Monday, April 30, 2012

Walking Tall


What a good weekend! Pete and I went to a wedding on Saturday, and then Sunday my mom and I went shopping, after first stopping at her house so I could steal a bunch of her jeans. I pretty much replaced my pants wardrobe with all size 12s for $10 (thanks to the free clothes and a gift card from my mother-in-law). Finally! Pants that fit!

Before we headed to the wedding on Saturday, I woke up bright and early so I could run. It was raining when I got out of bed and I wasn't feeling die-hard enough to don a rain jacket, so I hit the treadmill in our basement. Cosmo didn't know what to do. Pete came down to watch his reaction for a bit and pointed out, "He's so confused! He loves Mom, but hates the treadmill!" Little C just paced back and forth the whole time and when Pete came down to hang out, he climbed right into Pete's lap, so upset!

Anyway, after spending the last 10 or so weeks running on the road, I thought the treadmill would be a breeze. Nope. Apparently I'm not used to keeping the same pace the whole time. I used to run exclusively on treadmills, but never for so long. I was tired! It wasn't my normal treadmill setup, I guess; I'd adjusted the machine so I was running at a one-degree incline in an attempt to recreate the resistance of road running.

Although the pacing tuckered me out, running on a treadmill helped me to really focus on my posture. I didn't have to worry about cars or passersby or uneven concrete or hills, and it made me realize that I am a huge sloucher. So I forced myself to stand up straight and really even out my stride. From physical therapy sessions in the past, I know that I have a tendency to use my lower back muscles more than I should, so I tried to tuck my butt forward and really make my legs do the "heavy lifting."

And it's really made a difference. For my Sunday run, I was pretty dang tired, but this morning my run was so easy! I think part of it is there's less of me to carry around, and I'm getting stronger, but I also think the posture helped me to "work smarter, not harder." When I felt myself getting exhausted, like on a hill, I forced myself to straighten up, push out my chest, tuck my rear, and roll back my shoulders. And then I would get less tired. Who knew?!

I was so happy with how my run went this morning. It's so encouraging that running is getting easier. I was just thrilled by the time my five-minute cool-down started. I began to think about how athletic I will become, and how great I'm going to look when this is all over, and how much better I feel about myself now that I'm getting in a regular run and dropping pants sizes. I thought about how excited I am to wear some of my new jeans out on the town, and how I want to go dancing soon with Pete. I envisioned us at Shenanigan's, me not the least bit self-conscious for once. I thought about how I'll dance with Pete all sassy. I got a huge grin on my face and started shaking it a little as I walked along. And then I looked up and saw one of my neighbors watching me. He waved and called, "Good morning!" and all I could do was giggle like a 12-year old and tuck my head down. So much for losing the self-consciousness. That was a pipe dream, anyway. I'm too much of a spaz to pull it off. :)

By the way, I had a physical this morning (a pap smear and a tetanus vaccine just for me?? You shouldn't have!) and my weight was 171.6. Getting there! Also, my blood pressure was 112 over 60, which, according to this chart, is pretty dang healthy. Not bad, not bad!



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Sunday, April 29, 2012

He's a Fighter and an Eater

Friday night, Pete and I drove out to Excelsior to hang out with my brother-in-law, Grant, and his girlfriend, Audry. And we brought Cosmo so he could play with Grant and Audry's dog, George. Cosmo and George have met before and I think that they actually really enjoy each other's company...in the spirit of two guy friends who constantly rip on each other.


George is big. A lot bigger than Cosmo. But Cosmo will NOT back down. All night, George kept coming after Cosmo, wanting to sniff him, wanting to assert his dominance in his own house. Cosmo growled and "barked" at George the entire time, not willing to cede the point. George nipped at Cosmo's head and back, and Cosmo gnawed on George's legs and under belly. And when they weren't nipping at each other, they were licking each other's privates. They have a weird relationship.





Grant and Audry just got a cat, Gary. Gary was not too thrilled with Cosmo. He spent the whole night trying to keep his distance from the dogs. Sometimes his curiosity got the better of him and he'd descend to the floor to check Cosmo out. When he joined them, we had a mini "food chain" going on. Cosmo would aggressively sniff out Gary, and George would hassle Cosmo.


We spent the whole night keeping a close eye on the two dogs, making sure their play didn't get too rough. Every once in a while one of us would intervene and push George away from Cosmo. George just kept on coming after Cosmo aaaaaall night and wouldn't stop. And Cosmo just refused to raise the white flag and declare himself submissive. Oh, no. Not without a fight.


Towards the end of the night, we started up a game of Clue (my favorite board game EVER), and after a while, we realized the dogs weren't growling. We discovered that Cosmo had found George's food and was chowing down. George tried to defend his food, but it had awoken something powerful inside Cosmo. He emitted a low, scary bark (a sound we've never heard him make before) and sent George, a dog at least twice his side, skittering out of the kitchen.


And we let him go. I'm not sure why; we knew he shouldn't be eating another dog's food, but I think we were just so tired of intervening. We just let him eat and we went back to our game. And then we discovered just how much Cosmo had consumed...
 


What a little piglet!



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Friday, April 27, 2012

The Cute

I promised you I would shaddup about losing weight and post cute things. Didn't I promise?

Well, I have delivered. In his patchy state, Cosmo couldn't help me out so much with this task, but luckily, I had a cute stand-in...













I would be a bad mom if I left my boy completely out of this post, so here are a few with his Auntie.




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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Late-Night Cravings


At some point, this became a weight-loss blog. I'm not sure how that happened. I promise I will post updates that involve cute things and home improvements. Very soon. Soon as I come up with those posts.

The fact is, it's easier to write about dieting and exercise because that's what I do every single day. Home improvement projects are a weekend thing and they're becoming rare as our weekends get filled. Summers get crazy and we're already ramping up. And Cosmo's in a weird, patchy place. We're trying to stick to a routine with him, so anything I could write about puppy ownership would be a little boring. And, well, I pretty much stick to a routine mahself, so I'm pretty boring.

So indulge me as I write about food yet again...

Yesterday afternoon, I was full of vigor and enthusiasm for reigning in my points and really buckling down. I started by having a cookie when I got home from work. Gosh darn it all! Dinner was a bowl of soup, salad, and piece of delicious bakery bread, all hastily eaten before I headed to my Wednesday night class. When I got home, I was ready to sit down and relax with Pete. But I could not stop thinking about those cookies and how good they would taste and how nice they would feel in my tummy. "Pete," I pleaded, "how can I not eat those cookies?"

The answer was obvious to him: "Find something else to eat. Or just have a few cookies. Whatever." OK, but nothing sounded nearly as delectable as the cookies. Then I remembered the kale in my refrigerator, and I got sidetracked.


Now, I'm not nutty enough to find leafy greens more appealing than cookies--believe me, I have a firm understanding of where each of those lies on the "tasty" spectrum. However, I got excited at the idea of trying out a new recipe. And I decided that I'd much rather make a healthy, new snack and feel awesome about that choice than eat the cookies and spend the rest of the night lamenting my lack of self-control. I also had a few other snack ideas that I wanted to try out, so I decided that while I made the kale chips, I'd distract myself with preparing them.



I'm not going to lie, I had a cookie when I went down to the kitchen to make the chips. But that was it: two cookies yesterday, totaling 5 points. I think a two-cookie limit is good enough.

So here's what I did. I made kale chips: Wash and dry the leaves (I didn't have a salad spinner, so I took the Mr. Bean route and swung them around in a towel), separate the leaves from the stems, lay them on a baking sheet and drizzle with two tsp olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.


While they were baking, I hard-boiled some eggs and made my own ranch spice mix. The eggs I made because they're an awesome source of protein and they fill you up for just two points. The ranch spice mix I put in with some cucumbers that I cut up. Now it's like I'm dipping my cucumbers in ranch dressing without the calories!


When the kale chips were done, I was shocked. They were so much better than I had anticipated! They tasted like chips. Really! I mean, you got the leafy taste still, but it was pretty subdued. Those puppies were crisp and crunchy and salty. And they totally worked like a charm. The minute the first chip hit my tongue, I stopped glancing at the cookie plate. I couldn't even imagine mixing those two tastes together--yuck! Craving gone!


And because I chose to putter around in the kitchen for a bit, I set myself up for today. After work, I have to dash to practice with a softball team I just joined, so I won't be able to eat dinner until late. I have cucumbers, a hard-boiled egg, string cheese, a granola bar, and a banana to tide me over. That seems like a lot of food, but I plan to have one or two of those things for a snack (probably the cucumbers and the string cheese), and then have the rest for a "mini-dinner" right before leaving.

Now, if only I felt as prepared in my game...


UPDATE: Nope, no. I wouldn't recommend the cucumbers and ranch mix. Just so you know.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In


Well, I'm "down" another .4 pounds this week. That is all.

What were those quotes for, you ask? Oh...them.

OK. I fudged my weigh-in a bit this week. Just a bit. When I stepped on the scale at the WW clinic, it read 175.2. That's a .2 pound gain. And that bummed me out--I mean, I've lost weight the last three weeks and now my "losing" streak was coming to an end. It completely made sense; I wasn't good about drinking water yesterday or this morning, so I was probably retaining some (especially considering the time of the month). I haven't run for the past four days (my daily stomach ache came back with a vengeance). Also, I made delicious pumpkin cookies on Monday night and yesterday I ate FIVE. I could not. help. myself. They are SO good, SO light, with the perfect blend of spices and a frosting that just melts on the back of your tongue. I'm salivating here, at mah desk, just thinking about them. And at 2.5 points/cookie, they're a great treat option...provided you don't eat five a day. Here's the recipe. Enjoy responsibly.

And let me just clarify: when I say I ate five, I do not mean I ate them all at once. That would be ridiculous. I only at four at once.

The other I snuck before breakfast.



All this to say that a very mild gain wasn't a complete shock for me. But I was deflated, and the woman weighing me in saw it. "Take off your sweater," she said. I considered her for a minute, with a sly look, then ripped off my ID badge (surely worth a few ounces) and my cardigan. As I waited for my weight to register, she told me that jeans are the worst type of pants to wear for weigh-in, and I nodded along, "Yeah, these jeans probably weigh like five cookies pounds." My weight came up.

174.6

OK, it didn't really count. I should be able to weigh in with what I'm wearing that day--I always do. But today I needed a loss, so we fudged it, and I was prepared to move on.

Except that when it came time to recognize successes (my meeting group lost 80 pounds total this week!), I found my name on the list at the 25-pound mark. Dang it! I've worked so hard for so long, had so many great weeks, and then I get my 25-pound award on the week when I fudge my weigh-in.

I was sitting there, holding my 25-pound key chain charm, beating myself up for being a fraud. And then it dawned on me: I really have lost 25 pounds. I wasn't wearing my ID badge or a sweater the first time I weighed in. And if I wasn't already so close to losing weight this week, taking those things off wouldn't have made a difference. Even if I had to fudge it, I know I didn't really gain this week. I probably stayed the same--and you know what? I've been so close to the 25-pound mark for so long, it's about damn time I get my charm. So I choose to enjoy this moment as a success, and move on. I've got to keep up momentum, which means hitting the pavement again tomorrow and making smart food choices. I can make this a banner week. I know I can because I've done it before!

And those five cookies? Totally worth it.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Love


Last night, Pete and I started out making dinner together. It soon became obvious that he didn't need my help, so I went downstairs to play with Cosmo. When I came up for dinner, this is what I found:


I know, it's not that impressive. You might be thinking, "Yeah, that's usually what dinners look like." It's in the details: Pork chops seared to perfection, roasted asparagus with just a touch of salt, bread warmed in the pizza oven, my plate already on my food scale.

My dad was a man who thoroughly enjoyed cooking for those he loved, so I'm always very touched when someone prepares a meal with such care (and pride).

Did you know that when Pete and I first "met" (or, rather, when we first took notice of each other), I was the heaviest I've ever been (205 lbs)? Did you know that when we married, I was almost back up that max weight (199 lbs)?




He's never once noticed. In fact, yesterday I had to rustle up a "before" picture to show him how much I've changed. I mean, he gets it; I've lost about 25 pounds. But he doesn't really. Because he never saw me as fat. Not once. And now, he doesn't see me as thinner; he sees me as happier. This man took me when I was at my lowest (unemployed, overweight, hiding out) and put me at my highest. He encourages me in my WW program, but never judges me if I slip. He eats healthier meals with me and doesn't complain. He tells me I'm doing a good job, celebrating successful weeks and brushing off unsuccessful ones. I feel completely comfortable revealing everything to him: the hard, ugly numbers, the tummy rolls, the treats I didn't pass up. He sees or hears about it all and never reproaches me. He even runs at half-speed with me and when I snap "You're not pacing me! I can't go that fast!" he takes it in stride (get it?).

He eats healthier meals with me

He is, by far, my strongest weight loss tool.

And I'm not saying that weight loss would be impossible without him. I'm not saying that I couldn't do this if I were single. I think that any time you're trying to transform yourself, the people around you could go either way. With women, there could be jealousy, competition, judgement, or there could be enthusiasm, encouragement, shared joy. With men, there could be impatience, detachment, opposition to change, or there could be love. I am so, so lucky that my friends, family, and husband have reacted to my mission in a positive way.


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Monday, April 23, 2012

5K? Yaaawwn.

Abbie and I signed up for a 7K. You know, because 3.1 miles is just too easy.

http://getluckytc.org/

Really, we signed up because they have the best swag. And at almost a year away (March, 2013), we figure we'll have enough time to train.



I ordered my sweatshirt in a women's size Medium. Looks like that new pair of jeans made someone a little cocky. :)

Still looking for a basic 5K this summer. I'm hoping to find a good one in July, but haven't had success yet. Know of any?
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fit-ness

Housekeeping note: Check out the new "Watch Cosmo Grow" page, linked just below my banner!

This weekend is one of those busy ones. Oh, I'm totally fine with it; everything I'm doing this weekend is fun and by choice.  That said, I find that whenever I have to fit more than one or two things into a day, I get a little frazzled. I think it's because I'm an introvert. Social interaction takes a lot out of my people. We need to "center" ourselves at home and when that can't happen, well, we get a little off.

And that's why I ended up leaving twenty minutes early to meet some coworkers (past and present) for lunch. I was just a few miles from home when I realized I'd given myself 50 minutes to make 30-minute trip. I knew that if I went back, I'd have to leave the minute I walked in the door. So instead of hanging out at the restaurant by myself, I chose to stop off at Target to see if I could find some skinny jeans.

I made the leap into skinny jeans a while ago (and it certainly felt like a leap), but my "skinny" jeans aren't so skinny. They're downright baggy, which looks weird. I heard that Target was a great place to find cheap skinny jeans, and that made me excited, because if I'm going to buy any clothes while my weight loss is in progress, I'm gonna want them cheap. I had only a few minutes to grab some pairs and hastily try them on. I picked up two pairs of skinny jeans...pretty much the only two pairs I could find. I also picked up two pairs of trouser jeans, just for kicks.

The skinny jeans were a huge disappointment. They were from the Juniors "department." Well, it was more like a Juniors row...I didn't see any sign, but I figure any time you see odd numbered sizes, you can safely assume they're meant for youngin's. And can someone explain to me why I can't fit into a size 15 pair of jeans, but I can fit into a size 12? That doesn't make any sense to me.

Hold the phone. Did I just say size 12?? Yeah, I did. I'M A SIZE 12!!!!

SIZE. TWELVE.

I haven't been that since maybe my freshman year of college. Maybe. Probably since high school. And today I bought a pair of size 12 jeans. Because they fit me. They fit me!

I didn't even need trouser jeans. And these are too long for me. But I had to buy them because they are the first pair of 12s that have fit me in sooo long and I was sooo happy. Even now, hours later, I get jazzed just thinking about it.

Shopping is getting fun, ladies!

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Dinner: Chicken and Salsa Mix Thing



So many of these posts are about things I've stolen from my WW meeting leader. But this one is so worth it. 

Are you ready for this?








Easiest dinner ever:
  • A couple of frozen chicken breasts (I think we use 3 normally)
  • A jar of salsa (we use a mango kind by Newman's Own)
  • A crock pot

Stick the ingredients in the crock pot the night before, let it cook on Low for 24 hours. It's amazing. You can put the chicken on tortillas, in sandwiches, on salads, over rice...and if you live alone (or with only one other person, or with only one other person who's eating solid foods), it should last for a few meals. 

OK. Zer you go.






This week I managed to run Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (I just couldn't do it on Monday...it was raining, you see). I'll also run Saturday and Sunday. Obvs. Week #7 is 25 minutes straight of running each day. I'm doing pretty well with that, but I am impatient to get my speed up. 

I've improved a little...the last three runs went from 13:10 min/mile to 13:03 to 13:01. My ultimate goal is to maintain a pace of 10:00 min/mile. 

Also, I'm looking into finding a 5k for this summer so we can practice at a real race before the Warrior Dash. So far this is my favorite. I'm also looking at thisthis, or this.

There was a really cool paint-fight one Abbie found, called the Color Run, but it's sold out. Bummer, man!

Here's a random picture Pete and I took like last weekend
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In

I really need to get better about posting my weigh-in results actually on Wednesday!

This week I lost 1.4 pounds, bringing me down to 175 even. That's three consecutive weeks of actual weight-loss, yo! Thank the heavens, something is working! I really do believe that it's the increase in points (calorie) consumption. I keep reading about how having "feast days" where you consume slightly more calories than normal ("normal" being your diet...not "I normally want to eat all things chocolate") and then following that day up with moderate calorie-restriction helps you bust through weight-loss plateaus. This could be a fluke, but I'm finding that loosening up on my points has helped. Hallelujah!

OK, so there's not a whole lot else to talk about. I get up, I run (new sports bra works like a miracle), I go to work, I come home, I brush Cosmo, I lint-roll my pants, I eat dinner with my husband, and then we watch Dr. Who. (Season six is finally on Netflix Instant!)

I guess there's the class I teach on Wednesdays. Yesterday they would NOT stop talking. Oh. my. goodness. So I let them fold their handouts into paper airplanes, took them outside, and let them run off some of their energy. Best teacher ever.






I did not get consent from their parents to post their pictures here. Is that bad?
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