Happy anniversary, Bunny. I love you more than ever.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Happy anniversary, Bunny. I love you more than ever.
Monday, December 29, 2008
I've indulged but I haven't over-indulged so I wasn't too disappointed to see I was up two pounds this morning (carbs make me retain water something fierce.) I'm back at 249 but we're just a few days from heading home where I can de-bloat and get back into fat burning mode. My pimple is healing, I've been getting in some physical activity and have only missed a couple of days of juice.
The important lesson that I've taken away from this holiday season is that I can still have a really good time, enjoy plenty of tasty food and wine without going all out and overboard. My attitude adjustment and new, healthy habits haven't gone out the window, in fact they've been whispering in my ear the entire time, keeping my demons and my waistline pretty much in check.
I finally have a few moments to myself today, I'm going to enjoy the quiet and do my nails. I hope you all have a fabulous and peaceful day!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
So, did you have a great holiday or are you happy that it's over with for another year? For me, like every year, it's a little bit of both. We're still up here in Boston and having a very nice time, but I'm starting to get antsy about getting home. Not because I want to leave, because it's going to be so hard to leave my family but because I'm craving my routine.
To be honest, I'm crap without a routine. I'm already starting to feel the negative effects of being away from mine. I've been juicing every morning and portion control hasn't been much of an issue (very proud of this) but the food itself isn't what my body has become used to. Holiday food is definitely carb and sugar heavy. I'm retaining water, I feel food allergy symptoms setting in and don't get me started on the giant pimple on my chin.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I've made great strides in leaving my "have to eat everything" mentality behind. A system of checks and balances is going to be practiced daily. For example, if there is a dessert that I'm going to want to eat, the main meal is going to be smaller portions, especially light on the heavier items. My sister and I have a delectable homemade dressing planned to go with the turkey that I'm so looking forward to, but I'll cut back or omit the mashed potatoes. While I'm Just Here for the Food is a great title for a book, I am mindful that spending time with my family and friends and savoring every moment with each one of them is the main reason for this trip.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I meeting my lovely friends for lunch this afternoon, I can't wait because time with them always leaves me with a smile. I hope your Monday brings you something to smile about.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
But because we are traveling for the holidays this year, I've purchased some famous local fruitcake to take along as gifts and to enjoy. A co-worker of mine was raving about the Claxton Fruitcake and said that they are wonderful soaked in rum for a few weeks before serving. I didn't purchase them in time, but I'm still really looking forward to trying it. Responsibly, of course. ;)
Even if you think you don't like fruitcake, give this recipe a try. You'll never look at the old doorstop the same way again.
1/2 cup candied citrus peel
1/2 cup chestnuts, chopped
1 cup mixed, dried fruit like dates, plums and figs, chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar plus additional for dusting
3/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment and grease well with baking spray. Do not skip this step, this cake is sticky as all get out.
Whisk flour and spices together and then toss with the fruit and nuts in a heatproof bowl.
Combine sugar and honey in deep saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes (mixture will bubble up.)
Pour hot honey/sugar mixture over the spiced fruits and nuts. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine.
Pour mixture into pan, spreading as evenly as possible. Bake for 30 minutes. Cake will be sticky but will harden as it cools.
Place pan on wire rack to cool completely. Remove from pan, peel away parchment. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into thin wedges before serving. The cake will last, freshness-wise, for a couple weeks. Good luck with that.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Fostering a grateful attitude is actually good for your health. I get caught up in feeling sorry for myself sometimes and I really have no right to when I have so much. Now I have this list to turn to when I'm feeling less than grateful to help set my thinking on a positive track. I hope that it will do the same for you.
This blog is definitely one of my blessings. I want to thank each of you who takes the time to read my long winded, run-on and sometimes preachy posts. A special thanks to Lara, who gave me my very first comment. I was pretty psyched that day!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I've lost countless pounds on just about every weight loss program that has come down the pike. I've seen behavioral therapists, jotted down every scrap of food that I put in my gob, counted calories, fat grams, fasted with medical shakes, did food combining, ate pineapples and grapefruit until I had canker sores the size of raisinettes. I risked my life with Fen-phen in 1998 and got down to my smallest size since the liquid diet 10 years before, 170 pounds. Then they took it off the market and I slowly but surely gained it all back. And then some.
Fast forward to 2004 and my highest weight ever of 310 pounds when I decided to count carbs with Dr. Atkins. What a great idea, I ate steak wrapped in bacon slathered in butter and took off 80 pounds. Atkins taught me nothing about fostering healthy eating and exercise habits and once I slipped back into my carb loving ways I gained 47 pounds back. Results not typical, indeed.
With a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and a huge pannus under my belt, I decided that I was going to make some changes. The first change was that I was never going on a diet again. Other works in progress...
- Find the root cause of my overeating and self-defeating behaviors and work on finding healthy ways to deal.
- Ditch the diet mentality. A healthy way of life isn't something that can be blown or something to go on or off. It's just that, a way for life. A healthy life.
- Mastering one change at a time will have lasting benefits.
- Make thoughtful and sensible choices concerning food and physical activity.
- Be accountable for my actions. If I do something counter intuitive, like acting on negative feelings (I'm mad/sad/stressed/tired and therefore deserve this *insert any unhealthy behavior here*) realize I'm choosing it and lay the blame at no one's doorstep but my own.
- Accept that while it will never be a size 6, my body needs physical activity, not just healthy food, to be the best it can be.
- Questing for healthy habits is going to be a life long journey but the destination is right now.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Normally this card would have sent me straight to the pantry where I would have gorged myself numb. I didn't hit the pantry, but I did have an anxiety attack about the possibility of my binge trigger being set off. I ripped the card up in little pieces and threw it away. I hid the lovely English biscuits that Lisa sent over in Rob's cookie tin. I then stopped for a moment and did my relaxation technique. This is my weapon against mad/sad/stressed/tired. It's what I do when I feel vulnerable or can't sleep, it's what I do to banish bad thoughts that threaten my well being.
I close my eyes and focus on taking slow, deep breaths. I imagine myself floating in a warm, fuzzy, pale blue bubble. In my head I conjure up a beautiful, soothing voice that says to me over and over, "Your mind and body are relaxed and calm." After a few minutes, whatever I'm feeling passes and I can get on with it. Or if I'm in bed, it knocks me out cold.
I got over my anxiety, I didn't binge and was able to enjoy one of those lovely English biscuits with a hot cup of gingerbread tea last evening. I have to remember that feelings are just feelings, they have no power over me. How I choose to react to them is what is going to make all the difference in my life.
Monday, December 8, 2008
High fructose corn syrup/corn syrup is one of the things I look for. It is an insidious poison designed to keep us fat and addicted to mass marketed junk foods, but it's also in places where you wouldn't expect to find it. I was shocked to see HFCS listed as an ingredient in many of the sandwich breads on supermarket shelves. I switched to Ezekiel bread, but I didn't want to force it on my husband, who adores sandwiches on fresh bread. Pepperidge Farm and Arnold are two companies that have stopped using HFCS in their bread so I feel confident buying bread from them. I was also amazed to see how many products claiming to be "fat-free" are loaded with HFCS. They have to make it taste good somehow, right?
Splenda, Nutra-Sweet and other mass marketed artificial sweeteners are also on the "avoid" list. If these chemicals were effective in reducing obesity and contributing to great health of the US population at large, the state of health and wellness affairs in this country would be a whole lot different, would it not?
I don't get caught up in counting calories or fat grams, but one thing I do look at is sodium content. Too much sodium makes me retain water like a cactus and my husband has a family history of hypertension so I make sure that the per serving sodium content isn't through the roof.
I tend to look for items with the shortest ingredient lists and if I can't pronounce it, I don't eat it. Reading labels has been an education for me and I highly recommend it to anyone who is on a quest for better health. Knowledge is power or in this case, knowledge is good health.
I'm just coming off three days at work and I should be beat, but I'm not. Eating right, exercising and getting enough good quality sleep seems to keep me fueled with energy when I used to have none. I have some vigorous house chores planned for today so I better get the juicer going and move my tush. Mark something off that to-do list today!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Sure fresh juicing costs money and to steal a quote from my favorite movie, "It costs money, it costs money! Because it saves money!" Lisa says that the money she spends on produce is money she won't have to spend on medicine and hospital bills later. Exactly. It really doesn't take much time to make the juice and clean the juicer once it becomes part of the routine.
The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are no secret. Click on the link to read about them and find out how much fruits and vegetables you should be eating each day. I entered my age and amount of physical activity and it gave my personal results. Pretty cool.
2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables every day based on your age
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I had never tried quinoa before and it turns out that it is very nutritious, loaded with fiber, good for the cardiovascular system and makes one lovely cold morning breakfast. I can't stress enough the importance of eating a satisfying and healthy breakfast. I wouldn't have lasted one day without making sure my belly is full early in the day. I followed the basic cooking directions on the package as a guideline but then took it from there.
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
1/4 cup mixed dried fruit and raw nuts, chopped (I use the omega trex mix from Trader Joe's)
generous teaspoon of raw honey
pat of light butter
Rinse quinoa in water and put in saucepan with almond breeze. Bring to boil, turn down heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in dried fruit and nuts, cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and grains are tender. Stir in pat of butter and honey and serve warm.
I look forward to investigating more applications for this lovely grain.
*what the Quinoa corporation calls this grain
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
With unseasonably cold weather having hit the south and a trip to Boston looming later this month, I had to take inventory of my winter wardrobe. I was much fatter last winter so I don't have much in the way of fashionable and warm clothes and the few things I do have are starting to get loose. It's an awesome feeling to be shrinking. Awesome, that is, until I tried to buy a few things.
Is it really too much to ask for a nice cardigan to layer over a long sleeve tee paired with a pretty scarf? I want to know who these fat shops think they're designing for. Old Navy women's plus must be designing for giant, oddly shaped, ape women. Instead of what I wanted, I got long sleeved tees with arms and hem that came down to my bloody knees with fabric so thin I could see my lap-choly scar through it. The cardigan also came down to my knees and if I flapped the sleeves fast enough I could have probably taken flight. The scarf is lovely, but it's not practical to wear in the winter over just a bra. I'll have to ship the lot back tomorrow. Because Old Navy doesn't like fat women in their stores, we have to order our clothes online and hope for the best.
Lane Bryant is slightly better but they didn't have any long sleeve tees that didn't have some sort of bedazzler embellishment on it. I'm not going to bingo with the senior set, I'd like to look hip, not broken hip. I did manage to get one attractive top today (a size smaller, yay!) and I'll have to make do with what I have. I can't wait until I can go into a nice, normal shop and buy some nice, normal sized clothing off the rack.
Feels better to have that off my chest. I just hope it's not *that* cold in Boston.
I definitely experienced "morning after" pains during those first few days when I added walking to my routine. But after that subsided, I noticed many of my other aches and pains subsiding as well. My feet, knees and ankles started feeling better than they had in years. Even my low back didn't burn as much as it normally does. This was enough to keep me going back for more until I hit the snag of a pulled muscle and a cold which put me out of commission for a week.
That brings us to this morning when I noticed the first signs of inactivity pains returning. I never would have thought it but my body actually missed the workouts. My cold is nearly gone so I did a two-mile power walk early this morning. The pain was gone afterward and I had a burst of energy that has carried me through a busy day. I may feel a bit of post-workout discomfort tomorrow but I'll take it and then relieve it with another walk.
Monday, December 1, 2008
I haven't exercised since last Monday. My back took a couple of days to get back to feeling better and this cold has kicked my ample backside. I'm still feeling pretty rough today, but tomorrow I'm thinking I should be well enough to do the first trial of my new Leslie Sansone dvd.
I'm not going to get into listing every bite of food that I took this weekend, that's not what this is about. Suffice it to say that I ate everything I wanted to in moderation, even dessert (homemade bread and butter pudding, yo!) Moderation, something that has eluded me for 39 years is what I'm trying to master. Being able to put it into practice during a minefield such as a long holiday weekend is totally liberating. It gives me hope for the future.