Monday, April 30, 2012

Recovering from the weekend

So, as I planned, I got off plan this weekend!

I am not really ashamed of it, but I did pay for it (see previous post!). I want to be able to indulge and drink wine and eat cheese with my friends once in a while!

I feel okay about it. I looked in the mirror today and I didn't instantly gain back all the weight (weigh in coming maybe Wednesday?). This is why I live my day to day healthy and balanced. It is why I go to the gym and try to put on muscle. These habits will carry me through the occasional (and I DO mean occasional... as in once or twice a month) slips. Should I even call it a slip? It was planned!

I prepared tons of paleo food for the week. We are OVERFLOWING with vegetables. To the point where I am trying to make Chris eat more than he even wants, haha, because I am afraid they will go bad. What a nice problem to have!

Prepping all that food was part of my mental recovery from letting loose this weekend. I got right back in control. There are no excuses for us this week.

My other recovery: 30 minutes cardio and 20 minutes strength training at the gym this morning. Feeling peppy and pleasantly worked out.

We rode our bikes to a friend's house last night to watch Game of Thrones. Our friend put out baby carrots for us to munch on while everyone else had cheese and spinach dip on crackers. I am glad the other snacks weren't an option for me. So often, I would undo days worth of healthy behaviors by eating half a cheese block at a friend's house! I love, love, love cheese. I also love that I am completely fine without it. Hopefully, this month of paleo will teach me to not reach for the cheese or teach me that once small slice is fine (any more and I might have some TMI tummy problems).

I am a total fantasy nerd. Game of Thrones is perfect. PERFECT. I love the books way more than the TV show, but wow... I love seeing the landscapes, the castles, the costumes, the jewelry, the food.... it transplants me into that world so perfectly for one hour a week. I love it.

Another goal of mine: look hot in a Game of Thrones inspired costume for Halloween this year? Maybe!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mistakes on the Wine Trail

Alright. So we did the Finger Lakes Wine and Herb Wine Trail this weekend, with 12 friends and a limo to cart us around. We scheduled it before we did Paleo, so we decided to take the day off and enjoy the trip. Chris and I agreed that we still wouldn't eat non-Paleo and we would try to make good decisions.

I got pretty drunk. Right away.

I guess that is what drinking after weeks of abstaining will do (I was cutting out the alcohol weeks before we went Paleo).

Each winery gave out samples of food to pair with the wine. I didn't eat *most* of the samples that weren't paleo friendly though. Skipped out on three samples of pasta salad. However, I did eat fudge, a strawberry rhubarb crumble, and cheese. Also, I had an open faced turkey and apple sandwich for lunch, so I ate a piece of bread. Oy.

When we got back to the cabin, I only ate meat and veggies, though. So that was a win! There were chips and things of that nature all around and I abstained (even though I was pretty drunk!)

The wine and non-paleo, very sugary food I ate took its toll. I started to feel hungover and sick around 10 PM that night while we were all sitting around the fire. I stayed awake for another hour and then went to bed. My stomach was NOT happy. I am glad I didn't indulge more! If I hadn't been doing Paleo for two weeks before this trip, my eating and drinking on the trip would have been much, much more. So thank, Paleo, you kept me in line!

I ate a paleo breakfast and a paleo dinner.
I didn't eat everything put in front of me!
I didn't drink once the trail was over. Only drank water back at the cabins.
I did much better than I would have done this time last year.
We took a five mile hike over the weekend to mitigate some of the unhealthy behaviors.

I drank... a lot. Maybe 8 glasses of wine total? Insane. I can't know! We were drinking little sips at a time. I regret how much I drank.
I ate non-paleo food (fudge, bread, crumbles, cheese, and that's all I can remember haha!)
I felt very, very sick at the end of my trip. Not fun. I don't like having to leave my friends because I feel sick!

So, all in all, I learned I don't want to eat and drink like that. It is bad for my body. My body rebelled against it, in fact. I paid dearly for my choices.

I like feeling good, bright, healthy and strong so much better!

No more alcohol-specific trips in the near future for us :D

We have eaten strictly paleo since we woke up this morning, though. I made coconut flour rosemary bread and almond flour pumpkin muffins for the week. So back on track right away!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Keep on keepin' on! (goal and wine trail!)

Well, even though I was ruminating about my self-esteem issues yesterday and maybe a little down.... I woke up this morning to a great number on the scale. Sometimes that shows how hard I have been working in the gym and how diligent I have been with my calories:


Goal! First time I have ever been in the 120s as an adult. I am.... kind of overwhelmed. I know the hard part is not over, I need to maintain this now, maintain a weight lower than I've ever been.

But I am not going to get all serious about it at this very moment. Right now, I might bask a little!

I do love Paleo: I feel it has reduced pounds of bloat in my system and helped me to lose at least 2 or 3 pounds of fat. I eat slightly more calories than I did before Paleo and am losing weight on it. I feel that I have more nutrients in my body than ever before (due to replacing pitas, breads and rices with vegetables and nuts!). I kind of love this "diet"... and this whole time I have been on it, I have been thinking of ways to live a mostly Paleo lifestyle forever.

I think it is clear that for me, giving up the rice/potato/bread part of dinner is a must. Also: toast every day for breakfast? Not necessary. I don't think I will be AS strict on the no-grain rule, but overall, a huge reduction in grains will stay. And the grains that do come back will be whole (as they were before anyway).

Also, the no processed food at all rule: absolutely staying. I have found it exceedingly easy to turn down store bought candy and cake and things of that nature. M&Ms? Nope! Girl Scout Cookies? Sorry. I don't need or want them. It is helping me stay within my calories to not have these little indulgences at friends' houses, school or work. I very seriously want the only things to go into my body to be real food.

Paleo limits added sugars, which I want to stick to. However, I think I will relax a little when the added sugar is honey or maple syrup. I still won't consume them every day or in large quantities, but I want them back in my life.

Alcohol? It won't be a NEVER for me. But still very limited and just a glass or two when I do. I had already decided on this well before I went Paleo.

As far as dairy and legumes go: I think it will work out very well for me to continue to limit these groups. I was eating both groups every day as some of my main source of calories. That wasn't working for me. But an occasional yogurt? Sure! (Chris and I are interested in making our own to make sure it doesn't have added sugar or preservatives) Some black beans for dinner once a week? Why not.

Also: I want to test all these ideas by adding them back into my diet slowly when our 30 days of Paleo is up. I want to see if my body reacts strongly to any of these foods. If it does, I am okay with eliminating that food. If not, back it comes!

I so, so, so, so badly want to weight loss to be maintainable and sustainable and for life.

If I don't want to fall prey to the fad-diet-syndrome where you gain back all the weight you lost when you resume normal eating, maybe I just won't resume normal eating. I will alter it so that I can stay this weight!

I have so much drive and energy and desire to stay on track!

Now, briefly, I will let you know what I am doing this weekend. I am going on a wine trail with friends.

How's that for staying Paleo?

We scheduled this wine trail tour long before we decided to go Paleo. I didn't want to WAIT to go Paleo because of this trip, so we didn't. However, I am going to break the Paleo rules on Saturday and enjoy tastes of wine. We are going to 8 wineries. I am thinking at least 3 tastes. So 24 tastes? Hahaha. Kind of crazy. But it is a trip with 10 friends, we are going to be in a stretch biodiesel hummer limo and having a ball! I am not missing this weekend, I am not going to abstain from alcohol.

However! I am also not giving myself permission to go completely crazy. No excessive wine drinking outside of the wineries. No non-Paleo food (we have a fridge and stove in our cabin we are staying in) and I am bringing things like Larabars and nuts and jerky on the trail with us so we can eat during the day. One of the wineries has a lunch place we are going to, where we can get a salad and grilled meat.

This weekend will not derail me.

I will also have tons of fun this weekend!!

Both are promises to myself :)

Peace and love, everyone!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Body Image

When will my body image catch up with my body?

I am sure I drive my boyfriend nuts because I am still so self-conscious and unsure about my body, what clothes to wear, if I look good, etc, etc.

I had a really good body-image morning at the gym. I liked catching a glance of myself in the mirror while I worked out. But it is so changeable! Two days before, I wasn't liking the reflection so much.... and it is not like my body has changed drastically in two days, or at all.

It's a decade-long struggle at this point. Whether I was fat, losing weight, maintaining or what-have-you, I can't seem to just love my body.

I was talking to Chris last night, letting him know that my goal of 129 is still the big goal, but I don't want to try to go into maintenance till I am 125 lbs. He was worried, because I have a long history of bad body image and disordered eating, that I might take weight loss too far. He asked me if I love my body, can I love it right now, as it is?

I actually think that yes, I can.

I also think I am going to continue to struggle with lapses of self-confidence and struggle with seeing my body as it really is. I am hoping I am long, long past the point where I am angry at or hate my body.

The only thing that concerns me is that I probably wouldn't love my body ten pounds heavier... and that seems wrong. Why shouldn't I love it even if I weighed more? To me, the weight gained would represent that I am out of control and have lost my sense of purpose. It would represent negative things. I need to take some time to think long and hard about loving myself, regardless.

This is the main reason I have this blog. To get this stuff out there. To be accountable for it. To not retreat into my own head and be unreasonable about my body.

I just wish it wasn't such a struggle.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another quick update on my very busy day....

Guess who is one pound away from goal???

Guess who hopes to surpass that goal???


I am so excited! 130.6 this morning. Officially lowest ever as an adult. Reaching those "120"s which I always thought were unattainable and just not for me or my body. But I feel great! And I feel so confident. I can fit into all my clothes, finally... no more unsightly bulges. I was running out of things to wear last year as a whole and feeling very uncomfortable with my body. Big change!

Had some bacon and an almond flour banana walnut muffin for breakfast this morning, gearing up for the day.

Going to rain all day (week, maybe!) so that dampens my spirits a *little* but not enough to bring me down.

I feel like I am on some sort of manic high lately. Is it the food? The weight loss? I feel so strange!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fish Tacos

I really wanted to share this meal I made for me, Chris and a friend last night because we all loved it so much:

Fish "tacos" (eaten in a broad leafed lettuce leaf) and mango salsa!

To make the salsa, we diced up avocados, mango, green pepper (I wish I had had red), red onion, and squeezed lime juice on top, then garnished with cilantro. It was so yummy, I ate some just with a spoon before the fish was ready. Nom.

To make the fish, we used tilapia. We chopped it into bite sized pieces, dredged them in almond flour, then in egg, then in "breading" made of chia flour, flaxseed meal, shredded coconut, garlic, black pepper, paprika, and a hint of ginger! Fried them in about 1/5 a cup of coconut oil.

Seriously delicious. We ate the whole pound of tilapia between the three of us!


A commenter brought up a good point about carbs. So I guess I wanted to mull it over a little!

The majority of my diet is still carbs, and they come from sweet potatoes, vegetables and fruits. It's just less carbs than I used to eat. I don't think carbs are inherently bad, either! It just seems that slightly less then 50% carbs works really well for me. I also don't think that would work for everybody!

Everyone had different bodies, different chemistries, and different needs. I don't believe a no carb or even a low carb diet would work for me! (I don't consider myself low carb doing this paleo experiment, because I don't even try to purposely reduce my carbs. It just happens that way because it is hard to eat as many carbs without grains)

So I guess I wanted to make it clear I am not writing this blog to tell other people how they should eat or exercise. This is just my own accountability and my own story :)

I slept in late today because we were at Passion Pit last night. They did a good job and I had fun but the venue was terrible!

Skipped yoga class this morning. I've been getting less than 8 hours of sleep for 5 days now, and I know I will end up sick if I didn't try for 8 last night! To make up for my skip, I am going to head to the gym before getting work done today.


Monday, April 23, 2012

One week in!

My guy and I have been strict paleo-eaters for one full week now. And...

We. are. loving. it.

Seriously, we have dropped pounds and found energy. Our weekend in NYC was fantastic and we didn't have to deal with the bloating and weight gain associated with over-eating carbs and drinking alcohol. We had so much fun AND our bodies feel healthy and strong. Love it.

The food has been tasting pretty awesome too. :)

Today is my food prep day. The way we have been dealing with eating paleo is PLANNING. I make sure to prep lots of foods that you can just throw in a tupperware and take with you. Carrot banana muffins, sweet potato latkes, turkey burgers and guacamole, mini quiches, nut mixes, etc etc. I am going to try some new recipes today.

I use a calorie counter on my phone that also shows me a pie chart of how my nutrition is used: carbs, fat and protein. Before paleo, my carbs would hover between 55% and 70%... not exactly the ideal nutrition! Now, my carbs are between 45% and 50% every day, and my proteins and fats are almost exactly 25% each. I like that a lot more.

I am holding steady at 132. Got to kick it up a notch to get 3 pounds off and maintain that so I can get my tattoo :)

Going to another concert tonight, Passion Pit, and maintaining my no drinking policy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

To drink or not to drink?

That's the question I asked myself several times this weekend!

So, we headed down to NYC on Friday afternoon because we had a concert that night. We set up at a friend's house, had brought our own healthy dinner. Before the show, we met up with friends at a bar called Valhalla. It was awesome! The beer list was out of this world. But I know, even without Paleo, how beer affects me. Still, as all our friends ordered drinks, I felt an incredible urge to get a delicious cold beer!

Now, I am not a beer lover, per se, but a really tasty one, I do like! I like white beers, hefes and the like, and this was a German bar with a number of good hefeweizens. But Chris was the ultimate supportive boyfriend and partner, and neither of us drank. (Also, turns out two of our friends were not drinking at the time either, so that felt like we had a camaraderie). Walked with everyone to the venue and proceeded to party until 3:30 AM (the show was loooong, the main act didn't even come on till 12:45)... not a drink to be had! I snuck some Lara Bars into the show for us, which we snacked on at around 2 AM. No street food for us :)

The next day, we had brought some meat and fruit and a nut "oatmeal" mix I had made, which tided us over. Our friend wanted to bring us up to a place in Westchester to go on a mild hike. So we got a little over 2 mile hike in around a lake and up an old quarry on our "party weekend"! Lucky to have friends that don't force unhealthy eating or living on us, but instead, offer up healthy activities. Very cool.

There would be a BBQ on Saturday before the next concert we were going to see. We brought sweet potato chips (just sweet potato and oil, no added salt!), greek olives and marinated garlic, and chili lime shrimp so that we would have Paleo friendly foods. At the BBQ was a strawberry spinach salad with balsamic vinagrette, and other assorted foods that were delicious and healthy. So surprised and amped about that. We had a great, filling dinner. Didn't eat any hotdogs or drink any beer, though.

Took the subway to the event, had a REALLY awesome time. This band, Brother's Past, is so good. We danced and danced and they played so well. Again, we only drank water! Actually, Chris got club sodas with lime so he could have a little something different. But still. I couldn't believe how many hours we were out, chilling with our friends and dancing and partying and neither of us sipped a drink. I feel very proud.

We made the decision when we got back to our friend's house that we were staying at at 3 AM that we wanted to drive home that night.... hahahaha. Wow. We were riding high and really excited, so we gave it a try. We got pretty sleepy towards the end, but we made it home safely. We really wanted the comfort of our own bed. We slept from 6 AM to noon! Now we are chilling out and going to have an easy day. Supposed to be rainy around here, which I think will be very soothing.

Weighed in today, 131.4. So a little less than when I left! It might be a little artificial, again, because we did dance and rage and stay up very late all weekend, I might be a little dehydrated. Though, it is just nice to come home and see a loss after a party weekend in the city.

All the right choices were made: no alcohol, healthy food in good portions, and even a little added exercise besides the city walking and the all night dancing!

I never thought I could make decisions like these. It felt so easy before to just go along with the social norms, get drunk and stupid and eat whatever was out there. Those were still really fun weekends, but the price? Maybe a little too high.

Also, it amazes me how supportive close and even not so close friends are about our decision and dedication to choose this life. I love that I am not losing any of the flavor or fun of LIFE just because of FOOD!

I am a little run down and sleepy now, but so happy :)

Peace and love, my friends!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Biggest challenge stay on track yet: travel

So we are leaving sometime this afternoon to head down to NYC for a few concerts we are seeing this weekend. It makes me super nervous about staying paleo the entire time, which I want to. I already know I will not have alcohol. But I worry about being hungry out in the city and not having enough snacks with us!

I am going to try my best to prepare for this. Luckily, we are staying with a friend who knows about and is supportive of what we are trying to do here. So he isn't going to have loads of tempting treats or anything for us when we get there.

But we are going out into the city before dinner time (though I will eat my dinner at his house, even if it is early) and staying out pretty late both Friday and Saturday nights. I am bringing a Lara Bar and almonds and hoping for the best!

I will let you know how it all went when we get back :)

Oh yes, we went to a soup party last night (our friends made several paleo-friendly soups, they're the best!), and I weighed in this morning at 132.2... makes much more sense than the super low weight I weighed in at yesterday. I still love it and can't wait to keep progressing!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dying to hike!

This coming weekend we have a bit of a party weekend: going to NYC for Shpongle on Friday, Brother's Past on Saturday, back home for Passion Pit on Monday!

I am stay paleo the whole time, no alcohol or non-paleo foods, that's a promise.

I miss hiking, though. The weather is great! I am at my lowest adult weight and I want to get out into that world and rage it! I wanted to share the above picture of me and my man :) I feel not quite at home when I haven't been in the woods for too long. I miss those vistas and those smells and that big open sky.

Even though this weekend will be partying and not hiking, I am hoping to come home on Monday, weigh in and find that I am still at 131 (or even lower? a dream I am scared to have!).

Chris and I are loving Paleo so far. We aren't hungry, we are eating tons of good food, and we feel so light. It is only day 4. Here's hoping the next 26 days go just as smoothly.

Wolves and Weight

So, I will start off by introducing you to the "crazy cat lady" part of me. I am obsessed with wolves. I even have a life size cardboard cutout of a wolf in my living room (it was a weird birthday present!). I donate to wolf causes, I write to legislators about wolf protection, I own a wolf spirit hood, I have several wolf tattoos on my body and will be getting more. I feel a very deep empathy and connection to wolves, and I've let that feeling really fill me.

These are the times I shake my head at my OWN self.

But I can't help it. As I have been growing and changing into a woman, into a strong and fit person, into an independent young person... I have self-identified with wolves. (I've even pet a domesticated one)

They are the emblem for me of balance in the world. A wild wolf in the forest is just the perfect image, to me, of a life well lived, without all the garbage that inhabits my modern life.

I love the pack mentality, the strict social order in their pack, the loyalty to the pack, the Alpha lifetime pair bonding, the fact that they are GORGEOUS animals, that they live in forests and love to swim!, their vocalizations, the howling, how communicative they are, how perfectly wild and free they are... and the fact that they are the ancestors of my beloved dogs :)

They are my totem animal without any doubt.

I wanted to put this out there (all my real life friends know this about me, for sure... I get calls when wolf documentaries are on TV!) because of my goal reward:

When I reach (and maintain for a while, to make sure it is for real) 129 lbs, I am getting a full thigh tattoo of a stylized wolf head.

It is to mark the fact that I have control over my body, I am free, I am in BALANCE with my body and my mind. I am not a slave to addictions and sadness and worry. It will be a sign that I have the same strength I admire in wolves. And the tattoo will be a reminder that I am all these things and will need to stay on this path.

So that's my little bit of crazy. Didn't want everyone thinking I was too normal or anything!

I weighed in today again (I usually only weigh once a week, but I am very curious about how this food experiment is going!) and came in at 131.4...... I don't even really know what to say about it. Is it real? Is this really my weight and those extra five pounds that have come off were just bloating and inflammation from eating the wrong things? Is this really me?????

I am too confused to be completely happy, haha. I know this makes me feel ever stronger and more able to stay on course to make SURE that number is real. Went to the gym this morning and busted my butt. Ate lots of protein before the workout and had some starch afterwards. Feeling very balanced and hopeful :)


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quick Update:

I have a long, busy day ahead of me (no workout today, ah!), but I had to check in real quick to tell you:

I stepped on the scale today (I should not do this daily, but I am curious as to how the Paleo diet is affecting my body) and it said....... 132.8!!! Down from 136.2 on Monday morning. Wow. I know it is artificial weight (bloating, inflammation, water), but it goes to prove: I WAS changing my body with my eating and working out these past two months, but I wasn't seeing results on the scale because I was choosing the wrong foods (grains and dairy especially... I ate them almost exclusively, hahaha, greek yogurt, yum!).

So I feel pretty awesome and am eager to continue working out, eating within my calories, and following the Paleo guidelines. Hoping to hit 129 in the near future so I can get my tattoo :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recent Picture

This was taken on our hike last weekend! I feel like I am starting to look like that super fit and healthy person I've always wanted to be.

Paleo Experiment Day 2: Bloating GONE (food list)

So, I had a low last month of 134.8, which delighted me beyond words. I have slowly been creeping up until on Monday morning (after a day where I had a cup of ice cream and a slice of pizzeria pizza) I weighed in at 136.2. Sadface.

We started a Paleo experiment yesterday. Chris and I are eliminating all grains, all legumes (even my beloved peanut), all added sugars, all dairy and all alcohol (except for two days of wine tasting that were already planned before this experiment) for 30 days.

This morning, I weighed in at 134.4


Excitement!!! All the bloat and water weight from making the wrong food choices disappeared overnight! I was eating within my calories for the past 3 weeks and working out, so I knew I wasn't putting on fat, but choosing the wrong foods was making me bloat and hold on to some extra weight.

This gives me such drive to stay strong this month and keep to my plan!

We are going to be slowly adding in some dairy, legumes, and whole grains over the course of the month following this experiment, to see what our bodies respond to positively and negatively.

I will tell you what I ate yesterday:


Small sweet potato latke
Crustless quiche with sausage
1/2 cup cantaloupe diced


Cabbage and carrots  and mushrooms with olive oil (seasoned)


1/2 lb of salmon (this protein and fat felt AMAZING)
asparagus with oil
Broccoli and garlic


Drink with coconut water and meat, cantaloupe and banana
Red Pear
20 Almonds
5 green olives stuffed with garlic
3 Walnuts

There you have! I think it is pretty well rounded and delicious. I think I got all my nutrients in. Ended up with under 50% carbs for the day, even though I ate a ton of veggies and about 25% each of protein and fat. Those were the percentages I was aiming for.

I felt great yesterday: crisp and fresh and bright. Not weighed down at all. I have high hopes for this experiment. I feel that Chris and I will find the foods that work for us and give our bodies strength without inflammation or heaviness. We will be healthy and mindful :)

I did not work out yesterday, other than taking my dog for a walk and to play in the park fountain. Here is a fun picture:

I did workout today. An intense yoga session where we never held a pose for longer than a breath! I felt all swimmy in my head, haha. Then a little cardio and strength and ready to start my day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Best drink on earth:

New experience for me:

Opening a coconut!

We used the coconut water, the inside meat, banana, cantaloupe, cinnamon and coriander....

And were treated to one of the most refreshing and naturally sweet and lovely drinks I have ever had!

Just a short post, but I had to share!

Crazy Fun Weekend!

I was originally going to make my next post a detailed outline of my new eating plan, but I am putting off the details till tomorrow, because I *need* to post about my weekend! I will not go into super details about any of the weekend events so as not to bore you, but I have to get it off my chest.

Friday Night: at the last minute, I decided to go out dancing with a couple of friends to an electronic/dubstep DJ event. I ended up staying out till 4 am! Now, I am pretty regular at going to bed around 11 pm, so this was a shock to my system. But I had a super fun time. Also, I walked the 2 miles to the club and danced for 6 hours and only had two drinks, so it all evened out health-wise.

Another little victory Friday: I went without Chris and ended up getting hit on by several young men. Half the crowd was college undergrads and they mistook me for one of them! They thought I was 21 :) It felt pretty darned good.

Saturday: I woke up at 7 am on Saturday. That makes for 3 hours of sleep. Ouch. Not the greatest. To recover from my long night, I walked to the local juice bar, Lil Buddha, and got a super juice of carrots, beets, spinach, cantaloupe, ginger and wheatgrass! I rested, took my dog for a long walk, and then went to my first ever Passover Dinner (Seder) at a friend's house. He held a little, fun, and abbreviated Seder for his friends and I enjoyed it! I overate, though, and felt slightly bad about that. But I knew I would make up for it!

Sunday: We went for a 7 mile hike in the Catskills (we did Sugerloaf, a Catskill 35er). While on a cliff edge, a bald eagle flew up from under us and passed four feet in front of our faces! It was an incredible moment for all of us. We were excited for the rest of the day. I may post pictures of the hike sometime later.

When we got home, we shopped at the co-op for things we would need to start our new "diet" (I like to call it more of an experiment). Then we walked 2 miles to our friends house to watch Game of Thrones, I ate one piece of pizza (totally allowed after hiking 7 miles) and then walked 2 miles back home! Slept like the dead.

Today: Not much to say yet, since my day hasn't really happened yet. I am taking my dog to the park since they turned the fountain on and he loves to swim/play in it (and it is going to be 86 degrees today, yuck!).

Today also starts our new food experiment, which I will talk about a little more tomorrow. We are going Paleo for one months. No grains, extra sugar (other than what is in fruit), legumes (no peanuts, augh!), dairy, alcohol, or processed food. It's a toughie, but necessary for us. We are in a rut with food and taking a lot of things for granted.

Also: I don't like my weight. Up to 136 (though it is TOM for me, but still!). So I want to shake things up a bit.

Talk to you tomorrow, love you all!

Friday, April 13, 2012

I may or may not have eaten chocolate truffles for breakfast...

Okay. I did, in fact, have chocolate truffles for breakfast!

Not the best decision a person ever made... gearing myself up for a sugar rush and crash in a few hours, haha!

I will buffer this confession by saying I had a ten mile bike ride this morning and ate turkey bacon and toast BEFORE eating those truffles.

I just. so. wanted. those. chocolates.

I have a problem!! But I don't feel too bad about this decision. THEY WERE AWESOME. We found this local Adirondack chocolate company that I am in love with (Barkeater Chocolates) and, wow.

So, now I got that all out of my system. Confessed. Don't feel too guilty. Going to have a healthy day for the rest of the day :)

There were eight chocolates in the box. I was originally going to eat one a day for eight days. I had to change that up to two every day because I only had four days before there will be no more chocolate in my diet!

Tomorrow I am going to write a blog about the new food challenge I am doing in the coming month. This is first time I'll ever had radically changed my diet and I am doing it because I want to see how different foods affect me. Also, these last five pounds are sticking to me hard, so shaking up my life a little might just help!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Favorite victory so far!

I will preface this by saying, even in the years I have maintained a healthy weight, I have always, always, always struggled with social eating.

Most often: I overate, ate junk food, ate when I felt socially awkward, ate when I was having fun, and drank way way way too much. Even if I would have an "okay" event where I didn't go over calories too badly, I still felt bad about my choices. I would go into events wanting to deprive myself of the food and would end up going nuts all over it!

Sometimes I would even avoid a social dinner or gathering just to avoid this situation.

But, I have rededicated my energies this year (and this blog is a symptom of that) and wanted to really stop having these food issues.

Last night was a big test and a great victory!

One of our friends that we usually see every Wednesday for TV night had a birthday last night. He wanted to go out for beer, pizza, and wings for a few hours before heading to someone's house to watch TV with everyone. There were going to be 20+ people there. So a nice big party.

I was worried. Usually I would eat 2-3 pieces of pizza (because once I start eating that cheesy greasy heaven, I have a hard time regulating myself) and up to 6 wings, not to mention a beer or three! It is difficult to be in a bar/restaurant with 20 friends and not eat/drink what they are. Also, I just love a beer to loosen up and be silly: but it leads into a downhill tumble of lowered inhibitions and more food.

So I made a decision I have been making for a while: no drinks. Only once every two weeks or so will I have a few drinks with friends. Last night was not one of my nights. I looked at the menu online ahead of time (worst menu on earth: pasta, pizza, wings, burgers... ONE salad... I have never seen a less healthy menu in my life) and saw that the only option for me would be a grilled chicken sandwich. The huge table of my friends ordered 5 pizzas and 120 wings. I pulled the waitress to the side for a second and asked for the sandwich, with no fries or chips!

I sat through the wings without eating them. They brought out my sandwich with the pizzas, and my plate had a salad on it with green peppers and tomatoes!! The sandwich had dark greens and onions and tomatoes. So I got a pretty good meal in the end! (I also ripped off any excess bread on the roll... felt so in control of myself!)

The one allowance I let myself indulge in: five pieces of fried zucchini discs! MMMM. So good! Probably around 300 calories, but I loved the taste of fried in my mouth.. oh yes. I had room in my daily calories for it, so I did it! And it wasn't such a bad choice and didn't lead to me making more bad choices.

So I was at the bar for over three hours, had lots of laughs and nice times with my friends, no alcohol, a little bit of fried food, a healthy sandwich and salad! I also drank 3 glasses of water through the night.

I didn't lose out on a thing :D

This was a great victory for me. It gives me confidence that I can do this in the future. I can have nice, social times and not overeat and not eat junk.

It has been one of my scariest hurdles. I would eat right all week and blow it all on a terrible night of eating and drinking. And I would get stuck at the same weight for months. I know my body. I know I cannot over-indulge like that.

And now I know I don't have to.

So I ended the night and started the day pleased, feeling healthy and positive. Went to the gym, strength trained, a little cardio. And now a day of trying to write some of a chapter for my dissertation!

Much love, friends!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hump Day! (and a new dress)

Normally my Wednesday is very busy: teaching labs all morning, prepping labs for the next week, attending lecture, farmer's market day (yay!). I usually skip the gym on Wednesdays (using it as my rest day). Then we have our weekly meet-up with friends for food and TV!

But because of Spring Break, I don't have labs this Wednesday (another yay!), and told myself yesterday that I would use this day off to get to the gym.

I am not honoring that promise, yikes! I am SORE. My core is sore. My shoulders are sore. I cannot fathom working out right now. I plan to walk a lot today (long walk of the dog, also walking 2 miles to the TV night) and I think that will have to suffice.

I weighed in today. 135.4. So holding steady right between the 134.8 - 135.6 that I've been weighing in at for a couple of weeks now.

PLATEAU! I am really behaving so well. I want to see some number progress (repeating my mantra that this takes time). I see the progress in my body.

As a note to that progress: I bought a dress at Old Navy I usually would never dare (dress!because it has no seaming to disguise my problems areas. I usually try to get empire waists or something that floats away from my mid-section because it is a bit bumpy and not the most aesthetically pleasant.

I am getting used to showing my body a little more. It is not perfect. My stomach is not flat. But I have muscle and my waist is getting smaller (and is definitely smaller than my hips!) and so I bought this dress. Just a simple body-fitting sheath with a rope tie. And it looks good! Chris very, very much appreciated it when I tried it on for him :) I love the green color, too. I have hazel-ish eyes, but this dress makes them look very green.

Still a little nervous about it. But I know just when I am going to wear it (as long as it gets warmer by the end of the month!)

So buying a dress that looks hot and a dress in which I have no where to hide is a good way to notice progress, even if the $&^%&@* scale still shows me as not changing, haha!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

No More Abuse

Today I have been thinking about how I used to (and still occasionally) abuse my body or treat it like an enemy.

I had these thoughts because I had my early morning yoga class that I've been attending weekly this year.

I love yoga, the stretching and the full body awareness and strength workout it entails. However, I usually do not enjoy the part of yoga where we sit/lay and meditate or where the teacher kind of goes over some daily thoughts or whatever. I usually go somewhere else in my mind and don't pay much attention. It's hard for me to be introspective.

But today, when, at the end of class, the teacher said to "Inhale life and exhale gratitude" I really heard her.

I am so, so, so grateful for my life and my body that carries me through it.

I don't want to hurt it anymore. It is no long just about looking good or weighing less. I want to stop hurting myself. I want to stop poisoning myself. I never want to let my body go to waste, to let it's muscles weaken or it's vitality drop.

I am amazed at how much I used to hurt myself and for how long I used to do it. Years! I let my body fall into ruin for years and I still feel the after effects of it. My hip is still a little wonky. I have stretch marks. My metabolism is unbalanced. I have a lot of fear of my body and what it is or isn't capable of.

I thought briefly about not going to yoga this morning and sleeping in. I am glad I went. It is good for me. Makes me more aware of my body and how truly connected to it I am, how lost I would be if it failed me. How much energy I have to put into it.

I thought about how easy it would be to fall right back into abusing my body. How life stresses could so quickly make me stop exercising or eat for comfort. It is RIGHT THERE. So close.

I have to promise myself I will put maximum effort into not letting that happen. This is my one body and I need to take care of it and love it wholeheartedly.

On a side note: I would recommend or their blog. I am disgusted with the foods I used to eat or tell myself was not so bad. Processed foods are poison, plain and simple, and they don't belong in our bodies. They kill us slowly and make it harder for us to do everything (lose weight, be strong, be energetic, etc). And some of the information in this blog about what those chemicals or hard-to-pronounce ingredients REALLY are continues to shock me. Nothing but whole ingredients for this girl.

Sometimes I slip and eat a Reese's candy a friend gives me or M&Ms, or I eat overly processed crackers at a party, or I will take a bite of a slim jim from someone on a hike. No more, no more, no more. It is not worth it. I would never eat some of their ingredients if they weren't processed to look like food, so why eat them at all?

I'm done. No more slip ups. They are not good for me and I want to put goodness into my body so that my body is good to me.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Indulgence and success this weekend

I'll start off by saying I had an incredibly lovely weekend where I saw my family, Chris' family and got to spend every day with Chris :D

Success Stories:

Saturday morning Chris and I went to the gym for 45 minutes before hitting the road!

Sunday morning Chris and I took the dog on a 3 mile walk before Easter dinner

Sunday night Chris and I took a long walk around the city after Easter dinner

I did not overeat Easter dinner (one small piece of lasagna and one small piece of bread and a cookie!) ... it was my lunch and my dinner because we ate at 3PM so my calories for the day were a-okay.

Indulgence Stories:

I ate cheese before dinner on Saturday night that I did not need to but it was yummy

I had a super decadent dinner with Chris' family at a restaurant. I ate a fried risotto ball, hahaha, so healthy!

There was Godiva Chocolate cake to celebrate the birthdays back at Chris' parents home. I had two pieces. It was insanely, out of this world, breathtakingly delicious. I don't regret it at all, mmm mmm. It's not an everyday thing for me, for sure.

I went over my calories on Saturday. By about 600 - 800. A little set back.

Moral of the Stories:

Everything seems to have balanced out!

I just got back from my Monday morning gym workout. It was GREAT! I felt strong, cardio flew by, my pull ups are getting stronger (I need less assistance), and I worked on my abs!

Going to eat super clean for the next two days to just clean out the rich food I indulged in on Saturday.

Overall feeling pretty positive :)

Seeing the families was good. There was stress just because it is family and there is a lot of history there, but I had a great time regardless of being a tad stressed out. Chris and I are both definitely working on not turning to food or alcohol in those stressful situations. We are sometimes successful and sometimes not, but it is overall forward progression.

Hoping everyone is feeling back on track and settling down after the holiday weekend!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Weekend

So I weighed in this morning at 135.6, up .8 of a pound from last week. Bummer! But, after a brief "Grrrrr" moment this morning, I have come to terms with it as natural. I need to accept that my weight will fluctuate up and down, especially since I am at a good weight right now. I weighed myself because when I looked in the mirror this morning, I saw a thin, strong, healthy person and thought "Well! Everything looks good, must be down to 133 by now!"

Nope! It's okay, though. I haven't missed any gym time (except my off day on Wednesday where I am very busy at the university, but that is planned). My eating was a little off earlier this week, but has been right on track the past two days. It needs to stay on track for longer periods for me to actually hit my goal. Trying to remember this.

I behaved VERY well at a dinner party at my friend's house last night. I had 1000 calories to spare (I worked out super hard to get some extra buffer zone for the dinner) and ate two pieces of homemade, whole wheat veggie pizza, ONE glass of red wine, a healthy spinach salad and some sweet potato chips. And I didn't go over on my calories! I felt very pleased to have had such a lovely, tasty, filling meal and still stay within goal. Also: we walked two miles round trip to their house, so I got some  bonus exercise to boot :)

Tomorrow, we are visiting Chris' family to celebrate his mom and his sister's birthdays. We are going out to eat at a fancy restaurant.

Stay strong.
Stay conscious.
Remember what is important long term.

I plan to exercise a little before the visit  and eat very smartly during the day, so that again, I can enjoy a nice meal, but still keep that meal healthy, light and made with whole ingredients.

I hope someday this all comes more naturally to me and I don't have to plan so much in advance for these moments! For now, I am content with working on staying aware and present in my environment to avoid just shoving food into my mouth for no reason. It isn't always fun to work on this  so hard. But it is paying off. Even with the slight gain this week, I am kind of starting to love my body.

A very nice feeling :)

Namaste, friends, I hope everyone has a gorgeous weekend and feels happy and confident!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why I gained weight... why I still struggle.

So I was debating what I wanted to write about today. I knew I wanted to write something, but was unsure... I was stuck between a serious post and a crunchy-granola-silly hippie post (I got called a hippie today by some of my students... just because I am a hiker and eat non-processed food!).

I decided on the serious post. Because I feel like I need it. I have a been a little lax with my eating this week. Nothing insane, but nothing beneficial to my ultimate goals either.

So I wanted to talk about the reason why I gained weight (not that it isn't complex and varied, but this is definitely where it all began). And it's my mother. She was an amazing woman (and very strict at times!) but it wasn't her behavior that made me eat, it was the fact that I lost her so young.

Some pictures, first:
She was gorgeous!!

Mom and Dad, wedding day!
My mom and I
 I tend to believe I would have been at a healthy weight if she had lived: she kept me moving and active and social and involved. We weren't SUPER healthy eaters, but it wasn't all fast food and junk, either.

She died of brain cancer when I was ten. It was really devastating. I didn't really act like it was (I was a kid) and so maybe no one knew how to help me. I went on with normal life, all normal except that my once petite-thin frame was changing fast. Chubby 11 year old, tending towards actually fat by 12 and 13.

I also was much less social. I didn't get out of the house much or participate in many activities. My mother had been the Girl Scout Leader and I stopped going after she had died.

I had no guidance. My dad was overwhelmed and, I think, in shock. He did what he could: worked, got us to school, cleaned the house. Everything emotional just kind of stopped.

We had plenty of junk in the house then. Me, my dad, and my brother all ended up overweight. Unfortunately, I am the only one who has made a change :(

Things could have been done differently, but I don't feel any anger, either towards myself or towards others, for how my life progressed after she died. We all did our best, tried to keep going even though our whole world had fallen apart. I am glad I have a chance to make it right and make her proud of me, though.

It took ten years after her death for me to become self-aware enough to do something different, to stop hurting and move on. I never really cried about her death till I was older. I didn't realize till then how important she was to me. She was my mother. It was hard to become a woman without her (maybe I didn't really want to and that is why I withdrew from life early on? I don't know).

But that is the major cause of a lot of my emotional, social, and mental problems. I was always a little crazy as a kid (my whole family thought I was a bit strange!) and would probably still be as big a weirdo as I am now even if she hadn't died! But that trauma was the start of most of the problems I am still dealing with now.

It is so odd to know so concretely the root of my overeating. It's also odd that knowing it doesn't always help me to fix it!

I hope that in writing this down and making it public, I will keep her in mind. That she would never have wanted this struggle for me, that she would have been sad to know her death caused so much sadness for so long in me. I want to be a woman that makes her proud: strong (because, oh, she was a strong person inside!), loving, and full of life.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Yoga and not weighing in..

Woke up bright and early to go to the 6:30 AM yoga class at the Y.

I grumbled quite a bit with the waking up, but am so glad I went. I feel loose and limber and ready for the day!

Not going to weigh in, still... I am SO curious, but I think a higher number would deflate me quite a bit. So I am going to go on acting as if I *do* have a higher number and am trying to get it back down without actually knowing if I do.

Love/hate relationship with the scale.

It's alright! I refuse to let myself get too wrapped up in the bad headspace.

My guy took today off work for an appointment and to get some life stuff done. But he has the afternoon pretty free, so he and I are going to go for a super long bike ride (which in hilly Albany is kind of tough for me). It will be my cardio for the day. Love not having to go on the elliptical or stationary bike!

Off to work on statistics for little while and then, SO so SO so eager to enjoy this sunny day.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Getting over anxieties! (working out while doing so!)

This weekend's assignment for getting over anxieties was to bring my dog (Koda) on a bigger and farther away hike than he's been on yet!

I get nervous thinking about Koda in the woods (I think I am going to be a nervous type of parent). We also have been having problems in the car with long car rides and misbehavior.

So, we endeavored to do a hike in the Catskills, over an hour away and about a 7 mile hike (we do under 30 minute car rides and about 4 mile hikes usually).

Turned out great! A few snafus though:

- He slipped his collar at a gas station in a small town. Took about 15 minutes to get him back into the car because he was feeling saucy after the long car ride (oy).

- There was snow in the mountains! We did a lot of talking to people and reading of trip reports to ensure there was no snow. But you can't prepare for Mother Nature (unexpected big storm the night before), so we were a little unprepared and did some slipping around.

- Some spots of the hike were not dog-friendly. There was a 12 foot near vertical rock wall near a cliff with some juts of rock and tree roots that he needed a little extra help with. Koda was eager to DO it, just needed some support from Chris up the rock. There was another about weird area that he needed to do: 6 foot high rock that you really had to use your HUMAN hands and arms to pull yourself up. Chris literally picked Koda up and threw him on top, haha. Both man and dog performed admirably!

Here are a few pictures from the hike (Indian Head in the Catskills):

It was a very strange day. Some dog anxiety (that is all my problem and I need to work on it, I just so badly want him to be safe), weird weather, AND we met friends on the summit who are doing a several day through hike. Strange! We had no idea we would meet them and it felt very serendipitous!! The forest is magic, absolutely!

So, I got a great workout: 7 miles, 5 of those were uphill! And worked on dog behavior and my own problems with the dog.

Even though it was AWFUL that he got loose before the hike and I was trembling with nervousness until he got back in the car, I think it was a good thing that happened. I had to face it and deal with and not just live in dread of it. And we are all safe and happy, so it all worked out.

I love hiking for my workouts. I love bringing the dog on my workouts. It really keeps me moving and wanting to move.

Side note: this hike was extraordinarily easy for me. I felt so strong and fit and the long climb up didn't bother me. My breath came easily and my muscles responded quickly.

All of this gym time (cardio, strength, AND yoga) are helping me more than I could ever have imagined!

We had a Game of Thrones party with friends and they made Game of Thrones style food:

Pease Porridge
HEART two ways (yes, heart)
Lamb Stew
Onion tarts
Spicy eggs
etc, etc, etc

Needless to say, I indulged quite a bit. Very aware of it. Won't be weighing myself for a few days while I reign my behavior back in :D

Went to the gym early this morning before heading to school to give make-ups tests. Feeling good and positive!

Namaste, friends.