Tuesday, May 25, 2010
*announcer voice activated*
In a land, far, far away. Armed with only a spoon, a pan, a grill, and the contents of her refridgerator...one fat chick stepped up to the plate in an effort to...COOK HEALTHY!
*announcer voice deactivated*
Just needed to share a little something with all of you out there in Sparkieland. Did you know that Spark can teach you how to cook? That's right, I said it. Spark can make you Chef Mom (Dad/Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Son/Daughter/Div
if only you give it a chance!
One thing I really wanted to do this time around was to learn how to cook healthy foods. I wanted to know if I could grill a pepper and make it taste good. I wanted to know if I could pull everything out of the fridge and decide in a moment how to put those items together to create a nutritious, delicious, and not at all fictitious meal. And it turns out...I can!
Last night as my husband and I were sitting around (playing Guitar Hero 5, which kept telling me over and over again how much I rocked - that game is such a self-confidence booster!) and we didn't really know what to have for dinner. Sure, we had a few leftovers in the fridge...but that was boring. We wanted something good. Something warm and just plain tasty. And I, for one, didn't want anything that came out of a box.
So we head to the fridge, anxious, doubtful and I pull out the remaining produce and an almost forgotten cut of beef from our previous trip to the store. (Another day in the fridge, and we would have wasted about 6 bucks!!) I'm standing there staring at the beef, a big, beautiful red pepper, a huge green pepper, 3 big portobello mushroom caps, and some other mushrooms (I love mushrooms, I put them in everything! *lol*) and I explain that I had bought these items so that I could make kabobs on the grill, but that I had forgotten to buy any skewers.
Hubby starts to walk away, discouraged...and I think - Now wait just a gosh-darn minute! Skewers or no skewers - I can make this work! Now, normally I would pull up the directions for a recipe for such a thing...but I decided instead to wing it. I made a little marinade with some red wine vinagerette and a dash of soy sauce, and another with some olive oil and garlic. The mushrooms get coated with the olive oil mixture, while the beef and peppers get the vinagerette treatment. I pull out a few red potatoes for the heck of it, half them. I pull out my no-salt seasoning mixture from the whole foods store and sprinkle both sides of everything (except the potatoes).
Hubby has the grill going. I make aluminum foil pans for my peppers and mushrooms (and the potatoes). I add the meat to the grill next to my two makeshift "pans" and I hope for the best. This could be utter failure. Complete disaster and wasting of money could be happening right now. But we wait. And wait. And wait.
Some time later, I pull everything off the grill. I make hubby up the plate and make myself one as well. And as I pull the first bite into my mouth I hear, "Oh my god!" I look over. This is it...the final disasterous verdict. Time to pull out the mac-n-cheese reserves... Hubby is smiling. I mean, grinning ear to ear smiling. It was a success people! A success! Later that evening hubby tells me that this dinner was "The BEST thing you have EVER made!" He's full and happy (and healthy too!).
So from the small girl from the suburbs of Columbus, who often forgot her cookies in the oven and burnt them to a crispy black substance. Who more than once has left water boiling on the stove so long that all the water evaporated and the bottom of the dish got a burning. Who once a towel set directly under the smoke detector because it was bound to go off sometime between the making of lunch and the making of dinner...usually during both...made dinner! The best part is, this isn't the first time I've done this. I've been winging it with recipes for a few weeks now, and everything has turned out pretty good!
And how did I do it, you ask? Why, by stalking all of your food blogs. By reading a bunch of recipes and finding the patterns. By carefully discovering through these methods which foods pair well. What kinds of additions you can make to spice up certain dishes. How to properly cook onions and garlic in olive oil! (Don't laugh...I couldn't do that before...) Betcha didn't know your Spark could be so darn helpful, did ya?
What are you making for dinner tonight?
Monday, May 24, 2010
Let me start off by saying that this is not directed at any of you...unless you doubt me, and then it is. [Warning: Rant Incoming] I mentioned to my family this morning that I walked a 5k this weekend. First let me explain my experience.
I got this crazy idea on Sunday morning that my workouts had become plain 'ole boring. I have been consistently walking a mile to a mile and a half at least 3-4 times a week and working out in some other way (usually cycling) every other day. I work out every day, and while Friday's gardening was a nice change of pace for me this weekend, I wanted to push myself a little to see where I could go. So I mapped out the route for 3.1 miles from my house, out 1.5 (and some extra) and back. I looked at the map a few times. I thought about it for a while. I gauged how my body was doing and whether I thought I could take it. And then I realized that I wouldn't know if I didn't try.
I set out with both boys in tow. Ethan is 8 and Logan is 10. Ethan is in better shape than Logan and was excited because he has begun his own "training" regimen for football season, which starts at the end of July. He's like his mom...when his heart is set on accomplishing something, he will do everything it takes to pull it off. So we headed out about 2pm. (Which was horrible thinking on my part, btw...but I was really afraid I would wuss out if I waited.) The first mile went just fine. Mile 1.5 I reached without too much hassle, save for the sun. Mile 2 crossed and I was getting tired. Mile 2.5 and my fingers began to swell.
That's right, my fingers got HUGE. And I freaked out for about a second before I realized what was happening. My legs felt fine. My heart was pumping. But my brain felt it needed those oxygen stores elsewhere (heart, lungs, legs, etc.) My hands were sacrificed because, well, who needs hands to walk? I monitored my fingers the rest of the way home and while they were swollen and numb, they were not turning blue or purple. My brain was allowing just enough oxygen to keep them alive and I could see the house...almost done. So I walked the rest of the way and collapsed on the porch.
Hubby came out bearing gifts of water...cold water. I drank a whole 30 ounces or so and begged for more. (I had already drank about 25 ounces on the way, and some of it soaked my shirt because I stopped paying attention to actually getting all of it into my mouth. *lol*) I watched my hands and within minutes feeling was coming back and they were starting to shrink again. My body was recovering much faster than it ever has before.
Hubby begged me not to do that again for a while, and I assured him that I had already told myself it would be another month before I tried to push that hard again. I just needed to know that I could. I just had to. And I took all safety precautions I could think of. I took my cell phone with me in case I needed hubby to come pick me up (he's done this before when I went too far out and couldn't return). I thought about calling him twice, but not because I didn't think I could make it, but because it was HOT. Too hot. We stopped 4 times to rest in the shade for a few seconds. I hadn't really thought about the sun that much, and I suddenly understood why races start so darn early in the morning.
So, yes. I made it. And today? Today I feel great! No, seriously. My foot is a little sore in one spot and I still feel some slight soreness throughout my back and legs, but nothing that makes me think I can't do this or that. Even still considering a walk for lunch today. (Though if I don't get to it, I'll just cycle at home later.) I feel healthier than I have in years. I feel ready to stop smoking too....so that's a bonus (and also, probably, a reason for my heart/blood issues yesterday...DUH!)
Anyways, I tell this (summarized) to my family and my sister, who just finished a half marathon tells me how I shouldn't have done it. How this is a newbie mistake to increase so fast. And how my body can't take it. Yes, I understand that she's a half-marathoner now, but does she really think she's my personal trainer. How about a "Maybe take it a little easier/slower next time." or "Hold off on doing that again, I agree...but great job on making it through." She even told me this after she stated that she went from doing 7 miles to doing her half marathon! She didn't even know that day if she could do the 13.1 miles, but she pushed herself to do it! WTF, dude?
One thing I love about my Sparkers. Even the runners among you don't claim to be experts unless, well, unless you are. And while you might make suggestions, you know about constructive criticism. About "at-a-girls!" with the "try-this"-es. (Did that make sense?) And few of you would ever presume to know what my body can or cannot take. I love you all for that!
And to all the doubters out there... This 392 pound woman walked a 5k yesterday...what did you do?
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 398.8
Goal This Week: 396.8
Weight Lost This Week: 6 pounds
Total Weight Lost with SP: 23.4
Total Weight Lost overall: 73.8
- Cook at least one new recipe a week and have the family rate it.
This week we made Turkey Meatloaf (10 from fam), Chicken Fried Rice with Eggplant (7), Slow Cooker Pork Roast (9)
- Measure everything.
I didn't measure EVERYTHING because I wanted to try a few times to see if I could trust myself a little more when I'm NOT at home. I think I will go back to measuring again, though. The only thing saving me this week was the large amount of activity.
- Drink 8 glasses of water every day.
I bought some Diet Rite the other day and have had some pop for 3 days! EEP! Cannot resort back to this habit. Grabbing some more water for this week!
- Consume 4-6 servings of fruits and veggies every day.
Don't think I got this in the last couple days, but I was doing really well there. Need to restock the fruit bowl before the weekend is out...down to a single banana.
- Track everything.
Okay, so while I didn't do the best with healthy choices this week...I forced myself to track it anyways. Turns out that "not best" doesn't necessarily mean "bad" or "horrible".
- Work on switching from coffee to green tea.
Okay, I did have ONE DAY that I drank 0 coffee and had a glass of tea instead around 3pm (when I get really sluggish at work...I work 10 hour shifts so by 3 or 4 I'm exhausted). The rest of the time, I went back to my coffee...but I am lowering the amount of creamer I use.
- Reduce dependence on frozen dinners.
I only had frozen dinners on Monday and the rest of the week I had sandwiches or leftovers from the night before.
- Work out for at least 10 minutes every day.
I made myself do it, even when I didn't want to. I'm now 5 day into my new 100 Consecutive Days Workout Challenge. Going to start working towards walking that 5K now.
- Follow SP strength training workouts.
I didn't ST this week except last night. I'm going to work on that this week.
- Cardio jam sessions 3-4 times a week, walking at least 30 minutes.
I had a bad energy and motivation week. I still worked out but I didn't walk as much (rain contributed to that a little). Will do better this week. Did up the intensity on my inStride Cycle last night and felt like I was in a spinning class! *lol*
- Work interval training to work towards goal of running a mile.
I do this now when I go for a walk. I make myself vary my pace a bit and speed up to push myself a little bit more each time.
- Start training to walk my first 5K with Mom.
This wasn't really on my mind as much this week. I'm going to change that this week. Going to start by seeing how long it does take me to walk 3.1 miles. Wish me luck and tell hubby I'll be back in 2 hours! *lol*
We did plant or veggie and herb gardens this week! It's so nice to see those little plants out there and know that soon I'll have fresh organic veggies to put in a million different dishes I'm going to try!
What I learned this week:
I learned that every single day counts. The beginning of this week was hell, but come Thursday I pushed myself to do more, to do better...and it resulted in a 6 pound loss for the week.
I learned that I can't lose weight where I want to. *lol* Where I'm seeing the most improvement is in my arms and my butt! I really want this stomach gone but it's a stubborn little thing. It's like one of those friends that you don't really want around but you can't figure out how to make them leave and stay gone. But I should focus on the fact that my "shelf butt" is now more of a "bubble butt" and that my arm flab is starting to SLOWLY shrink. These are good things. I'll take weight lost anywhere for right now...the belly will leave eventually.
I learned that dimples are cute when you're losing weight. There are now dimples in my lower back and butt. *lol* I talked to hubby last night and we have decided that I've just happened to lose some of the fat stores there, so they're dimpling in at those points. Not a bad thing at all, because soon the dimples will grow until there are no dimples, just a smaller butt and back.
I learned that I have a wonderful family! And that not eating out four times a week doesn't kill them. In fact, the kids are having fun trying new things. Still can't get Ethan to eat any veggies other than eggplant, but I'll make him come around. He did end up eating some green peppers when I cooked them long enough...and there were actual onions in my meatloaf that he didn't pick around!
So there you have it folks. Please take this lesson from me. If Monday and Tuesday, and even Wednesday you feel like you're doing a horrible job at maintaining your focus and working on your goals, Thursday or Friday, or even Saturday is not too late to get them back on track! I lost 6 pounds this week in basically 3 days. I didn't starve myself. I didn't beat myself up. I moved more and made healthy choices, even when I felt like I didn't need to eat anymore but still felt hungry. The other night when I went back for more food? It was healthy food! I put the ice cream back in the freezer and had another slice of the turkey meatloaf. I ate 4 ears of corn trying to train myself to indulge in a healthier way. Not saying this will always work, but it worked for me this week.
Weight loss goal for next week: 389.9
I realize this is a little more than 2 pounds, but I would love to kiss 390s goodbye! That being said, I'd be happy with 390.8, which would be 2 pounds. Know what? This isn't sounding impossible anymore!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Okay, okay. So you've all seen Jamie Oliver's food revolution and his struggle to bring healthy school lunches to Huntington, WV. Yesterday I went to my sons' school because my 8 year old begged me to come eat lunch with him. I have to say that I was worried. I was about to see the state of WV's school lunches firsthand. What I saw, though, was not at all what I expected.
I sit down next to my son and start analyzing the food on his lunch plate. A small bowl of chili, a small packet of Oyster crackers (about 60 calories and only 2g of fat), a peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread, a small apple, a package of baby carrots and a package of about 4 slices of celery. The worst thing on my son's tray was the Chocolate Milk that he selected. (I convinced him to get white milk for his "extra milk" choice.)
I was...well, surprised and pleased! These aren't BAD food choices...in fact, dare I say it, these are pretty healthy choices. Probably around 500-600 calories or so, maybe a little more fat than I would choose, but these are kids...after lunch is recess so they're likely to run a lot of this off in a few minutes. So for those Americans that are afraid all our school lunches are going to hell...well, maybe they're really not. Maybe, just maybe, your child's school is making healthy decisions like mine. And if you're worried that your child's school doesn't "have the money" to make healthier choices, please note that I live in a rural area. Our school is likely one of the most underfunded schools here in WV and, still, healthy decisions are being made! So don't lose heart, Americans. Certainly check up on your child's school to see what they are doing to keep your kids healthy, but don't assume it's all bad...
On a side note...I ate a ton last night for dinner. No, seriously, I was so hungry I ate 4 whole ears of corn! I was so scared and afraid to put this in my nutrition chart because, well, because I had failed. I ate lunch too soon after breakfast because I wasn't on my schedule. I had a small treat after dinner. And within an hour I went back and had a little more food because I was still hungry. I even had a Wendy's Jr. Bacon yesterday! It was a busy day, and I didn't really feel overly guilty about my choices, because life just happens sometimes.
I did it anyways. I put it in the tracker. All of it. And you know what? I was within my ranges on everything (and still under on carbs...WTF, dude?!). Not to mention the fact that I burned like 1,000 calories yesterday spending almost an hour rototilling the garden and then spending another 2 planting my veggies and herbs. The scale says I'm down 2 pounds again...but I'll wait until official weigh in tomorrow to really accept it. Until then, I'm going to try to be a good girl all day. I'm going to continue to make those healthy choices. And I'm going to figure out some kind of exercise to do today through the spurts of on again, off again rain.
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