Saturday, October 27, 2012

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Never fear, my head is not burried in a bowl of cheese dip. (Ok, it is. But only from 11pm-7am aka in my dreams) My absence over the past week has been due to some "technical issues." Blogger hasn't been letting me upload pictures and I'm just not clever enough to fill up all this space with plain old words. I have plenty of posts ready to go that are just waiting to be finished up with some photos. Including, but not limited to; ME 4lbs lighter, pumpkin carving, food, yada yada yada...(If you're a Seinfeld fan, I do not actually have any yada yada yada pictures to post. Sickos. ha!)

Until then, here are a few things that have been on my brain this week:

-Steel drinks carb powder. CARB POWDER. Who the hell needs carbs in powder form?! I assured him I could direct him to the nearest pizza place, but apprently that's not the same...

-Before I go to bed at night I think about everything I would like to write on my blog if my face weren't on it. Then I think, maybe I'll just write it anyway. Then I hear my dad say, "Don't put anything on the internet that you wouldn't want to be a permanent representation of you." Then I decide not to publicly call anyone out for being a "see you next Tuesday".

-If I were going to do the above, it would be completely justified. If you're wondering why, it's because being crazy isn't cool. And I'm not talking fun, crazy. I'm talking crazy, crazy. If you're wondering what the difference is, you are the latter. Sorry.

-The gym I go to is very odd. (This will get its very own post at some point) But for now, you should just know that a man changed out of his wedding dress and into a speedo and high tops and galloped around the gym for far too long on Thursday. (What is an apporopriate length of time for that activity anyway?)

-If I care about a person, even if I am really, really angry with them for some reason, and something horrendously shitty happens in their lives, I will immediately try and help them pick up the pieces. I won't know if I care about the person enough to do this until the horrendously shitty thing happens, though. So, it's best to just stay in my good graces. ;)

-I thought I was crafty. Maybe I am. But I can't sew for shit. And I'm not all that good with a hot glue gun either. More on that later.

I hope everyone has a very festive Halloween themed weekend!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Go forth and VOTE

On November 6, we will choose the person who will be our President for at least the next 4 years. Like I have said before, I have a lot of opinions when it comes to politics but I won't bore you with the majority of them. I would, however, encourage everyone that has the privilege, to go out and vote. I vote in every, single election. Even the boring ones, where most of the positions being filled are incumbents, so it could be argued that there is no point. For me, the point is that I get to vote, so why not? I like the whole process, from filling out the form, to casting my ballot, to getting the little sticker that said I voted. Plus, during elections like these, when we are picking the leader of our whole freakin' nation, I find that my palms get a little sweaty before I click on "my" candidate. I double, triple, and quadruple check to make sure I didn't accidentally click the wrong box, and I walk out feeling that no matter the outcome, at least I did my part. Our system may not be perfect, but I do think it's pretty cool that with so many of our freedoms being taken away, we are still allowed this opportunity to express our opinion in such a big way.

As a reward for reading that, I leave you with some shots of Mutt. She felt that she was not accurately portrayed in previous posts, and wants everyone to know that she has many more interests other than just eating and drinking. Like:

squishing herself into drawers.

taking a bite out of her saviors face.

and just being precious, in that, "Wow, she's so unique!" kind of way.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend full of fall leaves and pumpkin spice everything!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

If oatmeal and greek yogurt were bagels and biscuits, oh what a life that would be!

I've mentioned before that breakfast just isn't my thing. However, I do know that I've got to eat it. I need it to avoid overeating during lunch, and to jump start my metabolism in the a.m. When I signed up on Lose It, I wasn't eating breakfast daily. By dinner time I still had over a thousand calories to use, jackpot! Not. I knew that my calorie count was given to me assuming I would eat before noon!
Soon I decided to buckle down and do it right. Now I don't just stay within my daily calorie allotment, I also eat better, more often, and always have something within the first 2 hours of waking. As a kid, I can remember sitting on the kitchen counter eating cold, leftover spaghetti for breakfast with my dad. I wasn't overweight as a kid, wasn't a picky eater, and never shied away from trying new foods, so the battle over breakfast just never happened with my parents. If I could, I'd still eat cold spaghetti and pizza every morning. But, I can't. (Technically I could, but not if I want to LOSE THE WEIGHT!)
So, when I wake up from my pasta and french fry dreams, this is what I've been eating lately:

I think I have mentioned my love for these convenient and tasty bars before!
I eat the Luna bars 2-3 times a week. I love the Kind bars, but I don't eat them nearly
as much. They are seriously delicious, but don't have the same staying power as the Luna bars.

The return of the overnight oats! The ones above are pumpkin pie flavored. Yum.
You can read ALL about overnight oats in a couple different posts from earlier this month.
Regular oatmeal would have made the list, but I don't have a microwave, so these are much easier for me to prepare. P.S. I'm not one of those people that think microwaves are awful. Actually, mine just croaked a few months ago and I quickly realized how much less crap I was eating without it, so I've decided not to replace it for now.
Greek yogurt. I added pumpkin spice granola to the top of this cup. What can I say, it's Fall, and I'm lovin' all things pumpkin! :) Some people love greek yogurt, some people hate it. I'm kind of indifferent at this point regarding the taste, but the amount of protein can't be beat.

I've been on a tea kick lately. I usually have a cup of the ginger pear when I eat breakfast.
I also have a cup of the ginger tea after dinner, and a couple cups of the Honey Vanilla chamomile, too. Maybe I'm a little obsessed. I'm not partial to any of these teas, except the honey vanilla, so I'm sure I'll change up the flavors when I run out of a box.
I also get Starbucks a couple times a week. A skinny vanilla latte, half decaf, with only 1 pump of sugar-free vanilla syrup. This is actually one of my more simple orders. Don't judge me. That's a $5 cup of coffee!
There you have it! A non-breakfast eaters guide to breakfast. After a week or so, I got used to eating breakfast every day, and now it's just part of my routine. Simple enough.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

tat-tat-tatted up

I'm linking up with Melanie for her Let's Talk Tattoos link up. Love 'em or hate 'em, head over there and read about some other peoples tattoo experiences and/or why they aren't a fan of ink at all.

I love my tattoo, which is very appropriate since it is a heart:

You may be wondering who that other wrist belongs to. It's my mom. Yep, you read that right. This past Mother's Day, I took my mom out to do the mani/pedi thing, go visit Mimi(my grandmother),and of course get the obligatory Mother's Day tattoo. Oh. That's not normal? Well, neither is my mom. And neither is her daughter. Anyway, it may not be normal, but it's very "us".
My mom originally wanted the whole family to get tattoos together around the same time that my brother got married. I guess the rest of the family just didn't have the balls time, so I decided while getting lovely pink polish on my toes that we should just do it. I told her of my idea, she looked shocked, we drove around aimlessly for awhile as she went back and forth about whether we should really do it. As you can see from the picture above, we did it!
We almost had to leave because we couldn't follow the tattoo shop rules, and cried the whole time. Just kidding! It really barely hurt at all, in my opinion. I know that some people think tattoos are trashy or unnecessary. That's why I won't make those people go get one.
Sidenote: My dad told me he couldn't wait for me to write a political post. I have a lot of opinions, but they all kind of boil down to the same theme, and that is, do whatever you want. Seriously, just Do. whatever. the. hell. you. want. While I would prefer that you not use heroin, if you choose to, just don't ask for my money to send you to rehab or bail you out of jail.
Ah, what does that little rant have to do with my tattoo? I chose to get it. I will never regret it. It is one of the best memories I have with my mom. If a man doesn't like me because of it, or I miss out on a job opportunity by forgetting to cover it up, or if my wrists get even fatter and the heart gets really stretched out and weird looking, I promise I will never ask for your money to have it removed. Life is all about choices, and this is one that I feel good about.
Do you. YOLO. And always remember, "Haters gonna hate". Now get on with your bad(tatted up) selves.


This & That

Weekly picture time. Not my favorite day of the week, but one day I'll be glad I did this, right!? From now on I plan to make an effort to take these pictures in the same shirt each time, so I can be sure I'm giving myself an accurate portrayal of what's goin' on with my bod. According to my last weigh in,(Saturday)I didn't lose anything last week! Boo. Anyway, I'm not happy that I didn't lose weight. Not happy at all. But, I didn't say fuck it and grab some french fries for dinner like I might have done in the past and I worked my butt off in the gym last night, so I'll just have to see what happens next week. Fat is weird.(And gross, unattractive, and jiggly) Some weeks it flies right off, and I lose 5 pounds, then the next week, nada. I'm stepping up the work outs this week, and on Tues/Thurs I'll be working out twice a day. Hopefully this will lead to a happy weigh in on Saturday morning.
As promised, here is a picture of the overnight oats that I had for breakfast this morning:
They were very chocolatey! I'm not a big fan of chocolate(Shocking, I know) and I especially don't like fruit and chocolate combined, but for some reason the combo of the cold oats, the cocoa powder, and the bananas worked for me. I've already made a batch for tomorrow using pumpkin, vanilla protein powder, and pomegranate greek yogurt. I'll add some kind of fruit on top tomorrow, too.
You really can add anything you want to these. I've seen chocolate chips, peanut butter, caramel, etc! Sounds more like a sundae, sometimes. Speaking of, watch the calories on this if you are trying to lose weight. Luckily, it is really filling, because the calorie content doesn't really allow me to have a late morning snack. The number of calories vary depending on your "add-ins", but just to give you an idea, the oats above rang in at a hefty 429. They are all good for you calories, so I try not to worry about it too much.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Totes Magotes Oats

Ha! This movie is hilarious. I wanted to name this post "Slappin' da bass oats" but it just didn't have the same ring to it.
Moving on... I have been reading Julie's blog a lot. Her blog is really fun(and chock full of good info!) and I get a lot of ideas from her. I hope she doesn't mind! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. :) A couple days ago I finally tried my hand at her pumpkin pie overnight oats. This was the first time I'd ever had overnight oats, and after reading all about them, I knew that I was either going to be a big fan or hate them. Luckily, I was a fan. Not such a big fan that I would choose them over a delicious biscuit from Chick-fil-A, but they were pretty good. The thing I like about them most is that you can change up the ingredients so that the flavor is different each time you make them. As long as you can get down with the texture, you'll like these. Plus, they are pretty damn good for you, and will keep you full for a LONG time.
First, grab your main ingredients:        
1/2 a cup oats
1/2 a cup milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
truvia(or whatever sweetener you like.) This is
optional, but I like a hint of sweetness in these.
3oz. greek yogurt
I made this before going to the gym this afternoon, and just ate the extra 2oz from the yogurt container. I'm sure you could add the whole thing if you're a big greek yogurt fan. Someone in my house definitely is:
Put all the above ingredients in a big cereal bowl.
If you don't have parents to steal some chia seeds from like I did,
I'm pretty sure you can find them at Whole Foods or any local health food store.
They help thicken everything up, and are supposedly really good for you.
I was informed to never leave these out, and since I'm such a rule follower(HA!),
I'm not planning to anytime soon.
Now try to decide what you're going to be in the mood for tomorrow morning,
pretend you're at one of those fun frozen yogurt places, and choose your add-ins:
To this batch I added:
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Now mix it up!
mmm...doesn't that just look like a big bowl of mush delicious?
Lastly, cover it up and throw it in the fridge.
Don't really throw it. If you were really planning
to throw it in, you are the reason why there are ridiculous warning labels on things like hairdryers that say, "Do not use while bathing". So for you, I will say, place gently in the refrigerator.
Tomorrow I will show you the finished product. I already snuck a bite when I got home from the gym. I actually thought it was a little better than the pumpkin pie oats I ate this morning, so I'm confident in posting this version already. :)


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chicken Head

This morning I had plans with one of my best friends to go to a little festival in Lilburn, GA. I didn't exactly have high expectations for this event because I've never really thought of Lilburn as a happenin', artsy area of town. I still don't. (I am a little biased because I live in the coolest spot in Atlanta...however I also only occupy 600sq/ft of said coolest spot in Atl. Give and take people.) But, the festival was much better than expected! There were tons of vendors with all kinds of fun stuff! Everything from beautiful jewelry to a woman selling socks with black bottoms so you don't have to wash them. Um, gross.
Photographic evidence of previously mentioned festival fun.

We visited with my best friends brothers girlfriend.(Ya get all that?) This was our original reason for going since she had a booth set up for her photography business, Sweetpea's Lifestyle Photography. Her booth was really cute, and I entered my brother and his wife in a drawing for a free photo shoot with her. I'm using The Secret to ensure that they win. ;)
Obviously, I couldn't go to an event like this and not get some festival food. I did manage to pass on the funnel cake though, and instead I got an arepa. To me, it seemed like a Colombian version of a grilled cheese. I ate it right up, and forgot to take a picture. I'm new to this bloggin' thing. I apologize.

Afterwards I headed over to my parents house to check on their dog, as well as my dog niece since the rest of the fam is in the mountains for the day.

Lucy + Bogie = BFF

Lucy is a "labbie mix" and Bogie is a plain old black lab. They are both super sweet rescue pups with the most bizarre amazing personalities. You may wonder how I got them to sit still long enough to take a picture. Well, when I got to my parents I saw that my mom left a package by the front door for me. Apparently, they thought the box was filled with bacon because when I sat down to open it, this is what they did. 
Take a look at the goodies that were really inside:

These bars are great. They range from 170-230 calories per bar, which is a little high, but for a non-breakfast eater like me, they are perfect to use as a meal replacement in the morning. The Sesame & Peanut w/ Chocolate KIND bar is nearly impossible to find in my local grocery store. The box that holds them in the health food aisle is always empty. Womp. Womp. Luckily, I have a very kind mom, and she ordered me a whole box of 'em! Along with a box of the always delicious Luna Bar! I've never tried a Luna Bar that I didn't like, but Chocolate Dipped Coconut is definitely a favorite.
These are nothing like the chewy, artificial, protein bars of the past. Seriously, I had a PowerBar once and I thought I might cry. So if you've had a similar experience give these a try. Hmm...maybe these companies should be sending me these bars for free. If not for my ringing endorsement, then definitely for my rhymes. ;)

Friday, October 12, 2012

You think you know...but you have no idea.

Lunch today was a special treat! Normally, I eat lunch in my car while listening to talk radio. Boring! Today, I got a call from my mom asking if I'd like to meet her for lunch. What a fun way to break up the work day. We met at Sprig. I have eaten here a number of times for dinner, but this was my first lunch visit. It was delicious.

I had half of a grilled chicken club sandwich, and a cup of split pea soup(with a few pork belly bacon bits on top for good measure.) Yum!
I'm big on the whole farm to table trend turned common place restaurant concept. I'm not one of those people that only buys organic, local stuff. However, when a restaurant buys local it is bound to be fresher and therefore taste better. Plus, these restaurants tend to have smaller menus where they focus on getting a handful of things just right, whereas chain restaurants generally give you an eight page menu where everything is just ok. Today I read that Sprig makes everything in house, bonus points for them.

The other day I was talking to someone and I mentioned the number of calories in the dinner I'd eaten the night before. They seemed surprised by how high the number was. Admittedly, it was a little higher in calories than my normal dinners these days, but it still wasn't out of control. That conversation immediately got me thinking; how many people really know how many calories they are taking in each day? Before this latest quest to shed some serious lbs, I thought I had a vague idea each time I would make a meal or eat out. Surprise! I was wrong. It is so important to track calories when first starting to lose weight, especially if you have a lot to lose like me. I have always loved healthy food. I love veggies and don't scoff at the idea of a meatless meal filled with whole grains and even the ever so scary tofu. However, I also love pizza, mac and cheese, french fries, etc. Bring on the carbs, baby! I began using a resource called Lose it.(Shout out to Steel for suggesting this little gem!) After the first couple days, the truth set in, you think you know, but you have no idea just how quickly calories can add up.(And by you, I mean me...well, nevermind, probably you, too.) For example, in the sandwich you see above, my brain used to think, "grilled chicken sandwich", now my brain thinks, "1 slice bread, 3 oz grilled chicken, slice of cheese, 1 slice bacon, 1.5 tablespoons mayo, lettuce." The calories are a little different when you add all the extras. That's not to say that the meal I had for lunch today was "bad". It was delicious, a perfect serving size, and I still have plenty of calories left in the bank for a great dinner, it just won't be pizza. Calorie counting is controversial because people can become a little obsessive about it and/or feel deprived. I totally get that. I may or may not have had a mini tantrum earlier this week when I realized that something I was eating was actually labeled incorrectly and I had unknowingly consumed an extra 300 calories last week. Earth shattering news? No. However, in the land of enormous portion sizes, extra mayo, and "OMGhowdidIgetfat?IthoughtIwaseatingsohealthy!"(aka America), it never hurts to take a second, write it ALL out and figure out what we're really putting in our mouths. Once I did this the gym started to suck less, I'm seeing results more quickly, and I'm really never hungry. I still eat french fries, mexican, and frozen yogurt sometimes. I just never go over my calories. This is working for me and until it stops working, I plan to count every freakin' calorie that I put in my body. If I have to choose between being fat and being a little calorie obsessed, I choose the latter.

Athletic Supporters

S-U-P-P-O-R-T find out what it means to me! (Come on, read that sentence again to the the tune of Aretha Franklin's Respect. Fun, isn't it?) Anyway, like I have mentioned before, I have a great amount of support regarding this "life change" I am currently pursuing.
First on the list of "Athletic Supporters" are these over the shoulder boulder holders little things:
If you can differentiate between all that neon, you will see 3, yes THREE pieces of clothing, all with the same job. It's no secret, my ta-ta's are out of control. If I didn't wear all of this, plus a T-shirt on top, I might very well knock someone out. Sadly, this isn't much of an exaggeration. Hell, sometimes I nearly knock myself out. I would ask for recommendations on amazing sports bras, but I've tried them all, so please don't waste a google search. I have come to terms with it, those that see me wrapped up in this sausage casing contraption on a regular basis have come to terms with it as well, and as for first time viewers, well, I'd stare too. It is quite a sight. A sight that I am trying my hardest to shrink.(Into a perfect 34C if you must know.)

Next up are these guys(minus my sister in law, who is behind the camera):
I am beyond blessed when it comes to my family. Often times I feel a little sad that I don't have a larger extended family, but honestly, I wouldn't trade these people for the world. As with all families there have been ups and downs, but over the past few years there have been many more "ups"! I try my hardest to focus on those times, because honestly as long as I have learned something from the "downs",(and boy have I!) then they have served their purpose. Obviously, writing that is much easier than living it, but I'm trying. My whole family is full of loving, giving, hilarious people. They are also opinionated and a little nutty, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
As far as their role in getting my butt back in gear when it comes to my weight/health/fitness goals they have never been anything but 100% supportive. My brother did a program called Couch to 5K with me. If you have ever had the displeasure of running with me or just been in my vicinity while I'm running, you know what a big deal this is. He pushed me, he probably cursed me a few times too, but when I ran that first 3.1 miles non-stop, I will never forget how proud he was of me, and because of his excitement, I remember how proud of me I was too. My parents are supportive in so many ways. My dad believes in me like no one else in this world. This also means that he expects me to get my act together and do the damn thing.(I will and I am, Dad. Promise.) My mom is incredible. She is selfless, funny, and extremely patient. She listens to every. single. detail. about my life, and right now that consists of talking about weight, food, working out, ad infinitum. How does she do it? I'll never know, but I sure do love her for it.
I also have a couple best friends that I can't fail to mention in this section, since I think of them as family. They motivate me and keep me laughing all the time. I am convinced that finding the humor is imperitive when dealing with anything that isn't exactly comfortable. FYI: Weight loss ain't comfortable.

Which brings me to my next little crew of Supporters:

I am so lucky to have not just one, but two personal trainers. They don't look exactly like the hottie above, but you get the idea. Everyone is different, and I know that it is possible to lose massive amounts of weight without the help of a personal trainer. However, if you have the resources to have one, even if only for a little while, I highly recommend it. I had the same trainer for almost 3 years. I was forced to find a new trainer because of business changes my old trainer was making. I now count this as one of the best things that has happened to me. The right trainer will push you, hold you accountable, make you feel more comfortable in the gym, and make sure you are getting results. That is what I have with my current trainers. Not only do they want what is best for me, but they make it their mission to see that it actually happens. As my trainer, Alabama Slammer likes to say, "You can shit in one hand and want in the other, see which one fills up faster.". Wanting it just isn't enough. If it were, I'd be wearing a size two, working at my dream job, and taking exotic vacations every other weekend. So for now, I'll have to keep working at it. When I mentioned to my other trainer, Steel, that I was having a hard time chilling out on the carbs because God made them so delicious, he countered that all strippers are hot, but that doesn't make them a good choice either. Like I said, weight can be lost without a personal trainer, but where else are you going to hear insight like that?

In all seriousness, over the past few months I've lost some weight, I'm stronger, and overall I'm just happier. The people and things mentioned above are the biggest reasons why. I have a lot to lose, so much to gain, and I am one lucky woman to have all this support!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Nitty Gritty

Rather than detailing the whys and hows of my weight gain, I figured I'd dive right in and show what I used to be workin' with, as well as all the extra that I'm workin' to get rid of now. All that other stuff will come out eventually, and while I have a few ideas regarding the reasons behind my personal weight issues, I'm hoping to gain an even better perspective as time goes on and weight continues to fall off. Plus, when I'm reading other peoples' blogs I like to see pictures.  Number one, because I'm nosey, and number two, because I feel like it helps me relate to them better. So, without further ado...

I started thinking about starting this blog when I realized how much some of the other blogs out there were motivating me. I wanted to track my food, weight, and progress for a good month or so before I began. I did this to make sure that I was on a plan that I could stick to. I really didn't want to be a blogger that is around for 3 weeks, then disappears because I can't get my head out of the cheese dip I get too busy with other things. I have lost and gained the same twenty pounds for years, and who am I kiddin', A LOT more than twenty needs to hit the road. I know that this is the right time for me. I feel it in my gut. If I wasn't 100% sure, I certainly wouldn't be putting these nitty, gritty(Sorry, old school Blackberry user over here!) pictures up for all the world, or just my mom and best friend, as the case may be, to see. Hopefully, the extra accountability will help me get from the above pictures back to the little thing you see below.

(Please excuse the face. I was such a delight at 17!)

Crossing my fingers, chips are in the trash, and lunges are my new favorite pastime! Ok, maybe I'm lying about that last one, but fake it 'til you make it, right!? Oh, and don't worry. I don't actually go to the gym in those awesome skin tight outfits that you see above...

The 5 W's

Well, that would be me. I am a twenty-something native Atlantan. I like to think I'm a funny, big-hearted, slightly Southern, and super genuine girl.
A place for me to document my messes and successes. 
It's time to get this party started.  ASAP.
That's a loaded question! I am doing this for a few reasons. I read a few "healthy living" blogs, and hopefully I will one day be able to write from their point of view. You know, the "after", once all the excess weight is gone, eating healthy becomes second nature, and I'm going to the gym because I just love workin' out, it's so gosh darn fun, and it makes me feel good. For now, though, I'm a "before". You know, the still got a whole lot to lose, thinkin' about bagels a couple times a day, pretty sure lunges should be included in prison sentences stage. I have an amazing real life support system, but a little extra accountability never hurt anyone, especially in the land of weight loss, so here we go!
Right here!

It's not always gonna be pretty, but I promise to be 100% honest, and hopefully a little witty.