Monday, June 19, 2017

VEG OUT

I really thought I would be better about blogging more regularly but here it is another month between posts. Much like last time, I have been consistently boring. My work trip went well. I really focused on eating my veggies and in the time since I have been home, I have continued my elliptical trainer workouts 5-6 days a week. I have eaten pretty good but not perfect and my weight has hovered around a 15-13 pound weight loss. I was noticing that while I seemed to be eating a little less than I had, the carbs were sneaking back in here and there.


My first veggie box couldn't have come at a better time. I almost forgot about it, but after seeing a poster in the gym and a booth outside our cafeteria at lunch one day, I decided to take the plunge. I joined a 20 week local farm (Community Supported Agriculture) crop share. Each Thursday I pick up a box of veggies grown organically near here. I was a little nervous about getting more than we could/would eat but after some internal debate figured it was a great way to try things I may not normally buy and as much as I love the idea of farmers' markets I don't love shopping at them. I feel like I don't know what I am doing. It's weird, I know. Anyway, this took the thinking out of it. They fill it with whatever is ready to harvest and we enjoy.


Anna had practice that night so I almost forgot about it, but I got it home and found romaine, green onions, strawberries, shallots, rutabaga, mushrooms, micro-greens, 2 bunches of bok choi, 2 herbs which I need to pot and confirm what they are ; )


This gave me the push I needed to refocus my eating. I made a mushroom/bok choi stir fry, made roasted rutabaga for the first time ever and vegged up my breakfast replacing my English Muffin with sauteed spinach, red peppers, shallot and micro-greens.


Another part of the equation is definitely my workouts. I know I need to mix it up and add in resistance training but I really like my routine. I am reading for the first time in ages. It helps me forget that I am sweating like a dog, defining hot mess, all at a gym filled with my co-workers. I get in to a book and leave it in my gym locker so I need to go back the next day to read some more. Great motivation to go back but if I am honest with myself, these are just excuses not to push myself harder.


I HATE pictures of myself. Every time I try to take a selfie I am grateful that I am part of a generation that doesn't require this as a daily communication form. But in a few weeks my mom has booked a family photo session. Talk about some motivation to kick it all up a notch and break through the 15 pound plateau. I have sooooo much more to go it is way too early to hit a plateau.


Still thinking about a personal trainer. Any locals have any recommendations, I am all ears. I would like to find someone who can show me a few routines to help me build muscle and tone up and repeat them when I am on my own with minimal equipment. I know there are trainers at KC but I sort of want to consider other options as well.


Updated to include stir-fry recipe courtesy of a Pinterest Link:
1 pound baby bok choy
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (I sprinkled in powdered ginger because that is all I had)
5 ounces small fresh mushrooms, such as shiitake, button, beech, or enoki (cut into clumps), rinsed, tough parts of stems trimmed
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine* or dry sherry (I used rice wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper
calories 101
caloriesfromfat 63%
protein 2.7g
fat 7.3g
satfat 0.9g
carbohydrate 6.4g
fiber 2g
sodium 345mg
cholesterol 0.0mg

Directions

Trim bases of bok choy and separate outer leaves from stalks, leaving the smallest inner leaves attached. Rinse and thoroughly dry bok choy in a salad spinner.

Heat a wok or large frying pan (not nonstick) over medium-high heat until hot when you wave your hand over the bottom. Add vegetable oil, garlic, and ginger and stir once; then immediately add mushrooms and stir-fry until they just begin to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add rice wine and cook 30 seconds. Add bok choy leaves and stalks and cook, tossing with tongs, until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. The wok may seem crowded, but the leaves wilt quite a bit.

Add soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper; cook, tossing often, until bok choy is tender-crisp, another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.


NOTES: I found this too salty but it could have been based on my substitutions. I added some fresh spinach to cut the salt and that worked just fine.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

LITTLE BITE OF THE BIG APPLE

I realize it has been a few weeks since my last check in. Typically when a weight-loss, hobby blogger goes silent it is due to falling off the wagon but I am happy to say that is not the case. Actually it is completely the opposite for me. I have been very routine. So much so that the thought of writing about it seemed boring. I couldn't imagine reading about someone's daily routine over and over, so I was sort of waiting until I had something better to share.


My new routine is:
  • 6 days a week I do the elliptical trainer for 65 minutes each morning
  • Breakfast = high fiber English Muffin with a protein (typically either eggs or peanut butter)
  • Snack = apple and almonds
  • Coffee, I can't for get my coffee (creamer, no sweetener)
  • Lunch = either baked chicken and steamed veggies or a turkey/swiss wrap with lots of veggies (and I peel off any of the wrap not needed to hold it together so I only eat about half the carbs)
  • Snack = if needed is another fruit
  • Dinner = a baked protein and more veggies
  • Treat = if craving sweets, a beet/fruit smoothie, maybe some greek yogurt in it, or popcorn if I want something crunchy and salty
The results: I am down about 14-15 pounds depending on the day. I still fluctuate 2-3 pounds a day but overall it is still trending downward so I will take it. I have also heard the slower it comes off the more likely it is to stay off so I am fine with crawling if that is what it takes.


All fine and dandy until this week.


A work trip.


Work travel can be a dietary disaster and I was really nervous about a big set back. I have a history of bringing workout clothes only to return with them still clean, never making it out of the suitcase. To arm myself for this battle and sharpen my focus, I met with Kate to get some fresh tips and dining advice:
  • The obvious: take things like nuts and Lara bars in your bag for a quick snack
  • Take a little cooler pouch with some fruit, maybe a yogurt
  • At the airport, shoot for a salad (I H__A__T__E salads) or even a hummus/veggies or fruit/cheese grab and go option at one of the little markets
  • Take an empty water bottle and fill it after you pass through security to keep drinking your water
  • Concentrate on your veggies. Get them in at every chance you get.
  • If you have a fridge in your room, hit a market and buy some yogurts, fruit, veggies and even string cheese. Look for high fiber, high protein options to have handy.
My translation of this advice:
  • I specifically booked a flight that allowed me to get my morning workout in as normal
  • I ate my typical breakfast too
  • Cut up an apple, some strawberries and lemons and put them in one of Ella's old lunch sacks
  • Packed almonds and bought some Lara bars and some Lara double chocolate brownie bites as I knew I would need something to help curb chocolate cravings.
  • Once through security I got ice for my water bottle at the bar, tossed in some lemon and filled it at the water fountain or bubbler as they call it in Wisconsin
  • My first flight I ate almonds and skipped the pretzels offered
  • In my layover I hunted for a to go pack of peanut butter. After 4-5 little markets with no luck I saw a frozen yogurt place and sure enough they sold me a little side for $0.53. I ate my apple with peanut butter for lunch. Oh, and had an iced coffee.
  • Flight #2 I had a few more almonds and a serving of the brownie bites
  • Dinner was 3 Ahi Tuna soft tacos and fresh guacamole (but I only ate 2 of the tortillas). Oh, I did have 1 glass of wine too.
To avoid the mini-bar and any munchies at the last minute I saw a facial mask and tossed it in my bag. It was perfect. A little pampering in a nice hotel to myself with Bravo... It was my own little belated Mother's Day retreat.

Today is also going pretty well. I did get up and use the fitness center this morning but I really didn't like their elliptical trainer. Tomorrow I may have to do the treadmill  - ugg.

My meetings had healthy breakfast options and we ordered our own lunch vs a pre-ordered buffet so that gave me more control and was better than I feared. If the rest of this week keeps going this way, I look forward to facing the scale when I get home.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ

The second I left my appointment with the KC nutritionist (Kate), I was dying to tell everyone I saw about my experience.

I can't say for 100% certain what I expected. Let's be real. I have been at this for 30 years. In that amount of time, I have learned a thing or two about nutrition. I know what I should do. It is actually doing it that has been the challenge. But I did have some questions and if I am honest with myself, I really wanted to hear that my diet wasn't that bad. There must be some other reason for my recent weight loss stall.

I was really excited for the visit. I was asked to fill out some forms beforehand. Stuff like:
  • My goals
  • My health background
  • My weight loss history/things I have tried
  • My likes/dislikes
  • My activity level
And most importantly:
  • a food log for 3 days to show what I currently eat
I H...A...T...E food journals. Every kind. I have never kept it up, even the aps which are supposed to be so easy. I never really used it as a tool to learn but instead to list and when I didn't want to add reality to it, or reality came too often to admit, I quit. I just quit. And typically, shortly after, I quit trying to make healthy choices and would regain anything I happened to lose and often a little extra. I think I lost the same 5-10 pounds 9 billion times.

But I did my homework - well sort of. I had been thinking about tracking my food for the week prior to my appointment but rather than write it down in the moment, I waited until the night before and filled it all out at once. That way I was able to pick the days I wanted to share. I picked a day that was a really good - what I considered healthy day, one that was embarrassingly bad, Easter because it was a holiday and a weekend, and a day that was not perfect but pretty good. I wanted to provide a range and also let her know how typical each was.

During the appointment we talked about why I was there, what I wanted from the consultation, my challenges and some strategies for dealing with my emotional eating. I was able to ask her my random questions and best of all we walked through my food journal. She pointed out the good choices, and we discussed strategies for the next time I was facing the bad choices. Then she had taken my good day and tweaked it to make it a great day and used that as an example for how I should model my eating.



The good news was that my good day was not too far off. I was eating too many carbs because my portions were too big and when I eat away my anxiety, carbs are my #1 go to. Plus I love carbs. I relate to Ophra's "I love bread" commercial. I feel ya girl! 

Answers to some of my questions:
  • I asked about my often times 3 pound weight fluctuation from day to day and learned for every 1 (let's say ounce because I honestly don't remember the measurement term she used) for every 1 ounce of carbohydrate you eat up to 3 ounces of water can stick to it and remain in your body. This shows up on the scale.
Mind blown...
  • I also asked about eating around my workout and learned I could cut my preworkout breakfast in half so I now eat 1/2 an English muffin with protein vs the entire thing. It has been enough to get me through my workout and then I have a fruit and protein as a snack after
  • She gave me a check list of how many fruits, carbs, veggies and proteins I should eat in a day but I am not really using it. So far I have been using it as a mental check list vs a physical one but I am keeping a food journal. The difference is I am mixing my thoughts/humor in it to keep me amused.
  • I also asked about my family. I don't want my kids to hear me talk about this and have it translate into something negative or lay a foundation for body issues in them. Kate told me the best thing I can do as a mom is to set a good example. She is totally right and I am sorry it has taken me this long to get it.
The Results:
It has been 5 and 1/2 days since my visit with Kate. In that time I have been crazy good with the exception of dinner last night which was not a total dive in the deep end but a bit of a cheat. I have also worked out 5 of the 6 days (cause how can you count a 1/2 day?).

I have lost 8 pounds. This brings my total to 12!

I am so excited! I finally feel like I am moving in the right direction. When I was brainstorming a title for this post I thought of Dorothy and how she just wanted to get home. She went seeking all these answers but in the end the Wizard of Oz showed her she had the power and it was inside her the entire time. I am relieved that I was able to make some small changes to my diet and see results. It was the motivation and validation I craved.

If there is one thing I have learned in my ups and downs is that you have to really get to know your body. Listen to it and learn what works and what doesn't. This is such an individual journey what is working for me may not for you and vice versa. It has to work for you and your lifestyle.

Thanks to all for your continued support. I am so fortunate to have you all in my life!

Monday, April 17, 2017

YIKES, PAST TIME FOR AN UPDATE

I honestly can't believe how fast time is flying. I really thought I had checked in a week or two ago but it has almost been a month. I am going to apologize for the thoughts loosely strung together in this post. I have had a lot swirling in my head for a while and am just randomly spewing them out.


Just had to look at my calendar and saw I am on week 8. I didn't exactly keep track officially, but going back through the dates and guestimating, I think I have worked out roughly 48 of the past 61 days...


Not bad but I had higher expectations of myself.


In all honesty I had higher expectations of scale results too.


I let travel, holidays, and congestion hold me back from working out. Hitting the gym after missing 3 days is like a mini-restart. Not as bad as the first one, but the excuse voices are definitely stronger the more off-days I take. This morning I laid back in bed after my 5:00 alarm but did eventually make myself get up and go. Now I have guilt voices too saying, "You are going to blog about this, you must get up and do it."


- so a little thank you for reading and keeping me accountable


My workouts currently consist of 65 minutes on the elliptical trainer while reading & listening to Pandora. I know I need to mix it up but right now, I enjoy the mindless routine. I don't have to think about what to do or manage my time to get to a class. This is easy and I had missed reading. This has been a great way to incorporate entertainment and exercise.


I haven't really been watching what I eat in the last 4 weeks. I have good meals and bad. I'd like to think I am consciously trying to make healthier choices but not being a slave to it. In my twenties and thirties, had I eaten like this and worked out this much I would have lost 20 lbs by now. It was so much easier then it amazes me I waited until my metabolism hit a wall before I made this more of a priority in my life.


The scale bounces between 4-7 lbs weight loss in the last 8 weeks. This depresses me a little bit so I have decided to focus on looking ahead. We booked a vacation in late summer so I am setting that as a goal to see some real progress because so far:
  • my clothes pretty much fit the same
  • the scale clearly reflects this
  • I am tired all day from waking up too early
  • I am seeing more stamina during my workouts as I have increased my resistance double to when I started and now 60 minutes is a given where as originally 45 was often a battle. When I started the little incline leaving the gym was a struggle to hobble up but now I walk confidently out each morning back up to my car.


I recently discovered my company has a nutritionist in our health facility so I have scheduled an appointment for Wednesday. I am pretty excited about it and will keep you all posted on how that goes.


I am hoping to keep my consistent workout routine while I shift gears a bit and get my diet going in the right direction. Then I will look to mix up my workouts and dial up the strength training. Might be the right time to book the personal trainer as well.


I am trying to make small changes I can live with and build on this time around. I am a work in progress. No rush, no due date, no final deliverables...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SPRING FORWARD, STUMBLE BACK

As much as I love the extra hour in the fall, I absolutely LOATHE losing the hour in the spring. It has always been annoying but after having kids it just became cruel. This year, I knew it was coming but still forgot to change the clocks ahead so I woke up at 6:30 with a plan to get to the grocery first thing and try to bang out as many chores as possible before Ella woke up. As I got in my car to head home I checked my phone only to realize it was now 9:00 vs 8:00 and those precious 60 minutes had disappeared. I spent the rest of the day working around the house, non-stop and...


I skipped my workout.


By 8:00 pm I was totally pooped and caved.


Monday morning the alarm went off and I could barely move. I SOOOOOO didn't want to get out of bed. That is when the time change really hits. The clock said 4:52 but it felt every bit of 3:52 am. That is a time that should not even exist in the universe.


I laid there for a split minute with my feet on the ground hanging over the side, my back on the bed and then pulled myself up, forcing myself into my workout clothes. Pretty sure a few choice words slipped out because I was definitely thinking them.


Tuesday was a little easier but I was still feeling the Spring Forward hangover and needed the alarm to wake me up.


Wednesday I needed to be in Green Bay by 8:30 which meant I needed to leave my house by 4:45 to get the workout in, shower and make the 50 minute drive up north. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for that one.


Thursday, things were finally starting to feel normal again but I had a tickle in my throat. Then in the afternoon a team building event with wine and painting and it was the first drink I had had in months. Well probably 2 months or a month and a half-ish... It was very needed and a great way to chill with my peers. I miss adult company especially with Pete working later than I stay awake. My diet was not as strict as my workout routine and I over did pretty much everything.


By Friday I could definitely tell I had a cold, I was not really hung over, but tired and I slept in. It was totally needed. Unfortunately it did nothing to help my escalating cold which pretty much kicked my butt over the weekend and I basically parked on my couch. Monday I worked from home hoping to keep the germs to myself and again my gym shoes were lonely.


Today, my meds kicked in and though my cold is probably hiding in my chest or head somewhere it was not in my nose and I could finally breath. I set the alarm and saddle back on the horse. Slow but managed the entire hour.


On the upside from my workout blip, other than Thursday, I was watching what I ate and trying to eat only when hungry. The cold helped minimize that so I actually saw a little gift on the scale. I am about 5 weeks in and 7 pounds down. Normally I would be bummed but I know I earned each of those 7 pounds and I am good with it.


The big hurdle this week will be travel. Kentucky friends, who wants to walk this weekend?



Thursday, March 9, 2017

PIYO..M..G

I participated in my first class at the gym this morning. Each day there is a 6:00 am class of some sort and I have been working my way up to getting there on time to join a class. Technically I could have done one yesterday but I really wanted to finish my book so today was the day.

Today's class was Piyo. Let me start by saying I have heard of it before but never seen it. I assumed it was a spin on Yoga and Pilates but maybe with more constant movement. And I guess I was sort of right, but holy shit, I had no idea what I was in for.

I walked in just a minute after it started and it is a small room. There were maybe 6-ish people across the back row, 2 ladies making up the front row and the instructor. The only open space was front and center right between the two ladies in the front. Yay me! But I still grabbed a mat and jumped in. The only upside to this spot was that a pole was blocking my reflection in the mirrors so at least I didn't have to witness the hot mess that I was.

I started out ok. Kept up through the first routine. Not bad. My heart was racing, my balance not as stable as the others in the class but as a first time no complaints. I needed a drink and to wipe the sweat from my brow and was just thinking "I got this," when the instructor says, "great, we should all be warmed up now so let's get started."

That's when I knew two things:
1. I was in trouble
2. I made the right decision to mix things up and join a class

I hope the folks behind me got a kick out of my performance as much as I did. I tried. I really did but I laughed at myself on several occasions. Seriously my body doesn't move like that and I am pretty sure for a few of the moves it isn't supposed to bend that way.

The instructor was supportive and said on several occasions to make it your own. Curious if she has ever said that before or if it was just for me. My guess is the latter.

In the end, I think I did about 1/2 of what I was supposed to but I made it through the entire hour making it my own 😉.

Tonight I will take something to help with the pain I am certain to feel any time now and need to find a book for the elliptical tomorrow.

I will join again because I want to get better.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

21 DAYS TO MAKE A HABIT STICK?

The locker room was a little crowded after my workout this morning so I had to get ready for work at a different counter. This little room had a bulletin board with several health related sayings so as I dried my hair I spent a few minutes taking them in.


I meant to get my phone and snap a pic, but I forgot, and now, several hours later, I forget most of the ones I thought were relatable. Story of my life...


But there were a few that mentioned how it takes 21 days to make a habit. As I let it soak in I realized I am on DAY 22. I have managed to workout 22 Days in a row (if you count the Friday I skipped the gym to shovel snow from my driveway - which I am). I do believe this is a new lifetime record for me.


I Googled 21 days to form a habit to see if I could find a similar image to the ones on the bulletin board for this post, but instead I found quite a bit of controversy over this claim. I can't say that I am a transformed woman and this is a new normal for me but I WILL savor the achievement. This is sort of like playing ball with a friend and seeing how many hits you can go back and forth without dropping it. I don't want to drop the ball.

I found this image instead and it spoke to me:



I will say that in the 22 days the excuses have become quieter. They are still there but now I wake up before my alarm and I don't let myself think. I jump out of bed, grab my workout clothes and get dressed trying not to pause long enough for an excuse to develop. When they do creep in (and they do) I take a deep breath and force myself to carry on with the plan.

So far I have been really consistent with the elliptical trainer. I started reading The Girl on the Train and it was a great way to lose track of time. An hour flew by. I do find that I go slower when I read than when I am only listening to music as I tend to keep the beat. To compensate I turn up the resistance a few levels when I read so I can go slower but get the same sweat level.


I just finished the book, so now I may need to force myself to take one of the classes offered to mix things up.

The scale continues to be my arch nemesis. I know my body is de-mush-tacising and muscle building blah, blah, blah but I was really hoping for a more solid weight loss in 3 weeks than 4 pounds given that I have plenty to spare.


BUT - this is not a quick fix, I am in it for the long run, and I am not on a timeline!!! I tell myself this every morning when I stare at the scale. Yes- I am still weighing myself daily. I know... Seriously they need to hide it from me.


oooh. I just remembered one:
Even if you only lose 1/2 a pound a week, you will lose 26 pounds by this time next year.


Food - I have done a little searching on Google and Pinterest for plans but I still think I want to see a nutritionist. I want to ask questions about when/what to eat based on my schedule, body type, goals... Ideally I check back in monthly or so to help keep me accountable. I also don't want to feel like I am on a diet. I want to make smaller changes that I can live with but still see progress. I am totally down with being the turtle on this one.


I am seeing some small changes in my eating habits already:
  • When I first started I was starving and I ate and ate. I tried to make healthy choices but still consumed far too many calories, I am sure. I don't know if I was needing to refuel from the newly added exercise or if it was anxiety from struggling to workout. Probably both.
  • Really just in the last few days I have noticed I can go longer before that hunger sets in.
  • I noticed that when I eat dinner, I am more tuned in to the feeling of being full so I stop eating before getting stuffed. 23 Days ago nights were the worst. I would sit on the couch and unwind from work binge watching tv and eating a big dinner. There was some level of comfort in that slightly too full feeling.
  • I still crave sweets everyday but now I can either ignore it or just have a little piece of chocolate or a mint or something and move on. It doesn't control me as it used to.
Bring on Day 23!