Slowly relearning, Baby Step by Baby Step

This is a follow up post to 2 days ago when I promised I would update you on how yesterday’s “Anniversary Dinner” and the “lead up” to it went.

Commitments:

  • 1 hour of loving movement
  • All meals except actual dinner healthy ones
  • As much moderation as possible at actual dinner

So how did it go?:

  • Over an hour at the gym – 20 minutes on elliptical, 10 on treadmill, tricep/bicep work, 3 sets of leg presses, a little calf work, 2 sets of ab exercises. Didn’t push too hard but worked up a sweat and felt better afterward.
  • 2 eggs and healthy oatmeal for breakfast, 4 oz tilapia with salsa and some steamed zucchini for lunch, a little pomegranate juice for gym, and an apple afterward
  • Dinner was another story. They spoiled us with off menu appetizers (small though), raspberry mojitos, fresh rosemary rolls, and the meal itself was wonderful. Had a steak (way over-seasoned and with béarnaise sauce!), some garlic mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus. Ate too much of the meat! But the dessert was only so-so so skipped it and just had coffee. Really, really good coffee.

Leaving the restaurant I felt absolutely miserable. Bloated, brain fog, and wondering “why?”. And have a bit of a food hangover this morning.

Yes, it was my anniversary dinner (19 years, 4 married) but I think I would rather have gone to a great play, a classical music concert, checked out a new gallery downtown, or went dancing (even though my spouse doesn’t like to dance). Making a healthy dinner at home and enjoying the time DOING SOMETHING together is how I think I want to celebrate things like anniversary’s and even holiday’s like Christmas in the future.

So how’d I really do? Well kept almost all my commitments. Fell down a bit at dinner with all the extra food but learned a valuable lesson from it. It’s ok to be a foodie but in moderation and focusing on “experiences” instead can actually be more fun, certainly more rewarding, and create memories that last much longer than a 10 ounce rib eye covered in béarnaise sauce!

Huge thanks for the comments! Has given me tons to think about and decide what to begin doing. Today is “cognitive remediation therapy”. Trying to get back those brain cells lost to all these years of psych meds. Wish me luck and a healthy eating day and best to all of you as well!

There is NO “I Can’t”

There truly is no “I Can’t” and the only limits we have are those we impose upon ourselves. No one exemplifies this more than South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, a quadriplegic who is competing head to head with the rest of the those running in this summer’s 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“Oscar Pistorius, running on prosthetic legs, finishes last in race, first in hearts”

(South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius pops out of the starting block in the men’s 400m semifinals during the Summer Olympic Games on Sunday, August 5, 2012 in London, England.)

At the tiny gym I go to now (not sure it’s really a gym, more like a place where serious athletes and body builders train), one of the owners – my trainer Liz – is going to put a huge poster of Oscar on the wall so anytime anyone says “I can’t” or wants to quit when they still have something in them, she’ll point him out as an example. Not only did he make it to the Olympics, and even with all the padding, those prosthetics HURT! He’s in pain and he’s still running! And maybe he came in last in his first race but he still has the 400 to go. Talk about “never say die”!

I’ve posted the “Versus” motivational video numerous times because it is so powerful. Any goal we want to achieve – mental health, weight loss, getting in shape, relationship or career goals, school, whatever – can be daunting, especially if we don’t have a solid ground of support and/or achievement. There comes a time when it’s necessary to become our own cheerleaders. To discover the strength we have RIGHT NOW inside us to start down a new path. If it helps, print out Oscar’s picture and put it where you’ll see it the most. Use his example to remind yourself that anything is possible, anything that can be dreamed can be achieved.

I believe in you. Now it’s your turn. If you’re already there, I’m working my a** off to catch up!

Day 4 – Food and Exercise Log

A much better food day! Pathetic on the exercise side. Was quite braindead this morning and that put off plans with my sweetie. Instead of the Orlando Museum of Art, a vegan lunch, and other fun times, we stayed home and watched rented dvd’s. They’ve been good videos: Secretariat, Under the Tuscan Sun, and City Island. But that really doesn’t constitute raising the heart rate and getting a good sweat on.

But think you will enjoy today’s food log!

Breakfast: coffee, no fat greek yogurt, small bit of honey and cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of sliced strawberries

 

 

 

 

Snack: 1 package 100 cal butter popcorn

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch: 6″ cuban sandwich, 4 tostones (fried plantains) with special sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner: leftover Olive Garden chianti slow cooked ribs, small portion portabello rissoto, green bean, and AMAZING fresh roasted asparagus (recipe to follow)

 

 

 

 

Dessert: fresh strawberries with homemade dark chocolate ganache dip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the most part, except lunch and maybe the risotto, did pretty good today! The best of all though was the homemade roasted asparagus. It almost caramelizes the asparagus and the tops get crunchy and nutty. Recipe below and oh so worth it!

Roasted Asparagus w/ White Truffle Oil

Ingredients:

Small bunch fresh asparagus with hard bottoms removed (just snap off), wash and pat dry

About 1 tablespoon olive oil

white truffle oil, about 1/2 teaspoon

garlic salt

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, place a piece of aluminum foil. Arrange the asparagus close together on the foil. Spritz the olive oil over the asparagus. Shake the garlic salt loosely over them, not too heavy. Lightly sprinkle sea salt to taste (any type), then a bit of pepper. Then drizzle a bit of the white truffle oil over them (optional but oh, man!). Put the asparagus in the oven for about 25 minutes. They will look a little wrinkly when they come out but that’s perfect.

Transfer to a plate to serve or your plate to eat – and enjoy!

The good news: even if you don’t really care for asparagus, these come out sweet and nutty and absolutely delicious. Worth giving them another try!

Exercise Log: my hands hurt from holding a fork and knife – enjoying this while it lasts. As of mon, will be working with demon trainer from hell and this food log will look RADICALLY different! Prepare!

Oh, an important aside, we were looking at the blog on our phones and saw that I have 575 followers! 575! And love each and every one of you!!! (That’s after I pass out!)

One Sure Fire Way to Lose Weight…Have A Party!

Unless your house is spotless, and even then, having a party or event (we’re having a “Pampered Chef” Brunch) is a terrific excuse to go on a calorie blasting deep clean!

Doing the extras like Murphy Oiling furniture/cabinets, dusting everything not nailed down, scrubbing your bathroom and kitchen like there’s no tomorrow (and that includes picking up and moving things and inside as well as outside of appliances), vacuuming, mopping, and windexing every mirror and pane of glass not only works up a sweat but there’s a good chance it will show up on the scale as well. And don’t forget to count all the walking doing errands, cooking, decorating, and setting up.

I cleaned for 3 hours yesterday and lost .2 but that was with carbs at 2 meals – a fruit protein shake for breakfast and hungarian chicken over whole wheat pasta for dinner. I cleaned for 6 , yes 6 hours today and so we’re treating ourselves to pizza tonight. Since I cleaned off I don’t know how many zillion calories, that’s just fine.

The trick is not to sabotage yourself AT the event. Plan what you’ll be eating (and drinking) ahead of time and slip in lower calorie items where they won’t be noticed like in dips with a heavy side of veggies, some lower fat cheese cubes, sparkling water with lime/lemon, the ideas are endless. There are a ton of terrific food sites online with lower cal/carb appetizer, drink, and buffet recipes. And if you spend more time chatting, mingling, checking food / drinks, and maybe some dancing depending on what type of gathering you’re having, you’ll have less chance to be tempted by the “spread”. (Will try to take my own advice here!)

So I’ll let you know how our event went – and my weight as well. And you know you don’t need a party excuse to do a “deep clean calorie blast”, but it is a whole lot more fun!

Grit Teeth, Get Through It

A Brief Overview of A Challenging Few Days:

The last few days have not been super-fly. Swinging like a backyard swing-set, b/c pill (for PMS swinging) not working, and a desperate need for chocolate, and banana cupcakes.

Wednesday was the first challenging day, even with an incredible 207.8 weigh in. My ankle was really bothering me so forewent the boot cast and rested it. Maybe the whole b/c thing was having a greater impact than anticipated because I finally sent La out on a cupcake run. Of course I ignored the “1 cupcake per episode” rule and felt quite ill after cupcake #2 (chocolate mint – yum!). Willpower had taken a short hiatus.

Yesterday was a “break” day – no carbs, no workout. So of course I tried a super easy brownie recipe and added a cream cheese swirl on one side. Ate two of the three pieces on my side of the pan (small 8×8) in the afternoon, leaving the last one for dessert. Dinner was an fairly low cal chicken with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, white wine, capers, and a tiny bit of butter. So, so good! And then having a brownie with fat free whipped cream dessert wasn’t too awfully bad. And I had a homemade green juice for lunch. Let’s rationalize: it all evens out, right?!?

Today, started off with a super-green juice, coffee, and for an early lunch, egg beaters with half a chicken/apple sausage link. On the way out to completely overhaul my “do”, I will have a small bowl of granola with soy milk to hold me over and power an afternoon workout. A light dinner should make the scale happy tomorrow.

An Episode Is Like A Box…Real, But All Perspective:

Like the “box” that looks completely three dimensional in the sand, it’s easy to forget that our perspective, and mood, can color a situation, obscuring actual reality. Birth control pills that aren’t working right, a missed workout, all these are little challenges and our challenge is to keep them little, in perspective, and remember they are short term, whereas that “cupcake weight” is not. I mentioned in another post that episode-related eating continues to be a challenge. However, limiting it as much as possible and having a “reality check” statement or person can help tremendously. Hence the “1 cupcake” rule and my sweetie asking the “are you totally sure you want the cupcakes? will you regret this tomorrow? is there something else we can do instead?” All these help. Not yet, but they will. Just keep challenging those urges, as I will, and know they will lose much of their power over time. Would love to hear how some of you combat the “sugar rush”!

A Special Treat to Transform a Boring Thursday Dinner:

(You can cut this in half easily but recommend keeping the original amount of artichokes and mushrooms. Portabellas work beautifully!)

Romantic Chicken with Artichokes and Mushrooms

“Easy, moist, flavorful and aromatic — the white wine, artichokes and mushrooms make this chicken dish the to way to any man’s heart! Delicious served with buttered noodles and fresh greens.”

Original Recipe Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 (14 ounce) can marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon capers

Directions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in oil and butter for 5 to 7 minutes per side; remove from skillet, and set aside.
  2. Place artichoke hearts and mushrooms in the skillet, and saute until mushrooms are brown and tender. Return chicken to skillet, and pour in reserved artichoke liquid and wine. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
  3. Stir in capers, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat; serve immediately.

Evil Love-Handles and “Out of This World” Green Beans

Little Known Fact – Love Handles Are Evil!:

It seems like no matter how many crunches, yoga asanas, use of various frightening gym equipment, and side bends with weights, I can’t seem to reduce the “love handles” and “pouchie” (that stubborn hip fat). Yes, yes, I know “spot reduction” is a myth and the only way to get rid of it is continuing to do strength training, weight bearing exercises, core work, and lots and lots of cardio. Oh, joy.

What’s frustrating is the familiar “apple syndrome”. My legs are sooo much thinner now. But because my love handles and pouchie are hanging on to the fat as if their little lives depended on it, my pants have gone down fewer sizes than the rest of me with lots of extra room in the legs. It’s just not attractive!

What to do: have patience. Bat wings, love handles, pouchies, as the fat goes, the toned muscles underneath will make their starring debut. So, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, plus ramping up the cardio, and using those scary “gyn” type machines at the gym.

“Out of This World” Green Beans:

There are only so many nights one can face boring steamed green beans. Dress them up with salt-free seasoning, no-cal butter spray, whatever you personally use, at some point it just gets OLD.

Tonight, we planned on stir fried kale with garlic and onions but unfortunately the kale was in the fridge a day too long – quite stinky! Luckily, we just happened to have a fresh bag of green beans on hand. The onions were already starting to carmelize in the olive oil, the garlic was fragrant, and so we filled the pan with green beans instead. Keeping the heat on medium, it took constant stirring for about 20 minutes but yeilded amazing results: unbelievably delicious carmelized green beans with sweet, crunchy carmelized onions. It was so good, it fakes you out by being good for you, too!

Onions and garlic are cleansing, olive oil is good for your heart, and the green beans provide tons of vitamins and healthy fiber. All that and your honey steals the extra onion cruchies from your plate! A nice change from those boring steamed and shriveled green sticks.

Pair that with pork chops dipped in ranch dip mix and slowly cooked with a bit of olive oil and onion (topped with a little sour cream) and you have a delicious, heathy meal masquerading as high fat/calorie comfort food! Not bad for a quick weekday meal. Bon appetit!