Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sinus Infection

I've been sick since last Saturday. Yeah. Sick for a week straight. I had a cold, but when it didn't get better, I went to the doctor to be checked for strep. Didn't have strep, but had a sinus infection.

It sucks.

Hot and cold flashes, a throat so sore it feels like I swallowed some barbed wire or at the very least one of those plastic army men. I have had ZERO energy and spent most of my Christmas break in bed. That is if you don't count the one time I went out to the bank and to get gas and ended up with a flat tire. I know. Seriously, Karma? What did I do to deserve that? Is this because of the one time I dragged a cat behind me on the interstate? I told you. I didn't know it was there!

Now I'm mostly better, but my antibiotics don't cure cramps. Yep. That's what I have to look forward to in the next week. UGH.

So you can imagine what the scale has been doing. Up and down. Low and high. I want to punch it in the plastic face. It's not like I can work out yet, though I am watching my diet. Worst Christmas ever (in regards to health. Otherwise, it was pretty amazing.)

I'll keep you updated.

I hope the next post isn't my eulogy. And if it is, I should probably confess now to eating two whole boxes of Triskets in two days.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas sucks for dieteers.

I bet if you listed all the crap you ate over the holidays, you'd die of shock and they'd write "Believed sugar was harmless just because it's the 'holidays'" on your tombstone, which is probably why you don't list all the crap you've been tempted with.

But you're in luck. I'm about to make that list for you:
(And I'll add Y for yes if I ate it and N for no if I didn't.)

Christmas party temptations:
  • three tables of cakes in various flavors and icings. (N)
  • DOTS (N- I got this in a gift exchange and traded them for a box of microwaved popcorn. Much healthier)
  • Twizzlers (N-Given to me at a party, and I gave them to my kid.)
  • All the toppings you would find on a gingerbread house (N, except for a couple mints.)
  • Crepe bar with pudding, whipped cream, and all things sweet for toppings. (N)
Family party temptations (where 50% of the adults present  had diabetes or insulin resistance):
  • cake and ice cream (N)
  • Almond roca ice cream cake with an oreo crust, a layer of peanut butter, and topped with caramel and hot fudge (Y, but felt sick afterward, and I split my serving with my kids.)
  • Apple pie with brown sugar crumble topping (N)
  • Pecan pie (Y, one slice. I chased it with 3 glasses of water, just to make sure I didn't have room in my belly for more.) 
  • Berry pie (N)
  • Pumpkin pie (N) 
  • Banana cream pie (Y, 1/2 slice)
  • Loaves of sourdough bread (Y, a few chunks)
  • Battered onion flower (Y, a few) 
  • french fries (Y, but only 3)
  • bread with artichoke dip (Y, one slice)
  • hot wings (Y, one)
  • jalapeno poppers (Y, one)
  • home-made caramel candies with nuts and maraschino cherries (Y, four)
Decorating the tree last Christmas (the date on pic is wrong.) Check out the junk in that trunk. Yep. I ate a lot of crap last year too.  I'm 15 lbs. lighter now, btw.
Gifts/temptations from friends, family, and colleagues:
  • a small box of chocolate covered nuts (Y, 1/3 of box)
  • homemade Oreo cookies (N)
  • Snicker's fudge (Y) 
  • chocolate cookie bars (Y, one)
  • a bag of Dove chocolates (N)
  • Turtle bars (N)
  • iced sugar cookies (N) 
  • popcorn ball (Y, 1/2 of one)
  • chocolate chip cookies (Y, two)
  • oatmeal raisin cookies (Y, one)
  • doughnuts (Y, one)
  • Christmas peppermint Peeps (Y, two. I don't even know why. I don't like straight marshmallows or Peeps, but I ate these and they were GOOD.)
Temptations I made for my neighbors: (Next year they're getting baby carrots)
  • chocolate covered mint toffee (Y)
  • butterless brownies (Y, three)
  • apple cinnamon cake (Y, a slice)
I know. I know. I should be flogged with a giant candy cane for giving into so many temptations. I'm going to be better this week though. Mostly cuz I feel like crap. When I eat crap, I feel like crap. And my face gets all sallow and dough-y. It's gross, and no amount of tanning can change that. Only healthy eating.

And just  so you don't think I've been ignoring the workouts, here's what I've done so far this week:
  • MON: Interval workout; ran 1/2 mile @ 5.8, then weights, lunges, or squats for 5 minutes, then repeat until I ran for 2 miles total.
  • TUES: none
  • WED: Same as Mon. and ab workout from Jan. issue of REDBOOK
  • THURS: Same as Wed. 
  • TODAY: Getting ready to do the ab workout, but I have a killer, nauseating headache, so I'm not sure what cardio I'll be able to do yet. I might have to wait and see how I feel.
 Wish me luck. Who knows what the next 3 days of the Christmas season will bring. Chocolate-covered diabetes? A deep-fried heart attack? Who knows.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News

"I wanna a Zooble that has babies and..."
I can't believe after the bazillion things I've done today that I'm going to blog too. Seriously, why do I take on so much.

I've been up since 5:45am.
I worked on the weight loss memoir,
worked out,
got ready,
went to a doctor appointment,
went grocery shopping,
fixed lunch,
ate lunch (which consisted of a microwaved egg on a slice of cheese on a slice of bread. And shut up. It was good enough.)
worked on an article,
called some people for quotes,
submitted article,
graded papers,
picked up kid from school early,
took both kids to dentist,
recaffeinated for the third time,
made cornbread (which I did not eat. It was for the party later.)
made cookies in a mason jar for family Christmas presents,
"I wanna Batman car with a remote."
helped fix the Christmas tree after kids broke the base,
went to a Christmas party (and did not eat from the catered crepe dessert bar. yay me!)
helped prevent my 3yo from climbing out a church window. (And by "helped" I mean "listened to Rick's account of wrangling in the kid")
waited in line for Santa (had to tell him I needed a live-in masseuse or rather a robot masseuse, because then I won't have to feed it),
came home,
read to kids (Snowmen at Christmas and The Hat),
picked up a bag of 3 frozen hens from the front porch (someone is secretly giving us the twelve days of Christmas. We don't know who it is, but they are AWESOME. Today we got "3 French hens" or rather 3 Tyson hens. =) Anyway we are grateful and can really use it),
tried to pacify my dog as he barked at a dark empty hallway,
and now I'm about to die of exhaustion.

But thing was a pretty amazing day for my weight loss journey, because...

I saw the doctor who originally diagnosed me with insulin resistance almost 5 years ago.
Vin and I with Dr. Jacobs. Without him, my miracle baby would have never been born. Thank you, doc.

I hadn't been into see Dr. Jacobs since April of 2007, and he struggled with recognizing me today, and I should say so! I am 70 lbs lighter now. Of course even though the doctor's scale said 158 today, at home it says 151. (I only have 6 more lbs. to lose). And Dr. Jacobs and his nurse both said I looked great. I shared with him how his diagnosis and diet and exercise regimen changed my life, that I had lost 70lbs, how I don't need my Metaformin anymore, and I started running 5K's. I told him about the blog and about REDBOOK featuring me in May, and most importantly that after I started dropping the weight and regulating my sugar and carb intake, I got pregnant with my son, Vin. Vin and I both owe Dr. Jacobs our lives.

Thanks, doc. =)

And a cute family photo after Lane's Christmas play. It seems my kids forgot how to smile.

(More on my medical stats when the test results come in. I'm going to do another glucose test to compare my numbers with my numbers from 5 years ago.)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My gingerbread house will be made of ricecakes and low-fat cream cheese.

My grocery list this week includes:
  • milk
  • eggs
  • almond roca
  • sugar-free mints
  • lettuce
  • bananas
  • yogurt (reason: on p. 186 of Dec. issue of REDBOOK, it lists yogurt as the "#1 food for weight loss", adding "people who upped their yogurt intake--eating at least one serving a day--dropped almost a pound every four years". According to Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, yogurt is "strongly linked with long-term weight loss" (186). That's good news for me. I'm in it for the long-haul. Although I do wanna lose the last 8 lbs in 6 weeks. Phew. This is gonna be a rough December.
  • whole wheat pasta
  • spinach leaves
  • peanut m&ms
  • almonds
  • Splenda (reason: I've cut out sugar again, and I'm counting my carbs religiously. I need a replacement sweeter for my vampire-strength sweet tooth.
  • Crystal Light with caffeine 
  • Sweet potatoes (reason: Yams are December's Superfood, according to REDBOOK. What's so great about sweet potatoes? Well, when they aren't bathed in brown sugar and butter or blanketed with marshmellows, they are super healthy. They are full of fiber and have beta-carotene, which is good for the eyes. Plus on spud only has about 100 calories! Sweet! ...potatoes. har. har.
  • whole wheat tortillas
  • sour cream
  • pork tenderloins (reason: I'm going to try the recipe for Pork and Pepper Fajitas on p. 184 of this month's REDBOOK. I'm using low-cal ingredients, but normally they are 631 cals and 71 carbs for 2 tortillas. I think I'll be able to pare down the cals a couple hundred calories by not using guacamole and by replacing the reg. tortillas with whole wheat ones.
  • stocking stuffers
  • tape
  • Twilight on Blue Ray
  • barf bag
  • fruit
  • cheese
That's it. Have a good week everyone. And might I add, if you don't wanna blow your diet this December, replace your candy snack with a piece of fruit or an ounce of almonds. Blue Diamond makes some YUMMY flavored ones that have no more calories than the plain ones.

Plus, I tried the mint trick (eat a mint to pacify a sweet tooth), and it really worked! I was at a birthday party yesterday for my nephew, and the kids were decorating ginger bread houses with piles of m&ms, marshmellows, gum drops, licorice whips, Skittles, and candy canes. I was tempted, but the only sweet thing I had that day was a sweet pepper from the veggie tray and a mint. Go me. Diet - 1. Diabetes - 0.

Also, if you are a religious-type, add a fast this month by skipping two meals and focusing that time on helping and praying for the needy. Also donate the money or canned goods that you might have used on those two meals to a charitable organization. Let your sacrifice be helpful to someone else.

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Southern Husband

You wanna know why it's so hard for me to lose weight?

It's because I live with a man who deep fries everything!

Take today, for example, I wanted healthy fajitas with chicken, red and green peppers, and onions, but what does my southern husband do? He has to turn the my "healthy" meal into this:

Not only did he deep fry the fajita, but he put cheese, guacamole, and sour cream all over it.
You try "staying strong" when pure evil deliciousness is wafted your direction.

I'm betting the scale will not forgive me for my sins this week.

Stupid fajita.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Avoid the Turkey Hangover

Actually, I don't have a problem so much with turkey as I do with sweets. The holidays are terrible for my diet, because I literally have NO stop button for most holidays treats.

YOU: Most? Psh. Aren't you exaggerating?

ME: Ha. You'd think. But nope. I mean most.

YOU: Almond roca?
Come to mama. (This slice is likely 500 cals.)

ME: I'd eat a whole can.

YOU: Egg nog?

ME: I'd down a pint even though it gives me a stomach ache. No regrets.

YOU: Pecan pie?

ME: Are you kidding? Pecan pie is my Achilles heel. You could swap out mashed potatoes with a scoop of gooey pecan pie innards, and I wouldn't even bat an eye. In fact, I'd probably be too hypnotized to blink. I'm not kidding. I could suck a pecan pie filling from the shell like an oyster. If it were legal to marry a pecan pie, I'd become a pie-lygamist.

YOU: Candy canes?

ME: You win. I'm not a huge fan. It's like eating a tube of peppermint toothpaste.

Clearly the holidays and I are not on the best standing and it couldn't have come at a worse time. Seriously, I've got 8 lbs to lose (yep, I lost another pound!) and tomorrow is Thanksbinging. [Sigh.] Fortunately the lovely folks at REDBOOK anticipated my troubles and made sure to include some hints to avoid overeating this holiday season.

The first comes from Hungry girl's section of the November issue. She suggests eating a big breakfast and a small meal before dinner. Do not starve yourself before the big meal in hopes of saving room for all the goodies to come. (heh. Who does that? heh. heh.). Then she suggests that during dinner you "fill your plate with salad, white turkey meat, and veggies." [This is exactly what I usually do, except I love dark meat, despite the additional calories. But I don't eat stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, or anything else carb-y on the table. Except for my grandmother's jello ribbon salad.]

Also, only have a small dessert. Hungry girls says if cravings come after all that, pop a mint. It'll take the sweet-tooth edge off and voila! you didn't binge! [This is the part where I struggle. Gulp.]

The next hint is from the tight-ab-ed trainer and health enthusiast, Jillian Michaels. Her 4 tips come from the October issue of REDBOOK.
I know how you feel, Santa, but at least you're not a turkey.
  1. Pick your days to splurge. The holidays don't really last months at a time, they are only 4 distinct days of the year: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (or other holiday) and New Year's. When you narrow it down that way, it doesn't seem so hard to diet all season. 
  2. Schedule future workouts. Join workout class and stick to the schedule. [Personally, I don't think I need to do this, since I'm pretty dedicated to working out on my own. In fact this week, I've done the dreaded stair workout by Padma Lakshmi and a mountain climbing program on my treadmill. Also, I will be working out before tomorrow's big meal too.]
  3. Don't beat yourself up if you slip. She used the analogy of a flat tire. If you get a flat tire, do you get outta the car and slash the other 3? or do you change the 1 tire and get back on the road to your goal? I like her thinking. [I heart this analogy! So clever and true. I make break a rule here and there, but I'm not going to let these blunders turn into habits that will prevent me from reaching my goal.]
  4. Focus on the big picture. When cravings sneak up on you, remember what you really want in a body that is healthy and strong. You don't want to feel yucky all the time, so make choices that you help you feel better physically. [Can do!]
I am really glad for the help. I need to be reminded sometimes of my end goal, which, btw, has been extended by 2 weeks. "Whaaa?" you ask. I know I only gave myself a year to lose 21 lbs, and I intend to be dedicated to the end, but I'm giving myself until Jan. 12th to reach my goal?

Why the extension?

It just so happens that I am going to visit a friend from high school in Orlando on Jan. 12th, a friend I haven't seen in...dum dum dummm...nearly 13 years!! Seeing someone from high school after a journey like this a perfect ending to my year of diet/exercise boot camp, and it's kinda a big deal, so that's why I'm giving myself another 2 weeks to get down to 145 lbs. Only 8 more to go in 7 weeks. I have to lose a little more than a pound a week. Hopefully I can do it! Send your karma my way, b/c play time is over. This is it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I'm thankful for your support.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How my treadmill inspires me this fall. 
This week I tried a few "Random Ways to Burn Fat" from a snippet of the Lazy Woman's Fitness page of the November issue of REDBOOK (p.80).

Here are the suggestions from Jennifer Cohen, author of No Gym Required and trainer from LA, and how many calories you would burn in 20-30 minutes.
  1. Rearrange your living room: 150 cals in 20min. (I rearranged my living room, but Rick did most of the heavy lifting so I'm not sure if that counted.)
  2. Pace while on a phone call: 80 cals in 25 min. (I can NEVER sit still when I'm on a phone call with a friend. ((Unless I'm interviewing someone for an article I'm working on. Then, I'm very focused.)) Usually, I'm picking up the kids' rooms or doing laundry.)
  3. Scrub the bathtub: 125 cals in 20 min. (I traded "bathtub" for "dishes" and I always dance when I'm doing dishes. Hey, I can generate some killer suds with my dance moves. The Bee Gees got nothing on me.)
  4. Blow-dry and style your hair: 90 cals in 30 min. (My hair would totally be fried if I blow-dried it for 30 min.)
  5. Give your hubby a massage after date night: 91 cals in 20 min. (Um, does it count if I let him give me one?)
    A closer look.
    Damn, Padma. Why do you look SO good! At least you inspire me.
 Also, I tried THE BETTER-THAN-NOTHING WORKOUT, which was pelvic lifts in bed. I did them on the floor at least 3 times this week (p. 80).

Additional workouts include:
  • Running on the treadmill 2 x this week. (Tues. and Thurs.)
  • Running stairs and alternating weight training (Sat.)
  • walking a mile during my lunch break (Monday)

I've eaten a few things that deserve frowny faces from my fans--things like pumpkin muffins, chocolate chip cookies, 1/4 of my son's pumpkin pie shake, a heaping helping of homemade spaghetti, a Jr. bacon cheeseburger from Wendy's, a few fries, a chicken soft taco from Dell Taco, and nachos. This is prolly why my scale still lingers over the 154 lbs. I honestly expected it to punish me more, but--phew--it didn't.
Steady 154 lbs. I'll take it.

On the plus side, (or rather, I'm changing the subject in order to forget about my food sins this week) I got my kid a hat from Lettilu for Christmas and I CAN'T wait for it to come! Here's what it looks like:
I ordered it in hot pink for my 7yo daughter. She loves Hello Kitty.

I wished she would've loved this one too, but alas, her eyes were all over that Hello Kitty hat.

I wish I could get my son to wear hats, b/c I'd have gotten this one too. It's like a baby Maverick.

Check out Lettilu's facebook page. There are some super cute crocheted hats, and maybe you can procrastinate working out check off somethings from your Christmas list. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Empanadas for dinner. Popcorn for dessert.

 This is the best recipe REDBOOK has ever advertised. (Well at least out of the one's I've tried.)
From Hungry Girl on p. 176.
 To make the filling, I put frozen chicken into a crock-pot, found a recipe for homemade BBQ sauce,  mixed it all together, and let it marinated it for 6-8 hrs. I had to tweak the sauce recipe a little. Instead of vinegar, I used raspberry vinaigrette dressing, which was AWESOME. Added a sweat fruity flavor to the sauce. And instead of Tabasco sauce, I added chili powder. Other ingredients include: mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, and pepper. Oh man, it was good! I'm salivating just writing about it.

Then I stuffed these crescents with the pulled chicken, and popped these in the oven for 10 minutes for the most delicious empanadas my mouth has ever known. (Although if my Aunt Rosie would mail me some of hers, I'd really have something to compare it to.)

And for dessert, REDBOOK suggests popcorn. Who am I to say no to the printed word?
Popcorn it is.

Happy dieting, peeps.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

There's something fishy going on.

And it isn't salmon.

It's tuna.

Lame joke? Ah well. Gimme a break. It's 10:12pm on a day I managed to get my kid ready for school, finish a deadline, work-out, shower, get my other kid ready, take my laptop to tech services, run to the grocery store, dodge construction zones, babysit, bake pumpkin muffins, do dishes, pick my kid up from school, vote, pick up my laptop from tech services, get gas, pick up my husband from work, make dinner, get reacquainted with computer (which has been damaged for a week. There may have been dramatic smooching involved. A lady never kisses and tells.), work on a lesson plan, read the funniest Bloggess blog post on planet earth (On that note, an earth in which mice dressed as Hamlet and pillow menus can co-exist is a world I'm happy to live in) and blog.

Anyway, the tuna joke that we already established as BAD, relates to dinner, which was GOOD. I tried out a REDBOOK recipe from the November issue. It was something that Hungry Girl suggested on p. 176, a healthy tuna-stuffed red pepper for a quick low-cal, high-protein meal.

I don't really know why I picked this one to try, because:
a) I'm not a big fan of tuna.
b) I'm even less a fan of peppers, unless they're grilled alongside some spicy strips of steak. Yum-ME. (By admitting that, do I break some kind of dieter's Cardinal rule? Ah well. You all know how many times I've gone to confession over this stuff. I'm not even going to start to tell you how much candy I stole from my kids ate. Let's just say Nestle prolly had its version of "Black Friday" based on my consumption alone.)
We were all inspired by Joss Whedon. (I'm Jane Austen, so I guess technically she inspired him.)

Encinderarme Zurgeouso! (or something)

Where was I?

Right. Tuna.
The REDBOOK recipe I tried.

So I tried the recipe with some tweaks. I mixed the tuna with Vadelia Onion salad dressing, some carrots from my garden, and used green peppers instead of red, but only b/c they were out of red ones at the grocery store. Also, I topped it with cheese. I figured the calories per stuffed pepper was close to 200. I would totally make it again too.

They were better than Indiana Jones.
The downside: The kids touched their food about as much as a Nazi descendant would hug the Arc of the Covenant. And Rick. I dunno. He gave me that "I liked it, but I'm still full from lunch" line, which if you have a Rick Babel fish, you know means, "I'm not eating anything encased in a vegetable". Seriously, I could serve a Turducken, but if it were placed in say...a hollowed-out pumpkin, Rick wouldn't touch it with BBQ tongs.

The jury's not out with me though. I loved it. Good job Hungry Girl. And I'll be making your "World's Easiest Chicken Empanadas" very soon!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

7 months later, my birthday wish came true.

Guess who's wearing size 8 jeans? 


Yep. I went shopping yesterday and tried on 5 items of size 8 clothing and they ALL fit! To be fair there were a few brands that only fit in the size 10, but still! I even bought a pair of size 8 jeans. Do you know what this means? It means that my ass fits into a single digit pant size! WHAT! [fist bump] 

On my birthday in May, I wished I could be a size 8. The wish finally came true!
I'll put photos up soon, unfortunately, I lost my card reader again. My little gremlin son steals my electronic stuff all the friggin' time and uses them as accessories to his action figures. It's cute (and annoying when I can't find what I need.)

Scale update: 154 still. 
Workout update: This week I worked out 5 times, most of which burned about 350-370 calories.
  1. MON: Ran on my treadmill for 30 minutes at a 4mph with a 7.0 incline.
  2. TUES: none
  3. WED: Ran on my treadmill for 30 min. at a 4mph with a 7.0 incline.
  4. THURS: walked a mile on my lunch hour.
  5. FRI: Ran on my treadmill for 30 minutes at a 4mph with a 10.0 incline.
  6. SAT: Ran on my treadmill for 30 minutes at a 6mph with a 6.0 incline.
 Plan this week:

Well there's not much in the November issue of REDBOOK as far as exercise, but there's a bunch of great low-cal recipes and ways to avoid putting on the lbs. during "Stuff-your-face-until-your-pants-don't-fit"/Thanksgiving Day.

I plan on trying out some of those recipes, like Tuna-Stuffed Peppers and World's Easiest Chicken Empanadas (176). I'm going shopping later, and I'll be let you know how the recipes turn out. 
Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I followed a pink fairy for 3 miles.

I ran another 5K today. Didn't beat my Nestle 5K time, but still I'm proud.

Nestle time: 32:30
Salem Witches time: 34:56

The weather was freezing. Seriously, it didn't get warmer than 38 degrees out there. I intended to wear a witch costume. I had a hat and a skirt and black and purple socks with skulls and crossbones, but then it turned out to be so cold that all I managed to wear of my costume was the socks. Then I bundled up in this outfit, plus a hooded Salem sweatshirt and mittens. Now that I look at it, it looks like I got dressed in the dark. Maybe a witch cursed me with this outfit.

My friend Annie ran too. She kicked my trash. And she was pushing a stroller.

This is how we felt after the race. (Not true. I'm always so energized after a good workout, but this is definitely how we felt about the cold weather!)

Pulling up the witch knee-highs in my new Salem Witch Run tee. I won it in a drawing. It's actually last year's tee. I didn't opt to get the tee from this year. Didn't have enough cash on me.

Funny thing about this pic is that I'm wearing my HS soccer shirt underneath the black tee. My soccer shirt is bigger than my race t-shirt and seems to be spilling out from under the other shirt. Also, it looks like I'm sucking in my stomach, but I'm not. I swear. I just don't have a gut anymore. I wonder when that happened?

"To the victors go the spoils." which in this case is awesome bread from Kneadin' Bread and raspberry Jelly from a local farmer. YUM! I didn't really win the race, but our school's team beat the other schools in the district!

Ah well. I'm dressing up tonight for the trunk-or-treat thing at my church, so that'll be my chance to wear the witch costume. Although, I'm still torn b/n witch and Miss America. I do look damn good in my old prom dress. Hmm...decisions. decisions.

Here's some more race info:

I took 12th in my age bracket (21-30).
I took 104th overall (out of 194 runners).
I came in right after a pink fairy and a witch from Wizard of Oz.
The best costume in my eyes was the guy who wore a black body-suit with underwear over the top, and a sign on his chest that said, "El Bandito". He looked awesome. Plus his toddler was dressed as a chicken. (I wanted to ask him if her name was Beyonce.)You'd have voted for him too.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Yes, but are you thin enough to fit into your old prom dress?"

I know what you're thinking:

"Sure, Rena lost a ton of weight. She looks great. The calves are toned like they were when she played on the soccer team in high school, but what I want to know is can she still fit into that prom dress from junior year?"
My junior prom photo. Yeah, the dude is upset. It's a long story.

Well, readers, I'm not going to lie. I spent a good part of last 13+ years not being able to fit into that dress. In fact, I didn't even know where that dress was until several months ago when my mom was cleaning out her closets and she found it buried behind some pioneer dresses and Halloween costumes.

Of course I tried it on then, but couldn't get the darn thing zipped. [sad face.] I still took it as a win since at least I could get my arms through the sleeves and I prolly couldn't zip it because my chest had graduated from its 11th grade status, right? heh. heh. That's how I justified it to myself anyway.

Anyhoo, I promptly forgot about it until I realized that I'm going to a Halloween party tomorrow night and I have no clue what to wear! I thought about wearing cat ears and drawing on whiskers with eyeliner like last year and calling it "GOOD!" but I decided maybe I needed to give something else a try. So as a joke, I told Rick that'd it'd be cool if I had a Miss America sash and a tiara, then I could just wear my old junior prom dress. He cocked his head to the side and told me to try it.

So I did. (drum roll please.)


My 30-year old ass fits in the dress I had as a 16 year old.
zipped up and everything fits.
It fits! I can literally zip up and comfortably wear my junior prom dress from *cough* 1998. I apologize for the creases and terrible wrinkles in the photos; I was too overjoyed to care about that stuff. I guess my hair is pretty "Nell" too. Yeesh.

Anyway, I'm so thrilled. I did it. And I had to share my excitement with you peeps.

I'm so excited, I even have crazy eyes.
Plus I lost another 2 lbs this week. I'm down to 154! WHAT! [fist bump]

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Date with Jillian Michaels...

I didn't actually win this, but I did borrow it from the winner.
Hey friends,

I haven't forgotten you. I just have redefined the word busy to include 4 conferences in 4 weeks, double the amount of articles I usually write for the Herald, and a round of flu, cold, allergies, and possibly strep.

Are these all the preface to me whining about how much weight I gained?


I weigh 156 and PROUD!

So, here's a little blog interview adapted by questions given to Jillian Michaels in a REDBOOK October issue. Only, I will be answering the questions. If you wanna read her answers, buy the damn magazine. You won't be sorry.

REDBOOK: You talk a lot about your mom being your biggest role model. What did you go to her for when you were younger, and what do you rely on her for now?

ME: I went to my mom for lots of stuff. Chatting about life, school, boys, friends, money, jobs, anything. Currently, I rely on her to take my kids off my hands for a few hours here and there. ha ha! But really, she's so great, always supportive and she always believed in me.

REDBOOK: How does someone know they're ready for change?

ME: Well, I can't speak for everyone, but I knew I was ready for change when my doctor told me I was almost diabetic. It was a genuine "health scare".

REDBOOK: What would you tell other women about how to face their fears if they feel like they do want that change?

ME: People who really want to change, just change. They suck it up, make the sacrifices necessary, and change. They don't look back and celebrate every change. Some days are more successful than others and it certainly is a long distance goal, but people who REALLY want to change, just CHANGE.

K, dieteers. Gotta go do more stuff. Yeesh.
Do you realize I only have 2 1/2 months left of this year to reach my goal. And I still have 11 lbs to lose. (sigh.) And it's nearing holiday season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas: The holy trinity of diet nightmares! I need to recommit.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A steady 157lbs.

It's been over a week, I think, since my last post, and I wanted to keep you, faithful dieteers, from worrying. My lack of posts have not been due to weigh gain. I've been busy is all. My weight has been at a steady 157 for pretty much the whole week. If you're keeping track, I guess I did gain 1 pound. [sad face]

Workouts over the week have included running with the dog and my son (who rides his bike) at least 3 times a week for 26 minutes, followed by a 3 variations of mountain climbers.
Yes, my shirt does say, "It's gonna be Legen--wait for it--dary." So what.  I heart How I Met Your Mother.
My neighbor took these. She called 'em paparazzi photos. I call that foreshadowing. hehehe.

On the days that I work I try to go on a walk with my kids in the evening to get the blood flowing and to elevate my mood. I've been drinking the Xocai high-antioxidant weight loss shake continually for 2 meals a day, mostly for convenience, but it really helps me maintain my weight and keeps my energy way up! For example, today I had my breakfast and lunch shakes and by late afternoon I realized I hadn't had any caffeine. Normally, I'd have a migraine the size of Alaska by the time school was out, but not today. Today I hardly noticed. Perhaps, I can finally give up my liquid mistress. hmm...

And, I started a faculty walking group at work. We try to walk a mile during our lunch 1/2 hour. Ours numbers are small right now, but I hope to inspire more people at work to get outta the dungeon/classroom during the day. 

Also, I used to think--and maybe even mentioned it on my blog before--that the Xocai reps had some of the best skin I've ever seen. I'm talking pristine, clear skin. The lot of 'em could be spokespersons for Neutragena, for acne's sake. I wondered if the Xocai really did turn back the aging clock, like they claim. I mean, I know that Xocai is packed full of antioxidants and all that jazz, but for some reason, I never expected to see a difference in my complexion. Someone at work mentioned that my skin looked really good and I was like, "eh", but then I got my annual school pics in my box, and when I saw myself, I was like "Wha--?" I look WAY more clear and healthy than last year. My blasted scanner is broken, so I can't show you the exact pictures I was referring to, but here's a pic from last year...

Close up
I think I was a size 14 in these. Weighed around 175, I think.
And one from this year...
I'm the one on the left. The other is my friend Ashley. She's pretty awesome despite her obsession with Harry Potter.

There must be something to the antioxidants claim after all.

And now it's time for...
I went to a conference in Cedar City last weekend with my English Dept. and we ate pretty horribly. Don't get me wrong, the food was fantabulous, but not good for me.

Here's what I ate for a meal one night.
I confess. I had a love affair with this praline and caramel ice-cream pie. Forgive me?

Seriously, I ate this and nothing else...until around mid-night when I raided the hotel room fridge for my fajita leftovers from the night before when we dined at Chili's and I ate my weight in chips and salsa before dinner even showed up. (Btw, the highlight of that meal was watching the couple in the booth next to us have a first date. I felt like I was watching a mating ritual through a glass partition as if I visiting Sea World and the couple were aquatic marvels. Geez, I can't even imagine plunging into the dating world again. So many awkward moments. So many duds. So many free meals...wait...was this a pro list or con? hehehe)

But somehow after eating like poo all weekend, I still managed to stay right at 157. I think I owe this one to Xocai and exercise.

Peace out, peeps. Be watching for an interview with Jillian Michaels, who is on the cover of the October issue of REDBOOK. Can't wait! I heart Jillian Michaels.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pop Quiz

Sorry, dieteers. You showed up to class today, and now you've got to take a pop quiz. Don't even try to pull that I-lost-my-notes-in-a-freak-gasoline-fight-accident-and-couldn't-study crap. I'm on to you! And this quiz is 50 % of your grade too! Yeah. And if you fail, you also have to publicly flogged with a no. 2 pencil in the commons area! Mwahahahaha!

Teachering is fun...

But seriously, it's a quiz from REDBOOK. An energy quiz meant to help a person figure out the source of their lack of energy that was adapted from Ashley Koff and Kathy Kaehler's book, Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged. And I'll actually just be giving you my answers...but you better not cheat [eyes narrowed] and use them when you take the quiz on p. 102 of the Sept. issue of REDBOOK.

  1. "I have caffeine...only in the morning" and in the form of Crystal Light Energy. 
  2. "At 7 p.m., I usually feel: Relaxed/fine and sometimes Hungry and tired".
  3. "I feel refreshed when I wake up in the morning: Most days." 
  4. "One glass of wine (or one other drink) makes me:" ...I don't
  5. "I've been on a diet: Within the last year."
  6. [This question is too personal. See magazine.]
  7. "My kids and family typically: Adjust to my needs when I take time for myself," but "I'm not great at putting my foot down and scheduling me time."
  8. "My coworkers or friends would describe my energy as: Hot and cold; I have highs and lows."
So now that you have my answers, what does that mean?

Score Analysis: 
According to Koff and Kaehler, I'm a darn-good life-juggler. I can keep everything balanced for the most part, but it's taking it's toll on my energy often leaving me exhausted and listless. I have lots of "up" days and a few days where only all I wanna do is take a couple of Aleve, watch a whole disk of Grey's Anatomy in my jammies, and pass of my responsibilities to Rick. I'm paraphrasing of course.

"Me time" shoes
Their advice? Recharge by:
  1. Getting an examination by a doctor. Have him check you for sleep apnea, depression, thyroid problems, etc. [I'm do for one anyway and will be scheduling one for early October.]
  2. Don't drink too much caffeine or alcohol. It can interfere with your sleeping habits. [I really wanna stop drinking caffeine altogether, and since I don't booze up, that's not really a problem for me.]
  3. Quit dieting! [What the what?] Really, the authors insist that you avoid diets that "involve cycles of deprivation and indulgence", because they are sucking the energy from you. [phew. I feel like my eating habits are less "diet-ish" and more "life-style change-ish". There's a difference.]
  4. Take B Vitamins. [OK. Can do.] B-vitamins are a source of energy, but can be depleted by stress [which is something I've suffered from in the last 3 months]. Foods high in B-vitamins are "whole grains, beans, dark green veggies, and fish" or just take a supplement.
  5. Make sure to get in some "me time". [Now you're talking.] Koff and Kaehler suggest that scheduling time for yourself can seriously help recharge. [A lot of my exercise routines fill this purpose, but I also enjoy shopping (for shoes), lunch with friends, walks with the kids, gardening, and writing] (106). 

Friday, September 16, 2011

How the plan of happiness includes exercise

Heavy Rena
I used to hate working out. Back in the day when I weighed my heaviest (221), the idea of working out put me in a literal sweat. Of course walking up the 5 steps of my townhouse stoop could make me wheeze and sweat like a marathon runner, so that's not saying much. When my gynocologist--a spry-looking fellow who sort of bounced around me like a hyper puppy as he consulted--told me I needed to exercise for 30 minutes a day 6-7 days a week in order to cure (or at the very least manage my insulin resistance), my first thought was that of panic. My second was "I'm sure he means for me to start smaller, right? He does know that I have a bad back, bad ankles, and bad knees, right? And that I have no time to be working out that much every week and day, right? Right?" And then the panic consumed me again.

Light Rena
Of course now that I'm down to 156 lbs.--The last 10 of which I lost courtesy of the Redbook Experiment--working out that often seems perfectly possible. I still may not have the time to work out that often, but I usually fit in 4 hard-core workouts and 2 relaxed workouts a week (I define "relaxed" as a leisurely walk with  my kids or gardening/yard work for an hour). The good news is that adjusting my diet and upping my exercise routine not only helped me lose 65 lbs., but it made me healthier. I no longer feel pain in my knees and ankles, and my back only gives me trouble during times of extreme stress. I was able to go off the Metaformin (my insulin resistance drugs; also the same drug given to type 2 diabetics) months after my diagnosis.

According to the September issue of REDBOOK, in an article entitled, "EXERCISE: IT'S NOT JUST FOR YOUR THIGHS!", the benefits of exercise are more than losing the junk in your trunk. Apparently, when a person words out for 30 minutes a day 5 times a week, your risk of heart disease and hypertension are lowered by 40%. It lowers your risk of breast cancer by 20%, depression by 30%, and type 2 diabetes by a whopping 58% (Halpert 108).

REDBOOK has "Better than nothing" workouts
for the reluctant exercisers.

You could hike a 5K with the Sasquatch.
It's surprising how many of those problems run my family and my husband's family. My dad had a heart attack, both my parents are diabetic,  and Rick's mom is diabetic. Cancer runs in both our families, and don't even get me started on depression! Some members of our families could be the face of a 1-800-I'M-DEPRESSED-AND-SELF-MEDICATING-WITH-FOOD hotline. I'd like to think that the healthy choices I make now will help change my medical family tree.  I don't ever want to discover that I got type 2 diabetes or heart disease because I couldn't be bothered to take a flipping walk with my kids a few days a week and downed sugary foods by the shovel-full. I also want my children to be informed and hopefully they too will be the recipients of good health and longevity.

The moral of the story: 
If you don't exercise, you're doing a disservice to yourself, your body, and your family. Stop reading this blog and go ride a bike or dance to that new Katy Perry song. I don't care what you do, but MOVE IT!

...It's ok to leave a comment before you go.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An ode to my inner thighs

Chunks on both legs,
Textured like raw dough
I want you to leave.
I hate you so.

My poetry-bone is struggling today. But here's the good news. I've been working out 3-4 times a week. Running on an incline for 30 minutes, burning 400 cals and keeping my consumption of cals at 1300.

I'm hoping this won't be my only feature in REDBOOK.
The payoff: I'm down to 156! I only have 11 more lbs to go! woot. woot. Plus, I'm carrying a lot of water weight this week, cuz...we'll if you're a woman you know. So chances are I'll lose a couple lbs more by the end of next week. I'll take it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

New intel on Big Foot proves that he has a handlebar mustache

My 2 friends, Shan and Nicholette, and I went to Eden this weekend for the BIG FOOT Mid-Night Blood run 5K, my 2nd 5K ever. Held at Wolf Mountain ski resort, which in the middle of September is really dry and dusty, over 50 runners showed up to run/try to spot a costumed Sasquatch on the trail. We got a little turned around on the way up and ended up being 5 seconds late. The three of us (which was originally a group of 7, then 5, then 3 when WAY too many people flaked out. Punks.) had to hike up the hill to catch up with the runners, and did so by the third switchback.

On the BIG FOOT 5K. Not running so much as walking. It was a pretty steep "run". We hiked it.
Oh, I didn't mention the switchbacks? The whole trail was uphill on loose gravel and dust. Sure the foliage and trees were beautiful (OK, that's a full-on assumption. It was way too dark to really tell), but mostly we were focused on the dust we inhaled that was kicked up from the runners in front of us.

Hiking in the dark. Yes, I have two head lamps. Plus we were the last ones (b/c we were late) and you know what that means in the movies. The last ones always get picked off by the psychos...or in this case, big foots.
And by "runners" I mean walkers, because you try running up switchbacks in the dark while getting vertigo from your headlamp and the strobe-light effect of 75 other runners with headlights, and then throw in the fact that you're trying to spot a big foot, so the trail isn't always top priority.

Big Foot is walked behind me while the photo is being taken.
We did actually get to see one too. The advertisement for the run made it sound like they'd have like 5-10 costumed Big Foots?...Big Foot?...Big Feet?...hairy men on the path, hiding behind trees, poking heads out in curiosity here and there.

But here's what really happened. We saw a Big Foot on the second switchback, didn't see one for the whole rest of the run (Though, I did scare Shan pretty good with a shoulder grab and traditional "Boo". Wuss.) until the end of the run when we were almost back to the lodge at the base of the mountain, which is when we saw the same Sasquatch in ALMOST  THE SAME EXACT SPOT!
When the race ended, this Sasquatch/swamp monster showed up at the lodge in a weird camo Snuffleupagus costume. Plus, when he pulled the head off, the guy had a Tom Sellek handlebar mustache. Pretty unusual for a Big Foot, I hear.
I'm sure they got the Sasquatch costume from the Seasame Street wardrobe.

Rick would've been disappointed with that. But he turned out to be one of the flaker-outers, so poo on him.
Scared of the Sasquatch. Nic has my back.

So, we don't know what time we made, nor did we get a tee, because they weren't free. You had to pay $25 for one.

Running up and down a ski lope for 3.1 miles in September makes for dusty shoes.
I'm still glad we went though. It was a killer hike.  My buttocks still ache a little when I walk up or down stairs.

Me and Sasquatch hanging.
Would I go again? Sure. I know what to expect this time, and the girls and I did have a ton of fun regardless of our unrequited expectations.

Plus, have you ever seen Rules of Engagement?
We tried our own version. Apparently, I'm the David Spade of the bunch, but I don't have a Tom Selleck mustache, so I win. 

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