Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
So, what I love (yes, this is really random):
- My boys (husband and sons)
- Paco the Wonder Dog
- The Interwebs
- My public library
- Chocolate (my first true love, haha)
- Shopping for normal-sized clothes!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Yesterday I got a great reminder of why I track my calories. I ate my usual breakfast and had a late lunch of a Lean Cuisine French bread pepperoni pizza (and hey, when did the calories go from 290 to 330 on them?), and spent a couple of hours doing laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen.
While I was in the kitchen, I found a can of garbanzo beans (or chick peas, if you prefer) in my cupboard and decided to roast them, ala Lyn. Which is something I've been meaning to try ever since she posted the recipe, but I had held off because I kinda had a sneaking suspicion that I would end up eating the entire batch. You know where this is going, right? Yeah, so an hour later, I was done with all of the housework and had settled down on the couch with my dog, a book, a nice glass of iced tea and a little dish of the roasted garbanzos. Which I kept refilling. Now, honestly, the entire can does not make that much, as they shrink after being roasted. But I had seasoned them with sea salt and red pepper, and that apparently was a winning combination to my taste buds! I figured oh well, I'll just count this for my dinner and call it a day.
Cut to about four hours later and guess what? I was hungry. I tossed around ideas in my mind as to what I could eat and satisfy my stomach without going waaaay over my 1,200 calories for the day. I finally logged onto myfitnesspal.com, added in what I was thinking of eating and guess what? I was only at 1,347 calories! If I hadn't been keeping track, I could have gone one of two ways: Either not eaten anything, and been miserable all night, or I could have gone with the ever-popular "I've blown it now, might as well eat whatever I want" attitude. But since I was able to see the actual calorie tally, I was brought back to sanity and fed my body what it needed.
- I should listen to my inner self; I knew a salty, crunchy snack would be bad news for me.
- Don't give up the day just because you make one bad food choice.
- Tracking calories really does help me.
And here's another example of my crazy mind: I woke up this morning having dreamed I was somewhere with a friend, trying to figure out the calorie count of a dessert made with strawberries and ice cream. Argh!!! Let me sleep in peace!!!
Have a great Sunday, everyone!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Then, as I read more and more blogs, I started seeing the words "Greek yogurt" and more specifically, "Fage" bandied about. But it was plain...as in that sour, yucky taste that I tried once a looooong time ago and instantly disliked. So I figured that I would just have to miss out on the Greek yogurt revolution. However, hearing that so many people absolutely LOVED the stuff, and getting a little more interested in the actual content of my calories, I finally decided to give Fage a try.
And I did not fall instantly in love with it.
But I made it tolerable with a tablespoon of strawberry jam. I rationalized that I was getting more bang for my caloric buck this way because of the high protein and low carbohydrate count in the Fage. So even though I was adding some sugar via the jam, it was still better for me because it was just sugar as opposed to the high fructose corn syrup that I discovered Yoplait was using (reading more than just the calorie count...it's a good thing).
Then I discovered Kashi Golean Crunch cereals - yummy crunchy goodness with some good fiber and protein - added that to my yogurt and I was in heaven! Man, I was eating good! The plain Fage was growing on me, although I was still adding the jam at this point.
Of course, in my reading, I began to hear about the "super foods" - and blueberries were at the top of the list (possibly because it was alphabetical, but stay with me, folks). So I bit the bullet and actually bought a little container of blueberries one day. After it sat in the fridge for a few days, mocking me each time I reached for a Fage and the jam, I finally got brave enough to throw them in the yogurt AND I LIKED IT! What?!? I was eating plain non-fat yogurt with fresh fruit?!? Who was this person?!?
Now I've been dipping sliced strawberries into my Fage and then dipping the yogurt-coated berries into my Kashi cereal. AND I LOVE IT! If you would have told me last summer that I would be eating plain yogurt I would have laughed in your face. But apparently tastes CAN change, and through that, a healthier, cleaner way of eating is slowly evolving for me.
I wonder what will be next?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Today I did a ton of arm exercises in the gym, and boy am I feeling them! I had planned to vacuum my house this afternoon, but blew that chore off because my arms felt like limp noodles. Well that, and you know...the laziness factor!
So we finally took measurements today - I've lost over 5 1/2 inches total (neck, chest, waist, hip), but the most amazing thing is that I've lost three, count 'em, three inches from my waist!!! That blew my mind! Oh, and I'm down nine pounds since I started the workouts (woot!) which puts me at a total of 70 pounds lost! I've said it before and I'll say it again...a healthy diet AND exercise works.
Onward and downward!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Before you think I'm crazy (crazier is probably closer to the truth), here's where I'm coming from: Last summer, while I was doing the NutriMed 420 protein shakes, I started eating a bit of fruit (specifically pineapple and grapes) that we had at work, and mentioned it to my doctor, who advised me to NOT eat "any fruit that you can squeeze and get juice running down your arm" because of the above mentioned sugar/carb/fat dealie. So I didn't have any fruit until maybe December (?) and that was just an apple (because god knows *I* certainly can't squeeze any juice out of one). And then I got hooked on apples and started having one every evening. Well, we all know that apples are the gateway fruit, which led me to blueberries, and then Cuties (clementines), and then strawberries...and last week I had the mother of all juicy fruits, cantaloupe! And damned if it wasn't good!
But now I'm wondering if I might be pressing my luck with all of this fruit. For example, today I had half of an apple before I worked out, then my faux McMuffin afterward, then three Cuties around 1:30 pm, and then a late lunch (around 3:30 pm) of three cups of fresh strawberries with Fage 0% yogurt and Kashi Golean Crunch cereal (fork a strawberry, dip into the yogurt, then dip into the cereal - YUM!). My (late) dinner was a Gardenburger on a 100 calorie English muffin w/some lettuce, tomato and mustard. I actually wasn't very hungry for dinner - I had planned on roasting some asparagus, but decided to hold off.
So what do you think, dear readers? Too much fruit? I have another cantaloupe sitting on my kitchen counter and a huge container of strawberries in the fridge. Dare I press my luck by continuing to eat several servings of this fruity goodness each day? Or should I rein it in - and if so, by how much?
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
After a hard workout,
All right, obviously I'm no poet...but the sentiment is there! Confession time: I love McDonalds Egg McMuffins - the perfect combination of egg, Canadian bacon, cheese, English muffin and grease...bliss! Unfortunately, because they are around 300 calories each (and 12 grams of fat), AND because they come with the super delicious hash brown, which is 150 calories (and 9 grams of fat), I haven't had one in a long, long time. Yes, I know you *could* order just the McMuffin, but the Value Meal is such a bargain...and that is my downfall. Because although I could occasionally work the McMuffin into my daily calorie plan, I can't fit that hash brown in. And I can't not eat the hash brown. (Though to be real, it would probably make me sicker than a dog to eat that much grease now that I've eaten clean for so long). So long story short, I've been missing the McMuffin!
Luckily for my taste buds, I bought Hungry Girl's cookbook and what do you know...there's a recipe for a healthier version of the McMuffin in it! And it's good! Now, most days I eat my Fage 0% plain yogurt with fresh fruit and Kashi Golean Crunch cereal for breakfast, but on the mornings that I work out, the Faux McMuffin has been my go-to meal after I'm done. This baby comes in around 175 calories, is low in fat and high in protein - perfect to feed my starving (or so it feels) body!
I keep meaning to buy a biscuit cutter so that my ham and cheese will be round and fit nicer in the English muffin, but so far the only one I've seen was at Target and was over $3, which seemed a little ridiculous considering what I want it for. I really should check out one of the many dollar stores in my town. And yes, I am that much of a cheapskate, lol!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I've been meaning to write about this - it happened a couple of weeks ago, but I keep getting "exercise-induced amnesia" after my workouts and I forget about it. Does this happen to anybody else? I think it's my mind's way of protecting me...like if I think about what I just did, it would be too much for my brain to wrap around. Anyway, I digress. So here's the story:
One thing I did on a Wednesday workout was to walk on the treadmill at an incline of 12 while wearing a 20-pound weighted vest, thanks to Will's evil scheming. I swear, he gets a glint in his eyes as he comes up with our
torture exercise. Anyway, it was tough! And later, when I had time to think, I realized that I used to carry the equivalent of more than THREE of those 20-pound vests with me all the time. Now, I can't imagine wearing three-plus 20-pound weight vests, yet I used to do that ALL THE TIME. No wonder I was so sedentary! It's darn hard to get moving with that much extra weight.
I need to remember this, and also give myself a pat on the back for improving my life by losing weight. It's come off over such a relatively long period of time that I've forgotten how heavy I was. But just as an alcoholic should never forget their last drunk, I should never forget how big I was. Otherwise, I might let the weight creep back on. And that, my friends, is unacceptable to me.
Oh, and no measurements this week...apparently you should take them before you work out (as opposed to right after) because your muscles temporarily swell from the exercise. So we'll have to remember to do them next week. That's all right, though - my clothes are looser, so I know things are shrinking.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice!
There are lots of fun POM recipes here, and I plan on making the POM & Balsamic-Glazed Chicken soon. Yum! So thanks, POM Wonderful Juice people, for your great juice AND for giving me something for my first-ever review!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Anyway, after a few absolutely miserable stomach-growling days (and nights), I decided to up my intake to 1,200/day. I'm telling you, I instantly felt so much better! Basically what I did was to have another Fage Greek yogurt in the evening, usually around 8:30 - 9:00 pm, with about a half cup of Kashi Golean Crunch cereal, and some fresh fruit - this week, it's either been blueberries or strawberries. I've been sleeping better as well, and I swear, I feel thinner.
We shall see if the thinner feeling holds true, as this week marks the half-way point of my 12-week workout, and we will retake measurements and weight. Not sure which day we will do this (Mon. or Wed.), but I'll let you know the results. I'm cautiously optimistic...
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I thought I'd share what I've brought for Thursday...
Lunch: 1 Cup of Pacific Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup, 4 Kashi TLC Roasted Garlic & Thyme Party Crackers, 2 Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese Wedges. Lunch comes in at 310 calories, with 11 grams of fat, 36 grams of carbs and 13 grams of protein. Plus there will be another cup of soup for Friday's lunch - that carton will go into the fridge at work.
Snack: 3 Cuties (clementines) - Lyn turned me on to these! And a Fuze if I want it. Snack (with Fuze) comes in at 130 calories, with 1 gram of fat, 28 grams of carbs and 2 grams of protein.
I also make a pitcher of unsweetened iced tea at work and usually finish it off by end of day on Friday.
I cram everything into my cute Built neoprene bag ($7.99 at TJ Maxx, what a bargain!) - it stretches, which is quite helpful, considering the amount of food I'm putting in it.
I have to give props to Biz, who posts pictures of her meals with nutrition information every day - I never realized how much detail and typing that entailed until this post! I'm spent!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
What was I thinking, doing this three days in a row?!?
Oh. That I wanted to get into shape. Sigh.
Schwarzenegger/I'll be back./end Schwarzenegger
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Daisee asks “So Shelley how did you begin to work out? What was your first step toward change? I need to make that first step and I am kind of afraid.”
As to these workouts, last August/September I started thinking about doing a women's "boot camp" type of workout that is really popular in my area. Problem was, it was held outdoors, while it was still so humid (which is most of the time here in South Texas), and it started at 5:30 a.m.!!! I knew that I would end up hitting snooze on my alarm too many times and eventually miss the class, so I didn't set myself up for failure. (OK, I'm lazy. And I’m not a morning person. But mostly lazy). However, I could see that I did need someone to be accountable to…because even though I’d been doing step aerobics on my Wii Fit, the disappointment, disapproval and yes, betrayal (Seriously. I swear my Wii Fit takes a “tone” with me!) it showed when I missed a day had stopped bothering me.
I had heard good things about the place that I’m now working out at – they did hour-long sessions, broken up into cardio and strength training. Very small groups and best of all, INDOORS! They were having a contest where someone would win a 12-week session, and I entered it. Long story short – I didn’t win, but they did offer me a discount if I wanted to do the next 12-week session, and I finally decided to go for it.
Now don’t get me wrong – I was nervous about the workouts, because I have never belonged to a gym, never been on a treadmill or other machines, and quite frankly, didn’t think I could keep up. But the trainers (Brad, Linda and Will) were really nice and eased me into everything, although it didn’t feel like it at the time. Let me just tell you, I was dying. It hurt every time I sat down, and every time I stood back up. Oy! But after four days, I felt ok. And although Brad is constantly switching up my strength workouts, I've never been that sore again.
Here's the kicker: I enjoy going to the workouts - the trainers are great and my "classmates" (for want of a better word) are fun and supportive. In four weeks, I've noticed a difference in the way my clothes are fitting and more importantly, how I feel. Which, btw, is GREAT! So my advice is to find something that you are pretty sure you can commit to, and jump in with both feet! Seriously, what have you got to lose...but inches, body fat and a negative body-image?
Monday, March 9, 2009
Check out these cute tops:
Does this mean that clothing designers have finally realized that not everybody has perfect upper arms anymore? I'm sure that other stores are probably carrying "elbow length sleeves" as well - I just happened to notice these in the Sunday Kohls ad in my newspaper. Any case, I'm glad to see them. Believe me, I need this style! Maybe someday, when I lose all the weight I need, and with the strength-training workouts, my arms might be short-sleeve ready (I don't even dare hope for sleeveless), but in the meantime, woohoo...I'll be checking out Kohls very soon!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Let me explain. After four weeks of workouts, I can feel some muscle definition, albeit through a layer of fat, but hey, it's there! And I'm getting stronger. Case in point...I did the plank hold for 30 seconds my first week, 35 seconds my second week and one full minute my third week. When I questioned Brad on the one minute (as in..."Are you crazy? I can't almost double my time!"), he said very matter-of-fact "Yes you can - you're stronger now." So I did it. In fact, just about everything that Brad or Linda or Will have asked me to do I've inwardly thought "I can't do that" but I've tried and yes, have been successful!
Now, my form is not always pretty - when Linda finally made me stop holding onto the side rails while walking on the treadmill, I was weaving like a drunk - but I've made peace with the klutz that I am. And I'm not worried anymore about how I look. Hey, I'm working out! And if you knew the old me, you would realize just how amazing this is.
I feel good...I'm over the massive soreness and now am just experiencing regular soreness (woot!). I've even added a third day of workouts, which makes me feel like Superwoman! My clothes are really loose (hence the new jeans) and I'm enjoying my days - I have absolutely no guilt anymore about sitting on the couch and reading a book - after all, I've worked out! Mary Lou (my platform) is staying in my closet, and I just don't have a lot of interest in hearing what she has to say right now, however pleasant she may be. I'm seeing the results of my hard work, and that's enough for me.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
My name is Matt Vafiadis and I am a producer for DCTV. I'm working with Lifetime Television on a new pilot series that's going to help one 30 or 40 something couple turn their life around. Your blog is great and I was wondering if you would be so kind as to post our casting notice that I've attached. I see your based in the south but our couple has to be LA based. Please let me know if you have any questions.I downloaded the casting notice just for kicks. They want a couple who "seem to fight more than laugh" - where were these guys 10 years ago when we really did fight a lot? I'm pretty sure we remember how...we could start fighting for the show. We have to be L.A. based - we could move there. Of course, we wouldn't have jobs, but still...it would get us on TV! Wait, we are supposed to be "super dynamic" - I think we are just "regular dynamic" so not sure we would be acceptable.
What's in it for us? A relationship expert/therapist, the "best" personal trainers/nutritionists, free workouts with experts every day. Hold on a sec...where is the big money payout? You want me to expose my innermost feelings and flab to a national television audience with no cash reward?!? Oh I don't think so.
Anyway, this probably isn't what Matt had in mind when he asked me to post the casting call...but IF you live in the L.A. area, DO fight more than laugh, and ARE super-dynamic, then leave me a comment with your email and I'll forward the notice to you.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
And now onto the jeans story...which ties in to my workouts (have I mentioned I'm on week 4?!?) and my diet. Even though I have been eating most days around 1,000 to 1,100 calories AND working out, the scale (actually, platform) has not been my friend. In fact, she's been banished to my closet for not telling me what I want to hear. Sorry, but I've only lost a tiny, tiny bit since I started working out. And in my mind, that just.isn't.right. So...combine virtually no weight loss and feeling fat as a cow, and you end up with Shelley in a grumpy mood by the end of last week.
And then it hit me as to WHY I was feeling so fat...I realized that I was practically swimming in my jeans. The fabric in the legs were flapping around me as I walked! Now, I am not one of those people who like to wear their old, oversized clothes when they lose weight...I want to look the size that I am, whatever that may be. Jeans are the one clothing item that you can get away with wearing for quite a while with a weight loss, because you just wash them in hot water, dry them and voila - shrunk enough to wear another day. And even though I haven't lost much weight (yes, I dragged Mary Lou out of the closet and checked), I obviously have lost inches and firmed up.
I feel the need to sing this from the roof top: I HAVE LOST INCHES...AND IT'S NOTICEABLE!!!! Seriously, I've never felt a difference like this, even while losing 60 plus pounds. What do you know - serious exercise WORKS!
So of course I went out and bought a new pair of jeans and tossed my old pairs into my Goodwill bag. And I have to say that I feel awesome in them! It's amazing how one small purchase can turn my entire attitude around. But it did. So thank you, Gloria Vanderbilt!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Interestingly, with all of last week's stress, I didn't find myself overeating. Now that's not to say that I didn't think about food - brownies, especially - but I guess I realized that overeating wouldn't make it better. And I probably would have felt worse, physically. So there's that. I also kept up with my workouts. Again, not going wouldn't have helped anything. Old me would NOT have behaved this way, I assure you! I guess healthy eating and exercise really are becoming more and more like *gulp* habits for me. Who would've guessed it?
I'll post more this week. I have a new jeans story that I know y'all just can't wait to hear about! (Yes, I must be feeling good as my sarcasm is coming back!)