23 December 2011

The Friday Report

Just a quick update.

Last week I let it be known that I was just 2 lbs shy of my year-end weight goal.  You can't imagine how excited I was this morning to step on the scale and see that I lost more than 4 lbs, reaching my goal a whole week early.  That means I've lost 67 lbs total.  Woohoo! 

Day by day, a whole new me is emerging and I like the person that I'm becoming.

17 December 2011

The Friday Report

Anxiety & I-10

Those two terms pretty much summarize my week.

Monday - A trip to the office to review and practice a powerpoint presentation that wasn't ready.  Then it was home to find that none of my suits fit, which posed a major problem since my first interview since being laid off was Tuesday. Then the mad dash to find something to wear that wouldn't cost a fortune.  The good news?  I bought size 20 pants.  I was able to get pants, a blazer and a top for around $50 which was awesome considering my budgetary restrictions.  Oh and of course there was washing clothes and packing at the last minute.

Tuesday - Back to the office to go over the presentation.  Then my interview which was a bit more intense than I thought it would be.  Then home to load up Bertha and I was hitting the road to head home to Mobile.  Considering I didn't sleep well the previous cause I was so anxious about my interview, the 6 hour trip morphed into an almost 8 hour trip cause I was so tired I had to stop and rest along the way.

Wednesday - Up at the crack of dawn to get momma to the hospital by 7 am.  We ended up getting there at 6:30.  Then came the wait.  Momma's surgery was successful but she ended up staying overnight.  12 hours after getting there, I finally left the hospital.

Thursday - Still hadn't seen the final version of the presentation I was supposed to be doing on Friday.  I had to cancel the conference call to practice cause I had to head to the hospital to pick momma up but ended up waiting for over an hour cause they were so slow finishing the discharge paperwork   Finally got a chance to practice Thursday afternoon.

Friday - Up at 4 am to get ready to get back on I-10 to head to Tallahassee.  Then there was practice and the presentation.  Then back on I-10 to head back to Mobile.  14 1/2 hours after I left I made it back home to finally get some rest after a crazy week.

Saturday - Got on the scale and weighed 327 lbs.  That's just 2 lbs away from my end of the year goal.  Woohoo!

11 December 2011

On My Plate - Quick Fix Recipes

I decided it was time to share some of my recipes.  Since this is what I had for breakfast, it gets shared first.

Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

2 slices Nature's Own 40 Calorie Bread
    (I like the Honey Wheat)
1 2% American Cheese Slice
1/4 cup Egg Substitute
1.8 oz Butterball Everyday Turkey Smoked Sausage, diced

The sausage comes in a 14 oz package. Although the suggested portion is 2 oz or 7 servings, I cut each of the sausage links into 4 equal portions which gives me 8 servings at around 1.8 oz each and store it in a food storage bag for easy use.

In a small frying pan, cook the sausage.  After browning set aside.

If you'd like your bread toasted, put it in the toaster while the sausage is cooking.

If you need to, rinse the frying pan, then spray with no calorie cooking spray.  Cooking over medium heat, add the eggs and the cheese to the frying pan, stirring constantly.  It will only take a few minutes to cook.  Typically by the time the cheese melts your eggs are done.  Just before the eggs are done, add in the cooked sausage. 

Add the eggs to the toast and you have breakfast.  If you'd like, add a piece of fruit or some yogurt to round out the meal.  I had a glass of V8 Diet Splash at only 10 calories per 8 oz serving.

You can use fat free cheese if you choose, but personally I don't like the taste and am willing to add the extra calories.

Using Great Value cheese slices cause I'm cheap (50 cal vs. Kraft 2% at 45 cal), I just had an awesome breakfast sandwich, made in less than 10 minutes for 250 calories.  If you can find Butterball Everyday Thin and Crispy Bacon (I've been searching unsuccessfully), you can substitute 4 slices of bacon for the sausage and have a great bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for only 220 calories.

09 December 2011

The Friday Report

I seem to be in a holding pattern.

For the last two weeks (since Thanksgiving), my weight has been about the same.  No major losses but hey, no major gains either.  

From the start, exercise has been the hardest part of this battle for me.  I haven't been doing much but I've missed my Sunday workout for the last few weeks.  I guess even a little bit makes a big difference.  I'll be back on it this Sunday though.  Hopefully, the last few weeks off haven't set me back too far. 

I don't know what it going to take to find an exercise regimen that I can be enthusiastic about and stick with but I know that when my exercise mojo does kick in, I'll be unstoppable.

04 December 2011

The Monthly Report

A little more than 5 months ago, I got on the scale at my doctor's office and saw a number that I'd never seen before.  A number that terrified me.  It was truly a wake up call.  Over the next few weeks, I worked to come up with an application and video that might catch the eye of the casting staff of the Biggest Loser. 

I started researching healthy eating habits and cleaned out the fridge and the pantry because I'd decided that Biggest Loser or not come September 1st, I was making some major changes in my life.  I guess I just wasn't meant for national stardom cause I never did get that call from Biggest Loser.   They truly don't know what they missed out on.  :)

Well 3 months later, not only has my body changed but my attitude about food and how I look at it has too.  I'm not saying I don't miss some of my favorites.  I do still crave chicken wings and chicken fried rice from Hop Shing and the lunch buffet at El Potro, but I know that right now they just don't fit into my life.  

I have had fun making over the things that I love to eat.  All those years of collecting cookbooks and reading recipe after recipe have come in handy while coming up with my own healthier versions of recipes.

I'm still not an exercise fanatic.  Maybe one day.

Be sure to check out my Weigh In page to see the progress I've made so far.

11 November 2011

The Friday Report

This morning I cried.

Today when I got on the scale I hit a major milestone.  Today I weigh 339.6 lbs.  That's officially 50 lbs less than I weighed when I started this journey.  I guess knowing that I've come so far was just a bit overwhelming.  I've come such a very long way in the ten weeks since I changed my diet.  I've learned so much and I know that I've made changes that I'll be able to stick with for the rest of my life.

From the beginning I've known that this was something I had to do to get healthy and be the best me that I could possibly be.  I didn't have a choice this time.  It was either lose weight or face the possibly fatal circumstances.  Well I'm doing it and I feel so much better already. 

Now I just had to figure out and maintain an exercise regimen. :\ 

02 November 2011

The Monthly Report

Usually, I look forward to October; my birthday and getting to dress up in some ridiculous costume at Halloween are definite highlights.  This year October was pretty sucky.  Loss and loneliness were common themes. 

There were some high points though, namely my weekly weigh ins.  Every Friday when I got on the scale this month, I saw a smaller number than I saw the week before, so October wasn't a total loss. 

Be sure to check out my new stats on my Weigh In page. 

14 October 2011

The Friday Report


What makes that number important enough to make it the first thing you see in this post?  That's the number I saw when I got on the scale this morning.  I thought for a second I was seeing things.  But I'm not second guessing and I'm not double checking.  I actually lost 10.8 lbs this week.  That brings my total weight loss for the month of October to 15 lbs.  I'm totally and completely flabbergasted. 

I really think I've gotten a handle on my nutrition but I'm still working on my exercise regimen.  This is a process and I will figure it out eventually.  In the meantime, I'm seeing the results of my diligence on the scale and the fact that I'm able to get into some of my smaller sized clothes.  It may be time to retire the size 26s.    

Just last week I set my first goal weight - 325 lb by January 1.  I anticipated losing about 3 lbs a week for the last 12 weeks of the year.  We'll see how next week goes, but I may need to rethink my goal.

09 October 2011

The Friday Report - Holly's Hope

The last week and a half has been a case of crazy ups and downs.  First I did my first month's weigh-in and could not have been happier.  In Month 1, I lost 16.6 lbs and 16.75 inches.  Proving to myself that I can do this.  It was such an awesome feeling.

Then I got the terrible news that my dear friend Holly was about to lose her hard fought battle with metastic melanoma.  I'll forever be grateful that I was able to see her that one last time and tell her that I loved her.

Then?  My birthday.  So many wonderful birthday wishes but I wasn't exactly in the mood for celebrating.

Friday was a constant roller coaster.  My weekly weigh in, some bad news at work and then Holly's Memorial.  The good news, I lost another 4.2 lbs.  I guess stress worked to my advantage this week.  Work is just something I'll have to deal with. 

Holly's Memorial was a true celebration of the wonderful person she was.  I was honored to be asked to speak.  We laughed, we cried, we felt a little closer to her.

One of the things that was asked of us was to share Holly's Hope.  To "Keep it Alive - Inform 5".  Well today, I'm informing.

Most Americans are unaware of the seriousness of melanoma.

If not caught early, melanoma is known to be the most deadly of all skin cancers.

Melanoma can be successfully removed and monitored by regular skin screenings in its early stages.

However, the disease is deadly in its most advanced stages as few melanoma treatment options exist.

The median lifespan for patients with advanced melanoma is less than one year.

The statistics around melanoma are astounding:
  • One-in-50 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma.
  • In 2009 nearly 63,000 were diagnosed with melanoma in the United States, resulting in approximately 8,650 deaths.
  • The projected numbers for 2010 were even higher with 68,130 diagnosis and 8,700 deaths.
This means that every eight minutes, someone in the United States will be given a melanoma diagnosis and that every hour someone will die from the disease.  

Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates that the risk of developing invasive melanoma in the United States is 1 in 41 and 1 in 61 for men and women, respectfully.
  • The incidence of people under 30 developing melanoma is increasing faster than any other demographic group, soaring by 50 percent in young women since 1980.
  • Melanoma primarily affects individuals in the prime years of life and is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.
  • Although melanoma is most common in Caucasians, melanoma can strike men and women of all ages, all races and all skin types. The mean age for diagnosis of melanoma is 50, while for many other cancers it is 65-70 years old.
I'm hoping you'll take the time to find out more about melanoma and maybe you'll be moved to support research to end this horrible disease.  If you are, you can donate to Holly's Fundraising Page for the Melanoma Research Foundation.

25 September 2011

The Friday Report

I know it's Sunday but hey, I'm a slacker.  I admit it.

Anyway.  I started out working my butt off with @Fit__Chick.  I don't remember the last time I sweat so much.  What made it even better is my friend Kecia decided to join me in the torture.  I didn't have to suffer alone. 

I followed Sunday's workout with water aerobics on Monday.  Who knew you could sweat in the pool?  The instructor was awesome and took the time to work with me one on one throughout the workout.  I'll definitely be making this part of my weekly routine.

The first week of this journey, I didn't work out.  The second week, I did Fit Chicks.  The third week, Fit Chicks and water aerobics.  Are we seeing a pattern here?  This week I plan to work on my goal of doing some type of physical activity at least three times a week.  Once I've established and maintained that routine for a while, we'll see about working in a few more days a week.

My nutrition plan of 1600 calories a day seems to be working for me.  I think my body is still getting used to existing on fewer calories so it seems like I'm constantly hungry.  But, I've armed myself with healthy snacks and lots of water to be able to make it through my day.  I'm also enjoying playing with my food; finding recipes that let me have all of my favorite foods and stay within my calorie goals is so much fun.

As a step to keep me from constantly weighing myself, I've left my scale at the office and the only time it comes out from under my desk is Friday morning for my weekly weigh in.  Well this Friday, my scale was very good to me.  I lost 8.4 lbs this week.  That brings my weight loss since the first of the month to 14.2 lbs and my total weight loss since the end of June to 19.8 lbs.  That's almost 20 lbs people.  Woohoo!!!!!  I can't wait till next week's weigh in when I'll check my measurements for the first time.  

22 September 2011

The Silliest Thing

This is probably the silliest thing in the world to write about but this morning it made me happy so I decided to share. 
Let me start by saying, I hate belts.  Don’t know why, I just do.  I do understand that they are a necessity for some, like people with smaller hips and behind than me or those foolish boys that sag their pants down to their knees or those that feel that a belt completes a neat and pulled together outfit.  As for me, I hardly ever, let me take that back, NEVER wear anything tucked in so I don’t see the need, nobody sees my waist.
If you know me, you know I’m all about finding a bargain.  A few months ago, I got an awesome deal on some pants for work that I just couldn’t pass up.  The only catch, they were a size too big.  I figured, they’re cotton they’ll shrink.  But alas, so far they haven’t and I’ve actually had to resort to belt wearing to keep my pants up. 
When I was shopping for a belt, I refused to pay a lot of money for something I was sure was going to see very little use so off to Walmart I went.  I ended up in the men’s department and found a reversible belt that I’d be able to wear with whatever colors pants.  SCORE!!!  It just barely fit (i.e. the first hole) but it fit and it was a good price so I went with it.
Fast forward a few months to this morning.  Again, I know it’s silly to get excited about this but hey, I gotta find my joy somewhere.  When I got dressed this morning and put on a pair of my still not shrunk pants, I was able to fasten my belt on the fourth hole.  Woohoo!!!!  Something I’m doing is working because I’m definitely losing inches around my waist. 
Ok, so I’ve shared, now you can laugh at my silliness.  J

20 September 2011

On My Plate - My Favorite Things Pt. 1

Since I’ve started with my healthier eating habits, I’ve found a few products that will forever more be mainstays in my kitchen.  I’d like to share some of my favorite things and I’ll start with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze.
For a while now, I’ve been drinking soy milk because I’m lactose intolerant and dairy isn’t always my friend.  Recently, I tried this almond milk.  OMG.  I will never go back to plain old soy.  And the bonus??? A whole 8 oz glass is only 40 calories.  It can be found in the diary case with the regular milk. 
My new favorite recipe using Almond Breeze is this scrumptious french toast.
¼ cup original egg beaters
2 tbs unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 packet splenda
Pinch of salt
3 slices light bread (I use Sara Lee 45 calories and delightful)

1. In a medium mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the first six ingredients.
2. Spray a frying pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pre-heat pan to medium.
3. Pour egg mixture into a plate and soak each side of bread for about 15 seconds (any longer and your bread will become mushy!)
4. Cook each side of the bread for two minutes on each side, or until browned.
Served with a few of my other favorite things, Smucker’s Sugar Free Breakfast Syrup and Jones Dairy Farm All Natural Turkey Sausage Links, this awesome breakfast is only 280 calories.

16 September 2011

The Friday Report

I’ve been looking forward to this week’s weigh in for a few days because I’ve noticed that my face looks thinner and my clothes are fitting a bit looser around the middle.  I was concerned that I’ve been constantly hungry this week and it seemed that I ate a lot more than I did last week but I always met my calorie goal for the day, so no worries, right?? 
Imagine my disappointment when I stepped on the scale this morning and saw that I actually gained weight.  UGH!!!!!  I weighed in at 378.6, up 0.6 lbs.  I can’t let this derail me.  I’m going to keep going with my nutrition but make an effort to eat more “nutrient dense” (thanks Shelly) foods so that I’m not hungry and snacking all the time.  I’m also going to step it up with the exercise.  Last Sunday, I worked out with my friend @Fit__Chick and I’ll work out with her again this Sunday but I have to make an effort to exercise more.

09 September 2011

The Friday Report

I started out saying I wouldn’t weigh myself constantly.  That once a month I’d weigh in and take measurements.  Yeah, well…..that ain’t happening.  I’m too impatient to wait a whole month to see my improvements (or failings).  So I’ve decided to stick with the once monthly measurements but every Friday I’ll weigh myself.  Starting today.
Today is a REALLY good day.  When I did the calculations to come up with how many calories I could have per day, I figured that cutting 1500 calories per day would mean an average loss of 3 lbs per week.  Except for one day this week (I misread the nutritional info for a restaurant L), I was actually between 200 – 400 calories under my 1600 calorie goal.  I guess that works for me because not only did I lose the anticipated and hoped for 3 lbs, I lost almost 3.5 more.  That’s right.  In eight days, I lost 6.4 lbs.  That also means that since my annual exam on June 21st, when I hit my all-time highest weight of 390 lbs, I’ve lost a total of 12 lbs.
Can you imagine my happy dance after I stepped off the scale? 
Well, now I know I can do this and I’m nothing but encouraged!!!!

08 September 2011

On my plate - Meat Sauce

Yesterday I mentioned that I was planning to make spaghetti sauce.  I thought I might post the recipe which is a slightly modified version of one provided by my friend @Fit__Chick (Check her out on twitter).  It’s loaded with veggies, makes a ridiculous amount of food and is only 132 calories per 1 cup serving.  This recipe makes 16 servings so make sure to use a pot with plenty of room; I used my big soup pot.
1 package Boca Ground Crumbles
1 lb extra lean (97/3) ground beef
2 26 oz cans Hunt’s Garlic & Herb Pasta Sauce
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 12 oz package broccoli slaw
1 10 oz package matchstick carrots
1 8 oz package white mushrooms, sliced
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
Seasonings to taste (I used seasoning salt, garlic powder and Mrs. Dash)
1.       Brown the ground beef, drain and set aside.
2.       Add the broccoli slaw, carrots, mushrooms, onions and pepper to the pot along with ½ cup of water and cover.  Let the veggies steam for 15 minutes or until tender.
3.       Add the ground beef, boca crumbles, pasta sauce and diced tomatoes to the pot and mix well.  Let simmer at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4.       Add the worcestershire sauce and season to taste.  Let simmer an additional 15 minutes.
Serve over Tofu Shirataki Noodles (40 calories per package; recommended by @Fit__Chick & @HungryGirl) with a salad with veggies and lite dressing and you’ve got a complete meal for less than 300 calories.  The average whole wheat pasta is 200 calories per 2 oz portion, so serving over whole wheat pasta will only increase the calorie count by about 160 calories. 
If you want to make it totally vegetarian, skip step 1 and add a second package of boca crumbles after the veggies have steamed.  The calories per serving drop to 112.

07 September 2011

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

For food for the first few days of this journey, I made do with a few quick trips to the grocery store and scouring the internet for nutritional info for some of my local eateries because I knew I would be doing my BIG shop sometime over the weekend. 
A trip to the grocery store has never taken so much time.  It started with research.  All last week I was searching for products and recipes and ideas for changing my diet.  I ended up on the Hungry Girl website.  Can I say AWESOME?!?!  In addition to recipes, and dining out guides, there is a 3 page printer friendly checklist style Supermarket List.  It’s broken down into food categories and gives recommendations for all types of low fat, low cal products.     
Then came the coupons.  I know that a lot of the healthier options out there can be a bit pricey so I spent a bit of time on coupon websites printing coupons for any product that I thought MIGHT end up in my grocery cart. 
Next, the purge.  I didn’t want to hurt myself lugging ridiculously heavy bags out of the house later on so I dragged my big trash can into the kitchen and cleaned out my fridge.  Nothing was safe.  Anything that didn’t fit into my new eating habits was gone.  I even got rid of most of the condiments on the fridge door.  My fridge was so empty, it echoed. 
I decide that my first big shop would be at Publix.  I love the prices at Walmart and Winn Dixie but when it comes to selection, especially when it comes to healthier products, Publix was the place to go.  So armed with my Hungry Girl Supermarket List, my stack-o-coupons, and this week’s store ad, I started to build “THE LIST”.  I knew I would be making a pot of spaghetti sauce to portion out and freeze, so I started there.  After that, it was whatever I knew I absolutely had to have and/or what was on sale.  My list ended up being two columns long and filling a whole page.
TWO HOURS LATER.  That right, I spent two whole hours going aisle by aisle, reading and comparing labels.  I didn’t get a few things on my list but I got all the major items taken care of.  This was truly a marathon shopping trip for me.  I don’t even remember the last time I bought so much fresh produce (both of the veggies drawers in my fridge were full). I spent $123 but with all the awesome sales and coupons, I saved almost $42.  I’m hoping that I won’t have to go back for a few weeks because this trip was thoroughly exhausting.  At least I’ll be eating really good.  J
Now on to the next adventure.

01 September 2011

And so it begins.....

Quite a few years ago, I found a quote by Goethe that truly inspired me.  It was almost fall and I’d graduated in May with my civil engineering degree.  I’d racked up miles and miles on my brand new Blazer driving all over the southeast going to interview after interview on my fruitless search for employment.  One of the local hospitals was holding a health fair for seniors, so I took my grandmother to get checked out.  At one of the tables sat a couple of nuns handing out these little cards with inspirational quotes inside.  I don’t even remember what was on the peel off cover but on the back it said “To your success”.  The quote itself read “The greatest thing in this world is not so much where you stand as in what direction you are moving”.  At a time when I thought I’d never find a real job and was beginning to doubt myself, my abilities and the decision to become a girl engineer, that one little line boosted me up and gave me just what I needed to get over my pity party.
As I sit here writing this almost thirteen years later I hold that little card in my hand.  I’ve held onto it and over the years, it’s been an inspiration to me when I’ve gone through hard times.  Now as I begin this journey to be a better me, it’s time for that little card to work its magic and inspire me again.
Earlier this summer, I made the decision to apply for Season 13 of the Biggest Loser.    I reconnected with a very good friend who had a little inside knowledge about the whole BL process.  She prompted me to create a twitter account so I could follow all the casting directors and BL alumni and keep up with all things BL. I made the decision to not only make a video and submit it but to attend a casting call.  We looked at other video submissions and did all kinds of online research on what it would take to make a good video and make a good impression at a casting call.  So far no life changing calls from the casting crew but I think the process of applying and what I got out of it is what’s truly important.
While answering the required questions on the pre-registration, writing the bio that accompanied my video submission and actually making my video, I had to admit to some hard truths.  I’m not just fat, I’m morbidly obese and it’s nobody’s fault but my own.  I let myself get this way by not caring enough about myself.  If something doesn’t change, I’ll end up like my dad and my grandfather, dying from complications of diabetes.  I’m lonely and it’s because I don’t have enough confidence in myself to believe that anyone would want to be with me.
I want to be healthy.  I want to be happy.  I want to be confident in the person I am.  I want to find the me I’m supposed to be.  It’s going to be a hard journey but my life has to change and I’m the only one that can make that happen. 
For me this isn’t about a fad diet or a quick fix.  I don’t expect to drop a hundred pounds by the end of the year.  It’s going to take time.  It’s about changing my lifestyle and the way I approach food.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I’m going to accomplish that.  Here’s my plan of action.
·   Make better food choices – Choose food that is lower in fat & calories, contains more whole grains and is less processed.
·   Count calories – When it comes down to it, weight loss is about calories in vs. calories burned.
·   Control my portion size – I need to pay better attention to exactly how much I’m eating.
·   Eliminate sugary drinks – There are a lot of empty calories in soft drinks and juice drinks.  I drink a LOT of my calories.  So bye-bye Hawaiian Punch, Arizona Juice Drinks and Terri’s Lemonade.  L
·   Don’t deprive myself – I LOVE food.  My goal is to find food that I love that’s good for me.  Otherwise, I’m going to feel like I’m missing out on something and fall back into old habits.
To start out, my goal is to maintain a 1600 calorie a day diet.  According to several calorie calculators, I need around 3100 calories a day to maintain my current weight without exercise.  To lose one pound a week without exercise, I would need to reduce my caloric intake by 500 calories per day. So if I eliminate 1500 calories a day and exercise, I can expect to lose at least 3 pounds a week.  We’ll see how well that goes. 
Another thing, I will not be weighing myself every day.  If I do that I’ll get caught up in the numbers and not the process.  Once a month, I’ll weigh myself and take measurements to record my progress.
The rest of my life starts now.  Wish me luck.