Life in love

Maybe it’s because this is my last week commuting to NYC…

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Maybe it’s because when I left work on Tuesday the sun was shining…

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Maybe it’s because I spent the weekend cuddling with my adorable nephews…

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Happy Birthday Ethan!!!

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Maybe it’s because I know this time next week I’ll be in Florida getting some sun with my family before starting my new job…

Or maybe it’s because I’ve been soaking in the wisdom of Gabrielle Bernstein.

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All I know is, the love of the Universe has been flowing through me. I’m feeling grateful and cared for and letting happiness be my guide and I deserve every minute of it. ūüôā

Now…the numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week:156

This week: 154.5

Total lost: 88.5

Click here for every weigh in, ever.

Food with a view

I’m eating so well this week that it’s hard to believe I’m following a “strict” food plan.

Seriously. I have a total crush on Whole30 right now. So…here’s what I’m eating this week! (Also…if you love food gawking..check a bunch more of What I Ate Wednesdays on Peas and Crayons)

Breakfast: Two eggs scrambled with about 3 oz of Trader Joes canned salmon and a few handfuls of spinach. The whole combo is heated up in a pan with coconut oil and ginger and then doused in hot sauce. And of course, life wouldn’t be complete without the ¬†giant mug o’ coffee.

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Lunch: Pineapple Mojito Salad!! and sliced pork loin. My lunch was inspired from a salad I saw at Whole Foods over the weekend that was too easy and delicious not to recreate.

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My version included a whole pineapple, six mini cucumbers, and a jicama dressed with lime juice, coconut shreds and fresh mint and topped with raw pepitas. You have to make it. The mix of the crunchy jicama, with the sweet pineapple and tangy lime juice is super refreshing.

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Dinner:  I was craving fish when I went food shopping this weekend so I bought a huge bag of frozen tilapia to slowly work through. On Monday, I baked four of the filets in the oven with and have been eating them every night paired with chopped veggies nuked in the microwave and Kalamata olives or avocado for a super quick and healthy meal.

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This week I’ve also been using my lunch breaks to wander around the financial district and appreciate how close I am to some great views of the city.

Like the South Street Seaport.

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And Brooklyn’s right across the water.

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There’s also some really pretty architecture among all the skyscrapers.

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Now…The Numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 163.5

This week: 162.5

Change: -1

Total loss:80.5

Bursting the fantasy bubble

This week I got caught up the fantasy. 

You know the one: you’re skinny and life is perfect.

Things do change when you lose weight, that’s for sure. But the important stuff, the happiness stuff, really doesn’t change all that much.

Confidence is not a number on a scale. Happy is not a number on a scale. Life, most certainly, is not a number on a scale.

I’ve been slacking on positive thinking and daily affirmations. I’ve also been feeling uncomfortable in everything. Coincidence? I think not.

When I start believing in the fantasy, crazy thoughts come into my head.

Such as, “I can live on nothing but smoothies and salads.”

Such as, “When I’m finally ‘X’ weight, ‘X’ will be possible.”

A story comes to mind when I get caught up in the fantasy.

It was 2011 and I was in the middle of a phone interview for a job. The recruiter had clearly checked out my LinkedIn profile, because my profile picture on there is of me skydiving on my 21st birthday. I was around 200 pounds.

She asked, “Did you really jump out of a plane?”

“Yes,” I said. “It was awesome.”

“I would love to, but I’d have to lose some weight first,” she replied.

Now, yes, there is a weight limit for sky diving – but she wasn’t anywhere near it. I know, because I had also checked out her LinkedIn profile.

I don’t think you can tell from that photo that I was 200 pounds, if I had known what I know now (i.e. that the job wouldn’t work out) I would have definitely told her how much I weighed in that picture. I would have told her not to let her weight hold her back from taking chances.

It’s this small example that reminds me how much we allow weight to enter into our decisions. To affect the lives we lead.

But it doesn’t have to.

There is a kinder way to live. Free from being weighed down by your weight.

Listen, this kind of thinking happens. I wish I was immune to it, because honestly getting caught up in the fantasy makes living in the real world excruciatingly unpleasant.

It makes you think that there is something missing from your life.

When I’m living in the fantasy, I’m not being grateful for my body.

When I’m living in the fantasy, I’m not being thankful for everything the Universe has given me.

The fantasy is place of pure, quick¬†want when I know that journey I’m on is a slow, winding path.

When you’re ready to give up the fantasy, deal in what you’ve been dealt in life, change can happen. Step out of the fantasy and face the fears that put you there head on because that’s when the life you want, with all the happiness you can manifest, has a chance to become your reality.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ¬†– Lao Tzu

Now…The Numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 164.5

This week: 162.5

Change: -2

Total loss:80.5

Honesty

I wanted to have a bunch of fun pictures of food to share with you today.

But instead, I need to write a different kind of post.

An honest post.

I don’t usually write any commentary about my weigh-ins each week because they are just numbers. They reflect something, but not everything. They tell a portion of a bigger story.

If my numbers were to speak this week they would say “I’m stressed out.”

I have a lot of big changes coming up in my life and a couple of other curve balls have been thrown my way recently and I’m handling it by snacking more than usual.

And you know what? That’s ok.

When I feel like this, bummed about a few pounds gained, I remind myself that I’m in this for the long haul. All in. For good.

A few pounds gained one week doesn’t mean my week was bad. It doesn’t mean my life is bad. It doesn’t mean I’ve failed somehow.

I still struggle with binge eating, and those urges came on strong this week.

While my binges aren’t nearly as destructive as they used to be (i.e. entire bags of mini¬†Reese’s¬†peanut butter cups) the feeling of being out of control around food, whether it’s trail mix or pizza, still makes me feel just as unsettled.

At some point, I want to stop counting calories but I think within me lies a fear that I’ll lose control completely.

I still struggle with trusting myself around food and finding a balance.

I know how it is to be fat. I know how it is to be working toward being less fat. But I’m not sure I know how it is to just be.

I don’t have a nice way to wrap this post up. It’s a glimpse, the tip of the iceberg, to the mountain of issues that come out when you tackle disordered eating.

My head’s a little cloudy, but I’m doing my best to fight through the fog with positive thinking.

I am enough

I am enough

I am enough

Now…The Numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 162.5

This week: 164.5

Change: 2

Total loss: 78.5

 

 

Color me full

This week, I couldn’t bear to show only one day of food.

There were too many colorful meals from which to choose.

Many times where berries stole the show.

July 4 breakfast: Greek yogurt, blueberries, watermelon, strawberries and a few almonds

Even blended, they were determined to be noticed.

Smoothie: blueberries, banana, chocolate protein powder, and avocado

In oatmeal, they popped out and demanded attention.

Protein-packed oatmeal: Oats, blueberries, flaxseed meal and egg whites

Protein-packed oatmeal: Oats, blueberries, flaxseed meal and egg whites

But then the greens marched in.

Vibrant, fresh, crunchy, and refreshing.

Green monster: banana, chocolate protein powder, frozen spinach

I lunched with layers and layers of fresh baby spinach, raw broccoli (my favorite) and avocado piled on top.

Lunch this week: Spinach, broccoli, strawberries, almonds, and (unpictured) avocado and a spinach and feta chicken sausage

A zucchini sliced thin made for a fun twist on a personal pizza over the weekend.

Whole wheat pocketless pita with marinara sauce, zucchini and shredded sharp cheddar.

And when heated, the asparagus shone an even brighter green and were perfect for dipping in bright yellow yolks.

Spicy asparagus and zucchini with two eggs sunny-side up

Spicy sautéed asparagus and zucchini with two eggs sunny-side up

Produce was a priority this week.

Summer only lasts so long.

Bring on the heat if it also means berries, peaches, cherries, summer squash, asparagus and watermelon.

And just in time for the fitness part of this month’s WIAW, I got my first taste of the kettlebell.

My trainer, sensing his limited time left, practically killed me yesterday.

Squats with a kettlebell.

Tricep kickbacks with a kettlebell.

Kettlebell deadlifts.

Lucky for you, my fingers are about the only thing not sore right now.

It was one of my favorite workouts ever. Me and the kettlebell – friends for life.

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 164.5

This week: 164.5

Change: 0

Total loss: 78.5

Red, White, and….Food!

Happy July 4th!

Are you sick of fireworks yet? My favorite fireworks experience has to be a few years ago when I was on a ferry from Delaware to New Jersey. I had no idea they were going to be set off, but right in the middle of the hour-long boat ride the sky lit up with explosions. It was a fun surprise and made the trip go a little bit faster.

This month Jenn at Peas and Crayons¬†has asked everyone participating in “What I ate Wednesday” to include some fitness along with the daily eats, so I thought I would talk about some of my fitness goals…or I guess lack of fitness goals. Because I honestly don’t have any right now.

I’ve been slacking on any kind of disciplined workouts besides taking long walks (3+ miles) every day. If I was a criminal, walking would be my M.O.¬†It’s my preferred exercise and really the only consistent exercise I’ve done throughout my weight loss.

That being said, I was on the ball with strength training for a while with twice-weekly iron pumping sessions at the gym and have kind of let that fall by the wayside. Weight training made a huge difference in how I felt about my body and I think it also sped up my metabolism, so I’m ready to kick that into high gear again.

For me, exercise is more about keeping my stress levels down and less about the effect it has on weight loss, so as long as I’m doing something to sweat on the regular, I don’t really worry about what or how intense it is.

Ya dig? ūüėČ

Onto the eats!

Breakfast:¬†More oatmeal. I’m not sure what’s going on. Usually when the temperature rises I stop craving oatmeal and start craving smoothies, but my taste buds apparently still think it’s winter, so oats it is! In the pot went 1 banana, 1/2 cup of oats, 12 g of flaxseed meal and a few shakes of cinnamon. I like my oats really soupy, so I added 1.5 cups of water and stirred until they were done.

I also put my coffee ice cubes to work this week with my lazy version of iced coffee. Here’s the secret: I make a giant pot of coffee at night. Half goes in the ice cube try and half goes in a mug. The ice cube tray goes in the freezer and the mug goes in the fridge and in the morning they all combine for iced coffee bliss. So easy and so¬†cheap!

Lunch:¬†I had the same salad I raved about last week, except I topped it with Trader Joe’s Hummus Dressing this week. Butter lettuce, baby carrots, almonds, avocado, and a 4 oz chicken breast. Perfection.

Snack:¬†A few handfuls of (un-pictured) granola taken from a coworker’s snack stash. Thanks Kipp, you do read my blog…right??? ūüôā

Dinner: Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna from the vegan food/family/wonderful blog Peas and Thank You. In true Jodster fashion, I used the recipe as more of a guide rather than exact road map, but it all came together in a delicious casserole. Despite the dish not actually having any noodles or mozzarella cheese or typical lasagna ingredients, the quinoa really soaked up all the flavors of a traditional lasagna. I would totally make this again and stick it under the category of comfort food.

It was easy to assemble and did not come out watery, which has been my biggest challenge when making no-noodle lasagnas. As I’m not vegan, I decided to go with sharp cheddar cheese instead of a vegan cheese and added much more than the 1/2 cup that Mama Pea suggests for extra gooey goodness.

After it came out of the oven, I divided the lasagna into six servings for a week of dinners. Healthy meal planning at its best.

Dessert:¬†Watermelon and a homemade coconut oil chocolate bar. The three-ingredient chocolate bars from Chocolate-Covered Katie turned out better than I could have ever imagined. It’s coconut-y. It’s¬†chocolate-y. It’s amazing and makes for the perfect dessert.

After my evening walk I also snacked on a few almonds before hitting the pillow.

Fun fact: I keep my almonds in a pickle jar in the fridge. The pickle jar is just because it was the only jar I had lying around, but keeping the nuts cold really helps them stay crisp and crunchy. Stale nuts are good for no one. You’re welcome.

 

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 166.5

This week: 164.5

Change: -2

Total loss: 78.5

Have you met….WIAW?

I had so much fun posting What I Ate Wednesday last week – and I’m glad you guys seemed to enjoy it, too!

So here we are, back for another go. These are Monday’s eats, but like I said last week, my meals don’t change much day to day, so you can safely assume I’ve eaten versions of the dishes below every day.

 

Breakfast: Overnight oats! What’s that you say? You’ve never made overnight oats? It is the easiest no-fuss breakfast for hot days or early starts. You just mix all the ingredients together at night, stick the bowl in fridge and enjoy in the morning!

In my bowl went:

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup (30 g) of raw oats
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp (12 g) of chia seeds

The possibilities with mix-ins are endless. Sometimes I top it with almond butter or add in some pumpkin and yogurt. I also had the obligatory cup of coffee (and a second large iced coffee mid morning. Addicted!)

Lunch:¬†A big container of butter lettuce topped with baby carrots, 1/2 oz of almonds, 2 tbsp of Trader Joe’s spicy peanut¬†vinaigrette, 50 g of avocado and one of Trader Joe’s fully-cooked, all-natural chicken breasts. I finished it off with an apple. This lunch kept me satisfied until dinner. Usually I need a snack around 3-4 p.m., but not after this meal. I think it must have the right mix of fat/carbs/protein to keep me satisfied. I will definitely be repeating this lunch often!

Dinner: I roasted up a big tray of veggies including 1/2 a sweet potato, half a crown of broccoli and 10 asparagus. To round out the meal I made an omelette with two eggs and a stick of Sargento cheddar.

Dessert:¬†My latest obsession – PB2!! Have you tried it? I tracked down a jar at GNC, but you can also buy it online. It’s basically powdered peanut butter with a lot less fat and calories than you would normally find in peanut butter. The ingredients are just roasted peanuts, sugar, salt, and since I bought the chocolate version, cocoa powder.

Nutritionally, it’s not the same as regular peanut butter at all – but I love peanut butter so this is great for satisfying my craving while still sticking to my calorie limits. To make, you mix 2 tbsp of the powder with 1 tbsp of water. The result is a thick, peanut-chocolatey paste. I topped it with 1/2 cup (4 oz) of fat free plain Greek yogurt. I also had a dark chocolate Adora disk – it’s a calcium supplement. I always see other bloggers eat them, so when my sister and I found a bag at Whole Foods last weekend we decided to try them. I’m not sure that I really need a calcium supplement, but they taste just like regular dark chocolate and come in at 30 calories. Yum!

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 167

This week: 166.5

Change: -.5

Total loss: 76.5

All in a day’s eats – WIAW

Hi there!

Let’s talk food ūüôā

I have a confession to make, I get stuck on certain foods and just want to eat them over and over and over again.

Oatmeal? Every day.

Zucchini? Three a week.

Bananas? Can’t imagine a world without them.

My penchant for wanting the same foods over and over has solved a few common challenges that people run into when starting to eat healthier Рmainly price and time.

There’s a myth that choosing healthy foods costs more money and that cooking (especially for one) takes a lot of time, but this could not be further from the truth.

I change up what I eat from week to week, but within the week I eat the same meal for lunch every day and the same meal for dinner every day. I’m on strict budget with grocery shopping and have a crazy work schedule, but this method of meal planning has been a¬†savior¬†for time, money and my weight. Here’s why:

1. Meal planning saves money. Every Sunday I browse Pinterest and some other recipe sites for meal ideas. I make my shopping list on my iPhone and then go into the supermarket knowing exactly what I need. I always want to try new foods, and if let loose I would buy up the entire fruit and produce section, so having a plan helps me stick to my budget. Before I started cooking I used to waste so much food because it would go bad before I could eat it, but that never happens anymore.

2. Meal planning saves time. With my plan set, I can prep all my lunches and dinners on the weekend so they are grab-and-go ready for during the week. This has helped me break any dependency on frozen meals, convenience foods and it ensures that I’m never tempted to eat out. Sometimes I’ll make one big dish (like soup or chili or a casserole) and portion it out to easily reheat during the week but other times I’ll have a set protein (like a turkey burger, chicken sausages or shrimp) and a few different veggies that I know I can quickly throw together for quick and simple dinners.

Why am I talking about all of this? Because I’ve decided to participate in the blogging phenomenon What I ate Wednesday. Below is every single thing I ate on Tuesday. I get questions all the time about what a typical day of food looks like for me – so here it is!

Breakfast: Stove-top oatmeal (1/2 cup oats; 2 tbsp flax meal; 1 banana; 1-1/2 cups water; tons of cinnamon). A giant cup of coffee with a generous pour of unsweetened almond milk. I also had another coffee with soy milk mid-morning.

Lunch: 2 hard-boiled eggs; a container filled with broccoli, carrots and cucumbers; 1/4 cup hummus (homemade Рso much cheaper!); 1 cheese stick; 1/2 oz raw almonds

Snack: 100 g of grapes; 30 g of avocado (Yes, I really do weigh everything. I would cry if my food scale broke)

Dinner: 2 chicken sausages; 1/2 zucchini; 10 asparagus

Dessert: 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt; 1oo g blueberries

It’s also…weigh-in Wednesday…so here we go:

…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 166.5

This week: 167

Change: +.5

Total loss: 76

Body love reps

I had a great conversation with a friend yesterday.

We were both delighting in the way in which our lives our moving.

The feeling was surprising, to both of us, because of all the doubt and angst we’ve both faced that’s seemed overwhelming at times.

Becoming content, with anything in your life, works the same way.

But this is my blog, so I’m going to talk about how it works with loving your body.

Unhappiness, I believe, comes from wanting something other than what you have. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t want more or better than what you have, but it’s a lesson in approach.

I have to remind myself daily that I don’t want to lose weight. This is, after all, Jodi fat or not.

I want to love my body, which means I care for it in the best way I know how.

Movement that leaves me dripping with sweat and smiling.

Eating food that makes me glow from the inside out.

When I get caught up in the weight loss side, everything about me becomes focused on a number.

Not, I had a great time working out at the gym and smiled the whole way home.

Not, I made a breakfast, lunch and dinner with fresh, whole foods that were delicious to eat and gave me tons of energy.

These things get lost. Shadowed by the scale.

I was reading an interview with Julie Wyman on the blog Radical Hateloss when I realized just how much I had been feeling buried by the number.

Q: What message do you want to communicate most to other women?
A: What if the body you had right now were perfect?

It’s a thought that makes me grin from ear to ear.

The second I become motivated by body loathing, I’ve lost.

I could be doing all of the same things, but if it’s motivated by hating my body, it feels like an act of desperation to fit into a mold rather than an act of appreciation for this wonderful body gifted to me from the Universe.

My love for my body is not determined by how much I weigh, how fast I can run a mile or how much I can lift.

It never will be. And it was a lie if I thought it ever was.

I have to remind myself of these things all the time.

Every day I have to be grateful for my body. Body lovin’ reps, if you will ūüôā

The thing is, I could talk about my eating habits all day. Go into excruciating detail about my work outs. Wax poetic about how much time is spent planning every single second of my day to make health the number one priority.

There are a million people and businesses out there that want to sell you on the idea that you need a diet plan, an exercise routine or even a lifestyle change (I’m looking at you, Weight Watchers)¬†before you can feel like you are enough.

Don’t believe a word of it.

Start with the belief that you are enough. Replace every negative thought about your body with one of love and appreciation. The rest – the eating well, the exercise – will fall happily into place.

 

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 166.5

This week: 166.5

Change: 0

Total loss: 76.5

A vision of success

My trainer and I had a moment a few weeks ago.

Maybe it didn’t stand out to him, but it will stay with me for a while.

Let me start with this: I hate that gyms are covered in mirrors. I know its good to see your form, but I hate watching myself work out. It’s not so much my own reflection that I mind, but having people watch me, watching myself just rubs me the wrong way. It makes me very self-conscious.

Anyway, it was nearing the end of our half-hour session and as I was lifting dumbbells he was asking me about my weight loss progress and telling me how much more weight he believed I should lose.

 

We talked about reaching 100 pounds lost. He said, in his thick Peruvian accent, “I think you’ll look great there.”

I said, “I can’t even imagine it,” and turned away from my reflection.

He got mad.

“C’mon, Jodi,” he scolded.

Maybe it doesn’t sound like a scolding, but after almost a year of twice weekly visits, he needs few words to get his point across.

And his point was: I should be imaging it.

Every day I should spend time envisioning my goals, whether weight loss or otherwise.

 

A few weeks ago, I watched a documentary about Lindsey Vonn called “In the Moment.” Vonn is a professional skier with four World Cup championships. There’s a moment right before every race where Vonn closes her eyes and goes through the course in her mind. She has a vision of each curve, every turn, jump and movement that she’s about to take.

That’s where she wins or loses the race.

And it’s a lesson that can be applied to anything.

Take a moment. Slow down. Focus. See yourself successful in whatever way that means to you.

 

With whatever goal you are trying to reach, there are going to be bumps in the road getting there. Positive thinking will get you through. See yourself winning. See yourself overcoming challenges. See yourself making your wildest dreams come true. See yourself as someone who has lost 100 pounds.

It will happen. It is possible.

The more I sink into my weight loss philosophy, the more I see how the strategies I’ve used to change my weight can be used to change everything in my life.

And it starts with getting your head in the right place.

‚ÄúBe careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.‚ÄĚ – Lao Tzu

—–

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 167.5

This week: 166.5

Change: -1

Total loss: 76.5