Sunday, January 31, 2010

posting from the beach

I'm laying out on Hollywood Beach at the moment - no, not working on my tan, it's actually overcast right now - waiting for the paddleboard group meetup. It was supposed to be at 9, and so far I'm the only one out here. I am hoping people show up soon, because I've really been looking forward to getting back in to paddleboarding! It's a lot less windy and the ocean is much calmer today than last Sunday - which also bodes well for volleyball this afternoon.

I slept really late yesterday, like 11:30, so my diet was sorta quirky because of it. I had a yogurt for breakfast with my coffee, then a fried egg sandwich on multigrain bread for lunch - which were only about a half hour apart. I drank plenty of water in the afternoon, which was good, because I got a 3.5 mile run in before having to get ready for church. After getting back from the run, I had two spoonfuls of peanut butter (reduced fat) - so yummy and hit the spot! It's good for your body to have a little protein after a good workout. After getting cleaned up, I had a bowl of salad, then it was off to church.

I knew dinner was going to be my splurge meal for the week, because my parents wanted to go to Shorty's BBQ. I've been pretty good this week on both the diet and exercise fronts, so I indulged - pulled pork plate w/ a baked sweet potato, coleslaw, and a piece of Texas toast. And we had an order of onion rings to start. And boy was it good! Back on the straight and narrow now for me, though...although there is probably a good chance for Papa John's for dinner tonight!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Going Where I've Never Gone Before

Yes, that's right - yesterday I tried something for lunch that I've never, ever eaten before. A veggie burger. And it was surprisingly good! I went to lunch with a group from the office to this great lunch place in downtown Miami - Granny Feelgood's - that specializes in healthier dishes. I normally get a chicken salad sandwich on rye (their chicken salad has raisins, apples, cinnamon, and pecans in it, so yummy), and their sweet potato fries are legendary. But I went with the veggie burger yesterday, which comes with grilled vegetables on top, along with lettuce and tomato, and I also added a slice of swiss cheese. I did still get the sweet potato fries though :)

I struggled to get out of bed yesterday morning, so I had my usual two cups of coffee, along with a Fiber One bar. And I didn't snack in the afternoon until I had to drive down to Kendall after work, which is only like 10 miles south of downtown Miami, but literally took me an hour to get to because of traffic - I had my favorite snack of cocoa roasted almonds and dried apricots.

I was supposed to play softball last night, but turns out the team had enough girls, and I was only helping out in a pinch, so I ended up hanging out with my fam. Hard to pass up a free dinner from mom! She had made BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches, steamed mixed veggies, and baked potatoes. The BBQ chicken was really good, a recipe she had gotten from my sister. Such a domestic queen!!

I did get a weight training session in when I got home last night, and I am going to try to get in a run before heading to church tonight. I've eaten pretty light so far today, which is easy to do when you don't get out of bed till 11:30 ;) Gotta save up my calories for dinner tonight - heading to Shorty's BBQ in Deerfield. Must stay strong!! Reduce da pooch!

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Measurements!!!

Waist: 33.75 inches (quarter inch lost)
Hips: 39.5 inches (half inch lost)
Thighs: 23.75 inches (quarter inch lost)

My new favorite website...

Again, sister comes through with a winner! contains a great diet tracking tool, My Daily Plate, to help you see and track how many calories/fat/proteins, etc., you are consuming on a daily basis. A lot of common foods and restaurant menu items are loaded into the program, so it really helped me with those meals where you couldn't just read a label and determine what you were eating. The site also has an extensive fitness database, to determine how many calories you are burning based on the type of exercise you are doing. Check it out!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

One Month In...

Time flies when you're bustin' bumps, right?!? I think I am starting to see some progress - I'll know for sure when I measure myself in the next day or two. I usually see improvements in my legs and butt first, and the bump is always the hardest to change. But I'm workin' on it. New measurements and pics will be posted over the weekend!

I had a great 3.5 mi. run this morning around the 'hood; I have an aversion to running in the dark, although usually I just grit my teeth and do it. This morning, though, I slept a half hour longer and got out on the road around 6:40, and light was already in the sky - a nice change. And it didn't really take me much longer to get on the road for work than usual - I guess that shows how much time I waste putzing around in the morning, right?

So "sister" gave me a great idea to add to the blog this morning - she and a neighbor are food journaling over the next month or so, as they are trying to shed a few additional pounds. I've definitely been keeping track mentally of what I eat throughout the course of my mission, but perhaps it'll be even better if I incorporate it here - it should keep me even more accountable, right? So I'll start today with what was on my menu yesterday:

Breakfast: two cups of coffee w/ skim milk, a Fiber One bar
Lunch: Leftover red thai curry w/ chicken (homemade with light coconut milk, snow peas, zucchini and brown rice), cut up orange and grapefruit, diet peach Snapple
Snack: Starbucks tall skinny cinnamon dolce latte (3 PM), 1/4 cup each cocoa roasted almonds and dried apricots (5:30 PM)
Dinner: salad w/ romaine lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, garbanzo beans, and craisins, with Italian dressing (sparing); almond butter, banana, and honey sandwich on multi-grain bread, iced tea w/ splenda

So I think I am on the right track as far as eating less pre-packaged and processed food, and more fruits and vegetables - AND making healthier choices when dining out; I probably could still cut a little more fat out of my diet, though. For the most part, the fat I am still eating is unsaturated, like the almonds, although coconut milk is definitely not unsaturated. I also have been eating Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine meals for dinner at night - cuts way back on the fats and calories on the last meal of the day. I just have a hard time eating the same thing day after day, so I am always trying to find more healthy options for my meals. Any suggestions are welcome!

Alright, back to work for me...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Another Hectic Week

Three weeks into my mission, and I'm slacking on reporting already. My apologies. The week started off with a bang - I headed to Gainesville Monday afternoon to recruit for my company at UF's career showcase, and came back Tuesday night. I did manage to get a weight training workout in Monday morning before I left, and other than going overboard with sushi Monday night, managed to eat healthy on the trip. I also picked up a bag of pink grapefruit at one of the service plaza fruit stands on the way back - I wanted to get some Honeybell oranges, the best eating orange in the world, but the stand was sold out. Word on the street is that my neighbor is bringing me back some from Lake Placid (FL) tomorrow, though. Honeybells are only available in January, and if you can get your hands on some, they're well worth it.

So Wednesday I had some very good friends coming into town from Ohio, and they stayed with me Wednesday night, after having dinner at Taverna Opa in Hollywood. My "sister" keeps me on the straight and narrow when it comes to working out, so I enjoyed getting to show her one of my Total Gym workouts Wednesday night. We also got up and ran Thursday morning before I had to head into work, and it was so much fun having someone to run with in the morning! Wish I could have that every day, getting out of bed wouldn't be so hard!

I could've fallen into serious trouble later this week, because I was out at client sites both Thursday and Friday. I am much better about what I eat when I control it at home - that is, when I can pack my lunch with healthy things. When faced with the decision of what to eat at a restaurant, I can sometimes give in to temptation. But I stood strong both days and had salad with a vinaigrette dressing. I did have a bag of Gardetto's snack mix from the vending machine Friday afternoon, but overall I was pretty good this week.

So my big weekend workout plans were 1.) paddle-boarding for the first time in over a year (not by choice), and 2.) playing volleyball for the first time since early August. Unfortunately, Mother Nature threw a wrinkle into my plans - forecasts for this weekend were all sun and fun, but then it was like the crappiest weekend ever (ok, so maybe not that bad). It was too windy for paddleboarding this morning, so the meetup was canceled. I did get to play volleyball this afternoon, though, and am I going to be sore tomorrow! It was a great workout, one I hope to repeat most Sundays. I also got a run in Saturday afternoon, after working in the yard for a bit, so a very active weekend all around.

Alright, there's the recap for the week, I promise to post more than one time in the next week. I am also planning to do a whole post on my Total Gym workouts - I swear I am not paid to advertise for it, but I really do enjoy it and it works! Have a great week, everyone!

P.S. The end of this week will be one month in - be on the lookout for bump update pics as well as measurement updates!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekend Struggles

When I'm in my routine, I am pretty good. Take me out of my routine, or throw me a curveball...ehh.

After returning from Orlando Wednesday night, I was pretty proud of staying on track (for the most part) while up at training. I avoided snacking, did get up and work out Monday and Tuesday mornings, and made healthy choices for meals - except for Tuesday night's dinner, but c'mon, they had both key lime pie and strawberry shortcake (in addition to other choices) out on the buffet for dessert, how could I possibly choose between the two?!? And they weren't huge pieces! But overall, I drank lots of water, only had a few diet cokes, and ate lots of fresh fruits and salads while I was there.

I continued my healthy eating Thursday and Friday, packing my lunch for work both days with low-fat yogurt, some of my vegetable soup from last weekend, and on Friday, some of the yummy salad I mixed up when I got home from work Thursday night (which I paired with a piece of grilled mahi-mahi for dinner). I'm a big believer in packing your salads with as much extras as possible to make it interesting (no one wants to eat a boring salad, except maybe my brother-in-law). So some of my fave throw-ins are tomatoes, carrots, cukes, garbanzo beans, craisins, and sunflower seeds. Edamame is very good too, maybe I'll pick some up for my next salad.

Things started unraveling Friday night, though. I decided to attend the office happy hour/birthday celebration, which included grabbing dinner at the same pub before the festivities began. I couldn't resist the call of the beef sliders topped with caramelized onions, cheese, and served with fries. And of course several diet cokes over the course of the evening as well. Then I had a burger with my salad for lunch Saturday afternoon (I literally have a freezer full of burgers, must get rid of them). I recovered last night with a jr. salad from salad creations - the heart lovers' salad, which has most of my fave veggies I listed above thrown in, and then had a mango yogurt shake for dessert from allegria froyo - it's one of those tart yogurt places, very lo-fat and lo-cal.

So there's my diet over the past few days; hopefully I will be able to continue on track for the upcoming week, although I do have a bit more travel coming up on Monday and Tuesday.

Thursday morning I did manage to pull myself out of bed and go for a 3-mile run, so I was pretty proud of myself for that. I did sleep in on Friday morning, but made up for that slightly Friday night by dancing to the live band at happy hour. Yesterday I was out working in the yard for a few hours - combatting the palm fronds, planting an avocado tree, and leveling out the very back of my yard in order to get the back gates open. I am definitely sore today, so yardwork definitely counts as exercise. And I washed my car too! Today I plan to get in a TG workout, and if I'm feeling particularly ambitious, might squeeze in a run this evening as well. I'd also like to get a workout in tomorrow morning, before heading to Gainesville in the afternoon for recruiting.

One last thing I'll leave you with on this post, which is some of my favorite snacks lately. My "sister" suggested the yumminess of cocoa roasted almonds quite a while back, but I just bought them for the first time last weekend. Almonds are the healthiest of the nuts to snack on, and although they do contain fat, they are almost void of saturated fats, and studies have shown that including them in a healthy diet (in moderation) is a good thing. So I've been packing a quarter cup of the almonds as a snack, and man are they good. And filling too! Another fave snack of mine is dried fruits, particularly mangoes and apricots. While they do contain a bit of sugar, they are filled with so much good vitamins and antioxidants...and getting more fruit into your diet is always a good thing. :) So dried fruit as my mid-morning snack, and cocoa roasted almonds as a mid-afternoon snack; they've definitely held me over and kept me from snacking on bad stuff lately.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A frozen Orlando

I've got Day 1 of training under my belt, and so far I have been successful in sticking to my plan! I did not have a chance to formally work out yesterday, since I drove up to Orlando last night, but does walking across the street and around Downtown Disney in 30-degree weather count for something? I swear my abs got a good workout from staving off the shivers!!

Five A.M. came wayyyy too early this morning, especially since I didn't get to bed until after midnight, but as far as hours of sleep per night go, that's just how I roll. I was actually pretty alert and awake all day, but man are my eyes bloodshot tonight! I got in 20 minutes on the elliptical as well as 10 minutes on the treadmill, and definitely felt the elliptical workout afterward.

I also stayed strong on my commitment to eating healthy, having just fruit and yogurt (and of course, coffee) for breakfast; a salad, some hummus and pita chips, and a grilled chicken caesar salad wrap for lunch, and unsalted trail mix for a snack. AND NO SODA! Dinner is in a half hour, and hopefully I will have some healthy options for that as well.

So there's the update for today, here's to hoping I can pull my butt out of bed the next two mornings!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A good week down, a difficult week ahead...

After being on vacation for two weeks at the end of last year, it was a bit rough getting back into the swing of things this week - not only at work, but of course with the new mission as well. I actually fell asleep on the couch one night this week at 8:30 - totally not me!!

The week started off well, exercise-wise, but I hit a rough patch mid-week. I could not get out of bed Wednesday and Thursday morning! Wednesday was a run day, and the thought of going out and running in the (cold) dark just was not inspiring me to leave my warm bed. I did manage to get in a TG workout Thursday night, and then ran after work last night (for some reason, running in the dark at night doesn't seem as intimidating as in the morning - probably because I am actually awake).

I am proud to say that I did not have soda ONCE the entire week! I have room for improvement on my lunches - I was about 50-50 on really healthy eating for lunch this week. I did manage to eliminate the afternoon snacking, save for non-fat lattes (which is ok in my book). And since I was still finishing off leftovers at the house for dinner, and I had a friend in town for dinner one night, healthy eating at dinner was a mixed bag as well. I have yet to get to Publix, so I still need to stock up on healthy foods. But I'm getting better, it's only up from here!

I am actually heading to Orlando tomorrow evening for three days of training for work; this will be a definite challenge to both diet and exercise. I've checked out the hotel we're staying at online, and it looks like they have a sweet gym. I just have to pull my butt out of bed at my normal time (around 5:45-6) so that I can get that workout in before heading to the training sessions. Easier said than done, especially if the evening activities keep us out late (which they tend to do at training), but we'll see. And I just have to beware the snacks they usually set out for us!!

Crap, I just checked the agenda for the training...breakfast is from 7-8, and then the sessions start at 8 - I'll never get my workout in before then!! I'll just have to play it by ear; we'll see how it goes...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Inspiration from My Foodie Mentor

I tivo Good Eats on the Food Network. Ain't no shame. I'm a big fan of Food Network, and Alton Brown in particular. I was actually starstruck when I ran into him at the SoBe Food and Wine Festival a few years ago, but did manage to get my picture taken with him. But I digress. Last night he aired a new episode in which he shared a few tips on how he has lost 50 pounds over the past nine months, and one of his go-to tricks was actually something I've done in the past - make smoothies for breakfast!! (I fell asleep during the commercial break after the smoothie bit - have to watch the rest tonight.)

Watching the episode inspired me to bust out my blender for the first time in the new house (the new house with no dishwasher, which is probably why I hadn't busted it out before now) and blend up a smoothie after my TG workout. I've included my basic smoothie recipe below, and it's a really easy, quick way to get more fruits into your diet - and it's low-fat. I generally use strawberry or some other berry-flavored non-fat yogurt (Publix sells their strawberry yogurt in the big tubs), and my favorite fruit mix is strawberry, blueberry, pineapple (banana is always standard). I don't always include the flaxseed, either. In Alton's recipe, he skipped the yogurt and included some sort of dark berry juice (pomegranate, acai, grape) instead, which would result in a less creamy smoothie. Enjoy!


  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1/2 frozen banana, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons powdered protein supplement
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries


  1. In a blender, blend the milk, yogurt, banana, protein supplement, flax seed, honey, and strawberries until smooth.

Dipping a Toe into the Water

Okay, let's be real honest here: we all knew I wouldn't begin my mission in full earnest until after the weekend. My family was still in town, so that meant several things:

1.) Multiple yummy dinners aut on the tahn (as my Pixsburgh brethren would say).
2.) Lots of family time = less desire to go out and run 3 miles, more desire to eat things like white chocolate snowball cookies and red velvet cupcakes.
3.) I tend to show my love through baking...I baked cinnamon rolls from scratch for the fam Sunday morning, and then proceeded to eat two.

Monday morning arrives...early. Like 5 AM early, because I had to make an airport run. But this was a good thing, because it gave me no excuse not to go for a run once I got back to my house. So I bundled up (it was seriously like 38 degrees in Fort Lauderdale, and that's cold weather anywhere) and headed out for my first jog in three weeks. It was decent, I actually enjoy running in the cold, but I definitely petered out at the end of the 3.5 mile run. I'll get back into the groove fairly quickly, though. I also think it's time to shake things up in my running playlist, I'm up for suggestions on this one (I like running to angry rock).

From an exercise standpoint, mission accomplished on my first day back to work. From a diet standpoint...ehh, I did so-so. Breakfast was two cups of coffee w/ skim milk and a Fiber One bar on the morning commute; I was a good girl and packed my lunch before I left the house, but hires in the office today!

Of course we had to take them out - I could feel temptation lurking around the prime burger sliders on the lunch menu. But I held my ground and ordered soup (chicken tortilla) and salad (chopped). I'd like to think both were fairly healthy, but I'm sure the salad may have had some saboteurs in it. Overall, though, I could have done worse. And I stuck to my guns and only drank water - no soda at all today! I did slip a little for dinner, and had leftover Indian takeout - I know for a fact that chicken tikka masala is not healthy, but my frugal side won out on that one, and I didn't want to see good leftovers go to waste. I'm planning a Publix shopping trip later this week to stock up on healthy things. And of course, my lunch is waiting for me in the fridge at the office :)

Now that it's well after midnight and I have to be up in less than six hours for my Total Gym workout, I better turn in. Getting back into the work groove is tough!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 1 of Mission 2010

I am entrenched in the period of my life when most of my girlfriends are plastering their facebooks and blogs with photos of their ever-growing bellies, and posting professional maternity photos of their husbands kissing said belly. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my friends and following their journeys to motherhood. However, over the past few years, I have begun to notice in myself a similar, eh, body pattern to my mommy-in-waiting friends ("are you growing a baby in your belly?" an observant 6-year-old once asked me). And the only reason for mine is a bad diet and not enough exercise!

Having no baby to blame for the pooch - crap, I can't even blame it on booze and rough living - I have no choice but to subject myself to the mercy of the net. Let me just be clear: I am not the "blogger" sort of person, because I have never believed my life is really interesting enough that other people would want to read about me on a daily basis. But I gotta do something to stay accountable to my mission. So why not do a "baby bump watch" in reverse? My "pre" pics are those with the pooch, and hopefully, if all goes according to plan, the last few pics will show a nice, flat, six-pack (a girl can dream!) stomach. I've posted a few pics above to show how dire the situation has gotten - thank goodness I don't leave the house in those clothes.

So here goes. My plan is simple, and it's not all that different than what I've (inconsistently) already been doing. Three days a week running, and I'm upping the strength training (via Chuck Norris' Total Gym, which is awesome) to three days a week, instead of two. I just need to stay on track and be consistent, in good weather and bad (so easy to stay in bed an extra hour, but gotta be strong), in Daylight Savings Time and Standard.

The most extreme part of my plan is the diet part. I've gotta change what I eat. So here is my list of resolutions (so far) in the diet department:

2. No more buying soda - even diet sodas. Supplement with Crystal Light, if I need flavor. Also brew iced tea at home with Splenda or Stevia sweetners.
3. Buy more fruits and vegetables - I got pretty good at packing my lunch in 2009, now in 2010 I need to pack more salads and low-cal snacks.
4. If I eat out for lunch, stick with salads and grilled items. Stay strong!
5. Stay away from the afternoon Starbucks coffee cakes and sweets - a low-fat latte is ok, but not the "Starbucks value meal".

Here's to getting back on the running wagon and making smarter dining choices over the weekend. Cheer me on as I begin this quest to REDUCE DA POOCH.

Beginning Measurements:
Waist: 34"
Hips: 40"
Thighs: 24"