Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recipes Please!

My unemployment lack of focus continues.

I wonder if the key is imposing a routine, even though there definitely does not have to be one. I also just desperately need to go grocery shopping. I might enlist a friend here to help me make cheap, healthy and delicious options.


A request! Do you have any delicious recipes that are healthy with relatively inexpensive ingredients? Please share. I'd love some inspiration for some good foods I can cook and just keep around the house. Your support is always great.

In exchange I will give you one of my current favorite recipes. It's from Epicurious and just too delicious for words. I make up a big vat of it and have just been munching on it all week. I've done this for the past two weeks which is the only reason I am appealing to you to help me branch away from this amazingly tasty dish.


Here's a picture of my finished product:

I went to a yoga class last week and though I am still in pain from all the beautiful muscles I'm forming, I think I'm going to go today so I'm making a little impromptu protein-filled lunch. I was inspired by this recipe here: http://www.articledashboard.com/Article/Quinoa---Egg-Breakfast/1262469
I'm making quinoa but I threw in a bunch of red pepper flakes and some lemon juice, and then I think I will cut up some chicken sausage to mix in with the quinoa and fry an egg to throw on top. Serve with Sriracha if the red pepper flakes weren't enough zing. Yoga lunch of champions? Maybe. I'll keep you posted! Here is the final product. Delish!

But yes, recipes please! Send me your cheap, healthy, beyond tasty recipes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Unemployed Eating

I can't stop nibbling. I don't think I'm eating particularly bad food. I just want to be eating all the time. And I don't really have the food I WANT to be eating in my house. So I contemplate that while consuming a bag of popcorn. Or a handful of nuts. Or peanut butter and crackers.

Ultimately this leaves me feeling TOTALLY unsatisfied. Not really full enough and craving more nibbles. I somehow thought that being unemployed would HELP my diet. No other stress. Can just focus on 1) not over eating 2) becoming gainfully employed. But I'm now hesitant to spend money on healthier foods and am instead inclined to eat up my pantry. The structure of working also helped. There were certain times of day that were for eating. The rest: consumed with working... or seeing theater (something I've more or less cut out due to budgetary constraints). Now, my day is a void where food is an easy and obvious filler.

Easy solution might be to buy tons of gum... so I can be munching without consuming calories. I know this isn't really behavior changing, but it's better than nothing, right?

Any suggestions for 1) eating on the cheap 2) not eating all the time 3) becoming gainfully employed?

I also have no excuse not to exercise. So... I should think about making that happen...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

75% of Former Me

I'm unemployed now! A lot of my veiled emo posts in the past month or so were related to that. But now that I'm actually out of the office, I'm feeling more relieved than anything. I have a little savings cushion. Also you think this would help my diet, but somehow it's not.

Granted, this is only my second week of unemployment, but this past Monday with Christine I actually GAINED weight. It is my first week I've gained weight since I (legit) started this journey back in November. Granted I was dressed for an interview so I was wearing more than some flimsy dress or leggings (like I usually do). But it was still a little depressing. The problem with me (and diets I've been on in the past) is as soon as I stop getting results, I quit. I've definitely come too far to quit, but it definitely merits examining.

I think a large part of my overeating has to do with the total unstructuredness of my days now. Fomerly I'd wake up. Eat something (bar, yogurt, whatever), go to work, get lunch (Juice Generation -- you are my life), finish work, go downtown, grab dinner (salad, sandwich, fish), see a show or friends, go home.

Now my days look like this. I wake up (whenever), go through my fridge consuming whatever looks moderately appealing, apply for jobs, study for driving test, consume whatever looks moderately appealing, eat a bar, contemplate getting a pedicure or for a walk in the park, graze on whatever looks moderately appealing, maybe see a friend, maybe continue grazing.

I am not an obsessive calorie counter. I don't log what I eat by ANY stretch. I like having ballpark calorie ideas of what I'm eating so I can stay within some vague range. But with all this grazing, I'm just munching and eating. Part of this is I want to cut down on my spending on food, so I'm just eating whatever is around and not having any structure or thought about it. Also last week had a bunch of familial obligations, which means lots of food and easily accessible desserts.

This week I'm attempting to regain my focus and not let myself get overly discouraged over a pound. I'm so lucky to have not had an up and down little exchange of weight. For most people it's a constant up and down battle. I did some calculations and I have lost roughly 25% of my former self. I'm literally 3/4 of what I was before. I'm within spitting distance of my goal (25 pounds or so and I'll be exactly where I've always wanted to be).

I also had a nice accomplishment for me this week. As you can probably guess, I have all but given up on my exercise routine that I was trying to build. But my mom suggested she and I go for a run and it was a PERFECT day for it, so I decided to go for it. No Suz, no intervals, just shoes, mom and Riverside Park. And I jogged a mile straight (I think my mom did three but still). I was impressed that I could just keep going the way I did. I don't know the last time I ran a mile. I definitely never ran that far while doing the Cto5k thing. But I got tired and she continued without me. All in all I probably walk/ran 3 some miles that day. Not too shabby considering the sedentary life I've taken to.

I'm going to give you a little list of my goals for right now. Help me stick to them

1) Blog more frequently -- hold myself accountable.
2) Try and have established meals or grazings (but don't make the whole day one big food fest).
3) Buy a bikini and WEAR IT by the end of the summer. My family is taking me to Hawaii in August for my birthday and I'd love to be in a two piece.
4) Don't freak out over  1 pound gain.
5) Don't drink more than 3 drinks in one week.
6) MAYBE ONE super rich REAL dessert in a week. Maybe one. Not more than one. Eye on the prize.
7) Remember you're down 53 pounds. Remember what it took to get you here. Don't cheat yourself from celebrating that.

Also I can't stop listening to "It's Raining Men" and this music video is the most amazing thing in the world. Treat yourself.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Size 10!

I know Ms. Tinawi had a post like this, and as I sort of am trailing her in her weight loss journey, it's fun to hit the same milestones.

There were two things that directly contradict one another troubling me in my life:
1) I've lost 50+ pounds, I have no clothes that fit me.
2) I HATE shopping. With a passion.

Now why I hate shopping might be worth exploring. I don't like not fitting into clothes. I am indecisive about clothes. I don't have much money to spend. I get tired easily. I hate crowds. I hate fitting rooms. I hate lines.

And that's only the tip of it. I can remember so many disappointing shopping trips. Not fitting into size 16 pants. Fearing having to switch over to the "Wides" or plus size clothing. I remember crying fits with my mom when I was as young as middle school, over which size I was. Shopping has always been for me a traumatic and unsatisfying experience.

However, the situation of having no clothes was getting dire. I went through my closets with some friends and we ended up throwing away almost 20 pairs of pants (not to mention all the shirts/sweaters/suits/jackets). As I stared at all the empty hangers in my formerly filled closet, I knew it was time.

Now, my aunt is an A+ shopper. You have never seen anything like it. I certainly hadn't. For a while, the solution to my shopping detestation was to tell her what I needed and have her go up to her house in the Pocanos, sift through the outlet mall, bring back a bunch of clothes for me to try on, and return whatever didn't fit. Now this solved two problems 1) my unending hatred of shopping 2) her compulsion to shop, without financial or space consequences. However this time was different. She told me she wasn't sure on what size I was or what I was wearing now, so I needed to go up to the Pocanos with her to try things on.

Nice things about shopping in the Pocanos with my aunt:
1) I'm with my aunt. She is a no-judgey, no-nonsense kind of shopper. I don't usually feel bad about myself as a person shopping with her.
2) She knows the crossings like the back of her hand.
3) She can tear through racks like a Tazmanian Devil and come out with handfuls of clothing that look good but you'd never guess it.
4) She can assess within 30 seconds of walking into a store whether or not you will find anything worthwhile in it.
5) Pennsylvania has no sales tax on clothes.
6) It was memorial day weekend, so the sales were UNREAL.

Bad things about shopping in the Pocanos with my aunt.
1) There are over 100 stores in the crossings.
2) It was memorial day, the sales were awesome, there were probably a million people there.
3) My aunt has the most unreal stamina you can imagine.

So, good outweighed the bad. I remember at the start of our shopping trip BOTTOMS were the most important thing on my mind. We were in J-Crew and I was sifting through bunches of cute skirts looking for my right size. I pull out a pair of 14 and my aunt says, "Oh, I don't know about that..." And I was like, well I've been a 12/14 mostly so... and she was like. "Hm... well... try this too." And she pulls out a size 10 skirt. I gave her a funny look but she ignored it and we continued. The 14 literally drooped on me. I could probably squeeze it off without undoing the zipper. It was definitely too big. And the 10 fit perfectly. I was shocked. L sized shirts were looking baggy, and my aunt had every single sales lady in J-Crew running around looking for smaller sizes for me.

It was a totally unreal experience.

I think it digs back to the issue of not knowing what I look like. I'm in a weird place between Average and Fat Girl. I still am carrying a lot of weight on my body, and I know that. But I've been feeling more and more normal. I can wear shorter skirts, dresses, higher heels. I'm fitting into sizes I can't remember the last time I fit into.

I know this post requires some pictures. Maybe soon!