Monday, July 28, 2014

Branching Out

Hi y’all! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend and that Monday isn’t treating you too badly.  I weighed on Sunday and I was down 1.2 pounds.  I was pretty pleased with this.  I knew it may not be possible for me to lose because I had too much to eat in Chicago but I also had a completely perfect week last week so I was hoping to at least say the same.  The loss was just an added bonus.  I had my cheat day yesterday and it was successful…and by successful I mean I ate everything in sight.  I’m back to business today and plan on having another perfect week.  It’s slow going but progress is progress and that’s all that matters.

I had sort of a laid back weekend.  Ian was having a blast in New York and that made me really want to go back.  I got to hang out with Jordan which was nice and spent time with Cassandra and as always, my family.  Since I didn’t do much, I don’t have any pictures to share.  I wanted to share a few things that I didn’t used to like that I now do and encourage you to also branch out.  When it comes to pickles, there’s no way I’m ever going to like them.  I find them completely repulsive.  However, as an adult, I’ve learned that my palate has changed a little and there are foods that I hated growing up that I now eat all the time.  The first food is black beans.  I used to hate all forms of peas and beans.  I don’t like the mushy part on the inside.  I haven’t completely come around to this and you couldn’t pay me to eat a kidney bean but I find that black beans are the most acceptable in the legume family.  They are smaller and don’t have any added flavor that I don’t like.  The most important thing about black beans is that they act as a filler.  Since I hated them in the past, I would always get rice in my burritos at Moe’s instead and it made for a high calorie meal.  Black beans are super filling and not nearly bad for your waist line.  I encourage you to give them a shot if you haven’t in a while.

I was also always under the impression that I wouldn’t like fruit on a salad.  Over the past couple years I’ve discovered that throwing a mandarin orange or a strawberry to a bed of lettuce can add a nice touch to a salad.  They provide a tartness and another layer of nutrition to your plain salad.  I’ve been eating the one that McAlister’s has been selling for the summer that has strawberries, blue berries, candied pecans, chicken and a vinaigrette that’s delicious and it’s less than 400 calories.  Most salads at restaurants are terrible for you but this one hits the spot and is super low in calories.  It’s also nutritious as all get out.  My personal preference would be to add a little feta in there too but that, of course, would alter the calories.

Finally, I was never a fan of olives. I think when you’re a kid, you tend to stick to things that you find more visually appealing so I just assumed I hated olives.  As an adult, I’ve found that I love them.  I like green and black olives when they are on a sandwich or salad but I love Kalamata olives and I will just eat those straight out of the jar.  Olives provide what they call “good fat.”  They are kind of like almonds, you don’t want to eat too many but a few can be really good for you.  I eat them all the time now.

Ultimately, my point is that expanding your horizons or trying things you thought you didn’t like can add new items to your menu that can sometimes get boring when you’re on a diet.  Anytime you can add more flavor or more filling items to your grocery list, it decreases the chances of burning out on typical diet food.

I didn’t have much else this week.  I was able to run two miles on Saturday without stopping and I’m pretty excited about that.  I plan on doing that again this weekend.  I hope you all have a nice week! Bye!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Deep Dish

Hi Everyone! It’s Monday again and today is definitely living up to the reputation that a Monday tends to have.  I’m a bit rushed for time so I’m going to jump right in.  I had a wonderful time in Chicago with friends celebrating Jodi Small’s birthday! I’ve never been so I’m really glad I was able to go!  I posted pictures below and it looks like I didn’t have any diet victories but I actually did.  My cheat day was on Friday so I ate pretty much everything I saw.  We had pizza and Italian and I had some chocolate as well.  Saturday and Sunday weren’t perfect.  I ate too heavily at dinner on both of those nights.  However, I made some major travel strides that I am proud of so I wanted to mention them.  First, on Saturday, in lieu of eating breakfast that could have potentially included Dunkin Donuts or a big brunch, I went for a run in downtown Chicago and drank a ton of water.  For lunch on Saturday, I had a grilled chicken salad with light dressing on the side and had a couple light beers.  I did eat too much for dinner but there was asparagus involved which I feel has to make things a little better. On Sunday, I walked a couple miles and had Subway for lunch.  One of my most major weaknesses when I travel is junk food at an airport.  There’s always a ton of places that I grab food from.  Sunday morning, in the midst of breakfast sandwiches and pastries, I got a fruit cup.  That was the only thing I ate at the airport and that is certainly a first for me.  So, I wasn’t perfect but I did a much better job than usual.  Chicago is an expensive town but a fun one.  I definitely want to go back.  When I weighed Friday morning before leaving, I weighed the exact same as I did the week before which was a little discouraging considering I had done so well.  I’m back on today and plan on continuing being as perfect as possible with the exception of one cheat day a week.  I know I may not have a chance of losing this week because of the trip but maybe the damage won’t be too bad.

I wanted to share a flavor of yogurt that I discovered.  As some of you know, yogurt isn’t my favorite snack but it’s good for you and oftentimes, low in calories.  It’s made by Yoplait and the flavor is Blackberry Pie.  It’s Greek Yogurt.  It’s 100 calories per cup and the cup is pretty big.  I loved the initial flavor of it. The downsides are that it does carry a bit of an aftertaste and there are blackberry seeds in it which can be pretty pesky.  Other than that, I really enjoyed it.

I also wanted to brag on myself for eating fresh food with no preservatives.  I think I told you last week that my Grandmother gave me some cucumbers.  She also gave me some of her homemade strawberry jam.  I’m in love with this stuff y’all.  Sure, there’s sugar in it but it’s natural and paired with some light toast, it’s amazing.  The flavor of strawberry just explodes in your mouth.  Thanks for the jam Grandma! I love it.

The pictures below are just of moments and food from this weekend.  Ian is going to New York on Thursday and I’m super jealous.  I hope he has fun though.  I think I am in for a pretty low key weekend which will also be nice.  Have a great week y’all!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now

Hey y’all.  If you are one of the few that reads this post every week, you know that I have been majorly struggling with my weight lately.  Over the past two or so years, I have managed to slowly gain 15-20 pounds back from my 115 pound weight loss.  Sure, this means for the most part, I’ve managed to keep 95-100 pounds off.  I’m certainly not going to demean that as an achievement.  However, even though the weight creeps back on slowly, it’s still coming back.  I simply cannot have this.  I never reached my goal weight and even though I’ve never given up, there are still weight milestones that I want to achieve.  In addition to that, I want to learn to live my life the way that I should.  I want to eat healthily most of the time while still allowing myself certain treats.  I’ve been yoyo-ing quite a bit lately.  I’ve tried new things, new diets, new methods to find the right one.  Over the past few weeks I’ve tried not to cheat at all.  The problem is, I’ve fallen back into the mindset that if I mess up once, I mess up the whole weekend.  I’ve done this several weeks in a row which is why I’ve gained a few pounds.  I’m still exercising almost every day. In fact, I brought running back and managed to run a mile without stopping yesterday for the first time in a while.  So, exercise isn’t the problem.  The problem is with me.  I’m obsessed with food.  I have been since I was a child.  The thing is, when you diet, you become 10 times more obsessed with food which makes curbing your appetite that much more difficult.  I am always wondering when I’m going to eat again.  I looked into the Slow Carb diet heavily.  While I would like to start eating less processed foods and focusing on more green vegetables and black beans as a source of energy, I decided not to do it.  Fad diets have never stuck with me.  I knew that I needed something though.  I’ve decided to stick with the Lose It app because it works when I use it correctly and it’s free.  Also, I work better with structure.  On the Slow Carb diet, you are allowed things like bacon and eggs.  The problem is, unless someone tells me to stop, I won’t.  I will eat too much with this type of allowance.  Calorie or point counting is essential to my success.  I know myself well enough now that I have to count my food intake for the day in some way.  I also know that I have to have something to look forward to so telling myself to never cheat tends to backfire.  One thing I noticed about the Slow Carb diet was that it allowed a cheat day.  I thought back to when I first started Weight Watchers.  I never used my weekly “flex” points because I gave myself one day to eat what I wanted.  I lost over 100 pounds that way.  Now granted, cheat days can be dangerous so I never intend to hurt myself but I decided to bring it back.  This gives me something to look forward to each week and it confines it to one day.  Well, I am proud to say that I had a pretty much perfect week last week because I brought back cheat day! I was tempted Thursday and Friday because I went to a Mexican place for dinner Friday and had a concert both days but the prospect of a cheat day on Saturday pulled me through and I didn’t cheat at all!  That’s the first time in a long time that I was perfect on a Thursday and a Friday.  I was back to counting calories on Sunday and while I probably over served myself a bit when it came to my mother’s delicious pasta salad Sunday night, I only ate one piece of bread and did much better than I usually do.  Even though there’s still room for improvement when it comes to Sunday dinner, I counted everything and plan on working towards that.  I ended up losing about 3 pounds last week.  I will have a tough time this weekend.  I’m leaving for Chicago for a weekend trip to celebrate my friend Jodi’s birthday! I’m so excited! I am hoping to still only have one cheat day.  I will be tempted but I have to learn to travel without cheating so it will be a test.  I will definitely let you know how I did next week.

When I was a kid, I loved guacamole but in my teenage years, I decided it wasn’t a food I liked anymore.  I’m not sure what happened.  Over the past couple of years, thanks to a couple people I know who make amazing guacamole recipes, I have developed a renewed love for this nutritious food.  Even though food that comes packed in single servings is more expensive, it definitely helps me not to over-indulge.  I find these cups of guacamole to be convenient and the perfect amount.  Today, I plan on having it as a snack.  I’m going to dip cucumber slices into the guacamole. The cucumbers came from my grandparent’s garden which means they are fresh and pesticide free.  This is a snack that I can feel good about.  Avocados are an awesome natural treat and I’m glad I have rekindled my appreciation for them.

As I said earlier, I went to a couple concerts last week and had a great time.  I saw the band moe. with Ian and his friends on Thursday and had a great time with them.  I was also able to have a girl’s night on Friday night when we saw Neal McCoy and Miranda Lambert at the Amp in Tuscaloosa.  I love the summertime because it means lots of fun concerts!  I’m pretty excited to go to Chicago this weekend because I’ve never been and I’ll be with some of my favorite people.  I will have lots to report I’m sure.

I hope everyone has a lovely week! Bye!

“And we can build this dream together
Standing strong forever
Nothing’s gonna stop us now
And if this world runs out of lovers
We’ll still have each other
Nothing’s gonna stop us
Nothing’s gonna stop us now…” Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now-Jefferson Starship

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mind Games

Hi y’all! I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend.  I had a wonderful time.  I got to enjoy time with my family on the fourth, do a whole lot of lying around and TV watching on the fifth and yesterday, I went with my brother and his girlfriend to Chattanooga to see some family.  Overall, it was a fantastic long weekend and it is making it a bit difficult to get back to the normal routine of things.  You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes though I guess.  I didn’t weigh this weekend due to the ribs I had on Friday and of course all the yummy food I had after that this weekend.  I’m feeling down on myself right now.  I can’t quite seem to keep it together at this time in my life.  It’s so unlike me.  I’ve hit a wall and I’m frustrated.  However, I’m back at it today in hopes I can have a perfect week.  If I could just make myself go more than 4-5 days where I’m perfect, I would feel more confident in myself.  It’s weird how things can change.  In the beginning, I was so motivated.  I haven’t seen my lowest weight in over two years.  Granted, I’ve never given up but the weight creeps in, little by little.  Also, in March, I ran 13 miles without stopping.  I haven’t run 1 mile without stopping in several weeks.  I wouldn’t consider myself an avid runner anymore.  It can all dissipate so quickly.  I still exercise but it’s not with the same fervor.  I need goals and motivation.  Part of the problem is my schedule.  I don’t have time to cook or exercise so I’m waking up early or doing a short workout at lunch.  I’m burned out.  Hopefully my schedule won’t be quite as limited soon and I can get back to my roots.  Otherwise, I’m going to have to do something drastic.  All I really want is to hit that goal weight.  Part of the problem is, I’m happy.  This is a silly thing to say I’m sure but the saying is “eat, drink and be merry.”  Well, I’m merry so all I want to do is eat and drink.  I convince myself I’m missing out if I don’t indulge.  It’s all a mental game as usual.

In the spirit of realizing that this game of the diet life is most often a “mind over matter” tug-of-war, there are ways to convince your mind that you are full or that you don’t need to eat anything else.  I think I might have shared this tip before but since I’m struggling with being a whiny pants about how much food I’m eating lately, I thought I’d share it again.  A lot of times, when we don’t have the time or energy to cook, we resort to frozen foods.  More specifically, us dieters (especially those on Weight Watchers or those counting calories) resort to Lean Cuisines.  Nothing makes you feel more like you’re on a diet than having your dinner within the confines of a tiny plastic container.  The plate of food pictured above has a total of 280 calories on it.  All I did was take a meatloaf dinner and after I cooked it, I put it on a plate.  I also added a side of green beans so I turned my small portion of food into a plate of food.  Somehow, I swear it makes it taste better too.  I know people complain about the preservatives in these.  Obviously, it’s for convenience.  Another complaint is that the containers give off some harsh and potentially damaging chemicals from the plastic but as an FYI, SmartOnes, the Weight Watchers brand, has started making BPA free containers.  So, maybe the rest of the frozen food brands will follow suit.

I wanted to share a new snack with you all as well.  This Creamy Coconut bar is delicious! It doesn’t have a diet taste to it and it’s only 120 calories.  Evidently, there is also a strawberry version that Cassandra says is good too and it’s even lower in calories. 

Jordan and I were able to enjoy Mary J. Blige at the Amp in Tuscaloosa on Thursday.  I was happy to see him and had fun! My Dad had a nice birthday as well so the whole weekend was great.  I have other exciting stuff happening this week.  I’m going to see moe. with Ian on Thursday and Miranda Lambert with Cassandra on Friday.  I love all the concerts in the summer.  I may be broke and constantly tempted but the lure of live music will always win me over. 

I hope you all have a great week.

I know I’m not the only one that struggles so I hope all of us get it together!


“We were going along with what was going on
Saying I think I love you
And I think about us now every time that I go out
Smokin’ and drinkin’

Smokin’ and drinkin’ on the weekend like
We did back in the day
Smokin’ and drinkin’ getcha thinkin about the
One that got away
So here’s to all those nights all we felt was life
Smokin’ and drinkin’…” Smokin’ and Drinkin’-Miranda Lambert