Avoiding temptation – By April

“Your face does look thinner”,  my friend said to me as I adoringly took a bite out of garlic bread dressed to the nines in three cheeses and butter.  We were eating at Black Angus, a restaurant I had never once been to and went in with the logic that I would be able to get a salad and resist the free refills of liquid sugar.

I did start out the evening with good intentions.  My friend’s compliment even seemed to motivate me more to make a healthy choice, even though that motivation was quickly destroyed by it’s maniacal brother, Temptation.  After all, I had even ordered that damn cheesy bread because it was the least amount of calories on our choices of appetizer items! As I pondered about why the restaurant would throw on an extra 120 calories of Parmesan cheese on steamed broccoli, I realized that there is no way my brain was going to win the extreme battle that was going on with my stomach.  I ended up ordering a steak, salad, and mashed potatoes… plus ate half of the chocolate chip cookie and ice cream after it.

Stomach: 1    Brain:  0

That meal alone was around 1,700 calories, according to My Fitness Pal.  It would’ve been a lot worse if I didn’t eat the other half of salad and entree.  Either way, that’s a lot of exercise I’m going to have to do to make up for that meal if I want to see that magical number on the scale drop next week…

Because that’s what the scale did again for me this week! I lost another two pounds!

Disgracefully, I gained back two of those original pounds lost on the first week so really my official progress is 3.5 pounds since October 1st.  That’s just how my body is.  If I had a relationship status with my body on Facebook, it would surely be “It’s complicated.”

If I were to weigh myself tomorrow, I bet my meal boosted me up five pounds just because of the extreme bloating from the meal.  It doesn’t make sense considering I need to eat 3,500 to actually gain a pound but that’s just the cruel way my body work. My sister, Alyssa, knows all about this!  Our bodies just like to bounce up and down, week by week, slowly making the ground below us a little bit lower than before…

But knowing this does also just push me harder to make sure I make up for it!

Ladies, does your body weight bounce up and down drastically in within a day like my sister and mine?  I bet we’re not the only ones!

How do you handle when your brain is losing the battle with your stomach?!

Peace and Monkeys,


Birthday Weekend Treats & Eats – And a weigh in!



Hello All! I know I promised to talk about the delicious food I consumed over my birthday weekend, so without further ado, let’s dive right in, right? Good thing looking at pictures of delicious things doesn’t add calories…


Mexican Fiesta!


My parents hosted a Mexican fiesta the day before my birthday to celebrate four birthdays in the family, and two retirements. There were all sorts of Mexican nibbles, like chips and guacamole, Atomic Buffalo Turds (smoked jalapenos stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon), Carnitas, Carne Asada, Smoked Chicken, Adobo pork, spanish rice, two kinds of tortillas, and sweet corn. My father in law made amazing enchiladas, too!

Allison's beautiful and delicious cake!

And what kind of birthday would it be if there wasn’t cake? We had the Costco cake, above… and then my brother’s sweet girlfriend Alison made me this delicious berry and vanilla bean cream cake. It was fabulous, and convinced me I need to buy real vanilla beans to bake with, because they added such a yummy taste and texture.

I went to bed with a very full tummy, and I knew I didn’t do a very good job controlling myself around the deliciousness. There may or may not have been a late night chips and guacamole binge after some champagne and wine….

Cookie dough ice cream at Lalas

The next day was no different, but this time, we mixed it up and had dinner at the inlaws. But of course, what kind of birthday would it be if I didn’t have any ice cream? While walking around downtown Petaluma with my sister and husband, we stopped into Lalas, a vintage ice cream parlor, and got me a dish of cookie dough ice cream. I rarely eat ice cream, but it’s such a delicious treat! This ice cream was organic and hand made in a traditional creamery style. Tasty, tasty.

Fall Apart Beef with noodles and peas, yum!

Later that night, we had dinner at the in-laws! I requested “fall- apart beef”, something Matt learned to make when we moved in together a year before we got married. It’s basically a chuck roast that’s lightly grilled to get a little color and flavor, and then cooks in red wine and onions for a loooooooong time until it’s literally falling off the bone. It’s served with egg noodles and it’s a delicious savory and rich meal. YUM!

Like I said before, I had a tough time controlling myself over the weekend – because I’m like a drug addict with delicious food – I just can’t be around it! So when I went to my nutritionist, I prepared myself for a gain. I stepped on the scale and…

I lost 1 pound.

Yeah, I don’t know how either. All I can think is that in the past few weeks while I’ve been wrapping up the semester and scurrying around at work, I haven’t been snacking as much. I pretty much eat my breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late night snack and that’s it – none of my usual afternoon snacking. It’s also been getting warmer so my appetite is just naturally a little less. I weigh in again on Wednesday, and I’m curious to see how it goes because I’ve been eating out a lot this week, but have been exercising pretty frequently.

Stay tuned – hopefully the losing trend continues. So, how about you – how do you do with eating on celebration weekend? Part of me wants to believe calories don’t count on birthdays, but I gotta keep it real and be thankful the scale didn’t reflect my total lack of care over the weekend. It was a GOOD birthday, not just because of the food – but all the yummy things didn’t hurt! 🙂

Have a wonderful Monday!






Tempatation: Salty or Sweet?

Happy Wednesday, Double Chinners! Some of you may know that I’m in a cupcake decorating class. It’s been a fun creative outlet for me besides studying and I’m taking it with an old friend from college. Sounds fun, creative and interesting – but doesn’t sound conducive to weight loss, right? Well… I think you might be surprised to know, it ain’t no thang at all! I’m a classic salt lover – give me a pile of tortilla chips over a cookie any day! I’m especially not a huge cake fan (I had to learn to like birthday cake, even), so I knew a cupcake decorating class wouldn’t be a big deal for me.

Luau Cupcakes with Fondant Plumeria and Tiki Men

In class Saturday, we made Luau themed cupcakes, with hand-formed fondant plumeria, graham cracker crumb “sand” and hand drawn fondant tiki men. They’re super cute, right? I ate one out of 17 cupcakes (7 points sans fondant), and now they’re gone – given away to coworkers and friends and neighbors. It’s weird to me that I can have a gorgeous display of homemade cupcakes in my house and cease to even notice they exist, but a bag of tortilla chips is like crack, beckoning to me from the pantry with its salty, crunchy lore.

In fact, I often have little bowls of candy around my home – I love having a bowl of treats for when guests come over, usually something like dark chocolate Doves or like right now, crunchy malted Robin’s Eggs. Again, the candy doesn’t get me into trouble. Occasionally I may have a couple here and there, but it’s never a trigger for me like salty and crunchy are. I can’t even allow myself to buy tortilla chips anymore, because I’ll keep dipping into the bag until I’m shocked that I’ve eaten half a bag on “study breaks”.

Do you have a preference for salty or sweet? Do you find one or the other sets off cravings or triggers?

Post Vacation Weekly Weigh In

This morning after getting my butt kicked in kickboxing, I headed over to the scale. I wasn’t filled with dread, like I usually am, because lately I’ve been feeling… skinny. Maybe it’s because I heard four separate times from relatives on my vacation that I’d lost weight, or maybe it was because I ate Greek Yogurt for breakfast, and in my mind, Greek Yogurt is some magical weight loss elixir. Either way, I stepped on the scale with a kind of cautious optimism, curious about what a week of eating junk food, but only three times a day and in moderate portions, had done to me.

I'm fairly certain my heart stopped for 30 seconds after eating this, but DAMN, it was good.

*Drum roll*

Down. Down half of a pound. Italian beef, hot dogs, pizza, cookies, cheese curds, bratwurst, potato chips, popcorn, vanilla cream Dunkin Donut, twinkies. Down. No kickboxing, no yoga, no treadmill, no tracking. Down.

This has happened to me before. Is it the break from the daily stresses of my life – a busy job, graduate classes, homework? Is it the fact that I’m not eating when I think I “should” and was actually eating when I was hungry? Was it because I was so busy bouncing from Chicago to Minnesota back to Chicago and then all around the state that I wasn’t always eating? I don’t know. But in the future, if vacations could always go this way, I’d be pleased.

All the things I ate last week definitely made me feel like a pig – but the scale showed me this morning… that a pig I am not.

Divine Swine!

Have you ever been surprised by a weight LOSS when on vacation?

Weekend Wrap-Up

*clutches belly* ohhhh. ahh. I guess I should *strain* write a blog…*unbuttons jeans* but that requires getting off the couch….. sooooo fulll *grimace*

JUST KIDDING! But after you see all of these pictures, you’re going to think the above is true! This weekend, my lovely Aunt Ginny, Uncle Daniel and parents were in town, and man, did we eat! Here’s a brief run down of some of our most memorable meals. Surprisingly, I was fairly good and overdid it only once, on salsa and chips, one of the more benign things to pig out on. But I also dragged my butt to mega-calorie blaster impact kickboxing for an hour, so that’s a plus!

My parents and uncle arrived Friday night, and I wanted something to snack on, so I made cookie dough dip. Sadly, this dip was extremely overrated, and I think I ate two or three licks of it before throwing it out. Unfortunately it just wasn’t a crowd pleaser and tasted nothing like cookie dough.

Cookie Do"n't" dip

Thankfully, I had harvested some peppers and tomatoes from my garden and made salsa. Fresh salsa is always amazing, but I may have gone a little overboard with the garlic (3 cloves? no problem!)


Last night, we went to Five Guys and had burgers, fries and peanuts – Here’s Matt holding his burger and a nice shot of the table. (See that hand dipping for fries? Love that!)

Five Guys and Fries

Then, this morning, we had brunch at BJ’s – I had the italian market salad (very good – I love fontina cheese! Where can I buy it?) and the whole table shared a chocolate chunk pizzookie. Here’s my mom pretending to lick the pan (maybe she’s not pretending).

Mmmm, coookie

And then tonight, we were naughty and celebrated the season premiere of True Blood by pulling out the deep fryer. Matt made most of the dinner (great job, Matt!) and we had delicious fried chicken, sauteed squash and zucchini (from our garden – it was SO sweet and tender – yum!) and mashed potatoes (I made the gravy).

Courtesy of Chef Matthew

Last but not least, we had FRIED CHEESE CURDS. My Auntie Ginny is from Wisconsin and she thoughtfully brought us some fresh cheese curds.

Ellsworth Cheese Curds!

Curds are … exactly what they sound like – curds! When they’re fresh, they squeak between your teeth. I dunked them in a light milk batter and deep fried them and the result was salty, chewy, melty, crunchy amazing cloggin-your-heart goodness. LOOK. JUST LOOK. nommmmmmm.

mmmmm fried cheese curd

All in all, it was a very nice weekend with my family and we ate lots of yummy things. I didn’t feel so bad though because I did work out, and never ate in excess. I think that while things like fried cheese curds aren’t a good long term choice for weight loss, having them every once in awhile (I haven’t had them in years!) is not a bad thing, as long as it’s in moderation. I won’t ever be able to be a cold-turkey from junk food type person – and that’s ok. It will take me small steps to complete my journey – and I’m willing to go a little slower to savor every day 🙂

Lyssa with her Curds


The balance of good vs. evil…

I’m a Taurus, which means I’m ruled by the need for luxury, comfort and exquisite taste. When you add a crazy appetite to those lusty traits, my eating gets out of hand fairly quickly.

Salad, cranberries, and COOKIES (Beer and Butter provided for photographic artistry)

Yes, right there by those beautiful handmade salads are trays of homemade oatmeal cookies, courtesy of my bake-happy husband. (And you should taste them, hot holy damn…) My salad was delicious, peppered with chunks of kalmata olives and juicy tomatoes, but give any fat person the choice between a salad and homemade cookies and it’s pretty certain which they’d pick. So, I’m trying to be good, and have only scarfed two of them so far. BUT- if Matt were to disappear and the angel on my shoulder took a bathroom break, you can bet you’d find me with crumbs on my lips and an empty tray in front of me. He’s making them for our grandparents and the wedding guest who gave us a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, so most of them will vanish from the house by tomorrow morning, but still – TEMPTATION. The hedonistic side of me would rather suffer the torture of being fat than pass up a delicious homemade treat, and that’s why I need to work on my attitude.

A co-worker of mine reminds herself to stay in check with eating by saying “Candy won’t go out of business, Candy will be there next week if I need it, this isn’t the last time I’ll ever get to eat candy.” That motto kinda just doesn’t really work for me, cuz, uh, What if it’s NOT there next week?! What if I get hit by a bus tomorrow or lose my sense of taste? Yes, it certianly would be a tragedy should I die and sit on a cloud in heaven (or a chair in purgatory) and regret not eating just ONE MORE cookie. See? This is 25 years of f*ck-ed up psychology, people.

How do you keep yourself in check with temptation? I usually just give in.