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

Weekly Weigh In #4

Remember last week how I was all amped up about losing another coupla pounds to make it to five pounds lost? Yeah… me neither. My Seattle weekend was awesome, and I didn’t make the healthiest choices, but I hoped with all the walking I did and a little bit of luck, my weigh in wouldn’t be TOO catastrophic. Well, it was. This week I

Gained 2.6 pounds

I know! Yikes! It burns your eyes, doesn’t it? I was surprised. I wasn’t majorly surprised, bu I didn’t think it would be over two pounds. Whoops. Let’s get real though. I ate a cupcake.

Delicious vanilla cupcake from Cupcake Royale

I ate three small fried donuts. I ate a large serving of garlic naan, steaming hot out of the oven and sopped in my paneer masala. I had valentine’s dinner with my sweetie and ordered extra spicy fried chicken with cajun mac and cheese. I DID manage to pass on movie theatre popcorn, and I stuck with skim milk in my chai. But not once did my finger tap open the little Weight Watchers mobile app, and not a thing I tracked. As my weight watchers leader says, “Only track on the days you want to lose weight.”. So I messed up. I’m disappointed, and I hate having to come here and admit defeat, but that’s the deal with this blog. It’s never going to be easy and it’s always going to be hard, but in the end, it will be worth it. The challenges are what will make the end result so rewarding.

So what did I do about it? I started tracking again. I also came down with a nasty head cold, so for once in my life, I have the appetite of a squirrel, which is both alarming and refreshing. I’ve been thirstily lapping up most of my points with fresh orange juice and ginger, juiced from the trees in our backyard. I’ve been slurping up homemade chicken noodle soup (my hubby rocks) and as a treat, sugar-free chai lattes to power me through the humongous lit review I’ve been working on. I’m eager to get back to working out, but even a short stroll through Macy’s today left me dizzy and hot (too much too soon… stupid cold), so I need to take it easy. (But I did score a gorgeous plum sweater dress from INC… originally $80 marked down to $19! Woohoo!)

So this wasn’t a losing week, but as disappointments often lead to, it was a learning week. Just gotta keep on trackin’… keep on trackin’!

 

My adventures in Seattle

This weekend, I took an adventure up the Pacific Northwest to the lovely wet city of Seattle. My friend Monique is getting her MSW (Social Work – isn’t that awesome?!) at the University of Washington, and I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time! Matt was supposed to be going with me, but his company just had to go and win a technical achievement Academy Award, so he was schmoozing with stars while I ate freshly fried mini doughnuts and posed with trolls. I flew in Saturday morning with my long underwear ready to go (I had been egged on by other Southern Californians about how cold I would be.)

Yummy things at Pike Place Market

Monique and I dropped my stuff off at her place and headed downtown via bus to the world famous Pike Place market. This place is a foodie’s dream, with stalls heaping with colorful fruit and glossy-eyed fish draped on ice. We shopped around, sampling the various goods and stopping for lunch at a Japanese stall. I got the vegetarian yakisoba and it was delicious – hot and sweet with fresh, crunchy cabbage and thin peels of carrot. We had dessert of mini-doughnuts – powdered sugar, sprinkled and cinnamon sugar.

Miss Monique samples a dougnnut

I also had to buy some dark chocolate pasta, just because the idea was so novel to me. I’ll be making chocolate pasta for dessert the next few weeks – I’m thinking chocolate linguine with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. I’ll blog it! I posed for a picture next to the famous Pike pig, and then we headed back to the bus so we could check out one of my favorite novelty stores, Archie McPhee. If you haven’t heard of Archie McPhee, I highly recommend you visit their online store. It’s a great place to buy all kinds of things you don’t need, like pickle finger puppets and potato guns.

Bronze pig appreciates bag of freshly fried doughnuts in hand!

After Archie McPhee, we walked a mile to the Fremont Troll. The troll is a piece of community art commissioned by a Fremont resident. The troll was a popular attraction and we had to get our picture taken a few times to make it troll-gawker free.

TROLLLL!

After the troll, we headed back towards the Northgate area and then had dinner at Taste of India. This place was awesome because they gave us free chai and pakoras while we waited for our table. I had the butter paneer masala and it was amaaaaazing – so creamy, tangy and rich over the basmati rice. We sopped up the sauces with piping hot garlic naan. When our bellies were full, we headed over to the local $3 movie theatre and watched Midnight in Paris. The plot of the movie was charming but I thought the ending was poo-poolicious. After the movie I passed out on Monique’s lovely futon. We woke up Sunday morning and picked up a sandwich at Jimmy John’s, where I was delighted to order a giant dill pickle. Sadly, my pickle had a hair on it of mysterious origins (discovered after my first bite), so I lost my pep for pickles, but my sandwich was still deee-lish.

Moments before I discovered the hairy pickle.

We drove 30 minutes to Snoqualmie Falls, where the air was frigid, wet and cold. The view of these giant manmade waterfalls was breathtaking – the water crashed angrily onto the river below, and rocks broke the surface among the crystal blue water. We explored the park area around Snoqualmie falls for a bit, shopped in the gift shop, (I scored a cast iron bumble bee – yeah!), and then went back towards Monique’s house for some more local adventuring of my favorite kind – shopping!!!

Breathtaking Snoqualimie Falls

We shopped till we dropped and then swung by Cupcake Royale, where I picked up a “Dance Party” cupcake, with vanilla frosting. It was pretty amazing with a glass of wine! We also got ingredients to make homemade tacos! Here’s a sneak peek – but tune in next time to learn how to make flour tortillas that are a million times better than the packaged ones.

Yummy homemade tacos

On Monday, I ventured to the university district to see my Uncle Daniel, who works downtown. We had a good time eating lunch and bantering back and forth about why California was the superior state. Okay, fine, we never agreed on that, but I have decided that although Washington is lovely, California wins with its sunshine and perpetual blue skies. It was fun to see him on the west coast, as I usually only see him in Minnesota on short family vacations when we’re visiting my grandmother.

My Uncle Daniel and I

This weekend was exactly what I needed – a long weekend to decompress, enjoy some girl time, and do fun things instead of laundry, thesis writing and errand-running. I definitely did not track my meals which will probably get me into trouble this week at the scale, but I’m taking full responsibility for my actions and can say with very little regret…damn, I ate well and enjoyed it! Cest la vie.

Tune in soon to see us get our tortilla on! I hope you had an amazing weekend and are having an even better week!

Grad students DO smile! See?

Torture Machines

One of my pseudo-new year’s resolutions this year was to try more new things. I’ve always been stubborn and comfortable in the routine, so I decided it would be good for my well being to shake things up a little bit. A couple of months ago I bought a groupon for Pilates Plus in Encino. It was expiring this week, so I made an appointment for my first class and headed to the studio on Wednesday evening.

Woman On Pilates Torture Machine. Photo credited to and owned by Info Barrel.

When I showed up, I was shocked to see a small room filled with about 10 large, gigantic machines called “reformers”. I have heard of these Pilates machines, but have never gotten on one and I definitely haven’t ever wanted to get on one. I admit, as soon as I saw the machines, I had the fight or flight instinct and turned on my heel to flee, thinking “Bitches be crazy! I’m not getting up on one of these things!”. Alas, as soon as my head ducked around, the perky instructor said, “Are you Alyssa?”

And so it began. First of all, I knew within one minute that I was WAY out of my league. The machines consist of different handle bars, levers, pulleys and sliding platforms, and I was brand new and nervous about how the machinery worked. The teacher was super sweet and patient however, and had no problem coming over to assist me in all my sweating, rattled glory.

About half way through, I was in physical pain and actually got off the machine and told her I was thinking about ducking out. I clearly wasn’t ready for such a workout yet. “No! Please don’t go,” she said. “Just stay and take breaks whenever you need to. People throw up and faint in my class all the time.” Way to be motivating, right?! However, she did encourage me to stay, so I did.  Unfortunately, in the last ten minutes of class, I started getting the dizzy shakes and tunnel vision and had to ask her where the bathroom was. I had officially overdone it and was dangerously close to passing out among the lithe, lean-bodied pilates goddesses of Encino.

I went home that night humbled and frustrated, fed up with myself that I had let myself get to a weight where I couldn’t do everything I wanted to. As usual, Matt, who is always the calm voice of reason, talked me down and made me realize I wasn’t upset about the weight, I was upset about not being able to do something well the first time around. As I age, I notice I’m becoming more and more grumpy about not being able to do things well right away. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist in other areas of my life, so if I try something new and really, really struggle, I get into a defeatist attitude. It was a good lesson for me – not just about pilates and scary torture machines called proformers, but that sometimes, you can totally SUCK at something, and it doesn’t matter. What matter is that you tried, you put in the effort, and you made an honest attempt at trying something new. I may not be a pilates pro, but I got out of my comfort zone and did the best I could – and that’s way better than sitting at home and doing nothing.

When you try something new and don’t succeed, do you feel frustrated, or do you just chalk it up to being a newbie?

 

 

 

 

Weekly Weigh In #3

Today was my third weigh in, and I’ll admit that I approached it with a somewhat pessimistic attitude. After last week’s weigh in, I was frustrated and disappointed that a week of staying on plan had gained me a gain! This morning, I got on my scale and was irritated that the number hadn’t budged in the direction I was looking for – in fact, it had stayed exactly the same. However, through my drama I knew I had to wait until I actually weighed in at the Weight Watchers meeting to make any decisions about the plan or my progress. So every time that little weight-loss rebel popped up on my shoulder, I told her to stuff it!  And happily, today I am

down 1 pound

It’s not a gigantic loss, but it’s a pound. And if you think about a pound in terms of hamburger meat, is a good chunk of blubber. I needed this little loss, because I needed an “attitude adjustment”, and now I’m encouraged to keep tracking, keep exercising, and keep losing weight.

My breakfasts as of late... Greek Yogurt, Fruit and Coffee. 5 points!

I’ll admit – this weekend will have challenges. I’m visiting my friend Monique in Seattle (She’s getting her Master’s in Social Work at U-Dub – cool!) and I tend to get a little out of control when I’m out of town and having fun. Wine, popcorn, dining out – these are the traps into which I often fall. But she’s also health conscious and I think we’ll try and hold each other accountable and get some exercise into our days. I’m now down 3.2 pounds in three weeks, and next week I’d love to hit five pounds.

So yay! Weight Watchers is working! I’m working! It’s working! Sometimes, a little encouragement is all you need!

 

Weekly Weigh In #2

Today was my second Weight Watchers weigh in, and I was feeling pretty confident. I tracked everything I ate, and only ate 29 of my flex points. I didn’t get much exercise and I probably could have done more water, but in total, the week went well and I was sure it would result in at least a pound lost. I stepped on the scale and I…

Gained .2

I believe the first thing out of my mouth was “What the f*ck?”, except without the little asterisk because I’m pretty much a sailor’s daughter.  The leader offered a few suggestions, like, “Did you use all of your flex points?” No, I didn’t. “Did you eat something salty for dinner last night?” No, I didn’t. “Are you near your monthly cycle?” Sorry if it’s TMI, but no. So WHAT THE FFFFF!! I moped through the rest of the meeting and felt sorry for myself (and may have tweeted a couple of pouting tweets), and then I got over it. Shit happens. So I didn’t lose this week when I feel like I really should have. Life will go on, and all I can do is keep on tracking, and try to identify why I didn’t lose this week.

Here’s a few thoughts – I was bad about drinking water. I’m back in school and my schedule is now in full-on crazy mode. I’ve felt thirsty a lot, and I know by the time I get to that point, I’m already dehydrated. So this week, more water. I also didn’t exercise much because of aforementioned bad schedule. This week I need to get movin’, even if it’s just walking a few laps around the campus at work. I also wonder if I’m eating too much fruit. Even though it’s 0 points, it still has calories, and yesterday I ate 3 clementines, a peach, a banana and a cup of pineapple. I struggled with this the last time around on PointsPlus, so I may need to see how the next couple of weeks go and re-evaluate my fling with fruit.

When was the last time you were expecting a good thing to happen and it didn’t? Are you the type of person that suffers a setback and bounces right back, or are you like me, and need to stew and pout about it for a bit before you move on?