Saturday, March 31, 2012

Be Prepared

I have found that being prepared is essential in controlling what I eat. If I prepare snacks and meals ahead of time, then it is easy for me to eat healthy. If nothing is prepared, I'm off to a restaurant or vending machine when I get hungry. Here are a few current snapshots of my cabinet and fridge.

*22 raw almonds in snack bags - 164 calories
*13 Quaker mini rice cakes with caramel in snack bags - 110 calories
* 2 Pepperidge Farms Mint Milano cookies in snack bags - 140 calories
* 1 Kettle Corn - 100 calories
* Special K Strawberry Cereal Bar - 90 calories

*Apple - 72 calories
*Cucumber slices - 24 calories
*Baby Carrots - 50 calories

*I have included a picture of leftovers that I warmed up for lunch. When I made the fish the other night, I had 3 days worth of lunches ready to go. It is so easy to just grab it in the morning. 1 1/2 minute in the microwave and I've got a healthy lunch.

A better breakfast for Bonnie

Nature's Own Thin Sliced Bagels, only 110 calories. I toast them with a little butter and eat them in the morning with a hard boiled egg. Easy, low-cal, and best of all, yummy! Smiley Faces

My turn, I guess

My name is Meredith and I have been overweight ever since I had a baby. Seven years ago.
I put on 60 pounds when I was pregnant with my son, lost 40, gained that 40 back when pregnant with my daughter (at least I didn't gain 60 again!), lost 35, and started the 2010 school year around 165.

My major barriers to making it further with my weight loss (which has been a constant struggle) are emotional/stress/boredom eating as well as a hypothyroid condition, which I take medication for daily. I know half the world has low thyroid and I refuse to make that an excuse, but it does seem to make things harder.

Making time to exercise has also been a difficulty (I mean, I already get up at 5 to work every morning!) but I realized this week that my youngest is now 3 and can be told, "I'm going to exercise right now, why don't you watch Dora or look at books or play a game with your brother" and this usually works. I am proud to say that I have worked out on the treadmill 5 out of the last 7 days since my husband helped me move it out into the office/playroom. I CAN and WILL exercise after work each day!

So my new weapons in this fight are MyFitnessPal and a new commitment to exercise. Friend me on MyFitnessPal-- my username is Mooneymer.

I am confident that journaling plus working out are going to give me good results. I am also on my feet nearly all the time at work, since I am an elementary music teacher, so my metabolic profile is "Lightly Active."

I am 5'5" and a size 12 or 14 depending on the brand. I want to be a 10 and eventually an 8.
I also hope to go down a cup size in all this. Hope that's not TMI! :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chocolate Cinnamon Popcorn

I was looking for a sweet treat tonight but I also wanted popcorn...lo and behold chocolate cinnamon popcorn!

1 bag Jiffy Healthy Pop 94%  Fat Free Kettle Corn
1 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon

Pop popcorn in microwave and dump into bowl. Combine sugar, cocoa powder and cinnamon in separate bowl. Spray popcorn with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray and sprinkle with sugar, cocoa, cinnamon mixture. Mix chocolate popcorn with spoon until thoroughly coated. Divide into two equal portions and share!
Only 80 Calories per serving!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm beginning my journey with a single step...

It's so hard to put yourself, your story out for the whole world to see. I, however, need the accountability which is why I chose to join in Bonnie's size 10 project. I've never been a size 10- NEVER. Growing up I was always the fat kid. Yes, I dealt with the teasing, the bullying and the ridicule but I also had (and still keep in touch with) some of the most amazing friends. The day I graduated from high school I was 5'4" and 232 pounds. For the next ten years I continued to pack on the weight until my highest recorded weight surpassed 350 lbs. I had tried every diet on the market - lose ten pounds and gain back 20-- so it went for years. I began researching gastric bypass surgery and after four years of intense research, thought, prayer, soul searching and pleading with my insurance, I was finally approved. I managed to lose over 150 lbs in the course of several years.

In 2008 I got married and became instant-mom to 3 beautiful children from my husband's first marriage as he was a widower. Shortly thereafter he was laid off from his job and we moved cross country. Again the emotional and stress eating took over and I saw the weight start to creep back on and I had soon added another 30 lbs.

2010 brought a welcome surprise when I found out I was pregnant with the child we'd been trying for for more than two years and whom doctors had told us was virtually inconcievable without medical intervention but at the end of my pregnancy in May 2011 I weighed in at 250 lbs. I knew I had to do something. I began moving more and just watching a little more closely what I ate and the pounds started dropping off. I plateaued at about 215 in January. I was a size 16/18 and even some of those were still tight. I started counting calories with LoseIt!. It's an app available on both Iphone & Android. I lost another 25 lbs between January and March and again plateaued at about 185 and a size 12/14. So I bought a fitbit activity tracker. It's an amazing device that tracks your movements and converts them to calories burned, tracks your sleep and works as a pedometer counting your steps and floors climbed in a day. I'm using my fitbit to keep me even more motivated and moving to get to that size 10!

 Pre-Surgery 2007

 7 months pregnant 2011

This is one of my absolute favorite pictures. It's from my honeymoon. I was a size 12 in this pic but well on my way to a size 10 until I allowed life and emotional eating to get in the way. This time I have a goal, I have a destination and I'm taking it one bite, one day, one step at a time!

Healthier Chicken "Parmigiana"

  • 4 zucchini
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • Jarred marinara of your choice. I like Bertolli or Barilla, all natural.
  • Reduced fat provolone slices

Shred zucchini into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler and place in 9" x 13" baking dish. Salt and pepper. Next, arrange chicken on top, and pour sauce over all.

Finally, top with one slice of reduced fat cheese on each chicken breast.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove foil at end for extra-melty cheese. I don't know the calorie content here but it's pretty healthy! Just don't eat bread with it :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Upper Body Workout

During the day, I'm either sitting in class or sitting in the computer lab while I study, so you can see that I don't have much going on in the calorie burning department.I've been going on walks/jogs every evening to keep my body moving This past week I've been averaging 2-4 mile walks with about 1/2 mile jogs mixed in. (I was very happy when I jogged an entire continuous mile!)

Tonight the weather didn't cooperate when I wanted to go on a walk, so my boyfriend and I decided to work on our upper bodies.

In 60 second intervals we did the following sequence: (don't forget to stretch first!)

1) Small forward shoulder rolls
2) Large forward shoulder rolls
3) Small backward shoulder rolls
4) Large backward shoulder rolls
5) 30 second pot stirs on each arm (bend over at the waist and drop your arms to the floor and rotate) this loosens up your shoulders.
6) Push-ups
7) Hammer curls with weights
8) Tricep curls with right arm
9) Tricep curls with left arm
10) Standing abs (stand with your hands behind your head and bring your left knee up to meet your right elbow while you rotate. then switch. use your abs to bring your knees up.)
11) 60 second plank

Rest for 1 minute then repeat the entire sequence. It doesn't look like much, but it KILLS (especially if you haven't worked your arms in a while). Make sure to stretch when you are done.

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potato

Who says you can't eat well when you're trying to lose weight? Pair this scrumptious take-out style dish with a side salad and you'll never miss all the calories from you favorite BBQ joint!

1 medium russet potato (roughly 5 oz)
1.75 oz pre-cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 TBSP BBQ Sauce w/ 70 calories or less per serving

Poke holes in potato and place in plastic grocery bag. Tie top of bag and put in microwave for about 4 minutes. (or if you're lucky like me, you'll have a baked potato setting, just push the button and go!) Check potato for doneness with a fork- if it slides in easily it's done, if not continue cooking 1 minute at a time until desired firmness is reached.

Add shredded chicken to a bowl and top with 1 TBSP bbq sauce. Microwave for about 1 minute or until heated through.

Split potato & season to your liking- I sprayed mine with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray & seasoned with salt and pepper. Stuff potato with warm chicken and garnish with green onions!

230 calories, 14 grams protein, 42 grams carbs

Avoiding Wheat

I am not a person with celiac disease but I am now avoiding wheat for weight loss reasons. Many people in the health and fitness community seem to be staying away from wheat these days. Reading recommendations from dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone as well as preventative cardiologist Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, and Robb Wolf, noted proponent of the "paleo diet" paints a picture of a genetically modified grain that has little to no redeeming value in its modern form. It also apparently increases levels of inflammation throughout the body and has a high glycemic load. So probably not for dieters.

A less scientific observation I made was that "My Fit Foods" here in Houston has no items that contain wheat on its menu. Well, then.

Breaded Tilapia with Corn

Tonight I had breaded
tilapia with corn for dinner. Approximately
350 calories and 40 g of protein.

I breaded fresh tilapia fillets in Kraft Fresh Take Italian Parmesan cheese and breadcrumb mix and baked at 400 for 14 minutes. I ate one fillet with a steamfresh corn single.

I usually cook for myself, so I eat a lot of steamfresh singles. The remaining tilapia fillets are portioned into tupperwares and I'll eat them for lunch for the remainder of the week.

I have been logging everything that I eat. There is a free online weight loss journal called Fit Day that I have been using. There are other online weight loss journals, this just happens to be the one that I'm using. Anyway, Fit Day tracks my food, activities, weight, measurements, and they have a journal for me to write anything else that I feel is relevant.

Logging my food has made me very aware that I have been over-eating. Too many calories. Too many carbs. Now that I'm aware of this issue, I can get it under control.

Life Style Change, Not a diet

I'm never going to get to a size 10 I'm only dieting. After 3 weeks, I'll get sick of the food I'm eating and quit. Therefore, becoming a size 10 is a life style change. I will eat foods that are healthy, but I have to make sure that I like eating them. In other words, I'm not going to be eating rice cakes and celery all day. Also, I have to give myself room to eat whatever I want to every once in a while. I love my Tex-Mex, so I've got to have fajitas with guacamole from time to time.

If I'm happy, then I'll stay at it. If I stay at it, I'll lose weight. Then I will become a size 10.

The Goal

The goal is to become a size 10 by the end of the summer of 2012.

I was a size 10 for most of my 20's. I swear that the day I turned 30 I started gaining weight and I've been consistently getting a bit larger. I've finally reached a point where this is completely unacceptable. I'm almost 200 pounds and a size 16. I'm self conscious and my clothes don't fit as well as I would like them to. I don't like buying clothes because when I'm trying to hide trouble spots. Personally, I would like to walk into a clothing store and have the option to buy whatever I want without the limitations of size. (Of course, I'm still a poor college student, so price will still be a limitation ) Also, someday soon (I hope), I'll get engaged, and I want to pick out an amazing dress, not something that will hide a tummy or butt.

Last fall, I was very good about watching what I ate and working out at least 3-4 times per week. I actually lost around 8 pounds and I was very happy because some of my clothes were starting to fit better. However, over the holidays, my entire daily routine was interrupted and I quit eating healthy and working out.

I made a goal to get back to my healthy eating and working out routine. I am currently on day 9 of the new healthy Bonnie. I've been logging everything I eat and making sure to get some excercize in every day. This blog is going to help me connect with friends that are also trying to get back to size 10.

Here are a few pictures of me back in the day when I was a size 10. I can do this. I am going to be a size 10 again.

My reward to myself when I finally become a size 10 again, is to have sexy pictures taken. I want to be a pin-up girl. Angela Morales Photography in Houston will be getting some of my business next fall :)