Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 56 - Seeing Progress Everyday

I was sitting outside enjoying the afternoon when it occurred to me that I don't notice the cellulite dimples on the tops of my legs as much. Jason began to show me new muscles on his legs that he was quite impressed with. We began to have a conversation about what was so different this time. Both of us have tried to lose weight over the past 10 years with limited success. It always seemed so out of reach for us. Jason thinks it is because this is the first time we are exercising AND eating right. I think there are other reasons, limiting my cheating moments to once per week a huge reason. I used to be slave to my emotions: the worse the day, the worse I would eat.

Another bonus we have noticed is how relaxed we both are. I don't feel wound tight and ready to snap all the time. Unfortunately, this was a major problem in our marriage: my emotions. I would be tired, hungry, or sensitive for any reason and his head was quick to be bit off. I knew this was a problem and had been working on it for some time. Now it seems I don't get riled up at all. I also enjoy looking at myself in the mirror. For many years I stopped looking as it would depress me to see how badly I was aging. Now I am excited and ready to look in the mirror.

I have flat abs for the first time in my life. I never thought I would be blessed with this as I hate doing tons of ab work. The great thing is you don't have to, you just need to burn the fat off that is covering them! This diet has literally changed me inside and out. I have never been so happy in all my life.

Today was cardio and I had a nice strong session. It felt like I was pushing myself but not like it once was. I ended feeling exhausted but refreshed. A really nice way to start the day.

Tonight I made the best Rosemary Lamb Stew. It is super easy and delicious. I got it out of Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking on page 75. Basically, you get your pan super hot. Add olive oil. Use some cajun seasoning and rub it into the lamb meat. Sear sides for about 2 minutes. Add chopped onions,  potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, turnips and cook for a few minutes. Then add some stock (chicken or lamb), garlic, pepper, rosemary and some chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for a couple of hours. The recipe says 25 minutes, but it needs time to fully incorporate all the nice flavors. Seriously, you won't be disappointed. This was a nice light meal for us. My first time cooking with rutabagas, not bad. Turns out they are very similar to potatoes with much less carbs. Hello rutabaga French fries! Ha ha.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 55 - Four More Weeks To Go!

I wouldn't say the first 8 weeks went by fast, but I am glad we have made it this far. It has been a struggle at some points, but overall we are doing really well. I didn't lose any weight this last week (other than the cheat day weight) but I think I am at that point where too much more weight loss and I wouldn't be looking healthy. I love the changes so far. I can really see my shoulders and the definition in my arms - very impressive! I have never looked this way before and it feels really good. I wish my upper legs were in the same shape but I think it will take time. Jason and I have already decided not to stop the eating regimen but we do plan on incorporating back in the dairy and a little more fat. Nothing too crazy, but seriously, I MISS MY CHEESE!

Yesterday was a relatively tame cheat day for us. We had bacon, fried eggs and pancakes for breakfast. It was lovely spreading butter again. Yum. I got to use my first harvest of my kefir grains (pronounced ka fear). I have been growing them in milk for over a week. I was reading how it eats the lactose in milk and leaves tons of really healthy probiotics behind. It helps with the digestive system and in this family, we need all the help we can get. I replaced the milk in the pancake batter for kefir milk and you couldn't tell the difference. Jason ate it all up. Course, he has already said that is close as he intends to come to voluntarily consuming it. Ian and I had some with blueberries and a teaspoon of maple syrup. He ate it up. Nice, since when we tried it before he wasn't too fond of it plain.  
For lunch we had one and a half tamales. We were saving up for dinner where we ate an entire small Chicago style pizza. Yum. Highly recommend Zachary's in Tucson if you are looking for an awesome hole in the wall place to eat some great pizza. We had a great time. Too bad we had to drive an hour and a half to get there, but no worries, it was worth it.

Today I felt so groggy and sluggish and I attribute it to overload cheat day puts on our system. We have decided for the next four weeks we are going to take cheat days a little easy. Maybe eat more of the good stuff but not so much high fat, high sugar stuff. We will have some but not to the extent we are now. Jason wants to be able to eat whatever we want but cut down the portion sizes. I am good with trying that. We also decided to make Friday a day of light eating, similar to the Lent season. Jason was hearing from a co-worker that fasting is really good on the digestion system sometimes. I figure it was worth a try.
Life got in the way of our workout on Saturday and I got up too late to work out this morning. I am ready to get back into it tomorrow.

So all this past week I have been using recipes from a cookbook. Unfortunately, with the copyright laws, I can't share them directly on this blog. I thought of it yesterday that I could have at least shared what recipes and in what book, so I will start doing that from now on. Good news, I made another Carey Concoction today!
Rosemary Pork with Braised Jalapeno Cabbage

1 lb Pork Loin, ¼" thick sliced with Rosemary Garlic Spice Blend from Spice Islands sprinkled. Let sit for a bit in the fridge while the cabbage cooks.
1 head green cabbage, chopped

1 jar jalapenos
¼ cup onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ tsp mustard seeds

1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp Garlic Pepper

Heat large pot with 1 TBLS oil over medium high heat. Add mustard seeds and stir until they start to pop. Add onions, sauté for a bit, then add cabbage and garlic. Continue to stir for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock and the jar of jalapenos. Sprinkle garlic pepper over top, and reduce heat to low.
After about 30 minutes, heat a heavy pan with 1 tsp oil and when hot, add pork. Cook until done. While that cooked I made some roti bread. The cabbage most likely cooked for about 50 minutes when it was all said and done. It was prefect and not too limp and gross. Jason ate the heck out of it. The heat was very sly, it snuck up on you but nothing too bad. It was fairly mild tasting. I took a bite and thought, hmmm no real heat, then after a second or two, it was ohh there is the heat. Nice flavor and if my husband eats it, it is good!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 53 – When a Partner Cheats

Up until now we have both nibbled a bit and partaken forbidden fruit. It hasn’t been anything too outrageous. I battle my desire to snack on graham crackers, saltines and life cereal.  Jason battles a desire to want to eat lots of everything. The key word is lots. He and I share a healthy appetite of healthy proportions. Probably most of the reason why we were in the shape we were. We never ate bad, per se, we just ate a lot of what we did eat – healthy or not. Getting used to the new portion sizes took work and was a constant exercise in restraint. Jason exceeded expectations. He and I kept each other honest and the physical changes we have experienced reflect our commitment to the cause. Until today.
So there was a BBQ at Jason’s work today. His intent was to have one bratwurst. He went on an empty stomach. People around him were eating, laughing and having a great time. He had one. Then he went back for 4 more brats and 3 more hot dogs. In his defense they were sans the bread and condiments, but SEVEN!!!! REALLY!!!! He was not very happy with my reaction and thought I would be more understanding. I told him next time, eat first or just get one and leave the area. You can’t remain near temptation and expect to remain strong. The lesson to take away here is to monitor your surroundings. If you are trying to stay away from sugar, don’t go into the candy store.  At the very least, take what you need and leave.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 52 - Just Keep Moving, Just Keep Moving...

This morning I was tired as usual but happy it was a cardio day. I just wanted to sleep! This was by far the best cardio day since I have started. I was practically screaming during Level 10. "Come on Carey, Almost There! Keep peddling, keep going, 15 more seconds, COME ON!" Seriously, I wonder what the neighbors think. I got off the bike and felt awesome going to the shower. First time in a long time that I felt I had met the challenge. A really good feeling.
Today, I wanted to eat. Every time I gave Ian a graham cracker, I wanted so bad to have some. I felt like some dog watching every bite he took, all the while licking my chops and waiting for him to give me some! Not that bad, but close. I resisted the temptation by moving. I found that when I have a craving, if I just start doing stuff (i.e. cleaning, folding laundry...) I stop thinking about that craving. Now, if I am actually hungry, that will continue to eat at my brain until I put stuff in my stomach. Since I could be easily distracted, I knew it wasn't hunger. It was annoying just the same.

So Jason was giving me a hard time about having that graham cracker the other day. I find it fitting that he succumbed to temptation today - pizza. Yep, he had a slice of Pizza Hut Pizza. I wonder how strong I would be if faced with piping hot pizza sitting in front of me? Hmmm. Probably not so strong! Ha. I am proud of him for stopping at one. We all falter, but it is the strong that pick themselves up and continue on their way.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 51 - Finding Alternatives to Avoid Missing a Workout

My son is cutting teeth and he hasn't been sleeping well. That means I haven't been sleeping well either! He has continued to wake up at 11:30pm and at 4:15am. This really sucks for me as I wake up feeling worse than when I went to bed! This morning was the worst. I told Jason I couldn't do it and for him to exercise without me. I am not sure if that extra hour did me any good, but it was a relief not to get up and exercise. As I was eating breakfast I knew I needed to make time to exercise. Before I had just allowed that day to be missed and I would make up for it later on. But this was becoming a habit!

I decided I would exercise differently today. So off with the stroller we went and down to the park. Ian had a great time watching Mommy do squats combined with a sidekick and front kick, lunges with a back kick, and calf raises. I did everything but my ab routine. Ian had fun playing and I got my workout in. That was nice. In addition to my workout, I logged about a mile or so pushing the stroller. Even better.
I got back home and I felt totally refreshed. Before I had been feeling down for missing my workout. Taking the time to think differently brought around a new frame of mind.  Course, this time is usually when I get housework done so that didn't happen today...we have to pick our battles and today the house lost. Oh well.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 50 - Slow but Steady

The big FIVE O. I think this a huge achievement for me, I don't remember ever consciously sticking to an exercise program for 50 days. Crazy. I have noticed a lot of changes, both physically and mentally over the past 7 weeks. The end of this week marks the beginning of the last four weeks. I decided we needed to kick it up a notch then but for now, I am enjoying the pace we are going.
This morning I got a late start because my son woke up. For some reason I was in a seriously grumpy mood today. I was not feeling my workout and had to start chanting at minute three. That is usually not a good sign. I went ahead and continued on but by the time I got to my last set, I was close to done. Stick a fork in me done. I didn't hit my seven, eight or nine as hard as I wanted. I was saving everything I had for the ten. I peddled my little heart out and finished strong. I still felt a bit defeated because I wanted to do more, but I gave it what I had. Jason laughed, I get a little vocal when the workout gets hard, he is worried we are going to have to cops called on us someday. "Come on! You can do it! Almost done, give it everything you have!" Well, it makes the time go by faster for me and I could care less what the neighbors think! Ha ha.

Today my eating was good except I had this craving for olives. Yumm. I ate the entire jar. Okay, four olives were 25 calories and I thought about it afterwards, I think they are a nut. Forbidden fruit. Oh well, so there, I cheated. It tasted great! Ha ha. I also ate a graham cracker, it was also good. Slippery slope, yes I know.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 49 - One Day at a Time

It was a real bummer to get up this morning, I was exhausted. I had this idea that I would work out today to make up for missing one day earlier this week. Yeah, that didn't happen. I really think it is all the sugar and fat that we consume the day before that wipes me out. Last night after I posted we ate strawberry shortcake with caramel sauce and whipped cream. Yummm. Jason and I both gained five pounds yesterday. That still amazes me, five pounds! I think it is mostly water retention. I imagine if I didn't work it off it would be a permanent weight gain, but I know by Friday I will see it all gone. That is a relief.

The one think I am really enjoying about this regimen is the self-discipline I am developing. It is becoming easier and easier to do the things I typically wouldn't want to do. Today I whipped up some roties and I can remember when the idea of making roties was exhausting. I couldn't believe my friend Dhara makes those every day, now I make them almost every day. They aren't that hard. Today I decided to get prepared for the week. I sat down and planned our meals for the week and added to the shopping list. That was nice. I feel all organized now!
This book I am reading touches on the significance of discipline - disciplined people have disciplined thought and produce disciplined action. Discipline begets discipline. They pointed to a study of 1435 companies that went from good to great during the years of 1965 and 1995. The one thing they had in common was disciplined people, thought and action. Those are the keys to success. Interesting. I have to agree with that because I can point to many times in my life where I fell short and can directly correlate that to a lack of discipline. I would start out with tons of energy and all excited and a few days or weeks later I let it go. Imagine where I would be if I'd have stuck it out on a few things.

For breakfast we ate oatmeal and protein powder. For snack I was at church without my snack in hand and the only thing remotely healthy available was a piece of watermelon. I only had one. For lunch we had rice and beans and had the same for the afternoon snack. For dinner I made another Carey Concoction:
Campfire Chicken

One breast of chicken - frozen
Bring to a boil it in three cups water and add ½ onion, 1 garlic, 1 bay leaf, ½ tsp marjoram, thyme and rosemary and reduce heat to low for one hour. When done shred with fork. Strain and reserve stock.

In heavy pan, lightly oil and sauté ½ chopped red pepper, 5 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 chopped scallion. When translucent remove from pan into bowl.
Mix 2 TBLS quick mixing flour (I use Wondra) and ¼ cup water in cup. Wisk. Add to 1 cup reserved stock and bring to a boil in the pan. Wisk continuously for a minute or two and reduce heat. Add chicken, sautéed vegetables, 1 cup frozen peas and corn.

Add ½ tsp of: Cumin, crushed rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.
1 tsp Kosher salt and ½ tsp pepper

Dash of red pepper
Cook over low heat for 15 - 20 minutes until cooked through.

It was a nice quick meal. I needed that today.
Evening snack was protein powder and strawberries.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 48 - People Really Noticing Our Changes Now

Moderation, what is that? Usually it is eat everything I can possibly shove in my mouth and then some more. I end up paying dearly but I don't care. Last week was insane, I gained 7 pounds and didn't lose it till yesterday. I only lost one more pound this week, but I am not looking to lose anymore. I felt skinny this morning. I touched my skin and could feel the muscles underneath, freaky. This hasn't happen in so many part of my body before!
Jason is getting so thin we had to buy him new clothes for work today. People at work were beginning to tell him he looked like he was swimming in his outfits. He went from a 17 ½ to a 16 ½ shirt and from a 38 waist pant to a 36. We may end up buying him a new size for pants later, so we only bought three. Jason said he could really see some definition in his traps, his shoulders and his chest. He is looking good. The main problem area still remains, but not what it once was. Besides, I like his little belly.

I ran into a former co-worker who hasn't seen me in over five years. He was shocked and said he couldn't believe how much weight I have lost. Course he said it like "Oh my gosh, you have lost A LOT of weight!" Okay, I didn't think I looked THAT BAD! I love looking and feeling the way I do. Now if I could only tone up my upper arms and upper legs...we would be set.
This morning was upper body workout. I am feeling really disappointed with my workouts because I can't go higher on weights. I am doing more reps with lower weights now. I am thinking of changing up my routine. Let you know what I decide.

For breakfast we ate maple cured bacon and baked donuts. The baked donuts sucked, I used a recipe I found on the Internet and it wasn't worth the effort. The bacon was good but I took in way too much sugar. I think my pancreas went into overload and I felt really horrible. It took me a while to get to feeling better. Note to self, not so much sugar!
I didn't eat again until lunch and we made blue cheese burgers with baked french fries. That was good. I took a pound of emu meat, added a package of blue cheese, 2 TBLS chopped onion and 1 to 2 tsp Emeril's BAM burger seasoning. Jason grilled it. Wow, it was really good. The fries were out of the frozen section but I got the kind with parmesan cheese and roasted garlic...yum! I could only eat 2/3 of my burger and a handful of fries. I was full. I had to wait over an hour before I could finish the rest.

For dinner Jason was craving some corn dogs. I thought I would try one, it was good but I only could eat one. I had some left over fries and that was it for me. So here it is almost 8:00 p.m. and I don't feel like I want to explode. Moderation is where it is at. I wonder how much weight I gained today. Hopefully not that 7 pounds again!

Day 47 - Love That Burning Feeling

Yesterday was the worst day. Ian woke up at 11pm and cried inconsolably until after 1am. It was close to 2 before I got back to sleep. Needless to say we did not get up with the alarm at 4:30. So, no workout yesterday. It was early to bed last night but I still wasn't ready for 4:30 today. I reluctantly got up anyway and had the best workout. I am noticing I don't have to chant as much. That is nice, I can let my mind wander a bit. Course, that is why I lose it sometimes...ha ha! Anyway, I peddled my little heart out for the last round and hit an awesome level 10. My legs were burning and I squeezed my eyes shut and gritted my teeth.."Come on Carey, PUSH IT, you love the burn, YOU LOVE THE BURN!!!! When the minute was over (felt like an eternity) I was totally exhausted. I could feel the blood around so fast and my stomach felt a little ill. That is when you know you gave it everything you have.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 45 - So This is What an Energy High Feels Like

This morning I wasn't quite as tired as I have been. Yesterday I realized I haven't been taking my daily multi-vitamin. I took it late in the afternoon and by 6:00 p.m. I actually still had energy. I stayed up until 10:30 working on my book summary. When the alarm went off this morning at 4:30, I was able to get up without too much effort.

My workout this morning was cardio. My son woke up right as I hit 10 minutes and I lost another 10 minutes getting him back to sleep. It was so hard returning to my workout. My brain kept saying "oh, we should just stop now, there is no way that extra 10 minutes is going to do us any good." Reluctantly I made myself get back on the bike and peddle. I started out with exertion level 5 and by level 7 my brain was really complaining. "Why are we doing this? Let's just stop and go take a shower." I closed my eyes and chanted 7...7....7.... I found that I am not able to form negative messages in my brain if I am speaking positive messages out my mouth.
This morning I feel amazing and I think that extra 10 minutes had everything to do with it. I think the more our mind complains, the more we should resist it. It is possible we are approaching a breakthrough and if we stop now we won't reap the benefits. I think I do that to myself a lot. I get really close to a major change and my mind starts to convince myself that I have worked so hard, I should take a break. No wonder I have fallen short time and time again. That stops now.

I ate really well today with the exception of ½ of a saltine cracker, I popped it in my mouth before I could stop myself. Oh well, at least I stopped there!
Breakfast was eggs and roti bread.

Mid-morning snack was beans and rice.
Lunch was left over Greek chicken stuff in the freezer. I made it before the diet started but it was mostly healthy. I forgot it had feta cheese until after I ate it. Oops.

Missed afternoon snack
Dinner was Funky Dunky Fish again from day 42 and roti bread

Evening snack was beans and roti.
Okay, so can you tell I made five pounds of beans this past weekend?? Ha ha. I love beans. Thankfully so does Jason. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 43 - Put Down the Life Cereal

Today we started to try to potty train my son and it was not going well for me. I think my son was enjoying himself but I was not. Later that morning I had a moment of uncontrolled eating and it took me by surprise. I looked down at my son's bowl of cereal and realized I had eaten a majority of it. I am an emotional eater. Pretty shocking to me as I never considered myself an emotional eater. I would have binges in my 20's but that was celebration for the weekend. Looking back, it was my way of bringing comfort to myself as I struggled with my stressful job and college. I guess I needed some comfort.

As I deal with my emotions as a parent, I suppress everything outwardly but inside I am feeling every ounce of it. Funny as I believe I have pinpointed my problem of why I was never able to lose that 20 pounds. I was always stressed and every couple of days I would eat to make myself feel better without realizing. Due to the fact I ate really well most of the time, I don't think it registered in my brain what I was doing. Jason attributes it to my cheating last week and reiterated his stance "it is a slippery slope." Maybe so, but I think pushing past this is taking some effort.

I got my workout in on time but was interrupted by my son about 5 minutes in. I came back and started again but my momentum wasn't the same. I finished my exertion level 10 and was happy the workout was over.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 42 - Still Sore

I had the best workout yesterday. It was Lower Body and I changed it up. Instead of doing squats for my first five, I did lunges. I am so sore today! My butt and the back of my legs are sore. Tomorrow is cardio and I really enjoyed the break today.

Yesterday was cheat day and I did really well not eating too much. We started out the morning with cheddarwurst (cheddar filled sausages) mixed with eggs in a flour tortilla and lots of coffee with creamer. Love that. While I was cooking breakfast I was munching on some sweet/spicy cajun nut mix I found at Target. I also chomped on some chocolate covered fruits. Later we had leftover pizza for lunch and a couple of beers.
Later that afternoon we went to a friend's house for a party and I proceeded to eat to my heart's content. I decided I wanted to try some deep fried snicker bars and deep fried ice cream. Neither worked out too good but the snicker bars were really addicting. Jason wants us to try it again next week. If it works out, I will share the recipe. I also ate baked beans, potato salad, some bbq chicken. It was all good. Funny thing, I found out that I can't eat a whole bunch so I just eat a little bit of everything - that way I don't get too full. It worked out well. One piece of chicken was plenty for me. I enjoyed just munching along. When 9:00 pm came around and it was time to go to bed, I was sad. I wanted to stay up and eat!

This morning it was hard to get back into things. I was dragging and I think the fat and sugar intake yesterday made me sluggish. We had a light breakfast of our oatmeal and protein powder and one cup of black coffee. Have I mentioned how much I miss my coffee? Someday I will get to enjoy coffee again.
Lunch was left over penne pasta. It was too cute, we are teaching Ian sign language and he can sign 'more'. I couldn't getting it on his plate fast enough!

Dinner was surprisingly good - another Carey Concoction. I didn't have anything out for dinner and it was 4:30 p.m. I looked in the freezer and realized I had some frozen fish fillets. These are awesome and super easy to whip up a dinner in no time.

Funky Dunky Fish - Serves 2

1 fish fillet on a piece of aluminum foil
8 brussel sprouts - quartered

¼ red bell pepper, chopped
¼ yellow bell pepper, chopped

3 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup frozen corn

¼ to ½ tsp cajun seasoning

Lay the aluminum foil out and place the fish in the center. Drizzle maybe ½ tsp oil over top (I only put a couple of drops). Top it with the vegetables and sprinkle the seasoning. Fold the sides of the foil up and roll the top of the foil down to make a package. The steam must remain inside to cook the fish, so make sure there are no holes. Place it in the 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Perfection. I served with my roti bread. Yum. Even my son ate it!
Can't believe we are already into week 7. The hump is over and we are on the downhill slide. It passes faster than we realize.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 40 - Back on Track

The big 4 0. Hmmm. I really made it this far? This is definitely a first. I have never put forth such an effort before. I am in the store and looking at size 2's. I can't believe it. I could have had this body years ago but I didn't want to suffer long enough to get it. That is what it is you know, suffrage. Doing without today for future benefits. What are you willing to do without?

I was reading this blog about this girl who has been suffering with plateaus. Honestly, I haven't had that problem on this diet. Jason did and we adjusted his intake and he started losing again. We exercise hard, eat frequent small meals and enjoy one day off a week. It is heaven if you ask me. Tomorrow I am attempting to make some deep fried candy bars and ice cream treats. Yum.

This morning I hit my cardio and I am all ready for my lower body workout tomorrow. Jason wants everyone to know that I cheated a little bit today. I did go for that second glass of wine this evening. I felt I deserved it and I stand by my decision. No regrets. I think I am entitled to an extra glass every once in a while.

Day 39 - Setting Time to Refocus

Refocus. I really don't enjoy that task, as it means I have lost my focus and deviated off course. Getting back on course is never easy. For the first time I missed a workout. The alarm didn't wake us up and we slept until 5:00. It was my upper body workout day and I knew I couldn't breeze through that. With Jason running late, I needed to iron his shirt and opted to stay in bed that 20 minutes instead of trying to fit in a workout. Excuses aside, I made that decision and savored every moment. Too many times we justify our actions then beat ourselves up about it. Why? If you decided to not do something you knew you needed to do, stop and enjoy the moment. Then when the moment is gone get back to doing it.

Everyone falls short at some time or another. For me this has been an especially difficult fact to accept.  My perfectionist part of me pushes me to the limits and beyond. While that is good sometimes, I think all the time isn't healthy. I used to get so upset and mad when I or someone else would fail to meet the standards I had set. Working with me was no picnic and I often alienated those around me. Having a baby really put me in my place. I had to accept my physical and mental limitations and work within those parameters. Before, I would set these super lofty goals and fall into a deep depression every time I missed the mark. How cares? Those around me thought even attempting it was a successful venture. Why couldn't I be happy with myself? I suffered from the worst kind of problem, attaching my self-esteem to my actions. If I didn't meet them, it meant I was less of a person. Maybe I am but if I am not happy with myself, no one else is going to be either.

I enjoyed the break. I knew it was impossible to fit in a workout and I didn't stress about it. When the alarm went off this morning, I got out of bed and had the best workout so far. Maybe I needed that break, maybe my body was trying to signal TIME OUT. Either way, I didn't throw it all out the window. I stayed true to my eating and started refreshing my workouts...they have become stale!

Yesterday I made another Carey Concoction. Yummy Asian Broccoli Stir Fry.

2 cups cooked rice (follow directions on rice package)

1 lb pork loin, sliced thinly

Marinate in:

1 TBLS ginger, minced or finely shredded

4 - 5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp dark Sesame Oil

2 TBLS Soy Sauce

2 TBLS Rice Vinegar

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

¼ tsp ground pepper

1/8 tsp salt.

Zest of one orange and add juice of ½ the orange (I froze the remaining juice to use another time)

I marinated for about 30 minutes, you could go longer.

Chop up:

½ red bell pepper

½ shallot (green onions are preferred but I was out)

Heat up heavy pan over medium heat. Add 1 TBLS peanut oil and sauté the chopped vegetables above. When translucent, add the pork in the marinade. While heating through, bring a few cups of water to a boil in another pan. When boiling add 1 head of broccoli chopped up and cook for 2 minutes. Remove broccoli and run over cold water. This stops the cooking process and keeps the broccoli green and crisp. When pork is cooked through, add the broccoli. Serve ½ cup over ¼ cup rice. Very good.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 38 - Seeing a Butt Muscle

I did! I was walking to the bathroom and passed the mirror and caught the reflection of myself mid-stride. It was breathtaking. I had lost a bit of jiggle in my rear and out pops a muscle. It makes all this work worth something now. It seems lately more previously unknown muscles have begun to surface. Later today Jason and I remarked on how my triceps are really becoming defined. I didn't even want that saltine cracker my son was eating after that! I love these little signs of improvements, they are so encouraging.

Today I took even longer getting out of bed...ugg. I got into the garage at 10 after 5. I finished 45 seconds of my level 10 and I was whipped out. I am sad I didn't go the entire minute, but 45 seconds is better than 15. I see it as improvement.
Breakfast was ¾ scoop chocolate protein powder and 1/3 cup oatmeal into 1 cup boiling water. It wasn't that bad. It has a bid of an after taste, but after you gulp down some coffee it disappears. Speaking of coffee, I have decided to have a cup of decaf in the evening. I am bummed I can't have my creamer but I think I can manage for six more weeks. Jason thinks he won't see all the results he is hoping for at 12 weeks and may have to do the program again. That is fine but I am not. I want to keep the portion sizes and such but I need my creamer and my cheese!

For my snack I had ½ protein bar, lunch was salmon, couscous and a salad. My afternoon snack was the other ½ of the protein bar and dinner was the same minus the salad. I wasn't about being original today.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 37 - Picking Up Steam

Yesterday I fell asleep at 7:30 p.m. and did not have a chance to write my blog. I guess I am still catching up on sleep I missed this weekend. You would think with all that extra sleep I would be able to get up easier at 4:30 this morning. You are wrong. I found it to be the most difficult morning yet to get out of bed. It was 5:00 a.m. before I made it into the garage - 15 minutes later than usual. Normally I pull this on days I have cardio, today was lifting. Ugh. I knew I had to kick it into gear to keep my day on time.

I didn't rest at all between my sets and managed to finish strong in about 30 minutes. Jason has started to incorporate an ab routine every day. I thought about mixing up my routine to hit my problem areas. I am torn as I want to see if the diet will prove what it promises. I have hit the halfway week and there are six more weeks to go. I have to fight that desire to have results RIGHT NOW! Good things take time and I know my problem areas are not going to go away overnight. I need to focus on the positive results and trust the problem areas will eventually diminish but it will take time.

I didn't eat that great today as I forgot lunch. This morning was eggs, onions and bell peppers with a piece of toasted bread and black coffee. We were short on egg beaters today so I added one whole egg to the mix to make it ¾ cup. I make our eggs together now and I just give him two helpings to my one. I had my snack late of black beans with salsa and a wasa cracker. Then I left for the store and never ate lunch. This late afternoon I had ½ protein bar. For dinner I had leftover marsala pork. This evening I am eating the rest of my protein bar.

Today was a stressful day as my son was more whiny than usual. As a result I needed a glass of wine this evening. All is well now.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 35 - Halfway Point

Today marks the beginning of week six. There was no post yesterday as my son got really sick. I had to take him to the hospital but he is doing really well now. Yesterday was the best cheat day ever. We grazed the entire day. It started out with Oreos after my Upper Body workout. We enjoyed a huge pot of coffee (mine with lovely cream). I made Cheddarwurst sausages mixed with egg and rolled up in a tortilla. Oh, that was good. We then ate some chips, had the yummies from the pampered chef party, and some nuts and chocolate covered fruit. We weren't really that hungry for lunch and nibbled through until dinner. We had really good pizza for dinner. I made pizza with our normal bell pepper, onion, pepperoni but this time I added ½ cup of cooked italian sausage and covered it all with a pound of cheese. We could only eat two pieces but we washed it down with a couple of beers. It was good. Unfortunately that was the end of my fun as Ian got sick. It was a bummer realizing that it was 3am and my cheat day was over. I always feel I could have ate so much more!

Today was break from exercising but back to the eating regimen. We had our one cup black coffee and oatmeal with chocolate protein powder - that tasted way better than the vanilla. For our mid morning snack I had half a protein bar. Today Jason made lunch and oh man, it was good! He grilled some chicken with the Chicago seasoning on it and put it in a sandwich . I had one piece of bread, cut in half with mustard and some grilled peppers and onions. Wow, it was really good. He is an amazing chef! I missed my afternoon snack and for dinner Jason made us chicken salads. He chopped up some red and green bell peppers, radishes, green onions and mixed it with chopped leftover chicken from lunch over greens. I covered mine with balsamic vinegar and we enjoyed a lovely glass of wine. Oh, this is the life.

I really wanted more of my dark chocolate covered fruits but Jason (evil one) said no. He is such a rule stickler! Ha ha. He is keeping me on the straight and narrow. I am feeling stronger and looking forward to a good workout tomorrow. See you then!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 33 - Getting Back in the Groove

Not going to lie, it really was hard to start back up on the diet today. I knew the moment I started letting down my guard, it would be difficult to rein myself in. Today I stuck to my guns even though the temptation was at an all time high. Pampered Chef party today, need I say more?? My friend Sandra made these heavenly looking cheesecake dessert things, yummy pinto beans, and some type of bread stuff that looked amazing. I took a deep breath and made myself a to-go plate. I was so good; I didn’t even take a taste for the road.
This morning was cardio and I didn’t really push myself as my body was still recovering. I made it through without stopping but I was ready to stop when it was time. I did really well with sticking to my diet. This morning we had roti bread with eggs and a cup of coffee. For my mid afternoon snack I had black beans and roti bread. For lunch I went to the Pampered Chef party. There was this delicious concoction they made it was a basil chicken tomato thing in penne pasta. Great news for me is that it was something I could eat. I helped myself to one cup full. It was delicious. This evening we went to Chili’s for dinner. I ate a guiltless grill chicken sandwich with steamed broccoli and a glass of red wine. It was awesome. It did have honey mustard that I didn’t realize it came with (that’s what I get for reading fast) and I went ahead and ate it. It wasn’t a lot so I figured it wasn’t worth worrying about.
The three things I did well today:
1.      I stuck to my diet plan;
2.      I exercised;
3.      I posted my blog.
The one thing I am doing better tomorrow:
1.      Drinking my ten glasses!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 32 - And the Diagnosis is….

Ulcerative Colitis. Doctor says it is a mild to moderate case and some medication should bring it under control. The entire process leading up to that point, was the worst! Good thing was that I lost two pounds in the process but I would have rather not. Oh well, it’s over now and I am moving on!
So today I took a day off from my workouts and ate kind of bad. This morning it was no water, no food…NOTHING! That was the worst. I thought to take my mind off things and chew some gum. A rare occurrence for me, but just so you know that is also not allowed. Course I didn’t find this out until I was smacking my gum in the waiting room. I got the reprimand from the receptionist….NO GUM! I think she enjoyed taking it away from me, she was evil! ha ha. Nice, super sweet but evil just the same.
Afterwards we went out to eat at La Salsa. Another devil nurse told me my choice of fajitas afterwards was not permitted and to stick to something less harsh on my insides. Whatever. Don’t they know what I have gone through! So, I ate a fish taco that came with this heavenly cream sauce (not allowed on the darn diet), covered in cheese (again, not allowed) and absolutely delicious. I followed that down with a nice Pacifico beer.
Later I grabbed some water for the ride home and saw these delicious little chocolate delights by the counter. So, since I had already cheated, what is the harm in grabbing two? One was made by Cold Stone Creamery (oh my it was good) and the other was an Andes Mint. They were both good but Jason gave me the look and I ignored him. We got home and Ian was eating some Life cereal as a snack. Yum, I should eat some with him. So after two handfuls Jason got up and said “You have lost your cheat day on Saturday!” He is evil too. I whined a bit and protested but he wasn’t budging. Oh well. For better or worse right?? This must be the worst! ha ha. I went ahead and made some healthy dinner - steamed fish, green beans and whole wheat couscous. The couscous was instant and it had a nice nutty flavor. We had ½ cup of that. The fish I put on a piece of tin foil, covered it with ½ tsp oil and then shook the Cajun seasoning all over it. I threw in the frozen green beans and rolled up the sides and down the top of the tin foil into an envelope type thing to allow the steam to cook the dish. I put it in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Wah lah, the couscous and dinner was finished at the same time. Lovely.
While we were out, I happened to see a spinning class on the television. I am nowhere near that level and told Jason I need to step it up a notch when I feel better.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 31 - Day of Fasting

The day has finally arrived for me to prepare for the colonoscopy tomorrow. Yes, I know you are excited as I am! Actually, life was pretty great this morning. I didn't push as hard during the cardio and was able to finish strong. I am trying to find that fine line between pushing too hard and not hard enough.

This morning I ate like it was a cheat day. I had four cups of coffee..with cream! I ate two breakfast burritos and two helpings of leftover french toast casserole. I probably could have eaten more but I figured it was best to stop while I was ahead. I felt great all day and enjoyed a delicious cup of chicken stock for lunch and some jello in the afternoon. I didn't miss eating until I was fixing my son's dinner and then I wanted to eat. It smelled really good too! Luckily Jason arrived home shortly thereafter and took over that duty for me.

Tomorrow is no workout as I think I should give my body a day of rest.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 30 - I Have Come So Far!

Wow. I made it 30 days. It almost feels like I have been climbing up this hill and just looked back. The progress I have made is exhilarating! I am really proud of the fact that I have managed to stick to this program and am starting to see some results. Unfortunately the 4:30 am wakeup call still hurts. Jason and I wonder when that will get easier. I suspect it never will as neither of us are morning people. Thank you for helping me stick to it and offer encouragement along the way. It really means a lot to have everyone cheering me on.
Today’s Motivational Quote: Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.  ~Edward Stanley
I love the fact that my family is getting healthy. I really worried about my husband; his blood pressure was getting higher and his belly bigger. I worried he would suffer from a stroke or heart attack. Just having him excited about working out is a blessing. I am not trying to break any records to start competing on the muscle circuit; I just want to be able to put on a bikini and not hate what I see. This helps get me out of bed in the morning if nothing else!
Today I did eat something off the menu but I wouldn’t necessarily call it cheating. I am making jello for my fast day tomorrow (required for colonoscopy on Thursday). All of a sudden it just sounded good..yum…JELLO! I made a few extra flavors and ate one. Yes. I ate the entire box of prepared jello. It was sugar free and only 40 total calories, so I think it was within my bounds to eat.
Today’s workout was Upper Body. We purchased a Tricep Rope for our gym. I used that for my tricep exercise and I really liked how it targeted the muscle group. I wasn’t as strong today in my workout. Today I felt a little weak and unable to life what I had the other day. I still lifted but not nearly as much weight as last time. I guess it is expected to have those days.
This morning we had egg and potato mixed together with some chilies and our one cup of black coffee. For my morning snack I ate ¼ cup black beans, a wasa cracker and some salsa. I love this snack. For lunch I had leftover dinner from last night and had the black bean stuff for my afternoon snack. For dinner we made hamburgers using Emu meat. Oh, this meat tastes sooo good. It is naturally 97 or 98% fat free and its flavor is out of this world.
1 lb ground Emu meat
½ onion, chopped
1 TBLS or so (I sprinkled it on there) of Emeril’s Bam Hamburger Seasoning. (this stuff was awesome)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Mix it all together and make four patties. Grill. Enjoy!
I made some roti flatbread again and they turned out beautiful. I think the difference is I didn’t roll them out as thin. They were heaven. Finally, success!
I rolled one patty up in one roti, topped with mustard and tobacco, added some lettuce and ate!
I made four roti’s and we ate two each. I think that was too much and told Jason we should cut down to just one. He was a little sad to hear that.
The three things I did well today:
1.      Got out of bed and exercised without too much laying around.
2.      Ate my snacks.
3.      Stuck out the exercise program - oh I so wanted to stop
The one thing I am doing better tomorrow:
1.      Drinking my 10 glasses, fell a little short today.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 29 - Pushing Past Defeat

Did it again. Today I was 30 seconds to go on level 10 and I stopped. No energy left. I was disappointed as I thought the last time it happened it was just a fluke. I know now it is a wall. Maybe not a tall wall, but a wall just the same. While I would like to think that I could just will my way through it, I believe my body is just responding to a medical issue I have been dealing with. I don’t like to talk about it so I haven’t mentioned it, but it does impact my daily life. I have a colonoscopy scheduled on Thursday to determine why I am bleeding. It started the first week of this program. I have always suffered with some form of irritable bowel issue since I was in my early 20’s. It was debilitating at times, but I was managing okay with salads, fiber supplements and exercise. Then I got pregnant. It turned my entire life upside down and things in that department never worked the same. I have been bleeding off and on for nearly two years but it was never this serious or constant. It was always just occasional and then I would be fine for a few weeks. I hesitated to talk about it before because I didn’t want anyone to think that it was attributed to this new program. I think it may have irritated an already existing problem, but Jason has not been experiencing any of my problems.
Why do I feel so vulnerable right now…Say something! Ha ha. I just imagine if we were having this conversation in person you might be at a loss for words. On that note…today I ate great. It is so hard to not eat just one saltine cracker. My son eats the best stuff and I want so bad to put just one little piece in my mouth. I tell myself no as I am aware each time I cheat, it gets easier to cheat more next time. It does make me feel better to share that temptation!
This morning we ate protein oatmeal with cinnamon again and joined it with a hot cup of black coffee. Yum. At 9:30 I had ¼ cup black beans and a couple spoonfuls of salsa. I ate that with leftover pita bread. For lunch I ate ¼ cup leftover meatballs and marinara sauce with another pita bread. For my afternoon snack I had the last of the meatballs and a wasa cracker. I have been doing really well with my water. If I forget, I wake up in the middle of the night so thirsty. That really sucks as I love my sleep. I did a lot better with my water consumption today.
For dinner we ate another Carey Concoction: Pork Stir Fry
2 pieces of pork loin chops about ½ inch thick and sliced into bite size pieces
sprinkle with salt and pepper
Heat skillet and add 2 tsp peanut oil when fairly hot
Add pork loin and cook until done - remove from pan
Add ½ bell pepper
2 roasted chili peppers
Cook for a short period of time (about 3 - 4 minutes)
½ scallion diced
Stir and cook for 2 minutes then add
3 cloves garlic
and 2 green onions, chopped
Add sauce - 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp rice vinegar and 2 TBLS soy sauce
Add in
1 large head of broccoli chopped (for this, I boiled some water and cooked the broccoli for 2 minutes then removed from water and ran cold water over it. This help retains the nice green color. When I got to this point I just added it to the mixture)
2 cups rice
1 small package sugar snap peas
Cook until peas and rice are warm. Enjoy. With all the vegetables, we determined 1 cup was an appropriate serving size.
The three things I did well today:
1.      I did not cheat, not even an ity, bity piece of saltine cracker.
2.      I drank my 10 glasses of water
3.      I finished my workout.
The one thing I am doing better tomorrow:
1.      Getting up! Jason and I were lazy bones this morning and ran 15 minutes late.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 28 - Progress Photos and Weight Loss Stats

So yesterday was such a wonderful day. We adjusted our cheat day to accommodate our trip to Tucson. We started the day with our normal exercise program. Jason thought it would be easier for us if we exercised on our cheat day morning. That way our metabolism was up and burning most of what we ate that day. Not sure if it worked, but I didn't feel crappy until the very last meal. (We ate WAY too much!)

My exercise routine was Lower Body. I haven't changed my routine lately so I am not going to my exercises. If you have questions just comment and I will respond.
I felt really strong finishing the routine. I felt I pushed myself without compromising my form. We went and purchased a few things for our workout. I had wanted to wait until I knew we were committed to the program before going out and buying anything. If we can't find motivation with the stuff we have, how do I expect buying something to get me to exercise? You can't buy inner drive. That is something you are responsible for, nobody else.

Funny, before I always lacked consistency in my inner drive. I would go the gym for two days then not go back for three weeks. Doing these exercises everyday really makes the difference.
We took some photos to update our progress. Not to self, do not take photos in the morning. We didn't have as much fun taking photos as we did last time.

We enjoyed a full pot of coffee (with cream), green chili chorizo and egg covered in cheese and wrapped in a lovely tortilla (most likely made with lard..yum). This was amazing. I only ate one. Jason ate two and felt really rough later. We also had a large glass of orange juice.
Later that morning I ate some of my cherry, chili and dark chocolate bar. I found it two weeks ago at the co-op. It was delicious. I also enjoyed a few glasses of wine. Oh, I love cheat days. For lunch, not wanting to waste the large amount of chorizo and egg left over, we ended up having another burrito for lunch. This time Jason only had one. That was it for the eating as we had to leave for Tucson.

For dinner we ate at Cafe Poca Cosa. This place is amazing! They change the menu twice a day and everything is written on chalkboards in Spanish. The wait staff is awesome as they decipher the menu for you and add their own opinion on the flavors found in each dish. We also enjoyed a couple of margaritas. We had chips and salsa, corn tortillas, rice and beans in addition to our huge plate of food. I had chef's choice as I can never make a decision. For chef's choice, you get three different entrees but you don't get to pick which three, the chef does. It is a surprise but I have never been disappointed. I ate the last bite and my stomach said, okay I am full now. But did I listen????  NOOOO! I said, I think I can enjoy some dessert too! I ate about three to four spoonfuls of flourless cake topped with berries, some chocolate mousse stuff and a cup of coffee. It was outstanding, but I didn't feel so good. Remember next time, know when to say when! Ha
After the show my stomach felt it had more room so I quickly stuffed it full of a churro and vanilla ice cream. I only had one and a few bites of ice cream and I was completely satisfied. The key is eating only what your stomach can handle and not more.

Yesterday I was disappointed with my progress. I had thought I would have seen a more significant change. Losing what I have is great, but we need to make a few changes. Jason googled what a portion size was for pasta and it is only ½ cup. Oops. I think I need to use a measuring cup.
What a wakeup call that has been! Not so much for breakfast as I had already been using the measuring cup, but for lunch and dinner, it has been a shock. This morning we had our one cup of black coffee,  and a 1/3 cup oatmeal with cinnamon and ½ scoop of protein powder. For lunch we had ½ cup leftover meatballs, sauce and one bread that I made on Friday. I ate it and felt full but realized we had been eating more than that before. What a bummer!

For dinner we ate frozen tilapia fish. I put it in some tin foil, sprayed it with oil, topped it with a light sprinkling of parsley, rosemary (didn't like that spice..too strong for the fish) and paprika and added some lemon juice. I rolled the tin foil closed and popped it in the 450 oven for 15 minutes. It was delicious. We had one bread from Friday and some frozen corn and green beans. Not bad for a quick dinner.
Our snack this evening was one wasa cracker and ¼ cup black beans and some salsa. Yummy.

Total Pounds Lost: 5

Upper legs: Lost 1 inch

Abdomen: Lost 2 inches

Breasts: Lost 1 ½ inches

Upper Arms: Lost ½ inch

The three things I did well today:

1.      Measured our portion sizes

2.      Didn't cheat even though church had a fellowship gathering today!

3.      Preplanned weekly meals

The one thing I am doing better tomorrow:

1.      Drinking my 10 glasses! Fell behind today...