Meal Planning

Well it’s been less than a month since my last post, so that’s an improvement, right? 😉

I was reading a post by one of my favorite bloggers earlier last week, and it gave me the meal planning bug. A little back story is that the previous week I saw an all-time low on the scale, then decided to go in to an insane eating fit over that weekend. Nothing stress-triggered, just hanging out with friends and going out to eat, etc.

Needless to say the scale sucker-punched me as a result. I know better than to do such silly things, but right now my battle is extremely mental and food related. I don’t seem to have issues with working – sometimes twice a day.

I mean, who WOULDN'T want to hang out with this lovely man each night?

I mean, who WOULDN’T want to hang out with this lovely man each night?

 

But I guess my brain right now is going “hey, I’ve lost 80 pounds! I should be able to eat more now!”

No Brain…not yet!

So when I read Katie’s post the other day (if you have never read Katie’s blog, you NEED to. She is a constant source of inspiration, and is MUCH better at posting than me, lol!), it really gave me that push I needed to start concentrating on food. I had a bunch of fruit and vegetables at the house that really needed to be cooked up, so I found some good recipes and went on a bit of a cooking spree. I was concentrating on meals that I could save and take to work for breakfast and lunch as well.

On Tuesday night, I made these two recipes:

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

These are “Renee’s Oatmeal Breakfast Bars” and I totally just copied Katie’s idea on that one. The other was a repeat of a recipe I had made the previous weekend:

Seriously, it tastes 10x better than it looks!

Seriously, it tastes 10x better than it looks!

This is a Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole, and it is SO good! It has about a cup of greek yogurt in there as a binder, and I’m guessing that’s what burned on the sides of the dish. I was lazy and just mixed my recipe in the casserole dish, rather than in a mixing bowl and transferring. Looks like I’ll definitely be paying for that when it comes time to wash dishes…

Both of these have been great so far, I’ve just cut them up and have been taking portions for breakfast and lunch.

I also made of of my favorite dishes last Wednesday:

Love these, an entire meal in it's own little container. :)

Love these, an entire meal in it’s own little container. 🙂

These are supposed to be Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash, but not having any quinoa on hand, I opted for couscous. I hope that with any of these recipes you’ll head over to the actual posts they come from…please don’t let my horrible food photo taking abilities deter you. There is a reason I’m not a food blog! Cooking all these meals while chasing a 2 year old leads to lots of short cuts and sloppy looking food…but I promise it tastes wonderful! 🙂

Smoothie's were not neglected, and still made there way in to several days!

Smoothie’s were not neglected, and still made there way in to several days!

So, meal planning? Yeah, it definitely paid off. Despite the fact that I got sick last Friday (yay for things my daughter brings home from day care…), and not being able to work out for the last 4 days, I saw an all-time low on the scale this morning. I am SO PUMPED!

So yeah, I’d say that this week is off to an awesome start!

How about you? What’s been your key to getting yourself back on track?

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Day 2 without coffee (what was I thinking!?)

So over the weekend I did a little overindulging (not too bad on quantity, but there was the splitting of an entire batch of guacamole and some chocolate pie with my mom happening…)

Guac, Pie, and Dallas Buyers Club. It was a total girly night.

Guac, Pie, and Dallas Buyers Club. It was a total girly night.

It wasn’t TOO bad, but it was enough to make me want to try and work harder on reigning in the beast that has become my lack of willpower lately.

Because chocolate comas can't happen every day...

Because chocolate comas can’t happen every day…

I’m still maintaining a great loss, but I am ready to kick it in to gear when it comes to losing these last pesky 30 pounds. So, I did what any reasonable person would do – I decided to cut out coffee and wine.

Wait, what!? Why did I do this!?

It's this...it's evil!!!

It’s this…it’s evil!!!

Yes…it’s not the coffee that I’m after, but the evil (wonderful), horrible (yummy), sugary creamer. I’m very much a “little creamer with my coffee” type of person. So, every morning when I have my two giant cups of coffee, the last forth of the mug is usually filled with this stuff. It is wonderful and sugary and awesome…but also probably adds 300+ of useless calories a day (because then there’s afternoon coffee…). The wine I’m cutting out just because I don’t want to overdo that right now either. So, I’m allowing myself coffee and wine of the weekends. Otherwise, it’s water. And tea…I’m getting a good amount of tea suggestions from friends and co-workers.

The first day was fine – but today, on day two, I think I’ve probably fallen asleep with my eyes open a couple of times. ><

I signed up for another race that takes place this Saturday. This one is a 5k, and takes place at the same location as the 10k I did a couple of weeks ago. I am really excited, because (I’m a dork) they give out finisher’s medals! I am sure that a “real” hardcore runner would be insulted…because it’s almost that “everyone gets a ribbon” mentality, so “there are no winners” but I honestly just want to try and find races with medals so that I can use that as motivation to keep signing up. My goal right now is to sign up for a race each month when I’m paid, so that I can keep using that as a motivating force to keep moving.

So yeah, no coffee, day #2…pray for me. 😛

Noodles

This week has been a bit crazy, as I’ve felt like I’ve been hungrier than usual! It’s been kind of confusing and annoying…and the scale has been stagnant.

I kind of expected it would…I had a good loss a couple of weeks ago, and my body seems to lose on a 2 week cycle of lose, maintain, lose, maintain…so I’m trying to not focus on the numbers too much. I have started a habit of having a serving of this delicious sinful delight nearly every night…so I’m wondering if I need to cut that out a bit…but it’s so good!

But otherwise, this week has been a bit about noodles! First I had an avocado I needed to eat up, and after looking at a bajillion recipes on pinterest, I found one that I wanted to try. It called for spiral noodles…and I would have made it with zucchini noodles, but I didn’t have any zucchini in the house…but I had some egg noodles, so that’s what I ended up using. It was really tasty, and I ended up eating the leftovers for lunch today.

Avocado and Egg Noodles

Avocado and Egg Noodles

Avocado creamy goodness

Avocado creamy goodness

And then following the noodle theme, last night I made a recipe called Pumpkin Alfredo with Sweet Potato Noodles. I had been looking forward to this one, and I wasn’t dissapointed! The hardest part was figuring out how to cook the sweet potato noodles (the recipe calls for all raw and cold, and I’m not that far in to any kind of “raw” journey yet, lol!). I finally found a website that tells you to steam them, so if you try the recipe and don’t want raw crunchy noodles, just put the noodles over boiling water in one of those steamer thingies for about 10 minutes and they’ll be soft and tasty!

Disclaimer: 2 Sweet Potatoes makes a TON of noodles.

Disclaimer: 2 Sweet Potatoes makes a TON of noodles.

I was a little hesitant if this would be good or not...but it was SO tasty!

I was a little hesitant if this would be good or not…but it was SO tasty!

Finished product! It looks a little less "noodly" after the sweet potato cooks, but to me the texture change was worth it!

Finished product! It looks a little less “noodly” after the sweet potato cooks, but to me the texture change was worth it!

Like I mentioned in the photo, there were a TON of noodles created with this, and with the leftover sauce, I think I’ll be able to eat on this 2 more times at least. I only steamed noodles to eat last night, and I stored the rest in their raw state, that way they don’t get all mushy and weird.

I made it to the gym twice this week, and did a Zumba DVD on Tuesday evening, so I made my 3x during the week goal. My daughter is going to her dad’s apartment (for the first time overnight…I am nervous and conflicted and confused, but that’s another post!) this weekend, so I know I’ll get workouts in on both days. I feel like I’m doing pretty well this week!

Workouts are still with a goal of a lower HR, so elliptical again...this is as interesting a photo of workout results as I could think of, lol!

Workouts are still with a goal of a lower HR, so elliptical again…this is as interesting a photo of workout results as I could think of, lol!

So that is my weekly roundup! Anyone with toddlers…do you have any good meal suggestions for keeping their food as healthy as possible? My dear darling one turned her nose up at both of my noodle creations this week…so I did end up with frozen french fries and chicken nuggets as a meal for her a few times this week. I don’t mind it every once and awhile…but I need more ideas!

She doesn't look picky at all, right!? :)

She doesn’t look picky at all, right!? 🙂

So tomorrow starts the weekend…and dropping my darling off with the estranged husband thing…wish me luck!

Seventy

If you turn the way-back machine to 2011, I lost 60 pounds.

I did it by pretty much being an idiot…stupid restrictive eating and liquid diets and over-exercising. I became totally obsessed. It worked really well at the time…it was a time in my life where I needed something to be obsessed about for a while, and it was the first thing that ever had even “worked” for me.

I lost 60 pounds in 6 months…and promptly became pregnant!

And then I gained back 30 pounds…and then had the most beautiful baby on the planet…but then gained another 30 pounds.

One day reality hit me like a biotch in the face. That was the day I (again) saw a very scary number on the scale.

262.2

That was my starting weight in 2011 when I lost stupid weight. I had gone all the way back. To the 10th of a pound, I had gone back.

Since then, I’ve developed some really awesome habits on this latest weight loss journey. It wasn’t about being fast, it was about making changes that I knew I could live with all my life. I have basically cut out all sweets and sugary drinks, but I still have a soda every once in awhile, because you know what? I don’t want to give them up for all of time. I just have to learn to moderate…that is something I have to live with for all of time.

So, the weight came back off, slowly, but steadily and I wasn’t starving myself and developing obsessive habits this time. It took me a year verses 6 months this time, but I was happy with the progress…not to mention I had some giant personal hurdles that should have sent me back to the loving arms of food in a heartbeat. I persevered. But still, there was that magical number hanging over my head…60.

Now don’t misunderstand, I’ve lost over 60 pounds…I’ve had that beat since October or so. BUT, for some reason, I still wanted, yearned to reach that next decade of weight loss…so that I could…I don’t know…FOR REAL be passed where I had gone in 2011.

This morning, I saw a magical number on the scale…down to the 10th of a pound.

192.2

Today I’ve reached 70 pounds lost…exactly! I wish I had taken a picture of it, but I think I was too busy doing a little happy dance in my bathroom.

2011…bad habits…obsessive behavior…stupid marriage issues…turning to food (or wine) for coping…jeez, ALL of 2013… you all can bite me! I so own you.

This is my mean face...or an attempt at one. Do you feel intimidated yet?

This is my mean face…or an attempt at one. Do you feel intimidated yet?

A Week in the New Year

Well 2013 is over – THANK GOD!

Last year I buried my father when he passed away suddenly, found out my marriage was not strong enough to withstand temptation, and found that I had to start over mentally, financially…everything. But there were some good things.

  • I found out that I am 10 million times stronger than I thought I was
  • I grew stronger in my relationships to my daughter and my family
  • I found a voice of my own
  • I got a tattoo!
  • I lost over 60 pounds
December 2012 vs December 2013

December 2012 vs December 2013

Unfortunately things in marriage-land aren’t going so great. After seeing that as of right now my husband is either unwilling or incapable of wanting to work on our relationship, and that he wanted to continue to blame me for his parts to play in the whole thing, I had to ask him to leave.

To his credit he does claim that he needs to work on himself and such. I am trying to be as non-pessimistic as possible about that. Technically I guess this is a separation, I don’t know what the end-game is, and in this moment, I don’t know what I want it to be anymore.

My job is going in a different direction, and I am being asked to do some different tasks than I previously did on top of my regular duties. I am a bit terrified, but also not NOT excited about it either. Again, we’ll see what happens.

The new year…we’re a little over a week in, and I am cautiously optimistic. I will never again in my life say that things can’t get worse, so I won’t curse my 2014 with such nonsense…but I will say I hope with all my might that they are drastically better this year.

Bring it. But please bring it with happiness and kitties and flowers!

Bring it. But please bring it with happiness and kitties and flowers!

Bet Your Butt Off

So who went on vacation and ended up LOSING two pounds? This girl! I was totally and completely surprised. I didn’t over-indulge and there was a bit of walking involved while I was gone, but I didn’t count calories religiously either. When I stepped on the scale this morning and saw a loss, to say I was surprised would be a definite understatement.

We had a blast on our first family vacation!

We had a blast on our first family vacation!

A few days before I left for vacation, I saw an interesting link from a Facebook page I follow. It was for something called DietBet. I took a brief look at the website, and even though I was intrigued, I didn’t spend much time looking at it. Then, right before I left, my best friend wrote me a YM (we instant message all day while we’re at work at our jobs…oh the joy of working in media!), and told me SHE had just signed up for a DietBet! So, I took another glance and found one that began yesterday (Monday). I figured, what better way to motivate myself post-vacation??

So, in short, a DietBet is a game where players pay to play. You’re betting that you can lose 4% of your body weight within the time period, which is 4 weeks. Right now from what I’ve read those two variables (4% and 4 weeks) are always the same. Anyone can host a DietBet, and anyone (who wants to pay up!) can play. Anyone who hits the 4% goal within the time period wins and splits the pot. So, that is definitely great motivation! So far I’ve been very impressed with the site and the program. They have a very clear weigh-in validation process, and the site is clean, easy to follow, and slightly snarky, which is a thumbs up in my book!

So, I submitted my weight yesterday afternoon, I have 4 weeks to lose 10.4 pounds to split the pot! Which, is the most important part – the pot in the game I’m playing is almost up to $30,000!!! I am shocked! Most of the games seem to get up around $1200 or maybe $9500…but this game great exponentially after I had entered! I guess the host is more popular than I thought! So, the motivation is DEFINITELY there.

So, if anyone is interested in jumping on (though I’m not sure I have any readers, lol!), you can still enter for 13 more days before the game is locked! You can find the game I’m in here.

So, that’s what happened over my extended weekend. The vacation was nice…it was a bit hectic with all the kids and of course extended family. They do things differently than we do of course, and Reagan definitely had troubles being out of her routine, especially on the last day or so. I’m glad to be back, but we’re already talking about going on vacation again later this year (with just the three of us!). The place we went is close by and reasonable…out in the “country” here in Texas but with plenty of modern convenience! 🙂 Here are a few more photos…

Meeting a Horse

Reagan got meet her first horse!

Blowing Bubbles

Exploring around the cabin and trying to figure out where bubbles come from…

Pickup Truck

We also took a ride in the back of Daddy’s pickup truck.

So many great memories! I can’t wait to go back!

Goals

The other day, I had the awesome idea to start a blog…and suddenly today I find myself having trouble thinking how exactly to blog again…for fun, that is! 😛

I guess I should state some goals here, so that if you stumble on to this post, you can get a good sense of what the heck I’m all about. Because, while this blog is meant to be more personal, more ME, than my previous dreaded “mommy-blog,” it is at its heart supposed to be about accountability to myself.

Goals:

  • Track Food. I want to track all of my food this year. I won’t bore you with all that here, thank God, but if you are also wanting to track food, I love MyFitnessPal as a tool. SparkPeople is also great. Both are free.
  • Exercise. I am on a running mission this year…as the title of my blog indicates. Unfortunately at this time you aren’t going to find an amazing running blog, I am a beginner for sure. I’ve been following the Couch to 5k plan, but some hip injuries have me relegated to the elliptical for the short term. I am however signed up already to do three 5ks this year! Yikes…
  • Deal with the Mental Beans. I am a new mom to a 13 month-old daughter. She is amazing, and beautiful – and more than a handful, lol! I have a wonderful and supportive husband, which I am so thankful for. I do have a tendency to get stuck in my own head-space though, and that sometimes can put a strain on our relationship. I am working also this year to become a better wife. In the midst of that lofty goal, my father passed away suddenly in February this year. He was only 68. Not only am I trying my best to cope with that, but my mom is basically shutting down on me mentally and physcially in the aftermath. And I’m 150 miles away. So, I am working on not using food as a coping/numbing mechanism with this.

I guess that’s my measurable “goals” right now. I need to work this plan through and figure out the best way to break these down in to baby steps I guess.

Right now I weigh 235. I’ve been a bit stuck here for the last few weeks. But I have lost about 27 pounds since January 1 of this year. I have some weight loss stories to tell of a time before that, but that’s another story.