Archive | December 2012

Wednesday Weigh In: Sadness Edition

I haven’t written anything here all week except my winner post, because I had to.  I had intended to write another run recap, on Friday.  I’d gone out to conquer 6.25 miles of solid running, and did it.  With the warmup and cool down walks I logged 6.83 miles that day, and was feeling pretty proud.  I showered and sat down at my computer to get some work done, maybe write something.

My homescreen is NBC News.  At the top, in red, was the Breaking News box.  Obviously you all know what it said.

For me, I was scared on a different level.  Newtown is the town next door to us, and for a period of time, it appeared that there was a larger threat.  There was talk of more than one gunman, and all of the schools in this area went on lockdown.  I have two kids in school, one in the middle and one in the elementary.

It was a harrowing day that ended well for my family and tragically for so many others.  Too many others.  I don’t know any of the victims’ families personally, but many people I know do.  Everyone seems to.  It’s so close, it’s personal.  My daughter called home for me to pick her up from school after the threat seemed to have passed, and she didn’t leave my side all night.  She’s twelve.  She was petrified.  Fortunately my son didn’t have an awareness of what had really gone on, and was less affected.

My husband was out of town when it happened.  He didn’t arrive home until ten that night, where he found my daughter and I curled up on the sofa, snuggling together watching “While You Were Sleeping” because the news was too scary.

Needless to say, writing about losing weight hasn’t been a thought I’ve had.  But I didn’t let my sadness pull me too far off track either.  So you can imagine my disbelief when I stepped on the scale a few minutes ago and saw a 4 pound loss.

I knew I was going to post a more sizable loss this week.  I could see the numbers dropping and I was really kind of amazed by it.  I’ve been working so hard and the weeks have shown such small losses.  I didn’t work harder this week, in fact, I probably did less.  I’m almost wondering if I’d been at a plateau and now I’ve pushed through it.  It has felt like that for weeks, hovering around the same number, slowly picking away at it.  And I knew my gain last week didn’t make much sense either; I had a feeling it would come off, and it did.

Either way, obviously, the loss feels positive, despite the circumstances.  Going into Christmas break with a win will give me the momentum to keep up the good choices.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas, or whatever holiday you and yours celebrate.  May it be filled with peace and blessings, for all of us.

Current Week:  -4 lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  13.4 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date:  15
Age:  42
BMI:  28.0

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Unilever Holiday Baking Giveaway Winner

Remarkably, it’s already been a week since my Holiday Baking Giveaway began, and that means it is time to choose a winner.  Either I’m not good at promoting my blog or many readers simply didn’t need these awesome freebie goodies, because I had 11 entries on my first ever giveaway.

Unilever Baking Giveaway

I mean, who wouldn’t want these awesome goodies?

Anyway, I took a cue from the other blogs I’ve seen do giveaways and put the number of comments into the random number generator.  Here’s what it chose:

Unilever Holiday Baking Giveaway WinnerNumber 5.  Well that was easy.

Holiday Baking Giveaway Winner NameThat’s Alaine.  Alaine, I’ll be emailing you to set up your giveaway!

Thank you to all who entered.  I really did have a good time trying out the items and new, healthier recipes.   It’s a nice challenge to really try and make something delicious that you don’t feel guilty about consuming.

 

Wednesday Weigh In: Being Realistic

So, as you might expect, I posted a gain this week.

0.6 lbs.  I’m actually relieved.  I thought it would be worse.

And while this means two weeks in a row of gains (.08 lbs total over two weeks ago), I’m not as frustrated as I was last week.

Firstly, it was a hard week with food choices.  Between a girls’ luncheon on Thursday, our anniversary on Friday, a Christmas party on Saturday, a cookie swap on Monday and a working dinner last night, the week was filled with temptation.  While I can’t say “I did the best I could” (that would have meant a salad and no wine last night and not eating any of the cookies Monday night, or the party food on Saturday), I did reasonably well while enjoying the festive events laid before me.  I made healthier versions of the cookies, brought hummus and vegetables to the girls’ party, ordered fish last night.  I feel like I am mostly on the right track (moving mostly forward?) with my headset these days.  This was a tough week.  But I’m not up three pounds, I’m up less than a pound.  It could have been a lot worse, and it isn’t.

Also, I feel fantastic about my exercise.  The running is going really, really well.  Yesterday, when I only had 20 minutes to exercise, I hit the treadmill.  I set the speed higher than normal since I knew I was running only twenty minutes.  I told myself that I could dial it down any time after the halfway point.  But in my head I said, “Till the end of this song”, or “Just two more minutes” and then all of a sudden, the twenty minutes were up.

I could have gone longer. How amazing is that.  A year ago, running twenty minutes, at any speed, was an impossibility.  Even three months ago it was a hard, hard task.  But I’m doing it.  I’m running thirty, forty, sixty minutes without stopping and it feels good.

And, as the icing on that cake, I finally found a 10K to do after all of this training I’ve been doing and I am super excited about it.  It’s a 10K through Central Park in NYC!  I’m nervous, of course:  the race is run by the New York Road Runners, serious runners.  I’ll be slow.  I’ll be in the back of the herd.  But I know I will finish and I am ready.   I have over three weeks and I’ll do several runs of that duration between now and then, plus shorter runs.  I am so excited to finally get another chance at a 10K and one in NYC?  How freaking exciting is that?

I’ve come a long way, and I think that’s why the scale isn’t bothering me so much this week.  Do I want it to be lower?  Sure.  Am I going to let it derail me?  Not this week.  The number is the number.  I’m not going to let it erase all of the good that is going on with me right now.  It’s Christmas, and I am going to enjoy the season and make healthier choices.  This is a journey, and I’m on the right road.  And for now, in this moment, that’s enough.

Current Week:  +.0.lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  17.4 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date:  16
Age:  42
BMI:  28.8

Unilever Holiday Baking Giveaway!

Every year my book club does a holiday cookie exchange.  The first year I participated, I wasn’t quite sure what to make; I’d never done anything like that before.  And then I remembered helping my girlfriend Erin one afternoon do her holiday baking.  She made something called “Buckeyes”.  Having grown up in Michigan myself, that word practically has four letters (there is an intense rivalry between the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes, in case you had no clue what I was talking about).  But Erin had no such biases, and she taught me how to make these simple, sinful, decadent desserts.

When I started losing weight, I tried making something different for my book club cookie swap.  Each time I strayed from the Buckeyes, I heard about it.  So this year, I thought I would make the traditional ones, and then see if I could find a way to make them a little healthier.

Cue in the perfectly timed email I received from Unilever asking if I’d like to host a Holiday Baking Giveaway.  Would I?  Absolutely!

Unilever Baking Giveaway
They sent me this wonderful package of goodies, which includes:

·         Silpat® baking sheet liner
·         Steel Cooling Rack
·         Nonstick cookie sheet
·         Stainless steel cookie scoop
·         $10 gift card to Target or Walmart

And you can get a kit like this too!  Just leave a comment on this post letting me know what your favorite holiday baking recipe is.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be a healthier version, although those would be most welcome; I’d love some new ideas.  Links to the recipes would be helpful for all of us looking to fill those gift boxes with yummy treats this time of year.

Just be sure to leave your comment by 12/17/12.  I will then use the random picker to choose a winner!

Unilever is also hosting a Confection Perfection sweepstakes, where they give away  even more goodies and share recipes.  If you’re interested in signing up, click here.

Below are the recipes for my tried and true, but terrible for you Buckeyes, as well as the Skinnytaste healthier option.

Buckeyes (adapted from All Recipes)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup Country Crock
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 cup powdered sugar
4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1.  Combine peanut butter, room temperature Country Crock, vanilla and powdered sugar in a large bowl.
2.  Using a small scoop, drop mixture in small balls onto cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.  If you don’t have a scoop, just take a tablespoon sized amount and roll it into a ball in your hands.
3.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes until dough balls are firm.  If you just refrigerate them, they’ll fall apart in the next step.
4.  Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler.  Roll peanut butter balls in melted chocolate and put back on the waxed paper lined cookie sheets.  Refrigerate again until firm.

Skinny No Bake Peanut Butter Bites (from Skinnytaste)

Ingredients:

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tbsp Country Crock
1/2 cup fat free milk
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar, cocoa powder (optional)

Directions:

1.  Combine the first 4 ingredients (sugar through milk) and boil in a small sauce pan for 2 minutes.
2.  Remove from heat and mix in oatmeal, Better n’ Peanut Butter and vanilla.
3.  Drop by tablespoons onto a wax paper or roll into balls with slightly moist hands and refrigerate overnight.
4.  The next day you can roll them in powdered sugar or cocoa powder if desired (I did this a few hours later and it was probably too early….they crumbled a bit). Keep refrigerated if storing for several days.

Further and Faster

My weight might not be moving along as fast as I’d like, but the running is coming along and feeling great.

Today was my next “long” run.  I have to really psych myself up for these.  6 miles sounds so long and in my head, when I think about it, I can’t even imagine I’m attempting to try something that far.  I can talk myself out of trying to do it pretty quickly.

I was going to actually go out for this run on Monday, but my knee was bothering me a bit, so I decided to do some strength training instead.  I’m glad I did.  The knee stopped hurting after a good round of toning and stretching, but just to play it safe, I ran a shorter 4 mile run on Tuesday.  Yesterday was a rest day due to my schedule.

Which meant this morning it was put up or shut up time.  A friend has floated the idea of a possibility for a 10K to me, in January.  If I keep up these long runs as I have, I should feel pretty good about the distance by then.  The race would be through Central Park in NYC, which sounds like the stuff I’ve never even thought to dream of.  I don’t know yet if I can work out the scheduling, but if I can?  I need to be ready.

So I put on all of my cold weather gear (it was 28 degrees here this morning) and told myself I was just going to do it.  No whining, no bitching.  Just do it.

And I did.  I did 6 miles.  And I did it faster than I did any of my other runs before.  All of my miles were less than 13 minute miles.  Most of them were closer to 12 minute miles, which is significantly better than my last long run.  Average was 12.22min/mile which is a whole minute faster than my last long run!

Today is a milestone for me.  With the warmup and cooldown walks, I have officially gone faster today than I ever have.  Here’s how today looked:

5 minute warmup walk = .29 miles
74:13 minute run=6 miles (one stop to tie my shoes, otherwise, didn’t stop the whole time!)
6:48 minute cooldown walk/run=.44 miles

Total Miles:  6.73 miles.

How about that????  I still can’t even believe it.  And I honestly feel good.  Fine.  I stretched after, and now I feel completely normal.  I am amazed.

Next up:  running 6.25 miles straight, without stopping.  It’ll be a few days before I make that happen.

Wednesday Weigh In Frustration Edition

I’m up this week, dammit.

Only .2 lbs, but still.  It means I didn’t move forward this week.  And now it means my timeline is super tight.  I’ve not dropped more than 1.2 lbs in any week since I started with this goal, and now my weeks and my goal are identical:  I need to lose a pound a week in order to hit the goal.

I’m not really sure why I’m up this week.  It was not a terrible food week.  It was a very active week.  I did have one “feeling like I need to eat all day” day on Monday, but I filled that with almonds and pop chips.  It’s not like I was binging on french fries and Big Macs.  And I was still under my calorie goal even with it.  Maybe the salt from that?  Maybe it’s that time of the month coming?  I don’t know.  But I’m annoyed.

This upcoming week will be a major challenge, food wise.  Much harder than Thanksgiving.  Here’s how it looks:

Wed:  Busy day with kids doctor appointments, morning meetings and piano practice.  No time to really cook a proper, healthy dinner.

Thu:  Holiday lunch with my girlfriends.  I plan on bringing homemade hummus and veggies and standing close to it.

Sat:  NYC food crawl with a girlfriend during the day (I know, right????  I can’t wait!) and then a holiday party in the evening

Mon:  Book club cookie swap.

To post a loss this week is going to be a challenge, no doubt about it.  But if I don’t, I will blow my timeline.  So I have to be aware, be concscious and not slip this week at any of these events.

Wish me luck.

Current Week:  +.2.lbs
Total Weight Left To Lose:  16.8 lbs
Weeks Left to Goal Date:  17
Age:  42
BMI:  28.7