Posts Tagged ‘diet’

Goals, etc.

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

I LOATH turning January 1st into some sort of magical diet-starting day, as if the flipping of a calendar page can somehow change all of my poor eating habits, rip out my crazy sweet tooth and give me the motivation to work out during every nap time instead of sitting on the couch watching Judge Judy. And with so many people kicking off their diets or fitness plans it feels like I can’t escape the constant deluge of advice and tips and tweeted pictures of sad little yogurt cups. Your yogurt makes me SAD, friends. Please throw some granola and a few berries on top. Personally, I think January is the WORST time to start a diet plan. Do you have seasonal amnesia? Do you REMEMBER what January is like in 75% of the country? Cold. Dark. Dreary. Miserable. Mind-numbingly boring. An endless stretch of nothingness punctuated by housebound snow days and pajama pants. If you love the symbolism of a brand new year as a fresh start towards your goals then go ahead, fight the crowds and sign up for that gym membership – but don’t be surprised when the siren song of pizza delivery and unplowed roads drives you totally insane. I vote we all start making Memorial Day Resolutions or Arbor Day Resolutions or National Day After National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day Resolutions instead.

That being said, as of Monday I’m back to strict point tracking with Weight Watchers and recommitted to attending Stroller Strides at least 4 days a week. Pot, kettle, etc etc. But the truth is with Caroline’s first birthday in my rear-view mirror, I have passed the “just had a baby” excuse for anything and I’m really sick of feeling like such a MOM in my body. I’m not even talking just about my weight. I actually don’t feel so bad about that. The 20-something pounds slash jean size I’ve already lost have done WONDERS for how I feel, especially when it comes to photos of myself. Go ahead! Snap a candid shot! From a low angle! I fully accept that those arms are attached to my torso!

What I really mean is I wear far too many stretchy pants and sweatshirts. I own jeans my own mother is too cool to be seen wearing in public. I haven’t had my hair cut and colored professionally since before I was pregnant. The first time. I am a grown-up with a mortgage and two kids and yet I still don’t wash my face before I go to bed. I cannot stop myself from eating an entire bag of candy if it’s anywhere in my house.  I haven’t gotten more than 4 hours of sleep in more than a year.

Whoa, that turned really whiny really fast. This is the least original post ever in the history of mom blogging – committing to taking better care of myself so I can feel better is like the super graphic but somehow still boring birth story of 2011.  Sorry for the self-pity parade, but it has been a Tough Week with a non-sleeping baby and no pints of ice cream to self-medicate and we did a goal setting exercise at Stroller Strides that made me thinking writing this stuff down somewhere where I could be held accountable might not be a bad idea.

So, here’s the facts:
I would like to lose 15 pounds before we take our super special bathing-suit based vacation in March
I would like to lose 30 more pounds total
When I get to 150 pounds, I get a new tattoo as a reward
When I get to my goal weight I get to buy a pair of REALLY EXPENSIVE jeans that REALLY FIT as a reward
I will get my hair cut/colored at a real salon where I have to make an appointment
I will get at least one pedicure this year (yikes)
I will wash my face at night – or at least MOST nights, or at least wipe it off with those cloth things

I’m not going to make some sort of promise to record my journey and document all my triumphs and set backs (pause for the collective sigh of relief) but I might mention it. And if you happen to see me hanging around Twitter making EAT ALL THE CANDY comments, maybe remind me I really really want that new tattoo.

tl;dr version – I’m turning 30 in April, so it’s time to stop feeling like shit about myself.

 

20 Pounds Down

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Actually, 21 pounds down, but who doesn’t love a nice round number? It also means I’ve lost more than 10% of my total body weight and I got a fancy key chain at my Weight Watchers meeting this week. To celebrate, I treated myself to shrimp cocktail for dinner and a giant bowl of ice cream for dessert – although both of which are things I eat regularly so they weren’t really treats as much as just food I really love.

I am now at my true pre-both-pregnancies weight (not the one on my doctor’s chart at my first appointment – I gained a full 10 pounds in those first 8 weeks with Evan) which is a great milestone. Unfortunately, I’m only a third of the way back to my wedding weight, although honestly I’d be pretty content if I just lost another 20. At my wedding weight, I was eating nothing but Slim-Fast bars and spending 2 hours a day at the gym (CRAZY BRIDE ALERT) and that’s just not a feasible lifestyle with 2 kids and a husband hanging around bugging me to feed them all day.

People are always curious to know how other people lose weight (Whole grains! Whole grains? Whole grains!!) so I thought I’d share what has been working for me. Of course, my first suggestion would be to join Weight Watchers – I’ve spent the last 7 years thinking about food during every single waking moment but still watching the numbers on the scale creepy slowly (and not so slowly) upwards. Now after 16 weeks on WW I think about food only when I’m hungry and have lost 20 pounds. I know I sound like a commercial and you’re probably rolling your eyes but if you’re not the kind of person who can just “eat less and move more” without some structure then it is totally worth the investment.

One of the major changes I’ve made is the number of fruits and vegetables I eat, especially grapes, apples, bananas, and veggies like brussels sprouts, eggplant, and squash. Grapes might be the best diet food ever – you can eat them mindlessly while watching tv and ALMOST feel like you’re eating candy. The vegetables I cut into pieces, toss on a cookie sheet with a little cooking spray and lots of salt and roast. Topped with Parmesan cheese I can eat them until I am STUFFED and still loose weight consistently. I also eat salad almost every day. Salad salad salad. Tons of salad. Usually also topped with cheese and light dressing, because although I like lettuce I’m not a masochist. Who wants to give up cheese?

I drink almost nothing with calories. I stick to water, Diet Coke, Crystal Light/fake Crystal Light and coffee. I use fat free creamer at home and order skim milk and 3 Splenda at Dunkin Donuts. It’s not worth using any of my points just for a latte that’s not going to fill me up for more than 5 minutes – although the Cafe Mocha K-cups are only 2 points and a nice alternative to hot cocoa and I will admit to more skinny frappuchinos at the Target Starbucks than an average person.

Other foods I eat consistently are Egg Beaters with hot sauce in a Mission Carb Balance tortilla, bacon (seriously! it’s low in points!), chunk light tuna with herbed light mayo in a Carb Balance tortilla, low fat string cheese, Joseph’s pita bread (the kind flax & oat bran kind) with hummus, low fat Wheat Thins, seafood (shrimp, fish, mussels), taco salad (with lots of lettuce to bulk up the meat and Fritos), a scoop of ice cream over a cut up banana, peanut butter on apple slices, and al fresco chicken sausage. So it’s a pretty good mix of real whole foods and diet/low fat stuff, which is a choice I’m comfortable with so I don’t have to give up ALL the stuff I love. I could never ever stick to one of those clean eating diets – I wouldn’t make it 12 hours without breaking down and shoving a whole bag of Goldfish into my face.

Besides diet, I also started pushing myself a little harder at Stroller Strides. Jogging instead of walking, doing planks on my toes instead of knees, push-ups on the floor instead of on a bench. I am reallyreallyreally sore almost every day, but it’s a good kind of sore. I can see the changes in my arms and my abs the most – I’m not going to be wearing a bikini any time soon (any time EVER) but when I see a picture of myself I no longer think “Whoa, why do my arms look so wide?” or run away from the camera.

I know weight loss might be THE MOST BORING subject ever to read about and you’re probably thinking “Where are the cute baby pictures?! I don’t care what you eat!” and I know. I KNOW. I am the worst. But I’m feeling pretty good about my too-big jeans and needed to pat myself on the back for a few minutes. Cute baby pics tomorrow, I promise.

What’s For Dinner? Volume 8

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

All of these recipes came from the Weight Watchers PointsPlus Cookbook which I bought at my meeting a few weeks ago. (It appears you can get it used on Amazon but not new. Although I like it SO MUCH I am going to recommend you find a WW storefront and go pick one up.)I apologize for not linking all the recipes the way I usually do, but they’re not online (although I suspect a Google search would turn up close-enough approximations)(not that I would suggest you use plagiarized recipes)(but since technically you can’t copyright a recipe it’s probably not illegal)(good God why am I still typing this paragraph?)

I’ve fallen off the diet wagon a few times over the past few weeks and the hardest part of getting back on is cooking at home – it’s so easy to make a “healthy” dinner that gets totally out of control with the portion sizes. But these recipes made with actual real ingredients (as opposed to some extremely popular diet cookbooks that use a lot of scary substitutes – soft yellow butter flavored oil-based spread vs. BUTTER) and were eaten happily by everyone.

Except for the soup, since E hates soup. I KNOW. YOU tell him how ridiculous that is.

1. Smoky Shrimp and Corn Soup
2. Cauliflower with Tomatoes and Lemon
3. Rosemary Chicken with Balmasic-Glazed Onions
4. Wasabi Steak and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

1. Asian Turkey and Noodle Salad
2. Texas Chicken Soup
3. Falafel Sandwiches with Lemon Yogurt
4. Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Spring Vegetables

What did you have for dinner this week?

I just spent 45 minutes trying to decide if I should start this post with a disclosure about how it is NOT SPONSORED or if I should just write the damn thing and because there is no disclosure people will know I’m not being compensated. I’ve seen a few posts/Twitter conversations recently where readers are torn on the subject – they HATE that bloggers do a non-disclosure disclosure for every single post where they mention a brand or a product (“This post is NOT SPONSORED by unicorns! Unicorns have no idea I exist!!”) but they ALSO hate when they get to the end of a really nice, heartfelt post and they get a surprise disclosure (“This post about how awesome toe nail fungus is was sponsored by the United Coalition of Toe Nail Fungus Enthusiasts – but I REALLY DO love toe nail fugus! It’s so great!!”) Obviously I decided to go with a disclosure – in a sort of rambling, round about way – because it is about a diet program and in the blogging world there’s a lot of diet sponsorship.

So. Let me explain. No, there is to much. Let me sum up: I am a paying member of Weight Watchers, a program I’ve been using for a few months and love. I bought this cookbook and all the groceries with my own money. Weight Watchers has no idea who I am – beyond someone who pays them and has lost 15 lbs so far.

CSA Update: Summer Bounty

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

My CSA membership has been paying out big time for the last few weeks. I snarfed down all the early season carrots and snap peas and lettuce without even bothering to take pictures or find recipes, because what can you possibly do to a fresh-picked snap pea to make it BETTER? (Hint: NOTHING. Except for shoving it into your face hole.)

Toddler photobombing my picture of last week's haul to get a cherry tomato

All my hopes for teaching the toddler about fresh and local food have come absolutely true. He asks to go to the farm all the time, loves seeing the plants and checking out the changes each week and will eat things I NEVER thought would pass his lips (peas! beans! lettuce!) if he gets them fresh.

But I haven’t been wasting all my veggies on the toddler. They’ve been a total life-saver on my diet plan, since I can eat as many vegetables as I want – and they are SO MUCH EASIER to eat when you know they’re fresh and tasty and they’re sitting on my kitchen counter.

Here’s what I got on Tuesday:

1. Arugula
2. Cabbage
3. Summer Savory
4. Amethyst basil plant
5. Cinnamon basil
6. Jalapeno
7. Heirloom tomato
8. Garlic
9. Eggplant
10. Green pepper
11. Cucumber
12. Fingerling potatoes
13. Red poatoes
14. Hot peppers
15. Cherry tomatoes
16. Pole beans

Holy cow. How do I even START to eat all of that goodness?

Pinterest helps, of course. I used some of the fingerling potatoes for Salt & Vinegar Fingerlings, although I wussed out on the full 2 cups of vinegar and I shouldn’t have – they weren’t tart enough for me. And I’m going to make Spicy Green Beans with my pole beans tomorrow, although mine will be a lot less fancy than that recipe (grapeseed oil? pshaw). I think we’ll have Parmesan Roasted Potatoes this weekend with the red of my red potatoes to satisfy my french fry craving.

And here are my super easy, spur of the moment, straight out of my brain recipes:

Eggplant Bruchetta

Eggplant sliced thin and broiled for about 4 minutes on each side, then topped with chopped basil, garlic and tomatoes and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. 100% CSA. And it was ZERO points on my Weight Watchers plan.

Chicken quesadillas with homemade salsa

Chicken, green peppers and onions sauteed with garlic salt and cumin, then I used my handy-dandy quesadilla maker and some Mexican cheese blend to make it melty. The salsa is the heirloom tomato, tons of garlic, one of the hot peppers, cilantro and lime juice.

Potato rosemary pizza

Pillsbury pizza crust baked for 5 minutes, then topped with mozzarella, chopped rosemary, chopped garlic and all three kinds of potatoes I got from the CSA sliced as thin as possible. Sprinkle with salt and bake for about 20 minutes more. Next time I might roast the potato slices for a few minutes before putting them on the pizza so they’re crispier, but even my husband ate it and agreed it was good. And so pretty!

We have summer squash and zucchini and more eggplant (my new FAVORITE) and tons more tomatoes coming in the next few weeks, so let me know if you have any favorite recipes. Oh, and I need a suggestion for that head of cabbage. It’s so beautiful I hate to turn it into coleslaw but I don’t know what else to do with cabbage.

The Running of the Reluctant

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I recently started running, what with it being so good for me and so many people talking about this great Couch to 5k program and maybe crying a little at that stupid coffee commercial where the mom holds her kindergarten aged daughter’s hand as she runs across the finish line of her first race. KNOCK IT OFF, COFFEE COMMERCIAL. I drink you to just barely make it through my day with 2 kids, not for your magic race-running properties.

It turns out I still feel the same way about running I did when I was 10 – I HATE it. Everything about it. I hate the stupid running sports bras that are supposed to keep me from giving myself 2 black eyes from all the bouncing. I hate the expensive running shoes that the guy at the running store made me buy in a giant clown-shoe size so my feet could “spread”. The whole point of running was to STOP things from spreading anymore than they already have. I hate the way my ankles and knees and legs feel when they hit the pavement. I hate breathing hard. I hate sweating. I hate planning out a route (even more now that the high school track behind my house is closed for renovations and I have to run on the dirty, uneven sidewalk). I hate running while pushing a stroller and stopping every 2 minutes to find out what the toddler is screaming about or try to convince the baby to lie down so she doesn’t flop around like a ragdoll. I hear that’s not so good for babies. If God had wanted humans to run more than absolutely necessary, he would send angry badgers to chase us. Or he wouldn’t have invented cars. Or grocery delivery.

But because so many of my friends – both real and interweb – are runners, I figured I should give it another shot. I downloaded the C25K app. I bought the fancy clown shoes. I strapped my boobs into a bra so tight it was in danger of pushing them through my back. I handed the kids over to my husband and told him I was going stroller-free and would be back in 40 minutes. And I ran. Every time the little bell dinged I took a deep breath and swung my arms and plowed through my discomfort. I didn’t give up. I finished the first day’s workout. And the second. Then a week. Then two weeks. It occurred to me that maybe, possibly, there was something to this running thing after all and maybe, possibly I could be the mom in the coffee commercial who finished a 5k with her proud family looking on.

Then I fell down.

Now I’m on the injured list. My foot hurts when I try to do more than limp my way through the clearance racks at Target (although thank God it feels well enough for that. Priorities, people) so I’ll be on couch-squashing duty for at least another week.

I kind of miss running.