Thailand 20 Tuesday – Week 5

Hi everybody! Sorry I missed a post yesterday – I got home from Chicago and have been catching up on work and such!

This week brings a disappointing weigh in – I’m up one pound. I think it’s pretty much impossible for me to reach 20 pounds lost in the next five weeks, but I’m going to keep going because SOMETHING is better than nothing. I’m a little frustrated with this week’s weigh in results because I consistently stayed in my calories on MyFitnessPal for 5 out of 7 days… and did a bunch more cardio this week. I think what set me off was that on Saturday and Sunday I overate. I didn’t go crazy, but I went over on calories by about 300 – 450 on both days (Chicago Pizza and White Castle Onion Rings sent me over the edge.) I’m finding when I’m on a weight loss kick, I need to be damn near perfect in terms of eating and exercise 98% of the time.I guess you can’t have “cheat” days when you’re trying to aggressively lose weight. :(

Some of the big important things happening this week are: 1) I should get results from my next Thyroid test. My doctor was concerned about how I was “close” to the hypo-thyroid range last time, so she’s checking it out since it has been six months since my last test. If it’s low, we’ll have a good indicator of why my body should be nicknamed “Sally Slow” when it comes to weight loss.

2)Despite this week’s gain, I’m not going to get too down. Here’s why:

Weight loss is about choices. In Chicago on Saturday, I really WANTED a cream-filled Dunkin Doughnut for breakfast… but I also want to lose weight. What did I order? An eggwhite flatbread and unsweetened iced tea. It was ok – not anything spectacular, but for a healthy and filling breakfast item, it was A-OK. Then on Sunday, as I dashed through the airport, I wanted to grab a quick bite to eat. Boy, Taco Bell would be good, I thought… and then once again that little internal voice kicked in and I walked away with a veggie sandwich on whole wheat.

It felt really good to see my family, and despite the sad reason we were there, it was a good way to remember cousin Josh’s life by celebrating him with people we loved. Here I am with my cousin Jenny and my two younger-generation cousins (Children of my cousin Michelle). Aren’t we cute? We’re definitely all related. In closing, I’ll leave you a picture of the thing that probably de-railed me – the Chicago pizza. I only had four small square pieces (they’re cut in squares, not wedges), but I bet the salt and grease blew up my tummy. Yay.

I thought four pieces was a reasonable serving, but maybe next time I need to have two. (They weren’t that big, I swear!!!) Ah, well.. the weight loss jig continues. And I guess if I lost weight as quickly as I wanted, I’d have nothing to blog about, right? ;)

Until next time – make good choices, keep on sweatin’, and come back next Tuesday, where I will report a loss even if I have to chop off my left arm to do it :) PS: Last day to enter the Homemade Harvey and Whole Foods Giveaway!

 

 

What does a thesis have to do with pizza?

Happier times with pizza!

On Friday, I overate. I knew what I was doing. I didn’t like what I was doing, but I was conscious of it. Most of you know from my frequent bitching and moaning that I’m in the process of writing a thesis. Grad school is only for masochists, people who like to whip themselves with the heavy lashings of 475 page articles and the horrors of APA style. In December, I’m supposed to be done with 2.5 years of my own personal torture – a torture I inflicted on myself in the pursuit of self-betterment and personal fulfillment. Despite my complaints, I really do love learning and school. I’m just getting kind of burnt out on it.

With all of the changes going on in my life, my thesis has taken the back seat. In addition, I had completed 36 pages of my first thesis topic when it was decided that my project wasn’t sustainable and I had to start over from scratch. This week, there’s been discussion about delaying my completion date to Spring 2013. In my heart, I know this is a better option, because it will mean less sacrifice – less sacrifice of quality, and less sacrifice of time and good health. Yet, it means I’ll be prolonging the stress of this gigantic 150-page baby I’ll eventually be birthing, paying for another semester, and having to wear the hat of full-time employee + grad student for another 5 months.

So, I ordered a pizza for Matt and I for dinner, and while I flitted around the house trying to pack (have I mentioned this is my fourth trip out of town in three weeks? Yikes) I ate one piece. Then I ate a second. Then I ate a third. And then I ate a fourth. And then I stopped – and realized what I was doing, something I hadn’t done in a long time. I was emotionally eating. I was upset about my thesis and my possible delayed graduation, and I decided to push away that feeling by eating pizza. (Why does emotional eating NEVER happen with celery?). My brain was craving dopamine – an instant reward – and so I gobbled down the pizza, hoping to fill that feeling of sadness with something else.

It’s a shitty realization that sometimes your way of dealing with problems is just adding another problem to your life.  However, there’s a bright side to every little cloud of doom and gloom, and this bright side is that today, I realized what I was doing. Before I started seeing my dietician, I never knew I emotionally ate. I think I knew it but I didn’t acknowledge it, didn’t know how to stop it. I’ll never forget the day one of my former bosses told me I was a disappointment – and how right after work, I drove to the grocery store, bought a bag of potato chips, and stuffed them into my mouth as I drove home. It was the only way I knew how to deal with that absolutely raw feeling of devastation. I’ve come a long way from this type of relationship with food, but tonight proved to me that I can’t ever fully cure myself of using food to pacify emotions. We live in a culture that encourages using food for feeling – the woman who just got dumped eats ice cream, the woman with PMS craves  chocolate. After a funeral, casseroles show up at your door, and with a new job comes celebratory dinners. Birthdays mean cake and weddings mean champagne (and more cake), Christmas means cookies and Thanksgiving means turkey. Food is feeling.

Tonight, it took me awhile to get there, but I finally made that mind-body connection and thought to myself, “Stop it. You’re not hungry, you’re upset – and those are two different feelings.” That alone is progress – one that may not fix me feeling sad about a delayed graduation, but one that in the long term, will help save my life.

 

 

 

3 Day Weekend Recap

Hi everybody – I hope you had a great weekend! I was lucky enough to have Friday off, and I used this weekend to completely recharge, do some fun things, and finish a few projects around the house. On Thursday night, we went to the LA County Museum of Art to see a surrealistic wonderland exhibit. Some of the highlights included seeing work by Frida Kahlo, including Las Dos Fridas. Her work has such a visceral feeling to it, and it’s even more intense in person. This painting is about five feet wide and staggering in person.

Las Dos Fridas at LACMA

The biggest project we crossed off our list this weekend is our garden! Every year Matt and I spend a lot of time working on our garden, and we reap the benefits in late summer when we’re practically begging our friends to take tomatoes. This weekend I put in cucumbers, green beans, peas and zucchini – now growing in two boxes filled with hot peppers, green peppers, and six different kinds of tomatoes (I know, excessive much?!). Matt also put down weed block and mulch to keep the area a little nicer. Doesn’t it look good?

Our garden - ready to grow!

After a long day of ripping weeds, planting plants and general putzing around the yard, we celebrated Easter with a ham, mashed potatoes, peas and rolls. It was tasty, and we have tons of ham leftover – time for frittata and split pea soup! That was Saturday… and then on Sunday, we spent our actual Easter at the beach! How spoiled can we get? We live about 45 minutes from Malibu and we spent our day reading on the sand and walking up and down the coast.

Zumba Beach Malibu

While we were there we saw a beached seal – this poor little guy didn’t look too hot. A crowd of teenagers had gathered around him and were trying to figure out what to do. Being old and jaded, Matt and I had a feeling he had come out of the water to die, but we didn’t want to say that… so we kept walking. Haha. I hope he’s okay – but any seal that’s beached itself and doesn’t even move when strange, loud humans approach it is probably not in the best health. :(

Sick beached seal - poor guy

We spent a couple of hours relaxing at the beach and then came home and made pizza. This pizza had caramelized onions, garlic, olive oil, mozzerella and asiago cheese. It was delicious – but so savory we both stopped after a piece and a half!

Savory caramelized onion and garlic pizza

It was a great long weekend and exactly what I needed to plow through this last month of the Spring semester. I’m also geared up to get back on track with healthier eating and fitness. I officially ended Weight Watchers and am back to calorie counting and cardio. I’ll do a weekly weigh in a little earlier this week since I still owe you two from the past two weeks! Please don’t forget to enter my EatSmart Scale Giveaway – and share it with your friends! There’s only one day left, so enter now!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday – Chin Up!

 

Weekend Wrap Up

**Before we get started, did ya notice my cool new header?! Isn’t it awesome?! Special thanks to Amy Adams Studios for the darling illustration and to Nathan G. for the help setting it up!

I had a really good weekend! On Saturday morning, Matt and our friend Jason ran together at the Balboa Lake Path… and I went along! Don’t get too excited, I wasn’t running (maybe one day soon), but I did bring my music and pedometer and walked a good mile and a half around the park. It was a beautiful day and I clocked in 5,000 steps!

Balboa Path

On Saturday evening, we had pizza at our friend Matt’s house (he was my Matt’s best man!) with our other dear friend Julie. Julie and I met in grad school, and we had an immediate bond due to our awkward sense of humor, sharp wits and fondness of all things delicious. (She’s a frequent commenter here on the blog – everybody say HI JULIE!) While the boys made pizza, Julie and I enjoyed our buzz and sang songs as she strummed the guitar. (FYI, WW Peeps: Widmer’s Raspberry Hard Cider is only 4 points for the whole big bottle! Boozy score!)

Julie rocks out

My officemate Sacha says “Manishewitz” when she’s frustrated, and I’ve taken to the same habit. Julie and I got in a conversation about Manishewitz the other day (she’s Jewish, I’m not, so I had no knowledge of the grapey sugar water), and I told her I wanted to try it. Julie gifted me with my very own bottle. The verdict? Tastes like grape flavored hummingbird nectar. I’m told it’s the most sneaky hangover ever, folks.

Me trying Manishewitz

The first pizza Matt F. made was a delicious pesto, potato, garlic and bacon pizza. It was perfectly delicious, with savory hints of basil and crunchy pork. I ate two pieces.

Pesto Potato Pizza

The second pizza was spicy italian sausage, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, chevre, garlic and mozzerella. I was too stuffed to have a piece of this one, and I’m not much of a goat cheese person, so I watched as the others enjoyed it.

Thumbs up for Pizza Pies

We then played Apples to Apples (husband Matt won! Go Matt!) and then stuffed our bellies once more with the amazing Popcorn CakeI found on Pinterest. I used a bag of Trader Joe’s Kettle Corn instead of buttered popcorn, and I also omitted the pretzel sticks. I used two bags of M&M’s and about 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. This dessert was very rich, but super yummy because of the saltiness and sweetness. It came out to about 8 points plus per serving, but I’d say it was worth it. Nom. Definitely making this again for a party.

Popcorn Cake

It was a challenging weekend in terms of healthy eating, but I tracked everything and used some flex points. I also had a good workout in there, so that should help even things out a bit. If I can keep drinking lots of water and fit in a few more workouts this week, hopefully I’ll see the loss I was expecting last week, this week. Moderation when I’m around delicious things is always the HARDEST thing for me, but I think I did okay this weekend!

So – you heard about my weekend – how was YOUR weekend?

 

 

 

Weekly Weigh In #4

Well – here it is – the first GAIN post! Blech! However, I’m going to start off by saying that I fully know and acknowledge the choices I made to have this 1.2 pound increase. My weekend in Big Bear was filled with good food – steak, creme brulee, cheese burgers, fudge – so it’s only natural I’d puff up a little bit. I can’t expect to eat whatever I want and lose weight.


The good news is, however, that next week’s weigh in should be different, because I came home from my trip and got right back on track – back to the gym and veggies and whole grains and loads of water. This week alone, Matt and I went through 8 romaine hearts! We also made good choices for fun events – Last night, our friends came over for dinner and we did a make your own pizza night. Mine was packed with veggies – onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, kalamata olives. It was delicious, and not that bad on the points scale.

Tonight's Healthy Dinner: Corn, Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Mixed Greens

I was also reminded on Friday of why exercise is so important. I have a pretty busy job, and on Fridays, the last thing I want to do is put on my boa-constrictor sports bra and go bounce around for an hour working up a sweat. I forced myself to go Friday night and had an amazing workout in my “Body Blast” class, with weighted bars and dumbbells. I felt great. You know that point in cardio where you “burst through” and get this sudden exhilarating spurt of energy? I got that, and it felt amazing. I felt strong and relaxed, and that feeling propelled me to go to kickboxing the next morning at 9 AM. Endorphins are a very powerful thing.

So, it was a weight gain week, but it wasn’t a “bad” week because I know what I did, accept responsibility for it, and moved on. If only I could have learned how to do that so much earlier in life – I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog with 48+ pounds to go! ;)

Pumped for Pizza

I enjoyed seeing this photo montage of my reaction to our giant Brooklyn pizza from Redballs Pizza on Sunday night, especially because I wasn’t aware that the two first photos had even been taken, and they capture my “I LOVE FOOD” crazy-face quite well.

I got a groupon for $10 for $20 worth of pizza, and we got this humongous cheese and pepperoni pie. It was really tasty and Matt even said it was better than a Chicago pizza. (At that point, I jokingly pulled off my wedding band and engagement ring and handed them to him, saying “I don’t think it’s going to work out”. I  have fierce Chicago pizza pride, being a native!) (NY pizza is definitely easier to eat and less filling, but there’s something about that cake-like crust that lures me in on a Chi-town pie)

Anyways, I look kind of like a creepy old man who drives a white kidnapper van, except instead of being obsessed with children, I’m obsessed with food. Yep. It’s an addiction.

"Why yes, mr. giant pizza. I will hover over you creepily and then EATZ you!!!"

"OMGZ. This pizza is huge! And hot! And only cost me $10! GET IN MAH BELLY!"

Not realizing my lustiness for Mr. Pizza had been captured before this photo, I pose in a normal manner. "I like pizza. Stop taking pictures so I can NOM!"

It was good. and big. and cheap. And I had leftover pizza for lunch the next day! All praise the pizza! NOW – the ultimate debate. Are you a fan of NY or Chicago style pizza? Never had either? THE HORRORS, get thee to a highly-rated yelp pizzeria, NOW!