Monday, January 27, 2014

Tighten Up

Howdy everyone! Can you believe it’s almost February?  It’s unreal how quickly time goes by.  On the one hand, I’m glad we are moving out of January because I am so sick of this cold weather.  It will be cold enough to have snow this week.  It is no easy task to run in freezing conditions.  I am still training for the half marathon and last week, I had to run 72 minutes in freezing weather.  You have to wear more clothes which is distracting on top of the fact that it’s just downright cold.  The training is going well.  The big long runs wear me out but I’m managing them pretty well.  Because January is almost over, that means it’s time for me to weigh.  I haven’t weighed since the holidays so I’m going to step on the scale for the first time in a while at some point this weekend.  Other than slipups I’ve made on the weekends, I’ve done extremely well since January second.  My goal was to lose the holiday weight plus one pound by February second.  I am hoping to at least be close to that goal.  I will definitely let you know if I hit it or not next week.  Keep pressing onward y’all.  If you started a diet at the beginning of the year, now is the time when it starts to get difficult because you may be experiencing a bit of burn out.  Trust me, I get it.  I’ve only had one perfect weekend this month…just do your best and if you fall, get right back up.

Rather than a recipe this week, I’m going to share a few finds.  I like to go out and have fun on the weekends.  One of the problems with that is when you get home or when you wake up in the morning, you often crave something greasy.  I always want fast food or pizza.  Obviously, these are not the best options.  Weight Watchers has put out a new frozen meal that has chicken tenders and French fries.  It’s actually quite good.  You put it on the crisping tray that they include so it’s not mushy.  It’s a bit higher in points than most lean frozen meals and there’s only two chicken tenders but when you are craving fried food, it’s a far better alternative than running to Burger King.  I also think that the meal tastes really good.  I’ve had it quite a few times. 

Both my mother and Cassandra have bragged on the Dole Dippers.  I tried them a few weeks ago.  You get four bites of strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. If you're a chocolate lover, you'll understand how awesome that is. This snack tastes delicious and is much better for your waistline than ice cream or other desserts.  I don’t like bananas but I think they also have those.

I know it’s simple but string cheese is an awesome snack to have.  Sometimes, when I come to work with my apple slices and string cheese, I feel like a five year old but really, you can’t go wrong.  I especially like to get the Weight Watchers brand because they have some that are only one point.  Plus, you get some nutrition and the enjoyment of pulling it off one string at a time…just like when you were a kid.

I’d like to give my Oma a shout out.  Not only does she hook me, my mom, my aunt Kris and I up with gymnastics seasons tickets (which allowed me to bump into Jordan and go to the Pink Meet at Coleman Coliseum), she also found some special edition Harry Potter stamps and gave me two books of them.  I absolutely love them!  I didn’t show all of them here but the rest of the stamps are on Facebook.  They are pretty cool.  Thanks Oma!

I will be back next week with hopefully good (or at least decent) news about my trip on the scale.

I hope y’all have a great week!


“When I was young and moving fast
Nothing slowed me down
Now I let the others pass
I’ve come around,
Oh come around
‘Cause I’ve found

Living just to keep going
Going just to be sane
All the while not knowing
It’s such a shame

I don’t need to get steady
I know just how I feel
I’m telling you to be ready…” Tighten Up-The Black Keys

Monday, January 20, 2014

So fill up your lungs and just run...

Happy MLK day, y’all! Congrats to those who get the day off.  I hope that we all remember the importance of this day and the messages that we are supposed to remember.  I had a week of perfection last week…at least until Saturday.  I had a few missteps over the weekend with food but overall, I’m not too disappointed.  I’d really like to have a perfect weekend coming up though because it’s the last weekend before I start weighing again.  Hopefully I’ve done well enough to have lost the holiday weight I gained like I planned.  I do feel like I’ve shed a few pounds so here’s hoping it’s enough. 

I know I’ve mentioned that I’m training for a half marathon.  This week, I had to run 66 minutes without stopping.  I did this without too much trouble.  The trouble came later when I could barely move.  The other problem that I had when I got done was that I was STARVING.  I know that when you run for long distances, it’s important to take in more calories but I also have rules I need to follow.  One of the issues was that I had no groceries.  My funds have been running low the past few weeks so I had gotten behind on my groceries.  I like picking up quick food and eating at restaurants just like anybody but when you’re dieting, it’s important to limit those trips because for one, the portions you are given are often more than the recommended serving, often making the calories/points skewed.  Also, you can save money and points by eating at home.  I think it’s so important to have food and snacks at home.  If you are hungry and there’s no low calorie snack or fruit to grab in your cabinets, you may just say “forget it” and run to McDonald’s.  If you have a well-stocked cabinet, you have less ability to justify not eating what you already have at home.  So, my advice is to make sure you have options.  Even if you go over a bit because you were starving and ate some extra baked chips, it’s better than having a large fry in a moment of weakness.  I had to learn that the hard way this weekend.  It’s all about progress though, y’all.  Keep at it.

I wanted to share a recipe I made last week.  I am bringing back the Morning Star crumbles.  If you didn’t see my post last week, I recommended that you all try these crumbles.  They resemble meat and are low in fat.  This week, I made a pizza using high fiber flat bread, the crumbles, spaghetti sauce and fat free cheese.  Look, I won’t lie, if you go in with the mindset that this is a pizza substitute, you will be sorely disappointed.  Don’t consider it pizza at all actually.  If you can get the word pizza out of your mind, this isn’t so bad.  I just put all of it together and baked it for a few minutes.  It’s low in calories and it’s pretty big which follows my rule of getting the most food for the least amount of calories. 

I hope you all enjoy your week.  This week for my half marathon training, I will have to run 72 minutes without stopping.  We will see how it goes.  I am sure I will let you know! Bye!

“You said, remember that life is
Not meant to be wasted
We can always be chasing the sun!
So fill up your lungs and just run
But always be chasing the sun!

All we can do is try
And live like we’re still alive…” Chasing the Sun-Sara Bareilles

Monday, January 13, 2014

We Can't Stop...

Hi Y’all! I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Mine was pretty awesome! I was productive but I also got to relax and have fun.  I had a minor hiccup with some Mexican food on Friday that put a damper on the perfect streak I was on.  It kind of had a domino effect on the rest of the weekend but it wasn’t a complete disaster.  I’m back on today.  Hopefully you’ll remember that I decided not to weigh until February 2nd.  My first goal of the year is to get the holiday weight off so I’m really hoping to do that. 

I am back to the Hungry Girl cookbook for inspiration right now because, in my opinion, she is the best at maximizing the amount of food you can have while keeping it low in calories and fat.  She likes something called “Egg Mugs” which are made with Egg Beaters as a base.  They are always super low in calories and even though Egg Beaters aren’t AMAZING alone, you can definitely spice them up.  This one adds Morning Star crumbles.  These are soy crumbles meant to imitate ground beef.  Much like the fake eggs, this fake meat isn’t all that until you add some spices and kick it up a notch.  I’ll probably use them again for the recipe next week.  After adding cheese, salsa, chips and taco seasoning, this Egg Mug turned out pretty well.

I think I revealed that I will be running in a half marathon on March 8th.  I’m still training for it and it’s pretty difficult.  I’m using the 21K runner app that gives you exact instructions every day.  It includes walking and rest days.  Essentially, there are shorter runs throughout the week and then once a week, there’s a really long run.  The first few weeks, I had to run for 60 minutes once a week.  Running for a solid hour is not easy and it wears me out so it makes me nervous about running 13.1 miles but I am learning how to pace myself more, breathe and I’m trying to stay focused.  This week, my long run is going to be bumped up to 66 minutes so it will be even more difficult.  I am confident in my ability to do it but I need to make sure to stay on track and not get discouraged when one running session is harder than another.  I am extremely dedicated to exercise and I have accomplished so many goals the past few years so I think I can do this one too! I hope you all have an awesome week/weekend! Bye!
“And we can’t stop
And we won’t stop
We run things, things don’t run we
Don’t take nothing from nobody
Yeah, yeah

It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want
We can sing what we want…” We Can’t Stop-Miley Cyrus

Monday, January 6, 2014

Take Me To The Other Side

Welcome to 2014, y’all! It’s been awhile.  I have to say, I am so glad to be back in the regular grind of things.  The holidays are fun and relaxing but I turn into some crazed couch sloth who only moves for food and bathroom breaks.  It’s not pretty.   I’m not much for making resolutions.  I have found that I operate much better with smaller goals.  Also, when you make some grand proclamation at the beginning of the year and you don’t make it, it seems to make the agony of defeat that much worse.  I did make some smaller weight-related goals and I’m always making career goals.  I decided not to weigh until February 2nd.  I started my diet back on Thursday of last week.  I’ve been flawless ever since and man, it feels good to be back.  I was starving and grumpy a couple times this weekend but I already feel better.  I don’t want to know the exact number of pounds I gained over the holidays so I decided to wait to weigh.  My immediate goal is to lose the holiday weight by February 2nd.  I know what I weighed before the holidays so if I’m  back to that by that date, I’ll be happy.  Then, I want to lose around 10 more pounds by March 2nd.  This goal is a little more lofty but I’m still hoping I can do it.  Finally, I want 5 more pounds after that by March 30th.  I’m not playing around, y’all.  Watch out.

So, if you’re like me, you went into hibernation mode this holiday season.  I didn’t say “no” a whole lot to food and my jeans made sure to let me know I needed to slow down.  Well, I’m pretty good about getting back into a diet after the holidays.  Having said that though, I have been feeling pretty hungry since Thursday.  One of the keys to re-starting your diet is to trick your body into thinking it’s getting as much food as it was when you were cramming multiple pounds of chex-mix and chocolate down your throat.  One way to do that is to fill your belly up with plenty of fruits and vegetables.  I have been eating a lot of apples.  I won’t do this forever but since at this present moment I feel like I’m hungry every 20 minutes or so, I have to keep a lot of fruit around.  The dish above is from Ruby Tuesday.  They have a new line of food made with spaghetti squash.  This is the Spaghetti Squash Marinara.  It tastes delicious.  I’m not crazy about the consistency BUT you get a big plate of food that is at least pretending to be pasta for only 6 points.  This way, you can go to dinner with your family and eat a plate full of food rather than three pieces of iceberg lettuce and flavorless char-grilled chicken which make you want to cry yourself to sleep or punch someone in the throat.  For those with vegetable-phobias, I won’t lie.  It tastes vegetable-y.  I’d still try it though.  Kudos to Ruby Tuesday for hooking us up with better options.

In addition to rekindling my diet plan, I have also set a pretty big goal for exercise.  I’ve been running a couple years now.  I’m not fast by any means but I have greatly improved.  I first trained for a 5K and I’ve completed several of those now.  Then, I trained for a 10K and I was also able to do that.  I got a Jawbone UP for Christmas.  This little device tracks your activity, steps, calories burned and sleep.  I was so excited about this device, I went out Christmas morning and achieved my fastest 5K.  I noticed that a friend signed up for the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon that will take place on March 8th so I decided to sign up too.  The most I’ve ever run at once is a little over 6 miles.  So, 13.1 will definitely be a challenge.  I’ve already started training for it.  It’s kind of terrifying but my goal will be to finish it.  If I walk some, I won’t beat myself up but at this time, I’m training to run the whole thing.

The pictures below are from Christmas and New Year’s.  Santa (yes, I'm almost 30) always brings awesome stuff and both Cassandra and Jordan know about my Harry Potter obsession.  Usually, I got out on New Year’s Eve but this year, Jordan and I pigged out, laughed, hung out and watched TV.  We drank champagne at midnight and it was so nice to welcome in the New Year with him!

I didn’t post any pictures about the Alabama/Oklahoma game because well, we lost.  I am so proud of the team Alabama has become.  I will miss all of the seniors.  The year ended poorly but I already can’t wait to see what next season looks like. Roll Tide.  Until next week, y’all!

“In the beginning
I never thought it would be you
When we were chilling
Smiling in the photo booth
But we got closer (yeah)
Soon you were eating off my spoon
You’re coming over
And we would talk all afternoon

Tonight we’ll just get drunk
Disturb the peace
Find your hands all over me
And then you bite your lip
Whisper and say, “We’re going all the way.”

Take me to the other side
Sparks fly like the Fourth of July
Just take me to the other side
I see that sexy look in your eyes
And I know we ain’t friends anymore
If we walk down this road
We’ll be lovers for sure
So tonight kiss me like it’s do or die
And take me to the other side…” The Other Side-Jason Derulo