Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014!

      
     

     This year sure flew by fast! I remember last year, as we were having our New Year's gathering, we went around the table talking about resolutions for 2014. Among many, losing weight seemed to be at the top. I was one of the ones who said it, but as the words came out of my mouth I had already, in my brain, decided this would not really happen. 

    You see, I can't even remember how many years I have said I would lose weight January 1st. I would give it a try, more like a half assed attempt and eventually give up as soon as it got "hard". So as 2013 started, I had already figured that nothing different would happen in 2014 yet I still felt obligated to say this would be THE year. When my birthday came in June, I had hit my heaviest. I made myself step on the scale and was floored to see that my short 5.1 foot self was up to 305 pounds. It was insane! But somehow, I had allowed myself to believe I was not that bad off. Heck, when I started the blog, I rounded my initial weight to 300 because I guess 5 pounds made such a big difference in my mind...note to self: 300 is no better than 305 lol Bless my heart.

      I am now on day 162 of daily food logging (The first 2 weeks of logging, I did not cut back I just wanted to see how much I was eating) , day 31 of daily weighing and day 30 of walking a minimum of 2.5 miles a day. Weight wise I am currently at 260 pounds. That is a total of 45 pounds lost. Although it is just a tiny part of all I have to lose and it has not been as fast as I wished it would be, I am proud of myself.
      
       I used to use so many excuses, I have PCOS, I am too busy, I have no willpower,my ankle is injured...they don't work anymore ecause I don't allow myself to accept them. I have struggled (a lot), I have fought myself (constantly), I have been frustrated with my body enough to cry (more times than I care to admit) but when I have messed up, I have done my best to not wallow in self pity too long, dust it off and push through. 

       Of course, sometimes the dusting and shaking it off process has taken a few days but I get there. With a little help from my friends as they say. I am constantly amazed at some of the bloggers out there, their inspiration and passion for health is contagious and inspiring. --I don't want to play favorites because there are several but I have to give a shoutout to Gwen at The Sunny Coconut. I want to be like you when I grow up ;)- Even those bloggers, who seem to have hit a rough patch, can still inspire me as I can see and learn from what they are going through. 

       So to all, THANK YOU! your words matter, your posts make a difference and you are reaching more and deeper than you think. As 2015 approaches, I am not making any resolutions. I am continuing my commitment to myself. I will continue to comit to my journey, no matter how long or hard it will be. I am commiting to learning and taking away the things from my diet that hurt me both physically and emotionally. Most important of all, I am commiting to removing the power that food and food addiction has always have in my life. I am taking my life back and working to be the best me I can be. A new year, A new Start and a New Way to go....Here's to 2015 may our year be full of health,energy, accomplishments, understanding, learning and love! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday Thoughts




You know about the winter blues? I think I had a mix of those combined with my feelings of disappointent and physical pain last week. It has been overcast, misty and overall dreary for almost a week. I miss the sun. I think this weather makes it easier to be less energetic, positive and bright...am I crazy? I have now dusted myself off for a few days and have done my best to learn and move on. 

Getting back on track with my food has already made a huge difference in my mood and energy levels. Stepped on the scale this morning and I am back to where I was last Friday even though TOM arrived. Yesterday, there were even more cookies in the office. Some decided to bring their baked leftovers to share. I can honestly say, I was not tempted anymore. Would it be irrational to say that I just felt a little angry? because I sort of was. Stupid cookies haha 

 I am trying to come up with some sort of writing challenge for January. Something about challenging myself to write is soothing, motivating and cleansing. Not sure why I need to call it anything but isn't it just more fun that way? In other news, here is my LUNCHBOX OF THE DAY: 



 Tomatoes, carrots, radishes and chopped cilantro. A hard boiled egg and some lemon juice for dressing. How's your Tuesday going?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Not as strong as I thought

So here I am,not really terribly bad off but certainly not as strong as I thought I was. I had been on such a good roll, feeling mentally strong, seeing the scale move every week. Heck, I had even spit out a cookie into a napkin when I realized what I was about to do. Then, Christmas Eve came. As I mentioned, I had a ruptured ovarian cyst which was worse than usual. The pain was horrible for several hours and it was accompanied by nausea and chills. I was not in a happy place that night. To make things worse, I was upset that after working all day,now I didn't get to enjoy the quality time with my loved ones. But, I powered through and made it through the night. Foodwise, I did fine. Christmas Day, I was still hurting a little and really badly sore. Again, I powered through it and even made myself walk in order not to lose my walking streak. My food choices were fine, I was doing good even though I was feeling hurt, tired and drained. I could tell my modd wasn't the best, I was sad and my energy was low. On the 26th, I powered through the work day with horrible energy levels. Close to the end of the day, someone mentioned me being tired and looking like "You need some sugar". I shook my head and moved on. When I got to my desk, I had a new gift. This time it was another tin of pure butter shortbread cookies. I decided maybe I did need some cookies, so I had two. I was angry at myself for doing it but when I got home since I was still tired and was sharing with my friend, I had two more. And ever since then, I keep wanting to go back for more. I tracked it all, but that's not important. I have disposed of them in the bin and I am back on track. This wasn't a full on binge. But I am terribly disappointed in myself. I can tell how having cookies has made me crave more. I want bread, I want more cookies, I want it all.But I am not going to have them.After no movement on the scale Friday, I am up 2 pounds today. It sucks. The worse part is that I am not really a sweets person usually, I will always go for the salty. You would have thought if I wanted to blow it, I would have chosen my cheetos instead lol I know 4 cookies during the entire holiday season is not bad. The thing is, I don't allow myself "cheat" days because I simply cannot handle them. It has always been the start of my demise. The principle of it is that I should know that I am learning and have a long way to go. Little indulgences, at this point in my case, are not something i can "afford". That bottom line is, I am not as strong as I thought. I am in "detox" mode since Sunday. Bunches of veggies, some protein and a little fruit.I am back on track and will continue to be. I just needed to "come clean" for the brain part of my "detox". Onward!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Blogmas Day 25: The End Has Come and A Very Sore-y Christmas

    


Well this us my second try at this post. Blogger ate the first one and didn't save it to drafts. For sure my closing of Blogmas was supposed to be more positive and full of joy, however, my Christmas Eve and day have been nothing like I had planned.

After the terrible pain from my ruptured cyst, I have been extremely sore and tender today. I spent the day in bed, curled up into a ball with my heating pad on. My loved ones were nice enough to postpone our get together late afternoon but sadly I would gave rather stayed home. I sucked it up anyway and tried to make the best of it,

Food was great and the gift exchange was fun. I just didn't really feel like hanging around so I came home pretty quick. Popped some pills and back to bed I went. I need to have my energy to get back to work tomorrow. Even though I didn't feel like it, I really didn't want to mess up my walking streak on my jawbone. I love how I've surpassed my step goal every day and knew I had been a lump in bed today. 

So I sucked it up and walked. I walked and walked. All over the house, over and over until I hit my goal.so that's my accomplishment for the day! And you know what? I'm proud of myself. I hope everyone had a great time with your loved ones.i will see you for the weigh in tomorrow,

Even though Today could have been better and definetly more active, sometimes you have to be ok with being a lump until your body feels better. For now it's  Goodbye Blogmas! See ya next year ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Blogmas Day 24: Christmas Eve ouchies

This one will be short tonight. I am still reeling from the pain that started earlier due to another ruptured ovarian cyst. It's great that it's ruptured rather than an ovary torsion, but it's painful as heck.
I am a bit loopy thanks to the nice meds but hating that I feel this way tonight. I am hoping that the soreness won't be so bad tomorrow so that I can enjoy my day with my loved ones and get some walking in.

I Hope everyone is having a great night and will have a blessed day tomorrow. Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noel or whatever you celebrate. I leave you with this cute dog that has been amusing me in my painkiller induced night. Until next time! 

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http://youtu.be/J9P20HuX7mo

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Blogmas Day 23: I'm so over the free food

                                       
     
I know that title is terrible. It makes me sound horrible but it is honestly how I feel. It is so hard to continue to try to make good choices when it's just an endless food pushing and gifting time. It is the first time in my life that this is an issue, I have always welcomed it all because I was eating it all.

 I know everyone is being kind but it makes my already hard journey even harder. Maybe if I was further along my path, saying no and not being stressed by it would come much easier. For now, it doesn't come easy at all. But I am pushing through. I have my copy of The End of overeating right at my desk and go back to read it to diffuse my food thoughts.

I am working tomorrow and will be off Thursday. There's a department brunch to get through and then I shall be free of work food haha at least until Monday. I came home with 3 dozen cookies homemade and a huge tin of pure butter shortbread cookies. With all these cookies (that will soon find their forever home) it hit me that I would have rater welcomed another darn mug to my collection!

My LUNCHBOX OF THE NEXT DAY is a repeat from today. 
                                 
  
We are having Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow so I might just have a protein shake for breakfast and wait for dinner. But If brunch gets hard to navigate I can always go to my cheese and nuts. I will see how it goes. Until next time!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Blogmas Day 22: Monday Madness

 I feel like I've had a week's worth of everything and it's only Monday. My day started at 5am and I'm just now getting home a bit before 9 pm. A pretty good day, just busy busy busy. I survived the pizza party without any problems but didn't predict I'd get a huge container if homemade cookies from a coworker. 

This coworker is the best cook, everything she makes is delicious. As I put in a strawberry cake cookie in my mouth and took a bite, I realized what I was doing. I spit it right onto a napkin and threw it away, It wasn't that the one cookie would kill me or calorie budget for the day, is the fact that eating would probably send me down a road I have no desire to go on. I put them up and will have to share I.e regift them to someone who isn't worried about sugar. That was definitely not my best moment but it could have been worse. I give myself an F for putting it into my mouth, but an A for spitting it out lol all in all,  I  made it through.

More packages came to the door today. The best one was my copy of The End of Overeating Book. I am excited to read and learn from it. Still waiting on a couple more. Tomorrow I will have a very busy day with its share of critical issues to handle. My LUNCHBOX OF THE NEXT DAY is not a salad but quick stuff I can eat as I walk or multitask ( I know that's not ideal but hey you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes).
                          

Nuts, cheese and tomatoes. Simple and enough to give me energy to go go go. Hope you are having a great beginning of the week. Until next time!
      






Sunday, December 21, 2014

Blogmas Day 21: Simple Sunday

                             


Well, the weekend sure went by fast! Today was a real productive day. Got the house clean and sparkling, polished the wood, not a stitch of dirty clothing in sight and wrapped up Christmas 
presents. 

I went out to do some grocery shopping and decided to do my daily walk around the little strip mall. I walked about 1.5 miles going from one end to the other and rewarded myself by going "window shopping" at Ross. I didn't find anything I needed but enjoyed just browsing around. Not sure we're all the crazy shoppers are, our little mall was no busier than on a regular day.

Came home and decided to grill some chicken even though it's chilly outside. We are expecting some semi severe weather on Tuesday but hope that by tomorrow the forecast will have changed. Here is my LUNCHBOX OF THE NEXT DAY:
                               
Spinach and tomato as my salad base, I have some grilled chicken breast to mix in and a small halo. The little green container has my usual lime juice with  dash of olive oil to use as dressing. I am continuing my protein shake in the morning. With so few calories and big protein count, I don't even think about food til someone mentions lunch time. Tomorrow there will be a pizza and breadstick party for our department being provided by our neighboring department. Of course, it will be in our lounge/conference room so it will be quite interesting come lunchtime. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Until next time!
     

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Blogmas Day 20: Shivery Saturday & The Naughty Cheesecake

I am so glad the colder air is back! For a bit there last week. the 60's were creeping back up and I was not a happy camper. Now I know what yall are thinking, cold weather sucks! but when you were born and raised in a country where it's 85-95 year round with 1000% humidity. You really appreciate cold crisp air haha

This morning I tackled some house chores before heading out. We were dreading crazy drivers and bad weekend before Christmas trafic and were shocked that it wasn't too terrible. Of course, they had half the police department fooling with the lights, but for once they were not making things worse ;) I had some last few things to get at Costco for gifts and a sally world run. Can you believe most if not all registers were open at Walmart? I was shocked!

We got everything finished quicker than anticipated and headed back home. There was a fort of packages at the door' I was glad the last little things ( my dogs and family dog's Christmas gifts) and some other things had arrived. One of the packages was a cheesecake sampler I ordered a few days ago during a flash sale on the Honeybaked ham website. I got an email about their flash sale and had a gift card to finish up. So, I figured this was a great way to not spend money on a dessert I was asked to bring to a Christmas Eve get together. The deal plus the gift card made it free shipped to my door yay! It was the perfect solution, since I had been struggling to decide if I even wanted to make something or if I would just buy, 

I got the box opened and was looking for storing instructions. I bought it without checking the nutrition data because I have no plans on eating any of it at the party. But when I was finding a spot for it in the freezer I couldn't help but look at the label. Lord have mercy!!!!
                                 
     
 Because it's a sampler the different spaces "costs" different prices. Each slice  ranges from 510-610 calories. They contain between 35-50 grams of sugar,36-48grs of fat and 50-65 grs of carbs. To think normally I would have eaten at least one slice after stuffing myself with everything else offered, blows my mind. I probably blew through at least a couple day's worth of calories during a 2-3 hour get together. But not this year.

As I put that thing in my freezer, I thought about something I have been reading about in different blogs,articles and even a few books. Staying away from not only sugar but processed "food" is necessary not only for weight loss but also for your overall health. I looked in my fridge and it was reassuring to see my real and good for me foods. That cheesecake holds absolutely no power over me because I refuse to give my body all that sugar that completely messes it up. In fact, I choose to look at the pretty colors of my real food instead. Until next time!


                            
        

Friday, December 19, 2014

Blogmas Day 19: Finally Friday!

Not much to share tonight. Things are going great and the scale is still moving down slowly but surely. Just quite tired after my week. This weekend looks to be pretty busy trying to get the last of my Christmas shopping done and a long to do list. Hope everyone has a great weekend! Until next time, I leave you with some inspiration. Remember that we are all in this together!

                                    

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blogmas Day 18: Where's the caffeine?

Since this week my whole routine has been completely different I gave myself one more challenge...because I like adding more new to the new lol aside from everything, I have truly cut down to one diet soda a day and one cup of coffee. I have tried on and off to get myself off diet drinks, I know why it's important but it's just a habit. I would drink one to keep myself from eating. But the truth is, is I am trying to eat real food why would I choose to put all those chemicals in my drink?

So far, I've done good. I miss my coffee more, I think. Not entirely sure. I just got to keep trudging along. I have ordered a couple of books Im interested in. I would have never thought I would buy fitness/self help books lol I can't wait for them to arrive. The week and the change of  pace this week, is catching up with me. I am tired tonight and feel the beginning of a headache. I know it's because my sleep has been off as well. I will call this an early night so that I can be fresh in the morning ( as frsh as I can be at least!).

Tomorrow will be a busy day for me. So I'm thinking no salad but rather things I can eat quickly at my desk or on my way real quick. The lunchbox of the next day looks as follows:


                              

I have a Baggie of alati's famous nut mix lol ( pumpkin seeds,cashews,Almonds,dry cranberries), radish and half a carrot, cheese stick and some cherub tomatoes.  That little container with the radish has come and gone all week. I never get to it because I feel full enough but it's good to know I have in case I get the munchies. Happy Friday Eve!
    








Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blogmas Day 17: Starting a conversation

Gwen must be a mindreader ;) As I read her comment on Yesterday's post it tickled me that it was exactly about what I was going to write about tonight. She wrote, "I think though, at some point, you are going to have to let a few know that 'I don't eat like that anymore. I am only eating meats and veggies now." (or something along that lines.) They'll still bring whatever they want to, but you start to set your food boundaries around them in a non-threatening way". That point, actually came today.

We have a fairly large lounge area/conference room we share for our Department. No one has a set lunch time, we pretty much stick to grab lunch when you get a chance because odds are if you don't youll never get to. Therefore it seems that any time you come in, you see someone there or smell something heating up. We are a pretty good blend of personalities which can lead to some good conversations when things are not crazy. Therefore, the room is the spot to be around lunchtime. I try to stay away from eating in front of the screen because it leads me to mindless eating and/or not feeling like I ate at all ( mental, I know!). 

So when I was ready to eat I grabbed my lunch and headed over there. We are downtown and the new things has been food trucks. There are a few that show up different days, right outside the building for everyone's convenience. I had them last time I worked here. They have some delicious stuff. Healthy? I am not so sure. As soon as I walked in, someone was offering to share or asking me to try what all they had. I politely declined and shook my lunchbag. I figured I would have an easy out again, if I stuck to pointing to my bag.

However, as I started eating and the conversation turned to my salad. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to  let them know that my eating self now is very different from what they remember. That I have been working very hard to change my bad habits and food triggers. Before I knew it, I was talking to them ( in my not expert at all way) about what I have learned about primal and paleo ( in general, not because I am either one of them) and overall healthy eating. The reactions were mixed. Some thought it was great for me but would never work for them ( that's perfectly alright!), one shared their story about their fail at whole30, a couple started talking about how they are joining the gym after the holidays, some said they just like crappy food and hate salad. I do not think many could truly relate but that is not important at all. What is important is that they know this is how I will be from now on. Does that mean I won't be offered any of my no nos? NO! it just means that I will have an easier time saying No, Thanks!

I stepped on the scale and I am down 1 pound since Friday. That is fine with me, but hopefully by Friday I will have lost a bit more. I leave you with my LUNCHBOX OF THE NEXT DAY!
                                           
       


I am doing another salad with spinach, radish, carrots and tomatoes. There little dressing container has a bit of EVOO and lots of lime juice. On the top container I have a few blueberries and some pineapple. For protein I have some tuna to mix into my salad. Note to self: Make sure your extra toothbrush is in your bag ;)

BTW, I love these Rubbermaid Lunch Block things I am using. The salad one does an amazing job at keeping everything crisp, fresh and cold! Until next time!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blogmas Day 16: I need a new brain

Hey everyone! I for sure need a new brain. I spent about 45 minutes at the end of the day walking up and down the parking deck looking for my car. On the bright side that means I got steps galore but sadly it meant that I got stuck in the worst traffic of the day. The deck is 9 floors and it is a double deck so not only must you figure out what level but also what side of it you are on, or else you may be on the right level but the wrong side. Note to self, make a mental note of what level you parked on starting tomorrow.

Orientation was only til 1 today and after that we were released to the real world. It feels great to be back and hopefully within a day or two I should be back to the swing of things. Foodwise, the breakfast spread included cookies and huge muffins which I tried to not even look at. I had a protein shake again on the way there. I just rabbed me some ice water and sat pretty. Lunch was catered from a Greek place I love. I had some of the salad minus the dressing along with a grilled chicken breast. I declined the rice, sauces, pita bread and dessert. The chicken was a tad salty but overall I think I did pretty good.

After orientation, I headed to my work area and found that they had ordered pizza to "celebrate" my being back. There was also some cookies for dessert. I thanked them but politely declined. My easy excuse was that lunch was served at orientation so that took care of it. Of course, It smelled good  but I didn't cave. I just need to keep my momentum and willpower going.I heard some talk about a pizza party and a pot luck scheduled for next week....did I mention I love everyone but it is food central over here?  I was not kidding haha.

I made it home and our baked chicken fajitas were ready and waiting. It was a great way to end my day. After cleaning up, I set out to fix my lunch for tomorrow. My plan is to stay away from the cafeteria and neighboring restaurants. So this will be the start of my LUNCHBOX OF THE NEXT DAY series (sounds official doesn't it?)

                           
                            



I have a salad with spinach, tomatoes, radish and carrots. I also have a cutie peeled and ready as well as a Colby cheese stick. The little dressing container actually has some EVOO and lime juice to use as dressing. I may add some avocado to the salad in the morning, For snack just in case I need one, I have an ounce of radish, celery and carrots. Have a great Wednesday! Until next time!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Blogmas Day 15: I survived!



I made it y'all! I am officially back to my new old job. Today was orientation and a fairly easy day. Despite my anxiety, the day really couldn't have gone any better for me. Walking into the hospital, it hit me that I felt like coming back home! I was happy happy happy :)

I had a protein shake this morning because I didn't feel like having anything heavy but wanted to make sure I had enough protein so that I would not be hungry all morning. I was so glad I did that. There was quite the spread set out. My old self would have been jumping for joy lol Chicfila chicken and sausage biscuits ( enough for everyone to have seconds), cookies galore and some fruit cups. I skipped it all and grabbed a huge cup of ice water instead.

Lunch was catered and after checking out the offerings I decided I could eat some of the spring mix salad which had a few  raw walnuts. I skipped on the dressing because it had no info on it. I also grabbed a few green beans which were crisp and a tad undercooked just the way I like them and a slice of roasted pork loin. I skipped the sauce for the pork, the scalloped potatoes, rolls, brownies and some mysterious gratin that may or may have not contained pasta...hmm maybe it was mac and cheese now that I think about it lol Oh yeah, I also zoomed past the sweet tea and grabbed another cup of ice water.

This was quite the long session so mid afternoon there were cookies galore, trail mix ( with tons of M&Ms) and some chex mix brought out. Along with soft drinks, coffee and more sweet tea.Again, I walked straight to the ice water and grabbed me another cup. I was so proud of myself that I could have done a happy dance!

While there was no time for dancing, I did make a point to walk after eating while we had time rather than sit and watch people get up for seconds. I figured I can always use some extra steps plus sitting all day was driving me a bit bananas. While I appreciate the fact that they offered food and drinks generously, I was not interested in making bad choices for myself. Tomorrow is the final session and I am planning to follow today's plan.

Like I said, Today couldn't have gone better for me. As my friend would say, my bucket was filled many  many times and I got so much positive feedback that I felt like I needed to pinch myself! Sometimes, I think we don't value and appreciate ourselves enough. I need to work on that. Those who knew me from before, noticed the weight loss and instead of going on a tangent when receiving a compliment I stuck to a simple "Thank you".

I am looking forward to all this training being done so I can get to doing my thing. I also will feel more in control of my food choices and will probably try to do a "daily lunchbox" pic to share with y'all. That is sure to motivate to pack and plan every day. How's your Monday going? Thanks for reading!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blogmas Day 14: Just a tad anxious

The end of the weekend is here. Doesn't it always go too fast?  I am just a bit anxious although not in completely bad away about starting my old new job tomorrow. It is good to know both the ropes and the team already, but there's is also a bit of anxiety about coming back under a slightly different role. I am good at rationalizing why I shouldn't be anxious at all but tell that to the butterflies in my tummy lol

Today was a busy day, getting most leftover things off my to do list. Food wise, I was on point with 200 calories to spare. I was almost tempted to eat something else after dinner since I had them available but I stopped myself when I realized I wasn't hungry, I was only trying to use up my calories. How crazy is that? I Wasn't hungry or anything I just had calories to spare.

Activity wise it wasn't bad. Got my car washed and thoroughly vacuumed. We must have sucked up about 20 pounds of dog hair! Overall walked about 2.5 miles and shot some hoops outside. That's such an improvement from our usual Sundays.

Tomorrow should be exciting and fun. Lunch will be served during orientation. But I have packed nuts, tomatoes and plenty of water in case there's nothing I want to eat there. I am guessing it will be best to skip and be safe. I'll have report back tomorrow!  Have a great week!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Blogmas Day 13: Big and Small Victories

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday. It is madness out there. Traffic is crazy and everyone and their brother seemed to be everywhere we had to run into today. Aside from errands. I had to do some Christmas Shopping to pack up a care package to send back home. While there I was prompted to look at some clothes because they had some really nice brand pieces for great prices.

 Ever since my weight kept progressively getting worse, clothes shopping is something I have dreaded and avoided. It's no fun looking at yourself inside the tiny changing room and finding that the big size isn't big enough anymore. I had been wearing a 3x and being so short, you can imagine what a feat it has been to find something that fits right. Today, I was able to get into the 1x comfortably, everything looked fine I was in shock!! I got the nicest Cynthia Rowley sweater for a steal! That was a Big victory. It motivates me even more to continue working hard. I can't wait for the day I can just shop in the regular sizes.

Our last stop was Sam's Club for some milk, fruit and produce. I have always loved Sam's because of their prices and their samples. I will admit that I used to try everything and anything. "Getting my money's with you know" again I have to say, Bless my heart! Today I walked past three different cake/pie samples and several other stuff without missing a beat. I couldn't help but chuckle inside at the people lined up waiting for a chunk of red velvet cake. That is another small victory in my book!

Looking at my cart I was happy with the changes. We had spinach, bananas, tangerines, eggs,tomatoes. Carrots, milks and hummus. That's such an improvement from frozen pizza, frozen chicken sandwiches, frozen ravioli and assorted potato chips. Even my BFF has lost some weight and can now wear the corduroys that didn't fit early fall. Write that down as another small and big victory as well!

I think that this past week has been one of my best in a long time and in all areas of life. I am so thankful and happy about how things are going everywhere, it's almost like I'm waiting for something to go wrong. I need to get better at expecting the worse! Keeping a positive mind and attitude is a must for a healthy body and soul. 

                        

     
    




Friday, December 12, 2014

Blogmas Day 12: Happy Friday!

 
 
 
 
 
 Whew! We made it to Friday everyone! This year sure is flying even faster as its winding down. I am volunteering at the Elementary School today. It is something that I have done several times a year during the past five years. There is something very rewarding about seeing the hard work the teachers put in to make school a fun "colorblind" safe place.
 It is specially heartwarming when it is at a school with little diversity and where most kids come from under poverty households. A resilient school that has been through a lot and continues to try to do the best by the kids even when its hard due to so many hurdles they sometimes have to jump through.
I am not going to get into the color of your skin soap box except to say that there is so much we can learn from children. Young children are colorblind.To them, you are just you. Not white, yellow, black, brown or purple you. You are a person period. Not a tall, short, skinny, ugly or pretty person. Christmas is about the fun, the Santa, the coloring, the gifts and excitement. Food? yes, they like food but its at the bottom of their list unless its candy haha. Sometimes I think we need to get better at being kinder not only to ourselves but to others.
As its the case every Friday, today is another weigh in for the Scale Accountability Club over at The Sunny Coconut. Go check Gwen out and see how we all did. Here's a little spoiler, I am doing a happy dance ;). So until tomorrow, I leave you with this:
 
 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Blogmas Day 11: Just a quick one

It's early evening but I feel ready to relax and settle for the day. I was in the zone all day getting everything off my to do list. This included a complete deep cleaning of the house, pulling out the rest of the giveaway pile stuff to the garage, organizing out in the shed, doing a truckload of laundry and rearranging my closet.

Although I love not being in an apartment anymore ( dear studio apt in Chicago, I don't miss you at all!) when it comes to cleaning and organizing, I miss how quick it went with a smaller space but then once I get everything spic and span, I can enjoy walking around and stop fussing about it. 

It had been a while since I did any sort of deep cleaning. I'm talking scrubbing the kitchen stone, cleaning baseboards, ceiling fans, swiffering walls, bringing in the floor scrubber and carpet cleaner. Last time I did this was right around Spring. I did it over the course of two  or three days ( because I would tire so quickly and had to keep taking breaks) and I had a backache for days after . Today, I was able to do it all , with no breaks, without aches and pains. I am good tired but I still went out to the driveway to shoot some basketball and walk outside before dinner. It is amazing what losing some weight and reframing your mind can do to your energy level.

When it came to my closet, I was so excited to notice how different my clothes fit. Yes, they could look better and my body has long ways to go but as I looked in the mirror I was proud. That's an amazing feeling, to look in the mirror and although you recognize there's so much work to do,you don't focus on that but allow yourself to feel positive about where you are. That's a feeling I haven't felt in a long long time. It is nice that I don't feel like I need to buy anything as stuff that was ill fitting or didn't fit at all is fine now, even a bit loose!

Food wise, today was a good day. Breakfast was a grapefruit and some nuts. Lunch was some beef strips with veggies and dinner was some meatballs and tomato sauce over spinach. I am trying spinach again for this one meal, keep your fingers crossed for no hives! All in all a good day for me. How is your week going ?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Blogmas Day 10: A little advance planning



Eleanor Roosevelt was a wise woman.In this quote she is reminding me that I can either use up energy sitting on my lovely butt wishing things away or I can use it  planning head and making sure I accomplish things, This can be applied to so many things in our life, whether it comes to finances, career goals or even weight loss goals. Today, I chose to use her wise words and use up some time and energy to plan out a way to find success in the next couple of weeks.

I am officially starting my old new job on Monday. I am beyond excited and looking forward to being a part of that group again. I had such a great experience that it feels like coming back home. The only two downsides is that as I have mentioned before, it tends to be food central. People are extremely social and share a love to making, sharing and eating a ton of food. While most of them are not overweight, I know that this time I will have to make sure that I can stay away from all of it in order not to sabotage all my hard work. I think I will be fine, because I have a plan and I am sticking to it.

I have already decided on having some nuts and some protein for breakfast every day. I will be preparing and packing my lunch at night so that I can't claim lack of time in the morning. I will have time to pack my lunch at night because I will be doing some freezer cooking for dinner meals during the weekend. I will try to have salads, fruits, nuts or something for lunch that can keep me satisfied and on track until dinner.

With the commute downtown, my drive can take anywhere between 50-70 minutes. Add in a few wrecks and it can be a while. Sometimes, stopping to pick something up on the way home seems the easiest and most convenient. While that might be true, for me it is not the smartest thing to do. Fast food and general eating out always triggers me to eat and eat. It doesn't matter what it is, I always end up overeating and/or binging for no apparent reason. Its been a very very long time since I binged. I am not setting myself up for it no matter what.

So armed with my little tools pictured below, I set out to plan out a few make ahead meals that I can either throw in the crockpot or have my BFF throw in the oven or the George when she gets home.




   





 I made these be a protein with veggies and plan to serve with a big salad for myself and some starch for her. I did this last year but most of my recipes included potatoes and some variation of cream of something plus tons of other processed crap. This time I am staying away from that, except for the beef stew that has 4 oz of potatoes per serving.

    
   


I hate cleaning up so I came up with a genius method. I sat a glass bowl on my scale, placed the pre-labeled baggies inside and then tare function was my friend.

                             
         
 I have measured out every component in our dinners so that I know exactly how much of what I will be consuming. By using the crockpot and/or oven, I know that regardless of how slow or fast my drive home is, I will have a nice hot meal within my calorie budget. As I continue to cut out grains, I think I can live with potatoes in my beef stew sporadically over three weeks. So here is what it looked liked during the process:



             

              

                       

    


It took me about one hour to get everything fixed and clean. By pre measuring, I am ensuring portion control and as a bonus I am saving money because there will be no leftovers to dump after a few days. Because lets be honest, we all have dumpled leftovers we had inteded to eat and never got around to! As of tonight, I have three weeks worth of weekday dinners ready in my freezer and a great sense of accomplishment as I continue to trust that having a plan and working on it will continue me down the right path. So, How do you tackle dinnertime? I'd be a mess if I had children!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blogmas Day 9: Gotta walk before you run?

                              
    



     It shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm not a runner. I'm barely a walker as it is. Lord knows a recurring theme on my blog is how hard it is for me motivate myself to work out.  It is not because  I don't understand the benefits or don't enjoy the way I feel after, it's just because....well because I can be darn dumb sometimes lol.

     I remember several years ago watching the biggest loser and they had given all the contestants a fitbug or something. The device was probably among the first of the fitness trackers and I remember thinking ," Oooh I need that so I can get skinny!". I figured I'd look it up and get it if it wasn't too expensive. I almost ordered it until my friend smartly pointed out that it was not the device making them skinny, it was their diet and workouts. So there, my dreams were shattered lol instead of thinking I needed to do those things I just moved on and continued my bad habits.

     Fast forward to the present, I have read and seen all sorts of trackers since starting my journey. There are some geared more towards athletes, some aimed at weight loss and some just trying to be fashionable pedometer. I toyed with the idea of getting one, but the words of my friend kept coming back. Having the tracker wouldn't walk or workout for me, it would just keep track of what I did or did not do.

     My BFF has been extremely supportive in my journey and offered to get me one for Christmas. I hated for her to spend that much money for something I might not even use much ( hello! Workout hater here). But one day, walking around Costco we saw that the Jawbone Up was being clearanced out due to a new model coming out soon. It made it half the price and so she was relentless about getting it for me. 
                    


     She gave it to me on Nov 24th and I've been wearing it since. I have to tell you guys, I never expected it to be this motivating. I am on a competition with myself not only to keep my streak going but also to slowly increase my step goal. I have found myself parking far away and walking to all the stores, I will walk around the street and the house as much as I can, I am doing Leslie Sansone on the days I am home without much activity to hit the goal. Heck, on Sunday we went and bought a net for the basketball hoop in the driveway and we played! I had not touched a basketball in probably at least 20 years!

 I am averaging between 4-5 miles a day. I feel so good about it, today, on impulse I ran up the driveway ( maybe 50 yards) I didn't die, I made it all the way up and I could even talk after! Last time I ran was four months ago, I tried the couch to 5k app and I couldn't jog for the 30 secs it asks you to during the first day intervals. I quit right after failing the first interval. How sad was that? I will have to try it again soon. The best part of all, aside from feeling good, is that the scale is starting to move again, I had been a bit stagnant after hitting 28pounds lost but now I'm past 30 yay! So yay Jawbone for giving me the push I needed to get moving! This week is looking good! How is your week going?

                  
       

Monday, December 8, 2014

Blog as Day 8: Hard but not impossible

   
                       

  I wrote about my day without rice cakes Here.  I realized that day that cutting out my intake of what I was claiming to be  " better" carbs was not as hard as I thought. I also was able to reconfirm the fact that when you are eating more protein and less "fluff" you're satisfied longer and not thinking about food as much. Since  that day, I have gotten better at doing it without making it such a big deal. I haven't done it 100% of the time but I would say it's like a 60-40 for now. I plan to accomplish more.

       While I am not fully committed to any particular method, I must say that I truly enjoy Mark Sisson's blog (thanks Gwen for mentioning it!). So much of his work clicks with me and I especially like going through his old a archives and trying to educate myself.

       I didn't think I'd ever be able to log my food daily yet I have done it for three months now. I never imagined me measuring out or weighing food in order to be exact with my food, yet I have done that as well. I hoped but didn't really trust that I could put in the commitment and persistence to lose 5-10-15 or as much as I have to lose. I found solace in reading how PCOS made it nearly impossible to lose weight and used it as a valid excuse. Yet, when I tried and work hard I found that although hard it was not impossible. Now. I am so happy and excited about having moved past the 30 pound lost mark.  A small trek in very my long path, but a great accomplishment regardless of that.

       So as I sit here and enjoy my raw nuts, fruit and water for lunch I know that I can be successful at being legume, grain and sugar free. I just have to keep working on it! And whenever I fall (because no one has a smooth sailing with no imperfections) I know that I will continue to get up, dust myself off and seek out both the support and lessons from others who have been and continue to be successful in their health journeys and I will be successful in mine as well. Onward!



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Blogmas Day 7: A way to enjoy Christmas Cookies


                         
            

     One of my favorite things to do in the morning is to be up before anyone else and being able to meditate a little, enjoy the silence and a cup of strong coffee. There is something about starting the day that way that gives me the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. Because I'm a super early riser by nature, this is easy for me to do.

     My body clock has somehow set itself to wake between 4:30-5:30 daily. No matter how hard I try to stay in bed and sleep some more,I just can't. Waking up at 6:30 really feels like sleeping in, I enjoy those rare occasions! Now, I wasn't always this way, even though I was a morning person I didn't used to be that extreme early bird. I used to make fun of my dad because that's how he used to be. I called it old person syndrome. I guess I have been afflicted by it since I hit 30!

     Gwen at The Sunny Coconut t was talking about getting some tea as gifts for coworkers in her post yesterday. I love hot tea during the fall/winter. Prompted by her post, I decided to check my stash and see what goodies I had there. That's when I found this:

                       


This is a seasonal product. the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea not only smells divine but tastes so good that you don't really need anything to sweeten it. Now for all of you truly 100% natural, gluten free and other folks this may not be something you'd ever try. Per the packaging this is not gluten free. I went to the ingredients and figured out why. Here ya go:

                        
     
So while not for everyone, this is the way I will be enjoying my "sugar cookies" this holiday season. Wish I could have a pot of it boiling all day so the house can smell so good! Enjoy your Sunday!!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Blogmas Day 6: Busy Saturday

     My Saturday posts always feel a bit rushed. I think it's because I try to get so much accomplished on this day and the hours just don't seem enough. I had to run several errands and grocery shop for the week. This week I will be on major planning mode as I am starting my old new job on the 15th.

I have established a plan and figuring strategies so that going back to my old job doesn't affect this journey I'm on. While I love my job, there always seemed to be food available, my nice coworkers are always baking, cooking or sharing foods with each other.  Maybe chronic pot luck syndrome would be a good diagnosis? Lol 

I tried freezer cooking last year and it worked out great. This time around I'm going to do it without using the creams of whatever or too my processed things. I will probably be sharing some of that on here later on. I feel like as long as I plan out my meals during work and then dinner, I should be able to be on track.

Yesterday, was another weigh in for the Holiday Scale Accountability Club, I was up 0.5 pounds. With TOM arriving , I was not shocked. I am happy to repost though that I am down 3 pds today when compared to last Friday! I think this is in part because of my new jawbone. I am so motivated by my step goal and streak that I have been walking more and more. Competing with yourself is a great thing isn't it? 

So that's all I have for today. I hope y'all are enjoying your weekend! Until next time!!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Blogmas Day 5: Laid Back Santa

                           
      Laid back Santa has arrived. This is what we call our unconventional Santa. He sits on the mantle every year. Instead of wearing the traditional red suit, he has some tweed pants, flannel shirt, burgundy socks and suede lace on shoes. Although the first year I was not sure how I felt about a no red suit Santa , I have grown to love him. He is just so chill! He is accompanied on the mantle by the elf and his sled and a snowman (not pictured).

     As I placed him on his spot, I got to thinking that this year my Santa will not be the only "unconventional" thing. Maybe unconventional is not the right term but it fits how I feel. This year I want Christmas to be so much more than just a bunch of days blurred together with tons of food and shopping involved. In a similar way as I wanted Thanksgiving to be different for me this year ( and it was) I want the same for Christmas. I want to enjoy quality time with friends and loved ones without stuffing myself full of the usual Christmas time treats.

     When I moved to the South, I was introduced to cheese balls, sausage balls, sugar cookies, fruit cake cookies and sweets galore. There is nothing wrong with these things, if you can control yourself. But in my case, I chose to not have control. So all through December I'd indulge and indulge and indulge in all these treats finding myself having trouble buttoning my pants by January 1st. So just like my different Santa, I have to different this year.

     I cannot say that I will not make a bad choice ever or that I am perfect in my journey, who can really? But I can commit to myself to have an "unconventional" Christmas when compared to the previous years. So just like my laid back Santa, I plan to be chill this Christmas and collect moments and memories rather than calories and things.
 As far as gifting goes, I think I have finally figured out what's going on my Christmas list. If any of Y'all know about any good deals or where I could find one please let me know! ;) have a great weekend!


  
      

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Blogmas Day 4: A day without rice cakes

     I have always been a bread kind of girl. Even though growing up tortillas where the staple, I always went for the fluffly sliced white bread instead. Every single meal, I needed toast,a roll or something. Why? because that is what I was used to and I wanted it. The problem came when I decided to start this journey. There was no room for toast or rolls within my budget unless I was willing to give up something else.

     Just so we are clear, I would have toast with breakfast, some sort of sandwich for lunch and maybe a roll or biscuit for dinner. Pair that with my complete portion distortion...well it does not take a genious to figure out how things got as bad as they did. I have tried to get rid of my bread mind. So one of the things I did was to switch my morning toast for rice cakes and nix sandwiches for lunch. I also got rid of the dinner rolls or biscuits. It isn't perfect but it is something so far.

    The problem is that I have realized that rice cakes have become my crutch. I have unconciously made them my new bread. I started having two with breakfast, then I decided I could spare the 80 cals and make me a "sandwich" for lunch. I never incorporated them into dinner, but I am sure it wouldn't have taken me long to get there lol

    I guess looking at the big picture, 2 rice cakes with my meal accounted for in my calorie budget wasn't too terrible. In reality, they have absolutely no health benefit or nutrition to my diet. Maybe just maybe it is better than bread but switching one for the other was not beneficial. I needed to stop. I am looking to accomplish being no sugar no grains at some point. With some leeway somewhere. I just have not figured it out exactly. It is not because I want to jump on the bandwagon or because it is trendy now, but because being hyperinsulinemic for so long, I know this would be greatly beneficial to my health. However, as much as I can talk to the talk , I am  having a hard time walking the walk.

So today, I decided to try to commit to a day without rice cakes and try to avoid legumes and flour as well. This is how it went down:

Breakfast

I was home with a super long to do list to accomplish. I decided I wanted to start my day off with a big hearty breakfast so that I could keep going til after lunch. There was a lot of toting boxes and organizing going on, I did not want to waste any time.

I decided to go with an omelet. I found this cute omelet pan at a flea market. Best quarter I ever spent! It is just perfect, it does not stick even if you use cheese. There is no need for oils or sprays. I love it!




Anyway I love creating recipes on MFP so that I am aware of how many calories my food actually has. With 2.5 ounces of 91/9 ground beef, 2 eggs, half a cup of yellow squash an onion it came in at 288 calories with almost 28 grams of protein I was going to be full a while. I also had some coffee and a cutie with itI ended up only eating 2/3 of it and saving the rest for later.




Lunch

After toting so much stuff to the shed in the backyard and getting Christmas up, I was ready for a break. For lunch I had the rest of the omelet, a half a serving of 2% cottage cheese, some carrots and celery.


As I was munching away, I looked over at the cottage cheese tub and noticed it has 5 grs of sugar...why?? I have gotten so good about reading my labels but I never thought to check this one. I was not happy lol.Pictured is 117 g (one serving) of cream cheese. I ended up just eating half. I was not really super hungry considering my big breakfast!


Dinner

After being busy all day, I really did NOT feel like cooking. I opted for some tuna with a lot of lime juice along with some more celery. I was feeling tired and a little achy so I was wanting something sweet. My bananas are starting to look too ripe on the outside but were shockingly firm and nice looking inside, so I had that for dessert. My doggies wanted some of it as well!





     So, I survived a day without rice cakes! Imagine that! I think that I need to get better at identifying when I am replacing a bad old habit with a new bad habit. I think this is actually doable. I just need to try harder. By the way, taking pictures helped make better choices too haha I can totally understand why Sean over at the Daily Diary of a Winning Loser does his food tweets! I know there is lots to improve. How do you think I did?





Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blogmas Day 3: Happiest Day!!




     When I wrote yesterday's post here I had absolutely no clue that I would be scratching the fifth thing on my list so soon. I am beyond ecstatic because my long awaited news and decision finally came through!!

      It was exactly what I was hoping for and I am so so thankful that it all worked out in the best way possible. For almost a year, I have felt like I was hanging in limbo, not being sure what my future would bring in terms of stability and location. I knew what I wanted but I lost faith many times during this long wait ( no matter how much my loved ones told me it would work out just fine). Hearing the news about the resolution and knowing that I will be doing  what I love at the place I love made every single bout of stress, hives, anxiety and worry be so worth it!!

     So even though I cannot share the details, just know that for once I feel like I got just what I wanted without having to compromise or give up something along the way.I have already gotten the best Christmas Present Ever!!!This is truly the Happiest Day!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Blogmas Day 2: December Goals



For Blogmas Day 2, I decided to share some of the things that I  have been thinking about and want to accomplish for the month ( and beyond):

1- Committing to daily weigh ins.
After my initial shock and reactions to weight fluctuations I can finally look past it and focus on its benefits instead. Seeing that number daily makes me more aware of my choices and move motivated to do better.

2- Continue reducing my intake of carbs and wipe out all sugar.
I know, I know. A few of you may be shaking your heads and thinking I keep saying this. Truth is I am a chicken and cannot quit cold turkey ( maybe I am just not willing to?). I have reduced it by at least half since starting my journey./ I can see the benefits, Added Sugar is not so much a problem but flour, grains and legumes is a different story.I know where I want to get with this, I will just have to find my way there slowly with some trial and error.

3- Get Moving.
Exercise is always my struggle. I have to move move move in order for the scale to continue going. Cutting food alone is not going to get me to where I want to be. We all have to find ways to motivate ourselves and I have found my new Jawbone to be a big motivator in less than a week. I am reaching my daily steps goal and working on increasing it progressively. So I am getting a move on and striving to be more and more active.


4- Writing  daily.
 I have found that writing and sharing my thoughts is extremely healing. It can clear my head of bad thoughts, inspire me to do better or just give me some quiet peaceful time. Sometimes, with my family far away Christmas becomes a bit emotional. I have always bottle emotions up, I am working on letting them out so I don't have to soothe them with food like I have always done.

5- Finding Closure.
I have vaguely mentioned before how there are some things up in the air for me that can truly shape or dictate how 2015  will start for me. This decision, which is not under my control, has dragged out longer than any of us expected it to. Providing me with endless anxiety and stress filled days. My only victory over this is that I did not allow it to trigger a binge so far. But stress and anxiety? whew, through the rough at times!  As December wraps up, I hope to have find some closure in that regard. No matter what the resolution, I want to find closure, move on and prepare for whatever is next for me.

Hopefully by the time the month ends, I will look back on this post and have been successful at most if not all of my goals! What are you working on this month???