Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Be your own best friend!

Last night, I binged.  My MFP friends were all so supportive!  It made me wonder why am so hard on myself, when I could be treating myself like I would treat others.  I was inspired to create this list.  Feel free to add to it in your comment.  :-)

[image source]

Things that I would say to my best friend if they told me that they had binged last night:

"It's okay!  It happens to the best of us."

"Don't get hung up on the binge!  Move on immediately."

"'Fat' isn't a feeling."

"What you eat doesn't make you 'good' or 'bad'".

"You tracked it!  YAY!!!  Think about all the times that you binged in the past and DIDN'T track.  You have come so far."

"It wasn't even that bad.  Remember all those times that you sat at home watching TV eating an entire (probably family-sized) bag of Ruffles with a whole jar of dip?  Plus some Little Debbies?  And that was just to tide you over until your Digiorno pizza was done cooking?  Oh yeah, and you hadn't exercised at all that day?  Think about how far you've come since THEN."

"One binge is NOT going to ruin your diet.  You will NOT gain a pound from an extra 1000 calories one day.  You're going to be just fine."

"Aren't you PMS-ing?  Give yourself a break.  It could have been much worse, and you know it."

"Drink some water.  Eat something nutritious when you feel hungry again.  Exercise a bit more tomorrow.  You'll be just fine."

"Go blog about it.  You will feel better."

Monday, July 25, 2011


I just got my 150th follower!!!    YAY!!!

This means that it's time for my next giveaway.  I will be putting it together this week, so be looking out for it! 

hint:  It will probably be shockingly simular to the last one, but with more chances to win, plus a little something extra!

***EDITED TO ADD: Life is pretty busy right now, so this giveaway will happen next week, not this week!  Thanks for understanding.  :-)

Good-bye, goal jeans!

my American Eage size 10 (2002) goal jeans
First of all, an updated weight loss ticker, to show you how awesome MFP is working for me again:

BTW, I keep this ticker at the bottom of my blog

I was down 2.2 pounds last week.  CRAZY, I know!  I'm back down to 146.4, so I'm only 1.4 pounds away from being back to the weight I was in the latest progress pictures, and only 6.4 pounds away from my current goal weight.  The only "problem" with my losing this quickly is that I really don't want to lose muscle, I want to lose FAT only.  So I'm thinking about changing my MFP settings to lose .5 a week, since they are currently set to lose 1 pound per week, and I've lost more than 2 pounds a week 2 weeks in a row...  I know, such a "problem".

Anway, back to the point of this post:  My goal jeans.

After my awesome weigh-in on Sunday, I thought to myself "Surely I almost fit into my goal jeans now!" so I took them off the wall and tried them on.  They. Would. Not. Go. Past. My. Thighs.

6.4 more pounds will not be enough to get them to fit.  If there was some miracle way to ensure that all the pounds that I lose from here on out would come straight off of my upper thighs, butt, hips, and lower abdomen, then I would just adjust my goal weight back down to 135.  HOWEVER, my face, shoulders, neck, and breasts do not want to lose any more weight.  Seriously, all of those body parts are done losing weight, they are perfection, they are happy.  And somehow, they are what keep on shrinking. 

Therefore, I've made the decision to get rid of the goal jeans.  Once I get down to my goal weight, I will buy some new goal jeans, ones that fit my body perfectly.

And yes, there was a point in my life that these jeans fit perfectly.  But...  I had an eating disorder and I was 20 years old.  Eating and exercising in moderation, as well as aging 6.5 years, are both big factors in what my body has become.  It's more pear-shaped than it was back then.  I have more lumps (lovely lady lumps, mind you) and bumps that are shrinking, but not disappearing. 

Learning body love and body acceptance has been a huge part of this journey for me.  I love my body, and am even learning to love the parts that all women have been trained to hate (cellulite, stretch marks, extra skin, etc). 

I'm going to put another swimsuit shot (recycled, you've seen it before) up here, just to prove again that yes, I may still be curvy and lumpy, but I'm happy with my body, and you should be happy with yours, too. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Some thoughts about the last 5 months...

As you all know, I'm less than 10 pounds from reaching my goal weight (assuming, of course, that I don't adjust it AGAIN, in which case I'm probably even closer).

Another thing that you probably know about me:  I reached a goal weight of 144 pounds several weeks ago, and tried out Intuitive Eating as a method to maintain that loss... only to gain back 9 pounds in 6 weeks.  Back up to 153...

And I have ZERO regrets about that.  It was a learning experience.  I learned that although I may really want to be an Intuitive Eater, I'm just not ready for that yet.  Maybe within a couple of years, I'll try again.  But for now, and for the foreseeable future, I need to track my food if I'm going to even maintain my weight.  That thought does not depress me, it empowers me.  I'm thrilled that I know what I need to do, and I'm also pretty happy that I'm not alone in this.  Many people need to keep on tracking their food to maintain and to lose weight. 

I just looked back at a weight tracking chart of mine, to see exactly when I crossed the threshold from "Overweight" to "Healthy/Normal Weight" and it was on February 12 of this year.  That is when I weighed in at 153.4.  My original goal weight was 135, so when I got to this normal weight milestone, I thought that I still had about 20 pounds left to lose, and probably assumed that I would keep on losing about a pound a week and would weigh about 135-ish by NOW.

This weight-loss thing has definately been a huge learning experience for me.  I never thought that I would be okay with basically maintaining for 5 months while trying to lose the last few pounds.  But I actually am okay with it.  No big deal.  I'm happy with my body and I'm happy with my life, and losing the last few pounds has just not been the number one priority in my world, and THAT IS AWESOME for me, since there have been scary times in my past when thoughts about my body and my weight literally ruled my world.

Now that I've found My Fitness Pal and am back to full-time tracking, I'm not worried that I'll keep on maintaining.  I'm sure that I'll get to my goal weight of 140, and then I'm sure that I'll be able to maintain at my goal range of 138-142. 

I've been on MFP for 1 month, and have lost 4.4 pounds.  I'm back to my 1 pound a week average.  Does that mean that I'll lose the last 8.6 in the next 8.6 weeks?  Who knows.  It's a journey, and I'm pretty happy with how it's going.  Here's a picture of my MFP tracker.  And yes, those are Alyssa Milano's abs that I'm using as motivation, bwahaha!  It's mostly a joke, since I have a completely different body type from her.

Where are you on your weight loss journey? 
Still losing, maintaining, happy with your progress?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

a cleaner 1300 calorie day!

Once again, I forgot some pictures...  but I remembered to photograph lunch and afterwards.  So bear with me for the morning.  :-)

Here is a 1300 calorie day in which I focused on cutting way back on processed foods and ate a lot more of a "clean" diet.

Breakfast:  banana, overnight oats (made with 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup almond milk)

Morning snacks:  grapes, almonds

Lunch was savory oats!  I made oatmeal (with water) and mixed in some beans, tomatoes, spinach, shredded carrots, and EVOO.  I was skeptical about savory oats at first, but it has become one of my favorite whole grains!

My afternoon snack was a Fuji apple!  My favorite kind of apple... YUM.

Dinner was a bunch of broccoli mixed with some rice and beans.  I swear there were more beans and was more rice than appears in this picture!  The broccoli dwarfed them.  Oh yeah, there was a teaspoon of EVOO mixed in with this, too. 

obligatory self-portrait...  I thought that today was a great hair day for me, so I had to sneak this picture in!

and finally, I ate the rest of this vegan chocolate bar...  If you are vegan and miss the taste of milk chocolate, I cannot recommend this bar more.  It tastes just like milk chocolate to me!  Even Stacey says that it tastes like a Hershey's bar!

I must admit that I felt WAY less deprived today than I did on last week's 1300 calorie day.  I am pretty sure it's because (until the chocolate bar) I focused entirely on more whole foods than last week. 

Total calories: 1302

Tomorrow, back to exercise, which means it's a higher calorie day! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

PB & Banana snack

What should you do when you feel like eating some serious junk food but don't want to blow your whole day? 

And no, it's not "pour yourself a bowl of Special K", though I'm sure that would work, too. 

Create a healthy(ish) dessert, and enjoy every bite!

Here is a simple recipe for a peanut butter and banana "cake". 

- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 1 medium banana
- 1 tablespoon sugar free syrup
- 2 sandwich thins

Layer all ingredients however you want, I did the following:  1/2 sandwich thin, 1 teaspoon PB, 5 slices banana, 1/2 sandwich thin, some syrup, 1/2 sandwich thin, 1 teaspoon PB, 5 slices PB, 1/2 sandwich thin, 1 teaspoon PB, the rest of the banana slices, and some more syrup!  Microwave on high for 20 seconds.  EAT.

total calories: 372

Learning to love exercise as a calorie-counter

When I first started using My Fitness Pal, I loved that I was encouraged to eat my earned exercise calories! 

However, two bad(ish) things have come out of this:

1) On my days of rest (DOR), I only get to eat 1310 calories, which just isn't a lot of food. 

2)  My workouts have become all about the calorie burn.


I want working out to be FUN again!  I don't want to worry about the calories burned during my workouts, and I absolutely was loving being an intuitive exerciser, even if I wasn't ready to be an intuitive eater yet.

She loves exercise!!! (or is getting paid)
[image source]

So how can I get back to a more intuitive and enjoyable approach to exercise?

That's my goal for this week.  I'm going to re-learn to LOVE EXERCISE, and to stop worrying so much about the calories burned.

Today's plan-  run/walk on the treadmill!  This is a workout that I always love, so I'm not worried about it.  I'm going to go for 40 minutes and burn approximately 359 calories.  Since joining MFP, I've become almost obsessed with doing 60 minutes of cardio a day, to earn anywhere from 500-700 exercise calories that I then EAT!  So my 40 minutes goal for today is actually a step towards learning to love exercise again.

About those DORs, I'm planning to have one on Wednesday.  I am going to try to stick to more whole foods than processed things, as suggested by many of my readers, to see if that helps me to feel less deprived on 1300 calories.  I sure hope so! 

Tomorrow I will do Tasty Tuesday, and hopefully Wednesday I'll do a much healthier and more whole foods edition of "my 1300 calorie day" for you guys.

Do you enjoy exercise?  What is your favorite type to do?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My 1300 Calorie Day!

Okay, you guys...  I did it.  Or rather, I'm about to finish up anyway!  I have one more snack planned for the evening, and after that, I will have finished my first 1310 calorie day.

Why 1310?  Because My Fitness Pal has that as my set "net calories" intake.  And today is a day of rest, so I did not earn any exercise calories to add to that total.  So...  I thought that I would try this out again.  I tried to do this the last two weeks on my DOR, but ended up going over both times.

This week, I figured "It's just one day.  Why not try to see  if I can really do it?"  And so...  I am. 

For some of you, this may seem like a good amount of calories.  But for me, it's NOT.  On a day that I eat pretty much what I want to eat and feel GREAT, I eat about 2000 calories.  Since I'm trying to lose a pound a week, I've cut that down to 1500-1800 typically, and though I'm not eating everything that I'd naturally love to eat, I'm not uncomfortable. 

But... 1310?  Why don't you just shoot me and get it over with.  That's not food, that's air.

I'm only joking!  It hasn't actually been that bad.   I thought that since some of you may be like me and have no clue how one would survive off of such a trivial amount of food, I would share my day of eats with you! 

I started off taking pictures, but then after lunch, I forgot about that plan.  So I will show you the first few things that I ate, followed by mere descriptions.

Okay, here goes. 

8:15am- Luna Bar (180)
8:30am- Unpeel banana.  See one big bruise...  Throw banana away. (0)
9:30am- almonds (75)
10:30am- Craisins (100)

1:00pm- salad with spinach, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, vinegar, EVOO (103)

      Boca burger on sandwich thin (condiments not counted)- 200

2:00pm- another sandwich thin + some grapes (134)

5:30pm- beans and rice with veggies and EVOO (312)

in a few minutes- sandwich thin with some peanut butter (176)


So... I did it.  BUT, I don't know if I ever want to do it again.  Today was not a fun food day.  Also- I don't know if you noticed or not, but I ate 3 sandwich thins in one day.  Plus some other processed stuff disguising as health food, like that Luna Bar.

I'm not sure if I will do this again next week, but it is nice to know that I CAN. 

Back to my regularly scheduled high-calorie meals tomorrow!

If you want to see my food diary, join My Fitness Pal and friend me, I share my food diary with my friends.  I'm VeganGal84 over there!  :-) 

Thanks for reading, and I hope that you are all having wonderful days!
Oh, and... P.S.  I would love to get a few more followers!  I just really want to get to 150 already so that I can do my next giveaway!  So help me out if you want, and share this blog with other people that you know who like to read blogs.  I promise to make the giveaway extra good this time. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Results NOT Typical...?

Why must this disclaimer be beneath every professional before-and-after photo?

*results not typical

AAAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!!!  Surely I'm not the only person who finds this disclaimer terrible. 

It looms in the back of my mind sometimes, taunting me into believing that even if I reach my weight loss goal of losing 80 pounds, the odds against me maintaining that are nill. 


I am sick of the fear of re-gain.  Why shouldn't my good results be typical?  Why can't we all get to our goal weights and stay there?  Why must the results be "not typical"?

As of this moment, I'm going to use that disclaimer as motivation.  But I don't want my results to be atypical.  No, I want to change the disclaimer altogether.  Let's work together to make "results not typical" a thing of the past, and start having great weight loss results be the typical thing!

A pipe dream?  Maybe. 

When I get to my goal weight of 140 (10.8 pounds to go!), I will post a before and after photo for all to see, and it will say in bold print "results typical".  Because... why not?  ;-)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

recipe: more beans and rice!

This is an example of a big, delicious, healthy, vegan meal.  Oh yeah, and it's EASY!!!

1 bag of frozen broccoli, steamed in the microwave
1 cup of cooked brown rice (mine was leftovers!)
1 cup of black beans, canned (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup canned tomatoes (with green peppers and celery)
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the broccoli according to directions (5 minutes in the microwave usually).  Top with rice, then tomatoes, then beans.  Drizzle the EVOO over it.  Add salt and pepper, and stir all ingredients together.

You can adjust the amounts of these foods to adapt to different calorie-counts and PointsPlus values.  If you make it with the amounts listed exactly as they are here, and are on Weight Watchers, this is an 11 PointsPlus meal, or 0 PointsPlus if you are on the Simply Filling Technique.  If you count calories, this is a 571 calorie meal. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Yes, I know that today is actually Wednesday, but it feels like Tuesday because of the long weekend!  So I forgot about Tasty Tuesday yesterday and did it today instead. 

Here's another day of calorie-counting with My Fitness Pal:

Here's the last of breakfast, because I was too hungry to remember to take a picture of it first!  It was a bowl of oatmeal made with almond milk, with a bit of applesauce and syrup.

Lunch was brown rice with black and kidney beans, some canned tomato, and a teaspoon of EVOO.

These are the snacks that I ate between lunch and dinner:  1 medium banana, 1 ounce of cocoa roast almonds, and 1 Luna Bar.  I love snacks!!!

After an hour of interval training on the treadmill, I enjoyed 3/4 cup of these:  Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans!  I had forgotten how delicious these are. 

My evening snack was some Wasa crackers with salsa.  This is one of my favorite snacks! 

1716 calories eaten
- 556 calories earned with exercise
= 1150 net calories

I try to aim for at least 1300 net calories a day, but I went over by a couple of hundred yesterday, so I'm sure that it is okay to be a bit under today.  Today is a good example of the healthy-ish vegan eating that I strive for!  The only thing is that I wish that I could have incorporated more vegetables and healthy fats.  There's always tomorrow, though!

Two Years Smoke-Free!!!

I was supposed to write this entry yesterday, but I think that I was putting too much pressure on myself to write something truly epic.  Something that would make you think, make you laugh, make you cry, and make you just get it...

I'm over that idea now.  I've decided to just write free-style and see what happens.

I quit smoking two years ago (July 5, 2009 to be exact).  Much like when I decided to finally lose the weight for good, something just clicked inside me.  I knew that I didn't want to be a smoker forever.  I knew that the reasons that I smoked just didn't hold up anymore, and that I was ready to walk away from something that had brought me comfort for years, but that could ultimately kill me.  Seriously, there are a lot of simularities between quitting binge-eating and quitting smoking.  And I knew that back then, too.

The main reason that I knew it was the right time for me to quit smoking was Weight Watchers.  I had joined WW in May of 2009, and had done it under the pretense of "wanting to get healthy".  And yet... I still smoked a pack of cigarettes a day.  Therefore, I was either being a hypocrite, or I was lying about why I wanted to lose weight.  Either way was not okay with me, so I decided that it was time to get healthier in all aspects, including quitting smoking.  I wanted to get WW down first, so I waited a couple of months before giving quitting a go.

Why did I start smoking to begin with?  It's not much of a story, and it's pretty dumb but here it is.  I was in recovery for my eating disorder, at around age 20.  I quickly became best friends with one of the other girls in the program, and she was a heavy smoker.  One day while out with her, I decided to buy my own pack of cigs that were just like hers.  She always looked so elegant and "cool" when she smoked, and I wanted to get that feeling.  Also, she was much skinnier than I was, and I was jealous and thought that cigarettes may have helped her to get so skinny and to keep her mind off of food and ED-recovery.  She and I went to her family's beach house and smoked and drank all weekend.  I felt happy and clouded, like I didn't have a care in the world! 

When my boyfriend at the time found the pack of cigarettes, he got very angry and told me that I had to choose between him and the cigarettes.  I loved him so naturally I chose him.  After just a couple of days of smoking, it was pretty easy to quit cold turkey.  I didn't look back.  Until... we broke up.  Then I used the breakup as an excuse to start smoking full time.  He wasn't the boss of me anymore, I was a single and independant woman, and I could smoke if I wanted to. 

I used cigarettes as a crutch for the next couple of years, and they became my best friend.  Always there for me when I was stressed, when I was angry, and especially when I was lonely.  All throughout my abusive relationship with my ex-fiance (not to be confused with ex-boyfriend above), cigarettes were there for me.  At least they would never call me fat or ugly, and they were always there, not judging me.  When I finally left my ex-fiance, cigarettes took over my life, but I also allowed food to take over.  Do you see a pattern here?

When boyfriend #1 and I broke up, I started smoking because he hated it and hadn't allowed it.  When fiance and I broke up, I kept on smoking, but started binge-eating because he never allowed me to eat and called me "fat" all of the time.  Two terribly unhealthy things that I did, both out of spite for relationships gone wrong.  If only I had had the self-esteem to not let bad relationships drive me into doing things that were bad for me and that could ultimately have killed me.

Fast forward to late 2007:  I met a man who loved and respected me for who I was (binge-eating and chain-smoking included.)  For awhile, the fact that this man loved me even though I overate and smoked a lot astounded me.  I continued to gain weight for the first year of our relationship, perhaps just to test his love.  He still loved me.  Weird... 

I finally realized that I needed to get back into therapy.  Bob (the therapist, what a great name for a therapist), really helped me to start learning the art of self-love and self-respect.  That while it was wonderful that Stacey loved me for me, it was more important that I love me for me, and don't put all my happiness in Stacey's hands, because that is not fair to either of us.  WOW.  I needed to hear that! 

This is around the time that I joined Weight Watchers and quit smoking.  I no longer needed those crutches, and I no longer needed to test Stacey's love for me.  I loved myself, and was taking steps to keep myself around for as long as possible.  :-)

Wow, I really wanted to make this about how I quit and how it's been, but this ended up being more about the journey...  and if you are still reading, bless you

If you have any questions about quitting smoking, don't hesitate to email me!  I don't claim to be an expert, just someone who's been there. leahthekindweightwatcher@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wordless Monday: Mesmerized by Fireworks

I hope that you all had a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Stay tuned for Tasty Tuesday tomorrow night, and maybe something else before then if I feel inspired...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Some (more) thoughts on body image and healthy goal weights

note: All of the statistics that I will be mentioning today are from the National Associaton of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc. 

As many of you know, I have a personal history with disordered eating.  I have had an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise for almost a decade now. 

While I've recovered from EDNOS (my official diagnosis years ago, because I met all criterea for anorexia except for being underweight, and that's by BMI's standards, mind you) for years now, I still have a tendency to obsess about what I'm eating.

It makes me sad to know how NOT ALONE I am in this.  I wish that there weren't so many people who are currently suffereing or have suffered from an eating disorder. 

Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder)
in the U.S.

I think that the "fat" image she sees looks pretty thin and beautiful!
[image source]

That's a pretty big number.  That one doesn't surprise me or sadden me nearly as much as this one:

Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as
skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting,
and taking laxatives.

[image source]

Over one half???  Nearly one third???  REALLY??? 

The pressure to be thin astounds me.  And I still feel the pressure myself sometimes, unfortunately. 
The only thing that I can do to help these teens is to be a good role model.  I quit smoking, I recovered from an eating disorder, I lost weight in a healthy way with good eating and moderate exercise.  I don't constantly talk about food and my body.  (Yes, I do on this blog, but that's because this is a healthy living blog!)

What are you doing to be a good role model for children who may be susceptable to eating disorders?

Here's one that I still need to keep myself in check about:

The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females.

Yes, I used Sarah Michelle Gellar as an example, because
I used to strive for a body like hers.
[image source]

5 % of American women have the natural ability to look like Sarah Michelle Gellar or Alyssa Milano (I use examples of skinny and beautiful actresses from two of my favorite TV shows).

The rest of us are NOT MEANT TO BE THAT SKINNY.  End of story.

We do have some options:

1) Spend the rest of our lives trying to get there, or

2) Accept our bodies. 

I say that we go for option #2.  What do you think?