Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Friday - And You Know What That Means...

It's Weigh Day!
Or at least, it's my "official" weigh day - the one that counts and gets posted. I know I weighed in yesterday too - that's because I realized that I haven't had an official weigh in since (gasp!) August 5th. Seriously - I need a major ass-kicking - Pronto! I'm smart enough to know only the worst can happen when I don't keep my weight in check. (I don't think I weighed myself between December of last year to April of this year, and this is precisely how 30 pounds can creep on while you're, a-hem, "not looking"). The weigh in yesterday was mainly to see the vacation damage I had done. I was too nervous to step on the scale since getting back - yesterday was the moment of truth. Ugh....

Anyway, not to be deterred, this morning I hopped on the old scale and thankfully, it appears I am losing the ice cream vacation weight. I'm back to 230.25 this morning, which is right where I was August 5th, incidentally. So, to sum it up, August has royally sucked the big one as far as weight loss goes, but fear not, my friends - I am determined to make September a MUCH better month. You have my word. I'm more than a wee bit angry at myself that in two months I have not lost more than 6 pounds, but things are about to change. I'll be taking that 10 lb loss picture soon - I hope!

In other news, I did check out the gym at school yesterday and was rather delighted to find some decent nautilus  equipment, 4 treadmills and 3 elliptical machines, plus free weights and some medicine balls. It's actually pretty nice. I could kick my own ass for not taking advantage of this sooner, but I am feeling good about my course of action for this semester, and taking advantage of this place. I didn't see any locker room for showering, however which has me a little worried - BUT worse case scenario, I'll just throw a stick of deodorant in my bag and a change of clothes so I can freshen up in the bathroom after my work out the best I can before class. Is that freaking disgusting? I know if I wait to work out until after class (which can be anywhere between 9:00PM - 9:45PM) it just isn't gonna happen so I am trying to figure out the best plan of action so I don't blow this. While it's not my goal to reek up the classroom, I don't want to jeopardize my ability to work out simply because a shower isn't available - that would be stupid....I am not trying to impress anyone in my classes, but I certainly don't want to alienate people with a case of my post-workout BO either. What do you all think?

Anyway, I'm not going to agonize over it. I'm just happy to have checked it out and I feel comfortable that I will be heading there at least 3 times a week. It's a start. Today's focus is getting the house in order - we are having carpeting installed today and will be getting new furniture on Tuesday. I can't wait - this house has been upside down long enough!!! So much to do, so little time!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Weighing In After Vacay...

Oh, hello there!

Remember me?

Yeah, I'm back - finally -  after what seems like the world's longest hiatus from Blogville. Someone should hand me an award for Worst Blogger for the month of August because it's been a long post-barren month for sure. All the wonderful ideas I had about blogging from the beach fell through and here I am, back home (as of Sunday evening) and I am just getting to posting something now. (BIG SIGH.....)

So, how was vacation, you ask? Did I eat myself into a sugar and fat filled food coma - is that what you want to know?????

Mmmm, not exactly. I weighed myself when I got home and sure enough, I had gained some poundage during my vacation - but it was not what I consider excessive (today my weight is 231.5) and I contribute that in part to being much more active at the beach than I normally am here at home (which frankly is a huge problem since I spend most of my time, NOT at the beach, but here at home). We got in lots of bike riding, swimming, and of course, walking - although not as much walking as I would have liked. It seems I have an annoying case of plantars fasciitis - or as I like to call it, Plantars FAT-She-itis, that has been causing me a bit of pain when I walk. Biking seems to be the best exercise alternative right now since it puts minimal pressure on the bottom of my foot. And while I know I am not really supposed to wear flip flops because it just exacerbates the problem, I refuse to give up my beloved summer foot wear until I absolutely have to - pain be damned. Sometimes I can be so non-compliant.

I am having a very hard time with coming to terms with summer's end and the beginning of another semester looming in front of me. Although it is my last semester of classes, it is going to be pure hell, and knowing this makes it VERY difficult to get jazzed about what the next 3 1/2 months hold. My biggest fear (of the moment) is that once Monday arrives, I am going to get completely lost in my school work (as I have been known to do) and forget that I am trying to  meet some weight loss goals before my body completely becomes one big gelatinous mess. It is a very real fear.....I have soooooo been down this road before.

So, I need to get a routine started early this semester that will be maintainable through December. I don't want to feel consumed by school work and not provide myself with some kind of outlet where I can recharge my batteries so to speak. I have to move - I cannot stay chained to my laptop from now until it's time to deck the halls with boughs of holly. I just CAN'T!

Since I have never been to my college's gym, today when I go to buy my text books (which may or may not require me selling a kidney to pay for them), I am going to try to get in there to check it out. I know they offer Zumba classes (the thought of which petrifies me just a bit), but I really have no idea what else they have there in terms of equipment, classes, etc. I figure since it's free, I have absolutely no excuse not to go (then again, I have been enrolled at this school since 2009 - so obviously I have made some excuses). I tend to be a little bit weird about the gym - I need to know where everything is (the lay of the land, so to speak) and that I will be able to shower (comfortably) after I work out and get to my classes in time (they're all in the evening so this should not be a problem). In theory, this plan for the gym and school sounds's crossing my fingers that I stick to it.

Of course I am heading out to do my book purchasing and gym investigating when the weather here is about to become super nasty at any moment. Note to self: Take large umbrella - not puny little one stashed in the car. It looks like we'll get a slight reprieve tomorrow (which is good because we are getting new carpeting installed) and then we are expecting another deluge of rain over the weekend as Hurricane Irene passes through town. Good times.  At the very least, I'll get some house work done and maybe prep a few meals for the upcoming week, and jump on the elliptical machine - barring any floods or power outages, anyway.  Let's hope it's not Mother Nature's time of the month and she shows a little mercy....stay tuned, my good people!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gotta Strategize for my Fatty Thighs...

Happy Tuesday!!!
Jeez....the days are really ticking by rapidly now, aren't they?  I feel like summer is going to be kissing me goodbye long before I'm ready to let it go. It tried having the "break-up talk" with me last night as I was gathering and organizing a few things I'll need for the upcoming semester, but I wasn't having any of it.....I'm just not ready to quit summer and start my affair with fall just yet. Thankfully, one big last hurrah at the beach is in order from 8/11 through 8/21, but then a week later, come hell or high water, I will be back in class, deeply submerged in academia hell. Oy friggin' vey....

My in-laws have a place at the beach and we are very fortunate to be able to spend as much time as we like there over the summer. Last year while the wedding planning was in full swing, we spent countless weekends and a couple of weeks there getting things in order, DIYing damn near EVERYTHING until the cows came home (see this old post to really get the sense of just how bat shit crazy I was), meeting vendors and finalizing details. To me, all the insanity was well worth it in the end (just don't ask my husband or any of my bridesmaids if they feel the same). We had a beautiful beach wedding on October 9.....aaahhhh - I can't believe Josh and I have had almost a whole year of wedded bliss already! Seriously - where does the time go?

This year, we haven't spent quite as much time at the beach, simply because of the house projects we have had going on. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE me some sun, sand and surf and could spend the rest of my living days there, leathering myself up in the blazing sun like an old suitcase; but beyond wrinkles and melanoma, the beach has been known to have other adverse effects, too. Especially when it comes to my waistline. And for that reason alone, it is probably a good thing I have had minimal time there this year. I have done enough damage to myself without it. Obviously...

So, knowing the temptations that lurk around every vacation corner, I need to devise my plan of action for our pending trip, so that there are no more gains anytime soon. This evening I need to sit and dedicate some serious time to devouring my cookbooks and to ensure we have an arsenal of healthy meals we can prepare while there.....none of this eating out every night and subjecting ourselves to all that orgasmic beach food. I'm not saying we won't go out but when we do, I know exactly where we'll go  - Mariachi, which is where we had our rehearsal dinner - they have the BEST ceviche ever! (If you're ever in Rehoboth Beach, DE, please don't miss eating there!) And possibly a seafood restaurant or two where I know healthier fish (versus juicy burger) options will be served.

I also have a plan of action for my exercise. Generally speaking, I usually am relatively active at the beach, but this time I want to be a work out supa-stah! They have a great fitness center there that I have access to, as well as multiple pools, and we are of course bringing our bikes, which we normally ride every day, barring any rain. Then of course there is the beach - and jumping waves which actually provides a decent calorie burn! Not sure if we are planning on hauling the kayaks there or not - but that's always a good work out too. I'll be blogging from the beach to keep you updated on how I'm doing. Stay tuned!

Before I sign off today, I just want to say a big thank you to those that commented yesterday and made me realize that the gain I had this past week wasn't just cause for sticking my head in the oven and calling it quits. Sometimes, I so totally need that reminder that this isn't a quick or easy process, and that a gain CAN BE reversed with patience and diligence, and that lessons are learned with each loss OR gain for that matter....No matter how old I get, I clearly see that this is a lifetime learning process. And that's OK. I will persevere!!!

And so I leave you with a little bit 'o' food porn's actually my dinner from last night.....I was so happy to finally make sugar snap peas that weren't a mushy mess! See? You can teach an old dog new tricks!
Grilled salmon rubbed with grated fresh garlic & ginger, and a drizzle of Thai chili sauce, with baked sweet potato and sugar snap peas sprinkled with a little sea salt. YUM.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shame is the Name of The Game

Hello?.....hellooooooo....???? Is this thing ON????

I know, I know... it's been a while. But rest assured, I'm not dead - NOR have I completely abandoned my weight loss goals (although admittedly I was way off track with them) - I've just had a busier than usual week and weekend with minimal opportunities to get in front of the old laptop and dedicate some serious time to updating the blog. I've tried to hop around and visit some of my faves and post comments but haven't had the chunk of time needed to make an actual post myself....until now....

I wish I had good news to report after my near week departure from the blogospehere.....I owe you guys a weigh-in report for starters. I have to tell you, it isn't one I am proud of but one I will post it anyway, because lying about it doesn't make it go away, right? So - I gained 1.25 lbs this week - that's right - I said I gained! (Again). And frankly, the gain comes as no real surprise.

Why is it that when I make all of these promises to myself and get gung-ho about starting a regimen that the slightest little thing can lead me off course???

This week the "thing" that got me off course came in the shape of my 7 1/2 year old niece who was visiting us from Wed evening through Friday evening. Since I have no kids of my own, I feel like my whole mind set is thrown off when she comes to visit. What I mean is, as much as I love having her here, I tend to let her appetite for "kid food" give me the green light to eat it, too. And that, as I well know, is a huge no-no here in Fatreductionville.

We did manage to get in some decent activity though....morning walks and hours of swimming. But I didn't get on my elliptical or do my weight routine and my eating was, uh, a-hem... less than stellar. Unless, of course, bacon, blueberry pancakes and ice cream are diet foods these days. No, you say? Ok then...I didn't think so. In that case, I failed this week big time.

We also had a family picnic on Saturday that essentially amounts to table upon table filled with heart attack inducing foods....Heavens to Mergatroid! I wouldn't say I ate terribly there, and I didn't stuff myself silly or anything asinine like that - but again, I did indulge in things that had bright red glaring and flashing lights that screamed NO - DO NOT EAT/DRINK THIS!!!! My inner Mr. Magoo pretended not to see them.

Yesterday, to cap off an already long and tiring weekend,  Josh and I decided to attack our living room and finally paint because the fireplace is now finished (will be inspected tomorrow) now the real fun of redecorating can begin! I can't wait to get the new furniture and carpeting installed. Things can finally start to go back to more contractors! Meaning the house can start to look like a house again and all the stuff we had to disrupt in order to have the house work done can go back in it's place - or better yet, tossed if it no longer "fits". And that can apply to both clothing and house wares as far as I'm concerned.

So, while I had a gain this week, and my actions belied my words from my last post, I'm not giving up. It's a new week, and I'm ready for it. I woke up determined to give this week my all. I take each day one step at a time...and today started with walking a 5K so I guess that's a good start. We have no junk in our house to eat and tonight we are having garlic and ginger rubbed salmon, steamed sugar snap peas and a baked sweet potato. Planning will be essential to my success this doubt about that.

Anyway, I'll try not to disappear for such long lengths of time in the future. If I do, you can send in the dogs after me. If this past week is any indication, I'm bound to be doing something I shouldn't.....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Making Friends With My Inner Athlete...Maybe I Should Send Her A Facebook Request?

Oh sweet baby Jesus!
Is it really August already????? How the frig did that happen?
I have exactly 4 weeks from today until school starts back up - a fact that gives me an acute attack of agita every time I think about it.  My brain is simply not ready to wrap itself around having to read textbooks and write papers and develop lesson plans and complete observations and all that academic mumbo jumbo that comes with each semester. I know, I know...suck it up....If I think it's bad now, just wait until I am an actual teacher. Hells bells.

It's not completely accurate to say that July flew by, but it didn't go quite as slowly as I would have liked either. I guess we've just had a lot going on this summer and time that I normally would have to simply kick back and relax has been filled with other things - 2 summer classes, helping find a nursing home for my Gram and traveling to visit her, various home improvements (that are still under way), and my mom's surgery, just to name a few. I feel like there has been a lot of driving back and forth to school, nursing homes and the hospital. We live in a town that is close to absolutely NOTHING so any commute is a long commute. Hell - we even drive 17 miles to the grocery store (it's Wegmans so it's well worth it, though).

I'm not really complaining, mind you - I would do anything for my mom and Gram so commuting the hour to see them isn't an issue for me at all - but it does take a chunk out of the day that I might otherwise being doing stuff here, of which there is PLENTY for me to do. Making matters worse is the fact that I am an unbelievably seasoned procrastinator. For example, here I am blogging when I have a pile of laundry in the basement calling my name, and a kitchen floor that is begging for Mr. Clean to have his way with it. Hey, I never claimed I'd win any awards for having good discipline.

I am happy to report however that my mom is doing AWESOMELY since her double knee replacement surgery on July 25. I have been able to sit in a few of her therapy sessions and seeing her push through her exercises has really inspired me. She does throw out that old cliche from time to time as she is pushing through her therapy - you know the one - NO Pain, NO Gain. And while it is quite possibly the most annoying thing to hear someone say to you when you, yourself are exercising, I must admit, it has some validity to it. And it has caused me to look at my own views of exercise and why I seem so resistant to pushing myself and really, truly, going the distance.

My husband has his own theories as to why I don't ever try to go above and beyond my comfort zone in terms of exercise. He thinks it's because I never played competitive sports when I was in middle and high school and college. I never developed that "go for the gold" attitude that many athletes have. I never had a coach screaming in my face to run faster, jump higher or do another lap. Hmmmm....ok, well, maybe that's it. But I have my own ideas.

I know from reading lots of weight loss blogs that many self-proclaimed former coach potatoes are now supreme athletes....runners, swimmers, spinners, aerobic queens, zumba masters - you name it.  And from this I know that the exercise-loving gene is not always an inborn thing - you CAN develop it through out your lifetime, at any point.  I have been told that in order to develop this "gene" you have to find something that you love to do. I like to walk and have been doing this with my husband on days that my plantars fasciitis isn't stabbing knives in the side of my foot (this of course is self-diagnosed - I should probably just go get this nagging foot pain checked out). Waking is good exercise - but I am acutely aware I need to do more. I have been talking about wanting to master the food thing before diving head first into exercise but you know what? After seeing my mom go through what she is going through, AND after reading all of my blogger friends accounts of kicking ass in their own exercise goals (a special shout out to Fat Girl In A Skinny World in particular!) I realize that I am just being a big freaking baby. I need to start really pushing harder - I need to move my ass faster, longer and more habitually and those, my dear friends, are the simple facts, whether I like it or not.

And if I happen to need a reminder as to why my ample ass needs to bust a move, I can always look at this fun little display:
My Post-It Pounds Pull-Off Wall of Motivation
That's right - 100 Post-Its for each pound I need to shed from this big 'ole bod of mine.  I actually have a few pulled off the wall already (6 to be exact) and think I will start to post a picture of the "Post-It Pounds Pull-Off" each week when I do weigh-in so that people can see how many more pounds I have lost and how many I have left to go. It's also a good visual for me to see how far I have come - but also to push me by seeing just how far I still need to go.

And so, I give you my new exercise challenge promise. No more excuses. I WILL exercise every day for AT LEAST 30 minutes, 6 days a week. Today I completed 20 minutes on the elliptical (2.1 miles, 251 calories burned) and also completed this arm workout with 5lb dumbells.  After Josh is done with work today, I am sure I can coax him outside for a bike ride around town, too (he will be ecstatic that I am willing to go out in 95 degree temps and sweat) ....that ought to do it for today.

So there you have it....I'm turning a new leaf in this weight loss process. In the words of Emeril Legassi, I'm kicking it up a notch! I have had a month of getting the eating thing under control and have been doing well with that....I haven't had a Tostito in a month! Miracles do happen!

Today I leave you with the following food porn and recipe:
1 can Lite Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp (or less) brown sugar (you can use Splenda brand if you like)
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp Red Curry Paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
1/3 cup water
1 pound large shrimp (peeled, cleaned and deveined) - OR you can use frozen pre-cooked shrimp, which is what I do - it makes this recipe easy and fast!!!
 Basmai, Jasmine or Brown rice (cooked based on package directions)

Optional ingredients: Red curry powder, Sirracha sauce, Thai Sweet/Hot Red chili sauce (to kick up the heat depending how big of a sadist you are - you can add these to taste - a little goes a LONG way).

In large sauce pan, heat coconut milk and Red Curry paste until simmering. (You can also add the optional ingredients at this time if you are using them).

Cook for about 3 - 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add fish sauce and brown sugar - stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add frozen peas, water and red pepper, cook until peppers are tender - about 4 or  5 minutes.
Add shrimp and cook until pink - about 5 minutes or so. (If using frozen shrimp, they should be thawed before cooking and tails should be removed. Cook in mixture until just heated through - but do not over-cook).

I taste the sauce to make sure the heat is as I want it and add more curry accordingly.

You can serve this over rice or eat without rice, as more of a soup.

P.S. The lite coconut milk cuts significantly off the fat grams/cals for this recipe! Also - you can add more veggies to bulk it up!