Stealing quotes and adding thoughts

I just read another blogger's post about happiness and choosing to be happy or not, and one thing Eat Move Write wrote really made me think.

She said "Maybe you have to try to remember that you’re not 343 pounds anymore, that you’re not the girl that nobody wants anymore."

While I was 260 instead of 343, I think the point is that I too have a hard time with that mentality. There are days that I look in the mirror and see the girl who couldn't fit in. I see fat everywhere, even though it's probably still there in most places, there is much less fat. I still see the imperfections and think that everyone else sees them too. 

Even though I have stretch marks as physical scars from my heavier days, those don't bother me. It's the mental scars that still get to me and make me question myself.  Deep down, I know that I'm not the same girl that nobody wanted way back then, but sometimes she gets back under my skin and just needs a good kick in the ass.


A peek into my gym

I used to go to the gym all the time. The hubs and I used to go together after work and work out (together, but separate) before dinner. It was great that we were going together, but we gradually started buying home gym equipment and now we have almost everything we need right here at home. We stopped paying for a gym membership several years ago, and most of the time that's just fine with me. There are some days that I wish we had a leg lift (because my legs/behind are my problem areas) but that exercise can be done in another way - like squats on the squat rack in the garage or lunges in the driveway.

Lately I've been lifting in the garage (and yes, it's pretty tight with a in there too!!) while the hubs is at practice in the evenings. I've been doing 2 sets of 20 squats (with 55lbs) and lunges down the driveway and back for my legs and triceps (35lbs) and biceps (20lbs) and a bent over row for my back. I'm also working to improve my time on the presidential fitness test - hanging from a bar. I think that deserves it's own post though.

I'm sure that others who lift seriously think my workout is a joke, but it gets my heart rate going and it's short enough that I can stick with it. My personal trainer introduced me to 2 sets of 20, as compared to the normal 3 sets of 15 I was used to. I kind of prefer it for a quick workout.


Pork wellington

This weekend we had some friends over so I wanted to make something somewhat healthy, but tasty for dinner. I watched Alton Brown (I'm somewhat addicted to Good Eats) make Pork Wellington the other day and have been itching to try it. (Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite cuts of meat because it's almost fat free and yet still delicious!) Then the pork Gods shined down on me because pork tenderloins were on sale half price at our grocery store!! We stocked up.

Unfortunately, we gobbled up the pork wellington so fast that I forgot to snap a photo, but I promise it was good!! My puff pastry didn't bubble up as nice as Alton's but it was still really tasty. and I would recommend putting twice as much apples as Alton called for. We all wanted more apples.


I need more yoga.

In my previous professional life, I worked at a community college. While the pay was mediocre, the little benefits are what I really appreciated - such as the cosmetology department where I could get my eyebrows done or a mani/pedi and the community education classes that meant I could take a yoga class for free on my lunch breaks. So for several years, I did yoga at least 1-2x per week and my body loved it. I could sit Indian-style and was very close to doing it with my feet above my knees comfortably at my desk. I can still sit regular Indian-style at my desk (in my desk chair) but not for very long. My feet fall asleep.

Since I've been in my current professional role (more than two years), I haven't kept up with my yoga habit. I rarely do it at home, and if I do, it's not for an hour. The other night I did just two sun salutations and a few other poses while watching tv - and let me tell you that my arms are telling me how long it has been since I've done a push up.


Sam's Club

I used to have a Sam's card, but a few years ago I decided it wasn't worth the extra yearly fee to buy things in bulk. I was only going to eat the samples, which is not a good habit. I bought stupid things like a package of pot stickers for $8 that were so gross by the last one - I'll never buy those again.

We are a family of 2 + dog, so we don't really need things in bulk. However, I went the other day because I wanted to stock up on the big bags of DD coffee. I managed to stock up on $120 worth of bulk things while I was there - including this guy:

A monster jar of animal crackers. Just so you can see how big it is, it's almost the same height as my 27lb pug. And in case you can't read it, that's a 4 lb jar of animal crackers.


What do you clean with?

Recently I found a local (in St. Louis) company that makes green cleaning products. I bought this large bottle for $5 and already LOVE the stuff. I tried using another green cleaner  from Target, but I don't think it works as well as 409 - which is my go-to for the kitchen and bathroom. But the local cleaner is awesome. It cleans grease just as well as 409 AND I like that it's natural. I'm not scared to put food directly on the counter when I clean with this product and I'm also happy to be supporting a local business.


Can you be fat AND happy?

A woman I know is a large, and what I call overweight, person. But for whatever reason, she seems to be really happy and never cares about what she's eating or her lack of exercise. When I was "fat" I was the opposite of happy. I was so unhappy that I've blocked about six years of my life from memory. I really don't feel like I'm that person anymore (which I think entails it's own post, so I won't dwell on that thought) but I know that when I think about that girl, she was depressed and lonely even though the outside might have appeared "happy." I went out with my friends. I made new friends in college. I pretended to have a good time and smile and laugh, but deep down I wasn't really happy with myself. I didn't have a bad life overall - I didn't live on a bed like some really large people do. I still went to class in college. I worked on breaks when I was back home. I still kept moving forward in life. But I don't feel like I started living MY life until the weight began to come off.

So I'm curious - do you think the woman I know (or others you might know like her) is really truly happy? Or is she just faking it like I did?


Strawberry Cheesecake

This is another sweet tooth post, but I think you all should know these are coming, right? I mean the title has sweet tooth in it!

Anyway, I'm always checking the ice cream aisle during the summer and last week these things were on sale for $1 each. I only bought one because I don't usually like the consistency of "diet" ice cream. Something about it just grosses me out, but I love me some strawberry cheesecake so I decided to try it.

The Skinny Cow Strawberry Cheesecake thing was awesome!! It was just as creamy as real ice cream and was a perfect serving size. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who likes strawberry cheesecake anything. They also had a brownie bite one that I thought the hubs would like, but he opted for fruit popsicles instead.


Sweets galore!

Sometimes, having a sweet tooth can get you into some real trouble. I do my best to stay away from "real" sweets - the ones with real butter, sugar and other things that are tasty, but horrible for someone trying to lose weight.

However, when my bro-in-law asked if I would help man his bakery's booth at a local art fair, I accepted.

This put me in close range with a lot of sweet treats, with very little willpower. Things like carrot cake, gooey butter cake (an STL thing if you are not from St. Louis) and a port wine chocolate torte, which ended up winning Best Dessert at the fair.

And a photo my sister took of me stealing a bite of gooey butter. In my defense, it was the knife scrapings that they were just going to throw away. I couldn't let it go to waste!!



Fresh-picked apple pie

This weekend I discovered two things about my father in law's house. There are apple trees and a pecan tree in the front yard!!. I've only been going to that house since 2004 when the hubs and I started dating, but no one ever told me that either of these things existed!!! The tree shown at the top of this photo is one of those secret apple trees. So you can see how far it is from the house, and usually I don't go walking across the yard to investigate tree types.

I brought home a bag of golden delicious apples that are just starting to be ripe. I kept three to eat plain and turned the rest into this:

If you are interested in the recipe, I sort of combined a few, but mostly using the plaid cookbook's version. I took a tip from Alton Brown and let the apple sit in their sugar/lemon juice for 90 minutes in a colander, dripping into a bowl. That way when you bake them, they don't have the puffed up crust because the sugar has already shrunk them a bit. Something like that - if you want to know the details, ask Alton.

Here's what I used:
9 small apples, peeled, cored, sliced.
1/4 cup sugar
2 T lemon juice

Then, boil the juice you collect in the bowl under the sugar apples to make about 2T sweet apple concentrate juice. Mix that with the apples.
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t salt
2 T flour

Throw that in the crust you just made or bought. I bought. It's meh, because I didn't have time to go to trader joe's. I prefer their pie crust.


The green monster

My first green monster was a little thinner than I like my smoothies, but it was still pretty delish (sorry for the half-drank photo but you see what it truly looks like - kinda gross)!! I couldn't taste the spinach at all. I did add 2 T of peanut butter to give it a PB/Banana flavor since I didn't have any blueberries (my first choice). I offered to let the hubs try it, but he turned up his nose at it. Not sure if it was the color or just too early for him.

Let's see if it keeps me full. Normally, smoothies just don't cut it for me, so I always try to chew my breakfast to stay full longer.

Note: I did feel full much longer than my normal breakfast of a vitatop or eggo (at 730) and oatmeal (at 930). I normally eat both of those things and end up really hungry by lunch at 1130. Today I drank the monster on the way to work (at 8) and didn't eat until 1130. I was hungry but not crazy hungry.


Ali Sweeney

Ok, I love Ali Sweeney. I admit it. I have loved her since day 1 on Days of our Lives (unless she's crying. I don't like her fake cry), but then I loved her even more for hosting my other fav show Biggest Loser, and also just her in general for being so healthy and promoting it. And not to mention that she's super cool on twitter.

Now, she's even cooler in my book because she's blogging. And it's really her. Not a ghost writer. (I think!) Check out this post about parents teaching their kiddos bad choices.