Friday, March 29, 2013


This morning, I was thrilled to step on the scale and see the needle settle decisively at 150.

Now for my skinny friends out there (pretty much all of you... jerks!), you are probably thinking Why is that exciting? 150 is a LOT!  But it is also the least I have weighed in 5+ years. I have been fluctuating between 155 and 165(at my most monstrous) for hundreds upon hundreds of days. And I have finally broken free from that range.

Additionally, all y'all bitches are short. I am between 5'6" and 5'7". At my current weight, I am finally "healthy" by BMI standards:

Starting weight: 165ish
Current weight: 150
Weight lost: 15ish
Goal weight: 140
Lightest weight ever (since adulthood): 130 (8 years ago)

In the last twelve months, I've clocked in 1,021 miles on daily mile between running, biking, hiking, cycling.

I can confidently run one mile in under 10 minutes.

I can confidently tackle a 5k -- and run a good portion of it.

I've certainly had my fair share of ups and downs and some more ups and some more downs, but at the end of the day I feel happy, I feel healthy, and I am probably the most fit I have ever been. I am ready for a summer full of SO MUCH outdoor time and thousands more miles to fly by with my own physical power.

Happy weekend! <3 p="">

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

IML Update: Going South!

The dust is finally starting to settle after a crazy week! I feel like I can somewhat resume my normal schedule after getting off track for a bit.

I have abandoned the no simple carb diet in favor of a diet enriched with such delicious things as pasta and pizza and crackers. I just like them too much to want to exclude them from my diet. It was a fun experiment and I certainly learned a thing or two about my eating habits and some alternate recipes I can use to be healthier. I am still relying on a bunch of the staple items I was using while on the diet, including oats, veggies, salads, and lentils.

I know I seesaw back and forth a lot with these diets. I think it's because I want to prove myself that I have self control and that I can do it. I can do it. I just don't want to. And if I don't want to, the whole thing is moot. I don't have enough motivation to feel like I need to deprive myself of certain foods. I am really happy with my current weight (lowest it's been in probably 5 years!) and have lost a total of 11 pounds in the last year and a half. I am happy with my exercise routine (most of the time) and with the way I feel (more skinny days than fat days recently!). So there you have it.

Now, on to the updates...

1) Reduce stress: Everything is falling into place! I am more financially stable now than I have ever been in my life, which is crazy and amazing. I found out I got the job in North Carolina, have a place to live and a roommate for a fraction of what I'd be paying if I moved out on my own, have a start date of June 3 (which gives me ample time to plan so.many.weekend.getaways and make sure I see all of my friends before I ditch New England for sunnier weather), and am ready to clean slate it and find myself a nice southern gentleman! I feel the least stressed I have felt in a long time. I am excited and a bit nervous about starting over, but more hopeful than anything else. Additionally, I caught up on a LOT of sleep over the weekend, which I'm pretty happy about. I <3 bed.="" p="">
2) Maintain exercise goal of 3x/wk: I did not achieve this last week. I went to the gym one time and went for one hike. Oh well!

3) Make more conscious food choices: My diet wasn't spectacular last week but it wasn't terrible either. Also, after a few hard-core alcoholic weekends, I've decided to take a step back from drinking for a while. It's not good for me and it doesn't make me feel good. I'm sure my liver will delight in this decision.

4) Enjoy my hobbies: I am on a roll with the reading thing! I've read a book and a half in the last week, and am reading during my breaks and before I go to bed. It's nice to have something to look forward to. Margaret Atwood, I've missed you so! (and, on a related note -- puppy names!!!! If I get a boy I am naming him Atwood and I get a girl, Nala.) I've also been cooking on a consistent basis, which is fun. And shopping. There is always shopping.

5) Keep my close friends close: I've made some really good friends at work and feel like I am just reaching the perfect level of closeness with them, so I'm sad I'll be leaving them behind. I also started a Monday night dinner club with friends from work, which is both yummy and fun! Love it.

I am so excited that my weekends are booking up like crazy with people I love to partake in activities I love. I'm seeing Jenna, Becca, and Kate this weekend and next weekend I'm getting my first ever tattoo with my cousin and having a fun weekend with Natalia! I've made a list of things I want to do before I leave New England and I am trying to incorporate as many of my friends as possible, knowing that I have such limited time with them. Here are a few items on the list:

- Hike/bike all of my favorite trails in CT
- Visit Dartmouth for a weekend and hit up my favorite restaurants, bike the back roads, kayak, and beach it up with some school friends
- Visit Northampton/West Side and bike the rail trail, walk the Reservoir, spend a day @ B&N/the mall, eat at my favorite restaurants
- Visit Cape Cod and bike the canal, walk on the beaches, go to Mashpee commons

6) Do what I can for my health: I've learned I need to do everything in moderation. Bingeing and purging certain parts of my life are not healthy. I need to be more consistent with my routines and my diets (I've been having some digestive issues lately, and think they may be due to my extreme and frequent diet changes.). I am on track for a good week this week and looking forward to all that's coming!

Ciao for now,

Monday, March 18, 2013

IML update

I am beyond mortified with the way that I abused my body this weekend. Too many (empty) calories, too many late nights, too much alcohol, to few work-out sessions. But you know what? I had a FABULOUS WONDERFUL weekend. So there are also no regrets.

1) Reduce Stress: The week started off pretty mild and low stress. Followed my usual work/personal routines. Thursday marked LM's annual VIP day, which means we got to celebrate our company's success through food, bonus checks, and raises. I also had my interview for Charlotte that day, so it was pretty crazy for me. Despite all of that, I opted out of the lunch in the office and went home for a nice 2 egg veggie omelette. I felt good about that decision and was planning on going to the gym that evening and making myself a nice low-carb dinner to follow when I was invited to a Happy Hour. I'm sure you can imagine what happened next. The rest of the weekend was also completely stress free and completely funsies, further reducing any stress build up. Now, I'm just waiting on the edge of my seat to see what happens with the Charlotte transfer. I am having some mixed feelings about everything. I want to transfer but I also have been having so much fun as of late and making more friends, so I will be super bummed to give that up for a fresh slate hundreds of miles away from everyone...

I am maintaining the attitude that I will be happy no matter what. If I go there, I'll put my best face forward. If I stay here, I have an apartment on hold for me and a good group of people to spend my time with.

And....personal triumph: I officially have MORE in my savings than was my goal. My credit card is at $0, my savings account is plush, and it looks like my entire paycheck for the last two weeks will get to go direct to savings, as well! I am SO proud of myself for finally conquering my terrible spending habits and getting my finances under control. Of course, I'm sure no one is more happy about this than my mom!

2) Maintain exercise goal of 3x/wk: I did well with this one, even though the weekend made me feel like a failure. I went to the gym 3x and also did 2 hikes. It was great to be outdoors again! And I can allllmost run 2 miles without stopping now.

3) Make more conscious food choices: I had a solid start to the week with this one, but ended up throwing all caution to the wind for Thursday happy hour, Friday drinks and dinner, Saturday lunch date, Saturday drinks, Sunday brunch and drinks and bar food. I'm clean-slating it today (as per usual).

4) Enjoy my hobbies: I started reading again! Sucked back into yet another wonderful world constructed by Margaret Atwood. A bunch of my shows are coming to a close and I'm looking forward to celebrating the Biggest Loser finale with some work friends tonight and making some Biggest Loser appetizers to go with it! Also had an awesome social week/end - which has always been my most favorite of hobbies <3 br="">
5) Keep my close friends close: I met so many people this weekend and got to spend time with/learn more about some people who I had only met once or twice.

6) Do what I can for my health: Meh, health is overrated :-p

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mid week review

So maybe I was a tad over-ambitious when I aimed to maintain the no-simple-carb diet.

Success: have not had any soda since I started this thing two weeks ago.

B: bagel, large unsweetened iced tea with lemon (fail)
L: small wedge of brie cheese, 2 slices of deli chicken, nectarine (success)
D: spinach salad w/ tomato, mozzarella, lime olive oil, balsamic, basil; three chicken tenders marinated in chipotle baja and baked (success)
Gym: nope (fail)

B: 1/2 cup of oats, pommelo, craisins (success)
L: portabello mushroom sandwich w/ roasted red peppers, avocados; french fries (fail)
D: two eggs scrambled with asparagus, mushroom, zucchini, bleu cheese; pear (success)
Gym: 8 miles between bike/run/elliptical (success)

B: 1/2 cup of oats, nectarine, craisins; orange tea (success)
L: spinach salad w/ tomato, mozzarella, pear, lime olive oil, balsamic (success)
D: going to make pasta-free eggplant parm w/ extra veggies (zucchini/squash)
Gym: going!

I'm not impressed with myself but I'm also not going to beat myself for having a few indulgences. I think my overall food choices thus far have been more health conscious and deliberate. I am still taking the time to plan menus in advance and use all of my groceries (in fact, I haven't been grocery shopping since last Monday!). I still feel good about (most) of my decisions (curse you, delicious french fries!) and my commitment to IML.

Some super foods I've discovered in this process:

Why have I not been using these in my day to day cooking til now?

In the last two weeks, I have eaten them pureed inside of chicken, diced on a salad, as a snack, and in my oatmeal. And they are delicious. And apparently, super good for you!
- they are high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin c
- they are helpful in a weight reduction diet because they contain half as many calories as fat
- they are dense in nutrients and provide more nutrients per calorie than calorie per nutrient

I am definitely going to keep using them as a staple in my diet. I like how versatile they are. They are flavorful enough to taste good on their own and also bland enough to taste good mixed with other strong flavors (like balsamic).

A quick Food Network search yielded over 600 recipes...time to get cooking!

I've always loved cheese. Cheese is my weakness. I consider it a separate food group from dairy, that's how important it is. And in this process, I have learned just how important cheese is to keeping me full and satisfied.

I have eaten it in omelettes, in salad, stuffed in chicken, as a side dish, and grated over entrees. The three staple cheeses I used this week were: brie, parmesan, bleu cheese.

Now I know listed Gorgonzola here, and let me explain: I am switching to Gorgonzola. They both have pretty similar tastes and are both delicious. I was actually quite curious about the difference between them, and stumbled upon a comparative chart, which advised that although Gorgonzola has slightly higher fat and carbs, it has lower sodium and NO saturated fat. Bleu cheese, on the other hand, has 5.3 grams of sat fat. Yeah. I'm done with you, bleu!

And again, the recipe options are endless. Food Network yielded almost 800 recipes. Yummm.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

IML - Progress

One month ago, I posted photos of my fitness progress. Today, I wanted to see if I had made any strides since that time. Again, I was pretty pleased by the results.  I think my stomach pretty much looks the same, but I was pleased to see that my back-love-handles have - for the most part - disappeared! Hallelujah!

I have to admit (for vanity's sake) that it is SO fun and rewarding to be tracking my progress through writing and through photos. The writing allows me to reflect on my day to day and recap my efforts but the photos are where that writing comes to fruition and says "this is what you've been working for."

Here are the three phases thus far:

                                                                January 19, 2012

February 11, 2013

March 9, 2013 

Anyway, weekly IML updates!

1) Reduce Stress: not so much in this category. I don't feel terribly stressed at work and am keeping my tasks and workload under control. However, my personal life is a bit of a mess. I am supposed to pick up keys and sign a lease for an apartment in Meriden next Friday on 3/15. However, Liberty posted a position for Charlotte that I decided to apply for. I'm not sure when the start date would be, but this totally throws a wrench in my plans. I have decided that I will definitely accept the position if I get it, but in the meantime this means withdrawing my application for the apartment I was excited about in CT. It also means that if I don't get the transfer, I will have to start hunting all over again. Oy vey. I have been racking my brain for days and stressing out to no end about the pros/cons to leaving this are and starting over. I am both terrified and excited by the prospect of picking up and moving somewhere hundreds of miles from every one of my friends and family. I think it's a fantastic opportunity and one that I would regre forever if I did not take it, but I am still scared to purposely isolate myself that way. Stay tuned...

2) Maintain exercise goal of 3x/wk: I went to the gym on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - took Thursday and Friday off (was going to go on a hike on Friday, but for the stupid snow storm!) - and am heading back to the gym for today and Sunday, which means a solid 5 days of working out.

3) Make more conscious food choices:  This is where I had some real improvement this week. I am proud of myself for taking on this food challenge and exercising some self control and being able to recognize the weaknesses that I have and where they stem from when it comes to food. I am excited to continue making conscious decisions, planning menus, and leading a more healthy lifestyle. You only get one body in life, and I plan to keep mine as fit and healthy as is in my control!

4) Enjoy my hobbies: I didn't have much time to focus on my creative hobbies this week, but I do enjoy planning and cooking and apartment shopping and apartment hunting and gym-ing, so I would say I had a pretty fun week.

5) Keep my close friends close: I've been in communication with a bunch of my close friends this week, and I definitely appreciate their support and advice in this whole moving debacle. But it also reminds me that I will be missing out on being able to drive an hour or two to visit them, which is a huge bummer.

6) Do what I can for my health: I've been eating well, exercising regularly, and sleeping well. I may be the healthiest I've ever been!

Happy weekend!

Day 5 - cheat day

Alright, so I've made a decision on how to tackle this whole food challenge lifestyle change. I propose:

- I will follow this challenge Monday thru Friday for at least one month
- I will allow myself one full cheat day per week (day of my choosing)
- I will allow myself 2 cheat foods per week outside of the full cheat day

I think this is a pretty reasonable expectation. And I certainly think it is doable.

Friday started off pretty lousy because I had left my planned breakfast in the fridge. I was at work from 8 to 12 so I knew that I would have to eat something during that time period, but the only food I had in my desk was a honey-granola bar. I begrudgingly ate it and had a cup of cinnamon tea.

For lunch, I baked a chicken breast in mushroom olive oil and prepared a spinach salad with leftover roasted veggies and grated parmesan cheese. I also made some tomato soup.

By the time dinner rolled around, I had decided I wanted today to be my cheat day, so we went out for Mexican. I ate copious amounts of chips and salsa and half of a chorizo-chicken burrito. And let me tell you, my body was NOT happy. Not to go into unsavory details, but I did not digest any of said dinner. Which I think is good? It was like my body was literally rejecting my cheating. Thanks, body, for keeping my in check.

Saturday = back on the wagon!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 4

I spoke too soon. A cheater stands before you.

I started off the day pretty well!

Breakfast: 1/2 cup of oatmeal, pommelo, nectarine.

Lunch: veggie burger w/ stir fried veggies; pear

Dinner: 2 pickles; spinach salad w/ tomato, mozzarella, basil; homemade lentil soup

But that cursed snacking got to me!!

Around 2 p.m. I knew I had a meeting and once I became fixated on the fact that I wanted coffee for said meeting, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I ended up getting a cappuccino from the coffee vending machine. And it was delicious.

During dinner preparations, I spotted a bag of chocolate Cadbury eggs. Now, I am not normally a sugar fiend. I don't love chocolate as much as most. I would typically choose a box of Town House flatbread crackers over a candy bar any day. But again, that cursed fixation! I spotted the bag and I wanted in. So I gave in. And had some  chocolatey eggs.

I do think that I am going to make this a consistent goal for myself. I am certainly going to give myself cheats (I'm thinking 2 days/wk or 2 snacks a week and 1 whole cheat day/week? Whatever seems to be the most realistic). I definitely have been feeling good and eating well enough to want this to continue. I feel fit, I feel happy, and I feel (mostly) in control of my cravings.

So. The challenge continues. Stay tuned..

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day 3

This honestly doesn't even feel like a challenge anymore. I don't think about what I'm not allowing myself to eat because I already have my menus prepared. I also have been genuinely looking forward to all of my meals, which is awesome. They have all felt guilt free and satisfying.

The biggest shift is that I am no longer snacking. At all. Nor do I feel inclined. I don't feel hungry between meals. I feel in control of my eating habits and my diet. And I like it.

I feel like my biggest downfall is that I would graze when food was there because I knew it would taste good, not because I was actually hungry. This leads to binge eating, stress eating, pre-dinner eating. All of that is terrible. And unnecessary.

I was also worried that I would feel tired with the lack carbs etc. But I haven't felt tired at all (sick, maybe. But that's because I'm also sick).

I feel just overall good. And it feels good to feel good.


Breakfast: scaled down to 1/2 cup of  oats (1 cup is way too much! did not realize how dense and filling oatmeal is), a nectarine, and about 1/3 cup of pommelo fruit, cup of tea.

Lunch: 2 scrambled eggs w/ roasted veggies (zucchini, squash, mushrooms, broccoli) and bleu cheese.

Dinner: oven roasted asparagus, chicken with bleu cheese and a pear-balsamic puree (soooooo yummy!)

And I also went to the gym and did 20 mins of weights, ran 2 miles, did 1 mi on the elliptical, and 3 mi on the bike.

With the craziness that is my life right now and so many question marks hanging about me, it's nice to have this one thing I can control and that is improving my life one day at a time.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 2

Day 2 of my no-simple-carb challenge, and all is good!

For breakfast, I started with a cup of whole grain oats mixed with nectarines and assorted craisins.

For lunch, I had two eggs scrambled with a handful of bleu cheese chunks and leftover roasted veggies (mushrooms, zucchini, squash, broccoli) -- YUM!

Went to the gym and kicked ass!

Came home and made a spinach salad with half of a tomato, a bit of mozzarella, one leaf of basil, a drizzle of lime olive oil, and balsamic glaze.

Finished off the evening making the rest of the kale (baked with olive oil and parmesan) for later snacking purposes, and a cup of coffee.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Day 1

Day 1 of a diet free of:

- soda
- candy
- bread/crackers/pasta/other simple carbs
- flour-based products

Breakfast was pretty easy, though I hadn't been to the food store in a while. I scrounged around and ended up having a wedge of brie and three slices of deli chicken around 10 o'clock, preceded by a cup of orange spice tea.

For lunch, I headed home and had a can of lentil soup.

After work, I headed to the gym and had a pretty solid workout. The first of Monday of every month at Planet Fitness is pizza night (which I do not understand at ALL) and I was not even close to tempted to eat one of those greasy slices.

I then went to the food store and loaded up on fruits, veggies, and proteins. My groceries were about $20 more than usual for the week, but I definitely think it's worth it!

When I got home, I whipped up a ton of different things! For dinner, I boiled turkey sausage and sauteed some peppers, onions, and mushrooms and mixed them together.  I also roasted broccoli, zucchini, squash, and mushrooms in an olive oil garlic marinade and set that aside for the week, so I can have it as a side dish or add it to an omelette.

I also ended up making harissa kale chips and mushroom parmesan kale chips (made with flavored oils) and they were SO.GOOD. I did not think they would end up being that crunchy and delicious, but they were. They will definitely serve as a yummy snack for the hard days ahead.

Though I have to say that I did not find today a challenge whatsoever. I kept busy, I kept active, and I genuinely enjoyed  every single thing that I consumed today. I am looking forward to tomorrow and the next few days of this challenge.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Improving my life one week at a time

I had a pretty good week this week! I am happy with the present and excited for the future. :)

1) Reduce Stress: Finally finally finally I have found a place!! It has everything I want (gym, pool, w/d in house, close to work, nice kitchen, patio) and is UNDER my budget. The tireless hours of Craig's List hunting and website scouring have come to an end and as of yesterday, my name is on an apartment and I will be getting the keys on March 14th. I am so excited to have my own place and paint and decorate and buy funsies housewares and settle into a new, adult life full of dinner parties and friends -- and soon to be accompanied by a fuzzy little companion. So yes, stress = over.

2) Maintain exercise goal of 3x/wk: I killed it this week, even though it didn't really feel like I did and mildly berated myself for not going to the gym two days this week when I definitely could have. However, I did a total of 31 miles between 4 gym trips and an afternoon hike.

3) Make more conscious food choices: I've been having a lot of fun in the kitchen this week. On Monday, I made a spinach salad with roasted veggies, portobello tortellini, parmesan, and a garlic parmesan glaze -- which I ate for lunch most of this week. I also ate a bunch of artisan bread topped with spinach, brie, and pureed fruits or veggies. And then there were the cupcakes... I'm pretty excited to embark on a no-simple-carb diet this Monday through Friday. I think it will be a fun challenge and force me to be creative in my food choices and recipes. Thanks for the inspiration, Kate!

4) Enjoy my hobbies: I definitely got my fair share of trashy television, friend time, cooking time, and Cow time in this week. I do need to get back on the reading ball and also do some more crafting, but I think that will start kicking in once I get the keys to my new place!!

5) Keep my close friends close: I had a wonderful friend week/end. Hoping to keep this momentum going on a permanent basis :)

6) Do what I can for my health: sleeping well, working out regularly, keeping up with my dental routine, and feeling happy with my apartment hunt resolution. Feeling happy in general, which I think is the MOST important thing anyone can do for their health.

Happy Sunday!