Sunday, November 22, 2009

All Quiet on the Midwestern Front

While I was training for my first 5K a few months ago, I really enjoyed getting up in the morning to run. If I had a stressful day, I’d throw on my workout clothes and go for a run. It soothed me. Back then.

I’d like to say that my workouts remained a steady pattern after the race, but that didn’t really happen. Sadly, I’ve only worked out a handful of times in the past month and a half. Bad Amanda! Maybe that had something to do with my sticking at 153-154 for the past few months. Hmm who woulda thunk? Duh.

I knew what I was doing (or rather, what I wasn’t doing) was not good. I got busy. My life’s events ran away from me, and I wasn’t running (literally) with them. In the past month and a half, I’ve been out of town four of the weekends. I wasn’t fitting in workouts while I was out of town, and when I’d be back in St Paul, I was focused on work during the week and social gatherings on the weekends. I just DID NOT want to work out during my free moments. I wanted to sit, lay, read, R-E-L-A-X.

Not exercising for a few days turned into a few more days then a few weeks, and I fell off the workout wagon. I’m now realizing how poor of a decision that was.

A regular workout routine would have been one of the only constants in my busy-bee life. That, in itself, might have alleviated some stress. The endorphins produced during my workouts would have made me happy. The positive results I would have seen in my body would have made me ecstatic!

Now that I’ve come to this realization, I will jump back on the wagon. Actually, I already have!

No, not that wagon.

This morning, after waking up too early for a Sunday and watching last night’s Saturday Night Live, I put on my exercise gear and headed outside. I did my warmup walk then broke into a jog. Then, the dreaded thing happened.


I was only 5ish minutes from home. I could have gone back. How can I run without tunes?!?! But NO. I stayed strong. I decided today is the day I will enjoy the nature around me. Today is the day I will use my workout time — my ME time — to think.

I took a couple of laps around the lake, and then, as I was on my route home, I decided to take a detour. A detour that would make my route LONGER. I wound up walking more than running, but I really didn’t care. I like walking, and it made focusing on the scenery and my thoughts more enjoyable.

The last half of my route was kind of depressing, actually. Is it weird that I even found THAT enjoyable? I’m generally a happy-go-lucky person, but every so often I like to wallow. I’m a weirdo. I was thinking about how my apartment’s getting too small for me and the kitties, how boys are stupid and I’m probably going to be single forever, how I don’t know what to get anybody for Christmas, how I just KNOW that I’ll gain weight over Thanksgiving weekend, how I had lost weight this past week only to RUIN IT ALL last night at Emily and Roland’s housewarming party. Oh thinking. This is where it gets me.

At one point I actually felt myself walking hunched over like a sad Charlie Brown. Or even better, a sad George Michael Bluth.

(I love Arrested Development. LOVE it.)

Anyway, I got home, stretched and checked out my distance on 5.65 miles … sans iPod! Pretty big deal for me considering I rely on my tunes to keep me goin. Turns out I don’t need ’em! Buuuuut in the future I’d much rather jam to my happy tunes than swim in my sadness. Just sayin’.

On the bright side, now that that’s over, I’m happy as a clam :) This weekend I get to hang with my family and friends that I rarely see! Woot! I’m also contributing two dishes to Thanksgiving dinner this year. It’ll be my first time making anything for it, and I’m kinda pumped. I will make Lemon-Marinated Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Chips. I’ll be sure to take some pics and post them with the recipes within a week or so of Thanksgiving.

Speaking of recipes, you should really check out the e-cookbook PriorFatGirl Jen compiled. My Black Bean Chili recipe is in there along with more than 50 recipes for various tasty eats. Each recipe contains the nutrition facts, which I LOVE because that’s the first thing I look for when paging through cookbooks. More often than not, there are no nutrition facts and I put down the book and find another one that does. And this cookbook has ’em!!!

It’s only $5, and $4 of each payment goes to a great cause: YMCA Activate America. Very very cool. Check out the PriorFatGirl E-Cookbook 2009 if you know what’s good for you ;)

Wow. This got long. Peace, I’m out.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it

Something pretty cool happened this morning. I stepped on the scale, and what did I see? 149.8. First time in the 140s since high school (!), I think. I was sticking around 153 for a couple of months, but now I’m finally goin’ down again. YIPPIE!!!!!!!!!

And now for the rewindyness I promised :)

I was visiting Morgan in Iowa on October 31. We woke up that morning and headed to Target for our Halloween costumes. After we got what we needed there and the party store, we drove back to Morgan’s and were in our newly purchased outfits by 1:30 pm. We sang and recorded songs all afternoon. We’re cool like that. (The songs included, but were not limited to, “Like a Prayer” by Madonna, “I Could Not Ask for More” by Edwin McCain, and “Alone” by Heart. We sure know how to rock.)

Here’s a taste … keep reading to see the whole ensemble ;)

After singing our hearts out for hours, we hit the kitchen and made a fab dinner. Here’s a pic of the entrĂ©e … and the recipeeeee!

Penne with Spinach,
Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

12 oz whole-wheat penne
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 package grape tomatoes
½ cup water
6 cups stemmed fresh spinach
1 Tbsp dried basil leaves
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper

  1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half or in quarters and remove the insides.
  3. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil then add garlic, water, tomatoes, spinach, vinegar, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until spinach is just wilted (about 5 minutes).
  4. Stir in feta and pasta, heating until cheese begins to melt.

Makes 4-6 servings, about 322 calories per serving (That's what it said in the cookbook. Probably basing it on six servings?)

Yum yum yum yum yum. I’m salivating just thinking about it. It tastes like something straight from Noodles & Company … only better because we made it.

We also made a fruit parfait for dessert!

We couldn’t find the parfait dish I got Morgan and Mike for their wedding, so we just made it in the top of the angel food cake container. We layered ripped-up pieces of angel food cake, fruit (strawberries, bananas, kiwi fruit and blackberries) and fat-free Cool Whip. Then more cake, fruit and Cool Whip. Then cake and fruit. Voila! It’s even better after it’s had a chance to set. The fruit juices soak into the angel food cake and create ambrosia. (Thank you, Grandma, for that gem in my vocabulary.) This dessert is pretty guilt-free and tastes soooooo good. Try it :)

After dinner, Morgan and I put on the accessories to our Halloween costumes and showed Mike what he was about to wear for the rest of the evening. He wasn’t too jazzed right away, but I know he secretly loved it.

And now for the reveal …

We were bedbugs!Get it!? Like, bugs ... in pajamas ... bedbugs!
Cute little antennae and everything.
(We’re showing off our pajama-covered feet, if you’re wondering.)

Mike might win Husband of the Year for this.
What a good sport!

We headed to the bowling alley for a game and some drinks. Let me tell you, fleece onesie pajamas are superduper comfy! The only problem was that these are Girls XL, and apparently the designers weren’t expecting a 5’6” child.

I had a permawedgie.

After bowling the worst game of my life (those wings were huge and threw off my balance!), we went to a little bar and found an amazing surprise. KARAOKE! Good thing Morgan and I had been practicing all day, right??

So into it. Eyes closed and everything.

Of all the people in the bar (MAYBE 15 total), there were four in costume. Us and one other woman. But we weren’t ashamed! Although the townies probably thought we were a questionable bunch when we first walked in, we soon became the life of the party. We spent the rest of the night singing, dancing, drinking and laughing up a storm. The DJ even let us close out the night!

We really brought the house down :)

Last pic of the night. We rock!

Looking back, that night was definitely one for the books. We have THE MOST fun together! But that onesie made it an even bigger deal for me.

For one, Morgan weighs like 25 pounds less than I do, but we wore the same size. And from the childrens’ department for crying out loud!!!! It was tighter on me, but the fact that I basically wore a fleece bodysuit is a banner occasion! I never would have done that a year ago. Heck, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing it even a few months ago. We hung out in our little onesies aaaaaaall day, and I felt on top of the world. Who knew footie pajamas could mean so much? :)

As a closing image, I’ll leave you with this, a surprising sight for me:

My butt

Obviously I know I have a butt, BUT this was an eye-opener. Even with a wedgie, it’s not lookin’ too shabby if I do say so myself! Cheers!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Relax ... and eat

Alright, so I’m finally back in the blogosphere. I have been busy busy busy at work (where I’m on a computer all day), so the LAST thing I’ve been wanting to do when I get home is even open my laptop … let alone sit in front of it for a couple of hours and gab about my silly life. But here I am. Back from hiatus and ready to do this thing!

I just finished eating my usual Monday night footlong sub. More often than not, I swing by Subway after my Monday night Weight Watchers meeting and order the same ol’ thing: Italian herbs and cheese bread, no cheese, not toasted, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, green peppers, onions, black olives and chipotle southwest sauce. AAAANNNDD I grab a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos :)

Sounds like a lot of food, right? Well, it kinda is, but not really. A six-inch all-veggie sub just won’t do it for me! Another reason I don’t have a prob eating this meal is because I don’t eat much after breakfast on Mondays. I don’t want a false weight reading! I’m definitely not starving myself; I know better than that. I eat breakfast and then I’ll snack on some veggies early on in the day, but I don’t eat too much after noonish. I drink my usual 2 liters of water during the day, but I make sure I’m finished drinking by 2:30.

You might do something similar on your weigh-in days, too, or you might think I’m crazy. Whatever the case, this is what I do and it works for me. All other days of the week are much more normal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.

I actually didn’t feel well this morning, and I stayed home from work. After hopping out of bed, showering and THEN realizing I felt lightheaded and pukey (lame), I ate a banana and headed back to bed. After a little while, I got up to fix myself a real breakfast. I’m a big believer in that YOU STILL NEED TO EAT IF YOU DON’T FEEL WELL. I hate hearing when people are sick and they don’t even try to eat. Those are also the people who probably take a lot longer to get healthy. Just sayin'.

So anyway, I toasted two Kashi waffles and topped them with banana slices (yeah … another banana … I love them, duh) and sugar-free syrup.

Yummy yummy so so good.

This weird sicky feeling I had this morning totally hit me from out of the blue. You know how I’ve been busy busy busy? Could be my body’s way of telling me to take a chill pill and Frankie’s way of telling me to relax. (I am such a weirdo. Why did I need to throw Frankie into it? Now I’ve got that song and a Zoolander montage running through my head.)

After eating that first banana, waiting a bit and eating the waffle breakfast, and making sure to drink plenty of water, I felt great by late afternoon! I even made it to my WW meeting (btw I’ve lost a total of 68.2 lbs what what!) because I figured it was time to get out of the apartment. Afterward, I stopped for the sub sandy and we’re back to where we began. This post is like a wheel. Full circle, my friends. You’re welcome.

This is it for now, but since I hadn’t really updated y’all since before Halloween (yikes!), I’ve got some rewindy (totally a word) posts coming up. You’ll get to see my costume and the great meal Morgan and I made … including a recipe! Hey-o! Also, I’m gonna be talking about what happens to my eating and workouts when I’m stressed and busy. I’m sure a lot of you can relate, so stay tuned :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm alive. Promise.

Hey, readers who haven't given up on me yet! I haven't posted recently because A) I've been superbusy and B) sometimes my life's happenings aren't that blogworthy. I just wanted to pop in to say that I'm alive, I haven't quit this blog business, aaaaaand that I'll be busy the next couple of days, too. There WILL be a post later this week. For realz.

For now, I'll leave you with this Lolcat :)

Man do I wish I was in a pool and/or lying by a pool and/or enjoying pool weather right now. But I'm too much of a busy bee!!! And I'm in Minnesota. Peace, lovlies!