Skinny Margarita Monday

Sometimes, I enjoy a fine adult beverage. Usually, I love a glass of chilled white wine, or if I’m feeling especially decadent, Bailey’s irish cream mixed with ice cubes and milk. However, lately I’ve been craving the salty, lime taste of a margarita. But what’s a calorie counting gal to do?! Booze calories add up quickly, and I’m the type that would much rather eat my calories than drink ‘em. Margarita mix in particular is loaded with sugar – and that packs heat if you’re trying to watch what you eat drink.

Limey! Only 95 calories for a magical margarita.

I’ve been wanting to try Bethenny Frankel’s Skinny Girl drinks, but I’m frugal, and if I’m spending $17 on a bottle of booze, it better be a fine, aged wine for me and my sweetie – not a low-calorie elixir with the name “skinny” in it. Something that costs $17 should be fattening, anyways. Enter my cost-cutting ways and new favorite low-cal booze – Margaritaville’s Skinny Margarita. A whole handle of this potion was only $11, and while initially I was skeptical, I have to say – this stuff rocks.(No, I am not plugging for Margaritaville or anything, but if they wanted to hook me up with some free stuff, that’d be awesome ;) )

I mixed a little Aloha with Hola and made a Strawberry Margarita/Daquiri thing.

4 oz (1/2 cup) is 95 calories, which isn’t bad for a decent sized drink. The first time I tried it, I just had it on the rocks. The best thing about this stuff is that it’s basically lime juice, tequila, and agave nectar. Tequila is made from agave anyways, so it’s kind of genius for them to use a natural, low-calorie sweetener that comes from the same thing the booze is made from. The agave nectar doesn’t leave any artificial sweetener after taste – one of my peeves with Splenda or aspartame.

The second time I had it, I went wild and had two servings (1 cup = 190 calories) with 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (30 calories). Blend it all together and you’ve got yourself a fancy pants Margarita-slushy-dacquiri thing. It was quite delicious, and after I added a dollop of fat free whipped cream (5 calories), I felt like I was on the beach in Cabo, instead of in cat-hair covered sweatpants toiling away on a thesis.

I'm whipped for whipped cream.

If you’re counting calories or watching your weight or just want to be a jubilant, lighter-weight drunkard, I recommend you check out Margaritaville’s Skinny Margarita. It’s tasty – and will no doubt soften the blow of Monday! C’mon – it’s 5:00 somewhere!

 

Fanny packs and cruiser bikes, oh my!

Hi everyone! Sorry I missed you yesterday… I have a few things cookin’ that swept me away for a little bit! Today I was thinking about fitness again, mostly because I felt guilty that I haven’t made it to the gym yet this week. There’s always something going on that seems to pull me away – going to Costco, working on homework, paying bills – you know. I’m the mayor of excuses village! As I was getting a little hard on myself about not making exercise a priority, I realized “But wait! I did buy a fanny pack, and I’m buying a bike!”. So let’s talk about that!

I love walking Lake Balboa Park, and I love hiking on weekends. One of my big issues with women’s fitness clothes is that they don’t include pockets! This leaves me in this awkward limbo where I carry my keys in one hand and my iPod in the other, or worse- I smash my iPod into my sports bra. (Yeah – I know. Classy, but a girl’s gotta do what a girls gotta do!)

Fanny Packs are comin' back in style!

My stylish solution to this kerfuffle was to buy a FANNY PACK! Now don’t worry, it’s not covered in sequins or made of patchwork suede – it’s a perfectly reasonable, sporty “waist pack” from Nathan. See? There’s a handy little pouch for my iPod, my headphones, and my keys – and a convenient water bottle holder so I can quench my thirst as I go. Clever, right? I haven’t taken it out yet for a trial run, but I’m hoping this weekend I can do a hike or something and try out my stylish new fanny pack.

My second exciting fitness solution is that I’m buying myself a 7 speed cruiser bike! I have a really crappy bike that I teeter around on now to ride to the grocery store, but it’s really flimsy and doesn’t feel safe or reliable. I’ve been hunting on Craigslist for a used cruiser for awhile, but I found a bike wholesaler in LA that is open to the public. I am scoring this beauty for a great price – and it’s too cute, right? I opted for a 7 speed cruiser so I’d have a little more flexibility in where I can ride it. I’m super excited for a reliable and safe bike that I can ride all over town – to the post office, to the grocery store, to the farmer’s market – and also, on the beach when we go visit our West side friends.

Fito Modena from BikeBuyers.com

So those are two fitness things going on with me – they’re steps towards becoming a more healthy, fit person. And here’s a picture of me with my cat,  because today was a great day because I also found out I won a scholarship! Yay! So enough about me – tell me what’s up with you- What are you up to?

Lucia isn't thrilled about being squeezed or photographed...

Weekly Weigh In #1 – Starting Over!

Hi everybody,
I decided to just start from scratch with the weigh ins again to reflect my NEW plan (calorie counting) and get the “Progress” section going again. Last week, I had 51.4 pounds to lose. This week, I have 49 pounds to lose, which means I…

lost 2.4 pounds!

Last week when I met with my nutritionist, I had a good kind of Eureka moment about my weight loss. This nutritionist is fantastic because she doesn’t just focus on the food aspect of losing weight, but the psychological factors as well. When I saw her five years ago, she hit the nail on the head that for me, a lot of my weight issues have something to do with eating being my “rebellion” in my life. It’s kind of hard to explain without getting all Freud on you, but basically, I’m pretty much a “good girl”. I do good in school, I always show up to work, I don’t drink much, smoke or do drugs. I hate being late, I’m an old lady in that I like to go to bed by 11:30, and my one guilty pleasure (besides shopping and trashy magazines) is food. In her words, much like a drug user or drinker or smoker, my “rebellion” from always being the good girl is eating what I want when I want it. (Who needs vodka when you can have popcorn?)

I exercised more this week, too!

Bingo. So this week, I paid more attention to the psychological aspect of weight. Feeling stressed? I walked it out at lake Balboa park. Feeling anxious? I had a glass of water. Feeling irritated? I hugged my husband. I tend to turn to food when I’m feeling something other than contentedness and happiness – and with that, the pounds pile on, and I’m in an eternal cycle of stress-eat-soothe. That’s not good in any way, y’all.

So, I was thrilled this week to see some nice progress and identify some things that I need to work on. Maybe I put too much of an emphasis on the physical factors of weight – like the scale, eating, calorie counting and exercise. Maybe I need to focus more on ME – and why I do the things I do. A lot of weight loss is behavioral. Maybe it’s time to just gently adjust some behavior. Hmm. I have to admit to myself that I’m in a pretty stressful phase of my life, juggling a demanding full-time job, a thesis, a blog, a household and weight loss. It’s ok to not be perfect 99% of the time. If I can embrace the emotions rather than trying to mask them with food, maybe I can embrace weight loss. Now I feel all psychological! Just call me Dr. Alyssa…

Have you ever had a Eureka moment about something you were struggling with and then realize more of it than you’d care to think was related to your thoughts and/or feelings? How did realizing that moment feel?

 

Aspirational Fashion Friday

Let’s lighten it up today with FASHION! I’m no fashionista; most of my clothes come from Old Navy and Macy’s and are about 1) comfort and 2) fit. I dress business casual Monday through Friday for work, but I love sun dresses, tank tops and jeans on weekends. One of the best perks about getting to my goal weight will be shopping in the “misses” department rather than plus. Let’s go on a virtual shopping spree for when I reach my goal weight, shall we?

First, is a bee inspired outfit I made on Polyvore. I love the look of skinny jeans with some tops, but I don’t think they’re quite right for my plus-size body. A cute printed tee and fun fedora would be flirty and casual, perfect for strolling the farmer’s market.

For the bees


I love feminine, flouncy sun dresses, and this one from Billabong would be super cute with a jean jacket and girly pink wedges.

Date night


Since I did bees, I have to do birds! I love the flouncy look of tunic tops but can’t always find ones that are flattering for larger busts. With trouser jeans, this look would be perfect for a casual Friday in the office.

For the birds


And lastly, something for an important client lunch – perhaps where you’re pitching a new concept to an ad agency. Something professional, yet young and with personality. I’d love a structured and feminine polka dot dress with a chic cream blazer, fun heels and a timeless bag.

Let's do lunch


That was fun, and friendly on my wallet – kind of like virtual window shopping! Do you have any aspirational outfits or styles? Tell me about them!

What gets me through the hard days? Humor.

Hi everyone! This week’s weigh in was kind of a bummer because I gained a little bit of weight, and consequently, cut my calories a little bit. I even wondered what I should do on the blog…fess up? not mention it? And then I realized, the whole point of this blog is to stay honest to myself, so I gotta keep it real! I get so discouraged sometimes with weight loss – it seems like its the one thing in my life so far that I just cannot do! However, I know that hard days and times like this will pass, and I have to keep going, and never give up. So when I need a little more pep in my step, I always look to things that will make me laugh – and lately, that’s been Pinterest! Enjoy some of the health related funnies and motivational little pix that have made me smile today! Also, if you’re on pinterest, follow me! I’m @lyssacurran .

Source: tumblr.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

Source: google.com via Alyssa on Pinterest

My favorite fitness

Yesterday I did my favorite kind of fitness: strolling through nature! It wasn’t really a stroll, more of a speedy walk, but I logged an hour roaming through a grassy meadow and wetlands and was in my glory. It was even better because I spent the whole hour on the phone with my best friend, and I was a mega multi-tasker because I got to catch up with her, squeeze in some exercise and enjoy nature. We walked at Lake Balboa Park, a man made lake in the San Fernando Valley.

20120415-131509.jpgMatt and our friend Jason were running around the park while I walked, so it worked out quite well. They ran 5.4 miles without stopping- way to go, guys!


On my walk I got to watch squirrels run in and out of the bushes, and see the rain water churning down the Los Angeles basin. My favorite type of fitness is definitely the kind where I get to take in pretty sights and be mentally stimulated- I guess in a way it distracts me from the “exercise is hard” feeling!

After I logged my walk into MyFitnessPal, I saw that I burned 369 calories- pretty good for such an enjoyable activity! 20120415-131928.jpgAs I get serious “again” about my weight loss, I need to try and focus on fitness that doesn’t bore me or make me want to avoid it all costs. In the past I’ve found these things to be 1) hiking 2)kickboxing and 3)bike riding. It’s amazing how finding something you enjoy makes it seem so much better… and lets you feel the positive benefits much quicker!

Do you have a favorite kind of fitness? What is it?

My other favorite type of fitness: Bike riding! Here I am before riding to the store for groceries.