Monday, April 30, 2012

Life on a silver platter

I have a friend who read something a few weeks ago from a blogger that said something along the lines of no one told her once she lost the weight that her personality wouldn't change and her life wouldn't be better.  My friend noted that she didn't necessarily agree with that statement and her life since hitting her goal weight was indeed better.

I think I can see both sides of that coin.  At my heaviest, I was actually relatively happy and thought "I'm happy in every aspect of my life except my weight and who am I to complain about my life when I'm just fat?"  I also felt like if I could just lose the weight, my life would somehow be perfect.  That isn't to say I thought that once I got to goal weight that I would suddenly be invited to fabulous parties, people would naturally gravitate toward me and life would be simple because after all, isn't life just ducky for all thin people?  Clothes naturally fit, heads turn when they walk by like there is a permanent catwalk soundtrack to their lives or at minimum 'Moves Like Jagger' plays as they strut their fabulous, well-toned ass down the street.  They suddenly always have the money to have a Coach bag (or designer bag of choice), lunch at chic restaurants, the latest phone, perfectly manicured whatever's and vacation in villas in exotic locations.  That is how thin people live everyday life right?  But then you start to lose weight and people who once ignored you begin to treat you better (salespeople, servers, etc) and you begin to wonder if maybe that's true.

But as the newness of that journey wears off and you transform in other people's eyes from either the person trying to lose weight to the person who lost the weight, you tiptoe into 'normal' territory.  You get used to people being nice at stores and putting that guard down that you'd built up for so long then you realize that the foundation of your new life is not going to be built for you.  Just as life is not handed to you on a silver platter when you were fat, it's certainly not going to be handed to you when you're healthy just because you're healthy.  It takes saving for that fancy bag that coordinates with that dream outfit you can now fit into because of hard work.  It takes putting yourself out there in circles of people who share the same interests as you to make new friends, they're not going to flock to your door because the weight is off.  It takes being willing to go somewhere or do something new to have a vacation that when you update your social media o' preference with the highlights that makes other people say "wow, I could/would never do that but it's cool you did!"  It's having the courage to change the things about your life that need a little polishing or a complete overhaul and doing it in a way that makes sure you grow with your spouse/partner to embrace this new life that you create together.  Life awaits...and it looks pretty friggin' awesome.

What have you done/will you do to make your healthy life different than it used to be at your lowest point?

By the way, a special thanks to Evelyn at My Turn for Us for nominating me for a Versatile Blogger award.  I've got a ton of stuff I have to do the next few days so I don't have time to fulfill all of the requirements for the nomination but please stop by and say hello to her!  I'm honored!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Meh - Weigh In

Down 1.

I don't want to sound ungrateful or anything but WTF scale dudes?  (I'm pretty sure my scale is a man)  You couldn't at least let me get down to my lowest?  You literally had to get me 2 oz away?  (So I guess technically it's more like a 1 3/4 lb loss but still)  Whatever.  I know, I know..."any loss is a good loss."  Not when I know I will have to re-lose it again.  This is our last weigh in for a while so I was just hoping to possibly tap into ONE new number before we went on a hiatus.  I was also worried about cutting my calories back a bit when I saw what I ended up averaging.  I don't know how I feel about all that and at this point I'm not in the mindset to care because I'm tired of analyzing it to death for now.

In other news, I hacked my thumb open making fruit salad last night.  Damn honeycrisp apple.  Damn knife.  Damn gusher that I thought stopped bleeding but didn't.  It's one of those wounds that is like a hair away from saying "you might need a stitch" but that ain't happening.  There's nothing to stitch because there is literally a chunk of skin missing.  I'm a real wiz in the kitchen, eh?  At least I wasn't cutting blood oranges or I never would've noticed!  ERRRRRRRRRRRRT!!!!  

It's a relatively poopie day weather wise but it's gonna be a great day.  We're road trippin' and I'm ready to kick back a bit.  I've loaded some albums on the MP3 player (I refuse to give Apple a shout out) and I'm ready to hit the Holiday Ro-oooooooh oh oh oh ohhhhhhhd, Holiday roooooooooooooooooad. just started raining...hard.  *palm to forehead*

Anything on the agenda for today?  Scale been a mofo to you or a fairy Godmother?

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Food Journal 4/22-4/27

I remembered to take a pic of my dinner Sunday.  That's a good start!  I thought I'd take pic of my fruit salad for those who drool over my freshly made bowl o' goodness at lunch!  Half a navel orange, red grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple.

Looks good right?  Have I whet your appetite?  Let's eat!

Sunday was my Rainbow Kabobs with Mango Chipotle Shrimp on the grill and grilled asparagus with pepper and garlic powder.  It was sooo good and very low cal for all of that goodness!  Calories:  367

Monday was Trader Joe's Pacific Stuffed Flounder topped with a little Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime and a side of roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta and 1 tsp of parmesan romano blend.  Calories:  425

Tuesday was Chinese 'take in.'  1/2 cup brown basmati rice, 3 1/2 oz of boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 cup of broccoli slaw, 1/4 sliced zucchini, 1/4 cup red pepper and 1/4 cup of onion topped with 2 tbsp of Trader Ming's General Tsao's sauce.  Chives and sesame seeds for garnish.  Calories:  385

Wednesday was 5 1/2 oz of silverbrite salmon with mango butter and Ian's Whole Wheat panko and a side of roasted asparagus.    It was sooo good!  Calories:  285

Thursday was BBQ chicken naan pizza and roasted brussels sprouts.  The Mr was a happy boy.  Under all of that chicken and cheese lies some sweet, caramelized onions.  Le' yum.  No idea why I lapsed into faux French right there.  Calories:  621

Tonight's dinner was one that the Mr gave a rousing thumbs up to.  Parmesan Peppercorn Cheese Stuffed Chicken Sliders with a bowl of fruit salad.  I've got some caramelized onions on the bottom and a hit o' bbq sauce.  Calories:  660

The Mr wanted to make sure you saw the cheesy goodness that lies within.  It was pretty friggin' good and I was told to pat myself on the back for that one.  *Pat*

Calorie Average for the week:  2175
Calorie Burn with formal exercise:  4640

I'd say we're doing a good job of getting our fruits and veggies in are we not?  Another week with 3 seafood dinners so I'd say eating fish half the time is a good thing!  I did a decent job of staggering my calories this week.


We'll see if that does anything or not.  I also increased my free weights and I've really felt those strength workouts too.  Should be interesting with Atletica Sunday.  Dreading that one.  Fingers crossed for a good scale reading tomorrow.

Anything planned for the weekend?  Eat anything worth noting this week?

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Here's my fourth (and final?) edition of Success Along the Weigh Q & A.  Some great questions await so let's jump right in, shall we?

How do you pick the things you are going to fix?

I'm pretty boring.  We tend to buy the same meats week after week.  We always buy TJ's breast tenderloins, mahi mahi and salmon and I like to have super lean beef on hand in case the urge for chili strikes.  I do like to try to come up with different ways to prep things but there are some favorites that the Mr likes in weekly rotation like BBQ chicken naan pizza and fish tacos.  But every now and then I like to shake things up like when I made Spicy Mexican Stuffed Shells or filet mignon that had him raving for 10 straight minutes.  I do make a habit of picking up at least one new to us item at the grocery store every time we go that we can expand our culinary horizons.  If we hadn't done that we wouldn't have things like brussels sprouts, chipotle hummus, light coconut milk and mangoes showing up in our culinary repertoire.  I encourage everyone to do that.  There are things you just automatically wrinkle your nose up at without ever having tried them and I'd like to be able to bash something with authority not say "no I haven't had it but sounds gross!"

How often do you change up your workouts? Is it something different everyday or do you have a weekly/monthly schedule?  

I do my workout schedule at the beginning of the month and I have a list of workouts that burn the most calories for us off to the side so I can properly balance them.  We never do the same workout 2 days in a row.  We'd get bored doing that so I need to keep variety top priority.  I have done it where we'll do say Turbo Fire for one week, Tae Bo the next week, etc. for a month.  Typically, I have 2 strength workouts per week.  Sunday is a for sure but I try not to schedule a hard strength after Wednesdays so that our bodies have time to repair by weigh in day.  Sometimes I want to make some weeks harder and when I know Aunt Flo is gearing up for a visit a certain week, I will schedule my harder workouts Sun-Tuesday knowing I'm in the clear and doing my lightest on Thursday which is usually cramp day.  (Sorry for the TMI!)  I try to be very calculating in how I arrange the workouts.  I always search Amazon and Collage Video to see if there are new workouts that float my boat.  We're getting to the point where we need to throw some new blood in there.   See the My Favorites tab for a list of all of the workouts we do

Fashion wise, what one style/garment/look do you dream of being able to rock (be it when you get to goal or even just get to X weight)? Or maybe you already did this, what was the "look"? 

I think just being able to throw together a well styled look with no rolls, bulges, etc would be a dream but it's sleeveless that I'm really aiming for.  I don't know if that will ever happen but with stupid designs by Old Navy or similar stores thinking that having a half inch "sleeve" is what the people want so their arm fat (at any weight) can hang out shows how out of touch they are with most consumers.  Not that I want to be busting out sleeveless all the time but it's the one style I'd like to wear well without being self conscious.  Sadly, with all the body damage, I doubt that will be possible ever.  I'll probably have to admire that style from afar.  ;-)   I can't wait until my legs look a little more lady like.  I don't need to wear short shorts, I just want actual ankles!  HA!

How did you figure out your talk a lot about eating more calories on average at certain times to increase weight loss, etc. What is the method to your maddness?! 

Initially, I go on sites like MyFitnessPal, Livestrong, etc or even FitDay, which I've been using for over 10 years on and off to track my food to enter what my goal weight is (not my "ultimate" goal weight but my next milestone weight.    IE- Right now I'm 288 and my next milestone weight is 250)  I enter what I burn during the week and let it give me a specific calorie range which is between 1950-2350 for my current goal based on the intensity of my workouts.  Then I experiment.  Does it help when I'm toward the bottom of my calorie range?  No.  For me, right now, the less I eat, the more my body clings to it because it's using every single calorie to repair and fuel my body after doing HIIT workouts or high impact aerobics, etc.  I can easily pack on 2-4 lbs when I've tried cutting my calories to 1700-1900.  I have a very hard time drilling it into my head that based on what my body needs right now I need to stay at the higher end of that range most days.  But I've been a total dork in the sense of "no. That can't be!  It's been drilled into my head since I was a kid that you need to cut, cut, cut calories to lose weight!"  I know there will be a point I'll need to cut my calories but that time is not now.  Not because I say so but because my body does because it will gain on me every time when I try.  As I lose (which is like molasses sometimes) I will plug my numbers back in to see if my range has changed and adjust accordingly.

What kind of blogs do you like to read?  Who's blogs inspire, entertain or motivate you?

I seriously read ALL kinds of blogs.  I don't know why but vegan/healthy blogs like Oh She Glows, Oh My Veggies, Kath Eats Real Food  and Roni's Weigh are just a few that I read because I think I like to get new ideas for vegan dishes or ways to incorporate more veggies.  I also LOVE decadent food blogs like Kevin and Amanda (how that girl stays so tiny is beyond me!), The Pioneer Woman, Love from the Oven and stuff like that because I always try to challenge myself to lighten the decadence up a bit and I can make those recipes, save a serving (or two!) back for us and send the rest to the Mr's work and get the rep for being an amazing baker.  I love home blogs like The Lettered Cottage, Young House Love and Apartment Therapy and tons of others so I can dream about my someday projects when we move to our next home.  (We've only been at our current one for 16 years so you know, it could happen!)   I love inspirational blogs that make me think like Jen's Journey, A Schorr Thing, Ben Does Life, Flab Mountain, Tippy Toe Diet and Runs for Cookies along with others.  I would love to name them all.  I have so many bookmarks!  But those are just a few in the myriad of the ones out there in the blogosphere!  

I hope you liked this installment of SATW Q&A.  That's it for now, I'm out of questions from people so if you have any questions and want future editions, you can leave one in the comments or contact me at mrs {at} successalongtheweigh {dot} com to start up in June.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Random schtuff

As I write this, I'm bouncing around to Jump Around by House of Pain. (The real song doesn't start up until at 38 seconds in, fast forward)  It mistakenly made its 1992 rump on my Living in the 80's playlist and it's so freakin' infectious I can't bring myself to put it with 90's grunge.  Just one random factoid in a post of true randomness yo...word to your mutha.  (Cursin' in the vid for the at work crowd)

Update on the sink.  We got a part from some 90 year old man in the basement of a highly recommended underground plumbing supply place that is apparently as close as we're going to find.  It solves the problem but the stem is too tall so there's a gap from the bottom of the cover to the handle that no one would know about but we do and that's enough.  Then the Mr sent me a link that looked identical to the faucet and as soon as I saw the website I was pretty sure that's where we got it so I ordered it.  I'm sure it'll come just in time for us to not have time to install it before sabbatical.

We had an at home circuit on the schedule for a workout last night.  I was stalling to do it because my head hurt so bad.  Luckily the Mr was having none of it so I popped 2 Excedrin and he rubbed my neck and shoulders before heading down.  The first 15 minutes were pretty miserable head wise but thankfully I felt better the more I got into it.  I was a little worried because the last time I did that, I burned very little and had to end up doing a HIIT workout on top of it and I was not down with that for this time.  Sunday was the first time I upped my free weights and I kept with that theme for last night's circuit.  15's for triceps and lateral raises, 20's for bicep curls, swings, wood chops and 25's for rows and squats.  Good God am I sore!  I also popped some ligament or something when I was stretching afterward when the muscle that runs from my shoulder up to my neck went into a severe charlie horse.  It was the night for injury/pain because the Mr was lifting too heavy on a press or something and now he's walking around like a T-Rex with his wee arm pulled back in and on ice.  I burned 1110 calories.  Take that bitch!  Not body.

I made a super yummy protein packed dinner of mango salmon and asparagus which I'll have the recipe for soon.  Oh yeah!  For those who haven't noticed, I have a ReciPage.  They recently had some serious issues and stuff wasn't showing up but this page has some of my favorite recipes so if you ever want to peruse it, just click the ReciPage tab at the top o' the blog.

Looking forward to tonight's workout (Turbo Fire 55) because it's the last workout of the week and dinner is going to be yummy and I'm gonna make a big ol' batch of caramelized onions.  It's an hour of babysitting but I'm going to roast some garlic at the same time so the house is gonna smell delicious!

Well that's about it for my random fibberty gibbits.

Tell me 3 random things about your week.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Movie Night

Last night was movie night.  We rented Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and Contraband.  (affiliate links)  We made sure we got our workout in early so we'd have enough time to watch both.

The little girl in DBAotD, Bailee Madison,  is such a good actress.  I remember her from Brothers  (affiliate link) and she was amazing then.  I'll be honest, I can't really recommend the movie but she was the best thing in it.  I don't like gore and they managed to provide it yet the gore was performed by these little monsters that looked like they came straight out of Labyrinth so it was hard to be truly terrified.  The Mr was like "lame!"  I concur.

Contraband drew us in with the trailer.  I can't help it but every time we see Mark Wahlberg in any acting role we can't help but think of the SNL skit Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals where Andy Samberg mocks him and he was like "Hey donkey, what's going on?  You're a donkey, I like that."  So even in the most serious of moments, we could bust out laughing just at a tone in his voice because in our minds we're going "hey're a donkey!"  Of course what made it even better was how he poked fun at himself in response to the original skit.  Anyhoo, the movie was your typical shoot 'em up curse fest but with a nice twist or two.  Recommended if you're into that kinda thing.

We had our usual movie snack...

We had enough calories to throw in a diet hot chocolate too.  Yum!  I don't know what it is about movie night but we've got to have something a little extra (budgeted into the calories before consumed of course) and that light kettle corn from Trader Joe's is the perfect amount of sweet and salty and only 110 calories per bag!  We also take them into the theater when we go on rare occasion.  They'll be coming with us at the drive in Sunday night so we need to make a TJ's run this weekend.

Do you have movie snacks when you rent movies or go to the movies?  What kind?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rainbow Kabobs with Mango Chipotle Shrimp

I was anxious to dust off the ol' grill and get her fired up for the season.  When I was at Whole Foods I grabbed a bag of peel and eat raw shrimp so I could make kabobs.  Sunday was that day.

I call these Rainbow Kabobs because you know how doctor and experts and such always say "eat the rainbow?"  I put that concept to work with these babies.  Here's what you'll need to make yours.

8 oz raw shrimp from a 26-30 bag, peeled
1 red pepper, cut into squares
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1 small zucchini, halved, sliced
1/2 of an 8 oz sweet potato, cut into large cubes
2 tbsp Bronco Bobs Roasted Mango Chipotle Sauce (affiliate link)
Salt free spices
Bamboo or metal skewers

Peel the shrimp and put them in a bowl.  Sprinkle with your favorite salt free spices and toss 1 tbsp of Bronco Bob's Roasted Mango Chipotle sauce in, give it a toss and let sit while you prepare everything else.

Soak bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes so they don't catch fire while cooking.

Poke sweet potato with corn cob holder about 4-6x.  Microwave it for 5 minutes if it's around 8 oz.  Cut it in half and cube one of the halves.

Cut all of the other veggies in quarters or large cubes.

In any order you want, alternate all of the ingredients on the skewer.  Like so...

Spray your grill plates with some high heat Pam so the shrimp doesn't stick.  I don't remember how long I cooked them but I want to say about 4-5 minutes per side.

I kept an eye on them until they were good and pink and then I brushed the last tablespoon of the mango chipotle sauce on each shrimp.  I believe this is a rainbow o' goodness waiting to get in my bell-ay!

I served this with a side of grilled asparagus and we were in heaven.  It was a great way to kick off the week and the grilling season.  Now I smell like applewood smoke!

You know you want some.

Nutritional info for 2 servings (2 kabobs):  Calories 230  Total Fat 2g  Cholesterol 170 mg  Sodium 225mg  Potassium 516mg  Total Carbs 29g  Fiber 4g  Sugars 14g  Protein 25g  Vitamin A  158%  Vitamin C  277%  Calcium 3%  Iron 6%
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Monday, April 23, 2012

The comfort of food

Where to begin.  This weekend was interesting.  Saturday was good.  We got to take some friends to our favorite burger joint and then a vegan bakery.  Nice combo eh?  That's what high cal days are all about.  After they left and we were kind of hanging out with no real plan the Mr mentioned it wasn't a big thing but did I notice the bathroom faucets were leaking.  I said yes, agreed we needed to get on that but it wasn't huge so we'd put it off for a few weeks.

Sunday we slept in, a rare luxury these days.  I rolled into the bathroom and when I went to wash my hands, I noticed the water was coming out a little quicker than I remembered from the faucet.  "La la la.  I don't see you.  I have no plans today and you certainly aren't part of my day of nothing.  I plan to eat a fiberlicious breakfast, workout early so we can have the entire day to ourselves so pffft"  (Yes, I talk to faucets)  Then the Mr rolls into the bathroom and when he comes out he asks if I notice the water is worse.  *Plugs my ears*  LA LA LA.
A few trips to the Home Depot later and a local hardware store all tell us that the man that will be our savior is apparently closed Sundays but hele on over Monday and if he doesn't have it, no one does.  So this is how my bathroom has looked for the past 2 days:

I get to wash my hands and brush my teeth in the bathtub.  Jealous?

We decided if the Mr was going to go to the faucet man on his lunch hour that we'd better do a drive by.  It would require driving past my old high school.  I like to drive by on occasion to reminisce so I was curious to see if the rumors for the plans for it had come to fruition yet.

As we got closer, I lost my breath and burst into tears.  

It was gone.  My entire high school career was now a pile of rubble guarded by a bulldozer and fenced off from the rest of the world.  Memories flooded back to me...spotting my friends waiting outside for me as I walked up or waiting outside of the door of the art room gossiping about snobs that walked by with their noses in the air or screaming the name of a cute guy that just passed by only so we could see his face one more time before he disappeared in the sea of people.  Or trading Poison or Guns and Roses posters from the latest edition of BOP or Metal Edge in study hall, getting kicked out of study hall for being too disruptive or giggling over how outdated "Our Bodies, Our Selves" was.  Gone were the stairs in the Math/Science section where Glenda fell and "broke her butt" my sophomore year.  Gone was the locker of Mike B. where I got busted by him for slipping a note in there from my friend and as he smirked I said "it's NOT from me!"  Gone was the 2nd floor stairs where I would pass notes with my best friend between classes and give one last shout goodbye as I got to the top when she got to the bottom.  Gone was the cafeteria where we watched MTV and ate horrible cafeteria food but found that half hour break from academia to reconnect and talk about what was going on in our day.  Gone were the hallways that we used to follow teachers aids we had crushes on and pretend we were doing something else when they caught us.  Gone were the home ec and print shop classrooms where I spent time with my favorite teachers that encouraged me to be my best self and that I did have talent as long as I continued to hone it.  These things will always live on in my memories and the school notes I keep in a shoebox when I'm in the mood to revisit how dirty and crazy we were in those days.  But there is something different about not having that physical building there any more.  It's like you could pass by it and feel that familiarity and there was comfort in the feeling it would always be there.  But it won't.  Nothing is sacred any more.

I needed to be surrounded with familiarity from my high school days and that meant a trip to the pizza place that was basically a food group for me back then.  Back in the day I could've gotten a medium and ate 3/4 of it or all of it depending on how fast I ate it.  But Sunday, we split a medium (which a nutritionist told us was absolutely acceptable) and given I'd already planned dinner, I knew how many calories I had to work with and it was well within the limits.  As the Mr put the pizza in the car, the smell of that pepperoni pizza enveloped me and it smelled like high school.  I remembered slumber parties with my best friends and eating a pizza in my room or going to another friends house and eating it there.  Or stopping by after school for a pop on the way home on rare occasion.  I remembered having a small crush on the namesake grandson on the football team for which the pizza place was named.  I remembered giggling over many a pizza from that place on the phone with friends.  Some would say since this wasn't a high cal day that I failed.  I didn't.  Was I using food for the wrong reasons?  Yes.  But ask me if I care?  I knew damn well what I was doing and it didn't blow my day by any stretch.  As a matter of fact, I did a little extra cardio just to make sure.  At that time, it wasn't a matter of if I wanted that pizza.  I needed that pizza.  I needed to be surrounded by that taste and smell which are now the only tangible piece of my high school years other than yearbooks full of people I rarely associated with.  I needed comfort and I wasn't going to feel guilty about indulging in that comfort because I knew it was for one meal.  I know that pizza could never bring back what I lost yesterday but for 20 minutes, it felt like old times and I needed that more than I needed to project the image of a healthy blogger saint.  

To you old high school, I'm thankful I took pictures on your steps last Fall and pics with my friend when she was in town one last time.  Thanks for the memories and I'll always remember you the way you were when I went there, not how much you changed in the years since.

Do you use food to bring you back to a happier time in your life?  If you do are you able to do it in moderation or can that trigger a binge for you?

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

If I'm Lucky - Weigh In

...I can lose 2 more pounds and be at an unhappy wash of being back where I was 2 months ago!

So yeah, down 2 pounds, still up 2 overall from my lowest.  It is like I'm being punished for working so hard.  At this point, I'm just praying I can get those 2 pounds off and MAYBE not be back into the 3's at the end of our vacation.  When we get back from vacations we weigh in under the WORST possible circumstances which is 17 hours trapped in a flying tube and in airports, having consumed more sodium from eating out than we're used to and very little water because I'm not using the airplane bathroom unless I'm forced in there.  So we come straight in the door, weigh in and know that is our 'worst case scenario.'  Then we get right back to the routine and usually half or more drops off just from going back to business as usual.  We'll see.  I'm not going to obsess over it.  I will pray that the weight loss god throw me a 3 this coming week so I can at least hit a new lowest number and not feel like I'm spinning my wheels for 2 months.

When we get back high cal days are getting an overhaul.  They'll still exist but new rules are going to be implemented.  More on that another time.

In the meantime, we're going out with friends today to intro them to the best burger in the city and a vegan bakery.  (How's THAT for a combo!)  I'm going to stop when I'm full, drink lots of water and if I'm not actually hungry for dinner when that time rolls around then I'm not going to eat just because it's dinner time.

Anyone else weigh in today/recently?  What's on tap for your weekend?

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Food Journal Friday- 4/16 to 4/20

This week was the first week of really kind of focusing on using veggies as our sides dishes.  We always have but I wanted to make it more often than not and just use rice and potatoes once or twice a week.  I think we got a good balance this week.  I may need to start taking pics of Sundays dinners too.  We had chipotle roasted mango salmon with asparagus for Sunday but no pic.  Let's get to the ones I do have pictures of...let's eat.

Monday was fancy pants and garnered me 10 minutes of unadulterated compliments from the Mr who could NOT stop raving that he'd just eaten the best steak of his life.  When we were at Trader Joe's, I spied a pound of filet mignon.  I saw the $12 price tag and my inner cheapskate kicked in and I almost passed it by. Then I thought "wait, you pay twice that for 2 ounces less and only for ONE of you!  Get it, idiot!"  So I did and I put some garlic powder and black pepper on it, seared it on all sides then finished it off in the oven and topped it off with a pineapple onion salsa with au jus and for a side, quick twice baked potatoes.  (Recipe forthcoming)  Calories:  656

Tuesday was pay off from Monday's ambition.  I made a big ol' batch of Chipotle Jalapeno Refried Beans so I could make the "guts" for the next day's dinner as well as Friday's dinner and freeze the rest.  I also made another batch of Pineapple Banana Bread experimenting with brown sugar which I think is our preference and we had a piece a day.  Is it wrong I could sleep on a bed of that stuff and eat my way to the floor?  Forget I said that.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, dinner was Spicy Mexican Stuffed Shells (YUM!) and a side of roasted asparagus.  The Mr was a happy boy and so was I (well, a happy girl.  *looks down*  Yep, definitely not a boy) since I pared down other meals to fit this one in.  Calories:  774

Wednesday was a quick throw together.  Trader Joe's Salmon burger on a wheat bun with grilled pineapple and 1 tbsp of Kikkoman Teriyaki Glaze (oh how I wish they'd come up with a lower sodium version of that stuff!  They have lower sodium sauce but not glaze.  I must get the version that has pineapple and honey, it's 770mg of sodium instead of 810mg.  Does that count as lower sodium?  I need to stop talking to myself in parentheses)  Our side was 4.5 oz of TJ's sweet potato fries.  Calories:  541

Thursday was fish taco night, another favorite of the Mr.  I grilled up an Ole high fiber tortilla, jammed in 8 oz of Mahi Mahi seasoned with Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime, 1 tbsp of TJ's chipotle hummus, 1 tbsp Kraft Chipotle Mayo and 3/4 cup of TJ's organic broccoli slaw.  Our side was grilled brussels sprouts with garlic powder and black pepper.  Calories:  533

Friday was a throwback to one of the Mr's old favorite restaurants, Taco Bell.  We haven't been there in about 3 1/2 years since I actually stopped to TASTE what I was eating and I found it was pretty friggin' gross, in my humble opinion.  I made a homemade "chilito" by using an Ole high fiber tortilla, 5 oz of my Chipotle Jalapeno Refried Beans, 1 oz of shredded habanero cheese and 1 tbsp of taco sauce.  It was muy caliente.  Sides were the pithy amount of sprouts we had left and some of those awesome little chipotle cheddar bites from Trader Joe's with Light Chocolate Silk to drink.  Calories:  525

Caloric Average for the week:  2239
Calories Burned: 4300

I have to say I'm pleased having got in fish 3x from Sunday to Friday, my protein was higher which is always super hard for me and more veggies as sides.  I also staggered my calories with 2517 Sunday, 2312 Monday, 2261 Tuesday, 2190 Wednesday, 2186 Thursday and 1969 Friday.  So nutrition wise, I'm declaring the week a success!

Now we'll see what le scale has to say tomorrow on "raft week."  I watched my sodium this week too so hopefully mother nature will cut me a break!

Anything good on the agenda for the weekend?  Did you eat something particularly inspiring this week?

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Here's the 3rd installment of Success Along the Weigh Q & A.  I hope you've had fun reading the 1st and 2nd versions so let's get to the third!

Do you think you would be doing this, or doing as well, if the Mr wasn't working towards the same goal?

I think it would be much harder to motivate myself to go down and do the workouts if I was single or if he wasn't on board with living healthy.  I can see the nutrition being fairly easy to maintain but when you know there is someone there that depends on you to be their workout buddy (whether a spouse or a friend, co-worker, etc), it tends to motivate you to just do it.  It wasn't always like this for us.  We spent more years than not sabotaging our efforts so just as people can be supportive, they can also be detrimental if you're not on the same page.  Thankfully we got on the same page 3 1/2 years ago and have been ever since.  While it is easier, it's not impossible to do it on your own.  If you need support, online communities can be a good source of support and accountability like, and

What really odd changes have you noticed about yourself (physical or mental/emotional)?

Most people might argue I couldn't get more odd but that's another story.  I think physically the really weird thing is that I seem to be losing "chunks" in places.  A big weird dent in the calf here, a hollow spot in the gut there, a dip in one thigh and not the other.  I expect to be a big loose skin mess for a while but hopefully the swiss cheese look won't be permanent!  As far as mentally, I am finding that I don't "emotionally brace" as much in public.  When I was at my heaviest or the first 100-150 lbs lost, I was convinced people were going to scream insults out the window at me or from the patio at a restaurant, etc.  Despite this never having happened, I'd read plenty of horror stories about obese women who had this happen to them and it terrified me.  I'm a dweller and I would replay that tape in my head forever if some idiot thought they had to the right to scream at me just because I'm fat.  But as the weight comes off and I'm more in the realm of 'normal fat' as I call it, I feel like I can walk a little taller and a little more confidently without as much fear that everyone is looking at me.  

How much time per day/week do you spend on food prep, etc? It looks like you have home cooked dinners most nights, plus your fruit salads.

 Yes, I cook 6 days a week and our high cal day is the one day I get a break which after 6 days of cooking 3 meals a day and prep, I desperately need!  I never actually thought about how much time I put into prep but I might have to write that down for a week just to see!  Every other week we go to the grocery and that night we (okay, the Mr) sits down and cuts the fruits and veggies for the week.  I get celery, radishes, broccoli and cauliflower without fail and he cuts them and puts them into a relish tray for me to keep in the crisper drawer.  Then he'll use the melon baller on my watermelon and cantaloupe and I'll cut the pineapple if we get it because he HATES cutting pineapple.  So that takes about an hour.  Many people have asked if my fruit salad is fresh or from the deli/pre-made.  I always use fresh ingredients when making my fruit salad.  Watermelon and cantaloupe are almost always present and add in's are grapes, half a navel orange or clementine when in season or pineapple.  I always use a Fruit/Veggie wash on the grapes, apples or anything with an edible skin.  Think of how you look through apples.  Pick one up, look at it, it's not right for you, you put it back.  10 people could've touched that same apple you decide to buy and they've all coughed in their hand, blown their nose, gone to the bathroom without washing their hands, etc.  Not to gross you out but I think produce washes are a really important habit to get into.  When I'm on top of things, I'll plan out the menu at least a night in advance (I've been trying to plan a week in advance lately though) and when I'm REALLY ahead of the game, I'll do all of my prep during the day so that when it's time for dinner after a hard workout, I'm not having to do 15 minutes of cutting and chopping in addition to the cooking.  I really like to have stuff like onions, zucchini and pepper pre-cut so I can just grab them and throw them in dishes.  I love to have a bunch of caramelized onions on hand when I'm feeling ambitious because it's an hour of babysitting but I'll usually do that if I'm making a recipe to share on the blog since I'll already be in there.  (Earlier in the week I was baking banana bread and making a batch of chipotle jalapeno refried beans at the same time and still had the energy to make filet mignon and twice baked potatoes for dinner that night!)  So prepping things ahead of time is key if you're cooking every night to save yourself some time and I usually dedicate Sundays to that or if I have an hour or so on Monday after I have a menu in my head for the next few days.

A side note:

If you've ever had problems commenting here, please give it another shot.  I believe I may have fixed the issue and the comments are now embedded so comments can be directly replied to as well.  (Hallelujah!)  I hope this will encourage people who tell me they lurk to jump on in and comment!  :-)

I hope you liked this installment of SATW Q&A.  If you have any questions for future editions, you can leave one in the comments or contact me at mrs {at} successalongtheweigh {dot} com!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pepsi Next review

After we took a dip in the 'new diet soda' arena with Sunkist and A&W Root Beer 10, we hoped we would have better luck with Pepsi Next.  Pepsi Next claims "real cola taste- 60% less sugar."  At 60 calories per 12 ounces, were my diet soda hating taste buds going to be more satisfied than with my previous attempt?

We found that little bottle on our grocery trip to Target so we forked over the $.80 for it and put off tasting it for a week.  Finally I broke down and thought "maybe that high octane Pepsi taste is just waiting for you!"  I cracked open the top and put the frosty rim to my lips...and smelled diet soda.  That alone made me want to put it down but I didn't.  I thought I could look past it.  I took a drink.  How does a higher calorie diet soda taste WORSE than a 1 calorie (or is it 0?  I don't drink that crap) soda???  Seriously, I quietly put the cap back on and passed it to the Mr. who took a swig then another to confirm his dissatisfaction and put it down.  It went down our disposal .  $.40 per sip.

If you like diet Pepsi, you'd probably like this so I'm definitely not steering anyone away from trying it.  But being a non-soda drinker 99% of the year, my palate is pretty open to new tastes.  I really did try to keep an  open mind too but when I can smell that diet smell before I even drink it, it's just not for me.  When I see that commercial with the baby doing fantastic feats while the parents tape Pepsi Next because of how amazing it supposedly is, I shall likely point at the TV and shout 'liar!"  (Liar referring to 'real cola taste')

Have you tried Pepsi Next?  What did you think?  What do you think of soda companies trying to change their formulas or coming up with new products with a similar taste to an already existing product?

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It's "that week"...I'm just gonna warn you.  So my attitude is in the crapper right now.  I am convinced men have their own 'cycles' as well where they do things that they don't do any other time than around your 'ladies days' (to quote Marie Barone) to annoy you.  I was really relying on my workout to speed some of those feel good endorphins everyone touts so much and something was distracting me.  Or I should say someone.  The Mr decides he's going to do Turbo Fire as though someone has put burning embers into his shorts which was completely distracting.  On a good day when I go down to workout and am focused, I am still easily distracted.  I mean seriously, I can't even let my mind wander or I miss a move or two or zone out and get uncoordinated so I really need very little distraction.  Believe me when I tell you seeing a pogo stick in your peripheral vision is dis-trac-ting!  I threatened to leave and/or workout without him the rest of the week because he being a little over the top.  HISS!

Then I swear I have this super sonic hearing that kicks in 'that week' and makes my already "super sonic hearing" (to quote an ear, nose and throat specialist) some kind of uber hearing that I could hear an ant fart if I listened hard enough.  So I'm punching and doing these twists and all I can hear is the sound of my arm fat slapping during transitions.  It was like an insult with every slap and I wanted to just hack off my arm fat, sew myself up and continue on.  HISS!

I went online to see what new releases were out at the DVD rental store.  (Yes, we go to a video store because Netflix sucks and Redbox releases movies 1 month after they actually come out.)  I don't want to get into a big debate about movie services but I got highly irritated that nothing good was out and hasn't been for a few weeks.  The last thing we rented was "We Bought a Zoo" and we really liked it but jeez man, there was a time when we would get several new releases to watch in one night.  Those days are apparently gone.  Thanks a lot Hollywood.  HISS!

The Biggest Loser.  Don't get me started.  I only watch so I can drool over Dolvett and see his gleaming white teeth, bulging muscles and rock solid boo-tay that I would like to bounce quarters off of.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, I don't know why we watch it.  This probably the worst season in history and what happened last night made me want to throw dog poo at the TV.  I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't watched it.  But it didn't add to my cheerful mood.  HISS!

Let's hope today is a better day!

What are/were your PMS symptoms?  How do/did you deal with them...legally?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pineapple Banana Bread

I don't know if you've noticed or not but I'm mentally already on vacation.  I changed my background to reflect my vacation state of mind and my food is leaning toward local cuisine.  The Mr and I were discussing how I wanted to find a really good homemade banana bread recipe because it stinks waiting to get to go to the Big Island just to find Auntie Helen's various banana breads.  I picked up some soft tofu on a mental dare and had no idea what I was going to do with it.  I started looking up recipes and came across a banana bread recipe using silken tofu and thought "what the hell."  We had a friend over for breakfast the other day to have loco moco and it was the perfect opportunity to try out the banana bread recipe.

What awaited me was something any home cook revels..."the look."  You know that look.  The eyeballs roll back in the person's head or in this case, our guest did a double take after taking a bite.  He said how good it was and as he was nearing the end of his first piece when I told him tofu was the secret he seemed intrigued and pleasantly surprised.  When he accepted some for the road, I knew I had a hit.  The Mr and I agreed this tasted exactly like Auntie Helen's banana bread which is our all time favorite!  The good thing is as you know, I like to tweak recipes to make them a little healthier than I found them and this easily fits into our calories!

Pineapple Banana Bread awaiting a nice slathering of Hawaiian Sun's Passion Fruit Jelly
Pineapple Banana Bread (adapted from

6 oz silken tofu
1 cup sugar (or brown sugar, packed depending on your tastes)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract or the scrapings of the inside of one whole vanilla bean)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup bananas, mashed
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp Hain sodium free baking powder (you can find it at Whole Foods or other big box grocery stores)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or Vietnamese cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, add the first six ingredients (from tofu to pineapple) and mix until combined.

In a larger bowl, add the next 5 ingredients (from flour to cinnamon) and mix them together until combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine with a rubber spatula.

Spray a loaf pan with some butter flavor cooking spray or the cooking spray of your choice and add the batter to the pan.

Smooth the batter and bake for 60-64 minutes until toothpick comes out completely clean.

Let the bread sit for 5 minutes before putting it on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing into 12 pieces.

Edible aloha.

Nutritional information per slice (1/12 loaf):  Calories 169  Total Fat 1g  Sodium 63mg  Potassium 98mg  Total Carbs 38g  Fiber 3g  Sugars 20g  Protein 4g  Vitamin C 5%  Iron 1%

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Hamster wheel

This week is going to be watched like a hawk.  A hawk I tell you!  (Insert hawk noise here)

This gaining bull crap is enough!  Last night we did Supreme 90's Back and Bi's.  Lord am I feeling it today.  To feed our muscles afterward we had salmon and asparagus for dinner.  I also bought some light Silk chocolate milk for a little protein boost right after strength workouts while waiting for the protein packed salmon to be done.  I want to really look at how to optimize when we eat to compliment our workouts and see if that makes a difference.  This week is going to be more pure cardio not the whole "hey, lets break our bodies until we must hobble instead of walk."  While that is challenging and sometimes fun, it's not doing me much good if I'm exhausted and feel broken.  I mean when 2 rest days in a row still don't give you enough time to heal up, there's a problem.  You need to be smart about your program even if it's not the path you were hoping to take.  As much as I want to be a plyo warrior right now, the bod is saying no so I'm going to listen instead of trying to beat it into submission.  Obviously I'm keeping my calorie burn at the normal 4200-4600 calories per week and I need to focus on staggering the calories.

Tonight is Turbo Fire and I'm looking forward to it.  I need to remember to get my water in because I wasn't great at it over the weekend.  I really do hate having to analyze every single move I make and piece of food going into my pie hole right now but I'm going to have to suck it up and go with it.  I'm just so damn tired of  all of this and I feel like a hamster in a wheel going nowhere.  I've got too much I want to do to stay stagnant.

When your program stalls, how do you shake it up?

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Doesn't Make It Sting Any Less - Weigh In

Well if you read yesterday's food journal, this weigh in is no surprise to you.  Up 2 more.

I'm bloated this morning despite feeling decent after I ate some anti-inflammatory foods yesterday (pineapple, broccoli, etc), drowning myself in water and even took 2 ibuprofen before bed hoping to ward off the evil that has settled into my body with these physically draining workouts the past 2 weeks.

I've already got my plan in place to cut back on the plyometrics and stagger my calories daily because my bones and joints just can't take it yet and they're telling me as much on the scale and with pain.  I have to realize that just because I can doesn't doesn't mean I should right now.  (Almost 20 years later and I can still quote Jurassic Park .  Anyone else feel old now that I just said that?)

My biggest fear is that I'll hinder the Mr since it takes so much for him to get his heart rate up these days but I know we'll work something out so the plyo stuff is good for him but not for me yet.  Frustration...cha cha cha.

Still doesn't mean I wasn't hoping to somehow magically maintain.  *kicks pebble*

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend and that your scale didn't figuratively crap in it's hand and throw poo at you too on your weigh in.  (Like how I said "figuratively" as though to clear up any misconception it could actually physically do such a thing?  That's what happens when you've only been up 1/2 hour)

Congrats again to Cheri for winning the vegan cookbook!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Food Journal 4/9-4/13

What a long week.  I have been killing myself on workouts and today's peek at the scale says "I'm gonna gift you with another gain you lucky wench!"  I have been hobbling around and my calories are slipping back about 100 calories average.  I also notice the past 2 weeks I've gained that my calories have been almost exactly the same everyday (2200) but when I was staggering, I was losing.  So I guess I'll be going back to that and really micromanaging things.  I seriously can't wait for vacation when I can take a break from that crap.  But that's not why you stopped by, let's eat!

Monday was whole wheat spaghetti with half and half mix of meat sauce and low sodium marinara, a spinkle of parmesan cheese and a light garlic bread.  It was quite yummy.  It came after a hard workout so it was gobbled up.  Calories:  682

Tuesday was a harder cardio day so I wanted muscle repairing foods.  I made an awesome crusted salmon (recipe in the near future) and roasted asparagus.  I think my fridge is going to start looking like the forest from Once Upon a Time if I have my druthers.  Druthers.  Funny word.  Calories:  519

Wednesday I was dying for breakfast for dinner.  We'll pretend my dumb ass skillet didn't overheat despite having it on 6 and burn my freakin' pumpkin pancakes.  One apple sausage link and a lacy cheese omelette with 2 whites and 1 whole egg and 2 tbsp of light syrup.  I think I actually like the store brand syrup better than Mrs Butterworth (no I don't like "real" maple syrup).  Mrs. B had somethin' funky going on with her taste.  I might just have the Mr take it to work for the toaster waffle crowd and get the other stuff.  Also had a glass of light chocolate skim milk. My calories were low so I could afford more at dinner.  Calories: 836

Thursday I was so spent.  My joints ached and I couldn't even do Power 90 the way I wanted to so I wanted to make something extra yummy to reward us for getting through the week.  I made BBQ chicken paninis with 3 1/2 oz of chicken, 1 tbsp BBQ sauce, spinach and a slice of lacy cheese on TJ's Italian Loaf with baked potato wedges with Mrs Dash seasoning and 1 tbsp ketchup.  Calories: 670

Friday was a celebration of being able to walk after the workouts from hell week 2.  We had chicken tacos and brussels sprouts.  Where in the heck have these been all my life?!  I'm so glad I gave them a try and if I had an endless supply of grocery money, I'd eat them every day.  The Mr would not because while he likes them now he said water tastes sulfury to him for a day after he eats them.  Anyone else have this problem?  He also doesn't have stinky wee after eating asparagus but I do.  I think he's a freak of culinary nature.  I also made sure I snuck some pineapple in the tacos (which was WONDERFUL by the way) so I could get in a little more anti-inflammatory properties.  Calories: 550

If you're entered in The Vegan Table cookbook giveaway, click here to see if you're a winner!

Got anything on tap for the weekend?  Eat anything particularly delish this week?

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Time for another installation of Success Along The Weigh Q&A!  Let's get right to it shall we?

Have you noticed any negative changes (physical or mental/emotional--aside from injuries) that disturbed you or made you stop and have a "come to Jesus" style moment with yourself?

I really had to think about this one!  Other than the mental issues leftover from my parents divorce that reared their heads here and here which I believe were my "come to Jesus" moments, I can't think of anything really negative that has come out of this personally but I notice it's more of how people react to me/us now.  When you're someone who has lost a lot of weight and it's becoming evident that you're keeping it off, others who have weight issues tend to avoid the topic of weight at any cost.  I know because I was there in my highest level of denial of how bad we allowed ourselves to get.  At family gatherings, there is this perceived underlying "thing" there.  I feel like people will look at our plates (which honestly doesn't look much different from theirs) and feel like they have to make comments explaining why they're eating X or how much of it.  I don't care.  I'm not the food police.  Who the hell are we to judge, ya know?  I feel like people think we might be judging them even though we purposely go out of our way to not mention exercise and we NEVER say "oh I wish I could have that!" because we plan for it and if we want something bad enough, we have it.  Period.  So I know in the end it's their issue but I know where it comes from.  It comes from seeing someone taking control of their health and knowing they need to as well but for whatever reason they aren't.  That's how we lived the first part of our lives so I get it.  I just wish they didn't feel that way or if they don't feel that way that they didn't give off that vibe.  You know when someone evades or changes the subject if weight loss does come up so I don't think I'm imagining it.  Thankfully one of my family members has taken up exercising and eating right and has given us the credit with helping kick his butt into gear.  I support him all the time and help him however I can.  I can only hope our examples can help others in our family.

What kind of strength and cardio did you do when you were first getting started?

Gosh, I had to go back in my trackers to answer this one!  :-)  The first 100 lbs were lost doing nothing more than 30 minutes of exercise 4 days per week.  I remember struggling to make it to halfway points to hour long exercise dvd's like Gilad (from Bodies in Motion), walking, Walk Away the Pounds and other low impact exercises.  It was very frustrating to go from being able to do 50 minutes of Tae Bo back in the day when I was 300 lbs to breaking down in tears after 7 minutes on a rower we'd spent $1300 on because my butt was so numb at 494 lbs.  But 7 minutes turned into 10 which turned into 20 and then 30.  I would break the workouts down in my head when I'd finally worked up to 30 minutes.  I broke them into thirds knowing the first third was when I had the most energy, the middle third sucked because it was just there in the middle and the final third which meant home stretch.  Some days it was all I could do to get to that 30 minute mark.  Strength training has always been involved in some capacity whether it was part of a DVD or free weights and its one of the most important components of any successful program since muscle burns fat even when you're not working out and makes the "furnace" burn more efficiently.  I started with 8 pounders, moved up to 10 and now 15's and 20's.  When you start to feel comfortable with your routine or like it's not challenging enough, that's when you challenge yourself by slightly increasing weight.  If you're brand new to exercise or a program you should always check with your doctor first.  If you've gone off of your program and are starting back up again, don't try to jump back in where you left off because you'll injure yourself.  You need to build that endurance, stamina and fitness level back up again.  We have to do that even now when we come back from 2-3 week vacations even if we've been very active.  We're nowhere near as aerobically challenged as we are when doing our "formal" exercise.

I wanted to ask you something kind of personal. You never mention your job, so I'm guessing you're a work-at-home person. I plan to retire in the next year or so. I worry some about having too much free time and getting bored and over-eating from that boredom. I know you stay super busy with your home improvement projects, and I also note that those meals you make must take some preparation time. Do you have other suggestions as to ways to spend my time when I have LOTS more of it? Don't get me wrong--I am really looking forward to this phase of my life, but I also know I cannot go out and shop (like I've been doing too much of lately), because the income is going to drop some and I also don't want to be constantly wandering into the kitchen and snacking. I want to get my 20+ years of retirement and if I return to my state of morbid obesity, I will either shorten that time or make it much less active or both. Any ideas for a soon to be stay-at-homer?

Yep!  I'm a work at homer!  I quit my job of 12 years (I knew it was going to be closing within a year but the stress was killing me) with the Mr's permission to tend to my side businesses.  Now, this blog is part of my job and man, if people realized the work that goes into it and maintaining traffic and such, they'd probably choose the 9-5 job!  The Mr and I both worried how I would do staying home all day when I had almost reached my highest weight.  The first 5 months were the worst because our dog was sick and dying so while I cherished those last months with her, they were also incredibly stressful.  I gained 40 lbs during that first year but not for the reasons you might think.  I actually wasn't eating.  I fell into a deep depression when we had to put her to sleep and was on the couch for 23 hours a day.  I didn't sleep in our bed, I wouldn't eat and then when I did on the weekend it was pure crap so I screwed up my metabolism horribly. Once we got on a plan, it really just wasn't an issue.  I think that you'll find as long as you keep yourself busy that the food at home is a non issue.  I never sneak anything or binge eat because I have pre-planned my meals the night before and know my calorie bank allowance and I just don't stray from it.  My time is consumed with this blog, recipes, photography, etc so I'm going from 7:30am to sometimes 10pm with a break for dinner and workout.  You can join or start a group like a card club or something like that.  You can go on to see if there are any groups already in your area that are of interest to you.  Take up a new hobby like painting, gardening, photography, DIY projects around the house you've been "meaning" to get to for years, volunteer at an animal shelter or charity of your choice, learn a new language and plan a trip to a place that speaks that language.  The possibilities are endless.  Retirement is the time to make your dreams come true!  I know you have lost a lot of weight so I don't think you'll have a problem with that.  If you need to, put a "before" picture on the fridge/pantry etc if you think you might get tempted those first few days/weeks until you get into a routine.  I can't count how many people I know that have retired that said they are far more busy now than they ever were when they worked!  I think you'll do fine!

I hope you've liked this installment of SATW Q&A.  If you have any questions for future editions, you can leave one in the comments or contact me at mrs {at} successalongtheweigh {dot} com!

A few side notes:

Welcome to new/newer followers!  However you found me, I'm grateful to have you along for the ride and thank you for the kind emails and comments!

Don't forget today is the last day for The Vegan Table cookbook giveaway so if you haven't already entered and would like to, get your comment in before the deadline.

Have a great weekend all!
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lemon Shake Up

We rarely go to fairs or carnivals (is it me or are parking lot carnivals WAY harder to find than they used to be!?) but when we hit up an occasional festival, the first thing the Mr does is look for the lemon shake up stand.  For me it's an elephant ear (split between us now unless we can find minis)...for him, liquid lemon overpriced refreshment.  We went to an antique show and they had a lemon shake up stand.  $6 later, I said, I'm going to make the man some homemade lemon shake up action at home!


 For a single serving you'll need 1 lemon, some ice (he prefers crushed so that's what I used) and the zero calorie sweetener of your choice if you want the taste but not the calories or 1 tbsp of sugar if you want the more "authentic" lemon shake up taste.  If you're not a drinker like us or you don't have swanky cocktail parties so no martini shaker on hand, just get 2 plastic cups, one being smaller than the other to serve as a shaker.

Before you cut the lemon roll it on the counter a little bit to get the juices flowing.  Then cut it in half and remove any visible seeds and put one half in the bottom of the smaller plastic cup.  (Free advertising on the bottom cup is for Central BBQ in Memphis.  Stop on by if you're in the area.  Best pulled chicken sandwich ever!)

Then top the lemon with your ice. (Measure ice by filling the final mug/glass you're going to use 3/4 full of ice)

Put the other lemon half on top of the ice.  Add enough water to just match the amount of ice in the cup.  If you're using real sugar this is when to add it so it can dissolve.

Put the bigger plastic cup on top of the full smaller cup and shake out some frustration or put on some "Hey Ya" and shake it like a polaroid pitcha or pretend your mixing a 'tini for James Bond.

When you're done, it'll look all frothy and yummy.  Now is the time to fish out the top lemon half, pour the lemonade into a frosty mug then grab the 2nd half.

Put your fingers over the top of the mug and squeeze the lemon half letting the juice run between your fingers into the mug whilst catching the seeds.

Pop in a straw and taste the impending summer vibe!

Low Calorie Shake Up (with zero calorie sweetener):  Calories 12  Sodium 1mg Potassium 58mg Total Carbs 5g  Sugars 1g  Vitamin C 36%

Real Sugar Shake Up:  Calories 60 Sodium 1mg Potassium 59mg  Total Carbs 17g  Sugars 14g  Vitamin C 36%

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