Friday, March 23, 2012

I want to weigh as much as a 5th grader.

Well at least this fifth grader. Now for some people, that may be unrealistically unhealthy. For someone with my weight history, that's the top of the healthy range for a 5'7 female. It's frustrating to think that I've always been overweight, minus the first 5 or so years of my life. So I mean I do have skinny photos...but I'm 3.

And because of this, I realize that with every pound I lose, I'm literally turning back time. Right now, I can't say I ever remember weighing as much (or as little) as I do now. I have vague recollections of the numbers 206 and 236, but that's probably beginning of high school or even possibly the end of middle school. I was 274 pounds when I started Weight Watchers my junior year. So this is truly uncharted territory. My first pair of jeans was a size 16 (much of my youth was spent in leggings and oversize t-shirts... it was the 90s). I now own a pair of pants that are a size 14. 1-4. Now in all fairness, I will admit- they run big, but the last time I saw a 4 on a tag, it was preceded by a 2. 

The last recorded weight I've discovered pre-Weight Watchers was on a 4th grade medical summary I dug out last summer. I weighed 140 pounds. As a 9 year old. So by setting a weight goal of 159, I'm pushing 5th grade right there. For the first time, it feels attainable.

 I have less than 100 pounds to lose. Right now it is 86.2.

That number is strangely ironic, because that is the first weight I remember- in kindergarten. I remember sneaking into my parents' bedroom to weigh myself before a shower, cause there was a scale there and well when you stepped on it, the dial moved and told you a number which was really awesome. My number was 86. I was about 5 years old.

So here I am, twenty years later, and I'm trying to lose that kindergarten me. And the layers of myself that I've accumulated since then. Cause for me, that's what my weight and food did for me- protected me. And somehow it took me 25 years to get to the point where I realized I didn't need that anymore.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunny Days are meant for long walks

So yesterday I laced up my new kicks and since it was a balmy 74 degrees on the last day of winter, I went for a walk. The night before I downloaded Zombies Run! Now let me preface this entry by saying I love gimicky stuff. I wish I could say, at this point, I love to run and I wouldn't stop unless someone told me to. But that's not me. That's mainly the reason I have about a dozen health and fitness related apps downloaded on my iPhone.

I discovered Zombies Run! on a Sparkpeople message board about motivation to exercise. Well it works. I was skeptical cause I checked and have spent less than $15 on iTunes since my first iPod in 2005, so saying I hate spending money on apps is somewhat of an understatement. And Zombies Run! is $7.99, so it was a big plunge. But like I said, I like gimmicky things (and I have a secret obsession for audio books), so this seemed to have potential.

But it's catchy. Basically, you're a runner in a Zombie Infestation (just go with me) and you have to run and collect stuff to help out Abel Township. Your music plays along at times, so you don't have to sacrifice that, but there's some comedy via the radio hosts in the app. There's 30 missions (I can only currently see 13), but you have to do things, like assign the objects you "find" along the way to various locations, to unlock the missions. Each mission takes about 30 minutes to complete. I don't know if it was the sunny weather, the new sneakers, or Zombies Run!, but my walk turned into a 4 mile adventure with a 16:10 pace. So I'm only 1 "mission" in, but it motivated me to more than double my average distance.

It's currently only available in the Apple store, but will be coming to Android this spring.

Monday, March 19, 2012

As Simple as (Apple) Pie!

I'll admit it. I like dessert. So in trying to eat and live healthier, I've had to find ways to integrate the flavors I like into my lifestyle.  I like pie. At a not so distant point in my life, I could probably make an alarmingly large dent into a pie.

So the other night, I was in the mood for something sweet, but wasn't in a chocolate mood. So I brainstormed and came up with this super simple apple pie-esque dessert.

As an ingredient note, I love the Trader Joes Big & Chunky Appleauce. It almost has the consistency of pie filling, but without being that intensely sweet.

Apple Pie in a Bowl
1/2 cup applesauce (the chunkier the better)
1/8 cup granola (I like the Bear Naked Peak Protein cause it's an extra way to sneak in protein!)

1. Applesauce goes into a bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes. You want it to be nice and bubbly.

2. Top with granola.

You could even add some low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt if you wanted to go all crazy and have it a la mode.

All this can be yours for...
150 cal/ 3.5g fat/ 5 fiber/ 3 protein

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pumped up Kicks: Asics Gel Noosa Tri-7

I was in need of some new sneakers. My last pair of sneakers was a Fullscreen capture 3182012 70856 PM.bmpNike Shox that I received as a gift last Christmas that are really nice shoes- but not for me. I wore them to run, but my feet just hurt after wearing them for more than 10 minutes. At nearly 250 pounds, I’m not exactly light on my feet, but it got to the point where I realized it was the shoes, not the running, that was the issue.
My feet are technically flat, but I’m fairly sure I under-pronate because the outer edge of my shoes are noticeably worn down. Go figure. But after only owning these shoes for 2 days, I can tell the difference. The Nike Shox were clunky and heavy in comparison. I’ll be completely honest though, I’ve been lusting over the Asics Gel Noosa Tri-6’s for awhile. I pinned them ages ago, but I really didn’t love the color combo. I actually much preferred the men’s color better, but I figured I’d just look longingly at them on my pinboard. Until I saw the Noosa 7s. Now these bad boys are popular. I ordered them on Zappos last Monday and today, they’re nowhere to be found on the site. So snag them if you can!
They’re really lightweight and the pink bit is actually all breathable mesh. Oh yeah, and they glow in the dark. Such a great feature for night running. I will warn you, these are flashy shoes. They are BRIGHT like 1980s neon. But I find that motivating. The fit was true to size, and they felt fine with even thicker socks on.
I’ve yet to go for a run in them and truly break them in, but after wearing them to run just a few errands, I can feel the difference.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Random Post: The Color Run

So I'm facebook friends with a lot of serious athletes. I see all the ridiculous Warrior Dashes and Tough Mudders they run. In theory they sound like a whole lot of fun. And then I see the photos of people, much more fit than I, struggling to climb over very tall walls. So I've come to the realization that at 248.9 pounds, that is probably not realistic adventure I wish to undertake. But as I mentioned in my initial entry about running, the thought of a 5k is something I'd like to take on at some point.

This morning, one of my friends today posted The Color Run on facebook. This thing looks freakin awesome. You run and they throw colored cornstarch on you at each kilometer. It's a 5k, and they run it in 13 different cities in the US.

My local one is in New York City on August 25th, 2012.  And the registration "opens soon". I'm so conflicted. I still run mostly at night or when people aren't home. It sounds strange, but I don't want people to really know what I'm doing, possibly out of fear of failure, but also cause the praise is kind of uncomfortable sometimes. But that's just me being self-conscious. I don't know if I can make the date which is the other thing. But this was too awesome of a thing not to share!

Anyone ever done a crazy 5k/half/marathon?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How to Deal with Binge Eating

If you read my first entry, you know that my relationship with food hasn't always been a healthy one. And it's taken awhile to get to a point where I do have a healthier outlook in regards to my eating. For a really long time I'd eat unhealthy junk, and I'd know exactly why I was eating it, but I just kept cycling and let's just say my coping skills were called "Eat and Repeat".

And I had my skills. I'd rationalize it to myself in my head, like "Oh, you're buying a dozen donuts to bring to work, right?". Well, that's what I was hoping the cashier was thinking. And I'd only buy junk food at stores with self-checkouts. I've never admitted any of this until now, actually, but I think it's important. Because if you do this kind of stuff, you're not alone. And that's really how I felt for a long time. I knew exactly what I was doing to myself, and how terrible I'd feel afterwards, but I'd still do it. And I felt like I was the only one.

I know this was the one big thing that kept me from being successful every time before. And before I could get healthier, I knew this was something I'd have to confront. So I did. And I did it on my own. But I don't recommend it.  If I were to do it again, I would have sought counseling. Because as much as this is about food, it's about what's going on emotionally. And I know I could have gotten to this point a lot sooner had I taken that step.

If you're not sure if you're ready to take the step of going to see someone or maybe you're not sure it's a problem. I have a few first steps that worked for me. And if anything about my story sounds familiar, I can only hope they may help you.

  • Start to take a look at your eating patterns. If you're not doing it already, write down what/how much you're eating. Everything. When you have to write down that you ate 21 cookies, that's hard. 
  • Buy a scale. Use it. Even now, I still try and think about cheating myself. But if I'm weighing what I'm eating, I have a harder time rationalizing it to myself. It's a lot easier to lie to yourself when something "looks" like a cup. It's really not a cup. 
  • Look at why you're eating. My suggestion is to put another little column next to your meals. Maybe it's "lunchtime" and that's your motivation. Maybe you're hungry. Or maybe it's because you're feeling anxious or stressed. Try to figure out the reason. 
  • Be honest with yourself. This is probably one of the hardest, but if you read the first three, it's something they all have in common. You probably will not like what you're thinking. That's okay. Don't beat yourself up over it. You're working to change it. 
  • Work on changing those thoughts. This was the hardest part for me. Changing the "you're a failure" and "you really can't do this" into something else. Every time I'd finish a package or container of something, there'd be such immense guilt. And these were the thoughts that would run through my head. You can rewrite these thoughts. And I know I'm getting close to motivational speaker territory, here, but go with it. There's a whole lot of grey area between success and failure. For me, failure was to keep doing what I was doing. Anything other than that was closer to success . So sometimes it's making just one small decision to do something different. 
Below is a chart, as a starter. There's tons of great resources online for food tracking too like Sparkpeople or MyFitnessPal. Don't stress about calories and all the specifics, yet. That is important, but one step at a time. I counted calories for a long time before I was honest with myself about what I was actually counting and what I couldn't even admit to myself that I was eating. So try it. Just for 3 days. See how it goes. I'm not a nutritionist, or a psychologist, or an expert on anything- but I am someone that would eat a box of donuts in a sitting. 

How much?
What you’re eating




Do you have any tips or ideas that work for you?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Setting a Goal

So I've thought a lot throughout this journey about setting a goal. For me, the main issue is health. I want to be proud when I go to the doctor, not cry when they confront me about my weight (that even happened once when I went in with an ear infection). So being a size [whatever] is a nice perk, but not my goal.

But I think it's important to have something to aim for. I'm the type of person that needs to see numbers and statistics. I would make excel graphs all day if I could. But that's me. So having a set number as my goal is important to me.

My number is 159. According to most of the research I've done it's the very top of the "normal range" for my height (5'7). It's also not far off from the Weight Watchers goal weight they gave me in high school (158). It would make my BMI about 29.9. Now I know BMI is controversial in a number of ways. It basically only takes into account height and weight and doesn't necessarily equate with overall health.  There are tons of BMI calculators on the web, so take your pick- but my personal suggestion is to try a few and pick a number in between if you're getting differing results

Now I also want to say, when I reach 159, that doesn't mean I'm calling it quits. I think that's something important to remember. Whenever I set a goal and reach it, I reassess and figure out what my new goal is. Maybe it'll be maintaining, but I'll have to make that decision when I get there. I just want to get out of the unhealthy ranges.

Goals don't have to be numbers. Sometimes goals are achievements. One of mine was to go into a store and be able to just shop in the regular section. Notwithstanding the stretchy XXL t-shirt in the regular section, cause that's totally a cheat. But be able to go in and try something unforgiving, like a pair of jeans. That happened for me in the fall. I went into an Old Navy. I was so self-conscious thinking people were looking at me wondering what I was doing shopping in the store. As some background, the last pair of jeans I had purchased were a size 24. So I nervously went and grabbed the largest size they had- a 20. They were too big. I contained my excitement and basically ran from the dressing room back to the shelf and grabbed an 18. They fit. I was wearing jeans that were not the biggest size in the store. I cried. Literally. I was standing in an Old Navy dressing room, in pants I didn't own, crying.

Now those jeans require a belt. So goals are different for everyone, but considering having not only numeric goals, but life goals too. What are your goals?

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I never used to be much of a breakfast person. It was always something I felt obligated to do, and did- well some of the time. Even in high school, my parents would voice concern when I wasn't eating a regular breakfast. And when I did eat breakfast it would be something quick- some cereal off the shelf, or an egg and cheese (possibly with some sort of questionable breakfast meat) from a convenience store. Not really good food choices. Even when I started eating healthier, breakfast was still somewhat of a chore. I would go through phases, eating the same thing every single day until I ran out of whatever or couldn't handle day 26 of the same cereal.

Then I, in the midst of some procrastinatory blog reading, I came across Chocolate Covered Katie . Thanks to her, I actually like oatmeal now. Before trying out some of her oatmeal recipes I was fairly convinced that all oatmeal had the consistency/taste of wallpaper paste flavored with freeze dried apple cinnamon. If you're not a breakfast person, you will become one.

Now I really try to be creative with my breakfasts, so it's a treat- not an obligation. I'll switch it up and do oatmeal one day and pancakes the next. Then maybe an egg day (I'm an egg-beaters kinda gal) with lots of vegetables. I also plan ahead. I'll browse on my phone before bed and look up some breakfast recipes to get some inspiration for the next morning. It's hard not to be excited when you've got cookie dough baked oatmeal for breakfast!

Some other breakfast ideas:
Real Simple 9 Healthy Breakfasts
Undressed Skeleton on Breakfast
Chocolate Covered Katie Breakfasts (2nd sub-heading)
Sparkpeople Breakfast Ideas

Monday, March 5, 2012

I want to become a runner.

Some back story on my (rather brief) history as a runner. I've tried a few times now to really get healthy and refocus my priorities in terms of health. I purposely phrased it like this, because I realize now it's not just about losing weight. I think that so many times when I tried to just lose weight, but failed to address the other stuff, just pushed me farther and farther away from being successful. One of those times, I decided to try running. I spent possibly the best $2.99 (now it's $3.99), and downloaded Run 5k. It used to be called Couch to 5k, and you can download tons of plans online for free. I like the app though, because I need someone to tell me when to start and stop running. It's all a psychological thing, but you know when you feel like you just can't go any more and you just want to stop? Well I do, just that. I stop. But if that little timer is ticking down and saying I have 2 minutes left, you better bet I'm not going to stop.

The point of the app/program is that you work your way up to running. The first time I tried it, those first 30 seconds were absolutely miserable. But I kept going, and made it about 4 weeks in. I think that was about 2 minutes running, max. But one day I stepped the wrong way and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my sciatic nerve so I figured I should rest and let it heal. Well that didn't really happen, but ironically, as long as I stay active and  do some sort of athletic activity, it doesn't really hurt much.

This fall, I started Run 5k again- from the beginning. I had lost about 25 pounds over the summer, and had worked at a job that kept me on my feet all the time. So I was looking to keep up that level of energy. So I made it up through about week 7 and took a break for the cold months. I probably could have run outside still, but I was running at like 11pm, so it was cold. Trust me.

So now I've started back up where I left off, and I can feel that I haven't been running in awhile, but I still managed a 33 minute "run" (5 warm-up/20 run/1 walk/2 run/5 cool-down). And when I'm on there, the motivating fact is still that I am running. Not fast, but I'll get there. Maybe at some point, I'll set a goal to run a 5k, but that's something I definitely have to work my way up to.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Healthy Find: PB2

While I don't entirely condone "diet foods" (i.e. snackwells and their fat free, yet 'not a low calorie food' can suck it), if someone makes something I'm already going to eat, healthier, I won't fight them on it.

Prime example, peanut butter. It tastes good. It's high in protein, however it's high in fat as well. And while it has "good fats", it just doesn't always fit into my daily intake. And that makes me a bit sad. So enter, PB2. 

This stuff is amazing- and it is peanut butter. The nutrition facts are as follows:

PB2: Powdered Peanut Butter
Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, sugar and salt.
Serving size: 2 Tablespoons (12 grams)
Servings per container: 15
Amount per 2 Tablespoon serving (when mixed with water):
Calories: 45
Calories from fat: 13

Chocolate PB2
Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, cocoa powder, sugar and salt.
Serving size: 2 Tablespoons (12 grams)
Servings per container: 15
Amount per 2 Tablespoon serving (when mixed with water):
Calories: 45
Calories from fat: 10

I personally use it to mix into smoothies (PB2 & banana with vanilla is a favorite), or anywhere I'd use peanut butter. It tastes a little more like natural peanut butter, in regard to texture, rather than super-creamy peanut butter. But I really like it. I got it on Amazon PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter and Powdered Cocoa Peanut Butter, but you can get it directly from the company as well. They have a  ton of great recipes on their website, so if you do order it, have a look for some inspiration. 

Friday, March 2, 2012


So I've tried at blogs before.

I've tried to write for other people, figuring out what they wanted. And then after abandoning blog after blog, I realized that wasn't working.

So this is an experiment of sorts. To try and write solely for me and invite whomever stumbles across this blog, along for the ride.

So about me. I am a twenty-something grad student with a history of terrible eating habits. Then, last summer, it all changed. I stopped my pattern of disordered -and to be quite blunt about it binge- eating. I was never diagnosed, because I never sought help, but when you meet basically all the criteria, you know something's not right.

I wish I could tell you precisely what changed in my life so you could replicate it and be successful, but I can't. Mostly because I can't pinpoint it entirely myself, but also in part because this journey is so personal that what motivates me may be meaningless to you.

Over the summer, I spent some time with a friend who was a really great role model. I don't think they even realize what an impact they had on me, but in just doing what they do, it really inspired me to rethink the way I thought about food and health. Maybe sometime, when I get enough courage, I'll thank them. I'm really kind of private with my goals and successes (and failures), but I'll get into that later.

I've flirted with vegetarianism for about the last 6 years, but out of convenience to others,  I never stuck with it. (If you notice, the theme of me trying to do things for other people- it's a recurring one). But I've been vegetarian since last summer now. I'll be entirely honest, my motivations are primarily taste. I just don't like meat. I was the kind of person that would dissect meat if there were veins or discolored bits. And as much as I love to cook, the closest I would get to a piece of raw meat was a pair of tongs. The other part  is health related. I find that when I stay away from meat, I generally eat healthier things. It almost forces me to be more conscious of my food choices, and when I do that I generally make better decisions.

I've lost 64.9 pounds since last July. That is more weight than every single previous attempt. Combined. I still have a long way to go. But I no longer weigh 316 pounds. And although there's still a bit of anxiety when I say that, it's outweighed (ha!) by the pride.