasta is coated, add remaining ingredients and toss. This is sooo good. I also splash a little balsamic vinegar on top because I love it. You could also add the artichoke marinade now too. Now you're going to have lotsa leftovers, so when you pull it out of the fridge, I nuked it, spinach and all for 30 seconds, just to take the chilly edge off. I like this recipe, because even though I only get 3/4 of a cup of pasta, I can have all that other flavorful stuff. You could add tomatoes and red onions, olives and even carrot shreds if you were feeling super veggie oriented - and you had choppers to chew it with.

Steel Cut Oatmeal breakfast

Oatmeal is one of the most heart healthy and figure friendly things we can do for our bodies. (Can I sound MORE like a commercial?) And Steel-Cut oats are better than rolled oats. But they take at least 20 minutes to cook. And I am not the kind of girl who makes oatmeal from scratch every morning. I am lucky if I make it out the door with matching socks. Also - plain oatmeal, not so appetizing. And I don't want to pour on a bunch of sugar, so here's what I discovered.

Make a batch of Steel Cut Oatmeal - one cup will yield 3 cups cereal. Then, mix it with unsweetened applesauce. Brilliant! Add cinnamon, and you're eating apple pie for breakfast, I swear. I found a great recipe for homemade applesauce - super easy.

Homemade Applesauce

4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 sugar (optional)

Place all ingredients into a large saucepan, stirring to coat. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 or 20 minutes. Mash to desired texture.

I leave big chunks of apples, add in cardamom and cloves, and I only use 2 tablespoons of sugar, because that's how we roll in the Trisaratops Lounge. We likes it spicy and not too sweet! I mix it into the oatmeal, and I take it in a container to work, and nuke a portion of it each morning for breakfast. So easy, and really, super cheap. It will take you about 1 and half hours to do this each weekend, but it isn't active kitchen time, it is put it on the stove and go read blogs time. Peeling the apples is a pain, but I can watch TV, and it is so much cheaper (and better tasting) than storebought. You can thank me later.

All Purpose Veggie "Stretcher"

Okay, I came up with this because I had a lot of veggies to use up. I added it to an instant rice mix of Jambalaya (shhh, it's not organic!)- to stretch it out a bit, and also to add to my spaghetti squash lunch. You may look at it and say ewwww - and that's okay.

2 large onions, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 red peppers - or 1 large, chopped
3 handfuls baby carrots ( I didn't measure, sorry!), chopped*
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS olive oil
1 can tomato paste
Salt and pepper
*I have a mini food-processor - it was a godsend - otherwise, chopping baby carrots is painful. You could buy the pre-shredded carrots too!

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add peppers and carrots, and saute for 2 more minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and stir to mix through for about 4 minutes. Salt and pepper and any other spices you like, to taste.

And voila - this will stretch out a rice, bean and meat dish, or is kind of a ratatouille of sorts for sauces or casseroles. Finely chopping the carrots made them sort of invisible, but still there in a high-fiber kind of way. Hurrah!

Spaghetti Squash lunch

This is a great low calorie lunch.

1 Spaghetti Squash - about 2.5-3 pounds
14 ounces pasta sauce
2 cups "Veggie Stretcher"
1 can beans of your choosing - cannelloni, garbanzo, great northern, whatever you like.
Add any veggies you like in pasta sauce
Parmesean cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice squash in half, scoop out seeds. Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Pour water onto the sheet until it rises up the squash's edge about .25 of an inch. Roast for 40 minutes. Pierce the squash with fork at 40 minutes, checking for soft flesh. If it is ready, then take it out, if it isn't - return to oven and check again in 10 more minutes. Fork should slide in easily. Allow the squash to cool until it is easily handled. Take a fork and scrape the inside of the squash flesh, tearing out the flesh into little strands. Like spaghetti, get it?

Toss squash strands with sauce and beans, and top with parmesean cheese if you like. Without the beans and cheese, this is a 0 point weight watchers meal. It's totally free!

Easiest crock pot recipe ever.

This is Mr. Black's favorite dinner.

1 32 oz. jar of sauerkraut
1 pound pork - you can use chops, shoulder, butt, whatever cut you like
Salt and pepper

Pour all the sauerkraut into the bottom of the crockpot - mysterious brine juice and all. Place the pork on top. Coat liberally with salt and pepper. A lot of pepper - I like to make a crust. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours. The moisture from the kraut will make the pork so tender and fall apart on you.

Another easy pork recipe:

3 pounds Pork shoulder (super cheap cut!)
1 clove garlic
1 quart chicken broth
Barbecue sauce
Whole wheat rolls or hamburger buns

Cut pork into pieces, place in crock pot. Pour broth over the pork, and cook on low 8-10 hours. Drain pork, and shred with 2 forks. Pour in barbecue sauce and toss to coat. Now you have pulled pork sandwiches!

Happy Eating!


We interrupt this weight loss message

Can we just mourn for a few moments for Heath Ledger? I ache for his daughter left behind, and for the world of film. I loved him in the cheesy Knight's Tale and his performance in Brokeback Mountain haunted me for days. Next summer they are going to release a new Batman film with him as the spooky Joker, and there will be a bit of a pall, although I'm sure his performance will be amazing. So young, this is so sad.

Week 4 - HYC Check In

Good morning, challengers! My usual weigh in day is Thursday, but I'm mixing it up - from now on I'll report my weight on Tuesdays. Oh, so exciting.

After 4 days, I'm down to 232 even. But the real event of the week was that I got my choppers back! I found some creative things to eat within my calorie guidelines, so it is getting easier to be satisfied. I will post some of my new faves soon.

Enough with the gloomy girl of Sunday. This week I'm giving myself some homework. To work out how to feel content with my choices. Things I'm thinking about - eating well is not a deprivation it is a tool to better living. Duh. Also I think I'll make a motivational list. All things I have to look forward to when I am no longer so overweight. As positive as I am I have a tendency to be a "Yeah that's great, but here's what isn't ..." kind of person who can find a way to focus on what she doesn't have. I'll be working on that too. I mean sheesh, I just did that love me list, you'd think it would stick for a while. I hope everyone has a great week!


Techinical difficulties

We here in the Trisaratops Lounge are struggling. Struggling with that not so tasty, hard to swallow side dish called guilt. Here's what happens to me when I go to a restaurant.

Me: Ooh, look, they have chorizo enchiladas!
Guilt: Hi there! Should you be eating that?
Me: But I was so good this week! I lost a pound! I ate within my guidelines.
Guilt: You're not supposed to reward yourself with food anymore, you know.
Me: I know, I know. But sometimes you go out for Mexican food and you want enchiladas with cheese and chorizo.
Guilt: Helloooo? You are 232 pounds!
Me: I am painfully aware of that.
Guilt: Do what you want - you're having wine already.
Me: Fine. Vegetarian fajitas. But I'm having the sour cream!

And that is how my Friday night went. The guilt can lead me to sound reasoning and healthier choices, obviously. But I've been at this for 1.5 years now, and I thought this would get easier. I imagined I would become a woman who easily chooses vegetarian entrees and enjoys it*. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it isn't. And obviously, eating only 1600 calories a day is working. I am aware of that as well. I want to change my relationship with food. I want to eat something fatty and not feel guilty. And I do know well. Because Saturday night, guilt and I a few more rounds and I ordered pasta with cream sauce and meatballs. And I ate dessert! If I deny myself for too long, then I will binge, so I gave into the need side of me before it got worse.

When I was around 15 (and overweight, of course) I had a bad experience at a family holiday. I have an Aunt whom I love, and she brought her mother to our family's Christmas celebration. (She's an aunt by marriage, so her mom is not my grandmother.) Her mother, we'll call her Sue, saw me going through the buffet line, and making not the best choices. I don't even recall what I was scooping onto my plate, but she looked at me and asked "Should you really be eating that?". I don't remember what I said to her, but I remember thinking - not cool, man. I ran to my Mom and told her to tell Sue to back off, and she did. Now of course Sue saw an unhealthy young woman on the way to being an unhealthy overweight adult. (Curses! She was right!) And she had her heart in the right place, but jeez o petey, if there is any wrong way to tell a girl she is making a poor choice, that was it. That one incident didn't shape all my guilt tendencies, but it is one that I still remember.
My whole life has been spent with my weight in the back of my mind. Something doesn't go my way? Must be because I am fat. Guy doesn't like me? Must be my weight. And I honestly had begun being disappointed when the calendar turned into another month, and I would sigh and think, another month wasted that you didn't lose weight. So I am proud of myself and excited that I have come this far. 57 pounds gone, and 88** to go. I am actively working on not feeling guilty. Just because I eat a fatty meal does not mean I am a bad person. I need to take responsibility for my choices - and accept that when I choose the higher calorie, higher fat option, I'm going to have to work out harder or more often, and not eat as much the next day. All of those logical things are here with me, just as solidly as the guilt, so I hope logic and reason will win out someday. I feel like I am letting other people down too, not just me. 3 weeks into the Healthy You Challenge and I'm already eating what I shouldn't. And everyone else is doing so well and not faltering. I know nobody cares if I falter - meaning nobody is going to shun or reject me, but it is on my mind all the same. This whole lifestyle change is teaching me to really be honest about what I am eating. And discovering what my body does with extra calories (saves them) and what my body does with exercise and healthy eating (feels better and sheds pounds.) But I don't want to live in fear of food. That's really the crux. I want to say - hello grilled cheese sandwich! If I eat you, I will just eat no cheese tomorrow, and go for walk. And then do that and feel great. I'm working on it. I have to get there someday.

So here I am just thinking out loud. Perhaps writing it down will make it less scary.

* The veggie fajitas - delicious! And I didn't eat all the sour cream.

**Okay, wow, I had never done the math like that, I am more than a third of the way there. Neat!


The List

Oh Miss Krissie over at Questions for Dessert has an excellent point. Go read her post on positive self talk, don't just take my word for it. She challenges us all to write down positive fabulous wonderful things about ourselves. Today is a day when I have been having some negative thoughts too, and I have more to say about that, but this is better, for now. I can't wait to read everyone's list!

So here's mine.

The "I LOVE ME" List

1. What do you absolutely love about your body?

I love my hair - it is pretty thick and not greying. I have pretty hands and I like my boobs, even though they are shrinking! UPDATE: It is now morning, and I am reminded of other things - I love that after 1.5 years of working out, I have a super strong quad muscle that I can feel when I flex. I also love that my coloring allows me to wear red lipstick, and that I have a very expressive face.

2. When did you surprise yourself with your physical strength?

When I returned to Pilates class this week and I could kind of do a push up. I haven't ever in my life been able to do a push up. And, I got my feet over my head - in Pilates class too, not in a sexy way! Oh, and the teacher used me to illustrate a move, and I did it well, despite being the biggest girl there who can't do everything. That was a great feeling.

3. When were you braver than you ever thought you could be?

When I had to confront a family member about their self-destructive behavior, and it worked, they got help. Close second - posting my weight on the internet. That takes courage, baby.

4. When did your self-control blow you away?

Actually, tonight. I'm on my period and craving carbs and fats in a bad way. I indulged today in a bagel and cream cheese, and chocolate, and then I just stopped. I wanted more and then I made myself stop and evaluate. I had to talk myself down - and I realized that it won't make my cramps any easier, and there will be other days to eat cheese and bread. Am I the only one who talks to themselves like this?

5. What is your proudest moment ever?

It is a tie. Getting married is an amazing feeling. But for a sense of personal accomplishment, I was second choice to play the role of Dorine (the wonderful saucy maid) in the play Tartuffe, and at the last minute, they fired the original actress and asked me to do it, I learned all my lines in 7 days, and got rave reviews in the newspaper. While I was also acting in the pre-show before Tartuffe. It was so much fun!

6. When was the last time you felt absolutely beautiful?

Saturday night when I put on the too big dress and cinched it and my husband gave me beautiful compliments. And my coworkers told me I looked skinny and beautiful! Dancing with my hubby when I feel beautiful is a great pleasure of mine.

7. Why do you deserve to meet your goals?

Because I am working so fucking hard for them. Because I have lived too long in the shadow of fat wondering what life would be like if I were thin. I'm finally ready to find out! And because I am more than a number on a scale, and I would love for more people to see that. And because I blame a lot of other people's behavior and interactions with me on my being fat, so I want to see what life is like on the other side. And because better health means a longer life.

Oh, Krissie- you're brilliant! Thanks, little lady!

Weigh In Day

I am down just over a pound, 1.4 to 232.8 today! I am experiencing the lady troubles as they say, which makes me a bit higher, but this is a lovely loss. 1600 a day is working! And that's all I have to say about that.


Happiness Is… or How my week went

Here are my highs and lows for the Healthy You Challenge 2008 week 3 check-in.

Happiness is…
  • An emergency root canal on Monday that has returned me to the cheerful and loving creature I usually am. Today is the first day in 8 that I have not woken up with a surly attitude filled with pain. I wanted to kiss the endodontist that helped me. I feel a million times better.
  • Eating within my calorie guidelines!
  • Scrambling at the big girl's store for a little jacket to cover my upper arm chubs for the fancy party - and finding I can wear a 14!!! I also had to exchange a shirt Mr. Black gave me for Christmas, and I could get it in a 14/16 - it is a jersey knit, which is a lot more forgiving, but I know I'm getting closer to being able to wear that size in all fabrics and items.
  • Putting on a dress that I bought 3 years ago, and having to cinch the waist!
  • Having my coworker take this photo of me in said dress and chub-cover. Sassy!

The not so happy

  • Skipped an exercise session – pretty good reason, but skipped nonetheless.
  • Drank way too much wine at said party - empty calories. Ah, well, we live and learn.
  • Now that chewing is a wee bit easier – I’m fighting the urge to eat a lot of pizza and chocolate
  • Didn't log all my meals, but for reasons of laziness rather than wanting forget what I ate.


Pity? Party of One

Thanks to everyone for cheering my loss. Having that support is super kind.

For the first time since August 2006, I canceled on my workout buddy last minute, with the don't wannas. We meet every Saturday or Sunday at the gym and do a long workout, and then go get coffee, which is my favorite part, of course! I called her early this morning and told her I just couldn't do it. The problem? I've been in tears over not being able to chew.

Did I mention that I love to eat?

As promised, here's the whining. I am so cranky. I tried to eat a salad yesterday, and the chewing was really painful. I'm having 3/4 crowns put on 2 of my teeth and so I have 10 more days of this until they are ready to torture me again. It is embarrassing to me that I have wrecked two of my teeth, as I floss religiously. Even my dentist says he is shocked. I would floss every hour for the rest of my life to avoid this kind of pain again. The actual teeth they worked on aren't in pain, its just that sometimes hot and cold radiate through the temporary covering on my teeth and shoot into the nerves of the rest of my healthy teeth. And it is a throbbing pain for about 30 minutes after I eat, or if I take a deep breath while I'm outside and cold air gets in there. But I can't discern a pattern. Sometimes hot coffee is not a problem, sometimes it is. If I knew what to avoid to not be miserable, I'd do it. It just seems to be a crap shoot. So the thought of feeling like this for 10 more days is frightening to me. I have been prescribed heavy duty ibuprofen and vicodin (which I don't like to take) but I don't want to be dependent on them. And, they don't always help. Whine, whine, whine. The scary part for me is that I potentially could need a root canal and I figure I should find that out first before we attach something to my tooth that will just need to be ripped off again, yes? I'm working on getting appointments. There's the technical explanation, as boring as it sounds.

So, I tried to drink a milkshake last night (woo hoo - wild Friday night!) and it was excruciating. Am I exaggerating? No. So I cried to husband, and he is angry at my dentist, and wants to help and is very soothing, which is nice. It's nice to have someone to help you when you are a puddle of mess. And I also feel very silly, since it's just eating. I should be thankful that I am getting my health fixed and I should shut up about not being able to chew everything. There are people in this world who don't have dental care. And look at the weight I'll drop - which is nice but a very hollow victory. Still, I'm upset.

Tonight is my company office party. Which involves a buffet. Which involves chewing. I love social eating. So I am upset that I'll be walking into a minefield tonight - On my right, the prime rib - requires chewing - Look out, here comes Caesar salad - too crunchy! Duck! Here come the dinner rolls! As if being the biggest girl in the room doesn't give you enough scrutiny when you go through a buffet line - being the biggest girl with nothing on her plate makes me think people will look at me and say "Oh right, like she never eats." Am I being ridiculous? A little, I know. Can I control what people think of me? No. Do I really think people are going to be watching me that much? No, I know they won't. I'm just having my pity party. I asked Mr. Black if I could just drink a lot and then my mouth wouldn't hurt at all. So we have devised a solution. Upon arrival, I will order a whisky, neat. I will carry it around with me and dip my finger in it, and rub it on my gums like they used to do to teething babies. Classy, no? Mr. Black is so funny!

All of this made me think about how much weight (hah!) I put on eating. How much it is a part of me. Also, food is fuel, and it is a necessity as well as enjoyable, let's not forget that. My goal this weekend is to make a menu of foods that I will eat all week, to the best of my ability. Also, I will try to get in for second examinations for root canal problem. Like my Mom always said, you can only feel sorry for yourself for 2 days, after that, you have to take action.

I promise to post more positive and interesting things this week, when I'm not writhing in pain. Was that too dramatic? Sorry. Have a great week!


Weigh In day

Somebody hold me, I think I'm going to faint. I have hit a new low of 234.2! That's a loss of 8.4 pounds. What? 8.4? Yes, 8.4. I've never had a loss like that before. So that gets rid of all that holiday gain, which I think that means that my last weigh-in was high due to water retention, etc. Because 8 pounds is a lot to lose in one week for my body. I'm sure it is in part to the whole not chewing thing that makes a definite difference. But boy howdy, I'm taking this number and and running with it, you bet your sweet bippy. Whatever a bippy is...


Tuesday - Week One in Review

Time for Healthy You Challenge 2008 Check in. First of all, the best part of this whole week has been meeting so many other kind, smart and powerful women! Having a circle of support, with a collective goal to improve their health, is so amazing. I'm so lucky!

Looking back on my 2008 goals, I see that I didn't do anything crazy, like resolve to not ever eat half and half again, so that feels good . One of my bigger goals, to log everything I eat into FitDay has been going well. It is so tedious, but I literally think - "how many calories do I have left?" before I am eating something. Sometimes it is too late, and I say "Oops" and move on, vowing to improve on the next day.

My other goal was to lower my caloric intake to 1600 per day. This has not been very successful. I'm not going overboard, but I do feel as though when I'm supposed to transition to 1500 calories in April, it will be very difficult. A huge non-scale victory (NSV) for me this week has been not beating myself up about going over in calories. Usually there is much flogging with a wet noodle and gnashing of teeth over having failed. This time, I am thinking of it as an experiment, to see if it will help me lose and if I can actually do it. Secretly I was hoping to be feeling faint, walking around weak with hunger, so I could rocket back up to 1900 calories a day, but no, I am hungry, but nothing that isn't manageable. Durn!

Also, I wanted to streak with Mel, an exercise streak that is, and exercise every day. This died yesterday when I emerged from the dentist chair and felt as though I had loaned my jaw as a punching bag. But again, beating myself up isn't going to make it easier. So I'm moving on.

My official weigh-in day is Thursday with Mel again, so I'll report what the scale saw. Keep on keeping on, everyone!

A liquid lunch, sweetie, liquid lunch

So here's a way to keep your calories down, sit in the dentist chair for 3.5 hours. I had to have some extensive work done, and will go back in two weeks to finish it. And, I can't eat anything crunchy for 15 days. Do you know what is crunchy? My daily apple, carrots, almonds and popcorn. Arrrgh! So what would any girl do when she has to lie still for 3.5 hours? Why she thinks about what she can eat, of course.

Scrambled eggs
Mashed potatoes
Soft bread
Peanut butter
Cottage cheese
More Soup.
Secretly - ice cream! Pudding! Jello!

So I'll be dreaming of soft meals, because apparently I am 80 years old now. I was in pain and drugged up last night so I didn't make the rounds that I wanted to last night, but will surely make up for that tonight. Thank you for the snack suggestions - and Teale - thanks for the sweetie treatie suggestions too! You guys are totally awesome. I had completely forgotten about string cheese and cottage cheese! And snack bars! Oh, hurray!



Oh, isn't this fun! All the Healthy You Challenge ladies getting to know one another? Yay, new friends!

I'd like some advice on snacking. I've been trying to keep my calories at 1600 a day, and this is so hard for me! Does anyone have any advice? Some snacks I've been having are fruit, almonds, beef jerky, baby carrots and hummus. I guess I'm just going to have to get used to eating these all the time in order to keep my caloric intake down. So I'd love some suggestions if anybody has a magic trick that keeps them from having a growly tummy.

In return, here are some of my favorite kitchen tools for losing weight.

Misto sprayer - I love this thing! You fill it with your own olive oil and you can use it to coat baking pans, skillets, or anything you like. I spray it on bread to make garlic bread that isn't too oily, and I use it when I want to season my popcorn, but don't want to use butter. This way, you get to stop buying non-stick cooking spray all the time! I highly recommend it.

Quick and easy lunch or dinner. I love to cook, and I try to avoid packaged foods, but sometimes a girl wants more time for blogging, er, I mean exercise. So I try to buy the "better" processed stuff I can. Like Annie's mac and cheese boxes. Here's a recipe:

Broccoli, Chicken and Cheesy pasta

1 6 oz box Annie's Shells and White Cheddar
8 oz frozen broccoli florets (or fresh, and use more if you want - I shake in a little more than half of a 1 pound bag)
1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast (or, you could buy these)
Salt and pepper

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook according to directions on box. During the last two minutes of cooking time for pasta, toss in the broccoli so it can thaw. Drain, and then prepare cheese sauce per the directions on the box. Stir in the chicken, and season to taste. Voila! Green vegetable, cheese, and protein - and it doesn't take a whole lot of time.

Drink your water! I know for many of us this is hard. But, I found a couple of great tricks. Infuse your water with flavor.
  • Peel and chop up a cucumber and let it sit in a gallon juice container with the water for at least 6 hours, at room temperature. Remove the cucumber and chill the water. Delish!
  • Do the same but use melons, berries or orange peels.
  • You may want to strain the water if your flavoring is pithy or seedy

Beans are our friend. Vegetarian refried beans are really good, and I remember from weight watchers that a whole can is 3 points. They are very filling and full of fiber and are good for you! Hummus is our friend, pureed beans can make soups "creamy" without adding fat, and black beans in a scrambled egg burrito with salsa - oh, it is so good.

Whattaya got? Give me your best snacks!


Yes, Elton, I can feel the love

A giant sloppy kiss, super squeeze and a hearty thank you to everyone who has come by recently and consoled me over my super-size me gain. I feel so lucky to be in the blogosphere and part of the Healthy You Challenge 2008 with ya'll. I haven't made it around to everyone's blogs yet, but I promise to soon! *MWAH*


Weigh In Day

Oh, I knew this was going to be bad. I don't want to write down my weight. I don't want to tell the world just how bad it is. I had an inkling when last night I put on my exercise pants which are too big at a size 24 and they were snug. Two weeks of social eating and not exercising with regularity equals 242.6 pounds. That's a gain of 7.6 pounds. Horrible. But, like Diana the Scale Junkie said, I own it, accept it, and take responsibility for it. Ain't nothing else to do but that.

So next week will be better. I kept my 1600 calories yesterday, and I'll do it again and again. I can only go down from here! And look at that, I get to hit the 50 pound loss mark ... again. Sigh.


First Fabulous Fitday

Oh, behold the power of FitDay. The pressure of public humiliation gets me every time. You can click on the link under "See Sara Eat" on the right over there and ogle/evaluate/giggle at my diet and activity level. Yes, I do need that much half and half in my coffee, thanks for asking. See, the public humiliation factor? I will find myself asking "Do you really want to eat that - you're going to have to write it down!" Today is my first day at aiming for 1600 calories. Wish me luck!

Today I entered my planned activity today before I have even ventured to the gym. That's motivation, no? I can't find Elliptical Trainer in their menu of choices. However, you can enter sexual activity - I had never noticed that before - hilarious. Do I want to have others evaluating my diet AND my sex life? Judge me by the amount of cheese I eat, not the amount of loving I get, wouldja? Sounds like fun, but I think I'll pass entering that info. Day one - so far, so good!



Happy New Year! Last night's party was a success - it was the sexy white pachyderm edition. I received for my craptastic gift a "Ho purse". This regular looking purse, filled with a thong, strappy sandals, tank top, condoms, gum, mouthwash, lubricant, etc. Hilarious! Katie got a DVD called "The Cockettes" about an acting troupe, as well as a book about sex from the middle ages forward, so the laughing was not in short supply. So fun! The onus is now upon Katie to supply all attending the party a sexy fun fact email each week for 2008. We had a blast.

So here we are on January 1st. What will be our goals? I cringe when I think of New Year Resolutions. Normally, these are little words to fail by. But, setting goals is a good idea. My weight loss has been slow. 16 months to lose 55 pounds is healthy and safe, blah, blah, blah. I want more action! I think the reason that it has been so slow is that I'm really not willing to work out more than 4 days a week, and reduce my calories below 1800. So, I think these will be things that need to change, if I want to speed up the process. Man oh man I'm going to need support - someone to say "Put the bagel down!" when I'm faltering. Lucky for us, Diana the Scale Junkie has established the Healthy You challenge for 2008. I am so excited about it. I am envisioning recipe swaps, fitness tips and general commiserating and cheering each other on. I am also compelled by looking good for others - in that I want to impress people with my progress. Approval seeker? Yes, that's me. So I think that this will be a big motivator. Also, my role model, Mel, has established an exercise streak challenge for 2008 -can I exercise every day? Oooh, the suspense!

Without further adieu, grand goals for 2008 to a healthier me.
  • Faithfully log meals into FitDay
  • Reduce calories to 1600 for January-March
  • Reduce calories to 1500 for April - June
  • Reduce calories to 1400 for July - December
  • Exercise 7 days a week - 4 at the gym, walking on the other 3
  • Lose 75 pounds this year!
  • Lose 15 pounds by my birthday, March 31st.

Other goals, that are essential to my health, but not weight related:

  • Manage the mail/filing clutter in my home. I file in my job, so I am not too eager to take care of it at home. And it is maddening
  • Enroll in the SPHR course at UW
  • Take an acting class? I've been off the stage for so long, I fear I'm a rusty old lady. A class will revive some confidence - this is tentative. Exercise and losing weight feels like a second job right now, and I just don't know how much time I'm willing to give up for acting even though it is emotionally rewarding for my soul.
  • Enlist my husband to find an activity we can do together that doesn't only involve watching something.
  • Give more compliments, give more to my community, be frank and honest on this blog.

Whew. That's a lot. I need to establish links to the healthy you community, and I will do so soon. But today is New Year's day and I have some urgent cuddling to do with husband and The Ding, and then movie watching. I wish everyone a 2008 filled with love, new friends, and stronger bodies.