Sunday, 4 August 2013

New Memories, Old Home

After my dad passing last October, my mom has been living alone.  She decided she didn't much care for it, so when mine and my husbands' lease came up, she asked us to move in with her.  After some thought, Hubs and I realized it would be a good idea for all of us, so last weekend we moved back into my parents' home, now taking up residency in the master suite.  It will be a transition for us, we haven't lived with my parents since we were teenagers in high school, but over all, things have worked out quite smoothly and I am finding it easier and easier to feel excited (rather than anxious) about all the change.

It's a strange feeling coming back to live in this house as a married adult.  I feel like I am back home, but am fulfilling a new role in it.  The first is that when I lived here as a teenage, it was a very unhealthy and sedentary life.  I ate mostly microwave food, fast food, junk food, and pizza...rinse, repeat.  I ate shit and did not exercise...ever.  Leading me up to the 320lbs I weighed when I began my weight loss journey 3 years ago.  NOW, living here, I have taken over the kitchen.  My mom has never really liked cooking and eats simple to buy and prepare foods (think rotisserie chicken, canned green beans, etc.). Nothing wrong with that, but she certainly is not one to spend all day cooking, baking, or simmering a masterpiece, like I am!  

Every day this week I've made dinner for us and have enjoyed not only using the kitchen ( which is MUCH larger than our old one was) but also just having someone around to enjoy the healthy meals I make.  I can't wait to spend more time in the beautiful kitchen with my redefined family, making new memories in my old home.

Great things- love seeing all our lunch boxes lined up every evening on top of the fridge.  I am proud that we are a family who packs our lunches every single day, weather it be to stay in control of our diets, or to keep to a budget.  It's a win/win on all fronts.

And since ya'll like to see recent pictures of what my healthy life style is accomplishing- here's a selfie I snapped today just for you!  Weighing in around 165 today and most proud of the definition I'm working on in my arms.  Please keep in mind that the angle of this picture is a bit skewed, up in the air and all (making me look thinner than I probably am) But it's hard to take a full body shot of yourself. LOL. And you can't fake the healthy skin the fact that I've lost 160 lbs from my picture on the right! ;-)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Once a Week Cooking

Shew!! Just finishing up in the kitchen today! It took me about 6 hours, and 3 rounds of the dish washer. I'm now just waiting on one last potato casserole (Aaron's favorite) to come out of the oven. Once a week cooking means I know that I have whole foods, ready to eat, and supporting a balanced diet. It doesn't get much easier than heating something up in the oven or microwave while I shower after work or the gym! We save money by avoiding eating out with the exception of our date nights once a weekend. We are busy people working long hours who often eat every meal away from home, so eating the same foods for 4-5 days really doesn't bother us as long as they are foods we like. We enjoy the convenience of walking to the fridge and filling up our lunch boxes quickly in the morning and hardly ever have the "what are we gonna eat?" conversation. I also often double recipes to put into our freezer for weeks when I don't have time to cook on Sunday, or when we have run out of food by Thursday or Friday.

This is what cooking for the week looks like for my family:

Top shelf holds cheese (it was on sale this week, so some of which I have now put in the freezer), meats (ham for sandwiches, and ground beef that will likely be turned into taco meat), boiled eggs, and Crystal Light.

Middle shelf holds shredded chicken (mostly for the dog, she's gotta eat too!), Korean BBQ (Bulgogi) that Aaron will eat for dinners with the potato casserole, and behind that are wraps and breads, Aaron's ham and cheese sliders he will eat for lunches, and Egg McMuffins for his breakfast, Then my yogurts, and raw eggs.

Bottom shelf holds butternut squash casserole for my dinners, and a cauli-chowder with ham and vegetables for my lunches. Some leftover chicken parmesan casserole (for Aaron), grapes, and marinating steak.

(Not pictured are the snack packs mentioned earlier and all the veggies in the bottom drawers)

Seems like a TON of food for just two people, but I'm ALWAYS amazed at how fast we go through it. Only thing left from last weeks cooking is about a quarter of that chicken parmesan casserole on the bottom shelf...

Yes, Aaron and I eat differently. He is not on the same journey with me and that's OK! It doesn't stop me from doing what I want, and I feel better knowing that the food he is eating I made myself (as opposed to coming from fast-food, which is likely what he would eat if I didn't prepare his meals for him.)

To say my freezer is full would be an understatement. :) I stay well stocked, it's true. And, if we ever get hit with a linger power outage I will be SO pissed off, but it is what it is! LOL I won't go into everything that's in there, but I wanted to show you and give you full disclosure that we're normal! We eat real foods that you find at Kroger. It's NOT all vegetables and beans and chicken...

No comments about a bomb going off in here!! LOL

Monday, 24 June 2013

Then & Now Swim Suit Edition

I'm estimating that the weight difference between these two pictures is around 120 lbs.  Pic on the left is from February 2010- I bought this suit for water aerobics class which was my first foray into exercise I believe it was a 26 or 24.  Picture on the right was taken today- I bought this suit for a trip to Charleston with friends this weekend- the top is a large and the bottom is 2x.  I buy the 2x not because the large doesn't fit, but because I need to be able to pull it up to my waist instead of it sitting on my hips.  I'm feeling great and I mostly love how I look in clothes...adding bathing suits to that list is pretty awesome.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Then and now

Photo on the left was my first 5k and I was already excited that I had lost about 20 lbs. :)

Thursday, 28 February 2013

TOP 5 CHANGES That helped me lose 160 lbs.

TOP 5 changes that I've made that I believe are here to stay and have contributed immensely to my success in having lost 160lbs.

1.  Going out to eat is no longer an exciting, wonderful experience.  In fact, it is much more of an annoyance.  I have so much mistrust in the restaurant industry.  Fake food, fake ingredients, unnecessary ingredients, ridiculous calorie content.  I just dread the thought of one meal out meaning that I've eaten half my days worth of WW points on 1/2 a restaurant portion of something I could easily make at home for 1/4 the price, the sodium, calories, fat, and who knows what else they've hidden in there for "flavor."  My list of acceptable restaurants is very short and therefore, is fairly boring.  Being invited out to restaurants that aren't on my acceptable list is anxiety provoking.  I hope that will change as times goes on so that I will be able to relax more in these situations.  I will say that in the past few months I've chosen to, instead of ordering an entree' that I will pay a lot to just eat half of, I use these times to indulge in dessert for dinner.  I usually order a slice of pie.  It's a special occasion, and it's likely that I am saving calories and definitely $$.  An added bonus is that one piece of pie fits into my belly much easier than a full dinner, so my skinny jeans stay skinny and I don't feel too full or bloated to enjoy the rest of the evening. ;o)

2.  I plan for everything.  I used to just fly by the seat of my pants.  Eating whenever and wherever food was offered.  And exercise?  What's that?!  Now, I keep a fully stocked gym bag in my trunk.  I keep a bag of apples in the backseat.  I pack my breakfast, and lunch, and dinner, and snacks for the day.   I make gym rolls of my clothing as soon as they come out of the dryer and keep them ready to grab.   I like cooking and prepping at this point.  It was very difficult for me to start doing this, in the beginning it seemed like on overwhelming amount of work to be thinking so far ahead.  Luckily, I stuck with it long enough to realize that the benefits FAR out weigh the effort.  And it gets so much easier over time.  At any moment in the day I can tell you what my next meal will be and what my exercise plan for that day is.  I have superimposed the schedule of 3 of my local YMCA's so that at any point in the day I can jump into a class.

3.  I lost the all or nothing attitude.  I can't tell you how many times I failed at dieting because of one bad meal or day.  Any little obstacle was a good reason to blow my whole diet out the water and start the next Monday...the next month,... the next New Year's resolution...  Now,  I still have good days and bad days when it comes to food and exercise, but I've realized that just making a conscious effort at all on a daily basis means that I have way more good days than bad.  I do still succumb to the occasional binge.  I recognize that they are mostly boredom driven.  I forgive myself as quickly as possible and try to pick myself up, dust it off, pop my collar and move on like a boss...

4.  I make time to be sweaty.  I remember thinking that sweating and heart pounding were signs of a body in distress and should be avoided.  Now, I feel that way about sitting in the movie theater so long that my legs get stiff.  I get such an endorphin rush from killing it in my exercise routines.  I notice very quickly now when my body is changing, for better or worse and can make adjustments.  I used to be embarrassed about huffing and puffing and being sweaty, but that was because I was so out of shape.  NOW my huff and puff, and sweaty is sexy as all get out!  I WORKED OUT!

5.  I talk about my struggle and success.  I have found such an amazing support group of women who are so encouraging.  We are able to be open and honest about our struggles and successes.  I used to hide and cover up my feelings of failure and anxiety.  I just stuffed food in to try and keep the disappointment I felt down.  Being able to talk about how I'm feeling about myself has been such a relief.  I don't have to make the world believe I am perfect.  In fact, I don't even have to BE perfect!  Being able be honest about who I am and what my flaws are has let me really focus on the things that are WONDERFUL about me.  The things that ARE within my control and that has led to confidence, which I believe begets more success.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Best Christmas Gift

...that I received this year was from my husband, who gave up his home office so that I could have an area at home to work out in. And all the equipment I needed for it from my sister in law and Mom...

We live in a small loft, 750sqft. So space is limited and we have to be very careful about the amount of things we bring in. When new things come in, old things have to go out lest we end up on an episode of hoarders. And, I'll be honest, clutter makes me antsy. Growing up in a family that moved a lot turned me into a minimalist.

With my crazy work schedule, it is sometimes VERY hard to get to the step aerobics classes I love so much because they are only offered 4 days a week and there are plenty of times that I would be working during all four class opportunities. I wanted to be able to step at home but I didn't think I would really have enough room.

I told my husband about my frustration and he went right to work. He said, "you would use that space much more often than I do and you would get much more out of exercising than I do playing computer games and studying." Yeah, he is wonderful like that...

When word got out about what I wanted before Christmas, under the tree was an aerobic step and DVD from my mom and a set of free weights and stability ball from my sister in law. :)

We got rid of a large desk and book case, and repurposed an armoire from upstairs to provide storage. This is what we started with (well, also imagine that to the left there is a large bookcase too):
And this is what we ended up with:

This is how it looks stored and stowed away. Please don't mind the fire hazard cords, this apartment was NOT built for modern electronic demands... ;-) I'm not sure what I'll use to ad some beauty to the area on top of the armoire, but for now, Hubby's RC helicopter is holding it down.

This is what's inside:

A TV and DVD player to play an aerobic DVD, an aerobic step, a set of hand weights, and my sneakers (and LOTS of Nanny craft supplies that won't be needed for my home gym, but still needed a home.) The stability ball won't fit. LOL

This is how it looks when it's all pulled out and ready to be used:
The mirror on the wall helps me keep an eye on my form, the bulletin board holds my notes that I got from my trainer (going to ad more motivation there too) and the framed poster up top is a "word cloud" of saying my Dad said that my sister made. ...I love it.

This was a major over-hall for our apartment seeing as it's a small area. It ended up changing things in every area of the house but the kitchen! I've used it about 5 times now and am still adjusting things to be just right, but I am so excited to have the space and I love what it's done for the rest of the house too. :)

We're already in day 8 of 2013.  Are you on the right path to achieving your goals?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Staying Busy

I broke out of the 1-7's and weighed in at 169.4 this morning.  WHOOOOOO!!!  That means I am 9.4 lbs away from being at the top of what a doctor would consider being a healthy weight for my height and age.  I have never been closer to achieving that goal than I am today and I want to celebrate that in itself. :)

Lots going on over here as usual.  My father died in October, and my maternal grandfather died January 3rd.  It's a whole new world I live in emotionally right now.  I have decided to not let it devastate me, but I still have a deep sadness inside when I dwell too long on them.  It gets hard to climb out of sometimes, but I'm still walking along the edge of the precipice most days.  That all might not make sense to anyone but me, but there it is.  I've never suffered more loss than I have in the past few months.  It is proving to be a growing experience for me.

We did put a memorial up for Dad at our wild life preserve.  It's run by our school system, so Dad got sent out to work on their computers some times.  Dad always had an affinity for eagles, so we put it right in front of the eagle enclosure at the preserve.

Staying busy seems to be the answer to both weight loss and grief right now.  I do my best to not spend a whole day at home.  I like to find something to go out and do.  I've been cooking lots of recipes out of the cook books I received for Christmas.  I've been able to cook and bake non-weight watchers foods for Hubby and not indulge in them myself.  I'm finding I enjoy cooking right now, spending time in the kitchen and it's not so much about the food as it is about being up and about concentrating on something.  Helps the time go by.

My new favorite is salmon.  We didn't really eat much fish growing up unless Dad caught in on a fishing trip (which he did a lot of when I was a small child, but not much of at all later on.)  I knew I wanted to start eating more fish, because it's a very healthy, nutrient dense food, but also because I wanted to have other options of "white meat" other than chicken.  (I really don't eat pork because it just doesn't agree with me.)  So I bought some garlic-herb seasoned salmon that was wrapped by the grocery store and had it for dinner just last night.  SO yummy!  I'm looking forward to the other portion of it later today.  I love trying new foods!  Opens up whole new possibilities!

Cupcake, Monster, their mother, and I took a spontaneous 3 hour road trip to the Charleston Aquarium and to see Rainbow Row.  We had a GREAT time.  This is my Monster driving the boat in one of the aquariums interactive displays.  He's just over 2.5 years old right now and I love everything about him. :o)