Staycation Recovery

So I spent the weekend indulging in treats I don’t usually have. Steak dinners, ice cream (custard actually), a breakfast burrito with bacon and avocado, and I wonder (ok not really) why I am craving carbs and sugar the last two days. Ok not really. Combined with hormones and bad nutrition I set myself up for this.
It doesn’t happen often, and it was a wonderful weekend. Nothing like celebrating all the things that make and made my life here awesome. A small impromptu breakfast with a few friends on Saturday after my 10k, which turned out to be 6.7 miles once I cooled down. A nice romantic dinner out on Saturday night. A movie at a theater I had never been to on Sunday morning, followed by a fun afternoon of silliness at MOA and a night relaxing at the Radisson Blue. (Talk about swanky!)
I am so exhausted right now, sheer reliance on caffeine is what is keeping me upright at my desk. I feel like I need a vacation to recover from my staycation. Crazy right?

Either way here I am… I had a nice weekend… but I am ready to get back into a focused mindset.

Oh here are my two fave photos from the weekend…
WonderWoman10k

Anniversary9Years

Valentines Day!

So yesterday was Valentines Day, a day for most full of indulgent meals, sweets and treats!  In my world, even though I am in a long standing relationship, it was mostly just another day.  I woke up, grabbed my baggie of strawberries and a wedge of laughing cow cream cheese.  It was my indulgent breakfast treat.  I worked through the day, and mid afternoon I indulged in a small packet of skinny cow filled caramel chocolates before trudging off to the gym.  Yep, off to the gym instead of out to dinner.

I tend to think of going OUT on Valentines day much the way I view going out on New Years Eve.  It is amateur night.  Moreover due to the fact that I generally customize my order no butter/oil stuff on the side, doing this on one of the busiest nights I just think is not respectful to anyone.  The servers are busy, the kitchen is swamped, it’s just not right.

Dinner at my house was english muffin pizzas and fruity fluff pie for dessert.  Robb and I exchanged presents, we never go all out for the holidays, mostly because we are kind of, well I’d call it lazy, but moreover budget conscious.  He got a baggie of his favorite cinnamon bears, a new snuggly blanket, and his favorite dinner of chicken wings to eat when I am not home (he eats his dinner when I leave for work in the morning).  He had told me about my present just before the big day because there was a chance that it wasn’t going to come in time.  It actually arrived yesterday, a waterfi!

I am excited to try out my WaterFi on Saturday, or more likely Sunday.  My Waterfi is a 5th generation waterproofed iPod shuffle! How awesome is that!  I get so bored at the gym waking in circles around the vortex.  I find myself counting over and over again, so now I will hopefully have the drive to go longer, and maybe faster!

How did your Valentines day go?

2012 the year that the world Ended… A lookback.

So by now we all have learned that 2012 would not bring about the end of the world, contrary to what some of my coworkers deeply believed.  It would not bring about the apocalypse despite all the snow being dumped just south of my home here in Minneapolis.  What did 2012 bring about… the death of Twinkies, which were never a food  I ate but was often accused of eating too many of… I am glad to see them go.  It was also the year my gym membership was basically “life tuition” as I developed new heath problems, from my feet to my back, hips and knees problems seemed to be the order of things.  Physical therapy replaced the gym for the later part of 2012 and even that has been replaced with no activity as I sit here in a coffee shop on a Saturday morning evaluating what is to come for 2013.

I have been in my job now for almost a year.  Each day I wake at 3am and head to work, I am on from 4am until 2pm Monday through Friday.   My job is extremely high stress and extremely critical.  This week I took my 2 vacation days and I ended up having to go into work to fix a crisis at 5pm on Tuesday.  My job allows no flexibility for me to sneak in things like a quick walk around the block for exercise.  The most working out I get in at work is running into the warehouse to grab parts off the shelves for people when we are super busy, all this while I am doing other things.  It is crazy, and it sucks a lot at times because I feel like a punching bag when things go wrong.  Generally when anything goes wrong, from anyone elses shift, because I am there during primetime it becomes my fault, and my problems and I am the punching bag.  I have not taken to eating my feelings, but I have identified (again) that I know why i never thought I ate my feelings in the past.  It was simply because I wasn’t in touch with anything.  Not the feelings themselves nor the feelings of hunger.  You cannot satisfy that which you do not know.

This year after regaining a portion of my weight, due to lack of exercise I joined WeightWatchers.  Call it denial, whatever.  I don’t like to talk about the gain, but my clothes don’t fit right, I don’t feel good, and I can see it, that “bloated look” is FAT. I LOVE my meetings.  I look forward to Saturday mornings getting to go and share with people.  My leader, Judy, who I didn’t like the first time I love now.  Her passion and enthusiasm is awesome! She is also trying to groom me so to speak to be a WW leader once I hit goal.  It will be a long road from now but she thinks I will be perfect for it.  She is always asking for my imput on the topic and what I have to share, as if I were a lifetime member.  I like the earliest meeting of the day best, it is full of lifetime members, the other meetings of the day are great too, but there is something about the first meeting of the day that is so full of energy that feels like home.

I’ve struggled a lot with the #WW program lately, having not been exercising because of my health I track some days I  don’t track others.  This week I posted a 7 pound loss after the last probably 6 weeks all being small, but steady gains.  Go figure the week full of cookies and treats at every turn I could ignore.  I guess I need the temptation everywhere in overload to be able to ignore it.

HolidayStrategyMeeting

Above is an example of the Holiday strategy session we had this morning on ways to cope with all of the temptations we face around the holidays.  It is great to have a weekly support group meeting.

So really I am heading into 2012, a little wiser, a little wider, and with a lot more support behind me.  Do I grieve for the me that I was in 2011, It would be a lie if I said no, I miss the freedom that I had in my old job.  The ability to just go to the gym for hours, the ability to meet up with my friends and share support and stories and laughter at all hours of the night and day.  However the fact that I now have a routine should work to my benefit, should.  Now if we could just sort out the soft tissue damage in my back, and the issues with my feet… if only if only if only.  I am taking it a day at a time.  I am doing what I can control.  I can make the decision to have the small or medium skim latte instead of the large, I can choose to buy the cut up fresh fruit salad  to save myself a little time at home if it means I will have fruit for work instead of junk.  I used to think that our choices defined us.  I am beginning to rethink that.  I think choices REFINE us.

2013 the year of choice. I choose ME.  What will you choose?

Chocolate is for Lovers Day

Gourmet chocolates, a bottle of good wine, cream sauces covering large plates of pasta, ramekins of melted butter with lobster on the side.  Breadsticks, cheesecake, hand dipped strawberries, February 14th is so often a holiday that revolves around food that goes unnoticed as a food holiday.

So what is a girl supposed to do with the prospect of Valentines day on the horizon? Or even worse… the much celebrated discount chocolate day after holiday!  I was reading on twitter, or perhaps it was a blog, about a set of friends that actually celebrate the discount chocolate day as the holiday.  I remember buying the marked down candy just after Valentines day for my wedding many years ago. I didn’t ever really get into Valentines day, and that’s okay.  Not to say that it isn’t important to celebrate your love and affection for your partner, and also your friends.

The trouble becomes how do you stay healthy and celebrate the traditional way that most couples do?  There were a TON of 5k’s this past weekend that many of you participated in.  However a 5k really doesn’t scream romantic right?  It isn’t exactly the kind of thing you curl up and celebrate, it isn’t something that can be neatly wrapped up in a bow, or sent to someones office.

So let’s face it… most ladies, diets or not are going to be given a box of chocolates this holiday.  So what is a girl or guy to do?

Are you planning on going out to dinner for Valentines day?  Plan ahead, look at the menu of where you are going out to, or better yet, offer to cook at home!  Valentines day is very much “amateur night” in my opinion.  Everyone goes out, restaurants end up with long wait times, and by and large the service suffers because they aren’t in general equipped to handle all the 2-tops they have instead of groups of 2 & 4.  Cooking at home is a great option, you can know what is going into your food, and you can make sure you are getting great quality ingredients.  Even if you don’t know a lot about cooking, making a meal at home can be a great bonding experience for couples no matter how long they have been together.  Learning to work together and cooperate is a great skill!

Skipping the wine is, in my opinion, always the best option.  I’m not big into drinking calories unless they come from coffee drinks.  There are lots of no calorie and low-calorie sparkling beverages out there that you could swap out for.  Lately I have been enjoying the sparkling diet cranberry ocean spray juice cocktail drink.  It would make a great treat with a roasted chicken dinner!

Think portion control!  I know personally I would much rather prefer to have 4 pieces of really good expensive chocolate than a HUGE box of cheap chocolate.  This way it makes it more savorable, not to mention portion control is built-in.

Chocolates that are darker, (dark over milk) have more or the good stuff in them, (flavonols) that makes eating them better for you.  Opting for dark chocolate that isn’t loaded with creamy centers and jellies cuts out added sugars that your body doesn’t want or need either.  Dark chocolate nut clusters pack an added heart health bonus.

If you are looking for a more calorie friendly option with a chocolate punch think about some chocolate drizzled fruit.  I say drizzled instead of dipped because it allows you to still have the same taste with less of the chocolate. So take your traditional strawberries and drizzle some melted chocolate over them… but lets step outside of the box and grab a few oranges, after all it is citrus season, and you can get creative too and use any other fruits you like!  You can drizzle kiwi, pineapple, bananas, and raspberries too and it is a super satisfying sweet treat!

Now, we all know activity burns calories… so remember to burn off a few extra calories with a walk… or a dance… or whatever other activities you can think of!

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!  May you celebrate as you see fit, and may you find a way love and yourself!

Anybody Out There?

Is there anyone still out there?  Apparently there are still a few of you out there lurking, looking for me.  Yes I am still here.  Lurking, living, surviving… I can’t really recall anything I have written… and I am guessing if you read in google reader you don’t recall the last thing I wrote! So here is a stream of thought from my mind to your eyeballs!  

For those of you that have seen me during this holiday season, I thank you.  You saw me through one of the very darkest times of year for me.  You will hear me say over and over again I don’t do well at holidays.  Too many years of being told “Way to go, you just ruined X.”  X being whatever holiday it was, be it Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or even Easter a few times. 

I can recall a few happy traditions from the holidays.  I sat in the mall at Rosedale this year waiting for my dear friend Jenn, sipping coffee and chatting on twitter about holiday traditions and remembered about getting a clementine in my stocking every year.  I still take part in the clementine, or orange in my stocking tradition, even if I don’t get myself a stocking.  You will always find a bag of clementines in my fridge this time of year.  You will also find some cherry chapstick, or Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. This year I bought a chocolate mint flavored one!  MmM! It is like girl scout cookies without all the guilt! 

I trudged through Thanksgiving, taking my own food.  As many of you know I planned to do this for a long time.  After my food poisoning bout it was definitely a safer route knowing what my tummy would tolerate. I was not however prepared to feel the way that I did at dinner.  I felt as though I was being scrutinized for my decisions.  I felt (feeling words here, I am allowed to feel) that bringing my own food was not welcomed but i need to do what I need because not taking my own needs into consideration is what got me into trouble in the first place) I did take food to share, and people very much enjoyed my green beans with caramelized red pearl onions and balsamic vinegar.  They were certainly no traditional green bean casserole but they were a nice change of pace from the normal heavy sides that go with dinner.

The trip east to visit my parents… There are no words to describe how bad some points of this trip were.  I will leave it at that.  There were however some amazing highlights!  I got to see my Aunts from my mom’s side of the family which was awesome!  Even better was the day (the entire day!!) that I got to spend with my Aunt Paulette!  Ever since I was a tyke she and I had a special bond.  As I have gotten older we haven’t been able to spend as much time together.  She is a busy woman with an amazing career and I have been living a crazy life at one point 100+ miles away and now in another state. 

We spent a while chatting and catching up, then lunch in the mountains, and shopping and dinner.  It was amazing.  Spending time with her made me realize that while there is so much bad in my life from that whole area, there is some good that I can look back and find.  Shopping trips after christmas were always with Paulette.  I look forward to planning many trips back, to match with her schedule so that we can work on our bond together. 

Back here in the real world, Christmas was fast approaching.  Cookies were being baked… probably close to 30-dozen or more came out of my oven this year.  Food is love where I come from.  Or more specifically, this is how I can show my appreciation for people.  I took cookies to co-workers and friends.  I tried to stay busy.  I shopped, and wrapped, and prayed for no snow.  I did my job, and busied myself with lots of outings with friends. 

I tried to ignore the fact that Christmas is a holiday.  I try to treat it as if it were any other day.  I bought my Christmas ham as soon as they went on sale.  In Minnesota we are a Turkey on Christmas house, I grew up as a ham on Christmas person… so this year it was both.  A Turkey and a Ham on Christmas… with lots of leftovers frozen off. 

My December calendar looked much like my July.  Packed to the gills with gatherings of friends.  Avoidance of feelings perhaps.  Sushi or coffee, or walks around the mall.  Movies or outings any reason at all.  Any excuse not to feel the feelings that surround the holiday. Not to feel the hurt that is in those wounds that sit there.

A few days before Christmas an angel was sent to remind me that the holidays aren’t so bad.  I was in Target when a friend spotted me near the entrance.  He once again invited me over for Christmas.  December 24th.  I had to work my normal 4p-4a shift.  I respectfully declined, I needed my sleep.  We walked and talked for the better part of an hour.  I was reminded of how important it is to be with people who care about you, and how important this person truly is in my life.  I dropped my purchases off at home and spent the next few hours with him doing some last-minute shopping around St Paul.  Christmas eve morning, he called again to invite me to dinner, and I said okay.

So December 24th I went to dinner, with my family, the family you get to pick.  The family I choose, the ones that matter, the ones that warm my heart and lift my spirits.  The family that seems to always know the right thing to say, even when they are booger and fart jokes.  I went off to work filled with love. The rest of the weekend I rode on the high I was given by my friends that lifted my spirits.

The New Year is nearly upon us now. That means new things for me!  Did you know I will be starting a new position at my job?  That’s right! On January 2 I will be starting at 8:00am.  Day Shift?! Normal Hours?! I will have to do things like Pack a Lunch, Schedule Workouts, Sleep Normal Hours.  Oh My Goodness! 

I think this is actually the piece of the puzzle I have been looking for.  I kept trying to get a piece to click, one piece of the puzzle needed to slide into place for me to get my life to slide onto the tracks to move faster in the right direction.  Guess what folks, the bullet train is about to head off on the fast track! 

I am excited and nervous about my job.  It is with the same company, doing relatively the same job, but with more responsibility etc.  So it is definitely a positive thing.  Plus no more Zombie-Kris at the PriorFatGirl events!  Plus… Weekends Off!  It will take some getting used to as everyone at work adjusts to getting the scheduling worked out, but this shall be exciting.

That’s all for now… work duties call!

Leftovers

So after the turkey is roasted and you have eaten the same roast turkey dinner for the third meal it is time to start your mind churning to come up with some ideas for those leftovers right?

Now some options are buy a smaller turkey, (not in my house!) or don’t take home leftovers!  Other options are to make lunches and dinners and freeze them off for future meals.  Let’s be honest though I can only eat so much turkey as plain turkey.

So what do you do with your leftovers?  I am a big fan of making things that pull double duty, meaning I can cook them for a meal and make enough of them to freeze half off!  There is the ever popular Turkey Noodle soup, or here in Minnesota Turkey wild rice soup.  Something with lots of mushrooms and veggies to stretch it out.  There is turkey pot pie, where you can substitute out some filo dough instead of that pie crust to cut down on some of those calories.  I generally make just the filling and freeze that off so it is ready to thaw and top with dough!  You can also make a turkey chili either traditional red chili or white, and that freezes great!

Tonight on my menu is Turkey nachos!  Yep that’s right lots of veggies (and beans) and some spices and seasoning and I will be in heaven! I will very likely make a turkey hot dish (called a casserole where I come from) for dinner tomorrow night.  There really is an endless stream of possibilities for leftover turkey that even extends to things as easy as sandwiches both hot and cold.  Also don’t forget to freeze off some turkey by itself to add to your salads over the next few months.

Now you know why we never buy a smaller turkey around the holidays, and actually we buy a bigger one than we need!

Do you have a favorite thing to do with your turkey leftovers?  Care to share a recipe or a tip?  I would love to hear it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Off To The Races!
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This morning I will be taking part in my first annual Thanksgiving 5k.  I will be making this a reoccurring part of my future holiday plans.  I feel that it is important to start these traditions as part of my healthy life.  I love that I get to spend my morning with my friends since I don’t get to spend the dinner portion of my night with them.

I just wanted to take a moment to say Thank You to everyone that stops by my blog, thank you for your support along my journey!  Thank you for being here with me.  I am so thankful to have such a great support system with my friends here in blog-world and on twitter and Facebook.  I am also so blessed to have such an amazing community here in Minnesota.  Without Jen over at www.priorfatgirl.com I dont think that I would have such a far reaching support system.

I am also thankful for the #f2fpack, they were there with me, through my first 5k all those months ago.  We all have our ups and downs and we keep trucking on through our journeys!

I am also thankful for the Charities Challenge and Gary Westlund in particular for being so amazing and supportive of those of us trying to make exercise a part of our lives.  If you are in the Twin Cities (or are coming into town) this is an AMAZING group to do a race with and I highly encourage you to.  They celebrate everyone finishing, because there are those of us for whom finishing really is a victory alone!

I am thankful this year that I continue to make the choice to keep being healthy in the face of negativity and criticism.  I am strong in my convictions and that I have found my voice.

I am most thankful that I am finally regaining my life and health.

I hope everyone has a spectacular day whether it is spent with family or friends, whether you eat a Turkey or Tofurky (yum!)! remember today isn’t about the food, it is about giving thanks for how blessed your life is.