Friday, February 26, 2010


One thing you may not know about me (considering none of you actually know me), is that I was and born and raised, and still am, a good Catholic girl.

I hope that doesn't cause any of you to stop reading.

While there are many things about Catholicism that I don't agree with (like....not using birth control), and don't practice, I feel like if I am going to call myself a Catholic, then I should at least practice those beliefs that I don't have a problem with. And one of those things is not eating meat on Fridays during Lent. If you'd like to know the exact reason why, please consult an expert. Because I am sure I could not get that story right.

At any rate, one of the things that really freaked me out during my first "healthy" Lent was how I was going to get around eating meat on Fridays. In the beginning, I was extremely strict and meticulous about what I was eating, and the ratio of protein, carbs, veggies, etc.

So I set out to find a source of protein that didn't interfere with my obligation to fast from meat. And I found these babies:

These Morningstar Farms Chik Patties Originals are heaven on earth for vegetarians and Catholics alike. I love a Chick-fil-a sandwhich as much as the next person, and these run a very close second for not being actual chicken.

Last Friday, I managed to eat three in one day. I ate one for breakfast on a piece of whole wheat bread, and it held me for hours. The stats:

140 calories
5 g fat
16 g carbs
2 g fiber
8 g protein

They are so so good. Trust me. And try them.

Even if you're not a good Catholic girl like me.

(P.S. I have no affiliation with Morningstar and received no incentive to post this and all that other junk. I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to say, but you get the picture.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

30th birthday - 1, Sarah - 0

So last night was the first of the 30th birthday festivities. Pizza and beer. I skipped on the beer and ate 3 pretty big pieces of pepperoni pizza. I did blot the top, so that should count for something, right???? Yeah, not really.

Anyhow today is the actual day, and I am getting ready to attend a lunch, and then a dinner tonight, as well as lunch again tomorrow. Also, at some point this week will be dinner & the movies, with my actual party on Friday night. I really don't know how I even have a chance. However, I have decided no drinks. With the exception of maybe Friday night, because I probably won't be given a choice.

But other than that, no glasses of wine with dinner or margaritas with lunch. I don't really care that much about it, and it totally is empty calories that I can do without. Plus I am sticking with my healthy breakfasts, which maybe will cause me to eat less at lunch.

In the meantime, do your own celebrating and head over to Prior Fat Girl.

Jen is having a super awesome giveaway that will make you feel like its your birthday.

And please, if you've never read Jen's blog, start now. And make your way through the archives. She is such a soldier, not only in weight loss, but in life. I pray daily for her type of strength and grace. And I've never even met her! That should tell you something. Go read!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekend/Random Thoughts

This weekend was slightly exhausting and not so much "healthy". I woke up this morning feeling like a truck hit me, and spent most of the day on the couch eating bread (albeit whole wheat) & cheese. Then I went to my parents' house and consumed one too many Girl Scout cookies. So all in all, not the best weekend weight-loss wise.

I haven't really talked about how I have/am losing the weight, but its pretty much the traditional way. Low calorie & exercise. I have never counted calories, but from what I can tell, I stay between 1100-1400 on a "good" day. As far as exercise, I have become a cardio junkie/gym rat/treadmill slave. I usually power walk/run for an hour each day, sometimes more if I'm feeling especially energetic. One of the things that I think is causing my inability to get back on track is the fact that I am totally burnt out on the treadmill. I have my own at home, which is great, but it can be stifling at times. Sometimes just thinking about going into that small room (I keep it in my home office), and getting on that machine with all that stagnant air is enough to make me want to bury myself under my couch cushions.

Because of this, I am trying to convince myself that not every workout has to be 60 minutes slaving away on that machine. Today it was a delicious 66 degrees outside (I live in SC, where February 21st is definitely the beginning of spring), and since I was feeling less than 100%, I convinced myself to take a power walk outside instead of puffing away on the treadmill. I walked at a pretty brisk pace for a good 50 minutes in the sunshine. I was sweating at the end. Yet somehow I feel like I can't give myself credit for working out today. I really have to get away from this mentality that if I don't get in an hour of treadmill time, then I really haven't had a good day activity-wise. I think maybe the solution to this is try new things. Tuesday I am going to my first kick boxing class, and I've heard from a friend who takes it that it is tough. I am looking forward to it, and am purposely not going to let myself get on the treadmill that day. An hour of kick boxing is more than enough to suffice for my exercise for the day, and I need to make myself believe that. This all-or-nothing approach that I have can be great when I am focused, but not so much when I need a little wiggle room. Hopefully it won't take me another 30 years to learn that lesson. Which leads me to the next random thing.....

Tuesday is my 30th birthday. I know, I KNOW. I thought I would be sad, and maybe a little disappointed when I reached 30, just because I (used to) feel like it is old. However, I have to say that I really kind of have an indifferent attitude about it. I would have never in a million years thought that I would reach the age of 30 and be not married & without children. Probably because my entire life (besides the weight issue) has been very traditional; I just assumed that like all good southern girls, I would be hitched by the age of 25, at least. However, saying that, I am okay with it. I know these things will come when they are supposed to, and right now, I am working on me. I don't know that I have the time or the desire to devote to forming a relationship right now. So that's that. I am happy to be 30 - I know many people who have tragically never made it to their 30th birthday. That in and of itself is enough to make me grateful for the milestone. The fact that I am at a lower weight than I have been ever in my adult life is just the icing on the birthday cake. I do have to say that I will be relieved when all the hoopla is over - I have parties, dinners out, dinners in, etc. scheduled all week, and I am concerned about what it may do my eating plan. Hopefully I will stop & think before shoving copious amounts of appetizers, alcohol, and cake into my mouth. We will see....

This is a photo taken of me last night at a charity auction that I attended. I am second from the right. The two ladies on the outside are my sisters, and my aunt is the one beside me.

(Is it weird to post random photos of yourself on your blog? I hope not, and if it is, I promise it's because there's a point to it.)

And that point is, that a year ago I would have looked at this photo and been thrilled to bits with it. I almost wouldn't have recognized myself. I lost a lot of weight in my face, and it makes all the difference. However, this morning I looked at it, and thought, "Meh....whatever". I wish I didn't feel that way. I wish I could more appreciate how far I've come. However, all I see is the shadow of a double chin, the crease in my neck, the chubbiness of my cheeks, and boobs that look like they need their own zip code. Not to mention the fact that this photo shows none of my body, and I'm wondering how I would feel about the picture if it did. I hate this part of the weight loss game; the mental is really what's killing me. Before I lost weight, I totally ignored the way I looked. I would see myself in pictures, looking really big, like maybe this one:

and just not think anything. I'm sure subconsciously I was thinking, "God, I look huge. Really need to do something about that.", but it never weighed on me (no pun intended), like it does now. It's almost as if I can't appreciate the differences, and the self sabotage is worse than ever. Saying that, I do know that I look pleasant enough in the picture, and that probably even if (WHEN) I get to my goal weight, I will always nit-pick myself in photos. Sometimes I just really wish I could look at a picture of myself, and remember what was going on at that time, and the fun memories associated with the photo, rather than how I look in it. I suppose that will come with time; I really hope that it does.

As I was spending one on one time with my couch today, I caught up on the stack of newspapers that I have been accumulating all week. I opened up a page, and this headline jumped out at me. It was from a Dear Heloise type column, and it totally had nothing to do with me or my kind of situation, but it jarred me. So I cut it out and taped it to my kitchen cabinets. Not because I feel like it will keep me from opening them (although that would be an added plus), but because it is a prominent place. I feel like I need to constantly remind myself to be careful with what I'm doing. To make sure I am vigilant about what I'm doing. And part of me feels like I focus on it too much. Like all the obsessing about what I'm eating and how much I'm moving makes it harder. But then part of me thinks, I really do need to be careful. The fact of the matter is that I gained 12 lbs. between Thanksgiving & New Year's. At one point in this journey, that would have made me a nut job. And it still does, on some days. I am scared to death that I won't re-lose those 12 lbs. or the additional probably 50 that I need to lose on top of that. That means I really need to lose as much as I've already lost. Which is so overwhelming some days. And I feel like I can't do it. However, I haven't given up, and I'm still making it a priority part of the time. I need to practice more positive thinking.

And last but not least, I leave you with this photo of my fireplace. I bought this poster about a year ago, and its apparently an old slogan that the British military used during their times of war. I have to look at this poster six times a day and just remind myself to "Keep Calm & Carry On". To not freak out about the little things (or the big things, like gaining 12 lbs.). To trust myself & know that I have learned more about myself in the past year than I ever knew before. To believe that I WILL lose the rest of this weight and be healthy. To Keep on Keepin' On, no matter what.

Whew, that was a long one. I guess maybe this whole 30th birthday thing has got me feeling a little nostalgic and philosophical. Maybe I should stay away from the keyboard until it's over. At any rate, if you've read this far, bless you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Force of Habit

When people ask, I always say that the biggest key to being healthy is force of habit. The more you eat right, the easier it is; the more times you go to the gym in a week, the easier it becomes the next week. I really feel like willpower has very little to do with it.

I can see already that the whole force of habit thing is going to be the same for blogging - I figured I would be able to think of a million things to write about and want to do it multiple times a day. But not so much. It's not that I don't want to - just that I can't really think of things to write about or find the time. I guess that could be a problem considering I'm less than a week in!

Anyways, things are going pretty good on the weight loss front. Been getting in my workouts everyday, and eating good, whole foods. Tomorrow I'm having lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and I always order the fajitas, which is fine, but keeping my hand out of that chip bowl is a challenge. One of the things that I haven't quite learned on this journey is how to let things go. I feel like I'm already beating myself up mentally for the fact that I know I'll probably eat way too many chips tomorrow. You'd think it would be easier to either a) not overeat the chips, or b) realize that rarely do I eat Mexican and its okay to splurge every once in a while. But that would be way too rational for me. It would be nice if my brain had an on/off button that I could push every time I wanted to rake myself over the coals for something.

Tonight is going to be an early night. I haven't felt all that great today, and I'm not sure why. I am cooking a quick supper and then going to settle down on the couch with my book and Ambien.

(Side note....I know there are a million people out there that think taking Ambien is dancing with the devil & I used to be one of them. I'm generally pretty strict about what I put in my body, but this is my one exception. As someone who has suffered from insomnia all of her adult life, I can certainly tell you that taking this pill every night is better than running on 2 hours of sleep per day.)

On tonight's menu is buffalo shrimp. I buy these from the Store-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (Wal-Mart), and throw them in a skillet with some olive oil. You can have like a million for 100 calories. Once they're cooked, I toss them in some buffalo wing sauce. So good.

So this is my 2nd post ever, and I feel like I'm being totally boring, but I don't actually expect someone to read this anyways, it's more for myself. To remind myself to keep on keepin' on.

I'll end this with a picture of the wrapper from my piece of Dove dark chocolate today. I so needed this:

(It says: If you fall down 7 times, get up 8.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jumpin on the bandwagon.....

Ok, well I told myself for the longest time that I was not going to start a weight loss blog. Partly because I am over half-way done with my weight loss journey, and partly because there are thousands of weight loss blogs already. Then I realized two really obvious things:

1. You are NEVER completely done with a weight loss journey – these mugs last a lifetime, so I will always have things to write about that are weight loss related. and,

2. The more the merrier when it comes to weight loss blogs. I love reading them and am always looking for new ones to read, so I figured maybe others are as well. And then I realized another thing – I don’t care if no one ever reads this (although I hope some people will), I need it as an outlet and to be accountable to myself. In the past 13 months, I have lost 63 pounds. And while that is great & amazing, I feel like I could have lost so much more.

I spent a good 3 or 4 months (mostly the summer), maintaining because I wasn’t making loss a priority. And then to add to that, the holidays officially kicked my ass. From Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, I did basically nothing but eat. And drink. And lounge. And lounging is one of my favorite things to do. It doesn' t matter if I'm talking to a friend, watching TV, on the Internet, or reading, I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some loungin'. All of the holiday fun led to a 12 pound gain over the holidays. Pre-Thanksgiving I weighed 208, and now the scale is screaming 220! 220! 220! Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. I have managed to lose 4 of those re-gained pounds, so I'm currently weighing in at 216. It's time to get my groove back. No more fad diets, no more biweekly dinners with drinks, appetizers, salads, main entrees, desserts and then popcorn and candy at the movies aftewards. I know how to do this. I did it for a solid 9 months in the beginning. I know all the rules, regulations, tricks, etc. I know how to be healthy, and although I'm halfway there, the recent blackslide has thrown me a loop. So no more loop. It's back to basics.

First goal: Obviously, get back down to my pre-holiday gain weight of 208. That's 8 lbs.

Let's get to gettin'.

And to officially end my very first post on my very first weight loss blog, I will leave you with this scenario, which may or may not actually have happened in my house last week:
Sunday I found a box of chocolate-dipped granola bars in the back of my cabinet. They seem to be the only remaining fattening food in my house, so I knew I had to take care of them ASAP, or else I would run the risk of eating 4 granola bars as an appetizer to my dinner.
So I unwrapped them, coated them in salsa, and threw them in the trashcan.
The statement that this makes about my lack of willpower is truly scary.

Totally true, but scary.