Thursday, March 31, 2011

Raves for faves

It’s been a while since I’ve done a favorites blog. Here are a few things I’m currently obsessing about.

Gina’s Skinny Recipes
I love Gina. Love, love, love her. Gina posts amazing, healthy recipes made with fresh ingredients. I’ve made a ton of stuff from her site and I’ve yet to be disappointed. The site itself is great—easy to navigate and filled with lots of pretty food pictures.

I most recently made her Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas and they were to die for. I was so sad when I ate the last one, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be a weekly staple for me. Easy and yummy.

Yeah, I know. Boring. But I’ve been shaking up my salads lately by adding goat cheese and various fruits, like mango and mandarin oranges. I’ve also been just using oil and vinegar. The combination makes my salads seem lighter and fresher. A perfect side to my main course.

Turkey bacon
I can’t get enough of this lately. Two slices are only 2 PointsPlus, too. That makes me happy. My new favorite breakfast has been a plain rice cake, spread with peanut butter and topped with turkey bacon. Turkey bacon and peanut butter—don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

New running shoes
I finally replaced my super-old running shoes. Now I have bright white, shiny shoes to help motivate me. Because I guess I have to keep up the running thing if I spent the money on the shoes, right?

Coconut oil
My secret weapon. I use coconut oil every day. I use it as a post-shower moisturizer, and I use a little on my face morning and night. It’s changed my skin—it’s more even, softer and better moisturized than it’s ever been. You can also use coconut oil on your hair and you can cook with it. Make sure you get the expeller-pressed, extra-virgin stuff. It comes in a jar and you can find it at Whole Foods and other health food stores. You won’t regret it.

Sorry, Charlie Sheen, but losing is the new winning. I had a fantastic weigh-in this week and lost more than I have since September or so. I’m only a tiny bit away from my milestone and that feels pretty good considering how I’d been feeling the past two weeks. Perhaps I ingested some tiger blood?

What are some of your new obsessions?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Play that funky music, whine girl

Fair warning: the following post contains whining, raging, feeling sorry for oneself and more whining. Yeah, whining is the word of the day. Read at your own risk.

You know, sometimes I really hate dressing rooms. Like, HATE them.

I’m having a rough go of things lately. Yesterday, for the second week in a row, I had a gain. Last week I gained .2, which I blamed on my outfit (my usual Tuesday weigh-in outfit wasn’t clean and I wore corduroys. Duh). But this week I had no clothes to blame. Just myself. I had gone to visit family and overindulged a little.

Before you say anything, I know. .2 plus .6 doesn’t even equal a pound. But I’m just overall feeling kind of down. Big and bloated and icky. I’ve been here before. I know I’ll snap out of it. Today, though, I learned a valuable lesson.

I’m already between sizes, so I’m easily depressed in a dressing room. Today I went with a co-worker to Kohl’s. I tried on some pants (I’m in desperate need) and nothing fit. I tried not to cry in the dressing room. But really, today? Not a good time for everything to be too small. Do not try on clothes (especially pants) when you’re feeling not-so-attractive. It will never end well. Lesson learned.

I’m trying to snap out of my funk. When I get in these emotional places, I remember that this is how I used to feel about myself all the time. Every minute of every day. I hated that feeling. And I’ve worked too hard to let this overtake me.

But just for now, I feel like wallowing. (Don’t worry. I’ll stay away from the spinach dip).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I think I can, I think I can, I think I'm tired

I am not a runner. Not even a little bit. I’d say I would only run if I were being chased, but even then, I think I might just try to walk really, really quickly and make up for my speed with my loud screams.

But what did I do Monday? I went running. Wait. Let me say that again: I went “running.”

Monday was a gorgeous day. I walked into my personal training appointment with Jessica and remarked how pretty it was outside. She asked me if I wanted to do my session outside.

Of course!

So we grabbed some weights and headed outside. During the 50 or so steps it took me to walk to the door, three people asked if we were going running. With each reply, my “NO!” got a little more bitter and a lot more defensive.

See, I’ve always admired runners. It seems so effortless for some people. I have friends who polish off five miles like it’s nothing. My brother, a natural runner, still has track records at our high school. Me? I can’t run to the mailbox. As a big girl in—ahem—many areas, I’m just not really comfortable pounding the pavement. I love my cardio classes, where I am surrounded by people who challenge me and keep my energy going when I feel like dropping. Without others to motivate me, I’m not sure I have it in me to just go on a run by myself.

Back to Monday. We headed outside, where I whined about not being a runner. Jessica told me that one day I’d be able to do it. I scoffed at that. Not everyone is supposed to be a runner. I’m probably one of those people. Then I started thinking maybe I could do it. Just try it. When I told her, she was shocked and giddy with excitement. I just felt growing dread.

We didn’t go far. Maybe just a mile up Lavista Road and back to the gym. And what I did probably can’t be classified as running. But I gave it a shot. All in all, I probably jogged one-fourth to one-half a mile at most. And I felt a little pathetic the entire time. Here I am, dying while jogging at a super slow pace next to my long-legged 6-foot tall trainer. Oy. There are some exercises I do well. But when I try something new, something I don’t do so well, I have a tendency to demean myself for being out-of-shape and weak. I need to work on that way of thinking.

So am I going to turn into a runner? Probably not. I’m willing to try it every once in a while, but I’m not signing up for a marathon any time soon. But it’s always good to be reminded that breaking out of my comfort zone really is a positive thing. And I didn’t even have to be chased to do it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm Giving Up 2: Electric Boogaloo

It’s Lent.

Last year I publicly proclaimed my love for Diet Coke for the first time and then gave it up. Our reunion 40 days later was not quite as sweet as expected, and I thought I might be off the bubbly stuff for good.

I was wrong. Our torrid love affair continues.

Truthfully, I thought about giving up DC again this year. But as I mentioned a few entries ago, I have been struggling with migraines. Caffeine really helps with them, and as DC is my only real source of caffeine, I’m going to keep it close by, even during Lent.

This year, I hemmed and hawed about what to give up. Fast food? Maybe. Shopping? Nah. Facebook? Hmm. One of my best friends suggested cheese. I laughed at her. Quite loudly. N-E-V-E-R.

But after much thought, I decided to give up going out to lunch, as well as my usual Fountainside breakfasts. This is harder than it seems. I’ve been unusually lazy the past month or so and have been grabbing quick (though healthy) lunches at Subway or Chick-Fil-A. I went grocery shopping last night and Kroger was like a foreign land—clearly it had been way too long since I’d been there.

I have planned my lunches for the next week or so—mostly dinner leftovers. I’ve been slacking in the cooking-at-home department, too.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. And maybe you guys can challenge yourselves, too. With or without Lent. If you are like me and tend to go out rather than brown-bag it, why don’t you join me for one week in bringing your lunch? Just one week. You can totally do that. Let me know how you do.

After my weigh-in this week, I’m officially down 95 pounds. Just a few pounds away from my next goal. Huzzah.

P.S. A special message to those of you who work at Children’s: The Internal Communications folks are kind enough to update Careforce and publicize my blog when they can. But there is a lot going on and obviously they can’t update every time I post. So, make sure you bookmark this site and check often. I try to update at least twice a week.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Now I'm back from Cali, Cali, Cali

I, your prodigal blogger, have returned from Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I was not discovered and asked to be in the next Ewan McGregor movie, but I did have some star sightings, and, more than that, an unbelievably fabulous time.
First things first. Our flight. Lange (my college roommate and one of my best friends) and I drove to Birmingham because we had free Southwest tickets. Southwest, for those of you who don’t know, does not assign seating. So when you get on the plane, you just kind of cross your fingers and hope you don’t get a middle seat.

I got a middle seat.

As Lange and I boarded, we noticed fewer and fewer available seats. Only middle seats were left. After Lange sat down, I pointed to the seat behind her and asked if I could sit there. To my astonishment, the two guys sitting there did not cringe when they said the seat was open. I, once again, thought back to a year ago. Their reaction probably would have been a lot different. But both arm rests came down easily and my seatbelt was
comfortably loose. Yay!

Our time in Los Angeles was fantastic. And the Oprah show was quite an  experience. We lined up at 5:30 a.m. Monday morning with thousands of others in the parking lot at the Hollywood Bowl. It was really cold, but we were just so thrilled to be there. We got into the Kodak Theatre (where the show was taped—the same theater where the Oscars had been the night before) about 10 a.m. It was pretty cool to see the stage still set up from the Oscars. Then Oprah came out. I think I know why so many people lose their minds when they see her. They’re delirious from waiting and lack of food. But it was pretty darn exciting to see her, even if we were up in the balcony.

Oprah’s guests were “The King’s Speech” Colin Firth (Dreamy Mr. Darcy…sigh), Geoffrey Rush and Tom Hooper. Anne Hathaway was there, as was Best Supporting Actress Melissa Leo. The kids from the PS 22 Chorus in Staten Island, N.Y. sang and then Katy Perry came out and sang with them. All in all a pretty cool day.

My food was pretty good, too. Though I did indulge a few times. I mean, I’m on the West Coast. Clearly I have to eat some In-N-Out Burger, right? It was totally worth it.

Below I’ve posted some more pictures from my trip. It truly was an experience of a lifetime.