Friday, 20 July 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom

My mom has been my biggest supporter of my weight loss.  She lost about 60 pounds when I was 5 or 6 years old and has never gained it back.  She runs 5 miles every single morning and says she "just doesn't feel good" if she misses it.  She works LOOONG hours as the CEO for a non-profit.  She loves her job, helping people in desperate need and hardly EVER takes time for herself.  She is the most unselfish person I've ever known.  Today she's celebrating her birthday so I made her a "cake", healthy style.

"M" for Mom! <3

This is all fruit (and a lot of toothpicks.)  The base is water melon and the decorations include cantaloupe, cherries, kiwi, grapes, and blueberries.  I hope she loves it! And I hope you're having a GREAT week!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Easy to Pack to Keep You On Track

I've been loving B.L.T.'s this week! Such a great, fresh, summer concoction, and still can be made to feel like a hearty meal! I make mine with Sara Lee Delightful 100% Whole Wheat bread (2pts+), a Garlic & Herb Laughing Cow cheese wedge (1pts+), Butter Ball thin sliced turkey bacon (3 slices=2pts+), mixed greens, and a tomato (a firm one). My chickpeas are pretty much a lunch staple for me (3pts+) but I season them differently. I'm also loving carrots in hummus (2pts+). Awesome 8 pts+ lunch that's easy to pack to help keep you on track.

I bake the bacon like this to make sure I get a piece in every bite!

I cut 3 slices in half and then weave them together.  Takes a bite more time than just throwing them on the pan or in a skillet, but I think the effect is worth it, and they keep well in a ziplock bag for about 5 days.

My friend brought me some garden grown eggplant and I couldn't wait to try my hand at an eggplant parmesan.  So Cupcake helped me and we found a great WW recipe (7pts+) that everyone loved. :)

Hope you're having a great week!!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Finished Project

I finished this amigurumi unicorn project I had been working on for Cupcake today.  I love how it turned out and I know she will fall in love with it the moment she sees it.  Now I just have to decide when to give it to her.  I think it will be hard for me to wait too long!!

I did sit on my butt most of today completing it, but it was totally worth it.  Can't wait to see the look on her face. :)

Initials always make things it more special. <3

Friday, 6 July 2012

Lunch Box Master

B. L. D., also known in my brain as Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.  In my busy life, I often am not home for any of my meal times and this can go on for days.  Luckily, one of the habits I've managed to keep up even when I'm not on plan, is that I pack my own food.  I've become a master of my lunch box!  I use the term "lunch box" very loosely, because often enough, this box also contains my breakfast, snacks, and dinner as well.  

Every once in awhile when I've got the free time and the motivation, I can get a weeks worth of meal prep done in one weekend afternoon.  But the truth is that lately, I have been doing a little bit of prep for the next day, but still having to do prep for each meal.  It's not always convenient, I will be the first to tell you!  I'm often standing in the kitchen packing my food for the next day at 10pm trying to make excuses on how I can just buy lunch out or eat whatever I'm serving the kids.  Occasionally, I'm tired enough to let that happen, but much more often than not, I'm able to remind myself about all the good things I'm accomplishing with this one small feat.

By packing my own food:
I stay in control of my portions.
I know what I'm eating, how it was prepared, and where it originated from.
I'm never left scrambling for healthy options.
I can make sure I'm eating from all the food groups.
I save money, and who is ever sad about that?
I set a good example for the kids.

And that's just the doing of it, I won't even go into how the simple act of EATING a lunch I packed for myself effects my my brain, my motivation, and my body positively as well.  At least not in this post.  

SO in knowing all that, I thought it was probably high time for a new "This is what my lunch box is looking like lately" post.

I won't lie, I do tend to eat just about the same lunch and breakfast day-to-day for a week or more.  I might switch up some of the sides or snacks, but the staples will be the same.  It doesn't bother me to eat the same thing because I usually make it with different ingredients.  

For breakfast I'm eating a Thomas Whole Wheat Mini Bagel with Cinnamon Laughing Cow Cream Cheese smashed with fresh blueberries and a boiled egg. (6 P+).  I usually do have a bagel and an egg, but sometimes I'll put the egg on the bagel with cheese and a banana on the side, or put peanut butter on the bagel and only eat the egg white.  Keeps it simple to have the same basic idea, but keeps it interesting to find new combinations.

For lunch I've been making a lot of pin wheels lately.  This one is a Swiss Laughing Cow cheese wedge mixed with a tablespoon of plain greek yogurt, a couple tablespoons of diced cucumber, and a sprinkling of scallions.  I spread the chunky mixture around on a high fiber tortilla and layer 4 slices of roast beef on.  Then I start and the bottom and roll it to the top.  Wrap it in a paper towel, so it's not soggy for lunch tomorrow, and then seal it up in some cellophane wrap.  When I'm ready to eat it, I unwrap it and slice it into half inch rounds.  You can eat them easily with your fingers, but I like to use chopsticks, like when you eat maki sushi.  Helps make eating a memorable activity to me instead of a mindless, get it in quick kinda deal.  I've also thrown in a small caesar salad mix, a half cup of garbanzo beans, and an orange.  So I've covered vegetables, fruit, protein, dairy, and healthy carbs all in one 10 p+ meal!  And that is exciting to me!

After that stroke of genius, I'm exhausted so I throw in some more easily portable protein in the form of a cheese stick and another boiled egg.  I'm excited that tomorrow, I WILL be home for dinner, so I didn't need to pack it tonight.  (We're going to have turkey burgers.  I will make two extra and probably pack them for lunches/dinners in the next few days.  See how this works?)  So all that's left is to stack the food in nicely and pop "la lunch carta" (spanglish: "lunch box") into the fridge!  Because I pack my breakfast inside of my L. box too, I never forget it at home.  And now I have the peace of mind that I will be on track tomorrow with very little thought, effort, or stress involved!

*****This post was written last night- so here is how it looked when I unpacked it to eat.  YUM!!

AND- I found this at my seat at the table this morning from Cupcake, which made my lunch taste even better!

"Dear Nanny
Each day is always fun.  I cry when you say it's done.  I will always hold you in my heart."

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Cupcake & Monster

That TOPS Lady made mention that I haven't given you guys an update on "my" kids in awhile.

For those of you who don't know, in the real world I spend about 50 hours a week as a Nanny.  I am self-employed.  I offer my services to three different families, though I have one main family and the other two I see a few times a month, more as a babysitting service.  I spend most of my time with a 6 year old girl, I'll call her "Cupcake", and her 2 year old brother, "Monster."  I have raised Cupcake since she was about 18 months old, and then in 2010 Monster joined the party.

Cupcake is excited to be starting 1st Grade in the fall.  She attends a prestigious private school 9 months out of the year but is on summer break right now.  Every summer, I ask her what she wants Nanny (me) to teach her during summer, then we spend the summer going on field trips and doing activities related to her subject.  This summer she said she wanted me to teach her how to count money.  So we've been playing "race to a dollar" like fiends.  She's learning about coins and cash and debit and credit.  We have plans to visit the bank with her piggy bank.

Cupcake reads at a 3rd grade level and we often have to censor her reading choices, lest we be asked questions about murder and motives (she got to the newspaper.)  She has always been an extremely shy and timid girl (I think it's because she's so smart, she is always considering the risks and ramifications of her actions and her imagination is HUGE!), but she is blossoming every day and today I am celebrating the fact that she actually put her entire head under water during swim lessons on Tuesday.  She's been facing that fear for several years.  I'm bursting with pride for her.  When I asked her if she was proud of herself, she said "Nanny aren't YOU proud of me?"  And I thought I might cry because my heart was bursting, but I had to suck it up and make sure she was proud of herself first!  Then, of course, I smothered her in kisses and told her how amazing she is and gloated about it all day long.  I made sure to get it on video and showed it to Mommy and Mommy gushed all over her too.  She is sweet and smart and so very sincere it makes my heart ache with joy.  She will be a beautiful person, even if I had never met her.  I'm so blessed to be a part of her world.

Her favorite foods: Feta Cheese and Hummus.  Not together though, dear god don't let her food touch!

Her favorite color: Princess Pink.  We read Pinkalicious a lot.

Her favorite game: Cafe' Owner, mostly because she loves hot chocolate and bakery goods.

She's been playing piano for 2 years and has now also taken up horse riding lessons.

Monster has just freshly entered the world of two.  He is a fiery boy in every way.  He knows what he wants and he will not hesitate to let you know if he disapproves of the situation.  Hence the name choice.  He is also a snuggle bug who's first sentence was "Ah Ee oo" (I love you).  He has well passed the 100th percentile in height and weight.  At his two year check up earlier this month, he weighed 35 pounds and was 36 inches tall.  Yes, that's right, THREE FEET TALL.  If you watch closely, I swear to you that you can SEE him growing!  Therefore, he barely stops eating, and if he does it's only to sleep.

He knows his colors and shapes well.  He loves Elmo and Cookie Monster and ducks and his blankie.  We have limited his pacifier use to his bed and I will find him sitting on his bed holding it in the middle of the day.  He's struggling with it, but being so brave.  He likes to sing songs like "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" and "The Wheels on the Bus" and "If You're Happy and You Know it."  He is working hard on using a fork and spoon.  To the chagrin of his sister, he loves to be in the water.  I decided to call him Monster, but Reckless was my second option.  Being 3 feet tall and 35 pounds doesn't much suit the coordination of a 2 year old and he is an accident waiting to happen.  But he has NO fear and wants to do all of at 100 MPH.  He was humbled by the ocean though, wouldn't go into the ocean without being held.

His favorite food: Garbanzo beans, shredded cheese, whatever you're eating in front of him.

His favorite color: Hasn't picked one- but he loves to use markers on paper and say the names of the colors he's using.

His favorite game: Jumping off of things, spinning until you fall, running.

The boy is my heart and soul.  He brings such light to my life, every time I leave I just can't wait to get back to him.

These children and their mother are my second family.  Their mother and I over the years have grown to be best friends and spend time together even when I'm not "on the clock."  I love every minute of my job.  I often worry that I'm using up all my "great job" karma up this early on.  I'm sure the next few jobs I have will be horrible compared to this one. :o)

I love to talk about them, so if you like hearing about them, I am more than happy to oblige!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Body Dysmorphia

According to wikipedia: Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD, also body dysmorphiadysmorphic syndrome; originally dysmorphophobia) is a type of mental illness, a somatoform disorder, wherein the affected person is concerned with body image, manifested as excessive concern about and preoccupation with a perceived defect of their physical features.[1][2] The person complains of a defect in either one feature or several features of their body; or vaguely complains about their general appearance, which causes psychological distress that causes clinically significant distress or impairs occupational or social functioning. Often BDD co-occurs with emotional depression and anxiety, social withdrawal or social isolation.[3] 

I DO NOT think I have a problem as serious as full blown BDD.  I do feel that I suffer from it in a lesser degree simply because I have such a very hard time with my brain thinking I am much more overweight and out of shape than I really am.  I can see in pictures the reality of my internal misperception, but while looking in mirrors and when I look down at my own body, or while shopping for new clothes, my brain tells me that my butt is still huge, my "spare tire" is as round as ever, and that there is no way I will be fit into that shirt...

But then I do.  Because in reality, I am almost half the size that I was previously.  

When I'm trying on new clothes, i have to take pictures of the clothes in the dressing room because what I see with my eyes in the mirror is a fat girl, who's rolls show here and there and I'm lumpy.  But in the picture, it's a whole 'nother story!

First tank top I've worn for as long as I can remember.
GIRL LOOK AT THAT BODY!!  I WORK OUT!!!  I'm slowly coming around to realize that I'm not this girl any more...

Now I'm THIS girl!

And I really and truly couldn't be more happy about  it! But I'm so ready for my brain to catch up with reality so that what I see, and what really is, are both the same thing!

****I have no idea what's going on with the text formatting.  Sorry...

Monday, 2 July 2012

Running out of words.

I'm here.  I'm doing well.  I am on track.  I read lots of your posts and you always seem to have so much to say.  Such interesting lives.  Whereas me, I'm just not sure what to tell you guys about any more.

I can't (and probably won't ever) say  I've got a handle on my weight.  I've told you all before I think it will probably be a constant battle of me gaining a few and losing a few pounds for the rest of my life.  That's what happens you when you've got a food addiction.  I hope as time goes by I will be able to make those few pounds fewer and fewer and at some point figure out this whole "weight maintenance" people keep talking about...  But right now that pretty much seems like the holy grail.  All I can do is keep my eye on the prize...

What do you guys want to hear about?  I know some of you who are still in the beginning stages of your journey are here.  What is it you want to know?  Are there things you want to ask me?  I'm an open book.  What would you like me to share with you?

I was thinking that I would like to start a weekly post on what I've got in my lunch box.  A lot of you seem to struggle with packing food and being prepared for the day...

I'd also like to continue to do posts about food presentation (especially for children) because I know for me, the healthy food has to look more appealing  than the not-so-healthy options for me to feel like I'm getting the better end of the deal.

Red pepper hummus and carrot pinwheels with orange segments surrounding mixed greens with string cheese sliced into rounds and Italian dressing for dipping.

I'm ready for Independence Day!  This is the first year I've felt comfortable wearing a tank top.  I have a lot of loose skin on my arms and I've had people (like my manicurist) notice and ask me about it.  I am self conscious about it, however, I'm choosing to wear it like a badge and utilize it as a witnessing tool for healthy living!  Besides, the tank tops really show off my curves- and I do like that.  I bought this tank on Saturday.  I was one of the crazy's standing in line at 7:30am to get in on Old Navy's $1 flip flop sale.  The shirt is a large, the jeans are a 16 (though, I think a 14 would probably fit at this point.)

Current weight low-190-something and feeling good!
I guess that's all for now.  I do truly hope a few of you will come out of the woodwork if you've got any questions for me.  If you'd like to be anonymous, shoot me and email with your question and let me know you want to remain unnamed, I totally respect that.  Can you believe that I started this journey 3 years ago?  It's changed my life so much I feel like a whole different person!  Some days, I can barely remember what life was like before.  Then I see this...

And I am humbled by it and then proud of myself all at the same time.  If I can do it, you can too. And if I can help you, I will do everything in my power to do so.  Just tell me what you need.

OH!  PS:  This is this years swim suit shot.  Sorry the pic isn't fabulous.  It was taken in the midst of trying several on.  I know I've told you before that I take pictures in the dressing room because my eyes see differently than the camera... Last year on the left, this year on the right: my weight is pretty much the same. :)