Monday, January 21, 2013

What I'm Working on Part Deux

{I logged on to write a post for the first time in almost a year, and I found this in my queue from March, 26 2012. I loved my attitude of not being too hard on myself, and am vowing to bring it back, so as a reminder to myself, I am posting it anyway...}

The last time we spoke I wrote about the things that I needed to work on in order to lose the extra weight I've been carrying around for the last few years. I have been working on them, and I was successful for a few weeks. But progress has been at a standstill for the last two weeks.

Truth be told, I was doing really well on eating breakfast, eating every couple of hours, getting sleep and drinking water. But (heeere come the excuses...), my work schedule completely changed. I was working 7a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the rehab, and then 5 p.m. - 11 p.m. (sometimes 12 a.m. like last night) at the restaurant. I was leaving my house at 6:15 a.m., and not getting home until midnight(-ish) every night! It was exhausting! I had absolutely no time to add in exercise like I had hoped, and had no time to cook. I somehow managed to pull together salads, veggies with dip, fruit, and snacks for my morning shifts, was eating dinner when I got to the restaurant, and still making my protein smoothie for breakfast. So while my eating wasn't horrible, I was sleep deprived (averaging 4 hours per night), not drinking nearly enough water, and obviously not working out.


And my schedule is switching every week. So this past week I have worked mostly night shifts, and overnights. Which screw with my routine, and mood like no other. But alas, spring break at the restaurant is coming to a close in 2 weeks and I can drop down to working 2 days per week (instead of 5), and I should have a set schedule at the rehab starting in May (fingers crossed), so my schedule should be more predictable with a two-week rotation.

Right now, I am just trying to enjoy what I have got going on. I need to just go with it instead of focusing on everything I am doing wrong, and the fact that the scale hasn't moved in my favor in 2 weeks.

I also need not be so hard on myself for not blogging regularly. I thrive on routine, and I just don't have one, so something has got to give. For now it's this space. Because as much as I need the outlet, I also need sleep. Working 70-75 hours per week plus trying to meal plan/cook for myself and Boomer, sleep, do laundry, brush my hair, clean house, and put one foot in front of the other is enough for now.

I need to not be so hard on myself. It isn't all or nothing, my best is enough. And when I am resting on my laurels, I will know. But right now? I know I am not resting on my laurels. I am doing what I can, when I can. And that is enough.

This week I am working/busy at the beginning of the week, and then I am out of town for a girls weekend Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday. I can't remember the last time I had two days off in a row, much less and entire weekend! I am beyond excited! The last several years we've done the Lutsen thing. But, do to life and relationship changes amongst our group O' friends, we elected to do a girls weekend, in a fabulous sweet, in a hotel, in the city! Believe me, there will be plenty of drunken debauchery, only better!! It is going to be an EPIC weekend!!

Exhibit A: Skittles Vodka


Exhibit B: Jolly Rancher Vodka (via my friend Mel)



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What I'm Working On

Holy Wednesday! I cannot believe we are halfway through the week! I feel like I have gotten nothing done that needs to be done! Although on Monday I was able to complete a couple of errands before work, only to get a text from my boss letting me know I didn't need to come in (for the dinner shift at the restaurant). So I was able to go back out and do some grocery/necessities shopping. I dropped a whopping $200 bucks at Target between groceries (for the week plus tons of staples), and some clothing type things. We haven't been grocery shopping in over a month, so we have been living on freezer, and pantry meals (an a few to many meals out) lately. I also found some brown loafers that I think will be good for work, but they were $25, and that's a little steep for Target shoes, so they may go back.That and Boomer thinks they are "old-lady-ish," I haven't made up my mind yet.

Are we ugly?

I've been thinking about this post for a long time. Ever since I decided that this was it. This is the time I was going to lose the weight, and stick to it, no matter how long it took. And I resolved that it was going to take a while, and I was going to be ok with it. I figure the best way for me to do that was to start slow. Especially because right around the time I was examining my behaviors, and habits, I was offered a new job. And seeing that I am a creature that thrives in a routine, and with structure I was very wary that my efforts would be thwarted by the new stresses of a new job. What I didn't expect was that it would help!

I decided to start with small goals instead of overhauling my whole lifestyle. In the past I have said ok, on Monday I'm gonna start working out 5 days a week, eat 10 servings of veggies, and only chicken breast, turkey breast, seafood, whole grains, and no sweets. That may work for some, but not for me. So I started with the things that I thought would have the greatest impact.

1. Eating Breakfast
You hear it all the time. That breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I knew that, you knew that, pretty much everyone who has ever thought about losing weight has read it somewhere. And what they say is true, it fuels the fire. It breaks the fast. It jumpstarts your metabolism first thing in the morning so that your body doesn't think you are starving it, that way it can efficiently burn calories, instead if storing them as fat. On Friday, I mentioned the fact that I was never a breakfast eater. And that I am making a more conscious effort to eat within and hour of waking. And that even though I still don't wake up starving, due to the fact that I can sometime eat pretty late at night, I am drinking my breakfast via protein smoothies. It doesn't feel like I'm eating a big meal when I am not hungry, but it is enough calories that my body knows I'm eating.

I am loving on this particular smoothie that I've been eating about 4 mornings a week. And it legit tastes like a chocolate peanut butter milk shake! And clocks in at about 384 cals, and 36g of protein!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie

-1/2 of a frozen Banana

-1 Tblsp Cocoa Powder

- 1 Tblsp Creamy Peanut Butter

-1 Cup skim or unsweetened non-dairy milk

-1/2 tsp Xantham Gum

-3 Ice cubes (add more if you like yours icier)

~Place everything in the blender, and blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!~

2. Eat Every 2-3 hours

This is another one of those things that I knew I should be doing, but didn't. I just didn't understand how eating every couple of hours would help me lose weight. I understood that it would keep my metabolism going, and burning, but I didn't understand how my body knew what it should be burning. Until I saw this video about Jamie Eason's Live Fit Trainer. She basically goes on to say that when your body is fed consistently throughout the day your body releases the stored fat it's been holding on to "just in case." And if you eat too little, and burn to much your body goes into fat-storing mode, thus, weight gain. I have been doing a much better job of eating every couple of hours, especially when I am at work because I make sure to pack all of my snacks. Believe it or not it is harder for me to eat every few hours when I am at home, because I don't want to leave my cozy basement to go up to the kitchen for food. I know it's working because when I do eat breakfast, and my snacks, I find that my body is hungry every 2 hours or so. Which makes it easier!

DSC_0019.JPG IMAG0423.jpg

3. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night

The truth is I am a sleeper. But I am also a night owl. Which doesn't always go hand-in-hand. Sometimes I am up until 3 in the morning, only to have to wake up at 7am. And then when I have a day off, I will sleep for 11 hours. I know it isn't the best for me, and so I am making more of a conscious effort to go into my bedroom, turn off the lights, laptop, and phone 8 hours before I need to be up. Inevitably I will fall asleep within 30 minutes or so. I have found that 7 is a good number of hours for me, and so I usually end up getting right around that, sometimes a little more. Now I just need to work on not hitting snooze 3 times!

4. Drink More Water

My new CamelBak water bottle is a savior! I bring it EVERYWHERE! And I LOOOOVE the bite valve, there is something so convenient, and soothing about it! My water intake has increased exponentially since getting it, it still isn't as much as I should be drinking, but it's a lot better than it was, which is def a small win!


So those are the 4 things I have been working on last week, and this week! I would say that I am doing pretty well, and having lost 5 pounds is definitely motivation to keep going. I plan on adding on a few more mini goals every two weeks, and compounding my new healthy habits until I am the ultimate, healthy, strong, She-Woman!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Birthday Cake and Routines

Ugh.... I am Sooo tired it ain't even funny. I feel like I've been up for days.
I am currently at the restaurant waiting for my shift to start, after working the 7-3:30 shift at the rehab. I am going to crash hard tonight. I am tempted to go drink a giant latte, but I've already had one today, and even though caffeine doesn't have that much of an effect on me, I don't want to risk not falling asleep tonight!

So I'm just gonna tough it out for now. I'll probably get off around midnight, if all goes well. And I still don't have a set schedule at the rehab yet (for the next couple weeks), so I have yet to figure out my routine. Which is proving to make meal planning more difficult, becausr I don't know what days and times I will be home for cooking and prepping. Which means that my eating hasn't been nearly as good today as it has been most of the week.

Also go listen to Chris Brown and Rihanna's song "Birthday Cake." It is nasty, and catchy, and dirty, and nasty. I love it, and I hate that I love it. It leaves me with a moral dilemma. I hate Chris Brown for laying the smackdown on Ri-Ri, but I really like most of his music, especially his older stuff! Do I stand my ground and never listen to this nasty gloriousness again, or do I judge the man by his work and not his character?

Eats from the last two days
The last of my delicious winter grapefruits, Smoothies, Turkey muffins/Brown rice,/zucchini! ** This is obviously not all that I've eaten in the last 48 hours, just all I have pictures of.

Friday, March 2, 2012

That Time There was No Post

Would you believe that I had a whole post written up on Monday, that I thought I posted... but didn't?

And would you believe that this silly program I write from (Ecto) is supposed to save my post every two minutes, but it didn't?

I didn't realize until late Monday night that it posted the title but not the post. And then life got in the way with training for my new job, and I wasn't anticipating how exhausted I would be from it all that I have yet to have time to sit down and write another post. I am off tomorrow evening, and I have a post in my head that I want to write about what it is I am doing differently this time to lose weight, and stick with it. And what are the things that I have a better handle on, and what are the things I need to reeeeally work on.

But one of the I am going to quickly mention is that I need to work on eating more often. You will always hear weight lose, and nutrition experts saying that if you are trying to lose you weight you must, must, must eat breakfast to jump-start your metabolism first thing when you wake up, and keep fueling the fire every couple of hours throughout the day. This is something that I need to work on in a serious way. I have never eaten breakfast. Never, in my whole life have I consistently eaten breakfast. I'm a night owl, so back in my primary school days I was up late at night, and would wake up at the last possible minute for me to be on time to school. That, and the fact that I would eat late at night before bed, I never woke up hungry. So I would be up at around 6:30-7a.m., and not eat until lunch time around 12:30-1p.m., and then because I always had extra-curriculars after school, I wasn't eating dinner until around 8p.m. I would then go to my dance lessons, get home around 10:30p.m. and need a snack around 11 p.m. because I was hungry after 4+ hours of exercise, with 2-3 hours of homework ahead of me! And things have continued in that pattern after high school, and after college. And now that I have been working nights mostly, my eating schedule is still confusing, I can't wrap my head around calling it "meal 1, meal 2, meal 3" and not breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

But with my new job, and working more days, I have gotten more of a handle on my meals. So as much as my week has been absolutely bat shit crazy, I am doing so much better with my eating this week. I'm still not very hungry when I first wake up (although I am definitely hungrier than I have been, and I need to eat within an hour of waking), I am remedying that by having a protein smoothie for breakfast. It feels less like food, but I am making sure they have enough calories that it feels like a meal, and keeps me full for a while. Also the plus to that is I put it in my to-go tumbler and drink it during my new 45 minutes commute to work, so I can only need to get up an extra 5 minutes to measure, blend, pour, and rinse!

I have lost 4 el bees this week, and I am really happy about. I'm taking this one step at a time. All I've done differently this week is focus on what, and when I am eating! And it works!

This Weeks Eats:

I'm finding a bit of a routine with my food, which is just fine with me! Especially with breakfast, lunch, and daytime snacks it takes the guess work out of it, which makes it so much easier for me with meal planning, and ensuring that I am eating enough! Smoothies for breakfast. Apple and nut butter (preferable Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter) for a.m. snack. Some kind of green salad with chicken, or salmon or tuna salad with carrots and crackers for dipping for lunch. P.m. snack is usually veg with hummus, or yogurt and granola. And then if I'm home for dinner I am at the mercy of Boomer, and whatever recipe I am dying to make, or if it's a late night, take out (Papa Murphy's deLite pizza, or something from the restaurant I work at).

I did enjoy an epic night of bingo, and (a very) happy hour with my coworker/lover/friend, and more friends! It was phenomenal! And an indulgent lunch, and dinner while helping a friend move on Thursday! But I was working hard! I deserved it!

I am planning on focusing on my food again this coming week, and reigning in my cheat day to, well.... 1 day. And then adding in exercise the following week. I am still trying to figure out what my schedule is going to be like with the new job. And especially because it is spring break at the restaurant it is getting crazier every week.

That's it for now, hopefully I will be back tomorrow with a short(-er than this) update! If not, have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The First Day

I'm impatient. Like, reeeallly impatient.


Which is part of the reason why weight loss has never stuck for me. I need results to stay motivated. And I need them yesterday now (I also need to learn to not eat so much cheese, but that's another story)! I need to learn to have more patience, I need to learn to stick with things. And I have thought long and hard about what I am doing with my body, and my life, and I have learned a lot about myself.

I learned that I am really sick and tired. I am sick and tired of saying tomorrow, and of making excuses. I am sick of being scared of going to the doctor, for fear of what they'll tell me. I am sick of my mother worrying about me, and the high likelihood that I will become diabetic if I don't get my health in check.

I am tired of skipping out on things because I am fat, and embarrassed. I'm sick of not wanting to go out with my girlfriends because (even though I have no interest in picking up guys) I don't want to be looked at as the fat friend. Even though I am.


I want to grow up a bit. I want to hit rock bottom and turn it around and have some amazing success story. But I haven't, and this is no success story (not yet).

But the cold, hard, can't-deny-it-anymore truth about why I can't/won't/don't lose weight is, I'm scared. I have spent years crafting and perfecting the funny friend role because I couldn't be the pretty friend... Will I lose that role along with the weight? I'm scared I'll start my weight loss journey, and never leave the house because I obsess over everything I put in my mouth. I am such an all or nothing person that I worry I will never find a balance. I'm scared I'll have to stop drinking with my friends, I'm 24, that's how we bond (not ALL the time- stop judging). I'm scared that I won't be fun anymore. I worry that my body doesn't have a healthy/happy weight. What if the weight my body naturally falls into is 200 pounds? What if the only way to maintain an ideal weight is to constantly be working at it, counting calories, and spending hours at the gym, instead of enjoying life? What if it isn't possible to permanently maintain a 100+ pound weight loss. I'm scared I'll lose my armor. That thick shield that protected me from the world. I'm scared I'll fail... again. I'm scared I'll succeed. What if I lose the weight, get to what I think is my "ideal" body (working with what I got, because ideally I'd look like this, but that ain't gonna happen), and I'm still unhappy? What if I can't do it?


The truth is I can do it. I just have to decide to do it. And no more doing it for the wrong reasons. I've always set out to lose weight for a specific event, or that weekend, to look good in front of those people, to fit into that dress, to wear a two-piece swimsuit for the first time in ten years (although the whole two-piece thing is an added bonus). I have come to learn that that kind of thinking isn't what is going to help me make a lifestyle change.

I can do it because I want to do it for life. I can do it because I want to change my habits, and improve my health. I can do it because I don't want my mother to worry about me anymore (she will still worry, just not about my health). I can do it because I want to set an example for my nieces, and nephew, and future children. I can do it because I want to be proud of myself. I can do it because I want to set a goal and reach it. I can do it because I am not going to under estimate my abilities anymore.


It will be a bit of trial and error, but I know what, and how I need to eat. I know what I need to do. I just have to put it all in motion. I'm not letting anyone (especially myself), or anything get in my way. It will be hard work, and it will take some time to figure out what will work for me, and to fight the all-or-nothing tendencies I posses. I didn't put on all this weight in 6 months, and I shouldn't expect to lose it that quickly. But I will stick with it, and make this weight loss, a permanent lifestyle change!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Smashburger Hits the Twin Cities

If anyone knows me, they know I love a good burger. It isn't something I crave often, and it isn't something a dream about, but when I want a good burger, I want a good burger. And because I am somewhat of a burger snob it isn't something that I order out that often. I would much rather thoroughly pick my meats (80/20 lean/fat ratio), bun (soft egg bun), and toppings (bacon, blue cheese, mushrooms, and caramelized onions topping the list) and cook them to my specific liking, to ensure the perfect burger experience!

So when I received an invitation to attend the preview night for the new Smashburger in Highland Park (a St. Paul neighborhood) I thought about saying no. But, if anyone knows me, they know my significant other LUHVES burgers, any way you serve it, it will be eaten. And I would surely be shot for turning down such an opportunity. So I accepted, and off we went.


Smashburger is your basic fast casual restaurant with reasonable prices. Smashburger's namesake is their signature certified angus burgers that are "smashed" on the flat top grill. But they also offer a selection of chicken sandwiches, salads, a hand-crafted black bean burger (which can be substituted for any of their burgers), hot dogs, sides, and hand-spun Haagen-Dazs shakes, malts, and IBC Root Beer Floats.


You can order the burger patty in 3 different sizes (small smash, smash, or big smash), and pick from one of their already formulated burgers, or create-your-own. We chose the BBQ, Bacon, and Cheddar burger. Their signature Smashburger, bbq sauce, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and haystack onions on an egg bun.


We also decided to get the burger that was specifically formulated for us, well not us, as in me, but us as in Twin Citians. The Twin Cities burger is topped with garlic grilled onions, swiss cheese, cheddar bar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on an onion bun.


The BBQ, bacon cheddar burger was good, but the real star was the Twin Cities burger! It was so good! Garlicy, and slightly sweet onions, the ooey gooey melted mild swiss, and sharp cheddar worked perfectly together! But I am telling you the onions MADE the burger!


We also got several sides.


Fried pickles with buttermilk ranch. Yum. My favorite side of the night. Crispy, not greasy at all, and pickle-y.


The Rosemary fries were good in theory, but they lacked some flavor.


The rosemary sweet potato fries on the other hand were delicious. Second favorite of the night. Crispy, crunchy, sweet and savory!

The chili cheese fries weren't good at all. They use the same fries as they do in the rosemary fries, but the chili tastes canned, and there wasn't enough cheese.


But the Veggie Frites were reeally good! Flash fried carrots, asparagus, and green beans, served with buttermilk ranch. They were a little greasy, but nothing a little napkin dabbing won't fix! They are tender without being flabby, and slightly crisp on the edges! If I had kids that said they didn't like veggies, this is what they'd be eating!

We also got to try some of their Haagen-Dazs shakes, which is what I was really holding out for! They were thick, and rich, and creamy. But I will take ice cream any way I can get it, and Haagen-Dazs tops my list of grocery store ice creams.

All in all we really enjoyed our meal at Smashburger, and are already planning our return. I am so glad to finally have one in the Twin Cities (even though they chose the less hot twin). There are 8 locations in the Twin Cities Metro area, and if you are looking for a good, quick, and reasonably priced meal Smashburger is a great place to go!

Thanks to Becca, and Smashburger for the invite, I can't wait to make my second visit!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

5 Months Later...

I didn't want to show up out of the blue (i just typed blew... fitting, because I blew it) and give you a run down of the last 5 months of my life after ditching you. Because I like you read blogs, and get to know people, and start to think of them as my friends (if you don't I don't want to hear that I am the only creeper out there), and I hate when I get attached to a friend, and then they fall off the face of the earth.

People who do that are crappy friends. So, I am coping to the fact that I have been a crappy friend. But people change, and if you disagree with that then let's just say that people can try really hard to change the habits that they know can hurt themselves and the others around them. So that's what I am going to do, try really hard to win back your affections, and be a better friend. That is what we are after all, friends.


As a thank you for being awesome friends and coming back to see me (which you obvi have since you are reading this), I have come bearing yummy gifts. This was a dinner I made up this week. I'm working on eating better right now, and I really had a hankering for chili but after watching Food Inc. (which was, um... scary) last week I'm trying to cut down on my meat intake, so I made a vegetarian chili. Vegetarian, not Veggie. I didn't have a lot of veggies in my fridge, but I did the best I could with what I had. It was tangy from the beer, slightly sweet from the pumpkin smokey from the cumin and chili powder, and a little spicy from the cayenne and chili flakes, and I think it turned out pretty dang delicious. You get lots of protein from the beans, and served over a little brown rice, with cheddar, and greek yogurt on top with a wedge (or half of a pan) of honey cornbread, you have got yourself a winning meal to share with a friend, that makes a really great, "Thank You!"


Vegetarian Two-Bean Chili

Serves: 4

Time: 20 minutes prep, 1 hour cooking

2 Tbls Olive Oil

1/2 Large Onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic, minced (or microplaned)

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 Tbls Cumin

1 Tbls Chili Powder

1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1/2 tsp Dried Oregano

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/2 tsp Cayenne

6 oz. can Tomato Paste

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes

12 oz can Beer

1 Cup Water

15.5 oz Can Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

2 Cups (about 2 15.5 oz cans) Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 Cups Frozen Corn

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Warm oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat, saute onions for 3 minutes

Add garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt, saute until onions are soft and almost translucent, about 3 minutes

Add all of the spices, and stir allowing oil to draw out flavor and toast spices, about 2 minutes

Add in tomato paste, and pumpkin puree, making sure to scrape up spices off the bottom of pot, increase heat to medium-high

Add in beer, allow to cook for 2 minutes

Add in crushed tomatoes, and water, bring to a simmer

Stir in both beans and corn, season with salt and pepper to taste (I used approx. 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper)

Turn down heat to low, cover (crack lid to keep from bubbling over) and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally

Serve hot with brown rice, shredded cheddar, plain greek yogurt, and avocado slices


Oh... And, if I didn't tell you already, Thanks!