Whirlwind long weekend

Hello friends! How did it get to be Wednesday already??

Let’s catch up. On Saturday, I went to the third wedding for the same couple, but it was still a really special event. The first time they got married by a mayor, the second time was a Hindu ceremony in India, and this weekend was the church wedding!

I wish I could tell you that I had a couple drinks, one plate of food and half of my slice of cake…but perfect eating would make for a boring story, right? 😉

Truth be told, I drank a lot. So much so that I spent all of Sunday nursing a wicked hangover and then my body decided to punish me some more with an awful sore throat that struck me Tuesday. I really felt like I had poisoned my body with how much I drank. I was a pretty heavy drinker in college and for a year or two post-college, and when the urge hits, I still like to pound the gin and tonics hard. Obviously in my hangover-haze I was feeling pretty bad about it, but I rarely indulge in even one drink anymore, so I’m moving on from the whole situation without much guilt.

After the wedding, I was driven back to the bride and groom’s house where I also indulged in lots of leftover food and cake. It was a pretty epic night of calories, to be honest.

However, with the hangover and subsequent sore throat I’ve had almost no appetite since then, which obviously helped hold off a huge weight gain. I also danced a lot at the wedding and have been going on hour-long evening walks in hopes of balancing out all that partying.

After a big, sugary food fest I also like to get in as many fruits and vegetables as possible in the days following, so smoothies it was! I’ve been on a green monster rampage! My go-to recipe for these are 1 banana, 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 1 scoop of protein powder (I love Designer chocolate whey), and as much spinach as I can fit and about a cup of water.

I don’t have air condition in my apartment, so with the weather approaching 90 degrees here, it’s definitely time to sub out oatmeal for smoothies. My magic bullet will be working hard the next few months!

On Memorial Day, I went to my sister’s house for a bbq where I ate a cheeseburger, sans bun, and lots of yummy grilled veggies and fruit. I can’t wait to have a porch one day where I’ll be able to grill. It makes everything taste better. I even ate grilled peppers, which is the one vegetable I really don’t like that much.

Later that day my friend Amanda and I took off in search of paddle boats. Every summer we talk about going to a lake to ride in the boats but we usually get lazy and it never happens. Not this year :). We spent a good hour paddling around a small lake, drifting and catching up on each other’s lives. It was the perfect calm ending to a pretty ridiculous weekend.

But before the main weigh-in event, I have to share this recipe. I love all spicy Asian food but never really found a recipe that lived up to restaurant quality. Until now. This Creamy Thai Sweet Potato and Lentil dish from Pinch of Yum turned out unbelievable. I made a few substitutions (left out the butter and oil and used lite coconut milk instead of regular) and it was still spicy, creamy and all-around amazing. It tastes like it required a lot of work…but besides dicing the potatoes, I was just able to dump the rest of the ingredients in the pot and stir every once in a while. Make this. Now.

Source: pinchofyum.com via Jodi on Pinterest

 

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 168

This week: 167.5

Change: -.5

Total loss: 75.5

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Friday NSVs

It’s early. I made my coffee too strong and it was bitter and I’m STILL sore from a session with my trainer on Tuesday (SO MANY SQUATS). I’m meeting with him again in a half hour. So here, my friends, are some happy thoughts to get me through what’s sure to be another killer workout.

1. I can sit with my knees pulled into my chest. Alternatively, I used to need two hands to bring my leg back for a quadriceps stretch…now I can easily bend my leg to touch my heel to my butt!

2. My shin is still feeling a little bit “twingy” BUT….the fact that I can even say the phrase “I would like to get back into running” is unreal to me. I never got to say things like “I need to get back in shape” because I never was in shape. But now I feel like I have a base of fitness.

3. Shaving my legs is So. Much. Easier. TMI? You’ll deal.

4. This is something I both hate and love…but a lot of people have complimented me on my weight loss this week. I’m not sure why this week in particular, but I’m going to enjoy the compliments as recognition of my hard work and not think too much beyond that.

5. I wasn’t going to include this one…because I just complained about it…but when I was shopping for dresses for the wedding tomorrow, I fit into a size 12 everywhere. In Macy’s I thought it was just a fluke, or that the dresses ran big, but in every single store the size 12s fit. Even though I’m not enjoying shopping as much as I would like to, being a size 12 always represented something important in my mind, so now that I’m here I’m going to do my best to appreciate it.

 

Have a lovely Friday :)!

Great(er) Expectations

I’ve tackled a lot of things in my 1+ year of losing weight.

But there’s one big thing I still feel like I really struggle with: social eating.

Honestly, when I decided I was going to lose weight, I stopped eating out with friends. I literally asked my friends not to ask me to dinner. Pre-weight loss I used to meet friends for meals all the time, never turn down an invite to a party and was always up for splitting a bottle of wine.

For a while I threw around excuses.

“I don’t have the money to eat out” – usually true

“I already ate out a couple times this week” – rarely true

“I’m really trying to lose X amount by X date, so after that I can go to X restaurant” – this meant it was never going to happen

I skipped SuperBowl parties (“I hate watching football!”), I skipped invitations to friends houses for dinners, I skipped impromptu nights at the bar.

Bloggeer Lisa Eirene (lost 110 pounds!) recently wrote about a party she went to and her strategy for eating without going overboard and it got me thinking about my own strategy (i.e. being MIA) when it came to eating out.

And with a wedding Saturday (hello, buffet!) and Memorial Day barbeques coming up, I think it’s about time for me to learn how to eat reasonably without a food scale and measuring cups.

My strategy for holidays and other gatherings before had just been to give myself permission to eat whatever I wanted for that night. I know it’s not the best way to approach things, but I also know that nights like that are RARE and not reflective of how I eat 95 percent of the time.

But, I think I can do better than that.

I want to strike a balance between not obsessing about the calories and giving myself room to eat things I might not normally eat without the feeling of coming to an oasis in a desert and stuffing myself.

You see, my eating habits don’t make me feel deprived now, but that’s because I’m not around foods that I would rather not eat.

When I’m around foods I don’t normally eat in a social setting, I sometimes feel pressure to eat them or eat more than I normally would so I don’t feel….diet-y.

Some of this comes from not wanting to deal with people commenting on what I am, or am not eating, and some of this comes from the mentality I had growing up…where if I didn’t eat all the “bad” foods at a party, I would never have another opportunity to at home. My parents usually just threw the food out or hid the food, so it was always a “now or never” thing…which of course led me down the road of binge eating.

Anyway, this is starting to go off in too many directions.

Moral of the story: I can learn to leave my food issues behind and eat “normally” in social settings, but it’s going to take work and effort, just like everything in life.

Let’s move on to…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 169

This week: 168

Change: -1

Total loss: 75

All the small things

I don’t have much time to write – the weekend kind of got away from me. But I did want to share some of the healthy things I’ve been up to:

1. First, an injury update. Be prepared to be disappointed. I sure am. My shin…still hurts. I’m going to give it some more rest from running and instead start walking longer distances again. I missed my park so much the last two weeks. I went back for a slow 4-mile walk on Saturday and just let my mind wander while I strolled along the river. It was glorious. I stretched half-way through and again at the end and put on my compression sleeves after and my legs seem to be doing ok.

This is not from the park. Or this weekend. But the bunny is cute.

2. My eating has been really natural and on point since I ditched daily weigh-ins. I get a little paranoid sometimes that I’m eating too much, but I’m trusting my hunger, my calorie counting and my body instead of a number. It feels good. I don’t plan to count calories forever, so I know this is a step in the right direction. Overall I think a lot less about my weight and instead think about how I’m feeling. Major win. Also, I’ve been way more moderate about my diet and including more treats. Usually desert for me is fruit, but I’ve been eating things like popcorn and froyo more regularly. Living on the edge, ya’ll.

A sample of my meals 80 percent of the time. Eggs, veggies, fruit.

...And 20 percent froyo. Addicted.

3. Before I started losing weight, I was really lazy. And not just in the no-exercise way. My whole life was lazy. I would spend weekends watching TV and laying around. I never cooked or cleaned. My lifestyle contributed a lot to my weight gain. Now…I’m always doing something. Whether it’s waking up early to go to the gym, grocery shopping, cleaning around my apartment – I move in small ways a lot more. I was thinking a lot about this as I was running around doing errands this weekend. Yes, I go to to the gym, which I never used to do, but I also think it’s small things that all fall under the category of “self care” that make a big difference, too. Case in point: Today I woke up around 7 a.m., cooked breakfast…pre-weight loss I probably would have met some friends at a diner. After, I went to the grocery store where I spent most of my time wandering around the produce section…before I would have gone right to the freezer to grab frozen meals. After food shopping, I hauled my laundry off to the laundry mat, came home and folded and put away all my clothes…pre-lifestyle change the clothes probably would have sat in the laundry basket for days. Then I went shopping for shoes…returned home and prepped some meals for the week. There’s just a lot more action in my day-to-day life that was never there before. Obviously these little things add up calorie-wise, but they also make a difference in my happiness. Going to bed knowing I have a healthy lunch prepared for the next day, a clean kitchen and clean room just make me feel so damn good.  Small, simple changes, folks.

Reading while my clothes are washed

Cutting up melon for snacking during the week

4. My new favorite blog: Medicinal Marzipan: Body Image + Authentic Living. The further into the archives I go, the more I fall in love. Each post is a gem, and she links out to some truly inspiring reading as well. I can’t get enough.

5. I’ve been having some great conversations with friends and family lately. Opening up about my life in writing (both in this blog and private journaling) has given me courage to open a lot more to the people in my life and for that I’m truly grateful. It seems like everywhere I turn a friend or a stranger is there to offer support. I’m really overwhelmed a lot of the time by how many people offer kind words. I guess when I started losing weight, I expected a lot of judgement and backlash, of which I did get some, but overall it’s been a really positive thing. I used to not react so well to compliments, but I’m getting better at it. Because of my job, I interact with a ton of people, some who I see every week and some who I only see once a month or once every few months, so my weight loss is constantly being pointed out. It used to give me a lot of anxiety when other people commented, but now I’m taking it with a smile. Progress.

AND…Happy Birthday to my sister!! My biggest cheerleader and motivator and guide in life. I love you 🙂

Thoughts become things. Choose good ones. Happy Monday!

I’m going to be naked soon

All my life I’ve been told that one of the best things about losing weight is going clothes shopping.

“You can shop at every store!”

“So many options!”

“All the clothes will fit and look better!”

This. Shopping. Was supposed to be the reward part of weight loss.

Well, I’m not having any fun.

I was incredibly lucky that one of my best friends had also recently lost weight as I was losing and was basically able to supply me with a new wardrobe as I worked my way down from a size 20 to now, where I am between a 12/14.

I think I literally only had to buy a pair of shorts last summer and a few t-shirts, but besides that, I haven’t needed any clothes.

But things are starting to get loose again. I’m even still wearing some clothes from my highest weight, 243, and believe me, it’s not doing my self esteem any favors.

I know I need new clothes.

I think this is the part where I’m supposed to get excited.

But I’m having the most horrendous case of shopping anxiety. I will set out to buy clothes, try on different things at every store, even like some items, only to put them back moments before stepping into the cashier’s line.

And..I have no idea why.

This hasn’t been a huge problem until recently. I have a wedding on May 26 and have tried on maybe 50 dresses only to dismiss absolutely every one.

Yes, some of them truly were terrible, but there were a few that I probably was too fickle with.

And it’s been like this with all clothes – jeans, shirts, shoes. I desperately need a new work wardrobe.

This is supposed to be a good problem, apparently, but I am filled with dread every time I think about going to the mall.

I hesitate saying this, but I miss the days when my options were limited. When Torrid or Old Navy or Lane Bryant were my only options.

Fashion doesn’t come naturally to me, and having limited options where “it fits” was a good enough reason to buy was definitely easier for me to handle.

I continue throwing out clothes, and I know my days are numbered with my current stash of jeans and tops.

I’m not exactly sure where the issue lies. I know I’m a lot more critical of my body now than I used to be. Before, there wasn’t really any on specific part of my body that I could point to and say…well I wish this  was smaller/bigger/different. My whole body was just one big (pun intended) problem for fashion.

But as I get smaller, and my body begins to take some kind of shape, I’m beginning to be able to point to specific things I would like to change. I zero in on areas like my stomach, or thighs, and then that’s all I see in the clothes.

Despite my best efforts to remain body positive, the inevitable picking apart of one’s appearance in the mirror definitely happens.

I’ve written about it before, and it’s been a recent theme in my life that I’m too hard on myself. And I know that buying clothes that fit and that I like is a big step in appreciating my body and my progress, but I can’t bring myself to do it.

I wish I had a better ending for this problem. I would love to hear any similar reactions to clothes shopping and any advice in the comments or in an email, fatornotblog@gmail.com.

Anyway…The numbers.

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 170

This week: 169

Change: -1

Total loss: 74

 

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Casserole with Cauliflower Crumb Topping

This dish is kind of like the perfect storm.

It’s the culmination of food cravings, veggies about to go bad, and a return to a more vegetarian fare.

Loaded up with cheese and baked to perfection.

Let’s discuss details.

Remember when I went paleo? Lasted about a month, but, give or take a carb, I’m mostly back to my old ways of eating. I did learn a few things, though.

1. Thou shall not be afraid of fat. Avocados and nuts are now staples in my diet.

2. Thou shall make protein an important part of a meal. It’s the key to staying full!

3. Thou can use cauliflower to make anything. Really.

I had NO idea. Pizza crust, hummus, mashed potatoes, fritters, risotto, and the list goes on and on and on.

Every week I would buy a head of cauliflower, vowing to make something different with it, and every week I would just stick it on a tray and roast it. It was so good that way, I couldn’t bare to mask the vegetable as something else.

Anyway, over the last few weeks I’ve been cutting back on my meat consumption. I came to the conclusion that I’m not really that into meat, and with no food allergies, it seemed silly to be cutting anything out of my diet, like grains.

My poor box of quinoa had been sitting in my kitchen untouched for weeks due to the paleo influences, and I had been craving its subtle, nutty flavor.

Then another craving hit: cheese.

Thank the universe for google, because so many, many wonderful things popped up when I typed in “quinoa mac and cheese.”

I was pulling all of the ingredients out of the fridge to start cooking when I noticed some cauliflower on the verge of going bad.

And just like that, the dish came together.

I’m calling this a casserole rather than faux mac and cheese, because while it does satisfy my cheese craving, it really is more casserole-like than a creamy bowl of macaroni and cheese.

Wow – that was a long explanation!

Here we go:

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Casserole with Cauliflower Crumb Topping

(loosely based on this recipe from Kitchen with Kate)

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 3 broccoli crowns
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk (any kind will do, I used Silk almond milk)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (optional – you can just use water if you want)
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 4 tsp grated parmesean cheese
  • Garlic powder – as much as you want!

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Break up the broccoli crowns and throw the florets into a big pot with about a cup of water on high heat. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the broccoli turns bright green and has softened. Then mix in the quinoa with 3 additional cups of liquid. I did 2 cups of chicken broth and one cup of water, but you can change this up as long as the ratio of quinoa to water stays the same. Let the liquid come to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, grate your cauliflower in a small bowl and toss with the parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the eggs and milk. When the quinoa broccoli mixture is done, pour it into the bowl with the eggs and milk and add in all the cheese. Stir everything together so the cheese begins to melt a bit.
  • Transfer the whole thing into a casserole dish that has been greased with cooking spray. Sprinkle the grated cauliflower mixture on top and pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower begins to brown on top.

I was really surprised at how thick this casserole came out! The eggs really help set the whole dish.

I can’t wait to try out more variations of this dish – it can definitely made with whatever you have lying around. Get creative! Try a different kind of cheese, throw in some different veggies, the possibilities are endless.

Bon Appetit!

Blog Meets World

Hello Friday!

It felt like this day would never come. My big plans for the weekend include hopefully signing up for a membership at the Y so I can start swimming…and making this Crazy Woman Chocolate Blender Pudding recipe from Oh She Glows.

How good does it look?? I have to go freeze an avocado and banana in preparation..I can’t wait!

Source: ohsheglows.com via Jodi on Pinterest

 

Also…my race recap from the Waldwick 5K is finally online!

Blog world, meet real world:

On the fast track to a feel good experience

That’s all I’ve got today..See you Monday!

From Scale to Zen

This needs to be said:

I’ve been an idiot about weight loss.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been exercising 5-7 days a week and not eating enough calories. Although I wasn’t always conscious of it, I’ve been eating based on the number on the scale. If it was high in the morning, I ate less that day, if it was low, I would allow myself more food.

You know where this leads?

Absolutely no where.

I’m done with daily weighing. For the first six-ish months of my weight loss journey, I was a firm believer in the once a week weigh-ins. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Somewhere along the way, it became twice a week and then overtime developed into a full blown obsession with the scale.

But I’m breaking free of that. It doesn’t work. It puts the focus on a number when I absolutely know better that that’s not where my focus should be.

This week, I exercised WAY less and ate consistently more. And…well you can see the results below.

I’ve been obsessed with reading the blog Zen Habits for the past week or two, and it’s really helped me put my head in the right place.

If you’re not aware of Zen Habits, do yourself a favor and check it out. The blog is written by Leo Babauta, who has a bazillion kids, lives in California and changed his life one habit at a time. Among his accomplishments are a 70-pound weight loss, becoming a runner and transforming his passion into a business. He’s written a book or two and is pretty much my life idol.

His blog is my absolutely my go-to reading source for positive inspiration.

Ok, enough gushing. Shall we talk injury?

I went to the orthopedist yesterday, and he told me exactly what everyone else has been telling me: REST.

Except this time, I’m listening.

The good news is that my x-rays showed healthy bones. The bad news is that for a minimum of two weeks, I can not run, walk, elliptical, bike, climb an excessive amount of stairs, or do lunges or squats.

Am I bummed? YES. Cardio for me is a sure source of endorphins, a no-fail happiness booster and what I scheduled my day around. I planned my cardio activities at night, and looked forward to getting sweaty when I woke up in the morning.

I’m trying not to get too down about it, but I’d be lying if I said the frustration over being injured wasn’t getting to me. I tried to be smart about running. I stretched, I wore compression sleeves, I got fitted for sneakers, I iced, I didn’t run two days in a row, I cross trained…and I still got hurt. I feel like I failed in some way, but I know most runners get injured at one time or another.

My plan for the next two weeks is to work on core and upper body strength, two areas where I am SEVERELY lacking, and, if my shins feel better, attempt a SHORT run with lots of walk breaks.

The doc said as soon as I feel pain I should stop running, and if I immediately feel pain when I begin running again, then he would think about doing an MRI on my shins. He also suggested that I get orthodics made because I have flat feet. But those cost a lot of money, so we’ll see.

I know two weeks doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but running has changed my life in so many unbelievable ways that I could have never expected. It’s been a huge confidence booster. By running, I’ve proven to myself that I can be someone who follows through and accomplishes their goals and doesn’t quit. I guess I’ve always thought of myself as someone who wasn’t motivated, but running has changed that.

I know taking this time to rest will eventually allow me to return to running, but I’m having a really over-dramatic sense of loss right now.

Oh man, this post is all sorts of rambly and has a severe lack of pictures.

It’s time….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 172

This week: 170

Change: -2

Total loss: 73

 

Me? Stubborn?

Yesterday I ran a 5K race against the advice of everyone that I knew.

Yet it didn’t surprise anyone that I was going to push through the shin pain I’ve been having to run.

“You’re stubborn,” my trainer said very matter-of-fact like in his thick Peruvian accent.

No one. ever. has described be as stubborn…..in regard to WANTING to run.

Sure, I was stubborn in high school when I refused to even TRY to run the required mile in gym class.

My, things have changed.

So let’s talk about this shin pain then.

It’s not shin splints. The pain has become very localized. I can point to an exact spot where the pain is coming from and my lower leg has been throbbing on and off for days, even through prior to the race I cut down my activity to ZERO. Oddly enough, the pain goes away after I run for a few minutes, and I was able to make it through the race without thinking about my shins.

My trainer poked around my leg a bit on Saturday and there was definitely one very tender spot. It also hurts more than normal when I foam roll over my left calf.

So in an effort not to be completely stupid, I’m taking a break from running. And seeing a doctor to (hopefully) rule out a stress fracture.

I’m trying not to be too upset…but it’s hard because I was really starting to LOVE running. The feeling of pushing myself past my limits, following a training plan and the rush of endorphins that lasted for hours.

My rational self knows that right now rest is the best thing for my body. So rest I will.

In other news, I will have a race recap…but it’s going to have to wait, because I’m actually writing about the race for my job. I can’t wait to share it!

I'm probably asking a very important question in this photo.

Credit to Bill Smithuysen for capturing the awkward moment where I’m interviewing the president of the Waldwick Chamber of Commerce.

Hope everyone else is having an injury-free Monday!

 

 

Weighty matters

In an effort not to be frustrated by my lack of weight loss progress (I’m going on 7 months, SEVEN MONTHS, in the 170’s…ACK), I give you a list of non-scale victories:

1. When I wear a hairband around my wrist, it doesn’t cut off circulation to my hand.

2. I can walk up stairs without getting out of breath.

3. I can walk pretty much anywhere without getting out of breath.

4. I can see my collarbones <—without a doubt, my favorite NSV.

5. My feet fit much better into flats and heels.

Now…what the heck is going on with my weight? I’m not really sure. I’ve been going up and down the same pound for weeks and weeks and weeks, meanwhile exercising more than ever and consistently counting calories. That being said, I’ve again fallen into a pattern of higher calorie days and lower calorie days, which absolutely needs to stop. Consistency, consistency, consistency.

Plateaus happen, I get it, but just this once I need to vent. This stall has been tough to deal with when the first 50 pounds came off, to be honest, pretty easily. I understand that as I continue losing more weight, it will be harder to do. My BMR is much lower than it was  and I burn way less calories exercising compared to 243 pounds.

However, this blog is called Jodi, Fat or Not for a reason. I’m going to continue to focus on the journey, not the results, eat fresh whole foods and exercise because these things make me happy. My weight might not be going down, but I continue to reap the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. I just happen to be a bit bitter about it right now, haha.

Also, if you’ve ever tried to lose weight, read this post by Andie, who writes the blog, “Can You Stay for Dinner?” It’s amazing.

Here we go….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 171.5

This week: 172

Change: +.5

Total loss: 71