Monday, February 28, 2011

Weigh-In 16

Well the goal was to get under 250 lbs this week, no excuses and I was doing really good until I got sick ... so much for no excuses.  BUT, I am glad I stayed down and took care of myself because I am feeling a lot better already and I know other people who've gotten what I've had and been down for a week or more with it.  So I figure if I can kick it in just five days I'm going really good!  My weight?  Precisely 250 on the nose; no more, no less.  It's not quite the "under" 250 that I was shooting for but it feels good to know that I made progress in spite of being sick!

The food bible recommends kiwi as a food you should eat when you're sick so we picked some up last night along with some other fruits and I made smoothies for dessert.  I snuck some celery into them and Snack Monkey drank his whole cup without complaint!  YAY!  It's always good when you can sneak some veg in on someone who's not expecting it.  I slept great last night and didn't even have to take a decongestant before bed.  I also woke up feeling pretty normal which is a great sign because, when I'm sick, first thing in the morning is usually the worst time of day for me.

I lost 2 lbs ... that's not too shabby at all for not feeling well.  Just another half-pound would have been nice so I could say I'm under 250 but I'm not going to snub my nose at progress after the way February treated me.  Interestingly enough, although I didn't make "the goal", if 150 does end up being the right weight for me as it is for my goal-model then I am on the cusp of only having 100 lbs left to lose.  How sweet is that?!

7 glasses of water
2,000 mg vitamin C
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
2 string cheese
4 celery stalks dipped in pico (like chips)
4 oz cantaloupe
6 oz corned beef roast
8 oz boiled cabbage
Daily Caloric Intake: 850

One more night of rest, if I wake up feeling good again tomorrow I'll be back on the walking wagon at softball tomorrow.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

One More Day

Last week started out on a really great foot for the weight-loss end of things.  I walked more than usual at softball, ran around a lot playing basketball, and was feeling pretty confident about Monday's weigh-in.  Then I got sick and now I'm more or less holding my breath and crossing my fingers when it comes to the weigh-in tomorrow.  I fell asleep in front of the TV sometime around 8 pm last night, then woke up around 9:30 because Snack Monkey and his cat had come in the room and were making a bunch of noise so I went into the bedroom closed the door and was out until 8 am this morning.

Right now Snack Monkey is driving all over town looking for a Jamba Juice on the pretense that he's trying to take care of me even though I've told him twice not to worry about it and just get himself something for breakfast from Wenchell's or wherever.  I wish I could just sleep all day today but, try as I might, my eyes just wouldn't stay closed this morning.

5 glasses of water
2,000 mg vitamin C
8 oz pomegranate blueberry juice
1 slice leftover quesadilla w/pico
6 oz coffee w/o cream
1 Fiber One bar
16 oz pomegranate paradise smoothie
1 serving flank steak w/pico
1 fish taco w/lime
1 cup spicy chicken soup
1 home-made fruit smoothie
Daily Caloric Intake: 1409

Smoothie Recipe:
1 banana
2 kiwi
1 orange
1 cup cantaloupe
4 stalks celery
1 cup water

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Makes 2 servings.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Big Fat Refund!

Well, as mentioned last night, I am sick.  We knew, before we went to visit my parents last weekend, that my brother, his wife, and their baby, were all sick but we opted to go anyway because I hadn't seen them since before the baby was born.  So I knew that the chances of getting sick myself were pretty high but a cold is a small price to pay to be in the presence of the overwhelming cuteness of my newest nephew.

Yesterday I woke up with a dry throat and thought/hoped it was just because of the heater being on all night.  By mid-day, however, it had morphed into a clogged sinus (resulting in a headache) and a general sense of grogginess and lethargy.  I upped my calories intentionally yesterday and tried to make sure I consumed lots of protein so that I can fight this.  I also skipped the work-out last night because I know that I need the energy for my immune system right now, and I went to bed early and slept in as late as I could.

Today was the blood drive in exchange for free tax preps and I headed over worrying about whether or not they would let me donate with a cold.  As it turns out, they wouldn't but they gave me the voucher for free tax prep anyway on the promise that I would schedule an appointment and donate as soon as I'm feeling better; which I will definitely do.  I try to donate four times a year anyway so, knowing that with a schedule C for home office expenses, a W-2, a 1099, two 1098's, and a few other forms my tax prep costs around $500; I just couldn't pass up the chance to get free tax prep in trade for blood I would probably end up donating anyway.

The best part of all, however, is that I had an unexpected, big fat tax credit that I wasn't expecting due to the fact that I enrolled in college last spring.  I thought my refund would be somewhere around what it was last year (just over $500) but it's actually significantly larger than that.  Yeee Haw!  So today I am going to drink crap loads of water, eat copious amounts of vitamin C, do everything in my power to sleep as much as possible, and try to kick this cold before it gets too much worse.  The throbbing sinus headache in the back of my skull just sucks right now.  But you know what?  My nephew is ethereally cute so it was wellllll worth it!

5 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/o cream this time
8 oz orange juice
8 oz pomegranate/blueberry juice
1 chicken quesadilla w/pico
2 home made steak taco's w/pico & guac
2,000 mg vitamin c
Daily Caloric Intake: 772

Despite not feeling well I spent an hour chopping up all the veg to make pico and guac, then cooked the steak taco's all while Snack Monkey slept.  I woke him up for supper and, after we'd eaten, let him know that he was on clean up.  If I had any doubts about being sick they are quelled, just making supper was unnaturally exhausting.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Back on the Wii

When Snack Monkey and I went to my mom's house for Thanksgiving we took the Wii so that we could show my parents how awesome it is.  With it we took Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 and Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board.  When we left, unfortunately, we forgot to put the balance board in the car and, until last weekend, it's been sitting at my mom's collecting dust.  Every time I used the Wii Fit game it would ask me to do a body test to check progress and I would always skip that step because it required the balance board so I was very excited to see what it would say about my 35 lb loss when I flipped it on last night.

To my complete and utter joy it said that I weighed 248 lbs!  Now that's not an official weigh-in because I will use my bathroom scale for that on Monday morning, and I am sure there is going to be some variation in scale readings because most scales have slightly different calibrations from one another.  But that weight was registered about an hour after I had eaten dinner which is when I generally assume I'm at my heaviest within a 24 hour period; I typically weigh first thing in the morning, after I go potty and before I eat or drink anything.  If that weight is even close to accurate come Monday morning, that will put me very close to having lost 40 lbs and it will mean I've successfully completed my challenge for this week by accomplishing my second goal of getting under 250 lbs!

YAY WII!  I'm starting to really give some serious thought to canceling the gym membership, saving up the $20 a month while Wii Walking at home or doing other forms of exercise, and eventually using that savings to buy a treadmill.  If I had more space in my living room I probably would have already started saving up for one because a big portion of my motivation issues when it comes to working out is the hassle of getting dressed, getting in the car and driving to the gym just to do something that I could be doing from the comfort of my living room while watching Netflix.  Last night I marched in place for over an hour while watching Destination Truth: Season 3 and although I worked up an awesome sweat, I wasn't nearly as bored or eager to "get it over with" as I have been at the gym lately.  I actually haven't even been to the gym in almost two weeks and, aside from the fact that I do still want to incorporate weight training into my work-outs for toning and muscle building, I feel like I'm wasting my money on it at this point.  I haven't utilized the free tanning sessions in at least a month, the massage chairs hurt my spine, and the dual TV's constantly tuned to the Food Network channel drive me INSANE because I don't want to watch them but can't stop watching at the same time.  If I can, however, I do want to go the gym tomorrow after the blood drive and do some stomach and arm exercises, then I'll probably do my walking/cardio in the evening at home or maybe see if Snack Monkey wants to go to the park with me.

7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
24 mini-wheat biscuits
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup rice-a-roni
1 serving coffee steak
foot long chicken sub
>>the usual
Daily Caloric Intake: 1389

I woke up sick this morning.  I know better than to try to exercise when what I need to do is rest and save my energy for my immune system.  This does not bode well for Monday's weigh-in.  *sigh*  February has been such a bad month for weight-loss.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I love the super skinny shadow!
Last night was so much fun!  I'm so glad Snack Monkey suggested that we take our B-Ball and break it in finally.  I used to play a lot of ball when I was a teenager, for a church team.  We would have practice and games every week and I would also spend a fair amount of time with friends playing at the park but I was a little bit worried that I would be rusty and really suck last night because I haven't played in over ten years.  In this picture I am admiring the super skinny, darker shadow inside the lighter one as I prepare to shoot the ball.  It's like an example of me now and me who I want to/will be.  It was dark by the time we got there but the courts were lit and they're in this adorable little park surrounded by grassy hills so snagging wayward shots was quite fun and good exercise.  By the end of the night I could see why they say you shouldn't try to jog/run if you're over 200 lbs though.  The bones in my shins were killing me and every time I would run fast to stop a ball and then stop fast when I got to it I would feel this sharp pain up through my feet.  It's amazing that I've weighed too much for my legs and feet to safely handle and didn't even really realize it until I started trying to lose.

Snagging a missed shot

This one looks good!

She shoots, she scores!  And the crowd goes wild!

9 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 serving leftover steak
1/2 avocado, plain
1 cup rice-a-roni
1 serving coffee steak
Daily Caloric Intake: 1108

Wii Walking: 3.38 miles (6766 steps)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Too Many Things

Today I feel like I have too many things coming up in the near future on my plate and it's scattering and overwhelming.  I use reminders in my email client (since I'm online every day any way) to keep track of what needs to be done when, but I still can't shake this nagging worry that I'll forget a deadline on something or make a mistake.  I'm not sure if this is my old issues with anxiety rearing their ugly head again, or if it's just the stress of the season, but I feel like I'm waiting for too many important dates to arrive and wish they would just get here so I can do what needs to be done and take things off my plate.

For example: I have an exam due tomorrow which I am going to complete today during my lunch break and submit tonight as soon as the upload forum opens instead of waiting until tomorrow.  I have another exam due on Friday that I am going to complete and submit tomorrow, and yet another exam due Sunday that I am going to try to complete tomorrow and submit on Saturday.  I also have a blood drive appointment on Saturday; I am donating my blood in exchange for free tax preparation which is how I had my $500 prep done for free last year so that my entire return wasn't gobbled up by prep fees.  I was going to take a tax class this last fall so I could do them myself but I missed the sign-up date for it.  I used to do my own taxes when they were just a simple W-2 and I could e-file but now I have a W-2 and a 1099 plus home office and work-related travel expenses, plus student loan interest payment deductions, plus savings account interest income, plus medical bill payment deductions, plus PELL income to deal with this year.

At work I have 6 or 7 cancellations that need to be processed, sitting in the cue, all with different dates on them.  I can't process any of them yet but I've never actually had that many sitting in the cue all at once and the OCD in me is going insane.  I'm trying to remember the meals for the week too so that I take the right meats out of the freezer early enough that they'll thaw in time to make the dinners for which they are intended.  Friday I will probably have to chase my boss down to make sure I get paid and then I will have to go through the finances for the month and pay all the bills.  I mean it's all just a lot of little, normal stuff that everyone deals with on a daily basis but, for some reason, it feels overwhelming to me right now.  I know one thing for sure, I will feel a lot better once my taxes are done and I can take that giant whale off my plate.  I feel like I'm forgetting something and I'm going to go in there Saturday and they're going to say "Oh, we need this piece of paperwork" and I'm going to say "ooops, I totally forgot about that one".

I'd consider getting a day-planner if I thought I would actually use it but I've had them before and they've ended up just collecting dust on a shelf so it's kind of a pointless waste of money.  I do have some good news though, I checked out my Sophomore schedule and discovered that after the classes I'm in and one more 9 week block consisting of two classes, I will finally begin my programming credits!  YAY!  15 weeks from now my world is going to be systems management, web design, programming, and more programming for the next year.  WOOHOO!

7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 string cheese
1 serving home made hummus
1 cup garlic noodles
1 serving bloody mary steak
Daily Caloric Intake: 1017

Basketball: Played around the world, then 1-on-1, then horse with Snack Monkey.  Then after all of that we did a lap around the court, I did some dribble practice up and down the court and then we just practiced trick shots and shagged the ball for each other.  It was fun and I broke a sweat and got my heart rate up several times.  I wouldn't let him go easy on me just because I'm a fat girl so we were pushing and shoving and trying to bat the ball away from each other.  I lost, of course, but it was fun!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Home Cooking

Now that Snack Monkey and I are cooking at home more we've been wanting to upgrade our cookware to make life a little easier.  We went into the store thinking we were going to get a pot set with skillets and a knife block and some cutting boards and maybe some other small things but we just didn't realize how expensive those things are when you're looking for quality.  After several hours of browsing isles we finally resigned ourselves to the fact that our pots and pans may not match but they're not necessarily in that bad of shape.  Our skillet is, by far, the worst with scrape marks all over the bottom from Snack Monkey using metal spoons and stuff in it, plus it doesn't have a lid which is something we often find a need for so we decided to replace it and deal with what we've got for the rest of our pans for now.  Everything we read online said not to buy sets anyway because it's better to pick specific pieces that are really needed.

I'm really the most excited about the steamer basket for veggies and the cutting mats.  We have one of those hard plastic cutting boards with a textured surface and every time I chop veggies on it I hear these little pops and snaps with every slice.  Then it's no surprise when my really good knives are dull almost every time I pull them out to use them and I have to keep sharpening them.  We have a great sharpener so I finally convinced Snack Monkey that we don't need new knives, we just need to protect the ones we have with a better cutting surface.

I feel sore and tired again after last night's shopping excursion but I question whether or not I burned the amount of calories that I would have burned had I just gone to the gym as planned.  Tonight is softball again and I'm looking forward to it; I'd like to get a pedometer to count my steps for me so I have a better idea of how far I've walked when I do laps around the field.  I forgot to mention ... I jogged the other day.  It was probably the first time in years that I've moved faster than a walk, no kidding.  I had forgotten my purse and had to go from the car to the house to get it and we were trying to hurry so I picked up my heels and jogged.  It felt awkward at first but after a few steps it felt kind of natural so I did it again on my way back out to the car.  It wasn't far but when you've not been able to run for so long because you're as out of shape as I am, just being able to say "I jogged" feels like a significant victory!

Now I get to prep my deductions for tax season.  Weeeee! NOT!

8 glasses of water
1cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 leftover A-1 Burger
1/2 serving of hummus w/pita chips
1 turkey Reuben (pico instead of Russian dressing)
2 oz fries
Daily Caloric Intake: 1355

Softball laps: 4 miles (16 laps)
(I could have actually done more but the games ended really early because Snack Monkey's team slaughtered their opponents and the Blue called the game on the mercy rule.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

15th Weigh-In

Sometimes you just know; you don't know how you know because logically the numbers look good on paper but something in your gut tells you not to expect a loss before you ever even step on the scale.  I was exhausted last night after we got home from the store and cleaned up the house and I had written down every little thing that I ate so after adding up my calories my mind felt quite certain that there would be loss but somewhere in my gut I knew there wouldn't be.  I don't feel like I did anything wrong this weekend; I may not have walked 14 miles last week but I certainly burned some calories and I may have had two chocolate truffles but my count was under the mark and yet somehow I was surprised by the number on the scale this morning.

In a way this makes me living proof that the more you lose the harder it is to lose more.  What I mean by that is, when I was 287 lbs a simple week of counting my calories and floor exercises was easy enough and brought in my single largest loss to-date.  Yet now here I am, still very much over weight, but definitely having to try harder to lose anything.  Ok, to be fair to myself I did lose half-a-pound and that's nothing to snub my nose at.  It's certainly better than gaining, I know, but this goal of being under 250 lbs has been looming in front of me now for pretty much this entire month and, dammit, I want it!  This is good ... this is a source of motivation to try harder, to have a really solid kick-pants week with a 2.5 lb loss or more to get me over this hurdle.  Losing weight is starting to feel less like a slow-and-steady marathon and more like a series of sprints; well if the hare had managed his time better he could have easily beat that tortoise.  I got this ... we're good.  I'm on track and this is going to be a good week, just you wait 'enry 'iggins!

Now here are a few pointers for home made hummus from the food bible:
  1. Don't try to make it in a blender.  It works ok and if you have the world's greatest blender then you might be alright but I can clearly see why the book tells you to use a food processor.
  2. The book calls for tahini and says you can sub with creamy peanut butter if needed so I did because tahini is $7 a can.  The peanut butter added a flavor that I'm not used to in hummus and didn't particularly care for.
  3. If you buy store bought hummus with garlic in the middle (like I do) use a few more cloves of garlic than what the recipe calls for because without it the recipe is very garlic-light.
  4. If you're not trying to watch your sodium and you like food that's a little saltier add just a pinch more than called for.  I didn't do this and the hummus was fine without it but it could have used a smidge more.  Be sure to account for added calories (though they're very small between the garlic and salt).
  5. Consider using veggies to replace the pita chips for a lower carb alternative and, frankly, I think sliced cucumbers add some much needed moisture and fresh taste to the overall bite.
  6. Finally: Consider adding some other flavors in the form of herbs and spices.  I didn't do this either but I think the next time I try to make hummus I'm going to add a dash of cayenne pepper or some chopped parsley to it.
For the record, I love hummus and the recipe in the book was really good even with the peanut butter but these are just a few ideas to make a great recipe even better.

7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 serving home made hummus w/pita chips
1/2 sweet potato (cut and baked into fries)
1 A-1 Swiss Burger (from the book, orgasm on a bun!)
Daily Caloric Intake: 897

We got belated Christmas money from my parents this weekend so tonight we went non-grocery shopping.  We hit Kohl's in the mall first, walked alllll over then hit a different Kohl's because they had a cookware set that we had seen online and wanted to check out.  We spent a good hour or more in there carrying cases of pots and pans to the scanner for price checking and eventually decided that we just didn't have the budget to get what we really wanted.  From there we hit Target and picked up some cutting mats, a veggie steamer, and a few other small kitchen items and then walked around there until it closed.  All-in-all we spent about 3 hours and $55 but we had fun and it got us off the couch.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Catching Up

Well we're back home again so it's time to get caught up from the weekend.

6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 cup spanish rice
1 chicken sandwich
8 oz Reisling
1 Reese's 100 calorie snack
Daily Caloric Intake: 1143
Activity: Walked around Rockville, UT.  Distance and speed unknown, just pleasure walking for three or four hours.

7 glasses of water
2 cups of coffee w/creamer
1 egg scrambled w/spinach, mushroom, & onion
1 medium banana
1 granola bar
2 string cheeses
4 Tbsps Hummus w/melba crackers
6 oz Pico w/chips
8 oz pork loin w/pico
8 asparagus spears
6 sweet potato fries
Daily Caloric Intake: 1274
Activity: Partially hiked Angel's Landing in the snow (details below)

The Angel's Landing Hike:  So for reasons unclear Snack Monkey, my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, and I decided to attempt Angel's Landing in the rain/snow.  Now I had already slipped in the mud yesterday morning while taking the dog out to go potty and ended up having to take a shower with my clothes on at 8 am so the minute we hit the trail my worries about slipping again were heightened.  I'm not really sure how far we hiked; I know the trail sign said that the hike is 2 miles (though I've done the hike before and it seems a LOT longer) and I'm fairly certain we didn't even make it half way before we decided to turn around and head back down.  The trail was paved but the rain had washed a lot of mud onto it and where there wasn't slimy mud there was slushy snow.  There was a whole lot of sliding going both up and down the hike and we all agreed that trying to hike a steep trail in mud and slush is like trying to jog on the beach in that it takes so much more effort than firm ground.  I didn't do my six miles, I know, but I'm sore and it's been a long time since my legs have been sore like this from walking.  By the time we got home we were soaked through anywhere that our poncho's didn't cover.  Now we're home and we have to do laundry, go shopping, unpack, and clean up the house tonight so that will probably be my exercise.  The best part of the weekend was getting to finally see my adorable nephew who's now 15 months old and is the sweetest little angel.  I really loved getting to spend time with him and he seemed to really like me too, which was great!  My mom had chocolate truffles and cookies out for everyone and, after a bit of gentle pushing from me she moved them from the dining room to the kitchen where they would be less tempting but they were still out on the counter.  After resisting them all weekend I caved this morning, gave in and had two; que serrah.  It is good to be back home in the sunshine though: viva Las Vegas!

7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 banana
2 poached eggs
1/2 a waffle (dry)
1 southwest chicken salad
2 chocolate truffles
2 small Spring Rolls
1 California Roll
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,239

Packing the car
Unpacking the car
3 hours of shopping
put groceries away
did laundry

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend At Mom's

Hi everyone!  So tonight Snack Monkey and I will be leaving for Utah to visit my mom for the weekend.  As some of you may remember from Thanksgiving, my mom's internet is some of the worst in the world so I suspect that I probably won't be posting while I'm there.  I will try to post this message before we leave tonight, though the counts on it may be incomplete because we'll be leaving right after work.  I'm still going to try to count over the weekend, though without access to the internet to look things up I may not be able to count consistently while I'm there.  I am going to take a notebook with me and write everything down though so that what I can't count can be looked up and counted when I get home.

We'll be coming back home Sunday afternoon so I'll be posting activity and food for the weekend then and Monday's weigh-in will be on schedule as usual.  I probably won't have the chance to do much in the way of walking today because of the trip, by the time we get there it will be dark and they're having bad storms this weekend.  However, I am really going to try (weather permitting) to walk from my mom's house to the ghost town of Grafton and back which is 6 miles round-trip and will make up for not walking today.

My mom and sister, who's staying at my mom's right now, have both been trying to watch what they eat and lose weight with me so I think the temptation to eat bad foods will, hopefully, be low.  I'm sure Snack Monkey will want to hit a drive-through on the way out of town tonight but I'm going to browse Eat This, Not That to find out what my best options are in that regard.  According to the book Wendy's and Subway both get an A grade but Snack Monkey will not eat at Wendy's due to a bad experience he had years and years ago that has stuck with him.  I'll find something though, and I'll be smart about it.  I hope you all have an awesome weekend!

4 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 cup leftover Spanish rice
1 100 calorie snack pack
Daily Caloric Intake: (pre-supper) 684
Time Posted: 3:56 p.m. heading out to mom's as soon as I brush my hair and change my clothes so I'll probably catch you all again on Sunday.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Food Bible

Well Tuesday night our friends who dropped by softball for a visit brought their copy of Eat This Not That! 2010: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution for me to thumb through and I spent quite a bit of time reading through it last night.  The Eat This books are similar to the Cook This book in that they provide lower calorie, sodium, fat, and sugar alternatives to common chain restaurant menu items but they are different in that they provide alternative chain restaurant menu items to choose from.  In other words, it's like a survival guide for eating out and it's not just for people who are trying to lose weight but people who are just trying to maintain their current weight or be more conscious about what they're eating.  The best part is that it gives realistic alternatives and it takes into account the fact that not everyone likes bulgar and toast for every meal.  In other words, if you really want a cheese burger these books will tell you which fast food restaurant offers the better cheese burger option and which one offers the worst option.  This means that you don't necessarily have to change your lifestyle (though if you get Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals changing your lifestyle will probably be a blissful and welcome transition as it has been for me) just the choices you make within your lifestyle.

It also provides some shocking information that I think everyone should know, in fact some of this info seems like grounds for considerable lawsuits or legal action of some kind.  With the dangers of potential copyrighting in mind I don't want to give you the full details but I can't not mention a few of these things here on the blog.  For example: Did you know that an independent study sent allegedly "healthy menu options" from eight different locations of an extremely well known family restaurant chain to a lab for testing and found that, on average, the dishes contained twice the calories and fat that the chain claimed the dish had in their nutritional info?  So you might go into this chain, order something thinking it's 550 calories when, in reality, it's over 1,100!  Another well known sit-down restaurant chain lists a single order of their Mac N' Cheese as four servings in their nutritional info so that the numbers look better than they really are!  I can't tell you which chains because that would be spoiling the fun and I'm not necessarily trying to convince anyone to get these books (ok, maybe I am a little) but some of the stuff I learned has made me completely re-evaluate the way I look at eating out altogether!

Now the book is apparently also making major modifications in eating-out menu options.  They published a "20 Worst Foods in America" list in one of their books and within the year to follow, due to the popularity of the series, several major chain restaurants who's dishes were on that list either removed the dish from their menu entirely or significantly altered it to reduce fat, calories, sugar, and sodium.  One chain even sent the authors of the book a letter professing their desire to become one of the healthiest restaurants in America instead of one of the worst.  Various restaurants get an overall grade from A to F based on the major nutritional factors of their menu items compared to portion size which means I could find myself carrying a book like this around in my pocket at all times.  "What's that Snack Monkey?  You want to eat at Jack In The Box?  Well let me see what the book says about that."  No kidding ... I feel like I've been privy to the deeper secrets of the food conspiracy that we've all known existed for quite some time.  Not only do I now want to purchase every book that these guys have ever published, I also want to get them all for my mom to have too ... that's how good they are.

One thing I should mention is that, based on what I read last night from the 2010 book, if you were going to only buy one book I would suggest getting the most recent book: either Eat This, Not That! 2011 or there is actually a brand new one coming out that Amazon just sent me a release notice for called Eat This, Not That! The No-Diet Diet: The Worlds Easiest Weight Loss Plan which will hit shelves on March 1.  The reason I suggest going with the most recent is because these books do seem to affect menu options in some restaurants so the older books may contain information in them which is no longer applicable because the menu items are no longer available at their respective restaurants; and it may not account for new menu items that restaurants have recently added.  On the other hand, if you're like me and you prefer to own every book in a series I can see extreme value from just buying all of them.  Two things of note: Amazon is usually cheaper than buying these books in a book store, no kidding like $10 savings even.  Also: Although the books call themselves weight loss solutions and diet plans I wouldn't look at them that way if I were you.  These books should be considered lifestyle information, if weight-loss happens as a result great but ultimately it's still possible to choose the best of two options from the book and still not lose weight if you're not counting your calories and engaging in exercise as you go.  How, you ask?  Well just because the Big Mac and Dairy Queen's banana split got better grades than their competitors doesn't mean that eating them every day while living a sedentary life is going to lead to weight loss.  Just food for thought.

In other news, Snack Monkey talked me out of going to the gym before dinner last night and pinki-promised that we would take the dog to the park after dinner and do the mile long jogging track there instead.  Then after dinner had been prepared and consumed (Chicken Adobo, my mom's adobo recipe tastes better so I now need to do a nutritional comparison of the two) he started whining about the wind and the cold.  I fired up the Wii, popped in the Fit and walked big figure 8's around my living room, counting every step up to 6,287 which is the equivalent of approximately 3 miles.  I can't walk in place, it feels too much like marching, so I walked from the living room to the dining room and back again instead.  I feel sorry for the people who live downstairs.

6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1/4 leftover Calzone
1 foot long chicken sub
>>the usual
Daily Caloric Intake: 1097
p.s. the water count is low because I'm posting early.  I promise I'll chug two more glasses before bed.

Wii Walking: 3.18 miles in 53 minutes! Wooo!
I actually got tired of doing figure 8's and I'm worried I'll wear a hole in the carpet if I keep doing that so tonight I decided to march in place; march, not walk.  Reason being that last night's 3 miles didn't take much out of me because I've gotten used to walking with an incline at the gym or on rough terrain at the softball fields so tonight I decided to pick my knees up higher with each step to increase burn/sweat from the comfort of my own home.  I'm starting to think I would prefer a home treadmill over a gym membership ... aside from the perks of tanning and ab machines that I can still get at the gym.  Oh well, I worked up a hell of a good sweat tonight so I feel pretty good about it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heads Up!

Well softball happened again last night, two games back to back as always.  Our friends from last season showed up to cheer the team on but the female member of the couple was sick so they couldn't stay long.  It was nice to be able to visit with them again though; they're always so much fun to be around.  When they left I started my laps and knew I wouldn't have enough time left in the games to take breaks so I just kept going round and around ticking the laps off with my fingers as I walked.  I nearly got hit by at least four fouls, maybe more.  It's always fun when you hear a bunch of people screaming "HEADS UP!" and you look over to find that they're all looking right at you.  At that point you don't actually look up ... trust me on this one, looking up is the worst thing that you can do because, for all you know, you'll look up just in time for the ball to smack you in the face.  What you do is what I like to call "The Turtle": you duck your head, wrap your arms over it, move a few steps closer to a fence or a tree and just wait until you hear the ball hit the ground somewhere nearby.  I've gotten very good at this maneuver.

Snack Monkey had, not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR awesome catches in the outfield.  Every time a ball went his way it seems like he was diving and sliding and rolling around to catch something and his white softball pants are thrashed after last night's game.  But he had fun and, hopefully, earned some respect from the rest of the team.  There are a few younger guys on our team who still have a high-school mentality; you know, they think they're the "in" crowd and everyone else is "out".  First of all they're both cops and second they both think they're the best looking men to walk the planet.  They're not, of course.  In fact they're really not even semi-cute but they always have a different bimbo for each of them at every game - cocktail waitresses and strippers mostly.

Thanks Misty!
This image was a gift for me from Misty which shows a progressive shadow of the weight I've lost so far.  The black shadow of my arm and the white strip of shirt/pants on the left side of the image is an indication of how I've narrowed.  It's kind of cool to see it like this but it will be really exciting when the difference between two photo's is a lot more obvious.  I'm really tired today in spite of going to bed at 11 last night and sleeping till 6:30 this morning.  I have bags under my eyes that would make Walter Mathau jealous and, apparently, the skin around my eyes is so puffy that I even have crow's feet when I smile.  I'm 28 years old, I'm not old enough to have crow's feet!  I've been taking my vitamins every day and tried upping my calories to over 1,200 on most days as many of you suggested, plus I think I'm making better food choices but the bags just seem to be getting bigger.  I've tried green tea bags and cucumbers over my eyes, to no avail, and I've considered hemorrhoid cream but am hesitant because I've heard that it can be dangerous.  Anywho, I've got some school work to get done before I start my shift at normal work so I'll stop rambling now.

6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
4 oz pico de gallo
2 korean rice cakes
1 6" chicken breast sub
1 Chicken Adobo breast (from the recipe book)
1/2 cup rice
Daily Caloric Intake: 863

Wii Walking: 3.13 miles at approx 3.2 mph

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Know I'm Loved

I was delighted when I saw Snack Monkey through the window, coming up the walk with a box of what looked like candy and a balloon but a little part of the back of my mind sank because of my efforts to lose weight.  I'm not a jewelry person, I think flowers are pointless because they just die, in fact I'm really not even the kind of person who expects to get a present on Valentines day at all but I was thrilled to see that he'd gotten me something none-the-less.  I was even more thrilled when I realized that the box wasn't full of candy, each tiny little piece over 100 calories ... but chocolate dipped fruit and only 12 large pieces.  Talk about the perfect idea right?  Ok so there's chocolate involved but chocolate dipped fruit is a whole lot better than chocolate dipped chocolates or caramels and I can share with Snack Monkey so that I don't eat as many myself.  There was also a card, a box of chocolate sweethearts (which Snack Monkey will probably eat for me), a chocolate rose which is on the mantle pretending to be a silk rose so that it won't get eaten, and a balloon.  I really love that picture, and I didn't think I would because I was trying to crouch down to get beneath the balloon but it came out really cute, I think.

Inside the box were chocolate dipped strawberries, bananas, and green apple slices; my favorite!  Many of you may recall that I don't particularly care for bananas and when it comes to just normal bananas that's true but one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations is chocolate and bananas - I think the only thing I like chocolate with more is probably popcorn or some other form of salty snack.  Snack Monkey also made dinner reservations at Mimi's which is one of our favorite restaurants and afterward we came home and curled up in bed together to watch TV.

To be totally honest I'm not big on most holidays; I like Halloween probably more than the rest because I get to play dress-up and New Years is nice because we usually spend it with my family and I love spending Christmas with Snack Monkey's family but actually dislike the holiday itself because of all the money people spend on it.  I have to say that this Valentines day was the perfect holiday for me; light celebration but nothing too crazy.  We had a nice time but didn't spend ourselves silly and I got to catch up on my sleep and relaxation which I really, really needed to do.

7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
steamed broccoli w/pico
1 lean gourmet lunch
2 chocolate covered strawberries (they were turning brown)
2 chocolate covered bananas (only 2 apples left now)

6" chicken breast sub
>>the usual
Daily Caloric Intake: 977

Softball Laps: 12 laps = approx 3 miles
Also shagged a few balls (jogged for them!  I can jog now!!!)

Weigh-In 14

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!  My V-Day started out in an awesome way with a giant dose of loves, hugs, and kisses from my sweetie as he immediately wished me a happy V-Day before I even remembered that it was V-Day.  I barely managed to roll out of bed before he attacked me with love ... now that's a good way to start a V-Day!  It just got better when I stepped on the scale and saw a 2.5 lb loss.  It's not huge but it's a move in the right direction again.  I think I can just plan on having one week per month where I don't lose anything ... that's ok with me.  If I can keep a loss of 2-3 lbs every other week of the month I'll still reach my goal before my goal date.

Last night I decided to try my hand at some of this fancy shmancy cooking that Snack Monkey has been doing lately so I pulled out the leftover dough he made last week, floured up the counter and rolled the dough out into two calzones.  In Snack Monkey's I did ricotta, white sauce, pepperoni, chicken (which I cooked in the oven with a tsp of EVOO, 2 Tbsps rice wine vinegar, and generous sprinkles of sage, salt, and pepper at 350 degrees for 30 minutes in a glass bread pan), broccoli, mushrooms, a few slices of white american cheese, and garlic powder.  The disaster with this one is that I made the mistake of putting all the fillings in while the dough was still on the counter so then, when it came time to move it to the pan, I realized it was a doughy, floppy, mess way too big for any of the spatula's that I own.  After messing with it for awhile and trying, unsuccessfully to slide it onto a plate for transport I finally just picked the whole thing up, shape be damned, and dropped it on the pizza stone.  The top of it was stretched so thin in places that it was almost transparent and I was really worried that it was going to suck but I brushed some egg white over it, popped it in the oven and kept a close eye on it.

With mine I put the ricotta and home made pizza sauce on it then moved it to a floured cookie sheet before adding the filling.  I used chicken, mushrooms, broccoli, and garbanzo beans.  I forgot to the put the garlic powder, salt and pepper on the inside like I did with Snack Monkey's so I sprinkled some on the top after I put the egg white over it.  Snack Monkey's calzone actually came out pretty good, it didn't look pretty by any means but the top was golden brown and the bottom was cooked perfectly and he said it tasted great but made waaaaay to much for him to eat in one sitting.  Mine, on the other hand, burned black and hard as a rock on the top and the entire bottom stuck to the cookie sheet so that the thing literally snapped in two (top and bottom) when we tried to put it on my plate.  I ended up scraping all the guts out of mine, putting some Frank's red hot on them and throwing the entire crust, top and bottom, in the trash.  I didn't take pictures because it was just too humiliating.

oh yeah ... and it's also picture time!

November 2010 - 287.0 lbs
February 2011 - 252.5 lbs

p.s. I really wanted to re-color the old image and then lay the new image over top of it and make it 50% transparent so I can see the shadow of what I used to be behind the image of what I am now but my freakin photo editing software is a pile of cheap crap!  So, if any of you have good photo editing software and would like to make me a little present *cute hopeful grin* I would be EXTREMELY grateful! :)

p.s.s. yes, I got chocolate dipped fruit from my sweetie for Valentines day.  How cool is he that he thought to get fruit instead of just regular old dipped chocolates?  I looked up the calories online though and they are 30 calories per piece.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!

5 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
roasted chicken and pita chips
2 chocolate dipped strawberries (60 cals)
2 chocolate dipped banana's (60 cals)
1 chocolate dipped apple slice (30 cals)
1 serving chicken piccata
8 oz Reisling
Daily Caloric Intake: 1254

The things couples do on Valentines day. :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Apple Crumble

So last night I decided to make the apple crumble recipe in the Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals for dessert last night, we had purchased all of the ingredients the last time that Snack Monkey went grocery shopping and I didn't want the apple to go bad before we got it made.  It was a relatively easy recipe to make, quite swift but also considerably messy.  When the finished product came out of the oven, however, neither of us were impressed with it.  I mean it was ok, it wasn't bad, but I've had better.  Sweet Tomato occasionally has an apple cobbler dessert that is around 300 calories per cup and I think it tastes MUCH better!  Theirs has dried cranberries in it and I'm thinking if I ever try to make apple crumble again I'll probably try adding some cranberries to mine too but I doubt I'll bother making it at all.  The apple to crumble ratio was way off, far too much crumble and not enough apples.  Plus the crumble burns before the apples get soft enough to cut with a spoon, and it's somewhat light on flavor which is surprising considering it calls for cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, apple juice, and granny smith apples; all things very big on flavor.

Well I've lost count on the ratio of good recipes to "not favorites" in the book but I know that out of all of them we've tried this is really only the second recipe that was no one our "wow list".  That still makes for one hell of a great track record.  For all the goat/feta cheese recipes in this book though I think I'm going to have to invest in a pet goat! lol.  Goat/feta is not cheap but almost every recipe in the book calls for it.

4 glasses water
24 mini wheats
1/2 cup milk
2 chicken soft tacos w/pico
calzone guts (explanation tomorrow)
Daily Caloric Intake: 1017

2 hours cooking the most disastrous dinner known to man

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Blanket From Hell

Over the couch and the coffee table, 7 feet wide
I've mentioned a few times over the course of this blog that I enjoy various forms of needlepoint and crafting including but not limited to crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, sewing, drawing, painting, I even spent a spell refinishing furniture.  So two years ago I decided that I wanted a new crocheting project so I took my book of patterns to Snack Monkey and told him to pick something out for me to make for him.  In true Snack Monkey fashion he picked the most complicated difficult pattern in the book and asked me to make it even more complicated by turning a two-color blanket into a three-color blanket.  Now let me clarify why this is the most complicated pattern in the book: it's not that there are any complex stitches, in fact it's all single crochets; the problem with this blanket is that you have to run two colors at the same time row-by-row.  That's right, you're actually running a strand of one color through the blanket as you crochet over it with the other color and then swapping back and forth every 1 to 7 stitches depending on where you are in the pattern.  Confused?  So was I at first.

The top with our names on it
But then it gets worse; I do the 246 chains called for by the pattern and he says "that's not long enough can you make it longer?"  So I add another 100 chains and start working on it.  Now there are two primary ways to make a blanket, the first is to just start a row and then keep building on it and building on it until you have a blanket and the other is to make strips of 15 or so rows each and then sew them all together when they're done.  Anyone who's tried the first method knows that eventually the blanket gets really heavy and bulky and hot and hard to work on.  Well this blanket was all single crochets, which seems like it would be easier but actually became time consuming, monotonous, and boring.  I get 7 strips done and decide that the blanket is just too big to make all in one piece so I tied the first panel off and started on another one.  When I got the second panel done Snack Monkey decided that the blanket was too narrow compared to the modified length so I began a third panel.  Part of the way through the third panel I ran out of one of the colors and went to the store to buy more only to find out they didn't carry it anymore.  We went to a half-dozen stores, minimum, looking for this color and no one had it anymore so I buy a roll online.

The bottom with the pet's names on it
I finish the third panel and then Snack Monkey wants to know if I can make a strip across the top and the bottom of the blanket and use my newly discovered two color pattern technique to create our names and the names of our pets in the blanket, sure why not.  Get those done, finally, and start stitching the whole thing together.  First I realize that the first and second panels are inverted so the patterns don't line up so I have to take them apart, flip them around, and sew them back together.  Then I go to sew on the third panel but the whole thing is just too big and bulky so I lay it out on the floor, get half way through and realize that the connective stitching will be on the back of the blanket instead of the front so I take it apart, flip it around and start over.  Get the three panels together and go to put the first name-strip on and realize that the blanket is two stripes wider than the name strip.  How did that happen?  Turns out two of my panels were 7 stripes wide but the third was 9 ... I have no idea why I did that.  So I unravel the name-strip from the blanket then unravel the third panel from the first two, then unravel the two extra stripes in the third panel so that it's 7.  Then I start all over attaching the third panel to the first two, then go back to work attaching the name-strips to the top and bottom.  I finally finished it off with a border around the whole thing and I FINALLY finished this monstrosity of a blanket last night at 11:30 p.m.  YES IT IS DONE! FINITO! OVER! FINISHED!

8 glasses of water
1 Fiber One bar
1 slice leftover pizza
1 chicken quesadilla
1 serving apple crumble (recipe from the book, not great)
Daily Caloric Intake: 1532

Treadmill: 3 miles @ 3.2 mph w/30 % incline

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Strange Dream

Well last night I had an appointment immediately after getting off work that last about two hours, when I got done I came home and Snack Monkey and I made supper together.  We made a Hawaiian crepe recipe from Cook This, Not That! but we subbed the ham for chicken and the peppers for mushrooms.  They were really, really tasty!  He had the chicken already cooked when I got home from my appointment and had leftover crepe batter in the fridge from when he made breakfast crepes the other day so once I had changed my clothes I started to work chopping up the chicken, mushrooms, jalapeno, and pineapple chunks and then cooked that all up in the skillet as directed in the book.  After that was done I moved the filling to a large bowl and he took over at the skillet making crepes while I added the ricotta cheese, salt, and pepper to the filling and then started dicing up the tomatoes and warming up some white sauce to go on top.  I didn't put white sauce on mine, just tomatoes, but snack monkey pretty much drowned his with white sauce in true Snack Monkey fashion.  Hey if it gets him stoked about healthier recipes and cooking more power to him!

So here is a picture of Snack Monkey flipping a crepe.  I wanted to get a picture of the crepe in mid flight but I just couldn't get the timing right on my camera phone.  After we made and ate dinner I cleaned up the kitchen and washed all the dishes because it just looked too pretty after last night's dinner to screw it up by leaving a mess.  By the time all of that was done I was pooped, crepes are messy things to make!  I worked on the blanket I'm making for Snack Monkey until bed time and then I had the strangest dream!  In my dream I was in this huge dorm hall but it was really old and everything was made of this beautiful wood like the floors, the banisters on the stairs and even the paneling on the walls, like what you might expect a dorm hall at an ivy league school to look like.  In my dream I knew that I was having a dream but it started out a good dream where I was hanging with, pretty much, every friend I've ever had like we were all at college together.  Then I looked out the window and saw a tornado, which isn't unusual I've had many tornado dreams before.  So I began running through the dorm hall on my way to the basement screaming "Tornado!  Tornado!".  Everyone in he dorm hall followed even though tornado's are all but unheard of around here and as we ended up in the basement I realized that I was having a nightmare and started trying to focus on waking myself up.  Except, and this is really hard to describe, it was my dream-self that realized she was having a nightmare and was trying to wake up, as in she expected upon waking to be in her bed in the dorm hall surrounded by friends instead of in my bed in my apartment next to Snack Monkey.

Eventually the nightmare ended and my dream-self was standing at a gas station in the rain in her pajamas and she thought she had woken up from the nightmare as desired but then people with guns pulled up and shot the guy that was pumping gas right next to her.  She screamed and jumped in the car with the shooters as if they were helping her escape from something else entirely.  Then she realized, again, that she was having a nightmare and started trying to wake herself up.

Eventually I woke up and, remembering back on the dream, the weirdest part of it was that it played out more like a movie than a dream.  I was viewing the entire dream from a third person perspective, as in I could see myself as if I were someone else standing there watching me.  But I could hear my dream-self's thoughts and knew when she thought she was having a nightmare and knew that when she started trying to wake herself up that she expected "awake" to be her version of it and not mine.  My brain didn't make any attempts to wake up at all.  In fact, I think last night might have been the first time in over a year that I slept through the entire night without waking up once.  Odd.  I wish I knew more about dream interpretation.

6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One Bar
1 slice leftover home made pizza
1 foot long chicken sub
>>whole grain
>>no cheese, light mayo
>>mustard and vinegar, no oil
>>tomato, onion, olive, cucumber
>>salt, pepper oregano
Daily Caloric Intake: 1157

Ab Crunches: 30 @ 40 lbs
Ab Crunches: 30 @ 50 lbs
Ab Crunches: 30 @ 60 lbs
Ab Twists: 20 @ 40 lbs (each side)
Treadmill: 2 miles @ 3.6 mph w/20% incline

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Eclectic Posting

Today's post is going to be just a little bit eclectic as I discuss the events of yesterday.  Snack Monkey ended up not having any work yesterday so he was home with me and inspiration struck him to make breakfast crepes using the crepe recipe in Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals.  Now some of you may have noticed that the ingredients in the crepe are not actually listed as a recipe in the book which might lead you to wonder how I figured up the calories for it.  Well I took all of the ingredients for the crepe mixture and plugged them into the recipe analyzer at and entered a serving count of four servings per mixture (because the book says that the mix makes four servings).  This gave me the calories on the crepe itself.  I then took the ingredients that Snack Monkey used to fill the crepes (eggs, cheese, mushrooms) and entered them into the recipe with a serving count of 2 which gave me the calories on a single serving of filling.  I added that to the calories per crepe and voila!  I have to say, they were pretty tasty!

Shortly after breakfast Snack Monkey decided to make pizza dough so that we could make a home made pizza for dinner tonight, again, using the recipe from the book.  And again, many of you probably noticed that the ingredients on the pizza are not listed as an official recipe in the book.  I used pretty much the same method as the crepes but Snack Monkey and I both wanted different toppings on our pizza so I put all of the toppings that we both wanted on the pizza on first, entered them into the recipe analyzer and divided by four servings.  Then I took the topping that only I wanted on my half of the pizza, entered them into the analyzer and divided by two servings, then added the two totals together. On the whole pizza we put home made sauce (recipe from the book), onions and garlic sauteed in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), sliced olives, chicken breast pieces, and a light dusting of cheese with a smidge of EVOO painted around the outer crust to keep it from drying out.  On my half I had tomato slices, raw mushrooms, and cilantro.  On his half Snack Monkey had pepperoni, sauteed mushrooms, extra cheese, and he smeared butter on the crust over the EVOO.

In addition to making breakfast, two batches of home made pizza dough, and home made pizza sauce Snack Monkey also decided to spend his day off cleaning the kitchen.  Oh no, I'm not joking.  We had home made pizza for dinner last night and this is ACTUALLY what the kitchen looked like after we ate!  The best part is that I still have two slices of pizza left from dinner last night which I put in the fridge and can re-warm in the toaster oven for lunch today.  You should have seen Snack Monkey kneading and rolling out dough like he's been doing it his whole life.  I think he is actually starting to enjoy cooking meals at home!  I'm so glad someone does! lol  Anyhow, after dinner we decided to go to the park again instead of the gym to do the mile-long jogging track that runs around the lake.  When we got to the park Snack Monkey got in the back of the car and pulled his sunflower seeds and a bottle of water from the cooler that has been in there since Tuesday night's softball game.  I couldn't help but crack up ... we were going to work out and he was acting like we were at a snack bar.  Silly Snack Monkey.

It was bitter cold last night though, even worse than the night before so we had to bundle up nice and warm, including the dog.  We layered two of her jackets for insulation and I think it worked because she didn't seem to shiver at all like she did Tuesday night.  When we got there we saw a sign that said no dogs on the jogging track though so I did my laps around the track and Snack Monkey took Piper over to the fenced in area specifically for dogs so that she could hang with some other mutts for awhile.  I felt pretty good after walking last night but the best piece of news to report is that I finished the final panel for Snack Monkey's blanket that I've been crocheting after the park last night so now all I have to do is stitch the panels together and put the border on.  This must be one of the biggest blankets I've ever crocheted and I will be so relieved to finish the stupid thing!

6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 serving greek salad
2 small dinner crepes (from the book)
>>jalapeno, mushrooms, pineapple
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,197

Had a meeting after work today, then came home and made dinner with Snack Monkey, then cleaned the kitchen and did the dishes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bitter-Sweet Softball

Well last night was the first game of softball season, finally, and Snack Monkey's goal for the season was to get on base with every at-bat.  He had 2 doubles, 2 triples, 3 singles, and didn't hit out or get tagged out once.  He also had 3 RBI's, 2 outfield catches, one infield tag and crossed home plate 3 times.  They play 2 games back-to-back each week so he's extremely happy with those stats!  He plays on a co-ed team called the Awesome Pickles and there are a lot of new players because many of our players from last season joined winter leagues and didn't come back.  But most of our favorite players returned with the exception of two of our friends Monty and Amanda (the couple we went to paintball with) who are taking this season off and will be back in the spring; and Lauren, this hilariously awesome chick who isn't afraid to let the Blue's know when they've screwed up.

Piper and I hung out to watch the first inning or two, then took three laps around the field.  It turned bitter cold and the sun was already down by the time we got to the field so after three laps we stopped to take a break because the dog was shivering.  I put her heaviest jacket on her last night but she's still just so sensitive to the cold so I kept stopping to put her inside my jacket all zipped-up where she could warm up from my body heat.  Then we did three more laps, took another break, then did the last four just about the time that the second game was ending.  In spite of Snack Monkey's awesome stats and two out-of-the-park homers from his team mates his team lost both games; the first by 4 runs and the second in an amazing final-inning shoot out by 1 run.  They were actually down something like 9 runs and then had this incredible final inning where they got 11 runs which put them up by 2 but the other team had the last at-bat and scored 3 runs before the Blue called the game.  It was a fun game to watch even though we lost.

Greek Chicken Salad
Last year Snack Monkey and I would stop at Taco Bell, Subway, or Carl's Jr. before the games every single week and Snack Monkey made it quite clear that he was wanting Carl's for dinner last night.  So I had him start some chicken breasts in the oven for me while I was still working because he got off work before I did.  He baked them in the oven in a glass bread pan with a teaspoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar.  Then I chunked them up when I got off work, added a bunch of veggies, seasonings, and some red wine vinegar and tossed it all into a big salad.  I dished up a serving into a tupperware and took it with me to eat at the park for supper.  This is a Greek Salad recipe from Cook This, Not That! and it was so good that even Snack Monkey thought it was tasty.  However, I could easily see some ways to improve it without upping the calories.  For example, the recipe doesn't call for garlic but I firmly believe that a few cloves of fresh, crushed garlic could have gone a long way on the flavor meter.  It also could have used some lime juice or some other kind of citrus to balance out the dense flavor of the garbanzo beans; and even though it calls for oregano, salt and pepper, I think there could be a few other Mediterranean spices such as chervil and coriander.  Here is one other tip, if you decide to make this and want to improve the flavor profile on it.  In my family, any time someone is making a salad that involves oil, fresh/dried herbs, and spices we always go straight for the faithful wooden bowl.  I used to have a perfect bowl for these salads but Snack Monkey (who's concept of caring for cookware astounds me) left it in the sink with about 3 inches of water in it last year which caused the wood at the bottom of the bowl to swell while the wood at the top stayed dry resulting in a resounding and sudden POP ... the bowl couldn't take the pressure and split horizontally about half-way up.  I'm still trying to let go of that one.

Anyhow, bowl care and purpose.  You need a wooden bowl that does NOT have any kind of clear coat or lacquer on the inside, just pure smooth wood.  You put the oil and spices into the bowl and then you take the back of a spoon and massage the spices and oils around the inside of the bowl, pressing them with the spoon and rubbing them along the bowl up the sides all the way around and all along the bottom.  This "seasons" the bowl which marries the flavors of the herbs together so that they add more to the veggies when you toss it all together.  You want to let the herbs and oil marinade in the bowl for at least 10-15 minutes before tossing in your veggies but if you're cooking your own chicken like I did I would even go so far as to suggest letting the herbs marinade while the chicken is cooking.  Also, when you've emptied the bowl rinse it out with a little bit of water, no soap, and wipe it out with a paper towel.  This will allow the seasoning in the wood to build up in the bowl so that the flavors intensify in it over time.  I learned all of this from my aunt who has a very similar recipe to the one I made last night but I warn you, the perfect wooden bowl can be very hard to find.  Enjoy!  Oh, p.s.!  I found that the salad was even tastier when I pulled it out of the fridge AFTER the softball games than it was when I dished some up in tupperware to take with me to the games so making this dish a few hours before dinner, or even the night before, might be good also to increase flavor.

6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 breakfast crepe (made by Snack Monkey)
>>Crepe recipe from Cook This Not That
>>1 egg scrambled
>>1/4 cup mushrooms
>>1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 serving Greek Chicken Salad (left over from last night)
2 slices home made pizza (from "The Book")
>>Home made dough (by Snack Monkey!)
>>Home made sauce (by Snack Monkey!)
>>shredded cheese, sliced chicken breast
>>roma tomato, mushrooms, olives
>>onion and garlic sauteed in EVOO
1 cup low fat pudding
Daily Caloric Intake: 1499

Walking: (outside) 3.25 miles
Went around the jogging track at the park 3 times plus a few laps from the starting point to the picnic area at a brisque pace: approx 19 minutes per mile.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Yesterday Snack Monkey and I sat down and made a grocery list together, when we'd finished the list we both thought the cost would easily be over $100-$150 dollars but it had a lot of base items like vinegar, flour, yeast, etc. on it and it was all for the purpose of making recipes from Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals so we figured it was worth spending a little extra if we made sure we wouldn't be eating out a lot this week.  I hit the gym and he hit the grocery store to do the shopping while I got my work-out on.

I actually got done before he did so I grabbed a few tokens for the message chairs and hung out to watch X-games and get a back massage while I waited for him to pick me up.  When he finally called to let me know he was pulling in the parking lot I was greeted by open pizza boxes on the tables in the lobby of the gym!  I went up to the counter and said with a grin "Ok, who thought it would be funny to have a pizza party at the gym?"  The boys behind the counter teased back "hey we don't want to hear it!"  I grabbed a slice on my way out the door but took it straight to Snack Monkey's open window and gave it to him.  His reward for doing all the grocery shopping without me.

When we got home I decided to put the groceries away since he did the shopping and, to my complete surprise, I didn't find a single, solitary box of cookies or junk food!  There were a couple 2 litres of soda but that was it!  Help me figure this out ... Snack Monkey gets minimum three or four different kinds of junk food when he and I go to the store together, or he insists that I put junk food on the list when I try to go without him, but he sticks to the list like velcro when he goes shopping without me?  Who saw that coming?  Certainly not me!  Not only that but, according to the receipt, he only spent $85.  He got everything on the list ... the veggie crisper in my fridge is practically overflowing!  I have the stuff to make a green chicken salad, chicken taco's, home made veggie calzone and home made pizza with home made dough and home made sauce, chicken adobo, Hawiian crepes, pico de gallo, and apple crumble for dessert.  All for $85!!

Tonight is finally the start of softball season and I am SO STOKED about that!  I'm going to be walking around the field tonight for as long as I can stand it, hopefully for the entire two hours of the game.  I'm also planning on shagging all the foul and homer balls that go over the fence; last year there were at least five or six per game.  I am debating taking Piper; on the one hand I know she'll have a good time and she loves going to the park but, one the other hand I'm worried she'll get tired early and I won't be able to walk for as long as I would like.  She's also a kid magnet and I dislike kids passionately.  My own nephews are good, I love them, but other people's kids tripping over my feet to pet my dog is just irritating to me.  And it's not like I can lie and say "she's not friendly, don't pet her or she'll bite you" because she loves kids as much as kids love her so she'll get all waggy tailed and start squeaking at them for attention and totally blow my cover.

6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 lean gourmet frozen meal
2 servings greek chicken salad (new recipe, pics tomorrow)
4 girl scout cookies
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,307

10 laps around the outside of the softball field @ brisk pace
(approx 2.5 miles)

More Playlist Additions:
Ben Harper: Steal My Kisses
Smash Mouth: Then the Morning Comes
Macy Gray: I try
Unknown: Mission Impossible Theme (Techno version)
Unknown: Mortal Kombat Theme (Techno version)
Unknown: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (hip-hop version)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lucky Number Thirteen

Today is weigh-in thirteen and, as I predicted, zero loss.  I'm ok with that this time though, I really thought I would be frustrated and disappointed with myself but I'm actually not.  I have over 500 days to reach my goal and I'm not going to "slack off" from trying but I don't need to beat myself up or make myself sick trying to lose this weight faster.  If I were to continue losing each month at the rate I lost in January I would reach my goal before my birthday this year in November.  That would be great and all but I think I've seen pretty concrete evidence that such a rate of loss did some emotional and psychological damage ... I was really, really depressed pretty much all weekend.

I took a day off yesterday, not just from the gym but from everything.  I enjoyed some wine during the super bowl, I nibbled on cucumbers, raw green beans, and snow peas in their pods with garlic hummus and the occasional nibble at some bean dip.  I pulled the bacon off a piece of bacon wrapped shrimp and ate just the shrimp (Snack Money ate the bacon for me): just one piece.  I even enjoyed two or three deep fried oreo cookies for dessert and I'm really pleased with the fact that, in spite of there being a giant plate of them, two or three were enough to lift my spirits without raising the number on the scale.  I was conscious of what I ate yesterday but not obsessive.  Instead of fixing a big plate and sitting on my ass to eat it I stood because standing burns more calories (not as much as exercise but more than sitting).  I volunteered to do dishes, and helped out with a smidge of the cooking where I could all in an attempt to be conscious of my activities and you know what?  I had a really nice time.

So the Steelers lost the super bowl, that sucked.  And Troy Polamalu didn't get me the interception that I bet $5 he would, that sucked too.  But I did win my $5 bet on a special teams or defensive touchdown which paid $16 so I'm actually up $6 overall.  We enjoyed spending time with our friends and they had a beautiful spread of fresh veggies for nibbling that I thought was extremely gracious of them.  They're really great people and it was nice to spend time with them and enjoy it again without stressing myself out.

So I had a few bad days this week, I took a few days off from the gym ... but I feel like I really needed it and I also feel like it helped.  I didn't gain anything and not losing anything doesn't mean I've failed it just means I've extended my loss efforts by a week.  Well I've got plenty of time so one week every now and again won't kill me.  Our friend from last night walked past me as I was standing in the living room and said "wow your butt is getting smaller" ... it's weird I know because Snack Monkey has been saying things like that all along but that one little comment from her was like ambrosia from heaven.  It lifted my spirits in ways I can't even put into words.  I'm fairly certain that at least one person on Snack Monkey's softball team will notice the weight I've lost tomorrow and I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone says anything.  They noticed when I stripped the red from my hair, even though it wasn't entirely successful and there is still a lot of red left in it, and they're a really great group of people.  I can't wait to see them all again!  Does anyone know how big around a community softball field is?

I am convinced, now more than ever, that my mood was my body's way of screaming for nourishment and rest.  As you know I took the last three days off from the gym and I even took yesterday off from counting (still mindful, but not counting).  Today I felt IMMEASURABLY BETTER!  I even walked my usual 3.28 miles at 3.3 mph w/20% incline and it felt easy.  It felt good.  I broke a sweat but not a dripping, drenching, panting sweat like I have been the last few weeks.  I slept better last night, I still woke up a lot but the time spent sleeping was a deeper more restful sleep.  Tonight's 60 minute of walking was over before I realized it and I stepped off the treadmill feeling energized instead of run-down.  I climbed the stairs to my apartment with energy and enthusiasm and even now, after having dinner and resting for a bit, I feel good.  Relaxed but not lethargic, aware but not anxious.  I need to remember this for the future, for the next time I hit a slump and can't figure out why.  I was like a computer that had frozen up and all I really needed was a good reboot.  Help me remember this next time I start whining ok?  Make me come back and read this post if I forget.

Sophomore classes started this morning and I have to admit I'm intimidated to no end.  First off, the format for participation and assignments is totally different from what I had all through last year so the rhythm I had developed is completely useless to me now and it's going to take some time and obsessing to get used to the new way of doing things.  Second, I'm taking a math class.  DUN DUN DUN!  This is not my first college math class but the previous one I took started with an assessment test and I had the chance to sit down with my professor and say "I haven't taken a math class since third grade" so he worked with me and I managed to just barely get an A ... but this one is straight up college level math and I'm petrified.  Plus it has the added pain of being online so simple equations are out of the question, we have to engage in mathematical discussions in order to get participation ... that means defining terminology and stuff instead of just solving problems.  Maybe that's good, maybe it's what I need to finally retain math but I'm so scared of this class right now that I am sick to my stomach.

5 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Lean Gourmet frozen lunch
1 foot long chicken sub
>>whole grain
>>no cheese, light mayo
>>mustard and vinegar, no oil
>>tomato, onion, olive, cucumber
>>salt, pepper oregano
4 oz sprite (just a few swigs off a 12 oz bottle)
2 bites of Snack Monkey's raspberry cookie
Daily Caloric Intake: 1023

Treadmill: 3.28 miles @ 3.3 mph w/20% incline
(510 calories)

More Playlist Additions:
Queen: We Will Rock You
Smash mouth: Walking on the Sun
Bloodhound Gang: The Bad Touch
Proclaimers: 500 Miles
Warrant: Cherry Pie
Limp Bizkit: Rollin'
Crazy Town: Toxic
Crazy Town: Darkside
Crazy Town: Black Cloud
Crazy Town: Hollywood Babylon
Crazy Town: Lollipop Porn
Crazy Town: Revolving Door
Backstreet Boys: Larger than Life
Sonique: Feels So Good
Aaliyah: Try Again