my quest to find a new relationship

27 May

So, as I mentioned before, the plan was to start working with a dietitian.  Now, it is official…I have started a program that will teach me how my body uses food as well as gives me a solid understanding of how to make healthier choices.  As you know, my mission is to lose weight, but this time I’m looking for a real lifestyle change with long-term implications.

I’ve failed many times before with gimmicks, pills, and offers like “read this book and lose weight”, “buy this expensive equipment and watch the pounds melt away”, and of course I’ve tried more traditional methods like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers and found some short-term success with their special meals and meetings.  I learned a lot from each one of these attempts at weight loss.  1) There are no magic pills, potions or lotions    2) An exercise machine is only good if you USE it    3) The books (and corresponding cookbooks) look great on my bookshelf, but do very little for my “back shelf”–aka my behind    4) I find pre-made foods limiting    5) I don’t love the idea of carrying around a sliding scale at the grocery store just to figure out how many Points there are in a serving of Honey Bunches of Oats

There are so many people who swear by these methods and I am ecstatic for those who have used them and found long-term success, but I am tired of “dieting”.  I just want to be “normal” and not have to think about food all the time.  I want to eat NORMAL foods that I can get from a grocery store.  I don’t want to rush to a weekly meeting to stand in line and weigh in.  I want to learn how to have a simple, normal, HEALTHY relationship with food.

Don’t get me wrong…I know all relationships take some work.  And just like the start of any great relationship, I am ready to dedicate some serious time getting to know my body… learning about its little quirks, discovering what it likes and dislikes and uncovering what really turns it on.  I am ready to work hard at this.  I totally expect good days and bad days, highs and lows, days to celebrate and moments where I will just need a timeout and a little “space”.  I am ready to put 100% into this and in return I want to get to a point where I am not consumed by it.  Where making healthy choices is second nature, not something that I can only do by picking up a sliding scale or warming up a pre-packaged meal…a simple, “it looks too good to be true” kind of love.

Losing weight is hard  (gaining it…not so much) and I’ve watched myself fail too many times.  I’ve mastered the art of STARTING diets, but reaching my goals…well that’s unchartered territory.  I’ve had ENOUGH!!  I need a team that will keep me motivated, be supportive and give me the tools to do this for the long haul.

The Fisherman by Håkon Iversen

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”   – Chinese Proverb

I don’t want to be dependent on any special meals, pills, food calculations, etc…  I want to learn how to read labels and figure out what it all means, appreciate food for what it is–a source of energy, understand what I am putting into my body and learn to really maximize the benefits of each meal that I eat.  I also want to understand why my body does what it does….  Why when I only eat 2 meals a day, I still gain weight?  Why am I never thirsty?  Why am I always so tired?  How many calories should I be getting?  How can I get my body to work with me based on MY current situation?  The list goes on and on…

So, today marks the beginning of the second week of working with Emily, my dietitian, who you will hear more about throughout this journey.  Over the last month, I have provided Emily with some assessments that gave her a look into the secret window of my life.  What, when, how much I eat……What I like, dislike, love and can’t live without…what motivates me, bums me out, and really sets me off….What I’m at risk for, my family history, my physical limitations….you get the point…

She’s taken the time to understand where I’m coming from and is designing a plan just for ME and now she joins me on my journey and I couldn’t be more thrilled!  In the last week, she’s already explained a lot about my body, the metabolism and even gave me a few homework assignments.

This post is already crazy long, so I will save the details for my next post.  I am super excited and want to share some of the information that I’ve already learned and share my progress so far after working with Emily over the last week!

In the meantime, I thought I’d try to make this a little more interactive and hopefully hear back from my 4 blog buddies (yes, I now have FOUR AWESOME subscribers to my blog…I AM SO EXCITED!).

What kind of relationship do you have with your body?  What would it say about you?

Reply in the comment section…I really want to get to know you guys!

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Disclaimer (aka Legal Mumbo Jumbo):  All the trademarks or brands referenced in this post are registered by their respective owners.  The content above is not associated with or sponsored by the trademark owners.


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small goals…big progress

23 May

So a few weeks ago I mentioned  that I wanted to set weight loss goals for each milestone I reach.

So I’ve been thinking about what constitutes a milestone?  Webster defines a milestone as a significant point in development.  I’d argue that every pound would be a positive step in my journey towards health, but sadly while I do love a good treat, I really want to make sure I do something special for those significant moments, while really celebrating the baby steps I take to get there.

So, I’ve created the following plan to acknowledge each step as well as celebrate the true milestones.

TB (The Boyfriend) is going to help me find a tall glass vase and some polished stones to celebrate the hundred plus small steps towards my goal.  With each pound, I will drop in a stone.  I am a little worried that I won’t find small enough stones OR a big enough vase…but I will cross that bridge when I get there.

For those big milestones, I did a lot of thinking on this one.  While I might change the rewards depending on my financial situation (hoping to find a new job soon)….I am pleased with how I’ve defined my milestones as far as pounds lost.

Without further ado and after much deliberation, I introduce to you “My Road to the First 4 Stones”.

4 stones is 56lbs (my first major goal is to lose 62 lbs–4.4 stones).  Why 62…we will get to that in a sec….

Along my journey towards this first major milestone, I’ve sprinkled in a few rewards here and there to  keep me motivated.  I have a long road ahead of me.  However, worry not, because along this road I have some very fun treats planned for myself and the lucky guy or gal that I decide to invite on these “Because You Rock” moments!  I haven’t decided yet if I will stick to my friends and family for these special excursions or if I can figure out a way to offer up a special “Thanks for your support” present for my loyal readers–so far the odds would be great since I currently have 3 subscribers!  😉  Stay tuned while I figure out those details!

The biggest reason I decided to create a roadmap between the Dee you know now and the Dee sans 4 stones, 6 lbs is that I thought this was a milestone that would really indicate lifestyle change and one that would make a huge impact not only on my health, but most importantly, the milestone that would indicate that I am free from the medical definition of Super Obese.  What’s Super Obesity, you ask?  Well sadly, it’s the definition given to people whose BMI exceeds the level of Morbid Obesity.  We hear about Morbid Obesity a lot in the news…but I personally didn’t realize there were levels beyond that.  And imagine my surprise to find out that not only was I topping out at these levels, but it was only after losing a few pounds could I call myself Super Obese.  Whew…talk about your wake up calls.

For those of you who do not personally know me, I am a visual person…so let me show you what the levels of obesity look like and what it personally means as far as my weight loss journey:

I started this journey out in the red and thank God I started when I did before I ventured even further into the red zone.  Now, I know that my current situation is EXTREMELY dangerous and I thank God that he has allowed me to make it this far without any serious medical conditions as a result of all of this excess weight.  I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to  be here and work on fixing the damage that I’ve done to my body.  I also feel that if I can do this and motivate just one person out there to do what’s best for their bodies, then maybe there would be some greater purpose for this struggle.  But until then…I’ll keep at my journey…one stone at a time!

verdict: burger o’ portobello

15 May

So I wanted to give you an update on the portobello experiment yesterday…  D E L I S H!

Much to my surprise, the boyfriend (TB) didn’t change his mind.  Not only did he still want to make the portobello burger, he had stopped by the store to pick up all the ingredients and hit the door running!  He was pumped!  So, he chopped and sliced, roasted and diced and about 30 minutes later….viola…we had yummy grilled portobello burgers.

I had originally planned on taking a picture, but OPPS…. I completely forgot and once I took that first bite, it was all over.  We were hooked!  Next time I make them, I will try and take a pic to share with you guys.  But until then, check out that recipe again on my previous post!  I love Big Daddy’s House on Food Network!  Mad props to Aaron McCargo, Jr. on this recipe.  Here’s a pic from the video:

I highly recommend this recipe.  The tomatoes, roasted pepper, onion and feta are simply a magical combination.  This will definitely become my new fav salsa treat (when I have some extra calories to spare given the feta).  Something about that salsa tastes like pizza (in my opinion)…it’s probably the fresh oregano that really makes this so yummy!  Either way! Going to give this 5 stars:  Delicious AND Nutritious!

After dinner our neighbor (and drinking buddy),  came over to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather and a glass o’ wine!  Being a fellow meat & potato head himself, he seemed a little worried about TB’s dinner choice….suggesting that maybe TB was keeping a secret from him about his health…finding no other reason why someone would choose to eat a meatless burger.

TB brought out the salsa mixture that we had left over and some yummy pita chips to let our neighbor taste.  By the end of the night, he was hooked too!  So, tally that up…these burgers just converted 2 meat & potato heads into 2 veggie burger luvin’ men!  I call that a culinary success!  This one goes into the record books, folks…my boyfriend is actually enjoying healthier foods and got full from his first meatless meal!  I couldn’t be more proud!

meat man wants portobello burger for dinner

13 May

I can’t believe my ears.  I just got off the phone with Mr. Meat & Potatoes and he excitedly told me that he’d like to make portobello burgers for dinner!  I had to really stop myself from laughing out loud!

This is Mr. “I’ll take a Ribeye with a side of Ribeye” not Mr. “A complete meal consists of a vegetable”…

And now he wants a fully vegetarian meal for dinner?  You betcha!  I just hope he doesn’t change his mind between now and the time he gets off work!

Hooray!  Could it be that he is slowly reforming?  OR could it be that this is his culinary substitution for roses…in which case, I wonder what he did wrong today?!  LOL!

I am totally stoked!  I just went on to FoodNetwork.com to see what I could quickly find  as a recipe for Portobello Burgers.  So many to choose from!

Here’s what I decided to try tonight:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’ll let you know how it goes.  In the meantime, anybody out there have another cherished portobello burger recipe that you’d recommend?  If you don’t respond before dinner time…no worries…I can always try it out during the next blue moon!  😉

Yummy Healthy Dinner…Here we come!!!

premeditated bad behavior

8 May

First and foremost…to the beautiful ladies in my life who are blessed to be mothers, have a wonderful Mother’s Day!!

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Now, my post –my premeditated falling off the wagon:

Tomorrow will be tough.

I am already planning on having food that I would not consider “diet” food.  But good thing is…I am not looking at this as a diet…this is a lifestyle change, remember.

For Mother’s Day, my sister, cousin and I will be making dinner for my mom and grandma.  Me and the boyfriend are responsible for two sides….the most dangerous sides of all….we will be bringing potato casserole and spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips.  Man oh man…tomorrow is going to rough.

As a matter of fact, I am sitting up right now, just thinking about how on earth I will put this off.  You’d think that I would have been super duper good today…not so much.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t horrible as far as excessive calories or anything, but as a good friend pointed out…it’s not always about the number of calories you eat…it’s also important to pay attention to the quality of those calories…and trust me….today these were stack’em deep, sell them cheap, no good, dirty rotten calories!  😉

As we prepared for doomsday, we went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients.  I replaced as many ingredients as I could with the lighter or no-fat versions of the same foods.  I even put a few packages of fat free mozzarella in the cart to see just what would happen if I made a dip which was primarily cheese out of the non-melting no-fat variety.  Alas, the boyfriend talked me out of that idea saying that it would be a shame to waste good spinach and artichokes on something that may resemble rubber dip.  So instead we are going reduced fat on that recipe.

Well, wish me luck!  I will be drinking plenty of water to get full BEFORE I start eating and put a LITTLE bit of everything on my plate…except the salad which I may have two helpings of to further minimize any destruction.  BRING ON THE SALAD PEOPLE!  😉

Again, to all the mommas out there…HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!  You guys are all wonderful and the world is blessed to have you!

XOXO!

Dee

she makes me stronger

7 May

The other day, Kirsten, author of one of my new favorite blogs, Results Not Typical Girl, turned me on to a hilarious comedian named Anita Renfroe!  If you aren’t familiar with Ms. Anita, I highly suggest you check her out.  She’s a comedic mastermind that puts a unique spin on everyday life and turns those little annoyances that stress us out and wear us down into hilarious songs that you can’t help but laugh at!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share this video with you as I think mothers and reformed hard-headed children alike can relate to this song.  This is Anita Renfroe singing Momisms to the tune of The William Tell Overture (the Lone Ranger theme song):

Since we are approaching Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fitting to write a post about the strongest woman I know.

Growing up I never realized how much my mom had on her plate.  She made me miracle soup when I was sick, kissed my boo-boos, laughed at my jokes, held my hand as I crossed the street and spanked my behind when I was out of line.  She was good cop, bad cop and everything in between.  Don’t get me wrong, I was blessed to have two of the most amazing parents so my mom wasn’t completely alone.  She and my dad divorced when I was young, and although my dad was still very much a part of our lives, my sister and I lived day in and day out with my mom.

As a single mom, she juggled a full-time job and two kids—one a healthy little angel (my sis) and the other a sickly little terror (with a big heart).  She made sure we did our homework, attended our school plays and recitals, and made sure we had a hot meal every night…even when she was too exhausted to actually eat any of it herself.  She gave gave gave and never expected anything in return.

It wasn’t until after college when I was moving to a new city thousands of miles away, did I realize how much I was going to miss my family, especially my mom.  While she was 100% supportive of me moving out of state for my first “real” job and trying to make it on my own, it wasn’t until I was in the car about to pull out of our drive way that I noticed a little something in her eyes that gave away that she was going to miss me almost as much as I was going to miss her.  Had I been paying attention, I may have noticed this look at other points in my life–like my first day at “big kids” school, the first time I went out on my own in the car, and maybe even when I moved to a new city for college.

Regardless of how these little milestones may have signaled that her little girl was growing up, she did the best she could to set me free and let me enjoy life.  Although she would never say anything to hold me back from my dreams (or better yet send me back to live in my childhood room), I could see in her eyes that this was not going to be easy for her either.

As soon as I was out on my own, paying bills, going to work, living with roommates and getting home whenever I wanted, it didn’t take long to realize how much my mom taught me.  Had it not been for her teaching me how to cook, pleading with me to clean my room, frightening me into making good grades, and most importantly getting on her knees and praying for me every night…I wouldn’t be who I am now.

It’s crazy how much we take for granted as children…and even as young adults.  I’m 33 now and still to this day I am learning life’s little lessons and calling my mama as soon as times get tough.  And just as she’s done every day since I can remember, she’s ready– armed with a warm smile, a big hug, and an encouraging word.  She protected me from things that were life-threatening, but let me fall sometimes just so I could learn how to pick myself up.  She patiently stood by my side, when Lord knows I didn’t always make it easy.  She showed me how to love, encouraged me to follow my heart, and taught me where to pull strength from when life seemed too much to bear.

Today, even as she gently eases into her 60’s, she continues to push me to be better than I was yesterday and never fails to teach me something new everyday.

On a walk we took earlier this week, I started getting tired and tried to convince her that the next time we venture out, we should take a path with less hills.  She slowed down and looked back (yes, she may be in her 60’s, but that little lady can move!) and said…

“Do we want the easy path, or the path that will make us stronger?”

I couldn’t do anything but grin.  Of course she was right… this was a point that she’s made many times throughout my life.  Everyone has obstacles and paths of great resistance, but these struggles are, while difficult and sometimes seemingly never ending, life’s little challenges that make us stronger.

I guess being a hard-headed brat is just a part of growing up for some of us kids, but what’s amazing is what that word “unconditional” really means.  I don’t have kids of my own and as I see some of my friends who already have a few in tow, it amazes me how much they’ve changed and how in love with those little cutie-pies they are.  I remember my mom, half-joking, warning me that when I grow up, my children would be 2x worse than I was!  (maybe that’s why I don’t have any kids).  But whether that’s true or not…I just hope that I can be 1/2 the mom that she was.

So this Mother’s Day, take time to reflect on the good times you’ve shared with your mom (or mother-figure).  If you are blessed to still have her in your life…Thank her for helping to make you the person you are today. And mom, if you one day read this, you are my rock and I love you for all that you’ve done and all that you continue to do to make me stronger.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

fighting for what I deserve

5 May

It’s been a frustrating week.  Although, I am eating healthier and paying more attention to what and how much I eat, I see zero progress on my friendly little scale.  Yes, yes….I realize that I can’t base my happiness on those foolish little numbers, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t faze me.  Who doesn’t want to climb on the scale and see that number get smaller and smaller with each weigh in?

But, while those much desired smaller digits are playing SO hard to get, I realized something…they are only making me try harder.  This is unchartered territory for me.  My normal reaction would have been to declare defeat and drown my sorrows in a sea of chocolate goodness.  Now, I find my self finding opportunities to move more and trading chocolate chip cookies for fresh pineapple.  WHAT?!  Who is this crazy girl and what has she done with Dee?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t (I repeat: I HAVE NOT) sworn off those yummy little cookies, but right now I find myself more open to accepting a healthier alternative during this stressful time.  I don’t know if it is some miraculous discovery of hidden will power or simply because I now have a better appreciation of how hard it is to burn 300 calories.  Whatever it is, it is much-needed and is making me feel like maybe this time I really have a chance!

So as I am working harder to prove that stupid little scale wrong, I thought I’d share my progress with you.  I took some extremely helpful advice from one of my virtual weight-loss buddies, LucyM.  I switched up my routine a little to keep things fresh and hopefully to push past this little plateau.

Yesterday, I decided to take my mom up on her standing offer to walk with me.  I got up early and headed over to her house where we walked a mile.  Now, I reached my milestone of walking a mile a week or so ago, but the difference is that unlike my neighborhood where the streets are nice and flat (aka little to no resistance) my mom’s neighborhood is full of small inclines.  Whew!  What a difference!  That was one HARD mile.  Today, I did it again.  This time my mom and I walked a little further.  I’ve never been so happy to see her driveway.  Then tonight after eating dinner before 8pm–a weekday record for this household, the boyfriend and I got up and went for ANOTHER walk.  What’s that you say?  Two walks in one day?  Slow down there missy!

Being the big trickster he is, he came up with the bright idea to walk to a nearby neighborhood. FOUR MILES later, I crawled back into the house.

Man, I am tired, but all in all I feel good.  Sure, my feet hurt a little and my back is a little achy, but I’m happy that I pushed myself a little further than I’ve pushed myself before.  AND…it didn’t kill me.

While I can’t say that I am down for doubling my workout everyday, or even ready to go another 5 miles tomorrow, I can say that I am really proud of myself.  I am finally taking a healthy approach to the stress of not seeing the results that I want.  I am not pretending that the problem will fix itself if I just ignore it, I am not self-destructing…I am taking action!  I am determined to prove this stupid little scale wrong and prepared to continue working hard to defy it and force it to give me the results I want (scratch that…) I DESERVE!