Positivity!

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For some reason, I feel really positive lately.  I feel like I can do this.  I don’t have to be a psycho-weight loss commando, I just have to get up every day and do the best I can.

I know this is going to sound weird, but I think my newfound positivity can be traced back to me not drinking any diet pop.  I know that artificial sweeteners aren’t good for me, but for some reason I constantly under-estimate their ability to screw with my mind and body.

There is controversy as to how much of a problem it actually is, but I swear that I have less anxiety and panic now then I did a week ago.  Last night at the pub, I REALLY wanted a glass of Diet Coke but I resisted and this morning I feel great for the decision.  Seems like a stupid thing to applaud, but I reserve the right to be stupid.

I’m not doing so great on my weekly goal of tracking what I eat BEFORE I eat it – however, I have very little planned this weekend that will present a challenge, so even though I don’t have very many weekly POINTS left, I should be ok.  At least I feel like I should be ok, which is a nice feeling.

Week One Results…Again

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I did it.  I managed to track (mostly) all week-long and I managed to step on the scale and not want to cry.  I lost 4.8 lbs this week, which is pretty typical considering it’s the first week of this current endeavour.  I usually lose a bigger amount the first week, then I can expect it to taper off and average out to about 1-2 lbs per week.

My goal for last week was not to drink any diet pop.  As freaking hard as that was at times, I did it.  I’m so effin’ proud of that because that stupid aspartame monkey on my back seemed present every time I opened the fridge.  What’s different this time then the last time I stopped drinking diet pop, is that I have room mates now and I can’t ban certain things from the house.  Last time, I simply stopped buying it and then it wasn’t around for me to choose from when I got thirsty.  Now it’s still readily available and I’m telling you, it was tough.

My goal this week is to track everything – including Saturday and Sunday.  This is where I fell down last week.  I still tried to eat mind fully and carefully, but I stopped tracking.  Oops.  I’m trying to build/break habits one at a time.  I don’t want to get overwhelmed.  I would like to be close-ish to my goal weight by the time the Christmas season hits, which is a reasonable goal.  I don’t want to head into the holidays with a ton of extra weight – I know there will be a small gain in December and I’d like to avoid having my weight begin with a “2″ ever again.

I have some challenges this week – I’m making 240 cakepops for a friends Labour Day wedding.  I know there will be cake available around every corner.  I know that I will be tempted.  My goal is only to sample one of the vanilla cakepops – the chocolate, due to an allergy, will not be a concern.  That’s it.  Wish me luck!

Migraines Suck

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I have not been feeling very well this week – I had a run in with my old friend the migraine on Tuesday, which has left me feeling less than stellar for the remainder of the week.

In less depressing news, I’ve managed to stay on track through it all.  I did got to the pub on Wednesday and managed to order…pretty badly.  But!  I packed up half of my meal right away, which meant that I dipped a mere toe into my weekly points instead of going overboard and diving in whole hog. 

I’m going camping this weekend at a friend’s parents house in the country and I’m pretty nervous.  I sent them an email asking them if I could bring anything and their response?  ‘A big appetite’.  Awesome.

My plan is to track BEFORE I eat something and to try to stick to one small serving of stuff.  Plus, I know that for the most part it’s going to be good food – a green salad, corn on the cob, etc.  It’s the deserts I’m worried about – s’mores and raspberry-sour cream pie.  I can only do my best though - and I’m determined to see a loss on the scale on Monday morning.

Wish me luck!

Here We Go!

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I did it.  I weighed myself this morning, restarted my tracker with Weight Watchers and am ready to go. 

I feel better already, although I know most of that is the mental process of starting over. 

I feel optimistic this time, which is different.  I’m determined that I’m going to have a POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE.  I know from past experience that believing you can do something makes things so much easier.  I’m in this.  I’m in this hardcore.

I have about 40 lbs to lose, which sucks but it’s not the end of the world.  I want to be in control.  I want to feel hot and sexy again.  I want to be able to put on those denim capris that make my ass look wonderful and my thighs look tiny.  I want to be free.

Here goes nothin’ everything.

Take a Deep Breathe

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I need to figure shit out.  I’m sick and tired of feeling fat, ugly and lousy.

I’m just done thinking about how I’ve failed at every moment of the day.  The entire time I’m awake, all I can think of is how I’m gaining weight and how terrible I look.  I think AT EVERY MOMENT of my life about what I could do, what I should do, what I will do and what I won’t do.

I’M SICK OF IT.

I need to start now.  I need to stop ordering pizza cause it’s hot out and I don’t want to cook (last night).  I need to stop going for frozen yogurt because one of my room mate’s suggested it and I had recently read a review of it (Saturday).  I need to stop worrying about what other people are doing and just worry about me.  I need to make a choice.  Be fat and stop worrying about it or do something to fix it. 

In other words, put up or get up.

I’m going back to Weight Watchers.  I’m going back to Weight Watchers this week.  I will post my weigh in results and take some progress pictures.  I’m going to stick this out, dammit.  I want to be in control of me and my choices again because I cannot see my weight start with a “2″ again.  I just can’t.  I worked so hard!  I can’t let it all be in vain.

Homemade Spinach Lasagna

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I was going to take pictures of this and show the step-by-step process of how to make this.  However, I ended up making this the night before I was due to eat it (which I recommend, by the way) and was too arsed tired to dig out my camera. 

I would still recommend making this lasagna if you’ve got the time.  It’s delicious, nutritious and pretty low in calories/Weight Watchers POINTS, especially when you consider that it’s LASAGNA!  As most homemade things go, it’s somewhat labour intensive, but it’s worth the time and effort in my opinion.  This is great when assembled the night before, which means it’s ready to throw in the oven when you want dinner the next day.

Homemade Spinach Lasagna – Serves 12 – 7 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS per serving

For the sauce:

1 lb extra lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
2 large ribs of celery, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small can of diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

For the casserole:

9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 500 ML container of 1% cottage cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 package of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
380 grams shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I use one pre-shredded bag like this)

To make the sauce, heat a deep pot over medium heat.  Brown turkey, breaking it up as it cooks, until no pink remains and any fat has rendered off.  Drain turkey and return to pan along with diced onion, celery, green pepper and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables have softened.  Add remaining ingredients to the pot and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer fifteen minutes to allow flavours to blend.

A word about salt: I use canned products that are all salt-free.  I like this because then I am controlling how salty the end product turns out, by adding my own salt.  If you use canned products that contain sodium, you may want to omit or reduce how much salt you use.  With homemade tomato sauce, you MUST taste it in order to adjust the seasoning.

While sauce is simmering, bring a stockpot of water to boil on the stove.  Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  You can alternatively use no-boil noodles, it’s just a personal preference to use cooked ones.  I find them easier to handle when assembling the casserole.

While noodles are cooking, combine the cottage cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, and spinach in a bowl and mix well.

Drain noodles. 

Spray a standard casserole dish (I think they’re usually 13″ by 9″) with non-stick cooking spray. Place a very scant amount of sauce at the bottom of the dish (just enough leave a smear of sauce across the entire casserole).  Top with three lasagna noodles laid beside each other.  Top the noodles with 1/3 remaining sauce, followed by 1/3 the cottage cheese mixture and then 1/3 the part skim mozzarella.  Repeat the layering process three times, ending with cheese. 

At this point, you can do one of three things:

You can freeze the casserole by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to one month.  Allow to thaw overnight in fridge before cooking.

You can wrap in aluminum foil and place in fridge overnight, cooking the next day.

You can cook the lasagna.

To cook the lasagna, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes.  Remove foil and continue to cook fifteen minutes to allow the cheese to brown.

IF YOU EITHER FROZE OR REFRIGERATED YOUR LASAGNA: you must increase the temperature to 400 degrees when cooking.  Otherwise the middle will not be warm enough.

Another tip?  Let the lasagna rest for AT LEAST fifteen minutes after you take it out of the oven.  It will be less soup-y and will come out of the pan “cleaner” then if you just dug in.

I hope you make this and enjoy it – it’s really an awesome meal.  It feeds large crowds too – which is why it’s become a favourite when I know family is coming over (our’s is big).

Enter…The Plan

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I’ve decided that actually putting my plan into writing is the way to go.  Too often, flying by the seat of my pants is what leads to Burrito Boyz for dinner instead of something that’s good for me (by the way, I did work out what a burrito is worth, point-wise.  Seventeen.  SEVENTEEN!)

Here goes nothing.  Or, as I’m calling it, Operation Stop Hating How I Look Every Day.

I’m planning on taking my favourite breakfast to work with me everyday – it’s 1 cup of mixed berries, 1/2 cup of Kashi’s Almond Flax cereal and 1/2 a cup of plain, fat-free, Greek yogurt.  It’s filling, easy and delicious.  Lunch these days is usually a big salad, topped with some kind of protein (usually hard-boiled eggs or chicken), an ounce of feta cheese and some oil and vinegar salad dressing.  I like it, it tastes good and for now, it’s easy.  I’m going to look at ways to spice up my lunch in the near future so that I don’t get bored. 

With that being said, I just have to figure out dinners.  I’ve remained really good about meal planning through my weight gain, but my downfall consistently becomes the weekend where I fall out of a routine and overeat.  I feel bad about overeating, which leads to my saying ‘screw it, bring on the pie’ and falling face first into a weekend binge.  No more.

Monday – Eating dinner at my girlfriend’s mom’s house.  She is making us a recipe she found in a magazine this month. 

Tuesday – Homemade Spinach Lasagna.  Not exactly summer fare, but I have friends staying the night mid-week and this will be a good way to send them with lunch on Thursday, lasagna makes lots of leftovers.

Wednesday – my weekly pub night.  I’ve decided for the next little while, I’ll be ordering the Buffalo Chicken Wrap with a side salad.  At 16 points for the sandwich, it’s not the greatest thing, but a pub menu is hard to order from and I’m eating lightly through the rest of the day.  A side salad is definitely better than fries!

Thursday – barbecued pork chops with grilled pineapple, quinoa and foil-packet brocoli.  Delicious and super summer-ey.

Friday – I’m going to a wedding.  I’m going to try to avoid the multi-courses and the sweets.  Wish me luck.  This is going to be the biggest challenge to staying on track this week and I’m both nervous and scared.  I want to rock this.  I’ve enlisted my girlfriend’s help with this one AND I agreed to drive in advance so that I can’t drink.  Drinking is a calorie suck, but more importantly, it usually ends up loosening up my chewin’ muscles and I overeat.  No good.  Wish me luck with this night.

Saturday – barbeque steak, baked potatoes and corn on the cob.  Homemade is the way to go – I will most likely only eat half the baked potato as I don’t really care for potatoes (I know, I’m a freak) unless they’re fried. 

Sunday I will meal plan for next week and post it.  I’m thinking I might try to post the recipe for my lasagna after I make it.  We’ll see.

That’s my week in a nutshell.  I hope I can make it work because quite frankly, I feel sick at the idea of getting any fatter.

The Comparisons Need to Stop

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I compare myself to people all the time.  I mean, ALL THE TIME.  It’s such a horrible habit and one that I think know contributes to not feeling great about myself.

Worse, sometimes I compare myself to MYSELF.  As in, the person I used to be. 

These two things are part of why I’m finding it impossible to get myself back into a gym routine.  I don’t want to be out of shape!!  I worked so hard to get in shape that the idea of starting from scratch is really daunting.  It’s even worse this time because I know exactly what’s in store for me. 

The first time I started exercising, I didn’t know that there would be days where I would have trouble walking up and down the stairs or sitting down on the toilet.  I was oblivious to the coming consequences!  ignorance really WAS bliss!!

Now I know.  I know exactly what’s coming and I know how much it’s going to hurt.  It’s preventing me from making the first, most important step back into the gym.

Worse, one of my roommates wants to go with me when I go.

It’s hard enough when I’m comparing me to me, it will be even worse to compare me to her.  I know she’s in better shape than I am.  And, as happy as I am for her, there’s part of me that resents the success she’s had over the last year or so.  She’s taken off about 60 lbs since she moved in with me and looks fabulous.  I feel like a terrible person because I’m so jealous!  It’s not that I don’t cheer her success, I do!  I just wish I was also having the same forward momentum.

There’s even a huge part of me that hates when she credits me for inspiring her and motivating her.  I’m terrible, I know it and I’m trying to be ok with it.

I think the point of this post is that I feel bad.  Really, really bad.

And I wish I didn’t.

A Good Disaster

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This weekend was both amazing and horrible, all at the same time.

On one hand, I had a great time.  My girlfriend and I managed to meet up with a ton of our friends.  I got to sit on many a patio and have wonderful people surrounding me.  I bumped in to people I haven’t seen in a while and I even managed to buy an awesome bag that I’ve been admiring on the internet for some time.

On the other hand, I ate and drank with far too much abandon.  I kept justifying it too!  I kept saying ‘well, I’ve been walking around all day’ and ‘I got up late and only ate two meals!’.  None of which are lies, but none of which justifies eating ribs and nachos in the same day.  Nor does it excuse drinking waaaaay too much beer.

I don’t know what to say besides that I’m starting over today?  It’s so lame.  SO LAME!!  But all I can do is start over.

If I’m being really honest, I sort of knew that this weekend was going to be a debacle of epic proportions.  I actually think that makes it worse, because it’s like I was planning on giving myself license to go off the rails IN ADVANCE.  Something I hate doing.

Apologies and excuses are not going to get me anywhere.  The only thing I can do is move forward.

So I’m moving forward.  I will be weighing in tomorrow morning, taking that as my weight and having a good week.  I’m committing to hitting the gym twice this week – once on Thursday and once on the weekend.

I have a wedding in eight weeks and I want to feel good when I dance the night away.

Happy Pride!

This is Ridiculous

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It’s been over six months since I’ve posted.

What have I been doing? 

I’ve been going on vacation to Florida, thinking about buying a house with my girlfriend, celebrating friends as they settle down and start families…and getting fatter.

This sucks.

I’m actually pretty good at maintenance.  I can maintain the same basic weight (give or take a few pounds) like a rock star.  But I’m also good at gaining weight and, for someone who’s lost almost 200 lbs, I’m really bad a losing weight.  It’s like I can’t commit to buckling down, taking off the pounds gained and then resuming maintenance.  I like maintenance.  I like being able to eat a bit more and move a bit less.  I like being able to have a night off sitting on the couch and not feel guilty about skipping a workout.

Blarg.

That’s most of my issue.  I think about how fat I am and how I hate how I look ALL THE TIME.  I am constantly “starting over” and making excuses and it has to stop.  I have no idea where or when I lost the ability to say no, but I swear, it’s disappeared on me.

There’s always something, you know?  Last weekend it was a joint birthday celebration for my mother in-law and sister in-law, plus a belated Father’s Day celebration.  This weekend it’s Pride weekend in Toronto and I’m spending it downtown with friends and family.  There will be drinking.  There will be lots of drinking.

I just feel like there’s always going to “be” something!  Always!  Every time I think I’m in the clear, another event pops up and I have to try to navigate it.  Which, I used to be able to do and I’m not sure why I’m struggling.

It’s just FOOD!  I’m sick of soothing my anxiety with food!  People like me, I like them.  I’m comfortable in social situations!

This post is like a big long vomit.

Apologies. 

I’m going to start over AGAIN.  Today.  I’m adding a stats page to the top of this blog so that I can track and see my progress.  I’ve started actually going to Weight Watchers again, staying for meetings and paying to weigh in (as I’m over goal).  I’m going to figure out a way to get some activity in at least three times this coming week and I’m going to see some movement on the scale. 

So help me.