Last Chance Workout

Tomorrow is the final weigh-in for the Biggest Loser competition at work. I'm not sure how I'm going to fall (obviously there's no yellow line) but I have a pretty good feeling it's not in first place. I organized a second session for another twelve weeks starting July 12, so I'll have another chance. I do feel a lot healthier now compared to when we started this session twelve weeks ago. And, I can run much farther.

Tonight on my last chance workout run, I observed several things:
  • I find it hilarious when old men tuck their plain white t-shirt into their gym shorts to work in the yard. It says "I'm out here to do business."
  • It's summer, so it's hot out. Thursday is trash day in my neighborhood, so people put their trash out on Wednesday nights. That's a smelly combo. 
  • I'm glad to see we are not the only ones with weeds.
  • I counted 10 houses for sale on the two-mile route through our neighborhood, and thought that looked pretty good. That's about 9 percent of the houses in our subdivision. We live close to a military base so we have a high turnover rate.

New favorite snack

For whatever reason, I tend to munch on crap the minute I get home from work and have a hard time stopping until I go to sleep. I'm pretty sure it's just out of boredom, so I do not allow items like chips or cookies in the house that I will just gobble up in one day. A while ago I gave myself the rule of no eating 2 hours before I'm going to sleep. That has been working fairly well, but I'm going to sleep hungry which I'm proud of, but I don't like the way it feels when I lay down.

To fix that problem, I've been planning a designated snack/dessert around 830pm so I know that I will have something to eat and I can tell myself not to eat any other stuff from dinner until then. The best part is it's only 2 points! I chop up about 3/4 cup strawberries and dump a vanilla (I took a photo of key lime because I like the combo packs) Activia yogurt on them. It's seriously really filling and delish!

*Activia did not pay me, I just really like that stuff!


Early fat versus late fat

I think growing up as an overweight teenager/child has a much deeper affect on your emotional well-being than growing up at a normal size, then becoming overweight in college/20s. I'm not a psychologist, nor do I play one on television. However, I know that for me, being made fun of for my weight in middle school and even some in high school has scarred me.

Let's go back and revisit one of these such memories. The setting is a middle school cafeteria, tables are square or rectangle-ish and I remember sitting across the square from a girl named Jackie (and yes that's her real name and I will forever hate the name Jackie.) enjoying my lunch. I'm not sure what I did or said to provoke her, if anything, but I do remember what she told me. She said "Your belly is bigger than your boobs."

Some "fat girls" are lucky enough to have their "boobs" get bigger when they gain weight. Unfortunately I did not get that gene and have always been on the smaller side. I'm not upset about that, though. I was upset that the bia Jackie took the time and effort to tell me about it. Because of her I will probably always wonder if other people are thinking that same thought.

That's just one example of how growing up fat is different than getting fat later in life.


Let your tongue hang out

Sometimes after a busy weekend you just need a nap.


Bacon Explosion

Part of the problem with the weekend is unlimited food temptations. Like this guy for example. His name is Bacon Explosion. It's basically some bacon and pork pieces wrapped with more bacon and baked with something sweet, I'm guessing brown sugar.

This four-pound animal came into my house this weekend for breakfast. I couldn't NOT try the Bacon Explosion, so I ate some of the outside - estimating at the equivalent of two pieces of bacon. It was seriously delicious though. We also had cinnamon rolls and biscuits. That's not a very healthy combination, so I cooked myself an egg to go with my bacon and ate it one one of these:

(by the way it says "no high fructose corn syrup")


I'd rather sleep

For me, the hardest day to get up and run or work out is Saturday. Because we are still on the "no kids" side of things, I don't have to get up for anything. I do not schedule things for Saturday mornings so I can sleep in. The hubs tends to tell me I'm sleeping my life away, but I just really enjoy being well-rested. I tend to get cranky and snippy if I don't sleep well and it's best to stay away on those days.

Last night we had several people come over and several of those stayed the night, including two in the guest room, two in the "man room," two in the dining room and one on the couch. And since none of us has anything but a dog-child to worry about, it was obviously a late night. Regardless of that, I'm proud to say that I set the alarm this morning, and even though it was a slower roll, I did roll myself out of the bed to go run.


My backyard today

Good morning Sweaty.

Sometimes I really do enjoy running in the mornings. Like today for example. It was finally not so sweaty-hot out that I could breathe normally during the run. I tried to run last night before I went to bed, but it was just too humid to get anything more than a half mile out of me. I came inside and lifted instead.

But this morning it was sunny and 75 degrees and just about perfect for a run. The problem I have with running and then getting in the shower right before I have to go to work is that I'm still sweating throughout the shower, and then still sweating while I get dressed and attempt to put on make up. It just makes for one sweaty morning and a messy start to the day.

Hopefully no one will notice but the dog who hears me cursing the mascara.


I used to eat this...

When I was in high school, I worked at a local frozen custard stand. We called ourselves custard engineers, but that's beside the point. Getting off work at 11 p.m. or even past midnight often meant searching for food in the wee hours of the morning. Taco Bell was one of my favorite stops. Two of my favorite "meals" using the term lightly, was a mexican pizza and a soft taco or a frito burrito (which I don't think they make any more for the sake of America's health)/chili cheese burrito and a double decker taco.

And this is why I was fat:
Mexican pizza:
540 calories
30 g fat (8 g saturated)
1,020 mg sodium

Double Decker taco:
333 calories
13 g fat (5 saturated)
820 mg sodium

Chili Cheese burrito:
370 calories
16 g fat (8 saturated)
1080 mg sodium

Now, if for some crazy reason (mostly cost) we do eat at Taco Bell, I get a bean burrito.

Bean burrito:
370 calories
10 g fat (3.5 saturated)
1270 mg sodium

That is still not the best option ever, but better than most, and certainly better than I used to eat in high school.


No chips to see here.

As a general rule, we don't allow chips or cookies in the house. Now, if we decide to throw a part-ay and have people over, then we will buy chips for the masses.

So what do we munch on instead of chips? Mostly these pretzel thins (moi) or the cheese crisps (the hubs) made also by pepperidge farms.

Why am I telling you this? Because I think it's crazy how much  preservatives and unnatural ingredients are being shoved into our bodies on a daily basis without us even knowing it. I like these bad boys to the left because they are all natural and I can pronounce most of the ingredients. I've been trying my best to not eat all the junk in the middle of the grocery store, but I do venture in there on occasion. Mostly I grab a couple of boxes of the pretzels, a case of soda for the hubs and a few canned veggies and tuna. The majority of my grocery shopping is from the (unfortunately more expensive) outer aisles. You should try it sometime - you might be surprised what you find.

*I was not paid in any way for supporting this product. I just really love it.


Father's Day part I

Last night we went to dinner with my parents to celebrate father's day. Because my new favorite thing to photograph is food, here is a sampling of what we ate:

Mom's fried eggplant tower

My grilled chicken sandwich with brie and a side salad - the chicken was actually really chewy and I jokingly told the waiter I tried to sell the chicken to someone else at the table but no one was buying because it was chewy and he took it off the bill!! I loved that!

Dad's flat iron steak, fries and stuffed tomato

The hubs' beef medallions, mashed potatoes and green beans.


Milk was a bad choice.

Today at work we had a free, celebratory lunch that included Ted Drewes. Ted Drewes is local frozen custard and awesome, so I chose to eat less of other things and save up my points/calories for that. For lunch, I ate a tiny apple, a hot dog sans bun, and ice cream. I still have 11 points for dinner, which is pretty standard, but OH MY was my stomach pissed at me for eating such unhealthy things.


Me and my hairdresser

I don't even know if hairdresser is the proper term these days, but that's what I call the person who cuts my hair. When we moved to Pleasantville (what my dad calls our new neighborhood) I had to find a new hairdresser. I asked a local blogger for a suggestion (thanks Courtney) and asked for someone who had curly hair. All of you with curly hair know why I asked for that. So that's how we met.

Last time I was visiting her, we talked about the two things we really have in common - working out and curly hair. She said the funniest thing that really stuck with me about working out. I was complaining about how sore my legs were from doing tons of lunges and squats because my legs/butt are the problem area on my body. She said she does the same exercises but not for the same reason. She said she doesn't really want to lose a lot of weight, but wants to "lift up" what's she's got "back there" and that lunges and squats were the way to do that (according to her personal trainer).

I think I'm going to make that another of my goals - to lift up what I've got.


Apple French Toast Goodness

I made this for Mother's Day and since I never posted it, I thought I'd post it for Father's Day. It's funny because we had breakfast to celebrate with my mom and this weekend we are having breakfast to celebrate with the hubs' dad.

Someone else is already bringing french toast casserole, so I won't bring another one, but this was really good.

The recipe was basically a loaf of french bread, sliced then layered in the bottom of a 9x13 greased pan. Throw sliced apples on top then cover in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. It said to throw a bunch of butter on top, but I didn't do that and it was still really good.


My summer garden

Eating healthy can start with a garden full of veggies. At our old house, we had a much larger back yard that backed up to woods, with plenty of space to plant a garden. Here at the new house, we have limited space to work with, so things are a little cramped. In the bottom right corner is yellow squash - there are baby squashies growing already!! We might have to take out on of the squash plants because they are sort of taking over the green peppers. The little guys on the left are the green peppers and the light green stuff growing up the fence are green beans. Surrounding them are 6 giant tomato plants. I also have a roma tomato plant in a pot on the deck. We tried to plant spinach and lettuce, but we planted so late that I only salvaged one salad worth before it was too hot and they all wilted.

The weekend of boats and friends

This weekend was awesome. Not only did I have a great time, but I saw a lot of people that I don't usually get to see, plus I stayed "on track" for the most part.

Friday night, the hubs and I stayed up talking to my father in law, during which I learned a few things about the hubs' biological parents. I know very little about them, and as we venture into the "we might start thinking about having a child" world, that information is precious to me.

Saturday I stumbled out of bed early enough to run a mile - which I've never done in the mornings. I usually end up walking some of it, so I'm proud of myself for running a mile straight at 0700. Then I went out to breakfast with some former coworkers and four young children. The kiddos were actually very well behaved, but it was intense for me to be surrounded by such an abundance of them. (This is where I backed up out of the "we might start thinking about having a child" world and enjoyed getting into my car sans little person in a car seat.)

After breakfast we met up with our pale friends for a few hours on the pontoon boat to relax. I could do that every single weekend if I had a house-cleaner. The weekends are usually my work-on-the-house time, so I feel guilty just sitting on my butt or floating in the water. But sometimes it's worth it. I didn't drink much, and at fairly well so I didn't feel bad one bit about soaking up some sun with friends.

Saturday night we went to a retirement party for the coach that hubs played for and then coached with. It ended up being much more fun that we thought it would be and was great to catch up with that group of people that we rarely see since we moved.

Yesterday the hubs cooked ribs for my parents and we got the pup back home safely. We think he might have pulled a muscle playing with the dog next door to my parents because he's having a hard time jumping up on the couch, but hopefully he'll get over it. He seems fine otherwise.

I hope your weekend was just as good!!


Super excited!

I firmly believe that your emotional health has a large part of your physical health. To make sure I'm in a good place to lose more weight this week - because I lost three pounds last week (does happy dance) and I want to continue on that path...

I have big plans for this weekend:
  • catching up with old friends
  • relaxing with the hubs
  • going out to breakfast
  • making ribs (well helping the hubs make ribs) for my parents on Sunday


BL update

Biggest Loser at work update: A total of 19 people signed up for the $10 donation to the BL pot, but I'm pretty sure there's only three of four of us really participating in this challenge, but whatever.

This morning, I weighed in on the "official" scale at work and I've lost a variety of pounds. This morning I weighed in at 186. I thought I weighed in originally (several weeks ago) at 194 (after drinking three SIGG bottles full of water and eating oatmeal and not peeing all morning, you know, this IS a competition for real dollars!!) but the official weigher-inner says I weighed in at 198. So if that's the case, I've lost 12 lbs so far, which equals about 6 percent of my body weight and for that I'm excited!

I've been weighing myself at home and haven't really seen much happen in the last few weeks so I decided to make things happen by doing several things:

  1. Run more.
  2. Eat less processed food.
  3. Eat more protein.
  4. Lift more weights.
  5. Drink less wine.
It might be working, so I think I'll stick with it.

The final weigh in is in two weeks, so I'll let you know how it goes.


I need to break the cycle.

For the past week or so, I've been setting the alarm for about an hour earlier than normal. Every evening I wish I would have worked out before work so I wouldn't have to deal with it after dinner. Then I tell myself that it's okay to just wait and work out in the morning. But when morning rolls around, I refuse to get out of the bed, telling myself I'll work out that night. It's a vicious cycle.

Less sodium is better

This might be too much information for some of you out there, but I'm going to share it anyways. Quit reading if you don't want to hear about my bloated stomach. 

Most days for lunch, I eat in the cafeteria of my building. We are mostly women, and we mostly bring our lunch. There are overpriced salads and sandwiches if you want to buy something, but I choose to bring my lunch. For me, the easiest thing to do is throw a sodium box (lean cuisine/smart ones and the like), a vitatop, and a piece of fruit plus yogurt for my afternoon snack into my reusable lunch bag - see, I'm green.

Fast forward two hours: Most days after lunch I get so bloated that it literally hurts. My pants are tight and I can visibly see that my stomach is sticking out farther. I could probably take a de-gas pill and be more comfortable, but I'd rather figure out the problem than rely on a pill. So, early last week, I decided to try sodium-box-free lunches. Since then I have not had a sodium box (or can for that matter because I was eating a lot of soup during the winter) and guess what??

No more mid-afternoon bloat.


I heart Land O'Lakes

This is an amazing discovery!! I don't know about you, but I love my coffee in the morning. Some might say I don't drink it properly because I dilute it with frivolous things like fat free half and half or sugar free vanilla syrup, but I just love drinking it on the way to work. It's part of my commute now. The best news ever is that now it comes in a half gallon! A half gallon of half and half! Say that 10 times fast.

On a side note, for those who shop at the place with all the "rollbacks," you might have noticed that they now have their own version of this delicious treat. The hubs and I have both tried to like it, for the price, but agree that the version shown here is worth the extra cents.

While I refuse to drink the off-brand, I also refuse to by this product overpriced at the local upscale grocery store, which happens to be the closest to my house. So with the new half-half-half version, I have to visit the 30-minute-lines-store less often.

*I was not paid in any way for supporting this product. I just really love it.

Under Construction

I think I'm going to take this blog to a whole new level. Stick around if you want to see how it turns out.

Lately, I've been trying to eat and live more healthy. On the drive home tonight (which is continually getting longer and longer by the way) I was thinking about all the products that are helping me be healthy or at least on the right track, and I thought maybe others would want to know about a few of them. The other thing I want to do is live my life more "green" and set a good foundation for when we decide to bring children into this world. We really don't eat fast food as it is, but I need to step up my game on the cooking front. I have a few things I know how to do well, but I really need to branch out because I doubt my children will be okay with cereal or oatmeal as a well-rounded dinner.

I'm also planning to steer this space to more of a journal for my eating/exercising habits with all the trials and tribulations that come with it. I've kind of been going that route for a while now anyways, but now I'm telling you so you can steer clear of this tiny space on the web if that does not interest you.


10 years, still the same

Last night was my 10 year high school reunion. I did not go.

I went back and forth - to go or not to go. In the end, I didn't really have anyone to go with, and it was a little on the pricey side, especially considering I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy myself. For me, high school was the time in my life when I was most depressed, most fat and least like "me" as I am today. I have absolutely zero desire to remember that time, or those people, in my life and so for that reason, I'm glad I didn't go. I'm glad I didn't see the people who gave me dirty looks or made fun of my weight. I'm glad I can see all the pictures on FB and see what people look like now - that's the only reason I would have gone. I wanted to go to show all the bia's what I look like now and to say "HA! you got fatter, and I did the opposite."

But that's no way to live.

So, I decided not to go. The hubs didn't go to his reunion last year, which surprised me because we had complete opposite experiences in high school, but it was his decision. He was Mr. Popular from what I can tell and loved every minute of grades 9-12.

We both agree that the people we want to talk to from high school are already in our lives and there's no point to "reconnect" because we already do that thanks to the internets.


I want to be one of the cool kids.

We've been without our computer for two weeks now and just got it back. I'm thankful for that because during these two weeks I've seriously considered getting a smart phone. I couldn't deal without facebook all day (which is sad and another post altogether) and I have serious phone envy for my husband's droid.

Unfortunately we just cannot afford another $30/month right now for me to get a data plan. I thought maybe I could justify the extra cost if unlimited texts were included in that $30 data plan, but apparently cell phones know exactly how to make money, and that's one of them.

Until I can cut $30 out of the bazillions of extra sports channels we pay dishnetwork for each month, I don't see a droid in my future :(


Operation Tan

Over the holiday weekend, we ended up at a bar downtown and somehow the topic of tans came up. During our extended (and I mean we spent waaay too much time talking about tans) the hubs says that me, his wife, has never had a Tan. That's a tan with a capital T because it was discovered in this convo that my husband has a particular version of Tan that most people do not reach. While I do get some color most summers, I do not usually go the Tan route that my sister (a teacher who spends her summers at the pool) reaches.

Because I am annoyed that he thinks I cannot get a Tan, this summer is now called Operation Tan. I will work on getting a tan with a capital T - and I will not fake-bake. The last time I got in a tanning bed I came out with red blotchies all over my chest. That also happened to be the week before our wedding, so I might have had a conniption fit about it and vowed never to tan in a tanning bed again.