Weight Ticker

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Stats Day 6/26

I've lost 3 pounds from my original 190. I know it doesn't seem like much, but remember that my goal is to lose 50 by 50 which is still 54 weeks away. I'm going to make it. It doesn't take a ton of effort, I'm discovering, to lose a pound a week. The challenge is in not gaining it back the following week like I did in Florida. I ate everything I wanted. If I do that at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every Tampa or Baton Rouge trip I take then I could see cutting my weight loss in half. So I'm ready to implement new vacation/holiday strategies: 

1. Breakfast:  Protein!  We always stay where they serve breakfast, so getting boiled or scrambled eggs won't be a problem. If they make fresh omelets, all the better because I can get egg white omelets with spinach and tomoatoes. There's always fresh fruit, too. If we're at a place where I can cook, then I'm in charge and can control what I eat. If we eat at a Panera, I can get a breakfast sandwich on ciabatta and eat only half the bread or I can get an asiago cheese bagel with light cream cheese and eat only half the bagel. 

2. Lunch and dinner at restaurants: 
             Option 1:  Look at the menu, pick what I really, really want and eat half.
             Option 2:  Eat from the appetizer menu and have a house salad with dressing on the side                                   and/orlight dressing.
             Option 3:  Order steamed or broiled foods, such as salmon and shrimp, with no butter or sauces.
                             Ask for steamed veggies, no butter.
             Option 4: Look for heart healthy options if they are listed on the menu.

3. Exercise!:  Rebecca and I are taking our workout clothes so we can take advantage of the gyms at the Marriot and Hilton. We're planning on going down to work out together so we'll have a buddy to hold us accountable for actually doing it! At the beach, I'll be able to swim and walk, but I'm still planning on getting on the treadmill or bikes.Fitness Center in Park Ridge/Montvale

I'm going to get to try these out this week since we're going down to Baton Rouge and Pensacola. My goal is to still lose a pound.

I'm not planning on taking my laptop along this week since our days and evenings are planned out, but I'll jot down my thoughts each day and post them on Friday or Saturday when I return. I'll blog the old fashioned way with paper and pencil - lol!

Now, for a belated post about Saturday 6/25 - we had a beautiful day! We walked two miles in the morning, canned pickled beets, lazed in the pool, played pool volleyball for about 45 minutes, and then wrapped it up with bocce in the backyard. I loved it! A day full of play!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Peanut Buttery Goodness!

We're having Max's (daughter Rebecca's boyfriend) going away dinner tonight...grilled raspberry vinagrette venison backstraps, Southern collards and potatoes with Randy's homemade bacon scraps and onions, fried okra, and puff pastry spanakopita. The venison is courtesy of Randy's last hunt, the collards and okra are from our garden. To wrap it up, I making Carrots 'n Cake's Peanut Buttery Bars with chocolate chips (see link above).
  misc. 003Here are my bars before baking. I doubled the recipe and put in the chocolate chips that were optional. I used half agave and half honey, and I used half Smart Balance peanut butter and half Jiff.

misc 1 001Here are the finished bars fresh from the oven. I had to bake them an extra 10 minutes to get the middle done. No prob.

misc 1 002Here are our collards and potatoes from the garden with Randy's bacon. Yum!!

This could be a somewhat dangerous dinner, but it is heavy on the veggies, vension is better for you than chicken, and I'm beginning to understand portion control. In addition, we'll work some of it off with post-dinner volleyball in the pool. Afterwords, we'll settle down with a cup of decaf and a Peanut Buttery Bar. This makes me happy. Besides, in the world of Carrots 'n Cake, Fridays are cookie days. I like that!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Woes - 6/22/2011

Oh, I have the Wednesday woes! We've been over 100 degrees for the past two weeks and dry as a bone for about 6 weeks, so we're very grateful that it's been raining for the past two days. However, I haven't exercised in two days and I'm paying the price in increased fibromyalgia type pain today. My muscles are sore to the touch, my joints are sore, and I'm headachy from sitting around. Ugh.

I got out for a bit today and ate some delicious Greek food - spanakopita and a gyro. It was delicious! Then I had a midafternoon skinny latte at Starbucks and worked on my book for a bit. I even thought about walking this afternoon when the sun came out for a wee bit, but once I got home I stayed home. Somehow, having Rebecca and her boyfriend here has knocked me off any and all routines I've established over the past few weeks. It's like vacation all over again. The bad news is Randy had to go to New Orleans for a couple of nights and he's my walking buddy. The good news is we've been making dinners from Cooking Light and even when we've chosen decadent things like ice cream, doughnuts, and steak, I've made good choices on portion sizes.

I could sit here and regret not walking today. I could bemoan the spanakopita or steak I ate this week. But this is my reality. These are foods I love. None of that is going to disappear from my life. Having company isn't going to go away - and I wouldn't want it to! These are the things that make life fun. All I want to do is find the right balance so these things can happen without my gaining 10 pounds every year.

Tomorrow I'll walk by myself in the morning. That's my un-"ugh" plan to help with the pain. Friday, Randy will be back to walk with me. On Sunday, we're heading to Baton Rouge for LSU's freshman orientation with Rebecca and will be there until Wednesday. Then we're going to Pensacola Beach with Randy for a couple of days. We're staying at Marriott hotels and they have treadmills and indoor pools so Rebecca, Randy, and I can all get in workouts. That makes me silly happy! I have a plan in place and a couple of off track days aren't going to totally derail me! Go, me!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday 6/20/2011 - Stats and a Request for Ideas

What a great weekend we had! Rebecca came home from Tampa with her boyfriend, Max, and we picked up crawfish to celebrate. We played volleyball the pool to work off the fries we had with the crawfish. Sunday we went four wheeling down at Camp Livingston. We lasted four hours in 104 degree weather. Lucily we were in the shade, but the heat and dry, dusty trails got to us. We were whipped by the time we got home. We got in the pool for a cool down, but I wasn't up for volleyball.

Today is staring out well. Gail and I walked a mile at Glenwood's track and are scheduled to walk on Wednesday. Much needed rain is predicted for Wednesday, but we'll just move our walk inside into Glenwood Medical Mall if we need to.

In taking a status check yesterday, I was pleased to see a little more than one of those pounds drop off. I weighed in at 187.7 so I rounded up to 188. I don't care about those tenths of pounds. Too much like my Weight Watchers days when everyone would shuck their shoes, belts, key, etc. just to weigh in. That's not what I'm after. That put a knot of dread in my stomach.  At any rate, it's been a month now since I really started and I've only lost 2 pounds rather than 4, so I'll have to make a few more changes. Since I've added a reasonable amount of exercise, I guess I'll have to start looking more closely at the food choices I make.

I'd love to know what healthy things my friends eat for lunches and snacks. Not many people have been posting here on the blog, but several of you email me privately on facebook. Either way is fine with me. I really need some help in this area because I'm out of ideas. Cupcakes 'n Carrots has some good ideas and I'm trying those, but I need more, please. I'm looking forward to some great, new ideas!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I've gotten a taste of what it will be like to work and keep healthy promises to myself. I've been up at school writing math tests for the upcoming year and haven't gotten home until 4:00 or so. Yesterday, I'd prepared Tracie's Couscous Salad from Paula Dean's show ahead of time, so it wasn't a problem at all to defrost some precooked shrimp and toss it in when I got home. We tended to the garden, shelled some peas, got in a good game of volleyball in the pool, and kicked back with some coffee by 8:00. Not bad!

Today was a different story. After school, I ran to the bank and the grocery store...and I was hungry at the time. Bad idea. It made shopping much harder. I admit I browsed through the bakery, knowing the entire time I should have simply bypassed it. In the end, I didn't pick anything up, but it was tempting. After the fresh veggies and fruit made their way into my cart, I took myself down the chip aisle. Sigh. I didn't pick up chips, but I did pick up a container of popcorn. Real popcorn. That means oil in a pan because we don't have an air popper. Maybe I'll pick one up. We'll see. Anyway, the rest of the trip got a little easier as I breezed up and down aisles, but then I got to the refrigerated and frozen foods. So many temptations. Ice cream. Pies. Cinnamon rolls. Cookie dough. Honestly. It was hard, but I passed them up, as well. Good for me. Almost.

My downfall came when I headed back to produce for the green onions I'd forgotten. There was the sushi dude rolling fresh sushi. And not just any sushi - he was crafting dragon rolls. I have no idea how many calories are in dragon rolls, but I consumed an entire roll on the drive home. As far as snacks go, I could have done worse. I mean, it wasn't a Twinkie. But still, I ate that 4:00 roll and then ate a bowl of Greek Chicken Potato Salad at 6:00. Heavy sigh.

Did I exercise? No. I did garden a little bit carrying containers of water back and forth from faucet to herbs and cukes several times. I picked purple hull peas, too. But here it is 8:30 and I'm not about to get up and exercise now.

I am quite full though. I'll put on a pot of decaf in a bit and have a cup with hazelnut creamer, but I can't imagine I'll consume another bite of food. That's a positive. Maybe I should start a food log to keep track of silly choices I make when I'm tired, rushed, and hungry. Maybe I should keep an emergency bag of trail mix or granola in my purse or car. Today certainly helped me see where healthy choices and good intentions fly out the window. I'm pretty sure it's all in the planning. Plan ahead when, where, and how to exercise. Plan meals and snacks and have them on hand. Don't shop after school without eating a healthy snack first! Plan which days to exercise and which days to take off to run errands - don't try to do them both on the same day!

Words of wisdom. Let's see if I recall them when school starts back in August. Please remind me if I don't!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Carrots N' Cake Homemade Granola and Yogurt

Two thumbs up for homemade granola!

1 cup dry oats (old fashioned)
1/2 cup almonds or your favorite nut (I used almonds and pecans)
1/3 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened because that was my only choice)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds
1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal (on health aisle or at health food store)
3 tbsp agave nectar (on sweetener aisle)
1 tbsp canola oil
Shake of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Add everything except raisins to a large bowl and stir until the oil and nectar are fully mixed in. Spray a cookie sheet with non stick spray and spead granola mixture onto pan. Bake 15 to 18 minutes stirring often since this is to be a loose mixture. Remove granola from oven and mix in raisins. Store in an airtight container.

Serve over yogurt of your choice. It's also good over oatmeal, fruit, or by itself!

I doubled the batch and froze half.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Healthy Mind 6/13/2001

Now that vacation is over, it's time to focus on my summer plans - fitting healthy foods into my life, finding new recipes, exercising in enjoyable ways (I'm working on this!), gardening, and writing. These aren't the only things I'll be doing this summer - these are just the me things. Mine, all mine.

I've gotten a good foothold on the exercise thing. Randy and my friend, Gail, are a great help! Randy walks with me most nights and Gail is meeting me for 7 a.m. walks a couple of days a week until her surgery next week. We'll pick it up again once her recovery is over because she's also working on adding healthiness into her daily life. Having partners who are willing to slow it down for you but keep you moving is the key to success for me, I think. There's accountability, compassion, and companionship when you have folks who really care around you. I'm enjoying the friendship aspects of exercise even if I'm not enjoying all of the exercise itself. That's a start.

The two things I'm focusing on this week are the recipe searches, which will lead to getting healthier foods into my diet, and the writing. Ahhh...writing. Writing is like the pressure valve for my brain. I can't not write or my head will explode - figuratively, of course. Stories, song lyrics, and silly scenarios are constantly bouncing around in my brain. I remind myself of Walter Mitty, but I think I have a happier outlook and firmer grasp on real life. I'm currently working on an ABC book that has a bit of rhyme and rhythm to it. It's uplifting and enjoyable and that's a plus for my mental well-being.

My daughter, Kelsey, gave me a book for my birthday written by a healthy lifestyle blogger. It's called Carrots 'n Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time by Tina Haupert. I provided the link to her blog if anyone is interested in taking a look. Her book is great! The focus is balance, of course, but it's the way she achieves it that surprised me! She has a date night each week with her husband and every Friday is Cookie Friday. She includes recipes after each chapter, so I have a new goal of trying them all. I made her Homemade Granola and Yogurt yesterday and it was yummy. I'm looking forward to trying her Easy Mediterranean Salad today and her Pumpkin Smoothie tomorrow. I'll take pics and post them along with the recipes. I'll be sure to let you know what I think of them and how I modified them to work for me.

Mental health is as important as physical health. I feel that I'm on the right path to achieve both. It's a great feeling.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 11th - Happy 49th Birthday to Me!

Today's the day my "lose 50 by 50" campaign officially begins! I'm very excited and the past few weeks have shown me that I can do this. Thank you, dear family and friends, for your support and encouragement! I'm touched by everyone who's opened up to me to share their own struggles with weight, health, and stress. Together, we can make better choices, share tips and advice, and keep each other encouraged and motivated.

I weighed in today for the first time in ten days after our Florida beach vacation. I gained back 2 of the pounds I'd lost over the past few weeks, so I'm beginning at 189 pounds. I used to shy away from pictures because I hated seeing the proof of the weight I'd gained, but now I've accepted that it's who I am at this moment in time and I need to be in family pictures so my kids will have them to remember me by. It's who I am, not what I look like. With that said, however, I've also accepted that weighing this much is terrible, terrible, terrible for my health and I'd really like to be around for many more years to come. I love my family and wish to be there for weddings, grandbabies, and all the joys that come with them.

I've discovered that I really do feel better after I exercise and I miss it when I don't get any. I sleep better and wake up alert if I've been swimming or walking. I don't care for the pain during walking, but swimming is a pleasure and I'm getting better at it each time. At the beach, we walked a few mornings, and did our share of swimming in the Gulf and the pool. The fourteen hour car ride home nearly did me in and I was weary and sore, but today I cleaned house, did laundry, vacuumed, grocery shopped, etc. and I feel better than if I'd laid around all day perpetuating the problem. Am I sad or mad that I gained two pounds on vacation? Ha! Not at all. If you could only see the food I ate while I was there...cubans, stuffed potatoes, deviled crabs, jambalaya, chocolate cake (twice!), steak, baked potatoes covered in sour cream and butter, amazing muffins from Sweet Sage Cafe, delicious pepperoni pizza from Pajano's, Greek salad, and more. Our vacation was truly a "taste of Tampa" and I'm thrilled I only put on 2 pounds! It could have been so much worse. So now that I'm home and in control of what I cook, if I swim, walk, and row, I should be able to lose that pound per week over the next year. It's exciting to see what's going to happen along the way. I can't wait to be at the end of the year looking back and contemplating what I learned along the way.

Keep my in your prayers, your good thoughts, and your best wishes along the way, will you? I'll greatly appreciate it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 1, 2011

It's going to be a busy month! I like the busyness better than sitting around day after day. It could be a challenge to stick to healthy routines, but it could also be beneficial to those routines. When I'm home with nothing to do but a load or two of laundry, I sit around on facebook and watch t.v. Then I get bored and start browsing through the panty for snacks I don't need. By the time Randy gets home and wants to walk, I'm tired from sitting around all day and don't want to put in the effort.

However, when I'm "summer busy" I'm in and out of the house, working up at school, spending time taking a daughter here or there, getting dogs to the vet and back again, getting myself to appointments of one kind or another and I don't have time to sit around or aimlessy roam around looking for food. The downfall, of course, will be avoiding fast food, but with my new healthy goals, I can find ways to prepare ahead and/or make better choices. Whether we're on vacation at the beach or here at home, we can keep walking and swimming. I'm excited that June is here and that it's a busy month. Busy can be good!