How Did Your Weekend Go?

How did your weekend go? Did you unintentionally undo the entire weeks worth of hard work over the weekend? Did you head out to a BBQ and have yourself a burger and a few bottles of beer along with a good time and forget about all the tracking and working out it takes to undo those choice? Did you sit in the dark of a movie theater shoving handful after handful of salty buttery warm popcorn into your mouth while viewing a summer blockbuster?
I am here to tell you it will be okay, it isn’t the end of the world, however I am also here to tell you that you need to nip that shit right now! I had a VERY successful weekend. I met, and actually exceeded my goals for activity (on both my Polar Loop, and Weight Watchers Active Link both days). I am super focused right now on what “could” happen if I just gave up.
I can’t give up. Right now I have been given a HUGE opportunity. The question is, what will I do with the opportunity. I have two options the way I see it. I can mope around and mourn the loss of my job, eat garbage and feel like I was a failure. Enter a shame spiral and then truly have failed myself, which will accomplish ZERO things to bring me closer to my goals. Or I can take this time to laser focus on what I want for my life. I am hunting for a job, and while I hunt I can take every opportunity to make sure my nutrition is on point and that I am getting as much activity in as possible. Yes this is ultimately causing a problem for my wedding… in that I now need to have my dress altered, but in the grand scheme of things… if that is the worst thing that is going on… that is truly a first world problem.
In general I don’t really find that weekends have been a problem for me, but I know in talking to a lot of people that it is a truly difficult time for most people to eat right. One of the things that has helped me stay the course, and is often focused on at Weight Watchers is having a snack on hand at all times. I ALWAYS have something on hand. I have had this in place since I was young. It was more ingrained in me because of my brother needing to have something incase his blood sugar dropped, but it carried over into my adult life. There was/is always something with me, be it in my purse or car. Usually Almonds, or an apple, I’ve been known to carry popcorn or string cheese (yes it gets warm, no i don’t care, or mind).
Another things that helps keep me on track for weekends is keeping my routine. I still have a bedtime and an “alarm” or wake up time on weekends. Everyone has a bedtime, not just kids. Whether you know it or not you have a bedtime, it is the time at which you go to bed. Mine tends to be the same time every night. This works for me, it helps ensure that I am “operating” at my best everyday. I prefer to get 8 hours of sleep, I can do with less, I don’t usually get much more because my body just won’t let me sleep more unless I need it.
The last few nights I have been up later than usual, like 10 or 11 PM, it’s okay it’s the weekend, but I am slipping out of my routine and that is stopping tonight.
Summer is starting to slip away, despite the fact that it seems Minnesota is now getting the hottest weather of the year. This means soon my favorite new activity (outdoor swimming) will end. Fall will bring the opportunity to find some new activities. I plan on at least a few 5k’s this fall/winter to help keep pushing me through. I also want to start a training plan and squirrling money away to eventually make my goal of a Disney Run a reality.
So now that Monday is here… are you going to be starting it right? I’ll be drinking my water, eating my veggies & lean protein and getting my exercise in. I want to see progress, I want to feel good, I want to know my hard work is paying off. What is one think you are going to work on this week?

Off to the First Fair of the Year

So Friday night I went to the Washington County Fair…
Kris at Washington County Fair
Whether it is a local carnival, a county fair, or the big state fair these situations tend to be very tricky for people to navigate when trying to eat healthy. As you can clearly see in the background of this photo of myself just outside the midway of the Washington County Fair, things like corndogs, ice cream, cotton candy, funnel cake, deep fried cheese curds and mini doughnuts are scattered like landmines throughout the entire event. Navigating to the healthy choices can prove to be difficult, but it is doable… but let’s be honest… it is an event. However when going to the fair… for me at least food is not the event. I love taking the camera and shooting photos of anything and everything. I take photos of animals, people, rides, abstract colors, anything that catches my eye. I also get a workout in while I am at the fair. By the time I left the fair yesterday I had over 13,000 steps logged. (I aim for 8000-10,000/day.)

So what is a person to do? Go all out balls to the wall and indulge in EVERYTHING? That will surely lead to disaster… that choice leads down a road of destruction that just derails progress. I like to head into these situations with a plan in mind. It is okay to deviate from the plan, but if you go in with a plan in place it is okay. I planned on having a funnel cake for dinner. It has been YEARS since I have had funnel cake, I am a bit fussy about it to be honest. It needs to be big fat tubes, only have powdered sugar on it. It needs to be fresh… yeah… otherwise it’s not worth it.

I planned for funnel cake… I didn’t have it. I DID have… gluten free cheese curds from one of my favorite food trucks. Sadly the truck is up for sale… I felt like it was a sign from the universe… one to have them before I can’t anymore, and two… I need to buy the truck. (Kickstarter anyone?) I split my spicy cheese curds with my friend Jennifer who I was attending the fair with. I ate a good 1/4 to 1/3 of the order, and once I felt that my craving had been satisfied… I stopped. The cheese curds tasted amazing, I wanted to continue eating them… but I know what they do to my body.
Crazy Puppy Gourmet Workshop Spicy Cheese Curds

I knew as soon as I decided to have the curds that the funnel cake was not a priority for me any longer… In fact it is entirely possible walking into the fair that it was off the proverbial menu. I practice this strategy, and it works pretty well for me, so I figured I will share it with you. If I really want something, like I can’t leave it behind or I will feel regret about not having it, I will get it and enjoy it. No biggie right? If I am only feeling so-so about something I tell myself I will just get it next time. I know I will be going to the Great Minnesota get together in a few weeks (the State Fair) and that there will be funnel cake there… but there will also be OTHER things there that I might want to try. So if I simply defer my desire for this food until it is more intense by telling myself next time, and then forgetting about it until the event approaches again I have navigated around the landmine.

I am all about doing what works for you, for some people sharing these high calorie foods is a great option at the fair… some people can eat two or three bites and throw them away (I was prepared to throw away cheese curds). For others avoidance is the only thing that works… if that means not eating at all during the fair, that is acceptable. If that means not putting yourself into a position to be tempted by the foods at the fair or carnival that is okay too. I think it is perfectly okay to make the decision that is right for you.

Cotton Candy

Summer Salad Doldrums Solved, Out of the Blue!

Blue Diamond that is! One of the cues that summer is here for me is the wealth of fresh produce finally available. Most people that know me know my weekend routine used to be to hit the Farmers Market on Saturday and load up my car with all kinds of fresh goodies to last all week. Now I am out and about most of Saturday so it makes less sense to load up on a ton of things to get sad and soggy in my car all day.
There are some things that are just fine in my cooler bag all day long, cucumbers, zucchini, onions, heartier veggies, but now I am a twice a week farmers market girl, and I supplement that with lots of salad fixins from a variety of places. I am not a slave to any one market. I shop everywhere from Whole Foods, to Trader Joes, Costco to Target, I even pick things up at the local gas station (Kwik Trip) where I can score bananas for $.38/Pound!

One of the things that happens to be during the summer though is that I fall into a salad rut. I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, or maybe it’s just me. I can only stomach the same food for so long and then I don’t want to even think about it again. The problem is, I live in Minnesota… and if the winter that we just escaped is any indication of what we are in for in the future… I need to take full advantage of every morsel of fresh, beautiful flavorful produce while it is here. The seasons are never long enough, and I always no matter how sick I was of eating something find myself longing for just one more good *whatever* come winter. It’s usually a good summer tomato, with just a pinch of salt and pepper on it.

So I have taken to trying to keep my salads as interesting as possible… Impossible right? Sure it’s super easy to make a salad taste good if you add a a few ounces of of cheese, and maybe some croutons, or wonton strips those are popular now. How about meat… if some is good lets put more on! So instead of 4 oz of chicken let’s do 3oz of chicken, 3 of ham, and we need bacon right, and while we’re at it an egg. You might as well deep fry chicken fingers and go ahead and pour on some full fat salad dressing because you aren’t actually doing yourself any favors.

To make salads that I find interesting I usually play my own version of kitchen roulette.  I start with a bed of some kind of green.  Generally this is NOT iceberg, I personally feel if you are going to eat a salad iceberg is a waste of time.  If it’s what you like FINE eat it… you’re getting water, and that’s great, but try branching out to a romaine if you like a crisper lettuce, or a butter lettuce if you like something softer.  Spinach also makes a great salad base.  I also have been known to use Kale, Mixed greens, micro greens, it all depends on what looks good and what I have. I eat a lot of salads… Sometimes they have fruit… sometimes they have bacon… and sometimes they are NUTS! (Here are a few examples)

UpTown Cafeteria My Salad with Bacon

Sometimes I Custom Order Salads when I am Out to Brunch

 

Salad wiht Blueberries and Strawberries in need of Almonds

And sometimes we put fruit in our salads (this had cheese and Blue Diamond Almonds on the side!)

 

Once the greens are in play I have to decide what mouth feel I want for the salad. Blue Diamond’s Tastemakers program sent me a package with their Whole Natural and their Rosemary & Black Pepper to experiment with.  I knew I needed to choose ingredients that could stand up to a bolder flavor.  Rosemary is an intense flavor, I rarely cook with it because if you aren’t careful it is super easy to overseason with it.  Then you end up with Christmas Tree Chicken instead of Rosemary Chicken.

Salad with Blue Diamond  Rosemary & Black Pepper AlmondsFor this salad I chose to use a butter lettuce, which is a more tender lettuce,  but would balance well with the crunch of the almonds.  I added some avocado, turkey, olives, red peppers, onions, snow peas, banana peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers to this monster sized salad! The items I chose to add provided a good balance of textures as well as colors to the salad. I topped it off with a sprinkling of the Blue Diamond Black Pepper Rosemary Almonds, as well as a few of the Whole Naturals instead of using croutons.

The salad filled my stomach up so well.  I stayed satisfied for hours thanks to the healthy balance of fat and protein, not to mention the carbohydrate that mixed together by pairing these almonds with my salad.

I posted about this salad on my Instagram account, and posed the question to my friends, and now I want to hear from you as well… what do you put on your salad?  The one I mentioned above required no salad dressing.  The density of flavors from the avocado and the tenderness of the lettuce, and juices from the ripe summer veggies meant I did not need to add anything more.  Have you ever added Blue Diamond almonds to your salad?  I had previously added the Salt and Vinegar variety to salads, instead of adding my usual oil and vinegar dressing but I really enjoyed the change that the Rosemary & Black Pepper almonds brought to the dish.

handfull of blue diamond whole natural almonds

And remember… generally about 23 almonds is a serving… you don’t need to have a whole serving to top your salad… you can put a small handful on a cutting board and sliver or chop them down to feel that same satisfying crunch for far fewer calories or points.

 

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds They sent me a 6oz can of Whole Natural almonds and a 6oz can of Rosemary & Black Pepper almonds and I ate them! THEY aren’t paying for my opinions, these are my thoughts. 🙂

Feedback Because I’m Still #JustTrollin

So… Fitbloggin is over… back to the real world. Work, life, love, relationships, friendships, be them old or new everything in my life falls under the microscope when I return.  Every morsel that enters my field of vision is being scrutinized extra carefully.  THIS is honestly part of what I look forward to coming back from Fitbloggin.

At the conference so many of us talk about having out batteries “charged” or “recharged” I think of it as being supercharged… and with the creation of #justtrollin and #tribelove I hope that it will allow the charge to last just a bit longer.  I know it wont extend the selfie-shelf life or bring the warmth of the amazing hugs along with it but it might just keep the lazer focus.

Focus… something that I need.  I have heard from several people who read the blog in my offline life, that don’t comment (or rarely do so) that they feel the empowerment that is coming from this blog right now.  The trick is going to be keeping up with it.

I am SO THRILLED it seems that those around me that read my last #JustTrollin blog understood what was going on.  They understood that what I am asking for is to be called on the bull that is going on.  I want to be held accountable.  I don’t want to order something healthy then eat the fries off your plate and have you say, oh its okay… a bite wont hurt you.  I don’t want someone telling me you deserve a treat you worked out, or you need to treat yourself… I need someone reminding me that those things aren’t getting me closer to my goals.

It isn’t that I don’t know that the cupcake is not a great choice, even if it fits within the calorie or weight watchers plan for the day… but there are better choices. It isn’t that I can NEVER have the fries, but I need to be responsible for the decision to have them not take them off someone else’s plan. It seems like people are getting on board with this. Those that aren’t understanding this… well… your relationship with me may have to be put on lockdown… just like those treat days.

The thing about this blog is, since I took the job change that led to my weight gain I did nothing but bitch about what the problem was. I bitched about what I couldn’t get to work. I whined and complained that things were hard and I didn’t have time. Well you know what life is hard and we have changed the situation.

I am no longer in that job, and while I am starting to have progress I am still not giving 100% to what is actually one of my top priorities. I am okay with the fact that one of my priorities is to lose weight. I am okay being selfish in wanting to not be fat anymore… more than not wanting to be fat I just want to feel good. I want to feel “healthy”.

I don’t want my blog to be a reflection of a big whiner that just makes excuses. As Dan pointed out at the welcome mixer, I have a story. I have the confidence to overcome the obstacles that have been placed in my way over and over again. If I can’t go over them I have gone under, or around or even through them.

Why should my weight be any different… well the truth is it isn’t any different. I guess I am again calling myself out in this post for half assing too much of my life. The last two Saturdays I have broken some major walls down in my own active life as far as steps and actual amounts of activity go.

I plan on being active tomorrow, (July 5th) It is going to be hot, and gross, but Sunday (July 6th) is my birthday… I will be 33, and it is time to celebrate another year entering it strong and feeling empowered. The time to feel like a victim for my circumstances has come and gone.

I am leading by example, for myself, for my friends, and for the people who I don’t know. I will not end up a statistic. I will not be someone people have to mourn and miss because I died too young. The time is now.

 

 

How I Re-Learned to AFWIW at FitBloggin

Sunrise in Savannah

Sunrise in Savannah

So I am going to skip past a Fitbloggin recap for a bit. I can do what I want, it’s my blog. For those that follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you have already seen photos of me with celebrities like Mickey Mouse, Jeff Galloway, and Arian Foster.  You have seen the never ending stream of selfies with people that mean the world to me. The conference was amazing, I didn’t want to leave. For those outside the FitBloggin Community that want to see my Saturday photos you can check them out on my Flickr Album.  This post isn’t going to be about the fun. This post is about reality.

Fitbloggin Yoga

FitBloggin Yoga with Kia
Photo by CarrieD Photography

So it’s time to get real honest with myself, and you all. At Fitbloggin this year I showed up at the same weight as last year… maybe even a few pounds heavier. So… what gives? You have all heard me talk time and again over the last few years about my job.  Specifically now my former job.  I had gone from nearly 450 pounds to 250 pounds… that was before my first fitbloggin.  During my first Fitbloggin I was already in a slide.  An uncontrolled slide where my job was effecting my eating and exercise.  I had gone from spending hours a day in the gym, eating right and making myself a priority or working 10-12 hours a day, eating whatever I could shove into my mouth between phone calls, and not getting a break.  I would workout when it was convenient.

In March I steered away from the skid, applied the brakes after regaining what I claimed was about 50, but what was actually closer to 70 or 80 pounds of my weight. back.  I was no where near the 450 pounds that I once was but anyone with half a brain could see the writing on the wall. I was unhappy and needed to change.

I started making working out sort-of a priority in my life again, before work I would *try* to get to the gym three days a week.  I would *mostly* eat right, and by mostly I mean about 50/50 not 80/20. My body would hurt and I would let myself use it as an excuse. I just renewed my drivers license… and I what exactly what I did when I renewed it 4 years ago. Talk about a wake up call, I know I wasn’t standing still the last four years, but I sure wasn’t making progress.

FitBloggin TeamLast year when I was at Fitbloggin I was mostly a wallflower.  I didn’t speak to many people.  I was shy when introducing myself.  This year I walked up to people head held high and asked for what I wanted.  Whether it was a photo, or to join a table for lunch I felt more confident.  I was AFWIW (asking for what I wanted).

On Saturday I had a goal for myself… I wanted to hit 200% of my activity goal on my Polar Loop.  I knew my eating was going to be slightly off during the next few days.  I pushed myself through Yoga, which was at 0600, not really early, then through the Tough Love session… which I really needed. It’s what this post is actually about in the end.  Then it was onto Zumba.  I had no lunch plans for the day, and so I wandered along the river.  Right to the candy shop where I was picking up pralines for some friends back home.  I decided that ice cream was the best choice for lunch since I had done so much working out already.  I didn’t give it a second thought as I ordered a single scoop of peanut butter ice cream in a waffle cone.  I wandered along the river eating my ice cream looking at cars.

When I got back to the hotel all I could think was how glad I was no one saw me eating ice cream! This was a wake up call to myself… I wished I hadn’t eaten that ice cream… not only because the dairy made me all stuffy, but because it was  something that wasn’t a good choice for my goals.  My results are a direct correlation of my choices.  I brushed it off… but wished I had been the recipient of some #ToughLove from some friends there.

Polar Loop InterfaceWell the numbers don’t lie, this is a screenshot from my Polar Loop iPhone interface. The truth is you can’t out exercise your bad diet choices right?  I weigh in on Saturday morning to see how my trip went.  I have NEVER in my life had exercise look like that before.  In all honesty there is a part of me that knows I am going to have a gain coming out of vacation… not because I ate badly while at Fitbloggin… in fact the ice cream, and a few handfuls of popcorn late at night are probably the worst of any of my indulgences.

Why am I expecting a gain this week then?  Because I am now back home… and I can’t get back into my routine! I am sick, I caught the crud that Edith had during our time rooming together.  I just want to eat junk, like chicken fingers and fries, and rest.  My lung capacity is near nothing right now.  I mean, I am puffing albuterol every few hours right now, that’s legit… but the food. c’mon… fries, chicken fingers… NO. Just no.

How long is reasonable to nurse this sickness? …

AFWIW… Help me with a battleplan here! I need to fight! I need to be on track and stay on track… So Kris no more fucking around… no more, got it?! It has to stop unless you want to be 350,400,450 pounds again and feel like you are going to die. Remember how scared you were that no one would be able to carry your casket? Remember being afraid they would have to cut the house open to get you out? Remember having to crawl across the floor because you were in so much pain from everything being wrong with you… because if you want to go back to that, then by all means just give up… and go hit KFC, DQ, and BK and make yourself sick by making yourself sick. The eating out, has got to stop, the Starbucks trips for anything other than a black Americano, the bed time snacks, the skipping the gym it all has to stop.  Times are tough, but you are tougher… you  know what you want, it is time to go after it, and stick with it. Lead by example. Friends, I need you not to be enablers. Call me on things you see going wrong! You see what I post to instagram or facebook, if you see me heading off the rails, it is okay to speak up! I am asking this of you! Be a friend, not an enabler!

 

 

Saying Thanks

So I spoke up in my Weight Watchers meeting today. I do that a lot. My meeting is full of amazing people. You wouldn’t think at 0700 on a Saturday morning people would be so lively but truly the meeting is awesome! The thing about the first meeting of the day on a Saturday is the people who are at the meeting… really want to be there and are truly motivated to, well… get shit done. I am a front row sitter. Studies show people who sit in the front row lose more weight… that isn’t why I sit in the front row… I just like it better there, and I didn’t know about the statistic when I started sitting in the front row. I am always so thankful for all the information all the members have, and I like giving back to my meetings when I feel like I have something valuable to share.
Today we were talking about “BLT’s” bites licks and tastes, but more specifically being accountable for them. I felt the need to bring the group off on a momentary tangent on accountability. Specifically not taking your team for granted. I had gotten myself into a routine with my new job of going to the gym 3 times a week. I had been eating well, and then… they closed our pool for cleaning. This shouldn’t be a big deal they do it every year, and the nice part a about being a YMCA member is I have other locations I can go to.
Instead of going to another location I started just walking as my workout. While it was an okay thing, when the pool opened back up I didn’t head back immediately. It took a nudge, a strong nudge from my support team to get me to get back into my routine.
Once I got back to the gym, after one strong push, Robb said he had hoped that I wasn’t upset that he said I needed to get back to the gym and that he was only doing what I had asked him to do. It was in that moment that I realized how very crucial it is that we thank our support teams when they step up for us. When we ask for help we do so for our benefit. It’s easy to forget that it can be very difficult for those close to us to step into the “danger zone” and mention things that may be deemed sensitive subjects.
For me things like portion control or going to workout when mentioned by people I haven’t explicitly asked to help keep me accountable might be enough to turn me into a raging bitch! It would make me feel vulnerable and violated. When approached by someone I have deemed safe and supportive it puts things in a different light.
I wanted to remind others to thank their support people and not take them for granted. It can be difficult for people to speak up even when we ask them to do so. Just keep this in mind as you move along. If your support person/persons are mentioning things to you, make sure you are thanking them, because speaking up is hard!

Cupcake Crisis 2014

Friday got off to a very rocky start. I was driving to the gym before work doing about 65MPH when my car decided to decelerate quickly to about 20-30 MPH. I was thankfully in the right hand land, threw on my four ways as the tractor trailer behind me neared and my car decided to remember how to accelerate again. I exited at the ramp that was thankfully very close and pulled into a flat parking lot over 4 spaces knowing I want going anywhere since the engine light and Trac Off light were now displaying on my dashboard.
I gathered all the info I needed (where I was, where I needed to be towed to policy numbers etc )and began to call for help. Once I got the tow-truck in route I headed into the Byerlys store for something to drink. There is a Caribou Coffee inside most of these stores. I got myself a cafe au lait and walked around the store. It was going to be at least an hour before my tow arrived. I wanted to get some activity in. After all usually by 8:00 on a Friday morning I have 7000 steps thanks to my YMCA class. That wasn’t going to happen.
I made the misstep of walking to the bakery section. See earlier in the week I had made the choice to have a cupcake. Wheat, dairy, sugar, fat delicious hit on all the sensors amazingness of chocolate cupcake with white chocolate cheesecake raspberry frosting and a raspberry jammy filling. Since I ate that cupcake all I have done is think about that cupcake day and night and try and get another fix. This is not a good thing! It shows me how addictive the combo is to me.
Eyeballed the fresh doughnuts in the case. I looked at the wide variety of cupcakes in the window. My brain kept uttering the phrase it’s ok eat it, you deserve it. You’re having a bad day. You’ve got weekly weight watchers points for this reason. I turned tail, grabbed a warm 1 liter bottle of Coke Zero for $.99 and proceeded to the checkout. No I was having coffee, which I planned for.
No cupcakes. No doughnuts. Those are not what weeklies are for. I walked back to my car. I thought more about those effin cupcakes. I thought about last months weight watchers routine. Is it worth it. The cupcake I had before was worth it. It was not eaten in an emotional place. It was eaten because I was in the mood for a cupcake, it was exactly what I wanted, specifically. I didn’t even use weekly a on it. What made the cupcakes and doughnuts in the case Friday morning not worth it then? This took thought, it was because I wanted them to soothe stress. To ease frustrations that were out of my control.
There are always going to be situations that catch us off guard. Whether it’s a cupcake crisis, or a lack of plans for dinner. Situations change and we can’t always be in control. I am slowly learning to keep looking deeper at every decision I make in hopes of finding out more about myself.

Oh and eventually I got towed to the dealership by a super nice tow-truck driver. I made it to work where everyone was super sweet. I was being very hard on myself for being late. I felt like a failure even though things were out of my control. There is a bad sensor in my has pedal, they had been chasing this issue in my scion IQ since I got it in June. Finally the parts have been ordered to fix it!