Sunday, February 27, 2011

11 Week Challenge: Week 7

Hope that your week went well. I did find that having eggs and cut veggies on hand (and lots and lots of grapes) helped me stay out of the chocolate some (although I'm still not doing great at that challenge). This week is all about motivation!

Week 7: Strengthen Your Resolve

The goal this week involves making yourself some motivational notecards. The article says to write a motivational phrase on a card and stash it where you'll see it often. Frankly, cheesy mantras don't do a lot for me. I'm a very visual person. So my goal for the week is to post some visual motivation. A picture of 'thin me' on the fridge, the pair of jeans I miss wearing on the top of the pants pile - little things like that. Whatever will get you to behave when you're tempted to splurge (or lounge) is perfect for this week's challenge. So have fun, be creative and stick to it! :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Weekly Weigh In and re-evaluation

Time for the weekly weigh in and progress report.

Current weight: Around 128.5 Still stuck
Triumph of the week: More turbokick and I've been working on throwing in exercise where I can (even did the 'silly mom working out at the playground' thing)
Pitfall of the week: More sweets. Yeah, I baked gingerbread just because we had whipping cream to use up. In hindsight, should have used it for something like pumpkin soup with some redeeming value in it. Also, fell off the no-chocolate bandwagon Monday, wednesday and thursday. Starting over today. I need to get the stuff out of the house because stress makes me crave it soooo bad.
Goal for next week: Keep up the working out, give up the chocolate.

And on a side note, life is getting in the way. I'm a total mess (and not even a hot one :p) emotionally right now and it's not helping me with the whole weight loss issue. On the up-side, I'm not food-restricting to cope - but the whole weight thing is just adding to the other stress I'm putting myself through. Things should resolve some as life gets back to normal (aka rejoining the rest of the world at playgroup and church, getting more God time, etc) and as I get more sleep (everyone here is/has been sick for over a week) - but in the meantime I've made a pact with myself to cut myself some slack. The baby is only 3 months old. The only reason I lost weight fast with my first two is because I never made time to eat and wasn't taking care of myself. As they say "it takes 9 months to put the weight on (or in this case 3 years) so we can't expect it to come right off." So my goal is just going to be do the best I can and not worry about what I weigh or how fat I 'feel.' The people who love me don't care if my tummy is a little poochy or I can barely squeeze into my jeans. I need to take care of my emotional health before I worry about 'getting skinny' - because if I don't I'm going to lose perspective and my goal will change from 'slimmer and toned' to 'skinny' to 'too skinny' and that can't happen. Not to mention that if I focus on hating how I look it'll morph into hating myself and that won't help me get better either. And this coming week is going to be extra-stressful just off the bat so I'm forgiving myself for planning a couple nights of frozen pizza and mac'n'cheese (with plenty of veggies on the side of course). Anyway, sorry for the rant - just thought I'd put out there where I am now and possibly why I'm not losing a pound and how I'm dealing with it at the moment :) So - how are things going for you?

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Chocolate Challenge

I've become very aware as of late just how addicted to chocolate I am. My body literally begs for it and I do get a mini 'high' from eating it. Probably just the dose of caffeine, but it doesn't seem healthy to me. I've read over and over how the foods we're addicted to are often foods that we're mildly allergic to (or intolerant of). And goodness knows, despite the fact that I crave it hard, eating chocolate does make me feel a little 'poisoned' when I'm done. So - I'm strengthening my resolve and attempting a chocolate fast. The goal is to stay off the stuff for two weeks. If that goes well, we'll try a little longer. It is going to be rough! As I discovered during detox week, I get mean when I don't get chocolate. I might try substituting green tea for my daily caffeine kick (I'm really sensitive to the stuff so it doesn't take much to get me through the day) and see if that helps. And I'm going to find a way to get all the chocolate we currently have out of the house. I'm hoping that this doesn't send me on some other sort of heinous sugar binge (aka cookies cookies cookies) in an attempt to satisfy the candy craving. I may have to go out and buy a lot of fruit for my sweet tooth at first. Either way, I think it needs to be done (we'll see if it has an effect on some other skin/mood/sleep issues I've been having, too). Feel free to leave lots of love, I'm going to need a ton of moral support for this one!

11 Week Challenge: Week 6

Did you drink lots of water this past week? I did well some days and not well enough others. But I do keep a bottle full of water with me in whatever room I'm in which helps me remember to drink often. I just need to remind myself to guzzle instead of sip :) Are you ready for this week? We're going to:

Week 6: Cook for Ease and Health

The idea this week is to batch-cook healthy ingredients and snacks so it's easy to prepare healthy meals even when you're crunched for time. The article suggests keeping a few of the following items handy - hard boiled eggs, cooked dry beans, boiled whole grain pasta, baked chicken breasts, cooked oatmeal, cooked brown rice, roasted veggies and potatoes, homemade hummus, homemade salsa, kale chips and yogurt ice pops.

In my case I keep a big bowl of hard boiled eggs in my fridge - I find it makes an easy breakfast when I'm tempted to make grits dripping with cheese, and the kids like to snack on them too. I also try to keep baby carrots and snow peas in my crisper - I actually prefer to snack on those instead of chocolate - but if I'm out of cut-up veggies, I head straight to the candy. I'm pretty meticulous in my dinnertime menu planning and always have some easy ideas on hand in case I'm too tired for what I scheduled - but breakfasts and lunches are a little less structured (and I don't plan snacks at all) so I know that I need to keep easy, healthy foods on hand for those meals so I don't fall-back on junk. So far so good this week - we'll see if I can keep it up.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekly Weigh In

Time for the weekly weigh in and progress report.

Current weight:Somewhere between 128-130. I need a new scale. Either way, I'm not losing.
Triumph of the week: Went to Turbokick and loved it. Hoping to keep going. Been a lot more energized - I think the gorgeous weather helped.
Pitfall of the week: Sweets - baked cookies for valentines, ate entire box of valentines candy, ate some more chocolate from the pantry. Had ice cream one night. Ugh. I need to keep more snacking veggies around the house - if they're there, I'll eat those first. If not, I head right to the chocolate. And no more baking for a long while. Yeah.
Goal for next week: No more sweets (or very few) and make myself sit to eat breakfast even if I'm only eating a hardboiled egg.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where I Am Now

I thought it wasn't quite fair to leave up my 'skinny pictures' on the side there without posting an accurate picture of what I look like now - and how far I have to go. So here I am at 130 lbs or so (I s'pose the blousey shirt was a poor choice). 20 lbs to go before I hit my 'ideal' again - but I can do it! In the meantime I'm just proud that I am NOT wearing maternity pants in this picture. Although I am in pretty serious need of a makeover *sigh* Anyway, there ya go :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Turbokick = Love

Last night I took my first Turbokick class with some of the moms from playgroup - and I loved it! I'm a little surprise that I survived since it's mega intense and super long (although I think that second bit was actually the pi-yo class that follows?) but I got through it and it felt great! I mean, I hurt really bad today, but in the good "I'm finally moving my tush and getting healthy" sorta way. I'm sure I look like a total fool and it's going to take me a while to learn all the moves, but I think I've finally found a class I could really stick with (although, I have to take a night off while I don't have childcare, and if I get into the play I'm auditioning for then I'd have to take a month off). But for the longrun, I think it's something I'd like to continue with. And it's a much better time slot than the weeknight yoga class I was taking. So yay for that! In other exciting news, the weather is improving! Which means I can start taking the kids out for brisk walks in the very heavy double stroller to get in a workout -at least as long as the baby is still in the snuggly - but by the time she outgrows it my oldest should be in preschool so we could do mornings then. Anyway, I'm feeling so much better today just having had a wee bit of exercize -it's amazing! Just wanted to share :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

11 Week Challenge: Week 5

Hope that week 4: savoring foods went well for you. I was successful sometimes, though more often than not I let distractions get the better of me. Again, I can keep trying and not let it get me down. This week should be pretty easy. Yay.

Week 5: Drink Up!

That's right, this week we are focusing on our liquid intake. The basics: replace sugary drinks (or even diet sweet drinks) and coffee with water, milk, or tea - and try to increase overall liquid consumption (eating foods with high water content also counts). If you really want to kick it up a notch, try drinking a glass of water 10-20 minutes before each meal and any time you think you feel hungry. You just might notice that you're eating less by no longer confusing thirst with hunger. Besides weight loss, there are all kinds of great health benefits from staying hydrated (like healthier skin, improved clarity of thought and decreased joint pain). So drink up and feel better!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Detox Rundown

Here's how detox week went: Not well. I started Monday morning. Monday and Tuesday were great. I did cheat a little on Monday (as previously stated) but not entirely on purpose. Tuesday was a pretty much perfect day. By Wednesday I gave in to the great chocolate monster. Thursday was more chocolate and by Friday I'd totally given up and went to lunch at Red Robin with Grandma and the kids (although, in my defense, I passed up a milkshake, nachos and a burger and had a salad and a few fries with a glass of water instead). Today I had cheese in my hot cereal, milk with lunch, and tacos for dinner - and plenty of chocolate. That'll teach me to try to detox during one of the most stressful weeks of my entire winter. I am planning to try again in the spring when my schedule will have me out of the house more and when I'm naturally more inclined to eat lots of fruits and veggies.

Here's what went right, however: I did eat a TON of veggies. Like enormous piles of carrots and snow peas with my hummus for lunch, big bowls of mixed veggies for snacks, lots of peanut-butter-apples for breakfast, etc. And because I was eating fruits and veggies, so did the kids. And even though I gave up on detox week before it was over, I was feeling so much better after even just a few short days that I've been making much healthier choices on a regular basis in an effort to avoid post-detox tummy ache. For instance, the burger-for-salad swap on Friday. Or saying no to pancakes this morning in favor of multi-grain hot cereal and a grapefruit (oh yum!). I even lost a couple of pounds and I feel a whole lot slimmer and more energetic even if I don't look it. So, while it's really hard to eat clean all the time, I'm definitely reminded of the benefits of making healthier choices more often than not. I needed to remind myself that treats are just that - treats, not the foundation of my diet (as I'd been pretending they could be for months).

I'm trying to think of this past week not as a failure but as a valuable educational experience that will hopefully keep motivating me for a long time to come. And maybe the next time I'll make it just a little longer - we shall see :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekly Weigh In

Time for the weekly weigh in and progress report.

Current weight: Before breakfast I weighed in at 127. Nice :)
Triumph of the week: Two whole days of detox that went well. And really, the only cheating I did was with a little chocolate. I did eat a TON of veggies and fruit and feel a lot better. And I did a bit of a workout yesterday. Oh, and I used a salad plate for dinner last night and was plenty full :)
Pitfall of the week: Chocolate. It's been a looooong exhausting week and unfortunately when I can't get outside, chocolate is my go-to stress reducer. It's pretty pathetic.
Goal for next week: Try out turbo-kick, keep up the veggie eating (despite being on an eat-out-of-the-freezer budget for a couple weeks). More sporadic workouts would be good too.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm a cheater

Here's the rundown on detox week thus far. I'm three days in and not doing super hot. I've cheated here and there - sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. For instance, Monday I'd totally forgotten that the cashew loaf I'd planned for dinner required quite a bit of butter (not allowed) and several slices of bread (also banned) - though I did substitute rice cakes for 2/3 of the bread and it still tasted just fine. Yesterday went smoothly, though we had tofu pepper steak for dinner and that's one of my favorite things ever. Yumm. But today, not only did I put about a tsp of butter on my giant pile of mixed veggies, but by late afternoon I was so tired and so stressed out by two super whiny little boys that I truly felt like my head would explode if I didn't have some chocolate. I was really on the verge of turning into super-screamy-mommy monster - I figured it was ok to compromise my diet just a wee bit for the sake of not being horrible to my children. So I had two small bites of organic 74% dark chocolate - not too shabby considering all the other forms of chocolate in my pantry (aka the chocolate covered pomegranate seeds that we're using as potty training treats for the boys - the ones that have been calling my name all week). On the other hand, I do feel a lot more energetic and have been eating a TON of raw (and some cooked) veggies. And I discovered that millet makes a fantastic substitute for cous cous. So some successes and a few missteps - tomorrow is another day and another try (and I bought another can of black bean soup - loooove that stuff). Just trying to make it to Sunday - might get tricky since I didn't menu plan for the weekend. But we shall see -either way I feel a lot better already (and now I know just how addicted to chocolate I really am *sigh*). Wish me luck for days #4-7 :)

Do It For The Kids

Everyone's heard the cliche 'actions speak louder than words.' Well this week that adage has really been brought home to me. During these first couple days of detox I think my kids have eaten more fruits and veggies than they've eaten this entire year so far. And they love them. It's partly because we don't really have anything else in the house (can't give them cookies if I have none). But it's mostly because they see Mommy and Daddy eating them - and enjoying them! If I'm having a cookie for a snack, the kids also want a cookie. But apparently if I'm downing a big bowl of mixed veggies, they'll beg for those too! Henry also finished off an entire plate of veggies and begged for more the other day - the secret? Hummus! He loves hummus and could not wait to get more carrots to dip. They were begging for frozen-fruit-through-the-juicer 'ice cream' last night and nearly got in a fight over their grapes at snack time today. Woah. That's some kind of accountability there. I can give in and have a cookie - but my kids will suffer too. They're watching me.

On a similar note I've been thinking a lot about my kids and body image. As in, when my daughter is a little older, she's going to start to notice when Mommy calls herself a 'fat cow' - and how will that influence how she feels about herself or how she prioritizes weight and health? Better to keep those thoughts to myself (or banish them forever) and instead talk about how good it feels to work out or how healthy I feel when I eat well. I can take the kids to yoga class or run with them in the back yard - any time I'm feeling down on myself I can use that as impetus to teach my kids a new healthy habit.

All this time I've been complaining that I have no accountability for my new weight-loss and healthy-lifestyle makeover - but I spend all day with the greatest accountability I can ask for. After all, as another adage goes, the kids will 'do as I do, not as I say.'

Monday, February 7, 2011

11 Week Challenge: Week 4

How did you do with week 3? Did you manage to fit in more exercize? I'm going to confess, I didn't do great. I did try out a couple workout videos online (and hated them) and did a little dancing around with the kids, but frankly I've been so exhausted that it's taken all my energy just to get us all dressed and fed and get the groceries and laundry done etc. But, I'll try again this week :) Now on to-

Week 4: Sit and Savor Meals

This week we are going to work on mindful eating. If you've been following me all along, you'll know that's something I struggle with. Here are the steps to mindful eating recommended by the article:
1) Turn off the tv (or in my case, put away the magazine).
2) Sit down. Sit in a chair at a table, even for snacks.
3) Put on some music. Soothing music is relaxing.
4) Chew everything at least 10 times. More is even better. You'll eat slower and your stomach doesn't have to work as hard.
5) Focus on the flavor. Notice how each bite of food tastes and feels in your mouth.
6) Listen to your belly. When your stomach says it's full, put the fork down. Don't wait until you're stuffed.

Whew, ok, that's a lot to work on. Even when I'm not reading I'm usually so busy talking to my family or hopping up and down getting people food/forks/toy trucks that I don't pay one bit of attention to what or how much I'm eating. I wolf things down as fast as I can so I can be ready to wipe little faces and hands and get kids to the bath. All of a sudden I'm stuffed and uncomfortable and not losing any weight at all. So my biggest goal will be - put the fork down when I'm distracted and only pick it back up when I'm ready to notice what I'm eating. Which means I'll be eating a LOT slower and probably a lot less. But that's a good thing :) Especially since it's detox week and I'm trying out lots of new (vegan) recipes - I really ought to be taking the time to taste them and see if they're worth making again. Best of luck to you all!!

p.s. is anyone still with me on this? At all?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Detox anyone?

As I mentioned yesterday, our family will be starting Detox Week on Monday. I've been having a dismal time losing any weight so far, and I have zero energy lately on top of feeling generally 'off' most of the time. So, inspired by this fantastic blog, I decided it was time for our whole family to detox. I'll be modifying this some for the kids who would go totally ape on me if they couldn't have some milk and cheese every day, but here's the idea.

For one week we will eat 3 meals a day without dairy, sugar, gluten (or processed grains of any kind), meat, or (gasp) chocolate (which I suppose goes along with sugar). Unless I totally forget, I'm also cutting out corn (which used to be a food intolerance of mine). This should allow our systems to rest a bit and clear out some of the toxins that have been storing up in our bodies over time. That is, if I don't completely lose my mind in the process.

Part of detoxing is getting over cravings (usually for foods that our bodies don't handle well to begin with) - but in the process, cravings usually get stronger for a day or two. So I can eat all the veggies and millet and tofu I want and still feel totally starved. Until I hit the half way mark at which point things start to get easier and I start to feel amazing - I always feel thinner and more energetic and I even feel like my brain thinks clearer. Considering how much better I feel after a detox, it's strange that I continue to eat my carb/dairy/sugar laden diet all the time.

This time, though, the goal is to get through detox week, then make a conscious effort to eat more vegan/clean every week. Sugar and dairy and meat should be treats, not a way of life. My menu next week includes such things as hot qunioa flakes with applesauce and raisins, hummus with veggies, tofu pepper steak,chick pea stew over millet, cashew loaf and roasted winter veggies, black bean soup and lots and lots of fruit. I'm actually pretty exited about it, although I know it'll be rough in the beginning. So wish me luck! (And feel free to join me if you like!)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weekly Weigh In

Time for the weekly weigh in and progress report.

Current weight: my (very inconsistent) scale had me somewhere between 127 - 132. Progress, I guess.
Triumph of the week: Saturday yoga, lots of fruits and veggies - did better at balancing my meals.
Pitfall of the week: Baking. I made peach/mango cobbler cake on Wednesday because I'd been stuck in the snow and wanted something warm (and a hot, healthy casserole wasn't enough apparently). Then Henry begged for biscuits on Thursday so of course I gave in and made cheddar bay biscuits. And ate half of them. Booo. Oh, and I didn't meet my workout goal from last week.
Goal for next week: Next week is detox week (more on that later) so my goal is to get through the week without cheating on the diet. I need to clean out and jumpstart my system but this is gonna be hard! And if I can work out more, that'd be good too :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Healthy Eats: Lentil Loaf

I was a vegetarian for 10 years and since we preferred to avoid heavily processed soy, we had to look beyond 'fake meat' for good meat substitutes. I missed eating meatloaf, so we would make a loaf using lentils and nuts instead. I've since discovered that just like meatloaf, it's a great way to hide veggies for the kids. My 3 year old just heard the word 'loaf' and gobbled down 2 helpings. He didn't even seem to notice that it wasn't meat. So here's the recipe:

Lentil Loaf

4 cups water
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped*
1 carrot, grated*
1/4 cup spinach, shredded*
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
5 slices whole grain bread, crumbled**
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp savory
1/4 tsp marjoram
salt and pepper to taste

Boil lentils in water for 45 minutes. Drain well (I recommend leaving them in the sink for several hours). Transfer lentils to large bowl and mash well. Add remaining ingredients and mash until well mixed. Spoon into well greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

* Substitute any veggies you like as long as you wind up with about 1/5-2 cups (including onion). I often use green pepper instead of celery.
** Start with one slice bread and add until reaching desired consistency.