Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Madness!

As I was puzzling over what to do for March Madness (by messing around on Facebook, of course), I stumbled across an old friend's page. She and her husband are competing against eachother in an 8-week Weight Loss/Get Healthy challenge. I clicked on the link and it sounds great, easy enough to figure out.

So here! I challenge you to join me!

I'm thinking a minimal buy in. Like $10 dollars or something. And I like the notion that 1/2 goes to the person who dropped the most poundage and 1/2 goes to the person who racked up the most points. Already my roommate and one of my friends from middle school are in. Are you?

You definitely don't have to be in NYC to join either! It's honor code anyway.

Who is in?!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blast from the Past

This has been a kind of interesting diet week for me! As I mentioned last week, I went to California and really disregarded a lot of my dieting. No ATROCIOUS (for me atrocious means something along the lines of burgers and fries) eating. But it was large portions and though I was mindful when ordering (go for the seafood-tofu etc) I really didn't limit much of anything. No moderation. Moderation being the key thing I've learned this diet around. Moderation being the thing that has allowed me to lose the weight.

And then last week I was getting back into the swing of life. Excuse? Perhaps. I wanted to see my friends, my roommates, my parents. I've been chomping down on a box of chocolate kind of consistently. A piece or two (sometimes three) every day. Mind you they are small, though I'm sure they amount to something. As all those little nibblets do.

I finally did not restock my peanut butter. This is a big step. I ordered two more jars of the PB2. And did not purchase any more delicious, creamy Smart Balance brand peanut butter. Well done, me.

Then late Saturday night (early Sunday morning?). My friend Emily (who I have mentioned here before) posted some pictures from the fall 2008 -- my senior year at college. I was floored. I was a big girl. I don't remember every feeling like I looked that big. Honestly. And it's not a BAD picture. It's even a flattering angle. I'm dressed up because I was the director. I look ... nice. Just BIG. I also happened to get notified that there was a picture of me on Facebook while with my boyfriend (as you may recall he didn't really know that I used to be morbidly obese). Also important to note is this picture is not taken at my largest. I probably gained about 15lbs before I started losing.

So that was the moment. I basically said that he should probably know that I'd lost a lot of weight in the last year/year and a half. He didn't really know what to say and kind of flailed haha. He's not someone who has vaguely struggled with his weight (beyond being unable to keep much weight on himself). But basically... it doesn't change anything. Of course not. He likes me now. But it is a part of me and probably valuable for him to know. So he knows.

I talked about this with Christine and she asked me if it bothered me that there's really not too much of a chance that he'd date me before. I guess it does feel a little bad? My sparkling personality likely would not have been sufficient. Though I do also do not fault people for what they're attracted to. If he were 5'1 would I be dating him now? Possibly? Probably not. So can I fault him for having a preference?

And I lost 4.25lbs. A SHOCKING amount considering California and my general lack of attention to diet. This puts me at my lowest ever and about 5lbs away from Christine's goal for me (and 10lbs away from my goal for me). It felt really good (if oddly unearned?).

I am trying to sort of go back to my protein on leaves thing that I was so discouraged by before. Emily set a goal for herself for March and I'm kind of thinking I'd like to come up with something for me. something I can really focus on for this month. I kind of would rather it be food related than exercise related. (I have not really been exercising but I'm thinking I want to lose 5 more pounds and get into maintenance a little before really trying to add that... I'm not sure that's really the best idea but that's my feeling right now in this moment. I don't really know why.)

Any ideas for good habit-changing, healthy-eating, happy-inducing resolutions for March? March Madness!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blah. Again.

Wow. What a whirlwind week! I know I owe you guys some Jamie/Anna lunch project dishes. I also have been having trouble coming up with what to tell you.

I'm having motivational issues. I don't really want to be on a diet anymore.

Surprise surprise, right? I feel like I know how to eat to maintain this weight I'm at right now. So that's pretty much what I've been doing this week. Though I went to California Thursday through Monday to see one of my best friends and I really wasn't very food/health concious. I walked a lot, but I really didn't hold back from much in terms of portions or choices. But I ate well and had a good time. It sort of felt like a little throw-back to old-Anna eating styles. Fun and mindless. And you know what? I still liked it. A lot. Back in New York it's easier to get back into the habits that I had here. Honestly though, I don't know that it would be so hard for me to slip into old-Anna.

I got a box of chocolate for Valentine's Day (I have not "came out" to my boyfriend... theoretically with some minor Facebook stalking he could figure out that I used to be much bigger. But somehow I really don't think he knows--but that's another post for another time!). And while I did a really good job of not eating it all in one sitting, every day I feel the need to have a piece. What's a piece?? But that's basically been my attitude. And why I can only hope to maintain this week.

That's not to say that sitting here maintaining this weight is difficult for me. I totally know how to do it. I enjoy the way I eat. I enjoy cooking for myself. I enjoy cooking for Jamie and my boyfriend and my roommates and my parents. In a way I think I turned my FUN eating into FUN cooking. Which is clearly healthier and happier. I am a social person. I like being surrounded by people. The amount of alone time I require is pretty limited. There is something about food (and my life in general) that I like to have a social aspect. So I guess I've done an okay job of redefining it all.
I think the root of my frustration is that I didn't get instant results from my Protein on Leaves week. I like instant gratification. I like seeing big results when I feel like I make big changes.

So I suppose here is to maintaining this week. Having Christine kick my butt this weekend (am I overly relient on her??). And figuring out something feasible and not discouraging. Eternally figuring this out. I really hate this last leg in case that wasn't evident.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Sorry I've been a little absent. Life has been a little crazy this week. A show I was working on opened ( and closed) last weekend. And then there was Valentine's Day...

And on Sunday I weighed in at up 1.5lbs and I was so frustrated. There were other things going on that may account for weight gain but still. I felt like I was working so hard and to gain a POUND AND A HALF. Not maintain. Not .5lbs. But 1.5. Jeez. I really couldn't deal. So this week has been a much more (pardon my French) but FUCK IT attitude. But I'm not eating like I want to lose weight. I'm eating like I want to maintain weight. And for this week that will be fine. I'm going to California this weekend to see my best friend from high school. So that means I won't be seeing Christine this week. I'm not stressed about it but at some point I need to get out of my funk (ironically the solution I've come up with for my funk [not seriously dieting] will not help my cause [losing weight]).

Don't get me wrong. This is not a binge. This is a tablespoon of peanut butter. A mini Reese's cup. Things that vaguely add up to equal maintenance.

But still. I should consider getting it together. I just think I am spoiled to some extent. I feel like if I put in such an extreme amount of effort, I deserve results. And I'm learning more and more that that is not necessarily how bodies work. I understand more how thin(ner) people can complain about their weight. And not being able to lose it. While I definitely have limited sympathy (I guess myself included at this point), it is hard. And much harder when you're smaller... for me anyway.

Fighting off bad habits in the beginning was probably the hardest. Over a year later, I've redefined my whole way of eating/approacing food... and now I need to do it again? I've retrained myself to not eat like a seriously obese person but instead as a mildy overweight one. And now I need to revamp that to eat like a thin one.

I just don't know if that's going to happen this week. Maybe I'll be inspired by all the beautiful fit Califorinans and come back ready to eat like a thin person!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Protein On Leaves

I did well yesterday. I went to a cafeteria and LOADED UP at the salad bar. It also happens to be connected to a ballet school so they had loads of healthy toppings.

I got:
All three types of lettuce (Spinach, Spring Mix and Romaine)
Cherry Tomatoes
Grilled chicken
Low Fat Vinaigrette

If that doesn't look disgustingly healthy then I don't know WHAT to do.
It was pretty heavy and came out to be over $10! But it was totally diet-friendly. Protein on Leaves!
I went to my parents for dinner and brought left over panko-crusted tilapia with me to put on top of the salad today... so hopefully it will not be as expensive as yesterday (EDIT: it was $7 this time...). I also brought my own dressing. A WHILE back Christine gave me some Low Fat Asian Sesame Ginger dressing I have yet to try. But it's 35 calories for two tablespoons. Diet friendly stuff we're talking here!

This one is a little harder to see due to excessive sun. But you get the idea. Protein on Leaves.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Starch = Devil?

Okay. I'm annoyed.

First off, I have been doing SO WELL with my exercise plan. I got my butt out of bed both Saturday and Sunday mornings and went to yoga. Saturday I cancelled shopping plans with my mother and instead went for a jog with my roommate. The feeling of running was coming back to me and it's really nice to have someone to go out with. I feel bad because she is A MILLION times fitter/better runner than I am but I think she doesn't mind just getting out. Plus she was running a four mile race on Sunday and so didn't want to burn out. Safe to say that she did not (even though I did!). We even talked about running a 5K together. I've been hemming and hawing about a 5K for a while now. You may remember my stint with Cto5K last summer. Somehow I think it will be easier to motivate with my roommate next to me. She said she'd look up races in May/June. That should be enough time to get SOMETHING done, right?

The yoga class I went to on Saturday was a FREE class (which means it doesn't count towards my Groupon hahaha) so I'm changing my tally system.

I've been to 4/11 classes (see what I did there?). I have rehearsal tonight but am planning on going every night this week. I'm debating adding in another 7am class even though the teacher made me feel personally victimized the last time I went. I also am not sure if two classes in one day would KILL me but I haven't been feeling particularly sore or anything. Though with the math that I'm doing right now, I am thinking I'll only get 9 out of 11 classes in. Which is still worth my 30 dollars. If I add in the two morning classes I could make it. But would I want to?

I was patting myself on the back for all my excellent choices during restaurant week. I thought I survived relatively unscathed. I emailed Christine everything I consumed and she sent me back very positive feedback.

And I gained 1.5lbs this week. WTF?!

It was distressing. 1.5 is not a ton in the great scheme of things. But I cannot for the life of me break this little plateau that I've been on for MONTHS now. Months. I feel like I'm eating like a normal person. I don't think I'm overdoing it. I'm trying my best to eat healthy foods. I eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. I'm making a concentrated effort. And I gain weight. Usually there is a day or two that I can point to and say Oh-- I should have done that better. But there isn't one for this week.

I suggested to Christine that maybe it was all the exercise that did it? And she scoffed. Literally scoffed. I'm not sure yoga is real exercise in the mind of Christine. And one probably-not-even-a-mile run... isn't going to cut it and cause me to gain 1.5 pounds of muscle. Or whatever.

I expressed my total frustration to her. I mean, I look good. I am still slightly overweight. My BMI still has me as overweight. I would like that to not be the case. She said she'd pay close attention to my diaries this week to see what real changes I could make to get the extra weight off. For this week she made a suggestion: cut out starch for one meal.

Her thoughts were that having a bean soup or stew for two meals a day could be the culprit. This I find upsetting. Can a normal person not have lentil soup for two meals a day and not gain weight? I don't think my eating has been excessive. She said my snacks are fine (FiberOne, fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, bars). But just to eat leaves for one meal a day. Leaves and vegetables with a little protein (chicken, goat cheese, whatever).

I am bothered by this. She said it's because I'm down a weight class. It's time to up the ante. If you're a 300lb girl and you are eating like a 200lb girl... you'll lose weight. So I guess I'm eating to maintain my weight when at any other point in this journey I would've been eating to lose. And now I need to revamp. Whine whine whine whine whine. I don't think anyone would fault me for just sitting at this weight, honestly. But I really truly would like to lose it!

So for this week the name of the game is Protein On Leaves. And we'll take it from there.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lunch Project: Week 8!

So this week, I decided to make omelette muffins for Jamie. And yes, you already heard about omelette muffins. Though I did spinach and feta again this time, I also decided to add a chicken sausage to half of them. I cut the sausage into rounds and then quartered those. It was a really nice touch and added a little extra protein and texture. Jamie, who is not a big chicken fan, enjoyed the addition too. I'm actually having friends over for brunch (solution to eating well at brunch -- cook it yourself) and I think I'll make these. I may even add some turkey bacon to some of the omelette muffins... because that sounds really good to me.

There was a little mishap and my carton of eggs fell out of my shopping bag! Nine eggs were cracked (not BROKEN... but needed to be used). So I did 1.5 the recipe for the omelette muffins... but then was stuck with three additional eggs that needed to be used RIGHT THEN. I knew merengues were low calorie and so I went to my default... to see if she had any suggestions. And I found this recipe. And it looked delicious. I used to HATE coconut (I still can't do Mounds or Almond Joy) but I've definitely come around to it. The only ingredient I had, however, was the eggs. But between the three ladies I live with, I was able to come up with everything. And even smashed the cornflakes myself (oh yeah... yoga strength!). The cookies were soft and delightful and disappeared INCREDIBLY quickly. I did manage to squeeze a couple out to bring to lunch for Jamie.

Jamie made a quinoa loaf. From this recipe. Now, I had never thought of quinoa in loaf form! So glad Jamie stumbled upon the recipe. She cooked a test run over the weekend and then perfected the recipe to bring for lunch today. She subbed in spinach instead of the cilantro. Added some cheese and didn't use the nuts or peppers. She also added curry powder and chilli powder. It was sooooooo tasty. She said the first time she made it she cooked it for too long so she also reduced the cooking time by about 10 minutes. I'd imagine this is dependent on your oven though... just be aware it may be faster than you think! She added a dash of paprika on top too!

I went to yoga yesterday at 7am (pat on the back... had to set my freaking alarm for 5:45). I hated the class, but at least I went, right? I bought a Groupon for a 10-class card at the yoga studio that needs to be used before the 14th!! IS THIS POSSIBLE? Probably not considering I've only used two. But I've put a TON on my google calendar so hopefully I can get a handful of classes in. My boy is out of town for the next couple weeks so maybe I'll be toned with a yoga butt when he gets back (this fantasy is somewhere between improbable and impossible). Tomorrow I'm planning to go to one at 8am and then for a run with the roommate in the afternoon. There's another class on Sunday but it's level 2 and after the class yesterday I'm worried that I'm not quite advanced enough. Maybe I don't care. Usually teachers are good at giving varying degrees of difficulty.

So... 2/10! Let's see if I can GET IT DONE.

Also stay tuned for a post about surviving restaurant week!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My breakfast

For some reason I think my monochromatic breakfast is really funny. I may be overtired hence the two forms of caffeine.

Good Earth Tea (DELICIOUS)
Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal.

Breakfast of champions!