Friday, November 29, 2013

Weigh In

I didn’t have time to write a post yesterday, but I did remember to step on the scales before I ate anything.

11/21/2013 - 235
11/28/2013 - 232.8

I did overeat some yesterday (Thanksgiving Day here in the US). It wasn’t a binge, I pushed my plate away before it was empty, and I said no to pumpkin pie, so all in all I feel pretty good about it. I even got a workout in.

I dialed back the intensity of my workouts a bit the past couple days. I was pushing myself a little too hard. Everyday I was dreading working out. It was getting harder and harder to make myself do it. I figured it was better to do less than push myself to a point of doing nothing. I did extend the length of my workout to compensate. And my husband gave me an early Christmas present, a weight machine. It’s so much fun. I’m using it every other day.

I’ve been eating mostly vegan. I’ve had some fat-free sour cream, and I don’t know how to get away from using light ranch dressing. I’m really picky about dressings. I don’t like the oil and/or vinegar ones. I also eat Morning Star Farms products. They’re vegetarian, but not vegan. They’re also obviously processed. I’d like to get away from relying on them, but they’re so convenient.

The thing that blows my mind is that I haven’t eaten cheese in three weeks. I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. I absolutely love it. I had it with every meal except, generally, breakfast. I thought going cheese-less would practically kill me, but aside from occasional cravings for cheese pizza, I don’t even miss it.

I’m pleased with my progress so far. I need to continue adding more fresh veggies to my diet. I’m not eating quite as many as I should. Besides that, I think I’m doing pretty well.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weigh In

All in all this past week has gone well. I’ve had some “Sweet Jesus, please don’t put that in your mouth!” moments, but I’ve managed to avoid eating anything that is outside of my goals. Plus, I’ve increased the intensity of my workouts.

This week’s results:
11/14/13 - 236.4
11/21/2013 - 235

Part of me really wants to see this happen faster. However, I know from experience that faster isn’t better. I’ll take my 1.4 pound loss and count it as a victory. I’m making progress. That’s all that matters.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cookies Are Not the Answer

Today has been stressful. Not so much stressful from without, more from within. Like, my brain took a string of nothings and turned them into somethings, and I had an existential crisis by 8am. Sometimes being sentient just isn’t any fun.

After work it was so hard not to go buy cookies. I bought fruit instead. I’ve been having those munchy moments where the cravings just get so bad I can hardly stand it. So far my resolve has held. Rather than focusing on how good bad food tastes, I’ve been trying to convince myself how gross it ultimately is, all the crap it does inside the body. It’s a hard sell, but I’m hopeful one day I’ll fully buy into it. It’s amazing how addictive junk food is.

I’ve read that only about 15% of dieters manage to maintain their weight loss. That’s a depressing figure, especially when I consider that I’ve never been able to do it. I’m not sure why I feel this time is different, but I do. Maybe the failures have made me wiser. I know what doesn’t work, and I’m trying a different approach this time. I also know I can’t stand being fat any longer. I have to get to a healthy weight.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Spinach and Artichoke Panini

Grilled cheese is one of my favorite meals. I don’t mean your mama’s grilled cheese with processed American cheese slices on white bread. I mean artisan breads, fancy cheeses, and a variety of veggies stacked together and grilled to gooey perfection. Going vegan means no more grilled cheese because vegan “cheese“ is not cheese. *sigh*

No Thanks to Cake had posted a recipe for Chicken, Spinach, and Artichoke Panini that looked amazing. It inspired me to create a vegan version. It’s not quite grilled cheese, but it’s so flavorful I don’t care.

I don’t have a panini press, nor do I have a grill of any sort. However, I remembered reading somewhere that if you’re press-less all is not lost. You can still make panini in a regular skillet using a heavy pot to press it, flip it, and press it again. That’s what I did and it worked. It was crispy on both sides and pressed well enough that it stayed together without cheese to bind it. Sure, it was missing the pretty grill lines, but that’s okay.

I did make the meaty, cheesy version for my family. It was a big hit.

Spinach and Artichoke Panini
(I’m not using quantities. Build your sandwich according to the ratio of veggies you like.)

2 slices of your bread of choice*
Marinated artichoke hearts
Mushrooms, sliced
Fresh Spinach
Tomato slices
Onion slices
Nutritional yeast flakes**
Olive oil cooking spray

1. Sauté mushrooms and onions in a couple spritzes of cooking spray.
2. Once mushrooms and onions are done, build your panini, sprinkling a couple pinches of yeast flakes on your last layer of veggies.
3. Press your panini using whatever method you have available.
4. Enjoy!

*Pro tip: If you don’t want to bring a whole loaf of bread home to tempt yourself with, grab what you need from the individual bread bins. I turned my multigrain roll into panini bread by shaving off the top and bottom crust.

**If you’ve never had it, the taste is reminiscent of grated parmesan cheese.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Weigh In

Going into this past week I made four rules:
1. No binge eating
2. No gross processed crap with zero nutritional value
3. No cheese
4. Exercise everyday

I’m proud to say I stuck to all of my goals. I figured #2 and #3 would kill me. I live on processed crap covered in cheese. I had to replace it with whole foods that require things like preparation and effort. It was weird.

I wasn’t concerned about portion sizes or starving myself between meals. If I felt hungry before dinner, I’d eat some nuts. At dinner if I wanted another plate of pasta or an extra serving of veggie bacon, I’d eat it. Weight loss, while I really, really want it, was not my goal this week. I’m more concerned with resetting my taste buds (imagine, food doesn’t have to be fatty or sugary to be edible) and making exercise a habit.

When I got on the scales this morning all I was hoping for was to have maintained, though I was a little scared I may have gained since I wasn’t overly careful about portions. Here’s what happened:

Last week: 241 lb
This week: 236.4 lb, waist 37.5"

I’m down 4.6 pounds! I’m so excited because, while I did make sacrifices, I don’t feel like I had to work that hard for it.

I’m not going to add more restrictions for this week. I want to settle into the changes I‘ve already made. Last night I felt pretty sad eating my steamed broccoli. I really wanted French fries, but I really want to be healthy. I can’t have both. I don’t want to make things so hard on myself that I crumble.

Going forward, my goal is to lose 1-2 pounds a week. I want to go slow because whenever I go fast it doesn’t last. Besides, I’ve got a lot of extra skin to shrink up. Hopefully going slow will help that along. The skin thing is something I’m trying not to think about, but it’s there in the back of my mind.

A photo of where I am as of today.

Hope everyone has a healthy, happy day!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Few Fun Workouts

I love 10 minute workout videos. I’ll do several of them at a time or in a day, or I’ll just workout with the same video three times. I don’t enjoy full length 30+ minute videos as much. I think I just like the 10 minute countdown. I mean, I can handle anything for 10 minutes. 30 minutes? Not so much. What can I say? I’m a wuss.

I’m sure as I get stronger 30 minutes will seem doable. In the meantime, I’ll just stick with my 10 minute videos.

Here’s what I did today:

Tracy Anderson butt and abs (I can't make it embed for some reason and Blogger can't find it):

10 minute Buti class (You‘ll feel like an idiot doing this, but it‘s so fun. It‘s a combination of dance and yoga):

Tracy Anderson arms (No hand weights and, yet, so hard.):

Meditation for the day: I am making progress

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

'Tis the Season

Christmas is in full swing in all the stores (at least here in America). It puts me in the Christmas spirit and makes me want to start decorating now. Unfortunately, by the time Christmas actually gets here I’m totally over it. Being pumped up for Christmas for a solid two months is exhausting. I really wish they would put the holiday back where it belongs in December. Give Thanksgiving a chance, man.

Thinking Christmas makes me think about Christmas food -- chocolate boxes, cheese platters, fudge, pies, chocolate-covered-everything, cookies, and cakes. Starting a diet life style change just before the holidays is probably crazy.

I know everyone from my mom to my friends to diet experts say that you shouldn’t deprive yourself, that minor cheats in moderation are good. There’s a very simple problem here. If I could eat in moderation, I wouldn’t be fat.

I’m a binge eater. One single piece of chocolate can send me into an eating frenzy for days. Then I feel bad about myself. Then I give up on eating healthy. Then I gain 20 pounds. It’s like telling a recovering coke addict, “One line won’t hurt you.” Oh, it hurts. It hurts bad.

No, having cheat days really aren’t an option for me, at least not yet. I would love to get to a point where I can have some naughty, tasty, little treat every now and then, but I’m not remotely close to the point where I could do it responsibly. I know my trigger foods and I know to avoid them.

I’m debating how to approach the holiday situation now. I want to be prepared. I want a plan.

Thanksgiving dinner I can handle well enough. We usually keep it small. I eat homemade tofurkey, anyway. I’ll just have to hold back on the mashed potatoes (I can eat piles of them). I’ll find a healthy alternative to pumpkin pie. I got this.

It’s Christmas that could kick my butt. Luckily, my family does Christmas at my house, so I have a lot of control over what’s served. We don’t have a big Christmas dinner. We do plates and plates of appetizers (appetizers are my favorite kind of food). At least it’s easier to healthify appetizers than it is a full-on traditional meal. Fruit and veggie platters are always nice, and I can find recipes to whip up some other healthy bites. I could make a small cheese platter that way those who want it can have it and hopefully it will get wiped out fast. Dessert platters are a must. I can’t deprive my family of their favorite treats because I’m unable to control myself. What I can do is leave those platters in the kitchen out of my sight and send any leftovers out the door.

I think that’s doable. I can and will make it through the holidays without losing my grip.