Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My First Award

My friend Ellen from Fat Girl Wearing Thin has honored me today by awarding me a "Versatile Blogger" award. I adore her blog, she has already lost the weight she has wanted to but we all know the journey doesn't stop when the scale tells you what you want to see. Ellen reminds us all that the journey never ends, she has great ideas about nutrition and fitness, always has a fun adventure to tell you about and since she is so down to earth and relate-able she will be an instant favorite for anyone who decides to read her blog. 

Now along with the award Ellen has asked me to share 6 things about myself that my readers may not know so here goes:

1. I graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelors of science in Chemical Engineering. I have a great job but it is 100% different from the one I had imagined having as I walked across the stage. Luckily I am still young and have plenty of time to figure it out.

2. I am an animal lover and dog enthusiast. My favorite breed is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and I own the cuddliest corgi in the world, named Toby. 

3. I am a family girl and could never imagine living further then an hour from my family. My little sister is my best and closest friend in the world.

4. I have never broken a bone in my body, or had a hospital stay. I hope to keep it that way for a long time to come.

5. One of my very favorite ways to pass time is sewing. I have been known to sew an outfit or two a year, my favorite thing to sew are costumes.

6. Despite being 24 years old and knowing the difference between my right and left sides when someone tells me to "turn left" I almost always turn right instead. Something about that split decision makes my brain short out.

An eventful Wednesday for me, I have been tending to my boyfriend who had surgery this morning. My eating  and exercise schedule are all out of wack but I feel remarkably stress-free. In fact, I just spread a pattern out on the floor and will begin sewing something fun and new in less then 20 minutes.

Hope everyone had/has a great day. Thanks again to Ellen for thinking of me!

Now to pass the love around:

Trisha at Crazy little thing called Life isn't only trying to lose weight but is also battling some pretty serious medical issues. Trisha is like the little engine that could, she just keeps at it! She is ridiculously strong for having the courage to talk about her sickness and mostly because  despite her sickness she still has heart and dedication to her journey. Reading her blog reminds me no matter how hard things get I need to keep going, because she does too.

Tim from Fat. Boy. Thin. in a world full of female weight-loss bloggers Tim stands out. In more ways then one. Not only does he have some pretty hefty goals like his 15million steps challenge, but he has a way with words and has such a positive outlook on life and his own weight loss its hard not to smile when you read blog. Tim's blog reminds me to enjoy the small things in life and take the time to look around and enjoy life while you live it.

Sweet Pea from Veggin my way to Skinny like me Sweet Pea is pretty new to her journey but she has great ideas and awesome recipes for vegetarians. She is always around to offer help and advice and I can't wait to see how far she will go on her journey.

Need to Get Me Back weighs in weekly and posts her food log almost daily. It's great to see her progress (over 50lbs so far!) and she makes it completely cut and dry about how she is doing it. She is a real down to earth sort of person and always has a "Attitude of Gratitude" to remind everyone that you always have something to be thankful for.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weigh In 3/28/11

March 28
Body Fat:

Wow, I can't believe I made a loss out of this week. I was almost positive with all of my small slip ups and the terrible news I received that surely I would see a gain. I'm happy that I didn't sabotage myself this week and I just need to remember through thick and thin that I cannot rely on food to make me happy (I should know better then to think that since my poor habits have caused so much sadness for me).

 No clue what is going on with the bust and bicep. I should probably have a more precise measurement system but I'm glad to know I made it through this week. I would be really excited to see 155 or less next week. We will have to see how this week goes, if I work hard and don't have any slip ups, I should be able to make it.

Friday, March 25, 2011


I've been having a very bad week emotionally. I am finding myself falling back into my habit of eating to quell my feelings. Nothing too terribly bad - like Wednesday I had half a cupcake, and Thursday I had a piece of dove chocolate and just now I ate a small candy bar. All together probably no more then 500 extra calories but I have been taking a few *extra* trips to the almond butter jar and eating things like cheese and nuts (which I am only supposed to have in moderation).

I'm really frustrated in myself that I have been so weak this week as to cheat on my non-cheat days. With silly things I don't really need. I'm getting a bit worried about my Monday weigh in now, I really really want to see a loss. I'm afraid of putting a wall up again and quitting just as I was making such progress.

Someone very close to me was diagnosed with a serious illness and I just don't know how to cope, especially since they don't want me to tell anyone else. The thing that scares me most is this week was bad emotionally, but given the circumstances I know the next few weeks are going to be just as bad - if not worse.

I just need to stay strong, and have a good weekend on plan with lots of exercise and remind myself why I decided to lose weight in the first place. Hopefully I can pick myself up and dust myself off before I fall down for good.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weigh In 3/21/11

Tappin' my toes in excitement over this morning's weigh in.

March 21
Body Fat:

I can only say that this week was awesome for me. Not only did I lose everything I gained last week, but I also lost an additional .6 lbs. And am now once again at my lowest weight ever in at least 5 years. It was really important for me to recover from my bad weigh in, I stuck to the plan and ate on my diet and made sure to get in my exercise for the week. It really paid off, it makes me really encouraged that if I just stick to the plan everything will work out. *Just like you all said*

I am noticing the weight loss in my legs like when I shave I think "I never remember my legs looking like this" and that is a pretty amazing feeling. My bikini pictures, while nothing to post in Sports Illustrated, are looking better to me. Like perhaps if I went swimming I wouldn't be that embarrassed to wear a bikini however, I would probably still just wear my tankini or one piece.

What an awesome way to start the week!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kale Chips

I found this idea on Lynn's blog. She always has great low cal snack ideas and I couldn't help but want to try this one.

Kale Leaves
Olive Oil

Prepare your Kale by rinsing it in cold water. Sometimes it can have sand and gritty debris in it.

Throughly dry your kale in a salad spinner or with some paper towels.

Cut (or tear) the stems out of the middle. They are very tough and won't dry up properly when baked.

Break your kale up into bite-sized pieces.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Spread your kale out on the cookie sheet as best you can.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until the kale becomes dark green and has a touch of brown on the edges.

Allow the kale to cool for a few minutes.

The kale may still be soft and flexible when you first pull it out, but as soon as it cools it should get crisp and rigid.

Use the kale chips to enjoy other low-carb snacks like cheese or chicken salad.

As you can see the chips become rather sturdy, and can hold cheeses and dips pretty well.

The best part:

1 cup of Kale is only 25 cal, so you could probably eat these things until the cows come home with no guilt.

Just be careful of how much oil you use and the nutrition of the things you  put on them, you can quickly turn a low cal snack into a major "OPPS!" in no time.

PS. Thanks everyone for your encouragement this week. I was feeling very discouraged but you are all right, weighing daily is pointless and I know my weight will fluxuate daily. I am just putting too much pressure on myself. I think I am back on track now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Doing the Math

Ok, because I suffered such a debilitating gain last week I am trying to be extra super careful this week about what I eat. I must figure out why I am gaining weight.

Monday morning: 161.6 lbs

Food for Monday:
Breakfast: 3 pieces of Turkey Bacon (pan fried) - 90cal
                1 medium egg (pan fried) - 95cal
Lunch: 1 Qdoba naked pork burrito w/ veggies, pinto beans, guac, lettuce, tomatoes - 490cal
Snack: 1 slice of sharp chedar cheese - 100 cal
            6pcs Trader Joe's green bean snack - 55cal
Dinner: 2 cups Shrimp Stir-Fry w/ broccoli, carrots, green beans, and mushrooms - 255cal

Total = 1085cal (Calories in)
Approximate basal metabolic rate = 1552.4cal (Calories out)
Cal in - Cal out = 1085 -1552.4 = -467.4 cal
467.4 cal / 3500 cal per lb = .13lbs burned

So if I technically lost .13 lbs today, my scale should read about 161.4 (it goes in .2s). Jump on the scale this morning convinced I'm back on track. It reads162.6!!!

What? I gained another lb??? WHERE DID THE EXTRA 3500CAL COME FROM??!?!?! Is someone feeding me bacon grease intravenously while I sleep? What on earth is going on here. To all of you "experts" out there convinced weightloss = cal in - cal out please explain this phenomena to me, because I'm super curious.

I'm about 5 steps away from just eating a dang piece of cheesecake and just calling it even. My body obviously doesn't care to lose weight as much as my brain does. I wish I could figure this out, it has got my head spinning.

Does anyone else see large unexplained gains after "good" days? Please tell me I'm not alone here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weigh In - 3/14/11

Continuing my trend of one step forward and two steps back:

March 142011
Weight: 161.6lbs (+3.4)
Body Fat: 31% (-1)
Bust: 36.75" (0)
Waist: 29.5" (0)
Hips: 40" (0)
Bicep: 11.5" (0)
Thigh: 23.5" (+.75)
Calf: 15" (+.25)
*last weeks picture - will be replaced later tonight*

Let me start off with a mini rant right now. I feel completely dejected, frustrated, and annoyed with my results for this week. I was so excited about last week and being 158.2 lbs, I tried my very best to really do well and push myself well below my dreaded 159 mark. I was so very conserned about ruining it that I stepped on the scale almost every day. I was disgusted to see that by Wednsday I had already balooned back up to 160, and by Thursday I was up to 162. WHY?!?! I didn't eat off plan, I didn't hide any ankle weights on the scale, I just don't get it.

If everyone says weightloss is simple calories in versus calories out I would have had to have eaten an extra 11,900 calories this past week to justify my gain. That is the equilivant to me eating everything that I normally eat in a week plus 16 slices of cheesecake. That is 2 full cheesecakes. I didn't even eat a stupid cookie between Monday and Thursday (which is when I gained at least 4 lbs). How is that even possible? I ate mostly fresh vegetables from Mon - Thurs, I would have had to have eaten 48lbs of brussell sprouts to justify that. 48lbs of Brussel Sprouts!!!! It just dosn't make any logical sense.

It's enough to make me want to pull my hair out... It's at least enough to make me wish I had eaten at least piece of cheesecake. I can't even tell you one item I really indluged in that could possibly cause that sort of gain. I just am confused and frustrated.

What's worse is I had possibly one of my worst weekends ever this weekend. I was celebrating my girlfriends wedding, and I was one of her bridesmaids. I had originally hoped to be 150 by March 12th (her wedding date) but I changed it to 155 to be a better goal for myself. I was unable to get there and instead fell back to the 160s. Thursday night was her bachlorette party and I had a vodka and tonic, and ate a small piece of cake. Friday night was the rehersal dinner and I had a bite of a canoli, and Saturday was her wedding and I had a piece of the cake and 5 cocktails. A terrible terrible string of days, and you know what... I lost weight. I went from 162 to 161.6. If there is a sliver lining in all of this the dress (a size 12) I bought back in October for this wedding was simply too big when I put it on for the wedding. I had to do some last minute alterations to it to get it to fit correctly. So there is something to be happy about... my dress didn't fit.

I didn't take a picture today because I was just too angry to want to document yet another failure. Dispite my gain It seems as if my measurements stayed pretty stable, except for my legs which seemed to have ballooned up. Maybe when I get home I will replace the image with a new one for the week and see if my legs did really get bigger or if I just can't measure properly.

I hate being a negative nancy right now but It seems as if I simply can't make it through an entire month without a horrible horrible gain. Maybe that should be my goal for next month, no numbers, just simply loose every week....

I hope everyone else had a better week then I did. Less like this one please.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weigh In 3/7/11

Everyone get ready to celebrate with me:

March 72011
Weight: 158.2lbs (-2.2)
Body Fat: 32% (0)
Bust: 36.75" (-1)
Waist: 29.5" (-.5)
Hips: 40" (-.5)
Bicep: 11.5" (-.25)
Thigh: 22.75" (-1)
Calf: 14.75" (-.25)

This means I did it! I past 159 which USED to be my lowest weight in 5 years (or longer). This is the skinniest that my current boyfriend has ever seen me and is a definite awesome moment for me. Only draw back being my clothes aren't fitting as nicely, but I think that is something I can deal with. Summer is on the way which means tons of dresses. I can't wait to keep on trucking down to where I used to be in high school. I don't exactly know the numbers but I remember my prom dress was a size 8, so thats where I am headed. I can't wait!

I was very worried this morning that I had made too many mistakes this week to equate to weight loss. I took a few liberties with my meals and my cheat day and thought I had really undone myself. However, not only did I lose 2.2 lbs but I also lost inches all over which is amazing news to me. For some reason I think the pics look worse this week then last week, but perhaps its lighting because I can't fight with the measurements.

It's funny how you can pour your heart and soul into work outs and eating right one week and lose nothing and slack off and bend the rules another and have great results. I'm recharged now that I have made it past 159 (which was that number that for 5 years I just couldn't squeek past) to keep up with my eating and work outs. And I will take this week's results as a reminder of the good things that can come from eating right and working out instead of focusing on how I was able to lose with the habits I had this week.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Low Carb Shepard's Pie

I have already expressed my love of frozen foods, mostly for their convenience and because I can manage to muster up some pretty tasty meals using mostly nonperishable items that I can keep around for whenever. It is very important for me that I have good food choices readily available so that I never have to use the excuse "I didn't have any other options."

I was peeking around some low carb reciepe forums and saw someone mention using califlower as a substitute for mashed potatoes and I instantly had the idea to make Low Carb Shepard's Pie. This is the perfect recipe for on-diet St. Patty's Day festivities.

Here is how it goes:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 bag frozen peas and carrots
2 bags of frozen cauliflower
1/2 bag of frozen pearl onions
1/4 can of cream of mushroom soup

Garlic Powder
Butter (optional)

Brown your meat in a large pan.

I used lean ground beef because it is what I had around. You could also use ground chicken, or chicken chunks and make a "Cottage Pie" using the same recipe.

Once your meat is browned drain the fat and add your peas and carrots and your onions.

Add 1/4 can of cream of mushroom soup. This is only for a touch of flavor and a bit of creamyness. Remember it has a lot of fat and carbs so add just enough to make it creamy. If you require a more "creamy" texture try adding some milk.

Add salt, pepper and any other spices to taste. You can try things like parsley, onion powder or garlic powder to add more flavor to your filling.

Once all of the veggies are cooked through you can pull them out and set them in a casserole dish. The dish should be fairly shallow, I am only using half of this dish.

You can also choose to make individual pies and use ramekins instead.

Now for the fun part. The "mashed potatoes":

Cook up your frozen cauliflower. Try to overcook it just a touch so it is really soft. This will make the next steps easier.

Add some salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Using a potato masher mash your cauliflower until it is about the consistency of rice.

This will make the cauliflower easier to blend in the next step.

Put your cauliflower in the blender and blend until smooth.

You may need to pulse a few times or use a spoon to mix the puree since it will tend to trap air very well.

If you have a food processor you can skip the mashing and blending step and just process the cauliflower until smooth in your food processor.

Spread your cauliflower mash on top of your meat and veggie mixture.

Use the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula to smooth the mash out.

This step is optional.

Add a few pats of butter to the top of your mash. This will aid in the browning of the cauliflower.

You can skip this step but your cauliflower won't brown at all.

For this part I usually only use my broiler since everything is cooked throughly. I set my oven broiler to high and set the pie in until it browns.

Notice the browning only where I set the butter?

You can also choose to bake your pie in your oven at about 350F for 20-25 min.
 Last step: Cut a slice of pie and enjoy.

 Makes ~ 6 slices

1 lb lean ground beef (776 cal)
1 bag frozen peas and carrots (151 cal)
2 bags frozen cauliflower (267 cal)
1/2 bag frozen pearl onions (79 cal)
1/4 can cream of mushroom soup (65 cal)
1 tablespoon of butter (100 cal)

~  1438 cal / 6 servings =  240 cal !!!

Boy I love it when a meal comes together. Don't forget you can eliminate the butter for even less calories. Maybe then you can even squeeze in a green beer for St' Patty. But then again, maybe green beer really isn't meant to be consumed.