Goals and Planning

I spent the last few days working on some exercises to try to get at the root of my brain and this weight loss thing.  It’s been really eye opening to be really honest and open with myself about weight loss and other things in my life that are bothering me these days that may be playing into the weight loss struggles.  It was a great activity and I’m really glad I did it, even if it bothered me sometimes to admit some of the things that are bothering me.  I think I still find it amazing that in my life every single thing I’ve put my mind to I’ve done and done well if I might add.  Everything except weight loss that is.  And I am ready to change that fact and hopefully more prepared after these journaling assignments.

So the final product of the exercises was coming up with a list of things I thought were manageable that I could do to get closer to my goals and to maybe address some of the issues I worked through in journaling that needed a more active approach.  This list was hard to make but I think it will be really good because I am hopefully addressing some of my mental issues.  Here’s my list:

  • Walk 30 minutes every evening
  • Exercise 4-5 days a week (higher intensity than walking)
  • Walk 10 minutes every morning
  • Take the stairs 
  • Make 1/2 my dinner plate veggies (cooked, salad, whatever!)
  • Eat at least one piece of fruit a day
  • Drink 5 glasses of water before I leave work
  • Live in the pause when I’m stressed out or otherwise tempted to really overeat or go crazy
  • Pack a healthy snack for the drive home from work to keep in case I need it
  • Plan and make time to eat my morning snack 
  • Do two social activities, meetups, or exercise classes a month
  • Limit alcohol to only one day (if any) a week
  • Never take more than 2 days off exercise unless I’m sick or injured
  • Log every single meal in my fitbook
  • Don’t watch tv all evening every evening
  • Re-start hard core Dave Ramsey Baby Steps (aka budgeting)
Not bad, eh?  It’s not all health related, some are just life related and things I need to work on in general.  I’m happy about this list and about working through all of this over the last few days.  Now to put it in action and finally reach this goal!

The Awkward Stage

I’m totally in that weird place.  That place where the clothes you bought when you gained weight are getting too big and the clothes you grew out of are still a little too small.  I have two “problem areas” so to speak – my arms (the bingo wings) and my hips/behind.  I put problem areas in quotes because at my weight it seems dumb to call anything a problem area, but these are the two areas that are preventing my old wardrobe from fitting properly.  It’s annoying b/c I have to layer my tops b/c of the necklines (why do people think all big girls have huge boobs and/or want to show off what boobs they have????) being a little too revealing for work but I can’t go down b/c my arms don’t fit at all in the smaller arm holes.  But the real problem are my pants.  My pants are falling down / the belt is gathering more material than makes sense but the next size down hugs my hips like a long lost lover but fits perfectly everywhere but that one spot. Awkward.

In other notes – I’ve fallen in love with a blog – Can You Stay for Dinner? and I don’t know what to do other than profess my love of the writing, the story, and the real life truths she dishes out along with amazing recipes.  I’ve already printed 3 or 4 blog posts in the last 24 hours and pinned like 10 recipes.  It’s ridiculous.   The blog posts I’ve printed are about how she got her mind right and ready for weight loss, how to make a 400 calorie (read aloud: filling ) salad, and how to prep for a week of good eating.  Considering I woke up this AM and ended up with a cup of cottage cheese w/ pineapple, grapes, and a cheese stick staring back at me as my food that is supposed to last through tomorrow – I clearly need to read about these prep days. I haven’t read a single thing about weight loss that makes as much sense to me as she does – perhaps because the perspective of someone who has lost 135 lbs and kept it off is going to be a little different and a little wiser than someone who has only studied how to do it.  I think that trainers are great at telling you how to exercise, but the mental aspect – that can only come from someone who has been there, done that.  I didn’t realize that until yesterday when I found this post and the question could have been written by me.  I quote the question

How did 9 out of 10 times you choose the healthy option while losing? How did you not make drive through runs at Wendy’s, eat a whole pizza and so on? How did you STICK TO IT? I feel like I KNOW what to do. I KNOW how to eat, what to etc. There is NO lack of knowledge or accessibility to the right foods. It’s just doing it.”

Um hello.  Yes…that is the question that I’ve been asking myself for years and never finding an answer.  Andrea (the hostess of Can You Stay for Dinner?) gave an answer and damn if I’m not going to spend the weekend going through it line by line (again) and working through her suggestions for how to build a stick to it mindset.  Yes mindset – not a workout plan on eating plan.   A mindset and a set of goals that may or may not be exercise/food related but definitely work towards building a better life.  I love her advice – because it’s not “well just do it” or “overhaul your lifestyle overnight.”  I’ve tried both of these and I always end up asking myself the same quote as above so doing something else, especially since it deals with the mental aspect (which quite frankly I’ve never had a plan actually address), just seems like a good weekend activity.

Mindset of a Weight Loss Winner

This week has been amazing for being back on track after travel.  I turned down pizza at a meeting at work and cake at a birthday celebration today.  I exercised 3 days in a row (taking a rest day tomorrow) and have only had one meal outside of the house this week (which is awesome for me). I’m feeling really good right now and building positive momentum.  I have stuck with the no junk food challenge except for this am (had a breakfast sammy from chic fil a in a rush, my one restaurant meal).  I struggle with breakfast…I need to make a casserole or something that I can easily take with me on the go.  I was looking at a new to me blog and found she has some really good suggestions for breakfast.  Her go to breakfast is apparently 3 boiled egg whites, oatmeal, fruit  That’s a note I wrote down b/c it’s portable (so I can pack it in my bag to eat at work) and it’s also usually available at hotels when I’m on travel.  Double win.

I am realizing in reading blogs of women that have lost a lot of weight that mentally – they are on another level.  These women are doing the things that we all do – the planning and grocery shopping.  But they also have just a great mindset.  One that says ” I’ve decided to lose weight and eat healthy and NOTHING is more important than that.”  At least that’s what I read in these blogs.  They don’t lament the pizza they couldn’t have when everyone else around them is eating it.  I’m sure they notice it, I’m not pretending that they don’t see the food.  But they have their goal as priority and instead of being sad about what they can’t/don’t/won’t eat (which is what I do) they just accept as fact that they won’t eat it and will eat {insert healthy option here} OR they say I will have this {insert special food here} because I’m at {insert place that is rare/special/will never return to} and this food is something I cannot get at home so I will split/order a small portion/only pick ONE special thing off the list and make sure I get my calories burned and not splurge again for a little bit.

I’m not there yet.  I’ve never been there – which is probably why I can’t lose and keep the weight off.  I tend to be upset and mad and angry that I can’t eat what others are eating or what I want to eat.  I get really emotional and that is usually when my willpower fades.  I am not sure what to do with this and how to change this mindset.  Does it come with success?  Does it come with being at goal and being scared of going back?  Or is this one of those things that happens “when the time is right” and you can’t force it? I go through times where I have this but I don’t really know why I have it at those times or how to get it back when it’s gone.  It’s something I need to really search for and figure out.

In the meantime – I just need to fake it until I make it.  I need to just focus on eating right and when I need to choose the bowl of fruit or salad or grilled chicken instead of pizza, ice cream, or chinese food I need to tell myself – “This is how you get to your goal so this is better than the alternative.”  I need to remind myself that all of the clothes and outfits I keep pinning on Pinterest that I adore and want to wear will only be options if I keep picking the fruit and the grilled chicken and hummus and veggies.  I need to remember that the healthy life I’ve been seeking since I first joined weight watchers TWELVE years ago can only happen if I do what is right.  Pizza and chips and cookies are not the ways to build a strong lean athletic body that can go into any store and buy a straight size pair of jeans.  Fruit and vegetables and eggs and oats and lean protein are the way to get the body I want.

If you read all this – thank you for sticking with me.  I’ll be revisiting it very often….especially when I’m in a situation that I am struggling with.  I have told a few friends – I want to lose 50 lbs by Christmas.  Christmas is 24 weeks away, so that’s a pretty hard core goal.  But I want to go shopping after Christmas sales with a body that I can be happy with and being hard core is the only way I’m going to get there.  I’m going to probably kick, scream and cry for the next 6 months – but if that’s what it takes – then that’s what it takes.

Game on.

Stuffed Portobello Caps

Stuffed Portobello Caps
From Clean Eating Magazine – June 2012
As I posted yesterday – cooking at home is a priority goal for me right now.  So on Friday I grabbed the latest Clean Eating and went through it for recipes that looked good.  These portobello caps jumped out at me and looked delicious so they were on the menu for the week.
8 chicken thighs (recipe called for bone in skinless, but the grocery store only had boneless skinless)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
4 egg whites
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I used Ian’s whole wheat panko)
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used the Gourmet Garden brand pre-chopped which I LOVE)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried tarragon
sea salt
8 portobello mushroom caps
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mist a large baking sheet with olive oil baking spray and arrange the chicken thighs on the sheet.  Bake until chicken is cooked through – about 30 minutes (25 for boneless skinless); set aside to cool (or don’t – I didn’t).  Keep oven at 375 degrees.  With a fork, shred meat into 2 inch pieces.  In a large bowl combine chicken, red onion, egg whites, bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan cheese, tarragon, pepper, and sea salt, mix well.  Arrange portobello caps on a baking sheet and fill equally with chicken mixture.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until chicken mixture is golden brown and mushroom softens.  
Serving size: 2 stuffed mushroom caps.  Unless you do what I did and bought the extra large caps, then it’s just one large cap.  
Other Kim Notes: So I bought 4 extra large caps because that’s all the store had.  I didn’t realize they were XL – I thought they were normal.  I didn’t realize they were so large until I tried to halve the recipe and realized that it wasn’t nearly enough so I added 2 additional chicken thighs (for a total of 6) and left everything else halved.  I also added some shredded cheddar to the top after the caps were done cooking.  
Rating:  Definitely 4 stars.  Delicious recipe, low carb, healthy, and something I would make again.  

Back to Basics

It’s so nice being at home for a bit. I’m using this week to mentally reset and get focused before I head back out of town. The healthy living post I mentioned a few days back has been really sitting with me and I decided that I’m going to tackle 2 things for the next few weeks:

1. Back to running
2. Cook at home / no diet food

I’ve been eating out or buying convenience foods a lot lately, and that has to change. Obviously when I’m on travel I have to eat out. But there is no reason for that when I’m in my home. I’m not focusing on it being super clean right now (although I’m trying to cook from scratch as much as possible and avoiding diet foods) as much as just focusing on cooking. I’ll work on cleaning it up after I get the habit of eating at home back.

Running. Oh boy. I used to run a while back but I stopped a few weeks before my wedding (which was in 2010 – oops) . Running is not my favorite exercise – but it’s for sure my most effective exercise. I’m really ready for change – and change takes work. Hard work. So I’m going to (slowly) start integrating running. I’m thinking 2 days a week to start and see how that goes.  I am going to do intervals of run/walk and not do back to back days.

That’s where I sit today. I’m taking these two steps and working them to death. I know this won’t be easy, but I need to start somewhere. My extremes need to be in focus and determination, so I’m picking my battles.  I spent a lot of time on travel this week frustrated, annoyed, and angry over my weight.  I’m really tired of that feeling.  It’s not about the number on the scale – it’s about feeling uncomfortable, feeling like my clothes are so ill fitting, feeling like I’m constantly trying to fit into a space that I am just too large for and just feeling like I can’t even dress normally since I tend to wear loose fitting/not structured clothing because it’s comfortable.  Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the weight I’ve lost to date.  I just am really ready to be fit and healthy.  Ready to not feel exhausted by trying to pretend my weight isn’t bothering me and that I’m okay with it.  I’m not.  I’m ready to make change.  I am good on exercise (even though I didn’t exercise much this week due to the physical nature of the work I had to do on travel – moving around 30 lb boxes while standing for hours in a dusty dirty building was physically draining).  Food is my issue.  So that’s why I made two goals – one for exercise and one for food that both will push me to do more and to be better.

California Love

Still out in the middle of nowhere California working.  It’s a pretty heavy labor assignment I have out here – I’m standing up pretty much all day doing inventory.  Not the glamorous part of my job for sure – but something that has to get done.  It’s about 100+ every day here, so I’m pretty hot and tired by the time we are done.  I haven’t worked out because of it yet and that’s very annoying – but I’m not sure I can do anything about it.  We will see how today goes and if I’m not so tired now that my body has had one day of this work.

Struggling with meals out here.  The guys I’m with will eat pretty much anything and have a strong affinity for Jack in the Box for every meal.  Not exactly my cup of tea, but I have no rental this assignment, so I’m pretty  much stuck.  Just trying to make the best choices and chugging LOTS of water because of the weather and salt content of the food.  I really hate not having a car – it ruins my ability to really do what I need to do.  Grocery shop for healthy foods, eat at better restaurant choices, ect.  I’ll have one our next inventory trip, already decided that!

Other than that, just trying to do what I need to do.  I read a really inspiring blog post from a friend of a friend that put some things back in perspective for me.  It’s not a diet plan any different than what I’m trying to do right now – eat clean and move my butt.  It was just written in a really really straightforward get your shit together and do what you know you are supposed to do kind of way.  And I needed that after these last few travel days that have made me feel that I’m falling off track.  She broke it down in a numbered list and I’m thinking of tackling 2 of them a week or every 2 weeks or something.  It was a good breakdown of exactly what I have had in my head to do but as someone who has actually done it – it was written much less cluttered than how my head has been trying to process it.  Clarity from someone who has been there done that I guess.  I’m still milling over the list and how to go about doing it because it is good sound advice in a clear action plan kind of way and maybe I’ll post more about that later this week after I process it fully.

Road Rules

I’m on the road this weekend to Tennessee. This kicks off a busy month of travel for me as I’ll be in California next week and Texas later this month. My job requires a decent bit of travel and I like to travel for fun, so I spend a lot of time on the road. I’m constantly trying to figure out how to be healthy on the road. It’s a hard, but not impossible task and I’m constantly building my toolbox.

I’ll post a detailed travel list when I’m back with my computer as I’m posting via my iPhone now. But the basic plan is to move as much as possible while eating well. I’m the girl at work who always books hotels with gyms and takes her Gymboss everywhere. That’s the best travel advice and tool I use. Even if you search online for local gyms if you need – sweating is a must.

That said, I had a 45 min date with the elliptical this am and a decent lunch. I actually did something I don’t usually do, exercise after breakfast. Then I was promptly reminded why I don’t do that. My blood sugar must have tanked as I was pretty out of it. I told my hubby I needed to eat ASAP and I had a large but necessary amount of bread and water. I was fine after that and by the time my salad showed up I was about my wits again.

I’ll be back to bodyrock this week. My bicep is all healed up, the rest did my body good. I have no pain and I feel great. Rest is so necessary!

Hump Day

Today was a crazy work day, but I packed my giant refrigerator on my shoulder with delicious healthy food and stayed on track.  Adding back fruit carbs was a perfect decision.  I don’t get the weak and woozy feeling I had on Monday anymore and I feel pretty good in general.  I obviously struggle with eating clean like everyone does and there was a birthday today.  I was brought a cupcake by the birthday girl.  Homemade.  Ugh.  I caved and had one and it was delicious.  Having sweets like that only every once in a while sure make me appreciate them a lot more than I did before.  According to my scale I’m heading down the numbers nicely this week.  After a few weeks of  overindulgence, being on track is showing me very rapid results, lol.

Exercise wise, I’m still on the cardio only assignment I put myself on this week.  I’m itching to bodyrock, but my bicep is still hurting so it’s a no-go.  It is feeling much better and I have more mobility without pain today than I’ve had since I hurt it Sunday (grass cutting injury, go figure) so I’m just going to continue with what I’m doing.  I’ve decided to go a full week of no strength training on my upper body to make sure it’s nice and healed when I get back to bodyrocking.  The worst thing you can do is get back on an injury too fast and I’ve done that before.  As much as it sucks to not bodyrock for a week, I know that this time off be the best thing I can do for my body. 

First Day of Low Carb Working

And let me tell you – low low carb is just not for me.  At least not while I’m a working woman.  I couldn’t focus, couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t think.  I guess I didn’t notice it (or it didn’t happen) over the weekend.  But today it took me HOURS do to anything.  I took like all day just to book a plane ticket.  I barely got any work done.  And I quickly decided that I just can’t do this right now.  I’m a task lead at work.  A lead engineer and a project manager.  I cannot spend all day in a fog.  A fog that was deepening as the day went on.  So I grabbed a kiddie cone and a bottle of h2o (I don’t work near any stores) and housed that cone in the parking lot.  I honestly didn’t know how I was going to get home if I didn’t get some sugar in my system b/c I was so out of it, I was disoriented and a little woozy.  Not good.

So that ends induction – 2 days in, ha.  2.5 really.  I decided that the low carb is good, I did feel GREAT the first two days (or because I was at home and relaxing I didn’t realize how slow I was), but I need to add back fruit ASAP.  I need to just eat clean, not low low carb.  I had a few more carbs at dinner and I feel normal again.  I’m going to just try to focus on clean carb sources instead of eliminating them almost completely aside from veggies.  Good experiment and good lesson learned.  I can lower my carbs, but just not to that extreme.  I’m still really struggling with diet and how to eat balanced and clean and I’m a little frustrated that this wasn’t an answer for me.  But I do know that eating the same stuff while having more fruit should solve the problem and that’s what I’m going to try the rest of the week.

Today other than that whole thing was fine.  I did workout this am – just a dance workout, no bodyrock.  I was feeling kind of flat this AM but really needed to move so that fit the bill.  I also have a really sore bicep (yeah, just one).  I’m not really sure how that happened but straightening my arm hurts.  I also have 2 bruises on my arm that I cannot identify so I’m assuming the left side of my body got beat up by my right in my sleep last night.  Anyway the point is that for the next few days no bodyrock – just cardio.  I’m not sure what I did to my bicep and that makes me worried.  So I’m going to chill out on the strength training and focus on cardio for the next few days.  Hopefully it’s just sore from cutting the grass (I use a trimmer instead of a real lawn mower so it’s possible it’s sore from holding it up for a while?) or awkward sleep.  But the bruises and the soreness are so odd that I would rather be safe than sorry.  I haven’t done a body rock workout since last Thursday and this set in today, so whatever it is, it’s not from exercise.  Hopefully a day or two of babying it will solve the problem and I’ll be back to bodyrocking soon.

It’s official…

I am totally a home workout girl. I canned my gym membership since I haven’t been since discovering bodyrock. That $49 a month could go towards lots of other things…like an equalizer or a sandbag or a new bike or some other cool equipment. I am really excited that I have found enough home alternatives that I feel comfortable with this change and I feel really free that I can continue to be healthy without a gym.

That said, I’m going to get really hard core about my schedule again. I got back into it this week with the BR lite workout and I plan on keeping that momentum going. I need to really focus on diet over the summer so I’m just going to do whatever BR/dance/DVD/walking workout I feel like doing. No specific challenges or 90 day programs that make me feel all mental when I get off schedule. My focus will be on cleaning up my diet so as long as I’m moving 4-5 days a week I could care less what it is. I would like to focus on exercise goals more, but I will hold off until I get this sugar thing beat. I need to put my energy into that right now.