Monday, August 30, 2010

Forgot to Mention the Verdict...

Sorry, I just realized that I forgot to mention last week's weigh in result. I lost 0.2. Considering some of my food choices, I was very relieved to see the small loss.

Filling Foods

I feel like I have to relearn healthy eating habits over and over. I seem to fall into patterns somewhat unconsciously and then I have to re-examine why I'm not making progress on my goal to eating healthy.

Case in point, lately I've been overeating on junk food. I've indulged in three pieces of pizza when I, a month ago, would only eat 1. I've found myself slowly but surely drifting back to old eating habits--such as a bowl of ice cream in the afternoon. THIS NEEDS TO STOP. So far, I haven't gone totally off the edge and binged and I have not seen a gain on the scale (fingers crossed!) but I know that I have fallen off the wagon of healthy eating.

And that's okay. No one's perfect. And I'll be the first to admit that I love food--especially junk food--which is why I was 90 pounds overweight in the first place. Those impulses are not going to disappear in 4 months. So I need to cut myself some slack and realize that this journey is going to take a while.

So I started to think about why I'm reverting back to old, bad habits, and it hit me: I'm eating a lot of unfilling foods that are easy to overdo--such as pizza and ice cream. Instead, I need to shift gears and start eating foods that fill me up and reduce the impulse to overeat. Part of the problem this week has been that I haven't had a chance to go grocery shopping, so I've been relying on leftovers, ramen, etc... But I will go grocery shopping and eliminate that problem.

So the plan today is to do the following:

B: oatmeal with banana (very filling)

L: Lunch 1/2 leftover ham sandwich with a small serving of potato salad

D: Grilled chicken with rice and beans and a side of collard greens.

I'm also headed to the gym after work (I even packed my bag). My knee has been bothering me a bit, so I'm going to focus on weights instead of cardio. Well, wish me luck and happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's a Brand New Day

I am officially in my skinny pants. Since I have yet to do laundry, this morning I was a bit stumped about what to wear for work. So I grabbed a pair of the dark jeans I keep on the top shelf of my closet--the skinny jeans. Shockingly, they fit quite easily. In fact, they are a little bit loose in the thighs--not that I'm complaining. Then, I threw on my gray silk shirt, which has also been too snug, and it fit as well. So today I am wearing an outfit that I could not have squeezed into six months ago. It feels good.

So, I am pleased to inform you that I followed through on some of my goals last night. First and foremost, I exercised. Since it was so cool yesterday evening, I decided to go for a jog around my work. I believe the total distance I jogged was 1.2 miles. I walked an additional lap--so the total was about 1.5 miles. Compared to runners, that's a pitiful amount, but compared to where I was, it was a pretty significant accomplishment. Then, I went home and had a nice, relaxed dinner of a fried egg, english muffin, a small piece of leftover chicken parm, and a light beer. I know, it was kind of an odd assortment of food, but it definitely filled me up. Then, I hung out with my neighbor Colleen for a while on the balcony, and then I took a bubble bath, watched an episode of West Wing (Season 7), and went to bed at 9 pm. All in all, it was a very relaxing and restorative evening.

And I have stopped feeling bad about myself, thank goodness.

I am well aware that my weigh in tomorrow will probably be a disappointment, thanks to the junk food/ alcohol I've consumed this week, however I don't really care. I'm back on track again, and even if I gain a pound or two, that doesn't really matter. I feel great about my body, and I feel confident that I can continue to make healthy choices that will ultimately bring me to my goal.

Today, I brought some healthy-ish food for lunch, and I plan on going for another jog after work. I'm making tacos for dinner, which I am super excited about. Happy hump day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I had a meltdown last night...only partially related to food. I'm not sure how to describe what happened, other than by saying I temporarily lost my mind.

My other sister G came to visit (the second familial visit in three days), and we drank a bottle of wine and then went to N's restaurant. That should have been just fine, but while we were there I started to feel really insecure about everything--my lack of knowledge of music, my lack of knowledge of "partying," and most of all my weight. I started to feel really fat and unattractive, and I haven't felt that way in a long time. I felt like I had gained back 50 pounds overnight. I kept noticing a huge pimple growing on my face, and my hair was a mess, and I haven't done laundry in 3 weeks, and the list goes on and on.

Of course, the more I craved attention and confirmation that I was not boring, fat, and unattractive, the more everyone--N, G, and N's friends ignored me. Or so I thought. In retrospect, I think I got really quiet and stopped smiling. I honestly tried to get a hold of myself, but I basically ruined the evening at least for myself, and possibly for N and G as well.

Well, the damage is done. And I have to keep reminding myself that no one is perfect, and occasionally I'm not going to act as my best self. The question today is, What can I do to feel more secure about myself and be a happier, healthier person?

1. Eat healthy. I have been in party mood these last few weeks and I've indulged in all sorts of treats--ice cream, pizza, soft pretzels, hot dogs, and copious amounts of alcohol--but at the end of the day eating badly makes me FEEL BAD. I need to cut out some of the junk, drink more water, get in more fruits and vegetables, and basically get back on the WW wagon.

2. Exercise more. Not only does exercise help you lose weight and strengthen your muscles, but it also helps your mood. I need all the endorphins I can get right now. I have seriously been slacking on the exercise front, so starting today I'm going to get back to it.

3. Get more sleep. Running on 3-4 hours of sleep per night is enough to make any sane person crazy. I need to get back to my typical 8 hours of sleep per night.

4. Make some "me" time. I need to focus on making myself happy--whether that's taking an evening to do some laundry or buying a new book for myself.

5. Take care of things. I need to make sure that I take care of the things that stress me out, such as paying parking tickets and making sure all my bills are paid on time.

I think if I can focus on these goals, I'll be moving in the right direction. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eating Normally

I just returned from my Thursday weigh in, and was surprised (again) to learn that I had lost 1.2 pounds, despite not trying too hard this week to lose weight.

I just ate normally. There were a few days when I overate--ice cream on Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. And there were a few days when I'd simply have soup or a poached egg with english muffin for dinner. Yesterday, I splurged on homemade chicken parmigiana with garlic bread and drank about four glasses of wine.

I exercised twice. I ran on the treadmill both times.

Overall, it was a pretty typical week for me, and I didn't have to try too hard to eat "normally." Do you think this means that I'm making a real lifestyle change?

Instead of chastising me for not tracking, my WW Leader just told me to keep doing what I'm doing. I think I can manage that ;)

Happy Thursday everyone.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Before and Now

The picture on the left was taken right when I started WW, and the one on the right was taken today. I think I can see a difference...

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Challenge is Over

Happy Monday everyone. I'm sorry that I've been such a bad poster these last few days. Work got pretty hectic all of a sudden and I lost my internet connection in my apartment, so it's been hard to post.

I had a lazy, fun weekend. On Saturday morning I woke up reasonably early and made it to the Farmer's Market at Monument and Robinson. While there weren't too many booths, I was able to pick up some very yummy items--fresh peaches, swiss chard, a dozen fresh eggs, homemade pasta, hanover tomatoes, and some bell peppers. All for $20, so I did pretty well :) I really enjoyed shopping at the Farmer's Market more than going to the over-priced, organic grocery store. After I hit the Farmer's Market, I drove to a bakery in Carytown and picked up a loaf of bread. Then I went home and had a scrumptios brunch of fried eggs, toast with butter, tea, and sliced peach. So good!

Minus the tea, spices and butter, it was a totally local breakfast.

As for the local challenge, it is officially over, thank goodness. To be honest, I completely failed on my challenge to eat solely local foods. Even on my best "local" days I would break the challenge to use butter, spices, alcohol, non-local produce. And towards the end of the challenge, I just gave up and went out for sushi and pizza. However, I don't think that trying to eat local was a waste because I have discovered some local foods that I like and that are affordable. I love the local produce--especially the tomatoes and peaches--and I love freshly baked bread and fresh eggs. Also, the local ice cream I got was AMAZING. And the good thing is that those items are relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, it doesn't seem necessary to eat only local peanut butter, cheese, granola, wine etc...Also, eating only local products REALLY limits your options, and I am just not willing to give up eating bananas, mangos, collard greens, etc... Plus, I learned that I really don't like most Virginia beers, although the Virginia wine I got was pretty yummy. All in all, it was a learning experience.

Now, I am back to WW and COUNTING POINTS. I have been a little off-balance lately what with eating local (or trying to) and socializing A LOT, so I feel the need to get back on track with eating and exercising. After all, I still have 40+ more pounds to lose. I made it to the gym yesterday, and I want to go again today and return to my Body Jam class (I haven't been to that class in over a month). And I'm back to counting points today.

Wish me luck, and happy Monday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

20% Smaller

Today at my weigh in I lost 1.6 pounds for a total of 48 pounds. I have officially lost 20% of my starting weight. Crazy.

Sorry for the short post--things are hectic at work. I'll write more when I can.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Update on the Challenge

Eating solely locally grown/ produced foods is harder than one would think, especially when you are on a limited budget, have limited time/ energy, are trying to follow Weight Watchers, and enjoy socializing/ eating & drinking with others. This morning, the thought of yet another peanut butter and honey sandwich (the same breakfast I've had all this week) makes me feel queasy. And so does the thought of my staple lunch--a tomato sandwich with fresh basil and goat cheese. To be fair, they were both delicious on Day 1. But now, I really am craving my oatmeal with melted banana and a strong cup of coffee with cream. And I could really go for a cheeseburger or a slice of black olive pizza. Yum.

I am about ready to give up, wave my white flag, and go back to eating exactly as I did before. Ahh...the good old days...

Okay, I know that I'm being melodramatic. It's not like I'm living on bread crusts and water, but this challenge is seriously limiting my food choices.

I think I'm doing this challenge completely wrong. I should have prepared, researched food, traveled to different butchers/ dairy shops/ farms to stock my pantry accordingly. Instead, I simply went to the overpriced, organic store in my neighborhood and spent $100 (my food budget for the week) on the following items:

-Fresh figs (over-moist and not very good)
-Fresh whole chicken (actually delicious, but surprisingly little meat for the size of the chicken)
-2 packages of ground meat-locally raised (haven't tried it yet)
-1 package of locally produced pasta (haven't tried yet it yet)
-2 sandwich sized freshly baked baguettes (okay, but not that great)
-1 loaf of freshly baked wheat bread (okay, but not that great)
-1 jar of locally made peanut butter (DELICIOUS)
-1 jar of locally made honey (can't tell the difference from other honey)
-Fresh basil (yummy)
-3 locally grown tomatoes (very good!)
-1 container of goat cheese (bland)
-1 bunch of collard greens, which were apparently ORGANIC not LOCAL. The signs were very confusing; however the collard greens were quite tasty ;)
-3 locally grown green apples (very good!)
-1 container of homemade vanilla ice cream (haven't tried it yet)
-1 container of raspberry sorbet (haven't tried it yet)
-1 bottle of Virginia wine (perfectly fine)

Okay, I know the last three items were splurges, but I was starving by the time I made it to the store on Sunday afternoon. And I am really looking forward to having a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a scoop of raspberry sorbet. Maybe after my weigh in on Thursday...

Listing all my food items has actually made me feel better. I think I can do this, once again. I am out of tomatoes, so for lunch I'll have a goat cheese sandwich and an apple. And then on the way home from work, I'll pick up some more vegetables and do something with the pasta and ground meat. Wish me luck!

I also packed my gym bag in the car and I am DEFINITELY going to the gym after work today. I don't think I'm going to my Zumba class (my teacher just switched up the song list and I'm not thrilled with her choices) but I'll do the treadmill for 35-40 minutes and get in some arm weights. Happy hump day!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Check it out...

The freelance article I wrote for just got published.

New Challenge

This week, I decided to take on a new challenge to only eat LOCAL food. As you know from the blog, I am not much of a fruits and vegetables person. And when I do eat them, I tend to opt for bananas and mangos, which are not, by any means, local fruits. However, I would like to start eating a little more locally, because the food is of better quality and because I think it's good to support local food producers.

I got the idea from my cousin Dave and his girlfriend Mairin, who live in Toronto, and are eating solely food grown within 130 miles for 130 days. Their blog is at
It's a great blog and I'm definitely going to use it as a resource as I attempt this challenge.

I, on the other hand, am not quite so ambitious. In fact, yesterday was my first day of the plan and I was tempted to quit as soon as I rolled out of bed and craved my cup of coffee with cream. My rules are much less extreme:

The rules:
1. Eat only locally grown fruits and vegetables.
2. Eat only locally produced breads/ grains (that means I'm not concerned about the flour, sugar, baking soda, etc...)
3. Eat only local meats and dairy

1. I can use olive oil and spices like salt, pepper, etc...
2. I'm still debating whether alcohol should be included in my plan...As of now, it's not, although I am going to try some local beers and wines.

I know that my "eat local" regime is less pure than it could be, but hey I'm taking baby steps here... And this is more of an attempt to learn more about eating locally, rather than a strict diet plan.

One thing I noticed after my first, albeit failed, day of eating only local food, is that this challenge is a bit like going back in time to the 1400-1500s when trade was pretty limited and people could only eat what was grown/ produced near them. In many ways, it was more of a historical culture shock, then a food/ environmental change.

So yesterday was the Watermelon Festival in Richmond, VA and it was awesome. It's a huge event, with tons of music, food, alcohol, and, you guessed it, watermelon ;) I went with N, and we enjoyed a yummy, if slightly bubble gum tasting, watermelon cocktail at Galaxy Diner.

Then we had a free scoop of breyers ice cream. I have been craving ice cream for a while so it was a yummy treat.

Then we split a watermelon beer, which was pretty gross, I have to admit :)

And lastly, I had some delicious funnel cake.

All in all, it was a very fun time--however I failed to stick to eating HEALTHY or LOCAL. Oh well, the Watermelon Festival only happens once a year ;)

So, as you can see, I dismally failed on my first day, but today is a new day. For breakfast, I toasted some of N's delicious bread from earlier in the week and topped it with local peanut butter from Williamsburg and some local honey. For lunch, I'm going to make a tomato sandwich with a freshly baked baguette and some fresh basil. Yum. And for dinner I'm planning to make a roasted (local) chicken. So, we'll see how it goes.

FYI--I have decided that counting points and eating locally is too difficult--particularly because most local foods don't have nutritional labels. So I'm just going to try to make healthy decisions and eat appropriate serving sizes. Wish me luck. I'm also going to try to get to the gym after work today. Happy Monday everyone.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

And the verdict is...

Down 1.2 pounds. After a pretty so-so eating/ exercising week, I'll definitely take the loss :)

I spoke with my leader at the meeting about my newfound reluctance to count points and she made a pretty compelling case for why I should start counting points again. She said that for the first few weeks after you stop counting points, you still have a pretty good sense of portions. But that after a few weeks it's likely that you begin to get a little sloppy, and you will stop losing. She reminded me of how far I've come and asked me to please try to count points for this week. So I will.

So far, I've had the following:

B: Coffee with cream (1)

L: Rice (1/2 cup) (3)
Lentils with spinach (1)
Small piece of salmon (3)
Raita (2)

Total: 10

That's not so bad, since I still have 16 points left for the day.

I know that I sound like a broken record, but I also NEED to exercise more frequently. Well, wish me luck, and happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rainy Wednesdays

When I'm feeling overwhelmed, my dad always tells me to take one thing at a time. In other words, try to knock one thing off your list, and you'll feel better. Yesterday, I returned to work (after taking Monday off) I felt a little gross with myself for getting off track on my diet/ healthy living, but I managed to eat well and I went to the gym and did 42 minutes on the elliptical. Today, I am feeling much better.

Although I'm a little tired from last night. Some of my neighbors came over and we ate tons of good food--salmon, lentils with spinach, rice, and raita. I had originally cooked for N, but he had to cancel, so I invited some of my neighbors to come over and enjoy the feast. It was pretty fun, but I may have indulged in a few glasses of wine ;)

Today, I had the most delicious breakfast for a rainy morning. I brought a packet of instant oatmeal to work and a banana. I sliced the banana up and mixed it with the oatmeal and some water and put the whole thing in the microwave for 2 minutes. The result was a decadent oatmeal with melted banana. DELICIOUS. I also had a cup of coffee with creamer. For lunch, I am going to eat leftovers from last night, and then tonight N is supposed to be cooking me dinner. He mentioned something about pork and freshly baked bread, so that should be good. I also have my Zumba class tonight.

Anyway, happy hump day!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm baaack!

Sorry for the lapse in the blog. It's been a hectic last few days so I'm just now getting a chance to update. The weekend was good. On Friday night, N and I went to the Richmond Squirrels baseball game and it was awesome. The tickets were crazy cheap ($6 per person) and the seats were great--we sat right near homeplate. It was a great time and N and I both got a huge beer (32 ounces) and a pretzel with mustard. After the game, we went back to the jazz club, Bogarts and met up with some of N's friends. Overall, it was a great night.

Then on Saturday, I felt pretty under the weather as a result of a cold and a hangover so I didn't do much of anything besides eat soup and watch Gossip Girl reruns (yes, I know I'm lame). But then on Sunday morning I drove home to see my family and the new puppies!! My parents just adopted two puppies ( a jack russel/ beagle mix and a lab mix) and they are so adorable! Their names are Mattie and Sammy. I took Monday off because I was still feeling sick, and I returned to work today.

It's been a very hectic day so far, what with catching up on work and finishing my freelance article. But I'm caught up (finally) and I submitted the article at 4:30. Whew...

So, enough news. As for the "healthy living," I have to admit I've fallen a little off track. Yesterday, as a result of PMS, I ate my weight in hamburgers, french fries, and bizzarly enough Fiber Bars (they were the closest thing I had to chocolate) and today I've walked around feeling like a fat, bloated pig :( But, as I've said before, this is a lifestyle not a diet and every day can't be perfect. So today I'm going to the gym, and I'm determined to eat healthy. So far, my menu has consisted of:

B: grapes, coffee (2)
L: Progresso soup and sandwich thin (6)
S: Fiber Bar (2)

For dinner, I am having salmon with lentils and spinach and rice, courtesy of Mom :)

Sorry for the rushed post. And I'll let you know how the gym goes in my post tomorrow!