Weigh in – January 15th, 2012

This post is a bit overdue because of weird computer problems I was dealing with. They seem to have resolved now though so I get to tell you (all 3 of you) that I had an astounding WI last Sunday! I dropped a whopping 4.4 in one week making up for last week’s small gain. I am now officially down to 194.8. I was completely shocked when I stepped on the scale, as I was expecting a modest 197-198 result. Now, that being said – I will be paying for it this week! Most likely I will maintain or have a small gain. I already know my body weight has rebounded back up to around 197 because I am a scale peeker. Don’t kill me! I cant help it.

Scale peeking seems to have two sides. Those who think it’s ok, and those who do not.

I am typically right on the fence between both camps. Sometimes peeking is a good thing, such as if your up a bit and it motivates you rather than frustrates you. If you look at the scale midweek and it is up a bit, and because of that you throw in the towel and use it as an excuse to eat like shit for the rest of the week – well, maybe you shouldn’t be a scale peeker. I say I am on the fence because sometimes it motivates me, and sometimes it frustrates me. Ah, the love/hate relationship personified. I fully believe it is possible to feel love and hate both for an inanimate object, especially when that object has such sway over your emotions.

So this week, I peeked. And I’m back up a little bit. But it’s ok.

That’s right, read it again.

It

is

OK.

It’s ok for a couple reasons, one of which of course happens to be that I had an awesome loss last week. So I expect my body to rebound a bit and pull up on the scale this week. Not to mention that loss made me feel good about the whole week no matter what fluctuations I see. My best bet is just to try and limit salt, drink a ton of water and eat lots of veggies and fruit. For dinner I am making baked chicken, roasted broccoli and cauliflower and 9493221 gallons of water.

Hopefully in 2 days time I will still see that 194 number on the scale, or hell if I am lucky it might be less.

One thing that is irking me though is exercise. I lose so slowly if I exercise! Why!? I know I am going to retain water from muscle repair, and I know that I might be getting smaller even though the scale doesn’t change as much, but I wanna see that number go down damn it! I know I sound like a petulant child right about now, but c’mon! The week I gained 0.2 was the week I exercised the most. I didn’t exercise at ALL the following week and voila, -4.4.

It’s coincidence I get it. It still kind of crappy when classical conditioning would teach you that exercise = gain, and non exercise = loss. Oh well, whiny bitching rant over now. I know I need to stick with the exercise, this is fact.

Speaking of exercise, I got Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred for Xmas. (I picked it out – don’t worry it wasn’t a hint from a rude relative!)

I popped in the DVD the other day just to see what I was getting into. The video makes that Kettlebell class I went to look like a joke. I am going to give it a try sometime this weekend, but I see a lot of cussing and crying in my future. Great.

Just great.

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Do we ever really deserve a gain?

After a killer week last week, this week I had a small gain at WI this morning. I am officially up 0.2lbs. Not too bad.

I have a pretty good idea why I am up this week as opposed to down like I should be. Although I ate within my points, worked out 3 times this week and ate less convenience foods, there are still things that clue me in on the gain.

1. I did a kettlebell class on Friday and I am still incredibly sore. I am positive that I am retaining water for my poor muscles.

2. I had an excellent loss last week, and usually after a big loss I tend to maintain, gain a tiny amount or lose a tiny amount. Generally, I have a catch-up week so to speak.

3. I ate a huge, delicious dinner last night. And had seconds because I could. (more on last nights dinner below)

So I’m not terribly surprised overall. I know I am still moving forward, I am still counting my points and calories, and I plan on going back to that Kettlebell class, even though I think that’s borderline suicidal.

Speaking of Kettlebells, did you know they were invented by Satan? And he sent his minions to earth to teach the classes. Ok, ok.. I know that’s not true, but it could be! Certainly feels like it.

No, I’m not bitter or anything.

I’m really not. I love the feeling of sore muscles, I just don’t appreciate walking around like a pirate on two peg-legs.

“Arrr, matey. Bring me my Kettlebell ya’ scallywag!”

The class itself was fun, challenging, and embarrassing. Gotta love watching my chubby, uncoordinated self behind the stick-thin instructor in the floor to ceiling mirrors. Oh yes, that was just the bonus. I was out of it at first, having only attended 1 group workout class in my entire life. Hello, how do you think I got to be 240+ pounds? I eventually got into the groove and followed along as best I could. Minor tip though, if you’re planning on attending a fitness class.. BRING WATER.

Where was my water? Sitting at home on the table by the door, thank you very much.

So the class is going on and the doors are closed, and there maybe 6 people in this giant room. I felt like if I snuck out the door to get a drink at the fountain, everyone would stare at me and think I was quitting! I know that’s stupid, but it’s amazing the things my self-conscious brain cooks up. So I waited it out.

One water break. “This isn’t too bad. I can get through 35 more minutes.”

Two water breaks. “Ok, I’m getting a little thirsty, is there a drinking fountain out there?”

Three water breaks. “OMG I’m dying! My legs feel like they are going to go out from under me! MUST. GET. WATER.”

At this point I had to put the kettlebell down and march in place or try to half-ass follow the moves they were doing, but I was completely spent. By the time she called the last water break before we wound things down, I was so desperate for hydration I booked it to the door, naysayers be damned. I pushed on one of the double doors and it didn’t budge.

And for a second, though I am ashamed to admit it, I actually had the thought fleet through my head, “OH MY GOD SHE LOCKED US IN!”.

Then I tried the other door, you know – the one that was unlocked. Looking around frantically for a water fountain before hitting paydirt. I gulped down water like nobodies business. It was the best fucking water I have ever drunk in my entire life. So after consuming mass quantities of H2O, I slinked back into the room (using the correct door might I add). We finished the workout on a good note, doing an arm exercise on the floor I was actually able to do. I was so relieved to be done. I shambled home, proud of what I was actually able to do, and vowing to keep going back so that eventually I don’t make a fool of myself. It still wasn’t as bad as the time I set off the emergency exit alarm at my previous gym. Who knows? Maybe next time I’ll remember my damn water bottle.

Saturday I woke up and I could barely move. But it’s that sort of secret triumph, like “I may be walking around like a pirate, but I got off my ass and exercised!” I decided to treat myself to a homemade dinner, and ended up making my favorite dish of all time. Anythingwithbuffalosauceinityummmmm.I basically made baked potato wedges, saucy buffalo chicken based off of that uber delicious Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe that’s going around right now, and green beans. I would have made something more delicious than green beans from a can, but I didn’t have any fresh veggies and I needed something green. Viola. Green beans. I’ll share my recipes with you, if you like buffalo chicken, you’re in for a treat!

 

Saucy Buffalo Chicken Dip Style Chicken Deliciousness

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Coat a pan with cooking spray and cook chicken until almost completely done. Start at a med-high heat to brown it nicely on the outside. Season it to your taste. I use a little bit of garlic pepper, dill and a buffalo seasoning.

 

 

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This would be delicious naked, as it is!

While your chicken is a-cookin’ whip up some sauce by mixing the following ingredients in a small bowl:

1/4 cup fat free ranch dressing

1/4 cup buffalo sauce (use less if you like less heat)

2 Tbsp light cream cheese

Stir it up well, breaking apart the cream cheese as well as you can. It’s ok if there are still some small globs of cream cheese in the mix, they will melt once you add the sauce to the chicken.

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The secret ingredient in this recipe is good old full-fat butta’. You only use a small amount though, and just for flavor towards the end of the cooking, so don’t worry!

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Yeah folks, it's real. Bringing out the big guns.

Once your chicken is pretty much cooked through, lower the heat to low and add 1 teaspoon of butter to the pan. Let it melt and swirl the chicken in the butter, making sure all the chicken gets coated.

 

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Mmm, butter.

Once most of the heat in the pan is dissipated, and the chicken is looking pretty good it it’s butter bath, stir in the sauce. Let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes on low heat, until the chicken picks up the sauce and coats it nicely, and all the cream cheese blobs melt. The sauce will thicken a little bit, but it’s pretty thick to start. It’s done when the chicken is cooked through, the sauce is nice and thick, and there are no more obvious cream cheese blobs in the sauce.

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Saucy and spicy. Just like I like it!

Baked Potato Wedges

 

There’s a local pizza place where I live called Kraus’ Pizza. Kraus’ makes the BEST pizza, chicken and jo-jo’s in Ohio, if not the world. My family grew up on Kraus’ food, which probably explains why we are all heavy. One of my favorite foods on the planet are jo-jo’s. If you don’t know what a jo-jo is, it’s a giant potato, wedged, lightly breaded and fried in a pressure cooker until it is crunchy and delicious. They are also a food I miss since starting this journey. So I came up with a substitute. Now, my potato wedges are far from those greasy, crunchy, delicious jo-jo’s. But, they still do the job. Frankly, when it comes to potatoes, I find any potato prepared any number of ways is delicious. They are my favorite food.

So let’s get started shall we?

First off, heat up your oven to about 450 degrees.

Then take 2 medium potatoes, and cut them into wedges. Rinse them off first!

Plop em’ into a ziplock bag and pour in 2 tsp of olive oil. Add seasonings to your taste. I added garlic pepper, lots of dill, and salt & pepper.

Seal the bag and give it a good shake. Dancing around like a lunatic while you shake the “tater bag” is mandatory.

Get them nice and coated in the oil and spices and the dump them onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Soon to be delicious!

Baked at 450 degrees for about 40-50 minutes, the potatoes come out crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside and so, so damn good. You can adjust the time you bake them depending on if you want them more crispy or not. If you put them skins down just make sure you stir them around on the pan about half-way through. If you put them on their sides, then flip them hlaf-way through so both sides get nice and crispy.

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Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Perfect potatoes!

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So then you put it all together and nosh in heaven. I don’t put anything on my taters except a drizzle of low-cal buttery stuff, no sense in ruining these little darlings with ketchup! I apologize if the pics weren’t great, I had to take them with my phone, as opposed to my nice pro camera, since it won’t work without a memory card, and I left it at work over the weekend – oops! I have given an estimate of the points values below if anyone is following Weight Watchers. This is just an estimate for what I cooked, if you try the recipes, make sure you plug in your ingredients and double check the points for yourself!

Baked Potato Wedges

Serving: 1 whole potato

PointsPlus Value: 5

Saucy Buffalo Chicken

Serving: 2-3 tenderloins or 4-6 oz (I like larger portions of protein such as chicken)

PointsPlus Value: 3 PP per 2oz, or per tenderloin.

 

 

Eat. Real. Food.

One thing that I have learned in the time I’ve been working on losing weight is that if you eat real food as opposed to packaged convenience foods, you will be more satisfied. So why, oh why is it SO hard?? Why is it that almost every time I eat, I choose to stand in front of the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes rather than throwing together something better in just 10?

Took all of 10 minutes to whip together.

 

Maybe part of it is that while I can cook decently, I don’t have a super repertoire of recipes. I try looking up recipes online, but I always seem to be missing one or two ingredients. When I go to the store, I find myself staring at Lean Cuisines and Smart Ones, rather than picking up the necessary items to try out a new recipe. Maybe it’s temptation, marketing, being able to have something as a guilty pleasure? Who knows? I know a lot of the time for me it’s control. If I heat up a Lean Cuisine, or I have a 100 calorie pack of fudge stripes, then someone else is doing the portion control for me. I can’t nab an extra cookie out of the pack when I get a “serving”. True, I could just eat another 100 calorie pack, but the thing is I will track the whole extra pack. If it’s an extra cookie, or extra bite of chicken, or extra bit of pasta here and there – those often get lumped into what I was having and never get counted. Yeah – I’m a cheater like that. Don’t even tell me you’ve never done it! I think everyone is guilty of it from time to time. It’s gonna happen, we are human. So these foods come in their nice little prepackaged servings, and they help me not to cheat, but at what cost? All the chemicals, sodium, and artificial sweeteners are probably wreaking havoc on my body.

So as part of my on-going efforts to eat better and lose weight I MUST start eating more real foods. Whole foods, veggies, protein, grains. Not only is the stuff cheaper than the convenience foods, it’s a hell of a lot better for you. Have you ever looked at a nutrition label or ingredient list on a Lean Cuisine? Sodium out the wazoo, for starters. You may not be sensitive to sodium, but I am. I can eat salt, and I usually cook with it or add it to my food, but if I start eating more than a couple very high sodium meals in a week I blow up like a balloon. Part of what got me really motivated to lose weight and eat healthier was the fact that my ankles and feet were constantly swollen up to twice the normal size by the end of the day. While my ankles were normal in the mornings, I got to deal with idiopathic periocular edema. Which is a fancy way of saying swelling around my eyes from laying horizontally all night and letting the fluid pool into my eyelids. So about the time my eyes were coming down, my lower legs were puffing up. I work in a job where I am on my feet for 12 hours a day. Needless to say – it’s not fun. So I am happy to report that within 2 weeks of starting WeightWatchers, all my swelling disappeared completely.

So I know that I am sensitive to sodium, and that I have to be careful because even now while I am eating MUCH healthier than before, if I eat a frozen dinner 5 nights in a row, you bet your ass my eyes will be swollen on the 6th. I still eat the crap though. It’s still healthier and less sodium than a Wendy’s Value Meal, I get that. But the key is moderation.

So I have made it a goal of mine to cook more real food. This morning, that meant making a homemade scramble for breakfast,

rather than heating up the Jimmy Dean’s Breakfast Bowl I had tucked away in the freezer.

Know what? I got twice as much food, it tasted a hell of a lot better, and I got 3 times the amount of vegetables for about the same amount of calories. I knocked out all 5 of my daily fruit/veggie servings with one meal, and it was delicious!

Throw in a fresh pink grapefruit with some Splenda sprinkled on top, and a glass of fresh iced green tea courtesy of my Keurig and you have a VERY filling and satisfying meal. As those of you who do Weight Watchers may know, you have to meet your Good Health Guidelines, and with this one meal, I checked off a whole lot of mine. Not to mention the fact that I will be satisfied well into lunch time instead of still hungry like I would have been had I chose the alternative.

I’m not saying that in a pinch the frozen meals aren’t a godsend. They still are to me. On mornings when I slept late and I need to nosh something fast before work they are perfect. I can take them to work with me and even heat them up there. But I think it’s important to make an effort to get my lazy ass out of bed early enough to make something decent. I am not going to turn into a health nut overnight or anything, I could never be vegan or eat only raw foods or anything like that. I wish I could but 1. I like steak too damn much and 2. I’d like my food cooked, with other crap to make it taste even better prease, kthx. That said though, even I know that eating so many chemicals isn’t good for your body. I like to think I will achieve a happy medium, a nice balance where real food and convenience food is consumed with moderation and a mind towards healthful eating.

Someday anyway… now, where are those 100 calorie pack fudge stripes I bought…

Getting up early sucks.

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Post-workout, at 6:55am.

I am not a morning person, in fact it wouldn’t be far off base to say that morning and I are mortal enemies.

Why did I find myself awake at 5:30am then?

1. Because I need to make big changes that last.

2. Because I need to take myself out of my comfort zone.

3. Because I like torture, apparently.

Ok, it wasn’t exactly torture. But getting up early to exercise before work isn’t exactly on my list of fun, but its on my list of “needs to get done”. I am making it a priority, one that I hope will turn into a habit and stick around for a very long time.

Call it a resolution if you want, but its just another decision that needed to be made. Getting shit done when you don’t feel like doing it always,

always,

leads to positive feelings about yourself. I will give myself every opportunity I can to feel good about myself, its not exactly a familiar feeling.

What are you doing to get out of your comfort zone? What did you get done this week that you didn’t feel like doing?

Weigh In – January 1st, 2012

So today is my official Weigh In day, or if your cool and savvy you can abbrev it into just “WI”.

So remember how I said I ate like a pig over Christmas and paid for it? I wasn’t blowing smoke up your ass. I didn’t just gain 0.8 pounds and freak out cos I was in the 200’s.

I gained almost 6.

I know, I know – that’s a lot of cookies right there..

and fudge

and cheesy potato casserole.

So, I went from being 199.8 before Christmas, to a hefty 205.4. Ouch! But, as I said I got back to work immediately. The monday after the holiday I got right back on track, it wasn’t easy. I used every single one of my flex points this week, and all but one of the activity points I earned. I was used to eating massive quantities of whatever the hell I wanted. That wasn’t gonna fly though.

A strange thing occurred about 3/4 of the way through the week, I started feeling strong about my choices again, I had slowly gained back control. A little before Christmas I was feeling blah about Weight Watchers. Not quite bored, mind you – just blah. I felt like I couldn’t control my appetite and I had no willpower – which is something I usually have in spades.

Maybe the trick when your feeling like that is to cut loose for a predetermined amount of time. (the holidays were perfect for me) Once you’ve gotten it out of your system, you kick yourself in the ass and get back with the program. This won’t work for everyone. Hell, a year ago it wouldn’t have worked for me. I would have just kept right on going, eating myself to death through 2012.

You have to be strong for this to work. You have to tell yourself under NO circumstances will you be allowed to not track, or eat shitty food. It’s not an option.

And you know what? By about the 3rd or 4th day…

Something really cool happens.

You start to feel empowered. You get that wind back in your sails, and you feel completely in control.

And now I am back to being totally gung ho about this lifestyle change. I needed that break, but I needed the feeling of empowerment that comes with ending the break as well.

So, what did the scale say you ask?

-6.4 pounds.

Yeah, that’s right. 199 on the nose. Hell yeah!

Back in Onederland, back over 40 pounds lost (43 to be exact), back in control. Not only did I drop the extra weight I packed back on over Christmas, but I lost an additional 0.8. Hell to the yes!

So what now? Now I am going to enjoy my New Years Day, and stuff my fat face with an appropriate amount of delicious pork and sour kraut, and mashed potatoes. Because I’m cool like that.

New year, new me.. but I got an early start

So… this is my blog.

My very own blog, I feel so grown up. Truth is… I’m not. True, I am 6 months away from being 30 years old, but that doesn’t mean I have to act like it, right? Right!? I hope not anyway!

Let’s get on with it though, shall we? My name is Tiffany as you may already know, and I am a 29 (and a half!) year old fat ass from Ohio. I am quintessential heartland, born and bred. I have been heavy nearly my entire life. I was fairly normal growing up until I was about 10 or 11 and my parents divorced. I got to stay with my dad after school and he never cared what I ate, or that I drank almost an entire 6 pack of coke in a mere 6 hours. We made cherry cheesecake, and hamburger helper, and yes I would like a 3rd helping of bread and butter, thanks pop. It was heaven.

I remained heavy through my high school years, and was the target of some typical bullying. My shy nature and total lack of self-confidence didn’t help either. The weight only compounded it, and to this day I am a huge introvert. I threw myself into books and movies like most high-school girls throw themselves at boys. To this day I am a social retard.

The only time I was ever close to thin was 8 years ago when I tried Weight Watchers and lost almost 50 pounds. This is me then:

Yeah I know it’s a crappy, tiny picture. It’s all I have. If there’s one thing I learned from that experience it is this: TAKE MORE PICTURES WHEN YOU ARE WHAT PASSES FOR SKINNY!!!

#&@%@! I wish I had more photos from that time period! I certainly don’t have any of my fat ass right now. Ok well I do, I lied. But, as a tactic fat girls everywhere employs, it’s only a headshot.

You can’t see the rest of me, but I’m being honest here, there’s some serious chub!

About 5 months ago I had gotten to the point where everything was a chore. Getting up and down, walking up steps, doing my job – my JOB people! I had had enough!! I decided to do Weight Watchers for the 324892334342546899th time and this time would be the LAST time, dammit.

Turns out I was right. Something is different about this go around. I hear that and have said it myself before, but this time it’s true. I have lost about 42 pounds to date, having started this journey at 242 fat-crammed pounds. I am only five feet tall here folks, 242 isn’t pretty on anyone.. but can you imagine being as short as I am and that big? Yeah, it’s atrocious!

So, being proud as I am that I have lost 42 pounds, I cannot help but feel that twinge of regret. See, the last time I had lost 40-some odd pounds, I was fitting into some pretty sweet-looking size 8 jeans. I even found an entry I made in LiveJournal (blogging before it was called blogging), when I had reached that milestone:

“On another note, I had a great WI this week. Lost .4 and although it isn’t alot I lost just enough to hit my 40 pound goal!! YAY!!! Then, I went to Old Navy and bought a pair of size 8 (!!!!) jean shorts!! I have never been in single digits so this is a major development for me.”

What size am I now after losing 42 pounds again?

20. Ugh.

So that tells you, dear reader.. that when I lost 50 pounds then inevitably stopped doing Weight Watchers, I not only gained back all the weight I had lost, but I tacked on an additional 60 pounds or so.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely proud of what I have accomplished since I’ve been “back on the wagon”. It does suck sometimes to think that if I had only kept going, or not gone SO hog wild stuffing my face when I stopped, that I could be in a very different place right now.

Nevertheless, I will move forward. Remember when I said something was different this time? I meant it. We just got through the holidays and I of course ate like a pig. It is the holidays afterall, I mean.. c’mon. Instead of saying, “Fuck it! I just undid a month’s worth of work, I’m going to Wendy’s!” I chose instead to say, “Ok, time to get back to work.”

THAT is what is different. That would have NEVER happened in the past. Ever. Trust me, I know this. So what I have found is that all this fluffy stuff people say about the fact that your diet isn’t ruined until you give up, and the quintessential quote: “If you fall halfway down a flight of stairs, would you get up and say oh well and throw yourself down the rest of them?”. It’s all true. I decide when I am done on this path, and trust me; I ain’t gonna be done until I am sliding a nice pair of size 4’s onto my short ass.

So stick with me, we can do it together. If you’re in a similar situation then feel free to follow my blog and comment the posts. I am doing this as much for others as I am for me. I want this to be an inspiration, or a common ground for those who are struggling with their weight. But, be warned.. there will be no whining on this car ride. So buckle up, it’s gonna be a long one.