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SHRINKING_SARA's Recent Blog Entries

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Thursday, August 09, 2012

I'm back to experimenting with protein powders. I have a bunch of Biochem Whey protein powder -- it kind of tastes like cream of wheat to me. But with my dairy intolerance -- and a slow brain that forgot whey WAS dairy -- I have been trying out new protein powders. So far I've been liking Spiru-tein -- a soy/plant based protein powder. This is what I made after I got home from work:

Aria Chocolate Protein Powder (2 scoops)
Silk, Light Vanilla Soymilk, 1 cup
PB2 - Original, 1 tbsp
Banana, fresh, 1 small --frozen
SNACK TOTALS: Calrories =269, carbs = 36, fat = 4, protein = 24
Total ounces when made ~16oz

Not bad... and tasty! I might add in another tbsp of PB2 powder next time to get a more peanuty taste. I use my Jimmy Buffet Margarita maker to make all of my smoothies, so I also add in about a cup of shaved ice and froth it up. Yum!

I forgot that Aria is half whey/half soy. I just saw the soy when I glanced at the label. Hopefully the whey won't upset my dairy allergy too much -- so I will probably substitute in Spirutein protein powder. I just didn't want to cough up $18 for a can at Natural Grocers. I can get it a little cheaper online.

I also tried a pea protein powder drink.... and then poured all $3.69 worth of it down the drain. I'm kind of glad I'm okay with the soy protein powder for Spiru-tein. Plus the banana helped cover up the protein taste (you know what I mean). All together -- I think I might start making these for breakfasts if I'm running late -- or a smaller version of this for post-cardio days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHRINKING_SARA 8/9/2012 9:29PM

    Ha--LDRICHEL is the reason I made this one. It was GOOD.

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LEB0401 8/9/2012 8:43PM

    Man.. you and LDRICHEL are really making me want to start making smoothies! In fact I think I'll try one out right now.. :)

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1 year with Spark

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Unfortunately on my 1 year anniversary with Spark, the phrase above I had to repeat over and over.

I got bad news at work today regarding an experiment. I should say, regarding a $50,000 experiment. So... bad. As in "don't have a panic attack and stuff your face bad." Then I thought I came up with somewhat of a solution, handled it the best I could, and then thought that I deserved some fro-yo.

Basically I did my job, so I deserve fro-yo? Nooo. I can have fro-yo if I want it, I don't deserve it, I want it. Two separate things. Then I had a mild anxiety attack over graduating and not being able to get a job I want, and the whole downward spiral... and I just knew that I needed to drive straight home. Do not stop. Do not go into a grocery store (I was going to get protein powder), just get home ASAP.

McDonalds wouldn't help, I'd just feel even worse. Taco Bell -- bleh. Shakespeare's pizza... that was tempting, but luckily I had my windows down so my hair looked like a crazy person. So I made it home.

And then I threw my remaining vanilla soy protein powder in the blender with soy milk, water, strawberries, and cheesecake jello -- and made a MASSIVE, gigantic shake/almost soft-serve protein goodness. I still have half of it in the freezer if I crumble later on my calories. So I had a pretty bad dinner--protein shake, air popped popcorn, and golden grahams (what can I say, I'm weird today) -- but I'm still in my calorie range. Oh and a 200 calorie taco salad, almost forgot about that (haha--200 calories for my taco salad vs. 1800 for one from Taco Bell -- I think I made the right decision).

Then I went on reddit. Reddit is a black hole that sucks my time. Thank you ex for sucking me into that world. Well one thing they have on Reddit is -- I like seeing people's progress, but then I kept thinking -- well I've done more than that. I've lost more than that person, and that one, and that one... and everyone is cheerleading them. Why am I in a bad mood today? Its strange how your brain can drag you to a dark place.

I just need to remember where I came from. I joined Spark a year ago to get the kind of support that I needed to keep going -- and thanks everyone, you've done just that. I think being able to get out the negative, cheer the positive, and show the progress has been beneficial to me.

I haven't made any of my goals for this year really... and that sucks, but I'm okay with it. I thought I'd be at my goal weight by now. Spark told me I could reach my goal weight... and I didn't. Why? I dunno. I'm working on that right now. But what have I done in a year with Spark?

1) I lost 47# this year. That is fantastic! I am so much better off at 179 than I was at 226. emoticon

2) I was ushered into ONEderland. It's awesome. I'm NEVER leaving. emoticon

3) I gained confidence in myself and my journey. When I joined I was afraid to post. Afraid to friend people *what if they thought I was annoying?! or boring!? -- no one here is! I'd say 99% of the people you friend on Spark will add you back. Its the greatest sense of community here.

4) I'm proud of my struggle. I'm more open to everyone about where I've come from. I've even told people, out loud, in public, that I've lost almost 100#. As I read from another person who lost a lot of weight -- admitting it out loud is almost shameful, because you're admitting how bad you were... but what I've come to realize is that people focus on the positive in your statement and not the negative. I have fit friends tell me that I've inspired them to workout. Me? Inspiring them? Really? Yes.

5) Everyone has bad days. It's how you cope and manage and move on that will determine your progress. I think I've finally figured out how to recognize my negative days and to either mitigate the damage, or work through it and not let one day ruin my goals.

6) I lost 34.4% of the old me. I am literally 63.6% of the person I used to be. That's HUGE -- well not huge anymore! I was looking at stats -- that's more than most of the contestants on the biggest loser ever lose. I need to quit my whining and drop and give me 2000 crunches (that's the plan anyway for later)

7) I apparently like to blog it out. Writing it down seems to help me with the stress and the joy that comes with this journey. So I'm going to keep doing it ;-)

8) Our bodies are more complicated that we can even imagine. I'm a biochemist and I can't seem to figure out my own biochemistry right now. Its complex, its going to take time, and I guess I'm running my most important experiment right now -- on myself. Eventually I'll figure it out, and get off this plateau, but until then I'm going to keep pushing.

9) For me - trackers aren't optional. If I don't track my food on Spark, I usually go over my calories every single day. I also don't feel bad when I go over my calories when I don't track. For some reason if I don't see the number in black and white, my brain can convince me that "it's not that bad." Well "it's not that bad" turned into huge upswings in my weight -- so now... I track.

10) I feel great after a workout. No one ends a really rough, tough workout and says, Oh I shouldn't have done that. Now I love tracking my fitness minutes and getting 1000 a month. I can tell you I wasn't doing that much a year ago. My fitness level has increased SO much. I'm even delaying my surgery a few weeks so I can run/walk my first 5k. I am looking forward to publicly doing a 5k.

Who am I?

Someone who made the decision to join Spark a year ago... and someone who thinks that was probably the best decision for my continued weight loss that I could have possibly made.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JMARIES51 8/12/2012 12:23PM

    You are doing awesome and this blog just proves it! Here's to another year at Spark and hopefully I will be able to celebrate that one with you too!

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BRADMILL2922 8/9/2012 2:21PM

    Congrats on the 1 year and the weight loss so far! emoticon

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RACHELRUNS26 8/9/2012 9:28AM

    Congrats on your success over the past year!

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SKAHONEY4U 8/9/2012 12:50AM

    that's too bad about your 50k experiment (what was it anyway!)! I get angry when a western blot doesn't work (expensive but no where near 50k! more mad about the time spent and GOLDEN tissue samples wasted)!! Currently trying to get tunel staining to work to no avail!! I am also having panic attacks about graduating. I'm a "6th year" now....I had hoped to be done by October but NOPE!! Now it is December (our lab manager wrote me OUT of the budget after Dec LOLOLOL no pressure!)! My mice didn't get it on fast enough so it took long to get the babies going, and nothing I ever do on the bench ever works! UGH!!

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    emoticon Nice work!!

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KATHUGGS 8/8/2012 9:13PM

    emoticonHappy Sparkversary!! emoticon

I'm the same way about tracking. It's almost like it didn't really happen if I don't track it.

Congrats on all your success!! emoticon

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FITWITHIN 8/8/2012 8:40PM

    emoticonon all that you have accomplished in 1 year. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/8/2012 8:41:23 PM

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Random photos... the real size of a cereal bowl

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I have some random pictures to share. One is of my new cereal bowl. I've started eating organic golden grahams knock offs with soy milk as a post workout recovery, or a quick breakfast in the morning.

I have my old cereal bowl (which let's be honest, I would fill up) next to my new cereal bowl. It's a 1 cup bowl from measure up bowls ( ). I found these bowls through a GMA steals and deals segment, and bought 2. The larger bowl has lines at 0.5 cup, 1 cup, and 1.5 cups -- the smaller one is 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, and 3/4 cup -- which incidentally is the serving size of my cereal. So 3/4 cup cereal filled to the line on the inside of the bowl -- 1/2 cup soy milk to the line -- viola done -- 150 calories.

A serving just doesn't look as sad in the small bowl -- and we eat with our eyes as this site often tells us. Plus using this forces me to be conscious about my portions. I'm not eyeballing it. I'm not guessing two portions when the larger bowl probably held 3...

My Aldi's ran out of center cut bacon *die* It was 25 calories a slice for real bacon! The turkey bacon I bought is 30 calories a slice and it tastes like... well... rubber turkey bacon dog treats. So I switched up my breakfasts and started eating oatmeal with fresh berries.

I'm not meeting my protein goals as much as I should be, so I might opt to make a protein shake or two this week. I've been keeping up with LDRICHEL's protein blogs the past few days and just picked up some cheesecake jello pudding mix to whip up a strawberry cheesecake shake for breakfast tomorrow. haha, I wonder if Spark monitors blogs and food trackers to see if there's been a strong uptick in the addition of cheesecake jello and zucchini this week ;-)

And now a random picture since I did put it in the title... My pom's haircut is growing out. She either a) looks like a sloth or b) looks like me after a good workout

And now my dilemma. I'm currently 20 days away from surgery. I've told some people. Not everyone... since it technically is plastic surgery. I'll post before and after photos on here of my arms. But I don't really want to post them on FB for the whole world. I've thought about creating a Facebook page to show off that kind of stuff and be all positive and post motivational stuff... but I'm kind of a chicken. But then again, I really do want to post fun photos like this on there:

So for now, I started a Tumblr:

That was yesterday. I'm trying to get moving more. I had a caffeinated tea yesterday morning, and had a ton of energy to keep going. I'm essentially caffeine free, so maybe it was just a crazy buzz. Today I feel like a freight train hit my face. Even my undereyes were puffy today. Add to that my quads still haven't recovered from whatever the heck I did to them on Sunday and I just don't feel like moving.

But I am. I am going to get up off this computer chair, throw on "Let's Kill Hilter" a really fun Doctor Who episode, and get moving.

(and I'm completely ignoring the fact that my scale once again said 180.4 even with a 1200+ calorie deficit yesterday, 1000+ calorie deficit the day before, and a 1200+ calorie deficit the day before that. I'm going to assume its broken. Well, unless it magically weighs me in the 170s tomorrow)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Those bowls look pretty awesome... might have to get me some of those!!

Your dog is SO cute and fluffy!!!!

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TRAVELGRRL 8/8/2012 6:54PM

    Sounds like you're doing everything right...just stay the course! I bet you'll lose a few pounds after surgery as a result of not feeling very well for a few days!

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SHRINKING_SARA 8/8/2012 6:39PM

    I've been eating on the upper end of my range for that reason... and sometimes going over a bit -- so I think I'm eating enough. I'm just confused by it all right now. Thought the plateau was over, but apparently its not...

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TRAVELGRRL 8/8/2012 2:38PM

    Could it be you are eating too little? I know when I keep eating 1100 calories even when working out like a maniac, I don't lose. When I start eating 1500, it drops.

I gave up turkey bacon too. It's worth the extra calories to get something that um, tastes like bacon!

Your oats & berries look awesome, and cute pup, too!

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    Cereal looks much better in the smaller bowl! I've been hearing a lot about the serving size bowls lately, might have to break down and get a couple!

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RACHELRUNS26 8/8/2012 10:12AM

    I love Aldi's center cut bacon!! Their turkey bacon is not bad for turkey bacon, but it's just not the same as the real thing. This time of year when berries are still in season, I have been eating raw oats with greek yogurt and berries and a little milk for breakfast every morning. Love my berries and oats!

Also, Dr. Who is awesome and you have a very cute pom. :)

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    I agree that your doggy looks like a sloth, but so adorable!

And awesome job on the 10k distance!

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Better end to a day that started off annoying.

Monday, August 06, 2012

SO I blogged this morning at how annoyed I was with the scale. I seriously wanted to throw it (well not really, it was expensive) but I felt blindsided by the weigh-in.

I stayed home today to edit other people's work from my lab. Also, I'm trying to avoid my labmate from hell. She should be receiving the news this week that she isn't going to pass quals. Needless to say, and I'm not joking, we're hoping she doesn't take this as badly as the guy in Aurora did. So I stayed home.

It hit like 3PM, I was goofing off, Sparking, not really working. So I decided to get off my butt, put on some scary Doctor Who episodes (aka-adrenaline inducing), and walk it off. For some reason I'm really tight from Saturday and Sunday. My leg muscles are stiff. I think the squats from weed pulling tightened up my quads a lot. So I didn't go that fast. . . but I went 10k. 6.2+extra miles. It wasn't fast at an hour and 52 minutes, but I did it. Haha, and I found out my treadmill turns off after awhile if you keep going at the same pace without changing for too long. I sweat a ton, and I feel better. I'm going to do some pilates moves to loosen up my leg muscles and then call it a day.

Oh and everyone try out the zucchini pasta they're pushing on the blog. Its good. I used to not like zucchini, even when my mom pan fried it with corn meal and parmesean cheese... I didn't like it. But now my silly adult tastebuds like it. I mixed high fiber pasta with the zucchini after I cooked the pasta + meat sauce = delicious. I used a vegetable peeler to make long strips of it, and the hot pasta and hot sauce cooked the zucchini just enough. I now have 2 more serving in the fridge for later this week, and I'm looking forward to them. Mmm.

And now my favorite quote from Legally Blond: Elle: I just don't think that Brooke could've done this. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't. (no husband... just happy endorphins)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINKSMOM1 8/7/2012 8:22AM

    funny how our "adult" taste buds change huh? I couldnt stand avacado's growing up, even though I lived in Cali, where you can get some of the best I live in MO...avacados are so-so, and I love em...hmmmm...oh well. Anyway, recipe sounds yummy, love zucchini, so I'm always ready to throw it into something new! Way to get in some exercise...hope your labmate stays stable... emoticon Have a good rest of the week!

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SKAHONEY4U 8/7/2012 2:08AM

    I can't believe people don't pass quals! My program has never failed anyone on the comps!!

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SERENEART 8/6/2012 9:11PM

    I love the legally blonde quote! I need me some more endorphins!

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MYOWNHERO 8/6/2012 9:08PM

    LOL..."happy people don't shoot their husbands"

Let us know how your lab mate handles it. Maybe she'll surprise you (in a good way, not the postal way).

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DYSMITH0365 8/6/2012 9:03PM

    Hey Sara. I am definitely going to try the pasta recipe. I already printed it out for later. It sounds like you are staying on target with the exercise. Sometimes I let the stiffness and the minor pain get to me and skip the exercise the next day. You are motivating me to keep on track so I can reach my goals...Thanks!

Dawn emoticon

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*grumble, grumble* throws scale...

Monday, August 06, 2012

I think my Monday weigh-ins might be doomed. My evil enemy, and former bestie of last week went back to that stupid number 180.4. Its a very specific number that keeps popping up. I think my digital scale must have a glitch that it weighs me at that very specific number far too often.

I was optimistic this morning. I ate in my calorie ranges, worked out, did everything I was supposed to... and... nope. My small victory of being in the 170s disappeared. I'm going to blame this on the fact that somehow I ate 57 grams of fiber yesterday (wtf?) -- so maybe a good treadmill workout tonight will make tomorrow's weigh-in better.

I am literally so sore from this weekend. This is what I did:
cleaned my room, top to bottom, organized my dresser, cleaned out my closet, organized my jewelry, vacuumed the whole house, steam cleaned the carpets and mopped the floors, cleaned both bathrooms, cleaned out under the cabinet of my bathroom sink, cleaned out my dining room, cleaned my kitchen (twice), unpacked my juicer and used it, went through all of my mail, pulled weeds in my front yard, mowed the front yard and half of the backyard, went grocery shopping, washed and blow dried my dogs, did four loads of laundry, and fit in a strength training workout and pilates.

So yea. I was busy. My armband guestimated 2600 calories burned on Saturday and 2500 burned on Sunday... Right now, I'm annoyed.

I know it will probably be better tomorrow -- but I wanted to just throw a hissy fit when I saw 180.4 again...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Good grief chica! How much will you charge to come clean my 1 bedroom apartment?! I bet you are sore!

Have you thought about changing your weigh-in day to maybe Wednesday instead of Monday? That always worked better for me, I put way too much stress on myself over the weekend and dreaded Mondays!

Keep up the great work, you'll be back in the 170's before you know it!


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