Monday, February 28, 2011

BLAHB Humbug!

I am in a serious rut. I have spent the past two weeks gaining and losing the same 3 lbs (plus a couple more one time). I spent last week getting back down to my max 21 lb weight loss only to gain 3 lbs this weekend. I'll admit, I'm in a funk. I just can't figure out if the funk has resulted in my less than stellar motivation, or vice versa. At any rate, I need to regroup. There are two weeks until my birthday, which will include a family trip to the beach for the weekend. There are 12 days until we leave for the weekend. Between now and then, my goal is recommit myself to being healthy. And, let's not fool ourselves, I will not be satisfied if I avoid the evils of white flour but don't lose any weight. So, in terms of weight loss, my goal is to lose the 3 lbs I put on this weekend (AGAIN) and five more. Here are the concrete steps I am going to take to do this:

1) Exercise 11 out of the next 12 days.
2) No carry out.
3) No alcohol.
4) Less sodium.
5) Healthy food choices within my calorie range.

I also need to try to get out of this funk.

I started reading the "Normal" Eating book last night. I only read about 10 pages, but I have marked a couple of thoughts that I will share with you all later. I can definitely say that as I was reading, I often found myself thinking, "Yep, that's me." and "I do that." I like the author's writing style, but I'm not sure I can trust someone whose struggle with weight involved gaining and losing the same 20 lbs over the years. You call that a weight problem; I can do that in a matter of days. ;-)

Here's to a healthy week!

Total weight loss in 8 weeks: 18 lbs.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I am a very solutions oriented person. I have a bad parenting day and I'm on the web searching for a website or book or program that will solve all my parenting problems. Bank account is running low, I'm buying books about budgeting and finances and saving money. (I'm sure I don't have to point out the irony there.) The same is true of weight loss. I decided I needed to explore the emotional part of this journey, thus I spent the entire afternoon searching for books, programs, CDs, workshops, etc that would help me figure all of this out.

After extensive research (if you call a couple hours extensive), I have ordered two books (one is actually a workbook) from Amazon. People, I've read all the reviews; these will change my life. Seriously though, I'll let you know how they are.

The Food & Feelings Workbook: A Full Course Meal on Emotional Health
by Karen R. Koenig
(I can just feel my self being helped by reading the title!)

The Rules of "Normal" Eating: A Commonsense Approach for Dieters, Overeaters, Undereaters, Emotional Eaters, And Everyone In Between
by Karen R. Koenig

Stay tuned for reviews.

If you have read either of these books, or have any others that you recommend, please share your thoughts!

Rewind - Fast Forward - Pause

Sometimes I feel like weight issues need to be classified as a mental illness. I know that most people who struggle with their weight tend to have some other emotional and/or psychological issues stemming from past or present issues. Personally, I just feel like a crazy person. Is it wrong that I sometimes wish I had some sort of tragedy or trauma or deep-seeded psychological issue on which to blame my weight? The only excuses I seem to come up with are laziness and a lack of motivation and willpower. Of course I don't really want to have experienced something horrible in my past only to have something at which to point my finger and say, "Damn you, tragedy, you made me fat." But, I also don't like looking in the mirror and pointing my finger at myself and saying, "Damn you, Kris, you made yourself fat."

Despite not having any overt issues, I am sure there are underlying issues that I should probably explore. (Side note: Don't you just love the word "issues"? It's so all-encompassing. I could be talking about emotional damage from a divorce or the fact that there is snow outside, and I am stuck in the house with my kids. Both present "issues." In my case, the latter is actually more of an "issue".) Anyway, I digress. I think during the next phase of my journey, I am going to start exploring more of the psychology of weight gain/loss and body image and self-esteem. From everything I've read, in order to maintain weight loss, these issues must be addressed.

So, after all that, you are probably thinking I've gained back every pound I have lost thus far. That is not the case at all. In fact, it was a pretty good week (until last night...more about that later...and you'll see why I obviously have issues.) By Thursday, I had lost all of the almost 5 lbs I had gained over the previous and weighed-in at the exact same weight as I had on the previous Friday. Not bad. Two days to gain 5 lbs, three days to lose it. Going forward, my goal was to lose an additional one pound during the rest of the week. And, that's what I did. 1.2 pounds to be exact. That means in the course of the week (from Monday to Monday) I lost exactly 6 lbs. I was happy, but I just kept thinking, "What if I hadn't gained those 5 lbs the previous weekend?" Instead of a net lost of only 1.2 pounds, it could have been 2 or 3 or maybe even 4. So then what did I do? I binged on a disgusting amount of terribly unhealthy Chinese food last night. See...ISSUES.

Total weight loss in 7 weeks: 21.6 lbs.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ride 'em Cowgirl

After a very disappointing weekend, I got right back in the saddle on Monday. Reluctantly. I don’t know why it is so hard to get back on track. All the things that have seemed so easy (OK, maybe not easy, but manageable) for the past 6 weeks, now seem an overwhelming chore.

I could not believe how terrible I felt during my workout on Monday. After three days of no exercising, my legs felt like they weighed a thousand pounds each. I managed to complete the boot camp DVD and 20 minutes on the treadmill (including 5 minutes of running). Today, I woke up and not only were my legs tired (to be expected), I had a really bad pain in my right ankle. To say that I did not want to workout today is the understatement of the year. I kept thinking of all sorts of excuses to put it off til naptime or after naptime or the evening. I managed to drag my sorry butt to the treadmill in the morning. Morning workouts mean that I have to endure movies such as Barbie in a Christmas Carol (Yes, they are still watching it in February…obsessed!) or Monsters Inc (which I liked…the first 30 times) or some wonderful Disney princess movie that if it were on VHS would be worn out. I know I should just count my blessings that my girls can be occupied for long enough for me to get my workout in.

I thought I could walk off the ankle pain. It did loosen up, but I wasn’t able to run. Still, I did get in a really strong 50 min walking workout. Now, 12 hours later, my ankle feels like a knife is being stabbed into it. I will begin an ibuprofen regime tonight and hope this doesn’t get worse.

I have gotten my food back on track too, but let me tell you how many internal battles I have had with myself over the past two days. But, it is paying off already. I weighed myself this morning and had already recouped 2 of the 5 pounds I gained. Water weight. It’s a double-edged sword. On fast, off fast. Hopefully, I can get over this hump and trudge through the rest of this week.

My biggest goal for myself this week is to continue my weekday habits through the weekend. I’ve now had several weeks in a row of losing during the week and gaining on the weekend. I’m not going to let that happen this week.

Valentine's Weekend

Love was in the air and food was in my mouth. I knew it was too good to be true. Besides, who wants to read a blog that is supposed to be about complaining when all I was doing was writing about how everything was all sunshine and ponies for these past six weeks? Booooorrrrrrrring.

Let me start by saying, I was kicking some serious ass last week. I had added the Biggest Loser Boot Camp DVD to my workout. It starts with a 5 minute warm-up, 20 minute level one boot camp, and 5 minute cool down. It is really a great workout combining cardio and strength training. My plan was to do that every other day, and I did. Shockingly, I even did extra cardio on those days to bring my workout to about 45 to 50 minutes. And, I added a little jogging to my workout, only 5 minutes at 5 mph, but I have not jogged in YEARS. Sadly, when I go to enter my exercise into my beloved website, 5 mph is under the “walking” heading. WHAT?!?! Well, 5 mph for this fatty is a jog; I can assure you of that! So, all of this hard work paid off. Between last Monday’s official weigh-in and Friday morning’s unofficial weigh-in, I had lost almost 3.5 lbs, bringing my total to just over 20 lbs! Oh yeah, I was ecstatic.

And then, the weekend happened. It started out gradually. I had planned to take off Friday from working out. My first day off in about 16, and with the increase in intensity of my workout, my body was in need of a break. Well, one day turned into three. Sadly, I did not exercise at all over the weekend. Add to that a downward spiral into a bag of chips, and the result was a really bad food weekend too.

A normal breakfast and lunch on Saturday were followed by a soft pretzel at the Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes show. Really, don’t you think anyone would have to eat their way through that, especially since they weren’t serving alcohol?!?! Dinner out resulted in a small filet, which I had been planning, some fries drenched in cheese, which I had not. Two glasses of wine, which I had been planning, and 2 HUGE margaritas, which I had not. In my defense, we were at dinner for 5 hours between waiting for a table and eating dinner and hanging out with the new friends we made in the bar.

The thing is, if that had been the end of it, it really wouldn’t have been that bad. But, I slipped into old habits on Sunday and had an “F-it, I’ve already ruined the weekend” mentality that can only lead to worse things. Plus, I was hung over, and we all know there is only one cure for a hang over: a thousand ounces of Diet Coke and greasy food!

So, I reluctantly stepped on the scale Monday morning to find that I had gained FIVE POUNDS!!! My first week with a net gain. What was my first reaction? I could really go for a sausage biscuit from McDonald’s. I’m telling you, unless you have experienced for yourself this illness of binging and food addiction, you cannot understand. A rational person would have thought, OK, time to step it up on the treadmill this week.

What did I do? Well, you’ll have to stay tuned for my next post. Don’t worry, the suspense won’t kill you; I hope to do it later today as long as I am not rushing out to the nearest fast food restaurant for a burger and fries.

Total weight loss in 6 weeks: 15.6 pounds (up 3 lbs from last week).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In the Rotation

I’ve recently made a couple of new recipes that were a big hit with the whole family, so I thought I’d share them with you. For each recipe, I’ve copied it as is, but also included any modifications that I made.

Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf (from All Recipes)


  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 (20 ounce) package ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon water


  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute; remove from heat to cool.
  4. Stir the turkey, cooked quinoa, onions, tomato paste, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire, egg, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. The mixture will be very moist. Shape into a loaf on a foil lined baking sheet. Combine the brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Rub the paste over the top of the meatloaf.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 50 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Let the meatloaf cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

My Alterations

  1. I was afraid the hot sauce would give it too much kick for my kids, so I substituted BBQ sauce.
  2. I’m not a fan of a sweet sauce on top of meatloaf, so I decreased the brown sugar and added BBQ sauce.

My Review

This was great! Generally, I am not a huge fan of using ground turkey in things such as meatloaf or burgers, where the meat is really the main focus. There’s just something about the texture and moisture that usually seems off to me. Well, that was not the case with this meatloaf. The quinoa did something wonderful for the texture of the meatloaf, and it was very moist. The kids gobbled it up, and my husband raved about it.

Beef & Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff (from Eating Well)


  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound flank steak, trimmed
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons cognac, or brandy
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or parsley


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add steak and cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (The meat will be rare, but will continue to cook as it rests.) Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut lengthwise into 2 long pieces then crosswise, across the grain, into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are very tender and lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Stir in broth, cognac (or brandy) and vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to a simmer, and continue cooking, stirring often, until the mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in sour cream, chives (or parsley), the sliced steak and any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.

My Alterations

  1. I didn’t have any cognac or brandy, so I used spiced rum. I boiled the mixture a few minutes extra to make sure all the alcohol cooked off (didn’t want to intoxicate the kiddos!!)
  2. I didn’t have flank steak, but used a similar cut of beef.

My Review

OMG! All I can say is DELICIOUS. Here is the crazy part…I do not like mushrooms at all. But, the beef was so tender that I couldn’t tell the mushrooms from the beef. I made sure I cut the mushrooms super thin. I served this over brown rice with a side of green beans. I’m sure it would be equally good over noodles. I was fully prepared for the girls to turn their noses up at this (chicken nuggets were just waiting to come out of the freezer). They devoured it! You must make this!

Weekends, weekends, weekends!!!

Weekends, weekends, weekends. They are so challenging! The first challenge this weekend was a meal out on Saturday afternoon with my husband. The girls napped at my parents’ house, so we decided to go out to linner. Yes, linner, you know, late lunch, early dinner. We went to Bonefish Grille. My husband and I consider ourselves connoisseurs of fried calamari (and you wonder why I’m fat!!), and we try it everywhere we go. I truly love it, and I didn’t want to deprive my husband of his enjoyment of it either (aren’t I kind and loving wifey?), so we got an order for an appetizer. I think I did pretty well, at least as well as you can while eating deep fried deliciousness that you are dipping in a sauce that is loaded with sodium. I ate significantly less of it than I would have in the past. For my entrĂ©e, I had seared Ahi Tuna, jasmine rice, and steamed veggies. I love when there are menu options that are relatively healthy and are also something that you really enjoy. I think the biggest pitfalls of this meal were sodium and cocktails. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention the two cocktails that I had? Oops, must have slipped my mind. Perhaps I’ve had too many cocktails.

Next challenge was my husband having a couple friends over to watch a UFC event which meant there were wings and meatballs in the house. I cannot resist a wing or a ball. I had one of each (I should add there were two kinds of wings, so I had one of each kind). I thought that was a minor victory!

Sunday was the Super Bowl. Considering we were staying home to watch the game, you may not think this was a challenge, but we had the leftover wings and balls, and we like any excuse for food. In the past, something like this would have been our cue to order pizza & wings, make some nachos, maybe some chili, and drink some beers…Yes, just for the two of us. (Again, wonder no more why I am fat…all of my dirty secrets are right before your eyes!) But, we didn’t do that this time. Jay (That’s my husband. Have I ever told you his name? I know that many of my readers may not know that already!) ate the leftover wings and balls. He would not like that I am telling the world all five of you that he ate balls, but I cannot pass up any opportunity to use the word balls. I got some turkey and black bean chili. The deli at my Giant makes the most yummy chili. I had one cup, sprinkled with a little low-fat cheddar, and 8 tortilla chips. Yes, I counted them. For God’s sake people, I am an addict. One chip too many, and I suddenly realize I have finished the bag, and I’m turning the bag inside out and licking the salt off the lining. I also ate two wings, of which I tried to remove the skin. That was a pretty pointless endeavor. No cocktails. Here’s what I learned. Totally could have done without the wings. The chili was delicious, satisfying, and the perfect amount.

I stayed within my calories all weekend but was over on saturated fat and sodium…again. Overall, I thought it was a good week with (mostly) healthy choices. I have not had a day without exercise for 9 straight days (and 15 out of the past 16 days)! So, what did the scale reveal this week?

If you recall from my last post, I gained 2 pounds last weekend for a net loss of only one pound for the week. I believe my suspicions were correct and most of those two pounds were water weight because I weighed myself again on Wednesday and had recouped almost all of those two pounds. I went on to lose 2+ additional pounds. A net loss of 2 pounds for the week. Not bad considering I had to spend the first half of the week re-losing the two weekend pounds.

Total weight loss in 5 weeks: 18.6 pounds!!! Body fat percentage has also gone down 2%!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Off the Wagon?

Well, I didn’t fall completely off the wagon this weekend, but I did drag my toe off the back of it and let the dust blow right up in my face. Unfortunately, the scale acted as if I had flung myself off the wagon while moving full speed. On Friday, I weighed myself, and I’d lost 3 lbs since my Monday weigh-in. WOO-HOO!! On Sunday, I weighed myself, and I’d GAINED 2 lbs since my Friday weigh-in. OOOOPS! Two pounds in two days.

Here’s what happened. On Saturday, I was craving a burger and fries, so I thought to myself, “Well, I will make home-made burgers and oven fries, which will be so much healthier than let’s say a meal from Five Guys!” Ultimately, I felt like I was making a good decision. I wouldn’t feel deprived, but it wouldn’t be as bad as getting it out. Here’s the thing: I DID NOT want ground turkey. I WANTED (in my mind each of my wants were needs) beef. I DID NOT want a whole wheat bun. I WANTED a Kaiser roll. I also WANTED bacon and cheese on my burger. My fry choice was Alexia frozen Rosemary & Garlic oven fries. So, I planned my whole day accordingly, counted every calorie, and allotted enough for this meal to happen within my calorie range for the day. I also worked out. You might think, “Well, of course you would work out knowing you were going to eat this meal.” Yes, that is how a “normal” person thinks. If there is one thing we need to get straight right now, it is that I am not normal. The old me would have said, “Why should I work out when I am going to eat a bacon cheese burger and fries for dinner?” So, I suppose that is a step in the right direction (along with not driving to Five Guys and ordering a bacon cheese burger, which if you know Five Guys, you also know that their “regular” burger is a double). I will say, my homemade meal was DE-LISH-US!! And, I stayed within my calorie range…YAY ME, right?!!? We’ll see.

Then, Sunday comes. The girls are at my parents for the afternoon. I know, I know, two weekends in a row…I am a lucky lady. So, the hubby and I go out to lunch for sushi. Not too bad, right?!?! Right, sort of. I had a seaweed salad and California roll, which I asked for with real crabmeat and no mayo. We also ordered Chicken Mei Fun (thin rice noodles) to share. After the California roll and salad, I was actually full. I should have stopped, but I “tasted” the Mei Fun, and it was yummy, so I ate some…too much. And let me just say, I really had to force myself to stop eating it even though I was completely full. It just tasted so damn good. I did bring over half of it home since my husband was also full from his sushi rolls. Still, when I went home and added it up, it really wasn’t too bad calorie-wise, and I was so full into the evening, I just ate a small dinner. Worst part about Sunday, I didn’t workout. Probably dipping every piece of my California roll into a giant vat of soy sauce and wasabi didn’t help much either.

So, why the two pound gain if I hit my calorie target? Well, according to my new BFF, My Food Diary, I was way over on saturated fat and sodium. DUH! So, I am hoping that most of those two pounds were water weight. I got right back on track on Monday, and I will be doing a mid-week weigh-in in hopes of having already undone that damage.

Week 4 Weigh-In

Well, I lost 1 pound this week (bluh), but more about that in my next post. Here are my stats after 1 complete month:

Total weight loss: 14.6 lbs

Average weekly loss: 3.65 lbs

Average daily loss (26 days): 0.56 lbs

Exercise: 21 out of 26 days

Jeans: looser

Feel: healthier

Overall, I am really happy with the first month. I definitely feel healthier and have more energy. I am proud of what I’ve done and feel like I can sustain the changes I’ve made over the long haul.

I think this month’s challenge is going to be that I will not be seeing as many pounds coming of each week as it is typical for the first few weeks to produce the greatest weight losses. I cannot let this discourage me. I gave myself one year to reach my goals. Eleven months to go!