Thursday, March 31, 2011

I cheated

Ok ... I cheated this morning and jumped on the scale when I woke up.  Now this was before my usual morning #2, if you catch my drift, so my expectations weren't high but I was curious because I've now walked 15 miles in 3 days.  I was checking out my own ass last night in the mirror after I got out of the shower and I think I see a really significant difference too.  In fact as I was climbing in bed last night (literally climbing because my bed is boob-high off the ground) I glanced in the closet doors (also mirrors, I hate that) and thought "huh ... my but looks kinda normal".

I had to look under the scale and make sure there wasn't an obstruction when I weighed.  241.5 ... that's -2 lbs since Monday.  WOW!  I still have 4 days left before the next weigh-in so if I could even just hold on to that loss between now and Monday I would be stoked!  I had a really hard time getting off my butt and walking last night but I ended up doing all 10,000 steps in just over an hour (we're talking just a few minutes more than an hour)!  That means I'm walking in place at an equivalent of 5 mph which is pretty much a solid jog and I'm maintaining that speed almost the entire time.  BOOYAH!

The weather is getting warmer, finally, and it is starting to get really warm in the apartment even in the evening with the windows open so I might try doing my 5 miles out and around town sometime this week.  I know there's a difficulty level involved with walking on terrain instead of just walking in place in my living room so it will probably cut my time a bit but I'm also really encouraged by the fact that I am clearly improving my stamina and muscle tone somewhere underneath all this fat.  I must be!  Three months ago walking 10,000, even in place, would have kicked my butt, let alone doing it for three days in a row!  On the other hand I have two math exams to do this week (one due tomorrow and the other due Sunday) as well as a paper on Asian American and Pacific Islander American culture (due tomorrow) so I may have to walk at home while reading my prep work.  We'll see what happens I suppose.



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Healthy choice (lemon chicken & shrimp, good)
1.5 Italian Panini Sandwich's
4 pickles
>>1 tsp PB
---------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 916



Activity:
Walking: 2.5 miles (5,000 steps)
Crunches: 100 (knees and shoulders at the same time)

I'm kinda of disappointed with tonight.  I was really hoping to do five miles per night every night this week but once I started tonight I realized that I'm just not there yet.  After only the first 1,500 steps it was really hard to pick up my feet and hold my arms up.  My muscles aren't sore, just exhausted.  I didn't want to quit that easy though so I did 2,500 steps, took a water break, then did another 2,500 steps.  I was really hoping that with a few extra breaks I could make the full 10,000 but it just wasn't going to happen so I decided to work on my abs since I've been neglecting them for awhile now.  I laid on my bad and pulled my knees up to my chest while rolling my shoulders off the floor in a crunch.  It took me about an hour to do those and the walking and I can barely even type right now because my arms are just like wet noodles.  I guess it's recovery time.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Shameless Plug


I know that more than a few of you live in or around Las Vegas and I have mentioned several times that Snack Monkey is a professional carpet cleaner so I wanted to take a day to mention the company that he cleans for.  Wall to Wall is their name and they've been serving the Las Vegas area for over 12 years.  Prior to that they did work in California so they have over 20 years of experience and they can do anything!  Carpet, upholstery, all forms of hard flooring, vehicle upholstery, rugs, repairs, stretching, flood damage, and even delicate fabrics like oriental rugs and such.  They have great prices and they're honest so they'll tell it like it is straight up; if they look at your carpet and see a stain that might need extra care they'll let you know and discuss it with you instead of just cleaning over it and hoping it goes away like some cleaners do.  They're clean-cut, trustworthy, respectable guys too so you can feel safe having them in your home.

They do free estimates and work 6 days a week too so you can get an appointment with them that will work for your schedule.  You can call the office to make an appointment at 702-579-7799 or visit their website to get 15% off.  Be sure to tell them that Snack Monkey sent you because I really think they'll get a kick out of that (they read my blog so they'll know who you're talking about).  I have also had their logo and info at the bottom of my blog for about a month or two now, and there it will stay, so if you need their info you can always find it there at any time.

They do residential and commercial (and vacants too!) so if you're selling or moving be sure to give them a call.  My sister had them do her old place before she moved out and she's absolutely certain that without them she wouldn't have gotten her deposit back.  It's time for spring cleaning so don't forget the floors ... you never really know how dirty they are (especially living in the desert) until you've had them cleaned and can see the difference!

P.s. people ask me how I can eat less than/around 1,000 calories and not be hungry and I'll tell you, it's all about food choice!  Snack Monkey wanted In n' Out sooo bad so I decided to give the protein style a try and I have to confess I wasn't impressed at all.  It tasted ok but I was done with it before Snack Monkey had even put a dent in his fries and he hadn't touched his double double at all yet.  Then I sat there wishing I had something else while my stomach continued to growl as if saying 'nice appetizer, what's for dinner?'  It was only 330 calories but it was NOT at all filling!  On the other hand last night's pork chop was only 318 calories and I felt completely satisfied and un-hungry after eating it. I use the term un-hungry because I wasn't full; I try not to eat until I'm full anymore because it's really not necessary.  That's a big mental hurdle on the weight-loss obstacle course, we human beings don't have to eat until we're full.  Really!  I'm serious, we don't!  We just need to eat until we're not hungry anymore.



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 Healthy Choice lunch
3 baby pickles / 1 tsp PB
1 cheese burger
>>protein style (no bun)
>>ketchup and mustard instead of special sauce
2 jalapeno poppers
---------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,003



Activity:
Grocery shopping: carried the bag of cat litter up the stairs from the car and Snack Monkey asked "can you get that?" ... like I might not make it.  I said "dude, I've lost more pounds than this thing weighs!"  Oh yeah ... that felt really sweet!

Walking: 5 miles (10,000 steps)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pickles & Peanut Butter

Well two days ago I posted 2 baby pickles with peanut butter as a snack on my food list and I've received a whole lotta feedback about it.  Not bad feedback, but people wondering two things:

#1
Q) Am I pregnant?
A) Absolutely not!  There is zero chance that I am or ever will be pregnant if I have anything to say about it.

#2
Q) Is it as disgusting as it sounds?
A) Surprisingly, no.  It's actually quite tasty and I highly recommend that you all try it at least once if you like dill pickles.


Most of us can attest that we like the flavors of sweet and salty together right?  Who hasn't dipped french fries in a chocolate shake or put M&M's in their movie popcorn?  We love chocolate dipped potato chips and pretzels and we can find salty-sweet frequently in every day candy bars such as the PayDay and Hershey's Take 5.  So although it sounds strange, the flavor combination of salty dill pickles and sweet peanut butter really isn't all that uncommon.

I first discovered this treat from a friend on Sunday night (two days ago when I posted it was the first time that I tried it).  She learned it from a childhood friend who liked the combination and finds it to be an extremely reasonable, relatively healthy snack to satisfy common cravings like salty-sweet combos and crunchy snacks.  Baby dill pickles are around 5 calories each or less (depending on the brand) and are just pickled cucumbers so we know that they have considerable health advantages over potato chips.  Peanut butter is a great source of protein in moderation and nicely cuts/compliments the tang of the pickles with only approx. 94 calories per tablespoon.  Seriously, instead of potato chips or candy bars try this next time and let me know what you all think.  And special thanks to Tammy for introducing me to my new favorite healthy snack!  ...I wonder how pickles would taste with Nutella?



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Healthy Choice lunch
1 pork chop (food bible recipe)
>>w/apple chutney
1 serving pickle & peanutbutter (ppb)
----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 973



Activity:
Walking: 5 miles (10,000 steps +) I was watching DWTS while walking tonight so I lost count a few times.  Thankfully I count to 100 in my head, then count the hundreds on the fingers of my left hand and the thousands on the fingers of my right hand (using sign language numbers to keep them all straight) so when I lost count I'd just look at my fingers and start over at the last 100 accomplished lol.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weigh-in 20

The culprit
WOW I LOST 100 LBS IN A WEEK!?  Ok no, not really.  When I first stepped on the scale this morning it said 147 lbs.  Nope, that's not a typo.  One-hundred forty-seven lbs.  Now at first I was just looking at the last two numbers and thought "NO WAY!  How did I gain 3 lbs!?" but then I stepped off and on a few times and eventually saw the 1 where there should be a 2.  So I picked up the scale and found the culprit.  This little red dice that you see in the picture was under the scale and, apparently, holding nearly 100 lbs of my weight!  I think the cat was trying to help me feel better about myself this morning as he is likely to blame for this.  Soooo I got rid of the dice and tried again.  243.5.  Not nearly as exciting as 147 but it's a 1 lb loss so I'll take it!  What a good boy my kitty cat is!  He was just trying to help mommy lose weight the only way that he knew how. lol

P.s. I felt that I was ready to remove "Lung Capacity" and "Self-doubt" from the list of weaknesses in the right margin of this blog.  Clearly I have now had enough success to believe that I can do it and I can do a lot more without getting short of breath so I think it's time to remove those crutches.  I also changed "Poor Motivation" to "Inconsistent Motivation" because, with the success I've had, the motivation is there it's just that some days I have a harder time finding it.



Food:
10 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
3/4 cup wheaties (lunch)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup edamame
1 raw tuna roll
1 tobiko roll
----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,184



Activity:
Walking: 5 miles (10,000 steps)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast Taco's (my own recipe)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium chipotle peppers, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 large tomato, diced
6 slices turkey bacon, chopped
6 large eggs
8 small corn tortillas
shredded jack cheese
skim greek yogurt
salsa verde
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 500.  Heat 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet, add onions and garlic and cook until translucent; add peppers, cilantro, bacon, lime juice, salt, and pepper and cook until the bacon is cooked through and the mix starts to stick to the bottom of the pan a little.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.  Put eggs in same pan with leftover juices and scramble, scraping the bottom to free any bits from the previous mixture and incorporate chipotle flavor into the eggs.  Cook through then toss in the previous mixture and stir it all together thoroughly.

Heat 1/2 Tbsp olive oil in another skillet and cook tortillas on both sides until slightly crispy.  Place them between two paper towels when done and gently blot off excess oil, place on serving plates (2 per plate).  Scoop 1/8 of egg mixture into each tortilla, sprinkle with a little bit of cheese and place in the oven until cheese is melted.  Add diced tomato, a small dollop of greek yogurt, and a drizzle of salsa verde to each taco and serve.  (Serves 4.  Only 328 calories per serving).



Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 foot long sub (the usual)
2 baby dill pickles w/peanut butter
--------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 854


Activity:
Cleaning: Made breakfast for Snack Monkey, then cleaned out the fridge, did all the dishes, and scrubbed the counters, stove, and floor.  Also took out the trash.

Walking: Not sure how far, it was a beautiful day out so I walked up to Subway to get lunch for Snack Monkey and I.  About a block each way.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

YUMMEH Pork Loin

Pork Loin w/Pineapple Salsa
OMG THIS WAS SO GOOD!  It's from the food bible and it's a pork tenderloin rubbed with dijon, honey, chili powder, and salt & pepper.  Then you're supposed to grill it.  Here's a big, fat, super important hint: DO NOT COOK THIS ON YOUR FOREMAN GRILL!  The mustard and honey burned almost instantly and although it still tasted amazing and didn't taste burned, I'm not sure that the grill will ever be the same.  We had our doubts about the pineapple salsa too, especially Snack Monkey because it has a lot of red onion in it but it was so tasty.  The recipe calls for a whole onion and four pineapple slices but I did 6 pineapple slices and a half of an onion because it still looked like a whole lotta onion.  I think 6 to 1/2 was a great ratio so just keep that in mind.

This meal is only 210 calories.  Can you believe that?!  We didn't make a side dish so I just ate two servings of it and still came in well under my daily caloric intake goal.  I was highly tempted to indulge in a tiny little ice cream cone as a treat since my count was low last night but after exercising I didn't even feel like having one anymore so Snack Monkey had one and I passed.  Really?!  Yeah no kidding I passed on an ICE CREAM CONE!  Holy crap!



Food:
8 glasses of water
2 breakfast tacos
8 oz roasted beef
1/2 cup potato salad
1 cup steamed mixed veggies
1 dinner roll
1/2 small cannoli (Snack Monkey ate the other half)
---------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,159



Activity:
Walking: 4 miles (8,000 steps)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dog Tired

Tommy the Dobie
I didn't sleep well again last night.  I'm exhausted right now and can't really think enough to put a few sentences together for today's post.  Hopefully you will all forgive me for this one and the cute dog picture will make up for my lack of creative skills today.

P.s. This is Tommy.  He's up for adoption through Doberman rescue of Nevada but they want $500 for him so we look at his picture frequently and wish we could afford him.  *sigh* He's such a pretty boy!





Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 serving leftover stroganoff
1 serving pork loin (food bible)
---------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 937



Activity:
Walking: 5 + miles (10,030 + steps)
The pedometer is definitely broken.  I walked 5,000 it said 4,300 so I walked 700 and it said 4,700 so I walked 300 and it said 4,800.  I got it to 5,000, took a water break, then walked another 5,030 just counting in my head, reading be damned.  That's too bad.  I loved that it was slightly under-sensitive when I first got it but now it's way too under-sensitive to even be considered accurate.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stroganoff

So Cook This, Not That! has a recipe in it for beef stroganoff that is only 280 calories per serving.  I am a stroganoff fanatic but I'm also pretty picky when it comes to stroganoff because my mom makes, literally, the best stroganoff I've ever had, anywhere; hands down.  I don't really know how she does it but she puts this tang of flavor in hers that I haven't really found anywhere else and I've noticed that most restaurants use too much sour cream which kind of dilutes the flavor a little.  But I had to try this recipe anyway just to see what I thought of it.  I'm tempted to call it "not my mom's stroganoff" because it doesn't have that tang that hers does but I have it on fairly good authority that her recipe is a lot more than 280 calories per serving.

Now the book doesn't include the noodles on the ingredients list but does say to serve the sauce over buttered noodles or rice so that made me wonder if the caloric count was for the sauce alone or if it accounted for the calories in the noodles/rice.  I decided to err on the side of caution and just counted the sauce at 280 and added an extra 100 calories to my count for the noodles bringing the total dish to 380.  It doesn't really taste like stroganoff to be honest, at least I didn't think so, but it's still extremely tasty.  The pink color comes mostly from a tablespoon of tomato paste in the sauce and then, of course, some red wine.  It's a very easy dish to make, I think, and it's kind of fun as you put stuff in the pan to cook, then take it out and set it aside to add something else to the pan.  It's like you can really watch the flavor layers build inside the pan as you cook the various ingredients and then bring them all back together again.  I liked it.

The book called for 2% greek yogurt and, without even realizing it, I bought skim so I was a little bit worried that it might mess up the texture but I thought it was great so if you want to improve the health quality of the recipe even more than it already is using skim greek yogurt is just fine.  Just be sure to let the sauce cool a little before adding the yogurt like it says in the book or the yogurt will separate.

"I DID IT!  I did it.  I really, really did it.  I said that I would do it and indeed I did!"  (Name that tune, I dare ya.)  It took a whole lot of work but I had a math test due tomorrow that didn't have a time limit on it so I started on it immediately after work tonight because I wanted to give myself lots of time to go slow, be careful, take my time, and make sure I did the very best job that I could.  IT PAID OFF BECAUSE I GOT 100%!!!  That feels so good too because math has been really scaring the hell out of me.  "I could have danced all night!" (that was a hint, different tune from the same movie).




Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 serving leftover stroganoff
8 oz Prime Rib
1/2 cup potato soup
8 oz mixed veg salad
>>kidney beans
>>black olives
>>red onions
>>raw mushrooms
>>sliced beets
>>red wine vinegar
------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,251



Activity:
Walking: 1 miles (2,108).
Well CRAP!  I was planning on doing 5 miles a night for the rest of the week but that math test took up most of my night and then, after supper, I had to write a paper on bilingualism in American politics and education for my other class.  By the time I was finished it was 9:30 and I just wanted to chill and unwind.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

2 Cute 2 B Annoying

Casper and Piper
I have a cat.  He's Snack Monkey's cat really; I'm not much of a cat person to tell you the truth.  But we have a cat none-the-less.  He'll be 2 years old this April and he's a neutered little boy of adorable white and gray fluff.  He's also usually a bit of a "look at me but don't pet me" kind of cat.  He's not anti-social, by any stretch of the imagination.  At any time of any day he's out and about in the apartment, laying in the middle of the floor or on the sofa or in a windowsill.  He follows us around the apartment and meows when he wants food, comes when we call him and knows his name.  But when you try to hold him he usually squirms and meows until you let him go and when he lays next to us he's usually just out of arm's reach.

So imagine my surprise when, at 6 a.m. this morning, I was awakened by the sound of loud, intense purring and the feeling of a furry little whiskered face shoving its way under my hand.  Yep, Casper the kitty cat decided he wanted some lovin' and sleep-be-damned, he was going to get it.  Well I couldn't resist ... could you?  He flopped onto his side next to me *shock!* put his head on my stomach *double shock!* and laid there purring and waiting to be petted; occasionally tossing soft little nibbles at my triceps when I would nod off and stop petting him to remind me that he had an agenda.

Well it was sweet, fun, unexpected, and somewhat therapeutic but now I feel like I was robbed of that extra 30 minutes of sleep I would have acquired otherwise.  *sigh*  Oh the catch-22 of waking up early for a rare snuggle session with the cat or sleeping until the alarm went off.



Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1/2 cup white rice (dry)
1/2 cup leftover turkey/spinach mix
>>w/onions and mushrooms
1 cup beef strogonoff (food bible)
8 oz red wine
------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 925


p.s. I don't usually drink red wine but the recipe called for it and I just couldn't resist ... I did the ol' Julia Childs pour and swig! lol



Activity:
Walking: 5 miles (10,360 steps).  I think I actually did a lot more than this.  I was counting as I walked because I'm neurotic like that and did what I counted to be 5,000 steps but the pedometer only read 3,600 so I did another 1,400.  Then I took a water break, did what I counted as another 5,000 but the pedometer said 3,800 so I did yet another 1,200 but the pedometer still put me less than 200 shy of 10,000 so I just walked until the show I was watching on TV ended.  Oh well, more means less. lol (aka more walking means less weight on the scale come Monday).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not Again

I really don't want this week to be a repeat of last week but I didn't get any exercise in last night and I'm pretty upset about it.  I did so poorly on last week's math exams that I decided to go back and redo all of the practice exams we've had in the class so far from the very beginning.  It won't change my existing grade but by redoing them I am hoping to better prepare myself for these last three weeks of class.  My retention is just horrible!  I did some of these problems three or four weeks ago and aced them, yet here I am now barely able to remember how to work them.  That's what is really killing me on these tests.  It's not the new stuff that we just learned last week that I'm doing poorly at, it's the stuff we learned five weeks ago that they popped in to the last 10-15 questions of the exam.  I have always had this problem and this is not my first time doing algebra but I can't remember squat when it comes to math.  I remember that we did some of these things when I was in grade school and I also remember that I did very well with them then.  Then I remember doing problems like this on multiple occasions as I prepped for the GED test, which I did three or four times before I finally just went and signed up to take it.  We also did this kind of math during my first stint in college and now here I am doing it again.  You would think that I would be able to remember it but nope.  The problems look familiar but the functions and how to solve them is just something that I can't find anywhere in my memory.

So here I am learning how to do something and when I first learn it I do really well with it.  I'm smart enough to learn math but my retention period seems to max out at a week or two.  The worst part is that I have an advanced algebra class after this one and I don't feel at all ready for it.  *sigh*  At least my ethics class is insanely easy and I've got straight A's in it because that gives me more time to hug the math grindstone.

So last night after work I made supper and after supper I hit the books.  I pretty much studied until bed time and am only done with the first week's practice exams.  Tonight is softball and I really want to sit and watch the games like I did last week but, at the same time, I want to exercise tonight because I need to make up for last week's 1/2 lb gain and start making some progress.  Tonight's games are early games though so maybe I can watch the games and then exercise after softball when we get home.  I dunno but it's bitter cold this morning.  I sure wish the weather would decide which season we're in.




Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 Healthy Choice lunch (margarita chicken, YUM)
1 chicken burger w/pico
>>onion
>>mustard
1 serving baked fries
---------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,192



Activity:
Walking: 1 mile (2,312 steps)

Monday, March 21, 2011

19th Weigh-In

So the weigh-in this morning was an un-surprising set-back at 244.5 which is +0.5 lbs from last week.  Originally I went to the bathroom (#2) this morning and then weighed like I usually do and the scale said 246.0 so I took my lashings and posted a 2lb gain all over the blog.  About an hour later, however, I had to go to the bathroom (#2) again, which is unusual for me.  Because I usually only go once in the morning I decided to weigh again after the second potty-visit and was at 244.5 so I danced my way happily to the computer and updated my weight.  Maybe this is cheating a little but I see no point in counting 1.5 lbs of waste, right?  I had a pretty crappy, lackluster, unproductive week and I didn't figure that the hard work I put in this weekend would do too much to make up for it.  So I gained a little, this proves only that I'm human and susceptible to bouts of weakness.  I will prevail, however.

On a more positive note: I decided it would be fun to get a little dressed up to run errands yesterday.  I don't really get "cleaned up" very often anymore; my usual attire is random pants, a tank-top, a pony tail, and no makeup.  But I'm feeling pretty good about myself, (small gain this morning aside) so I decided to put together an actual outfit yesterday. *cue dramatic music*

Now I haven't been taking side-pics and posting them here but that's actually where I have been carrying most of my extra weight.  I had some folks after the last monthly picture on the 14th who were wondering where I was hiding the 100+ lbs I'm trying to lose because they didn't think that, from the front, I looked that overweight.  Well, cute outfit or no, these pictures should clear that up a bit.  But I still look awfully cute!!!

Another upside that I would like to mention is the fact that our "bank lady", that is the lady at the bank that we see every weekend when we go in to cash Snack Monkey's checks, noticed that I've lost weight!!!  She is the branch manager so she was in the office yesterday doing paperwork when we arrived.  We waived "hi" through the window and then headed for the first open teller and she called out from her office "have you been losing?"  I turned around because I wasn't sure if she was talking to us or not but yep!  She was looking right at me so I grinned from ear to ear and said Yep!  She wanted to know how much so I told her it was 43 lbs at last count (41 now with this week's bad behavior) and she said I look great!  *sigh* There's really nothing like having people who are practically strangers notice you're losing weight.  Let me tell you boys and girls ... moments like that alone make it all worth it!



Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 healthy choice meal (whiskey steak, YUM!)
1 serving steak and mushrooms (food bible)
-------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 967

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A New Record

So last night I decided that if I still want to make my earlier goal of walking 20 miles this week, with all the time at the beginning of the week that I didn't do anything, I was going to have to really step it up this weekend.  I did 6.5 miles on Friday which meant I could do 6.5 last night and 7 tonight or visa versa.  It's only an extra 1,000 steps so I figured what the hell.  I got an early start on walking last night and had slept pretty well the night before so I felt good enough to go for 7.  That makes a new record, granted it's only an increase of half-a-mile but it's still a record AND it's half of my goal to do 14 miles in one day.  Even better, I did it in under 2 hours.  No joke!  Now this is walking in my living room so terrain is not a factor which means I'm still not ready for the marathon yet but 7 miles in 2 hours means I was going pretty fast and I never really felt like I was going to keel over.  I was glad it was over when I was done, don't get me wrong, but if I'd had to I could have done more.  One thing I've noticed about walking in place is that I tend to pick my feet up higher than if I were just walking normally so it's more like marching in place which is cool, but I think I put too much of my weight on the balls of my feet because my toes go numb after awhile.  That doesn't happen with normal walking.

The Wii keeps telling me that I put too much of my balance on my heels anyway though so maybe this will help me get used to adjusting my center of gravity so that I can increase my balance.  I've stayed off the scale all week, no cheating, because the week started out bad so I have no idea what to expect tomorrow morning.  I keep trying to tell myself not to worry about it, one bad week now and then isn't the end of the world, but I also can't stop thinking about it and wondering what the numbers are going to say to me.

I dreamed last night about riding horses.  My family had horses before I moved away from home and I used to ride on a daily basis.  I got pretty good at it; I could ride up and down really step inclines like they do in western movies, I trained my horse to rear and crow-hop on command while I was riding her, and absolutely loved to herd and cut cattle.  Once upon a time I was quite the little cow girl but it's been such a long time and a big part of becoming good a riding a horse is building up the right muscles for balance and control.  I'm not sure what it will be like when I finally get on a horse again but I do miss the good old days.  Last night I was watching old western TV shows from the 80's on Netflix (The Young Riders is the name of it; highly recommended!) and I guess that led to the dreams I had.  In my dream I was in the old west (early-mid 1800's) and I was riding for the Pony Express.  It was a really fun dream!

p.s. went to the bank today to cash Snack Monkey's paycheck and our bank lady that we see every weekend said "Are you losing weight?" uh-huh ... yep!  Weeeeeeeee!!!!!!



Food:
5 glasses of water
1 diet sun drop soda (13 calories)
1 poached egg
1 cup corned beef (shredded, not hashed)
1 bagel w/cream cheese
1 serving grilled mahi (from the food bible)
1/2 cup white rice w/lemon pepper
----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,080



Activity:
Walking: 6.5 miles (13, 180 steps)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chicago Dogs

During my two-year stint in Chicago, IL I learned to truly LOVE two specific new foods: White Castle chicken rings and Chicago style hot dogs.  Nothing at White Castle is healthy or belongs on a new and improved diet plan, but I was pleasantly surprised to find Chicago Style hot dogs in Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals.  There have been certain things that I had prepared myself to say goodbye to, forever: Nielson's Frozen Custard, Blizzards from Dairy Queen, mom's chocolate cheesecake, Sliders, and hot dogs.  Even though I modified the traditional Chicago style dog a little bit while living in Chicago, the ones we made last night for supper were like heaven on a bun to me.

I used to prefer my dogs with a little bit of mayo, mustard, onion, tomato, pickle/cucumber, sauerkraut, celery salt, and sport peppers.  Aside from the absence of mayo (and because I can't stand sweet relish anyway) these dogs were almost identical to my ideal dog.  We didn't have sport peppers but I sprinkled some Frank's on mine to add the missing kick.  One thing was lacking; somehow dogs always taste better when they come from those little sidewalk carts with the umbrellas over them that you find all over the place in downtown Chicago.  I've never found a dog anywhere that tastes quite as good as those dogs do but hey, other than that these were pretty awesome good, especially for only 250 calories per dog (I figure adding sauerkraut and leaving off the relish equal each other out).



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee /wcreamer
1 leftover Chicago dog
1 foot long chicken sub
>>the usual
-------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 907



Activity:
Walking: 7 miles (14,121 steps)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Caught Up

Lasagna Rolls

HAPPY BELATED ST. PATTIES DAY!!!  Here's the green so you can't pinch my blog!

Well last night was what I finally needed to get caught up.  After work I finished my math test with 29 out of 38 (bleh) and wrote an essay on U.S. legislation related to Native American rights.  Then I had some leftover lasagna, two glasses of wine and went to bed early.  I finally feel like I'm caught up on my sleep and am only now truly realizing how much I needed it.  The lasagna rolls from the food bible were awesome.  It was suggested that we add a little extra marinara to them by a blog reader so we did just that.  The book says that the recipe makes about 20 rolls but we had a lot of filling left over so I'm not sure if that's because I used a bigger bag of spinach than what it intended (it didn't really specify the bag size) or what.  It's a really tasty meal that gave us lots of leftovers though so that's good.  I do feel like I'm setting myself up for a bad weigh-in come Monday by not working out at all this week but it felt really good to just blow of some steam and get some sleep last night.  I think that's what I've been needing for awhile now.

Today I have another math test to start on after work; it's due on Sunday.  And I also have another essay on Native American history that is also due on Monday which I will probably write tomorrow or visa versa.  I figure if I do have a bad weigh-in Monday I won't beat myself up over it.  I know now that I am capable of losing weight so if I do have a little set-back it's ok because I know that I can be right back on track with the next weigh-in.



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 Fiber One bar
1 serving leftover lasagna rolls
2 chicago style dogs (food bible recipe)
-----------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,020



Activity:
Walking: 6.5 miles (13,186 steps)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

So just two days ago I acknowledged that when I lose a lot of weight like this I have a tendency to slack off or start thinking I deserve a little splurge for all of my hard work and I told myself "not this time".  Then last night we hit our usual sports bar before softball (a place with plenty of healthier options to choose from) and I ordered nachos.  Now ... these nachos certainly aren't the worst nachos in the world but they're not the best either.  It's tortilla chips, cheese, pico, onions, olives, jalapenos and chicken.  They usually come with sour cream too but I always tell them to leave that off and just give me a little extra pico.  So they could be worse but they're also a huge portion and usually Snack Monkey helps me out with them quite a bit but last night he ordered sliders and a corn dog, filled up on one of three sliders and half the corn dog and I ended up way over-doing with the nachos; and my upset tummy made that fact quite clear to me.

This is just evidence that no matter how clear things look, one can always fall off the wagon if they let their guard down.  But, someone once told me that when you blow a tire on the freeway you don't get out and shoot holes in the other three; you change the tire and you get back on the road.  SO, that said: I am not going to let this one mistake become a pattern of self-destruction.  Tonight I'm making supper from the food bible again and I'm going to be back on the road with my food.  Exercise on the other hand, may be getting a slow start this weekend.  I'm still all messed up on my sleep schedule and it doesn't seem like it's going to get any better before the weekend.  I have a math exam due Friday so I started on it this morning and after 7 extremely intense, irritating, painful hours with it tonight I decided to put it away.  I'm just too tired to think straight anymore and right now I'm barely riding above a 60% grade on the exam.  This is really bad ... I'm floating a high A- in that class as it is and I really can't afford to go anywhere but up or my 4.0 is bye-bye.

Back on the topic of softball: I do have to admit that sitting there watching the games last night instead of walking laps around the field reminded me just how much I miss sitting there watching the games.  I mean, Snack Monkey is playing (and he had three AWESOME outfield catches I might add) but when I am walking laps I miss most of that.  Half the time my back is to part of the field and when I'm walking out beyond the outfield it's really bumpy terrain so I have to watch my feet and ... basically I just miss watching my hunny play and cheering him on.  I may need to re-think this softball walking thing.  I may have to just kick up the exercise on other days of the week so that I can enjoy the things that I missed the most about softball all through the winter.  For tonight, however, I think I'm going to just try to de-stress and catch up on my sleep.



Food:
6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 lean cuisine meal (herb chicken, tasty)
3/4 serving lasagna rolls (food bible recipe)
1 banana nutella crepe
--------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,307


WARNING: This is a public service announcement!  Do not, I repeat Do Not, try the banana nutella crepe recipe in the food bible.  Recent consumer information has led to the discovery of two potential hazards from this dish:

#1: If you have not eaten anything sweet or truly decadent in a long time there is a high probability that your taste buds will explode on impact!  This dish is too incredible for inexperienced eaters!

#2: If you have never tried nutella before I advise you maintain your distance!  This stuff is insanely delicious and no self-respecting dieter should be so gluttonous as to enjoy this amazing ingredient which has the consistency of peanut butter but tastes like melted Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

This was a colossal mistake on my part and now I have almost a whole bottle of nutella that I am going to have to lock in a safe or throw away because it will be far too tempting to have in the house.  Save yourselves!!!  Oh and one more thing, if you do try it ... be sure you have some skim milk on hand because you're going to need it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beef & Beer

Snack Monkey's Plate
Last night we fixed a recipe from Cook This, Not That! that we've never tried before called beef and beer.  It's pretty much a pot roast cooked in beer and beef stock and it wasn't half bad on the flavor scale.  The meat came out super tender and juicy and, all-in-all, it was a fairly inexpensive, tasty, and filling dish.  We made instant mashed potatoes to go with the roast but neither one of us ended up eating a single bite of them.  We're also not generally roast people so we bought a 2 lb roast instead of the 3 lbs called for in the recipe because we weren't sure we wanted to have leftovers.  This picture is actually Snack Monkey's plate because I picked all the mushrooms off of mine while I was waiting for the sauce to reduce so I took a picture of his because it looked prettier.  That brown shmear on the right is Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce.  I can't stand that stuff but Snack Monkey puts it on just about everything.  One thing about this roast that I will warn of though, and I think it's the beer to fault, our tummy's were making 8 million noises from Sunday all night long!  We didn't actually get sick but if you're going to make this for dinner be sure you aren't going anywhere after you eat or you might be embarrassed.  We could hear each other gurgling from opposite rooms of the apartment even! lol!

Surprisingly enough, after walking 6.5 miles over hill and dale, it wasn't my legs that bothered me last night.  My calves were a little stiff but, for the most part, I could have ignored that and walked anyway.  My arms were sore too (triceps, biceps, shoulders, elbows) but you don't really need arms to walk so they weren't the problem either.  Nope, the reason I sat on my hiney and did nothing last night was my back.  It's not injured but very stiff and sore from golfing, particularly on the sides of my lower back.  Other than golfing the only other time I've felt those muscles stiffen up is from horseback riding.  There's some kind of motion involved in those two activities that work muscles we don't use in every day life!

The time change is kicking our butts a bit too.  I stayed up way too late Sunday night and was a Zombie for most of yesterday and then, like a total moron, stayed up till 11:30 again last night too.  Snack Monkey got a nap after work ... lucky bugger.  I might take one during lunch today if I can.

P.s. It's been awhile since I've welcomed all the new followers and there are a lot of them so please forgive me for not naming you off 1-by-1 but WELCOME none the less.  I love having new followers and I am thrilled that you've all found your way to my fat-girl blog! :)




Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 lean cuisine meal (lobster ravioli, not yummy)
1 order Nikki Lee's nacho's (xtra pico, no sour cream)
-------------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,160



Activity:
Walking: 1 mile (2,014 steps).  I had every intention of walking more but the nachos messed me up and I did NOT want to find out what the port-a-potties at the softball field looked like on the inside so I pretty much parked myself on the bench.  The games ran way later than usual and I am having a hard time just keeping my eyes open so I'm off to bed.  We have to wake up an hour earlier than usual in the morning so tomorrow is going to be a very hard day.  Damn daylight savings!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wiegh-In 18 and PICTURES

Skinny Pants!!!
Boy do I have a lot to talk about today!  I suppose I'd best go in chronological order so that I don't forget anything.  The picture you see to the left here is the image of an extremely excited fat girl wearing a pair of her semi-skinny pants.  Yep ... that's right boys and girls!  These pants have been sitting on the tippity-top shelf of my closet for over two years now just waiting for me to lose enough weight that I can wear them.  Now clearly, they're not skinny skinny-pants but these pants are the pants I wore on my very first date with Snack Monkey.  YEEE-HAW!  Here's how it came about that I even tried these bad boys on.  Snack Monkey wrapped his arm around me the other night and said "I think you're skinnier now than you were when we met."  I thought about that ... no way, couldn't be.  I had big hips/thighs but I also had a flat tummy when Snackerpoo and I met and I definitely don't have a flat tummy now.  But then I started looking at my pics and realizing that I'm losing most of my weight in my hips/thighs this time, which is odd because I usually lose off my tummy before anything else (excluding bra which, of course, is always first).  So I pulled them out, tried not get my hopes up too high and slipped them on.  Not only did they slip on and do up ... but I'm pretty sure that they're not as tight as I remember them.  NO SHIT!  I wore them for an hour just for the hell of it!

On the fairway
A golfing we will go, a golfing we will go.  High-ho the dairy-oh a golfing we will go.  Yepskers, we made a tee-time and hit the course.  They paired us with another couple who were extremely patient with my complete lack of golfing-ability and lots of fun.  Snack Monkey kept taking pictures of my butt though so I'm only going to share two (the non-butt shots) here.  Same shirt as the photo above but different pants because you can't wear jeans on the course.  We didn't keep score so don't even ask BUT ... yep, you guessed it.  I walked the full 18!  The golf cart you see behind me actually belongs to the other couple that we were teamed with and, as you can see, her ball is right next to mine in the grass there.  Snack Monkey had a cart too, for carrying the clubs, but me myself and I hoofed it the whole way!  That was on my list of goals so I can officially check it off!  CHECK!

Not flattering, but necessary.
Next on my list of things to brag about *winking smiley* is how far this little adventure of ours took me.  Although you can't see it in either photo I am wearing my pedometer on my right shoe so it counted my steps as I lugged my way around the course and came out to just over 6.5 miles which puts me well over my 20 mile goal that I had for last week.  And anyone who golfs knows that 6.5 miles on a golf course is NOT your typical treadmill style walk.  Up hills, down hills, and yes I will admit, even in sand traps once or twice.  There were times that I was huffing and puffing so hard I really had to wonder if I was going to make it on the first try but I kept just telling myself to stick with it, don't think about it, keep at it, and eventually we made it to the last hole.  It helped that we played in a four-some because that meant putting took a little bit longer and gave me a chance to catch my breath between holes.  P.s. not all of the "shirt" you see in this latest picture is filled with tummy, just FYI.  Some of it is just gravity and air.

Now for this morning's events.  I've lost 3.5 lbs this week with a weigh-in of 244 lbs this morning.  Weeeee aaaand today is the 14th as well so here is the latest progress pic.  Something I want to share with all of you is how I cut/crop these progress pics.  My width is changing but my height is not so I take the photo and crop it from the same spot at my neck to the same spot just below my feet each month.  I then resize the image so that the height is the same as the previous pictures, then crop the sides off to make the width uniform also.  That means that when you see me taking up less of the image (more door showing to my right and left sides) that's a testament to the fact that I'm getting narrower because the top to bottom perspective is remaining the same.  Ok ... you graphics people will get it, I might have confused others but it's a perspective method used by graphics artists, designers, photographers etc. which ensures that, even though my relationship to the door behind me might change week-to-week, my relationship to the size of the photo remains the same.  I hope that makes sense.  Here are the pics.

November 2010 (287 lbs)
March 2011 (244 lbs)























Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 lean cuisine meal (chicken margarita)
1 serving beef and beer (a roast recipe in the food bible)
-----------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 827



Activity:
Made supper and that's it.  More on why tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Perspective (contd.)

I think that obesity is a lot like alcoholism.  You can't tell an obese person what to eat any more than you can tell an alcoholic to stop drinking; at least not if you expect it to do any good.  There are differences, of course; obesity is more obvious and a lot harder to hide in most cases.  Most obese people look in the mirror every day and know that they're obese.  Some might think that they're just a little bit over weight the way most alcoholics tell themselves that they just drink a little.  But the similarity is in the fact that the first step in either case is for the obese person or alcoholic to admit that they have a problem before anything can be done to change.

In the case of the alcoholic they have to admit that they drink a lot more than a little but in the case of the obese person it's not so much about admitting that they're obese as it is about admitting that they're to blame.  An obese person has to accept that their problems with weight aren't genetic, situational, how they were raised, or some kind of uncontrollable medical condition.  An obese person has to accept that it was their actions, their choices, and their skewed perspectives that got them to where they are and it will be their actions and choices which will determine where they're going to be tomorrow.  An alcoholic can choose to stop drinking; he can avoid bars and other establishments where alcohol is served entirely if he so chooses.  An obese person can't stop eating and I think this is one reason why so many people have such a hard time with recovery.  It is a change in perspective that can only come from inside the heart and mind of the individual.  You can tell an obese person that their food choices are bad or their portions are too big until you're blue in the face but they won't ever listen; in most cases they won't even want to.

An obese person has to make the conscious decision to change their weight, at any cost, just like an alcoholic has to make the same decision to stop drinking.  I believe that for most people dealing with obesity the recognition of the harm that their food choices are doing to them and the shift in how they view, think about, and desire food has to come second if they're ever really going to "get it".  Everyone knows that candy bars and sweets are loaded with fat and sugar and yet some people choose to eat them anyway, on occasion, and without harm; while others choose to eat them in excess because they don't think life will be as good without them.  Food is just food.  It's a concept that no one could have ever taught me, we all know many of you have tried.  There was a change that happened in my head, it's still happening in fact, when it comes to how I view, think about, and crave food.  Many of you tried to tell me that this would happen if I would just give up the crap for awhile but recovering alcoholics have tried to tell their kind that it gets easier too and they realized a long time ago that it doesn't work.  An addict, whether it be a food addict or an alcoholic, has to experience the change before they can believe it exists.  The only way that you can experience the change in your perspective is to force a change in your actions and give it time to take affect.  It's like detoxing ... it sucks at first, it's painful, it's emotionally taxing and sometimes even exhausting - but until you actually do it you will never understand how liberating it is to be on the other side of the fight.



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup coffee w/creamer
1 rainbow roll (8 pcs)
1 california roll (6 pcs)
1 spring roll (2 pcs)
8 oz left over fried rice
-------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,117



Activity:
Golf: Walked and played 18 holes!!! (6.5 miles: 13,121 steps)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A New Perspective

Remember when I used to complain about how much harder it was to eat right on Saturday's because I am home all day without much to keep me busy and away from the kitchen?  I'm not sure when that changed but I think it has *knock on wood*.  It helps, of course, when I actually plan things to keep busy on Saturday but, at the same time, my week days are so full of things that need to be done that it's really nice to be able to wake up late, mosey around the house, watch some Netflix, maybe take a nap, and do something with my hair other than putting it in a pony tail.  Snack Monkey tells me he's going to be coming by after work today to clean the carpets so I do have some work to do today, moving all the furniture out of the living room (sans couches) so he can just pop in and get the job done quickly.  But other than that and a school assignment on United States Centric Views for my Ethics class that's due tomorrow I've got absolutely nothing on my plate all morning and it feels great.

There is a major change that has happened at some point over the past few months; one that I think it's really important for me to share.  When I first started this blog I was afraid of food and I avoided many types of food because I felt certain that they would lead me to failure.  Foods like cheese, wine, and the occasional dessert.  I refused to watch shows like Top Chef, Giada At Home, and Man vs. Food because those shows created this violent craving for me to eat bad food that would torment me for hours.  I wouldn't let Snack Monkey watch those shows in the same room with me either and I would glare at his food when we went to a restaurant because it always looked so much more delicious than mine.

That's changed!  I don't know when and I don't know how but it has.  The other night we watched three back-to-back episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and I didn't feel the desire to climb out of bed and raid the kitchen even once!  I watched with as much objectivism as I would a dog show (maybe more because dog shows always make me puppy hungry).  Snack Monkey and I went to our favorite sports bar on Tuesday night before softball and he ordered a Philly cheese steak sandwich ... it looked good, but it wasn't killing me to watch him eat it as I ate my turkey Reuben w/Pico instead of Russian dressing.  Food used to be like a car accident for me.  You know how any time there is a bad accident everyone who's driving by seems to pay more attention to the accident than to their driving?  Sometimes this even causes new accidents because people aren't watching where they're going?  Well that's what food was like for me but now it's more like a bus stop.  I drive by and I know it's there but I barely give it more than a glance from my peripheral vision as I pass.

This is proof that with enough time and self-mastery we CAN learn to not be controlled by food.  We can learn to eat to live instead of living to eat.  We don't have to completely sacrifice flavor but we can learn to like new flavors (healthier ones) and to forget the temptations of others (unhealthy ones).  I no longer feel deprived when Snack Monkey pours alfredo sauce all over his dinner crepe and I'm eating mine dry.  I used to.  I even used to resent him for it; but last night I ate my crepe without giving it a second thought and when it was gone I rinsed my plate and went on with life.  If I can do this I promise you all can too.  I'm not going to say it's easy to do but I know now that it becomes easier as you go.  Those of you who have known me for a long time (family and close friends) know how important food has always been in my life (and in my family).  Food used to be a source of motivation and each and every day revolved around what we were going to have for dinner or which restaurant we were going to.  My parents can especially attest to this because I used to always have a very strong opinion on where we should eat out as a family based on whether or not I liked the food at a certain place and was in the mood to eat it.  I do, occasionally, still have strong opinions but they're based on whether or not I can find something that won't mess up my diet.  Buffets, for example, are still a challenge I'm avoiding because I'm not sure I'm strong enough for that yet.  And flavor is still important but I'm learning to place less emphasis on it in the sense of "making up for bad food".

Making up for bad food is something I would do if I went to a restaurant and ordered something that turned out to not be very good.  I would eat it, but I would feel cheated and let down by the fact that my taste buds didn't get the joy ride that they were expecting and I would eventually (maybe an hour later or so) go looking for something else to eat.  Not because I was hungry, but because I had this strange feeling that I'd "missed out" on a chance to eat something good.  Meal time was an opportunity and when it didn't turn out as expected it felt like something had been taken from me and I had to make up for it.  I can't remember the last time I had the urge to do that.  Take the potato soup we made the other night for example.  It wasn't good.  Snack Monkey put Ramen noodles in his to make it better and an hour later he was in the kitchen looking for a snack because his taste buds had been disappointed.  I ate my soup, like it or not, because I needed to eat something for dinner and that's what I made.  And then I rinsed out my bowl, left the table, and went about my evening.  It's not that I'm somehow better than Snack Monkey because I used to do precisely the same thing he did.  But I have changed ... I no longer felt cheated.  Disappointed?  Yes.  Will I make it again?  No.  But did I feel the need to make up for it because I believed that somehow eating something delicious for dinner that night was important or necessary?  No.  Tomorrow is another day with three opportunities to eat something for nourishment's sake and maybe tomorrow's food will taste better.  Is that weird?



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 lean cuisine meal (lemon herb chicken)
1 chicken sandwich with mustard
>>tomato, onion, pickle
4 oz baked fries
---------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 799



Activity:
Walking; 3 miles (6,170 steps)

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Thoughts on Japan

So last night Snack Monkey had a late job cleaning carpets and floors in a restaurant after they closed and had sent all of their patrons home.  He left here around 9:30 p.m. and I went to bed around 10:30 - 11:00.  Now I don't really watch much TV anymore, what I do watch is either on TiVo or Netflix so I can skip commercials, so I heard absolutely nothing about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan before I went to bed.  Snack Monkey came home sometime after midnight and climbed into bed without waking me up much beyond a vague awareness of his presence.

Around 2:30-3:00 a.m. I got up to use the bathroom and as I was climbing back in bed Snack Monkey started talking about something "hitting" Japan.  I thought he was just talking in his sleep or having a bad dream so I shushed him and went back to sleep.  This morning I was heart-sick to see news of the devastation on Yahoo!.  Several years ago a cousin of mine spent two years in Japan for religious reasons and, while he was there, met a pretty girl named Kaori (pronounced Cow-Dee).  After that I am a little bit foggy on the details but I think she came to the U.S. to attend school originally and they reconnected and, eventually, got married.

I have always been a fan of Asian culture, history, cuisine, etc. so Kaori and I became friends almost immediately when we first met and we kept in touch for awhile trading recipe's back and forth via email.  I have no idea where her family is in Japan or how far the damage reaches there but I can't seem to get her off my mind today.  I've sent her an email, because I don't have a phone number for her, letting her know that I was thinking about her and hoping that her family and friends are alright.  Japan is asking for humanitarian aid from our military and I'm hoping we grant it.  On the one hand I can understand that there will be concern over whether or not the U.S. has a stable enough economy to be sending aid and potentially financial funding to Japan right now but, on the other hand, I'd much rather our troops be in Japan helping a peaceable people in the wake of tragedy than in Afghanistan getting shot at.  I'm not religious but I do wish the very best for those poor people and for my cousin and her family.  It's just so sad.



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 serving greek chicken salad
1.5 dinner crepes (from the food bible)
>>w/chicken instead of ham
-----------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,072



Activity:
Walking: 3 miles (6,137 steps)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Frozen Dinners

First things first: I took the draw-string in on my black pants again last night (the ones I'm wearing in all the pics!!!!)  YAY!

Moving on: I thought that I had tried just about every frozen dinner in the market; healthy and otherwise.  But the shopping trip before last as we were at the checkout line the ladies behind us unloaded a bunch of these Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers meals that caught my eye.  They're bigger than the usual meal and in a very different kind of box so I couldn't help taking a closer look to see what they were.  The woman said that they were really good so the last time we went shopping I decided to grab a few and give them a shot.  They're not as inexpensive as other microwaveable meals but at approximately $3 a box they're still cheaper than Subway or other "eating out" options.  They have a pretty big variety and the options are completely unlike anything I've ever seen in a frozen dinner before; like Chicken Marsala, Chicken Pesto, and Whiskey Steak.  They come in these cool steamer trays and they self-vent so you don't even have to poke holes in the plastic cover before putting them in the microwave.  You literally just pop it in and turn it on; when they're done you take the plastic off, take the steamer tray out of the sauce tray and dump the chicken and veggies into the sauce, stir it up and enjoy.

They average close to or below 300 calories each (at least the ones I looked at do) and are low sodium (which means they need a little salt for flavor).  Last night I had the second of the four dinners I bought and I was really impressed with it.  I mean it's not Macaroni Grill quality but it sure as heck isn't what you would expect from a frozen dinner either.  For those of you looking for meals on the run that aren't too shabby on the healthy scale I highly recommend these.



Food:
8 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 serving greek chicken salad
1 serving mushroom chicken
1 serving golden treasure shrimp
--------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,127



Activity:
Walking: 4 miles (8,000 + steps)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Turned Weather

So on Thursday or Friday of last week I turned the heater off entirely because the weather had warmed so much.  That was probably the fourth or fifth time I've turned the heater off this year and it seems like it never fails, every time I turn it off the weather turns on me.  I had windows open until bed time all weekend long to let the nice cool night air infiltrate the apartment and then Monday night comes along and everything changed.  Last night was so bloody cold at the softball game that when we got home our feet were so cold they ached.  It doesn't help that last night's games were late games at 8:15 and 9:15.  I hate late games because it's so bloody cold, for one; and because by the time the second game ends it's practically 11:00 and way past my bed time.  I'm exhausted this morning and I slept terribly again last night.

It's funny I kept talking about how I couldn't wait for softball season to start because I missed the sunshine and the fun and the friends ... yet it's still so early in the year that it's always dark long before we get to the fields.  I could be wrong but it seems like the cold is sticking around later in the year this year than it usually does and I'm ready for it to move off.  I'm a desert rat so I know many of you don't think 50-60 degrees is cold but I'd take 120 degree heat over 50 degree cold any day.  My knee felt alright getting out of bed this morning so that's good.  I just walked from the bedroom to my office though so I haven't really tested it out.  I think it started hurting because of the cold; all of my old injuries have a tendency to do that to me.

Our friends from football season showed up at the softball game last night to cheer for Snack Monkey and we've made plans to go golfing, play basketball, and go horseback riding with them in the near future.  I'm really excited about all of those things; I love that just about everything we like to do they like to do too.  The more I've been thinking about my next goal to walk 18 holes the more I'm wondering if it's do-able.  Not because of me but because the course we play at (the only one around here that we can afford) is always pretty busy and walking holds people up.  There are a lot of par 3's on the course and you have to walk those but walking from green's to tee's might be a problem for other players.  I'm thinking I might go out there and just walk the cart path from start to finish so I can say I walked the 18 holes but I'd still like to play a round in the near future also.  Would that be cheating?  What do all of you think?



Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 serving greek chicken salad
1 lean cuisine meal (chicken pesto)
8 oz reisling
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Daily Caloric Intake: 1,043



Activity:
Walking: 5.5 miles (11,000 steps)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lackluster Soup

So last night's supper was potato soup from the food bible, Snack Monkey picked out the recipe and I have to say that I wasn't impressed.  It had really good flavor and all, but it was very thin!  It called for 8 cups of chicken stock but only two potatoes.  I realized when he picked the recipe that at only 220 calories per serving it was going to be a light, thin, soup but I guess Snack Monkey was expecting something a lot thicker because he was complaining about it before he'd even tried it.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm ok with runny soup.  I eat those Progresso light soups from time to time and heaven knows those are runny but the picture in the book certainly made the soup look a lot thicker than it came out.  I ate my serving with a couple of those mini-crescent rolls but Snack Monkey ended up putting a whole package of Ramen noodles in his and microwaving it until the noodles had soaked up all the broth from the soup.  Typical Snack Monkey lol.  It made four servings but we didn't end up saving the other two because it just wasn't a filling soup.  In fact that was probably my main issue with it; the flavor was good, the fact that it was runny didn't really bother me too much, but after a good sized portion and two rolls my stomach was actually still growling - something it hasn't done in a long time.  I find that especially odd about the recipe because the rest of them that we've tried have been very filling and satisfying but this one just wasn't.

About 20 minutes after dinner I was having massive stomach cramps but I know that nothing in the soup was bad so I'm assuming it gave me gas, or maybe it was from having so much broth in my stomach ... I'm not really sure.  I went to bed feeling terrible after I cleaned the kitchen so I cross-stitched for a few hours and then fell asleep early.  I feel fine this morning but I don't think we'll be making that soup again.



Food:
11 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1/2 cup taboule salad
1 medium avocado w/salt and pepper
1 turkey reuben (dry)
1 order fries (baked)
1 pickle spear
---------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,269



Activity:
My knee was bugging today and I'm not really sure why.  I don't remember doing anything to it, I didn't even work out last night but I woke up this morning with it hurting.  We went to softball tonight and I wore my pedometer but I didn't do laps around the field.  I stood through more than 3/4 of the first game and all of the second game because I know standing burns more calories than sitting and it didn't hurt my knee to stand, only to walk.  According to my pedometer I walked 3,329 steps which is just over a mile and a half.  That's probably mostly from making two trips from the car to the fields and back again.  It's not great but it's better than nothing, hopefully my knee will feel better tomorrow.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weigh-In 17

Down another 2.5 lbs.  Sweet!  That puts me officially under 250 lbs which gives me one more goal to tick off on my to-do list and puts me just a half-pound from having lost a total of 40 lbs!  Very, very cool!  Every once in awhile I sit back and let it sink in that I'm actually actively losing weight and it boggles my mind.  I've mentioned before that this isn't the first time that I've lost weight but in the past it's always just kind of happened as a result of something else that was happening in my life at the time.  Usually when I've ended a relationship that's when I've lost weight - sometimes more than others - but I've never actually actively tried to lose weight before this.  I've never weighed myself weekly, watched what I ate, and made a point of getting regular exercise with the purpose of losing weight in mind.  Historically losing has been a lot like gaining for me; one day I wake up and realize I've lost/gained a bunch of weight.  It's really exciting to see it happening as the result of a process like this and I'm starting to get really excited as I think about what I will look and feel like when I'm under 200 lbs and also when I'm at my target weight.  It's going to be so crazy and fun to have to buy new clothes and to be able to go into any store in the mall and find things in my size again like I did when I was a teenager.

I've never been a big fan of shopping, even when I was thin, but after living life as a fat person and then losing weight I think that might change.  I'm learning to appreciate the fun and excitement of trying on clothes; I'm not there yet but the anticipation is proving to me that I'm progressing in the right direction.



Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 serving leftover chicken w/tomatoes
2 mini crescent rolls
1 bowl potato soup (from the food bible)
2 mini crescent rolls
-----------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,144



Activity: Not much; made supper, cleaned the kitchen aaaand that's about it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Puppies and NASCAR

I slept like crap last night.  I woke up three times to go to the bathroom, Snack Monkey woke me up twice because he was making these stupid moaning noises in his sleep (kind of the way some dogs do) and then we were jolted awake this morning by a loud and forceful knock on the door.  First, allow me to explain a bit more about the moaning.  When you wake Snack Monkey up and he's in a certain kind of mood he does these dramatic, drawn out groans and loud sighs and he does one after the other until I tell him to shut up.  I don't know if he does it because he thinks he's funny or what the reason is really but it's one of the most annoying things he does.  He usually does this when I am awake and have woken him up on accident by climbing in/out of the bed to go to the bathroom but last night, for some reason, he just started doing this in the middle of the night ... twice.  And when I said "shhh" he said "it" and then started to giggle at himself for five minutes.  *rolls eyes*

Now, moving on to the knock on the door.  About a month ago my neighbor was taken away in an ambulance because she woke up one morning and couldn't move her legs.  I caught her hubby as he was putting the kids in the car to go to the hospital and I gave him my number and told him to call me if he needed me to feed their cats, or whatever else.  She was in the hospital for several days and after she'd been sent home I got a call from her husband because he'd been trying to call her and she wasn't answering her phone so he was worried about her.  I put on my shoes and went over to knock on the door, make sure she was ok, and let her know that he was trying to call her.

So this morning he knocked on the door and presented us with NASCAR tickets to thank us for being there for them when they needed us.  How sweet is that?  I'm not big on NASCAR but Snack Monkey swears he dreamed last night that we were at a race so I guess we're going.  We want to grab some breakfy first, then hit the adoption events at Petco to see what they've got in the way of puppies, and then go to the bank and cash his check.  After that we're heading to NASCAR ... I haven't followed the sport since Dale Earnhardt Sr. died, I'm mildly interested in following Danica because she's breaking ground for women but she raced yesterday so she won't even be there today.  At any rate it should beat sitting here watching TV. :)



Food:
7 glasses of water
1 cup corned beef hash
1 bagel (dry)
6 oz pico de gallo
2 Bratwursts (from the food bible)
--------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1469



Activity:
We went to two different puppy adoption events, then went to the NASCAR race and had a big long ass walk from the car to the stadium, another long walk up hill from the gate to our section, down a big flight of stairs to our seats.  Then up the flight of stairs, down the hill, and back to the car; all while wearing my new pedometer.  YAY!  9,247 steps!

A New Award (3)

I have been graced with another blog award from Beyond Willpower!  Per the award rules I now need to share 7 things about myself that you, my followers, don't know.  This may be tough because I don't hold much back in my blog but I'll do my best to come up with something entertaining and new.




  1. My toothbrush is pink
  2. I hate pink more than any other color
  3. I'm a Red Socks fan!
  4. I've never been pulled over by a police officer
  5. I'm open to the existence of ghosts, aliens, and psychic phenomenon
  6. Kim Harrison is my favorite author of all time (it used to be Richard Adams)
  7. My favorite song ever is "No Sacrifice" by Elton John
And now to pass this award on to a few of my fellow bloggers:
  1. Renea
  2. Wendy
  3. Cupcake (I couldn't leave a comment on your blog to let you know)
  4. Erin
  5. Belle
Also, even though Beyond Willpower has already received this award from someone else I wanted to add that I think it's very well deserved for her.  Her blog is a journey with weight loss while living a Vegan lifestyle which can't be easy at all!  It takes a very versatile person to manage that!

(My regular daily post will appear later at it's usual time).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chicken in the Oven

Chicken w/tomatoes and capers
Well last night Snack Monkey and I collaborated in the kitchen to create the delicious dish that you see before you.  This is actually a picture of Snack Monkey's plate because I started picking at mine pretty much the instant it came out of the oven.  This is another recipe from Cook This, Not That! and, again, it was super easy and fast to make.  I typically like tomatoes in the oven because they pop and become rather sweet but I didn't care for them much on this dish; maybe that's because they're cherry tomatoes and I'm used to the big tomatoes but these had a rather bitter flavor that I wasn't fond of.  That said, however, when you push the tomatoes off to one side and devour the chicken breast with everything else that the recipe has you load on these bad boys they are SUPER GOOD!  Snack Monkey cooked the asparagus on the George Foreman tossed in a little bit of EVOO and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic.  They were delicious!!!

As it turns out I did end up feeling the affects of Thursday's work-out last night after I started walking.  It can't be good when your toes start going numb while walking right?  That's what happened last night and it pretty much freaked me out.  I'm not sure if that's a weight thing, a fatigue thing, or maybe a circulation thing caused by the fact that Diabetes runs in my family but I didn't like it at all...very scary and strange.

Today I have to put together the invoices for work and get them in the mail and even though I completed all of my homework for the week last night, I need to log in to school and just double check everything, make sure I got full participation credit etc.  I have until tomorrow night so if I'm missing any credit I'll be able to make up for it today and tomorrow (though I'm usually ok unless I just have a really strict instructor).

I spent literally hours looking at dogs online last night; adoptable rescues not breeders.  I found a handful of young dogs that I liked but none of them were teeny tiny puppies so Snack Monkey nixed every single one of them.  I swear he's dreaming if he thinks we're going to find a pure-bred, 8 week old puppy at a shelter and for the breeds we're looking at breeders want over $1,000 per dog.  Well that's just not gonna happen.  I'm strict on rescuing not buying from breeders.  Piper was the only exception because I got her from my sister who owned both of her parents and she sure as heck didn't cost anything close to $1,000!  I mean, we're in hard economic times right now and people are really breeding new litters and asking for that much money when there are thousands of unwanted dogs in shelters and rescues; many of them pure-breeds?!  Just crazy.




Food:
7 glasses of water
1 glass of last night's fruit shake
1 leftover buffalo chicken sandwich (the last one)
1 serving pear salad
1 serving asian chicken salad
1 serving Thai slaw
1 serving tomato onion soup
----------------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,168



Activity:
I decided to try something new tonight so I used Netflix to find a cardio salsa work out that I could watch on the Wii.  After the first 20 minutes I was panting, sweating, and my calves were burning like crazy.  I am SO OUT OF SHAPE!  So I took a water break, then went at it again for another 10 or so.  Then I decided to see if I could find something more on my level so I pulled up a 10 minutes pilates workout.  ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDIN' ME?!  It was supposed to be for beginners but I swear the chick was a contortionist!  Well I did the full 10 and I put my damndest effort into doing each exercise correct (or as close to it as I could manage) but it's quite clear that I'm not yet in any position to be using workout videos yet so I guess tomorrow I'll go back to walking for another 50 lbs or so.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Quick Supper

Buffalo chicken sandwich
Last night after I got off work I went straight to fixing supper; these buffalo chicken sandwiches are 387 calories and they are from the Cook This, Not That! book.  Now the recipe calls for butter mixed into Frank's red hot but we are both Frank's fans so we cut out the butter and just sprinkled the franks right over the chicken after it was cooked.  It also calls for lettuce but we're more tomato people so we swapped them.  This was probably one of the fastest, easiest meals we've made from the book so far and flavor wise it wasn't half bad.  Actually, I'll give it more credit than that; I thought it was pretty darn good.

I wanted to "test" the pedometer because it was a cheapie so I counted my steps last night while walking with it on and then compared numbers following sets of 1,000.  I found it to occasionally be under by one or two steps but that's ok with me; much better than over because if I have to take a few extra steps to get the count up, that's better than not taking enough.  So I put on some NatGeo and just started walking.  The first program I watched was about the Jamestown settlement (the real story of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas) and the second program was about Arlington Cemetery.  I took short breaks here and there to chug glasses of water and when the second program had ended I looked at the pedometer to gleefully discover that I was only about 1,400 steps from having walked 6 miles ... a new record!  So I knocked them out and then went to soak in a hot bath.  I'm feeling pretty damn good this morning!  I'm not sore or tired and when I glanced in the mirror after getting dressed I actually stopped and did a double take.  My stomach has been bothering me a lot this entire time but when I saw myself standing sideways in the mirror I could finally see that I have made a difference in it.  It's not flat, by any means, but it's definitely improved!

P.s. My caloric intake was still pretty low after supper and I was lacking energy for exercising so I mixed up a fruit shake for dessert.  Snack Monkey insisted on adding sugar to it so I put in a little to make him happy.  I said earlier that I didn't feel any pain or fatigue from last night's 6 miles but after the first mile tonight a dull ache started in my feet (that's about 2-3 miles earlier than usual).  By the end of the second mile the dull ache had morphed into pain but I forced myself to keep going anyway because I'm sick of hovering around the 250 lb region.  However, by the end of the third mile the toes on my right foot were numb and I realized that couldn't be a good sign at all so I stopped.  I'm angry about it though ... I really wanted to do at least five miles tonight.



Food:
9 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 leftover buffalo chicken sandwich
1 Chicken breast w/tomatoes, capers, olives
8 asparagus spears, grilled
1 serving home-made fruit smoothie (recipe below)
--------------------------------
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,283



Activity:
Walking (Indoor): 3.32 miles (6,653 steps)



Another Smoothie Recipe
1 kiwi
1 banana
1 avocado
1/2 small cantaloupe
1 cup water
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup sugar (Snack Monkey Insisted!)
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Makes 4 Servings: 191 Calories per serving