All Things In Moderation

…….. and moderation in all things .

Archive for July, 2009

Mission Aborted : Lesson Learned

Posted by Susan on July 18, 2009

We haven’t hiked in over 3 weeks because of an over flow of social obligations. Since this weekend, yet again we have plans, we decided to get up early and get in a hike before the mad rush began.

It stormed all night , but this morning I was up at 5:30 am, ate breakfast, threw in a load of wash, packed some snacks and water, and woke the Hubs. We were on the road by 7 am. I was so excited ! We were headed to White Memorial Park in Litchfield, CT. I have been dying to check this place out for a while now. It has over 300 acres of trails, a museum (that wasn’t open yet when we went) and we had planned a trail that had a boardwalk a like long right in the center of a marsh.

It started out great ! Absolutely beautiful ! I was really looking forward to our 4.7 mile trek through the woods. We got on to the trail and were immediately attacked ! ( I am not bring dramatic here, I swear we were literally attacked !) All sorts of deer flys , tons of mosquitoes, like clouds of them ! I stopped at one point to take a picture of a beautiful ruby red mushroom and literally had 3 mosquitoes biting my face !

After about a half mile into the trail it was getting to the point where were not enjoying the beauty anymore ! We were swatting and yelping, and smacking each other on the back and in the head ! It was crazy ! Unfortunately I couldn’t take it anymore ! We turned and went back to the car !!!!!!

I am so disappointed ! I hate quitting, and I hate being a baby about things, but this was horrible ! ( am still scratching and swatting invisible, non existing bugs as we speak !) I was pretty bummed out about our aborted mission.

Lesson leaned: If we are going to do this on a regular basis, we need to be prepared. I plan on packing up a backpack that we will take turns carrying from now on. It will contain bug repellent, a first aide kit, hats, water, snacks, rain ponchos, and anything else I can think to make out hikes safer and more comfortable ! I don’t ever again want to waste a beautiful morning like this .

I was using our hike as my workout for the day, but since we only got in about one and a half miles, I don’t think that really cuts it ! We are taking my niece bike riding later tonight at a school down the road, and I am planning a circuit workout at the play ground while we are there. I also have an entire house to clean so that will be some active rest thrown in as well.

At the moment I am sipping tea, and catching up on blogs, and scratching the bites I acquired on out ill fated attempt at hiking. Then it is to work I go !

I made the decision that I am not getting all stressed and crazy about this luncheon tomorrow. I put a ton of pressure on myself when we have people over. I want everything to be perfect because I feel it is a reflection on me. I also have this (embarrassing) secret desire to be the Martha Stewart of the family ! My mother used to entertain effortlessly, and everything was always simple and perfect. Many times she would go out in the backyard and pick up things she found growing around and create beautiful center pieces, and many times she used old place mats and napkins and mix and match them so that every time she set a table it looked different and unique.

For some strange reason I strive for that when I entertain. But today I have decided that while I will still strive for everything to look nice , I am not going to be crazy, drive my husband nuts over it, and be in a bad mood while I try to get it all done ! I always go into panic mode for some stupid reason, even though I always find time to get everything done ! Yes, I know, I am a little bit of a control freak, but at least I am aware of it and I am trying to work on it !

I will take pics of my play ground circuits tonight, I have a lot of things planned ! Have a great Saturday !

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Friday ! (whew!)

Posted by Susan on July 18, 2009

Friday ! Finally ! All week I kept thinking it was Thurs. I thought so on Tues. and on Wed. That lead to profound disappointment ! But I made it through the week, and today, and now I have 2 days ahead of me that is completely work free ! Heaven !

I should be cleaning the house right now, but I just haven’t got it in me. That means tomorrow will be full throttle ! We are having yet another get together Sunday. Matt’s aunt and uncle from Indiana, who we haven’t seen since our wedding 2 years ago, are coming over for lunch and to get a tour of our house. That means not only do I need to cook and prepare for the party, but I also need to clean the entire house, top to bottom for the house tour.

Thankfully, Sunday is supposed to be sunny and warm but not humid, so I’ve planned to serve lunch outside. The menu is the typical BBQ spread, burgers and hot dogs, I am making a big veggie salad, and a macaroni salad. Magic cookie bars for dessert, the leftovers are being brought to work on Monday …better to tempt my co-workers than myself !

So tomorrow , my To Do list is a mile long. I am getting to bed tonight at a decent hour, so I can get an early start. I wanted to spend the day at the beach tomorrow with my niece, but that is out the window at this point. But the plan is to begin my day with a workout. The original plan was a hike tomorrow morning but I am not sure , the forecast calls for rain int the morning. No matter what I and getting some sort of workout in, even if I have to do it here !

Sunday I have a turkey burger ready to have instead of a regular hamburger. Turkey burgers are 160 calories, a beef burger is 290 !!!!! What !??? I would rather skip it. I will load up on the tossed salad and just have a little pasta salad……. and definitely dessert ! I will be getting a workout in Sunday morning to, hopefully counteracting the dessert !

I can’t wait until I have no plans on the weekends again ! I don’t know what is up with this summer but it seems to be nonstop with social obligations ! What happened to our wonderfully boring lives , where we did nothing but relax !!!???? Oh well …… it is all good practice in the maintenance game. Learning to navigate social events and the food that always goes with them is a good thing! And making up the menu myself is even better. It puts me in a position of control over what is served and what I eat.

Off to bed so I can be fresh for tomorrow !

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I had a dream last night…………

Posted by Susan on July 16, 2009

…….. it was so real ! In the dream I was in bed and got up to go to the bathroom . I turned on the light , and looked into the mirror as I passed it to get to the toilet and this is the girl I saw staring back at me (pic. above). I started screaming to my husband ” Matt ! It came back ! It all came back !” I woke up with a huge start ! Sitting bolt up right in bed !

Of course I got up and ran to the bathroom to check just in case the fat did magically reappear, and thankfully it did not ! After I’d reassured myself that it was just a dream (nightmare) I could not fall back to sleep, so at 1:00 am I was sitting on the couch in the living room watching late night TV and doing a lot of thinking.

I have no idea what brought that dream on. I have not been even thinking about the weight coming back. If anything I have more relaxed than ever because I finally feel like I have a handle on this maintenance thing.

If nothing else, it reinforced that fact that I will do whatever it takes to stay the weight I am and not go back to old habits. I think at this point , after getting a taste of what it feels like to finally reach my goal , the differences I see and feel in my body, going backward would be devastating !

I remember all to well how unhappy I was during that time in my life. All kinds of wonderful things were happening to me, but I still had this underlying sadness. The feeling that I let myself down by not caring enough about myself , in letting the weight gain get so out of control. I often felt like even the smallest loss was too little too late.

Of course that was wrong. Small losses add up , and with each loss comes a little more confidence, a little more motivation, and a lot more happiness from within. I guess hind sight is 20/20. It is easier to see this clearly now than it was when I felt so deep in the hole that I thought there was no way out , so I dug it a little deeper.

If nothing else the dream taught me to never forget where I came from. If I go back to 210 lbs. it will be my choice. If I maintain my current weight , it is my choice. I am on control of where I end up.

As I am sure you can imagine, I am exhausted tonight. I am going to bed shortly, and I am sure that girl I hardly recognize will not be visiting me again tonight. I think she was just trying to say good bye. To remind me that she is always waiting in the wings if I choose to want her to come back. I think I will pass on that. I have every intention of letting her go for good !

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Short and Sweet……………….

Posted by Susan on July 15, 2009

Pictured above is the only thing I am thinking about right now ! Today started at 2:45am with a workout. Little did I know the whole day would be one gigantic 8 hour workout. We are renovating the entire gym and offices where I work. ( I work at a Rehab Center) That means packing and unpacking, getting rid of things, and basically working my butt off !

That on top of all my usual duties, and all the drama that goes with working with all women adds up to a stressful and exhausting day ! I am so glad it is over !

On the agenda for this evening …………. relax for a while , and go to bed to read. I am hoping a good night’s sleep will help me feel recharged for tomorrow !

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Random Tuesday

Posted by Susan on July 14, 2009

This Week’s Mini-Goal :

I mentioned last week that I wanted to phase out some of the processed foods I’ve been eating and replace them with more unprocessed foods. When I went food shopping on Friday night I stocked up on more fruits and vegetables and began on Saturday . So far , this is what I have noticed from this change:

– I have more energy

– I am fuller and stay satisfied longer from the meals and snacks I’ve replaced

– I do not miss the processed foods I’ve replaced

– my skin feels better (more hydrated)

– My body seems to be in shock sort of……….I am not used to this much fiber !

– To my surprise , buying more produce did NOT make my grocery bill higher, it actually made it lower

– I am motivated by this overall good feeling to phase out even more processed foods

Now this is not to say I will phase out processed foods all together, because frankly, I enjoy a 100 calorie pack of cookies now and then ……… but I can definitely see myself eating them less. I am striving to balance the 2 things, because for me personally, I could never commit to saying I will NEVER eat anything ! But if I can keep my meals during the week on the lesser side, and allow myself some flexibility on the weekends , that would be just fine with me. I am done with doing anything to the extreme as far as eating goes. But it is great to know that I enjoy the healthy stuff just as much as the “could be healthier ” stuff ! I am really excited to have both Incorporated in my new lifestyle !

7 Weeks !

It will be 7 weeks this Saturday that I have successfully maintained my goal weight ! Wow ! I was so scared at the beginning, paranoid actually ! But as each weeks progress I am little by little getting the hang of it. I am getting to know my body better and better. I am able to relax a little while still keeping myself mindful of what and how much I am eating. This maintenance is in spite of a few family gatherings that included food I don’t normally eat. I feel that I can handle these situations, I plan ahead for them and I make up for them afterward.

My ultimate goal is to be able to say at 12:00 midnight Jan. 1, 2010, that losing weight is NOT one of my New Years Resolutions ! That would be the first time it wasn’t on the top of my list of resolutions since I was old enough to know what a resolution actually was !!!!!!

Over all I think that the life I am leading right now is absolutely sustainable. I can live like this forever and not feel like I am missing out. I still track portions and calories and I don’t know when that will end. For me, it is like a security blanket. It makes me feel more in control of my eating. I may not do it forever , but I don’t mind keeping it up for as long as I have to in order to feel comfortable enough to go without it.

I am excited right now with how my new healthy lifestyle is progressing. I feel confident that I will not slide back into my unhealthy and destructive behaviors of the past. I may slip here and there , but I will NOT slide ! And I have an 8″x 10″ of my before and after picture posted on the fridge door to remind me where I’ve been and how far I’ve come !

Posted in maintaining weight loss, vegetables | 2 Comments »

The Domino Effect

Posted by Susan on July 13, 2009

Today I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I got where I am right now. When did I change my mindset and find the determination to finally do something about my weight. I came to the conclusion that it was not one big change, but a culmination of a lot of small changes.

The first small change I made was to commit to walking my dog around my condo complex 3 years ago. It got me moving and tired out my hyper little dog. After a few months of that I decided to buy an elliptical trainer. That got me started enjoying early morning workouts. I did that for a few months and discovered the Body For Life Program, which introduced me to HIIT and the importance of strength training. Which later lead me to try circuit training.

As for my eating, I decided to eat only the recommended portions listed on the nutritional information found on the packaging of the foods I ate. That lead me to control my portions, which in turn gave me the idea to keep a food journal , recording the portions and calories of everything I ate. I started trying different foods and recipes I found on food blogs, and that made me realize how different foods made me feel better and more full than others. That discovery sparked my curiosity, and motivated me to try new foods, to buy more produce, experiment with recipes, and to swap out some of the processed foods I’d been eating and replace them with more fruits and veggies.

Every time I made a small healthy change, it lead me to another small healthy change. All the small changes added up and became one big healthy lifestyle change. I like to think that I am still , and will continue making the small changes, trying new activities, continue to learn about and make better and better food choices.

It is so important to make that first small change, not matter what it is. That one small step will begin a chain reaction, causing all sorts of wonderful changes to naturally follow !

Posted in food, healthy lifestyle | 3 Comments »

Typical Sunday : Planning

Posted by Susan on July 12, 2009

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a planner. Almost to the point where I tend to go a little overboard ! But I hate running around last minute in the mornings, and when I get home from work I am always too tired to think about cooking !

This morning I got up at 4:30am to run over to the house I was sitting for (they came back this afternoon) to let the dogs out and feed them. When I got home I did something I NEVER do ! I went back to bed ! It was 6am, and I was exhausted for some reason ! Usually I love my early mornings , especially on Sundays, but today my body needed rest. I ended up sleeping until 9am , in my world that is like noon ! I probably would have slept later but the phone woke me up !

I think the reason I needed extra rest is that I haven’t taken a rest day from working out in about a month. I decided this weekend to take the whole weekend off . That’s right…… no working out at all ! I didn’t think I could do it, but I did …….but I am looking forward to getting back into it tomorrow.

This is what a typical Sunday looks like for me. I always cook for the week and get lunches and snacks ready so that packing them at night is easier.

I made pasta for the week’s dinners.

Hard boiled some eggs for snacks or to use as protein in my lunches.

I made 2 turkey meat loaves, one to freeze , and one to eat for dinners during the week.

HG Spinach, Mushroom, Mozzarella Supreme for dinners this week.

I sliced up watermelon to use for breakfasts, lunches, and/or snacks.

I prepared a big salad with spring mix, broccoli, and carrots for lunches and dinners.

Sugar Free Jello Pudding for desserts during the week.
I also made a spaghetti squash, and have enough left over to have it tomorrow night for dinner ! So I am ready for the week ! All I have to do when I get home from work is make lunches for myself and the Hubs, shower , and heat up something that I made today ! That leaves me time to relax, read some blogs and get to bed early !
I find that planning ahead like this helps me stay on track calorie-wise, and stops me from grabbing something unhealthy and fatty just for the sake of convenience. It also allows me more time to relax after a long day at work. I don’t mind eating the same thing during the week, I save variety for weekends !
So another weekend comes to an end , and another week begins ! Have a good one !

Posted in meals, planning, rest day | 2 Comments »

Lazy Saturday Morning

Posted by Susan on July 11, 2009

I live for mornings like this ! It was so beautiful outside I had to share it ! I was up before it was light out this morning, to take care of the dogs I am house sitting for this weekend. By the time I left there , everything was beginning to wake up. After almost 2 months of mostly rain and dreary grey skies, I appreciate the sun all the more !

I weighed myself this morning and was not surprised with what I found. 141.4 lbs. I am still within my maintenance range ( 138 low/142 high), and after last night’s stupidity, I think my weigh in was pretty good ! Sweets before bed are not exactly a brilliant idea !

Today I have no formal plans . I have weekly laundry to get done, and some light cleaning. I would like to get the cooking done for the week, and experiment with a new recipe I found on a blog. I’ve also deemed today an official “Rest Day” since I haven’t taken one since the week before Father’s Day. I think my body needs it. I’ve over trained in the past. A part of finding balance is also giving my body the rest it needs. I am honestly not sure I can do it. My workouts have become a really important part of my life. I miss it when I don’t do them ! I know, it sounds nuts. It has become a sort of security blanket to me. But one day off will do me good I think. And it is not like I will be laying on the couch eating bonbons all day ……. I have plenty of active rest things to do.

So right now I think I will have breakfast out on the deck, a nice cup of tea, and wait for the Hubs to wake up.

I have an idea for tomorrow morning that was inspired by Syl. I will blog all about it tomorrow ! Have a great Saturday !

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Posted by Susan on July 11, 2009

My weight all week has been up 1-2 lbs. inspite of the good workouts I’ve been getting in everyday. I figured it was the picnic last Sunday. Usually , when I over indulge, within a day or two at the most , with lowering calories and working out, the gain is gone. I was surprised that things were going so slow this week, but I wasn’t paniced about it.

This morning I woke up , ready for my AM workout. On a normal day, the first 10 min. I am still a little tired but as time goes on I feel stronger and I get in the zone. This morning……. not so much ! It was a low energy workout. I was also craving sweets like mad ! Duh ! At 9am ……SURPRISE ! I got a visitor ! (TOM) UGH!

So, needless to say , I felt yuck all day. I was crazy busy at work and had no time to feel crappy. By the time I got home I wanted chocolate and I wanted it bad ! I ended up eating four 100 calorie cookies, and after dinner I had non fat frozen yogurt, a 100 calorie cup cake, with lite chocolate sauce, and lit whip cream …….. now I feel even worse !!!!

Too much sweet. Instead of feeling satisfied that my sweet craving was quenched ….. I feel like I have sludge clogging my system !!! I ended up going from bad to worse !

The good news is that I went food shopping and bought a TON of fruit and veggies. I am trying to make good on my goal to balence the processed foods with the unprocessed foods. I am looking forward to sleeping off this sweet overload and getting back to good food tomorrow.

All in all, tonight was nothing compared to the TOM’s of tha past. There was a time when I would eat everything and anything sweet and just say “who cares”. But I eneded up eating a little bit over 2000 calories. That is a mild screw up for me. I hate excuses and really, TOM is not a good one. But it is what it is .

So on to better day tomorrow. No more sweets and no more excuses !

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"Prove It ! " Challenge !

Posted by Susan on July 9, 2009

Ok, here it is ! My Proof ! This sweaty mess is the result of 30 min. Total Body 10 circuits x3, 30 min. HIIT on the treadmill, and 20 mins. on the elliptical , done at 3am this morning ! (special thanks to the Hubs for waking up at 4:15am this morning to take the pics. for me ! talk about supportive !)
I was really into this challenge ! I have no idea why , I just really had fun with it ! Knowing I was going to take a photo of my hard work made me work even harder …….. I am finding that I have a little bit of a competitive streak in me , and I also really love a challenge ! I will have to participate in more in the future !
I also am realizing more and more how much I love working out. It wasn’t always like this, and I still have days where I am not in the mood, but they are few and thankfully far between. It has become such a huge part of my life that I can’t imagine ever living without it. For that I am grateful , it is half the battle in the maintenance game.
I think one reason that I love working out so much is because after a lot of trial and error, I finally found workouts that I enjoy. I say this all the time but it is worth repeating. I love circuit training. I hated doing free weights. It , to me , was boring. Many people love it, but it was just not for me. Circuits are fast paced and challenging. I also love HIIT because it is fast and always changing . I still do Steady State cardio here and there, but a steady diet of it leaves me cold for some reason.
Everyone is different. The key to loving your workout is trying different things and seeing what fits you . I intend to keep trying new things so that I always keep things fresh and interesting.
This week flew by ! I am happily looking forward to the weekend ahead ! We are going to a Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ Competion on Saturday. My sister-in-law and her family are going to compete in it so it should be fun ! I’ve never been to anything like it before so it will be a new experience.
I also have my first house sitting job of the summer this weekend and that means extra $$$$$ for CLOTHES ! So I will be shopping at some point ! Can’t wait for that !
At the moment I am tired and ready to hit the sack and read for a while ….. It has been a long day ! Have a great night all !

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