Journey to a Healthier Me

Living life and getting healthy one step at a time.

Keep the Awesome Rolling August 17, 2010

Hey People!

It’s  been a productive day. I woke up with the husband this morning and set out to accomplish as much as I possibly could.

I realized while I was drinking my morning coffee that today was my last real day off. Every day after this is going to be filled with school, my internship, work, or all three. I’m a little bummed. I feel like this Summer has flown by.

In the spirit of getting things done I ate a hearty breakfast to fuel me for my 8-mile run. I decided to try something a little different this time around, and instead of eating toast and peanut butter I had rye toast and a hard-boiled egg.

It worked pretty well.I left later than I usually do for my long runs and because of that the heat was pretty brutal. I took walk breaks when I needed them.

I took my Gu Energy Shot at the 4 mile mark, and I think it helped.

(source)


I definitely felt like the last half of my run went by easily. The flavor was a little weird though. It didn’t taste like a blackberry at all. But I look forward to trying out the other flavors. The gel didn’t sit heavy in my stomach like the protein bars did, which is a definite plus.

I also stopped to stretch at the 5 mile mark. I have to say it really made my legs feel better. I didn’t realize how stiff they were getting. Do you ever stop to stretch during your runs?

I finished my run in 1:48:46 with a 12:58 pace. That’s a little slower than I would like, but it’s still decent time.

Speaking of running, I have officially registered for the ING Hartford Half-Marathon.

(source)

I’ve put money on this puppy now, there’s no turning back. Although I was able to get the student price, so I saved a little bit. I made the age cut-off for the student price by one week. Good thing I wasn’t born early.

The mailman brought me a present today:

My diploma!

It’s only fitting that this would come on my last day off before school starts. It all seems so final now. I’m a graduate student. Scary.

After the husband and I stared at our diplomas for a few minutes we headed out to run errands. We stopped by the library so I could drop off my overdue books and fork over my fine money. I owed them $1.20, but I figure that’s what keeps the library so nice.

Do you use your public library?

I also picked up a book that I’ve been dying to read.

(source)

I’ve seen reviews of it everywhere, but I couldn’t justify spending 25 bucks to get it since it’s a new release. I’ll let you know how I like it. Have you read it, did you like it?

As you know, today is Tuesday and that means I had my Weight Watchers meeting tonight. I’m happy to report that I lost weight this week. This tells me that I’m moving in a positive direction. I definitely noticed that I felt better physically this week just by adding in more fruits and veggies and steering clear of junk. Why does junk food have to taste so delicious?

The meeting topic tonight actually focused on eating filling foods. The idea is that if you fuel yourself with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you’ll consume fewer calories but still be satisfied.

It’s funny because that’s how I felt this week. It’s like Weight Watchers is inside my brain! I know that I stay fuller longer if I’m eating those healthy staples, but it never hurts to be reminded of it. Have you noticed a difference in how you feel if you eat more fruits and vegetables?

Oh and one more super awesome thing:

My blog is now listed on the Healthy Living Blogs website. I really like this website because it’s a source for tons of healthy blogs. Check it out!

It’s come to my attention that this blog post is turning into a novel, so I’ll leave you here.

I’ll see you tomorrow with a post about some of my favorite blogs to read.

Thanks for reading people! It’s greatly appreciated.

Question for you:

What’s your favorite blog to read? It doesn’t have to healthy living, it can be any topic. I’m always looking for new stuff to read.

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The Long Run That Wasn’t August 10, 2010

Filed under: Weight Watchers — Cyndi @ 9:44 pm
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Hey Guys!

I hope your day treated you better than mine treated me. Have you ever had one of those days where things just don’t go your way? That was my day.

I got up early this morning in the hopes of doing my long run only to see dark rain clouds. I’m not afraid of rain, but I can’t run with my music in the rain or GPS, so I waited for the clouds to clear. Once the clouds cleared I went to put my contacts in (I hate running in glasses!) and found that as soon as the contact touched my eye I felt this immense pain.

I’m calling first thing tomorrow, since the eye doctor is closed today, to figure out what the problem is. I even opened a new pair of contacts, and waited several hours before trying again, but no such luck. And in both eyes too! My husband says it could be a scratch or something. I hope it’s nothing serious. Wish me luck.

Then after many frustrated attempts at putting my contacts in I headed to the DMV to stand in line for 2 hours. It’s sad that it takes 2 hours to get to the counter for a 5 minute transaction. But at least all of the employees were really nice, that made the wait slightly less awful. Do you dread the DMV?

After the DMV I had lunch with Lauren, so my day wasn’t all bad things. We ate this delicious frittata that I made with zucchini, green pepper, and jalapeño from the garden. (Look for the blog tomorrow.)

Then I went to my Weight Watchers meeting. Honestly, I gained this week. I can’t say that I’m surprised by the fact that I gained. I know that I ate a lot of food last week, and some of those foods were not very healthy. I just need to recognize that one bad choice doesn’t have to lead to another.

Coincidentally, the topic for this week happened to be dealing with seeing a higher number on the scale. Robin, the meeting leader, had some really encouraging things to say today. She reminded me that just because I gained some this week, that doesn’t mean that it negates all of the hard work I’ve done over the past year.

You can’t always judge your success by the number on the scale. I’ve watched myself become so much healthier. I’ve found that I can be athletic, that I can race. I’ve learned that there is nothing that I cannot do, if I put my mind to it.

And as I sat in that meeting room I realized that I’m not upset about my gain this week. I’m not perfect. My weight will fluctuate for the rest of my life, but that’s okay.

I am not defined by the number on the scale.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to write that.

I guess today hasn’t been so bad after all.

Hopefully, the doctor can help me figure out my eye problem, and I’ll be back on the asphalt in no time. I’m going to fit in my long run, even if I need to have my husband ride alongside me on his bike to show me the way. I’m determined.

I want to share this fortune that my sister got at the sushi place yesterday:

These fortunes are getting pretty sneaky.

Goodnight, Blogland!

Questions for you:

How do you cope with a bad day?

Do you tend to focus on the number on the scale? I just want you to know that you’re beautiful no matter what the scale says, and I bet you have a million amazing qualities that make up who you are, and none of those reflect on the scale.

 

Kitchen Sink Tofu Stir-Fry August 1, 2010

Filed under: 6 Points,Recipes,Weight Watchers — Cyndi @ 9:33 pm
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Good evening!

Sometimes I don’t think there is anything better than spending a relaxing day with my husband, and then coming home to make dinner. It’s the simple things, right?

Tonight for dinner I had some nice looking zucchini from our garden that I wanted to use up. But I also needed to use up some tofu, and I wanted couscous.

Enter:

Kitchen Sink Tofu Stir-Fry

Serves 4

Ingredients:

16 oz extra firm tofu, cubed (I bought pre-cubed tofu. That’s how I roll.)

2 cloves garlic minced

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 ridiculously large zucchini, or 2 medium

1 cup mixed vegetables (I had broccoli blend in the freezer, but anything you have will work.)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon tomato paste

dash of Tabasco sauce

1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (anise, cinnamon, pepper, fennel, and salt)

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and the tofu cubes.

Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes until the tofu is browned.

Add the zucchini, and sprinkle with salt.

Cook for 5 minutes until the zucchini is tender.

In a separate bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, Tabasco sauce, tomato paste and 5 spice powder in a bowl, mix well.

Add the veggie mix to the pan, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the veggies cook through.

Add the sauce, and heat through.

I didn’t figure out the points value for this, but I would guess it was probably 6 Points.

Serve over rice, or couscous, or both like we did since I didn’t have enough of either to make a full serving.

I have to say I was a little worried at first about how the sauce was going to taste, but it was surprisingly good. The hint of cinnamon from the 5 spice powder really enhanced the dish.

The husband liked it, but he’s pretty easy to please in the food department.

Well, I’m off to spend what’s left of the night relaxing with the husband, and finish watching Trueblood with Lauren.

See you tomorrow, Blogland!

Question for you:

Do you eat tofu? I know it’s an acquired taste, but if you don’t eat it would you be willing to try it?

 

The Tasty and the Sinful July 28, 2010

Filed under: 3 Points,4 Points,Recipes,Weight Watchers — Cyndi @ 10:35 pm
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Hello!

I hope you’ve had a good day. I woke up bright and early for work this morning, and then decided to hit the trail for a brisk 3 mile run. Except it didn’t work out that way. Do you ever feel like you’re just not into exercising? I mean, my mind was set on running, but my legs just did not want to cooperate. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

Anyway onto the tasty:

I made this for dinner for me and the husband the other night and it was delicious.

Baked Sesame Tofu:

16 oz brick of firm tofu

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs.

1 tsp chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Take the tofu and wrap it in several layers of paper towels. Gently squeeze the water from the tofu.

Cut the tofu into 4 even pieces.

Combine the panko, sesame seeds, chili powder, salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly.

Press the tofu into the bread crumb mixture, making sure to coat all of the sides of the tofu.

Place the tofu on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, and serve with your favorite roasted veggie. I used asparagus because it was in season at the time, but any veggie you’re craving will do.

4 Points per piece

Honestly, I love tofu. I wasn’t a huge fan at first but I keep finding new and interesting ways to eat it. And this recipe is great for the tofu novice. Don’t be shy! I promise you’ll like it.

Okay, and now for the sinful.

I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of this. But, they were just way too delicious, and I couldn’t stop myself from eating them long enough to take a picture.

Are you ready for this?

Nutella Crescents

It’s so ridiculously simple, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been stuffing random things into crescent rolls for years now.

All you need is:

1 tube of reduced fat crescent rolls

4 tbsp Nutella

Unroll the crescent rolls and place a generous dollop of the Nutella in the center.

Roll up the crescent roll, making sure to seal the ends. Mine ended up looking like little bundles.

Bake at 375 for 15 to 18 minutes.

3 Points Values per roll

Try not to burn your mouth on these delicious little morsels when they come out of the oven.

I know that it’s not the healthiest treat in the world. But sometimes you need to live a little. Variety is the spice of life you know.

Well, I’m off to relax and spend some time with the Bear before hitting the hay.

Goodnight, Blogland!

Question for you:

Do you have a guilty pleasure food? How often do you indulge?

 

Every Story has a Beginning July 25, 2010

Filed under: My Story,Weight Watchers — Cyndi @ 11:04 pm
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You know, it’s kind of funny. When I wrote my first post for this blog I expected to update it regularly. And yet, here I am, just now getting to my second post. Sometimes life gets away from you, but I’m here now, and I promise to give you tons of excellent updates.

Are we cool now?

Great.

I’m starting this blog about a year into my weight loss journey, but I want to tell you a little about how I got here. Picture that slightly awkward overweight girl from high school. That was me. I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember, and I can recall the first time the doctor used the word obese when he was talking to me, even though my mother had expressly told him not to. What 12 years old girl wants to hear that word? Wasn’t it bad enough that I was a pre-teen on the verge of high school? By the time I got married I was a portly 200 pounds.

Here’s a before picture from the day after my wedding:

When I got my professional wedding pictures back I was shocked. I didn’t realize I looked like that. When I looked in the mirror I saw a chunky girl, but not someone that big.

When I think about it now I realize that this is the point where I started to change. I was always unhappy with the way I looked, but somehow seeing those pictures bothered me.

In August of 2009 I joined Weight Watchers. Now, I realize Weight Watchers isn’t the perfect fit for everyone, but it works for me. But I don’t just attribute my weight loss to being on the program, a large part of it is the fact that I wanted to change. I was sick of hiding from the camera, and buying clothes to hide the way I looked. I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to keep up with my husband, a skateboarder, who seems to constantly be in motion. I wanted to be able to walk my dog and not feel like I needed a nap after.

I wanted to be happy with myself.

I was shocked to step on the scale at my first meeting and see that I weighed 201.8 pounds. How did I get that big? Why didn’t anybody tell me I was that big? I committed myself right then to cutting the junk food out of my life (for the most part) and to start exercising. Until then exercising had always been a chore for me, and in a later post I’ll reveal what I do to keep myself happy while exercising.

To make a long, and somewhat tedious story short, here I am now down 55 pounds, and only 10 pounds away from my goal weight. I’ve had more ups and down than I thought I would, but when I look at my progress I’m thrilled.

Here’s what I look like now:

I have learned so much about myself, my relationship with food, and about fitness over the past year. I look forward to sharing my knowledge, as well as learning what you know, as I keep moving towards being the healthiest person I can be.

Question:

What made you want to get healthier? How long have you been on your journey?