Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Rainbows not "Blues"

After a glorious weekend like we had this weekend not even “back to work blues” can keep me down! Our weekend was jammed pack with dates, friends, and the great outdoors.

We kicked it off by going to Gwinnett Arena (just 6 miles from our house) to see “The Greatest Show on Earth” aka Ringling Bros Circus. Prior to Friday I hadn’t been to the circus in YEARS (at least 20). I was such a kid. Giddy, excited, and just happy to be there. The atmosphere was fun and high energy. It was quite a show. At one point they had 7 people on motor bikes inside a steel circle cage-SCARY! We saw elephants, tigers, clowns, trapeze artists, midgets, a ring master, contortionists, and so much more! I even got to enjoy some cotton candy (although I only had a few bites).

Saturday we took advantage of the weekend and slept in. When we finally made it out of bed (no later than 10) we decided to venture over to the Gwinnett International Farmers Market (also just another mere 6 miles from our house-in a different direction). We found amazing deals on fruits and veggies and even meats. We love good bargains! We stocked up on oranges, cucumbers, blueberries, blackberries, even got a few pomegranates too, as well as fresh green beans, okra, and cauliflower! I’m really looking forward to meals this week! Saturday afternoon we took it easy (I took a nap) before we loaded up the car and headed to Marietta for Movie Night with the Woods (and other frisbee friends)! We LOVE movie night and seeing our friends (especially since we moved away from Marietta and don’t get to see them as much as we use to). The featured film as Aliens (my first viewing). Such a fun night! We made it home around 2 and then were off to bed to get up early the next morning for ANOTHER jam packed day!

Yesterday we made our way to GCC (our new church that we are loving more and more) for a great service! We made it home and enjoyed some leftover chili (our contribution to the movie night potluck) and beer bread (thanks again for that recipe, Sarah) and Glee! After our food settled we made our way out to Stone Mountain (just 12 miles from the house-don’t we live by such great places) for our first bike ride of the year. It was a great ride, definitely challenging, and super hilly. We ended up walking around a bit after our bike ride and just enjoying each other and the BEAUTIFUL weather! We then made our way home and showered in preparation for our AMAZING date night thanks to GCC Young Couples Fellowship. We were given an envelope with a date in it (thanks to The Great Date Experience) and we had a blast. I won’t ruin it in case any of you want to try it out but just suffice to say we had a BLAST! I will say it ended with dancing in our living room… sweet! I am married to one very amazing man!

What’d you do with your weekend? Did you get out and enjoy the weather? Did you share it with someone you love? Did you just enjoy life and rejoice in the fact that God gave us another day on this earth? I definitely did! As you can see this weekend was about enjoying my hubby (we haven’t exactly had loads of time together lately) and the weather and just life in general and not my obsession with food and points. As such, there is no food break down for the weekend (I stayed within points but I wasn’t obsessed with them, I simply enjoyed my weekend). I will be breaking down today’s eating in tomorrow’s post so stay tuned for that.

I will also be putting away the scale for a few weeks. I think it has become quite an obsession as of late and I don’t think a healthy one. I’m going to be tracking 100% and Michael and I are starting our workout routine back up tonight so I’m going to be measuring non-scale victories for the next month instead of reading a scale. I just want to change things up a bit. I’ll definitely be keeping you posted about how it’s going! Until tomorrow: good eats!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dinner parties. And what's that? The motivation train pulling back through?

Mid-week dinner parties are the best! As most of you know part of my heart is being able to open up my home to our friends and play hostess and last night’s dinner date with the Shuover’s did my heart so much good! The boys occupied their time with video games while the ladies made dinner (and what a delicious dinner it was, thanks for the idea Becca, it was YUMMY). After dinner we made our way downstairs and spent the next hour laughing, dancing, and just having a good time. I’m telling you, if you haven’t tried it out “Just Dance 2” is the way to go. Especially if you have friends/family/guests over-super fun!

Not only did the dinner party make my Thursday awesome but it jump started my weekend beautifully-and we have one CRAZY weekend planned. Tonight we are going to Ringling Bros Circus. That’s right I said CIRCUS. I am giddy like a school girl. I was talking to my mom yesterday and we decided that it has been at least 20 years since I’ve made a trip to the circus. Granted, the circus I went to as a child was more just animals, but tonight’s show is supposed to be a spectacular display of animals, tricks, high-flying acrobatics, clowns, a ring master, and so much more-I CAN’T WAIT! (I am shamefully hoping the hubby let’s us have some cotton candy-I mean what trip to the circus wouldn’t be complete without it?) Tomorrow we are jamming our day full with a trip to the farmers market we just discovered, a ride on our bikes down the Silver Comet Trail, and movie night with our friends (I love seeing old friends)! Sunday we are busy with church and then a young couples date night sponsored by our church that evening. Needless to say, we shouldn’t lack for things to do this weekend! What are your weekend plans? Are you going to be active at all?

Speaking of active, I’m happy to report that in the last two days I have begun to get more active. Each day I’ve taken the dog for a 30 minute walk and played Just Dance 2 for about an hour. I can feel my energy level picking back up as I’m getting back on track with better eating choices and more activity also. It never ceases to amaze me how our body responds to the way we fuel it. Speaking of fueling our body, I had the chance to have an in depth conversation about a new “eating” plan last night and you may possibly be seeing the likes of that in the weeks to come. Stay tuned. Until next time (it’ll probably be a few days because I’m going to ENJOY my weekend and you should too): good eats!

Thursday Food Break Down:

Breakfast was another PB Banana Bagel Thin for 6 points.

Snacks during the work day included carrots with dip (2), string cheese (1), and blackberries.

Lunch included a turkey (meat from the deli not prepackaged) bagel thin.

Dinner was a concoction of stuff bell peppers (sort of). I cooked the chicken and then shredded it. We cut the peppers in half and baked them on 300 for 10 minutes. We cut up avocado, onion, tomato, and lettuce and then placed everything on the table so we could create our own pepper. Mine consisted of chicken (6 points), avocados (5 points), onions, pico, and jalapenos. It was SUPER delicious and super filling. I had 2 halves of a pepper but only finished one and made it a 1/3 of the way through the other one before having to dump out the toppings and just eat them with a fork because I was getting full. DELICIOUS!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Tuesday night I had the opportunity to head back to Cobb County (and our old apartment complex) to meet up with a friend for dinner. Isn’t seeing old friends nice? Something about good friends, good conversation, and good food just makes my heart satisfied. Interestingly, having dinner with that friend reminded me how much life has changed in the last 3 months. For as long as I can remember I was a student. I was working towards achieving something. Well, all that changed in December-I FINALLY graduated and for now (hopefully they’ll keep me but currently it’s temporary in status) I have a real job where I work M-F from 8-4 and have weekends free. Granted, during my long college adventure I had a real 40 hour a week job (working in a Pre-K classroom) so I saw what “working for the weekend” meant but not anywhere near as much as I understand and see it now. While working in Pre-K is challenging it is also fun and rewarding in a totally different sense then my current job. Sure it was mentally challenging but so is this.

(Pulling it back around to the actual point) My point is this: life changes. What this also made me realize is that our bodies change too-if we put in the right amount of effort and stick to it. What I find interesting is that after one bad week on the scale (as much as I would like to believe it wasn’t related to) and an injured hubby who can’t workout I am struggling to stay motivated-to workout, to eat as healthy as I was. Don’t get me wrong-I’m not going crazy with food or anything, but my food journal hasn’t been as well rounded as it was 2 weeks ago. Part of that is owed to the fact that I work 8 hours a day, I’m in the car 2 additional hours, and by the time I get home I’m zapped. I’ve been trying to be active but I haven’t been as successful as I’d have liked. So what do you do when you’ve lost your motivation? No, seriously, what do you do?

What I’ve come up with is this: I’m reevaluating my reasons for doing this: (1) being a healthier, happier human being, (2) creating an environment that is the healthiest possible for when we try to start having babies, (3) to live a longer, better life! I think I lose track of those reasons often because they are all LONG term and none are really for the RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW part of my life. As such, I’ve decided to adapt the plan a bit and add in some short term goals that will help me reach those long term ones that are the most important. I haven’t exactly given thought to what those are going to be yet (I’m open to some suggestions for reasonable short term goals) so look for that post in the next day or so.

On a separate, yet still related, note I have decided to (for the time being) give up running. Why? (1) I HATE it-I have never been a runner and find no joy in it at all. (2) I struggle to get motivated to do something every day when I HATE it. (3) I get easily frustrated with myself when I’m not improving each day. (4) It hurts. My hips are sore, my knee is dying, and did I mention already-I HATE it. 1-4 tells me it’s time to get a new activity. So, I’m reverting back to my old tried and true method of long, intense walks. I LOVE going for walks/hikes. It calms me and lifts my spirits while also doing something for my health. Now I don’t mean a casual stroll down the street, I mean pace up, really moving, walk. I came to this (I HATE running) conclusion last night as I set out for my evening run. I made it 1/10 of a mile and turned around, headed back home, got the dog and went for a 30 minute walk instead. My walk led me to shooting some hoops in the driveway (Michael still wasn’t home from work yet), which led to a game of H-O-R-S-E once Michael made it home (I won, as always), which led to a game of Just Dance 2 while dinner was cooking. Talk about a workout, if you ever want to “workout” without actually “working out” just get some friends together and play JD2-crazy fun but man it gets you moving.

I’m trying my hardest to get back in my groove. I find eating healthy in the morning and while at work is super easy but my hard time of the day when I struggle the most is between getting home from work and when Michael gets home from work. Knowing that I know that as soon as I get home and get settled in I have to put on the tennis shoes and hit the street (to walk). Again, I’m open to any and ALL suggestions for getting re-motivated and getting back on track. Until next time: good eats!

Tuesday Food Break Down:

Breakfast was 1 c Shredded Wheat cereal (not frosted) with a banana and milk. 7 points.

Lunch was leftover chicken in cream sauce for 7 points (a recipe I found at with 1 c of rice (5 points).

Snacks during the day included steamed sugar snap peas (I don’t know if that’s what they are called but they are the green pea pod things you get in Chinese dishes), blackberries, and a light string cheese (1 point).

Dinner was sushi (I had dinner with my friend at a place on the Marietta Sq that I’ve been craving since we moved away from Marietta) for 20 points (I don’t believe it was this many but I would rather over estimate than under. We then went to pinkberry and I had a small chocolate froyo with raspberries and yogurt chips. (7 points)

Monday Food Break Down:

Breakfast was a PB Banana Bagel Thin for 6 points.

Snacks included carrots with veggie dip (I mix lite sour cream with a package of hidden valley dips mix you can find in the salad dressing aisle of any grocery store) for 2 points, blackberries, a banana, and a light string cheese (1 point).

Lunch included a salad filled with veggies and blueberries w 1 T of walnuts and a Balsamic vinaigrette dressing for 6 points.

My after work before Michael gets home indulgencewere Doritos. 6 points

Dinner was Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole (a WW friendly recipe passed to me by my old meeting leader) for 8 points (I had just a slight bit more than 1 serving). It’s super easy to make: Brown your hamburger meat (we use 93% lean) and sauté an onion. Mix those with ½ can of cheddar cheese soup and ½ can of cream of mushroom soup. Place mixture in a glass baking dish and top with tater tots (or French fries if you prefer) and let it bake for about 30 minutes on 350.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011



While I would normally apologize for my MIA status, this time I’m not. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this idea of the blog helping motivate me, helping me along this journey, etc…and while it has it has also gotten in the way a time or two also. From the beginning I stated that I wanted this to be a lifestyle change-NOT a diet. After last Tuesday’s weigh in it became just that-a diet. I became obsessed with why my weigh-in didn’t go in my favor. I poured over my food journal and my activities log. I read back through my blog. I recalculated points. To say the least it wasn’t a healthy week mentally. I was frustrated, hurt, and while I put on a happy face and pretended to be okay with the scale, that’s not what this blog is about. So, in the name of TOTAL honesty, I have to say: I was PISSED. I had been working my butt off. I was eating within my points. I was doing all the right things. Granted, looking through my food journal it’s easy to see where I went wrong (all the super heavy meals at the end of the week right before weigh-in) but 5 lbs-SERIOUSLY?

With all that on my mind I decided to take a step back. While I continued to write down every bite I put in my mouth I didn’t obsess over the calculations and the points. In fact, on Friday night I enjoyed every bit of my date night with the hubby and didn’t one time hesitate to enjoy myself because of the points (I did take them into consideration when selecting a destination though and chose Korean BBQ over the always disastrous but incredibly delicious Taco Mac).

Every once in a while you just have to take a step back. As I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, this is a JOURNEY and I’d be totally UNREALISTIC if I thought for one second that every step of it was going to be perfect. I’m going to give in to indulgences, I’m going to skip workouts, I’m going to live life, because that’s what its there for. But, the next day (or next meal) I’m going to get right back in stride and keep moving forward.

While I did take the week off, and enjoyed the “rest”, I’d be lying like a dog if I told you that my body was happy about it. As I reported in earlier blogs when I was working out consistently and eating healthier foods (I didn’t go crazy this week, I still ate at home, didn’t have fried foods, etc…I just wasn’t having meals like fish and veggies) my body was in complete motivation mode and providing me with ample amounts of energy and great sleep. This week, however, I felt sluggish and unmotivated and to top it off I wasn’t getting great sleep (hence my early departure last night at 8 PM-that hasn’t happened since I was like 5). It’s amazing how our body rewards us when we take care of it! Weird, I know!

So here’s to a new week. I weighed in this morning and was at exactly the same spot I was after last week’s weigh-in. I didn’t gain-I stayed the same. Now to move forward; one step and one day at a time. How do you stay motivated when something let’s you down? I’d love to hear your tips and suggestions. I would also love to hear some tips/suggestions for ways to keep from becoming obsessed with counting points and calories. I want this to be a lifestyle and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life consumed with that constant voice in the back of my head discussing points consumed vs. points left for the day-that just isn’t any way to live.

I will get back to food breakdowns with tomorrow’s post! Until then: good eats!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Where has my motivation train gone?

I think the motivation train has left the station temporarily. At least the exercise one anyway. Last weekend Michael played Frisbee for the first time in quite a while. Sadly it didn’t end well for his hamstring. Since his injury I have run twice, I’ve done a run/walk, and 2 Power 90 workouts. However, the last 2 days after getting home from work have equated to just hanging out. The part that sucks is that the weather has been so amazing. I want to get out and run, I want to get out and ride bikes, I want to go for a hike but somewhere in my mind I seem to only want to do those things with the hubby-not alone. How do you find the motivation to stick with your exercise routine when you are doing them alone?

Beyond my lack of motivation for exercise I have been lacking the motivation to cook this week too. Thankfully Monday and Tuesday we used the crockpot and had 2 delicious meals. However, Wednesday and Thursday were quite different. We were supposed to have steak stir fry for dinner last night but I-in the midst of my crazy work day yesterday-somehow managed to skip lunch and when I got home at 5:15 I was starving. I tried to snack but by 6:15 eating dinner was unavoidable and seeing as the steak was still frozen I opted for the simple option of leftover chicken casserole. Why do I not want to cook this week? Did the crockpot spoil me? Am I that exhausted from work(mentally, obviously not physically)? Did Tuesday’s weigh in have that much of a negative affect on me? Shouldn’t that have worked in the opposite way-bad weigh in=extra motivation to cook healthier and exercise more? (On the positive side of Tuesday’s ugliness, I took my measurements this morning-I needed a pick me up-and while the scale is definitely not being my friend this week I’m still seeing smaller numbers with body measurements. Scale be damned.)

How can I get back in my groove? I’ve decided the only way to do it is by sheer force-that’s right, I’m going to just power through it. This weekend-with it’s sunshine, warm temps, and lack of work-will be filled with outdoor activities, movement and exercise, and cooking. What better way to get back on the train than just jumping on it? I have to keep reminding myself: no one else is going to make these changes for me, I have to make them for myself! I can’t ride on Michael’s coat tails to find my motivation for exercising-I have to do it without him.

This weekend is going to be beautiful, so get out there and enjoy the sunshine and the spring like temps! Until tomorrow (because the hubby and I are meeting for drinks tonight I think): good eats!

Thursday Food Break Down:

Breakfast was a piece of beer bread (leftover from the previous night’s dinner) for 5 points spread with butter for 2.

Somewhere in the middle of the morning I had a banana.

Lunch seemed to drift away from me and around 2 I had some pineapple and a pack of crackers (5).

When I got home I snacked on beer bread (it was the only thing in sight and I was ravenous) for 12 points-TERRIBLE.

Dinner was leftover chicken casserole and a ginger ale float for a treat afterwards for a total of 18 points.

Later in the evening I had another piece of beer bread (skipping lunch is NOT my friend) and ended up using 20extra points for the day leaving me with 4 going into the weekend where (as I already reported) I’m looking forward to sticking to only my daily points as I head into next week’s weigh in.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Life Happens

Again I have to offer my apologies for the lateness of this blog post. This was so much easier when I wasn’t working and all I was doing was hanging out at the house all day. Now it seems like I can’t ever find enough time in the day to get done what I need to do. My days went from “what should I do now that all the house work is done” to “when in the world is the house work going to get done.” Needless to say, the hour to two hours that was once dedicated to plowing through my thoughts, deciphering the important ones and plotting them out on paper has now become the 20-30 minutes before bedtime (after I’ve fit everything else into my evening that has to happen like cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen, walking the dog, doing my workout, and actually spending a few minutes with the hubby) that in all honestly has become increasingly more difficult to make happen. It’s sad. I LOVE this blog. I love what it has brought to my life and the habits it’s helping me form. I love that it has encouraged me to seek out other bloggers with the same basic idea (food, health, life) and the creative ideas I’ve gotten from reading them. I love the support all of you have offered during the early stages of this journey. Most importantly, I love being able to get all of these thoughts out of my mind (they are CONSTANT) and put them to paper because it helps me make sense of them and to think through them. Overall, I LOVE this blog. How do you fit everything into your day that has to be there? Are my time management skills in need of mending? Do any of you have any ideas about how I can fit more into my day? Again this makes me think of that earlier post when I reflected on “what’s this work thing for” I mean life would be so much easier if all I had to do all day was clean the house, walk the dog, and focus on this blog! =) That’s just a daydream!

Back to reality and what it means for this blog…

While I would love to think that I’m going to find the time to post EVERY day, sadly I have to be realistic. Most likely (while the goal is to blog every day) posts will come every other day now. Sad, I know. I’m going to try my hardest to post daily-again, it has become a passion-but sometimes life happens and timing just doesn’t work in my favor. Take last night for example-I got home, relaxed (I could have posted but my brain and my eyes needed a break from the computer screen), walked the dog, got dinner ready, ate, spent time with the hubby, and then (thanks to the idea of a good friend) we went out for a little mini date to get some bubble tea. By the time we got home, got ready for bed, and spent some much needed time just hanging out blogging was a distant reality. So, for those days were life just must be lived you’ll have to look for a post the next day! When that happens there will be food breakdowns for all days missed. Regardless of posts I am still journaling a way-and what do you know, this far down the road it has become so much easier, not a hassle at all, almost like second nature!

I’m also currently reading several books (thanks to the Gwinnett County public library system) and will be sharing all about that soon as I’ve gotten some fun recipes and some new ideas to try.

Wednesday Food Breakdown:

Breakfast was an English Muffin (3) with butter (2).

Lunch was more veggie soup (3).

Snacks (throughout the whole day) 2 bananas, carrots, tzatziki dip (2), pack of crackers-whole grain with cheese (5), an apple, and ½ a pack of crackers-sour cream and chives that I shared with the hubby (2.5).

Dinner was leftover bbq that I ate as an open faced sandwich on a loaf of beer bread (I got the recipe from Sarah-we’ve been swapping so many lately and I LOVE it) that was super easy to make and definitely delicious. I had 1 and a half servings for 18.5 points which dipped into myextra points by 7.

Our after dinner date included a trip to Mozart’s Bakery for bubble tea (we are trying to find a place near the house that can compare to our favorite place for bubble tea Pho Bac on Buford Highway-so far no luck) for 8 points. Overall that put me at 15 over for the day leaving me with 24 extra points left for the week. This week I’ve decided to use them at the beginning of the week (a method that worked well for me in the past) instead of loading up at the end of the week right before weigh in.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One step at a time....One day at a time

Heartbreak. That’s exactly what I felt this morning when I stepped off the scale for my weekly weigh in. I was in pieces-I know a bit over dramatic, but it was so disheartening. I was in disbelief, then shock, then anger, then an emotional wreck, and finally I pulled it together. My scale-I hate that thing by the way-reported to me that I was up 5 lbs this morning. How is that possible? I was COMPLETELY within my points last week. Then it dawned on me. While the beginning of my week last week was good, the end of my week (mainly Friday-Monday) wasn’t so grand. I consumed pasta, Mexican food, French fries, and desserts; all things I haven’t really been consuming in the last 4 weeks. On top of that, each of those meals were larger portions than the other meals I’ve been having lately. To take it a step further-as a friend so kindly pointed out to me this morning in my “calming down” mode-each weekend day I had 2 larger meals and no snacks. Definitely not the plan I’d been following the previous 4 weeks. Anywho, after my initial emo attack I pulled it together and realized I have a lot to celebrate-regardless of what that damn scale says! I shaved 10 seconds off my mile time this weekend. I have been active 4-5 days each week (way more consistency with workouts than I’ve seen in the last 3 years combined). I’m losing inches all over my body (I measured at the beginning of this journey and use those measurements as non-scale victories). I’m already in better shape (I didn’t say good shape, just better than I was). So, I’m going to hold my chin high, put one foot in front of the other and just keep walking the other direction.

So many times in the past-with my numerous attempts at WW-I would have taken a weigh-in like this mornings and created an excuse: “I’ll start over next week,” “well I’m already up I’ll just keep having whatever I want,” “I don’t need to keep exercising because I’m not seeing any weight results.” We’ve all been there, right? When the scale isn’t the one reporting the good news to us we get discouraged. We think our efforts and for nothing. If you are like me, you give up. Well, thank goodness I’ve already started created healthier habits in my life because I’m not going to allow this minor setback to derail my goals. As a friend told me this morning, “who gives a crap about 5 lbs.” Well, honestly I do, hence the near emotional breakdown this morning, but I’m certainly not going to let it affect me in a negative way.

In fact, I’ve already been through my journal for the last 4 weeks and made some very heavy mental notes regarding my food choices in the previous weeks vs. last week. I’ve gone for my run and done Power 90 sculpt (all without the hubby because he’s hurt). I’ve made up my mind that this is going to be a morning that I look back on and laugh about. Have you had an obstacle thrown in your path? How’d you overcome it? Did you give up or keep moving forward? It’s way easier said than done but-ONE DAY AT A TIME.

I just have to add that I’m the luckiest girl ever. I have some of the best girl friends ever. This morning I was able to talk through my weigh in, my reasonings for the not so great outcome, get some ideas, and have a sounding board that in the end was the best part of my day all because I have such sweet, amazing, supportive friends. I would be so lost on this journey without you girls-and all your support! You are definitely keeping me in high spirits and uplifted. I know it seems like every time I turn around I’m posting another thanks, but truly where would we be without the love and support of our friends (and family)? They understand our hearts, our secret thoughts, our desires, and they even know when we are being melodramatic and ridiculous-if you don’t have a support system like this (not just for this journey but for LIFE) I seriously suggest your reevaluate some stuff and get some. Until tomorrow: good eats!

Tuesday Food Breakdown:

Breakfast was an English muffin (3) with butter (2).

Snacks today included a banana, strawberries, and baby carrots with tzatziki dip (2).

Lunch was another 2 c of that delicious homemade veggie soup for (3.5 points).

Dinner included a BBQ recipe- I got from one of those dear friends (which she posted on her blog –that called for the meat to sit in the crockpot on low all day while I was at work and required little other work from me. Definitely check out her blog-and her recipe. To go with it I made broccoli and rice and a batch of my mom’s homemade BBQ sauce that added an entirely different dimension to the goodness of the meat. So I had ¾ of a c of meat for 7 points, ¾ c of rice for 3.5 points, and broccoli for 0.

Dessert was a cookie creation I made Sunday night (recipe to come soon) with a touch of ice cream. Dessert also brought with it the conversation telling my husband to take the cookies to work or they’d find their way to the trash can-or the freezer! Desserts total was 9 points.

With the 9 points for dessert it put me at a total for the day of 30 points using 1 extra point from my weekly points (I’m reverting back to my old ways-extra points get used within 2 days of weigh-in or don’t get used at all; it’s just a better option for weighing in).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just another day

Valentine’s has arrived. A day full of flowers, cards, “I love you”, dinners, candies, and gifts. A day for business owners to pad their bottom line. As a female I love all the things that Valentine’s offers, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that I don’t need a specific day, especially one created by Corporate America, set aside each calendar year for me to let my hubby know how much I love him. Sure I love flowers, sure I love candies, sure I love going out on dates. However, I don’t need February 14th to roll around just to get them-or the “love” that this holiday is supposed to be about. In fact, I try to show my husband just how much he means to me every day.

So what are our Valentine’s plans? Good question! For V-Day 2011 the Foxes will be chowing down on some delicious homemade vegetable soup that I threw in the crockpot this morning and let cook all day while I was at work. We will probably follow our usual nightly routine of just spending quality time together and we will end the night with a yummy treat I made last night. We also decided instead of giving gifts anymore we would find an activity that we could enjoy together. This year that activity is going to a Rock Climbing gym near us and, well you guessed it, rock climbing (we will probably have to wait a few weeks though because Michael hurt his leg playing Frisbee this past weekend). I’m super excited about it. I’ve never done it, but with my new found motivation for working out and trying to get fit I thought it could be quite the adventure. What are your plans for the holiday? Does it involve food? Did you plan ahead? All too often, especially for me for sure, holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, V-Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day) always seem to revolve around food. Sadly that also means that I usually overindulge and end up feeling not only guilty but miserable from the indulging. Luckily this year I have made numerous changes to my lifestyle and holidays will no longer stand in my way!

I wish you and yours a very happy love day! Whatever your plans, don’t forget what this day is TRULY about and make sure you love that person wholeheartedly and unconditionally! A great friend who is oh so wise reminded me “we only have one life and we only live it once” so make the most of it! Until tomorrow: good eats!

Saturday Food Breakdown:

Brunch was a salad I made using spinach, blueberries, cucumber, onions, ½ sweet potato (2), croutons (1), blue cheese (1) and dressing (3) for a total of 7 points.

Dinner was my chicken casserole (recipe in a previous blog) with 1 c of rice for 14 points.

Dessert was a fruit cobbler I made with ¾ c of vanilla ice cream for 18 points. It was my indulgence for the week and it was AH-MAY-ZING!

I ran 2.5 miles today and walked another 1.5 miles.

Fruit Cobbler

1 package of strawberries

¼ c of sugar

1 box yellow cake mix

1 stick of butter

Cut up strawberries and then cover with sugar and let sit for a while to juice. Once ready, pour strawberries into a glass baking dish and top with the box of cake mix. Melt your butter and then pour on top of your cake mix and then place in oven to bake on 350 for about 30-35 minutes or until the cake is to your liking. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!

Sunday Food Break Down:

Breakfast was a bowl of oatmeal (8 points) with all the usual suspects present and just as delicious as ever.

Lunch was leftover chicken casserole and rice for 14 points.

Dinner was a turkey sandwich with French fries (I’ve been craving them) for 20 points which means I used 13 extra points.

I went for a run and walked afterwards and then did power 90 sculpt.

Monday Food Breakdown:

Breakfast was an English muffin with butter for 4 points.

Lunch was Cajun Crab Dip from Publix with crackers for 14 points.

Snacks included strawberries, blueberries, carrots, a pickle, and a pack of cheese and chives crackers for 5 points.

Dinner was my homemade veggie soup that cooked all day while I was at work. I had 3 c for 5.5 points. Super yummy and super filling. A great choice for a light dinner before tomorrow mornings weigh in!

Vegetable Crockpot Soup

1 pkg frozen mixed veggies

¾ pkg of frozen okra

5 small potatoes cubed

1 46 oz can of tomato juice

1 can of veggie broth

1 beef bullion cube dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water

1 pkg of mushrooms

**mix all your ingredients together in a crockpot, set to low and let cook all day**

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ranting, Raving, and Peace!

First I must apologize for the lateness of this post. I had quite an unusual Friday afternoon and it afforded me the opportunity to spend it with the hubby-needless to say I chose time with the hubby (so hard to come by these days) over posting. Please forgive me. Second, I must thank a dear friend for her sweet text making sure everything was okay when I hadn’t posted. I can’t tell you how much that kind of support means! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Third, I need to vent a little. As a recap, Thursday’s post was quite short because I was a little befuddled. Well no more. In fact, today my thoughts are clear and quite honestly I’m perturbed. So I apologize in advance for the ranting and venting that is about to take place but as this blog has become my voice in a sense I feel like it is the perfect place to let some of this frustration out and I feel like some of you will be able to relate to it, if not at least understand where I’m coming from, and at the very least just be an ear to listen.

So, to the point. Thursday after I posted I got a phone call from my hubby informing me that it was going to be yet another late night at work. The man has been working RIDICULOUS hours recently. One night last week (maybe the week before) he got home at 4:30 in the morning-I’m not making this up. Most weeks he’s working 60+ hours. To make it worse, Thursday night he didn’t even come home. That’s right he spent the night at the office working on a project that had to go out yesterday. As if the hours weren’t bad enough, it’s worsened by the fact that all too often it seems like he’s the only one in the office working that hard. To take it a step further, he is paid a salary. What does that mean? It means all those extra hours he’s working is basically free labor for his company. To take that a step further a guy that recently left the company to join another firm has just been “rehired” by Michael’s firm to work overtime. No, not to come back and work the normal 8-5 (he still has his other job) but to work after hours and weekends getting paid time and a half to do what Michael is already doing-for FREE. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, one of the reasons Michael is so swamped is because the guy left in the first place. Now, I understand the need for work, working long hours if it’s required, etc…so why am I ranting? What is my problem? I LOVE this man. He is my heart and soul. When his heart hurts, mine hurts double. So my problem is this: I see the stress, I see the frustration, I hear the complaints (there are other things but in today’s day and age you never know who will read this so SOME discretion is necessary), I know the hurt and my heart aches. I’m way more protective of him than I am myself and far more than he is of himself. To make it worse, there is nothing I can really do about it but be supportive. But how am I supportive when I don’t really support what’s going on in the workplace? I just smile, love on him, reassure him, and attempt to keep my chin up for both of us. In fact at 9:30 Thursday night I had the dog loaded into the car along with food, clothes and a pillow and was on my way to his office. I can at least be supportive in that manner. I got a bit emotional (go figure, me, emotional-NEVER, haha) because it just kills me and then on the way home I heard the new Rascal Flatts song “I won’t let go” and hearing the chorus of that song made me BAWL…it sums up our marriage and our relationship beautifully:

I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you’ve done all you can do
If you can’t cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won’t let go

Even putting these words here now make me teary because I know-regardless of the situation-my husband would be by my side, drying my eyes, helping me through and fighting my fight! He’s such an INCREDIBLE man. Some of you know our story (and for the rest of you I’m sure I’ll share it soon) and these lyrics do a beautiful job of explaining what 6, nearly 7 years, has looked like for us. So when he struggles, you see, I want to just step up and fight his fight, but I know this is one that I have to “stand by his side and help him through” with instead. Way easier said than done. What I want to do is march right into his boss’ office and complain-much like a mother goes to the principal’s office when her kid is being bullied! I just want the best for him. I’m so over protective. I’m also a bit selfish. All those hours he’s spending at work means he obviously isn’t at home with me. In the past week I’ve gone to work, worked my hours, gotten home and then been by myself for at least 4 hours before he ever made it home. Then we get 2, maybe 3, hours together and it’s time for bed only to get up and repeat all over again the next day. This also (referring back to one of my earlier posts this week) makes me have even stronger feelings of “what’s it all for”. I know work is necessary, I know, I just feel like sometimes what we don’t get done today will still be there waiting for us tomorrow. Needless to say, once I picked him up from work yesterday at 3:30 we made our way home and straight into bed (he slept hardly any Thursday and because he wasn’t home and in bed I didn’t sleep well either) for a nap. After nap time we decided what better way to end the week than to let someone else cook and clean (a bit of a change from our normal routine) and we hit up one of our favorite places-a little Mexican restaurant we found within the first week of moving into the house.

This brings me to a whole different rant (one that I’m ashamed to admit, seriously made me feel terrible, but has motivated me all the more). As we were leaving the lady at the front asked me when I was due. Granted, when we were leaving the house I stopped by the mirror to check myself out and thought “this shirt definitely looks like it was made for maternity wear” but it is a super cute shirt and I love it. Let’s just say I’ll NEVER be wearing it again until I am pregnant. But seriously, who asks that? I wanted to reply “we just lost it” or something equally terrible to make her feel as bad as she had just made me feel. Sadly, I had just started feeling comfortable with where I was and knowing that change was coming. It was just so frustrating. Stupid shirt. And, stupid b***h lady. In my mind I know that the shirt played a lot into her asking me that question (I mean it does the tie around the back thing and everything like preggo shirts), but her question upset me for 2 reasons: (1) I’m NOT pregnant but deep down would love to be right now-but the hubby isn’t ready, and (2) she basically issued the ultimate “fat” joke. Now, I wasn’t going to post this. This obviously is something I struggled with. But, as you ladies (the ones of you reading this most frequently, anyway) are some of my BEST friends in the world I feel comfortable (well not really but sorta) sharing this pain with you. Regardless, I’m not going to let the stupid comment of one ignorant lady (seriously, who asks that any more)get me off kilter. In fact, I’m going to use it for extra motivation. Michael is off playing Frisbee today which generally would mean I wouldn’t work out because we have been doing it together-NOT today. I’m taking the dog for a run on my own and doing our p90x shoulders and arms by myself. It’s like I said in an earlier post, no one else can do it for me-I have to do it for myself. And that’s what this whole journey is about-ME!
Thanks for being my shoulder to cry on. Seriously it does a soul good to just get it out. Until next time: good eats!

Friday food breakdown:

Breakfast was yet another bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, banana, walnuts, chocolate chips and syrup for 8 points. This is super yummy and RIDICULOUSLY filling. Try it out.

Lunch was leftover sweet and sour pork with rice for 8 points.

Snacks included a pickle, an apple, and 1 T of chocolate chips for 2 points.

Dinner included chips and salsa (8 points) and a new dish which was a culmination of chorizo and flank steak. I’m not exactly sure on the calculation (and have no clue how to look it up) so I’m breaking it down like this (based on the dining out book): chorizo 6 points (the book-in the Mexican section-says 1 link is 12 and I had nowhere near 1 link and I didn’t even finish what I had) and flank steak (3 oz cooked is 4 and I have no idea how much I had so better safe than sorry) for 7. I didn’t have any of the beans, rice, or tortillas served with it. I did have my first coke in a month and it was AMAZING. My favorite thing ever is coke with Mexican food. So, coke for 6 (again, no idea but rather safe than sorry) points. This makes dinners total 27 (I think it was probably less but I’m going with it) which means I was 16 over and into my extra points. It was super yummy and so worth it. Every once in a while you just have to treat yourself!