Monday, August 27, 2012

Do it anyway

So today was a lesson learned.  I have heard it a zillion times before....when you don't feel like working out, do it anyway.  You won't regret it if you DO workout but you will likely regret it if you don't.  Well today I 100% confirmed that lesson.

I am on week 2 of business travel this week.  I was gone M-F last week, home for the weekend and back on plane to be gone M-F again this week.  Very different than what I am used to.  I was up at 3:30 this morning to make my super early flight.  After an all day workshop by 4:30 when we ended for the day, my brain had turned to mush.  I just wanted to go to the hotel, check in and collapse in my bed.  Like ALOT! 

But......I felt bad for eating more calories than I prob should have (and not making the best choices the 3 cups of coffee I consumed to stay awake prob weren't the most effecive calories I could have consumed) and not being very active for the day.  I knew I should workout.  I knew I should work out.  But I didn't want to work out.  My inner fat kid was whining again.  Waaaaaay past nap time.  By this point I had a headache.  I had lots of excuses to keep me from working out.  But I think a little part of me wanted to prove to all the crazy people that say if you workout when you don't want to that you will feel better.  At that moment I was SURE they were total liars full of lotsa crap!

So I went down to the hotel gym to prove them wrong.  But they proved me wrong. 

I was hoping to be able to get 30 min in.  But I realized that I was feeling better.  My headache went away (perhaps it was the ibuprofin I took, but I am being optimistic here and crediting the endorphins) so I kept pushing and I ended up walking a 5k and finishing a tv episode.  And I felt really good after.  I was glad I did it anyway.  I felt proud, accomplished, confident and I did NOT feel regrets.

So today I offer you encouragement.  When you don't want to do it, try anyway.  You may just surprise yourself!

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Peanutty deliciousness....aka PB2

I have heard a lot of people talk about PB2.  But I had never tried it.  So I was SUPER excited when I got the opportunity to try the product and especially to be able to blog about it and share my thoughts (and the product) with you all!  So this is my inaugural vendor test product and review.

I was THRILLED to receive the product I was sent to try!  In fact, the hubby and I were pulling out of the driveway the day and at the exact time the big brown truck was in front of the house to deliver.  I jumped out of the car to intercept the package (I didn't want it to be left on the porch to get lonely!) and I think my hubby thought I was going to tackle the poor delivery guy!

So of course, the first chance I got I ripped into the box and got out the samples - 2 jars of PB2 regular, 2 jars of PB2 chocolate and 2 bags of the PBthins.  I couldn't wait to dig in and see what all the hype was about!

For those of you that may not be familiar with the product, it is basically powdered peanut butter. But the BEST thing and selling point for me is that it is waaaaaaaay fewer calories than standard peanut butter!!  uh...SCORE!  Any time I can shave some calories off what I am eating I am in!

COMPARISON (all serving sizes 2 Tblsp)
                        Regular PB 
                        (Peter Pan)             Red Fat PB           PB2 reg            PB2 Chocolate
Calories               210                          170                        45                        45
Fat                        17g                           12g                       1.5g                     1g               
Carbs                    6g                             9g                         5g                        6g
Fiber                      2g                            3g                          2g                       1g
Sugar                    2g                             4g                         1g                        3g
Protein                  8g                             9g                         5g                        4g

So as you can see, the PB2 is a MUCH lower calorie option.  The PB2 is only 22% of the calories in the reg peanut butter.  That's 78% fewer calories. Again, count me in!

So my first test was to try one of my favorite smoothies....the green monster!  I couldn't even tell a difference and it really cut down the calories.

Next, I wanted to try something new....I had a recipe for a frozen peanut butter pie.  My hubby is a huge fan of peanut butter, so I had printed off this recipe long ago to try for him.  So what a perfect opportunity!  And it gave me a chance to use the Chocolate PB2.

I personally say yummo to this one!  It was low cal and a really nice treat!

·         8 oz. fat-free cream cheese
·         1/2 cup creamy OR crunchy peanut butter (I used Chocolate PB2)
·         1 c Splenda (or Stevia or sweetener of choice to taste)
·         1/4 c  fat-free half & half (or skim milk)
·         8 oz. container Cool Whip Lite (or Fat Free Cool Whip)
·         1 pre-made Oreo pie crust OR reduced fat graham cracker pie crust
·         3 tbs Light Hershey’s syrup
*Optional Toppings: Reese’s Ice Cream toppers (a few Tbs), Reese’s miniature candies (a few crushed up), crushed peanuts, 100 calorie Nutter Butter cookies (crushed up), Reddi Whip - I used a few crushed up PBThins...perfect!

1.        Mix all ingredients together until smooth (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer, but you could do this by hand) and fold in Cool Whip until well blended.
2.       Pour mixture into pie crust and drizzle with chocolate syrup.
3.       Chill for at least 6 hours, (or overnight).
4.       Let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes (to soften) and add topping of choice before serving.

Servings: 10 slices of pie
Calories: 189  Per Slice (or 133 Calories Per Slice with Peanut Flour)
Weight Watchers Points Plus Value: 5 Per Slice

I also want to try an entree recipe, but that one is going to have to come later.  I tried a FANTASTIC Bang, Bang Chicken dish while I was on a business trip last week, so I am looking at recipes to try to recreate a home version.  I will keep you posted on that for sure!

So now, let's talk about the PBthins.....yummy little (addictive) snack!!!!  I could seriously polish off a bag of these little treats in nothin' flat!!!  My girlfriend Melissa was in town for my bday party and she just LOVED them too!  We realized VERY quickly that the trick to these would have to be pre-measuring the portions.  Sitting down with the bag would prove to be very dangerous!  But at only 100 calories per serving, what a yummo snack!  Even the kiddos loved them!  I was personally thrilled to see that they have a box of 100 calorie packs on their website to order....soooooo much more convenient  than trying to measure and pack my own!!  The only downside I saw here was a serving size seems kinda small.

1 serving - a small handful....about 26 crackers

So for what I tried, I am sold on the product.  You may be wondering where you can get it!  Of course you can order from their website  There is also a store locator on their site.  There are 4 stores in my city that carry it!  It also looks like Amazon and other online retailers carry it.

I am ECSTATIC that thanks to the folks at Bell Plantation, I am able to offer a give away of this great product to all of you too!!!  One lucky winner, selected at random, will win a great package....2 jars of PB2,  2 jars of Chocolate PB2, and 2 bags of  PBthins....yummo and shipped right to your door!  You will sooooo enjoy!

So I know you are dying to know.....what do you have to do to enter????
  • Required 
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    • Go to Bell Plantation's webpage and check out their products - leave a comment on this blog to tell me what your fave is and why
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That is 4 chances to win!

Come back and leave a comment on this blog entry for each entry you completed.  Winner will be selected at random and qualification will be verified.  Contest will close on Friday, Aug 31 and winner will be announced next weekend.  GOOD LUCK!!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why on earth didn’t I do this sooner???

I have been ready to throw my scale out the window lately.  I am an obsessive scale person.  I know, that is just asking for problems.  There are peaks, valleys, hills, plateaus, yada, yada, yada throughout this process.  But it’s how I deal.  I don’t do well with "not knowing".

Every morning after I get up I go to the bathroom (preferably a #2 also, to get a lower number….TMI I know.  But admit it, it DOES make a difference and secretly you ALL want all the help you can get when it comes to weigh in time!) then strip down to my birthday suit and jump on the scale (while crossing my fingers).  And I log all of my daily weights.  I have told you before that I am a spreadsheet queen. 

So with all that historical data I have been able to see that I will fluctuate up and down a bit throughout the week and so in the past I have been able to expect that as my normal.  I also have been keeping a weekly average that keeps me from getting too sucked into the daily ups and downs and to realize that I am still losing weight.  The problem is that that I don’t think I look at those weekly averages enough.  I think if I did I might be more patient and less crazy (well a girl can hope!)  I got spoiled with GREAT numbers in May…I was pulling 3+ pound a week losses for a month.  That was NICE!  Then I had a week that I stayed the same and a week that I gained 0.1 (around the time of my birthday, so understandable) but after that I have gone back to a weekly average of 0.5-1.5 pound loss per week.  The numbers I am currently seeing are much more realistic and normal.  Every health professional will tell you 1-2 pounds a week is the safest way to lose weight and keep it off.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, but seeing those big numbers sure feels soooo much better!  And again, especially when you have been spoiled by having good week(s) (not to mention seeing those around you celebrate the success of big losses!)  it is HARD to go back to those smaller numbers!! 

Again, I know those daily fluctuations are part of the normal process, but somedays I want to throw a full-ont temper tantrum like my 3 year old (complete with kicking, screaming, stomping, crying, throwing myself on the floor and flailing around like a fish out of water) because I do the SAME basic THING every day…eating well, eating my target number of calories, exercising, drinking water, etc.  and one day I will hit my best number yet and the next I am back up 2 pounds.  It just feels like a constant rollercoaster – ups and downs.  In theory it is supposed to be as simple as calories burned vs calories consumed.  But we all know (or are quickly finding out) that there is sooooooo much more to it that that!   At that brief little moment I sometimes find myself asking why I bother?  But it is a very short moment, because I know I AM making positive changes.  And I would never give up how far I have come.

When I get frustrated, I tend to try to look at the situation differently and see if there is something else I should try to get the results I want.  So out of my recent frustration moments I decided to try measurements.  Why the heck not?  What did I have to lose?  If the scale wasn’t moving (it was just wasn’t seeming like it!), maybe something else would.

So I took my first measurements on July 12th.  I measured again just over 2 weeks later on July 28th and I was frankly shocked at the results!  I lost over 17 inches total.  That’s over a foot!  Holy moly!  This really shouldn’t have come as a total shock to me since I was exercising more, but somehow just seeing the numbers made me realize how much things had been changing I just wasn’t aware because I was only focusing on the one measurement of the scale.

I took my measurements again, just over 2 weeks later, and I have lost another 4.25 inches total!  That is 21.25 inches total lost in right about a month!!!! Suck THAT you stupid scale!!!

WOW!!  But while that is an amazing result, I find that it leaves me feeling less satisfied that when I hit a big loss on the scale.  I don’t have the same level of excitement or pride.  I don’t seem to enjoy that success nearly as long as I do hitting a new personal best on the scale.  So that leads me to ask myself why is that??  Is it because we are conditioned that the scale is THE measure of success when losing weight?  Well ladies, if so, I think it is time to change that way of thinking!  What these frustrations have made me realize and finally understand is that the scale is just ONE measure.  It is NOT the end-all-be-all when it comes to success.  So remember to take a holistic view of your success and consider other measures.
  • Scale
  • Measurements
  • How clothes are fitting?
    • try an outfit that fit before and see how baggy it fits now
    • try on an outfit that was too small before and see how it fits now
  • How are you feeling?
    • Do you have more energy?
    • Are you sleeping better?
    • Are you happier?
    • Are previous medical issues improving (blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, digestive issues, etc)?

I know a zillion really smart people have said before that the scale is only one measurement.  And I should have listened.  But I tend to be pretty hard headed and stubborn and like to have the brilliant ideas myself instead of listening to what others tell me.  They are really not my own brilliant ideas, I just like to think/pretend they are!  Someday I hope to try to learn something the easy way (by listening to others) for once!

Throughout this journey, I really have had no regrets (other than to wish it would come off faster)…until now.  If asked that question today, I would have to say that I regret not taking measurements from the very beginning.  If you are just getting started, I encourage you to take your measurements so that later on you will be able to see in another way just how far you have come!  And use it as a way to keep from getting too frustrated with the scale when it isn’t moving as fast as you want it to be.  If you have already started your journey, it is not too late to start taking measurements now!  As with anything in this journey….just start!  Tomorrow is a new day! 

A little thought to leave you with today...

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vacation, ahhh the blissful absence of reality

Happy Monday all!  Well at least it is for me!  I had the privilege of being able to take a little end-of-summer mini vacay getaway to visit my bestie with my older two daughters (12 & 14) this weekend.  We left Friday night and came back yesterday afternoon (it’s about a 5 hour drive for us).  So today was my Monday.

I don’t know about you but for me vacation and diet are two words that have never gone together.  It’s an oxymoron really.   Vacation for me is usually about being completely off your normal routine and typically includes lots of eating out, usually items that would not be on my regular meal plan (and probably in higher quantities). 

My scale hasn’t been very kind to me the last few weeks.  I finally got into the 220’s in mid-July and have really been hovering in the 5 pound range for almost a month now.  I just couldn’t seem to get under 225.  So I totally didn’t have high hopes for what this little trip would bring.  I anticipated a depressing 2-3 pound gain really.

What I learned about myself on this trip was that I have come a LOOOOOOOOOOONG way in a year.  Here is a synapsis of the weekend.

Friday I missed my workout because I opted to sleep in (7:45 am instead of 5:15) and get a pedicure before we left town and ran out of time to get a workout in.  Then on the trip there, we stopped for fast food on the way out of town.  I opted for a salad instead of a burger and fries.  Not the easiest thing to eat in the car, but I was able to eat most of if on my own, and had my co-pilot daughter help feed me the last of it.  I am sure that looked awesome to the other drivers around us.  Good choice #1!

And what do you want to do when in the car for long periods of time?  Snack is the natural choice that comes to my mind.  I actually was kinda low on calories for the day, so knew I could afford some snacks.  So I brought grapes, carrots, hummus with me.  We also opted to get a few more things at the gas station while taking a pit stop.  While normally this would be a pitfall for me, I did pretty well with my choices…pretzels, beef jerky – much better than the candy bars, chips and other terrible goodies I would have consumed on past trips.  Good choice #2!  Now my portions were where I fell down a bit here.  I did snack quite a bit and I ate later in the day than I normally try to. So I get a so-so on that one.

Saturday, again no workout.  I should have brought Jillian with me, but in a rush to leave I forgot her (at least I think I forgot.  Perhaps it was subconscious??)  I could have walked my fat butt down to Melissa’s basement and worked on her elliptical, but I sat on the couch on facebook and visiting instead.  I had a protein shake for breakfast that day and then we got around to getting our shopping on!  We got school clothes for the kiddos so we were getting some walking in.  For lunch we had Subway (Good choice #3) although I ate way too much (I got a 12” and ate the whole dang thing…ugh! But I did save my chips for later because I was full….that is a win for me)!  Then more shopping and snacks in the car (we stocked up at the store beforehand….I chose cocoa almonds, smokehouse almonds, fiber one bars – Good Choice #4!) followed by a botched attempt to go to Silver Dollar City (we only got 2 rides in before we were stormed out by lightning and rain in the area and they closed down the rides) .  But I did get the big hill climb in…that burned a few calories.  We had a super late dinner where I opted for a grilled chicken sandwich (and fries) instead of homemade mac n cheese.

Sunday, again, no workout (3 days in a row now).  We planned to go to a Water Park, but had a slight ticket snafu so opted for more shopping instead.  On the way back to the house to change out of our swimsuits, we were stuck in traffic so more snacking ensued.  Then we gorged on sushi and edamame and had orange leaf fro-yo for dessert.  Then I cracked open a bottle of wine…ahhh.
Monday was our travel home day.  I was feeling super guilty for not working out for 3 days, so I put on my workout clothes and trotted down to the basement to hit the elliptical and bike.  I didn’t work out tons, but I got 15 min of each in and burned a couple hundred calories (Good choice #5).  Then we headed off for our first Chick-fil-a dining experience before we left town and hit the road.  I got the grilled chicken sandwich, yogurt parfait, and diet lemonade (and shared a few of my daughter’s waffle fries).  More healthy snacks in the car and dinner on the road of another grilled chicken sandwich.

Another weekend win was that I wasn’t dinking pop – I stuck to water and diet lemonade (oh and the wine).

And then I came home to reality....the a/c was on the fritz and it was 90 degrees in the house when we walked in...then on to baths, laundry, and getting ready for work today....ugh.  Blissful vacay, how I miss you already!!!

So while it wasn’t a terrible weekend as far as eating or activity by any means, it could have been better (and it could have been soooooooo much worse) I was still frightened to step on the scale this morning.  If I was a betting person I would have put money on it being higher than the 226 it was when I left on Fri.  So I was absolutely SHOCKED when I stepped on and looked down to see it say 224.4!!!  In fact I had to step on it a few times to make sure it was working and my tired eyes really saw it correctly.  Woooooooo hoooooo!  That is the lowest I have been in a loooooooong time…in fact I can’t remember when I last saw a number like that!  And I finally broke the 225 pound mark.  So that puts me at over 55 (56.4 to be exact!) pounds lost since last August.  That is just amazing to me.

I still wish that I knew what it was that worked to get the scale to move again.  Was it just a fluke?  What is a change in routine to break things up?  Was it getting more sleep?  Ugh!  I hate   not knowing exactly what it was so I could make sure to do it again....and again.....and again!   saw a post from a friend that is also on a lifestyle change journey.  She talked about getting to the place where she knew her body and how it responded to the different variables - her exercise, her food, etc.  I am hopeful and optimistic and hopeful that I will one day get to that place to be able to understand my body like that.  I am not there yet, but I think each day I am one step closer.

So today I have reflected on how far I have come in the last year…
  • I am not just "dieting", I have changed my lifestyle so that I continue to make better food choices, even without the comfort and safety of my normal routine or plan.
  • I do have more self control than I give myself credit for, and I have actually started to use it!
  • I have started missing my workouts when I don’t do them, even enough to workout while traveling for the first time.
  • I can survive, and even thrive, without the crutch of my routine, schedule, calorie counting, meal plan, etc.
  • I can make good choices even when faced with temptations.
  • It is not the end of the world if I don't count and log my calories for a couple of days.  I was still accountable for the food I was eating.
  • Vacation (and life) can still be fun without eating everything in sight and feeling miserable physically and mentally.
Thanks so much to all of the people who have encouraged me, supported me, fueled me along the way.  Words can really not do justice to the gratitude I feel.  I really couldn't do this without you.  I have made new friends along this journey.  I have unlocked a missing part of myself.  I have learned and grown.  I have become stronger than I ever thought possible.  I am blessed!!!

On another note, I found this outfit while we were shopping this weekend.  I fell in love with it from the moment I first saw it!  I had split up from the rest of the crew, so I took a photo and showed them to see if it got the seal of approval.  It did!  But only one wasn't cheap and it wasn't on sale.  It is what I call a "splurge" outfit.  I debated with myself.  I wanted to leave it behind.  But something inside me told me to go try it on, just to see.  We just happened to have lunch by that store before leaving town, so I went in and tried it on.  Part of me hoped it would look terrible on so I would be ok with not getting it.  But it didn' was like Cinderella's was a perfect fit!  I loved it all...the fit, the color, the style.  Of course.  Now the tough choice of whether or not to spend the money on it.  But I did.  I splurged.  Perhaps it was a premonition of my meeting with the scale today and it was meant to be a celebratory gift to myself?  I like to think it was fate or destiny.  But I will admit that the best part was hearing both my children and my husband tell me they were glad I got it, that I deserved it.  That made me feel so good!  Instead of being practical mom, the one that tries to put others first, the one who feels guilty when I do try to do something for myself, I was told by my loved ones that I deserved a treat.  And after my meeting with the scale this morning, I agree!  I did deserve it!  I wore it today.  To celebrate (and to make sure I didn't try to take it back in a moment of practical weakness).

I thought this was an appropriate note to leave on definitely represents how I feel today!

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Competing against....myself!

One of the things that I have been trying to do is push myself in the exercise department. Exercise does not come easy for me.  It is something I avoided like the plague for years.  But I also have a competitive streak that really comes out with a vengeance from time to time.  However, I have realized that I can't compete with other people.  

I have friends that are runners.  They run 5k's, 10k's, half marathons or just regularly.  That is NOT me (yet....I reserve the right to say maybe someday...yes, I also have a very optimistic streak).  I have friends that walk/run faster than I do.  I have friends that burn what seems like a zillion calories in a day from exercising in some form or another - they go harder or longer than I do.  I know that I am not at the same level as some of my peers.  I am just starting out on exercising and I will not be able to run a marathon tomorrow.  

That said, I do want to push myself  and keep making improvements.  So I have recently realized,and perhaps more importantly, accepted that the only person I can compare myself to is ME.  My goal is to make each day a little better, a little stronger, a little faster than my last. And I have realized through this that I do my best work when I am pushing and challenging myself.  

So rather than compare myself to others and getting depressed about how I am not stacking up and comparing to others, I have chosen to compete with me, myself and I.  I try really hard not to, and think I do pretty well with not comparing myself to others.  I am built different than others, I have a different body chemistry than others, I have different motivation than others....we are just not the same!  What motivates me is different. What works for me is different.  So what good would it do me to compare myself to them?  In my opinion, that just leaves me feeling inadequate and ready to dive face-first into a plate of highly caloric foods.  I really don't need that now.

So you might be wondering how I manage to compete with myself.  Good question!  Each day I push myself to work out longer, farther, faster, harder than I did before.  I started out not being able to even make it 5 minutes on the elliptical the first time I tried it.  But I timed myself and the next time I worked out on it, I wanted to make sure I was going longer than I did before.  And the  next thing you know, I was up to 45 minutes on it in no time (less than a month).  

If I worked out 200 minutes last week, this week I want to work out for 210 minutes.  If I burned 235 calories the last time I did 3 miles on the treadmill, the next time I want to burn 240.  I have started doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred video....when I started, I was stopping often.  The jumping jacks kicked my @$$!  Now I am able to get through the first set of cardio (jumping jacks and jump rope 2x's each) without stopping.  I am working on being able to get through all of level one without stopping at all!

I have been monitoring my time on the treadmill.  I started out at a 3.0 pace and would increase my speed every 5 minutes.  At the end of my workout I log how long I go and how far I go to get an average pace for my workout.  My goal is to continue to improve and beat my best pace.  Now I am able to start out a workout going 3.3 or 3.4 mph, to increase my speed more often than 5 min, to last longer on the higher speeds, and increase my overall pace.  So I continue to beat myself and my previous achievements.  YAY ME!!!

I have even started doing this with jogging....I started off going 1 minute, the next time 2 minutes, the next time 3...and so on.  I keep hoping that one of these days I could actually turn into a "runner".  Ha, ha, but a girl can dream, can't she!

I do this with all aspects of this journey - exercise minutes, calories burned, weight (always hoping to see a new "low" number on the scale), clothing size, inches...etc.  Always striving to beat my personal best IN SOME WAY.  Having more options keeps it easier to have more frequent success here, which leads me to be in a more constant positive state of mind and able to continue to push forward.  

So I encourage you to choose to compete only with yourself.  Don't get down on yourself because you are losing as fast as someone else, aren't the same size that someone else is, aren't doing the same workout that someone else is, aren't running as far or as fast as someone else.  Chose to beat your own best.  Then be sure to acknowledge, accept and celebrate each victory!  You have earned it!!!

This post has been percolating in my head for a while now.  In fact, I started drafting it weeks ago!  I am thrilled that I could spend some quiet "mommy time" on my mini-vacay to get it completely out on paper and share it with all of you (even if it is super duper late....or early depending on how you read the clock).  I think some of my peeps have been struggling with this one lately, so totally worth it!!!

I would LOVE to hear back from you on what your personal victories are!  :o)

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