Friday, April 30, 2010

Recording Calories

I am in serious weight loss mode. I've done a fad diet before, great for another post later, but I wanted to do it the good old fashion way: Healthy eating, and exercise. Simple right? Well, I have had such bad eating habits for so long. I don't even know what a healthy portion size is anymore. So here's what I'm doing, to teach myself the correct portion sizes and eating within my calorie range. Check out these two sites. It'll give you a range of calories you should be in and an idea of how to do the calorie break down during the day.
Okay that's great, but I never know how many calories I'm eating unless I track them. Have you ever kept a food journal? Studies show that those people who do end up loosing and maintaining their weight better.
I got a netbook for my Birthday. Our computer is downstairs and it is such a pain to go down there, load the program, and record my food every time I eat. This way, my netbook is in the kitchen and easy to record my food.
This is the site I use to record my calories:
Very user friendly
Even has calories from restaurants

I used to record my calories in a spiral notebook. I used a calorie counting book. It was so time consuming, but still worth the effort. Do you keep track of your calories? What do you do to know your eating the right amount of food? Kudos to those who can eye ball it. I am not to that point yet, but it is definitely a goal.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The first 10 is gone!!!

Today was weigh-in and I have passed the 10 pound mark! Hooray!!

I have yet to solidify all the good habits I have been working on and I know difficult times are ahead. I need to find good techniques for staying motivated.

One day being able to look at myself in a more positive way is definite motivation. I know my transformation won't be this dramatic but I know I can change.

I think my ultimate motivation will be meeting and exceeding my own personal best. I pulled this page out of my scrap book. It is from my first triathlon in 2004. At the time I was at my lowest weight since 9th grade. I want so badly to be at that point again. I am going to hang this picture on my wall to be a reminder for me to stick with it.

What helps keep you motivated?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Favorite Vegetable

I've been trying to be good at my vegetable and fruit intake. I try to have a salad with a bit of protein for lunch everyday. I try new things so I don't get bored with the flavor. This is my new favorite vegetable: Rutabaga. Have you tried it before? If not, cut the ends off, peel it like a potato, and saute them until they are tender. This is the only way I know how to cook them, but I'm sure there are other ways. If you have played with this vegetable, what ways have you tried cooking them?

Friday, April 23, 2010

STRESS eating

*disclaimer: I am not trying to plug weight watchers, this is just the weight loss program I have chosen and have thankfully been successful so far.

Stress eating is something I am (soon to be was) good at. Last night was THE WORST run-in I have had with stress eating since I started weight watchers 5 weeks ago. I was studying for the final exam for my most important class this semester. I have been having a lot of trouble concentrating this week, I kept re-reading the same stuff over and over and my brain wasn't retaining any of it.

Being the night before the exam and because I was still not able to concentrate my stress shot through the roof.

In keeping with my old habits, I turned to food. In the past when the stress hit it would trigger some unidentifiable craving and I would run to the kitchen, open the fridge and eat anything I thought would satiate the mystery craving. More often than not after eating everything I could get my hands on the stress and craving remained and I felt like crap from eating too much.

Thankfully, last night, because I am essentially on a calorie counting plan, I knew my limits and was able to stay within them. I had three small snacks and was out of calories for the day so I stopped eating. The stress and craving were still gnawing away at me. I had to turn to non food options for coping. I went for a short walk which curbed the stress enough to prevent me from wanting food for the rest of the night.
I know this was the first of many bouts of stress eating I will face but I now know that I can keep it under control.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Little Changes Big Results

Through my ups and downs of weight loss, here are some things that have worked for me.

Sugar Free= I can still eat what I want

Regular syrup: 220 calories (1/4c) . . . Sugar Free (1/4c)=30 (the best sugar free syrup is Cracker Barrel Vermont sugar free syrup which only has 6 calories for 1/4c!! You can ask for it at Cracker Barrel and save yourself almost 200 calories!!

Regular Jam: 50 calories (1 tbsp). . . Sugar Free Jam 10 (1 tbsp) I myself can not tell the difference, but it could be that I have been dieting for awhile and forgotten the sweet taste of sugar!

Butter Up!
Not sure how many calories are in butter, but on my toast I always use I can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray which has no calories. Be careful on their butter products. They have calories, only the spray is free. I have also tried another brand of butter spray, and I think that I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is the best.

The "best" light ranch
I have tried almost every brand of light ranch dressing, and my personal favorite is the Lite House Light Ranch. Also, take a look at the Hidden Valley Ranch dip mixes. If you add fat free sour cream to it, it tastes great and is still low in calories.

Yogurts are not all created equal
I have found that the lowest calorie yogurt on the market is Dannon Light and Fit yogurt. You get 6 oz for 80 calories. Most are 100 calories for 6 0z.

Cottage Cheese
If you look through the cottage cheese section, I have found that Viva Fat Free Cottage Cheese is the lowest in calories at 70 calories for 1/2c. Most are 90 or even 110 calories and still say they are low in fat.

TV Dinners
I always stayed with Weight Watchers, Healthy Choice, and Lean Cuisine TV Dinners thinking (as their name implies) that they were better for you and lower in calories. When Banquet was on sale for $88 cents each, I decided to compare the labels. I was astonished! There are some TV Dinners in Banquet, Stouffer's, and Michelina's that do not advertise as being low in calories but are still lower in calories than some of the healthy products. If you are tight on cash, do your homework on the nutrition labels.

One thing that I have found, is that Progressive Soup in general is 200 calories lower than most other soups with the same portion size. I personally do not like their low calorie soups, but you can still get a decent soup in the regular size.

Bread, Bagels, and English Muffins
I love bread, bagels, and English Muffins but at times can not justify the calories. I found products at Walmart that are English Muffins, Bagels, and whole wheat bread that is slightly smaller than their regular alternatives. It cuts some of the calories almost in half and I still feel like I am having a piece of toast or a bagel in the morning. The alternative bagel is 110 calories and an Einstein Brother's Bagel is around 300 calories (I think). You can also find bread that is only 45 calories a slice rather than 90 calories a slice. Sara Lee delightfully Wheat (not made out of real whole wheat even though it is advertised as such) and Arrow Head Wheat Bread are ones that I have liked.

Anyways, I hope you guys can benefit from some products that I have come to love. You'd be suprised how a few calories here and there can really add up!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Here is a great weightwatchers recipe for Veggie soup. I love it because at the begining of the week I make a big pot of it and it is a quick, easy, yummy and filling way to get my veggies in. It is also easy to grab and go for those days I don't have time to make a lunch.
It is so easy to make quick modifications and gives me tons of variety so I don't feel like I'm eating the same boring thing all week. A couple of my favorite additions are black beans and corn or cooked ground beef and shell noodles.

Vegetable soup
2/3 C sliced carrots
1/2 C diced onion
2 minced garlic cloves
3 C fat-free broth (chicken, beef, or veggie)
1 1/2 C diced green cabbage
1/2 C green beans
1 TBSP tomato paste
1/2 t dried basil
1/4 t dried oregano
1/4 t salt
1/2 C diced zucchini
Saute carrot, onion and garlic in a large sauce pan with cooking spray until soft. Add broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, stir in zucchini for last 3-4 minutes.

I love to load it up with other veggies including broccoli, cauliflower, spinach (add as you are reheating for individual servings), and peppers.

Give it a try and let me know what yummy modifications you come up with.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Die with a "T"

All growing up I remember seeing the comic hanging on the wall with Garfield saying that Diet is Die with a "t." I will never forget it.

That's truly how it feels some days. I was talking to my Hubby this morning over breakfast and he asked me if I had heard of a certain diet. And the way he described diets through our conversation made them sound like death. A struggle. Something that no one wants to tackle.

I have been through many exercises and "diets" over the years and have come to the understanding that my diet is just that, my diet. It's not the end of the world. A diet is what I take into my body everyday. It's not a weight loss program. It's what makes me, me. My diet changes every so often. I have FOUR diets that I rotate through regularly.

1- The Healthy Diet: lots of vegetables, fruits, protein. To help improve my life expectancy.

2- The Feel Good Diet: lots of snacks, chocolate, french fries, and ice-cream. Everything that makes me "feel good"

3- The Fast Diet: lots of Restaurant food. To save me time on cooking. It's "fast"

4- The Forgetful Diet: lots of forgetting to eat meals. (I have this problem a lot)

My healthy diet is my most desirable diet. I spent 2 years on my Healthy Diet and saw significant improvements to my mood, stamina, and appearance. When I got pregnant this all flushed down the toilet with the throw up that followed. I moved to a weekly rotation of diet #2 and #3. Now that I'm not craving food every day of my life I have transitioned to the diet #4. Getting back on diet #1 is always the most difficult change. But I just remind myself to make small and simple changes over a longer period of time and the diet sticks better.

It's just my diet. It's what I do daily. It's not an obstacle. It's daily life. Eating to survive. It's what I do. And I like it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Am I a Runner?

Am I a runner?
I often hear this a lot: "I can't run"
The first thing I think of is, "really, you can't run, or you don't like to run."
Let me share with you a story on someone who was a self proclaimed "I can't run" person.
2007, I decided it was time to shed the pounds. My mom was an active runner, so I thought that would be a great way to loose the extra weight. So I told her I wanted to train for a 5K. Yeah, I'd never run in my life. Not only that, but I hated running. January, I made this commitment, and in March, I ran my first 5K. Wow, that was fun, I thought. I wanted more. I wanted a half marathon. So, from January to August, I went from hating to run, to running a half marathon. Soon after, I got pregnant with my third baby, stopped running and gained a ton of weight.
After I had my baby, I wanted to be a "runner" again, but it seemed like a far fetched idea. I had 80 pounds to loose, completely out of shape, and everything else that comes with having a c section and a new baby. I didn't know if I could be a "runner" again. Then I read an article in Runners World Magazine. It had one criteria that you had to meet to know if you could be a "runner". Here it is: Can you walk from your couch to the fridge? If you answered yes, than you can be a runner.
Yes, it's hard to start
Yes, you'll be sore
Yes, you'll be tired
Yes, you might wonder if it's worth it
No, you won't be able to run for very long at first
And, yes, you'll be out of breath, even after only going for 30 seconds
The promising news is, it won't last. You'll be surprised at how fast your legs will get strong, and how fast your lungs will adapt.
And, you'll feel like you can conquer everything!
You're lungs and legs will be strong enough.
Most importantly, your mind will develop the I can attitude.
Here is the trick: ease into it slowly.
Don't jump right into running if you haven't done it before.
It will be to easy to give up quickly.
Need a training guide for a beginning runner?
Check this one out:

I went for a run this morning with my favorite running partner. On Saturday, my mom, who is 57, is doing her fourth half marathon. She didn't start running half marathons until three years ago. I'm impressed. I told her my ambition of one day running a marathon. I plan on starting to train when my youngest starts school. I looked at her and said, "that's in three years. Do you think I could be ready for a marathon in three years? I can barely run four miles." I loved her reply, "Of course you can. If you do it, I'll do it with you." Okay, I am a little to excited about this proposition, and amazed. She will be 60 and running her first marathon. How awesome is that! Is it legal for a daughter to be so proud of her mother?
So here's the point of the post: if you don't run, but would like to try, YOU CAN DO IT! If you can get off the couch and walk to the fridge, you can do it! Look at the training guide. It's so easy, right? A 5K is so easy to train for. Remember, it's just a guide. I never moved to the next week/level until I was comfortable running the amount of minutes I was at.

Do you need some exercise ideas to involve the whole family? Take a look below:
Have you ever done the Susan G Komen walk? It's a tradition in our house and the kids LOVE it. It's the Saturday before Mother's Day. It's a 5K walk or run and the hype of it all is enough to get your adrenaline rushing.

Also, check out this run/walk:
I really wanted to do this run, but scheduling conflicts are not permitting me to do so. My oldest has been pleading me to do another race so she can get more watermelon. What are we doing? I signed the whole family up for the race. It's a one mile fun walk. I can't wait to let them experience the racing atmosphere!
Have fun and keep on Woggling! (Walk/Jogging)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pleased to Meet You

Hey there. My name is Phannie. I thought that Lisi had a great idea by introducing herself. So, I'm joining in.

I am addicted to food. I am also addicted to exercise. How can you be addicted to both you ask? Well, it is just my way of dealing with the fat gene that I carry. I'm sure that genetically I am programmed to appreciate the wonderful sensations that will flirt with my palate. And over the years I have grown to love exercise. My favorite exercises change over the years. (keeps it interesting)

I have grown over 200 lbs three times in my life. Once, when I was a freshman in college. Once, when I got married. And yet again, when I was pregnant. This last time was the cherry on top. I hit the 225 lb mark. The heaviest I have ever been.

I will say that the smallest I have been since being a freshman in High School was right before I got pregnant. I was doing p90x in the mornings and running at least 4 miles in the evening. Loving it! (like I said, ADDICTED)

Currently, I'm working towards getting back to that stage. Juggling new baby demands on my time and EVERYTHING else has kept progress moving slow, but still moving.

It will be an exciting duel against my body. I hope you enjoy the show.

An addiction to food

Hi Everyone,
I have enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to being able to share with you and learn from you. Thanks to Alicia for setting this up.
I wanted to introduce myself and tell you a little of my story for those who do not know me.
I have always been an emotional eater and until last fall I never realized just how bad it was. The picture I have posted is May 2009 right before my wedding. I was at my highest weight ever minus the 5 pounds I had managed to lose. Like most people who struggle to maintain/ lose weight, I am constantly telling myself that I will eat better and exercise tomorrow. Then tomorrow turned into tomorrow and so on.
I successfully lost 20 pounds about 6-7 years ago by doing weightwatchers with my mother. I was eating better and exercising 5-6 days per week (I felt great but just didn’t realize just how great at the time). After a 7 Month plateau, and a very stressful stretch in my life, I regained the 20 pounds and gained 20 more.
I hovered right around that weight until Fall 2009, the first semester of my second year of pharmacy school. Can you say STRESSFULL!!! I was super stressed but thought I was okay because my husband and I have been really good about preparing food at home and not eating out. Well news flash to me….You can still over eat and be really unhealthy if you are preparing the food at home.
I had to buy the next size up in pants and when I got on the scale one day in December I was up 20 pounds. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??? Well it turns out stress eating got the best of me.
So here I am in January 2010 with 60+ pounds to lose. I went to the gym, that lasted 2 whole days. I continued doing what I have always done and getting what I have always got.
Finally my day came when I was talking to my best friend Molly. She said “hey we should do weightwatchers together.” So we joined 3 weeks ago, I have been doing really well with tracking what I am eating and I have lost 5 pounds. I’m working really hard to manage my emotional eating and reconcile my skewed relationship with food (AKA addiction).

I heard this quote a couple years ago but don’t remember who told it to me.
“my addiction (to food) is much more difficult to overcome than your addiction (to drugs). To overcome your addiction you need to figure out a way to cage a beast, to overcome my addiction I need to figure out a way to cage a beast then let it out three times a day.”

I contend that addiction to food is just as damaging as addiction to any drug, the health problems are just as, if not more serious but take years longer to develop.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some "Light" Reading

Here are some books you might want to check out. These have helped me stay motivated to lose weight. Also, check out Gillian Mckeith's website. She has a lot of free nutrition advice for various illnesses such as ADD, Diabetes, and etc.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Here We Go Again.....

If I could figure out the weekend anxiety, I would be doing so great. I do amazing all week long. I get one to two workouts in a day, I keep close track of my calories, and I always drink all my water. For some reason when the weekend hits, it brings on the anxiety of food choices I'm going to have to make. Temptations I'm going to have to overcome. Being out of my controlled house, where I can control what my meals and snacks are going to be. Sometimes I just give in, so I don't have to feel the emotions. Who am I kidding. Lets be real here. Most of the time I give in so I don't have to feel the emotions. What's the result? I spend the rest of the next week making up for the choices I've made. Did you know that one day of overeating can make you not loose weight. ONE DAY! That's insane, but I get it. I'm at a "plateau". I've been sitting in the same spot for a couple weeks now. But, it's my own fault. I wouldn't plateau if I'd work through the emotions, get over the anxiety, and make the best choices I can when I am out of my own environment. If you haven't guessed yet, yes I am beating myself up for the choices I made this weekend. I'm trying to just be where I am at with that emotion, try to not shove it in a closet, get over it, and move on. So what is on the agenda for tomorrow? I am going to get up, make a healthy breakfast. I'm going to exercise. I'm going to feel good about myself. I'm not going to let this weekend get me down. I'm going to get over it and move on. I'm going to calm myself down, and assure myself that I can get over this anxiety eating because I am strong. Because I don't want to continue to live this way. If this post is something you are struggling with, than do the same thing with me. Get up tomorrow, and don't dwell on our mistakes. Get up tomorrow and start again. Don't quit because of a weekend of bad choices. You have never failed unless you completely give up. One a side note, is there anyone out there who is computer savvy? (Summer) I am trying to figure out how to post a link on the side bar of recipes you post on this blog. So if you want to try a new recipe you don't have to search through all the posts to find the recipe. Does that make any sense. Any of you who are authors and want to take a shot at this, please do (Summer). I only know Summer's computer skills so if you are good at figuring things out please feel free to take a shot at it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

This is Why You're Fat!!

Have you seen this blog?
I started following it because the food sometimes cracks me up and makes me want to go to the bathroom and vomit. Can you guess what this is?
Pulled Pork Mashed Potato Parfait
Doesn't that look appetizing...NOT!

How's THIS for motivation!!!!!

Just in case you are feeling those urges for a cookie.......SHABAM!!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's working!!!

This morning, I saw a number on the scale that I haven't seen since before my second child was born! I can't believe that my exercise program is actually making a difference. Every other time I've tried to lose weight, my healthy eating was flaky, and I quit exercising after a week or two because I didn't see any results. I honestly thought that I couldn't lose weight without huge amounts of effort and drastic dieting, which I was not willing to do.

This time is different. I made that New Years resolution, but actually wrote down specific goals, and an actual plan on how to meet them. Though I haven't been perfect in exercising 6 days a week as planned, (especially during our trip to AZ to visit family) I have been pretty much consistent and I haven't given up. I pushed myself beyond the 30 minutes daily exercise that I thought was enough to about 45-50 minutes daily. And I've gradually lost 10 lbs since January! My goal was to lose 15 lbs in 15 weeks, a lb a week, by my 35th birthday in April. I'm a little behind, but so happy with my progress. I feel better, have more energy, and I appreciate the feeling I have after a workout, though it's still a struggle to start each workout! I'm not crazy about certain parts of my body, but I'm seeing some gradual improvement and can finally squeeze into a certain pair of jeans I thought I'd never wear.

I hope everyone reading this remembers that everyone is different in their fitness goals and needs. This is not intended to make anyone else feel bad about where they are. I celebrate with you when you make progress and feel sad when you struggle. My 10 lbs may not seem like much, but the weight I was at in January has been a plateau I didn't think I could get below for many years. I'm celebrating now for myself. I'm encouraged by this progress to keep going for those last 5 lbs of my goal. If anyone feels they are stuck and not making progress, just push a little harder, longer, and be consistent. You can do it too!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Queen of the Fast Food

So since i absolutely LOVE others to do the cooking for me.....especially when I am running around trying to get EVERYTHING done in a day squeezed into a couple hours.....I have to run through a drive through! Luckily, if your can find some healthy alternatives. (PS The salads aren't as healthy as you would think!) My favorite thing to get is at Burger King. Order the vege mayo (extra mustard or ketchup won't kill your calories) and NO BUN. Ask hem to instead put the burger between two lettuce leafs!! Extra tomatoes is always welcome. I love how the establishment advertises "your way"....because I really make it a challenge! Try may like it. And, if you REALLY love a good vege burger and find yourself in Breckenridge, CO.....hit up Columbine Cafe in Main. BEST VEGE BRGER EVER. Also, yummy alternatives to beef patties....Costco (and Sam's for those of you who unfortunately support Walmart) has salmon burgers. Great for those nights where you just REALLY need your protein! Hope all is well with everyone and remember..."Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world."

Workout Wednesday

Here's what Carson and I will be doing while Tyler is having a nap. Carson is my Kenpo Karate partner. It's so fun to have my four year old workout with me. Especially on this workout. What kind of workout can you squeeze in today? Need some ideas? I saw this one this morning. Very creative.


There's a giveaway going on my favorite blog on how to use your food storage. I'm hoping to win the cookbook! Check it out at

Monday, April 5, 2010

Swimwear Giveaway

Do any of you follow Trainer Momma? If you don't, you should. Sign up for this giveaway. She does one once a month and they are absolutely AWESOME giveaways!

Swimsuit season has definitely been something on my mind. I love the style of swimwear of the 1950's. So modest and less revealing. I could feel comfortable in one of those. I want one that starts at my middle thigh and goes to my shoulders, all one piece, no tankini's. I don't care if it's a short look or a skirt look. Have you ever seen anything like that? I'd love to know where I can find one.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wish List

I have this big long healthy wish list. It goes on and on and sometimes repeats in my mind numerous times a day. This weekend was hard for me, to say the least. Food temptations were horrible. I wish I could say that I did really well, but I didn't. That's the reality of it, so I'll do this post, get over it, and keep going tomorrow. My list goes something like this...

I wish bad food choices weren't so appealing. Here's my favorite kind of ice cream. Boy does it look good.
I wish I didn't go crazy when confronted with chips. These make my mouth water just looking at them.
Okay, this doesn't look so good. A maple glazed donut, bacon on top, covered with chocolate syrup. At least I'm not interested in this one.
I wish good food choices came naturally. I wish being healthy was an easy choice. I wish I didn't have to decided if that pizza, drenched in Ranch, is better than a mouth watering orange.
I wish exercising was exciting and natural. I wish I went to bed excited for the morning exercise to come. I wish I jumped out of bed energetic and excited like Christmas to go put my workout clothes on. But for now, it is almost a daily debate. I love to hike, camp, boat, hang out on the beach, play with the kids, etc, but I also LOVE to eat. It comforts me. It makes all my problems go away (only for the moment). And in the moment of emotions, eating sounds so much more appealing than dealing with what I'm feeling. Tell me, does it ever get easier? Will I ever get to a point where I'm excited to exercise. Where the chocolate looks more disgusting than a salad. That healthy food choices come naturally and I don't have to have a debate in my head of which food choice to make. This weekend was hard, and I am sick physically from stuffing my face with whatever I wanted with the "I don't care right now I'll deal with it later attitude." Please tell me this is normal and you've figured out or finding a way to conquer these emotions.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dining out tip

So Darin and I went out to eat tonight at a Mexican restaurant. I have a hard time not eating everything on my plate, especially since I am a very fast eater. So I tried ordering off of the kids menu. The portion size was just right for my calorie level and I noticed that they tend to leave out all of the "extras." I also did not feel like I was scarifying or dieting. Just a suggestion for any of you dining out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I want a piece of that cake my daughter made me bake for her yesterday.

Comfort Food at a Low Calorie Cost

I am a comfort eater. If it involves comfort food, it also involves comfort eating. I'm working on that. In the meantime, I love Lasagna. But, I don't like the time it takes to make it and my kids don't usually like it. It's the texture thing. Brooke, especially, doesn't like chuncks mixed in with her noodles. I always try to hide vegetables in the lasagna, because they aren't good at eating those things either. Through all my efforts, I'm always caught, and the Lasagna gets an "Ewwwwwwwwww.... (and on and on)" vote. I'm excited to say I tried this recipie and it was a hit. Most comfort foods involve an uncomfortable amount of calories. Not this pretty one. This might be a regular in our house.