Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2010 vs. 2011 - when diet isn't #1 anymore

In 2010, I was very dedicated to my diet, which was Weight Watchers

Every morning, I logged onto Weight Watchers Online, and I went back several times a day to track everything that I ate, even keeping a paper journal throughout the day so that I would be sure to not forget anything.  I would also spend hours on the message boards, groups, and challenges.  I also began my true obsession with blogging that year, both on my blog and on here.

I had a very specific weight loss goal for 2010, and I knew that it would take hard work and dedication to reach it.  The goal was to lose 50 pounds in 2010, and I did it.  It still makes me feel very proud to know that I did that.

December 2009

December 2010
 My life in 2010 revolved around Weight Watchers, this blog, exercise, and a wee bit of actual work while at work.  I went from weighing in at 207 to weighing in at 156.8.

Enter 2011.  Suddenly my life included something new that's really important to me:  school.

Suddenly my life revolved around school, with Weight Watchers coming in 2nd.

I still made Weight Watchers and exercise a priority, which is why I was able to lose 13.6 pounds in the first few months of the year despite being such a busy bee.

Summer hit, and I pretty much maintained my loss, going up and down the same 1 to 3 pounds every week.

Then came fall semester... along with a tougher class schedule (no more freshman level courses), a car accident, and a bunch of family drama.  And suddenly, Weight Watchers/exercise/healthy lifestyle slid into 3rd place in the priorities.

School, then family/STRESS, then Weight Watchers.

And that's when the scale started to creep up quickly.  I gained 23.4 pounds from my low weight of 143.2, and got back up to 166.6 somehow.  And it wasn't really with obvious culprits such as binge eating or lack of exercise. 

Nope, it was sneaky stuff like a stolen bite here and there.  Not tracking every day.  Cheating myself on the scale.  Not accurately measuring my food.  A few bad habits creeping back in, like eating chips straight from the bag while watching TV. 

Stress can kill your dieting efforts.  It definately killed mine. 

When I finally stopped lying to myself about my weight gain, I felt in control again.  Healthy eating and exercise still aren't my number one priority, but I'm back on the wagon anyway.  I've lost 10.4 of the gained weight, which puts me back to 156.2, a mere .6 pound net loss for 2011.  Sigh.

I can only hope that even though it's not my number 1 priority, that I can continue to lose weight and eventually be able to maintain without the constant fear of regain.

But I'm still terrified that I have a body that wants to be bigger.  Like my body is happiest at around 165 and will keep trying to get me back to that size if I'm not paying close attention.

All in all, I have decided that I would rather be a college graduate (with honors!!!) who is slightly overweight than someone who hates her job and life but is great at losing weight. 

So that's where I'm at now, just trying to get back to my goal weight, but without the HUGE priority anymore.  I'm ready to find a healthy balance.

Of course, that will have to wait until after these finals are over! 

Has stress ever messed with your
weight loss efforts? 

because I want to spread the joy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Here's a post about how I never post!

Sorry for the lack of updates lately.  Blogger fail.

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm still HERE and I am going to be here blogging for as long as this technology exists.

But right now, my life is crazy busy.  And I have been focused on things like work, school, and family stuff (including both drama AND sickness). 

So...  I don't know exactly when I'll be back to regular daily or even three-times-a-week blogging.  But I will be doing at least a weekly update with my weigh-in results, and maybe a new recipe if I've tried one that week.

Anyone have a topic that they want me to blog about? 
I am taking suggestions!!!

I can't promise when your blog topic will be blogged about here, but I will make every effort to blog about it, especially if it has to do with the themes of the blog (diet, fitness, health, veganism, Weight Watchers, etc.) but I will take a stab at any topic outside of those things, too.  Why not?  ;-)

And because no one likes a blog entry without a picture, here are my chihuahuas Diva (9) and Jacques (8).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lose 12.6 by Xmas - Week 4 Results!

weight: 158.0
weight lost from preview week: 2.8
total weight loss for challenge: 8.6

neck- 12
upper arm (widest part)- 12.5
bust (widest part)- 37
bust (below  breasts)- 32.5
waist (smallest part- 30.5
waist (belly button)- 35
hips (widest part)- 44.5
thighs (widest part)- 24
thighs  (halway b/w knee and crothch)- 20
calf (widest part)- 14
inches lost from previous week- 3.5
total inches lost for challenge- 19.25

Needless to say, I'm thrilled with my progress from this challenge!  :-)

Unfortunately, I'm feeling sick, like I'm coming down with a cold, so I'm not going to pushing myself quite so hard this week.  This may end up not being a big losing week for me, but since I lost 2.8 last week, I'm not too worried about it.  I'm going to be gentle with myself while I recover from this cold, which for me may mean less exercise than usual.

I hope that all of your weeks are going well, and I will be trying to do a Tasty Tuesday this week, but I doubt there will be any other posts.  It is looking like it will be another super-busy week for me!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How to Slow Cook Dried BEANS!!!

Many of you may already know how to cook beans from dried, and you also may have assumed that I did, too... but... Here's a confession:

...This last weekend was the very first time I have ever attempted to cook my own beans.  Yep, you read that correctly!  I have been eating canned beans since the beginning of my bean obsession, which began around the time that I started this blog and learned about The Kind Diet (vegan eating).

I always drained and rinsed my beans, so I don't think they were terrible for me or anything, but I knew deep down that it would probably be healthier to actually cook my own beans from dry beans.

What was holding me back from trying? 

I was afraid that it would be too difficult and time consuming.  I admit that I am a lazy vegan.  I would use the excuse that I'm just way too busy to cook, but the truth is that I've been avoiding cooking for years, and some of those years were not busy at all.  (Of course now I actually AM extremely busy so that excuse really works!)

Anyway, the point of this blog entry:  An EASY recipe for cooking dried beans!

Trust me, if this lazy vegan could do it, pretty much anyone can. 

I have this new cookbook to thank for the recipe-

I won this awesome book in a giveaway over on Rae's blog!

So far, I am loving it!!!  Every recipe looks simple and doable.  I won a crockpot at Stacey's office holiday party last December, and this is the first time I've ever used it. 

Here's the recipe:

Dry Beans From Scratch

1 pound dried beans

Rinse the beans, and make sure there are no little rocks that might have been missed.  Place in the slow cooker and add water to come about 3 inches (7.5 cm) above the beans.  Cook on low overnight, or for 6 to 8 hours.

After you cook the beans once in your slow cooker, you'll be able to determine whether you need to use less water (about 2 inches [5 cm], instead of 3 inches [7.5 cm]).  It will vary depending on how hot your slow cooker runs.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the beans if there is extra water.

Yield: 4.5 to 5 cups
Total prep time: 5 minutes
Total cooking time: 6 to 8 hours

my beans a'cookin! (I used a bag of dried mix beans, including pinto and great northern)
the finished product.  I was so proud!

mixed with barley, rice, tomatoes and EVOO!

mixed with barley, rice, lots of steamed veggies, and EVOO
So, in conclusion, if you are looking for a good cookbook to go with a slow cooker, I highly recommend this one.  I will be sharing more recipes in the future!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lose 12.6 by Xmas Challenge- Week 3 Results

Here is the latest update for my "lose 12.6 by Xmas" challenge!  The results were less dramatic this week, but I expected that and I'm happy with how the challenge is going.  As you can see, the second picture is a bit closer up than the first, but I think that you can see a difference in the definition of my waist and hips, which makes me very happy.  :-)

Here are the "official" results for the week:

weight- 160.8 (-1.2)
total weight loss for challenge: 5.8

measurements (+/- from last week)
neck: 12 (+/- 0)
upper arm (widest part): 13 (+/- 0)
bust (widest part): 37 (+/- 0)
bust (below breasts):  32.5 (+/- 0)
waist (smallest part): 31 (+/- )
waist (belly button): 35 (-1)
hips (widest part): 44.5 (-0.5)
thighs (widest part): 24.5 (+/- 0)
thighs (halfway b/w knee and crotch): 20 (+/- 0)
calf (widest part): 14.5 (+/- 0)
inches lost from previous week: 1.5

total inches lost for challenge: 15.75

So in three weeks, I have lost 5.8 pounds and 15.75 inches.  I'd say that those are amazing results!  I'm proud of myself for turning this weight gain around when I did instead of letting it go on even longer.

Coming soon: 
- a cookbook review and a recipe from it!!!  (hint: it's a simple bean recipe)
- Tasty Tuesday!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In Other News...

Hello, everyone!  :-)

I thought that it may be time to post an update on my life, for anyone who is curious about it.  And if no one is, well then, this will be just a dear-diary type entry. 

Anyway, I still won't be going into the details about my crazy stressful family situation/crisis, but for now, that situation has cooled down a bit so I am not quite as stressed about it, and as you can see from my Tasty Tuesday post, my appetite has returned, so YAY! 

LOL, this is me.  I wish that I had six arms some days!
 My job is kind of stressful, and I still feel underappreciated and underpaid, but I hear that is pretty common for assistants.  I will have big news on the job front in early December, and will share with you all as soon as I can!  For now, just know that I'm happy and lucky to be employed when I know that so many out there are not. 

School is hard, time-consuming, and stressful.  However, I love it!!!  Every day I'm grateful to be back in school.  This semester is flying by, and I can't believe that midterms are over. 

Over the next few weeks, these are the big assignments: Persuasive speech (oral communications), 9 page paper (Foreign Policy), big paper/project/vague assignment (Intro to Art, slacker teacher), final exams in all 4 classes, including Intro to Law, Foreign Policy, Intro to Art, and Oral Communications.  Yep, it's a lot!

My whiplash injury is definately feeling better, and I'm hopeful that within a couple of weeks I will be able to start building up my upper body strength again (my upper arms are SO jiggly now... sad face). 

In fitness news, I'm planning to order a heavy bag as soon as possible!  I am really excited about this investment, and think that this will be an amazing way to get my upper body (and lower body) strength back, while also having an outlet for any and all repressed anger. 

Stacey remains the one constant in my crazy life, and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful partner in life.  He completed the 21-Day-No-Junk-Food Challenge with me, and was such a trooper!  We have both learned to live without junk food, but he was super happy to buy some Klondike bars on Sunday.

Speaking of the No Junk Food Challenge, there is another round for November, so any of you who would like to join in, start some time before the 10th and you can do the challenge!  If you are on My Fitness Pal, you can join the challenge on the forums here.   I'm going to start my second round on Sunday. 

Okay, that's all I can think of for now! 

Any questions?  Ask away, I'm mostly an open book.  :-)

Anything new or exciting going on with you?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesday!!!

This is long-overdue, and I've missed Tasty Tuesdays!  Hopefully I will keep it up this time and do a new Tasty Tuesday every week for a while, at least until the end of my "Lose 12.6 by Xmas" challenge.

At the moment, I'm tracking on My Fitness Pal, so this entry will only show calorie-counts.

I started the day with a thirty minute workout on my  birthday present from Stacey, this cool little stepper machine thing.  :-)  I have to guess on the calories burned, but based on how I feel as I do this, I would guesstimate that I burn at least 100 calories for every 10 minutes, so I gave myself 325 for this workout.  Sidenote:  I overslept a bit, and had planned for a 45 minute workout, so I was really proud of myself for getting up and gettin gin 30, since I typically am pretty "all or nothing" with this sort of thing.

 8:00am and it was time for breakfast!  Breakfast was overnight pumpkin oats (3/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup pumpkin, 1/2 cup almond milk, in fridge overnight, recipe courtesy of my MFP/WW/blogging friend Rae, who writes really cool poetry here.) breakfast = 290 calories
I had a banana and an applesauce some time between 10 and noon.  This is a recycled picture because I ate my banana without a photo.  My banana was a lot smaller than this one! snack = 117 calories
Lunch was a bunch of reduced-fat Ritz crackers with some bean dip (1/2 cup refried beans, 1/2 cup canned tomatoes).  lunch = 415 calories

After lunch I enjoyed 3 almond dream bites.  These are amazing.  snack = 46 calories

 Dinner was three parts- the rest of my mom's leftover stew...
 a stolen Dr. Pepper TEN... (take that, men!)
and a few baby carrots!  Dinner = 335 calories
 I had two evening snacks: First, 1 cup of cheerios with 1/2 cup almond milk...
and finally, a bowl ful of broccoli and cauliflower!  evening snacks = 233 calories

total calories for the day = 1436