Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tonight’s gonna be a good night..

I never would have thought that tonight was the night…but as of TONIGHT, I have OFFICIALLY lost 60 lbs, exactly!!!  I totally wasn’t expecting it and I hadn’t been purposely trying to reach this particular goal this week.  I was just minding my own business, maintaining, eating all sorts of yummy ice cream, cheesecake, chips and candy I don’t normally have, and somehow I lost 2.6 pounds this week!   Yep, that’s pretty awesome;  I’m sure some of you will be glaring at me, but hey, some deviation is good once in a while!  This week I’ll be back on track, eating healthy foods and the like. 

I’ve really gotten to like homemade candied walnuts; the only downside is that I haven’t had success in making my own!  I have a friend who makes some amazing candied walnuts…I’ll definitely share the recipe when it turns out well for me.  In the meantime, I’ll be dreaming of what those taste like in my mouth…YUM!

Heading to bed now…haven’t been feeling too well the last day or so.  Seriously, if you’re sick, stay at home!!  Don’t spread your nasty germs at work and get the rest of us healthy people sick!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Coffee anyone?

This morning at church I was reading this week’s VIP (Very Important Person) newsletter.  The letter had a great quick story and I wanted to share that with you.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy. The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

It really struck a chord when I read the following statement: “The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.”  This totally makes sense and definitely resonates with my Lent goals.  I think in a lot of cases, I’m like the egg.  They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

This morning I woke up at around 7:15 (after getting 9 hours of sleep!), ate a banana and went for a quick Yoga session at the gym.  Unfortunately I got there a little bit late, so I got about 40 minutes of Yoga :( I’ve been wanting to go to today’s class for a while, but couldn’t seem to wake up and get going for the 8:30 a.m. class, since the gym is about 25 minutes away.  After I returned home, I had some Red Velvet Cake yogurt and a handful of fresh strawberries. 

Hopefully I’ll convince myself that I need to do some major cardio workout tonight; right now, I’m just not feeling it.  Why am I saying I need to work out tonight?  Because Thursday night I overate on some Panda Express food, ate about 1/2 of a personal mini New York Style cheesecake and Friday afternoon I couldn’t stop eating at work!  Munchies here, munchies there, yummy salty munchies.  I finally made myself drink water and chew gum, but that only lasted a little while.  After work, I ate leftover Panda Express and had the other half of the cheesecake.  What a rough couple of days!  I’m not sure why I’m doing this, but I’m making myself pay for it in workouts.  It’s the only way I’ll maintain my weight.  I think it may somehow deep inside relate to the fact that I’m on maintenance and feel I have the right to eat however much I want and that calories don’t count anymore.  WRONG!  I just need to get over the “I’m on Maintenance” high and go back to eating normal and healthily again.

For lunch today I had two slices of whole wheat toast, a Morningstar Griller and added a slice of soy cheese, a leaf of lettuce, some mustard and lots of tomato.  I’m so proud of myself -  I only ate 5 Salsa Verde Doritos!   Chips are a pretty big weakness for me, so I’m glad I was able to control myself!  It also helped that by the time I was done with my sandwich I was pretty full.  I gave in to my sweet craving this afternoon and had quite a few sour gummy worms and 3 Sugar Free Almond Roca.  I LOVE Almond Roca.  Just have to REALLY control myself when I’m around them, otherwise it’s bad news all around.  So that’s why I’m feeling a bit blah about going to work out tonight…the sugar high is gone and I feel totally drained.

Plans for tonight?  Hopefully get in a good workout and read my Real Simple and Vegetarian Times magazines.  I picked up the mail yesterday and was so excited to see them; I just haven’t had a chance to read them yet.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Virgin Lenten

Although I do not practice Lent or have ever practiced it, this year week I really looked into what it means.  Why do people practice it?  In high school I had several friends who always practiced Lent.  Even now, some of my ex-coworkers practice it.  Why do it?  Why not do it?

According to All About Lent, Lent is a season that can be used as spiritual spring cleaning, to clean out things that “hinder our corporate and personal relationships with Jesus Christ and our service to him.”

So I’ve decided to be a bit unconventional considering I’ve never participated in Lent by changing my negative attitude into a more positive one.  Christians are supposed to be a happy sort of people, right?  And you aren’t really Christ-like when negative attitudes or behavior are present in you, right?  I didn’t realize how much the negativity affected my life so I’m on a journey to change it, followed with lots and lots of prayer, conscious thought and patience.

So today’s been my 2nd day on my un-negative attitude/journey of Lent.  Two days down, 38 days to go.  I can’t say that it’s been easy, but it hasn’t been horrifically difficult.  I guess today’s an in-between day, except for a comment that was made on Facebook that was driving me nuts.  Husband’s response?  Just ignore it.  Breathe.  Just breathe.  Breathe again.  I feel like I’m going to need to practice a little more Yoga breathing in the interim for my Lent.  Lots of Yoga breathing.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Morning snippet

On day three of maintenance and so far so good!  I love the fact I can eat a little bit more, and now I just have to kick up my workouts (not that I haven’t been doing that before).  So far I’ve been filling myself with ice cream to make up the leftover points, although I probably should be drinking more milk instead.  I’ve noticed I haven’t drunk as much as I should – although lately I’ve been drinking 1 cup a day this last week.

Off I go to workout!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And the final verdict is…

Woke up grumpy this morning? Check.  Internal bitch-factor today? Check. Grumpiness gone after some breakfast and coffee? Check.  People doing stupid things that annoyed me at work today?  Check.  Weighed in to check up on my weight loss progress? Check.  Achieved goal weight? Check.

Wait a minute, did I just say I achieved goal tonight at my weekly weigh-in?  Why yes, yes I did! :)  I FINALLY reached my goal weight tonight!!  Hooray!!!  It’s been a long time coming!

This last week my goal was to 1) reach goal weight and 2) lose a total of 60 pounds.  Although I have to say that I nearly DID reach my goal…by 0.2 lbs.  I’ll hopefully get those last 0.2 pounds next week and definitely reach 60 lbs of total weight loss.

How did I get here?

After deciding at the beginning of the year in 2008 that it was going to be my year of weight loss success, I didn’t  realize my journey wouldn’t really start until later in the year.  In January 2008 I tried SparkPeople, which is a good program (and its FREE).  I actually lost 6 pounds my first month and then quit because I was missing that accountability factor that WW has.   Of course, the weight came back on and then some.   I actually still use SP to track how many calories I’m burning when I work out..that definitely helps me keep on track and I can see my workout calorie goal and reach it.  I decided to begin a weight loss program in September 2008 and chose Weight Watchers as my “diet” program.  At the time my sister had lost a good amount of weight on program.  I researched the program and decided it wasn’t completely unattainable.   In August, a good friend of mine joined a different weight-loss program, and I decided to give WW a try.  About three years ago I tried the Atkins diet (which I totally can’t do cause i LOVE bread, so that diet’s out).  Then I tried diet pills for about a day and a half, and after that 2nd day I literally felt sick and decided that pills was a dumb way to lose weight.

Anyway, so in September I began losing weight and was THRILLED!  In three months, I lost 20 pounds!  Insane!  After that, the weight came off more slowly.  Since that day in September that I decided it was time to get healthy for good, I’ve stuck to my goals; and 15 months later I’ve had great success in losing almost 60 pounds; The great thing about this program is that I can keep up this lifestyle for the rest of my life AND feed my family with foods we’ll all enjoy.  When kids come into the picture, I’ll definitely have to get creative with kid-friendly foods, not just fancy grown up foods.

The funny thing about WW is that I don’t consider it a diet program.  It really IS a lifestyle.  Why wouldn’t you want to continue eating healthily like this?

Anyway, enough ranting about WW.

Dinner tonight: Reuben Sandwiches, ice cream popsicle bar for dessert and 2 chocolate chip cookies.

Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich side view

Mini Reuben Snack Sandwiches


2 cups coleslaw mix
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp cider vinegar
16 slices mini cocktail rye bread
3 tbsp light Thousand Island salad dressing
4 thin slices reduced-fat Swiss cheese, cut into quarters
4 oz very thinly sliced lean deli corned beef


Combine the coleslaw mix, water and vinegar in a small skillet.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage wilts and all of the water evaporates, 5 minutes.  Let cool.

Spread the dressing evenly on each slice of the bread.  Top 8 of the bread slices with a piece of the cheese.  Top evenly with the corned beef, coleslaw mixture and remaining cheese slices.  Top with a slice of the  remaining bread.

Lightly spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat.  Add the sandwiches, in batches, if necessary and top with a heavy weight, such as a cast iron skillet.  Cook until the bread is lightly browned and crisp, 2 minutes.  With a spatula, turn the sandwiches, weight them down, and cook until the other sides are browned, 2 minutes.  Cut each sandwich in half.

Cook’s notes:

I didn’t have mini rye bread slices, so I used regular rye bread.  I used my Panini press (I have a Griddler that has the Panini option on it) to cook the Reuben sandwiches.  They tasted so good…and just the right crunch!  I also didn’t have any Swiss cheese, so I used Pepper jack cheese instead.  It gave it a nice kick of spice, and it was pretty filling!


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