Friday, April 20, 2012

2 weeks left

Okay, it's down to the final two weeks.  I've lost a total of 22.9 pounds so far.  That means over two pounds a week.  I know these are not biggest loser numbers but these are at home, do it by myself numbers.  I feel great about my progress.  I'd really like to finish strong.  For the contestants who have been weighing in weekly I show as number one.  Unfortunately, I am guessing many haven't weighed in so I have no idea what I'm up against.  I've had times of great anxiety thinking about this.  Last night I was feeling overly anxious and I realized it is not doing me any good to keep worrying.  1.  I can't do anything about it.  I have given this 110% so there is no more that I can do.  2.  Stress hinders weight loss so worrying is making it harder for me to lose weight.  3.  The worst thing that can happen is that I won't even place.  What does that mean?  I won't receive a prize.  Even though they are cool I started this journey way before there was a competition.  I did this to be healthy.  I'll continue to push forward and give it my all, but no more worrying about it.  I felt a lot better today.  I slept well last night and what do you know the scale dropped since yesterday.  I'm proud of my strength.  I didn't know I was this strong.  I've made friendships that will last long after this contest ends.  I've dropped a definite two sizes and am so close to a third.  My husband is enjoying the healthy meals that I have been making and tells me how sexy I am all the time.  It's impacted my children and their views of food and health.  Today after strength training I decided to walk instead of run a 5k on the treadmill.  It was really hard for me to hold myself back, but I think it's just as important to give your body time to recover.  Tomorrow I'm planning on just walking also.  Then I'll take Sunday off.  Sunday I'll also start my last attempt to drop some good pounds. One of the trainers was talking about cutting out all sugars and a friend suggested cutting out cheese and bread.  I'm going to do both.  I keep thinking it will be so difficult, but honestly I haven't had a real dessert in about six weeks.  The only desserts I've eaten during this 90 day challenge were one macaron cookie, one pudding cup with toffee on top and a few "diet" muffins.  I hardly eat white bread, white rice or white potatoes.  I haven't made a burger and fries run (okay I did eat a few of a friend's sweet potato fries) this entire time.  I continue to not drink soda and I've even given up the flavored waters.  I have come SO FAR.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Another muffin recipe? Yep!

After making the other muffins I thought some day I'd like to try the banana walnut muffins in Rocco Dispirito's Now Eat This Diet Book. Well, I had some overly ripe bananas sitting in the fruit bowl and I thought well it's time. I made two batches and took them to the gym to share again. Making treats for people is always a way that I have showed that I care. Most everyone was excited to have one. Unfortunately, there were a few who passed and one woman who was so concerned that I gave one to a lady in the day care. She said her son is so allergic to nuts that if the lady touched one and then touched her son he could have a severe allergic reaction. I apologized. Being a mom with a child who has food allergies of course I don't want to put another in harm's way. I did think though that any child could eat a peanut butter sandwich and then play with her child. Scary. So, I think my treat sharing days at the gym are over. I'll just be sharing recipes from now on. So here is this one.

Banana Walnut Muffins

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 packets (4 grams) powdered stevia, such as SweetLeaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon banana extract
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
12 walnut halves

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups. Lightly spray the cups with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, stevia, and salt. Whisk together until well combined. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, add the milk, agave, banana, oil, vanilla, banana extract, and egg substitute. Stir together until well incorporated. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir till well combined.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin. Top each muffin with a walnut half. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Per serving
163 calories, 6g fat, 217 mg sodium, 24 carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein

These muffins are not overly sweet but I still enjoyed them and the smell was wonderful.

BBQ Pork Chops


3/4 cup reduced-sugar ketchup, such as Heinz
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons molasses
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon agave nectar
nonstick cooking spray
8 (about 2 pounds) thinly cut pork chops, trimmed of all visible fat
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bunch kale, washed, ribs and stems removed, and roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large shallow dish, combine the ketchup, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, molasses, garlic powder, onion powder, and agave. Stir together. Reserve 1/2 cup and set aside. Add the pork to the sauce and allow the pork to marinate for 10 minutes.
2. Heat a grill pan over high heat. When hot, remove it from the stove just while you coat it with cooking spray. Place the pork on the pan. Cook until the pork is charred and cooked through, about 3 minutes each side, continually brushing with the leftover barbecue sauce marinade. Transfer the pork to a serving platter, and tent it with foil to keep it warm.
3. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic until it is browned and toasted. Add the kale and cook till just wilted. Add the remaining cider vinegar and cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Per Serving
398 calories, 16g fat, 665 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 31 g protein

This one we loved the chops but the kale was bitter. I of course omitted the garlic and maybe if you could eat it the kale would have tasted better. We all threw it down the drain. Next time we'll do the chops with green beans.

No picture taken of yummy awesomeness!

Okay, this by far was the yummiest recipe. Yes, the cut of meat was expensive, but it MELTED in my mouth - YUMMO!

Sauteed Steak with Mushrooms

2 large sweet potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds)
Nonstick cooking spray
4 lean beef tenderloin steaks (4 ounces each), trimmed of all visible fat
freshly ground black pepper
4 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped shallot
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Prick the skin of the sweet potatoes with a fork, and microwave them covered with plastic on high for 7 to 8 minutes, until they are completely cooked, turning once halfway through. Set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.
2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, remove it from the stove just while you spray it with the cooking spray. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Add the steaks to the skillet and sauté until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to a platter, and cover with foil to keep them warm.
3. Spray the skillet with more cooking spray, again away from the stove, and add the mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms start to become tender, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and sauté 1 minute. Add the vinegar, scraping up any flavorful bits with a wooden spoon.
4. In a small bowl, add the cornstarch and chicken broth. Whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the mixture to the skillet, and bring the sauce to a boil. Stir in the evaporated milk and parsley and simmer until the sauce has slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Split the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Serve the steaks with the pan sauce and the sweet potato halves.

Per serving
324 calories, 5 g fat, 165mg sodium, 42 carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 30 g protein

I literally could lick the pan.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5, 2012

Wow, there is a month left of this contest. I can't believe what a journey this past 60 days has been. I started the contest wearing a size 16 and now I'm down to a size 12. Two more sizes and I'll hit my goal. When I started this I was sure I could win. I thought it was all just a decision of working hard. Even though I have given it my all the pounds are slow to come off. I'm down almost 17 pounds. I'm still really excited about my progress. I've made lovely friends, found new ways to work out, and realized that I have strength that I didn't think I possessed. I can run and I'm getting faster all the time. Yesterday I held a 2 1/2 minute plank. Today I'm taking a swimming lesson. We have a mini triathlon next week. I never thought I'd be participating in anything like that. I feel good.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Still going...and going...and going...and, I feel like the energizer bunny.

I have to say that when I finally figured out the eating aspect of this journey I have felt so much better. You can't hate the fuel and the food you put into your body is the fuel. I've loved to cook so much in the past and was having such a hard time enjoying the journey when I felt so restricted. I am eating around 1500 calories a day and enjoying them. One of the parts of cooking that I really cherished before was baking. I made a limit of one dessert a month. I know this is not a good long term goal. I love to bake and eat baked goods to much. I decided I need to figure out a healthier way to include these. Also, I wanted to take treats to the girls that I work out with. Some of them will no longer be in my class and I just wanted them to know how much they meant to me. I decided upon trying this recipe

Blueberry Cream Muffins

butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 packets (about 4 grams) powdered stevia, such as SweetLeaf
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, cut into small chunks (freeze for 10 minutes to make easy to cut)
1 cup frozen blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups, and lightly coat the cups with cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, stevia, and salt. Whisk together.

3. In a medium bowl, add the milk, applesauce, agave oil, vanilla, and egg substitute. Stir together until well incorporated. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and stir till well combined. Fold in the cream cheese and blueberries.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Per serving: 145 calories, 5 g fat (1 g. sat), 7 mg chol, 244 mg sodium, 22 carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein

Please note that whole wheat pastry flour is different than whole wheat flour. I had to go to Kitchen Kneads to get this. These are also a mildly sweet muffin. They will not be nearly as sweet at your full sugared muffins. I really enjoyed them though.

Still going...and going...and going...and going

Okay, here's another recipe. One of my favorites that I have made. Saying that it was a little higher in calories, but so yummy.

Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples and Sweet Potatoes

6 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup apple juice or apple cider
1 tbsp. coarse grain Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
12 oz. pork tenderloin
1/2 c. all-purpose flour (I used a gluten free flour blend)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup ground pecans
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
4 tsp finely chopped toasted pecans

1. In a large skillet heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Add sweet potatoes, apple, 1/4 tsp. salt, and the cinnamon. Cook for 2 minutes, turning occasionally. Add 2/3 cup of the apple juice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sweet potato are tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sweet potato mixture to a large bowl; set aside. Add the remaining 1/3 cup apple juice, the mustard, and brown sugar to skillet; cook and stir for 1 minute. Transfer apple juice-mustard mixture to a small freezer container. Seal, label, and freeze up to 1 month. Fold a 36x18 inch piece of heavy duty foil in half to make an 18-inch square. Spoon sweet potato mixture into the center of the foil square. Bring up opposite edges of foil and seal with a double fold. Fold the remaining edges together to completely enclose the sweet potato mixture. Seal, label, and freeze up to 1 month.
2. Thaw sweet potato packet and sauce overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 400. Place sweet potato packet on a baking sheet. Open packet to expose the top of the sweet potatoes. Bake about 25 minutes or until heated through.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the pork. Cut pork tenderloin crosswise into eight slices. Place each pork slice between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound pork lightly until about 1/2 inch thick. Place 1/4 cup of the flour in a shallow dish; set aside. Place eggs in another shallow dish. In a third shallow dish combine the remaining 1/4 cup flour, the ground pecans, 1/4 tsp. salt, and pepper. Dip pork slices, one at a time, into flour, turning to coat and shaking off excess. Dip pork slices in eggs and turn to coat, then dip in pecan mixture, turning to coat.
4. In a 12-inch skillet heat 2 teaspoons of remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add pork slices; cook for 3 minutes. Turn pork; add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet. Cook about 3 minutes more or just until slightly pink in center. If pork browns too quickly, reduce heat to medium.
5. While the pork and potatoes are cooking, transfer sauce to a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 100 percent power for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Just before serving, whisk in chives.
6. Divide sweet potato mixture among four warmed dinner plates. Place two pieces of the pork beside sweet potatoes on each plate. Drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with toasted pecans. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings (2 slices pork tenderloin, 1/2 cups sweet potato mixture, and 1 tbsp. sauce each).
Per serving: 455 cal, 20 g. total fat (3 g sat. fat) 161 mg chol, 499 mg sodium, 40 g carb, 6 g fiber, 25 g pro.

I did not freeze the meal. I just made it right away. I also didn't eat the sauce (I hate mustard), but the meal was so tasty that I started eating it before I got a picture. Haa haa. So the picture is of part of my meal. :)

Still going...and going...and going

Okay, here is a recipe that was a big hit with the WHOLE family.

Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Nonstick cooking spray
1 pound tomatillos, outer husks removed, rinsed
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 fresh poblano chile pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
12 6-in corn tortillas, halved
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1 3/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style four-cheese blend (7 oz.)
1 16-oz. jar salsa
chopped tomatoes and/or snipped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Preheat broiler. Lightly coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil. Place tomatillos in the baking pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 6 to 8 minutes until softened and charred, turning occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and chile pepper; cook and stir for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender and onion starts to brown.
3. In a blender or food processor combine tomatillos, onion mixture, the 1/4 cup cilantro, the sugar, cumin and salt. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary.
4. Spread 3/4 cup of tomatillo mixture in the prepared baking dish. Arrange six tortilla halves over the sauce, overlapping slightly. Top with 1 cup of the chicken, 1/2 cup of cheese, and half of the salsa. Add six more tortilla halves and top with 1 cup chicken, 1/2 cup cheese, and half of the remaining tomatillo mixture. Add six more tortilla halves, the remaining 1 cup chicken, and remaining tomatillo mixture. Top with the remaining six tortilla halves and the remaining salsa, spreading to cover.
5. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Cover and chill the remaining 3/4 cup cheese until needed.
6. Preheat oven to 375. Remove plastic wrap. Cover dish with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake about 20 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with chopped tomatoes and/or snipped fresh cilantro. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 253 cal., 9 g total fat (4 g. sat. fat), 60 mg chol, 648 mg sodium, 19 g. carb. 3 g. fiber, 25 g. pro

Still going...and going

Okay, so I'm going to post several recipes for you. First off is Quinoa with Chicken and Artichokes

4 small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound total)
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
2 cloves garlic (minced) - I omitted this because of my intolerance to garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup very thinly sliced carrots (2 medium)
1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut up
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (2)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Using a small knife, cut a horizontal slit in the thickest part of each chicken breast half, forming a pocket. In a small bowl combine oregano and garlic; spoon evenly into pockets in breast halves. Press cut edges together to seal. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large oven going skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breast halves; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is browned on bottoms. Turn chicken.
2. Place skillet with chicken in the oven. Bake uncovered, about 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
3. Meanwhile, place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve; thoroughly rinse with cold water. In a medium saucepan combine quinoa and broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in carrots. Cook, covered, for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
4. Stir artichoke hearts, olives, and parsley into quinoa mixture. Serve quinoa mixture with chicken. Sprinkle with green onions. Makes 4 servings (1 piece of chicken and 1 cup quinoa mixture each).
Per serving: 345 cal., 14 g. fat (2 sat. fat), 43 mg chol., 672 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 4 g. fiber, 23 g. protein.

I really enjoyed the quinoa. It was so tasty. I'm a huge fan of olives and artichokes so this totally hit the spot for me.

Still going

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted. A friend reminded me today so this will probably be a little lengthy post(s). Forgive me. Anyways, I'm still at it. I go to the gym 4-6 days a week and workout 6-10 hours a week. I'm loving my T.E.A.M. fitness class. I think it's the best thing I could have done to help me with this challenge. The ladies have been a great support and the trainer is awesome. She helps me get out of my comfort zone. For example, we did a little relay in the pool and use the watersides. I'm an anxious person and would never do the slides before. Silly, I know. I've been thinking as I watch Biggest Loser that I should so some things that get me out of my comfort zone. I am feeling a lot more confident than I had before. I think becoming smaller and stronger just naturally had done this for me. I've been trying to be good and stick to my "light" menus. Even when we eat out I'm very careful about what I eat. I have a few new recipes for you. Even with my best efforts though I'm not a top contender for the grand prize. Not even locally. I'm down 15.2 with my last weigh in being 167.3. I hate their scale - it's always a few pounds higher than my own. I'm in this for the long run though. Meaning I'm in this for health. Winning the contest would just be gravy. Monte bought me an iPod nano for our 15 year anniversary. I welcome any suggestions for great workout music. Sometimes you'll see me running along mouthing the words. I probably look like an idiot, but I'm not doing this for any coolness factor. Monte has been great eating all things I come up with and even challenging me with planks, sit-ups, etc. Sidenote: Everyone in the Riding house has had colds - EXCEPT me. I was always the first one to catch them before. I think eating the right foods definitely are contributing to a healthier me. So onto the recipes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weigh in - week 5

I lost another 2.4 lbs. That makes me down 12.1 lbs. for the challenge. The scale shows me at 170.4. Next week I'll be able to kiss the 170's goodbye. Had a great Zumba class. Decided not to go to the try it Tuesday class - pilates. I did think it would be a great class to try, but it's an additional cost and I didn't want to be tempted to buy anything else. Some of my friends from T.E.A.M. fitness came. It's fun getting to know people there. I'm finally feeling like I am trusting my own judgement with this weight loss process. I can do this!


I'm feeling worn out. Today is weigh in day. I think it's coming down but ever so slowly. This process has me tired, broke and ever so sore. The fact that my kids kept me up a good portion of the night is probably not helping.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weight loss and going on vacation

Okay, we decided to take a little trip to Midway and stay at the Zermatt. I love going on vacation and one of the best things about it is eating the yummy food! I decided I'd let myself eat one dessert during our trip. I have been so disciplined so I thought it would be a great treat. Isn't that what it's suppose to be... a treat? Not an every day indulgence? Anyways, by the time we got up there and got our room figured out I was starving. They had an all you can eat buffet restaurant that was $50 a person. I figured that was out of our budget so we went to the other restaurant. Unfortunately it was burger/pizza place. I ordered a personal pizza that was thin crust and had artichokes, mushrooms and tomatoes. Oh and it had goat cheese. It was scrumptious. I then ordered a brownie sundae for my dessert and when it arrived it had a huge mountain of ice-cream and very little brownie. I decided since I'm only eating one a month it better be the one I wanted. I then asked for what Monte and Braedon had ordered (a black and tan pudding cup with homemade toffee pieces - YUMMO). The brownie with the big glob of ice-cream just sat on the table and melted. We then played in the pool and I tried to burn some of the those calories. I fully intended to be disciplined the next day. I had a lovely massage first thing in the morning and after we checked out we were starving because we had missed breakfast. We drove around Midway (which is a rinky dink town) to find somewhere to eat. We ended up at Dickey's BBQ. It happened to be their grand opening. I did spin the radio station's wheel and won four comedy pack tickets. I tried to order good sides (green beans and baked beans) of course there was sugar and butter on them. We ate brisket and pulled pork which both were delicious. I also ate one of the soft white rolls. I've tried to eat very little white bread. It was so yummy but immediately I felt regret. I'm hoping this weekend doesn't set me back to far. I'm loving that I can buy junior's size L clothes. I love feeling so good about my body.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

End of first month challenge

I'm down 9.7 lbs. for the month! So happy. This isn't contest winning numbers but it's London's getting really fit numbers!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day #28

This was a Friday. I arrived at T.E.A.M. fitness late because of the snowy weather. I stayed after to make up what I missed. I enjoy this class because I feel it gets me out of my comfort zone in working out and I get to socialize with some really nice ladies. Came home and helped shovel my neighbor's walk/driveway. My hubby had already done ours. Went shopping with my stepmom all day until it was time for me to go back to the gym and meet with the nutritionist for a "free" consultation.

It's now Saturday when I'm writing this and it's not even 6:00 in the morning, but I'm so frustrated I can't sleep (I was really looking forward to sleeping in on my Saturday morning). Instead I'm awake and frustrated out of my mind. I'm hoping that once I write this I can get back to bed for a bit. So back to Friday, I get there and stand on this special scale that tells you your weight (which is up from my Tuesday weigh-in) and it does all this scanning. The nutritionist says that I have quite a bit of inflammation in my body and that my Body Mass Index is 40%. We go back into his office and he's asking me questions like why am I coming to the gym? I tell him I've always been confident and I want to be healthy. I have three little boys and I want to be healthy for them. I hate when people assume that fat people must be miserable with themselves. I know that is not true, at least not for this person. Yes, I like buying new clothes and fitting in smaller sizes. Yes, I like when people comment on how good I'm looking, but I was comfortable in my own skin before. He asked more questions. I told him that I feel like I have less energy then I did when I was fat. I didn't state this then but the truth of the matter is I have so much LESS energy now then I did before.... a lot less. We discussed what I've been typically eating and when. How much I work out. I told him I've been trying to eat around 1300 calories a day. He asked how I came up with this number. I told him that I'd done Weight Watchers before but it didn't even look at a calorie count and so I had no idea how many calories I was eating before. I then told him how I was eating even less when I started this contest because I wanted to win it. After I left I realized how I came up with this calorie count. I was reading the Biggest Loser books and there was an average calorie count range in there and that's how I came up with it. He told me that he had done over 500 nutrition plans and only 15 were on that low of a calorie count. He said even though I was eating healthy foods I was probably not eating enough carbs and fats. Maybe not even enough protein. I asked him if he could recommend somethings for me to eat. Here is when the not so "free" comes in. He told me about the testing they could do (hundreds of dollars) to find out hormonally where I am off and what my metabolism is. He could set up a diet plan for me for $99. I made another appointment with him to do this. I thought the testing was out of my budget. I told him I'd have to talk to my husband. This whole process just seems so dag gone expensive, but I am feeling pretty lousy a lot of the time so I wanted to do it. I thought Monte would object and I'd have to cancel. I couldn't blame him. I feel like I'm always being sold something at the gym. I came home and just started crying. Monte said I could have the testing and he wants to support me being healthy. I immediately thought about calling the trainer to see if I could move up the appointment because I wanted to start feeling better immediately. I thought I'd feel better after that but I don't. I'm at the point that I am ready to forget all about the contest aspect of this. I mean if they tell me I'm suppose to only lose 1-2 pounds a week to be healthy and then they sponsor a biggest loser competition where the goal is to lose as much weight as possible I'm getting some pretty mixed messages. I am feeling down right stressed and miserable. So here comes my rant! First he said I have a lot of inflammation. (It is now 11:28. My dear hubby woke up and was worried about me and came down and had a good "talk" it out session with me. I think my hubby is pretty darn fantastic!) I really don't understand what "a lot of inflammation" means to my weight loss process. I'm so frustrated with the fact that I'm trying to do everything right and buying more and more stuff to be healthy and I still feel overly tired and without drive to enjoy other things that I use to enjoy. Don't get me wrong. I love exercising. I love how I feel while I'm doing it and for a short while afterwards. I hate that shortly after I crash. One of the reasons I didn't buy new clothes is that I was so overwhelmed by having to go shopping for them. Say what?!!? I don't even want to go shopping?!?! That is so out of character for me. I've had a hard time just keeping up with the simplest things like reading with Trevor in the evening or getting the kitchen cleaned up. I love food. And my attitude toward it lately has been down right pathetic. I'm not enjoying what I eat most of the time. I don't feel satisfied. At least when I was doing Weight Watchers I felt I could eat some things that excited me from time to time. I kept hearing that I needed a protein shake so I stocked my refrigerator up with Muscle Milk lights just to go to the first nutrition class and hear that they have stuff added to them that makes them toxic. By the way, the gym sells these muscle milk products in their health cafe. My 40% BMI still puts me in the obese section which I thought "really?!?" Maybe I'm self delusional but I feeling like I was making good progress. After talking to my dear husband I calmed down enough to go to bed. This is what I have worked out. I'm going to up my calories to 1500. I am going to forget having my main focus on this contest. It's just making me miserable. I'm going to keep trying to be healthy. Hopefully I'll lose the pounds in the process but I can't keep doing this to myself. So as of Day #28 I'm not going to post every day. I'll post if I feel something is noteworthy. It's time to get back to feeling good about my life. It's time to get back to being excited about being healthy instead of being overwhelmed by it.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day #27

I didn't go to the gym today. I thought about trying to squeeze in a short workout before visiting my doctor, but didn't want to arrive sweaty. I have the best doctor. He ordered blood work. I'll go in fasting on Saturday. I didn't for my appointment because I get so ill not eating and it was to late in the morning. When I started I said there would be blood, sweat and tears. There has been buckets of sweat and quite a few tears but I had to fit the "blood" in there somehow. I actually knew that I'd be visiting the doctor and thought it would be a funny way to be able to use this saying. He will be checking me for hypoglycemia. He said if that's not it I probably need to increase my calorie count. This scares me. I'm afraid I'll stop losing again. I'm tired a lot though. I just want to be skinny, have energy and feel good. When I got home I discovered that my basement wall is flooded and we can't figure out where the water is coming from. We had a huge snowfall the night before. We just got all the fire mess from November fixed and now we have a water soaked basement. AARRRRGGGGG. Stress once again. They say stress isn't good for weight loss. And I have had more than my fair share!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day #26

Wednesday is cardio day with T.E.A.M. fitness. We intervals on the elliptical, treadmill and bike and then headed down to the cafe to talk about nutrition. We talked about the "dirty dozen" again. It talks about our exposure to pesticides through the produce that we eat and how there are twelve particular fruits and vegetables. The best way to avoid it is to buy organic produce - USDA rules prohibit the use of pesticides on any crop with the certified organic label. In addition a veggie was is a great way to clean your vegetables and fruit. Here is a list of the "dirty dozen"
1. Celery - 64 chemicals
2. Peaches - 62
3. Strawberries - 59
4. Apples - 42
5. Blueberries - 52
6. Nectarines - 33
7. Bell peppers -49
8. Spinach - 48
9. Kale -
10. Cherries - 42
11. Potatoes - 37
12. Grapes - 34

12 Least Contaminated Produce items
Sweet Corn (Frozen)
Sweet Peas (Frozen)
Kiwi Fruit

Recipe for produce wash:
1 c. water
1 c. vinegar
2 tbsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. lemon juice

Directions: Mix ingredients then pour in a clean spray bottle. Spray fresh vegetables & fruit generously. Sit for 5 minutes then rinse off well.
Note: Make sure to first mix ingredients in deep container since there will be some fizzing from the baking soda & vinegar.

This is why I'm trying to buy more organic.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day #25

Another Try it Tuesday was here and so that means it was weigh-in day. I lost 2.2 lbs. this week so I now weight 173.7. I can't wait to kiss those 170's good-bye. I was okay with the 2.2 weight loss this week unlike last week when I was disappointed. I can see my body changing and I need to be happy with it. I'm doing the best I can. The class today was T.E.A.M Weight Loss. It was a good group. I enjoyed the class and left sweaty even though I didn't feel like I had to push myself. If I didn't already participate with T.E.A.M. fitness I'd probably pick this class. My favorite of the Try it Tuesday's so far. Afterwards I was feeling good and had to run some errands. Davis was so well behaved and I finally found some clothes and a new bathing suit. I was so excited for the clothes. I even took a picture in the swimsuit and will add it to this post tomorrow. I'm making progress and feeling good. Braedon was going to a birthday party and he needed some gluten free pizza. I figured since I was making the effort to get him pizza that the whole family would have pizza for dinner. I'm not quite ready to give pizza up. I was so proud of myself. I ate one slice and then left the rest alone. This is a personal triumph for me. Pizza is definitely one of my biggest temptations. I don't want to give it up so I need to figure out how I can still have a small amount every once in a while. I included it in my calorie count and did not go over. Yay! I had a really great day.

Day #24

Monday is strength training with T.E.A.M fitness. The weights were heavier again. My pushups are still pathetic. After class I stayed for my second hour and did Zumba. There was a sub and the class was very high cardio. I loved it and felt great. I was glad for the longer workout the day before weigh in.

Day #23

Another day of rest. Kinda. I had to give a talk at church which was quite stressful for me. After we had my family over dinner. It was my turn to be in charge so I tried to plan a menu that would fit into my diet that wouldn't be to disappointing to the rest of my family. I made Asian Chicken Salad and Egg Drop Soup from my Weight Watchers five ingredient 15 minute recipes. I decided to relax after cleaning up so I started the dinner late and everyone had to wait. The recipes took longer than 15 minutes. Here are the recipes

Asian Chicken Salad
1/3 c. light sesame-ginger dressing (I also had Miso Ginger dressing which was 80 calories but super yummy)
2 navel oranges
4 cups chopper romaine lettuce
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
2 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced snow peas
1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

1. Place dressing in a large bowl. Grate rind from 1 orange to measure 1 teaspoon; stir into dressing. Peel oranges, and cut in half lengthwise. Cut orange halves crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
2. Add orange slices, lettuce and next 4 ingredients to dressing; toss well. Sprinkle with almonds, if desired. Yeild: 4 servings (serving size about 2 3/4 cups)

Per serving: calories 259; fat 5.1 g, protein 34.9g; carb 18 g; fiber 4.2 g

Egg Drop Soup

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (32-oz.) container fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 c water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped green onion

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
2. Combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Add cornstarch mixture to broth mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until soup thickens slightly. Add egg to broth mixture in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in onions, if desired. Yield: 5 servings (serving size; about 1 cup).

Per serving: Calories 136; fat 3g; protein 21.4g; carb 4.8g; fiber 0.1

I felt the soup needed a little soup added even though I'm trying not to eat a lot of sodium.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day #22

Saturdays are always crazy. This one was no exception and maybe even a little more than usual. So in between errands I ran to the gym. I did the couch to 5K program and that was plenty! I thought even though I over planned as always I still fit everything in. After taking a 7 minute shower (okay, I'm not sure it was really 7 minutes but it seemed pretty stinking fast) my sister called and I found out that I was 30 minutes late for our double date. Anyways, we all finally met up for a night of bowling. After bowling some of the most pitiful games ever we decided to get some dinner. This scares me. I think I'm hungry and if we go somewhere that has no good options I'll probably end up eating something that I'll regret later. Fortunately, my brother-in-law suggested Chipotle. I was totally impressed. First of all, they are organic. Second of all the totally had something I could make work in diet. I left most of the brown rice in the bowl, but totally enjoyed the rest of the meal. Overall, it was a great night out.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day #21

Woke up feeling miserable. The worst I have felt this whole competition. Davis woke up crying and would not stop. Mommy and son skipped school and working out and cuddled on the couch. We did go shopping after a while. My shopping habits have really changed. I looked for natural, organic and healthy instead of cheap and on sale. Okay, I did score a few healthy items clearanced out. Love it. I tried a new co-op today. I was driving there, running late, forgot half the directions and eventually was lost. I called them. No problem they said. They gave me extras in my basket and even exchanged a few things out. I made the family black and blue sandwiches. I ate mine on whole grain wasa crackers. It was pretty tasty. The day started off rough but ended up okay. I think getting a rest was exactly what I needed.

Day #20

Wow, 20 days into this. Sheesh. I went to the gym and did my couch to 5K training. I felt so good that I decided when I was done I'd keep running. It was the first day that I've felt I really can run that 5K. I may be slow but I'm going to run it. I made dirty rice for dinner. I just didn't eat much of the rice (1/4 cup). It was a good day. Went clothes shopping with my stepmom. I still have very few clothes that fit. Unfortunately, I didn't find anything. Felt really good about my workout and got back on the making our dinners, so good day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day #19

Wednesday I meet with T.E.A.M. fitness. Wednesday is our cardio day. We stayed on the ellipticals until we did core strength. My planks are definitely improving. I left feeling good. By the time Monte got home I was just tuckered even though I didn't do that much. The boys kept talking about getting pizza and I swear I could live on pizza. I gave in and we went to Pier 49. I ate two pieces and my calorie count for the day was about 1600 calories. This is the second day that I have done this. I was still hungry after all this to and I thought my pizza indulgence would at least make me feel satisfied, but it didn't. I am for sure eating healthier than I ever have, but I am struggling with the desire to eat out a lot. A lot of it is I'm not planning. I know this. I have to do better. I read a friend's fitness blog and she posted that 80% is diet and 20% is exercise. I feel like I'm kicking the 20%'s trash but am struggling with the 80% so much. I'm not tempted to eat sweets but I am so wanting simple carbs like bread, pizza, pasta, etc. I'm getting tired of salad. So I'm done whining about this and hopefully my progress won't be hindered to significantly by love of eating out and pizza obsession. After we left I thought I could have at least ordered thin crust. Oh well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day #18

Try it Tuesday's class was actually an evening event so I went to Zumba in the morning. Finished cleaning the house (I got some help because I was just so tired from all the stress and working out). The house was spotless by the time we were done and I decided that I do better when I plan for dinner. I made gluten free lasagna. I know lasagna doesn't sound like "diet" food, but I healthied it up. Our lasagna was chuck full of spinach and tomatoes. I used fat free cottage cheese and low fat mozzarella. Instead of ground beef I added turkey sausage. The family gobbled it up. Huge success. I only ate one small piece and found a comparable recipe stating it would equate to about 279 calories. After dinner I got ready to meet for Try It Tuesday. We met at the local Harmon's grocery store with the head nutritionist from the gym. Unlike the first nutrition class I felt this one was a lot more enjoyable. I wasn't completely overwhelmed. I'm not sure if it had to do with my blood sugars being more stable, the fact that I had heard some of the information before or that it was just a better class for me. I learned a lot and was okay with the fact that I probably would not implement all of it. I am going to switch over to organic produce. We were informed that celery is the worst not to buy organic. It has something like 17 pesticides on it. Ewww... gross! I signed up for another co-op this weekend to pick up my produce. We seem to be making a big dent in last weeks order so hopefully it will help us continue to make better food choices. When I started this I didn't realize how much I want it to be a change for my whole family not just me. I ended the day on a high feeling like the house drama was finally done. If house drama can ever be done, but at least this round was.

Day #17

Went to strength training. She is definitely pushing us a little harder and my mind was in a fog. I decided that was enough for one day. It was President's day so everyone was home and I continued to clean up the house. The kiddos were wanting Sonic so I just got some soup from Village Baker.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day #15

Woke up and went to pick up my Bountiful Basket. The truck was late so I was standing out in the cold for 30 minutes or so freezing. I thought I should start getting it again to guarantee that I'd have fruits and veggies in the house. I'm still undecided if I think it's worth it. Later I headed to the gym. I started following a new (more aggressive) couch to 5K program. After I did the routine I decided to turn the incline up to 10 and walk for another 10 minutes. The incline tends to make me sweat way more than the running does. I then decided to jump on the stair climber. They have placed them right by this glass wall that freaks me out. Here I am pouring sweat (and I mean pouring) and I'm afraid I'm going to slip right off and fall over this wall. Which I know isn't possible but for some reason I still fear it everytime I use that equipment. I felt good when I left and came home to a yummy salad. Monte and the boys then helped me totally clean the family room. It felt like a very successful day. I have felt so much better this week. So much more like myself, but I'm afraid the scale isn't moving very quickly. I guess we'll see on Tuesday.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day #14

Woke up feeling energized. Went to meet with T.E.A.M fitness. After strength training hour was over I jumped on the treadmill and kicked it into drive. I purchases a new protein shake and one of the trainer's told me he'd help me out. I left feeling fantastic. I came home and went shopping with my stepmom. She helped me pick out some new exercise clothes. None of the clothes in my closet fit.... again! It's time to purge them. I've been wearing baggy clothes. I was so excited. My new exercise pants are larges. Not only am I out of plus size clothing but I'm no longer even an XL. I asked my hubby if he wanted to see my new workout out clothes. He looked at me like I was nuts. Then when I walked in the room his expression changed. He told me I look sexy in my workout clothes. During the classes at the gym the instructors yell out "Do you feel sexy" and I've always thought "No, I feel sweaty". I think my mind might change the next time they ask. I was able to cook in my kitchen again after I totally cleaned it up. It felt good to be back on my game. I'm more committed to my goal than I have ever been.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day #13

The kitchen mess was still going on and my stress level was through the roof. I had planned to visit a friend who lives near by to visit and make french macarons. I know cookies on a diet not the greatest of plans, but I also love to cook treats. I had decided I would have one cookie. Originally I said I'd forgo all desserts during this 90 day challenge but I also realized my original plans weren't working. I had a lovely visit with my friend and our cookies turned out so yummy. We ate salad for lunch so I wasn't feeling guilty about my decision until later. When I arrived home the kitchen work was finally done but then I had to go to work to put it all back together. It took forever and I was to tired to make myself go to the gym. We had fast food for dinner one last time and I made sure to go to a different place so I could pick out a healthier option. I ate it and then I saw there was an extra cheese tot that no one had eaten. I should have walked away from it, but no I ate the entire thing. 300 calories of no nutrition value at all. It didn't even taste that good. I felt that I had fallen off the wagon at this point. There is only one thing to do if you fall off and that is get back on immediately. I didn't say well I already made a bad choice so I might as well start over tomorrow. I started over right then. One of the trainers at the gym told me it's like a series of battles. The point is to win more than you lose. Great wisdom in that, so instead of letting it defeat me I'm going to fight to win the next battle. And then the next. And then the next.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day #12

STESS! Day #12 was all about STRESS. The kitchen remodeling was driving us nuts. Between the mess, not being able to function and the last minute issues that seemed to keep popping up I was ready to pull out my hair. We also had a really busy day on top of this. Why is it when life is stressful you have all these commitments? My long awaited doctor's appointment had finally arrived. Before I left I was feeling really moody thinking there was no way I could get to the gym because I had the appointment and then I had contractors coming in and out all day long. Monte said he'd appreciate it if I'd just skip this one day. I was irritated and then I started thinking. okay, this is my challenge week I'm going to have to eat out and today I'm even going to have to be creative about how I get my workout in. I even prayed to be comforted about this. I was on my way to my appointment when the doctor's office called and said they had to reschedule. At first I was irritated then I realized my prayer had been answered. I know how the time to get my workout in. I immediately drove to the gym. My teammates were leaving but they gave me the workout and I followed it and left feeling happy and content that at least I was able to exercise. The furnace was fixed, but the counter top installation ended up taking so long the contractors who were suppose to come back and put the kitchen back together were not able to come back. That means another day of kitchen chaos! We ate Chick-fil-A for dinner. Chick-fil-A is by far my favorite "fast food" option. They have quite a few healthy options and the customer service is so awesome. They offer gluten free options also and it was family night so the kids ate for free. Even though the day was a mess I felt I held it together pretty well.

Day #11

It's Tuesday. Weigh in day. I was anticipating this day with excitement because I knew I had worked really hard and was expecting fantastic numbers on the scale. I arrived at the gym and decided to go to the "Try It Tuesday" class before weighing in. It was "Hot Vinyassa". This is a yoga class that is done in a very warm room (90-100 degrees is typical). I had taken yoga classes about 10 years ago when I was a gym rat and found them rewarding because I've always been pretty flexible. I couldn't stand the hot air blowing in on me and the fact that there were so many in the class sweating away was NOT for me. Afterwards I tracked down a trainer and asked them to weigh me. I was expecting about a six pound loss. I was disappointed when it came up with 4.6 pounds down. I now weigh 177.9. I felt I had busted my butt all week and that's all that I lost?!?! After I left I felt better about it because the whole time I've been dieting I haven't pulled that number once. I think watching all this Biggest Loser has set me up for expecting unrealistic results. I just really want to win. I think I'll have to average about 3.75 lbs. per week to make my goal. At least I'm on target. I had hoped to have a huge number right off the bat. This also happened to be Valentines Day (I was going to help in Trevor's class) and the day our kitchen was going to start being remodeled. We had had a kitchen fire in November and it's finally being repaired. Oh and to add to it the furnace started acting up. I was pulling all the stuff out of the drawers and cupboards and frantically putting them on the table, in Davis's room and in a laundry bin. My kitchen was throwing up it's contents everywhere when the doorbell rang. I thought I don't have time to even answer the door. The contractor was going to be there in ten minutes and I had to get to the school. I opened the door and my sweet husband had sent me two dozen roses, a box of chocolates (which are still in the box) and a teddy bear. I was grateful for his kindness in my very chaotic day! Since our kitchen was nonfunctional we ate Wendy's for dinner as we sat in the basement. So romantic. Here is a picture of my kitchen. I wish I would have taken a better pic of all the kitchen items laying everywhere!

Day #10

Okay, I was going to post daily about the previous day. Here I am letting time slip by so I'm going to make up for three days right now. Day #10 was Monday, Feb. 13th. Monday mornings are when I meet with my T.E.A.M. for strength training. She had us do three rounds of each circuit instead of only two. Boy was that exhausting. I have to say by the end of this I hope I can knock out some decent pushups. Right now the only word for them is pathetic. I am doing better on my planks though so I must be getting stronger. I went into Zumba afterwards. I was excited to go to class, but was feeling tired after strength training. We were all in there waiting, waiting and waiting some more before someone came in and said the instructor had an emergency and class was canceled. My new Zumba friend who I always stand by 1. because she's really nice and 2. because if I get lost I can just follow her was an instructor in Boston. She plugged her phone and and improvised. I have to give her props. It was a really good workout. That night I went home and tried a new recipe from my Biggest Loser Cookbook

Moroccan Pork Stew with Baby Artichokes and Dried Fruit

1 lb. lean, boneless pork
1 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. saffron threads, crumbled
1/2 tsp. salt
1 med. carrot, diced
1/2 c. diced celery
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. pitted prunes, cut into slivers
1 (9-oz.) pkg. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed cut in quarters
1/4 c chopped cilantro, without stems

Cut the pork into 1" pieces. In a 3-quart nonstick saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and cook until softened, stirring to keep from browning.
Stir in the broth, saffron, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Add the carrot and celery; simmer, covered, for about 2 minutes.
Add the ginger, cinnamon, prunes, and artichoke hearts and simmer until the vegetables and fruits are nearly tender, about 2 minutes.
Add the pork pieces to the stew and stir in the cilantro. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the pork is just cooked.

Makes 4 (1 1/2 cup) servings Per serving: 300 calories, 28 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates (13 g sugars), 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 75 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 375 mg sodium

WARNING: This recipe costs an arm and a leg to make. Just the saffron costs about $19!

It smelled wonderful and my hubby loves this genre of food so I had high hopes. Unfortunately, this will be a one time make only recipe in our home. It wasn't worth the expense and the kiddos turned their noses up at it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day #9

Another Sabbath day so it's my day of rest. No gym. No sweating. Went to church and then had family dinner. We have my extended family meet every other Sunday for a family dinner. I thought this was going to be difficult going into the challenge. My youngest sister was in charge this week so all I had to do was provide plates, cups and drinks. That was easy enough. She made a honey BBQ chicken, Lera made homemade mashed potatoes, and Betty (my stepmom) made frozen mixed vegetables and brought purchased rolls. I tried to eat about six ounces of the chicken and the vegetables. I left the mashed potatoes (even though they looked delicious) and the roll. Not to bad. I'm in charge next. I've already warned them it was going to be healthy. My brother-in-law didn't seem to excited, but I know they are all supportive. I love them and I'm glad I could still have a good time with them without having a hard time sticking with my challenge.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day #8

Made it to the gym six days in a row today. I was running late so I tried to sneak into Zumba. After ten minutes of trying to see from far back I thought that was enough of that. Then I went upstairs and jumped on the treadmill. I did my sprints, walked up my hill, and then jogged. Davis and I headed to the gym's cafe then. I thought when I started this contest I'd be saving all this money from not eating out. Then the gym cafe started calling my day with their ultimate protein shakes. Yep, hooked myself up with one. Yum Yum in my tum. Headed home where I cleaned all day. I finally felt myself again. Increasing my food a little and how often I am eating has definitely helped. Glad to feel good again. I didn't like being that grumpy, sick person. We ate leftovers so no new recipes. When I thought I'd have a blog about this journey I thought one of the topics I'd like to discuss is "Why am I fat"? There is always this emotional moment on Biggest Loser when people talk about why they are fat. I have had some big life stresses but I don't think that's why I am fat. The truth is I love life and life celebrations include food a lot of the time. I love to cook that food and I love to throw parties. Food has always been a happy thing with me and I just have indulged to often. I'm also comfortable with who I am so even though I know I'm fat I don't feel like I'm fat. If that makes sense. I think I've been in denial most of my life that it is an issue. A woman once asked me if I've always struggled with my weight. I thought that was so rude and what was she talking about. I realized recently the reason it upset me so was that it is true. So now I have to love myself enough to realize to be a better person I need to change.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day #7

Forgot to set the alarm and woke up 45 minutes late. The kids missed the bus but I drove them to school and arrived just before the late bell, Davis quickly got ready for school and I was only five minutes later than normal to meet my team. Wasn't sick anymore but still felt worn out. My trainer switched up our strength training and it was more difficult for sure. I walked a mile afterwards and headed home. I tried to eat healthy but more frequently. It was Friday and Monte and I were going on a date. I had told him before that we could no longer eat out on our dates. I told him that I had changed my mind because my old ways of trying to win the contest weren't working. He suggested Pei Wei for dinner. I chose some curry (not the healthiest option) but it tasted so good. I made sure to eat the vegetables and the protein and I left most of the sauce and brown rice. I felt I did pretty well. We then went shopping at Nordstrom Rack. The man must really love me. I found some leggings that I wanted to go with a dress I bought recently. I never thought they would fit because they look so tiny. Yep, they fit. I like this buying smaller clothes feeling. I like it a lot! We then went to see Mission Impossible. Before we always got the large popcorn or other treats. We walked right by the concession stand. I told Monte if he wanted to he could get something. We had a coupon for a free drink but he just went with me. He's been so supportive. He wasn't thrilled with the competition at first, but he's been great while I have figured out what is working and what is not. He reminded me to eat and guess what?!? I was well all day long! I thought that all I needed was motivation and willpower and I'd win this contest. Both of which I have. I had no idea that I'd have to consider that my body wouldn't allow what my mind was trying to do. So when something doesn't work you modify and move on. Only a few more days and we'll have our first weigh in. I'm ready.

Day #6

I woke up feeling better on Thursday. I went to the gym did sprints, then walked up a steep incline and ended with the stair stepper. Sweatiest day yet. Many people at the gym where I go wear heart rate monitors. I measure my work out success by my sweat line. Matter of fact, I often think of the movie Rocky where he's boxing the Russian. Even though I do have the "fancy" gym I don't have all the extras that a lot of the participants have and I'll have to make it work. Rocky won in the end right?!? Davis and I went to pick up my stepmom and go shopping. We went to Costco and I was starting to feel hungry but I didn't want to eat their unhealthy options. Finally I decided upon the salad. Of course I couldn't eat the dressing and who wants a dry salad? I picked out the tomatoes and ate some of the chicken thinking it would tied me over. We continued shopping and by the time I dropped her off the sick feeling was back. On the way home I kept feeling like I'm going to faint! We made it home and I ate immediately but I realized that there had to be truth in the fact that I wasn't eating enough. I looked up the symptoms of low blood sugar and hypoglycemia. Ding ding ding. Exactly what I have been feeling! Wake up with headaches if blood sugar is to low in the middle of the night, CHECK. Besides hunger nausea is a symptom, CHECK. Feeling faint and vision blurred is also a symptom. CHECK. I decided right there and then that this was going to stop even if it means I can't eat as low calorie as I planned. I had hoped for a 10 pound weight loss at the first weigh in. You know Biggest Loser numbers! Not going to happen. I'm still going to do my best but I'm done with feeling like garbage. I was so sick that night that I'm not sure how many calories I ate.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day #5

Woke up feeling so ill. At one point I was laying on the floor crying. I thought maybe I can't wait for my doctor's appointment next week. In that time I forced down a banana, a piece of whole grain bread with a small amount of peanut butter and a cup of milk. After a half hour of feeling horrendous I started turning around. I took Davis to school and debated if I wanted to push myself and go to the gym. Since I was meeting with my T.E.A.M fitness I thought I better. She had us run for 35 minutes and I felt fantastic. I don't understand how I can go from feeling terrible to feeling fantastic. After we ran we did core strength and I left feeling on top of the world. The rest of the day was great. Monte helped me make dinner. We tried a new recipe from one of my Biggest Loser cookbooks. It was called Ed & Heba's Blue-Ribbon Chicken:

Ed and Heba's Blue-Ribbon Chicken

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (because I think mustard is from the devil I omitted this)
4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and butterflied
4 slices low-sodium ham
4 slices 2% low-fat provolone cheese
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (I used dried)
1/4 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth

Spread the mustard evenly inside the 4 chicken breasts. In a small non-stick skillet over medium heat, quickly sear the ham for about 30 seconds on each side. Place a slice of ham on 1 side of each piece of chicken. Place 1 slice of cheese folded in half over the top of the ham. Fold over the butterflied chicken breast to create a pocket. Tuck in the cheese so it's well concealed. Season each breast with salt, pepper, and rosemary.

Lightly coat a skillet with cooking oil spray. Gently place each breast in the pan. Cook on medium to low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown, then turn over the breasts and brown the other side. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pan momentarily and drain any excess grease from the skillet. Return the skillet to the heat, add the broth, then place the chicken in the broth. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 220 calories, 37 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates (0 g sugars), 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 85 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 460 mg sodium

I consumed 1,305 calories. I felt I need to make my goal that I was falling short on every day. I was hoping that it would help me feel better. I also purchased a multivitamin. Here's to better health.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day #4

Going into this I knew some days would be harder than others. Day 4 was definitely one of those days. I woke up exhausted. I headed over to the gym for my first "Try it Tuesday" class. We had a class on nutrition by the head nutritionist. I was so excited to have this class because I love to exercise but I really have a struggle with the nutrition aspect of losing weight. I love eating out, I am a very busy mom of young children, and I love cooking gourmet "comfort" foods. When I got there I was just completely overwhelmed by what he had to say. I felt like all my efforts were coming up way short. I was feeling yucky and I wasn't doing near what he talked about. I felt like I couldn't afford to do all what he was saying... not even close. He talked about buying organic, having testing done, purchasing supplements, etc. I left feeling defeated and sick. I went to Zumba and felt so sluggish. I was irritated that even though I arrived early to get my spot at the last minute this woman comes running in and steps right in front of me and crowded me so much that I had to move. I left knowing I had a really busy day and absolutely no energy. I went to the store and at one point I thought I could just drop in the aisle. I was tired, nauseous, and my head was pounding. I have been trying to incorporate everyone's ideas and something's not right. I'm glad I'm scheduled to see my doctor next week. A friend who has worked in nutrition said she could tell I was dehydrated. Other's suggested I wasn't eating enough. I thought I can fix both of those things. I felt a little more hopeful at the end of the day and relieved that my activity was done. Some days I think we just have to apply the saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". At least that's what I'm going to tell myself. I bought fast food for the family and I made me a 5 oz. piece of salmon that I covered in salsa for dinner. No new recipes. I ate a total of 1,296 calories.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day #3

Monday's are going to be tough if I continue to commit to going to strength training and Zumba. After strength training my trainer took my measurements. She also did some other percentages and while doing so I saw my weight. It was down almost four pounds in two days. I won't officially weigh in until next Tuesday. I'm hoping for a big number because it will be a week and half by then. I fell a little short on the calories again today. I only ate 1,007 even though I made a higher calorie dinner. I found the recipe in one of my Biggest Loser Cookbooks. It was a Chinese dish called, Sizzling Ginger Pork, and it was hands down the best. It was very tasty and I felt so full afterwards. I wonder if it really was more calories than I thought. Anyways, here is the recipe:

Sizzling Ginger Pork

1 tsp. sesame, canola or olive oil
8 oz. lean pork tenderloin (or skinless chicken breast or lean flank steak, diced - I stuck with pork
1/2 c. fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. dark molasses
1 tbsp. Szechuan seasoning (or make your own by combining 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (I omitted because of my intolerance), 1/2 tsp. red chile flakes, 1 tsp. ground mustard, and 1 tsp. coriander
1 cup cooked wild rice or brown rice
2 cups steamed broccoli
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook quickly until lightly browned but not fully cooked. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Add half the broth to the skillet and then add the onion, shallots, and ginger. Simmer for a few minutes, until softened. Add the remaining broth and the soy sauce, molasses, and seasoning. Bring the mixture to a simmer and return the meat to the skillet. Simmer for a couple of minutes longer, until the meat is just cooked through. Serve over hot rice with broccoli. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro.

Makes 2 (1 1/4 cup servings) - This can't include half the rice and broccoli
Per Serving: 360 calories, 34 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates (11 g sugars), 8 g fat (2 g saturated), 75 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 610 mg sodium

I even took a picture of this dish. If you know me you know I love to take pictures of my food. Now they will just contain a lot less butter, cream and fat. Hopefully, they'll be just as delicious looking. Because the hour is late and the dear hubby is already in bed I'll post the picture tomorrow when he can help me. Darn computers confuse me.

I have been struggling with energy - or the lack there of. People always say you are suppose to feel so much more energy when you are eating healthy and losing weight. For awhile now I've been having issues with it. I actually felt a little better at the end of day 3 then I have for awhile. I wish it would have held for day #4 but I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. Right now I'm just to tired. Good night.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day #2

Yesterday was day two and the Sabbath so I had a day of rest. Well, if you can call taking three young boys to church a day of rest. Even though I didn't exercise I did maintain my diet. I consumed 1,156 calories. I thought how did I consume more than the day before. I added the calories from Day 1 again and realized I had miscalculated and had only eaten 1,010 calories. Whoops, didn't mean to go that low. Anyways, Day 2's dinner was a big hit. I made Tortilla-Free Burrito's from one of my Biggest Loser books. Here is the recipe:

Tortilla-Free Burrito

1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup diced yellow, red, or green bell pepper (I used red)
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground mustard (I actually didn't have any so I just omitted)
1 tsp. oregano
Red chili flakes (optional)
1 1/2 c. cooked black or kidney beans, or 1 can, rinsed and drained (I used canned black beans)
1 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed, or 10 cups fresh baby spinach (I used frozen)
cilantro (I forgot this even though I had some)

Coat a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven with cooking spray. Add the turkey, onion, and bell pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes, until just cooked through.

Add the chili powder, cumin, mustard, oregano, and chili flakes, if desired. Stir well. Add the beans and spinach and cook just until heated through. Season to taste. Garnish with cilantro.

Makes 8 (1 cup servings)
Per serving: 140 calories, 21 g. protein, 12 g. carbohydrates (1 g sugar), 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 30 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 105 mg sodium

I did make the family some corn tortillas and added cheese to to theirs. Because I am not adding salt to anything to keep my sodium intake low I added 4 tablespoons of fresh salsa to mine. It was really good. My family really enjoyed it and I had to fight for the leftovers for the next day's lunch.

I watched Biggest Loser (we are still watching the second season). It made me think about how much of losing weight is psychological. I read a statistic recently that said "weight loss was 90% mental and 10% physical." Wow! That is a huge percentage. Some of the others quotes I like dealing with weight loss are: "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail". I think that is so true in almost everything in life, but especially weight loss. Because I have planned my meals and my times that I will exercise there is no question on what should I eat or when will I make time to exercise. I like the quote "making my fat cry" for when you are working out. Hey, I'm not sweating, I'm making my fat cry! Take that fat! Even my title for this blog is psychological. The hostess for Biggest Loser always says at elimination time "It's time to cut the fat". Yes, yes it is.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day #1

Here's my reflections on day one. After weighing in I immediately jumped on the treadmill. My best friend likes to comment on how I always "jump, run, dash, etc." in my speech when describing directions or actions. I think I like speed, so obviously running a race sounds romantic to me. I was doing three miles at a time, but only able to jog one and half miles before I'd have to go back to walking. There is a 5K at the end of this competition and I'd really like to be able to jog the entire race. I looked up the "couch to 5K" training program and started to follow it. Basically it has you start with 60 seconds of jogging/running followed by 90 seconds of walking. Run, walk, run, walk. You get the point. I did this for 35 minutes and then headed down to the green gym covered in sweat. On Saturdays they have Zumba there for an hour. I figure I'm going to have to plan a few hours at the gym every day (except Sundays). There was a male instructor and I really liked his hip hop routines. I was drenched by the end and figured I had burned enough calories for the day. When I got home I was pretty exhausted. I stuck to my plan though and ate an apple and salad for lunch. I wrote down everything I put in my mouth in my new food journal. I consumed 1,382 calories for the day. I wasn't hungry but I did miss all my comfort foods. The family were good sports about dinner. I made a new recipe from one of my Biggest Loser books. It's called Broke Bean Stew and it was tasty but not amazing. The family added tortilla chips to theirs and Davis actually licked the bowl clean. Here is the recipe:

Broke Bean Stew
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lg. yellow or white onion, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped garlic (which I omitted due to my intolerance)
1 (28 oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. red chili flakes (optional - I omitted, didn't want to make to hot for the little ones)
3 (15 1/2 oz.) cans chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, or white beans, rinsed and drained, or 4 1/2 cups cooked beans (I used white beans)
4 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves or 3 cups chopped kale or swiss chard (I used spinach)

In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Do not brown the garlic. Add the tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, and chili flakes, if desired. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups (2 cans) of the beans and 3 1/2 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Meanwhile, place the remaining 1 1/2 cups of beans and 1/2 cup of broth in a food processor or blender. Add the cilantro and puree or blend until smooth. Add the puree to the stew. Add the greens and heat just until wilted. Stir well and serve hot.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Weigh in day

I have been waiting for this day for about three weeks now. I was so hyped up about this contest that I pretty much let it consume the majority of my thoughts. You see I have been trying to lose weight since the end of last August. I started my journey after finding out a family member was having some medical issues and wanted to support them. The scale back then glared an ugly 215.9! I was dedicated - I started dieting and exercising. I even joined a gym that I love, but it just didn't seem enough. I was starting to fizzle, but then my gym posted this 90 day challenge. There was no better way to get me fired up again. I love competitions. So here I am. The scale came back with 182.5. It was a little higher than I had expected, but it is what it is and I'm ready to say good bye to that weight. The challenge is set up from February 4 until May 5. It has classes every Tuesday we can try and they'll keep our progress on the site. There are great prizes for the winner, but honestly the greatest prize will be that I will be near my goal weight. What a prize that will be. So please, follow my journey. I need your support, love and comments.