Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fresh Princess

Update on the GS cookie situ: I purchased four boxes that will be donated to the troops overseas. I was a Brownie back in the dizzle, so I wanted to support the program. I’m sure the troops will appreciate a little taste of home, too :)

No. That’s not my freezer. Thankfully.

When I began Weight Watchers, I relied pretty heavily on prepackaged foods. I usually made a packet of instant oatmeal for breakfast. I ate a frozen meal for lunch every day. I would often microwave a can of soup or another frozen meal for dinner. It was quick. It was easy. It was SAFE.

The nutrition information (and oftentimes the points value) is listed right on the package! How could I go wrong?

Well, it wasn’t really "wrong." But it wasn’t very right either.

Exactly one year ago tomorrow, I eliminated meat from my diet. I also decided around that time that I would focus more on fresh foods and assembling my own meals. I had no idea what my former eating habits were doing to my body. I didn't think about the effects of processed foods at all, actually. I didn’t realize how I USED to feel until my body started responding positively to my new way of life. Examples? Here ya go!

Fresh Food Favors

• Less sodium. Less bloating. Nuf said.
• Fruits and veggies are low-cal and very filling. I make a huge salad for lunch at work and am completely satisfied (and sometimes stuffed) until dinnertime. And all for 4-5 points!
• Multicolored produce = well-rounded nutrition. Along with lots of fiber, each color provides different vitamins and minerals. I try to get in four or five different colors of fruit and veggies per day. (Yesterday: banana, clementine, lettuce, tomato, peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, grapes. Nice work, me!)
• No acid reflux! I used to have acidy throat ALL THE TIME. No joke, I would swig from the Mylanta bottle morning, noon and night. It was complete agony 24/7. Sometimes I couldn’t sleep because I thought my throat was gonna burn off. NOT ANY MORE! It simply vanished when I changed my diet.

Meatless Miracles
• I #2 every day. Sometimes twice. It’s awesome.
• I don't feel lethargic after meals. A lot of people feel like taking a nap after lunch or couch potatoing it after dinner. Not me. I feel tip top.
• I rarely get sick or have headaches, which is a huge benefit in itself, but it also means that I rarely take medicine either.
• My meals are cheaper. Steak or lobster dinners can get pricey. Veg meals are generally more pocket friendly.
• I’m lowering my risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

If you don’t want to give up meat entirely, how about just one day a week? Lots of people do Meatless Mondays and find health benefits in that, as well.

Speaking o
f eating fresh foods, I recently picked up a tiny quick-read called Food Rules by Michael Pollan. I already owned In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by him, and he’s also the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I am a firm believer in that we need to be knowledgeable about what we put in our mouths and how we treat our bodies. His books definitely help with this. (Don't be scurred, non-veggies; these books are helpful for all!)

I don’t usually watch Oprah, but I have my DVR set for tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) episode called “Before You Grocery Shop Again: Food 101 with Michael Pollan.” Alicia
Silverstone will also be on the show, and I’m looking forward to hearing what she says. I really want to pick up her book, The Kind Diet, because I appreciate her three-level approach to a plant-based diet and I’m interested in learning more. The founder of Chipotle (yuuuummm) will be on the show, too. They’ll all be discussing the documentary Food, Inc., which I’d advise everyone to see if they haven’t already.

I know this post is getting longish, but I realized that I haven’t put any real-life pics on here in awhile. Here are some January highlights!

NYE at Jen’s house.
I wore pink tights with this dress and was feelin’ fab!

Jenna, Me and Jacob out for pizza in Onalaska.
I’m standing next to two skinnies … and I felt skinny, too! Yay!

Morgan, Me, Jacob, Jenna and Phyllis at my former high school’s show choir competition to support our friend Brianna who directs one of the best show choirs EVER.

Me, Emily and Jen at the Pat McCurdy concert.
If you live in the Midwest, you need to catch a show. SO FUN!

Jenna, BJ, Me and Alia at BJ’s Moving-to-NY party.
We’ll miss you!

And one more …

Happy Veggiversary
to Me and Morgan!!!!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Are they made from real Girl Scouts?

Oh, Girl Scout cookie time. It comes every year, and some people purchase a couple of boxes or maybe a boatload that they stockpile for the year. However, this year I said no — for my own well-being. It felt great. Empowering, really.

My coworker sent me an email stating that her daughter is selling the cookies. I responded with this:

I LOVE SAMOAS!!!!!!!!!! However, last year when I ordered from [your daughter], I proceeded to eat nearly an entire box in one sitting. Haha! Oops! It's probably best if I just don't order them :) Let me know if your kids ever do a nonfood fundraiser and I'm in!

It’s that easy! I was beaming after I hit send. Yay me!

Last year I ordered a couple of boxes and had intentions of only eating a cookie or two when I needed a sweet after dinner every once in awhile. I even put them in the freezer so that I’d need to let the Samoa thaw before devouring. Yeah, that technique didn’t last. I almost broke a tooth eating a frozen cookie because I JUST COULDN’T WAIT.

Then the madness ensued. I brought the entire box with me to the couch and mindlessly ate cookie after cookie until two of three rows had vanished. Did I even enjoy them?? Maybe the first cookie, but really, two rows? Probably not. So not worth it.


Lesson learned: Just don’t have them in the house.

I won’t ban them from my life because I don’t believe in banning foods or entire food groups. If I happen upon a Samoa at work or something, perhaps I’ll treat myself to one, but it’s really not important to me.

I’m approaching this Girl Scout cookie situation similar to my practice of not keeping chips or salty snacks in my home. If they’re in my cupboard, I’ll eat ’em like crazy; if they’re not, I won’t! I eat fruit or a minibag of popcorn and don’t feel like crap about it later. Call me a genius :) Ha.

I saw that picture on failblog.org and immediately thought of the scene from The Addams Family movie when Wednesday and Pugsley are selling lemonade.

Girl Scout: Is this made from real lemons?
Wednesday: Yes.
Girl Scout: I only like all-natural foods and beverages, organically grown, with no preservatives. Are you sure they're real lemons?
Pugsley: Yes.
Girl Scout: Well, I'll tell you what. I'll buy a cup if you buy a box of my delicious Girl Scout cookies. Do we have a deal?
Wednesday: Are they made from real Girl Scouts?

Hahaha love it! Probably my favorite part of the flick.

This post sure did run away from me, huh? Well, at least I stuck to a theme and got to reminisce a little :)

I wish you luck on your Girl Scout cookie endeavors! What’s your gameplan?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug

First off, I can’t thank y’all enough for the superduperwonderfulbunderful comments many of you left me after my last post. I motivate myself in a million ways, but you all give me that extra boost of momentum. Thank you. Really. From the bottom of my heart.

Secondly, I have a thing! Lemme explain. I hung out with a bunch of friends last Saturday, and we ended up at Liz and Cody’s. I brought over some Mission chips that I had at home (and NEEDED to get out otherwise I’d finish the entire bag myself). I also brought some salsa, so I thought we were set. Then my friend Jeff looked at me with kinda sad eyes and said, “What? No guac, Amanda?” I even thought about making it, too, but we went to dinner beforehand, so I didn’t think many people would be hungry enough to want it. AND SOMEONE DID!

I’ve never had a “thing” before. I’d be more than happy if my homemade guacamole is my thing! Well, and taco dip, but that’s another show …

Lastly, and my main point for today:

Please use a reusable water bottle.

Refill it often.

Carry it with you everywhere.

There are myriad benefits of hitting your daily H2O quota, but please don’t purchase packages of bottled water to do it. If you don’t like your water straight out of the tap, get yourself a Brita or something. I personally drink tap water and love it. And it’s freeeeeeeeeee!

More than 90 percent of the
environmental impacts
from a disposable plastic water bottle

happen before the consumer opens it.

Having your own reusable water bottle is not only earth-friendly, but it also keeps you mindful of drinking your daily wah-wah. Drinking at least 2 liters of water a day has been instrumental in my weight loss. It also makes my body work and feel fab!

It’s crazy how you can actually notice your body’s signals when you’re ingesting healthy food and beverages (most of the time). When I need more vegetables, my body tells me. When I need more water, my body tells me. It’s nuts.

The Mayo Clinic has some good info on why drinking water is important for our bods. This article also explains how much we should consume and why.

You know who else thinks water and reusable water bottles (and avocados) are muy importante? Jason Mraz, my fav musician and one of my fav bloggers. He often writes Wet Wednesday posts, which focus on water conservation, drinking from eco-friendly vessels, and the importance of water for our health. You can check out his most recent one here. And this one is especially pertinent and puts a lot of things in perspective.

Well, there it is, folks. If you don’t have a reusable bottle yet, what are you waiting for? If you do, I raise my Sigg bottle to you! Please share with us what bottle you use and love so that those on the lookout for a new one can be well-informed.


Monday, January 18, 2010

I can't believe it.

When I attended my very first Weight Watchers meeting on May 12, 2008, I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. I stepped on that dreaded scale and weighed 219.2 pounds. How could I let this happen? How did I let things spin so out of control? I knew I needed a huge change in my life or else I was going to keep getting fatter and increasingly unhappy with myself.

I only started feeling pretty about midway through high school, and even as I gained weight in college, I thought my sparkling personality and pretty face were enough to keep me feeling beautiful.

Then I stepped on the scale and I weighed more than 200 pounds at age 23. I didn't feel pretty anymore. I hated getting dressed for work or for weekend nights out because nothing fit right. I felt so fat and unhappy with myself.

When I jumped head first into my new healthy lifestyle, my WW meetings kept me motivated. I enjoyed the control I had with tracking my points. I LOVED getting Bravo and 5-pound milestone stickers that I excitedly stuck on my bookmark. Seeing the results on the scale and on my body were incredibly rewarding.

But, even still, I would look around at the other people in my meeting and think that I was so much bigger than the rest of them. Especially at the beginning. I would think, "Oooo she's here to lose what? Like 10 pounds tops? Big whoop."

As I continued attending meetings, it began to make sense. Some of these people started out just like me. They needed to lose a buttload of weight, too. And they did it! And they're still coming here because they're on Maintenance or are Lifetime Members.

Fast forward to tonight's meeting. I'm on my fourth week of Maintenance and goin' strong. I weighed in tonight at 147.8 and I feel fabulous! Two more weeks of Maintenance and I'll be a LIFETIME MEMBER. I can't even believe it. I looked at the computer screen as my leader entered my current weight, and I caught a glimpse of my starting weight. It REALLY hit me. I've lost more than 70 pounds. Wow. Just wow.

As I was leaving, the manager of my WW site said, "You're at goal right? Down 70 pounds!" And I smiled proudly and told her that I'd hit goal a month ago.

Here's the neat thing: Two women who started last week overheard and one exclaimed, "WHAT?! You've lost 70 pounds?? I totally noticed you last week and tonight thought, 'What's she doing here? She's already skinny.'"

I never thought I'd be one of those people.
I was so overwhelmed at that comment that I couldn't wipe a silly smile off my face. I said thank you (about 10 times) and walked out the door with an extra hop in my step. I'm getting emotional even typing it now. I just can't believe the huge change I've made in my life.

I feel pretty again.

It's amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. The world is your oyster. Don't settle for anything less than you deserve ... and you deserve the best.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I’M 50! 50 YEARS OLD!

OK, I’m 25. But I do like to kick! And streeeeetch! And kick! Google Sally O’Malley if you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about. Ahloveit.

I’m going to my third kickboxing class tonight and I’m superpumped! It’s really fun and a lot of hard work — the perfect combo!

The first two-thirds of the 45-minute class is more cardio-focused and has all the kicking, and, well, boxing. I’m not using the weighted boxing gloves yet, but you KNOW it’ll be crazy when I do. I’ll look like a real toughie (as my mom would say).

I know I’ve used this picture before, but I love it and I’m the boss.

The last third of the class focuses more on strengthening our cores with planks, pushups and ab exercises with and without medicine balls. THIS is the part that kicks my butt. On Monday night we had to do all of our pushups with our arms in close to our bodies. NOT easy. I’m not great at pushups as it is, and then to throw that at me! So worth it, though, because I can really feel it in my arms today :)

I can also feel Monday night’s workout in my abs. I was never a plank fan before, but I like them now. I feel so strong when I’m sticking to the position and not giving up!

I’m really REALLY enjoying kickboxing as an alternative to the treadmill during the winter. I’ll have a tough decision to make at the end of the month. You see, I only paid half price for this month’s session. I don’t know if I’ll be up for paying $50/month for this class that’s ONLY offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings. I like to have more of a choice. And, since I’m going to begin WW receptionist training next Tuesday (holla!), I don’t know if I want to automatically decrease my availability by three evenings a week. Sooooo much to figure out in the next couple of weeks.

INSPIRATION: I was talking to a man in my class who’s been going there for about five years. He quit smoking years ago and gained 30-35 pounds. He lost 50 pounds after he started attending this kickboxing class. Nice! Maybe I should stick with it after all!

Two things before I go:
  • Priorfatgirl Jen is organizing a get-together for healthy-living bloggers in the Mpls/StPaul area. We’re meeting for dinner on Thursday, January 21. Wanna come? Find the deets here.
  • One of the things my calendar reminded me to be happy about yesterday was “having pizzazz.” I just liked that one :)
That is all.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Oh, My Darlin’

So I have this “3,650 Things to Be Happy About” desk calendar that gives me 10 things to smile about each day. This calendar OBVIOUSLY already knows me because yesterday one of the items was “peeling citrus fruit.” You don’t even KNOW what joy this brings me … but more about that later.You might already know that I'm bananas for bananas, but I LOVE when clementine season rolls around. Keep in mind, clementines are not just small versions of regular old oranges; they differ from regular oranges in many ways are actually a type of mandarin. (Funny thing, my dad used to call me his little Amandarin when I was young.) According to the Cuties site, there are 114 days remaining in their clementine season — PLENTY of time to sustain my current addiction.

I begin each day with two or three of these little babies, and I’m good to go! According to today’s Hungry Girl email, Vitamin C helps your body burn fat more efficiently. I can’t think of a better way to kick start the day! I usually have a packet of oatmeal or a VitaTop a bit later in the morning, which keeps me goin’ strong until lunch.

I’m a pretty competitive gal, and I often make up games just for myself. My current challenge is to peel every clementine in ONE piece. I’m a winner so far this year! I’ve gone through a few boxes and haven’t messed up yet. Try it. It's neat.

Here’s some of my work:

Yes I’m a total dork, but what can you do? I view each little clementine as a challenge, and I won’t accept defeat. NEVAAAAAH!

The most readily available clementines around here are the Cuties brand, but I know there are others. I really like the stickers on the Cuties, though :)

In case you can’t see it, this one reads, “Root for the Cute.”
How precious.

Top 5 Reasons I Love Clementines
(and why you should, too)

  1. They are super sweet — taste and cool-factor wise.
  2. They are FUN and easy to peel.
  3. They are seedless. Seedy things gross me out.
  4. They are snacktastic.
  5. Their small size makes them convenient to take anywhere.

Now go get yourself some clementines and have a superduper weekend!

Peace and Love, Amandarin

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

fat people feeding hungry people

I know a lot of you out there watch The Biggest Loser. Many of my favorite shows fall into the reality TV category, yet, oddly enough, I’ve never caught an episode. Should I be watching??

More importantly, though, is the Pound for Pound Challenge they’ve got goin’ on. Do you have even ONE measly pound you’d like to kick to the curb? I know you do :)

Go to this site and pledge how many pounds you’re going to lose before June 30. For every pound pledged, they’ll donate 14 cents — the cost of one pound of food — to your local food bank. SO SIMPLE! And you’ll be doing yourself and someone else a WORLD of good. Not to mention, it’s the cool thing to do. Sarah, Michelle, Jen and I all pledged. Do it. Do it.

I FINALLY attended my first kickboxing class! I mentioned a long time ago that I was gonna start, but I didn’t set my mind to going until today. I’M SO GLAD I DID!!!

It was really fun to be punching and kicking to the music and grooving my body in a completely different way than I’m used to. It beats pounding the faux pavement on my treadmill, that’s for sure. It was a small class of seven really nice and fun people, which made it completely unintimidating. It also helped that I’m semicoordinated when doing “choreographed” moves to music. (Chalk that up to eight years of show choir!)

My kickboxing classes are Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, and I’m signed up for a month. I’ll keep you posted on my progress! I can already tell I’ll be feelin’ it a bit tomorrow in my abs and arms. Gotta love planks and pushups with a group of people! That way you can’t talk yourself out of quitting early :)

Have you done something good for yourself today? How about for someone else? I pledged to lose 10 pounds by June 30, and that means 10 pounds of food will be donated to St Paul’s Second Harvest Heartland. What are you waiting for?? Take the Pound for Pound Challenge! Help me help you help others :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Can't think of a title. So there.

First things first, the original Prior Fat Girl’s site is currently on the fritz, but it should be up this afternoon. Gosh darn interwebs these days. BUT, obviously, my site is A-OK and so is Prior Fat Girl Lindsay’s! That’s right — another Prior Fat Girl has joined the empire :) She’s a cool cat. Check her out!


Back to business. Hi, all! Remember me? I haven’t posted aaaaaall year. Haha. But really, I haven’t posted in a long long time. I’ve had good intentions … then nothing. But here I am now!

As my last post showed, I hit my WW goal, which means I’m now in the Maintenance phase of the program!!! (50 jillion thank yous for all your encouragement and fabulousness!) For the six weeks following my goal week, I need to weigh within 2 pounds of my goal weight. After I do that, I become a Lifetime Member and I don’t need to pay anymore. Yeehaw!

Last Monday was Week 1 of Maintenance. I weighed 149.6. I had gained 1.4 pounds over the extended holiday weekend, which means I had a lot of fun, enjoyed some good food and drinkies, but didn’t go too wild and crazy. All and all, still within 2 pounds of goal, so I was safe.

Today kicks off Week 2 of Maintenance. I’m thinking I’ll weigh in this evening at around the same as last week. It was another extended holiday weekend after all, and I kinda went hog wild on all the nummy New Year’s Eve food … and drinks. I should still be within my goal range, so all is well.

Now that Christmas and NYE have passed, I need to get back into the swing of things. I need to go grocery shopping so I can make healthy meals at home. I need to hit the gym that’s RIGHT DOWN THE HALL for crying out loud. Although it’s crazy cold outside, I need to resist the urge to eat bad-for-me comfort foods.

Seriously, though, do you know how cold it is here in the Sin Cities (aka Minneapolis/St Paul)? According to trusty ol’ weather.com, it’s currently –4°F but feels like –18°F. Barf.

Totally short post today, but I’ll be back in full force soon enough. Promise. This week. Super promise.

Be love.