Weigh-In Number Three :)

I am fully aware that it’s basically Thursday, and I’m a full two days late for my weigh in report. I’ve been sick and have been working like crazy on top of that. I feel bad, but life happens, right!? Anyway, without further ado…

So, number three. Three weeks. Crazy to think I’ve been at this for three weeks already, and just as crazy to think that it’s only been three weeks. Time is weird that way.

My weigh in didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped, but we’ll get there in time.

This week had a few challenges. The biggest was that I am now officially back to work after having my summer off. I had a few days of work here and there over the last few weeks, but last week, I was back for two full days in a row. Eating at work and packing lunches has always been a problem for me.

I don’t like sandwiches. I can’t always refrigerate my lunch. Sometimes, I don’t get a chance to sit and eat. I don’t always like going to the staff room, and sometimes don’t get the chance, so I can’t always rely on taking something and heating it up either. In the past, I’ve found that the easiest solution to the above is to buy my lunch. Swing by Tim’s or Subway, if I can, grab something quick and carb loaded (doughnut for the drive back to school? Don’t mind if I do!) and scarf it down when I can.

I also don’t like waking up early. I would rather sleep an extra ten minutes than get up and make a decent breakfast and lunch, then end up rushing like a fool and skipping breakfast (a weight loss no-no). On these days, I end up ravenous by 3:30. If it’s a “go home after work” night, I end up thinking about quick easy meals the entire way home, and usually swing by the grocery store and grab something like perogies and end up eating half a bag at dinner. If it’s a “go to Oxford and work for another two or three hours” night, I am on my way to work thinking “McDonald’s? Subway again? A&W? Tim’s?” and am looking for a fast food stop on the way that will fill me up and that I will be able to scarf down in the 20 minutes it takes to get to work. Then, I spend the next two or three hours at work feeling gross because of the fast food, and be starving again because as we know, it’s not quality food that stays with you.

So.  This week, I made breakfast and and lunch, and took it with me to work. This week, I had a “go home” day AND a “go to Oxford” day. Both were stressful days, If you read my previous post, you’ll already know that I was already craving sugar like mad at the end of both of them. I managed to make healthy dinners both nights, and avoided fast food altogether. I still haven’t had fast food, and I’m really, really not missing it.

This week also had a few highlights. More than one person told me that this very blog has been inspiring to them on their own weight loss journeys. These comments and facebook messages make me so proud – of myself and of my friends for tackling this weight loss!! It is nice to know that I’m not going through this struggle alone, and that there are others I can lean on for support if and when I need it as well. So, thank you. Thank you to those who have messaged me, and to those who have kept quiet, but have read this every week. You all keep me going!!

Alright. The big reveal. I feel like I need to put a little disclaimer on this week’s reveal. I was not able to resist the late night snacking as much as I would have liked, and I had a few cheats. I also had two MAJOR losses the previous two weeks, so I was expecting a smaller loss this week.

While I would have liked to have seen the scale drop a little bit more, I’m still happy to report a loss of 0.4 lbs. Of course, I’d rather have seen a full pound off of my body, but that is still 0.4 lbs of me that’s gone for good, and brings me closer to my goal. It is better than staying the same, or worse yet, a gain. I know there will be weeks where I don’t lose anything, and that there will be weeks where I gain a pound or two. It’s all part of the journey, and as long as the general trend is in the downward direction, I’m a happy camper!

And hey, I’m now 7.6 lbs down, and 7.6% of the way to my goal! So, WOO!

Today’s motivational picture? I’ve lost a brick. And a half.

Image

For the record, that is clearly not me in the killer red turtleneck

Ever held a brick? Yea. One and a half of them is off of my body forever.

Take THAT fat!!!

Until next time,

Jen

Advertisements

Emotional Eating

Well, rounding the bend on week three. I did a mid-week weigh in, just for shits and giggles, and am not seeing a major loss like I did in the past two weeks, but I’m okay with that. I still have one day to go before my official weigh in (well, as official as you can get standing on the scale in the bathroom), and I’m confident that I’ll shed a pound. I know that now is the time that it will slow down a bit – if I was seeing three and four pound losses every week, I would never be able to maintain that or keep it off. Slow and steady… right?

So. I never thought of myself as an emotional eater. I have been to weight watchers, a diet group through my doctor’s office, and done My Fitness Pal. All were great programs, and I will probably end up venturing back to one. The point being, that in each of these groups, one of the first questions you get asked to consider is “are you an emotional eater?”

I have always answered no. When I’m sad or upset, I stray the other way and don’t eat. Last December, when my Poppa Bear passed away, I ate because Wesleigh was forcing me to, not because I had any inkling. Food seemed pointless, everything tasted like cardboard, and I dropped ten pounds in a week. Super healthy, I know :s

I eat out of boredom and habit a lot. Sitting in front of the TV late at night with a snack that’s 99% carbs and is warm and gooey is an easy habit to get in to. Even now, I struggle with late night snacking, and it’s been three weeks of telling myself no.

I am not often sad or grumpy, I don’t get upset often. This is why I figured emotional eating and my weight gain were not related.

Then, Thursday happened. I started thinking. Then Friday happened. I thought some more. And put two and two together. On top of getting four, I also realized that I am, perhaps, an emotional eater after all.

I had two very busy days of work. I was teaching a grade four / five class, and they were pretty wild. On my way home after the first day, I thought “man, I could really use a HUGE Coke right now!” Hmm. Sugar craving. All night, I was wanting carbs – comfort foods. Very interesting indeed. Friday, after round two, I was again craving sugar and carbs. I was feeling stressed about the day, and while relieved that it was all over, I started to think about how I could start to make myself feel comforted, destress, and start to relax, and my mind kept going to back to those comforts. For the first time in nearly three weeks, I started to crave fast food. I kept thinking about how eating it would make me feel better. I could imagine myself surrounded by fries and a drink and some kind of burger, plunking down in front of the TV and just zoning out and forgetting the crazy.

And that’s when I had my “Aha!” moment. I realized that perhaps I am an emotional eater. Eating junk does make me feel “good” for the short term. Zoning out in front of the TV with something that is good on the taste buds is something I’ve grown accustomed to over the last several years, and since I’ve had several stressful situations – work, money, family issues, etc, it makes sense that I have gained weight by indulging in the impulse to grab something quick and zone out. I managed to avoid the cravings and instead had a glass of water and a nap, and made dinner at my usual time.

So, I’m an emotional eater. I realize now that I need to find alternatives to bingeing on crap and flaking out on the couch. Going for a walk. Doing some crafty stuff. Cleaning something. Going on the computer for a bit. I feel better knowing that I’m a little more prepared for this journey as I’ve discovered this part of myself. It’s kind of amazing when you stop listening to the cravings and start listening to yourself.

Until next time,

Jen

Wrapping Up Week Two!

Well, it’s been a slooow two weeks on one hand, but has zoomed by on the other!

I can’t believe I’m already two weeks into my journey. I’ve seen some awesome progress (yep, going to make you wait ’til the end again), and haven’t felt deprived at all.  Not going to lie, there have been a few nights I’ve been hungry, but instead of eating, I’ve gone to bed.

This week’s challenges included cake, BBQ, drinks, and chocolate chip pancakes.

I managed to do pretty well at my family get together. There were all sorts of yummy BBQ type foods – potato salad, caesar salad, huge, delicious, white buns. I managed to have only one serving of everything. Normally I’d have had two buns, picking at the second even though I was full because it tasted good. I do love me some bread! I wanted another scoop of potato salad, but didn’t NEED it, and managed to resist. I had two drinks, then switched to water. I felt good afterward. Not uncomfortably full, which is still a nice feeling that I’m getting used to. I made chocolate peanut butter cake for dessert, as well as vanilla cupcakes. Here’s where I toot my own horn. I make delicious cake and cupcakes. My peanut butter frosting is to die for, and my vanilla is pretty damn good too. I had one slice of cake, because, well, I wanted some (and isn’t it bad luck not to have a piece of birthday cake?!), and skipped the cupcakes. My cousins bought some amazing pumpkin doughnuts that are only available at this wonderful time of year, so I had one of them too. I wanted a second, but again, resisted. I had my sweets, I didn’t deprive myself. I realized I’d be punishing myself and sabotaging my efforts if I went in for more. I got what I wanted, so why overindulge?! Instead, I sipped my pumpkin flavoured coffee and enjoyed the company. I felt awesome afterward.

I had my niece and nephew, brother, and mom over for dinner as well. I made breakfast for dinner, and threw some chocolate chips in the pancakes for the kiddos. Who am I kidding?! I threw them in there for me too. The difference is, I had two of them instead of five. I had one and a half pieces of bacon instead of three or four. I had a small serving of potatoes, and a few scrambled eggs, and called it a day. Again, I still got what I wanted, but within reason. I am really loving the feeling of empowerment I get when I make the choice to be healthier and make good food choices!

Alright. So those were my challenges. Again, I’d say my successes were in handling those challenges well. I’ve made a big effort to get more sleep and to cut the sugar out of my coffee and tea. I’ve been drinking lots of water, and have had only one can of pop in two weeks. I haven’t had any fast food. Little steps lead to big results, it would seem, as this week, I am down another FOUR pounds! In two weeks, I have dropped 7.2 lbs, I am now 7.2% of the way to my goal!

I realize as I go on that the losses will get smaller, and that I will hit a plateau and lose nothing at all. I will have to change things up, possibly consider counting calories or points, or something more formal, and I will need to incorporate a regular exercise program. But for now, I’m going to celebrate the small changes I’ve made, because they’ve helped me lose 7.2 lbs that I will NEVER see again!

And for the record, this is what 7 lbs looks like:

Image

This visual helps me to see that, see what I’ve managed to shed from my body, and remember that I never want it back!!!!

Until next time,

Jen

Photo Op

Well, it’s been almost two weeks. Weigh in day is tomorrow, and I’m excited to see what progress I’ve made. 

Today, I’m choosing to write about something that affects me on a semi-regular basis. 

Before I begin, I’m going to assure you all that I don’t have self-esteem problems. I don’t hate the way I look, I don’t look in the mirror and hate what I see, and I know that I’m beautiful in my own way. I don’t look like a movie star or a model, and I have no desire to. I have a man in my life who would love me and tell me I was beautiful if I was five pounds or five hundred pounds. I find clothes I like, and while I wish I could shop just anywhere and that shirts would sit a little smoother on my tummy, I don’t spend a ton of time dwelling on it. In general, I think I’m pretty awesome, and I’m not afraid to tell people that’s the case :p

That being said, I don’t always love the way I look. I hate looking at photos of myself, at least, recent ones. I have an image of myself that I see in the mirror – I find nice clothes, think I look okay, then see a picture and don’t like what I see. Photos don’t lie, and when I see how big I look, it gives me the sads. It reminds me of why I started this journey, and why I won’t give up this time ’round.

This is probably one of the most superficial reasons I started this journey, but is one of my bigger motivators. W and I will be getting engaged one of these days, and we’ll be having a wedding not long after the engagement happens (for all of you thinking “FINALLY” – don’t get too excited. No immediate plans for either an engagement or wedding)! Engagement and wedding photos are a natural part of the process, and something I’m excited to have done. I can’t wait to have photos taken that will capture the love that we share and that will celebrate our impending union. 

When we have those pictures done, I want to look at them and think “wow, that’s a great pose!” or “look how silly we look!” I want to focus on the shots, the excellent work of the photographer, the lighting, the scenery, and us. I don’t want to look at them and think “wow, I look fat.” I want to focus on the important stuff, and not at how I would look if only I was fifty pounds smaller. I spend so much time comparing myself to other people in photos, how big I look compared to them, how my face and chin(s) look, how thick my waist looks, etc. I don’t see the picture for what it is – capturing an awesome moment. 

I don’t do this stuff on the daily, and I don’t get too hung up on it. I don’t spend hours staring at pictures hating on myself. So, so totally not what I’m about. That being said, these thoughts pop into my head. 

So, vain or not, it’s a good motivator for continuing my journey. My main reasons for trying to lose weight are for my health, my well-being, and to be healthy for when we start a family in a few years. I’m allowed to be a little vain though, right?

 

Until next time, 

Jen 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Morning all!

I made a post on Facebook yesterday, that I was going to be trying my hand at making a cauliflower crust pizza. There was lots of interest in it, and quite a few people asking how it turned out. So, without further ado, here is my cauliflower crust pizza review!

I originally stumbled across the recipe on Pinterest, as I do many things. The recipe came from this website:

http://www.eat-drink-smile.com/2011/04/cauliflower-crust-pizza.html.

(this is the original recipe)

 

cauliflower crust pizza

Serves 2; Adapted from Your Lighter Side.

 

ingredients:

 

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)

pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings*

 

directions:

 

To “Rice” the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (some microwaves are more powerful than others, so you may need to reduce this cooking time). There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.

One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To Make the Pizza Crust:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9″ round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).

Enjoy!

*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.

Normally, when making a recipe for the first time, I make it exactly as written, then make changes the next time if I deem it worthy enough to make again. When I read the ingredients for this one, however, I saw that it called for 1 full cup of shredded cheese. A full cup just seemed excessive to me, so I cut it in half, and put in 1/2 cup instead. I also loosely measured the spices, and added a dash of sea salt, since I use garlic powder at home instead of garlic salt.

When I mixed it all together and pulled it out of the oven, it looked like this:

Image

Cauliflower crust for pizza, fresh out of the oven. Note the colour – the recipe called for mozzarella cheese,  but I only had old cheddar. It did the trick!

Not quite as crispy as I’d hoped for, but solid enough to get off of the pan. I threw it under the broiler for a few minutes, but it didn’t seem to make a huge difference (yes, I broke a Pampered Chef rule, and used my stone under the broiler – gasp!)

I let it cool for a bit, while I got the other ingredients ready. It smelled amazing, and the initial taste test was successful, although I wasn’t loving the texture. Kind of mushy. After it cooled a bit, it firmed up more, and I was happier with the texture.

I loaded them up with sauce, chicken, mushrooms, and peppers, and threw some more cheese on top. They looked like this going into the oven:

Image

Ready to go into the oven! Note that one is round and one is rectangular. I wasn’t experimenting, I just have one round and one rectangular pizza stone from Pampered Chef.

The recipe recommends adding pre-cooked toppings and broiling the pizza until the cheese is melted at 450. I wanted the whole thing to heat through, so I ended up putting my toppings on raw (except the chicken, of course), and baking them at 375 for about 15 minutes.

The end result came out looking like this:

Image

Yum, right!?

It turned out mighty tasty! A few things: if you’re looking for a pizza that you can pick up and eat, this is NOT the recipe for you. I had to eat mine with a fork and knife. If you’re looking for something that tastes like traditional pizza dough but is amazingly made of cauliflower, this is NOT the recipe for you. It has a slight cauliflower taste, but that’s majorly overshadowed by all of the pizza toppings. When eating it, you still get the pizza vibe, but without the gut-rot from the greasy dough. The recipe states that one “pizza” will serve two. The above is one pizza. I made two crusts with the remaining cauliflower, so technically, my two pizzas should have served four. I was full after a bowl of salad and about half of this, but Wes was still hungry afterward. I would definitely suggest that the recipe does NOT serve two!

Overall, it was tasty. I felt like I was enjoying pizza and felt good after I ate it. Next time, I will try flipping the crust halfway through (flipping from one pan to another, as it will crumble if you try to pick it up halfway) to see if I can get it to firm up a bit more. I will also add a bit more garlic (but that’s a personal taste preference). The key word here, is next time. I will definitely make this again!

Until next time,

Jen

The Numbers Game

Well, it’s been one week since I re-started my journey for the last time. Weigh in day was today. I lost… well…  I’ll keep you in suspense for now…

A common suggestion I’ve come across over the years, when trying to lose weight, is not to focus on the numbers. Telling a person who is obsessed with the scale not to focus on the numbers is like telling a kid in a candy store to focus on the healthy treats. NOT going to happen. 

I think about numbers a lot. The size of my pants. The number on the scale. How many cups of water I’ve consumed. The weight limit on a chair. My age. The number of dollars in the bank. How much I’ve gained and lost over the years. When I don’t think about the numbers, they seem to creep up (except for that one about the bank). When I avoid the scale, the numbers creep up. 

So choosing not to focus on the numbers is simply not an option for me. 

All that being said, the number on the scale isn’t going to dictate my mood, my goals, or what I eat in a day. I use that number as a guideline, a way to track progress, and a way to tell if I’m slipping. 

I have a general idea of what I *should* weigh. I have a general goal for where I’d like to eventually end up. Overall, I’d like to shoot for the 100 lbs lost mark. That’s not to say I won’t be happy if I lose a little more or a little less. I have a general idea of what size clothing I’d like to fit into. I’ll never be a size two, but I’m okay with that. For the purposes of this blog, I’m shooting for that 100 mark, and then I’ll re-evaluate my goals and progress and go from there. 

While I have been brave in putting this journey and struggle out there for all to see, I’m not brave enough to share my starting weight with you all. Not yet, anyway. Once I hit that 100 lb lost goal, I’ll share. That’s my promise to you all. Some of you will be curious and want to know, others won’t give a shit, and that’s totally fine. I get emotional at even the prospect of hitting that goal, so I imagine sharing the numbers will be a sort of catharsis for me. So, hey, that’s something to look forward to. 

 

Anyway. The big reveal for the day. Week one. With some minor and some major changes in habits and behaviours, and without feeling like it was a major inconvenience to me or my lifestyle, I managed to drop 3.2 lbs! That means I’m 3.2% of the way to my ultimate goal. Seems minor, but when you look at what 3 lbs of fat looks like: 

Image

I ‘d say it’s a great start. 

 

Until next time, 

 

Jen

 

Unstoppable

As I’m sitting down to write this post, I’m stuck wondering where to start. It’s rather surprising, since I’ve been itching to write for the last few days (life has been hectic, so it hasn’t happened). I went as far as writing down several topics I want to touch on throughout my journey. These topics range from self-esteem, habits for weight loss and weight gain, the importance of a good support system, healthy recipes, etc. Each of these topics will take a great deal of thought, research, and time to write.

So, for today, I suppose I’ll skip the big topics and stay simple.

Since I last posted, I’ve had a few challenges and a few successes. I think, for today, I’ll touch on those.

The challenges: breaking bad habits, parties, having guests over for dinner, late night cravings, movie night, stress, and so on and so on and so on. I’ve come to the realization over the years that weight loss, although a simple formula of healthy eating, exercising, getting enough sleep, and drinking loads of water, is not easy. Life happens, and often gets in the way of, and derails, our best intentions. Food tastes good. Drinks are easy to consume at a large volume. Sleep, often, is not a priority. Water isn’t always the first choice. And did I mention food tastes good?!

So, how did I handle the aforementioned challenges? Well, let’s start with bad habits. I touched on those a bit in my last post. I’ve managed to have one coffee a day, and instead of loading up the coffee with two sweeteners, I’ve switched to a spoonful of sugar. The goal is to eliminate the sugar completely, and the sweetener topic will be discussed on another day, but overall, I’ve not minded the change at all. I’ve been trying to get more sleep, and have been eating out of hunger and necessity, not out of boredom. I’ve been concious of my body while eating, and have been stopping when I’m full. Simple things.

Parties. I had the awesome challenge of going to Wesleigh’s work party on Wednesday, and a cousin’s birthday party on Saturday. I managed to survive both without overindulging. Despite the open bar and delicious skewers and fries at the work party, I had one glass of wine and then switched to water. I had one plate of food and called it a day. I avoided the sweets – they looked good, but I realized that that stuff is never as good as it looks, and that I really didn’t want / need it. The birthday party had lots of tasty temptations – caesar salad, pasta salad, nacho dip, cake, pop… and the list goes on. I went with a little bit of everything I wanted, but took half the amount I would normally take, and didn’t go back for seconds. I had a small piece of cake, and had some fruit with it (when I would normally skip the fruit all together). I was just as satisfied, wasn’t uncomfortably full, and felt better for having gone the healthier route.

Movie night happened. Wesleigh and I snuggled up, and I wanted a little bit of everything. Instead, I made a bowl of popcorn (air popped, with olive oil), and ate until I was satisfied. I ended up tossing out a half bowl of popcorn, instead of finishing it because it was there. If I’m craving late at night, I change what I’m doing, or I go to bed.

We had guests over for dinner tonight. I made fajitas, and chose my options wisely. I ate until satisfied, and didn’t have another, even though I knew it would taste good. I made mint chocolate chip cookies for dessert. I wanted to eat a bunch. Instead, I had one. I saved a few for Wesleigh for work tomorrow, and sent the rest home.

So, the successes? I’d say that I overcame all of those challenges. Did I say no to that piece of cake? Nope. Will I ever? Maybe. To me, a small piece of cake isn’t the end of the world, and shouldn’t be off limits. It’s life, and as long as I’m not excessive, it won’t derail my progress.

I managed to get lots of fruit and veggies in. I tried a new smoothie recipe that was surprisingly tasty. I avoided fast food altogether. I had to stop at Tim Horton’s for something to eat on Friday because I was running late and didn’t have time for breakfast. Instead of my normal breakfast sandwich on a bagel, I had a wheat bagel with half the amount of cream cheese (light, of course). I wasn’t upset that I didn’t have it loaded up with cream cheese, I wasn’t upset that I didn’t grab a Timbit to go with it, and I was completely happy with my choice.

I didn’t eat late at night. I didn’t binge. I didn’t carb-load. I slept when I was tired. I watched less TV. As a result, I’m feeling pleased with myself instead of angry at myself. I haven’t had an upset stomach in nearly a week. I have more energy.

And this is just the start.

I weighed myself on Tuesday, so my one week weigh in will be in a couple of days. I snuck a peek (because that’s how I roll), and I’m down a little. I’m excited to see what the official number is on Tuesday. Will I be upset if it’s not a big loss? Nope! Because I FEEL better, and that’s a major part of why I’m taking this journey.

I have so much further to go – I want to drop quite a few pounds, I need to start getting exercise, I need to form good habits instead of just breaking the bad ones, I need to get off of processed junk completely.

Yes, I have much further to go. But instead of focusing on that, I’m thinking of how far I’ve already come in just a week. If I keep this up, with the support of all of you (which has been pushing me already), I’m unstoppable!

Until next time,

Jen

Also, I just wanted to show nature’s way of supporting me on my journey. I was slicing a green pepper today, and was greeted by this little burst of encouragement!

Image